Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Tommy Beresford / Maxwell Sheffield (TV twins, and a link between them) =D

Episode 1 - Affair of the Pink Pearl (ENG)

I was watching Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime - The Affair of the Pink Pearl (1983), and thinking that there was something very familiar about Tommy Beresford (James Warwick)... Then I got it - he was just like Mr. Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy), on The Nanny!!! =D

Here are some screenies with Mr. Sheffield, for comparison;

(That clip is below..)

The Nanny Fran Fine Oh My God It´s Me

I couldn't believe it, when later on in the Partners in Crime episode, "Mr. Sheffield" (as in, a very young Charles Shaughnessy) was actually there!!! =D Screenies;

=D !!!!!

Crochet disaster =(

I finished my crochet bag (although, I kind of want to add lining, when I find some suitable material..), and I'm quite pleased with it..

I started making another one...

...and then this happened! =( My only size 21/2 crochet hook snapped, and I can't afford to buy a new one. I tried to tape it together, but it's not working.. So, I've continued with the little stump, which is extremely slow and uncomfortable, but I don't want to stop..

If anyone happens to have a spare size 21/2 crochet hook, feel free to donate it to me =)

Monday, 27 January 2014

Pimping the perfect bread

Having found the easy recipe for perfect bread, I wanted to try adding stuff to the basic recipe. So, I made another bread with green olives, garlic powder, and oregano. Yum!

The basic recipe is here. I added about 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp oregano, to the dry ingredients, then mixed the dough, and let it rise for about six hours.

When I started shaping the dough into a ball (see the original recipe..), I added about 20 chopped green olives. They ended up spreading quite evenly in the dough as I've had nice bits of olive in every slice of the bread =)

To get nice, neat and firm slices, you need to let the bread cool down before slicing. It's gorgeous when it's just out of the oven, but the slices will be a bit messy.. I usually "taste" 2-3 messy slices with butter melting on them (lol..), but by the time I have more bread, the slices will be nice and firm.

I keep the bread wrapped in baking paper, and store it in room temperature. It's good for at least two days - it keeps its shape, it remains crusty on the outside, and soft inside. I haven't tried keeping it for longer than two days as I'll have eaten it before the third day =D

I'm hoping to try a version with cinnamon, raisins or sultanas, and chopped nuts. *juvenile giggle*

I had "gourmet breakfast", today.. =) Toasted homemade (olive-garlic-oregano) bread, with some olive oil and "leftover salad". Delicious!

I haven't been able to do any shopping for nearly two weeks now as I've no money at all, so I made the "leftover salad" with whatever leftover bits I could find in the fridge.. Mayonnaise, boiled potato, red onion, and gherkins.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Perfect bread - and it's so easy!

I first saw this bread recipe in a Finnish blog - I'm sharing a quick translation as I don't know if it's available anywhere in English.

7 dl plain flour (Note: 10 dl in one Litre, if you're unfamiliar with decilitre)
2 tsp salt
0,5 tsp dry yeast
3,5 dl lukewarm water

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, and add the water. Mix it all with a wooden spoon (to be honest, I can't think of why it should be a wooden spoon, but that's what the Finnish version says, lol..) Then, cover the bowl with cling film, leaving no air holes, and let the dough rise for 12-18 hours.

Heat the oven to Gas Mark 7 (225 C, 425 F), and preheat an oven dish (one with a lid). Meanwhile, shape the bread dough into a ball (it's quite sticky, so you'll need plenty of flour on the countertop and on the dough itself), loosely cover it with cling film, and let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes.

Finally, just toss the dough ball into the preheated oven dish, put the lid on, and bake in Gas Mark 7 (225 C, 425 F) for 30 minutes. Then, take the lid off, and bake for 15 minutes without the lid.

Result: perfect bread! =D

I actually just let the dough rise for about six hours as it was already getting too big for the bowl (see above), and I'd also just made a puff pastry onion tart, so the oven was already hot =) The result was still perfect, though!

I'll definitely make this bread again, and I'm also thinking of adding stuff to the dough. For example, garlic powder / oregano / chopped olives..

PS, If anyone finds decilitres (or litres) confusing, just google for some measurement conversion tables or calculators. There are plenty of those available online, for free.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Decorating my crochet bag

The bag itself is finished, but as I was almost done with it, I got this decoration idea, and I'm working on it now. So far, it's looking pretty nice, although I should probably learn more stitches - I only know two! LOL..

Much more fun than knitting, methinks.

Thatsit had a check-up, yesterday

I was really worried about Thatsit's leg sores, before our check-up appt., yesterday. I'd had to dress her right back leg again, and I thought it would be a step back in the healing process. I was also wondering if it's the right thing to do, to put her through this - having to stay on the sofa or in the cage, getting bored while waiting for the sores to heal..

However, it turned out that her sores were looking much, much better! =D

She has no dressing at all now, and I'm hoping that she won't go licking the sores too much, so I won't have to put any sock tubes on.

I have ideas for padded socks, when there are no sores anymore, but we're not quite there yet..

