Thursday, 3 December 2009
The tales of our Actors meeting and getting married while working in the theatre have filled several editions and sometimes cousins who live in faraway plaes have sent pictures of their children and grandchildren so that they will be recognised when we eventually meet up.
I love to prepare the edition at Christmas time so that it goes into the envelope with the card and is soon winging its way across the world.
I try to make sure that the Christmas cards are written and ready to go for December 1st. This year I was just a little bit ahead of myself - I have been a day ahead all week - so I happily posted all the cards on Monday and it wasn't until late that night that I realised that they had gone a day early. Now I am waiting for the phone calls to tell me what I have got wrong in the letter. One day someone will write back to me.
Monday, 30 November 2009
I have made the covers and the pages for my Journal Your christmas class and tomorrow the first prompt will arrive. I am hoping it will lift my spirits a little. I am not sure why I feel so down in the dumps, perhaps the doctor is right and I am SAD - or did he mean suffering from Seasonal Affected Disorder. My feet are just as bad as ever and my fingers are going through the "let's-be-painful-and-swell-a-lot" stage -- again. so all in all I am not the person you want answering the question "how are you"
My girls continue to delight me. Noisy has decided that she is going to peck her own feathers out so she is still bare chested. Stephanie McQueen has a complete set of feathers and looks beautiful. I am convinced it is because she is so quick the others can't catch her. Mrs Pecky was scared by the fireworks on bonfire night and for three days she laid eggs without shells. She was just beginning to look a bit better and we had the ceremony for turning on the lights. this had a huge firework display so that meant another four days with egg all over the floor of the hen house.
Now I am worried incase she has egg peritonitis. There are no visible symptoms until they drop dead. She is eating well and scratching about when the weather permits.
Oh how they hate the rain. They stand in the sheltered part of the run or they nip across and stand under the table and they droop. The only thing worse so far is the wind. that makes them wander about like those Chinese ladies in the programme "Above the Clouds" or whatever it was called on Channel four about ten years ago.
Tomorrow I am having another go at baking a Christmas fruit loaf. If the yeast will work.
Monday, 16 November 2009
Thursday, 29 October 2009
It was also a chance for Mr M to sit quitely and doze - his pulled muscle won't let him lie down to sleep so he has been sleeping while sitting at the table.
He had the TV on quietly so I took the opportunity to make a pumpkin pie. I have never made one before so I had scoured tinternet and found several recipes then examined the contents of the larder to see what I had that fitted the recipes. I roasted the pumpkin according to instructions and then pureed the insides - all the seeds and stringy bits went into a mash for my girls, more of that later.
The pie is gorgeous
a little overdone on one side - that's cos the oven is old and tired. We had some with Frank's icecream and it was delish!
Because there was so much pumpkin puree left after making the pie I also made pumpkin and nut bread. This is really a cake and is also delish. I used fresh eggs from my girls to make the pie and the bread and the rest of the pumpkin puree - and there is still about two pounds left - is in the freezer for the next batch of pumpkin baking.
I made up the mash for the girls with the pumpkin seeds and the stringy bits together with the skin and some of the singed bits. I put them through the mincer on the Kenwood Chef along with a cabbage that had been forgotten and a couple of ropey carrots and some bread rolls that were supposed to be for little Miss to take to school only she wanted "proper" bread. I added a drop of water and boiled it all up then when it was cooled I took it down to see if they liked it. They practically ripped the dish out of my hands! so pumpkin is a hit. They also like sunflower seeds. We have some sunflower heads and I cut one off and hung it on the wire of the run, they love it.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
We have bought more trellis and tomorrow I will fix the chicken wire to it and then get it up onto the roof of the hen house. I can see that my back yard is going to be like fort knox with Slurpy the fly baby and Stephanie the escapologist.
The don't like being kept in the run but they have produced three eggs every day since Sunday so it hasn't put them off.
