Thursday, 11 January 2018

Grey Thursday


Thank you so much for the lovely welcoming comments and greetings on my last post!  I really didn't expect that anyone would read it, let alone comment - because I assumed you would have all unfollowed me! - so I was really overwhelmed.  I guess that you had more faith in me than I did.

It was so lovely to hear  from you and to know that you are there, and I feel that I really know my good blogging friends are still in existence which warmed my heart.  I cannot say more than that, but know that your presence and comments meant an enormous amount to me in the very best way.  Thank you!

I am not feeling so good these days, some very sad things happened just before I closed my blog, and I am not coping so well right now.  I don't want to be a downer and drive you all away now that I realise you are still there, but I am not sure how to carry on with my blogging right now given how I feel.  I hope though that perhaps as you have so kindly returned to me, that if I return to you it might help me, so I am going to give it a little go and just share little things as and when in a sort of chatty mode.

I don't have any news to share because I am not doing anything thrilling and I am also struggling with my words right now so posts will be sporadic and not necessarily following a particular direction - crafting, gardening etc - but perhaps we can just chat along together.

I recently finished a book called A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg and it was a lovely read, I thoroughly recommend it if you get a chance to read it.

Otherwise the weather here is cold and grey today, but I expect that is the case for much of the UK, I know that in Australia you are having record highs and in the USA record lows so our weather is all out of sorts isn't it - well, the UK is usually cold and grey at this time of year so I guess we are normal!!  I hope that you are coping with whatever weather you are having right now, it isn't fun when the weather is playing up is it.

For those of you who like podcasts, I have found a lovely one that I didn't know of before called By The Lakeside hosted by Sandra - or Sandy, not sure which - who is really lovely, you might enjoy watching her.

I have just put a big pot of chilli on to cook for dinner, I am finding I am struggling with all sorts of things right now (as I realise I have said multiple times now) and it seemed to be quite a challenge to get it prepared but it is simmering away now and will be all cooked together and delicious by dinner time. 

I make it really easily, just putting everything into one pot, bringing it to the boil and then turning it down to simmer for a few hours.  The amount I make does for at least three, probably more, meals for us so I freeze the leftovers in portions which makes for easy meals another day. 

I don't cook anything off first, but you could brown the mince and drain any fat if needed, but I use really lean meat.  I also use the frozen and tinned veggies because I can keep them to hand and then easily whip up this or a Bolognese sauce for example even if I don't have anything else around, and the veggies keep fresh for so much longer and are also cheaper too than fresh I often find.  If I have leftover fresh veggies I do add them in though as this is a great way to use them up.  You could easily add more veggies and leave the meat out to make it vegetarian. 

This is what I include in my big pot:-

400 - 500 g (1 pound) of minced beef - ground beef
1 tin sweetcorn kernels
1 tin kidney beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas - not always but I did today
frozen sliced mushrooms - large handful
frozen sliced peppers - large handful
frozen chopped onions - large handful
frozen chopped celery - small amount, I chop and freeze this myself
tomato puree 1 - 2 tablespoons
teaspoon ground coriander
teaspoon ground cumin
good grind of black pepper
beef stock cube
a quick shake of chilli seeds
a quick shake of cayenne pepper
dessert spoon of dried herbs
tobasco sauce to taste

To make this into a Bolognese sauce I leave out the beans and sweetcorn and the spices and add a second tin of tomatoes.

Well I think that is all for now, thank you all once again for your kindness, I hope I will hear some more from you as it cheered me up no end when you all commented on my last post.  Please forgive me if I don't comment on your posts, another of the difficulties I am having right now is reading so I am trying not to spend too much time on the computer, so I quickly read your posts and move on, but I will try and leave some comments in the next week or so.

Take care of yourselves and enjoy whatever you are reading and having for dinner!


p.s. I realised what I said above might make you worry about me, everyone in my real life, hubby, friends etc, assures me I am "fine" but I am definitely very anxious right now so I am off to the docs next week and I am sure she will tell me that when I am more relaxed I will be fine!  So just gloss over that when you leave any comments and don't mention it and we will all be fine.  I will try and remember to update you after I see the doc just to confirm that I really am fine.


  1. Life can be like that from time to time and we just need to step back, take a deep breath and try to focus on the positive. Always lovely to read your blog Amy, sporadic or not.

  2. Just write as and when and what you need, that way there’s no pressure. Be gentle with yourself, lovely Amy, won’t you? Xx

  3. The recipe sounds delicious, I always have tinned and frozen veg available these days too. They are a great standby. Stay strong.

