Friday, January 29, 2016

Alanmas Dinner

Alanmas Dinner was a huge success.
Starter was lobster (or chicken) ravioli with sage and lemon sauce - delish.
Main course for most of our party was pork medallions with madeira sauce and a conglomeration of vegetables (did you see what I did there?  That was all 'cheffy').
I had halibut enrobed in a white wine sauce ( I've gone all 'cheffy' again).  I haven't had halibut before but I shall certainly have it again.....enrobed or otherwise.

Then for dessert we had this....

This was a mélange of - apple terrine, a petite apple purse, ice cream with raspberries strewn over.....(getting good at this).

It went down a treat guv.  Lubbly Jubbly.

We opened a bottle of fizz to slurp with it.
Many thanks to the chef who did a grand job.

I have to admit it is good to have so many of the family here.   Ok, I know this photo looks like the opening of The Simpsons.
I wish all the family could be with us.

Apart from this......we have, what could be,  a nasty snow storm heading our way for next Wednesday.
I don't want to complain, but I can if I like, the trouble is we still have all the snow and ice from the last one.

My knee is feeling better.  I had a better day yesterday.  Rest, it seems, is the key.  My trouble is, I don't like sitting about do nothing.
So, as my hands haven't been hurting quite so much (thank goodness), I have been getting on with knitting blankets for the animal rescues.
Today I can walk almost normally but I am still being careful on the stairs.  I don't want to bugger it up again.
Hopefully, by tomorrow I should be getting around much more gracefully.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


This made me giggle.
There a lot of stickman (Bill) memes showing up on facebook.
They try to tell you how to behave in various circumstances.  They get on my wick.
It would seem they get on a lot of people's wicks.
Hopefully they will fade away soon.

I seem to have hurt my knee.
I was putting out the squirrel corn last night and I slipped on, what was once snow, but is now 6 inch deep ice.
I didn't think I had done much damage but after a night of little sleep, I found I could barely walk this morning.
I have had to sit still for most of the day, which I find quite difficult.
Fortunately, it is our Alanmas dinner tonight, cooked by the man himself.
So, at least I don't have to worry about preparing dinner.
He is very busy in the kitchen and the aromas are wonderful.
I shall take photos.

Heh heh.......I can't walk much at the moment but as soon as I can I shall be doing this.

I wonder why people allow themselves to become bitter?
Bitterness, like hatred, is a very destructive emotion.
I rarely use the word 'hate' and never involving a person.  I might hate actions, like abuse (child, animal etc) but 'hate' is such a terrible word that I could never use it against a person.
Hate should be reserved for the very worst situations, wars, cruelty, violence and brutality.  Even then it just eats away at the hater, making them become more bitter.  I have had dreadful, really awful things happen in my life, but it will never make me hate anyone.  Well, I suppose this is just my opinion and if people want to hate then they should go right ahead.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hello Dolly

We went to see Lauren's high school musical on Friday.
Here is a picture of the cast and stage crew.
Lauren is about 3 in from the right.
At the back you may just see a man with grey hair.  He is the Mayor of Milwaukee.
He had come along to see it too.
We hadn't realised he was in the audience.
I had never seen Hello Dolly before and I knew nothing of the plot.
It was wonderful.
Good god there are some amazing voices in that cast. When you are watch it, it is hard to remember that these are high school students.
I love the fact that there were some many guys in it too.  The leading man is also on the football team (American football of course).  He was a great big lad who looked about 30.
Quite surprising to us that a tough, footballing guy was proud to star in a musical like Hello Dolly.
There was lots of singing and dancing.
So much work had gone into it.
The last performance was this afternoon.  Lauren, who was stage crew this time ( she can't do a southern American accent), has really worked hard on this since October.
She loves it.
Alan came with us and even he enjoyed it.

Stage crew.....Lauren 2nd from left.
Well done Ronald Reagan High School.  You all did a great job.
I know that the staff put in an awful lot of hours on this too.  Well done to them also.

