Sunday, 31 December 2006

THE LAST SUNRISE 2006


Due to the deep cloud I can't show you the last sunset;
but it's up there....
somewhere!

Saturday, 30 December 2006

OUR GARDEN HELPERS

Looking back at my previous posts I realised that there were some very special helpers in our garden who had almost been ignored. They sit out there come rain or shine protecting and watching over our garden when we are snuggled indoors in the warm. Just click on the album below and come and meet them all.

Friday, 29 December 2006

HAPPY ? BIRTHDAY!!!!!

It's Leanne's Birthday today. I won't tell you how old she is; it's impolite to reveal a ladies age; suffice it to say she was born in 1970. In true doting mother style here is a picture of her in her youth.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY DARLING

Wednesday, 27 December 2006

WORTH THE WEIGHT

Well here we are again. Another Christmas been and gone. All that planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning; all that waiting for the special day and now it's GONE!!! Oh but wasn't it worth every moment..........the memories that will linger on. All the happy faces; the special presents; the scrumptious food; the merry making drinks. So many memories to treasure.
Of course there is the down side; the first post since Christmas is a BILL; standing on the scales I've put on 9 pound in a week!!!!.......I mean I've been on my feet for days cooking, cleaning etc........I didn't eat THAT much.......did I???.......; then there's all that clearing up to do; that oven that I talked myself out of cleaning before Christmas is screaming out..........CLEAN ME.....CLEAN ME; and then there's all the left over food and drink that will have to be consumed.........must dig out my "101 TURKEY RECIPES" book; all those boxes of chocolates to be eaten.........can see a few more pounds going on there; OH BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!!!!!....................

THIS WAS IN MY CHRISTMAS CRACKER

IS SOMEONE TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING?

it's water retention....honest!!!!!!!

OUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKE THIS YEAR;

What's the difference between a lighthouse keeper, a thief and a pot of glue?

One watches over seas, one seizes watches. And the pot of glue?........Ah that's where you get stuck!!!!!!

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

NORMAL SERVICE WILL BE RESUMED WHEN MY STOMACH HAS SHRUNK ENOUGH FOR ME TO GET MY LAPTOP BACK ON MY LAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 24 December 2006

"
BEST WISHES TO YOU ALL
MAY YOU FIND PEACE IN YOUR HEARTS
A SONG ON YOUR LIPS
AND HAPPINESS IN YOUR SOUL

Thursday, 21 December 2006

LET THEM EAT CAKE!

While I was looking for some old photos for my other blog I came across these few. They are various Christmas/birthday cakes Manda and I have made through the years. By no means all of them; I'm not even sure we took photos of them all. I really wish I had found one of the Victorian Toy Shop that we made one Christmas. It was intricate and took hours to put together but was one of my favourites.





WEB OF DELIGHT

I think the spider's must have come out in force yesterday because this morning I managed to find all these beautiful webs.





Manda spotted this one on her way to the local shops; she came back to get my camera so that we could see it too.
I'm really looking forward to our pre-Christmas family Chilli-fest gathering tomorrow. There will be 15 plus dog of us and should be a wonderful day/night. had a bit of a laugh when my shopping order turned up yesterday. I thought I had ordered 1kg of carrots............ it turned out I'd only ordered ONE CARROT.........just enough for the reindeer methinks. Lynn, bless her, is going to pick up some more for us and bring them with her tomorrow.

Spotted this in the sky yesterday afternoon......is it a helicopter.............or is Santa having a trial run??????

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

OH WHAT A PICTURE!

What a sight for any neighbour looking out of their bedroom window this morning! I had noticed that the pond pump had stopped so I was out in the garden (7.30am please note the temperature) crouched by the pond, bum in the air, hands plunged in the icy water; fully attired in pyjamas, dressing gown and WOOLLY HAT!!!
Then I decided that I may as well get one of the cloches over from the garage. Mick made these for protecting garden plants in the early spring but they are also very handy for given the pond a little protection from the cold and stop the water from freezing. So off I traipsed over to the garage (which is situated ACROSS the road from our house) still dressed in night clothes and woolly hat. Now please can someone tell me WHY at 7.45am on a freezing cold December morning practically EVERY NEIGHBOUR in our street had decided to go out!!!!!!! How embarrassing.........that's my "street cred" another couple of notches lower..........

