It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas. Mmmmm!! Hubby has made, and bottled, his annual batch of mulled wine. The whole house smelled amazing.
30 November 2023
27 November 2023
And here we are. Another week closer to Christmas. I can't believe how quickly the last four weeks of term have gone. This week we start our first Christmas crafts session with the children and their parents!! How can that be?
That's part of what I did last week. I made an angel out of a paper plate and cut out 64 antlers to stick on our cardboard reindeer. Photos to follow :0)
I bought some roses in the super market as they were on special offer. Also for my mum, who's 80th birthday would have been next Sunday. Beautiful yellow roses.
I've ordered some Christmas presents and also the wrappings to go with them. I'm sure it gets harder each year to decide what to buy.
I've finished making one Christmas Gnome for one friend and have almost finished the second. That one almost met a wet and soggy death when Innes took it out of my crochet bag and started nibbling the hat. Luckily I caught him just as he stole it, so no harm done. Innes did look very sheepish for a while, but we're friends now.
I arranged a pre Christmas catch up with my Auntie. Who knew it would be so difficult to find a date to go for coffee. We both seem to be so busy at the moment.
I met my cousin in the super market and had a quick catch up. We decided it was about time we got together, so we're planning on doing something over Christmas.
I seemed to spend all day Friday trying to get staff for this week, as we have people off sick and others out on courses. Plus I had to check we had enough staff for the school trip to Chester Zoo next Friday. I think we have almost every child going so it will be an interesting day.
The weekend was spent papering the spare room before starting to paint. The carpet comes on the 4th December and I'll be so glad when it's finished.
We also took the boys out for a play, on a field that is owned by a friend of ours. They had a great time and I broke in my new wellies.
And that was it for the week. Until next time.
20 November 2023
Last week started with a trip to hospital for my MRI. Overall it was an interesting experience. It was extremely loud, and if I kept my eyes shut I couldn't see how close to the top of the machine I was :0) Results next week. Hopefully.
Monday night continued with a trip the The Royal Philharmonic Theater, in Liverpool, for an evening with Anton du Beke. An evening of comedy, music and dance. He is so funny and we didn't stop laughing for two hours. It was a shame we got absolutely drenched getting there, and steamed for two hours whilst we dried out!!
On Thursday I had an optician appointment. Another test due to my ailment, just to check that my eyes are OK. All is well and there is no change from last year.
On Saturday we did the two hour drive to York to visit our son and grandson. We had such a lovely day with them all and it was great to catch up. We were going to go and see the Christmas markets but it was far to busy for the little fella so we gave it a miss. I just wish that we lived closer. Maybe one day.
Sunday was a day for emptying the spare room and de-cluttering the wardrobe etc. Another trip to the tip and now we're nearly done. Now we just need to paper and paint and it will be time for the carpet.
All too soon it was Monday.
15 November 2023
Listening to - A Paris Affair by Anton du Beke -
In the darkest days of war, a stranger will change everything.Paris, 1926. A young dancer Ray Cohen arrives from London to compete at the Exhibition Paris. He is led astray by Hugo, a charismatic dancer born of the streets, who introduces him to the city's nightlife and a dazzling stranger called Hannah Lindt.
London, 1941. With the heroic Raymond de Guise away fighting in North Africa, his beloved wife Nancy must balance her new position - as Head of Housekeeping at the Buckingham Hotel - with life as a new mother to their child. As the war rages on, a charismatic stranger from Raymond's past arrives at Nancy's doorstep, asking for work at the Buckingham Hotel.
As dark secrets rise to the surface, the very heart of the Buckingham Hotel is under threat. Will tragedy strike?
Watching - We have finished The Long Shadow on ITV, all about Peter Sutcliffe. The Yorkshire ripper. Hubby was shocked when he realised it was so close to home for him, as he worked in Sheffield at the time. I watched The Reckoning on BBC (hubby didn't want to watch it). All about Jimmy Saville, who we thought was brilliant when we were kids but didn't realise how deranged he was. Just disgusting, and he didn't see he was doing anything wrong!!
Wondering - How our fur boys have any fur left, when most of it is on the kitchen floor!!
Wearing - Jumper and jeans when not at work and jumpers and trousers/skirts when at work!! Pretty standard for me, this time of year.
Booking - The Great Yorkshire show is all booked. Airbnb and time off work. I just need to update our membership.- I am continuing with my Sophie's Universe blanket. She's going to be a weighty one when she's finished. I've only done the middle section and she already weighs a ton.
13 November 2023
It was a pretty quiet week work wise. Some weeks are like that and some are totally hectic. I spent a little while sorting out the items for the children's Christmas Crafts session at the end of November and beginning of December. They are doing five items each and they all need to be put in individual bags!!
