Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Craft Swapping

Today was another hot and sticky day. So why would I choose to go to aerobics? Because it is a lot of fun and ExerciseNic said it was more beneficial because we sweat more. However, she did let us off a bit on our cardio workout this morning and we got to do much more floor work. Still hard though as there seemed to be no air anywhere. When Aunty A was aerobicing with me, she said of one of the ladies, "she smelt really nice and then I remembered I hadn't put any deodorant on". Today the same lady said "I wish your friend was here because I smell awful".

At home I showered and then walked around the garden with Huffle so he could plant some Sunflowers where I wanted them. I had lunch and watched Love It or List It with Kirsty and Phil (Moo suggested it and I really like it). Then I went off to pottery where I made a big candle holder. It was a lot of fun today. I really like the group we have at the moment. I have swapped numbers with one of the girls and I am going to teach her knitting and she is going to teach me Stain Glass work. Exciting. Another of the girls has just been bought a kiln so we can do pottery at her house. Now that too is exciting. I have a dilemma now with pottery. Next Wednesday is my last session where I get to glaze all my (and AA's) pots but I have also been asked to garden at The Royak York. There is no other session I can join to glaze but the other girls at pottery say they will glaze my pots if I tell them what colours I want. I really want to glaze them myself (not that I don't trust them just because I have paid for it and it is part of the whole process) but I love the Royal York Rooftop. Arrrrggghhhhhh. I need to sleep on it and see what I should do.

I came home, Huffle was working and watching the Blue Jays game in the background, the boys came home and we all had an ice cream. It was still very warm but at least there was a significant breeze. There was storm forecast but it didn't arrive before I published this post.

We had no after school clubs or events so there was no rushing about. MrBasement came round and had a look at our pool pump for us. He got it running almost straight away and then found a small leak in a hose and mended that too. Because we had asked him to do some work for us on the bunker and bathroom floors and the kitchen tops, he was worried our money was fast disappearing so he wanted to help us out to look after his work money for later. He is a useful man to know. He even offered to have a look at our mower but the new one arrives tomorrow and he's already told us to use Premium Petrol rather than Regular petrol in our new one.

Huffle and I made dinner, the boys played on their gadgets after doing a chore and then we all ate. After dinner the boys practised their piano and we waited for the rain and the storm as it was getting darker and darker and the pressure was intense. It was also quite blustery but the temperature didn't drop from 27* until much later.

After dinner we all sat on the porch to get some air and then played Settlers of Catan - Smallest won!

We left the kids watching TV and getting ready for bed while we vacuumed the pool, backwashed and rinsed the pump and put the necessary chemicals in and then quickly watered the garden. TIRED NOW.


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Space Invaders

Phew what a hot day today! Though the weather channel said it was 27* it felt more like 37!

Boys went to school, Huffle bunkered (though that's not entirely true. He started on the table in the Lounge, barked at the kids at breakfast, I barked back at him as I felt he was being too tough and by the time I got back from work, he was upstairs in the computer room). Basically, the basement is too cold when we have no heating on as the basement is the coolest place in the house in Summer, but it is freezing down there some days. So now we need to find a place for him where he doesn't get in our way and we don't get in his. Aside from building a purpose built office for him which we can't afford, we are stumped! I did suggest buying a shed and putting him in that but he thinks he'll melt in one! Thinking caps on then.

I went to work and worked in the Potage mainly planting tomatoes, nasturtiums (ooooh there was a lovely pale yellow almost white one - I'm not a fan of annuals but this was perfect, plus they flower all summer long), parsley and broccoli. After our coffee break where we tucked into Lime and Ginger Shortbread OMG delish, we moved a load of Begonias and Pelargoniums from upstairs in the house to the patio. Then we cleaned Mealy Bugs (don't know how to spell that) off two plants that I also can't remember the name of. Today I came home with three bamboo plants, a hanging basket for the school Springfest, two bean plants and four Purple Bean Hyacinth plants (annual climbers but might be interesting).

I had a quick wash and change and then had lunch with Suffolk who had come round so we could make our $10 quilt square. It seems, though, that we were not given enough material to complete our squares and although Suffolk came up with a way that we could make the material work for the pattern, we left a message for MrsSew to call us. She didn't call back and we abandoned it for another day.

