Monday After The World Tipped!

There have been lots of cartoons, jokes, memes doing the rounds at the moment regarding the situation every country in the World finds itself in.  The funniest I have seen is a picture of the Earth and written over it, it says “Mother Nature has sent us all to our rooms to think about what we have done”!!!!!  On the back of that how environmental things have already changed by us all social distancing the most notable of which is the canals in Venice have cleared. The situation has rather taken the wind out of Miss Thunberg’s sails!!!!

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Loch Ness early morning.

DH and I should have been travelling up to the Highlands Saturday April 4th for two weeks over the Easter break but because of the current situation and the fact we are all social distancing have cancelled.  Of course we are really disappointed but have to follow our Government’s rules unlike the thousands of muppets who were out over the weekend in parks, national parks, seaside resorts etc ignoring the Goverment’s rules!  No doubt these are the same people who have been panic buying!

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I had a lovely day yesterday with my Boys at home and I got some lovely presents.  Some sweet pea seeds to grow, a new doorstop for our back door which has the Queen song lyrics changed to “Door Stop me now……  I’m having such a good time….. Holding the door……”!!!! It should be “Don’t stop me now I’m having such a good time, having a ball…” and a new travel mug which says “Another Manic Mum Day”!!!  So true.  In the afternoon, evening the Boys went off to see the Girlfriends’ Moms for dinner!  I did the ironing!!!!!!

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DH and Eldest carried on with the building works at the front of our home over the weekend.  This is what it looked like after Friday, Eldest had done a huge amount.  The skip was changed on Saturday morning for a new one and this is what it looked like by the afternoon yesterday.  DH has ordered some stone to go into the hole to bring it up to the level of the tarmac.  The trench is for the stones they have taken out to strengthen the wall and also make a decorative feature on the concrete on the house wall.  We will then drive on it for a while to tamp it down and then get more tarmac added so the drive will be complete again.  We think that we may be able to get four cars on the drive now with DH’s truck just on the pavement!!!!

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This is the soil taken out.

I am hoping to get some plants in when it is finished to help with the styling of it.

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Our neighbours Magnolia tree just coming into flower.

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Wanted to show you this.  Normally during the day there is one car on our road but as you can see a lot of people are self distancing by working from home.

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Pictures of our back garden.  As you can see today is a beautiful Spring day and I think Phil was right in that it is an early Spring.

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DH mowed the lawn yesterday, the first of the season, it always makes the garden look better.  The big conifers on the left of the picture is the next job we are tackling as although they are slow growing they have over-grown so need lopping and thinning.  Hopefully next weekend we can get this done.

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The tree with the roots on the deck has come from the front and we will be planting it at the back of the garden next weekend too.

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Treacle enjoying the Spring sunshine.

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I know I show you this every year but I just love this primula.  I love the colour and the fact it is so pretty at this time of year.

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It is at the base of the Wisteria which has one chance to flower again this year otherwise I will be digging it up and replacing it!!!!!  We gave it a good trim two years ago and since then it has been sulking!!!!

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Treacle has found one of her footballs!

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“Hi Mom, picture time”!!!!!

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The right, above, and left, below, gardens on the patio which are just starting to wake up after the wet Winter.

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This side looks dreadful at the moment but will come alive in a few weeks/month’s time.

DH has arranged for a delivery of compost so I will be able to plant some things and I have bought some seeds on line to be delivered too.  Trying to do all we can not to go out unless absolutely necessary. 

One of the blogs I follow did a post about how she had an online lunch date with her friend.  They had lunch in their homes and then spoke to each other on the phone at the same time.  She is looking into setting up Skype. I thought this was a great idea to connect with friends whilst still being responsible. 

We have been keeping in touch with friends, who are in the vulnerable group, to make sure they are okay and have all they need and our family to just make sure all are well at the moment. 

I will keep posting every day with happy things, because as the situation is dire for a lot of people at the moment, you don’t need any more from me.  Thank you for stopping by and I hope you find a few minutes of peace here at my Blog.  Stay Safe All.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

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To All the Moms, Grandmothers, Aunts, etc out there we hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Over the last few years my Boys have taken me out for Breakfast but this year we will be staying in!!!  Have a lovely day everyone and stay safe.

Hugs, Susie, DH, Eldest, Youngest & Treacle xxxxx

National Quilting Day.

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Today is National Quilting Day!  I have been so wrapped up in all the furore of the last week, I have completely zoned out of quilting!!!  However it is a great way to occupy your time as you are social distancing!!! 

Anyway, Quilting!  I have started to sort out my quilting things to sew back at my desk which I use for work in the week.  As I have not done this for a while I have to remember where I put everything before and how I used to do it!!!!  I haven’t had much time up to now to do this so it will be a great job to do in the next few weeks. 

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I have a couple of projects still on the go, this being the main one made from the material above!!!  I just need to sew a final row onto the quilt and then I need to add the borders and the top will be done!!!  Hopefully over the next few weeks I can get this done.

