Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Prayers of Thankfulness!

Going back to last night, my Monday Recycled Teenager's family came round, and we got through all the funeral arrangements with ease.
I bought these cookies in Tesco yesterday, for a change,  to go with the coffee when everyone arrived. I was looking forward to the latte ones, but they were rather disappointing, the caramel flavour was rather artificial tasting and the coffee taste not nearly strong enough.
The ginger ones were better but I probably wont buy either again, whereas the M&S orange and cranberry ones I could devour in one sitting!
The family are only expecting around 50 for refreshments afterwards, so that's quite manageable.
In talking to Grandma this morning about it, she dropped into the conversation one of her friends at church  had offered to make a fruit loaf for the last funeral but Grandma had refused it on my behalf!!
I would have welcomed it with open arms and now feel I need to phone and apologise in case she thought the refusal was from me!
I drove over to Hobbycraft this morning, with Grandma, to buy some gifts for our Friday Club kids.
Initial letters are all the rage I noticed a while back, coming in all sizes and styles.
I thought the girls would like to decorate one, so armed with a list of all their names, I bought around 20 letters, some glitter glue, glitter, and will make up little kits with the stash of sequins, beads etc I have had at home/church for years.
With my trolley loaded with goodies I went to the checkout and half way through starting looking for the money to pay for it.
The money was from church and I had put £100 in an envelope and then written on the front all initial letters I needed.
I emptied the bag several times, but nope, the envelope wasn't there!
I asked the assistant if I had left it in the trolley she was taking items out of, but nope, it wasn't there!
I explained to her the envelope had a wad of money in it and she asked where I had been...she then kindly abandoned the till and came looking with me.
She asked where I had been... well I had been everywhere!!
Including upstairs!
However, on her way to the letters section, she passed the glitter glue aisle and there on the end was my envelope!
I must have put it down as I looked at the packs of glue, looking to see what was inside!
She got the biggest hug of the day I reckon!
So, suitably ashamed of myself I then went back to the till to settle the bill and offered a silent prayer of thanks!
I have a little prayer that I, all to often pray...
"Thank you Lord for looking after me, when I wasn't looking after myself!"
The number of times I panic because I cant find my house/car keys, purse or phone and I offer up that prayer
 is becoming slightly embarrassing!
With that panic over, I suggested to Grandma we have a coffee in the nearby M&S,
I also indulged in a spiced bun ( well FQ2FF does rave about them!) and mmmm it was delicious, and dare I admit I had some butter on it as well!!
Back home, with some chores out of the way, I cracked on with some knitting needle making.
On online friend has ordered ten pairs for a kit she is putting together.
Rather frustratingly the "wood"kept splitting and when I was sanding them down, the wood split even more...totally useless for anything much less knitting!
So I went to Homebase this time and saw they had pine dowels as well as MDF...which made me realise I had bought MDF (the only dowel on off at B&Q) previously.
So that has made a little dent into my profits sadly, but hey ho, you live and learn!

Monday, 20 November 2017

Feeling Frustrated With Ford!

With Grandma away for the weekend, yesterday was a Scrabble free day!
With just four of us around the dinner table, it really was a quiet affair!
Hubby then was out preaching in Winchester, one of the students swatting, and the other snoozing on the sofa in front of the fire...
... I was able to indulge in some sock knitting.
I am not sure I started the heel change of colour in the right place....I started at the heel flap and ended it when the heel shaping was done, but I wish I had started it part way down the flap.
Oh well....lesson learned for next time.
The Teens arrived at church just as our evening service was starting, it was great to see them back safe and sound.
Everyone came back for supper of pizza and chips and our new loved up couple were happy to be back together after their longest time apart...all six days of it!
This morning I had to take the car into Ford to have the sensors checked.
Teen One then came and picked me up from the nearby Tesco once the shopping was done.
Back home for just half an hour Ford rang to say the car could be collected and as there was a claim against me, I wasn't to have the car fixed until their specialists had checked the sensors.
Ermmmmm.....well its a bit late to tell me that isn't it!
And what was today's appointment all about then?
The day after I had the little mishap Ford's were the first people I rang, I explained the sensor hadn't gone off, so having told me they didn't have an accident repair shop on site, and where I should take the car, she then booked me in today's appointment (well actually it was for last week but that's another story!) to have the sensors checked.
So why tell me now I shouldn't have it repaired!
When I went to collect the car after lunch the assistant went through the matter again, not to have the car repaired etc ( surely they could see it had been repaired!) and when I queried the fact I had already been referred to the accident repair shop, he replied "well it is a bit of a grey area I must admit, we are never sure whether to advise clients to talk to the insurance company or ourselves first!"
So I am not sure where that leaves me if we want to complain to Ford that the accident was partially caused because of faulty sensors (which of course worked perfectly on today's test!)
They have referred the matter to their customer relations team so I may wait a while and see if they come back to me.
The rest of the day has been fairly mundane, mounds of washing, beds to change etc.
Tonight we have the family of my Monday Recycled Teenager coming round to discuss funeral arrangements so the Teens are banished from the living room for the evening and probably the cats too as I think one of the family members is allergic.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

