Double for your trouble (and on feeding Herman)

“Double for your trouble” is a phrase that Joyce Meyer often uses.  The theme often crops up in the Bible.  It is a phrase that I hold onto and focus on when I am down.  My own eyes have seen that God will work wonders and will give out a double blessing.  A dear lady I know gave birth to twin boys after receiving IVF treatment. They were born very prematurely.

Now I am not here to discuss the matter of IVF whether I think it is right or wrong. After all my beloved niece was conceived in this way and so where the two twins – all of which are both big blessings in their parents eyes.  Yes IVF can be seen as a miracle cure for those who are unable to have children but the process is an emotional roller coaster with more lows than highs.  Yes IVF could help in my situation but we would have to have PGD IVF a step after much discussion, prayer and thought my husband and I decided that it was a step too far as we would actually be playing God in His role of giving and of taking life.

I am here to mention one of my knitting projects.  They were born so prematurely that the odds of them pulling through was slim, but I and a few of my friends prayed and prayed and prayed; and they did pull through – they even made it home before their actual due date!  Although they were home they were not out of the woods so I waited till a couple of weeks ago when I heard very positive news about their progress before taking up the pins and knitting them a little something:


Double for your trouble

Another one of my friends is delivering them to her on my behalf.  I’m sure they will look adorable in them!

I’ve started knitting berets after I decided that I needed another one.  The pattern I chose knitted up so quickly and didn’t take up much yarn that I’m knitting up a few more (in order to use up the yarn – new year’s resolution) and I’m going to give them to another one of my friends who knits for the Big Issue.

Today I had to feed Herman my German friendship sourdough starter. Since today was Monday, Monday had to be a bad start – morning was busy and by the time lunchtime came my patience was a tad on the thin side – and I had to go out and buy Herman some flour. Now me being a Coeliac I was a bit apprehensive about buying flour.  You see I’ve never ever had to do that before.  If I want flour I just fill in my prescription stating if I want brown or white flour, take it to the chemist who takes it to the doctors who gives it back to the chemist who then orders it and I then go and pick up my order about a week later and hey presto! I have flour.  So off I go to the supermarket and discovered that there was only a bay and half of flour to go through.  So not that many then!  First bay of shelves were all Strong White Flour and Wholemeal Flour all by different brands – what is the difference (bar price) between the different brands?  Flour is flour surely?  Just brown or white?  No then there was Self raising flour.  Herman needs Plain flour – PLAIN!  So I looked and on the half bay I see organic plain flour.  Is there the supermarket own brand????  Yep – just on a shelf lower down.  PHEW!!! Flour brought and I could go back to work and have my lunch (Cauliflower soup a la James Martin).

So here is Herman with his tea:

Herman's dinner

And here he is after he has been fed, watered, stirred, talked to and loved:

Herman well fed!

I’m a bit worried that there are lumps in him.  I hope and pray he is still bubbling.  I did have a look and watch him and I’m sure I saw a bubble or two!  I’ll keep you posted – he doesn’t need feeding again till Saturday when I have to split him and give him away.  I keep on changing my mind on who to pass him onto.  I thought I knew but then I think of others and think would they like him?  I’ve decided to pray about the matter instead. Hopefully by Saturday I’ll have the answers!





Today I was given Herman to look after.  I have to feed him, water him and show him lots of love.  I was asked after I tweeted/Faceached that I had received him what was Herman?

Well, could he be a furry four legged thing?


Does he have two legs?  Therefore could be a child or a bird?


And no, he’s not a fish either.

Is he a plant?

Erm…… I don’t think that’s the best way to describe him.

This is how he got delivered to me.

Arrival of Herman

The first instruction was to give him a proper home for him to grow in.  This I did as soon as I could after I got home.  After all he had been stuck at work with me all day, stood ages in the cold waiting for a bus and by the time we got home…… well I was definitely in a mood – Herman I don’t think commented.

I had to check that he was okay.

Is he breathing?


Yep.  Looks like he’s breathing okay.

I guess the best way to describe Herman is a culture.  He is a Sourdough starter, which once nurtured, grown, shared  can be then baked and eaten is part of a chain letter (although a lot nicer in my humble honest opinion) called the German Friendship Sourdough Cake (really like the Amish link!).

Cake – YUM! Trouble is I’m a Coeliac and well….. Herman has been created using wheat.  Now when I first was asked would I take Herman in I did think could I feed him Gluten-Free Flour?  After reading up on Sourdough I decided that since it’s almost a scientific process (all to do with Chemicals – I wasn’t a Science fan at school) I decided may be best not to.  After all it’s not Herman’s fault he was created the way he was and it’s no-one fault that God decided to make me special, stand out from the crowd etc.  By not being able to eat wheat (No one said difficult did they?  No?  Oh good!).   I also feel that flour shopping could make a very interesting blog feature in the next couple of days.

Anyway back to his new home.  One of the things I had read that when first creating, things need to be sterile to prevent mould so I decided to sterilise a big bowl (a bowl that has enough room for him to grow).  I did it in my usual manner of warming up the oven and putting a bowl in.  I needed the oven on anyway for my tea (it being Friday gluten-free fish fingers and chips).