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It is a good job we Quilters have a good stash of material to keep us going at the moment.  Of course I am sure if you need anything lots of quilt shops will still mail things out to you.

Have a good day whatever you are up to, quilting or gardening or reading.

Stay Safe.

Hugs, Susie xx

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A Family Favourite Dish.

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Picture Credit:  BBC Good Food

As it is Saturday and in the current situation you may have more time than normal I thought you would like a new recipe to try.  This is a huge favourite in my home.

I forgot to take a picture of it when I cooked it the last time, so the above picture is from BBC Good Food which is similar but slightly different to mine!!!! 

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Cheese stuffed Chicken wrapped in Bacon & White Sauce.

Ingredients:

Four chicken breasts, eight slices of back bacon, four portions of cheese to fit the chicken, one onion diced, 1 tbsp of Olive Oil, 1 chicken stock cube, 1 tbsp plain flour, 1/2 pint of milk.

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1.  Dice the onion and put into a pan with the olive oil and fry until soft.  Then put the chicken stock cube into the pan and let it disolve with the heat of the oil and onions over a low heat.

2.  Next put the flour into the pan to soak up the juices and cook slowly for a couple of minutes.  Then pour in the milk and stir until thickened, if it is too thick add a little more milk.  Simmer the sauce for five minutes and add some salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Prepare the chicken and then cut the cheese.  Now DH likes Blue cheese like Stilton but the Boys prefer Red Leicester cheese or you can use any hard cheese you like.  Slice a wedge off and put it on the underside of the breast.  Then wrap a piece of bacon around the breast at the front lengthways and wrap another piece of bacon across the breast whilst holding the cheese in.  Place the chicken in an oven proof dish next to each other.

4.  Taste the sauce to see if you need to add any more seasoning and then pour it over the chicken.  Cover the dish with some foil and place in a hot oven (200°C) for an hour.  Take out of the oven and remove the foil and then put back in the oven for another 30 minutes (obviously you know your ovens and can adjust the timing).  Ensure that the chicken is cooked through (depends upon the size of the chicken breasts).  You will find that the cheese has melted into the sauce which can be spooned over the chicken when you serve.

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My lot like mashed potatoes, peas and leeks with this dinner!

If you like you could add mushrooms to the sauce (DH and I like mushrooms the Boys don’t!) and you could change the bacon for Prosciutto if you wish.  This is also a good recipe for dinner parties.

Have a lovely weekend, happy eating and stay safe.

Hugs, Susie xx

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Spring? Brr!!!!

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The Spring Equinox is when the day and night are almost equal.  For us in the Northern Hemisphere it is today and occurred at 3.49am GMT!!!!!  Here it is very sunny and bright but with a very cold wind!!!!!  We are due to have some frosts next week and I am hoping that will help with the current situation and kill of this dreadful virus!!!  We have not had many frosts this Winter and my Grandmother always used to say some good heavy frosts will kill off all the bugs!!!!!  Oh by the way the Spring Equinox information came off my day to day Snoopy calendar!!!!!!

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No it’s not snowed since the start of this post!!!!  I wanted to show you the front of our home.  When we first moved in nineteen years ago we widened the drive to fit DH and my cars on the drive side by side, but we kept a corner of the garden (on the right of the picture)  as I think it looks better.  However we now have for a portion of the week five cars to try and park which means we have had to take the rest of the garden away.  I really didn’t want to but needs must………..

First job was to get all the plants out and moved those to the back garden.  One benefit of the current situation we find ourselves in, there is time to get on with these jobs!!!!!

It is also good when you have Eldest who is now fit and fine since his shoulder problems and has been told that he can no longer go for physio or occupational therapy because of the situation, who is just waiting for his work to get it rubber stamped for him to go back to work, and he is fed up so he is loving digging out!!!

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The skip almost full!

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We are leaving the plants at the top but will be taking the soil out down the side of our neighbours wall and will have a wall put around the plants and against our home to support the side.

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Eldest busy digging down and we will move the stones into the back as well.

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DH will be home later this afternoon to help out!!!!

When this is done we will get the drive tarmacked and it will mean that we will be able to store our three bins at the side and get three cars side by side and then DH and Eldest’s car at the front and we will then not have to worry about DH parking elsewhere on our road!!!!  Of course by the time we have done this no doubt Eldest will then be moving out into his own home!!!!  However it will be better when we get visitors as well.  When it is all done I will aim to get some more plants in there somehow!!!!

We are going to go to the garden centre tomorrow to get some compost for my veg planter and my pots and some other bits and bobs so that we can get on with the garden!!!!

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Gardener’s World on BBC2 is back tonight.  Monty Don who is the host and his dogs Nigel and Nelly tell us each week what we should be doing in the garden and shows you how to do various projects.  So even if it is raining you get to see some gardens.  They are hoping to keep going as long as possible with the program as it is filmed weekly but it all depends upon how the situation progresses!!! 

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The Chelsea Flower Show, which we went to for the first time last year, is cancelled at the beginning of May and our Carnival which is at the beginning of July has been cancelled too!  DH and I are due to got to the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in July this year and at the moment they have not cancelled it but again it will all depend upon how things go in the next few weeks/months!

