Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Garlic Slipper

All the noise that occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning was in fact an accident, just doors away from us, into a telegraph pole. Ahhh that explains it all now.

The boys went off to school in fleeces today (still with shorts on though) as it started out quite cool but the sun was really hot late afternoon and early evening. Grandad went into the garden and painted his pallets, mended Frank III's cat flap (it wasn't a cat flap really just a piece of flappy wood on the big gate, strimmed around the mail box and Jungle Gym and mowed the grass. Huffle worked, took calls and occasionally checked on Grandad's progress and helped when required. Grandma rested her back and helped with the washing.

I went to aerobics and took MrsRoyal with me. It was a good workout today (well it always is really especially when ExcerciseNic reads this ;). When I got back and showered, I did three loads of washing and put most of it of the line to dry once the sun came out. I also made three jellies for Small's birthday tomorrow.

After lunch and a FaceTime with Moo, Grandad and I went to Suffolks house and picked up four slabs and then went to Quiches (Grandad's friend) place of work to fetch two pallets. He gave us a tour around his cabinetry making and we had a long chat. Grandad is going out with him next Friday and I persuaded Quiche to keep him overnight so we don't have to deal with his silliness the next day - ha good thinking - that's got to be a brownie point from Grandma surely!

Quiche's number plate.

We popped into a supermarket on the way home and picked up provisions for Small's cake which I am now making tomorrow. Grandad didn't come in with me as he needed to get some money and when I came out he was missing. I looked around and saw a Beer Store and guessed that's where he was hiding - he was!

We came home and Huffle and Grandad emptied the car and Grandma and I made dinner. Just an eat up and heat up tonight as Smallest had his first basketball session. I dropped the Garlic Aioli all over my slipper (I think Grandad wished it to happen as he doesn't like it - Bad Grandad).

Basketball was excellent and Grandad, Huffle and I were suitably entertained and impressed by the coach. He quickly established some ground rules and some whistle rules and didn't take any nonsense, despite the fact that the were kids who did not listen! Smallest really enjoyed it and when I told the coach that Small had broken his finger and would be away for three to four weeks, he told me to bring him along and he would find things for him to do with his other hand.

Back home, kids to bed, pot of tea and the Great British Bake Off. Lovely.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Tool Drool

Everyone got up early in order to get to the Achievement Assembly today. In fact, although we waited until the kids had got on the bus, we were still at the school earlier than most of the kids. In the gym there were only two rows of chairs so we knew that there wasn't going to be too many awards handed out. Small received his award for 'responsibility' and he mainly hid his face behind his award so I couldn't take a photo of him, the little monkey! We took up half of the front row. Today's Assembly was 'Orange Shirts' and was regarding the aboriginal Residential schooling. Apparently the First Nations children's were sent to a residential school where they were not treated too well and were regarded as second class citizens. Later I was told (by a Canadian) that really the schools were run by nuns who knew no better and tried to teach the 'heathens' more Christianity because they knew no better. Basically they were treated no better or worse than any other country who has native people whether that is wrong or right and only now are they trying to make it right by educating the present children and counselling the affected adults. Anyway, there was a video by a man who was very boring with a monotone voice. My mind was wandering so how they expected the kids to listen and understand is beyond me!

My Responsible Cheeky Monkey

As soon as we got back, I rushed off to work. I was about to get a call from MrsM to tell me to come for coffee even if I couldn't manage the rest of the morning, which is nice. Jeff was there today and we spent our time in the greenhouse taking cuttings of Salvia and Pelargoniums. I came home with three Begonias as house plants and a Monarda which is a brand new one. We like these as the Hummingbirds feed from them.

The boys Squash Garden and some squash bigger than my feet plus one of their prize Dahlias
Two little tree frogs and a dinosaur bug

Back home we all and lunch. Grandad had been busy cutting and painting pallets, Grandma had been making Apple Pie and preparing veggies for dinner and Huffle had been working and keeping Grandma company. I took Grandad back to work and we picked up some pallets and brought them home and put them in the barn to dry out. I took Grandad to Home Depot and watched him drool over all the tools (it reminded me of Homer Simpson and his doughnuts). We bought more paint, handles, brackets and tried to find hose attachments (but were unsuccessful this time).

On the way home we picked up some wine and cider. The boys were home and Smallest was busy doing his homework. Small played on his tablet and Wii and Grandma was busy making dinner which was lovely and we had apple crumble made from our pickings at the weekend.

Tonight's sky.



