Tuesday, 21 September 2010

2010 Sept 21--Updates

To the left is a photo of Kidderminster Park, Langley;  My Midnight Man and I live across the street from it.  Because we are on the first floor and have a balcony, we have a wonderful view of this park.  It can actually hold up to 6 football pitches. This photo was taken in 2007, whilst the football crazy British played in the rain.  Today was absolutely glorious.

This morning as I was reading my e-mail I could hear the whining hum of the mowing machines across the road in the park; the scent of newly mown grass wafted into the lounge through the open balcony door.  Upon looking out onto the field, the large mower was making large swaths across the field, spewing out green mulch behind itself.  Had the grass been very tall, the council could make hay! 

I missed writing the blog over the last 10 days.  It wasn't that I had nothing to say, it was more that I wasn't feeling well.  So Monday (20th Sept.)  I went to the Dr. again.  He told me to stop taking the HRT--I'd already stopped it the previous day--Sunday.  Then he proceeded to order a battery of blood tests to try to determine why I can't recover from fatigue and tremors.  I'll keep you all posted.

On the first day of my blog I wrote about knitting a jumper for my friend's dog.  I am using this "fancy" yarn that it a real nuisance to work with.  If you are a knitter and love challenges-- well give it a go.  But, if you like things to be straight-forward--avoid the stuff.    Just so you know specifically the yarn is Fancy Yarn by Yarncraft, made by PMS International.  Once I finish this project, any remaining is going to the charity shop!!! 

The other challenge with this project is that I am converting the pattern--required as I am using a larger-sized set of needles to knit with than is specified by the pattern.  The yarn is easier to handle with the bigger needles. This is the first time I have ever done a pattern/size conversion--stretching myself to learn more.  Being more right brained (artistic), math is not my first love.  Thankfully, I do have a "life-style" acumen for simple mathematics and can think along the lines of: "If the pattern says that five stitches across equals one inch, but my test patch has 3.6 stitches per inch, how many stitches are now required to make the garment the right size?"  All those story problems in math class so long ago are cropping up now to haunt me!  So far, I'm finding that my calculations are pretty close.  Once I'm done, and my friend puts the jumper/sweater on on her "Fur-Baby", we will know just how successful I have been--IF I have been.

You will also notice that there are three balls of yarn being used.  That's because I'm following a design that requires a different colour! This technique is also the first time I've done this!  The end result is a heart in blue.  In the photo you can see the heart taking shape.  The pattern I found and am using is:  http://mysavannahcottage.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/boyfriend-sweater-pdf.pdf

 But I must go on record and say, that even with these challenges, I am enjoying the project--and will be glad to get it finished!

Today I pulled the last of my carrots.  Now the only thing still growing is the yellow squash plant.  The size of one of the carrots was a surprise to me--large actually.  And they went from the ridiculous to the sublime!  It just confirms that carrots will be planted again next year.   The ruler shows the biggest carrot being about 4.5 inches/11.5 cm.  And so the tiny one is barely 1 inch/2.54 cm.  They also taste great!  

Another project in my kitchen last week had to do with tomatoes.  A couple we know who has an allotment gave us a large punnet of ripe tomatoes.  The very next day my husband's best friend brought us a bag of tomatoes from his garden.  I knew that if I didn't do something with this great haul of produce, most of them would be binned--which would have been shameful.  So I chopped up the two lots, put them in a large cooking pot and let them simmer for about an hour.  Then I sieved them, to get rid of the peel and the seeds. 

The next step was preservation.  I collect small to middle-sized jars with re-seal-able lids.  The trick to making them work is to place the clean jars into boiling water, along with the lids.  This serves two purposes:  1) to sterilise the jar and kill bad bacteria; 2) to get the jar the same temperature as the substance being preserved.  In this way the jar is kept from breaking when the hot food is poured into the jar.  Making the jar hot, creates sufficient expansion of the jar to create a vacuum as the filled, lidded jar cools.  As the suction happens, it causes the rubber seal to contract and seal permanently.  So I set the jars to soaking while the juice was reheating to boiling point on the hob.  

 The pulpy juice can be cooked down to make passta or used in soup and sauces.  In order to preserve the juice, it required pouring back into the sauce pan (after I washed it).  Once again boiling, I ladled the juice into four jars, placed on the lids and awaited the happy sound of lids popping as they sealed.  ;-)   

That's what has been keeping me busy.  I've also been reading some good books lately--but I will save that for another day. 

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith


  1. There is a way (I forget how) to make your blog post to your Facebook page. Mine does automatically, because I did whatever it is you do for that - now I have to figure out how to undo that, so that absolutely EVERYTHING doesn't post to my page...

  2. And yeah, that yarn looks SO not cool. I mean, totally cool for someone else to work with, but...
    I'm currently halfway through a scarf (crocheting) that I started twice with different hooks finding out what size I wanted to use, and the first time I decided the hook wasn't working out (too small), I found out that the fluff went one direction and not the other, and getting the several rows I'd crocheted undone required going against the grain. Slowly, very slowly, because I was afraid of pulling out the fluff. Then I did it the second time, and then that hook was too BIG...

  3. The game was mediocre (I'm not a soccer or football fan. Now if it was cycling...)
    The doggy coat looks brilliant. Not sure if I could handle wearing that kind of yarn myself, though. But then, it's not for me, so.. who care about what I think? ;-
    The veggies were yummie, even if the shapes were totally unconventional. :-)
    The tomato puree has yet to be sampled, but I have no doubts whatsoever that it will be delicious.