Friday, 29 February 2008

Eco Sea Shells and Salami

Today, I fitted a toilet seat.

We've only been in this place for two years...and yet we are on our third loo seat!! What can I say?....we're busy in that department!! lol

My sister goes through washing machines, three piece suites and hoovers at the same pace. My older brother, however, is your regular, typical eco-man. He saves EVERYTHING!! His place is wall to wall saved things:O)) Things that others chuck out he sees a use for and takes in. So why do people make fun of him? So what if he builds a dog kennel in his front room from second hand, recycled wood for a friend who cannot do such things and has a working dog who needs more shelter than an upturned water barrell? He is a sort of hero in my books, me thinks:O) Helping to protect an animal and the environment is mega in my book. I have a couple of cat kennels in the garden so the mogs have a bolt hole/hidey hole if they need it...all from recycled stuff

Today, my Mother returned from her holiday and came back with pressies for of which is a bag of sea shells. Well, Mother thought Junior would want to stick them on things, like picture frames. Oh no...not Junior. She just loves the touchy-feely precious aspect of them and is going to keep them in a bowl and not glued to some object. She cannot keep her hands off them and is going to suss out what each shell is. Good project, me thinks. She also had some seaside rock candy brought back for her and is quite keen on making her own. Such joy for me on that one, then!!!

Mother also brought back a rather large link of salami for Junior (she is not quite veggie yet!) Well, we had been out of the house for 7 hours so we had to attend to feeding the cats and poochies. So, Junior is upstairs feeding the mogs and I am trying to sort out everything else. Phone goes, Min is otherwise engaged. Off the phone...and what do I find..but that poochies had made their point, snucked their noses in bags and nicked off with the expensive piece of salami!! £8 worth!! Just don't tell my mother but I reckon they deserved it!!!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Spinning Around

We had an earthquake early this morning..apparently!! Epicentre was nearly 60 miles away and measured 5.2.

I woke up about 1am ish thinking that I'd dreamed hearing a large bang of house collapsing volume. Got up to see if our pesky cats were partying, again and knocking stuff over only to feel the earth move under my feet. "By God" I though to myself.."I only had one glass of wine last night!!" I went back to bed thinking I'd dreamed it all. Turned over and there was Junior curled up beside me:O) It must have woken her up and caused her to seek refuge in mother's bed:O) She can't remember and reckons she was sleepwalking, but it's a bit of a coincidence.

Anyway, tonight...Stressed out of Hill Billy Land...aka Junior is in with me, again. She's worried incase we have another earthquake. Soooooo, explained about plate tectonics, again and that we don't live in an earthquake hot spot. Tomorrow shall do a proper job as I'm too bleary eyed due to this disturbed sleep!! She hasn't been herself today. Off her food and quieter than normal, 'cos of all this.

Today we went to our local home ed group. Spinning lessons were on hand and Junior had a great time. Couldn't get her off and it seems that she's a bit of a natural. So, shall have to get our wheel in action once we get some fleece to work with. And afterwards the kids at the group played a tag game called Horatio. There'd be over 20 kids there of all ages, ranging from 3 to 13 and it made you smile to see them having such a great time together....all in bossiness or bullying. All mates together, irrespective of age. Was sweet.

I made the chilli jelly. If anyone decides to make this then, when you are at the last stage of cooking, ie; after the sugar has been added and you are stirring to get a set...don't take any scum off until the end of cooking time. I had scum appearing within 15 mins and I scraped it off straight away. Unfortunately, the chilli didn't have enough time to infuse so the jelly I've ended up with isn't hot enough for my liking, so be warned. Otherwise, it's ok. A good way to use up apples. I had it on toast and 'twas nice. Maybe next time I won't put in as much sugar.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Mother Nature 2

No. Sadly he didn't make it. Junior's going to be upset when she wakes up.

Three seem ok sized. The fourth is another tiny one, too...Junior's Cupcake!! I've put in a lambswool jumper to help keep them warm.

It's lethal giving them names. You get too attached and involved.

