Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Not so frugal

So I'd sort of set myself a ten pound a week for food spend for the whole of January and February...today it seems I've come unhinged slightly during a trip to Sainsbugs. I have in fact spent quite a lot more than ten pounds, but...yes there is a but...I still think I've bought wisely and have made use of their current special offers. So as long as I don't have a major splash out every time things won't be so bad after all.
Looks like I'll be starting my caring job proper at the end of this week, so need some easy meals to ease me into my shift patterns. I shall need to keep my strength up, but am well aware that being a few pounds lighter would be better for me.
Hopefully the chap who is sorting out our Esse cooker will have the new part needed today and come and fix it for us...it's mighty cold and damp here without that little darling going 24/7.
Even with the wood burner going in the living room things just aren't so toasty at all.
Right hen...enough rambling, the bread needs making and shopping neds putting away. Am trying to ignore the howling winds and rain lashing against thw windows...time for some good music!
Take care,
J. xx

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Garden

Though I trouble and toil away,

That I'm not in the garden is hardly a day,

Still I can't conquer that tended to look,

Even by using a hoe and a hook.

The weeds love to grow,

In between all the shrubs,

And given chance to sow,

Would fill all the tubs!

We've lots of slugs and snails,

That munch through the leaves,

And leave lots of trails,

Then scatter the seeds.

There's thistles that grow high,

So stately they look,

But they're very very sharp,

To tread on with your foot.

Last year I tried to grow some veg,

Alas that was not to be,

The harvest consisted of,

Just one carrot and a pea.

I might try again,

In a few years from now,

Perhaps I'll invest,

In a horse and a plough.

I say we have the natural look,

One you wouldn't find

In many a book,

And so perhaps I think I'll keep,

This garden that...

Is far from neat!

By me!

J. xx

Friday, 25 January 2013

The rain is coming sideways

It's blowing a hoollie outside, and sounds just horrid. One dog is snoring, but I'm sure it won't be long before the other one joins in!

I've completed my first two days of care worker training...information overload at the moment....hopefully all situations won't all occur at the same time. Looking forward to getting out there though.

Need to update the spending spreadsheet tomorrow and see just how terrible well I've been doing! The truth will out tomorrow. Oh dear...can't wait!

The last of the rich fruit cakes seem to have been devoured by hubby so I shall have to get busy baking...it was nice while they lasted though.

Eldest has made it safely home and has been saying how she loves making millionaires shortbread...how convenient we have everything needed to make said recipe...yippee!


J. xx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Tips required!

Please help..I've now completely cleaned out the Esse four times in three days...chap came this afternoon and fixed a problem, but we're not sure that's the whole of the story yet....hope so though.
I'm soot stained, have scrubbed till I hurt and am beginning to feel very sorry for myself.
More snow today, quite a bit actually, but most of it has vanished as quickly as it came. I know it's a total cop out, but with the state of the kitchen, it'll be pub fish and chip night for tea...sorry all you frugal people out there, but if you saw what I've had to clear up in the past three days, I at least would hope for sympathy.
So off to scrub some more skin off,
Take care,
J. xx

Not a good night

Exhausted...Esse cooker giving grief...keeps smoking...time to get help.


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Just a quickie!

Very very tired after quite an eventful day...

Started at just after six thirty this morning...it had snowed then turned to ice...the result was first I couldn't open the car, then I couldn't defrost the darn thing in time to get youngest to the bus on time for college...bother bother.

A few hours later, car thawed..went to local Morrisons for the weekly shop...no pound coin so humped round a very heavy basket...thanks Morrisons for your signs saying you won't issue change for trolleys...love you too. And what a silly place to put the vinegar...really.

Next to the bigger town, and the drive round the hideous barn-henge roundabout...at least before you chopped off all the stick-up bits it put a smile on people's faces...now on a grey cold day it just looks grey and cold.

After a few more errands I had my interview for becoming a care worker...and guess what...,training starts Thursday!

Back home to clean out one smitching Esse cooker for the second day running...oil I hate you...seems like we got a dump load of poor grade stuff. Gee thanks!

And so I'm tired!

J. xx

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Still cold

Does it need saying...really...?

Brrrrrr, and tonight forecast to be extra brrrrrr!

Oh for the days when we can go here...

Dreaming of warmer days!

J. xx


Saturday, 19 January 2013

The snow

Yesterday, we woke up to this


Some view at six thirty!

