Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Ten on Tuesday

1. A great week off with the boys and the Mr... did so much, need another week off to rest!
2. Huge job clearing our cellar. There are two rooms full of stuff, or rather I should say there were two rooms full of stuff. Thanks to the tip, the charity shops and Gumtree, the pile of junk has been significantly reduced. It would have been even better had the weather not interfered with our plans to do a car boot sale on Easter Sunday. Didn't expect to find evidence of mice though... found their toilet (thanks guys) and their bed, but not them... we think we might have been used as their winter lodgings.
3. Gumtree... you either love it or hate it. We've managed to find new homes for a few things this last week but have been hit by timewasters several times. Why do it? Why ring up, email all excited 'yes we'd love XYZ'... arrange a time for collection... then nothing - not frustrating at all for the person the other end!?!
4. Whilst having our mass clear out the Mr noticed a loose cable hanging out of the back of our pc... I'll admit I'd noticed it ages ago but never quite got around to looking at it... whoops. Turns out it was the lead to the hard drive... the one that all our photos are backed up on to. He plugged it back in... found we hadn't backed up any photos since 2012... (did say I'd noticed that loose cable before...) Not only that, but it (the hard drive) was actually full. I have since that discovery spent most evenings going through photos from the last 4 1/2 years deleting the out of focus ones, the duplicate ones, the boring ones.... yes I know I should do that each time I copy them from the camera.... lesson learnt.
5. As you know I am an Aldi convert and will happily harp on about the quality and prices of the food.... I should however learn a little lesson about their kitchen electricals. I've had two now and to be honest you get what you pay for. The first was a sandwich toaster which didn't have the power to get hot enough so you ended up with soggy toasties that had to be finished up under the grill, thereby creating more work and washing up. The latest kitchen appliance is their stand mixer with stainless steel mixing bowl a bargain at £34.99. Now I'd love one of those beautiful kitchen aid mixers but have you seen the price... not happening in our house, so when I saw Aldi's cheaper cousin I snapped it up. Tonight I used it for the first time. I should have known better.... I used the dough hooks to mix our pizza dough... honestly you would have laughed. This machine was shaking so hard trying to mix the dough that I thought bits were going to drop off it! I ended up finishing the dough by hand. So I thought I'd make a cake... the mixing blades don't reach down to the bottom of the bowl so it sort of mixes the ingredients that are higher in the bowl... not everything. Maybe the line in the instruction book gives the quality away ' do not run the unit for more than 6 minutes continuously - allow unit to cool down for 10 mins before re-using'. Lesson number two learnt this week.
6. Had to sign into Blandford Army Camp in order to get to the Royal Signals Museum last week. We took the boys and they loved it. Lots to see and plenty of hands on stuff too. Anyway being back on a base made us reminisce about the old days when we were part of the RAF. Todd was amazed that 'the grown-ups had to have their photo taken and have ID badges made' as told to Granny on the phone later.
7. Also took a trip to Swindon and Steam - the museum of the Great Western Railway. We enjoyed this one too. Lots to see - all four of us took cameras... lots of photos to edit and delete... see number 4 above. It is right next door to a shopping outlet which I persuaded the boys we needed to pop into. What did we leave with... a pair of trainers for Todd and a bag of Cadburys misfits chocolates that we ate on the way home.
8. Also last week we started the kitchen - FINALLY! It made me so happy to get going on this. We got the ceiling painting - 2 coats needed. Then we started on the walls. First we took down a double and a single wall cabinet that we were getting rid off - of course great flakes of paint came off with them. We then found all the paint just flaked off of the plaster, so we ended up having to scrape all the walls first. Then coat the walls with PVA, then 2 coats of cheap white paint, then came the top coat. I should say here that I've had bad experiences with cheaper paint, so decided to quiz my lovely cousin who has a painting and decorating business. He recommended Dulux (professional) plus the Little Greene paint company - both have excellent coverage apparently. So I went out with the intentions of following his advice honest... except the Little Greene stuff I would have needed to order... no time for that... so in Homebase I see an offer on their own range of paint with a fabulous colour I liked so I bought it. Can you tell what's coming... using this 'soothing white' (which is a very pale grey blue) over the white paint we'd already put on the walls.... it took 4 coats... 4 coats! Seriously yet again you get what you pay for. I must say I love the colour though. Our kitchen is looking so much cleaner and brighter. No photos yet as we are currently painting the cabinets and the doors - a long and somewhat painful process. Primer, dry, sand, primer, dry, sand, paint, dry, sand, paint, dry, sand, protective glaze, dry, sand... you get the idea.
9. Haven't 'spoken' this much in ages - must have needed to ;-)
10. To break up all these words... a photo of two of the photographers in our little family :-)

