Thursday, 24 December 2009

Slowest Internet in the World!!!

Sky, Sky Sky! We were supposed to get our Sky TV etc set up on Sunday (last Sunday) but they never came due to the weather. We were supposed to get our Internet set up on Wednesday but oh no, no Internet till you get the TV!! When are we getting the TV, next Sunday. But for some reason the Internet this time might not be set up until 15 (that's right, count 'em 15!) days after the TV! How much time does it take to press the Go button!!! So I am working on Internet supplied via a mobile phone plugged into the PC, it is generally slower than 56k dial up!

Ah well!! But its CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And we have been majorly busy trying to get the house sorted before then. We completed the Dining Room:

And it really looks great! We have even managed to pick Christmassy colours!! I have also been trying my hand at a few handicrafts. Main project was a wreath with some of the Holly from the bush outside and some left over Xmas decorations. I think it looks rather good, even if I do say so myself!

Next on my list was the Christmas Baking. I had decided that sweet things was the way to go so I went for Vanilla Biscuits and Spiced Orange biscuits with an Orange Icing!

There was also Christmas cake for all! I had bought myself a great new pan that meant I could make 12, 3inch, square cakes, in the one tin. This means I have nice little gift cakes to give away!!
And finally the mince pies, can't go wrong with Mince Pies! This was using my own mincemeat and a nice sweet pastry!
We have got a nice roast for tomorrow and there will be plenty of trimmings!!! Will report as often as I can!

Have a great Christmas People!!

Merry Christmas from the Farm!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Let It Snow!

Well we have had our snow, and by gum we have had our snow! We must have 3 inches (4 if you stand in a deep bit) and it has become somewhat treacherous to get out of the yard! As a result we have no Internet, still! The guy decided it was too bad weather to make the trip up our hill so we have to wait till after Christmas before we get set up. So all the post ideas that I had ready for this week are all going to be late! But I thought I would share with you this little recipe that I have just found which I am looking forward to trying. Nothing says Xmas like Mulled Wine but what about the kids, those who don't like wine (raises hand) or those, like I will have as most of my guests next week, who have to drive afterwards? How about Mulled Apple Juice? This seemed like such a simple recipe that I knew I had to give it a shot, so next week I will but I thought I'd share the recipe with you now in case you wanted to use it for your own celebrations - if you don't want to risk it till I've tried it, you'll need to wait till the 30th!!

Serves 6
  • 1.5 Litres (50 fl oz) apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons allspice
  • peel of 1 0range
  • peel of 1 lemon

You could even use one of those mulled wine spice bags, instead of creating your own spice bag!


  1. Pour the apple juice into a large saucepan, and add the maple syrup and allspice.
    Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange peel and lemon peel into a muslin spice bag, secure with kitchen string and drop the spice bag into the mixture.
  2. Simmer the saucepan on medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is very hot (but not boiling). Remove and discard the spice bag.
  3. Ladle the cider into big cups or mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving if desired.

If anyone gives this a shot before I do then please, come back and tell us how it went. Perhaps any changes to the recipe!

I am going to try and get some photos up for you all, I have so many waiting but since the Sky Man Never Cometh they are all still waiting!! It is quite frustrating not having the ability to easily pop pictures on here, thanks to all for hanging around, normal service will be resumed as soon as I can!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Plant a Tree!

Tour, Tour Reviews, Travel Guides, Places to see - RubaRuba Ponzi Tree Contest - Tours, Tour Reviews, Travel Guides

Thanks to Allotments for You I have decided to join the online phenomena (Yes, I think it could be called that!) that is Ponzi!

With this scheme you show the badge (left) on your blog and for every badge posted Pozi will plant a tree. For every CLICK on a badge they will also plant a tree! I figure that this is a reasonable scheme to get involved in!!

We are looking to plant some trees around the ol' farmstead so I thought why not get involved with a nationwide scheme - and it is so easy!

So join in if you fancy it!!

So what has been going on? Well, we still don't have an Internet at home, which is why the posts are few and far between, but we are preparing for Christmas. I have been baking in the kitchen and I will share those wonders with you in due course! We have also been desperately trying to get the dining room decorating so we can start decorating the house with Christmas Decorations, still haven't got a tree up yet!!

It is starting to get pretty frosty here, the frost usually doesn't even have time to melt before the next wave sets in and snow has supposedly been forecast for later this week. Quite looking forward to that!!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Getting Ready For Xmas... Mincemeat

Well, I decided that all work and no play makes for a very dull life and in this case would make for a Christmas without mince pies! So I decided a week or so back to make up my mincemeat, just to give it a wee while to "get tasty" before I start the big pie bake!!

So using my Mincemeat Recipe:

1 Bramley Apple
300g Raisins
300g Currants
250g shredded suet
250g muscavado sugar
85g mixed peel, chopped
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of mixed spice
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
100ml whisky (optional, I don't use it as we don't like it but feel free - glug away!)

