Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who's My What?!

In my day to day life here in England, I often hear unique words or phrases springing forth from the lips of either my husband or someone else.

One such phrase that tickled my funny bone when I first heard it was “...and Bob’s your uncle!”. My first thoughts were (a) ‘what the heck?’ – I had no idea what they were talking about, and (b) ‘how did you know?’ – since I actually did have an Uncle Bob! Well, apparently they weren’t talking about my family tree at all. In Britain, this phrase is used quite commonly and means “and that’s all there is to it”, or “and you’re all set”, usually put at the end of a list of instructions. Who knew?!

British Library

British Library

I love the richness and diversity of the English language, and the many different forms of it that you hear all over the world. This is the subject of an exhibition at the British Library – Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices. This free exhibition opened on November 12th and runs until April 3rd, and includes many iconic books and manuscripts as well as recordings of famous speeches by Churchill, Gandhi and Mandela. Visitors to the exhibition can even record their own voices, reading the children’s book Mr Tickle, and have the recording added to the British Library audio archive as a part of the collection. There are also examples of early advertising posters, lists of slang, early newspapers, comics, text messages and so much more included in the exhibition. More information on all of this can be found at http://www.bl.uk/evolvingenglishand if you are on Twitter, then you can also tweet using the hashtag #evolvingenglish.


I recently played an online quiz related to the exhibition at http://www.bl.uk/evolvingenglish/quiz.html and scored 6/6 on the “easy-peasy” level (the less said the better about how I did on the more advanced levels!). You could always follow the link yourself, take the quiz and share your own score ...and Bob’s your uncle!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Memories Through Cornbread

It’s been a while since I did a cooking post, so it just seemed like a good idea for today’s post, since I need to get back into the blogging hot tub. I don’t love to cook, but I like it pretty well and hey, we've all gotta eat don’t we? For those times when I don’t want to cook, a frozen dinner is my best friend ;-)

There are times when I like cooking and times when I loathe it. It’s all about balance ;-) In those times of enjoyment, the thing that pulls me in is the chance to be creative, so that aspect is right up my alley.

I truly enjoy watching cooking shows, especially Barefoot Contessa. Her food inspires me to want to cook EVERYTHING and do it well. Her variety of dishes that she cooks always inspires me to try something new and I’ve learned lots of cooking techniques from her, so I love me some Contessa :-) And as a fellow Georgia girl, I love to watch Paula Deen when I’m back home visiting. I can see the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network over here, but they don’t show Paula Deen here. So that’s where the website comes in handy. Anyway, that’s enough of my TV favorites for today. Pardon my detour ;-)

So this past weekend I cooked cornbread muffins…well actually cheese cornbread muffins. I had a taste for some. I’m not a really big fan of cornbread or any bread really, but sometimes I get the taste for it. It usually coincides with me thinking about home or back to the times when my parents were still alive. When I was growing up, my mom made cornbread everyday and I used to love to watch her make it. The memories that I have of watching her make cornbread stick firmly in my mind. I don’t know why. I guess it’s the everyday normal things that you may take for granted at the time, but when you look back, those are the things that are burned into your memory forever. As time goes by I realize that memories are TRULY the beautiful things in life :-) The simplest, beautiful things…

Over the Christmas holidays, I received a package from my sisters and I had mentioned to them when we were Skyping once that I couldn’t get cornmeal very readily where I live. So I’d asked them to send me a small bag if they could. Well, in the Christmas package there was the cornmeal…just like my mom used to use :-) The sight of the bag instantly filled me with nostalgia. Here it is:

Yeah, I took a picture of the bag of cornmeal…it’s an expat thing. LOL. Anyway, I made some cheese cornbread muffins and they turned out pretty good. My mom was strictly old school though…she just made straight cornbread and hers was great, but I love to play around with a recipe from time to time.

