Monthly Archives: June 2013

Silent Sunday

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Nearly There Update

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Two months ago exactly today I started a blanket for Miss E.  Well, I am pleased to say that 48 granny squares later I am over half way through joining it all together!  Then I just need to trim it and it will be done.  It took a lot longer than I expected as, being the first project of this nature, I underestimated the amount of yarn I needed and I either didn’t have the funds or the time to go and get any more and also Miss E was a bit grizzly with teeth so I didn’t get as many squares done per day as I had originally hope.  So I probably had about 4 weeks in the middle where nothing was done on the blanket at all.  The blanket has evolved somewhat since I first started it.  At the beginning all the squares were going to be like the original post and then invert the colours for half of them as well.  As I got near the end of my first 24 squares half starting with brown half starting with pink I mused over the idea of doing solid squares of blue, pink and green.  I decided I’d start and see how it looked.  I then decided I wanted all the squares to have a purple border, so I discovered how to join as you go and have been doing that to put the whole thing together.  So this is how it’s looking to date.

 

The colours from the blind I was trying to tone the blanket colours in with

The colours from the blind I was trying to tone the blanket colours in with

 

48 square stack

48 square stack

 

starting to look more like a blanket

starting to look more like a blanket

 

Just love seeing it all come together

Just love seeing it all come together

 

It’s filled with mistakes and I’ve had to fix bits as I went along.  It’s nowhere near perfect, but it’s being made with a lot of love for a special little girl and that’s all that matters to me. 🙂

 

 

 

Photos Of The Day Things Went Less Than Perfectly

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Following on from my last post here are some picture of the bad day in the kitchen and the end results.

mixing in the flour for the bread

mixing in the flour for the bread

 

kneading

kneading

 

looking good ready for the second rise before I cover it again to keep the pesky fly away

looking good ready for the second rise before I cover it again to keep the pesky fly away

 

unintentional flatbread

unintentional flatbread

 

the cupcakes that escaped from entering the dog's stomach all decorated for giving away

the cupcakes that escaped from entering the dog’s stomach all decorated for giving away

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bad Day In The Kitchen

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Today is a day when I just shouldn’t have attempted anything in the kitchen.  I woke up feeling less than well and Miss E was also not quite herself.  She wanted lots of cuddles and was quite clingy.  That was fine by be…nothing can be better than 40 minute of cuddles in bed with peaceful silence (minus the sound of the rat who is still very much alive and terrorising us).  When we finally both wanted to go downstairs for snacks, I felt it was a good time to make some cupcakes. It’s my mum’s birthday on Friday and Miss E and I are going up tomorrow to take her out for lunch and I wanted to take some birthday cupcakes.

I whipped them up quickly, popped them in the oven and 20 minutes later they were looking delicious on the cooling rack awaiting decoration this evening.  I covered them with a clean tea towel as there were pesky flies around grrr.  I was on such a roll I decided we could bake some bread too.  I got some spelt flour yesterday as I have been dying to try a spelt loaf recipe.  All was going well, I got the yeasty mix set to the side to do its yeasty frothing, I measured out the flour, and, once the yeast mix was ready, Miss E helped mix it in.  We kneaded and left it to the side in a covered bowl to rise.

After dinner the dough had rise enough to be ready to shape.  The recipe said to braid it, so I did!  First time I’ve ever braided bread; normally it just gets put in a loaf pan.  Then I set it on a cookie sheet to rise again.  I had to cover the dough the second time again due to the pesky flies still being in my kitchen.  And I left it to do its thing.

And this is where things go awry.  While sorting Miss E out K Dog gets into the kitchen and helps herself to four of the cupcakes.  She was NOT a popular dog.  So after shoving her outside with a stern telling off, i go to check the dough…..due to covering it the poor loaf instead of rising up like it should just went out and splayed all over my baking tray and stuck to the cover, obviously.  I baked it anyway, but I knew it would never rise up like it was supposed to, so now I have a flat hard thing that could probably do some damage if lobbed at someone.  Do I dare re-enter the kitchen this evening to decorate the remaining cupcakes?!

Give Thanks?