Then a bit later on...

Ok, so I only wanted one of these photos, but couldn't get rid of the first one!

But inside, it was cosy...

Like this...much better.

J. x


Arctic blast felt!

Yes, I can appreciate what is feeling to me like a decidedly arctic frontal! Though not appreciate in it's usual sense. Basically, I'm blinking we'll cold. Having spent the morning a cutting and a grinding in hubby's workshop, I've come home and lit the fire and cooked some what my mother used to call heel-taps...small odd shapes of potato cut like for a teddy pasty...fried in a small frying pan, with enough oil to cover...oldest daughter used to say she didn't like chips, but loved these so called heel-taps!

Speaking of eldest, she was supposed to come home this weekend, but was stopped by the weather, and apparently has five whole inches of snow....that's one mighty big snowman worth. Here we had another scatting last night, but nothing like the night before, and nothing like our infamous blizzard of February 1978, when we were snowed in for weeks...dad had to go and milk the cows by climbing out the front best room window and following the power lines across the tops of hedges....yes we did have a best room...used mainly only at Christmas....how strange now, but growing up it seemed quite normal...it was certainly very special. I certainly don't have a best room, just well lived in chaos cosines!

So how have you all been managing to keep warm...clean answers only please! Would be lovely to get some comments...I know people read cos the page counter tells me! Don't be shy!!

J. xx

Friday, 18 January 2013

The Blizzard (part 5)

And then out the window,

Once more we did spy,

A lone robin was looking,

For food he did cry.

We scattered some crumbs,

On top of the snow,

He came right up to us,

It's funny how they know,

But by now the sun was stronger,

Gaining height up in the sky,

And a slow methodic drip began,

A thaw to you and I.

J. G.


The Blizzard (part 4)

The clearing of the path,

We considered must be done,

Before we made a snowman,

Before we had some fun.

Only when that was finished,

And some salt been spread around,

The path to make safe,

For the children down would bound,

Was a big fat man,

Created out of the snow,

And when all completed,

Some balls we did throw.

It made us quite warm,

With rosy red cheeks,

But to breathe was quite hard,

So indoors we did creep.


The blizzard is now for real...keeping warm,

Final part later!.

J. x

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Blizzard (part 3)

Branches of trees,

Were weighted right down,

Piled heavy with snow,

Some were touching the ground.

It was eerily silent as we peered out upon,

This wonderful new world,

Where from had it come?

After a good breakfast,

And large pot of tea,

Warm woollies were donned,

Then out ventured we.


That's all for today...to be continued tomorrow!

J. xx

The Blizzard (part 2)

While we were sleeping,

All safe in our beds,

Outside the snow kept on falling,

'till it covered the hedge.

When morning arrived,

And we all awoke,

We drew back the curtains,

Nearly to choke,

The landscape had changed,

To a beautiful white,

But where was the path?

The snow what a height!


Next part later...

J. xx

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Blizzard

The first flakes fell,

So gentle they seemed,

Dusk was nearing,

And the windows were screened,

Little did we know,

That all through the night,

A blizzard was raging,

We'd turned out the light.


More tomorrow...

J. xx

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Come inside

Still cold


It's cosy in here though

Sitting by the fire.

Spent some money...

On some hexagon cutters

For quilting

So it's ok.

Fairy folk, if you're really cold...

Come inside,

And stop hiding

In our drain pipes,

So the water goes away

And hubby is happy again.

Keep warm.

J. x

Trying to use blogsy

Help, I obviously need it in bucket loads


Now to try and publish the post....oh isn't learning fun.

J. x


Where will the fairy folk be keeping warm?

No snow,

  • But cold,
  • Very cold.

Where will the fairy folk be keeping warm?

  • Maybe in the ivy,
  • Or the holly...
  • Or maybe they're hiding in the mass of brambles that we leave in one place in the garden for wildlife to shelter through the colder months.

Hope they don't mind sharing.
Glad that I can come in from the cold,
And bask in the warmth of the fire.
Aaa ah .
J. xx

Monday, 14 January 2013

Must try harder.

