Friday, 29 December 2017

The Time In-Between

The time has come once more

For quiet contemplation

Upon dark days

And even darker nights

Of hunkering down by the fire


Those who have gone before

And maybe

Dreaming of those yet to come

For soaking up the beauty

We have brought into our homes




Burning off some of the excess

Before returning once more

To relax

And to make plans

For the year ahead

In our case the side extension

So the pantry cupboard will no longer dominate the kitchen

And hubby can wash his hands

Before coming into the heart of the home

I trust you are all enjoying the festive season

I have been dropping in to read your blogs

But haven't been commenting

Our house has been a constant hive of comings and goings

There have been many mouths to feed

But I wish each of you well

Blessings J. x


Sunday, 24 December 2017

In Which Heidi Is On The Naughty List!

This afternoon Heidi was a little beast

She rolled in something obnoxious

And now stinks

Doesn't she know how much her grooming session cost last week?


She's been banished to the kitchen and dining area

Away from the carpet

And this beauty

The turkey is ready to spend the night in the Aga

Having been stuffed and massaged with butter

I'm about ready for a wee glass of something

Having been cooking just about all day again

Most gifts are wrapped

It will happen whether I'm ready or not

So here's wishing you all

A Merry Christmas

Be safe, be happy, be satisfied

Blessings J. x


Saturday, 23 December 2017

The Night Before The Night Before

Tea is cooking


The ham has been boiled

Then roasted and basted with honey

The cake is decorated

The tree is up and twinkling

Ok not a present is wrapped yet

And I've yet to compile the festive quiz

But a turkey sits in the fridge

And Sonshine is on his way home

So all is well

Blessings J. x


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Happy Winter Solstice

Lots to do

Just taken a cake out of the Aga

It smells amazing

Not happy with the tree lights though

Warm white LED from Asda

200 lights

But so close together

And when I take a photo they look green

Not happy!

Have a feeling I'm going to be light shopping in the morning

Well...I want it nice

No fire here this evening

It's been quite warm enough with just the Aga

Those beads took ages to cotton tie into place


I love this old beam

Happy to have the holly and ivy china on display

I didn't do it last year

Still waiting for dining area lights to be done

But we're getting there

So in the morning I'm off light searching

Followed by pastry making

Then some work

And finally the poultry market

Hope you're all having a wonderful Solstice

Blessings J. x


Sunday, 17 December 2017

A Taste

A small taste of what is to come


I began late yesterday afternoon


The kitchen window area


I'm being dragged kicking and screaming

To go shopping with hubby


When I have so many pretty things to do

Big sigh

Blessings J. x


Thursday, 14 December 2017


I have now sewn and hung the pelmets on our two sets of front curtains

They took me a while

But I think they give the windows more of a frame effect


Things are definitely beginning to cosy up around here


I've been wondering what to do with this jar

Found towards the back of the store Stump

It still looks fine

But I wouldn't now put it on my toast


I may chance some jam tarts as they are cooked

If you don't hear from me again you'll know that it wasn't fine!


It has been hailing here this morning and feels bitterly cold

Two of my three learners have cancelled on me

So my times are out of the window

And it means future days will get eaten into

As everyone needs to be seen

Happy days!


I'm hoping to source a tree at the weekend

Bring it into the house on Wednesday

And decorate it on Thursday

Exciting times

If I have a sort out and clean up

Some decorating may take place this weekend

For me the tree comes last

Near to the shortest day

I like it to be fresh

And whenever I've bowed to the pressure of putting it up earlier

I've regretted it


Hubby has had the most awful cough for over a week

Especially nasty as soon as he lays down

We have had many nights of disturbed sleep

Last night I slept on the sofa

Until 11:45 when I awoke

And realised he had left the landing light on

I crept into bed

And thankfully didn't hear him cough once

Either I was so zonked out



He has turned a corner

Fingers crossed

Blessings J. x


Saturday, 9 December 2017


Fruit cake

Looks good to me

Baked in the baking oven

So why

Oh why

Did my brain tell me

To put biscuits in the roasting oven???

It's a learning curve

And one that I'm doing without the instructions

Or cookbook

As they have yet to be delivered

Dare I attempt the Christmas cake?

Anyway the puddings are mixed

And tomorrow will be bubbling away atop Bessie

I also have a few hours assessment work to do

I'll have to get a crack on

I don't want it to eat Sunday as well

It would be nice to begin the festive decorating next week

However I can't see a tree being chosen until next weekend

But that is fine with me

I like to put it up close to the Winter Solstice

Hubby is suffering with a very sore throat

And I feel a bit yuck

As if something is brewing

Oh joy!

