Monday, 30 April 2012

Raccoon Peepo

Huffle came home from the committee meeting bored out of his mind. We sat watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (very strange. We have a different narrator here and most of the words are subtitled, they obviously think Canadians and Americans can't understand them, which is fair as we have trouble!), when Huffle heard a crash outside. We paused the TV and ran to look. The compost bin had been knocked over. A raccoon (our first sighting) was bobbing up and down playing peepo with us. We tried to take a photo but he ran away. It was quite funny. I know they can be vicious but he looked really cute hiding behind the bin. However, I did not think he was cute this morning when I found the contents of the compost bin all chewed and strewn around the garden and the black bin bag split and rubbish all in the bottom of the box we had put it in. Bloomin' nuisance!

This is a really bad photo but if you can make it bigger you can just see Rupert the Raccoon peeping. He is above the white stripe which is a bag of compost. I can make out his striped head but Huffle says I'm imaging it. I know he is there because I saw him in the flash when I took the photo!
Smallest and I were at home today. We had shopping to do. He played on the computer whilst I Skyped Yahoo and Maggot. We had a nice long chat. It was good to catch up as we haven't spoken for ages. Poor Maggot has been poorly in hospital and has to stay off school for two weeks - poor Yahoo too. Maggot showed me her new hamster (couldn't see it as it was asleep).

We had a fairly slow morning, bit of tidying and cleaning and then we went off shopping. By the time we got back and put everything away (not that Smallest would help!), it was time for lunch so we had it in front of Kung Foo Panda. I made my sock monkey whilst I was watching (I had permission from Smallest, as long as I watched when he told me to). We played a few games and waited for Small to come home.

He requested Macaroni Cheese for dinner (one of Small's favourites but Smallest is not normally a big fan). I made it anyway and they ate it hungrily (still not sure it is Smallest's favourite).

I taught them a new card game and told them it was one that we played when Grandma and Grandad and the Royals were here. They thought that was great and wanted to know when we could have cheese and crackers and crisps! cheeky Monkies!

They argued over who watched what on which TV, honestly, these two could argue for the Olympics! In the end Small stomped off in a grump so I let Smallest watch his thing for half an hour. Small came down "it's not fair..........," and watched TV in the basement. Then after half and hour, Small watched his thing on TV and Smallest and I coloured in.

When it was time for bed I said Small could stay up for ten minutes more at which point Smallest erupted and had a tantrum that lasted for an hour in total. I took away four of his precious soft toys, a puzzle and the contents of his Moneybox. He hit me, he screamed at small, he locked himself in our bedroom (luckily I know how to open it fromthe outside). He pulled all the covers off our bed (after I had changed all the sheets). Huffle rang in the middle of it all (he is out playing baseball or softball for work), and tried to reason with him but he didn't calm at all. Then he had a sit in (or lie in) in our bed, naked, with the window open where I left him for ten minutes to cool down (literally). Then I went up and had a quiet chat and told him I thought he should get into bed before Huffle came home and took more things off him. He had calmed down by then and cleaned his teeth, got his PJ's on and got into bed. I gave him three things back and told him he had to earn the others tomorrow.

All is quiet now. Am waiting for Huffle to come home and help me eat the Carrot and Tomato soup I have made.


Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off to work I go....

Smallest woke me this morning at 6:30 "can I get up yet?". NO GO AND DO SOMETHING QUIET, IT'S FAR TOO EARLY. Bless him, he sat on his bed and did his puzzle. Both boys got up at 7am and woke me at 7:20. Small said "in case we forget to get you up at 7:30". So thoughtful.

It was a bit of a rush to get everyone (and myself) ready, but we managed it. No missing of buses today! Now what is different here? Oh yes, Grandma and Grandad aren't here. Knew it was their fault for any lateness before!!!!

