Thursday, 22 June 2017

"Just A Tin Box On Four Wheels"

Well I decided to get creative with the jam jars again for the lunchboxes.
Teen One had this spinach leaf/baby plum tomato/mozzarella salad....basil leaves would have been lovely, but I was using up what was in the fridge.
Hubby had a noodle salad...using left over noodles from our stir fry dinner, layered with baby spinach leaves, gherkins, grated carrots, Chinese style chicken breast...again all stuff that was in the fridge.
We also had several little bottles of soy sauce in the fridge, left over from our Sushi school in March, so that seemed an ideal accompaniment.
Both said they were lovely and perfect for this hot weather.
The morning was spent at church with Parent and Toddlers, and I also spent about 20minutes having a clear out of our junk/  stash /store spare room.
It has got beyond ridiculous as far as organisation is concerned and the only person to blame is me!
I just never have the time at the end of the groups to put left overs from activities in an orderly place, mainly because storage is not wonderful there, so each week a carrier of left over is left and so the pile grows and grows!
Its infuriating when I know I have a particular thing, but cant find it!
So, not for the first time, I started to clear out the bags and see if I could find a way of organising it all.
Its too big a job for tacking on to the start or end of toddler group, so have decided Teen One and I need to go round one morning and have a good old sort out.
I did however manage to get rid of a black sack of stuff today and also found a pile of new birthday cards I had bought a few years ago and promptly lost.
I knew they would turn up one day!

I am sure the builder was glad to have it a tad cooler today.
He has almost finished the tile laying, just has to edges to do, the loo and then the grouting.
I spent the afternoon pottering with bits and pieces of housework, and rearranging the living room yet again... and I may yet do another switch round, I think I need to sleep on it first.
My old Clio had to go in for its MOT today.
I have kind of dreaded the day, not wanting to hear it needed anything doing to it.
She has been a good little car and I feel quite attached to her, for the past year I have kept up the insurance/tax etc with the expectation Teen One would have her.
However, with Teen One still waiting to take her Pass Plus test ( the waiting list is horrendous) we don't know if keeping the Clio is going to be the most sensible option.
We have been told its more expensive to insure a new young driver on an old car than a newer car.
The Clio is also much heavier to drive than a new car....I hadn't realised until I had my own new car, so it doesn't make it an ideal car for a new driver.
What with that an the low revving issue....for an experienced driver like myself its not a problem but Teen One has found it very hard to adjust to the very high revs needed to ensure the car doesn't stall when moving away at junctions etc ( and we have had a lot of stalling during the lessons process!)
Needless to say, the phone call from the garage to say the car had failed was not what I wanted to hear.
Whilst it will only cost £200 to put the few small issues right, that is more than the value of the car.
When I spoke to the garage and asked if he could keep hold of it until tomorrow, to give Hubby and I a chance to look at what options we have, I explained that I felt rather attached to it and didn't want to just scrap it he said "remember...its just a tin box on four wheels!"
He then added...."but I have an old tin box on four wheels at home and know just how you feel!"
I suspect tonight we are going to come to the conclusion its time for her to go the scrap yard....
...seems such   a waste of a good car but head must overrule heart I fear.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

