Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What do you get with a yard or two of cheap fleece?

The answer is .... skirts!





The little miss proudly sporting her skirt (the other two went to friends and their replicas - I made more!! - to cousins). I dont' know why she looks to have her body on back to front though!







Friday, December 05, 2008

FCUK !!

You must have been put on the spot at least once as a parent, if it is a child who asks loudly in the supermarket why the person in front is smelly/old/fat etc or them telling a teacher how you told daddy he had a gorgeous winkie (neither have happend to me natch!!), then you'll know what it's like.

How do you answer that all important, yet stomach munching question?

This morning Mr Beehive came down the stairs, on the spur of the moment the kids had asked to go to the breakfast club at school and I welcomed the idea of not having a school run, he told them to hurry up and not to f***** about.

Okay, so he didn't actually tell them not to f*** about, only that is what I heard!!!!!!!!!!?????


I turned in shock and asked him if he had said what I thought he did.

"Don't be silly of course I didn't" he retorted. Quite frankly I was hardly expecting him to say yes, but still, I had to make sure I really was deaf and stupid and not just thinking I was!

Of course Master Beehive the elder pipes up in shock "You thought he said the "f" word?"

"I didn't hear him properly" I felt mightily embarassed that I'd thought he had.

Master Beehive the younger then chimes in, "What's the "f" word?"
"F.U.C.K." says MB the elder.
"What's F.U.C.K?" asks MB the younger - then the phonetical genie drops in ...."Oh, FUCK!!" he says so matter of factly.

Of course, I do what any good parent should do in this situation, I crack up laughing!!!
Then my mummy head kicks in and I tell him he shouldn't use the word blah blah blah.

"Why?" - the question of any six year old of course!

"Because it's bad and not nice."

"And besides YOU don't know what it means" says MB the elder

"Well, what does it mean and why can't I say it?"

Okay, so now I need a quick on the spot teachable moment analogy

"Okay so you have two ice creams, in one hand is a chocolate one in a sugar cone, ladened with sprinkles and nerds. In the other is a grass cone with a mud icecream oozing mud and slime down the side and sprinkled with worms and bugs. Which one would you like to eat?....well THAT one is the beautiful English language. What do you think of the other? Yes, it's gross, that is words like the one you heard and other horrible words that don't taste as nice and no one wants to try or hear."

I have never in my life had to work an on the spot analogy quite that fast but I quite like it. Whoever said that chocolate was better than sex got it spot on ;-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It is a hard year to find things to be grateful for in the current climate. Yesterday there was an attrocious terrorist attack in Mumbai, earlier in the year and ongoing are the job losses, people I know, young people and friends are battling cancer and other diseases and this doesn't mention the ongoing trials, tribulations and suffering that so much of the world does on a daily basis, out of the public eye and swept under the carpet.

It is a particularly prolific trying time at the moment, but perhaps there is still something deep that we can be thankful for at least for today. I know for me I am grateful that we are well and healthy (an old cliche, but so true) and I am grateful that we have a roof over our heads and food on the table in front of us. I am also quietly optomistic and hopeful that with some of the economic crisis that is going on, that perhaps the world will start to become a better place, that people might become more empathetic toward each other and that as a world we might begin to be more consciously aware of each other and help those in need much more. I hope that the New Year might start to take a turn for the better for so many families and that would be my thanksgiving wish if I could have one.

I am also grateful for my children, so, so much for the brilliance they've brought into our lives. Yesterday they chose to make up some boxes to send to some people overseas. We decided to send one to a soldier through a friend whose brother is deployed overseas and the other we've sent to some friends in Africa who, by far are not a charity and I hope they won't view it as that, but don't get the frivolity that we are lucky enough to have due to the unselfish choices they've made to help in that part of the world. It's nothing much, some magazines, a dvd, chocolates, some coffee and some little luxuries, but I hope it'll make them smile and think of home!

I also wanted to share a couple of craft projects I'm working on and one I've finished and then I have a recipe too.


This just needs darts to finish the sides.


This is Mr Beehive's sweater. It is knit in the round and I have yet to do the sleeves. It's a very easy raglan, but the yarn is so heavy that my wrists ache if I do too much.

..and this baby is a skirt I made yesterday for myself. It is admittedly a "little prairie girl yeeha", but I like it. The photo on the top shows the ruffle that I made, you can actually see it clearer in the bottom picture.

Finally, a recipe for you to try. I must warn you, it's calorie laden, but ya boo to that, it's lush, it's decadent, it's e.a.s.y!!!!

BTS Cheesecake!!

Two pots of Marscapone cheese (or Philly if you can't get marscapone!)

Three limes juiced and you need the grated rind too.

Enough icing sugar to sweeten the cheese but not overkill

2 packs of ginger snap biscuits

Butter

Small bar of 60% cacao chocolate

1 large glass of wine

Okay, so smash up the biscuits into small pieces, or grind them in a processor. Add about 6 oz of melted butter to the biscuit pieces and then press down firmly into a flan dish and let cool and set in the fridge. Whip up the cheese - do this by hand otherwise it just goes runny! Add sifted icing sugar to taste. Add the juice of three limes (more if you want really tangy, but watch it doesn't get too runny)and the zest from the rind. Stir and place ontop of the now cooled base.

Put back in fridge.

Drink wine!

When it has cooled, use a cheese grater to grate or roll if you are fancy bugger, some curls of chocolate onto the top of the cheesecake.The rest of the chocolate may be consumed at your leisure.

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Travelling cape

So it looks like our time in the States may finally be coming to an end. I am sure, for those of you that know us, you have been able to read between the lines of my entries over the last few months, but it has been so up in the air. I suppose it isn't really grounded as yet either, it'll either be Edinburgh or London, but likely that Mr Beehive will be gone come the end of the financial half year and we'll either follow in June if I can cope alone that long or at the end of March.

