Wednesday, 28 February 2018

February 2018

February always seems a busy month what with Pancake Day, Valentine's Day, half term and of course Amy's birthday. This year it was extra special as she turned 18. Have to admit that on my part there is great relief that we've got her to adulthood without any major mishaps and even greater relief that it's one down, one to go! 
           
We suggested lots of way to celebrate but she really didn't want to do anything in particular so we had afternoon tea, cake and bubbly at the house with family. It was lovely celebrating with the main people in her life from the littlest who is 20 months to the oldest who is 94. When I look back it really doesn't seem 2 minutes since she was Sienna's age. I  can remember taking this photo of her as though it were yesterday.
     
We've been sorting out uni accommodation and finance this month and she's booked and paid the deposit for her room in a dorm of 6 students. Before we know it she'll be embarking on the next part of her life's journey all by herself and I expect a lot more than literature will be learnt over the next 3 years. 
Pancakes featured as usual although this year there were no requests from Thomas to have a go at tossing one. He did ask to make one but threw the towel in pretty quickly when it got stuck and wandered off happy to be served 7 of the things before he declared he was full!
  
I haven't given up anything up for Lent, my willpower just isn't up to it and once I've banned something I just want it more. Instead, I'm making an effort to cut out the rubbish that I mindlessly grab on a day. I'm still in baking mode though and had one last hurrah where I stuffed myself full of cookies before I embarked on my 'less sugar' routine. The following week I made a more healthy option of savoury muffins. But I make no apologies for celebrating Amy's 18th with a slice of birthday cake. And I can assure you it's a nasty rumour that after baking chocolate cakes yesterday I ate one. Obviously I'm no saint, but I am feeling quite good that not one biscuit or chocolate in it's solid form has passed my lips in 3 weeks.
                

We didn't celebrate Valentine's, it's always hit and miss for us, but I cheekily asked Mark for a rain check in the form of a night out at the casino later on in the year. I do love a flutter on the roulette table every now and then. Mind you, I've not gone without treats this month even if I have bought them myself.
   
Annoyingly the way half term fell meant that Thomas had already been off all week before the caravan site opened. Never mind, even though we missed out on a few days away we made a point of going for a quick overnight stay. We still managed to pack a fair bit in including lots of walking. There was a trip to the beach, the arcade, the horse centre and of course the fish and chip shop :)  It was so much easier driving straight there rather than having to stop off and hook the van up, then doing the same in reverse.
          
The weekend just gone we managed to get over again for 2 nights. Oh boy was it cold. Freezing in fact. I could easily have stayed in the van all weekend but we made a point of getting out in the fresh air and had a walk along the front at Cleveleys. Saturday evening we wrapped up warm and had a walk to the clubhouse. Thomas has the most bizarre cue holding technique and it's obvious pool isn't going to come naturally to him, so it's always good for a laugh. He's much better at ping pong though. I should really get ours out at home. 
          
Family updates focus on the older generation this month. Joan is still well and happy in the home and Aunty Edith is as bright as anyone half her age, although she got a good telling off from us all a couple of weeks ago. Ken found her on the kitchen floor after she'd sneakily climbed on a chair when he wasn't looking to clean a kitchen cupboard and then fell off it. If I do get to 94 I can only hope my bones are in such good condition. I'm sure anybody else that age would have broken something. 
We also had a long overdue day out this month and visited an air raid shelter at Stockport which was fascinating. Built to hold 4,000 it often held 6,000 and quite often there was standing room only. I wouldn't have a problem with going down into the shelter, but I would definitely have had a problem with the 'ladies' and think I may have chosen to stay up top and take my chances. Not sure I'd have liked to have been ill either, the last photo is the first aid station. Apart from a bed on the other side that's pretty much it.
         
On the crafting front more baby blankets have been requested. My hexy flowers are coming along nicely. I was going to do different colours but my inner self just seems to permanently yearn for colour co-ordination! And I'm also knitting some baby jackets for a change. The pattern is an all in one that only requires the arm seams to be sewn which is perfect for me. I'm not good at the sewing part so only having to do 2 small seams is a big bonus.
    
