Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My New Bag

I wanted to share something new with you all. I’ve written before about our recycling and efforts to do more to do our part. So I wanted to show you my new favorite thing in this vein. Brit Boy and I have quite a few reusable bags that we carry with us to the stores. They are mostly utilitarian and not that cute. (smile) So when I saw this bag a few weeks ago, I just had to have it. Hey, a girls’ gotta have a bit of style with her consciousness too. (wink) Here it is. It is stored in this little pouch, about the size of a sunglasses case, with a snap at one end and a loop at the other.

The loop is very handy so you can attach it to your purse or shopping cart. Or you can just store the bag in your purse.

The snapped end opens and this is where you pull the bag out. Once you unsnap it, you tug on the cord and the bag comes out.

When you pull it out, it’s inside out. Then you just turn it over to the correct side and then bam, you’re ready to go!

It has a nice looped handle and it makes this bag a breeze to carry. The bag expands very wide, so you can get lots of stuff in there. And since it’s sort of teardrop-shaped it has a nice hang to it. The fabric moulds to the shape of whatever you have in the bag.

This is not a paid post. I just really wanted to share the news about this great bag. (smile) I did a bit of research and found that you can get this bag on Amazon at this link here if you’re interested.

Now I’ve got to go and put my cute little bag back in the car. (smile) Happy shopping!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A New Spring Look

I just wanted to check in and mention my new spring look around here. It's spring and I just felt like changing the scenery here around my blog. I haven't really changed it much since I started blogging over a year ago now. I have been needing a bit of rejuvenation lately around the house and I thought it would be good to do the same on my blog. Gotta keep entertained. (smile) I'm still working on both my surroundings and this blog...so both are a work in progress, but then aren't most things. (smile) Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say hello and let you know what's going on around here. Have a great day! Happy Spring...Happy St. George's...and Happy Birthday to William Shakespeare! :-)

P.S. Check out Brit Boy's post later today about St. George's Day and William Shakespeare's birthday. This is his domain as our Brit around the Yellow House. (smile)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Today is Earth Day and it is a day to celebrate and help our beautiful planet. I love that there is a day when we can all think about what we can do to make our planet a cleaner and greener place. The beauty of this day though is that the awareness doesn’t have to stop tonight when the clock strikes midnight. We can all do our part every day of the year. Please check out this Earth Day site. This and other sites are great resources to find out how we can all do more. I’m learning myself because I just want to do what I can to help along the future of our planet. I don’t have kids, but I have many nieces and nephews, and for them and other children, I want to leave a green mark on the world when I go. (smile) I know that this is all a complex issue, but a lot of times I just cut away all of that and think of it simply. I look outside and see scenes like these and I realize how blessed we all are that we were born here.

The first two photos are from here in England and the last one is from back home in Georgia...two homes to me, but they are all on the same planet that I love. (smile) I’m not here to preach or anything like that, because I’m still learning myself, but as you go about your day, spare a thought for our planet Earth. (smile) Happy Earth Day everybody!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cleanup Sunday

It’s been a nice weekend. The weather has been pretty good this weekend and today it was just gorgeous. I tell you, I appreciate the sun so much now, more than I ever have before. (smile) When I lived back in Georgia, I naturally took the sunny days for granted because they were so plentiful. However, the sunny days are a bit more rationed out here, so I definitely soak them in when they come. (smile) I went outside for a bit to soak it all in and to take a look at my tulips. The red ones will probably shed off tomorrow since they’ve been open for a while, but they have been replaced by some beautiful yellow ones with red stripes that just look so sunny.

After I came inside, I decided to do some cleaning and organizing that has been getting pushed to the side for a while. Brit Boy was watching football (soccer), so I took the time for myself and I plowed through a stack of magazines that have been threatening to hit the floor. (laugh) Interspersed with the magazines were various pieces of paper. I have this habit of writing things down that I want to remember, such as quotes, or story ideas on scraps of paper instead of depositing them directly within my various notebooks. I’m usually a bit of a neat-nik, but this pile was one area that I’ve fallen down on a bit.

