Thursday, 2 December 2021


Val - I can't remember what half of them are. Some a bits of writing, other snippets from the internet, knitting patters, craft ideas, recipes etc etc. But I forget that I have them and get distracted!

Wherethejourneytakesme - I plan to go heavy on the lentils. Bear is very keen on healthy eating. 

Sharon - I've got to the stage where I don't even know what's what! You can probably tell. Sending hugs for all that you have on your plate, and a reminder that you are completely awesome.

Today hasn't been successful. I was planning the curry, but bear decided to skip dinner so DH and I had a quorn version of beeferoni. I was taught this by an American. You brown 'some' mince, add an undiluted can of condensed tomato soup, season as you like (Italian seasoning with extra basil here, with perhaps some worcestershire sauce) and then stir in 'some' cooked pasta. It's surprisingly tasty, incredibly filling, relatively healthy and quite inexpensive, depending on the mince. I can't have the standard condensed soup anymore as it contains gluten, but I browned some quorn mince, added some standard tomato soup, went mad with the Italian herbs, added the cooked gluten free pasta and called it done. It was okay, but not as good as the original. DH enjoyed it, though. 

I think I can sum up my issue with a brief overview of what I could do this evening. I am knackered, my girlie bits are not co-operating and I had a shocking night, so I am not feeling enthusiastic. First off, I have six solidly needed bits of writing I could be getting on with. I mean, looking at getting a few hundred thousand words sorted by the middle of January at the latest. I don't know where to start and prioritising is an issue. Then I need to finish off sorting the walk in cupboard and kitchen, there is a heap of ironing nearly as tall as me and I could do with clearing out the cookbooks. Of course, if I want to get the Christmas decorations up soon, I should deep clean the living room and study as well, while I'm at it. I also need to make six curtains (weird window sizes make buying them tricky) to help keep in the warm (current curtains aren't working or are lacking) and I have a few craft kits I'd like to make. I also could do with finishing bear's knitted blanket before Christmas and also finishing off a wrap I have started to add to my own layers. 

Also, I could do with an early night, I still haven't watched Hawkeye and I could do with reading through some articles on writing.

I have no idea what I will do, if anything, after I press the 'publish' button. I share if I manage anything between all the indecision. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

I Need More Lists

Wherethejourneytakesme - I'm sure that your granddaughter would enjoy the kit. It cost £9.99 and I took a pic of the contents.

There is the wire frame which can be re-used, the pompom makers in three sizes, which are sure to be a hit with young crafters and they seem sturdy enough for a decent amount of wear, plus the ribbon and yarn. It is much better value for money in my opinion than the £2.20 I paid for the Tesco 'make your own bunting' kit, although it did give me a few ideas. This is how far I have got. I just have to glue the felt dots on the right bits and hang the fabric pieces on the ribbon. 

I've got some bits done today, but less than I had hoped. I've done some work sorting through my laptop. I counted and it had 153 icons on the desktop. I've managed to reduce it a little, but I've some way to go. I've also done quite a bit of writing stuff (see below). Then I dropped off some stuff to a former neighbour (scary driving) before picking up bear. 

I used a list, and I got a lot of it done by working through that list, but I think that I can use it better. I don't have so much time at home. I can't see the school run taking much less than three hours out of my day tomorrow, and I won't be getting a walk. 

I also need to work on what I'm supposed to cook. Bear does not like Quorn. DH and I like Quorn. Bear has been refusing to eat dinner because he has eaten at school. This means that DH and I have been eating Quorn without him. Bear now says that he doesn't want to eat much at school as it isn't healthy. I stopped off at Tesco this afternoon after pick up to get petrol and while I did that bear nipped in and picked up something he fancied for dinner. He could have had almost anything and he picked up a tuna salad. I don't know where I went right. I'm going to have to work around fresh and healthy eating for bear while sneaking the huge Quorn mountain (delivered this weekend) into DH and I's meals. 

