Tuesday, 6 October 2015

2nd Place

While the boys were standing outside waiting for the bus, Smallest noticed that our scarecrows had received a rosette for 2nd Place Boys. We entered under the Family but somehow (probably lost in translation) we ended up in boys (well my name sounds like a boys and the rest of the house is all boys so I guess that's fair). We are very pleased especially we have had a lot of comments recently. One saying that it was very appropriate for this Hamlet to have two drunken scarecrows!!!!

I went to work this morning and we spent half of our time in the greenhouse clearing old geraniums and taking cuttings of a curious plant that can only be described as a bit like tiny shrimps hanging from a fuchsia style leaf. I can't remember the name except that it sounded like a Gopher! At coffee time we had some of Jan's delicious 'just shortbread' which is not a fair description as it was yummiliciously scrumptious. We then divided garlic bulbs and cleared the potage and planted them. We also cleared the boys Squash garden and I brought home five different squash for them, plus some huge tomatoes, kale, basil, a purple cabbage (Colin will be pleased) and eight Pelargoniums (indoor geraniums). Two of them are called Baby Harry and MrsM thought they boys would like them! I had some cut flowers from the Salvia the boys grew in the summer too.

The Squash Garden as hit by Frost
Fall flowering alliums

Back home we all had lunch. Grandad was in his compost corner and had cycled to the four corners and the beer store for a new stapler to go with the staples he bought wrong many times the other day (the saga continues for Staplegate). We now have the resident Pot Cardinal sitting next to Pauline.

I'm 'appy Marg

After dinner we left Huffle finishing his work and I took G&G to Home Depot (B&Q) where we bought some shelving for the pantry to replace the shelf that fell down and some other bits that Grandad needed. I picked up a tile sample to see if it would go with the proposed kitchen. While we were in there someone stole my trolley while I wasn't looking. I know who it was and I pointed at him but of course he was oblivious.

I thought this was a new brand of fishermans friends.

At home Huffle was getting ready to go out as tonight he went to the Mark Knopfler concert in Toronto. This was his Christmas Present from G&G. I don't like MK so he had to go on his own. He wanted to avoid the traffic so left about 3:30pm which gave him about 4.5 hours in Toronto before it started. I think it's because he needed time to get his cowboy gear on (I always joke that MK is country music or line dancing rubbish). I'm sure Huffle will have a wonderful time.

Grandad shut himself away in the pantry and fixed the shelves beautifully. We made soup for dinner and Small and I went to the library to pick up our books we ordered.

Naughty Grandad



Monday, 5 October 2015

Stinky gets a fabulous makeover Dahling.

Smallest has made it onto the Rep Football team and is very happy. Smallest has not made it onto the Rep team but has made it to the Development team and if successful, could move to the Rep team next year. Small is happy with this and considering he wasn't able to show his full skills due to his hand, we think this is a fair result. This means we will be doing something every day except for Thursday.

After the boys went to school, Huffle and I drove in separate cars to the rental place to take the Scooby-Doo- Film-Mobile back. When we got home there was a strong smell of perfume in the air and Grandad was in the garden continuing with his compost project. Apparently he couldn't find the Mosquito spray and so liberally sprayed himself with Grandmas perfume and her Skin So Soft. I went down the garden with the proper mosquito repellent waving and shouting woohooo woohooo. I told him he smelled beautiful and his skin was glowing. Silly Grandad. Grandma made dinner. Tonight we had Cottage Pies. Grandad is doing a Pie Tour - this is his seventh Pie (not that today is a proper pie).

I helped to dig out and move a couple of pallets - we found a white porcelain Cardinal which we are leaving down in compost corner with Pauline. We also found a couple of tiny tiles, enough to tile Pauline's bathroom if she had one. The new compost corner was proving to be very big indeed and while Grandad was working away he suddenly had a great idea for next year. He wants to divide the big one into two making us three compost areas in all. I don't think he wants to finish the project but wants it to evolve forever. Much later (while I was in the forest I heard he had a problem with staples and Huffle sent him off to the Beer Store/Co-op for more as he brought the wrong ones back the other day. He also brought the wrong ones again and was sent back but they didn't have any. Oh dear what a lovely smelling Wally!).

After lunch I met NoCustard at the forest and we walked for about 90 minutes. It was spectacularly beautiful and we chatted all the way.

On the way home I did a food shop. The boys were already back and Small helped me to put away while Smallest did his homework until his piano lesson. During the piano lesson, a big shelf in the pantry fell down taking with it a huge bag of porridge, cornflour which landed on Grandads head (funny), jars of spaghetti and Smallest's bag (which is probably the reason it fell down considering how many full bottles of water wer in there). Then the smoke alarm went off and one of Smallest's bottles kept jumping off the kitchen counter. I apologised for the disturbance.

