Sunday, 26 March 2017

March - Week 4

Once again I find myself at Sunday with no idea where the week has gone. I usually pick up the laptop once a day to catch up with all the news but bits and bobs have been going on and there doesn't seem to have been time even to do that this week. 

I'm not up to speed where annual events are concerned either and didn't even realise it was Comic Relief this week, although they didn't do anything at school this year which is usually my reminder. I think the reason they've not bothered is because a pupil is very poorly in hospital so they're doing some fun things next week to raise money for Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. 

Mark has been itching to get out and start on the garden and has been keeping an eye on the weather forecasts. This weekend was decreed 'G' Day and by the time I got up Saturday morning, he'd tidied the shed, emptied and washed the storage units and was just about to start jet washing. My main job was to  point and say 'keep or throw'. I'm very good at this job as I can't be doing with clutter and we ended up with several bags of rubbish that we took to the tip.
I love it when the garden has had its annual clean up. The patio gets a good blast and the summerhouse and decking get a lick of paint and every so often we put new gravel down.
                
It's 2 days well spent as it always looks good when it's done. All I need to do now is wait a few weeks until it's a little bit warmer then buy some plants for the tubs. My nephew is painting Mums fencing for her at the moment and is doing a grand job so we may ask him to come down and do ours for us. 
Bury was definitely on the cards this week, there's only so long I can go without truffles and wool. I'm knitting up a baby boy set with the a ball of Navajo in between carrying on with the cribs and angels. 
           
My sister went to the Docs this week with high BP, so high in fact that they sent her straight to A&E for an ECG. Worryingly it wasn't normal and shows something not quite right with the left hand side of her heart. She's waiting to go for a scan but with my history it's left me feeling jittery on her behalf, although she's carrying on regardless.

Amy isn't too well. She's had a sore throat for a few days and spent Friday in her PJ's curled up on the sofa. I bought a bottle of lemon barley water yesterday mainly because the sun was shining and the gardening was hot work, but also so I could add some hot water to it for her to drink which seems to be giving her a bit of relief. 
And today is Mother's Day. Matthew came with Sienna yesterday and brought me a lovely basket of flowers and Thomas bought me a huge box of chocolates.
The boys did good but I'm afraid the same can't be said of Amy. She can't find my Mother's Day card in her pit of a bedroom - she's possibly thrown it out by mistake and she's ordered something on line that hasn't arrived yet. I'm not bothered. It's just a day isn't it although after the events in London it seems more poignant this year.

Children have lost parents, parents have lost their sons and a daughter and there are many families affected by what happened. It puts everything into perspective doesn't it and the best present I have is that we're all safe and together. 

My heart goes out to everybody involved and sadly I'm once again reminded how fragile life is. 

Have a lovely week. 

xxx










Sunday, 19 March 2017

March - Week 3

Well, it's not been entirely uneventful here this week. Wendy has had a little accident, bless her. She was jumping up at the french doors to go out like she usually does and as I opened them she was mid jump and managed to pull one of her claws out on the locking mechanism. Thank goodness Mark was here because I don't deal with blood very well and there was quite a bit of it. I phoned the vet and they suggested I dip her paw in flour to stem the bleed. Credit where it's due, if I ever ring them they never automatically say "come in". Anyway on the third dip the bleeding finally stopped. It completely knocked her for six though and she spent 3 days literally licking her wounds on Amy's bed. Last night she seemed to come round and today she's bouncing around as usual and begging for food again - a sure sign she's on the mend.
Not long after posting last weeks news, the washing machine got stuck full of clothes and water. It does get stuck sometimes but usually only when the cycle has finished, never halfway through. After switching the power back on and off which generally works but didn't, we then spent half an hour pressing buttons trying to re-set it. Eventually it just seemed to rectify itself and touch wood has been fine since. 