Anyway enough rambling

Blessings J. x


Thursday, 7 December 2017


Today a new addition arrived in our lives


She's been giving off a lot of smokey smell

Curing I suppose

So tonight it was cheese and onion toasted sandwiches

As I couldn't use the ovens yet

She has boiled the kettle and dried a couple of hubby's boiler suits

Soon she will be doing lots more

Hubby is fancying a fruit cake

Maybe after work tomorrow I'll make him one

He has a sore throat

And has not enjoyed the curing process

Poor hubby

Anyway with a busy few days ahead

I must away to my bed

Blessings J. x


Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Investigating The Store Stump

Our children were brought up on the likes of Brambly Hedge

And so my pantry cupboard is referred to as The Store Stump

Having missed stir up Sunday I am keen to catch up

On chopping pouring grating and mixing

All things festive really

Most of our traditions are based around the foods we make and eat at this time of the year

So I have been pulling aside packets to reveal the hidden depths


What we did do on Saturday was make door wreaths



I'm rather pleased with my effort this year

Beech hedge clippings

No greenery to wilt or need spraying

In fact I may do something similar in garland form for inside the cottage

And yes inside the cottage it is beginning to look rather toasty

Curtains all up at the front

Including door curtain

A man came to discuss making an oak front door for us

I have given him a picture of my dream door

Then the wreath would look even prettier!

Blessings J. x


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Wishing For A Hidyhole

Thank you for all your well wishes following my last post

They mean a lot

Daughter is doing amazingly well after a blip on Sunday

Being busy is her friend at the moment

I however would like to curl up somewhere dark and quiet

But this will not do

No no she says firmly

And shakes head

I will be list making to help me focus

There is still much work to do in order to ready the kitchen

For our stove arrives next week

It is already cold here but even colder conditions are predicted for later in the week

I need to fetch in plenty of logs

My new guest room come office has been vacated by Sonshine and his girlfriend

So a square up is in order to get my work set out

Then masses of assessments, and for hubby's business the dreaded VAT to do

I may allow myself some Winter music

Anything to soothe the troubled soul I'm carrying at the moment

Things will get better

Time is a great healer

Though some pain lies deep

And if disturbed bubbles to the surface once more

I must

Learn to ride the waves and rest on the shore

Blessings J. x

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Life Continues

Just recently as you know we have had the happiest of times

What you don't know is that we were also expecting our first grandchild

Sadly this was not to be just at the moment

And on Friday I accompanied my eldest daughter to the hospital

She was scanned at 13 weeks nearly 2 weeks ago and told the foetus had died

Nature held on to it though and that is why she was induced on Friday

I stayed with her all day until her husband arrived after finishing work

It took a while but she was eventually discharged at ten

Having gone through a stillbirth many many moons ago I hope I was a comfort

She says I was

What I had never experienced though was the agony of seeing someone in so much pain and being unable to take it away

Especially hard when it's your daughter experiencing the pain

She spent the day with us yesterday and appeared remarkably well

We're having another get together today but this time at youngest and her caveman's house

Sonshine and his girlfriend are home for the weekend so that's why all the get togetherness is happening

I hope she is able to grieve

I think some of this has been done in the last two weeks

It has been hard

She loves to make a welcoming home

And has been giving me ideas

Actually we have the same ideas so it's ok

I needed to write this here

Getting it out somehow helps

Hopefully next year things will have a happier outcome

But for now we'll stay close and get through the sadness

Never forgetting, but being pupils rather than victims

Blessings J. x

Friday, 17 November 2017

Another Journey

Today is one of the days when I have to venture to our County City for a work meeting

Happily for me I also can pick up the slate for our hearth extension

And collect tractor parts for hubby along the way

Unhappily for me is the fact that my back decided to complain badly yesterday

It had been rumbling for a few days

Then you go to stand up and wallop


So I'm planning for a hearty helping of pain relief

And a good old hot water bottle too

Yes if needs must I will attend the meeting sans hot bot!

It won't be the first time either


It looks a little frosty outside

And when the sun comes up I'm sure it will be a beautiful day

Poor Heidi will be able to have a duvet day

But judging by the depth of her snoring last evening perhaps this will be no bad thing

She went to work with me yesterday

And for a short while became a pat dog

She was a very happy pooch


So once more unto the breach dear friends

Once more!

