Thursday, 31 January 2013

Sock monkey Smallest

I woke up this morning (yay a full night's sleep for everyone) to a howling wind. All the snow had gone, probably blown away to another country. It was very very windy. Then the snow came again, then it disappeared again. It was a very strange weathery day.

This was the boys being silly at breakfast! We think Smallest (top) looks like a sock monkey.

The boys went off to school.

They managed to play in the tiny little bit of ice that was left. I had breakfast, did a half an hour on the bike, watched 'How I met your Mother', had a shower, did some washing, cleaned the bathrooms and waited for the nice lady to come and help me make up the Goody Bags.

She brought the bags and a big box to put them in when finished. We got on with the task and because we were chatting while we did it, we finished in a very quick time. She has taken the bags away and will deliver them on Saturday. I had my lunch and then started making dinner. I made a cottage pie and hid some vegetables in there. I also made a Carrot and Tomato Soup which may or may not be used for the Soup Competition on Saturday.

LizzieDotDot skyped and we had a nice chat about kids, weather, knitting etc. I haven't spoke to her properly for a while so it was nice to catch up. All day, too, I have been playing 'Words with Friends' with Aunty A (like Scrabble), it's good because we get to chat at the same time. She won the last game and I think she is winning this one too (actually for some reason we are paying two games at the same time).

Huffle came home and we all had dinner together. He had a bad day and was grumpy. I think we cheered him a little! The boys watched TV and went to bed a bit earlier. All of these late nights recently are catching up on them.

Huffle and I started watching Mad Men as recommended by AA. The first one was okay. I will watch it again but Huffle isn't sure.

I also realised today that all the Downton Abbey I have been recording is the first series. The recent series isn't called Downton Abbey in our TV. It is called Masterpiece. WELL HOW THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO FIND THAT?



Wednesday, 30 January 2013


My balloon flower - still blooming

Huffle couldn't sleep and kept waking me up (unintentionally). There were drips of ice and rain and all sorts of other noises, including his stomach. I told him to watch TV but it wasn't working well so he went downstairs and watched some Monty Python. I woke up after dreaming about a man forcing his way into our house. Smallest came in having had a bad dream (a man was in our house downstairs, spooky, and put him on the bus, he knew who it was. it was a Beavers leader, Huffle asked if he wasn't a nice man and Smallest said 'he normally is'. He ended up in between us and then decided to go back but got lost because he couldn't see. Huffle brought him back in and I directed him back to bed. Then at 7am this morning Small woke me to look at his mouth as he had an abcess on his gum. I'M TIRED NOW!!!!

I decided to take him to the walk-in clinic (not our new one, as that is only evenings). Smallest and I got ready quickly, rang the school and then we all drove to the doctors. On the way it started to rain really heavily, so heavily that we couldn't see through the windscreen at one point. Temperatures were about 10-12* which was actually warmer than the UK, strange! Small got seen fairly quickly, got some antibiotics, told to go to the dentist and we went next door to the pharmacist. Once we got his medicine we headed back to school. The secretary was kind enough to take the medicine, put it in her fridge and promised to make sure he had it when he needed to. I did ring the school mid afternoon to check and he had remembered.

Smallest colouring in for the Carnival Competition (he won last year).

I finished my Wrist Warmers. YAY.

Small and I skyped Grandma and Madamme Courvoissier and then we skyped Moo.

While I was on the computer, I was watching these two chimpy squirrels playing in the tree

We had lunch, played with the Hot Wheels, making tracks and roads and then tidying it all up. Then Smallest said I could have a rest so I watched an episode of 'How I met your Mother' while he played on the IPad. We made meatballs and Beetballs for dinner and waited for Small to come home.

Small did his homework, Smallest annoyed him, I got dinner ready. Tonight is Movie Night (winter carnival) and the boys volunteered to help hand out Crisps and Pop so I had to get them there early. Huffle and I had an evening to ourselves as it didn't finish until 8pm.

Huffle came home and we ate in a state of calmness. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Then we played Table Tennis for over an hour. I won a game and got very close in several others. Wahoooo.

Huffle picked the kids up, they were full of stories when they got home. We ushered them to bed, kisses, hugs, no stories as it was late and then peace again with a lovely pot of tea and TV.



Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Busy Bee

NO PHOTOS - Just too Busy.

It was foggy, icy and generally a wet day.

The boys went off to school. I had breakfast, phoned a lady who offered to help with the Scavenger Hunt and went out. First I went to school to drop off Small's Agenda which he left on the kitchen table this morning. Then I took the books to the library as they were due today. The library was closed and I was hoping to look for Small's fleece which he left at the community centre last night. I posted the books through the door and could just see Small's fleece but the door was locked. Next I went to see Mr Handyman to ask if he had anything we could use for 'Pin the Carrot on the Snowman'. He wasn't there so I left my number and carried on to the supermarket to stock up on food for the week.

The roads were icy and not nice to drive on and it was getting foggier by the minute. I did my shopping, was called back by Mr Handyman, who had just the thing. I popped into his shop on the way home and realised it was too big and heavy to carry so said I would call back another time. I came home, put the shopping away, had lunch and then went out again.

I picked up the lady who is helping with the Scavenger Hunt and we drove to Dollarama and Bulk Barn. We picked up many many many things and we are going to meet on Thursday to make the Goody Bags up. We got 10% off in Bulk Barn which was good. I have a box full of goodies now too for the games prizes. I also got some spoons and ping pong balls for the egg and Spoon race and balls in a jar game. SORTED!

I came home, picked up the post which was a package from Moo with magazines for the boys and cheese toastie bags for Mr Royal. I popped round to the Royals and gave him his bags, he was very happy and I gave him the receipts for all the goodies we bought. Then I popped round to see ClownRose. She has lent me her Crock Pot so I can enter my soup in the competition on Saturday. Also I promised the Scavenger Lady I would make a pie or quiche for the Church Pie Sale (well I said I couldn't promise but I would try). ClownRose is being a clown at the Carnival and she is practising making balloon flowers and swords. She made me a lovely flower. So there I was, crossing the Hamlet road carrying a crockpot (heavy one), half a package from Moo and a balloon flower, struggling to keep upright because everywhere was icy. I did manage to get everything home in one piece and started to make dinner while I waited for the boys to arrive, on the bus today because it was running again, thank goodness.

Small did some homework and then the boys played on the Wii. Oh I forgot, Aunty A got home safe and sound and is now hibernating in her flat.

The boys had dinner. Huffle came home and we had dinner. The boys watched a bit of TV before Small went off to Cubs. I took Small to cubs and bumped into Nan from the library who I haven't seen since October. We had a good chat and then I rushed home becuase I forgot the DryWall man was coming round to give us a quote. hallelujah - a quote from someone at last. Him and his wife were there when I got home. He had brought round some flooring samples forus to see, we have to decide between Maple and Oak - we think we like the oak better and it seems more in fitting with the house. We originally asked him to find us some parquet but it seems that Canadians don't like parquet here. (Our second floor is all parquet). It is only put in apartments here and is not viewed as a value adder. We chose railings, spindles and told us it would be a two and a half weeks work and that he could start in a couple of weeks. WOW. Super quick. We just have to let him know when we want him to start. Whoppeeeee.

I went and fetched Small who had been painting shields for the sides of the carnival float him and Smallest will be on on Saturday. He also got his swimming badge which he is very proud of.


Temperatures are set to rise overnight. 10* tomorrow (not a minus in sight). There is even a storm forecast. Apparently the temperature tomorrow is the highest Canada have seen in January for a long time.



Monday, 28 January 2013

All by ourselves

It had snowed in the night. The forecasts were snow, frozen rain, ice balls, more rain. Not the best day to visit Lake Scugog, as we decided last night whilst playing cards. Also not the best day for a trip to the airport.

View through our landing window

Our back garden from the Loft window

The school bus was cancelled (I found out after just getting out of the shower) so Aunty A walked Small to school. She said it was horrible on the way because it was a bit haily but okay on the way back.

I had a message from NoCustard asking if she wanted me to take AA to the airport as she was going at exactly the same time as us. Seeing as the weather wasn't great, there was no bus to bring Small home and I had Smallest with me too, we decided (AA and I) that that would be a good idea.

Moo skyped us and we had a good long chat.

