evaelisabeth: (Default)
It all started with Mom remarking that Kate really really needed a closet to hang up clothes. Up to now we have been making do with a chest of drawers and that really wasn't working any more. So she decided that she was going to get her Girl a closet for her birthday. People who know us will see where this is going, especially my lovely long suffering husband.

So we look at the Ikea catalogue but don't find anything really inspiring in it, just some maybes. We decide that we were going Ikea shopping to see what we can find. So we look and we look and we can't find any nice closets that we like. But we did find a very cute little desk including pink child sized office chair for peanuts and then we find this system where you can basically hang a clothes rail and shelves on the wall also for peanuts. So at this stage Kate is getting a new desk and closet space for the price of what we were expecting to pay for just the closet. Now, Mom is saying we really need to get her room painted while we are doing all this. Let me explain, that when we moved in our builder basically gave the whole place two coats of plain white paint. Newly built houses settle, creating cracks, so we were planning to to paint around this time anyway. The house did indeed shift and we have some cracks the size of the grand canyon, in addition to some damp spots on the ceiling from when the house was initially drying out and we had to install extra vents in the attic. I love my husband but he doesn't see the grand canyon on our walls, so the fact that we were painting seems to have caught him by surprise. We figured this was the opportunity to get started on the job so we set out to get some paint. Upon consultation with the Girl we settled on a bright lemon yellow for the accent walls and a clear white that will go around the entire building when we are done.

Last Saturday was the start of our project the room was emptied and Kate moved in with me. All the cracks and other imperfections like nail holes were filled and left to dry, we did some preliminary painting that day. On Sunday we painted our little hearts out, thankfully one coat did a reasonable job because we just didn't have enough time for two. On Monday I had to go back to work, Mom, who is amazing and absolutely crazy, painted all the base boards as well as 1st and second coats on the chest of drawers (which was going the same yellow as the walls), the door and a touch up on the pink book shelves which had gotten a bit dinged since we painted them. On Tuesday she finished painting the furniture and cleaned the floor, sanding away any paint or crayon marks. In the evening I moped around the bed which was still in the middle of the room and then oiled the floorboards. Wednesday, Mom moved the furniture back to the walls and sorted through various and sundry toys and bits and pieces (there are a LOT of bits and pieces). A bag of trash was secretly smuggled out of the house (Kate is a hamster, she can't bear to get rid of anything). That evening I oiled the rest of the floor and we collapsed into bed.

Yesterday it was the Girl's birthday, we got up had breakfast and I took her to school at 9:30, she had a short day as it was the last day of school so I had to pick her up again at 12:30. That's about 2 1/2 hours of working time. I came home and we launched ourselves into a frenzy of flat pack assembly. Don't get me wrong as flat packs go Ikea is great. Still the desk had about 50,000 pieces. I think Mom put the last screw in about 2 minutes before we came back in the door after school.

We had hoped to have the closet set up as well but we did that in the afternoon after a shoe shopping trip and lunch in Naas. By the way don't ever trust that your walls are completely plumb, they never are. It took us 3 times as much time to mark where the bloody screws needed to go and to actually put the shelves up :-)

Now we're knackered and we still have a big birthday party to get through tomorrow. Still it was completely worth it for the look on our Girl's face. I'll post pictures when we are completely done.
evaelisabeth: (Default)
We had quite the weekend. On Friday I got to come home early only to be called en route by my Mother saying that Kate was running a temp and really didn't look good. This was bad on several levels including the fact that they had been about to go to a birthday party. When they picked me up at the bus stop she was half asleep in the back of the car and my Mother was panicking cause she had been so unresponsive for a while. So we started heading to the Doctor but upon production of the newest Fairy books (Ella the Rose Fairy and and something or other the Dolphin Fair for aficionados) the Kate perked up enough for us to decide that sitting in a crowded surgery for a couple of hours was probably not the best plant so we turned around and headed home. I'd been on Prednisone for a few days due to a persistent hacky cough that wasn't going away so I was starting to feel pretty puny myself. My stomach was threatening to throw a revolution and I realised that my hands were starting to swell, thankfully I took my rings off before they got stuck and that improved the hand situation. Unfortunately last weekend was the painting weekend for Kate's bedroom so there was not time to sulk in a corner.

On Saturday we cleaned out Kate's room and filled all the cracks and holes that open up when a new house settles on its foundation. You don't realize how grotty things can get until you look up close. Kate was still running a temperature but was cheerful and active so we figured she was getting better.