Huffle and I planted up the bamboo and were bombarded with a million mosquitoes (I'm quite sure I'm not exaggerating at all). I noticed the pump wasn't working on the pool (despite the fact that it was definitely working first thing) so we attempted to find a solution by checking the Fuse Panel, wires, plug and timer. NOTHING. I called the Pool people and they said they could get someone out to us on June 15th which is three weeks away! I booked it anyway and thought I could always cancel if we found someone else. I also text a few people to see if they could recommend someone. MrBasement said he could have done it himself and is actually coming by tomorrow evening to have a look and he also said he could have had a go at fixing the mower too! He is a Jack of All Trades - I told him to drop by his CV (resume) so I could see what else he could do should we need his services.

It was a mad rush for dinner when the boys came home. Smallest had Swimming Lessons and tonight passed his Level 9 (even quicker than Small did - very proud but worried he will have to give up swimming as he will run out of levels to do). His instructor (MrBean) has lost his record card - I'm a bit annoyed as all his records of achievements are on there plus comments from all his instructors and dates he got the awards Etc. they lost Small's previously too! I took Smallest to his swimming and a woman sat behind me, very close, too close and started talking really loudly to her friend, RIGHT IN MY EAR. I moved away (she knew I moved because of her, probably didn't know why though - BECAUSE YOU ARE RUDE AND YOU INVADED MY SPACE). Towards the end of the lesson, a family of three walked past me and sat in a space that should really have been for two people and they sat down, making me move my stuff. Then the man leaned right over so I couldn't see past him, despite the fact I was leaning so far forward I could have fallen off. I moved yet again. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE - PERSONAL SPACE EH! (That's not really me saying Eh, I'm just mocking the locals).

On the way home the driving of the majority of the cars was ATROCIOUS. I can't stand it, it's driving me crazy. What's the matter with these people? Who gave them driving lessons? Who gave the people giving the lessons their training? c'mon, it's simple. Drive between the lines. Watch the road. Stay on the right (in Canada obviously) and don't sit in a lane that is supposed to be for overtaking, especially if you are going THAT SLOW!

Small had Football practice. He got a goal HURRAH! Huffle said of the game: it was painful, it was lovely weather (he had Happy Mondays in his ear and swore a lot). He was very pleased to see his old bear net his first goal and Small had a lovely big grin on his face. Huffle wrote on Facebook : Canadians know less about football than Arsenal fans. Honestly they really know nothing. It's painful. I'm embarrassed, the swear jar is the only beneficiary.



Monday, 25 May 2015

Winter out, Summer in.

I finally had an appointment today to get my Winter Tyres swapped with my Summer Tyres. It's a bit late but I don't suppose it matters too much. I walked home from the garage after dropping my car off once the boys had gone to school. It was a warm humid day (but it did rain during the night and a little bit today which was refreshing).

Because I never had my car, I had to stay at home which made me do all those little jobs I never really get round to doing. I had a really long FaceTime with Moo (until nearly 11am) and we had a good catch up. The rest of the morning I spent washing, drying, sorting washing, putting away washing and clearing out all my Winter things. I watched Home Fires while I did it so I wasn't too bored. I also swept, dusted and partly mopped.

Huffle and I had lunch together and then we did a bit of gardening before he carried on with work. I cleared lots of paperwork and tidied away things that didn't belong where it was left. I walked back to get my car only to be told that there was hardly any oil in my car (why didn't the light come on then!) and the stuff they did get out was very black. My antifreeze was empty and my tyres were worn out. Oh Dear! I had the Summer ones put on but they will need to be changed soon preferably before we go away (if we do go away this Summer, as we have left it a bit late).

The boys came home and I made dinner while they played on their gadgets till Piano. Both boys are doing very well and doing very hard pieces at the moment. (MrsPiano told Smallest he had to Skype Grandma whilst playing his as she felt she would appreciate it). We had a bit of a disaster as Smallest had an 'accident' right at the end of his lesson. MrsPiano asked if he was nervous bless him, I think he was just holding it thinking he would be finished soon enough and it all got too much for him, he was very upset and embarrassed. Silly Billy.

After dinner of Macaroni Cheese, Corn on the Cob, Salad and Chicken for the Smallest and Biggest, (I know it sounds an odd combination but it actually worked) we all went off to play tennis (not Small, he went to Scouts instead). We played for an hour. It started off really sunny and then became really windy which made it hard to send the ball in the right direction. I'm sure Smallest won though as he said he had the best team when he was on his own against Huffle and I.

