31 January 2008


Marko blogged about a game earlier this week called Untangle. Incredibly addictive but lots of fun.

Have a go!

Aw shucks!

I found out a couple of days ago that this blog has been nominated for an Irish Blog Award in the Best Newcomer category. I have to say I blushed a little when I heard, and felt all happy and smily. I don't think I'll be getting through to the 2nd round of judging, there's a huge list of newcomers and from checking out some of them the competition seems tough, some incredible bloggers out there!

Congrats to everyone!

PS Ruth's Kitchen Experiments has also been nominated in the Food and Drink Category!

30 January 2008

Europe is a country

Too funny:

Cruise missiles

Step 1. Tie balloons to car

Step 2. Drive like a madman

Step 3. Watch people freak out

(HT to Marko)

Jargon busted

I posted before about Sainsburys making an effort to explain how their chicken is produced with little luck but just found this jargon buster on Channel 4's Big Food Fight section that explains this all better.

Be informed!!!!

29 January 2008

Irish Blog Awards

The Irish Blog Awards are about to be judged! I've been reading their blog recently and am actually quite excited to discover some new local blogs... yeah I could google and find some but hey if someone else is going to list them for me why waste my time? Anyways there seems to be a lot of hype about it at the minute and they're not even announcing winners until 1st March!

28 January 2008

Another working Monday

I mentioned before how Monday is my day off but also how I had ended up doing a little work then. Today turned out to be the same but it's all good.

Firstly, the day started off with a training morning being held in Church House for youth leaders, teachers, ministers etc being held by CEOP talking about Internet Safety for children and young people. It was really very interesting and actually taught me a few things... well it was more of an advertisement for websites I've never encountered before.... but also made me understand a little bit more about the threats and dangers young people face online. I'll definitely be looking into this a bit more and hopefully will be able to do some of the training they have produced with the young people in Bannside.

After that I rushed down to Banbridge for an event at one of the catholic churches in the town,where Mary McAleese was going to meet with the clergy in the town as part of her first official visit to the town. I never really had any thoughts on what she may be like in real life, but she was very warm, personable and enjoyable to listen to. My boss spoke a little about the history of the clergy group in Banbridge and what all has come out of that group in terms of cross community relations and ministry to the town from working together. Mary got up after that and spoke for a while and she encouraged the clergy in their work, talking about the influence the church has had in Northern Ireland both through the troubles and since the troubles. She finished with a metaphor of the river: it starts with just a little trickle but as it comes down the mountain and to the sea the flow becomes faster and the river wider, and the impact on the environment all the stronger. A beautiful image.

Not a bad day at work really!

25 January 2008

Free Christian Children's Talk 1

Very often I have to do what's called a "children's address" in our church service, I've used similar talks in school assemblies and in some of our children's groups. So seeing as I'm starting to share some of my youth resources I may as well share some of these too.

This one was inspired by my recent visits to the dentist.

I have to apologise for the way it's written, it always feels weird to write like that but it's vaguely what I would have said. It's also aimed at children between the ages of 3-8/9.

Well I have some pictures to show you this morning and i want you to tell me who is in each of them.

Who's this? A policeman, and he's catching a robber. Policemen work very hard doing all sorts of things but the main thing that they do is work to get rid of crime.

Who's this? A doctor and the doctor has to do lots of training and works very hard to help us get rid of bugs when we're sick or pain when we're hurt.

Who's in this picture? The dentist and in this picture he's pulling a tooth! Ouch! The dentist gets rid of pain in our teeth and fixes what's wrong with our mouths.

What's happening in this picture? A fireman is rescuing someone from a fire, what else does the fireman do? He puts out fires, he takes away fire that can harm us.

Who's in this picture? The bin man! He comes and collects all the rubbish and the recycling to take it away for us.

This is someone you might see at school, who's this person? The caretaker. He works hard to clean up the school and get rid of dirt and mess so the school is clean.

This is the last photo, it's a bit hard because we don't really have these people in our country, but lots of other countries might need them. Let them have a guess at who this might be. It's an exterminator, he goes into houses and other buildings when little bugs or mice or other little creatures move in that shouldn't be there and he gets rid of them.

