Friday 31 October 2014

Warm for the time of year.

Actually, things could be a lot worse and bear is in his werewolf costume, ready to go and happen at my SIL's.  He will have more sweets than is good for him, get thoroughly spoiled and have a ridiculously happy late night.

Father was doing well yesterday, and is eating and drinking a lot better.  He got tired quickly, but bear was being particularly tiring so I don't blame him at all.

I am off to make the Egyptian Lentil soup - in double quantities.  Both bear and DH particularly approve so I plan to freeze lunch size portions.  It isn't really soup weather, not like it should be at this time of year.  I'm not complaining about the effect on my heating bill, but I'm sort of waiting and sort of hoping the cold weather will hold off a little bit longer.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Crushed Walnut Shells

Apparently you can buy crushed walnut shells here

Who thought of crushing walnut shells?  Who was the first thing to think, I know, I can crush up these walnut shells and use them to stuff a pincushion.  Mind you, I've heard coffee grounds recommended for stuffing pincushions and I'm not convinced by that either.

You can use it as a tumbling medium and all sorts, apparently.  How did anyone find out?  I hope it was some housewife who had just finished a long stint of deviling walnuts and decided that to heck with it, she wasn't going to let that heap go to waste.  I'm glad I wasn't the one who first ground the walnut shells.  It must be backbreaking if you don't have a special tool, whatever it is.  Perhaps that is the way round it happened.  Someone was doing a hard sell on a harried housewife who had just finished with the walnut harvest and convinced her that the heavy duty grinder would be just the ticket for crushing walnut shells for, well, stuff.  I'm sure that actually the crushed walnut shells do an excellent job, but I blinked.

I'm a bit low, and it looks like we won't get out tomorrow so I was confiding in my friend, ebay.  Do you know how much you can browse through if you pick a category, put in auction only, maximum price 99p and then sort by price + p&p highest first.  You see all sorts of strange beasts at the start of their journey into a bidding war, like crushed walnut shells.  Speaking of which, please let me be out bid on 12 kg of fabric pieces - I haven't even unboxed the sewing machine!

Morning after the Night Before

Actually I don't have a hangover, which isn't surprising as I didn't drink that much.  It may have been only 20% proof but Vladivars Apple and Pear tasted like hairspray and needed a lot of lemonade to help it down.  Thank goodness I got it cheap.  I have quite enjoyed the few drinks I have had recently but deep down I begrudge the money.  I can see me ending up teetotal because I resent drinking something so expensive.  Even Diet Coke is cheaper!

Today wanders onward.  Bear is a lot more cheerful after two solid days of doing very little.  Poor mite has been completely exhausted.  To be honest I think the events of the summer have caught up with him and I am wearing bandages on all arms and legs to protect my clothes from the paraffin (working well, actually) which I think worries him despite my explanations.  Today he is chilling but tomorrow we are going to have to face the dreaded ordeal of shopping.

Bear loathes shopping, he hates it with a passion.  I can't say I blame him, but sometimes you have to actually get out of the house.  If bear wants the Aldi chocolate he has been guzzling then he has to leave the house with me to get it.

There is also the matter of a loo seat.  After twenty years our toilet seat has given up.  It is still functional, but I hate flushing the loo with the seat up and the hinges have failed after years of random squirts of Dettox, Mr Muscle and white vinegar.  We need a new one and Aldi is conveniently next to B&Q.  I plan on calling in to father first, then shopping afterwards, then home.  Bear will collapse like a teenager as soon as we get in, no doubt pitifully begging for chocolate.  I'm going to hide some to keep it safe for DH.

Bear is currently hammering zombies.  I can live with that.  He was watching YouTube videos about the periodic table this morning and I was like a rabbit in the headlights.  I comfort myself that it could be a lot worse.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Random Delivery

I haven't seen father in ten days.  Last week bear was poorly.  Normally we would go today but I have a sore throat and they are iffy to take into a Nursing Home.  Also bear is just about on the floor with TIRED.  He is nearly eight and I suspect a growth spurt.  He is currently bonelessly lying on the back of the sofa watching something unspeakable on Cartoon Network.