Beds were stripped, many loads of washing were done, two games of Space Race, a game of scrabble, a game of Carcasonne. Lunch was eaten. Luggage was packed. TV watched. Beds were made. Baths and showers were had - all clean now!

AA writing in our Visitor Book

Then NoCustard and Umbrella arrived and whisked our Aunty A off to the airport. We had a lovely time and feel privileged that she wanted to spend her spare time with us, all the way over here. BYE BYE AA, WE WILL MISS YOU x

I taught Smallest how to put Pillow Cases on all the pillows. He has this funny thing that means he can't hold onto anything if he laughs. He gets that from Huffle. I wonder if it has a name.

Smallest and I walked to school to fetch Small. We had a few snowball fights.

.......and I took some lovely photos.

We picked up Small and walked back home. My foot was really hurting. The boys threw a lot of snowballs at me. We popped into The Royals to say thank you to NoCustard for taking AA to the airport. Then we came home and made tea.

Huffle came home and ate his Beef Soup that AA and I made - he said it was lovely and hearty. I made a quiche with yesterday's leftover veggies. Yum. I took Smallest to Beavers where they are painting and decorating their float for the Carnival, then I took Small to Indoor Football. All the water that has fallen is now turning to ice and the roads are really slippy. The car parks are treacherous. I nearly fell over many times. Huffle and I played Table Tennis. I very nearly won several times but just not quite. Huffle went and picked the boys up from their clubs.

The boys had a great time. They went to bed and Huffle and I sat and watched Honey Boo Boo with a lovely cup of tea and a decadent!

Forgot to say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY (42 years) TO GRANDMA AND GRANDAD for yesterday. X


Sunday, 27 January 2013

How many Pilkies......?

Our day started with an Aunty A pancake breakfast. The boys helped in their own inimitable way. Of course we had to have our normal face competition.

They were very yummy and we were very late finishing them. We got dressed and the three kids played outside in the snow..................

.....................before we made our way to the Hamlet's Community Centre. The boys did some crafts for the start of the Winter Carnival. The lady organising the craft table was a local artist, very eccentric, but the boys had fun making three snowman each.

While the boys were creating, AA, Huffle and I went out and around the Community Centre creating the questions for the Scavenger Hunt next Saturday. We found lots of facts, wrote them down and then went to see how the boys were getting on. They spent ages crafting and we finally left with our snowmen and went off to another town to introduce AA to the delights of Five Pin Bowling.

Small won the first game and Smallest won the second game (just a half a game as our time ran out). We had a lot of fun. Aunty A is now an expert at choosing the correct colour ball and an expert in wearing bowling shoes.

There were plenty of strikes and spares.

We came home via the supermarket for some essentials for dinner. Once home, we made pasta from scratch. Everyone took part. Making the pasta dough. Rolling it through the Pasta machine. We had Pesto, Tomato Sauce and a bowl of Arugula/Rocket. AA cooked up some lovely vegetables and I made a massive Garlic Baguette.

While we were finishing off dinner, the boys played with their Lego. They finished off Smallest's Star Wars ship.

A lovely dinner was eaten and then when we cleared everything away, we sat and watched Lemony Snickett and ate Angel Delight, Jelly and Brownies.


Saturday, 26 January 2013

What does this shop smell of? Hippies!*

A day out for the girls and a day in for the boys was the order of today. Small asked for a croissant breakfast as Aunty A was here, though Huffle was wary of a chocolate spread fuelled pair of small boys to deal with all day.

Huffle and the boys drove AA and I to our local town where we got the bus to Downtown Toronto. The reason for our lift was because we were visiting the Steam Whistle Brewery and we knew you got a free bottle of beer plus a couple of samples on the way round, and the thought of visiting that old Judge again was not a friendly thought.

Small had a call from his friend Mac and he went and played there all day. Smallest and Huffle played Carcasonne, lots of snow games outside, Space Game and then they watched Vintage Videos of the kids when they were very small. Smallest thought it was very funny.

