101 things IN

and other things thrown in between

101 Things in 1001 Days: June 2006

Friday, June 30, 2006

Grateful Friday: Of Vacuum Cleaners and Music

I have never enjoyed doing housework as much as I have today.

A few weeks ago our very noisy but relatively new vacuum cleaner broke down. The guarantee had just run out as well so we didn’t have the option to return it. So after uhming and ahhing we finally decided to invest in Dyson. NOW WHY DIDN’T WE DO THIS TO START WITH!! We got the little drag around one (what are they called?) and what a dream. But the best thing is the minimal amount of noise it produces. For the first time in three years, I was able to listen to music as I vacuumed. I plugged myself into my iPod and I was off. I listened to ‘Rhythm of the Saints’ by Paul Simon and boy, did I enjoy every single song. I loved this album when I first heard it about twelve years ago or so and I had loaded it onto my iPod a couple of months ago but forgot about it and in fact never listened to it. But today I am glad I decided to.

You know how some songs and music just have that power to uplift you and put you in a happy mood? Rhythm of the Saints is just one such album. Every single song is a happy song and fantastic. I particularly like the African rhythms incorporated into each song. I am in such a good mood now; I feel I can conquer the world.

Beautiful music playing in my ear, sunshine warming my skin and a clean house. What more could I ask for? And today is Grateful Friday as well so…

Today I am grateful for

1. The discovery and re-discovery of music new and music lost.

2. The power of words and music and their ability to uplift the spirit.

3. Dysons

4. iPods

5. A house to clean – many out there are homeless.

30 Day Goals

Okay. So yesterday I tried to do up the top button of my jeans and it was a bit of a struggle getting the two ends to hug each other and then today, a button on my skirt popped off. Hmm, I think I am being told something here, and I’m listening. Hard.

I have put the weight I lost in January (I did a 30 day detox with my hubby) back on again. Not good. I do not feel svelte and ‘like a slip of a girl’ anymore. I feel heavy, slow and the spots on my face are beginning to drive me crazy. And I know exactly what went wrong – too much bread, late meals and unhealthy food choices. So, as July rolls in what better time to make a few drastic lifestyle/diet changes?

Now it’s time to implement some of the 30 Day Goals in my 101 list (see peek-a-boo in side bar). For 30 days of July I am going to …

Go on a detox. This means no tea, butter, white bread, sugar, white rice, wheat, palm oil etc. I am going to be having lots of fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, water and herbal teas, honey will replace sugar, red meat will be cut down and more fish will be consumed instead. Cooking methods will include grilling, steaming or broiling – nothing fried. In addition, nothing – I mean this – NOTHING shall pass my lips after 7 p.m.  In preparation, I am going to go mad tonight with a mug of hot chocolate and some jam and apple lattices with cream.  Heeheehee.

Keep a gratitude journal – I have always wanted to do this and in the past I have but after a few days I forget to make an entry and then another and then another and finally I forget. But this time, I mean to do this each day for 30 days after which it should have become a habit.

Drink only water and herbal teas – explained above.

Put an entry in my journal – this may be tough but I am determined and I like the idea of A Small Stone as suggested here. No matter how little or how much, just make an entry each day. Perhaps I shall put an entry in my blog each day instead. I’ll have to see what works best for me.

Go for a walk twice a week – I need to get some exercise into my life. I am not keen on gyms – they do nothing for me. I’d rather be in the great outdoors, soaking up the sunshine and filling my lungs with fresh air.

Pray/meditate twice a week – I always feel better when my spirit is being fed and I am in tune with God. I have neglected this practice for I don’t know how long now. And praying in church is not quite the same as praying in solitude.

Read at least one chapter of the bible each day.

Something else I have decided to start doing (when the detox is over) is  make my own bread. I have dug my bread maker out from the back of my kitchen cupboard and put it out on the counter in preparation. I used to make my own bread 3 years ago – the bread maker was new, it was wonderful to have the house filled with the smell of freshly baking/baked bread and it was exciting to see the finished product but then, invariably, the novelty wore off. Same way the juicer, waffle maker, steamer, pop corn maker get buried in the kitchen appliances graveyard – I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Oooh, sounds like a tall order but I’m determined. Bring it on July!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Discovery

Just discovered Jack Johnson!! *happy dance* Talk about it being just my kind of music. Leave me alone now, I’m in heaven….*humming merrily, eyes closed, head nodding*

Monday, June 26, 2006

Unconcious Mutterings: Week 177

1. Newspaper :: chips
2. Crucify :: Christ
3. Sausage :: Frankfurters
4. Handy :: man
5. Cloak :: dagger
6. Drunk :: lout
7. Fuel :: car
8. Caress :: lover
9. Itch :: mosquito
10. Vehicle :: car

Saturday, June 24, 2006


The sound of silence
to my ears!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Gratitude Friday: Why Worry?

