Sunday 30 April 2017

Today I...

First thing today, I went to the garden centre, picked up a load of bedding plants and some plants to put into the new veg beds we built.  I had 2 couples (OAP's), clapped me when I got the trees into my little car.  Cheeky git, shouted out "I didnt think you were going to get them in there, I was going to give you instructions!".  The woman piped up "My husband is a retired engineer you know".  I should have replied, but I just gave them the look of "F'ing know it all baby boomers".  I got home and planted them all up.

The veg beds were Wombled from the roof trusses that were removed from the roof when we had it raised.  (I knew it was worth keeping as much wood as we could from the build).

Posh boy painted the fences as they were looking dingy.  We jet washed the hard standing in front of the drive.  Dumped more things into the skip.

And then...  urgh, I built a flat pack bed.  It looks nothing like the one in the above picture.  Lets hope no one sits on it whilst we are selling the house and people are viewing it.  It shows that the room is a double bedroom, that is all that matters.  

More cleaning tomorrow and dress the beds for pictures.

I think we are nearly ready.  Its getting real now.  Really real.

Saturday 29 April 2017

Friday 28 April 2017

Crowd pleaser, for meat eater, vegetarian, vegan...

Dont freak out, that really is a picture of tofu.

Stuffed pasta shells is the answer when people come to dinner.  Honest.  Yum

I roughly base it on {this recipe}.  To really intensify the garlic flavour I add 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic power, not granules it must be powder.  I get that from Lidl.  I also dont like the spinach too blitzed. I stir shredded spinach in instead.  Frozen is also good, just really squeeze the heck out of it.

I dont use a premade canned sauce.  I make my own using 6 large garlic cloves chopped, not minced, 2 cubes of tescos passata (its the only one with the consistency I like), olive oil and 6 basil leaves with stem, kept whole.  My friend whose parents are Italian showed me how to make this sauce.

In the bottom of a medium size saucepan cover the bottom of the pan really genorously with olive oil.   You want a good 3ml coat on the bottom if not more (it makes the sauce silky).  Both the pan and the oil must be room temperature.  DO NOT PREHEAT THE PAN.  Put the garlic in the pan and leave it for 5 mins.  I usually have a bit of a boogie to the radio, unload the dish washer what ever.  Make sure you have opened the passata cubes before you begin.  I like to use a silicon spatula to stir.  My friend says wood.  Her mum says never metal with tomatoes.  (I am sure someone out there will know why...).

Only now turn the heat on and lowish, my electric cooker stove top goes from 1-8, I use 3.5 for this.  You cant walk away, stand there and stir.  When the garlic starts to fizz be super attentive as it could stick.  This way you are getting really flavoured oil, not burning it before you have even blinked.  You are making sauce not a chinese stir fry, low and steady wins this race.  If it begins to fizz to quickly, remove from the heat.  You want it golden brown.  As soon as you see any golden, add all of the passatta, quick as you can.  Leave this to cook down.  I turn it down to 2, use your own judgement as it depends on pot size.  When you get the consistency you like, turn off the heat and push the basil stem into sauce.  Leave to go cold, remove the basil.  Use as you would a premade jar. 

 All of the ingredients are ones I have in my food storage.  I have used watercress before, it gave it a real zing.  If you would like the sauce to be arrabiatta, when are part cooking the garlic, add some sliced fresh chilli and a good pinch of dry, do not add the basil.  Throw your pasta into the sauce, for the meat eaters, this sauce version seems to go down a storm with chopped bacon as a topping. Top get toddlers to eat it, strain through a sieve.

Wednesday 26 April 2017

6 Months



Eric and Marta.

Marta with her natty surgical recovery suit on.  Its been a god send.  Worth every penny rather than the cone.  The cone made her crazy.  They are so cute, they break my heart.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Marta update.

Firstly, I read {this} and now feel vindicated with my no shoes in the house rule!  Now on to todays blog post!

Marta came to live with us in early December, she is now six months old.  I thought it best to give you an update.

Compared to how other people say their puppy is, Marta is super chilled out.  She was toilet trained before 3 months.  I think she was 10 weeks.  Friends and family, are still using puppy pads for their pups who are a year old.  We didnt use puppy pads, it was pure luck and also, every hour on the hour, I took her out side.  We use the trigger word 'pooping'.  And when she goes, wee or poop, then you say 'good girl pooping' and give her a treat when you say that and then say the word 'pooping' again.  She just seemed to get it.  We had a few accidents but that is when we have missed her que of her giving her bark and banging on the door.  Kind of like this...

