Monday, November 25, 2013

Pyjama day!

It was a harsh frost last night and I struggled to get out of my cosy bed into the cold although I've got my fleecy pj's on. No work for me today but OH was up early getting his tools loaded up and cleaning out and preparing the stove for me to light later on ( must be love!) before getting ready to go off to work himself. Hurray! a pyjama day at home to myself!  

I decided to potter in the kitchen, breakfast tv on whilst i make a sausage casserole for dinner.  I grilled the sausages and then cut them in half as 12 bits of meat looked better than 6.  I chopped onion, carrots, new potatoes and added frozen peppers and peas.  I threw in a tin of butter beans and then added a sachet of Tesco's casserole mix 30p and cooked it in the oven for an hour.  As I didn't know what time OH would be home I thought I could warm it up in the microwave whilst cooking a bit of rice to go with it.

(This made three good sized portions so I took a pic of the leftovers as forgot the before pic)
I then decided to make a loaf of bread and a dozen mini naan breads

I didn't bother rolling the naan's nicely into shape, just used the palm of my hand to flatten so they don't look neat but taste nice.  I intend to freeze half of them and have a couple tomorrow when we have a curry.

After a shower and hairwash i gathered up enough washing to make a full load to put on and then thought I would sit down and try to finish the front of the crochet cushion that I need to get done as it is for a Christmas present.  I am struggling with this and think its because it is the third one I have made so I'm getting bored and want to move on to make something else.  I don't like to have unfinished projects so to help me along I decided to have a DVD fest.

I have watched all of these series before a while ago but have quickly got into it again.

I watched three episodes and then OH came home!  The day went too fast but I have finished the front part of the cushion. I intend to do a few sewing repairs this evening, my sausage dog draught excluder needs his bottom repaired, also a jumper has a ripped seam and my only bra (because the others have got too big now) has a hole where the wire pokes through, so uncomfortable!

Oh and the casserole went down well with OH, he really liked the naan breads too.

Terri X

Saturday, November 23, 2013

These boots are made for walking

These boots are 25 years old and are worn frequently.  I brought them originally to wear on building sites where I worked for 15 years and since then they are worn on any bad weather day throughout the year.  I have certainly had my money's worth from them.
This morning they were my walking boots.  I've also got my pink bed socks on!  I'm not a great walker, my knees hurt    
but since losing 3 stone I feel able to give it a go. My OH planned a walk for us up a hill but with a promise that there was a seat at the top where we could have coffee and a rest for me!

This was at the start and you could see the loch through the trees.

OH carried the supplies.  He's an experienced walker and goes prepared for all eventualities, wonder if he's got a stretcher in there for me!

The weather was a bit damp and dark but we walked higher and past this old ruin of a barn

There was sunshine higher up and I really wanted to reach it

Not far to the light now

Made it to the bench and the sun was so low reflecting on the loch that it was dazzling so I couldn't take great pics of the view but I certainly needed my coffee and a sit down

Pretty pleased with myself now.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

it's arrived!

the snow arrived overnight just as the forecast had predicted.

it was -3 degrees when I took these pics but it felt bitter and my hands were freezing so I had to go indoors.  Five minutes later we had a complete whiteout.

My son and OH accompanied me walking down the hill to work but only so they could throw snowballs at me!

Terri X

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A lazy Saturday

I made a mince pie for my OH this morning, this is the before cooking pic.  I sprinkled a little brown sugar on top before putting it in the oven and this is the after pic

My sis in law popped in for tea just as it was cooling so they both had a piece. 
I prepared a chicken and vegetable curry and put it into my new slow cooker for dinner.  I had previously given a large slow cooker to a friend as it was just too big for us and she agreed to get me a smaller 3 litre one and this one was on sale from Tesco for £12.00.  Bargain! 

