Tuesday 28 November 2023

Business as usual (slowly)


I had already booked Luna in for puppy day care today before I fell so I could start on the wallpaper.  Obviously that's not happening but I took her this morning any way.  She'll get tired out nicely and I'll get a break.  The bruising on both hands is yellowing nicely ๐Ÿ™„ The fractured left one is still sore but I can still do most things one handed.  Opening jars, bottles etc is impossible though.  And I struggle to pull the light cord in my bathroom.  Wee things like that are annoying.  But on the whole it's business as usual albeit more slowly! ๐ŸŒ

Even though the heating is on, it's been cold enough to need the wood burner on as well.  Luna wasn't too sure at first.  There was a lot of barking!! She eventually decided it was ok but she still kept a close eye on it ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Then in the end decided it was probably safe enough to lie sleeping next to it! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I managed to make butter yesterday so I have some buttermilk to use up.  I'm going to try make scones with one hand! ๐Ÿ˜‚ And I'll start a sourdough loaf.  After that I might watch a crappy Christmas movie to get me into the mood and start and planning Christmas! ๐ŸŽ… My son and his fiancรฉ already have their tree up!! ๐ŸŽ„

I'm just really looking forward to a slightly calmer day ๐Ÿ˜Š

Saturday 25 November 2023

Walking disaster!


I'm a walking disaster!  I fell yesterday while walking Luna.  One minute we're walking along a lane and the next I'm face planted on the ground.  I went to our local minor injuries unit (just 5 mins from me) and got it x rayed.   Coincidentally my youngest son was working there but he's not allowed to x ray family members.  However he did stand behind the glass screen laughing and shaking his head at me!!! ๐Ÿ™„

The x ray wasn't clear enough but a suspected fractured scaphoid was the diagnosis.  It's bloody sore!!  I've to wear a splint and sling for at least 2 weeks then get it re checked.

I don't honestly know if Luna tripped me up or I just fell over my own feet.  I've also got 2 very skint knees  and ache all over so I'm feeling rather sorry for myself this morning!

Friday 24 November 2023

And another week whizzed by!

The first snow flurries this morning when I got up to do the dogs!  Although it didn't last I think the weather is definitely becoming more wintery.  That said it's a brilliant sunny morning despite the temperature.

Yesterday while Luna was at puppy day care I managed to fit in a dentist appointment, go visit my Lovely Mum and sister and left the slow cooker doing a big batch of chicken and veggies.  Today I'll turn it all into ready meals and pies for the freezer.  I also did a big batch of bolognaise and made up some pasta bakes last night.

Luna after a day in puppy day care!! ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜‚

Earlier in the week I made asparagus and leek soup with the asparagus ends I'd saved.  It tasted delicious but it was very stringy due to the end bits.  A bit like eating paintbrush bristles!! I blitzed it and sieved it but honestly wasn't worth the hassle!  I'm a bit fed up with my usual carrot and lentil based soups so I was looking for something new.  Anyone got any new ideas for soups that I can batch make and freeze?

I made some lemon marmalade using up a tin that was lurking at the back of the store cupboard.  It was dated September 2023 but was absolutely fine.  I like the lemon version, sometimes I add gin to it once I've taken it off the boil.  This time it's just plain old delicious lemon ๐Ÿ‹

I've been painting some of the high up bits in my kitchen and filling in dents and holes around the utility room.  I can do wee jobs while Luna is around but save the big ones for when she's at day care.  In the evenings I've been sock knitting plus I kept going with the crazy Victorian style patchwork, just for practising my French knots and blanket stitch.  You can't see all the frayed edges in the photo but it definitely wouldn't stand up to be used on a bag which was my original idea.  I loved doing it though! 

I've been trying read more at night instead of watching YouTube but my varifocal glasses aren't helping so I suspect a visit to the optician is on the cards next week to check my eyesight.  Might even do some Christmas shopping while I'm in town to make it worth my while ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜‚

Friday 17 November 2023

Slow progress but progress!

Three years after the first bit of roughcast fell off, I'm finally getting the side extension repaired.  It's taken that long to get a reliable company to actually turn up and start the job.  3 different companies came, quoted, gave me a start date and disappeared into the void!  I know they had to have certain weather conditions but it dragged on for ages.  Luckily I didn't pay anything up front! In the end I gave up on getting it roughcast again and it's being clad instead.  Lots of houses round here have been clad recently so it won't look out of place.

Of course they've found more issues like a rotten windowsill and a cracked corner.  But all fixable.  They were supposed to start on Monday and be finished by today.  This is how it looks this morning. *sighs*  Good tradesmen are hard to find and we're really at their mercy as they're in short supply.  I am assured it will be finished 'within a couple of weeks' ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„

Luna was at puppy day care yesterday.  I think she was tired out!!  I managed to paint some doors and woodwork in her absence so progress is being made ๐Ÿ˜Š

Wednesday 15 November 2023

More wee jobs!

This is pretty much how my days and nights go when both dogs are together ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„ Luna is a whirlwind!  She always look so serious in photos but she has bags of sass and a very naughty streak!!

