Thursday, 18 December 2008

JYC - Days 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13

Here's the next installment of my Journal Your Christmas album. I'm finally catching up a bit.

Day 9 - Wrapping Paper
How much paper do we use at Christmas?

Some years I buy "good" wrapping paper - this year I bought the cheap stuff!!! Well I've had to wrap some things up two or three times as I've put my fingers through it. So that wasn't worth it.

It does seem to be a waste of paper, wrapping everything and then throwing it away on Christmas day.

I always wrap the girls presents in different coloured paper, red for Lilly and blue for Clare. For years they didn't realise this so if they did find presents they didn't know who's they were.

Day 10 - ListsWhy can't I do my Christmas shopping in July when no-one else is doing theirs?

I always leave everything til the last minute then I'm flying around on late night shopping try to match present up with people.

Lists, lists, list.........

I'm not organised enough to make lists for Christmas (or birthdays) but I always receive wish lists from family. This does make it easier when I'm battling with all the other late night shoppers.

At least I don't need to worry about buying food and nibbles this year as we won't be here. I hope poor Angela is not stressing too much.

Day 11 - The Tree

I love a real tree. We always have one, this year however, we don't for the reason I've given before.

I love the smell of a real tree, and they look so pretty too. I always decorate the tree in red, green and gold. Some of the decorations I bought in Germany and they are very pretty.

Last year Peter and Angela gave me a fibre-optic palm tree (it set fire to the socket so we can't have it lit now), it stands inside the front door and reminds me of Los Angeles.

Day 12 - A Very different Christmas
This year our Christmas is going to be quite different I expect. The weather will be warmer. In Los Angeles it will be around 20c, here is will be just above freezing.

I'm not sure what to expect to eat. I think turkey is eaten at Thanksgiving, so it will be too soon after to have it again. I'm not asking, as I sort of want it to be a surprise.

Lilly is keen to go in the pool on Christmas day. I will probably go in with her.

I think most of Angela's family are coming over so that will be quite strange. Apart from Mary, Gene, Sarah, Cameron and Brigid we don't know any of the others.

It will be a very different Christmas.

Day 13 Traditions

You may notice the date tag says day 9. This was originally page 9, but I've altered the order of my journal a bit and didn't take a new picture of the LO!

I don't remember any special traditions when I was young. We always had turkey for Christmas dinner and it still doesn't feel right to have anything else to eat.

Our presents were left at the end of our bed in a pillowcase. We would clammer into Mum and Dad's bed to open our presents.

When Clare and Lilly were young I liked to have Christmas dinner on Christmas eve evening. This meant on Christmas day the girls could eat as much chocolate as they liked and not ruin their appetite. It also meant that I could fill the table with nice things to eat and relax. In recent years we've gone back to having Christmas dinner on Christmas day, but I prefer it the old way.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Days 6, 7 and 8

As you can see I'm way behind on this! I'm going to put these three days here then go and do some more entries.

Day 6 - Good and bad Christmas's
Mostly Christmas is really nice. A quiet time - just John, me and the girls.
Mum used to spend Christmas with us. One year she had a chest infection and spent most of Christmas in bed. We had to see the doctor twice while she was ill.
That Christmas Clare got her own computer, John spent a lot of the time on the computer too and the cat was ill!!
Lilly kept me sane that Christmas and I have to say it was one of the worst. One day I was sitting on the sofa looking out at the garden, it was a lovely bright day and my neighbours Silver Birch tree looked so pretty in the sunshine. I will try and take a picture of it when we have a sunny day so I can add it here.
Day 7 - Christmas Dinner
This weekend I hosted the family Christmas present swap. It was a last minute thing so I didn't have to worry too much about getting it right!
Today I cooked Christmas dinner. It's the only time I could do it really. With Clare away and Lilly a vegetarian there would be little point in cooking roast turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding to follow for just John and me.
As we had visitors and opportunity was presented. John, Lilly, Martin, Pat, Tim, Cressetta, And and Helen were my guests. We had a lovely time.

Day 8 - A Discovery

I've made a discovery while writing this journal. I've made two really.

First I have dicovered that I don't really like the build up to Christmas. I used to enjoy it but now I find it all too much hassle.

Before I went back to work I would make my Christmas cake and pudding in Septmeber when the girls went back to school. Now I don't usually have time. My cards used to be ready to post early in December, they're not even written yet and it's already well into Decembrer.

There's not the excitment about Christmas anymore. Maybe I'm just a grump old woman!

My second discovery is how much I'm enjoying journalling my life. Thank you Shimelle.

Friday, 5 December 2008

JYC - Day 3 & 4 (and maybe 5!)