They are already talking about the next production.
There is talk of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (which I really don't like) or West Side Story.
Lauren really wants to do Rocky Horror as she has more of a chance of getting in that than she has West Side Story....accent again.
I asked her to suggest Return to The Forbidden Planet.
I know they could do it and it wouldn't matter what accent you have for that.
We shall see...........
Oops.........time to Reverse Polarity.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Glug, glug.

We bought a new set of taps...or faucets, whichever you prefer.
That should have been the easy part but it did take a fair bit of 'looking at' before deciding which would be, not only the best, but also within our budget.
Oh you can spend a small fortune on taps if you so desire.
Although, in truth, my only requirement is they work without leaking.
If I had a tra la posh new kitchen then maybe I would love some tra la posh taps.
But, as we can afford neither of these then working, non drippy ones are perfect.

The next test, it would turn out to be rather like the 'Krypton Factor', was getting the old taps off.
They didn't like it up 'em, them there old taps.
They had no plans to go anywhere and tried rather harder than expected, to stay exactly where they were.
The dynamic duo took turns in trying to extricate these, stuck on, rusted in, tight as '@#$%holes faucets.
It took a while.
It took a lot of profanity.
It took Donna, Lauren and I keeping out of the way in the living room.
One of our company did mumble something about it looking like a scene from a Laurel and Hardy movie, but my lips are sealed as to who said it.
I wouldn't want to embarrass Donna.

Eventually, the old taps conceded defeat and were removed.  I would like to say with surgical precision but the fact that a hammer, drill and, what sounded like a chain saw, were employed,  that would be a bit of a fib.

Fortunately, for all concerned, the new taps went on like a dream.
There are no leaks......yet.
Hopefully, these newbies will have a long, leak free existence.
We don't want another evening like that for many years.

Tonight is the school musical.....Hello Dolly......I have never seen it before so it should be interesting.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I'm writing a cheque !!!

 A bruise appeared on my knuckle.

I don't really know how I did it, so I've been telling everyone that I had a punch up with Alan.
I have likened it to the scene in Father Ted where Mrs Doyle and her friend argue and eventually fight over who is going to pay for their tea.

You can view it here if you haven't seen it and would like to.

Alanmas is going well.  The temperatures have been brutal but he keeps 'bundled up' as they say in these parts.

I know it is sunny but......there is no heat in that sun.  The frozen tundra or Narnia as I prefer to call it.
Sounds nicer.

We have a problem with water leaking under the kitchen sink.
We did get a neighbour, who knows about such things, to fix it for us.  I think he fixed part of it but it is still leaking.
So, it looks like we have to have a new set of taps.  I am sure that was the problem when I was trying to explain what was wrong to the neighbour.
He kept talking about faucets and I kept talking about taps.  He didn't have a clue what I meant.
Philip has replaced these taps before so we are going out to buy another set this evening and he, with Alan's assistance, will replace them himself.
Oh joy.

After the amount of swearing that poured forth when he had his head under the sink trying to wrap a bit of tape around the pipe.......I am not looking forward to this next adventure.
Plus, if you had seen the state they got into trying to put some sticky tape on a box to seal it to return something Philip had bought, only to find that the bit of paper that Philip was holding should have gone inside the box and it all had to be opened up again....... well, you wouldn't give it credence.
I did hear Donna mumble something about "How many men does it take to close and stick a cardboard box"....but I don't think they heard her.

Finally, just in case  anyone is wondering :-

Merv was sighted the other day busily caring for his hole.
It was about minus 25C  with windchill when I took this photo.
He must be bloody dedicated.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Another one bites the dust.

It was a great shock to check BBC News Online this morning and to see that dear Alan Rickman has died.
He, like David Bowie, was 69.
That is 3.
My mum always said deaths come in 3s.
Lemmy, David Bowie and Alan Rickman.

