Gingerbread and a Golden Slug

Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting No Comments »

Hi!

Youngest and I made gingerbread shapes over the weekend.  They were meant to be all men, but the dough came out a little sticky, and the resulting ‘people’ started to look a little less than perfect…

Wounded Gingerbread

So, we switched to using the star cookie cutter 😉

Star Cutter

 

I was impressed with Youngest’s sudden knowledge of baking – I hadn’t read all the recipe through (just the great reviews and the ingredient list) and before I got to the part about having to rub the butter into the flour, Youngest casually mentioned that would be his job, and he’d make sure he had clean hands.

Expert baker

It turns out that in the baking session at school near the end of last week he had really coveted that privilege, but had been disappointed when the teacher didn’t let the kids get their hands in the Apple Crumble…!

Youngest definitely adhered to my hygiene principals a LOT more than usual when making the gingerbread.  Thank you, Primary one!!

 

Ancestral Yum

While I’m on the topic of baking, I must show you some of the wonderful haul my Mum brought over on Friday!

I have shared with you before that I struggle to do domestic things well or consistently, and that I therefore will spend time reading books and watching YouTube videos about how to keep my house clean/decluttered/running smoothly on a regular basis, often revelling in ‘old school’ advice I find along the way.  (I love learning new uses for Baking Soda, for example).

I love poring over old patterns for knitted socks, marvel at the tiny crochet hooks that were used for lace, feel honoured holding a book or crafting implement someone close to me had…

Some of my best friends and teachers in my life were my Great Grandad (my Mum’s paternal Grandfather) my Great Gran (my Mum’s maternal Grandmother) My maternal Grandmother (Nana) and -Father (Grandad) and my Dad’s folks, too (called Grandma and Grandad). 

I have always loved listening to the stories from older generations and wondering how I would cope in their shoes – especially now that I am supposed to be running a house of my own and raising kids…!

With this background outlined, you can maybe get an inkling of my delight when my Mum presented me with handwritten notebooks that belonged to her paternal Grandmother (whom I never got to meet in person and I have grown up with being referred to as my mother’s ‘Big Nana’). They not only contain recipes but also include the odd tip for how to clean things, what concoctions to mix up for different ailments and also some old temperature conversions…!! 😀

Notebooks - view 1 Notebooks - view 2 Notebooks - view 3

 

There were a couple of lovely hardbacks, that I remember from my Nana’s kitchen, in the pile as well:

Leather bound cookbooks

and quite a few recipe tomes and pamphlets from the 1920s onwards that I am going to spend many a happy hour going through in the next few months (and will probably blog about) 😉

 

The Joy Of Homework?

Youngest has brought home his first proper homework tasks today!  There have been reading books in his bag for a couple of weeks now, which we have enjoyed, but this ‘Learning Log’ (that gets issued on a Wednesday and handed in the following Monday) will mean we can sit up at the Diningroom table as a family, chat about the work and share in each boy’s progress.

Youngest used to stand on a bathroom step in Eldest’s room and scribble on wipe clean learning materials at homework time, when Eldest was in Primary one.  Youngest has had many excerpts from books read to him by Eldest over the last three years, learned his letters and simple sums alongside his brother and helped out with games and projects that have instilled key concepts – but Youngest having schoolwork of his own to do is a milestone both boys will relish, I’m sure.

Memory from August 2015

Fingers crossed it all goes as well in reality as it does in my imagination…!

Youngest 'reading' The Times in 2016

 

Slug

I wrote a poem about a little friend we made on the schoolrun today, and I thought I’d share it to finish off this post 😉

 

The Golden Slug

 

A sunny day: us walking, talking, running fast and loose;

Your brilliance was spotted by our mother (mid-vamoose).

“Ah look!” she said, “a golden slug, just wandering past here –

It’s lucky you didn’t squash him!” Intrigued, we came to peer…

The Golden Slug

“A golden slug?” we chorused, as our interest neared its peak;

“How’s that even possible?! What does this bright slug eat?”

