Saturday, 27 June 2015

Out Of It

I feel as though I've been out of it on here for a while. Life has been kind of eventful in little ways...such as this...

Normally cleaning out the Esse doesn't make much dirt around the whole kitchen, else I would have covered everything...big sigh of regret. It was the second soot up in a week, and I was wire brushing whilst dressed up like a suicide bomber...I kid you not. Foolishly I opened the window and front door...a plume of soot must have descended across the kitchen and into the newly painted hallway. Everywhere hubby's oil engrained hands had touched changed from normally invisible to the above yucky mess. It did not want to come off...seriously I was going to spray it black...we tried detergent, white spirit, manista hand cleaner, bleach...then youngest child's other half brought home some pro car body buffer stuff...now thankfully we gleam, and the cupboard doors, in fact everything at the top end of the kitchen has been scrubbed and buffed...but through the arch where the walls are paint instead of tiles it will be scrub then paint...another big sigh! The sodding Esse went all of one day before sooting up again. I've let it out. Oil and additive should be delivered next week. I'm getting the dust sheets out later to clean the darn thing again...thank you EU for messing about with our oil!

Onwards girl...onwards...I'm making what probably is my sixth lot or maybe seventh even of elderflower cordial...I've cut back on the amount of sugar I add, and am storing those batches in the freezer. Diet coke is now sitting undrunk on the shelf...yay, thought I'd never kick the habit!

Work has been work...and when I get home there is another type of work waiting for me. My nemesis is the paperwork, whether I will ever be up to date with all aspects of it in one go I very much doubt. Plants need watering, dog needs feeding and brushing, meals need cooking, clothes washing etc...the list is endless as as soon as one item gets ticked off at least another two replace it.

So today's list...

Be kind to me! Sore throat back, and very sore problem area with swelling on top of spine...ouch.

Clean out inside of car...dirty doggy syndrome.

Prepare tea...something simple.

Water poly tunnel.

Two loads of washing.

Dishes.

Clear kitchen table...ha like that's ever going to happen!

Hoover through.

Dust living room.

Sort clothing for wedding next week...yikes I need to find a camisole top.

Smile, be happy and relax in the garden.

See...saved the best till last!

Take care, J. x

 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Slow But Sure

I know we have too much stuff...part of the problem has been moving from a four bedroom farmhouse to a two bedroom bungalow...supposedly temporarily, nearly four years so far.

When I really had hopes of being moved out of here at some point this year I started to pack up things like best china and bits that don't get used often. Sadly the property that needs to be sold in order for us to move along is still not back on the market. No use grumbling....it's just how it is...another in a very long line of disappointments for us. We survived the rest, we'll survive this one also.

Anyway...there really is only so much living out of boxes you can tolerate. And I'd reached my limit...so...everything is unpacked...I've been to the dump to recycle what packaging I could and dump the rest. I've also been rather ruthless with possessions. I no longer intend to feel guilty if someone gives me something I do not like, need or want it will go, rather than letting it sit tormenting me year after year taking up precious space!

The hall paint continues...we do have quite a large hallway...big enough to put in stairs if the attic ever gets converted...

Just inside the front door...not sure which holes I still need so haven't filled any in yet! Do you think I ever will?!! The flowers are waiting to be arranged in a vase, but anyway it's a whole lot better looking already. I've taken the tops off my dressers in the hallway and have utilised them in the kitchen on top of the worktop as I don't have any top cupboards. The effect calms the hallway considerably. The perils of having an unfitted kitchen to store in a bungalow with a fitted kitchen! The basket in the photo has been continually refilled with elderflowers...batch four is now infusing!

The causality of the list has been the paperwork, so apart from going to work for the next five days on the trot, that is what will have to take presidence over decorating...no bills out equals no money coming in. Yikes.

Well bedtime for me...an early start tomorrow...

Take care, J. x

 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Innocent List

The moral of the tale I'm about to tell...don't expect to stick to a job list too religiously!

On my list...the usual, washing, drying, dishes, shower, clear table...and a small item...clean hall to office door...well I cleaned it, but the years of fly poo have left their mark, so...soak off border, ooh came off fairly easily...unscrew and remove various hanging bits...remove door curtain...remove curtain track...paint...WHAT...PAINT...now that wasn't on my to do list at all! I had part of a tin of something left over from painting the living room nearly four years ago. It will do though I doubt it will be sufficient for the whole hallway. Next job will be sand off the apple crates we have stacked for shoes and boots. Another task that wasn't on the list, but never mind...soon our hallway will seem a lot more inviting, and that is what it's all about.

