Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Friday, 28 September 2012

Where has the week gone? Thank goodness it is Friday!

I do not really know where the week has gone.  It has been just an ordinary week in 'Paradise'.  I have still been trying to stay on the Weight Watchers plan but the weight loss has really slowed right down.  I have not been swimming.  I have been dog walking and for a weekly bike ride though.  I am trying to keep the diet interesting by trying as many new recipes as I can.  This week I decided to open my 'Weight Watchers' book at random and make whatever was on the page.  Ha, as luck would have it, I landed on the 'chocolate' page.  Oh how lucky was that.  I decided to make these little 'Chocolate Mint Pots' complete with fresh mint sprig garnish.  They were topped with chopped Oreo's.  I made them and left them in the fridge to set while I went and walked the dog.  I took the dogs frisbee which she loves but is getting a bit old for.  I accidently chucked it into the middle of a thick bramble bush, much to her dismay.  I spent half the walk finding a big long stick to 'Hook a duck' style retrieve her beloved.  She treated me like a hero when I got it back.  I went home to dinner and the 'Chocolate Mint Pot' dessert.  Well it was gross!  Yuk.  Bleurghh!  In the bin!  What a disappointment when a recipe fails to hit the spot.  I scoffed three Oreo's instead!  I would like to hear about other peoples 'cooking' disasters to make me feel better.
          I have had a horrible 'Hot head cold' for the last couple of days that I have bombarded with medication.  I have kept myself going and went to feed the ducks before dropping Euan at school this morning.  We saw a Crested Grebe and we couldn't quite believe how long it stays completely submerged for.  We also saw ducks, Swans and cygnets, a baby Moorhen and a very hungry, huge Carp.  Straight after the school drop off I went shopping.  I came home put all the shopping away and then when I was coming downstairs I don't know what happened, I didn't trip, but crikey Mikey, I hurt my toe!  It is now a wonderful shade of deepest purple!  I am coming to the conclusion I am somewhat accident prone!
          Henry has applied for a 'Part time' job to start in November.  Fingers crossed he will get an interview. It is at a new 'Children's Soft Play Centre' that is opening in the town.  It will be enormous.  There will also be a children's F1 racetrack.  Euan can't wait for the place to open.  To meet the application deadline I helped Henry with his CV.  He put down Cooking as one of his interests!  I pointed out 'Crisp and cheese toasted sandwiches' is not exactly what most people call cooking, he pointed out he can also make 'Instant Noodles'.  Tonight I pinned both boys down to make homemade burgers from scratch.  I am worried Henry will leave home without the thrifty skills to take care of himself, so I intend to give him a cookery course over the next few years.  They both enjoyed burger making, once they got over getting their hands dirty!  Euan made plain burgers and Henry added Chilli to his.
They were pretty impressive burgers.  Henry actually liked his a lot.  Euan did not like his but would make them again for other people.  I liked both.  I wouldn't dream of telling Euan but Henry's were the nicest.

Makes 4 Burgers
500g of lean Minced Beef
2 tsp of dried mixed herbs
1 beaten egg
1 large tablespoon of Tomato Puree
(1tsp of Chilli flakes) Optional
salt and pepper

Modge about a bit with your hands, elbow deep until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed, making lots of ewwww, yuk!  urghhh!  Noises as you do so.  Shape into burgers and squabble about who is putting what on which plate to chill them in the fridge for half an hour.  Walk the dog!  Come home again and pop the burgers under the grill.  Grill for 4-5 minutes each side...we do not like medium or rare meat!  While the burgers are grilling get every condiment and pickle known to man, out of the cupboard and adorn your burger bun or 'naan bread'.  (Euan wanted a 'Naan Bread' burger).  Get copious amounts of burger cheese and build a burger bun or if you are Weight Watchery just serve two hefty burgers with lots of salad, minus the bread.


Monday, 24 September 2012

Waving the White Flag for Monday!

