Thursday, 21 September 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge 20/9/17

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at
Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.

1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.
Being a Grandparent.  I’m probably boring you all silly with it but I am loving it.  I’d like to say you get all the best bits of having a baby without all the horrible stuff but of course in Nathan’s case that wasn’t true in the early days.  Those were worrying times but now it’s lovely watching him grow and develop and seeing the relationship develop with his Mummies.  I babysat him for the first time yesterday (see here for the full details) and I had a great time, mainly because he made it very easy for me.  I might have to curb my spending impulses a little bit though otherwise he could bankrupt me!
2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?
Anything to do with selling.  I’d find it hard approaching people and convincing them to buy anything.
3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?
I think the last time I really fell was 2 years ago – I was out walking and tripped on a paving slab and went flat on my face.  I scraped my knees and elbows but a woman saw me fall and kindly let me into her house to clean up. 
Falling for in a good way?  Maybe Pilates?  I enjoyed my first class last week and I’ve signed up to go again this Friday.
4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-
National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)
Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?
Never been to any of those and of course they are too far away for me!  Our local festival is in the summer but there’s usually a firework display in November that we sometimes attend.
5. What is your goodbye message to summer?
Come back soon!
6. Insert your own random thought here.
Well I’m here a day late (you all know where I was yesterday!) and I feel like my whole week has been on a catch up basis. But that’s such a minor thing to worry about when I listen to the news.
So many awful things happening and they make me so aware that I have so much to be thankful for.

Babysitting fun!

Yesterday I babysat Nathan for the first time. (The Mummies were off to test drive a car.)

When I arrived just after nine o'clock he was just finishing his breakfast feed so he was full and happy when his Mummies left at around 10 am.  He stayed that way for a while - sitting in his bouncy chair watching Nanny tidy up the kitchen and listening to a child friendly channel on the radio.  Some very interesting modern versions of nursery rhymes!

When he started to get fed up with that I took him upstairs to change his nappy and get him dressed.  He was happy while doing that - I found a few ticklish spots.  I put him in his big cot while I washed my hands.  He doesn't sleep in there yet but it's a safe place to leave him and he was entertained by his musical mobile for a bit.

Once he'd listened to that he began to get a bit grumpy so I decided it was time to put him in his buggy and go for a walk to get him off to sleep.  I put him down in the buggy, slipped a dummy in his mouth and by the time I'd popped to the loo he was asleep!  No moaning or fighting it, just asleep.

It was about 11 by this time so I did another couple of chores not knowing how long he might stay asleep.  Well he stirred at about 11.30 and as I didn't think that was a long enough nap I took him straight out for a walk.  We only went around the block (it's a big block) but was asleep again in no time and was still asleep when his Mummies got back just after 1 pm!

I moaned to them about their pathways. On their street the pavement (sidewalk) is quite narrow so it's hard to push the buggy along and it's bumpy so the baby gets jolted a lot so much so that I almost contemplated walking in the road but I thought if they came back at the wrong time and saw me I'd get told off for doing that.  Their response to the state of the pavement was: "oh we often walk in the road"!  To be fair their road is a dead end and doesn't get much traffic. I'll know what to do next time!

My daughter was not impressed at how easily I had got him to sleep - he doesn't sleep that well for her usually.  Apparently he also slept during the afternoon but, as might have been expected, he didn't have the best of nights!

Routine?  What's that?

Friday, 15 September 2017

Friday's Fave Five 15/9/17

Fridays are a time to look back on the week and share our blessings.
If you want to join in or check out the other participants pop over to our host Suzanne's blog at Living to Tell the Story

With all the craziness going on in certain parts of the world it's good to be able to stop and count my blessings this week as follows:

1)  Time.  There are very little constraints on my time.  I always have a long to do list but very little that is pressing or demanding.

2)  A visit from our eldest son and DIL last weekend and of course their fur babies.  We have to be food aware when the dogs are around - they are counter top height and very interested in food but it's great to see them.

3)  Nathan time.  I love having then close enough to be able to visit them most weeks.

4)  No real money issues - although if I keep getting tempted every time I see cute outfits for Nathan my hubby might be depriving me of my credit cards!

My hairdresser was running late yesterday so I had time to browse the store and couldn't resist these. 

5.  Attending my first ever Pilates class today.  My physio suggested this and the class runs in a studio just 5 minutes away from our house so I had no excuses left not to give it a go.  Hopefully I won't regret it tomorrow!

I'm trying to get this posted early as hubby has a record group meeting here this evening - a group of music appreciating friends get together each month to listen to and discuss a record - yes an actual record!  It's his turn to host so now I'm off shopping for some nibbles and then getting the house straight for guests. Whatever you're doing I hope you have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge 13/9/17

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at

Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

It obviously depends on the picture but yes some would definitely generate a thousand words.  Of course I’m all about my Grandson at the moment and the photo taken of him just after he was born, swaddled up to keep him warm and connected up to machines to keep him alive compared to the one taken yesterday generates so many words most of which are ones of thanks.

Pictures of the devastation caused by Irma also generate so many words although in many cases there will be no words to ease the pain of those who have lost so much, especially loved ones.
2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favourite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?
Never been there but putting it on the bucket list sounds good.
3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?