After a lovely dinner, we attempted to try some different fruits. Small is struggling to eat enough fruit at the moment so we were helping to find him some he does like. We had two retches from Smallest (who eats plenty of fruit normally) and found that Mangoes are difficult to cut but an orange cut up is better to eat than a peeled one. Grandad complained later that he had too much fruit.

Huffle took Smallest to Cubs and was pulled aside by one of the leaders who was told by his daughter (in Smallest's class that Smallest was being bullied. We think it is the same incidents we already know about but are going to check). They did a Scavenger Hunt. I took Small to Scouts where he went on a night hike in the forest. He wasn't too enamoured about it but it I'll be good for him (especially as he was full of fruit he he).

The rest of us played cards.


Sunday, 4 October 2015

We've lost Colin

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, I'm still 23, I had a nice da-ay, and a cake made for me. Wahooooo.

I had my breakfast made for me and opened my cards and presents. I received some money to spend on myself, a lovely wool cardigan, scarf, necklace, beautiful colouring book and pens, ulip and daffodil bulbs, plants, chocolate, book, blue tooth shower radio, socks and a pig clipboard. I had tons of wishes on Facebook, email and text which was nice.

After breakfast I set up my radio in my bathroom and coloured in my new book. The boys played on the Wii and Grandma made a start on my birthday cake. Grandad sneaked out to drill the conkers that the boys collected yesterday and painted the brackets on his pallets.

For a late dinner we went out to the local town and had a lovely meal. It was nice and relaxed and we played a game of cards while we waited. On the way home we picked up some fruit and cream for my cake and Grandma finished it while the rest of us played football outside.

Everyone sang (eeeeek) Happy Birthday and I blew out my candle and we all ate cake. YUMMY SCRUMMY.

My lovely pavlova or Fat Nun as Grandma called it. (I tweeted it to Extra Slice, Bake Off).
Three layers of meringue, fresh cream and Creme Patisserie, strawberries, raspberries and kiwi.

We finished the last ten minutes of the Star Wars film we watched on the way home yesterday and then after the boys showers we played Catan.


Saturday, 3 October 2015

Seventeen Falls

Today's adventure started us on the road in our new film-mobile at 10am this morning. Although we got the film playing while we were on the drive, we lost it going up the road. Huffle stopped briefly to try and start it again but to no avail. Instead we made do with the radio and good old fashioned talking. Grandma was chief navigator but without giving directions and Huffle was pilot. Small and I sat in the middle and the two stinkies sat in the back. It was very cold today with strong winds, in fact there was a warning on the Skyway bridge.


Our first big stop was at Niagara-on-the-Lake where we were glad we had filled the car with coats, hats and gloves (it really was that cold). We wandered along the Main Street and came across a lovely little British Pub. In the ladies toilets there was a statue with a man who had a hinged leaf over his unmentionables. I decided to have a peak under the leaf and it made a doorbell go off. Next to the statue was a note that said Respect the Angels modesty. In the men's toilet there was a goal in the urinal for the men to aim at. Smallest was very pleased he got a goal.

We had lovely meals in the pub. Chicken and Peach Pie, Steak and Kidney Pie, Shepherds Pie, Portobella Mushroom Burger, Beef Burger and Chicken Fingers (which were so good they tasted like fish - Smallest's words). Plus a couple of pints of Steam Whistle.

Nicely warm and full of good food, we carried on wandering down the main street. It had started raining and was getting colder. It feels like Winter - what happened to Autumn? Grandma and I snook into a couple of shops much to the dismay of the rest of the family though they were happy to go into the fudge shop and sample a bit. The flower displays were outstanding with their huge Cannas.

Next we drove along the scenic route towards Niagara Falls, stopping at the Whirlpool along the way. Unfortunately the Cable Car wasn't running today due to high winds, which was a shame because we all wanted to go on it. Still, we were able to see the whirlpool and take photos. The river was very wild and fast and it was hard to believe that Aunty A and I went so close to the river in the Spring.

We carried on to the Falls and parked the car. Because we were high up, we walked downwards through the gardens and were level with the American Falls. Once again the sound was deafening and the mist was incredibly high which of course made it quite wet too. We had the obligatory photos. It was very busy, though I haven't been there yet when it hasn't been. This was my sixth visit, the boys fourth, Huffle's third, and Grandma and Grandads second. After we took too many photos, we went inside to get warm, dry and get a hot drink. There was nowhere to sit so we stood leaning next to a Teriyaki stand. The owner wasn't happy about us being there and instead of asking us to move, kept putting boxes on the shelf where we were. Huffle was getting annoyed and in the end I asked the owner if we were in his way. He ignored me.

