Thursday, August 31, 2006

Chasing dust bunnies.......

Yes, today I have been chasing dust bunnies around the house!


Well I decided I'd better do some housework before my BIL arrives at 09.50 am at Waverley Station Edinburgh on Saturday morning for a few days. He is visiting the family in Aberdeen and Montrose from Grant Alabama at the moment, and comes to see us at the weekend. We are really looking forward to his visit, the kids are both well excited coz they love visits from Uncle Jimmy. He works at NASA and usually brings T-shirts etc from there for the boys.

Now people who know me, know housework is not very high on gourdongirl's priority list.....In fact I find it THE most soul destroying task anyone could ask me to do....Well maybe cleaning the oven would be top, but only just, quickly followed by ironing. Yup you guessed it I ain't very domesticated!

However I can now see the coffee table and the kitchen table, so at least we will have somewhere to eat at the weekend! Now that things are kinda de-cluttered all I have to do is dust and vacuum all the rooms, clean the bathroom and kitchen and turn up at work for the next 2 days! Oh yes and do a BIG grocery shop, coz I've just been paid (I hope) and I need to stock up the cupboards for the month!

Hell I even cleaned the computer station, that took about 3 hours, just to go through all the paperwork piled up around the computer! Goodness knows how I was able to use the laptop, there was so much clutter round it!! I moved stuff around the work station too. The monitor for the "big" sick computer has been relegated to the top of the unit, coz at present we are not using it and I've moved the printer down so it can be used without nearly doing myself an injury every time I had to lift it down from the top of the unit and place it on a chair, which obstructed the hall....Much better and user friendly now!

Oh well since I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow, or should I say today, I'd better go get some Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rockin' Robin!

You rock!!!!!!

This morning I received a package from Salem Virginia from my SP, but not MY spoiler but MY spoilee, Robin!

Since discovering who I was she had sent me a belated birthday pressie. She rocks!, she's a Rockin' Robin!!!

She sent me lots of Reese's peanut butter stuff, which after reading my blog, she knows I like! I think I have mentioned it once or twice in my ramblings before!!!!!! Had to take this picture as soon as I opened the package, coz I just knew they wouldn't last for long!

a beautiful large sheep brooch/pendant. This should count towards the "Sheep Challenge".

a magnetic bookmark, which states....."Friends are flowers in the garden of life" Boy how true is that?

a thank you card for being her spoiler (no pic of that) and a card with robins on it that plays "Rockin'Robin" when you open it.

As I said she ROCKS.

I'm not sure if I've said much about Robin in previous posts, mainly due to the secrecy of "Secret Pal". I first came into contact with Robin in May 2006 when I received a copy of her SP questionnaire, after reading it, I just knew we would be friends. We had so so much in common that at times it was downright spooky! After 100's of emails, ecards and recently "chatting" on knittyboard I know I have a good friend in Robin. We might be "new" friends in this life, but I just know we have been friends in at least one previous life! The miles between us mean nothing....We are "soul sisters".

Thank you Robin for the birthday package and for being my friend.......As I've already said in this post....YOU ROCK!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Back to school for me!

This morning I went back to school! I have started a Child Protection Course at Edinburgh's Telford College, or at least I hope to do so soon!

I applied for the course months ago and last week I got a letter saying I had been accepted and to turn up at 9am on Monday 28th August. So this morning, straight from my night shift I turned up! It was mayhem! I arrived at just after 8am only to find that the big new college they have just built doesn't have a car park big enough and we were being redirected elsewhere and only in certain areas coz we would be towed away if we parked in a wrong area! Oh well nothing else for it but to drive around and try and find somewhere legal to park. Don't get me wrong, but the college isn't exactly in one of the nicer parts of Edinburgh and I wasn't too happy at having to park off campus, but really I didn't have much option, did I? OK car parked and then I had to walk what seemed like miles back to the college, only to discover even more mayhem when I got in. Yes today was when everyone enrolled in classes and there must have been thousands of people milling around the "hub" (the foyer)looking like lost souls!There were a lot of staff trying to direct potential students to the right groups before they headed of for induction. Unfortunately no-one wanted me! No-one had a clue where I was to go, no-one had my course on a list! So I stood around for about an hour and a half waiting for someone to "claim me". Was I pissed, was I ever? I was tired and really didn't want to be hanging around, I just wanted to get on and get home so I could go to bed.

