Friday, 30 June 2017

The Joys Of A New Mop!

Today has been a "Mum's Taxi" kind of day.
With the usual trip to Lidl out of the way first thing, I headed out with Teen Two for his last day of work experience.
Seems today he actually did a bit of work and used the till!
Its hardly been a taster of real work, but he has had fun so that's something I guess!
On the way home I called in to B&Q, mainly to get some more paint, but whilst there I had a browse through the cleaning section.
I was being driven to distraction with the new floor never staying clean looking for long.
The biggest problem was a white cat and black floor is not a marriage made in heaven!
Especially in moulting season ( which is pretty much 365 days a year!)
No matter how I tried I could never get rid of all the fallen hair by brushing and its just not feasible to be getting the vaccum out all the time.
I was more than a little excited to see this large microfibre mop and when I road tested it at home...
...oh what joy!
Not only is it easy to use with the 360 degree swivel head, it glides across the tiles taking everything in its wake.
No hair is safe!
I know this wont last, but I have been doing a sweep through almost everytime I have gone out there today!
Of course with it being empty of anything right now its pretty easy to do that, with furniture and bits and bobs it wont be quite so easy, but I am so pleased with this £8 purchase!
The instructions say it can be used wet as well and is suitable for wood, vinyl and tiles.
The cover comes off for washing as well.
After a quick lunch and a red thai chicken curry put in the slow cooker, it was time to take Teen One to Winchester.
She is going camping in South Wales with some friends, for a YP Bible study weekend.
I do hope the weather is kind!
Last year she had the most horrendous hayfever and couldn't sleep, so this year she is armed with antihistamine, nasal sprays, insect repellent and goodness knows what else!
A friend was meeting up with us in Winchester to take her, so I was able to drop her off at a nearby Tesco, in the café, then head on back home for Teen Two coming out of work experience.
Our story tonight at Friday Club was The Prodigal Son and with Teen One not around to help, I needed a quick and easy tea biscuits, some pink icing, marshmallow and an icing pen made some pretty acceptable little piggies,  the kids made a pretty good job of them but I forgot to take my camera!
During the story one of the kids asked why the son didn't kill one of the pigs he was looking after if he was so hungry!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

A Sorting Out Sort Of Day

At Parent and Toddler's today Teen One did the activity, which the little ones really enjoyed.
I then left her to lead music time which is always very noisy, whilst I dropped Teen Two down to his work experience.
I say work experience, its more "game experience" since there seems to be more game playing than work!
I had spent some time with him yesterday playing shopkeeper online.
When I heard he was going to be using the till, I wanted to be sure he had a good grasp of counting back change etc.
I found a good website for playing shopkeeper games and improving maths skills.
However I needn't have worried, his mental maths was super quick and accurate, and of course tills are all computerised these days so the change will be worked out anyway.
Something that did interest me was his struggle to "count up" the change from the amount due to the amount paid.
It was something I spent a lot of my young teen years doing, having worked in various shops.
When Teen One was around I asked her if she could count up and she said it didn't come naturally, it was far easier to use newer methods (number bonds etc)
Interesting how maths has changed.
On the way home from Parent and Toddlers I spotted this box outside someone's house, so grabbed myself a few free herbs.
I have washed and frozen them.
Sadly the rosemary had all gone and I am not sure I can tell the difference between the marjoram and thyme!
After lunch I was in the mood for some sorting.
It started with the medicine boxes.
Teen Two and Hubby now have an extensive supply of personal medication, so they are now tidily in their own labelled boxes and the general box has been decluttered of all the out of date stuff.
The box is much emptier now, mainly because I threw out about six paracetamol boxes which had either no tablets or just one in them!
It seems I am shocking at opening up new boxes without making sure others aren't already open!
We also seem to have every sort of nit comb available to man!
I thought about throwing them out, but with Teen One spending more and more time with primary aged children I thought maybe not!
Teen One spent some time with her watercolours...
..before joining me with some sorting.
She tackled the stationery drawers....of which there were four!!
...aside from having an awful lot of pens/pencils, we have an awful lot of scissors, rulers and staples!
We will probably never have to buy any of these things for the rest of our lives or the Teens lives!
I know I used to like to keep a store in when the Teens were at school, they seemed to be forever losing/mislaying rulers, pens pencils etc and as I was always the kid in class who had to ask to borrow this that and the other, I was determined my own children would always have what they needed to do their work....think I may have got slightly over the top!
We also discovered oodles and oodles of pencil leads, all sizes and colours and in lovely plastic containers, I think they are destined for Freecycle, since Hubby has never used them since he saved them from the office bin when we lived in the US!
We now have lovely tidy drawers thanks to Teen One's perseverance.
We also have drawers that will close without crushing everything that is in it or causing it to fall down the back!
Meanwhile I was tackling under the stairs, which was in chaos ( how does it happen so often!)
but now its all stacked neatly and there is even space in there!
After all the work there had to be some sock knitting and a cuppa of course.
One sock finished, and second one cast on.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

What A Transformation!

