Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Nail in my coffin

I need to up my iron intake.

So, we have been shopping. Not for a bag of nails but.... legumes, beans, dried apricots, spinach, chickpeas, orange juice for Vitamin C, tofu.

Well, you can imagine what the beans are going to do to me, although some of the recommended ones are too exotic to find around these parts!!! Chickpeas are cool, orange juice is ok, dried apricots might get some getting used to, spinach is ok...not cooked though......uuuuurrrrgghhh!! That leaves my friend tofu, the exotic flavoured stuff to supply me with a hot meal. Pity it's nearly two quid a block.....sigh..... A vegan lifestyle is not cheap around these here parts!

What was I saying about the bag of nails?......only 99p, too.

Mother is still very ill. Coughing for England and providing a roaring trade for the disposable underpant empire of Miss Tena Lady:o)

She thinks 'this is it. Kaput time'.

I tell her, of course, to stop being so daft, but she feels down.....side effects of the anti-bios, I know.

Been there all afternoon and evening, again.

Tomorrow, I will take my bag of spinach to chew on.

Mother is ill

Mother is not well. She has pneumonia.

This is not good, especially when you are 80.

She has steroids and anti-biotics to take. Trouble is, she is coughing so much that she's puking everything up, including medication.

So, have been at her's most of the day. Trouble is, she won't shut up...and I mean this in the nicest way. If she stopped talking then throat wouldn't tickle so much and she wouldn't cough, etc, etc, etc.....

Anyway, made her dinner, which she ate and rubbed Vick on her back to help her breathe and sleep before we headed home, weary.

Tomorrow she starts the steroids....six tablets in one go!! Plus the antibios.

She's adamant that she won't go to hospital!!! And I don't blame her.

Anyway, holidays are a curse for our family. Something ALWAYS happens at Easter and Crimble. Easter is usually illness and Crimble is bad luck/sadness time. Happens every year, without fail

Does this happen to anyone else, I wonder?.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Little Treasures

Yay for jumble sales:o)

Was my favourite one at the weekend (in aid of animal welfare) and this usually means staggering home laden with lots of 'finds'. Some are bought and some given, as a few of the stallholders know we are cat lovers and so are always plying us with freebies for supporting their event, which is very nice of them.

First off, I always head for the linen stall....lots of bedding and fabrics. Then to the clothes bit...on the lookout for hand knitted stuff that I can frog and reuse on some project or some nice cotton bits for quilting, etc. On to the other clothes bit...30 pence an item. I go for fleecy things ideal for pet bedding:o) Then it's onwards to books, videos *(10 pence each!) and then, if the old ankles are up to it....the nik nak bit! lol

I always use bits of cut up clothing for making quilts. Quilts were originally made from scraps of material from old and 'outgrown clothing...recycling. I never think to use new material for quilts. I go for the vintage look. lol

Back at the jumble, I managed to get a couple of language courses with cd's and tapes for 50 pence each......French and 'Learn Dutch in 3 months'. Yay! (Junior has a personal CD player to use with those. She knits while she listens ) Got a big bin liner full of of bedding and linen, Next lamp, bathroom mat and pedestal set in OUR colour....purple:o).

Junior loves this event, too and wandered off as soon as we got in and and an hour later staggered up to us, laden with her little treasured finds. Latest fad is Buffy and she managed to get a couple of series for 50pence...plus the usual bits girls like..and not forgetting stuff for the mogs:o) The handbag stall is a big pull for her lately!! She has an eye for a bargain. lol

Bro loved it, of course. Was in his element but it was over all too soon for him. lol. He found a designer video cameral holdall for 20 pence!!! He only bought it so he had something to carry all his buys home in. Then he manages to find some brilliant CDs and other bits.

We managed to waddle home together..happy and eager to share our finds:o)

The mogs and dog loved their pressies and snuggled up on new fleecy bedding.

Home made chip butties, with a dollop of tomato sauce, for tea. They are the best!!

Friday, 26 March 2010


Ah, brothers.

Mine is still here..toiling away at the mountain of repairs that need doing at Chez Min.

Bless him..he toils away...gets waylaid on another 'little job'....comes back to the one he was on.....gets waylaid...again......

This time he was planing half an inch off the bottom of Junior's bedroom door so door can close:o) 'Tis a tough job doing it by hand, with saw...especially when you are getting on a bit. lol

So, he gets waylaid...again....puts a video on...needs a little rest...arm is aching from all that sawing. Awwwww. This is in Junior's room. She was busy on computer.

