Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Tins of beans and treats

Been busy with maths and writing practice. Junior is now practising her signature...in English and Ukrainian! This has been a hoot for Mother as I have, apparently, forgotten much re the joys of writing in the old cyrillic..and she's loving having to tell me! Apparently, I don't know my b's from my v's!

Tomorrow or some time this week, we aim to do some science experiments ...without blowing anyone up, hopefully:O)

Mother has started going to this keep fit club. Previously, in the other flat, she had a cycling machine which she used on a daily basis and she swears blind that she felt better for using it. Anyway, just before she moved it decided to conk out. It was an Ebay buy....... and "pah" so much for that!!!....and so she was missing her daily workout....hence her joining this keep fit club. Well, the people who attend ARE elderly..not like my 77 year old mother (..who is "not kaput from the neck down"..as she puts it). Tomorrow is the keep fit club day and she will be using weights this time (probably tins of baked beans). Wonder how she'll feel after that? lol

Son no 2 phoned me today to tell me what sex his baby is (he and other half had been for their scan). Have to say.......I WAS RIGHT!!!!!! He and his other half have picked lovely names for the little one. Can't actually believe that I'm actually going to be a granny!! Eeeek and Ooooo!! Might do a family tree with Junior. I know she'll like that.

Preggy Meggy still hasn't popped, although she is taking a shine to any drawer that remains open:O) Junior has spoiled the animal, again...such is her kind heart. Cat treats and kitten milk went into the shopping basket today...again. She would've had no spending money left...so I paid instead. Well, she is guaranteed one hell of a biology lesson..plus a decision making one when the kittens go to their new homes.

We watched Summerhill. Enjoyed thoroughly. Torchwood tomorrow!! yay!

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Spinach and guess who's gone nuts!

Well, we've managed to oik Gran's double bed upstairs into Junior's room. We girlies did it (been eating spinach!) as I was fed up of the lack of space in the front room. Said bed is now made up with proper covers (pink, fancy lacy stuff that Junior eyed up at Gran's and which my Mum then gave to her"O) So, that's about the millionth truck load of stuff that has ended up at our place. My Mum's place looks lovely and......spacious and she is all happy and smiley. Min's house, on the other hand looks like an antiques shop with cats everywhere! Still, with arrival of bro and bro-in-law today much of it should be shifted out into the garage...before the ceilings cave in! Also, efforts are to be made to get my car up and running.....yippeee!

Back to Junior. She is as happy as larry in her new "space". Stereo is on for the first time in AGES and she's ditched Britney in favour of the Gorillas and she's also been eyeing up my Dandy Warhols cd, so on the musical front things are looking up:O) She has SOoooooo much stuff, don't know where it's all going to go...probably in the spare room. Or maybe we can do a car boot. Whatever....it's probably going to take me an age to sort it all out anyway. Ho hum.

Preggy Meg has taken refuge in the bottom of Junior's wardrobe and Popeye on top! Olive is quite the demented one at the mo...'cos of her failed efforts to get out into the big wide world for kitty lurrve. We're trying to make up for this by plying her with expensive Whiskas cat milk and up market food, but she's not having it...ungrateful little so and so!! She's quite barmy at the moment. Even answering back when we talk to her. Wonder if there's an Ann Summers type of place for frustrated mogs? lol

We watched Summerhill via the BBCiplayer and enjoyed it...alot! Wonder if Inspector Myrtle will end up as a Summerhill teacher? Not watching tv ain't as bad as I thought initially. It's quite liberating actually. As long as I can watch good old Torchwood then I'm a happy bunny.

Well, am off to concoct a vegan meal for Sunday dinner. Bro in law is a committed meat eater. Told him if he doesn't behave then he's having nut cutlets! lol

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Friday, 25 January 2008

The case of the missing sock

Don't know if anyone else has the same problem as me...that being the mystery of the missing sock...or socks? Well, Junior, at anyone time, seems to only have about half a dozen matching pairs.....and about a hundred odd socks, so she's regularly out and about in odd socks..which is a fashion trend in itself. Anyway, fed up of this mullarcky and of keeping them "incase its partner turns up at some point" Junior has come up with a novel way of recycling them. Make them into bracelets/wrist warmers/sweat bands!!

