Archive | December, 2013

Season’s Greetings.

25 Dec

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Whether you celebrate Yuletide or Christmas or just the fact that it’s a nice day may you have a lovely 25th December wherever you are. Happy Days! xx

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The Longest Night.

21 Dec

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It seems appropriate somehow that the weather is grey, wet and windy as we reach the Solstice. Still fairly mild but the wind and rain do not encourage outdoor activity. A time for being indoors and enjoying the seasonal preparations. Outings to town and the shopping frenzy that happens there make me happy to retreat to the quiet of the countryside. There is a lovely stillness in the air here this morning…it’s as if Nature is taking a deep breath.

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Yesterday we brought in and decorated our potted Christmas Tree. We have had this for three years now. We hope to cut a conifer that needs to go from the garden as a big tree for the porch. I just love decorating a tree with all the baubles I’ve collected over the years. I especially love the lights. At this time of the longest night I think we are all so longing for the return of the light that these twinkling lights and the candles we are so fond of  help fill that need for now.

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I read a lovely quote yesterday that said “Without the darkness we would not see the Stars.”  We need this period of darkness to recoup our energies…spend time with friends and family…to just be.  Soon enough we will feel the need to  get our hands in the soil and once again plant the seeds and tend the crops.  Beneath the surface the first stirrings are already taking place. It won’t be long until the first Snowdrops appear.

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For now let us celebrate the year just gone…look forward to the new year…celebrate the goodness we encounter. Sure enough we will have dark days too…for that is the pattern of life. But always remember…

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out of the darkness there will come light.

Happy Solstice to each and every one who visits here!

 

Forests.

8 Dec

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Forests are places where we can get back in touch with our inner selves,

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where we can get away from the stresses of the world about us,

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where we can breathe in the sounds and scents of nature,

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where for a short time nothing else matters but being there…in the Forest.

Sweet treats.

6 Dec

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Melting Moments are one of the things that always sell well at markets. Visitors too appreciate them with a nice warming cuppa.  Made with butter…no margarine…actually I always use butter when baking…nothing else gives the same result.

So without further ado here is the recipe:

150g butter

75g icing sugar

25g cornflour

150g self raising flour

raspberry jam

icing sugar, for dusting

Heat the oven to gas mark 5, 190c. Cream butter and icing sugar…then add the sifted flour and cornflour. You should have a softish squidgy dough.  If too soft work in a little more flour.

Arrange 14 paper cases in fairy cake tins. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls…place in baking cases…then using a teaspoon dipped in hot water make an indentation in each one.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-17 minutes until lightly coloured.

While they’re still hot drop about half a teaspoon of jam…I always use raspberry…into the hole.

When cool dust with icing sugar using a tea strainer.

Store in a tin. Makes 14-17 delicious morsels.

Happy baking!

Yards and fairs and discovering new places.

3 Dec

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I always hate getting diggers in but sometimes needs must. I always hated the big bed that took up a large area of the front yard.

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It would have been impossible…well maybe not impossible but damn hard work to do this work by hand. Our backs are worth more than that. Three trucks loads of soil and overgrown plants were taken away. Thankfully the weather has continued to be dry so there was’nt too much of a mess.

 

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By evening all was done and we now have a spacious new yard.

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Saturday and Sunday saw us taking stalls at local craft fairs. The Organic Centre in Rossinver had their fair on Saturday and on Sunday we attended the fair in Manorhamilton in north Leitrim. Andy has got back into glass painting recently…I love this heart design. It sold well as it isn’t priced too high…ideal for pressies.

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We totally sold out of night lights. Very affordable at 5 euros each.

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I made my usual supply of Caramel slices…

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and the ever popular Melting Moments.

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On Monday I went to Boyle where I have started volunteering one day a week in a charity shop. Being a little early I decided to have a little stroll by the river. To my surprise the path didn’t end where I expected it to at the end of the shops. Instead I saw a stone sign with The Lawns written on it. Following the path I found myself in a previously unknown little park. It’s really just a path along by the river but it is pretty.

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Some lovely mature trees here. So delighted with this little discovery. I will make time to walk here in future. By the way…can you see the face in this Beech tree? I didn’t see it until I looked at the pics on the computer.  He looks…well I think it’s a he…Oriental to me. Had a bit of a relaxing day today after such a busy few days.

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