“I don’t know…” said our mother. We all had a think, and then

I decided it liked sunshine (or a lemon) with its friends.

 

“Yellow leaves” said my brother, “or some paint and – BANANAS!”

(This started off some Minions’ speak that made us also dance…)

Mum ushered us away and gave you, slug, your sweet release

Us waving, blowing kisses – goodbye, conversation piece!

 

Is it just me, or could the slug’s shadow almost be a man’s face in profile??

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Wednesday, and I’ll be back soon to let you know how the boys fared with their homework!

 

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Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Toothfairy Tales Chapter 4: A Foxy Blue Carrot

Childhood, Parenting, Things I Made This Week 2 Comments »

Hello!

[Part 1 of Toothfairy Tales is here, Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here]

On the 5th of September, I was due to go to lunch with a friend, for the first time since I’ve had both boys at school all day. On other occasions, even just trying to sneak out for a coffee with this friend has seen one or other of the boys complain of a sore stomach/cold/another convincing reason for not going near their educational establishment…so I was kind of expecting something to go wrong that morning.

Sure enough: Eldest bit into some toast and came away with a bloody tooth. He promptly ran upstairs to tell me about it, threatening to smear my cream bedclothes in gore (or so I feared). Hubby took Eldest through to the bathroom, but after a quick clean up session it was declared a false alarm and not wobbly enough to warrant my dentistry skills.  In fact, Eldest quite happily walked to school with the wobbler being energetically manipulated by his tongue every two seconds :-/

There was still a definite request for an orange toy made, and the very real threat of me burning the midnight oil again dangling above my head. I wandered back home blethering to another pal, then tidied up and Googled free crochet patterns before heading back out around 11.30am for the promised lunch. 

As all ladies of leisure do, of course.

By 2.45pm, the world suitably put to rights and our stomachs brimming, my friend and I walked back up to the school to collect our charges at their respective doors. Predictably, Eldest presented me with a post-it note, sellotaped together in order to envelope his tooth.

Tooth in a Post-it

I (sorry, the fairy) again had it confirmed that this was to be a foxy incisor.

The clock began ticking.

Unfortunately, the day went downhill from there and Eldest’s behaviour became atrocious, despite my warnings that tooth fairies are like Santa and don’t give rewards to boys who are badly behaved.  Things did not improve by bedtime, so I advised Eldest not to put the tooth under his pillow because he’d be disappointed and it also makes tooth fairies sad when they can’t do their jobs properly.

8th incisor gone!

I had found this pattern by Annelien Vanessche on Ravelry, so I started making it around 11pm –  when our now regretful Eldest had finally fallen asleep, I had straightened a few things up in the house and also eaten my tea and cake!

 

Thursday 6th September

Around midnight, I had finished the head/body and decided that I wanted to crochet the ears straight onto the fox instead of following the instructions in the pattern.  They turned out ok, and I also managed not to mess up sewing the eyes with black yarn, which is always a bonus! 

The tail was pretty easy to crochet as well, though I sewed around it very firmly because I was sure that it would probably be the part that would suffer the most abuse from the boys 😉

Fox is finished!

So yesterday Eldest woke up to one pound in silver and an orange fox under his pillow – with a note asking where his tooth was! Eldest was quick to point out (at my bedside) that I had been wrong about the tooth fairy judging his behaviour. Youngest sagely advised that it was only because we have a kind fairy that Eldest got a present even without a tooth in exchange. 

Toothfairy note

Regardless of the circumstances, Eldest was pleased with his gift and, after poring over the Toothfairy’s writing for a bit (which scared me as I had not bothered with the backwards faff this time like I did here, but just some creative left handed scribbling with smudges and misspellings) he christened his fox “Chase” and went downstairs for breakfast. 

