Monthly Archives: December 2017

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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Christmas A Long Time Ago #FBF.

As #TBT was busy yesterday with quilting (!) I thought we could do #FBF (Fling Back Friday!) and talk about Christmas long, long ago.  Well not that long ago, but when I was little.

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Okay perhaps not as long ago as this, but it is what Christmas is about.  As a family we went to church every week and even more in the run up to Christmas.  On a Sunday we attended Church as a family and then I went to Sunday school after the service and then my Dad would come and collect me to go home for lunch.  I loved the Christmas services, especially the carols which were always easier to sing than most of the hymns and Sunday school was always fun at Christmas decorating the church for Christmas and doing the Nativity, although I always seemed to be the Angel Gabriel (my Mom said I was playing against type; I don’t know what she meant!!!!)

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Dad, Mom and I always decorated the house for Christmas usually the first Friday in December.  We had a tree in the sitting room and my Dad absolutely loved the Christmas lights, which is probably where I get it from.  We had lights above the window (there was a shelf above the curtain rail) and they were covered carriages with lights in and they looked wonderful standing there.  There were lights around the windows on the inside  in our hall which looked lovely from the outside.  One year my Dad bought this gaudy Santa face inside a ring of coloured lights which flashed on and off very fast!  My Mom banished it to the hall where we only saw it when we walked through!!!  Our dining room was decorated with holly from the garden and pine cones and the table was set with the best china, cutlery and crystal glasses.

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We always went to Church on Christmas Eve for Nine Lessons and Carols at 6.00pm and then for Morning Serivce on Christmas Day.  Fortunately the Church was not far from where we lived so if it was snowy we always walked with my Grandparents and Great Grandma. 

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Christmas Day was always spent at my Grandparents home which again was not far from where we lived so we always walked.  Their dining room had this lovely dark wood furniture and there was always a fire in the fire place with candles in the windows which overlooked the garden.  We sat round the table like above and I always sat on a stool so I was the right height to eat at the table. 

My Mom worked, which was unusal when I was growing up in the 1970’s, but I had my Grandma and Grandad who looked after me during the school holidays and I got to help out with the Christmas preparations.  We usually finished school a full week before Chritmas but it was a busy week.  We always had goose for Christmas dinner and my Grandma would pluck it herself.  She had a sitting room off the kitchen and we would close the doors and she would pluck and I would pick the feathers up and put them into bags for stuffing pillows.  The whole room was filled with feathers but I have never had an allergy to anything like that!

Grandma also let me help with making the mince pies and finishing the Christmas cake off and making the chocolate log which was great fun and how I learnt to bake.  We would also sew stockings and Christmas ornaments during the day and I got roped in to helping with the big clean before Christmas, including the polishing of the silver and brass ware.

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Although we lived near the city we were involved with the local community through the Church and occasionally went Carolling in Christmas week, along with helping at the Christmas events at Church including the Fair selling baked goods, homemade items, Christmas cards and holly wreaths.

Christmas morning Santa had delivered the gifts to my stocking by the fireplace in our sitting room and we would stay in PJs and Dad would make cups of tea whilst I opened my gifts.  We had gifts round the tree which were opened after Christmas lunch.  We would then walk to Grandma and Grandad’s for Christams lunch around 1.30pm and then we opened gifts there.  We then played board games, my favourite was Monopoly and I was always the dog, and as I got older and better at spelling we played Scrabble.  We always had Christmas tea about 7.00pm of a piece of Christmas cake or a mince pie and tea to drink, by which time I was usually scooted off to bed, but as I got older we would watch a movie in the evening and about 9.00pm Grandma would offer to get anyone any snacks and an alcoholic drink!  We usually got to bed around 11.00pm having had a wonderful family Christmas. 

Boxing day in the UK was very much a day when everyone just chilled, people ate when they wanted out of the fridge which was stuffed with food.  We always took the dogs for a long walk and then came back for hot chocolate by the fire and then we would play another board game or cards or I would take myself off to my Grandma’s small sitting room and read one of my many books I had been given for Christmas.