Jeepers, I got home from work at about 4.50pm.  Euan had a school bag full of letters and forms for me to sort out.  He was also upset about a broken lunchbox that grandad had tried to fix with pliers.  Daddy tried to fix it with pliers last week and the result is today his 'Angry Bird' lunchbox gave up the ghost and did indeed create 'an angry bird'!  Euan is due to take part in some 'Bikeability' training at school and needed a safety helmet and a bike lock.  So off we went in search of the said items and second 'Angry Bird Lunchbox'.  40 minutes and £40 pounds later back home to the 'trusty slowpot', Butternut, Sweet potato and Chickpea Curry ready and waiting.  Then:
  • Sign swimming consent forms for Euan and find £12.00
  • sign Bikeability forms and find £5.00
  • sign Dodgeball Forms and find £9.00
  • Nominate elderly neighbour for Harvest Festival Gift
  • sign forms for middle school
  • Sign form for middle school open evening
  • Plot all dates on the calender (still have to put them in my diary)
  • Read Henry's Philosophy homework
  • Do one load of washing
  • Wash up from Tea 
  • Make packed lunches for tomorrow
  • Feed starving dog
  • Round up chickens in the dark (find two stuck in the Rhubarb pen and not much left of the Rhubarb)
I am sure many of you will be more than familiar with this palaver.  I feel like I need a secretary or a PA.  I also need a second job just to send my kids to school!  I wish both of them would just quit growing!  On the bright side it is good to know Euan is being encouraged to lead a healthy lifestyle at school, it is just a shame, Dodgeball, Bikeability and Swimming all take place on Thursdays...this Thursday we also have his parents evening too.  The poor kid is gonna be 'hitting the wall' on Thursdays.  We will have a contest who will crumple first and I have a feeling it will be me!  No rest for the wicked, still have laundry to sort.  Stop the world, I wanna get off!  Oh on the bright side today...from a weight loss perspective...I thought I should share an indication of my success...My knickers and trousers have been falling down all day!  Hooorahhh!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Blessings for the Autumn Equinox

There is an Autumnal nip in the air and the chickens are waddling off to bed earlier and earlier each night.  Despite my thoughts about Mr Fox, this is a delightful picture by Amanda Clark, if you click the link it will take you to her Etsy Store.  I do love Autumnal colours.  I am pleased snuggling up inside earlier each night and shutting out the world.  The crochet 'hook' is well and truly back in use for the season.   We will be playing conkers sometime soon.  :) xxx 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A Give Away at 'Show and Tell' Perfect For The Autumnal Nip In The Air

Step over at 'Show and Tell' is having a 'Mabon' Give Away.   You must pop over and take a peek you could be in with a chance of winning some Autumnal goodies that would sit well with the distinctly Autumnal nip in the air.  Steph is incredibly arty and crafty talented and I love everything she makes and creates.  Do you remember Here when I was lucky enough to be the Runner up in one of Steph's Give Aways.  I was delighted with my little package of lovliness.  I adore the 'Worry Dolls'.  Here is a fascinating tutorial about how 'The Worry Dolls' come in to being.  They are teeny tiny and painted so sweetly.  If you are not a follower of Steph's Blog I could not recommend it highly enough.  You just never know what little treasure is going to pop up next.  It is a very Happy and Inspirational Little Corner of Blogland.  You can also find Steph on Folksy, she has a little shop selling some delightful hand mades...  if you are looking for cute gifts or stocking fillers...DollyDollyDaydreams  may be just your kind of place. XXX

Sunday, 16 September 2012

A little bit of this and that...

I got very fed up with the paint on the walls in our living room.  It is yellow which my OH and Euan really like.  When my OH painted about six years ago he tested paint slap bang in the middle of the wall, about four shades of yellow and there it has stayed, driving me mad!  I hate painting it literally makes me nauseous.  I also hate the upheaval of moving everything around and shouting 'Wet Paint'!  I live in a small house.  It feels like it is bulging at the seams.  It is home though and we like it here.  Let's just say it aint exactly Buckingham Palace.  I decided to go ethnic and ordered this fabric from Jaipur in India.  It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I am very pleased with it and it hides the patchwork paint a treat!  The colours did not really come out true in the photograph, but you get the idea.
         Staying in the round, I had a little tidy and declutter of the mantle piece, where everyone chucks loose change, odd sweets, till receipts and the like.   It is stained where everyone has put their cups, so these are a little late but again they hide some of the imperfections, until I get round to doing something about them.
Coaster Number One
And Coaster Number Two.
                 I liked making coasters to hide the imperfections and they are obviously very quick and easy for a bit of instant gratification.   Adding more crochet to the house in whatever form makes me happy.  I have resisted starting another blanket (I think).  I do have a nasty case of 'Startitis' at the moment.  I have an idea for Cushion covers for the dining  chairs and started this:

