Saturday, 23 February 2013

Cheerful Amaryllis

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Last December, Mr and Mrs Bluelights (my brother and sister in law) bought Harry and me an Amaryllis bulb that was already planted up, for our Wedding Anniversary. After a slow start and having to move it into a warmer place, I am really pleased that the flower head has now almost fully opened out and to my delight, another bud is emerging from the earth too that will give us a second show once the first flower is over. The flowers help to liven up these dull days. In fact, there has been a very sharp change in our weather and it exceptionally cold at the moment, which will not be good for either flora or fauna to suddenly have to face this severe weather after Spring seemed to have encouraged buds to open and birds to look at nesting possibilities.

I have been extremely busy lately as our son, Sam, has started a new job on a few weeks trial and as it is full time, on the three or four days that Sandy works, the children are dropped off for breakfast at our house and then they walk to the local school by themselves. Then shortly after 3.30, they call back here and wait until Sam picks them up after his work. I won't say too much about this job until we are sure that he is offered it permanently but we are all hoping that he does get the position because they really need the money and it would help them with all the planned alterations to their house that are in the pipeline but being held up through lack of funds. The downside is that he doesn't get school holidays so this might represent a bit of a problem! I think we are too boring and not fit enough to cope with them full time. We shall have to see what happens.

Most schools in Bristol had their half term last week but the school and college that my grandsons go to on the east coast had theirs this week and so my daughter was able to come for a few days with them. I expect that I have mentioned that my sixteen year old grandson, Rick is on the autistic spectrum and has good intellectual skills but very under developed social skills. He is not getting on well in college and I most of the time doesn't get there and he likes to spend most of his time on his computer or in bed. (I know that many teenagers who are not autistic like to do this too!) It is causing us all, especially my daughter, who is trying to cope with bringing them up alone and also running her child care business too, much worry. Rick is waiting to be seen by various organisations but I don't think there is much help that is available. It seems that they are all going through unchartered waters and being in a position where he is classed as not really a child and yet not really adult, either. Lets hope that their needs will be met and that Rick's not experiencing bullying or anything like that.

On a happier note, I was thrilled to received a cook book for vegetarian slow cooking from my blog friend,  Denise Nesbitt following one of my posts about buying and trying out a Crock Pot. I must say that some of the recipes appear to be delicious and I am seriously thinking of going completely vegetarian after all this horse meat scandal. Don't get me wrong, it is perfectly alright to eat horse meat if one chooses to, but completely wrong to slip it into products and charge high prices and disguise it as something else. That definitely is fraud.
I have been experimenting with fennel in casseroles and think it has a delicious taste. Does anyone else like fennel?


Akelamalu said...

Lovely Amaryllis! We have one but hasn't flowered yet. We are usually at beck and call when the grandchildren need picking up from school, need looking after when they're on holiday etc, if the parents can't do it for some reason. We don't mind, but now and again we have to say we're not available and we feel very guilty - crazy isn't it?

Formerly known as Frau said...

It's nice for you to help with the kids but you can only do so much your health is the number one priority. Flower is gorgeous! Have a wonderful weekend!

dianefaith said...

I've had exactly that same feeling you express -- that I'm too boring to have grandchildren stay with me for many hours. I miss them as babies for that very reason. Babies are never bored. Last week my husband bought a Wii console to have at our house, since the kids seem very happy playing Wii games. How long will that last?
Your Amaryllis is beautiful! Flowers in this dull, gray, cool weather seem more wonderful than ever.
If you do go vegan, I hope you'll post what works for you here. I'm thinking about soups this morning and making a grocery list.

Mimi said...

Hi Maggie, love your Amaryllis! Such a vibrant colour, just what we need after winter.
Weather here has taken a turn too..very cold, and it's snowing outside right now. Unfortunately not sticking, so we get misery without beauty.
I detest fennel (one of very few foods that I don't eat) so can't help you there, but will wait with bated breath to see how crockpot vegetarian goes; it sounds so healthy and exciting.

Denise Nesbitt said...

