Poppy Patchwork


My little bit of this big World

Saturday, 31 December 2022

Last post

There is always something to look forward to. 

This year has been better than the last few years, the family is in good health, Will loves school, George and Molly are progressing well, all three are happy souls. Our Taunton boys have grown loads and love their new home and schools. Sadly we did not see much of Josh and Sam, they are grown up busy boys. Whilst it's been another wonderful year, nothing stands out as outstanding this year, but then nothing stands out as horrible, so we are both happy.

Hubby is in good health, which at our age is always a bonus, I have no worries about him. It was lovely to travel and see his elder sister and brother, both in Newcastle, we have agreed we need too get out more, I am happy enough being at home, I can always find things to do, but we should be out more, a lovely holiday would be very nice, somewhere warm and sunny, Covid scared us inside and I have been very slow to be going places. 

The only down side has been my recent health, but with loads of test being done, and many things being checked OK, hopefully answers will soon come, I am beginning to wonder if it's stress, I have seen friends and family who with a build up of stress causes issues. Next door is leaving us alone, but there is always the underlying knowledge at any point anything will start her having a go at us, home is not the relaxing place it should be, she slams and bangs doors all day. 

I wish everyone reading this a Happy New Year, I hope it's full of laughter, happiness and fun, I don't make new year resolutions, it should never be about making a change on one day. We have few plans, hopefully a holiday somewhere sunny, and good health for both of us and our families all around the country. 

Friday, 30 December 2022

December round up

 

Another low spend month, just some cotton thread, I never spend much in December, by now I have everything I need, my big cross stitch project is keeping my fingers busy and there is nothing doing in the garden. I did get a plant for my inside display, my sister paid for the second plant, next year they will go into the garden. I also spent a bit on Christmas decorations,  I always say I have enough and then see something else.

It's been a super year for lower spending, I was hoping to stay under the thousand pounds and I did with style. I am using my stash for loads of project's, I still have loads left, I was unable to do much machine sewing in the last few months. I love this chart, is breaks down my spending to each craft, showing how I am changing crafts over the last 8 years, I have nothing left for glass making, I am keeping my card making items, they will come in handy as the three youngest grand children grow up, I don't expect to make many more cards. 

I spent more on clothes  but still a little total spend, I also got 2 pairs of Asda 'jeans', not expensive, but very comfortable. I don't need anything more, I won't be looking at anything in the sales. My total is under £35 a month this year, so I'm pleased. The flowers were silk to add to my seasonal displays. 

As always no waste food, we did not get too much for Christmas period, my brother was here for 8 days, and we shopped for just what we needed. Lots of wrapping paper thrown away, I now use pretty tissue paper, it recycles better and never with glitter on. Presents were put into paper carrier bags, which I took back home to reuse. We did not receive so many cards this year, I think lots of people did not send them, with so many postal strikes, no one could be sure they would arrive. We had a few arrive on Wednesday, after Christmas, so they are out for just a few days.

My weigh is lower than last year, losing weight before Christmas helped, I am still way off my preferred weight, maybe this year I will get close to it. My steps in December averaged around 6,000 each day, next year I need to work hard on making more steps each day. 

Thursday, 29 December 2022

In between

I have opened both saving jars, neither of the contents will be used any time soon, in our German beer bottle, we had £38.51 all of which went back into the jar, we will keep saving until it's full. In my cow, we had £176 in £2coins, plus £120 in notes, most of the notes given to us as gifts, this will go towards a holiday somewhere warm and sunny next year. Hubby did get £50 on a gift card from his last employer for use in our local Co-op, we will use it in January and save money on our shopping. We don't use cash much and don't go shopping much these days so our cash savings take longer to grow, we don't mind, we can wait.

Christmas cake has been cut, and I'm pleased to say it's a good one, we will both enjoy a slice with our morning coffee, whilst it last. 

Nothing much is happening, my brother popped back for a night, and stayed two, the weather was horrible on Wednesday, he heads home to Somerset this morning. We have not travelled to any sales, we are not interested, I did pop into the Superdrug in the village and got a couple reduced gift sets, daughter and our local Portsmouth Downs Syndrome are having a fundraiser, so I can donate them. We met a neighbour who said Iceland had some lovely reduced meats, so we got 2 beef joints and a huge tray of chicken thighs for £12, it was Tuesday so we got the 10% off for pensioners discounts, so £10.80, we are very pleased.

