Monday, July 29, 2013
Took me a few seconds to realise what was going on, but when I did I laughed so hard that I just had to share!
I think this is as good as any Spark Motivational Poster, don't you? *grin*
In other news...
I have made a veggie chilli in my slow cooker today. It has over 2400g of veg and beans in it. This means that split into six portions, each portion has all five of my five a day in it! Can't be bad, eh?
Going to throw a portion over a baked potato tonight. Yummy! Hope I don't miss!
Actually, I'm calling it chilli but it doesn't have any chilli in it. Just cumin, cinnamon, and lots of fresh coriander. Not a chilli fan really. :-)
The plan was for a meat free Monday, but as all great ideas I have these days, if not immediately written down to remind me, it stays in my head for all of two seconds and I had ham and chicken satay on my lunch platter. It was only as I was writing this blog that I remembered. Doh! Menopausal memory! Fun!!! LOL
I know, I'll try Freggie Friday instead this week. :-)
In not so good news, I'm back baking my own cakes, but when I added up the ingredients I realised that a small slice of my victoria sponge is 350 ish calories! Big Ouch! So I'll make small butterfly buns instead from now on. They are about half the calories of that cake slice! The fun thing with fairy cakes or butterfly buns is that you can make a one egg quantity, and that is enough for a whole week of treats. It also means that I can make one egg's worth in my fave flavour, and another egg's worth in Tara's fave flavour. That way we are both happy. :-)
One egg basic fairy cake recipe? What's that, I hear you ask...
What you do is weigh the egg in its shell, and whatever that weight is, that is the weight you use for the rest of the ingredients, so if the egg weighs 65g, you weigh out 65g each of butter or marg, caster sugar and flour. Cream the butter and sugar together than mix in the egg and flour alternately, and you have enough basic mix for 6 or 7 fairy cakes. Add fruit or whatever you fancy to the mix before splitting it between the bun cases and around ten mins or so at gas 5 and there they are. Delish buns!
Hope you've had / are having a great day!
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Told you it was hot over here...
This blog would have been posted yesterday but I was halfway through writing it when the storm front they promised descended, so I had to switch the computer off for the rest of the evening.
So here we go again (she says checking the weather forecast quickly to see if we are in the clear now)
Friday Evening's meal was scrumptious. I combined two ideas into one pot and it was delicious! Salmon Roulade and Vegetable Tien combine together really well it turns out. :-)
I took a salmon roulade (Waitrose do these all set to put in the oven, so it is hassle-free):
I chopped up some onion and fried it in a little olive oil, and while it was cooking I also gathered and thinly sliced a selection of beefsteak tomato, courgette and potato.
I then grabbed a round pyrex oven dish and spread the onion on the base of the dish. Then I placed the cut veggies into the bowl vertically in a circle around the edge of the bowl on top of the onion. I had a few small bits of courgette left so I laid them flat in the centre as a stand for the salmon roulade.
I popped the veg (without the salmon) in the oven for about 40 mins at Gas 6 until the veg was softening, then I took it out, sprinkled some grated Italian cheese (although cheddar works too) over the veg, placed the salmon roulade in the centre, and popped it back into the oven for another 20 mins.
When it came out I just scooped it all onto a plate and munched my way through.
Dee. licious! :-)
So Friday ended on a very tasty note. :-)
Sadly, however, Saturday did not get off to a good start...
Pidge passed this morning. The shock of the attack followed by the cat trying to get to her the next day was too much for her and she couldn't eat. I took her to the vets after a pingpong match between the local wildlife rescue centre and the RSPCA, and the vet looked her over and decided it was kindest to put her to sleep. For this service they were nice enough not to ask for a payment, and when I offered a donation they refused it. That is true pet care and customer service!!!
That kindness was a real relief after the morning I had on the phone. Honestly, I could spit! I know that the RSPCA does some stellar work, but seriously, when you phone their local number on a Saturday morning you would think that someone would actually be there. Animals don't just get sick Monday to Friday, you know!
So what actually happened? As the RSPCA were conspicuous by their absence when I tried to contact them, I rang the vet because it was clear that Pidge still wasn't eating and could not be persuaded to. The veterinary assistant explained that unfortunately they aren't set up for wildlife care, so the best they can do is take a look, and if necessary put Pidge to sleep. However, they did have the phone number of the local wildlife centre, and suggested I try them, and if they were unable to help then I should call the vet back.
So I rang the wildlife centre. The lady I spoke to was very nice, and offered to see if anyone was available to pick Pidge up. She rang back a few minutes later to say that unfortunately they were short staffed and they had no one available for a pick up. However, I could try the – you've guessed it – RSPCA!
I told her the local RSPCA number wasn't being manned and there was no other information on their message. So she suggested I try their emergency number.
So I rang the emergency number, went through the rigmarole of the automated message option 1 of 4, then option 2 of 6 then – press 1 for a lecture on leaving fledglings where you find them unless they are injured. Press 2 for a suggestion to – you've guessed it again – ring your local wildlife rescue centre!
