Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
On the left is Alex in his sack. On the right is Sarah waiting to get into the sack race.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I've really enjoyed using Kate's computer, mostly. It's very fast - the internet connection, as well as the computer itself. However, the keyboard isn't quite like US ones. A few things are in different places, which means I type some very weird words sometimes. By the time I get used to it, I'll be heading for home and will have to re-accustom myself to mine. We'll be taking the laptop on holiday with us, so that will be different yet.
Today Kate and I visited a few charity shops in Worcester Park. I didn't bring any jeans with me, so I've been looking for a cheap pair. No luck on jeans, all the ones I found have the waist down by the hips. I find those very uncomfortable and also unattractive. However, I got a pair of sweat pants and a very nice pair of navy blue trousers in a stretchy material. Also picked up a couple of long-sleeved tops. So I'll be ok, even if Scotland is chilly. I love poking around in chairity shops. You never know what treasures may be hiding there.
This afternoon, Kate and I were at school for the year-six farewell. The kids talked about what they liked about their years in Green Lane School and sang a couple of songs. Several of the girls were in tears by the time it was over. Tomorrow night is some kind of graduation ceremony. They will wear the uniforms for the schools they will be attending in the fall. I think there are parties on Wednesday - the last day for this school year. Hard to believe that Sarah will be in year 7 in the fall. She won't even be 12 until the end of September. Of course, she's been practicing to be a teenager for several years now. She's very excited about secondary school. I'm sure she'll love it and do fine. Her end of the year report was full of statements about how mature she is and how helpful. We don't always see those traits at home, for some reason. LOL
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Kate's iron burned itself up today. It was weird. I was sewing and heard this odd popping noise, rather like popcorn or the kids popping bubble wrap. Then I smelled smoke! Boy did it stink! We can't figure out why the iron did this, as it is supposed to turn itself off if it overheats. Of course, the warranty had expired a few months ago. Isn't that always the case? So we went shopping for a new iron. A cheap one this time. Kate has very bad luck with irons and has to replace them every few years, so she is not buying any more expensive ones. Mine turns itself off if I don't pick it up and use it after 10 minutes or so. Hopefully, that will prevent problems like we had today.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Today was sports day at the school. Rain had been predicted and it was spitting down rain when we got to school in the morning. However, it never really did much. All morning long the dark rain clouds swept across the sky, with the sun shining brightly in-between. It was pleasantly cood - just right for kids who were racing and throwing nerf javelins and doing other competitive stuff. The team that the North kids were on came in third (out of four) on the sports events, but they took the school prize for the year. This prize is based on all sorts of things throughout the school year - academic, behavior, etc. I took some photos of the kids, but Kate will have to help me get them posted onto flickr before I can show them on my blog.
The parents were invited to participate in some silly races too. I came in second in the 'grandmothers' race' and Kate ran in the 'mums' race'. Geoff was wearing sandals, so could not run in the 'father's race'. Perhaps this was intentional on his part? The guys seemed to take their race very seriously, unlike the mums and grandmothers. It was all in good fun.
I may have mentioned that Kate and Geoff always seem to be having renovations when I visit. This time it's the bathroom. Their handyman (and friend) Mike is working upstairs today. He's putting the new floor into the room. The tiling is done and the sink is installed, but the floor and ceiling are left to do. It's a bit odd to take a shower and then step out onto sub-flooring. I hope the work will be done by the time we get back from Scotland.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I probably won't be blogging much, if at all, during my trip, but I'll be in touch when I get back. I will take lots of photos and will post them on my flickr account. Look for them at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathydillard.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Somehow I ended up in the basement (blessedly cool) and decided to rearrange the furniture. I have no idea why this happened, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. The furniture consists of a futon couch/bed, a coffee table, a desk, and many, many bookcases. Yeah, I know, I have way too many books. There are 11 tall bookcases and 3 small ones. Anyway, the purpose of rearranging was to position the couch so that it faced the sliding glass doors. I want to be able to sit and enjoy looking at my plants in the shade garden under the deck. The couch is heavy, but moving it was the easy part!
I also had to move the TV, so that it could be viewed from the couch. Never mind that I don't ever watch it. Maybe I'll want to view one of those DVDs that are still in their wrappers. LOL In order to move the TV, I had to take apart a display/storage unit and move it to where the TV table had been. After I moved the couch, I couldn't put the three short bookcases back behind it, so I had to do some creative rearranging of various pieces of furniture. I did get the pieces all fitted in someway, but then I had to rearrange books, since moving the bookcases had messed my system. (Basically, books are arranged by author except for mysteries that have a shelf of their own and a couple of shelves of unread books. I've been going through the unread ones and getting rid of many of them.) I also had to take down various pictures from the walls and then put them back up in different places. Ditto with the knicknacks that were on some shelves. I ended up moving all the books from the Cs to the Ks. Believe me that's a lot of books! I expected to be sore today, as I used muscles I have not used in a while, but so far nothing aches more than usual. I am very pleased with the room and actually spent some time yesterday afternoon sitting on the couch admiring my plants.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I won't be blogging too often from Kate's, but will try to get in one or two entries. They have two computers, but there are already 3 kids and 2 adults trying to use them!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Since it was a holiday weekend, I decided to cook a special dinner for myself. I grilled a steak outside and baked a potato (in the microwave and toaster oven) and had toasted marshmallows for dessert! I even managed to get the steak off the grill while it was still rare. I did not, however, go down to see the fireworks. I just read for a while and went to bed early.
