Friday, 30 November 2007

Done and Dusted.

I can't believe I have actually knitted something functional that hasn't fallen to pieces - yet. It's taken a couple of weeks but I finally finished it on Tuesday but saved the photo until today's HS:MS prompt which is soft. All 8ft of it is now wrapped up and labelled for Matt ready for Christmas Day. Kyle's is started and is progressing well as I do seem to have speeded up a little bit and can now actually manage to watch TV and knit at the same time - sort of.
We are off to the pictures and Frankie and Benny's tomorrow at Cheshire Oaks and I may even sneak into 1 or 2 shops. Not that I need to as I have finished Christmas already without stepping foot into a shop. I think I will be doing it on the Internet every year from now on as there is no stress involved and I can still wander round the shops to enjoy the Christmas crush atmosphere if I feel like it.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Can't be bothered to think of a title today.

Not a fantastic shot for Bristles today I am afraid. Still feeling pretty blurrggghhh especially first thing in a morning and then again in the evenings.
We didn't manage to go to see Beowulf last night as the show times were all wrong for a school night so we have decided to go on Saturday instead. So last night we bought Fantastic4, which was pretty dire but hey ho it's now listed on eBay so with any luck I will get my money back for that one too. Our local DVD rental store, Choices, shut a few weeks back so if we want to see a film now we have to buy it, not that we ever rented anyway at £3.75 a night.
I must say congratulations to Mima who has got one of her OU photography course submissions being used for the OU e-card this Christmas and it is stunning. You can see for yourself here.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Smooth Moves

I have come to the conclusion that I must be the rough type as I can't find many things here that could be classed as smooth for today's HS:MS's prompt. Eventually found this little pussy cat that my step-sister Rachel bought for me when she was working in Israel one summer. When Rachel was living here it did get confusing verbally, written was a bit easier as mine is Rachael.
We watched Shrek the Third on Monday night as I had pre-ordered it from Amazon for a total of £9.80. So yesterday I listed it on ebay as used, put a buy it now price on and bingo someone bought it. So now I am feeling quite smug that we watched it for free as they bought it for more than I paid for it so all my costs are covered.
It's Orange Wednesday again today at Cheshire Oaks so we are going to go and watch Beowulf tonight as it is buy one get one free! We might even go to Frankie and Benny's to share a platter before the film.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Rough as an .......

..... Emery board. It could have been worse it could have been me looking and feeling rough or it could have been one of the dogs barking "ruff" - get it?? This was the easier and less embarrassing option as I really do look very rough today.

SuzyB asked yesterday "Why Twig", now this is a question I have pondered over many times without any luck. I have no idea why Kyle called Twig what he did, when he got him for a birthday present, we all came up with more sensible suggestions but no it had to be Twig. Which is probably a blessing as Pete's idea was "Oi You" and I really didn't fancy going for walks shouting "Oi You come 'ere". So basically it was the best random suggestion at the time and ultimately it was Kyle's decision.
Kyle is still all loved up with Vicky, but, having a girlfriend has made him more popular so now Vicky is getting a bit miffed with all the female attention he is getting. On the other hand Kyle is loving it!
We eventually got Kyle's school report and he has the grand total of 26 A's on it - well done that boy!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Forgive me, for I have sinned

Today's picture is a blatant cheat as I can't stop coughing long enough to get a decent shot but I still wanted to take part in today's HS:MS prompt which is wet.

This was taken in North Wales last Feb when Twig was just a baby.
Hopefully I'll be feeling a bit better by tomorrow and I won't have to cheat again.

Sunday, 25 November 2007


Here we go again. I seem to have come down with another cold which is not funny so close after the last one. Basically I feel blurggghhhh at the moment as it is making be light headed which is horrible. So off to bed I go and I'll be back when I feel a little better.

Friday, 23 November 2007


For the first time ever I didn't get chattery teeth at the hospital, I did get sweaty palms, felt sick and shook ever so slightly but my teeth stayed still, amazing. I seem to suffer from White Coat Syndrome so two years ago now I stopped going to all of Pete's appointments after about 7 years of torturing myself every 3 months. I didn't plan to go yesterday, maybe that's why my teeth behaved themselves, but Pete called home on his way so on the spur of the moment I went too. After a weigh in, blood pressure test, a visit from the dietitian and a hour and half wait we got to see Dominic. Amazingly enough Pete is well, which is something we have not heard for years. His kidney function has not altered for years, his blood count is excellent for him and comes in at 104 instead of the normal Pete level of 79-85 and his iron levels are OK but this could be due to inflammation rather than actual iron. Apparently they are going to try and find out where Pete is hiding his iron as it isn't where it should be??? I tried to look in his wallet for it last night but he wasn't having any of it. So basically everything is as OK as it can be and come back in 3 months with a bottle of wee. Seems like the symptoms he's getting are due to the lowering of the steroids which has set the crones off so up go the steroids and my grocery bill.

