Monthly Archives: December 2017

Christmas Eve.

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So here we are on the Eve of Christmas and I hope you have all made it relatively unscathed!  Here at Susie’s World we have got all the jobs done; the house is clean (for the moment!), everyhing in sight has been washed and ironed (!), Treacle has been brushed (!), all the food is prepped and the table set.  We just have to put out our offerings for Santa Claus and the Reindeer and we are ready for Christmas.  It has been a very busy December but I can honestly say it has all worked well.  Eldest and Girlfriend have been here for the afternoon and DH and Youngest have just left for the Carols round the Tree and I have a few hours of quiet to get dinner ready tonight. 

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Over the last month I have had quite a few new Followers join us, so I would like to say Thank You and Welcome and I hope you all have a lovely Christmas.

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We went to the wedding last night and saw the family which was lovely.  The theme had been copper and the candelabras’ were made from copper pipes!  The Bridesmaid dresses were copper coloured and looked lovely.  Unfortunately I did not get a very good picture of the bride and groom although you can see the bride below.  We had a great evening catching up with the family and didn’t get home until 1.00am.

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As you can see Treacle is taking advantage of her new bed and catching 40 winks whenever she can.  As we are all at home she is up and about all day and not getting her usual 18 hours of sleep so by the time we go to bed she is about on her knees!

I hope your Christmas Eve will be a wonderful time and don’t forget to search the sky looking for Santa and his sleigh. 

Christmas Hugs & Ho Ho Ho, Susie xx

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Two Days Left!

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Mom when is Santa Paws coming?  Soon Treacle in fact he will be visiting all good Doggies in Two Days Time!!!!! 

Yes only two days to go and I was at the farm shop this morning at 7.45am to get our meat order and a few other bits.  I was back home by 8.30am having got it all done and paid for and driven home.  Which means that I have now done all the food shopping and if there is something they want and I don’t have, well they will have to wait until I go shopping again at the end of next week. There have been various reports on the radio of traffic jams at the supermarkets and shopping centres and long queues on the motorways as people are getting to where they need to be for Christmas.  I am really happy that tomorrow we can close the front door and don’t have to travel anywhere.

148203-Christmas-Saturday-SnoopyToday I am getting the last house jobs finished, Treacle has had a good brush (!), the last little bits of washing and ironing to be done and all will be ready.  Tonight we are at the wedding and tomorrow Eldest and Girlfriend are coming for lunch and then DH and Youngest are out in the evening as DH is compering “Carols Round The Tree” in Belper market place.  It is organised by the churches in the area and we think they do this on Christmas Eve to stop people going to the pubs and drinking!!!

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In between all this tomorrow, I am hoping to get into my sewing room (Eldest’s Room) for a while and get some more work done on Evalyn’s quilt.  After finishing the Christmas presents I had a quick tidy up, putting cotton away that I had been using.  After Evalyn’s quilt, I am going to be working on a few small UFO’s I have and then I am going to get into my scrap box and sort them out. 

It is a Clip box and full of scraps, so  having seen lots of scrap quilts over this year that people have done I feel that that should be my next quilt to plan.  Susan sent me some wonderful fabric, which I will take a better picture of, for a quilt backing and I am going to use that for the back of this scrap quilt.  She was very kind to send it me as she knows how expensive quilting fabric is in the UK, which is why I tend to buy quite a bit of fabric when it is on sale or at shows as they tend to be a little less expensive there.

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We will be watching on Christmas Day evening the “Victoria” Christmas special as Youngest is hopefully in it.  They filmed it in July of course with fake snow and for this part he is a Grounds Keeper pulling a cart full of Christmas trees as Queen Victoria goes past in her carriage so we are hoping to see him.  The second series has been released on DVD so we have bought that for us to watch over Christmas too.

DH and the Boys want me to do some more baking which I will do but not until after Christmas now.  I love to bake but only when I have plenty of time and don’t like to be rushed so I will be doing that next week.  We are also planning on taking Treacle out for a long walk after Christmas too.  It doesn’t look like we will be getting a white Christmas as it has turned milder over the last  few days but it is getting colder again towards the end of the week but definitely no snow 😦

I hope everyone has a Wonderful Winter Saturday and the last preparations for Christmas go well.