Yes the changes of season do affect me – we definitely have four different seasons here although sometimes they seem to forget which one they are!  I think autumn going into winter is worst – the days are so short and often gloomy.  Hard to feel cheerful then.
4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?
That would depend on where we were eating but there would definitely be a chocolate dessert!  I don’t lie about my age.  I have a cousin who has tried to stay the same age for a while (even though there is only 4 months between us) and her grandchildren are now old enough not to be fooled.  She’s now thinking about a new ploy - to say she’s actually older than she is in the hope that people will say she looks good for her age.  I thought about giving that a go but decided it would be too disheartening if no one gave the right response!
5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?
Does downloading Uber onto my phone count?
6.  Insert your own random thought here.
I hope that anyone affected by Irma has come through it safely.  Homes and furnishings can be replaced, people can’t.  We never used to have names for storms here in the UK but recently they have started to give them names due to the increasing strength of them.  Storm Aileen hit parts of the country last night but she was a baby compared to Irma.  But global warming/climate change isn’t a thing right?

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Review: I See You

I See You I See You by Clare Mackintosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation, no website: just a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make?

When one of the women is murdered Zoe becomes convinced she is being watched and followed and, after a terrifying discovery, she and her daughter Katie find themselves in grave danger.

Perhaps not quite as good as her debut (no jaw dropping twists along the way) this was still a great read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

View all my reviews

Friday, 8 September 2017

Review: The Owl Always Hunts at Night:

The Owl Always Hunts at Night: The Owl Always Hunts at Night: by Samuel Bjørk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.

Detective Mia Krüger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.

But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim."

Great follow up to his debut novel. Chilling at times but I struggled to put it down.

View all my reviews

Friday's Fave Five 8/9/17

Fridays are a time to look back on the week and share our blessings.
If you want to join in or check out the other participants pop over to our host Suzanne's blog at Living to Tell the Story

Well I have missed a couple of weeks here - we were on holiday with really slow internet so I gave up trying to post.  You can read about the holiday here.

I have lots to be thankful for:

1.  Time with family - we had our own family with us on holiday but also hubby's extended family.  

2.  Living in a hurricane/storm free place.  Sometimes our weather can be wet and miserable and I hate it when the clocks go back and it gets dark so early but when I see and read about all the current devastation going on with storms and forest fires etc I'm reminded that actually our weather isn't something I should really complain about.

3.  Not having to go back to work after summer break anymore.  Several great nephews have started school this week and my DILs went back to work and I was just so glad not to be part of that.  Of course there are some aspects of working that I miss but overall I'm glad to be at home.

4.  An evening out with friends.  We tried a Thai restaurant I hadn't been to before and it was really good.  As usual I forgot to take pictures!

5.  A good check up for Nathan.  He went back to the NICU for a thorough check up on Wednesday and they were so pleased with him that he is now on a less intensive follow up pattern.  He really is doing well and is so responsive now.  We spent Wednesday afternoon and evening with them.

 I could look at pictures of him all day!

Have a good weekend all and if you're affected by any of the extreme weather issues stay safe!


One thing leads to another.....

I've mentioned that we're taking part in a Jumble Trail this Sunday.  (Yard sale to my US friends.)

Well I knew that my front garden would need tidying up before then.  My gardener was due on Wednesday so I knew she would do the weeding for me but I wanted to clean the porch and window sills etc.

But I didn't just want to do the ones downstairs.  I would need to start upstairs.  I also wanted to get rid of the webs that the very industrious spiders have made outside my bedroom windows.  We used to have a window cleaner but he seems to have deserted us so the spiders have been having great fun.

Anyway to do all this I needed to get to the window inside.  But that required moving this:
Of course I couldn't move the whole thing by myself, it's too heavy,  I had to decant the drawers first.  Then I could move the dresser away from the windows to get a step ladder behind.

So far so good.  But when I started cleaning I realised how grubby the curtains were.  I didn't have time to do the curtains on Wednesday as we were going to visit my daughter for dinner so I left the dresser where it was until yesterday.

My husband was very bemused when he got home to find the bedroom in chaos.

Yesterday I tackled the curtains but from my viewpoint at the top of the step ladder I could see how much dust had accumulated on the top of the built in wardrobes.  Where does all the dust come from?!

In our case it's the one disadvantage of living opposite an open common.  When it's dry the dust just blows straight across and soon we will have all the leaves from the trees blowing in too.  A small price to pay really for the lovely outlook.

Anyway I managed to get the curtains down, washed, dried and put back up and order restored before hubby came home.  I took a chance and put the curtains in the tumble dryer and they survived.  I worked on the basis that we've had the curtains a long time and if they got ruined in the dryer it wouldn't be a total disaster if we had to get new ones.  But fortunately they were fine and I was here to get them straight out of the dryer and rehung so no ironing required!  I also dealt with the dust bunnies on the wardrobes.

Today I think I'm going to hibernate as my body is protesting after all the activity of the last couple of days but oh wait, I have to get ready for the Jumble Trail!  Ever feel like you're chasing your tail?