Monday, 20 December 2010

White Christmas, looks good and learning

We are snowed in. We had to get some cards in the post though and so I took the children on our 'borrowed from Nana' sledge around to the post box. They were sceptical about getting on it at first. By the time we came back around the block, they were both on, holding on to each other, singing Jingle Bells and calling 'Faster mummy, faster'.

I have made a few more presents, was worrying about these ones as I thought they might be fiddly but they took hardly any time and look FAB!

I have learned some key facts today for my exam (4 weeks to go). I love to learn something new each day.

Friday, 19 November 2010

weary, space and sale

M now has the sickness bug. My poor babies, they have been feeling so poorly all week. Me? I am just a bit tired of the sick and the snot now....(sorry).

I did manage a coffee in a cafe today, browsing through a book borrowed from the library. It was 15 minutes of quiet solitude which made me feel ready to face the world again. Bring on the sick bucket.

Tomorrow is the NCT nearly new sale. I don't want to get too excited in case there are fewer good things than usual...normally I come home with boatloads of bargains.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

better, phone call and swept

We all have a bug and have been feeling grotty for the last 24 hours. This afternoon, I have started to feel a bit more like me again.

I got a phone call out of the blue that made my day and made me want to jump around the kitchen (and I will, tomorrow, when I am back on top form).

The chimney sweep came. His name was Evan and he was the most charming old fashioned professional man I have ever met. We are all set for winter.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

family, fulfilled and yoga

My parents have been here for 3 days. I like having my family around me. My house felt full and busy. It's quiet and a bit sad this morning now they have left.

My college stuff is going really well. I cannot learn enough about my chosen subject. I like feeling this fulfilled and purposeful.

Yoga class last night. The feeling you get the morning after a class should be bottled and sold. I cannot describle how much better I feel.

Monday, 15 November 2010

sign, songs and dark

A sign on the side of a flower shop van, 'we travel miles for smiles'.

Driving to college today I heard 2 new songs that I just loved and had to come home and 'google'.

Following a tractor in the near dark I realised the white 'load' in the back was actually 3 enormous cows.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

well remembered, ladies who lunch and ahead of the game

I remembered, for once, to bring my wellies inside last night, so that this morning I could put them on in the warmth of the kitchen--they weren't wet or cold as they so often are...they were just....toasty.

The sparrows around the pile of seeds I put on the bird table remind me of a group of women sitting around a table chattering...nodding enthusiastically, butting in when others are talking and flitting here and there tending to unseen babies.

I have done what I wanted to do this week, by today. Which means I have tomorrow to do some unexpected stuff. I feel as if I am ahead. It won't last, but I am enjoying it while I can.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Finished, creative and just us.

I have finished my 'bit' of M's birthday pressie. For her up-coming 4th, R has made her a wooden dolls bed and I have made the quilt and pillow. It looks rustic, sweet and just like your mum made it. I hope it lasts so that she can show her children.

Our house looks like a creative bomb has gone off this afternoon. I have been sewing and the children colouring, building boats and 'cooking' in their kitchen. I love afternoons like this. We are all just pottering purposefully and getting little things done.

R is away tonight. It's ok though...being just us.

Monday, 8 November 2010

inside, perfect and toast.

Coming back inside after walking the dogs this morning. Being back in the kitchen was a like pulling on your favourite woolly.

I watched the children tucking in to their breakfast--and just thought 'they're mine....and they're perfect.'

Homemade bread --toasted, butter and marmite. Why would you want anything else?

Friday, 5 November 2010

carefully, soup and fulfilled

Finally, after 2 days of being blown around like paper people, the wind has stopped. My 3 year old noticed this morning that the trees, at last, were still. "The wind's blowing carefully now Mummy".

I have been working all morning. In the end I couldn't ignore the hunger pangs any longer..there in the fridge was a cup of bright orange home made squash soup, begging to be microwaved and administered as a pick-me-up.

I have put down on paper all the things that have been flying around in my head for the last 2 days. No more post-it notes here there and everywhere. I feel better and like I have actually DONE something.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

harvest, colours, music

We went to the woods. We came back with acorns, sloes and rose hips. The children were in their element.

My mother gave me some cottons from her sewing basket. Back in the days of wooden reels, they gave the colours names instead of the souless numerical codes of today's plastic reels. My favourite is Gay Kingfisher. The colour is just as you would imagine.

We have been listening to music all afternoon. The children are still singing and dancing around long after it's switched off.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Hooked, eureka and shopping

I am reading The Memory Keepers Daughter. It is simply, wonderful.

I have been grappling with an idea for my tutorial on Monday and I have finally got it worked out. I like it a lot and if it will be great. Such a sense of achievement.

Our fridge has been almost empty for the last 2 days, I just haven't had the opportunity to go shopping. Today, we are off, J and I, to restock and replenish, armed with lists and shopping bags. I shall look forward to lunch today. Yesterday's was dire!

Monday, 11 October 2010

feels like spring, lentils and anticipation

One of my hens moulting and todays warm sunshine means that I am feeling like Spring has sprung in our neck of the woods. The unseasonably warm weather makes me want to dust and scrub the dust and cobwebs away. All the windows are open and there are 2 loads of washing billowing on the line.

I have discovered green lentils. Never a 'pulse' person, I am loving the fact that these little green peppery gems are both super tasty and super good for me. few things are both....

Tomorrow I am going on a study day and R will be keeping the home fires burning. I am a bit nervous but also a excited about having a grown up day out.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

show, home and sun

I went out and helped at a Baby and Child show. I spent the whole morning chattering to people about what I love. The whole time everyone was saying 'thanks for helping'. It was such a pleasure.

