Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ringo - Our Border Collie Puppy!!

Hehe - he's brown and white really

or Chocolate and white as is says on his Official papers!

his first night home the kids set up camp down stairs with him. Needless to say during the night he left the solitude of his cushion and snuggled down in between the boys.

self service in the garage!

the boys are loving him

he's having a blast in the snow!

but wait there's more...

some friends of ours, in the next village over, have Juno, Ringo's sister!

friday they had their first play-date.

it's all very exhausting indeed!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yarn Along

Another two hats finished, just in time as the cold weather is upon us.
I've been having a flurry of hat making of late so with all the oddments of left over yarn I made some thing for myself 

Still plugging along on my fern scarf.  Just finished the first 50g ball and it is measuring in at 110cm (unblocked).  

The pattern suggests using approximately 60g so I'm way closer to the finish than to the start!
Which is more than I can say for my Whole30.  
30 days of eating only meat, fish, seafood, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds
grains - gluten, sugar (honey or maple syrup!), legumes, dairy or alcohol!
and reading the accompanying book It Starts With Food.   Probably should have read the book first but never the less things are going fairly smoothly,  says she on day 9!!!
I'm determined to stick it out for the 30 days but after which I will definitely be re-introducing certain grains - (trying to stay clear of gluten)- and legumes back into my diet.  Not particularly missing dairy.
The book is very well written and explains quite scientific concepts in lay-mans terms, with it's arguments in favor of a Paleo based diet being very convincing.  Food for though indeed but too strict for me - christmas is coming and I want my mince pies and sherry.
 Also throughly enjoying another great read from Barbara Kingsolver:

THE POISONWOOD BIBLE is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture -- is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

Linking up with Ginny for this weeks Yarn Along

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Slow Living Essentials - October

Linking up with Christine for Slow Living Essentils - October 2013

"The north wind blows and you shall have snow", but thankfully the south wind came, and melted it all again!
The chicken ladies were none to amused but the little people got stuck right in.

Despite the snow we are still enjoying the fruits of our labors.  The potatoes and squash are up and the carrots, leeks, kale and beets are as ever unfazed by the cold white stuff.  The cabbages are safe and warm inside a wee deer!  We couldn't believe the hide of him, one day he just swaggered up to the garden, in plain daylight, looked us over and tucked in!!
Didn't get the last of the corn though, that was for Titi

I'm so enjoying having a freezer at last.  Apart from jams and chutneys I've never been one for canning.  I don't have a pressure canner and my last attempt at processing dilly beans in the pressure cooker involved me dropping two big jars.
I have been making lots of fruit sauces and freezing batches of them.  Also made a mammoth pan of Bortch and have frozen half of it.  I love this dish but it takes so long to make.

Also I've been slow roasting tomatoes with garlic and herbs and freezing them as well.  I've already defrosted one bag to see how they taste reheated - they were thick, sticky and sweet, Yum!
The chaps are still chopping and stacking wood, something which Rémi enjoys immensely.

With a lot of help from Rémi we turned this old bit of furniture (the manufactures stamp in the draw says 1951) into my new sewing table.  Richard picked it up years ago when a local hotel had a clear out and it's been sitting amongst 'junk' at his parents house ever since.  I figure I will get more sewing done if I can leave my machine out.  Up until now I have been using the kitchen table and then packing my machine away in it's box after use.

Pretty much done on the garden front. We are planning on decorating some terracotta pots and planting Jacinthe bulbs in them to give as christmas presents.
Going to plant some crocus and tulips in window boxes to brighten up the spring (what little of it we get)

Lots going on here.  We celebrated Tino's 5th birthday with a Sponge Bob cake and home made candles...

We've also been doing lots of autumn activities - making leaf prints in autumn colored play dough, leaf  door/window art and leaf dipping in beeswax.

As ever I am still bordering on computer illiterate.  For some reason my yahoo mail account bugged and shut down our computer every time I tried to open it.  My paypal account and my telephone then decided they didn't like their respective passwords and thus slammed their 'virtual' doors in my face.   After three weeks of being AWOL my yahoo account is back, no explanations to it's absence, and is up and running quicker than ever.  I called paypal in a panic thinking someone had pirated my life and was holidaying in the Bahamas at my expense but everything was in order!   I really don't like being dependent on things that I don't understand.

This month I joined my s.i.l and 100 or so other volunteers in helping out at the Trail des Aiguilles Rouge  For our part we were up at 4am and providing pre-race hot drinks and snacks to the runners.


We started the month with snow but finished it in the sun of San Lorenzo al Mare on the Italian riviera.  The boys enjoyed being at the beach again and we spent a fantastic - worth every penny of the entrance fee - day at the Oceanographic Museum  in Monte Carlo, Monaco (but that's the subject of a whole other post)!
This was also second time the boys celebrated Halloween.  It's not really done here in France but last year we were in the UK so they went trick or treating.
The little village of San Lorenzo had decorated it's narrow arched-covered-cobble stone streets with all manner of ghostly things and all the cast of Scooby Doo!!
The kids were then treated to a Halloween buffet of fruit, pizza, spinach pie, cookies and blood (which I suspect was red Fanta!).

So how was your October?  Are you slipping on layers of fleece or slathering on the sun cream?