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Aaaah, still loving our life!

Friday, 12 January 2018

Thoughts For The Day.

Good morning.

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I've kept for a while a blog post containing a list of questions that might help turbo-charge your life, see it here. Essentially I look at it as a list of questions to make you think about you, your life and how you are living it.

I've picked a few of the 99 questions! to have a ponder over.

First one.
Do I take time to listen to what others say? 

I absolutely love a really good chat, whether it's over a cuppa with a friend or neighbour, on What's App with somebody I class as a super, lovely friend - even though we have never met - or on my blog where my conversation can be one-sided when I'm having a bit of a ramble! I love to share, in proper conversations, with other people things that we have in common as it is always great to glean, swap and offer any knowledge you both might have. (I also think it's very important to maintain eye contact when you are listening to somebody.)

However, my husband has pointed out that sometimes I interrupt people. I do recognise this and I have to slap my hand over my mouth to stop doing it again! I don't do this because I am intentionally rude, but if something comes to mind that fits in with the conversation then I think I feel I must say or it is lost; my memory is definitely not what it was. Maybe this is a pointer for me to do some brain exercises to maintain my brain as I get older. 

Perhaps this question could actually turbo-charge part of my life?!

What are the biggest priorities in my life?

This is a complete no-brainer. The biggest priorities, the three biggest priorities, in my life are my husband and my two boys. Nobody is as, or more, important to me and I say this emphatically. They ALWAYS come first, I consider them before anything else in the way that when Jon and I make decisions they come first as family-based decisions are made. 

Me and my three are my world, beyond ANYTHING else.

Am I being authentic? Do I allow myself to be me? Am I trying to be somebody I am not?

Now, when I started college I began to think about how I wanted to be perceived as a person. All teenagers go through it and I wanted to be just even slightly cool as I had been soooo un-cool at school. I sort of managed this by dressing how I wanted to, my fondness of charity shops began then I think-searching out some off the wall, funky clothes which I loved doing, and at times fitting in with the more cooler kids; even there was some issue of conformity. I began using my middle name instead of my given name which I feel has continued to suit me much more up to where I am now in my life; I've never changed it by deed poll but I plan to do so this year before I should ever need a new passport...

As time moves on I think you stop wanting to be perceived as anything because when you do get to a certain age you are hopefully happy in your skin and with you as you. It is an acceptance of yourself; I'm not sure you actually are allowing yourself to be you but it is a realisation. I'm not saying you can't change through further life experiences or things which might happen to you but they will hopefully also enhance your life.

Therefore I think I am not trying to be anybody I'm not at my age, which is 50 this year, gulp! I think I've felt like this for a good while and undoubtedly part of this is due to having got married and had my children. Being a wife and mother brings a whole new perspective to life which goes back to the second question. One other question on the list was about caring or not about what other people think of you and I think this fits in with this current question. I would say I don't care really. I'm not being bolshy but just that if others are unhappy or disagree with the decisions and choices made then I am more than fine with that. If those decisions are made for the benefit of me and my three then that is how people should accept them and me. Simples really.

I hope you find the list of questions interesting and maybe they will make you think about things in your life. I may come back to some of the others myself at a later date.

Bye for now.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Bore da and Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Good morning and Happy New Year just in case some of you are unsure!

Today I finally start a new Welsh class. As you may know I had a few lessons when we very first moved to Bronllan and they were across the road in our lovely community Canolfan. They did not continue due to numbers, then I found another last summer which was about 25 minutes away but I admit to sometimes forgetting about class, preferring to be outside in the Poly House etc. So, from this evening, I re-commence, again across the road thankfully, so no need to drive anywhere. It is from 6-8pm so doesn't clash with the youngest's football training but as we alternate weeks taking Alf and his pal we don't have to do too much re-jigging. I need to order my books but being a cheapscate I'm waiting to make sure I have the details correct as I think I've found them on the internet cheaper as there are slightly used copies available; every penny saved helps. 

So, yes it is a brand new year - 2018 here are are!

A couple of things are happening this year. My eldest begins senior school, which he is ridiculously excited about, and I will be having my 50th birthday.

Of course we are also working on getting our second Airbnb room up and running; we think we should have this ready by Easter which is at the end of March this year - it is waiting for furniture just now.

We also hope this year to have our pigs and sheep in the field and to acquire a quad bike to make so many jobs for Jon and I a whole lot easier.