Small came home from Scouts with news that he is now not going to the Cuboree as planned next weekend, but instead going on a camp with just the Scouts in a couple of weekends time in between here and Ottowa (much better for him s some of the Cubs are still quite little). The big news is that one of the leaders and his son went once and a bear ate all their bacon. Arrrrgggghhhhhh!



Sunday, 24 May 2015

"You're a small Gentleman"*

We had another early start to our day because Smallest and I went to a 'Mother and Daughter Pottery Class'. Shhhh don't tell Smallest - they actually named it wrong and in future it will be called something less gender specific. We were at our class by 9:30am. There was a full table and their was little room for creating. We had the same teacher that I have on Wednesdays and she showed us all how to make a Frog Planter. I didn't realise we would be making a planter each but that was quite good because it meant I let Smallest just get on with it (with a tiny bit of help from me and the teacher). At one point one of his legs fell off and an eye wobbled a bit but all in all I think he did really well. He even made a lily pad for his frog to sit on. We get to glaze them next week. He enjoyed it a lot but didn't realise how difficult it would be.

This is Smallest's 'Charlie' frog. (The paper in the mouth is to keep it apart whilst drying).

........ And this is my 'Farquar' frog.

Huffle and Small went off and played golf at the golf club where we sledge in the Winter. Apparently he got to drive the golf buggy until he nearly crashed into a tree and then Huffle took it off him! He played well and there was a festival on at the same time so they played with a musical accompaniment.

We all went out for dinner and watched a bit of the Blue Jays on the big screens. A woman walked past the window and picked her dog up and put it in her handbag. Huffle was appalled. *Small asked for the children's menu and Smallest looked at him and said "you're a small gentleman Small". That seemed a very funny thing to come from an eight year old.

When we got home (it was very hot today) we sat by the pool and dangled our feet in (it's a wee bit cool in there at the moment). We all sat with our gadgets, me blogging, the boys playing and Huffle skyping Grandma, Grandad and Madamme Courvoissier. There was a lot of silly chatter today!

The garden is looking beautiful and there are many flowers blooming.

Baneberry, Virginian Bluebells, Tulip, Ligularia, Aubretia (I think), Anenome Seedhead
Daffodils, Phlox, Wild Violet, Jacobs Ladder, Allium (nearly out).
The veg patch suffered a little due to some overnight frost. We lost a couple of beans and some squash (never sew a hot veg until May 24 is out, or something like that!).
The new mower should arrive Thursday. Look at all those naughty dandelions!

Grandma's lavender on the left and the new one I just planted on the right. These sit on the porch and look lovely. They must help with the mosquitoes too though I haven't noticed yet.

We each had a minor injury today. Huffle got a twig in his eye at the golf. I fell up the stairs this morning. Small crashed the golf buggy and Smallest had a splinter.

Early evening, while the boys were watching Stoke beat Liverpool (Huffle edit 6-1 easy easy, go home scousers), I went and visited The Royals. I noticed them in the garden and went to see what was occurring. I half wished I hadn't as I got such an ear bashing from them about cutting the trees down in their field, despite the fact that Mrs Royal said I could cut down anything I liked as they never go in there. There were a bit upset that Huffle had left it in a mess even though I felt he had tidied it really well and moved all the cut down bits (that we didn't manage to pull over the fence and burn) towards the fence. All the trees we did cut down were diseased or just hawthorn type things anyway. I think they just wanted a bit of a rant because once we had a glass of wine (or G&T) in our hands, everything was fine. We had a good chat about local people, new Presidents, hairdressers, family and gardens. I was there for ages apparently (I thought I was only gone for about an hour but Huffle said they watched football, played football, had their showers and I still wasn't back - Whoops. I need to send Huffle round there next so he can get his ear chewed off about the trees. It seems they may be nicer to him as he owns a chain saw which might be useful to them. Also PrinceRoyal was there and I showed him a photo of Aunty A (he wants to know when she is coming back). Oooooooohhhhhhh.



