Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Horizontal or Vertical

Huffle and I were just about to settle down to sleep when we heard a huge roar of thunder. Where Huffle sleeps, he can't quite see one of our windows as it is obscured by a wardrobe, but I can and it was through this window that I saw the lightning. I counted how many miles away between each lightning and thunder and it started at around 9 but quickly got to 3. Huffle jumped into the walk-in wardrobe (closet) and I looked in on Small who was up and I think on his way to us. Smallest was awake but lying in bed still. I asked if they wanted to come in our room and they did. Huffle ended up in the basement and the boys and I settled ourselves on the sofas. In the end we all sat and watched some of Britains Got Talent. We thought there was going to be another storm but it seemed to miss us so we all went to bed.

Everyone is very tired today and the boys didn't get us up until nearly 8am which meant Huffle missed his train to Toronto for several meetings this morning. His first meeting got postponed due to a fire drill! He came home around 4 pm and had to carry on working.

The boys went to school in a very silly mood. Tired but still silly. The men arrived shortly after 8am and put the window surround back on (I didn't notice it was off), finished 'mudding' the walls and started the wall tiling. We noticed one of the box of tiles was different to the rest despite it saying the same on the outside of the box. Luckily we noticed before they went on the wall. Huffle called the bathroom people last night to ask where our vanity was as it should have been in the shop on the 28th. We had a message back this morning on the answerphone saying that it wasn't here yet, they were sorry and that it should arrive Monday or Tuesday next week. MrBasement didn't seem too concerned so I guess they won't be finished this week after all. BOOOO!

I went to aerobics this morning and it was torture. Everything aches so much it was so hard to do. I took ExerciseNic's girls their flapjack and recipe and took some for the ladies after we finished for a snack. It was needed. The rest of the morning I chose which way the tiles should go (what a nightmare, vertical or horizontal? We decided on horizontal but I'm not sure why). I tidied, cleaned a bit, had lunch and went out to get some bits from the supermarket.

More lovelies blooming in our garden

Small's softball game was cancelled so he came home on the bus with Smallest. They did their chores, practiced piano and played on their Tablets.

After dinner Huffle took Small to his practice. Small got angry when he tackled a boy and hurt him and the other team got a penalty. He worked very hard and saved his team a lot of goals. Smallest and I played basketball and watched some of Shaun the Sheep Movie. Very funny even if we have seen it half a dozen times.

Small's new kit - white!!!!

The progress on the bathroom is going well....................

Muddling and window surround
Shelfy bit
Alcove trim
More tiling
These silly dudes passing by



Tuesday, 30 May 2017

First game of the season

Today our weather ranged from hot bright sunshine for the morning to torrential rain and lightning and thunder storms with hail in some parts during the middle of the day and afternoon and then the day ended with bright sunshine, a sprinkling of rain and a rainbow.

I had to drive Small to his softball practice as he only got up minutes before he had to leave, leaving me very little time to make his lunch before we went. Smallest went on the bus. Huffle worked on the kitchen table but ended up in the basement during the storm which rocked our kitchen table!!

MrBasement and L4D arrived just after 8am and got to work putting up the Concrete Board around the bath and shower. They were very noisy and messy today.

Ready for tiling?!
Hard to see but this is where the shelves will go

I went off to work first thing and Jan and I cleared a bed of Persicaria, Flox, muscari bulbs and Stachys. This bed is going to be used as an annual display once we have cleared it more. We moved lots of plants, potted loads more and I came home with tons of stuff which Huffle and I frantically planted before the heavy rain started. For coffee break we had lovely scrumptious butter tart squares. We were a full house as MrsM was back from her trip in the UK and telling us all her stories no thand Greenhouse had four people in it too. MrsM bought the boys presents back. Smallest got some glow in the dark frogs which he instantly put on the windowsill to charge. Small got a lovely ladybird for his garden.

Some lovelies from our garden

This afternoon I should have gone to Suffolks for a cup of tea but the storm and rain was so bad and my head hurt from the pressure so I stayed at home and made some flapjack for ExerciseNics kids as I promised I would them and give them the recipe for their birthdays. I had to convert my recipe into cup measurements because scales aren't really a 'thing' here. I made one batch and wrote down the recipe for them and made another to check if my measurements were okay. The men tried it and they liked it. The boys tried it and they loved it obviously. Huffle definitely likes it and I had to have a piece or two.

We had dinner early as we weren't really sure if football would be on or not because of the weather but it was and we watched the game. We lost 5-1. We have come to the conclusion that the top team has stayed the same as it always has and the club decided to make another Tier 1 team based on the three new players. However instead of mixing the teams up, they are left with one great and one half good. They held their own but there was little communication between the boys and Huffle felt their formation was lacking. Smallest played very well and worked extremely hard. We sat through sunshine, rain and then sunshine again.




Monday, 29 May 2017

Rain stops play twice

There should have been a thunder storm last night into the early hours of the morning but it never came. Huffle lay awake waiting for it, silly man. I was too hot as there was no air coming in the windows. We had to have the fan on full blast. Smallest also had his fan on. We did get some rain though and it then rained on and off for the rest of the day.

