ME and Ophelia

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

How to give the last minute Gift of Blog

Okay, it's officially the last minute and you have forgotten to get your sister's roommate a gift. You are going to their party tonight and you cannot show up empty handed. What do you do? Fear not gentle bloggers, you'll have a great gift: The Gift of Blog from Blogger.

The "How to Give The Last-Minute Gift of Blog" is the most recent creative tutorial provided by Blogger. It provides instructions on how to set up a brand new, free, Blogger blog for someone as a gift, and how to make it seem like you actually gave it some real thought. The giving-it-some-thought part is key to any successful last-minute gifting strategy.

What friend, family member, or colleague would not want a beautiful new Blogger blog. Don't they know that Blogger is "The fast, easy, and free way to publish and share your information online?" Well it is.

Gravy is ready, turkey soup stock is simmering on the stove

Outdoors, it is chilly here by the seaside. Sea and sky are a cold grey.

Indoors, we are cosy and warm. Fire is on. Gifts are all wrapped and under the tree. Cards were all posted in good time and gifts distributed by friends. Housework is up to date. Ophelia had a few good hours outside today and is now asleep on her chair by the fire.

Table lamps and Christmas tree lights are switched on. 3 ft tree looks sweet with natural lights, pine cones, apples on red ribbons, silk and crystal baubles, green velvet angels, golden bells and two cute looking polar bears with necklaces of gold. Nativity crib and pine cones on the mantelpiece. Candles, bowls of fresh nuts and bright orange Satsuma's are on table.

Yesterday, at 9 am, the turkey arrived. It was filled with freshly cut oranges, buttered all over and pasted with a mixture of black treacle, honey, olive oil, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of salt and pepper. By 10 am it was in its foil and cooking in the oven.

In the afternoon, just as it finished cooking, a very dear friend visited laden with gifts of home-made Austrian biscuits, cranberry sauce and dressing for the turkey, a plant pot of fresh hyacinth bulbs and several prettily wrapped gifts for me (and Ophelia!). I could hear Ophelia's. Playthings and fishy treats. Yay! She'll have a ball.

My friend basted the turkey, lifted it out, poured the gravy and added the giblet stock that had simmered for a few hours. Sensational gravy colour, tastes amazing.

Today, at 9 am, the turkey was carved. Slices wrapped in foil for fridge. Carcass, legs and wings went into a 10 litre stockpot of water with freshly cut onions, carrots, celery, leeks plus a handful of herbs, peppercorns, salt and bay leaves. It's all simmering on stove right now. Smells great in here.

A few hours ago, the local wholefood shop delivered two weeks of fruit and vegetables, 12 free range organic eggs, Greek yoghurt, full cream milk, mayonnaise and bags of organic wholemeal flour for the bread machine.

Delivery also included six bars of organic mint chocolate. Plus 1 lb each of shelled nuts: brazils, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and raisins. I'd asked the shop lady to mix everything up and divide into 16 small polythene bags. Also, 4 lbs of chocolate covered almond nuts, dusted with cocoa powder (they're heavenly!) divided into 16 polythene bags.

Tomorrow, I will have help in making up, for the children, little Santa sacks containing chocolate bars, bags of dusted almonds, nuts, Satsuma's and apples for them to take home with their other gifts. Plus a little sack of chocolate "gold coins" with a £5 note attached to each. Remaining bags of goodies are for other visitors.

Tomorrow, the turkey stock will be sieved clear. 3 lbs each of swede, leeks and carrots will be chopped and, along with half a pound of tiny little meat balls, added to the clear stock for simmering while bread maker bakes fresh loaf. Potatoes, carrots and sprouts will then be prepared. My brother will visit with his two children on Christmas Day at 5 pm. Other visitors are expected over Boxing Day and during the run up to New Year.

Thank God for all these blessings. I have a lot to be thankful for. And thank you too dear bloggers and friends for sending us such wonderful Christmas cards and email greetings. All the cards have been arranged into a colourful collage, on my lounge door, like a 6' high advent calendar.

God bless you and thank you for visiting here. Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and good health in the New Year. With love from Ingrid and Ophelia xx

A poem written by fellow ME sufferer Von Jones

Von Jones is a good phone pal and online friend to myself and many others.

Alone at Christmas
No, I had not thought so soon, Lord
Maybe in some far distant time when old and gnarled
Death had robbed me of my loved ones
And Death was near -
Not now.

Yet in the dusk, beside the flickering candle flame
Before the crib,
I feel You here, with me
And I with You

So many busy families will forget You, Lord,
Your special day
Not I, this Christmas
Thank You, Lord

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 12/23/2003
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