A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Trying to find that Christmas feeling...:)

Trying to get two young dogs to do what you want them to, when they would rather just be duffing each other up is not the easiest, but with cookies in hand you can just manage it, just! We finally managed to get Maebh in there with her little antlers on although Molly is not coming across as very impressed by the whole ordeal.

Happy Holidays from our house to yours!

Lots of love,
The McAllenbys

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tis the party season after all...

Last Friday evening marked the beginning of a number of Christmas celebrations. I was looking forward to having a few of the girls from work over to the house prior to crossing the street for food and drink at the Harvest Moon, and went so far as to actually lay out a few 'starters' to go along with the wine. An old favourite that was always served at Saint Vincent's was something called a Cheese Ball, served with crackers. It might sound lame, but don't knock it till you try it. Most people love it and I was thrilled to bits that the girls really enjoyed it and asked for the recipe, some saying they want to serve it up over the Holidays to impress their families and friends. I have to admit I'm smiling over this. We all know that hosting is not my strongest point. That is probably more my sister Martha's (ummm, I mean Tawny's) forte!

I will however try to host more 'events' at my house though in the New Year if we manage to find a bigger place. At the moment my living room seats about four comfortably :)

So here I am digressing as usual. The girls and I met up with three more over at the pub and enjoyed ourselves eating, laughing and of course drinking. Naturally I drank way too much and should have called it a night at 11 and have come directly home, however I followed most of the group down to Cleethorpes where a night of drunken, crazy behaviour ensued. Of course I was the most inebriated as per usual. I was a little shameful of my behaviour but the girls have ensured me that if nothing I provided comic relief and I suppose I shouldn't worry too much, because most of them should know me by now and that 'Feeling No Pain Jody' isn't exactly the same as 'Sober Jody', or even 'Drunk Jody'. 'Feeling No Pain Jody' is just a mess. And nobody knows it better than her husband. He definitely hit the nail on the head the night he met me (at Cheers) when he commented to a pal of mine that he 'pitied the man that ends up with that handful'

Sharon, Janice, Me and Hels

But it was a laugh and I was happy to have a night out with my mates to kick off the season. This Friday night is Andy's work party and its a Dinner and Dance at the Wintergardens, which we thoroughly enjoyed the year before last (didn't go last year as I was in NS). I have a lovely new party dress that I will also get to wear again on Saturday as Beryl and I are heading out to another Dinner/Dance at the same venue, but it will be a completely different crowd.

Helen, Sharon, Hels and Julia

I am looking forward to pampering myself Friday afternoon with a trip to the salon as I just don't feel like fussing with my hair myself. Hopefully prior to that I will manage to wrap up the last of my Christmas shopping just in time. I will hopefully be able to post a few pictures of the upcoming parties after they happen. By which time it will be Christmas Eve.

Where does the time go?

Me, Sharon, Hels

Monday, December 11, 2006

Babies on the Bombing Range

Yesterday Andy and I decided to take a short drive up the coast to a spot near Horseshoe Point, Donna Nook, where we heard there were quite a few seals and their pups. We never imagined that there would be so many of them spread out all over the beach, and that they attract so many people - some come from two/three hours away to see this amazing sight of some 1500 seals and their pups.

Every year at this time the seals beach themselves on an area that is usually reserved as a Military Bombing Range. The beach is already cordoned off with a small fence to keep people off for obvious reasons, but at this time of year it comes in handy for the seals. There are also seal wardens out there to ensure that no one touches or disrupts the seals in this natural environment, which came as a great relief to me, as people can get carried away. The seals aren't shy though and many of the pups were laying right up next to the fence, much like these two babies:

I could just fall in love with their big black eyes alone.

We realized that this is an event the children shouldn't miss out on, so this coming weekend we are going to take them out there to witness this amazing sight for themselves.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

We can be good girls, now can we have a cookie already?

Today our friends Sophia and Paul came with their 13 week old Dalmation Maebh (pronounced Mauve - her dad is Irish) to let Molly and us meet her as she will be coming to stay with us for 10 days over the Christmas Holidays.