Tomorrow I have arranged for re-deliveries, today is a duvet day.  I put in the order sort of randomly and I got what I deserved but bear should be fine for sugary snacks until Christmas.  That is not taking his visit to my sister in law on Friday.  He always goes 'Trick or Treating' there and she adores Halloween.  I suspect after some iffy times she will displace a bit and even in calm times bear comes back with carrier bags of sugary stuff so I shall have to be supervising teeth at the very least.  Friday bear will be resting to be strong for his auntie's extravaganza but Thursday is looking good for a day out.  I can pick up the stuff I should have put on the order then.

There is always a bright side and the order included alcohol for me.  I am not on antibiotics and feeling very low so the small bottle of 20% apple and pear vodka is unlikely to make it through the night.

The spider that has built her web over the window in the study is getting a bit battered by the weather, but is hanging tough.  I suppose I need to manage to do that.  On the other hand I am not Robert the Bruce so I am going to avoid ebay and go and play snap with bear.

Monday 27 October 2014

A big step for bear

I don't like kids standing on things in kitchens.  I suppose one reason is that the layout of my kitchen means that there are far too many ways it could end badly if bear slipped.  To be fair, bear has always taken the view that it is a mother's job to keep the supply of food, drink and treats going and what was I waiting for.

Today, however, bear has shown that he can reach the cold tap.  He is on his toes but it isn't much of a stretch.  So I have moved plastic beakers into reach and told him he can help himself to juice whenever he likes.  Bear was enchanted by the idea.  I will be buying small bottles of juice for a while, so that bear can manage them a bit better.

I also said that here are the bowls, help yourself to cereal.  That is less likely to happen.  Bear has strong Views about who should make a breakfast and it isn't him.  I also suspect that bear's enchantment with making his own juice will wear off pretty quickly as he finds himself going up and down to the kitchen instead of mother.  However I remember seeing a teenager just look at her mother and say, 'make me a sandwich' and the mother immediately jumping up to make it.  That is something I really, really do not want to happen in our house.

I am going back to setting a target for a week.  In the past I have set a target and veered wildly away at a tangent on a regular basis, but it means stuff gets done in some area.  This week is half term and small boys will be over running the house all day.  I am trying to be realistic.  I won't be able to do much.  However I think I will aim to finish the red knitted blanket for bear.  There is over a 1000g of yarn left to use up, so it is a big push, but I can do that while listening to havoc on the Wii or for the tell-tale sound of 'crash, ow!'

Off to check on what exactly is happening now.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Not a quiet Sunday morning

Large numbers of boys from around 7 to around 10 are tearing through the house causing havoc and doing excellent locust impressions.

I need to work on the provision of really cheap treats.

I also need to work out how to keep a tenuous supervision ('I don't care what you are allowed to click on at home...') and still get stuff done that I need to do.

Also, bear is doing spoiled brat impressions and I need to work on that.  He is very privileged compared to the visitors, and I need to try and get through to him about that.

I am also finding it odd without father still.  I am very aware that lots of people are in a far worse state, including Morgan.  Father is still with us and I am still getting the Daily Mail codes for points which will buy Christmas dinner, and I am grateful, but this morning I tipped a bottle of rum down the sink.  It was supposed to be spiced rum, but it was an unfamiliar brand and it tasted so foul that I couldn't manage more than a mouthful.  I have no idea where the bottle of Paragayo rum came from, and I am very aware that fake or under the counter spirits can be very dangerous.  I suppose I could have saved it to clean windows as it tasted of antiseptic, but I just want the space.  Father would never have allowed me to pour drink away.  It was actually quite a sad moment.  On the bright side, the drains are probably in a better state from it.

There has just been a very large crash upstairs.  I daren't look.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Bear goes to the cinema

One of bear's friends had a birthday party at the cinema.  I felt for the parents of the birthday boy.  When we staggered away there were ten lads of eight and under all racing around and full of energy.  The parents had more courage than me!  Apparently bear had a great time, the birthday boy had a brilliant time and the parents survived!

While bear was enjoying himself, DH had a bit of a wander around some shops.  We bought a few bits that father wanted, an incredibly overpriced drink, said 'How much!!!' several times and came home with a knight's costume for bear that I really think he will love for his birthday.

I tried Millet bread today.  I am sticking to oat cakes.