Of course, now comes the time (just as Thanksgiving and Christmas and the Little Miss's birthday draw upon us!) that I need to cull and perge, throw and declutter. This is actually the longest that the Beehive has been in one place, in one house, since I think we both left home when we were 18! Hence we seem to have actually got one or two feet firmly in the door and accrued a shed load of .......stuff!

I feel somewhat how I imagine a child to feel when faced with an entire room to clear and not quite knowing where to start. The feeling is overwhelming, where do I start? What do we really need and not need. What, if push came to shove, could I do without? How much of my life can I really squeeze into a limited amount of boxes?

My first port of call has been the kitchen, which managed to fill one bin bag for charity, then I moved onto my wardrobe which went to another charity and then the children's playroom which is being handed to friends and going to Goodwill. Obviously we will keep what they use a lot, but we have to be realistic that we have lived in, let's face it people......America.........the land of the brave, free and............well, quite frankly frickin' meganormous, so going back to Britain, the land of the equally brave, free, wet and ............itty bitty houses, we may need professional help!!

I have mixed feelings about it all, obviously my adventurous side is ready to go, ready to move on to the next place, my rooted side, my "I hate change" persona (yes, the nomad is obviously a jekyll and hyde character!) is screaming "it'll be awful, you won't see people again, the school, the school.......omg, the school!" That will be a big loss to us. The Montessori school. I am considering, certainly for the short term, to help the children adjust and fill the gap from march to September if we go then, to home educate them, that way I can gently introduce the UK curriculum but with a Montessori style approach. I imagine they'll take to it like ducks to water and as always in these cases, it is me who will have the harder time.

So over the next few months I expect this blog will turn over a lot to our impending move and the trials and tribulations that go with packing up five people, a dog and four years worth of lives. I also have to try to work out how we fit in some of MB the elder's list of "things to do/places to see before we leave" which include Washington DC, The Statue of Liberty (can you believe it - not yet!) and California. I think we can work the first two, the latter I'm not so sure.

Oh and to add insult to injury I've chosen now to give up caffeine......that'll see me right over the next very busy few months.................................................not!

On another note, I have managed to have the most empowering births recently, after a long session of tougher ones I have finally hit a change in the tide. Now, whether that is just these were all second time moms (I imagine that is a lot of it) or perhaps I am actually more aware and practised these days (possibly a tiny part of it!) but since the first VBAC in may this year I am on some kind of roll (of course, saying that I have just burst my big fat bubble of destiny now!).

September saw a 1hr 2om natural birth that I made with 40 mins to spare!
October was a 2 hour 30 min natural VBAC
and on Monday was perhaps one of the hardest births I've ever attended. Again she achieved a natural birth in around six hours, but she found the tail end of it incredibly hard and was not helped by jobsworthy nurses insisting she had to birth on the bed and the jobsworthy IV nurse who couldn't take her blood from her arm when it was on a table and she had to lie down to have her blood taken (wtf is that all about?!) and kept huffing and sighing when my client had a contraction so she was unable to relax enough for the blood to flow, or that she had to have a Hep Lock in at the start. As she transistioned she began to take flight and I did think I might lose her. Her eyes were imploring me to take the pain away and I had to be firm with her, tell her she was nearly there and that she needed to go deep inside herself and find that last bit of inner strength. She was finding that standing leaning over the table was working best for her contractions and I was vigourously rubbing her lower back. She progressed the latter part of first stage (from 4 - 9) incredibly fast, within an hour, and thus (this is why I find hospitals and L & D nurses - some of them- hard work) the nurses didn't believe she was there when she said she had to push. Of course, there she was wanting to push the baby out standing up - no issue, but the nurses decided that was the time to flap like a bunch of hens with a fox up their bum flaps........no one decided that perhaps putting matting under her might be wise (so I grabbed it and moved it just in case) and then some bright spark thought it would be funny to lift her (head fully emerged at that point!) onto the bed.................the baby literally fell as she landed on her back on the bed - luckily one nurse was at least positioned to catch, but had she fallen as the mother was being moved, well it doesn't bear thinking about. Why oh why could she not have been left alone or just helped to kneel down onto the matting I'd laid out underneath her. It is things like this that infuriate the heck out of me as I am totally helpless in a situation like this. I either get evicted from the room (and potentially the hospital and future births there) if I question their authority or I seem to "take the side of the nurses" if I go along with their suggestions. It's a tough call.

So, this may be my last birth until I am established back over the pond somewhere. It seems odd to think that this could be it for now. Mind you, if you are going to go out, at least go out on a high and these last births have certainly done that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

You've been Elfed!

video

Be warned, you need tissues, a change of tena and .......a quiet office space!!!!!! Hysterical!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

It. Is. Done!!!



Ta da!!!!


Wee missy has a new sweater. I am actually very chuffed with my perserverence with this one! It's taken me just over a fortnight and some cursing into the small hours, but it is complete.


So on to the next project, sweater for Mr Beehive the younger now. I found some eco-wool made out of recycled plastic bottles in "The Store that cannot be named" the other day, $2.85 a pop!!!!!!!!! It's really soft too, so I am going to give it a go, see how it knits up.


I will try not to get so embedded in this one that I don't update my blog!!



She's also wearing a recycled skirt that I made from an old sweater I had. Very recycled thrifty girlie today and uber blue too, no idea where that all came about!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Puff and Pumpkins!


"Puff the Magic Draaaaaaaaaagon'
lived by the sea,
An audit in the Autumn mint
in a land called Hon-on -Sea"


It would appear there may well be another accountant in the offing here!!!! This is LMB's version of that childhood song that her daddy would be proud of!!
And here are my offerings for today, no words (well, bar these few) just photos from an exhibition we went on last night by the riverside. Enjoy!
















































































Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hey there! You with the stars in your .......bum??? and a pumpkin pie recipe!

