Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Take it easy

If you haven't got it in already don't worry about it it won't be the end of the world .... I am certainly on a wind down now and if I don't get to the shops tomorrow then so what!  We won't starve ..... I listened to some bloke whingeing on the radio yesterday that his Asda shopping hadn't been delivered .... how does he think the Asda drivers get to work .... they don't have superhuman powers to avoid the snow and dumped vehicles.  When I was a child the whole country shut down for a week and there was none of this 24/7.  I can remember mum having to get enough bread and milk in to see us through ..... those were the days ;-)

It is my last day of having the minded children today until the 4th January .... a well deserved rest I hope you will agree ..... my first child arrives at 8 am and the last one leaves at 6 pm for five days a week and my last week off was in August.  Next week I will have lie-ins till at least 8 o'clock and spend the rest of my day fiddling round in my sanctuary.

This afternoon we are having our Christmas party with lots of games, food, fizz and music and then I will hand the little darlings back to their parents with their Christmas gift bags.  We still have a blanket of snow this morning and it is frozen solid with sleet forecast for this evening ..... looks like the telly and Tia Maria for me tonight ..... Bridget Jones is on and although I've seen it umpteen times before I will watch again and dream of Mr Firth  ...... I would like to think that he is as much a gentleman in real life as he is in the film.

The Spode dinner service that I have been collecting is now out of the cupboard .... I longed for this for years but couldn't afford it when the children were small but I've been collecting it bit by bit (mostly from Ebay) for the past few years.

Time now for some of this and then I'd better get started on the party food for later.

Portmeirion tableware .... they do some lovely gift sets for children too

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Obsessed with snow

Like a lot of other bloggers I just cannot resist getting the camera out during this cold spell we are having .... these were taken very early this morning and this afternoon when we went to the local park with the children and dogs .... I couldn't believe we were the only ones there and there was loads of lovely snow just right for snowmen and snowballing.

The telephone wires look like spider's webs

My snow puppy who looked liked a black and white poodle by the time we came home .... she had huge balls of snow stuck to the feathering on her legs

Will it last till Friday though????

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Pause in Advent Week 4

What a week it has been.  The weather has caused havoc but has also provided some additional time at home to reflect and think.  We are not a church going family but we do have our values and beliefs passed down through the generations.  I do love to read about everyone else's experiences through blogger and it is fascinating to see how we all have different ways of looking at the world and our lives but we all have a common thread of family and community running through. 

I can't believe that in January it will be one whole year since I discovered this wonderful world of blog  .... the time has really flown by and it has brought some lovely new friends.

I will, as always, use this time to look back on our year which has had it highs and lows.   Two lovely weddings to attend and the birth of another scrumptious grandson.  Then the passing of my sister in law, my husband's operation and the fragility of his employment have weighed against these highs.  Now I will take stock and start planning for the next twelve months ..... I am a firm believer in that you have to make your own luck and not just sit back and wait for things to happen.

So on this final Sunday in Advent I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and send my best wishes and happy blogging for 2010.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Oh the weather outside is frightful

Let it snow
Let it snow
Let it snow

Molly enjoying the snow on the patio 10 minutes ago

It is coming down thick and fast here and the wind is whipping it up like mad  ..... if this keeps up all night I may get a lie in tomorrow ;-)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

A Pause in Advent .... Christmas Future

We have to be careful what we wish for but as my blog name says I just dream of a simple life ..... enough money to pay the bills, to eat well and keep warm.  Most of all I hope that we all keep fit and healthy to welcome in many more Christmases to come.  I am extremely lucky that I still have both my parents but am well aware that we are all getting older and I am getting higher up the pecking order!!!

It would be lovely if we could all have a mahoosive Christmas together and I have often talked about it with my brother and sister and as our families expand we are now up to 26 of us.   None of us have a house big enough to take everyone for dinner at the same time so we are thinking of renting a large house similar to the one we spent my 50th birthday in last year.

We had a great time and if we all muck in with cooking and can find a turkey big enough I know it will be a Christmas to remember.  I really don't mind preparing our own dinner and have always refused to go out and pay over the odds for frozen veg etc .... there is nothing like homemade.

When we all get together on Christmas evening we must make a point of making a decision and with the aid of the internet find ourselves somewhere for next year ... hopefully x

Friday, 11 December 2009

Almost ready ....

