Thursday, December 31, 2009
*my husband and children. They make me laugh on a daily basis-sometimes it's at them other times at myself.
*to live in a country where I understand the language- most of the time anyway, LOL!
*snow days that occur with less than 18 inches of snowfall :-)
*my cat who likes to sneak up and scare me at least once a day-okay maybe not that thankful but she does get my heart pumping that's for sure!
*a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs, cars that work, petrol in the tank, gainful employment and the love of the Lord in our hearts.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
We've taken things to sheep street and have given to local charities and will also take on base and donate items there too.
I'm off to have lunch and then get back to work.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Have you ever heard of the term "rabbit holing it"? It's where you come home with scrapping tools and paper and just "put them" where you have space. I knew someone who would lose items and end up re-buying the exact same things- once she bought the same tool 3 times because she forgot where she put it. My friend has been reformed with help from yours truly (and yes she reads my blog-this will make her laugh). But honestly,there's not a one of us that has not ever has been guilty "rabbit holing". I know that I have and your probably guilty too, LOL!
There are a few different ways to tackle this and the one one that has worked the best for me is to have a designated "work area". Have an assigned place for your tools, from scissors, rulers,paper trimmers to the big paper cutters, Sizzix, Quickutz, Cuttle Bug and Cricut. Does this "work area" have elbow room? Where you can spread out your tools and use them? Is there adequate storage near this assigned work area for your tools- or at least for your frequently used tools? There's lots to think about when creating your work space. Do you have tools that you aren't using? Or ones that you use so infrequently that if you really think about it they are just taking up valuable space?
An easy solution for tool organization is the peg board. We've seen this stuff above our husbands work area in the garage. I had this in my littlest scrapbook nook and loved it! Everything was right there at my finger tips and the hooks were easy to move around to accommodate items of various sizes.. So hunting for scissors or rulers, all my needs where right in front of me. Another tool is the rail system. Through a series of "hooks" that can slide back and forth you can hang your tools and other items such as embellishments- similar in concept to the peg board but not requiring a large block of space but rather a horizontal area long enough to accommodate the rail and items hanging from it. I bought mine at Ikea (in the kitchen section) and was surprised at how inexpensive they were and there's these cool baskets that you can hang from them as well (nothing was more than £3 or $5 US), plus the hooks of course. I have one basket that I'm hanging from my work station for things I want to have right there or things that I can place there that will need to be put away when I'm done using them.
I know that I need to post pictures of these things I'm talking about (that's a New Years Resolution I'm still working on from last 2 years, LOL!). I also need to go on another Ikea run- I've got a cubby space to fill and I know exactly what I want to fill it with :-)
-King Whitney Jr.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Moving is not for wimps. Having ones entire house packed up and moved across the USA is one thing, moving to a NEW country is quite different.That being said it's time to get my scrapbook nook reorganization project into high gear!
I love organizing and reorganizing spaces, figuring out how to better utilize a space puts me in my element. I'm once again in a new to me house and am working with the space I have been given-trying hard not to use the kids closets as auxiliary storage spots as I had done in the past. I want everything I use for scrapbooking and paper crafting to be in my scrapbook nook and no place else-no exceptions!
You've seen pictures of my past scrapbook nooks and how I've made them into usable working spaces with the items and resources available to me. If you've not seen them then please check out my webshots page-look in album titled "my scrapbook nook/craft room". Each time I've tried something new and different, this space will be yet again be something new. I will not be painting the walls as I did in my past 2 spaces as I find the buttercup yellow paint color soft and pleasing to the eye while the white crown molding gives it a touch of elegance once doesn't normally find in a craft room.
Craft rooms don't have to be a utilitarian work space- they can be anything we want them to be. I've found inspiration for my scrapbook nook's new look on the internet. While doing research on what others have currently going on in their spaces and combining it with bits and pieces of my past crafting spaces, I've been able to come up with something that I find functional and aesthetically pleasing. Set yourself a plan and work accordingly. Draw up a sketch of the dimensions of your proposed space, consider what you want to put into that space and how you want it to work. Layout your actual working space and the storage space, is there a fluid movement and working connection between the two areas?
Next- Set yourself a budget! I've had more than one friend run into some big problems when they see one thing and they buy it and then they see something else and change their mind from the original plan and get something else. That's why I'm telling you- do some research on the internet, see what works for others in their spaces, if you can, ask them questions on where they bought their items, the sizes and yes even the costs. You'll find that many people already include that information in their descriptions to better help others checking out their websites.
Measure the walls, if you're considering hanging heavy shelving units be sure to locate the wall studs before purchasing the units. Is the floor uneven? check it as you may have to anchor any shelves or drawer units to the walls.
Containers- finding the type of container that works for your space sets the tone of how you will display and in essence organize your tools, embellishments, papers and more. First and foremost it's got to hold your stuff. Make sure to measure where you want the container to go, how will this container be displayed? Will it be stacked with many other containers of the same kind? Or will it be mixed with others of varying sizes? What exactly are you going to be putting into said containers? As you see, there are many things to consider in the purchase of your containers.
