Monday, 28 November 2016

November Christmas

Oh dear, I gave in to something I've never done before,  something I never thought I would do......we put the Christmas tree up in November!!! Usually it goes up as soon in December as possible, but this year the 1st was a Thursday. So we had the discussion of whether we wait until the following weekend,    
do it the weekend before or attempt to decorate on the 1st. Putting up the xmas tree is no mean feat, getting it all down from the attic, assemble the tree, decorate it, then put up all the other numerous ornaments and nativity. A bit too much to do on a weekday after school/work, and it is something that should be enjoyed not rushed. 
So we thought to hell with it, we'll go for it and put the tree up in November! I've heard from other people since who have done the same thing so I don't feel too bad now. Anyway, the town's Christmas lights were turned on on Sunday, so why can't we?

Big Girl helped to wrap the fairy lights around the tree and put the decorations on. We always listen to Christmas carols whilst doing this, and it really gets you in the festive mood. The top of the tree is bent down so we could get the lights over the top. Not sure how we are going to squeeze the fairy up on top of there though...

Little Boy isn't yet old enough to be interested in tree decorating and was quite happy to play with Daddy & the Lego. 

He was however happy to help Mummy unwrap baby Jesus and the rest of the Nativity....

So the countdown is on, but we can't even put up our countdown snowman, as he starts at '24 sleeps to go', and we are still 27 sleeps away!

When do you put up your tree? Are you getting excited yet? We are!!


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Autumn wreath

I can't believe how quickly the days are flying past. We've only just had Halloween & Bonfire night and all too soon it will be Christmas. But before I get ready to welcome in the festive season with a Christmas wreath, I decided I'd like to make an Autumn one. 

So here it is, ta dah!!...

I'm really pleased with it, and I think it is my favourite wreath I've made so far. The only thing I would change is the bow. I did a floristry course with my sister many years back, and we learnt how to make 'proper' bows but I've forgotten so I just winged this one and it looks a bit sad and floppy. 
I started off with a ring pre-wrapped in hessian. I could have done it myself, but I shop at our lovely local florists' wholesalers, so it was cheap enough to save myself a job and have it ready to dress. 

I already had some leaves and berries from when I made a xmas decoration many years ago to go down the stairs. I bought a few more suitably autumnal decorations from the wholesalers (apples, berries, Autumn colour leaves and two gorgeous little mushrooms)

Little Boy has succumbed to the plethora of germs swirling around at nursery, and has spent the whole weekend flat out on the sofa with a hacking cough and temperature, poor soul. Then as if a switch had been flicked, he sat up at teatime on Sunday and requested a jam and cheese sandwich. A nice warm bath, some snuggly pyjamas and a dose of Calpol and I think he will be better to go back to nursery next week. Me on the other hand not so, as I have now got a cold too, and seeing as most of the people I work with are elderly I'm not able to work in case I pass it on. So i think it will be time at home, catching up on making xmas presents. I can't show you photos in case some of the recipients read this, all I can tell you is they involve knitting, Egyptian cotton and daisy stitch. I'll show you the end product after xmas!

Talking of xmas, I finally got around to making my mincemeat. It's the recipe I use every year and is very easy, basically involving putting all the ingredients in a tray and gently warming them on the hob. The actual recipe calls for rum, but I always use brandy and there's plenty of it. I worked it out that every jar has at least three teaspoons of brandy in it!

Well that's it for now, I need to get back to xmas present making. Half a one done, at least four more to make 😫


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Fungus Among Us

We have a problem in our garden at the moment, the mushrooms are taking over! There are quite a few tree stumps in our back garden, and that's where most of them are, but they are also taking over the lawn too...

Around the climbing frame...

By the shed...

I attempted to try and identify some of them, but there are so many that are so similar. I reckon the one below is 'Hypholoma'...

This one I think is 'Turkey Tail', which often colonies decomposing pieces of wood (mine was on an old tree stump). Turkey Tail is apparently one of the most medically researched mushrooms in the world. A compound from this species of mushroom is used to boost the immune system in conjunction with standard cancer treatment, with promising results in the treatment of breast and lung cancer. Wow, how amazing is that, I feel rather bad about digging them up and throwing them away.

This clump of mushrooms was huge, about 18 inches across...

So I think this weekend we will be busy clearing all the mushrooms up. I feel a bit bad digging them all up, as some of them are quite beautiful, but they have taken over, and I'm a bit concerned if I leave them they will spread. 
Our neighbours have the same problem, and I wonder what is causing this fungus infestation. Does anyone else  have a mushroom outbreak? Do you leave them be, or clear them up?

Hope you had a Happy Halloween, and have a safe Bonfire night, if you celebrate it. (Just remember to check bonfires for sleeping hedgehogs, and keep pets safe)