Sunday 21 November 2010

A competition entry

A blog I follow is having a competition, giving folk chance to win a doll. As Little One, Big One and I had a rather random conversation about willies earlier, the chance to have an anatomically correct one around is rather appealing (yes, another doll would have to go to the charity shop if we were lucky enough to be chosen!), and I can believe they are nicer to look and feel in real life than what they look like on the web.
Merry's blog is listed down on the right, but here's the link to the particular entry:

Christmas is starting!

So last week it was the tree, this week its gifts. Robin over at the HCA posed a question on facebook, which prompted me to finally decide what we might be giving, and put together a photo :
a bought basket ( next year I hope at least one of us can learn to make a basic basket) my horse-chestnut bowl, a few jars of preserves and possibly a spatula, spoon-tula or maybe even a spoon. Our first Christmas gifts are finally wrapped! I've only got as far as carving my own spatula though, DH learned the rest and when we get chance he's sharing his learning.
He's only one more week until he 'retires' and becomes fully devoted to home life and home educating.
He managed to fit in some baking this week- all I did was eat the results! Fabulous cheese scones, but he wants to improve on them. I'll look forward to another batch, these were definately good enough for me.

Last week there was a very important birthday. I won't share the resulting mess, despite asking for no 'Things' we'd have to consider packing. It could have been much worse, but I feel children just don't Need Things- hugs and time with family and friends are more important right now.
A very talented friend made and decorated a wonderful cake as gift- the cake didn't last long but the figures were worth an extra photo, even once the cake had gone.

I was rushing to finish this, and nearly forgot the Elderberry liqueur! Its been regularly agitated- I'm sure I've found new muscles for hefting that huge jar from the top shelf- but apparently its now ready for bottling. I have a suspicion its meant to be left now until next year, but we'll be giving it away this Christmas and then its up to the recipients. I tried a small sample now, and its alright, certainly more drinkable than the tincture, though I don't enjoy alcohol particularly so I'm not the best judge of these things.

Friday 19 November 2010

A Lovely Day

For once we didn't have appointments or social obligations  on my day off work, and I didn't have a huge list of tasks I felt I had to drag the girls through.
So, we painted pictures. We made bread dough - its sourdough so DH will get to bake it tomorrow. Our house temperature means it takes about 24 hrs to prove. We made a huge den. We did lots of washing up and a couple of loads of washing-even had some washing pegged out. We did lots of colouring in, trying out various birthday gifts that Big One recieved . We tried asking for nothing, but that didn't go down so well, so we asked that Big One was given painting/colouring things, thankfully these things pack down small, but we still haven't found places for everything to go. We visited a neighbour to loan a book ( The The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts are Bad for Business) and the girls were amazingly silent until the protests about time to leave started.
We walked to the park and played in the mist. It's been a lovely autumn day today, though not good for drying washing!  Little One seems to be dropping her nap on family days, but she did ask for the Slinga-licious mei tai sling to carry her home from the park.
We managed fairly well without tantrums ( that's the major achievement) to tidy up each activity before getting too involved with the next. We just haven't the space to leave everything out.
We even had a proper tea- roast  organic lamb ( from friends farm just along the valley), gravy, rice and carrots and squash. The sweet potato might be cooked now, it wasn't ready at teatime!
I thought a few times throughout the day about getting some photos, but we were far too busy living today to break the flow and find the camera to record some of it.

Christmas landed in our house last weekend- we have our tree up. Historically I used to decorate for Hallowe'en, then Christmas started the 1st November. But then babies came along! Big One asked one year to decorate the tree on her birthday, but now it just normally happens after her birthday. I really enjoy the build up to Christmas. Thankfully we don't have a TV so the adverts don't drive us mad, and Christmas shopping normally happens in the January sales (apart from this year) so we've just gift making and card making to do. DH is completely bah humbug about it all- he might get me a gift Christmas Eve, or perhaps not!
We haven't yet decided where we'll do Christmas Day, but I don't think we've the space to invite family over. The lack of TV and comfortable chairs is also an effective deterrant... I wonder if we might have Christmas just us. We've not tried that yet.

I have finally started to learn some new carving techniques from DH, after his spoon carving course. I have made a couple of spatulas, but I really would like to get some more practice.
I've nearly finished a willow bowl I started a month or two ago. A forum I'm on has a spoon knife set being passed around, and its got to my turn. Duncan has made some really nice knives, and I'm really enjoying using one of them in particular. Its working well for improving the shape and depth I get to the bowl, especially as I'm not really using my carving horse, and learning to hold my bowls without slicing chunks off my fingers.

I'm slowly working on contacting potential WWOOF hosts for our Big Trip next year. Suddenly April seems very close, and I need to also book the various camps and festivals we've decided to fit into our 6 month expedition around the UK.

Coughs, colds and various bugs seem to multiply in our house, so we've turned the heating on to see if being less damp and more warm might avoid some bugs, and with help from the plumber we even have heat in the bedroom, as of yesterday.
I think that's about it, really. After we've got them to bed I'll see about some photos.