Monday, 14 August 2017

National Numeracy Challenge

I always thought I was ok with numbers and numeracy in general, enough to get by with on a day to day basis.  When I saw this challenge on the MSE website I clicked on the link and took the test.  Boy, it really gave my brain a workout and I scored 87 out of 100  87%...not bad... but not as good as Martin Lewis!  I think he got 98% The test is really good because it pinpoints any weaknesses (mine was interpreting graphs and pie charts accurately) so that you can work on any weak areas.  If you fancy having a go yourself the link is here:

It costs nothing but about 30 minutes of your time.  Go on I DARE you ;) x

Has anyone had a go yet?

Have a brilliant day folks x

Friday, 11 August 2017

On eBay and feeling Under The Weather

Another week has flown by in a flurry of activity.  DD returned home safely from the family holiday in Kos (sigh of relief) There was an aftershock whilst they were there but very slight so it didn't cause any panic and she said the hotel staff were very blasé about it.  They are quite used to it happening apparently.

It's been 17 weeks since OH had his tooth extracted and he still has a hole in his gum, albeit a tiny bit smaller.  He went to his follow up appointment and they have booked him in for another check up (no treatment given) for 30th January 2018!  He is totally fed up with the whole experience and I'm heartily sick of having to keep wiping water splashes off the bathroom mirror after his swooshing the cavity out 3 times a day still.  It's looking increasingly likely that the hospital is waiting for the gum to heal itself.  It's a very slow process.....

I can report some success with my decluttering and eBaying this month, thank goodness.  I listed some of my lovely glass which I couldn't sell at the car boot for more than tuppence halfpenny and have sold 4 pieces for a total of £120 minus fees...yay!  I really needed the cash this month so I am really pleased with the result.  There is a new baby in the family so £20 is winging it's way off to the family in a HM card.

Frugal In Derbyshire has been requesting eBay-ing tips in her post.  I've been selling on there for about 15 years now and find it very useful for me as no one needs to come to my home to collect stuff unless I allow it (as in the case of heavy or bulky stuff).
  •  At the moment Royal Mail have a half price promotion for medium parcels weighing between 2 and 5 kgs so now is the time to sell bulky stuff and post it out.
  •  For newly registered eBayers it might be a bit of a faff to get your account up and running as they need so much info these days and's free to list a certain number of items but they take 10% of a sale price including postage & packing so do remember to cost it in.
  • Save all kinds of sturdy boxes ready to post your item in.  It's very frustrating to find you've sold something and don't have an appropriate box.
  • I ask the supermarket staff if I can have the loose bubble wrap in fruit display boxes (ONLY the loose stuff, I don't want to whip it all out and damage the fruit!)  It's great to fill spaces and save money.  No one has ever refused me yet.
  • Good photographs are a must, you are allowed to put 12 in a listing.
  • Be totally honest with your description and take time to describe your item accurately.
There is so much advice out there on the forums too, have you found eBay useful?


On a different subject, I have still been feeling 'under the weather' so I gave in and rang for an appointment with my GP last Wednesday.  I couldn't be seen until the following Monday morning :? but I have had blood tests taken for liver & kidney function, ovaries and thyroid as a starting point.  Watch this space......

I have a stall at the craft fayre again tomorrow but I'm not holding my breath for any useful takings.  It's fun anyway.... :)

Have a great weekend folks wherever you happen to be, take care x

Friday, 4 August 2017

A Rooster Miracle

We have had another mixed bag weather wise over the last week.  Mostly rain but a bit of welcome sunshine this afternoon which we lapped up.  The grass was mown and more lettuce seeds sown as the first batch is almost ready for eating :)  The strawberry plants have revived thankfully, and although we lost all the remaining fruit the valiant little plants are putting out runners which we have pegged down in pots in order to increase the number of plants for next year.

I have always wanted to keep a few hens and never had the chance so OH surprised me with a gift... a metal rooster...and I love him!

When I opened the curtains yesterday morning I rubbed my eyes in disbelief, just look what had appeared overnight.....

