Friday, November 30, 2012

Scottish Everything

My kids - my favourite Scottish things!
Today is the last of my 30 Days of Thanksgiving. It is also St. Andrew's Day.

So in honour of the latter, I will conclude my series with giving thanks for Scotland. Or rather the opportunity I have been given to live in Scotland.

I love everything about this place, aside from the things I hate (which is largely the weather). A few things I love about Scotland are:

- Scottish humour
- Scottish Blend Tea
- Scottish Nationalist Party
- Scotch (single malt whisky)
- Scots dialect and words
- Scottish accents (various)
- Scottish countryside
- the Clyde
- Potato Scones
- Lorne sausage ('slice')
- Scottish Breakfasts in general (minus black pudding)
- Clootie dumpling
- Robert Burns
- Haggis
- Scottish history (especially stories like the Battle of Stirling Bridge!)
- Tartan

The list could probably go on and on, but these are things that I love about this place. I'm so thankful to live here, and despite the dreich weather, it's a beautiful country with beautiful (if not somewhat pessimistic!) people. I am proud to be honorarily Scottish-American.

Happy St. Andrew's Day!


Tomorrow is December! Whaaa?!

I'm a little late getting this out, so going to do this quickly.

If you'd like to participate in DeBloAdMo, it's easy. Create an Activities Advent Calendar like the one below, and each day when you open your Advent Calendar, blog about what you have done. It's a good way to get blogging regularly, and it's a great way to spend the month of Christmas with your family! Add a piece of chocolate if you want, but the important thing is finding activities that will bring you and your family and friends closer together and get into the Christmas spirit.

Here is our Advent Calendar plans for the month:

1. Go to the Panto! Kick off December with Puss In Boots.
2. Check email for message from Santa. (
3. Write and post our letters to Santa, and string cranberries for the birds.
4. Design a Christmas Tree wall poster.
5. Make paper lanterns to decorate for Christmas.
6. Bake gingerbread men for the Christmas tree.
7. Cut colourful snowflakes and hang them in the window.
8. Go to Lolly’s Wizard of Oz birthday party!
9. Have a Christmas picnic in our pajamas on the floor.
10. Paint Christmas tree ornaments.
11. Make Christmas cards, and deliver cards to all the neighbours.
12. Make reindeer food to sprinkle on Christmas Eve.
13. Wrap the doors in wrapping paper like a present.
14. Make Christmas wreaths.
15. Go to Edinburgh for the day to visit old friends!
16. Eat dinner by candlelight only with the fancy dishes.
17. Paint canvases for Christmas presents.
18. Go out to tea for Lolly’s birthday! Happy birthday, Lolly!
19. Drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie.
20. Make Christmas crackers.
21. Bake Christmas cookies.
22. Look through old photo albums and talk about the pictures.
23. Nativity Play at church! Then read books about Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
24. Put out a carrot for Rudolph, reindeer food, and milk and cookies for Santa.
25. Eat chocolate gravy for breakfast and open presents!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This Is Your Life

I've found this 30 Days of Thanksgiving to be a difficult writing prompt. Not because I can't think of anything to be thankful for, but because I simultaneously set myself the challenge of also taking a photograph of each day's subject. That's what has been hard. I either can't think of what to photograph to go along with what is in my head, or I don't think of what to write about until late at night like this, by which time I've lost the chance to take a good photo during the day. (Hence the mildly extremely pretentious self portraits on several days!)

So today, if I could write about anything I'm thankful for without having to think of a photographable object to go with it, I'd be thankful for... well, my whole life! I really truly love my life. I love my hobbies, my friends, my jobs, my family, my opportunities, my experiences, my abilities - I'm just genuinely happy with the life that I have. It's not perfect, but it's great. I'm married to a guy I love and have fun with, I have three amazingly awesome children, I have the best in-laws you could ask for, I have wonderful parents and brothers, I get to do fun stuff like be on stage and write (and tour Scotland and write!), I've travelled to so many different countries... och, I'm just really happy and really thankful for everything!

Lame, isn't it, lumping it all in together, but seriously, I'm thankful for my awesome life full of awesome experiences.

And since I *must* find a photo that expresses that, here's a photo from tonight's panto, getting to do one of the great things I love to do, be on stage. Alas, I bring you Jack and Princess Alice, together at last, together forever!

(I'm also thankful for how good my legs look in that costume...)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A lot of the time these days, my reason persuades me to think that the concept of God as relayed in the Bible cannot be true.

And then a lot of time these days, my heart sorta smiles and says, 'But maybe...'

There is no way to prove God exists, and there is no way we can know with absolute certainty that He doesn't.

Today, though, I've been reminded that so often in life things happen at just the right moment, right when it needs to happen most, and it does seem awfully well orchestrated... maybe it's God?

Today I'm thankful that I was raised to believe in God, even if I'm not sure anymore, and I'm thankful for the way things always seem to work out for the best - thanks to God, I think. Even if it isn't thanks to God, I still give my thanks to him, because who else is there to thank? Just when what you need comes to you just when you need it most, that's something science doesn't explain... at least not satisfactorily. It sounds a lot like everything working together for good for those who love God, at least to me.

I'm thankful for my reason which gets me pretty far, and I'm also thankful for my heart which carries me the rest of the way.

"When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don't, they don't." -Sir William Temple

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Magic Moments

About five and a half years ago, we were up all night with a fussy baby, waiting for that first tooth to come through.

Today, that first tooth came out.

I had other things I could have written about today, but this trumps it all. I'm so thankful for my sweet daughter and moments like these. The sheer delight and thrill on the girls faces when Daddy 'thought he heard bells jingling', and Fifi discovered her fairy letter and coin, and Lolly backed up Daddy's story by claiming to have 'heard the magic' too, is something I hope I never forget.

Monday, November 26, 2012

There's A Story of a Lovely Lady...

I put out my Christmas tablecloth today, the one I bought last year in the after-Christmas sale while shopping with my step-mum. The tablecloth brought back memories of last Christmas in Arkansas, meeting my step-parents for the first time.

I might be getting controversial here, but today, I am thankful for my step-parents.

I mean, obviously, my parents' divorce was not something I was happy about or wanted, but in the end, it's what happened and life goes on. What I'm happy about now is that both my parents found someone new that has brought happiness back into their lives. I don't know if it's 'the right thing to say', but I'm really happy that they are happy. And I'm really happy that my step-parents are happy now too.

