Use Your #Creativity

Do you like to make things with your hands? Perhaps you like a finished product as a result of your effort.  Producing an item seems to give us a feeling of fulfillment, satisfaction. Perhaps we can go even further and make our work available.

I hope you will like my selection of paintings on Etsy. I will be opening my shop soon at EveTactileArt

Sunpetals-Be drawn into the giant, welcoming, bold ochre petals of the sunflower.

Sunpetals

My vibrant acrylic work is three dimensional so rub your fingers over the surface. Each painting you order is your one and only original!

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What Makes Us #Danes Happy

We great danes, Stellar and Venus, like food, sleep, running; food, sleep, running; food sleep running; food, sleep; food, sleep; sleep; sleep; sleeeeee.

Danes-Stellar smiling

Come on, tickle me.

I’m happy!

Danes, Stellar  with more smiles

Come on, I’m waiting for tickles.

 

#Adventurous? Try Prickly Pear

Ok, we have used our prickly pear fruit many times in fresh fruit cocktail. However, we have never used the lobes or paddles of prickly pear. Fresh, bright green ones are best. Cut off just above the joint on the stem.

This time, I wash the lobes and remove the thorns. You can gouge them out or rub them with a knife. For the finer thorns, use wire wool and rub it over the lobe (nopales). Try to keep the green skin.Cut off the tough, outer edge of the lobe. Wash and chop or thinly slice a lobe.

You can boil it in water with chopped onions and vinegar.Drain then add it to a dish like an omelette. How did it taste? It tastes of green runner beans.Maybe add some prickly pear lobe to a simple salad of onion, tomatoes and cucumber or perhaps a stir fry.

Prickly Pear lobe for a stir fry

Prickly Pear lobe in a stir fry.

Mexico-love sombreros and Prickly Pears!

 

 

Visiting The #Vet

We great danes, Stellar and Venus, like going in the box on round things. We see lots of trees and big boxes and people like him. Calm, she says as he takes Stellar on the lead and she takes me, Venus, to the box thingy. I pull. She opens the door. I jump inside. Then Stellar. She sits in the middle of us on the back seat. Sit, she says. We step on her and our giant paws and claws push on her knees. Her face goes wrinkly and slowly she lifts off a large paw. Ouch! We go h,h,h,h. In front, he turns the round thingy. Cold wind pours on our heads. That’s better. We drool over the big bed seat cover thingy they put inside. She pats our heads and we go h,h,h,h. Calm, calm. Our black and white hair is all over her.

The box stops. I know this place. I want to jump out. He takes Stellar. I want to go too. The door is still open. She holds on to the lead and she says, stay. I don’t know why he shuts the door. He looks inside the big box. He calls her and says, OK, no cats.  She opens the door. Calm. Out we go. Calm.

They talk to the man. Inside, I want to sniff all over. Stellar goes away. The door shuts. I go h,h,h,h. He smiles and comes out with a piece of red wooly stuff. Stellar chewed a rug and a bit stuck between her teeth. He got it out! I hear clip, clip. Talking. Out she comes. I go in. He cuts my claws on my legs. She holds me still. I won’t let him cut anymore. He puts something in my neck. Finished. She holds my head and he presses my bottom. All done!

Talking. A lady comes with a small dog. She goes. Why? Is she scared of us? They take us back to the box. H,h,h,h. She goes in.

Me-It’s interesting how simple changes can cause a slight problem. In hot weather, we let Stellar go in and out of her crate at night. Venus remains inside her crate. Stellar chewed the corner of an old rug on the cool stone floor. By day, she kept licking her lips. Unbeknown to us, a piece of wool was stuck between her teeth. Venus had a blockage in the tubes leading to her anal sacs. It took the vet just a squeeze to unblock them. No more bad smell!

Vet Visit 1

Venus is tired after her vet visit

So two one yearly check-ups (heart, teeth, search for tumors, etc), yearly vaccinations for serious dog illnesses, small treatments, and claw trimming, as much as Stellar and Venus would allow! I’ll have to be sneaky and try to trim their claws again at home.

Yearly check up and vaccinations- so worth it.

Vet Visit 2

Stellar seems to have lost her tail at the vets!

Try #Lemon Curd

Instead of jam, lemon curd can be sharp and refreshing. The secret is to keep the sugar content low, just enough.

2016-06-12 Making  lemon curd 1

Simple ingredients for lemon curd

Whisk the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter. Cook in the microwave for one minute at a time, stirring after each minute. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon you are finished.

2016-06-12 Making lemon curd 2

Heated ingredients

I place quantities in squares of cling film to freeze. Whenever I need some lemon curd, I thaw a  cling film sachet, undo the tie and squeeze the contents into a very small bowl, just enough for one or two helpings. This way, no lemon curd is wasted. It’s delicious on wholemeal bread.

For an extra tang, I place a layer of it over my Pavlova meringue. After this, I add whipped cream followed by chopped fruit to decorate. It contrasts well with the sweet meringue.

Lush lemons!

 

Crafty #Cicadas

As I went for my morning swim, I met a new companion. It was sunbathing on the handle of the pool steps.

Cicada

Our cicada visitor

It was content and so it didn’t want to move.

Cicada 3

Our laid back cicada

I placed my dry towel around it gently and carried it to a shady area.

Cicada 4

Resting on my towel

Again, it stayed put. A sudden vibration and blur and it was gone. It had darted to the fruit garden.

Can you see it?

Cicada 5

Camouflaged in the fruit garden

If you have some die back on the ends of your tree branches, this may be due to cicada damage. This is where the female cicada has cut a slit to lay her eggs and so the tips of the branches have died. In our case, a Ficus tree is affected. The nymphs remain below ground eating tree roots for years. Eventually, they appear for a few months and make noisy sounds as they call for a mate. The males die after mating. Hard luck!

 

Children And A #Social Life

We love our children but maybe we can miss out on going out. Try to find pubs and bars where there are facilities for children and adults to be together happily. UK National Trust attractions can include child-friendly cafes and outdoor eating and drinking areas. Find other places with high chairs along with necessary good nappy changing and toilet facilities. Some museums have excellent child-friendly facilities as well as displays involving children to keep them interested.

Bar, child friendly 2

Sundown at a beachside bar

Keep the contact details of all these various entertainment areas you have searched out so you can invite friends to join you with ease.