Friday, 12 December 2014

Five on Friday

Please excuse how dark the picture is, I've been trying to capture how good my wooden Merry Christmas banner looks !
I'm joining in with Amy's Five on Friday, please find my five below -

1. My eldest returns from uni today for the Christmas holidays, I really can't explain how excited I am, I'm feeling much more festive now!

2. I've been baking for his return (cherry & almond loaf amongst other items) & whilst I would much prefer a curry to eat this evening he has requested enchiladas.

3. I'm off for two weeks wahoo! Reading, crafting & lazing awaits! In reality I will be running after a damp dog with a mop to remove his muddy paw prints. 

4. This weekend marks the end of my Christmas treat shop, I must investigate the hire of a bank vault to hide the goodies from me. (See the start of No 3)

5. I will consume my body weight in Snowballs this festive season. I have not given up hope that one of my boys will marry a nice American girl in the future! They sell huge cartons of eggnog over there in the supermarkets, I've seen them on Christmas movies & I'm pretty sure eggnog & advocaat are the same thing or a close enough match! 

I am joining in Five on Friday, taking five minutes from our day to enjoy five things.  Please go and visit the other people who are also blogging about Five on Friday this week.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

How we roll here

I was pondering to myself last night how things change as you age & your family develops with & around you.

Since having children many moons back (the youngest is now 13) there are few opportunities for random nights out, they have to be planned in advance!

I was more pondering as I was sat on one sofa with a basket of knitting & Mike was on the other sofa with his Christmas jigsaw. A happy nearly middle age couple we are too!

Suddenly I heard a baby elephant run down the stairs & clatter into the hallway, the sitting room door was flung open & Harry (the youngest) fell in with excitement holding a case of game chips. ' Does any one want a game of poker?' He asked happily ?????????? That's how we roll here now!

In case any of you are in any way jealous of my way too perfect life I shall leave you with a photo of my real world -
My beautiful large Christmas tree relegated to a corner of the dining room, set off by a wall without plaster & the other without wallpaper. A work in progress like quite possibly every room in the house. My lovely Mike the one who works full time, likes to fish at the weekend & thinks he can renovate a house which didn't need renovating in the first place single handedly!

On the plus point I do believe the skirting board has been fitted now, not on the brick wall though. We are debating on an opening for double doors you see, hence why we still have a brick wall. The main point for the debate being the placing of said double doors, but that's how we roll here now!

Enjoy your day all xx

Monday, 8 December 2014

Is anyone feeling festive?

I am feeling slightly tingly with excitement but there doesn't feel to be any magic to proceedings this year.

I am feeling slightly flat about things, perhaps it hits us all at one time or another, I put it down to the fact we have had a shockingly bad year & there will just be four of us for Christmas day this year. Something which has been unheard of in all the time Mike & I have been together. Therefore there has been no major preparations, no mincemeat, no cake & no stashing of food/drinks. No children in primary school either so no plays or fairs to look forward too! Harry is far to old for the church crib service but I think Midnight Mass will be in order this year.

Blimey, I do sound like a miserable old hag don't I!

For some reason I didn't buy myself an advent calender this year, my sister then presented me with this creation -
She had spent a couple of months making this for me, isn't it sweet. A bit dishevelled now after 8 days in mind, it needs propping up! Apart from a scary looking key ring I have had an assortment of sweets. Harry was rather excited about this handmade creation & has insisted on opening it for me day by day. I have to wait my turn of course. Harry opens his first then the dog has his, naturally I am last. Out of the 8 days worth of little gifts I have acquired a scary looking keyring & a strawberry cream. The others were part of Harry's vast favourites so I have passed them on!

Mike has requested beef for Christmas lunch this year, 'Really I asked him, have you gone mad' so we have ordered a small joint of beef, a small turkey & a ham. I rather enjoy cold cuts. So as a change this year we are not having  a cake & I am buying mince pies, heck I might even buy the mulled wine ready made.