Stay tuned for pictures- I've got all kinds of things to take pictures of in my British version of My Scrapbook Nook.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Prince Albert, who was German, introduced the Christmas tree to England after his marriage to Queen Victoria in 1840.
German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought Christmas trees to America.
The Druids believed mistletoe fell from heaven and grew onto a tree that sprang from Earth. Mistletoe thus represented the joining of heaven and earth, and God's reconciliation with mankind. A kiss under mistletoe symbolized acceptance and reconciliation.
Patron saint of children and sailors, Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Asia Minor. He was famous for giving gifts to children. His feast day, December 6, became a children's holiday in Holland, where he is known as Sint Nikolaas. English colonists in New York (previously the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam) called him “Santa Claus” because they couldn't pronounce the Dutch name. The English began celebrating the feast day on Christmas.
Kriss Kringle, another name for Santa Claus, developed in Germany around 1600. German Protestants recognized December 25, the birth of the Christ child, Christkindl, as the time to give gifts. “Christkindl” evolved into “Kriss Kringle.”
In the Netherlands and Germany, the Santa Claus figure often rode through the sky on a horse to deliver presents to children. He often wore a bishop's robes and was sometimes accompanied by Black Peter, an elf who whipped naughty children. In addition to the tradition of Saint Nicholas, the three Wise Men gave gifts to the baby Jesus, starting the Christmas gift tradition.
Christmas trivia courtesy of Trivia Today firstname.lastname@example.org
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
It's funny how a little bit of snow really puts a whammy on this country. From roads and driving to airline departures. I was reading an news article on this very topic and even the Brit's are fed up with how unprepared their local government is when it comes to dealing with snow removal. Now having just spend 6 years in winter hell I know how to drive in freezing rain, blowing snow and even on black ice. I'm not worried about myself and driving in bad conditions, I'm worried about the other driver who doesn't have my experience in driving in these kinds of weather conditions. Just another reason why I had my Honda minivan shipped here- I know how it handles in these kinds of weather conditions plus it's got traction control- love that feature! Okay so the heated seats and mirrors are another added bonus to the winter package. Even the kids seats in the middle are heated- yes it's a sweet ride to say the least!
So please everyone, if you do not need to be out on the road in this crazy winter weather, please stay home! Stay home and be safe! Stay home and do something fun with your kids like baking cookies and listening to Christmas music.
PS- Please keep us in your prayers as we have to go out in this weather later on as my daughter is having oral surgery today. My husband is driving back from London this morning- I hope that the roads are clear and everyone is not in a hurry.
-W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), The Painted Veil, 1925
Monday, December 21, 2009
So today our boy will be on his first international trip-alone.You can't even begin to know how worried this makes me, he's never flown alone before, I've always been with him. I suppose we've got to let him spread his wings and do this on his own. Keep him in your prayers for a safe journey.
Now Hannah is not without having things going on- tomorrow she's having oral surgery (yes, it's to do with orthodontics). My poor baby! But at least her mouth should be healed enough to have her British Christmas dinner! Please keep her in your prayers for a quick recovery.
Speaking of having a British Christmas Dinner...went shopping at my FAVORITE grocery store Waitrose. Bought the yummiest things there, from our huge fresh chicken for our Sunday dinner to Sticky Toffee Pudding, Yule log (the Belgian chocolate kind) to Christmas crackers (the non-edible kind) and of course several large bags of Cadbury Buttons for Andrew to take with him and give to his friends! The Fresh Veggies there are the best! We filled the grocery cart full of yummy holiday treats, the ones that can only be described as adding a touch of a European flair. We've got foods from Italy, Belgium, Germany, England, Scotland and of course and America. Needless to say we're having our own Christmas around the World :-) One I hope to repeat every year from now on! What are Christmas traditions but to add to and make your own, right?
Can you see it all made into scrapbook pages? Loads of pictures or maybe just one with tons of journaling about what makes this Christmas so special? I know that I can! January will be a scrapbooking marathon month for me, I can feel it!
*Our 1st year celebrating Christmas in England.
*Our 1st year of celebrating Christmas w/o our son (who is going to SD to spend the Holidays with his friends).
*Our 1st Christmas (in years) without at least a foot of snow on the ground.
*And it's the first time that we'll be more than a couple hours time difference from our families.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
And the title will be-" Nothing says Christmas like... " and each page will be about a different piece of Christmas Cheer. I encourage you all to make a page about the little things that bring Christmas into your heart.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
We attended a Christmas party last night and it was wonderful! I loved seeing everyone all dressed up looking posh and sparkly. The meal was excellent as was the service. The entertainment-that ended up being ourselves, the folks putting on the party did a great job! Playing games and laughing - it was a hoot! I laughed throughout the evening, there was not a moment when I didn't have a smile on my face. Now did I bring my camera? No-ugh! I would have loved to have taken some pictures of friends at this event (especially while they were not wearing their usual military garb). I'm smiling even now as I remember what fun we had last night-what a great evening spent with friends.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
We've been trying to plan a family mini-tip for some time and when my darling husband came up with the idea of going to Scotland I said sure why not! Well at the last minute our son decided that he would rather stay home and finish up the virtual ton of homework that he was assigned. We tried to convince him to come with us but alas it was to no avail. So off we went- the 3 of us.
