Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Egg glut, veggie plants, fabric stash and more

Hello It's me again!!
I'm rubbish at this regular/frequent blogging thing aren't I ?
Thank you so much for your comments on my last post, which I have finally replied to if you want to jump back to them. I was going to write something last week as there has been so much going on, but ended up reading other's blogs instead! Easily done isn't it?!

We were in Cornwall sea fishing last week. While David was fishing and my friend was away skiing I "did" the charity shops ( bought books and jeans) and nurseries. The vegetable plants were pretty gruesome and quite expensive at the nurseries and garden centre, so I didn't bother. However, when I called in Tesco for a pork pie (jealous Cro?) for our journey home they had some really strong reasonably priced beetroot and broad bean plants, which I bought to get ahead of the game as the late spring means that we have been unable to get anything in the water sodden gardens.
David did quite well fishing and bought home six pollack and two ling, which, when processed yielded 12lb of fillets. The bones, head etc I bought home as usual and cooked up for the chickens.
The chickens are now laying well, but a week ago Severn Trent closed our road to do repairs which meant we lost our customers and passing trade. So.....
I have started processing the glut. So far I have made mayonnaise, pavlovas, omelettes and dippy eggs and quiche. I have bought some lemons and unsalted butter and intend making lemon curd. Any more ideas? I'm struggling to get waterglass, to preserve eggs,  from a chemist so I guess I'll have to buy online, but am struggling to understand the measures they give. The picture above is of the kitchen surface next to the back door.The leg rings are for 8 hens we rescued last week so that we can keep an eye on how they are doing. The jars are for stick money, egg money and honey money. The diary is for me to record my egg numbers, sales and events such as hatchings plantings etc. (just in case you wondered)
Look at this creature !

At first we thought it was a large leech and then we wondered if it was the New Zealand Flatworm that lives on our lovely and important earthworms ( nasty little blighter) when an half an empty worm was excreted from its nether end this was confirmed. We are now on flatworm watch!
Talking of plants, which I was a couple of paragraphs ago, the greenhouses are bursting with plants ready to go out or be potted on. As mentioned above I do buy some plants,especially those we don't need lots of. Below is my bargain buy of red cabbage plants. The 10 cell tray, for £1.99 yeilded 28 plants, which is good value, but more plants than I need so I will give some away.
I realise this post is even more rambling and random than is usual. So I might as well soldier on with a couple more pictures taken recently.
I might have mentioned that I am intent on using up my stash of materials, which is huge and not for the faint hearted. I have decided that when I use some material for something I will not put any back but use it all up in some way or another.|This has mostly meant cutting out patchwork pieces for another project.
In this picture, from 12.o'clock we have a log cabin quilt I am making for a male friend, using up shirts and blouses, in the margarine tub are hexagons tacked and ready to go, in front pinned to (Christmas) card ready for tacking, at 6 o'clock is net curtaining, muslin and pillow cases for vegetable and produce bags to take to the supermarket to put veggies in instead of plastic bags, at 8 o'clock is all the scraps I can do nothing with which will be used for stuffing and back to the top again are very small squares for a scrappy quilt. Blimey that was a bit of a marathon explanation, thanks for sticking with me!.
I reckon that this has gone on long enough, so will finish with a couple of pictures of our new cat, Baloo
Firstly sleeping with previous arch enemy Sammy and then him keeping warm on my laptop.

Back soon with some eco-warrior stuff.
Welcome to Anette, Jackie Walker, Janice and Nigel Hunt. on Bloglovin and Janipi P on the follower bar. Thanks ever so much for following.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Ashamed to be Frugal?

I'm really proud to be frugal, obviously with a blog title such as mine, but many people are embarrassed to be so. It is seen as mean or necessary because one is poor or not as good as others or bad for "street cred".
While frugality, making do and mending may be born initially out of fiscal necessity, it is a way of life practiced by many because it is the their preferred way of life and it's not just about money.

I know many families that live well, with holidays abroad, up to the minute decor that they change regularly along with the furniture, wardrobes full of the latest fashions (advertising the maker on the outside! what's that about?!) I also know that some of these families are in debt. They don't consider it debt, but maxed with your, several credit and store cards, the cars bought on finance and a mortgage only just afforded (fingers tightly crossed that the interest rate doesn't go up) is serious debt!
Both parents must work long hours to to continue with this lifestyle which mirrors that of their friends and neighbours.
 Many readers of the frugal blogs know how these families could get this debt down so that they are in a less precarious state. The difficulty is firstly, helping people to see that they are one accident or illness short of financial disaster. Secondly, and probably far more difficult, is helping them to see that getting out of debt means making living their life differently, but does not mean that they have to lose face with their friends and "the Jones'"
  The solution is to become eco warriors and proudly embrace sustainable living!!