I've only met my step-mum once, but I've talked to her loads on the phone and on internet chat, and she is such a lovely woman, so friendly, loving and fun. She makes my dad happy, and I'm thankful for that. We have a lot in common, and I know that if I were there, we'd really get along great. She really dotes on my kids and treats them as her own, which is nice considering she has so many biological grandkids already - it's special to me that she has room in her heart for mine too! I look forward to getting to know her better and look forward to showing her around Scotland next Spring! (NOT looking forward to showing yet another person Edinburgh Castle though... ohhh I'm so tired of it!)

I've met my step-dad a couple of times now, and he's a great guy too. He's so generous, helpful and caring, and he makes my mom happy. He would honestly do anything for you, even without you having to ask. He's a gentle fellow and has a big heart. When he and Mom came over to visit after Jaguar was born, he was so easy to get along with and so kind and so good with the kids. I'm really glad I've gotten to know him a bit better, and thankful that my mom is happy.

It's controversial to talk about, because, well, my parents read my blog (I think), and I don't know how they will feel about me liking their ex-spouse's new spouse, but what can I say? There's no point in living in the past, no point in holding a grudge or refusing to allow a new person in. My parents' lives are not my life; all I can do is love them for who they are, not what has happened in their past, and then go on to accept their futures. I like both my new step-parents a lot. I'm thankful for them, thankful they are both nice people, and thankful that my family has increased to allow loads of new people in for me to meet and love. I have now two step-brothers and four step-sisters and far too many step-nieces and nephews than I can even keep track of! I'm thankful for this; my family is bigger and more complicated than ever, but I love it!

Call me a people-pleasing middle child, but I'm thankful everyone is happy once again.

"The only steps in this house are those right there!", says Carol Ann, pointing to the stairs. - a quote I remember from The Brady Bunch

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our House Is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

Thirty minutes until tomorrow... better make this quick!

This morning, the kids and I visited a new church. I liked the grown-up part, the kids loved the Sunday School, so looks like we'll be giving it another go. The minister, in his children's address, talked about Thanksgiving and things we can be grateful for. They were mostly the biggies - food, water, shelter - and it reminded me that one of those 'biggies' I have yet to give thanks for this month.


I am thankful for my house. Fifirst, in the big, survival sort of way - I'm thankful that I have shelter from the elements, a warm, dry place to live, sleep, and cook in. But in a more particular way, I'm thankful for this house. We have a great landlady who is friendly, helpful, always on the ball, and approachable. The flat is large and spacious, clean, and perfect for our needs. The kitchen is massive and fits a dining room table, something that is incredibly important to Scott and I as we will always make sure our family sits around the table for dinner at night.

The kids have a massive big bedroom (they are in the master bedroom) with plenty of room for their over-abundance of toys, and floor space to play in. Our room is just big enough for our things plus Jaguar's, and there is even a guest bedroom/store room/library which could be converted into Jaguar's room one day if need be.

And the rent is affordable. I'm really thankful we found this place.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful for Thanksgiving

This year was almost the first year I didn't make a Thanksgiving dinner. With panto starting next week and Lolly's birthday party the week after, I just didn't have the time, money or energy to make a big meal and organise the family to come over. So I had sort of given up on the idea of Thanksgiving this year.

It wasn't until Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, while I was getting my groceries, that I decided, no. I will not lose my Thanksgiving tradition. We will have cheap meals the other nights, and I'm buying what I need to make this meal on Saturday, the only day I had free. So I did.

But then with all the other things I had in mind that need to get done for Christmas, I texted my friend Sarah and asked her if she and her family wanted to come over Saturday to take each other's family portraits for Christmas. After we arranged it, I remembered I was supposed to be doing Thanksgiving on the same day, so I invited them to just come over at lunch time and have Thanksgiving with us. So they did.

It was a really lovely day. I woke up at 7.30 (which is still a lie in for me, as the kids were up at 6) and made the pumpkin pie with the children. Then we made the stuffing. I ran out and did some errands, came back with a cooked rotisserie chicken (blasphemy, I know, on so many levels) and made the sweet potato souffle, deviled eggs and the spicy baked beans. Sarah, Ian and their kids arrived at 1, by which point I still had my glasses on, hair pulled back the same way I'd done it upon waking, jeans and a tshirt and no make-up. Oh well!

We all ate our fill, and then some. It was great catching up, the kids played well together, and then we took our family photos. I ducked out momentarily to brush my hair, straighten my fringe and put on some eyeshadow, and that was about all I had time for. No matter, the photos turned out pretty well, even if upon looking at them later I realised it was a bad move to stuff ourselves silly and then take photos; what a gut I was sporting!

I am thankful that I had my Thanksgiving dinner after all. It made me happy and less homesick. Now I'm looking forward to trying to squeeze in a few more photos in the morning of the kids in their proper Christmas outfits, a Christmas tree decorating, and a visit to a new church all before panto dress rehearsal at 2pm.

FTR: This next week is going to be manic, and there will likely be more than just a few super-fast mobile phone posts, as I'll be running ragged! I'm certainly not looking forward to that part of panto week!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Social Network

I am thankful for... Facebook.

Oh yes, it has many faults and is often misused, but I am thankful for it because it keeps me linked to family and friends abroad. Email was great, blogs are great, the phone is great, but Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with people on a regular, daily basis and make me feel somehow closer to them.

I've avoided too much Facebook browsing the past couple of days, because the Thanksgiving chat was depressing, but still, I'm so thankful that I can see photos of my friends, read about what they had for breakfast, and wish them happy birthdays. I like knowing they can keep up with me too, and I'm not totally outta-sight-outta-mind.

That's what I'm thankful for on this post-Thanksgiving Day Friday.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Blues

Scotland is my home. It really is. Despite the horrendous weather, this place is where I have spent my entire married life and where I have born and raised my children thus far. This is my home.

But every year, on this day, more than any other day, I miss my other home. My first home. My home home.

It's harder on Thanksgiving than it is on Christmas or my birthday or anything like that, I suppose because it's the one holiday that isn't celebrated here. Even though certain holidays, like Christmas, are celebrated quite differently from how I celebrated them in America, at least they still happen and I've been able to adjust to the changes. But Thanksgiving means nothing here. No one gets how big it is, how important it is, how it's more my favourite day of the year than even my birthday and Christmas put together.

I feel more homesick every Thanksgiving than I do any other day of the year.