Monday- the first stop on our journey took us to RAF Lakenheath for an orthodontic appointment for our daughter. Hannah is now in braces for a 3rd time. My husband and I finally feel that we're with an orthodontist that actually cares for his patients, he's one that looks into all avenues of treatment and care and the long term goal of said treatments and not just one. Hannah has some special circumstances in regards to her orthodontic care. Circumstances that the other orthodontists didn't address, no matter how much I pressured him on the subject. Then when he did, it was for her to have jaw surgery- all I had to say is...um dude there's so many other avenue to explore and jaw surgery is only a last resort. So we've started down a new road with orthodontics and will be having her jaw/teeth crowding issues addressed by someone who actually cares about his patients.
After we did some shopping at the base we headed out for the first leg of our journey. We ended up in the little town of Whetherby and stayed at a brand new hotel (what are the chances of that happening in England?). We ate dinner in a charming local pub and dinner was delightful! After that it was hanging out in our hotel- reading and then off to slumber land-well at least it was for me. Hannah was doing math homework and the spouse was checking on his fantasy football team, LOL!
Tuesday saw us up at the crack of dawn and out the door---we were Scotland bound to say the least! We stopped off at RAF Menwith Hill to get fill up the gas tank then we were off! It was way too early to call on friends that live up there and we really didn't have time to visit with them properly so after filling up the gas tank we were off!
The drive up was full of detours and for a moment I thought I was in the south- were every trucker was out on the road! The weather,it was pretty typical British weather- fog and rain all day long. But that was not about to stop us for going to Scotland and seeing the city of Edinburgh. We arrived around 1:30 pm and after a little walking around, we were ready for lunch! Ate at a pub- it was so-so. More walking around, looking at the sights and later on in the evening we had Indian take out or as they say here in the UK, take away and it was to die for! Oh my gosh it was the BEST Indian food Hannah and I have ever had! And my husband tried Indian food for the very first time, even he liked it (at least he ate like he liked it, LOL).
Wednesday took us to Edinburgh Castle- if you ever come out this way this is a MUST SEE! It was fantastic! Granted it was foggy and raining intermittently throughout the day but we were not about to let that stop us from enjoying our time in Edinburgh! The view of the city from the castle was amazing! You could see for miles! The history is so well preserved, this place is well taken care of and it shows. We dined at the Castle and the food was delicious! The hot soup was delicious and it warmed us right up and the prices were spot on good!
Along the way on the Royal Mile, we went to many different shops and we bought some things to remind us of our special trip to Scotland. For me it was a Diana,Princess of Wales Memorial Tartan Scarf and Tam set. I'll have to wait on getting myself the serape later-maybe for Valentines Day :-) To find out more on the Diana Memorial Tartan- please click on her name.
Hannah- that girl of mine is too darn cute for her own good! My husband is such a softy when it comes to our daughter :-) We bought her an adorable Angora hand knitted cap, it was simple too sweet on her head! It reminds me of a ripe strawberry (her favorite fruit), it's the perfect sort of thing for a teen girl. After touring the tartan shop we came out with such a new appreciation and knowledge of the various tartan weaves. Yup, this is another MUST SEE MUST DO kind of thing!
I can't begin to tell you how much walking we did , it seems that all of our vacations include a great deal of walking(insert small chuckle here). Even in the cold (40º) and intermittently rainy weather we managed to enjoy our time. Our last dinner out in Edinburgh was at a lovely Italian restaurant. The food was out of this world authentic! None of that watered down subdued Italian like I had in Oxford THIS was the real McCoy! From the pasta to the Tiramisu it was all fresh and obviously hand made! The service everywhere in Scotland was top notch.
The B&B we stayed in was great! Would we stay there again? In a heart beat! I'd tell you all the name but I'm afraid that if I do you'll book it up and we'd have no place to say. I will say this, it has a 4 star rating from the Scottish tourist board- and it deserves every star! Its charming decor and friendly inn keepers make this place some place I want to stay at again.
On our last day (Thursday) we awoke to SNOW! Our inn keeper was concerned for us driving in the snow- we let him know where we last lived that this was "nothing" and we know how to drive in the snow ;-) Our drive home was snow filled, but no true accumulation. We ate lunch at a "Road Chef" restaurant- now I had always sneered at these kinds of places but decided to give it a try (our motto-you only live once). I have to say that our meal was pretty good and a good value for the price. We all had the fail safe meal- fish and chips.
Snow, snow and more snow, some blinding sunlight for a while, sleet and more snow. The highway traffic coming home wasn't that bad and I can honestly say that it was no where as bad as it was getting to Lakenheath, that took us a full 3 hours w/o rest stops!
