blackberry444: (Default)
I can't believe it!  LJ has just dumped an entire longish post while I was halfway through it.  It didn't save it, either.  Grrrrrr!

It's been absolutely beautiful today, but I've been too poorly to take advantage of it by going out somewhere or even pottering about in the front garden as I'd planned.  I certainly haven't cleaned my deeply filthy car, which I was hoping to do before I take someone out in it tomorrow.  Sigh..........

Yesterday we had one of our bull-days when we blitz the house and even though I left the downstairs including the vilely dirty kitchen to John and Charles and just deep-cleaned the bathroom, I found myself taking Far Too Long to do it, and developing muscle problems in my calves and an ache in my back that made me feel as though I'd broken something.  The others were finished and doing something else long before I'd finished and eventually Charles kindly came in and finished off for me by steaming and washing the floor.

I'm a little worried because these leg pains and awful backache are something new, but I shall mention them at rehab on Wednesday and see what they have to suggest.

I do hope I feel better tomorrow as I'm going on a Poetry Awayday which I've been looking forward to for weeks.  I missed the last one because of my horrible cough!

Another thing I hoped to do today was to cut back all the shrubs by the path in the front garden.  They're so overgrown that people keep getting caught by them, like Triffids and if it's been raining the poor postie gets soaked.  I must try to do it later this week.

Charles and John kindly treated me to a curry take-way last night and although I thoroughly enjoyed it and it wasn't at all hot or anything, I've been having an unpleasantly sour stomach all day.  I can't understand it.  It was mild and delicious and beautifully cooked, so I can't see how it could do that unless I've suddenly become sensitive to large quantities of garlic.  Morgan certainly is;  when he came up for his morning cuddle he shied away and ran off to a safe distance when he smelled my breath.  If he could turn any whiter, I'm sure he would have done so.

I did make an attempt to sit in the yard with a book but it was so hot that after a short while I could feel my arms crisping and I knew I wouldn't stay out there long, so felt too idle to delve in the shed looking for the umbrella.

Something else we must do this summer is sort out the shed and chuck out all the stuff we don't use any more, like Charles' bike and the strimmer and various other things.  I plan to recycle them by using Don'tdumpthat

which is similar to Recycle but which seems to have fewer idiots on it and which you don't have to register with Yahoo for.

I feel rather guilty at wasting such a lovely day, but Charles is going to cook the dinner, the house is extra clean, the bathroom is gleaming, and most of the laundry is done, so I've just sat around resting all afternoon, reading P.K.Dick's The Man in the High Castle and I've entered into a rather pleasant idle fugue where I read a few pages, then prop the book on my chest while I have a little think, then go back to the book for a few pages...........and so forth.  And Charles has just made some tea..........  With the lovely fresh breeze coming in through my clean open window, rattling my dust-free blinds, it feels rather pleasant to just sit around.  I'm sure there's something I should be doing though!

Since I no longer have my plastic greenhouse and since I'm still not sure whether I shall be well enough to use a new one properly, I want to use the shed to start off a few seedlings next spring.  I can't really do it indoors, because there are only two proper windowsills in the whole house and one is in the kitchen and used for washing up liquid and similar stuff.

If I'm feeling better next weekend I plan to go to the garden centre and get some plants for my pots out in the yard.  It doesn't look too bad out there, because my herbs are doing really well, but I'd like to have some flowers as well.  This is virtually the first dry warm weekend we've had, so I've been unable to do it before in case everything died off in a sudden cold snap.  Surely it won't be too cold for plants from now on!

Oh I am looking forward to a day writing at Shepherd's Dene with my friends tomorrow!
blackberry444: (Default)
The nice weather didn't materialise until about 10 minutes ago, so we didn't go anywhere today, but I've spent the day roasting a goose breast and legs for tonight's pilaff and baking a gluten free white loaf and a Gluten free jam sponge, both for Charles. He hasn't tried the bread yet but he says he can't tell the difference between the sponge and a regular home-made sponge. I did use plenty of vanilla and Lidl's very best raspberry conserve as a filling.

I've stripped and cubed the meat from the goose bones and made a lovely stock with the bones and pan scrapings, which I shall use for a goose pilaff tonight. I've melted down all the goose fat I have and amalgamated it into one container, which has made more room in the fridge and given me back my basins.  I was beginning to find it a nuisance not having sufficient basins available when I wanted one.