Friday 24 October 2014

Hospital Appointment

I had a hospital appointment today in a hospital I had never visited before.  Mind you, it may be all new brick and glass but at heart all hospitals are the same.  Despite being the newest build hospital it had the most ancient toilets I had ever seen.  It had a sort of Victorian cistern high up on the wall with a dangling, wooden handled chain.  The noise it made when I pulled was awesome, like a spooky special effect and when I washed my hands the flow to the slow filling cistern was put on pause.  In other words, in a huge modern hospital the plumbing was worse than our home.

The appointments were running over significantly, but that was okay as I had my kindle.  It was all rather painless.  I came away with two creams.

The pharmacist explained the creams to me at length.  The first cream should be treated with extreme caution, used once a day, very sparingly and treated with the same care as spent plutonium.  The second cream should be slathered on indiscriminately and frequently but is an extreme fire hazard.  It is paraffin based and while is perfectly safe in the pot, or even on the skin, it is extremely flammable once it sticks to your clothes - which it does automatically and thoroughly.  I must at all costs stay away from naked flames.

I felt flat when I got into town so before getting the bus home I called into a health food shop.  I spent a few minutes wandering around and going, 'How much?!!!' but succumbed to some gluten free bread.  I have been quite clear - I don't want to do substitutes if I could help it, instead I would prefer to find alternatives that are more 'normal' like oatcakes instead of bread.  I weakened today.  It was a mistake.  I have never had anything so foul in my life and the cost of it makes it worse.  I will have the rest of the very tiny packet tomorrow as I can't bear to waste that amount of money, but I will be pulling a face with every mouthful.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Still haven't learned




 I shouldn't

go on


after dark.

Just one very inexpensive recent purchase from ebay.  A shop on there that makes clothes is selling off fents and I suspect they swept the cutting room floor.  There were some scrappy bits only fit for the bin, some rather nice larger bits including some large pieces of gorgeous satin feel harlequin material and also the wrapper from a Frosties breakfast bar.  I possess Half a Yard Home and I suspect that some of these bits will come in very useful when I finally get the time, space and courage to open the box of the sewing machine.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

'Only' 99p

I will never learn.  Things have been a bit tough over the last eighteen months.   Things are still a bit tough although father is settling into his Nursing Home well and charming everyone.  Also, although I find it hard to admit, life is a lot easier without father under foot and the house is considerably cleaner and emptier.

However I have been limping along a bit and last night I cried on the shoulder of my friend, ebay.  I am not sure what came over me.  About £20 if you don't count postage.  Lots of people can afford to spend £20 without too much thought.  Lots more can spend £20, regret it but manage.  I think of £20 as a lot of money but it is possible to spend it here without fear of ruin.  The bit that makes me wince is that none of my items were more than 99p.  I am going to be getting a shedload.  The postage wasn't excessive (I would not have bid, even in my state) but it adds up on top.  I've got some great bargains that I really didn't need.  An item you do not need, no matter how reasonable the cost, is not a bargain.

It isn't just the cost of of the item plus postage.  That 'only' 99p has a lot of other costs.  First of all there will be a mountain of packaging material.  Some of it is new, some re-used and I've know things to come in a taped up carrier bag before now.  I'll have to dispose of all of that.  Then I have to find places for all the stuff.  It goes a little against the grain as I am getting rid of lots of rubbish.  On the bright side, because I have got rid of a lot of rubbish I now have spaces to put further rubbish.  That was not the point.

Also some of it is craft stuff.  I have let my knitting and cross stitch slide over the last few months but now my hands are in a better state I can get back to that.  I can see a huge opportunity to watch some documentaries and catch up with all the knitting I want to do.  Now I will have a chance to really catch up with the ironing (father had a habit of insisting I broke off and come to talk to him) I can clear a space and learn to use the sewing machine.  I will have to.  It's surprising the sort of sewing stuff you can get for 99p late at night.  I have to be realistic, though.  There is a lot of extra time to get the benefit of it all, and that is part of the cost of these items.  So much for 'only' 99p.

There were also quite a few bits for bear which were absolute bargains.  They will be stashed away for Christmas and his birthday.  So it could be worse.

Bear is currently all eyes and temperature off school with a sort of generic virus.  He is working his way through the periodic table.  He has no real understanding of what it means but he is starting to memorise the order the elements come in.  I feel a bit 'rabbit in the headlights'.