Sleeping at night is good, only a few times has she wanted to go out in the middle of the night.  Mostly after we had given her the Bravecto tablet.  You can read about that {here}.  I actually thought she was going to die.  I still feel really bad about it.  She sleeps in her crate with the door open on the landing.  We go to bed at 10pm and they get up with me at 4.30am (whether they like it or not). Sometimes if she is lucky Eric will let her get in his bed.  Eric is very particular about his bed.  I will talk about him another time...

She has grown rapidly.  And is now tipping the scales at just under 8 kilos.  When we were in Cornwall other people who had border terriers commented on her size.  The vet said that this could be due to us feeding her a rich diet and genetics.  She isnt obese, she is tall.

Her food?  Well she eats better than most people I would say.  The dried food we have been using since we transitioned her away from the cr@p the breeder was giving her.  (The vet said it was utter rubbish and mostly rusk...)  We decided on James Wellbeloved as my previous dogs had been fed on that.  For breakfast she has a small ladies handful of dried food and 1 whole egg scrambled.  Lunch is plain dried food and for dinner she has dried food and poached chicken thigh.  Yarp you read that right.  I cook them both chicken.  Lunch has just been cut out as she is 6 months.

I cook 2kg of chicken thighs in water that covers them in the oven in a huge casserole pot. This gives me the equiviant of canned dog food but with out all of the floor sweepings and gunk they add to it all.  The water cooks out and makes a stock that is like the dog food that comes in jelly.  The dogs both go nuts for this.  Anything dipped in this is immediately eaten.  I use half a thigh for Marta and a whole thigh for Eric as he is bigger.  This amount means it lasts for a whole week,  Sounds extravegant to some, I am sure.

Her training has not been too bad.  I think this is mostly due to having an older dog that she adores.  I mean she has full on moo moo eyes for him.  As soon as she wakes up, she seeks him out.  Licks his face all over.

When she is alone with you on the lead she trots along nicely.  When Eric is around she feels she needs to touch him, with what ever side of her body she can get in contact with him.  She does this whilst shrieking a lot.  This is something we are working on.

Off the lead she comes back no matter where she is.  Two pips on the dog whistle, shout 'Come!' and she comes running as she knows there is a treat involved.    No problem there.  She is a little rough and tumble wanting to play with any dog that goes by.  We therefore make her go back on the lead if we see another dog that we dont know.

She is social with all people that come in the house.  Completely the opposite of Eric.  She also likes to be touching you as much as possible.  As I type this she is asleep with her head on my foot.

Her teeth started falling out at 4 months.  Sometimes she would trot over and you would think what they heck has she been eating as there would be something sticking out of her mouth.  Open her mouth and the tooth would be sticking out horizontal towards you.  Nice right!?

Fast forward to now.  On Friday just gone, we had Berta spayed.  She giddily skipped into the vets and was lead away through the door.  The operation went well and they called and we picked her up at 3pm.  Apparently a text book op.

Let the stress begin!  When we got home it all began.  No jumping, no dog ninja moves (of which she has many), no stairs, no getting on the furniture, no getting off the furniture.  And lets not forget, that our other dog likes to bark at loud noises, quiet noises, the fridge making ice, the neighbours builders digging - cutting blocks- their pool mans poles that you see flashes of over the top of the fence.  He barks at everything.  But the worst is when there is an animal on the TV.  Of yeah.  He barks, she jumps out of her skin and then tries to join in on the crazy that follows the glimpse of a tail.

It could be any animal.  And the one he goes completely nuts over?  The Gtech cordless vacuum.  The noise starts of the vacuum on the tv and no matter where he is in the house, he hurtles in and throws himself at the tv.  Good thing it is on the wall right?  Well not so good for the sideboard that is below it... (credenza for anyone in the US).  And every time he barks, she gets up, jumps up on him, licks his face and then follows him all around the house, whilst he looks for this animal.  Up on to the window seat, up the steps in to the hall.  Around the kitchen.  Oh yes I have been having kittens.  It wouldnt be so bad if he just barked at real animals.  He barks at cartoon cats and dogs.  And now, there is an advert with a rabbit and the man has a bad back.  We will have to speak to someone about this habit.

She went to see the vet today so they could look at the stitches.  All ok at present.  They will see her again next week.

I am stressed at the moment with it all, but I know in the end it will be worth it.  Especially after a dog tried to grab her the other week, whilst on a walk.  Its only a month of this and then it will get better.

She was cute wasnt she.  I will take a new picture and post it another day.

Monday 24 April 2017


Good morning.

A quick catch up on the BBC news website and I came across {this short film}.  This is my goal.  I dont have many goals in life, be happy, be mortgage free, live as well as I can.  This comes under 2 of those headings.  And wow, she has great skin for a 98 year old!  Am I right?  Pure goal right there.