As I continue about my day here no differently than any other day, I can almost smell my mom's kitchen, waking up early to the turkey already in the oven, the smell of sage and sauteing onions and celery, and the bread crumbs of the stale bread for the stuffing. I can see every element on the stove burning red hot, and Mom trying to fit too many things into one oven. I can hear the electric mixer whizzing up the meringue for the pumpkin, chocolate, and coconut pies. I can hear the phone ringing off the hook and my Aunt Phyllis's loud voice through the receiver across the room asking about the arrangements.

And as I go on about my day as usual, I can see the first cars arriving at the house and my aunts coming in without knocking, dressed beautifully and smelling like perfume, with clanging bangles and clinking necklaces, followed by my uncles and cousins, carrying car-loads of food into the house, some hot and ready to be picked at under the tin foil, and some to be cooked just before serving. I can taste those buttered rolls and the sweet iced tea. I can hear my cousins sitting on the floor catching up with each other and my uncles and my dad on the couches with their feet up and hands behind their heads, laughing loudly (especially Uncle Jon), while the women finish up the last minute preparations. Then I can hear my Mamaw and Papaw coming in, Papaw with his old, dirty baseball cap, and Mamaw with her new dress suit.

As I get ready for bed on this night like any other night, I can see them all together right now, thanking God for this food and this fellowship, and then they will be digging in, filling sturdy paper plates, the kind with the three separate compartments, going for seconds, thirds, maybe even fourths before slicing into the pies. They will then all sit around the living room and the kitchen until the late hours of the evening, filling up periodically with cold turkey and reheated stuffing and mashed potatoes, but certainly no green bean bundles for those will have been finished before half the family even got their first helping. One by one they'll go home, hugs all around, and then the room will be quiet, and there might be a wee glass of wine to end the night with before turning to bed, bellies and hearts full, knowing tomorrow will be Christmas Tree Decorating Day.

But I'm not there.

Betty Crocker's Red Velvet Cake

Call me shallow, but today, what I'm thankful for, is that Tesco has started selling this:

The only way this could've cheered my Thanksgiving Day blues more would have been to find tinned pumpkin in the baking aisle too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reading Rainbow

I love to read. From my earliest childhood memories, I was surrounded by books and loved reading them. My first 'big' book I ever read cover to cover ALL ON MY OWN was Tikki Tikki Tembo. I used to read The Babysitters Club books like there was no tomorrow. I had to get every new book that came out and had the entire series from Kristy's Big Idea to book number 60 or so. I'd often be in the middle of reading four or more BSC books at a time, and all of them had been read a dozen times over.

In high school, I started to learn to love classic literature, thanks to the Divine Mrs Davis, our incredible English teacher. There I discovered books like Tess of the d'Urbervilles and A Scarlet Letter. It was Mrs Davis that inspired me to go on to do English at University, and there my love of books flourished - as did my lit snobbery, ahem.

I am still trying to get all my books to Scotland. You'd think I'd love libraries, but I don't. I love to own books, to have them on my bookshelves ready to be read whenever I want, whenever a title comes back to me that I haven't read in a while. I love buying new books and breaking the binding. A book that looks perfect and clean is pleasant to look at but doesn't look loved.

Since having children, I don't get nearly the amount of time to read as I'd like, but now I relish it more. When I actually get a chance to start and finish a book, whether a new read or an old favourite, I feel fulfilled and satisfied. I love a book full of wisdom, humanity, honesty, and complication. I hate chick lit, I rarely enjoy Bestsellers, but give me an old book that has stood the test of time, and 9 times out of 10, I will be captivated.

I am thankful for books and thankful for my love of reading. I hope I can pass this love onto my children. So far they seem to be as enraptured by books and stories as I was, and with Fifi in particular, there is a real hunger to learn to read, in both Gaelic and English. I hope this stays with her.

(I tried to be honest with these two photos, no shuffling about to look pretentious. I did, however, remove an absolutely awful book I was once given that I could never bring myself to waste time reading. I had to move it from the photo... I just had to.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Day Is Over

Today was a rough day. Lack of sleep, lack of preparation, and it was my Inspection.

Childminders, like nurseries and schools, get inspected by the Care Commission (now called Scottish Social Work or Care something something, I don't know what SCSWIS stands for really). It's a big deal and has a big effect on your business. I, being somewhat of a perfectionist, was not ready for such a big thing only weeks after starting back to work.

My inspection ended up going pretty well, but there were paperwork-type things that I didn't have properly in place, which might affect my grading. Sure most of what the inspector was looking for was fine and she did say I'd probably get a high grading, but those darn pieces of paper are haunting me. I wanted to be perfect. Now I can't stop thinking of my imperfections.

It's ridiculous that of all the positive things that were said today, the only ones I remember are the negative.

I had most of my paperwork in order. The children I look after gave her great reports of their time spent with me. My childminding environment was commended. She even said she appreciated that I'm only just back at work, and she knows from my last review that I have good policies and procedures in place, and I'm right now only just getting back into the swing of things. But still, all I can think is, 'I should've had that done!'


So today, while of course I'm thankful for many things like food, shelter, water, family, friends... well, I'm just thankful that today is over. A few hours sleep, and I can start afresh tomorrow.

"Tomorrow is another day with no mistakes in it."

(I love Anne of Green Gables.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good Behaviour

Technically it's 25 minutes into tomorrow, but I've already lost the challenge so what the hey. Besides, I've not been to bed yet, so it's still in a sense yesterday.

I'm as confused as you are. It's okay.

I wanted to make sure I got this in today though. Today, I was thankful for Lolly's good behaviour.

Lolly is wild at heart, and while I love that about her, I also want to wring her neck sometimes. I realised today that I focus a lot on her bad days and don't make a big enough deal of her good days.

Today was a good day.

Lolly was sweet, pleasant, helpful and fun, while still being her wild little self. I really enjoyed spending time with her today, and I was thankful for the lovely afternoon with no shouting, no arguing and no needing to discipline. She wanted to help me clean and make lunch, and didn't complain when we had to go to the shop or leave the museum. She was kind to Jaguar and playful and well-mannered. It was a very good day with her.

I'm thankful for good days with Lolly like today. I am going to try to focus more on them than on her wilder days, and maybe it'll do us both a world of good!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Breakfast in Bed

I'm really annoyed that I a) missed blogging on Friday and b) only mobile-blogged last night, missing a great opportunity to write about my friends. But time presses on and I at least need to get on with today's 30 Days of Thanksgiving post, so here's what I'm thankful for today:


I've said it so many times, so I won't keep repeating myself, but I freaking love my husband. He can be a pain in the backside a lot of the time, but he is my best friend and I love every bone in his sexy body.