I've treated myself to two weeks off starting from the 14th December most unheard of, I may even switch my Blackberry off for the season. Then again I may twitch if I do, I might put it in a drawer but leave the ringer on instead.

Mike has told me to cull my rather extensive Christmas book list, I can have two. I'm finding it rather hard to pick though, I'm having a craft book & a gardening book. Any ideas on a gardening book please, not a how to one, I'd like one I can read too if you understand. I'm rather taken with 'A taste of the unexpected'  but am open to other ideas.

Right I'm off to cheer myself up with a walk, the weather was shockingly bad earlier on this morning so the hound hasn't been out. Not that I think he is missing his walk as he is snoozing on the sofa at present.

I took my camera with me yesterday morning on a walk with Mike & the hound, naturally there was no power to it possibly due to the large number of selfies I find on it of Harry & Rocky.

Enjoy your day xx

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Looking ahead to colour

The weather feels, looks? rather grim today. Everywhere is looking grey & damp & there are no sparkly frosts to be seen.

Last night I was curled up under my blanket holding a mug of tea, Chai  if you are interested, my current favourite. Though if I'm honest I much prefer the M&S version to the Twinnings one. Anyway there was nothing fun on the TV, so a quick rummage in one of the many bookcases & I pulled out these -
Next year the veg garden will be planted with baby veg plants via mail order. I've seen the package I want & details have been passed onto Mike. This means my propagator can be used mainly for flowers. Not just any flowers but cut flowers for the house.

Now I have had a good look to see what space I can spare without losing any of the veg patch. Luckily I have three separate narrow areas which I think will be perfect!

Even better, adding these three areas together gives me a combined space of approx 60 square foot, which gives me ample opportunity for numerous posies & enough flowers left for the wildlife.

As always enjoy your day xx

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A slight peevement

Not sure if peevement is a proper word but it was how I felt last night. In fact last night I felt more than slight peevement!

As a fairly new to crafting person you should not a) Watch TV & b) talk to ones husband whilst trying to knit!

If you do this happens -

Forgive my awful camera skills, but the bottom photo towards the left, what was supposed to be a blue row of wool became twisted somehow with the pink row before it. Naturally I noticed after I knitted the row & now have to carefully unpick said row! Never having done such a thing before it can be quite heart stopping. A minor thing really in the grand scheme of things but still a slight peevement.

Look, aren't they beautiful !
I spotted this pattern on a trawl through blogland prior to my birthday in September on the Little Cotton Rabbits blog. With my birthday funds as well as a bundle  of other wool I invested in the wool used to make these wrist warmers which you can see here & here. How I love this wool now, proper wool too, I'm adding to my collection monthly!

Thank you for your comments yesterday, I was particularly heartened there were no mass 'get rid of the dog' comments. It is a work in progress & we are nearly there.

Another couple of things that has brightened my mood considerably are - Amy's Christmas card swap  I have posted my card to Amy & will post the other card once I receive my other swap address. I also had an email from Marlene over at Simple Living to say I had been drawn out of her Christmas gift swap hat. Te he, super excited now, I do like this time of year!

Enjoy your day xx

Monday, 24 November 2014

Teaching an old dog new tricks!

Oh its hard, you think you are getting somewhere & then there is a set back. Normally caused by someone else & this instance I lay the blame entirely on Mike!

On the whole Rocky dog is settling in well, remembering he was rescued from an abusive home when he was a puppy then rescued by an old man who he spent five happy years with.

The five happy years being lots of attention as it was just the two of them, lots of treats & table scraps & being allowed to bark at passing dogs & people whilst out on a walk. Of course there was the teasing about cats too!

Santa Swap package.

Rocky gets lots of attention now too, he is an affectionate dog & will quite happily clamber on your knee for a cuddle or tap you with his paw for a stroke. Lesson No 1 learned that if he wanted to be by himself not to approach him (as in young teenage boy to sit as close as possible & stroke him)as he would emit a low growl as in 'piddle off & leave me alone'.

