Sunday, 27 October 2013

Things making me HAPPY this week

Well I am still pretty bad at taking photos so I've decided this post is going to be photo free - so there.

1) Anni finally getting the courage to go swimming.  She is usually scared of her own shadow (and we don't know why) and she did it.  So proud of her.  Some may say she is only a dog, but she is my dog.

2) Meeting friends for lunch.  2 friends and I try and meet up about every 2 months or so at one of our houses.  I don't usually enjoy getting to C's house as EVERY time I am told I have the wrong ticket on the bus.  The drivers can never tell me which ticket is the right one mind!!  I finally got it right.  Phew.

3) Hubby finally feeling better and going back to work.  He amazes me that he just keeps going and getting on with stuff.  Love you.

4) Getting on with crafting for my advent boxes.  Nearly gotten another handmade gift finished.

5) Making 2 birthday badges (1 for a 6 year old and one for a 4 year old).  Must get the 4 in the post if the storm doesn't get this far north tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

New Skills

I am so happy at the moment.  My parents and I took Anni to Wellhome Park on Thursday.  It has woods, fields and a river so Anni loves it.  We have been trying to encourage her to swim for most of this year but she hasn't quite been up for it.  She is happy to shove her head under the water, happy to run through a river at top speed but she has always managed to keep one foot on the ground.  Occasionally she has had one toe nail on the ground and has swiftly backed out of the deeper part of a river as she definitely wasn't going to try this swimming Malarkey that we kept suggesting she try.

On Thursday fate took it upon itself to help her make the first move.  She found the river and disappeared, literally disappeared under the surface of the river.  Obviously this meant she had to come straight back out of the river.  When she then went back in she'd leap over the deeper part (many many splashy photos) as she still wasn't buying this swimming lark.

So we gave up.  We did some shopping and began walking back to the car, parked next to the river.  My Mum, Dad and I were more spread out than earlier so when Anni ran back into the river she decided to go find my Mum and ended up swimming.  A LOT.  We now have one happy, swimming dog.  God only knows what she'll make of the seaside when we eventually go.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Walking in the Rain

Yesterday it chucked it down.  I spent the morning in IKEA finally replacing the bedding which caught fire in the washing machine last week.  Thanks Mum and Dad for taking me to a place you wouldn't venture in normally.....  Anni also thanks you for the stuffed rabbit she was bought.  She loves her babbit!!!!!

Then as it seemed to have stopped raining we decided to take Anni through the woods.  Big mistake as it hadn't stopped raining, at all.  I have to find some wellies that fit fat legs.  Still Anni loves getting wet so at least one of us was happy.

Straight in
The stream in the woods was rushing past and Anni was straight in.  She has no fear of water at all.  She fears many things but not water.  She needs to work on her patience though.  All I asked was for a couple of photos and I got this......

Look this way

Quick he's not paying attention
 Do you think she's comfy?  She wouldn't settle last night, it was a cold one.  So I gave in, added a blanket to the sofa and let her up.  It was okay until my leg went to sleep too!!!!!!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Making me HAPPY this week

This week has not been great on the whole.  The dreaded lurgy struck the entire household (including Anni) so we've had a sleepy, let's do little kind of week.  Until today.  Today my Hubby took Anni and I for a short drive and wander to a great little park.  It was full of people and their dogs.  The thing which Anni likes best is the river at the side of the park.  I think she could play there for ages.  Unfortunately the nearest bench was at the other side of the park so she had a great time running between hubby on the bench and me by the water.

1)  Look I've found a big stick in the river.  I must show hubby!  N'ah changed my mind must get back to the river......

2) I think this is my favourite photo of my 2 favourite people/things.  I have a similar photo of hubby and our first dog Patch.  I think I'll be printing this one off.  I had to keep moving to try and get Anni to look at me, she was WAY too interested in watching the other dogs.

3 & 4) Finishing my first scarf for a gift.  That's the blue thing below.  It might be simple knitting, over and over again but it's all my own work and I am pretty pleased with my first attempt.  I just have to add a little something and it's all done.  I also love my little Dots and Spots notebook.  I spoilt myself to the heart notebook below (gave my hubby the striped one -nearly killed me to share).  I love Dots and Spots products.  I have a few now - decorative tape and my absolute fav (so far) are the little spotty bags.  They are so thick and such good quality.

