About Me

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I'm 57 years old, working full time, wife, mother and grand mother, wishing that I wasn't working full time! I love and enjoy our children and grandchildren, our dogs and cat, our garden and allotment. I love crafts - knitting, sewing, crocheting, patchwork and restoring old furniture. I love to go to country auctions and love thinking that I've got my self a bargain!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Oh No! - it's time to read the meters!..........

Evening All,

I've come home this evening to the dreaded email from British Gas asking me to submit my gas and electricity readings - we've been careful with the usage especially the gas due to the price rises and by my reckoning I shouldn't be in debit but will have very little credit left on the account - Thank goodness it's not been too bad a winter so far ( those could really be famous last words!).

But we have used the log burner a lot more and may only just scrape through the winter with the logs we have left but if it does turn colder in the next few weeks, we will need an extra half load of logs.

Sounds daft but I don't mind paying for a delivery of logs -  at least you know what you're getting and at what price whereas with the gas and electricity bills who knows!!

Can I just respond to some comments that were recently left

Never Too Old  - You could try advertising on Freecycle for another freezer - that's where I got my last one from and it works brilliantly - yes we do grow our own veg, we had half an allotment for the last 2 years but in the summer last year we managed to get the other half so we now have a full allotment. My hubby, son  and daughter in law do all the digging, weeding and planting out up there - I'm more the 'support services' colleague so the greenhouses and starting off the seeds are my responsibility - it does help and saves a lot of money by having it.

Anne - I agree, I would love an old walk in pantry with bright white painted shelves and a cold slab

PattyPan - I have always thought that you must have had a country background from your posts, which I have always enjoyed reading. I have followed some of your recipes and enjoyed them too. I like to read about your visits to the fruit and veg shop and the butchers - we just don't have 'proper' shops like those around here -  I have to travel to say Bridgenorth which is about 8 miles away to find anything similar, a 16 mile round trip then makes the produce even more expensive.  The butchers I use is back where I used to live a 20 mile journey so that's why I buy in bulk and freeze. I think we ladies who like to  shop sensible, cook and preserve 'proper' food, provide filling healthy meals and enjoy homemaking and  crafts are now really something special in this day and age.

Anne - Your saying is much better than Kippers and Curtains - I shall not be able to look at anyone in a fur coat without smiling to myself! I understand what you say with regard to the heating too. I hope your Mum will soon be feeling better - I enjoy reading about your days out together.

Scarlet - You can't believe how some people will live can you? -  just to be able to say that they have a fancy posh address  - Like you -  I've always said to my children, no matter whatever happens in life there will  always be a a roof here for them with a warm bed and food on the table  - if I can't help them with anything else,  there will always be that.

Kath - Nice to hear from you again

Oh well, time to make a move  - I hope you all have a good week  xxx

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Kippers and Curtains!

Afternoon All,

Talking yesterday of achievements and blessings - I know mine are only small in the grand scheme of things but it's been a lot of hard work -  but as my Nan always said 'Hard work never hurt anyone'!

I've been reading a lot of posts where bloggers have been having a no spend or low spend  January. Whereby they've been using up all the contents of their larders and freezers, rather than go shopping. I have to say that I am in  absolute awe of them and that they have my admiration.

When I got married the first time round 35 years ago - on the morning of the wedding my Dad said to me, make sure you always keep a roof over your head, a fire in the grate and food in the cupboard and I must have really been listening to that piece of advice. (I only wished I'd listened to my Mom when she said "don't marry him - he's not good enough for you" - she was right!!)

Because no matter how tight money has been - that is what I've done - the mortgage was always paid and dead on time and the house has always been kept warm. The other thing I've always done is keep a full cupboard and freezer.  My children joke that we could all live off my food cupboards for a couple of months without having to go shopping.

I currently have a 3 full cupboards of dried and tinned items, 2 shelves of home made preserves and 4 freezers full of food. one has all the meat in it, one has all the veg's still left from the allotment harvest from last summer, and then 2 full of fish, pies etc.,

I can't help it - I hate to see a half empty food cupboard - I would feel like I'd let myself down if I went to the cupboard for something and it wasn't there. It's like an automatic response, if something comes out one week it's replaced at the end of the next. (there is always at least 2 of everything!)

I always remember when I moved into my last house, the neighbours appeared to be dead posh, they were always dressed up to the nines, in their Sunday best, but didn't drive (driving a car has always meant independence to me) and I remember one year we had a really bad snow fall one Friday night and we got up to a good couple of feet of snow - it didn't bother me, I didn't have to go shopping as I knew that there was more than enough food in the cupboard and freezer to keep us going for a good couple of weeks.

