Saturday, 31 May 2014

What sort of a name is RHP?*

We had several interruptions during the night. Firstly there was a loud bang and I tapped Huffle and he went and looked followed by me (I was his backup just in case!) It wasn't the children, no pictures had fallen off the wall, the basement was still standing....... Next we were woken by a high pitched squealing noise, which after lots of investigation, ie Huffle, a wind up torch and the window, we wondered if it was a Raccoon issuing it's mating call. Bloody hell, mate on someone else driveway and perhaps at a more reasonable time!

This morning we had pancakes and left mid morning for Toronto for the Blue Jays Baseball game against Kansas City Royals. We had a good journey in and went straight to the ground where there was much entertainment set up outside for the kids. Both of ours got to pitch a ball to see if they could hit the glove, slugging practice with a floating ball and a speed gun assessed pitch of a ball (Snallest pitched at 22 and Small at 36). We all got tattooed and then the boys had caricatures drawn of them which were very funny and quickly drawn.

We went inside and the boys played the game they normally play where they drop a ball and win a prize (they won three money box hats and a water bottle between them). We had really good seats and the roof was open, with no-one in front of us but it was in direct sun and Smallest was too hot so we moved up and into the shade. We were high up but still had good seats with not many around us and the ability to move into the sun or shade as required.

It was a great game to start with and the Blue Jays were easily winning. The Kansas starting pitcher had such a bad start that they had to swap him very early. Huffle clapped him off sarcastically. But then the bluejays got so far ahead it started to get a bit slow and Smallest got a bit bored. There were quite a few toilet breaks and one check to see if the games were still on. The Blue Jays won 12-2 Whoppeeee - shame on you Kansas City and Dorothy!

We walked to the pizza place, picked our slices of pizza and drink and sat next to the harbour. It was so hot and very busy. After pizza we went for Gelato at our favourite ice cream shop and sat on the harbour again watching the boats.

We came home in the big heavy traffic, driving along with the non courteous muppets. We didn't get home till 7pm ish, the boys had a quick piece of toast and a bit of TV while Huffle and I had a lovely cup of tea on the porch. We are making the most of any time we get to sit and look at the garden and enjoy the wildlife visiting (but not those randy raccoons!).

I forgot to say how nice the Australian Dairy Milk was the other night. We both thought the taste far exceeded that of the Canadian chocolate and was very similar to UK chocolate but perhaps not as creamy. We are always willing to try chocolate from ANY country should anyone wish us to do a taste test in the future.

* on the scoreboard it said the pitchers name with the initials RHP next to his surname. I though it was his first name and said "what kind of a name is rhp?" I actually thought it was his initials until Huffle said "ha that means Right Handed Pitcher DOH!" OH SILLY ME!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Ping Pong Pandemonium

Huffle got up ridculously early and played 18 holes of golf at the local course very quickly - all before 9am. He had to stop half way through because of a skunk crossing his tee. I wonder which was stinkier?

The boys went to school on the bus this morning and I went off to knitting. RudeTrude had made the boys brownies because she missed them. We also had some brownies while we were knitting. There were only three of us today so plenty of knitting got done. I left, did a spot of shopping and came home and had lunch with Huffle outside on the front looking at our lovely garden.

Huffle got on with his work while I pottered around the garden. I planted onions, courgettes and moved a couple of lettuces, basil and rosemary into the herb garden and then knitted in the sunshine whilst waiting for the boys.

Look at the size of those Brownies!

Once the boys came home we had Friday mad swimming rush and Huffle went off to Springfest at the school. Once again, Huffle found complete disorganisation. No table, no one to help, no-one to tell him what they wanted him to do. Luckily he just found a table and got on with it. He stayed on it all the time by himself (including running another game) until we turned up at 7pm to help. It was a very very popular game and the school kids spent a lot of money on it. The prizes were sweets which cost nothing like the amount they were spending on the game - very silly!!

I watched the boys swim. Smallest had half a lesson and then the played water polo. He didn't pass his level 7 this time. Basically he can do all the strokes but he needs to be bigger, stronger and older. His teacher was still very impressed with him.

Small finished his Life Saving lesson and passed three badges due to the fact that he is a strong swimmer. His teacher said normally they would have to do the class three times, but she doesn't see the point when they know their stuff and they swim well. Unfortunately there are no classes available for him to do now until he is 12 so he may have to go into Swim Club for now. Still, he has the Summer to think about it.

We drove to school for the last hour of the Springfest, bought a slice of cold pizza each and I helped Huffle with the game while the boys ran off to find their friends. Small found his and went off to the laser tag and Smallest went on a pony ride with his friend and then watched a cow poo for Cow Patty Bingo!