The video was a rallying video...Bro's hobby when a tad younger. He's loving it, of course.....explains all the bits and bobs to Junior, who's who and all that. There he is, nattering away only to turn around and find Junior......asleep:o)) lol

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta

We had a butternut squash hanging around the kitchen. We usually turn these into soup:o) I actually bought this squash on Monday, from the local market. 'Tis a miracle as I usually wait for months before I figure out what to do with them....plus they are sort of attractive to have around in one's kitchen:o)

Well, decided to do something different from soup, so...

We had Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta:o) Very nice.

There's me thinking that I might have actually invented a recipe...........sigh..

Well, I sort of did, because all the ones I Googled had you boiling or frying the squash....and I roasted mine in the oven...so...mer!!! lol

If you Google butternut squash sauce it comes up with the recipes.....and piccies:o) Martha Stewart was my first hit. Anyway....

We basically:-

Peeled and chopped a butternut squash.

Put on baking tray and add chopped garlic onto the squash bits. I also added chopped ginger...also onto the squash bits.

Splosh of oil, salt and pepper.

Bake in oven...190 degrees for about half an hour.

When done, add to blender with a bit of veg stock and dried sage. Blend away until smooth, adding enough veg stock to get the consistency of your choice. I added about half a pint.

Stir into pasta (we had rigatone).

You can add cream...vegan or dairy...for an...err...creamier sauce. You can add grated cheese, but we didn't. It's just a suggestion from one of the recipe sites.

Butternut squash is actually very nice raw. I can imagine it grated in salads or squash coleslaw type of thingys.

I am probably about ten years behind and all of you are thinking 'what a mad woman. Did she not click on about butternut squash recipes until now? lol

Still got to figure out another 79 things to do with potatoes......sigh.....

We are making samosas tomorrow...with tinned peas. Frozen are too expensive.....bugger!!

To my 'followers'. I am sorry for repeating myself. I really ought to use spellcheck. lol

Frugal Gardening

'Tis time to get on with 'garden' things.

Junior is looking at which flowers she would like to grow from seed. She is, as I've mentioned before, a flower person. She just truly LOVES them. Yesterday she forked out some of her pocket money to buy some tulips, which are now proudly displayed in her room:o) I do think she may be a future flower shop owner..the Jane Packer of Hillbilly Land. So, seed selection is the order of the day. A bit of Latin, too as I want her to learn the correct botanical names.

Me, I'm trying to think of frugal ways to get some raised beds going. I don't, have materials, or money, for the traditional, expensive planks of wood/railway sleepers so am improvising. lol I have bagged some wooden pallets for the 'yet to be constructed' compost bin but they'll be a while before landing here.

Anyway, I've eyed up all and sundry and am going to recycle my bed base. Bed is knackered (divan base type of thingy which I hate!!). So, instead of taking the base to the tip, we are going to use it as a raised bed..well, there are two parts to the base, so I have two raised beds!! Just waterproof the sides and fill with soil and veggie plantlings and away to grow! Maybe I can figure out how to polytunnel one of them on the cheap, to grow more tender stuff? Yay! Where can you get tough enough polythene for this?

I've also got a rattan wardrobe that has seen better days and that would be a super, posh-looking raised bed, too. But bro thinks it's too nice for that! (I'll sneak it into the garden when he's not looking. lol)

It was Geoff Hamilton who got me interested in this stuff. I used to watch Gardener's World religiously, Friday evenings:o) Shame he's not around anymore. Nice, softly spoken bloke:o) Wonder if he realised how many ordinary people like me he inspired to get off arse and garden?

Bob Flowerdew has some good organic ideas re gardening, but I went off him when I read one of his articles where he said that he 'feeds' his chickens alcohol-soaked food (presumably to chill them out alot) before chopping their heads off!!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

She has the knack!

Junior has been making fairy and butterfly cakes AND icing them in various garish shades of pink and blue. She found a 'weigh the ingredients out and chuck 'em all in together' recipe which came out really well. Today, we made veggie pasties (sauted chopped onion, diced carrotts and spuds..with seasonings and a drop of gravy). She made the pastry and seems to have 'the knack'. Yay! budding pastry chef. It's all this watching of Friends and Monica the Chef! lol

Re garden room...Popeye remains defeated...for the mo.... the rain is doing strange things to the untreated wood! lol

Bro and Junior laid a carpet with underlay in her room today. Was gifted as it's nearly brand new. The colour clashes violently with that on the walls, of course (ruby red, lavender and sky blue!! lol) but J doesn't care as it beats cold laminate flooring:o))) Tip...if you are ever short of a stanley knife, use a quilting wheel instead. Works wonders. Bro was well impressed with my 'DIY' gadget, until I told him it was for cutting quilting materials, not carpets and underlays.

The list of 'Things to do/mend' is getting shorter. I now have doors on my wardrobes....yay!

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Bro is busy here, dutifully going through a list of tasks and repairs that we have requested be carried out.