Sunday morning was Mom's birthday, we all slept in but when Kate came down it became clear she really wasn't well. By 10am her temperature had fallen to 35.4C and she felt cool and clammy so we called K-Doc (the Kildare out of hours Doctor's service) and packed her in the car. It turns out the poor girl has a UTI, thankfully without the common pain urinating but I think she has a regular virus on top of things (she's sniffly) so her whole system is off. She actually threw up on cue in the Doctor's office. We came home with some penicillin and anti-vomiting suppositories in case she kept throwing up. So we got home packed her on the couch and finally sang happy birthday to my Mom. She LOVED her presents, I thought she had guessed that she was getting the rigid heddle loom but turns out it was a complete surprise so that was great. After a quick breakfast Mom and I went upstairs to paint and Brian went into the garden to do some work. Most of the room is remaining white but one wall and the chimney breast are now a beautiful clear sunny yellow. It looks amazing, the door is going to be that intense Indian pink that we painted her bookshelves and her chest of drawers is going to be the yellow of the walls. At around 7pm we were both righteously exhausted and completely splattered with paint. Mom is amazing and rubbed my arms which were starting to protest from the overhead painting, I also took some neurofen and eventually had a nice hot shower before collapsing in a heap in bed.

Today Mom is going to paint the skirting boards and I will do the base coat on the door when I get home. The grimmest job is going to be cleaning the floor which will take sanding paper and a lot of elbow grit to get the various splotches of crayon and now white and yellow paint off. On Wednesday we are going to put the new desk together. We are putting in a sort of shelf unit in the corner of her room (I'll take pictures, it's hard to explain) which will be her closet. Finally she's getting some fairies on her walls care of her Oma but those might not all get done by the end of the weekend.

When we are done Kate is going to have a very very spiffy room :-)
evaelisabeth: (Default)
Things are going well in the garden, we've been eating steadily out of it for a few weeks now. Yesterday Kate got the first purple sprouting broccoli and Mom and I had the first zucchini. Poor Brian comes home later than the rest of us so he lost out and just got a taste of broccoli and he's allergic to zucchini. The broccoli was steamed and then dressed with a bit of butter and soy sauce,that stuff is addictive. We have four mature broccoli's one of which was earlier than the rest but the other three are now also starting to bloom so I'm looking forward to a harvest that will feed the whole family next week. We have four more plants coming on which will stay in over winter, we'll see how long they produce. The zucchini was stir fried with a some onion, garlic, salt and a bit of olive oil and served with scrambled eggs and toast, it was also delicious a perfect summery kind of dish. Our early white cabbages have been ready to pick for a week or so as well as the first round of carrots so we had a batch of coleslaw to take to lunch. French Breakfast Radishes also make a perfect salad that goes well with a sandwich. Our tomatoes are setting fruit and the aubergines are starting to bloom. Cucumbers are coming on but it's just not hot enough for them to really thrive like they do when the temps are reliably over 20C and it's sunny. Still they are fine in the poly tunnel they will just take a bit longer. We also have four sweet pepper plants which are trundling along.

In other garden news Brian is digging the foundation for the chicken fence, it should theoretically be two feet deep but I don't think that's going to happen we will fill it with rocks to discourage digging foxes and hope for the best. Once that is dug we need to put in the fence posts and chicken wire and purchase the coop. I'm quite put out that after pricing out lumber and such we can't make it ourselves cheaper than we could buy it, that's very very irritating. Perhaps if we had the time to scrounge around for bits and pieces at scrap yards but we just don't so we have our eye on a nice one that will make our hens very happy indeed and has room for expansion if we get more. Bees are still on the agenda for next year, we just don't have the finances to do everything in one go, it's probably best to go one step at a time.

Huggle

Jun. 16th, 2011 10:21 am
evaelisabeth: (Pony Girl)
Kate had probably the best birthday surprise ever yesterday. Just to give you some background, her American grandparents usually just send Amazon gift certificates via email so she doesn't really get packages of presents. In fact she is always mourning the fact that she doesn't get any mail period.

Yesterday a box arrived, according to her telling she wasn't too pushed because packages are usually for either Brian or myself. But when she asked and her Oma told her it was addressed to Kate Kaller she apparently completely lost her cool. Even better when she opened the box it was a Unicorn Huggle (a sort of a cross between a pillow and a soft toy), it's something she has in the past asked for for her birthday. I'm not sure how Oma pried it out of her hands when she went to school but our little girl has been surgically attached to Crystal (that's the name we settled on last night) pretty much at any other time since.

So [livejournal.com profile] tigira please let your lovely son know that he picked the perfect present and made Kate very very happy.
evaelisabeth: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] kythryne at internet powers, activate!
Okay, people. I need you to take this viral, and fast.

We know someone in upstate New York who needs a good custody lawyer ASAP. I'm not at liberty to go into details publicly, but this woman is very afraid that her abusive boyfriend is going to get sole custody of her young child.  She's presently being represented by a court-assigned lawyer who doesn't seem to care about the case, and she has very few resources left at this point. Her next hearing is on Thursday.