Monday, 28 September 2015

In the style of Bob Lawson

After the kids went to school, we left Grandad with a few jobs and Huffle working and Grandma and I went shopping for Small's birthday. We went to the Mall first and picked up a couple of Wii U games, plus we learnt all about them and how they work and were baffled by science for a while. We had to pick one of the games up across the road so we did that later.

We wandered around a couple of shops and bought most things off our list. We have a plan for Snall's birthday cake that involves a lot of M&M's so we spent a while trying to pick out a good array of colours from Bulk Barn. One other thing we were looking for was a Quilt cover for Small's bed (now we are in Autumn) and this we had a lot of trouble over. In the UK we call it a duvet or quilt and we cover the duvet with a washable cover. Makes sense to me. One shop we went into I asked for Quilt Covers or Duvet Covers. We were told that they didn't do Quilt covers but they did do Duvet covers. I asked what the different was and she said "quilts are what the British have on their beds". I told her we were British and said that quilts and duvets were the same. She shook her head as if we were wrong (how rude) and then told me that Canadian kids didn't really have duvets, just comforters. That doesn't sound right. Surely kids' stuff needs washing more!!!

We had a quick trip to a thrifty shop but we didn't like the smell of it or what was in it and made a hasty retreat. There was food shopping to do so we did that next. At the cashier I asked if they had any nought percent milk. She looked at me and said she didn't know as she had only just started her shift. I asked if she could check but she couldn't understand me and the lady in front translated for me. Apparently I should have asked for skimmed milk but I thought it was all percentages!! She called the dairy department but no one answered and we got bored waiting so we left it.

We came home as we realised we hadn't had lunch and were in desperate need of a cup of tea. Grandad had put up Smallest's two bird boxes, rescued Huffles drill bit from a log (don't ask!), tidied the barn, tried to mend Huffle's industrial stapler, painted some pallets and spent a long time in his 'storage unit' sorting.

Smallest had his piano lesson but Small didn't as his teacher thinks it's a waste of time until his finger is better. Tonight the boys went to Scouts and Cubs. Both were in the same hall even though Smallest should have been hiking but I think there was a problem with a lack of leaders.

Grandad and Smallest's routine they do all the time



Sunday, 27 September 2015

Doo doo's and Benidorf!

A nice sleep for all and a good lie-in without any interruptions.

After breakfast, we left the boys with Grandma, and Huffle and I took Grandad to the Country Market. He likes it there because he likes to see the characters and all the tools and different objects for sale. We picked up a few things and came back with a Streudal for dinner.

This woman sat on a sofa which was for sale with a hat perched on her had. Grandad thought she was a cut out!

We had some lunch and then we went to a local farm where we got to pick our own apples and eat a few just to try.

Grandad was scrumping
We picked Courtland cooking apples and Macintosh for eating

There was a game which we played trying to throw Corn and Pumpkins into baskets and then we went on a wagon ride around the farm. We thought we were just going for a ride but we had a tour guide who told us what the fruit trees were, that there was a brown bear in the woods that they fed and the dates the various farm buildings went back to. It was quite interesting.

Grandad found his lovely tractors to sit on - he even tried to start one because it had the battery attached

We finished with a huge ice cream and a sit in the pumpkins whilst listening to a really good band.

Our tractor ride
Huffle bought a Rhubarb and Strawberry Pi which had just come out of the oven much to the envy of the rest of the queue

A change back home for the boys and then off to Football trials for both of them. Smallest knew the drill as he did this last week and we briefly spoke to Small's coach to tell him about Small's broken finger and the fact he wasn't allowed to do any contact sport. The coach knew him from Indoor last year anyway so he basically knew what he was capable of. They both did really well and we now have to wait for an email telling us what will happen next. They had more players than they needed so we will wait and see. Small was disappointed not to play in the final game but he had already fallen once and put his hands down, it would be silly if he injured it further. Smallest's coach gave me a Leicester City Top from his storage container that he bought. I am lucky girl.

When we got home we quickly made dinner, the boys had their showers and we ate.

HB received her socks and she is displaying them for me here. She loves them and they fit a treat (thank goodness). Shame they took me so long.



Saturday, 26 September 2015

Everyone in the Yellow box!*

Poor poor Grandma. She has to sleep next to the loudest buzz saw in the world. We could hear it from our bedroom and Grandad is above and over the other side of the house. Poor Grandma.