Smallest bear fast asleep last night

Smallest had woken Small at 7am but he had gone back to sleep and had to wake him again at 7:30 when he woke me up. It was a blurry eyed household this morning. Huffle also got up early in order to move the cars as we had forgotten to do it last night.

The boys went to school. MrBasment and L4D arrived around 8:15. Huffle worked from the kitchen table and up in the loft when things got too noisy and I went off to MrsBasements house and weeded her vegetable patch. Today I learned there is no such thing as a Hoe here (well apart from the obvious but I believe that is spelled differently). I used my British Hoe and hoed all the weeds away, picked them out and spread cow poo over the whole bed. It made the job so much easier than digging. Besides the soil was too rooty to dig it throroughly. Considering she only wants to plants tomatoes and beans, there is no need to dig deeply as it would only encourage more weeds to come through. I stayed for an hour and a half and finished the job. She was very pleased.

I came home and relaxed on the porch with an early lunch and then went off for my exercise class. We had some sad news this morning that ExerciseNic's mum had passed away. Unfortunately she had cancer and the treatments were just not working. Very sad. ExerciseNic decided today that we would do our class on the local park. She attempted to get me to hang from the monkey bars and lift my legs. It was really hard. We did press ups on the bench, jumped up and down on the wood surrounds and hung a lot. I was already hurting from gardening yesterday and then gardening this morning hurt me also. I may not be able to move tomorrow. Later when I was hanging out the washing my arms felt really weak and useless. It was nice to be exercising outside though, if not a little warm. There was distant thunder but we had really hot weather for a while.

I came home and showered really quickly in case the water had to be turned off. Today the men were plumbing in the bath, plus they made a little alcove for in the shower wall, put in a light for the towel shelves and put up bits of wood and stuff.

The boys came home. Smallest had fallen over running to get on the bus and fell over a 'hump' on the useless path (their words). His knee was grazed and bleeding so I administered some first aid. Both boys had piano lessons and are working hard on their recital pieces.

After dinner (leftovers from various meals) we all went to football. Huffle took Small and picked up his new kit, sheltered in the nearby school from the Lightning and came home when the game was cancelled before they even started. I took Smallest to his practice and sat for ten minutes and ctually talked to a nice Mum who I haven't met before, the rain came down and lightning started and the practice was cancelled and we came home.

Smallest and I rushed to get the washing off the line, played a game of Lego Robots and then watched an episode of Shaun the Sheep. The big boys came home and watched with us until Smallest's bedtime. Smallest and I are reading a book I got from the Thrifty shop. It's by Roald Dahl and it's a collection of short stories. I haven't heard if it before but it's very good and we are enjoying it.

This evening Huffle and I watched Paul Hollywood's Big Continental Road Trip (BBC2). Very good. Lots of Italy (always good) and lots of lovely Italian Cars (my favourite has to be the Fiat cinque cento).



Sunday, 28 May 2017

Weedy Sunday

It was Smallest's turn to choose what we had for breakfast and he decided on Waffles. He collected the ingredients, I mixed it all, Small set the table and reached for things too high for us all and Huffle chopped fruit.

After breakfast Smallest got ready for his first Academy session for football. Don't know why it is called that because Huffle said it wasn't much different from the normal practices but there you go. They were done by 1:30pm and came home with a new ball and a practice tee-shirt that looks like the transfer on it will crack and crumble in the wash. Oh goody!

I went into the garden and planted all our new plants and weeded everywhere of those goddam dandelions. How is it they can thrive in anything and grow so big with huge long roots that reach to the centre of the earth? It seemed like I pulled out millions of them. No doubt when I go out there again there will be another million growing. I worked tirelessly from 11:30am until 2pm and my back was killing me. I tried to get Small to help me and he did begrudgingly pick up some weeds and plant pots and mow some grass with a pushy ancient mower but mainly he sat inside playing on his IPad. I asked him to sort my music out a couple of times but it didn't quite work well enough. We need to find him things to do that don't involve gadgets else it's going to a be a really long Summer.

I had to have a second shower after gardening as today was so warm. I also got many mosquito bites!!! Smallest had his shower and then we went out for a well deserved dinner.

Back home we all played basketball and did a bit of tidying up of garden stuff. Smallest did a bit of veggie garden weeding and then we went inside to get away from more mosquitoes. Small sat at the computer looking for Summer Camps he could do and Smallest and I tried to build a domino rally - we did not succeed as we kept knocking it down. So frustrating. Everyone played Ludo before Smallest went to bed.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

It's backsplash season*

Everyone had a late night. The big boys had a good time at the baseball. Lots of runs, seeing a Grand Slam (bases loaded and a home run), sitting in good seats, not up in the 500's where Huffle normally seats us. Smallest and I are not feeling at all bitter about this!

Jose Bautista. The big boys. Man who checked his stocks regularly instead of watching the game

This morning Huffle and I went off before breakfast to get to the Hamlet's Pant Sale. Bearing in mind I bought all the best ones yesterday, there were thin pickings left. We did however pick up a Helebore and MrsRoyal picked up a Variegated Solomon Seal for me. We came back for breakfast and the boys were already eating whilst watching Karate Kid II.