I’ve been nibbling on these muffins all week and yesterday I crumbled some up in a bowl of soup…mmmmmm. Now that was good! Next time I may try putting some other flavor in there to see how it turns out. See, it’s that creativity thing again ;-)

I realized the other day how much I used to love posting about my culinary creations in the earlier days of this blog and I realized that I don’t do that much anymore. Well that will definitely be a returning feature here. I’m no chef or even a really great cook, but I just love mixing stuff up and seeing what happens. And also I love photographing things…and that includes food, so I hope you’ll come back and see what I cook next :-)

Until next time…

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bit By Bit

Hello all :-) I've been trying to get here to do a proper post for a few days now and haven't been able to do so yet. I am SO BEHIND on EVERYTHING it seems and I know that many of you can relate ;-) I'm having one of those streaks where I seem several steps behind and three lanes over from where I need to be headed...lol.

So I decided that even though I can't write a proper post today, I will at least check in...that's a start. My new motto is "bit by bit". One small step after another leads somewhere just like big steps. I've taken this technique to heart today in other things too and it's working :-) Yay!

I have some things that I'm wanting to write about and bit by bit, I'll be sharing them in the next couple of days. Thanks for sticking with me!

Until next time... :-)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Pushing That Reset Button

Hello everyone! So, here we are in a new year...Happy New Year everyone! I hope that everyone had a safe and happy start to 2011. I know that it’s already January 3rd and I’m a little late, but hey, can’t be helped…lol ;-) I was a good blogger and posted a greeting to go up at the stroke of midnight here, so I got it in under the wire :-)

For me, today seems more like the “start” of the new year because it’s a Monday and I was so laid back with the new year coming on a Saturday. I guess that today feels more like “back to business day”, so it’s feeling more official to me in some ways. Don’t get me wrong…I love a weekend holiday, but today for me feels like a reset button has truly been pushed :-) And I imagine it must feel like that for some of you out there too!

I must admit, I’ve been struggling a bit on the personal front lately, but I’m ready to face things with a whole new perspective in my life. And it’s not all about the idea of the new year fully…it was just time, but it certainly never hurts to have a shift like a new year to be a helpful catalyst in these things :-)

My blog over the past several months has become indicative of how my life has been of late…kind of detached and not engaged fully like I want it to be. I know that some of you who have visited my blog in the past and are still visiting it (bless you…thank you) may see a difference, or maybe you don’t (bless you again). However, I feel it and see it. I want my blog to get better as I get back to better feelings in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I wake up every day and am grateful for the blessings in my life, but lately I just have the need to feel more fully here again. I want to feel more awake in my own life again, so I’m opening my eyes today :-)

As some of you may know, I mentioned here before about some health issues I’ve been having, well I’m happy to report that I’m going to be fine. I got a bit of a wakeup call in regards to my health and even though it has been physically painful to go through, this situation has refocused me. So as they say, it’s all good :-)

Therefore, I’m re-dedicating myself to writing this blog. This blog grew out of my need to express myself and to engage with others and that idea got lost somewhere. I’ve loved writing my whole life, but I’ve found it very difficult to write here over the past several months. But I realize now that some of that stemmed from my disconnection in my everyday life. So I’ve taken a good hard look at myself over the past few days and I realize that I want more in my life…creativity, engagement, etc.

Today seems like a good day to begin again in many ways :-) I have always loved being creative and I’ve been yearning for that again lately. One day I sat wondering what could I do to bring more oomph and expression to my life again…and I sat there pondering this. Then I smacked myself on the forehead and said, “Well you do have a blog you know…so express your little heart out!” LOL. It was one of those light bulb moments and so now I’m just going to get out of my own darned way! ;-)

So today I am coming back to my blog with a new perspective. Hopefully I will have something good to share here from time to time and I’ll write more often like I used to do. This will all be step by step, day by day, but it will be fun to peel back those detachment layers that I’ve built up. This will definitely be a good thing as I dust off my fiction writing aspirations. I hope that you will come along with me as I hit the reset button… starting… now! :-)

Until next time…