If you know a good lawyer in New York State who might be willing to take this case for a low fee or pro bono, or at least offer her advice or support, please let me know. If you don't know anyone, please repost this far and wide. As a mother and an abuse survivor, it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach to contemplate a child being left in the hands of an abuser.

I can be reached at kythryne@gmail.com if you have any leads or want to help.

The internet can work miracles. Let's go.

Edit, Tuesday afternoon: Huge, huge thanks to everyone who has signal-boosted, offered resources, emailed me, and otherwise been willing to help. Our friend is overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers. Amy and I are driving over to New York tomorrow afternoon so we can provide support in person, and we are working on plans to help our friend and her daughter get back on their feet once the custody case is over.

(If you would be interested in donating an item or service to a fundraising auction in the near future, please let me know. Our friend is a talented artist and a wonderful mother to a beautiful little girl who deserves a safe home, and it wouldn't take much to make a huge difference in their lives.)
evaelisabeth: (Garden)
Several people have asked me about the no-knead recipe I use for my bread, here's the book that I got it from.

http://www.librarything.com/work/4308585/book/49944166

I ended up using their basic recipe for making 2 loaves (they recommend 4) each week, It takes me approximately 5 minutes to put together the dough (that's a very conservative estimate and includes hauling out the big flour bucket). Forming the loaves takes about 5 minutes of active work (again that's high balling it), the entire backing process takes 1 hour 45 min including the rising time. The bread is the tastiest on the day it's made of course but keep well for 3 or so days after that its gone anyway.

One caveat I would like to mention is that they indicate that their dough keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks, I have found that it's still viable but a lot of the rise goes out of it if kept much past 1 week. Bread is still good but it spreads out more and doesn't rise as high :-) Hence my weekly rotation. I couldn't store enough dough for two weeks anyway even in my big fridge.

Rhomylly

Apr. 11th, 2011 03:40 pm
evaelisabeth: (Un-Seeligh)
I keep crying today thinking about [livejournal.com profile] frauholla and his daughter. Sometimes life just sucks and we struggle to maintain, I hope I can move onto remembering the good stuff soon.
evaelisabeth: (Default)
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If the weather is dry and windfree about -25 to -20C. If its wet and windy anything around 0C.
evaelisabeth: (Default)
My husband is awesome and I love him very much.
evaelisabeth: (Default)
Recipe for Consome that my Mom made for Dad while he was sick during Chemo:

1kg Lean Ground Beef
1 leek roughly chopped
2 Carrots roughly chopped
1 stick of celery roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlick roughly chopped
2-3 onions depending on size roughly chopped (you see the pattern here :-)
3-5 whole peppercorns
Start with 1 Tbsp of salt and adjust when done
Soy Sauce to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tbsp marjoram

Cook in about 4 1/2 litres of water for about 4 hours. If you have any beef bones go ahead and add them as well. Strain through a dishtowel that has been wet in cold water this should catch any excess grease. Then taste and addjust seasoning. For one portion use beat one raw egg yolk into hot soup.

I would probably add Worcestershire sauce but that's me, the above is my Mom's recipe.
evaelisabeth: (Rose)
As I mentioned in my reply to you, things are bad for horses here right now and not just for your average pony.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12682680
evaelisabeth: (Default)

Embroidery Progress
Originally uploaded by EvaLiz
I don't know if anyone remembers me talking about making a mid 11th century dress in grey last year. Mom is doing the embroidery for me and I will be putting it together, yes I do know how lucky I am to have such a talented Mother :-) I think the colors are just beautiful, the design is adapted from decorations in a Norman Church in Palermo. We are using wool from Renaissance Dyeing. The fabric is a lovely 100% wool and the underdress will be pink linen.

For those who can't make out what the picture is, it's the collar piece that fits over the head.
evaelisabeth: (Bear)
Sometimes I think the US should just get it over with and rescind woman's rights to vote, re-institute child labor cause most people won't be able to afford a decent education anyway might as well put the kids to productive use, get rid of mandatory time off on weekends and bring back slavery. I'm sure the deficit would go right down.

Really though I can't read any news from the States right now without coming across some wack job new law the latest idiot is trying to pass.

Edited for bad spelling

wow

Feb. 12th, 2011 04:40 pm
evaelisabeth: (Trefoil)
I just fired up the World of Warcraft uploader we'll see if the game will work with our current connection. I'll probably be downloading for a while yet before I will know though.
evaelisabeth: (Default)
I can't begin to tell you what a relief it is to be connected at home again, I may actually be able to skype with old friends perhaps even play wow on occasion though I'm not sure how bad the lag will be. It's just really nice to not have to go to Allenwood to pick up email.

Hail Mercury!
evaelisabeth: (Angry)
I want to bake, cookies, cakes, whatever. I want to make a big dinner for a pile of my friends with gadzillion removes. For now I'm going to have to settle for my lunch sandwich, at least I made the bread myself.

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