Blessings J. x

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Six Weeks

Edited to warn that upon reading this after publishing it, it reads remarkably similar to yesterday's offering...
Such is the delight of a remarkably busy scatty brain!
Try as I might
I haven't been able to totally block out the fact that a certain celebration is a mere six weeks come Monday away
That's quite scary really
Not only due to all the things still in my head that I wanted to make
But how fast this year has flown by
I have done nothing
Absolutely nothing
I'm still frantically sewing door curtains
Never mind the pelmets!
The youngsters are due to fly the nest on Saturday
And pick up the rest on Sunday
I will be on a mission to paint two bedrooms as soon as they're halfway down the stairs
Such a caring Mother
The rush though is so that Sonshine and his girlfriend will be more comfortable when they arrive the following Friday
And when the youngsters have to return for a couple of months when their outside walls are being rebuilt they too will benefit
Our new carpet laying date has been brought forward to next Monday
So ideally I need to have finished sloshing paint around on the stairs and landing by then
My it's going to be a hectic weekend
I will no doubt be reaching for a glass of baileys before dawn breaks on Monday morning
Blessings J. x

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Fighting Through The Mess

I will miss the youngsters when they've flown the nest

Planned for next weekend

But right now there are boxes all over our table

Piles of miscellaneous 'stuff' dotted all over the place

And quite frankly I can't be bothered to try and tidy

As it would be undone in an instant

When they have gone I need to get what was their room painted

Skirting boards on

Then we shall move into that room

Hopefully no more banging my head on a sloping ceiling

Then once our old room is empty it'll be a coat of paint

And those skirting boards on

Before moving the daybed out of the little office room

And making a welcoming guest room for when Sonshine and his girlfriend come on the Friday

That's going to be going some!

Then the spare room can also be my work room

And I will no longer be looking at folders while trying to relax of an evening


A living room that is just that

I can almost feel my toes wiggling in front of the fire

Soon we will have extended the hearth and we will be able to leave the woodburner door open if we so choose

However today I feel the need of a list

So for now

Blessings J. x

Monday, 13 November 2017

Ten Minutes

I'm all set for work

But first

Instead of rushing up and down the stairs

Generally chasing my tail

I'm sitting with a cup of tea on the sofa

The calm before the storm!

Slowly Little Winter is taking shape

Two sets of curtains are now hanging

Though the valances still need making

Priority will be given to the front door curtain

And then I can shut out the night

At least from the road side of the cottage

The lights cast a warm glow in the evenings


Though with the best will in the world it's not a working light

In fact I've relied heavily on the light cast by the sewing machine

We still have a long way to go and much hard work to get Little Winter just the way we I want it!

But it is truly home and a good place to come back to

Especially after being out at the youngesters new house

It's rather chilly at the edge of the forest

And no insulation means that Daddy will be installing the woodburner we have in storage for them at his earliest convenience

I have an inkling that both Daddy and Mummy will be doing an awful lot more than that in the months to come!

And so my precious ten minutes is up

Time to earn a crust

Blessings J. x


Friday, 10 November 2017

Thank You...It Happened


It did

Though I didn't know until coming back from work after lunch

And breathe

Late this afternoon I went out to youngest and her caveman's new project to begin cleaning with her

I'd wanted to sweep the Rayburn chimney but there's quite a bend in it and without a man it just wasn't happening

Though we might phoo phoo the state of this house

We mustn't forget that it was somebody's home

Only the relatives selling the property have left behind stuff in the loft

And the loft hatch open

So mice have been playing

Like everywhere!

And there's a big leak and muchly bulging ceilings upstairs

As I said a man is required!

Most definitely a project

Anyway thank you everyone for your good wishes

Blessings J. x

Dare I Believe

Well today should be the day

Barring any last minute delays

That finally we will own our home

Little Winter

I'm sorry little cottage that you are in such a state at the moment

But painting is still in progress

Lights have been renewed


Wood sanded

Plate rack hung


Open cupboard hung


Downstairs radiators removed

The clock hung

By men (Yes two) one to hang clock and one to say when it was level!!

Then repositioned by me! (After photo)

Holes filled

And drilled

And filled!

Furniture has been moved

Carpet for downstairs, stairs and landing measured for replacement after unfortunate accident involving rogue flying coal from the woodburner

Cooker ordered after site visit

Door man has been to measure for composite door

But little cottage you have a hobbit sized door and they do not make composite doors that vertically challenged

We're considering oak

I've fallen in love

Well who wouldn't?!

I'm trying to make the curtains

With thick interlinings

Lots of hand sewing

And then there's work

Lots of it

Both from our own business and my assessing role

Life is busy

But mostly good

I'm actually looking forward to us being 'empty nesters'

Although I've been assured that they will be popping home frequently!

Oh and a builder has been to plan for our side extension

Hopefully that will begin next February

And thus I need to get ready for work

And hope as hard as I can

(Eyes tightly screwed up kind of hope)

That the final legal proceedings go without any hitches today

Blessings J. x