Thursday, 25 May 2017

Hey neighbour famfa

Area Track and Field today. So of course we get one of the rainiest days EVER! Still the kids go off on the bus to 'area' and one of the teachers asks me if I brought an umbrella for Smallest. No. Funny thing is, in the UK I had an umbrella in my bag constantly. Here, I rarely know where it is. If it rains here it properly rains and no umbrella is quite good enough. Poor Smallest got to stand for three hours wet through (that will help his cough!!!) waiting for his event to happen and then when it did, he didn't get a place. At midday I got a call saying they had cancelled the afternoon session and were coming back and could I bring him dry clothes or take him home. I opted for taking him home and he was so very happy. He had a hot shower and a hot chocolate to get him warm and then helped me with dinner before we had two games of chess. Small was not happy when he realised he had gone home early.

Smallest walked to the baseball diamond for his softball practice. It was raining hard then too, in fact it hasn't stopped all day and is still raining now (4pm). Only four people and the teacher turned up for the practice as most of the others were at Track and Field. The teacher drove them back to school and they practiced in the gym instead.

Wet garden but looking lush

MrBasement and L4D arrived early this morning and continued to put up the drywall, mudded it (I know all the technical terms now), put in the pot lights (I cannot for the life of me think what these are called in the UK eeeeekkkkk) and put the bath (tub) in place (not secured yet but it gives us an idea of what it will look like). They have a different job to go to tomorrow and will be back on Monday.

Huffle worked from the kitchen table and moved to the loft when I got too noisy and then moved to the basement when the men got too noisy. I lost track of where he was when throughout the day.

This morning I went food shopping and bumped into my lovely weirdly neighbour who's daughter said "hey neighbour famfa". My good deed for the day was giving a lady a trolley (cart) when she couldn't find a quarter to put in. Angel gave me a spam key (yes the key from the spam tin) which fits in a trolley where the money should go perfectly. I keep it on my keyring because then I always have it and I unlocked mine and one for the lady who had no money. You're welcome! While putting the shopping away at home, I came across the usual 'dead' things in the fridge. Out of date, squashed, yucky stuff and so sorted it all out, throwing stuff away. Then I found that something had spilled, looked like it had been there decades, or was a really really sticky thing. I had to take everything out, take all the shelves and drawers out and scrub. It looks like nearly new but I'm guessing it won't be for long. How come no-one else notices these things?

Huffle and I had a very hurried lunch together before I drove off to school to pick up our wet son. I had to sit and wait for over half an hour until the bus arrived. In the meantime several parents turned up and wondered should they take their kids home or just give them a change of clothes. Considering Smallest's shoes and socks were wet, I think we made a good decision.

This afternoon I made two cottage pies and a broccoli and blue cheese soup which Smallest helped greatly with. The men finished. Small came home and vacuumed the mess the men had left and both boys played on their tablets until dinner.

Drywall and mud
Lights off
Lights on (very bright, needs a dimmer)

No activities tonight.

After dinner we all played Munchkins. Small won of course. Everyone else was tired and couldn't care less by the end. Tut tut.

 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Toilet be gone

I was awake between 1am and 3am and MrBasement assured me that is just 'old age'. Oh thanks for that!

Boys went off to school. Huffle worked at kitchen table, table tennis table (to get some peace) and mower. MrBasement and Late4Dinner arrived with a trailer full of drywall at 8:30ish. I went to aerobics.

I spent the rest of the morning cleaning jars (for ping pong game at Springfest), cleaning out PeterCrouch and Facetiming Moo.

Huffle and I had lunch on the porch discussing tiles and grout. This afternoon I went to Costco where I sampled an ice lolly and some chocolate milk. Thin pickings today. On the way home I picked up five boxes of very heavy floor tiles and brought them home.

During the journey I had a car that drove far too close to me and when I touched my brake to let him know he swerved almost to the other side of the road. IDIOT! He gesticulated to me a lot so I slowed right down which seemed to make him even madder, can't understand why!!! He carried on driving like a prat for a while and then overtook me which got him a really long way NOT! Then he overtook six cars in front of me. What a crappy driver!