It was raining so hard today that I was glad I didn't let them out this morning. They would have got wet and cold so quickly because they are still growing their feathers.
I just hope the winter isn't too wet.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
I could not think what to do for this until I was choosing papers to use and found this bown. "If only I had a suitcase diecut that colour" I thought and then realised that I had pencils so I should try to draw it. I could have put more stuff in the background but I do hate cluttered pages. The titles of my songs are on the labels stuck to the suitcases with my favourite one on its own on the flowery suitcase. The label thingy in the middle has my photograph on the other side but I didn't want to photograph a photograph - if you see what I mean. Some of the other pages in this CJ are so clever I just know that the person who owns it is going to love it, when it gets back to her.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
The garden plants are receiving a severe pruning and the weeds are disappearing too. The black and white cat from across the street is fascinated by them and sits peering through the wire on the back gate. The girls immediately peer back at him and this he finds very disconcerting. He has tried getting up onto the wall but they just stare at him for a minute and then continue their scratching totally unconcerned. He knows by the look they give him that coming into the garden would be folly so he sits and watches - and they all watch him too.
They have now been introduced to mash and after a bit of a slow start they love it. I give it to them in the afternoon when they have had all morning to eat "proper" food. They know where I keep it and as soon as I open the cellar door they are standing outside on the step waiting for the bowl to appear. This will be handy if I ever need to get them into the run before they are ready to go because they scurry around me and all rush into the run to eat the mash.
They also like the noise the water makes when I wash their bowl and water container and they rush to peck the splashes.
Saturday, 10 October 2009
They have lost most of their outer feathers so they are not weather proof yet, this can make them cold and of they get rained on they will stay wet for a long time.
For some reason poor little Stephanie McQueen is being picked on by the other three. She hides in the house all day until they go to bed when she nips out into the run and stuffs her face with food and water and then waits until it is dark before going back into the house. When they are out in the garden she can run away more easily so she scratches happily in the flowerbed, throwing clods of earth all over the place - including on Mrs Pecky - and she gobbles up the worms. She hates to go back into the run when the others are there so I have to pick her up and put her in.
Things will improve because tomorrow Mr M has promised to assist me in the wing clipping so that they can't fly over into next door.
I have spent far more time than I should just standing and watching them - very good for the blood-pressure.
Now I am going to start the double page layout of their arrival. These will go into the 2009 album.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
There was a third egg yesterday around lunchtime so only one egg this morning.
When I dredged the depths of my memory and went back to my agricultural college days I found this memory of being taught that chickens have a roughly 25 hour cycle for their laying. As I am pretty impressed with the fact that the trauma of all that travel hasn't seemed to put them off at all. They are eating well and they put themselves to bed when it got dark and if I open the window and listen I can here them crooning.
We had scrambled egg, bacon and Haloumi cheese for our meal last night and used some of our lovely fresh eggs. Today I am going to make a cranberry tea bread and I will be using another egg. No pictures because it is raining and I forgot to take the camera out with me and couldn't face climbing the steps just to get it.
Another two eggs at lunchtime today so they really are doing well - I don't expect it to last though
Monday, 5 October 2009
Mrs Pecky you already know about.
Noisy is the name that Em chose for one of them and she really was the most noisy of them all. She has a bare chest at the moment so we can tell which one is her on the rare occasions when she is silent.
Slurpy Worm Burp was named by Carla who lives next door. Because she (the hen not Carla) suddenly became a confident pushy hen when we put some worms into the run. She shoved everyone aside, including Mrs pecky to get at them.
Stephanie Mcqueen is the escapologist. She tried to make a break for it when we were still at the place we collected them. She was half way under the door of the carier before we realised and nearly made it out and away. She was first out of the house this morning and spent the time in the garden looking for the way out. She will be first in the queue for wing clipping later this week.
And these are the names they have at the moment. I think perhaps that these will be shortened and changed and it will be more difficult to tell them apart as they get their new feathers and they start to fill out a bit.
