28 April 2009


I'm on a roll. Not only have I faced my technofear demons to add the follower's button on here, today I blasted them and joined Facebook. So far I really can't see the point of it - the people who are my friends and wrote on my wall would know my email address and I got emails to say they had written on my wall and what they had written. So why do I need Facebook? They can just email me. I'm obviously missing something monumental.

By the way I'm on there as Amanda highland madness

26 April 2009

The new bit on the side bar....

I've fought the techno-fear and added a new feature - you can now sign up and be a follower of my blog. Just click on the button thingy on the right and do what it says and you'll get to know when I post a new story, and I'll get to feel less like Billy No-mates!

Not for the calory challeneged....

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

4 tbs flour
4 tbs sugar
2 tbs cocoa
1 egg
3 tbs milk
3 tbs oil
3 tbs choc chips (optional)
splash vanilla plus your favourite tipple

Add dry ingredients to your largest mug and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using), vanilla extract and a drop or two of your favourite tipple
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high)
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous)
Those of us who don't eat cocoa can of course substitute flour for cocoa and design our own flavours!

24 April 2009

Todays the day!

We're off with out the kids!!

No, we're not abandoning them with a little sign around their necks saying "Please look after me" (tempting as that is) we're off to a family wedding. We even get to fly in a proper aeroplane! I'm so excited!! Flying, posh hotel and frocks - what more could a girl ask for?

Scrumpy and Bear would not enjoy it so they're going to have more fun than you can shake a stick at in the respite centre. Whoever's looking after Bear's going to get a work out. The evenings are getting lighter and that means mischief. Unfortunately she thinks it's hysterical to pee on her bed and put her fingers down her throat to make herself sick. I'm hoping for a short phase. That and a new washing machine with a bigger load capacity.

Hotel AND a washing machine. Does that make me high maintenance??

20 April 2009

This is actually pretty cool...

Did you know Mars is going to be the closest it's ever been in human history in August this year? It'll rise in the east and fall in the west, growing throughout the month but being at it's peak on 27th August. It'll be the next brightest thing in the sky to the moon and of a similar size.

Here's hoping for some clear nights in August, it'll be worth a few late nights as it won't happen again for another few thousand years - something to do with Pluto apparently.

Don't say I don't tell you anything interesting.

18 April 2009

16 April 2009

We have new arrivals

One of the many joys of having proper farmer friends is you get to help out with orphan lambs. Spot and not spot were chosen for the fact they have a distinguishing feature meaning I can identify them without naming them. They are not pets. They may be impossibly cute but they are not pets and someday in the not too distant future they will be taking a short trip to Munro's. After that they'll come home to live in the freezer....This is the thought I kept in the front of my mind when I was up at 6am in the freezing cold feeding them. They've just had a top up and spot is not gulping down quite as much as not spot but I'm hoping this will sort out and is not a bad sign. I have been warned they have a habit of dying on you before time.

So here they are

and here's not spot feeding

How cute is that? Now think rack of ribs and sunday roast....

We're hoping to swap lamb for bacon with Catherine who has one of these

and if we can get our fencing sorted we'll maybe produce our own next year.

Bear is in her element and is just delighted with the lambs. She was equally excited about Catherine's pig so maybe we have a budding farmer in the family. Her excitement was tempered with gentleness with the animals but the joy on her face was uncontainable.

Livestock means we have to get a stock trailer and I have to learn how to reverse it. I'm going to book a course so if you're wanting a good laugh, watch this space.

14 April 2009

A sigh of relief and a bacon roll

Aahhh! That lovely feeling when term starts again, and my treat for the first day back - bacon roll for breakfast after they've gone. You all know how much I adore my girls but it is so good when they're in school, and they'll be going everyday except one until the end of June.

We had a lot of fun over the Easter break, in fact I would go so far as to say it was two weeks of fun and mayhem. We got out and about nearly every day and the weather was so good Scrumpy was paddling in the sea in bare feet on two days. Everyone else had waders or wellies on but she was in there, happy as a sandboy, gradually turning blue.

