Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paintball Birthday

As George grows older, his tastes have changed. He has gone from wanting to go to the soft play area of the local fun-time pizza place to the all out war that is organized paintball.We got to the paintball arena at just before 12 and our warriors got kitted up in their armor.
The paintball hoppers were filled. (We spent a small fortune on paint balls!)Here they all are before the first game. Look how fresh, un-sweaty and paint free everybody is!
All set for the first battle. The tape on arms denotes what team a player is on. George was given a big red X on his back to indicate it is his birthday.

Somebody spilled their paint balls. Once the paint balls have hit the ground, they cannot be used. What a shame.
The actual fighting takes place in amongst some pine trees.Evidence of being in the wars. No, Gordon wasn't eating the paint balls, he was hit squarely in the face and some of the paint came through the air vent on his mask to splatter his face.

Some of those paint balls can really hurt!The Man of the Place seems to come away with the worst of the injuries again.
Sean was one of the people on the winning team.

Then it was on to pizza and The Cake which is much more my speed. George and Scott admire the tasteful and subtle birthday cake I made.

I did not take part in the paintball myself. If anyone wishes to know why I didn't take part in the paintball portion of the day's activities, I refer you to the above photos of injuries.The day was rounded off with some relaxing on sofas and watching videos. Happy 15th George!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Voted!

As I am still an American citizen, I received my overseas ballot today. I promptly filled it out and have sent it back in the post.

The overseas ballot is so fun. You even get a Secrecy Envelope! How cool is that?!
I have voted!

Please use your vote in the upcoming election!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gone Fishin'

My father's favourite pastime has always been fishing.My Dad (holding the string of fish) Paul and Jim.

He still manages to fish a bit during the summer. He lives in Colorado now and recently he went up into the mountains with his friend Virginia (who has kindly sent me these lovely photos) and did a little bit of fishing near her cabin. The only thing that was caught were these images of my dad doing something he has enjoyed doing his entire life. I sure wish I could go fishing with him. It has been so long since I've been fishing, I don't know if I could do it without my dad near by. Who would untangle my line when I've turned it into a bird's nest? Who'd give me advice on casting? At the end of the day comes one of the best parts about fishing, talking about the ones that got away.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Work Continues

Just wanted to send a link to one of the other blogs. . . .

The Extension

The Man of the Place has been hard at work . . . .

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Plea for Sympathy

Yesterday, I took the day off from work because I had a nasty headache brewing. Then about 1 pm I got a fever spike. I was doing cartoon like shivering. I took some pills (better living through chemistry) and went to bed. Hours later, no fever and feeling a lot better I got up. Okay so I was a little clammy, but nothing a good bath wouldn't sort out.

I did some work on the computer (dedication) after taking some more pills I went back to bed at a normal time. I knew I wasn't 100% but I didn't think I was ill enough to call in TWO days in a row so more pills and off I went. I was just fine until about 2.15 when I felt the shivers coming on again. Man, I hate those. More pills (nurofen in case you are worried that I'm connected with Class A controlled substances) and back home to the restorative comfort of my snowflake jammies. The temp is down to 101 F/38.3 C and the shivering has stopped.

We have the old mercury thermometer and I was actually worried that my chattering teeth would shatter the thing and then I'd have broken glass and mercury as well. That hasn't happened though. I may go out and get a new modern thermometer, but you just don't' think of these things when everybody is well.

I'm going on line to fish for comforting words.

The Man of the Place as wonderful as he is and as much as I love him is rubbish when somebody is ill and will all but ignore the ill person. Unlike other men he just wants to be left alone when he's not feeling well and has always assumed that other people feel the same way. We don't!

Do you think it could be malaria?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Sum Total

This is the apple crop for this year.
The apples are from one of the two apple trees here on the place. The tree that managed to bear fruit was Discovery. The Johnagold gave us nothing despite early signs that we'd have a few on that tree.

There was an obvious problem with either pollination or bad weather conditions when the trees were in bloom. Was there a frost that went unnoticed? I am wondering what I should do with these three specimens.

I'd like everybody here at the house to enjoy them. We could each eat one apple but that's a bit uneventful. Then I thought I could make a small apple crumble. I think I'll do that. Small apple crumble it is. We'll have it for desert tonight with dinner.