Came home and the children's faces lit up.

The sun; promised for the whole weekend but was a no show until now, has finally arrived and the world looks lit up again.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

quality time, the happiness, calm.

Went shopping with my boy. He was such a pleasure to be with. We had lots of fun and everything went to plan. A lovely morning.

M has been very naughty the last few days. We have had to had lots of chats. Tonight, she tells me - its ok mummy, the happiness has arrived. I'll never be grumpy again. For a 4 year old - very profound I thought.

Yoga class tonight. One and a half hours of space to think, breathe and be just me.

Friday, 24 September 2010

essay, feeling better and supper

I have written, and submitted a whole essay in a week. Usually (pre pre-school for the smalls) - a 3000 worder takes me a good 4 weeks of wrangling and hair tearing.

Following my reflexology midweek, I feel different. More relaxed, happier and ...just..better.

Made supper that was just to die for. Simple, honest, half of it out of the garden. Tasted all the better for it. A pleasure to prepare and eat.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

what a goodbye, work done and impatient

Dropping both children at pre-school where they will be for lunch for the first time today, Joe kisses me and says 'love you mummy'.

I got all my outstanding college stuff done, dusted and ready to hand in. On to the next.

I have 5 minutes until I collect my children. I am missing them.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

successful trip, friends and non stop sex

We had some shopping to do. I managed, in one go, to get everything done that I wanted to, and the children behaved perfectly.

We have had fun today. The babies and I. I have enjoyed spending time with them.

R is away. I am about to go to bed having watched 3 old episodes of Sex and The City. Bliss.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

chores, fabric and the right cream.

I had 5 minutes to do my chores this morning; run the dogs up the lane, feed the duck and the hens, water the greenhouse. Pick a few tomatoes. What bliss and how lucky I am to have such 'chores'.

My friend dropped off some fabric that she has been working with and has too much off, for me to make something with. It is so pretty, I would have chosen it myself and I just cannot decide what to make with it.

Another friends for the morning when I noticed J has 4 spots on his back. His sister has just had chicken has he. Charlie had some calamine cream (from her own broods outbreak last month) sitting on the side. "Here - you'll be needing this...". Home we come.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

good, hetty and Joe's laugh

I had to take the children on an errand which I would have left them out of it I could....they were so good; I felt proud to be their mum.

My new hoover arrived, Hetty. Henry passed on earlier in the week. He will be missed but Hetty with her pink smile and new eco button is just fantastic and the house looks cleaner already.

I made Joe laugh today and it struck me that he is going to be one of those lucky people with a huge laugh that makes other people turn around and smile too. How lovely.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

leeks, time and space

I planted out my baby leeks. Its a lovely summers day - but was imagining them in a few months time, in a homemade cheese sauce served with a beef and ale pie on a chilly, blustery day.

I rush too much and am not having time to see things. Why do I rush when I have toddlers in tow. Why not go at their pace and feel less stressed and see more things? I will try.

Having 3 hours to think and be creative with no-one needing me for other thing is priceless.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

solitude, planting and my new bag

Both children went to preschool for 3 hours this morning. I came back from dropping them off and had the house to myself. It was heaven; 3 hours was enough though.

I planted out my sweetcorn and red kale. My veg patch is beginning to look nice and full.

I finished the bag I started yesterday and it looks fantastic. I am making another for a friend.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

creating, supper for 1, sunshine

I am in the middle of making a cloth bag. If I can slow down enough to read the instructions properly rather than charging in like my usual bull in a china shop will be lovely!

R is out late tonight with work. While I miss him, the opportunity to work on my sewing and also not to have to think about what he might want to eat is being relished.

It poured with rain all morning and we were cooped up like hens. As soon as I saw a break in the clouds we tore outside and made the most of half an hours sunshine.

Monday, 7 June 2010

break, back home and spinach

It has been a long time since I last posted. I got fed up - but found I have missed doing my little blog, so am calling the last month my 'break'.

We have just returned from a lovely holiday but how fantastic to be home.

Our crop of spinach is ready. It is delicious and I loved paying a visit to a friend with a huge bag of it as a gift for her.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Found, Fun and Freegle

I had misplaced much-loved bracelet. This morning, in a lightbulb moment, I knew where to look and --hooray--found it!

We went and did the grocery shop. The sun was out, so as soon as we were done, we went to the park and had a lovely time running around and feeding the ducks. I love to watch my babies tearing about and laughing.

Looking through our local freegle (freecycle as was) site I realised (not for the first time) what a fabulous idea and concept it is. So much stuff stays out of landfill because of these busy communities.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

loaf, muffins and a walk

I am getting the hang of bread. Today I made a malthouse loaf that looks fantastic. R is still talking about yesterday's 'seedy' effort which he thought made the best toast ever. I LOVE making bread. Everyone should do it. It cannot be rushed or pushed or stressed. It is about the most relaxing and rewarding task I can think of; yet, it is so easy to incorporate in to your day. It needs little, other than you being around when it is ready for the next stage.

The rhubarb muffins are lush. I am not being big-headed here - I am someone who has struggled with baking for years. I just seem to be 'getting it' at last.

The children and I went for walk to the village notice board to tidy it out. We saw neighbours, got some air and wore ourselves out nicely.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

wildlife, not and baking

Before we had left our lane this morning we saw a rabbit, 2 cats, a herd of calfs and a phesant.

Something I was worried about turned out not to be. I am relieved.