Grandad really wanted to go 'behind the falls' and so did Small so we chose to do this today. It was a very reasonable price and my expectations were very low, partly because of reviews I read and partly because of word of mouth but I was pleasantly surprised. We went down in a lift for 125 feet into a tunnel (could have been a tiny metro tunnel and felt a little concentration camp like) but it lead to two portal holes which were directly behind the falls. The water gushing past the window was so fast and furious, you couldn't help but be impressed. You couldn't get to the water, obviously because we would have been dragged into it but it was still very impressive.

The viewing platform was right next to the falls (closer than the boat gets to which we did last time we were here with Grandma and Grandad) and was wet but amazing. Looking up to see the water falling was fabulous. There were two different levels to go on and we were given a lovely (well I say lovely) yellow poncho to wear. Yellow isn't really my colour!! And the way it puffs out when the wind blows making you look like a huge yellow balloon isn't very fetching!

And as usual all tours end in the gift shop

As this was part of Small's birthday celebration, we decided to have a look up Tat Street as we call it. Small loves it up there, lights, loud music, amusements, etc. We all went on the SkyWheel and even persuaded Grandma she would be fine. In fact Smallest was the one with the problem on this one. A really slow high Ferris wheel type ride where we could see the Falls and all around far and wide. This was mine and the boys second time on it but it's a good way to see above the falls while having a nice sit down.

It was getting late and we were a bit peckish so decided to go to the Rainforest Cafe for a bite and a warm. Smallest was tired but the noise and theatre of the cafe woke him up slightly and we had a small something to eat. (The bill wasn't small though as I guess you are paying for the ambience, definitely not the quality of the food).

It was dark when we came out so couldn't pass up seeing the falls all nicely lit up though there was no way we were going to walk back to the Horseshoe Falls, tired boys and tired feet! We stood in front of the American Falls which was lit up red, white and blue and could see some of the other falls which was lit red and white.

We managed to make our way back up through the gardens and up the steps using my camera torch for extra light. This time we got the film playing and although Grandma was scared of the loud noises and Huffle was driving to the noise of Pod Racing (we were watching Star Wars), it made the journey go much quicker. Smallest was very tired and had an issue with his feet and legs, Small was tired but loved watching the film, Grandad found watching the film in the car a very bizarre experience and I found it caused me travel sickness at the beginning and then I got used to it. I would never buy a car like that as Huffle said our middle screen restricted his view of the rear view mirror, the noise for the driver and passenger was very weird and it was uncomfortable to watch a screen in the middle and not directly in front of your face. So picky, I know but these cars cost a lot of money and I'm not sure they are completely practical.

We got home just after 10pm which meant the journey was just two hours (good safe driving from the Huffle). The boys went straight to bed and Grandma want far behind them. The men watched football whiIe I blogged.

A good day was had by all.


Friday, 2 October 2015

Soap on a rope - POPE

The weather has turned really cold all of a sudden. Today there was a icy chill to the wind (not liking that!). The boys went off to school wearing shorts but everyone else on their bus were wearing coats and hats.

Huffle found these Halloween outfits for digs while he was shopping - he was disgusted!

Huffle had a day off and he took Grandma and I shopping (well he dumped us somewhere while he bought my birthday presents), and we left Grandad inhaling the paint fumes of Paint Tin No3. We said we would wean him off the fumes slowly - no cold turkey for him!

Grandma and I found a lovely cardigan for me and a photo frame for her. We were both given a free 'garbage bag' (cashiers words not mine) and a competition to enter. If we win, we get five minutes in Homesense (TK Max equivalent) to gather as much stuff as will fit in the bag for free. Grandma wonders if we could get a sofa in it. The cashier told us to practice at home. We celebrated our finds with a hot drink whilst waiting for Huffle to pick up Grandad. While we were waiting we bought some lovely scarves and had a weird conversation with a lady that we quickly tried to hide from. When people hear our accents (mainly when I am with other British people because obviously there are two people having a conversation rather than me just talking to myself....) they always say "oh where are you from?". Some know instantly that it is England but some wonder if it's Australia, New Zealand etc. Anyway I said 'England' and she said 'I know that!' And when I said Leicester she said 'Oh' in a disappointed voice, meaning she was sorry we didn't say London. Everyone just wants us to say London because that is where they know. bOoorriiing (sorry Aunty A).