Today's promy (it's catching on Sue) is crystal. My take on this is in 4 parts as there is a story behind my crystals. This can be blamed on my Uncle Nick who is a geology professor, author and documentary maker and is mad about rocks - obviously and who took us to a rock fair when we visited Canada a couple of years ago.

The facial expressions on the pics do look like they weren't enjoying themselves and were there under duress but they boys actually loved it as they got to choose their own geodes when they were in one piece, they looked rather like prehistoric eggs.

Then they got to watch the man split them into two pieces.

They were then left with four large pieces of geode that got us surrounded and stopped at customs when they went through the x-ray machine.

And, finally, if you are still with me my take on the word for today.

Thursday, 22 November 2007


Today's word on HS:MS is Thirsty which is an easy one in this house. We have boxes of these things here as Pete has to stay hydrated otherwise it will risk the limited amount of kidney function he has. So we have to have these in all the time in case he gets a bad bout of crones or a tummy upset or is just generally dehydrated.

He's seeing Dominic (his consultant) this afternoon so hopefully it will all be good. We know his iron and blood levels are pretty bad at the moment as he is getting the symptoms of anemia so Dominic should book him in for a blood transfusion or an iron infusion depending on how low everything is. So fingers crossed I will have a hyperactive husband sometime next week.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Help me I've been elfed...

Being nosy like I am I visited Vanda this morning to see what she was up to and found this so I had to have a go too.

Today's word from HS:MS is grain. I have resorted to using Elliot again as the best light in the house is in his vivarium so here it is the grains of ground walnut that we use as his substrate which have ended up scattered on his basking rock. Pretty lame I know but I couldn't be bothered to tip out the rice box or the bird seed container as I would only have had to clear it up again and it's pitch black outside so that was out of the question. I will try harder tomorrow but don't hold your breath, I will be in a total tiz as Pete sees his kidney consultant in the afternoon.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Waiting for my telegram

As the title say this is my 100th post with HS:MS WoooHooo I didn't think I would last this long but it is truly addictive. Today's word is Alley which I don't happen to have in my space so here is one I prepared earlier, at The Black Country Museum in October to precise.

Elliot now seems to have settled into his new home and has put his beard away, turned back to his normal colour and started eating his crickets again this morning. It's a bit of a relief I can tell you. Got a wonderful day planned today of tidying and cleaning my craft room - urrggghhh.
I just noticed, the other day, that when I click on my photies they don't enlarge, they used to when I started but then they just stopped. Does anyone know why this happened or how I can make them enlarge again?

Sunday, 18 November 2007

A brand new dragons den

Yesterday, without intending to, we ended up buying Elliot an new home, which is actually more like a mansion. He has out grown the fish tank that we had put him in to start with and is now living in a huge 4ft long purpose built Vivarium and he's not a happy dragon. He was originally in the Living Room but due to the size of his new abode he has relocated into the playroom, trouble is there is more activity in this room and he is not used to that. Hopefully he will settle down in the next couple of days as he gets used to it and his beard will change back to it's normal colour. So my photos for show of Sunday are of Elliot and his new home, sorry they are not very good but the light is really bad this morning and I can't be arsed to faff about. The one of Elliot in my hand is for Mima as she asked what size he was when I saw her on Friday. He is still only small and has about another 8 months worth of growing to do so should double in size.

I've also played digi style a little bit this week. I have decided to not do 12x12 digi layouts but have gone for 13" x 11" as this size fits better onto my screen for screen savers and is the size of a blurb book - how handy is that.

Friday, 16 November 2007


....A WAY. Which is today's prompt on HS:MS well away is but I couldn't think of a title for that so I sort of adapted it.

This shot has obviously not been taken today from not so sunny Cheshire with no coastline. It was taken in August on the way back from France. That big boat is our ferry which was quickly sailing away from us, taking the boys away from us. Don't worry though their Grandparents were on the boat with them. I had somehow managed to loose our passports on the way to the terminal so they wouldn't let us on the boat. We spent ages looking through everything and searching the car to find them but we couldn't. The nice French people phoned up the UK and then let us on the next boat home where we got through customs in this country without having to show any ID !! Sort of makes you feel safe and secure knowing that security has been stepped up with the threat of terrorists doesn't it. Anyway we got home and started emptying the car and found both passports in the back of the car in the foot well. We still can't understand how we missed them as 4 adults searched there in France at least 2 times each and didn't find them - strange.