Today though, I have turned over a new leaf. (smile) I put a lot of my magazines in the recycling bin and I kept some of them, but now the remaining ones are stacked neatly and have their own home. And my scraps of paper are finally getting catalogued into my notebooks. I tell you, it felt like a weight lifted when I cleaned up my stuff. (smile)

So it was a good cleansing of my pile of paper stuff and I guess that it was a good cleansing of my spiritual stuff ;-) It’s been a good day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Meatloaf

Brit Boy and I had a nice Easter. We relaxed around home and enjoyed the mild weather later in the day. We had breakfast and then turned on the TV to watch Pope Benedict XVI deliver his “Urbi et Orbi” message at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. I did some research and found out that this phrase is Latin for “to the city and the world”. How fitting. (smile) It was a nice way to start the day. I’m not Catholic and neither is Brit Boy, but I always like watching this message…it’s like no matter who you are, if you care to listen, it’s accessible. I always feel connected to the world when I watch this,since all those people from around the world are there. I think it would be a great experience to go there one day and experience it live and soak up the atmosphere. We shall see. (smile) After watching the Pope’s message, we started to work on dinner for later. As I mentioned the other day, I said I was going to share a meatloaf story. Brit Boy and I decided to have meatloaf for Easter lunch/dinner instead of a ham or lamb which is kind of customary. I made an extra nice meatloaf so it held its own for a holiday meal. Sometimes when we’re watching television and someone mentions having meatloaf, Brit Boy will mention that he’s never tasted it. He says he remembers watching a lot of American shows when he was growing up and they would often be having meatloaf, so he was intrigued. So I decided that I’d make meatloaf and give him his first taste. When I decided to make a meatloaf I instantly thought of one of my favorite movies of all time, “A Christmas Story”. Some of you may remember it. The lead character is Ralphie and he has a little brother named Randy who hates to eat dinner and plays with his food a lot. So one night, they are having meatloaf for dinner and Randy won’t eat and he says, “Meat-losse, meatloaf, double beatloaf, I hate meatloaf!!!” Check out this clip. I love that movie and being the cuckoo that I am sometimes, I will say stuff like this out of the blue and Brit Boy will laugh. What can I say, we find a lot of stuff funny around here. (smile) So the meatloaf turned out really good and we had mashed potatoes with a bit of cream cheese and garlic mixed in and some broccoli on the side. It was really tasty. meatloaf mash potatoes broccoli For dessert we had blackberry pie. This is my favorite kind of pie. It turned out okay. I’m gonna have to play around with the recipe a bit to get it just right though. We ate it anyway and it rounded things off nicely. So it was a happy Easter around here and we still have Easter eggs to eat…oh joy! (smile)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dropped Stone

In my last entry, I mentioned that I would post next about meatloaf at the yellow house. Well, I’m still planning on writing about that, but Brit Boy wanted to contribute a post about a show that we both love and one that we’d love to see saved. The show is called “Eli Stone”. It’s one of our favorite shows and it has been cancelled back home, but the fans are trying to persuade ABC to bring it back. The show stars Jonny Lee Miller, a British actor, who I think does a great American accent (we love talking about accents in our house :-)). This is a great show and has a great cast. His feisty assistant is played by Loretta Divine, who some of you may know from many roles, including one of the leads in “Waiting to Exhale”. And his former girlfriend, and fellow lawyer is played by Natasha Henstridge. The cast is impressive and the show is just so fresh. This is my preamble to Brit Boy’s post, so I’ll leave it here and let him do his thing (smile). By the way, we just realized today that this post comes exactly one year to the day since he posted here last and we didn’t even plan it that way. It must be destiny. So without further ado, here’s Brit Boy……

Monday night saw the airing of the last episode of the wonderful “Eli Stone” here in the UK. The series, which was shown on ABC in the US and on the Sci-Fi channel here in the UK has apparently now been cancelled. I understand that the final four episodes have yet to be shown back in the States, so I won’t reveal any storylines!