The bible says: But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. (NCV)

All these people have jobs where they get rid of something and all those things they get rid of are all things that are bad for us: crime, sickness and pain, sore teeth, fire, rubbish, dirt, bugs and mice....

Jesus did something very special when he came to Earth, he loved us so much that he died on the cross so that he would take the blame for all the bad things we do. And he did all that so that we could be friends with him and go to heaven to be with him. Jesus takes away the bad things so we can have a great promise of heaven.

But he doesn't just take away the bad things and forgive us as soon as we do them, we have to pray and ask for forgiveness so that can happen.

Let's close our eyes and talk to God.
Dear God, thank you for Jesus, thank you that you love us so much that you sent him to die on the cross for us. Please forgive us for the bad things we have done, help us to choose the right thing in future. In Jesus name, Amen.

Pictures sourced from Google image searches

If you are using this talk please let me know for curiosity's sake, I'm just interested to know where it's being used.

Our first radio show....

....turned out rather well. Initially we were very nervous, but soon got into the swing and had a great time, made a few mistakes but fixed them alright. All in all a great first show. We're next on this tuesday (8-10pm) and that should be our slot from now on. Looking forward to the potential this has for our young people.

24 January 2008

Radio time

A while ago I had asked Would I make a good DJ? I decided that time wise I really had very little and declined the offer. However I was asked if maybe some of the young people from church would like to be involved. So to cut all the details out of the middle the plan is that some of our young people will take turns at hosting a time slot we've been given. Tonight is our first night on Shine FM 102.4FM between 8 and 10pm, but then from next week we'll be taking the same time on Tuesdays instead. It should be fun but I do feel rather nervous about it all at the same time.

22 January 2008

Typing test

Can't remember whose blog I saw this on but had to have a go:

49 words

free Touch typing

Hmmm not happy with that, will have to have another go later

21 January 2008

I really am mad

Just to explain what I meant earlier when I said "it'll get weirder when I post about him later today" have a look at my latest post on my cooking blog.

Happy birthday Stewie!

I love Mondays

Monday's are my official day off... well except for today when there was a little emergency rush for me to write a document for the church committee tonight, however I don't have any other work to do until tomorrow now, it can all wait.

Monday's are great, I chill out a bit, take Stewie for a longer walk than normal, sometimes visit my parents, get stuff done round the house and get the shopping in, which I love. I love it not just for browsing through the groceries and thinking what I'll be cooking and so on, but also cos I have cool little notepads for my shopping list which make me all happy in my own little nerdy way.

I designed it on Vista Print and bought 3 of them. I've had them for a while and am really happy with them. However I've laid out the categories according to the layout of my regular store which causes problems sometimes in other shops so I hope they don't rearrange it any time soon!

And yes I know I'm weird for having a "Stewie" category but hey, it'll get weirder when I post about him later today.

19 January 2008

Free Youth Bible Study 1

I've decided it's high time I share some of the resources and things I have or use or write in my work so here's the first installment available for free download for use by anyone. But if you do use it please let me have some feedback on it.

It's a Bible study that I wrote and used with our 11-18 group in October on the story of David and Bathsheba which kicked off a series on "Famous Bible characters, Lesser known stories". (Files in pdf format)

David & Bathsheba Study - Leader's notes

David & Bathsheba Study - Handout

Still on the chicken run

Since we decided to buy chicken that has been given a better life than intensively farmed chicken I've had real trouble getting any. Is it because more and more are buying it? Or do the stores just not have the stock? Well, I was in our local town yesterday passing by the "posh" deli café and noticed something I recognised from Hugh's Chicken Run:

At last! I've found chicken to buy! Yeo!

15 January 2008

Chicken race continued

For those who missed Jamie's Fowl Dinners but wanted to see what all the fuss was about be sure to tune into Channel 4 on Thursday (17th) from 23:05-0:45 to see it being repeated.