A Day At The Sunshine Coast

This morning we were up bright and early for a drive to
The Sunshine Coast...otherwise known as Eastbourne...although there wasn't much sunshine on view today!
Hubby and I spent a lot of our courting years ( and there were a lot of them!!!) visiting Eastbourne each year, so we have very happy memories of the place, and surrounding villages.
We had two reasons for choosing there today, firstly for a Bible Conference, where we knew we would meet up with friends we haven't seen for years.
We had a lovely day, with a delicious Meditteranean style lunch....yummm!
Teen One would have loved it!
We then planned to visit a family grave, to ensure the wording on the gravestone had been engraved as promised ( long story, should have been done years ago but the solicitor failed in his duty to organise it)
However, by the time we left Eastbourne the sun was starting to set  ( sun...what sun?) and when we did arrive at the quiet village chapel, it was pitch black!
We hadn't really thought through all the timings and couple that with the afternoons getting dark earlier, we must have looked a spooky sight walking through the graveyard with torches!
Happily we found the grave pretty quickly, and the wording had been done, but disappointingly was already started to fade, unlike the Uncle's wording, who had died 14 years earlier.
So I feel another letter to the solicitor is needed sadly.
Back home, I have sorted the bunnies and gerbils for Teen Two and am looking forward to a bit of knitting.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Just Call Us Darby and Joan!

This morning was an unusually early start for me...joining the early morning commute as well!
My car has had an unusual rattle since it came back from being mended, and the garage asked if I could call by sometime they would take a look at it.
Well as it is 25 miles away, passing by was unlikely!
However, as Teen One's Uni is only four miles away, I felt I could justify driving all that way, if I took her in, saving her a bit of fuel and mileage on her insurance at the same time!
The garage found the cause of the rattle which was simple to sort as it turned out.
I then had time to use the local Lidl's before picking up Teen One who finished at 11am today.
Very soon after leaving the garage the dashboard flashed up the tyre pressures needed checking, which made me think the mechanic must have done something wrong, but then I remembered Hubby had asked last week if my car would tell me when the tyres needed doing, as he felt there were on the edge, so he was quite right as it turned out.
Another more irritating incident then happened with the car.
Having parked in Lidl's car park, as I locked the car and walked away I thought I heard a weird noise...but discounted it thinking I was just getting paranoid with noises...but when I unlocked it later I heard the noise again.
I suggested to Hubby when I got home, it might need some WD40 maybe??
He went out to check, then came back in to say
"Well you are right, the wing mirror does make a weird noise....its because someone has broken it!"
Boo hoo!
Having being honest to someone else for a minor incident its a shame someone else wasn't as honest with me!
They must have got VERY close as my mirrors fold in automatically when the car is locked.
Funnily enough I did see some slight scuffs on the front bumper and wondered how they had got there, wondering if the garage driver had done it, but now suspect it was whoever hit me!
Oh well...worse things happen at sea, as my nan used to say!
This afternoon I had a sort through of the freezer, looking for inspiration for Sunday's dessert.
I found various bags of fruit from the summer, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, so thawed them out...
...and turned it into a flapjack layered pud, which always goes down well.
I also made an batch of Oreo Brownies...and made some extra work for myself along the way!!
It's not often I quote my mother, but this saying comes from my lips a little too frequently for my liking, and always about myself!
"Lazy people make the most work for themselves" she used to say....often if I was trying to pick up something dropped on the floor, whilst doing my best not to leave the chair I was sitting in.
Well today as I was shaking the cocoa out to be weighed, it occurred to me it would be much safer to walk about two steps to my right and get a spoon from the cutlery drawer...but nope....I decided to gently shake the jar....and promptly loosing a large compacted block which then scattered itself everywhere!
What a lovely mess to have to deal with (and ruin a pretty dishcloth at the same time!) all for the want of moving my legs!
Of course I wouldn't consider myself to be particularly lazy...I am usually trying to do something in a hurry and think the way I am doing something will be quicker, but invariably I end up making more work for myself....just when will I learn I wonder?
Well last night I indulged myself with the new yarn, which is knitting up lovely.
Tonight the house is very quiet as the Teens have gone to Somerset for a YP weekend.
Grandma has gone to stay with Hubby's brother for the weekend, not that we knew about Grandma going away until a few days ago, otherwise we might have made the most of the freedom and gone away ourselves!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

