Thursday, 26 March 2015

Five big and five small

We had another power cut last night, just as we were watching a bit of TV in bed. We were both so tired anyway that we didn't care and it came back on before we were properly asleep. Cause:unknown is what the website said!

Small had to be woken this morning and didn't want to get up. Everyone seems really tired, I don't know if it's the weather? After the boys went to school, I prepared for my Quilting Class. Originally this one was going to be the final one and we were supposed to be there an extra hour. However things didn't really go well today. The sewing shop has moved to a new bigger location which is great, easy to get to and plenty of room dedicated for sewing and classes. Suffolk and I were the only ones in as usual on a Thursday morning, so we just plodded along making an extra border for the front part. MrSew was in a weird mood today and knocked all my stuff off the table and walked away without even acknowledging it which annoyed me from the beginning. Then an hour and a half into our session, two old women stomped in, dropped all their stuff down (which included a huge suitcase), demanded that they sit next to each because they wanted to and stared at us and whispered. MrsSew told them to go and look round the new shop as they were early. (They were actually half an hour early). Then the rest of their class arrived, equally early. Sewing machines, suitcases, trolleys, Zimmer frames (I might be exaggerating a little here) arrived along with rude rude older women who not only didn't speak to us but expected us to move all of our stuff (purely with a look, a grimace or a shrug). MrsSew was clearly not pleased but she is not the sort of woman who will tell people to bugger off, so I asked her if she wanted us to leave. I don't think she did but it did seem the best option as the Zimmer gang were clearly not happy until we were safely out of the way. Bloody rude self important biddies! I do know exactly what it is I have to do at home though so hopefully I can just get on with it. We only paid for three sessions but to be honest it was such a small amount we paid that we are really not losing anything, plus MrsSew feels so bad she has fit us in another session next week (and however many more we need to get it finished). It started to snow and was really heavy and cold but fortunately it only lasted an hour or so.

Suffolk and I decided to go for lunch and celebrate her birthday which is this Sunday. We aimed for a little French Bistro we know but it was closed. Across the road was another place we hadn't tried. I'm so glad we did. It was amazing. We both chose the vegetarian options and shared Ravioli and a Vegetable Strudel. We even had dessert. I had an Italian pudding, which I can't really describe, with salted Caramel Sauce in it and a huge spun sugar decoration. Just lovely, but I thought I was going to pop. We had a good long chat and then popped to another material shop where Suffolk bought some fabric to make Smallest an apron for his birthday.

Back home, Huffle had set up work in the kitchen in case I wasn't back in time and then repositioned himself in the Bunker after the kids came home. Huffle has a new role at work. He is now CBSL (Commercial Business Sector Leader). When you read sector you have to say it like this Sec-Tour, in a very American kind of way, like Keith Lemon would say on Celebrity Juice. (Just because it makes us laugh).

Both boys were tired, had a snack, emptied their bags and did a quick job for me (Smallest got our dinner ingredients, peeled a potato and opened some beans and Small emptied my car of rubbish) before going on gadgets. They ended up on the wii after dinner but once again it ended in an argument and Small sulked in his room and Smallest helped me to make Suffolk's birthday muffins.



Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Candle Power

What a busy day.

Smallest went off to school. I did Aerobics. Today was a new start to the 14 week sessions so we had a whole new routine, plus we had a week off last week. I found out before the class even started that one of the ladies', that I exercise with, husband died over the weekend. Very sad, such a nice lady. Aerobics was very tough trying to learn the new routine, I'm not sure how ExerciseNic puts up with us (well me really). I think we nearly had it before we stopped for weights and floor work. Still we have another 13 to go to perfect it.

I had a quick snack back home and then rushed out to Pottery which was in a different place today. I swear the email said we had to be there at 12 but apparantly it didn't start until 12:30 so I had to go and have a cup of tea with Suffolk (who also turned up early because I told her what time to get there whoops) before we could go in.

Today's session was all about finishing our pots we had made over the last five weeks. We learnt how to prepare the pots, how to wax the bottoms so the glaze wouldn't stick in the kiln and finally how to glaze. There was a lot to do and a few mistakes here and there, but we did it. It's such a nice class and most of us are going back to do the next one in April so that will be fun.