Shopping was put away, tiles moved and Huffle finally cleaned the inside of my car. He uses my car for all things dirty or heavy as we can't use his precious for things like that. Our last holiday, he said he would clean the car because of all the sand etc in it. That was July 2016. He's just done it and only because I have been nagging him.

MrBasement and Late4Dinner left around 3:30pm. Today they have put the dry wall on the ceiling and taken the toilet out. I'm sure they've done much more but that's all I can see. They are back tomorrow but not Friday. BOO a weekend without the main bathroom. My tiny bathroom is getting messy already with four people showering in it.

I made curries for dinner when the boys came home. After dinner, Small and Huffle went to Small's football practice. Huffle didn't think it was great, too much standing around (Small not him) but happy that Small got to have a bit of a run around at the end. At least we know the practice day isn't too important if we miss it.

Smallest and I stayed at home and played Downfall a few times and then Carcassonne online on the porch, trying to not get bitten by mosquitoes. He played on his tablet before bed and I had a shower.

 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Bathroom be gone

I had another terrible night's sleep. Everyone overslept. Smallest came to wake me up at 7:30am and both boys had only just woken up. Huffle had to get up at the same time as us (normally he is MrLazyBones and stays in bed until well past 8am. Today MrBasement arrived at 7:45am with a helper Late4Dinner (so called because he said "my name's £€¥% but you can call me what you like except late for dinner). We hadn't had time to move the cars around so Huffle had to play musical cars to get them all on the drive and enable me to get out easily.

The boys went off to school together. Huffle moved his work between the kitchen table and basement depending on how much noise the men were making. I went off to work and Jan and I pulled out all the green carex from around the pond without falling in, had an early coffee break with lovely blueberry scones and then weeded out all the yellow celandines we could find in the garden. MrsM is still in England and Pat and D had to leave early so all gardening was done by midday today. I came home with more 'path material', a couple of little wild violas and a bit of Persicaria Fire Tail.

Huffle and I planted the stuff when I came home and moved the 'path' before having lunch briefly on the porch. MrBasement and Late4Dinner were having their lunch. Today they ripped out all the drywall, the bath and the cupboards plus took off the cupboard door and wall and the main door. There was a huge mess in there, down the stairs, in the hall and the kitchen but they cleared most of it up. Huffle vacuumed everywhere and I mopped and swept. Tomorrow the drywall goes in on the ceiling and walls and it's just MrBasement here. Somehow the bathroom looks so much smaller without everything in which doesn't seem right!

This afternoon I prepared dinner and made some bathroom decisions for later. The men left at 3pm. The boys came home just before 4pm and we had dinner by 5pm due to Smallest's first football game.

Impossible to get a nice photo in his new kit
This evening we were playing OldCoach's sons team. We spoke to him and his wife and caught up with how things were. The wife said they weren't happy with the non-communication, lack of playing time and the team weren't passing to their son. OldCoach, however, said they loved it and the coach's were from the EPL, Europe and blah blah blah. He did his normal bigging himself up......BORING! The assistant Coach's son also plays for this team. Anyway we never got to play them which is a shame, because the referee never turned up. There was talk he was on his way anddecided to watch King Arthur in the cinema instead. Apparently the insurance for the game travels with him so if he isn't there, no one can play in case someone gets injured and sues! Bloody hell!!! How ridiculous. I wish they had just sent us home but instead they split the teams and just played a game between themselves. We still had to stay until 8pm.
 
They had a fun mini game and Smallest went in goal and nearly scored a goal (not at the same time)
Love this. It's a photo I took of the trilliums but 'prism'd'
Beautiful tulip
Fabulous anemone

 

 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Victorian Football

Happy MAY 2 4. Happy Birthday Queen Victoria. Beginning of Summer. Time to start things...... like beans in the garden (already done), gardening (started ages ago), eating ice cream (standard all year thing for us).