Yes, our lovely neighbours had carefully placed not one but two hard boiled eggs beneath my rooster during the early morning!!  I fell about laughing and every passer by does the same.  Priceless!

The weekend is approaching so have a great one everyone wherever you happen to be x

Friday, 28 July 2017

End of Month Financial Review

Good morning everyone :)  Well, what a mixed bag of weather we have been having;  sun, wind, torrential rain, more sun, more rain..... It's been decidedly chillier than of late and today has dawned overcast.  Luckily I have nothing more planned than washing ironing and cleaning.  Oh joy! (insert a wry smile emoji) but first a review of my personal finances....

I think I have said before that my state pension goes straight into the joint account to help pay the household bills and my personal spending comes from a small works pension which goes into a separate account so that I know exactly what I can spend.  It's just £87 per month and has to cover fuel for my car (insurance, road fund licence, MOT etc are included in the household budget) birthday gifts for the family, as well as all personal spending such as crafting stuff and any treats like books, magazines etc.  I generally supplement this income with eBay sales, if I can find anything to flog that is. This month I have sold a couple of things but I have had several birthdays, anniversaries etc and it's my lovely grandson's 10th birthday tomorrow so money is going in his card too.  I have decided to give up buying the GC birthday gifts from now on as they prefer to choose their own.  I must confess it's much easier and less a waste of money than buying a toy which is never played with.

This has left me with £54.04 in my account to last until the end of August :/ I still need to buy petrol but will eke out the drop left in the tank for a few days yet. September will bring another round of birthdays and, of course, Christmas planning will begin (sorry to those of you who can't think of the dreaded C word yet!)  I plan to list a bit more stuff on eBay as I really do need to do a bit more decluttering.  Don't you feel much better after a good sort out?

Anyway, must crack on.  A big welcome to my new follower, Sally I think it is, it's lovely to 'see' you.

Take care all x

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Holiday ?? What holiday?

Well, school's out for Summer once more and DD has a holiday booked for next week.  Where do you think they are going? guessed it...Kos....  Last year it was Turkey and I was worried the whole time until they returned.  This time the family don't really want to go after the devastating earthquake, the little ones are scared, but the penalty on their Thomson holiday will be 100% if they don't go.  They lose the complete cost even if they choose another destination. A holiday is supposed to be relaxing .....isn't it?  Is anyone else due to go soon?

Today was the local Craft Fayre once more.  It wasn't well attended (again) because the school holidays have begun and people are whizzing off on holiday but I took a little more money than last month and had a laugh with the lovely stallholders.  Of course I agreed to do one next month too :/

The rain lashed down the whole of last night so everything is looking and feeling freshly washed and clean once more.  It was lovely lying in bed and listening to it.....

See you tomorrow.  Thanks everso for popping in x

Sunday, 16 July 2017

God Bless The Air Ambulance Service

God bless the men and women of the Air Ambulance service all over the country.
On Friday we had a bit of an emergency here.  A neighbour, who is a young 60'ish tripped over her flip flops and fell head first down the back steps of her home, knocking herself out in the process.  Within minutes of the 999 call a paramedic who lives locally arrived in his own car closely followed by a regular ambulance crew. God bless them all too.  Shortly afterwards we heard the shugging sound of  helicopter blades and a low flying helicopter circled slowly before landing in the small field nearby.  How they managed to land is a miracle.  In order to take off again the pilot had to turn around at almost ground level then lift off and fly backwards to avoid the electricity lines crossing the field.  My heart was in my mouth.  The neighbour has head injuries and broken ribs so she is in quite a state, poor soul, but she should recover given time.
The incident made me think how I've let my fundraising and donations slip a little lately.  The AA has no government funding at all so help is always needed. I intend to donate again as soon as I can.  I still support Help4Heroes by donating a percentage of my eBay sales but my Food Bank donations have been neglected compared to last year.  On Saturday I donated 4 items as cash is tight this month but I will ramp that up too next month.
We are so lucky in this country with our emergency services.
Have a lovely, safe and relaxing Sunday x