I woke up this morning to breakfast in bed. Scott made me bacon and a fried egg over a fried pancake with a cup of tea. It was delish. He is always doing lovely things like that, but out of the blue, so it always feels like such a treat. He might well have been making up for the fact he didn't do the dishes a few nights ago, but either way! He makes sure I know beyond any shadow of doubt that he loves me devotedly.

I won't make you all sick by describing how much I love him, I'll just suffice it to say that I am very thankful for my man, my Movember-mustache man, my World of Warcraft man, my Guitar-Playing man. He's a good daddy, a good husband and a good friend.

And he makes a mean breakfast.

Saturday, November 17, 2012



I don't want to fail again at NaBloPoMo tonight. I was childminding this morning, running errands this afternoon and now I'm out with my girlfriends for a birthday night out.
Dinner was delicious, the wine is flowing, the music is great.
So far we've covered topics ranging from our daughters approaching puberty to where to get the best deal on toilet paper to ex-boyfriends to the names of each of the bones in your hands. Cracking night out!
Have I mentioned how thankful I am for my wonderful friends?


I hate that I had to mobile blog the above Thanksgiving 30, because writing about friends deserves so much more than that. So I'm adding and expounding.

I have made some incredible friends since moving to Scotland. My first year was difficult; I didn't know anyone, I didn't have too many friends (though I made friends at work who were really great), and I really struggled making the transition. Scott introduced me to Sarah, his best friend's wife, and she has been a great friend ever since. I adore Sarah. We have so much in common and yet are so very different too. I am thankful for Sarah.

I began making friends through church later down the line (Amanda, Cheryl, Lorna, Jen to name a just a few), and then I had Fifi. I was no longer at work, and none of my friends yet had babies, and suddenly to a degree I was isolated to once again. That's when I met Maria and Carol. We all three were new mums with a lot in common (but again, also very, very different too), and we instantly clicked. Those two girls are two of my favourite people in the world, and I love them both to bits. I am so thankful for them. (Even if Carol DID decide to move away from us! How dare she!)

A little bit later, right after having Lolly, I started getting to know the girls I was out with last night - Heather, Paula and Elaine. While I'd say my friendships with them grew a lot slower than the way I became friends with Carol and Maria very quickly, these friendships have grown very strong with deep roots and bonded together by difficult experiences. We all come from different backgrounds, have different beliefs and opinions, but we respect each other for our differences and benefit from them. We have all in some way influenced each other for the better, and I love these girls and would do anything for them, as I know they would for me. If I'm ever in a car accident, I know at least two of them would re-lactate to feed my baby! Haha! (But seriously.)

So I just want to say how thankful I am that I have been blessed with so many friends. And I have tons more than those mentioned above. I am thankful for all of them, because all of my friends are special. All of them have made my life a little better, and I am thankful for them.


I failed NaBloPoMo.
I forgot to blog yesterday.
The shame.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Bed

Tonight all I can say is Thank You For My Bed.

I'm off to join this little guy in it.

Good night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Night Cap

Tonight it's all about the simple pleasures. The little delights that get you through the day.

The alcohol.

What a day I've had. It all began around 3am when Jaguar decided it was morning, and lay in bed, gurgling, kicking and squealing for an hour. Scott's snoring added a certain je ne sais pas to this early morning symphony. Then the pitter patter of darling feet running to our room - Fifi, who had had a nightmare, and Lolly on her tail. I finally got back to sleep somewhere around 5am, and was awoken by my safety alarm set on my phone... the alarm I set to wake me again if I sleep through the first alarm, the one that essentially says, 'The boy you take to school will be here any minute and will want to know why you are still in your pajamas IF YOU DON'T GET UP RIGHT NOW.'

After the school run, I came home and waited in all day for a delivery that never arrived. Upon phoning the company, it turns out it hasn't even been dispatched. It won't be in until Monday now. Booo.

And in the afternoon? Lolly was A BLEEDING NIGHTMARE. She was HORRENDOUSLY behaved. I was at my wit's end.

The day just continued like that, little things plus big things all set up to make my day as miserable as possible. Thank God for in-laws who came over after Scott's work and made us dinner and played with my insane children for me while I decompressed for five minutes.

Honestly, I was ready to start drinking by 3pm, but I knew I had errands to run in the car this evening.

I ran my errands after 7, came home around 9.30, and FINALLY, I was able to have a wee drink. Gin would've suited me better tonight, or wine, but Bailey's in a hot chocolate with marshmallows did the trick.

Guys, I am thankful for alcohol.

And for any teetotalers out there, Proverbs 31:6 - "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts." I was ready to perish today, and my kids were giving me a heavy heart. Yeah they were. Pass the hooch.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Awesome Job

So busy tonight with orders, online inventory, stocking my shelves (which first involved clearing some shelves to make room for stocking) that I never blogged in time to officially meet the NaBloPoMo requirements. Fail. But! I still haven't been to sleep, so Scott says it still counts. A day is from when you wake up until you go to bed, so he says. Let's just go with that, shall we?

Today I am thankful for my job. As a childminder I get the best of both worlds - I get to work and make money, and at the same time stay home with my kids. I'm so thankful that I don't have to put my kids in childcare, so I can go back to work. I know childminding certainly isn't for everyone, so I'm very glad it's for me!

I've been very fortunate so far with childminding. I've had some really great kids to look after. I've had lovely, sweet, spirited little people surrounding me for the last year and a half. Currently, I'm only doing before and after school care, plus Saturdays. It's working out nicely. I love little tiny children, and I am still looking to take on another small person, but I also get such great joy out of looking after older kids. All the older kids I've had in the past and all the ones I have now are simply awesome kids. I love them all. My kids love them too, and they all seem to like my kids back. It works well. I enjoy playing games with them, making things with them, and just talking to them.

This is my job, guys! Hanging out with awesome kids is my JOB! I am so thankful for that!

(I'm not so thankful, however, that having only been back to work one full week, I'm already booked in for my care inspection next Tuesday. Wanna give me a minute to get back into it, please?! Better get this paperwork done asap!)

Monday, November 12, 2012


Today's 30 Days of Thanksgiving subject is written begrudgingly, through forced smiles, in much the same way you thank your old Aunt Margaret for the Christmas socks. I'm writing it, because it's something I ought to be thankful for, though it's so easy to resent it instead.

I am thankful for rain.