She cut off a bit widthway so you end up with a band, keeping it in one piece and voila...you have a bracelet. You could decorate it with beads, buttons, glitter, foam flowers. Endless possibilities. She's cut bits off some of her more fancy odd socks (cut around the fancy logos, hearts, messages, etc and ended up with a wristband that needs nothing else added to it.

Some piccies and, yes, I know they are blurred and crap! Sorry. I know you're not supposed to blame your failings on your instrument, but in this instance I will!!! lol

Plain, thinner wristband

Plain sweatband

Decorated wristband

Thursday, 24 January 2008

In search of lurrve, peace and sleep!!

Olive is still trying to escape to find kitty lurve. We have been reduced to barricading the back door to prevent our wily mog from disappearing into the night!! She's very vocal and attention-seeking at the mo, which is driving me nuts! Keeps my mind off other things I suppose. Anyway, to preserve my sanity she is currently living at my pleasure in the cat carrier. That's shut her up....for a while. Anyway, this cat in season thing is mighty embarassing. Came upstairs this morning to find Pop trying to "oblige" Olive....on my bedroom windowsill....which is at the front of the house...and in full view of the "early, off to work" neighbours who couldn't have missed the show!!

Never mind the computer...where's my food?

Let me out!!

Don't you think I'm adorable?

Popeye has decided to play up tonight, too. I want/need to sleep, but have my usual bout of insomnia and he decides he wants to play...loudly. Can see that if this carries on and he encourages my sleep deprivation, then he'll be the recipient of a "kick up the nuts". As it is, I chucked him outside to cool off and that seems to have worked, 'cos he's curled up on Junior's new bed:O) All is calm:O)

Tried to order several books off Amazon today, including home ed stuff and have been kerfaffled by their ordering system. It says you can pay by cheque or p/o, which is what I want to do...but you can only have that pleasure if you buy the books from them..new..and not from the other sellers.,,ie; the more expensive prices. Doesn't mention that in the Types of Payment gumph...got that from them when I emailed about the problem. Hmmph....not best pleased at that!!! Living minus credit/debit card is really hard nowadays....but we soldier on:O)

Junior has all but finished her Horrid Henry and we're about to start reading White Teeth together..a book we "won" from Lucy at by other means. (sorry, still haven't figured out how to do the linky thing). She's got a couple of books on the go at the same time, for some reason, which I suppose is a need for variety thing:O) We're still doing the totally autonomous bit and daughter has been making the most of her computer games. (we've dumped the tv usage). Sims is her fave at the mo and she's figuring out loads of stuff. I'm quite impressed. She's also decided to press on with her joined up writing. We have notes ALL OVER THE PLACE. Still, I'm not complaining. We all learn in our own way. We still have to find a suitable diary for her daily ramblings and aim to get that this week. I asked whether she wanted to learn another language in addition to her Ukrainian...and she has gone for French for some reason. I thought she might have gone for something more exotic but French it is. This is one of the book/cd sets we attempted to order off Amazon. Think it might be Chinese next!!

Managed to watch Torchwood on the BBCplayer thing. Yippee for computers!!!

House is upside down, due to musical furniture time, again. Junior's new double bed has arrived. Mother bribed the blokes who delivered her new bed to bring the double up here!! Don't know how she does it, but I suspect it's something to do with crossing one's palm with silver:O) Well, it sits neatly in our lounge at the mo!! Why? We are awaiting the arrival of two, strong, male family members to help shift it upstairs and several other pieces of furniture downstairs and off and out to live in the garage. Normally, Junior and I would manage all this easy peasy...but dodgy knee has put paid to that at the mo. Until then, the bed has been made up and my little Sleeping Beauty is snoring away as I type. Lucky thing!!!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Planted a couple of trees in honour of deceased godparents:O)

Have to keep the new cat flap locked as Olive is "in season". Anyway, true to form as things go in this house, she has broken it whilst trying for the Great Escape...to find some luurve! Megan looks like she's been there, got the t-shirt, etc..going by her sprouting bulge!!