I did a bit of baking this week mainly for Thomas who always comes in from school hungry. I bought some Mr Kipling Angel Slices one day and the little monkey came in and ate 4 of them straight off. Mind you, there's nothing to them, 2 bites and they're gone. I find homemade cake is more substantial and cheaper!
My first batch of 10 angels have been knitted up and 10 sets of wings have been crocheted. I just need to stuff their heads and sew on the halos.
Mark needed some acetate so we had a trip to Hobbycraft and I naturally gravitated towards the wool section but was very good and didn't buy any. When I got home though I could have kicked myself because I completely forgot to look for some sock wool while I was there. 
My Avon arrived today which was a nice surprise as I'd forgotten I'd put an order in. I really like their room sprays. I'm not a lover of air fresheners, a lot of them get up my nose and give me a headache, but these are really light. I chose Cherry Blossom and it smells lovely.
We didn't go to Bury on Wednesday so truffle stocks are dangerously low. In fact there are only 2 left and they're rum truffles. I'm not keen on them so I'll donate mine to Mark. The problem is there are Easter Eggs in the wardrobe and it's going to take a lot of self discipline not to crack one open tonight while watching Vera. 
Amy was bored yesterday so I asked her if she wanted to sew a taggie for Sienna. She started off OK and sewed the 4 floral pieces together and pinned the ribbons on that she chose. 
Then she got fed up so I ended up finishing it off for her. She likes the idea of sewing and knitting but it doesn't come that naturally to her. 
Yesterday marked 23 years since Dad died. I always put his anniversary on my calendar and every year I think "I don't know where those years have gone". So many lovely things have happened that he's missed. These days, after having a near brush myself around about his age, I also think how young he really was when he died. When we were looking at photos last week I came across a few of him and as strange as this might sound to a lot of people, I find it hard to look at him. It's just too sad. A quick glance and then they get put back in the box. 

And that's about it again for this week. My days are full of routine which I think is why they sometimes all blur into one and the week is over before I know it. 

I spend my mornings doing the housework, followed by a couple of hours of knitting, crocheting or catching up with blogs in the afternoons before school pick up time. When Thomas gets in, I make him something to eat, sort his school bag, make lunch boxes, tell him off for leaving his uniform on the bathroom floor and his socks in the sink and threaten him with no pocket money if he doesn't hang his clothes up. 

Then I sit down with a brew for 20 minutes before getting started on making tea. After eating, clearing away and tidying the kitchen it's usually about 6.30pm. An hour on the laptop followed by a couple of hours watching something on TV, takes me to supper time for Thomas, where I find myself in the kitchen making toast and warm milk and probably telling him off again for raiding the crisp box when I wasn't looking.  

Then after chivvying him upstairs at 10pm to brush his teeth and get into bed  (late I know, but that's his routine and he's fine with it), me and  Mark do a house sweep which is basically all last minute pots in the dishwasher, let the dogs out, let the dogs in, check the cars are locked, lock the doors, lights off and bed. 

It's hardly exciting stuff is it. But it is what it is and for the most I love my days. Routine also makes anything out of the ordinary quite exciting! Like Mum buying me a packet of Pontefract cakes.
Or deciding on a danish instead of a vanilla crown and pale pink tulips instead of daffodils! I am a simple creature indeed. 
So, whether your days follow routine or you lead a devil may care exciting life, I hope you all have a lovely week ahead of you. 

xxx


























Sunday, 12 March 2017

March - Week 2

Well, it's been totally uneventful at Number 38 this week. Usually something or other happens that is slightly out of the ordinary but nothing of any consequence has taken place since I last blogged. We have all plodded on each doing what we do best and here we are again at Sunday. I only hope this isn't the peace before some sort of storm. 

You'll be pleased to know I've kept grumbling about housework to a minimum, mainly because I haven't done very much! I've kept on top of the basics but jobs like wiping down door frames, lifting the suite cushions to hoover underneath, cleaning all the mirrors etc have been left. These things have all become part of my weekly routine and I feel guilty when I don't do them but really they don't need doing every week.