Small briefly played at his friends house while Huffle and I packed away and then we all came home.



Thursday, 29 May 2014

......and a bird fell from the sky!

It was another warm day but not a lot of sunshine. Huffle went to work and the boys and I decided to bike to school. They carried their rucksacks on their backs and I had, in my basket, a football, a big lunch bag and two bicycle locks, plus my keys, phone and bike pump. They wanted me to carry their baseball gloves and balls too! It was a non-eventful cycle ride. I made sure their bikes were correctly locked up and left and cycled home, hoping they didn't forget and come home on the bus.

I had a leisurely breakfast and watched Fearne and...McBusted, folded washing, put more washing on and then went out and gardened. I created a Herb Garden next to the new path, had a break, a bit of knitting with a cup of tea and then I started on the other side of the path. Where we had turned the turf over and trod it in, there isn't a lot of grass left so I could just turn it over, mainly.

I had a visit from Drew who had a viewing of her house so had to get out again. It's funny but the Realtor here shows everyone around. The houses tend to be nicely staged and you get out of the way. That way the buyers can be honest I suppose and not have to pretend they love everything about your house because you are standing there. Plus the Realtor can lie - I'm not saying they do!!!!! Anyway we had a chat and I went and got myself some lunch which I ate on the porch.

I carried on gardening and popped to the Royals and stole some Chives and Mint and planted them in the new herb garden. Nice. Mr Royal was telling me he gets to drive again next week so he'll be out mowing soon.

I kept on gardening until LizzieDotDotskyped me - we hadn't talked for ages so it was nice to catch up, plus I got to see Bernard and Bomberdill. When it was time to get the boys, I cycled to school and was met by Smallest's teacher who informed me that a Grade 3 boy had grabbed Smallest by the back of his neck. She said the boy had been dealt with and there was an apology letter in Smallest's bag. oh Dear!! We cycled home and Smallest's friend came to play for an hour.

They played outside, they played on the wii, they had a muffin and I caught the boy looking through the kitchen drawers. I told him that was rude and he said he didn't do anything! While I sat outside a bird fell from the tree and died. I put it in a box full of leaves to keep it warm but it didn't make it. I told the boys not to touch it but of course Smallests friend had to tip the box. I told him he was to behave in my house and do as I said. He is a bit of a crazy boy! Never still for more than one second at a time. His Mum came to pick him up just as he was complaining that he wanted to be at his own house with Smallest there too. Small went off on his bike to his friends house where they were supposed to film their French play. Other members of their group didn't turn up so they filmed the 'bloopers' instead.

I did a bit of knitting and a bit more gardening and then Smallest and I painted the bird house we made.

Huffle came home and started on the BBQ while Smallest and I biked to pick up Alfie. We all had dinner outside and then moved in because the Mossies were biting. Showers were had, stories told and the boys went to bed. Huffle and I sat and ate Australian Dairy Milk watching TV. I will let you know Mrs Rumbleskins how it compares.



Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Paint the Field

A while ago, one of the Mums at school (also the Mum of the boys friends) asked if I could take our PingPong Jar game (that we introduced at the Hamlet's Heritage Festival) to the School's Springfest. We agreed to do it, though not be on the committee, but until late last night had heard nothing more. We assumed it wasn't needed! A late email confirmed we were needed but I said we couldn't make it. The boys have their last swimming lessons on Friday (which is when it is) and we don't get home until 7pm. The Springfest is 5pm till 8pm. Anyway, to cut a long and boring story very short, after lots of driving back and forth and phone calls and text messages, Huffle is going to run the game from 5pm and we are going to join him and take over from 7pm after swimming. Honestly, the committee is so disorganised. I was asked to join the committee but I declined!

Huffle went to work and the boys went to school. Today was warm bit dullish! I went off to my exercise class on my bike. It was very hot in the loft today and we struggled. I am expecting lots of aches tomorrow. I cycled home, got beckoned over by Drew and we walked back to our house. Her house is now on the market and all the Realtors were visiting today so she wanted to be out of the house. We walked around the garden and she told me which trees were which. There a few in the back garden that we really like and when we were cutting the trees and bushes down, we saved the ones we particularly liked. Apparently we have a good eye and we saved the right ones.