Anyway, found this, when looking for something to cheer me up.

Video of a woman singing to help her through her labour and contractions. It's really beautiful. She has a lovely voice.

To those who really know me, this is no surprise.

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, 21 January 2008


Found out in the last few weeks that one of my godparents..the one I adored to bits the most as a child... has died.

Ever had that "I am alone" feeling? All my godparents are now in Heaven. That means, from my childhood, there is only my mother and two other favourite "grown ups" left alive..and one of these can't speak or function normally because of a stroke:O( Makes me sad. I miss all these departed peoples' banter and niceness..and protective love. Must be the child in me. Now they need looking after grown up me. Time for a trip up North me thinks, to "catch up", before it's too late.

Saturday, 19 January 2008


I never learn. If I had a webcam then you would be greeted by steam......from my feet!!

Don't ever go shopping with my shopaholic daughter..... and mother who ought to know better...that's if you want to walk again!! Those two are serious shopping party animals:O) I am so pooped that I am not walking...I'm waddling! I wore comfy, flat boots, too!!

The plan was for Mother to catch the bus at her stop, 10.45am, and us to get on at ours, at 10.46am further up the route...which is a mile or so up the road - which shows you how fast the buses around here go!! The bus would then proceed, via lovely hill billy countryside, to latest hill billy market town on the list to visit. The day started with us hearing the bus to "latest hill billy market town on the list" approaching. Unfortunately, we were nowhere near the bus stop. (I did swear a bit at this point) Now, this scenario would stress out your normal OAP...like "I'm on a bus and I don't know where I'm going 'cos useless daughter has missed it". But, oh no.....not my mother......she's made it through Stalin and the Blitz, so a little hiccup like this is nothing....... Bless her heart and I don't know how she did it but...she made the bus driver wait for us. What she threatened him with I have no Idea, but he was very nice to me:O). Once I'd stopped turning blue from running up that hill, regained my senses, I asked if he was early or was I late? Bit of a stupid question, really.

Anyway, Supergran was mightly pleased with herself as we whizzed through the countryside. We got one back, though 'cos we (I) had bought a heart locket key fob the previous day which had "Loving Grandmother" embellished on the front. Junior dutifully presented it to her Gran on the bus, who promptly burst into tears..the old softie. It went straight on her house keys and she said that she would put Junior's picture in it only, 'cos she's the one who loves and looks after her gran:O) She treated us to dinner at BHS and we then "attacked" the town. Have to say, with some pride I might add, that Mother is a trendy old bird...considering her age.

She wants a mobile phone...'cos "If other old buggers can use one, then so can I!!" Sooooo, we visited EVERY mobile phone shop there (Junior and I "oo'ed and aah'd over the new iPhone..and we WANT ONE!!) Supergran couldn't find one she liked. She wants one that has big buttons, to cope with her big fingers! Think her mind is still in the days when mobiles were the size of house bricks. Anyway, we'll work on it and will, no doubt I'm sure, find one that meets her standards:O)

Then, we proceeded to visit all manner of places...M&S of course, Primark, trendy boutiques, etc. Junior had lots of bags to carry:O) - Gran treated her. I said I wanted to go to Waterstones...(craft books). Well, found lots of lovely crochet books. With Mother peering over my shoulder and tut tutting at the prices, I didn't buy any. Not worth the lecture. Might slip back later and buy one that caught my eye later this month. She did, of course, buy Junior a Horrid Henry book for £4.99 which Junior will, I'm sure, have read by tomorrow. There must be a cheaper outlet for these things somewhere. Someone enlighten me please:O)) Daughter (9) is doing so well at reading and all that that she'll end up doing her A level soon I'm sure....if she wants to.