I got home five minutes before the boys came home. WELCOME HOME MY BIG BEAR - WE MISSED YOU. Small had a lot of fun though lots of late nights and a not too comfortable bed. He told us lots of stories about what happened there and now wants to go to Summer Camp there and stay over for a week. He had to do lots of clearing up, washing up, taking out recycling etc. He also gave me a great idea about putting chores on paper in a jar and the kids then get to pick something useful to do. Oh yes, I like that!

We allowed the boys to go on the wii but of course it ended in an argument so that was ended quickly. Small had his first basketball session today but it didn't start until 7:45pm (not ideal considering he is so tired but all sports things seem to be late here). Huffle took him and watched.

Smallest and I stayed at home and snuggled and watched TV. Then while Smallest was cleaning his teeth at 7:30pm, the power went out. It wasn't completely dark outside but dark enough that we had trouble finding and lighting candles. Smallest was a little star and helped me loads. I hate the dark and get quite scared but obviously I have to be brave in front of the kids. We got lots of candles lit all around the house and then went and sat on his bed and played Mancala a couple of times. I left him with a fake candle and his solar lamp and came back downstairs, boiled a saucepan of water, put the gas fire on and lit candles that had burnt down. Huffle kept me updated on tweets from the electric company and Ed Sheeran kept me company while I made a cup of tea and kept warm.

It came back on just before 9pm. I left the candles on then just in case it went off again. Huffle and Small came back after a feat time at basketball. Small loved it and Huffle was very impressed.




Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Mr Bean goes Swimming

Smallest went off to school by himself. He says he doesn't miss Small but when I watched him wait for the bus this morning, he seemed lonely and sad without him.

Before I went off to work today, I started a Chilli Con Carne in the Slow Cooker for dinner. In the greenhouse, I learnt that Jeff is closing the Nursey and taking up a job with a Landscape company. The nursery will still run as a mail order company and there will be special open days. I get to stay as there is plenty to do in the gardens and greenhouses. I also made it clear that if a job came up there, I would be happy to work more. We will still be gardening at the Royal York too. Today I carried on potting on some veggies and pelargoniums and coreopsis. J was back today too so we got some nice treats for coffee break.

Huffle and I had lunch together and watched a bit of Kevin McClouds Man Made Home (brilliant series, we are on Series 2 already, it is so good. Though if he says Off Grid anymore times, he might as well change the name of the program to Kevin is Off Grid).

This afternoon I made a veggie chilli for me, did lots of washing and drying and folding (didn't I only do that yesterday? Are there really only four people in this house?).

When Smallest came home, he played basketball for a while and then on the IPad. He has been learning about fractions at school and has been given Grade 3's spelling instead of Grade 2.

After an early dinner we took Smallest for his swimming lessons. We have never been on a Tuesday before as we have always chosen Friday's. Smallest's instructor was MrBean and he only had three in his class. We like to ask him what the names are of the people he swims with because it is always funny as he normally gets their name wrong. For example he once swam with 'bucket' who was really called Duncan. He said one of them this week was called Trent. I wonder if it is really. He worked very hard.


Monday, 23 March 2015

Little Drummer Boy

One of the things on the list for Small to take on his 'away' trip was Kleenex or a Handkerchief (do people still use hankies?) and Small packed a whole box of tissues. I got him to swap it for a small pack of tissues before he went. I left him and Smallest with Huffle this morning in order to get to my early morning Yoga class. Bless him, I hope he hs a good time.

Yoga was great and very relaxing. I did a lot of stretching and apart from hurting my neck, I think I may have some aches in the next few days. We did the Shavasana (relaxy bit) at the end and I nearly fell asleep.

I did a bit of grocery shopping on my way home, put the shopping away and had lunch with Huffle. This afternoon, in between washing, drying and folding, I finished sewing my quilt. I'm am very pleased with it.

To give you an idea of size, this is laid out on a King(UK) /Queen (CAN) bed.

Smallest came home by himself and put his clothes away and played on the IPad until his piano lesson. He is working on his recital piano piece Largo (for those not familiar this is the Hovis Advert), though he might change it for another pierce as he ip doesn't like Largo. After dinner we took Smallest to Beavers where he made a drum and then joined the Cubs and Scouts for a drumming session. Huffle and I walked through the village and up a long lane, uphill and down for an hour before picking him up again.