Finally this guy had news for me.........And guess what......I shouldn't have been there at all. The letter they had sent out shouldn't have told me to report to the college, because I'm doing an "Open learning" course I don't have to attend college at all. The course work is sent out to me, I do it and email it back. OK, so could I pay for the course since I was there....Well yes I could, but I had now to wait to see someone from finance, so I found a chair and begun to people watch for an other half hour or so till I could be seen.

I really enjoy people watching and just wish I'd had my camera coz boy did I see some sights! The ages reflected the diverse range of courses that the college offer, from practical "hands on" stuff, vocational, educational and everything else in between. There were kids that looked to be straight out of school, right up to the more mature student (that includes me!). The styles of dress were amazing. There was one really tall girl with long bright blue dreadlocks, the most amazing blue eye makeup I had ever seen (very reminiscent of KISS, but only blue....I know I'm showing my age!)black shiny boots with about 8" platform soles, tight black vinyl trousers and a bright blue skimpy top. An other girl who looked about 12 and waiflike, with grungy hair and clothes, that looked if she had been sleeping in them! A woman, who looked over 50 with bright orange hair, dirty boiler suit and huge tool bag.....I guess she was doing plumbing or some such course! But the one who amazed me the most was this woman who looked to be 30+, (but trying to look younger!) with 1940's style hair, brown skirt, blue sweat top, court shoes with about 4" pointy heels, who walked as if she was on the cat walk, with her boobies thrust out in front of her and her hand constantly fluttering at her hair and the most aloof look on her face....She was something else! Young girls with skimpy clothes on, showing their bellies off and golden tans straight from the bottle and perfect makeup all lining up to do dance or beauty therapy and hairdressing....Do I sound jealous....Well maybe a bit, coz here I was, 40+, fat and frumpy in my jeans and T-shirt and desperately seeking my bed! But at least my purple hair wasn't out of place!!!

Oh what a fun morning....I finally got home and to bed at mid-day!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Well done Bob!

Today saw Robert train with the Primary 5 team for the first time for the whole session. Last week I had grave reservations about this and Robert was a bit apprehensive himself today about it. However I persuaded him to give it a go and if he didn't like it he could go back to the Primary 3 team, which would bore him rigid BTW!! He hates being out of "his comfort zone" and this was well out of it, playing with guys in an established team who were 18 months to 2 years older was a daunting task for him. Robert being Robert once he has made up his mind is a very determined child and true to form he got stuck in and did really well.....So well infact that he won "The Player of the week" trophy!

Having said that he did deserve it and it has done his confidence a power of good and he's looking forward to playing in their first away game of the season next Sunday, when his uncle from Grant Alabama will be watching.

Friday, August 25, 2006

1st time knit and FO's

1st time knit

Yesterday I decided to set myself a new knitting challenge, plus I was fed up with all the crap on my coffee table! What does that have to do with knitting? Be patient and all will become clear.........

Well I found myself some mercerised cotton which was lurking in the darkest depths of the stash, 2mm dpns and 2mm circulars and decided I would knit a doily for the coffee table.

In all the years I have been doing lace knitting I have never done a knitted doily. Many years ago I did a crocheted (cough, cough, splutter, splutter, yes I did use the dreaded "C" word there!!!!!)one! Haven't managed to take a pic of it yet but I will. I'm on row 82 so I'm doing ok, and only had to frog it back once for 2 rows!

I am doing Stor Rund Dug from Yarnover lace patterns.

I even have a finished object to show you!

My SP8, Ann, sent me a short row scarf pattern and 2 balls of Noro Silk Garden, colourway 234........Well here it is, all knitted up and ready to cast off (bind off, for those over the pond!)
I finished it yesterday and hand washed it this morning and it has come up so lovely and soft. I just love it and can't wait till the weather is cold enough for me to actually wear it!