Christmas Hugs,

Susie xx

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It’s Friday!

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Not only is it Friday but it is also the last Friday before Christmas and 3 days left to Christmas.  DH has finally finished work although there are still some Scrooges out there sending emails and working to the bitter end and will no doubt be back at work on the 27th but I refuse to let these people take away my Christmas spirit (and no not the alcoholic kind either!)

I have been naughty and opened a present which I probably should have saved for Christmas but couldn’t wait as it has come from our friends in the US!  Susan has sent us some lovely Christmas gifts and I can show you a few here.

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As you can see she sent me some wonderful presents.

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Treacle got some tennis balls that belonged to Susan’s family when they played tennis, how wonderful is that.  Also DH got a spill proof travel mug as he is always out and about.

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She also sent me these lovely quilted snowflake Christmas mats which I will use all year, not just for Christmas.

I have sent her an email to thank her for all our lovely Christmas gifts, we are so lucky.

Visitors take photos amongst the prehistoric stones of the Stonehenge monument at dawn on Winter Solstice, near Amesbury

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In all the talk about Christmas I completely missed the fact that yesterday was the Shortest Day or Winter Solstice.  The above picture was taken at Stonehenge in Salisbury at Dawn by Toby Melville of Reuters News.  Lots of people gather to welcome the Dawn on this day and June 21st, the Longest Day.  I must admit I did not notice how short the day was yesterday as here in the UK it was very dull and grey so the lights were on all day at home. 

I have collected my deli order today and the rest of the shopping arrived at 10.00am so tomorrow I just have to collect our meat order and then that will be it, I will not be shopping for over a week for food or anything else.  Of course there are some mad people who are Scrooges in a way that will be out at the shops on Boxing Day (December 26th) for the sales!  When we were little the shops closed on Christmas Eve at lunch and did not open until at least December 29th now they are only closed for one day and it really makes me sad.  If the stores didn’t open then people could not go but people go because the stores are open so a catch 22, but I think it really is awful that people cannot spend more than one day with their families without going out and shopping!  Sorry Christmas rant over!!!

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DH and Youngest were out at swimming last night so Treacle and I had an early night!  As you can see she was in snuggle mode!!  The head turned and ear’s listening was because they were just coming in the door.

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Here is Treacle with one of her new tennis balls from Susan.

Today I have a few house jobs left to do that I need help from DH and the last bits of washing and ironing and then it is all done and ready for a visit from Santa Claus and Christmas to arrive.  Tomorrow evening we are at the wedding of DH’s Cousin’s son and the weather is supposed to be mild and overcast but not raining.  I will get some pictures to show you.  Christmas Eve I am not doing anything!  Well may be read my book or watch a film or generally be lazy!! I will just set the table for Christmas Day.

I hope all your plans are going well for Christmas.

Christmas Hugs, Susie xx

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Thursday Thoughts.

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Good Morning everyone and I hope that you are all enjoying these last few days in the run up to December 25th and you are not too frantic.  The news in the UK are trying to whip everyone up into a frenzy of “the last days to shop” and “chaos on the roads” and all phrases like that which I think just make people worse than they already are and instead of being nice and pleasant and even happy they become more awful!  At the supermarket I said to the cashier “thank you and Merry Christmas” and he had an astonished look on his face, I suspect everyone else who had gone through his check-out had been miserable but the only people you make miserable by doing this is yourself.

Last night DH was out at one of the company’s we work for their Christmas dinner and Youngest was out coaching at the swimming club so I took the chance to get the chocolate log made and the Christmas cake iced. 

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Here is the log with a dusting of “snow” and put well out of the way of madam!

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Who me?  I would never eat anything that wasn’t mine, I never counter surf!

Yes well I am sorry Treacle we don’t believe you and a few years ago the chocolate log crumbs that were left on the cake board were proof you ate it!

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Here is the Christmas Cake and I told you it would look no different to previous years lol!  The snowman and Santa Claus I bought when DH and I were first together, so they are 31 years old!!!!  Now the challenge will be to stop DH and the Boys from trying to eat this until after Christmas Eve!