We finally got to see black and brown sheep. I've not seen them here where I live, but they seemed to be everywhere in Scotland. Cute City! I must be the only one who thinks sheep are adorable! I love lambies and have started a small collection of sheep items.
Alright, my family is still sleeping and it's nearly 6 am- should I wake them? Or just enjoy my coffee in peace and quite while sitting in my favorite recliner? I vote for the recliner...I certainly don't need them around pestering me to make them breakfast, LOL!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
My Scrapbook Nook is going under some serious renovations and I love it! Every new place gives me an opportunity to try something new- how many of us really get that chance? To move every few years, to pack up everything and reorganize it all in a new to us place. I never even gave painting the walls a thought as I actually enjoy this buttercup yellow paint, I find it refreshing and cheery. I am working on my window treatment- need to get a hammer and some nails ;-) My giant clothes pins are going up and I'll be hanging/displaying some of my scrapbook layouts on the walls. I love the fact that I've gone with white and chrome on the furniture, with black and white storage pieces. It just seems so open now. Now for me to finish getting that room together- it's going to take some time for me to have it thoroughly organized and arranged to be as I want it to be, but I've got time on my side now ;-)
~Augusta E. Rundel
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Of course I'm wide awake at 1 am and proceeded to check out what they've gotten done in the room. Both shelf units are up and ready to have items stored in/on them. I went to the dining room and unpacked a box marked "craft room glass"- knowing that that is where my jars of ribbons, buttons and Prima flowers are located. Well time just flew as I was working away organizing stuff in my scrapbook nook and before I knew it, it was 5:30 am-eeek! You know what that means...it's coffee time!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Those that have been keeping up with all of the purging I've done this past year; of household items to all of the craft room supplies and basically donating everything under the sun- well here we go again!
My Toss pile is relatively small. basically it's old school work from the kids, clothing that has been worn out and some broken items.
My Donate pile- well it's spread into a couple of large boxes and is still growing. There's also the plastic storage carts that I'm weeding out. It's frustrating for me at this point because I'm pulling out even more stuff and wondering why I didn't push myself father? Then again I was pretty stressed out with this move 7 months ago.
Keeping and putting into Storage- storage would consist of things I do want to keep but frankly just don't have the storage space here to keep it. I'm peeling off some of my pottery and bake-ware and am putting it into storage. Cupboard space here is minimal, so I've got to make some hard choices for what stays here and what goes into storage that I will see after this assignment. It's all kinds of things that I used to have out on display such as Candlesticks, vases, dishes, baskets, teacups, tea pots, serve ware- my list is getting longer by the moment.
Furniture is another thing that will be going into storage. Our living room aka lounge is narrow and rather poky. I'm going to have to put somethings from that room into storage as well. Along with paintings and other art work, some wrought iron pieces will also have to go into storage- there simply is not enough room in this house for all of it. We had a home office in the last house- all of that stuff will go into storage minus the small desk and file cabinet.
Now for me to finish my fruit smoothie and get to work in the laundry room/butlers pantry!
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I do need to make another IKEA run, I've already started making a list of what I need to buy. My m-i-l asked my husband what I wanted for Christmas, she suggested to him some quilting or crafting supplies (apparently she had recently seen some fat quarters that caught her eye) and he told her "NO". I had to laugh! After the firm NO he told her that I'm looking for organizational items to help me keep the "crafting items" that I have organized and out of sight and with that said, she's sending money so I can shop at IKEA...got to love that husband of mine!
I went to some charity shops yesterday looking for some organizational items- hat boxes mainly. I've seen some before but not this time around. I found some boxes at WH Smith but they were brown and not black. I'm going to keep looking, I'll eventually find what I'm looking for-I just need to be patient :-)
--Ramona L. Anderson
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
*Buy umbrellas for both teens
*Buy ornament for exchange tonight
*Fold and put away laundry
*Store seasonal clothes
*Fix son's pants
*Rearrange living room furniture (again) to accommodate Christmas Tree
*Locate Christmas dishes-use them daily for the rest of month
Simple list, lets see how much I get done.
Monday, December 07, 2009
I'm happy to be done with plastic carts! They've served their purpose well in my scrapbook nook's at our various assignments over the years and now it's simply time for me to move on. I no longer want everything in clear see-through bins, the more I think about it the more (to me) it felt like chaos behind a glass wall. I want simple clean lines and a more unified look. Granted I'll still have my clear acrylic shoe boxes for my stamps, but those are just stamps-you can see that they are stacked and not something that's just been "tossed in" and the lid closed down on top of it. And glass jars? Well those are for storing ribbon, chipboard, Prima flowers and other colorful embellishments that I don't mind seeing out on display.
I've been thinking about being done with my fishing tackle box for my embellishments as well-although I would repurpose that item for something for my husband. Although I do like it, the box its self is rather cumbersome to take out and go through on a regular basis. I want to simplify and well, the tackle box is on my "hit list" of items to be reduced from my scrapbook nook.
