Monday, 20 November 2017

I ain't getting on no plane fool

I slept better but kept being woken by a weird squeaking noise which I soon realised was coming from my throat. I also kept Huffle awake. Oh dear. I actually felt a little bit better but I still decided to go to the Walk-In doctors just to get checked out. I was cleared of pneumonia and strep throat but the doctor gave me some medicine to help me along a bit. He said if I wasn't better by Friday, then I had to go in again but I really do think I am over the worst of it now. The pharmacist said the medicine was very strong and was a narcotic (oh lovely), I only take it at bedtime and it will knock me out (wonder if Huffle can have some ;)

Smallest was coughing again this morning and was also very sensitive when Huffle told him it was time for the bus. I considered keeping him off again but he said he was fine and he was perfectly well when he got back from school though he did have mud on his face and new coat!

We did have snow but not nearly anything like they forecast.

Oodpecker feeding on Smallest's bird feeder

Small had a good day at school and brought home his report. Excellent and once again we are so very proud.

Huffle has a whole week of data processing which is very boring but it has to be done. He still managed to FaceTime Grandma and Grandad and watch the Stoke game (2-2).

While I was at the doctors and pharmacy, I did a bit of Christmas shopping. Only a little bit but it was nice to be out and meandering round by myself. Back home Huffle and I had lunch and watched a 'DontTellTheBride' (we finished it later while the boys were out).

This afternoon I made three different soups (the doctor said I had to have clear soups, no dairy, lots of goodness) and sat and knitted the beginning of my Gingerbread house.

Small came home and did his homework whilst watching the Stoke game and Smallest came home and practised piano before his piano lesson. MrsPiano gave them their lessons and we all had dinner.

Huffle took the boys to Cubs. (Smallest also had a gym sesssion for football but he chose Cubs tonight though when he got back he said he wished he'd gone to football instead).

This evening we watched I'm a celeb. Amir is so funny. The good old British public will vote for him again and again I'm sure.


Sunday, 19 November 2017

I played golf with NookieBear

OMG I have coughed so much, my tummy muscles are really hurting me. I couldn't breathe when we went to bed last night and everytime I lay down I started wheezing and coughing. Not nice. In the end I had to have my inhaler which is a rare thing and yet I had three puffs yesterday. At least it helped. I had pains in my heart and I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Really I just wanted the fireman in my bedroom but Huffle was having none of it! When you call 911 here, you get Police, Fire and Ambulance, whichever is closer at the time gets here first as they are all trained in emergency medical situations. Mind you, I've seen the local firemen!! Huffle also told me last night that he would take me to the top of Poo Hill (our equivalent of Old John in BradgatePark where GrandadIc used to walk Grandad and AuntPear when they had an illness - it sorted them right out). When we told the boys where we were going they looked at us in disgust and downright refused!

I ended up in the loft again from 3am and it was freezing up there. Luckily I had put the warmer sheet on the bed so once I got in and under the blanket, it wasn't too bad. It was a terrible night for all of us because the wind was so noisy. Howling round the house, I thought the roof would fly away. We also had snow and there was a thin blanket on the ground. By the time we all got up (at least 9am) the bright sunshine had melted half of it but it started again around midday. We were forecast around 5-10cm. I'm ready for the cold now to get rid of those awful germs and bugs!

Almost looks like a split summer/winter photo - 9am ish

This morning, Huffle decided I was having a day off making pancakes and Small chose to make Scrambled Egg. It was very good, it's been a long time since he made that for us all.

The boys played on their tablets for a while. Today we listened to RadioX. The boys were complaining that they played the same five songs all the time. Huffle and I disagreed and wrote down all the songs they were playing. I think we made our point. There were no repeat songs and it took hours before a repeat artist was played.

We spent the day inside. We finished our StarWars2 film and started No3. We also watched I'm A Celeb live. We played Prehistoric Park and realised it's about 11 years old. Huffle won. Later we played Skip-Bo and Huffle won that too.

Small finished his homework. Huffle made dinner for us. Hoping for a decent night's sleep as we are all suffering now. The snow never came, it's coming through the night.


Saturday, 18 November 2017

Am I more like an elephant or a bear?

Last night I slept in the loft to give Huffle a full night's sleep without me snuffling and snoring. As I left he fell out of bed, not wanting to put his hand down and hurt his bad thumb, he landed square on his back, legs in the air and naked. He looked like Gollum (I don't know why, he just did). I slept beautifully not worrying about the wheezing or the coughing that I ended up doing. I was so cosy too under my big blanket. Huffle didn't sleep well. It seems he can't sleep while I am there and he can't sleep if I'm not there. We have a plan tonight. He will either sleep with Bob, Small's enormous elephant or Pooh, his huge bear. I asked Huffle which one was more like me and he just laughed.

My cold has turned into a horrible cough that strips my chest and makes me wheezy. Yippeee. Smallest is still coughing but I think it's getting better. Huffle's sore throat is better and his thumb is more painful (he sees this as a good sign somehow).

We had a slow morning watching the beginning of The Goonies with Smallest, then we started the second StarWars until the Leicester game came on and we watched that until midday.

All of us went to Smallest's game today which was in a different dome to normal. They had a bigger wider pitch that wasn't marked out too well. The score was a draw 2-2. Before the game started I asked Smallest to get a goal. He said he couldn't because he's a defender but I asked him to try. Today he did get a goal. An own goal. Whoops, Sorry Smallest, I didn't mean that kind! However it was off his left foot so that's probably Grandads fault as Grandad coached him on his left foot this Autumn visit. (Does he still get money for a goal Grandad or does he owe you money?). The team weren't playing so well today, maybe it's the time of day. Perhaps they are better playing in the early morning slot. They should have won easily.

The football dome

After the game we went for dinner nearby. We managed nearly two games of Monopoly Deal. On the way Home we popped to the supermarket for a quick stock up and came home. It has rained all day, has been very foggy and its cold.

We had an hour and a half before Small's game. Smallest and I decided not to go as we needed a rest. Smallest had a relaxing bath and the rest of us gadgeted.