Presents have been packed away, I had some lovely garden tools, can't wait to get using them, no books, but I still have the 2 from my birthday to read, I did get a very strange pizza slice tray for the microwave and a plastic container (which was broken) to store left overs in the fridge, I won't say who gave it to me (they don't follow my blog), I won't be using it. Both our stockings were full of foodie items we love, daughter gave us a pack of jars of pickles and our favourite biscuits, and photo of Will. We had photos of other grandsons, which is all we want, we ask the same each year, Christmas is expensive for families, so we are happy they use their money to give their children the best they can. Kev's daughter decided to give us a memory stick, which luckily fitted hubby's camera with loads of photo's on, how to complicate a simple request. My brother always gives money and my sister who had Covid, did not get round to finishing her gifts. We gave food hampers to my sister, brother and daughter, all were received happily, loads of lovely nibbles. 

I have been outside in the garden a few times, we have moved a couple more pots into the greenhouse, but I can see the cold snap in early December has killed a few plants. I have others I'm not sure will survive, but I will wait until next spring to see what comes back. My mulch dustbins are both full of shredded leaves, and my composter was full, but the contents has settled down, there will only be kitchen peelings going in for the next few months. I was given a few gardening items, which will be nice once spring is here to use, as always I can't wait to get outside again. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2022

Crafting

It's back out, I've only done the smallest amount, the white infill is done on flower square and I finished the square below. I do need to finish the big design next to it, I have to little designs to stitch, as yet I have not decided which colour to use. I can always find time for cross stitching, and now I have more time as the weather keeps me inside. Almost at half way, I still love this project and I've been busy looking for other favourite designs to add. 
I got my hexagon box and workbox out, I want to make these into flowers, but 1st I stitched loads of unstitched ones left in my work box, there are a lovely mixture of colour and designs here, I always stitch them into shape, I find it really restful. This time I am going to make organized matching shapes. Last time is was a pure mix-up of design, seen here, this won't be a quick project as yet I have no idea what the finished item will be.  
And for something completely different, I have not done embroidery for years, it was the first stitching my mum taught me, stitching the letter M on my hankies, and then flowers on table runners. I have seen many different calendar wheel designs, each section is a different month of the year, at the end of January, I will draw everything I want to remember and stitch through February, I would like to record the lowest (in winter) and highest (in summer) temperatures, and other interesting events, it will be our oldest grandsons 18th birthday this year. I saw it here, on this lovely blogsite, Debs has given me so much inspiration, Pinterest is full of them. The wheel is simple back stitch, the date is tiny French Knots and yes it's not straight, it does not bother me. 


With reading I have plenty to do, as I have said before I can't sit and do nothing, and there is never enough on TV to keep me interested. I have loads of yarn so some knitting or crochet will happen, I don't need much, but I do love to knit. I still have loads of things for needle felting, I got loads of colours for a gift earlier in the year, so I have enough to be able to make some birds or a cat, it's a case of sitting down and watching a few video's. Again I still want to learn more crochet, I can't read patterns, but I will find video's of things I want to make and have a go, I have plenty yarn in my stash. 

What are you doing through the long darker days of winter. 
 

Monday, 26 December 2022

Christmas day / Boxing day

Daughter sent us a photo every year, taken after their bath time with their new PJ's on before bedtime. This collage is every Christmas eve from 2017 to this year, how lovely to see their family growing,  I love how even after her bath, Molly can still get a dirty face.  
Hubby was happy once again to cook Christmas lunch, daughter did the table, I with daddy played with the little ones, Turkey was cooked and ate, with all the traditional trimmings, lunch was early at 12.30, as the little ones would be too hungry to wait any later.  
Part way through Christmas morning, still with some more presents to open, they had far too much, but 3 happy children, loads of boxes waiting to go to the recycling bin. Both George and Molly had loads of wooden toys, much nicer than plastic, they each played together with their toys and shared. Will woke mummy and daddy up at 4.30 am and was sent back to bed, George and Molly woke at 7am. 

We woke at 8am and was at daughters house by 9.15am, all the veg prep was done the day before and placed in our steamer, so it was just a case of popping things in the oven at different times and watching everything cook. After lunch we all helped clear the table and pack the dishwasher, then rest and play with the children. Daddy sat with Will to help make a huge Lego set, Molly and George played, we sat and chatted with our daughter, by mid afternoon the two little ones were ready for a nap, so we drove home, allowing daughter and SIL to have some restful time together. Hubby slept in the chair whilst I typed part of this post, we had a simple tea, lots of cheese for me and Pate for hubby, neither of us wanted too many sweets. We opened our gifts to each other at tea time, which was very different for us, but much nicer than rushing in the morning. 