  4. It's the worst time of the year Amy this grey weather is so depressing, you get up in the dark, it's grey through the day and then before you know it it's dark again. I love the sound of your chilli, I can't eat chilli so I could leave that bit out, I love recipes where you just throw everything in the pot and let it just simmer away at least that's one positive of winter yummy warming food. :) xx

  5. My blog is just a chat along one really - they can be very friendly and peaceful places to be.
    J x

  6. I'm sorry to hear things haven't been so good lately. I think it would be good for to come back here, you can escape a little through your blog and be surrounded by friendliness :) I think it's absolutely fine to just pop up a post when you feel inclined to, but I have a suggestion for you. Why not do a weekly post, 52 Weeks of Happy. Note down anything that makes you smile in a week, or anything good that happens or whatever and do a weekly post to share the good bits. I did that once on my blog and enjoyed it and I wasn't suffering anxiety or anything. I also did a 100 days happy thing on my 365 project where I noted one happy thing for each day. Just a suggestions anyway, to help focus on the better bits. Feel free to ignore!

  7. Dear Amy
    It's lovely that you felt you could continue with your blog - just as and when you feel up to it. It is good to know that virtual friends are still out there and offering support.
    Best wishes

  8. It sounds like you need a bit of looking after, Amy. Take care of yourself and, as CT says, try not to put yourself under any extra pressure. (Enjoy that chilli. We are having fish fingers and chips from the freezer for dinner – very lazy!)
    Sam x

  9. Write when you want or are able to Amy. You might even find it helps. January can be a tough month at the best of times and if there are other things going on it can be flipping rotten (putting it mildly). To be honest I had a little wobble myself this morning, but I took myself of for a brisk walk and I have felt better as the day has gone on. Look after yourself and make sure you take time to nourish your soul as well as your body. Your chilli sounds delicious. X

  10. I'm really sorry that you are feeling low, and also the weather is depressing.. hope you'll get over everything.. Please don't close down your blog..

  11. Hi dear friend Amy. Thank you for sharing a delicious recipe. I'm sending you warm sunshine from southern California! Hugs, Pat

  12. I take our dog our every morning, often to the joy of several other walkers my husband wraps me up as he sends me on my way. Left to my self I would just pop a coat on, he goes the whole hog scarf gloves and the right coat.This morning I got out by myself, as I walked down the road admiring the catkins I realized how Springlike it was. cold but something in the air.the birds were singing too. It felt so good. I don't do a blog but love reading the ones I follow, and feel honoured to hear about your lives. thank you.

  13. Oh dear Amy, you sound as though you need a big hug and a lot of TLC, but also help with the mundane tasks of the house, so you can breath and be calm. Indulge yourself in what you love doing, crochet, sewing creating? What ever takes your fancy. This grey weather will pass, bulbs are already peeping through the ground and cherry blossom is blooming, spring is round the corner. Take good care of yourself. Blessingsxx

  14. Thank you for sharing the chili recipe. That ought to warm up the bones! The weather where I am is mostly what it should be, so that's good.

    Take good care. Bea x

  15. OK, we will all worry/wonder, but hope the doctor's visit & outcome are all fine. Thinking of you. Take care, stay positive & as busy as you are able too, even colouring-in, walking etc. Huggles.

  16. It is so good to see you here and I always love 'having a chat' with you Amy.

  17. Treat your blog as catharsis - a way to breathe out any troubles. Hugadoodledoos.

  18. So nice to hear what you are doing.
    Fannie Flagg is a good writer. I still love Fried Green Tomatoes.

  19. We will be happy to see you when you pop it! Yes we will worry about you, but I'm sure it will all be good. :)
    The recipe looks yummy!

  20. Sending hugs your way Amy. I hope things work out. I find that sometimes blogging helps, sometimes it doesn't. It's grey here too. Doesn't help my mood. I find it harder to get going and find energy when it's dull outside. The cold I can deal with (if I must) but I'd love a little sunshine to go with it. I wonder if there's such a thing as a sunshine dance? Take care of yourself.

  21. I could write almost the same post ! No energy with this lousy humid weather. I have to force myself to write something ! Terrible ! I really long for spring !

