Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Karrimor, Women's ksb Orkney III, Weathertite Hiking Boot, Review

We live a few minutes from the sea and the countryside, a good area for walking. 
We recently adopted a dog, a Lurcher named Barley. 
We both enjoy walking, and so does the dog. ;) 
Combine these three facts, and one thing is obvious - we both needed a pair of waterproof walking boots. 

For Mr.R this was a simple matter of going to a suitable shop, trying on a pair of boots, and purchasing them. 
For me, it was much more complicated. 
I am seriously indecisive. I rarely like anything I see in regards to footwear, or anything else for that matter. And more often than not, when I finally see something I like, it's not available in my size. 

I'd spent way too long looking in too many shops, trying on too many boots, and I'd had enough. I just wanted a pair of waterproof walking boots. 
So I did what I've never done before, I ordered a pair of boots online. 

chose Amazon UK because we order tons of stuff from them, and the experience is always positive. 
So, I started my boot search by choosing lowest priced items first. I didn't see the point in spending a lot of money on something I didn't really want, I was buying boots for practical reasons, not because I liked the look of them etc. 
Anyway, long story short, yes this may already be a bit of a ramble but believe me it could be much much longer - I never use 10 words when 100 will do. ;) So, long story short, I'd decided to cut out the middle man; shopping in actual shops, and buy a new pair of boots online from the comfort of the sofa. :) 

After reading loads of reviews I chose a pair of boots by Karrimor. 
The price was good, the reviews were even better, and I'd worn Karrimor boots during the bulk of our 2 year travels round the World, and they'd been excellent. 

The model I chose was the, Karrimor, Women's ksb Orkney III, Weathertite Hiking Boot.
I was pleased I hadn't had to go shopping again, I do not enjoy shopping. The only negative thing about the boots I'd ordered was the colour, brown. 
I don't like anything brown, well, expect for chocolate. ;)
The photo of the boots on Amazon UK looked like quite a dark brown though, so I thought if they were really horrible I could always darken them with black polish or something. 
I then reminded myself that as the boots were primarily for walking the dog across the countryside, which will obviously be very muddy for most of the year because we live up North, they'd end up caked in mud and look brown anyway, so it wasn't really a problem. 

My walking boots arrived the following day. 
So, what are they like?
They are seriously comfortable, and best of all they were completely comfortably straight out of the box. There was none of the usual breaking-in period. They didn't rub at all, in fact they're so comfy I'd happily wear them indoors as slippers - if they weren't covered in mud. I don't think mud would enhance our cream carpet at all. :o

Back to the boots, they have really good ankle support, which I especially appreciate as my ankles are prone to bursitis, and more importantly I'm clumsy so I need any extra help available to stay upright. 
They don't look brown to me, although my eyesight is quite bad, but they look almost black. :)
They are fully waterproof. This was very important to me when purchasing new walking boots, because I have several other boots that let in water at the mere hint of a shower. 

am extremely pleased with my new Karrimor, Women's ksb Orkney III, Weathertite Hiking Boot, they do exactly what they should. They're comfortable, supportive, waterproof, and reasonably priced. 
I'd definitely purchase them again, and highly recommend them. 
Happy feet, happy me! :)  

Disclaimer ~ I intended to take photos of my new boots before I wore them. The dog had other ideas though - walking. ;) 

Do you like walking, and if so do you wear proper walking boots, and what brand? 

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Universe

The Universe Loves You ~ Love it back. _/\_ 


All the time I pray to Buddha
I keep on killing mosquitoes. 

~ Kobayashi Issa

I seriously dislike mosquitoes. 



Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible. 
We all wish for world peace, 
But world peace will never be achieved unless we first establish peace within our own minds. 
We can send so-called 'peacekeeping forces' into areas of conflict, but peace cannot be opposed from the outside with guns. 
Only by creating peace within our own minds and helping others to do the same can we hope to achieve peace in this world. 