He gets 'good boy' only treats now & certainly no table scraps.

He is not allowed to bark when we are out, I'm very firm on this one as it is me who does the majority of the walking. He used to pull a lot so I bought a harness for him & a nice new lead. If we approach a cat or dog I hold him close & cross to the other side while repeating quite firmly 'NO', it seems to be doing the trick. We have had the odd bark but his normal reaction now is to either whimper & pull a bit or just to ignore the other animal.

Now onto the biggy, We have a lot of cats that visit the garden, we are surrounded by fields & they hunt in there & come to sit under the bird table. At first Rocky was happy to wait patiently for the door to be open so he could be in the back garden. Over the past couple of weeks Mike despite my strict instruction not too as been winding the dog up about cats! Now when someone goes to the French doors he gets beyond himself with  excitement, to stop this I bought a dog gate so I could contain him ( he also gets beyond excited when Harry returns from school) the gate is useful for that too. Would Mike wait until he was behind the gate, no, he didn't!

Rocky wasn't allowed out yesterday morning & as Mike can be rather bullish shall we say, he thought he could push an extremely excited dog back with his legs to stop him getting through the doors. Naturally the dog took great umbrage at this & growled, barked & snapped at (not on) Mikes foot.

I am now dealing with an upset Harry as Mike is threatening to get rid of the dog & an upset Mike as I have been shouting at him over his behaviour.

I have spent a lot of money, time & effort to integrate the dog into our family home, he knew he had done wrong yesterday & while I lay the blame firmly at Mikes feet Rocky was also on loss of privileges. No treats or cuddles, he was allowed a stroke though. Perhaps Mike might listen to me now.

On a happier note my house is super spic and span, I spent the afternoon cleaning & putting clothes away. I even posted my Santa swap parcel on Saturday too, this means I can spend today knitting,

Enjoy your day xx

Monday, 17 November 2014

Monday mornings

I do like a Monday morning, only the hound & I in the house. The beds have been stripped & the washing machine is on. The house needs a good dusting mind but I shall get to that later!

There is something bugging me though, I'm pretty sure a pigeon has fallen down the chimney or a collard dove as there is some sort of deranged cooing sound going on!

Anyway back to my Monday I'm pondering next years plantings. Not the veg ones mind as I'm going down the baby plant delivery route next year. Mike is taking over the greenhouse, he has taken a lot of interest in the greenhouse this year so I'm leaving that up to him. He has bought a sulphur candle for it & some cleaning solution.

Anyway my thoughts are more towards flowers & other garden pretties. For some reason I can't get the idea of white snapdragons out of my head. So I plan on having a block of them in my cut flower patch.
I'm planning on taking an aerial shot of the plot each month, no time like the present so here is November 2014 which admittedly looks bleak.

There is more to the garden but short of tying my legs to the radiator I was most reluctant to lean out any further. Mike is much more taller than me perhaps he can take next months shot for me!

So what can we see, the fruit bush plot to the left. I removed a red current & white current bush the other month. I have some yellow raspberry canes to the side of this bed & I really struggled to get to them, I have one red current, two black currents & two gooseberries left now. I cut the alpine strawberries & the asparagus back & lifted the dahlias. The sea kale has disappeared hopefully underground or the slugs, snails &/or pixies ate it under the cover of the cosmos forest of summer.

From what you can see of the main veg bed, it's all empty apart from some apples for the blackbirds & thrushes. It's snoozing for the winter we shall say politely! Raspberry canes to the back which have been most rampant this year & have already been snipped back. I shall cut them right down in January & tradition I like, to me it signals the start of the year.

The rest is out of shot so we shall leave that for now, I've rambled enough for today. Enjoy your day all xx

Ps It wasn't a stuck pigeon, upon further investigation I traced the noise to Harry's room. The pump on his goldfish tank is blocked, as it seems to be a bit of an icky job I shall lave it to Mike to sort out this evening.