Youngest stayed and cuddled me for a while, and mentioned that for his first tooth he wants “a blue carrot”. We talked about when that might be and whether he thought the tooth fairy would lose her job for not having a tooth to bring back to her boss that morning.

Youngest didn’t think she’d get into trouble and was sure we’d still have the same fairy in about a year’s time when he needed her.

The tooth was dutifully put under Eldest’s pillow that night to even things up…

 

Friday 7th September (aka today…)

Eldest was pretty sleepy this morning and didn’t want to get out of bed. I went through to his room and asked him if he thought the fairy had taken his tooth in the night. He put his hand under his pillow to check and brought out a little parcel…

Eldest took the parcel onto the landing, as there was better light there, and Youngest stumbled out of his room to look, too. It appeared there was something wrapped inside a note…and it was tied with bit of blue yarn.


The second Toothfairy note

Eldest unfurled the note and found a blue carrot, which he handed to Youngest.

The boys’ eyes met and they both started giggling.  The note thanked Eldest for the tooth and asked him to say hi to Youngest. It was signed ‘The Toofairy’.

I whispered in Youngest’s ear that it must have been because he said she was kind. The look on his wee face was priceless.

We all went back to ‘the big bed’ for our usual cuddles, but these ones were punctuated by an orange fox stalking a blue carrot around the mound of covers made by mum’s body. The boys even brought through Jack and Richard (my ‘grandbabies’) to get in on the fun.

Grandbabies and Toothfairy toysGrandbabies and Toothfairy toys 2

It is hard explaining to the kids that not all tooth fairies leave toys, and that maybe they shouldn’t labour the point with their pals (!) Youngest reasons that our fairy, therefore, doesn’t have access to plastic or other materials like Santa has, so she spends time making things out of yarn to keep his brother happy.

If the boys ever lose teeth together one day, I have the feeling Youngest’s estimations of his wee winged friend may go down a little: The Toothfairy Tribe all look a bit glaikit and/or surprised, due to their rushed construction, as it is 😉

 

 

[The carrot pattern was found here]

 

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Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Toothfairy Tales Chapter 3: Santa, Baby – and Mike

Childhood, Parenting 1 Comment »

Hey there 🙂

I made a rookie mistake today: I tried to do something out of my ordinary routine.

I booked lunch with a friend.

(Lunch!  I know!!  A conversation with another adult – while eating – in the middle of the day without children.  I was giddy with the prospect!)

This did not go unnoticed by the rule-keeper of the Mumiverse.

It so happened that Eldest’s maxillary right lateral incisor (tooth between front and canine) decided to come loose, and I walked away towards home with a cuddly reward request ringing in my ears – that might have to be presented tomorrow morning – but the tooth was still (literally) hanging in there by the time I saw Eldest off at school, so I’m crossing my fingers for more time…

This brought me to the realisation that I haven’t written an instalment of my “Tooth Fairy Tales” in quite a while, so I will blog you up to date with our expanding menagerie of colourful critters…which has grown to encompass humanoids recently, as you may have guessed from the post title 😉

[The preceding two chapters are here and here]

Santa

It does seem like Eldest’s teeth have a fondness for trying to cover his collars in blood just as I am desperate to manoeuvre the kids towards the front door of a school morning!  Again, it was a race against time to get this tooth out and us all in the car (thankfully it was a Thursday and Hubby was working from home) on the 30th of November last year.

Although I am usually the squeamish one, Hubby really doesn’t like watching the gory twiddlings involved in a tooth howking session, so I drew the short straw because my mothering instinct trumps pretty much anything.

Damn you, nature! *shakes fist*

According to my gruesome pictures (which I took on Hubby’s phone, ha!!) the critical stage happened between 8.21am and 8.35am. We then had a free (bottom left) incisor! Yaaay!

Bottom left incisor is out!