I best get the wii fit out and get on that.

Although, as a mad Potter fan, maybe I should be aiming for {this}.

Be good to yourself, be kind, be safe.

Have a great week!

Special thanks to {Lovelygrey} for alerting me to Pixabay on her blog.  Thank you for sharing the link.

Saturday 22 April 2017

Middlemarch read a long review

Wow, that was a long slog of a book wasnt it.  It just kept on going.  Action?  There wasnt much I felt.  Again as I have felt with most of the classics that we have read so far, they seem to ramble on for far too long.  I much prefered North and South, which was also a snap shot of life, albeit in 2 different places.

At first Doreathea really bored the heck out of me, in real life, if I had met her she would have naffed me off.  Towards the end she does pick up a bit, but not enough for me to really like her as a character.  5 weeks into her marriage to a man 3 times her age, she realises her mistake.  If she was in the book Divergent she would have been Erudite faction.  Being that she feels superior to all the other females and looks down on them, you would have thought that she would have taken the educated guess that a man of 45, was not going to change much and that his way of working would be quite ingrained.  

Lydgate the new comer, is a doctor with new ideas.  He also makes a bad marriage to a pretty girl, who it would seem he slipped into marrying as he gave her too much attention, being the era it was, he had no real other option as he wanted his fever clinic in the Middlemarch hospital and was in too deep to change that.  I have to wonder if Rosalie from the Twilight books could be a little based on Rosamund in this book.  Lydgate himself dies at the young age of 50 (I will have to check that in awhile). 

Fred Vincy and Mary's marriage seems to be the most rock steady along with Celia (Doreathea's sister) who marries Sir James Chettam, who previously wanted to marry Doreathea.

All in all, everyone else seems to rave about this book and love it.  At 900 pages I wont be reading it again to see if I can change my own mind.  Far too long, too many characters for me.  I feel that I need a police detection board with string all over it to show who is who to keep up.  

Scores on the doors 2/10  very dissapointing.  Clearly I am not educated enough to see what others do.

Next book is Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.  Happy reading

Friday 21 April 2017

I'm a bit behind this morning...

I am a bit behind this morning.  Please bear with me, Marta is off to the vets to be spayed.  I am a little all over the place with nerves.  Come back later for the Middlemarch book review.


Wednesday 19 April 2017


Gold prices are at a 5 month high, The more Trump goes on a rant, the higher it seems to get.  I am glad I dumped all currencies, gold being high means uncertainty.  Politics seems to be fueling it. 

General voting for 2017 will be tense, but the ones I will be following VERY closely are - South Korea 9th May, Iran May 19th, UK 8th June, France twice in June, Norway 11th September, 23rd September New Zealand, August one to watch with interest Angola, due to their exports, Germany 24th September, October 22nd Argentina.

A very uncertain year.  Batten the hatches it could get wild!  My pension is going to take a battering.

Tuesday 18 April 2017

Is this the best course? Let this be the final say!

As long time readers will know, I am not overly political on my blog.  I dont really feel this is the best platform.  That aside, this is my blog and I want it on here, for my own memory.

The Prime Minister has called a snap general election.  8th June 2017, we need to go to the polls again.  And then I want all of the unelected parties, to pull together, move forward together.

I am hopeful, we need a strong person to lead us.  Lets hope everyone puts aside their own agenda.  This is a vote for Britain, not an individual.  Brexit has already been set in motion, we need the best out come.

Please make sure you are registered to vote.  Check right now, we dont want it again where people couldnt register because they left it too late.  I feel this is really important.

Sunday 16 April 2017

Happy Easter 2017

Happy Easter!

I hope you like the above youtube, its a clip from one of my favourite films.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday 13 April 2017

Middle April, not Middlemarch

How are you?  I am still going strong with Middlemarch, but I have had to add in a little Harry Potter.  I cant help it.  Every year, I read all the Harry Potters, the Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games and The Divergent series.  (As I sit here, I am a little cold and have on my dressing gown, {Gryffindor robes} to be exact).

Do you have plans for the weekend?  I am not sure what we are doing yet,  lets hope there is an adventure in there somewhere.  Reading about them isnt enough some times!

Have a fab weekend!

Friday 7 April 2017

Dr Strange DVD

Whilst in Cornwall the other week, we watch the DVD of {Dr Strange}.  *hmm, puft*  Where shall I start.

