Monthly Archives: December 2017

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

The Sounds & Smells of Christmas!

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I am sure the way technology advances we will one day be able to “smell” various good things through our computers but I wish I could all show now how wonderful our Christmas Tree smells in the morning when I come down.  I don’t know if it is because it is near our radiator in the sitting room but it has a wonderful pine smell and I love it.  We always had a real tree at home and so we have continued this tradition since DH and I have been together.  I know a lot of people prefer artificial trees as they don’t shed needles and you can have them out longer but I would really miss the smell of the real tree.

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When we were at Chatsworth they had quite a few bowls around of pot pourri which smelt of cinnamon, oranges and spice which always reminds me of Christmas and Winter.  I have a Yankee Candle for the kitchen which are those very same spices and I just love having it lit.

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I love going round the stores at the moment as they are all playing Christmas music, some of which are the usual Christmas pop records and also the cheesy Christmas songs but I have also heard quite a few playing Choral music which certainly has a calming affect on people.  They seem to be getting into the manic/panic mode at the moment so generally I am staying away from shops and crowds!

I had one of those days yesterday so retired to bed early as I felt it was the best place to be and it did not take long for Treacle to find out where I had gone.  She loved the fact I was there and cuddled up to me and was solid gone!!!  She only moved when DH came in at 9.45pm and then reluctantly!!! 

I am keeping up to date with my work, work which is great and I am slowly getting other jobs completed too.  I have almost finished the quilted Chrsitmas presents which I need to get done for this weekend and I will then be finishing Evalyn’s quilt.  They are coming to us after Christmas now so I should be able to get it done, finished and washed by then.

I hope you are having a Terrific Tuesday.

Hugs, Susie xx

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Chatsworth at Christmas!

DH and I went to Chatsworth House on Saturday to see the Christmas decorations.  Each year they have a theme and this year is Mr Charles Dickens.  Chatsworth is not too far from where we live but to add to the fun it snowed overnight and there are a few hills to get there, so we took the long main road way round to be safe.

Warning : Picture Heavy Post!

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Looking across Chatsworth from the House entrance.

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The entrance with books everywhere.

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The hallway from the entrance and more books and alphabet swags.

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The following are actually the outside windows which had been covered and then filled from outside with goods as shop windows. 

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The Haberdashery window (you knew I would have to get a picture of this!)

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The Butchers window  with the prize turkey from “A Christmas Carol”

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IMG_0938The Doorway to Scrooge & Marley

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In the Family Chapel

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These three pictures are Christmas Trees created by the various departments that run Chatsworth.

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In another hallway the houses lit and unlit which are made of pages of books and standing on books.

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Scrooge being visited by one of the Ghosts and his Christmas Tree (it looks a little too big for Scrooge’s Tree!)

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One of the Staircases with pictures of the Duke’s family with a hologram of the Ghosts which DH described as very “Harry Potter-ish”!  Another tree at the staircase

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The Great Hall and one of the many trees.

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Mr Dickens I presume?

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The main tree in the Great Hall

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Hanging decorations into the Great Hall.

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Looking down into the Great Hall.

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The tree at the top of the Grand Staircase.

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My favourite room of any home but especially Chatsworth, The Library.

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I could quite happily stay in this room for the whole of Christmas and never move anywhere else!

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One of the Bedrooms made up as Fagan’s Hangout

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The Tree in the anti-Library

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Which was covered in sewing notions and button garlands and watches and it was great.

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More books!

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The Dining Room was dressed from Great Expectations

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In the Sculpture Hall the trees were all dressed in white but because of the blue lighting they all glowed blue.

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Scrooge seeing the error of his ways vows to keep Christmas in his heart all year, which I think we all should try and do.

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The famous Chatsworth Lions either side of the door

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This reminded us of Treacle asleep!

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I hope you enjoyed a tour of the House with us.  It was lovely to see all the decorations and as the tickets were timed we actually got to see everything without people pushing and shoving!

As we were going to Staffordshire in the evening for the swimming competition we decided to call on Fliss, Lee, Evalyn and Owen as they live on the way to the event and deliver their Christmas gifts.

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As we were quite high in the Peak District it was very snowy.

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Evalyn Dec 2017

As you can see they are not excited about Christmas at all!!!!!!

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We spent two hours with these two, who were hyper to say the least, with still two weeks to go!!  I don’t envy Mom and Dad!!!  We got to the swimming pool at 5.00pm as it was due to start at 6.00pm and the pool was quite small and not much car parking but we were first in the queue.  There were six teams and we were swimming against them as they were the top ones of our division and it was the final round. 

DH and I sat at the front and could see all the action and our team.  Behind us were two women who were from one of the rival teams who were nearest to us in points in the league.  There were 50 events and from event 1 these two women were SCREAMING the names of every swimmer, including all of those in the relays, of which there were several.  The two other ladies sitting next to us glanced our way and raised their eyes!  By the end of event 10 I would have loved to have throttled them or slapped them or both!  I am all for supporting the teams but they were screaming bordering on screeching!!!  As the event progressed our team and their team were neck and neck but at the end we won!!!  I know you are not supposed to be but I was very happy we did and for all their hooting and hollering they didn’t!!

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Here is our Pennant for winning.