I had a blood test during the week and had to also see the dentist. It's all part of the ongoing investigations for my ailment!!
We had a few sunny days but it was mainly wet and dreich. Probably the best kind of weather to be stripping wallpaper in the spare room.
Saturday morning, after the Slimming World weigh in, I popped down to Starbucks for my first Gingerbread Latte of the season. A lot of people won't like this, but I'm glad that Pumpkin Spice lattes are no longer on the menu.
On Friday night Hubby and I went to Carr Farm garden center for their first Christmas evening. There were lots of trees and decorations, but they were all a little overpriced. I ended up with an owl decoration (like the one in the center of the photo) and a bottle of Christmas Spice oil to put in my oil burner. I saw a tree I liked and took a photo of it. I checked it out on-line and managed to get it £140 cheaper!!
And that was another week over and done with. Only five more Me On Monday's to go before Christmas Day :0)
9 November 2023
1. It was Halloween and we had to have the yearly pumpkin. I toasted the seeds and put them out for the squirrels, who absolutely loved them.
2. I went for my three yearly Mammogram. Such fun!!
3. I was off work for 2 days due to headaches and facial pain. After a chat to the Dr and an increase in my medication I seem to be OK. I'm still a little tired and dizzy sometimes but I think that's a side effect of the tablets. Catch 22.
4. I've booked another Christmas outing for when my friend comes to stay in December.
6. Storm Ciaran didn't cause to many problems, although when something crashed in next door's garden, Blue wasn't very happy.
7. Hubby and I took a walk around the River of Light in Liverpool. More on that later.
8. We emptied the spare room and took up the nasty old carpet ready for the new one at the end of the month. Just a lick of paint and a new radiator and we're all done.
9. Bonfire night wasn't too bad for the boys. Blue wasn't bothered a bit, but Innes barked every time a loud bang went off out at the back of the house. Luckily with it being on a Sunday the fireworks seemed to stop by 10pm.
And that's it, in a nutshell. Hope you all had a good week.
3 November 2023
Not a lot of books this month.
I listened to Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools by Victoria Twead but I didn't like the narrator so gave it up. I think I'll have to read the actual book and see if that helps.
If Joe and Vicky had known what relocating to a tiny mountain village in Andalucía would REALLY be like, they might have hesitated...
They have no idea of the culture shock in store. No idea they'll become reluctant chicken farmers and own the most dangerous cockerel in Spain. No idea they'll help capture a vulture or be rescued by a mule.
Will they stay, or return to the relative sanity of England?
I re-read The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. My mum gave me this book way back in about 2009 and I have read and re-read it over the years. I came across it again when I was doing the loft clear out.
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb...
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
31 October 2023
I can't believe I'm typing the fact, that 40 years ago today, I left home (at the tender age of 17) and went off to join the Royal Air Force.
31 October 1983. Youth Training Scheme number 2. Royal Air Force Hereford.
I got on the train at Liverpool Lime Street station, headed for Hereford. The only thing I knew was, I had to change at Crewe and I'd be met at Hereford station.
30 October 2023
It was half term week and I had quite a few jobs planned initially. Unfortunately after last weeks episode I felt really washed out. I had a day where I stayed in bed most of the morning, which is not like me at all. I pottered around the house, tidying things away. I caught up on the ironing and emptied the rest of the boxes.
I also went to see the Dr to find out what comes next. I was worried about driving, as if the pain happens again, as suddenly as it did last time, I would probably end up in an accident. The Dr upped my medication to two a day which should control the pain and hopefully last weeks episode won't happen again. I'm OK to drive which is a huge relief.
ETA. I had to phone the Dr again this morning and he is now going to refer me for an MRI scan to find out exactly what is causing the pain. Fingers crossed it won't be too long till I get an appointment.
Hubby started taking the old chimney down off the roof. He borrowed a roof ladder from our lovely neighbours and started chipping away at it on Saturday morning. Once the bit on the roof was done and the tiles were fitted he started taking the bit down in the loft and then after that, he took the bit down in the spare bedroom. The last bit was the best bit, as, the chimney in the spare room made the wall unusable as it was slap bang in the middle. Now we have to decorate that room.
We went and ordered a carpet for the spare room, so we have to get it finished before they come to fit it. And also before December as my friend is coming to stay and that's her room :0)
I was out with friends on Friday as two of them had a little Halloween party. It was a really good night and Miss S is a great cook and did a wonderful buffet. I was designated driver and ended up taking several tipsy ladies home :0)
And finally the boys are happy sleeping outside (or inside if they get the chance) hubby's office whilst he's working. That's good for me as I can get on with things downstairs without tripping over them every two minutes :0) Please excuse the nasty carpet. It's on my list of things to get rid of. And the wall has since been painted!!
