If We Were Having Coffee 03/11/19

Good Morning! How are you? Take your coat off and sit down. What can I get you; a Cappuccino; flat white; espresso; perhaps a cup of tea? It’s been over a week since I last posted, so I’m slipping with the schedule, but it’s been a busy week.

Half Term

The boys have been off school for Halloween/Half Term, and I took some annual leave so that I could be off with them. That’s been a real treat; we managed to get out for some lovely walks with the dogs, I collected conkers, the dogs chased squirrels and the boys made sure my laundry pile didn’t decrease any, regardless of how many loads went into the washing machine.

We have two dogs, both rescues of a similar age but they aren’t related. Masie, the canine food hoover, is a Schnauzer/ Fox Terrier cross who loves to roll in anything stinky; and Bran is a Border Terrier and something equally feisty. He was rescued from a shipping container in Dublin port with 200 other pups, on their way to who knows where! He’s a lot better than he was but still has ‘issues’ particularly with loud noises, needless to say, he’s not fond of fireworks. We call him our Irish Border Terrierist.

Small hairy terrier asleep on the couch
Look at that, butter wouldn’t melt!

He does love ‘small furries’ – that is he loves to chase them, and given the opportunity, he’d love to shake them until they are deaded. So squirrel season in the park is marked by big mad zoomies as he loops around with excitement. It’s an exercise of enthusiasm over strategy as he has no idea about stalking.

The squirrels see him coming and are able to leg it up a tree and laugh and shout insults at him from a safe height. <in a French accent> “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!”

On the subject of small woodland animals, particularly those who need to be protected from Bran, there has been great excitement in our house over a recent visitor. We have a hedgehog! We have suspected that one was lurking, but this was confirmed by a sighting this week, so we have started leaving some food and water out for it.

Hedgehog, rolled up in a ball,
A startled hedgehog who visits our garden after dark

Yes, we are being careful, it is getting some dog food, no milk or fish as they are intolerant to both. Every morning the bowl is licked clean, and we had a second sighting last night; with the lights off we were able to watch it tuck in and then run off at surprising speed once finished.

I was a bit late in getting any Halloween decorations up, but we got there eventually and spent a full afternoon carving pumpkins. For some reason, both of my boys seem to be a bit overwhelmed by anything creative or arty, are quick to profess no talent there and give up; so I’m trying to build their confidence so that they might enjoy it some more. That’s why traditions like this are so useful, there’s no right or wrong way of carving a pumpkin, we just go with where it takes us.

 

Sad looking pumpkin jack
a stab in the dark
img_2005
scary enough for you?

Having said that after a few hours outside, guiding little knife clad hands in the cold, over a slippy pumpkin skin prone to slippage, I was more than ready for a stiff drink afterwards. Hopefully, I hid my wreaked nerves and they built a bit more confidence, they were certainly happy with their results which was the main thing.

I managed to do a lot of baking too, buns mainly, for Cub No 1’s Halloween Party, but I also managed an Eve’s Pudding (with hidden coins inside) which was perfect after a 3 hour Trick or Treat session with Cub No 2 – I hope he remembers this when he’s older!

 

How’s your coffee, do you need a top-up?

I’m spending more time with my Mum & Dad at the moment, they live about 3/4 hour’s drive away. At 81, my Dad is not in the best of health, with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s, which is supremely difficult for my Mum. She is a star, doing everything for him under very difficult circumstances with no thanks. We are trying to figure out some way of getting help but as you’ll appreciate, this is not easy.

In happier news though, this is our wedding anniversary, Mr. Plot & I got hitched this day 12 years ago, on a beautiful autumn day just like today.

I remember it fondly. It had been quite the journey getting to that point, all of us still bear the scars, I wrote about those here 2nd Wife’s Club but we got there, and the wedding itself really was a celebration of joy. I’ve picked up a few tips on the way and wrote about them here Ten Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

 

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