Writing stuff - I'm planning to add some chatty non-fiction pieces to the blog, starting in the New Year. It's to keep movement and interest and hopefully be entertaining. I drafted a couple this afternoon and I've started afresh with the plan for the newsletter. I will almost certainly be taking down some pieces as I go, to convert to books, so dip in and have a browse if you feel like it. I'm not exactly sure when they'll be taken down, but probably before March. I'll give more notice nearer the time. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Things I Should Not Have Bought

Sharon - I really feel for you. I'm so nervous about snow, but fortunately we only get it a few days a year here. That is, there is only a few days where it really matters. I would feel unfair asking DH to drive as he would be in an unfamiliar car on an unfamiliar route, and generally I like driving so much more. But if things are silly, I'll ask.

Wherethejourneytakesme - that is incredibly brave to be in a caravan in this weather! Today is actually quite warm. The British weather is going up and down as ever. 

I was supposed to be dropping something off, but I got the wrong address. I am mortified. It gave me a moment to nip into Aldi to pick up some cola that I like, and I sort of got ambushed by these.

I do not need a pom pom wreath. On the other hand, I'll have a wreath form for next year. There is no way that the woollen pompoms will survive a year in storage here. And the candle holder called to me. I have some pillar candles that are perfect for it. 

I have a lot to do tomorrow. I have to avoid all shopping, drop off the things at the correct address, and I have to finish sorting the cupboards and kitchen. I did a microscopic amount today but I need to be better. 

This evening I'm going to spend some time breaking down the tasks into small chunks and getting them in order. Then I may have a look at some of the craft stuff that's half done and try reducing my stash that way. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday, 29 November 2021

It is Too Cold!

 I know this is not likely to be the coldest it gets this winter, but it's cold

The grit did its job. It was like this when I went out in the morning. The steps were safe.

The car was very frozen. I got it defrosted with antifreeze, scraping and the heated windows but it took some time. This is the roof of the car after driving around sixteen miles with the heating up to 'absolutely ridiculous)

And I guess that I've seen the last of the fuchsia flowers. It was looking droopy this afternoon.

Bear's school were allowing for difficulty travelling, but they said that as it was not a snow day, they wouldn't be putting on internet lessons. I suspect that the days of freedom when it snowed are gone. Bear will have to make do with a little longer in bed.

Driving wasn't too bad, but I was careful to stick to easy routes. Tomorrow should, in theory be easier.

Writing stuff - today's flash fiction is here. I hope that it rings bells for those who have read 'Tales from the White Hart' but still makes sense for those who haven't. 

And while I'm at it, it's the last day of the Three Furies Black Friday Sale, if you are interested.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Can Move But Didn't

 Thank you for all the wonderful comments about vinegar. 

Barb - I will try that whenever I open a new container.

Peggy, Jackie and wherethejourneytakesme - I think if I'm keeping it for cleaning, it should be fine. 

There are currently four types of vinegar in our house. There is the older white distilled vinegar that I got in for cleaning and laundry softening, which should be fine. I mean, it's being acidic in a cleaning setting. As long as it hasn't lost that then it should be fine. There are some small bottles of white vinegar I bought last month for pickling mushrooms, as it's the good stuff, but slightly more expensive. There is red wine vinegar and I can't remember why I bought it. If it hangs around much longer, I'll be using that for cleaning as well. Then there is the brown malt vinegar for at the table, which DH insists tastes different. I can't have it as it isn't gluten free. 

Sharon - I didn't do a list today and got nothing done. I'm going to have to go back to it tomorrow. I hope to keep up with the walking but I am nervous about the leaves. I hope your friend healed quickly. As for covid - I believe it exists and can be serious, I believe in masks and hand sanitisers and I believe in being sensible. I hope you can stay safe.

DH went out for his usual Sunday potter and bear went out to meet his pals. I was settling down for a quiet afternoon when I looked out of the window and saw snow. I was unimpressed. It hadn't been in the forecast. I got more concerned as it carried on and got heavier. I mean, it wasn't as bad as it could have been and it was definitely only a little snow, but I didn't fancy driving in it, especially to pick up bear at 6pm from a random place. I asked him to come home, and he was awesome about it, even though he was missing out on a trip to the ice skating rink. He got the bus back and came in covered in snowflakes. DH came in a little later and said that the car had lost traction at the corner of our road, but that things were otherwise okay. 