Today, we woke late, opened our stockings, which we ignored yesterday, stayed in bed for ages, had a late breakfast, we plan a late cooked lunch, beef wellington, new potatoes and loads of veg, tea will be what ever we want. Just a pure lazy day, we are not expecting anyone, hopefully we will walk to the shore, it's about 15 minutes from our house, just to get out for a while. 

Saturday, 24 December 2022

Christmas Eve

What's behind your sofa, our space is full, these are all for Will, George and Molly, with 1 bag for mummy and daddy, not all from us, some are from cousins. We will take them tomorrow when we go for the day. Please ignore the dead looking Orchids and the huge unsued rack of CD's, where else can I keep them. 

 It's typical Christmas weather here, it's dull, grey and warm, it might rain, we might be lucky and it stays dry. We got up late, daughter arrived just after, her shopping order from Asda had 25 substitutions, most of which she sent back, so a quick walk to the village, pop into Tesco and Iceland and got most of what she needed, we went with her, nothing much we needed. I was shocked to see our favourite drinking chocolate has gone up 25p, we still have a couple a pots here, daughter got a pot as Will had told her how great our drinking chocolate was. 

I have been crafting this week, I will post about what I am doing soon, I have started a new project, something I have been thinking about for ages, and I'm stitching hexagons, they were cut out and left in my work box. 

I want to do a quick clean of the house, just the middle of the rooms and both bathrooms, the kitchen is cleaned every time we use it, it won't take long, then we will settle down and watch a couple of movies. Our meal is planned for tonight, M&S southern fried chicken, with muffins and garlic bread, simple to make, and very tasty. Tomorrow we plan to be at daughters just after 9am, hubby is head chef and he wants the turkey in early, with 2 younger grandchildren, a late lunch would not work. We will leave opening our gifts until we come back home, much easier to wait and enjoy each gift. 

I hope tonight and all through the festive period you are with those you love, if you are on your own, I hope you have planned the best treats for yourself, as they say on TV, 'your worth it'.
Merry Christmas to everyone xx

Thursday, 22 December 2022

Blooming Christmas

We are blooming inside, my original Amaryllis has started going over, so I swapped it for this 2nd bulb, another white bloom, there is a second bud on the first bulb, so it's tucked to the side in hope I get another bloom. Everything else is looking good and should last for weeks.
I asked hubby to get one of these Hyacinth bulbs for a friend as a gift, he got two, and gave this one to me, simple and beautiful. 
My cactus in the bathroom has finished flowering, this one on our kitchen window sill is coming into bloom, I purchased it last year, and as soon as I got it home all the buds fell off, so I re-potted and waited. Well worth the wait going to be full of colour soon. 
Christmas is the only time I love to have flowing plants inside, I gave up on real poinsettias, years ago, my house is not the environment they need, I do have a lovely silk plant in this display on my table. I will now probably have a plant display every year, hubby who is not a fan of house plants has said he thinks they look good together, I did think of planting the white container, but would be messy if one plant is not flowering next year. 

Again our village has come together, so many post on our local Facebook page, any one needing to get to our local hospital, can contact drivers for a free lift whilst the strike is on. Our hospital is just a 15 minute drive away, and our local buses stop outside through out the day, but it's lovely to know people will help. Again our our local FB page, people are giving away all sorts of items to help with Christmas, our local food bank has had a surge in donations. Many different houses which are lit up every evening, have collections for local charities, the biggest display has acted on a suggestion and has a just giving page for donations, and they have a huge increase in the funds this year. Our churches have dinners for elderly and one is making Christmas lunch for anyone who is alone on the day, all the places have been taken, Christmas is truly a season of goodwill, which hopefully will spill into the rest of the year. 

Nothing much is happening here, my brother is staying until Friday, the rain everyday is not making it easy to go anywhere, but we are enjoying time together. Will had a sleep over on Monday night, he loves uncle Martin, we watched 4 different Christmas films, he went to bed late 9pm, but was such a happy good lad. He found the stash of presents, got very excited, but did not touch anything, I had a few hours playing with George and Molly on Tuesday, mummy has finally put up the tree, she has not fully decorated it, just lights, it still looks good, Molly loves the lights, George is not so bothered. Wednesday was market day and was wet, we did walk down to the village, but more for excise than the need to get anything, Superdrug had their Christmas gifts at half price, so I got a gift for my sister's birthday in March. I am fighting this cold, sore throat bug going around, so far I am keeping it at bay, hopefully it will back off a bit before Sunday. 