On the way past the field today and I noticed a load of painters

I had a tour around her house and we chatted. I came home and had lunch and watched the end of Happy Valley - oooh it's gruesome. I scared myself watching which is why I watch it in the day!!! I also did some knitting, a bit of tidying and some washing sorting. Then I mowed the grass. It was a bit wet so much harder to cut (even though I sit on the mower and don't do a lot). I only got stuck once and that was at the end of the garden. The boys came home while I was still mowing and I had to switch the mower off several times because they wanted to talk to me (it is vey noisy and you have to wear ear protectors).

Small's friend came to play and they played on the wii. Smallest rang his friend but he wasn't there so he played with the other two on the wii.

Huffle came home. After dinner Huffle and I raked the grass and the boys helped pick it up and wheel it to compost corner before playing on the Computer. Huffle and I created a new path.

Happy birthday to Lala beach elderflower meadow.




Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Whoops I fell in the toilet!

The boys went to bed almost naked, with one thin sheet covering them, their fans on and all the windows open. It was a humid night with no rain unfortunately. I had to wake Smallest up this morning in his tightly wound up sheet. After breakfast, while he was supposedly cleaning his teeth, we heard a scuffle and a screech and a HELP ME!. He always locks the door but luckily we can get in from the other side. He was lying on the floor, one leg raised and wet. His step (used to reach the sink) was inside the laundry basket. His comment was "I was walking and I fell in the toilet". REALLY? Just walking by and one leg fell in the toilet?

The boys went to school but nearly missed the bus as it came super early. Huffle stayed and worked from home. I went to the garden centre. It was really hot and humid again 27*. Today we worked in the vegetable garden and sowed carrots, beans and squash. We planted tomatoes, Quinoa (goodness knows how you harvest that?) and kale. We did a general bit of weeding and lots of watering. At coffee time we stopped for some of Jan's lovely brownies (which incidentally are nothing like the brownies we are familiar with - more like a rich chocolate truffle cake). It was MrsM's birthday too so we had a little cake for her.

More weeding, more watering and then I came home with three big buckets of woodchips, some lovely Virginian Bluebells and a few Corydalis. Huffle and I had lunch and I managed to plant out one grass before the thunder started and the rain came tumbling down. Boy did it rain. I have never ever seen splats as big as the ones today. They were bigger than a tennis ball!

During a small lull in the rain, I went off and did some food shopping, taking advantage of the fact that Huffle was home to see the boys off the bus. After shopping I drove home in the humidness (not really a word) and into the rain again. Everyone helped me with the shopping and the boys played on the IPads while I sat on the porch with my friend the Woodpecker, before making dinner.

After spaghetti bolognese, Huffle and I had a good look around the sunshiny (rain and storms gone) garden. So much is growing so quickly.

Huffle went out to meet the man who was integral in bringing us over here (though he no longer works for Huffle's company). I read to the boys and then watched TV whilst knitting and sewing badges on their swimming towels and cubs and beavers uniforms. Living the dream!

My Mother's Day rose is flowering


Monday, 26 May 2014

No Soggy Bottoms here!

27* - phew it was a warm one! All the boys went off to work and school and I drove off to The Faraway Garden and put in some hard work. Today the diggers were there, so the garden we were moving plants from is now a big hole! That means that from now on it will be just normal gardening, weeding, dividing etc. I moved a huge Clematis today and wound it around the trunk of a huge pine tree. I drove home in time to see Suffolk arriving with an armful for lunch and MrRoyalJnr driving a tactor up our drive carrying a bookshelf from Drew.

Suffolk and I had a lovely lunch of various salady things and fruit. We had a walk around the garden and then I showed her how to do free motion sewing. She had a go before running off to fetch her kids from school.

I started making dinner and skyped Moo. Once I had made my pastry I took Moo out on to the porch and we sat in the sun chatting and watching the woodpecker eat from the bird feeder. She stayed on long enough to see the boys get off the bus and say a quick hello.

Small had homework to do and Smallest played outside on the swing until they both played on the IPads.

Huffle came home and the boys had their quiche while ours was still cooking (no soggy bottom Moo!).

We all got on our bikes and cycled to Cubs, left Small there and cycled home. I stopped to chat with Drew and the boys came home.

It is 7:30 pm and the temperature is still a very warm 24*.


P.s. It was pointed out to me that I hadn't mentioned anything about Richard III. His bones were found in the city of Leicester (our hometown) and there has been debate over where he should be permanently kept. York wanted him because it was his birthplace and Leicester wanted him because it was his deathplace. Obviously he was found in Leicester and Leicester University did a lot of work proving it was him. Anyway, Leicester is the place he will now be buried in and Grandma tells me there will be a series of events marking the outcome. If I have any of this wrong please DO let me know.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Hot homework and bodging boxes

I managed to post the photos from yesterday onto yesterday's blog, thanks again to Blogsy (my blog writing app) for fixing the problem.