Dear David Attenborough has recently shown us that saving the planet is cool. He has awakened the public to look at plastic use and waste. Hurrah!  This in turn has inspired people to look at other kinds of waste and how recycling, upcycling, repurposing is an issue for us all. I also noticed an advert for "Vanish" that advocates removing stains to keep clothes going longer and  reducing the amount going to landfill, more good news. Recycling and reusing saves money, making do saves money, reducing your carbon footprint saves money.
And even if you don't need to be careful with money living more sustainably is a public spirited way to live your life as resources are limited and will only stretch so far.
I realise that this post is a bit preachy!
Back soon (I always say that and never do!)

Saturday, 24 February 2018

The BEST news about Coda and feedback on latest comments

Hello Dear Bloggy friends
 Coda is back from the vets and the news is GOOD!
The lumps are not malignant and he keeps his leg, though will need to return to have the lumps, which are fatty, removed every now and again when they impair his movement.

I had a goodly few comments on my last post, which I found enlightening and thought provoking. Thank you so much,  in particular to American commenters, for giving your view on the issue. It is not my intention to argue and I am so pleased that everyone used a civil tone to comment in a similar spirit. 
I hope you will go back to my last post and read the comments if you haven't already done so.

 I am left with another thought though, which is why is it considered necessary to have security at schools? I was not aware until the news item on the security guy who didn't go into the school, that US schools have security folk. Is this at ALL US schools or just the odd one?

 I promise to get back to my frugal, self sufficient roots in my next post, honest!
love Gillx

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Arming teachers

Somebody explain to me how arming teachers helps improve the gun situation in America.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Paying for medical help? and a poorly dog

Hello Bloggy Friends
In my last post I talked about feeling vulnerable as many of my friends struggle with different issues as they grow older and I become aware that maybe I'm next. The support my friends  have had from our wonderful NHS has made their difficulties more tolerable
This post was on facebook after the latest shootings in the US. I thought it seemed a bit extreme and wondered how accurate it was or whether the author was perhaps a little jaded. So I am asking my bloggy friends in the States what they think of this.
In case you are not aware of how it works here in the UK. If you had been injured in the Manchester bombing you would not have had to find a penny either for the initial intervention nor for any follow up surgery, advice or rehab, all of which could go on for months and years.The NHS is funded by those who work through National Insurance contributions and Government monies ,and with no contributions at all from those that don't work or are disabled or elderly, with no upper limit on the amount of treatment received by anyone. (yes I know that this is simplistic view, but pretty accurate)
Since starting this post I have just read Leigh's ("Five Acres and a Dream") post which rather seems to demonstrate the above posts' point. Leigh is having to crowd fund further medical assistance for her husbands' injured fingers.
So guys, what do you think? What is your experience? What about people with long term mental health problems ?
I guess my thoughts on gun law should wait for another day!

On an entirely different subject we are all fingers crossed here for our dear Coda. Coda is the yellow lab you can see on my header, he belongs to my eldest granddaughter and comes here daily for doggy daycare. He is an absolute sweetheart with a generous and loving nature but, like many labs has had problems with his joints since he was a pup. He has arthritis in his fore legs and has had a fatty lump growing in a rear joint for some time. This was removed a few years ago as it was growing round his ligaments. The lump has now returned and it looks as though it has become cancerous with more growths in the same leg. We await the results with trepidation , as if the growths are malignant he will have to have the leg amputated. At times like this I wish I believed in God so that I could pray for a good result, which might make me feel better  even though it would in no way affect the result!
I have all sorts of subjects and issues going around in my head at the moment and if I can find time I will write a few posts to empty my head!
Until then
Bye for now
Ps. A big hello to Carla Valero and Lyn Palmer on the follower bar and Gem and Anne Christine Simpson on Bloglovin Great to see you here.x

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

On feeling vulnerable and up to date

Hello All
Firstly Hello to Charlotte Weaver, Jennifer and Fenella Rowe on Bloglovin and Jennifer Williams on the follower bar. Thanks so much for following, especially as I am such a tardy blogger!

As as I have said in my last blog, there are several changes happening here in frugalderbyshireland. One of the outcomes of my youngest daughter moving away for a year or two  has been the rehoming of her cats and dog. As Sammie, her black labrador, comes to us for doggie day care and has separation anxiety issues the obvious choice of new home is us! Over the next few months while she is splitting herself between two other jobs he is spending much of his time here anyway and when she goes to Jersey he will stay with us full time. As for her cats..she has three, or I should say HAD three as she has gradually rehomed them over the last month. Her older long haired tortoiseshell has gone to her son's, her younger ginger haired three-legged cat now lives with her daughter and her huge, grey, half bengal, psycho cat is now with us ! After losing our Dixie last year we have missed having a cat and Baloo (also known as Beebop) is fitting in well and has made himself at home. Baloo is unfazed by dogs and has made it clear to Coda ( my eldest granddaughter's dog who comes here for daycare) and Sammie just where they are in the pecking order.
Coda and Baloo went missing yesterday. I hunted around the house and found them on my bed!

 Here is Baloo again with Coda (and me) sharing a sofa this time.

