Saturday, 24 July 2021
Monday, 19 July 2021
Saturday, 17 July 2021
My chickens finally got an upgrade to their accommodation! For the past 6 years they've lived in a converted dog kennel. It's been patched and repaired many times. The wood is rotten in many places and it won't see another Winter. It's been a great wee coop for my girls but it was time to upgrade!
I bought an Eglu Go Up, no wheels or run. It wasn't cheap (gulp) 😦 but it's a long term investment. Plus the second hand value is good if I ever change circumstances. I actually bought it last October but I needed the ground to be dryish for a good spell (practically impossible in Scotland in Winter!!) plus my son to be around to assist with some lifting and shifting. Our recent spell of scorching weather made it perfect timing today 😊
Friday, 16 July 2021
Thursday, 15 July 2021
I've been struggling with a sore back for the past week so have been spending more time working on my garden. I do a wee bit at a time then rest. And repeat throughout the day. Getting old sucks!! 😂 But it's been a good chance to take a hard look at my front garden as it was neglected last year because the front of the house was getting roughcast (the bit that's not white!) And thanks to the you-know-what that didn't happen.
And it's bad for the soil anyway to be covered in plastic so my plan is to gradually remove it all and plant a more natural garden. I'm not sure how long the stones have been in place (before I bought the house) so I'm guessing the soil is in really poor condition.
Although the heather border at the pavement side has thrived a bit too much!! It's about 4 or 5 feet wide despite me and my lovely mum trying to keep it in check. It's beautiful when in bloom in Spring and the bees love it so it'll be trimmed back and kept.
I had a B&Q voucher so I spent it on some perennials to start planting. I've put them in pots to begin with so I can place them in various situations as I put my 'design' together. I have an idea in my head but who knows if it will work!!
There are 3 types of red roses, a verbena, a white hydrangea, a clematis (not in this pic), 4 dahlias and 2 pinks I already had in pots. I also rescued some French lavender and pelargoniums that I've not potted up yet.
The colours are more stunning in real life!
Can't go wrong for 50p when all they needed was some deadheading and a good drink of water! I don't normally buy flowers as I've always been more interested in growing fruit and veg. Flowers are expensive!! So I'll be trying to source bits of perennials from family and friends and having a go at growing some from seed as I've realised that I'm going to need a lot of them!! 🌷🌻🌼
Sunday, 4 July 2021
It's been a while but I got a large Approved Food order this week. Lots of GF products at a fraction of the cost because they're either just out of date or slightly damaged packaging or the brand is re branding. I was a bit annoyed that I discovered a huge part of my order was missing so I'm 'discussing' that with them by email as it's on the receipt as being in the box!! They're a wee bit guilty of charging you for something when it's out of stock and only giving you credit. My GF Old El Paso GF wraps were out of stock so I got credit for those but my protein bars aren't so I better get them as I don't want £30 credit!!
Tuesday, 29 June 2021
Sunday, 27 June 2021
And we're off! I started today with a routine eye test, at least a year overdue thanks to the you-know-what! As expected my eyesight has changed a bit and I now need varifocals 👓 Of course they're more expensive but I knew this day was coming so was prepared. I'll collect them in 2 weeks.
I spent some time in my back garden, weeding and just assessing what's there. To my absolute delight I discovered quite a lot of fruit is thriving.
Saturday, 26 June 2021
Yesterday was the last day of school so I'm finally on holiday! What a year it's been! I managed back to work for the last 2 weeks and hobbled about on crutches and an ankle support. Wasn't perfect but the kids and my colleagues helped me out. And I managed to clear out my classroom ready for my move back to Primary 1 (that's Reception or Kindergarten elsewhere). Since I'm absolutely positive this is my last move I gave away all my upper and middle school resources. This is all I took to my new room.