  It is square. . . honest.  I have so many projects on the go, I really do not know when these cushion covers will get finished but I am certain they will be fab a groovy when they are.  I do love a cheerful 'Granny'.
               Now I told you I have a bad case of 'Startitis', while hanging the fabric on the wall I shifted some bags of yarn.  I think I have found the stash that the dog raids when I go out.  I come back home to various pretty balls of yarn around the house, usually with the ball band missing but the yarn does not often get damaged.  Maybe a little bit tangled.  I think if 'Lacey' was a human rather than a dog she would love yarn crafts too.  I found a lonely ball of 'King Cole' Riot.  I can't tell you the colourway, because the ball band is missing!  I think it is 'Wicked' or 'Magic' or something like that.  I received it in a swap last Christmas.  I love this yarn and actually bought it and sent it to my 'Swap Partner'!  How silly.  We did swap other lovely goodies too though.  I unearthed it this weekend and decided it would be perfect for a 'Queen Anne's Lace Scarf'.  After five or six false starts on the pattern Here, I think I have finally grasped it.  There is a strong theme to this post that perfectionism is not my strong point!
Here is a garish close up:
I know some of you have worked on this pattern and I am slightly puzzled about how to block it.  Obviously scarfs are pretty long and there seems to be so many places to pin.  I think it may be a case of 'There is no easy way'.  I will have to block it in stages due to the lack of space.  It is a nice easy pattern to work on and the yarn makes it interesting due to the colour changes.  It really should be a Christmas present for somebody. . . but I don't think I am going to be able to part with it!
               Sunday is my main baking/ cooking day.  I was up early this morning to chat with the hens and gather in the harvest for the Sunday Lunch.  Yesterday I dug some potatoes with four chickens perilously close to the spade.  I can't say they were helpful, they were a positive hindrance.  They were having such fun though I did not want to spoil it by putting them in there coop.  Yesterday was one of the annual highlights of the chicken world.  The emptying of the Compost bins!  They love this.  I put barrow loads of compost onto the borders and fruit bushes.  The chickens helped to spread it all.  Boy did they spread it all. . . all over the lawn!  Now I need to find the time to rake it all.  Today's harvest was a few apples and the last of the green beans.
 I made an Apple Crumble too:
The topping had brown sugar and Toasted Almond Flakes. . .don't tell the Weight Watchers Lady, I am sure she will find out on Thursday's Weigh in.
              I have had a Happy Hooky weekend and the antibiotics seem to be working their magic.  I am a bit resentful that although work pays the bills it does spoil the hooky time!   Monday afternoon at work is 'Cooking Lesson'.  The kids love it and so do I.  Last week we made 'Apple Crumbles' and tomorrow they will make 'Apple Pie'.  Not a bad achievement for 8-10 year olds.
              I hope you have all had a good weekend too.  xxx

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Crochet Ripple Blankie In Use!

I am having a complete 'Friday the 13th'  even though it is Thursday.  I have been busy crocheting tiny hats for 'Rainbows'.  The '10 minute pattern' is great even if it takes me 20 minutes.  I made two little hats in the Doctors waiting room today.  I was bitten by an insect about two or three weeks ago.  I did not feel it at the time and it has caused me no problems but then in the last couple of days my leg has been very hot and itchy and aching.  I have some antibiotics. . . that are going to kill or cure me!  I am feeling totally 'bleurghh'.  I decided to get my faithful crochet Ripple Blankie and lie on the sofa feeling sorry for myself for a while.  The dog, Lacey,  had other ideas!  She thinks she is a lap dog.  You can see she isn't!  She sits on my lap, sitting upright while I watch TV and I have to peer around her.  She also likes to be picked up and held, which is like weight lifting.  I was under the blanket when she crawled under and lay on me.  There was only so much of that I could stand, so admitted defeat.  She has not moved and is snoring soundly as I type.  She took a shine to this blanket while it was being made.  I think I need to crochet another blanket to avoid squabbles of this nature over the Winter.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

'Rainbows' September 2012 Update

You may remember I posted back in July about my youngest son being born premature in 2004.  He is now 8yrs old and a big strong fella for his age.  I was really grateful way back when he was born over 8 weeks early to have hand knitted hats and cardigans in tiny sizes available on the Maternity ward.  I have always wanted to 'payback' the kindness.  My Blog Buddy Teresa suggested I ask for help from my Blog Buddies to build a collection of items to donate.  Another Blog Buddy, Claire suggested the name 'Rainbows' for the project.  I know people are busy and there is no pressure as I am looking to donate in July 2013.  I am really happy with the work that has been going on so far.  Some people have decided to make items to donate to their local hospital and others have decided to send the garments to me to donate to the hospital where Euan was born.   It brings a great big smile to my face.  I will update on the project as near to the 10th of each month as I can.