Notice the wonderful rosewood needles I'm using, they are by "Lantern Moon" and also a pressie from my amazing SP8 spoiler. Ann says she loves knitting this pattern and I must agree with her, I enjoyed it too.

Now I know what to make for the boys teachers for xmas!!!! Normally they only have 1 teacher each, but this year both boys have "job share" teachers, so I guess I have 4 scarves to knit!

OOOOH does that mean I can buy some yarn? Better not, I'll go "shopping" in the stash instead!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


But its the start of Rugby season again! Yes Sunday was the start of the season and the boys have moved up an other year.

Ronan has gone into the Primary 6 group and this year they have 3 man scrums to contend with. He was placed in the middle of the 3 and proudly announced that he made a good hooker! Having said that he was complaining of having sore shoulders.....He was using muscles he didn't even know he had!

Robert has graduated from Primary 3 up to Primary 4, well he would have if we had a team....We only had 3 turn up on Sunday and we need 6 for a team. So after a stint learning how to tackle....Eye to thigh, cheek to cheek and bands of steel!,then being given a chance to use the tackle bag and take a man out by tackling his legs.....Can't run if they have no legs!, He was promoted to play with the Primary 5's. I have grave reservations on this coz he is still only 7 and could be playing against 8-9 year olds and 2 years above the class he is in at school. I've had a word with their coach and we have agreed to see how it goes. I will be helping with the coaching anyway so will be around to make the decision. In the meantime I have got 1000 fliers to put out round the local schools so hope to get some more from that.
Robert was really looking forward to starting this season coz it was his chance to start wearing body armour or as I call it bubble wrap!

Oh well, time will tell. We have our first away game on Sunday 3rd September at Linlithgow so we have some work to do next week in preparation for that!

Where do they all come from?

Yes, here is yet an other "What are you?" quiz. I found this one on Nickerjac's blog this morning and thought it would be fun to do.........So I did!

I am an

What Flower
Are You?

I suppose on the whole it is correct, just wish I could practice what I preach, in regards to the being conscious of health bit. I know what to do.....But do I do it myself.....Well I try!!!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Yet MORE sheepiness!

I've been busy looking out for more "alternative" sheep for woollywormheads challenge, so here are some more pix!

I managed to take this pic in our local off-license when I was in for a couple of bottles of beer! It is a bottle of Oveja Negra, Cabernet-Rose, Curico Valley 2005 from Chile. Don't know if its any good as I've never tried it.....Yet!

A family of Jedburgh sheep

A woolfest sheep

A card and a pencil case I received from spinningfishwife.

My sheep bookmark

Last but by no means least, my silver and 9ct gold knitting sheep charm. It is a silver bespectacled sheep knitting with gold needles and yarn! (sorry the picture isn't too clear as it was difficult getting a good picture of this tiny object!!!)

That's it for now till I track down some more!!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

More Stitch Markers

A further 2 sets of stitch markers arrived last week from the participants of the Knitty sitch Marker swap .

I would like to thank.......................................................

hotmama for these wonderful green ones


merrymom for these beautiful blue ones, and the extra one with the ball of yarn and needles charm was a special treat.

I just love both sets.


Happy "Sheep Day" to ME

Today is the 24th Anniversary of my 21st Birthday!!!!! Now go work out how old I am today......No prizes on offer if you get it right either!

I got some wonderful "sheepy" pressies too......From DH I got

a ceramic sheep which he bought from a shop called Butterflys Gifts and Crafts in Jedburgh when we were there at the weekend

and from the kids

I got a sheep Noughts and Crosses game and

a baby blue furry sheep bag, which I can carry my sock knitting in. I have christened it "Blue Ewe".

DH just stood there shaking his head when he saw the bag and said "You're NOT taking THAT out of the house are you?" He thought it was for my PJ's........LOL.

I assume these count for the "Sheep Challenge"? I also have some more sheepyness pix for that later!