This morning after breakfast, I drove Smallest to his friend's house where he stayed and played until around 2pm. He played outside mainly, football, baseball etc and also played The Game of Life. He had fun. While he was gone the rest of us cleared out the bathroom ready for MrBasment (shall I call him MrBathroom now?) to come tomorrow. Huffle took down everything he possibly could including hinges, cupboard doors, shelves and I boxed up all toiletries and took down all fittings. Small helped in his usual way and rewarded himself with some tablet time.

Lunch was made and eaten and Facetiming with Grandma and Grandad just as Smallest was brought home from his friends house. Mum dropped him off on th drive and didn't get out of the car. Seems a standard thing to do here but I still find it weird. Just a wave from the window as she drove off. However I did get an email saying what a pleasure Smallest was.

Huffle and I went into the garden to do some weeding. Yesterday a family walked past and said how nice our garden was and asked if they could come closer to look. They particularly liked our pink tulips that reminded them of peonies. Today while we were out there, Yoda came to sit with us while we worked. She had some spare peas for us to plant. She asked us whether we spent a lot on plants as we had so many. We assured her we didn't. She also asked if we wished we had left it as grass so we cold just mow it. NO NEVER!! I weeded and Huffle rebordered. It looks good from the front. Still plenty to do but we are not bothered. There are an awful lot of things poking through now and it is looking lovely. My favourite find today is a lovely white anemone.

We came in for an early dinner and then Huffle and Smallest went off for Smallest's football practice and Small and I played Downfall several times until it was time for us to go to his football game. Huffle's map took him to the wrong field and I had very little petrol, nowhere to get anymore and my map took us the wrong way. Weird map kind of day! Small was playing at a school field that was overrun by dandelions (not the actual football field but the surrounds).

Last week he played on the wrong team but today he found the right one. He is THE tallest on his team (Under 14's). He is playing in defence and managed a few of his trademark tackles. He got an assist when he hoofed (just like his momma) the ball half way down the field and one of his teammates scored (we think that counts Grandad). His team won. I spent the game walking round the whole lot of fields five times, stopping whenever Small was hugely involved in the game. He worked very hard and had fun. At the end a couple of Scouts from the rep teams asked him his age. Unfortunately they were looking for kids born 2004 and not 2003, but it's nice to know they noticed him and it's a boost to his confidence. He was full of good things to say on the journey home.

While Smallest was playing, Huffle heard a dad say about Smallest "I remember him playing for .......... he is a powerful defender and we will have one of the best D's (defence) in the league". Nice to know he has been spotted too. He had a two hour practice and his first game is tomorrow evening.

The kids showered and went to bed. I think they will both sleep well tonight.

DaftPunk seems to have settled in well and is using his cave and bobbing in and out of his grass. He also takes his food and spits it out. What a strange pair of fishes.

 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

DaftPunk joins the family

Pancake breakfast made by all with a plethora of fruit. Yum yum. We didn't eat until about 10am and then we didn't eat our diner until 3pm. Love weekends or holidays when we can just eat because we are hngry and not because we have a tight time schedule.

Both football teams were playing today so the boys watched in the main stand downstairs and I had the upper stand. While I watched/listened, I cleared out all my Winter clothes and put all my Summer clothes in the wardrobe. Don't know why because it was rainy, cold and dull today but at least I know it won't last.

After the football (win for Stoke and a draw for Leicester) we decided to go out. Mainly we went out to buy me a new phone case. My phone is due for an update but we couldn't find a deal similar to the one we currently have so I decided I would make do with a case instead. There is nothing wrong with my phone except my case is broken. I got a sparkly new glittery one. When you live in a houseful of boys you have to get your 'girlyness' in somewhere.

Dinner was at our favourite fast pizza place. Not a pretty restaurant but quick and very tasty. This is where we get our Calzones or Panzerottis from. It was completely empty when we came in and the waitress said "oh are you my panzerotti family with the great accents?". While we were there five other families joined us. Trend setters!

