Sunday, 30 June 2013

"We got no pudding!"

Last night whilst we were trying to find something to watch on TV we were searching across all of the rubbish channels and came across a programme called 'Big T**ty Librarians". We didn't watch it but the title did make us laugh. (I hope I don't get the wrong type of readers now - who knows what some people type in their search engines!!!). We gave up and played cards in the end.

Today was a beautiful day. After playing our new game UPSET (but not finishing it) we stayed by the pool all day.

We had lunch there. We swam, messed and played many many games including, Scrabble, Hangman, Stack 'em Up, and twelvty games of Mastermind. We taught Smallest how to play Mastermind - he was really good, surprisingly good. Smallest also coloured in his 'competition entry' from the festival yesterday and Small wrote in his journal.

We had an al fresco dinner and then did some gardening. Moo mowed until the cutters got all jammed with clumpy wet grass. Small cut back the lilac and then we took cuttings and planted them.

Smallest and Huffle cut the hedges and cedars back. I raked and weeded the veggie garden until I was bitten to shreds. Moo and Huffle swept, carried and cleared the cuttings. GOOD JOB EVERYONE.

Showers were had, games of table tennis were played until I slipped and fell. No injuries but it was dramatic. Moo put the boys to bed and read their stories. Small has a very very wobbly tooth but it still hasn't come out despite the fact we gave him corn on the cob (though I had to take the corn off for him).

Huffle, Moo and I played cards again. Huffle won last night. I'm sure it must be my turn to win though Moo would probably argue it was her turn.

Moo did her emails - sorry of she hasn't been replying, we are keeping her too busy. (Well that's what she asked me to say ha !).


Saturday, 29 June 2013

Strawberry Festival MkII

The Naked Chef made our breakfast this morning

It is Canada Day long weekend and to mark the beginning of the weekend, our local town has a Strawberry Festival. We went to this last year and all I remember was that is was very hot and there weren't many strawberries so I personally wasn't expecting a great deal.

There were many many people and a lot of them wearing red. To represent the strawberries or to commemorate Canada Day? The Main Street was blocked off and there were stalls lined the roads both sides. We had a lot of freebies given to us like toothbrushes, lollipops, freezies (ice poles), sweets, balloons, USB charger, ice cream and strawberry iced tea. Moo and I deliberately meandered along the stalls looking and occasionally buying whilst the boys walked ahead, stopping every now and then to let us catch them up. Huffle wore a bored and grumpy face for most of the day but thought he had 'done well' considering he was in a crowded place with lots of stalls. We just thought he was grumpy but still we had a good time.

The boys got to do some crafting, making strawberry fans, they made ice-cream, played a new game with the inventors, won a ruler, pencils (that I thought the lady said were made from recyclable Blue Jays but she really said blue jeans, phew!), a bag.

They got an hours free swimming at the leisure centre with a water slide that they loved. They went on a ride on the fair and looked very pale and we thought they might be sick but said "what can we go on now" as soon as they got off!

We had tea and biscuits in the cafe, ate freshly BBQ'd Sweetcorn, and finished with a lovely Ice-cream. We bought two great ornaments for the garden, Smallest got his birthday hat from Moo (a blue jays one), some jigsaw puzzles for Moo. Huffle and I sneaked to the Thrifty Store and bought a lovely bracelet for me and a shirt for Huffle and a shhhhhhh for Moo.

Moo and Smallest waiting

We spent all day there and found a cricket club that we can take the boys to during the Summer. They were originally a bit vague but when they saw the boys play, they said they definitely have good potential and to bring them along. Funnily enough, Huffle perked up as soon as he saw the Cricketers.

We came home, laden with bags and then went straight out again for dinner as we didn't have much in. We ended up in an Italian. Lovely.

While we were out and looking for a wine shop, we came across a Vintage Car Rally. We all had a look. Some of them were amazing. The engines were so clean and shiny.

We came home. Small's tooth has nearly fallen out and we had a right palaver with it. He said to me while I was helping him to clean it (because it hurt too much for him to do it) "if you knock it out I will be both angry and happy". Silly Billy. It wasn't quite ready to come out, maybe tomorrow.

Our new duck and snail in place among our lovely plants.