I've also spent several hours going through my baking and ingredients drawers, emptying them and cleaning them, throwing old stuff out, combining stuff where I have more than one carton/jar on the go and moving things from one drawer to another where they've been put in the wrong drawers and led to my buying more of the stuff, till I've had two or three separate lots of various things.

I finally threw out all the cracked every-day crockery, which I also keep in one of the drawers.

These drawers are in my free-standing Varde drawer unit, which IKEA don't seem to sell any more and are the equivalent of other people's kitchen wall-cupboards. After many years and several different houses, I decided that I don't like wall cupboards, so designed my latest kitchen without any, replacing them with drawers and larder cupboards which I find hold much more stuff at a more convenient height. Well, I do have one glass-fronted wall cabinet for glass and china which hangs over another set of free-standing glass-fronted drawers;  together they make up a sort of modern kitchen dresser. The beauty of it is that if we ever move, we can take the drawers and cupboards with us.

It's amazing how much satisfaction I get out of little jobs like this. I plan to tackle the dresser drawers next. I'm going to Halifax again on Tuesday, so might not feel like it till later in the week. I did think I would have to do the larder cupboard, but Charles got fed up with it recently and has re-arranged and cleaned that himself. He's promised to clean the oven, too, bless him.

I was very impressed by the appearance of the sponge cake I made. Charles has suggested that maybe we should make all our cake with this flour, but I shall have to see how much it costs. I didn't notice the cost when I bought it, and I've thrown the receipt away, but I can look at Tesco online. I bought Dove Farm general purpose flour, which I used for the cake with baking powder, and their white bread flour, but I've just looked at their website and see that they make brown bread flour and self-raising flour too. They also make some very nice looking cakes and biscuits. Sadly you can't buy their products directly on line but have to get them from their customers. such as Tesco.

They have lots of recipes online as well, including things like Christmas cake, so that looks like a good resource for us.

Yesterday I found a website called Diet & Fitness Resources; they gave me a free trial period of 24 hours, which I think is a bit stingy, but it has lots of interesting advice and articles, so I might join as a member. It's a lot cheaper than Weight Watchers, although it doesn't offer a diet plan as such, but what it does do is review new research and new diets as they come out and offers lots of good general advice. I've ordered a low GI diet book, which may help

I should really be making myself a menu plan for next week, but it's like working, isn't it? I'll do anything to put it off, even cleaning the kitchen drawers!

I did muck out the fridge as well this morning, chucking stuff out, putting vegetables in the vegetable-drawer which Charles never seems to want to use for some reason, and tomorrow I shall give it a good wash out prior to going out to buy lots of fruit and vegetables. I have a whole drawer full of fish in the freezer, so provided I remember to get stuff out of the freezer in time, I should be able to stick to a reasonable diet without feeling deprived. I plan to ask Charles to cook for John and himself, and I will just cook virtuous things for myself, unless, of course, they're prepared to eat what I'm eating.   Yeah! That'll work!

We didn't go out for our lovely curry last night after all. Boo!

John rather overdid the food (and probably rough red wine) at his TA dinner on Friday night and ended up having reflux which he hasn't had for a long time. He went to bed when he arrived home to make up for lost sleep.   I 'd already showered and dressed ready to go out, when I found him still asleep in bed looking drawn and tired and when I asked if he really wanted to go, he said he would go but wouldn't eat anything.

Well, I knew that meant he would sit there all evening looking martyred and wanting to leave as soon as possible so I rang Alison and asked for a rain-check. Thank goodness we were only having takeaway!  I don't know when we'll be able to reschedule as she's expecting Holly to produce her grandchild any day now.  Still, I've been thinking that now that I feel so much better, I could invite them for a meal here without having to worry whether I would be  up to it by the time the day came around.

Charles had a specially bought M&S curry for his dinner, but I hadn't planned on anything for myself. and John didn't want anything.  Fortunately there was a box of Charles' mock-paella in the freezer,  to which I added a handful of prawns, since it had hardly any chicken or sea-food left in it, and very nice it was, too.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm feeling a lot better.  I'm going to ring the quack tomorrow and ask if I can increase the use of the Beconase spray, since it doesn't seem to last quite long enough, and if she gives me the go-ahead, I think we may  have it under control!