Our trees have only been here a few short years and I feel that they have yet to hit their stride. The scab that was on the Discovery tree last year is still there but only a very mild case of it. Now that I have "harvested" the crop (with one hand) I will be spraying the fruit trees with more bordeaux mixture and see if I can get rid of the apple scab completely.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

September Storm

The storm woke me at about 4.30 this morning. There is a lot of wind. I thought for sure that the electricty was going to go but it never did. By noon it calmed down a bit. I haven't braved the elements to go collect the Saturday paper. I may just leave it.As the day has progressed, The Man of the Place and I discovered there has been a casualty in the garden. The ancient buddleia has been uprooted. It was a pretty white one. The above photo was taken from the window in our back sitting room. I had cut a large portion of the crown of this buddleia out in February as I wanted it to be a bit lower to the ground. It is a shrub rather than a tree but you would have never known that by looking at the overgrown specimen on the east side of our house. I was afraid to cut it back too hard as I didn't want to kill it. I killed an old buddleia doing that shortly after we moved here. Sadly, because of my timidity I didn't prune enough and now it's gone.

Butterflies just love this shrub. In the late summer it is a favourite passtime to go out with a mug of tea and watch the butterflies go nuts on the blossoms of the Buddleia.

On the up side, I have a new one to go in its place. I bought a deep purple variety in August. This one was for sale one of the tables at a local village cream tea. Naturally it hasn't stopped raining enough for me to find a place to pop it into the ground. Now I've got the perfect site . . .

There is still a lot of wind but the rain has mercifully stopped for the moment. The house has become so damp that we had to turn on the central heating and light the two open fires. Keeping the damp at bay is a lifelong battle.

If anybody is coming out to visit us this afternoon, can you stop by the shop and get our paper from Jimmy on your way? We can then read it from the comfort of our sofas in front of the fire and listen to the wind whistle through what is left of the trees.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Remember The Ducklings?

Do you remember that back in June we had some ducklings hatch out here?
They were so cute, weren't they? The cuteness of the baby ducklings was so powerful that it drew in visitors in from as far as Hamilton!

The ducklings are all grown now. Aren't they handsome? They are fully formed adult ducks. I think they are so handsome. They don't even squeak anymore, they quack. They grow so fast, don't they?

Just thought you'd like to see them.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Pipistrelle

The Pipistrelle is the UK's smallest and most common bat. I am not suprised that we've got a few around the place. I see loads of bats flying at dusk. Sometimes I will see what looks to be mouse droppings on my car in the morning. They aren't mouse droppings, they are bat droppings. The look very similar. Before we finished the extension, it was my assumption that the bulk of the bats were living in the stone farmworker's cottage. When work began on the building that is reported to have been built in 1835 we may have upset the home of a few bats. They like to live underneath a slate roof, especially if the slate roof is ancient and a number of the slates have slid to the ground over the years. It is my thinking that when the old cottages were re-slated, the bats just moved over to the other building (our house) where they wouldn't be disturbed any further.

The Man of the Place had to go up into the attic before work for something this morning. He came back down almost immediately with an old sofa cushion. Attached to the cushion was a little pipistrelle bat! I don't think it was very well as it didn't move. It also had a couple of spider webs on its fur. I understand that bats are very clean animals and groom themselves and each other often. The fact that this little creature looked untidy could be a sign that he's unwell. It allowed me to take a number of photographs of it.You can see the cobwebs on its fur in this photo.
I took a photo with the bat near my hand so you can see just how tiny they are.

When I finished taking pictures of it, I moved the bat to the middle of one of my hanging baskets. This way the little flying mammal is safe from Julio our cat. I KNOW I am not a registered bat handler and I should be touching or moving bats, but what are we supposed to do in these instances?

The little bat is really very beautiful and I hope it perks up and lives a long and happy insect eating life.

The above pictured bat was just fine in the end. He chilled out in the hanging basket until dark and then took off.

MEANWHILE another bat got lost and was flitting around in our living room. I was trying to watch a re-run of House (Hugh Laurie is delicous) and the bat was just too distracting. I closed the doors and opened the windows and it eventually flew out.

I now suspect there is an entire colony living up underneath our slates. Good thing I'm not the squeamish type.