Smallest and I watched NutJob2 and then played Carcassonne. Small came home from football not very happy. He didn't like his new coach (it was the one who called for Huffle to be removed from pitchside in the Summer). He didn't like the ref (Huffle said he was a clown with a whistle). His new shirt was too small. His teammates were wimps and lacked skills. I think that's it for now. Oh dear. Poor Small.


Friday, 17 November 2017

The StarWars marathon begins again

I woke up at 5am and had to come downstairs. My plan was to have a hot drink and maybe watch some TV but I fell asleep on the sofa wrapped in two blankets and my dressing gown. Cosy. I had weird dreams of Grandma jumping off hay bales.

Smallest woke me when he got up and we watched CakeBoss whilst dozing in and out of sleep. The sofa is very comfy though I wouldn't want to sleep on it all night. I am still full of cold and it's driving me crazy. My head is full of it too. Huffle now has a sore throats and Smallest is still full of it. Small is still illness free. Thumb is not getting worse and he has had a few shooting pains through it (we don't know but we are hoping this a good sign).

The boys stayed at home playing on their tablets whilst Huffle and I went for morning Parent/Teacher interviews at Smallest's school. His teach is ill too. I think it is just this time of year, mind you the school was uncomfortably warm which can't help. First we saw his main teacher who is very happy him and has no concerns. She says he is a leader and a good moral role model for her other students. Always willing to help and answer questions and it is a pleasure having him in her class. Our second teacher was his French and Gym teacher. She is also very happy with him and says he is doing really well in Drama, they are continuing with 'NEtiquette' in Health and she can tell he loves Gym. His French is progressing very well and his spelling in French and telling the time is excellent. PAddongtonsDad (his old teacher) came and asked if Smallest was happy to be now in the cricket team. Oh yes of course. We finished with a chat with the Princioak to find out why Smallest had been called out of gym the other day. She didn't know anything about it but said she would investigate and get back to me. She called me back this afternoon and said one of the boys in his class was feeling excluded and he named Smallest as one of the people not being fair. Apparently his teacher and the teacher who called him in didn't believe Smallest could have anything to do with it but they had to act on it as his name was mentioned. He is not in trouble basically and it was just a follow up. I'm not worried about to at all, especially as I know who the boy was!

The rest of the morning the boys and I played a game of Wizard. They beat me easily though they did say I was getting better. We finished it after lunch. We FaceTimed Moo this morning and she was disappointed that our snow had gone already and that the sun was shining through the windows so brightly despite it being -1 (feels like -4*).

For lunch, Huffle joined us and we watched Star Wars. We are beginning at the first film and working our way through so it all makes sense when we see the new film at Christmas time when Moo is here (not that she will understand it but it doesn't matter). We are watching them in the order they should be and not the order they were filmed in. We saw half of it with lunch and the other half after dinner. There was some snoozing though.

I don't know if I mentioned it was a PA DAy which is why the boys were off today. Small had some homework which he almost finished. I did some dot to dots and a bit of colouring as well as the games and film and that was about it.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Please put your cards in a pile, its bothering me

Smallest is feeling much better. Not so much coughing. We still kept him off football this evening, to give him a rest before his Saturday game. Huffle's thumb has some lovely colours on it. He keeps his splint on in the day and off at night. My throats feels better but now I have a full blown cold. Of course, as Mummy, I am only allowed one day off so back to normal today though I did still cancel my afternoon trip to the material shop.

The boys went to school. Huffle worked in the loft. The boiler man came. We rent our water heater and we had a new one as we found out it was 21 years old. Recently we noticed an eggy smell coming from the hot water and our plumber told us it was the anode in the heater and that the people we rent it from would change it so it doesn't react with the water, making it smell. Well MrHeater turned up and decided he didn't want to work today so he told Huffle he thought it wasn't the anode and made a call to his technical team who happened to be in a meeting and off he went to his next call promising to call us later. He did indeed call us and said Huffle and the plumber were right and he had ordered a part, and to call the company to fit it when it arrived. Well it arrived this morning and I made an appointment for this afternoon. They called back and said it would have to be done tomorrow as it takes two people. So tomorrow it is then!

I had a nice long hot soak in the bath and watched TV. It was very relaxing and soothing. Then I hoovered, put some washing on, tidied and made two cakes. A banana loaf and a lemon drizzle. It just so happens that the lemon one was ready just after Huffle and I had lunch so it seem rude not to try it. Yum yum.

This afternoon I cleared up my baking mess, made a start on dinner and collected Small from Band practice. He had a very good practice and was very happy. He had his report back today but forgot to bring it home, but he remembered his scores - English 82%. French 91%. Maths 92%. Science 93%. Fabulous results. He is going to spend some lunchtimes with his English Teacher to boost his communication marks. Once again I am a very proud mama.

It snowed on the way home, not enough to settle though. Smallest was already home and bouncing around because he has got into the cricket team. Yay!

We had dinner and then all played Wizard. Huffle won. I think I am getting worse at this game the more I play.

Huffle had a long soak in the bath while the boys played on their tablets and I blogged. PA day tomorrow and parent interviews for Smallest's teacher.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Invite to the grotto

Three out of four of us didn't sleep last night. Huffle is still struggling with his thumb, Smallest was coughing all night and I had a really sore throat and couldn't swallow. Huffle and I were up at 3am. Small seems to have escaped illness thank goodness.

I got up to do the lunches and then went back to bed leaving the kids to go to their buses, not that they need me but I do like to watch Smallest get on the bus, just so I know! I didn't stay in bed too long because my watch/step counter buzzed every thirty minutes to tell me I was being lazy. How rude!

I cancelled my excercise class and my lift with MrsM. I cancelled my lunch out with Taff and I cancelled my knitting class with MissHorse. All I did all day was watch TV, snooze and drink copious amounts of hot water which soothed my poor throat. I did make a carrot and tomato soup for lunch as that is what I fancied and we had none in the freezer. Huffle joined me for a soupy lunch and then back to work he went. He came down every now and then to check on me and to make burgers for dinner later.