Sainsburys are keen

I was doing our weekly shop yesterday and couldn't help but notice the signs everywhere:

On the way into the store

At the fridges - where I couldn't find any free range or organic chicken by the way, so much for our changes.

At the hot food counter - "All our rotisserie chicken is British"

At the check outs

Do you think perhaps the chicken is British?

I didn't go near the freezer section, I don't all that often but I'm assuming there were some based on what I saw around the rest of the store.

Follow up to the letter they sent out I guess

edun live

I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon and get involved in this. I read about it over on Debs' blog and thought I'd give it a shot, not just cos I want a free t shirt (don't get me wrong, I do) but also cos it's a company that has some great values and ethics and that's always worth promoting.

Well Edun Live is a line of blank t shirts used in merchandising (which can be personalised: good for teams, groups etc) and is part of the Edun Company. It is a socially conscious clothing line launched by Ali Hewson and Bono to help drive sustainable employment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As part of promoting the brand they've asked bloggers and people with websites to add a link on their site, send their details in and once they have received 200 unique visitors from your page they will send you out a free edun live t shirt.

So go on give it a click over on the right there underneath "about me" (even if you have clicked one of the links in this post). And don't forget to go over to Debs' blog and give her a click too! If there's anyone else out there who's added the link because of this post, let me know and I'll give you a click.

14 January 2008

All Ruths are toothy

Alan in Belfast was reading "The Tooth Book" by Dr Seuss and Theo LeSieg to is daughter last night for bedtime. He came across what I'm going to say is the best page in book and had to send it to me considering my current tooth situation

I wish I was that Ruth on some tropical beach somewhere.

Thanks Alan

Update: Alan has enlightened me a bit about the authors:
It's "Dr Seuss (writing as Theo. LeSieg)" ... Wikipedia enlightens that "LeSieg is Dr. Seuss's last name, [Theodor Seuss] Geisel, spelled backwards".

New gmail account

I had been posting on this blog using ruthstrong at gmail dot com which is my maiden name and I decided it was high time I changed it, so I've just set up a new gmail account and added that account to all my blogs, then removed the old account from the blogs (except my Nashville Blog seeing as I was Ruth Strong back then) so ruth.e.babes at gmail dot com is the sole blogger here now!

Dentist again

Since I had my root removed last week the pain just wasn't going away. I spoke with a woman in church who is a dentist to ask if it's supposed to be like that or if I should see the dentist again, or even the doctor for that matter and she advised tat I go back to the dentist. So I called this morning and described the problem to the receptionist, she then shocked me by giving me an appointment for this afternoon (usually I'm left waiting 2 or 3 weeks to see the dentist), so I took it and headed up to Glengormley to find out I had Dry Socket where the bone underneath was exposed to food and air and stuff making it very painful. It has now been washed out and filled in with some stuff that should last a couple of days, but has took the pain away, I'm feeling much much better now! Long may it last!

Monthly review 5

Here are some of the stats (obtained via Google Analytics) from the last month (13th December 07 -12th January 08) concerning this blog, with last months numbers in brackets:

1. There have been 459 (588) visits.
a) 229 (311) of those have come via referring sites
b) 171 (214) of those visits are direct traffic
c) 59 (63) of those visits are from search engines

2. Searches that have brought people to this site are:
personal questions - 11 times
banbridge babes - 4 times
funny graffiti - 4 times
harry potter follow up - 4 times
ruth e babes - 3 times
ruthebabes - 3 times
floating lemons and sinking limes - 2 times
zach hunter - 2 times
"personal questions"
bannside oh brother
bebo banbridge
bicycle babes
christmas mash up
difference crane heron
e-babes shopping
e-personality test
faith dog
fastest time anyone has eaten 12" pizza
god pie
johnny vegas church
johnny vegas evangelical christians video
johnny vegas guide
johnny vegas's guide to evangelical christianity
mad 9
makehuman babes
portadown babes
ruth duck now christmas over
ruth en graffiti
what is the difference between a crane and a heron?
what is the difference between a heron an a crane?
why lemons sink and limes float