I've managed to sort of add a playlist to my blog. The tunes get better as you go further down the list...honest!!

Mother Nature

Feel quite sad this morning.

It's 6.15am and I've spent the last couple of hours trying to get one of the kittens to feed as he's really very tiny and is getting pushed out of the way when he goes for milk. He's so weak that he just won't latch on. I hope he makes it:O)

Saturday, 23 February 2008

New Life and Silicone Bakeware

Bit of a long, varied post......sorry.

Junior with one of the kitties...not Cupcake, by the way...she's WAY tinier!

Our new babies have arrived. 

Meg is the proud mum of five tiny little black kittens.....three girls two boys...already named by Junior:O))  who is trying her damndest to try and persuade me to keep each and every one of them....tempting though it is but we can't...maybe one...who she has named Cupcake...she is the runt of the litter...really very tiny!  

Needless to say, Meg is having no more...enough..she had a tough time..pity she "escaped" in the first place but the deed is done, so to speak.  She started 10pm Thursday night and the last one was born at 6am the following morning.  Junior stayed awake until 3am then she conked out.  Woke again at 5am to the sound of little kitties miaowing for Mum.  So, we were all pretty pooped the next day.  Still, it was a lesson in life and biology.  Junior now knows alot about pregnancy and birth.   But, no more. Anyhow, I am REALLY proud of Junior, who is taking much of the responsibility of feeding and watering Meg and generally looking after the new arrivals.

Megan and her babies...Cupcake, Ruby, Bijou, Garfield and Stuart!

Here's what I bought tea towels..seeing as most of our others were used as midwife aids the other night:O))    I finally found some reasonably priced silicone bakeware, too. So guess what we're doing tomorrow:O)

Gratuitous shot of Spooky.  Her favourite resting spot is on the stairs:O)  She is the most vocal of the cats.  She's VERY loud and doesn't's more of a "wee-ahh" ...on repeat!

Received a free CD rom from the Vegan Society. They are usually dispatched free of charge to schools but home edders are eligible for one, too. Just e-mail them for a copy. It covers a host of subjects, including geography, religion, food technology, English, General Studies, Citizenship, etc. Looks good. Just think of it this can't do any harm to know about these things, even if you are committed (and you ought to be...sorry ..sick joke!!) meat eaters. `ok. Can think of at least one person who is going to give me jip about that last comment......but I can cope...'cos I weigh more!!! lol

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Moon, Dragon and Chilli Jelly

This was before the lunar eclipse but the moon had this lovely hue surrounding it and I wanted to get a piccy of it. Sadly, my camera is not the one for the job but you can sort of see it.

Went to a lovely Chinese New Year party and had a great time. We threw our wishes (tied to an orange) at a conveniently situated tree in the garden, had some lovely food, kids played games and gave the Dragon a runabout in the garden to the sound of Chinese drumming. Sadly, the dragon lost it's head, due to over-exuberance (the kids at the front ran too fast for the kids at the back) :O)) I think Mr Dragon is now fixed, though:O))

Here we go


Chinese Spread!!

Couple of nights ago I taught Junior a few card games and she is now beating me!! Can't remember what these games are called, me being the card

Am going to have a go at this recipe this weekend.

CHILLI JELLY (from Prima Magazine)
This is seriously addictive stuff – you’ll be spooning it onto everything!

Makes: 2 large kiln jars
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1¼ - 1½ hrs
Cost per jar: £2
Fat per jar: 1.5g
Carbs per jar: 1594g


1.4kg/3lb cooking apples, skin on and roughly chopped
few sprigs of rosemary
around 1.4kg/3lb caster sugar
good pinch of chilli flakes, about 2-3tsp (or to your preferred heat)

You will need: sterilised kiln jars

1. In a large pan, add chopped apples, core and all. Now pour in 1.7 litres/3 pints of cold water and throw in rosemary. Cook for about 30 mins, till apples are soft and stewed, then remove rosemary and mash gently with a potato masher. Drain and retain all the juice. Measure how much juice you have, then measure out 1lb sugar for every pint of juice. Discard the apple.