I baked some rhubarb muffins with rhubarb from the garden. We have yet to taste but they look just like the ones in the shops - tall, golden and spongey.

Monday, 10 May 2010

cows, being and home

J and I went for a walk to see the baby cows. They weren't there, but a simple walk up the lane with my little boy holding my hand was utterly peaceful and lovely.

We didn't do much over the weekend, just spent time all together.

R is working from home today. He doesn't often. I love it when he pops into the kitchen for a warm up and a cup of tea.

Friday, 7 May 2010

good book, early night and weekend

I am reading a great book. It's quite rare that I find one I can't put down. Its a delicious feeling and I keep sneaking a few chapters in here and there..

Went to bed at 9pm and slept heavily.

I am excited about the weekend. Nothing planned. Just us, but we haven't seen R since Tuesday really so the though of all being together is lovely.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

settled, creating and clean plates

I left J at pre-school for the first time. He did fine. There was no frantic phone call to come and collect him. The look of relief on his face when I arrived at the end was heart-rending.

I have been making greetings cards to sell. I am pleased - they look good.

I made the children bolognaise after their hard morning at pre-school. I hid a hundred (well maybe not) different vegetables in the sauce and they both wolfed it down and have been wearing it all around their mouths all afternoon.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

not alone, bank hols and getting better

Thank you friendly flower (you know who you are) for your message of support.

I love Bank Holiday weekends. The whole week feels different after 3 whole days of family time and, the shortened coming week adds to the feeling that summer is on its way.

After buying the River Cottage Handbook on Bread, my loaves are getting better and better and I am loving pouring so much heart and soul into my bread. It's a really nice earthy feeling feeding your family something so basic and yet so powerful, something that you have to invest both time and energy into making. I feel quite grounded by making bread.

Friday, 30 April 2010

is anyone out there?

I have been struggling a little this last week. R has been away, the children have been poorly and i have not had much time. The blog has lapsed and I beginning to doubt anyone is listening. I watched Julie and Julia last night and felt inspired to blog- but am not sure the day to day humdrums of my little life are half as interesting as Julie Powell's ever were....Is my life just as mundane as the next persons and should I be concentrating on my college work instead??

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

getting somewhere, feeling better and cows

I managed to spend an hour and a half working on my essay today. Yay - finally feels like I am cracking this one.

After nearly 3 days of being a grown-up, away and then at college, I found yesterdays bump back into Mummyville hard. Especially with R away. Today I am feeling like a real mummy again and happy to be so. We have all had a lovely and fun day.

We were out in the garden when the farmer came past with the milk herd. We all sat on the gate and watched them wander past. Some slow, some skipping. The children were gobsmacked and J called out 'more moos mama - more moos'.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

More missing, a compliment and no more workmen

R is away. I am missing him already after our lovely weekend together. Roll on Friday.

Someone who rarely pays compliments, did today. A really big one - 'what ever meat did you use--it was so must give me the was just delicious. Makes all the effort worthwhile.

The bathroom is finished. The plumber was no bother really - but having people in the house working means that they are another set of bods to think about watering and checking all is well with every now and again. He and his crew are done. They have done a great job but the peace and quiet (and less tea to make) is welcome.

Monday, 26 April 2010

freedom, fun and missing

We have had a weekend away. The children were with their Nana. They have had a ball and we feel as though we've been on holiday although it was only for 2 days.

We had such fun, talked, shopped and saw old friends.

I missed my babies though and am ready for them to come home now.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

help, impromptu tea date and busy

I needed an article from a medical journal. I emailed our librarian. She came back to me, with the article, within the hour.

Friends who we were to meet at the park came to us instead and stayed for tea. The children sat outside & polished off their food and then fell into bed, grubby and happy.

We have not stopped today. The day has flown, yet I managed to get a few things done and baked a new kind of bread. The proof will be in the eating, later with supper..

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

schoolboy, lost lady and favourite things

My little J, just 2 has had his first morning at pre-school. I perched in the kitchen of the hall working, and listening out for him. He did beautifully, only a few tears here and there, and SO happy to see me at the end of 2 hours.

Not a blessing - but on my mind. One of my girls (hens) didn't come home last night. I fear Mr Fox may have been passing. Will still hope to see her at dusk when they all come running down the drive to the safety of their little house. I feel more sorry for the others, are they wondering where she is too?

M told me her 2 favourite things. Cafes and birthdays. What perfect simplicity.

Monday, 19 April 2010

learning, back to school and glad to be here

I have got the baking bug. Today's effort of a loaf is my best yet. It is light - the others have been a bit like boulders.

First day back at pre-school for M. She has had a lovely morning catching up with all her friends. J starts on Wednesday, don't know how I feel about that yet....

So many horror stories from people we know about disrupted travel. I have never been so glad to have no plans whatsoever to go anywhere.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

bargains, supper and tired. Sky, perfect and home

Saturdays post:

The local NCT Nearly New Sale. I helped out and had lots of fun, sold some stuff and bought lots of lovely things for the children. They are such a fantastic concept and everyone benefits.

We sat out and barbeque'd. The first of this years salad from the greenhouse, a lovely steak from the farm shop and home made mayo. Heaven.

After watching Ashes to Ashes, I was so tired I wanted to be Dorothy and just click my heels and be in bed.


Blue blue skies. Outdoor lunch for the children - corned beef hash cooked on a fire outside their playhouse while their 'washing' dries on their new washing line. Making memories.....Our home is just where I want to be today. We have everything we need.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Smells like summer, scones and more laughing

The laundry smells different when you get it in and it has had the sun on it proper.