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Specs, Teeth and a Tenor

Saturday again!  I have suddenly realised that it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post but I confess that I've been feeling 'under the weather' for a while and not much interested in anything. The flashing in my eye is back but in the right eye this time and it's very disconcerting.  When I had it in my left eye it eventually stopped (after some months) and I kind of learned to ignore it but this is new and scary.  I have had to buy new specs too as my old ones, although the prescription hasn't really changed much, have started to fall apart.  A lens keeps falling out and they are loose all over.  I chose the cheapest frames I could find that I actually liked but they have still cost £236, an amount I hadn't budgeted for this year :/   Most of the cost has come out of my savings but I'm desperately cutting back on all other spending this month.  I've put just £10 worth of fuel in my car (usually £20 a month) and I'm just over 1/4 tank full so I hope it might just last another two weeks.

In addition to my eye problem I've had a delicate stomach.  I think my IBS has reared it's head again so I'm watching what I eat and trying to eat small and often.  It seems to be helping.  Jacket potato and cheese for lunch today.

OH had a hospital appointment come through to see about his toothy problem.  The socket still hasn't healed and he's still having to wash it out 3 times a day.  The consultant said that it will heal in time and the undescended wisdom tooth doesn't need to come out after all....sigh....he has to go back in a couple of weeks  for them to check the progress of healing.  If it's not healed they will (and I quote) "Do Something" .....bigger sigh......After more than 3 months it's no joke.....

On the brighter side, we took a trip to Stratford on Avon last Wednesday as the weather was warm and sunny.  Near the river was a young man who has been on the TV program 'The Voice'.  He had set up his sound equipment and was performing songs from the musicals for the eager crowds.  We sat and listened for quite a long time, eating our sandwiches, and he was lovely!  Coins were falling into his music case like rain so he must have made quite an impression.  His rendition of 'Bring Him Home' sent shivers down my spine.  He will be performing in September at Stratford ArtsHouse   I won't be able to go but I expect it to be excellent :)

Have a lovely day everyone, wherever you happen to be.  And a big welcome to my new follower Margaret (I think it is) x

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Awesome Knitting & Baking C*ck Up

Crumbs...another week has gone in a flash.  Somehow there just aren't enough hours in a day at the moment.

In my last post I promised to share details of the knitting exhibition which we found purely by accident in Honiton, Devon.  It was at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery which is housed in a lovely Georgian townhouse, the former home and studio of the artist Thelma Hulbert.  I was in awe of the knitting skills of everyone who contributed.....

I LOVE this clown!

A picnic.....

Vegetable garden produce.....
Beautiful knitted roses....

A sweet little blue tit.....

Yummy looking cakes....

Cacti galore......

This was a favourite, a bee hive!.....

The exhibits change every few weeks and, sadly, this one has now closed but for FREE admission it was awesome (donation made, of course)

Baking c*ck up!

As money was a bit tight by the end of last month I tried to eke out the desserts by making a lemon curd sponge using a fatless sponge recipe from an untried recipe.  BIG mistake!  It was so dry despite following the recipe to the letter but I was determined not to waste it.  It contained four eggs after all :/  I opened a small tin of pears, placed them in the bottom of a big dish, sliced up about half the cake and laid that on top.  I sloshed brandy over the sponge (it soaked it up nicely!) and emptied a tin of value custard (cold, straight from the tin) on top of that and chilled it. It made 4 good and tasty portions of pudding with a drizzle of cream one day and a dollop of ice cream the next. OH thinks I'm a Domestic Goddess ;)

Today is wonderfully sunny and I've had a wander around the local garden centre this morning.  I had enough cash for a pot of tea in the teashop too....lovely.

Enjoy your day wherever you happen to be x

Saturday, 24 June 2017

On Amazing Weather & A Disaster

When the weather forecast predicted a warm spell we tootled off to Devon in the caravan last week and, BOY! were they right! A 5 day heat wave arrived!  It has been roasting but we had a wonderful week in Sidmouth.  It was too hot to eat so we lived on simple salads, fruit and lots of ice cream :)  We came back on Thursday last and it has cooled down considerably although I'm still wearing shorts around the house.