I felt compelled to invade Dori’s blog to write about this series and its undue cancellation, because the show was such an oasis in the desert of today’s TV programming. How exceptional it is nowadays to find a show that is original, risk-taking, thoughtful, well paced and extremely funny. The premise of the show was that Eli Stone, a lawyer portrayed by British actor Jonny Lee Miller, suffers with a brain aneurysm which leads him to experience prophetic visions. Through this simple idea, some very profound themes were investigated but the writers never lost sight of the fact that their primary goal was to entertain the audience.

For Dori and me this was one of the very few “must-see” shows on our weekly viewing schedule, and we were both extremely disappointed to learn that the powers that be at ABC have decided not to make any further episodes of the show. The schedules are currently crammed full with reality TV shows, be that talent competitions, fly-on-the-wall docu-soaps, make-over shows, elimination game shows or whatever. To find any quality drama is getting rarer by the day, let alone one that can amuse, sadden and challenge you all at the same time. Some very intelligent writing and a wonderful soundtrack gave us a plethora of memorable stories and moments, in particular the vivid, often musical visions that the protagonist suffered. Large scale song and dance scenes are not a regular occurrence on mainstream TV in this day and age, and yet they worked perfectly and were such a breath of fresh air.

But sadly the show is no more. After just two seasons, it has been decided to pull the plug on this sharp and imaginative programme. As is often the way in these circumstances there is a fandom attempt to get the decision reversed, including an online petition and a mailing campaign. I have signed the petition myself and hope that maybe the decision makers at ABC will have a rethink and give us some more of this jewel of original programming.

This Stone truly was a Diamond!

If you'd like to help or want to know more, please check out these sites.

Eli Stone Petition

Save Eli Stone

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Thank You

I want to thank all of you who left comments of support for me over the last few days. This meant the world to me and it lifted my mood incredibly. You all are great. I’m so lucky. I’m in a much better state of mind today and hey…the sun is out … so blue skies are ahead literally and figuratively. And so my little blog here, chugs along….. (smile)

Looking Ahead to Summer

Yesterday Brit Boy and I did our first yard work/mowing of the year. Our grass had started to grow and green up again. It was getting rather long very quickly. So we hauled out the lawn mower and clippers and got to work. It seemed to go pretty fast which was a change. I clipped the bushes and pulled weeds, while Brit Boy mowed the grass. We bagged up all of the grass and brush so that we could take it to the recycling center, where they make it all into mulch.

So we hopped into the car and drove over there. It’s a nice drive and the weather was nice. We dropped off our clippings and then headed back home.

Later, after we got home and got cleaned up, we heard that familiar little tune of the ice cream man. Brit Boy and I were thrilled….I mean nothing makes me think of summer more than freshly cut grass and the ice cream man (smile). It was a good afternoon.

All of this talk about summer has me thinking of a sunny, summer holiday somewhere. I come from a primarily warm climate back in the States, even though we have a climate of four seasons. When I first arrived here, I had no idea how essential that sunshine was to my well-being. I just knew that I enjoyed it! Well now that I've been here for a while I realize how therapeutic it is to get a chance to hang out in the sunshine, especially when you can't take it for granted. So recently I've been scanning online to find out about different places to plan on visiting in the summer. There are cruises and all kinds of varieties of sunny trips. I've also found some great value holidays to Benidorm. I've never been to Benidorm, but I hear that it's a great place to visit in Spain. Judging from the pictures that I see online, it sounds like just what the doctor ordered...sun, sea, and summer even if it isn't quite summer yet! Here's to sunnier days!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Just a Bit Blah

I’ve just been feeling kind of blah about everything lately. I can’t decide if I’m homesick or just burnt out…maybe it’s a bit of both. I’ve been falling behind with my blogging, because I haven’t known what to write really. I just don’t want you all to think that I’m abandoning things here. I’m not…I’m just a bit out of synch at the moment, but I’ll be okay. I appreciate those of you who visit me here, so just know, I’m giving my blogging another try today. (smile) Wish me luck ;-)

The Obamas in London

So I’ve been searching my mind for what to write about…anything that will get me out of the mini doldrums I’ve been in lately. In that vein of reviving myself, I immediately thought of one thing that’s brighten things for me this past week…the President and First Lady visiting London for the summit.