Because of the rain stopping us from going for a walk, we went to the pet shop and bought a fish. Smallest said Small could have one instead and Small was very happy with that. He chose another red one but smaller than PeterCrouch. He was certainly one of the few that moved a lot. Most of them looked dead! We took him home and filled his tank, put in his cave and added a new grass. Small has named him DaftPunk after the band. He is quite daft too!

DaftPunk

This evening we watched the end of Britains Got Talent and finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince before we tidied and cleared Smallest's bedroom. He has thrown out (for garage sale possibly) loads of books, some games and puzzles and other stuff. We only did two bookshelves and his desk but it looks so much better already.

Smallest's football practice was cancelled today but there is a two hourone tomorrow instead.

 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Head in a window and fell down a hole

After breakfast, Huffle and I went out leaving the boys at home. We had a few errands to do and didn't want to drag along two bored complaining boys. We picked up new eye drops for Smallest, got some nuts and seeds and then Huffle made me go in the Thrifty Shop. Today I met an Irish lady who wouldn't stop talking to me, though it did get her to jump the queue, sneaky thing! The only thing we bought were some books for the kids.

We asked the boys to be dressed when we got home and they were. We went out for dinner and then had a lovely walk in the forest where we went in search of trilliums. The same time every year, the forest is full of lovely trilliums and it is a lovely sight to see. Today we went to the forest we call 'rainbow rainbow' (because when we went a few years back we saw a man fishing and we asked him what he was catching. He said rainbow rainbow which we think was Rainbow Trout). We didn't see any fishermen but the forest was quite busy. We had a nice walk, saw lots of trilliums and walked back.

BR: wild asparagus!!

At home we had ice cream on the porch and then planted some new summer flowering bulbs. DonNoQuotey came over to chat and I asked him the price of his house (which is for sale). He didn't want to tell me so I pushed him (not literally) until he told me $900,000. Wow! He said in a couple of weeks it would go up as he was doing a lot of work. I asked if I could have a look round (so brave all of a sudden) and he invited Huffle and I across. The boys played baseball while we viewed. Now this house is a Century home which is rare here as there is very little history. It was built in 1890 and it looks like nothing has been done since then either. It has huge high ceilings and original wooden floors and grates, knobs etc but it was really dingy and dark and there was crap everywhere. The wife is supposed to be an interior designer but it was just full to the brim with stuff. It is going to take them forever to get all their bits out. He is slowly doing work on it and it could potentially be a fabulous house but it did not look ready for sale at all. I don't believe in staging a house and pretending it is something it's not but you have to tidy and clean before people view a place you want to sell surely? There were cobwebs and dust and piles of stuff everywhere. He is hoping to sell to a family who want to keep it true to its origin and not knock down walls and make it modern in any way. Good luck! He showed us a window he had restored and just as I was thinking of putting my head out, it slammed down shut. It could have had my head off! He said we could dig up a couple of his ferns and after I did, I fell down a hole, almost hit myself with my spade and broke the ferns. Bloody place is a death Trap! If we had a ton of money and lots of time, we could make the house beautiful but I think it would cost an awful lot just to make it habitable. Three bedrooms, one bathroom, no shower, a kitchen that belongs in....... well I don't know when, basic is the best description. It does have a pantry. He said he was putting a kitchen in.

We played baseball with the kids before coming in and watching Britains Got Talent. Today Britain did have a bit of talent. Two 14 year old girls with amazing voices.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 19 May 2017

I met a chinaman fishing

Smallest slept really well so hopefully the wet towel in his room helped. Unfortunately Huffle didn't sleep well because it was so hot in the night. We have booked Smallest a doctor's appointment but can't get him in until 12 June so if he still has a cough by then, he definitely needs to visit. I looked at humidifiers but we have to have a low humidity to kill dust mites and mould and high humidity for Pollen allergies. Ummm that's not helpful. I think we need more research.