My son is a freak! It is official.
Meal times in our family are often of a hysterical nature - either humourous, or otherwise! Mostly humourous though! Master Beehive the elder was trying to keep up with the hilarity of his younger siblings crazy word misassociations today, and his freakish abilities were his party piece!
Master Beehive the younger has been in our bed the last couple of nights with a sore tummy. When I have felt it, it has been really hard and taut. As you know, this is my self-confessed vegaphobe, so I blame much of his difficulty in the relief department on his inability to eat much of the green stuff. Naturally, I diagnosed accurately, constapation, which I duly told him. I explained he'd have to drink or eat prunes tomorrow in order to encourage his bowels to get moving properly again.

Of course, this topic came up over the mealtable this lunchtime as I was encouraging him to eat a dahl and some beans that I'd made. Here I was desperately trying to explain he needed to get his bowel less sluggish.

"Why?" asks his older brother
"Because I have Constellations!" his sibling announces proudly!

Of course, we all fell about with this.

Obviously feeling out done in all this giggling, Master Beehive the elder proceeds to show us his party piece as those of you with siblings must understand the intense competition.......

My elder son can, not only bend his forefinger at the first joint only!!! He can cross his eyes.......one.......eye.......at..........a.............time !!!!!!!

I am seriously doubting now that he is of my gene pool!!

And Halloween is only days away too!!!!!!!!

Oh and here is a quick recipe for a twist on Pumpkin pie as we've had three pumpkin inners to use up this week:

Pumpkin Meringue Pie a la moi.

About 2lbs of pumpkins1/2lb of brown sugarteaspoon of cinnamonteaspoon of ginger4oz of butter

Allow it all to gentle simmer until soft, then when it is soft and cool, put it into a food blender and blend until smooth

Then add two egg yolks and stir well. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to use it (won't last more than a day because of the egg!)

For the top topping!!

Make a meringue

Use the two whites and whip up into peaks
Add about 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence

Pour your pumpkin mix onto the pastry base that you can buy or make (pie case)Then put your meringue over the top
Bake in the oven for around 25 mins at about 375 deg F
Pumpkin Meringue Pie!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Who cares - I am candle calm!!!


So I have bought a new candle. I know, me, a candle!! I am not a fan of candles that smell, they tend to be really nauseous and sweet or chemical and overpowering, but this candle........THIS candle is my calm!!

Well, that's the idea.

It's a whopper of a candle, so let's hope there is a whop-load of calm in there. It smells really fresh and floral but not too much. Yup, of course, you'll get that - a written description of a scent for you to imagine and enjoy - riiiiiiight??!!

Anyway, Mr Beehive has been away again this week, so let's see....no! I do believe the week was actually pretty uneventful, well apart from the fact that the lappy went down mid week so I presumed it was the re-router to the wireless connection - gosh that sounds like I know what I am talking about - shame of it is, I haven't the first clue so didn't even know what the re-router looked like to re-boot it. As it turned out, t'wasn't that at all, it was me being a dork and I pressed off the wireless button on the front of the computer - well duh, like I knew that was there?!

I had a mad crafting day yesterday, the kids were off school as the teachers were at a conference, so while they played, I sewed. Now I would show you the results, but......right now i can't find the cable to connect the camera to the computer and I think that is how the actual wireless button came to be turned off anyway while I was busy poking my memory card into any available slot........well, that normally works!
I made a sweet Christmas skirt and top for LMB, the underskirt for her 50's polka dot swing dress that I intend to make her and began hat number 5 for the Save the Children knit-one-save-one campaign. I'll try to remember to upload photos when I find the cable. I have a suspicion that it has been posted into one of the washing baskets of clean clothes that I have piling up in our bedroom.

How does one family produce so much laundry? I think my laundry basket is modelled on "The Magic Porridge Pot" and I have yet to find the words to get the darned thing to stop re-filling just as I get to the bottom.

Last week I watched a great video from NAMTA (North American Montessori Teachers Association) called - thieves!- "At Home with Montessori". It was three short clips of three different families with kids at 4months, 7 months and 15 months and the different home environments that they had set up for them. All the rooms were beautifully and carefully organised, as this was the prepared environment. I had to take a moment however to cough rather loudly behind my hand "bullshit"! because here they were showing these great environments with one child in them (two in the last one, but only about 10 months apart) with low level shelving with toys arranged on them (almost like ornaments!) and not a spot of clutter, paperwork, no knitting projects all over the place, no homework piles, no dog, no anything out of place anywhere and most importantly.......NO LAUNDRY?! I wonder if they will loan me their fairy? They could make a killing selling that secret, but then, I don't care - I have a candle!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Number 11 bus!


So, no post from me in ages, then two in the same day.

This is probably just because the last one was so ranty - kindofa blogger's guilt!!

Anyhoo! I just wanted to show you these pics - they are so autumnal.
We've been picking pumpkins today - from the garden primarily and then I took the smallest rugrat over to an orchard to do some apples too. So we have:


Our home grown pumpkins - we ended up with 7 or 8 I think - which kind of grew by accident from some fallen seed that fell near the compost and obviously thrived in that area. Now we just have to inform the landlord as to why all his berberis has been strangled *oops*

Green Tomato chutney by the bucketful! Seriously, these are jars four, five and six and there is still a bucket to go when I can summon up the energy!

Mushroom and nut loaf a la moi:

Handful of mushrooms

Handful of raw cashews, 2 handfuls of pistachios

2 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper and whizz these ingredients in the processor.

Add:

about 2oz of grated cheese

A large handful of chopped parsley

4oz of melted butter.