We got home at 9.30pm very tired but having had a lovely day!

How was your weekend?

Hugs, Susie xx

The View from My Kitchen Window This Morning!

This is the view from my kitchen window this morning!  Yes it snowed over night, is still snowing now, and it covered the garden.

Treacle has been out in it and we just about managed to get her back in (I will show you some photographs and hopefully a little video of her later!). 

Winter is here!

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On with the baking now!

Hugs, Susie x

Sixteen Days To Christmas!

16 Days To Christmas!

Has that sent you into panic mode?  Hopefully if you have used my planner you are well on your way to an organised Christmas but if not don’t worry you can still get it all done in the two weeks and two days left!!!  You will just have to scale it all down and here is my relevant page of the planner to help you get it all done in time for Christmas Eve.

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I love this time of year when the mail arrives, unlike the usual slew of bills, you get lots of cards so I actually enjoy opening the mail!!!  The cards are starting to come thick and fast now and I mailed ours out on Tuesday of this week.  Speaking of mail our last posting dates in the UK for mail to arrive by Christmas are :

Wednesday December 20th 2017 for Second Class Post

Thursday December 21st 2017 for First Class Post

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This is Sunday’s job this week, Christmas baking.  Of course keeping DH, the Boys and Treacle away from the end results will be the biggest challenge!!  Tomorrow our visit to Chatsworth House to see Christmas there.  I will take lots of pictures for you.

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It’s all getting a bit much for Treacle as she is missing out on her sleep during the day as there is too much going on!  She is quite nosy so if you are busy doing something she is there with you and of course I am busy at the moment so by bed time she is exhausted!  Please note that she is in the middle of our bed and almost the length of it and grumbles mightly when you get in or disturb her!!

I hope you have had a lovely, productive week and have a Wonderful Winter Weekend.

Hugs, Susie xx

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#TBT!

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Quite a long #TBT today, sorry.  In 2006 when the Boys were eleven and seven we took them to Lapland to see Santa.  We loved all the trips we have taken with the Boys but this was a really special one. 

The above picture is the greeting we received at the Lappish village in the Ylläs area of Lapland.  The whole area is lit by candles and fires and there is only electricity in the main cabin in the area where we ate.  The best part was when we arrived at the airport there was snow, lots and lots of snow!

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Eldest and DH

The whole day was a whirlwind of exciting activites.  The Boys got to ride snowmobiles on their own which they absolutely loved, we got to go for a long ride by husky dog sleds, they did tobogganing  but the best bit was the reindeer sleigh ride to visit Santa in his cabin in the woods, through the snow.  It was truly magical.

 

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DH and Youngest.

It was snowing the whole day we were there which is why the pictures look a little strange and of course they do not get much daylight up there at this time of year so it was dark for all but one hour of the day. 

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Our Reindeer and sleigh to go and see Santa.

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The Boys waiting outside to see Santa.

Santa was lovely to the Boys and had their letters all there and was busy discussing with them what they would like for Christmas.  They were blown away that he had their letters actually there.

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We had a traditional Lappish dinner in the cabin but the Boys just wanted to be outside in the snow, so didn’t get around to making Christmas decorations or icing Christmas cookies. All through the day you could get snacks of hot sausages cooked on the open fires and tea, coffee and hot chocolate to drink.

They got a gift from Santa of a lovely cuddly Reindeer each and on the aeroplane home we all got Certificates as we had crossed the Artic Circle!

IMG_0640This was taken just before we left and as you can tell we are all very wet from the snow and very tired but it really was a magical trip.  We got back to the hotel in the evening and had something to eat and fell into bed and didn’t get up until midday the next day!

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One of the open cooking fires.

It is the visit the Boys always talk about even now at 22 and 18. 

Today is house job day and tomorrow I have some errands to run but I am keeping up to date with my lists and jobs.  I hope you are having a Thrilling Thursday.

Hugs, Susie x

The Christmas Wednesday Wag Week 1.

It has been a very busy few weeks and Mom has been one of those Whirling Dervishes getting lots done.  In fact I have not been able to get my normal 18 hours of sleep that I usually get at this time of year. 

She has been cleaning up a storm in the house including my beds, she has washed everything in sight and lots of things have been wrapped and written.  I am tired just watching her.

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So I have had to catch my fourty winks whenever I can and at the moment it is usually when Mom is in the sewing room when she is sitting down!

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It is sometimes very noisy in there as her machine is going alot when she is sewing.  She also has her DVD player on and at the moment she is watching the various Seasons of “Bones”.

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After a while I still go to sleep even with all the noise, a little dog just has to have her beauty sleep.

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This was last night and nothing was stirring not even a mouse!!!! Mom was hand sewing and it was very quiet.  Dad and Youngest were out at swimming so it was just Mom and I and even the DVD playing did not disturb me!  I had been for a walk with Dad yesterday morning when he dropped his truck off for a service and then they were both in for the rest of the day so I was up and about.  Therefore I was really, really tired last night.  In fact when Mom went to bed I went with her and spent some time snuggling with her before Dad came to bed.

I have done my list for Santa and am ready to put my stocking out for him on Christmas Eve, it really is getting very Christmassy.

I hope you are having a Seasonal Woofy Wednesday.

Treacle