It didn't snow during the night but the temperature was -13* (without windchill) this morning and got to about -9* in the afternoon. We have a week of sun, rain and snow forecast with highest temperatures of 8* and lowest of -11*. I'm a bit fed up with it all now and wish we could just have a nice warming Spring.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Don't say swears!*

.....and it snowed again. All of the drive and the road was covered. Luckily the sun was warm so most of it was melting by midday. You can tell its Spring though because MrBasement arrived this morning with his sandals on! He still had his big coat on and socks but it's a start! He brought with him some samples of flooring and I think we have decided already which one we want for the bathrooms. He has also given us a contact for granite so we can go and look. However, we have no estimates for anything as of yet and Huffle was insistent we had them before agreeing on any work.

Our front garden - nearly there!

Small finished his 'away' packing and the boys actually started a game of Monopoly by themselves (this is progress) but we stopped it in order to go out for dinner which caused an argument somehow.

Tree Shadows on the chimney

After a nice dinner out, we went to the indoor market and had a look around. Smallest bought himself a wrestler that wasn't the one he thought it was but he likes it anyway. We looked at lots of different granites and picked up some cards for contacts. Not sure why, but all the granite companies seem to be Chinese run.

When we came home, we walked in the village for a while and Smallest scooted. The boys finished off their Monopoly game but the putting away of the game caused an argument!!

Tired little legs (he's there somewhere).



*comment from Smallest whilst talking about the wrestling. It is supposed to be for 12+ ages but Smallest says it doesn't matter because they don't say swears. Well that's okay then!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Airing our dirty laundry.

After writing yesterday that our snow was almost gone, we woke up to another 1" snow. C'mon, where did that come from? Then I checked the weather forecast for the day. Rain until 10am, high winds until 5pm, Sun 6pm, Sunset at 7:30pm. Ridiculous. What a crazy country for weather!!

I asked Small to finish packing for his school trip, Smallest helped him. All his clothes had been stuffed into his bag. Not folded as I asked but stuffed. What a ragamuffin! He didn't understand why he needed to fold his clothes if he was living in a forest for two days possibly getting muddy. After they finished with his packing, they played on gadgets and watched the football with Huffle. Unfortunately both Leicester and Stoke lost today BOOOO! I did some sewing.

We had lunch and played hide and seek. Our favourite hiding place was Smallest in our laundry basket.

I can't believe I am showing you a photo of our dirty washing! But it was funny and Small only found him because he made a noise.

We played Ticket to Ride, S'quarrels and Stack 'me up. While Huffle and I prepared dinner (a roast chicken dinner with a cheese and onion pie for non-chicken eaters) the boys did a chor each and then played on the wii. We Facetimed Moo while we were cooking and thought we were doing really well until we were about to put dinner on the table and Huffle realised we hadn't done any potatoes. We quickly peeled and chopped some very small ones and chucked them on the oven. Disaster averted, dinner later than normal, all was well.

After dinner we watched the end of Star Wars. (It was the one where they kiss eeeeeek, the boys hid their faces - Smallest informs us that every single film has someone kissing in it. That's disgusting ha!)

The sun did come out (before 6pm) and melted most of our new snow and some of our old and then it snowed again in the evening!!!!




Friday, 20 March 2015

Frozen Forehead*

Huffle went in to the office today for various meetings and the boys and I went to Suffolks for the day.

The three boys played on the wii, the girls played various games and Suffolk and I did a bit of sewing for our $10 quilting squares which is due a week tomorrow.

After lunch the kids played football outside and played various board games. It's nice how well they all play together. They even went out for a walk around the block together without us.

We had a lovely day and finally left around 5pm, hoping that our bread machine had our pizza dough ready for us to use for dinner. Huffle was home before us and the dough had failed to mix. What is wrong with that silly machine? Due to it being late and none of us wanting to cook, Huffle picked up pizza for us which we ate whilst watching a bit more of Star Wars. We didn't manage to finish it before Smallest went to bed.

It was 7* all day with bright sunshine again and it was quite warm. I do believe it is Spring today. Hurrah.

Apart from the odd bit of ice and the piles of snow from clearing the drive, we are almost snow-less.


*Small put some gel in his hair. It was called Freeze Gel. A bit that went on his forehead made his head freeze, he said. Small also gelled Smallest's hair and we thought it looked very funky but he didn't like it.