See Full Instructions

After a rather sticky time, I always get in a mess peeling apples, have no idea why, it was into the jars for my mincemeat to await "The Time of the Baking"! These jars are now in my larder cupboard and are looking good! I shall update this with the Mince Pie excitement after they are cooked. I am also going to be making my Xmas Cake soon, I don't do the dark cake which is why I get away with leaving it so late!!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

I'm Still Here!! And it's Nearly Christmas!! But Where's the Tree!!?

So, what has been going on! Well it has been a busy week and we in no way got done what we wanted to! The Dining Room which we had figured would take a week to do has now crept into its second week. This was due mainly to the fact that we thought that painting over the old paint would be fine but it appears that is not the case! We came down the next morning to several patches of peeling paint! So we had to troop to the DIY Store and bought some lining paper which we have now mostly put up. We had a section of plaster above the fireplace fall out so we are waiting on the repair job to dry before we continue!

The floor does look good though! I said I would try and get photos of Farm guy trying to sand the whole lot with a Hand Sander, and I believe I was taking bets on how long it would take before he decided it was a bad idea.. Well, anyone who said an Hour and a half, you win! He decided so fast I didn't even get any photos :( I was upstairs painting and before I know it he announces that we need a floor sander cos "this sucks!" So, after this declaration of suckiness, a floor sander was duly hired and the learning curve began.... but I think he did pretty well, took two days and as you can see everything got VERY dusty!

After the sanding it is my time to shine! After a lot of hoovering and brushing, and more hoovering and a little sweeping and a wipe down with White Spirit and a bit of drying it was time to get varnishing. It was going to need three coats of...
So, scooting about in my socks, in the middle of the night, (working really does get in the way of fun!) I set to work transforming this canvas to a hardwood masterpiece! Finally it was done and we love the look of it! We are so pleased we have decided that the living room floor will be done in the same vein once we get around to it!

So the floor was a big success and as soon as we get that, quite frankly revolting, paint covered up and the new "do" put on there will be a room ready for all the stuff that is piled up in the living room! And then!!! Christmas Tree!!!! WooHoo!!

Friday, 4 December 2009

The Room that Is..

You may remember that the bathroom looked a little like this when we first moved in. And just for the record, it was a bit whiffy, as the outflow from the toilet was damaged – not leaking but exuding pong!
Well, we have been working away at it (apologies before we start about the photos, the room is quite narrow and it is hard to get the angle right!). We took out the old suite, don’t worry, that wonderful bath has been saved and is waiting to be re-enamelled and re-used in the new bathroom (when we finally get to extend). A brand new bathroom suite and shower got fitted by our friendly local plumber and is looking good. We got the cheapest toilet and sink suite as we could, but decided to splash out on a nicer shower unit and cubicle.

Then we needed the plasterers in to smooth of the walls as after the old suite was taken out things looked decidedly, ummm, rubbish!

Doing this actually made the room feel really dark and it was SO dusty. If you got out the shower you had to get dressed quick or else you just felt dirtier than you had before. So it was time to hit the shops and get some paint. Again we went with the cheapest we could find as this room is likely to be changed..

A nice sky blue, that certainly brightens the place up! Just need to sort out that floor now!

After 4 hours, yes FOUR, (finishing at 2am!!) we managed to get the flooring down and I think it looks pretty snazzy!! It is certainly much more pleasant to use now, ahhhhh, one room done!!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

So, this is a bit late but never-the-less represents part of an entire day's working in the decorating section of the renovation (namely the stairwell in this case!). See if you can guess what it is? It comes in two very long boxes and is ridiculously heavy! (Gotta LOVE that wallpaper and the attractive Plaster Fresh walls!!)

Once it is out of the boxes there are hundreds of parts, this is a selection of them, there was a load in the working room behind me too. It was quite a challenge to put together, but apart from one section where I needed to lift the whole thing while inserting slot A into notch B, wasn't going to be doing THAT on my own, i did it all myself!! *Insert Smug Grin*

This particular item had caused us a lot of grief as we had a choice of two but all depended on the simple fact, what fitted into the car!! This one was the winner and so was chosen from the great flat-pack heaven that is Ikea, to come home with us!

We are a house of expert flat packers now after the kitchen - see Kitchen Posts. Or should that be expert flat un-packers or indeed un-flat de-packers?!

As you can see I had all the help I needed from a rather handsome young gentleman caller. Yes, Monty, always on hand to lend a paw, particularly if it involves anything with boxes!

Can you tell what it is yet? This photo also lets you have a sneaky peak at the newly decorated bedroom.. oooo was that a hint on the identity of our flat-packed friend!!

Did you guess Cat Bed of monstrous proportions?......

....then sorry, you guessed wrong, although Monty is in FULL agreement with you! It was in fact a wardrobe. TADAAAA! There is also a chest of drawers to go all with this but it didn't get the Press attention as it was getting dark and the photos looked silly with the flash!!

So, we now have a place to put all our clothes, finally, the days of living out of suitcases and bin liners is over! Phew....!