Wednesday, January 17, 2018

My Piles have Diminished!

Rubble, rubble, rubble! My life is full of rubble. However, only two more days, and all the back garden rubble will be in the planters! I will not be sad to see the end of it.

There's no need for more grey, rubble-y pictures. Instead, we have raspberries.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Garden Work Continues

The second pile of rubble creating has been started. It's slow going, but it's going. I decided against posting yet another picture of rubble and my grey garden. Instead, a picture of something I wish to see growing in my garden later in the year. It 

Afternoon Walkies

The advice given by the MSPCA was to keep Ava on a leash for three weeks before letting her have free runs. The idea is that during that time the dog and humans will form a bond, and the dog won't just run away when let off the leash. 

We've taken her on a beach walk at Peel, and a little off-leash experiment at Groudle Beach. Groudle is an isolated, enclosed beach. It's also very rocky. Ava enjoyed exploring the area but kept pretty close. 

Yesterday we decided on Port Erin Beach, and she enjoyed herself free running and meeting other dogs. She especially enjoyed the four bloodhound puppies we met. Puppies seem to be fascinating to her. It was the puppies first time out, and they enjoyed all of the fuss and attention from Ava and her humans.

We noticed a sign outside The Bay Hotel, "Dog welcome with well behaved owners". The Beloved went to the bar for a round of Coke. I took of my waterproof jacket, and Ava hopped onto the bench seating. Ava was told to get down, and then forcibly removed from the seat. When she first jumped up I saw the bar staff look over. As I had the situation in hand nothing was said. A few moment more and she hopped up again. Again she was told to get down and the command was backed up with action. I was thinking 'Dog, you are going to get us thrown out!'. Thankfully, we were able to keep her on the floor. Not too bad for a first time. It is to be hoped we won't have similar problems in the future.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Alfredo Sauce

Amber Alden's Alfredo Sauce 

100g butter
2 Tsp gluten free flour
100g lactose-free cream cheese
230g lactose-free milk
75g grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp garlic infused olive oil
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp basil
¼ tsp oregano

1. Medium non-stick skillet, melt the butter. Using whisk, add the flour and cook approximately 2 minutes whisking continuously.
2. Add the cream cheese and milk, continually whisking until the sauce begins to thicken. (approx. 5 minutes) Once sauce thickens, add grated cheese and continue to whisk until the cheese melts. Add the garlic oil, pepper, basil, oregano and more milk if necessary. Once cheese has completely melted and smooth, serve.

Friday, January 12, 2018

First Pile Declttered

The first pile of rubble has been decluttered! The 'Rubble Be Gone!' spray didn't work, and I had to do it all by hand, well shovel. As I was taking a progress photograph of the rubble that isn't there, the reason for the renovation appeared. Ava enjoys being out in the back garden and has thoroughly investigated everything I have been doing. 

This projected started out as a way to create a safe secure garden for a dog, but it has evolved into so much more. Oh! You should see the pictures in my head! The once unloved space is going to be a clean, crisp, green space, full of life. It's going to be a place to grow fruit and veggies, sit and chat, dry washing, cook, as well as being an out door space for Ava.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Rubble Be Gone!

Work progresses! The first pile of rubble is now half the size it was yesterday. It looks like the first planter is going to have just about the right amount of drainage in the bottom. Hopefully the first pile will be gone by the end of Friday.

The Beloved talked with a friend with a van. Brian popped round this evening and had a look at the stuff beyond the gate. He will come and dispose of it for us on Sunday. He asked about the concrete blocks, and said he could use them as foundations for parking space. Another job ticked off. Brian also expressed interest in the shed. As I've already spoken to Ian about the sheds, and will contact him tomorrow to see if he's still interested. If he's not, then Brian would love to have them. What's more, Brian knows a source for manure to spread over the rubble in the planters, and also top soil! 

Brian is a very useful person to know!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Moving the Shed

A few cement bricks and blocks have been moved, along with a wheel barrow. The shed with the broken door has been moved into that space, out of the middle of the garden. The space looks so much bigger now. Down the side of the shed is a second shed, all in pieces. Both sheds were left behind by the previous owners of the house. It's taken me over 10 years to do something with them, ie move them a few metres. One of the builders thinks his friend would be happy to take the sheds away. This would be great. I'm going to give them to the end of the month to remove them. If they haven't gone by then, I'll get them taken to the tip. 

Pictured above is an old corroded bed frame, a wonky ladder, a sheet of corrugated plastic, a rotary clothes dryer. These have all be moved from beside the second shed to the back wall. Whilst the Younger Offspring is out on lunchtime walkies, I'll move them just outside the gate. The Beloved is going to ask a friend with a van to help him taken them to the tip over the weekend. The pile of rubble is gradually getting smaller. 

Update: The items from the back wall have been moved outside the gate, and more rubble has been cleared. Its proving to be easier to use the shovel to move the rubble/sand/soil into the wheelbarrow, move it a short distance and then lift out the large chunks by hand into the planter, and shovel the rest.

Next time, I'll divide the rubble pile into portions. then see how much I can do each day. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Hedgehog Fabric

A fat quarter of this beautiful fabric was bought on Saturday. I was looking for yarn for a Temperature Blanket, but couldn't see a rainbow of yarns. The Younger Offspring was wanting yarn for arm knitting, and as I owed them a little money I said I would pay. the total didn't reach the minimum total for a card purchase, so these cute little hogs were added. An impulse purchase.

The fabric has been made into couple of  drawstring bags. 

Goal Digger 2018

In 2017, I had a few goals. The biggest was to resign from work. Dues to changes in the management structure, and the gradual eroding of my position, responsibilities and autonomy, I was becoming more and more unhappy. I discussed this with my husband, The Beloved, and he told me to resign.  Instead of resigning immediately, I made a plan to take as much information from my head and commit it to paper/computer so others would be able to use the information in future. I tidied and organised, and worked my way thing a load of stuff. With my husband, I planned a finish date, and then a month before, I handed in my resignation. It was freeing, it was brilliant! Since then, I have been so very much happier. My health has improved, my life has improved. It was a brilliant move. 

Another goal was to lose weight, and I lost a little.  My skirts and trousers are now rather loose on me. I'm going to carry this idea on into 2018. But, this year, I'm going to set a goal. This year, I want to lose 25kg (almost 4 stones). This is going to be accomplished by eating food that's better for me, dog walking, cycling and gardening.

On the gardening front, I want to get the back garden looking crisp, clean and green. The 'builder's yard' look is so old. Now, I want 'sanctuary', a place to grow food, potter around, dry washing, and hang out with the dog. 

During the building work, I was reminded of the church building renovation I took part in whilst a student. There were so many things I learned, how to work with wood, tiling, knocking down walls, plastering etc. This year, I'm going to learn how to build a brick planter. I'll use the leftover brick pavers, sand and concrete from the back garden to make a planter for the front garden.

And my final goal, for now, is to use more fabric and yarn than I buy. This has been my goal for quite a number of years, and it is working. It's slow, but it's working.  So far this year, I have bought one fat quarter of fabric. Some sleepy little hedgehogs nestled in autumn leaves.