Lacey has been busy Crocheting hats and has blogged a post about them over at 'Mina and Me'.
Lacey has been using this pattern Teresa's 10 Minute Preemie Hat.  Very cute.

Teresa Kasner is responsible for this Bloggy Idea and has got busy making tiny hats to donate to her local hospital.

Linda from Chalky's World sent me a fantastic parcel.  It was really lovely to see so many items that will help so many babies and their families.  I was really touched.  Linda and her Mother in Law do lots of 'Charity Knitting and Crochet' for various worthy causes.
Lots of tiny white hats. . .
Little tiny pink hats. . .
Lovely little blue hats. . .
I photographed this tiny hat next to a CD so you can get an idea of the size.  While you are making these hats it is easy to think that they are just too tiny.  These early babies can be like little pixies and hats are quite crucial even in the middle of Summer.  Preemie babies have difficulty maintaining their body temperature and all need warm hats.
I love this tiny cardigan and hat set.  I was so grateful to have cardigans that fitted Euan nicely, without having the sleeves rolled over lots of times.  I would like to make tiny cardigan like this one.  I need to find a good pattern and get going.
These are simple 'Garter Stitch' knitted 'Angel Pockets'.
These are crochet 'Angel Pockets'.  There is a sad reality that 'Angel Pockets' are used on all Maternity wards as not all babies make it.  They are wrapped in these 'hand made with love' pockets.  Bless them.

  My Mom told her friend that I was doing this on my blog.  So her friend kindly donated these two hats too.
                   I think you will agree there is a lovely growing collection here.  I am really pleased and happy.  I am fully intending to get cracking and make more items as soon as possible.  I have posted a 'Rainbows' page at the top of my blog and there are some links now to patterns.  If you have any to add though I would appreciate it.  This is a long term work in progress and it is a real joy to know I can payback the kindness.  A big 'Thank you' to everyone for your kindness so far.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A Dabbling Day

All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all!
Ducks' tails, drakes' tails,
Yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight
Busy in the river!
Slushy green undergrowth
Where the roach swim--
Here we keep our larder,
Cool and full and dim.
Everyone for what he likes!
WE like to be
Heads down, tails up,
Dabbling free!
High in the blue above
Swifts whirl and call--
WE are down a-dabbling
Up tails all!

Kenneth Grahame  (I had to learn this poem many moons ago at school, it has always been a favourite of mine).

