Job done, mostly!

The week has just flown by, we’ve been busy at home, but I’m sure I could have blogged before now. Last weekend was spent in the almost-finished-garden. We actually went and picked up the apple trees on Saturday. We got a Spartan, Pearman Worcester and a Scrumptious for Hazel. She liked the name—good enough reason for me to get a tree. While we were at the garden centre we had a wander as I knew I wanted a few more things. The kids and I had bought some raspberries and strawberries during the week, but I wanted another variety of raspberries. So we ended up buying quite a bit more! We got some Glen Proven raspberries to plant with the Heritage variety we already bought. I also bought some flower plugs for the patch in front of the playhouse. We’ve decided to just cover that in flowers and see what happens. We can always change it next year if we choose.

We had wanted to get the wood so that Michael could build a bed for the raspberries, but we were 5 minutes late to the lumber yard. Oh well! There was still tons of work to do setting up the greenhouse. Michael did most of it with a bit of help from all of us. It did take up most of Saturday and Sunday as he/we were playing dodge-the-showers! The showers were light enough not to hinder the work too much. I got busy with some planting. Hazel and I sub-divided about 6 primrose plants and made about 20 new plants to line the bed in front of the playhouse. Hopefully that will give a line of colour for most of the year. That bed is at eye-sight level from the kitchen window so having the colour there will look nice and hide the bark a bit in the winter.

I ‘talked’ Michael into taking Monday off so that we could finish some things before the builders came on Wednesday to do the lawn. He and Kieran went to the lumber yard and got the wood for the raspberry bed. He managed to get it finished, and we got in 16 canes. Hopefully they’ll produce a large crop for us. They are definitely worth the money if you have some room for a few. I had two canes of both varieties left-which one of the builders was glad to bring home. We also managed to replant our nectarine tree and move her to the front porch-hopefully more sun will help produce more fruit this year. The blueberry bush was also lifted from where we planted it last year and put in a large pot on the porch. It definitely needs all day sun and they will get it on the porch, I hope!

The kids also finished their Sketch Tuesday projects—Spring Leaves. Hazel’s is some leaves and buds from her new apple tree, and Kieran’s is a picture of him holding a huge leaf. Tuesday almost ended up being a wasted day-we thought we had to stay home for the turf to be delivered, and had cancelled a visit to some friends to stay home and wait. The man called first thing to cancel the delivery—so I just decided that since we were up, we might as well go out. I’m not a fan of the kids riding their bikes or scooters in town or on walks-but I decided to give it a try. I thought that we might as well go to the main town and the library and then to the park. We parked on the far side of the town from the library and I let the kids take their scoters with us. I just hoped the whole time they didn’t crash into anyone or a bus! Anyway, we had a quick visit to the library as I just needed something to read. I got two of Maeve Bincheys I hadn’t read as I was in the mood for some quick reads-and I do like her stories. When we left the library some girls from their gym class were just heading into the library. They are actually friends of some of the HE families in town-so we met them before gym class at their houses. Hazel and the older one P have fun in class together.

So they scooted over the bridge to the park, while I tried to keep up hoping they wouldn’t fall in the road. Yes—I’m very nervous about them near cars! They rode the scooters for a bit then decided to go into the play park. I sat at the boating pond and told them they were old enough to let me sit there and read while they played. That way I could read and keep the scooters with me, and if they wanted to come out and scooter they could-but if I was in the play park I wouldn’t let them into the main park alone. They really have so little freedom these days—when I was 5 I could go anywhere in a four street radius, to the shops, a playground and into the wooded section behind our neighbourhood—so long as we were home for meals my mom didn’t worry.

The girls from gym class ended up coming to the park so Hazel and P played for a bit. Kieran was having fun scooting around the boating pond. There was a boy of about 7 or 8 playing with a speedboat on the pond. Kieran finally started a little chat with the boy and they ended up having fun together. They chased some ducks all the way round the pond with the boat. At one point the boy must have called the ducks ‘suckers’ when he was chasing them-because Kieran told me a couple of days later that ‘ducks were suckers’-they don’t chew their food!! Gotta love them! When the boy was putting the boat away Kieran and I were having a chat-when the boy came over to ask Kieran to go into the play park with him. So they both had fun with some kids at the park, with only Kieran fussing twice as he fell off the roundabout once, and then got scared another time as it was too fast, and Hazel bumped her head once on a climbing frame. We don’t go often when the kids are out of school, but my two are starting to be able to handle the mayhem a bit more each time.