Made some buttermilk scones for the first time. They are light and fresh tasting and my children cannot get enough of them.

We have had another odd day, not doing what we thought we were doing. But once again, thanks to the weather, we had more fun outside on the trampoline. I love to make my babies laugh - and laugh they both did. A lot.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

best laid plans, more progress and little white rolls

Our plans for today were unexpectedly cancelled. It made no odds however, we had a lovely day, just the 3 of us, the children and I. We laughed a lot today.

I managed 20 minutes of hedge weeding. I think I will be done by the end of the weekend. I feel quite pleased.

I made some white rolls today. I have gotten bored of the taste of bread machine bread, and shop bread does nothing for me so thought I would have a bash at hand made stuff. The rolls were lovely, and with home made soup, the perfect lunch.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

bustle, break in the clouds and 2 words at a time.

Our local town today was full of life. The park was filled with busy people planning easter holiday activities for the children. There were youngsters and teenagers everywhere looking like they had plans.

After a rotten start - the day suddenly blossomed into a lovely Spring one and we were able to weed, trampoline and be, outside.

J can say 'Yes please' and 'No ta'. He gets so excited when delivering these little gems that he jumps when he says the second word.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

progress, a night out and a sale

I started to weed the hedge today, a job I have been delaying for weeks because I knew it would be hard and take me ages. When I put my mind to it though, and assured myself I would only do 10 minutes, I achieved so much that I carried on and am now almost a quarter of the way along. R commented on how much better it will do now without all that competition; enough praise and food for thought to spur me on to do another quarter as soon as I can manage.

I am going out with a friend for a meal. After a long day with 2 poorly (still) children who are quite rightly, little tyrants when they are ill - aren't we all - I am in dire need of a change of scene and a chatter.

The lady who has been to buy eggs twice now when I have been all out came today wanting a dozen. I had just that for her. Phew - I fear she would now have bothered to try again had I not been able to help for the 3rd time.

Monday, 12 April 2010

ships, smugness and beautiful things.

I have realised that I smile whenever I hoover the stairs, but not the upstairs. I once read that "a ship is known by its boats". Handy when you only have 5 mins to spare.

I fed the children home-made soup and bread and boiled eggs from our girls. Smug is not the word.

I have stopped having all my pretty tea plates away in cupboards, and am using them everyday. They give me great pleasure, which I suppose is whole point of having them in the first place. Easy to forget that bit though.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

hero, perfection and zip bomb boom

I had a disaster in my greenhouse. A stone flicked up when I was mowing and shattered a pane. R said "Don't worry, I'll sort it". And he did.

The avacado I had for my lunch was just ripe. Another day and it would have taken on that blackish look which means that you've left it too late.

After a few days of not feeling quite right, I feel much more like myself today. I am brimming with plans for the week; I want to make soup, make cakes, do the curtains for the playhouse, crack on with my next essay, sow more stuff in the garden and weed the hedge......

Saturday, 10 April 2010

good riddance, soleil and an honest task.

Saturdays Post.
The dementors have gone. The sun is out and I have made bread.


It has been a funny day. I realise how profoundly the people around you can affect how you feel. I have had a real life JK Rowling Dementor around me today and they truly did do as she writes they do; suck the life and joy out of every situation and make you feel as if you will never be cheerful again.
I once read that all people are either drains or radiators. How true.
Sorry that this is so bleak today. In true 'CYB' style, tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

space, outside and drop-by visits

I have loved having guests over the last few days, but the feeling of space and freedom when the most welcome and well-behaved ones wave their goodbyes is quite joyous. I feel that I have my little house and family back to myself for a few days (until some more arrive at the weekend!).

We were outside sowing seeds under clear blue skies all morning.

Neighbours who we have only seen a handful of times since they moved in were walking past - and we called out to them. They joined us for an impromptu play in Happy Cottage until lunchtime.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

homemade, running and bbq

It is my birthday. So many of my presents are homemade....I love them, and the time and effort they took.

A run was much needed this afternoon. Cleared my head and gave me some time on my own.

Birthday BBQ tonight.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

making memories, nice one and remembering

I realised when playing with my children today that what we are doing everyday with them is making memories. What a privilage, and how daunting and fragile that is.

I explained to the delivery man (who asked) about the noise my hens were making. "They are about to lay eggs, they just want to share it with you". "Oh," he said. "Nice one, chickens".

A very old friend who has never seen J, its been years since we met up, sent him a birthday card.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Better, Quick and tea.

Feeling much better today. Had a lovely walk with Jasper (dog) earlier, who is on a diet and needs to run more. I loved calling him back and back and watching his tongue hang out when he ran through the wind- I am sure he was smiling.

M and I were running across the garden together to get back to the kitchen before the birthday cake burned. "Quick Quick Quick" we shouted, holding hands. The cake is perfect.

I took the children their tea out to the playhouse. It was lovely and they were so good and grown-up. The only row broke out when M tried to get J to take his wellies off before he came into "Happy Cottage".

thoughtfulness, meal and good telly

Felt poorly today and R was a star with the children. He ran me a bath and looked after them perfectly all day.

I craved some trashy food - R got me just what I wanted.

Watched the start of the new series of Ashes to Ashes, think it's going to be a fab one.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

cake box, red dustpan and mayo

Walking up the High Street this morning I was thankful for it's lovely Easter bustle-y-ness. People everywhere had flowers. cake boxes and were looking happy and smiley, as if they had lots of lovely things planned with friends or loved ones over the long weekend.

