Saturday, 28 September 2013

What a run of bad luck!

It started in August with my fan oven going and I had to get the element replaced.  Then at the start of this month I took Edwin up to Carlisle with some of his things , and the alternator went on my car, although I was lucky in that I managed to get back home, and to drive it to the garage, but that cost money as well.  Then Shadow, my Scottie, was limping, but when I looked there was nothing in her paw, nor was it cut, and there didn't seem to be any broken bones.  I though she had sprained it slightly or overstretched herself.  Just around two weeks ago I thought that perhaps she had jarred her nail as she was still limping, I hadn't taken her to the vet as there was nothing obvious going on.  Anyway, on Wednesday evening around bedtime I noticed that her claw was at a funny angle, she must have broken her claw inside the toe and it had only just emerged. SO the next day I got someone to help me and I bathed it and got some of the puss out of it.  I rang the vet, but the only appointment they had was when I was at work, so I took her down last Saturday morning.  The vet cut her damaged claw off and then bandaged her foot, he gave me antibiotics, (the strongest they have for dogs,) and said he'd like to see her mid week.  I made an appointment for Wednesday. Unfortunately it wasn't the same vet, and this wants to lance the swelling and x-ray the the tune of around £220 with the x-ray, £120 maximum without an x-ray.  I don't have that kind of money spare, so I paid for the appointment and another lot of antibiotics, and said I would think about it.  After doing some research, and bearing in mind that Shadow is much more active and the swelling is going down slowly, I have decided to put off it being possibly lanced.  What I have found out is that an abscess occurs to stop infection spreading, and when the threat of infection has gone the abscess is reabsorbed into the body, so lancing an abscess seems to me to be going against nature.  I will see how she progresses.
Anyway, all in all over the past 6weeks I have had three unexpected expenses and just hope that is all for now.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Well, how did they go down?

I asked for feedback about the chocolate scones, and I got it.
You see, I shouldn't eat chocolate as it gives me a migraine.
The general opinion was although they were good scones, they were dry.  (Cocoa powder does tend to dry a mixture.)  Also, one person said the walnuts did not "go".  If I make chocolate scones again I think I will use hazelnuts as they are a "wetter" nut, and possibly raspberries or blueberries in place of the chocolate chips.
But, unless you try new things out you don't know whether they work or not.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Baking "experiment"

I'm not 100% sure why I decided that I would try to bake chocolate scones, but I did.  I have never seen, or heard, of chocolate scones before and wondered why.
I'll not say what changes I made to the recipe, only that they were logical changes, if you bake.
They are just about ready to be put into boxes to keep them fresh, but they smell great and look like normal scones, only they are brown, due to the chocolate.
After they have been sampled by my "guinea pigs", I'll add feedback to this post.
For the record, I made chocolate scones that have chocolate chips and walnut in them.  And....isn't experimenting how people create new recipes?

Friday, 6 September 2013

Not too bad

After the first week of my long summer break I made a list of tasks which needed to be done.   There were more on than I thought I'd get around to, but looking at it, the only things I haven't, are some sewing, and strip the remaining wallpaper in the stairs.
Other than those two things, I've been knitting and crocheting, wine making ,(4 gallon,), jam making,(strawberry and apricot,), jelly making, (blackcurrant and chilli,), trying new recipes, and decorating.
I surprised myself with the gloss painting, the one coat gloss paint is much easier to use.
I've completed the front of a 4 ply jumper for Edwin and now only have 95 squares to do for the bedspread that I'm working on
Perhaps I should stick to either knitting or crochet until I get one of them finished.  The bedspread was supposed to be to throw over the sheet in place of my duvet in summer, but as we are now almost a week into September there's no hurry, and the jumper is for Edwin as part of his Yule gift.
I did have a drive out to Carlisle one day with Edwin, and spent a day fixing my fan oven as well, so on reflection, I have had quite a productive summer break.

Thursday, 5 September 2013


Is it really worth me having a car?  I have wondered this a few times recently.  My car spends more time parked outside the house than it does going anywhere.  To give you another illustration of how infrequently I use my car I'll say that yesterday is only the third time id have put fuel into it, the previous being mid to late April and the very first time was the day in January when I brought her, Aurora Rover, home.
Yesterday, Edwin and I went to Carlisle to take some of his stuff up as he is going back on Sunday in readiness for his second year of his Illustration Honours course.
As we got near to the lowest of the Carlisle exits, (there are three,) the battery light came on, and didn't go off.  I did go off when we set off back, but soon came back on again, and stayed on for the rest of the journey home.
I rang John where I got the car from and he said it sounded like the alternator and I should bring it in this morning.
So, after a bad night's sleep, tense and tired from the drive, (I was worried that we wouldn't make it back home,) and Edwin had gone to a party, I thought he'd be back around two at the latest, but he wasn't back at gone five, but did come in around 5.30am.  So...I didn't sleep much last night, I took Aurora, she does need a new alternator, so that is an expense I hadn't anticipated. 
I'm really worn out now, and half asleep, due to the rather long walk back from John's, both dogs are flopped on the floor, dozing.  The funny thing is Spark, who was 12 on the 21st of August, seems to be less tired than Shadow, and she's not 8 until the 18th of this month.
If my arthritis wasn't getting worse I would seriously consider selling my car, but I don't think I should in the long run as there will come a time when I will need to use it more than I do now.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

