Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice
My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry
My father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more - Put some music on while I pour

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lazy weekends, a thing of the past?

I don't know what it is about my weekends of late, but they seem to fly by so quickly.  Jam packed with all sorts of things, leaving little time for those lazy Saturdays or lazy Sundays.

This weekend was spent with my friends girls, meeting up with my cousin from the UK, who is over here visiting a gentleman fellow.  Catching up with my husband who I hadn't seen for a week.  Working on the house, shopping for the house, visiting with a friend, and goodness knows what else.

Now its a little after 5pm, and I am finally sitting down, with a cup of tea and pondering what the week is going to bring.  I should really check my work email, but I feel so content and happy that I don't want to spoil it.  It will all still be there tomorrow after all.

So, these days, although my weekends are full and busy, I can't help but notice, by the time Sunday evening comes around, I feel relaxed and content.   I don't feel the need to have a lazy day.

Now, I am making Shepard's pie, and will soon be sitting down to dinner.  Next on the list, its time for me to start reading up on my garden.  So many things out there, that I have no idea how to take care of, and I need to start soon, otherwise everything will be dead.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Bamboo

We have some gorgeous bamboo in our new back garden.  It's one of the things that I've had to do some reading up on though, as I've heard that it can get out of hand pretty easy.  It already seems to have grown in the two weeks we've been living there.  Although, from what I read, they grow anywhere from 1ft to 5ft a year, depending on the type of bamboo.

Looks like one of my activities this weekend might be to get outside and give our bamboo a hair cut.  While reading I also found out that is possible to grow from cuttings, which I think I might try out. There's another area we've been talking about extending the bamboo too.  It might be a fun way to get it done.  Time consuming of course.

It is wonderful to sit outside and listen to the breeze rustling through the bamboo.  It's impossible to be anything other than relaxed sitting outside with that in the background.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gardening - for worms?

Two more days left with the girls.  They really have been so great.  I've had a good time, although it is quite tiring.  I just wish that there was a way to bottle up our energy when we are children so we can save it and use it later when we get older.

This weekend will be quite eventful.  My cousin is in town (at least I think she is).  She planned to arrive today, and is staying with someone she met when she was out here at my wedding.  I haven't heard from her yet, but we have plans to meet up on Saturday.

She's such an interesting character.  She's a hoot.  Never a serious moment when she's in town.

Other than that, there's more house things to do.  I need to get out into the garden and figure out what's in the veggie patch.  A Vietnamese family had our house before us, and they planted the veggie patch.  From what's above the ground I don't recognise anything.  So I am going to have to dig and find out what's underneath.  Hopefully I haven't left it too late, and there will still be something edible under there.

I will start posting photos of my gardening fiascoes.  I haven't dug in a garden since I was a child.  No doubt I'll end up all dirty and muddy.  I used to dig a lot as a kid.  My cousin and I (the same one mentioned above), used to dig and collect worms, then make worm gardens.  However, when we got back to our grandparents house the following week, there'd be no more worms in the worm garden, and back to digging again we would go.  I think we did this for weeks on end.  Not really sure why, but it was fun and made sense at the time.

Shame my grandparents didn't have a compost heap, we could have made that into the worm garden. Then there would have been happy worms, and some really good compost.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie

As mentioned in my previous posts, I am looking after my friends kids this week, and staying at their house.
The kids grandpa also lives here, and he enjoys cooking.  Which works out great for me.  Tonight he made a pot roast, and sweet potato pie.

I was honestly not sure what I'd think of sweet potato pie, its not something you get growing up in the North East of England.  As soon as he started to bake it, the smell was amazing.  I had forgotten how long it takes to make a pie.  The better the pie smells the longer it seems to take :).  (Of course that is all just perception),   it felt like hours before the pie was cooked, then cooled enough to eat.

We ate it with whipped cream and boy was it good.

Here is the recipe that he used

Scrummy!

You know, what I have just realised, after re-reading this post, is that when I started this blog, I would never, in a month of Sundays have thought there would ever be a post about sweet potato pie on my blog.  Not least, because I didn't even know there was such a thing as sweet potato pie.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Count Down

I am looking after  my friends 2 girls this week.  1 is 10, the other is 6.  For the most part they are pretty easy to look after, but every once in a while, one of them like to see how far they can push their boundries.
I don't have kids of my own, but I do remember trying that act myself.