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As you can see Treacle has retired to her bed in a snit and decided to have forty winks before her lunchtime biscuit!

Tonight DH and Youngest will be at the swimming club, again, which is our main swimming night and Youngest is coaching for three hours as one of our other Coaches is out at a work event.  I have house jobs to do today with strict instructions from both Boys NOT to go out as they are awaiting parcels which they hope will be delivered today.  Our neighbour from across the road has also asked if I am in all day as he would like me to take delivery of a parcel too!  So not only do I run a Chinese laundry and a bakery I am now the local post office!  If only I got paid for doing all this.

Happy Thursday everyone and just think this time next week it will all be over for another year!!!! (I don’t mean it really I love Christmas and am sad when it is over oh and by the way I hate New Year!)

Christmas Hugs, Susie xx

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It’s Wednesday and Five Days To Go!

Five days to go and everyone seems to be going into overdrive.  Now if you followed my planner then hopefully you are all serene and, can I say, slightly smug?  But if you are now running round like that headless chicken STOP!  Christmas Day and the festive season is about family and friends and that is the important thing not that you have the latest must have food on the table or the best decorated house/tree/table.  Do what you can and if someone moans on the day that there isn’t a particular thing to eat tell them tough and the shops will be open the next day and they can go and buy it!!!!

Talking about the table how do you set yours for Christmas Day?  We always eat in the evening and this came about from when the Boys were little.  They always had breakfast at home, took sandwiches and things for lunch to school and we had dinner as a family every evening, so if you tried to feed them their main meal at lunchtime they really didn’t like it and never ate much.  On Christmas day we have hot chocolate/tea in the morning and mince pies whilst opening the presents, at lunch they have what they call nibbly bits (sausage rolls, quiches, satay sticks etc) and we then have Christmas dinner at about 5.00pm. 

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Here is our Christmas Table set for six of us and a one year old in a high chair at one end.  Unlike a normal dinner party when you have  more glasses on the table and often more flatware I try to minimise the amount of things on the table as there are more people and dishes.  So one glass each, depending on what people are drinking, knives and forks for the main meal and flatware for dessert (we don’t have a starter). 

If you have small children but would like candles on the table it is best to use tea lights in holders, if you have older children or only adults then proper dinner candles look lovely.  We always have Christmas crackers on the table, although I think they are the only thing I hate about Christmas.  I find them superfluous and hate the things in them but the children (even now they are older) love them.  I have, in the past, had the crackers where you put your own gift in, but having bought gifts for everyone finding something the right size to go in a cracker is just annoying so have not done that since!

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Here is our table set for just four and as you can see you can have more on the table.   It is a family tradition from when I was little and one which I have carried on with the Boys and DH, is a table present.  It always adds a little surprise, especially for guests, and is never very expensive but I try and get something specifically for everyone at dinner. 

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Our table set just for three which was Christmas Eve a few years ago and again more things on the table and a different candle holder.  As you can tell I love a white cloth on the table for Christmas with white napkins but obviously red is popular but again there are no hard and fast rules.  I think I use white because my Grandmother always did in her home.

Some people always have fresh flowers on their table for Christmas Day which is fine if you can find good fresh flowers at this time of year.  A lot, certainly in the UK, are imported and do not last very long so if you would like fresh flowers do not buy them until Christmas Eve.

However you dress your table for the big day it will look lovely and magical and that really is the point.

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Eldest called round this morning to see me and collect some gifts he had had delivered here instead of their place (Girlfriend is terrible with parcles arriving!) and had tea and mince pies with me (DH is still trolling around the countryside this morning and at one of his Christmas Lunches this afternoon).  Of course Eldest couldn’t resist going to wake his brother up, who had been at the swimming club last night coaching.  I did warn him not to poke the bear but he did anyway so there was a lot of shouting and laughing, they still behave the same way as when they were six and ten!!!!  When he left I got the rest of my work finished so that should hopefully be it now for the rest of the week with everyone winding down to the Christmas holidays, saying that I did have forty emails to deal with this morning!!! 

Tonight I am only cooking dinner for Youngest and I, so will be also icing the Christmas cake and doing the Yule Log and show you pictures tomorrow. 