25 October 2023
Pull up a chair. This might take a while.
Remember that twist I mentioned on Monday? Well!! Friday morning of last week saw me sat in the Accident & Emergency department of the local hospital for two hours. I had gone to work as normal, taken children to classes, spoken to parents and taken phone calls.
I had tried to get an appointment for the Dr to phone me about pain management for the neuralgia (TN) in the side of my face. I couldn't get an appointment as they were all filled and a Dr couldn't call me back as all those slots were filled too. My only option was to call at midday and hope to get an appointment, that afternoon, at another local hospital.
The staff at the hospital were amazing. I saw the triage nurse within 10 minutes and the consultant 10 minutes after that. Dr Abdulah was an international student from India and was very good. He listened to my symptoms and took a history of the pain. He then related all of that to Dr Ash, the consultant, who explained that it was Trigeminal Neuralgia. (See link for details.) A condition that can't be cured, only managed.
To start with they give you epilepsy medication and if that doesn't work there are several surgical routes you can take. I'm hoping that the medication works, as I have enough going on at the moment, to add another op into the mix.
The pharmacy was extremely busy, so I had a 45 minute wait. Time for a coffee and a spot of people watching in the hospital cafe. It brought back memories of sitting there when mum wasn't well. I chatted to a very nice lady who hadn't been eating properly the last few days and was really looking forward to her cup of tea and buttery toast.
The pharmacist took the time to explain the medication to me, even though they were maxed out, and I was very grateful for that. I have, since, read and re-read the leaflet that came with the tablets.
My friend came and picked me up and I went back to work. I felt absolutely fine, so stayed for the afternoon. The head teacher did tell me to go home but I said I would stay. This is something I have to live with now so best start as I mean to go on. I apologised for saying a rude word but he said that under the circumstances he understood!!
I felt washed out by the time I got home, so I had some dinner and flopped onto the sofa to watch All Creatures Great & Small, followed by an early night.
As my mum would say.... "These things are sent to try us". And she was right.
23 October 2023
Woo Hoo!! It was the last week of term. A busy one as usual but with a twist at the end. More about that later.
Our heating came on for the first time the other morning. It's been so mild here recently, that we haven't needed it on yet. If it gets chilly at night we just get one, of the many, crochet blankets and snuggle under those. Hubby of course is nice and warm as he has two labradogs lying on him!! Tut, tut to him, for having his feet on the table!!
This last week has seen me digging out jumpers and layering for work.
We ordered the wood for the shed and it arrived on Friday. The downstairs loo is on hold for now. You can't see the decking for wood at the moment, but the loft is floored and we have a new loft ladder, so we're still moving forward.
We had a family wedding invite, which was lovely. It's not till next May but I'm already wondering about dresses and shoes. I may have already started dress shopping :0)
I have been slowly sorting through the boxes from the loft and have a few things to pass on to family. Other bits and bobs have been recycled, as I wondered why I kept them in the first place, and some have been sold. The photos will take longer as they are a huge job!!
I feel like we're finally getting somewhere with the house. It's one of those projects that you do as and when you have the time, AND the money.
That's it for now. I'm off to do some shredding and do a run to the tip.
20 October 2023
16 October 2023
It wasn't a particularly busy week but we still managed to get a few things done.
Hubby went fishing and sent me this photo. What a way to start the day.
I had a check up at the hospital. All OK so far, but when I go back in January the nurse will phone to find out where I am on the list for surgery. Fingers crossed it will be in the next six months.
I had a little win whilst at the hospital. Instead of having to pay £3.00 for parking, for being there over half an hour, I managed to squeeze in for free.
I booked our Airbnb for the Great Yorkshire Show and got the OK for the time off. Just need to update our membership next year.
I got an unexpected pay rise. Apparently I should have had an increment in April and the council forgot!! Thanks very much. It will come in handy for a new carpet in one of the bedrooms.
We took the boys down to the beach. There was only a little bit of sand visible but they still managed to get very dirty.
We heard that two of our best friends got married. They have been together for about 15 years and decided 8 weeks ago to do the deed. They only had their mums there on the day and will celebrate with their families later.
I had a quick garden tidy up and chopped down the yukka tree in the front garden. It had all but died off, but had spouted from the bottom. I'm going to leave it and see what happens.
We sorted through the freezer and planned dinners for next week.
We started watching Lessons in Chemistry. We're 2 episodes in and it's good, but it's not the book, which was excellent. I'm hoping that the remaining episodes do it justice.
