Sunday, 20 September 2015

At The Shore

A week in Ocean City, fishing, paddling in the Ocean, kite flying, cycling, pampering ( morning at the spa ) knitting, popcorn, all with family, the very best of times.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The New Jersey Edition - Yarn Along

Lady Wren is nearly done, I so wanted to have it finished before coming on holiday but things didn't go that way, so I'm knitting a row here and there, the beach, the balcony, with my feet up watching Real Housewives of the OC, it's tough, being here in the sunshine of Ocean City.
We did finish Tumtum and Nutmeg, the first book of this series before flying over here, so we've started  straight in on the second, these are delightful stories, Mr and Mrs Nutmouse of Nutmouse Hall are the kind of mice I'd love to meet and I am no way a mouse fan, so we're reading a chapter here and a chapter there, after a day at the beach, after a visit to Cape May, seriously these are rough times, long may they last.

Joining in with Ginny over at 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Thursday with The Buddies - A Day Late

Yesterday was all about the celebrating, an early birthday treat for Oscar, a day of blue sky, sunshine and fun.
For me (Denise) the day went way beyond the marking of nearly 8 years of Oscar, the rides at a local fun park, the ice-cream and excitement of discovering what's around the next corner - pirate land, cowboy village, angry birds play area ! The celebration was about these Buddies, these boys, their friendship, their brotherhood.
If you want to learn about love, acceptance, compassion, friendship, loyalty, forgiveness ( cause believe me they do fall out ) spend time with these two, they have a lot to teach us.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Thursday with The Buddies - Seeds

I recently purchased Lynn Sheddons wonderful, Exploring Nature with Children, a year long curriculum with a weekly theme, deeply rooted in getting children outdoors, using their senses and energy to learn about the Natural World that surrounds them.
Seeds were our starting point. The Buddies had been on a seed treasure hunt earlier in the week, we talked about seed dispersal and spores, as we gathered different varieties from Jack's garden.
Today The Buddies became nature detectives, finding where seeds were hidden in each plant,shaking seed heads, cutting open beans, apples and tomatoes, squeezing out Ash seeds.
Sorting different sizes and amazing over how many seeds a poppy head has, The Buddies really got into their roles.
Pictures were drawn of wind dispersal, using our collected seeds, books were read, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle and the story of Johnnycake Appleseed, names written using cress seeds.
A fun way of revisiting a topic normally delved into in Spring, we enjoyed a fresh look at seeds and this was a great start to using this resource.
More information about Lynn can be found here

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Ladies and Girls - Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny for this weeks Yarn Along, sharing what's on the needles and what's being read.

I'm knitting for Me, yes Me, there's been few things, a hat, a shawlette, ermmm ... Yep that's about it, in 30 plus years of knitting. 
I cast on a Lady Wren, a top, All. For. Myself, using Knit Picks, Comfy in DK, it's cotton, you know, cotton, that yarn I'm not sure about knitting with, it splits, it's this, it's that, well, actually, no, this is glorious yarn, soft, silky and wonderful to work with, I'm loving it.
But, oh my, baby knits to plus size tops, that's a whole lot of stitches I'm not use to having !
Provisional cast on, using crochet, a first for me, done.
And then there's my book, I know I'm very late to this party but Gone Girl, just wow.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Hello September

You roll in on a breath of chilly fresh air through my bedroom window, I smile.
You're here, start of something new, season, dreams, adventures, pace, I like it.
Looking out my window, the garden is different, shaggier, softer, bountiful, I adore it.
Colours are changing, rusting, dropping leaves, red apples, orange pumpkins, I love it.
Welcome, so pleased you're here.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

On Repeat - Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny
Sharing a weekly knit and a read.

It happened again, I devoured a book - started in Ireland, half heartily read the first few chapters, far too sleeply to concentrate after days of wonderful adventure, discarded.
Picked up again and inhaled from the beginning to end, in a couple of days.
Read it, it's fabulous.
Children of Willow Farm coming to an end too, three chapters to go, such a delightful book, packed with gentle explanations of farming ways and country living.
And socks, the boy wanted pink socks, so he got them, very quickly.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Thursday with The ( Water )Buddies

With all the rain we've been having lately, it seemed appropriate to introduce the water cycle to The Buddies.
Firstly they mixed food colouring with water, taking turns to choose colours and mix them up.
After drawing clouds, they used a pipette to add drops of the coloured water to the paper.
This was then blown with straws, chased as far as it would go.
This proved great fun.
The Buddies experimented with blowing the paint using straws, toilet roll tubes and just their mouths.
Next up, they created rain clouds.
Big jugs half filled with water, were topped with a generous amount of shaving foam to simulate a cloud.
They then dropped the coloured water, again using the pipette onto the top of the cloud, letting it soak through.
This created a rain effect in the water below.
Both Buddies were fascinated by the different coloured rain and the patterns it created.

