Thursday 26 June 2008


Our new garden is turning out to be a rabbit play area, especially for baby bunnies. Last month we had , a very bold little guy who decided to live in the garden for a week or two.But this week a new bun totally overtook him in the cute category.

New Baby bunny is about the size of a pair of rolled up socks. First morning it was playing the game "chase the sparrow". I put out crumbs for the smaller birds and this tiny bunny was chasing the sparrow, with little leaps and sneezes of triumph every time it managed to make a sparrow move over a bit (the sparrow never actually flew off - not even he was afraid of a rabbit that small).The best adorable moment was when we were eating breakfast. I glanced over to the window and there by the patio doors is tiny Bun sitting on the top step! Then it comes right up to the glass, stands up, puts paws on base of door, presses fuzzy nose against glass... and watches US. Too cute for words! Talk about being a Pokey Bunny. :-D

Last night it was back pottering around the garden bench and stretching waaay up in order to nibble weeds about three inches tall.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to take photos through the glass, but I did find a picture of another baby bun that looks very similar in colouring, size and cheekiness. :-)


Saturday 21 June 2008

Real Romantic

HollyGL recently posted her favourite romantic movie moments on her blog. I couldn’t think of a good movie quote to add to her list, since she’d already used up my favourite movie moment ("As Good as it Gets"). In fact the only thing that popped into my brain was Sadie Shapiro offering advice on true love. I was going to simply post that onto Holly’s blog, but it kind of grew along the way.

Now I must confess up front that I’m not really an enthusiast of Romantic Movies. I don’t enjoy most Romance novels either. I never was the type to watch weepy movies or see the point to unrequited love, like Romeo and Juliet. I think I’m more a real romantic, like Sadie. Real romantics understand that beauty lies in simple things. A real romantic knows that sometimes the world’s greatest moments take place unseen and unnoticed… except by two.

So who is Sadie? Sadie is a character in a book, but she’s also so much more than that. She’s the voice of every mother, aunt, older sister and grandmother you ever knew condensed down into one smart little old lady who knows the difference between true love and fake.

I found Sadie in the pages of a book called “Sadie Shapiro’s Knitting Book” about a decade ago. That funny heart-touching character summed up all any good girl needs to know about love and romance. She was created by a man named Robert Kimmel Smith… who must have had some truly remarkable women in his life to have managed to create a character as charming and alive as Sadie.

Sadie gave me the second best advice on love I’ve ever had. The best advice I ever had came from a real woman - Mrs Rosman. We met in hospital… where I was visiting, but she was dying. It was such a short time of meeting and knowing, but within that short time I was honoured to come to know another great woman… with great advice. I owe thanks to both those women, fiction and real, for they led me to the man I married.

Mrs Rosman’s advice was simple – DON’T SETTLE FOR SECOND BEST. I can still see her sitting back against the hospital pillows saying “I said to my daughter exactly what I’m saying to you - NEVER settle for second best in a life partner. No woman with any brains compromises on buying shoes, but they’ll compromise on who they’ll marry? It’s stupid! Being single isn’t half as bad as living forever with the wrong person. If you can’t find the best – stay single. If no-one asks you out – stay home and read a good book.”

…which is what I did, come to think of it. ;-)

Ten years after meeting Mrs Rosman I met Sadie Shapiro and she in turn summed up exactly what my heart had been trying to tell me. Unfortunately I no longer have my copy of the book, I left it behind when I moved countries, but I can remember enough to explain Sadie’s point of view. In the book Sadie tells a young single woman stories about love and romance. How true love is a man who gets up in the middle of the night to get you an extra blanket, because he knows you’re cold. Simple things, taking place unseen and unnoticed… except by two.

When I read that story I knew that was exactly what I wanted. A man who sends you flowers and sends love poems may make your heart flutter, but the man who thinks of your needs and is always there for you… THAT was what I found really romantic! I knew who I was looking for and I knew I wasn’t going to settle for second best. I knew being happy and busy as a single person was better than compromising and marrying some “almost good enough” man. No man deserves to be thought of as “second best”… no woman deserves to compromise.