Saturday 7am - a time for snoozing, relaxing in bed, not getting up until you really have to. The Hamlet had others ideas for us today. The kids got up, Grandma got up. A lorry dropped off some very noisy things across the road. A neighbour was picked up and had to have the obligatory noisy chat before they drove off. The Canada Geese were practicing their maneuvers overhead and someone was shooting (hopefully not the geese). There was a chain saw, dog barking, crows cawing and all that was between 7am and 7:30am - aaarrrrgggghhhhhh.

Huffle wanted us all ready to go by 9:40 for us to get the bus to Toronto for a Blue Jays Game against the Stinky Tampa Bay Rays. We were early and got to the bus station in plenty of time. Grandad decided against wearing his smelly shoes (I don't know why, surely it wasn't the fact that I sprayed his shoes and his feet with fabreze and left the talcum powder next to him at breakfast). Huffle also packed our bag for the day and while he was in the pantry a box of Cornflour fell on his head. He had a lovely white blob on his head (he tried to keep it a secret but Grandad told me).

The bus was packed full and we were lucky to get on at the first stop (no-one else on). Sometime later, we arrived in Toronto and headed for the Gelato Shop. Between us we had the following flavours:- stratiatella, key lime pie, butter pecan, chocolate, peach yoghurt. We sat Grandma and Grandad on the big red Adirondack chairs while the boys and I played on the wave bridge.

Toronto prom

Grandad took a liking to the cat and dog statues.

On the way to the stadium, Grandad was up front of everyone else and Smallest asked him why. Grandad told him he was in training do his walking football back home. Grandad told him to call him Speedy Gonzalez. Smallest apparently looked at him and said "in your dreams". Inside the stadium, the boys did their games and won a placemat and a water bottle, Huffle, Grandad and I signed up as designated drivers (to enter to win a lawnmower - we didn't though which is probably good because you can't take a lawnmower on a busy bus), and we found our seats. Today we were up high in the nose bleed seats but the roof was open and we were sat in the shade for the entire game which was a little cool but we saw a few people who had sunburn!!!!

When we arrived we were given 'Rally Towels' in fact we all had one. I thought they were cloths for cleaning but it seems they were for 'rallying the team'. It was a fabulous spectacle when the whole stadium waved their rally towels. Grandma was quite British with hers and just waggled it slightly. She also said 'gosh' when one of the Blue Jays missed a catch. One of the funniest moments was us all waving our 'rally towels' to the tune of Ra Ra Rasputin.

The final score was 10-8 and we had 4 home runs - it was very exciting and enjoyable. Smallest didn't get bored today, though we did have a small break to play his game again and he won a key ring which is what he wanted. He also had a play book and crayons with various things to do in it. We had a bag full of goodies to eat which we dipped into at regular intervals as we missed our lunch.

For dinner we went to a new restaurant we haven't been to before and we probably won't go back. Smallest had a margarita pizza (which our waitress recommended), I had Arancia Risotto Balls in a spicy tomato sauce with salad, Huffle had pasta, Grandma had Lamb with Farro and Grandad had Berkshire Pork. Smallest couldn't eat his pizza as it was too spicy and when Huffle told the waitress she said "no one has ever complained before and kids eat it all the time. It is not spicy, maybe there is a bit of pepper on it". I tried it and told her it was definitely spicy, in fact it was hotter than my advertised spicy sauce. She said she would look into it and came back several times to fill water and take away plates without saying anything. We just got more annoyed. Huffle gave Smallest his dinner and Huffle tried to eat the pizza but couldn't finish it. The waitress came back and told us she was giving Smallest a dessert for free as she knew he didn't like his pizza and asked if we all wanted to see the dessert menu. We told her none of us wanted dessert and we didn't want Smallest to have any either and she went off to get the bill. Huffle was ready to give her NO TIP until she told us she had taken the pizza off as it did appear that the kitchen had used a hot sauce instead of the regular sauce!!!! Oh dear!!

We walked back to the bus and through the throng of Hockey supporters. The city was full of Blue Jays, Maple Leafs and the Toronto Football Club supporters. Eventually we got on our bus to come back home. Small and Grandma played 'Who am I?', Grandad and Smallest also played and we heard Smallest say that Grandad was Red Rump - funny! The sky was amazing as the sun was going down.

*the bus depot steward asked us all to move forward in our queue for the bus and said "please step up to the yellow box". Of course, we were being silly and we tried to all get in it (except that it was occupied by a Chinese man).



Friday, 25 September 2015

We had a Bernard worked for us!

