Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Spring has sprung..time to go out and play!

I love to garden!  One of the things which made me shed a tear or two, when I left the States, was to leave my garden behind, and give away my potted plants.  So, when these old bottoms of rabbit hutches were finding their way to my parent's trash pile, I nabbed them!  With permission, of course! :)  I've been "given" the patio area to work on, and do my own thing, basically.  So far, everything I've done has been given the seal of parental approval.  Drilled some holes in the bottom of the two containers (no longer hutches :) ), for drainage..and put newspaper on the bottom...

...yes, this is another use for the versatile Surrey Advertiser.  Oh, if only the intrepid reporters and editors knew what I was up to with last week's edition  LOL ...
And then off to the compost pile.. it took about 4 buckets for me to get all of the stuff I needed..good homemade compost from my parent's garden..better than buying it, huh?

Yeah, I know I'm pathetic with all the photos, but it keeps me off the streets and out of mischief!  Obviously this is the compost going into the bottom of my containers...
At this point I went to the garden centers for grow bags, and some plants..and seeds. 
This is what my biggest container now looks like.. a curry plant at the back, on the left..chives in the middle, and a chocolate mint plant on the right.  Violas in the front.

This container has lupins, something which my mother calls "grandmother's bonnet" and primroses in the front.
I'll have to keep updating the progress of these pots.. I have calendula and marigold seeds in the two troughs..the middle pot has lavender. (Note to self:  sweep up under the bench tomorrow)

Had to take a trip out to the office at the "nearly done" stage..and came home to find that Dad had put this little dog in my tray, near to the primroses.  Cute, huh?

This nifty little thing I plan to put busy lizzies in..once the fear of frost is gone.  My aunt and uncle are moving soon, and are sorting out all their belongings..that's another story altogether!  I mean, they've lived in their current house for 52 years...oh yeah.. they've got STUFF to sort out!  But this is one of the little treasures I have had passed on to me.  (Thanks J and V)

I'm just so impatient really to see the seeds all come up.  The last one has globe carrot seeds in it. 

I've just had a perfect couple of days doing this...the sun has been shining, the birds have been singing ...there's even been a woodpecker doing his thing!  I've caught the sun a bit..hoping to go brown bit by bit this year!
And I just feel so calm after working outside..nothing like shoving your hands into a bit of dirt!
Sorry for all the photos, if it's made things hard and long winded to load..I just love playing with the camera too much, and I guess I get carried away!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Unexpected Visit to an Art Gallery!

So, while I've enjoyed my current job quite a lot, there's been some things I've also just NOT liked about it.  Firstly, as it says in my little bio thing, I don't like the amount of driving I have to do. Secondly, I don't enjoy the long long hours (we've been talking 7 am to 10 pm some days).  And thirdly, I really needed a job which paid just a bit more.Not that I'm trying to be a money grabber, but, well, you know, a girl's gotta live!  And yes, I'm quite aware that anyone in the caring professions are usually pitifully paid!  :) 

However, I have had the opportunity to meet some fascinating people.  One of them kept telling me how she was a sculptor.  Finally, I managed to wander around her garden the other day...she was my last stop, and the weather was nice...so I went to have a look at her work.

Amazing.  The garden was..well, is...laid out in such a way as it just leads you on into little bowers almost and suddenly you are looking at a sculpture. She has most certainly been blessed with a gift! I just loved this one. Told her I had considered picking up one of the geese, and kidnapping it away in my kit bag - never seen someone laugh so hard at me.  Thought she would suffocate!
And this one of the children was in another little corner.  I wonder if she used her own children as the "models"? At least for the faces?

Really, there is a great abundance of art and artists in Surrey. And you just never know when you're going to come face to face with either one! Just have to keep your eyes open, I guess, in some people's back gardens!

Oh, and by the way, the job thing... yes, got a new one! I've yet to be given my 100% certain start date, but it should be sometime next month.  Same type of work, but just a little more civilized in hours and location, and of course the money!


