Friday, 31 March 2017

A Stash Busting Day

This morning Teen One and I were very excited...we had arranged to meet a friend who has a little bundle of joy to take care of for a while.
I think this is the first time Teen One has bathed a little one, I'm not sure who enjoyed it the most!
We both had a lovely hour playing with the precious little one, and had to laugh at Digby...every time we said to the babe "whose a lovely girl then" or something similar Digby's tail would wag in his sleep! Bless!
Soon it was nap time for little one and she went down like a dream!
Just pop in her dummy give her a toy to snuggle up to and that's it!
No grizzly, no crying...what a poppet!
Back home it was time for some bunny tail assembling.
I already had these pom poms, not quite the perfect colour match but I am sure the tots won't mind.
 These were "stash" bunnies, so not too bad considering most of the pom poms were royal blue!
At Friday Club we have started the Easter story and whilst the craft was more Spring themed that Bible story themed, it once again used up some stash.
There has been a distinct lack of knitting for a few days, but at least today I have attacked that stash pile!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

All Baked And Banana'd Out!

Going back to last night....if I am passing Tesco around 7 -7.30pm (which I regularly do on the footy run) I often pop in and see what they have reduced.
Yesterday I grabbed 2.5kg bags of potatoes for 13p, a net of satsumas for 19p,
two packs of Kingsmill muffins 4p and then on the way to the checkout, saw crates of carriers, loaded up with bananas for 30p!
Well I had been thinking about making banana bread earlier in the day as two of my freshly bought bananas had been black inside when I opened them.
Well I just couldn't leave these there could I?
The bag had almost 30 bananas in, so I sent out a Facebook request to ask for recipes from my friends, for freezable goodies.
Whilst waiting for a response I thought it would be quick and simple to whip up some
They went down a treat for supper.... I made a batch with wholemeal flour and honey....these needed extra sweetness really, so the next batch I added sugar as well, but were still scrummy.
With the last batch of mixture I added chocolate chips, which went down REALLY well!
Teen One has bouts of abdominal migraine and sadly last night was in pain most of the night, I could hear her up and down getting medication, bathroom visits etc, so was awake much earlier than usual, wondering if she was thinking of making it into Uni or had overslept.
She sadly wasn't well enough, but consequently I was up and organised earlier than usual, so decided to make another couple of batches of pancakes to take to Parent and Toddlers.
One plate was just banana and the other was wholemeal and cinnamon.
They were warmly received by most, I am always surprised when people say
"Bananas? Ooo cant stand them!"
Whats not to like in a banana I say....well I must admit I don't like to eat them over ripe...but in baked goods they are great.
Teen One stayed on the sofa all day...
...and watched her boxed set of Anne of Green Gables....with just the third  box to watch.
The afternoon was a banana baking fest!
A friend in the US Facebooked me a banana bread recipe, as did a UK friend, so they have both been baked, another friend suggested banana cake, so I gave that a go too.
I used the basic dropped scone/pancake recipe to make banana and....
chocolate chip
crystalised ginger
chocolate (using cocoa powder)
 peanut butter
I think the ginger ones and peanut butter are my favourite today, the family can do some sampling later and then I will bag them up for the freezer, they will be great to pop out for a quick breakfast treat or Sunday tea.
I also used my basic flapjack recipe, adding two mashed bananas and some lemon juice ( just because I had half a lemon going spare)
Once baked I topped with a slab of cheap supermarket chocolate, with the flapjack still hot from the oven the chocolate melts in no time and just needs spreading to the edges....the Teens eyes nearly popped out of their heads when they saw it!
Part way through the afternoon my late neighbours son came,
I was delighted that he accepted one of the bags of potatoes ( I have already given Grandma a bag so just one to give away/use up now!) and a pack of muffins, then even better, a hand of bananas!
So I now have only 10 bananas left!
I think I will probably freeze them, as they are fine for cooking, or blitzing into ice cream from frozen.
For today I am all baked and banana'd out!
Feeling in need of a much earned sit down, I plonked myself on the sofa, grabbed the laptop and saw it was a little low on charge, so pulled the lead out, plugged it in and then suddenly saw the wires were exposed!
I know exactly how it happened, but not when.
I keep the lead down by the side of the sofa and noticed the other day, when the sofa was in the recline position, it jammed my knitting needle ( also stashed down by the side!)
It seems that when in the recline position the whole sofa drops down an inch or anything in its way gets trapped between the floor and the metal frame!
Oops.... poor Hubby is going to love me, fixing small electrical wires is not one of his favourite past times but he seems to end up doing rather a lot of it!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Another Day Yet Another Tea Shop!

