Friday, 21 November 2008

Some Weeks Are Just Like That!

"All negative thoughts I've
decided must go,
I'll try to say, "Yes" when I want to say, "No."
I won't say, "I can't," but, "I can only try."
And accept things that happen -- not keep
asking why.

I'll make time for hobbies and brighten my day,
And not let my problems affect what I say,
There are many folk homeless, sad, hungry,
in pain,
I am blessed with so much, I'll not grumble again.

Today will be good for I'm filled now with hope,
With God's love inside me, I know I can cope,
No moanings, or groanings, no sighing, no dread,
My positive thoughts are all there instead!"
~Chrissy Greenslade

What a week we have had at Oak Cottage!!! Late Tuesday afternoon our computer prompted us to do updates on our operating system, which is Windows Vista. I had just gotten my food processor out to do something, and found that it would not work, not at all. The knob to turn it on and off appeared to be broken. You know how that goes . . . quite often repairing something like that costs far more than it does to replace the whole machine. We'd had it for 8 years and so decided that it was time to get a new one. Just before we left to go look for one we started the updates on the computer. We thought it would be relatively painless, as we would be out anyways, and they would all be finished by the time we got back.

What's that they say???? You know, about the best laid plans of men and mice often going astray?

Well . . . here's where the fun begins. When we returned from the shops, the updates hadn't even started, and so we fiddled with it and they began. I started to play with my new toy. We had gotten a much better food processor than my old one, and for a really great price. We got a lovely Kenwood model that was regularly £99.99 (they always have to get those 99's in there, why not just say £100) for £49.99, half price virtually. It has twice the attachements, a much larger bowl and takes up half the space. Anyways, I was playing with it and making something, and then we realized that the computer seemed to be stuck on the 3rd upload pack at 46%. Hmmm . . . it had been several hours by then.

Todd thought it must have frozen and so decided to shut the computer down and re-boot it. When it came back up, guess what . . . the upload was still there, 3rd pack, 46%. Can you say grrrrr . . . ??? We tried this several more times, and got the same thing, again and again. Our computer would not let us go onto the desktop or anything. So we called the tecchie guys. They tried what they could over the phone, with no results . . . . can you say double grrrr . . . ??? We were finally told that we would have to take it to the shop at PC World the next day and they would retrieve and download any data that we had stored on the computer and put it onto a disc so that we wouldn't lose it, and then we would have to wipe the system and reset all the factory settings, which would mean that our computer would be just as it was when we first bought it home from the store last year . . . empty.

Sounds simple . . . as frustrating as it was, right? WRONG!

When is anything like that going to be simple??? Todd got to PC world the next morning, and because they had just spent a month shut, they had a backlog of computer repairs to do, so we were told that it would be at least 28 days before they could get to our machine. There was no way we could wait that long. My computer is my main way of communicating with my family back in Canada, and a lot of our work is done on the computer. We ended up having to take it to a guy who does computer repairs, and what should have been free and covered under our insurance plan with PC world, ended up costing us a nice £60 . . . but at least we are now back up and running, and from what we can see have not lost too much of anything, except for all the dates on our calendar such as birthdays and such and of course, all of our bookmarks. (They needed a good cleaning out anyways, as they had gotten quite out of control! )

I'm really sorry if any of you worried this week about me not being here. I really missed my blogging each morning, but as a result, I got all my Christmas presents wrapped and some handwritten letters written to put into some of my family's Christmas Cards, and all isnow pretty much ready to go. I had been procrastinating getting that done, and I am relieved that it is now all finished. Now I just have to mail them!

I apologize if I have not been able to visit your pages this past week and comment, and I have to admit that it will be highly unlikely that I will be able to catch up with each of you now. Too many days have passed, and there are so many of you that I love to visit. I'll just have to start from scratch again. I have lost a lot of my bookmarks as well, so if I am a regular visitor to your page, and if I haven't caught up with you soon, then let me know, as it will probably be because I can't quite find you!!