The rail- I can hardly wait to get it up and have embellishments out on it. I have a great many sheets of rub-on letters and phrases, fantastic cardstock stickers and all sorts of wonderful 3-d embellishments that have been tucked away in those plastic cart drawers for the past couple of years. I know that If I was to see there hanging up on a rail that I would actually start using them again! I'm not looking to buy all new supplies, I want to use up what I have on hand! I do not need cardstock for quite some time and I'm limiting myself on stamps. Tools- unless it's something that I feel that I can not live without, I will not be buying any more of them. There is a saturation limit on crafting tools and supplies and to be honest, I think that I've reached mine. Now it's time to see what else I can live without and "reduce" from my stash.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Now the past 2 times I've gone shopping in Ikea with my husband we left the kids at home- believe it or not it made a vast improvement on our shopping experience in the store. Also, knowing what you are looking for helps- we shopped on line, looking at items there and in the catalog.
I've been using google and looking at many different websites, checking out what other scrapbookers and stampers here in the UK are using in their studios and crafting spaces. After looking at and studying some of the sites that have rooms similar in size to mine, I started measuring and seeing what I can do to improve mine and make it a more functional space while improving it's over all look.
So here's my latest haul from Ikea
The wire baskets (above) and rail (below) are from the Bygel collection for the Kitchen. The prices for these will amaze you (yes they are inexpensive). I've been looking at things like for years in scrapbooking magazines and Creating Keepsakes even sold some stuff like this although it was too pricey for me. I've always liked the idea of using a rail but I put that idea on my list of future plans. I bought 2 long and 1 short rail for this room.
I'm also putting one of these rails and 2 of the larger baskets in my kitchen above my stove for store items like my every day spices and kitchen utensils
The Slom jar from Ikea- comes in 4 different sizes, this is the 1.8 size and it's a great size for storing ribbon or pasta (I bought several jars- for each of those things).
The Billy Collection- I'm loving this collection, have bought a few Billy items and they are great! This is going to be mounted on the wall, it's cubbie spaces are perfect for me to store those Slom jars or the Malla baskets (see below). They are 40 inches long and I bought 2 to use in my space.
The new drawer unit- This is from the Alex collection and it the tall drawer unit (there's also a shorter wider version). I'm purging myself of my addiction to plastic carts- I know it's hard to believe right? I want clean lines and a clean look, not a jumbled looking mess. And right now I have plenty going on in the mess department!
The Malla basket-found these gems in the closet organizer section of Ikea. I had looked at these cute crochet baskets but they were just too floppy! I wanted something that was more box like and not like a crocheted tote bag. Granted those crocheted totes were pretty darn cute but just not what I was looking to use for this project- may have to get one for my yarn though ;-)
Smadal Bookcase with glass doors this is where the Malla baskets will go- holding all types of crafting goodies. There's a large drawer on the bottom to house things that you don't want on display.
I do see a good relationship being forged, all because we decided to give Ikea a second try-and frankly I'm glad we did! I'll probably be making another Ikea run soon, I will need another Bygel rail and some more of those nifty baskets to house my scrapbooking embellishments, tools and my little jars of Prima flowers. Now for me to get upstairs and help my husband by clearing out all of the items that we're replacing with furniture from Ikea. Stay tuned for my before and after pictures of my UK version of My Scrapbook Nook.
Friday, December 04, 2009
I realize that I do need to make another trip to Ikea for organizing material if I'm to get anything accomplished in at least 4 rooms. I like this house don't get me wrong, it's just that there was not enough attention to detail when it came to storage. But with help from Ikea, we can fix that! :-)
Now to draw up some plans and work some more on those boxes in our dear daughter's closet...you know, the ones that have "Craft Room" written on them, LOL!
And a funny tidbit- Queen sized beds are apparently a US thing.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
When converting the British pound to US dollars, well it can get rather expensive. We may live in the UK but we're still paid in US dollars. The conversion rate changes every day but the average is $1.70 US to every British £1.00- that's a hefty exchange rate. So when I look at something that's only £25.00 in reality for me it's $41.57-ouch! Sales tax where we were last stationed was only 6% and here in the UK it's called VAT (value added tax) which currently it's 15% but starting in January it'll be going back up to 17.5% (ouch). But the British (and other foreign countries in the EU do something that America should adopt- when you look at the price tag and it says 10£ you pay 10£...the sales tax is added into the price. In America we look at the price and see it being $10 we have to add in the sales tax (which varies from state to state and in each country within the state) which makes it $10.60- I can see where this would be very confusing to foreign vacationers- heck it's confusing to many Americans too, LOL!
Oh look at me as I digress from my topic.