I snoozed some more and got woken by Small knocking at the door because I had locked it. Smallest came home with his report card and we sat and read it together. It was a very good report and his teachers were full of compliments. Well done Smallest. So proud. He had another incident at school today where he was sitting helping a boy with his Maths and probably the tiniest girl in his class pushed him off his ball (they don't just have chairs, they have bean bags and yoga balls now). He hit his back on the wall which has left a mark and three of the kids, him included, went down to the office. One of the girls told tiny girl to push him off because it wasn't his desk. The girls didn't get into trouble because they cried!

We all had dinner and Huffle went out in the car to see if he could drive okay with his poor thumb. He took Small with him just in case but all was well and they very helpfully moved my tyres into the barn for me too.

Smallest had a football practice this evening so Huffle took him to that and did a bit of shopping while he played. Small and I stayed at home, watched a bit of TV and played Ace2Ace. I won.

Smallest's cough is getting worse and we have told him he can't go to football gym practice tomorrow if he's not improved. The boys have Friday off as it's a PA day so at least Smalest will get some rest then.

Weather is rainy but warming up.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Controversy in D0llarama

Poor Huffle didn't sleep too well and is still in pain. I used my 'home nursing' and 'essentials in first aid' skills earned in 1982 at St Johns Ambulance, and bandaged him up good and proper last night and went out to get a splint this afternoon, but the shop I went in doesn't sell them anymore. I took him out later to get one but that shop doesn't sell them anymore either. The pharmacist suggested another place and we went there this evening to get one. Success at last.

This morning the boys went to school and the buses were running. No sign of the strike yet! Smallest has a cough which is hurting his chest. I'm desperate to make sure he doesn't get a seal cough! I made him drink a hot lemon, ginger and honey. He hated it! Small came home with a new saying "we took up some stuff in...........(whatever subject)". Huffle and I don't like it, it makes no sense but he's obviously heard people saying it.

I went to work this morning and because Jan needed to make a phone call that required considerable 'holding', MrsM and I had our coffee and snack first. Today Jan had made shortbread chocolate squares. The rest of the morning we spent taking cuttings from pelargoniums and plectranthus. I came home with treats for everyone because MrsM felt sorry for Huffle and his thumb.

After lunch and a watch of TravelMan48Hours, I drove off with my winter tyres to get them changed. Since our little garage in the Hamlet has gone, I had to take my car to TheTire. Fortunately it is in a Strip Mall and there are a few shops for me to wander round. I started with Walmart looking for a splint and then walked round Winners where I purchased a couple of Christmas presents. While I was in there I got the inevitable call from TheTire to say my brakes needed doing and could they do them while the car is on the ramp. Funny how they are so busy and can't fit people in and yet they can fit an extra job in here and there! This meant I had another half an hour to forty five minutes to wander so I went to Dollarama and picked up lots of little things for Christmas. I had far too much to carry and no car to put everything in to. I could see my car back on the car park but they hadn't called me so I went in anyway. It was ready they just needed to sort the highly inflated bill out.

I came home after going to the bank for more money for the plumber who called round today. His bill was also astronomical. He said he would come back in an hour or two. Once the boys were home, I took Huffle splint shopping and then drove around the Hamlet looking for the Plumbers Van. In the end I put his money in an envelope and took it next door (not Otto's) and left him a note on the door. I havent heard from either of them so I can only guess he got it.

We went out for dinner en route to Splint shop no3. We all ordered pizza as they had a wood fire oven and it smelled good. However my choice was disappointing. There was no tomato, just beetroot, rocket, balsamic blobs and goats cheese. Basically a salad on a dry pizza base. I guess it was a healthy option. Meh! The others were happy with theirs though.


Monday, 13 November 2017

Sleeping with a dalek

As I lay in bed last night, I coughed and it felt like a piece of my insides moved wrongly. It was so painful but then it disappeared. Then I did it again. Once again it disappeared. It was a little bit freaky and this morning I was very careful in my exercise class. ExerciseNic called it my spleen and if it hurt or pulled I just said "ooh felt my spleen again". Also I am having trouble with my coccyx. Many years ago, pre-kids, I fell on ice while snowboarding in Bulgaria and dislodged it. It was very painful and the journey home was horrendous. I never had any treatment for it, the doctor just told me to rest. Now it feels bad again and I can't even sit for long periods at the kitchen table! OMG I feel old right now!

The boys went to school. Small not wearing a coat because it wasn't THAT cold, Smallest wearing his new coat but without the warm insidey bit and both them thankful for the school bus that may or may not be on strike from tomorrow!

After my exercise class I came home and showered, tidied and put some washing on. I had a quick early lunch and drove off to meet Angel and LittleAngel. We attempted to have a drink but LittelAngel just wanted to play with the books in the book shop so we took our drinks and wandered, picking up books as she went. She is a funny little thing. So happy.

We wandered around another shop until she fell asleep and Angel left and I did some CostCo shopping. Remind me to NEVR go in the afernoon again. It was horrendously busy and most of the shoppers were downright rude!

I came home, put the shopping away, made Huffle and I cuppa and then I started on dinner and knitted whilst it cooked.

The boys came home. Small had had a good day and Smallest had been called into a room today by the Special Edication Teacher, with four other boys from his class. They were asked questions about how they felt about certain behaviour and what would they do in different situations. He has no idea why they were there or why she was asking the questions. He didn't feel like he was in trouble but he did miss his gym sesssion which is a bit annoying.

MrsPiano came and gave the boys their lessons. Smallest has to practice more! While they were playing Huffle and I went into the basement to clear up a few things as not only did we catch a mouse in the night, but Huffle found one of his shoes was full of seeds! That's funny because when we arrived here, we stayed in someone's Granny Flat but had full access to the main house while we were there. In one of their bathrooms, the owner found a load of seeds hidden in the stone wall and said it was the boys doing it as a joke. I knew it wasn't and I swore they wouldn't have done it. It just wasn't their style! They didn't believe us but they found it funny. Well the seeds we found were the same as those! Probably a chipmunk!

