Great Grandmothers Mixing Bowl


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mixing bowl.jpgFor the last twelve months, since I started my healthy eating plan, cake baking has gone out the window. Jay and the girls still get to eat treats, but they are shop bought as I don’t tend to make them anymore as I am sure I would scoff far too many if I did.

Today with me supervising from the other side of the kitchen table, Jay and the girls decided they were going to make some chocolate chip muffins. We had picked up various baking ingredients while out grocery shopping, minus the Stork that Jay and AJ went back out and bought later in the day.

When all the ingredients were gathered together, the girls began to search for my mixing bowl, but nobody could find it. So Jay reached into the back of the cupboard and pulled out the large brown bowl that has once belonged to his Grandmother.

Jay: We have to be very careful with this bowl when making the cakes because it belonged to my Nan.

AJ: Do you mean Grandma?

Jay: No, it was Grandma’s Mummy’s mixing bowl. If you look on the bottom, it says it was made in 1969. That was the year before I was born, so this bowl is a whole year older than me.

Bart: Whoa! That’s really old!

Kids. They know how to make you feel great.

For The Chop

I had a “brave” moment this week and sat myself down in the hairdressers chair. To say my mop was a mess was putting it mildly and as I tried to remember the last time I had it cut, my time deductions took me back at least two years, or probably nearer three.

I just don’t like getting my hair cut.

I have had some pretty bad cuts in my time and one even had me in tears once, but I am the kind of personwp-1472905734243.jpg that when I want my hair cut, I want it done now, which with any good hairdresser is not possible. This time I had to wait a week before my appointment came around and I spent the whole time agonising if I should go ahead or just cancel.

As the time to head out got closer, I was still wavering between having the bare minimum trimmed off the ends or having the whole lot hacked off, but in the end I did neither too much or too little and had about three inches taken off all the way around.

So this will probably be it for another couple of years or until I get a mad idea in my head and take the lot off!


When A Mum Won’t Do.


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When you are a little girl, there are certain things that only a Daddy can do. It’s not that a Mummy can’t do them, it’s just that to a little girl, Daddy can do them better.

As AJ and Bart get older I find it fascinating that two thing I loved my Dad to do for me are the same thing my girls want Jay to do for them.


Dad, my sisters and I around 1976 (I am on the left with the pale blue dress and red shoes)

One is polishing shoes. I remember my Dad showing me how to apply the polish, then brushing and buffing the leather until it shone. Jay has given the girls the same lesson, but there is nothing like a newly polished pair of school shoes that Daddy has taken the time and effort to do. I would walk with my shoulders a  little straighter and a little more pride in my step on those mornings I had beautifully polished shoes on my feet that Dad had done.

Bart is taking such care of her school shoes this year. They are normally badly scuffed within the first couple of days, but one week in and they still look fabulous. Although it was a little worrying the other day when she came home and told us she had gotten a scratch on them. Upon inspection neither Jay or I could see any evidence of the afore-mentioned scratch.

“Oh,” Bart casually said “It disappeared after I licked it. My teacher showed my how.”


Upon explanation, we found out Bart’s new teacher had shown her how to slightly dampen her finger with spit and then rub her shoe over the scratch. Still gross, but a least the image of Bart holding her shoe like and ice cream and giving it a huge lick was suppressed… kind of.Jay and Girls.jpg

Monday morning when Jay had the polish out for his work boots, (yes, he does polish his scruffy, steel toe capped work boots) Bart sidled up to him with her new school footwear in her hands, batting her eyelashes. I couldn’t help the nostalgia flowing through me. Of course Jay did hers as well. Who can resist a little girl looking at you as though you are a boot brush wielding hero?

The other evening Jay had been called upstairs by Bart. When he got there she wanted him to shake out her duvet and tuck it around her. AJ too, likes Jay to take the time to tuck her in and make sure her toes are fully covered by the duvet. Again I completely understood.

I loved it when my Dad tucked me in. Sometimes I would deliberately wreck my bed until the blankets were on the floor, then call Dad until he came upstairs and remade it. He would tuck me in so tight I could hardly move. It was the best feeling.

Daddies and their little girls. It is such a special bond.


It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere


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One thing IMe and Artie 2hate to see is an overweight dog, so Jay and I have always been really conscious of what and how much we feed Artie. Yes he does get a few “human” food treats like slices ham and a taste of cheese, but never cake or chocolate (although there was that one time when he stole some chocolate biscuits and I ended up with an emergency dash to the vet). wp-1471692222492.jpg

Artie’s biggest weakness is Peanut Butter Bones. He loves them.

