Monday, 25 January 2010

Keeping busy

Baking chocolate muffins
Visiting the garden centre and buying a lemon tree for the conservatory

Attempting passport photo poses... we're still working on that!

I am pleased to report though that we have diverted some of the excess toddler energy in to doing things other than watching Toy Story *most* of the time, hurrah!
I have been tagged by Beki at The ramblings of an everyday Mummy in the "You're Welcome Meme!"

1 visit the new blogs i've introduced you too and if you like them then subscribe/follow
2 Recommend three new blogs you've discovered and liked
3 Tag three other bloggers and ask them for three new blog reads

Here are my three fave new blogs that i've recently discovered:

I would like to tag:

Friday, 22 January 2010

Winter Woodland

As promised here are some pictures from our little break away. The snow caused a few things to be tricky, mostly not all the foot and cycle paths could be gritted and the ice that came on Wednesday meant we couldn't use the bikes at all, plus the adventure playgrounds that GS loves so much were out of bounds and taped off for health and safety, understandable but still disapointing, but regardless of all that it was lovely, just the break we needed and we always relax away from it all in the woodland surrounded by nature and good food :)

Now i am ready for organising our next break away :)
I have been trying to find things to occupy GS (AKA The Mancub) lately, i think the bad weather plus his high energy levels mean he is utterly bored with the same old same old and being stuck mostly indoors and needs to run off his energy, I've tried having friends round, crafts, baking etc but he is so highly strung that he only has a 5 minute attention span with anything right now, is easily irritable and is basically hard work. It means I am spending most of my days trying not to shout at him (hard) and explain that he needs to play nicely/sit nicely/eat nicely/not throw things/not fly off the sofa in an impression of Buzz Lightyear/not attempt to saw my head off with his toolset/not keep getting DVDs out to watch/ not make a mini mountain of books and stand on them at the summit... aaah the joys of toddlerdom! I am beginning to find myself a) hankering after warmer weather so we can get out more b) yearning a more local cheap/free soft play centre and c) putting him infront of his much asked for DVDs and trying not to feel like a bad mother for letting him watch films rather than trying to keep him entertained doing other more educational things... bah! Anyway, Granny Nanny, Mr G.T. & I have come together and are going to try and put more wet weather action in to play, we have started to go swimming every Sunday morning, not a cheap pasttime but its worth it, and also we've researched a few more local "Messy Play" and toddler sessions at centres we can go to across the week. Failing that I am hoping that the rain clears soon and we can grab in a few more walks, kickabouts and gardening in to the equation, before we start being able to recite Toy Story verbatim, oops too late!
However, on a glorious break for escape yesterday we visited the local garden centre which i adore, even in Winter it has delights that I crave, bad news is it makes me spend money, good news is we now have a lovely new feeding station for our beloved garden birds, a lemon tree that was half price (Granny Nanny's new pride and joy for the conservatory) and 5 Raspberry plants to get caned up in a few more weeks, hurrah! We have big plans for the garden this year, last year we got some stuff done but what with my ill health it took a back burner understandably, now we are putting money away every month in the savings account so we can start getting the fence and decking painted, decking done for the front garden, gravel down on the lining and final touches made to the front such as a water feature etc hopefully. I hope to produce some before, during and after pictures in the following months!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

We survived the snow!

We haven't been buried under the snow I promise, Family Thrift have been on holiday!
I promise to write all about what we got up to and share photos very shortly but today is GS's swine flu jab which i'm a bit worked up about (he had a bad reaction after his MMR which was apparently unconnected according to the medical profession but i'm not so convinced) so I am just going to post a little bit before getting ready for that appointment.
The snow has totally disappeared (including the snowman which GS is a bit concerned over bless him- as we walked past the remaining stones and twigs yesterday he said "snowman has gone to the pub?" haha!) and we now have lovely grey miserable rain in it's place, hmm bring back the snow? maybe not but still, i hate drizzle, grey foggy English winters are not so picturesque as white snowy glistening ones. But compared to what Haiti is dealing with we have nothing to even remotely complain about so I will shut up, only speaking to ask everyone to donate anything they can to the DEC and related causes, even just a few pence can do something for someone over there and they really need it.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

A suitable heroine

I have just finished reading a book I really enjoyed, "Wedding Tiers" by Trisha Ashley.
It was well written with the usual complex love story of a good romance but rather than the usual Cosmo-heroine-in-the-city this one centres around Josie Gray, a rural country girl after my own heart who loves her hens, baking and being self-sufficient. Combining such terrific descriptions of country life and making your own cakes, wines and pickles this book also has a wedding aspect (Josie goes in to partnership with her best friend to provide bespoke weddings at a country house) and it therefore ticks so many boxes of delight for me! There are even real recipes that are mentioned in the plot printed at the back of the book, so you too can get "peapodded" on Peapod wine! I loved it! I hope other Trisha Ashley books are as endearing as I will be requesting more from the library.