An elderly lady was out sweeping her front step and she was holding a red dustpan. She had just stopped to look up to the sun and warm her face for a second or 2. Our eyes met and although we were strangers, we smiled and said "Morning" at the same moment.

I made mayonnaise. It is uncious and wobbly looking and reminds me of french holidays when I was a girl.

Friday, 2 April 2010

church, rain and bedtime

We all went to the family Good Friday service at church. It was lovely, properly old fashioned but totally family orientated and the children loved it.

The rain has not stopped all day. Until about 10 mins ago when the sun popped out and made the garden look full of life again.

The children have been penned in all afternoon and as such have been like whirlwinds in the house. They are en route to bed as I write. Its my job tonight to clear up while R does the bath and stories.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

weather, walk and party

The weather is not what Easter should be. I went out this morning to put something on the washing line, and it was so cold and windy - but when I came back into my lovely toasty kitchen, I just felt "fine and frisky" as Laura Ingalls said in Plum Creek.

Went for a walk with a friend, the dogs and all the children, blew the cares of the morning away and saw some not very small anymore lambs.

Johns 2nd B'day party. Lots of people who I knew- unexpectedly. A real simple afternoon - cucumber triangle sandwiches and Granny's chocolate cake. The best bit...being told on the invite" no presents thanks" - and because of that, taking the time and effort to make a card. His mum and dad were so happy at that little homemade effort.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

spade, another friend and a lost and found friend.

I was scraping out the childrens yogurt pot this morning with a silicone spatula (to get every last drop!) and eating it, when M came in to the kitchen to ask "mummy, why are you eating our yogurt with a spade?"

A friend who has set up a support group about something very close to her heart made me proud to know her today when I saw her cause being collected for and advertised in the local supermarket. What happened to her could have made her withdraw into herself, instead she has channelled all her energies (and she has lots) into making things better for other people in a similar situation. I am not sure whether I could be that strong and selfless.

I lost J's Baa Baa this afternoon. His constant companion and friend who he has never slept without. My heart raced and I was almost in tears, tearing the house upside down to try and find him in time for bedtime. There he was, with 10 mins to go, face down underneath a hundred things in a little used drawer in the playroom. I am not sure who was more happy, J, baa baa or me.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

busy, cards and a button tin

We have been so busy today. The children have been industrious and happy and so (therefore?) have I.

I made a card for J's birthday. A little seed of an idea that started this morning and is now almost finished and I am delighted with it. I need a yellow button though.

Ofcourse when I called P to ask her if she had such a thing lying around (I cannot find anything yellow to pinch a button off of) she said "let me check my button tin". How lovely to have a friend you can call when you need a button, who has their very own button tin (and is busy making hot cross buns that she is worried will be ruined by the addition of an egg). I like having friends like P.

Monday, 29 March 2010

shoots, cakes and sadness

My greenhouse is quietly coming to life. Seeds I sowed just days ago have germinated already in its gentle, humid warmth. I can almost smell things growing.

My new cake recipe book arrived and I can't wait to get going....

Elspeth Thompson, who's book, the Wonderful Weekend Book inspired me to write this blog has died. She took her own life at only 48 and I felt so saddened and shocked when I read about it today. I wish wish wish she had asked for help. She had too much life and love in her to have died so young and my heart breaks for her family. What a deep hole she must have left in their midst.

Pies, friends and home-made lady

For friends coming for lunch, we made a festival of pies. Lamb pie, beef pie and key-lime pie for pud. While we grated the lime zest I was instantly back in Key West where the streets smell of limes from all the clapboard stores selling hot pies.

The friends were ones we haven't seen for so long. Too long. It was so refreshing to catch up and hear their news and get excited about our first camping trip of the year in May.

When they arrived they bought beautiful pink tulips for me. Clair said she didn't know what to bring because everytime I go to them I take something that I have either made or grown myself. I felt quite pleased to be known for my rustic crafty efforts.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

proper shopping, a clever hubby and Spring (again)

Went to the Farmers Market with the children and a friend. It was fantastic and just how shopping should be. Full of life, honest and fun.

I wanted a shelf for M's new bed, for her bits and pieces to sit on so that she could get to them easily....Richard disappeared into his work shop for about half an hour...and made her one.

An afternoon spent outside not doing anything in particular with the children. Just heaven. The hours pass so quickly compared to when we are cooped up inside.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Lip service, April Showers and a new bed

When you realise your lips are sore and you need some lip balm, reaching into a pocket and finding your favourite one. The relief and warmth is instant.

The weather today is real April showers. One minute we could be in Novemeber and the suddenly the clouds roll back and Spring has popped back into the room.

M has her new big girls bed. She wanted to get into it when she got back from pre-school. It looks like one of the 7 Dwarves beds, so perfectly formed but tiny.

ill, ill, ill

Thursdays Post

Bovril & hot toast, a blanket and bedtime.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

more chocolate, "please" and chopsing

Richard asked me to take a look at some tiles he had found on line that might work for our bathroom. The description read "Noche, tumbled travertine, a beautiful tile of a rich chocolate colour...." Yes please. I would LOVE that in my bathroom.

J can say "please" - though it sounds more like "peeez" and he cannot say it without smiling. How perfect & what a long way that simple talent will take him.

I met 2 people I haven't seen for ages today and had long talks with them, catching up on the local news, usual stuff, who's had a baby and who has gone on holiday. Some sad stuff too, like who has cancelled their wedding. It did feel nice to just catch up so spontaneously, so much of my life is organised, set up in advance and planned. To be late all morning because I had stood in the street and chatted was lovely.

an hour, chocolate milk and an early night

M had a sleep again at lunchtime. This gave me a whole extra hour that I had not expected and I made a real dent in my essay.