And so ends another week. One more week to go and it will be half term.
13 October 2023
Time for another round up of Currently......
October finds me.....
Reading - Not reading, but listening to the end of Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton, to be followed by Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools by Victoria Twead, just because it was free on Audible and I liked the title.
Wondering - Why Facebook insists on putting up posts about hairstyles, we over 50s should avoid. Apparently we shouldn't have long hair, or straight hair, then on the other hand shouldn't have short spiky hair. We shouldn't have our hair all cut one length in a bob or have it short at the back and long at the front. Says who?? Who writes these things? Ladies. Wear your hair however you want and ignore the idiots that tell you otherwise.
Wearing - My winter boots and short skirt. It's my go to autumn/winter outfit and I'll be in it until about March
Booking - Tickets for next years Great Yorkshire Show. All the Air BnB are filling up already so I'm on the hunt for somewhere new.
And that's about it for this month. Same time next month?
11 October 2023
This is a low fat dessert that tastes amazing. We've also done it with nectarines, figs and plums.
Ingredients 2 medium pears, halved and cored
big pinch of cinnamon, plus extra to serve
low-calorie cooking spray
2 Slimming World Hi-fi bars (any flavour), finely chopped and crumbled (or any cereal bar of your choice.)
fat-free natural Greek yogurt to serve
Warm the oven up to 180°C.
Sprinkle the tops of the pears with a little cinnamon and spray with low-calorie cooking spray.
Put the pears on a baking tray and cook for 10 minutes or until almost softened.
Sprinkle the tops of the pears with the crumbled Hi-fi/Cereal bar and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until lightly golden and just starting to caramelise.
Serve with a big dollop of yogurt, and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.
9 October 2023
Another busy week over and done with.
It was a week where my birthday just kept on giving. I had a lovely candle holder from a friend at work and afternoon tea with my lovely friend Miss D. We went out to Benty Farm tea rooms at Thurstaston and even the pouring rain couldn't put a dampener on it. We had to bring a box of goodies home as there was far to much to eat.
I was absolutely full of cold last week so there was only one gym session and one line dancing class.
There was also the loft clearing. We hired a skip and got rid of previous owners junk, and all the old lagging. Why there were odd pipes and bits of wood up there I will never know. It's now all ready for new insulation and boards. The boxes that have been there for the last six years, since we moved in, are now in the spare room and I have the lovely job of going through each one and getting rid of things we haven't looked at in all that time or didn't even remember we had!!
Deb at Deb's World said the other week about saying yes to things. So with that in mind we are off to the British Legion on Thursday to check out their indoor bowls.
Hope you all have a good week.
6 October 2023
Nine years ago, when we first got out to Texas, our lovely realtor, Nancy took me under he wing and took me on a tour of the Fall Homes. They were absolutely stunning and totally out of out price range, but the decorations were amazing.
This year I thought I'd have a go at a few decorations for the living and dining rooms. Less is more for me when it comes to decorations but I like how they turned out.
3 October 2023
Somebody had a birthday last week and it was a lovely day. It started with a rainbow on the way to work, lots of cards and messages from friends and family, presents at work and home and a free treat from Costa coffee. I chose carrot cake at the weekend.
Exercise wise I did Tai Chi, Line dancing and went to the gym.
I went to the hairdressers to get my roots done and it only cost me £2.00, as the rest was covered by a voucher I had for my birthday from the lovely folk at work.
I had my nails done and got them cut shorter. I just can't type properly if they are too long.
We were supposed to get stormy weather during the week but it never came. We had a few dreich days but it was still decidedly warm.
It was our 28th wedding anniversary on Friday so we did a joint anniversary/birthday celebration and went out for meal on Saturday with the young man. The restaurant sent me a voucher for a free starter, main and dessert so I couldn't say no. It was a lovely meal, as always, and I'll look forward to the next voucher :0)
I did some more crochet and made a duck for one of the ladies at work, two pumpkins and started a Christmas gnome.
There was also more fencing put up. It's funny how changing one old fence for a new one, can make the garden look so much bigger. Next on the garden upgrade is a new shed followed by artificial lawn.
Hubby made the decision to decorate the downstairs loo (half bath). I will be glad when all the pipework is hidden away.
And so ends another busy week in the Lee household. How was yours?
2 October 2023
2023 Summer Scavenger Hunt / Search Ideas
13. A Sold or For Sale Sign (not necessarily a house)
7. Something that Dangles - A pair of ear-rings.
12. Summer Tools - Everything I needed to weed the garden.
14. Something that Rolls - A 1935 Steam Roller we saw at the Cheshire Country and Game Fair.
29 September 2023
Not too much reading done this month. Being back at work sees me asleep by 10pm.