On reflection

I'm sat here watching "Ade in Adland", and thinking back, some of these adverts we used to discuss and have a good laugh about, during form period.
He does point out that many women went out to work who would have normally stayed at home.  They were able to do this and still produce meals with the help of fridges, convenience food.
If you follow this blog you'll know I work at a school and one of the things that is now on the curriculum is being able to produce simple home cooking, as part of the government's push towards healthier eating. 
It is true some families do opt for "convenience foods and takeaways, sometimes for speed, and sometimes because the person in charge of putting a meal on the table knows no different.
I think it is probably time people took much more notice of what food they actually put into their bodies. 
I am willing to accept that making a meal from scratch takes more time to make, but you ensure that your meal is as healthy, or unhealthy as you want it.  And I know everyone is different, but testing out a new recipe and seeing it well received by my family is reward enough for me.
I hope it's this makes sense, my thoughts have just connected in a chain that although logical to me, might not be to the reader.  If it doesn't quite make sense to you, I'm sorry.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Decorating update

Last week, I managed to emulsion the ceilings, and a high part of the wall at the top of the house.  Adding the white ceilings , some were bare plaster, has brought the light level up even more.  When the decorating is completed there will be some mirrors going up to help make the stairs a lighter place.  This week's task is to strip off the remaining original paper from the last few walls.  Then I'll fill any holes in the wall. Oh, there are pictures to go up in the stairs as well.  Three Faye Whitaker prints that I bought years ago when the kids were only young.  I do have some unframed cross stitch as well.
I've started brewing wine again this holiday, and currently have a gallon of banana, one of nectarine, one of blueberry, and have just started one of fig off.  The banana is probably almost ready, as I have made it before and it never takes long to be ready.  I also plan to make a gallon of sweet potato wine.
I'm still trying out new recipes and last week made sesame snaps.


You have to see the funny side of this story from the Yahoo homepage. 
I never had any embarrassing moments like that because of my three, and I think I might have done something right, as ever since we moved in where we currently live, it seems that my kids friends gravitated to here.  Nearly every week there were extra kids here.
To my mind I am not a soft touch, in fact I would warn any visitors that they get treated the same as my own kids, and if they didn't like it, they knew where the door was.  I don't think even one kid left.  I do remember telling Oliver that one of his friend's boyfriend was not welcome, and I didn't even want him in the house, and Oliver and some of his other friends went out side and convinced the girl not to try to bring him in.  I don't know what was said, but some of the others had said that he was/is involved with drugs, they didn't want him in the house either.
The only time I have had to actually chastise someone was when they lit up in the house.  I have always said that if anyone did that they would get a bucket of water over them.  The boy in question had gone out into the yard, I didn't know he had lit up in the house, I didn't have to, I got old about it.  I suppose they wondered if I would do what I said I would, yes I did, the lad got drenched, but he never smoked in my house again, and yes, he did come again, but asked if he could smoke in the yard, to which I said yes, but away from the door, please.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Jobs I havedone, part 2

I've had a few jobs, and been made redundant four times, but you pick yourself up and carry on.  In 1980-81 I worked as a dental nurse.  Back then dental nurses learnt the job as they worked.  The pay wasn't brilliant, and when I did leave it was due to the low rate of pay.  However, I really enjoyed the job, and would have stopped in the job much longer if the pay had been better.  I have even looked into training as a dental nurse in the past.
The dentist I worked for was in a small town in the middle of a large stretch of countryside.  I won't name the place or the dentist I worked for.
We had some very interesting patients.  There was a special constable who came in regularly, he was six foot plus and "built like a brick outhouse".  One day he was to have some teeth taken out, (this is back when dentists gave general anaesthetics.)  He came in and took a seat in the chair.  The dentist who was administering the anaesthetic gave it to him, (a barbiturate injection,) and then the operating dentist started to pull the teeth that needed extracting..unfortunately as he was a large man, as the dentist pulled at the teeth, the very large patient was being pulled from the chair.  This bit is a little embarrassing, the dentist asked me to sit on the patient's lap in order to keep him in the chair.  (This was not unusual...if extractions posed these sort of problems, the nurse was normally asked to sit on their lap.)
We also had a young dentist who only ironed the bit of his shirt that would be visible to the patients.
And we had a regular patient whose teeth were in a pretty good condition, but as he was a pig farmer, he was passed through the surgery as swiftly as possible.