So I kept busy, found ways to be happy single, and waited with an unspoken hope. When I met a stranger on the internet I had my first hint that he might be “the one” when he showered me with sincerity and kindness rather than cards and gifts.

I had no doubts when I said “Yes” to marrying him, but I went out to Scotland to meet him to quiet any doubts and fears our families and friends had. .

On one of the first mornings of my holiday he took me in his arms, ran his hands in a gentle caress down my back, looked deeply into my eyes and said, “You’re not wearing your thermal underwear! It’s cold outside – go put it on.”

…and I knew I’d found the kind of man Sadie would have approved of. ;-)

*Delightful update*

I started writing this post earlier in the week. I had hoped to add the actual quote from the book “Sadie Shapiro’s Knitting Book” and did some Google searching. The bad news is I never got my book quote, but the good news is that I found Robert K Smith’s books are on sale at Amazon and… I found Robert K Smith himself! He has his own website, with email. I sent a short email saying I was a Sadie fan and received a lovely warm email back the next day. Turns out he has had two great women in his life at the very least. He was married for 45 years to one lovely wife (who sadly passed away from cancer) and now is married again (8 years) to another wonderful woman.

Thursday 19 June 2008

Waiting for a Snack...

We have a pair of crows nesting in nearby trees. They started out as my "garbage disposal" unit for leftovers and stale bread, but now come every evening in the hope of a snack. I'm not sure whether this is Mr or Mrs Crow.

This is a hooded crow (the colouring looking like a grey jacket and black "hood").

Friday 13 June 2008

Song for the Weekend - Eurovision

Andy Abraham singing the British Eurovision 2008 entry "Even If"

Something warm and uplifting for the weekend - a true story of nice guy getting the break he deserved.

Andy Abraham (just your everyday guy/husband/dad) came second in the UK music talent show "The X Factor" a few years ago... and has never looked back! He has released three albums since then as well as being chosen to sing for Britain in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest.

Keep flying, keep singing, Andy! You give the rest of us "ordinary dreamers" hope.



Happy Father's Day dad. :-)


Tuesday 10 June 2008

A Day in the Park

Last Friday was my mom's birthday and we went shopping in nearby Forres. Since it was a lovely day we decided to have lunch in the beautiful park there. This chestnut tree was behind the bench we were sitting on. The photo doesn't really do it justice. To give you an idea of size a six foot person could stand under that tree and not hit their head on the branches - it is HUGE.

After we finished eating we took a walk through the park. These plant "sculptures" are still new and not fully in bloom, but I couldn't resist taking pictures. No wonder Forres has won "Britain in Bloom" awards regularly over the years!

This first one is a light green teddy bear with a dark muzzle and hat. He's carrying a dark green bag over his shoulder.

Another teddy bear, sitting with an open gift box full of pink flowers.

A very nice butterfly that will look marvelous once all the flowering plants are in full bloom.
A beaver, complete with a stack of real logs and surrounded by "ripples" of pale grey and blue-green plants.
Last year they had a giant red ladybug and every year there's a huge peacock, but they hadn't finished putting in the plants in the peacock yet. I'll have to return later in summer and take more photos so you can see how they turned out. :-)

Thursday 5 June 2008

A Romantic Moment

The first time I saw the original movie "The Jazz Singer" (based on Al Jolson's life story) I knew I'd listened to a perfect romantic song... linking new love with the warm and weathered love of a lifetime spent together in marriage.

"Anniversary Song"

Oh, how we danced
on the night we were wed.
We vowed our true love,
though a word wasn't said.
The world was in bloom.
there were stars in the skies,
Except for the few
that were there in your eyes.

Dear, as I held you
close in my arms,
Angels were singing
a hymn to your charms.
Two hearts gently beating,
murmuring low,
"Darling, I love you so."

The night seemed to fade
into blossoming dawn.
The sun shone anew,
but the dance lingered on.
Could we but recall
that sweet moment sublime,
We'd find that our love
is unaltered by time...

recorded by Al Jolson, 1946. In this clip Al Jolson's voice is dubbed in for the actor, Larry Parks.