I had to put my coffee in my travel mug as I didn't have time to drink it and I didn't know when I would be coming home or if I would get any coffee. I arrived at the Garden Centre just after 9am and a woman shouted "hey over here!". "Are you Famfa?". "I was told to look out for you, you won't need that coat!". She took me into the greenhouse where there were three women and one man (all considerably older than me!) sitting around a table. We all introduced ourselves and then the owner came in told us what we were doing today. We got Clematis plants, cleared them of weeds, popped in a stake, tied the plant to the stake, pruned them to the stake level and popped in a label. This was all for a plant order that was being shipped in a couple of weeks. These same plants will have to be pruned again before they go out. We got through about ten varieties, some I haven't ever seen before. The owner said we could take whatever bits we chopped off if we wanted to propagate them, and he gave us a lesson in how to take cuttings and how to grow them on. (I already knew this but it looks like we should learn plenty in the future). We kept the catalogue open so we could see what the different varieties looked like. There were some lovely ones. I didn't take any cuttings for home as we don't have anywhere to put them yet. However I did take away four pepper plants. We stopped at 11am and went up to the house for coffee and biscuits. There were about eight of us there today. Some days they have more but most Monday's there are less. I enjoyed it! I just think it was nice being out and doing something different. It was very relaxing and peaceful, there was not a lot of chatter but enough to find out who was who.

I came home, had some lunch and popped out to get some jeans for working in as I have a hole in the ones I was wearing today.

I Skyped Grandma and Grandad and told them about the job. Their flooding is better now. Grandad had a whole day on the garden and has had a lot of interest in his new coat.

The boys came home, played on the computer, ate their dinner and told me all about how they picked up litter around the school and how it helps the world.

Huffle came home and we had dinner and then we all played cards together. Huffle saved us a $400 call out by fixing the toilet. clever Huffle. Then he scooted off to the Hamlet's Annual General Committee Meeting. We get a year's free membership for being new here.





Sunday, 29 April 2012

Ground Force

Today was a stay at home day. Playing in the garden. Planting plants. Lots of football games.

The weather was lovely. It was about 16*. Very sunny. Slightly blowy.

We Skyped Grandma and Grandad and Moo this morning. The weather there is rubbish. Lots of rain, flooding, cold. Moo has put the heating on all day - so it must be cold.


Huffle finished his raised beds. We deliberated long and hard over where they were going and finally decided on a nice sunny spot. We started digging and removing the grass.


We found lots and lots of metal strips and wires. We have no idea what it was we found. The boys were hoping it was a treasure chest but it wasn't!


We planted one of our forsythias, the trilliums are under the trees and one is even flowering. I am hoping I haven't put it where the football is always kicked. We planted our new Comfrey, near the raised beds and the compost bin.

Huffle's new grasses went in.
Our clematis to climb over the barn (whoops there is another dandelion, will get Smallest to pick that tomorrow).
The boys earnt some money. Small did some digging and Smallest picked the Dandelions. We told him he could have 1c per flower (to stop them spreading). He picked 28.

The soil was drying out so quickly. Once we have filled it we are planting peas here. We have placed the other bed and covered it over to kill the grass. We are hoping that will be easier.

More football was played. Lots of fighting happened today until we got to the point where we had to split the boys up again. Smallest has been particularly bad tempered.

Both have now had showers. I am off to have mine - got to be clean for my new job tomorrow!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

BabyMo's Party

I am convinced I could hear Grandma's voice this morning whilst I was in bed! It wasn't her obviously. They had a bit of a nightmare with their journey home. First of all they couldn't print out their boarding passes. Then their flight was oversubscribed and they had to get some people's baggage off the plane, then they realised the ones thet got off should have been on in the first place. There was a family on there that was split up so Grandma and Grandad moved seats so they could be together and then one of their children sat behind Grandad and kicked his seat for an hour before Grandad couldn't take it anymore. They were home by 1pm and skyped us. The signal was bad so we didn't get to say much.

Huffle and Small went out to buy a saw as Huffle is building (yes you read correctly) some raised beds for our vegetable patch. They also bought some plants back. Smallest and I played football. We planted up our old tin bath with herbs, I taught him a new game of cards and we skyped Moo. She is going to look at jeans in Sainburys for us and needed their measurements. I forgot to say that a few days ago I measured everyone in the house (including Grandma and Grandad). Grandma turned out to be three inches shorter than she thought she was - she blamed her bad back! Actually I only measured the door she stood against and didn't realise that there was a 2" bit missing between the end of the door and the floor. When I measured Grandad I wrote on the door that he was 67cm and not inches. Tiny little man (not really, he is not an elf, despite that the boys would be very happy if he was).