One of our neighbours promised to water our strawberry pots in return for watering their garden (they were away the week before us and came back the day we went IYSWIM) We came back to this.....

and this.....

To say I am gutted would be an understatement.  The second plant must have been in a slightly shadier spot and I managed to salvage a few strawberries for tea but that is the lot.....

We have our potatoes in a different part of the garden and another neighbour (totally unasked BTW)  trained his hose onto our tubs of spuds.  What a star he is.....

I had a little rummage around one tub and found these.....

 We ate them steamed, with HM quorn lasagne, peas & carrots.  They were delicious....

When we were away we had no internet access so I'm totally out of touch with what's been happening in blogland and need to catch up.  Next post I'll tell you all about an amazing knitting exhibition we accidentally found.  If you love knitting you'll love this exhibition.

Thanks so much for popping in and being patient.  Take care x

Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Toothy Tale Continues....And Craft Fayre Woes

Poor OH is still suffering after having his tooth extracted.  The socket is still wide open after more than 8 weeks and he is so fed up.  Last week he visited his own dentist, the one who had referred him to the larger practice in the first place, who has now decided that something more needs to be done, referring him to the local hospital, this time to extract the impacted wisdom tooth next to the original extraction.  Apparently the wisdom tooth could be stopping the healing process.  Now, as OH had originally asked whether this tooth needed to come out and they had said no,  he is NOT best pleased.  Heaven knows how long he will have to wait for an appointment so he is still swooshing the socket after meals and cursing roundly as he does so.  The poor chap has lost half a stone in weight (no snacking!) and will become a shadow of his former self  if they don't hurry up and sort it.

It was the craft & local produce fayre this morning and I set up the stall full of enthusiasm...

Hardly anyone came through the door :(  As the £5 charged for the tables goes to local causes,  I agreed to try one more time in July (sucker, aren't I?) I've got a handful of advertising leaflets to distribute around the village so I hope next month will be better (yes, I know....I'm an optimist!)
The good bit of news is that I bought a large home baked iced lemon cake for just £2 from another stall holder so we can have a treat for tea.  If I had taken more money there would have been lots of other things there to tempt me to part with it, handmade jewellery, scarves, hand painted tea light holders, hand decorated canvas shopping bags.......the list goes on.

Have a great weekend folks x

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Joyful June & Gently Does It

Gosh! Saturday again already, who ate the week?  We have had a very busy week.  Jobs (long put off) have been tackled, the garden tidied, the house de-cluttered (including 2 black bags of shredded paper from old bills, bank statements and generally any rubbish with our names and address on) and a bag of stuff taken to the charity shop.  I made requested ;)  OH to clear out the drawer on his side of the bed as it was so full it was in danger of the bottom falling out.  We ditched an old broken shaver, an empty box from the Satnav we had stolen 6 years ago, an old extension wire and empty box after empty box!  Boy did we feel better after that lot, de-cluttering is definitely good for the soul :)

A warm welcome to Julie, my new follower, how are you doing? :)

On Wednesday we went to the car boot sale but as buyers this time.  It was a pleasant day for browsing and I only bought some fruit and veg.  A big bowl of Jersey Royals for £1, 500g of small English tomatoes for 50p and a punnet of English strawberries also £1.

I can't believe it's already Summer.  Remember this photo of my Peonies?  The sun has made them burst forth in a veritable froth of pink tutu like flowers which have proven to be a bit too big and heavy for the stems.....

Of course, I couldn't let them just fall so this morning I trimmed off the biggest two to bring indoors....

Close up they are so beautiful.....

A while ago I bought something from Boots which generated 1000 bonus points worth £10.  As a rule I don't spend much in Boots as they can be much more expensive than the pound shop or even the supermarkets but I needed some Sensitive toothpaste (expensive at £3.50) so decided to use some points.  The antiperspirant was on offer at £2 for a large size and the handwash just 75p.  The little lot below cost my favourite price...FREE... They would have been £6.25!  And I still have £4.55 worth of points left.

