Blog Posts

One-liner Wednesday – No verbal filter!

No verbal filter

One of the joys of menopause is no longer feeling like I need to say the right thing all the time, just to please people. I try to make sure my words pass through three gates, as advised by Buddha –

  • Is it true?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it kind?

Occasionally I slip up!

Thanks to Linda G Hill for the reminder.

One Liner Wednesday

Blog Posts

Puppy with feline qualities

8 lives left

My almost eight-month-old golden Labrador has started to show some feline characteristics lately. She pretty much treats us as underlings, whose only reason for existence is to attend to her every whim and to be ‘it’ in chasing games. She ups the ante by stealthily acquiring highly prized objects like the TV remote, training shoes, or car keys (I’ve yet to work out how she reaches them on the upper shelf!) and running willy-nilly around the back garden, always just out of reach.

Her latest escapade, the one that really got me wondering if she is part cat, involved her charging out of our front door at Mach 2, into the field next to our house, in hot pursuit of a pheasant. Hubby and I tried in vain to get her to return to us. We offered cooked chicken, cheese, and her favourite toy, but to no avail.

In the distance, I could hear a car approaching, just as the pup turned and headed back towards us. In my mind’s eye, I could already see the inevitable outcome as she has a thing for wheels. Quick as a flash, I raced into the middle of the road, waving my apron like a warning flag. The approaching car slowed down, but didn’t stop. Out from the edge of the field, running willy-nilly (this is starting to be the norm for her) raced our hapless pup. The driver now realised why I was waving and slammed the brakes on. True to form, pup raced towards the front of the car, in search of wheels.

While she was distracted, I grabbed her collar and heaved her off the road as the driver wound down his window. I started to thank him for his quick response when he cut across me. “That dog needs to be on a leash!” he scolded. Well no shit Sherlock! Thank you Mr Obvious for your observation. I would never have worked that out for myself.

The embarrassment, terror, and exertion brought on an almighty hot flush (hot flash for you lovely readers across the pond), leaving me looking puce and sweaty, while the driver, smug-faced, drove off. So there you have it, proof that the pup is part cat and now down to eight lives.

Blog Posts

When Grandma knows better.

Cath’s homemade lavender bags. Not bad for someone who didn’t make it into the Guild of Seamstresses!

Like many children going through the education system in the late 70s and early 80s, I had little choice in which subjects to take in the early years of high school. Boys were sent off to do woodwork, metal work, and technical drawing. Meanwhile, we girls were railroaded down the Home Economics (Cookery, sewing, and laundry) and typing pathways. Can you imagine that happening today?

Each week, on my way to the Home Economics classrooms, I would gaze into the woodwork and metalwork rooms, longing to have a go at the machines. They looked way more interesting than staring at a cooker or a sewing machine. The objects the boys made seemed to be so much more fun to make than a pineapple upside-down cake.

I wasn’t the greatest cook in the class, but I wasn’t the worst. I was simply bored to tears. Even when I did finally get my hands on a sewing machine, I had to toe the line with what I wanted to make and how to put it together. Yawn!

Fortunately for me, I had an ally. My Grandma was a tailor, and a very skilled one too. Each week I would wander home from school on Home Ec’ day, via Grandma’s house, taking my latest effort to show her. She would inspect each notch and seam, offering advice on how to do each step more efficiently and above all, more easily, with excellent end results. We sat together, unpicking the schoolwork and redoing it her way and the following week I would take my garment back into school to show the teacher. She spotted the differences immediately and was less than pleased with me when I refused to undo it and start again.

The final straw came when it was time to insert the zip and make a buttonhole for the skirt. Having seen how my teacher wanted things done, I knew Grandma would be tutting loudly at the ugly result. I dragged my heels during that lesson, knowing that I would be asked to insert the zipper and make a buttonhole for my homework. After school, I raced back to Grandma’s house, eager to get started. Sure enough, Grandma was waiting for me, tea and cakes at the ready, and her sewing machine set up.

I wasn’t wrong about the tutting. Grandma inspected my tacked work and showed me one of her zips and buttonholes. Her version virtually hid the zipper and as for the buttonhole, it would last a lifetime. I couldn’t wait for the next lesson where I would show off my finished skirt to the teacher.

It wasn’t much of a surprise that yet again my technique was called into question. Teacher wanted to know why I deliberately did everything differently. And my answer? “My Grandma was a very successful tailor and knows more about making clothes than you do!” That probably wasn’t my smartest answer but it was true. Teacher told me I’d never make a great seamstress, an observation that makes me giggle today. It’s not as if I aspired to join the Guild of Seamstresses!!

Blog Posts

At long last…


…after 35 days without a working kitchen, I can now move everything back in. I am revelling in the task of organizing every cupboard.

Me being me, the first area to be properly organized was the wine cooler. It is important to prioritize tasks according to needs. Clearly, after weeks of chaos and glamping at home, my need is for a properly chilled Sauvignon Blanc, served at precisely wine o’clock!

The rest of the kitchen can wait, with the possible exception of the Gin collection!

Blog Posts

One-liner Wednesday – Hidden Strength


A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she can be until she’s in hot water!

One Liner Wednesday

One-liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

Blog Posts

How old am I?