Yesterday, was a day on the telephone. I always call Kate on Sundays, but sometimes I also call my son, Steve. Since he lives in Scottsdale, AZ, I have to call him in the afternoon, allowing time for him to sleep late on the weekend. It's a good thing I didn't call early, as he and Christine had hosted a party on the 4th and were recovering from it yesterday. I gave Steve a scolding for not sending me anything on Mothers' Day. Christine said that she had reminded him (I was sure she had) and he admitted that he had no excuse. Of course, I forgave him (one always forgives one's children, I think) and we had a nice chat. He's been busy building things to enhance the yard - a deck and a gazebo. He's really good at home renovation. Must have inherited those genes from his father. Goodness knows, I am not competent with saws and such like, although I can drill and hammer with the best of them!! LOL
I had no sooner gotten off the phone with Steve than Andy (my exhusband) called. He calls every few months, just to keep in touch. Obviously, we are still friends. In fact we get along much better than we did when we were married. He is retired, but works at Busch Gardens in the summer. He wants me to come down and help him pick out paint for his living room. Maybe in the fall when it's cooler. This past week it was in the 90s where he lives in Virginia. We only had 80s here - lucky us!
By the time that call ended, it was time to call Kate (in England). I time my calls to her for late, after the kids are in bed. She is a night owl and the hours from 10 to midnight are about the only time I can have an uninterrupted conversation with her. Only Sarah, also a night owl, was still up yesterday evening when I called. Kate and I had our usual long chat, much of it spent on what we will be doing when I go to visit her.
I felt as if I had a phone growing on my left ear after all those calls. I really need to get a speaker phone where I can turn the volume way up or one of those phone headsets. I am having a lot of trouble hearing on the phone these days. I have been losing my hearing for 30 years and it's getting to the point where I am seriously considering hearing aids. I did try one some years back, but it was not a success. Soon, I will have to try again, but I just hate spending a considerable amount of money for something that may not solve the problem. Oh well, that decision can wait for a while. I've discovered that some decisions, if just postponed long enough, will solve themselves. The hearing problem is NOT one of those, unfortunately, but it also isn't urgent. It's a problem to be solved 'one of these days' - like getting a new computer and a faster internet connection. I didn't used to procrastinate this way. Maybe it's a result of being retired or just getting - shhhh - old!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
After we left Artomatic, we went looking for a place to catch dinner before going up to the Capitol to watch the rehearsal for tonight's 4th of July concert. Neither Lynne nor I are brave or foolish enough to join the crowds on the 4th and go into DC for the concert and fireworks. However, there were fewer people for the rehearsal. I thought there were a few thousand, but Lynne estimated it as more like 40 thousand. (Neither of us is an expert at crowd estimates). Anyway, we got there about an hour before the start and sat on the steps of the Capitol. Those steps were hard! Next year, I will bring a pillow and binoculars. I would rather have been in the grass, but all the lawn spots directly in front of the stage were taken. (Maybe next year we will go early to get good spots.) Actually we could see quite well. They have huge screens, so one sees close ups of the entertainers. Lots of well-known names - Barry Manilow and Aretha Franklin were the big names. Oh yes, and the Muppets (my favorites). The National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performed as well as various military bands. They did "Rhapsody in Blue" with two pianos! It was a great show and we both really enjoyed it. I think we will do it again next year. Even getting home via Metro was easy. We didn't use the nearest station, but walked a few blocks and caught a train that took us directly back to our car. Not even very crowded on the train - we had seats all the way.
Of course, it was very late when I got home - around midnight - and I was so wired that I couldn't go to sleep right away. I will be very tired this evening, and will probably not go anywhere for fireworks tonight. I've seen many fireworks displays over the years, and although I enjoy them, I don't go out of my way to see them these days. Getting lazy in my retirement, I guess! LOL
I hope you all have a great July 4th with whatever celebration you fancy.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I did a bit of gardening yesterday - planted some red trilium that my SIL gave me and repotted some plants. Mostly my garden just needs trimming these days. If I get a dry afternoon, I will try to tie back a beauty bush that has taken over a section of the back. So far, it's been too wet, either from AM dew or PM rain to fight with that bush. And, of course, the forsythia is all over the place again. Don't ever plant forsythia, unless you have lots of room! I've cut the thing back to within 12 inches of the ground several times, but in a couple of years it's right back there in my face! If the soil weren't so hard to dig in (clay and stones), I'd dig the darn thing out and put in something more civilized. However, it's been there 20 years and getting it out would require a backhoe! I guess it's time to cut it back again and make it start over.
The photographs are of the the place where I ate lunch with two of my classmates last week on my visit to New York State. Snug Harbor is on Keuka Lake (one of the Finger Lakes). We sat on the porch and enjoyed the lake view. Good food and good friends. Who can ask for anything more?