I certainly didn't feel thankful for it this afternoon, as I fought with an umbrella, car keys, a wayward Lolly and a screaming Jaguar while waiting outside the school gates for the kids. In fact, I think the exact words out of my mouth were, "I hate this stupid country!" (It's possible "stupid" may have been replaced with an Irish swear word instead.) And yes, it would be an understatement to say this bleepin' weather gets me down. It would be all right if it just rained like this for a season, or if it was offset by a gorgeous summer, but it isn't.

Rain, rain go away, come back in a year next May.


Over the summer, my American compatriots were genuinely desperate for just enough rain to dampen their drought. Rain would have been manna from heaven, a luscious kiss of blessing. I won't forget the words of a Scot living in America: "I never thought I'd say this, but I hope it rains soon."

We have the opposite extreme, and it is extreme, but I am thankful we have rain. Our grass is ever green, our lochs and reservoirs never dry, our drinking water free. For these reasons, I am thankful for rain.

I'd still appreciate it though if our average annual sunshine was greater than 25%. I mean, come on.

(Read more about the weather in our little Western nook of the Clyde valley.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lolly's Wizard of Oz Birthday

I love planning birthday parties. I start planning for parties months in advance, because I want everything to be perfect.

In the past, Fifi has gotten all the big parties, but Lolly, being the week before Christmas, always ends up with a half-hearted attempt. That's why this year I was determined to give Lolly an awesome birthday.

I've been trolling the internets looking for ideas, and I'm getting pretty excited. I've booked a hall, designed the invitations, planned the games and decided on the food. All Wizard of Oz themed. Wicked Witch of the West Broom Relay Race, Win Lose Or Melt, Musical Yellow Brick Road Chairs, and so forth. (Plus Pass the Parcel at Lolly's request... still trying to think of a WoO rename.) Fifi had the idea of dividing kids into 3 teams, the Tin Men, the Scarecrows and the Cowardly Lions, and Scott suggested they 'win' their party favours in the forms of hearts, brains and courage. For food, we're talking rainbow jelly, a Lollipop Guild Sweetie Shoppe (idea stolen from the net), and of course, a rainbow cake decorated with a yellow brick road, poppies, and an Emerald City.

I am mega-excited.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lest We Forget

Today is Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday. The 11th day of the 11th month. So it is right that today I say thank you to all our armed forces, past and present, who have given their lives for our safety and freedom.

My dad and brother are both Air Force-turned-Air National Guard men, both have served abroad, my grandfather fought in Korea, my cousin fought in Afghanistan, and a school friend and brother of a school friend lost his life while serving his country. My dad used to try to convince me to join the military, but it was never my thing. At all. My brother did ROTC in school, but that to me was the last place I'd wanted to be. I don't know how to put this appropriately, but I never wanted anything to do with the military, myself. I get that wars are sometimes necessary, but I hate them. (I guess no one loves them.) I just couldn't understand volunteering for that life.

So I suppose that makes me selfish. Or maybe not. Maybe it just isn't my calling. But it makes me all the more grateful for the unselfish people who chose, and choose, to devote their lives - and I don't mean just the living part, but also the dying - for the rest of us. What a brave, incomprehensible sacrifice, that I know I'm not big enough to make! Yet these incredible people fight for my freedom, even though I'm too selfish, too chicken, too wannabe-pacifist to do it for myself. How can I ever thank these people enough for what they do for me?

I cannot imagine seeing the atrocities they see at war. I cannot imagine facing the fear they must face in the trenches or in the air. I cannot imagine the pressure they must feel, fighting for something as huge as the Greater Good or Freedom or any other worthy cause; must less, I can't imagine the conflict some must feel at fighting a war they may personally disagree with, where the ideology of the war is contrary to their own ideologies. And yet they fight anyway, out of honour and duty to their countries. Wow.

I wear a poppy each year... well, scratch that, I buy and subsequently lose several poppies each year. I don't feel I know very much about World War 1 (I think history education in America is absolutely appalling when it comes to teaching students about the rest of the world); Scott has tried to tell me all about WW1, but I still know very little about it. I only know slightly more about WW2 for that matter, which, again, I blame school for. (I mean, do Americans actually teach the WW2 started in 1942?!) But despite my lack of knowledge, which I am ashamed of, I wear a poppy simply to support those who lived and died fighting for a cause that was right. I want to support and thank those who are fighting right now, whether I agree with the wars currently going on or not. Because at the end of the day, they have the courage to fight on behalf of their countrymen and women, and I do not. So thank you, service men and women out there. I am thankful for what you do, on my behalf. And whether I or anyone else supports the actual wars that you are called to fight in or not, I will still say, thank you for doing it. You live a bigger life than I ever will, and your legacies are never forgotten. I am thankful for you.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Nights Out

I'm out tonight for the last GLOC show in the Arts Guild. Afraid I won't be home before midnight, I'm blogging from my phone.

I am thankful for nights out with friends, a baby who lets me get out and a husband who encourages me to go out.  I am thankful for having gotten the chance to get into the local amateur dramatics and being on stage and for meeting such fun people.

Now that I'm home (and with ten minutes to midnight), I'll add a bit more.

I did theatre and acting in high school. It was my life. It was all I cared about, but I went away to University and firmly put all that behind me (sour grapes and stuff). I never expected to do that kind of thing ever again. But I still enjoyed going to the theatre and seeing shows.

When I saw a sign in town advertising RENT in the Arts Guild, I was mega-excited and dragged Scott along to see it with me. I didn't know anything about there being local groups, and just assumed it was a touring company. That is, until I was there, and someone behind me said they were there to see a friend from work perform. That's when I discovered these were local people, and there must be some sort of amateur dramatics community.

Fifi was doing Highland dancing and ballet at Jackson Dance Academy, and having seen advertisements in her studio for shows in the Arts Guild, I asked Linda (the dance teacher) if she knew anything. She gave me a few numbers, told me about a few auditions coming up, and I inquired. Next thing I knew, I was auditioning for Footloose, a nervous wreck!

From then on, I've been hooked. I've done several shows locally now, and have had the best time of my life, rediscovering a passion I forgot I had. Just now I'm two weeks away from opening night of Puss In Boots, a pantomime, and also two weeks away from auditioning for Sound of Music. I'm so thankful to have this outlet, to be able to sing, dance and act on stage again, and for all the wonderful friends I've made doing it.

I love you guys! (And for Lee, who will be reading this, YER MAW!)