Put the mix into greased loaf tins and push down firmly. Then I cook at around 380degs F for half an hour. It freezes quite well too.

This was LMB's Apple Crisp (well my version)

She chopped about 5 large apples that we mixed with lemon, cinnamon, ginger and ground clove powders (all of it mixed together was no more than a teaspoon!)

Crisp:

The topping is made from around 3oz oats, 2oz of flour, about 6oz melted butter, a large dollop of runny honey to sweeten, a small amount (2oz? ) of brown sugar and a table spoon of flax seed (for the health benefit bit lol!) and then we poured the topping over the apples and it will be baked when the loaves go in.

These pics are all "before" pics, so you can see them afterwards later!

The top pic will be roasted root veggies that have been tossed in oil, garlic and salt. I just LOVE the colours! There is beetroot, small potatoes, squash and parsnip........oh and I put in one small quartered apple too - just for interest in the flavour!!

As you know, I am not a cook that follows specific amounts and values, I know this is infuriating for people who have asked me for recipes before, and I apologise. I really feel that you are the best judge of whether something will taste good or not and you can only really destroy something with too much sugar or too much salt! Anyway, experiment, enjoy!

They F**K you up your parents.......


I fear this entry is going to be getting things off my chest that have been bugging me over the last few days.

First of all I feel compelled to mention how sad I feel that had I not miscarried back in March, our baby would have been due now. I can't mention it out loud in real life because........well, it isn't something you talk about! If you talk about a baby that never was...well, you come across as a bit "affected" by it all, probably depressed, you know what I mean (not how I feel btw, more how society views it), people don't know what to say to you. It seems sad that although our baby never made it to full term, s/he will never be determined by anything other than my memories - even Mr Beehive hasn't mentioned it. I suppose women are more attached to things than men can be? *shrug*. It isn't helped that we are now struggling to get pregnant again! I had read that most women who miscarry are generally pregnant again by the time their original due date comes around, I guess I am just not one of "most" this time, but it had given me hope.
My motto is generally that "life doesn't kill you it only makes you stronger" but sometimes, it just kills a little part of you. I am sure that our life right now, with all the uncertainty, isn't helping. I am just hoping that once we have some security about where we are moving to next and when that will be, everything will fall into place. That is tha attitude i am trying to keep right now at least.


My second rant of the morning (I am doing well, it's only 9.30am on a Sunday) is to the BBC headlines in the paper that declare than an "independent study" shows that boys are proven to be behind girls at school - even when they start at five http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7674472.stm

This, I have to say, isn't new news, people have known this for years. But read down. Note the paragraph that says:

"Children with two working parents tended to do better than others. They were four months ahead on vocabulary and two months ahead on visual tests."
Now, I am all for encouraging parents to return to the work place if they want or need to, but is there not a smattering of this sentence that irritates you? So for all of us SAHM's out there, who are educated and interested in our children's upbringing and development, apparently, according to THIS piece of tripe, we are doing our children a disservice by remaining at home with them. We should be putting them in day care from the start whereupon they are going to be four months ahead of their counterparts, because naturally, we never communicate with our children, we don't bake, garden, draw etc etc and a nursery with two or three carers (maybe all between the ages of 18 and 20!!) to 8 or 9 kids is a much more educational environment?!

Of course, I am pretty sure that isn't what they mean, not least what they discovered. We are talking the outer realms of this, the parents that don't give jack shit about their kids' welfare who are at home on benefits probably versus the parents who have a norland nanny whilst they go out and work - not really your average picture!
I can't abide these "surveys" that, quite frankly, survey a small percentage of the population extremes and then print their "findings" in the national press (probably to suit the government so that more women jump back into the workplace a few hours after giving birth regardless, to ensure they don't fuck up their off spring!). I don't suppose for once there might be the opportunity to not have women feeling guilty for the choices they want or have to make.

"There are lies, damned lies and statistics!"

Finally, here are some of the projects I'm currently working on. The school is taking part in Save the Children's Knit-One-Save-One campaign this fall, so the everyone is frantically knitting newborn hats. No longer can you hear the sound of children's voices in the hall, all you hear these days is the clicking of needles lol! So, here is one of the four I have already made and the other photo is a new project I have started, my first bit of cable. It will be a scarf for Mr Beehive when I am finished. I love to knit in the evenings while I am doing something else, but unfortunately cable isn't very easy for me as yet, as I tend to lose my place, so this may or may not be completed before next winter!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Three-year old face off!

"My house is further than yours"

"No, mine is further than yours, we have to drive to our house"

"Well we have to drive to ours too, it's a long, long way" (bear in mind we are actually IN the car driving from said house!)

"Mine is a long long way too, very long long way"

"My dog is bigger than your dog"

"No, my dog is bigger bigger than your dog"

"No it isn't. Mine is a bigger bigger dog."

"Nooooooooo" (this child hasn't GOT a dog!) "Well, my mommy likes her house better than your house"

"Yes! My mummy is fed up living in our house."

Oh well - twas great entertainment for an afternoon, just as well I couldn't get the radio to tune in properly!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Getting life in perspective.

Well this week has been anything but dull!!

Last week we were all set to move to back England - we had a new, gorgeous house in the offing, a tenant on standby and things were looking up. Within less than 10 hours we were no longer looking to move to England, the tenant was refused her money from the council, so she has had to go and look elsewhere and the house we were hoping to buy is now a pipe dream once again! (Where DOES that phrase come from?)

I think this has set me up for my somewhat feistier than normal reaction to stuff this week: I have appealed against my grading for my final essay for my diploma *shock*, gotten involved in a dispute with someone on the internet and have just written a letter to Mr Beehive the elder's teacher asking to discuss his new policy of keeping kids in at recess when their work isn't finished.