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Since moving to this house, I have lost track of the amount of disasters we’ve encountered in trying to make it “home”.  There always seems to be one problem after another that delays the process.  So we live with half finished everything, and it can really get a person down, way down.  Our latest disaster happened yesterday.  Well, really, it began earlier in the week with the arrival of a rat.  This rat made himself at home in the cavity wall/between the floorboards.  He has spent time scurrying, scrabbling, chewing, running and basically being a real hooligan.  We do not see him come or go, but he’s a bit like clockwork in the times he starts up his activity above our heads.  His favourite times are in the middle of the night.

Mr P tried to get in touch with pest control but received no help yet, so we will have to call again tomorrow.  On Friday night we went to bed to rest for a day of getting stuff done in the garden like finally getting Miss E’s swing up and tackling weeds and so forth.  At 12:40 am I awoke with a jump as there was all this noise that sounded very much like Miss E crawling around in her usual fast fashion on the landing(we have no carpet-another one of those half finished things-so her crawling is quite loud).  I was in a panic as I knew hadn’t shut the one stair gate we have at the top of the stairs, but we found her sleeping peacefully in her room.  Our rat guest was awake.  In the end we put on music just so we could drown him out and go to sleep.  At this point we still thought he was contained to the area above our heads and in the cavity walls.  How naive!

7 am we woke up and Mr P opened the bedroom door.  There was this hissing noise.  I was wondering what on earth it could be.  Mr P went downstairs then came running back up grabbing towels etc.  Our kitchen was flooded with water.  coming through the ceiling, dripping down the walls, starting to slosh out into the hallway(good thing the flooring there still needs replacing as it’s now pretty ruined!).  I have never seen so much water in the wrong place in my life.  The source was underneath the bath again.  Just typical!  We’ve had no end of issues since we replaced the bath and a few months ago we had someone in to fix it.  The bath needed ripping out and everything.  So we were very disgruntled and had decided enough was enough and a new bath with taps on the end instead of in the middle would be necessary now.

Needless to say all our plans for the day were delayed and 2 hours of the morning were spent clearing up the damage caused by all this water and finding somewhere for all the soggy recipe books to reside.  A new agenda was set for the day, namely fixing the leak.  Upon closer inspection of the pipe it was found that the issues causing the leak had nothing to do with the plumbing(the old problem we had that caused watery messes), but that our furry house guest had been gnawing along the pipe during the night having a good old time to himself and causing us a load of clean up and damage.  The fact that he was only on the other side of the bath panel terrifies me.  I mean in the walls is bad, but beside you when you’re on the toilet in the middle of the night?!

The pipe got fixed and a trap was set under the bath incase he decided to come back again.  He was super active last night so we slept in the front room away from his noise.  Today we have heard nothing from him, although we have been out for a few hours at church, but there is silence above our heads.  Which could mean he’s in the trap, he’s found a new home, or he’s out and will be back……….I’m hoping the first is true!

At times like this our natural human response is to despair.  We get down, we wallow in our self-pity and we feel fully justified in doing so.  Do you?  I know I do!!  Yet, God says we are to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  What?  Now, I get giving thanks for good things.  I mean, it’s easy to be thankful for all the lovely blessings bestowed upon us.  But, really, what good can there be in a vermin that causes so much destruction and yet another setback?!  Surely the verse is wrong?  Surely it didn’t mean in every circumstance?!  Yes, yes it did.  As hard as it is to comprehend and how much it goes against our natural nature to put into action, we are told to give thanks in everything.  Giving thanks brings joy to our lives; we have to choose to be joyful. Happiness is easy because it’s the feeling we have when things are going well.  Joy is not because we have to choose it when things are going wrong.  Giving thanks for the blessing we do have brings joy to our hearts.  Giving thanks also draws us closer to God.  It reminds us that we are under his care and covering.  The road may seem unending and dark to us, but He sees the full picture and He alone can guide us out.  Giving thanks reminds us that these things are passing, fleeting circumstances and, in the view of eternity, they aren’t worth getting worked up over.  it keeps our eyes focused on our heavenly home.  Giving thanks takes our eyes off of ourselves (that’s pretty hard for selfish beings like us) and focuses them on God.  Giving thanks helps us to bear witness to God in our lives……..it is far from a natural response to be thankful for the dirt in this life; only God can transform our hearts and make it so we see good in bad.

