This and that catch up ….

Its been a busy couple of weeks so here now to try and catch up.
Max (Misha’s  10mth old pup) came to stay for a week and having the 2 dogs running around kept us both on our toes.
Really getting into baking bread and have done it several times now and started experimenting with shapes and sizes with the dough.  Hubby made the last lot and produced 2 gorgeous mini loaves.  Its so funny the kids can’t get enough of the home made bread.   I did attempt some chocolate muffins, they looked gorgeous but tasted discusting, so will be searching for another recipe to try again.
At last our garden is giving us something back and we’ve had several kilo’s of gorgeous new potatoes and now had 3 servings of the sweetest peas.  I can now feel some tennis ball sized middles in the iceburg lettuces, there are signs of baby cucumbers and courgettes.  One of the tomatoe plants has 3 very small green tomatoes on it and we’ve both had a bowl of strawberries   yummy
Its feels great at last to see it all growing and maturing, my sweet peas having given me a great display of flowers and the scent on them as you come out the backdoor is intoxicating
There is so much more going on in the garden thats just an insight of what we’ve been up to.  The weather has been absolutley boiling which means i’m having to water the garden sometimes twice a day. 
Before i go, i must mention today my oldest son is 15, i’m so proud of him the past few years haven’t been easy for him, having to swap senior schools mid.term and then his dad sending him a letter of rejection but at last he seems to be getting things together.  His grades at school are all A’s and B’s, he’s now be doing an evening paper round every evening for nearly a year, thats on top of the after school groups he attends.  I’m so very proud of him  well done Ciaran my son

A day out at the beach

Last week we desided to take a day off and treat ourselves and Misha to a trip to the beach. From our house to the beach is about an hours drive which can be done easily whilst the kids were at school.
We visited a place called Clevedon, such a lovely quiet place and very pretty.  The sea was out and revealed a very rocky pebble beach, full of small rock pools.  Misha ran around and explored, even drank some of the water in the pools and was promptly sick , so we had to try and discourage her as much as possible, not to drink the sea water.We soon realised walking wasn’t easy for Misha as she was slipping every where and we were worried she slip and pull her hip.  So as it was still early enough we desided to drive on the the next town, Weston Super Mare.
As we came into Weston it soon becameobvious that parking was going to be near on impossible due to the big revamp the sea front is having.
Determind to get on a beach we desided to drive on the the next town Brean Sands, only another 30mins so off we went.  The beach was totally dead but for a handfull of cars, as soo as we parked up and let Misha out, she was totally excited and running around like a jack rabbit   The sea was out its furthest by now so we took a walk down the beach to an old ship wreck, a great photo opportunity
So even though our day started a bit stressfull by then end we were totally chilled and enjoyed the day.  Just as we were leaving the sea was beginning to come back in so we took misha into the sea (which was absolutly freezing)  she weren’t impressed.  Next time we’ll go straight to Brean sands.


A great weekend was had……….

The weekend started on a brilliant note, with finding the local paper had printed one of my photos  Swan cignets from local park
Then sunday was spent working on the garden, we tended to all our veg and rearranged some pots and tubs.  The whole garden is looking so much better i really enjoy going out there and just pottering. 
My personal challenge this week is to make another batch of rolls, attempt to make some chocolate muffins/cup cakes  and maybe even try and make some elderberry cordial
Plans for the week  are sadly my cousins funeral on tuesday, but thinking positive, shes free of hurt and pain  but will also be an opportunity to meet up with many family members.   The rest of the week will be spent generally cleaning and tidying the house, really need to do the car after last weeks day trip.

Challenge 1……….. Baking bread rolls

I’ve desided to set myself a challenge, at the moment i’m not sure if it will be a weekly thing or monthly.
Making my own bread has interested me for ages now so i thought i’d start with something easy, a simple plain recipe with easy instructions.  My first port of call for this was to a  friends blog, there i found a recipe for white bread rolls and it looked simple and easy to do.
With every thing meassured and all equipment ready off i set, in went the flour, yeast, salt and sugar, a little stir….. make a well in the middle and in went the liquids, warm water and oil.  Mix  mix mix, finally it all came together ( a bit sticky but together).
Now for the kneading, well not sure what i was doing was called kneading (will check youtube for a demo) for a full 10mins i was meant to do this for, after a very short time my arms began to ache so shouted hubby for some assitance.  The dough was then split into 8 equal portions and left to ‘rise’ and wow they did.  They nearly doubled in size, so in the oven they went……gas 6 (200c) for 15 – 20mins. 
The response from all family members was, hope your going to make more  and i think i will.
Well that was fun, so will be doing it again  the next challenge i  think will again be a baking challenge, i fancy either some sweet or savoury muffins
watch this space

Ups and Downs of the weekend ..

Saturday was taken up running around doing chores and playing taxi. 
So i was determined sunday was going to be better, once up and about we desided to take the dogs for a nice walk.  Off we headed, to a mainly flat easy walk as poor Dude is showing his age ( 9yr old staffie) we were about to pull into the parking area which was totally full, we didn’t realise the sunday morning carboot had been moved due to a festival being held all weekend at the race course.  A quick change of plan and we were heading towards one of the pretty parks i town.
Well infact i was really glad we had a change of venue because as we walked around the boating lake we came across 2 swans and thier 4 cignets, so of course i had to sit a take some photos.  Thankfully hubby offered to take dogs off to carry on the walk so they didn’t scare the swans and i was able to click happily away  and away i clicked i could have taken 100’s.
and theres loads more
After such a lovely walk we had a bite to eat and set to work on filling the 2nd veg bed which is taking ages.  Each bucket full is having to be seived and sorted to clear it of rusty nails, glass and weeds and to this very poor soil we’re adding lots of compost in the hope of improving it a little.
Whilst digging and sieving i had some bad news, a cousin had died this morning   sadly i think life had just got to much for her.  I feel she is at rest now after many years of ill health, she has no hurt or pain now and hopefully reunited with her mum and nan who both will be able to take care of her  R.I.P Tracy xx

where did the week go………

Here we are its friday already, not that i’m complaning   Sadly we didn’t get as much as we wanted done in the garden  due to several outside interuptions.  I’ve slowly come to terms with the fact dave has become full-time taxi for his daughter, i know, i wouldn’t forgive myself if something happened to her whilst out but its always just as you start to get stuck into something he gets a call .
Anyway on a good note hubby completed the frame work for the 2nd veg bed,  all that we need to do now is dig and sieve some soil to fill it , we’ve  made a start and hope to have it filled over the w.end so i can plant it up with the sweet corn and beetroot thats gagging for some more root space.
Also this week we had our first pea flower open and by today there are loads and even a small pod forming on one.   how sad i am getting excited over some veggies but i love it.  Already planning for bigger and better next summer aswell as keeping my fingers crossed for an allotment
our first pea flower 
This w.end, we have my friends dog staying for a sleepover, Dude is  a gorgeous staffie and Misha just loves him.( shes sleeping on his bed and he’s on her at the moment )   Not sure he’ll be up to a big walk on sunday as he seems to have aged a lot since coming to stay last.  So may just take a small walk around one of the many lovely parks in town, i’m sure i’ll have my camera with me too.