Saturday, 31 March 2018

Happy Easter Everyone

picture from pixabay
I just wanted to pop in to wish you all a very happy Easter wherever you happen to be. 
Ours will be very quiet, OH is at work and the family came yesterday so it will be a weekend of pottering and crafting (surprise, surprise I hear you
Stay safe and do pop in again soon xx

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Like Mother Like Daughter

Today my baby girl is (whisper it ....43!) Good grief she was only born a short time ago, it seems.  She's a fabulous daughter and an amazing wife and mother and I'm so proud of her.  She has just whatsapped me a photo of what she spent our birthday gift money on...

Kurt Geiger boots! They are soooo expensive aren't they? mother, like that's my girl!!

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post with suggestions and commiserations.  I do appreciate it.  Anyway, the bills have been paid and the cheques written as appropriate.  I'm hoping that's IT for a while.  Now....breathe.....

Have a lovely weekend everyone.  Stay safe and thanks so much for popping in xx

Friday, 23 March 2018

Bills, Bills and More Bills!

It's been a rather lovely day today.  We've had a tiny bit of sunshine and it's still bitingly cold but at least it's been dry.  It's given the Spring flowers time to recover a little from their battering. It's not quite time to clear up the garden and prepare for growth to start in earnest but the strawberry plants have been tidied up and put into the tiny plastic 'greenhouse' to warm up a bit. Result!

Do you know, just when I think the bank balance is looking healthier, bills plop onto the doormat just to spite me ;)  I was just congratulating myself that the car insurance has only increased by a few pence (so I paid it) when the LPG man came to top up the gas. In the course of a week we have had:

Car Insurance £168.44 (annual)
LPG £89.56
Electricity (6 months)  £330.75
Caravan storage spot   £300 (annual)
Rates, water & sewerage charges £513 (annual)

Total £1401.75

Of course, we also have the council tax shortly recommencing (we pay by DD) and which has increased slightly this year, the phone and broadband have increased too. The only wriggle room we have is in the food budget so the purse strings will stay tight there.  Everything else was written down and budgeted for at the start of the year. I have nothing left to put on fleabay but am keeping track of Stash To Cash for a while yet.

Blimey, after writing all that down I need a strong cup of tea! Is it just me or is the beginning of the year always worse for bills?

Stay safe everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

Stash To Cash £29.50

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

More Toothy Troubles

Many thanks to everyone who commented on my last post.  Sue will be sorely missed by a lot of people but I suspect she will still be around blogland now and then reading other blogs :)

We awoke this morning to brilliant sunshine :)  The snow has gone and the sun is regaining a little of it's warmth and my little pot of tete a tete daffodils are standing up like soldiers! I really do hope that last weekend was the very last of the snow for this Winter.

OH has gone off to a hospital appointment this morning so I am catching up with washing and ironing (and blogging) whilst he's gone.  He's gone for his pre-med.  Do you remember that I wrote about his tooth extraction in April 2017?  He developed a dry socket which left a gaping hole in his gum?  Well it never completely healed (as we guessed at the time) and now the consultant thinks that an un-erupted wisdom tooth is stopping the healing process.  Doh!  Our own dentist said so at the time but the hospital didn't want to do anything about it.  He has spent almost a whole year washing out the socket after every meal and trying to keep it clean.  Anyway, he now has an appointment for an extraction on 6th April under general anaesthetic.  This could have been done in the first place.  No wonder the NHS is in such a mess.  He has been to-ing and fro-ing from dental surgery to hospital numerous times over the last year, using up NHS time and money in the process. He is dreading the op but let's hope it finally does the trick.....

It's gone 9.30am and I feel hungry so I'm off for a late breakfast of muesli, raspberries and a spoonful of yogurt.  Once hubby gets back, lunch will be jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw.

By the way, there were still shortages in the supermarket yesterday.  Still no 4 pint cartons of skimmed milk and gaps on shelves throughout the store.

Anyway, see you soon. Stay safe and thanks so much for popping in x

Stash To Cash £29.50
eBay     £39.40

Sunday, 18 March 2018

We have SNOW! AGAIN!