Once I was happy that it was sterile I took the bowl out and let it cool before transferring over.

So this is Herman in his new home.

Herman in his new home


I’ve now covered him and placed a note on him stating that he should not be moved.   I hope he will be happy staying with me.  It’s going to be a fun learning process over the next ten days.  An adventure which I’m really looking forward too!

Fulfilling a Dream

Dreams are funny things.  I have them all the time and presently for the past 7 nights have been having very weird ones.  Now I know what psychologists and other experts would say (and I’m sure that they would have a field day with me at the moment) but I believe that God uses them to send messages…… just not sure what He is trying to tell me!

We also have other dreams such as ambitions in life and things we would love to do.  Mine for a while has been to see one of my all time favourite bands Roxette.  Marie, one half of the pair, has been very ill which is why they have not been touring.  They did visit the UK last year for a one-off concert in London – I only found out about after the event and t’was gutted!  Then yesterday by the power of email I got a “what’s on” guide from the NEC group and in there it said that Roxette was coming to Brum!

Such a huge grin spread over my face and of course (naturally) I brought a ticket.  I mentioned to a friend that I was going and then they asked “So what’s your favourite song by them?” Silence from my end….   So I thought what is my favourite Roxette song?

You know what I can’t answer that question.  Music I find means certain things at certain times.  It can transport us to another realm, to another time and place. It evokes memories.  It changes our mood by uplifting us or making us sad. I know there has been times in my life when a Roxette song has got me through the day!

So if you are reading this and know of a fan make them smile and let them know that they are on tour again! 😀

Doing homework

I was asked before Christmas to lead the first of the New Year’s Bible Study, the subject of which is to be on New Year’s Resolutions.  Now obviously me being a fan of making these or aspirations as I like to call them has had me thinking, searching and praying about how to go about it.  This morning I finished doing my homework and writing up my plan of what I hope to discuss.  I say of what I hope – you never know God may just have some other plans! LOL!

It has also lead me to think about this phrase on New Year taken from Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach:

“Time is the New Year’s bountiful blessing: three hundred sixty-five bright mornings and starlit evenings; fifty-two promising weeks; twelve transformative months full of beautiful possibilities; and four splendid seasons. A simply abundant year to be savoured”

In this book I keep a bookmark from The Quaker Tapestry.  It’s taken from Panel E6 and says on it “Each woman was given a bag of useful things”  The useful things was material to make a patchwork quilt.  It has been an aim of mine to create my own patchwork quilt.  Over the years I’ve been buying bits of fabric and this year I think I have enough.  So over the next week or two I’m going to be looking at the books I borrowed from the library (borrowed before the New Year kicked in! *wink*) to get some ideas and this will be one of my projects for this year.

My other project for this year is to make this Christmas Present I got given. This one needs more thought as I know which building I’m basing it on so I want to get the finish just right.

Today though my main project is going to be cooking the Sunday Roast, which is going to be mutton.  It’s the first time I’ve cooked this piece of meat.  Long and slow is the secret I’ve been told.  I’m also going to try to roast some Jerusalem Artichokes brought fresh from the farmer’s market yesterday  – a nice seasonal treat!


It’s funny how something can trigger off a memory.  Hubby and I were in Kings Heath the other day.  Although the weather was windy we decided to go out and caught the bus to Kings Heath.  There we saw the new square and the Labyrinth.

Centre of the Labyrinth

It reminded me of the maze outside the chapel at St. Martin’s College, Lancaster.  Hubby and I had such a lovely time there and made some fab friends.  Staring down at it there was only one course of action I could take……….. To explore the Labryinth!

The start

So I followed the path with it’s twists and turns…. Hubby took his own route…. and kept bashing in to me!

at a corner

Whilst we were travelling through, laughing and playing around a lady from the hall came outside with a leaflet explaining all the artwork and how it came about to be.

Still following the path

I always find the above verse from Micah very inspiring.


Enjoying taking a step


Another corner


Hands of love

The project was a community based one working with local groups.  Hence the different inspiring verses.

Another turn


And the sun shone


Further along


Kink in the path


Another bend


One more then we are home!

Once we reached the centre it was time to make ourselves warm by going to get a cup of tea.


I urge you if you are ever in Kings Heath to take a look at the Labyrinth and make your own journey, to look at the art work, to read the story and read the poem by Rosie Miles and make your own way through.

It’s still Christmas till 12th night!

Which is good really as yesterday I finally finished hubby Christmas present!  He never gets excited about yarn but fell in love with the King Cole Galaxy and stated he wanted a waistcoat in it.  Now I couldn’t really find a pattern so I had to improvise big time but it’s worked and he loves it! 

I’ve got five balls left and so I’ve put them away for now as I’ve got to finish a jumper that has been pn the pins for over a year!  It’s a jumper for me – except since I think I’ve not got enough yarn because the design was eatting it I’ve decided to make a V neck tank top instead.  It meant that the back which was already finished had to be frogged back to the start of the of the armhole and is now being made into the front, whilst the front which I was working on has now been made into the back.  I’m hoping to finish it this week so I can then start knitting two little waistcoats for a very precious set of twins who are a miracle in themsleves.  I’ll tell you a little more about them once I’ve finished it!