I also got a ceramic money bank from Spinningfishwife which is for my "Chocolate Fund" (no pic of this yet as I haven't taken it!)

I was hoping to have pix for this entry but Blogger being Blogger its not happening at the moment...........................aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrwwwwwwwww....I so wanted you all to see my "sheep day" pressies!

Hopefully I can edit them in later. Edited at 23:00 GMT on 22nd August 2006.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Yet an other quiz!!!!!

I found this one when I was blog stalking on Rho's blog.

Your Element is Earth

Your power color: yellow

Your energy: balancing

Your season: changing of seasons

Dedicated and responsible, you are a rock to your friends.
You are skilled at working out even the most difficult problems.
Low key and calm, you are happiest when you are around loved ones.
Ambitious and goal oriented, you have long term plans to be successful.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Which character are you?

Found this while I was looking for something else....Isn't that just the way of it?



Which Pirates of the Caribbean character are you?

The end is near........

Yup.....The school summer break is rapidly coming to an end!

Wooooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooo. Yes peace perfect peace, no kids constantly shouting "Mum, where's this.....?" "Mum, can I get......?" "Mum, can we go......?", or worse still shouting and fighting with each other! That really winds me up and I'm then on a "Fast Track" to loosing it! Having said that, I will miss them when they are in school.......ROFL at that, well I will, for all of about 10 mins, then it will be back to business as usual.

Thankfully we have had a brilliant summer, with hardly any rain....Very unusual for Scotland!!!!! We usually have some cinema visits planned, but this year we haven't been at all, well I think we went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean at the very start of the holiday, or maybe it was before they broke up....So long ago I can't remember.

Yesterday we went to Jimmy Chungs a Chinese restaurant in Grindly Street Edinburgh for lunch...Great value for money for the food, bit pricey for the fizzy drinks......

but the kids love it and even Bob can get something he likes! Here is Spinningfishwives kids, Mairi and Duncan, along with Ronan, Connor (Bobs' friend) and Bob.

It does a great "eat as much as you like" buffet for a set price. As far as the kids are concerned, as long as they eat some "proper food" i.e. chicken, ribs, veg, rice etc, they can have as much jelly, ice cream, cake, fruit salad as they like! Guess why the kids love it?

We had a BBQ at the rugby club on the last night of the summer "Tag Rugby", which was great fun.

We've visited various castles...............

and we even made it to the beach earlier this week!

Today the weather has broken and its raining......We were going to do a Treasure Hunt but we are going to the movies instead!

What are You?

I was reading Sade's blog and come across these, but according to her she got them from glittyknittykitty.

I'm a Mazda RX-8!

You're sporty, yet practical, and you have a style of your own. You like to have fun, and you like to bring friends along for the ride, but when it comes time for everyday chores, you're willing to do your part.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You?

and this one.........

You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Have fun.........I do!!!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sheep Challenge.....

Beware.....Photo overload!

Woollywormhead has set a sheep challenge. You take pictures of sheep, but NOT real sheep! So I have hunted all over and come up with a few!

This one was taken when Spinningfishwife and I were down at Woolfest earlier this year. It's at the entrance where Woolfest was held. I was hanging out the car window taking this while we waited to get out at the junction.....So I had to be quick!

Here are my black sheep keyring which my knitty SP sent me and my white sheep keyring which I bought at Woolfest. Both usually hang from my knitting bag!

This is an other one of the black sheep!

Even the kids joined in the hunt for sheep and produced this playmobile lamb from the toy box!!!!!

Then I remembered my fimo Party Sheep bought off eBay from Wee Green Frog Arts.

Greetings from Scotland postcard with "Tartan and Saltire" sheep!

I found this one when I had a very quick look at the books on the kids shelves. This is "spring lamb" from My Farmyard Treasury.

and last but not least..............................

a sheep stencil found at DH's work!!!!

Oh well that's it for today's sheep hunt......Wonder what else I can come up with?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Border Adventures!

With the kids still off school I took a couple of annual leave days this week and decided to meet up with spinningfishwife and her family. They were supposed to be going to Wales but unfortunately things didn't work out for them and they went camping in Peebles in the Scottish Borders instead.