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given
to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This has always been one of my favourite passages in the Bible. I only wish I could remember these words more often and apply them to my daily life.

This is my first Gratitude Friday and I have tried to trace the originator of this lovely idea but I've had no luck. Nevertheless, here's my list.

Today I am grateful for...

The talents I've been blessed with.

This blog for opening up a whole new world to me and allowing me be my true self.

A God who tells me not to worry.

The glorious summer sunshine that warms my face and my heart.

A husband and daughter to love me just the way I am, warts and all!

What are you grateful for today?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

101: Buy Memory Stick - Done!

My memory stick arrived in the post yesterday - yay! I love the colours (that's what got me first) and it fits sleekly around my neck, should I chose to wear it as a pendant. Hehehehee

Can't wait to start loading it up with all my stuff.

Unconcious Mutterings: Week 176

1. Voice :: heard
2. Us :: together
3. Passionately :: love
4. Humbly :: hunched shoulders
5. Love songs :: Barry Manilow (now where did that come from??)
6. Dim :: lights
7. Calendar :: dates
8. Careless :: lost
9. Block :: building
10. Goal :: Football

Saturday, June 17, 2006



make it , plump it, dress it, sit on it, lie in it, have pillow fights on it, cry in it, make love on it, romp on it, make up in it, turn our backs on each other in it, change it, break it, outgrow it, love it, hate it, share it, want it to ourselves, roll into it, step out of it, have it wood, , fill it with water, bounce on it, strip it, air it, build it, flat pack it, take naps in it, pay a lot of money for it, inherit it, give it away, polish it, paint it, give birth on one, be sick in it, recover in it, have fond moments in it, be lost in it, wish you were alone in it, have mirrors above it,
flirt on it, hurt on it, Die on one...

Ahh, don't you just love a BED?


Thursday, June 15, 2006

On Being a Woman

Standing in church on Sunday I was suddenly overcome in mid-song by an inordinate sense of pride that I was a woman. It was so strange and overwhelming, I was close to tears.

I don’t give much thought to the fact that I am woman. I just am. But in the last week, I have given it a great deal of thought and have come to realise that a lot of us really don’t appreciate just how unique we are. And this is the reason why we take ourselves for granted and put ourselves on the back burner.

Take our bodies for instance, I look at mine in the mirror and I am blown away by the knowledge of what it can do.

I start at curve of my little (well not so little anymore) belly. It conceived (with some help), incubated and carried a child for nine months. The skin on it stretched so taunt and the belly so distended it’s a wonder it didn’t rip. The faint silvery white lines living on as proof.

My eyes graze my body and I remember the strain, stresses and pain it went through during labour and childbirth. Pain and pressure so intense you think your eyeballs will pop.

I study my breasts that produced the milk to nourish my baby, the arms that rocked (and still do), the voice that sung (and still does), and the heart that loves (and continues to love). Pre-childbirth, my breasts were no more than two mounds of flesh that gave pleasure and made an outfit look good. However, post-childbirth, they have become to me symbols of life. And that thought is just so mind blowing.

Women have an inordinate capacity to ‘keep things together’ when it appears to others that there is nothing worth keeping together. We keep marriages, relationships, friendships, businesses, communities and yes, even whole countries together with the glue of our tears and the strength of our minds. We stay when others leave, we comfort even when we are broken, we keep things together in the midst of seeming chaos. We fall, we get up, we pull through, we press on, we survive.

I love being a woman. If there is life after death, I want to come back as a woman because, to borrow the words of God, we truly are fearfully and wonderfully made.

If you are a woman and reading this, I invite you to take time out today to celebrate who you are!

Monday, June 12, 2006

My Special Surprises!

My daughter walked up to me today with a big grin on her face and her hands behind her back, hiding something away from me. 'Close your eyes,' she instructs me , 'I have a special surprise for you, mama'. I did as I was told and when she asked me to open my eyes, she presented me with these... my special surprises.

They made my day!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Unconcious Mutterings: Week 175

1. Band :: music
2. Tan :: sun
3. Mount :: climb
4. Arcade :: games
5. Customize :: unique
6. Hamburger :: meat
7. Solid :: hard
8. Forbidden :: Garden of Eden
9. Deter :: discourage
10. Torment :: pain

Friday, June 09, 2006


...I do think that there are just some things that will ALWAYS remain a MYSTERY...