Due to "life" I've been unable to put my entries on my blog for a couple of days. I've got a busy weekend ahead so I thought I'd better get on and let you see day three and four of my journal. so here they are.

Day 3 - Christmas Cards

I usually have my cards written and ready to post by the beginning of December. This year I am behind and haven't even written the yet!
I'm thinking of not sending so many cards this year and I may send a donation to a charity instead.
We get cards from people we haven't seen for years and it just seems such a waste of resources.
I will still be thinking of all those people whether I sent cards or not.

Day 4 - Perfect Christmas
Our Christmas 2008 is going to be very different as we will be in Los Angeles.I've never had a warm Christmas really. We spent some Christmas's in Cyprus but I think L.A. may be warmer.The best thing about this Christmas will be spending time with my brother and "new" sister-in-law. I miss them very much and I am looking forward to seeing them very much.
I hope John, Clare and Lilly enjoy the holiday. I'm sure Lilly will, but my biggest wish for this Christmas is that Clare and John enjoy it too.
Day 5 - Advent CalendarOn the 1st December I was surprised by a friend when she gave me this Advent Calendar. It's lovely and each drawer had a small chocolate inside. When the drawers are turned round there will be a picture of a tree revealed.
I don't remember having Advent Calendars when I was small. As I grew up we had a paper calendar with a Nativity scene on and it was much late that I had a calendar with chocolates in!
The girls always have an Advent Calendar and this year I've made them. They have small presents as well as chocolate.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

JYC - Day 2 - The Weather

As I didn't have time to show you my cover, manifesto and day 1 photos yesterday, here they are:

The Front Cover
I'm not sure I'm very happy with this cover, it has a few smudges and the letters are wonky so it may be changed. For now it will stay though.
My Manifesto
Day 1 - The Decorations
We don't normally put our decorations up until later in December, but this year they're up already due to having family over at the weekend.
I always give Clare and Elizabeth advent calendars and this year is no exception. I've made them this year and put small gifts as well as chocolate in them.
I have two advent parcels from swaps I did on UKScrappers so I'm excited abut that.
The weather today was very cold and icy, more like January or February than December.
Day 2 - The Weather
The Weather is uasually cold and wet at this time of year. I remember snow at Christams when I was young, but not for many years.
This year it is colder than usual - maybe we will have snow this Christmas.
Not for us! We're going to LA for Christmas to visit Peter and Angela, so a lovely warm Christmas. This will be strange for us, but we have our Californian tree up already to get us in the mood.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Journal Your Christmas - Day 1 - My Manifesto

So here we are, day 1 of Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class.

My Manifesto
This is simple. I am going to try. That's it really. I'm going to try to blog every day from now until the 6th January, but as you will know if you've looked at my blog in the past, I'm not very good at keeping up! I'm also going to try and journal my Christmas in craft. My book is ready so I've no excuse exept time. I am going to try to find a few minutes each day for this.
The reason I want to do this class is that I know nothing of the Christmas's of my parents or their parents and I think it would be interesting for my children, grandchildren and maybe even great grandchildren to be able to look back at Christmas as the beginning of the 21st century and see what it was like. I hope someone will be interested.
So, I will see you tomorrow and I hope to be able to post a picture of my crafting journal too.
Have fun everyone.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

My Christmas Journal

I had hoped to have a picture of the front cover of my journal to post, but the ink doesn't seem to be drying on it. I don't want to put it on the scanner with wet ink!
I'm looking forward to journalling my first page tomorrow. I have to go into town after work so I hope I have time to do it.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's journals.
See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

I'm journalling Christmas

I've signed up for Shimelles Journal Your Christmas class. Have you?
Here it is if you'd like to join us.

I'm really looking forward to 1st December to get started on this. It's another way of letting future generations see how we celebrated Christmas in the 21st century. Lok forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

It's been so long.

I can't believe I've left this blog for so long, I really must get finished with my holiday journal, I've got so much more to share with you!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Days 20 & 21

Day 20
Tuesday 14th August 07

San Francisco

We travelled to San Francisco today. It was another long journey. We travelled on the Interstate 5, which took us most of the way to San Francisco from LA. On the way we passed a field of cows, there must have been thousands of them and not a blade of grass in sight. The smell was awful. No wonder Angela likes to see our small fields of happy cows!
Shirine, Geoff and the girls travelled separately and we met up with them at the Hotel Whitcomb where we were staying. The hotel is very nice.San Francisco is a very interesting city. This evening we travelled by cable car to China town where we had a very unimpressive meal. Travelling by cable car was great fun but we almost lost Angela when we got off and she didn’t!

