Saturday 21 December 2013

Christmas starting

Mince pies!
I normally take some to work, we are sharing with friends tomorrow and, despite the flour and sugar involved, we might have a couple as well.
Having one gluten free child and grandma means we will experiment with pastry, but the nicest gf pastry has nuts in, which rules out another child. Plus, Flower has been absolutely thriving on sugar/sweetener free, grain free- basically meat and veg and homemade soups, casseroles and stirfrys.
Being away this last week was tough, and it was very noticable that we weren't sticking to the diet. Flower gets really emotional and struggles with transitions, noise, tiredness, you name it. We started off doing the GAPS intro diet, but we are definately more GAPS inspired than actually strictly sticking to it.

I'm not quite ready to share our plans for the future out here. We have a definate idea of moving, and where exactly we want to be ( lovely neighbours and a house and garden so utterly exceeding my wish list I think I must be dreaming) but I'm waiting to hear about the work side of things. None of it can happen without the job, and the waiting to hear will be a long slow process, especially with Christmas and New I'm trying very hard to put it out of my head. While also wondering about getting moving quotes.Sigh.

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Wednesday 18 December 2013

Busy busy

We have been away for a few days, finding new possibilities and opportunities. We have some really difficult decisions to make ( I hope, I think) and we've also had some fun. We had a day at morwellham quay yesterday, which was used as the set for one of the girls favourite programmes ' Edwardian Farm'.

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Thursday 5 December 2013


Ive been busy with a few different things, work possibilities that are still up in the air, but for now here's some makings.
Flower filled the jars for these cookie mixes, and made lip balm. Princess made some moisturiser bars, and has so many plans I'm very curious to see what happens, but for now shes finished a scarf for herself. Ah, but can't upload the photos. Typical.
The crochet squares will be a blanket, but too late for this Christmas. Hopefully a January present, but I'll have to keep very busy!
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Wednesday 6 November 2013

Poorly day

Princess went back to bed today, she was feeling that poorly.
She didn't even want to go out with the friend who comes to play Tuesdays ( Flower got her all to herself and had a great day, lucky thing!).
But she did perk up and play with her electronic kit. Wow, did she have fun. For hours!
This is her coming up with a light circuit with a dimmer.
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Thursday 24 October 2013

A couple of pics

The swimsuit -come- dress. I'm quite happy with this- I've not done anything with two slippy fabrics before, and most importantly Flower is very happy and wearing it lots. The skirt fabric came in a big bundle of freecycled materials, and I suspect the swimsuit is from when she was 2-3.
Princess is pretty handy with a sling, even with a great big extra long five year old!

A few days

Feeding the animals at Cannon Hall Farm,
Riding lesson,playing in the park are the pics today. There were more but updating by email has limits apparently.
Princess has continued to carve her elves, and keeping going with unprompted reading. She is very selective in what she chooses to read, and we are enjoying her independence.
Flower is enjoying having a selective diet- she's gluten free and doing really well with it. She's really happy with her own Flower-size sweeping brush ( full size cut down to suit her), and swept up loads of leaves outside, and helping inside as well. She's after her own wheelbarrow, but that will probably wait until spring, when we know how tall she is then!
Both girls are attached to old swimming costumes, with Flowers from when she was about 2-3, really far too small. I finally managed to snip off the bottom, add a silky skirt and turn it into a dress. That photo will have to wait for another day though.
Carving- well, that's what dh and Princess do, but dh is a bit busy drystone walling for the next few months- he has a boundary wall to move, when he gets chance.
We have a spindle, and a very large amount of alpaca fleece turned up just at the right moment, so spinning will be another craft to fit in.
Some of the alpaca has found itself needle felted, but that's another one that'll wait for another day.
Time just flies at the moment. I barely have chance to breathe, so this blog seems to be a bit of a photo diary just to remind me of the gist of what we have been up to.
A few people we see occasionally are much less accepting of home Ed, and like others, my mind goes blank when put on the spot. Maybe I could say look at the blog for some things we do, rather than the ' whatever takes our fancy' general answer.
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Wednesday 16 October 2013