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This week has been quite surreal.  We are seeing things which at least two if not three Generations have never seen or experienced and I think everyone is feeling a little at sea to say the least.  I also think that we are all keen to make sure that we do as the Government are telling us to try and stop this thing in its tracks but what we must do is still do the same two weeks, two months or more down the line and not get complacent.  We must not think “well it is not affecting me so I will go out to the pub or the local restaurant”  We must try and stop it as soon as possible and if that means we are not able to do what we want, when we want then that is the price we pay for staying safe!!!! 

I have seen a news report of where young people are ignoring the advice and going out to the pub as normal every evening!  I am sure as with most youngsters they think they are invincible but it will not stop the spread!!!! 

As we go into the first weekend of this new norm stay safe and stay busy, Idle Hands and all that!!! 

We hope you have a good weekend and keep smiling.

Hugs & Love Susie xx

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#TBT.

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Seventy one year’s ago my parents got married!  Here they are outside of the Parish Church after the wedding.  Dad was 24 and Mom was 19.  Eldest is the same age as my Dad now and yet my Dad looks so much older, a result of being in the RAF during the Second World War I think.  Looking at this picture now of 1949 and our current situation it seems so much like a link between the years.  My Grandmother, who taught me to cook, bake and sew, saved up their ration coupons so she was able to make their two tier wedding cake.  My mother’s wedding dress was also made by my Grandmother and again they had to save their coupons for the material for that.

DH and I cleared out our attic last year and we had some old family photographs which were still in their frames, although damaged.  One was of this picture and as we took the picture out my Grandmother had placed it on top of another picture of my Mom as a Bridesmaid for her best friend!!!  We would have never seen it had we not taken the frame apart!!!!

Great #TBT picture!!!!!

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I went grocery shopping this morning and despite the claims of the supermarket chief executive that supply lines are not a problem and there is plenty to go around, the shelves were empty!!!  No fresh meat, no cereal, no orange juice, no crisps and no tinned goods of anything!!!!!  Do you remember in the Harry Potter Film “The Order of the Phoenix” Umbridge’s special pen?  “I shall not tell lies” Mr Chief Executive!!!!!!!!

Our schools in the UK are closing tomorrow two weeks before the normal Easter break to try and protect the children.  They have, in the newspaper I do read, been asking for tips on how to work from home and look after your children at the same time.  Now I am an expert on that having worked in our business from home since both our Boys were born!!!!!!  In fact I don’t think we would have been able to have children had we not worked from home as we have no family whatsoever to help out with child care!!!!

When the Boys were tiny and primary school age, I used to find I would get up really early and work before they were up.  Once they were up I would deal with them food wise and then we would play and do things and then, when they still had sleeps in the afternoon, do more work, then  when they woke up let them play on their own for a bit whilst I kept one eye on them and one eye on my work.  I would then also work in the evening when they went to bed. 

Obviously as they got older it changed and as they needed less input from me, it was just keeping an eye on them.  At least we are going into the better weather months hopefully and if people are lucky enough to have gardens the children can be out there.  Someone did comment that we will all have immaculate gardens this year as we have all this time on our own and being outside of course lifts the spirits and is good for your health!!!!!

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My other thought on the current situation was; has anyone seen a big blue giant of a man with a metal glove and five shiny stones in it recently???????  I mean we have had all the fires in Australia, the floods here in the UK, the locusts in Africa and now this virus!  Either a big blue giant or the Four Horsemen!!!!!  

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I have had a few new Followers join me on this blogging journey and I just wanted to say Welcome and Thank You for Following and I do hope that you find some fun, some facts, some quilting (eventually!) and some Friendship here at my Blog. 

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I am off now to get home jobs done!!!!  Wish me luck!!!!

Hugs, Susie xx

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Finally wanted to say that in the midst of this situation things happen which we all have to face at various times and we need to spare a thought for all those going through a terrible time as well as trying to cope with this difficult situation. 

A very good friend of mine her father has just passed, not because of the virus and is having to deal with that as well as the restrictions to do with Covid-19. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with her and all that are having to cope with the same situation amidst this terrible time.

Take care and stay safe all.  xx

The Wednesday Wag.

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We have had one of those days and I am really confused as Daddy and Eldest are at home as well as Mom!!!  Only Youngest has gone out to work!!!  What is happening?  I hear a lot of things about some sort of thing which might be caught and that people are staying at home but that is okay as I love it when everyone is in!!!!

Also Daddy and Eldest have been doing a lot of work at the front of our home pulling out all of Mom’s plants!!!  I don’t know what is going off.

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Mom has ensured I have enough food just in case deliveries can’t happen and I have seen an extra box of Bonios in my cupboard so we should be alright if we are all at home.  I am very willing to share my bonios with my Hoomans!!!!

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I am quite happy at the moment especially with everyone at home.  I hope all you doggies are keeping you and your hoomans safe and healthy.

Woof, Treacle xx