2. Add juice to a clean pan and bring to the boil, then add sugar and stir till dissolved. Tip in chilli flakes and stir. Cook on a fairly high heat for about 40-45 mins, stirring occasionally till the liquid reduces. To test if jelly is set, add 1tsp to a plate and push with your finger. If jelly is beginning to set, it is ready; if not, cook for a little longer.

3. Carefully pour into jars and seal when cool. Put in fridge and leave to set overnight.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Ice Crystals and Family

Had a busy weekend.

Son no 1 landed with his girlfriend and Bobby dog, who I was looking after while they went ooop north to party for the weekend. Well, it was his 21st:O) They came back yesterday to pick up Bobby and they looked....knackered! They finished partying at 4am, apparently.

The Birthday Boy, complete with silly smile!

Two of the party animals congregating around the Mac. This was pre-party!

Junior went to a cheerleading competition with her uncle and gran to watch my niece compete. Junior came back with a t-shirt. Apparently, my mother was REALLY into it, which is great, given her age:O) J would like to partake in this activity so shall have to suss out some local clubs. She's been practising doing the splits for AGES:O) Younger brother visited this weekend, too, with his kids..who on arriving promptly dissappeared upstairs to Junior's bedroom to "hang out" together:O) (Big attraction being preggy Meggy). Anyway, younger bro thinks Mum's move to hill billy land was well worth it as he thinks she looks really well.

The cheerleaders chilling out.. Gran with her two of her grandaughters:O)) She always does that on photos...pointy finger and "no, not with my hat on!"

Well, this morning Junior has her science head on and is in danger of having to be surgically removed from her microscope!! Everything she can lay her hands on has gone under it. I'm not forcing any learning here at all. This is autonomous. yay. It all started quite innocently when I mentioned that there was a lot of frost on the washing (which I'd forgotten to take off the line last night). Soo, she's been collecting samples galore and having a look. Even Popeye has donated some of his fur for scientific purposes!! She's now expressed a desire to get a new chemistry set!! Eeek.

Getting a sample yer pj' you do:O)

Assistant Popeye:O)


Friday, 15 February 2008


Junior..... "Mum"

Me....... "What"

Junior....... "There's no toilet roll"

Me......... "I bought some yesterday"

Junior......... "THERE'S NO TOILET ROLL!!"

ME.......... "Are you sure?"...(There's me thinking I'm going barmy.)

Junior........ "It's okay. I've found something"

Me......... "OK?" What is it?"

Junior....... "Baby wipes"

Goes upstairs to find that baby wipes are nowhere in sight. What do I find? Exfoliatiing facial wipes. Lol!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008


Son no 1 is 21 today.

It's affected him somewhat, 'cos he's rung me three times today, even though he's coming up tomorrow after work:O)) House is bedecked with all things 21 and Junior can't wait to see her bro and Bobby dog.

He was very touched by what she wrote in her card to him...that he's the best brother ever!! Aw! Brownie points to the girl!!

So, tomorrow we will embark on creating the appropriate birthday cake and hope that it stands up to ALL THOSE CANDLES:O))) lol

Oh I feel OLD...and proud:O)

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Had to Titter

Personally, I don't usually go for white!!

Glad this is not me!!!


Guess who hasn't been paying attention?

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Beatings and Family Trees

During my childhood, I remember Mum telling us stories about how she and Dad ended up in England because of World War 2. Some of the stuff they went through is horrific...truly.  Mum is the last link we have to those times as all our relatives back in the homeland are dead.  And, of course, Dad's in heaven, too.  No-one else left.

She wants me to write the stories down so everyone in our family knows as much as they can about their "roots", 'cos all details of our heritage, everything was wiped out by either the Russians or Germans.  She doesn't want our history lost, so I guess I'll be busy recording all her tales and memories:O)    We don't have much of a family tree...especially when you think of people like Matthew Pinsent...his family got traced right back to God!!  lol

Anyway, we were talking today and the conversation got onto greed and selfishness.  She told me this story, crying as she revealed what happened during a certain time during her wartime childhood.  She's worried about the state of the world nowadays and doesn't want her kids and grandkids to go through the horrors of war.