I have a busy morning, blood test, hairdresser and a back session, I also need to pop into Portsmouth and deliver a present, I'm not keen on driving in the city, but I won't be near the city centre, so I should be able to make a quick dash. Nothing planned for afternoon. 

Monday, 19 December 2022

Last finishes.

 SIL socks are already wrapped and in their hamper of goods, he should have lovely warm feet, he does love colour and I have enjoyed using these orange yarns. The tops and toes are the same colour, the photo is not that great. I still have loads of sock yarn, but not sure if I want to knit any more this season. 

The cakes are done, I'm pleased with them, I did have fun with edible gold spray, we have glittery holly leaves and glitter around the kitchen, it got everywhere, I did make too many holly leaves, and I'm really glad I took the effort to make them different shades. Our cake in the middle one, they are all the same, except brothers cake is smaller. Everything in edible other than the bands and greetings. These cakes are not cheap to make, but everyone loves them, they won't last long into January.


Friday was a busy day, hubby made sausage rolls and mince pies, I wrapped the remaining gifts, my brother arrived early afternoon. I had a good session for my back, next week will be my last one, I am hoping I won't need to go back in the new year, the lady is very good, the cost is not to bad, but going every week does build the cost. I had my scans at our local hospital and have been given another all clear. 

Saturday I finished the cakes, we then walked to the village, there was our vintage fire engine, with Santa's sleigh on, Father Christmas was cuddling all the children and handing out sweets. They collect every year and all money raised is used back in our village, this is run by our local fire station, we are very lucky to still have it here in our village. There were also a choir singing Carols, it did feel really festive, loads of people had Christmas hats on. 

Sunday we had breakfast out, no walk, just far to wet, the rest of the day was spent at home together. TV has been good, the final of Strickly and the last Escape to the Chateau, both we have really enjoyed. I never watch The Handmaids Tale on Sunday, it's too close to our bed time, so I will watch later today.

We have had 2 men sleeping out locally, together the village has helped both. One is now in a shelter, the other had issues before in a shelter and declined to go, so a local family have give him the use of their hut for the winter months, the pub in the village allows him to sit inside whenever he needs to, a funraiser page was made to help both, one now has new glasses and can read clearly again, and both have warm new clothing. Villagers can pop into the pub and pay for lunches and coffees, he does not drink. It is sad we have people who's lives are not better, but it does feel so good to feel part of a community who can help others. 

Friday, 16 December 2022

Getting closer

Doing 3 cakes is much easier than you think, a production line for marzipan, the smallest cake I have only done the top as my brother is not keen on icing and marzipan. I took a third of the green icing and cut out loads of holly leaves. I have some black icing which I will add to the other 2 thirds, in different levels, so the greens are a bit different. These will make a holly wreath decoration on the cakes, I do have some snowflake cutters if I don't have enough green icing. 
I'm reading more, it's nice to have time to sit and rest, this is the 3rd book in the series, a slightly different angle on the investigation into murder, as I get used the the main characters, the books are easier to read. Book 84 read this year. 
Another finished book the 4th in this set and the last one 1 have, there are another 3 books. The story line is very different to anything I have read before, she often starts with something from the past. A murder leads to old and unsolved missing women cases, whilst a brilliant plot, I found the link a bit too much, I did enjoy this book. Book 85 read this year.

I have not done anymore cross stitch and it is now packed away until after Christmas day, thank you for all your comments, I have crafted all my life, my mum gave me so much instruction and know how, cross stitch is a passion, I am having fun just mashing everything together. I have a good size stash, so I hope for many projects in the year to come. I have been thinking about my huge stash of stitched hexagons, enough to make another item, but what?

Both hubby and I were ill on Wednesday, another bug we think, I am so sick of all the bugs and being down and feeling ill so often, each time I pull myself up, I get something else. We have not seen the grandchildren since last Friday, so we can't blame them.

Thursday we cleaned the house top to bottom, it's not hard work, the place is clean and tidy most of the time, but I do like to ensure it's done before visitors, so we can have fun together. Hubby did some laundry, and had to use tumble drier, it's just too damp to have it hanging in the house. George popped in with mummy, she had some shopping for us, not a long visit, just enough time for him to check the christmas decorations, have a snack and some cuddles.

My brother should arrive today, he is taking a covid test before he leaves. My sister and her partner has covid, they are not too ill, just flu like symptoms, they tested positive on Monday, so should be clear for Christmas, I have not seen her, they live 100+ miles away, but we chat most days, my brother has not seen them in the previous week, but he works at the same company as her partner. 


Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Finishes

I'm still finding stitching time, I am working on 4 more squares, 1 is finished, 2 need the infill sections done (flowers and squares), one white and one pale pink, the 4th I'm loving stitching. There will be at least 12 squares here.
This shawl is finished, it is a very simple design, called Leftie shawl, purchased from Ravelry, I have made it many times and each time a different colour choice. This is for a friend, who I hope to see in the next couple of days, not a Christmas gift, just something to help stay warm, I do love to knit, but there is very little I want made. I have finished SIL's socks, I just need to sew in all the ends. 
This is the second book in a series, I did enjoy the book, did not think the link was that big, but it did have a conclusive ending, I have another 5 books by this author to read. Book 83 read this year. 

I've had a bug, or ate something which my body did not like, Saturday night was messy and Sunday was a total wipe-out, I did not get up until after 10, and could have gone back to bed. As a result my shoulder and back were complaining all day, I did not take any painkillers as I was not sure if I could keep them down, so a day lost. 

Did I say it's bl**dy cold, I don't normally feel this cold, but the temperatures have plummeted, every morning we have heavy frost, everywhere is white, it has been sunny in the daytime. Sunday we had some light rain, worrying as the temperatures have dropped every night. Monday was frost free but wet and very grey, we listened to the snow reports around the country, luckily we live in a spot along the south coast where often we miss the snow, it doesn't reach us from the east or the west.  

We popped into town and got our fresh fruit and veg, no packaging, just lovely produce, and a brillant solution for the Christmas veg, they gave us a card, if we order by the coming weekend, they will deliver our fresh fruit and veg on the Friday before Christmas. We totally trust their products and will be using them for all our needs, one less thing to have to think about. 

Today is sign group last meeting, we are having lunch together, I have my secret Santa gift, and an extra thankyou gift for Shelia, she works so hard with everything, making our meeting so much fun, without her my BSL would be much weaker. 

Sunday, 11 December 2022

Crafty Christmas

I have a few Christmas stitched decorations, my ingredients for a Merry Christmas is the oldest, hubby got it framed for me years ago, this hangs in my hall for the whole of December. 
This teddy cushion is again years old, I made it whilst in our old house, we have been here for 13 years, the small tree cushion is a bit newer. I have other small cushions, which I have not put out, in January I will unpick the surrounds and restitch them into a big cushion. 
 I adore this french design Christmas tree, it was a joy to stitch and I love seeing it each December, I am always sad to pack it away. I have used 2 of these birds in my mashup design I am stitching now.
My tree is decorated, much easier being a foot shorter, I could reach the top without using steps, I dropped one ornament and knocked another off a branch, most of them are glass so both broke. I did not put everything on the tree, I took a few to the charity shop. I love my tiny real candles, I have 10 holders, this year I used the red candles, needless to say they are never lit.
We went to local village of Titchfield which is close to daughters house, every year they have knitted decorations around their Christmas tree, I've not seen them before, I love it when villagers come together. All the post around this tiny green had a Christmas themed topper.
Saturday morning, the clock is an hour fast, so it was at 8.50am, we don't normally get heavy frost like this, but it's like this every morning. I know I am from the south and we are soft, but it's bl**dy cold. 
If you want a laugh, I'm dancing with George  and Molly, George loves music and dancing, the song, Hop little bunny is both their favourite, you hop and then sleep, it's fun, I'm glad daughter did not take one of us on the floor, because my bum would have been in the air. George is caught in mid hop, I managed to take off my boots and coat, I was pulled into their game before I could take off my scarf.

It's been a busy few days, I'm glad the decorations are now up, I'm still not feeling that festive, last year I created a Christmas play list on Alexa, which is playing most days. I am hoping to finish wrapping the last of the gifts, I have 2 local ones to deliver,  normally I would post them, but I don't trust our postal service. This week I will marzipan the 3 cakes, 2 fully, the smallest I'm only doing the top. I am trying to stay ahead of my plans, I have a very busy week coming, loads of appointments. Sadly I won't see Wills nativity, it clashes with an appointment, daddy is going with mummy.

Daughter came to visit on Friday with George and Molly, they loved the decorations, and the joy of seeing our tree was beautiful, I did pack some things out of their reach, George loves my snow globes. We have a small corner cabinet where we keep our Alexa, it's between the hall arch and the sitting room arch, I have a display of gnomes and mushrooms, all felted, George does not like anything in the way of Alexa, he stands and watches our photos which are streamed on the unit. So everything was suddenly relocated to the mat by the front door, with cries of no. Everything survived, but daughter has stated their tree won't be going up yet, she has a smaller one for this year, everything unbreakable, George and Molly are like twins now, both at a similar stage.