Today was a Weaving Spinning and Dyeing Guilds Meeting.  It was officially known as a 'Dabbling Day'.  There was no speaker or workshop and it was our first monthly meet since June.  It was an effort to get motivated to go today to be quite honest.  I have felt zapped all week and my Mom has been having great trouble with her eyes for a couple of months.  She has been going to the GP and using various antibiotics, ointments and drops but nothing is working so far.  Her eyes are sore, painful and light sensitive.  It is pretty tricky to get motivated when you feel 'low'.  My Mom has an appointment with an eye specialist on Monday and I hope they can help.  I used to tell both my kids when they were toddlers 'your eyes are precious' and they really are.  We made the effort to go dabbling and we had an enjoyable day.  
              Dabbling meant we got to chat and mingle and explore.  People were working on various projects, weaving, spinning, knitting, crochet, etc.  There was a large table with lots of fibres that a couple of members kindly bought for others to spin.  I have a small amount of soy fibre to try at some point  and some bamboo fibre to experiment with.  My Mom tried to spin some banana fibre...she was not impressed.  It looks beautiful, white and silky but it has no elasticity at all and has a crunch to it.  I asked her if she had picked 'coconut fibre' by mistake!  
                It was lovely to see everyone after the Summer and one of the more 'senior' members, Evelyn gave us a demonstration of how to 'skirt' a raw fleece.  We had two 'Shropshire' fleece and two 'Shetland' fleece.  We have a Guild project to work on for next September when there will be a 'Six Guild Exhibition'.  Our Guild 'Birmingham and District' will have a display to do using 'Shropshire' fleece that has been Woven, Spun or Dyed'.  Evelyn is a fantastic spinner and has a wealth of knowledge and experience.  She is an amazing lady.
Evelyn talked us through how to 'skirt' a fleece, showing us how to quickly sort what is worth keeping and what would be destined for the compost heap.  Fleece is apparently great for compost. . . but it can attract foxes!  It won't be going on my compost heap!  No Mr Fox for us!  I surprised myself a little as I did not want to touch the fleece and spent most of my time looking from afar with my nose turned up!  It is not like me.  I usually don't mind getting my hands dirty.   I just didn't fancy it today.  We have had an exceptionally wet year in the UK and I think that has resulted in some particularly mucky fleece.  Usually the best fleece is from the neck down the middle of the back.  One fleece was completely matted down the back, I wonder if that is the result of the constant heavy rain too.  Another guild member has kindly offered to wash the lot ready for sharing out for spinning, felting or whatever we are going to do with it.  We have a guild member nominated as 'Artistic Director' so I will await instruction.  
             I really like the opportunity to chat to other guild members.  I am full of admiration for their skills and knowledge.  One member Teresinha has a company  'Wildfibres'.  Do take a look at her website, you can lose yourself for an hour or two with all the interesting goodies and information you will find there.  I am pretty sure she ships worldwide too if anything should take your fancy.  She was telling me today that she has orders from South America, Iceland and Ireland to name a few.  Teresinha always wears some beautiful hand spun, hand dyed, or hand woven clothes or accessories.  Today she had a fantastic bag that she wove on a cardboard loom, it was woven in one piece without seams.  I have been busy googling how to do this. . . watch this space!   She also grows and sells her own dye plants and fibre plants, she keeps silk worms and travels guilds all over the UK giving talks and demonstrations about dyes, plant fibres, animal fibres, weaving, textile pots, silks and others.  She is one of those multi talented individuals that I am generally in awe of.  She stocks a wide range of fibres and spinners and spinning wheels too. Today she asked me if I could do her a favour.  She has started to stock silk hankies.  I have spun silk but never from a silk hankie.  She asked if I could follow her written instructions to test them for clarity.  I love silk and have always wanted to try and spin a silk hankie so I was more than happy to oblige.
A silk hankie is one cacoon from the silk worm.  It is created from a single thread and if you could unravel the single thread it would be over a mile long.  It really is fascinating to work with and has some unusual properties.  It is very fine and webby but at the same time amazingly strong.  It is not at all like wool to work with or spin.  To spin a silk hankie you first need to draft the fibre, stretch it out and prepare it to spin.  With fleece you would draft as you spin in a simultaneous movement.  Silk is crazy and it just will not stretch unless you have your hands a considerable distance from each other, so you draft it out then spin it without further drafting.

       The hankie was about 30cm square then you break a hole in the centre and start to stretch it out.
The result was about 7 metres of fine silk strand to spin.  I spun it without any problems as I was already working with Tussah silk on my bobbin.  I forgot to photograph the spun hankie it is now buried on my bobbin.  I love trying new things though so I really enjoyed this.  I am very fond of working with silk.  I would definitely work more with silk hankies.  Silk and wool blended together make beautiful yarns.  I would also like to dye some hankies and make ply together a strand of wool with a strand of silk.  Silk takes dye really well and the lustre of silk enhances colour.  Too many ideas and not enough time.  I am sure that sounds like a familiar dilemma to many of you.  I am champing at the bit again now raring to go with 101 projects.  Roll on the dark nights of locking the front door and hunkering down to some crafty recreation!  Of course I will still be making the most of any sunshine that would care to come this way.  