So the title of the post is must try harder....at what, well maybe everything really...every single thing I start out to do....I must try harder to make sure it doesn't become a UFO.
I've had a really busy day so far, helping hubby cut some steel, and I've just finished breasting five brace of pheasant. The dogs have been let back into the kitchen and are finding the stray feathers fascinating to play with.
Tonight is men's skittle night so a quiet one for me later on. Do I spend it blog surfing or knitting, or make an attempt to re-learn how to crochet. I've been shown how so many times it's ridiculous really.
And I must learn to add photos to this blog...hang on a minute...
Oops no good...must try harder to learn!!!
But for now, some light relaxation before tea.

Sunday, 13 January 2013


Oh the joys of a sunny day...but it's gone very cold here now. At one point I doubted whether there had been a need to light the wood burner so early...but that was short lived after coming in from outside and being grateful for the warmth.
It was just me home for most of the day as hubby had gone on a vintage tractor run, so a pottering sort of time.
So the weekend has come and nearly gone, January can be a funny month, in the darkest depths of the year, but today the birds have been singing their hearts out and if I didn't know better I'd be forgiven for thinking that Spring has sprung.
A busy week lies ahead of me, so an evening of snuggling by he fire and an early night is called for.
J. X

Saturday, 12 January 2013

A lie in.

OK, so it's still not eight o'clock yet, and I've done a few things, but this morning I have had a lie in, well a sleep in to be more precise. I haven't slept that well due to agonising pains radiating down my arms every so often...think I may have over done the patio scrubbing slightly...but will I ever learn?
So what to do today...no snow yet, but looks like we've had another dump load of rain...like we needed that sooo much.
I do need to make a couple of birthday cards to be ready for next week. We're on Eco 20/20 so youngest daughter has been told to do all her washing today...I either use the machine through the night, weekends or when it's sunny...(solar panels), lets just say that night-time and weekends have been popular choices lately and leave it at that.
Though loads to do I've been thrown slightly because I was supposed to be going to see a bride to be about her wedding stationery, but she's had to cancel, hence the what shall I do instead attitude. I'm sure housework will soon cure the feeling!
Heidi is still a scratching next to me, though I've not seen her touch her ear, so maybe looking promising. And Clover the elderly golden is lying asleep on the kitchen floor, just where the hot water pipes travel...how convenient, whereas Heidi's favourite spot is bang in front of the fridge. It takes me a good three heaves to open the door if she's sound asleep!
Enough ramblings for now. J. Xx

Friday, 11 January 2013

The sun came out today!

What a day...some sunshine which is so welcome after all the dullness we've been getting lately. Part of the patio has been bleached and scrubbed, and boy did it need it! Hasn't it turned chilly though...a proper cold wind has been blowing here especially this afternoon. Still the fires are burning and we've hot water a plenty thanks to the good old Esse, a right workhorse if ever there was one, oh and before any of you say that water is bloomin' expensive so not to use it, let me tell you that I know it's expensive...I pay the bill, and that we've been refused a meter because they would have to close the road to put one in....huff, consequently we have to pay through the nose no matter how careful we are. Thanks S.W. Water.
Rant over, keep calm and run a bath then?
Anyway, day three of Heidi on her special diet, she's still scratching, but early days I suppose.
I could do with having a special diet, as in half rations probably, and by the way it's looking on the ten pound a week grocery spend for January and February that could be the sum total of it.
Oh it's Friday night so that means Ice Road Truckers...watched this last week and it's looking a bit more like it was in series one...yippee...any other fans...think it's that I have such a thing about Canada.
Right...expensive bath is a bubbling so might as well make the most of it!
Keep warm. J. X

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Is this a sore throat?

Ok, so I'm back from my early morning trip to get the youngest off to college...it is sooo foggy out there...yikes! Go careful, but now I'm in, warm and have drunk the obligatory cup of tea something seems to be brewing trouble at the back of my throat...and a few sneezes...have they been a mere coincidence or am I headed for a stinker? Yuck. Lots to do today...sorry customers but you will be receiving a bill visit very soon. A necessary evil I'm afraid. Leftover cottage pie will take the strain off me as far as our evening meal is concerned so yippee on that front. That is if Heidi keeps her paws to herself...she is a Newfie and recently has developed some skin issues. Yesterday I bought her some hypo allergenic salmon flavour food, so in two to three weeks if the food was the issue she should be on the mend. Poor girlie, she gives so much love, but being itchy can make you a little less than sociable at times. Bless her little cottons. So to work to work, good music playing can help, but I can't possibly ignore the in tray and bulging pile of filing any longer....sadly!
J. X

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Maybe a job for me?