Thursday, 8 December 2022

Its Christmas time......

 Christmas is arriving bit by bit here this year, this display went out on 1st, I love this nativity set, from Spain and many years old. I now always put my collection of trees with them. I have a few displays around the sitting room and hall, all high enough, away from George and Molly. 
I rather like the tree with just lights, I put it up on yesterday and added the lights, it's a bit shorter than other years, the bottom  branches were scruffy, so hubby took the ring they fix into off the trunk and shortened it. I don't think it notices, the lower branches are now higher off the floor, which I like. It will last a few more years. I intend to finish dressing the tree today, I like to do it on my own, with Christmas music playing, the angel on top never stays straight, I don't like her, but hubby loves her, so she stays.
I got the 2 plants for this display, a white hellebore and red cyclamen,  I went to get both white, but loved the bright red. My sister paid for the cyclamen,  she was hoping I would see something she could get to finish my Christmas present. I am pleased with this spot, last year I used a basket given to me by my sister, this year I purchased the white kitchen container. My Amaryllis is starting to bloom, a bit early, but I may have purchased another, so the display will last longer. This display is the only real plants, everything else around the house is silk and years old, I love I can reuse most if my decorations, 

I love having loads of little lights around our home, I use battery operated lights instead of tea lights, these days I have sets which turn on at about 4pm, stay on for 6 hours and then turn themselves off, the next day they come back on at 4pm, it saves me having to turn things off before bed. I use rechargeable batteries,  we have enough for every set, the rest of the year they sit in a drawer. The tree lights have always been on a timer, this year we have a Tapo socket, which is controlled by Alexa, I can sit in my chair and turn them on, but more importantly the sockets are in the corner at the back, safely away from the children. 

I'm not sure what is going wrong, but Blogger would not let me comment using my phone whilst away, I am signed into Blogger, as I can post whilst away, it's a pain, but we don't have any more trips away booked until next spring, it won't be a problem for now.

Nothing much happening here, my back is aching,  too many car journeys over the weekend  and a busy few days back at home, sorting decorations.  I can rest most evenings  and I am sleeping well. I have finished all the Christmas gifts, I would say we, but hubby does not get involved, often when someone thanks us for their gift, hubby will ask, what did we get you. I do show him everything before wrapping, but he is not interested at all, his Christmas list just has my name on. We only need the fresh food for Christmas,  which we will get in the village, so I do feel happy everything was sorted before the madness started.

Daughter has just been informed there is a case of Strep A in the junior school, next to Will's infant school, it's a bit scary, she is watching her three, it would not be good if George catches it. There are so many horrible bugs, and so many families have children in both schools. There is also Scarlet fever going around, I'm keeping everything crossed they stay healthy. The junior school shut for a day for a deep clean, which is great, but it's the kids who have the bugs, and many are sent to school, when they should be home, but working parents don't have the choice of taking time off work. 

Monday, 5 December 2022

Weekend

My home made advent bags, I did a post here about the process, I have filled most days with two chocolate treats for hubby and I, from the 17th there are three treats as my brother will be with us. Just a bit of fun, and now reusable each year. 
More stitching, these are growing nicely  I will stitch the flower centres bright red it should match all the flower colours, I still have not decided what shade of green for the gaps, I could go completely off design and use another colour, I might break again from this and start a pink square next to here. I am getting closer to the half way point, then I will require my longer frame sides. I have to decide on more designs, some I need to search out.

We are away in Somerset, driving home tomorrow morning, I have given all the family cards and gifts, caught up with all the family news and gossip. I meeting my sister soon, a day together, probably going to a garden centre,  I am after two plants for an inside display, and anything which catches my eye. My phone is playing up and I'm unable to comment whilst away. Sorry we missed you Sue, on Sunday, we got there about 11.30, it's nice to see the town trying harder to get shoppers to visit. 

We loved seeing our Taunton grandsons, how grown up they are, loving their new home  they each now have their own bedroom. So much space for everyone,  including a lovely space for mummy and daddy.

I babysat Will, George and Molly on Friday night, mummy and daddy took the train to London for daddy's works Christmas party, they were home by Saturday lunch time. The children were very good, I was careful with my back, I'm so pleased they got a night out together. Saturday was a very early start, but a morning inside with the 3 little ones  loads of fun. Later hubby drove to my brothers house.