What an amazing actor and thoroughly nice man he was.
Yes, it is all over social media.......and why not?
Although most of us didn't know him personally, he was so well loved, for his talent and for the wonderful roles he took on.
Rest in peace Alan.  I hope this is the 3 and that there will be no more.

The first time I noticed him was in this role.

He stole the show, as he usually did.
As they say, he will be a hard act to follow.

On another note.
My big dragon, the one I bought in Folkestone some years ago.  The one that filled an entire suitcase. The one that I lugged all the way back to Milwaukee at the time when we were allowed to bring 2 suitcases.....yes that one, took a dive the other day.
It was entirely my fault.
It has always been a bit unstable (nothing new in this household) but now that my hands seem to have developed a will of their own, I was moving it from the cupboard with a view to putting back on the shelf, when it fell.
It fell mightily.
Fortunately, I happen to have the guru of model making and puzzles staying with me at the moment.
He immediately took charge and said something along the lines of
"We can re-build him".

He was fantastic.
Such patience......and almost no swearing.
My poor dragon was soon returned to his former glory.

He is, back on his shelf.
I will admit I would have been devastated if he had been irreparable and been consigned to the bin.
Thank you Alan.  You did a great job.

Today has been was almost 'up' to freezing point.
All week it has been ridiculously, brutally cold.  I feel so sorry for the animals here in the winter.
I do put out food for the possum, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels and feral cats but I have noticed in the extreme cold they don't come out much.  Even the birds don't come to the feeder when the temperature falls to minus 20C.
But, they still need to eat.
Hopefully, some will come out tonight and tomorrow because it is meant to be going back to frigid temps starting on Saturday.
We've had some more snow on top of the our original snow with more in the forecast.
Poor little animals.......I wish I could bring them all inside.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I was so shocked to hear about the death of David Bowie.
What an amazing talent that man had.  
People across the world are saddened that he should have been taken at a relatively young age.
I hear there will be a special tribute to him at the Brit Awards.
Goodbye Major Tom.  I hope you have returned to your home planet.

I saw the article did make me chuckle.

Man declares everyone stupid for mourning David Bowie awaits medal

Smug man on computerA man on Facebook is being incredibly smug about the fact he doesn’t care about something.
Simon Williams, 38, took to his Facebook page to declare everyone “sheep” for being sad that a great musician died.
“It’s stupid, your feelings are stupid,” beamed Williams, before leaning back in his chair and folding his arms like he’d just discovered time travel, the twat.
“It’s really very silly that you’re mourning the loss of a musician who wrote great songs that obviously spoke to your heart, or that gave voice to a feeling you couldn’t previously put into words, or might have been the backing track to some significant moments in your life.
“None of those concepts are relevant to me here, and I wasn’t a fan of Bowie, so it’s entirely right that I belittle you for your silly little emotions.
“Mocking feelings that I don’t have or understand is obviously a brilliant thing to do, so I think its right that I get some kind of award here and perhaps a gift voucher. So, chop-chop.”
Simon Williams’ friends were unavailable for comment, mainly because he has alienated every single one of them over the course of his lifetime.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Well that didn't take long.
Alan's first evening and TommyJones had already decided his lap looked inviting.
TommyJones had never met Alan before but he isn't shy.

Alan seems very pleased to be here.
He had a good night's sleep in the magic bed.   Everyone who has stayed in our spare room has remarked on how good that bed is.
So, it was dubbed "magic". It is probably way better than our bed which is far from 'magic'.

Last night, Philip, Alan and Lauren went to see Star Wars.  This was the third time Philip and Lauren had seen it.
Unfortunately, Alan didn't seem too impressed with it.
But, it made for a night out so I am sure they had a good time.

Not to be ousted by a recent usurper, Lily laid claim to Alan's lap too.
Since then he has been visited by Sally as well.
Quite a popular chap it seems.