The past week my newly tiled floor has had a greyish smear all over it.
I did give it a couple of wash downs over the weekend, but needn't have worried.
The builder told me he was going to come today and clean it with special acid...
...and what a transformation!
I can't believe how good it looks!
He hasn't quite finished, there is still some sealing to do round the edges, but I am so pleased with how its starting to look.
I was initially slightly disappointed if I am honest, as the picture of the tiles I sent him had a much darker grouting, but this mid grey looks better than I originally thought.
The day for me has been one of pottering, having cups of tea, taking Teen Two to his work experience, which took almost an hour as the venue opened later than usual due to the keyholder turning up late!
I called in to see my late neighbour's son as I hadn't heard from him in a while so was a bit worried.
I didn't manage to get a response so left a note and came home, however soon after returning home he came round, having found the note.
Turns out his hearing is getting worse and he hadn't heard the bell or knocker.
Thankfully he is well, but frustrated by his house move which has come to a bit of a standstill.
After a few more chores, there was a little knitting time squeezed in whilst watching Escape to the Country....always good to dream!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A Little Light Pruning?

This morning I promised to take Grandma to The Range for a few bits and pieces.
I got all the household chores out of the way then headed out to collect her at 10am, hoping I could persuade her to stop off for elevenses after the shopping.
The Range stocked all she wanted, and we went up to the newly refurbished café
Sadly the first two items we ordered weren't available ( latte and fruit cooler for Teen One)
Grandma was just about to accept the offer of an Americano instead, but I politely refused the offer and said we would go to the nearby Costa instead.
If I am going to treat myself to a coffee out I want something I can't get at home...anyone can make an Americano but it takes a barista to make a lovely latte!
Costa's thankfully had decaff coffee for the lattes and ice for the fruit cooler, so it was worth the short journey.
Back home it was time to tackle the ironing...
...then mow the lawn....
...then a little light pruning of an old climbing rose bush, ended up in complete dessimation of the poor bush!
It was a moving in present from my late great aunt and uncle so I was rather sad to see it come to such a sad end, but truth be told it had been slowly dying, and was more dead wood than anything.
As I was pulling off a huge dead branch the entire root came out of the ground!
Knowing how difficult it usually is to uproot established rose bushes, I could only think this was about to die off completely anyway.
I salvaged the remaining few blooms to enjoy one last time.
Whilst I was busy in the garden Teen One did the hoovering for me, before chilling with some sketching.....I must say, I am loving Milly's new favourite spot, the floor is where I prefer cats to be, not covering the furniture with hair...
...but I suspect this won't last long!
I soon joined Teen One for some chilling time and a cuppa with my knitting.
I am probably in the minority, but I was very pleased to see the rain come soon after coming in.
It will save me watering the garden tonight!

Monday, 26 June 2017

How Jammy Is That!

Today is my Monday Recycled Teenager's 85th birthday.
She loves dates so I bought her a pack of soft dates and date hearts which I picked up at Home Bargains a while back.
I know she will love them and at her age she really doesn't want anything else to clutter the house with!
Unfortunately she wasn't feeling too good so didn't come out shopping, but that worked out nicely for me as, when I returned with her shopping her latest great grandchild was there...such a little sweetheart!
Back home, my friend had let herself in for a cuppa and we then enjoyed some lunch in the garden.
The builder was grouting the tiles and teaching his "lad" how to do it.
Its starting to look really nice...
...he has also laid the tiles in the loo area and I love the way the floor glides from one space to the other.
With my friend back to work it was time for me to get the laundry in/out/away, a never ending task but its lovely to see it all blowing in the breeze...
...and with the new conservatory roof I can see it from my sofa...and also the lovely blue skies of course!
Teen One was busy doing a Science assignment a week or two ago and today the results were released...she got a first!
Teen Two received confirmation of his work experience placement this week.
It is in his favourite Retro Gaming venue!
How jammy is that!
I have yet to learn what the work will entail but its likely to be resetting games, serving soft drinks and confectionery and the most important job of all, making the boss cups of tea!
Having woken up at 3.30am I am now starting to flag so it looks like an early night for me!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Enjoying A Usual Sort Of Day

Today has been a fairly normal day, which after yesterday's disappointments was rather a relief!
It was church as usual....
...followed by roast beef and a hastily put together apple crumble.
I didn't bother weighing the sugar out ( actually I rarely do!) and must have tipped in more than usual, as the crumble was deliciously crisp and sweet...according to the family anyway!
It did make me think if that was the reason Americans call it "Apple Crisp?"
The afternoon was the usual games fest and just a spot of knitting.
Whilst Grandma was snoozing everyone else got on with their own thing.
For Teen One it was some colouring, something she rarely does, but was obviously inspired by this pretty set she had for Christmas
Rather a nice idea, enjoy the peacefulness of some colour therapy, then share the blessing by posting to a friend and let them know you are thinking of them.
I decided I wanted to try and regain some lost ground in the conservatory.
I drew the line at painting, so concentrated on washing down the paintwork that had plaster tide marks, and also the windows and white trim.
It made the place look so much better.
The only down moment was discovering the new tiles scratch very easily and already I can see scratches!
Oh well....we generally go for the "rustic" look, nothing looks new for long aye!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Can We Rewind Today Please?