An old friend in the antiques business has been killed, and a dangerous package he was protecting has gone missing.
As the gang springs into action they encounter art forgers, online fraudsters and drug dealers, as well as heartache close to home.
With the body count rising, the package still missing and trouble firmly on their tail, has their luck finally run out? And who will be the last devil to die?
Speaking with great candor and his signature humor, Tom shares his experience growing up as part of the wizarding world while also trying to navigate the muggle world. He tells stories from his early days in the business like his first acting gig where he was mistaken for fellow blonde child actor Macaulay Culkin and his audition where, in a very Draco-like move, he fudged how well he knew the books the series was based on (not at all). He reflects on his experiences working with cinematic greats such as Alan Rickman, Sir Michael Gambon, Dame Maggie Smith, and Ralph Fiennes (including that awkward Voldemort hug). And, perhaps most poignantly, he discusses the lasting relationships he made over that decade of filming, including with Emma Watson, who started out as a pesky nine-year-old whom he mocked for not knowing what a boom mic was but who soon grew into one of his dearest friends. Then, of course, there are the highs and lows of fame and navigating life after such a momentous and life-changing experience.
25 September 2023
What a wet and windy weeks it's been. Definitely time to dig those jumpers out. Brrrr!!
I booked into a line dancing, exercise class at the gym. I'm hoping it's all set to country music.
There was date night with hubby. We went to the cinema to see A Haunting in Venice. I've told him that when we go to Venice, we're only going out in the day and staying in the hotel at night. Too many spooky goings on in the dark for me :0)
I made it to the dentist and the tooth is now sorted, but I have to keep a diary for the next four weeks to keep an eye on the neuralgia. If it's still bothering me, I have to let the dentist know and she will do another referral to the hospital.
More fence building was done and there are now only two panels to go before it's finished. As with most neighbourhood fences, one neighbour is going to get the "wrong" side. Our lovely neighbour on the left, has asked hubby if he would panel her side too as she doesn't like the wrong side. He said he would, so it now means the job will take a bit longer. Hubby has also said that once the old shed comes down, he will panel our wrong side, with our other lovely neighbour on the right. This small fencing job has turned into a marathon.
The microwave blew up on Saturday, blowing the fuses and cutting the power to half the house. Luckily the fuses were easily fixed and a new microwave was ordered.
We made a decision about going to York in November. As it's the start of the Christmas markets that weekend, all the hotel prices have shot up, so we are just going for the day. It's only a 2 hour drive so not too much hassle.
I made Cinnamon, Hifi, Pears from Slimming World. I won all the ingredients in the raffle, at club on Saturday so thought I'd give it a go for Sunday lunch. Recipe to follow.
I wonder what next week will be like?
22 September 2023
Just before we finished work for the summer, one of the deputy headteachers gave me a present with a lovely gift card.
It really makes all the difference, knowing that as you go about your work, on any average day, someone thinks you're doing a great job.
20 September 2023
Another week done and only fifteen until Christmas :0)
I went to the gym - Lets just say it's a work in progress :0)
I read The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman and didn't guess "who dunnit". No surprises there :0)
I started Tai Chi and I love it. It's really good for clearing your mind. It's good to let go of the negativity in your life, and as Master Xingbo says, it's good for your "inner peace".
We went to York to see family and we had a lovely weekend. We spent time chatting and laughing. We tried to take my mother in law to York Minster, only too find that they had closed mid afternoon on a Saturday, as the Cannon's were having a service. She was not a happy bunny, and may have told them so!! The joy of being nearly 82.
Unfortunately our son and grandson were out of town but we have made plans to go and see them for son's birthday in November.
Of all the time together we only took one photo. A steam train that had arrived at York just as we did. Hubby had to get a photo.
This week is set to be a wet one so I might have to put my summer clothes away sooner than I thought.
I hope you all had a lovely positive week.
13 September 2023
I haven't done one of these for a while so here goes.
I am currently.............
Reading - I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of Richard Osman's new book, The Last Devil to Die. It should be delivered tomorrow.
Wondering - Why are there so many Trout Pouts on social media? Why do young ladies think that they look attractive if they pout? And what is with the "tongue against the back of your teeth" when you smile? Just be yourself. Whatever happened to just saying "cheese" when having your photo taken?
Wearing - I'm still in my summer clothes and will be until the last possible minute. Although I do like Autumn, as it means I can get my much loved boots out of the closet.
Booking - A trip to Blenheim Palace next year, a trip overseas (our first in seven years) and of course a trip to the Great Yorkshire Show.
What are you currently doing?