We left them at home again and went tiling shopping. Before we went we checked online to see which branch had the ones we wanted. Of course once we got there, the big pallet full wasn't there anymore so we had to go to another branch instead. Still we got them all eventually and came home to unload. *we were advised it was backsplash season, hence the tiles and grout being out of stock. Apparently once the sun shines into your kitchen you realise how bad the tiling is and replace it. This is the season to change your tiles in your kitchen. Not flooring, it's not flooring season!! The online system not only lied about our tiles being there. It also stated that there were -5 boxes of grout left in the colour we wanted. How can there be a minus amount??

After a quick cuppa, we all went out for dinner at the Food Truck Frenzy. This is something we have done before. It's a meeting of all different food trucks selling all sorts of things from burgers, pizza, curries to ice cream, donuts and so much more. We started with a share in two plates of Arancini (Italian Rice Balls). We had one rice ball each and sat and listened to music while we ate them hungrily. Next we all shared a Tornado. A potato cut into a long spiral and fried. Ummmmmm. Huffle then found a van selling naans and they had a lovely sounding vegetarian meal which is rare. The boys all shared a naan with Butter Chicken and rice and I had a Garlic Naan with chick peas, spinach and sweet potato with crispy onions. It was very spicy but delicious. After that I was pretty full but the boys had only shared theirs so it was off for dessert next. They chose churros and we shared some caramel and chocolate ones. Not as good as the real thing we once had in Spain but nice. I sampled a tiny bit of IPA but settled on a nice Blonde Beer instead. Huffle wanted a key lime pie which we had last year from the same place. Just a small one put together in a jar. We shared that too and the kids finished off with a BeaverTail. For non-Canadians, this is a like a flat donut with a topping. They chose a Cheesecake Skor (toffee). We sat and listened to the very loud live music for a while before giving in and driving to the lake front for a walk.

Churros, photo booth whilst watching axe throwing and Smallest too small to order a BeaverTail
Boys and beavertails

This proved more difficult to get to than normal due to the huge amount of rain we have had recently. The lake is so high that some of the roads are closed, particularly one called Water Street which is ironic. We managed to find a way in the end and parked the car and walked along the boardwalk. The pier was closed due to the unsafeness of it and it was completely strewn with branches, wood and stones. It was quite a mess. We did walk on it but not too far and Smallest didn't think we should. So sensible. We carried on past the silly lady feeding the seagulls and a lone fisherman who spent a long time, catching nothing until our path was blocked by water again. We wandered along the beach and collected a few stones, threw in logs and skimmed. The kids had a quick go on the swings and we came home tired.

Misty pirate ship, bouncing a ball and beach walking
Debris on the pier
Bouncing, kicking dandelion seedheads (makes you wee the bed) and seagulls
Javelin, caber tossing and skimming

Once home I picked up my plant from MrsRoyal, stopped for a quick chat and then had a name shouting contest with LittleFinn across the road. He calls me Nam, the boys he calls Addie (both of them) and Huffle he calls Tu. For ages while I chatted to MissM and ClownRose, he shouted Nam and I shouted LittleFin, Nam, LittleFin. Apparently he talks about us all the time.

Gorgeous smelling lilac in Royals garden

We watched Britains Got Talent before Smallest went to bed and Britains Busiest Airport with Small before he went to bed and the Huffle and I watched Miss Sloane. Good film.


Friday, 26 May 2017

Trapping mice

I had a good night's sleep but apparently I snored which kept Huffle awake. Oh dear sorry Huffle. Small walked to school and did his softball practice but the field was very soggy after yesterday's heavy rain. Smallest got the bus by himself and recorded his French Play which didn't go very well because one of the boys got all the French words wrong.

I had a very leisurely quiet breakfast (no noisy men today in the bathroom) and then went off to knitting. Only me, ShopKeeperEl and Bern. A quiet knit but nice too and we did get a quick visit from Al and her granddaughter. I bought some more discount wool, finished my rib on my sock and drove off to Suffolks house for a salad lunch which she bought for us on the way home. Before we had time to eat it, we rushed off to Miss9's school to check out their projects which were on display in the hall, then we came back and had lunch and a cup or two of tea.

I came home, saw the boys were home and quickly popped to see MrsRoyal. It is the Hamlets Garden Club Plant Sale tomorrow and her car was full of plants. I bought nine (anemones, astrantias, agastache, a fern - apparently they were all split up alphabetically and MrsRoyal mainly had A's and B's) and brought them home.

This evening Huffle and Small went off to Toronto on the train for a baseball game on their own leaving Smallest and I at home. We played Mousetrap after agreeing we didn't fancy going anywhere and then we made our dinner. Tonight we had fishfinger sandwiches and watched The Minnion Movie - what a treat. Afterwards we played with the kinnex in his room and then snuggled in bed and talked of past holidays. He really is a funny bear, the things he remembers. Sometimes I wonder if he remembers photos more than real things. He said he had fun tonight.

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