(I made sure to indicate to Eldest how proud I was of him for being so time conscious)

I was busy that day, I can’t remember what I was doing (probably researching a suitable pattern?), but I didn’t get to sit and start making Lucy Ravenscar’s Chubby Santa until almost half past six that evening…then got waylaid considerably by the boys’ bedtime shenanigans; hanging laundry above the landing; realising I would need to swap yarns because it was too thin for the hook I was using (and I probably didn’t have enough of it anyway)…the usual fluff n nonsense!

Starting Santa

I had crocheted Santa’s hat by 1.03am on the Friday; added a face, hair, beard and bobble by 2.27am; given him eyes and started his outfit by 3.07am and had finished him and parcelled up £1 in silver coins by 4.18am.

Santa is ready to go

I was a mite tired when Eldest came in two hours later to tell me all about it, and to inform me it was now December and the real Santa would be visiting soon…

…But it was a happy gap-toothed seven-year-old who posed for some pics in our chaotic living room that morning before school 😉

Eldest approved of Santa

 

Baby

All was then quiet on the tooth front (or the front eight teeth?) until March, when on the 7th Eldest complained about his 6th wobbler.

I casually (!) asked him what he was hoping for from the fairy this time, and he said: “a baby”.  A little worried (!!) I asked him whether he meant a proper one, a toy one, or a baby animal…?  He clarified that he meant a toy, but in the shape of a human baby. Phew… 😉

Cue me racking my brains for any patterns I had seen that looked easy!

I discovered Happy Berry’s YouTube pattern after dinner, and began watching it.  I realised pretty quickly that I would only have time to make the hat or the nappy from Part 2 before bed.  I made the nappy that night and the hat the next, and then was working on the baby on the 9th when Eldest actually lost the tooth!

Sixth tooth gone!

It was clear to me (around 11pm) that there was no way I was going to be able to finish all the sewing etc of the baby for the next day (as I was exhausted from another crazy kid-filled week) so I was then confronted with a dilemma: how to explain to Eldest that the Toothfairy needed more time, without him being really disappointed?!

Toothfairy note

I plumped for writing a note.  In my fatigued state, I decided it would be a good idea to do this in mirror writing, because even if I used my left hand it would probably look like I had written the note.  So I sat at a ridiculous time of night and figured out how to write backwards with my left hand, realising too late that the notepaper I was using had an identifiable wee drawing on it.  I cut that off and just put a weirdly shaped bit of paper in with the hat and nappy.

I am not that good at this planning stuff…

There was a good deal of discussion between our boys about what the items were when Eldest unwrapped the nappy and hat the next morning.  (I had fun showing them that if you put the nappy upside down and then the hat behind it, it looked like a tortoise). 

Baby's hat and nappy

They did come up with the correct descriptions for my handiwork in the end though, and there was excitement at bedtime again with the prospect of maybe catching a Toothfairy lugging some sort of baby-like creation into Eldest’s room!

I had a thicker yarn for the baby’s skin tone (a Red Heart skein, but I bought it about a decade ago, so I can’t recall the name!) and thought that doubling up on the DK yarns I had used for the hat and nappy would make them big enough.  This unfortunately wasn’t quite the case in reality, however, and I had to squash the baby’s head a little to make the hat stay on. 

Sigh. 

Why haven’t I bought thicker yarn in Eldest’s favourite colour yet?!

I finally finished the baby in the early hours of Mothers’ Day.  Luckily it was another hit, and this time I was rewarded with lovely hand-drawn cards as well as being taken out for a family lunch – so it was all worth it 😉

A finished baby

 

 

Mike

I was determined not to sit up to all hours making this one, so I was doing my happy dance when Eldest asked for “a little bear” in exchange for his 7th incisor!  I knew that there was a free Lucy Ravenscar pattern that would be perfect, so I made it the same night, wrapped it up in toilet roll and hid it in a cupboard.  It took me less than two hours!

