Sunday, December 28, 2014

Whizzed by..............

Christmas Day.

It was excellent.  Gary came over to keep Lily company.  He wore his best socks.
Notice how he has acquired the English tradition of wearing your paper hat (not crown) all day.

Dinner was excellent, as was the pud and the cake......and the chocolates ....and the biscuits....etc.
We all opened our stockings.  Lots of fun prezzies for all.

Philip made a bit of a bloomer with one of my presents.
I had requested a onesie.
A pretty onesie.
I had even told him the shop that had the sort of cute, pretty, lovely onesies I like.

So, this is what I got when I opened it.

Not exactly what I had in mind to be honest.
The crotch comes down to about 6 inches above my ankles.  Donna said I could get all the cats and probably the sofa in there with me.
Until I put it on to show him, he had really thought I would like it.

The after dinner entertainment started with Philip putting on the lastest Muppet Movie (the one with Ricky Gervaise in it).
It was pants.
No, was really pants.
Gary then saved the day.
He had brought the 2 series of Plebs with him.
So we put that on.
Oh my goodness.  I haven't laughed that much in a long time.
I had seen a couple of these when I was in England and I had told Gary about it.
I knew he would like it too.
This programme would never, ever be shown over here.
Much too rude.........but bloody hilarious.
Boxing Day Philip wanted to go out and see if there were any bargains to be had.
We picked up a couple of bits one of which was a new onesie.

This one I chose myself.
This is exactly the sort of thing I had been expecting.  Brilliant.

The weather continues to be beautiful, for now.
The cats got very excited about a strange noise outside the window.
I eventually decided to have a look.
The weather has been so sunny and warm that someone had woken up.

Chippy had woken up and was eating the bird seed.
He looks a lot slimmer than when I last saw him in October.
In the 17 years we have been here I have never, ever seen a chipmunk before about April time.
Quite amazing to see one at Christmas.

The weather forecast is looking ominous now though.
Temperatures are set to fall drastically with snow starting next Saturday.
It will be just in time for Alanmas.
We knew we would have to pay for this mild spell.  I hope it won't be horrendous though.

Philip always buys gifts for his team and I send each one a little homemade Christmas cake in a tin.
They usually buy him something too.  Sometimes it has been excellent.
This year........we are not sure about it this year.   Here is a photo.

Are they trying to tell him something do you think?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Almost here.

Well, it is Christmas Eve.
The gifts are all wrapped.  The cakes and more mince pies are made.
The turkey is defrosting.
What we don't have now we shall have to go without.
This is my favourite time.
We have done all our traditional outings.
Above is one of the houses in Candy Cane Lane.
We have also been to the Country Springs Hotel where they have their drive-through Christmas display.
We took Gary with us to see Christmas Carol - which was excellent.
It was even better because he hadn't seen it at the Pabst Theatre before.  This seemed to make it even more special to us.
He will be joining us tomorrow for Christmas.

When we were at Candy Cane Lane, Santa was there collecting for a children's charity.
He put his head in our car window to wish us a merry Christmas and I got this photo of him.

Doesn't he look wonderful.  Such twinkling eyes.

This is only the second Christmas, since we have lived here (17 years) that we have no snow.
It really seems strange.
I suppose it could snow tonight or tomorrow but I don't think the forecast says it will. that was probably one of the dopiest things I could have said.

Maybe, the snow is all waiting for Alanmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Busy, busy...

This arrived from across the pond.
Lauren inside a Christmas tree bauble.
I couldn't ask for more.
I had ordered it while I was over there in October and had quite forgotten about it.
Lauren was furious with me for ordering it with her photo inside and I promised I wouldn't put it on the Christmas Tree or on facebook.
It seems I must have had my fingers crossed at the time for there she is now glowing prettily from the tree.
She will be so mad.

I had a bit of a chuckle at one of our squirrels.
They are so fat.
Of course there is no way I could be overfeeding them :)   They are just festively plump.
This is probably why the hawk keeps hanging round.
I bet he has never seen such plumptious squirrels.  I hope they can still move fast enough to avoid him.

At last I have finished all the Christmas cakes.
Well, I do still have the Yule Log to make, more mince pies and a ginger Christmas Tree cake, but I am getting there.
Philip has taken all the little ones to work and given them out.
He finishes tomorrow until after the New Year so he needed to take them this week.

I have also been busy wrapping presents.  I do buy a lot but then I do so enjoy buying them and giving them so I am not complaining.
The cats are a great help (not) when I am trying to roll out wrapping paper and tissue.
It seems to make them all fired up and they get massive attacks of the zoomies, dashing up and down the stairs like little furry loonies.