Also when I was looking for a cross head screwdriver and rummaging in father's tool box I found an army knife complete with sheath.  I left it there.  Nobody tell bear.

Tuesday 21 October 2014

An extra helping of weather

I really feel fortunate.  I know I am blessed and I am very grateful.  One of the blessings I am counting today is the ability to enjoy this weather.

I quite enjoy a bit of a breeze, it makes me feel a lot more energetic than normal.  Tonight when the storm is supposed to be bad, I will be snuggled in, with the curtains closed, candles lit, gas fire off (the wind blows down the chimney like a hurricane!) but a halogen heater on and a feeling of being barricaded against the elements as I snuggle under blankets.

Not only that but I will gloat slightly that I am in a sheltered spot and the wind is unlikely to do anything more than howl past.

I feel very grateful that there is little chance of power disruption, and any disruption is likely to be short as we live near a major road and at the edge of an urban centre.  I am also really, really grateful that there are people out there trudging on in all the extra weather so that softies like me are safe and warm.

I don't know if grateful is the right word, but I am very aware that while the UK grumbles about the trailing end of Gonzalo, some people have had to live through it at its worst, and my prayers are definitely with them.  Sometimes I snap out of 'smug' and think how blessed I really am.

Monday 20 October 2014

Bear is being a Geologist

I suppose it is normal for seven-nearly-eight but bear has decided he wants to collect stones.  He and his pal spent a large portion of yesterday digging bits of brick and slag out of the road (meteorites and granite to bear and his pal) and then washing them.

I did my best to be a good mother and let them use a plastic bowl that they kept in the bath.  By the time I had brought up rags to dry the stones they were already dried on the good bath towel (on its second wash as I type) and were looking very pleased with themselves.  The bathroom looked like it could be ploughed for cabbages it was so muddy.

I wish it was a new thing, but bear has always had a habit of picking up stones.  He has not shown any great insight, but he does have a good helping of wishful thinking.  I now have a large bucket of stones in the garden which I don't have the heart to move.

There is always a bright side, though.  I have been wondering what to get bear for Christmas/birthday along with the Doctor Who stuff.  I can see some geology stuff heading to his gift mountain.  It will make a change.  I am off to investigate ebay (who is my friend).

Sunday 19 October 2014

An Interesting Question

There are a lot of interesting questions in life.  One is, why am I the only person in the household who changes the toilet roll?  Another is, why are sauce bottles so fiendishly hard to get into?  How about, why do I have to empty my entire handbag to find the pen when if I don't need it is floating happily near the top?  Also, why has father got an air pistol and ammunition in his wardrobe?

I nearly fell over when DH told me.  DH visited father yesterday and came away with a long list of things to bring in.  This included some randomly bought necklaces for the ladies there, some wine (apparently he is on alcohol) and some ties so when he was on a committee he could look the part.  DH had to do some serious excavation in father's wardrobe, which is when he found the air pistol.

I've never been so near a firearm.  At what point did father decide he needed an air pistol.  Also what the jeff am I supposed to do with it?  I am not sure if I need a licence.  How on earth am I supposed to dispose of it?

I am still not sure why father obtained this, or from where.  The neighbours are fine, the local murder was almost certainly just a private matter and unlikely to affect those a quarter of a mile away, I suppose he may have to it to fire at the local cats when they dug up his flowers, but father wouldn't have hurt a whisker of an animal.  I suppose he may have fired over their heads, but a cap gun would have been a lot cheaper if he was wanting to do that.

I am a bit worried that a random purchase happened, like father's determination to buy a sickle to tackle the weeds at the church instead of all the alternatives.  I am a bit worried about what else I may find as I clear out father's room.  I know about the cache of smelly candles, I know about the 1966 World Cup Final programme.  I would never have guessed an air pistol and ammunition.

I'm off to work out whether I need a licence.

Friday 17 October 2014

Absolutely Amazing and a bit meh!

Please look away now if you don't like parents who boast about their darling little ones...

