Friday, April 30, 2010

Adventures of a Would-Be Gardener ~ Part I

For years I have wanted to be a gardener.

Today I began my adventure of trying to plant a garden. I weeded, and weeded and weeded using just my flower gloved hands. I tried to retrieve some gardening tools. You may have heard that in fact. Around 12:45 today, did you perchance hear a loud shriek? You did?! Well that was me. You see I unlocked the shed and opened the doors to get my gardening tools when there to my surprise was a dead mouse set right before me. It's skinny little legs standing straight up in the air and its petrified tail pointing straight out as if it were the needle of a compass.

Upon setting eyes on the deceased creature I let out a blood curdling scream which scared "the whole life out of us". (Per my 7 year old son). "Why did you scream mummy? Why would you be so freaked out?" - "Because I'm a girl." I responded. "That's all the excuse I need." - "Well that sure explains it all right." (Sometimes my son sounds like he just stepped out of an episode of The Little Rascals.)
I decided as you might imagine that I really didn't need the tools. I could manage just fine using my hands!

Here's a picture of my little garden patch once the weeding was mostly complete.
Off to the store I will go tomorrow to buy some compost and soil laced with Miracle Grow as for this garden to succeed I will surely be needing a generous dose of heavenly intervention.

I have several things stacked against me in my quest for horticultural greatness.

1. I have no blessed idea what I am doing! I keep pestering my two gifted gardener friends for help and advice. They are quite patient and gracious with me as I ask them the same questions over and over again. Gardening is just not a natural gift for me. My mind is like a bucket with a giant whole in the bottom when it comes to retaining this information. I'm trying though - I'm trying!! At least, this is what my husband always tells me.

2. Hot sunny weather and I do not mix! I so wish I could be one of those 'outdoorsy' types. But alas, my fair English skin and my mother's constitution mean that I burn easily and can go from fine to debilitating heat-provoked migraine in 60 seconds flat! I can never be in direct sunlight, nor in heat about 82 degrees or higher for too long. This you can see is not conducive to gardening. Not to mention, in general, I have to live with people always making little comments about me 'not liking to be outside'. I get a little sensitive about it to be completely truthful. I always think those that make those comments are really thinking it has to do with me being fat - it doesn't! Even in my thinner days I could not deal with heat. Just how I'm made.

3. I never have enough time. Ugg... I hate saying that. Isn't that the lament of every American? None of us have enough time. We're all busy, straight-out, over-committed, spread-too-thin and whatever other phrase you'd prefer. But the fact is, gardening takes a time investment. But here's the thing. If I am willing to take the time to weed the garden, buy the seeds and plant the little suckers then I need to make the commitment to see it through, come what may. Have I commented yet on my past attempts? Not pretty!!

That's enough reasons for now - I'm sure further posts will bring my other gardening deficiencies to light.

Stay tuned for future posts about the Adventures of a Would-Be Gardener!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sundays Revisited

While growing up, Sundays always meant one thing, the big mid-day dinner.

Regardless of just how strapped for cash mum and dad were we always had a great noon time dinner on Sundays.  By the time the clock hit 11 am great smells would be wafting from the kitchen.  Despite all of the stereotyping of the rotten food from Great Britan, my English born mum was a great cook!!!

My particular favorite was her roast beef with Yorkshire pudding.  Mum made THE BEST gravy ever!!!!  I would drown the succulent meat, boiled potatoes, fresh green beans, corn and the Yorkshire in a brown sea of steaming rich gravy.  I can almost smell it!

Last Sunday I made a mid-day meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.  Although it was good and the Yorkshire came out great, it wasn't mum's.  Especially not the gravy!!

Still, it brought back wonderful memories of mum in her kitchen.  Here's a picture of the meal below.

I can never make gravy like you mum, but you did pass on the Yorkshire gene.  I love you!!