How come my husband can step over a pile of laundry 3 ft high on the floor and when I point it out to him he says ‘Oh, I didn’t see it’.

How come I can never get my hair to look as great as it does when I step fresh out of the hairdressers?

How come my three year old functions perfectly normally when I am not around her but as soon as she sees me she reverts to baby mode?

How come the phone/doorbell always rings when I am in the shower?

How come the first pancake always sticks to the pan?

How come most men assume that just because a woman has given birth to a baby she automatically knows what to do with it?

How come I believe in God and yet I have never seen Him?

How come it always rains on the day you have invited guests round for a BBQ?

How come I am still madly in love with my husband even after fifteen years of being together?

How come the slugs find my plants irresistible?

How come of all the gardens on my street the stray cats insist on pooping only in mine?

How come that although I promised myself I wouldn’t turn into my mum, I discover each day that I am?

Well, I guess there are some things that will always remain a mystery.


Idea's anyone?

Does anyone have any idea how to post pictures side by side as opposed to having them one after the other (which seems to be the only choice blogger offers at the moment)?

My Handbags

At last here are some pictures of the handbags I make!

Think you can drive?

Y'all think you can drive? Here's your chance to test your skills! Enjoy



Thursday, June 08, 2006

Today I Don't Want To Be

Today I don’t want to be a wife
To cook and clean and iron
To satisfy you and make love even when I am tired to the bone
No, today I don’t want to talk and share and be there

Today I don’t want to be a mother
To mend bruised knees and blow a runny nose
To play pretend and make Play Doh shapes
No, today I don’t want to hug and kiss and cuddle

Today I don’t want to be a colleague
To make small talk and feign interest when you tell me how your weekend went
I don’t want to answer emails and phone calls and sign cheques
No, today I don’t want to work and type and plan

Today, I just want to be me.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

At work

Sitting droopy eyed
Fingers working the keyboard
Wishing I was home

My first Haiku, yay!

Button Creation How to

Does anyone know how to create a button? I want to create a button for myself but I’m not sure where to start. Please help if you can. (

101 in 1001: An Update

Since starting the 101 project, my focus has shifted several times. There were things I thought I would enjoy doing and there were things I thought I should be doing. But now, I only want to do things I want to do. These are things that I think will add to the quality of my experience of life and lead me in the direction I want to be heading emotionally, spiritually, financially, psychologically and all the other ‘…callys’ you can think of. As a result of this, I am modifying my 101 list. Not the last modification either, I am sure.

New Skills

Teach myself to scrapbook.

I ask myself ‘Do I really need/want to do this?’ Answer: No. It’s lovely to look at other peoples work and admire the skill, effort and love they put into their pages but if I am being honest with myself, I don’t have the skill or the inclination for it. So I am replacing this task with:

Learn the art of Haiku. To help me with this I have just joined the Haiku weekly challenge.

Complete ITQ course.  

This is a work related course but one I am going to opt out of. I really don’t need it as I sense I am going to be headed in the opposite direction, career wise, very shortly. So this goes off my list but a new task goes onto my Business section.

Money (an update)

Save £25 a month.

This obviously is an ongoing task but I am happy to report that I have saved £25 for the last three months and more importantly I haven’t touched the money!! Yay! I have always been good with money and now I am learning to live even more within my means.

Find two alternative sources of income.

I have half completed this task as I have found one source: Selling my handmade handbags. I am still working on the second alternative source.


Start up Olivegirlthings – Done!
Find a denim fabric supplier – Done!

*New task: Build a website for my business


Sort out books and give unwanted ones to charity – Done!
Clear out garage – Done!
This task took the WHOLE of Saturday to complete. It’s amazing just how much junk was lurking down there. Boxes and boxes of junk!! The second part of the task which is to have a car boot sale will hopefully be done in July.

Compile all my recipes on scraps of paper into one book – Done!

Personal Projects

Join a collaborative journal project – Done! I am participating in  The Journal Project.  I am absolutely over the moon about this.


I’ve changed my mind about the complete works of Oscar Wilde so that’s going off my list. I am replacing this with a new task which is to

*Buy a new PC.

Ahh, that’s better!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

....Earliest Memory

It is 1973. I am three years old and I am in my kindergarten in Berlin. It is lunch time and all the kids are seated at a long table waiting for the food to be served. I am particularly excited because I know what’s for dessert. Strawberries and cream - my absolute favourite! I cannot wait to gulp my lunch down just to get to the dessert.

The kitchen doors open and the trays come out, the bowls on them placed in neat rows. I cannot see the contents of the bowls but whatever it is, is steaming. I’m curious.