One Of Life's Happy Coincidences

For Hubby and Teen One's packed lunch today, I took inspiration from Tales From A Happy House,
jam jars of course feature a lot in our house, so I was really pleased to find a new use.
Both Hubby and Teen One really enjoyed their salads, Hubby's was accompanied by a crustless quiche, but I knew just the salad would be more than enough for Teen One.
I hope to try another salad out for them tomorrow.
I had to pop into town today for various things, and was really really excited to see a clearance section in Sainsbury's with all kinds of things I actually wanted!
For starters there were these mega bottles of shampoo, 1000ml for £3.50.....usually £10!
Teen One really rates this shampoo, so I always stock up when its on special offer, at this rate I wont need to buy any for over a year!
Next up was a whole stash of stuff from Home Baking.
I totted it up and the shelf price for all these goodies was over £30 and I got everything for 20p each, making it just three pounds!
Oh how I love a bargain!
Tomorrow is Teen One's last day in school and she asked me to buy some thank you cards and pressies for the class and staff (as instructed by Uni!)
I rather liked these cards, very educational don't you think!
The suggestion had been made that she bring in sweets for the class...but I like to be a little more innovative than that, and had I had time I would like to have knitted up something small and fun for them, however I didn't have enough notice, so something from the shops it had to be instead.
I saw these pencils and rubbers and thought they would be fun...
I also saw these little post it note animals and thought they too would be fun.
When Teen One saw them she couldn't believe her eyes!
Unknown to me she has been using the exact same owls set ( from  a different shop though) for her intervention work.
One of the girls had fallen in love with them and had asked her mum if she could have a pack when she saw them in a shop, but was told no.
So, that little girl will have a happy surprise tomorrow!
Good old "The Works!"
I must confess to doing a silent fist pump to of life's happy coincidences!

I don't often use Iceland, but had been impressed with their frozen cauliflower cheese which we had at a relative's house recently so went in to buy a couple of packets.
Whilst browsing the freezers I saw these mini Vienetta cute!
Being on special offer (£1 a box I think) I had to try them, especially as Teen Two loves that ice cream.
Today has got to be the hottest so far, and I really did feel sorry for my builder.
His "lad" was still not at work, so the builder had to single handedly load all the tiles into his van then unload them and walk them down our alley, through the garage, down the garden into the the sweltering heat!
Once again I kept him well watered with iced drinks, but at 3pm he called it a day.
I take my hat off to him I really do, it was as much as I could do to carry shopping!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Little Summer Shepherds!

Starting with last night....the builder had asked if Hubby had the time, could he finish off the job of taking up the tiles in the downstairs loo, so he could prepare the floor for tiling.
Hubby had started his a week or two ago, but abandoned it after struggling with the last few and the ones under the loo.
As usual the job was trickier than expected and in this heat not an enviable task at all.
I could hear lots of moaning and groaning, so kept calling out encouraging words to lighten the mood!
Eventually I went out to see what was going on and was stunned to see he had taken out the loo!
(which leaves the builder without access to a loo, so he will have to come into the house now!)
He had found a large lump of concrete underneath the several layers of flooring that had been laid over the years, and had decided the only way to make a decent job, and an easier one for the builder, was to take out the loo!
I only hope it eventually goes back without too much hassle.
When the builder arrived this morning he was of course surprised to see the loo in the garden and asked if we had decided to get rid of the old loo in the end!
Old loo? It doesn't seem like five minutes ago we bought it and as there is nothing wrong with it I have no intentions of replacing  it!
This morning I had promised to take Grandma to Southampton to see her niece and hubby.
He is currently in remission from cancer of the brain.
Their grandchildren were there, this little one is always serious when we first arrive and sat in her little chair weighing us up for a while!
Pretty soon she and her older cousin were entertaining us coming in with tea towels on their heads, like little shepherds!
They did this with much giggling for ages, in and out....but as soon as I got my camera out and said
"smile!" the serious face came back!
For some reason, in all this heat, Grandma decided to take down her upstairs curtains and wash them.
But the task became too much and she was unable to put them back cue me doing it instead!
Putting up curtains are one of those "needs must" jobs and it was certainly hot work up that ladder!
When I came home there was nothing for it but a chillax in the garden.
The builder had gone out to buy something so I enjoyed the peace and quiet.
I really love the colours of this West Yorkshire Spinners wool, Rum Paradise its so pretty.
The builder has sealed the floor ready for the tiles to be laid tomorrow, so things should really start to take shape then!
I can then start looking for furniture to go in.
I have deliberately left it until last as I need to know what space there is,
I am loving the minimalist look out there right now!
I have yet to find storage space that I like/will fit, but need to get cracking soon or the dining room will forever be the room of doom!

Monday, 19 June 2017

It's The Taste That Matters!