But lo and behold, there were the posh neighbours struggling out and having to walk into town as the buses weren't running, to go and get the weeks shopping and we watched them a couple of hours later struggling back, loaded up with bags of shopping  and I found it really hard to believe that they'd had to go out and do the shopping because they'd got nothing left to fall back on!

When I got to know them better,  I found out that this was how they lived - to them it was more important to be seen in their Sunday best or to have the very best furnishings for the house but there was never any food in the cupboard! (or a car on the drive!)

Also no matter what, I managed to get my children away for a weeks holiday each year - it may have only been a little old caravan holiday in North Wales, for a week, which we got to in the oldest of noisy cars -  but they always knew what it was like to paddle in the sea, make sand castles, fly kites, run up and down the beach and catch crabs with a crab line and a piece of bacon fat off Barmouth harbour. Their poor little girl didn't see the sea till she was 11!

As my present hubby would say  they were all 'kippers and curtains ' (an old old  saying means that that they had curtains up the windows but only kippers for tea!)

So to all you ladies who have done the low spend January challenge - well done! it's something that I would really really struggle to do and you have my utmost admiration (will you all be out in February putting it all back in,  to fill the cupboards ?)

Have a good week -  Byee.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Counting my blessings.......

Afternoon All,

Happy New Year and hope you are all fit and well, life soon returns to normal doesn't it? I've been back on that treadmill, up and down the motorway each day, with what it seems like less time to spare than ever.

Ten years ago we used to have a caravan at Montgomery which we went to every weekend when we could, I still worked full time and all 3 of my children (although grown up) were still at home, I still managed to do all the housework, cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing and the garden and I still had time to go to the van - Now I still work full time there are only 2 of us at home in the week and 3 of us at weekends and I manage all the housework, cooking, washing , cleaning, ironing and gardening and then nothing much else! where does the time go to? Is the world moving ever faster or am I moving ever slower?!!

I get in the car every morning and go down the motorway every day thinking 'lifes not fair - I want to be at home doing my crafts, in the garden and having a nice easy life' then I get to work and the madness takes over, and I suppose I do enjoy my job - then after a busy day, I then come back up the motorway, counting my blessings, thinking well at least I do have a job, which is a lot more than what a lot of people have, I live in a lovely little house that I own, with good neighbours, I can pay my bills, I can keep warm and eat good plain food and most important of all,  I earn my own money.

I've worked and earned my own cash since my daughter was 5 years old - she's 30 now, there have been times, when I was left a single mom and had a mortgage to pay that I worked at 3 jobs - I did the council job during the day, then on some nights I worked in the cash boxes at the local illuminations and on the nights I didn't  do that I worked behind a bar serving drinks.

But by doing this, it was my money that was paying for everything - I even managed to buy 2 brand news cars by doing this. (Strangely something I can't afford to do at the moment!)  I've also paid into my own pension for the last 22 years. So although I go down the motorway each morning wishing I didn't have to - I do appreciate and realise all the good things in life that it gives me. (Although I shall still go down the motorway on Monday morning thinking - 'wish I didn't have to do this')

My Nan always used to say that a woman should have her own bit of money put away somewhere for a rainy day and emergencies -  there have been times when that little bit has come in handy - even now, I still do keep a little bit on one side, it helps to pay for birthdays, Christmas and other things.

Talking of paying for things - take my advise, never never buy a Citroen car - every January something goes wrong with our C3 and you can guarantee that it will cost us a pretty packet and yes yet again it has happened - this time it has been the clutch and gear box bearing that decided it wasn't going to work - so we have started January off £400.00 worse off than we were at the end of December, which has given a knock to the savings.

We've decided that again this year we won't have a holiday - we need to carpet the conservatory, due to the way it was constructed (we live on a slope going downwards and sidewards) it is built onto constructed walls with concrete grandfathers (beams) across the breadth of it and whilst we have 2 large radiators in here, (we put on the largest conservatory we could, without planning permission)  the cold comes up through your feet and then slowly up to the knees if you're in here for any length of time, (I had to tell the family to wear thick socks when they came for Xmas dinner!) and we know that carpet will cost us £500.00+

I also want to purchase a decent T.V, for in here (it's a large conservatory with 2 large sofas as well as a dinning room table for 6)  - we both love to sit in here in the summer and it will mean that the room gets more use, plus the garden and allotment are on going and I also want to paint the inside of the summer house this year - and there is only so much that we can do at a time.

The curtain that I made for the front lounge way back in September has come in very handy especially whilst we've been having these strong winds which seem to find every little nook and cranny to come through.

Oh well time to go and get ready - on baby sitting duties tonight -  Hope you all have a good week.