September 28, 2008

Family Team Work

It was the first title thought that came into my head this morning as I started to write this weeks blog post!
On the home front, my brood has really pulled together over the past couple of weeks, adapting to my sudden absence as we have moved into a new chapter.
Jemma and Amber are now quite capable of preparing varied meals (that don't come in a packet or tin). Dirty clothes are finding their own way into the laundry basket, they don't get washed otherwise! Archie is now 'extra' affectionate to the younger members of the family, he has cottoned on the fact that they are the ones feeding him at around 5pm! I still get my 6am friendly wake up 'leg weaving' as I stumble towards his biscuit bowl. Craig is becoming a dab hand at picking up the odd top-up grocery shopping, as well as fetching and dropping off the girls when I am not around.
The dust bunnies hiding on the stairs and under furniture generally wait patiently for my day off, as does other housework and ironing of course. Well they wouldn't want to rob me of that privilege would they :D
I shan't bore you with too many details of my own day to day activities at work, except to say that I am enjoying my job and learning something new every day. I really must invest in a good pair of comfy work shoes soon. It has been many years since I worked in retail and the one thing I don't remember too clearly was how sore my feet are at the end of the day! Or is that just because I am not 18 anymore? Thank goodness for Peppermint foot lotion and my soft M&S bunny slippers.
I am now able to 'speed eat' in the 15 minutes we get to 'inhale' our lunch, as it is referred to by one work colleague. Don't think I fancy liquidised salad, but soup and yoghurt are always a good option. I need a quick cup of coffee in the afternoons too, something I haven't done before, as I couldn't get to sleep if I had caffeine after midday.
A little update on the girls.
Amber, fast approaching 15 and the social butterfly, has been making lots of new friends in high school and there seems to be something going on every weekend from movies, school dances to bands playing in basements. She is revelling in all this new found social activity. This week she completed and handed in her Bronze Duke of Ed. and will be getting her certificate in October.
Jemma has so much on her plate in this final year of high school, but seems to be coping well with both extra AP courses. These on-line lessons linked into other schools fill in her 'spares' whereas her friends get to go out to fast food outlets or go home early, she is always working. It will all be worthwhile in the end and she does enjoy the challenge. She also single handedly runs the school campus store and has been busy designing and ordering new merchandise for the winter. Being creative rather than just academic makes for a healthier balance.
Both girls have now got regular babysitting jobs locally, so they are quickly becoming independent and responsible young ladies.
Today is Sunday and we are just relaxing at home as a family. I have promised to make up a batch of turkey burgers, using my special recipe which includes sweet basil, garlic and our own grated courgettes. Always a favourite served with wholewheat buns and a side salad. Then a family movie this afternoon before the predicted power cut! Yes, hurricane 'Kyle' is heading our way this evening with 120km winds! So far we have only had 100km ones which were pretty fierce. I shall have to report any damage in next week's post.
It's calm outside right now, but looks can be deceiving so I'm off to batten down the hatches!
Hazel x

September 21, 2008

A little bit of quirkiness!

My friend Kat tagged me last week, asking for a list of 6 quirky, but fairly ordinary things about myself.
So, in no particular order here goes...
1. I have a 'thing' for painting things, often white, sometimes cream or pale blue. Particularly old furniture that's in need of some TLC. I love the Swedish or Scandinavian decor style, especially when it's a little distressed, simplistic and fresh.
2. I actually enjoy doing my ironing, outdoors preferably if possible in the summertime. I find it calming and the perfect time for creative thoughts.
3. I absolutely 'hate' brussel sprouts, liver and stew - Yuk! Always have, ever since 
those nasty primary school dinners that we were made to eat while some very stern dinner ladies or prefects watched over us.
4. I am gluten intollerent (not Celiac's) and I used to think it was just wheat but it is in cornflour and oats too! Just can't digest the stuff and get the most unbearable tummy cramps if I eat some by mistake. So cakes, biscuits and pasta are a no no for me unfortunately. It's not such a big deal as I love so many other foods and will occasionally treat myself to some 'gluten free' yummies. But not the gluten free bread as it usually resembles a brick!
5. I am a bit of a neat freak (or so I am told) If my house is messy I start to get a tad irate and reach for my rubber gloves or a broom quicker than you can say 'dust bunny'.
6. Cold fingers and toes, yep those extremities of mine struggle to get warm in winter no matter how many layers of clothing I wear. Is that quirky or perhaps a little worrying I wonder?