Day 21
Wednesday 15th August 07

A lovely day in San Francisco

We started the day with breakfast in Sam’s Diner, just over the road form the hotel. Strangely, hotels in America don’t have any tea or coffee making facilities in the rooms! I was desperate for a cup of tea by the time we got to Sam’s.
We took the streetcar to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we had a lovely walk. It was then time for brunch at The Eagle Café on Pier 39 (the cafe is described as “Historic waterfront café and bar since 1928”, this made us laugh as we live so close to Stonehenge which was built about 5000 years ago!).After our second breakfast of the day we took the ferry to Alcatraz, what an interesting place. We met an ex-inmate – Darwin Coon – who’d written a book about his life of crime and time in prison, including Alcatraz. It was very interesting to talk to him. Lilly wanted to know how the inmates who had attempted to escape had managed to get hair for the dummies they made. Darwin told us that the barber was one of the escapees so there was any amount of hair to be had.
When we returned to the mainland we spend some time looking around the shops and the front at Fisherman’s Wharf.
We visited Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Museum, which was good fun. We went to see the sea lions that live by the Wharf, a bit smelly but very sweet. Then we had supper before going back to the hotel. On the way home on the street car there was a young girl having an argument with her boyfriend over the phone, she kept us all amused all the way back to the hotel. Most of the passengers felt sorry for the poor chap!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Long time - no see.

It's been a while since I shared a journal entry with you, so here goes.

Day 17
Saturday 11th August 07

Venice Beach

We went to Venice (Muscle) Beach today. We played in the sea, walked along the boardwalk and had a very nice meal.
Didn’t see much “muscle” action! But there were lots of street traders and entertainers.
As we didn't see any "muscle" on the beach I found this on the Internet!

Day 18
Sunday 12th August 07

Being Lazy

We had a lovely lazy day by the pool today.
Angela has a lovely cactus on the patio. The flowers last one day only and look absolutely stunning when they’re out.

Day 19
Monday 13th August 07


We went to Hollywood today. We had a lovely sandwich for lunch in a very nice sandwich bar.
Geoff, Shirine and the girls joined us later, bringing Lilly with them. They’d been to Rodeo Drive. We wanted to visit the Chinese Theatre, but it was closed as there was to be a premier that evening.
Saw the Hollywood sign and the “stars”, then we had an ice cream in a Disney themed cafe.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Day 15 & 16

Day 15
Thursday 9th August 07

The Clemi

Yay! They’re here. Shirine, Geoff, Hannah and Naomi arrived this evening. We went to meet them at LAX. The plane landed at 7.40, but it was about 9.30 when they got out of the airport. And by the time they got the car it was 11pm.
When we arrived home we had supper on the patio. It’s lovely to have them here.
Sarah invited us out for coffee this morning. She meets a friend each week and the little ones play together. Brigid, Darien and their friend Tomas kept us amused as usual.
It’s been a lovely day.

Day 16
Friday 10th August 07

Farmer’s Market

We had lunch at Sissler’s today,
This evening we met the Edelmaiers for supper at the farmer’s market in Covina.
Clare, Lilly and Angela bought “Fancy Nancy” hats, they looked lovely. Brigid had her “Fancy Nancy” hat on too.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Day 13 & 14

Day 13
Tuesday 7th August 07

Love Doves

Angela went to work but had to come home early as she wasn’t well. Peter went to collect her, poor girl. Poor Angela spent most of the day in bed, so we relaxed then, later, went to Target.
Angela has some Love Doves nesting in her hanging baskets. They’re so sweet, the parents don’t care that we’re milling about underneath the nest. When we arrived here there were babies in the nest, they’ve now flown and the parents have swapped baskets and are sitting on new eggs. They don’t even mind us taking photos of them.

Day 14
Wednesday 8th August 07


Sarah brought Brigid and Darien round for a swim, they really are very sweet little girls.
Later, Peter and I went shopping to Michaels while the girls went to the cinema. We had a 40% discount voucher from the newspaper so I bought a cropper-hopper. With the discount it cost me $25 (about £13), bargain. I couldn’t decide which one to buy so Peter was taking them all out of the boxes and trundling around the store with them!
We went out to dinner at The Outback with Denise and Eric, delicious food.
Geoff, Shirine and the girls arrive tomorrow, I’m looking forward to seeing them.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Days 11 and 12

Day 11
Sunday 5th August 07

Lazy Day

We were pretty exhausted today after the journey home, so relaxed – guess where! Yes, by the pool. It really is lovely by the pool.
Sarah, Cameron and Brigid came over. It’s always nice to see them.

