Monday, 28 January 2013

A Prince, Decluttering and No Spend Days

Hello Friends

Hope you're all well.

I had a cold all last week that has left me with a bit of a chesty cough. Thank goodness it's not a chest infection that so many are getting.

We had an exciting afternoon yesterday. It was the elections for the local Gala Queen. L was in the retinue last year and had to go in her dress, but also entered the audition for this years Queen. After a brief interview L was selected for Prince Charming. She's well pleased even though she was after the Queens position, maybe next year. M and I are both pleased. Now we need to get saving for the costume. I could probably make the jacket and shirt but there is no way I could make a three pointed hat. I do know a dress maker who can, but need to take MIL with us to see if she can get us a discount. MIL goes to a patchwork group with this dress maker, so fingers crossed.

Now for my decluttering update. I haven't done a lot this month because I have been doing some paid work as an exam invigilator for students with special needs, but L and M have done very well. The two items for sale are to be advertised in the local paper. It's free on a Tuesday. I will ring a charity later today to arrange a pick up time and day. There's more than 17 Items because I have three large bag fulls. I'll have to recount and update it later.
For Sale 2
To The Bin/Recycling 45
For Charity 17
For Car Booting 17
Total 81

This month I've had 14 no spend days. I feel sure that I can do better than that.

This morning I'm off to my SIL to do some creative photos of my car seat blankets ready for opening my on line shop, and then I need to get my head around google chrome and find out how to work it. I had a go last night but I'm not very technical and so I have to do it in small chunks. I'll get there it's not going to beat me.

It looks like it's going to be another nice day. Must get some more washing done.

Thanks for dropping by and have a nice day.


Update - 50 items to charity not 17.  Didn't get the washing out it's pouring down.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Bits and Pieces

Hello Friends

Hope you are maneging to keep warm.

I have a pan of tomato soup cooking on the stove. It smell so good.
Yesterday my dad gave me a large packet of cherry tomatoes that he picked for 10p (he also got another three packets for themselves) so that is what is in my soup along with three large tomatoes I already had in the freezer and some red pepper, carrots, swede, celery root, some sundried tomatoes lurking in the fridge and some lentils to bulk it out. I could have put in an onion but I have problems digesting it.
I am so looking forward to lunch today.

Sorry no pictures as I've not had time to play around with google chrome.

Yesterday mum and dad had visit from the Social work department, at the request of the memory assessment Dr. (I was also there). The lady that came was lovely and wanted to arrange for some day care amongst other things that might be helpful. The day care sounded very interesting and arrangements were made for mum to go 1 day a week from the 5th February. After the social worker left dad said he would like to have a look at the place (Warren Manor). To cut a long story short we all went yesterday afternoon to have a look. It was very nice and specifically for people with dementia. It felt very comfortable, relaxed and welcoming. They have a craft room, dining room, hairdressers, and a big lounge area where they have entertainment, games, exercise for keeping the circulation going and so much more. Mum liked it so much she's keen to go back today but arrangements have been made for a free trial next week. I'm glad she likes it.

M didn't work last week and part of this week. He's a taxi driver and it's not good when he's not working as he doesn't get paid. The reason he's not working is because before Christmas someone bumped into the back of his car and now it's having some repair work done through the insurance company. They said it would take about eight days. That takes it to today. As a consequence of no work there will be no grocery shopping this week. Luckily I was aware of this and I'm using the opportunity to work through all the bits and pieces in the freezer which need using up then I might be able to defrost the freezer, it's getting desperate.

It's just started snowing, I wonder how much we'll get this time.

Yesterday I also made some laundry soap. I forget where I got the recipe from. It was so easy to make. I will let you know how well it works when I've used it a few times.

I'm exam invigilating this afternoon so I better get a wriggle on.

Thank you for dropping by and I will catch you later in the week.

Take care


P. S. Snow update - Rubbish, melted as soon as landed.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Brrrrrrr It's Cold

Hello friends

Hope you all had a good week.

We've still not had much snow in our neck of the woods; just an icing sugar dusting that has now gone. However it's meant to snow again tonight, don't suppose it will be much though.

I have found that during this cold spell I have been more hungry, so I've been making big pots of stew with lots of veg, a little meat (to keep the M the carnivore happy) and bulking it up with lentils and barley or little pasta shells. We have been having this for our lunches instead of sandwiches. I do make soups but they didn't seem to be doing the trick.  What do you make foe keeping warm?

Although it's been very cold I have still hung out my washing and believe it or not it has dried(ish). It has taken longer that usual. When I bring it in I finish off in front of our dinning room heater.

We don't have central heating but we do have gas wall heaters in two of our three bedrooms and one in the dinning room, in the living room we have a multi-fuel stove where we can burn either coal or logs. Mostly we use coal.  The stove produces a lot of heat so we don't use the bedroom heaters much, although recently we have been putting them on in the evening to warm up the rooms before going to bed. The dining heater is on all day because the room is north facing and it's always cold in the winter.

I'm going to make a hot vimto, if your dropping by I will make you one too.

Keep warm


P.S.  Just started to snow, dustings at the moment, must bring in last night washing.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Splashing in Puddles

Hello friends

Welcome to new follower Julie from

Last Friday 11 January was step in Puddle and splash your friends day and it got me thinking about when L was aged between 3 and 7 maybe 8 and I took her out to splash in puddles on rainy days.

All kids like to splash in puddles and L was no exception so I got her all togged up in warm clothes and a waterproof over-jacket and waterproof trousers, warm socks and wellies. Then we went off to the local pub car park where there were lots of puddles, some deep and some shallow.
Oh the fun she had and she even managed to fill her wellies a couple of times. L likes to remember and talk about the fun she had Splashing.
I didn't join in because I didn't have any wellies or waterproofs.