(And publish now, three minutes to twelve. Still made NaBloPoMo!)

Friday, November 09, 2012


It's a Friday, and Fifi was grumpy on the way home from school.

While in the car, she was sobbing about something or other that didn't actually matter in the grand or even tiny scheme of things, when out from behind a building I spotted the most vibrant rainbow I'd ever seen.

Interrupting her calamity, I cried, 'Look at that rainbow!'

Fifi stopped crying for a moment, and she too was awed. It was stunning.

'Quick, Fifi, let's chase this rainbow!' I began driving excitedly, searching for a perfect view of it in a place we could pull over, but buildings kept getting in the way. I wanted to pull over as soon as I could so we could get a great view of it before it disappeared. We drove all the way down the road to our home when finally we found a clearing right in front of our house. There was even a parking space.

From there, we could see that the rainbow arched perfectly from one end to the other, glowing more brightly than any I'd ever seen, and the perfect second full rainbow was visible above it. Fifi and I jumped out of the car and started snapping shots with my camera. She was squealing with glee, and I was only slightly less childish in my exuberance. It was phenomenal. It was absolutely gorgeous.

We stood and admired this wonder of nature for a long time before the rain ushered us inside the house. We ran up the stairs hoping to get a good view from our front window, but by the time we got in, the rainbow had disappeared. But Fifi's spirits were lifted, and so were mine.

I am thankful for little wonders of nature that bring delight to young hearts and older ones alike.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

My New Company

I know it's nothing as fundamental as food and water, or as sentimental as sons and daughters. I know it's nothing monumental, but today I am thankful that my new stock has arrived!

This really encompasses a variety of things I am thankful for. I am thankful that I arrived home from nursery this morning just in time to see the FedEx man lugging boxes out of his truck with "EasiYo" printed on the sides and didn't miss the delivery. I am thankful that Scott makes enough money to pay our bills and that my childminding pays for the rest, so that I am able to pursue crazy and wacky business ventures like this. I am thankful that Scott and the rest of the family believe in me enough to encourage me to try these things. I am thankful for all my self-employed, business-minded, intelligent, motivated, creative, helpful, generous friends who motivate each other, share advice, and help each other grow our own businesses. I am thankful that the stock is arriving and giving me an enormous thrill!

(By the way, if you are interested in purchasing any EasiYo products or bento boxes, the items are not yet entered into the online shop, as is still in the process of being built and designed, but you can contact me privately if you want to inquire about any of the items! Or visit for more info too.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Running Water

I'm tempted to go all tongue-in-cheek and say today I am thankful that the US Presidential elections are over... but I shall refrain. This is a no-politics zone here at A Perfect Lazy Day.

Today was a cold, windy, rainy day. (Kinda like most days in Scotland.) It was the kind of rain that soaks into your skin, and the kind of cold that touches your bones. No amount of hand-rubbing over the radiator can get that kind of rain and cold out of your body. The weather had me feeling lethargic and miserable.

I had a lot of running around to do today after school pick-up. Saying that, school pick-ups on their own are a lot of running around for me. I go from one school to get the kids I childmind and then go to another school to get Fifi. Yesterday and today those rounds were made even more complicated as I had after-school club pick-ups too. Today, I stood in the rain and wind for ten minutes waiting at the first school. I then drove up to Fifi's school to get her. I needed to pick up Fifi and Lolly's pottery pieces, so I had to run in and out of Maria's pottery studio in the rain. Then I had to drive back up to the school to pick up my other minded child (more standing outside waiting in the rain). It was around then that I received the most welcome phone call a childminder can receive: their mum saying she'd gotten home early and if I didn't mind, I could just bring them home straight from after-school club.

It was from that very second until the second I got home that all I could dream about was a nice, hot bath to warm up in. (Thank you, Veronique!)

I took my kids home, made a little bargain with Scott, and spent my unexpected time off soaking in a deliciously hot bath with my Panto script. I barely got halfway through the script (to the part that I actually still need to work a bit on) when I let it fall from my fingers onto the floor and submitted to the heavy eyes that were coaxing me to fall asleep. I lay in that bath for 45 minutes, completely relaxed and warm. It was glorious.

I am thankful for running water. The above scene is another one of these luxuries that we so easily take for granted. When I was in Venezuela on a mission trip at age twelve, we got five minute lukewarm showers every three days. When I was in Pakistan on a mission trip at age thirteen, we got five minute cold showers every three days. Even these showering facilities were considered high brow in the places we were (poor, rural areas of each country, not the affluent touristy areas). In Pakistan, one of the dorms we stayed in had a toilet; talk about fancy! The rest of the dorms had 'squatty potties' that needed to be 'flushed' with a bucket of water poured down the hole, while flies buzzed all around your backside.

When I am thirsty, I grab a glass from the cupboard, turn on the tap, and fill my cup. I drink it. I don't get sick. What a luxury! Clean, cool drinking water straight from the tap, from the comfort of my own kitchen! No walking ten miles in the heat with an empty bucket before the sun is up to fill my bucket with contaminated water and walking the ten miles back home. No filters needed. No rationing. No effort whatsoever. Do we even realise what we have literally at our fingertips?!

I am thankful for running water. Thank you, God, once again, for the undeserved, unmerited, unearned privilege of living in a country that has such riches.

Water, liquid diamonds.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


I needed to go into Tesco this evening for a few things to get us by until I do my proper food shop. I needed milk, cheese and one or two other things.

I like shopping at night, because it's peaceful and I usually only have Jaguar, who lies in the baby chair in the trolley and sleeps, so I can wander around at my own pace and have a good look for bargains.

We have so much choice when it comes to food. I found myself in the soup aisle - soup aisle - amongst cans and cans of soup, every possible kind of soup. It took up nearly an entire aisle in the supermarket. I began to think of people in other countries, how a tin of soup might be an entire meal for a week, or longer, for an entire family, and would be a luxury at that.

No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to grasp what much of the world live like every single day, working harder than we've ever worked, for longer hours than we need to work, to afford to feed their families. I've been to several different countries on mission trips, and I've seen first hand many hungry people. But I myself, while maybe wasn't eating in luxury, was still well fed. The food I could afford, or the food that we brought along with us, was more than sufficient for our needs. I was able to see the way people around us lived, in Pakistan, in Venezuela, in rural Mexico, but I have still never experienced it.