Friday, 28 June 2013

A slightly damp day

Day one of the Boys Summer Holidays. A grey start which got considerably wetter as the day went on. Possibly a few rumbles early on culminating in us being stuck in a Chinese Mall (very scary) whilst cars were aquaplaning and people were wading up to their knees. The only reason we were in the Chinese Mall was because Smallest needed new passport photos and Huffle sent us there. It rained heavily as we got there and I sent Moo and Smallest with an umbrella while Small and I ran behind. We wandered around the Mall looking for the photo man, passing noodles, Chinese delicacies and what Small called Dead Rats (they were goose I think but I know what he meant). Moo found a new friend in a lady that insisted on talking to her (we don't know about what!). Smallest complained because the smell was making him feel sick and although we were all hungry, no-one wanted to eat there. Photos were done, printed and paid for and we went out to be greeted by such heavy rainfall in a car park that clearly had no drainage. We bumped into MasterM (from Taekwondo) and we chatted to him whilst making a plan of how we were going to get to our car. We ended up taking off our shoes and paddling. Moo and the boys chose a better way than I, as I ended up wading to half way up my calves and stepping on things I couldn't see. Possibly the rats they were cooking inside!!!!! Smallest said he never ever wanted to go there again.

Next stop was a bigger Mall where we ran inside but were so wet we had to buy the boys a whole new outfit each.

Moo and I made do though she did buy us some tops to wear on Canada Day this Monday. We had some food once we had dried a bit. Then we went in search of ice-creams to take home. We drove home.

We had been in Lids (hat shop) and came out. Smallest stayed behind and decided to be a shop dummy. He is a Wally.

The boys played in their rooms, wrote in their journals and blogged. Moo and I did some more jigsaw, played games with the boys. At one point we had junior scrabble and normal scrabble going at the same time - it got a little confusing.

Huffle had not had a great day at work so came home a little bit early and helped us with the jigsaw. Tonight we have had a few games of Table Tennis and are sitting down with a bottle of wine and a game of cards. Am sure I will win!

A photo I missed yesterday of cricketing Moo. Good job!

A photo from Aunty A at Glastonbury. Hoping to see more. Moo and I were listening to Glastonbury on the Radio this morning. Love it.


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Ronnie comes for lunch

Smallest bought his school report home a few days ago (Bad Mother forgot to blog about it!!). His is marked in a different way to Smalls and he got mainly 'Beyond Expected Level' and 'Expected Level' - he has done brilliantly and is definitely ready for Grade One. We are very pleased with both boys performances at school. We think they have settled wonderfully in school and life here.

This morning was a rush. Treats for Hickory the Bus Driver and a card written. Reports signed and packed away in bags. Swimming shorts and towel for Smallest's wet play day. Moo and I finished the puzzle (though we didn't really have time) and then hurriedly got ready for last assembley at school. Small told us it might go on until lunchtime - it didn't, but it was long. Moo went out to put some washing on the line and bumped into a Chipmunk. Apparently (so Moo says) they both stood there looking at each other, then the Chipmunk wagged his tail at her, she said Good Morning and it ran away.

First we piled into the Gym and watched all the kids coming in and sitting down. Then the Principal talked about how well the school was doing. The volunteers (me) got called up and were presented with a mug with the schools name on it and a voucher for Tim Hortons. All the extra curricular activities like TaeKwonDo, Dancing, Reading Buddies, Dance etc all got a round of applause. Then they said goodbye to the teachers who were leaving. Next came a slide show lasting half an hour, which was lots of photos of all the students throughout the year. We then did a 'clap out' where everyone except Grade 8 students lined the corridor and clapped as the Grade 8's left the building for the last time before going up to High School.

The volunteers were then asked to go to the library where we had drinks and nibbles including a yummy cake. Moo made me go in and be sociable and I tried very hard. Smallest's teacher came up to talk to us, she told us how wonderful Smallest was. She said there were three kids who all excelled and she thought they would form a nice group together next term. She also said it was nice getting to know Small who was involved in Reading Buddies with her. I spoke to a couple of the Mum's I knew, ate some cake and then Moo and I came away with the intention of going for a walk along the Seaton Trail.

When we got there though it was starting to get humid again and the ground was wet. There were mosquitoes everywhere and they started to bite so we turned around and went across the road to the forest walk instead. The ground there though was muddy so we went to the cafe, picked up some lunch and headed for the Nature Beach.

We walked along the trail, narrowly missed some senior cyclists and finally got to a bit where we could get on to the beach. There was a log placed just right and we sat on it and watched the lake. It was really misty and we couldn't see far. We collected a few stones, ate our picnic and then we had a surprise guest.

