MARTHA-ANN   85,634
80,000-99,999 SparkPoints
MARTHA-ANN's Recent Blog Entries

I'm back....again!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

...and hopefully it's for good this

My computer has been quite poorly and had to go away to hospital for a while.....a combination of a full 'C' drive and a virus from an automatic update.
It's better now so, at last, I can get back to Sparking with all you wonderful people that I've missed like crazy. emoticon

I've had a trapped nerve in the back of my thigh just above my knee too, so sitting around resting it and not having my computer was a really bad combination though I have made Christmas decorations, done an awful lot of reading and discovered a daytime chat show called 'Sally Jessy Raphael' which is very'm hooked!
You'll probably know it as she's American. It's fun and some of the people she has on are certainly weird and wonderful!

The nerve pain's subsided a lot but I'm still limping bigtime though I have started going for short walks again and am doing stretching exercises....I just need to get back into the right frame of mind for losing weight now!
Which doesn't seem to be happening emoticon

Anyway, I'll be logging in again every day from now on and I'm looking forward to getting back in touch with you all. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XME501 11/12/2010 10:27AM

    So glad you are back - have so missed you!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOLDFISHLIZ 11/12/2010 4:25AM

    Really good to see you back! We've missed that sunflower!!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOM2ACAT 11/10/2010 5:50PM

    Welcome back!

I remember Sally's show, but it's not shown here in the US anymore. She was a guest on Oprah today though, along with other former talk show host such as Phil Donahue.

I hope your nerve pain eases soon,

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEELOJ 11/10/2010 3:18PM

    Great to have you back!! I have missed you too!
Computers are sooo great.... WHEN THEY WORK!!!! LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment
HVMBRU 11/10/2010 12:23PM

    Hope you recover real quick and get back to your chatty self!

Did you see a doctor, etc. to get this diagnosis? I've gone through all kinds of adjustments and have improved on my own, however I am just wondering because the way I went, has taken me years to recover. I think the first chiropractor I went to tried to do too much too fast with me and after that, no one could do anything. I finally got myself back pretty much, but had to do it all on my own. Just wondered.


Report Inappropriate Comment
LOOZINITNOW 11/10/2010 12:02PM

    Welcome back! I can remember watching Sally way back in the 80's. I liked her then and didin't even know that she was still on.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JERZRN 11/10/2010 10:13AM

    Welcome back!

Report Inappropriate Comment

taking the good with the bad...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Well, I spoke too soon in my last blog and the computer threw another wobbly at the week-end which put me offline yet again, hopefully this time I'm back for keeps emoticonI do miss everybody when I can't get on!

The weather has perked up nicely after last weeks winter like conditions, today is sunny and warm with a gentle breeze and feels very autumny. The trees are beginning to sport their many coloured leaves and the wind has swirled lovely little heaps for the children to kick through just in time for their half term holiday. emoticon

After the cold and rain I was looking forward to some decent long walks but my knee which had the damaged cruciate ligament last year has decided it's not going to let me!
A few days ago it began cramping and spasming like it did after the strapping was removed last time. It's agony and makes it difficult to walk (hobble) far. Each spasm seems to last around fortyfive minutes before easing off but can have long or short periods inbetween so I don't know when it will happen.
I've been given cramp tablets, shown an exercise to do to help the spasm stop and I'm wearing an elastic knee support which feels quite comfortable so I'm trying to carry on and just rest when they happen.

It's good to be back on line and the weather is decent so there's maybe more good than bad!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTHA-ANN 11/4/2010 6:23PM

    Thanks everyone, my computers been off again this last week or so but I've just got it back today, hopefully foe good this time! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEELOJ 10/29/2010 8:06PM

    I have not been online all week either. But my reason was much nicer then yours.
My sister has been here and we were out roaming the countryside taking pictures.
Hope your computer and your knee gets much better!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONESPOTLEFT 10/29/2010 6:40AM

    welcome back, I love the forget me nots; I planted some in my shade space and they did not do very well

good luck with the computer

Report Inappropriate Comment
HVMBRU 10/28/2010 11:01AM

    45 Minutes for a spasm! Holy Cow!! And I know what they are all about. As my back and legs were adjusting, of course spasms occurred but never lasted that long. I couldn't believe the pain endured. So, hang on there Martha, it does get better.

And I did miss you!


Report Inappropriate Comment
XME501 10/28/2010 10:35AM

    It is so good to hear from you!! Hope you are having a good visit with your friend. I have a "new" friend from Church. She is our librarian and is at the church about once a week. Recently we have been visiting more and sharing more. Last Sat. we met for lunch and had such a good time.

So glad you are back on line - hope you can stay with us this time. It can be so frustrating when we cannot connect. Surprising how much we depend on these computers!!