There are not too many photos to be taken at the moment but I'm very glad to see the daffs have peaked their heads above ground and I look forward to having them in the house as long as possible but also seeing them when I look out of the window in the coming months.

In the house I decided to have a few winter decorations as opposed to Christmas,obviously; I plumped for carnations added to holly and twisted willow; quite effective I think.

I went to my first after-Christmas Slimming World group last night. I'd lost 2.5lbs and was very pleased with this as I had not only fallen off the wagon a bit over the festive period but careered under the wheels and emerged out the other end slightly battered! Only 3lbs to go then I'll be back within my target range so I'll manage that without too much trouble.

The weather today is really quite cold but thankfully hardly a breath of wind. Both fires are lit, logs were chopped and brought in by the boys last night (they both received new axes for Christmas!) so I am keeping cosy warm whilst having an indoors-day today.

Well, I'd better get on with a few jobs, not too much as the washer is on and brekky pots are taken care of.

I love hearing about new plans for a new year so look forward to reading all about things to come from everybody.

Bye for now.


Sunday, 31 December 2017

Here Comes 2018!


I didn't want to just do a look back at 2017 post to be honest so this is a bit of a mish mash of the still 2017 and the coming 2018.

First of all I want to show you the start of a project Jon will be starting in the New Year; we managed to get this fantastic sink from a well known auction site for the great price of £40.

It is huge but luckily it will fit beautifully into the existing space, and we also have these...

Today Jon and the boys were clearing out the tractor shed which belongs to our sheep-farming neighbour and friend. He has said Jon can use the shed to store things from his tool shed and garage whilst he is changing them into the B and B. At the same time he found these tiles which we will use for the sink splashback. What a result, just as we needed something exactly like it!

Also Jon and the boys found these wonderful glass jars a bowl.The bottle I have taken to a charity shop as I didn't really like it.

I did get into the garden yesterday and put some chicken cleanings onto the main veg patch.

My neighbour told me that it was quite safe to put it onto the ground to rot down ready for the Spring so I managed around a third of it but will be easy to finish the rest.

In January we had to re-home Jake; we still think about him but know he is happier.

The second Airbnb room is now finished and awaiting furniture.

I especially really love the oak panel we used for the sink splashback and mirror backing.

We are very pleased that for the first Airbnb room we already have a booking for the first weekend in January and one for February. Also, we hope to get the next phase going well as Jon begins working part time from January 10, three days a week so the way he works he will get tonnes of jobs and work done.

On a personal note I joined Slimming World in February and managed to reach my goal a good while before the end of the year by losing two and a half stones.

In April we started a long-term project - mushrooms!

There will not be any result from the plugs in the trees for another year or so. We'll see what happens next year.

By May the growing area had increased. I had the original patch along with the fruit area and patch for carrots and sweetcorn.

In June we had one of our trips to the beach after the boys came home to school. Just fab.

In July Harry and I met Prince Charles at Strata Florida Abbey.

In August we had an awesome time watching the meteor shower from our back garden.

In September I made windfall chutney with apples gifted to me by my father in law...

and Jon took the boys on a camping trip.

In October the Rayburn was lit and with the cold that came with storm Brian and Ophelia we were so pleased for it.

November saw the beginning of the festive season with things like mincemeat readied for the pies in December.

And that brings us to December and the eve of the new year.

It is always a time to enjoy looking forward and thinking of the plans for the coming months but we always like to look back at past achievements and things that happened. There have been some horrible things that have occured in the last 12 months but we must always hope that the world will manage to change for the better, for everyone.

Can I wish everybody a wonderful New Year, being a purposeful, rewarding and just one that brings you peace, happiness and joy in whatever you do.

Bye for now.


Sunday, 24 December 2017

1 Sleep To Go To The Big Ho Ho!

Well! I have finally sat down after a very busy day. 

We made sure our logs and kindling were stocked up, Jon did a few jobs outside, the boys cleaned out Jon's car and then they left for their  boys' day out to have lunch and see the new Star Wars film; they are due back quite soon.

I've taken extra mince pies from the freezer and put a bottle of bubbly in the fridge for breakfast, made a pork and pistachio pie for Boxing Day, done one last wash load, vacuumed everywhere, mopped the floors, ironed tablecloths and clothes for the next few days and made another batch of cranberry sauce. 

Phew!  I AM DONE!

I have a beer, I am watching Columbo and a no-cook tea is planned.

I'm taking this time to think about how we have enjoyed planning and preparing for this festive season, but also thinking of those who will not be having such a comfortable time as I will be doing, me and my three - what more could I ask for?

