Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday, 24th July, 2014 - empty nest

Dear Jen, 

I seem to have an empty nest! Joe has stayed at his girlfriend's more and more lately, and now he hasn't been home to sleep in about six or seven weeks. He's 23, so I guess it's about time. I was pregnant with him at that age, gosh where did all those years go?  I'm hoping soon he'll sort his things out and free up some space. I'm excited at the thought of an extra wardrobe and some bookshelves, and in the long term I'm thinking maybe craft room. We're actually probably seeing more of Joe and Sarah since he moved out, which is an unexpected bonus. Rather than Joe being in his room most of the time when he was here, now they come for a proper visit and we talk. A few times we've had a dinner and film night. 

I sat in the garden for a while this afternoon. Despite the proximity of the neighbours and the urban setting, it's mostly very quiet out there. Just birdsong and, in term time, the sound of the children  in the playground of the primary school over the back. I never mind the sound of children playing. We're in a heatwave (yuck) and I am so thankful that most days I don't have to go anywhere and can stay here with long cool drinks and the fan going. 

I do love my little garden. This year I have my favourites, sweet peas, you can see them in the picture and the wispy things in the basket on the fence are night scented stocks. They nothing to look at, but have such a gorgeous scent in the evenings. Further down the garden I have two blueberry bushes in pots, they hardly keep us in blueberries to be honest, but even the few that we get every few days are worth it. So much nicer on our breakfast than shop-bought ones. I've also got a pepper plant, but I noticed this morning that the buds have shrivelled up. My chilli  was looking sad so I re-potted it this morning, but I do have two lovely cucumbers on my cucumber plant, so that's something. I'd like to do more veg, but it basically has to be in pots, and also my garden is a sort of late night disco for slugs. 

Have you seen a picture of our lovely Star, before? She is Joe's dog he's had since he was 12, she is coming up to eleven years old. We had a health scare with her recently, and we've been told by the vet to expect bad news before too long. She seems fine at the moment though, so we're making the most of her. She's getting extra treats and getting away with coming on our bed some Sunday mornings for a cuddle, never allowed before. 

I liked hearing about your visit to the fair. Your girls are getting so grown up and Emily has a boyfriend! Make the most of your fledglings. Before you know it, they'll be flown. 

I hope you're having a wonderful Thursday, 

Debbie  x

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 22, 2014 - Summer Fair

Hello friend,

I hope that by writing in this space, I will be better at keeping in touch.  I miss our weekly correspondence.  I know it has come in bits. Life here is hectic, with one teenager and one girl on the cusp in the house.  We are quite often on the go.

It's summer here and that means tonight we went to the County Fair.  It ended at 11:00 pm and so writing this now at 11:30 pm, I realize it's 5:30 am where you are.  I am putting an end to my day as you will be starting soon.

The County Fair.  How to describe it.  All the farm kids in the 4H club (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) bring their animals to show.  The cow barn, the poultry barn, the pig barn, the horse barn, the goat barn (my favorite!).  All the animals are cleaned up so pretty and ready for a pet.  One of the previous visits to the fair a goat decided to grab and eat my sweater.  I can't resist the little buggers though.

Tonight though, as the girls are older, it was all about the rides.  Em was meeting a friend and her boyfriend (yes, boyfriend) there and quickly disappeared for the evening.  I think how different it is than when I was her age.  My parents would have never dreamed of letting me run off with friends, but in the age of cell phones, we could simply text each other meet up points over the course of the evening.

So I was left with K and her cousin.  Once I let go of the fact that we were waiting a good long while for the rides, I relaxed and enjoyed myself.  I don't usually do well in crowds.  It is funny to think again, how it seems like not that long ago, my entire world was  carrying my two littles around and standing with them next to the horses on the carousel and now I have been delegated to the status of drink holder.  I have to say though, it brought a smile to my face to see them experiencing things, like the first time on a scary ride, or the first time with the freedom to explore.

The sounds of rides whirring by, the sound of screaming, the smell of popcorn and funnel cake.  The sun disappearing behind the flashing lights. We made our way out to the field across from the fairgrounds just after 11:00 warm from the heat, sick from the sweet drinks and tired from a full night.  It only comes once a year and we don't always go, but it is a perfect summer memory.

The girls are all tucked into bed (including the cousin who came home with us) spent, and I am typing this quick note to you, before another week passes by.

Looking forward to your news,


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wednesday, sometime in late February

I have no idea if the date most of the time, I figure if I know the year it's a start, the month is a bonus. My age too, lately I told someone I was a year older than I am. Words are elusive, often I can describe an object but can't think of the name for it, I don't know what's going on with me, old age or something.

I am so glad you liked the parcel, especially the scarf, I thought that colour was so you. And yes, it took me AGES to knit, which is why you got it in February and not for Christmas as I originally planned! I enjoyed  knitting it though, it is nice to knit for someone else, the anticipation of giving the gift is part of the pleasure of making it.