Take care, J. x

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Weekend Doings

It's been a lovely weekend...I made this...

Into this...

And made lots of these dirty in the process!

I've been out collecting more elderflowers, and used some of my homemade butter to make one of these...

A luscious lemon cake...naughty but nice. A busy week awaits...I need to write out a jobs to complete list...then get to checking off the items on it!

Chill out time tonight though...

Take care, J. x

 

Friday, 12 June 2015

High Tea

Made with homemade butter, homemade buttermilk, topped with homemade jam...high tea at Winters End yesterday looked like this...

Homemade calories don't need counting do they?!

And the garden looked like this...

 

Deep breath and relax...but then the rains came. Thunder rain. This morning was dry, but since coming home from work it's been raining solidly. But you can feel it's good growing rain.

I've decided to leave straining the elderflowers until the morning as I just can't be bothered tonight think they'll benefit from the extra time spent soaking.

Just two for tea tonight. Bacon and broccoli in a cheese sauce topped with boiled slices of new potatoes. Hopefully yummy.

With a bit of luck tomorrow we may see a glimmer of sunshine...it would be most welcome. I keep forgetting to mention, I took down my wartime rations page when I realised I couldn't just add to it. Quite frankly, I don't really have much time for writing about it right now either, but I am trying to keep us on the straight and narrow. So far so good. Once my diploma is out of the way perhaps I'll find a need to still write pages and pages and tell you more about our triumphs and failures. But for now on here I really just want to chill.

Take care,

J. x

 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Disappointment And A Productive Day.

Yesterday's visit to the lavender farm turned out to be rather disappointing. I imagined a lavender farm to be just that...with fields of it growing. Well it's a few rows in a garden. A tea room in a converted bungalow. A hidden garden...not necessarily of lavender, that is a walk across what seemed to be a compost heap. And some poly tunnels of their vegetables. Give them their dues, the cream tea was lovely...just everything else was a bit underwhelming and under explained!

Well, that's yesterday out of the way. Today I've made some of this...

Which is now in this...

1lb 6oz of butter, and I also have 1 1/2 pints of buttermilk!

Next I collected these...

They are now infusing until I get home from work tomorrow when I'll strain them and make a cordial.

All the tubs have been watered, the dog has had two lurrups! My feet are tired. But it has been a good day. The wind is once again whipping up, and I can feel the promise of thunder in the air. I should really granular feed the tubs before the rains come...we'll see!

Some of the butter and buttermilk is destined to go towards making some scones for tea. We decided that through the summer months our evening meal will now be at eight. This gives me more time to do outside jobs when I get home from work, and very often hubby rushes his tea to go back, so hopefully this will result in a more relaxed eating atmosphere. Time will tell.

I've also set myself the task of making out two customer bills. I am dreadful I know. But there are so many other jobs calling to me at the moment, I'm pacing myself with the thought that every little helps and a little amount is doable relatively easily.

There is a chicken cooking slowly in the Esse, we're having a curry for tea, and I always prefer to make mine with pre cooked meat. Not having our meal until eight may mean we need to have a high-tea at around five! This makes me exceedingly happy. Perhaps a chance to turn out some pretty bone china to use. Knowing me, probably!

Some people inherit things...for some an unexpected windfall is their favourite thing to acquire...but I'm pretty certain that the most favourite thing I inherited when my Mother passed was a rose, we always knew of it as the Collabear rose, the name coming from Mum's childhood home, but my late uncle, Mum's brother always referred to it as Mother's rose, as his Mother, my Grandmother had tended it. So by whatever name here it is...

 

Not the biggest...not the brightest...but to me the most precious. I intend to do what my Mother did for us...cultivate one for each of my children. I never got to meet my maternal Grandmother, but knowing she tended a part of the plant I now care for is a very warm and grounding feeling. Right...off to make out those darned bills, and then prepare for high tea!!

Take care,

J. x

 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Flagging A Little

Apparently today was going to be gorgeous. Yeah right...there's been a stiff breeze and plenty of cloud. Not that it's affected me much. I'm pooped. Wiped out. The last four shifts have been horrendous. Big time. I do love my job, but just sometimes it's all a bit much. The rewarding bits are amazing, but physical violence towards us is always a threat. We scooped that bit full on, along with verbal abuse to boot.