Simon and I then fixed the wire mesh to the bottom of the gate so that they can have a wander around the garden. I won't let them out without supervision, at least not yet, because there are a couple of cats that live around us and I don't want my girls spooked by a neighbour's cat. No if they are going to be spooked then we'll let Blue do it.
Slurpy decided to stay inside the house. She came out and stuffed her face with food when Mrs Pecky was out in the garden . Then Mrs Pecky heard he so she rushed back in to the run to guard the food so Slurpy went back inside.
Next thing Stephanie is scratching at the weeds so Mrs P had to rush out to see if there was anything she was missing so Slurpy nipped down the ramp filled her face with food and a quick drink and nipped back up just as Mrs P noticed.
Stephanie is by far the most adventurous, she spent her time looking up at how high things are and whether she can get under, over or though them, while all the time scratching and pecking.
When it was time to put them back into the run it was so easy because they are not afraid so they don't run. They were so easy to gently guide towards their door, no squawking, no flapping they just sauntered in and I closed the door quietly - marvellous.
I love it when they talk to me. I go down in the morning and all is quiet and then I say "morning girls" and they make that funny, contented sound to tell me they have heard.
Love it, love it, love it!
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Aren't they wonderful?
When I opened the door to their house this morning three of them were in the laying boxes and the one with a bare bottom was on her own guarding the food container. I put them into their run - they will get the hang of the little door eventually - and when I had cleaned the c*** out of the food thing and given them fresh water I realised that three of them were hiding under the house while the one with a bare bottom was guarding the food thing at the other end.
Each time one of them got a bit brave and headed for the food Bare bottom would peck at them, She is now known as Mrs Pecky.
They will establish their pecking order but it looks so aggresive and violent while they are doing it.
In the mean time I have to go and cook something with really fresh eggs for the first time in 29 years
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Mr M was supposed to be doing the driving but last week he developed a cold and on the Friday night he sneezed and felt a muscle "go" in his side. By Saturday morning it was painful, by Sunday he was in agony and on Monday he rang work and said he wasn't going in. This was when I really started to worry.
Then he rang the doctor's surgery and they asked him to be there at 3pm. He couldn't move his right arm without crying by this time so I drove our car for the first time. My legs are too short and my tummy too fat to drive anything with an airbag. Because it is a biggish vehicle (Kia Sedona) The seats are quite high so my little legs needed the seat pushed as far forward as it would go. This meant that if the airbag activated it would take my face off - possibly the whole of my head.
When I needed to release the handbrake I had to lean over so far I disappeared from view. This does not instill confidence in pedestrians or other drivers. The worst thing - and also the funniest - was when I was driving up the steep street next to our house. I found that the angle of the vehicle and my short stature meant that I was looking out through the curve of the steering wheel through the windscreen. I saw the face of a lady who was standing at the top of the street as she glanced towards the car and realised that she couldn't see anyone driving it. It has been so long since I drove anything that my confidence has quite disappeared, understandable really when I think about all that has happened in my life in the last ten years.
Anyway, Mr M is still not able to drive so My daughter, my son-in-law and my granddaughter are all taking me to collect the girls.
In other news, I have a dolls' house. My lovely next door neighbour asked on facebook if there was anyone amongst her friends that wanted one free because she wanted it out of the house. I said I would love it if she was serious and that evening it arrived. I have painted the outside a beautiful duck-egg blue - very soft and pale. and the next job is to fit the three staircases. It is georgian style with pedimented windows and quoining on the corners and I am really looking forward to doing each roomover the next 100 years. It will take that long because the furniture and stuff is so expensive.
Sunday, 20 September 2009
We stayed for a while with her to make sure there was nothing needing doing and then went to Chepstow garden centre for lunch.
They had Cheese pie on the menu. I love Cheese pie! I was the one in school who would eat everyone else's cheese pie and then let them fight over my dessert. It came with carrots, peas and cabbage ~sigh~ bliss.
