Wednesday 29 October 2008

garden update no.1

OK, so digging up and trashing the garden seemed like a great idea last weekend. This weekend we spent MANY hours digging up the roots of the two big shrubs, which were very firmly attached to the border, and really didn't want to move.... but eventually out they did come, leaving two enormous holes and a pile of earth the size of a small mountain, and a garden full of debris and mess......

meanwhile the house is a bombsite because it's half term, and we seem to have done quite a lot of entertaining and feeding of my sister's 3 children, who are here from London, so just imagine the piles of washing up, and the mountains of toys everywhere - no photos - too scary....

so now you have envisaged the total havoc that is my home, imagine my delight when on Monday the estate agents ran at 5pm, and said "we've got some people who'd like to view your house ----- tomorrow....."

I resorted to mild panic, running about like a headless chicken, and demanding chocolate (Lynn has assured me on several occasions that chocolate is the cure for all problems).

so the garden got a very quick makeover, all plans to dig out all the remaining roots and rocks abandoned in favour of a flatten it out, and sort it later approach

the house got a hoover and a very quick tidy, but E saved the day - his contribution when I asked him to make his bed was to create this adorable scene of domestic bliss - how can anyone resist living here now!

so they came, they left, I'm not holding my breath, but I am holding a pile of books, because whilst J is working at home today, which is seriously hindering my time on the computer, it did mean I was able to get in the attic, and rescue a stash of books!

Friday 24 October 2008

a bit carried away

at about 2.30pm last Sunday the border in the back garden looked liked this

but J made the fatal mistake of saying "I think that the border needs pruning", and in a supreme moment of rashness we decided rather than prune it, to rip it all out instead..

so now we have this..........

this weekend's jobs will include digging out some pretty substantial stumps, I won't show you the VERY impressive bruise I have on my leg from walking into this one....

and then we're going to create our very own miniature version of this.

with the help of this

when we decided to sell the house we gave up our allotment, and J insisted I put all of my gardening books and excessive collection of cookbooks in the attic. well guess what, the house hasn't sold, and it clearly isn't going to, so for now J is resigned to another year of a long commute, and I'm drooling over seed catalogues, and hauling all (ok maybe just a few) of those cook books back out of the attic. I can't get them all out, because I've just ordered this

and this

don't tell J..........

Tuesday 21 October 2008

rainbows and recipes

OK, so it's taken me 6 months, but I've finally quilted the rainbow quilt! and sold it! A friend needed an urgent baby gift for a family baby, and rainbow quilt came to the rescue.

I was really pleased with how and turned out, and actually found it really hard to part with it, but I guess I can make another one...... (I wonder how long that will take me....)

It's amazing that it got finished considering I received a lovely parcel from Lisa's magazine swap, my swap partner Rachael Rabbit sent me these lovely magazines, and I could (OK make that have) spend hours drooling over the recipes, and the lovely photos.

thank you Rachael, I shall let you know when I've made some of the recipes!

I hoping for good things from these organizing tips too - what's your best tip for organizing stuff?

Wednesday 15 October 2008

science experiments.

One of Miss K's favourite books is the girls book .
and a few weeks ago we carefully followed all the instructions to grow crystals on a pebble.

so I'm wondering why we have the most beautifully crystallized pencil!

maybe this will be more sucessful!

more grown up "science" has been going on too with a recipe for sloe gin.

it's such fun watching it get pinker and pinker!

Friday 10 October 2008

cranberry and orange rock buns

thank you so much for all the wonderful comments and support in my last post, I really appreciate it.. xx

and to say thank you do come round for a nice rock bun, I modified a recipe when I found some dried cranberries in the cupboard that really needed eating up, and they're not bad..

cranberry and orange rock buns

340 g plain flour ( I used doves farm gluten free which is why they aren't very rocky, feel free to use normal flour!
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
175g butter/margarine
175g sugar
85g dried cranberries
85 g raisins or sultanas
85g glace cherries - chopped up
zest of 1/2 orange
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

rub flour/butter/sugar together to resemble breadcrumbs

stir in baking powder, salt, nutmeg, dried fruit and zest.

mix in egg, and milk, to make a stiff dough

pile mixture into little rocks on greased/lined baking tray.

sprinkle with a little demerara sugar.

bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown at 180C

cool on a wire rack if you can resist them......

they certainly cheered up Miss K when she came home from school - which is getting a lot easier this week, we've had 2 meetings with the head teacher, and they're FINALLY listening, and so fingers crossed. Of course next we have the issue of which secondary school.........

and I was hugely cheered up by this most wonderful parcel which I won in Sheila's giveaway,

the whole parcel smelt gorgeous even before I got it undone!
Thank you so much Sheila,

and I've found the perfect pattern for the wool.

Sunday 5 October 2008

bloggers block

so I seem to have blogger's block....
after happily realising that I'd been blogging for a year, I've got stuck.
no photos,
no recipes,
no sewing.

it could be because I've got a filthy cold, and I've practically lost my voice - so when we went out yesterday I was terrified " what if the children run into the road and I can't shout at them to stop" - never mind that they were both holding my hands, and daddy was there too - mother paranoia strikes again.

it could be because my head is full of school stresses - Miss K is miserable at school again, last term it was a real problem, and I had meeting after meeting with her teacher, but it never really helped. this term it's started again, not as bad, but my tolerances for the schools lack of understanding are diminished. so on Friday J and I went to look at a different school, and met the head teacher, and looked around, and she mentioned that she'd spoken to the head at the current school - so when Miss K came home and said the head teacher had come to talk to her I was so frustrated - does it take us going to visit a new school to make the old one sit up and pay attention.... and how do we possibly decide what it best - do we vote for fresh start, move her away from the friends she has, but also away from those not so friendly, and to a much smaller school where she may find her hidden confidence, it must be in there somewhere. or do we stick it out, stay where we are, opt for stability, and have more fruitless meetings with the teachers.... I bought her a CD this week from amazon, it might not help with the confidence, and the sleep problems , but I've quite enjoyed pretending to be a jellyfish.........

it could be that a friend advised that the way to find an answer might be to write a list of everything, get very drunk and then stick a pin in the list... didn't write the list, but did drink a large amount of wine last night....

it could be that the change in seasons has unsettled me - where has autumn come from? I'm still waiting for summer....

or maybe I just need to get out my sewing machine, and then I'll have something constructive to write about, and not just a load of moaning... normal non moaning service will resume soon I promise, please forgive today's indiscretion.

on a positive note I discovered a real bonus about being ill at the weekend - an excuse to curl up on the sofa and watch Saturday kitchen, which I really like, but never watch as we're always busy busy busy. even better J watched the end with me, where they made chicken chasseur, and said "that looks nice - shall we have it for dinner tonight?" and then he proceeded to cook it later whilst I went for a snooze, so I woke up to a house smelling of delicious dinner, and one very pleased with himself hubby who had just cooked french cuisine!