Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Yarn Along and Baking

I'm finally organised enough this week to join in with Ginny:

  so here is a finished article, one in progress and some reading material:

 A shalom cardigan just for me - the ends need weaving in and a button is waiting to be attached, but in essence it is finished.  It was a lovely knit to do and the yarn is an Eco Chunky by Patons, very soft and very warm.

 Close up of the twisted rib effect yoke.

 Slouch hat - wool by Quince and Co. 

I'm road testing this wool using a small pattern and if it washes well, will use it to make another cardigan for me.  I actually had this hat three quarters made and as a result of taking it along to the monthly make and cake, made an error which for me could not be rectified, hence it being frogged back to the ribbing!!!  This is a great pattern but definitely not one to be undertaken when tired or distracted!

Colour is Marsh.

I'm re-reading this book, it has some lovely Advent hints and reflections and it is a soothing bedtime read.

At our last make and cake amongst the many delicious tea time treats were some coffee and walnut scones, these were the only gluten containing food not available for me to eat.   They looked delicious and I promised myself I would make a batch sometime soon, so here they are:

 They are essentially a scone recipe adapted with gluten free flour and plenty of xantham gum and baking powder, as well as ground walnuts.  The topping is a coffee butter cream icing and a half walnut adds the finishing touch.

Monday, 28 November 2011

The World of Beatrix Potter

Monday is our day out so with kids in tow we visited here:

 Front entrance decked in Christmas finery.

Jemima Puddle Duck is hiding in the house.

Naughty Mr Fox.

The lean to green house in operation.

  Plant varieties grown throughout the year.

 On a plant hunt courtesy of the Peter rabbit garden quiz.

Pip fascinated with all the exhibits.

A hungry owl, if you look closely you'll see it is having a mouse for dinner!

Two naughty squirrels.

Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton Tail and ...

... Peter.

After lunch we managed to find a wind proof fleece for Benedict, finally he has a warm layer to wear under his waterproof jacket.  On the whole the day was enjoyable but it never ceases to amaze me the cost of entry to some of these places of interest, especially since they will also make money in the strategically placed gift shop and  the cafe!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Saturday Tea and a Date Night

Our quick and easy tea was this:

 Chorizo, Mushroom and Cheese Pizza.

Our date night consisted of a stop at the McDonald's drive through for coffee, fries and ice cream to share, followed by a stop on the promenade.  We  braved blustery winds and  the following are a reminder of our time together:

The Midland Hotel all decked in Christmas finery.  The hotel is 1930's art deco and has taken many years to restore.  An Agatha Christie "Poirot" film was shot here and the sweeping staircase is meant to be magnificent.  I'm hoping we'll manage an afternoon tea here before too long.

I'm pleased with the shots as this was my first attempt at shooting from the tripod and using the timer mechanism.  Little by little I'm finding my way around the different camera settings and as always it is an interesting learning curve.  My yearly challenge begins next week when the December Photo Project starts.  If you want to take part then check out the web page here:

Friday, 25 November 2011

Snapshot Blessings and Seven Days.

Make and Cake.

Berry Smoothies and other goodies.

 Little Miss Philippa Jo.

 Celebrating thanksgiving and remembering our New York  blogging friends, Eva and Dorina Louise.

 Beach Fun... riding, digging and beach art.

Friday, 18 November 2011

End Of Week Round Up

I had hoped to post each day but by the time I could sit down after tea I was just too darned tired!!  So here is the remainder of the week as it occurred:

On Tuesday and Wednesday Nanna and Grandad came to visit.  Grandad helped Dad build a gate at the side of the house to prevent Pip from escaping into the main garden and causing havoc amongst the mud and tree cuttings.  Nanna helped prune the trees at the back of the greenhouse as well as the redcurrant bushes running along the side fence.

"Hey Mum, you're on candid camera!"

Mum found this lone croc strewn into the redcurrant bushes, no prizes for guessing which young man was responsible for such a thing.  He definitely takes after his god father, Cannon Luiz Ruscillo who used to "welly wang".  Welly wanging is a lazy way of putting the wellies away at the end of the day; instead of placing them into the shed they were thrown from a vantage point in the hope they would land in the desired spot.  On most occasions he was lucky until the time came when said welly landed in the pond and he had to "fess up" to his mum and dad!!  Still, he turned out OK!