She and my Gran were shipped out of Ukraine by the Germans to work as war slaves.  She said the concentration camps were hell.  Anyway, she and Gran ended up working on a farm as servants.  She'd be quite young then..young teen.   Foodwise, they were relatively lucky.  They had a slice of bread and a bowl of soup a day.  They got by because they drank milk from the cows' udders as they milked and ate apples from trees...not known by the farmer of course.  

She was unwell at one point...influenza...but they made her walk miles on an errand.  When she got back the old farmer told her to do another job.  It was something petty..just to humiliate her.  So, tired and ill..she lost her rag and told the old farmer to do it himself.  Well, he went into a rage and beat her on the back with a rake!!  She passed out and woke to find a "doctor" treating her.  She had holes in her back from the beating and whip marks from the handle. She still has the scars to this day...terrible.

The next day, the farmer died...suddenly.  She believes it was God punishing the cruel swine!! 

The farmer's son wasn't nice at all, either.  Mum and Gran were treated like animals..they slept in a barn.  Gran was forced to do the animal chores ..mucking out, feeding, milking, cleaning.  Mum was sent on errands to ferry food to the nearest town, with the help of a horse.  I presume the food was for German people or soldiers.

On-route, Mum would have to pass a prisoner camp where the men were forced to work down a coal mine.  She would go past during a shift change.  She said that the men were in a terrible state..dirty from mining, tired, thin and starving.  The prisoners behind the fencing would reach out through the wiring and beg for food..arms outstretched.  They could see that Mum was transporting food.  

Anyway, she said that she had no real understanding that there was a war on...just that the Germans were horrible people,  airplanes came and dropped bombs and sometimes there was gunfire.  Looking back, she says she should have cottoned on but she was purposely kept uneducated.  She couldn't understand why the prisoners had no, every day she sneaked half a dozen loaves or so into a sack and gave it the prisoners, telling them to share.  She did this for about a fortnight.  The farmer had enough food in his stores to feed thousands, but he wouldn't share.    She was grassed up and the farmer found out.  He wanted to know who she had given the food to but she wouldn't say because those people would have been shot.  She wasn't sorry for what she did.  As far as she was concerned she was sharing food with other people who needed it more than the greedy farmer or her for that matter. 

The farmer and his lot beat my Mum and Gran up as punishment.   It was an extremely violent beating.   Mum was sobbing as she told me this.  She remembers my Gran's face was blue and violet from the beating.  Gran was very beautiful.   She had done nothing wrong and she was screaming because they laced into her with such needless violence and hurt her badly.  Mum says she didn't scream.  She wouldn't give them the satisfaction.  But they beat her up, too....a young child!!

When they were eventually "liberated" the allied soldiers asked her and Gran if they wanted them to shoot the Farmer because of his cruelty.  Gran was all for it, but Mum said no.  Of course, the weazle offered Mum and Gran anything they wanted.  Now he was willing to share, but Mum said she didn't want anything from him..his stuff was tarnished with innocent blood as far as she was concerned..and she and Gran, with only the clothes they stood up in,  just turned round and walked away from the place for good.  

I've blogged this for Junior and her brothers.  


Friday, 8 February 2008

Shredding Memories

I'm a woman on a mission!!  
I seem to have been hoarding paperwork!   I reckon I'm going to need a bumper roll of bin liners for when I start the shredding of my little accumulation.   I've got LOADS of the stuff..boxes of name it, I have it....course work from exams, old documents, paperwork from previous properties. did it come to this?  LOL 

Don't know what's worse....the sorting out into shred and keep (therefore HAVE to sort out) piles or the actual shredding.  Shall have to get my little assistant to help:O))   Hope the shredder doesn't blow up, like the last one did!   Anyway, the thought of all that extra cupboard/shelf/behind the sofa/under the bed/in the wardrobe space is keeping me going! lol

I found this in some of my old college stuff..  A poem I wrote.  Think it was about the time when the two little school girls from Surrey were murdered by the school caretaker.  I shall bore you now!!


