Friday 25 March 2022

Friday's Fave Five - 25/3/22

It's Friday!  Phew this week seems to have flown by.  That's why it's good to follow Susanne's lead (over at Living to Tell the Story) and pause for a bit and think about the good things from the last week.  It's hard when there are such awful things going on in the world but that makes it even more important to find some positives in our lives.

Here are mine:

1.  More walking!  I've been down to the lake a couple of times this week and will be going again after I've done this post.  I'm still not going very far but I've definitely increased the frequency.

2.  Lovely spring weather.  It has been sunny and warm the last few days.  Bright sunshine is such a mood lifter.

3.  Ladies Lunch!  Long time readers will know that a group of myself and 3 former work colleagues regularly meet for what we refer to as a Ladies Lunch.  Prior to the pandemic we used to do it about once a month and would take it in turns to be the host.  Well of course the pandemic and lock downs put paid to that and although we did still manage to meet up - distanced walks first then eventually in coffee shops we hadn't done one in our homes in what seemed forever!  Well when we were sadly all together recently for the funeral of one "Lady's" husband we all agreed we needed to get back into the swing of lunches  again.  So yesterday I hosted them at my house.  We didn't have anything fancy - the only cooking I did was to heat up a couple of things in the oven but it was so nice just to be able to sit and relax and catch up with one another.  The weather was warm enough for us to eat outside.

4.  Takeaway evening with our son and DIL.  On Wednesday we had grandson Vinny for the day as usual but our son and DIL invited us to stay at their house when we dropped Vinny home and have a takeaway dinner with them.  This was lovely as it meant we also got to see grandson Rory when he got back from nursery and then, when the boys had gone to bed, after Nanny had read their bedtime story, we were able to relax and actually chat with Michael and Liz.  So often when we see each other it's with the children so it's hard to have a proper chat.

It was bath night!

Ready for bed

5.  Online shopping AND delivery.  It's been a busy week as we also had granddaughter Ella here on Tuesday while her Mummies were working but I needed to shop for a new car seat (these grandchildren will keep growing!) and a birthday present for Grandson Nathan.  I really wasn't looking forward to trekking out to a big shopping centre but I was able to get what I needed online and for a small delivery fee (which is probably less the parking and petrol costs) they will be delivered this evening.

I can't believe Nathan will be 5 next week and that also signifies the end of March.  What?  No!  I'd like to say I've also managed to get my A-Z challenge posts scheduled to post but so far all I've done is set up the posts for the right days etc but there is no content in them yet!  I may regret deciding to do the challenge lol.

Have a good weekend all.

Book Review - The American Girl - Rachael English

The American GirlThe American Girl by Rachael English
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Boston 1968. Rose Moroney is seventeen, smart, spirited – and pregnant. She wants to marry her boyfriend. Her ambitious parents have other plans. She is sent to Ireland, their birthplace, to deliver her daughter in a Mother and Baby home. Against Rose's will, her baby is taken for adoption.

Dublin 2013. Martha Sheeran’s life has come undone. Her marriage is over, and her husband has moved on with unsettling speed. Under pressure from her teenage daughter, she starts looking for the woman who gave her up for adoption more than forty years before.

Martha's search for her birth mother leads her to the heart of long-buried family secrets and forces her to question everything she thought she knew. When her first love, Paudie Carmody, re-enters the frame, she's also forced to take a hard look at her own life.

From Boston to rural Ireland; from Dublin back to Boston, The American Girl is a heart-warming and enthralling story about mothers and daughters, love and cruelty and, ultimately, the struggle for acceptance – and the embrace of new horizons.

This was read for a book club task and it didn't really grab me at first. It felt quite slow but it definitely got better towards the end. It was predictable in places and only an "It was OK" read for me.

View all my reviews

Friday 18 March 2022

Friday's Fave Five - 18/3/22

It's Friday again (where did the week go?) so time to join up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and think back on the week and find five things to be grateful for.

Here are mine:

1.  It's been a quiet week here but it's given me the chance to catch up on some housework.  Covid and then my bad back meant the house had been rather neglected.  This week I've been doing chores like cleaning and changing beds and even a bit of gardening.  

2.  Wednesday was a day of rain which included dust from the Sahara, yes the sky was a very strange colour and it was due to dust from the desert picked up by winds and then dumped here in the rain.  Our car was filthy afterwards.  What am I grateful for?  Hubby cleaned the car yesterday!  He also took the car to the dealer for a software update this week.  

3.  Since the dusty rain we have had 2 lovely sunny days and I've been out for a walk both days.  Thankfully my back hasn't objected.

I managed to get down to the lake for the first time in weeks and remembered to take a couple of photos.

4.  We had Vinny for the day on Wednesday and also Nathan after he'd finished school.  Vinny is an absolute delight to look after.  He's such a happy little boy.  He plays on his own.  He brings books to you to "read".  He eats well and when I put him down for his nap he cried for about 20 seconds and then put himself to sleep for over an hour.  Nathan was good with him too.  I'm so grateful for having so much time with the grandkids while they're young.  Next weekend Noah and Miles arrive for almost a week.  Really looking forward to that.  Of course they are all lovely.  Nanny doesn't do favourites lol!

5.  Now I'm more confident in pain free walking I also got to the library this week.  I'd had to resort to buying a few books for my kindle over the last few weeks when I couldn't get out.  

Nothing startling there but of course with all that's going on in the world right now I'm also grateful to have a roof over my head, food on the table and no real worries.