I am not looking for a fight in all this, nor am I looking for some kind of selfish justice or retribution. I am just looking to be in control of that which I can have some control over.

I could allow my essay to be unworthy of the grade that I know it is worth because I don't challenge a point and allow my tutor to just hand me the same grade she gives me for every darned essay I write.

I could allow someone else's snap comments to go unchallenged because I am too intimidated or can't be bothered to get involved in the cause despite it being one close to my heart. If I don't challenge it I could then stick my head in the sand when the consequences of the snap comments lead to something that could have been avoided.

I could just watch my child suffer a new policy that has been put in place by a new teacher, or I could challenge it and suggest alternatives that could mean that all outcomes are met and everyone is happy and working optimally?


If I have learned one thing from last weekend when all this blew up in our faces is that life can be turned around in a nano second. Blink for a minute and you'll miss half your life or it can be whipped away from you in any shape or form. I know for many, many families worldwide, this last month particularly, that is just the case.

In the current climate it is very, very easy to feel pulled under, not just financially, but also with the weight of exterior influences - politics, global warming, money, housing etc. The problem is, if you let it get a hold of you, it doesn't want to let go. If you bury your head in the sand it will cover you up eventually and then you can't get free. I listened to a broadcast from the BBC world service yesterday and was, quite frankly, horrified to hear young teens and adults saying that they wouldn't be voting. They expressed no interest in politics or the candidates so would therefore not be voting, "it didn't mean anything to them", "it wouldn't affect them", "they weren't engaged in politics or the candidates"!!

Now, more than any time, is the time to stand up for what you believe in, use your vote, challenge decisions or things you don't agree with. Ultimately, life in it's naked and natural form, is mapped out for us and we can't do a blind jot about that, but we can take responsiblity for the things that are closest to our hearts and the things we do have influence over and do something about it before it's too late.

Yesterday I lay outside under a tree for half an hour. It was a glorious autumnal day. Have you ever seen the sky from under a tree, lying on your back? The leaves fluttering in the breeze, the sharp blue sky peeping through the turning leaves. The shapes of the branches, gnarled and twisted, each one totally unique and independent. I was watching things that were far more out of my control than anything I needed to worry about in my own life right now.

It put it all in perspective for me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Phlegm and Phwoar!

How did it go? Well, put it this way:

1. I am very glad they decided to shoot on a location rather that at my gaff when there were over 30 people and god knows how much equipment in the room.

2. I am old - most deffo - old. Everyone, bar maybe one or two were at least 10 years younger - but, by gosh laddie, they were fit, phwoar, particularly the young man (you know the voice!!) who had to fix my microphone to my bra in order for the sound crew to hear me particularly loudly when demonstrating heavy breathing and using the word vagina *roll eyes* Luckily that day I hadn't decided to wear my bra designed by the ministry of defence as a spare bunker, nor fortunately the plunge version that tends to escape me (literally) but it was at least clean and decent!

3. My left butt cheek is NOT my best side, nor is my left ankle, but I fear this will be my dominant feature in the movie, but at least my socks didn't have a hole in them and yes, the birth ball does make my arse look big!

4. I could never be an actor cos it's boring! There is so much sitting around, lots of bossy sods and people shouting and not enough decent coffee for the snob in me.

Still, it was a fun experience.

Everyone here has been run down by the leurgy this and last week. First Master Beehive the elder had one of his rather dramatic asthma attacks - always brought on by the first of the season's colds, then he passed it onto Mr Beehive, who decided to take it to new heights. Many men I know, are those of the "man flu" category. Mr Beehive, however, is of the "work to the death, martyr type" just as infuriating. He has a tendency to get sick then refuse to get time off work, get sicker and then be feckin' crap by the weekend where he lies around feeling generally sorry for himself. I am not normally harsh and mean when he is sick, but when he refuses to take needed time off AND insists on going to a Yankee game and rolling in at midnight because "someone has to go" *Agggghhh*, the patience then wears very thin when he sleeps at the weekend because he is sick and tired.

Now it appears it is my turn, I can feel it there, lurking. But I am determined not to get it because I have to work this weekend. I can't be sick. This is a one off job. I have bought a large tray of satsumas and am drinking Emergency C by the bucket. So far so good!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's Bee-llywood dahling mwah !

Fook~!

Do you know that book, "One hundred things to do before you die" The same book in fact, whose author died doing one of those hundred things, anyhoo, I have one to add to my book of "one hundred strange things that life throws at you to do before you are too old and wrinkly to do it any more". No, get your heads OUT of the gutter, it has nothing to do with being in the bedroom or reading too much of the old KS! But being an extra in a movie.............Okay, so not strictly an extra, I was hunted down for a part!! Guess that makes me less desperate than an extra eh?? lol!

My acting skills remain no more developed that when I had to fake a snog in our sixth form production of The Pirates of Penzance. I was no good then, in fact, it was probably not helped by the fact I was lusting after the Pirate King (or maybe it was the Pirate King's first mate!) rather than the good old wandering minstral who was doing his best to woo me. If he hadn't been about 5'1", suffering big time from Hallitosis, nearly bald (see, i am 5'8, so can see a man's monk spot!) and MY GERMAN TEACHER!!!!!!! .....well, who knows.........

Anyway, this time it may be easier to remain in character - and I don't have to sing, which will please everyone.

I am playing the role of.........wait for it...........A Childbirth Educator.........hmmmm!!

I have to be "on set" tomorrow morning at 7.30am (*yawn*) complete in my wardrobe. The issue is these guys haven't actually SEEN my wardrobe, which consists of jeans, jeans, maybe a hippy skirt or two, possibly one of those "I have to make an impression at parent night/interview/in-laws etc" type dresses, more jeans and lots of stuff that really isn't exactly the wow factor.