The answer to this question varies from day to day, and depends largely on what I got up to in the preceding days. For example, last Friday I felt positively fortyish, but by Monday, I felt more like late seventies. And the reason? Hubby and I spent most of the weekend on our hands and knees! Ooo! Should the rest of this post come with a content warning? No, not this time. You see, we had a huge DIY job on our hands, well our knees mostly, and we had a very tight deadline to complete our task.
Finally, our building work had reached the stage where the kitchen fitters were booked to come in and work their magic on the vast number of boxes stored in our garage. Due to unforeseen problems with the old plumbing, this day had been delayed for over a week. Much as I love camping, we've been without a kitchen and easily accessible running water since early July. Glamping at home is getting on every one of my frayed nerves.
So, with keen enthusiasm, we started to tile the floor of our newly constructed kitchen-diner in a French Set pattern. It looks a little like crazy paving but with more of a discernible pattern (so I'm told). Cue an additional 5 years to my current tally. Laying out the tiles according to the printout pattern was easy, and covered a large area in one go. "Great!" I thought to myself. "This job is going to be quite quick and easy as long as I can keep up a steady supply of adhesive". However, it was not immediately obvious how the pattern continued in any direction. A vigorous discussion ensued (a.k.a an argument), resulting in about an hour's worth of lost tiling time. In a moment of inspiration and 'outside-the-box' thinking, I treated it like a complicated lacy knitting pattern and wrote out each row, one at a time, and stuck it to the wall. By the end of the first row, the floor was starting to look fabulous but my pink polka-dot kneepads were irritating the back of my knees. Staying with the handcraft theme, I stuck some soft dusters down the back of the straps, protecting my skin, and completing the sexy DIYer look! With a full pattern to work to, and a few bacon sandwiches, we worked steadily until around 8pm.
Congratulating ourselves on our gargantuan efforts in laying nearly 3/4 of the tiles and sealing them, we decided we'd earned a reward or two. In an effort to ease our tired muscles, we treated ourselves to an Epsom salts bath and some liquid muscle relaxant. After all, there's nothing better than an ice cold wine and a candle-lit bath after a hard day's labour, with the additional bonus of wiping out the years gained earlier on.
Or so I thought. The following morning it became clear that either the Epsom salts were defective or we had not used the correct dose of muscle relaxant. Overnight, I'd gained at least fifteen years. My knees refused to bend, making the first walk down stairs a painful challenge. I tried to brace myself on the bannisters but my poor hands had also taken a pounding. This did not bode well for finishing the job. With the remaining tiles to lay, wash and seal, as well as applying grout to the entire floor, all I could see was a long and painful day ahead. What was I thinking when I agreed with hubby to do the tiling ourselves? Ah, yes. I remember now. It went something like this.
Hubby – "How much to lay the tiles? We can do it ourselves."
Me – "I know we did a great job in the bathroom, but that's a much smaller room. This is huge!"
Hubby – "We can save the money and spend it on something else in the project."
Me – "I see what you mean. Ok, let's do it!" In my head I thought "Hubby has no idea how tough this is going to be, but I'll make damned sure to spend the 'savings' on a new patio door!".
Anyway, back to the tiling. To reduce the additional years to a net gain of five, muscle rub and painkillers were deployed. Bolstered by bacon sandwiches, we soldiered on until all the tiles were laid, washed and sealed. By now, it was 8pm again. This time there wasn't even the merest hint of liquid muscle relaxant or any bath. We needed to stay awake to apply the grout. I know what I'd rather do but hubby is determined to finish the job tonight so that the quick dry stuff has time to set hard before the kitchen fitters arrive.
Our knees are bright red circles of pain, our hands tender and blistered. Squeezing the last drops of muscle rub from the tube and applying the meagre rations to our backs, we gritted our teeth for the last part of the job. Back onto our weary hands and knees, we grouted the entire floor, cleaned up, and finally got to bed at 1:30 am.
"Beepety-beep! Beepety-beep! Beepety-Beep!" No way! I've only just laid my head on the pillow! Welcome to Monday morning, and the prospect of a new kitchen at last. Holding onto that joyous thought, I swung my legs over the side of the bed and stood up, ready to head downstairs to admire our handiwork. Obviously, my mind was significantly more agile than my body. It's already downstairs gazing in admiration at the beautiful flooring.
Meanwhile, back in the bedroom, my body is lodging complaints with the management. At the top of the list is the fact that it's too early to be getting up on any day, let alone a Monday. In close second place are my knees. They are refusing to move at all.
"After what you did to us this weekend, there's no way we are bending painlessly for the foreseeable future. As payment for the abuse, we are adding 15 years onto your age, and we're not taking them back until you treat us to some pampering and rest. So there!!".
Well that's me put in my place! I give the knees a placatory hug in the hot shower before staggering downstairs to join hubby. He's not much better. To look at him, I guess his knees are complaining as loudly as mine. Our builder arrives shortly after we unlock the doors, ready for the big day. As I make him a fresh-brewed coffee he tells me the kitchen fitters will be here on tomorrow as they thought we might need an extra day to complete the floor. And in that instant, all the years from the weekend returned!
Is the builder's head still on his shoulders? Did I cry? Did the Kitchen fitters turn up the following day? Tune in on Friday for all the answers.