Looby Loo prefers to watch all the madness from the safety of her tree.
We are going to feel so bad again when we have to take it down.

Just over two weeks until the start of Alanmas.
Didn't he just leave?
Where does the time go?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Decorating - Done!

At last I have finished decorating the house inside.
Philip has finished decorating it outside. does take a time but then we do put a lot of stuff up.
I am quite pleased with how it looks though.

I have always enjoyed decorating for Christmas.
When I lived in Ashford I loved making the house look like Santa's Grotto and I haven't changed.
There are more decorations available now though and we do tend to buy a few more every year.

I am putting these pictures on here for my chums who are not on facebook.   There are still a few about... :)

Oh and I must not forget these.....
The first lot of mince pies.
They were yummy.

We are remarkably 'snow free' at the moment.  I know I probably shouldn't have said that but it is so nice not to be shovelling in December and to be able to walk to the bus stop without climbing snow mountains.
Of course I know it won't last.
I have fallen into that trap before.  A couple of years ago we had a mild spell like this in December after a particularly cold and snowy November.
I started thinking that winter was over and that we were heading for Spring.
Boy was I wrong.
The snow, ice and frigid weather returned with a vengeance and stayed, as usual, until April.
So, as much as I am enjoying being able to go out to the dustbin without putting on several layers of clothes, a hat, gloves and huge boots, I am also reminding myself that it won't last.

I started wrapping some prezzies today.  Just some for the kids up and down the road.
I have been getting some cards too.  I sent the England Christmas cards in November to make sure they arrived in time this year and from what I have heard they all seem to have received them.
Less than a month now until Alanmas.
I wonder if the snow will stay away for him?   I bet it doesn't.

Monday, December 8, 2014


The hawk is still around.
I do admit that it is beautiful but I wish he would go and sit in someone else's tree.
Christmas is approaching at a gallop.
I start so early and yet it seems to catch up with me faster and faster every year.

Cakes & puddings are made but I have to ice and marzipan the small ones early this year.
Philip takes them into work as gifts and this year he has managed to book some holiday starting at the end of the week before Christmas (Dec 19th) and going right through until after the New Year.
This is something of a first for him.
Plus, a couple of his team are going to be off the end of  his last week.
So, it looks like those cakes will have to be ready by about Monday 15th.
I shall have to get a wiggle on.

We sent two Christmas gifts into the school for the dreadfully poor kids.  One was for a specific child and then we bought an 'extra' in case any children were going to miss out.  Philip then phoned me a couple of days later to say he had had an email (not just him) to say that they were still short of gifts.  Short of 40 gifts to be precise.
40......that is awful.   Someone really made bloomer there.  How can you have 40 kids with no present from Father Christmas?
So, that evening we went out and bought another one.
The previous two had been girls presents so this time we bought for a boy.
I quickly wrapped it and labelled it for a boy and the age 6+, when we got home and Philip took it in the next day.
He tried to shame a couple of his friends into buying just one gift but they weren't interested.
The lady at work was thrilled when he arrived with another but I hope next year it is organized a bit better and I won't have to worry about children being left out.

One of my friends crocheted these snowflakes for me.
They arrived in the mail.  I am so happy with them.  I put them on the tree straight away.
She is so clever. They are so intricate.

Here is this year's Christmas Tree in all its glory.
I have just finished decorating the rest of the house (bathroom too) and it looks like Santa's Grotto.
Each year I think about not putting so much stuff out but it is only once a year and it does make the dark days of Winter a bit more I end up doing it anyway. I will post some more photos next time.

Today I am going to make some mince pies.  Well why not?   In England it is so very easy to get everything you need for Christmas......mince pies, Christmas Cake, Christmas Puddings, Yule logs and lovely things like selection boxes  etc.  The shops are full of wonderful Christmas treats, you can really buy everything you need so easily.  When I am there in October I trundle around buying as much as I can carry (in the suitcase to come home) but can never get all the things I really love.
Here, if we want it, I have to make it from scratch.  They do not have the same Christmas traditions and there are no Christmas cakes etc.
When I thought about it I realised that over there people are probably already buying and scoffing mince pies, so why shouldn't we?
I shall make the first batch today and then make more for Christmas.
I am also making an iced ginger cake in the shape of a Christmas tree for the week before Christmas.
If Alan behaves himself I might make one for Alanmas too!!!