Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Moo's last day

Phew it was a warm night and when we got up it was even warmer. The sun room hit 30* before 9am and the outside temperature got to 31*. We put up a thermometer next to the pool as it gets very hot up there (a sun trap definitely) and it reached 50*, however that might be because it is direct sunlight at times and it is on the dark brown wood barn which obviously heats up very quickly. I need to move it! (The thermometer, not the barn).

I helped Moo pack her suitcase in the morning and then we went up to the pool.

The boys way of helping: Smallest putting his Pokemon cards in his book and Small playing with a slinky down the stairs.

The boys and I swam a bit and we all read. Moo and I picked vegetables from our garden (a plentiful harvest today) and we had a lovely pesto pasta with steamed veg. Yum yum. Huffle joined us as he was working from home.

More reading, a bit more pool and then we got on our bikes and rode to swimming lessons.

Huffle going for a ten second handstand challenge as set by small

Smallest was joined by a boy from school (Grade 4) and Small was on his own and was doing endurance, diving and CPR.

Half an hour later and we rode to the park where we played football with Smallest's friend Malcolm, while we waited for the library to open. Smallest picked up a prize for the reading programme he is doing and won a voucher for $10 for a book shop and then Small won the same prize for this week. Clever boys. Not that it's a big chore for them to read, they love it.

We rode home and we all had an ice cream under the shade of the porch. Moo finished packing while we went in the pool to cool off.

At 4:30, everyone said their goodbyes and hugged and then Moo and I left of the airport. The traffic the other was horrendous but we got there in plenty of time so we parked and went in for coffee aft Moo had checked in and left her bags. There was only one place to have coffee and we sat at the front on high bar stools drinking coffee, chatting, people watching and eating my banana bread I made this morning. A man came up and asked "do you have draught beer?". WE DONT WORK HERE! Oh Sorry. Then another man came up and said "how much for the hot dog". Before we could away anything he said "oh sorry" and moved away. Then while we were in the middle of a conversation, a woman came up and said "excuse me can you tell me where the Air Transat Departures are?". I told her the way but then said we didn't work here. Oh sorry she said! Funny!

I left Moo at the Gate when it was quite empty but by the time we had said our goodbyes, it was chocca block full. Never mind, she went through quickly enough. She didn't know I waited till she was through because there were so many people.

My journey home was slow but I still did it in about an hour. The boys were still up when I got home. Small way was very upset and in tears when I spoke to him about Moo leaving. Bless him he is such a lovable sensitive thing. I said we would try to Skype her tomorrow. He normally doesn't bother as he says he sees everyone on Skype.

I put a photo of Moo leaving on Facebook and one of my ex-pat friends (supply teacher) saw it. Her mum and dad were on the same flight going home too. Did you see them Moo?

Bye bye Moo it was a lovely visit - see you in four and a half months.


Monday, 21 July 2014

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr it's hot!

What a difference the weather was today. A beautiful 27* with constant sunshine.

We started by driving to Ajax to buy an extendable pole for the pool vacuum and then we carried on to Whitby to go to the Park and Beach.

The first time we ever went to this pool place, the boys put these little bits of pipes on each of their fingers. Of course, they had to do it again.

After Moo and I studied the beach, decided we were staying and then Moo fell up the stairs leaving two big bloody marks on her leg, we collected up our paraphernalia and landed on the beach. The boys played on the park and then joined us. There weren't many on the beach so we could sit where we wanted. The lake was still misty and it looked really eerie.

Moo and I got to read and Small decided to go in for a dip. He said it was very cold but he swam nevertheless.

Then Smallest decided he would go in too. Pair of sillies.

The games we managed to fit in on the beach were football, with our new sand goal, frisbee (though someone needs to learn how to throw it in the air and not at my leg!), jackers (with our new set of boules) and throwing and catching. Small even tried to fly a kite unsuccessfully with no wind or breeze.

We stayed for about two hours and then we left to get some lunch at home.

Today was the start of the boys swimming lessons in the Hamlet and so we all cycled to the outdoor pool. Smallest is doing his level 7 again and Small is tuning his swimming strokes and learning some more Lifesaving skills. This is a half hour lesson every week day for two weeks.

The boys did well and swam a lot. Both were exhausted when we finished and cycled back home again. We bumped in MrRoyal and chatted and Moo went and chatted with Drew. After an ice cream on the porch, the boys and I vacuumed and brushed the pool and then we went in. It was only 24* but it was lovely and cooling.