So with Christmas upon us, and having bought airline tickets for our son to travel to America to see his friends for the Holidays (I still can't believe that this will be our 1st Christmas and New Years without our son)- well the pocket book is a little tight right now. I've got plans lined out on what I want to do but they will have to wait a bit. I know that I desperately need more storage and I've even gone as far as to start purging even more stuff from my scrapbook nook. If I'm not using it, it's outta here! Then again It's safe to say that I've not been using any of it for 6 months right? LOL! I want to get a new work table, some shelves and cubbies. Basically all of the items that were in my last scrapbook nook just on a smaller scale.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I seem to work in circles, getting bits done in every room. My quilting corner is in our breakfast room along with our computer and a few other pieces of furniture(I dare say that it's a decent sized room). The armoire is in the formal dining room, and I'll soon have all of my fabrics stored in there -currently the tubs of fabric are out in the garage, which reminds me, it's time to bring them babies inside!
I've been looking at fabrics on line (yes I'm being naughty). As if I don't have enough fabrics or quilt projects going on, LOL! Alright, enough playing...now I need to get a move on and get this place in order!
I'm off, I've got to work some more on those boxes and get things organized before Christmas. And at the pace I'm working, I'll be lucky if everything is out away by New Years Day!
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I've been working on one small project, the laundry room/butlers pantry. I've got the cabinets organized, now to get working on the boxes that are underneath of the counter top and the huge piles of stuff on top of the washer and dryer. I'm doing my keep/toss/donate piles and frankly the toss and donate pile keep getting bigger and bigger. I'm keep toying with the idea of keeping a few things for sending off with Andrew when he goes off to college next year- what I should do is donate all of this stuff and just wait until he gets state side and shop then. Funny thing, I just did a major purge a few months ago in preparation for this move and now here I am...purging again. Funny what we can "let go of" when he have to, LOL! Don't fall over...I'm even purging handbags and shoes, LOL!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Now I have made some major breakthroughs in unpacking boxes and my husband has in making/creating storage for us. This is a lovely house but there's just not enough storage in it for us. So I'm purging even more stuff and am also pulling items to have repacked and put into permanent storage. The formal dining room is very recognizable and so is the living room. Now for the rough part, getting the rest of this stuff put away and then decorating for Christmas.
The most frustrating part of this move besides the unrepairable damage) is all of the mislabeled boxes. It's hard enough waiting 5 or more months for ones personal belongings but to open boxes and not have those items in said boxes- well its enough to make you go a little batty after opening say 30 boxes that way. We have been looking everywhere for my husbands ski boots, and the last time we saw them was out in the garage where my husband had put them- next to his skis and poles. Those boots were not in any boxes that were packed in the garage and frankly we were beginning to wonder if those ski boots walked away. And yesterday as my husband and daughter were unpacking boxes in her room they found them- packed in a box labeled "Towels and Lamp"- no mention of ski boots being in the box. But so far the favorite label on boxes is between 2 things it's either marked "craft room" which was starting to get me into hot water with my husband and the other is "Longaberger Baskets". There can be 1 basket in there and suddenly it's plural and the room designation is either the dining room or (yes you guessed it) Craft room. These guys must have thought that the entire house was a Craft Room, LOL! Kitchen cutlery- craft room, husbands winter clothes- craft room Christmas ornaments- now that one was marked for our daughters room, LOL!
Now I've slowed down some today and am taking time to to do some hand-washing of the glassware that I unpacked last night- just the items that won't fit in the dishwasher. There's that and I find the warm water soothing to my hands.
~ Winnie the Pooh
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
So today I'm going to play in my new kitchen. My husband bought me some cool kitchen items like this HUGE wooden cutting board and some drawer organizers too. Friends of ours are having a dinner party and I volunteered to bring dessert :-) I can't begin to tell you how much I adore making and bringing treats to my friends! So the cream cheese has got to be at room temperature by now and I can drink coffee as I bake this special treat. What kind of cheesecake? It's one that I learned in one of my chef classes and one I like to call "A slice of Heaven". It's got 3 different kinds of chocolate. I have one recipe that has chocolate in it 7 different ways- that one is called Death by Chocolate. I'll let you know later how it turns out.
I love my friends for trying to console me, trying to cheer me up by telling me that now I can shop for a new bed here in England. For me, buying furniture is not like buying a new scarf, for me it's a process. It's like hunting around in an antique store with a million and one items in it and finding that one little 'gem" of an item be it a teapot, a towel rack or a wine carafe that just speaks to you. The part that no one realizes is that it took us 11 years to find "that bed" our bed. My husband poured his time and soul into finishing the bed, sanding it, staining it finishing it. It was a labor of love. I've made the decision to just get a basic metal bed frame and find a simple headboard and that's it. We'll look again when we get back to the states for a bed.
And yes, this will also get a scrapbook layout made all about it. I've got plans for a series of layouts all to do with the subject of "HOME". How many of us are guilty of taking things for granted? Of over looking something as lovely as a favorite jacket, handbag or pair of shoes? Heaven knows we overlook our furniture all of the time. It's not that I'm at a loss of subject matter to scrap pages about- heaven knows I have even Christmas parties to attend in December that I can make an entire scrapbook about (last count there were 7), LOL! Just remember this...It's the every day things that matter most!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Our son is home sick with a bad stomach bug and he's out for any kind of help. Which leaves my husband- not sure if I want him unpacking my dishes, he's better off organizing the kids bedrooms.