The flurries continued all day yesterday leaving a light covering over everything by about 8pm last night.  During the night we had more and we have woken to a white world yet again.  My poor little tete a tete daffodils have been crushed by the weight of it.  OH has gone in to work and has texted me to say that he has arrived safely.  DD was due to travel to Nottingham to a dance competition but has decided not to risk it and I am heartily relieved.  I would have been worried sick until tonight when they were due back. That's IT more snow please.  How is it in your area?

I am happy to report another eBay sale this morning £17.18 after fees so I now have enough for DD's birthday :) 

On a different note, I was quite sad to see that Sue from A Challenging Year has suddenly stopped blogging.  I have enjoyed her challenges and photos so much.  Her comments feature has been disabled too so, if you happen to read this Sue, thank you so much for giving me pleasure, useful tips and often a jolly good chuckle x

That's all for now. Stay safe and thanks everso for popping in x

Stash To Cash £29.50
eBay     £39.40

Saturday, 17 March 2018

No Skimmed Milk And A Crafty Day

Firstly a very warm welcome to Edwina, Jacqueline and Buddha Girl...Hello!

Thanks so much to everyone who commented on my last post.  It seems there are gaps on supermarket shelves all over the UK.  Sheila (Life's Too Short To Iron Tea Towels) couldn't get baked beans or tinned tomatoes and Sue (A Challenging Year) couldn't find any frozen peas.  I needed milk again this morning and Mr M, the closest supermarket after dropping OH off at work, had absolutely NO skimmed milk at all.  I bought semi-skimmed rather than do without completely but I don't like it in tea :(  Winters End Rambler suggested that the shortage is down to the farmers having to pour away their milk during the snow as they couldn't get it to market.  What a waste and how absolutely devastating for the farmer.  The worst thing is that more snow is forecast this weekend despite having had a few lovely sunny days this week.  At the moment we have flurries of snow and I'm really, really hoping it will hold off until after 6pm when I am due to collect OH from work.  I am terrified of driving in heavy snow.

So far I have resisted spending any money in my Stash To Cash challenge; not a single penny.  I have been tempted, believe me, but I've deleted special offer emails without reading them, skipped past the craft mags in the supermarket and simply refused to enter the doors of The Range store! I still have LOADS of stash to use up and I'm even finding things I'd forgotten I had.....bonus!

I have virtually the whole day to myself so now it will be a shower and washing of my hair, I can put a henna wax treatment on for about 15 minutes too, which helps re-hydrate my very dry silver hair.  Then some crafting until around 1pm when I need to put a beef stew into the slow cooker for tonight.  It should make two good portions but I might try to bulk it out with extra veg to make an extra portion.  That will give OH one for tonight, one for tomorrow and one to freeze for when I simply can't be arsed bothered with cooking ;) My own food will be simple today, soup for lunch and fish fingers for tea.  I don't eat as much when I'm crafting because I don't want to stop!

Oh, I had an eBay sale £1.85 nett (WOW! I hear you say....I know, I know ;) It all helps....

Thanks so much for popping in. Stay safe and have a lovely day x

Stash To Cash £29.50
eBay     £22.22

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Empty Shelves and Bargain Meat

We went to Mr M's yesterday to do the food shopping and I was quite shocked to see how empty the shelves were.  I needed 4 pints of skimmed milk and there was none.  The cheese shelves, butter and cream were also almost empty.  What is going on?  Has the weather had such a knock-on effect that supplies are low?

I spotted these little pottery wellies planted with a small Kalanchoe...half price at £1.50  They just fell into my trolley, I'm afraid :)

We snagged a British meat pack for OH for £10 which contained a fair size pork loin, 8 sausages, some beef mince and some cubed beef.  It all looked very fresh....