Moo and I got some more reading done while the boys swam and played and then Smallest, Moo and I played Dr Scabs (or whatever it is called).

Dinner was al fresco when Huffle came home. After dinner was a game of family football in which Moo got the final goal for the Team Girls. (Huffle edit - team stinky)

Gorgeous Echinacea next to the barn


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Beach Jazz

With the forecasts warning of rain all day and the outside temperature the lowest it has been all Summer, we were at a loss as to what to do. Moo had to be gotten up by the boys as she hadn't slept well (restless legs) and it was because of this that we decided we needed to get out and at least have a walk. After much deliberation about where to go we opted for The Beaches, Toronto. We knew there was a Jazz Festival there and that it could be possibly busy but we went nevertheless armed with umbrellas, fleeces and spare clothes (in case of huge downpours).

An hours drive later and we parked the car, left all our spare clothes and umbrellas and headed for the boardwalk.

A lady was making huge long bubbles float across the lake using just a piece of string

The sun was out and the cloudy sky was clearing. It actually turned out to be a lovely day in the end. We started by walking alongside the beach on the boardwalk. The lake was eerily misty and we could only just see the CN tower.

The Beach. My favourite tree on the beach.

Smallest found a very tiny house where ants lived which a recycle bin with recycled stuff in it.

Kew Gardens Band Stand

We hit a park which the boys rate as their very favourite and Moo, Huffle and I sat in the sun watching them play.

We watched some Crown Green bowling - very competitive

Eventually we left and walked through Kew Gardens towards the Main Street where we stopped for food at Il Fornello. Lovely Italian place where we all had pasta (except for Small). Very very good food.

Batman protects these streets. A lovely garden of yellow.

Someone's gate and path. A gorgeous house with a wraparound porch - lovely.

We had looked on the map to see where the Jazz was and thought we were heading towards it but we were walking in the wrong direction, still, it didn't matter as we got to see a part we hadn't seen before, plus we found a really good ice cream place.

Smallest and his Mango Gelato. Misty lake.

Boardwalk. Lifeguard station. Beach

Beautifully made Gelatos for all and a walk (looking at the lovely houses and gardens) back down to the beach and the boardwalk. It was actually too warm then and we sheltered under the shaded trees lining the lake.

We walked all the way along the boardwalk until we got to Woodbine Park. We heard music and followed the sound. We settled down and listened to a really good jazz funk band.

Some of the bands

We then walked along to the main festival part (the actual proper festival starts next week, we think this was just a warm up). There was a big stage with a great singer on stage and lots of food tents and advertising stands. We listened to the music for a while and then the boys asked to go to the bouncy slide. On the way we found a stand giving away sweets and a chance to get a golden gob stopper to win an IShuffle. None of us won but we did enjoy the sweets.

What is this flower? Smallest and his gumball. Through the gumball machine.

Huffle's tries for a golden gumball. PIG. Ice?

Swans. End winged blackbird holding onto the bamboo.

Next we got some free toiletries for Huffle from Dove and a cup of iced tea each from another vendor. The bouncy slide was not free and cost too much for just one slide on a not very fast slide so we went to find another band playing. On the way we found free yoghurt which was lovely and a band playing steel drums, reggae and definitely not Jazz music. We listened until the boys got restless and then moved back to the main stage where a band was playing Rock/Country. The boys were given a tambourine each and they played along. Bored again, Moo took them around to see what else was available. They played a football game and then we walked back to the Jazz Funk band which were still playing. By far the best music of the day.

Bamboo. Moo and smallest exploring.

My two little explorers. The pond.

We watched the swans on the pond and then the boys played on the park and climbed a rock.

A great climbing roundabout - the kids loved this.

A climbing rock. Easy to get up but not so easy to get down!

We stayed there for ages and then finally walked around the lake and back towards the beach and the car. We had about 6 hours there today, another hours drive home and the boys had tea in front of the TV.

On the way home we spied this horse getting some fresh air.

We had a much better day than anticipated and hopefully everyone will sleep well.



Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Frog and the Princess


Another funny weathery day of sun, rain, humidity and clouds. The morning was spent playing badminton.......

........cricket ........

..............trampolining (where Smallest said I broke his spine and he kneed himself in the eye)......

.........dancing with a robot, picking bogies out of Louie's nose (Gooey Louie Game - yuk) and Skyping Grandma and Grandad.

Lunch was Fish and Chips in good old Whitby........

Smallest's fish

........ before dropping the big boys off to get their clubs and head off for a game of golf at Hy-Hope Farm ( this is the same place we sledge at in the Winter) .........