Oscar said " the buddies had great fun doing the experiment "
Jack said " my favourite bit was dropping paint onto the paper and blowing it "

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Farming Socks - Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny over at

The last time I devoured a book, to my shame was The Twilight Saga, staying up way too late, snatching chapters while chopping veg, stirring a pot or having a wee !
But this book, this book I. Could. Not. Put. Down.
Everything else had to wait.
I had already read Child 44, Agent 6 and The Secret Speech,  all Tom Rob Smith's other books, enjoying the insight into Russia and it's ways, the intrigue and suspicion of life behind the Iron Curtain.
The Farm set in England and Sweden, showing the authors own heritage, had me completely drawn into it's pages, unsure of where I was being taken, what to believe or how this dark tale would end.
I lost hours.
Fed my family, pizza and oven chips.
Forgot to get the washing in when it rained and left the next load in the machine for a day !
So I am shocked to discover that not only have I finished the book ( 2 days ) but Oscar's socks are also nearly done ( just over a week )
And the Barbara Erksine, I was going to start from last week, lasted less than three chapters, yawn ! yawn !

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Runner Beans

A wigwam of beans, 
A place of shade and fun, 
Of bees and butterflies
Red flowers turning into long, green beans
A hiding spot
A peaceful spot
An abundunt spot
A delicious harvest, topped and tailed
Chopped and cooked
Eaten and stored
A delight to savour, long after summer has gone.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Thursday with The Buddies - Rocket Men

In July, The Buddies enjoyed a visit to Armagh Planetarium, N. Ireland.
Both Jack and Oscar were mesmerised by a visual journey through Space, seeing the constellations come to life, learning the names of Planets and riding Saturn's rings.
Since then, we have continued this theme using books, YouTube videos and games.
Today, we tested the power of air, using balloon rockets.
Blowing balloons, bulldog clips and sellotaping them to straws on strings proved tricky for The Buddies but the countdown and launching was all theirs.
We did quiz The Buddies on the concepts of Newtonian Motion but realistically their enjoyment came from racing the released balloons.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Socks - Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny

I am two chapters from finishing my latest Jack Reacher novel, this Barbara Erskine will be next.
Socks for my little love on the needles, inspired by the coming of Autumn.
She is feeling close, very close with her breezes and darker evenings, orange leaves are appearing on the cherry trees, apples, blackberries and elder berries are nearly ready for picking, the light is changing, the shift is happening.
I welcome her.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Beach Buddies

As most people were leaving, we arrived
Late afternoon sunshine
Sausages to BBQ, flasks of tea and cake, Madeira cake
Kites to fly and spades to dig 
And the sea
To splash to kick and jump, to paddle, to swim

Family to chat with, teenagers to tease
Knitting abandoned for bug swatting
Frisbee and traffic jams of cars, planes and diggers
Sand filled buckets
Water to collect and sand dunes to explore
These times are good, healthy, healing
We are restored

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Thursday with The Buddies - Pop Art

Who can resist bubble wrap, not us, that's for sure.
Ingredients needed - the buddies, paint, paper, sticky tape and bubble wrap.
Outside is a must too, unless you're happy to redecorate.
One buddy was eager for the foot wrapping, one very reluctant.
Once feet were covered, paint slathered on, we let them go, jumping, hopping, stamping and popping.
Giggles filled the garden.
Next we did hands, one hand covered and one free for the buddies to let loose themselves, filling their bubble wrapped mitten with colour.
They covered the paper vigorously to create louder and louder pops.
This was a physical activity, with the buddies enjoying the sensations of tickling ( from applying the paint ) joyful movement and the physics of applying pressure.
With the last piece of bubble wrap laid on the ground for them to paint with brushes, they both, having enjoying being loud and exuberant became contemplative, thinking carefully about colour choices, design and working independently, while having an unspoken agreement to meet in the middle of the bubble wrap.
Paper was placed on their designs and both enjoyed a final jump to pop the last of the bubbles.
This was a fun hour, with minimal assistance from us, after the initial wrap and taping of the feet and the first application of paint, the buddies took control.
Have to hand, bowl of warm, soapy water ( or garden hose ) and towel for clean up operation.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Its done - Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny
Weekly sharing of a book and a knit.

Guernsey is off the needles, ends sewn in and buttons on, oh those buttons, just the cutest things.
Some adjustments to the pattern, seed stitch rather than rib to end of sleeves and waist, seemed far more in keeping.
Still love the softness of the Rowan cotton, the colour and stitch definition but it splits,catches and pulls a lot, maybe not a yarn I'd choose again, ah, cotton and I, just not a happy mix.
Enid Blyton, Children of Willow Farm is coming to an end, suplimented with endless piles of Julia Donaldson, Mick Inkpen and all those good reads.
Me, I'm same author ( Lee Child ) different Jack Reacher tale of adventure.
Happy days.