Then she looks angelic when she's asleep!!! ๐Ÿ‘ผ

It's been another week of wee jobs.  I'm in the routine now of making butter regularly and baking a sourdough loaf every week.  I slice the bread and portion up the butter then freeze them.

The buttermilk gets used in scones (I'm getting better but they're not perfect!) and I use some of my sourdough starter to make sourdough pancakes.  Again, I freeze them all and always have a 'treat' on hand to stop me buying 'treats' at the supermarket.

I've been painting some wooden trimmings to finish off some of the rough edges in my kitchen.  Rather fiddly but I hope it makes it look better.  Photos to follow when finished!

I've been playing around with some Harris tweed scraps trying some Victorian style scrap patchwork.  I had an idea to make a big piece to turn into a bag but the tweed frays too much and it's too thick to turn in the edges like you're supposed to.  But it's been fun trying it and I'll do something in the future but use my many cotton scraps of fabric instead.  I'll think of something else to use up the tweed.

Building work started today on repairing the damaged walls on the extension.  So far they've found extra stuff needing done like replacing a rotten windowsill and fixing a crack in the corner of the roof.  That's the problem when you start doing repairs, you find even more things needing fixed! ๐Ÿ’ฐ But it has to be done to pass a Home Report inspection to put the house on the market!

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Finally some DIY!


I'm finally getting some DIY jobs done.  When I painted the kitchen I left out the splashback behind the gas hob, planning to tile it with some black mosaic tiles I've had for years.  I even bought black grout as black-on-black is rather trendy.  But it's too time consuming in my current circumstances so I'm just painting it and putting the heatproof glass splashback back up.  I'll keep the black tiles and grout for my next house.

The plaster was still bare so I did 2 coats of white this morning and then will probably do 2 or 3 coats of my Heart Wood colour.  I love this colour but it's a real pain to do decent cutting in around the cream units.  It's all a bit messy and I'll need to spend a lot of time neatening it all up.

Edited to add finished photo:

It's not great as the wall isn't flat making the screws stick out but it's done.  Just don't look too closely! 

Meanwhile Luna is becoming less clingy and will happily play or sleep in another room by herself for short periods.  I'll do as many wee jobs as I can while she does that and wait until her next puppy day care day to tackle some wallpapering!!  ๐Ÿ’ช

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Got beef!


Less than 24 hours after surgery to remove the remains of her broken tooth, Luna seems to be back to 'normal.'   Although she has painkillers to take for a few days.  And my bank balance took another £450 hit as doggy dental work isn't covered by my pet insurance ๐Ÿ™„ She's been trying to work out how to climb up on my wee stool for ages now and I think she's getting closer!!  The target is stealing the tea towel!! ๐Ÿ˜‚

When I dropped her off at the vet I popped into Morrison's as it's on that side of town and got a beef joint.  Not as nice as the one I didn't get in my Sainsbury's order but a decent price for one that was for chucking in the slow cooker for a few hours.

Here it is all shredded and cooled overnight in the fridge.  There's quite a bit of fat that I'll skim off and maybe keep for my next batch of pastry.  Waste not and all that!  The beef is all portioned up and in the freezer now ๐Ÿ˜‹

Sunday 5 November 2023

Batch cooking on a tight budget


The Luna saga continues as last week she had an ear infection and needed antibiotics (Labs are prone to itchy ears!) and then yesterday she broke a tooth. Lower canine, totally split into 2 halves ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„ I've spoken to the vet on the phone and we're going tomorrow (Monday) to see if it needs to be removed.  She also went to puppy day care for a day and loved it so we'll keep that going for a wee while to let me 'get on with stuff' while she learns to behave around other dogs!

I'm so glad I have an emergency fund but it's almost all gone ๐Ÿคฏ So tightening my belt even further is necessary.  I got my November Sainsbury's delivery on the 1st and within an hour, I had an oven full of baking potatoes, sausages and a rice pudding using up some soya milk I had lurking in the cupboard!  And towards the end I put in a tray of bacon to cook.

I'd ordered one of these bargain £7.50 beef joints but they had none left.  So they subbed me with another beef joint that cost a whopping £22.90.  As the sub was a catchweight item it's not covered by their Promise to give you the higher cost item at the lower price of your original item.  So I handed it back to the driver.  They still charge you though and it takes up to 5 working days to get your refund. I'd planned to freeze the beef and use it for my Christmas day meal.  I'll need to think of something else now.

So my main meat for the month is 10 sausages (£3.33) and some frozen chicken breasts (£6 for 1kg) plus whatever else is lurking in the freezer!  I turned some of the potatoes (6 large potatoes for 95p) into wedges to freeze. I defrosted the chicken and cooked them in the Crockpot with a can of pear cider that was lurking in the fridge.  I made quite a few ready meals for the freezer that just need reheating in the microwave.

I chopped up some of the potatoes, sausages and bacon into small pieces and made some pasties!  They were delicious!!  I made some chicken pies that may go to my Lovely Mum at some point if she wants them.  I'm really enjoying making proper pastry again (butter/lard/flour) and using it in different ways.  It really stretches a small amount of meat!

It feels like time is marching on very quickly and I'm not achieving everything I want to quickly enough.  When you've got all the time you want I'm finding I need to be more disciplined than I am currently!