Monday, 31 July 2017

Birdwatching, Blackberrying and Bramleys!

This morning I went to see my Monday Recycled Teenager as usual, only to find her Carer had not turned up, so she was still in bed at 9.30am and by 10.30am there was still no sign of her. She is supposed to come between 7am-9am.
My friend was eager to go shopping with me today, so I offered to be a stand in carer, which just meant being on hand for bathroom duties, ensuring she was ok in the shower etc, then rubbing in her ointment afterwards and helping her get dressed.
We then made it out to the shops and back again, still with no sign of the Carer!
If this was the first time it had happened it wouldn't be so bad, but its  regular occurrence and this service is quite costly too.
However, she got out and that was the main thing.
After lunch the Teens and I went for a walk round a local Nature reserve.
It is popular with bird watchers and we made a mental note of some of the birds to look for, but with little hope we would recognise them....that's where we need Hubby to be with us!
We spotted one bird, which looked like a white heron, and took a photo to do some detective work when we got home in one of our many bird books...
...however the Reserve had made things easy for us and posted pictures along the way...seems we saw a Little egret.
Teen Two wore his body cam to capture any wildlife we saw along the way, and we made the most of the information boards
We saw a family of swans, walking near a fence, obviously trying to get to the water on the other side.
They kept trying the holes in the fence and we were a little worried they might get stuck, but thankfully that didn't happen, we carried on walking and hoped they would find a way round.
On our way back we were delighted to see they had made it to an opening...
...guiding their little ones down the bank, with a parent at either end...
...and safely into the water!
As a child I have one memory of blackberry picking (my dad had a ladder in tow to get the largest and best ones at the top!) and it was on this reserve.
So we went all prepared with containers to collect some of nature's bounty...but were disappointed to discover bushes laden with blackberries, but unripe ones!
We walked round a little further and discovered the bushes away from the shore did have some ripened fruit...
...but not many!
Imagine our frustration when both Teen One and I, in minutes of each other, lost half of what we had each picked!
However all was not lost, I remembered a friend blogging about where there were ripened bushes aplenty, not five minutes away in the car, so we hot footed it over there and in minutes had two large containers full!
Our hands were a sight by the end of it!
I remembered our local Harvester car park had an apple tree that was usually laden with fruit that just fell to the ground and got wasted.
So we picked the best of the fallers...
...and rescued the largest ones from ending up on the ground.
So we now have some yummy apples and blackberries to cook up and keep in the freezer, and all for free!
We called into Grandma's on the way home and gave her half, knowing she loves a freezer full of fruit too!
When we arrived home these were waiting for us in the porch, a thank you from my late neighbour's son.
He does love to show his appreciation, but I do wish he would save his pennies instead!
It's been a lovely day, out in the sunshine and fresh air, not to mention three lines of laundry dried!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Just A Normal Sunday

I have sat here and sat here and tried to think of a way to make today's blog exciting,
stimulating reading, inspiring, anything but plain old boring, but sadly that's what its going to be I fear!
Today was one of those "normal" days with nothing much happening out of the ordinary.
Well aside from the fact we had a visitor come to our church who was local and had always wanted to pop in, and today was that day!
Whilst we didn't know him, it didn't take long to find some common ground and at least one person we both knew, my late Brown Owl.
We reminisced on many things to do with our city, and of course our faith.
Lunch was the usual roast, with yet again excellent Yorkshires....(loving my new tin!) we have a visitor next week for the weekend, cant you guarantee the Yorkshires will be a flop for that!
The afternoon was the usual games fest and then church again in the evening.
Our friends 2yr old granddaughter was out with them tonight, she is always a bundle of fun!
 Back home we are just chilling and thinking about what we want to get up to next week, its nice to have a free run of days for a change, although I am expecting the builders at some point and also a plumber to check our dodgy boiler, so maybe we will be more housebound than we hope.
Well if you have made it to the end of this pictureless and boring blog...well done!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

"Shut The Door!!!"