Saturday, 23 May 2015

Whimpering Hot Dog

We had an early start to the day due to the fact that Smallest had to be at his Beaveree (30 mins drive away) at 9am and I had to be at my $10 quilt class at 9:30 (luckily in the same City as Beaveree). I took my breakfast and coffee with me as I didn't have time before we left. Smallest was in a mood because I told him to put sun cream on and his trousers were too thick, plus I asked him to take a hat. He was annoyed because he was completely covered with his fleece (including hood) and didn't understand why he needed a hat, plus the sun wasn't fully out so he felt he didn't sun cream. His shoes needed a double knot too which made him grumpy! I said he could sort his clothes out in the car which he found hard work and in fact ended up with his seat belt threaded through his clothes (something else to annoy him). I was happy to leave him with his Beaver Leader who said they had plenty of sun cram and drinks (it was a lady so I felt like she would be more responsible as she was a mum of two). She also offered to bring him home which was a big help. However, when she did bring him home she left him on our drive and didn't check we were in (I was not happy, apparently she said because both of our cars were on the drive, we must be in - what if we had all gone for a walk?). I feel like I want to complain as he was her responsibility but she was doing it as a favour to us. I'm not sure where I stand really except that this is the third time this has happened in 3.5 years and two of those have been with Cubs/Beavers! Not impressed at all. Thank goodness our kids have a bit of sense and don't just go wandering off on their own! Okay rant over (for now).

I got to sewing far too early so I sat in my car and ate my cold breakfast. When it got to 9:35am I thought I better try the door even though I hadn't seen anyone going in and it looked really dark inside (I was convinced I had the wrong day). It was open and they were waiting for me, whoops. Today we learnt the Thangles Tulip technique which looks complicated but Suffolk is coming over next week to help me.

I came home and Huffle, Small and I went off to the local (a few villages away) Spring Fair. We like this one because it is in a lovely small old village. There is a walk down to the river where there are various things to see and do on the way (though there is considerably less things each year it seems). We looked at books, an art exhibition and a bake sale and chatted to a lady who makes her own Maple Syrup (which we later purchased).

We watched the sheep being sheared and chatted to one of our lovely neighbours whilst looking at the chicks. The games were on too late for us to enter Small into so we just wandered around looking at the plant sale (always over priced) and Huffle bought me some jewellery for Christmas (which he will squirrel away so I forget about it). We wandered back up the hill and had lunch by the church. For just $5 each we got two postage stamp sized sandwiches (why do they take the crusts off?), a small homemade cake, a cookie and a tea or coffee. We sat in the sunshine on the grass and were bothered by a sausage dog. Poor dog had no-one to play with, he was tied to a tree and was being ignored and he sat there whining.

Huffle drove us to our nearby town and we had an ice cream and a visit to the DeadMan shop where Huffle picked up two Books for me (Christmas again) and a top for himself.

We visited a garden centre on the way home but it was too expensive so we noted the plants we wanted for when they have their huge sale at he end of the season.

Back home we played a game of Catan which was a very close game but I won in the end HURRAH. Smallest came home (as above) and played in the garden with an ice pole. He had enjoyed his day. Small filled the bird feeders (as a chore to get Tablet time) and complained when I asked him to clear up the mess he had left (there were bird nuts everywhere). I figured if I asked him to clear them (which he had big problems doing) he might make less mess next time. You never know!

We had jacket potatoes for tea and we watched some more Ninja Warrior and then I had to go out again for a School Springfest meeting which I was not looking forward to at all so I decided to walk there and have a glass of wine beforehand. Despite the fact that the people were nice, I really didn't need to be there. It is not how I like to spend my Saturday night, listening to people talk over each other.

Three interesting things seen today. A person dressed as a bear advertising a hair cut place. A licence plate. Two policemen on ATV's waving.


Friday, 22 May 2015

Scab Wars*

It was a funny day weather-wise. The sun was out all day but it was really windy and quite cool. Even though the boys went to school in shorts, they stood shivering (NO WE DONT NEED A FLEECE MUMMY) outside waiting for the bus.

Huffle didn't sleep too well. Too much on his mind and the lateness of his last call.

I went out this morning and returned the pallet (skid) back to the DIY place. First, walk in shop and wait for available assistant, only to be told to drive to the back door and find someone to take the pallet out of your car (due to the fact I already had one splinter from loading it in in the first place). Wait for ages for someone to notice you (why am I still so British, why not just shout HERE GET THIS PALLETT, I HAVE KNITTING TO DO!), and then wait while they fill out a form to give you a refund. Sign the form and drive round to the front of the building, park, go in and wait again for an available assistant to put all the paperwork through the tills, give them your credit card and finally get a refund of $30. $30 for a small pallett - was it worth it. Even the man taking it out of my car wondered why we had been charged for it in the first place.