He sits alone in his dark, grey cell.
He has no-one to talk to in this living hell.
His days are numbered, the end is in sight
for soon he will face his Maker's might.

What possessed him to commit such a callous crime
on a girl of eleven, nearing her teenage prime?
Her parents are broken, they can never smile
for he murdered their baby - vile Paedophile!

Sweet, blonde little girl, had her Mother's nose.
Incessant chatter, sweet little innocent Rose.
Why did he take her, this evil beast?
To satisfy his pleasure, with a sexual feast.

So...what punishment befits this crime?
Man of thirty, mental age of nine.
The people are angry, with his blood he should pay
for the twisted, sordid act carried out that day.

No other child of innocence should perish by such hand,
their lives should be so happy, free of fear in this great land.
And as he takes his last walk, this evil, filthy "gent",
his Mother sheds her tears for her own Little Innocent.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

I am Definitely NOT hearing things!!! Eeeek!!

Second post today.  but
Junior is on a sleepover at Bestest Mates house tonight.  She loves it there.  

Soooooo, peace and quiet and time to relax time for moi in the Min household?   oooo, yes.  Me poochies, mogs and Fred n Wilma.    Did lots of things like..normal chores, walk pooches, shopping, tidy up, mooch on internet, etc. Olive has been strangely clingy tonight! 

So, it gets to about 8.45pm ish.  I'm sat by iMac...perusing the web.  Suddenly, big racket...of metal wind chimes at the back door.   They are fixed so that if anyone opens the back door that they'll then chime.   It's a tip from my Magical Houshold I know if "naughty spirits" are trying to get in.  (Don't bloody laugh... this is SERIOUS!!!)  There's no way you can open the back door without making them chime.  These are not itsy little things.  They are big bloody things..proper clangers.....and they chimed on their own help from door, man, beast or wind!!    Arghhhhh!!!!  Anyway, goes to loo, like you do in these situations.  While on loo Son no 1 rings (he's a regular type of fellow....9pm on the dot....coincides with walking his dog...says it's the only time he can talk to me without interruptions:O)  Bless xx   

So, I tells him, eventually, of what has happened. You can hear the silent "sigh".  He puts it down to mother losing her marbles.  Anyway, I reasons with him and states that I know for a fact that he would be off like a shot, woooing out of that front door if it happened to him.  He has no reasonable explanation and, I suspect, still thinks his mother IS losing her marbles, 'cos he was not here to witnesss said chiming. Well, my eyesight might be a bit suspect but the hearing is still A OK!!  
So, guess me and the animals are sleeping with the lights on tonight!!   Gulp!!

I know...I'm a wuss!


Occupational hazard of living with five cats? ..............coming downstairs in a morning and finding  dead mouse on your living room floor!!     Eeeeeeew!!  Happened this morning.....had the complimentary, spine-tingling, send you deaf SCREAM from Junior.  Fred n wilma nearly fell of their perches.   Poor mousey has been laid to rest..away from prying paws.   The mogs were due to be wormed this week.  Good job, too.   It's a pity that the cats hunt and kill.  I know, I's nature and all that.  At the other house the now elderly Spooky and Muppet used to bring all sorts back.  Apart from rodents and birds, there were often deceased dragonflies laid out at the top of the garden, by the wisteria.  Once found a dead bat:O((  Muppet's still at it and around the garage (way away from the house) there are often various "leftover" bits laid out.  Yuk.
Today we are, wellie-adorned, off up to the allotment to survey the weather damage.  My windbreak netting has been blown down, as have some of the posts.   Hopefully, we should be able to dig over some land in preparation for planting.  We covered up these bits of grass and weeds with natural carpets and sheeting.  Fingers crossed they've done the job.  Some of the plots there are amazingly pristine...well, they are virtually ploughed fields...everything living has been weedkillered out.  I just think they look......sterile, bare..yuk.   On the other hand, bet their owners are shaking their heads in despair at the sight of mine.  Never mind...they'll get over it:O)) 