Yesterday I promised Teen One I would take her for some driving lessons,
it was a shame that today was such a dreary day for it!
However we got plenty of practise in with some very patient drivers when she stalled the car a few times!
This is not a reflection of her driving abilities, its a quirk of my poor old Clio which takes some getting used to!
After an hour or so we took a break at a tea shop we discovered last month.
This hot chocolate has got to be one of the biggest I have seen!
I stuck to a lovely herbal infusion, along with carrot and coriander soup, which was delicious.
I did indulge in the granary bread as well  (but note the butter is still in the pot!) and that will be my main meal of the day.
Teen One opted for a sausage toastie.
We got home just in time for me to collect Teen Two for a hospital appointment.
He has unusual shaped ear canals, which needs suction treatment regularly.
The nurse specialist who sees us is lovely and used to be very good to our late neighours...who in turn always treated her to white chocolate.... we took her along a large bar of Milky Way in their memory.
Needless to say she was delighted.
On the Wii fit today I tried the Island Lap jog for the first time and found it surprisingly easy....
....but incredibly boring!
Now I know why joggers have their ear plugs in listening to music whenever I see them running!
I tried my hazelnut syrup gift in a cup of coffee this morning....
....mmmm it was delicious!!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

"You'll Never Guess What...!"

Today I promised to take an old work colleague out for coffee, so I was pleased to see the sun was still shining on us...albeit a little cloudier than yesterday.
I took her to a garden centre out in the country, one I hadn't been to before.
I forwent lunch in order to indulge  in this lemon drizzle blueberry cake, it was very yum... friend went for Red Velvet.
We had a good old catch up, and I  was astounded, when congratulating her on her recent Golden Wedding she said "it wasn't Golden, it was Diamond!"
I told her she must have been a child bride!
We enjoyed looking round the garden centre, which had lots of things I could have spent my money one, including a lovely wren by Vivid arts they really do make amazing  products!
They also had a stunning silk flower department, with an autumnal door wreath I simply fell in love with!
I may have to go back and buy it when I have convinced myself £30 isn't too much to spend on myself!
We then drove on to a nearby village called Wickham, which is a regular drive through for our family and a favourite place to visit, with its pretty market square.
We browsed through the many indoor market stalls.... of which was a new wool shop, and I couldn't resist buying yet more sock wool!
 This pair will be for me, I wear brown ankle boots quite a lot in winter and thought this colour would be perfect.
The owner was rather bemused at the current interest in sock knitting and had no idea it was as big as it is, so I left her with some info on blog and Facebook pages to check  out, in the hopes she might drum up some online business....I would love to see her new business succeed...and to be honest, it was why I bought a ball of wool instead of just admiring it!
On the journey home, my friend was telling me about how when sorting out the contents of her late mother's house, they kept coming across wads of money, in drawers, sewing boxes etc.
Then one day her sister ( who was still living in the family home) called my friend to say...
"You'll never guess what... I just found a suitcase full of money!"
When they counted it there was over £9000 in it!
It appears  for years she drew her pension out each week
and put all the unspent money in this case!
Talk about an unexpected windfall!
My kids are going to be very disappointed, there will be no hidden suitcases filled with cash for them to discover!
Back home, it was time to sort the laundry etc, do the daily mini work out ( which I did twice!)
then write out a card for my doctor, who is taking early retirement.
We have lost several doctors from our Practise in the past year, its been very sad to see them feel they no longer want to be part of the NHS for one reason or another.
But it has given us an opportunity to say thank you to them for all their hard work.
We have had a lovely set of Doctors over the years, things won't be the same.
My flowers are still looking as fresh as the day they were bought!
I do love the yellow tulips, still tight and upright.
During our catch up today, my friend had mentioned she had been to a funeral recently and heard a piece of music she had fallen in love with.
Perhaps Love by Placido Domingo and John Denver.
She wondered if it was possible to buy it and how to get hold of it.
I was delighted to find plenty available on both Amazon and Ebay, new for under a fiver,
so I have ordered her one as an early birthday present.
Just in case it comes after we go away I have arranged for it to be delivered to her house...I wonder how long it will take her to work out who ordered it!
Thinking about funerals, tonight Hubby has to meet a lady who called into our church last week, asking if we would do the funeral of her late uncle.
He wasn't a member of our church, ( his late wife was) and it was his wish for us to conduct his funeral.
So on top of getting ourselves organised for Australia, we now have a funeral to sort.
Grandma is going to go with Hubby tonight, as she knew the late gent more than I did.
Thankfully its early enough in the year for Hubby to still have some leave left, although his firm are very understanding of his lay preaching responsibilities and as long as he makes up the time don't mind him being away for a few hours.
I am now making lists for food ideas, its a very early funeral, 9.30am so my feeling is we wont want sandwiches an hour later, so am thinking maybe sausage rolls, scones, cake ...maybe carrot/coffee and walnut.
Any left overs can be hoovered up the next day at Parent and Toddlers.