We came home the pretty way, pausing for a sit and stare at Black Rock. If you stand at the top of the steps you can see both bridges but if you sit on the bench you can just watch the water and chat for ages.
Then onward through caldicot, and along the road to Langstone then onto the motorway just long enough to cross the river and home.
Today we went out for lunch to Morrisons - in Barry! scrummy fish and chips for me and a chicken thing for Mr M. Travelling gets more difficult as time goes on because there are so many things we have to do. We count yellow cars because of Chris Evans, we do a Spit the Dog impression at ALL Stobart lorries; we have to say "Jeeeeeep" in a low voice every time we see one and we are counting numberplates sequencially. I do hope no one comes up with anything else that we can't resist doing.
after lunch we headed through Rhoose, diverting for a little trundle around Rhoose point. then on through Fontagary et al and stopped for a sit and stare at the beach at newton before a brief adventure through some lanes we haven't driven down before. We weren't lost just a wee bit mislaid for a while. we came home via Neath and Brecon and then down through Abergavenny. An excellent day where we laughed a lot and counted 60 yellow cars AND saw a number plate with 115 on it so now I am looking for 116.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Seriously, I was commenting on someone else's blog and realised that I am kind of standing to one side, in my mind, and taking note of all the tiny things I do for the first time, how I react in a new situation and how I store that new experience.
I love that I am reading new blogs. I wish I could spend more time reading them but Mr M does like my company and I prefer his to anyone else's.
Pictures of pages later.
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Pretty good for a first day.
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Thursday, 27 August 2009
I have just decided not 20 minutes ago, that I will do the class and this time I will try to take pictures of my covers and pages and then post them on here. This is, afterall, what I set up this blog to do.
Now I have stopped kidding myself about not doing the class I feel much happier - Shimelle's classes always do this.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Now this might just seem like a waste to some people BUT, we have a week every year in February because that is Mr Ms birthday. Now we can go away for a week to any of six resorts in the UK and Ireland and all it will cost is the travelling and the maintenance, which is about the cost of a week's holiday anywhere.
We have booked our 2009 week for February 2010 (the year starts March) and I am really looking forward to it. We are going to Clowance in Cornwall so we can go and see Pam and Frank and do as little as we like for a week.
In other news, Mr M has an infection in the skin of his leg. This is red and sore and painful and he actually went to the Dr about it. He has antibiotics (penicillin so no kissing for a while) and orders to keep his leg elevated. Good grief! medical advice to lie on the settee and watch TV with his leg propped up on a pile of cushions. It does mean he isn't sitting in the kitchen eating all the time so that's good. It also means that I could be driving our tank for a while.
Struggling to get the washing dry so everyone is running our of underwear. The tumble dryer keeps tripping the fuse box so we can't use that and there is no way I will allow either of the men in this house to go near it with a screw driver.
Next thing for me to do is to get the latest edition of the Gibbon Gazette out to the family. ... Better get started then
Monday, 1 June 2009
pressing on a craft knife is so painful it is impossible and trying to write anything just makes me sob. Good grief I sound miserable! so I can pick up a book and read - this means sitting with my feet up which brings relief from the pain of the eczema on my feet. But reading sends me to sleep and at my age I do not want to be sleeping all day like a little old lady even if I am.
Oh one good thing is that I have purchased a pair of Crocs. I know they are very... chav but because I have to cover my feet with the cream 6 to 8 times a day and then put socks on to keep the cream on there a littile longer, I have ruined two pairs of slippers and a pair of shoes. Crocs are silicone so they wash they are flexible and they seem somehow to stop my feet itching - I have to wear the socks but that is irrelevant. I was able to walk a little yesterday instead of just sitting in the car and sulking.