I'm off for an afternoon of gossip with Mima this afternoon which should be fun.
Kyle is still loved up and has actually changed his undies for 7 days on the run now which is unheard of normally.

Thursday, 15 November 2007




Today's HS:MS prompt is miniature. This is how my miniature rose looks this morning. I'm keeping it brief this morning as I have a really busy day today and want to try and get as much done as possible. I have a pile of paperwork a mile high sat in front of me which is nearly as high as the ironing mountain in the other room.

The Lizard is still missing - I think we have seen the last of him.

Kyle is still in love and has reached his 1 week anniversary today - bless.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007


HS:MS's prompt today is collect which got me thinking about my dolls. When I was little I used to collect dolls but not just any old doll. I used to collect national costume dolls the catch was that they had to have been bought in the country that they represented. During the 1970's and early 1980's I amassed a collection of about 70 dolls in total from all over the world, mainly thanks to my wonderful Grandpa who passed away when I was 16. He travelled everywhere and got me dolls from Russia, Africa, Japan and Romania to name but a few, all of which were unusual places to visit in the 1970s. My picture today shows the only one that I still have on display which is the Indian doll that he bought me back from one of his visits there. This is my favourite as it is where he was born and lived until he was 17 and where I hope to visit one day. All the other dolls are safely packed away in tissue paper and boxes in the attic as they collect far too much dust to be on display. This one is growing old, fading and getting moth eaten on my bedroom windowsill.

This is what happened to the rotten bananas the other day they magically turned into chocolate and banana muffins and then magically disappeared!

The lizard is still missing.

Kyle is still with Vicky and still in love. He kissed her for the first time yesterday from what I understand it was a peck on the lips but was very pleasant!
Twig is at the cleaners which is a good job really seeing as somebody left him outside this morning and I didn't realise until it was time for his appointment. By this time he had been for a swim in the pond, dug about in some mud and rolled about on a dead frog. I'll let you imagine the look on the groomers face when I dropped him off this morning and what I will be saying to the somebody when they get in tonight.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


.... a lot worse. My initial thoughts for todays HS:MS prompt of snip was obvious for a dog owner, wasn't it? The problem was it is very difficult to photograph what is no longer there so that idea was a non runner from the start. Twig is not due to the groomers until tomorrow so another non runner. So I have resorted to snipping off the end of a spring onion, mmm not very good I know but it's the best I can do without going down the crafty path. It's taken on my glass chopping board - hope that answers your question Mima.

We have an escapee in the house running loose somewhere in the form of a tail less lizard. We have 6 small lizards in one vivarium who have lived happily together for 2 years now until "Spikey" decided to become a bully. Poor "Sticky" (yes, we are genuinely that bad at pet names) got in the line of fire one day and lost his tail. I think this was the last straw for Sticky and he made a bid for freedom last night, when Pete opened the door he used his arm as a spring board and headed under the sofa. Trouble is he is that bloody fast we can't catch him. Matt's idea was to tip crickets all over the floor and wait for him to come out, yeah really clever Matt the crickets won't go into the dark under the sofa will they! Pete's idea is not much better as he wants to leave it there until Twig finds it and eats it, very caring I must say. Kyle didn't have an opinion as he was too busy talking to Vicky on MSN again. So I will probably be spending most of today on my hands and knees with a torch trying to catch a tail less lizard as that is the only idea I can come up with. It's amazing how they keep wanting pets but then I am left to deal with them.


Monday, 12 November 2007

Love is in the air.

Kyle has been smitten all weekend. He has been chatting to Vicky on MSN constantly and his even changed his user name to "This is Kyle and I love Vicky for ever and ever". I only know this because I sneaked a look when he was having his lunch, which he threw done at break neck speed so he could get back to her. Ahhhhh Young Love - I just didn't expect it quite so soon. He has even ordered her a cuddly bear over the Internet for a Christmas present, after 2 days! Last night he HAD to have a shower and do his hair before he put the web cam on! This morning another shower, hair all spiked up, Lynx on, Blazer wiped down, tie perfect and off he went to school - Boomchickawaawaa. Made me think back to when he was younger and we had temper tantrums and tears every time school was mentioned this lasted all through pre school and infants, every school day was a nightmare with him, he hated it that much - not anymore!