It can't be bright (that rules out half), it can't be white (that is the other half), well nearly, the "other half" is divided up into stuff WITH slug trails from babies past and stuff that quite frankly isn't allowed out in public, not least in public with silver screen lasting memory!!!

So...........what's a filmstar to do???

I have resigned to a pair of beige cords and a black fitted tee, guess I can't be more neutral than that.

So, deep down I am excited about this, I am slugging back wine right now, so I guess a little nervous (but then all actors have hangovers don't they, so that will make me fit right in.) Cybil Shephard is playing the role of the mother in this movie (but I doubt she will be on set tomorrow) so watch out everyone..........my name will be there.......on the credits, you know, the bit at the end that rolls up so fast and so tiny (if you've even stayed awake until the credits) that blink and you miss it - it will be MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (said in best Andy Serkis voice!!!)

Watch these Broadway lights!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Big Boob - aka Making a Tit of oneself!!

Okay, so you will have to go with me on this one. I have been up at a birth, got in at 3am this morning (told you Sod was out playing with his laws this week !!) and then lay there in bed with the lyrics of, for all things, the Beautiful South playing in my head until at least 4am??!!
Had to go out at 6.30am to pick up the bairns from my very dear friend who took them last night in the middle of the night - THANK YOU!!!!! Then to bring them back home for breakfast, scrub up and back up to school.

I then had to lead a meeting for the Parent Association this morning on faaaaarrr too much coffee and waaaaaay too little sleep. As I was presenting my part toward the end of the meeting we were running short of time. Fortunately for me having had three cups of coffee by this point, i was able to run off the points at lightening speed. Forgive me if I sounded incoherant at any point during this, but I promise to write up the minutes tomorrow after a full night of rest!!

Later in the day, LMB was due to start new ballet class. I am often a little nervous of all the yummy mummies that occupy the ballet halls in Connecticut. They are all imaculately dressed, skinny and yummy, I, however, am normally lucky if my jeans are the right side out and my shirt doesn't clash with the rest of my attire! However, today I wasn't worried so much about my clothes as I had dressed for the meeting!!

A friend from school who was also attending so I knew I wouldn't have to stand like a wallflower for too long before she would arrive and take pity on me!! We successfully dropped off our girlies for their ballet and went outside to chat. A couple of the yummies passed me and looked at me a bit oddly, but ..... well, I didn't pay much attention.

Part way through the conversation, having been stared at for just one to many times to make me feel comfortable anymore, I turned to my friend to ask her if I was being neurotic. As I turned, she kindly pointed out that I was baring my chest to all as my "pawsh" shirt specially dug out and laundered from the wardrobe of "clothing for posh events, interviews and occasions" had chosen to pop open revealing the fact that today was the day I had chosen to wear a plunge bra and was showing cleavage birds could nest in!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Summer vacation has left the building!

It has been a week of tide turning by all accounts - memorable moments, small and large.

First off, Master Beehive the younger has decided that reading is finally something he does want to do and has just taken off. I don't know if it is an age thing (probably!) or the fact he has gone up to Elementary (Year two in the UK). Either way, it's been pretty exciting this week to see him gather speed, rather like a snowball down a mountain and extend his vocab without much effort and do it wantingly. Now all I have to do is cross my fingers and hope the same enthusiasm is extended to his fruit and vegetable consumption! *sigh*

Second off Little Miss Beehive has decided to give up her vice! The Do-Do has gone! The Do-Do fairy came and took it away and replaced it with a princess doll!! This was all her own doing and choice. She is staying for three afternoons this year in the nappers programme at the school and after we spoke about her not taking her pacifier to the nappers with her, she decided it would be cold turkey time and proceeded to take her small stool, climb onto the counter, open the cupboard, take out the pot of do-do's and bin them! Just.Like.That.

Third off was a visit from an old school friend who is currently working in Uganda (actually read that as old flame *wink*) we've stayed in touch as mates for the last 15 years and he came over to the US this week to raise funds for Bwindi, the clinic where he works. It was a fleeting visit and maybe put him off having his own kids for life (for that I apologise *with a chuckle*), but we had a great time catching up. However, the evening was over too soon (you always know the evening is soon to be over when the bluuurrrkes get started on whisky - stay up much longer after that and it all gets incredibly maudlin!!)


Finally Mr Beehive went away this week to Dallas. So far (cling onto that wood for me!) we have had a serious lack of exploding dog arses, bin ravaging racoons, electric failure, car breakdowns, boiler leaks or packing in, floods or anything else that tends to come around when he goes away. Naturally the lights have come on the car to show that something has gone wrong there (I am doing the camel in the sand trick for now!) and I am on call so my mother-to-be is undoubtedly going to go into labour (everyone and his mother is on standby childcare duty!) but bugger it!! Stress?? Me??? Much??? The summer vacation was an absolute doddle!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Anarchy in the mac and cheesy troops

The Mama needs a life, the mama needs a life, High ho the derry-o, the Mama needs a life

The life is gonna come, the life is gonna come. High-ho, the Derry-O, the life is gonna come.
The holiday draws closed, the holiday draws closed. High-ho, the Derry-O, the holiday draws closed.

She loves her bairns to bits, but they're getting on her tits. High-ho, the Derry-O, the she loves her bairns to bits.





Thirteen weeks is just three too long. Ten we managed without incidence, without me losing sight of my sanity and without me needing to resort to alcohol or anything else!

However, the bickering has reached it's peak! Yesterday was the worst with them screeching at each other literally every 3 or 4 minutes.
Normally my kids are pretty good friends, but I think that there was a large element of tiredness from traipsing around NYC on Wednesday. Master Beehive the elder, who can normally entertain himself for hours, doing all kinds of nothingness and somethingness, actually declared a state of emergency yesterday!
yesterday he was................................