Baking for two

Princess has been nut free for years, but we are also trying a fortnight of wheat free to see if that helps Flower ( I'm not that hopeful- I suspect it'll be yeast and sugar she needs to cut out, but 1 step at a time).
Anyway, that meant we needed two baking sessions today, and I had to invent a rice flour biscuit recipe. I hate inventing recipes, it usually is spectacularly aweful, but thankfully, this time it worked.
Cinnamon gingerbread men made with wheat, and vanilla rice flour biscuits made with almonds.
Recent days have had the fire lit purely for toasting marshmallows, and I've managed to block some squares of a blanket I'm working on. I rarely block anything, but it is satisfying to see it making such a difference from raggedy square-ish shapes changing to very regular building blocks for a blanket.
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Sunday 13 October 2013

This week Eureka had some workshops for HE kids. We tried out two. One was, well, rather limited in format ( ask questions and write them down in a time limit) but princess enjoyed the novelty of it. The other had a lot of info about fictional robots, with some real ones as well, and most importantly chance to get hands on with one robot and lots of remote controlled cars.The star centre at Keighley sounds worthy of further investigations.

We've had cold germs this week. Yesterday was my turn to be pathetic, so I wasn't much help when Flower decided to make lots of jigsaws, and the girls made chunky fish fingers without any help from me until the cooking :-)
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Saturday 5 October 2013


Princess has been busy. DH ran a wood elf carving session last week, and Princess loved it. She's kept going on her own and made a family. She's planning on making some to sell, which might be quite handy as DH has some work next weekend. Thwaite Mills in Leeds ( very handy for motorway access) is having an activity day which will include elf carving, as well as apple pressing, wild food walks and much more. Sadly copying the leaflet here is beyond my technical abilities.
Rainbows pic is almost a selfie. His technical ( and non technical) abilities are coming on with leaps and bounds!
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Sunday 29 September 2013

Wool dying from yarndale

Acid dying from the workshop at Yarndale. It was great to just have a go! We don't have or want a microwave, so I'm just trying fixing the green fleece by steaming the old fashioned way.
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We went to yarndale yesterday. Luckily we missed the parking and queueing issues by being there early, but it was incredibly busy inside.
I had a great time doing a dying wool workshop, everyone else went to the park - Flower doesn't like crowds or woollyness (yet!) So was particularly unhappy.
Princess had a great time, she looked around with Grandma, and daddy got a few minutes to look around without children.
Phone blogging wasn't working, so here's hoping it works by email. The photos are just a few things that caught my eye- it was too busy for me to think and take it all in!
I even got to stand next to Lucy from Attic24! It was at the start of the day, and Flower was a bit upset so it wasn't the moment to say hi ( and I was a bit star struck).
I am utterly in awe that a small group of volunteers set up something that was so absolutely heaving- the issues were purely that so many people turned up ( if only a 1000 less cars and buses hadn't been there, it'd been lovely!). I'd no appreciation how mainstream crochet, knitting, spinning and dying is- I do now!
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Monday 29 July 2013

More of Sunday

YEsterday ended up a rather full on and productive day! No idea how, DH was off doing a carving course so we were rather low on adult- child ratios.
We have watched a sciencey programme on iplayer ( I forget the name, but Dara O'Brien was hosting). Some of it was ignored, talked over or screamed through, but we did discuss how rain has usually been frozen before it falls and were interested in how blue food colouring could help highlight taste buds (some people have more than others, did you know that?). So we gave it a go. Not sure how many taste buds we saw but blue food colouring doesn't taste that great....
Physical contact. I was surprised at this one. Grumpy Flower wanted to calm down in 'her' sling, its been something she's really found helpful for calming down big strops where she'd normally run away from us all. Slight problem, Rainbow was asleep in it, on me. Princess steps in, offers her back and another sling, and hey presto, much calmer Flower. The power of the Sling is just fab (and amazingly patient Big Sister!).

Yesterday had a fair bit of unphotographed baking (sourdough loaves, raisin loaf, pizzas) but the raisin buns did get in shot. The girls really enjoy eating currant teacakes. But, like everything, bought ones have all kind of additives in. So, we have a freezer drawer full now, and I don't mind so much if Rainbow has some of these. I'm still a bit wary of the huge amounts of wheat we all could eat so easily (and the girls actively get us to buy) but homemade at least we're more aware of what goes into what we eat.