Only a short post today, but thanks for dropping by and see you soon


P.S Anyone in the UK got snow? we haven't.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Post With No Title

Hello friends

Hope you all had a good week.

As I'm writing this it is a post with no title. of all the hundreds and thousands of words in the English language I can't put two together to come up with a title yet.

What have I been up to this week. Well, On Sunday I made a huge pan of  minestrone soup. I thought I would have it for my lunches through the week. I've ended up putting some in the freezer because I just made too much.

Yesterday I called in a local charity shop (didn't spend any money) and I came across and old hard back book, The Ship of Adventure by Enid Blyton. I loved these books as a child and L is also enjoying them. Did any one else read these too? I didn't buy this copy as I already have it and three other titles but I am on the look out for others to complete the set. But and it is a big but not at the price that was being asked for in this charity shop, are you sitting down, £14.99.  I had no idea that they had any value. I will certainly be snapping them up when I see them at a car boot sales even if I end up doubling up on them. However I hardly ever see them.

This morning I was an exam invigilator at a high school I once worked at as a temporary dinner lady and a temporary teaching assistant. I did the invigilation last year as well working mostly with the students who have learning support. I have quite a few dates for January and because it's only for a couple of hours in total for each exam it doesn't interfere with my mum's care. It was nice to catch up with old staff.

Still not come up with a title.

OK lunch break over time to get some jobs done.

See you soon and thanks for dropping by


Monday, 7 January 2013

Everything Back to Normal

Hello friends

Everything is back to normal. The decorations came down at the week-end and packed away in the attic for another year except the stockings, we forgot them. We left the coloured light outside that are around the arbour because we are planing a party towards the end of June for my birthday (another milestone)

L reluctantly went back to school this morning. Last night when I said Good Night I also said "see you in the morning nice and early" her reply was "Nah don't bother I'm not going to school tomorrow"
Unlike most kids that have had 2 weeks off she has had almost three weeks off because on the Monday of her last week L injured her knee in a PE lesson and had difficulty walking. We were at the hospital twice that week to have her knee checked out and luckily there was no damage. It is still a bit sore to go down stairs though.

Over the week-end L decided that she wanted to sort out her wardrobe with my help. She took everything out and laid it on our bed and gave me everything she wanted to keep so that I could hang it back up. S couple of things went in the charity bag. Next the draws. Quite a few t-shirts came out mainly white and a few coloured. (white have been cut up into long lengths and are now being knitted into a bathmat - will show when finished. Coloured t-shirts might get the same treatment) Next came the book shelf in her room (this was long over due) She did a fantastic job of getting rid of her young books (to either car boot or charity bag) and made lots of space for more Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy books and maybe some more Enid Blyton adventures. She did so well with both her jobs. I think I might have to tackle to toy shelves in her room, with her help of course. L decluttered 160 items from her room, that is a fantastic start but I can't say the same yet, will report at the end of the month.

Welcome to new follower KittyKittyWeaselFish.

Thank you for dropping by and I will see you later in the week and hope you have a good one.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year and New Challenges

Happy New Year friends

I haven't set any new year resolutions this year as never keep them anyway, but what I have done is set some challenges. I have been inspired to do this through reading some of your blogs and to me it makes a lot more sense. So here are my challenges for 2013:

1  I want to blog at least twice a week.
I've not been blogging for very long and feel that my posts have been a bit haphazard so I thought I would get myself a routine.
I don't have time to blog everyday as I go about looking after my home and helping my dad look after my mum who has Alzheimer's. One day I will do a post about that.
I also want to make my posts more interesting (not sure how to do that one yet)

2  I want to declutter at least 365 items out of the house by either binning it, selling it (car boot) or sending it to charity.
We have collected many things over the years and it's taking over our home so now is a good time to get rid.

3  Set up a shop on Folksy.
I need to make some extra cash to supplement my Carers Allowance and M's take. (He's a taxi driver and the recession has really hit the taxis)
My plan so far is to make baby blankets and baby car seat covers. The seat covers are my own design so I hope they will take off. I have a few made ready and just have to take a few creative photos.
When I have set it up I will do a post all about it.
I also want to do a few craft fairs selling the same so I will have to get cracking to build up my stock.

No spend days
How many no spend days can I clock up this year. I will record here each month how many I do and any spending I do (apart from the bills and the weekly groceries) I will also record here.

I feel that this is enough to start with and I'm sure there will be more challenges along the way. I feel that this year is going to be a difficult year with trying to make ends meet and seeing my mum slowly deteriorate. (enough doom and gloom)

Today it's raining and I promised L that I would take her shopping with her Christmas vouchers and money. Kylies and WHSmiths. (I really hate shopping at the best of times) I also got some money and vouchers for M&Co. I usually put them away until I find something I want/need.

Tomorrow, at the local library, we will dismantle the knitted Christmas tree. 40 leaves will go into individual bags because the library is running a competition (I don't know the details yet). I know the rectangles will be sewn into blankets for a charity which has yet to be voted on.
This year the Craft Club have two charities they are doing makes for. 1, hats, gloves and scarves for Street Life, a local homeless charity. 2 Hug in a Bag, again this is another local charity for breast cancer suffers (I don't like to call them victims) The main thing to go in the bag along with some toiletries and make up is a heart shape cushion either knitted or sewn. The suffer places the cushion under their arm to ease the pain and discomfort caused by the surgery. Both worth while causes.

This feels like a really long post, I hope I haven't board you too much.
Have a really good day in whatever you are doing and thank you for popping by.



I've taken some time to think this through and decided to stop blogging. I'm not getting out of it as much as I did when I first sta...