I get stressed by snow. I didn't see much growing up, and never got the hang of it. Besides, I have a bad track record of dislocating or spraining things when I fall, and my feet will only fit into slippers, so I find walking around with snow and ice terrifying. But I got salt and grit down in the garden, down the front steps and over to the car. I hope that it will be okay. I have to get bear to school tomorrow regardless. As it is main roads all the way once I get out of our street, I'm not too stressed. Okay, I'm incredibly stressed but mildly confident that it will be more or less okay. A hard frost is forecast for tomorrow morning.

I wonder if my fuchsia will survive. It was lovely and bright yesterday. 

I mean, the plant will be fine and as ridiculously overgrown as ever next year, but I wonder if we have seen the last of the flowers. I expect so.

The birds have also been hanging around the birdfeeder. Early on today, DH loaded the car with rubbish for the tip and the local robin hopped in on one of the bin bags before flying off! I don't think that it's tame. I think it knows that we are complete soft touches. It may have been planning a mugging.

Writing stuff - there is a sale on at Three Furies Press. There are some amazing authors on there, so if you are interested, have a quick look while the going is inexpensive!

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Still Can't Move

I only did around 2000 steps today, but I still can't move. 

We had some weather, but we escaped the worst. Sending all good thoughts out to those who are still without power or suffering from a lot of damage. I still didn't go out into the garden. I did, however, start sorting out the walk in cupboard. I may be some time. At the moment the kitchen, the dining room and the cupboard look pillaged! There is stuff in heaps everywhere. I am sort of more or less mainly kind of confident that it will look better soon. 

I found some gallon containers of white vinegar. The container said that they were past their sell by date, but I'm not sure. I would only be using it as fabric softener or for cleaning. I'll have to have a think about it. Suggestions are welcome. There is a medieval manuscript that suggests that to test if vinegar is good, you need to see if it makes stone (presumable limetstone) bubble. I don't think that I've ever had vinegar that strong in the house, and I am not sure that I want it either.

I'm worried about the news of the Omicron variant. It sounds like a science fiction or horror film. Unfortunately it's real life. I suspect that things will become a lot more closed again. 

Sending hugs and good health to all. 

Friday, 26 November 2021

I Can't Move

Heather - you are not helping!

Jeanie - I don't know how long I'll be able to hold out against the lamp. I fail against temptation.

I was a little stiff when I got up this morning, dropped off bear and went for a walk. I thought I was going to get lost as the leaves were covering the path. 

It took me ages to find that tree again, so I thought I would show three pics from further away, closer and closer still.

Then I added considerably to my step count at Tesco. I still forgot a few bits, but I had a list and stuck mainly to it. However I went down the list in a logical order for loading the trolley and packing the bags. This meant I crisscrossed the large store about a dozen times. Also, Tesco school uniform only goes up to age 14. Bear is growing out of that. I've had to order some new school trousers from Matalan.

This means that I've done all my steps again, and I can't move. I was planning on doing the garden (again!) but I just can't move. I'll have to force myself out in between gales and blizzards (strong winds and possibly sleet forecast but I'm feeling dramatic). 

Speaking of the weather - sending good vibes to all those caught up in this awful storm. Stay safe!

I picked up groceries at Tesco. I wasn't planning on doing any Black Friday shopping. I couldn't think of anything I actually needed, and I am deeply suspicious of a lot of the Black Friday deals. However I couldn't get through to the sewing machine place, though I tried all day. The phone just rang and rang without any answer. Out of curiosity I looked on Amazon, and picked up a reconditioned Amazon own brand sewing machine for what I thought was £25 but after the whole Black Friday discount was £20. It will do for what I want, will considerably save eye strain which was becoming a problem and is almost certainly cheaper than a service and repair. Even new it would be £30. Now all I need to do is feel the fear and do it anyway. The six curtains plus mountains of cushion covers can be done in a couple of afternoon instead of taking weeks. 

I now have a surplus sewing machine that has been extremely lightly used (because I was scared of it) but is dreadfully dusty and been kept in a damp place. I'm so annoyed at myself. There is a repair thingy that meets in Leeds that repairs stuff like this. I wonder if they would consider going over it and then it could be donated. Or I could look for a YouTube channel about servicing sewing machines. I suppose that would be a fun way to get confidence.

That makes tomorrow a knitting day before the sewing machine arrives. Then I really need to sort out the curtains with all the incoming weather.

Hugs and good health to all.