Tuesday 27 September 2011

I'm a Granny!!!

Just a very quick post to let you know that my new granddaughter was born early this morning!

Tuesday 20 September 2011

The Green Thing

My sister mailed this story to me yesterday.  It was so good, I had to share it with you all!

In the queue at the supermarket, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day".
The cashier responded, "That's our problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save our environment".

He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, lemonade bottles and beer bottles to the shop or pub.  They sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over again.  So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator or a lift in every shop and office building.  We walked to the grocery shop and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower four-wheel drive every time we had to go half a mile.

But she was right.  We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw-away kind.  We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.  Kids often got hand-me-down clothes from their elder brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room.  And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of a football pitch.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.  

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn.  We used a push mower that ran on human power.  We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a styrene cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the tram or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one five amp and one fifteen amp electric outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets on every wall to power a dozen appliances.  And we didn't need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest fish and chip shop.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-arse young person.

Don't you just love it?  

Monday 19 September 2011

Sunny Monday

This morning I am giving the house a good clean after the weekend, then youngest son and I am going out for a little shopping and a coffee.  The sun is shining, so the laundry is happily flapping in the breeze.  I could do more, but I am making the most of every precious moment I spend with youngest son before he goes back to university, so the bigger cleaning jobs can wait until after that.

"Home-management-  the creation of a beautiful and simple place and living organism which becomes a refuge of Christ’s peace and launching pad for God’s righteousness."        John Piper

Sunday 18 September 2011

Indoor Barbecue

Here at Letters From Home, we are not really into barbecues.  In our part of the world, it is rarely warm enough to actually eat outdoors, at least that's how we feel.  So this weekend I have discovered I can do barbecue food, kind of, in my trusty slow cooker.


It was so delicious, I want to get it all down here before I forget what I did!  

Firstly, I browned some veggies, 2 onions, a sliced red pepper, 2 sliced courgettes, some sweetcorn.  I put all the browned veggies into the slow cooker, then I browned 8 sliced of pork fillet.

This meal was to serve 4 people, but I usually cook a double amount and chill or freeze half of it for another day.  I love the fact that I only have to cook about 4 times a week!

I placed the pork on top of the veggies.  I find that slow cooked meals always work best when the veg is at the bottom, otherwise the meal cooks well but the veg can be a little undercooked.

Then I heated about half a jar of barbecue sauce in my pan, along with a can of chopped tomatoes and a can of vegetable soup (Sainsburys cheapest, about 17p a can, probably not very nice taken as soup, but fine in the slow cooker.

I then tipped this sauce mix into the slow cooker, and switched the cooker onto High for about an hour, the length of time it took me to get ready to go out to lovely Stratford upon Avon for a shopping trip.

Then just before leaving the house, I switched it to Low.

About 5-6 hours later, i.e. the time it took us to go to Stratford, buy a new dress at Laura Ashley, some new shoes, have a coffee at Cafe Nero, just next door to Shakespeare's birthplace, etc. etc, I arived home and boiled up some rice and peas and served this with our "Barbecued Pork".  

I had never cooked meat in barbecue sauce before, I just used Sainsburys own brand of sauce, and it tasted absolutely delicious.  

That was yesterday.  Today, we came home from church and ate the rest of the barbecue pork sauce with pasta, which was nice and quick and just as delicious.  You could serve this with salad and crusty bread, maybe with a little crème fraiche on top.  With a little imagination you could do all sorts of things, maybe some tortilla chips alongside would be nice.

Blue Fine Cord Tunic Dress

Here is the dress I bought from Laura Ashley.  There was a 25% discount on all clothes, so it was a bit of a bargain, although as I usually buy a lot of my clothes from charity shops it still seemed quite expensive, but it's beautiful and comfortable, and I'm sure I will wear it a lot, so well worth it.


We are all on tenterhooks here at "Letters", as we are expecting the birth of our first grandchild any time in the next week or so.  You can imagine how excited we all are.  This baby will create two new parents, four new grandparents, and three aunties and two uncles!  I'll let you know when we have some news.

I am currently reading The Book of Margery Kempe, the oldest known biography written in the English language.  I hadn't chosen it, it is a set text for my son's English Literature degree for this year, so I am reading it before he returns to university, and I am enjoying it immensely.  She was a Medieval Mystic, who had an extraordinary life.

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I'll try not to leave it so long before my next post, although the new term starts at the University next week, so that means I will be back at work, but I am looking forward to meeting new people and taking on new challenges.

Enjoy your weekend!

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