Moving Home…..Virtually

After a long time trying to deal with WordPress’s little foibles, I’ve given up – I’m moving blog home to –

www.picnicsandpets.blogspot.com

I really hope to see you there !!

 

xxxxx

I think I need to make another batch (blushes)

Erm……those cookies didn’t last long  *blushes*.

Ok, while I brush crumbs off my top, I’ll update about non cookie orientated news.  Dave’s stepdad is still in hospital, still not looking good.  His mum is near to a nervous breakdown I think, and the entire family is trying to help.

I’ve finished the most enormous, most difficult assignment yet on my degree.  18 pages long !!!  I posted it yesterday, and felt a huge wave of relief as I handed it over.  I only have to do the last 15 questions on the interactive assignment now, then this course is actually finished.  My next course has already started, but it’s not to a set timetable like the last one, so I can easily catch up on that.  It’s the Life in our Oceans course, one I’ve been looking forward to enormously.

The girls are off for half term this week, and we’re just taking things pretty easy.  I was hoping to goa nd see a film with Dave tonight(we’ve been trying to go on Orange Wednesday to save money, but Norman’s illness has restricted us).  But flaming football is on so Dave wants to watch that instead.

MEN !!!!

xxx

The Most Amazing Cookies !

I’ve just made the most amazing batch of cookies, using a recope from the Goddess’s Kitchen http://thegoddesskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/05/infamous-neiman-marcus-250-cookies.html

They’re crunchy but chwey at the same time – as soon as we get my damn camera working, I’ll post some pictures – they look and taste just like the Millie’s cookies that we all love, but cost a damn sight less than £5 for 15 !!!

The Goddess’s Kitchen has some beautiful recipes.  Her posts in the run-up to Christmas really inspired me to make more of my christmas presents this year – if they only look half as good as hers, I’ll be happy.

xx

Persevering with pancakes !!

Dave’s stepdad came home yesterday, but already there are complications.  He’s in so much pain all the time, he’s being sick and refusing to eat so he can’t take his steroid tablets.  Dave’s mum is absolutely frantic with worry, which meant Dave being down there at 6 o’clock this morning.

On the bright side (and we try to look for ANY bright side at the moment, lol)  I did some sewing this weekend !!   Ok, I only turned up trousers for Mickey and Dave, and adjusted a pair for myself, but it was heaven to get out my sewing machine and realise that it still works.  I’m now planning on making a few things for Mickey’s birthday (shhhhhh !! don’t tell her !!).

My study at the moment is scary.  I’m basically spending the entire school day, every day, working on my final assignment for this science course, I can’t believe how much there is to do on it.  If I’m not studying I feel guilty.  I have to actually be productive or I feel as guilty as hell – last night Mickey made me lie down for a bit and just switch off.  Not easy, but I managed an hour curled up on the sofa.  Now back to the study again !

I think that Dave and Mickey have finally got over their pancakes with strawberries and ice cream phase.  After making them at 10 pm for the last two nights (life is crazy for us so we’re eating at crazy times) I think it’s finally safe to put away the pancake pan for a while.  It’s amazing that something so simple is so loved !  Yesterday I bought a huge jointy of beef from Sainsburys – last night we had roast beef in gravy on baguettes with chips.  Tonight is the turn of a good old fashioned roast dinner, complete with yorkie puds !!

And NO pancakes !!

xxxxx

Yet another busy week

Lots happening this week !!

Dave’s stepfather is coming out of hospital on Monday.  They don’t know how long he’s got, but they’re getting support fpr him at home with home-helps , Macmillan nurse visits and meals on wheels.  Dave’e mum has been driving us crazy this week – every little improvement Norman makes she says is thanks to God, and her massaging.  Nothing at all to do with all the medical care and physio that he’s getting.  She even phoned my 20 year old niece on Wednesday sobbing down the phone that whoever came to see her that noght should ‘be prepared’ for what they find, which of course we all took to mean that she was intending to end it all.  We all rushed down there within 10 minutes and she’s happily munching on a sandwich !!!

Lots of baking and cooking – St James Beef, Red Onion Chutney Sausage Rolls, Beef casserole, barbecue chicken amongst others. 

I tried a recipe for Rosemary and Raisin bread from ‘A Year in Bread’,  http://ayearinbread.earthandhearth.com/2007/12/susan-holiday-breads-italian-rosemary.html  and Mickey absolutely loved it !!  She ate most of it the same day, just sliced and buttered. It turned out very similar to the picture on the website (which is a huge surprise to me, lol) and worked well even in the bread machine.  I am generally awful at yeast based breads, and much prefer working with batter based ones, but this is definitely a ‘make again’. The cheese and onion bread I also tried didn’t turn out so well *blushes.  I’ve just made a dozen chocolate muffins for our mechanic to say thank you for finally finding out how to stop my car alarm going off all the time, and tonight I need to make strawberry and white chocolate muffins to take out with us, as the girls and I are going to Mum’s caravan in Wem for the day – hopefully for a barbecue !!!

I caught up with an old friend this week, who I lost contact with over a very big upset in the past.  We really cleared the air, and feel so much better for it.  We’re now catching up on what’s been happening in our lives, which is taking quite a while, lol .  What can I say – we’re busy women !!

xxxxx

Good news….

The first parcel of wool has arrived !!!

I ordered some some from ebay which arrived this morning.  It’s ‘Ruffled Ribon’ which knits up like silk, so I’m planning to make a scarf for one of the girls for Christmas with it.  Yes, it’s onlyMay, but given our financial standing at the moment I’m trying to collect presents all year round so that we won’t be hit with a huge bill in December.

I’ve also received some Prima dressmaking patterns that I bought from ebay.  I used to do a lot of sewing and hope to take that up again. As ever, being in the middle of a seriously heavy study session I’m aching to be creative ! 

I also discovered a wonderful wool called Big Softy by Sirdar.  It knits up on 10mm needles and is available in some gorgeous colours – I think it works out at 9 stitches to 4 inches on a tension square.  That’s huge !! lol.  I should have no problem knitting something with that !!  I’ll order some along with a pattern book at the weekend.

Yesterday we got about 100 plants in the garden – we filled the front borders and also created a new border in the back garden along where we buried Lucy-cat.  Still loads more to plant, but we ran out of time !  I had to finish the gardening so that I could get tea ready – bacon wrapped chicken breasts, italian roast potatoes, vegetables…..and then my famous pancakes with ice cream and strawberries !!

Lucky, lucky Dave !

xxxx

Bad news….

Dave’s stepfather has been diagnosed with both brain cancer and lung cancer.    He was taken ill a couple of weeks ago, nothing major, just feeling a bit dizzy, off his feet a bit.  Now he’s in hospital with a very grim prognosis.

Dave’s mum has tremors, which is similar to Parkinson’s disease.  She’s shakes uncontrollably and it has affected her in manyways.  Norman (Dave’s stepfather) was her carer, so we’re allnow in the position of having to share her care.  She insists that she is totally fine – SHE can handle Norman, and look after him when he comes out of hospital.  SHE can do all the gardening, shopping,cooking, cleaning etc.  Her determination to look after hims is admirable but her refusal toactually accept her own limitations isn’t.  Last week she tried to grill some bacon for her lunch and the window cleaner had to do it for her – she couldn’t do it, she nearly had a terrible accident with it.

So the next few months/years are going to be so, so tricky and horrible for everyone.

Poor Norman – he’s the one in hospital dying of cancer and Dave’s mum is everyone’s main concern.

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