So, shopping expedition over and having waddled off the bus, waved Mother on, Junior and I did the lottery and are home. No time to put feet up, though. Animals to fuss and feed. When you tend to rush off in a morning, animals sometimes get the hump on that you are going out without them and tend to deposit the contents of the world from their rears in your back yard, instead of on their walk...so there is that to see to:O( Actually, the pets have nothing to moan about as they were well catered for in the treats department, thanks to Junior, again:O) She buys these little treats for the mogs, which they love and she has actually trained Meg and Popeye to sit! Olive, of course, is having non of it!

My knee is still knackered and I'm trying to figure out how I'll get to lounge on my expensive slub sofa this evening without inflicting unnecessary pain on myself. Maybe if I get her to read up on the Egyptians again, Junior can construct some sort of pulley system to lower her old Ma onto the sofa, painfree of course:O) In my dreams I think!!

Anyway, nite nite all. xxx

Friday, 18 January 2008

Sea Shepherd Blog

This is one Sea Shepherd blogger explaining why he fights to help animal conservation.

December 13, 2007
Report from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin

Why I fight
Peter Hammarstedt (2nd Mate)

Being out at sea has always given me the opportunity to reflect on the twists and turns in my life that brought me to a stage where I could safely say that I would risk my life to save that of a whale. My expedition to Antarctica essentially began a decade ago.

When I was 14, I met a dog named Marlboro through the chain-linked fencing of an animal shelter housing pen. No words were exchanged. But his deep brown eyes met mine and there was instantly nothing more important to me than finding this Akita/Cattle dog a loving home. Marlboro never said a word, neither a bark nor a whimper escaped his lips for the duration of his two month stay, but he spoke volumes about the way our society views animals - not as feeling, thinking unique individuals, but as disposable things. Marlboro was named after a tobacco company. I called him my best friend.

For an entire summer, we tried to make the best of the cards that Marlboro had been dealt. Every morning for two months, the concrete floor turned to mud and grass and steel fencing crumbled to a sun that kept us playing around the large oak tree that marked the end of the property for the better part of each day. From that oak tree, the kennels seemed far away.

One Saturday morning, I came in to find Marlboro’s cage empty. He’d been moved. But not to the wide expanse of a country home that I’d dreamed up for him, but to a set of cages down the road referred to as death row. Marlboro had inadvertently bit a volunteer. And because of that, he was condemned to die. The day before he was put down was the first time that Marlboro ever spoke to me. As I said my last goodbyes and turned to walk away, my quiet friend let out a howl and threw the entire weight of his body against the cage door. I ran home crying, feeling helpless. The next day, a Rottweiler named Holly stood in Marlboro’s old cell. She found a home one month later.

Marlboro taught me more than any other individual I’ve ever come across. He would help set the course of the rest of my life and because of that, I am forever in his debt. Marlboro taught me that every single animal, human and non-human alike, is a completely unique individual. Until the end of time, there will never be anyone else exactly like you. Or exactly like me. Or exactly like Marlboro. A pod of whales is a collection of distinct unique personalities. For me that has always been one of the most powerful arguments for animal rights. That we have more in common than separate us. That’s what my best four-legged friend taught me many years ago - that animals are worth fighting for.

The day that I ran from the caged rows that separated Marlboro from the rest of the canine population, I made a promise - that never again, when put in the position to save animal life here and now, would I turn my back. Sea Shepherd allows me the opportunity to keep the promise that I made almost a decade ago, every day of my life. Now I find myself in Antarctica for a third time, hoping to find the Japanese whaling fleet as early as possible in their season; not just because 50 endangered humpback whales are now slated for the harpoon, but so that Marlboro would understand that not for a single day, has he been forgotten.