Carcasonne and Smallest

The girls at the station

AA and I had a lovely chat on the bus and then walked from the Bus Station to St Lawrence Market. We got to sample a gorgeous Brie, a spicy sausage, a pepperoni, pasta and a lovely sauce and some salsa. There were cakes bought for home and some fresh fruit for tomorrow's pancake breakfast. We had a good peruse around the market and purchased some Chocolate Mint fudge, which we nibbled on our walk to the Distillery District.

It was cold outside but very warm everywhere inside. We started with a coffee (not a very good coffee) and a sit and chat - we are very good at chatting.

AA proving a photo of barrels is much better if she is in it!

Downtown skyline

We visited our favourite shops, bought a few things, took a few photos and then went and had lunch. After lunch we walked to the brewery which was right over the other side of town. It was cold still and very slushy on the ground.

Buildings, trees
My favourite shiny gold building in Toronto

Is that the CN Tower poking out of our heads?

We got into the brewery and looked at the tour times. The girl behind the counter told us all the tours were fully booked for the day. Ooohhhhhhhhhhh! We were disappointed but at least we can do it another time. We got a free sample of beer which was nice, took a few more photos, watched people and decided on our next bus home.

We texted Huffle to let him know when we would be home and walked to the bus station.

The bus had really dirty windows so we couldn't see much. When it was time to get off the bus driver shouted out the name of the stop and we got up (we couldn't find the bell) and assumed he would know we wanted to get off at the next stop. Just in case he didn't, I said 'PING'. He looked round and said "did you want to get off?" ER YES! "Well you should ring the bell then!" BUT WE COULDN'T FIND THE BELL! Anyway, there was a man behind us and he didn't ring the bell either!

Huffle and Smallest were there waiting for us. We rang Mac's mum and told her we were on our way to pick up Small. We got him and all came home. Small had had a lovely time. Huffle and Smallest had had a lovely time. AA and I had had a lovely time too.

The boys watched TV. The grown ups had a meal thrown together and AA and I made a Beef Soup for Huffle for another day.

Once the boys were in bed we sat and played Scrabble and watched television while I soaked my feet in Epsom Salts. OUCH very hurty foot today.


* we walked into one of my favourite shops in the Distillery District and it smelled really sweet. I said "what does this shop smell of?" Aunty A said "Hippies!" Very funny. Very naughty!


Friday, 25 January 2013

Finders Keepers Weepers Heapers

It was a pyjama day today - up until 4pm that is! It was cold and it snowed all day. Only slowly, but it settled. It made the roads horribly slippy.

Snow Indicators

Aunty A and I built Smallest's bedside table. I taught her how to crochet (though I'm sure her mum taught her when she was younger as she already had the fundamentals). She crocheted a lovely 'string' and made it into a fashion cuff. Then made a start on her crochet bag - needs a bit of work yet. I nearly finished my wrist warmer, just the thumb to go.

We also unblocked the toilet. Poor Smallest went to the loo and ran out shouting "quick, its flooding, its flooding". The toilet water was very close to the top of the toilet. After searching high and low for the plunger, we plunged and cleaned and poked until it was clear. However it is still not right. maybe frozen somewhere. when Smallest went to clean his teeth before bed, he refused to go into that bathroom in case it flooded while he was in there. Silly Bear.

We had a visit from someone donating some jars for the Carnival. The boys played on the Wii and the computer. AA and I played a few hands of Monopoly Deal. We had dinner at lunchtime.

Eventually we got ourselves 'dressed' and took the boys to their swimming lessons. It was still snowing.

They had good lessons. Small swam lots and Smallest swam a whole length for the first time. Smallest's friend Bucket/Dunkin wasn't there so he had his lesson all by himself. Small has his lesson with two girls who are doing the next level up. It's nice that there aren't loads of kids in each class.

There was a 'Dad' sitting watching his daughter swim (in the same class as Small) and a small girl the other side of the pool shouting "I did it Dad, I did it. Did you see". No-one responded so we all looked round to see who she was shouting at. The man behind us (the only man in there) looked at us and said "she's not my daughter". We all laughed and said maybe he should just wave back. When she did it again he put his two thumbs up to her. It was very funny. But funnier still was the fact that her proper Dad came in. He was bald and had a smooth face. The person who she thought was her dad, had a thick head of hair and a huge beard!

We drove home. It was horrible and I hated it. We slid a bit but we got home safely.