Anyway, garden room security is no 1 on the list.... door is pooped....due to consistent escape runs...... a la mogs!! The number of times I have 'secured' this blasted door is always one less than the number of times the mogs have sussed it out and escaped into the great outdoors! Little blighters. The mogs are indoor cats for their own safety, due to traffic and some nasty folk who delight in taking pot shots with air rifles at any passing animal!! So, the mogs hang out in this garden room...chilling out, watching the world..and the birds...go by:o)

Well the little tyrant who is responsible for orchestrating these Great Escapes is Popeye (he likes climbing trees and there's lots of them around here and mainly in other gardens, so he's busting to get out and up them thar conifers)...and he is proving to be Bro's nemesis!! Arch rivals in the Great Escape department.

Bro can't believe how clever the old black cat is but is hell bent of 'beating' him at this. Well, the garden room is basically a lean-to greenhouse, with this knackered door and you should see how well Bro is reinforcing it. Weatherproof wood in place of perspex...and screwed in REALLY WELL. Took him all day yesterday.

Pop still got out!.....and a few more of his followers...lol

So, today, three heavy duty bolts have been added on. 'Beat that' Bro muttered after toiling away for three hours.

Pop gave him a look which said...'Yeah...OK.' Lol

Anyway, to take his mind off this little problem he decided that Junior should be spoiled. She's had an expensive makeover...birthday pressie from her uncle:o) Hairdo and pierced ears. The waist length tresses are no more. Boo hoo.

She looks lovely and is as pleased as punch:o) Don't they grow up so fast, though?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Never turn your back on a pride of mogs!

Son no 1 came a visiting on Saturday...for Mother's Day on Sunday.

I have bro staying so Son no 1 didn't want to impose on Sunday, so Saturday was the day for him to see his old mother.

I tell him it is ok. He does not have to come up. I am not control freaky mother who insists that they 'the boys' should do their 'duty' and visit every week. I am ok.....but...no....he says he is coming up. I tell him that I must do shopping....food....so he says he will take me.

OK...there is no putting him off. He's coming and so we will have to hoover!! lol

So, he takes us shopping. Parks in Asda carpark. I tell him that I am not up to walking round the local town (he and his other half like to window shop), He says that's ok, they'll manage without me!! So, he basically dumped me in Asda and off they went, with Junior happily tagging along.....so she can buy Mother's Day pressie:o)

Well, this means me perusing the aisles of Asda at my own pace. Yippee!!.....and off I toddles, clutching onto shopping trolley.

Within half an hour they were done and back.

Don't you just hate being rushed? lol Anyway, I had managed to do enough and even got tofu!!!

Biggest laugh was when we got home. He had bought a ready cooked chicked and fresh bread for him, other half and Junior for dinner....chicken sandwiches..with black pepper and mayo...their favourite. He thinks I am weird, being a veggie.

Now that he and girlfriend live together, Son likes to do the culinary stuff, so he was in charge of the sarni making. Well, did the mogs love the aroma of cooked chicken or what? They were on chicken watch!!! and standing guard just about everywhere near or in the kitchen. He boots them out and proceeds to put leftover chicken in the oven, turning his back on his freshly made sarnis.

Bad move.....

You see, my lot can open doors and you can guess the rest! lol

Friday, 12 March 2010

Vagina Secrets

There are some super blogs on the net....for all tastes:o)

This one is sooooo funny at times. Sorry to the blokes out there. x

Read the Vagina Secrets posts. She's just talking aloud...if you get my meaning? Some of the comments are hilarious AND informative. We are all normal...in our own ways:o)

Yay for us!!

PS. Re previous post. There is NO WAY ON THIS EARTH that I'll be able to sit cross-legged and do the 'Ummmmm' thing! sigh..... not unless someone can oil my joints!

Spring Cleaning Life...Getting Started

I never did make any New Year's resolutions this time....mainly because I end up never keeping them! lol Also, rickety joints put a damper on plans.

So, backend into gear, Min...'tis time to get sorted and make changes.....spring clean your life for the better. Yay.....good idea...

So.........taps fingers on desk.......what shall I change about my life......I cast my beady eye around the house and think 'Where the hell do I start?'.........Arghhhhhhh!!!!

This is going to be an uphill battle.

I suppose I must chink away at the bits I want changing, little by little and not be overly ambitious. I always tend to take on too much and then get nothing done because I overdo it and then become ill. So, I will try and reverse that bad habit.

List of things I want. I shall be a minimalist with my wishes to start with....the rest will come, no doubt.

1. Get better.
2. Be happy.

Everything else revolves around these two wishes. If I am happy and healthier I should be able to deal with the crap. So, first thing I have to do, I suppose, is empty my head of all residual nagging!! That means ear plugs when I go see Mother! lol And...stop thinking too much about red tape, bills, state of house, this government's war against us home edders and parents..which is affecting my daughter's happiness (boy, could I swear at that lot!!) Ack..... What do they say?...Don't get mad, get even. So, I won't be voting for them come the General Election!