As finances in May were a little stretched and we have a week's holiday coming up shortly, I want to spend as little as possible on the food budget and start June off gently.  We are going to eat simple and mainly home cooked food for the next couple of weeks.  I found a tin of condensed milk in the store cupboard along with some Tesco Value milk chocolate so made Millionaire's Shortbread using the recipe from the Hairy Bikers' Family Cookbook.  It's so simple (well, it must be if I can make it!) and it was a good job I did it because the family descended for a visit during the week and it vanished before you could say "Hairy Biker" !!

I will need to do some more baking to last us over next week, so today or tomorrow it will be a batch of scones, although I will wait until I have the oven on for something else too.
The LPG has been topped up (not too bad at £67) and I'm hoping that it will last us until September now that we don't need the heating on.  Showers and washing up take very little gas so I'm crossing my fingers.....
Later on I'll have a rummage at the bottom of the fridge.  I know we are out of carrots but I have peppers, tomatoes, those lovely new baby potatoes and a few mushrooms.  Frittata could be on the menu.  I'll see what else I can find.
That's all for now.  Have a wonderful weekend wherever you happen to be x

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Sunny Days & Car Boot Sales

It's Saturday and it feels like it's going to be another stunner.  During the early hours I awoke to the sound of heavy rain but it's almost 11am now and it's warm and sunny, Yay!

Yesterday afternoon we were invited to a neighbour's BBQ so, armed with a pack of veggie sausages, a bottle of good rose wine and 4 cans of San Miguel, we tootled off just a few yards away for a good chin wag and lots of laughter.  By 11pm we were getting chilly so we dragged ourselves away home and slept like logs until a) I heard the rain and b) OH got up at 7am to go to work.  Me?  I'm off out shortly to visit DD and her family and to eat (probably) another bit of barbecue food in the sun :)

On Wednesday we decided (well, to be truthful I decided) that we ought to do a car boot sale to help clear some 'stuff' and raise some cash for our next short holiday.

The nearest one opened to sellers at the unearthly hour of 5.30am!  We packed the car the night before, got up at silly o'clock, skipped breakfast and got there at 6am.  As soon as we had turned off the ignition and opened the boot the dealers descended like a pack of wolves!  I sold 4 items before so much as a single box had been unloaded but I decided that a 'bird in the hand' was most definitely 'worth two in the bush'.  Luckily, they bought stuff I really wanted rid of but we didn't manage to sell any of the decent stuff because people wanted to pay very silly prices and I'm not selling my treasured crystal for £1 :(   We took a total of £29.50 and it cost £7.50 for the spot so by 11.30am we gave up, packed up and came home.  Not a very cost effective exercise but worth a try we thought.

In a weak moment I booked a table at a local craft fair which takes place in 2 weeks time :/  so I am busy making lots of items to sell (hopefully)  I will not be allowed to sell my HM cards as there are already other sellers booked in, so I'm racking the creative side of my brain for other ideas!  I only want to make low priced items because, although the table only costs £5, I need to make at least some profit on the day.  I'll try my pin cushions again and make some simple brooches, card toppers, felt hanging hearts etc

Has anyone else chanced their arm selling at craft fairs this year?  Are people actually spending their money?  I know many belts are being pulled in at the moment but I would regret not trying....

Enjoy your day wherever you happen to be and thanks everso for popping in x

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Heartbreaking news

Oh my God, another atrocity, this time targeting young people in Manchester Arena.  My heart is broken for the people killed and injured, many of them just children.  When will this all end.....

God bless and keep you all safe xx

Monday, 22 May 2017

Holiday Woes and Growing Things

Hello all (waves as she comes in) today so far has been a stunner weather wise.  Our holiday was almost a total washout, just two sunny days and the rest wet and windy :/ However, we did manage to breathe in some lovely fresh sea air and ate pasties on the quayside, ice creams too, so not a total disaster :)

Thank you everyone for your comments on my last post.  Real books, it seems, win out for enjoyment every time with kindle having it's place only when travelling.  I got through two whole books during the 9 days we were away; one 'real' book and one kindle one.  Rainy days make me feel less guilty about sitting reading for hours on end.  The biggest problem with the wet weather was where to go each day so we did more eating out than we would have liked.