The four of us had lunch together in an Irish Pub. Grandad had a Lamb Pot Pie which was really good, Huffle had a Chicken Tikka which was forgettable and Grandma and I had Fish and Chips which was awful and undercooked with soggy batter (Chips were nice). We complained and eventually the Manager came up and said "I've looked after the fish". We knew what he meant but I asked him to explain - he had taken the two meals off the bill and said the batter was too thick and it was frozen fish which was not acceptable.

Next we went to the car hire place and picked up a huge scooby doo car for the weekend as we are going to Niagara tomorrow and Grandma and I took Huffles car home. The hire car has a reversing camera, three video screens and a Blue Ray machine so tomorrow we will be watching Star Wars on the way. That'll keep the kids and Grandad happy.

When the boys came home Huffle took Smallest, Grandad and I to the Garden Centre to choose a plant for me. We ended up with quite a few. Lucky girl. The boys played on their new Wii game while they waited for their dinner and Grandad tried Small's new puzzle.

He was successful


Thursday, 1 October 2015

'Ave you done a Peggy?

HAPPY 12th BIRTHDAY SMALL. When I was pregnant with Small 12 long years ago, he ended up being over two weeks late and I was induced. He still didn't want to come out and I spent the night in hospital and most of the rest of the day. He was just too cosy. He still likes to be cosy these days. In fact (and he won't thank me for writing this down so please don't mention it to him) the other night when I pulled his covers over him and said "let's make you more cosy", he looked at me sleepily and said "I know what my super hero name could be - COSY BEAR". He remembers nothing but we keep calling it him anyway.

Here he is about 3 years old at the zoo with his Daddy. He knocked on the window and said to the monkey "hewwo nunkey, my name is Ae James Hooool". Awwwwwww

Small decided he wanted to save his presents until he got home from school which made perfect sense as the mornings are a bit of a mad rush. He did open his cards though with his breakfast. He was reading one of his cards out to us and he got a frog in his throat. I shouted "his voice is breaking" but he said it was just a small cough. Ahhhhhhhh. Smallest had the responsibility of sitting with MissMolly on the bus today (she is only four and has just started Junior Kindergarten and as he has known her since she was a baby, and she gets on the bus just after him, he said he would sit with her, take her to her playground and collect her after school again). I had a text from her Mum that thanked us and said that MissMolly was very happy to see him waiting for her this morning.

After breakfast, I got all the cake ingredients out and then realised we were out of butter so had to quickly drive to the shop before I made a start on Small's birthday cake. Everything went swimmingly. The cake was made and cooled with extra mixture made into cup cakes with a secret piece of chocolate in each one. The chocolate butter icing was made. Grandma was on hand for clearing and washing and general assisting.

Huffle worked hard on reports and lots of phone calls and in between put up the birthday bunting. Grandad did pallet painting and cutting and general work on Compost Corner Mark II. We saw him briefly for lunch and then he was gone again.

The decorating of the cake was done in the afternoon. Candles added, balloons blown up and extra M&M's thrown around. The table was prepared with presents, cards, cake, more cake and cookies. Lots of clearing and washing up and then Grandma and I had a half an hour watching Downton Abbey before the kids came home.

Small had forgotten about his cake so was surprised and he liked it. Both boys were trying to work out how it was all put together.

They sorted their bags and then when Grandad was summoned in from the barn, we sat and watched Small open his presents.

Smallest made Small a birthday Milk Shake

One of them was a Wii U Disney Infinity and another was the figures to use on it so of course the kids wanted to go and play as soon as possible. All the boys (big and little) went into the basement and played table football while their game was being updated and then tried to set it up. Grandma has been practicing playing Happy Birthday all day on the piano. I played some chords and we played and sang to Small - what a treat.

Grandma and I made pizza for dinner. We all ate pizza, three different flavoured jellies and ice cream and then we lit the candles and sang Happy Birthday before eating a small piece of cake. We played Pass the Parcel with forfeits (family tradition). Smallest and Grandma had to shout "we love you Cowboy Kev" out of the front door. Three forfeits are being saved for another day (putting kettle on - Grandma, Sweeping floor - Smallest, Dustpan and brushing - Grandad). Small had to mime a film and Huffle had to sing along while I played piano (tough). Grandad was upset that we didn't play musical statues so me and him had a quick game of Musical Newspaper by ourselves. I won!

The boys (little) went and finished the new game while we cleared up and then we watched a birthday video from Santa.

Yesterday when we took Smallest to basketball, Small and Grandma were watching the baseball (in which the Blue Jays won the league). Grandma saw one of the players spitting (they do that a lot and I have to say I don't like it) and she said "if I see him spitting one more time, I'm calling his Mother!". Silly Grandma.