When we got home we immediately unpacked it.  I can't stand touching meat (certainly not without wearing rubber gloves) so OH cut 3 decent size slices from the pork (packed for the freezer)

6 of the sausages were similarly packed and frozen, keeping 2 back for a breakfast buttie, and the mince and beef cubes also packed into boxes and frozen. I reckon the meals will be:

Shepherd's pie (2 portions)
Beef slow cooked stew (2 portions minimum)
Pork chops (3 portions)
Sausages (either made into a casserole or eaten as they come 3 portions)
The rest of the pork loin was roasted for tea last night, leaving enough for a sandwich for OH this lunchtime as well as another roast dinner tomorrow ie 3 portions

Total 14 meals (including sandwiches) which should be enough to satisfy OH's meat cravings for a whole month.

Fundraising news..... I can add an eBay sale of £16.12 after fees...yay! DD will get a lovely birthday present :)

Stash To Cash £29.50
eBay     £20.37

Stay safe everyone and enjoy your day xx

Monday, 12 March 2018

On Mothers Day and Sir Ken Dodd

Yesterday was Mother's Day in the UK and DD invited me to lunch as OH was working (as usual) so I would have been alone.  She served me a delicious lunch and gave me a beautiful card and some perfume :)  She should have been chilling out herself, after all it was her day too, so I appreciated it all the more.  I hope mothers everywhere had a wonderful day too.  What did you do?

It has been announced that the legend Sir Ken Dodd has passed away.  Now I know his act was not to everyone's taste but his style was fun, silly and clean. There were never any smutty jokes and I remember listening to him on the radio whilst I did my homework during the 1960's. Father-in Law loved to listen to him and once we treated him to tickets to Ken's show when he appeared at Dudley Town Hall.  He was on stage for over 3 hours!  The snow came down thick and fast outside and still people stayed and laughed with him.  Rest in peace Doddy x

Stash to Cash update:  Brooch sold £3
eBay nett sale: £4.25
Totals updated....

Food shopping today! I need to write a list now and stick to it!

Stay safe everyone and thanks for popping in x

Stash To Cash £29.50
eBay     £4.25

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Gardeners World The Snowy Version!

Crikey, March 10th already, the year is moving on so fast.  Did anyone watch Gardeners World last night on TV?  For me, it usually signals the start of Spring in a big way but last night showed how the snow had wrecked Green Meadows.  Frost blighted green shrubs and flattened grasses were everywhere and snowflakes were still falling as they filmed.  It was so atmospheric.  Next week they will be featuring one of our local garden centres; Ashwood Nurseries, which we have been visiting virtually the whole of our married life.  I'm looking forward to watching that.

Today is very wet and drab but not half as cold as it was.  I had a table at the craft fair in the village this morning and took a total of £27.90 so my Stash to Cash challenge (after paying £5 for the table) benefits by £22.90 making the total so far £26.50  I'm still waiting to find out which cards my neighbour wants but she has been in hospital so I haven't seen her around for a while.

The first batch of birthday cards for the month has been made and posted off, now I have 3 more to sort out for the second half of the month along with raising some cash for DD's present.  I'm hoping for a few eBay sales to help me out but sales are very slow at the moment.  Is anyone else finding it hard going?

Anyway, thanks so much for popping in. Stay safe x

Stash To Cash £26.50
eBay     £0.00

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The Missing Cereal...A Disaster Avoided

Firstly a warm welcome to Briony, my new follower...Hello!

Yesterday was pleasantly mild compared to the weather we have experienced over the last week or two AND the snow has virtually gone.  I have checked the LPG gauge which is showing the tank is just under 60% full so we need to conserve some gas while we can, we won't get a top up until the end of the month.  I've turned the thermometer down to 15 degrees during the day and we let the heating go off at night now (9.30pm to 7.30am)  If we are sitting and get chilly we can turn on the electric fire for a while and snuggle down with a fleecy blanket or put on extra layers of clothing.  It's quite sunny at the moment so I've done all the ironing whilst OH is in the garden 'pottering'.