One favourite was taking the ferry (£4 each return) to Rock where we ate delicious fish cakes in the Rock Inn. It wasn't cheap @ £13.95 each but the meal was soooo delicious and the two salmon and cod fishcakes filled us up until evening when we had just half a HM sarnie each ......

On the first Sunday, it was deceptively sunny and we sat eating ice cream and basking in the glow at Padstow harbour (sigh) ......


Rock Beach

Rock at low tide


At home there was a touch of frost on more than one occasion which, luckily, hasn't stunted the growth of my potatoes.....

But it did affect my illicit strawberries by taking off all the little flowers which were ready to form the fruit.....

Other shrubs were unlucky too, both the Camellia and Rhododendron were decimated......

But the Lupins survived....Hooray!

And so did the Peonies...yay!

Now I just need to fetch in my lovely, freshly line-dried washing (shame I have to iron it...hmmm)

A big welcome to my new followers Lee and Mary, it's lovely to 'meet' you :)

Thanks everso for popping in x

Monday, 8 May 2017

Book or Kindle? And Jolly's

Tomorrow we are off to our most favourite place in the whole of Cornwall, Padstow, for a bit of a get away.  We're taking the caravan as it's much cheaper than renting a cottage so it won't be an entire rest-fest for me as I will still be cooking but I am so looking forward to the fresh salty air....

photo from Google

I'm looking forward to eating a warm pasty whilst watching the activity on the boats within the harbour, scoffing scones with jam and rich Cornish cream, and licking a locally made ice cream cornet too (although not one after the other, of course....obviously  :) ).  We'll walk as much as we are able to work off the effect of any treats and (hopefully) relax in some sunshine to replenish our vitamin D.  Apparently, people are so used to sloshing on the sunscreen that they are now Vit. D deficient!  Good grief, the 'experts' tell us one thing and then some time later change the advice into a totally opposite direction.  Everything in moderation, including the sun, seems to be the way to go, I think.

Book or Kindle? I ask.  I have a book to take with me to finish but I will need another so I thought I would take my kindle too.  Browsing Amazon's website has shown me a big change in the swing of the pendulum from books to kindle.  It seems to be swinging back to books as they are often much cheaper than the kindle version now!  I must admit that I love the feel of a physical book in my hands, the ability to read the cover now and again and to flick back and forth to check on bits of the story that I may have mis-read of forgotten, to see how much I have read in page numbers and not percentages.  I LOVE BOOKS!!  How do you feel about them?

Take care whilst I am away and enjoy the sun (in moderation) whilst we have it.

Thanks everso for popping in x

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Marvellous May Already?

Golly, another month has gone by already.  It's May and OH's toothy saga goes on!  This morning he rang the dental surgery for an appointment and was asked to be there by 10.30am.  Marvellous! (I thought) we'll get this sorted at last! WRONG....the nurse looked at the gaping hole and pronounced the gum healthy so they could do no more.  According to her it will heal in it's own good time.  OH must carry on eating food which doesn't need much chewing and swoosh out the socket each time with salty warm water.  I am absolutely convinced that a stitch in the gum at the time would have ensured that it healed within 2 weeks (mine did) Talk about a stitch in time saves nine......

Okay, so today's lunch was yet more HM soup, leek and potato, using the sliced leeks I had frozen a couple of weeks ago.  We are eating out tonight to celebrate my Brother's birthday.  Heaven knows what OH will eat but he is determined not to spoil the celebration, bless him, and he's treating us to the meal too. The following two days meals will be Quorn shepherdess pie with mashed swede, very easy on the gums, and then fish next.... all nice and easy to prepare...... :/

I hope you all enjoyed the Bank Holiday yesterday, we just had a quiet one with lots of reading and pottering after doing the 'main' shop (still within budget this week as I'm not buying any meat)

Take care and thanks everso for popping in x

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Monthly Total On a Sunny Day!