Feb. 20th, 2008 11:32 pm
blackberry444: (Default)
I simply cannot believe how dirty the bathroom floor has become since I steam-cleaned it on Sunday.  It's covered with dust and dross and cat hair.  It looks worse now than before I did it.

And there is what can only be described as a big sooty mark on the front of the loo pedestal.  It must be the cats!!  Of course, everyone denies all knowledge of the cats being allowed in the bath-room.  I know that they are always waiting outside when anyone is in there, ready to insinuate themselves inside when the door is opened, and that you have to be pretty quick to stop them going in there.  But what I don't understand is how, having sidled in there, they can manage to make the place so mucky!!  As far as I know there is no source of sooty black stuff in there, and they don't have pockets.  How do they manage it?

I am very dischuffed.  I'm trying to work up the irritation sufficiently to make me pick up the nearest one and use him as a cloth to wipe the dirt off.  But............I can't  The nearest one is Bramble, asleep on my bed, looking fluffy, cute and angelic, buggrit!  He's on his back with his paws crossed over his eyes.

Never mind.  It's writing class tomorrow.................oh no it's not!  It's half-term.  Wail!  Gnash!
blackberry444: (Default)
I'm absolutely shattered and dripping with sweat, having spent the last 2½ hours steam-cleaning the bathroom. We keep it sort of cleanish all the time, but every so often I notice the tiles have become dingy and it starts looking a little run down and that's when I steam-clean the whole bathroom.

John and Charles have offered to do it, because it takes me so long. John, for example has cleaned the entire kitchen and futility room as well as washing the kitchen floor, while Charles has cleaned polished and vacuumed the dining and sitting rooms, the stairs and the upper and lower hall, both of them finishing before me They can't understand why I prefer to do it myself even though it exhausts me, and I can't bear to tell them that it's because they don't do it properly.

I'm just going to cool down and have a couple of cups of tea while writing this and then I shall reward myself with a lovely long sweet-smelling shower. I do love my beautiful bathroom, especially when it's clean!

We did plan to do it all yesterday, but for various reasons which I won't go into but include such things as people being unable to get out of bed, we didn't get round to it so now we've wasted two absolutely glorious days when we could have gone out somewhere. I mustn't complain, though because John bought us all a very nice Indian takeaway last night so we didn't even have to cook.

Just as I was finishing the floor, John came in to see how the steam-cleaner worked. He alleges that he didn't realise we had one. Since this is the second one we've owned, I find that difficult to credit and it just shows how much attention he pays to what I do and say, and to the evidence of his own eyes.

I wonder how many other people have entirely worn out a Goblin steam cleaner? I prefer the Kärcher we've got now, though.

The main reason why I get so hot doing it, is, of course, the cats. Even though they can go out of their cat-flap, and even though I left my bedroom window open for them to sun-bathe on the windowsill, still they'd prefer to be in the sweaty hot bathroom, until they hear the hiss of the steam and then they run like hell! So mostly I do it with the door closed, just in case of accidents and even though the window is open and the fan on, still it gets very hot in such a small space. I would be so ashamed if I had to take a cat to the vet because he/she had been scalded by my steam-cleaner.

Even though we didn't do any cleaning yesterday, I blitzed my desk again and shredded a lot of stuff and threw a lot of papers, magazines and so forth into the recycling bag. I find it amazing how much dross passes over my desk., and covers up and hides the things I want to be able to find quickly.

I've cooled down now, so I think I shall just nip down to the kitchen to make the meat sauce and the white sauce for the moussaka we're having tonight, then have my lovely shower. I can assemble the moussaka later. I was going to do a spag. bol.,which is quicker and easier, but we have no Parmesan and the shops are shut now.

I shall get on with my scarf tonight in front of the TV;  unbelievably, there are actually two things we want to watch tonight.  It's a bit more difficult to knit than I thought it would be, because it's "fur styled double knitting wool" and it's like trying to knit tinsel.  It's a beautiful bright fuschia, though, so I have to persevere.


blackberry444: (Default)

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