B O R E D !!!

What am I to do?
We have run out of recipe ideas, arts and crafts are running low, all trees have been mastered and climbed, there is lack of sun for the pool today, the games cupboard is running dry, jigsaws can be done with eyes shut......

And to make things worse, my boys have discovered Daddy's music! From the seventies and eighties. Apparently Mr Beehive the elder's favourite song right now is Anarchy by the Sex Pistols - i give up!

hey well, tomorrow is Saturday, Daddy can have them with Billy Bragg for an hour or two lol!

Lunchtime we have had a friend over for a playdate and he stayed for lunch. He is an avid mac and cheese fan. We are not American enough to do packet mac and cheese, I always make my own ( you can throw in a bit of garlic, a pinch of pepper and occasionally some decadent cream for added richness and whop it under the grill for a nice browned effect). In fact, it beggars belief as to why anyone would buy a packet mix, but there you go! So, Master Beehive the younger is trying to heatedly sell my mac and cheese ....

"You've got to eat my mom's mac and cheese, it's the best"

later

"You have to eat it, or at least try it..."

Finally the playdate relents he will indeed try the infamous mac and cheese

"Well?" asks Master Beehive the younger? "what do you think? do yu like it?" He is on more of a tenter hook than i am, it appears there maybe somekind of playground wars going on in the "Mom's mac and cheese"department.

"Hmm...." replies the playdate, nonchalantly "I've tasted better!"

I smile under my beard!

Meanwhile the conversation turns to careers when they grow up. Both Beehives decide they want to be chefs and ask the Playdate what he wants to be

"Not a food critic by any chance?" I ask, sniggering?

"No, I want to be the President." he announces, finally looking up from the plate and resting from shovelling in pasta.

Okay, so he's aiming high.

"Well that'll be lucky, as you'll be able to have your own chef to make mac and cheese just the way you like it" I say to him and his, now empty, plate

"Yuh huh!........." he mumbles once more head down, chomping his way through the second rate pasta dish "is there any more?"

Yay - one up to moi - Mom's mac and cheese ROCKS!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Babies and 'Broidery

I love my job! I love it when I hear about my clients having their babies and I love it each time an anxious mum rings me up and says - "I think my water just broke!" I feel so excited for them and so honoured to be called and asked for advice or help, or even to come along and attend the birth.

I think I have now clocked over 25 births since I first came to the US back in 2005 and have taught over 50 couples! That's around 75 babies - er...no make that 76 as there was one set of twins. I am now beginning to get repeat clients which is also fantastic, seeing them evolve from their first birthing experience to their second.

I am currently on call for a second time mama who had a four hour birth last time around! I hope I make it!!


Christmas Challenge!

Okay, so this is it. My Christmas challenge to myself is to use as much as my fabric stash as possible without buying further AND to make at least one gift for each family member this Christmas. I had hoped to do this last year, on my green and frugal campaign, however, this year we have more pressing need to be frugal, partly due to our potential return to Blighty next summer and having to cart all this stuff back and partly due to a housing situation that we are working through. So, I am trying to cut back on my fetish of fabric and yarn and finally pull out my finger and make those projects I planned on last year! So here are today and yesterday's efforts.

This is a cute barrett holder that I made this afternoon, it has wading and card inner to ensure it is firm and then the trimming is fixed at points. The barrettes then just slide and clip on. I popped over to a friend's house this morning for coffee, she has an embroidery machine! Eager to show me how it worked, we ran up some embroidered names!! I intend to make this gift up again for my god daughter.

This is a little lavender and millet filled beanie doll. Mr Beehive has a god daughter who will like this I think. I think I might actually make a little tooth bag for her and she can then be a tooth dolly.


Mr Beehive laughed at this one! Don't blame him really, but what do you buy for the couple that really have everything. I know they'll enjoy this over their Scottish Sunday Post and warm barm cakes!


Oh and this is a stealthy brag here! See the blue ribbon! This skirt won first prize yesterday in the local Agricultural fayre!! Watch out Hugh Fearnly Knittingstools - I'll be up there with my crotcheted onions one day giving you a run for your money!




Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Christmas Day in Summer!





Look how big our sunflowers got!!!









Okay, so there are:
127 Days 10 hours and about 10 minutes until Christmas day (well depending on what side of the Atlantic you are on of course!). You really needed to know that under a picture of sunflowers didn't you!!?!



This year, to continue the "Living green" theme (and to also help us with our finances as we are deciding to do something very radical for us....which I will tell you about when we are further down the line) I am crafting many of the gifts for our friends and family for Christmas. This is the reason for the early start.



I can't put all of them up here, as I know this blog is read by some of the future recipients, but for now there are:
A felt tipped pen case for my niece.






An apron for my MIL which was made using a vintage tea towel for the pocket on the front.



I am currently finishing off a London Beanie for my oldest nephew, youngest nephew has a gorgeous hand made wooden logging truck (not made by me!) and a drawstring bag for him to store all his toy cars in. My oldest niece has a knitting bag with bamboo handles and I will put in a couple of balls of wool and some nice bamboo needles to get her started on her addiction!




And finally, if anyone can identify what this flower is, found in our vegetable patch, it is pink and fluffy, in fact, Little Miss Beehive's perfect flora!















Saturday, August 16, 2008

Finished Hat!

My first ever project on circular needles!! An adaptation on a theme, for I needed to add earflaps and a tie to ensure it stayed on her head, but overall i am really happy with it. Hope she wears it now!!







Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Beehive menagerie

Yesterday was somewhat surreal.