27* all day. Just lovely (if not a little bit humid). We all had a lie-in and Small made us scrambled egg on toast for breakfast. We spent most of the day in the garden playing American Football throw, Football, lots of Badminton and frisbee.

The boys got the hose out and sprayed each other and themselves until they were soaked to the skin and went in and got changed. Huffle and I got a bit of relaxing in whilst watching them fool around. I struggled a lot this morning with allergies, runny nose, running eye (just the one!). I ended up taking an allergy tablet and I think it made me a bit drowsy.

The tree picture does have a Cardinal sitting at the top!?

We had pizza for dinner at lunchtime, using the dough we made yesterday and sat in front of the other half of Jurassic Park 2 (I nearly fell asleep). I tried to knit but I ended up ripping it all out as I lost a stitch somewhere.

After the film, Small realised he had three lots of homework to do so he spent the afternoon revising for his science test, writing a new chapter for his story and doing a collage for his book. Smallest and I tried to build a bird house that Drew gave us. It was tricky and we bodged it together with glue. Now Smallest has to paint it (he wants to paint it blue). Drew also gave the boys two bags of books and they spent some time looking at them and Smallest and I did a crossword in one of them and reading a story about wasps. We have also learnt how to read the clouds!

Huffle mended the path I 'rearranged' on the mower and the boys played on the IPads once they had had their showers.

Nice one Huffle

Clean Geeks!

Huffle and I watered all the plants. The garden is looking beautiful and lots of plants are flowering or starting to.




Saturday, 24 May 2014

The camp was as big as Japan*

It was an early start for us all this morning. The boys were up at their usual 7am, followed by me at 7:30 in the shower and down making breakfast for Smallest and myself. Huffle was up not long after me, getting himself ready and making breakfast for himself and Small.

Smallest and I were out of the house by 8:30am and driving off to the Beaver Camp. My Sat Nav told us we would be there for 9:08 so Smallest kept an eye on it and we managed to shave off five whole minutes by going just over the speed limits when we weren't stuck behind Mr Careful or tractor! It was a funny journey. We had to park far away and then walk into the camp, where there were many Beavers (the children kind, not the buck toothed kind) and they all looked the same. Finding the right place to be was quite a challenge. Apparently we were told a number but I didn't know that. Luckily I found another woman who didn't know where she was going and she found another woman with a map. Smallest was installed safely with his Beaver leader who also offered to bring him home via a camping shop.

I drove on to my sewing shop where I had a quilting 'lesson', was given my pieces of fabric to enable me to make a panel involving Robins and appliqué (this should be interesting!). I left and drove home where I bumped into Huffle and Small who had also just arrived home. They had been to Mini Golf (Crazy Golf) where Small had managed three hole in ones and won. They also played in the batting cages. On the way home they popped into the Country market where they bought a Blue Jays tee shirt for me and a Montreal tee shirt for Small and a couple of chalkboard moustaches for the basement (well you have to don't you?).

We then drove to Whitevale for the Spring Fair. After parking the car, we walked down the bunting laden road and stopped for tea, two tiny sandwiches without crusts and a two biscuits. It was a mixture of Greek cakes and biscuits and British. I had shortbread, Huffle had a Scottish biscuit which was like a jammy dodger with icing and Small had Baclava which was a honey soaked cinnamon pastry.

We walked down the road, checking out the books on the way and bumping into some British neighbours. We looked at the far too warm sheep, briefly looked at the over expensive plants and stopped at the Eccentric Drum Bicycle. Small climbed aboard and played a few tunes and then Huffle joined him.

Next we played 'shoot the football', 'throw the baseball' and get the tennis ball through the hockey hole. Small also took part in the egg and spoon race and won a frisbee type thing. We had ice creams and tried to watch the cork duck race but it was so warm so we ended up slowly walking back up the hill. There was not as much there as in previous years so it was a bit disappointing.

A funny sign in the ice cream van - weed-end!!!

We came home, attached the sprinkler to the hose and Small ran through it to cool down. We used the hose on the football to try and score goals and the boys played football while I relaxed and knit. We Skyped Grandma and Grandad to boast about our glorious weather (finally) and Small and I played Connect Four and mastermind on the sunbeds in the dappled shade.

We put the bread machine on and made pizza dough and sat in the front garden and waited for Smallest to come home. Huffle sat and watched the end of the Champions League Match in the front garden on the IPad. Smallest's leader brought Smallest home and asked if he could go back to theirs for dinner. Then they came back about ten minutes later and asked if we all wanted to come back for a barbecue. We grabbed a few bits and walked to their house, Small biked.