Our youngest nephew - approaching 20 this year has special needs and is living with my MIL. Don't ask! In the 25 years I have been married I have NEVER heard hubby argue with his mother......until the nephew moved in with her. Now there are regular arguments - all because she wont take a more realistic approach to the situation. You are sensible and have come to the correct conclusion. Hugs xxxxx Glad you are enjoying the book. xx

SueAnn Lommler said...

I don't think I have tried fennel....must give it a go.
As for babysitting...usually not a good idea. Just saying!
Love the flower delightful
Reminds us that spring is just around the corner.
Thank God

Eddie Bluelights said...

Glad the Amaryllis is cheerful. Need something to be that in this dreadful weather we are having, approaching the ice age my bones keep telling me. LOL. Our's died! Probably a case over-watering.
Glad Sam is busy and hope it ends up as a permanent position.
Hugs ~ Eddie x

Hilary said...

I've never tried fennel so I'm not sure how I feel about it. The only herb I seriously dislike is cilantro.

I hope all works out well for your son. I'm sure it would be a relief for them to know that he has the job.

I also hope that your grandson will find that niche where help is forthcoming.

Lovely flower.. may it always bloom brightly for you to enjoy.

Irene said...

Maggie, I hope your son seriously looks for some other solution for child care when he permanently gets the job. I don't think it is in yours and Harry's best interest to be taking care of the kids at this point in your lives. That's not what being a grandparent is all about. I apologize for sticking my nose into it, but I do care about you. xox

Anonymous said...

A lovely flower - and nice for you to have the grandkids!

Jeni said...

First off, Maggie, I have to say that flower is gorgeous! But me and flowers -not a good mix as my neighbor says about me "Nurse 'em and kill 'em, Jeni!" True enough that you and your DH might have difficulty watching the girls full time but I don't think it is because you are too boring! The girls do seem to find the things you find quite enjoyable but I do know full well how easily one tires out after dealing with small or smallish children. Hope the job thing works out for the best though for your son. As to the fennel, I have never tried anything using that so have no opinion there. Imagine that! Something about which I have no opinion. Remarkable, isn't it?
Peace and hope spring comes gently to all of us -and let it be soon, too!

Secret Agent Woman said...

I like amaryllis - such a bod flower!

I've already let my kids know that I will be happy to take any grandkids that they produce once in a while - but no full-time babysitting gig for me!

I am not a huge fan of fennel - too licorice-y.

Anonymous said...

Hi Maggie, What a beautiful flower! I felt like a taste of spring this morning too and posted an encore of a cherry blossom tree at my poetry blog.

I am a vegetarian cookbook author and I also LOVE my slow cooker. If you stop by my cooking blog, you'll find lots of ideas for recipes, including a wonderful sweet potato slow cooker lasagna that is so yummy. I'm actually writing a slow-cooker vegetarian cookbook right now.

Happy Week, G :<)

Suburbia said...

Yes MAGGIE, i LIKE FENNEL COOKED and then put under the grill with cheese to melt on it!

Good to read your posts as always

Lovely flowers! xx

Shammickite said...

I don't think I have ever eaten fennel, so I'll have to try it. I see that even IKEA have been compromised by the horsemeat scandal. I ate Swedish meatballs at our local IKEA just last week.... and although they say that all the meatballs served in Canada are made in the USA and there's no danger of them containing any horsey bits, I don't think I'll try the meatballs again for a while.
good luck to your grandson, I hope the problems will soon be solved.

Anonymous said...

Hi again Maggie:

Lissa has a free book giveaway on right now, only for a couple more days though at:

The Vegetarian Slow Cooker book she is giving away (among others) is excellent. Thought you might want to check this out.

I also wrote about this book here:

hope this helps!

Happy week, G

aims said...

We love fennel! It has a wonderful taste and can be used in many different ways.

At present we are on a juice fast and fennel is wonderful to throw in with all the other vegetables.
It's day 12 and its become easy to do. The first few days were horrible - I was starving!

Now I think of going vegetarian too. I know it wouldn't be too hard - especially using lentils and legumes....


Optimistic Existentialist said...

This post makes me really look forward to spring :)

Beryl Ament said...

Thanks for answering my question—the first and only person to do so. I have much more to write on the subject. As for fennel, I love it. I make a delicious soup with mirepoix, fennel, chicken and white beans.