About noon I was rung by someone who was looking for a Childbirth Educator. Not unusual for someone who IS a childbirth instructor, but rather than looking for classes they were looking for one and their studio for an upcoming movie!!!
They came over to assess my teaching space, asked if I would be happy being filmed (tis apparently a love story - I think my role may take place AFTER the lovin' bit n'est pas!!??) and could I provide three pregnant couples to sit in on "the class"!! Well, always eager to please and cutting a long story short, three hours later I may have signed myself up to my debut movie performance, I do hope I have place for my golden globe on my mantel!!!

The original hive diva though, Little Miss Beehive, would like to inform you that we are currently driving a "Sheep" whilst her painting is drying on the "Weasel"!!


Funny, I had sure feelings that the car we HAD been driving was actually a lemon!!
As if I don't have enough going on in my life lol!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To be.... fashionable, or not to be....fashionable?

It has been an underlying question for years - "Nature or Nurture?"

I, on the otherhand, have a far more pertinent question as of late:

Fashion sense: Born with it or develop it?

Both my boys are just beginning to take an interest in their own clothing. Master Beehive the Elder hates shopping for clothes with a passion, but will endure flicking through a catalogue or indulge in some online clothes shopping to ensure he has items to his liking, preferably Boden plaid pants or ghastly sport type shorts!!

Master Beehive the younger and the Little Miss are, however, happy to accompany me to buy clothing for them and actually boyo has quite a reputation at school for his sense of fashion.

Master Beehive the elder struggles, much like his dad, to understand that plaid and stripes really don't go that well, orange tshirt and red pants are not the best option. He will need a good partner when he is older to help him with his wardrobe!!


Master Beehive the younger, however, seems to manage to just throw any old cast off that his brother used to wear and it lands on him with a somewhat ruffled and bedraggled cool style.



The Little Miss, just so I don't miss her out, is kind of a mix between the two of them: a kind of Fancy Nancy wear a tutu, over Pippi Longstockings stripey tights, with a funky boho sweater (actually probably more like me ho ho!) I definitely think she has potential with her developing individual style!



Their newest fashion interest has been their hair. Master Beehive the younger asked me the other night to cut his again, when we were finished he asked to borrow some of his father's wax that he then ran through his hair creating a fantastic style that looks somewhat older than his six years!! (and bugger me he also gets the cheek bones - in fact, both boys have those!)




On seeing his brother's new design, Master Beehive the elder, who has longer floppy hair (gorgeous, but not particularly style-able) decided he needed to do similar. He refuses to let anyone near his hair with a pair of scissors at the moment and yet hates it when it gets in his eyes when he plays his violin or sport (I actually did a David Beckham on him the other day with one of my elasticated head bands and it looks pretty kewl!). He also took the wax and blobbed a load in his hair and proceeded to try to comb it back......oh dear!! *sigh* I think we will need to work on this with him.

So, the question I put to you out there, does he stand a hope in hell that I can "teach" him some fashion sense, or shall I just hope he avoids the fashion police by meeting the next Gok?

As for my current fashion sense, it would appear it is CARS!!! Yes, my new car, that went to the garage last week to be fixed, was returned to me yesterday, only to be returned back to the garage with the same problem appearing before I even got it home. So I am currently sporting a black jeep in my driveway - they say black is slimming, so I hope if I stand next to it, I might lose a dress size!!

My aim for 2008 is obviously to work my way through all the Enterprise Fleet before Thanksgiving. How am I doing so far???!!





Saturday, August 09, 2008

I have "the answer"

Sometimes I outstand myself!!!

Today is one of those days.

The secret of parenting I am sure has been a well hidden one for years, if not undiscovered even. Well, now for just $19.99 I will sell you the answer...............................
















Aw bollux, you can have it anyway!!

On Thursday we discovered, after living in our town for nearly four years, that there is an old fashioned sweetie and ice cream emporium hidden behind the local grocery store!!!

Now we have found this, it has become "my secret"

Today we will frequent this place as long as:

1. the bedrooms are tidied
2. they don't bicker AT ALL
3. no one whines
4. no one cries
5. ( ) left open for me to add any more stipilations when the mood strikes me


It then works something like this:

Moi: This room looks a bit of a mess.........that's a shame....
Small Beehive: I am just about to do it, come and see it in a few minutes


Few minutes later

Small Beehive proudly displaying gleaming room with all things put away (or at least hidden out of sight!)

Small Beehive: Beginning of whine "muuuuuuuummm........"
Moi: "Scoops!" (name of ice cream shop!)


Small Beehive: "Stop doing that, you are so mean.........(add what you will!)
Moi: from the safety of the kitchen to up the stairs " Scoooooooops!!"

I think you get it!

I have had a remarkably peaceful morning so far with surprisingly minimal effort on my part !!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

The house that Jack (Shit) built!!

Ever get the feeling that your week has been a little like the below? If so, this one's for you!!!






This is the shit the raccoons left upon the bins after emptying them, at the house where the Beehive's live.

(yeah okay, so I took a picture of turds!! I know, I know!)











And this is the dog who has a sore butt and a stupid collar who abides in the home where the raccoons shat after emptying the bins in the house where the Beehive's live

Then there's the car that got towed away that sits in the drive of the dog with the sore butt where the raccoons shat after emptying the bins in the house where the Beehive's live.

(I would show you a picture of the car that has just been towed away cos it broke down after having it for two weeks..........but - it got towed away so that's that!!)







This is the buyer of the house in the UK that has been "bought" for six weeks but without anything moving forward, that comes with the car that got towed away and sits in the drive of the dog with the sore butt and the racoons that shat after emptying the bins in the house where the Beehive's live.

This is the mama who lives in the house trying to keep it all together and not pipe bomb the buyer of the house in the UK that has been "bought" for six weeks but without anything moving forward, that comes with the car that got towed away and sits in the drive of the dog with the sore butt and the racoons that shat after emptying the bins in the house where the Beehive's live.

I think she needs a really stiff drink!!