For a change I've cleaned behind the scenes and the kitchen cupboards were first on the hit list. Our eating habits have changed slightly over the past few weeks but I've still been buying the usual things so a good sort out and stock take was needed. I've discovered I have enough tinned tomatoes to see me through any tomato looming crisis! Looking at this photo I've decided fajitas are on the menu tomorrow night. 
My wardrobe was pretty messy with wool that I'd just shoved in there so that got sorted out as well and I feel better for doing it. I've come to the conclusion I don't mind any housework that leaves me with that satisfied 'before and after' feeling and my cupboards and wardrobes certainly filled this inner need.

A couple of days have been nice enough to have the windows and doors open which has made me less hemmed in. It's been lovely hunkering down over winter but I'm ready to let the outside in now. We tend to do the big garden clean up in April ready for summer but I'm going to try and get out there this week and tidy some pots up. My bleeding heart and clematis are growing and there are trees around us with blossoms on which makes me feel very happy indeed.  
I've been knitting and crocheting and the sleeping bag is finished. I didn't work to a pattern I just made it up and it was a bit annoying to discover I needed to buy another ball of wool for the sake of a few rows on the chest panel and the straps. Never mind, it'll get used for something. 
I forgot to buy flowers on Thursday. Lidl is being extended and it's throwing  me off a little bit, so I either walked past them or they didn't have any. Either way none came home with me. But the daffs from last week are still doing strong. 
The smell of daffs always reminds me of primary school. I was 6 years old and we were allowed to go outside and play in the garden which had 2 old rowing boats in it. The teacher let us all choose something out of the dressing up box - nothing like the dressing up boxes of today with princess costumes and superhero outfits - these were just old clothes, hats, handbags and shoes. Anyway, I chose my outfit and me and my best friends Andrea and Gillian rowed ourselves to the seaside. Daffs were growing out of the grass hence the connection. Funny how some memories always stay with us isn't it. 

I tried to find a photo of myself aged 6 to show you but couldn't but I did come across this one of Amy and it always makes me laugh. This ended up in the Middleton Guardian and I was mortified at the time; now I love it.
She'd be equally mortified to know I've put this one of her on here. She'd pin curled her hair and wrapped my scarf around it to keep the pillow dry.  A few pieces of fruit and she'd look like Carmen Miranda. Sparky loves sleeping next to her. No wonder he suffers from anxiety separation when she goes out, they're like an old married couple. 
I've not seen her for most of the weekend, she's been staying with her friend but she's not been far away. Mark went into the back garden this morning and heard his name being called and there she was, leaning out of his window waving to us. 
Chocolates were on the shopping list again this week and we decided to break with habit and go for strawberry creams. I used to love the cream chocolates when I was little, not so much now, but these are divine and not sickly at all. The idea was to give up something every week during Lent and the first thing was chocolate.  Unfortunately, I can't think of anything else I want to give up so I've failed miserably. I might turn it around next year and instead of giving something up, make a point of doing something instead. It's a much more positive outlook and I'm all for the positives in life.
One person who won't be giving up chocolate is Aunty Edith. It's still a pleasure in her life and at 93 years old why shouldn't it be. She's invited us all around for tea on Easter Sunday so we'll take this egg for her. Thomas loves going over to visit. Him and Ken always end up in the garage sawing and knocking pieces of wood together to make something or other.  
And that's about it for this week. Just a quiet 7 days of life ticking over as normal. But normal is good.

Hope you've all had a lovely week and if anything out of the ordinary has happened it's been 'good' out of the ordinary.


xxx












Sunday, 5 March 2017

March - Week 1

As much as I love being at home and looking after the family there are times when I get fed up of the monotony of it all and this week has been one of those weeks. Usually when Amy and Thomas return to school I'm raring to get started on sorting the house out but after a good start on Monday my enthusiasm for all home-making activities vanished. In fact, I have internally and more often than I care to admit, externally, grumbled my way through the washing, ironing, cooking, shopping and pretty much everything else house related this week. I can only hope my love of pairing socks, dusting, mopping floors and changing beds returns soon!