......and Moo and I taking Smallest to a party where Ariel the Mermaid was in attendance (Smallest was not impressed and caught frogs and fed them to the chickens instead - eeeeuuuggghhhhh).

Moo and I carried on to Uxbridge where we had two cups of coffee and a lovely piece of cake. Then we did a bit of shopping where we bought Ant Spray to rid our grass of red ants or fire ants, whichever it is we have, a mosquito repelling lantern, a book for Small (his Easter present which has only just come out in paperback) and a bit of food. We then picked up Smallest from his party, legs all filthy but having had a great time with his classmates (though would not look at the mermaid princess). On we went to Hy-Hope Farm to get eggs and see if we could see the boys playing. No eggs and no boys. We came home and Smallest played Swingball for a while before going in the bath.

The boys returned home hungry and tired. They had walked the 18 holes and were shattered. Smallest gets to pay his age (ie $10, Small said it was a good job Moo didn't go because she would have had to pay $100!). Huffle edit - small played very well and is improving bit by bit. No nearest the pin prizes today but it was strange imagining the snow and sledges on the same course.

A few more flowers from our garden.



Friday, 18 July 2014

Scary Shark Eyes

Apparently when you get to a certain age, your eyesight starts deteriorating. I had my eyes tested 2.5 years ago in England and I was 'borderline' so didn't get any glasses. Recently I have started to notice my eyes getting worse, for example I bought some eye drops because my eyes felt dry but couldn't read the instructions on the back on the bottle - ironic! Today I had an eye test appointment, dropped Moo and the kids off in our local town and drove to where I thought it was. I had to ring them as I was completely lost, they gave me instructions to go East and not hit the 48. Being English/female/not a Map reader/no sense of direction, I am not accustomed to north, south etc and the roads here are called by a Number (sometimes two different numbers) and a road name (sometimes that same road has three different names). Who knows how I found it but I did. When I got there I told them I had trouble finding them but maybe it was because I needed an eye test. I thought that was funny but all they said was "well you are in the right place".

I had a routine eye examination and all was fine, I am good long distance but my 'close reading' is a little off so I had a prescription for some occasional use reading glasses. The optometrist put some drops into my eye to do a Dilation Test. The drops had to be in for 15 minutes which gave me perfect time to try on frames. WHICH TYPE OF FRAMES DO YOU LIKE? I had no idea. I tried on all of them, I had the receptionist helping and a random woman who was in for a test too. In fact she was very helpful. When I narrowed it down to two pairs, the Optometrist helped and chose a lovely purple pair. I asked them "why don't I look intelligent like other people when I wear glasses?" "Why do glasses make my nose look bigger?" "I want to look like the film stars when they take their glasses off and shake their hair loose". They were very patient with me and humoured me a lot. The more I tried on the worse my eyesight got until I couldn't see any writing on the glasses or any small shapes. I have no idea whether I have chosen a trendy brand name or not. I got the last part of my test done and all is well. I paid for my prescription glasses and left. OUCH! I was warned to bring sunglasses as the eye drops would make my eyes very sensitive to sunlight. OMG I could hardly see to drive. They said I was safe to drive and to be fair I could see things far away but nothing up close.

Moo and the kids weren't at the park when I arrived (though to be fair I couldn't really see who was who, I just relied on remembering what they were wearing) so I carried on to the cafe. There they were, a big cookie between them, their reading books and an apple juice each. I had a coffee with them and the boys laughed at how big my pupils were. Small said it reminded him of the shark in Nemo when he smelt blood. Well that's nice then! We drove home, stopped off to get some wine which I couldn't see either and had lunch on the porch with Huffle. He couldn't look at me, he said it was like I had scary contact lenses in.

This is Moo in someone else's garden wowing at the fact that the hydrangea flower is as big as her head.

We had a piece of Small's brownie and a cup of tea before we headed off to take the boys to a leisure centre to swim, play in the lazy river and go down the slide. It took us over 30 minutes to get there due to the Detour (not a diversion) but once we did, the boys showed their cards with their funny photos on which meant they didn't have to do the swim test this time. This is one place (swimming) that the boys play nicely together and there are no arguments. However, there was a little scuffle between Smallest and another boy at the top of the slide. Smallest was being so very English and queuing nicely (as only us Brits can do), when a boy tried to push in ahead of him. There was some pushing and name calling and the boy said Smallest punched him in the face (which he didn't, well I don't think he did!) and he was asked to take a responsible adult with him to the office. Well that was me seeing as there was only me or Moo. Once in the office I asked why we had to be there, Smallest, in tears, told the lifeguard what had happened. She then took him back to the slide to tell the lifeguard there that he could go back on the slide but was to tell one of the guards if it happened again. Then the Mum appeared and asked Smallest if he had punched her little darling in the face........ Blah blah, it was all sorted but the boys belonging to the lady bothered the boys for the rest of the session. Still, they had a good time and they enjoyed it.