I'm very excited for this, and despite the fact that Sophia and Paul were a little daunted by the puppy's behaviour (she is more feisty than Molly was, believe it or not), we assured her the dogs would be fine and that we honestly don't mind having Maebh. It will make life interesting for a few weeks. They were a little upset that Maebh was playing a little too rough with Molly, but we did point out that although Molly can be quite a wuss, she is the older dog and will sort the puppy out in her own gentle way. This was proven when we left the girls alone to go to the pub for lunch and returned to find that they were just fine with no blood having been shed. When we peeked in the window it was to find Maebh with her front paws on Molly's back, side-on. I'm also relieved that there is little fear that Molly will accidently hurt her by jumping on her, as that little pup can hold her own.

I think Christmas at the McAllenby's is going to be an adventure if nothing else!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Prep at the McAllenby's

I haven't been much in the mood for blogging lately, but I figure if my pal Val can manage to get in a few blogs with her hectic schedule, the least I could do was blog myself. Not to mention I'm feeling the heat from my dear husband.

Not much going on here except the regular hustle and bustle with the pre-Christmas planning. I've managed to get a few cards home in the mail, but still have the packages to send to the family, which I will do by tomorrow or Saturday as the deadline is Monday.

Last weekend Andy and I decided to put the tree up as we don't have the children this weekend and neither of us wants to leave it till the week before Christmas. For the first time we went out and picked out a real tree, something we thought the kids would enjoy (which they did). I had to put the brakes on though when I overheard Andy telling the tree guy that we were looking for a 6 or 7 footer. Getting the 6 footer would be pushing it. And so it was. Our tree is gloriously huge, and we had to do a lot of moving furniture around to make it work. I was only too pleased to take down the big office desk we had in our living room, in honour of replacing it with a much more reasonably sized home computer desk. (Hence the reason we have not yet purchased the big fridge). My only wish is that we had a nice set of curtains instead of the awful brown blinds!!!

Although Andy had to be out of town all day Sunday, we decided that I would go ahead and decorate with the boys because after all, the whole reason we put the tree up was to partake in the decorating with them. Unfortunately, they weren't that interested. Apparently (and according to them) their mother is a fussy tree decorator and prefers to do it herself. I can understand this of course, but Christmas is for the kids. I figure, let them have a go, and if something doesn't look right, fix it when they are in bed. So ultimately, I turned on the Family Stone to get me in the mood, and started decorating. Connor pulled himself away from the movie momentarily to add a bauble on the very lowest, inner branch, down by the stump. I still think its there, actually.

Unfortuntately, this picture doesn't do our tree justice, but the kids look cute under it!

So the tree is up. It looks great, but better yet, it smells great. It smells of Nova Scotia, which is a great comfort to me (even though we never had a real tree at home, I used to help a dear friend pick out and erect hers every year).

The Christmas Spirit

I've been doing a little shopping, and as mentioned previously, have been trying to get my packages home sorted. Next year, I swear I'm doing it in time to send the big package (to Mom's) home via surface mail as it is a ridiculous cost to send airmail. But hey, its only once a year and they are special to me. Maybe next year I can deliver my presents in person. Who knows?

I have however been feeling a little bit homesick over the past week. This is due mostly in part to the fact that we have been experiencing gale-storm wind and rain for nearly a week now, while Nova Scotia has experienced its first snowfall (to be witnessed over at Stacy's 'my pictures' and Tina's Blog. Although these pictures are terrific and I love seeing them, it does make me a little nostalgic for home and all those I love. Maybe, just maybe we will be blessed with a sprinkling for Christmas, which would be just perfect.

In other news, I'm heading out tomorrow evening with the Pink Lady Crew, which consists of my mother-in-law Wendy and our dear friends Beryl and Linda, to enjoy late evening shopping down SeaView Street, which happens to boast my favourite shop 'In The Pink'. The shops are also offering a glass of wine and mince pie to help the unconvinced get in the mood.