I also remember the countdown.  So figured I'd give it a go last night.  "You've got till I count to 10".  I didn't even get as far as 1.  I have no idea what I would have done, if I'd gotten all the way to 10... but seems it worked out OK.  I've never really understood why the countdown works so well.  But it certainly does.  Even the mention of it, seems to drive panic deep into the child.

Other than some minor things the week so far is going well.  I honestly have no idea at all how working parents manage to do this.  I have to take the kids to school, around 8:30 am, then pick one up at 3, the other up at 4.  Luckily the school is right around the corner.  But still, if I wasn't working from their house this week, and was actually trying to make it into the office, I'd be having huge problems.  I'd only be in the office for about 4 hours, or I wouldn't be able to get them to and from school.

I suppose theirs after school care, but from what I hear, its really expensive.

Guess I should consider myself lucky to be a DINK household.







Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back Again

Well, I am back after almost 20 days of busyness.  I've spent the past few weeks moving house.  Husband and I just bought a house, its the first time we've bought, we both been renting up until now.  It is such a different feeling to be living in a place that is really ours.  We are really enjoying it.

Last night we ended up at Home Depot at 8pm, to buy stuff for garden maintenance.  Lawn rake and broom is all for now.  I was embarrassed by the amount of leaves on our lawn compared to our neighbours, so something had to be done.

This morning I was up early raking the leaves, and sweeping the drive way.  My cat Henry was out keeping me company.  To my neighbours I may have looked like a witch, broom in hand, and black cat rubbing up against my legs.

I left my house behind in the care of my husband for this week. I am staying at a friends house while she is in Germany, I will be looking after her children playing "Auntie Caroline".  This should be interesting :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New home - hopefully

So, we had good news today.
Hubby and I put in an offer on a house a few weeks ago.
The offer was accepted, and we have been waiting for the appraisal to come through.
Well, it came through today, and it came back looking good, so we are good to go.  Closing will hopefully be next week.
We are first time buyers, so it's all quite exciting but scary.

 The past few weeks have been a bit stressful  I am hoping when it closes it will be a bit calmer.

I don't want to let myself get too excited about it until we have the keys, but it's sort of hard not too.  I can't help but think about the things I want to do to it.

It has such a nice garden, and I've already started reading up on how I need to take care of it.  I've never had a garden to take care of.  I am sure I'll be able to provide some interesting stories of my mess ups,  over the next few weeks, months etc.




Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sepia Saturday

For this week the choice of theme for Sepia Saturday is little girls, Spain, holidays or ... whatever.  As I am on holiday in Vegas this weekend...
Photo credit is to: Vintage Vegas on Flickr

I love old town vegas, and will actually be staying at the Golden Nugget this weekend.  I've only been to Las Vegas once before, and I fell in love with the vintage feel of downtown.  Even though it has grown over the decades, I love the way that the new is combined with the old.

Looking at this picture I can just imagine the types of things that went on in Vegas back in the day.  Of course no one will ever know for sure.  After all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.


The Golden Nugget opened in 1946. It was the first structure designed from the ground up to be a casino. Steve Wynn took it over in 1972 and built the first tower in 1977. The hotel now has 1,900 rooms.   Also in 1946 the Eldorado was built, Benny Binion purchases the Eldorado Club in 1951 and renames it the Horseshoe. It is currently owned and operated by his son, Jack Binion.   It was the first casino to have carpeting and comps available to all gamblers.

Please pop on over to Sepia Saturday and see what everyone else posted.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Some things just don't translate.

When I came back to revive Song of Happiness, I made myself a promise to try and post every day.  Well, today I was a little lost as to what to write about.  Then I decided just to do what I used to do. To start typing and see where it goes.  Want to take the trip with me.  I figure my brain never stops, I am always thinking of something, so I there must be something in there I can write about.  I probably sound like a crazy person.  No doubt I am to some extent, but no more so than anyone else.

Ah-ha, I think it just came to me. 

This time last year I was in Hong Kong, on a business trip.  I have been working on a project for the last 18 months, where we are implementing a new HR system, globally, in 52 countries.  This time last year a small group of us traveled to Hong Kong and Amsterdam to meet with HR peeps from all 52 countries in 3 weeks.

Our goal was to collect all legal and local HR business requirements.

While in Hong Kong we were in a room with all our Asia Pacific region representatives.  We were going through all the leave types.