Back home, the boys and Moo played badminton while Huffle and I made pizza which we all ate in front of Harry Potter (last film part 1) which we didn't finish as Smallest was a bit bored.

My eyes returned to normal at some point during the swimming session and Huffle could look at me again.

One of our hydrangeas (not quite as big as Moo's head).


Thursday, 17 July 2014

When is that bloomin' yard arm coming?

A cloudy cooler but at times hot day. Nothing to do but stare at the lawn and wonder when the tractor will be returned. I made a call to the repair man who said "I'll check". Then "did you say a tactor?" And then "oh yes I'm waiting for the belts, it will be beginning of next week". BOOOOOOO! The grass was so long (it has been four long wet and sunny weeks). We got on our bikes to look at the bulletin board but noticed next door's professional mowers were here. I asked if they could do ours and they did. They did a lovely job (not for free obviously. We carried on on our bikes and went to Small's friends Mac's house to pick him up to play. His bike was broken so Moo cycled behind Small and Mac while they walked. Smallest and I cycled on ahead to pay the mower man. Apparently we have an infestation of red ants which bite and leave a burning sensation on your skin if they touch you. OUCH, we better get rid of them then!

By the time we got back it was lunchtime so we went up to the pool. The boys swam and jumped in and we had lunch poolside. Then they went off to the trampoline. I got the badminton net out and the boys and Moo played while I weeded the vegetable garden and put up a tomato support. Moo and I ended up playing a tough game of badminton (we had to contend with slopes, sun in our eyes, wind and no lines) while the boys went on the Wii and the trampoline.

I did a bit more weeding in the front garden and Moo and I played scrabble (she won, I'm allowed to tell you that!).

Dinner was a flat Toad in the hole, less hole and more swamp - tasted okay though. Small made us some brownies from his cook book and we had them for pudding. They were very yummy.

After dinner consisted of a game of cricket for all, including the flies buzzing round and round our heads and the mosquitoes tasting our lovely blood.

COOKER UODATE: Huffle rang them last Friday after they rang me to check we were happy! They dais someone was coming out but hadn't told us, then they weren't coming out, then he spoke to a manager who said that they were still waiting parts. It would be another two weeks (so that's a week tomorrow). Huffle told the person he spoke to, to get another job as he seemed too good for Samsung.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Is it gonna rain or wot?

This morning was forecast rain showers so we waited to see what the weather was going to do. Moo and I made a Beef Lasagne and a Vegetable Lasagne for dinner in case we were out later. It didn't seem to be rainy so we went out to the mini golf course (crazy golf). The staff said they looked at the radar and it wasn't going to rain so we went on the course.

19 holes, 4 people, four different coloured balls, a few hills, many strange holes, sunken boats and lots of laughs. There was some excellent putting and some downright ridiculous putting (from all of us). We let a young couple through so we didn't annoy them and then got stuck with a very loud Chinese family that ran on to our hole while we were still playing, shouting, jumping up and down. It didn't make us move any quicker though.

The scores were 66 Moo and Small, 67 Smallest and I got 63 (that's the first time I have won that, normally Small beats me).

We popped inside for an ice cream at the end and then bought our tokens for the Batting Cages. This is where the balls are thrown at you from a machine and you hit them with a metal baseball bat, wearing a helmet of course. We watched for a while and then Small went in and did his stuff, followed by Smallest. They both bat very well. Smallest had another go and Small had two more goes.

We persuaded Moo to go in but she didn't think she could hit the ball. She hit most of them. Me next. It hurt my hands but I hit most of them. We had a good time and the weather was warm and occasionally cloudy.

Back home, the sun was out so moo and I played scrabble outside whilst eating lunch. The boys watched TV and then read. The clouds came over and it got dark, then the sun came out, then it rained a few spots and we retired to the Sun Room. It rained, it clouded over and the sun came out - what a silly weather day. Codderland where Moo lives has had temperaturs of 28 there today. Whoops!

Late afternoon consisted of UPSET, Dino trumps, muffin making and gadget playing until dinner and after dinner Huffle, Moo and I played table tennis.