Isn't it wonderful that despite cold, rain, wind and anything the elements throw at them that the spiders still manage to weave their webs. A lesson in determination for us all!
I don't usually post jokes on my blog.....I'd never be able to compete with the ones on Jen and Cazz'z Blog...........but this one caught my eye as it is gardening related.




An old man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his vegetable garden but it was too difficult for him as the ground was so hard. His only son, Noel, was in prison and so could not help. The old man wrote a letter to Noel explaining his predicament.

Dear Noel,
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to grow any vegetables this year. I'm getting too old to do all that digging. If only you were here my troubles would be over as I know you would dig the plot for me. I would hire someone to help me but I'm very short of money.
Love,
Dad

A few days later the old man received a letter from his son.

Dear Dad,
Whatever you do DON'T dig the vegetable plot. That's where I buried the bodies.
Love,
Noel




At 4am the next morning the police arrived and dug up the entire plot but could not find any bodies. They apologised to the old man and left. The next day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Dad,
You'll be able to go ahead and plant the vegetables now. That was the best I could do under the circumstances. I hope it helped.
Love,
Noel

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NO SNOW, QUICK SIP SLOE



As you can see from these photographs it was a very frosty start to the day and very slippery in places. So far today.......and it's 2pm at the moment......I've not turned the heating off....Powergen will LOVE me for that!!!
With Christmas getting closer and closer I thought it about time I got the Sloe Gin strained. I haven't any muslin in the house at the moment so used one of Mick's handkerchiefs - all washed and sterilised I must add - I'm leaving it to have a good long drain while I type this post; I don't want to risk any going to waste!!! Next thing will be to do some tasting before I bottle it up......LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT!!!.......I wonder how much difference it will make to the flavour the sloes not having been frosted before picking?
Manda popped in as usual during her lunch hour. LAST day of term today! She had a little story to tell us about something that had happened at school and I must share it with you;
earlier during the term the children all learnt how to make recycled paper. The local recycling centre was doing a competition and the children had to make something from the paper. Manda's school made Angels. Manda had made a piece of paper herself and she showed the children how to cut and fold the paper to make the Angels and where to put their initials on them so that they would know which one was made by which child. Some of the angels were used in the Christmas displays but the teacher picked out a few of the best to put into the competition. Well today PRIZES turned up at the school - although they had not won the major prize some of the Angels had won 1st, 2nd and 3rd in one of the categories. The only problem was one of the Angels was initialed MW and there was no child with the initials MW in the class......................suddenly the penny dropped!!!!......................THE TEACHER HAD INADVERTENTLY PUT MANDA'S ANGEL IN THE COMPETITION!!!!............so Manda is now the owner of a new pencil case and much relieved that at least her Angel got first prize and she wasn't beaten by a 7 year old!!!!
Well time to get bottling.........Manda will be sure to pop in on her way home.....it's a bit of a tradition with us that she always comes and has a wee dram of something on the last day of term to celebrate. Now I wonder if she'd like to help me out with the Sloe Gin tasting???.......

Monday, 18 December 2006

THE CHRISTMAS QUIZ

For those of you who missed mention of it.....................THE CHRISTMAS QUIZ starts today on LOVE A COSY UNIT. Just a bit of fun; please drop by.
CLICK ON THE SNOWMAN TO ENTER

THERE WIL BE A DIFFERENT SORT OF CHALLENGE EVERY DAY. SOME DAYS HARD, SOME DAYS KID'S STUFF.


I'd almost forgotten but MONTHS ago when I'd bought a bottle of Ribena there was a contest on it. One of those "look on the back of the label and see if you've won" sort. Well Mick and I had won a blackcurrant bush! I duly sent the form off and with everything going on I'd not thought about it any more. This morning a padded white envelope dropped through the door I thought it must be something I'd sent away for from a catalogue. I opened it and this was inside!

Now it may not look much at the moment but in a few years time I could be making my own blackcurrant cordial. Of course I had to quickly go out and plant it; just a matter of pushing the piece of twig in the ground. Just as well it wasn't too long a job; it was freezing out there! I did take a moment to open our shed-cum-greenhouse. Everything looks OK in there but as an extra precaution I popped some horticultural fleece over all the pots. The weather men are forecasting -5 over the weekend. Think I'd better go and get my flannelette nightie out of the moth balls and give it an airing!!!!

Sunday, 17 December 2006

D IS FOR................................