The milkman left a bottle of free chocolate milk and a little note apologising for having been out of stock the last time I requested it.

Went to bed at 9pm and slept until 6.30.

Monday, 22 March 2010

college, college & college

Today was my tutorial day. I love my days being a student. I got my grade from a presentation done last month...My first ever A grade. I am so pleased and proud, I worked hard to make it good, and now all those hours of work have paid off.
I always return full of enthusiasm and drive - being a home study student can be hard going and lonely but my tutorials make it all worthwhile. I can feel how much I am changing with all this learning, each month that passes feels better and better and I am more sure than ever that this is the right path for me. When you love doing something, even the tough bits (like the essays) are not really a chore. The hard bit is finding the time to squeeze them in (or out!).

Sunday, 21 March 2010

seeds, naps and beds

I sowed some seeds in my new greenhouse. It was utter bliss. So warm and quiet.

M finally gave in and had a sleep at lunchtime today for the first time in days. She needed it so badly and once in her bed, was snoring gently in seconds.

Getting back this afternoon, my mum had ironed all my bedding and made our bed - a chore that I always leave until I am almost ready to get in to it. What heaven to have it done for me.

library lady, bunting and the chinese supermarket

We went to the library. J was naughty. There was a lady there who was SO kind and helpful and patient, and who really went out of her way to make our lives a bit easier.

I am making bunting for the children's playhouse. Its out of some fabric remnants that a friend gave me, and looks beautiful already.

The chinese supermarket was pungent, full of weird and wonderful things and a real escape from the norm. So many unfamiliar delights, we could have been in there for hours.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Watered seeds, chorizo sausages and one less rat.

It is raining. I feel a bit cheated especially as I have been feeling so spring-y the last day or so. However, the salad I have sown will be getting a lovely drink and the grass really does look as though it's beginning to grow now.

Some plump, fat, ruby red sausages on special offer. They smell of Spain, the summer and barbeques. I long for that first evening meal outside.

A rat on my birdtable. Richard was quick with the air rifle and now my hens have one less squatter in their midst.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Radio 4, thats better and a night out

I went out this morning without my children. I did miss them, but relished being able to 'nip' into places easily and I listened to the serial on Womans Hour in full, something I have been trying to manage all week.

In the opticians, a boy had arrived with his dad to collect his glasses. His smile when he put them on was heart-warming. "Thats better", he grinned and his Dad breathed a sigh of relief.

We are going out tonight and leave Gan Gan in charge. I am excited about getting dressed up and seeing old friends.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Trip to town, running and not yet old

I had a trip into town today to collect my mother, coming to stay for a few days. I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder planning a trip to town, it has been so long since we have been shopping for anything other than food. Anything else I am lucky enough to be able to do on-line these days. But going to the big city (hardly - Banbury!) was fun. J was great and loved running about looking in the shop windows. Best of all was the piano demo (live) in the shopping centre. Instantly I was transformed to the set of Sense & Sensability. What a difference to being joslted in the Q in M&S.

Running was, as ever, fantastic today. Half an hour of fresh air, chatter and freedom.

My mother was telling me about how she will not travel too far fom home these days, in case something happens to her. Or my father. What an awful thought. But is it awful enough to keep you /them/me, at home for the rest of your/their/my days? In my case, not. And in my fathers, I suspect not. However, this is the cause of much contention in their house. I am glad R and I are where we are and not really having to think about this too much. Or is this arrogant of us? Or is being too careful, just wasting time??

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

homemade feast, dodo cook for books and a successful swap

The first salad of the year, enjoyed with home made dressing and home made mayonnaise (a first for me - never managed it before!). Can't wait until the salad itself is 'made in Woodend'.

Sneaked a peak at my Dodo Cook for books (as recommended on 3BT site). It has been bought for me as a b'day pressie, so should not have looked yet, but it looks perfect and lots of fun.

A successful book swap on ReaditSwapit site. An unwanted book swapped for one you are currently after, what a perfect idea.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Reality check, bedtime and wine.

Bump!! Back down to earth with a crash today after such a lovely weekend. The children have been monsters all day - not stopped crying, whining or taking lumps out of each other. Thank goodness I've made it through the day; though I have hollered like a fish wife a good number of times so my throat feels sorer than ever.

2nd blessing is that it's now bedtime for the wee darlings. Hooray for 7pm.

3rd is that I have some wine on standby.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

made with love, breakfast smiles and gardening

Richard and the children made my Mothers Day card. It is beautiful and I am so delighted at the time, love and effort that must have gone in to it.

We went out for breakfast and it was perfect. There was a stern faced lady on the other side of the restaurant having breakfast with a man. She looked tired and sad. J wondered over to her table. On seeing him up close, she broke into a face changing smile. She lit up.

We have been in the garden all afternoon. R and I christened the new greenhouse with a sausage roll and a beer sitting on the floor basking in the warmth.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Another run, some bargains and friendly shopping

Running with a friend this morning blew away my groggy feeling that a cold is on its way. We did 5 miles and chatted all the while. I so cherish this time to maintain my non-children friendships.

I went to the NCT Nearly New Sale and got some fabulous bargains - lovely clothes for the children. I saw lots of new parents talking things through and comparing notes on how it all went. I smiled at the dads standing chatting with their newborns in slings. They were so proud and excited. Lovely.