~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Transform Your Life: A Mindful Journey 

Dogs Training, and Mushrooms

This morning Mr.R suggested some more recall training, not for me - for our dog Barley. ;)
We walked down the road from our house towards the sea, to practice training on a large expanse of grass. 
Barley is a seriously fast fella, which is not surprising because he's a Lurcher. 
He responded to the whistle, and seemed to enjoy running towards Mr.R at full pelt, although his enthusiasm was probably more to do with the sausages Mr.R was using as treats, rather than the man himself. ;) 

Anyway, after a while we were all feeling pretty tired, so Mr.R said we'd go back home, but not before letting Barley have a final run about, on his long training lead. 
We can't risk letting him completely off the lead just yet, he may not come back. Or at least that's what the rescue centre where we adopted Barley told us. I think he's so obsessed with Mr.R that he'd never run off too far, but we won't find that out for certain until some time in the future. 

So, we'd finished training, and Barley was happily running round the grass field. Then he suddenly stopped and buried his nose in the grass. We immediately looked to see what he was up to, as we have to watch him constantly because he is inclined to eat anything and everything that's on the ground. Mud seems a particular favourite. But this time it wasn't mud that had got his attention, it was mushrooms. Mr.R quickly diverted his attention back to the sausage treats, while I took a couple of photos of the mushrooms. 

If it wasn't for Barley and his obsession with scouring the ground for things to eat, I wouldn't have seen these tiny mushrooms in amongst the grass. 
Maybe Barley has an interest in photography? 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Dog, Self Love

We recently adopted a dog, Barley. 

Barley is about 2 years old, he's a Lurcher, he's full of energy - by which I mean he's seriously hyperactive. 

And judging by his antics on the last couple of evenings, he's feeling very horny. 
It's just a shame he's had his balls off. (Mr.R told me to wrote that sentence). ;)

Here's Barley enjoying a postcoital cuddle with a blanket. 

Here's Barley in the hall at training class. 
We were telling him that too much masturbating...........
But he just barked, No! and shook his head. 

I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks. 
New tricks such as not humping his blanket.
Oh well, I suppose it could be worse, he could be humping our legs. 

How do you cope with a maniac dog? 

Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe

My memory is not good, which no doubt explains why I decided to cook lunch for us. 
Quite how I forgot I don't like cooking is a mystery. 
Anyway, I'd been fancying pie for a couple of days, so I made one. 
I chose to make a chicken and leek pie. 
As I've said before I don't really bother following recipes exactly, but here's the recipe I used - roughly. 

For the Pie Filling ~

3 Large Chicken Breasts
3 Leeks
4 Onions
5 Cloves of Garlic
Mushrooms, I used just one huge field mushroom, chopped in to tiny pieces 

For the White Sauce ~

Butter, lots ;) I know that's not all that helpful, but just use as much as you like, it's what I do
Flour, not a lot :) 
Milk, as much as needed to produce a thick, but not too thick, white sauce

For the Pastry ~

4oz, 125g Plain Flour 
2oz, 55g Butter
Pinch of Salt
Cold Water, the amount will depend on many things, so just add a dessert spoon at a time

For the Pie Filling ~ 

1. Chop onions and garlic, and sauté until soft

2. Slice the leeks, sauté until soft

3. Dice the chicken breasts in to bite size pieces
4. Sauté the chicken until all sides of the pieces are sealed, it will be raw in the middle, but will cook through once it's in the oven and will be nice and moist

For the white sauce ~

1. Melt butter in a saucepan

2. Add small amounts of plain flour to the melted butter and stir until it forms a roux

3. Keep the roux moving for a couple of minutes until it's cooked

4. Slowly add milk, while constantly whisking

5. By this stage you should have a lovely lump-free white sauce
6. Simmer the sauce on a low heat for a few minutes

Now it's time to combine the white sauce with the pie filling; chicken, leeks, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. 
Once it's all mixed thoroughly, transfer it to a greased ovenproof dish, and set aside while you make the pastry. 

Now for the pastry, which is seriously easy, and it's the quickest part of this recipe.