Bear had an awesome report at the parents' evening.  As bear had been good I asked for more maths for bear.  Bear insisted.  He loves maths.  He really, really, really loves maths and is better at it than I am.  According to the teacher, bear who has just started Year Three would be comfortable starting Year Four if he did nothing else all year.  The lovely teacher was very clear that bear would not be allowed to do nothing all year!  Negotiations are ongoing about the condition of bear's handwriting which is the only thing the teacher complained about.  I felt sooo smug and now I am off to dust off all the wonderful advice previously given, look into resources for maths and generally try and make space for bear to move forward.  We are also looking at a treat for bear, who is negotiating rewards.  He's holding out for a cinema trip whereas I am offering Bagshaw Museum.  It's ongoing.

I am feeling a bit happier about bear's Christmas and birthday.  I have just found a stash of books I got in to give bear for Christmas last year, and they are still good for that, so I am happy that he will get reading matter as well as the books that arrived from the Book People.  I have a Cyberman voice changing helmet (ebay is my friend) plus Cyberman towel, some Doctor Who notebooks and a figure already.  I also have a stash of skylander figures bought from a neighbour selling up their collection in a huge box under the kitchen table.  We have decided to not add much to this but give instead something like £20 for Christmas and £20 for his birthday in the certain knowledge that bear will certainly receive other goodies.  Bear's stocking will be a bit of a challenge, but I am sure it will be fine.

As for the meh part, I am back on antibiotics.  My leg is still infected, ongoing since April.  I need to try and chase up the hospital to see why I haven't had the urgent dermatology referral.  I am feeling a bit fed up.  I feel like nothing will ever change, that I will be stuck with this for ever and it is really itchy, sore and yeurck.

However, something that is less meh - father may have been only in the Nursing Home for a few days but he is already on a committee.  That makes me feel much more reassured.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Actually Thinking

Just next to the Nursing Home where father is now living is a very small Co-op.  I like the Co-op, I worked there in the eighties and looking back I think being on the till there was the best job I ever had.  It isn't the cheapest supermarket, but the bigger ones have some good bargains and I'm glad to have somewhere to run to for bits for father.

Today as I popped in for his paper and some random other stuff I found a stand with little sachets of squishy stuff for *only* £1.  I picked one up.  It was an Uncle Ben's mix for chilli and you just added mince, tinned tomatoes and kidney beans.  I thought about it.  My chilli is not classic, and includes baked beans, but even with a generous spirit, if was adding mince, tomatoes and kidney beans the only things that the pouch would contain would be a couple of onions and some spices, which is rather dear at £1.  The link to the pouch on the Tesco site is here - and it doesn't even include onions!  Mind you, it is gluten free.

More and more I am working out whether it is worth buying a packet or tin.  I think I saved at least 70p just stopping and thinking.  I can't see that it would save that much time either.

I am beginning to seriously think there needs to be lessons in shopping at school.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Grey Day

When will I ever learn.  Last night I was not on antibiotics for the first time in a loooong while.  I think I must be my father's daughter as I drank a full half a bottle of Tia Maria.  What I thought when I dragged myself out of my pit this morning was, 'How much did that cost?  And was it really worth the money?' (£8.49 and no it wasn't worth it, I may as well had a nice cuppa.  I could probably have got it on offer as well if I had looked around.)

And I did some random ordering from Amazon that seemed like a good idea at the time.  I daren't open the box.  It is some Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall books, and I think I may have wasted my money on them.  Sigh.

On the bright side I browsed a lot of places while in the same glum mood and didn't buy any knitting yarn, cross stitch kits or bulk supplies of toilet paper, so it could be worse.

I just wish the weather would improve.  It is grey, damp and miserable.  I can find the bright side because I don't have to water the garden and I poured bleach over my steps for the rain to wash down to the drain, but I think I would prefer crisp, golden, autumn sun.  I shall keep a hopeful eye on the weather forecast.

Monday 13 October 2014

An uncomfortable Mummy

Bear was happening to his homework with the help of a friend.  I was keeping an ear out as I was determined that the actual work should come from bear, but as I wasn't letting bear play out until he had done the dratted homework I thought it only fair that his friend should hang around for the ten minutes and five sentences of the homework.

Bear was actually getting quite into it.  He was describing the school visit to Bagshaw Museum where they had seen a real live mummy.  I said that mummies weren't live and he had seen a real dead mummy and got a Look.