Anyway, Huffle was trying to put something away in a box and he screamed out in pain as he thought he had dislocated his thumb. We got through dinner and then took the boys to Cubs who were having a bonfire. The mum whose bonfire it was just happened to be a hand specialist and she looked at Huffles thumb. She thought it could have dislocated but it was back in joint. She suggested an X-ray so we went to the hospital. Luckily, we were in and out within half an hour which is unheard of! All good, no breaks, no big damage, maybe ligaments but no cast needed PHEW! He is still in pain but nothing some painkillers won't cure.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Bald-headed eagles are undangered

Last night I sent Smallest down into the basement to fetch me some bread from the freezer. He shouted that there was a mouse, not in the trap, just sitting in the middle of the floor not moving, though he was alive. Huffle, armed with a piece of foam pipe lagging tried to coax him into a plastic bag. He went to the side wall (the mouse) and Smallest got another foam piece and poked him from the side and I tried to lever him up by using a wallpaper scraper. Eventually he went in the bag and Huffle and Smallest dropped him off at the farm down the road. Smallest wished he had put a piece of cheese in for him. Huffle and Small named him Fast Sid and Smallest and I named him Mousey!

Now I wrote the above paragraph before we found mouse droppings in our cupboard, the saucePan cupboard where there is a huge hole at the back of the revolving shelves. We emptied it, cleaned it, washed ALL the pans and Huffle filled the hole with steel wool which apparently they hate. All other cupboards were fine but we gave them a cursory clean anyway so it's easier to see if there are any droppings in future. Then we found more in the pantry. Luckily, last time we had mice, we put everything in airtight containers and they still are, so there was nothing they could get at. Still we emptied it and cleaned it and cleaned everything that went back in and filled any holes. It took Huffle and I a long time to sort it all but at least it's done now. Now I feel bad about saving Mousey. Naughty Mousey/Fast Sid!

This morning we all went to Smallest's football games which was between the two teams of the same club. We had a few missing from our team so a couple from the other team joined us. It was a fairly even game but we let in two goals (goalkeeper error more than anything). Smallest played hard and well and his coach told him so again.

Back home Smallest had his bath and the rest of us made pancakes. For lunch? Well we did miss out this morning though it did cause some concern as to whether it was lunch or brunch or dinner! The boys played FIFA while Huffle and I sorted Mousegate.

Exercising with Dad

Mid afternoon we watched the latest PiratesOfTheCarribbean. Apart from a few breaks to stop Huffle and I falling asleep, we watched it all the way through. It was very good.

Dinner was jacket potatoes which we had been baking for a few hours and then we played Carcassonne.

The boys played on their tablets, Huffle had a bath and I started knitting the Gingerbread house.


Saturday, 11 November 2017

They're not very sandwichey here are they eh?

Another early get up. An early football game leaving Small asleep in his pit while Huffle and I cheered on the Smallest in the cool of the dome. Before our game stared we spied our old team and some of the parents and went and said hello. They are in the same division as us so we will be playing them shortly.

Smallest played for the whole game, not being substituted at all because the coach asked him if he was tired and he said no. Huffle thinks he plays better when he isn't stop/starting and Smallest says his feet hurt when he plays and then stops and has to go on again. His team won 6-0. Another win and another clean sheet. Excellent. His coach wasn't happy with the team though (he is a miserable so and so) but he did tell Smallest he did well and the defence passed and worked well. He did an excellent clearance with his left foot (are you claiming that one Grandad?) and had at least one assist (he says two).

We came home for shower, tea and rest before all of us headed out for lunch at a freezing cold restaurant. Funny how the waitress never told us the heating wasn't working before she sat us down! We had a couple of games of MonopolyMillionaire before our food came.

Shopping for winter boots and coat was next. Small found a pair of clown shoes for himself (size 13US 12UK) and Smallest found a nice pair of boots, some gloves and a coat not dissimilar to Small and Huffle's coats. Grey with neon yellow bits. At least I will find them all on the slopes. The shop was having a huge sale and the queue for purchasing for horrendous. We caused havoc with the four of us standing in the queue and had people joining it from two directions but we soon sorted them out. We made friends with the lady and her son behind us as we were all mocking the man who redirected our queue to follow a yellow path! It took forever but at least it is all done now.

Back home all the boys played FIFA, Smallest and I played Chess, I knitted and Smallest and I watched the end of Cars3 and the end of the EmojiMovie before it was his bedtime when we played 'who's that bear falling on me" and "smell that bear".

Small and Huffle went off to Smalls football game. There is some confusion at the moment over who is playing who as they are shuffling the teams around again, despite having given out all the kits now. Small got to play in his normal team but it looks like he will have to join another team next week. He is hoping it isn't the younger ones. Tonight his team won 2-0. He nearly got two goals, one good save and one header hit the bar. He got an assist (Grandad).



Friday, 10 November 2017

Perfect weather for polar bears

So it snowed before we went to bed and I knew it would carry on for a few more hours. Why then was I so surprised when I looked out of the window to see this...........

We packed the boys off this morning with hats, gloves, long trousers (obviously) and one had boots that he had to squash his poor toes into (Smallest has indoor shoes left at school so it was only to and from school really). The other one had to wear old trainers. Brrrrrrr it was cold. I haven't got my winter tyres on yet so there was no way I was driving in it, so cancelled my knitting.

What did I do instead? I cleared out the front cupboard (coats, scarves, snow pants etc) and the Hall Stand (gloves, scarves, hats). I hung all he coats up nicely and Huffle put up new hooks on the inside door so we had even more space. Huffle sorted though his hats and gloves and I put ours away. The rest I made several piles for the boys to go through later.

Then I got my material out and finished cutting out. All done except for batting and interface. Very proud of myself.

At lunchtime Huffle and I watched a Gotham episode with lunch and then he disappeared up into the cold loft again (the heating doesn't make it up there but it does have its own heaters).