For the Pastry ~

1. Weigh 4oz of plain flour

2. Then add 2oz of butter

3. Add a pinch of salt
I used the bowl of the scales as my mixing bowl
4. Chop the butter in to small pieces 
5. Add the butter to the plain flour
6. Use your fingers to gently rub the butter in to the flour, try to work quite quickly so it doesn't become too greasy
7. When the flour and butter resemble breadcrumbs, and there's no large lumps of butter visible, it's done

8. Gradually add dessert spoons of cold water, just enough to bind the dough 
9. Wrap the dough in cling-film and chill for 10-15 minutes before using 
I didn't bother to chill my pastry, I used it as soon as I'd made it
10. Flour a work surface
11. Place the dough on floured work surface, and squash flat with your hand

12. Sprinkle dough with flour, and start rolling flat

13. When the pastry is large enough to cover the dish you intend to cook your pie in, stop rolling

14. Top pie with pastry, crimping the edges with your fingers to form a perfect seal around the edges of the dish
15. Brush the pie with milk, olive oil, a beaten egg, of whatever you fancy

16. Cook at 180c for about 35-45 minutes 
17. Serve, and enjoy! :)

Using white wine, and a good home-made stock instead of the white sauce also makes a tasty pie. That's what I usually do, but this time I fancied a creamier filling. 
Alternatively you can use yogurt, or cream in the filling. 
That's the good thing about pies, you can make them in so many different ways. Oh, and the taste, that's anther good thing about pies - the taste, they're seriously delicious! 

I served our chicken and leek pie with steamed potatoes, Brussels sprout, broccoli, carrots, and peas. 
Well, that's what we had the first day. The pie was massive, so it lasted for more than just the one meal. We also ate it with rice and plum tomatoes another day, and, oh so many other meals...........

Despite my lack of love for cooking, my chicken and leek pie was successful, Mr.R enjoyed it, and no doubt he enjoyed the novelty of not having to cook for us. 
Now, if only I could remember that I don't like cooking, and stay out of the kitchen. 
The nest time I fancy a pie, to anything else I'll ask Mr.R to make it. He won't mind, he enjoys cooking, which is good because he cooks for us every day, often several times a day. 
As I always say the kitchen is no place for a woman - especially not me. ;) 

What's your favourite pie?
Savoury or sweet? 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Meditate. Meditation. Meditating.

Every morning as soon as I wake I say to myself, meditate. 
It doesn't happen. 
I rub my eyes, trying to force myself to get out of bed. I'm not a morning person. 
It's at this stage I realise I'm not capable of doing anything more than getting dressed, and even that's a big effort, until I've had coffee - lots and lots of coffee. 
So, obviously meditating, or my intention to meditate leaves my mind. 

I stagger down the stairs to greet Mr.R, who in turn greets me with a lovely hot cuppa. :)
We chat about this, that, and the other - and then that's it. No chance of me meditating any time soon, because once I start talking I rarely stop. Poor Mr.R would testify to that. :o 
The little voice in my head tells me it's not important, meditation can be done later in the day some time. 
So I carry on yabbering away, and so the days goes.......

The frustrating thing is I really enjoy meditation. I like to mediate. I just wish I gave myself the time and space to do it more often, and preferably as soon as I wake when it's quiet, peaceful, and the zillions of thoughts I know I'll be unable to stop thinking as the day progresses haven't yet started to bombard my mind. 

Oh bugger! Another day that I didn't mediate as soon as I woke up. Oh well, there's always tomorrow....... which is the second thing I always say to myself every day when I first wake. 

No Meditation
No Life
Know Meditation
Know Life 

Ahh, I love this. You can't argue with Osho. ;) 
Om Mani Padme Hum...........

Bad News, or Good News?

The Bad News ~ 
Nothing Lasts Forever. 

The Good News ~ 
Nothing Lasts Forever. 

I think I have a growing obsession with quotes...........

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Profusion Himalayan Rose Pink Crystal Salt, Coarse, Review

I knew I wanted to try Himalayan Pink Salt, but I kept forgetting to actually buy some. 
So, Mr.R thoughtfully ordered us some from Amazon UK. 

