Friday, 30 November 2012

So thoughtful......

When Daughter and children arrived yesterday O had a gift for me, a 200 piece jigsaw recommended for age 5-10. They went to friends the day before and when there was an offer of "we've had a bit of a clear out and would anyone like this jigsaw?"  out of a room full of people O said "I would like it for my Grandma, she loves jigsaws"! How special is this grandson of mine and how special he makes me feel :-)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Yucky and yummy .....

When Daughter came over on the big baking day along with the ingredients she brought came a large pot of natural yoghurt that she popped in my fridge with every intention of taking home, but she forgot and I didn't see her again before it ran out of date. Well I really do not like yoghurt in any disguise either fruity flavoured or otherwise,  however I also hate waste.

So I hunted out the old recipe my sister always used for yogurt cake. SisterM had loved it's simplicity of using the yoghurt pot as the unit of measure and throwing all the ingredients into the bowl then mix then bake. I'd flavoured this batch with lemon extract but almost anything works well. This large pot of yoghurt and just enough self raising flour in the cupboard made three cakes in 2lb loaf tins and an extra bit in a 1lb loaf tin.

Of course that's when Daughter popped in with O, she was very pleased it got used and not binned and the little cake was cut into four and eaten almost straight from the oven, yummy! One has been sliced for this afternoon when Son and Fiancee are coming and two were wrapped and put in the freezer.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Top Cashback

Top Cashback
OK just have to say that I've found this a great site for getting cashback when I'm ordering online anyway all year round, but especially now right?
So I clicked on the share button and hopefully you can see the link just in case you'd find it useful too.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Man on his knees and girls in the kitchen......

Stupid title I know, but some days it's just brain freeze :-)

Tuesday Hubby had to spend all day replacing the carpet in the downstairs loo. Confined space with awkward bits to cut around and ours has shelves too that always seemed to be just above where his head needed to be. But sore knees and aching back were all worth it for a fresh clean floor. Thank you Hubby.

Yesterday Daughter came with all three children needing to bath and bake. I'm always impressed how she can be in the kitchen and bathroom when needed. I decided to stay out of the way until called for help. E made triple batch cheese thins, some to eat now, some frozen as dough to be Christmas presents and some frozen to cook for their Christmas camp. R made double batch marble cookies, some for camp and some for a present and saved a few aside for now. O made cookies too and also chocolate pecan brownies, some for camp and some for daddy and he left some very squidgy middle bits for us to eat up here. Mmmmm the house smelt so yummy :-)


Monday, 19 November 2012

Ready meals...

When I was a busy working mum who hated fast food as much as I hated wasted food, I got into the habit of freezing leftovers or I specially cooked extras into single portion meals. This proved to be so useful when the children were young and needed their dinner long before Hubby got home, or in the teenagers stage when I never knew who was home when. And now even though I'm retired with supposedly all the time in the world, I still cook massive dishes of certain foods even when there are just two of us eating so the rest can be boxed and labelled for the freezer.

This weekend these home cooked ready meals were a perfect solution again. On Saturday Daughter was going to a party with the girls and O was having a special daddy day with M, however, E and O needed to sleep here at my house because R had another dancing competition on Sunday that was a really early start and M was working so he couldn't have the children.

So the plan was M and O coming here late afternoon having had a big cooked lunch. Daughter would come here after the party (which didn't start till 4pm and was an hours drive away). Hubby was also out all afternoon doing charity collections at a local supermarket. So planning a meal was tricky, so I didn't even try lol. Turned out I fed three adults and a three year old with three shepherd's pies, microwave thawed then popped into the oven to crisp up the potatoes on top.

M took O up to bed and altho we heard a bit of story telling it went quiet for so long we realised they must have both been fast asleep. Daughter arrived just after 10pm and swapped E for M and went straight home. E was very soon in bed, she had promised O she would sleep with him in the double bed, but when we went up he was sprawled out over the middle of the bed and on top of the duvet so that took a bit of rearranging but finally both snuggled comfortably.

O woke at about 5am a bit upset because he'd forgotten where he was so I carried him into our bed and altho neither he or I actually got any more sleep he did settle for a good hour so we came down just after 6pm. Breakfast, tv and amusing ourselves went on for three hours before hubby and E got up. Hubby spent quite some time outside with O, E spent the afternoon at a local event with a friend, thanks to her friend's parents for providing the transport. Daughter thought they would be back late afternoon but a few text during the day let me know it was going to be nearer 7pm.

Then once again it was dinner out of the freezer come lots of little boxes.
E chose a vegetable casserole, hubby took the bbq chicken dinner and O and I shared a tuna pasta. Ping ping ping of the microwave and as we all sat with hot dinners Daughter and R arrived who instantly chose another tuna pasta and a shepherd's pie ping ping.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Through a tear....

I'm sitting on my sofa watching Children in Need and I can't stop counting my blessings, for the two wonderful and healthy children we have and more blessings with our beautiful grandchildren. No serious illness, no war zone, no poverty, no bullying or abuse!!!
As a family we are so lucky :)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

No vote.....

I'm really cross at having to admit that I won't be using my right to vote today :-(
Ever since I've been a voting adult I've voted unless I just wasn't in the right place at the right time. I'm not very knowledgeable of anything political, however, I do try to read each candidate's leaflet and discuss with Hubby his views and if I don't have a strong opinion I'll vote his way so at least my vote doesn't cancel his out.

Well today we have the cards for Election of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk Police area. However, we have had no information about what this new post is, what it entails, what are the benefits or even who the candidates I'm not voting.