We had a small lunch, played football and then went over to BabyMo's 1st Birthday party.

ClownRose was in the process of decorating her cakes so we helped. The boys placed the flowers and buttons and I piped the flower petals. Her cousin piped the writing and added the topping and Small, Smallest and I added the sprinkles.

The boys got restless and went and played outside. They collected all the sticks and made a den. BabyMo's cousin chased them and hugged them. Pizza was delivered to the party and it was nice enough to Eat it outside.

We met lots of new people including ClownRose's mum who has invited me to her garden to take whatever plants I want. Cool! I will ring her soon and arrange to visit.

The boys got to play on the drums again. They had great fun. It was very noisy.


BabyMo loved her cakes but the boys had to help her blow her candles out. She also kicked a cake off the tray, sat on it, squashed it and then ate it! The boys were tired and we took them home. They messed about in the garden for a while while Huffle sawed and screwed and hammered. I played football with them and fighting with lightsabers. As it was getting cooler, we went in and watched some TV till bedtime. I haven't heard a peep out of them this evening so they must have gone straight to sleep.


Tommy Two Years Days.

Huffle is watching his beloved Stoke play Arsenal. I know they drew (but he doesn't yet). Madamme Courvoisier and Mr Pickle are both Arsenal supporters and the fact we hadn't heard anything from them today made him think Stoke had won!!!!!

We have just had a delivery of two helium balloons from BabyMo's party. The boys will have a nice surprise when they get up tomorrow.


Friday, 27 April 2012

Frankie Tomatto gets his Dollar Coat

We played cards again last night, but moved the table into the lounge so the kids wouldn't be disturbed by our noise. Actually we were quiet. We played two different games but were very tired and gave up by 10:30. The ladies were cheated!!!!

Poor Beetle (Telegraph picture)

Huffle was at home today (working from home!). He had two phone call meetings all morning so Grandma, Grandad and I went the garden centre (where I am going to work). We picked up some nice things. I spoke to the man who owns it and told him I would start this Monday. How exciting.

We met a woman in there who worked in the nursery at Treboh, a favourite garden of ours and Grandma and Grandad - we went when Small was very Small. She lives here now but goes home every winter because its too cold and there are no flowers!!

We then went into the local town. We stopped for coffee at the new Italian Deli. It had been taken over by new people.

While Grandad got some money, Grandma and I went to the Thrifty Store. The coat was still there. They had a red ticket day. Everything with a red ticket was $1. I checked if that meant the coat and they said if it has a red ticket, it is $1. So I quickly picked it up and threw it behind the counter and asked if they could hide it for me till Grandad was somewhere else. He came in, saw me, and then looked really sad as he realised it was gone. I told him to look for another coat and then paid and ran to the car with it and hid it in the boot.

We went to school and picked up the boys (I rang them first thing to ask if we could take them out early). Then we headed for Frankie Tomattoes where we had a table booked for lunch.

I had Grandad and the boys in my car and we sang "little boxes" all the way, very loudly. Huffle and Grandma were in the other car. We were a little bit late but we got there eventually. It was packed.

It was eat as much as you like buffet style. The boys loved it. They thought it was great to get down, look for more food, get it themselves and come back to the table. There was great array of Italian food. Smallest liked the spaghetti best but not the meatballs. Then we had dessert. Lots of ice creams (boys especially liked the sprinkles). Red velvet cakes were yum and the choux pastry with fresh cream were delightful. Shame they were so small that we had to have a few!!!!

The bill came and we had to remind them that we were celebrating two birthdays (Grandma and Grandad). They came with music, hats, balloon tomatoes, candles, cakes and chocolate. They sang a song to them, put hats on them, took photos. It was very funny. Small wants to come back for his birthday (October).

We left after being there for nearly two hours.


We drove home. I took the coat out of the car and Huffle put it on and went to the front door. He knocked and I said, oh Grandad, it's for you. He went to the door and when he opened it, Huffle was standing there wearing his lost coat!!! It was so funny. Then we told him the story about how the coat was only $1. He couldn't believe it.