A Raccoon peeped his snout out and bold as you like, walked over to our log where our blanket and water was. I told Moo to move as I wasn't sure what he would do. He moved along the log to the water bottle, picked it up with his opposable thumbs and tried to get the top off. I got a stick and waved it at him whilst telling him to please put the bottle down. He didn't of course, but he dropped it and moved away eventually and crawled back to his hideout. Cheeky thing! We continued to walk along the beach ducking under trees, climbing over fallen tree trunks until we couldn't walk anymore because we were blocked by a big tree. We turned back and walked the other way until we came to a house whose garden went right to the beach but was built up with large concrete blocks.


Moo is an Aquarian - she never does as she is told!

We decided to walk, jump and hop along the rocks. It was very adventurous of us and we only stopped because a tree was in the way (which I did try to climb) and it was too high up to get to the beach the other side.

While we were there we saw some tiny baby Beavers, but they weren't close enough to photograph. We climbed the concrete blocks up to the wilderness ahead and walked back to the trail. We carried on walking and saw some Yellow Finch, heard the chickadees and watched a yacht (wondering if it was looking for Moo). We stopped at the top of the hill and had a Date Square (until I realised it had Cinnamon on and gave it up).

Then we walked back down to the car, had a quick look at the beach, yacht and a speedboat and drove home.

Once home, we turned off the aircon because it felt really cold in the house, put the jigsaw away and started another one. Then the boys came home - SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER! They both wanted to go in the pool so we all went up. The boys played in the pool and Moo and I blogged, read, crossworded and fought off the mosquitoes.

We ate outside for dinner when Huffle got home. Then we had a game of cricket but the mosquitoes finally got the better of us and. Escaped inside for jigsaw, showers, TV and table tennis.

Moo is very happy to have seen a waggy chipmunk, a thieving raccoon, two baby beavers and we thought we heard a Moose or a Bear! Not bad for a visiting English Lady eh? good Job!


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Hickory drives the bus

Huffle went off to work, feeling much better and Small went off to school armed with treats (flapjack made with Golden Syrup - a rarity) for himself and his 'reading buddy', who is a five year old kindergarten boy who Small helps to read, write and do simple maths. He also took a tin full of flapjack for his class 'pot luck' where every one in the class takes in something different and they share it all out. His teachers were given thank you loaves of ginger and banana and chocolate with handwritten cards from Small. To the one teacher he doesn't like, he wrote, Thanks, Small. To his other ones he wrote "thank you for teaching me and being nice". We forgot to send in something for the bus driver and I asked Smallest this morning what her name was. He said he didn't know, then he thought about it, then he said I think it's Hickory! Hickory? He meant Hilary.

I went off to work leaving Smallest and Moo at home changing beds, washing, playing football and catch and Pokemon Yahtzee. At the Nursery I thinned carrots and parsnips, planted Courgette and Yellow Beans and Cucumber, tied tomatoes and beans and generally weeded and swept.

MrsM is off on her UK GardenTour tomorrow which she does every year. She takes a coach load of people from here to the UK visiting gardens. She is hoping that Princess Kate has her baby while they are there. I came home with three lettuces, green onions and Italian Parsley and some yellow beans to plant. I made Moo and I a salad from my earnings and we sat outside on the porch playing Scrabble. Smallest watched TV.

Moo skyped BadmintonBabe while Smallest and I went off to the pool. Moo joined us. It was very hot again 30*. We played many games in the pool and then Moo and I sat in the shade to carry on our game of scrabble.

Small came home. He brought his report home. All A's and B's. Clever Boy. He said his 'reading buddy' didn't like his treat but that the teachers were happy with theirs! The water play wasn't so great which is probably why he jumped into the pool as soon as he got back.

I made Turkey Meatballs for the boys (not Huffle as he had been taken out by an Insurer at lunchtime) and BeetBalls for Moo and I.

Huffle came home and we ate. Then we all jumped back in the pool. Ahhhhhhhh lovely. We sat on the deck and made up stories all saying just one word. Very silly. All had showers, the boys went to bed. Small started a new Harry Potter book (5). That means we have another film to watch (4).


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Don't mow us down!

I woke up and the rain started. Really heavy rain. Huffle worked from home today as he had a dodgy tummy. I had one the other day. Smallest had one last night. Everyone else is fine so I don't think it is something we have eaten.

Small went off to school and was excited about his trip. He went to Torronto to a film studio to take part in Stop start Animation (a bit like Wallace and Gromit). Smallest went to school in his shorts and Wellies.

The temperature had dramatically dropped this morning so we turned the aircon off. As a precaution against bugs, Moo and I started throroughly cleaning the kitchen before we set about baking. We made flapjack for the boys to take to school for their pot luck day (everyone takes in a different thing to eat and share) plus a treat for them and their 'reading buddies'. Then we made Chocolate Banana Loaves and Ginger Muffin Loaves for the teachers end of term presents to say thank you. They came out amazing and of course we had to try them before we gave them away.