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Keeping busy,,,,, :)

This is pretty much a "nothing" sort of post really...just it pleases me to do it!  :)  I'm not much for this cold weather...don't like to go out running or walking or anythinging in it..and it takes nothing for my feet to be cold.  But, I've got the knack of warming them up!  Hot water bottle..feet on top of it, and cushion on top of them... 
So, that takes care of the feet...but then you have to keep your hands busy and moving, don't you?  And this is what I'm working on now.  I'm trying to knit from my stash right now, and that'll mean I save some money, have more space in my yarn box, and get some nice items made as well!  This top is from a magazine...and I'm doing it with a couple of adjustments..not difficult or overly clever ones, but I like more long line tops, and I think I'm going to change the eyelet row a bit.. 
This is how the back looked a couple or so nights ago...it's knitting up nice ...   It's almost like a type of meditation for me - the process of knitting, I mean.  Without some time spent every day knitting or sewing or whatever, I think I might get a bit too tense.... 
This last picture is one I took on Friday morning... we had more snow on Thursday evening/night... and I just thought this was nice... twigs, snow and a couple of red berries.  Getting artistic in my old age, I guess!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Snowy weekend at home!

Life continues on...busy with work - too busy sometimes with at least one 14 hour day a week...but I'm still grateful to be working, and still enjoying the type of work I do. 

Last Saturday, after I'd finished up my last call, I went to my sister's place...yep, of course I went to see her, but also she's storing the boxes of my things for me in her garage, until I get my own place..now, THAT'S taking way too long for me at this point..I'm horribly impatient now about getting my own kitchen.  I am on the lists of several estate agents, who send me info about flats which come up for rent...one of them I loved, the price was right, and it wasn't too far from here..just over the county line in Bordon.  Problem was that it's on the second floor, and no lift.  So all it would take is a painful day, or a bad asthma day, and I'm up a gumtree.  :(   And therefore, the search continues. 

Searching for particular items amongst the boxes is much easier though..I already found my thimbles.  I started collecting china thimbles years ago, when I was in my early teens.  Oh yeah..YEARS AGO!  :)  The very first thimble came from Jamaica Inn in Cornwall..and now it's just one of those things.  Everyone knows they can't go wrong getting me something piggish, or thimble-ish, knitting-ish or cross stitching-ish!   There is a hook in the room which is my bedroom at the moment, and so the thimbles are now on display, and it's so nice, I do have to say, to have something of "mine" hanging up..  the rack came from an Antiques Sale in Pennsylvania..it took a bit of work to clean up this printers tray, but it's so well worth it...

The other thing which is sort of important to me is this guitar...all wrapped up in brown paper, with a good layer of white paper under the brown.  I paid £40 for this back in the 70's, second hand, and this is the 6 string I learned on...haven't played a lot lately, but maybe I'll get back into it now... no excuses not to...and I've found that there is a guitar repair/supplies shop right opposite the "homebase" I work from, so new strings and wotnot will be so readily available.
It started snowing on Saturday while I was bringing my things in from the car...and this is what we woke up to on Sunday morning...cold, brutally cold (in my opinion) but very pretty...this is the view from the kitchen window, with the houseplants indoors probably feeling very smug!
And this is from the patio door in the lounge..same garden, slightly different view.
This one was taken just for giggles.. zoomed in on the trees and the snow on the bare branches. 
Spring is coming though...I've seen some little crocuses trying to pop their heads up out of the ground...not long, people!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Christmas...just a couple of weeks late!

If you're reading this, and on a dial up connection, I should apologize..this post is particularly picture heavy, I suppose!  But I wanted to show you a little bit of my first Christmas back in England, with family, in 20 years!

These first two pictures show you the evergreen arrangements which Mum and I made to hang under the two windows in the front of the house.