Anyway, moving on from the mundane what else have we been up to this week.

Well, there was snow on Tuesday although after wishing for it since December I was glad it came and went pretty quickly this time as I needed to go out.
There's something about sticking your hand out of the door to try and catch snowflakes isn't there.
And of course it was pancake day. Mark, Amy and myself ate 3 each and greedy guts Thomas managed to put 6 away.
We are on a bit of a healthy eating drive at the moment, if you don't take the pancakes into account, and salad features quite a lot at lunchtime. This one was extra tasty because Mark made it.
Amy has taken to drinking proper tea so I bought her some English tea leaves and a strainer. It's a bit of a faff actually. The tea leaves are too small or maybe the holes in the strainer are too big, but either way leaves end up in the cup. It doesn't seem to bother her though.
Just while we're talking about tea this was my Nanna's tea strainer. She was born in 1910 so I reckon if she bought it when she was setting up home it could be around 80 years old. 
Wednesday was Bury where I restocked with wool, lace and angels for the cribs and halos for the angels. Mum has also passed on some wool so I have plenty to keep me going probably for a good few months. 

I had a look for some wool so I could have a go at knitting some socks but couldn't find any so I think I'll have to buy it on-line. As every pair I've got seem to have holes in them I treated myself to some new ones
Thomas wanted to play a board game one evening so out came the roulette table - a stocking filler - and we spent an hour gambling our coloured chips away. I'm not sure I should be encouraging this sort of thing really but we did we have fun playing it. 
I've been to the hairdressers for my usual wash and cut. I enjoy my visits here. It's a local salon, although salon really is too fancy a word. The chit chat and gossip is always entertaining and clients and staff always end up talking across the room together about something or other that's happening in our lives. It's like something you'd see on a TV programme. 
Thursday was World Book Day at school. Thomas wasn't keen on dressing up this year, I think he feels too old now. Amy suggested going as Percy Jackson which was perfect. Normal clothes, a sword and a bolt of lightening. He wasn't even bothered that the sword would probably have to be stored in his locker. So there we have it. Our final book day. I admit I feel nothing but relief that these sort of events are finally coming to an end. We heard this week that he got into his High School of choice so that's a weight of our minds. He seems excited and ready to go and not in the least bit concerned about the change. Primary hasn't always been easy for him but he's come on in leaps and bounds lately so my only worries are those every Mum probably has about their child moving to High School. 
Broadchurch has returned and after not enjoying the last series at all, this one has grabbed my interest from the start. I'm willing to overlook the fact that Hayley (I don't even watch Corrie but I'm afraid whatever role Julie Hesmondhalgh plays I will only ever think of her as Hayley), wasn't taken straight to hospital even though she had a head wound and seemed to be suffering from memory loss, but apart from that little oversight, it looks like it could be a good story line.
             
On Friday I had the house all to myself so I indulged in a film called Florence Foster Jenkins. It's based on a true story about the most awful opera singer (the term singer is used very loosely) and it had me rolling around laughing and also crying at the end. Definitely worth a watch especially if you like Meryl Streep.

Amy finally remembered to tell us her results from her psych test. She's terrible for not keeping us informed. It's not that she's trying to hide bad grades she just lives her life in a "oh that's been and gone and I've moved on to the next thing" kind of way. I'm quite envious of her ability to do that actually. She really doesn't over think or dwell on very much at all. 
And today Matthew, Sophie and Sienna came for lunch. I did roast beef with all the trimmings and Sophie kindly provided dessert - homemade chocolate brownies with vanilla ice-cream. I'm not over keen on chocolate desserts but these were lovely and pretty much melted in your mouth. The jar was packed full when they arrived and the fact there's only 3 or 4 left is testament to how delicious they are. 
Sienna sat at the table with us although she has to sit where Thomas can't see her because he can't eat his food if she's got hers all round her mouth! She had some of Granny's vegetables and finished up with some rice cakes. Seeing babies sat at the table eating with adults gives me a lovely "family" feeling.
They've not long gone so I'm just about to put the old PJs and settle down to a bit of TV. I've poured myself a gin with raspberry and lemonade as recommended by Rachel and have to say it tastes pretty damn delicious. I think a second one could well be on the cards. 
Reading back, this post is a bit all over the place which is exactly how I've felt this week. 