At the moment we only have a white DICENTRA; we moved our pink one and it wasn't very happy about it and we lost it. We will definitely get another though; they are a superb plant. We call them Bleeding hearts but they are known by many different names like Dutchman's breeches and Lady in the bath. The grandchildren like picking one of the flowers, turning it upside down and gently pulling the petals apart and lo and behold the lady in the bath appears.

Believe it or not these are our DWARF DELPHINIUMS.....I think the good weather this year made them put on a growth spurt! Once they've flowered I cut them to the ground and we always get a second flush later in the year.

One of my favourites; the DOGS TOOTH VIOLETS; I have them in pots and they are exquisite. These too get a potash feed once they've finished flowering. The leaves have a slight purple marbelling on them. They are quite expensive to buy but I picked my bulbs up in a little nursery tucked away in the back of beyond. They were 2 for £1. What a bargain.

Spring just wouldn't be spring without the DAFFODILS. We only grow the dwarf varieties; this spring being pre camera days I've only this one photo. We do have other varieties.....more pics next year! I try very hard to leave them to die down naturally so that all the energy goes back into the bulb for the next year. As they start to die down I always give them a good potash feed.



Mick loves the DAHLIAS. His special favourites are the bottom two; Fascination (bought when we went to Salcombe in Devon) and Bishop of Llandaff. We really like the bronze foliage. The upper two are just dwarf varieties we grew from seed one year. We keep them in pots and once the first frosts have blackened the foliage we dry them off and pack into sawdust for the winter.

Saturday, 16 December 2006

NO "SAT" IN SATURDAY!

As my chic "Miss Haversham" look was starting to become the "Miss Tery Where I'll Put Everyone/Thing" look, I thought I'd better do a quick scoot around the house and do some sorting out. Next Friday there will 12+ of us in the house plus dog. I need enough food and drink in the house for them; plus enough for 5 plus cat on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and, HOPEFULLY, enough to see us through the New Year. First job I decided would have to be a clean out and defrost of the Beer Fridge. With the weather being mild I don't think putting beers, cokes etc out in the garden to get cold is going to work this year. Thank goodness most of us drink Red Wine; don't have to keep that cold. One hour later - a speed up job with the hair dryer I'm afraid - the fridge was SPARKLING and ice free. Thankfully as I had a new freezer this year - that didn't need doing too.
The next thing that needed tackling was the oven. Every year, before Christmas, Mick would always clean the oven for me - bless him. This year, as with last year, Mick's not been able to do this so the task is down to me. Over a quick cup of coffee I mused about this and made the executive decision that, as I hadn't done quite as much cooking this year, the oven could wait till after the New Year. Good thinking Ruth!!!!!
Now where to put all the wrapped presents? The majority of these won't leave the house until our visitors take them on Saturday. I decided to leave them on the appropriate beds and let the "soon to be recipients" work/sleep their way around them! More good thinking!!
The beds have all been made (thank goodness Rob and Phil are sleeping at Mandas - would be a severe bed shortage otherwise); the obligatory layer of snowdust left upon the odd surface of cupboards and shelves and - after much pushing and shoving - the copious boxes of Micks incontinence pads hidden under the beds.
The little back room (beer fridge, freezer, larder, general junk room) is now accessible WITHOUT climbing over the 4 cases of wine (more to come yet!), 24 toilet rolls, bookcase and clothes airer; I CAN EVEN SEE OUT OF THE WINDOW UP THERE!!!! No don't be silly.....I don't mean I've CLEANED the window; I just mean I've moved the 4 boxes of junk that were in front of it. During doing all this I did keep popping downstairs to check on Mick. A couple of times he was awake and I said "Don't worry if you hear lots of bangs and crashes coming from upstairs. It's just me sorting the bedrooms out before all the Christmas visitors." Every time he just went straight back to sleep - I reckon he was making sure I didn't mention the OVEN!
Now I can sit back with a happy heart and just bide my time until my food delivery comes on Thursday.
OH NO!...............JUST THOUGHT!......................WHERE AM I GOING TO PUT IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A STAR IS BORN!

So excited; we have never had a flower on the Venus Fly Trap........in fact I didn't even know they DID flower................I have been watching these stems and buds for a few weeks now and at last the flowers have started to open.

A WORD OF WARNING!!!!!!!