In this heat, Morrisons was definitely the best place to be!
The air conditioning was wonderful and I overheard one of the assistants say, for the first time she couldn't wait to get to work and wanted to stay as long as she could!
I couldn't resist buying this roll today, I should have put something  else there for comparison, but trust me, its the size of a frying pan!
There were also burgers the same size, but at £3 I decided I could make my own much cheaper!

Teen Two did some baking....
...he had this for Christmas but we keep forgetting about it.
It looked easy enough, but I had a sneaky suspicion they wouldn't be as easy as they looked to make!
The pretzel antlers refused to stay in, so we glued them together with melted chocolate, the eyes also didn't want to stay on, so I melted each chocolate drop on a warm plate...boy was that fiddly!
The end result look more like a cross between Zingy the EDF mascot and a teletubby with the TV screen tummy with their hair in rollers!
Am sure they will taste good no matter what they look like!
For lunch I retreated to the shade of the gazebo, although it wasn't particularly peaceful!
The builder arrived for the last stage of the work in the conservatory, and had his radio on full blast.
Now he was very considerate and offered to turn it off/down, but I wouldn't hear of it.
He was working hard and I was just chilling, so it didn't seem fair.
I started another pair of socks and had the builder not been around I would probably have sneaked in a few more rows, but instead I went back indoors to tackle some jobs.
The builders project today was to plaster over the old exterior painted walls which surround the inner part of the conservatory....
..and he worked very hard all day, in the intense heat, and all alone as his "lad" didn't turn up.
It's making the place look so much better already!
Needless to say, I ensured he was well hydrated throughout the day, supplying endless glasses of iced drinks.
Teen One had her final assessment for this academic year and passed, with compliments from the tutor on how she answered some of the questions.
Only 4 days to go and that's her first year at Uni finished!
A lovely long summer ahead of her.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Happy Father's Day

Today is of course Father's Day, although I often say "every day is Father's Day in this house!"
The Teens presented dad with a couple of little pressies.....and as I type this Teen Two and Hubby are watching the DVD whilst munching into the sweets!
It was church as usual in the morning and I must admit I was not looking forward to going home and cooking a roast dinner in this heat!
I did suggest to everyone we ought to eat something cooler and easier to prepare when it was this can imagine the looks they all gave me!
With dinner done and dusted there was nothing for it but to retreat to the shade of the gazebo.
Grandma had a snooze in the chair, Teen One was...well you know what Teen One was doing...more course work....Teen Two was bunny hunting and Hubby was reading the flight details of planes flying overhead on an app..."that one's from Brazil" he told me!
After Grandma's nap, she joined us out in the garden and we indulged in the usual trio of games...with Teen Two getting a little help from his friend!
Once the games were over, it was time to go back to the knitting...and I have finally finished this Passion Fruit Cooler pair. They are destined for Australia so I will try and get them mailed in the week and then on to a new pair.
My local wool shop has a special offer each week, with a different theme each time...last weeks special offer was...sock wool!
So I emailed my family in Oz and got them to choose their next colours.
Tonight was church as usual, and we were glad to see a middle aged man come in, who is well known to us and comes intermittently.
He has some mental health issues and sadly had a fall out with his landlady in what sounds like a rather spectacular style!
As he has technically made himself homeless, he is unable to get housed by the council currently.
He has been sleeping rough, and to see him come in with his sleeping bag rolled up was hard to say the least.
No one wants to think of someone they know sleeping rough, but what to do about it was the problem for us.
We offered to bring him back for a meal and a bath, but he has a friend who has been feeding him and letting him wash and shave etc at his place.
We have arranged for him to meet up with one of our elders tomorrow morning at 9am, as the elder is hoping he can get something arranged for him, having worked in the housing department of the council before he retired.
Hopefully he will also be able to help with form filling and ensuring it is clearly known he has mental health issues and likely to be vulnerable.
We will ensure his basic needs are met, as discretely as possible, one worries that if too much help is given the welfare system focuses on others and other folk fall through a gap in the system.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

The Shade Is The Place To Be Today!

Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was just being a lady of a certain age, but last night no matter how hard I tried, sleep did not want to come!
I had to be up early as well so really really really wanted to get some shut eye in!
Eventually it must have come as there are three hours unaccounted for!
But at 6.30am I had to be up to get the Jam Jar puds ready for our day out.
First up I had to make up the labels as I ran out of energy last night for doing them ( should have taken them to bed aye!)
Then it was time to make up the puds....Oreo sundae...

....chocolate muffin sundae...
...and of course the rainbow jellies.
I did more choices last year but decided to do less this year because of the extreme heat  expected.
I knew there would be several other desserts on offer and these jam jar ones don't do well in the sun, they would just be puddles at the bottom of the jars!
They all went and the jellies went first!
I am always surprised when people choose would be my last choice I think!

We had gone to Berkshire for an all day Young People's Bible study day.
There must have been well over 100, and the sessions were very good and every hour there was a food/drink break, except for the afternoon when we had three and a half hours.
Lunch was four chicken dishes, two of which were curry...mmm, we all love curry in my family.
During the long lunch break Teen One sat quietly under a tree doing course work...
...and I saw nearby quietly doing my knitting, in this extreme heat it really was very pleasant to just spend the day sitting inside in the cool, or out under the shade, with no food to worry about cooking. I did of course help clear up, but it was all at a very leisurely pace.
Whilst I chilled under the tree, other, more energetic ones  were in the sun playing rounders...
...whilst more sensible ones play swingball in the shade....
...or Frisbee
Its always lovely to catch up with folk, some of whom we only see once a year.
We learnt that one of Teen One's old tent leaders, and her Hubby ( who shares cousins with us) have just been accepted for adopting and are awaiting a couple of little ones being assigned to them.
They have chosen to have two siblings under five, quite a challenge I expect, depending on the age and reasons for being adopted.
They certainly were very excited about the prospect.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Wilting and Working!

This morning was spent doing the usual supermarket shop for the weekend, and adding the final layer to a tray of Rainbow jellies I have been making since Tuesday.
We are going to a Young People's Bible Study day tomorrow and as usual I am taking along a selection of desserts.
Tomorrow morning I will get up early to make up some batches of Jam Jar Sundaes....
...and will cut up the Oreo brownies I made this afternoon.
The rest of the day was spent wilting working with a sit down mid afternoon for a cold drink(not that I am moaning about the heat!) and some knitting, before getting ready for Friday Club.
With it being Father's Day on Sunday our craft for those who wanted to, was to make a card,
these days its not so easy to celebrate such days as many children for one reason or another don't have a father in their life.
My heart always goes out to one lad, who we have known since he was a toddler, his dad died a few years ago, but each year he makes his day a card, writes a lovely message and then takes it to the grave, makes me cry every time.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

A World Record Breaker In The Family!

We really are getting spoilt with these days of sunshine aren't we!
To wake up to the sun shining really is energising, although too much throughout the day has the opposite effect and saps me of any energy at all!
This morning was Parent and Toddlers and church and I was given a bouncing 6mth old to hold for a while....what a treat! She was full of smiles and so cuddly!
Back home it was time to crack on with some touch up painting and hopefully Hubby can put back the ironmongery tonight and things will start to look better than they have in a while.
I did take some time out in the afternoon for a bit of knitting, it was bliss, in the peace and quiet with just the sound of the birds in the garden.
Aside from being taxi for the Teens my early evening has been full of making dinners, packed lunches, putting laundry away, watering the lawn etc, not very exciting...but the big new of the day is...

...Teen One has broken a world record....well her and 799 other people!
The school she is currently on placement at, along with others locally, went to the Guildhall and took part in what is now the largest djembe ensemble ( drumming to you and me!)
Their photo was taken and will be in the new edition of the book (we will be lucky to pick her out!)
The BBC were there to record it and it was supposed to be on tonight's Newsround, but doesn't seem to have made it, maybe it will be tomorrow.
Exciting stuff huh!