We took a walk in the woods just up the road, to find the holly berries and the icy which we also used.  Guess the only thing missing was the mistletoe!  :) 
This is the tree which was in the Parish Church.  The lights had not yet been turned on when I took this picture...the Christmas Eve service was lovely...they dimmed all of the electric lights, and then turned the lights on the tree, symbolic of the light which Jesus brought to the earth when He was born.
And this is the main aisle of the church..looking towards the altar from the entrance way...I just loved the beautiful evergreens, and the candles..just lovely...
This is the mantlepiece in our lounge.. the little snowmen and the nativity, and the Father Christmas, and angels are all hand knitted...
By Christmas Eve there were a whole lovely lot of presents under the tree...and my computer was there too, being charged up!
There were even gifts in envelopes ON our tree!  Lots of gift certificates and money in envelopes for us!  Such lucky and blessed people!
The dining room mantlepiece.  Can you see the acorn garland?  And the snowmen on the left, and the trees on the right were made by my father, on his wood lathe...he says he may teach me wood turning this year, so stand by for more craftiness from me!
The Christmas Pudding.  I wish I'd remembered to turn off the flash on my camera...because then you'd have been able to see the blue brandy flames dancing around it!  It tasted great with the brandy butter....
And, finally, but not because it's least important...our Nativity scene.  Because This Is What Christmas Is All About!
:) x

Monday, 2 January 2012

New name for my blog spot space!

A change!  It's a bit like moving your furniture around your living room, I suppose!  :)  So, when I was driving around today from appointment to appointment, I was thinking about this and that, and came up with this name for the blog here.  It's really the same old blog..it's most certainly the same old blogger..but the name is more me, if you know what I mean?

Anyway...what have I been up to?  Well, I found the Blogging Without Obligation tab...can't work out how to add it to my side bar yet..but still, I think it's a good thing.  How much stress can bloggers give themselves by worrying about how much they blog, or don't blog?  And I am all for trying to decrease my stress!

In fact, the stress levels in my life are a bit different now.  Not saying that there isn't any..of course there is.  But I don't have to worry about not having a job anymore...and I don't have to worry about how to get around anymore..and I don't even have to worry about not enjoying my work!  :)  I'm now on my third week working in the community, caring for elderly and sick people...my car is working beautifully, and everyone loved the Christmas gifts which I gave to them!  :)  All good stuff, huh?

So, let's see if I can update you a little bit.  The following six pictures (yep, I'm getting picture heavy now!) can show you how those acorn garlands finished up!  I really was quite pleased with them...and I think I'll do more next Christmas....

I used the washing line to hang the three strands of acorns on, while I spray painted them red, gold and silver.  And then they needed to hang out to dry a little while..first time I tried, it suddenly started raining..you've never seen me run like that to rescue acorns!  :)

 Here's a closer picture of the silver garland in particular...you would not believe how warm the weather actually was in December...I was out doing this with just a little fleece jacket...
 ...and here's the gold coloured garland..
 Once they were dry, I moved indoors to finish up the job!  I made a pattern of gold, silver and red acorns, and put a bead inbetween each one...it really did look good (in my not very humble opinion)...here's the three garlands done and ready for wrapping, or decorating inside..I did one for my parents, one for my brother and one for my sister...
 This one was for my brother...all ready to be wrapped up in a small cardboard box, but looking for all the world like a very exotic and rather poisonous snake, I think!  :)
 And I wanted to show you this picture also...this is the mantel shelf in the dining room, and can you see the acorn garland there?  This shelf really was a family crafty project!  :)  I did the garland..my Mum was busy knitting the bears and the little blue boy....and Dad likes to do wood turning now, since he retired, and so the snowmen on the left, and the christmas trees on the right are his contribution.  He says that he will teach me how to do wood turning too, which I'm quite looking forward to...another craft for me to learn, another "string to my bow" as they say!  :)
I'll have more pictures from Christmas for you soon... but I think today's "episode" is enough for one day! 

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Oh brother...it's been a long while since I was here.

I am on the run again today...worked this morning, and going to my sisters this afternoon..but I just wanted to dash in here like an Olympic runner, and wish everyone a Happy New Year!

And I'll post tomorrow probably, as I finally have an afternoon off!  Lots and lots of pictures to show you!