I don't really like tagging people, or at least not too often but I think my sister Heidi, my friend Kathy (who already has some on her blog) and Lyn might like to take part at some point in the future. I would be interested to read their 6 quirky, but ordinary things about themselves if they feel like sharing them.

Hazel xx

September 15, 2008

Working Girl

There are going to be a few little changes in our family home starting this week, as I now have a new job!
I will be away during the day, working for a lovely family run company called Wheaton's. I believe I have mentioned Wheaton's on previous posts, it is not only a wonderful store but has a great cafe too, one of my favourite places to have lunch with my friends :)
Following a phone call last weekend, an interview on Monday, and then a job offer on Tuesday to start on Friday! It's only early days so I am still in the process of 'settling in' and learning the ropes. An exciting change for me after doing secretarial work from home and helping children with learning difficulties at elementary school. Not forgetting my sewing business of course. I am in a way, stepping out of my 'comfort zone' the time feels right. Saturday was spent in the Christmas room at work (frighteningly early I know) getting familiar with all the gorgeous products, unpacking, stocking up and meeting some lovely people in the process, both work colleagues and customers. It was incredibly busy, with many customers getting a head start on Christmas shopping, so the day seemed to fly by!
With a resourceful husband and two capable teenage daughters (please do take note if you read this girls!) I am sure our 'new' family dynamics at home will work out, with the word 'delegate' featuring a little more in my vocabulary from now on. Being a great one for list writing and planning, it is a challenge I shall relish (I hope?).
My little shop will continue to remain open. I intend to catch up with my 'stitchery' on Sundays, along with all the other jobs around the house. Luckily there is now a descent stock of felt animals waiting with optimistic anticipation of a busy run up to December.
Here on the farm, there has been a lot of 'apple activity' in the orchards this week. Huge piles of crates have been strategically placed ready for the harvesting season. I am sure that both the local and Mexican pickers will soon be swarming among the trees and we will hear that familiar hollow sound of apples hitting wood as well as laughter and chattering, while the crates get filled, ready to be shipped off to various places.
The leaves are turning golden and starting to fall at a rapid rate suddenly. Today there is such a gale blowing that it almost knocked me off my feet early this morning. Despite it being of the warm tropical variety it was incredibly powerful, with a headwind going up the hill and a tailwind practically blowing me home again, just in time to see Craig leave for his day in the office.
Well I shall have to dash now, lists to write and a quick load of washing to hang out, making the most of this perfect laundry weather....
Til next week, I hope you have a good one :)
Hazel xx

September 07, 2008

All good things must come to an end.

After an incredibly long summer break, both girls returned to school on Wednesday. It was eerily quiet with just Archie for company again. At 2.30 the familiar yellow school bus pulled up outside and my two chattering teens tumbled inside, bags and all, with stories to tell and mixed feelings. Amber is no longer in a class with her two good friends, but was pleased to finally be with her big sister in high school. Jemma found her new schedule had been messed up with some of her chosen subjects needing to be sorted out by the guidance councilor. Like many other students, nobody seemed to know exactly what was going on. In other words a normal first day. Thursday and Friday were a little better, with the weekend coming as such a relief that they went to bed early on their own accord, totally exhausted!! That's one good thing about getting up with the birds at 6am.
On the subject of birds, our dear little hummingbird friends seem to be rapidly diminishing. The males, babies and stronger females have already flown off to warmer climates. Left behind are just a few females who will sadly not be able to make the long tiring journey to Mexico. I keep topping up the sugar water feeder with a heavy heart, knowing that when the first frost arrives they will surely die. Nature can be cruel sometimes.
Last weekend was our final 'family day' of the holidays and we headed for Upper Clements Park on an impulse visit, using the 'buy one get one free' vouchers I had cut out from some cereal boxes ages ago. I secretly hoped that they would come in handy. The park is very low key as far as theme parks go (chalk and cheese compared to Universal Studios in Florida!) It has always a fun day out, being relatively close to home, we have visited each summer since we arrived in Nova Scotia.
It seems hard to believe that it is over a year since we took my parents for the day last summer. The only Roller coaster ride in the park has seen better days and I have to admit I felt a little uneasy as it rattled along. It felt like I had left my tummy behind somewhere along the way! The home made fudge is delectable and always worth a little sample (that would be 'after' riding on the roller coaster of course).
Amaretto, vanilla and peanut butter and chocolate flavours, all equally delicious!
We left at 4pm, just in time to see the first drops of rain as a thunder storm blew in, which we managed to out drive all the way home.
Same time next year? Who knows, we will have to wait and see.

Hazel xx