The above book and old style recipes has inspired me to write down my family recipes finally, i have them in bits of books and bits of paper all over or in my recipe file, but a hardbacked book version would last much better and give me a chance to get everything in one place , i will be poaching ones from both Granny Nanny, my twin Aunties and my Mother-in-law, because they are the most tried and tested favourites! I'd love an old style hardbacked notebook, so will be keeping an eye out in the charity shops for something similar, a Cath Kidston style one would be lovely but i'm doubtful i'll get one of those!

The snow kept away today thankfully, just a few flakes flickered at tea time but hopefully thats all, it has thawed slightly in the sun so the roads and pavements are a bit less dangerous. I am back at work tomorrow for the late shift so I am hoping it stays so, but i hear this is forecast for a few weeks yet, but i imagine no forecast is going to be particularly accurate and therefore its probably more prudent to just look out of the window and take it from there rather than worrying about hours/days/weeks ahead. I managed to get in for my shift on Wednesday and we had a fully staffed library which was pretty good as many others in Derbyshire had to close because of staff shortages, but at the end of the day no matter how important the service is, staff safety comes first and if we can't get in or get home safely (especially in rural areas) then there has to be a sacrifice. I've been very proud of my local binmen/postman/gritter drivers and bus drivers who have been carrying on through it as best they can to keep everything running.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Wintery Whiteout

As you can see the wintery weather has continued, with photos like these i really wouldn't mind were it not for how trecherous the roads are and the fact that Mr G.T was at work when the worst fell and I was due to go to the library for 1pm, that didn't happen! I hate letting down work especially as it's a public service and a lifeline to so many, but i just couldn't get out the end of my lane let alone down the hill, the library closed at 12 noon anyway so I would not have achieved anything even if I had've done something galliant and soldiered on. As it turned out hubby got to finish by 1pm and we spent the afternoon having a quick walk around the fields and making a snowman as requested by GS!

Granny Nanny and I were especially overcome by the gorgeous bullfinches that were drawn out of seclusion in search of food on to our garden, such beautiful colours, they were a very special treat! We have tried our best to keep our feathered friends fed, they were vigourously fighting over the seed bowl so we put a fresh one out, and a chicken carcass from the weekend, although some pesky fox has stolen both of our fat/seed/worm food trays (plastic trays and all) we put on the ground for the robins leaving some telltale footprints in the snow, although i guess they must have been desperate for the food just as equally so really i don't mind.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

New Year New Start

The last sunrise ... the last sunset of 2009.

The title of this post conveys a lot for me, to you it probably seems a cliche of the new year bringing new opportunities, but to me it signifies a shift in not only the year but in our plans as a family.
We have decided to start trying again for a much wanted second child (or should that be third) after our miscarriage in May (that dragged on until July). I had spent a lot of 2009 actively avoiding the subject like it was something we couldn't talk about or even know where to begin with, but over the past month I have found an inner peace with myself about it all, I feel more confident now to give it another go and feel blessed to even have the chance to. I know it could happen again, and I know how that would feel, but we have been there before and we came through it stronger and closer than ever, and, as with a lot of things in life, you just have to take a leap of faith; put trust in yourself and with your beliefs and go for it. In some ways it feels not dissimilar to how ttcing for the 1st time felt when we eventually fell pregnant with GS, we were newly weds, we didn't own our own home back then and financially we were in a bit of a mess so trying for a baby seemed risky, maybe a bit too soon, maybe a bit too irresponsible, but it was the best decision we ever made looking back, and part of us wondered why we'd really left it so long, but ultimately the family we have now was worth the risk and worked out well, we listened to our inner voices and instincts and it worked out, as a lot of things do. I am hoping for similar success for 2010.

I am hoping also for this to be a new start of sorts with this blog, many times over the past few months I have felt like posting on here more regularly but have had other things to do or lacked the enthusiasm to turn on the PC again late in the evening, but I want to really give it a better go this year, even more so now I have a new camera to capture my days with and share with you all! So I hope you'll keep popping by a bit more regularly now I promise to feed your visits with more content?

n.b I have no clue what is going on with blogger today but i keep trying to edit the layout and photos on this post but it just will not behave, very frustrating!!