Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Another finish.

I have finished this baby ripple blanket, there are just a few ends to sew in, most were weaved in as I did my crochet stitches. Now to cast on the blue one, these are so relaxing to make, I not sure if I have enough yarn, might have to make a trip to a local-ish shop. Which ever one is not needed I will ask daughter if she knows anyone who would love it. 
I was given this book to read, and told it's funny, he does swear a bit but his writing style is really amusing, I did enjoy it, book 27 this year.
Last Saturday I was given some cut flowers, the lady knows I do love Peonies, these  are beginning to open, they are just so pretty. I do grow them in the garden, but would never cut the blooms for inside. It's a rare treat for me to have real cut flowers inside.
This Orchid has the title of being the most amazing Orchid I have ever had, purchased back at the end of January, these blooms still look brilliant, not 1 has dropped yet. 
I have had this Orchid in the corner of our sitting room for years, a couple of years ago, I got the silk flower stem, and it does look real, so I am truly pleased to see 2 new flower stems on it. Once the buds are bigger I will remove the silk ones and allow it to have it's moment of bloom. 

 I've not been far since the weekend, we got our exterior paint at B&Q, the grey is a bit lighter than I wanted, but I wasn't going to pay loads extra for a different brand, just for a different shade, we had to get a huge tub of white as well. Hubby has been cleaning the paint off the drain pipes, each one was the horrible brown colour and filling a few spots. I'm not allowed to help, so I did all the ironing, not my favourite task. 

Tuesday morning our group of ladies met for coffee at my neighbours house, so no driving, after hubby and I walked to the village to have a nice lunch out. The rest of the day was busy at home and a lazy evening. Whilst watching Bake off the professionals, an ad came on for The new season of Handmaid's Tale, which starts on this Sunday, I'm not really sure if this story is being drawn out too much, I will watch it and see what I think. 

Normally we would have George this morning whilst Will has his swimming lesson, but sadly George has picked up the sickness bug going around nursery, Will is coming to us instead, it's a risk I am willing to take so mummy can get some rest without a healthy 4 year old running around. Mummy has just a couple of weeks before we meet our grandchild. 

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Tidy house

 Under the smaller window the work is done, under the big window it's ready to render, he worked hard to ensure all the loose stuff was removed and the wall was sealed, the green stuff will help the render stay on the wall whilst wet. 
The front is now finished, it just needs to dry, ready for painting, the finish is excellent, not a mark or ridge anywhere. We will now purchase the paint, we are going light grey on the new render, the rest will stay white. We can now move the pots back and 🤞🤞watch hubby's rose regrow.
 Hubby decided to dig out the small corner garden and replant, the box hedge had blight, it's a nice size, and as he gardens very differently than me, I can't wait to see what he plants, this area has not been changed for years. 
Side of the house outside our gates is almost dry, we keep our dustbins here along with the bottle recycling box and some plants, I have new pots for our plants. Once swept and everything back in place it should look good, I already have new growth on the clematis we cut back. 
These are my neighbours bricks, aren't they lovely, can you now understand how much I wanted to see them on our house, sadly she has decided to have her bricks covered the same as ours, at least I won't be jealous each time I see her house once these are covered.  
We are in no hurry to get all the outside painting done, hubby is redoing the downstairs bathroom, refreshing all paintwork and then in July we are having a new floor laid, the slate tiles have cracked and needs replacing. Hubby does like to keep busy, he is worse than me for being bored, I am hoping I can help, he is such a perfectionist, I think he will want to do it himself. 

We have new plant pots for the side of the house, the 2 eucalyptus plant pots have holes in the bottom and when we moved them the roots were poking out, so we got plastic pots (much lighter), no holes so the vigorous growth can't excape, hubby got a matching pot for his Heather's. Again not my choice, but it's his area, and as I have said before it's nice to have something different. 

