Quiet, but busy weekend

As much as I like being out and about, I also really love when we have weekends at home. Michael and Hazel took Kieran to ballet on Saturday morning while I got ready to go out when they came home. We were supposed to go out to an Italian market and run a few errands, but neither of us really wanted to go in the end so we stayed home. It ended up being a day in the kitchen for me and a painting day for Michael.

Kieran had requested a Ratatouille during the week so I had decided on that for dinner. As our plans to eat out for lunch were cancelled I figured we might as well have veggie-wraps for lunch while we had the vegetables out. Hazel decided to help me in the kitchen so she cut the mushrooms for lunch. She is getting very adapt at cutting vegetables, but fares better when her dad isn’t around. He frets non-stop some times! When Hazel and I were done with the lunch ingredients, Michael cooked while she and I started on dinner. She even did the courgettes and most of the herbs. She can identify 3 varieties of thyme and the oregano and knows the different parsleys. I didn’t know all that until a few years ago!! We had a nice lunch of the wraps followed by quesadillas.

After lunch Michael got busy in the stairwell. He managed to sand the whole stairwell and upstairs landing and managed to paint the ceiling and to do the preliminary coat of paint on the walls. He just needs to patch up a few cracks and then he can paint the stairwell. He’ll probably prep the upstairs room this week and hopefully be done with all the painting in 2 weeks.

While he was busy—Hazel and I spent the day in the kitchen. Kieran spent the day inventing! He made a sleigh and a few other gadgets. He’s preparing for a long-distance trip back to NJ, as it was so pretty there! A boy after my heart!

Anyway—Hazel did a great job helping with the ratatouille. She’s moved up to cutting the courgettes as well now. I think she really just likes the sitting at the table and chatting with me aspect of it all. I know that that’s my favourite bit! We also decided on a bit of baking—we made some oatmeal raisin cookies. They were really good, though time consuming. While I was in the kitchen for most of the day—I decided to make a start on Mondays dinner—meatballs. I don’t make them often enough for Hazel or Michael. It’s the breadcrumbs that put me off! Not really—it’s just that as I’m making my own these days instead of using imported Progresso breadcrumbs (the best!) I’m always worried about the flavour. I don’t know why as they do prefer mine. Anyway—I got those under way with some sauce as I think they taste better after some time to absorb the flavours.

The evening was spent as the past 7 Saturdays—watching Strictly Come Dancing! I forgot to mention in the last post—Hazel’s favourites went out a couple of weeks ago. She cried for almost an hour when Lilia and Dominic were voted off. I think Kieran will be as devastated if Matt and Flavia get voted off.

Sunday was supposed to be another visit to a market. Our farmers market has started a second one each month—though we haven’t been to this one yet. When we woke up it was raining—and I’m just not that desperate to go to an outdoor market in the rain. Instead we spent the morning all lolling about in our room until after 10. Hazel and Michael went to Sainsbury’s to get some beef to make a casserole for dinner. So—another day at home.

We managed to get tons of bitty jobs done, which always makes the day go fast. The kids and I cleaned their rooms. Hazel and I had fun arranging all her doll outfits—she has a proper wardrobe for all her dolls now. We did mange to come up with a small list of needed things—like a trousers outfit and coat for two of her small dolls—and Kieran’s one baby needs pj’s. I kept all the hangers from all the dolls clothes from Santa Claus over the years—so we just need a wardrobe for them. Hazel has a large box shelf set in her room which Michael is going to try and convert two of the boxes into a dolls wardrobe for her.

We lit the fire late in the afternoon and had a quiet evening. I have to admit—we were all a bit thrilled to see Kate voted off Strictly last night. I give her credit for all the work she put into it, for putting up with so much pain—but mostly for taking all the abuse she received—what a brave woman to hold her head high like that—but it is a dance competition and she just didn’t cut it. Though she probably raised the most money for charity!

Michael and I had a quiet night. I started a book on Friday and am enjoying it immensely. It’s Killing Time by Caleb Carr. It’s set in 2023 and I think some of his predictions –it was published in 2000 are fairly spot on—except about Hussein! It’s not my usual type of book—but readable. His other two books were fantastic—The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness—they are well worth the read.

We also watched the 1st of a five part period piece—Cranford (based on the books by Elizabeth Gaskell). It’s been awhile since a good period piece was on TV and I enjoyed the 1st episode. It is filmed in Lacock—we visited there just over a month ago. I’m sure the rest will be as enjoyable—how can they go wrong with Judi Dench?

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