April 28, 2009

Hands on deck

It's been almost a year since we built the deck on the back of the house and the wood has had plenty of time to cure. Craig started painting the trellis panels, whilst I tackled the spindles. After whizzing into town with Amber to pick up her boyfriend, I returned home to find Craig had been doing a little 'experimental painting', using a quick method of spray painting the trellis (bad idea!) Spray painting trellis can be a messy business he discovered. I offered to take over, with the meticulous but tedious stippling approach instead. After finishing two panels my arm felt like lead and the sun was going down, so I decided to call it a day. I will endevour to try to pick up where I left off in a couple of days or so. Both girls are off to a school Toga party tomorrow, so will be dancing the evening away in white dresses or sheets.
I may delay publishing this post so I can upload a photo of them before they leave. Next day....
The girls opted for white dresses
I can report this week that our raccoon visitors it seems, will NOT be taking up residence in our barn this year - Yay!! This is mainly due to some advanced planning by Craig. He put a radio up in the roof, which constantly plays the local station. The station's current promotional jingle is "We play..... everything" I personally think 'anything' might be a better word to use! I wonder where they dig up some of the songs, and am embarrassed to say that I remember them all so well too!! They seem rather fond of what they refer to as the 'lost' eighties (hmmm, perhaps a few of those 80's songs should stay 'lost'?).
Anyway, the volume got cranked up after we spotted a couple of furry friends perched on the roof about two weeks ago. They were waiting for dusk to break into one if the cupolas. We have seen them using their ultra sharp claws to prize the wooden slats off like matchsticks before. Just to make it quite clear that they were not welcome we aimed a hose pipe as high as possible and gave them a quick shower - this may sound a bit cruel, but it didn't actually reach them with the water, but managed to unnerve them a little. After the huge stinky mess they made last year, it was necessary . You might remember the story of the evacuation of all their babies, which had us all frantically placing duvets and pillows underneath in case they fell!
It has now been two weeks with no sign of them, so we can only assume that they scampered off to someone else's barn with a bit of luck!
Advance apologies to all raccoon lovers reading this blog, and anyone who's favourite music is from the 80's :)
Hazel x

April 19, 2009

First walk of 2009!!

Things are finally coming alive outside. I have been longing for the snow to melt away, one of the reasons is so I can get back into my early morning walking routine. You see spending 30 minutes on the treadmill whilst staring at a blank wall is not quite the same! I love the fresh country air in Springtime, especially at around 7am.
Today was the day for my first 'outdoor' walk this year and I was looking forward to it.
Wearing my old faithful sneakers, sweatpants and a hoodie I stepped outside and turned on my Ipod...
Heading alongside the towering apple crates, stacked high ready for the Autumn harvest.
Passing by the pond, which no longer resembles a skating rink, all it needs now are a few ducks, dragonflies or possibly some Canadian geese that have returned for the summer. Up the hill in the distanceI could see a herd of deer, they quickly scattered in all directions when they spotted me, leaping and bouncing (the deer, not me!) Not a chance of getting a photo I'm afraid.
I paused at the top of the hill anyway to take in the view (catch my breath). It doesn't look very steep, but my legs told me it was!
Walking along the ridge, swiftly and cautiously bypassing the beehives I headed towards home. Surprisingly I found my own two 'busy bees' hard at work preparing a new veggie patch! Craig and Amber digging and edging a nice bed for some tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and courgettes.
Next week, painting the deck railings?
Hazel x

April 04, 2009

Spring Cleaning - Yay!!!

I do 'enjoy' Spring cleaning! This week I made a start and hope to tackle a room a week this month.First it was time to open up the front lounge again after it had been closed off for the 3 coldest months of the year. Opening up the double wooden doors from our cosy winter lounge was like a breath of fresh air. That was until I discovered the amount of dust that had accumulated all over the window sills and skirting boards! I also found more than one little spider had set up home in the chandelier during our absence! I was soon lugging all the furniture back to it's rightful place and it felt great to be able to use the space again.The sun has been shining for most of the day, it was quite warm as we stood in line to register Amber for the girls under 16's soccer team. Soccer is the sport she has decided to give a whirl this year (couldn't possibly have anything to do with her boyfriend being an avid player now could it?) Well didn't Keira Knightley look cute in a pair of shorts for the movie Bend it like Beckham! Some of Amber's friends are quite horrified at the idea of her kicking a ball around a field. I'm sure she will have fun and I think she looks just as good in a pair of shorts as Miss K :)Craig seems to have caught the Spring cleaning fever too. He had sanded and repainted all the door thresholds while we were out! We have to step over them for a few hours until they are dry (Hmmm, has anyone remembered to tell Archie I wonder?) Two pretty additions to my kitchen this week. Couldn't resist this set of 5 cotton tea towels and the cutest bluebird mini salt and pepper pots. I have actually filled them with cinnamon and nutmeg to sprinkle on my morning oatmeal and apple slices. Hope nobody shakes them over their fish and chips by mistake!
Well I shall be off now with a spring in my step until next weekend.
Hazel x