Do I like it that we are told to give thanks no matter what comes?  Not one bit.  Do I LIKE to give thanks when I’m sat trying to make something beautiful from the dirt of life but all I seem to get is more dirt?  Not at all.  Do I manage to give thanks all the time?  No I fail way more than I succeed in this area.  I’m still sinful by nature.  I love nothing more than to whine and stamp my feet and throw myself on the floor in a tantrum wailing about how unfair my life is(not in a literal sense).  But doing that doesn’t get me anywhere.  All it does it make me even more unhappy, grumpy, disgruntled and more adjectives along this vein.  It doesn’t bring peace and joy to my heart and life.

But yesterday, I started thinking what good is there in this situation?  And here are the things I have to give thanks for:

-Miss E: throughout it all in the midst of clearing up water etc, she remained her happy bubbly self.  she wasn’t phased by the rat, the damage caused or anything else.  She was just simply enjoying life and being happy where she found herself……..kinda like we should be!

-It didn’t happen during the time we were away.  There was enough water from the rat’s antics in the middle of the night.  God spared us from even more devastation.

-We have not yet come face to face with the rat.  Phew!  I think I might faint or else someone would be scraping me off the ceiling.

-There is only one.  There could be a rat infestation, but there is only one to deal with.

-The damaged pipe was easily fixed and all is back to normal under the bath.

-This world is not our home.  We have faced plenty of trials and ups and downs, but we don’t face them alone.  We have hope, and it is this hope and knowledge of what is to come that keeps this fleeting life in perspective.

-Miss E’s swing did get up in the garden and she is delighted.  She loves swings, so we are pleased she finally gets to use her own that’s been sat in the garage for ages.

-So far no wires have been chewed through or any other damage done.

 

So even now we truly do have a lot to be thankful for, and in counting the blessings and writing them down and letting them sink in it sweetens the bitterness of life’s disappointments.  What have you got to be thankful for today?

Operation Cat To The Vet A Success

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We did it!!  We got the cat to the vet.  After the realisation last night that I was going to have to take said cat to the vet with a toddler started to sink in, so did the worry.  How am I going to deal with a cat and Miss Up/Down in a waiting room.  We were going to the open surgery at 9 am, so I had no idea how long I would be hanging around waiting.  What if Miss e gets fed up and cranky?  What if I put her down and she becomes a nuisance to other pet owners.  What if she picks the wrong dog to pet?!  My girl loves her animals just like her mama, but she hasn’t quite got that not all animals are as friendly as the ones in her inner circle.  What if she starts screeching and I can’t have a conversation with the vet about what to do with the cat?  What if, what if, what if.  The answer then became incredibly clear and was oh so simple: use a wrap!  We love babywearing and I’ve written about it a bit in the beginning few months. Duh, of course I should use a wrap!!  I set off just after 8 am with Miss E and wrap in tow.  The owner had warned me the cat was a nightmare to get in the carrier, so you better believe I was praying like crazy, begging God to let him just sit serenely in the carrier while I got the door closed.

We got the house, and first thing was this was not the simple kind of pet carrier I’m used to with the little front opening door.  No, this carrier had a top that came completely off with weird claspy clip things that were such a faff to figure out and close……..cue more prayer!  I closed the kitchen door so he couldn’t escape as I was told he hides in the most awkward places when he sees this carrier.  I picked him up, put him in and he gave a bit of a struggle, but nothing like I was expecting and I managed to get him securely held inside….thank you Lord!  Off we set to the vets.  The cat was making weird noises, but at the same time it also sounded like Miss E was using the same weird pitch to say hello…..I still haven’t figured out whether it was her or the cat all the time but on the way home after dropping the cat off she said nothing which makes me think it was all the cat.  So my journey to and from the surgery consisted of me alternating between, “It’s ok, A.” and “Hello, Miss E!”

Once at the surgery I got Miss E securely wrapped to my front…..oh how I love wraps….and took A inside.  We had to wait a little while, and the whole time I was so thankful I did not have to hold both the cat in his carrier(that was heavy enough with the use of two hands!!)and a wriggly toddler.  Miss E loved the animals, both in real life and on various posters.  We got the kitty sorted with a few injections and some medication to take with us, and we got him back home.  Once at home, the cat went outside and sulked on the patio.  He refused to look at me!  Thankfully, his owners had already decided to cut their vacation short due to rainy weather, so I don’t have to attempt getting tablets and a pro-biotic paste into the cat!

I’m pleased it’s all over and yet again, babywearing has saved the day!