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Family time

Saturday was family time, Mummy, Daddy, Will and George, plus Grandma and Grandpa who we have not seen for over 12 months. We filled the paddling pool as we know Will loves water. Come closer daddy! 
This bigger scoot along bike is already Will's best toy outside, he was showing everyone how cool he looks. 
The smaller bike is now for George, he's not quite big enough, but that won't stop him. We got his shuttlebug bike out and he amazed us all but going forward on his own, clever little boy. 
Sat in the shade with George, just inside the house is our cat Purdy, who George loves. 
I managed to get a couple M&S toogoodtogo bags, we were both very happy with the contents, had tea one evening, 2 lunches each and some things for our BBQ, these bags are such good value. We did not eat the tuna snack packs, neither felt comfortable eating out of date raw fish. 

Friday we had friends in the garden for coffee, spent a lazy couple of hours chatting, it's the best feeling to have so much spare time. Mummy popped in with Will and George, who had their hair cut in our village barber, both boys look smart, mummy and daddy loves them to have short hair. 

Saturday was our BBQ, the weather was amazing, sunny and hot all day, plenty of shade on our decking under the pergola, Will went into the paddling pool 3 times, he loved it, later we used the water for our 3 trees in the garden. The evening was very quiet, just the 2 of us, the patio doors were open until late, another perfect day. It was lovely to see our SIL's parents, we have always gotten on well, just another perfect family time together. 

Today all we have planned is a trip to B&Q for exterior paint, the outside of our house is almost done, hubby will paint everywhere, not the huge task it sounds as we are in a bungalow. I am doing a quick tidy and clean, it's not too bad here, garden is just perfect, I am happy with everything outside, we have loads of leftovers for lunch and a simple tea planned later, so a lazy day. 

If nothing else, this pandemic and the lockdowns have shown us the value of family time, quiet hobbies, reading / sewing and knitting, watching birds on the garden feeders, life does feel good, we have no desire to travel. The life in the slow lane, which I dreaded whilst working is just fantastic. 

Thursday, 10 June 2021

What are you doing?

I have made a blanket for the car/pushchair for both Will and George, so with baby number 3 due, it's time to start another, but I will be making 2 as yet we do not know if the baby is a boy or a girl.
I have always used Patons, Baby Smiles 4 ply, its 100% Acrylic, so very easy to keep clean and very lightweight, these are the leftovers I have in my stash. Sadly nowhere have I noted how much yarn I used, when I next see daughter I will weigh a blanket to give myself some idea, as yet I have not ordered any colours, I will start the pink based one 1st, I will also at the same time make the blue/green one, I will need more yarn. 
I am pleased with the start of this blanket, I will make it as much as I can before shopping for more yarn, I am trying not to have too much left over this time. I know my daughter would not just want pink and white, so I've added a few pale colours, I do like these colours together. 
2 more books read, these were from The Works, 3 for £5, both I enjoyed, both I did not find the ending any surprise, I have a Peter James book left to read. Books 25 and 26 read this year. 
More sweet peas from the garden, with a couple of daisies, 
I am very hopeful I have cracked growing sweet peas. 

My Christmas cactus has just 1 bud, I re-potted it earlier this year, it's still on the bathroom windowsill.
I took cutting from my cactus and now have more plants, the herbs in these pots did not do as well as I wanted, so hopefully these will have a pretty role in displaying these. 

Always at this time of year I have loads of different things on the go, the garden is my 1st place to be, but as I have said before I can't sit and do nothing, so crafting and reading helps fill my time. We both now enjoy our coffee breaks sat outside, in sun or shade, our new pergola works perfectly, we linger longer chatting together, after all the hard work in the garden over the past 11 years, we can now enjoy our outside space. 

It's another stay at home week, we have walked to local shops a couple of time, I was really pleased I popped corn flower seeds in last month and nothing came up, I love these blue flowers, so I was so pleased to get 3 plants in our local shop, I already have white daisies, and 1 small poppy plant, all in my raised bed, I love these 3 flowers together, I use them in my profile photo. I also have my sweet peas in the same raised bed, so maybe this summer I will get a corner full of colour. 

Youngest daughter is in her last 4 weeks of pregnancy, she is not feeling so good, been to local maternity unit a couple of times, we are all on standby, when the time comes, I will move into her house, much easier having the boys in their own environment, so exciting times are coming, so no idea if it's a boy or girl, either is great, but can you imagine how we will be if we finally get a girl after 8 grand sons, she might get spoilt a bit. 