In a little while I'll also be having some quiet time when I watch Carols From Kings. Later on Jon and I will prep the veg for tomorrow with a little glass of something.

So just to say Nadolig Llawen, Merry Christmas, and a happy, peaceful, joyous New Year.

Bye for now.


Friday, 22 December 2017

Deck the Halls....

I brought in my greenery from the garden on Wednesday and gave it a good soaking in whatever I could find in the cellar. 

Today I brought them up to the kitchen and set to work.

I love having a dresser in the kitchen I can decorate; I had already put some fake kind of greenery on top but needed a lot more. I had taken some lower branches off an evergreen tree and added some holly.

I also put some leaves on the centre light fitting.

In the living room I always have to put something on top of the bookcase as there is a dip and things just disappear! With the help of a couple of logs I managed to get it looking as I wanted; I just love how the greenery looks against the paper chains. (The one in the photo actually came down so had to re-fix that at the same time!)

I have holly over mirrors and picture frames and on shelves, too, of course.

I decorated our cake yesterday; I went for a simple design including a barmy red snowflake!

Sometimes I don't like bright red and green on cake decorations so went for subtlety.

I also decorated one for Jon and his pals at the sawmill and had good feedback on the taste; hope our supper guests on Boxing Day will like it, too.

And finally I made a little flower decoration with some festive blooms Jon came home with from his Dad's last weekend.

So I think I am now DONE with the decs! I don't think I'll be tweaking anything else.

Do you like to bring in greenery to decorate indoors?

Right, I'm having a celebratory beer, just because I can, as Jon is out on his work's jolly and the boys are back from youth club.

Bye for now. 


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

6 Sleeps To Go To The Big Ho Ho!

Good evening. All is cosy here with the Rayburn and the woodburner lit. No going out tonight so looking forward to a relaxing evening as have been busy all day. Bread has been baked along with the last batch of mince pies, I think. Beds changed, washing done and put away or to dry, last gifts for the boys wrapped, the usual.

Sue over at The Cottage At The End Of A Lane was talking about a lovely Christmas book the other day she has so I thought I'd show my book vignette this year.

My very favourite of them all is, as ever, the one with the image of a fireplace and tree is called Tim Mouse and Father Christmas. As I sit writing this I have the fairy lights lit on it. Eeeek!

On the front door I have my wreath; it's been there since the beginning of the month but I just added some extra greenery to it the other day - I like to think it is simple but effective.

When people come through the door this is what 'welcomes' them.

I am itching to get the holly, ivy and laurel inside but leaving it a bit yet as I want it to last. I plan on keeping it in the cellar in water for a day before I put it up so it gets a good drink. 

Once the holly etc are in the house I generally stop decorating but I am always tweaking things as I go along - never happy, you know what they say, more is more!

Right best get off and put the rest of tea on; sausage casserole is bubbling away nicely in the Rayburn. Not sure what I will be having as feel I need to be a bit well behaved this next week before I have a lot of cocktails and treats over the festive period.

Bye for now.


Thursday, 14 December 2017

Cocktails A-go-go!

Last year I made an attempt to stock the drinks tray for Christmas and we did ok. However this year I really am determined for us to have some proper cocktails.

When we ordered a few festive bottles (Jon and I don't drink that much so we like to have something a little special at Christmas). We are also having people over on Boxing Day so it will be nice to have a jug of something nice on ice to offer.

This is how the sideboard is looking. Also, because this piece of furniture is of a period that PERFECTLY suits the idea of cocktails it would be a crime not to make the most of it - well that is my excuse!

I have also invested in a proper cocktail book; contents were important of course but it did have to look right, too. The circular shaker and glass holder was a gift and it's just right!

In other news father in law is out of hospital and home. Has to rest up with no heavy activity/work for eight weeks.

The wind last night was ferocious and the tarp has been part blown off the Poly House, again, so I am PROPERLY ignoring it now.

The boys had great fun in the snow this week, sledging and making snowmen. It has now all gone now I might add. They are back to school after two days off with most of the Christmas activities having been re-arranged so they all fit in before they break up on December 22, same day as Jon. Woop woop!

I managed to snap this little visitor at the top kitchen. May use if for a card next year!

Ok, better dash as it is our community Christmas lunch at 12.30 and I have made a big pot of bread sauce to take as my contribution.

Hope everybody is recovering from any snow/bad weather.

Bye for now.