It's great to read over at your blog how your business plans are coming along, everything seems to be falling into place. I loved your writing in Kindred magazine and photograph on the cover as I have told you before, it's lovely to see you sharing your gifts, and amazing to me that you manage to do it all with two children and a full time job!

I liked your story about shopping for the girls' boots. My Mum always says when we went shopping I would never be interested in what we were supposed to be shopping for, but would want something completely different. I am still the same! My eye is distracted by pretty things  - generally scarves, bags or stationery - all of which I have lots of already, when I am supposedly looking for a pair of jeans, or a coat. I don't like shopping anyway, and especially not in malls, those Cathedrals to the great God of Shopping where we are supposed to get dressed up and parade around on the weekend, ugh. At least, that's what they are like here - you need a fake tan, false eyelashes and heels just to go shopping. I don't think so. Give me interesting independent little shops any day, or at least a shopping centre that actually has streets, and fresh air.

I've had a busy few days. A friend's hen night on Saturday, errands and visiting family Sunday, a concert last night. I'm feeling pretty shattered, sleeping too much, no energy and permanent foggy brain. I've taken no photos for days. And I have just realised it is Tuesday, which totally illustrates my earlier point. Is there any hope for me?

Debbie  x

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Again, another week has almost  passed before I wrote to you.  I woke up this morning and remembered I hadn't posted anything yet.  So where to begin....

First and foremost I have to send you a great big hug and thank you for my package!  What a surprise I didn't even know it was coming and it was so chock full of good things.  I keep going back and through it and find delight in it again and again.  That scarf is the most amazing thing ever.  I cannot knit, tried crochet once and was utter failure (no manual dexterity) so I am just amazed by knitting and the things people can make.  It's gorgeous and warm and a most beautiful shade of blue.  I have taken to wearing it everywhere out and around the house and even at work.  The dishcloths, well they just seem too pretty to use.  All of it was amazing and that note card will probably end up framed.  Emily has stolen the stickers and is putting them everywhere including her phone, we can't wait to sit down and play the game.  Love to you my friend, you made my day....

What has been going on here?  We've reached that time of year (mid-February) when I begin to really hate winter.  I am ready for it to be gone.  We aren't getting any snow and it's been bitter, bitter cold and we're all just tired of being stuck inside.  I long to feel the sun's warmth and see a bit of green come back.  I've been diligently feeding my birds and they are taking full advantage.  We get a good range of woodpeckers, titmice, chickadees, sparrows, blue jays, and doves.  The last two days though the red-wing blackbirds have been taking over and devouring it all.  While I love seeing them in the fields (that little flash of red) I don't so much like when they take over and leave my little birds with nothing.

A funny story from this week, I took the girls boot shopping last weekend which was a trying affair.  After six stores (K has very wide feet and it can be difficult to find her shoes) and K running around the store away from me in a huff) I pulled out a line that cracked me up later.  I said "GO sit down.  When I was a girl, my mother took me to ONE shoe store and we picked out ONE pair and we wore them all year long".   Might as well have added a bit about walking to school uphill in eight feet of snow.  In the second store, I sat on the floor next to her and said "Please don't make your mother cry in Bass, you will be so embarrassed".  I'm sure there are many more one-liners to come.   In the end, both girls got a pair of boots and K ended up with a pair of Converse sneakers that are too cute on her AND fit.

I guess that's about it for now.  I had better get out of my robe and fuzzy socks and get ready for work.  Bundle up to go out in the big freeze.  Until next week my friend....xoxoxo.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday, 14th February, 2013

Hello Jen

Valentines Day today - do your girls get involved with the class Valentines and everything? I think it's a much bigger thing over there than here, here it's just a romantic thing, you don't have to give them to your friends too. The Prof drew me a lovely card with my dream cottage on, a bit of a theme for us. I made him one too, and we decided not to bother with gifts. I told him I'll have some flowers next time we are at the supermarket! We are in London tomorrow as I have a hospital appointment, and I think we might visit a museum in the afternoon and have lunch out, so that can be our Valentine treat.

It's 8am, early for me - there is usually only one 8 o'clock in my day! I am up early today as I am off with seven friends to a craft fair. I am not feeling great lately as you know, but hoping it won't be too much for me, if it is I will park myself in the tea room with a cream tea and my book.

I read your tweet today about doing yoga with short hair - I never thought about that before, but it must be easier for you! I am going to be doing some yoga myself, Rachel at Fusion Studio is going to work with me to create a sequence I can do with my various health issues. In the meantime I have been practising yoga nidra, a short practice I only have to lie down for! Are you familiar with that? I really like it.

Just realised I need to be out the door in five minutes! More later .......