Day 12
Monday 6th August 07


Angela had to go to work today so Peter took the girls and me shopping. We went to Scrappin’ Good Times, the Scrapbook store in San Dimas. I don’t think it was as well stocked as it was on my last visit, two years ago, but I had my crafting fix anyway.
Denise and Eric came round for supper and I cooked curry.

We wondered if it was hot enough to fry an egg so we had a go. It didn't fry, it just went crinkly.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Day 10

So, I was supposed to put day 10 with day 9 yesterday, but forgot! So, here's day 10.

Day 10
Saturday 4th August 07

Going Home

We travelled back to Covina today. It was even hotter than it was on the journey to Las Vegas. The thermometer at Baker showed 113 degrees!!!

Before leaving Las Vegas we had a dip in the hotel pool, then we took a ride to see the wedding chapels, they really are very pretty. Angela’s parents were married in Vegas. I wonder if it was at one of these chapels!
In one of the chapels a film crew were there filming, they invited us in to have a look and the actress was bound and gagged, we weren’t sure what sort of film they were making!

It was nice to be “home. After the long hot journey it was very pleasant to cool off in the pool.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Day 9 and 10

Day 9
Friday 3rd August 07

Las Vegas

We had a fantastic day today, the temperature was 102 degrees! HOT
Clare and Angela went on the New York New York roller coaster before we walked along the Strip and visited some of the posh hotel – The Belagio, The Paris and Caesar’s Palace.

The New York New York
The BelagioThe Paris
Caesars Palace
We stopped to watch group of Hawaiian dancers in a shopping centre and Lilly was asked to dance with one of them, Tomasi.
Lilly and TomasiWe had dinner at The Paris hotel where we had a delicious eat as much as you can buffet in one of the pretty street cafés.
After dinner we went back to our hotel, the girls went up to the room and Peter, Angela and I had a fantastic time gambling in the casino. We played the 1c machines and were given free cocktails all evening. We spent around 10 – 15 dollars each, which of course we lost, but we had a fabulous couple of hours. I lost about 20 dollars over the couple of days here, but it’s been such fun.
We go back to LA tomorrow, it should be a bit cooler there.

More holiday journal

Day 7
Wednesday 1st August 07

On the Lake

We’ve extended our stay here for another day, it’s so lovely. I think Lilly would spend the rest of the holiday here, by we’re of to Las Vegas tomorrow.
We spent another lovely day on the boat. We had a picnic lunch and swam in the lake
The girls both had a go at driving the boat and really enjoyed it, despite the water-skiers giving Lilly heart attacks.

This evening we took the boat to the village and had supper there. I had fantastic ribs and Lilly had the most enormous dish of seafood pasta.
We will be sorry to leave tomorrow, but we’ve got Las Vegas to look forward to.

Day 8
Thursday 2nd August 07

On To Las Vegas

We left the cabin early this morning to travel to Las Vegas.
The journey was long, but the scenery was interesting and we came across some interesting little places on the way.
We stopped at Peggy Sue’s diner for breakfast. It’s a fantastic place and the owner’s dad showed us around. There are pictures and memorabilia of all the 1950’s stars all over the place.

We also stopped of at the world’s largest thermometer which showed the temperature to be 104 degrees!

We arrived in Las Vegas and after booking into our lovely rooms at the New York New York hotel we had a look around.
Las Vegas is an interesting place, completely different after dark.
We have walked so far along The Strip that our feet ache!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


I've completed my latest CJ entry, talk about last minute, it's due for posting today! Here it is, the theme was My desert Island and my Three Essential Items. Well the only island I need is my home and the three things that I would hate to be without are my family, my craft room and my garden. Not very original I supposes, but my idea of hell would be to be on a desert island away from home and the people and things I love.
Left hand page:

Right hand page:
And another entry from my LA holiday journal.

Day 5
Monday 30th July 07

The Cabin

We’ve borrowed a cabin by Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino mountains for a couple of days.
It was an interesting drive up here, but it was worth it. The lake is beautiful and the cabin in spectacular. There is a boat here but we can’t find the key to start it. This evening the girls, Peter and Angela jumped off the back of the boat and went for a swim, I took photos!
Before leaving this morning I had my nails done and a pedicure at San Dimas Nails.

The Cabin:Lilly and Peter having fun on the boat:

Day 6
Tuesday 31st July 07

On The Boat

This morning the owner of the cabin sent a driver up to us with a key for the boat so we were able to go out today. We pootled around the lake looking at the lovely houses, then moored and had a picnic lunch, it was fabulous.
After lunch we found a little village which we had a look around. The shops had very expensive items in, obviously the people that own these cabins are very rich!
We were going to go out for an evening trip but it got too dark so we didn’t.
We had a barbecue on the veranda and had a lovely evening.