Monday, 20 January 2014

Oopsie, it's been a while..

Above, a late Christmas present from Canada =) Jen had made a lovely ceramic coaster, with the photo I sent her of the back garden, with "Jen's plant" and Oimo's grave! I love it, and it's on my "desk" in the attic. (And I haven't even emailed Jen yet - must do that today!)

Life's been mainly about Thatsit, lately. She spent over two weeks at the clinic (with weekend breaks at home), but now she can stay home, which is great. Still, she's not allowed to walk around, so when I can't keep an eye on her, she needs to live in a cage =/ She hates being in the cage, so I stay in the living room all the time, to let her chill on the sofa. I've slept on the sofa as well, so I can hear her if she needs anything during the night, but I'll have to stop that as it's killing my back;

Thatsit does have a litter tray, comfy blanket bed, water bowl, and a food bowl, in her cage, so she should be fine even if I sleep elsewhere. (She's actually using a turkey tray now, instead of a regular litter tray, because it's larger and higher. It has worked really well - she no longer sits on the tray and pees outside of it.)

Her sores didn't need dressing anymore when I collected her on Friday morning, but they still look quite raw and delicate, on the right leg. The left leg is really good. Yesterday, she attempted to lick the sores, though, and I knew she'd be very uncomfortable and distressed with a "lamp shade" collar, so I put a sock tube on her right leg instead, and she's left it alone since. I'll probably take the sock tube off tonight, and see how it looks.. Then maybe put a lighter sock tube on, to let the sores breathe, yet protect them from her tongue. She has a check-up appointment on Wednesday, at Brayvet.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The first week of the year

Thatsit has been to the clinic, had a weekend break at home, and is at the clinic again until I collect her for another weekend break.. The leg sores are looking a bit better, I hear, but too early to say how it'll go.. I just can't wait to have her at home again, poor baby.. She loved sleeping on the sofa - she's supposed to live in a cage, to make sure that she won't move much (which is bad for the leg sores, obviously), but as long as she's sleeping / resting, there's no harm in letting her enjoy the more comfortable sofa, and all the soft blankets..

I couldn't afford to buy my annual Moleskine, this year, so I got a €2 diary instead, from one of the Euro shops.. I miss having a Moleskine, though. This cheapo diary is OK, but it's different..

Esmeralda is using the spare tyre, and as if I didn't have enough things to save up for, I now need to buy new tyres.. I could just get two, to replace the back tyres, but last year, the NCT guy hinted that I should really replace them all, so I might as well get them all in one go and hopefully get a good deal..

I'm falling asleep, so can't really remember if there's anything else worth mentioning, about the first week of 2014.. Zzzzzz...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The first day of 2014

I must have watched four or five Miss Marple films today (Joan Hickson - my favourite Miss Marple), and then some New Tricks. I was waiting for someone who didn't show up.

I'd meant to make a seafood pizza, but my Sri Lankan friends gave me so much foodies, yesterday, that I didn't need to cook anything today! =D I love that rice "with everything"..

I'd drooled for this sewing kit, before Christmas, and Maaria gave it to me! I love it.. I had also bought a sewing kit from LIDL, which has sewing machine needles as well, so I put some of that stuff in this box. (My life is so exciting! LOL..)

Poor Thatsit.. Those leg sores aren't getting better in home care, with her moving about too much, etc. So, she'll be hospitalised tomorrow, maybe for 2-3 weeks (!!!), having daily dressing changes by veterinary nurses, and having to rest as there won't be anything else for her to do..

I feel horrible about this, but it's what her vet recommends as the best option for her, and I agree with him. I have considered euthanasia, but other than the leg problems, she is perfectly fine, and still enjoys life, so we'll at least try the long hospitalisation, and see if the sores will get better.

Unfortunately, her leg position (on the back legs) won't be improving - the only way to do that, would be surgery, and that road would just be cruel in her age (nearly 16), with uncertain results, too.. However, if we can get those sores to heal, she will be absolutely fine with padded sock tubes.

She can take her favourite blanket with her, so she'll have something comfy that smells of home. Obviously, I'd love to visit her all the time, but I'm going to do whatever the vet recommends, and visiting all the time would probably be a worse option than maybe just visiting once a week or so. (I can't not visit at all, during such a long time, though - I don't want Thatsit to feel dumped!)

Done with December

My ShutterCal - December 2013
December, in my ShutterCal.

December briefly;
I made lots of pizza, puff pastry stuff, etc.. I made more sock tubes for Thatsit.. I sent some Christmas cards, and a parcel to my parents.. I was cleaning, doing lots of laundry, buying Christmas presents, etc.. D's mam was taken to hospital, she died just before Christmas, and the funeral was between Christmas and New Year.. Next year, I'll buy myself a Christmas present, so I'll have something to unwrap.. I was changing Thatsit's leg dressings every 1-2 days, and sometimes two or three times a day.. Someone ordered tiny eyeglasses for a 3D print doll.. On the last day of the year, I had lunch with my godson and his family.. This ends my first full year on ShutterCal =)