5) Baking.  Whilst hubby was recovering from his morning walk (snoozing in bed) I thought I'd surprise him with baking buns.  (Do you remember when we called them buns?).  They are now coated in chocolate fudge topping and hundreds and thousands.  Oh to remember our childhood.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

This and That

I made it into Leeds today to meet a friend M for lunch.  I had planned on catching an early bus and spend some time shopping but I slept in a little and by the time I got into Leeds I only have 50 minutes before I had to meet M.  I did manage Primark,  a shop I don't usually like and bought a couple of bits.  I only usually go into this shop about twice a year so I think I'm done for the year now!  

M and I met for lunch in our usual bar.  We feel quite naughty having something with chips as we catch up.  Today M went for a burger and when it arrived we were perplexed as to how you manage to get yer gob round it............

Massive burger

Then home to a recovering hubby and active dog.  Do you think she missed me?

What treat?

I haven't felt like doing much crafting this week as I've been feeling so ill.  I did make a couple of cards though.  I can show one which has arrived with my friend.  I do enjoy using stamps and colouring them in - it does make me feel a little childish sometimes - I loved colouring books when I was little.  I use different colouring mediums now usually but sometimes there is nothing more satisfying than good old coloured pencils!

I have been knitting something for my friend M (she doesn't read this) but I can't show you as I don't want it getting back to her in any way.  I think I may have to do a Christmas share after the big day.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

An Official Follower - Woohoo

Oh my goodness.  I have an official follower.  I know my hubby sometimes reads my blog as does S but they do not appear as a follower.  I do know who my new follower is (thanks G) but all the same a little something will be popped into the post to mark the event.  Not sure what yet and it may not be exciting but an envelope will be on it's way to you shortly.

Today has been a nothing of a day.  Hubby is still of off work but I am hopeful he'll get his strength back over the following few days and will be back next week.  Anni hasn't eaten anything to make her sick (I hope) and after a rough morning, I am starting to feel better.

It has been chucking it down all day today.  A real miserable day.  Anni doesn't seem to mind though.  Our first dog Patch (who we had for 13 years) hated the rain.  She'd stop, it didn't matter where you where (middle of the road etc) to try and dry her face with her front paws.  Anni is a real water dog.  I wished we lived closer to the seaside as I suspect she will love the ocean - not sure we'll like the smell as much mind!!!!

I've read online that we are in for a really bad winter.  Now I love the snow.  If we are snuggled up in the warmth, with hot chocolate, plenty of food and movies to catch up on.  I get quite stressed if D is at work and know he has to drive home.  The journey to/from work usually takes about 30 mins.  Last time it suddenly started snowing it took him 3 hours to make it home.  I guess the wet and the cold has reminded me I need to sort out the car boot to include a blanket and a hat and gloves etc just in case he gets snowed out one day.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Today has been one of those days.  A bit of happiness and time spent with friends and a bit of bleurgh.

First off the good stuff.  My friend G came for lunch today. We used to work together and when first she left and then I did we were determined that our friendship needed to last longer than our working relationship!  I always get stressed when people come to my house.  I am not a natural housekeeper - I have WAY better things to be doing than dusting (sneeze) or tidying up.  Don't get me wrong I try and keep a clean house but it's not natural...........  G's visit today was well planned, following so closely to my families visit at the weekend - the house was largely clean :-)

This meant I could concentrate on cooking.  Did I mention that I am not a natural chef either?  Until recently I was happy to shove a frozen pizza in the oven, make a salad and enjoy.  Recently I have started making an effort in cooking.  The menu today was Lamb and Sweet Potato stew followed by Apple and Strawberry Crumble.  I wouldn't add strawberries again as apart from turning the apple an attractive pink, they didn't add much to the taste.  

The bleurgh part of the day is that we all (apart from G (I hope!)) have been feeling under the weather.  The hubby is off of work.  He has MS so when he gets ill it knocks it out of him (and obviously he has Man flu!) so he can really suffer.  I've been feeling unwell since Sunday, was feeling better this morning but have been hit by reinforcements tonight.  Anni has also been rather unwell this afternoon.  I could blame it on the excitement of G's visit but I suspect she's eaten something she shouldn't!!!!

On a brighter note did you know this week is National Chocolate Week?  You know where to send it........... 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Day out in York

I met a friend, S, last week in York.  I love York.  I love that there are independent shops alongside some of the chain stores.  I prefer it out of season when it's not as touristy, a little cold so that you think of Christmas fast approaching.  By the time I get back onto the train home, I am usually very happy to sit down for an hour or so.  I wish we lived closer so it was nearer (and cheaper) to visit.  I think I'd be going monthly it is was a little easier.