Roast Beef, small Roasted Potatoes Brussel Sprouts, Corn, Mashed Potatoes and
Yorkshire Pudding in the middle.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April Vacation

I cannot believe we are here at the end of April vacation. Didn't we just welcome in 2010? Crazy!!

As this week approached I made the decision that I was going to make it about the kids, not about getting the many, many, many projects done that have been on my to-do list waiting for the time and opportunity to tackle them. It was hard to not want to work on these things, but I will never regret the decision to spend some really great time with my men!!

Here are some pictures of a great week!!

On Saturday the 17th, we went with some friends to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie. Great movie! I love it when you not only know your kids are enjoying it, but you get to laugh along with them. There were definitely some moments that made me make a 'just sucked on a lemon' face - but hey, boys live for that stuff!!!

Sunday the 18th - I wasn't feeling so swell so the 1st half of the day was quiet. Then we all went out to run some errands, grab an ice cream and come home for a family movie. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. We'd never seen this before. It was very cute.

Monday the 19th - Gotta love those library passes!! We went to the New England Aquarium in Boston. The fun began before we even go there as the boys love to ride the commuter rail. Because it was a holiday and we were riding off-peak hours, they even got the seats with the table. Score!! The kids loved the aquarium although the smell of fish when the penguins were being fed was enough to make us run outside before my oldest one retched in front of everyone. I think their favorites were the jelly fish and octopus.  We of course worked up an appetite and so headed over to Quincy Market where the boys enjoyed hot dogs! That night we had a den meeting where we worked on some of our electives and had a great time playing games!!

Tuesday the 20th - Friends came over in the afternoon for lots of running in and out, up and down the stairs and plenty of shooting sound effects! What was especially nice is now that the kids are a little older and we can watch them in our fenced yard through the window and door out back, the moms were able to sip some tea and have a nice chat. Ahhh... adult conversation!!! Then I made breakfast for dinner for all of us (my boys favorite dinner)! Pancakes, sausage, eggs and a yummy and healthy egg casserole for the adults. Wonderful afternoon and early evening! Then it was off to Bible Study for mum.

Wednesday the 21st - This day started with a trip to the library. We perused first the younger kids section, stopping to put together a few puzzles and play with some favorite stuffed characters, and then off to the big kids section to where my oldest son has graduated. He found the next Stink book in the series (don't you love these titles?) and then he selected some biographies as he loves history!! The little guys choose an alphabet book and a few Star Wars books that big brother said he'd read to him. (and he did too!) Later that afternoon we went to a friends house to meet up with a few families for a fun time out in the sun. We've had great weather this week!!

Thursday the 22nd - After dropping our little guy off to play with his cousin, we took our older son and nephew to tour the Adams houses in Quincy (during Adams time this was actually part of the town of Braintree for all of you history buffs). Due to it being vacation week, the tour was free!! (nice!) Another bonus, we got to ride the trolley!! The boys thought this was super cool!! You go to the visitor’s center and they cart you around from the birth houses to the 'old' house in the trolley. The tours were great as the guides are very knowledgeable and great with kids. (If you're in Mass., the Adams houses are a fantastic take, I highly recommend it!!).
After the tour we then headed back to my sisters where all of the cousins (that were there) played together outside while we watched and giggled at their comments. Then the boys had a sleep over at aunties!!! Mum and Dad went out for lunch then headed home to watch a movie together (The Proposal - cute).

Friday the 23rd - The cousins headed back to aunties house so the boys had playmates from an early hour. Dad headed back to work and Mum had a few hours to do some laundry, dishes, clean the bathroom and run to the store. Do I know how to have a good time or what?? But it was nice to get things done without feeling guilty that the boys were stuck in front of the tv or something...
Pick up in the early afternoon. We came home and made some cookies and played some games. Great afternoon.

Saturday the 24th - No soccer due to bad allergies for the big guy. Instead, we headed to the Boy Scout supply store to pick up a book or two for Dad who is the den leader. Then we went to see How to Train Your Dragon. Good movie, terrible popcorn. (To hear more on that, go to my it’s' time blog) The kids really enjoyed the movie; mum enjoyed all of the Scottish accents!! But allergies once again in the afternoon took their toll on the big guy and he's currently asleep in my bed.