We don't really use salt that often, we very rarely add it to our meals, and hardly ever add it whilst cooking either. No particular reason for that, other than we prefer to use spices and herbs. 

Anyway, lately I seem to have read a lot about the health benefits of Himalayan Salt, which considering the long list of benefits I took with a pinch of salt. Pun intended, hehe! ;) 
I'd read that Himalayan Salt is not only better for you than the usual table salt we are sold in this country, but it's supposedly better than not eating any salt at all. Big claim!

A Little History about Himalayan Pink Salt ~

Himalayan Pink Salt was originally formed from marine fossil deposits over 250 million years ago,  during the Jurassic era. 
Harvested from ancient sea beds, the salt has been a valuable commodity for centuries. 
Historically the people of Himalaya people used this salt to preserve their meat and fish throughout the year, and then every Spring they transported the salt to Nepalese valleys for trade. The salt was transported by yaks carrying the salt along the narrow sloping paths in the mountains, to be sold and exchanged for various other important commodities. 

Today Himalayan Pink Salt continues to be extracted by hand from the mines, 
which means it retains its natural nutrients, and according to tradition, is done without the use of mechanical devices or explosives. 
After being hand-selected, the salt is then hand-crushed, hand-washed, and dried in the sun.
But most of the commercial supply of Himalayan Pink Salt available today is currently coming from the mountains of Pakistan. 

Himalayan Salt is versatile, is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, spa treatments, and in the form of air purifying crystal rock lamps. 
Himalayan Pink Salt is 85.62% sodium chloride and has 84 minerals and trace elements; 14.38% including bicarbonate, borate, bromide, calcium, copper, flouride, iron, magnesium, potassium, strontium, and sulphate. 

So, having read lots of information I thought we'd try it. 
What do we think of it? We like it, I mean, it's nothing to get overly enthused about as it's just salt. But it does taste pleasant, and it's pink, so it's pretty. ;) 
We purchased coarse Himalayan Salt, which we crush up in a pestle and mortar or use a salt grinder. 

If you believe half of the reported health benefits, then Himalayan Salt is a miracle substance. 

If you're interested, here are just a few things I've read, of the supposed health benefits of adding Himalayan Salt to your diet. 

1. Balances electrolytes. 
2. Supports accurate nutrient absorption. 
3. Eliminates toxins, by dissolving and eliminating sediment. 
4. Balances PH levels in the body (alkaline/acidity), and help reduce acid reflux. 
5. Lower, normalise blood pressure.
6. Increases circulation and conductivity. 
7. Heals aching muscles. 
8. Heals skin rashes.
9. Helps ease the pain of arthritis. 
10. Heals herpes. 
11. Eases the symptoms of flu and fever. 
12. Aids detoxification when used in the bath. 
13. Stregthens the immune system. 
14. Heals skin diseases.
15. Relives rheumatism pain 
16. Relives joint diseases.
17. Balances the PH level of your skin. 
18. Aids recovery after surgery
19. Increase hydration. 
20. Regulate water content inside and outside of cells. 
21. Prevent muscle cramps. 
22. Aid proper metabolism function. 
23. Strengthen bones. 
24. Prevent goiters. 
24. Reduce the signs of ageing. 
25. Support libido. 
26. Detoxify the body from heavy metals. 
27. Adds extra flavour to your food - I had to add this one because I had 26 things on this list and I don't like even numbers. 😉

Another way to benefit from Himalayan Pink Salt is to make Sole, which is brine drink made using the Himalayan Salt. 
Drinking a glass of Sole every morning is said to benefit the overall health of the body. 
A glass of Sole is reported to balance the PH level in the body, normalise blood pressure, dissolve sediment that causes kidney and gall blade stone and arthritis, reduce cravings for addictive subs atone, and clear skin diseases by cleansing toxins from the body. 

We haven't made Sole yet, and I'm not sure we'll bother. 

Have you tried Sole?
Do you use Himalayan Pink Salt?