Monday, 27 March 2017

An Unwanted House Guest!

I don't really feel as if I have caught up on the hour lost yet....I woke up feeling I could just roll over and go back to sleep again!
It may also be something to do with a head cold that keeps trying to get me, it doesn't come to anything but neither does it go away, so I keep dosing myself up with lemsip from time to time and aside from a dull headache feel pretty much up for anything!
Teen Two and I went to see my Monday Recycled Teenager as usual, but she wasn't too good today.
Not only was she very tired, she was also a bit down, which is unlike her.
She is awaiting a two week appointment for her new problems....and I understand "two week" appointments are generally when cancer is being investigated, but I didn't say that to her.
I did a bit of housework for her, chatted about the weekend, admired her lovely flowers....I have never seen so many daffs and tulips in one delivery before!
They were from M&S and because it came a day early (Saturday) her daughter was refunded £10!
So Teen Two and I headed to Morrisons by ourselves, then with the weather being so lovely we went for a walk down the seafront.
Near where I had found a free parking space  (not many of them left nowadays!) we saw this igloo looking structure made from willow I think.
I have no idea what its for, but Teen Two came up with the ingenious title for it
a "Twigloo!"
We walked round the old part of town, right by the seafront, which is beautifully kept, pausing to look at Horatio Nelson looking out to see.
Teen Two can never resist throwing stones in the sea, just like his dad!
 It was so lovely to be out in the fresh air...
...and of course no visit to the seaside is complete until you have had an ice cream!
This little ladybird was enjoying the warm weather too, even if he did give Teen Two a fright as he landed on him!

Aside from making the most of the lovely weather, I also wanted to track down some local tea towels and also seaside rock, which is typically British so makes an ideal gift to take to Australia....a quick google suggests they don't have it over there...however I won't hold my breath!
Tracking down local tea towels was not as easy as I expected, but I triumphed in the end, by going to one of my favourite local artist's shop, where these tea towels were in the seconds section,
from £6.95 to £3 because of a slight imperfection....
The tiny yellow mark on the top right hand corner has meant they can't be sold at full price...and I cant even see the yellow mark on the other tea towels!
Back home, the weather was so lovely, I decided to abandon any ideas of housework and concentrate on sorting the garden out.
With the builders coming after Easter, there was a corner which needed clearing.
Having removed the collection of bricks that has gathered there over the years ( no idea where they came from!) and then moved the water butt...which sadly we had to decant of its water, I discovered our jasmine has been sending out shoots and attaching itself to the concrete.
So I spent a while trying to unearth it all, which was quite hard work as it turns out...those roots were so strong!
Hopefully when the paving slabs come up later on, I can get to any more still lurking, I certainly don't
want it undermining any work later on!
The weather was perfect for washing and all the towels were dry in no time.
Teen Two helped me in the garden a bit, then went in to do some bottle flipping....videoing himself, to upload onto YouTube!
I cant imagine why anyone wants to watch someone else flip bottles....but believe me that's what Teens do!
Kermit is also going to feature in it...googling for "bottle flipping!"
I was roped in at one stage to hold the tablet as he typed something into google for the film...
...good to have some uses isn't it!
Just as I was finishing off in the garden, I noticed one of the bunnies going to and from its hutch, without actually going in.....I walked over to investigate....seems they have an unwanted house guest!!
Cheeky Milly!
I wouldn't mind if she was more tolerant of them, if they go any where near her space she hisses....those bunnies need to come up with a plan I reckon to get their own back!