He would get one after his breakfast and one after his supper. He would get one as a treat for being a good boy when we left him alone in the house. He would get one when Jay got home from work and he would get one just for giving a particularly cute and pitiful look.

Now Artie wasnt overweight by any stretch of the imagination but, being a slim lean whippet, we were becoming aware that maybe he wasnt as slim and lean as he ideally should be.

So, we started to ration his SmartBones.

And boy, he was not happy about that.

He would whine.

He would moan.Me and Artie

He would bark.

And he would stare at his biscuit jar, willing it to topple over and dispense the yummy treats so he could gobble them up.Artie

Now he only gets one peanut butter bone a day when Jay gets home from work.

Although he can’t tell the time, as five o’clock rolls around Artie hangs about the kitchen knowing that it will soon be “bone time” and if we tell him he’s a little early for his snack, the look he gives almost seems to say “Well, its five o’clock somewhere.”









How Soon They Forget.


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Last year my girls had a horrendous habit of leaving stuff at school. Hardly a week went by when jumpers, cardigans, socks, tights, coats and even shoes left the house in the morning and didnt return at the end of the school day.

Yesterday morning I told the girls over and over, if they take off their cardigans, put them straight in their school bag. Put their coats on their peg. And please, please bring everything home.

As it was a Tuesday, the school bus drops them off at their Grandparents house to wait for either Jay and I to finish work and come collect them. Jay usually gets there first so I was home and starting supper before a very sheepish Bart came in the house.

“I forgot my coat. I left it at school” she admitted. Then AJ came racing in behind her.

“And her cardigan Mum, she forgot that too. remembered everything.”

Day one and two items of clothing are left behind.

And so it begins again.

Some Bunnies Missing


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It was rabbit clean out day on Sunday. We have four rabbits split into two large hutches. Dandy and Basil live together and then we have Freckles and Honey.

Basil and Dandy are a pair of homebodies and although they like to run over to the doorway and say hello, they dont make any effort to get out.

Freckles and Honey, on the other hand, would love to come out and explore a bit, so I am extra careful about keeping only one side of their hutch open at a time when cleaning, and patting little furry butts back in if they do venture outside their home.

After scraping out and removing all the old straw and bunny poop from both hutches, I then put in loads of fresh bedding for them. I added the hay and some veggies before closing them up and heading to the shed to put the left over straw away.

As I neared the shed I saw a little brown wild bunny hopping around. Now this isnt that surprising as we do live in the country. What did shock me was the little fella didnt hop away like a frightened… well rabbit, as soon as it saw me.

Then I looked again a bit closer.

It was only bloody Honey, bold as you please sat chewing grass on her slow meander towards where all the pet food was stored.

So as not to frighten her, I quietly put down the remaining straw bale and moved behind her furry little arse to start herding her back towards the garden and her buddy Freckles. She tried to make a dash past the hutch at the last minute, but I scooped her up and popped her back inside.

Adventure over.


Just Call Me Gloria


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After a six-week summer (Ha!) holiday, the girls headed back to school. Considering the crappy weather which has prevented them from spending as much time outside playing as they, and I, would like, we made it through without anybody getting killed, maimed or rocking in the corner. (Although the rocking was a close call over the last couple of weeks)

Once again we didn’t get to do many of the things we wanted, and the tent stayed packed away for another year, but we got to visit a couple of places on my to do list.

One was a boat ride on the Falkirk Wheel. It’s a great piece of engineering and the ride is so smooth you don’t realise you are rising up in the air until glancing out the window you can see the top of the trees. I was the first time the girls had been on any kind of boat, so they were really excited to do the trip.

The best visit though was to The Kelpies. They are amazing and so damn big. I had seen photos of them plenty of times, but it wasn’t until you are stood below you can see the amazing size and beauty of these sculptures.

KelpiesGirls at Kelpie base

To get a proper perspective, in the photo to the right, AJ and Bart are stood at the bottom of one of the horses.

They really are amazingly beautiful and I am so glad we made the trip.Family at KelpiesKelpie close upThe girls watched a couple of movies at the cinema and we headed to the beach whenever there was a small window of opportunity. Living only forty minutes or so from the coast is great for waking up, finding a clear day and just jumping in the car. Having been spoilt by our easy access to the beaches since moving north, I cant imagine living anymore inland than this.

Last week was spent again, dodging raindrops and racing around getting the last-minute stuff ready for school.

Finally the day arrived. I am really lucky in the fact both girls love school, so getting them orgainised Tuesday morning was not a chore at all. We were all up, dressed and ready to go in plenty of time and I waved the girls off in their school bus, huge smiles on all our faces!

New School Year.jpg