Try as I might, I will probably always to some degree take food for granted. If I am hungry, I open a cupboard. Even when Scott and I were at our poorest, living on one income, feeding four people, living penny by penny... even then, I could open my cupboard and find a can of soup. Several cans usually. Maybe all we'd eat for dinner some nights was beans on toast. But the beans came from a tin (not from a hand-tilled garden and soaked overnight) and the bread came pre-sliced in a plastic bag (not baked from scratch in a make-shift open-fire oven). I have never known hunger, and thank God for that. I am thankful that I can go to a supermarket and buy food to feed myself and my family, and can even do it on a tight budget. I am thankful that we do not have to work the soil with our bare hands to produce a semi-decent (and sometimes downright poor) harvest in order to eat.

I will try and keep all of this in perspective, and be thankful for the rich blessings we all get from living in rich countries. My guess is if you are fortunate enough to be reading this post on the internet, you are fortunate enough to be thankful you have food. I am so deeply thankful for food and for being fortunate enough to be able to afford it, though I may never know just how thankful I should be.

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Language of Birth

I've been meaning to go through all my draft posts that for some reason or another never made it to the light of day. Several of them were worthless, like a couple of sentences started and never finished. Then others were fully written but never published and I don't know why.

Below is one such post, which upon re-reading I think is still good. It was written while I was pregnant with Lolly. It's about the language of birth.


Me several months pregnant with Lolly
I'm re-reading the birth stories in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth to give me some encouragement while I wait for the arrival of little Spooce. Ina May comments at one point that early in her career she felt free to change some of the words surrounding childbirth, the main one being her change of the word 'contraction' to 'rush'. Marie Mongan does the same in her book HypnoBirthing, changing 'contraction' to 'surge'. I'm sure many others have done the same.

I agree with what they've done. As a graduate in English, I recognise how much language affects our thinking and perceptions. Ina May says it doesn't make sense to use a word that implies tightening, when the purpose of contractions are to open and thin the cervix. While I still call them contractions myself - calling them rushes or surges just sounds too contrived for me, though I think they are perfectly acceptable to use as long as they make you comfortable - I think it's really important to use words that don't negatively affect you psychologically.

I'm thinking of this, because at my last ante-natal clinic, the midwife was on the phone with the hospital scheduling an appointment for me, and she referred to me as 'the woman who was very keen to have a home confinement'. (For the record, I'm not having a home birth now; I will be going to the hospital's midwife-led unit.) The phrase 'home confinement' irrates the crap out of me. Why does the medical community have to turn every phrase into something horrible sounding? Home 'confinement' sounds like house arrest. Why not just simply call it a home birth like everyone else in the world?

My Boy

Yesterday I wrote about how thankful I am for daughters. Today it only seemed right to talk about my son.

I am only just getting to know this boy. We've been aware of each other for a year now, but we only met four months ago. I can't talk about him as intimately as I can talk about the girls, because he is still developing a personality on still the most basic level.

Yet I can say that the little boy he already is, the little man that I'm getting to know, is a pure delight.

Our boy is always smiling. He laughs at everything. He is almost always content and rarely cries. He is gorgeous and sweet and kissable and happy and chubby. He makes other people smile with his own ever-present smile. He laughs when you croon at him and beep his nose and tickle his feet and brush your hair across his cheek. He puts the stars in my eyes.

He is all perfect baby, exactly what a baby should be. He's a dreamboat; he's a parent's dream come true.

In the mornings, he sleeps in late, then lies awake, quietly content, while I get ready. He rarely interrupts my morning routine; he just waits patiently for me, even for long periods of time when I'm not even in the room with him. He sleeps deeply and often. He feeds efficiently and doesn't protest if I need to put him down to run after one of his big sisters. After all, he thinks his big sisters have hung the moon and rewards their mother-child efforts with enormous grins and coos.

I know he'll be a big boy soon, with words and tantrums and, heaven forbid, spiders and worms in his pockets, and maybe toy guns or maybe doll's prams. He will become more of who he is to become, and while if I could choose right at this moment, I'd keep him a baby forever, I also can't wait to see what having a boy is really all about. I am so, so thankful I have been given a son, and I hope I will be able to guide him as his mother to be a gentle man, while his daddy teaches him how to be a strong one. He will maybe one day be someone's husband, and I won't begrudge another woman taking my boy away, as long as she is a good woman.

But for now, give me all the cuddles and coos and baby puke and breastfeeds and kicky legs and fat rolls and sleepy sighs and sharp teeth and biteable toes that I can possibly get from him, because he is my baby son, and I am so thankful for him.

Sunday, November 04, 2012


Whenever I used to imagine myself as a mother, I always pictured tons of thick-haired, messy little boys running circles around me. I imagined myself building Lego castles and getting scared silly by the garden snakes and spiders they'd put in their pockets. But I never imagined myself with girls.

So you can imagine my surprise and unexpected delight when I was told Fifii would be a girl.

Suddenly, all these new visions came into my head - pink dresses, Barbie dolls, baking sets, and flowers in the pockets. And Fifii was truly all of that.

Then I became pregnant again and was certain this one would be a boy. I still imagined myself the mother of boys. I remember the u/s technician saying, 'Looks like you are having a wee...' and I expected the next word out of his mouth to be 'boy' but instead it was 'lass'. What?! I actually didn't believe him. Another girl? Really?!

And the same excitement and bewilderment hit me as I suddenly readjusted my expectations from a mother of boys to a mother of girls. I saw hours of playing house, drawing pictures, dressing up, painting fingernails, and braiding hair before me. And the two girls were all of that.

I ended up finally with one boy, but for the time, while he's still only an infant, I am such a mother of girls. Everywhere I look I see lovehearts, pink frills, make-up, dresses, princess crowns, dolls and homemade cards. I am amazed constantly by those girls' inner and outer beauty, intelligence and independence. Fifii melts my heart with her tenderness, compassion, gentleness, creativity, sweet humour and deep love for others. Lolly bowls me over with her confidence, fearlessness, cheekiness, abilities, wild spirit and ferocious love. Together, their friendship and devotion to each other is powerful; regardless of how they may fight during the day, come nighttime, they are inseparable, often falling asleep in each others' arms, best friends and close sisters.

I am thankful for daughters.

(I will get to my son on a different day.)

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Precious Moments

This morning, I went to put my daughters in a bath, so I laid Jaguar down on the bed next to Scott who was taking a nap. I started running the water, when Jaguar started wailing. I was feeling myself getting tense, the way you do when your tiny baby is crying, and was rushing to get the girls undressed and in the tub. Suddenly the crying subsided, and I guessed that Scott was comforting him. I filled the tub, got the girls in, and went back to my room to check on the baby. Scott was still asleep, but Jaguar was lying right beside him, calm and contented, with his little tiny hand stroking his daddy's unshaven cheek.