Happy Tuesday Everyone.

Christmas Hugs, Susie xx

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I Braved the Crowds!

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Six days to go and I actually braved the crowds of shoppers today to get the fresh fruit and vegetables we will need for the Big Day.  I first had to return something and thought it would be a mad crush when in fact there was hardly anyone there!  The same goes for the supermarket, there were people shopping but it was not heaving!  So in relative calm I got what I needed.  The weather has not been too bad either today and the fog has gone which was a relief as DH was trolling around the countryside visiting customers.

In fact I managed to get quite a few errands completed today including filling the Jeep up with fuel and getting it washed!

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I think it is getting all too much for Treacle.  This is how I found her this morning at 7.30am after my bath! Completely fast asleep and snuggled. She had gotten up with DH at 5.00am and been out and had breakfast and as soon as he left she came back upstairs, onto our bed and settled down for her morning snooze!

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Tomorrow I will be icing the Christmas Cake and it will look very much the same as this!!!  I always do a snow scene as I can never get the icing completely smooth to do anything else.  My Grandma who taught me to bake and sew was able to get perfectly smooth icing but unfortunately I did not inherit her skills in that regard.  I got a huge basket of ironing done today as well and will be keeping on top of that this week to avoid a massive pile of ironing at the end of the week.  I have a bit of work to do also but then may go and play in the sewing room for a while.

I hope all of your preparations are going well.

Christmas Hugs, Susie xx

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Seven Days To Go!

Yes Seven Days To Go!  Is it helpful to know how many days are left before Christmas or is it getting annoying?  Sometimes I find that it adds too much pressure and other times I am okay with knowing how long it is.  I think it is a little odd this year as December 25th is Monday next week so we have all of this week to go before the Big Day so you can con yourself that you have loads of time left!!!

Today I have been doing my work and getting it finished so I can keep it ticking along this week and then finish on Thursday.  Yes there is still lots of things to do but if they don’t get done then so be it, it doesn’t really matter and I am sure Baby Jesus and Santa Claus will not mind!!!

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Treacle had a very busy weekend so as I have been at my desk all day she has caught up on her sleep.  She has had an early Chrsitmas present with a new quilt inner for her basket by my desk.  The other one was fine but a little thin and you know that she likes to snuggle so we got her a thicker one and here she is on it.

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She loves it and when it beds down a bit I am sure we will have to pry her out of it. 

All our snow has gone now but we are having heavy frosts so everything is very white because of that although we now have thick fog today!!!  Oh good grief how many more different weather systems are we going to have? 

Tomorrow I have to be up early as I have to run some errands and don’t want to get caught up in all the last minute shoppers, I don’t do crowds!  I have all the food for Christmas Day ordered and just have to collect it at the end of the week so don’t have to worry about that.  The jobs on my lists are getting crossed off so I am doing okay but again if they don’t get finished that’s okay.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and things are going well for your Christmases.

Christmas Hugs & Love, Susie xx

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Eight Days To Go!

Yes just eight days left before The Big Day and how are you faring with all the preparations?  As you know all my presents are wrapped and in fact I have delivered all but one to family and friends who we will not see over Christmas.  Our cards have all been posted and I am really enjoying opening our mail in the mornings with all the cards coming back.  Uusually I open the mail every day of the year, incluidng all the bills, so I love it at Christmas opening the cards.

If you love a giggle check out this video on You Tube:

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It is done by the Pets Add Life team and we love it.

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We went to see family yesterday afternoon in Nottingham and also visited DH’s parents grave in the village where he was born and cleaned it and placed the Christmas wreath.  In the evening we were at the Boys’ Godparents for dinner and there was also another couple there who we have also known for over thirty years and we had the most wonderful evening of great conversation, lots of laughs and good food.  We didn’t get home until 1.30am.

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The Cheesy Stars that the Boys love.  The used to take them to school as part of their lunch and their friends loved them, so I ended up making more for them to take for their friends.

Today we have been getting those last jobs done in our home and I have been finishing off the baking and have put mazipan on the Christmas cake.  I will leave it for a couple of days to dry and then ice it. 

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The Christmas cake with the marzipan on it.