Hope you've all had a lovely Sunday and as always, thanks for popping by. 

xxx

Sunday, 26 February 2017

February - Week 4

One of the more exciting things this week has been nipping to the local shops where there's a big car park so that Amy can have a go at driving. I'm not teaching her as such because we drive automatics and she'll be taught in a manual, but I thought it would be worth doing to give her a sense of what it's like behind the steering wheel. We'll stay on the car park for a few more days and then maybe I'll take her out on the road. It's very quiet where we live but as soon as you leave the area you have to deal with dual carriageways and motorways so we'll only stay local.
On Monday me and Amy had plans to watch La La Land. We'd really been looking forward to this and it turned into a bit of an event with Thomas and one of Amy's friends coming along as well. Unfortunately, none of us enjoyed it apart from Amy's friend, who quite possibly was only being polite. In fact, after an hour me and Thomas came out. I found it painfully slow, I wanted to wind them up when they were talking, and there didn't seem any story to it. 
In fact the best bit was the popcorn even though it caused an argument between Thomas and Amy. I bought Thomas a big box and he wouldn't let Amy have any. Now, I'm not defending him but we all know he has a thing about his food so there's no way he's going to let anybody dip their hands into his popcorn. Amy is totally the opposite. Nothing like that bothers her, (although I'm surprised she was willing to eat something his hands had been all over). Anyway, she called him selfish and an argument ensued. I offered to buy her a box, but no, and I quote "that's not the point". Strewth! I was glad when she stuck a bon bon in her mouth and couldn't speak.
The quilts and preemie set were parcelled up and posted off and I've had two lovely e-mails back from the charities. I've been strict with myself and not started anything new this week. Instead I've got the back of the sleeping bag on the needles and have been quite happily knitting this up.  

I also had a lovely e-mail from Tigerlily Trust thanking me for sending the gowns, cribs and angels. I feel quite honoured actually because I've been asked if I would make 50 angels for their annual remembrance service in October. Of course, I didn't need to think twice about it. More cribs have also been requested.

My friend visited on Wednesday, we've known each other since we were 11 when we met on our first day at High School. She came for lunch with her little boy who has Downs Syndrome. He's adorable and a little live wire. Luckily it wasn't raining and we managed a trip to the park to feed the ducks and run off some energy - his not ours! Back home, he decided he'd like a go on the Xbox. Thomas was very accommodating and after hiding his controller gave him the spare one that he didn't think was working. You should have seen his face when he realised it was connected and 'C' started moving things around on the screen! He actually blanched, probably worrying that all his hard fought for levels were about to go down the drain. 
I've had a hankering for cherry and almond cake for a while and finally got around to baking one today. My cherries always sink even though I wash and flour them. Still tastes good though.
Wendy went to the groomers where I asked for 'short' - you all know I like my monies worth where the dogs are concerned. I was a bit taken aback when I picked her up though. All her feathery bits had been completely cut off. Might need to clarify short and shaved next time. 
In a bid to not be too predictable I chose a different pastry from Lidl this week
My Valentine's flowers are still going strong
And my friend brought me cutest little rose.
And that really is about it this week. There have been no days out as planned mainly due to the weather. No shopping trip with Mum. No faffing around like I usually do with wool and material. No goodies bought from Bury. Not even much instagramming or blog reading. In fact the days have just all rolled into one really. 

But considering what I've not done, it's been a most enjoyable week. I really must get on and do something productive this week though. 

I'm now just waiting for some samosa's and spring rolls to come out of the oven to go with our Sunday tea and then we'll be settling down to an evening of TV.
Hope your week was more productive than mine - if you wanted it to be of course. If not, then never mind, it's good to relax and let things slip sometimes :)

xxx