Can we rewind today please?
It has been one of those days when everything we do seems to work against us!
It started with the sad drive down to We Buy Any Car.CON as they shall forever be known to us!
We went through the simple process yesterday of entering the car reg, being given a quote and told bring it down, with all the documents and we will transfer the money in to your account.
All seemed easy enough, and in fact the process was very easy and the man we dealt with was very nice indeed and we have no gripe against him.
What did frustrate us was the lack of openness on the website and TV ads.
We were quoted £150 for the car, which seemed a steal to be honest, but with not many days left for it to be legally on the road we had to make a quick decision.
Having checked it all over he just had to deduct £18 for a minor scuff ...and then the £50 fee!
The what???
The fee!
What fee?
When were we told there would be a fee?
We had assumed the price quoted included any fee.
Say what you like about ebay, they are up front about all their fees.
Well at this stage of the day we had no option but to accept it, but had we known yesterday we would have researched other quick sell sites and quite frankly would rather have given it away.
Anyway, we went away and licked our wounds and I thought, well at least it covered the £48 MOT fee I paid for needlessly for the day before!
Sadly there was more wound licking to do when we got home.
I phoned my insurance company to say I no longer owned the car and was told it would cost me £50 to cancel the policy ( which was only a month old!)
So that's £150 spent in two days on a car I no longer own!
She was such a great car too, so reliable, I just have to remind myself she paid for her keep many times over the past year, keeping Hubby on the road when his own car was in the garage for two weeks and she was a great work horse taking stuff to the dump.
So, I gritted my teeth and got on with the day.
For lunch I decided to make microwaved eggs....which I have made countless times, I made three with no problems, but the last one exploded in the microwave making a terrible noise and a worse mess!
I hasten to add they are not cooked in their shells either, just in a cup.
Hubby and Teen Two then took the old sofa to the dump, it was a shame as there was nothing wrong with it, but several responses on Freecycle didn't result in anyone actually coming for it, so it had to go.
We managed to get it on the car roof ok, but sadly when Teen Two and Hubby were taking it off, it left a dent in the car as they hadn't realised all the legs weren't off the roof as it was carefully pulled down!
So Hubby was a little annoyed about that!
Next up was to clean the flat roof above the conservatory, as every bit of wind blows grit and dirt on to the glass roof... problem with that bit, then we had to hose down the roof itself, so I climbed the ladder to put the hose on a large sheet we had lain on the roof, so Hubby could reel it in from the  flat roof...
...and that was pretty successful.
Hubby hosed everything down and all was good, until we heard the phone doing a strange ring...
the only way to stop it was disconnect it!
Then we noticed water dripping down inside the conservatory!
Some on my newly painted wall too!
It appears we had been too enthusiastic shooting the water UP in certain areas, we had hit the phone wire which had caused the phone to go funny, but lesson learnt, only shoot water the same direction as rain fall in future and that should avoid unwanted leaks!
But the most frustrating part of the day for me has been the painting.
Not just because I hate painting, but I hate it even more when it all goes wrong!
It started with me "cutting in" using the wrong paint...even though I had thought I had the right one, it was the one I had used for the beam and not the wall.
When I realised I switched to the right paint (whoever thought it would even matter being white) but the correct paint isn't the same consistency and no matter how often I paint over you can still see the cutting in paint! add insult to injury the roller ...a new roller at that...kept leaving fluff everywhere..grr that really annoys me.
So I went and got another new one from the garage, a foam one this time, which was only a tiny bit better  (no fluff, but bubbles instead!) but even then I was getting the odd bit of I decided it must be in the paint tray so went and got a new paint tray and even washed it but was still getting the odd bit of fluff, I was on the verge of giving up....
...and then as if all this wasn't enough I noticed that despite covering the floor with a dust sheet, little speckles of white paint were all over the black tiles!
Well, I was either going to throw a brick at it all, leave home, shout at someone or walk away from it all quietly and do some knitting!
You will be glad to know I quietly  walked away(well there might have been a bit of muttering about it being a blue job ) and changed into my  PJ's and watched Gogglesproggs...without doing any knitting!
I decided it was too risky to pick that up, for sure I would have dropped a stitch or two!
Having sat down for an hour and laughed at those cute kids ( especially when they couldn't get over the "old men" singing The Flood!) I feel almost myself again.
I will cook tea now....trying not to burn the pasta...then give the painting one last chance!