 Over the last year my circle of friends has been affected by illness, disability, death and accidents. I am beginning to feel like the last man standing! Being in our 70s I suppose I shouldn't be surprised but I really am starting to wonder if perhaps I might not be invincible  and perhaps it could happen to me. I am currently the only person in my circle of friends who takes no medication (my choice) and is, on the whole, pretty well. This is fortuitous, as I lead an active life, but when my close friend, who I see at least weekly, slipped and broke her ankle a couple of weeks ago, I wondered how we would cope if that happened to me. I suppose I would delegate tasks to others (and there are less and less of them!) and some things would have to wait a while, but what I fear most is that I think I would go stir-crazy being immobilised.

Quick up to date here on what has been happening on the old homestead -
We've been really busy with the Civic Society and Canal Society this month and my "office" looks as though a bomb has hit it! I wish I was tidier, I really try but somehow other things take over and I drift off from the chaos. I look at pictures on other people's blogs and think how good it would be to be that organised.
I have started the early seeds off under the propagator with the help of my grandson's partner. She is unable to work because of a disability, but has been really helpful with this task and we have quite a good system going. We have also started on the huge fabric stash, cutting out patchwork pieces and shopping bags.
I'm taking the last veggies from the garden now. Kale, beetroot, brussels and celeriac (I had some salad leaves but the chickens found them!) I made a lovely gratin type dish the other day with the celeriac. I just layered slices of potato, celeriac, onion and grated cheese into an ovenproof dish, poured a little vegetable stock and cooked for 30 mins. it was a great hit with the family.
For the first time this winter the river has been up to the banks, though not over. In past years it has broken it's banks and flooded a little of the paddock. The weather is till pretty mild on the whole, but then winter is not really over yet is it?
We have bought a new car. We expect this will last us for the remainder of our driving lives. It is another Berlingo multispace, which suits our lifestyle. The car salesman was somewhat bemused to hear how many bales of hay, pallets and lambs could be carried in a Berlingo!.. "Could you send a photo for our facebook page"? he asked
Lastly, it looks as though we are on lockdown because of Bird Flu again. really?! Come on . It's almost impossible.
Back Soon

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Hello All and a Happy New Year
Well Christmas has come and gone. Much as I enjoy it I also like to return to normal (whatever that is!)
Christmas day was lovely, after a shaky start when the power went off at 8.15, an hour after I had put the very large turkey in the oven. I looked outside and there were no Christmas lights to be seen so I gathered it wasn't us, but a general power cut. You could almost hear all the households screaming Noooooooo! I decided to go outside and see to the hens and rabbits. On my return 20 minutes later the phone was ringing. it was my granddaughter ringing from her father's house, some fifteen miles away. "Is your power off"? she asked  "Blimey" I thought,"Tthis is a major outage". "Why yes", I replied (as it came back on) "Are you off too?" "No I saw it on ... (local friend) facebook post!" So all was back on and I spent a goodly while thinking about what I would have done if the power had been off for the morning. I do like a challenge, especially a self-sufficient, SHTF- type situation. Does anyone else do this?
So onto lunch, just 14 people this year, which made for a little more elbow-room at the table. In the early evening, as is usual, my sister and her sons arrived with their families to join us. A few weeks before, my younger daughter and myself had found some odds and sods of cine film taken by my dad many years ago, which we had converted to DVD. We surprised everyone with a film show. It was lovely to see my parents and grandmother and our children, now 47 and 50, as babies. (We were also quite surprised at how many shots of women's bottoms were taken by dad while on various beaches!) The younger generation, that is, my sister's and my grandchildren, were shocked to see people smoking in the house and naked children playing on the beach. How times have changed eh?!
And talking of change......
The left-overs are now all sorted, eaten or frozen and we face a new year with some big changes for our family. The first came just before Christmas when our granddaughter and her partner moved out of ours to their own home, they have been living with us for over two years so we do feel that we are rattling around the house at the mo. They have moved four miles away ( the house was even on Homes under the Hammer!) and we still provide doggy-daycare, so still see them often. A more radical change is my elder daughter moving to another county! This is not as far as it sounds as she is to move to south Yorkshire while we live to the north of Derbyshire, which abuts said county. She has gained a significant promotion and she and her husband and daughter (and pony) are to decamp in the new year (oh my goodness that is now!!) As if that change wasn't enough to rattle our cosy little world, my younger daughter has been asked to be part of a team setting up a utilities project, for four years in Jersey!
We are still getting our heads around all this. Now I know that many of you have family all over the world and that we are so lucky to have had our little family within 10 miles of us since we, ourselves, were born. But Crikey !!!!!
That being said, we are SO proud of our daughters for doing so well and our granddaughter for buying her own home aged 23 years.
2018 is going to be very different for us isn't it?

I think I will leave it at that for now and post again soon. While I don't make new year's resolutions I AM determined to blog more in 2018.
Love Gillx
PS Has anyone read the biography by Caroline Fraser about laura Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie)?