Both boys waited for the bus this morning and played baseball with a fallen branch and an invisible ball. Smallest insisted he got many homeruns. I was their umpire. There was an award assembley today but no one told me. Smallest got five ribbons for shotput (1st), 100m, 200m, 400m and Javelin (2nds). Small got a third for 400m but he gave his ribbon away.

Photos courtesy of ClownRose
I asked him to look proud!

Huffle worked and in his breaks continued the path at the front. It is looking very nice as it meanders past the grasses and Liriodendron (Tulip Tree). I went off early to Suffolks house where I stayed all day. Today she went off to work leaving a couple of young men in her house painting. As she didn't know them she didn't want to leave them on their own so I offered to sit in her house. I was there to keep an eye on them but also in case they needed anything or had to leave the house open and unattended. I took my sock with me which I had to undo and then redid the heel. When I first got there, their music was blaring. I didn't mind it because I have music on wherever I am and normally very loud. This music had lots of swearing in, again nothing that bothered me. I happily sat and knit and drank my coffee while they painted.

After about an hour they asked me if the music was okay and then turned it down and later made a brand new playlist that had less swearing in. It was very sweet of them but made me feel very old. They were university students so probably I was their mothers age. Later they said they did it as a matter of courtesy which was very nice and I appreciated it even if I preferred their first choice of music. Once I had finished my heel, I did an hour gardening. I wasn't going to but as it was much cooler I took full advantage. Plus the digging over I had done yesterday had been flattened by the heavy rain. It didn't take much to get it looking nice again and I had time to dig over most of the other parts too. When Suffolk came home we had a lovely salad lunch and a cup of tea.

I got home after the boys. Huffle had made pizza dough and we all made pizza for dinner. This evening we all went to Smallest's football practice. He has been chosen to play for the Gold team. This is one of the two Tier 1 teams (we think not the 'best' team but there is scope for him to move from one to another through the season). He was very happy and he is with MrD who moved from the last club at the same time. Our first game is against the club that OldCoach's son plays for now. Ummmm that should be interesting.

During the practice, I went for a walk around the pond and saw a Beaver swimming alongside a duck. I also met a Chinaman who was fishing. I asked if he caught anything but he didn't understand me. He said no after the third time of asking but I'm not convinced he knew what I was saying. Today Smallest got his Player Card (with a R missing from his name) that he has to present at each game or he can't play, a shirt, two pairs of shorts and two pairs of socks. He will get a bag, ball, practice top and track suit soon. He has another practice on Sunday and one on Monday (unless they do really well on Sunday) and his first game is on Tuesday.

Huffle and I watched Gardeners World and voted on the best garden plant. We chose geraniums as we had a lovely geranium garden in The Village and we have quite a few here too.

 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

He wanted to be a cannibal?*

Smallest woke himself up in the night coughing. He also woke Huffle. Small and I slept on. Smallest had to be woken at 7:30am. We are considering taking him to the doctors as this cough seems to be going on a bit too long. Tonight we are going to put wet washing in his room to encourage some moisture in case his room is too dry. I wonder if we ought to get him a humidifier. Small walked to school again in order to get to his 8am softball practice. Smallest once again waited for the bus by himself, deadheading the daffs and chatting to me.

It was another hot day. 32* at times of scorching hot humid sunshine which turned into a storm later. We lost power for a couple of seconds only. We had huge warnings but it wasn't anything much in the end though the rain was really really heavy. Huffle and the boys disappeared into the basement for about ten minutes at its worst. This morning I went shopping in the and bought food and plants.

Huffle and I put the shopping away and then had lunch. This afternoon I went to Suffolks and did an hour and half gardening. This morning I bought a selection of plants for her garden with the understanding what she didn't need, we would have. We got some nice ones and so did she. I dug over the front garden and a part of the side and then I planted 10+ new little plants. We managed a cup of a tea and a banana and sampled some paints on her walls before I came home.

Due to the high pressure today I have been suffering with a headache all day. Dinner was made with help from all and then we all played Catan online. Small won.