3. 305 (446) visits came from the UK
121 (87) visits came from the USA
12 (3) visits came from Canada
4 (13) visits came from Ireland
2 (6) visits came from Germany
2 (2) visits came from Australia
2 (1) visit came from France
1 (1) visit came from Sweden
1 visit came from Israel
1 (1) visit came from Norway
1 (1) visit came from Malta
1 visit came from Greece
1 visit came from Mexico
1 (15) visit came from India
1 visit came from Singapore
1 visit came from Austria
1 visit came from the Netherlands
1 visit came from Peru

10 January 2008

The great chicken race

Last monday to wednesday Hugh's chicken run was on Channel 4 where Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall sets up a chicken farm where one half of the barn has intensively farmed chickens and the other half has free range chickens to show how over 90% of the chickens in our local supermarkets are produced. Then on Friday there was Jamie's Fowl Dinners where he revealed the origins of our eggs and chicken, explaining the process of food production. The shows are all part of Channel 4's Big Food Fight - a series of cooking/food related shows by Hugh, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey. Rob and I have watched Hugh's chicken run (except for Tuesday) and Jamie's Fowl Dinners.

In the first episode of Hugh's Chicken Run, we see Hugh inviting the CEOs of the big supermarket chains including Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, ASDA, Co-op etc with no response. Sainsbury's changed their mind and spoke to Hugh in the final episode. Sainsburys were one of the few supermarkets prepared to meet with Jamie as well for his Fowl Dinner's talk, but didn't make it to the actual evening he hosted. However it seems that Sainsburys are feeling somewhat threatened by this series (as well as other big supermarkets I'm sure), as amongst the mail recently was a letter from Sainsburys, my regular store, with leaflets about their chicken and egg range along with a cover letter saying:

Over the next few weeks you may see programmes on the television or read articles in the press about the farming practises used for chicken and egg production. We take our responsibilities for animal welfare very seriously.....
Currently all the fresh and frozen chickens and eggs we sell are British and we are one of the few retailers who can make this claim. We also sell chicken and eggs that are produced in a variety of ways, from Assured Food Standards (Red Tractor) to Free Range and Organic.

It goes on to talk about how they have recently won a few awards for their commitment to farm animal welfare and their targets for how eggs are produced, which is great to hear, but when it comes to the additional leaflets to help explain how their chickens and eggs are produced I'm not all that impressed or feeling all that much more educated about the whole thing as there isn't really all that much information about what the "Assured Food Standards" or "Freedom Food RSPCA Monitored" logos actually mean. (Jamie did show us a bit about the RSPCA monitored way of producing chicken in Fowl Dinners though).

Don't get me wrong I'm glad that my store is trying to educate and clarify where the food I buy comes from and what is in it. I love that their loose bananas are all fairtrade, I love the little wheel on the packaging using green, orange and red to show how healthy the product is and I am happy they're being proactive explaining where they source their chicken but I think there's a bit more that needs done on their part on this issue.

Rob and I have decided to go free range or with the RSPCA monitored (corn fed, indoor birds that have room to move, perches, bales of hay and natural sunlight to stimulate them as well as footballs to play with!) chicken from now on and to keep on buying free range eggs. We were in Sainsburys briefly at the weekend and I had to have a look to see what the price difference is, seeing as that is what put me off in the past. For 2 chicken breasts the price was £2.58 for the standard chicken and £2.24 for the "Taste the Difference" free range chicken, so price shouldn't be too much of a problem!!!! So I would really encourage you to think about what you buy, how your food is produced and even where you buy it from!

09 January 2008

I hate dentists

I always dread going to the dentist, i mean he's a nice man and all but what he does is rather scary. The weekend before Christmas I accidentally swallowed a crown that I have, well I should say had and after the Christmas break I finally got an appointment to get it seen to, which was today. I had thought I'd just get another mould taken and a temporary filling put in, how wrong was I?!?!?!?

He took an X-ray and discovered that the roots had separated and were twisting so a new crown wouldn't be a good idea seeing as it would keep falling out, he suggested removing the root and asked would I like to do it today or make another appointment. Quickly weighing up the idea of how nervous I would get anticipating it if I made another appointment alongside the idea of driving from Banbridge to Glengormley and back again, I decided to just get it done there and then, despite the fact I'd be getting an unnecessarily huge needle jammed in my mouth.