I can’t quite remember when this occurred, but it must have been near the end of June, in the midst of making a teacher gift and other things (see here).  By our West Cork holiday in the second week of July, the tooth was still in place and I was briefing Eldest on the fact that even if it departed his mouth on holiday, our Toothfairy would probably wait until we were home to pop the requested bear under his pillow. 

Although he had given her lots of notice, I reasoned, it had to be difficult to fly all that way with a bear in tow…and she wouldn’t want to send it via her friends in case it got lost (of course).

I needn’t have worried: the tooth didn’t fall out until the evening of the 20th of July, nigh on a month after I had catered for it. 

Eldest's 7th incisor is OUT

I luxuriated in my relaxed evening, and was thrilled when Eldest got up, cuddled his little red bear and decided to call him Mike after the character in Monsters Inc.

A startled-looking Mike

 

 

And that’s you all up to date on our Toothfairy shenanigans!!

 

Except…look what the school sent home with Eldest this afternoon:

 

Sleep is overrated anyway.

*reaches for the orange DK yarn again*

😛

 

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Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Beetled Off

Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting, Relationships 2 Comments »

Hi!

Happy Tuesday, one and all!

Hubby had a dentist appointment to scoot to this morning, so he dropped me (and the kids) off at the school playground suuuuper early.  Youngest and I hugged Eldest and left him near his classroom door, then we sauntered off to the P1 entrance and twirled about a bit in the empty space (as one does).

Slightly dizzy (!), we went and stood near an untidy strip of grass that the children (mostly boys 😉 ) seem to gravitate towards before the bell rings.  We were treated to the sight of a black slug meandering through an area of dried mud between grass clumps, and soon became aware of a small shiny insect moving fast and seemingly on a collision course with the slug (hard to make out from my pic)

Youngest and I came up with some theories as to where each creature was going, and what they would be saying to each other; and we protected our small friends from any clumsy human who gambolled over and wondered what we were up to.  Youngest giggled with me, appreciating the silly voices I attributed to the slug and insect, and pitching in with his own versions.

We watched the insect hurry off, and the slug slide almost out of sight beneath a patch of weeds, before the bell rang.  It was oddly satisfying.

When I settled to think up a poem for today, my playground fun was obviously still on my mind 😉

 

A tiny beetle, bustling by

A slug encountered – so he cried

“Oh Mr Slug, I am so late!

Could you please quickly relocate?”

 

“What’s that you say?” asked Mr Slug

(His face in leaves that blocked his lugs)

 

“PLEASE MOVE!” said Beetle “on your way:

I have a lot to do today!”

 

Well! Beetle was then most perplexed

By Mr Slug’s slow progress!

                                             Next

That harried beetle huffed and sighed,

Tutted loudly, rolled his eyes…

“I see no shell upon your back

Must you go as slow as that?!

I have appointments I must keep –

Shopping to do before I sleep…!”

 

“Oh patience, Beetle! Can’t you see?                                       

Slugs are not made to move quickly!

I’m doing you a favour here –

Can you not run around my rear?!”

The Slug

 

Beetle did just that, but he

Still did not seem to be happy

“Look here Mr Slug: you might

Think next time to be more polite!

Us little fellows do deserve

To have our point of view observed!”

 

Mr Slug could not even see

The beetle, but he quite believed

That humans might be justified

In not liking insects to thrive…

“And who are you to lecture ME

On acts of common decency??

I don’t wish to discuss further

Such nonsense; besides – look – our murder

Could come at any time now… Gee!

School playgrounds fill up rapidly!

All those children…! 

                                  Running feet

Could spell our end – let me retreat!”

 

“Fine!!” said Beetle, off he scrammed

(Dodging the shoes of Ed and Sam)

The slug harrumphed (and later ate

A nice big leaf to compensate)

 

Our pair seemed less grumpy in real life, but I brandish a licence here, don’t I…? 😉

 

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Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Fermentation

Mental Health, Parenting, Random poetry 1 Comment »

Hi!