Grandma had trouble sleeping because Grandad snored the minute his head hit the pillow (apparently it took ten seconds for him to fall asleep) and she got confused with Canadian/English timings.

A bit of autumnal colour on the tree this morning

Once breakfast was over, Grandad went straight out and had a tour of the garden to establish any new bits we had created and find out what needed fixing and had a little chat with his 'girlfriend' Pauline who lives in compost corner. His first job of the day was to clean his crocs that he left here last time. They were splattered with green paint so he used paint remover to clean them up. He did a lovely job but unfortunately the shoes smelt really bad and seemed to follow him wherever he went. His next job was to try and fix Small's ceiling fan. Small has been worried for ages that it might fall down and Grandad has now condemned it as a dangerous pice of equipment that will eventually pull the ceiling down, falling on Small and possibly electrocuting him. Another job for MrBasement.

Huffle decided to take us out for lunch and we went to Tin Mill and had a lovely meal, marred only by the terrible smell that sat with Grandad, who sat next to me. We popped to the Dead Man's shop and Grandma bought a pair of PJ's, Huffle bought a pair of jeans and I bought a book. Grandad was just very silly and tried on a hat and two wigs and carried along the smell of his shoes.

Huffle had to get back to work so we came home. Grandma went for a lie down and Grandad and I started to put together Small's new Football Goal that we bought him for his birthday (a bit early but we decided as he hasn't had a birthday with Grandma and Grandad here before, we would spread it out). The boys came home while we were still constructing but they still managed to fire many balls at the goal (it did nothing to take away the smell of Grandad's shoes though).

The goal was much better than I thought it would be and once we moved it down the bottom of the garden, the boys started a game and Grandad got on the mower and happily mowed the grass front and back. He was such a happy mower. He ran out of petrol and after he put some more in, he smelt of petrol and paint stripper. Luckily for everyone, he came in and left his stinky shoes outside.

We all played a game of Go Fish.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

It's a known fact you shrink in an aeroplane*

My morning, after the boys went to school, consisted of sweeping, swiffing, mopping and cleaning bathrooms. I know how to live!

My afternoon wasn't much better as I had a dentist appointment to remove my temporary filling and my original filling, smooth my broken tooth and add another filling. Oh joy. Actually it wasn't too bad, apart from the fact I had a whole hand or two in my mouth and my gag reflex was on overdrive! I was only in there for half an hour and even though I had a lopsided face, I went and had a cup of mint tea with Suffolk before returning home.

I saw Huffle pass by in the car as I approached home on his way to the airport to pick up our chocolate package Grandma and Grandad. Their plane was delayed in England because they needed to clear the drain from the galley. Huffle was late because of bad traffic, they weren't allowed off the plane because there were problems with the ramp and eventually Huffle retrieved them an hour late.

The boys and I had dinner ready and they played on their tablets and we played football whilst waiting. Lots of hugs, kisses and some dinner and a cup of tea and then the bags were opened.

WOW I think they surpassed all previous deliveries. Apparently we asked for all that. Grandad had fun at the supermarket but got a few looks!

Grandma gave us some of our Christmas presents because she was too excited and we set up a Benidorm Jar for taking $2 for everytime Grandad mentions his naughty boy drunken binge of a mad holiday. I shall be giving a total each day of what we received (the boys are in charge of collecting funds).

*Small wanted to see if Grandma was now smaller than him in height. We stood them back to back and Grandma said "well I might have shrunk, it's a well known fact that you shrink when you have been in an Aeroplane". Silly Grandma!

Smallest has his drinking buddy back



Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Who is coughing?

Beautiful sunshine rays - it was really foggy out on the roads though

Small and I spent our morning at the hospital. We had a 9:45 appointment and got there in plenty of time (had I known the car park charges were going to be as high as $16, I might have gone in later). It seems the hospital has been refurbished and is going through some changes. First we had to queue to register, make sure all our information was correct and get Small a hospital band. One the questions was "do you have a cough or a fever". Why is it that as soon as someone asks you if you have a cough (even if you don't have one) you start coughing. At one point I had a really tickly cough and I was so embarrassed, I thought they were going to chuck me out.

Next we went into a waiting room. Our appointment was in plastics which I am still confused about. Anyway, we saw a young doctor who laughed when Small said he hit his finger whilst playing American Football. It is FOOTBALL here and HOCKEY. Saying Amercian football and Ice Hockey is sure way of letting people know you are not a Canadian. Almost as bad as taking photos of black squirrels! So the doctor told us that no surgery was needed (thank goodness for that, it hadn't even occurred to me that there might be some). It was a clean fracture but needed to have a splint made which he has to wear for four weeks, day and night! This one though is movable and cleanable though he still has to be very careful. She also said no sports for four weeks which is a shame because his basketball starts next week and he has a football trial on Sunday.