I can remember about 20 years ago, someone told me that one day everyone would have a personal computer in their homes. I thought at the time, not likely . . . what would anyone want one of those for? What possible use could they be? I'll never have one of those, I just can't be bothered. I cannot now imagine my life without one. I surely missed our little Bessie this week and being able to check my e-mails and catch up on all of your doings, not to mention being able to catch you all up on mine. I am so grateful that we were able to get it all sorted, and that I am back here penning these words to you all this morning! Whew!! It's been a bit of a pain, but then again . . . some weeks are just like that!

I did manage to get the raspberry short breads from the Make Me Bake Challenge baked this week. That's what I was doing that afternoon when the food processor stopped working and the computer crashed. I suppose having them here to munch on after all that hassle made the waiting just a little bit sweeter. I know my Todd has really been enjoying them!

*Raspberry Shortbread*
Makes 12 to 16 wedges

Picture sweet buttery melt in your mouth crunch, stogged full of delicious raspberry preserves and you have these delightful shortbread biscuits. These are a real favourite around here.

1 pound butter, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup raspberry jam, at room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. You will need a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom or you can just use a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

Cream the butter until soft and fluffy with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a food processor. Beat in the egg yolks. (alternately whiz them for a few seconds in the food processor until combined) Stir together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter/egg yolk mixture, mixing just until incorporated and the dough comes together. (Do the same in the food processor, blitzing it several times until a dough forms) Divide the dough in half.

Press one half of the dough evenly into the bottom of the tart tin, or the baking pan, pressing it down to compact it slightly.

With a spoon or spatula, spread the jam evenly over the surface to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the dough all the way around. Take the remaining half of the dough and crumble it evenly over top of the jam, covering it completely.

Bake in the heated oven until it is lightly golden brown. This should take between 30 and 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and dust with the icing sugar. Cool on a wire rack before removing the sides of the pan. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife to serve. (If you have used a baking pan, just cut into squares.) Store in a tightly covered container. This keeps very well.

PS - for those of you who asked, that is not my actual cottage in the header of this page. (I believe it is a peacock on the roof) I am not allowed to show you a picture of the actual cottage we live in, as my employer feels it would jeopardize their security, and I respect that. Let me just say though, that the cottage we live in is quite similar in a lot of ways, except it is totally detached and quite off the beaten path.

PPS - Several of you had handed me some awards just prior to this nasty mishap with the computer and I'm afraid I lost them all. If you could jog my memory I would really appreciate it! Thanks so much!


  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question as to whether that is your home on heading.Also as to what that bird was.My dream can now continue.You are a very lucky girl.Best wishes from guess I shouldn't have asked.Its really none of my business and never thought of security.I am not very savvy.Just love your blog.

  2. I will never buy a computer with windows Vista again. It has been a royal pain in the *ss ever since I got it! haha
    But your shortbread could make me feel better ;)

  3. Hi Marie, I did miss you this week but thought you were maybe having some time off the pc or were very busy up at the big house. What a week you have had a world without our pc's is unthinkable now Stuart has his own laptop so we should not be without now unless it is the router. Think PC world are getting worse it's probably because they don't have any competition. Love Joan

  4. I always enjoy my visits here. Wonderful words of wisdom and superb recipes! Sorry about your computer problems.
    Thank you.


  6. OMG Marie you really had a difficult week, Thanks God today is Friday!!! and I hope all your things will be OK dear!!! Your Kenwood sounds wonderful, really is how a toy when sometimes Gerardo bought me some new machine only I want is make something with it.
    The shortbread look amazing and tasty!!! xxxGloria

  7. How pesty PC's are sometimes! It is a joke though that you had to pay someone because PC world are behind with their work!
    Anyway, glad to have you back Marie. Lovely shortbread you've made there!
    PS:For some reason I can't get on Zaar yesterday or today.

  8. Good to hear from you again and find that the communication problem was just technical. Yes -- those computers can be quite Grrr!