At no point did the message actually offer practical help, and after the lecture they cut me off!
So I rang the wildlife centre back to ask what to do next and the only option left was beg a lift out to their centre in the middle of nowhere from a neighbour. This is the joy of not having transport. Rescue centres are almost always in the middle of nowhere, and there isn't any way to reach them except by car.
As the only neighbour even vaguely nature-friendly who would have been approachable was out, that wasn't an option, so the only thing left I could do was ring the Vets again.
They told me that they were very busy, a number of emergencies had come in, but if I brought the bird down about noon and was willing to wait one of the vets would take a look, and if necessary put Pidge to sleep.
So, just time for a twenty minute exercise routine, followed by a quick breakfast and then I persuaded Pidge into a box puched full of holes, and walked her down to the vets where, as you already know, they felt it was kindest to put her to sleep.
I was a bit tearful – silly I know, but I get attached to critturs so quickly. Still, I choked them back and walked out of the building. And instead of turning left and heading home, I turned right and headed for Castle Park. I figured the walk in the park would be nice, maybe cheer me up, and I could pick up a couple of bits in town and then head home.
It was lovely in the park, and with the trees in full foliage there was a pleasantly shady walk along the side of the river:
By the time I reach the other side of the park I was feeling much better, especially as I spotted my favourite pigeon being fed by a chap who was laid out on the grass enjoying his lunch. This pigeon has a gammy wing, and has been around for a long time. You can easily tell him apart from the others, even without the wing issue, because everyone takes pity on him and feeds him, so he is very fat! I was pleased to see him still with us, and I headed out of the park with a smile on my face and made for the bank, grabbed some cash and bought the bits I needed, then headed for a snack. Sadly I got waylayed by Greggs and ended up with a sausage roll, and after that I decided (without thinking it through) to try a Shakeaway milkshake – raspberries, cream, icecream and meringue!
It was delicious! Just two problems...
One: raspberries crunched up in a shake contains loads of seeds (which I'm supposed to avoid with the diverticular issue) – cue surrepticiously spitting out seeds after every mouthful into a tissue. LOL
Two: Bit calorific, specially on top of a sausage roll!
And I couldn't change the evening meal plan because the mince would have gone out of date, so yesterday was a bit over my calorie limit, and WAY over my fat limit.
Fortunately, up till that point I'd had a good week, so it balanced out more or less.
And today is the start of a new week. :-)
Let's hope it is a good one for all of us!
Friday, July 26, 2013
Here's the link to my challenge for those of you who are up for it:
No pressure. :-)
It just seems to me that I often completely ignore what is available right there in front of me on the Sparkpeople login page, and this way I may take more notice, and have a little fun at the same time. We have a terrific resource here to add to the other outside sources we use, and I, for one, need to make more use of them.
So there! LOL
Plus Nicole is a sweetie! :-)
Mind you, it isn't always Nicole. I've seen Bollywood style workouts, yoga, all sorts of exercise videos flash by each day. Also, if my memory is not deceiving me, there is one video there before you spin the wheel, and another one after you spin and the page changes, so if you don't like the look of the first video, you can always reject it and take a chance that the second one will be more to your taste. :-)
Also, if you right click the first video and tell your computer to open it in a new tab or window you can save the before spin video just in case the second one is no good for you.
If you are really feeling energetic, of course, you can always do both!!! Who's up for that idea?
Anywhoo... today I went back to the 5 Really Big Miles DVD and did the warm up, mile 1, mile 5, and the cool down and stretch. I love that I can just hit the 'next' button on my dvd player and zip through the miles I don't want to do that day within seconds, while walking in place, of course, to keep momentum going. No slacking allowed with Leslie! LOL
Then I thought of the aforementioned challenge while eating breakfast, so I did the video on my log in page. I'd already spun the wheel by then, so missed the first option, but I enjoyed the one I did do very much, fudging the bits my knees wouldn't be able to take. :-)
Then I popped my Wii on and found my rainbow and built a block in the shopping district on Step to the Beat.
Meanwhile Tara had headed into town to get a few bits and pieces for me, and on her way back I headed out to meet her at Pets At Home.
You see, we have an extra guest currently.
Yesterday morning I let Twink out as usual, and seconds later as I was getting my water I heard her barking and could see her in her 'what the heck is that!' stance - back legs splayed, leaning forwards, then barking and leaping back. When heading down the garden to investigate the reason for her alarm I found two attacked pigeon fledglings in the veg area of the garden. One was dead, but the other just had minor injuries and was in shock. Given that it was able to evade my attempt to catch it, I decided to do what they recommend on the RSPB website and leave it where hopefully the parents could find it, namely behind the shed where it had retreated.
There was a good chance of it dying of shock, but at least it was sheltered there, and I put a bowl of water and a bowl of seed within reach. At intervals I went back to check, but there was no sign of the parents.
Anyway, it was still alive last night, but I wasn't sure how it would fare overnight as it didn't seem to be eating or drinking.