We met up at Crossburn Camp Site on Edinburgh Road in Peebles, about a 40 minute drive from home. Spinningfishwife and her family were staying in their Conway trailer Tent (on the left) and we had borrowed their Vango Oregon 600 tent (blue one on the right). Ronan and Duncan, my oldest son and Spinningfishwives son stayed in the pup tent in the middle!
We arrived on Tuesday morning and soon had the tent up and organised. We "slobbed" about on the campsite most of the afternoon coz it was rainy at times and the kids were having fun exploring the campsite and meeting lots of new kids.

After very little sleep on my part we went to Jedburgh on Wednesday.

Jedburgh Abbey is owned by Historic Scotland and as both families are members we get in for free! There was dressing up stuff for the kids and they could wear it as we went round the Abbey. We opted for an audio tour which was great, even the kids enjoyed listening to all the history of the Abbey and hearing stories about the people who lived and worked there.

Here you see Ronan and Robert as "White" Monks, Duncan as a "Brown" Monk and Mairi (Spinningfishwives daughter) as a mediaeval Princess! They are standing in the main entrance in to the Abbey.

Once we had seen all there was to see here we all piled back into the cars and headed off to Kelso to see the Abbey ruins there. Unfortunately it was closed due to a Health and Safety issue so we were unable to get in. However just across the road from the Abbey Spinningfishwife and I spied a sign for "Woolly Ewe", this we HAD to investigate! So we packed the kids of with Spinningfishwives DH to find an ice-cream shop so we could go have a look and sure enough tucked away in a corner of a row of cottages was this very quaint wool shop!

Here is the "Woolly Ewe".

Unfortunately it doesn't have a web site, but they hope to have one up and running soon. The woman in the shop was very friendly, so we chatted as we perused the yummy yarns that she stocked! They had Rowan, Colinette, Patons, Opal sock yarn, a superb range of patterns and books, Handmade Injabulo buttons, tapestry and cross stitch kits, various childrens craft kits, beads and jewellery trimmings.

OK........What did I buy, coz it goes without saying that I would buy something!!!! Well I did have that £10 my Secret Pal sent me "burning a huge hole in my pocket"!!!!

I bought 4 balls of Rowan Tapestry, one of their new yarns for the autumn. I bought 2 balls of shade 176 "whirlpool" and 2 of shade 171 "Rainbow". It is 70% wool and 30% soybean protein fibre, 120m/131yards per 50g. 22stitches x 30 rows = 10cm/4in and knits up on 4mm/UK8/US6 needles and hand wash at 30 degrees. It is really soft and I can't wait to knit a scarf with it....Part of my xmas gifts I think.

I also bought an Opal yarn pattern for knitting scarves with self patterning sock yarn....Should be interesting!

Once we had seen the yarn shop we met up with the kids and Spinningfishwives DH and headed back to the camp site for fish and chips from the local chip shop...Which was yummy btw! However it took longer to get back to the camp site than I anticipated coz I got lost!

After a much better sleep, we awoke to sunshine on the Thursday morning...Great....The tent came down dry, so no need to dry it off when we got home! Once that was done spinningfishwife and I went for a walk round the shops in Peebles, where I managed to find some birthday pressies for friends and family.

I also spied this at the local market!..........................

....I just had to take a pic of the biggest pair of knickers I had ever seen! What made it even funnier was the 3 elderly gents discussing them, and when a 4th appeared and said he knew someone they would fit, at this point they all started to laugh....Well I thought it was amusing....Maybe it was one of these "You needed to be there moments"?

We then went back to the campsite, where I loaded the kids into the car and made our way home as we had the Tag Rugby end of summer BBQ to attend.

A great time was had by all, even if we were really tired....Boy did I sleep like a baby on Thursday night.....Wonder if it had something to do with the few beers I had at the Rugby club?

2nd Stitchmarkers are here!