What A "Tweet" Freebie!

This morning was Parent and Toddlers as usual, followed by a quick trip to Aldi ( but they didn't have the gluten free products I wanted!) and then dropping Grandma and our Dear Old Friend home.
On the way I noticed a sign "Free...help yourself!"
When I took a second look, there were hand made bird boxes lined up....well I cant resist anything free, let alone something so tweet and useful!
So I hoped I wasn't being greedy by taking two, but intend to give one away.
Yesterday I had asked our Dear Old Friend to pick out some hymns for the funeral of my Monday Recycled Teenager.
Being ever organised, she brought it along today for me.
With the piece of paper folded over, I only noticed the long list of suggestions to start with, thinking how good it was she gave us so many to choose from.
But which ones to choose?
Then I turned the paper over and saw she had written "Hymns from their Golden Wedding Anniversary Celebration"
They were:
Great is Thy Faithfulness
How Great Thou Art (the nation's favourite...and Hubby's too!)
The Lord's my Shepherd
I immediately thought how perfect they were...not only great hymns (and the family has asked us to choose well known ones) but they were ones chosen by the late couple, so must have been their favourites!
I am so thankful Our Dear Friend was so organised and had obviously kept a record/diary of that day.
Although I was there, no way could I tell you what we sang!
My delivery from West Yorkshire Spinners has arrived and you know what its like when new yarn/fabric arrives...you are itching to get on with it!!
I love the colours chosen.
The multi colour is Kingfisher, from the British Birds collection, and the solid colour is Spearmint.
I had intended knitting one of the students a pair of socks using the left overs, and so wanted the "perfect" match....since ordering it I have of course discovered the two students are now "an item" so I will do one pair an inverse of the other.
Well with the new wool calling out to me....with the washing sorted, dinner organised and fire laid for tonight, I indulged in an afternoon of knitting, so I could get this pair of trainer socks out of the way, also for our student who likes to take her shoes off and relax in slipper socks.
She often forgets to bring a pair, so borrows a pair of Teen One's...no problem with that at all, but with no knitting on the go on Sunday, I decided to use left over yarn to whip up a pair which she could leave here.
I realised when I finished the first sock I wouldn't have enough for the second, so was going to have to incorporate other left over yarn.
Going through my stash, the Bullfinch red grey and white looked the best match...as there is a red grey and white chequered design in the pattern....but I think the mishmash colour on the toe is actually a better match and I wish I had used that on the heel....but it didn't look so good on the ball!
However, they are only for wearing around the house so it won't matter.
So, with dinner out of the way and kitchen cleared up, you can guess what I am about to do...cast on that lovely new yarn!!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Back In Business!