As today is our last Saturday of the holidays without any commitments  (frightening thought!) I was hoping to get lots of bits and bobs done...more importantly that Hubby would manage some DIY jobs for me.
I usually wake bright and breezy...ish and was intending to get up early, however, when I woke at 6am I didn't have any energy to get up, so turned over for a quick snooze.... thing I knew it was nearly 9am and Hubby was bringing in a cuppa and ginger biccies!
I did my best to rouse myself, had a little surf on the laptop etc, by 10.30am I felt just about ready for a shower!
What on earth was going on?
I felt ok...ish...just a bit light headed, I decided to take my temperature to see if there was a medical reason for feeling so sluggish...well I guess there was a temperature was 34degrees!
Hubby looked disbelieving, took his own to test the thermometer and had the perfect 36 degrees.
Of course taking my temperature only made me feel I made myself some Lemsip and took myself off to the sofa with my knitting.
I spent the rest of the day pottering, resting, pottering, resting, and seems that has got me through the day, achieved a few bits and not made myself feel worse.
I imagine I must be fighting something off, and can honestly say I didn't feel as bad as this NHS article would suggest...I certainly didn't feel in any danger!
Teen One did some baking, we have a cookie book from the US with over a thousand recipes!
I was highly delighted to notice she had chosen a recipe with ground almonds and apricots in!!
It certainly smells yummy, although the yield said 2-3 dozen....we could only get 15!
In one of my pottering sessions I made a dessert for tomorrow.
We had a punnet of strawberries in the fridge which were going soft rather quickly, so I mashed them up and mixed the puree in with a tub of cream cheese and whipped cream.
With the left over strawberries I made some coulis, leaving a strawberry to decorate at the last minute.
As I was putting the dessert back in the fridge I spotted this imposter in the fridge and spontaneously called out "Who put the Marmite in the fridge?!"
Which had every one laughing and replying "Sounds like a good name for a game!"
We have had this game for a while, but never actually accidently put the Marmite in the fridge, up until today!
During another pottering time, we played the Family Table Tennis Tournament.
Hubby was the champion with Teen Two coming second...and me last!
And the title of the blog?
Well when we are with Grandma and Grandad in Devon (or should that be Lincolnshire?) the cry is always going out "Shut the door!" to avoid the dogs escaping.
One of Hubby's projects today was to paint the remaining two thresholds black.
We barricaded  the cats in, shut as many doors as we could and continually said
"shut the door" when anyone went out!
However Crystal was too sneaky for us, she managed to break through the barricade and then when Teen Two went into the kitchen she ran past and swiftly went upstairs to hide under our bed as least it was only one paw that touched the threshold and at least she didn't jump onto the bed which she frequently does!
We didn't want her poisoning herself when she started to groom herself, so were grateful to have some cat shampoo and grooming wipes in the house, something we only recently bought!
She was remarkably calm and didn't attack us at all as we forced her to be in one place as we washed her off.
Milly would have been hissing and scratching if we dared to restrain her and fiddle with her!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Oh For Some Joined Up Thinking!

