Possibilities

Have you ever received a birthday card/ greeting card and just read the inside of the card without registering what was on the outside? I certainly have.

During the last 12 months I celebrated a significant birthday and the other morning I was struck by one card I received.   The greeting said “Happy birthday! Wishing you a year of endless possibilities.”

I started to look back over the months since receiving this card to see what I had done but stopped myself.   This card was all about possibilities from now not for looking back.   Now that is so positive.   Possibilities are endless.   It gives permission to try things.   To have more and more possibilities in one’s life.

So, it was back to my trusty journal, fountain pen and list.   Lists help me to focus but this list was slightly different as I put the word “possibility” into the centre of a clean new page and from there using different coloured pens let my mind have free rein.   Then closed my journal.

Today I looked at the word list and I was amazed.   What I was looking at was a totally positive list which was bright cheerful deep and different to any list I had made before.   The difference this time was that I hadn’t allowed myself to edit.   I hadn’t allowed myself to think what could prevent… I hadn’t shared it with anyone.   Sometimes I have found that sharing my ideas has led me to scrapping those ideas.   Yes, and I have so regretted giving away those opportunities.

IMAG1158

But this is not a time for lingering on “what might have” been.   This is definitely, a time for possibilities.  This list now requires further lists.  Oh yes.  I took one possibility and again using a fresh page and coloured pens and worked how it could be achieved or in one case how I could get information in order, to start the process.

My journal is now expanding into pages of possibilities.  Brightly coloured pen pictures with some very dubious art work.  Artwork! I never use art work but yes, my style of artwork is decorating many a page wow.  I never knew.  No that is not quite right I never allowed myself which is totally different.

I am so glad that I decided to hang up each birthday card I received in my room and to keep them there for the year.  One never knows just when or where inspiration will find one.

 

imag1157-e1529343526518.jpg

Thanks Nonie for reminding me to open up new possibilities.

 

 

 

A Forgotten Memory

 

I have been experimenting with dairy free cake recipes.  Some have been successful and some not so.

My biggest problem is that I do not take note of ingredients I use, telling myself I will remember the next time.  Yes, you may laugh.  As I have a head like a sieve it is most unlikely I would remember a recipe accurately.

During the night when sleep once more eluded me I decided to read through some old recipes which I have collected over the years.  Some go back to the 1970’s some even further back.

Would you believe there in front of me, decorated with many spillages was a recipe for Sultana Loaf which uses neither dairy nor eggs.

It was given to me by my boss in my first “office ” job. She had had major surgery. Subsequently she had to adhere to a very strict non dairy diet. This was in 1975 when the alternatives to dairy was very limited. I remember her saying that her sister would send her the oil as she could not purchase it in Ireland.

I had totally forgotten about that job and the people who worked there.

 

Sultana Loaf

225g/8oz Self Raising Flour

75g/3oz Castor Sugar

125ml/4fluid ounces Coconut Milk

4 tablespoons of Orange Juice

100g/4oz Sultanas

50g/2oz desiccated Coconut

150ml/5fluid ounces Olive Oil or whatever oil you prefer to use

 

Set oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

Grease and line a 900g/2lb Loaf Tin

 

Mix sugar and flour together in a mixing bowl.

Beat in milk, followed by orange juice until combined.

Beat in oil.

Fold in sultanas and coconut.  Mixture should fall off a wooden spoon easily however if the mixture is too moist add in more coconut.

Pour into loaf tin.

Bake for 45 minutes in oven until loaf is golden in colour.

Leave to cool in tin then turn out onto cooling rack. 

Enjoy warm or cold

 

Enjoy warm or cold.

Keeping Warm

 

Tea is a universal beverage which warms the body, heart and mind.  It is strange how in the winter a cup of tea can warm a person and during a hot day it seems to cool a person.

 

Then there are the different methods of making tea.  The strength of the tea is very personal.  The variety of tea perhaps depends on the time of day.  Now one can have an infusions of fruit teas. In Ireland, some people have their preferred brand of tea.

Tea is such a personal taste. In the morning my preferred tea is an Irish Breakfast Tea. It has a strong definite taste and I have a preferred brand – “Lyons Breakfast Tea”. Much of the tea would be grown in plantations in Kenya and Indonesia for this particular brand.

There are many ways, to make tea but it all starts with boiling hot water.  It is so essential that the water is boiled and the tea infused immediately to allow the flavour to develop.

But how to keep the tea warm for that second or third cup?  At home I have a tea cosy which surrounds the teapot leaving the handle and spout free for pouring.  It was one of my earliest quilting projects long before tea became part of my every day.

My sister prefers a tea cosy which covers the entire pot and is lifted off to pour the tea.   A friend prefers a knitted tea cosy as she firmly believes that it is the only way of keeping the tea at the correct temperature.

Now my friend Christl, who lives in Wurzburg,  Franconia in Germany uses a totally different method.  Once the tea has been made in the tea kettle, it is placed on a trivet containing a tea light.  This keeps the tea at the perfect temperature.  It is an amazing utensil and so very practical.

It is called “Stovchen” in German.

IMAG1118

 

Perhaps this will be my new method for keeping tea at just the correct temperature? Thank you Christl.

Be Present

Be present, it is the only moment which matters

I do not know where I got this quote or to whom it can be attributed to. It is one of those quotes which has been with me through many journals.

Every so often it comes to mind and makes me stop. It is good to stop and savour that precise moment.

This morning I was busy with lists and the things I “HAD to do.  It was the only thing I could think of.  You may know that feeling, when the rush of life overtakes?

I was hanging out the clothes and suddenly stopped.  It hit me that I was so lucky to have a place to hang out the clothes after washing them.  I was so lucky to be physically able to hang out those clothes.  I was lucky to have clothes to hang out.

I found myself carefully hanging out those clothes and being aware of what I was doing.  It was a surreal experience.  From the mundane to something special. Too often I am caught up in the things or jobs which must be done, without experiencing the joy of being able to accomplish those jobs.

Sometimes, it is good for the spirit, the soul, the person to take time to notice what it is we are doing.

To savour that moment and appreciate it.