Our house is a cardboard castle. There are opened boxes with things strewn out of them, clutter is everywhere and things are in piles all over the place. I've always been envious of those military wives that can move in and have their entire house organized, pictures hung on the walls and curtains hanging up in a week. Our movers have mislabeled so many boxes I don't know where to begin. One box says Hannah's room but it's stuff from the living room, box marked kitchen is something from a bathroom and so forth.
But Thanksgiving Day it is, regardless of how organized I am (or am not as the case may be). I'm Thankful for so many things in my life. My house will come together soon enough and our friends don't care if things are in boxes and I've got a formal dining room table covered in stacks of dishes and bake ware. They come over to see how we're doing and if they can help...which reminds me- I'm very thankful for the friends we have here in England!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
So today I give thanks...
- That my husband has gainful employment
- That Our family is here together
- That we have food on the table and that our children don't go to bed hungry
- That we have a roof over our heads that protects us from the elements
- That our children are getting a good education here in England
- That we have health care insurance
- That we have warm beds to sleep in
- That we have clothing that keeps us warm in these cooler months
- That our kitty is happy and healthy
- That we have working automobiles to drive
- That we are members of a terrific Parish
- That I have a loving and thoughtful husband
- That I have children who make me laugh every day
- That I'm able to see the humor in just about everything
- That I'm able to create w/ paper, fabric and food...things that delight others
- That I am able to be a SAHM
- That I can volunteer my time with our military community
- That we live in a lovely town that's close to everything but not too busy
- That there are people who volunteer their time in charitable organizations
- That I am able to make a difference in my community
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
One would think that a week of moving was plenty, but as it is, we're into week #2 and we're still in the moving process. Besides all of the things that I shipped here from South Dakota before we (the kids and I) arrived in June. There's the stuff from crate #1, we've also managed to accumulate a lot of stuff. There's all of those school uniforms, shoes (we're all guilty of buying shoes since arriving here- see, it's not just me), a few Portmeirion and Polish Pottery items (wink wink) plus the kids bicycles, the lawnmower, some gardening equpiment it seems as if my list goes on and on. Basically there's not a soul to do the work with exception of myself and since the spouse is at work all day and the kids are in school. None of them will get home until at least 6 pm and of course it's dark and they're tired and hungry! Lets face it-I'm not about to get any work out of them when they're hungry! It's my kids summertime favorite tonight...burgers and dogs!
Friday, November 20, 2009
So. here I am gathering items from one house and am bringing them over to the other house...ugh! I'll be doing that all weekend long! Got to love having my family members leaving the house at 6:50 am and not returning home until 6 pm and asking me..."So, what have you done today?"
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Now I did think that I was going to wait on putting together my new scrapbook nook, but alas those boxes need to go (there are a lot of them). The funny thing is, there was this old dude packing us up at the other house and he labeled boxes "craft room" that did not have craft room stuff in it. I've opened up boxes with blankets, sheets, stuffed toys, throw rugs and even a mini Christmas tree. Needless to say I pointed that out to my husband. You see, I was starting to get into hot water with him because of all of those boxes marked "craft room". I'm innocent I tell you!!! I've not spent THAT much money, not to mention that I've not bought any craft items in 5 months!!!
If we get moved into that other house by Sunday it will be a miracle! Now for me to drive my minivan full of stuff over to the other house, unload it, put it away and start all over again.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Since I haven't seen my crafting things in over 5 months I found that I had to go look at my webshots page and see how I had some things arranged. Sad huh? The thing is, this space is a bit smaller than the last but I do have a closet for added storage. Now for the hitch... there's carpeting. I'm going to need a powerful magnet to pick up metal brads and a vacuum cleaner just for cleaning up all of those little paper snip-its! Stay tuned for pictures in the future.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Today kicks off insanity week for me....
get husband and kids out the door and off to work and school
start load of laundry
Drive into town, see butcher about ordering a fresh turkey
Drive out to RAFC- pick up mail and spouse...
attend a farewell luncheon in Banbury
drop husband back off at work and go home and...
pack minivan with first load of household goods from temporary house
do the walk through of new house with housing inspector (get keys then too)
take pictures of empty home
start bringing over items from temp house and put them in new house
get husband and kids out the door and off to school and work
Bring over a load of items to new house and put away before movers arrive
Movers will arrive at 8am
I'll be at the new place all day
Same things at Tuesday
Thursday and Friday-
Same things as Tuesday and Wednesday just without the movers bringing over stuff, it's me bringing over stuff from the temp house and unpacking stuff from this house.
To be honest, I'm exhausted looking at all of the work I have to get done this week. There's more good news though...friends of ours has had their move in date moved up as well and they are moving into their house next week! I'm thrilled for them!
At last, we can all get settled into our houses and before the holidays!!!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday was just one theatrical event after another.