Have a good weekend all.

Friday 11 March 2022

Friday's Fave Five - 11/3/22

Susanne at Living to Tell the Story gives us a reminder each Friday to look back on the week and find the good things we're grateful for.  Some weeks it's easier than others but with all the horrible things going on in the world right now it's important to try and find the positives.

Here are mine for the past week.

1.  It really feels like Spring is here this week.  We have had some lovely sunshine and in the sun it has felt quite warm.  Sunny days really lift my mood.

2.  My back is a lot better.  It's still not 100% but I'm managing to carry on almost normally.  It's a slow process.

3.  We had a get together with some of my former colleagues this week.  Sadly it was at a funeral but it was still nice to catch up with people we hadn't seen for a while.

4.  We saw 4 of our 6 grandchildren last weekend.  We had Rory and Vinny and my DIL here on Saturday and then we went to Nathan & Ella's for Sunday lunch.  We also had Nathan here after school on Thursday.  What with having Covid and then back problems we'd hardly seen them over the last couple of weeks.  I tried to get a decent pic of Nick and Nathan and Ella and took quite a few.  This was the best.  Nathan decided to pull silly faces in all the rest lol.

5.  A zoom call with my cousins today.  We always end up having a laugh.

There, nothing very exciting just simple things that keep me happy.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday 8 March 2022

The commenting dilemma!

Firstly thanks for all the positive comments yesterday on my theme for the A-Z Challenge starting soon.

I know I've talked about this before but one of the things that seems to be a major downside to the Blogger platform is the way that commenting works.  There seems to be no easy way to keep track of replies and continuity without being bombarded with lots of e-mails.

I have used embedded comments for a while which means I can reply to comments directly on the blog posts.  I'm assuming though, that when I do that the person leaving the comment won't know I've replied unless they've asked to be notified of follow up comments which of course generates e-mails!  I don't ask to be notified when I leave comments so I don't usually know if my comments have been responded to unless I go back and check.  Another downside to blogger.

I do also reply through my e-mails instead of on the blog but that's no good if the person is a ""  (I assume any replies to these just disappear into the ether!)

I understand that some people have problems leaving comments on the embedded version even when logged in as a blogger user but I've found that seems to be connected with browser issues.  For example I found I couldn't leave comments if I was trying to use Firefox but when I switch to Microsoft Edge it works find.

It was suggested to me that using pop-up comments was better but I've tried that and find that there is no easy way of leaving a reply at all if the person isn't using a valid e-mail address.

Are you feeling my frustration yet? lol

Anyway I did switch to pop up but today I've gone back to embedded.  A case of sticking to what I'm familiar with and making the best of it.

If anyone has a good solution for keeping track of comments and replies do please let me know.

Monday 7 March 2022

A - Z Challenge 2022 - Theme Reveal

Oh gosh, this is getting real.  It's theme reveal day for the A-Z Challenge.  As usual I'm not very prepared even though this will be my 8th challenge attempt and being prepared makes it a lot easier.

I always like to have a theme of some sort but I was struggling a bit with one for this year.  Eventually I decided on:

Resurrecting Alice!

Back in 2019 I said I wasn't using a theme but I did have a plan - to do posts that felt more like writing.  There are so many people in the challenge who list themselves as authors/poets etc and while I wouldn't put myself in that bracket the challenge gave me an opportunity to do something a bit different from my usual posts.

This led to the creation of Alice - well not exactly my creation because she was loosely based on Lewis Carroll's Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and there were lots of references to the book in my posts, which took the form of conversations in my head between myself and Alice.

I'm not sure where Alice will lead me this year.  Hopefully not into too much trouble or down too many rabbit holes.

To find out all about the A-Z Challenge and how to take part go here.

Friday 4 March 2022

Friday's Fave Five - 4th March 2022

It's Friday so it's time to link up with Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story and look  back on the positives of this week.

1.  Well it's been another quiet week for me as my back slowly improves.  It's still not great but it is improving every day so I just have to be patient, keep moving as much as possible and be thankful that I have a very supportive hubby.

2.  We had this little one as usual on Wednesday.

I couldn't have done it without Nick as lifting him in and out of the cot and highchair would have been impossible for me.  He was so good all day long, playing with our toys and taking a nap for 90 minutes.  No trouble at all.

3.  Online shopping.  We have our groceries delivered each week and that's a big help particularly at the moment but today I've also ordered a replacement blade for my food processor and a set of replacement tools for my vacuum cleaner.  

My daughter borrowed the vacuum when they had both houses to deal with but somewhere along the way the tools went missing.  Of course they must be in their house somewhere but at the moment they are hiding so today I sourced a replacement set online. 

They were less than £10 including postage so not too much to lose if they original ones turn up which of course they're bound to do now I've ordered the replacements! lol

The blade for the food processor wasn't quite as cheap but still cheaper than replacing the whole thing.

4)  Thankfully I'm happy doing things like reading and crochet and being at home as I'm not sure I could walk too far at the moment and the weather has been very wet this week.  I've got through quite a few books and the baby blanket is coming along.

5)  Video chats - I haven't seen any of the other grandchildren for a couple of weeks now so seeing them on video chats is even more important.  I also had a good catchup with my cousins yesterday.

So nothing very exciting going on but always things to be thankful for.  Including all your comments.  Speaking of which I've changed to using pop up commenting rather than embedded.  Hopefully it might make it easier to respond.  We'll see.

Enjoy the weekend.  We're going to be catching up with the grandkids!