My second package with stitch markers from the Knittyboard Stitchmarker Swap arrived this morning, all the way from England. They were posted at 19.15 hours on the 11th Aug and arrived at 8am on the 12th.....Not bad for 1st Class Mail!!!!!!!These beautiful stitchmarkers were made by Rachel (aka PrincessRach84).

Thank you Rachel...All I need now is a project to use them on!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Deutsche Post and US Mail!

Over the last few days I have received mail from my Knittyboard Secret Pal in Germany and my 1st set of stitch markers for the knittyboard stitch marker swap all the way from Paula in Newtown PA, USA.

Thank you Paula they are lovely. I just love the colours of the beads, especially the green ones.

(Sorry about the crap photo. After several attempts, it was the best I could get.)

I'm also intrigued by the construction you used to made them, I've never seen stitchmarkers made this way, they are magic.....Can be used on large or small needles, great. The small bag they came in is just the right size for keeping all my stitchmarkers together.

This wonderful package of goodies came from Lavender Goldfish. There was a Dusseldorf postmark so I am assuming (rightly or wrongly) that she comes from there!

In this great package was .................................................
a pair of hand knitted sox in the most amazing pattern and yarn, orange bath salts, 3 balls of grey 100% new wool by Gedifra, a packet of Leo Lausemous gummy sweets and a packet of Russisch Brot biscuits, as well as a card with fish on it.
I'm really looking forward to a relaxing bath tomorrow night with the bath salts....Why tomorrow night, well the kids are going on a sleep over and DH is going out for a drink with some friends!.....Peace and bliss!!
The kids and I enjoyed some of the fruit sweets and the biscuits as a snack this afternoon....Yummy!

Here is the amazing sox...........................................

They are amazing, the cuff has what looks like "Lilly of the Valley" with white bells and green stalks and leaves with a lavender background. I don't know how she managed this effect but it is beautiful. Thank you Lavender Goldfish.

Where do you belong?

I was checking my Secret Pals blog and found this, so I just had to try it.

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

I've never been to Dublin, but would love to go there.....maybe one day. I might even meet my Secret Pal there, as Dublin is also where she belongs!!!

I haven't said much about my blogger SP, but we are so so alike its almost spooky at times.Her name is Robin and she lives in Salem Varginia and I have to say a big thank you to Bobbi one of the SP8 hostesses for matching us up, coz it is a great match. Its like we have known each other all our lives, and I know we will keep in touch after this round is done.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Thank you SP8

I came home yesterday after being shopping to discover I had missed the mailman by all of 5 mins. He had tried to deliver a package, but no one was in, so I had to wait till today to go and collect it. It was from my SP8 who lives in St Louis Missouri (according to the label!!!)and I was all excited about getting it. I took it with me to DH's work as I was having lunch with him and the kids today.

When I opened the box I found an envelope on top. It had a card inside with a £10 note. My SP had been on holiday in the UK fairly recently and had this left over so she sent it to me, along with special instructions to buy yarn, I think I'll manage to do that!!!!!!!
Everything was wrapped up in tea towels so not only did I get all the goodies enclosed in the box I also got 4 new tea towels....What a great idea.

When I pealed back the towels there was lots of wonderful surprises in store for me.

2 balls of "Noro" Silk Garden in 234 colour way, a set of the most beautifully smooth "Lantern Moon" rosewood straight needles in size 5mm, and a set of 3 Americana zipped bags by Sharif.

I dug a bit deeper and found .......

a box of cards (with pictures of chocolates on them), a pattern for a short row scarf, a packet of point protectors for circular needles, a Boye circular stitch holder, a tin with 100 assorted safety pins, 2 bars of handcrafted soaps by Morgan Naas of Morgan's Naked soaps (one was unscented and the other smells of yummy chocolate!!!!!) and last but by no means least a packet of "Reeses" pieces - peanut butter candy in a crunchy shell. (Which the kids helped me eat this afternoon, well it WAS raining and we were bored. Not that we need an excuse to eat chocolate!!!!!) You can also see the 4 tea towels in this picture.

What a wonderful package..............Thank you, thank you, thank you SP8.