We got to Korea.  It seems Korea has a type of leave for sterilization.   Japan, was a little perplexed by this. They looked at each other, spoke amongst themselves then asked the group. "sterilization leave, is that when they close down a factory for a few days as it is cleaned".  It was then one of my co-workers tasks, to explain what this leave is really for.  Somethings just don't translate, verbally, so hand gestures were required.




If only I had photos, but imagine a snip snip gesture, and some pointing.

Japan then then thought that sterilization leave was for men getting sex  changes.  We finally got it resolved.  With many giggles and much awkwardness.  It was a concept that apparently does not exist in Japan.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Phew, good to be home.

Today was a tough one.  It started off with me driving to the doctors office for my immigration medical exam.
This examination consisted of my getting jabbed with 3 shots (tetnus, tb and something else) and having a vial of blood drawn.  During this whole process I had to lay down as I almost passed out.  I am such a wuss.  I swear I was tougher than this when I was a kid.  Don't know what happened to me.
I was there for almost 3 hours, most of it waiting.  What was quite nice though, was after  I had been there for 1.5 hours, they brought me a snack.

Well after 3 hours of that I got back into my car, and headed to work.  It was one of those days, where I wish I hadn't of bothered.  It was hectic and we are at a point on our project where everything, and I mean everything is getting micro managed.  It's driving me insane.  I am quite capable of managing my own work.  But now, its every 15 mins, someone is stopping by my cubicle to ask "are you done with ???? yet", and more frequently than not my answer is no, not yet.  I am working on it.  Thing is, I have so many of these tasks to complete, and there's just not enough hours in the day to get them done.  Hence the 70+ hour work weeks.

It makes me tired and sad.  Thanks for letting me whine, I am feeling rather sorry for myself today.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I spy

I was out on our deck this evening and looked over into our neighbour's yard, and look who was watching me

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friends

My nana had this poem embroidered and hung in her living room:

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

I used to like it as a child, and now as an adult I am drawn to it even more.

Throughout my adult life I have moved around a lot and have had many opportunities to make new friends.  I've never been very good at keeping in touch with people though.  I have a tendency to disappear, then pop back out of the blue.
The friends that I have had most of my life are luckily for me very forgiving and when we get back in touch in many ways it's like we've never been apart.  Some life things may have changed, but somehow we seem like the same high school friends.

I have done the same thing to many of my blogging friends, and this post is dedicated to you.  Thank you for taking me back.  It's been a fun week reading through your blogs and catching up.

Monday Musings

Some weeks I love Mondays, other weeks not so much.
So far this Monday has been a little rough.  I came into work with a plan.  It's now 1pm and I haven't done much of what I had planned to do.  It's one of those days where everyone seems to have a question for me.
As soon as I get heads down, someone pops by with a "quick question", they leave then 3 more people come along.  I almost feel like I should start blocking time out on my calendar for visiting hours, or a consult period.
It's nice to feel wanted, but it feels like I spend more time helping other people with their work, than I spend doing my own work.  No wonder my typical work week ends up being about 70 hours.

Oh well.  I look around and have to be thankful that I even have a job.  Many of my friends are unemployed and are finding it really tough to get a job.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Discoveries

I keep trying to find something to write about but I write a few lines and end up finding myself wanting to write about something else.  But I can't quite find it.  It's like when a word gets stuck on the tip of your tongue.  When you know its within your grasp.  You know the feeling of it, but just can't quite find it.  Then a few minutes, hours or sometimes even days later, there it is.  Popping up out of the blue.

Well that "popping up" hasn't quite happened for me yet, so in the mean time its just my ramblings.

While browsing the internet earlier today I came across the photo below:

Cerro Torre - Argentina (I've Reached the End of the World)
from the blog at http://www.stuckincustoms.com
I don't know how much this was touched up post production, but I love the image.  It's like something from another world.  I've seen several images today from parts of our planet that look like they are from a fantasy land. Our planet is such an amazing place with so many surprises.  I've had a hunger to get back to travelling lately and these photos are increasing my appetite. 
I need to figure out where to go to first once I am able to get some time off work.  If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go?