Looks like Alan's snow shovel might see some use at the weekend.
The recent snow storm happened before he arrived so all the paths, drive etc had been cleared.
The weatherman now informs us that we have another due to hit Saturday night.  This should make for an interesting Sunday morning.
He must like it because he keeps coming back for more.

The Christmas decs, inside only, have to come down at the weekend too.
We can't do the outside ones as there is too much snow and the ground is too frozen to get the stakes out.
We would usually have got the tree etc down on the 6th as we were of the opinion that it had to be on 12th night.
But, good old QI (love that programme), which I can now watch on youtube on the telly, told us that traditionally they should be taken down any time before Candlemas.
Candlemas this year is on February 2nd.
So, we should be ok taking them down at the weekend.
As much as I love Christmas, I shall not be sorry to see everything packed away. It is a massive task but this year we have help.
The tree this year was ok but not up to the standard of previous trees.
It seemed to sag rather earlier than most and this means that ornaments etc kept fall off the branches.
Next year's will be better.

Haha......Alan has just informed me that TommyJones visited him at 4am to play bed mice.
He was laughing.

Just noticed that Philip " photo bombed " the picture of Alan and TommyJones.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Alanmas begins today.
He has about another 30 mins of flying time before landing in Chicago.
This should be about 3pm our time.
Philip will be collecting him from the airport.  It could take up to an hour to get through customs and immigration so they should be home around 5.30pm.
It looks like we are having something of a warm up for Thursday and Friday - by warm up I mean it may get a degree above freezing point.
But, after is going to drop dramatically to minus 20C.

Alan keeps some thermals here (I don't think he needs them much on Guernsey) and it looks like he will certainly need them this time.
He still seems to enjoy staying with us though.

Donna and Lauren are looking forward to him being here.
Donna went to a brilliant bar last night with her friends.
It is more than a bar.  It has lots of tables, boxed games and SciFi memorabilia.
It looks amazing.
We are all planning a group outing there.  She took some pictures.

There is a lounge area with a fire.

There is a restaurant too.

One or two games to choose from, if you want to.
I think we could have a fun evening here.  We can take Lauren too.
We hadn't heard of it before but apparently it has only been open about a year.

So, we shall have to "bundle up", as they say in these parts.  Then brave the frozen tundra.

Friday, January 1, 2016

There it was.......gone.....

I've put this photo up again because this is what it looks like again now.
I knew that this 'snow free' mallarky couldn't last.
Alanmas will be white for sure.  It was minus 15C yesterday.
Winter drawers on.

Christmas and New Year have come and gone.
We had lovely Christmas, with all the usual feasting, playing silly games and having a tipple.

This guy turned up.....Ho Ho Hoing all over the place..........I think the shock may have killed that cat too.

Pressies were opened.....some by a weird looking panda.

A feast was prepared.

The feast was then eaten.  Surprisingly, there were not many leftovers apart from turkey.
I suppose a 14lb turkey between 4 should last a day or two.
I had 'plastic' turkey, made with Quorn.  I was hoping the beef variety that I have heard such wonderful things about, would have made its way across the pond by now.
Sadly, the opposite is true.  We used to be able to buy turkey Quorn at two locations.  It is now down to one.  I do hope they don't stop selling it.

Games were played.  This is a new Dungeon game.
The one person who didn't have a clue what was going on, won it.  She must take after me.

You have to give RockBand a bit of a whirl too.
One of us had made the basement rather festive.

So, cheers to all.
I look a bit 'natchered' in this photo.........I probably was.

It is only a week ago and yet seems ages.
The weather has gone from record warm temps to chuffing freezing.
The roads are piled high with snow and ice mountains.  One of our Christmas reindeer had fallen over ( he looks like he has been shot) and buried in the snow with just his antlers showing.

So, all has returned to normal for a Wisconsin winter.
Alan will be here on Tuesday.
It only seems like a little while ago he was here.
We are looking forward to his arrival.........his shovel is at the ready.