Huffle was home and had made our dinner and we had a lovely pot of tea waiting for us. We all ate. The kids watched TV.



Thursday, 24 January 2013

Another Wipeout!

-15* (feels like -25*) with a NNW wind. Which actually means it is very cold as it touches your face! In fact AA and I both have face burn - yuk.

Smallest went to school in his new Elf top.

Huffle and the boys went off, though Smallest couldn't find his coat because he had left it in my car the day before. Suffice to say his coat was freezing cold after an overnight stay in the car. He also forgot his homework.

Aunty A and I were expecting snow again and were both disappointed to find none this morning. What would we do? Go snowboarding? Would it be too hard and icy? Go to the beach? Was the wind in the right direction? The sun was out and the sky was a beautiful blue but we could tell there was a slight wind. We had breakfast, skyped Moo (who had had more snow) and then got dressed in our snow gear and hit the slopes. The idea being that we checked it out first and if it was too cold/icy/windy/scary looking, we would head for the beach instead. We had packed a picnic and a flask and were ready for a day out (well up to 3:30pm anyway).

Well we are here now, we might as well stay

The slopes were completely empty and had just been pisted so it looked very inviting. We thought as we were there and dressed for it, we might as well have a go. We went and hired some boots for AA and paid for the 'Nursery Slopes' (the girls behind the desk laughed at us for saying Nursery instead of Beginner Hill - have they never been to Europe?).

AA trying not to hit the fence

My favourite photo of the day

Boots were tried on and tied by me. A small boy asked me if I could help him put his boots on (after he had seen me expertly tie AA's. I told him I didn't work there but he didn't seem phased). Off we went, walking like a couple of experts towards the magic carpet. AA said it made her car sick. Up we got, strapped on our bindings and AA stood up. I was about to give her some tips when the iciness of the slope and the wind whipped her away. All I heard was "how do I t................" as she disappeared down the hill and did an elegant twist and a fall on her bottom. But she got up and carried on until she fell again. Poor AA did a lot of falling down. She also did some really good boarding standing up, pointing in the right direction and ending at the bottom not always on her knees.

My feet and AA just getting up

We went up and down, avoiding the kids having their lessons, sometimes being completely on our own - my favourite time, but not AA's as she said later "I liked it better when the kids were there because then I had an excuse to stop and fall over in case I bumped into them!".

Yay - she's doing it

We stopped for lunch - a lovely toasted cheese and Arugula (rocket) bagel, Pringles and chocolate digestives. We saved the banana in case of times of trouble later (which didn't happen actually).

AA's favourite photo

The slope in the background is the one we aspire to do

We went back out. More car-sickness, more falling, more standing boarding. I lost my glove when I was taking a photo of AA and it blew away without me seeing. I had to board down the hill with my hand stuffed in my sleeve - I thought my fingers were going to snap off - IT WAS THAT COLD! Of course, we had to go back up to look for my glove as we couldn't have carried on without it. AA lent me her inside glove and we went back up. It was right over the far side of the hill about to fall over the side. Phew. We spent until 2pm ish and gave up due to me being too cold and AA having hurt her knee, ankle and hand. We really enjoyed it and I think I did better than I ever have. It was far too icy and hard and next time we will only go if it has snowed properly and it is thick and fluffy and like falling on to a cosy blanket.

We forgot our boards and had to go back for them. AA kept laughing at nothing (she was laughing at herself every time she remembered falling over). We came home, got warm, went back out and walked to the Beer Store to stock up on beer and wine. It was actually colder walking there than being on the slopes. That NNW wind was right in our faces. Not so bad coming home though.

When we got back in again we had showers. I didn't want to come out as it was so hot in there. All clean, we had a cup of tea, a biscuit, a couple of games of Monopoly Deal and the boys were home. Smallest went in the bath and Small played Monopoly Deal with us. Then the kids went on the Wii while we made pizza. Huffle came home.

We had dinner and then watched more of the film.

Tomorrow the boys are at home as it is a PA day. I am teaching AA how to crochet in front of the fire. We have have no intention of going out and getting cold unless it snows in the night and then we said we would play in the garden. AA needs her poor bruises to heal.