It's sunny!  Today is a beautiful day.  Rain was forecast but it hasn't arrived yet so the windows are open and the rays are giving my spirits a well needed lift :)

A big welcome to Lee, my new follower, it's lovely to have you join us.

On the toothy front, OH's extraction site has still not healed despite it being almost 3 weeks since the deed was done.  There's a gaping hole :/  I can't thank Scarlet enough for her suggestion that we could use a medicine syringe to wash out the socket.  It cost the princely sum of 60p from the pharmacy and a gentle swoosh with warm salty water after eating certainly helps OH to feel more comfortable.  Although I am still preparing fairly soft food I have been able to include fish in our diet this week as well as lots of veg and at least one portion of fruit per day.  The shopping this week came to:

Week 4 £51.10

Making a monthly total of  £178.70 Ta dah!!  So...I have £20 cash in the pot as well as 2 x £5 Morrisons vouchers (gained from points)  This will be 'emergency' fund or saved for Christmas.

Tomorrow is Bank Holiday so I hope you all have a lovely relaxing day wherever you are.  I'm off to do a bit of housework, then a shower and an undisturbed afternoon of crafting :)

Thanks everso for popping in, I really appreciate it x

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Charity Giving and Happy St George's Day!


Happy St George's Day!
Charity Giving

After my year of 'Do More Good' I would like to carry on with the theme and 2017 is running away from me already so when I did the top up shop on Saturday I took 4 new-ish paperback books to donate to the charity sale table in Sainsbugs.  By the time I had paid for my shopping 3 had been sold, so potentially £3 to charity. Yay!  The few eBay sales I have had have generated a few pounds to H4H via eBay Giving (around £5, I think) but I really need to readdress my Food Bank donations because there was an article in last week's free paper declaring that the shelves at the local FB are almost empty.  It was put down to a big increase in families with 5 to 9 children attending the FB.  I though those days of big families were almost gone.  Apparently not....
This year I am thinking of volunteering at a H4H fundraising collection day in a local supermarket.  I've never done it before, have you?  Did you find it worthwhile? Or should I be looking at other ways to raise funds?
Anyway, thanks everso for popping in, have a lovely St George's Day x

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Toothy Update and Week 3 Total

Once again, I would like to thank everyone for the kind responses to my last post.  Janice's diagnosis was correct, OH has a 'dry socket' where his back tooth was removed.  A clot didn't form so the gum hasn't healed :(   We made another visit to the dentist on Tuesday who cleaned out the socket and applied a paste of clove oil amongst other things to try to seal the bone and help with the pain.  He is not in as much pain now but food keeps getting trapped and he is finding it difficult to eat normally.  As he is not eating meat, it has been easy on the food budget this week.  It's been mainly HM soups, mashed potatoes, cheese pie, simple steamed veg etc so :

Week 3 Total £38.13       This included a bottle of  Aldi wine

I have felt so sorry for OH that I haven't felt like eating elaborate meals either but I really do need to increase fruit and veg consumption for both of us so I will concentrate on vitamin filled foods next week.  There is a veggie cider hotpot in the oven at the moment which I hope OH will be able to eat (albeit slowly!).  He won't be home from work until 8.30pm so I'm going to test it now.  I forgot to eat lunch so I'm ravenous :/

Yum, that was lovely....fridge bottom carrots, a leek, an onion, half a head of broccoli, a few sprigs of cauli all cooked in a pint of veg stock with a generous 1/4 pint of cider thrown in.  Sage and black pepper to taste, then sliced potato (par boiled for 10 minutes) placed on top and sprinkled with grated cheese.  Oven 180 for 45 minutes.....  It makes 4 portions so we will have the same again tomorrow.
I have bought 2 big pots of plain, thick, Greek style Bio yogurt and I intend that both of us will have a portion every day.  OH to help combat the effects of the antibiotics and me...well....just because I like it!  I have felt quite stressed by worrying so it will help settle my mild IBS symptoms too.
On a happier note, today has been a lovely, warm, sunny day.  Even now at 5pm it's warm and cheerful.  Frost and snow is forecast for next week so I will enjoy the warm feeling today.  I do hope you are all having a share of it in the UK.  If it's still cold in your own country dear friends, then stay warm and snuggle in.
Thanks so much for popping in and commenting x