Grandad wearing his new coat (sorry $1, couldn't resist - they said in the shop that it meant it had been there for some time!! Quite!) - doesn't he look happy?

The boys played and fought outside. We had to get rid of their sillies somehow! We weren't home long before the airport trip had to be made. Huffle and Small decided to take them. Me and Smallest stayed behind. It was a very emotional goodbye. Lots of hugs and kisses. Smallest was his usual tactful self. Grandma said she needed an extra big huggle to last her, he said what forever? He seemed to think he would see them again tomorrow, even though he knew they were going home. It's weird, it seems like they have been here for ages but that it has gone really quickly too. How can that be.

We waved goodbye and then smallest and I played a couple of games and did a jigsaw. Then we watched some TV till his bedtime.

We skyped HB and she lay on the pillow with Smallest for a while.

Huffle and Small came back from the airport, Small went straight to bed as it was late. Small had been a very good companion to Huffle on the way home and they said they listened to music. One boy asleep and the other quite sleepy.

Huffle and I are going to sit and watch TV. Night night xx


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Trillions of Trilliums

Mr Royal is a Man City supporter. Huffle's football team at work plays in Man United's shirt (purely because his company sponsors them). So, Grandad wore Huffle's Man United shirt last night and tried to convince Mr Royal that he was a Man U supporter!

Last night's card game went on till midnight. We only played two different games. There was a lot of silly banter. A little bit of cheating. Some drinking. Some eating. Lots of laughing. Lots of times two little boys came down stairs and asked us to be quiet. Small was still awake at 11pm and in the end I told him to sleep in our bed and I would move him later. The kitchen where we were playing is directly under their bedrooms andthe sound carries up. It had nothing to do with the fact that we were very loud. Whoops.

It was a really good evening. There will be a return match in September (if they aren't on holiday on purpose - The Royals that is!).

The weather forecasts for the UK report flooding in some parts. Lots of rain and some people being issued with sandbags as emergency measures. Loved this picture from the Telegraph today.

This morning we had Smallest with us and we decided we were going to the forest to see the wild Trilliums. Mrs Royal came over late morning and we drove off to a different forest that we hadn't been to before. We parked in front of some gates that had a big sign that said "No Parking Emergency Vehicles Only". So we parked there. Mrs Royal said people do and we wouldn't be long.

Smallest and I had a conversation about why you shouldn't park there. What would happen to me if someone like a policeman noticed I was parked there. We decided that as long as Smallest didn't break his leg whilst in the forest, we would be okay! Naughty Mummy won't do it again.

The forest had some amazing tall straight trees and I loved the fact that they were in lines, and you could see through them for miles!

The path was narrow and a bit up and down hill. There was a private property at one side and the forest stretched away at the other side.

Small ran around and had loads of energy (we did have a small bag of sweets though - definitely not Huffle's Fudge!). We chatted whilst looking at the various things growing on the forest floor. There were a lot of Dogs Tooth Lily, not yet in flower.

Grandma and Grandad not holding hands today. Too much earlier in the week! Besides people have started to comment about their lurrrve!

The first Trilliums we saw weren't in flower, but looked like they would flower very soon. They were dotted along the path.

We walked a bit further and saw a lot more on the private property, we couldn't get to them to photograph them.

There are going to be masses of white flowers when the sun has been out for a few days. Then Grandad saw a red one, and then another and another.

They were beeeaaaauuuutiful. Can't wait to go back and see them all in full bloom.


We walked back. I am going back next week to see whether they have come out more.

Smallest decided he wanted us to all go for lunch at the local cafe. Mr Royal joined us there. I booked Smallest in for a haircut and while we waited for 3:30pm, we played many games and made jigsaws.


Smallest and I walked to the local hairdressers, he got his hair cut. I forgot to take a photo but it's nice. I Skyped Moo, Grandma skyped Madamme Courvoisier and we all skyped HB and Aunt Pear. We had a lovely dinner. We played a game of cards with Small while Smallest had a huge tantrum about not having pudding!

Grandma put the boys to bed and we all (adults) played a game of........... (I'm still waiting for them to decide).