* I make that back to back dental appointment for my daughter- well she freaks out on me, she lets me know that she's got some big exam in Science and that she can't possibly make it. So I have to call the dental office cancel and reschedule the appointment.
*It was raining cats and dogs where I live, not to mention that it's pitch black outside and windy. The kids weren't dragging their butts, but with all of the bags they have to carry, and use an umbrella well... I knew there's no way that they will make it to the bus stop on time so I jumped in the minivan and drove them to the bus stop (in my pj's no less). Good thing I did that because they really would not have made it! The bus took off early! It's supposed to wait until 7 am to leave. Five or so minutes may not seem that big of a time difference, but to us parents who would have to drive their children to a school that's 1 hour away- we need all the extra minutes we can get!
* I spent the majority of my day in the kitchen baking. Okay so I'd pop on and off on facebook (I am several hours ahead of my girlfriends back in the states), LOL! But seriously between the 6 loads of laundry, the hand washing of fine washables and making my plans for moving things from this house over to the new house next week, well it was a full day!
*Our base is hosting a multi base Deployed Spouses Event tonight. The drama that goes on behind the scenes sometimes is rather comical. One person gets stressed out because of the amount of dignitaries that will be attending and she sends that stress right on down the line. And alas, it stops here with me. I let all parties know that they're going to do fine! It's not that any of them have not done this before and it's going to go off without a hitch! I think that the stress is coming from all of the hype about the event. What it comes down to is the fear that the event will be a flop and everyone wants to make sure the event lives up to the hype. I say- relax and everything will fall into place.
*I'm baking treats for the Deployed Spouses event that's happening this afternoon and also for church tomorrow. I'm enlisting the help of my daughter to get the blueberry muffin, and the zucchini bread made (Zucchini are Courgettes for those British ladies reading my blog). I just adore zucchini, m'm!
*And the move...it's got me going in 20 different directions. How do you get ready to move out of one house and directly into another without help? It's a challenge to say the least! My husband has already informed me that he will be in meetings and is unable to help me. I kind of figured that something like that would happen since the move in date was moved up a week. So here I am, getting all of this done on my own...again. Kids will be i school, the cat will be in the cottage and I'll be at the manor house with the moving people. First things first, I'm bringing over my electric tea kettle and my coffee pot! I'm not about to be w/o caffeine!
The house walk through is on Monday, I'm bringing my camera (actually I'll bring 2 cameras). I will be tasking more in depth pictures this time around. I want to bring over my kitchen and pantry items plus the bathroom items and get that stuff squared away before the movers arrive. Hand towels, soap and toilet tissue are some of the first things I plan on getting into place. My mind is reeling with all of the stuff I have going on over the next few days but if I remain calm and focused on what I need to get done, it will all fall into place.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
At least the move is still on and we are still scheduled to get the keys on Monday and the movers show up on Tuesday and Wednesday!
Take yesterday for instance- child #1 misses the bus, spouse and I are scheduled to be in attendance at another military installation for a Remembrance Day event (husband is part of the event). Our time line changed because our of son and we had to step everything up. I hate getting ready in a rush, something is always forgotten or skipped- this time is was us getting something to eat or drink-ugh! After getting Andrew to school late, we ended up spending 2½ hours on the road yesterday before getting to where "we" needed to be. After all that, we were back home by 1pm and we were both exhausted! I had to take a nap, I could hardly keep my eyes open after all of our running around.
Tuesday's Spouses club meeting went well, we had 5 more ladies in attendance. The club is getting off to a good start (at least I think so). Now for the word to get out and to gain more members. There are things that I would love to do with our group, but alas we need more members if we are to be able to have the social groups such as book club, lunch bunch, scrapbooking, bunco and especially when it comes to volunteering as a group at RAF Croughton.
Today- I'll be spending today making desserts for the Saturday and Sunday events I'm attending. A couple of cheesecakes, some carrot cake, gingerbread cookies and a pound cake. Just call me the baking queen!
Now for my "other news", we got the word and now we're moving in EARLIER into our house!!! Am I excited? You bet I am! But that in its self also causes some other issues to arise, like getting the cable and phone line switched over to the new house which is only up the street and around the corner. BT internet wants 14 businesses days- get real! Sometimes these moves take place in a blink of an eye for military families, we shouldn't be punished because we've waited 7½ months to get our permanent house. Hopefully my husband will have time to work on all of this today. I've got TMO bringing over the furniture on Wednesday/Thursday- was supposed to be Tuesday/Wednesday with the keys in our hands on Monday but that changed because of the AFN being installed on Tuesday (whatever!). Just don't make me move in the week of Thanksgiving is all I ask! As it is, my husband won't be able to be there or to help me with the move - so what's new? LOL! I've got a couple of terrific girlfriends that I can call on to help me out there if I need it :-)
Now for me to start getting things ready for transport over to the new house. My mind is going off in 20 different directions.
I just realized that I need about 2 dozen eggs for my mondo baking session today, and wouldn't you know it- not a single egg to be had in the house! Now to get dressed and buy some eggs!