I was not inspired to write anything by my journal prompt today, so I asked Textfixer for some fodder instead. 

Textfixer word selection

I then wrote two similar poems, following my usual rules for each.  Which do you think works the best?

 

1.

In twelve more years,

There’ll be two decades’ worth

Of fermentation

Spilling over laptop screens,

Peeking out of bookshelves.

My sugar turning bitter:

Forbidden’ activity

Producing wealth at last.

Balled up attempts

 

The ultimate prank:

Push forth life, take care of it,

Be the officer of its welfare;

Laser focus on the important

And find inner peace”

 

Many a frustrated cadaver

Would expound

(If allowed voice)

On how this is not real life.

 

 

 

2.

In twelve years:

Two decades mum.

What fermentation will I see?

If all is kept forbidden

My sugar starved of oxygen –

A dark red run

Acidic and thin?

zombie lady

 

The prank of the push

Motherhood:

The arresting officer of motivation,

Energy,

Identity,

Time.

 

My head full of laser scars:

Focus obliterated the inner world

With each task ticked off.

This walking cadaver

Stinks up every conversation;

Blue–lipped, slack–limbed

And hungry for brains.

 

 

I’m plumping for the second one 😉

 

Pics are from here and here

 

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Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Count

Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting 2 Comments »

Hello 🙂

Today the kids (as has happened every day since we came back from West Cork) decided that they ‘only’ want to play sporty stuff in the garden with Daddy, not go somewhere further afield.  I am an optional extra to their plans, as Hubby is on annual leave.

I chose to stay in, and journaled around today’s question in Hannah Braime’s book, about how I could be kind to myself…

 

When I am old

Yes, today may not ‘count’:

The cups of tea I drank,

The songs I sang;

The smiles my husband gave while chasing balls

Swatted back to him by little hands.

Woman holding an hourglass

 

In futures hence, this solitude means naught:

The dust motes that I noted

Pages read;

The sunbeams that I savoured just through glass

Yesterday’s hair I still sported in bed.

 

A busy world undoes the fragile link

One has with breath and thought and calm and peace;

A tip towards the chasm/

Thirsty soul

Has me running for quiet release.

It is a pretzel twist I get into:  I had time to myself and was ‘still’ – but busy – and ultimately have now shared my solitude with the world.

So was Art the point here, or have I missed it?!

Was I being kind to myself letting the poetry come through me, or was I just dwelling on things as usual…?

😉

 

[Pic is from here]

[I am currently journaling (and writing poems) around prompts from The Year Of You: 365 Journal Writing Prompts For Creative Self Discovery by Hannah Braime – Kindle ASIN: B076Z6Y5L9]

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Explained Absence

Parenting, Things I Made This Week No Comments »

Hello, all!!

 

How have you been?!

 

Blogging fatigue

I have read that bloggers get to a point, after a year or so in, where they find it all overwhelming.  I slammed into that unwelcome milestone around mid-May.

I beat myself up about things like this, but the truth is that I have never been comfortable with a lot of ‘musts’ at once, so sometimes I abruptly drop the non-essentials and refocus to keep sane.  The mothering side of my life got steadily more intense this last school term, and I also had a few health niggles that were slowing me down, so I decided to not let the blog become something I resented instead of the source of release and pride it had been up til then.

Thanks to all those who asked after me and my writings, it’s nice to know I was missed!

 

Bring on the holidays!

Youngest has now left nursery behind him for ever, Eldest has finished Primary 3, and we have entered the third week of the (Scottish) summer holidays as a family unit (Hubby is on annual leave).  We have directed our attention towards decluttering our garage once and for all in the afternoons, having spent lots of quality time with the kids in the mornings.