I liked the CGI and the more sci fi parts.  Him being an up his own bum, neurosurgeon got on my nerves.  But what really ticked me off?  Holy moly, his accent.  Benedict Cumberbatch, plays Dr Strange and a lot like Dr House, played by Hugh Laurie (another Brit), I can not stand their fake American accent.  It really grates on me and I cant get past it.  I think they must of had the same voice coach, who should never be used ever again.

For the voice alone I can only give this film a 3/10.  If it had been a different actor, say {Alexander Dreymon}.  Then it would have been a 10!  LOL  

Thursday 6 April 2017

Something I never thought I would keep saying

Not my dog...
Something I never thougth I would keep saying over and over again?

"If you dont want a bath, dont roll in poop!"


Tuesday 4 April 2017

Lets have have some good news


After yesterdays attack in St Petersburg, Russia, again I am very said that someone has attacked civillians.  Because of this, I am looking for good things to share with you, below are some links.  

{This amazing man} is spreading the love with gardens and bees.

Who would you give your {last rolo} to?

{Bimini Love is 15}.  Imagine what she will be capable of when she is 30.

Music is a balm to the soul.  Anyone who has been in contact with someone with dementia, knows that any 'old time' songs and hymns bring them to life.  My gran may not have remembered what she ate 10 minutes ago, but if Songs of Praise was on she would sing her heart out, {Neighbours} she would sing and sway to the theme tune.  And when God Save the Queen came on, she would stand, sing as loud as possible and drag anyone to their feet who dared to stay seated.  Its great to see a sliver of them coming out.  {I love this}.

Beaming love to all.  Hope you are well.

Monday 3 April 2017

The White Stuff

Picture from Google
*Stands up*

Hello, my name is Sol and I am addicted to sugar.  As I type this I am on day two of trying to beat my addiction. I have a raging head ache, I am dying for a ginger nut biscuit and I feel altogether RANCID.  

I have been painting and painting and glossing and then I lost my mind last night and got the chalk paint out that I have been trying to ignore as much as possible.  I have painted a pine bed frame that we had when we first set up house, it is rather yellow/orange and the room is Swedish White.  When I look at it, it has a touch of grey in it I think.  I was going to paint it white.  Posh Boy said no.  Too much white, leave it pine.  *Shudder*.  

I had visions of the finished article looking something like {Gillian's makeover}.  I have too many runs and dribbles for it to be as good.  As I have said my craft skills are low.  

In a fit of craziness or a brain f@rt moment, I deciced that last night at 7pm was the best time to do this.  Yep -completely lost it there.  As our new carpets are arriving at any moment, to be installed by the carpet fitters.  I have no clue what time, I will just wait in.  Passing the hall, trying really hard not to make a cup of tea and add 10 sugars and feel better.

I have used {Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Grey}.  I have gone through less than half a tin on a double bed, which I think is really good. I will let Posh Boy wax it.  Lol he will love that job.  

Eric, bless him, is so desperate to be near you, that even though he hates the vacuum cleaner, he followed me all around the house.  Vacuum inhaling the last of the plaster bits I had bladed (I dont know if thats a word, its long handled scrapper thingy with a really sharp blade on the end...), off of the floor.  He was shuddering and shaking and then was promptly sick all over the place.  Marta gleefully running through it.  All of this at 6.30am.  urgh...

I feel kind of weird about this house now.  It is a really good house now, it will really be a good family home for who ever buys it.  It has nearly broken me, but at the same time we have really put a lot of ourselves into it and I am proud of it.  

I dont know, rambling here a bit.  I am desperate for something sweet.  My friend said, not to even eat apples, until I am better.  Urgh.  Rough, I feel rough I tell you.  My throat is also sore from all the paint stink.  

This sugar thing, is really going to limit my food.  I already drink hardly any alcohol, the wind must be blowing in the right direction, all the stars aligned and the moon blue.  I havent eaten meat for a few years now.  And I am dairy intollerant.  Apart from eating eggs I am practically vegan.  Now, no sugar?  I am only doing this until I get to a place where I dont only want to eat, biscuits or sweet things all day from the moment I wake up.  I live on white food and need to sort that out.  My food intake since we havent had a veggie garden is disgusting.  I can eat a whole tube of ginger nut biscuits and not think anything of it.  And then look for some sweets.  Maybe some jelly tots for dessert.  Did you know jelly tots are vegan?

I also have some of {this stuff}, which is liquid gold!  The hot chocolate I make with this is DIVINE.  Yum, I want it now.  hmmm. Made with coconut milk and a touch of almond milk.  Oh yes, with waffles.  *drools like Homer Simpson*.  It is vegan friendly and doesnt use palm oil.  Winner in my books.  Give it a try.

I need to go.  I am craving food real bad.  Another glass of water is needed I think.

Sol, Out.