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Monday, 21 August 2017

Back on the wagon.

The "healthy eating" wagon, that is. Much as I enjoyed the fat and sugar hit of jammy doughnuts and cream, I was glad to return to real food yesterday.

Lots of veg and fresh fruit, we did have pizza but it was a thin crust and topped with a rainbow of veggies and a scant sprinkle of Parmesan. A spicy apple crumble was destined to be pudding (the SO is a bit of a crumble fiend) but a fresh apple from the garden replaced it.

I did get in a good walk with Ben and a longer one with Rufus in the morning before the rain set in. It hammered down most of the latter half of the day and was still coming down at 10:30 last night. This morning there is a heavy mist/drizzle obscuring the view from my windows.

My plan today is to work my way through my "crumb quilt" box. There are several large blocks, waiting to be cut down and many more smaller part blocks. Then there is a heap of crumbs waiting to be sewn together. I think that there is a small quilt in there striving for freedom and I have enough solid yardage for sashing and borders. I may add cornerstones depending on how I feel when the time comes. This will be a gifted quilt as soon as a home waves to me.
I have most of the day to fill, the SO will be away painting, and I want to be as productive as possible. I would be really happy to get the blocks and sashing assembled into a flimsy ready to layer and quilt over the rest of the week. I am toying with the notion of using buttons to attach the layers together, I haven't done that for ages and there are jars of pretty buttons to showcase.

Dinner tonight will be a bean and veg mix in a light cheese sauce with a cobbler topping. A few teaspoons of spicy chutney dropped here and there through the base give lovely pops of flavour. I add fresh thyme leaves to the topping for more flavour.

The jumper for Ivy is progressing well, the back is done and the front is just a few rows away from dividing for the neck. I have a pair of thick socks and then another Miette lined up to keep my fingers away from evening snacking.

Ben has just come and told me, in no uncertain terms, that it is long past his walk time. Nothing to do with the fact that he was snoring his head off until 3 minutes ago, Oh No, it is my fault for sitting on my btm.

                                  TTFN                               Pam



Sunday, 20 August 2017

Eyes Upwards.

I am weather watching, there is a line of washing dancing in the breeze. The sun has been shining but it is obvious that rain is on it's way.

Miette is finished bar the buttons, I aim to get her blocked later on today. I have the yarn ready for another but have cast on a sweater for Ivy, I fancied doing a little knitting project first.

I made marmalade, from a tin of mamade, yesterday. I added the juice and pulp from a huge lemon to give it a little extra bite.

More blackberries have been gathered and once the apples have been chopped up there will be a jelly bag suspended in the kitchen filling the house with the heady scent of glories to come.

I have a couple of sewing projects ready to finish off, it should have happened yesterday. I fell down the rabbit hole of kitchen cupboard tidying, which of course meant that they were deep cleaned. Boom, the day was over.

I settled down in front of the telly in the evening, with a box set of Murdoch mysteries, and finished Miette. I hate picking up stitches and as I had added rows I had to finagle it. It looks good though and once blocked I will be getting the buttons on so that it is ready to wear.

I have a new addition to the sitting room, a wall clock with a pendulum, I hope that the ticking becomes soothing .....soon, very soon. The last one that I had was so comforting, ticking away the hours, but it has been a while since it died and I have become accustomed to the silence of a carriage clock.

I would love a long case clock but the modern ones are too new looking and the old ones are not only "how ###### much", but too large for my room.

Ben had a bath last night, a new shampoo for his flaky skin. It is the third time that I have used it and it seems to be effective. He is having  salmon added to every meal to help with the general skin condition. He is resigned to eating it. Ha ha, he attacks it with gusto and licks the dish as clean as a whistle.

Nothing much else to share, dinner last night was a very bone idle burger in some chilli bread with corn on the cob. The SO had cherry pie and whipped cream for pudding.
I was a total slob and had 2, YES 2, doughnuts AND I used them to wipe every last scraping of cream from the dish it was whipped in.
In my defence I can only say that I felt like a child again, licking the dish after my Gran had a baking session.

It Was Wonderful.

On that note I am off to get a brew on and check the skies again.


                          TTFN                                         Pam







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Thursday, 17 August 2017

A day of many parts.

The day dawned fine and bright, just a bit too early for me but I got up as once awake there is no going back to sleep.

  • Ben was all too happy to start his day early, but it was nothing to do with the weather Oh no. He decided that 5:45 was a good time for a spot of breakfast, I had to tell him otherwise.

I did not waste my time but got lots of little jobs sorted.

We had a walk and then it was time to scoop up Rufus for his turn.

I picked up Jess and Ivy and we went off out for a couple of hours, it is good to play hookey once in a while.

