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.