Monday, 7 June 2021

Sunny garden

Colourful blooms are opening around the garden, 
I love this time of year so much promise. 
As always pots rule here, all of the pots here are newly planted this summer, I did manage to get a few French Marigold seeds to grow for hubby, 
I love daises and in this pot they look good,
 it's under the Acer, so the colour pops out. 
I've planted my two long pots and whilst emptying the old pansies, I found these in one corner, next to the white Hellebore, There are 4 small seedlings, I don't want or need anymore white flowers, so if these grow I shall pass them on. 
Can you imagine my excitement as I watch these flowers on my lime plant, it would be lovely to have some fruit, sadly no flowers again on the lemon or orange plant. 
I planted out the bedding plants on Saturday, it was such a lovely sunny day, it was sad to pull up the pansies as they were still in bloom, some I put in another part of the garden, but my bedding plants were almost all pot bound, so they needed to go in. I spent some time sorting the new pots above, the garden should be full of colour this summer. 
We also moved the 2 water butts by the house, one we emptied and moved, it was half empty as it's always the 1st one I use, the 2nd we caught the water and popped it in the 1st butt, so not all of the rain water was lost. The big butt by the garage is full of rain water. The man started on the front of the house, and already it looks so much better, he will work on our house this and next weekend, he is really busy, but has fitted us into his schedule, he is a family member to our lovely neighbour and is happy to get us sorted, he says his work means he works 7 days a week often in the summer months. 
Sunday was dull, I was not too worried, a dull day after planting is always good, allows the plant to settle before the sun beats down, I had nothing to do, I did need to stay at home, hubby had a bike ride, so left at lunchtime, we/I had been invited to a BBQ, but declined, I do love a day at home to myself. I had just finished a book and had another to start, I should have got my sewing machine out and make cushions for our bed, but I was not in the mood. 
So it's Monday morning again and the start of another week, in a few weeks we will be half way through another year! hopefully our dull start will blow over and we will get another nice day, we are having a true English summer this year. 

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Ugly house

I have always thought the front of our home is ugly, I don't much like the yellow stones, and neither of us like the brown paint on the bricks, we do need to keep parking spaces for 2 cars, so the stones will stay, but we have tried many times to see if we can get the paint removed from the hand made local bricks underneath. 
This is hubby's garden, he get to choose what is grown here, this year he has removed the shrubs from these pots and popped in flowers, the shrubs each year have died in these pots. Both pots are special they belonged to our lovely neighbour Win and sat outside her front door, her nephew gifted them to me.
We have finally decided how we can be rid of the horrible brown paint, but these 3 plants are in the way, after discussion it is decided we will cut them all right back, they all should regrow without any issues. We also need to move the 2 smaller water butts at the side of the house, just until the work is done, hubby will decide what plants stay in the front and what he wants to change. 
Our house has lots of 'new' additions, extension at the back and a bedroom in the attic space, none of them show at the front of the house, which makes the front of the house original as it was built in the 1930's, making it over 90 years old. I would love to see the bricks again, but to remove the paint would be a hard task and would damage the bricks, therefore taking away the beauty of them. So sadly we have decided to have the house rendered, most of the loose stuff will be removed and the rest covered up, the house will look neat, but never to see the original bricks. It's taken us 11 years to make this decision, we always hoped we could find a solution, but everyone we have spoken too has said the same, and we don't want to damage the bricks. 

Other houses in our street with the same design have all different looks, the ones I love the most are the houses where their front garden is  traditional with flowers and a lawn, it does soften the look, if you are thinking why buy an ugly house, the back and inside the house is perfect for our way of living, I never expected it to take so long to sort the front. 