I was about to send up DH to intervene on a particularly heated spelling discussion when two small boys erupted into the living room.  Bear and his friend were hotly disagreeing about whether the mummy was 'raped' in bandages or 'rapped' in bandages.  DH used great tact and patience to get the correct spelling.

I'm glad the mummy was finally wrapped.  Bear also described how they had wrapped a liver in natron.  I asked if it had been a real liver.  Bear looked utterly appalled at the thought of handling some squishy dead stuff and was very clear of his views of real liver and its place in the world.  He also asked me what the liver did.  I had absolutely no idea but I did confess that.  I can't wait to see what happens when he hits biology classes in a few years time.  

Sunday 12 October 2014

Spanish Tortilla Epic Fail

Okay, perhaps not an epic fail, but it got a bit iffy.

I had extra eggs, the remains of a sack of potatoes I had been a bit dubious about and - most importantly, I had some kale, purple broccoli and asparagus needing using up due to a veg box delivery.  I remembered vaguely reading about frittatas and thought that they sounded idea - a lot of green stuff cooked with eggs and I thought I could remember seeing a recipe in the Remoska cookbook.  I couldn't find the cookbook so I went off and googled.  I found this.

The recipe calls for spinach, and I thought I could put in the broccoli and kale then and perhaps serve with the asparagus.  It also calls for eight potatoes, thinly sliced. I know my limitations when it comes to slicing things thinly so I peeled eight potatoes and put them through the food processor.  I did wonder if the potatoes were big enough when I peeled them as they didn't look that big, sort of middle to smallish, but it's surprising how much potato expands when it is put through the processor.  It barely fit into the Remoska by the time I had added the onion (with a leek substituted for one of the onions as I needed to use it up).

I was hoping that the huge mass would cook down.  Half an hour later it was exactly the same volume and the bits that were up against the lid were burnt.  There was no possible room for the veggies.  I added the eggs and hoped for the best.

It did end up lovely, but I've got rid of the kale as it was looking very secondhand, and tomorrow we will have something with the broccoli and asparagus as tonight I am making DH's favourite meal (he really deserves it) and it doesn't involve anything green.

Next time I will knock two potatoes off the total, add a few peas or some sweetcorn and some shredded bacon and go for it.  It was a really nice gluten free lunch with half left over after feeding not only me, bear and DH but also bear's friend.

I am now off to google frittata recipes.  Again.

Saturday 11 October 2014


Next door's lovely fluffy tom cat tried to climb into the Market Delivered van.  He had already had a prowl around the Tesco van, and I think he disapproved.  As I was getting fresh fish from Market Delivered (a nice bit of coley) I can see the attraction.

I sort of miss having a cat.  I had tinned fish for lunch, and I have been able to knit without a problem, cross stitch is looking like a possibility again if my eyes hold up and none of those were really a good bet with a cat.  On the other hand, I miss having cat stories.

Bear and DH would both like a dog but as it would be me that would be exercising it that will not be a possibility.  I refuse to have a rodent in the house and I am not impressed by budgies either.  If father were coming back here I would need something like a small dog or a tom cat to keep him company, but that is incredibly unlikely.

While I don't miss the litter tray, the cost of food and the vet's bills, I do miss a cuddle and a mad moment.  I also think a pet would be good for bear.

As it stands, I think I will hold fire and enjoy the antics of next door's cats and brothers lovely dog (who is a complete cuddle hound) and see how things go.

I wonder how long I can hold out.

Friday 10 October 2014

Bear Triumphant

Last night was the same as every night.  I creep upstairs and tiptoe into bear's room.  I fold in his arms and legs from whichever anatomically unsafe position he has left them and then he usually snuggles down.  I put bedclothes over him as he never, ever goes to sleep with them on, though at least these days when he is covered up he stays covered.  I switch out his bedside lamp and tiptoe out again.

Last night I was tucking him under his duvet with the Tardis cover and pulling in his arm when he opened his eyes, pumped his arm, said, 'Yesss!!!!' and went back to sleep.

Absolutely no idea.

Thursday 9 October 2014

Welcome to Autumn

Thank you for the kind wishes.  I feel a bit of a fraud as I know lots of people have it worse than me.  I am reserving the right to grumble a little bit as I am still on antibiotics - about three weeks so far - and father being desperate to come home so he can have alcohol is making me crave a strong drink myself!