The bowl lands in front of me and I peer in. My heart sinks as I recognise what it is. LABSKAUS! I burst into tears. I HATED labskaus!!!!!!! Now for those of you who are wondering what in the world this is, I’ll give you a quick cookery lesson.

Labskaus is a German dish made from minced cured meat, fried with onions, black pepper, pickled cucumber, potatoes, beetroot and other bits and bobs. And since it’s a dish favoured by sailors (or so I am told) sometimes minced herrings are added to it. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I cry and cry and cry. I refuse to eat it. Not one single morsel of this dish is going to go through these lips. I am determined not to give in.

The teacher tells me that if I don’t eat my food up then I don’t get any strawberries. Those were the rules. But even that threat is not enough to make me eat my plateful of labskaus.

It’s funny, but my memory stops here. I don’t remember if I ever got to eat dessert. I do know my refusal and manic crying was reported to my mum (who secretly supported me as she couldn’t stand the dish herself) but whatever the final out come was, well, I guess I’ll never know.

But to this day, I can remember the smell of the dish, which for some reason I have linked to the taste of celery – a vegetable I detest. It’s really strange what sticks in the mind, isn’t it?


Unconcious Mutterings: Week 174

1. Fraud :: Enron
2. Cure :: medicine
3. Slate :: chalk board
4. Pretentious :: fake
5. Splendid :: posh
6. Geek :: glasses (I wonder why because I wear glasses but I’m not a geek. I hope.)
7. Blister :: plaster
8. Pizza :: cheese
9. Revive :: drowning
10. Visionary :: missionaries

Friday, June 02, 2006

I Think Twice

I am in the kiddies play area of the local park, pushing my daughter on the swings when a little boy comes up and stands beside me with his little hands placed on the seat of the swing next to ours.

‘Mum’ he calls ‘mum. I want to go on the swing mum.’ He keeps calling. Mum either doesn’t hear or has chosen to ignore him. She is on her mobile phone.

He looks to me with pleading eyes which all but say ‘will you put me on and push me please?’

My heart melts and I make to put him on. But then, I catch myself and think twice.

‘What if I pick him up and put him on the swing and push him and he falls off and hurts himself?’ I think ‘I will be accused of negligence, of putting him on without the express permission of his parents. I would have to pay his hospital bill. Even worse, I could be sued for hurting their child!’ So I pull back and like his mum, ignore him.

I am in the city centre walking down the high street when I notice an elderly man being harassed by two scruffy looking youths. I look around and I am amazed when I see people looking away or pretending they don’t see.

‘What’s wrong with them’ I think ‘Can’t they see what’s happening? Why doesn’t anyone step in and help the old man. Right then,’ I say ‘if nobody else wants to help him I will’.

I square my shoulders and head towards them but then I catch myself and think twice.

‘What if these two youths turn on me instead? And then nobody helps me? I could be hurt. I could be mugged. Or worse, I could be stabbed!’ So I pull back, drop my shoulders and like everyone else, I walk past and pretend I haven’t seen anything out of the norm.

I am at an indoor swimming pool and I notice this adorable little girl standing all by herself at the edge of the pool looking a little tearful. She has cheeks the size of apples and just as rosy and a face that just draws you in. I remember that I have a sweetie in my bag and decide I will give her that and pick her up to comfort her and ask her where her mummy is. She is just so cute especially with her curls and her little princess bathing suit. I make to pick her up and ask her name and what she is doing here by the side of the pool all by herself. I want to comfort her and make her feel safe.

I take a step towards her with my arms half out stretched but then I catch myself and think twice.

‘What if her mum suddenly pops out of nowhere and rains abuse at me for picking up her daughter? Or thinks I am trying to molest her or worse thinks I may be a pedophile?’ So I step back, put my arms back down by my sides and leave the little girl alone with the tears welling up in her eyes.

These are the signs of the times. I think twice about everything. I live in fear that what I consider a helping hand, a kind gesture, a friendly word can be misconstrued by others and land me into very serious trouble. A kind word may be seen as a stranger’s ploy to spirit a child away, an innocent push of a swing could end in a law suit, helping an elderly man can land me in hospital or in the grave.

So I pull back, I walk away, I ignore.

But inside I am crying.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Unconcious Mutterings: Week 173

1. Bounce :: soft
2. Wasting time :: grrr
3. Utility :: bill
4. London :: red buses
5. Pregnant :: baby
6. Cranberry :: juice
7. International :: airports
8. Disappointment :: tears
9. Sponsor :: money
10. Second :: two

And if you're wondering what this is about click here to find out more

Thought for Today

Don’t let other people tell you who you are – Diane Sawyer