Here I am again, 8pm and feeling pretty tired. It was a really good day, but sadly no cream tea! I did find some bread pudding though, so I brought a slab of that home to share with the Prof. I spent some money I had for Christmas, and now have the makings of four more projects! I had a go at some deco patch while I was there (see photo).

Well that's it for now. We have the last episode of Lewis to watch, so I am going to try to stay awake for that, then an early night.  Hospital appointment tomorrow.

Good luck with the decluttering! Hoping to get some done myself this weekend.

Love to you, Em and K

Debbie  x

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hi friend!  I'm sorry so long has passed since I've gotten this letter to you.   I had all intentions to post this on Friday!  I don't know where the weekends go really.   I cannot believe I am sitting here typing this on Monday morning.  I really hate trying to fit everything into two days.  I'm sitting in bed right now, trying to get Em up for school.  She came in bed with me in the middle of the night and every five minutes or so I lean over and give her a good shake.  I wasn't prepared for the fact that the teenage years were going to start at eleven.  Seriously.  I thought that at eleven we were still going to be playing with dolls and acting the sweetheart.  She spent the night at a friend's Saturday night which resulted in little sleep and came home yesterday around noon and slept from about 3:00 to 6:00  then went to bed last night at 9:00 and I am (failing) at dragging her out of bed now.

It's pouring rain outside right now.  Pouring...and dark which is making it impossible to want to get out of bed.  New England got a ton of snow this weekend, but nothing here.  Just more rain.  Last week we had a few dustings each day, but nothing to really enjoy.  At this rate if we aren't going to get a big one, I would just as leave move on to Spring.  I don't typically mind the rain, but cold rain does not work for me.

Declutter time for you huh?  Me too.  I am tired of it.  I can't ever figure out how we get so much stuff. I keep trying to minimize and things seem to keep finding their way in.  I started to try with FlyLady's routines when I had that long weekend in January, but have found that being back at work I can't keep up.  That and I hate that they are sending me about 20 emails a day, which is not helping me get more organized at all.  I am going to try the one you wrote about and I have a book on my Kindle called Get It Together Girl, that looks like a pretty good plan.

K and I took a hike on Sunday morning, since the weather was decent and it took the wind out of my sails.  I seriously didn't get much of anything else done, a sure indicator that I need to get my butt up and out more often.  This is a photo that K took from the car of the cows on one of our favorite roads on the way home.  They all stopped and looked at us, like, hey, what are you doing, there?

I'm sorry to hear you are feeling down.  I wish I had some words of wisdom or advice, but it just sounds like a bugger.

Mr. Selfridge?  Oh no, not another show to get hooked on.  We finished Doc Martin and now I'm going back to watch the end of Lewis.  We're midway through Downton Abbey here on television and my grandmother has Call The Midwife that I got her on DVD for me to watch eventually.  Seems though sometimes not much else gets done when there is so much good British television to watch.

Cheers to you all, hope you are feeling a bit better.  Let's hope that Spring comes sooner rather than later for both of us!!!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday, 30th January, 2013

 The snow has gone now, we had some rain one night which washed the last traces away, and wonder of wonders! We had a little sunshine at the weekend. Ideal days for one of our drives, but we were late getting started both mornings, so didn't venture too far afield, although we did go and see Quartet. It was funny, and moving. I think you'd like it.  

I am really tired lately. I don't know if it's that the Christmas activities have taken it out of me, but I seem to be needing so much sleep again, I am rarely up before noon the last week or two, which I hate, but it's the only way I can function. Then of course I am not tired at night and end up going to bed late, which just makes the whole cycle worse. I am eating a low glycaemic diet again, and when I was eating like this last year, I had a period of several weeks when I felt the best I have for years. It doesn't seem to have happened again this time, maybe it was just a coincidental fluke. On the positive side, my leg, which has been painful and stiff for months and I was thinking was arthritis, has been much better for a few days. A few weeks ago I was prescribed Vitamin D as I am deficient in it, so I am wondering if it was a problem caused by that, as I know it can cause bone problems, and maybe the supplement is helping. Fingers crossed. 

I spent a lovely few hours yesterday with my Mum and Aunt, looking at old photographs. We came across a picture of my cousin when he was twenty or so (he is now fifty), and I really thought for a moment that it was the Young Philosopher, it was so like him! Isn't it strange, the way these likenesses run through families, in ways you don't expect? 

No prizes for guessing what I will be doing today (see photo!) There is laundry everywhere and I still haven't put away my Christmas and birthday presents. I've basically ignored all the post I have received for the past month as well. I think I am still in Christmas mode! I hope to get things tidied up in time to sit with the latest episode of Mr Selfridge and my knitting before it's time to cook dinner. Meatballs with Ikea sauce this evening, and then I am out to my book club. 

Hope things are well with you and the girls, 

Debbie  x