Wednesday 4 June 2008


With credit to Jeff for inventing NEWS FLASH:

NEWS FLASH is basically news or thoughts that may be changing over time - an update or an evolution of thought that covers a multiple of topics. It is what makes a blogger tick and it is the reason why we read. So, with that in mind, I came up with NEWS FLASH as an acronym that stands for what is going on in life.

May was a crazy month. Our water supply vanished twice. We talked to the neighbours and it seems this happens fairly regularly in our rather rural area.

The weekend we sold our car and my dad's car died (timing belt destroyed the engine) the very same day. So, just a few days before our friends were due to arrive from Europe we had no car to take them anywhere during their holiday. That same week my mom hurt a tooth and the bungling dentist ignored the warning signs that led to her getting an abscess and even more dental woes. Anyone know a good dentist? Every time my mom or I find a good dentist... they leave! Three immigrated, two retired. Are we jinxed?

We did manage to get in some fun while our friends were visiting us even if we didn't have the time (hubby had to work) or the transport. I've already posted most of my better photos from our weekend drives, but here are two more I rather like. :-)
Bluebells at the Clava Cairns outside Inverness...
Lochindorb, ancient home of the Wolf of Badenoch...
This one was "WORK", but that's not a topic I can ever think of anything to write about, so I'm going to change it into my favourite quote for the month instead, with one important twist - they have to be words from a fellow blogger!

My Wise Words choice for May:
I believe that although we can see inequalities in every sphere of daily life, much of it has to do with our egos and perceptions about ourselves and misconceptions about others.
From my friend Jacques at the Gypsy Cafe

Not much to report here. It was too hectic a month for deep introspection.

The theme seems to be searching. Mom is looking for a new dentist. Dad is looking for a new car. Mom-in-law is looking for alpine plants for her garden this summer. We're looking for a house we could actually afford to buy. Renting sucks, but prices here suck even bigger. Although the prices may be dropping in the USA and England they are still remaining stubbornly beyond our reach in Scotland. Maybe I should add the word "hope" to the "searching" theme...

May was weddings and anniversaries revisited. Having our friends here, returning to where they were married four years ago, triggered many memories for hubby and I about our own wedding and how we met. Especially since it was in May 2002 that I first stepped onto Scottish soil... and first met the man I'd agreed to marry. Five years later I can honestly say the relationship we share is still both romantic and magical... because we both put 101% into making it that way. ;-)

Here the anxiety theme is more learning to let go of being anxious. May was full of unexpected problems, health issues and hindrances, but we got through it. Truth is most things that cause anxiety are only worsened by anxiety. So... Don't worry - be happy!

Biggest smile of the month for me was discovering really GOOD customer service. In January Hubby and I got a coffee machine as a wedding anniversary gift. Since we were in the process of packing to move house we never tried it out until after we moved into this new house, several months later.

To our great disappointment the water came out lukewarm instead of hot. Tepid coffee is NOT a pretty thing! :-P Hubby was convinced that was that, since we had no proof of purchase and it was bought months back, but I figured I'd let the manufacturers know anyway. I went online, used their help form, and asked if maybe there was a way of setting the temperature controls manually.

Long story short - I received a very friendly and helpful reply email from "Wendy", their representative. A brief discussion by email then led to them sending us a BRAND NEW REPLACEMENT MACHINE! Yep, a complete new machine, here's the proof...

The new machine works perfectly! :-) We've had delicious filter coffee, Cafe Latte and Cappuccino.

Thank you to Wendy and Morphy Richards for restoring my faith in customer service!


The new house still doesn't feel like a home, but that's okay. When you move a lot you are forced to review some of your perceptions as well as your possessions. You start to realise what's valuable... and what isn't. What you can live without as well as what is vital to making life happy. The results can be surprising. I've learnt that a decent can opener is worth twenty ornaments and a good shower is more valuable than diamonds. (this house has such a tiny shower *sigh* ) I've also learnt that people make a home more than possessions - friends, family, loved ones.

Well, that was my month of May. How was yours?