 Pip helping Grandad.

The finished result.

Pip playing in her new fenced off area this morning which meant I could potter in the kitchen uninterrupted.  A win/win situation.

On Thursday I packed an impromptu picnic and we met Sara for lunch at college since she was on a half day.  We were blessed with glorious weather and the fresh air was a welcome tonic for Benedict who has been coughing none stop since Tuesday.

Benedict and Sara tucking in.  We had peanut butter sandwiches, fruit and apricot scones.  Orange juice and coffee were the beverages for the day.  After lunch we took a walk in the grounds within our immediate vicinity:

 This is the tree that the "Arb" guys practice for climbing.

Fungi in the shade.

 Autumn foliage.

Our next stop on the way home was a trip to Barton Grange.  They had the Christmas display up and running and true to form I had left the camera in the car, so I made do with my phone camera and here are the pictures from our visit:

This Grinch model actually moved and the screen at the back was running the film.

Benedict trying on hats in the ladies department!

Needless to say there was plenty to see and do and for the first time in ages we actually stuck to our shopping list.   Sara summed up the visit remarking, "Hey Mum, we actually avoided the cafe this time!!"

I'm off tomorrow on my once a month jaunt to "Make and Cake", it is my time to switch off from the constant cares and worries of multiple health problems and to just "be".  I'll be taking my camera and knitting with me and I don't in the least bit feel guilty... I've been very organised for once and have made both meals for tomorrow:  Vegetable soup for lunch and Swiss Chard/ Courgettes in a cheese sauce to be served with brown rice and salad, for tea.


Monday, 14 November 2011

Fresh Air and Fun

I could have easily tagged this post as "Just Another Manic Monday!" for within minutes of waking Dave and myself were dealing with a plumbing problem and an hour later the car refused to start!!  Thank goodness I'd remembered to say a short prayer before allowing my feet to hit the floor, God's goodness and peace kept me calm, no shouting or less than favourable words, nothing short of a miracle I'd say!!

 By 10:30 am both problems had been sorted and although we had to change our original venue we had a fantastic day and all within a 20 minute drive from our home.  So without further ado here are our pictures:

 Our first stop was to visit our lovely friends in Silverdale, we buy all our wood from them.  They own a  forest at the back of their house and  they only take trees that have felled on their own due to decay or high winds.  To the right of the forest is a beautiful walled garden where they keep several hives, their honey is just delicious.

The Wolf House Gallery was our next stop.  We had hoped to feed the kids but their gluten free options were almost non existent, it was a choice of soup but no gluten free roll and a coconut slice, hardly likely to feed two hungry tums.  The kids however did have a great time in the small play area and I had a quick look in the gallery.
Shot taken from the top of the drive.

Pip found an outside toy box containing "my baby" and the two were inseparable for the duration of the visit.

Benedict doing what he loves best, just digging!

The studio where the artist in residence works, I just love the Christmas tree made from logs of wood, it is quite delightful.

Heart design hung on one studio wall.

An owl acting as gate keeper.

A sign that says it all.

By now our tums were truly rumbling so we made the short journey to our favourite nature reserve and feasted on baked potatoes, soup and warm drinks.  Their is a little table with children's books, crayons and paper so Benedict and Pip were kept busy:

Pip engrossed in her "Work", she tries so hard to copy some of Benedict's writing it is quite sweet.

View from one of the bird hides.

Looking hard.

" I saw it mummy... I saw a penguin!!!!" 

Pip and I having one of our regular discussions it goes like this:
Pip, "I no want the reigns"

Me, "Then you have to hold my hand and walk nicely"

This time she agreed and we walked together.  Benedict as usual was "going his own way" and  ran ahead to the feeding station, perfectly normal for a boy his age but not one who is often not hypo aware.  It is a constant dilemma between allowing him the freedom he craves and keeping a constant watching brief on an all too often volatile medical condition.  I managed not to comment and he was all smiles at having watched the birds on his own.

Before leaving we stocked up on bird feed and both kids had great fun in swishing their hands in the seed bins, very therapeutic I know.  I might just look into filling an lidded box with some popping corn as a cheaper alternative, I bet Pip in particular would have fun pouring and digging.

All in all a good day and plenty of smiles all around.