I was such a wimp, the nurse had to hold my hand while I was getting the injection. I really hate needles - I'm fine seeing it happen to other people, but I'm a different story. So my mouth was all numbed and then the dentist charged on in there with more unnecessarily large implements to yank this root out of my mouth, a few minute later the deed was done. He stuffed a cotton ball in my mouth and told me to bite on it until I came home and gave me some spare for incase it keeps bleeding. I left the place shaking, I really am a wuss when it comes to the dentist.

I went to my Mum and Dad's house where I had planned to go afterwards to get lunch, however seeing as I can only eat on one side of my mouth, am not allowed to let liquid near the hole causing great difficulty drinking and I can't actually feel anything on the right side of my face/mouth/tongue means eating is rather tricky at present, so Stewie got my leftover Chinese from last night (seeing as cooking wasn't going to happen then, the power came on again around 2.30am).

Well, if you're the praying sort please say a little prayer that the gum will heal over quick and that dinner tonight won't be as tricky.

08 January 2008

it's great when...

...the power goes out and you have your laptop charged, a cosy warm fire lit, lots of candles to burn and Internet on your phone.

My first post from my iPhone :o)

Wedding cake

Being a newlywed (can I still get away with that? When do you stop being a "newlywed"?) I love looking at friend's wedding pics, I had told this to someone recently and she sent me this link to an article about a wedding cake.

Wow! That's all I can say. :oS

Funny Graffiti pics

I've noticed some graffiti on the new underpass of the Westlink at Grovenor Road and it made me think there must be some funny graffiti out there. Enjoy:
This is one Rob will love:

04 January 2008

What should have taken 10 minutes....

.... ended up taking 2 hours 45 minutes.

The journey from my house to Banbridge (aka work) usually takes about 10 minutes, but yesterday took 2 hours and 45 minutes. All because of the snow!!!!!!

Earlier in he day i had been quite light and Stewie had enjoyed playing in it for the first time on his walk:

After that i went and did some work while Stewie followed me round the church, then I dropped something into someone, the popped into Tesco. At which point the snow was starting to come down again. I was in and out of Tesco in about 5 minutes but it was enough time for the snow to go crazy and leave a good thick layer as seen on my wing mirror from the safety of my car:

I drove out onto the main road but as soon as I got onto it I was faced with traffic crawling. I was on that road for about half an hour crawling the length of a car every 2 or 3 minutes. I gradually got onto the next road and the next road was when it really got bad.

Shortly after getting onto that road there is a bit of a hill and this was causing the slow traffic, cars were having trouble getting up it, and even getting down it. Eventually everything came to a stand still at about 1 hour 15 minutes into my journey home. I got out of the car with Stewie and waited for a bit watching a lorry trying to get up.

After 1 hour 45 minutes a police man came and told everyone to either park their car at the side of the road or to turn and go another way. I needed to get up that road to leave something into my boss before heading out home on that road. So I called someone from church who lived up the hill a little bit asking if they could give me a lift home from their house and I would ditch the car there. They agreed, so Stewie and I headed off trekking, well I was trekking through the snow but Stewie was skipping and jumping and skidding through the snow. We arrived at my friend's house and we drove the final 4 and a half miles through the snow at about 10 mph. I eventually got home at 8.45pm and was never more glad to be home. Stewie had fun investigating his garden while I started getting dinner ready.

Then Rob left work at 10pm, I had suggested the idea of him staying with someone in Belfast for the night seeing as the roads were so bad, but he wanted to come home. His journey home usually takes 35/40mins, last night it took 3 hours 15 mins.

As much as I love the snow, it really frustrated me yesterday. It was still sitting this morning and from inside the house looking out was rather nice. Even Stewie had fun looking out the window at it all.

Meanwhile my car is still sitting down in Banbridge. The rain is starting to get rid of some of the snow so Rob might take me down shortly to get it. Just hope the rain isn't freezing.