Last night I received an email from Abuse @btinternet (had to be careful how I typed that or it would become a clickable link). It said that if I didn't click on the link in the email within 24 hours my service would be suspended. It seemed a bit "suspicious" to me and so I tried to phone BT. Well that was a hopeless task; half an hour of number crunching but still no HUMAN to speak to. I then tried sending BT an email - that went off ok and I hoped that I would get some feedback at SOME point. Then LO and behold my dear blogfriend MileStones emailed me saying he had had a very similar email sent to him. The only difference being that instead of @bt his was @his provider. Even more suspicious!!!!!!
This morning I have received a phone call from BT in response to my email saying that it NOT from them and that they will block this address from my mail box.
Now maybe it is just "A JOKE" and maybe if I had clicked on the link I would have been presented with a picture of a naked Santa or something but I wouldn't want to take the chance. There are enough problems with Google and Betablog without risking a nasty virus.
So folks;
IF IN DOUBT...................DELETE!!

Friday, 15 December 2006

OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING!

Yet again a fabulous red sky this morning; but is it a "Shepherds Warning " ? We all know how the song goes....
  • Oh what a beautiful morning
  • Oh what a cloud laden day
  • I've got a terrible feeling
  • Winter is coming our way






Thursday, 14 December 2006

LOST IN TRANSLATION!

When I was doing a Blogaround earlier and dropped into TIME AND A WORD, MS had put a poem on his blog written in Spanish. I really wanted to know what it said so did a quick Google and found a couple of translation sites. I pasted the words in and waited for the translation. Now considering that it's a computer programme translating; although I could tell it wasn't perfect I think I got the gist of what the poem was trying to say. I wondered if it would be an idea to pop a translation link on my site in case any non English speaking visitors dropped by. I thought I'd better do a little check first to see how efficient it would be so I copied my THE FACE THAT MUNCHED A THOUSAND CHIPS post from A Million Stories; pasted it in and translated it into Spanish. Then I copied the translation and retranslated it back into English. Quite possibly it was the double translation that messed the meaning up and I won't bore you with the WHOLE text but to give you an idea; my words
I guess the CHIP URGE had got Mick too.

became
I conjecture that the IMPULSE of the SHAVING had obtained Mick also. (on one site)
and
I guess that the IMPULSE of the TABLET had obtained Mick also. (on the other)

I can see the logic there but think I'll give the translation link a miss. I'd hate to get arrested for husband abuse; feeding my poor hubby sausagemeat pie and shavings or tablets!!

So if you have dropped by and don't understand a word of my blog:

  • je suis désolé.......................(managed this one myself)
  • ich bin taurig........................(and this)
  • я огорченн
  • 我抱歉
  • λυπάμαι
  • 私は残念である
  • eu sou pesaroso
  • ik ben droevig

I hope that covers most of you and I so hope that little BABEL FISH hasn't sworn at anyone!!!!!!!!

FIRST SIGNS OF SPRING!

When I went out to feed the fish this morning (can't believe they are still so active in December) I noticed the first sings of spring. First of all there was a Celandine in flower; don't usually see these until after the Snowdrops have bloomed and also the first bud on a Daffodil!!! I know my friend Sue always remarks that our daffodils are the first in bloom but BUDS in DECEMBER!!! I wonder if they will just stay in bud until the spring or will we have BLOOMS on Christmas Day!!





Must introduce you to our latest Christmas ornament. I was online the other day ordering some new thermal vests and long johns for Mick for Christmas (shhh.........don't let him hear!) and saw that the company had a SALE on. Well I spotted this Santa at only £3.99 and couldn't resist him.

I'm a sucker for a bargain!

P.S.

A quick update on the Camels Tails (see yesterdays post). The tails were "unstuffed" before the parents saw the nativity play so that the chidren could sit on them.........the tails that is not the parents!

SKY ALBUM -

EVERY SUNRISE AND SUNSET WE SHARED WAS PRECIOUS

A TOUR OF OUR GARDEN 2006

MEET THE FAMILY

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DENISE'S WISH FOR US ALL

A 1st Birthday Gift to my Blogpals

Thank you from Ruth

Thanks to Akelamula

creative blogger

Thanks Shaz

Thanks Skittles...worn with pride

created by Denise - given with love

AWARDS!

Rockin' Shaz sxhmoozed me From Mags, Gill, Libby,Denise and Meeyauw