It was beautiful, my little boy, finding peace and harmony in the world at the touch of his daddy's face. I quickly snatched up my phone from the nightstand, muttering to myself 'Don't stop, don't stop' and snapped a photo just in time before he moved his hand away.

I am thankful for precious moments. These moments get forgotten after a while, but when they happen, our hearts are melted and our souls are stirred by the joy of living.

Post-ODP: One Last Shout Out!

How could I have forgotten? One last sponsor to mention - Neyir U from Canada for sending me over an Arbonne Peppermind Body Set to raffle off for the project! Thanks to Neyir, I raised a bit extra by selling raffle tickets to win this prize. Thank you, Neyir! And Congratulations to Elspeth for winning!

Friday, November 02, 2012

No More Dating

Oh dear, second day into NaBloPoMo, and I'm almost about to miss my post! That's thanks to me sitting here ordering all my stock for my new company... and my head is pounding with the gamble of it all... PLEASE SELL!

So, with the remaining half an hour I have left of Day 2, I will post a poem (bonus day!) that I wrote a few weeks ago, but I'm not breaking the rules, because I'm also posting a fresh 30 Days of Thanksgiving thought to coincide with it.

Be warned - single people, you may want to stab me for this. Like with a fork. Repeatedly. In the eye.

I am thankful that I am done with dating.

Dating freaking sucks.

Okay, yeah, in hindsight I can vaguely remember it being remotely fun in some sort of masochistic way, but now that I'm done with dating, I am so relieved. Not that marriage is always a box of chocolates, and the heartbreak it can sometimes cause is worse than any break-up, but at this point in our lives, I am happy, content, confident that I am loved, and so freaking glad I don't have to play the dating game anymore. Here's praying I never will again (aka, Scott is not allowed to die or leave me. And I think he has put the same restrictions on me). While it's fun to get that spark of excitement, that first touch, that first kiss, it's also fun to pack those sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet memories away and be thankful that you won't ever have to wonder again 'Why didn't he call me? OH WHY???'

And now, for the poem. Warning - Explicit Language below, because break-ups deserve the F-word. Please tick the box to prove you are 18 years or older. □ Cheers.*

The Break-Up Box

Your fucking flowers, flimsy fading wilting
slimy stems in moldy chlorophyll-
water. Bend these in half, cram in trash.
Your flannel pearl-snap
shirt, smelling like your unwashed
hair (and okay, so I smelled the smell all the way out
under sheets and against heavy
quilts, my cheek deep in polyester and rayon-cotton blends
in the secret dark.)
Your used-book-shop paperback
brown pages, handwritings, yellow
highlighter, pretentious shit.
Your indie music mix tapes
songs as clues, they were all there,
lyrics always off
center, just fingertips off.

Stop sitting like that, on the carpet,
legs crossed, face in calloused
hands like you’re the crystal
in sharp shards scattered on the bedroom

*MAN, I hope someone tried to tick that box.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

NaBloPoMo and 30 Days of Thanksgiving

It's November again, and on the tail of the October Dress Project, I think I may actually succeed at NaBloPoMo this time!

I had big hopes and dreams of writing something creative, like a poem, every single day of November, but let's face it. I have three children, I am self-employed in three different ways, I am a volunteer Treasurer for a charity, I am the Principal Boy in the upcoming panto and I am prone to migraines. It's unlikely I can commit to writing something amazing and out of the draft stage every day. So while I'll attempt to write poetry as much as I can, I'm stealing borrowing an idea from a fellow ODPer, Connie, called 30 Days of Thanksgiving.

It's pretty obvious what this will be; each day this month I'll write about something I am thankful for. I'm going to try and include a photo each day of the subject I am writing about.

And on bonus days, you'll get a poem.

So where oh where do I start? I am the most blessed person imaginable with so, so many things to be thankful for. I feel if I try to start out with The TOP BIGGEST THING I'M THANKFUL FOR, I won't be able to choose where to begin. So I'll begin simply.

It being the first day post-ODP, I am thankful for my clothes.

We just take it for granted that we will be clothed. We maybe don't love our wardrobes, or maybe don't like the way things fit us, or feel what we have is old and worn out... but we never worry we won't be dressed.

We never worry our kids literally won't be dressed.

We may worry that our kids are going to school in dresses too short or trousers with holes or shoes a bit tight, but we don't worry they will have nothing to wear at all. They will be clothed, and they will have coats, and they will be safe, warm and dry.

This is not the case all over the world, and in our case, we are doing much better than many people around us even in our town. I have clothes I love, some were expensive and some were cheap, but I love them and like how I look in them. My kids have clothes, nice new clothes and warm coats and boots. My husband has clothes, even after dropping a few sizes he still has clothes, many of which he too really likes.

I am so, so blessed and thankful for clothes. One thing the October Dress Project taught me was how frivolous I am with my wardrobe. I own far more than I need and I buy far more than I ought. I now think more than twice before buying something that very likely I do not need. I realised by wearing just one dress for a month how versatile one garment can be... I don't need five little black dresses, three black skirts and endless black tops. I did a clothing clear out during the project but will continue clearing out until I am satisfied that my closet is not an Aladdin's cave of unnecessary items.

Today I am wearing my owl sweatshirt with a denim skirt and black leggings. I am happy to look the way I look in my outfit, even though my belly is still a bit round from having a baby, and tomorrow, I have more clothes I can put on. So will Jaguar and Fifii and Lolly and Scott.

Thank you, God, for clothing us.

ODP Sponsor Round-Up

I just cannot thank everyone enough for sponsoring me for this past month. Your generosity is incredible, and the money is going to such a worthy cause. I can't wait to find out how much everyone else doing the project raised and getting a final total!

So for the last weeks of October, a huge thank you goes to Fifii M, Lolly M, Marion and Andy M, Gordon R, Viktoria G, Angela T, Ruth M, Maria W, Ruth B, Carol O, Caroline S and Sheila M. I ended up with 33 sponsors, so thank you Caroline and Sheila for sponsoring me on top of the rest!! Almost everyone has given me their money, but if you're one of the five who haven't, I'll come by and harrass you soon. :D

Thank you everyone. My personal total from all 33 sponsors is £235 and that doesn't even count the rest of the Inverclyde ODPers! Wow!!