Well on to today's HS:MS prompt is almost. All I could think of was the horrible bananas that are sitting waiting to be frozen or made into banana bread. So here they are almost brown, almost dead, almost frozen or almost baked, take your pick.

Now I have all my Christmas presents sorted out (they arrived 20 minutes ago) I am going to tackle Christmas cards today - just don't tell SuzyB as she thinks I'm washing my hair so shhhhhh. Hopefully I will have something to show tomorrow.

Rach x

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Welcome to the Asylum

Self Portrait Saturday again. I thought I would go with my hands today with badly manicured nails and all. Ohh look I'm knitting - again. The scarf is growing and is about 1/4 finished, which isn't bad seeing as he wants it to go from knee to knee and he's taller than me.

A nice surprise dropped through the letterbox this morning in the form of an interim school report from Matthew. The last one was dire, very dire so he was threatened persuaded to pull his proverbial socks up and make more of an effort this year. It appears he has done just that so the bribe persuasion obviously worked resulting in 17 A’s, 27 B’s and only 6 C’s. I can’t wait for him to come back from his trip tomorrow to congratulate him and hand over his £17 bribe money reward as I am sure he will be as pleased as we are. I must point out that the marks are for Classwork Quality, Homework Quality, Overall Effort and Behaviour not for his working level which makes it even better that he has got good scores as it means he is trying hard. I have a feeling the fact that Kyle has now joined him at High School has something to do with this dramatic turn around – sibling rivalry and all that.

Now SuzyB might just be starting to think of buying things for Christmas presents but not me I’m not that slow. I have not only bought all our Christmas presents, well at least ordered them all, I have even bought Pete’s Valentines present for next year. Normally we don’t even bother with cards for Valentines day but I couldn’t resist and needed an excuse. We are going to Manchester Palace theatre on Thursday 7th February to see “The Asylum- the Circus of Horrors” not suitable for children! The circus of Horrors is now back with a brand new, super shocking, awe inspiring, jaw dropping show that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat (when not falling of it with laughter).

How cool is that? I like stretchy skin man myself, Pete's looking forward to the scantily clad females - typical. He'll certainly get an eyeful as I booked us front row seats this morning.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Pardon What Sorry?

Guess what I've been doing today instead of taking photographs titled disturbed. I bin playin' digi style and created myself a new header, like you need telling! Before anyone asks it's called that because apparently I use those words so often they must be my favourites either that or I'm going deaf.
The big news is that Kyle has got himself a girlfriend. Vicky asked him if he would go out with her on the bus when they were returning from a school trip yesterday. According to Kyle they have held hands and hugged, which he thought was nice, but they haven't kissed yet. He took her photograph today and she is now the wallpaper on his mobile and I must admit she is very pretty. Kyle bought her a hedgehog toy yesterday and she bought him a rubber, Pete thinks this was a bit forward of Vicky so I explained that it was an eraser and he's now settled down.
Did you know - It is estimated that the average person will spend about 336 hours kissing in their lifetime.

Thursday, 8 November 2007


is today's word on HS:MS which is a lot easier than yesterdays word of confused which I avoided. I don't do confused, I'm just confusing instead!

Today I am anxious because Matt is going away for the weekend, with school, on a Science revision thingy in Wales so his bags are sitting on his bed ready for him to pack tonight. He has been on lots of residential trips including Germany earlier this year but it doesn't get any easier, I still worry about him. I don't think the fact that he returned from Germany with a sling on one arm and an x ray in the other actually helps much. On the other hand I am looking forward to a teenage tantrum and argument free weekend - way hay!

My cold is progressing nicely, I now have a dry nose as it all seems to have gone south to my chest - like I need anything else down there. I'm hoping that it will be all cleared up by next week so that I can go and see Mima again.

Matt's scarf is growing and I have an order in for another scarf from Kyle so I must be doing something right. Just not sure that they will be ready for Christmas the little bit that I have done has taken about 3 hours so far. As a result of this I am planning to enter the speed knitting championships early next year. And yes I do know that I dropped a stitch on the red bit but I couldn't find it again and anyway I've told Matt that it is part of the design and what he doesn't know won't hurt him so shhhhhhh. I think it's a valiant first attempt at knitting.



Tuesday, 6 November 2007

I'm So.....

Excited. Which happens to be todays prompt on HS:MS.