Anyway...the first of my three days off was spent recouping, making the most of some peace, catching up on sleep and generally pottering about. In my dreams today I painted some more of the garage, moved the new fridge freezer to it's correct position, made out some invoices, and cleaned top to bottom. But my body and mind had other ideas, so plod along it was! Hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling more of a buzz for working. I did get our old towels and tea towels sorted, some for boiling up...some for kitchen rags and some for workshop rags for hubby. Washing has been done and hoovering, and steak cooked for tea. So at least small bits were done.

Tomorrow morning the weather is promising to be better and I am supposed to be going out with a friend to a lavender farm. Chill time! I think I'll be taking deep breaths while I'm there...see if it works!

I've also done a bit of internet therapy today. Oops! And I've ordered myself a cross stitch kit...yes, some serious chilling coming up. The eBay purchases have been September Morn china to add to our set, and a set of Bramley Hedge season plates. Can't wait I can't wait...just like Wilfred from the stories!

I believe this is the store stump...

 

And this is just too cosy...

And this is my china...
 


Love love love!

Take care, J. x

 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

We'll Call It A Draw

Yep...wind 1...poly tunnel 1. It's still standing, but a little battle weary. The potting table however has had a little mishap. Well it keeled over...with all the runner bean and pumpkin seedlings on it. The story of my life this growing season. Who me...utter expletives...never!

Painting, cleaning, and tidying of the dump garage is still underway. The pantry area is nearly complete. Just need to move the fridge and freezer to their alotted positions. The tool cupboard has been cleared and cleaned out. Yuck. Next will probably come the log storage area, before finally the laundry part. Then I intend to celebrate. How I don't yet know...but it will be quite some celebration!

Today has not been among my finest of hours...I could only have slept a couple of hours when I woke up feeling really stuffy. And could I get back to sleep...no way...in the end to save keeping hubby awake I ventured to the kitchen before settling on the sofa. My back has been really sore since tripping up the other day, and clearly it stiffens up over night, so pain and stuffy equals not a lot of shut eye. It's only been since a midday nap that I've been up to much. Even now I'm clearly not firing on all cylinders!

I've sorted the tool cupboard, and am in the middle of cleaning the bathroom. A tea break seemed necessary! I've also started to sand the apple crates in which we store our towels. Only with rough grit so far, maybe I'll refine them a bit more another day.

Yesterday found me venturing into my Winters End cupboard. The place where I stored lots of lovely things thinking to save all the good stuff for when we finally have a place of our own. I was heartbroken. The lovely bedding I had bought has been attacked by probably a hungry spider. It's nearly eaten through the top corner of the duvet cover and had left a lovely brown stain also. This was stored in its original sealed packaging. Grrrrrrrr...I've put all the bedding through the wash, and our new towels. From now on I'm keeping nothing for 'one day'.

I will not get down.

I will not get cross.

I will not frown or speak unkindly to others when they're being total ejits trying to help or trying to avoid helping.

I will gladly undertake menial tasks for others, even though they could really do those things for themselves.

I shall expect no payment for any of the above mentioned menial tasks.

I will not command control of the remote.

I will pick dirty laundry off the floor from next to the laundry bin without gritting my teeth.

After all I am a wife and Mother...

And I do love them all...honest, but today I am rather tired.

Take care, J. x

 

Monday, 1 June 2015

June or November?

So much for goals to complete this evening...I came home from work at the beginning of a storm...which meant checking the poly tunnel. Oh dear. It was about a foot off the ground at one end! Breeze blocks were moved. Anything of weight was put to good use. At one point I was contemplating tying myself to the darn thing for the duration of the strong winds. (That thought didn't last long!) Anyway whatever happens I've done my best.

Next I set about putting our tea on to cook...so far so good...I really did have wonderful intentions...out to the garage to pop in some washing...then coming out of said garage, what twit tripped over the hoover flex...yep me. Years ago that would have been it...trip...oops...carry on...but now oh no...hobble, flinch, ouch. Hot bot, feet up, pain! No paintbrushes have been in action here this evening.

Instead curtains pulled, wood burner lit, lamps on, blanket snuggled. So...is it June or November?

And living room colours potentially...

These have to go with a very deep almost dried blood red colour sofa, and tartan reddish curtains! But whatever...our bedroom will come before the living room...maybe something like this...

Blue come grey...should show off our cream distressed effect furniture, and black metal bedstead quite nicely.

Don't blow away!

J. x