Report Inappropriate Comment

I'm back...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Well I haven't really been away but last week the computer decided to play silly beggars and only work when it felt like it!!
A definite go slow....
Some days it worked perfectly, others it wouldn't even load, yet others I could, very frustratingly, see all my pages but had no reply boxes and on other days no colour, no pictures, no clickable boxes at all and some days just a white page!!
This didn't just affect Spark, but all my computer right down to e-mails which wouldn't send!!

Seems it was a 'google' problem and not just me it was affecting. They seem to have fixed it now and hopefully it will stay that way.

I'm Sparking now for the first time in ages and not wondering if the pages will all be there and it's lovely. I HAVE missed's been sooo frustrating I had withdrawal symptoms!! LOL!
It's sooo good to be back with all my very special friends.

Very true!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBHAPPY2B 10/15/2010 11:39PM

    I was away for awhile as well, fighting nasty colds. I hope all is well with you--drop me a note when you are back on.

Report Inappropriate Comment
XME501 10/12/2010 9:17AM

    Computers can be such a blessing at times when we can communicate with family and friends - and then, they can be such a frustration!! when they don't work!!

Glad you are back - your page is one of the first I check out - yours and Ronnie's.

emoticon emoticon


Report Inappropriate Comment
MOM2ACAT 10/11/2010 8:31PM

    Glad to see you back!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEELOJ 10/11/2010 4:10PM

    LOL!!! Love the "hot" pink bra!!!!
I am sure it must be yours!!

So glad things are back to normal. I have withdrawal too when my computer is acting up!!
Good to hear from you!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARILYN1260 10/11/2010 11:38AM

    Hi Martha-Ann, you have more patience than I do. I would have thrown my computer out the window by now :) Hope all is well now and whatever was wrong is fixed!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Irene, goodnight Irene....

Friday, October 01, 2010

Last night was our annual Womens Institute Group Rally (If you've seen Calendar Girls, you'll know what the WI is!!) when various small groups get together for a spot of fun & friendship.

There was a good turnout.
The hall was full to overflowing with old friends, new faces and lots of laughter and chat.
The white clothed buffet tables were overflowing with homemade titbits and anticipation was in the air as the competition entries were admired, the results announced and the cut glass bowl presented.....we didn't win but it didn't matter, we'd had fun putting it all together!

The entertainment is always a surprise and last nights certainly was when the speaker announced was Father Amos, a Methodist Minister.....I'm not sure what any of us were expecting but it wasn't what we got!
He was very charismatic and very, very funny, reeling jokes and observances off at an alarming rate.....he had us in stitches and finished his repertoire by saying he'd never had so much fun and didn't even feel intimidated being the only man in a room full of over a hundred women!

Supper followed with delicious homemade savouries, cakes and biscuits washed down with lashings of tea or coffee.
Time to chat, traverse the room and catch up with old friends and gossip or even to make the acquaintance of someone new.

Then another surprise.....more entertainment!
A husband & wife duo 'Bob & Kathy' who regaled us with a variety of songs along a folksy, country, sea shanty type theme.
They were very good, Bob played guitar and they both sang together, their voices complimenting each other.
We had a right good sing-a-long with some well known ones like 'Travelling light', 'The streets of London', 'Haul away Joe' and ' Irene, goodnight Irene'.

Then it was goodbyes all round, shouts of see you next time and we were out into the dark cloudy night, the grass wet with dew to reach home just as the rain began.

There was an enthusiastic re-telling to my, not really interested but I'll listen to be polite, DH followed by a mug of steaming low calorie hot chocolate and then bed.

The only trouble was I couldn't get to had the refrain 'Irene, goodnight Irene' echoing around in my head until the wee small hours!
It's still there keep bursting into song!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARILYN1260 10/10/2010 3:44AM

    Hi Martha-Ann, I'm glad you had such a fun night at the WI. Good works and great company along with entertainment and food. Doesn't get much better than that!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOM2ACAT 10/1/2010 4:36PM

    Sounds like you made some lovely memories!

Report Inappropriate Comment
XME501 10/1/2010 9:45AM

    Good Morning, Miss Sunshine!!
Sounds like a great evening - I know that feeling of a song running 'round and 'round in your head! Am not familiar with the songs you mentioned except "Irene Goodnight" - now will probably be hearing it all day. Thanks!! emoticon

Jill, my youngest granddaughter, is having a bowling party tomorrow for her 10th birthday. Am planning to take pictures for her - her Mom will be working and her Dad will be in charge. Will be lots of fun!!


Report Inappropriate Comment
NEELOJ 10/1/2010 9:28AM

I love times like this! It stays with you for a long time, apparently as long as the song does!! LOL
So glad you had a wonderful time!