Once we had cleared away, we went out to Unionville. A lovely quaint Heritage Village surrounded by overgrown suburbia. The weather was humid again with threatening rain and storms but we had a nice walk past the shops and around and about and into the nature park. We played a couple of games of Pooh Sticks, photographed the Dragon flies and narrowly escaped two tractor mowers.

We looked at the park, took photos, watched a wedding procession and had a quick bagel and a drink.

Then we came home just before it started raining. The aircon was back on and it was quite humid again. Poor Huffle hadn't had a great day, working from home whilst still feeling poorly, so Moo bought him a present to cheer him up (a bottle of Stewarts Cream Soda). We got presents too. Some salt water taffy for the boys and fudge for me. All from the Old Fire Hall Confectionary. Ummm ummm

Moo and I made dinner. We played a couple of games with the kids and then table tennis. Moo and I have nealy finished the jigsaw - this is a hard one.



Monday, 24 June 2013

Lots of rumbles

The aircon made sleeping much easier. It was lovely, although Moo was in the loft with no air conditioning. We opened the windows up there and put the fan on as she didn't want to leave her lovely room. It must have been like a sauna all with all that hot wood!

Huffle and Small went off to work/school. Smallest played on the computer while Moo and I had showers and got ready for shopping. We needed food, birthday cards, stamps and lunch boxes. We found everything except for the ice cream we promised Smallest (it was very hot again but the shop was closed). We came home, put the shopping away, had lunch, skyped LizzieDotDot and then went up to the pool. Smallest jumped in and Moo and I carried on our Scrabble game from lunchtime.

There were a few rumbles of thunder, then more and then the clouds started getting greyer, so we abandoned the pool, after our ice creams, and came inside. Smallest played in his room, Moo and I continued Scrabble. After about half an hour we stood outside and listened - no rumbles. So we moved back up to the pool.

Scrabble board went up, towels, hats, suncream etc. We weren't there more than ten minutes and the rumbles started again and the clouds turned grey and threatening. We let Smallest swim for a small amount of time and then we all went in again. Once more we stood outside, listened, took everything back up and once again we had to move because of the rumbles and clouds. Moo knocked the scrabble tiles over and we temporarily lost five tiles under the deck of the pool. Moo managed to retrieve them all after a while and also as a bonus found my missing blue bracelet. Hurrah!

Smallest came home. We did all go out again.

It was very strange. All the clouds had disappeared but it was still very humid. We stayed up by the pool till dinner time. I went in and made dinner. The boys had a fight. They were both grumpy. Huffle came home and we all had dinner. The boys had showers while Huffle and I went for a swim then Moo and I sat in the sunshine (no longer humid but still very hot at 7:30pm) while Huffle watered the wilting plants.

We played table tennis, then cards.

Get well soon Grandma with your properly broken ankle - how did the hospital get it sooo wrong? Thanks to Aunt Pear for letting us know.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Feeling hot hot hot!

In the night it rained and rained and rained. It didn't make the humidity any less though. First order of the day, after breakfast, was sorting the pool. We vacuumed, backwashed, rinsed and filled the pool. It was beautifully sparkly and very tempting to just jump in. Small finished his homework. Huffle and I skyped Aunty Miaow and Grandma. We sorted out a schedule for Aunty Miaow and Uncle Tuc's visit (I can't tell you what it is as Aunty A might get upset!) and checked on Grandmas progress.

We all went up to the pool. It was so hot (not the pool though, that was a welcoming cool). We were all in and out, reading, eating, drinking. We had lunch up there and then Small went off to his party and Huffle went for wine and water softener salt. When he got back he said Smallest could go to the party too if he wanted. He did of course, so Huffle took him too.

We had more sunning, relaxing, peace and quiet and a whole afternoon to ourselves. The temperature got to 24* in the pool and a whopping 30* outside. Though the humidity was very high and it felt much warmer. Almost unbearable in the sun and just okay in the shade.

We gave in at 5pm and put the BBQ on for dinner. We had Tilapia which Moo ate for the first time and Salmon Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries. Huffle went to get the boys who had had a fabulous wet and muddy time. Small caught a fish but Huffle made him put it back as it was a river minnow and would not have liked living in a bowl!

The boys had showers and watched TV before bed. We put the air conditioning on and closed all the doors and windows. We played Table Tennis - the basement was lovely and cool but when you moved further up the house it starts getting very hot. Outside is still hot (8pm).