My apologies to the Pankhurst ladies and all the other sufragetes.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Plugged in and switched on.....

I really do love today's technology, for my own personal paperless (well greatly reduced) use and for social networking. For my age group I'm still impressed with myself for how I eagerly want to get stuck into each new bit of kit or software. I still don't like online games against the clock though!

Hubby and both of our children are very techy so it goes without saying that our grandchildren are too. As home educated children they use lots of the online resources, even the three year old knows his way around his favourite interactive sites and ipad games. Thankfully they all spend a lot of time away from a screen too.

Today while R was at her drum lesson and O had granddad outside with waterbombs E was using the laptop to chat to friends on Skype.  Now most of their friends (none of which live locally) use private chat groups, they often post what they have been doing to pass on good ideas, and of course it's getting easier for them to discuss and plan future projects they want to do together.

As for me I made bread, chollah, and O helped me shape rolls for lunch, plus a few emails to sort out where my friends and I are eating out tonight.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sorry for the rubbish.....

Been over a week since I last wrote mainly because life goes on in a normal sort of way (well my normal) and it would read a bit boring if I just repeated myself over and over........however, I've just discovered while trying to find the dates we went to Portugal (Hubby thought he could make a claim for our delayed flight but turns out he can't ) that my google calendar doesn't hold onto past entries. Never really noticed before as I've always scribbled in a diary, but the more I blog the less I scribble.

So I'll apologise now that this may get a bit like reading repetitive rubbish, but it's my rubbish that I want to remember, sorry.

So November so far...
1st - My normal art night. We were a bit worried that Joan wasn’t there for the second time, she is quite elderly so it may just be the cold weather putting her off, hopefully Sue will call round to check she isn't unwell. After art it was onto the truck stop as usual for live music and a little dancing. FriendM has a secret admirer, someone at the truck stop who has sent her flowers and paid for wine to be left for her behind the bar. Even though this admirer hasn’t contacted her face to face some others at the bar have told her who it is, but she's still none the wiser. Actually she's in a relationship anyway so not interested but it's a great source of conversation, speculation and hilarity.

2nd - Son came over and with Hubby and a hired van moved some of the stuff we had stored for him plus some furniture stored at his fiancé's parents to their home. This meant travelling from Colchester to Ipswich back to Colchester onto Wiltshire (to unload) then back to Ipswich and finally to Colchester all in a day.

3rd - Early visit from son to take the van back, a coffee and chat then he was gone. Lovely to see him but sadly his fiancĂ©'s dad has terminal cancer of the esophagus so we talked a lot about that. Hubby and I took the paintings from myself and three others from my art group to be exhibited. That evening Hubby and I went next door to share a chinese takeaway with FriendsP&A, our first meal together since A fell and broke his pelvis 2 months ago. P&A insisted on paying as a thank you for our help (mostly Hubby) so thank you very much P&A.

4th - lovely day with Daughter and children here for a Sunday roast, yummy.

5th - Our monthly coffee morning, think there were 11 of us which included NeighbourA when hubby brought him round in a wheechair which was a bit tricky but worth it. Of course it was Guy Fawkes but we didn't go out that evening just caught glimpses of some very local fireworks.

6th - Hubby had gone to a friends to help him remove some trees and bushes so I had my lovely grandchildren all to myself while Daughter had to be elsewhere for a few hours. All four of us had fun playing with words. I discovered later that what we were doing was called "acrostic".

7th - Can't remember what happened during the day so guess it was nothing exciting. The evening was a pub meal with my usual Wednesday night gang of friends.

8th - We were asked to babysit the children as Daughter and M had been invited out for a social get together with Daughter's dance group, however, the children asked if they could sleepover here instead of me going there. All fine and beds made ready and dinner cooked when they arrived, only problem was O was asleep in the car and Daughter said he had been asleep for quite a while. So we had a slightly difficult dinner time and a long evening with lots of stories in bed for him then he was up again and the girls went up before him. Eventually he fell asleep after taking himself to bed curled up with R in the double bed at 11:30pm.

9th - We got up to find R and O snuggled under a blanket on the sofa watching TV. They had been up since 5:45am. Thank you R. Daughter came later armed with food to cook for us as a thank you. Actually with such a tired O her cooking didn't all go according to plan but we did end up with a lovely dinner so well done to her!

10th - Came and went with just us two. Washing done and windows cleaned and my full kitchen windowsill of jugs all washed.

And that brings me to today. While Hubby was out with a huge crowd of bikers riding to Duxford for the Rememberance Day Service, I did some catching up with blog reading, repotted a plant and cleaned up my mess (doesn't soil spread a lot?), vacuumed downstairs and wrote out the birthday cards needed for the next few weeks, I fixed a bracelet for Daughter and made Hubby lunch when he got back frozen, then wrote this blog! Late this afternoon we went off to Woodbridge to collect our paintings, none sold, shame.

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Halloween for us took much the same format as it's always done, I really like building up traditions that the children will remember. We are happy giving out sweets to those that knock trick-or-treating but I've never let my children go and we don't let the grandchildren go either. So we have always done the pumpkin lanterns and decorated the table for a themed dinner then out in the dark with torches because we are so lucky to be right under the witches flight path and on a windy night their party goodies sometimes gets blown off the back of broomsticks right into our garden :-)

Dinner this year was swamp and seaweed with bones on the side (forgot to take a photo), washed down with magic potion that came out of the bottle fizzy and clear but poured into the glasses blue or red or yellow or green. Dessert was eyeballs and worms, slime tarts and white mice and some very odd mutant spiders!