What will Sunday the 25th hold? Church in the am and then Scouting events in the late afternoon and early evening.

All in all, a great week!!! They're only little once and we'll never get this time back. The curtains I've been dying to make for their room.... they'll keep. But now I have more memories to keep of our great week together!

movie pics:

Friday, April 9, 2010


I cannot find my motivation... Have you seen it?

By the look of my ever increasing laundry mound (something I am typically right on top of... not the mound, rather; there usually isn't a mound at all) it has been gone for at least 3 days.
Floors need vacuuming, sweeping, mopping.  Shelves need polishing.  Boys room needs.. saving!  My craft/office is in dire need of sorting - *side note - why is it my room has become the "Gee, I don't know where this goes, I'll dump it in mum's/my wife's room."  Family meeting clearly needs to be held on this.  More raking needs to be done (ah, reprieve - it's raining).
All of this and here I sit blogging!

If you see my motivation somewhere, would you please kindly send it home?
I think I may resort to some strong java in the meantime...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Got Sucked In Again

Have you ever got sucked into a show that you didn't want to watch?  You know, the show you're not interested in that comes on after the show that you did want to watch?
For me, it's Parenthood.  I really do not want to start watching this show.  I have a few shows that I'm in to and quite frankly, I'm not looking to expand my repitoir at this time.  I'd like to be exclusive with the ones I'm already seeing.  That's just how I am folks, faithful.
So The Biggest Loser comes on from 8 - 10 pm and I totally love that show!! (so glad Melissa went home again this week! I hate all of the game play - just like to watch people transform their lives for the better.)  For some reason however, I do not have the will power to either A. pick up the clicker and change the channel or B. just shut off the tv.  The next thing you know, I'm into the next show.
I have nothing against Parenthood, it's funny and interesting, but I'm really not looking to add a dramady to my viewing schedule.  I'm quite happy with Biggest Loser, American Idol, some Dancing With The Stars (not as excited with the cast of characters as others seem to be), The Office, Ugly Betty, Masterpiece Theater, Jaime Oliver's Food Revloution (oh, I so need to post on this great show!!), and Wednesdays With Beth (Beth Moore on James Robison show).  I think this is more than enough!  I don't even have time to watch all of these - I DVR some of these and it takes weeks to watch them.
So that's it Parenthood, no sucking me in!  I do not have time to add you to my dance card.  It's full.  I'm done.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Stop Staring

I'm a big night time snacker.  I go between sweet and salt and then back to sweet again.  It's a problem!
But for the past several months I have been making a concerted effort to make good snacking choices.  So the other night I was in 'need' of a sweet something.  I decided to have an Italian ice.  Sweet, refreshing and only 100 calories (hmm.. should I have put this on my 'itstime' blog?...).
So into the kitchen I go.  I grab my spoon, pull the icey treat from the freezer and head to the trash to peel off the lid and discard it.  But once I took off the lid, I had a shock.  My snack was looking back at me!!
I so wish this picture could do it justice!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Priceless Moment

A few weeks ago, my oldest son came home from school and ran up the driveway as per normal after getting off of the school bus.  He yelled out a 'hi mummy' as he ran past me and bounded up the stairs.  He barely reached the top step when he started tearing apart his back pack. 
"Mummy, I have something to show you!" he declared.
"What" I inquired.
"My report card."
We sat down on the couch together and went over the report subject by subject.  It was a wonderful report card!
Once we finished checking out each 'grade' (still at the age of "S" and "S+") and we had discussed what each comment meant, I then began to hug my son and tell him what a wonderful job he has done and how proud I am of him.
He then said, "Mummy, I think I'm going to cry."
"Why my love?" I asked.
"Because I've made you so happy and because I'm so proud of myself."