There is virtually no money left in the food budget (until next Monday) but OH realised we had forgotten to buy him some breakfast cereal :/  He's a creature of habit so having no cereal bordered on the criminal as far as he's concerned.  He simply won't eat my muesli as he says it's 'parrot food' ...grrr.  Anyway I remembered a jam jar in the sideboard which was about 1/3 rd full of copper coins.  I couldn't spend them as they were so took them to Mr M and put them through the coinstar machine.  This produced a coupon for £1.35 to spend in the store.  Cornflakes purchased and disaster avoided ;)  I was also in time to grab 2 bags of perfectly lovely carrots at 5p per bag as well as a punnet of baby plum tomatoes YS'd to 23p.  Tonight we will have salmon en croute (from the freezer) new potatoes and peas. Half the cooked salmon can be chilled overnight for our picnic lunch tomorrow after the cinema. It will be lovely with a bit of salad and our YS'd tomatoes.  We are going to the Silver Cinema showing of Murder on the Orient Express.  Just £3 each for the film, tea/coffee and biccies...yay!

I hope everyone is having a good day.  If you lost power last week, I hope it's now back on as well as the water supply.

Take care and thanks everso for popping in x

Sunday, 4 March 2018

It's Thawing!

I don't know if this is a problem with Blogger or Windows 10 but I'm no longer getting email notification of comments on my posts. Is anyone else having a problem with this?  Anyway, I am definitely reading your comments, albeit a bit later than normal, so please keep them coming!

We had heavy rain on and off throughout the night so we awoke to a thinner covering of snow than we had seen at bedtime.  Yippee! It's beginning to thaw!  I know that in certain parts of the country people are still struggling to get through the snow and that massive vehicle recovery operations are ongoing as well as re-connecting power.  We feel so, so lucky that our power held out and that we had heating.  DD's heating failed on more than one occasion but, thankfully, she was able to re-start the boiler after thawing out the breather pipe outside the garage (on 2 occasions at 5am in her PJ's...that's my girl! ) ;)  The kids have rejoiced in their schools being closed and spent quite a lot of time constructing the base of an igloo in the garden :/  Simple pleasures....

OH has come home from work, showered and is now awaiting his tea (quite patiently for once) so I think it will be Quorn curry and rice tonight.  Perfect for this weather and quick to make as I happen to have a jar of Rogan Josh sauce in the cupboard :)  Then an evening of TV;  Call The Midwife and Strike.  Lovely!

Stay safe everyone and thanks everso for popping in x

Friday, 2 March 2018

Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Oh my goodness, the last few days have been horrendous weatherwise. We came home, towing the caravan with us, and arrived mid morning on Wednesday which was a day earlier than expected.  I was scared that the snowfall would hit before we got back making towing an absolute nightmare so persuaded OH to come home early (not that he needed much persuading I might add) We made it in time. Although the last week had been bitterly cold with snow flurries every day we had been warm and dry in the 'van but it's not much fun when you don't fancy venturing out into the cold and there's not much room to walk about in!

At the moment it's below freezing outside and snowing heavily.  I know lots of other parts of the country are suffering much more severe weather than here so we feel very lucky.  Tea will be veggie hotpot with cider and then it will be snuggle time with a fleecy blanket for me and perhaps a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones.  We are very late to the GoT party because I believe it was first broadcast on Sky (which we don't have) so it's DVD's for us.  Does anyone else watch it?  I find parts of it so monstrous that I hide behind my hands and other parts quite pornographic so I look away, but I need to know what happens to the main characters!!  We are on series 4 at the moment so lots more to come. How do you feel about the series?

February cost us an arm and a leg almost.  There is no housekeeping left in the pot.  We did a shop this morning as we were out of bread, milk, potatoes etc so felt we might as well go the whole hog and do a 'good' shop so that I won't have to go out over the weekend.  I need to make our stores last for as many meals as possible now because there will be no more housekeeping money until Monday 12th March.

Next week it will be time to renew my car insurance and there are a LOT of birthdays coming up this month :/  I need to get my thinking cap on as I have a tight budget for gifts, one of which is for DD...

Stay safe everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

PS Isn't it marvellous to get back to normal and have internet access?? :)

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