Friday, 4 June 2021

Blooming summer

My first home grown sweet peas, I love these scented blooms, but have always had issues in my clay soil, last autumn I popped seeds into a deep pot, grew them over winter in my greenhouse and planted out healthy plants, needless to say I am really pleased. I don't normally cut flowers from the garden for inside, but these were always grown, knowing the blooms need to be cut for the plant to produce more. 
My Orchid purchase back in late January is still blooming lovely, I love the white Orchid blooms, this plant is lasting well, our sitting room is always cool in the summer, which these plants like. 
This bunch is just inside my patio doors, these are fake, I got the blue Alliums earlier this year to add to these, lovely summer colours. 
I love this jug on my kitchen window sill, and have 4 different seasonal displays, I love these sweet peas, the jug is cracked so I can't keep water in it, these are just so pretty. 
I have read loads of books by this author, some I have found great, others not so, this book started out well, but whilst the plot was good, it did not hold me, a couple of times I thought a new opening was forming, but sadly no, it went along the same route. book 24 read this year. 
I stopped purchasing fresh flowers a couple of years ago, I was shocked when I totalled up the money I was spending on flowers, I have more house plants, but they are mostly just green, and placed in our office, which is the sunniest room in the house. I do love my fake flowers, these days they are very real looking, and gives colour in corners. On our dining room table in a dark corner of the room, I keep a glass bowl with fake lemons, limes and oranges, they add colour, again saving me purchasing them regularly, I do always keep a lemon in our proper fruit bowl in the kitchen, we use them often. 

On a very different subject, we watched Call the midwife, the storyline with baby Robert, an older mum with 4 grown up girls having a baby for her younger sister, Robert has Downs Syndrome, the younger sister rejected him as he was not perfect, the mum (older sister) loved him because he was her baby, and dad was shocked, I love they already have Reggie in this show, I though the story line was very well done, there is alot of shock and love, not always in the right order. Lots of TV shows have run Downs Syndrome stories, Emmerdale being the one causing the most hurt, Line of Duty showed their vulnerability. Both hubby and I could relate to this episode, both knowing the mum's love for her baby, because every time we see George, all we see is George our beautiful grandson and younger brother of Will.

It's raining again here, grey skies, but still warm, so British summer is here, no plans for the weekend, I do have books to read and I should do more on my socks. I have sorted the fabric required for making my new bed cushions, just no inclination to get them made. 

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

In my English garden

Our new Pergola is working well, the decking stays in shade until after 5pm, whilst it's open, giving us loads of shady space. After that the sun is at the wrong angle and we don't have any benefits, but we think we may have a simple solution. 
The garden is looking good, just a couple of things to be sorted, mainly the small raised bed next to the back door, it's in shade most of the day, so it's behind the rest of the garden, the tulips are just going over. 
I love begonias, the 1st brown pot is a new plant this year, the middle blue pot I have just placed outside of the greenhouse, with promise of loads of flowers again this summer,  and I have them in different chimney pots around the garden, they are just coming into leaf, I never remove these, they survive the winter well. 
I love these Salvias, I have 4 in this pot, should fill with loads of red flowers, in the middle is a blue Lobelia, I am mighty pleased with this new pot, made of soft rubber, with handles for carrying, got it for £2.25 from a local cheap shop, it's a small laundry/ washing up bowl, works perfectly as a pot. 
My pots inside the gates are doing well, I have fiddled and changed these around so many times, the Acers are doing well, my new one, I have re-potted and it's growing well. 
I have loads of plants to go into these 2 long tubs which sit in front of the raspberries, but the pansies are still looking good, I will swap them over later this week, I had planned French Marigolds in these tubs, but the seeds did not set. 
These pansies are still good, I will transplant them elsewhere in the garden and pop these Geraniums here, it's a sunny spot and the colours will look good. 
I read an article on how easy it is to grow Hellebores from seed, I have a plant with dark red almost black flowers, on checking I could see seed heads, so I am having a go at growing them myself, I got 18 seeds, I have them in a seed tray on my desk, I'm keeping everything crossed some will grow. 
I still have the tail end of a cold, I dislike summer colds so much, so it's been a time to stay at home, garden always calling me, I do something outside most days, but we also find time to sit and chat and enjoy our space. 
I am desperate to grow things, I have a cucumber and 2 tomato plants on the go, last month I soaked some Pinto beans, the shells broke and I got a few shoots, so I have potted them up, again I have no idea if I'm doing them right, but it's fun trying. 
I am hoping I get new Hellebore plants from the seeds, I do love the dark flowers. I have potted on a climbing rose cutting, I am hoping it will grow into a strong plant, not that we need another climbing rose. 
Tuesday the coffee ladies came over in the morning and tested the shade in the garden, we sat and chatted for a couple of hours, it was lovely to all be together again, plenty of room for 9 people. The rest of the day was inside, where it's much cooler, our weather has gone from poor wet and cold days, now it's over heating hot sunny days.
Today we have George, whilst Will goes swimming, George is still full of cold, so another topup of germs. 