We all flew back from West Cork on the evening of The statue of Danno O'Mahoney. He became the world heavyweight wrestling champion in 1935. Signature move: The Irish WhipFriday the 13th(!), after a gloriously sunny time with Hubby’s parents and brothers.  We managed to: celebrate my Mother In Law’s birthday, hit 3 beaches in 5 days, visit more family members, see the Schull Sunday Market, wander around the Model Railway Village in Clonakilty and pose with the statue of Danno the Wrestler (to whom Hubby is distantly related) in Ballydehob; among other things.

We did not have access to WiFi in the cottage that we rented for the week, and we flew over, so I didn’t bring my fully-functioning laptop for blog/Facebook updates while away.  I do have a few photos to share from our trip, however.  You will see that our boys and their uncles continued cementing their friendship for the duration 😉

 

The two sets of brothers at Barley Bay, West Cork, Ireland Eldest surveying the view at the Model Railway Village, Clonakilty Youngest controlling a model boat at the Model Railway Village, Clonakilty Spot of chess with an uncle Our boys with their dad and uncle at The Warren, Rosscarbery, West Cork

 

Crocheted Creations

Although May and June seemed awash with events to help with Youngest’s transition into Primary one/birthday parties to attend/Primary Three homework and endless notable dates…etc etc…I did let my creative side out to play now and then.

I made a ‘worry holder’ (as opposed to a ‘worry eater’) for a friend who had suffered a recent bereavement, adapting this pattern by Sarah Sloyer (@critterbeans on Instagram).  I held two strands of yarn together so that the finished cat came out bigger, added a pocket on the front to slip pieces of paper into, and made the front paws longer (and stripy to match her back) so that I could position them to appear ‘huggable’.  I chose to make her have closed eyes to try and put across a non-judgemental vibe, as sometimes what comes up in grief can seem trivial or self-indulgent, but needs to be expressed nonetheless.

To me, the cat appeared matronly and as if she could make one a nice cup of tea in the end, so I was pleased with her 😉

Next, I whipped up this little pattern by PurpleDragon57, for another friend who was also needing a yarny hug.  I went with the colours of a well-known beagle, and had fun doing it!  (Youngest gave it extra hugs to send along before I packaged it up)

 

Pièce de résistance?

Then Youngest handed me one of my biggest challenges yet: he drew a picture of his ‘Nursewy Teecha’ and asked me “can you make a dolly of my pictcha, please Mummy?  I think she’d really like that…”.

Youngest's drawing of his 'Nursewy Teecha'

Youngest changed the design brief of her dress and eyelashes to yellow and wanted her hair to be black, but he said that the rest of the dolly should look pretty much like his drawing.  Youngest helped me pick out yarn from my cupboard stash, then came to visit me over the next week or so as I sat near bedroom windows and wrestled with how, exactly, one judges the number of stitches’ difference there should be between a dolly’s lopsided limbs; or where one should hide the stray ends of dark blue yarn so they don’t mar painstakingly worked out yellow stitches…

 

Youngest chose the button for the dolly’s tummy, personally approved the levelling of the plastic eyes, and okayed the length of the toes. He was rather liberal with his praise during the process too, and hugged me a lot, which always helps my critical side to back off!

 

 

A Request

I was also commissioned to write a poem in honour of a 40th birthday, and luckily both the recipient and the ‘client’ were happy with the results.  (I wrote a poem for a Hen Night a few months ago, and that had spurred the request). It is satisfying to collect someone’s personal anecdotes and details, and then weave them into rhyming lines for them.  I might do more of this kind of work in the future…

 

Audible Goodies

My journaling may have fallen by the wayside a bit through the busy Spring/Summer term, but I am still very interested in all the psychological insights my Audible library’s picks have been turning up for me. I started listening to The Awakened Family by Dr. Shefali Tsabury the day I finished her first book, then alternated this with incessantly consuming the Audible series Kick-Ass With Mel Robbins.

Have I mentioned before how much I like these two ladies’ take on life?!