Now of course I have to catch up on all the jobs that didn't get done because I was bunking off, plus all the chaos because it was school holidays. Oh well, there's no such thing as a free lunch as they say so I s'pose I best get going.....swimming tonight followed by chips in the cafe.....more fun, Yippee!

12 April 2009

Happy Easter! (and happy baking!)

NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved)

2 (500 ml) cups butter
680 g chocolate chips
4 (1000 ml) cups flour
2 (500 ml) cups brown sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) Bicarb soda
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
2 (500 ml) cups sugar
500 g Grated Cadbury chocolate
5 (1250 ml) cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla
3 cups (375 ml) chopped nuts ( optional )

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder.
Cream the butter and both sugars.
Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt,
Baking powder, and Bicarb (soda).
Add chocolate chips, grated Chocolate , and nuts.
Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes at (180 ?C ) 375 degrees.
The above quantities make ? 112 cookies.

07 April 2009


Today was a good day. We went to Landmark Forest Theme Park and not only did we all have a good time, our visit was seizure free.

Last year we tried a visit, packing two extra pairs of hands as one does, and had a disaster with Scrumpy having a seven minute seizure at the top of a 30 foot high slide. we then had to carry her, post emergency meds and post-ictal, down the assault course that was the approach to said slide. Not fun at all.

Today we packed three extra pairs of hands and arrived feeling mildly confident that the park would not beat us this time to see the longest queue to get in you have ever seen. Scrumpy and Bear just about made it while we found a place to park, there was no way we were going to queue. Luckily I spotted a person who looked like they worked there. Actually she didn't but she did get the general manager out for me and he very kindly walked us right to the head of the queue (I can still feel those eyes burning into me. Oooooh the venom!) He actually remembered us from last year (still not sure if that's a good thing!) and offered to get us to the front of the line for one of their new activities. Not only that but he apologised for not being able to take us to the front of the waterslide for fear of being mobbed with complaints. I'll give him that one, it is very popular and we couldn't expect the red carpet everywhere!

Everything went brilliantly, even the promised heavy showers didn't materialise until we were driving home. The only snag was a Scrumpy special - the longest loudest and most demonstrable tantrum you have ever seen in your life. It started before we left the park and carried on for the whole hour driving home. at one point we had to pull over to calm her down and get her back in her seat. But, Bear coped well and did not retaliate.

Like I said, today was a good day.

02 April 2009

Oh the joys of Easter Holidays!!

Day six and I still have all my hair.

Last night we went swimming after Holiday club, much to Scrumpy's disgust. She really needed to go home first and then go but the "Disabled session" time meant we had to go from one to the other. She had a tantrum/meltdown all the way there (partly because we were NOT going to the aquadome, home of the guarnteed seizure) and then, after much persuasion to get out of the car, laid down on the door mat in reception. For half an hour, give or take.

I did my usual is she safe? Yes. Ignore it routine, much to the amusement of a mum sat at the other end. She completely understood, in a been there done that got the t-shirt kind of way, and the staff as usual were amazing. They followed my lead ignoring her and then when she calmed down one of the guys came over and asked if she wanted to go swimming.

"NO!!" as only scrumpy can

"OK" quite matter of factly and he walked away.

I love our leisure centre staff.

She did eventually get in the pool and had a great time. The staff ran the flume for her and then put all the water features on too. Just for us. Did I mention how much I love our leisure centre staff?

Bear was just delighted to be swimming again with Surfer Girl and Aussie.

Credit crunch bites Chicken!

Hot Hubby went to get more wood shavings for the chicken house. The guy at the suppliers said he didn't know when he would be getting any more in because construction has taken a down turn.


The joiners aren't working so the saw mills aren't getting orders so the wood shavings aren't being produced.

Straw it is then.