And I think that pretty much rounds up February at Number 38. It's been another cold month and the bedroom window is still firmly shut. There was snow at the beginning of the month and we're also leaving February with the white stuff still falling. But in between we've had plenty of blue sky and the days are noticeably longer. Next time I write the clocks will have gone forward and we'll be in a new season. I'm in no rush for spring though. For me, winter has been perfect this year and just how it should be. I much prefer fresh, cold and white to the warm, wet and grey ones of previous years.
  
Hope you've all had a good February and are keeping warm and cosy. As always it's lovely to catch up with you so do say hello. 

xx



28 comments:

  1. Thank you for the update - a good month.
    Enjoy March

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    1. It has been a good month, for the most part. A couple of things behind the scenes needed sorting out but apart from that it's been OK. It's not my favourite month, too much going on at times and it always seems to go so quickly, although the winter weather seems to be slowing time down this year. Hope you are both well and that the weather doesn't affect any hospital visits for Col. xx

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  2. So enjoyed hearing about your busy February! And WOW...Amy is 18!! I have so enjoyed your blog and missed you when you were gone. Looking forward to the end of March to find out what is new with you all! Stay warm!!
    Dawn P. Albany, Georgia USA

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    1. Thank you Dawn. I know! I can't believe Amy is 18. I remember an old lady looking into the pram when she was only a baby and saying "enjoy it, it goes really quickly". It didn't feel like it at the time, in fact some days felt never ending lol, but looking back she was right.

      Amy speaks to 3 friends she's made over the internet who are from Georgia. They play some game or other together on the Xbox. It's such a small world isn't it these days.

      Snow has been falling all night and all day and Thomas' school is closed which has made him really happy. Amy isn't going to college either so it's a full house today. We've got the fire on, I've just put Sienna down for a nap, I've made coffee and I'm just catching up with everybody. Lovely to speak to you. Have a good month. xx

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  3. When you recap over the month it's surprising just how much has gone on. You've created lots of happy memories for the whole family.
    I'm with you on the Wintry weather. It's made a refreshing change to actually have a Winter this year as opposed to continuous dark, damp days from October to March. X

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    1. There's definitely something happening most of the time at Number 38. Plus all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes can make for very busy months ;)

      I've absolutely loved every minute of winter this year. I love all the seasons but most of all I like definition between each one. A lot of years they just all roll into one which can make for a bit of damp squib really. But winter really has been winter this year and it's been lovely. Thomas is off school today so we can enjoy it even more as we don't have to go out. I have one very happy boy at home today. xx

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  4. Awwww...belated Happy Birthday wishes for your 18th Amy.

    You have had a busy month Suzanne.
    Those hexie flowers are gorgeous. You must have the patience of a saint. I love to see them but I'm not sure I'd like to tackle them.

    We haven't had that much in the way of snow although we have more today than we have had so it's starting to look pretty out there.

    Lovely to catch up with you and to know that everything is well at No 38.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Thank you Sheila, I've passed your wishes on to Amy and she also says thank you.

      It never feels particularly busy probably because a lot of what I do is enjoyable stuff like baking and making. The hexy flowers are so easy and don't take much thinking about which is good for me!

      It's been snowing off and on for the past couple of days but last night it swept in and hasn't stopped. There must be a good 4 inches in the back garden. Thomas was ecstatic this morning when a text came through saying school was closed. If it doesn't let up I can see the same thing happening tomorrow.

      It's lovely of you to pop by and catch up with us. Hope all is well with everybody at tea towel mansion - I shall be popping over at the weekend to visit :) xx

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  5. I completely agree. Winter has been a proper one this time!

    You certainly pack a lot into your months. I feel quite lazy by comparison.

    xx

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    1. Winter has been perfect this year hasn't it. And it looks set to last a while longer as well. A news reporter said it was the first day of spring today. Erm, not here it isn't. The first day for me is always 20/21 March, which means we're still in winter so snow is perfectly acceptable.

      Don't feel lazy, you pack a fair bit into your weeks as well and there's always stuff going on behind the scenes with a family isn't there. Enjoy the weather and keep warm. xx

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  6. What a wonderful; fun filled month you've had. The baking looks divine. You crafting is lovely I feel like a couch potato compared to your achievements .