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Quick Chicken Update 'My Brood'

I don't have any 'new' chicken pics but I can showcase my 'Egg Mayonnaise'.  All is well in the coop I am very proud to report.  There has been no more fighting between the girls after my two hour 'Water Blasting Patrol'.  I am patting myself on the back.  I have read it takes an average of three to five weeks to integrate new hens.  I can recommend 'The Inthesky Water Blaster Method'.  I have four happy hens.  I have not lost Lavender again (yet).  She is a very funny character.  She chases the magpies away with gusto.  She is not backwards in coming forwards for her share of the treats and she is quite hilarious at bedtime.  She waddles wearily up to the coop at least an hour before the others.  The coop is for four hens but it is a tight squeeze.  It will make it snug and warm in the winter.  Lavender takes up three quarters of the room and the others have to shuffle and squeeze in around her.  I can imagine them saying 'excuse me, left a bit, right a bit, oooh I will just squeeze in here!  No no don't mind me...'  Suffice to say she has settled in rather well.  It is lovely to see  them all when I get home from work.  I am not worrying quite so much about losing anyone when I am out for the far so good they are all staying in the garden.  No eggs from Lavender yet and most days I get two eggs but some days I get three.
You can't beat some crusty home made bread with Egg Mayonnaise from you bestest chicken buddies.
                 I have been back at work this week after the long holiday.  I have been exhausted for some reason since Saturday!  I will be glad to shake this 'shattered' feeling.  Euan started back to school yesterday and has a sore throat and a cough already!  Henry started his 'A' levels today.  He looked very smart indeed and had a long day, finishing an hour later that last year!  He took his first 'Philosophy' class today where they discussed;
What is life?
What is knowledge?
When did space begin?
What is a void?
My Dad made me laugh when he suggested 'You tell em, I am trying to avoid these questions!'
The teacher said a 'Philosopher' is somebody who is annoying like Henry and has to keep questioning everything'.  Henry said he asked the teacher 'Miss, was that a compliment?' She assured him it was!  Hilarious, to philosophise about, 'Can a compliment be an insult?'  'Can an insult be a compliment?'  I think I am going to enjoy this Philosophy lark!
            I have got my weigh in tomorrow!  Eeeek!  This weight loss malarkey aint easy either.  It is coming off slowly but surely but some weeks I just yoyo up and down for a couple of pounds.  So far I have lost 29lbs in total.  Euan did a bit of Philosophising and said 'Mom this Weight Watchers is weird, because every week you keep on losing weight but you aint getting any smaller!'  Kids!  Don't ya just have to love em!  I am not sure if that was a compliment or an insult!  I will lie awake and ponder it!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I thought these were really good, you can see by the ingredients why they are called 'skinny' they are definitely worth giving a try.

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
Serves 9


3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

170 ml low fat vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup skimmed milk

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup granulated sweetener

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup porridge oats


Preheat oven to 170C. 

Spray a 8×8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Place all of the ingredients except for the peanut butter into a blender. For easier blending, place the liquid ingredients into the blender first. Blend until mix is smooth and oats are ground up. (I just beat the ingredients together with a wooden spoon).

Pour batter into prepared baking dish.

Microwave peanut butter for about 30 seconds. Drop melted peanut butter by spoonfuls onto the batter, swirling gently with a knife to create a marbled effect. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Brownies will be extra fudgy, so be sure to wait until COMPLETELY cooled.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

I Think It Might Be One Of Those Months!

I just gotta share today's story with ya!  All is going pretty well with the chickens as you can see from this post The Fantastic Four.   There are only minor teething problems, like my panic if I can't see all four!  Lavender. . .who for some reason in my head I keep calling 'Marigold'. . . is hanging out with the others but she does disappear and find quiet. dark places to snooze. . . so I have a panic until I find her.  Other than that they are all four very good, happy girls.
          Yesterday I did loads of gardening . . .too much, I mowed, I pruned, I dug, I weeded, I edged and generally wore myself out.  I never, well hardly ever sleep on the sofa during the day.  It is like a once a year occurrence!  Today I felt really cold and grotty and nodded off on the sofa to sleep.  If I nod off in the day it is for a maximum of 10mins. . . today I was asleep for an hour!  I could hear 'pitter pattering' when I woke up!  I thought it was the dog.  I sat up very groggy and was faced with two chickens staring at me and the TV!  I was very confused and alarmed as I do not trust the dog not to hurt the chickens by accident.  I scooped up the two and found another in the kitchen!  I ran outside, Lavender is the only chicken that was not house reared she was still outside.  While I snoozed, the dog had kindly opened the gate for the chickens leaving them to wander at their leisure.  I must say the two in the living room looked very happy in front of the TV they used to watch it a lot when they were babies and spent their first six weeks in the living room.  It is only day one of September. . . I do wonder what other tales I will have to tell!