Then we headed to another part of the park. They have some large flower beds that they like to scooter around. We stayed there till they declared they were hungry. A trip to the pasty shop was next to get some lunch and head out to the canal to eat them. I thought at one point that Kieran was going to end up in the canal-but he did mange to control the scooter. I then took them back to the main street to do a bit of shopping-leaving them outside the shops while I went in. I only needed a couple of things in each shop and they were in view the whole time-but another bit of freedom for them. I do worry about them not being as ‘road and stranger savvy’ as we were—but every little step fills me with dread till we do it. We then made a quick round of a few shops in the car—the grocery shop, petrol, DIY shop and of course the local garden centre.

The builders were here by 8am on Wednesday for the delivery of the turf. We didn’t stay to see it being laid as we were off to visit my cousin. I would love to say she’s sailing through this with all the optimism she’s normally had over the last couple of years—but it’s starting to wear her down. She’s never thought of herself as ‘sick’ before, was always confident that the cancer would go as quickly as it came-a weird lupus thing—none of that is there this time. I don’t think she’s gone a minute in the past few months without an ounce of pain. Her hair is gone already—because she’s had some of the chemo medicine with out the full treatments for the past six weeks. Her immune system is shot. She has been diagnosed as non-Hodgkins—which isn’t helping to let her see any light at the end of the tunnel. Her doctors are trying their best-I’m sure of that-but her case is so rare that they don’t know exactly what will work. Let’s just hope they hit on the right treatment for her and that she’s not just a case study (which she is) for someone in the future.

So as ill as she is-yes, she made us lunch! The kids had a nice time playing together. Hazel is really noticing the changes in H since she left normal school. Hazel has been telling me about all the little conversations they had-which was unheard of in December. It is so great to know H is passing on information and having conversations. H is very upset about her mom, so hopefully now she’ll be able to talk to someone when things are bothering her, so that we can help her. We stayed till about 2:30 but then had to head back to see what the builders had done.

Talk about walking in and seeing such a transformation! I was a bit taken back with how nice the new lawn looked. It really shows off the beds they built-and I finally saw what I had envisioned—and am happy to say I’m pleased with it! Michael and I have been staring at it the past couple of days! Actually-so has the builder-he’s really pleased with it, as laying lawn isn’t one of the things they normally do.

Thursday and today were the last days—all the finishing touches were done. The kids and I stayed home, partly as I wasn’t feeling up to much and I just wanted to be here for the last bits just in case I needed to check things. The kids worked on some EE (Educational Exercises) with me in the mornings and we just spent the rest of the time reading, drawing, playing games and of course—making tea and coffee. My two are well trained by the builders—when I was busy doing something, they would just go ask if the guys wanted a drink and then make me make it! Arghh! Whose side are they supposed to be on!

The last bits of the build were done—they knocked down our crumbling front wall and replaced it with a nice brick wall; they knocked down the concrete retaining wall next to the drive and replaced that with a brick wall to match the front wall—so we finally have very nice walls to compliment the drive we put in a couple of years ago. We had a new full floor to ceiling wardrobe put in the spare room upstairs and just some touch up work around the place.

Michael had a half day today—it was nice to have him here for the last little bits. Or should I say the ‘builders last bits’, because our job list has just been added to, not cut back! We were going to have the upper tier of the garden done-but we are having a rethink on what we want done. We had thought about putting bark under the swing set and a path to the shed-but since we’ve built the raspberry bed we aren’t too sure now-so back to the drawing board for that section! We have more painting to do—the new wardrobe and a new box around the meters in the front hall. We still have one full room to do-our bedroom and the rest of the house already needs a touch-up. I really should try and write a full list of what we’ve done to the house—it would probably surprise us with just how much has been done over the past four years—though the list of what needs to be done will still look larger!

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