At the grand old age of 37 I have finally learnt how to knit - well sort of. I am starting off easy with a Dr Who scarf for Matt in red and black. It was all going swimmingly last night until I had to change colours and cocked it all up. I tried to undo it but lost the stitches so I had a hissy fit and unravelled the lot. My next door neighbour started me off again but she knits really loosely so that got unravelled too. A quick search on Google and I found out how to start off and now I am about 20 rows up and have gone wrong again so Mum is on her way up soon to sort me out. I think, at this rate, I will be ready for Monkey making by early next week at the latest and by the following week I should have a whole jungle full each with their own scarf!! Or I could just be buying one off Monkee Maker .

Not only am I excited about learning to knit I am double excited about learning to digi scrap using Kirsty Wiseman's tutorials. I got the third one this morning and have worked my way through it and done this weeks challenge. Not really pleased with the outcome as I don't like the flower but the challenge stated to use everything in a free kit and use it I did. The kit is called Peace & Quiet and I got it from here.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Sad :(

Todays prompt on HS:MS is sad but we are not allowed to use a human face to convey this emotion. I have gone with todays sad and gloomy weather as seen from my computer seat as I think it makes everyone slightly sad when it's like this.

Not a good shot, the lighting is very bad here at the moment!

Sunday, 4 November 2007


Well the title says it all really. I had planned to go out with the camera today and get some Autumn shots but the fog has put a stop to that. Anyway, I think I should be let off with today as yesterdays shot showed off my new hair so it can be counted as a 2 in 1. I'm in a much better mood today and like my hair again now it has been washed which means I will just have to get off my arse (which is still big) and wash it every day but at least it's quick and easy to do. My cold is progressing well and hopefully I should be over it in a few days which will mean that I can go and visit Mima again. I was supposed to go last week but had to cancel because of the cold but we did manage a long phone call where she helped me think through a dilemma on Friday.


Saturday, 3 November 2007

Bad Hair Day?

I eventually managed to get a picture of myself that I sort of didn't mind. Woke up this morning in one of those moods when nothing is right so I hate my hair today and NEED to have it longer again. My hips look huge today too, and my bum, I don't like my top as my boobs are too big, my ear sticks out - I hate days when I feel like this! Going to wash my hair now to see if it makes one jot of difference to how I feel.



Friday, 2 November 2007

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary..

How does your garden grow? Well mine grows very well with no silver bells, a few shells and nothing at all in a row. I think I have shown most of my garden at one time or another and you have probably gathered by now that I love my garden. Not so keen on gardening though which is a bit of a problem but I get round it with a little bit of help of my own contrary Mary in the form of my Mum (who is called Mary). Apart from my veggies and fruit this is my favourite part of the garden.

The shelves are some pieces of slate that we found and put up there. In the summer we put candles on the shelves but at the moment this little guy is the only thing living on them.

Well I went and got pampered yesterday afternoon and ended up having all my hair chopped off. It's something I have been thinking about for a while now and I am so glad I have done it. I washed my hair this morning and it took seconds to dry and it didn't even need styling, how fantastic is that!! I'm sure it will take a while to get used to as I have not had short hair for over 12 years now but so far I love it. I might even take part in the SPS tomorrow.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Love, hate relationship..

Inside or out - what is your fridge like? What does it say about you?

Mmm what does my fridge say about me. If it could talk it would probably say "she loves her food but hates what it does to her". Notice the 2 pictures on the fridge door they're both of me when I was fat and they don't work. I'm going to try a new tactic and put a thin picture of me on there as I am sure that will be more of an incentive to loose those few pounds that have crept back on over the last 3 years. I also keep a list of what we are eating for the next week on there, a shopping list behind that, post its with the kids jobs for the day on, a chart showing how much the kids have earned this week and then any other bits and pieces get stuck on there too.

The stuff inside is not very tempting to me at the moment as it all tastes of snot. I am getting really fed up of this cold now. The night before last I hardly slept at all but then again what can you expect when you take tablets that are laden with caffeine at 10pm! Last night I made sure I took Night Nurse instead of Day Nurse and had a great nights sleep so feel a lot better. It's just the runny eyes and nose that are getting on my nerves now as every time I bend forward to do something I drip - not a good look on Christmas cards.
I'm off to the hairdressers this afternoon to be pampered. Hopefully I will be brave enough to go for a whole new look. Before that though I am going to buy some wool as my mum is going to teach me how to knit. I am starting with a black and red scarf for Matt which should be ready for this 18th birthday with any luck. All this so I can have a bloody monkee!