I came back to total chaos, the toilet cistern had sprung a leak, there was water running down the hall walls and the carpet was soaking. The plumber was on his way and within an hour order was restored.

Luckily the SO was at home and got the water turned off before any serious damage could happen.

As often happens it never rains but it pours, almost the minute that had I cleaned up the bathroom Ben was sick, poor little dog he slunk on his belly to the door in shame. Another round of cleaning and finally I could think about dinner.

Then to cap it all the heavens opened a few minutes before I was due to take the dogs out.

I threw the towel in, had dinner early, washed up and got into pj's and claimed my corner of the sofa.

I have started the rib on the first Miette sleeve, I added 30 extra rows as I want full length sleeves, bracelet length sleeves on an Aran weight cardigan seems so wrong.

Tomorrow is another day and hopefully it will be less eventful. I intend to finish my sleeve and get the second one started and possibly have an early night, all this excitement is very tiring.

                                             TTFN                                                       Pam

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

It was a Time Warp

Even after checking the post dates and yesterdays date it totally passed by me that it was Tuesday. AKA Knit and natter day.

I missed it, I pottered about the house. Laundry done, line dried and ironed, kitchen sorted, some sewing prep done, quite a bit of knitting. The Miette body is done and I will be starting the first sleeve shortly. Pattern and yarn selected for a small persons sweater, and lots of little bits and bobs tidied away.

The SO found the time to put a floating shelf over the hall mirror, the baskets of hats, scarves and gloves are now there.

Dinner was a simple "Ploughmans plate", neither of us was particularly hungry and there was a fresh loaf of bread. So with a selection of cheese, homemade chutney and some tomatoes and bell peppers we had a scratch meal that was just perfect.

Tonight we are having a baked egg dish that I saw Phyllis Stokes  make. Diced bell peppers and scallions sweated in butter, tipped into a pyrex dish and raw eggs placed on top. Grated cheese and breadcrumbs scattered over and then moistened with a little beer (I used cider) and baked for 20 minutes. I have made crushed roasted garlic potatoes ready to go in the oven, I am looking forward to dinner already.

I forgot to give the recipe for Cauliflower Steaks, it isn't really a recipe, I slice the cauli though into 2" steaks and lay them in a single layer in a baking tin. Then I whisk some oil, salt and pepper and whatever spice I fancy together, last time it was smoked paprika, garlic granules and a squirt of barbecue sauce. Tip it over the steaks and turn them over in it to coat well. Then I just griddle them or pop the tray into the oven for 25 minutes or so. I have made these many times, they are good marinaded in a little Worcestershire sauce and topped with a thick cheese sauce and then baked.

We had a lovely sunny morning and early afternoon but it is raining now and looks to be set in for the night.

The radio has been playing lots of Elvis songs this week, it doesn't seem 40 years ago that he died, I may have a look on NetFlix later and watch one of his films, I enjoyed them at the time but have not seen any of them more than once.

Now I think that it is Tea o'clock, dinner is prepped for the oven and the kitchen is put to rights. All is well in my world.

Weather permitting I will be scooping up Jess and Ivy tomorrow and sliding off for a few hours.  It doesn't look very promising but we will see.

                                         TTFN                                                                    Pam




Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A very senior moment.

Oh Dear, I just had a little read through my blog list and then had a look at the comments for yesterday. One said that it was nice to see me back, back? back from where?I thought Then I saw that I had not posted for a few days, I don't know why, perhaps I was lost in a time warp. It's just a jump to the left....sorry about that.

I had no idea, I thought that I had missed one day. Oops I blame Mary Poppins, she has to be blamed for something.

Anyway, now that that is dealt with I can move forward, onwards and upwards.

I am knitting happily on the Miette, I have 27 rows left on the body before binding off and picking up the sleeves. It has not been an entirely smooth progress, nothing wrong with pattern or yarn, no dropped stitches or anything. My stitchmarkers decided to jump off the needles at every opportunity, they were like Minions determined to escape. I may have to resort to little bits of contrast yarn tied in loops. That was what my Mother used, there were no fancy pants, themed or otherwise, pretties to be had then. Even if there were she would have rather spent the money on more yarn. (only she called it all wool)

I have been sewing, 2 new cushion covers are finished, 2 are waiting for the final seaming and overlocking and 2 are waiting for the back fabric to be selected.

The dress that was cut out at least 6 weeks ago is still in limbo, but it is at the top of the pile. I just have to get the cushion covers done, not to mention the quilt that has been pin basted....Oh and I have an idea for a new play quilt for the grands. Snakes and Ladders on one side and Draughts on the reverse, I aim to make the squares big enough for the children to be the counters on the snakes and ladders side. I will make the dice as well.
What I will change though is the long snake that slides down from square 98 (or 99) to square 2. I can remember sliding down that many, many times and it can be devastating to a small child.