This is soooo depressing and yet most of the time I don't feel depressed just frustrated. Ah well, these things are sent to try us I suppose
Monday, 18 May 2009
The constant itching makes life such a misery but because it is not life threatening I am supposed to put up with it because it is incurable - genetic see, so can't be cured so has to be endured. What utter tripe! It is simply not a high profile thing to have is it. Now if there was a celebrity that suddenly was stricken with an outbreak of itchyness because of eczema I can see that charities would be formed to assist in the research to find something other than steroids to make it go away.
The thing is that I don't want anyone else to have it because it is horrible and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy - well, I might if it wasn't forever - It would be good to give people a week or two though, just to see what it is like to wake up at 2am itching so much that you want to rip your skin off and throw it away. The thought of open wounds is preferable to the itching.
Saturday, 11 April 2009
I did these pages using all the birthday cards that Colin received for his Hawaiian birthday (he was 50). I haven't found out how to put the pictures where I want them yet - or even if I can - so there they stand, one on top of the other, until I can find a way to change it without deleting everything.
Today is Easter Saturday and we were supposed to be going out but my feet are cracked which makes walking very painful so the thought of arriving somewhere and discovering that I would be staying in the car while everyone went for a long walk to get to wherever the attraction was did not appeal. Colin wanted to take us all out in the new car so I have managed to disappoint everyone because of this stupid eczema. I am really fed up with it now and want it to stop!
Friday, 13 March 2009
Monday, 12 January 2009
She was generous enough to share this, giving it first to her Mummy and then to Grandpa. They both spent several days dragging themselves around before they admitted that they needed to stay in bed for a day or two. In the meantime the youngest was recovering fast so it was just as well that grandma and daddy were avoiding infection - so far. As the first two began a slow recovery Grandma succombed and spent a day wrapped up in the Better-maker blanket on the settee. Mummy and Grandpa confused things by getting a secondary chest infection and these both required antibiotics and vitamin C. Grandma was pretty soon on the road to recovery when Daddy decided that he could join in and he sank into infectious misery and lay on the settee for far longer than anyone else before he too was on the mend.
Then it was Christmas Eve, the countdown was on zero and the man in red was due to arrive. We had been tracking him with NORAD all day. The youngest went off to bed with her sack and after a long think she handed the sack to her mother and said
"You can put this downstairs mummy, I don't want a strange man in my bedroom - I do like Santa though mummy."
Christmas was lovely. Very relaxed, even though people popped in to see us unexpectedly the day was happy and carefree. Dinner was successful inspite of the turkey being reluctant to cook. I remembered that it was Scrap your day and so I kept taking photographs.
Boxing day was sheer delight. Eldest son and D-i-L came for lunch and we had such a marvellous time. They went on to visit with his dad and we sank into a relaxed stupor in front of the TV. The rest of the holidays passed in a happy blur and now we are into January and the weather is cold and wet and for some reason people in UK seem to think that this is a wrong thing. They seem to think that because they have California weather on the TV all the time that we should not have Winter. They use water like it is going out of fashion and then complain when it rains.
People say "Goodness it's cold!" I say "It's Winter, that should always be cold" and they look at me as if I am sprouting a second head.
These are the same people that cried in the street when Princess Diana died, even though they didn't know her they behaved as though she was the love of their life and wept with beating of breast and tearing of hair - and I think all of this is because we are told that we should express our feelings. So if you don't really feel anything except sympathy for the nearest relatives you feel guilty because all those around you are so obviously profoundly distressed at their loss.
It happens when someone is killed in a road accident. Suddenly there are teddybears encased in polythene bags strapped to the nearest lampost and bunches of flowers tied to railings. The fact that they placed by people who probably had only a tenuous link to the victim is irrelevant. Visible mourning is the fashion of the moment with all its vulgarity.
My cousin Michelle came to visit last week and we spent a happy couple of hours making Christmas Tags and cutting bits off used cards to make new ones. She is coming again and we will make more for charity and then we intend scrapbooking together. I am really looking forward to that.