The kids (they have a boy Smallest's age and two younger girls) all played outside and we chatted and drank beer and wine. We had a great time and the kids loved it. We finally left, walked home and got back about 9:30pm - the boys went straight to bed with orders not to get up too early!!!!!

*smallest told us the camp was so big! it was as big as Japan and he knew how big Japan was because they learnt about it in school!


Friday, 23 May 2014

Burn yer belly fat!

Huffle woke me as he got up for work. Then Smallest woke me to say he had had an accident "but I have no idea how it happened Mummy!" I got up and made breakfast and lunches and the boys were both ready for school by 8am (the bus doesn't come until 8:45/50). Of course they were very happy they were early as it meant more time playing on the IPad and computer.

Huffle went to work today and had a tough day and wasn't able to get back for swimming. I went off shopping for food and and then to knitting. There weren't many of us today so it was fairly quiet and we all got plenty done.

Suffolk and I went off for lunch, no messing around in silly Vegan places for us today, we went straight to the coffee shop and had a cup of soup, a toasted bagel and shared a pot of white tea. I read on the front of a magazine that White Tea can burn your belly fat which meant that we could have cake after too. We had a lovely lunch and a good chat and then went off to look in a few shops as Suffolk needed a present for back home. I bought Smallest a new clock for his bedroom as I promised him one but have not seen one I liked until today. I found the same magazine about tea and read the article. It seems you have to drink white tea twice a day for a month and you can burn two pounds off your belly! Wow, is it worth it? Still, it was a lovely tea.

By the time I drove home it was gone 3pm. I put the shopping away, sorted some washing and made a Macaroni Cheese for dinner. One big one for everyone and a small one for Smallest for after swimming. The boys had an ice pole, sorted their bags and then we were off again.

Smallest swam well though had a bit of trouble with his whip kick and breast stroke (though he hasn't got to be able to do breast stroke, just know how to do it). There is only one week of swimming left after this one. He ate his dinner while Small was swimming.

The blur is Smallest diving in - he did a belly flop and hurt his face!

Small in mid-jump

Small messed around a lot at swimming and I wasn't too happy with him. I blame his teacher too though as she seems to have no control over them and let's them mess about too much. I took my knitting and dropped one of my needles down the back of the seats. I had to crawl around on my hands and knees underneath to get it back.

Once home, Huffle had our dinner on the table for us - we were hungry. Small watered the plants for us and then it rained.

Lovely blossom on our Apple Tree

Thursday, 22 May 2014

My dog Red!

A nice long sleep, no wake ups, no roofers nailing at 7am. Huffle worked from home today and got some painting done in his lunch breaks -the stairs are coming along a treat, no dark colour there anymore. He used his long pole (oooh errrr).

The boys went to school after complaining about the suncream I made them wear, despite the fact it was really hot today (even though storms and rain was forecast!).

I went off early to my Faraway Garden. Today I worked by myself for two hours moving lillies, daffodils and tulips, geraniums and rudbeckia. It was hot work. I dug myself up a currant bush, a couple of small lilacs and a few other small things. As I was putting my tools away, Dora arrived and gave me a drink and showed me how the kitchen was coming along. Her daughter had bought me a present of some British Cup Cake cases and cake toppers. Very sweet. We walked around the garden for about an hour discussing what needed to be done, where everything was going and what was coming up.

I came home and had lunch with Huffle and then went out and planted my 'pickings'. Still no rain or storms and it stayed very warm for the rest of the day.

I was asked to take a picture of the whole garden but it's difficult to get in one shot!

The boys came home, showered, played, ate ice poles and complained because their friends couldn't come over. Tonight was the Spring Concert that Smallest was in so that meant early dinner and out of the house by 6ish.

The concert was 'interesting'. Small sat with us because he wasn't in it. Smallest sat in his classroom until it was his turn to sing. We were entertained by The Bucket Band (yes a band entirely made up of people banging buckets. The Kindergartens sang two songs - very sweet. There's was some folk dancing (ummmmmm). Smallest's class sang A Spoonful of Sugar which was the best thing about the whole evening (not biased at all!). A video of dancers to the music of Pharells 'Happy' and then the band playing three songs of which we only knew one - Thriller. The amount of cameras and video cameras was astounding. I wonder if the parents realise they are watching their darlings through their cameras instead of 'live".


Huffle edit - the 'band' reminded me of the school band in the Simpsons, bloody awful