Rainbow asleep. He's so busy these days, and normally asleep on my back (major sling strop fail for back carry meant he went on my front!) and I don't often get a shot of all his lovely curls :-)
We also fit in watching ALL of the first Harry Potter film. Hagrid even uses a pouch sling right at the beginning, I had no idea slings were so mainstream! Princess struggles with any kind of mild peril, so it was a real achievement to get through the whole film (we read the book last week and struggled with scariness, but a bit of forwarning helped a little).
Playing out, playing in (though that happened more at Sue and Kevs I think!), rain, sunshine, a little bit of everything.
Anyway, we don't have days like this everyday, so when they do happen I like to have a note of it!

Sunday 28 July 2013

best job in the world.

watching Rainbow grow ( and being distracted by my phone,) but sitting on the stairs makes it harder for him to get all the way up before shouting for someone to play peekaboo.
Not impossible though.
Sunshine and showers, green things and rocks. a hug at the ready. What else could you need?!

a post from my phone

Ive not tried this before  so lets see how it goes.
This mornings quick harvest, gooseberries and salad. The boy got the raspberries and strawberries today!
Yesterdays harvest, Princess helped.I went for the gooseberries but got sidetracked...

 We've been out and about, this was Greenhead Park.

This was down the garden one day after work.Tea outside is a must on work days - we often head to the park. A great antidote to a day in the dark, and then when we have been getting home its been another hour down the allotment. So far its doing really well.
the typing is getting frustrating so I'll just try to add a few pics. Or not.

Thursday 4 July 2013


Last week I wanted to make lemonade, but couldn't find a recipe I liked.
I tried to mix a few bits of recipes I could find, or remember, but this was delicious:
2 lemons
2 limes

Zest the lemons and put that in 1 litre of water with 100 g sugar in a pan. Warm so the sugar dissolves, then cool. Seive out the lemon zest.
Juice the lemons and limes, and add to the cool syrup, and enjoy.
Now the borage is flowering, borage (aka starflower) in icecubes would be fun, or just drop a few flowers in the drink. I usually eat them in salads.


Its gone by in a bit of a blur really. We've been WWOOFing, been basket making, taken turns having a stomach bug thats taken ages to get rid of,discovered nits (managed to get through life without them fine until now!), foraging walk, gardening and I've gone back to work.

helping clean up, honest. well, eating the sponge is helping, isn't it?

foot dipping (not quite paddling) in Hebden Bridge

a nice bit of motorway services 

the ducklings were not safe

the chicks were protected from babies and predators

we had a great basketry teacher- this is what we all made

clean is a waste of time

poorly day on the farm.

how WWOOFing can work with baby- scything!
SOme photos from the girls' camera :

And the journey home was awful- with dodgy tummies we needed lots of toilet stops.
 Rainbow enjoyed the stops though.

We did a foraging walk with Chris in Marsden

Had a chat with some policemen and their horses (what a van!)

And waved lots each time we passed each other, which happened a couple of times
We've been to various parks
Sutton I think!

The yellow park, watching his sisters

He had been stretching back just before, very laid back

Fish pie flicks well

Poor Kev! 
I was having a rather grumpy time after finishing up the shopping with all three kids. I really was ready for a sit down and a drink, but I wasn't allowed in the house. I was soooo fed up, wanting to get the shopping put away, freezer stuff in the freezer, and just Had Enough. Then Flower let slip my barring involved Cake. Suddenly all became bearable, and a few minutes later my sit down involved a lovely cake mixed, baked and washed up after by the girls- the shopping included the jam for the middle. It was a very good cake!

The boy loves being outside in the dirt. He grubs about in it, and eats it.Ants aren't a favourite, and the ones in the allotment hurt. Of course, we seem to grow thousands of ants.

Doesn't the shed look lovely behind all the yummy berries-to-be?

aqualegia in the strawberry patch

Borage starting to flower

This tunnel has had so much use over the last 7 years, and still fun!