Stopping off at the supermarket...something usually to be avoided at the weekend but needs must & is much easier without the little ones, so I took my time and was careful not to tear about being cross and hurried (like usual!). I was struck by how smiley and friendly everyone was despite the shop being really busy. Maybe everyone seemed like that because I feeling like that too?

Friday, 12 March 2010

View, making every minute count and old friends snowdrops

I noticed with fresh eyes when sitting eating my breakfast with the children, that the view from our window next to the table is stunning. Some people watch tv while they eat. We watch the birds, the trees, the chickens and the wild wild weather.

That wild weather gave us 20 minutes respite at lunchtime, J and I made the most of the break in the clouds and spent a happy time in the new greenhouse sweeping it out, pulling up a few carrots for supper and collecting the eggs, before the clouds rolled back over and those early April showers came back with a vengance.

Looking out of J's window I noticed the snowdrops our old neighbours put in last year, before they moved away are coming up. I realised how much I miss their familiarity and emailed them to tell them all the news and ask how they are settling in.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

new shoes, new butchers and a family lunch

M's shoes, bought last week have been hurting her. We were brave and took them back to the store where we had had them fitted. The lady could not have been nicer and more helpful. We left with a replacement pair of perfectly fitting bright pink beauties that M says she "just loves".

After the shoe shop I spotted a butchers shop I had not seen before and so popped in asking for minced beef. After carefully enquiring how many I was cooking for and how big their appetites were, the lovely man in a spotless red striped apron minced me a pound of beef using a hand held mincer on this butchers block. I felt like I had stepped back in time. This is how shopping should be.

The children and I had our main meal at lunchtime all together. I love sitting down and eating with my family. We watch the birds at the bird table by our window and chatter about the mornings activities.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A compliment, a new friend and learning something new

When I dropped M off at pre-school, her teacher told me she 'loved my look -- so shabby chic'. I laughed and told it her was defiantely more shabby than chic but hey as a S A H M, what else can you expect. Lovely that someone noticed the new patch on my jeans though....

M was telling me about her new friend at school "Fiddley". I had no idea who she was talking about until I saw his tray this morning..."Finaly" started last week and he and M have become frim friends.

Totally unexpected, I stumbled on a programme all about babies. For someone who loathes the TV most of the time, I was happy to sit and absorb lots of new stuff about genes, pregnancy and biology. Made up for the fact I missed out on my study time at naptime today because I was searching for a Peppa Pig duvet cover for M's new big girls bed.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

school, spinach and the late afternoon sun

Took daughter to look around a primary school. It was wonderful. Clean, friendly, bright, modern and bursting with energy, light and busy happy children. M sat down straight away and started playing with some play dough, completely at ease.

I made the children a pasta sauce with spinach for their tea. They adored it. It made me feel smug and happy that I had opted for that over fish fingers again.

As I'm tidying up after the days activities, the sun has appeared for the first time today. It looks like lights have been switched on outside. I feel lifted and ready to start all over again tomorrow.

Monday, 8 March 2010

smiles and bananas, onions and hubby home.

My daughter brought me a banana in this morning - she put it in front of her mouth and said "look mummy, what a lovely big smile I have this morning".

I am blessed not to be married to the man I heard shouting at his wife in the supermarket this morning because "she lies through her teeth about how much she pays for onions". Yes. Really. I wanted to scoop her up and take her home. I am not sure I'll ever slice an onion without seeing her face.

Richard is home.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

great service for birds, the best start and dinner (again).

The birds on my bird table had hot porridge for breakfast this morning. They fell on it like starving waifs.

I had 3 'I love you mummy''s and 2 cups of tea before 9am. What a start to the day.

Despite it being just the children and I, I made us a roast dinner at tea time. The children laid the table while I did the last minute touches. We said 'cheers' and 'bon appetit'--them with their baby beakers and me with the chefs treat of an early glass of wine. It was heavenly food and a perfect way to end the week.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Recycling, ducks (again) and silence

I got fed up yesterday with the piles of things to be taken out to the recycling bins that were dotted all over my kitchen. Then it struck me how if I found this stuff to be a clutter, what on earth were we going to do when there is no more landfill!? Then I considered tidying up after a normal day 10 or 15 years ago when most of this plastic, card and paper would have gone straight in the times have changed for the better. Its almost a social no-no now not to recycle everything that you can. That has to be a good thing - and something to remember when cleaning out yogurt pots and baked bean tins and feeling hard done by.

We saw the ducks again at the river. They came right up, quacking and indignant that we had nothing for them. The colour of their feet was amazing. Bright tangerine - and so clean and useful looking.

My visitors left today. I was worried how I would feel when I was on my own again with the children but realised when driving into town that silence and being on one's own can be nice and often theraputic. I have little quiet time with 2 toddlers in the house, so a drive of 10 minutes today with no-one chatting was actually really lovely. I got some reading done at lunchtime and felt good and purposeful again after a few days of entertaining.

Friday, 5 March 2010

cows, al fresco lunch and some bargains

The farmer in our village let the cows out of their barns today. This means Spring is definately coming. I missed the cows actually being walked down the lane, I wish I can seen them. I can imagine that they must have been almost skipping with joy at the fresh air and feel of grass under their feet.

We had lunch outside today. Well wrapped up and tucked away from the wind but outside nonetheless.

We went to a store that sells housey stuff at incredibly low prices and got lots of bargains that make you feel all smug.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

New napkins, sleeping toddlers and a nice dinner

Bought some new cloth napkins today. The fabric is beautiful and makes me feel cheerful just from looking at it.