Friday, 2 December 2022

Looking good

 It's all back again, finished and looking good, I'm pleased I unpicked, most of the marks from the unpicked sections don't show. Jo you are right it would have niggled at me if I had left it as it was and those tiny blue sections were needed to soften the design. All the colours used here are my choice and nothing like the designer's choice.
My knitting is growing, I do love the simplicity of this design, you only need to count on the 11th and 12th row, and only at the leaf pattern side, I am still sewing in all the ends as I knit, this is for a gift. I want to knit but I don't need anything for myself. I might start knitting some pumpkins as I have just found the knitting patterns, I searched everywhere back in October for them. BUT I will finish the orange sock as well. 
We managed an hour outside, hubby has again picked up all the leaves, and I cut back the late fruiting raspberries, it looks tidy, nothing else to do outside, we love to sit and look out at our garden, the cyclamens are now giving loads of colour, they are in pots closer to the house. I did dig up a couple violets from a pot, they were escaping over the side, I have put them in the raspberry bed in hope they root and grow.
This bed by our back door is still blooming, it a pleasure to walk by it, the colours zing at the time of year when other plants are fading. I'm not sure how much longer they will last. 
We are back having hot chocolate drink most nights, we love the solid Butlers chocolate which we always have with cream and marshmallows. This year we want less calories, so we tried this instant chocolate, just add hot water, it says use 4 teaspoons, we only use 3. £2 per jar in Iceland, and if you go in on a Tuesday, they offer pensioners an extra 10% off. We still have Butlers  but only as a treat.

We are both very comfortable sitting on our new chairs, they are better made than our old chairs, we just need to ensure the cats don't damage the leather, Grace is not a problem as she sits on my lap, Purdy jumps up beside hubby and sits on the arm, so he's trying to get her to sit on his lap, neither cat jumps on the chairs when we are not sat there. 

I have loads of tests booked, the doctor thinks my kidney function whilst not completely normal in the the normal range for a woman my age, so I have blood and bowel test, and a scan of my ovaries which is a just to be sure test for cancer. All these organs are in my tender area, none of the test are invasive at this point, in his words 'let's be sure about everything '

I have started putting out the decorations, normally I get it all done in one day, it's not an option this year, hubby would help, but I like my arrangements just so, and I know I would change things he did, it's me, I can't help myself, things have to be correct. I am leaving putting the tree up to next week, it's a huge task, the tree is almost seven foot and there are loads to go on, including my baubles which are mainly glass and can't be dropped. Slowly I am beginning to find the Christmas spirit, it does feel vastly different this year. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

November round up



Just a small spend on yarn and nothing on gardening, I sold some glass bits, so I have added a credit for that on my chart. I also got the refund for the garden storage unit, so another refund, so this month I ended on a credit, which is very pleasing and should leave me under £1,000 spent this year. No clothes, shoes and just 1 expensive Christmas decoration. 

Our shopping was higher, mainly because of the higher prices and we have got most of the nibbles we require for Christmas, I don't get too much these days, just enough for the 2 of us. Most of the presents have been sorted, just need to get the cash together for the grandchildren who live further away. 

I have sold a few unwanted items on Facebook market place, so the extra cash has helped towards the cost of Christmas. 

No waste at all, if you buy less you waste less, it works for us, all the peelings, egg shells ect feed my composter, and all the bits cut back from the garden, I hope not to have to purchase many bags of compost next spring/summer. 

My weight is good, lowest recorded this year, I'm happy, but my steps at the beginning of the month were terrible, my hurting back stopped any walks, I had set myself the challenge of doing 7,000 steps every day. I failed only doing it in the 10 days.

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

UP,

Just a couple of photos from George's birthday party,  the theme was the film UP, he has Doug the dog with him. The children loved the balloons, there were loads of photos taken here. They also made the room very colourful. 
Birthday cake with mummy and daddy, again it's Doug, it was dairy free, vegan and very tasty, made by the same local lady who makes all their special cakes. George can't have dairy at all.
I decided to keep stitching this section, I would like to get it finished, I have not looked at the unpicked design, I will have a few days break from it, and then when I feel not so frustrated, I will re-stitch everything. I added the gold design which I have already used along the top of this project.
I am hoping it will look as if the design ran behind all the other patterns and has come back into view in the middle, I plan to let it disappear further down and to then have it reappear near the bottom, it can then run until the bottom. A comment was made regarding my colour choices, I know I'm lucky to be able to match colours, I've always been able to do this, my mum taught me well. One major tip for a project like this, once I have used a colour I pop it into my project bag, I try and reuse the same shades as it helps tie the designs together. Only packing the skiens away once it's all finished.
The last thing I should be doing is starting a new knitting project,  I do love this scarf, it's a dream to knit and grows quickly in the beginning. The contrast yarns came from my stash, I purchased 3 x 50grms balls. I still have to finish the second orange sock, just an evenings knitting left to do.
 