We saw an Occupational Therapist next who made a splint for Small using some mouldable plastic and lots of Velcro (of which he could choose the colour - he chose blue and I said it looked like Leicester City colours. He decided it was more like the Blue Jays). The OT asked where we were from and said she was visiting England with a choir she is in. She said she knew that Leicestershire was in the South. I put her right and she looked confused so I told her if she looked at the map and included Scotland, then Leicestershire wpuld look like it was in the south. She was going to study her map tonight. She was very nice but did ask if we could pay for the splint before she started her work. I asked her what happened to people who had broken limbs but couldn't afford the casts etc. Apparently there are cheaper versions for people who can't pay. It is a completely different system to what we are used to. I know I have seen in the Doctors Waiting rooms, lists of things like X-rays, plasters casts etc and the prices next to them. One thing that is good here is that Small had to wait for a week with a tiny little splint on his finger before getting a proper one made. At first I thought this was strange but Huffle mentioned that it gave time for the swelling to go down. That makes sense. Once he was all splinted and we got another appointment for four weeks for another X-Ray we left for school.

Despite the fact Small had written in his agenda that he was at the hospital today, and told his teacher yesterday and I told his teacher last week, the Secretary still called home and asked where he was. In a way, that's reassuring as there is no way he would be able to skip school or go missing without us knowing before 9am!

I had a quick lunch with Huffle and then spent 45 infuriating minutes in traffic jams on my way to meet Suffolk at Costco. We had a good shop and I came home and put it away before the boys got home. Both had had a good day with no incidents. BullyBoy is back in the playground but didn't bother Smallest.

We heard from Grandma and Grandad before they left for their London overnight hotel and again when they were at the hotel. Once again, Smallest has ignored all comments and references about them being here tomorrow and suddenly got excited when he talked how quick they would be here.



Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Scaring the Crows

I woke up with no voice (Hurrah for Stu) and I was grateful I cancelled going in to work late last night. I had a feeling I wouldn't be up to it. Still feeling quite rough and now Smallest has developed a seal cough. Both boys went off to school with some throat sweets today.

I sent this photo to Grandma because she is in charge of a 6 monthly window clean and I wants to show her some naughty hand prints - she is going to be Miss Marooe and find out whose they are!

I was put on house rest but when there is so much to do, that is hard to abide by. I managed some washing and made Grandma and Grandad's bed. I also did a lot of knitting on a pair of socks I am making for myself out of all the ends of wool I have. Could be a funky mix! I also watched Downton Abbey and made a start on the Scarecrow as we have a competition in the Hamlet.

The theme is 'recycling' and as we have a box full of wine and beer bottles ready to take back to the Beer Store I wondered if we could incorporate them somehow. That's when Huffle came up with the idea "put me in a wheelbarrow and take me to Thailand". A couple of years ago, Huffle, me and the boys went over to Centre Island Toronto. In the middle of the gardens we spied a gaggle of hobos, one of them in a wheelbarrow. They were all drunk and the one in the wheelbarrow shouted "put me in a wheelbarrow and take me to Thailand". From this day forward, the kids assume that that's what you say when you are drunk. Hence the title, plus it's us recycling our waste.

I made the scarecrow in the wheelbarrow by filling a pair of Huffles old trousers with leaves and then filling a charity shop jumper (100% wool which I purchased to make into felted mittens) with more leaves. The head is made from a football covered with material and one of my straw hats. When the boys came home they helped me to make another one that was pushing the wheelbarrow. This was from a pair of my old jeans and Huffles shirt, once again full of leaves. The head is agin a football covered with a plastic bag. DonNoQuotey came over to offer assistance when we couldn't get the head to stay on and brought us a piece of metal to use. We filled the wheelbarrow with leaves and empty bottles and put up a sign.

I'm not sure that it will translate well but it makes us laugh. The funny thing is I then made a 'countdown photo' to Grandma and Grandad coming and used the scarecrow photo and I guess it looks like I am saying it is them. That wasn't my intention but it's funny anyway.

For dinner we had curries and rice which was perfect for burning a hole in my throat which I soothed with a nice cold beer (well I am adding to the scarecrow scene).

There were no incidents at school today. The boy that hit Smallest was not allowed out at any recess today.