After the usual grocery shop I had lots of little chores to do, one included ironing a pile of tea towels from church.
I had given Teen Two ironing lessons a while back, but was probably a little over ambitious on starting him off with one of his fact it was the one he is wearing in the picture!
I thought tea towels would be a better introduction to this art!
He didn't make too bad a job of it, although did have the tendency to create creases rather than iron them out!
However ironing is an art and I can't say my ironing would pass some inspections!
The main idea was to get him over his fear of the heat and whooshing of the steam.
Not that a healthy respect for such a powerful tool isn't a good thing...I have numerous scars on the inside of my right arm from various irons over the years!
With Teen Two tackling the ironing, I moved on to de hairing the conservatory of cat hairs.
I cant decide if it was a good move to go for black...on one hand its very unforgiving and shows up every hair ( particularly Crystal's) but on the other, the tiles are very easy to clean and you know the place is spic and span. I guess previously what I couldn't see didn't worry me so I just cleaned out there when a pang of guilt came across me!
I wasn't best pleased to go out there and discover these two pesky pussies lounging on my new chairs!!
I did not buy them and sweat blood trying to put them together to become cat beds!
Each night I have been very dedicated in putting the plastic bags back on the cushions so dissuade them from sitting on the chairs overnight...and if they did, well the hair wouldn't work its way into the fabric.
Today is the first day I have seen them on the chairs  ( although who knows what they get up to when I am out!) and I hope the telling off I gave them will ensure they don't go back on again....dream on!
The day has been pretty dreary weather wise, and I am always on the look out for things to get the Teens off their screens...we all like a bit of screen time for sure, but with no set routine in holidays its all too easy on rainy days to spend longer than is healthy on a screen of some sort...and I speak to myself as well!
I remembered a friend had sent the Teens an "instant" table tennis set last year, so we set it up, which was done remarkably quickly...
...we all had great fun!
Teen Two is particularly good at it...plenty of practise and school and Friday Club I reckon.
Hubby came home in the middle of it and we are going to have a family knockout tournament soon.
Its very easy to set up and I think will make an excellent game to take away on holidays with us.
The postie came, with yet another parcel for me, this time it was from Sirdar, who were as true as their word and sent me a replacement ball for the dodgy one I had bought.
Not quite as generous as Stylecraft who sent me four balls!!
Part way through the afternoon my late neighbour's son sent a text to say he was going to be discharged at some point today.
So I made up a sausage casserole, put it on a low heat in the oven, knowing whatever time I got the call to collect him, dinner would be sorted.
The call eventually came at 5.30pm which was practically perfect.
I took a portion with me for him to eat, not knowing if he had had any lunch on the ward, and most certainly would not have had any tea.
He was very grateful for it and I was glad to be able to do it.
He is a young 70year old, but his recent health problems have left him a little anxious, so at least tonight a  hot meal is one less thing to worry about.
When Hubby came home from work, he cracked on with some sanding which needed doing in the downstairs loo, to freshen the place up.
Now usually I am able to manage some joined up thinking...but today was not one of those days!
I had spent a while cleaning the conservatory...noting how quick the dust builds up, ensuring all the corners were nice and clean.....forgetting I had mentioned the sanding to Hubby last !
Anyone who has had any sanding done will know the cloud of dust that descends everywhere!
The once clean conservatory had to be seen to be believed!
Even the walls are hoo!
So, guess what my job was and still is!
Of course all this could have been avoided if we had done things in the correct order, but this is a project that has evolved rather than been designed!
Tonight we are going to watch the new DVD I picked up in Tesco today.
Teen One has already seen it and the rest of us are looking forward to watching it with our dinner.
No doubt I will be singing along to the old favourites!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Saving The Day

This morning was ear marked for cleaning the toys at church and having a general declutter of broken toys/missing parts etc.
However at 5am I received a text from my late neighbour's son asking if I would be able to go to the hospital and collect a list of things he needed from home.
I said no problem and would be up as soon as visiting hours started, figuring I would have plenty time to get the church chores done.
He sent a text back saying he was sure the staff wouldn't mind if I came up this morning...which I took was an indicator he really wanted a few of his home comforts pretty quickly.
So, I collected Grandma, and left a list of things that needed to be done.
In recent years the dear old helpers have turned to me for almost every instruction, which I still haven't gotten used to.
There was a time when we all just rolled up our sleeves and got on with whatever we saw needed doing.
Its a sign of their advancing years but I really appreciate their dedication.
I set up tables and loaded them with toys and bowls of hot soapy water and insisted they sit down for the task in hand and I would be back in an hour.
My visit at the hospital was fairly brief, but the list was rather long, but very detailed as to where I could find everything.
When I returned to church the dear old helpers had made great in roads and were onto the larger items.
The Teens chipped in too and for both of them its always a trip down memory lane as many of the toys were once theirs.
We enjoyed a fish and chip lunch and then with everyone dropped off home, it was time for me to tackle the long list of things required.
It was an unusual feeling walking around someone's house, going in their drawers etc, but he is a fairly organised man so most of the items were where he said they would be.
There were one or two exceptions which I managed to find without too much poking around.
One lesson for us all to remember...when you take off your dirty underwear...always put them in the linen basket.....I suspect when he dropped his in the middle of the bedroom floor yesterday he hadn't expected me to be the next person to see them!!
Back at the hospital, our neighbour's son was delighted to have those home comforts (Fixodent, phone charger, toothbrush etc) along with The Times and post.
Today he should have been moving into his new house...well at the very least get the keys anyway, so that pleasure will have to wait a little longer.
At least he doesn't have to be out of his house as its not yet sold.
I stayed for an hour or so, listening to his woes, and also enjoying the views from his bedside...
...they really are stunning, being high up on a hill.
He was very grateful to me for saving the day, needless to say I was happy to do oblige, especially as he has no one close living by.
Back home it was time to load the washing line with all the dolly clothes we had brought home....such a lovely sight!
I am hoping for a quiet evening in with some knitting and a cuppa.