Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Fall? --- Yessss - Bring it on!!

Well, the days are finally getting a little cooler here and the good news for today is that Stef passed his driving test this very morning and just called to tell me! YAY - well done son! I was in Glasgow for three weeks in July/August and he was taking two lessons a week but it all paid off and of course he now needs a car! So yes, I'm next. I do need to be mobile, even if only for shopping, clubs, visits etc., although I know Tom would love me to share the driving on our longer trips, like going to see Maggie. SUCH a drive!! Around four hours each way, and he insists on doing it all in one day which is a total pain. Made even worse by the fact that we sometimes only see Maggie for minutes (last time) or an hour or so. Total craziness really. She still hasn't come to see us here in Carbondale, not even for the Superman Festival which we thought was the best bet. Well if it does anything, it makes me appreciate how much my sons enjoy our visits! We had to tell Craig that he didn't need to come down every day when I was there! Even though it wasn't really what they wanted to do, they both came with us to Largs on our last day, and I enjoyed every minute. Of course I really miss them both now that I'm back here, but it's good to be home too. Mango and Smudge are settling in with each other and play sometimes rather than battling, but occasional wars do still break out! They make me laugh every day and continue to be a source of happiness and company on the days when Tom's away at work.In events that happen here, I've attended my first Baby Shower and we're looking forward to the birth of our neighbours Julie and Kyle's twin girls. I've been knitting and crocheting lots of my favourite baby items of course, some started and finished on the same day. Instant gratification! Our Yarn Shoppe group has been over to 'hang out' and knit at our place and it's good to 'have folk over' - feels gooood, not just getting together in restaurants or whatever. So if you're passing, do pop in, the kettle's on and there could just be some freshly baked Snickerdoodles in the cookie jar! haaaaaa

Monday, 20 June 2011

Looking forward to Summer in Southern Illinois

Well this is the last day of Spring and so tomorrow Summer begins! 94F forecast today, but should be cooler for the rest of the week. Wendy, Andrew and Neil arrive in Chicago on Thursday and will be with us Friday so we're pretty excited about their visit! Wendy and I have been e-mailing regularly with questions about activities, driving, plans and everything else.

We also have a new addition to the family. Last Monday Tom and I were at Irish Inn for Lynn and Brian's Cherokee renewal of vows and a wee kitten was sitting on their porch. Apparently it had wandered out from the Shawnee Forest that morning and they think he was abandoned somewhere close by. I fell in love with him of course, and Tom relented on his "No more cats in the house" statement and wee Smudge came home with us. Mango has not been a happy cat since and terrorises the kitten. He's had so many squirts of water (apparently it's a training aid so that he knows he's doing wrong) that he'll have webbed feet soon! Early days though, hopefully he'll tolerate his wee brother soon.

I've been enjoying my Wednesday Craft group and started a crochet bracelet with wire and beads yesterday. It's looking pretty but slow going with all the other stuff I'm trying to do - get the yard in shape, organise the rooms for the Jones's, and clear out clutter from everywhere! Just as well women are natural multi-taskers! Told Tom we'll need a truck to take everything to Salvation Army so there will be a few trips this week for sure. He's been busy too with his DIY projects - new porch lights, shower head and glider, rail and the vent in the bathroom has finally been replaced too - YAY The lawn mower refused to start yesterday so nae mowing. Hope the guy gets the estimate to us soon for a new deck before I go crashing through the old one! It's really dilapidated now, especially after all the rain and storms we've had.

OK better get some work done now and get rid of our 'To Do' list!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Summer has arrived

Temperature forecast for the day 92F (that's 33C folks) so HOT! Too hot to be working in the yard anytime after 7am so, apart from watering tomatoes, my other veggies and flowers, I'll be indoors with the air conditioning running.
Tom's away to Louisville, Kentucky for a week so I'm home alone, and have loads to do around the house, but of course avoiding it by blogging, being on facebook, checking e-mail etc. I think you know that story! Today the plan is to clear up some of the clutter which accumulates too quickly for me to keep up with it and to start getting the place back in shape after decorating. Why is it that when painting is being done, the whole house ends up in a total guddle? Or is that just me? Where does all the extra clutter come from? Maggie is due to visit in a couple of weeks. She's coming down for the Superman Festival at Metropolis, so I think she'll be amazed at the changes we've made. One of the neighbours told me that I've transformed the place, and she's not even been inside the house!!! It's been a lot of work and there's still a whole lot more to do. My thoughts of sitting crocheting on the back porch all day long are still on hold, as there's always 'work' to do, although breaks for crafting are possible of course!
Wendy, Andrew and Neil will be visiting in just over three weeks, and we're so looking forward to seeing them too, with all the news from home. I miss the family a lot and often wish I could meet up with Rina and June for lunch, and although we have phone calls, webchats and e-mail, it's not the same as a good old blether when we get together. Stef always said I only went over to see him when Tom was around, but he would come to see me and of course Craig was always popping in at Cedar Street, especially for Sunday breakfast. I missed them especially on Mothers' Day of course, and think about them every day and wonder what they're doing. Still, one day soon my passport should be returned and I'll be able to visit and see everyone. Until then, I should be gettin on with getting this place shipshape and ready for guests!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Have I really not blogged since last year? What on earth have I been doing?
Well, settling in mostly, I guess and getting used to life with my wonderful man in USA. My friend Helen told me that she tells her grand-daughter the story of her lovely friend who went to marry her Prince Charming in America, then she shows her USA on the globe that she has. It's my claim to fame - I'm in a bedtme story!
Lynn and Brian from the Irish Inn have been very friendly and I've been out to lunch with Lynn and her Mom. Her Mom loved the fact that I said we were having a "girly day out". Mango even came visiting with us to the Irish Inn and just loved the fireplace, sat on the chimney piece and enjoyed walking along the beams in the great room. Brian loved the tattie scones I made for him and Lynn even suggested I make them and sell them. I just don't know if there would be a great market, although Tom's cousin Pam and her DH Will loved them when we visited. We've also been to see Penny and Ernst and Pat and her family in Virginia Beach. Pat has been my facebook friend and it was really good to meet for real at last.
Well, Tom's been surprised that the neighbours have now included us in their invitations and we went next door to Julie and Kyle's for a Christmas Dessert Get-together which was great! Of course I agonised a bit over what to make and bring along until Tom suggested trifle. We had no custard at the time so had to use cooked pudding and it worked well, tasted delicious and was a hit with all who tasted it. Julie then very kindly brought us in some bread and butter pudding in the dish we left behind. Very neighbourly! They also invited us to their Superbowl party - another first for me - even though I had no idea what was happening in the game.
Now I'm getting ready to go to my new knitting group in Herrin. I went on Ravelry looking for local groups and Michele from the next town replied and volunteered to take me to one that she knew about and had been to a few times. I went for the first time last week and enjoyed every minute. The women were all very friendly and of course there is 'something' about knitting or crocheting together that feels so good! The fact that the group 'hangs out' in The Yarn Shoppe might not be good for my purse, however, as there are so many beautiful yarns on those shelves! I might not resist today!
This morning, I've tried Mhairi's recipe for good old Scottish tablet (which Tom loves) and it seems to be setting nicely right now, so I'll take some along for my knitting buddies, and see if they like it as much as they enjoy my accent!!