Report Inappropriate Comment


Thursday, September 23, 2010

I've spent most of this morning peeling and cooking buckets of windfall apples and plums for the freezer. I sat in the conservatory to peel the apples and was entertained by a flock of squabbling starlings as they noisily stripped the berries from the elder and rowan trees at the bottom of the got me thinking about autumn.....well, reminiscing really.

Mother Nature is always bountiful and gives away her produce to man, bird and beast alike, and a lot of it is free for the taking.
When we were children one of my favourite outings was the autumn 'free harvest' as my grandma referred to it.
It was always dad who took us, organising us with the right clothing to keep us safe from thorns etc. mam always stayed at home to get the pans, jars, bottles etc. ready.

Wild raspberries and brambles came first, the raspberries weren't too bad to get at but the best brambles always seemed to be above a ditch and very high up so dad had whittled himself a long curved stick to reach up and hook the briars to pull them down for us.
We ended up tired but happy with stingy scratches, purple fingers and mouths and lots of plump berries which mam made into jelly. She hung the boiled fruit in a muslin bag suspended from the legs of an upturned stool overnight before measuring the juice and adding sugar to make the yummy!
I used to love to put the little waxed paper discs on top before the lids went on.
I remember the dog knocking the strained juice over one year and all our hard work was wasted! The stain on the floor stayed a long time too!

Next came crabbing for apples, those little hard green and red bitter fruits which made a delicate pink tinted jelly. Some of the redder apples belied their sourness and I can still screw my face up at the thought of sinking my teeth into one.....oooH... the taste lingered for ages and set my teeth on edge and that was after a warning from dad not to eat them or you'd get bellyache!

We stripped elderberries from their stems by running a fork down them, they were made into cough syrup or jelly.....never wine as mam & dad didn't drink, we boiled up rosehips with sugar to make a nutritious vitamin c syrup which tasted gorgeous on rice pudding, mam also made what she called 'hedgerow jam' using hawthorn & rowan berries in with anything else she fancied. It was an acquired taste shall we say and she usually ended up eating it herself.

We went into the woods to a tree which dad said had to be kept secret.
A walnut tree.....we picked the fruit whilst still green. Some were allowed to dry into the familiar nuts we know and others were pickled in their soft green cases.....I don't to this day know what the pickled ones taste like as I don't like vinegar but dad loved them.
There was also a cob hazelnut bush we picked, I did like those green but they were just eaten like that and not pickled.

We walked quite a long way to visit the wild garden of an old cottage which had fallen down to find little sour green gooseberries, soft yellow pears and victoria plums.

We also used to dig for wild garlic bulbs and in spring the flowers and leaves were added to salads, it didn't make your breath smell if you ate it that way.
And dad often came home from work with his emptied dinner bag full of mushrooms, some as large as dinner plates!

Big changes eh!
Anyway, enough of memory lane for
In my youth everyone harvested the hedgerow, it was a free source of food. Nowadays the birds and beasts take the lions share, there is still the odd human who feasts on Mother Nature's bounty but the supermarkets are too convenient these days!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTHA-ANN 2/21/2012 6:43AM

    We used to 'glean' the pea fields too after the viners had been round and also pick up the small potatoes which had got through the riddle after the tatie pickers had gone by.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOLDFISHLIZ 9/29/2010 4:52PM

    Just seen this blog - such memories! My Mum made elderberry syrup, and blackberry and apple pies as well as the jellies and jams. She was far too worried about getting poisoned to eat mushrooms from the fields though! So much free wonderful stuff is wasted nowadays. My grandchildren know about picking blackberries, but their friends don't!
Thanks for sharing your lovely moments
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
XME501 9/28/2010 10:42AM

    What wonderful memories!! I remember going berry picking - buckets full - for jams and jellies and Mom's wonderful pies.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOM2ACAT 9/23/2010 6:23PM

    Wonderful blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLYN0107 9/23/2010 4:28PM

    You are quite a GARDENER!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEELOJ 9/23/2010 2:39PM

    I still like to try to use mother nature things but not hardly anything around anymore.
One of my favorites was the gooseberries for pie!!
And living in Kansas we of course had wheat fields and would pick some of the grain to soak and use for breakfast cereal..... It was so good.
Yes, memories!!! They are wonderful and I really enjoyed yours!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HVMBRU 9/23/2010 12:28PM

    How I loved my crabapple jelly too! Now I just leave them on the tree for the birds, but did sample a few when they were "ready for picking".

Loved your blog, by the way.


Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRIS3215 9/23/2010 11:56AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLBABE56 9/23/2010 11:37AM

    Oh Martha-Ann I just love this blog! Thank you soooo much for sharing your wonderful memories.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEBHAPPY2B 9/23/2010 11:34AM

    What an idyllic childhood. It sounds lovely.

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 Last Page