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    1. Thank you Tania. I could bake every day but the trouble with that is I could also eat it all so I have to limit myself! The crafting is so nice to have on the go and I use it to trade with myself. A few jobs gets me some crafting time. It works quite well and the jobs get done so that's the main thing. I'm sure you're not a couch potato especially when I read about what you're up to in the garden and the kitchen. xx

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  7. Sorry about the above post, it was a test. I had the dreaded blue screen with 'Your computer needs to reset' greet me on Monday morning. There are no choices, it just happens and everything is wiped out. I spent 12 hrs. on Monday, 6 hrs, yesterday and about the same today trying to reset and recoup everything. What a pain in the butt! Every time I try to do something I have to create a new profile and on and on and on.
    You have had a busy month! Happy Birthday to Amy! Glad you're enjoying your winter, wish I could say the same for ours,lol. We've had the most snow in February since 1961 and we're coming into March which is our snowiest month!! Hope you get out to your trailer again soon!!

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    1. What a pain when things like that happen. My laptop is years old - I get all the family cast offs where technology is concerned lol. It went through a phase of just closing down so we tried a new battery and touch wood it seems to be OK. It never wiped anything though so that was blessing.

      Amy says thank you for the birthday wishes :) Snow is a real novelty over here so it's really exciting - well I think it is and so does Thomas as he's been snowed off school today. I honestly don't know how you continue to function over there. We've come to a standstill and people are panic buying food. I suppose if it's the norm though you tend to be more prepared. Sounds like you're in for a long haul if it's already bad and the worst is still to come. Keep safe and keep warm. Hope all the family are well and wedding preps are coming along nicely. Lovely to catch up with you. xx

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    2. Yes, I'd say the majority of people here are prepared for all the snow and cold temps. we get. Of course, there are always the exceptions who thing they can still drive like it's summer time and still have their summer tires on!! Then they wonder why they get into accidents. Our winter tires go on in October and stay on until April/May, and our vehicle is 4 wheel drive. There is probably enough food in this house to last us for several months or more. Most things you buy here are mega sized, if that's what you want. We buy a gallon of milk at a time, flour is in a 10Kg. bag, same with sugar, canned goods are bought by the case, if you want, so we are always well stocked. We also have what you, meaning Brits., refer to as an 'American' fridge, 2 of them, and an upright freezer about the same size. So we're good to feed us and the neighborhood, haha!!
      The wedding plans are moving on. They went to choose the groom and groomsmen's suits last night so that is one more thing done.
      Oh, meant to say that I worked for the school board for 27 years and I've been retired 7 years. In all that time the schools have only been closed once in 2008-it was REALLY BAD on that occasion. It took us 2 days to dig out to get the car out of the garage, and we have a snowblower!!!! Thomas would never get a snow day!

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    3. I can't tell Thomas snow days don't exist in Canada, it would completely shatter his dream of moving over there lol. He's always asking if we can go to Canada for a holiday.

      I can imagine buying in bulk is the wise thing to do especially as your winters are so long. But I'm amazed when you talk about buying 10kg bags of flour and sugar and gallons of milk. American fridges are pretty much the norm over here now but back in the day of our under the counter fridges with a freezer box just big enough to get a packet of peas and fish fingers in, they were really something.

      Glad to hear the wedding plans are coming along nicely. As you say every job done is one less on what I'm sure seems a never ending list :) As long as Kelsey is enjoying every moment of it that's the main thing. xx

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  8. Hello. I started to read your blog just before you decided to stop. I'm gld to see you are back. I see from your photos that you visited my home town. We've not had much snow here and whilst most of the country is covered in the white stuff we have nothing. Happy 18th to your daughter.
    Carolx

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    1. Hello Carol and thank you for your kind comment and birthday wishes for Amy. Oh yes, we've been going to Cleveleys for years :) There have been lots of changes since we first took Matthew when he a little boy. It was Tom and Joan's favourite place to head to for a day out as well so lots of good memories. We were planning to head over to the van again this weekend but I think the sensible thing to do is stay at home. I don't want to get stuck on any motorways between here and there! I will pop over and visit your blog instead over the weekend :) xx

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  10. Love these monthly updates. Belated birthday greetings to Amy. This must be such an exciting time for her, with big change on the horizon (for you, too, but we won't go there just yet!). Good luck with the sugar reducing. I've given up cake, biscuits and chocolate for Lent which means I can still have things like rhubarb crumble and custard (it's not cake, it's not a biscuit, it's not chocolate). Like you, I've been enjoying this proper winter weather (lots of the white stuff here on the north east coast) though if I can't get to Manchester later today I won't be a happy bunny. Stay cosy!