This afternoon I made two lasagnes, one beef, one veggie. Just as I was ready to layer it all up, I realised I didn't have any Lasagne sheets. Looking at the time, I noticed Small was due to get off the bus near the shop shortly so I texted him. However he didn't see it. When he got back he did go for me but they didn't have any. He asked for Lasagne sheets and they showed him Lasagne cheese and then frozen beef Lasagne. No sheets. So I had to make some pasta from scratch. Normally Huffle does this but it was really easy and when Smallest came home, he helped me to roll it through the pasta machine. The Lasagne, once cooked, was so delicious. I will not be buying Lasagne sheets again. Yum yum.

After dinner Huffle and I went for a cold snowy walk through the Hamlet. The boys stayed at home, played goalie and then played on their tablets.

Smallest and I watched some of Cars3 before bed.

We have another early start tomorrow.


Thursday, 9 November 2017

Put an Elf Light on Ricky Benaud

I have had trouble sleeping lately due to my pillows being too flat. I start out with two and discard one leaving me with barely anything, but two is too much! Last night I stole Moo's pillows (just to try) and I could sleep with two flattish ones. Hurrah. I think I need to buy new pillows really. I bought a memory Aloe Vera one for myself a year or so ago but it's like sleeping on a brick. Huffle has a memory bamboo one and he really likes it.

When I got up this morning, Smallest was getting stuff together ready for lunch. What a good helpful boy. Small just kicked a ball around until I got annoyed and shouted at him. He left with a sorry and a kiss.

I spent an hour or so on the garden this morning, collecting things that had to come inside out of the cold. I dug up the dahlias and put hem in a box ready to store in the basement and then I planted crocus bulbs in the grass near the barn and a few along one of the new paths at the front. I also planted daffodils out the front. Each year I draw a map of the garden and when the bulbs come out, I plan where we need more. I ran out of daffs though but at least they are in. Huffle came out in between calls and sucked up leaves, shredded and put them on the garden. A nice winter blanket of leaves to keep the plants warm and add leaf mould to the ground for Spring when all the bulbs wake up.

I popped to the supermarket to get ingredients for some soup and came home and made Carrot and Tomato and Leek and Potato. Plenty for dinner, some for Smallest's lunch tomorrow and some for the freezer.

After a quick lunch with Huffle and a watch of TravelMan (C4) I drove to Suffolks to do some cutting out for our bag we are making. I managed to cut out the main part and one of the pockets before I had to drive and get Small from Band Practice. The weather was awful, heavy rain and high winds.

We had dinner and then we all took Smallest to his Gym practice and then went to the Mall to buy some joggers (track pants) and a hoodie for Small - stop growing so quickly! We had a bit of time to look for Christmas possibilities. As we came out of the Mall it was snowing. Today, five years ago and four years it also snowed. This is obviously a day for snow! Well it needn't stay. It's only supposed to snow for a couple of hours but we have freezing rain forecast and a feels like temperature of -15 tomorrow! Eeeekkkk.


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

User could not be found

Oh boy it's starting to get colder now. It is supposed to snow tomorrow with up to 3cm but it's probably just a huge exaggeration and it will disappear quickly I'm sure. Huffle tried to get the cars booked in for winter tyres but everyone is panicking. I really miss our little garage in the Hamlet. Huffle decided to go off this morning and find a place to get his tyres switched over. He did find a place but it was stupidly expensive and he had to wait for hours, however he did pick up all the ingredients for the Christmas Cake which I should make this weekend.

I went to exercise and found ExerciseNic with a smoking vacuum cleaner. It had almost burst into flames and she was just disposing of it outside. There was only MrsFeet and I this week and ExerciseNic had this strange idea that we could put away her Christmas Tree (she used it for a photo shoot) whilst doing exercises. We said we didn't mind and after a warm up we lunged or jump squatted towards the boxes at the other end of the room and placed the branches in their corresponding boxes. Afterwards we did a circuit including a gym ball, weights and planks, some ab and arm work and stretches. I could hardly move when I arrived today and I guess I'm going to feel it even more tomorrow.

I came home, showered, had a quick snack and went off to FabricLand to meet Suffolk. We are going to make another 'roll up bag'. We did a course for our last one but now we are going to make it ourselves and hopefully understand the steps this time. I chose my fabric and zips and Suffolk went off to another material shop further away and I came home.

I FaceTimed Moo who sat and watched me sew together a GingerbreadMoo though she wasn't happy I made her head too big and her arms too small. Ha ha!

The boys came home and I had a knitting lesson with MissHorse. Today went really well. She has almost finished her dishcloth and I showed her how to cast off (or bind off, trying to teach her English and Canadian/American knitting). We found another dishcloth pattern she wants to make for a Christmas present and I printed off the pattern and added some bits to help her understand it. We continued with our chickens and I sent her home with part of the pattern to continue at home plus showed her how to decrease. She's a good little knitter and a fast learner, I hope I haven't given her too many different things to do. If she wants to be a knitter though she has to have a million unfinished projects!!

Dinner was just warmed up stew for all but Small who had an omelette. There was plenty of messing about after dinner plus some XFactor and tablet time before Huffle took Smallest to his football practice. Small and I stayed at home. I knitted and watched TV while he played on his tablet. Later we played a game of Skip-Bo and he won again. He says he is the champion! Today he got a 100% in a maths test and his Science average has now gone up to 93%. WOW Super student.

The temperature is now in the minus' Aaaarrrrgggghhhhhh.

Next door have added to their Christmas display and now have an Elf Light and a revolving reindeer light. The other day Huffle saw them come home with their Christmas music blaring out of the car window. Come on, it's only November!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

What does Tiles are Us sell?*

It's so much nicer waking up to a lighter morning. I hated getting up in the dark, it felt like the middle of the night.

Boys went to school. Huffle worked in the loft and put up the baton and the blind. It's not perfect (my work not his) but they are all up and it looks much better. I have given myself until Spring (maybe end of Spring) to get them properly finished with threads and pulls etc.