Monday, 31 May 2021

May roundup

Nothing again on craft, and not too much on the garden, I now have most of what I need.

I did purchase some underwear, we went to big out of town retail park, which has a huge M&S, I do always love their cotton undies. 

Our week break was paid for last September, daughter suggested we holiday with them, we decided to have a separate home from them, our spending money came from our Christmas gift money and our £2 saving jar, we brought money home which has gone back in the jar. 

No big purchases this month, nothing we really need, we should be looking for a new cooker, but hubby repaired the fan oven last year and it's still going strong, it must be at least 16 years old. We are thinking of getting someone in to tidy our wooden floor, there are a few gaps, and it could do with a light sanding and new varnish, it's a big job as it cover everywhere except the bedrooms, it's another thing where we look, make note and talk about it. 

Our heating was still on!! mainly it came on in the morning, our strange spring this year is throwing everything out of cycle, it's off now. I am sure the garden is about a month behind. 

Our waste is brilliant, we never fill our recycling bin, we try and not bring packaging in the house, no food waste again, we are always checking the veg/salad drawer to ensure everything is used. 

My weight has stalled again, just not walking enough, I'm in the garden more, so I do move through out the day, but just can't get into the habit of going for a brisk walk. We both eat well, and limit our sweet treats, it's just not enough, at least I have not put any more weight on.

We here in UK use over double the amount of renewable resources from our planet each year, we are not the worse or no where near the best country, things do need to change. 

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Back home

I enjoyed this book, I have not read this author before, the plot was great, but I thought it ended so quickly, in just a couple short chapters, I will try another of her books. 
This was the last of my library choices, it was a soft story, in which the lady was always going to succeed in everything and get the guy at the end, I normally don't read this type of book, but it made a good holiday read, my reading total this year is 23 books, down on last year, but my cross stitch took up so much time. 
I have cast on a pair of socks, using lots of left over yarn, these are for me, not my normal colours, but they will look good as I wear alot of blue. 
I love my Peony, sadly just one flower this year, I need to dig them out and separate them, the roots are too big, I can feed the soil around them as well, daughter wants a bit of this plant, I will replant in the same space. 
We came home earlier than planned, we decided not to visit family in Somerset, we both have colds, cuddling a poorly George spreads the germs, driving the A303 on a Friday at the start of a bank holiday was a nightmare, probably not as bad as traveling on other days over the weekend, but it did look as if everyone was having a break away from home. We did get lunch with hubby's elder brother and his wife, we had not seen them for 2 years, it was nice to catch up, whilst eating outside in the sunshine. 

Saturday we both took a covid home test, thankfully both were negative, we hoped this would be the case, but just because we are meeting up with family, does not mean it's safe out there. 

Having 2 extra days at home was bliss, apart from laundry we had little to do, I did spend loads of time in the garden, I had a few plants ready to go out, hopefully if they are not ate, the planting is done. We stayed in our village, only popping out once to see daughter, Will and George, the decorators spent time at daughters house painting bedrooms, so Will was excited for us to see his 'new' bedroom. I can't go away without giving the house a good clean, so on arrival back home everything looks lovely, just a few more cat hairs on the floor, so no housework, our neighbours feed our cats for us, they have 2 young children who love our cats, it's a perfect solution for us. 
Sadly within an hour of our return. we heard loads of screaming from next door, she went out in the garden to scream at us as well, apparently our drug fumes are killing her, we have reported her yet again to the police. 


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