We were shattered on Sunday afternoon,  30 little ones 3 and under, half came from nursery and half from Portsmouth Downs syndrome group, but it was fun, they all looked happy and the lady from Jiggly Wrigglers kept them busy loads of dancing and other interactive music and every type of shaker invented. They sat at one long child height table and ate their birthday meal, each had a box to take home which included balloons, chocolate and a tennis ball, all featured in the film, plus a small colouring book and crayons. Party's are much more expensive than when we did them.

Monday we popped to town on the bus, hubby picked up his new glasses, I popped into TK Max but the fire alarm went off and we all had to leave, all the linked shops were evaluated, we did get back in later. Monday is market day, it wasn't very busy, we got fruit and veg from a stall, the quality was brilliant, it cost a bit more, but everything was loose so we purchased only what we required for the rest of this week. We also got some different bread, 2 small loafs, as hubby and I like different flavours. I can see us popping into town more often on a Monday as both stalls had the quality we love.

No sign group this morning, I have a face to face with my doctor, trying to sort issue with my kidneys. Later our new chairs are arriving, the old two will be collected tonight, they still have some life left in them. I am hoping to do some sewing using my sewing machine, just for a short burst, and finish it tomorrow,  everything else is on the back burner.

I've started listening to Christmas music, I made a play list on Alexa last year so it's fun to listen to all the music we love, and happily for us, no Cliff Richards, sorry I can't stand him. Our decoration boxes are out of the attic, I will pop some out this week, the tree will go up next Wednesday. 

Nothing much happening here, constant rain outside, so all we can do is look at the garden, crafting and reading keeps me going, hubby reads loads and loves to cook and bake in the kitchen. I've given our Christmas cakes their final drink of brandy, next week I will add the marzipan and ice the following week. 

Saturday, 26 November 2022

1 step forward 2 back

It's almost gone, I've removed the black, the centre 4 motifs and other bits, I still have a bit more unpicking to do, my fingers were sore and I was getting frustrated, a dangerous place to be, one mistake and the canvas can be cut. Those perfectly formed little crosses look lovely, but are a nightmare to unpick, I use the point of my needle, just pulling stitch by stitch. I will start restitching with the red and put every thing right, then add the black and other colours, I will finish with the bits I did not stitch before. 2 hours frustrating work, once I have restitched the stains from the threads won't notice.
Another book finished, another new author, book 81 read this year, I was a bit dubious as it's a story about a hen party, each chapter from a different person, building the story twisting its way to the promised ending. Which delivered maybe a bit too neatly with the happy ever after. Nevertheless a good read.
My sister in law gave me some books, most of them follow the same detective Jane Rizzoli based in Boston. I have not read this author before she is not to explicit in the murders, which I like, a good plot, this is the first book in a set. Book 82 read this year.
I purchased just one item whilst away, in Fenwicks I found this lovely tree in three sections, the lower two sections each have a candle in, I do love to have candles around Christmas time, afterwards I can use it for storing things in, probably sweets for when the children visit.




We did loads of reading in the evenings whilst away, including Thursday after our drive home, both were tired, so early night.

I was pleased to have a treatment on my back on Friday,  it was aching on Tuesday  and was worse on Wednesday, where I did over 10,000 steps. We walked to the village, later I checked the greenhouse, watered the pots inside, it was a beautiful sunny dry, not so cold day.

Saturday was a day at home, it was sunny when we got up, but the rain came quickly, not heavy rain, just that horrible cold drizxle, so nothing done in garden. We still have Fushias in bloom by back door, it's a pure joy to see colour at this time of year. I did loads on my cross stitch, it was brilliant to get so much unpicking done, later I started a new knitting project, it will be a gift.

Today is George's birthday party, loads of 3 year olds, it will be nice to see him with his nursery friends. Daughter booked her local Jiggly Wrigglers lady, George loves her, should keep them entertained for a while, his birthday cake is vegan, he is dairy free, should be interesting to see what it taste like. Later we will have a gental evening watching Strickly results and escape to the ch√Ęteau. 

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