Bear is also grumbly, tired, prone to feeling sorry for himself and under the weather.  I'm doing a lot of humouring, negotiating and just putting my foot down.  He seems to flag at this time of year, so I will be keeping a little eye on him.

Poor DH is really poorly!  He has a foul cough and coughs turn bad for him.  I have been fussing over him and keeping him warm, cuddled and dosed up with cough medicine (whisky).  He is the one who really needs fuss at the moment.

I think we should sit and count our blessings, to be honest.  We have a roof over our heads, we have food in the cupboards and home is a safe place.  My father is safe, my uncle is actually quite safe and Christmas will be here soon.

Anyway, the next on the list is the garden.  For father's sake I am going to get it tidied up and put in some winter pansies and bulbs.  I'm looking forward to that, it will be fun.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Father wants to come Home

Father is in a nursing home.  He can't walk, he can't drink unthickened liquids and he can't eat anything except purees.  He is on 21 tablets a day.  I am not able to nurse him at home, not realistically.  He is in a special bed with special cushions when he is in a seat and he can't always hold himself upright in a chair.

He wants to come home.  I am confident that he wants to come home so he can have unthickened liquids, as he knows he could get me to let him have some.  I think he also thinks he could get out of bed and get some, but he can't sit himself up at the moment.  He has also had a serious alcohol dependency for years, and I think he is going dry and not happy about it.

But I had to leave my father today, in a safe, warm, place with qualified nursing staff around, and I knew he wanted to go home.  I just want to cry.

Monday 6 October 2014

Egyptian Lentil Soup

As I've written, I am now gluten free.  This is quite depressing.  I am incredibly supportive of someone who needs to be careful of what they eat, but I am a bit disappointed in myself and keep wondering if I pull myself together whether I will be fine.  I won't.

This has had an interesting side effect.  I can't have takeaways, I can't have treats from the sandwich shop and my goodies are restricted.  I am still managing to pack in plenty of empty calories, but I am looking for better ways to eat.

I bought a gluten free cookbook.  I was a bit disappointed as it relied heavily on xanthan gum and substituting while I would like to look for something more adventurous.  It did however have this recipe in, and as bear is covering Ancient Egypt at school I thought he would enjoy it.

1 tbs each of olive oil and butter, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 900ml of stock (gluten free for me, but I guess any would do if you were not restricted), 1 tsp each of cumin seeds, turmeric and paprika, two carrots, two potatoes (neither of which were around in Ancient Egypt) and 125g of red lentils.

Soften the finely chopped onion in the oil and butter, then add the garlic and spices.  Cook for a few minutes and then add the carrot and potato.  Cook for a few minutes more then add the lentils, stirring well.  After five minutes add about a quarter of the stock and let it get hot and bubbling before adding the rest.  Simmer for ten to fifteen minutes until the carrot and potato are cooked through then puree.

It is very tasty, very warming, relatively inexpensive, relatively healthy and bear cleared his plate.  I plan to cook up a massive batch and then freeze for use later.  

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Permanent Pity Party

I was on IV antibiotics at the weekend.  Today I have a cold.  The cold is worse - I hate colds.  I feel bunged up, fed up and completely unjustified in feeling sorry for myself.  I am moping around, trailing soggy tissues and grumbling.

Bear had rice krispies for breakfast.  His lovely aunt had given him a box of toffee crisp breakfast cereal.  Yes, chocolate cereal with toffee bits in or how kids can have sweets for breakfast.  I was a bit surprised when I saw it, but I have always thought I was being over indulgent with allowing cocoa pops.  Mornings are a bit desperate for me as I don't actually wake up until 10am at the earliest.  I may be moving around and talking but I am not awake.  Bear takes advantage of this as he is a morning person and is full of beans.  He is also not always keen to eat breakfast so I will clutch at anything with a hint of nutrition to get something inside him to get him to school.  However even bear draws the line at the toffee crisp cereal.  It is, however, perfectly acceptable for an after tea snack.

I am trying to insist on fruit before processed sugar.  The huge bag of sweeties also sent down from his auntie aren't helping.  All normal for seven-nearly-eight.