Silliness

 

*smallest misheard someone say "he wanted to be accountable". Slight difference.

 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Major Tom's Toms

Small had to get up and go out earlier than normal again, this time so he could catch the bus for his grade to visit the High School. He walked to school. Today they discussed clubs and the only one he definitely wants to do is football plus band but that is a given seeing as he has chosen music as one of his electives. He was there all morning and then spent the rest of the day at the dress rehearsal for the Spring Concert.

Smallest waited and waited and waited for his bus. Luckily the weather was lovely. He deadheaded the daffodils for me and checked on his bird feeder which is now empty, those greedy birds.

Our first Magnolia flower. Beautiful. We've waited about four years for that.

This afternoon Huffle and I went to watch the Dress Rehearsal of the Spring Concert. At Christmas I got the flu and I am convinced it was from the Concert. Too cramped, too hot, too many sick people. So when we got the chance to watch the rehearsal instead, Huffle and I jumped at it. It was a bit rough around the edges but much more enjoyable. Plenty of room, no huge reason to be overly quiet and not too warm. Huffle had to leave but not before Small played his part in the band and Smallest played his piano piece. Huffle was very moved by Smallest's performance. Bless, he did really well. Thank goodness we don't have to hear THAT tune anymore though. They had the proper concert later that evening.

I drove to the garage and dropped my car there for new brakes. I also pointed out there was a funny noise when I turned right (which was possibly the brakes too), my handbrake was loose and the exhaust (muffler) was noisy. I walked on to Exercise where it was just KW and I. We worked hard mainly with floor work, thank goodness we didn't do any weights, my arms are hurting from Monday exercise and Tuesday gardening. I walked back home, had a shower and then lunch with Huffle in front of a bit of Gotham before we went to the concert.

I had to walk home. 30* and humid. What a crazy weather system we have here. Half way home I got a call from the garage saying my brakes pads and rotaries (guessing that means discs) needed repairing and my muffler (snigger) needed replacing. All in all too much money for me to say yes to without talking to Huffle first. We decided to get the work done as my car is very very noisy and it has been steadily getting worse for over a year now. It won't be ready until tomorrow morning though.

This afternoon, I was sitting on the porch, revelling in the sunshine whilst chatting to Moo, who was sitting watching the rain, when the bus stopped for the little girl next door. They won't let her off without Otto being there. At this point I should mention that Otto is NOT his real name. I shouted OTTO at the top of my voice and then realised I'd shouted his nickname. Whoops. Moo was laughing. I shouted his real name and then went and knocked on his door to get him out. He didn't say thank you but I did it for the girl more than him.

The boys came home and chatted to Moo for a while before I made dinner and they helped me. I ironed their lovely white shirts for the concert and managed to get a photo before Huffle dropped them off.

A silly photo
A bit-too-sensible photo

We sat on the porch but it was too hot and came and sat on the patio and played Catan online. When Small finished his band part he walked home. Huffle and I went and picked Smallest up and got handed a tomato plant grown from seeds from space by one of the teachers. We planted it in the garden when we got home.

A quick look around the garden before we got completely bitten by mosquitoes........

Lovely tulips
Dicentra. Coreopsis. Epimedium. Magnolia. Liriodendron. Virginian Bluebells

 

Today I had two diffferent people, at different times, mention that my skin was red and perhaps burnt! OMG! Here we go again. WHY? Why can't people leave me alone. The first one helped me come up with some suggestions, the first being 'just say you're English'. The second one, ignore them, well I tried that on the second person that asked me but she continued and asked if I had been enjoying the sun today. I just shook my head and walked away. So now I am the rude one! The third suggesions was to make something up. I tried saying I had a Skindrome (you know like a syndrome but on my skin!) but they thought I was saying I had a skin drone!!!! The last suggestion was call it TBS (no meaning) and ask them to look it up if they continue to pester me! Arrrrggggh I have the rest of Spring and Summer to get through this!!!