I had a slow start to the day but mid morning, I packed my car with shopping bags and gardening tools and Huffle filled my tyre (the one that had a puncture and was mended and I was told it would last as long as the tyre!!! Yeah right) and went off to Suffolks.

I got some food shopping and then planted crocus bulbs and four ferns, picked up some leaves for the garden and chopped a few things down. I think that's it for her garden for this season now. I then went and spent my $90 worth of points and bought myself some moisturisers, mascara, eyeliner, eye make up remover and I got some perfume and serum for free. Bonus!

Suffolk and I went for a lovely lunch at the Vegan Cafe, popped in to the pharmacy where we ran riot with an app that tells me how 'dirty' products are and came home for a cup of peppermint tea.

I was late coming home and Small was already back but I was just in time for Smallest. As I was unloading my car, his bus went past and kept going past and didn't stop. It didn't turn around either. I was worried for a moment until I realised there was a voicemail on my phone from him to say he was at a cricket practice and needed picking up half an hour after school had finished (which turned out to be in three minutes time). I picked him up and we came home. He had been practicing with two South African cricketers.

I made dinner, we ate it and then we watched an XFactor. Well, Huffle and I watched a little bit and then we went out for a walk. The boys were on their tablets by the time we got back. They still haven't caught up with XFactor!

*a question from silly Smallest.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Lie on the sofa eating strawberry tarts all day

Monday. Lunches packed and boys sent sent off. Huffle packed off upstairs and today he came down several times to suck up the leaves, shred them and put them on our garden ready for the Winter. Mind you, we haven't put the bulbs in yet or moved the many ornaments from out of the garden. There is talk of the temperature going down to -6* on Friday.

I went to my exercise class. Today I had no ailments, I felt well and nothing hurt. Well that was a good start. However, after an hour's class and a substantial walk later, my legs hurt!

At home I hoovered all of downstairs and tidied and put a chicken stew in the slow cooker and then made a veggie stew for Small and I. I was just about to get in the shower, when I had a text, from NoCustard who had previously cancelled our Monday walk. Her plans had changed and she wondered if I could fit one in. OH YES!

I had a quick lunch and then joined her in the forest. It was cold but beautiful as always. Today we were on our own and we chose the longest walk of an hour and a half. The colours were very good and despite the odd puddle and mud, it was a very leafy.

Back home I helped Huffle to decide where to put the last bag of shredded leaves and went off for my shower. Small came home with a little bit of homework which he did straight away. Smallest came home and also had a bit of homework. The one where I have to do it too. Oh Maths, oh goody.

MrsPiano came and gave the boys lessons. Christmas tunes are being practiced already. Only another five weeks until their recital so we'll soon be bored of them.

Dinner was eaten and the boys played on FIFA, Huffle soaked in the bath and I sewed the blind which Huffle will put up tomorrow. All three hanging at the window. Only one is openable but it's something.

Small played SkipBo with me while Huffle and Smallest played FIFA.

At Smallest's bedtime we finished our Where's Wally puzzle.


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Clocks went back remember!

Smallest came in at 6:30am (not realising the clocks had gone back so it was really his normal time of getting up) complaining that Otto was drumming. He wasn't! It was the rain dripping through the drainpipe near his window. Silly bear. We went back to sleep and Huffle I didn't get up until near 9am.

Pancakes for breakfast (everyone helped). Today we decided as the weather was so bad, we would have a list day. It's been a while since we had we had one of these and one thing we have learned is that our games have got longer so we get to fewer games. We made out list, got washed and changed and began.

We started with an UPSET (Smallest's choice though Small says he always chooses the same game over and over again until we are all bored of them). It was a very quick game and Small won easily.

Next Small chose Disney Monopoly (of course he did). We dealt all the property cards out to make it quicker but it was still a longish game. I was the first to be bankrupt, followed by Small. Smallest went from having nothing to almost winning but Huffle beat him in the end.

Five Crowns was next and half way through it was past lunchtime so we made ourselves quesadilla which we ate in front of PiratesOfTheCarribean StrangerTide. We actually watched it all the way through. I think everyone was tired.

We finished our card game which Huffle won and then we had a Table Tennis tournament. Huffle won again!

The boys should have gone to the Remembrance Ceremony for Cubs but we let them off today because it was horrible outside. We were also supposed to go to a Bonfire at one of the parents of a cub but it was cancelled, also due to the weather.

My contribution to the list was going out with the sparklers when it got dark but the boys were playing on their tablets and Huffle and I went for a puddly walk and by the time we got back it was dinner time.

Dinner was eaten in front of an XFactor. We think we have one left before we are up-to-date.

I managed to make another Gingerbread man whilst watching the film and I finished off the others during XFactor. The idea is I make the house and the Gingerbread men for Christmas and it can come out each year. We'll see if I get that far. I'm supposed of making one for each of us.

And a little more embellishment

Bedtime for the bears, cup of tea for us olds and a bit of TV. Boooooo weekend is over.




Saturday, 4 November 2017

16 hours of football games

As of yesterday, the football statistics between Stoke and Leicester were that they played 99 games together, with 33 draws and 33 wins for both sides. Today marked the 100th game so tensions were high in our house. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the first half as Huffle and I got up at 6:30am to get Smallest to his football game for 8am. Breakfast was very hurried and a tired group of people left Small in bed waiting for the Stoke v Leicester game. He did have instructions to empty and fill the dishwher (actually that's not true. Last night I asked if he would help me empty the dishwasher and he said NO, he would do it for me by himself in the morning). which he had nearly done.

Smallest's game was a 6-0 win. Today Huffle's 'Football friend' (you have to say this in a very high voice -aka Inbetweeners) told us he now likes Arsenal (statutory spit to the side). Last week it was ManCity and ManU. OMG! He was horrified when we both pulled faces and pretend-spat. We think he is very turnable and it is now our mission to get him to support one of our teams. Last week he told us how wonderful his son was and this week he told us how wonderful his daughter was. Well if your parents can't big you up then who can? Smallest played very well and long.