I did my food shop and then carried on to knitting where I met two new people, one Irish (been here for forty years) and a Canadian. I only had an hour there but I managed to get plenty of sock done and a good cup of coffee.

At home, I had lunch with Huffle. Today the Work network died which meant he had to abandon work briefly. This gave him the opportunity to take down a piece of trellis and replace it with the new trellis and then paint it. He did a lovely job though I have some issues with it due to the fact it has some tacks sticking out of it and it is next to the pool, but we will sort something out. We had lunch and then he disappeared upstairs to carry on working.

I was so cold in the house that I went for a brisk walk in the Hamlet. In the sun it was lovely but that wind - brrrrrrr. I noticed one of our neighbours sitting outside on a chair reading a book under a tree wearing a coat with a hood (dare I say he is British).

I poddled around at home doing little jobs in and outside and then made dinner when the boys came home. Small had had Track and Field and came fourth in ShotPut (no ribbons for 4th) and received two ENTHUSIASM ribbons. They played on the Wii until dinner which we ate whilst watching the last Star Wars. Now we have to wait till the film comes out for the next one. Hurry up Smallest and finish reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban so we can watch that film again.

Whilst watching the film, Small lay on the sofa next to me and Smallest sat on my lap with his head resting on Small's legs, all of us encased in a lovely warm blanket. When Smallest got up, his big scab off his elbow was missing. We searched high and low for it and finally found it stuck to my leg! I asked Smallest to remove it and put in in the bin but he ran around trying to touch us with it. He tried to get Small to eat it and told him it was ham. Horrible boy!

The silly boy put himself in the laundry basket and asked for the lid to be closed!



Thursday, 21 May 2015

I'm a soccer Mom!*

I spent all morning in the garden re-doing the path. Originally it was six bricks wide but I took one out from each side so it's thinner. I think it still works, plus it goes further. It was quite a warm one first thing and I worked hard.

I found Huffle working up a tree today, laptop and phone at the bottom of the ladder and him up the top (it could've been lunchtime or break time). It made me laugh. If his phone rings he can still answer it from the ladder and he still gets to chop the tops of those awful cedars. My clever corporate lumberjack.

We had a quick lunch together before he had to get back to work and I had to go out. This afternoon I spent it with ExerciseNic in several garden centre type shops. She wanted to make her garden look nicer. She had drawn pictures of her borders and measured them. Our colour scheme was mainly purple, white and pink but I did persuade her to buy a lovely yellow rudbeckia which I know will flower all summer long. We did really well and only visited two shops but managed to get enough to cover all her spaces. She is going to plant them, I was merely there to guide her what will grow well where. I think it will look nice. I also picked up a few nice plants for our garden.

When the boys came home they were full of sillies but had had good days. It is the school talent show (their piano teacher couldn't persuade them to do anything this year) and the Spring concert but they are doing their football instead tonight.

I made a start on dinner, Huffle went into the loft and started his 3 hour call (he had to have dinner up there whilst on the call as it was all a bit rushed this evening). The boys played on the Wii until dinner.

After dinner Huffle and Smallest went to their football (Hiffle is coaching) and I took Small to his football. They are both in different places.

Small played brilliantly and put on a lot of tackles. His coach was very pleased with him and some of the opposition players were scared of him YEAH!

HUFFLE EDIT: an interesting introduction to coaching, which I did enjoy. Myself and coach Seymour (butt) put the kids through various exercises. Then there was a 30 minute game at the end versus another team. 8-4 win with Smallest bagging two and various assists. Not only did he do well under the watching eyes of the rep team manager he was doing well helping an autistic lad, his mum even thanked Smallest. Good lad.

And no swears (said Smallest) so that's impressive.


*I may be a soccer mum (never MOM) but I refuse to stand by the sideline shouting GET TO IT! They know they have to get to the ball, that's why they are playing football. They do not need to hear us shouting it across the pitch. I sat quietly by while inside I was shouting GO ON SMALL, KICK HIM. He knew!