Out & about today, both children slept for an hour in the car. They looked like sleeping cherubs with flushed cheeks and never-ending eyelashes.

Had to go out last night for a meeting, so missed out on a dinner. Looking forward to creating something nice tonight and catching up with my mother over a glass of good wine.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Little scarves, visitors and a lovely walk

My daughter said that the catkins dangling so beautifully from some hazel twigs I have put in a vase looked like little scarves.

My parents are here for a few days. So nice not to be on my own during the day.

We all went for a walk to see the lambs and blew the cares of the day away. It was refreshing and woke me up.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ducks, more ducks and an envelope

Today has been horrible. I am having to think about my 3 blessings very hard.
My babies have been out of sorts, fractious and demanding beyond belief. I have not coped well and feel low and sad now that they are in bed.

I saw 6 ducks flying overheard this morning when walking the dogs. Within a minute, they had come back over re-tracing their path - clacking and sqwarking like grumpy women. I could only imagine their words "I TOLD you it was the other way, I do wish you men would just ask for directions when you're lost".

We met a lady on the bridge today who heard us commenting on the absence of the ducks on the river. She kindly pointed out where she had seen 2 taking a snooze half hidden in the bank. My children were delighted and shared their snacks with the poor creatures who were just trying to grab 40 winks.

As noted above - I have not had a second to myself today. While I should have been working on writing an essay, all that I managed was to put some already completed work into an envelope and address it. I feel cheated and cross that I have not achieved more. But then guilty because surely my most important job is my children??

Tomorrow will be better.

Monday, 1 March 2010

spring, spring and spring.

We live in the country and it struck me today who much our lives are dominated by the seasons. Today we have sunshine. For the first time in ages. After the weekends rain and wind - this is blessed relief.

Walking down the lane with my son on his trike, I felt its warmth through my coat. It was like one of those heat massagers, spreading slowly and warming me from the outside in.

There is a tiny bunch of crocus in a bare flowerbed outside my front door. The hens have thoughtfully dug around it, but left it alone and so it looks like someone cares enough to have 'tickled' the soil around it and framed it. It is a miniature, perfect little bouquet.

At my daughters preschool pick up today, all the mums and dads looked different. They were smiling and open faced and we were all saying the same thing "Is Spring here?".

A run, sticking and cutting and a potato cake

Late with Sundays blessings - sorry!

A much needed run with a friend, a chance to blow the cobwebs away and catch up on her news and tell her some of mine. Feels like therapy to have a whole half hour to chatter and listen with out interruptions.

Will and children sat around the table on a rainy morning making beautiful pictures out of cut up cards and catalogues - chatting and laughing together.

A potato and thyme cake for supper (Nigel Slater - Tender!) - utter bliss.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

The chippy lady, tired children and a meal at the table.

The lady at the Chippy in Nottingham today was so friendly and taking such good care of her customers --she warmed my heart - some of them didn't even need to speak, she knew what they wanted and how to make them feel like the most valued customer in the world...even if they spent pence rather than pounds. If only all customer service could be so fantastic.

We spent the day at Nanas house. My children were happy, and entertained by little more than bits and bobs she had thoughtfully put by for them, glittery purses, wooden horses and plastic bracelets. She was like a mother hen today and helped me look after them perfectly. They slept all the way home and said the best bit of their day was 'Nana's'.

Will, R and I sat together and had a summer meal despite the weather. After a chippy lunch, roasted veg and salad was just what was needed. We all talked. And laughed. And reminised. We wouldn't have done if we had been in the other room with the telly on. I love what the telly being off, does.

Friday, 26 February 2010

The hardest part of doing this...

Is, so far, only summing stuff up in 3 posts! I have a 4th, perhaps just this once, perhaps not....My stepson came to stay today, we have only seen him once since Christmas and it is so lovely to have him here, with his view on the world at 13. He is cross with his school, loathes (his words) his teachers, but LOVEs (his words) the beef and onion pie I have made us all, complete with pastry cows on top. To hear him comment how much trouble I had taken to make it warmed my heart and made me ashamed I nearly asked his dad to stop at the fish and chip shop on the way home.

Not the egg and washing dancing

The joy on discovering what I just seen my spainel run into his kennel with in his mouth was not the newly lain egg I had just placed on the table, but a plastic yellow lemon my son had dropped. This can be washed and returned. The egg is needed for a neighbours weekly order.

The wind contines to be my friend today. I have cheated the rain clouds so far and have done 2 loads of washing just for the sheer heaven of hanging it outside on the line so that I can see it dance and smell the freshness next time I wear some of it.

Moles and windmills

It is raining and the wind is blowing so hard that the plastic windmill I have stuck in the latest molehill is whirling like a spinning top. Hopefully the mole will be packing his bags.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

clean floor, new words and lambs.

I managed to clean my floor today. No mean feat in this house of dogs, children and mud. Sad to be satisfied by such mundane-ness (or is it?).

J my 22 month old son is beginning to utter a few words here and there. Today we had 2 lovely new ones -- out of nowhere, ditch and cheese.

Walked with a friend and her 2 children to the farm down the lane and saw lambs for the first time. Felt lifted. Spring must be on her way.

A new start!

Inspired by the fantastic 3 Beautiful things blog spot, I have decided to start counting 3 blessings every day. A mum of 2 toddlers (2 and 3) who is trying to study (antenatal education), look after her livestock (hens, 9, dogs 2) and her partner, life is hectic and sometimes I forget to see the best in each day. That will change from hereonin!