  22. Chat along blogs are the best! I'm a regular "Chatty Kathy" - in fact, I was spanked in school - they could do that then - because of it. It still didn't stop me...(smile). I have and at times still do suffer from anxiety. I try to relax by doing deep breathing and praying..."casting my cares on Him" - it's not easy to do at first, but you just build upon each one. Blessings from Ringle, WI

  23. Amy, my heart skipped a little when I saw that you are back because I've missed you. It doesn't matter how frequently or irregularly you are with us, I'm just pleased to know that you'll be here sometimes. Sending hugs. x

  24. Finally made my way here Amy, after several tries. Hope things improve for you soon. Random posts are great, that is what I've got into the habit of doing. It is hard to shut down my site as I get so many people looking for patterns previously posted etc. Yes, blogland goes round and round and connections turn up when least expected. Take care of yourself.

  25. Bet that chilli went down well. Hope the sun shines for you soon. Take care:). B x

  26. Hello Amy, how lovely to see you back. I'm sorry you're not feeling yourself and hope that you can turn the corner soon.

  27. You are so kind to share with us Amy, we are all here for you and you can tell us what you wish any time you wish. I am here on a personal level to if need be, your concerns are always safe with me. Wishing you a lovely day, calm, restful and full of peace.

  28. it's so good to see you back. x

  29. Lovely to see you back. Come what you can and tell us what you like. Catriona

  30. I have loved your blog but don't get much time to post a comment.Sending you Big Huggles.xx

  31. Lovely to see you post again. I do hope your doctor will be able to reassure you and help you. Life is sometimes difficult to bear and the difficulty shows up when trying to complete simple tasks. Be kind to yourself.

  32. I've put you back on the list again, got job you let me know! Happy New Year, hope you find something new and interesting to do. x

  33. Lovely to have you back if even only now and again, hopefully more now than again though! Glad you enjoyed Redbird Christmas, Fannie Flagg is one of my favourite authors. I just bought her latest book "The Whole Towns Talking" which like some of her previous ones is set in Elmwood Springs and I plan on settling down for a good read this afternoon whilst the SP watches football. I was thinking about your 5 on Friday meme (do miss that) as I prepped my Mosaic Monday blog post and decided to make that the theme this week. Hope to see you on MM again soon.
    bon weekend Maggie.

  34. What a nice surprise to find your post Amy. I have been out of the loop myself for a while, as travelling to see the grandchildren and was offline a lot of the time. It is good to know you are posting occasionally, and it is always a pleasure to have a little chat. Funny you should mention the record Australian highs and American lows - last week we had our last few days in Canada at -26c, and I must say I enjoyed it, and found it invigorating in my down coat etc. Then travelled home to a heat wave, experienced a difference of over 60 degrees in about 48 hours. My body has not appreciated this!! But I am sure we will adjust, as one does. Happy New Year dear Amy.

  35. I'm sorry to hear about the sad things, life's like that sometimes, isn't it, everything seems to come at once. Glad you're feeling positive enough to start blogging again, I've always found that the people here are very understanding and generous with their support so it's a good place to be.

  36. Hello Dear Amy,
    I never took you off my list! Missing your posts. I do miss your Five on Friday’s ..... I didn’t post every week, but it was nice joining in, and nice to see a lot of the same people commenting on your blog!
    Take care of yourself, and I hope to see you here again soon.
    Hugs, Barbara.
    PS did you review the “Agatha Raisin” series of books ..... I think I saw them here? Well, I finally got round to reading them, such easy reading. I hope it was you, and thank you if it was!

  37. I think coming here and write a few lines will help you Amy. There is always someone looking out for you here. You need a big hug and I am sending you one. x

  38. Take care of yourself Amy, lovely to hear from you Cx

  39. Sending you lots and lots of hugs and hoping things will be better soon

  40. Sometimes you just need to know that there are friends out there listening. Take care x

  41. My goodness, what a surprise to see a new post from you! I'm so glad you dropped in to say "hello". I too have not been blogging or on IG since beginning of Dec. Partly technical difficulties, partly de-stressing after a very difficult year. Your chili sounds delicious and the thought of something cooking for a few hours on the stove is what I love best about winter suppers. We're having lasagna tonight, but Tim is making it as I seem to have inadvertently eaten raw tomato (allergic to it) when we went out to lunch and it knocked me flat :[ Weather here is snowing right now and cccccold around -15C. Nice to chat with you ... I just posted a hat I knit this weekend. Weird how we both added a post within a day of each other after such a long hiatus. Ok ... I'll stop now ... happy week to you!
    Wendy {{hugs}}

  42. Dont isolate yourself. Now is when you need to touch base with like minded people by the sound of it... Write about whatever you want. We will read it.


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