Saturday, December 26, 2009


Christmas has come and gone in the SITH household. Lots of fun, good food, good company and lovely pressies. We should really re-name it "Annika day" as she cleaned up on the present and entertainment front.

So now it is on to France, we are packing a motley selection of items into our cases, bedding, tools, a gas/petrol canister (empty of course). teabags,etc. We are prime candidates for getting our suitcases inspected but these are the ingredients for a productive week in France.

Will report back when I return. We are excited that our son, currently located in the French alps, is making a flying trip over to see us (and pick up laptop we bought him!!) so that will make our festivities complete.

Next job is to drop off the dog and all his paraphanaelia (?) to my kind friend who is dog-sitting for us and make a quick turkey sandwich before we head off.

Have a happy New Year everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

One More Thing

The Christmas list is done and dusted. No more trips to the mall, and maybe only one more to the grocery store. Hubby managed to escape the UK before all hell let loose and the snow totally snarled everything up. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the backlog will have subsided by next weekend, and hopefully less people will be traveling so we can catch our ferry to France without too much delay.

We now have to wrap all the presents, the turkey has started the defrosting process and I am beginning to feel on top of things - on the Christmas front that is. We do still have a little side trip to Home Depot to get supplies for France! We are assuming that all the stores will be closed for the best part of next week over there.

Hubby took some photos of our rendered wall when he was last in France and it is looking good. Hopefully I will have some exciting shots of freshly sandblasted beams when we return. I know try to contain your excitement.

The plan is to stay at the house until we are fed up of being cold and have at least ticked a few things off our to do list, hopefully hook up with our eldest son may if he can make it over from where he is working in the Alps in Tignes, before heading back to the UK for a day or two then back to Canada.

It seems more likely at the moment that we will have a whiter Christmas in France than we are having here in southern Ontario. It keeps falling out of the sky but thankfully not settling, just the way I like it - kind of virtual snow!

Anyway if you do drop by over the next few days, I wish you and your families safe and happy Christmas. Do leave a little note so that I know you were here.

Merry Christmas to One and All!

Friday, December 11, 2009

She's making a list....she's checking it twice!

I am a list-maker, it is how I organize my life. I find it tremendously satisfying to cross things off, and great sense that all is well with the world - is this normal.....sad.....scary....? I sometimes even add things, just so I can cross them off!

The Christmas/holiday to do list is coming together nicely. I have bought/ordered almost all the presents which are currently on the list, As you know there always others that have to be added last minute.

I did charity gifts to my nieces and nephews in the UK. I was thinking of sending cash, but didn't like how unthoughtful it would appear and then I remembered a gift my brother sent last year, a donation in my name to get vaccinations for children. I remember it being my favourite present, I loved the idea. So I searched around for some appropriate charities and that's what I did, for my nephews I donated money for footballs (soccer balls) to needy children and to my nieces, education and health donations. I think they are all old enough to appreciate that there are children worse off than them.

Also managed to arrange to get work done while we are in France. We arrive (after a two day trip) on the Monday after Christmas and the sandblasting guys will be there 9am on Tuesday (I know this is France ...on the week between Christmas and New Year but I have all my fingers and toes crossed). Hubby is buying himself a chain saw (hubby Christmas gift .....check) to reduce all the firewood to a manageable size, we will be usng that quite a bit. Also in the hope that the sandblasting proceeds, we have selected paint for him to purchase in the UKm having read all the blogs that say that French paint is not so good.

So apart from the stocking stuffers for youngest son (yep - the 17 yr old) and a few more items for granddaughter, it is just the food to be bought. How big a turkey does one get when having people to Christmas lunch but then flying away the next day. We usually buy large in order to enjoy cold turkey for several days (weeks) after.

When I was unpacking at this end I noticed that I didn't have many photos of my youngest son, that is probably because he lives with me and I see him all the time, unlike the other son, so I searched and found this lovely picture of my three great children on a wonderful day and I thought I would share.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


So I bit the bullet and put up the Christmas Tree, mainly because the boxes were cluttering up the living room and it was either do it or store them away and my conscience wouldn't let me store away the Christmas stuff in December! I have even bought and wrapped a few presents. Who knew!! And what do you is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

I took the photo above so you could see the tree in context but I must say I prefer it when it looks like this, with the lights dimmed, much more magical.

From this photo it looks like I put blue baubles all down one side, but that is just the light from the window doing that, all my baubles are silver. Then I have a few touches of red.

Hubby is in France this weekend. He drove over through the channel tunnel with his brother. He has to take the van back regularly to keep the insurance valid, but also of course to check on the house. It is a long drive from the UK so that part I am not looking forward to at Christmas, especially after a transatlantic flight! The end wall has been rendered and made watertight and he is pleased with the results, he has been instructed to take photos so I am sure some will follow. Surprise, surprise a lot of the weeds were back up in the front courtyard, but I guess that was inevitable but he did say the plants we put in in July have come on quite a bit, again photos have been demanded.

He also managed to speak to Steve, one of our many contacts there, regarding the next phase on the inside work, making an opening for the staircase, and renovating the floor/ceiling to the main living room so that we can start the framing for the bedrooms. I doubt much will be done before we arrive in December, in fact I don't really want an opening in the ceiling as hubby says it is pretty cold right now. His brother and him are both sleeping in their clothes. Doesn't that sound appealing, roll on December 26th.