The view below is from the first bridge across the river from the train station.  The hubby and I caught one of the boats a few years ago for a trip up the river.  Boy was it cold on that river and that was on a sunny day too. 

The little house below is a little coffee shop I think.  There is a little garden just behind it which is used a lot in the Summer.  I love that the building is being used and isn't all shuttered up.

My friend S lives nearer to York than I do so knows where to lunch when we visit.  Last time we tried this place she'd just had her first baby (now nearly 4) - Wow S where does time go?  Since then she also has baby M.  

The Minister below is always worth looking at.  I no longer go in as it's a little expensive for me.  I think it's a shame that you have to pay, rather than make a donation.  I did enjoy looking round in days gone by.

There are so many favourite shops which I need to visit when I go to York.  S and I have similar tastes and are happy to weave in and out of the different shops.  I made a start on my Hubby's Christmas present shopping and bought a few Christmas decorations too.  

I love weaving in and out of the city walls on my walk back to the train station.  

 Nearly back at the train station.  I do love York station.  If you squint your eyes you can imagine days gone by and ladies in posh frocks walking down the platforms, waiting for steam trains.

Still no sign of the charger for the proper camera.  I hope to find it soon.  I hope that I will take more photos with the proper camera instead of the phone's camera.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Making me HAPPY this week

1) Coming up with a solution to family coming to tea.  Some like chocolate cake and others do not. Vanilla cake with half the topping made from chocolate and half from cream.  Much easier than making 2 cakes.

 Did you guess the secret inside?  I have some new colouring gels which work really well in changing the boring old cake into a rainbow cake.

Look, even the crumbs are gorgeous!

2) My gorgeous fish bowl.  I bought this on holiday in Molyvos back in May.  I love the colour and the design.  I used it to hand out chocolates last night and it made me think of holidays in a place we love.

 3) Watching my Hubby and Anni playing with her ball this afternoon.  She takes great delight in letting him get close enough to get the ball but then racing out of the way at the last minute.

4) Meeting my friend S in York for a day out.  Hello S - see I said you'd make my blog :-)

S in York
5) My new washing machine (no photo).  It arrived and is waiting for my Dad to come and fit it.  

Monday, 7 October 2013

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Making me HAPPY this week

1) The colours of my new wool makes me happy.  The super speedy service from the on line company  also make me happy.  Can't wait to learn how to knit more so I can use it.

2) Friends for dinner who are happy playing and walking Anni. I'm not sure who had more fun Anni or N!!!!

 3)  Watching Anni play with her squeaky toy.  This is her favourite toy ever and she gets it every night before bed.

I love my toy
4) My latest card from my hubby.  It's now in my top 6 waiting to be framed.

 5) It's Satsuma time again.  Woohoo I love this time of year.

Things I am not loving - the washing machine burning a hole in our duvet and sheets.  Need to buy a new washer and duvet set.  The tap on the bath which is forever breaking but hard to replace due to it's location.  It suddenly feels like a miserable day.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Crafty Friday

It's been a grand day today, despite the rain and more rain and yet more rain. Did I mention it has been raining - a lot?

I had a 20% off email for a local pub so my Hubby and I went this lunchtime for a date.  We've been married for 16 years and sometimes you forget to make time for each other.  Once a week we try and focus on each other and make sure we do something nice.  It usually involves a takeaway and a dvd but this week we thought we'd be different.  We have a pub I'm dying to try out as it looks lovely on Facebook but my voucher ran out today for our local so we thought we'd keep my pub for another day.  We both pigged on burgers and were so full we actually left chips - now if you know us you'll know we have NEVER EVER left chips before.  Indeed we are a little worried that our Yorkshire-ness will be diminished by our chip leaving status - so shush don't tell anyone.  S - that means you!!!!!! (No photos as forgot phone and also feel a little weird taking photos of food in public places).

I did get some fabulous post today.  After my excitement yesterday about learning to Purl I went on line and ordered myself some more wool.  I found a fab website (click here), I ordered at 3.18pm yesterday and I had my order this morning.  Talk about speedy.  I have already chosen my new wool when it gets back into stock.  Perhaps I am turning into a real knitter........

New Wool
 I also bought one of these (I used to make one with cardboard when I was a little girl - do you know what I am talking about?)

 It is so easy to use and so quick.  A little expensive but I think I may treat myself to the bigger sizes in the next year or so.  My Mum wants me to make her some pom poms so perhaps she'll buy the size she wants and I can make them for her.

Pom Pom makers
 You get 2 in a packet, lovely colours and they make.......