Sadly the family Christmases got smaller as my family passed but when I met DH, who has a large family, I was very much welcomed into it and got back to those family Christmases and I have tried very hard to continue our traditions when our Boys were born.

Anyway sorry for the long post today but I hope you liked the little trip down my Christmas Memory Lane!

We have the swimming club Presentation Evening tonight which will finish around 11.30pm but our Head Coach has decided not to have two weeks off at Christmas now only one, which means they are all supposed to be at swimming tomorrow morning at 7.00am!!!  Youngest is coaching but I suspect here won’t be many there!

Tomorrow we are visiting family in Nottingham during the day and in the evening we are going to the Boys’ Godparents for dinner, as we won’t get to see them over Christmas, can’t wait.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Christmas Hugs & Love

Susie xx

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A Quilting Post!

Now don’t faint, a post about quilting, I know amazing!!!  Also it is not another Christmas post well there my be a little Christmas at the end!

I can now show you the second of my super secret quilts I made as it has been finished and sent off and they have received it.  In April I sent Sue and Molly a quilt, well someone else I met, through our blogs is Susan (yes there are no Susans around these days but there are three of us in Quilting Blogland!!!) and because of one thing and another I wanted to send her a quilt.

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This is the front of the quilt.  I always end up taking pictures at night and in our kitchen!!  Anyway DH is helping with the fingers at the top of the quilt! 

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I did a free motion quilting all over and it went lovely and crinkly after the wash.

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This is the back which I love.  The white material has little bees all over and I love it and I’m going to try and find some more of it.  I also used it for the edge.

 

I also sent a bandana for Susan’s dog, Tara, which is the same as Treacle’s and Molly’s so they are now triplets!

Anyway Susan loved the quilt and a few other things I put in.  I meant to send it at the same time as I sent Sue & Molly’s but life got in the way (!) but at least Susan got it before Christmas and you could say it is an early Christmas gift (see I got Christmas in there!!!!)

I have house jobs to do today and errands to run tomorrow.  It was snowing again last night but it didn’t last as it turned to rain but I am glad as I have been worrying a little bit about Youngest.  He passed his driving test at the beginning of this year, which is great, but this is the first time he has been driving in the snow and ice so everytime he sets off my heart is in my mouth!!!!  Hey ho.

I hope you are having a Thrilling Thursday.

Hugs, Susie xx

The Christmas Wednesday Wag 2 Take 2!

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I’m Back for Round 2 and Mom is helping me so she hopes this works.

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Here I am on Saturday morning in the snow!

Mom thinks it is best that everyone starts at 25 seconds as that is the funny bit otherwise at the start you will see me at my ablutions!  Sorry!!

The snow got a little deeper over the day and night but it has all gone now!  We may get some more and I would love to have some really deep snow but at least we had a little bit for me to play in.  Thank you to Youngest for sending Mom the picture and video!

Woof, Treacle

The Christmas Wednesday Wag 2!

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Welcome to Week 2 of The Wednesday Wag.  There are hopefully going to be some pictures and possibly a video of me in the snow at the weekend but it may be a bit later, because Mom says she has discovered a new species!

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This new species is called “EMC” and is a sloth like creature.  It does not appear from its layer until about 11.00am and when it does it goes straight to its food source.  Now obviously most species are up and have had their breakfast way before this but not the “EMC”.  It makes itself a huge bowl of cerel with cold milk and also its dinner from the night before (tuna fish bake and peas), eating both meals at once.  It then returns to its layer to digest its meals before any thought of cleaning itself or doing any of the jobs it promised its mother it would do!!!!!!!!!!

(For all of you who are now thoroughly confused the “EMC” is my Eighteen year old Man/Child known as Youngest – but all the rest of it is true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The above picture is from the Look4ward website and is actually an octopus who lives at extreme depths which sort of also resembles Youngest – MOM!)

Mom says hopefully Youngest will send her the pictures and video of me in the snow and she will be able to add them on later. 

I hope you are having a lovely Woofy Christmas Wednesday, I am dreaming of Santa Paws leaving me some lovely Presents on Christmas.

Woof, Treacle