I found myself giggling on the school run come mid-June, while listening to David R Hamilton’s self-depreciating tales in I ♥ Me: The Science of Self-Love.  I also realised his musings on consciousness match up to my personal suspicions…

 

A Series – of Unfortunate Events

There is a free (to members) Audible series I have listened to in its entirety twice over these last few weeks:  West Cork by Jennifer Forde and Sam Bungey.  This tells the sad (and yet often bizarre) tale of Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s (true) unsolved murder, that occured near Schull in West Cork just before Christmas 1996 – and the subsequent investigation.  As I mentioned at the start of this post, my family and I are just back from West Cork: we hired a cottage not far from Schull and we even visited the Sunday market and saw the ‘main suspect’ at his stall (we had planned to go to the market anyway, then Hubby and I were listening to episode 9 together on the Saturday night and it dawned on us who we might see there).

It is a surreal experience to walk up to someone, knowing so much but being a stranger.   I just attempted to look through the ‘paranoids’ that he wears – and smiled. He smiled back after a second…and then my boys pulled me away to look elsewhere.

 

On a Lighter Note

As a bit of a reprieve from all this deep serious stuff, I have downloaded Agatha Christie’s Poirot’s Finest Cases to my Audible account (why do I find more tales of murder comforting?!) and Emma Davies’ Letting In Light to my Kindle app (with audio added), and I am enjoying them while doing housey things, and in between hanging out with the kids and Hubby.

Sunset on Friday 13th, flying towards Edinburgh airport

 

So, I think I have had quite a varied sojourn away from the blog, but it’s high time I scooted back here and did some regular writing again.

Any requests/suggestions/orders…??

😀

 

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Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

 

Present Expertise

Childhood, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting, Relationships No Comments »

Hey there 🙂

I am still digesting all that I heard in the audiobook The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, which I finished two days ago – and I am already mainlining her second book The Awakened Family on Audible!  

She talks about children being masters of living in the present moment, and how this is an absolute GIFT to their parents (if only we saw it as such).  It is scary when I view my kids through her eyes…but it can only make me a better mother and person, right?! 

 

I watch you revelling in your inner world

And wonder how mine splintered off so far;

The beauty that you witness all around

The doors leading off that you see ajar…

Youngest, Legoing Eldest leading me higher

Forgive me for my fearfulness and pain

In not reaching yet who I need to be,

Thank you for all the ways you display grace

And guide me home, through storm clouds, towards me.

 

 

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Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Smoke

Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting 2 Comments »

Hello!

I was pondering where my niche may be, today.

All this journaling and thinking has made me crave the cigarettes I gave up for good in my late twenties.  I’m sure that this is significant and means I should keep probing 😉

 

In imaginary smoke

I puff out all

The indignities.

 Woman smoking in band t-shirt

Part of me still insists

I look cool in these shades.

 

In my head, it’s purple dusk.

(Those sunglasses rendered useless).

 

Enigmatically I stand:

In a long coat,

Hair in a quiff.

 

Back here, in reality,

Another school day begins.

 

[Pic is from here]

[I am currently journaling (and writing poems) around prompts from The Year Of You: 365 Journal Writing Prompts For Creative Self Discovery by Hannah Braime – Kindle ASIN: B076Z6Y5L9]

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Balance

Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting, Relationships No Comments »

Hello 🙂

This foray came to me while pondering ‘balance’ in my journal:

Person on a tight-rope over a canyon

 

Which scale should I measure from?

What fool would proclaim balance –

In any form –

Lives here?

 

This photograph is propaganda:

There’s no telling where our minds were

When we posed for this.

 

A decade ago

Was a different skin.

It began to peel

As my stitches healed.

 

Those surgeons pulled out multiple lives;

Sliced through more than meat.

 

The scar is growing fainter,

Subsumed by metamorphic grace.

 

[Pic is from here]

[I am currently journaling (and writing poems) around prompts from The Year Of You: 365 Journal Writing Prompts For Creative Self Discovery by Hannah Braime – Kindle ASIN: B076Z6Y5L9]

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!