  9. Hi, Marie! So glad you're back! Oh, I know what you mean, about one of those weeks--LOL! Glad you're back online...What a misery it can be sometimes with computers when things go wrong. I am so lucky to have an IT-professional for my hubby--LOL! He can fix most things! ;o) But Vista is such a headache...nothing but problems. :o7 Hope you won't have too many more woes...Oh, this shortbread looks divine...mmm...I love raspberry anything! Hope you have a great weekend ahead...And that we get to chat next week--look forward to it! LOVE YOU LOTS!! ((HUGS))

  10. Technology, such fun, isn't it?

    Well I am home today and was going to bake, partly for something yummy to eat, partly because it is freezing and I want to warm up the kitchen (wind chill -17"C today, don't you just miss Canada? :)
    And then I check over here and you have the perfect thing to bake. MMwahh!
    It will warm me up as I have just been outside. Why does the school bus not arrive on the coldest days and I have to drive the kids to school? Just when I want to hibernate and bake and drink tea and knit warm things.

  11. I did wonder where you had went. Darn Vista gets you everytime! I am now very leery when a Vista update pops up!

  12. Those look divine! I'm sorry you had so much computer trouble! Windows Vista is terrible-- Ben refuses to use it. I'm so glad you're back, I've missed you! Hooray for the cookbook! I'm so glad it's done!

  13. I would be in a panic Marie if they told me 28 days! And I'd have paid to have it fixed just like you did. :) blessings, marlene

  14. Glad you are back, Marie. Sorry to hear about all the computer problems - been there, done that! Hopefully not again, for a while as least:(
    Thanks for visiting me with your sweet comments ~ they always brighten my day!:)

  15. first of all, your raspberry cake looks simply yummy! I'm so sorry to hear about your computer issues. I too have windows vista and I really don't like it at all!

  16. Glad you're back marie I know what you mean about not being able to do without your pc. It used to be we would say we couldn't do without our washing machine now computers have become as important!!!! Where did you get your food processor for such a bargain?Mine also packed in a few weeks ago but we have been spending so much money re decorating the house that we decided to wait until after Christmas to buy a new one in the sales & I've been baking using just my hand beaters!!!!!!!!! Hope your DIL is keeping ok Marie x

  17. Marie you my friend are far more patient than I would have been. I know what you mean about thinking I don't need one of those to having to sport around a lap top how lame is that funny actually. I'm glad all is well. Take care sweet friend and glad to see you were still able to bake and that all was not lost. Did they ever say why it did what it did just curious.

  18. Hi Marie
    I'm glad you've got everything back up and working again. Isn't it amazing how much we depend on our computers!
    Hope you have a good weekend.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  19. These look great! I love anything with raspberry. Glad you've gotten everything worked out!

  20. I am sorry you have been having so much computer trouble this week. It is so frustrating. I had a virus that completely wiped out my hard drive a couple of months ago and I lost all kinds of information. I am glad you are back! Your shortbread looks amazing! I hope you have a wonderful weekend -- you deserve it!


  21. My food processor is Kenwood too and I've had it 25 years. It does look old I must admit but it does the job perfectly well so "If it ain't broke don't fix it"!

    I cancelled my repair contract with PC World as it was a lot of money for vague half promises. Their sales-people are very good at railroading you into these things. I find that the bloke round the corner who fixes computers in his spare time does the same job for less money.

    I get in all sorts of trouble wit my computer but I think I'd get in even more without it!

    Glad it was only a sick computer, not a sick Marie.

    love, Angie, xx

  22. Nobody has a good word to say about Vista dothey? Glad I'm still using faithful old XP. Hmm, now I've said that, you watch.....
    A, x

  23. Well, Marie, welcome back to the 'virtual' world. Puters - cannot live without them any more. And Vista -- have heard nothing good about it. When my puter crashed, the people I took it to said they would put everything on another puter and then put it back after the repairs. EEEHHH!!!!! They lost EVERYTHING!!! And still wanted me to pay them. HAH!!!!! Glad you had better luck.

  24. When I read your recipe for raspberry shortcake, tears came to my eyes. I have been searching for many years, for a recipe that my grandmother used to make. And I reckon this is it. She used to sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. So glad to have found your blog. Your heart and soul is evident and it warms my heart too.


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!