This morning, as Twink and I headed down the garden we saw a cat leap over the fence. The pidge had moved into a very narrow area, and was obviously scared, but seemed largely unharmed. However it was clear that the parents had no clue where she was, and we couldn't leave her any longer in case the cat came back, so I got a broom and gently encouraged her close enough to make a grab for her, and set her up in the potting shed with a towel lined box, food and drink, and left the top half of the stable door latched open so that she would get some air. It gets extraordinarily hot in that shed in this weather. I pinned an old pillow case across the doorway so that the sun wouldn't directly shine on her but so she'd get any breeze going by.
I was still a bit concerned about what else, if anything, we should be doing, so in order to be sure I headed down to Pets At Home for some advice. As luck would have it, I bumped into a lovely guy named Martyn, whose family breeds - you've guessed it - elephants!!!
Nah! Not really. His family breeds pigeons. I was just checking that you hadn't nodded off by this time. :-)
Anyway, I bought a pipette in case we have to try and make the pidge eat or drink and he worked out how old she is and that she would be eating birdseed by now, so all we can do really is keep her quiet, soak her seed and hope she recovers. So Twink, who has no idea where she has gone, is on cat patrol, and we'll just wait and see how Pidge does. If we have too much contact she will rely on us and become tame, so I hope we don't have to hand feed her because it will be better for her if she remains wild. I can't see Twink learning to distinguish between a pet pigeon and the wild ones she chases! Doesn't catch, but chases nonetheless. That distinction between friend and perceived foe would be unreasonable for me to expect of her.
Wish her luck, please. This could go either way.
Tara found a copy of The Blues Brothers DVD for £1!!! Yay Cash Converters! Gonna have to watch that later! :-)
Oh, and if you get the chance, try a doughnut peach. Amazing flavour! :-)
Hope the weekend is a good one!
Thursday, July 25, 2013
I still can't quite believe that I managed this, but I did. This morning I completed the entire 5 miles on this DVD of Leslie's! In one go! And it included strength training in miles 2 and 4!
Of course, now I'm exhausted! My legs and arms are aching like fun, and I struggled to get to Waitrose and back with a very heavy Wilbur.
But I'm so pleased with myself!
It was worth over 10,000 steps! And it took about 85 minutes! (The workout, not the shopping trip! LOL)
Mind you, I think I'll be a bit less full on tomorrow to balance things out a bit. Can't go full tilt all the time. :-)
I enjoyed myself at Waitrose as well, looking for loads of veggies for my baked potato topping experiments. I figure that the tastier the topping the less need I'll have to slather my potato in butter. Smart, huh? :-)
I bought loads of organic onions and courgettes and mushrooms and broccoli, and some nice Italian cheese, and some salmon bits. I love smoked salmon bits. They are just cheaper offcuts of the expensive slices, and just as delicious, and they will be lovely mixed in with veggies on my spud.
I also bought some lamb mince and cannellini and black eyed beans to make a chilli-style topping, which will also go well with my wholegrain rice. :-) Popping that in the slow cooker tomorrow. Yum!
I hope it won't be too long before I'm eating veggies from my garden. It has been a slow start because I couldn't start planting until mid May. The buds are starting for the courgettes though, and the runner beans and dwarf beans are starting to grow properly. The root veggies - carrots, parsnips, khol rabi, fennel etc - are sprouting nicely. The cauliflowers are teeny, though! The plants should get huge but at the moment they are barely 3 inches tall! The onion and garlic both have good leaf growth, but the spring onions will be autumn ones by the time they arrive! LOL
Here are a few pics of the garden...
Pretty plant whose name I forget:
The veg beds:
The herb planter by the back door. Got the stand at the RSPCA charity shop for two pounds! The top has chives, thyme and parsley, and the bottom is basil, my four most frequently used herbs in the kitchen:
Our hedgehogs - sympathetic magic to keep the slugs away! :-)
Our day lily! This is the third bloom in three days. So pretty!
Bizzy lizzies or something if I remember correctly. I got these because I thought the leaves were pretty. Turns out the flowers are too. :-)
The grapevine. If the bunches of grapes all ripen, we will have to learn how to make wine! There are more than enough to eat!
And finally, the pooch!
She has settled in very well since the garden was completed. She loves it out there, and has her favourite sunning spot and shady spot.
This is Twinks in her sunning spot:
And this is Twinks in her fave shady spot:
Yep, I have to share the swing seat. LOL Pardon my dishevelled appearance as well, please. I'd been gardening and was taking a well earned break when Tara snapped this shot.
We haven't made it official yet, because as far as I know Twinks is still out of the adoption running pending legal proceedings with her previous so-called forever home that kept her brother and slung her out, but once we can she will be adopted by us. She was in such a state when she came to us, and I can't feel justified in moving her on yet again when she is feeling so secure now - well, as long as I'm nearby anyway. She has really attached herself to me. Yes, she sleeps on the bed. :-)
And is in the garden whenever she can be. In fact, this is her "Ok, so I stood still for the photo. Can I PLEASE go and sniff about now?" face!
Hope the day isn't too hot for you. Tis for me! *phew!*
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