Back home we settled in to watch the second half of the game. Much as I would have liked to have seen a Leicester win today, I felt the draw was the best result for the good of the house and harmony. I won't mention that Stoke haven't won against Leicester for ten years! Ha! And they still haven't!!!!

Lunchtime we went out for fish and chips but no walk as we were all tired. Plus it was cold and we didn't have outer wear. So we came home and put away all the Halloween decorations and sorted the shoes. New boots are required for both kids once again this year. Huffle and I had a good tidy up in the SunRoom.

The boys played on their tablets and on FIFA. I made flapjack and we sat and watched an XFactor. Can't believe we still haven't caught up - I'm bored with it all already. Huffle and I watched AnExtraSlice while the boys played.

At 8:30pm just as Smallest was going to bed, Huffle took Small for his football game. Wow it's been a long day. I made another Gingerbread man but I forgot his trousers. This evening I snuggled up under the blanket and watched a film and made Gingerbread man with shorts. My thoatt is so sore, I hope I'm not getting a cold!

Small's team won 5-0. Yay. The clocks go back tonight so I snook into the boys rooms to change their clocks. Don't want them getting up too early. We were going to look for new Winter boots tomorrow but the weather is going to be nasty. In fact, it's already started. Very windy, very rainy all night and all through tomorrow!

From tomorrow we will be back to five hours behind UK.

This little beauty surprised us today by being the brightest thing in our garden. It really shouldn't be blooming right now but it is very lovely.


Friday, 3 November 2017

I've made my decision

I was woken from a bizarre dream about a very young Smallest being in a religious camp and I found him dunking his own head in water and looking very pleased with himself. (I think he was baptising himself) I was worried that we had got him involved in a cult! We then went inside and an autistic boy sat on me, pinched me and whispered rude things to me. I wasn't very happy, not so much with him but that the people running the camp didn't say anything to him but weren't very happy with my response!! Weird. The only thing I can think is that I watched 'Young Sheldon' yesterday or I'm bonkers!

Small went to school and came back with copious amounts of homework. I don't think there has been one day that he hasn't had any, even the day he wasn't there! Smallest went to school today feeling much better. He missed out on cricket tryouts yesterday and as such, missed a place on the team. I'm fuming because it was my fault he didn't go in. Apparently PaddingtonsDad wasn't very happy he didn't turn up for the try out! So annoyed that no one told him he was ill! He is an AP (can't remember what it means but basically he will turn up for practices but won't be able to go to the tournament unless someone pulls out or is ill). He is not happy but he doesn't want me to pursue it. Such a shame as he didn't get in last year because he was too young and PaddingtonsDad aid he would get in this year! He also tried out for volleyball!

First thing this morning, we had a problem with the internet. It just stopped. Huffle called our service provider and they said our modem was dead and they would send someone round tomorrow with a new one. That was the earliest they could get to us. Huffle needs it for work so called the office but they were sending people home because there was a burst water mains so he had to stay at home and just make do using his phone hotspot!

I went shopping on my way to knitting. There were only three of us again at knitting and ShopKeeperEl had finished my sock for me and I finished the other one. I tried to do my other pair but I wasn't happy so I will have to redo that another day. I was also due to take photos of ShopkeeperEl's family this Sunday but it has been postponed due to family commitments and the weather. We are still going to do it but not sure when yet!

I came home and had lunch and Huffle had just fond a way of sorting the Internet. He was annoyed that he knew more than the silly helpdesk! We had lunch and then he sorted it properly and we were all up and working again and cancelled the call out! We later found out that school had the same issue and they were getting a visit that morning!

While I was shopping I bought myself a knitting magazine and found a lovely pattern for a knitted gingerbread house with gingerbread men. I decided to make a start on the men and by the evening had finished one completely.

He is about the size of my phone

I did a bit of hoovering in my bathroom, cleaned a toilet in the main bathroom and took down the inside Halloween decorations. The outside ones will have to wait, though Smallest informed me they should be down now and Christmas decorations couldn't go up until five days before Christmas and then five days afterwards, they would have to come down. He is a funny thing! He hates seeing decorations up too long after Christmas and here they keep them up for ages and ages!

Both boys came home and I took them for haircuts. Small's is very short and Smallest's is shortish but still very Smallest! I'm not sure that makes sense except to me!

Small did homework and Smallest helped Huffle and I to make pizza. We made the dough in the new bread machine but I used my old recipe for the old machine (not thinking) and I also used a diffeent yeast as I couldn't find my usual one in the supermarket. The dough came out very big, wet and puffy. It rolled out okay and tasted good but perhaps I should check the machines recipe for next time.

We ate in front of XFactor - the last in the Judges House. We predicted almost perfect for all houses. We don't really like the live shows, we get bored but I'm guessing they'll still be on in the background. Give us something to moan about.

Smallest went to bed fairly early tonight as he has a football game tomorrow at 8am which means Huffle and I have to get up earlier than we do for school. Smallest has set his alarm for 6:15am. We will have to leave at 7am ish. OUCH,




Thursday, 2 November 2017

Blind leading the blind

Poor Smallest wasn't feeling so well today. Sore throat and a pain in his head. I made him stay at home and have some aloe gel for his throat and some painkillers for his head. Before 8am we had already played a game of Carcassonne. It was going to be a long day.

Small went to school in joggers not shorts. It really has turned all of a sudden. Winter is on its way! Huffle worked in the loft and went out to the barn at some point to winterise the mower.

I stayed at home and looked after my little bear. He helped me to empty the dishwasher several times today and I played Chess with him. When he plays, if he isn't winning, he always tries to get the Kings to stalemate by placing them next to each other. Huffle and I are not sure that is a real rule and we also don't know where he got it from seeing as we taught him how to play. We might need to check that one! It happened twice today, once with me and once with Huffle. The little monkey! Late morning, he made gingerbread and I helped him to roll out and bake them. Then this afternoon he decorated them in two sittings. He also sat and read and coloured, watched TV, played on his tablet, MarioKart and FIFA with Huffle this evening. He seems much better and possibly could have gone to school today, but we didn't want him getting worse. Unfortunately he missed out on a cricket tryout and football gym session but I'm sure it won't matter that much.