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There biscuits I have created and cut out with a Christmas Tree cutter and when they are cool decorated with edible gold glitter.  I will put the recipe for them up tomorrow.  They are orange zest and cinnamon biscuits.

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This is the Cotoneaster in the centre of our garden and as you can see it is full of berries which the Blackbirds are loving.  We have another bird visiting to eat them about the size of the Blackbirds and we think they are Fieldfares but not too sure.  The Blackbirds keep chasing them off but they are managing to get quite a few berries.

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Here is the Fieldfare.

Tomorrow I have a bit of work to do and then I will get on with some sewing and also write a list for the rest of the week and Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day as well as the final food shop at the end of the week.  I have an order in to the deli, an order for the turkey and other meat and the vegetables so only need to get the extras and we are then ready for the big day.

I hope you have had a wonderful Winter Weekend and looking forward to the last week in the run up to Christmas. 

Christmas Hugs, Susie xx

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It’s Saturday!

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It is the second to last Saturday before The Big Day and life is getting busier!!  The Presentation Night went well last night with a few little issues!

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The room before everyone arrived.  DH and I were there from 4.30pm setting up.

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The Trophies, medals etc waiting for the swimmers, all arranged and sorted out by Rachel who did a great job.

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Head Coach Glenn presenting a medal and Rachel helping.

We had changed caterers from last year and the ladies at the venue were doing the food which saved the Committee another job and they had laid out a good spread.  Unfortunately despite telling everyone that they needed a ticket for the evening, for which a nominal charge of £2 is made for the adults (!) ten people and their families turned up on the night, as apparently they were told by someone that they could just turn up on the night!  So although we had added extra numbers on for the catering we ran out of food again!!  Of course the ones who did not eat were The Committee! It finished around 11.30pm and DH and I then packed up our sound/light/disco equipment so it was 12.30am before we left and ended up at the 24 hour McDonalds for dinner!  We are going to come up with a different plan for next year!

I got half of my baking done so far and as fast as I am making it, they are eating it!!!  I have frozen some of the mince pies, cookies and sausage rolls so that I have some for over Christmas.   Otherwise it would be like the washing and ironing (or otherwise know as the Chinese Laudry I run) I would be running a 24 hour baking company!

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I am a messy cook!  You know the old saying “you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”  well I go on the basis that you cannot bake without making a mess!!!  I always clear up afterwards unless DH is around and then he helps!

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The mince pies and Christmas cookies waiting to be baked

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Here they are done and the mince pies dusted with icing sugar.

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Of course I had a little helper in the kitchen all day.  This is when she gets no sleep and is then tired at night!!  She was very attentive in case I spilt anything on the floor.

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As she had been so good and there were no two legged people at home to lick the spoon Treacle helped!  It was an old wooden spoon that was thrown away afterwards!  Of course she was trying to eat the spoon instead of just licking it.

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As you can see there are only 4 left out of the 12 I made!

I still need to make the cheesy stars which they all love and are great for snacks, which I will be leaving a few out and freezing the rest.  Finally I have come up with another idea for some biscuits which I am going to try and make tomorrow and see how they come out, so DH and Youngest will be my guinea pigs!

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This afternoon we are visiting family and tonight going out for dinner which will be lovely to have a relaxing few hours.  Tomorrow I have some final jobs to do around our home before the festive Season begin, the final bits of baking and marzipan and ice the Christmas cake and some final bits of sewing so it will be a busy day all round.  

Next week will be a bit haphazard with some of our clients working full tilt and others winding down for Christmas and there is always one who need their parts just before Christmas, not that they will do anything with them.  We are lucky that most of our clients close for two weeks over Christmas and New Year, including the companies we work with, so we get a nice break.  Youngest finished yesterday for three weeks and I have a few jobs for him to do whilst he is off, tee hee.  DH has two Christmas lunches to go to this week so I will be cooking dinner for just Youngest and I those days but again it will give me time to get some more things done.

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I have completed the three quilted Christmas presents but cannot show you them until after the 25th as they read my blog.  I am still working on Evalyn’s quilt and they are coming to see after Christmas so I am hoping to get it done by then.

I hope everyone has a lovely Weekend.

Hugs, Susie xx

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