It's good to be back x

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Some fresh air

So this week I missed another Ten on Tuesday post... it wasn't intentional... or maybe it was. I haven't been feeling quite myself lately. Blinking hormones and thyroid medication. So tonight after another long day at work the Mr suggested a walk on the beach. Not my first choice but after a bit of grumbling I went. It was good to get out and breathe in the fresh air, and watch our crazy dog run and run. The boys had fun navigating the 'dunes' on our usually flat beach. The diggers were there still trying to put the beaches back together after the winter storms shifted so much of the sand.

I took the new camera down with me. The light was rubbish, lots of low cloud... proof that I really have so much to learn with this camera. I was determined not to use auto so the photos haven't turned out exactly as I'd hoped. Here's what I managed to capture...

I didn't see these paddle surfers until I looked through the camera - they actually made me jump!

This is what he looks like when he really runs fast, ears back and from the side looks like a small greyhound

These guys were floating just out of Bosley's reach - that didn't stop him trying to get them

Super flying dog!

Love the ears in the background

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Ten on Tuesday

1. Wow Tuesday again, so soon!?! I really did mean to post something between last weeks post and this one, but something came up... that thing you know... what's it called.... oh yeah life!
2. This weekend saw a poorly husband, a broken car, a slightly off colour eldest boy and a sick dog. So a usual weekend in the Goodwins family then.
3. Thanks to my extra special Mr (with some encouragement from my Dad) my car went from broken to fixed with a smallish dent to the bank account. A lot smaller than if he'd taken it to the garage. I now have shiny new shock absorbers... just what every girl dreams of!
4. Tonight there was trouble on the school bus, my boy was subjected to bullying both verbal and physical. The desire to go and wipe the smiles off those 5 boys faces is huge, but I must be a responsible parent and teach him right from wrong, right? The Mr has it in hand with the school anyway, although deep down I know he wants to do the same.
5. I had my hair cut quite a bit shorter Friday and a few highlights put in.... my first day back in the office and 1 person noticed, hmmm..... but I did it for me right!?!
6. Mothers Day this weekend, I know what I'll be doing - ferrying the youngest to and from a football match a good hour away. I might need to buy myself a big bar of chocolate for being such a dedicated mother ;-)
7. Tonight Todd asked if he could start writing his Christmas list - I said no.
8. Trying to convince a dog that the 'sweetie' I was trying to give him was yummy - how do they know it's their worming tablet. Seriously he'll eat anything, anything. I even stuffed it inside a piece of left-over burger.... the meat disappeared then he spat out the offending tablet. Eventually we managed but it took a lot of persuasion and me shoving the tablet down the back of his throat.
9. Still painting the new pantry cupboard... slatted shelves are the nicest thing to paint (said through gritted teeth).
10. I'll leave you with this, my favourite shot I've managed to get of the nose...

Night, night,

K x

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ten on Tuesday

1. Isn't the recent weather amazing? Your whole mood can be lifted by the sunshine.
2. A quick spring clean of our bedroom turned into a mammoth task on Sunday. First it started with the cleaning of the inside of the windows, which of course led to the cleaning of the outside of the windows... all of the front of the house. It didn't stop there.... I looked at the fascias, soffits and gutters and started cleaning them too. Several hours and very sore arms later it looks so good. Now all I need to do is work out how to reach the same on the back of the house which is two storeys high!
3. Been thinking about having an extra birthday this year, well the Queen can do it! My birthday in December was not up to much. I was recovering from the flu, the Mr was working crazy hours so there was no cake or party. Perhaps a nice summer barbecue, inviting all my dear friends that we never seem to get together with because of the busy-ness of life, yes that would be fun.
4. We have a week off with the boys soon - looking forward to creating some memories together. Perhaps a day trip somewhere or a nice meal out as a treat.
5. I have a nice new toy.... a Canon EOS 100D camera. With a bit of juggling plus selling one or two things we have managed to do this. As you know I love taking photos and capturing our everyday so it will be fun to see what I can do with this one. I came awfully close to buying the Samsung NX300 which is a beautiful camera to look at but there was one or two things that put me off, namely no viewfinder and no built-in flash. I will be sad to say goodbye to my Panasonic G1, but you know I've had that for over 4 years now and it was time to move on.
6. Todd has been playing on Picmonkey editing his photos and adding effects again. He really has a creative eye and I've been quite impressed with what he's done. I will have to save them to show you.
7. I've been reading about the latest lottery millionaire, Mr Trotter. Even though I didn't win, I have to say I love reading about someone else's good fortune - good luck to them I hope they have fun changing their own and their friends and family's lives. Can you imagine what enjoyment it would bring being able to help others out in that way.
8. Due to the crazy cleaning (see number 2) and being out with the boys soaking up the sunshine, I have not lifted a paintbrush towards my new pantry cupboard. I really must get on and finish it, I'm fed up bumping into kitchen stuff in the hallway.
9. Does anyone else feel sorry for the reduced flowers in the supermarket. My Dad and I always buy up the unwanted bunches - this week it was roses in a myriad of colours.
10. Bosley thinks the giant bumble bees we've seen in the garden this weekend are there for him to chase. I think he's going to learn the hard way that bees are not to be messed with.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sunday's Match and a Bird of Prey