Keeping Warm and Supple

Junior hasn't been feeling too well for the last few days and has had belly whack....which translated from Yorkshire means tummy ache. She's been a frequent visitor to the loo, too, so it would seem that she has caught this bug that's doing the rounds. Plus, it's been wet and cold and generally horrible weather-wise. So, today we had a making comfort food day and made some veg soup, which daughter enjoyed. Managed to find my stick blender so we could have a smooth veg soup, per her request. I'm glad now that I couldn't find it a few months back when I was soap making:O) (using a stick blender helps hurry along the trace when you are soap making....saves lots of stirring by hand!!) Took me days to get the previously burned rice pud off the slow cooker!! Won't do that again, will I?

Slow cooker with our yummy homemade soup.

Some of the crocheted gifts I made for Crimble. Junior has put in a request for a bag and purse, so I'm on with that now:O) Mother has also asked me to crochet her a bedside mat in this really funky wool, which is only 49p a ball (Home Bargains, of course). Will post a piccie up when I'm done.

This was just before Crimble, I think. The young mogs found my bed (complete with additional blankets as it was really COLD at the time.

Tomorrow we're going on another shopping day out with Mother. She seems to be on a mission at the moment to visit every single market town in hill billy land before she departs this world!! Junior just LOVES shopping as does Mother. They're a good match in that respect. I can never get out of it though. I have plenty of things to do at home of course and I hate it when I've nothing to spend. Window shopping has lost its appeal to me but, I feel duty bound to go and keep my eye on these two little tinkers so they don't overspend, so I'll be tagging on, even with dodgy knee:O) I know exactly where these two will end up:O) Come to think of it, I do need some decent face moisturiser before my skin morphs into something reptile-like. Can't find a decent one at the mo. It needs to be inexpensive and not tested on animals. Does anyone out there know of one? Maybe I should do a Liz Earle and make my own!! (hers are lovely but too expensive for me) Something else for the business empire..Min's Moisturiser:O) lol

Thursday, 17 January 2008


Talk about three wheels on my wagon!! Shopping trolley is giving up as one of the wheels keeps trying to escape. So, been to a hardware store to try and get some nuts to sort out the problem. Shopping trolleys are trendy now:O) Helps the environment..no car..only use public transport instead. Pity the public transport costs are so extortionate:O( Anyway, was funny. Junior was rolling about on the floor in Wilkos...trying to fit a nut onto the wheel. Eventually, we found a size that fits so trolley lives on!!! yay.

Junior seems intent on spending her pocket money on cat things...cat milk..treats...toys. sigh..... Does her maths good, though:O)))))

We waddled on to Home Bargains (my knee is still giving me unwarranted jip!!!) They were selling Jamie Oliver's Artichoke Pasta Sauce at a knock off price. I grabbed a jar out of curiosity, as I've never had artichoke before ...but it was blooming lovely. So, be warned....get your supplies in 'cos I'm off down there tomorrow to buy a big stash of it. It was delish:O) And, I've finally tracked down a firm that sells gluten flour, so I can attempt to make seitan. They are virtually on my doorstep, too. Yippee!!!! Such joy.

We were gifted a really good science book for Crimble, by Son no 1 and his other half. It's a bit advanced for Junior but jolly good just the same. Shall be doing a few experiments this week. Junior has started writing a diary of sorts, so we are on the hunt for an appropriate one for her to log her thoughts into (needs to be huge as she tends to waffle on:O) I never did write such things when I was younger as I never thought of it, although I wish I had now. She is way cleverer/brighter than I was at that age. it's the home edding. I'm sure. Let them think for themselves.

On an evening, when I go check on Junior, I have been finding her sound asleep....with opened book on her face. Bless. She says that she manages to read a few pages and then...wham....she's asleep. Reminds me of my chemistry revision of years gone by ( I REALLY wanted to understand it properly:O)) ..but I ALWAYS fell asleep reading the workbook. sigh.....

I am nerdier than 77% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Vegan meals and gadgets

One of our New Year's resolutions was to make more use of our gadgets!! It's kitchen gadgets I'm on about here and it's amazing how many you can accumulate and swiftly stick in a cupboard...unused!!

