I am so sorry for having been away for so long and thank you all for your condolences and good wishes. I have been away a lot longer than I intended but things have been manic to say the least. We are getting there very slowly - some days are good some not so but the worst things for me personally are that I will think oh will have to tell Mum that or give her a ring and then realise that I cannot. One of the worst times was going to Mum's for the first time afterwards both my brother and I turned up and looked into the kitchen window which is on the front of the bungalow expecting to see her - and then realising we would not. That was a real tear jerker for us both.
Its a natural process grieving and we all do it in very different ways. I tend to retire into myself and wander off to try and get the inner emotions under control and also to put thoughts into their proper perspective so that I know where I am at and what I have to do. However in losing Mum I have found my brother and thus far we have been getting on well and getting things sorted out amicably between us which for me has been a real bonus.Everything we have been doing revolves around sorting the house, the paperwork and the items we are to receive.
One thing we did find is that Mum had kept every single card, and notes associated with presents for birthdays, Christmas and other occasions. Little notes from my father with little trinkets or gifts he had bought her - all had been saved. Sentimental notes with memories but both my brother and I commented it would have been lovely if he had popped the dates on so that we could track the notes on a timescale but never mind at least we have them. Those little notes speak volumes.
I am feeling overwhelmed at the moment and am getting cross with myself. There is still so much I need to do and I seem to be going round in circles. Perhaps its just reaction to what has happened but at the moment I am very easily distracted. The past few days with the temperatures dipping I have been very cold which has led to me seizing up and having difficulty in moving around.
I have not done very much preserving this year. I am hoping to make up for this in the next few weeks or so. However I have taken custody of the cookery books of my mum's which I learned to cook from A well battered Good Housekeeping Cookery book and the Be Ro cook book. I had been looking for a different recipe to use for preserving beetroot but decided to go back to basics. I had seen a recipe in a well known magazine for a beetroot pickle and I was surprised to find lot of sugar in this. I therefore discounted this as OH is diabetic. I ended up buying plain vinegar and then preparing the spice bag and spicing the vinegar myself and it seems to have come out well. I have six very large jars of beetroot chunks to use over the winter months to serve with Salads. I intend to prepare some more but this time in slices so that the pickle gives a different presentation element. I have bread and butter pickles, picked red cabbage, spiced pears,spiced peaches and pickled eggs to prepare yet plus a few other favourites to help stock up the larder shelves plus a load of other goodies to prepare as well including pickled onions and pickled shallots. I also need to make some Chinese Plum sauce as I am nearly out.
There are a lot of berries in the bushes again - I hope we are not in for a bad winter - lots of berries is usually a warning of cold weather to come as nature provides a food source for the wildlife during difficult cold periods. We will have to wait and see but I hope not.
I hope to get back into the swing of things properly over the next few days. I do hope everyone else is keeping well and that life has been treating you fairly.
Catch you soon.