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    1. Thanks Liz, I've passed on your birthday wishes to Amy. Can't believe she's officially an adult now. I'll miss her when she goes off to Uni but I think because Thomas is still here it won't seem as bad. I reckon it's when the last one leaves home that it definitely hits us mums.

      Well the sugar reducing isn't having much impact on my weight but I'm going to carry on because I could do with cutting down from a health point of view. Love that you've not completely cut out the sweet stuff, that was my thinking with the chocolate and biscuits but I think I may have to up the ante soon!

      Ooh another bloggy friend visiting my home town. It's not too bad here but the door's always open if you get stuck :) Hope you have a good visit. xx

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  11. Lovely long post with super photos, Suzanne. Happy birthday Amy-just wait til you see what she’ll be wanting for her 21st! We should have our motorhome next month-the weather has held up work but we’re not bothered as the weather here has been the worst since 2010. My email address is catrionamason61@yahoo.com so that we can exchange contact details for when we are able to visit. Glad to see you are already using the van on its seasonal pitch. We’ve been gutting our bedroom and the carpet arrives on Wednesday. Just need John Lewis to let us know the bed is ready and we’ll be good to go!
    Look forward to catching up at the end of the month-I think this is a great idea posting monthly. Catriona (in still snowy Scotland)

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    1. Hi Catriona, it's always lovely to see a comment from you pop up :) Not long til you'll be out and about in your motor home then. I'll e-mail you this week with some dates when we'll be at the van and hopefully we'll be able to get together. We don't go every weekend and although we'd planned to go the weekend just gone when we saw all those people stuck on motorways we changed our minds.

      I bet it's lovely where you are isn't it. I've enjoyed the snow but must admit after a couple of days I'm ready to get back to normal.

      You've been keeping busy with the decorating. I don't think we're planning to do any more wallpapering this year but our bedroom could do with a lick of paint at some point.

      Hope you and Norrie stay warm and safe. I'll be in touch soon. xx

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  12. Happy (belated) birthday to Amy! Wow! 18! She chose a really lovely way to celebrate, with family. You've done a good job parenting her.

    Sorry I am a bit late in commenting. I am playing "catch up" with most of my blog reading and commenting, as my daughter is home, visiting, and I've been spending time with her.

    Sounds like you've had a very busy month, but a lot of that busy-ness seems to be of the fun variety, so that is all good, isn't it?

    I hope March turns out to be an equally good month for you, Suzanne; looking forward to reading that blog post. Take care. Bless.

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    1. Amy says thank you for the birthday wishes and a belated Happy Birthday from us all to your DD as well. It sounds like she had a lovely day and I'm sure spending it at home with you was an added bonus. No need to apologise Bless, it's nice of you to pop over considering you're still in recovery mode. It's great to read that your recovery is going well and that you're being taken good care of.

      You're right it has been a busy but good month. There have been a couple of behind the scenes niggles that have needed sorting out, but there always is isn't there, apart from that it's been fine.

      I shall be popping over to visit during March so will speak to you again soon. Take care. xx

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  13. Even we had some snow, it was kind of exciting! Nowhere near as much as everywhere else but it was certainly there.

    The town is starting to wake up now and we're seeing some more visitors which is lovely, one of the signs of spring! I've never been into an air raid shelter, now I want to visit.

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    1. There was a welcome party at the caravan site but they had to postpone it because of the snow!

      We were only saying as we were walking along the front yesterday how busy it was considering it was still so early in the year. The beauty of St Annes and Lytham is that they are so popular the season is a long one. We've noticed a massive change in traffic over the past couple of years. There was a time when we'd be able to park anywhere, anytime, but we struggle a little lately. Doesn't put us off though, it's definitely worth a couple of loops to be able to get out and walk along the prom.

      You should definitely find an air raid shelter. It was quite something to see the tunnels and think about how many people went down there. xx

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