I am so pleased with it and I plan to use it a lot over the winter.  This curry is enough for 2 dinners each so it is plenty big enough for us.
I also defrosted two potions of leftover soups and put them together for lunch as one was tomato and lentil, the other was a veg soup
This was all before 9am!
After getting dressed I ventured out in the wind to pop down to the village.  The temperature was pretty mild at 12 degrees outside but it felt a lot colder inside our cottage after having a few days rain and I was layered up in a vest, polo neck jumper, dress and cardigan and still not warm so we lit the stove and have kept it burning low all day.  
After a productive start to the day it went downhill really, I've sat and watched some old movies, didn't do any crafting because my hands ached too much( I've been having problems for a while since my thumb joint went and I ended up at physio for it but that's another story!).  I shopped for Christmas presents on Ebay, had a couple of phone conversations, played about on my Hudl and caught up with a few blogs, watched Strictly ( really good tonight) but that's it!  I feel I should have achieved more but hey ho tomorrow is another day.  

Terri X

Confession time

I woke with a start at 5am this morning because my OH mumbled my name in his sleep.  I don't know what he was dreaming about but you know what it's like when you're woken, my brain started whirring and you start thinking about all sorts of things and you have no chance of getting back to sleep.
I was thinking about what I intended to cook today and I know I took two chicken breasts out of the freezer to defrost overnight.  I put them covered in a dish and put them under the grill so the cats couldn't get to them but at the time although it was 9.30pm I  remember feeling a bit peckish so I made myself a ham sandwich.  Did I put the ham away?
This may sound pretty unimportant but yesterday I treated us to a pound of really nice ham from the village.  At £4.89 a pack its not cheap but I intended to make a few meals out of it and OH was looking forward to having some.  I really couldn't remember putting it away but I didn't want to get out of bed at that time to check, kept telling myself of course i did or its probably too late and the cats would have sniffed it out overnight so no point but I could not settle and my tossing and turning finally woke OH up too.
  Whilst he was in the bathroom I raced into the kitchen to check and Oh No I had left it out!  The pack was still on the work top but the edges of the ham looked nibbled and a few slices on the top were only partly there so I quickly sliced off the sides and gave one of the cats the off cuts and a couple of top slices and I'm going to use the rest, well wouldn't you?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy things on the weekend

I ran out into the garden on Saturday morning to get this pic before the rainbow disappeared. They never cease to amaze me and we get lots up here living in the hills and sometimes double rainbows. 
We went out yesterday to pick up my Christmas present!  I never expected to get one but my OH told me he had been putting some money aside specially and I had to spend it on something for myself so after a lot of thought I treated myself to this

I love the cover and inside its a .....

Yep I got a Hudl and I am really enjoying playing with it - think I am getting into technology now!  I am looking forward to downloading some books onto it and using it when I travel and of course reading everyone's blogs!
We also used our tesco vouchers and as you can double the value at the moment we got £38 off the price altogether so it was a bargain too! Yippee!
I also got another present in the week, I must have been really good or something!

I had seen this cushion in a magazine and liked it.  One of my cats not so keen on it though as it took her a couple of days to sit back on the chair!

It's been a sunny but cold Remembrance  Sunday, nice to see a blue sky and before I went to church I took a few pics of my cats enjoying the sunshine. 
This is Bonny and she has only 3 legs as she had an accident when she was a few weeks old.  The vets wanted me to put her down but I refused to and she adapted really well and look at her now

She is also the best hunter and will spend hours in one spot waiting to pounce on any unsuspecting mice.
My other girl is Buffy named by my son after watching the series.

She doesn't see very well and has one blue eye and the other is green.  She obviously has some Siamese in her but she and Bonny are sisters.
When Bonny had her accident she had been through so much that I delayed getting them neutered but it wasn't a problem as they stayed in until the evening that they got out.  It was only one night but they both got pregnant!  Buffys kittens died but Bonny had five healthy kittens and they had mum and auntie feeding them.  We decided to keep the ginger Tom and found good homes for the rest so here is Alex

He gets bossed around by both the girls sometimes getting a swipe round the ear just for walking past whilst minding his own business but he's now starting to get his own back and as I left for church he decided to torment them both. A lot of hissing and yowling commenced but I just left them to sort it out. 
I was quite late home from church, too much chatting over coffee so I rushed about preparing the dinner and after catching up with the Grandchildren I'm planning a little hooky time.  

Working on yet another cushion for a Christmas present.
I hope you are all enjoying your weekend too.