Looking quite promising on the care job. Let's hope so, though it will involve a mixture of shift times. I'm sure we can work it out. Anybody know of a cure for the most horrendous headache...whether through tiredness or the unusual appearance of the sunshine today...it has not been a pleasant afternoon. Oh well, need to soldier on I suppose...a hearty cottage pie is bubbling away on the stove so though quite on the same financial as church mice we shan't starve tonight. Hope you're all warm and well out there, J. X

A penny over!

Yesterday saw me trundling along to a shop, large size, begins with an A and also ends with an A. I was good, fairly, and came out with just what was needed, a touch sad that I'd spent a penny more than the intended ten pounds, however in the scheme of things not too bad. The rest of the day found me job hunting...the economic climate is such that it is no longer enough for me to do the financial side of my husbands business and keep house. Ouch! This is going to call for some serious forward planning, and on his part clearer details of which customer has had what. I don't do miracles, but have an idea that if I start work early I could theoretically still have most of the afternoon for my other commitments. A care working job would fit the bill and I'm off with my forms later to apply for a position. Care working is also a very worthwhile thing to be doing in my opinion, and quite frankly if my butt is going to have to get out of a nice warm bed with the cockerels it had better be for something that is really going to make a difference to some people.
Have fun people, J. X

Monday, 7 January 2013

Goodness me!

Well I'll be jiggered...it's the 7th today already and I seem to have slipped very early off the blogging bandwagon...excuses...eldest daughter travelled back to her house on the 2nd. Jan...worried mother...then son travelled back to his uni digs yesterday...both these journeys were well over 3 hours long and I still feel awful when I know how far they have to drive. Both arrived safely, but my energy levels seem to have been pushed back to zero and tomorrow is the first early rise as I have to get youngest daughter to the bus in time for her long journey to Exeter college. Joy oh joy.

I am determined that this year I shall be more on top of things and will NOT leave making everything for a homemade Christmas until November! I have already started on a couple small knitting projects and hope soon to have a root around in the charity shops for some blue-ish material for quilting...big project planned...and I promise that I will learn how to upload some pictures very soon!

Ok so another reason I've been slacking is that I've been reading my daily dose of other peoples blogs...usually Frugal Queen, Foster Mummy, stay at home Mummy, and hollabaloo homestead. See...can't be reading and writing at the same time. But today after the morning spent paper working for hubby's agricultural business, the pull of blogger became just too much.

I also spent some money today...good spending though...a few pounds on some zips...yep I wanted some tiny 4" zips along with some other sizes and found a cheap online supplier as I have been unable to source them locally... Can't give too much away but the tiny ones may be destined for some pretty little fair isle purses that I'm knitting...looking good so far though!

Tonight's tea may not be want everyone wants, but hopefully it will be adequate...frozen leftover turkey in a creamy sauce with mashed potatoes and a selection of veg...I am so determined to use up what we have in the store cupboard and freezer. The children were horrified when I disclosed to them just how little I intended spending in this area for the whole of January and February...ten pounds per week...yes just ten pounds...O.M.G.!

Enough ramblings for today though...hope that the people who happen across them find a smile as they read what I write, and maybe want to return for another look sometime soon,
Until then, take care, J.xx

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Not A No Spend Day!

Yesterday, well back to mizzely rain again so not much inspiration, however in the afternoon, sonny boy who is home from uni and I ventured along to Rosemoor gardens for a stroll and look around their sculpture exhibition...some appealed to us more than others?..but the prices tended to leave us gasping!

In the evening I took the plunge and joined a local W.I.group...this has cost me £33 for a years membership and each meeting tea and a raffle will be 50p. Quite a chunk out of my budget, but hopefully I shall have the opportunity to learn new skills...next month is hands on felting...bring it on!

So there we go...another day ahead...and it will involve money and a trip to the supermarket....both things I wish I could manage without, but needs must.
Bye for now...J.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Ok...so I blooped!

Yesterday I started a blog...my first ever...only I've just realised I was using a completely different platform to the one I meant to...silly me...so now I'm finally here where I want to be along with blogs that have inspired me namely frugal queen, foster mummy, and living simply at maple valley farm...I have cherished reading each of you...only now a cup of tea is beckoning...but I'll be back...After all I have so much to tell!

Until then take care. Xx