I did a load of washing, some cleaning and mainly being with Smallest. This afternoon Suffolk came for lunch and I made us both an omelette. Then we made a start on the third and final blind for the bedroom. It's been a while so it took some working out. I hadn't, as I originally thought, ran out of material for the lining, or cut it short. It was a new piece I had cut and it was perfect just not placed correctly. Suffolk got me sorted and I sewed the sides and the bottom. All I need now is to get the Velcro on and we can hang it. Huffle is going to put the wood up tomorrow. Who needs to open them anyway? It's nearly winter and is bl00dy freezing at night!

I collected Small from band practice and we drove home in the dreary cold wet rain. He is learning new tunes and says it's difficult but he has some good main parts. He got on with homework while I cleared my sewing stuff away and made dinner.

After dinner, Small played on his tablet, the other boys played FIFA and I sewed. Busy but productive day.


Wednesday, 1 November 2017


Small and Huffle went off to the office today for 'Take your child to work' day. It should have been two boys in Huffle's office today but the other one didn't turn up, so when they were given their 'take away packs' Small got to bring one home for Smallest too. The first part of the day consisted of walking around the office and seeing what each section did. There was a pizza for lunch and then Small spent the afternoon with Huffle. He now knows that Insurance is boring and he doesn't want to do it, which was exactly what Huffle wanted him to get out of the day. The only section that Small found interesting, was Actuaries (analysing data to calculate risks) very Maths orientated. Ummmm interesting.

The boys putting on their shiny shoes
Cheesey work shot

Smallest wasn't feeling too well this morning (sore throat, dizziness and tiredness) but he decided to go to school anyway (dressed accordingly in long trousers, fleece and coat). He didn't call me to collect him but when he got home ahead was still feeling unwell and we decided he wasn't going to football practice. Instead he played FIFA with Huffle and went to bed early with a blanket and a warm elephant.

I went to exercise with a knee support on. Don't know what I have I done but it is very sore. We worked hard but ExerciseNic had trouble with her words today and we got in some muddles. Very funny though.

I came home and showered and went straight out again. Today I met up with an expat Brit who I have known since I've been here but haven't seen for some time due to her retraining in nursing and taking up photography and generally being rather busy. She wanted to borrow a manekin leg for a photo shoot and as ExerciseNic had one, I took it to her. We met in Starbucks and had many funny looks with a leg sitting on our table as we caught up and chatted for ages. We perused round a few shops for the next hour or so and parted, promising to meet up soon.

When I got home I had a quick tidy up before the work and school boys got home and then gave MissHorse a knitting lesson. I put her right on her dishcloth and then she chose the wool for our next project which is going to be a chicken. I talked her through some of the pattern explaining what things meant. The first eight rows were stocking stitch so she easily got on with that and took it home to finish the last couple of rows before we start to decrease next week. Plus she still has her dishcloth to finish. She is getting on so well.

I made dinner, we ate it and we all did our own thing this evening.

A very late kniphofia


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

2 thermals under a Stoke top


ahhhh feeling much better. Headache and most aches disappeared after a good night's sleep.

Harry Potter went to school with Hedwig following behind him and had to get changed during the day to have a photo taken for Band and the Year Book.

Smallest went to school with his EYE costume and got changed after lunch in time for the Hamlet parade. I joined them and watched them walk through the streets. It was really cold today.

Huffle worked in the loft and I went to work. MrsM was in a tizz because she had to go in to work today and nothing was ready for us to get going, plus it was cold so we went into the greenhouse. After searching for somewhere to sort cuttings, we ended up going in the house and having a very early coffee and some Maple Shortbread Maple Syrup Butter Tarts. Wow, amazing and instead of raisins, Jan used chocolate chunks and pecans. After our break we did lots of pelargonium cuttings. We kept losing the cat. Naughty thing was hiding on the heated bed.

Back home, Huffle and I had lunch and watched W1A - fabulous BBC comedy. Proper laugh out loud series. This afternoon I walked to the middle of the Hamlet to watch the school Halloween parade. While the kids and teachers walked the streets, the parents stood around and wandered to the next available viewing spot. It was very cold!

I walked home and went on a pilgrimage to find gummy worms for our brain Jelly. I didn't have to leave the Hamlet as I found some at the OldBeerStore (it has now moved to DanielSons). Back home again, I FaceTimed Moo whilst getting the jelly out of the mould (nearly successfully). We had a catch up and then I made dinner.

This evening we all went out Trick or Treating. It didn't rain which I think may be a first for Halloween. It was still cold though but we kept ourselves going by laughing a lot. It seems tonight, that my voice was unheard despite my best efforts to try and engage with people on the streets or in their houses. I gave up in the end.

At most houses, we made Huffle stand in a eccentric pose to see if we could make the householder laugh or comment. We could tell most wanted to comment but mainly they couldn't find the right thing to say. We bumped into several 'parents' who said "we found Waldo (Wally)" which didn't really amuse Huffle. We also came across two drunk men (the alcohol stink coming from them was horrendous) who were chaperoning their kids! around. They were little bit unnerved by us becuase Huffle just stood and stared at them and I kept cackling.

The kids went house to house to house collecting stuff. Only one house scared them when the man was hiding and jumped out. Another house is normally really scary so we were all expecting something but nothing happened. The decorations were probably not as good as previous years but a lot of houses had put in a really good effort. It will all be down tomorrow and Christmas stuff will be up!

We went out at 6:30pm ish and came home at 8:45pm. The bags were emptied on the table....

Sorted into piles........

Most of these are minis
And squirrelled away.

Another successful year of Trick or Treating. We heard someone saying that you shouldn't really be out after Grade8 (Small is Grade9) but we don't agree with that rule. If Small still wants to go out and he puts the effort in to dress up and knock on doors, then he should be allowed. Huffle and I still go out, though we do stand back. Some people gave us stuff, including a chocolate martini, hic thank you very much.