Terri X

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

There's snow on the hills

Well winter is coming and we have had a couple of harsh frosts since the weekend with snow lying on the mountains. The daytime though has been lovely and sunny.  I much prefer the cold and sunshine, wrapping up in layers of clothing to the dreek rainy damp days that seem to get in my bones.  The stove has been on everyday by the afternoon and yesterday my OH made a grand job of chopping all the extra logs to size that we had piled outside under tarpaulin and we cleared out a few barrels from the garden that had held my potatoes and used them to store the logs inside the cottage. This will keep them dry and be easier for us to get to when the snow comes.  We also have a full woodshed outside as my OH worked hard this year collecting fallen wood as we could not afford to buy a load.   

Unfortunately OH has only had a couple of hours work so far this week, this happens at this time of year but he earn't enough to pay the t.v. licence for a couple of months so I can watch the telly over Christmas!  I have also been able to have a few days work this week and that will allow me to do a small food shop for the end of the week as I didn't shop last week and I'm running out of a few things. I made a batch of pastry and made a lovely quiche and jam tart with one and had two for the freezer.  Trouble was the jam tart was a bit too tempting for me and I couldn't resist once I made the custard!  Not good on my diet!  Diet Update - 3 stone off so far - but I am back on course now and have today made a vat of anything vegetable in the house soup which will last for a couple of days. Soup and jacket potato meals are yum when the weathers cold.

We didn't get to a fireworks display this year because the weather wasn't nice but last year we went to our friends house on the Black Isle and went to a bonfire on the beach.  It was great and I was impressed with the amount of fireworks but this year apparently it was a bit of a washout.  Such a shame.

I also want to mention that I took the advice of Frugal Queen in Cornwall's blog regarding getting the best deal on car insurance.  Our renewal came through and it was £50 more than last year, total of £240 and more than I had budgeted for.  I checked out the comparison websites and found a few good prices then I looked through more carefully at the policies themselves. I found a policy with no excess (prev £200), personal injury insurance (had none), legal insurance (same), courtesy car (didn't have before) and protected no claims (same).  I went direct to the company which was £10 cheaper anyway and then went via a cashback website and saved another £20 and at the end the total was £178 which was well within budget and a much better policy so a Big Thank you to Froogs and her blog.

I also got this catalogue through the post

I like lots in it but my favourite thing has to be these

   A toadstool salt and pepper pot, aren't they cute!  Would look lovely on my table so have to see what Santa brings me. I am leaving the catalogue on the worktop open at the page to see if anyone notices!!

Last but not least welcome to my new followers, its nice you pop by.

Terri X

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sewing, painting, transforming

I posted at the beginning of October showing the material squares I had brought with a little project in mind. This stool use to have an old wicker seat which had sagged so my OH cut some board and some foam to size. The material was a bit thin so I used a bit of old blanket to line it and a few coats of paint later here it is!

I love the shape of the feet and its very comfy to sit on now too.
After moving the dresser base into the newly decorated lounge, I had a space in the kitchen and needed some storage.  I had a drawer unit that we had originally moved out of the lobby when we had the BT man coming and put it upstairs.  It was dark mahogany so wouldn't go in the kitchen so it had to be transformed and now looks like this

Luckily we still had some leftover paint so  didn't cost us anything to do up. The bottom drawer is big enough to hold my food processor and I have been able to put our glasses in another couple. 
I paid a little visit to our local charity shop yesterday but I was disappointed to see how much they were charging for things I.e £20 for a pair of old curtains!  They looked in good condition but not a great design.  I am still looking for a door curtain but I can buy new for less than that.  I saw a nice glass ornament for Christmas but wouldn't pay £5 for it but I couldn't resist this little glass deer

It looks orangey in this pic but is actually pinky!  I paid £3 for it though.
I've still been having a good declutter and took 3 sacks to the charity shop, 2 sacks to the clothes bank and a few broken items to the dump.  The recycle rates are appalling here, they pronounce on their boards at the tip that they recycle 12 per cent of the waste!  I think that's shocking!  
It's been another wet miserable day to start off November so my OH has made me my favourite dinner - chilli con carne and jacket potato - yum and then I'm going to sit in front of the fire and read this

and hopefully get more ideas for Christmas.

Terri X