Mmm, just noticed that I have used a smaller sized font than normal, I will leave it and see how it turns out.

I have to dash, it is almost time for walking Rufus, if I am late he stands at the gate a shouts for me.

                                       TTFN                                                            Pam







Monday, 14 August 2017

Technicolour to shades of grey.

Yesterday was a full on technicolour and vista vision day. Bright sun, a warm whispering breeze and hedgerows festooned with glistening berries like fruit gums tipped out of a packet. Black, red, orange(almost) and green, a Kilo was soon gathered and added to a kilo of chopped apples and a pint and a bit of water, boiled up and strained overnight. They have become 4 jars of purple/black jelly, all ready to melt into buttery crumpets or be the jewels in jam tarts. A reminder of late summer days in the gloom of winter.

The sun shone for Ivy, it was a celebration of her first birthday, and it was all about blueberries and cake for her. She delights in her food and although cake is a treat fresh fruit, pepper sticks and plums were pounced upon with glee. She was delighted with the little tote bag filled with a few crocheted flowers and pom poms. The cardigan that I had feared would be a bit on the small side fitted her well, with a little growing room, so another will be on the needles soon.

Today is a shades of grey day, mainly because I have rhubarb wiped and chopped in the maslin pan. It sits there, under a pristine dressing of snowy white sugar, oh so slowly releasing its tart juices. Scattered throughout are a few nuggets of preserved ginger that have been chopped fine, every spoonful of the resulting jam should have at least one, almost fiery nib.

That will be the last pull of rhubarb this year, a sure sign that summer is on its way out. The outer tough stems are softening and bending, like tulips in a vase, and the leaves are crisping and changing colour. In a short time I will be piling the contents of the small compost bin over the plants, after I have lifted and split the bigger ones.

The apple boughs are bent double under the weight of fruit, so much so that I have had to thin them out. The rainfall has caused them to become quite large, even though not fully ripe the flesh is crisp, juicy and sweet.

One is being moved later this year to a more sheltered spot and a Damson will take its place. The area right at the top of the garden, which is scheduled to be cleared this autumn will (fingers crossed) hold another and possibly a Quince, although I have had visions of the dark purple damsons nestled up to some velvety soft greengages. 

There, I have cheered myself up no end writing that, I will have to have a search for the trees a bit later.

The Miette cardigan is growing nicely, I have put the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn and am a few rows into the body. 

I am planning another and will be yarn hunting tomorrow. Luckily Debs has a good stock of Aran weight yarn that I can squidge and squeeze through.

Dinner tonight is Toad in the Hole, the batter mix has been well beaten and is resting. The "sausage toads" are a glorious blend with apple and beetroot taking centre stage and I have some cider flavoured sauce to anoint the finished dish with. Peas and carrots will provide a splash of colour and there is a crumble for pudding, apple and blackerry, of course.

Now I do believe that it is Tea O'clock, with an oaty biscuit perhaps. Not to dunk, yeuk, biscuits should be enjoyed crisp and crumbly, not warm and soggy.

                TTFN                                                 Pam







Wednesday, 9 August 2017

What is that noise?

That noise, my friends, is the death rattle of a Lap top (at least that's what it sounds like to me)
No more listening to my favourite podcasters, I have to put the telly on. Well at least till the lappy goes to the doctors, that will hopefully happen tomorrow. It went west yesterday morning when I was on a call to my sister, but it was Knit and Natter in the afternoon and I had to prioritise.

People come first.

Not to mention the fact that there was cake.

Jammy doughnuts, swoon.

Triple chocolate cookies, drool.

Blueberry muffins, Oh My.

But we are not going to mention cake.

The talented Tina of Loobylou Yarns brought in a basket full of her Homespun, Oh My Word it is drop dead gorgeous (she has a shop so pop on over and have a look. Just don't buy it all)

If I end up able to spin yarn that is half as good I will be a happy bunny.

I must not mention the cake.

The sun has been shining on and off most of the day and now it is glorious, just right for walking Ben and Rufus before dinner.

I finished the socks today and am working on the next WIP in line. That WILL be finished tonight and then there is just my blue cardigan and the SO's Aran weight Flax sweater. I have an Andi Satterlund pattern clamouring to be knit, and the light green yarn to knit it in. I WILL be strong and finish the WIPs first though. I just know that this will be a monogamous knit, it is Miette which is now free on Ravelry, I want one in at least 3 colours.

Most of the prep has been done in the sitting room, fingers crossed it will all be put to rights by the weekend.

I must drink my tea now and get the dogs on their respective leads for a gentle walk in the sunshine. Life is good.

                    TTFN                                                 Pam

PS. I have to mention the cake. I was good only the one doughnut, it was light and fluffy and oozing jam. yummy yum yum.