How are you supposed to empty your head with all that stuff going on? I've tried it in bed at night and it just doesn't empty. Maybe I should try yoga or something to help my body and then the brain might follow and relax a tad. I have a yoga book somewhere..................

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Massage and Vampire Mogs

Nearly teenage daughter!!! Arghhh!!

Going through the stage of..."phwwww"...or "pathetic sigh"....or....."It's not fair!".... this is referring to naughty Mummy asking Junior to perform a task....like....take your dirty laundry downstairs....take your dirty dishes/cups/mugs/glasses downstairs...please....etc. Please do not gross me out by allowing them to fester away so as to produce mould. Thank you:o)

The Balls bloke is on the tele again, tonight. Wonder how many porkies he'll tell this time?

Today we found seven more Friends videos in a local charity shop. yay. Plus Dodgeball. All eight for a quid. Bargain!! So, shall watch that tonight while consuming home-made veggie lasagne and garlic bread. No vampires in this house.....due to copious amounts of garlic in our meals lately:o) lol

Talking of relaxing.....When I'm using the laptop, I sit in my bedroom at the side of my desk..back to the radiator. 'Tis lovely when heating is on:o) At this moment in time I have a certain Ms LooLoo Schooler perched on my shoulder. She is the slender, gymnast of 'em all. A beautiful, gentle little soul who still nags me to hell and back for attention, so I pet and stroke her....arthritis therapyfor the hands, you see.

Anyway, she seems to know when the old muscles need loosening up and will regularly jump on my shoulder and pad away (this is when mogs...how can I describe it....knead...with their front paws.... that's what it it's like.....a form of massage....and it helps, you know. it's the same thing they do when they're feeding off the mum...to stimulate milk.)

l'll be having a lie-down and be on my side and she'll jump up and pad away:o)) 'Tis lovely .....until she farts!!!!!

The kitten LooLoo

She takes a rubbish photo

The vampire mogs!

Baby Tinkabelle...who is, at the mo, in hyper party mood!!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Paint Wars

Son no 1 brought back the slow cooker that he borrowed at Christmas! lol He is a bit tight on the petrol money when it comes to travelling up and down motorways but, better late than never.

Anyway, Junior was drawn downstairs this morning due to the heavenly scent of home made rice pud that was bubbling away in the afore-mentioned slow cooker. She is now a fan and has added the recipe to her collection. After consuming beans on toast (with chilli sauce) we had the pud. Yummy. LooLoo cat agrees, too. She managed to wangle some and is currently sunbathing on the window sill with rice pudding'd whiskers:o) ...they go all stiff and starchy.

It's lovely and bright outside. Is Spring on it's way or are the weather gods having us on, again? lol

I've decided to paint the stairs. Brighten them up from the gloomy, yacky state they're in at the mo. (Took yacky carpet up) Only problem is that I would prefer them to be a nice creamy/off white colour. Alas, funds do not permit this so I am stuck with lavender leftovers! I can always use it as an 'undercoat' until funds are flowing again, I suppose:o) Should be fun as, no doubt, the mogs will want to help or supervise! Imagine that.....12 sets of mog paws helping!!! Eeeek! Nope...I see a bit of feline lockup coming on. lol

The hall, stairs and landing walls were this orange colour!! Lovely, eh? lol Felt like you were being 'tangoed'. So, hallway is now a lovely dusky pink but, alas, wasn't enough for stairs and landing. So, with donated paint, they are now lemon and cream. I would prefer duck egg blue....maybe one day. Until then we make do. Those are Junior's legs. She was helping slap on the lemon:o) Can't twizzle piccy round. Sorry if you get a stiff neck.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Sleepless Nights

I am knackered....reason being.....interrupted sleep.

I thought I had eradicated the problem from my life years ago when 'singleton status' arrived.

Anyway, older you get softer in the head you get and before you know it.....you have another 'companion' in the bedroom:o).....All is well...hunky dory in fact. We get on well...Unfortunately this one can snore for ENGLAND too!!!!! You know, the pnuematic drill, wall shaking, migraine manufacturing, deafening type of racket!!

To keep the relationship on a friendly basis (more like....to prevent a ratty me in the mornings) I have kicked, prodded, turned them over, booted them out and into another bed..... but nothing stops the blessed noise!!

Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr gasp gasp..drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.......ALL NIGHT!!!!

OK...they can't help it...it's just one of those things....but still.....I look and feel like and old sea hag thanks to sleepus interuptus. Sigh......

Who is behind all this, you might ask, for my sleep deprivaton?