On this day

On this day twenty years ago, my life changed for the better.  On this day twenty years ago my brother was born.  It was the happiest day of my life.  I'd always wanted a brother.  When he entered the world I was 12 years old.
My mum went into the hospital 2 days prior with contractions, labor had begun.  I went to stay with a neighbour.  Finally I recieved a phone call.  My brother had entered the world.  I ran down the street to my house, met my dad and headed to the hospital.
My brother and I have been close ever since that day.  There may be many miles between us, but not a day goes by where I don't think about him.

Sorry I can't be there in the UK to share his birthday with him.  But Happy Birthday brother of mine.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sepia Saturday

The village shown in the photo above is Shotely Bridge in Northern England.  Although these buildings are still standing today, Shotley Bridge has grown over even just the past view years. Mostly with residential buildings, the center remains similar today as it was then.  This is the village where I spent most of my childhood.  Growing up the buildings in the right of this photo were a video store, grocery store and news agent.  Now, the building on the right are part of a restaurant.
On the left was a Heritage Center, now I can't even recall what is there.  I spent several saturday afternoon in the Heritage Center learning about my neighbourhood, looking at old photos such as this one.
The photo below is pretty much what is looked like when I lived here (around 1990).

I must admit that I never really saw as much hussle and bussle in modern day Shotley Bridge as there was in the first photo.  There was rarely anyone on the street, other than me and my buddies when I was growing up.

It was a great place to be a child though, we used to spend a lot of time playing down by the river (which is down the road in the back right of the photo).  On hot summer days we used to play in the river.  Good times :)


Shotley Bridge roots began around the 17th century as some German Swordmakers settled here.  Down by the river you can still find some large rocks with holes in them that were used in the sword making process.

    SEPIA SATURDAY is a weekly meme which encourages bloggers to publish and share old images and photographs. All that is required is for contributors to post an old image (it doesn't have to be in sepia) and provide a few words in explanation. If you could provide a link back to the Sepia Saturday Blog and visit as many of the other contributors as you can, it would also be appreciated. There is no weekly theme, as such, but some people like to use the archive image published with the weekly call as a kind of theme. There is no requirement to adopt such an approach : the choice of image is entirely up to you. Once you have published your Sepia Saturday post, add a link to that post to the Linky List published each week and leave a comment to let everyone know you are joining in.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Gracefully

I always thought I'd grow old gracefully.  I thought I would great the wrinkles and grey hairs with dignity.  After all they add character.  They are evidence of my expressions.

I loved my Nana's wrinkles.  The way her forehead rippled when she laughed.  There was one particular day that I remember.  It was not long before she passed on.  We were out in the car with my mum, taking a day trip out to the country.  I was drinking a can of lemonade Tango.  My Nana looked over and requested to have some.  I of course shared willingly, but let her now that it was a bit sour. Nana didn't care about that, so she took the can, took a swig, then all of a sudden her whole face wrinkled up.  I became aware of more wrinkles than I 'd ever seen on her before.  I started to giggle.  Then she also started to laugh, and her face again changed.
At that point in time I had nothing against wrinkles.

Now, time to fast forward 16 years later.  Well I woke up the day after my wedding day, and woe and behold, yes my first wrinkles. I can't decide if its wedding planning that did it to me, or if you just get them when you become a wife.  Maybe its an unwritten part of the vows.

"I vow to obtain wrinkles.  I, (insert bride's name) take you, (insert grooms's name), for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward,  for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part. "

I have one, that is becoming like the Grand Canyon on my forehead.  It took a while to realise what had caused it.  It's not a frown line, its not a smile line.   But then, with some work, I figured out what it is from.  My husband is about 6ft 7, I am 5ft 3, I spend a lot of time looking up towards him.  Sometimes I don't tilt my head, and yep, that's where the wrinkles are from.  They are actually from my husband.

I am trying to accept them, its more tolerance than acceptance right now, as I know they are here to stay, and before long there will even be more wrinkles moving in.  I just thought/hoped they would come later.  There is really very little graceful about wrinkles.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Once upon a time

There was a young lass who began a blog.  She did so as she knew she had words she wanted to share, and she knew there was at least one other person out there who would be interested in reading them.
However, as time went by, she found herself drifting away from her blog.  Much of this was due to the increased work load that she had.  Long days in the office left little time for her to express herself on her blog.
Eventually her posts became infrequent until she slowly left the blogging world behind.

Well, today, she has returned.  She has made a decision to make time, and get back to writing.  Many wonderful things have happened in this lasses life over the past couple of years, and she's happy to finally be back to share her song of happiness.