This morning I decided to abandon looking for housework to do and went to see our Dear Old Friend instead.
I knew she would be mourning the loss of my Monday Recycled Teenager, not least because they spoke on the phone several times a week.
We both enjoyed reminiscing on our dear friend and hopefully it filled up an otherwise empty morning for her.
Back home I was feeling in need of some me time, so with the washing in and dinner planned, I finished off the trainer sock I had started a few days ago and of course cast on stitches for the second one.
As I am using left over yarn, the second sock is going to look nothing like the first that's for sure!
On checking my ebay account, I saw I had sold my first pair of children's knitting needles!
Its been almost 12 years since I embarked on this little cottage industry, but when I started working in school I found it too much, with family/church life to keep up with the orders.
However, as I mentioned last week, prompted by an online friend I have decided to kick start it, not really expecting too much if I am honest, but every penny counts aye!
Its hard to believe someone actually wants to pay money for something I have made especially with the cheap imports from China and the like, but today someone kindly put me back in business!
I like to wrap the needles up and make the whole buying experience a pleasant one...who doesn't enjoy unwrapping an online purchase!
I always add a little freebie as well, always made me "save a seller" when that happened to me!
You will be glad to know my surrogate daughter's news she has a boyfriend, was happily received by her parents.
Tonight the other students will no doubt come back for supper, so I defrosted some bananas to make pancakes.
They look pretty revolting in their skins...but peeled are fine and perfect for cooking.
I mixed 3oz gluten free SR flour, with 1oz cocoa, an egg and two mashed bananas...
...to make a mud pie looking batter...
...for some of the pancakes I added a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds...
...I will pop them in the microwave for a minute to warm them up, and our gluten and lactose intolerant friend will be able to munch in with the rest of us, instead of having something separate, adding the cocoa powder means I probably wont fancy them (no bad thing!) but our friend can enjoy something chocolatey.
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing a pile of ironing, putting it away, some basic cleaning, and then enjoying watching Benjy flop on Teen Two after college...
...both in their element!


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

From Surrogate Mother To Agony Aunt!

As you all know, we have three students at our church at the moment...well technically one is not a student, as he graduated last year.
They are at our house most weekends and mid week too and have become a part of our family.
The only girl sent us a lovely card on our anniversary last week, addressing it to her
"surrogate parents," I must admit, I felt rather honoured to be considered suitable for such a role!
Having the young 'uns round so often, it hasn't been hard to notice two of them start to get close.
This morning however I was not expecting an early morning text saying
"can I call you please?"
It was the young lady, who tentatively told me she and one of the young men were now an item
(well needless to say I didn't need telling, I had seen it blossom in my living room!) and could I advise her on how to tell her parents today, when she meets up with them!
Poor thing, she was soooo worried.
Not knowing her parents, it was tricky to know how they would react, but I assured her that as parents, being told our daughter had a boyfriend would not be up there as a serious concern!
I think for her, its the worry of only having known him a couple of months, there is a significant age gap and of course she has a long course at Uni ahead of her.
I suggested she start by discussing her course throughout the visit, what she has enjoyed, what she is currently working on, then move on to church stuff...where we have been, what we have planned etc, then move on to the other young folk and how close she has become to one in particular.
I reminded her, it is only a boyfriend/girlfriend thing...she isn't going to spring any unexpected news, or tell them she has eloped ( now who would do such a thing!) or that she wants to quit her course, abandon her faith etc....it really is just a normal part of growing up and I am sure they would be fine.
Poor thing she really was anxious, so later in the morning I went round for a mummy hug and assurance this really would not be a big deal.
I also dropped off an advent calendar I had bought her, and assured her I would be praying for her during the day and eagerly awaiting news on their response.
With the unexpected phone call finished, I then dashed round to clear up and then take the car to my local Ford dealership to have the sensors checked.
I went prepared with my knitting intending to spend the time at a local Costa.
Unfortunately when they realised there was a claim against me, they said the car would have to be kept in all day.
Well I didn't want to be hanging around an industrial estate all day, and with no courtesy car available I re arranged the check for next week when Teen One can taxi me there (what goes around comes around!)
So, with time on my hands I popped in to town and got a few errands run before coming home to catch up on the washing.
I then indulged in some sock knitting, not least because I now what to knit a pair of his and her socks when the new yarn arrives!!!

For dinner I made a chicken pie, using 100% wholemeal flour....but I think next time I will go half and half...it had a bitter aftertaste I thought.
Noone else complained though.
With the rag end left over I made a quiche for Hubby to take to work tomorrow.
No looker but will hopefully be tasty.
I must admit, it stank the house out!
I used the pecorino cheese I bought last week and only Hubby liked....I am NEVER buying that again!
Tonight Teen One and I are really looking forward to the second episode of "Secret Life of Four Year Olds" could watch that sort of programme all day long! And of course there will be some sock knitting too!
Today is a milestone kind of day....one hundred years ago my paternal grandmother was born.
She was the eldest of 16, left school to help her mother look after twins ( who were born after about nine other children!) and was expecting her middle child the same time as her mother was expecting her youngest child! How strange that must have felt!