Pom Poms (ignore the mess)
I have also been knitting furiously at the moment - want a sneak peak?  It's great watching TV whilst knitting away.  I love my bamboo needles (thank you M).  I used to knit on metal needles but the noise of them clicking together set my teeth on edge.  I think you have to find which needles work best for you when you are knitting.  Wonder what I am making.......... Anyone think of anything which may be fast approaching???????

I can knit 
Bamboo needles

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Misty and Stitchy

Today's weather has been very bleurgh.  It was misty when I woke up, misty when I went out, miserly at lunchtime and full on belting it down since about 3pm.  Lovely.

I did go into Halifax to meet my Mum and Sister in Law for lunch and that was fun but I disappointedly didn't buy anything I needed.  Hmph.  The bus is once an hour so I either have ages to wait to get home or I have to leg it for the bus.  Today was a leg it kind of day!  I made it with 1 minute to spare.

On the bus home, I actually remembered to take some photos of the mist, apologies for the reflection from the bus windows but I didn't think whilst in town to take photos.  Can you see the mist down the valley?

Misty valley

Misty valley

Misty valley

On another note, my Grandma taught me to knit many, many years ago.  She taught me to cast on /off and to knit and I happily knit squares to knit a blanket.  Then I became a teenager and never did anymore.  About a year ago I picked up my needles again bought some wool and sat there.  How do you cast on again?  Then all of a sudden I shut my eyes and heard my Grandma teaching me what to do and I did it.  No need to Google it on the internet!!!!!  So I have happily knitted a little blanket for a friends baby (it took forever) and put my needles away.  As Winter has arrived this year I felt the need to try again.  6 squares later I felt the need to learn more.  So tonight, thanks to Google, I finally learnt to purl.  My Mum has tried to teach me but it made no sense what so ever.  10 minutes online and I can purl and obviously can do stocking (?) stitch.  It's a revelation.  Next step is to get my Mum to help me learn how to read a pattern and then I am hoping it will open my eyes to knitting with a purpose.  My knitting below, before I dropped all the stitches and pulled it all out.  Never mind, I can always do it again.

1st ever knit and purl

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

If you go down to the woods today

Walking again today, it's much more fun to have someone to walk with.  I won't go into the woods by myself so Anni loves it when my Mum and Dad pop down to go walkies :-)  I love trees but have an unreasonable fear of large groups of them (a recurring nightmare from when I was a child)!!!  Yes, I'm odd.......  These woods are local to where we live, handy for a quick getaway.  Anni LOVES being off lead and exploring (esp. near any water).

As soon as you get into the woods, Anni goes off lead and she is OFF.  C'mon lets go.

 I do love looking at the many roots, they spread randomly all around.  Easy to trip if not looking where to put our feet.  This bit below is usually a muddy puddle but was dry today.  So nice to go walking without getting mud everywhere.

Roots, roots, everywhere.
 I can appreciate the beauty of individual trees, I think these two are kissing!

Kissing tree?

 There is one tree on our walk which has a huge hollow bit.  Mum stood inside the entrance to show just how big it is.  You don't go in very much as apparently it smells of wee!

Hollow Tree
We are noticing on our walks more and more tree branches which have fallen.  We haven't had much bad weather lately so we were surprised to see such a huge branch covering the path.  I don't know whose job it is to keep people safe in the woods but I suspect our local woods currently has a huge problem.  We no longer walk through these woods without noticing a new fall.

I do love the colours of the leaves on the ground.  At the moment the trees are still green but the ground is slowly being covered in brown leaves.  Soon the trees will change colour too and it will be beautiful walking through the trees.  My friend G will then have visited the woods in all seasons, she's due a visit soon so will be happy to take Anni for a wander.


I think Mum and Dad love coming for a walk.  They get to see things they may not see without walking with Anni.  I must start baking more, so I have bribes for them this coming winter!

Mum, Dad and Anni
 Anni is getting braver in the water too.  I have a video of her chasing sticks in a deep pool in the stream but can't work out how to upload it.  Excuse the rather blurry photo below (my Mum's attempt!)

Anni in the water
On another note, my cooking is still going strong.  I made fish cakes tonight and even remembered to season them this time.  Sorry, no photo as I forgot (again).  I did make apple crumble for pudding and remember a photo of that too.  Is it bad I'm 39 and haven't made a crumble before...............  the only remaining question is whether you like your custard hot (me) or cold (Hubby).

Apple Crumble

Mmmmmm crumble and custard