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Toothy Troubles at Easter

Firstly a big thank you to all who commented on my last post regarding breadmaking.  You had me smiling, giggling and laughing out loud as many of you, it seems, have been in the same boat at some time.  From doorstops (Kim) to hockey pucks (Jackie) you all know how it feels to fail!  Thanks so much for the tips too.  I won't give up.......yet... ;)

I haven't posted for almost a week but we have had a bit of a trauma.  After having a certain tooth filled several times over the years along with emergency trips to the dentist when the filling broke or came out completely, OH was persuaded that it finally needed to come out.  His own dentist couldn't (or wouldn't?) do it so he was referred to another surgery ( a big dental chain) in a town further out of our area.  His appointment duly arrived (Tuesday last) and I drove him to the surgery.  He was due to have an intravenous sedative as well as cocaine injections so I had to stay and drive him home.  Golly, was he woozy afterwards!  I knew I couldn't support his weight as he is almost 6 feet tall to my 5' 3" so we had to sit it out in a waiting room afterwards for almost an hour.  Fast forward 24 hours and he was in pain and convinced that something was wrong.  A dash back to the surgery revealed that he had an infection in the extraction site.  Where on earth had that come from? and so quickly too?   He has now been given a course of strong antibiotics which seem to have done nothing to resolve the problem.  He finds it difficult eat anything so everything has to be either mashed or soup and the pain is waking him up during the night.  Paracetamol only seem to dull the pain for a couple of hours.  He's working over the whole of Easter and has gone in today but I keep expecting him to come home early.  I only hope that work can take his mind off the pain a bit.

To cap it all the extraction cost £56.40 so BOOM! that's our £50 rainy day money spent :/  And NO! it wasn't eating my bread that did it !!  LOL

As it has been difficult to meal plan and be cost effective this week, almost the whole budget has been spent therefore:

Week 2 £49.57

Bargains this week include 3 packs of veg from Morrisons for £1 and a pack of 3 good sized leeks for 20p from Asda which resulted in a big pan of leek and potato soup for the invalid (tasty even if I say so myself!)   I won't need to feed visitors this weekend as they are on holiday.  That can only be good thing for the budget at the moment..... :(

Have a wonderful Easter weekend everyone and thanks so much for popping in and commenting.  I really appreciate it x

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sunny Sunday Savings

Happy Sunday!  The sun is shining and Spring is here!  As I've said before, we are not allowed to grow veg here but, once again, we have sneaked some seed potatoes into a big tub ( actually, two tubs this time!) and our strawberry plants are putting on a spurt now that they can feel some warmth at last. 

Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and try bread making.  What an unmitigated disaster :/ 
It looked ok whilst proving .......

So I divided it up for the second proving after bashing it about a bit......

This is the might say.  Overcooked? yes, a tad (the oven must have been hotter that it should have been) Solid? yep.  Edible?  Well we ate the one on the left well buttered with some pasta bake, the one on the right is still languishing in the kitchen wrapped in foil.  The bread, when cut, looks and tastes a bit like Ciabatta not what I intended at all.  Go can laugh... my OH did and he texted a photo to DD who rolled about laughing too :)  B*ggers.

I did my top up shop yesterday and spent exactly £20.00 (how did that happen?) but that included a bottle of wine, some loo rolls and some cake and ice cream for the GC.  We sat in the garden and enjoyed a drink and a lovely sunny afternoon together.

Therefore the total for week 1 is £39.90

£10.00 has gone into the 'saved money' pot and the 10p has been left in the housekeeping purse for next week (oooh big spender!)

Thanks everso for popping in and enjoy your evening x