It was nice to see them when they arrived and to know that they were in the same country as me for a time. Once I saw them coming down the steps of Air Force One, I started to smile. It was like reminders of home came down those stairs with them. Sometimes I feel so detached from home here, so I was more excited than I thought I would be. I have of course never met the Obamas, but it almost felt like family was coming to visit. I hope that that doesn’t sound crazy, but that’s how it felt. (smile) As an expat, you sometimes find yourself clinging onto anything or anyone from home just to stay afloat when the outsider feeling hits. So I guess this is why it made me so happy to see them.

The coverage was generally positive. I wasn’t looking for endless perfect stories about them, because they aren’t perfect, nobody is. I was just looking for home and they represented that to me. I know that there was that whole story about the First Lady touching the Queen, but from the reports I’ve read, the word from Buckingham Palace is that it was no big deal to the Queen. And some even report that the Queen reached out first. But at the end of the day, as long as the Queen didn’t mind, the media should just leave it alone. And apparently the Queen asked the First Lady to keep in touch now that they’ve met, so I think that closes that case. (smile)

As I mentioned, the coverage was pretty fair overall. The First Lady charmed her way around London. She visited cancer patients and they were touched by her caring way and down to earth manner. She dished out hugs and just watching her made me proud that this lady represents our country to the world.

I did think it was interesting on the second day when the First Lady spent the day with the other G20 wives and the Prime Minister’s wife, Mrs. Brown. One report that I read that morning went on about the First Lady’s outfit that day and they did the same about Mrs. Brown. Why do women have to be judged by what they wear first no matter what they are doing???? Anyway, this reporter tore into both of them…this person hated Mrs. Obama’s blue skirt and argyle cardigan and Mrs. Brown’s fitted dress, but who cares (rolling my eyes). I love fashion as much as the next person, but enough already with the snarky analysis every day. By the way, I thought they both looked fine that day. (smile)

That day was probably my favorite day of watching Mrs. Obama. She kept her own schedule whilst the President tended to his work. She spent a good bit of time with Mrs. Brown and the other wives, but on the day when this annoying reporter raked her and Mrs. Brown over the coals because of their clothes, I thought Mrs. Obama came into her own on the world stage. She did a visit to a girls’ school in London as I’m sure many of you have read about. This touched my heart.

Mrs. Obama gave a talk to these girls, just as I’ve seen her do back home and it was a moment when I realized that borders are irrelevant when you talk from the heart. She had an emotional change in her voice as she told those girls that she understands the humble beginnings that some of them have had because that is where she started in life. She told them that education is the key to getting where they want to go and that the world needs more strong women like them in the making. It just warmed my heart. I kept thinking, if only I had heard those words when I was their age…who knows ????(smile) I was just so happy for those girls. They were so excited to see her and she passed out loads of hugs again. There were some waves of nonsense in the papers about her hugging, but the people that she hugged didn’t mind, and one young girl afterwards met her mom outside the school and they showed her screeching to her that she’d had a hug from Mrs. Obama. So I just say to the haters…back off. LOL. Those hugs were for those girls…our future women. (smile) Sometimes you just need a hug…I wish I had one right now. (smile)

This moment at the school touched me most of all, because Mrs. Obama could have saved all of that inspiration for our young people back home, but she didn’t and I love that. She shared her story with these girls and reached out for that common denominator, and left behind nationality, and inspired those girls who will always carry that experience with them. I was SO proud of our First Lady that day. (smile)

My other favorite moment of this visit came from the President. He was walking into 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister and along the way he greeted the policeman standing at the door and shook his hand. I just loved that. I love it when people are decent to each other, no matter who we are.

The Obamas left London on Friday and I hated to see them go, but I’m glad that they came here and brought such a good vibe with them. Quite indirectly, they helped this expat touch base with the folks from home. (smile) I needed that.