The last "gadget" I bought was a slow cooker. Slow cookers are great if you eat meat so you can stew and casserole to your hearts content, but there aren't that many vego/vegan recipes I know of that use a slow cooker..hence....why did I buy the thing? Doh!! I can't find any recipes out there that take my fancy but 'tis no surprise really as I am special needs when it comes to googling! Sooooooo, anyway.. ever resourceful, bright spark here decided to make rice pudding yesterday...in said slow cooker. Had visions of nice, warming, creamy rice pud for me and Junior. Well, hey ho...funny how things never pan out 'cos after a few hours of rice pud bubbling away and smelling yummy.... I still managed to burn it..even in a slow cooker!! One minute all was well and the next there was that familiar burning smell. Shiny new slow cooker is currently being "soaked" to get the crunchy, burnt bits off. sigh.......

We did make pasta this week, though...using the food processer and pasta machines gifted to us by Mother. We made tagliatelle, Junior and I. Was very nice. Next time I'll make it a tad thinner than the 1cm thick, somewhat chewy strips we had this time. Must remember to take photos of these culinary delights:O) Anyway, I'm safe in the knowledge that my daughter knows how to make rice pud and pasta:O)

Upmarket juicer and smoothie maker will probably make it out of the cupboard, too. I am cringing at the thought of some of the recipes I know Junior has stored for these. Bet she feels the same, too as she's not a fan of my apple, celery, carrot and ginger juice...but it's wonderful for the liver:O) Say no more!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Back in the land of the living

Happy New Year to everyone!!

Been busy over the holiday period..with one thing and another. Have to say... I could live in the middle of nowhere without tv, cars, etc but being without internet is a bummer.

Santa managed to find our house and daughter was well and truly spoiled on the Bratz and crafting front. He did also thoughtfully give her a pink guitar so she doesn't have to use mine, so we now each plink away on our respective instruments:O) Don't think we'll be making records yet or anything, though!! I was lucky enough to get a few books that I wanted...one being the 200 Ripple Patterns which I have read from cover to cover:O)

Anyhow, on the family front...all being well I should be a granny some time in May:O) I've been doing my best to resist the temptation of buying for babe...but some of the stuff you can buy is SO CUTE and I feel a lapse coming on:O))) I will, of course, endeavour to make a mini ripple blanket for the new arrival.

Junior, however, is looking forward to the impending arrival of........ a double bed - courtesy of her gran (who is downsizing to a three-quarter size and has gifted her big bed to her favourite grand daughter), so we are, yet again, on with the musical furniture!! Sigh.....stuff all over the place. One of the pieces of furniture that we've inherited from Mother when she moved is an old-fashioned school desk..complete with inkwell and grafitti. Ironic really, seeing as we home ed. Still, it holds/hides LOADS of her home edding supplies, which is a plus on the "keep things tidy" front, as you tend to get fed up of tripping up over books...'cos we have HUNDREDS!! And, some home edders will relate to this.....It's a REAL pain when you slip on one of the shiny, magazine type books and end up doing the splits!! Ouch!!

Our lightbulbs keep popping!! Does that mean we have spooks? (friendly, of course)

The young mogs have grown and are still partying. Olive has taking to sitting on my shoulder and cleaning my chin!! Popeye is just lovely natured and Megan has taken to catching and killing....leaves!! The number of times Junior has screamed, full pitch, thinking that she's bringing in a dead animal! Sigh.... Anyhow, sod all their Crimble pressies, they have a new toy in the form of....a cat flap!! Son no 1 visited for our Uki Crimble and definitely felt the draught winging its way through the hole in the door that once of an upmarket cat flap..(that his dog, incidentally, broke and ended up wearing as a necklace!) Came home one day from Mother's (sorting out yet more of her stuff) to find the new cat flap installed and in full working order. Yippee!!!

Think I've slightly over-indulged over the festive period as I now look and walk something like a womble:O) I've managed to acquire a dodgy knee too, so just call me Hopalong at the mo:O)) I'm doing my best to shift the excess indulgence, but you try skipping on one leg!! lol