Been doing a bit of French..just teaching her a few bits at a time..and geography.. countries
with the capital cities of the world  and their native languages.   The caligraphy pen is great for this.  Junior has done some work and her writing is really lovely when she puts her mind to it.  
Been watching Roar. Great prog about animals.  V educational.  J loves do I.   They had some rescued tortoises on who live in harmony with some zebra mice.  Very sweet.   Pity that animals have to be rescued and kept in captivity.  There was a pregnant Rothschild giraffe on.  There are only 300 in the wild!   How sad is that? 

Tommorow, we are on a mission to find some gluten flour.  Day trip out on the bus job:O)  Then, we can get going with making seitan and a chickpea burger recipe see Tropical Vegan

Yippeee!!!  I managed to do a link:O)  HA!!    This old bird's still got it!!! :O))) to sort out font size.  Due to knackered eyesight size DOES matter!  LOL 


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Busy Background

Just to say sorry about the "busy" background and if it does your eyes in. 

Son no 2 has been avisiting and has been trying to help his old mother make the blog look a little more, erm, funky........should have seen what he tried to get me to put up.....eeeeeew (not a fan of skull stuff!) lol  Anyway, shall try to put something a little easier on the eyes on...not that I don't like frogs (I do!)

Still can't figure out the linky thing in body of the blog.  How DO you do that on a Mac?  Pc boy can't figure it out.  Wonder if his big brother, who is avisiting next week, can?  We shall see.

We actually made pancakes today....drizzled with maple syrup.  yum

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Feathers and Ink

Well, some will think I'm daft...but I feel sorry for her. I'm glad to hear that the troubled Britney Spears is now under the care of her Dad. About time!! Get her back into the real world!! I hope she gets the love and care she deserves and that any parasites and scumbags are kept firmly away from this troubled soul. And that she becomes well enough to be a good mum and get her kids back.

Anyway, Junior has decided that if she wants additional pocket money then chores are the way!! It's her idea. 10p for each extra job.......Am especially looking forward to her takeover of the washing up!!

Junior is into practicing her handwriting. Totally autonomous decision. We have TONS of stuff in the learning department (actually...a few cupboards and bookcases hold all the stuff!) . Lots of supplies here...nothing forced..everything is picked because it's wanted. Soooooo, she has dug out a caligraphy writing set. I love ink/fountain pens and we were scribbling away with these pens last night. Seems that junior also loves fountain pens. yay. Must hunt out some turquoise Quink ink:O)

Spoke to Son no 2 and he and his other half have been out today buying stuff for the baby. Bless. His other half is not having an easy pregnancy, though. They are as poor as church mice but are working all they can to get extra money in. Anyway, new job..and she passes out first day. She is ok but needs to take it easy. She's not going to be one of these pregnant ladies who work up until the last week.

Came home yesterday from Mother's. She was upset about something so had to go down and sort it out for her. We were out for about 5 hours and came back to find......budgie cage on the floor....seed sign of Wilma!!! eeek. Junior...who does not like to see animals hurt....stayed in the porch while I sussed out the situation. It was a scene of mayhem, as you can imagine. Soooooo, there I am looking for yellow feathers and maybe a half-eaten body...trying to calm Junior down. Goes into kitchen..not looking forward to what I may find... and there she is.......bless her...alive and well:O) Clever bird knew that if she stuck close to the dog crate then pussycats would keep away!! So, Wilma and Fred are reunited...and next time we go out, they are going into the porch...away from naughty Olive & Co!!

Preggy Meggy still hasn't popped. She looks a bit like a black malteser on legs and has been quite playful today:O) The elderly cats are in, too. Feeling the cold at their age...and eating for England I might add. When Spooky came back after being missing since Crimble, we went out and got some supplies in for her. She was a bag of bones compared to her normal plump self. Whiskas was on offer at local, only one for miles and normally totally over-priced we got five boxes. Spooky and co have 60 sachets to go at..and going at it they are!!