Earlier we left the hose filling the pool up, but forgot so it is now overflowing, whoops! While Huffle and I were outside we heard a few rumbles of thunder. Oh dear!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Let's go Blue Jays

This morning we all got up, got showered and changed and were out of the house by 9:30am.

Our lovely yellow rose flowering

Today we went to Toronto for a baseball game. It was a cloudy but a warm start with high humidity. On the way it rained and the closer we got to Toronto, the more it rained and the darker the clouds got. We tried our normal car park but the price was double what it normally was, so we made for another one that was a much better price.

We walked towards the waterfront looking for somewhere to have breakfast/brunch and decided on a place we have been to before. We sat looking at the harbour watching the boats come and go. Everyone except Smallest had Waffles which were amazingly yummy.

Smallest had eggs, bacon and homefries. While we were eating it rained very very heavily. We wondered whether the Rogers Centre would have the roof open. Originally we were worried we would be too hot and exposed to the sun but because of the unpredictability of the weather (30% chance of storms have been forecast for the whole week) the roof was actually closed and it was nice and cool in there.

After brunch we walked along the harbour. It was Waterfront Festival and lots of tall ships were there. The rain had stopped and we walked slowly towards the Rogers Centre.

This trip was Moo's choice. We asked her if she wanted to go to the Market or the Baseball and she chose the baseball. Huffle told us it was a bit like cricket, which worried us a bit as we find cricket boring. Today was Junior Baseball which meant there was much more going on for the kids. Entertainers, music, free ice cream, at the end they get to run around the bases (forgive me if I get my baseball terms wrong, I am a Rounders player!). We walked around the stadium and in for ice-cream with a wooden spoon. I can't eat off a wooden spoon, I can hardly touch them, they make me go all funny in a bad way! It sets my teeth on edge. I used my lid to scoop it out.

The boys played a game of throwing a ball and they won a prize. Small got some binoculars and Smallest got a tee-shirt (he was very pleased though it was a little big). We also found some silly photo boards and the boys got tattoos.

We got to look at the pitch from a lower vantage point before we made our way to our seats in the top of the stadium.

It was very high but we could see perfectly (not faces but the big screen helped us out). We sat in a row. Huffle at one end telling us what was happening and answering our questions, the kids in between us and me and Moo at the end. I relayed any information to Moo. It was brilliant. Much better than cricket. Much more exciting. I think we understood what was going on. It seemed a very social gathering. Lots of comings and goings, lots of beer being drunk but not drunken bums all over the place. My favourite player of the day was Kawasaki. I liked the fact he bowed when he caught a ball and that whenever anything was going on, he seemed to be in the thick of it. My favourite Baltimore player was Taylor Teagarden for his eccentric name.

Moo loved it and would go again anytime. The kids loved it too and they behaved wonderfully (partly helped by the bag of sweets we brought with us). They loved the Mexican waves which happened a lot and the hooting and clapping. We won (see its my team now!). On the outside of the stadium they were giving away 'Spitz' cracked pepper sunflower seeds. We had them before and hated them. We didn't realise you had to shell them. I picked some up, then Huffle and then Moo picked up some twice. We had loads. Moo tried them in the stadium and didn't like them. Then I saw someone shelling them and we tried them. Nice. Moo couldn't be bothered to shell them but Smallest loved it. It looked like a load of mice were sitting where he had been, there were shells everywhere.

As we were coming out, Small got hit on the back of the head when someone fell on him and then he got hit by someone's elbow accidentally too. He was in tears but we stopped to look out the window for a while till it calmed a bit. We didn't seem as high up as we thought but I think the pitch is below ground. Coming down the Ramps on the way out, it was very noisy, lots of people, mainly shouting. Once outside we realised it had rained again and we had missed it. It was a beautiful day and we walked to the pizza place, grabbed a few slices and headed for the front. We ate whilst watching the boats again and sunning ourselves. We were inadvertently sitting in a queue (though we were the first there) for a shuttle boat and people sat very close and asked us if it was the queue until we ran away and went to get an ice-cream (whoops another one, well the first one was a freebie!). The smallest ice cream they did was a two scooper, not huge but very very yummy. Gelato! We walked back to the harbour and slowly walked along the waterfront. We listened to people singing, the boys went in the stocks and we took silly photos. It was a great day and we were very lucky with the weather.

We had a good drive home (the boys played on their DS'). A bit of TV once home and then bed. Moo did some jigsaw and we all played table tennis.