At last week's home match there was a bird of prey swooping around nearby. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me. Jake took a couple of pictures on his phone but they weren't particularly clear. When we checked on-line at home I was convinced it was a buzzard, not a kestrel as some people thought. This week was another home match so I took my camera with the zoom lens hoping it would be back.

It was, I got two shots... it didn't come as close this week, but we were right, it was a buzzard...

Today it circled nearby, but last week it was sitting in the trees that lined the pitch, we've another home match next week so if Todd's on the team I'll try again. It is beautiful to watch... the bird and the match ;-)

In case you were wondering I did see the match. The weather must have put fire in their bellies because they played so well, the score was 7-5 to the opposition but it was hard fought.

Standing with one of his team mates before kick-off (so tall)


When we left the match my car registered 22 degrees! Last March we had snow... I know which I prefer. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

K x

Superstar Award

We've had a few ups and downs this year at school with Todd. He's a bright kid but easily bored, and after some conversation with him and his teacher, he's buckled down and is proving to everyone what he showed in his first two years at school. Friday he rushed out of the classroom to show me this...

Well done Superstar!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ten on Tuesday

1. Isn't it funny how we cope when our little ones are little, surviving on very little sleep, but soon get back into a routine of uninterrupted sleep when our little ones grow into not so little ones. Then they go and have a nightmare interrupt your sleep just once and you're a complete mess in the morning!
2. The Mr has built me a lovely tall pantry cupboard in the kitchen, so my spare time is filled with painting and sanding and more painting. My hands are wonderful at the moment :-(
3. Isn't it amazing how the weather can lift everyone's mood. The weekend was glorious although of course I had my head stuck in a cupboard (see number 2 above).
4. After chatting with my painter and decorator cousin, I now know which brands of paint to consider when painting the kitchen. Apparently Dulux, or if you want to splash out the Little Greene Paint Company. Not Farrow and Ball. I ordered, for free, the colour chart for the Little Greene Paint Company and was very impressed with what arrived through the post - proper painted samples and a huge range of colours. I'll let you know which we go with.
5. The doctors have made another change to the dosage of my thyroid medicine, I think this is the 4th time since Christmas. Thankfully this time they are listening to me and raising the dosage again. I'm looking forward to getting my energy levels back up so I can finish painting this blinking cupboard!
6. Having such lovely weather makes me want to get back out into my garden. I'm sorry to say I have all but ignored it during our very wet winter. My various pots are looking pretty sad and some are full of nothing but water.
7. The boys room desperately needs blitzing. Their clothes are messed up - why can't they take the top thing instead of digging through the lot in the drawers! Some things they have outgrown too. Toys have been taken off shelves and out of boxes but not put back - Todd mainly. I seem to have to go through that room with them every 3 or 4 months. I think I'll wait just a few weeks more until my energy levels are high enough to cope with the stress of attacking it all!
8. Been eating a few more salads since the weekend and actually enjoying them, lets see how long that lasts ;-)
9. The boys and I have been keeping a list of homophones for over a year now, since Jake had to come up with a few for English homework. You know the kind of thing... words that sound the same but are spelt differently, for example saw, soar and sore. Our list is quite long now and we are using a cheap address book to store them all in. It's quite fun watching the boys come up with them and maybe finding that it's a 3-er like the saw example, or even a 4-er like or, ore, oar and awe. Love it when we make learning fun!
10. Promised myself an early night tonight.... hmmm maybe I should be better at keeping my promises to myself as it's already half eleven.