..... well I like to kid myself that I am!

The tree is up

Are you an angel or star family??

A collection of sparklies gathered over many years .... last year I started to collect the old glass droplets from vintage chandeliers ..... they make wonderful deccies and refract the tree lights beautifully.

Candy canes and some home made hearts

The fireplace is adorned with home made bunting and orange pomanders and my cheesy singing Santa that the children love.  It is not a working fire but with some candles and twinkly lights I get the same effect .... I found the cast iron grate years ago outside a junk shop  ... it was covered in white paint but with a lot of elbow grease, paint stripper and wire wool it came up a treat.

Mr & Mrs Snowman are back again .... I made these for my boys which makes them 25 years old now ... they stand in front of my crochet chains

I'm resorting to Christmas cards with bluetak on the door this year with my hand made NOEL hanger

and just to give that authentic snowy winter feel some spray on snowflakes

it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas !!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Groggy Monday and finishing odd jobs

Definitely got that Monday morning feeling today .... I had an early night last night because I felt achey and oh so tired then lay there for ages trying to drop off .... why does that happen??  Still a little bit droopy so I'm taking it easy and have my seat booked for today's Bargain Hunt where a couple of bloggy friends are appearing today.

On Saturday we went to a Christmas Fair at a local school for special needs children .... we go every year as they put on a lovely afternoon and Ellie likes to visit Santa .... this year she was able to write out a card for him and had a photo taken with baby Jack.  The children at the school have been busy making cards, tags and gifts to sell ... just look at these

a hand painted pot with seeds to grow mint all wrapped in Santa cellophane and hand made gift tags

They always have a bric a brac stall so of course I was first in the queue !!  I found a Jack Vettriano print and next to it was another framed picture that would be perfect to frame it in

so after a splash of black paint this is what it looks like now .... all for the total outlay of £1

as I was doing this I thought I would re-frame the old print I bought at auction last month  ... it is by Arthur J Elsley originally painted in 1912 and used in Bovril advertisements between then and 1917 ... it was in a lot with another framed print so again with a little paint it now hangs in my hall  ...

There was a lovely surprise too, this old hand painted sign was on the back of it ... as the print itself dates to circa 1912 and it looked as though it had never been out of the original frame this must have been painted around the same time.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

A Pause in Advent .... Christmas Present

Another week has flown by .... where does the time go??   I hate waste of any sort (my waistline will testify to that!) especially the wasting of time.  Those old sayings like  "don't put off till tomorrow what can be done today" are worth paying heed to ..... time is the one precious thing that we don't get again so be thankful for every day you have.

I love the old stories from Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol has to be a favourite .... last week I spoke about Christmas Past so this week thought it appropriate to think about Christmas Present .

There are lots of us feeling the effects of the recession but it does make you think more deeply about the difference between 'wants' and 'needs'.  When I see all the adverts on TV and stories about toys that are sold out I realise now with age and experience that most of it is totally useless and unneccesary .... it will all be piled high on next year's car boots.  Now I love a good old car boot but when you stand back and take a look at just how much unwanted tat is out there it makes you think.

We are having to budget carefully and for the first year ever we have an artificial tree .... I could not justify the prices being asked for them this year and settled for a half price bargain in Argos and to be quite honest it looks just as good with the bonus of no messy pines to clear up.  Everyone will be getting a little less in their stockings this year but what is given will be given with love.  We will all be together for Christmas dinner which will be later in the day this year as two of my offspring have to work during the day.  One is a midwife .... babies don't stop just because it's Christmas and the other is a chef who will be preparing other people's lunch ..... he hates the sight of turkey!!

For years I have been collecting Spode Christmas Tree dinnerware .... one of my few extravagances and I love getting it out of the cupboard and dusting it down for another year.

We will  be having a turkey dinner (number one son excepted for reason stated previously .... he has a juicy steak) and I will be having a little mini Christmas Pudding .... none of my lot like it so they will have a homemade Yule Log.

We will play a few games, watch a bit of TV and no doubt have a nap later in the day and will spare a thought for those who are not as lucky as we are to have family around us.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Santa Baby

Eartha Kitt's old song Santa Baby is one of my favourites at this time of year

Here's my very own ..... he sicked up on his suit today and this was the only thing to hand .... a bit early I know but he looks so cute don't you think?

This is his sister at the same age ..... they are undoubtedly two peas in a pod