Mostly toys and some books, some trays that will fit into an Ikea unit that the janitor will move for me next week. I'm also to get a new sink installed. The current P1 teacher is on maternity leave so she's not moved her stuff out yet. I'm not going back into school until early August as I just need a complete break. Plenty of time before the new kids arrive 😊
Both my garden and allotment are overgrown with weeds. Just 6 weeks of no work means they've got wild! So my aim is to do a wee bit every day.
Sunday, 6 June 2021
I mentioned in yesterday's post that I've been watching some frugal You Tubers while sitting with my ankle up. I stick one on while I knit a summer cotton cardigan for myself. I used to watch quite a few frugal channels but many of them (although still very good) were about how to live frugally with children or teenagers or they were US based. They didn't really apply to me as a single (ahem) mature woman in the UK occasionally feeding an adult son.
So I set out to find some with older people and/or based in the UK. Here are a few of my favourites and some new ones I found recently.
WARNING: be prepared to lose a few hours checking them out!! 😂
Frugal Fit Mom
I've followed her for a while before this video made her a huge success. She feeds 4 sporty teenagers and a husband on a tight budget. US based but great advice.
132 meals for $42 This is a brilliant video! $42 is just under £30
What Vivi Did Next (UK based)
Vivi gave up a paid nursing job (due to arthritis) and lives extremely frugally from what she grows on her allotment and a few sewing side hustles. Very chatty rambling style but I love all her food growing and saving tips.
Frugal Jo (UK based)
American/Canadian who's lived in the UK for years
Frugal Jo home page
Frugal Money Saver (new to me)
A couple who took early retirement, New York state based
Mornings with Granny
I've followed Granny back when she was Penny Pinchin' Granny. Lots of good tips and detailed breakdown of food costs although she's US based
Frugal Over Fifty (new to me but I like it so far)
Frugal Over Fifty home page
She's Drinking Coffee (I dip in and out of this one but really like it)
Life Over Sixty with Sandra
I really love this one but it's not necessarily a frugal one. This video is her first one I found where she talks about money saving and minimalism. The more videos I watched the more I want to be like Sandra when I grow up!!
Here are a few more simple living/frugal/batch cooking ones I watch fairly regularly:
Mr Carrington (he's UK based and also recently appeared on TV)
The Batch Lady (she's Scottish!!) 😊
Simple Living Alaska (tiny house living. I love these guys!!)
Fy Nyth (tiny house living)
Let me know in the comments about any other good ones you've found and I'll add them below along with any others I find!
Saturday, 5 June 2021
I have a dear friend who is also my mentor/coach/counsellor (she has many labels!) who always tells me that I need to look for opportunities to stop and pause throughout my day. Since my brain races too fast for meditation she thinks just a few daily pauses is better than nothing.
Well thanks to my ankle injury I'm overflowing with chances to pause as I really can't do much else. I am grateful that I don't have pain unless I'm walking so haven't needed pain relief. I've spent the last 2 weeks with my ankle raised when I'm not moving about. So I've had a lot of thinking and reflecting time in between reading several books, watching cheesy movies on Netflix and knitting a summer cardigan. Oh and eating!!!!
Much of the time I've been on my own as my son is either working or spending time with his new girlfriend. At times I've felt particularly vulnerable as I realised I wouldn't be able to get myself out of a situation alone. Being unsteady on my feet, I've not been able to go up and down stairs safely and in an emergency I'd be stuck. I'm extremely grateful to have a downstairs guest bedroom and bathroom.
But I'm also grateful for this opportunity at a very tired and stressful point in the school year. June is the most frantic month in a school as we're constantly assessing and recording and report writing and finishing off 'stuff' before the summer break at the end of this month. I've been able to do quite a lot just by being able to sit at my laptop and do my paperwork. My class is now in the hands of a very capable supply teacher (although it took 7 days to get her!) so I feel less guilty about not being in class. Thanks to technology I've been able to log in and 'see' my kids and they've seen me on screen. I've also been able to do my parent contact meetings from home. So still working even though technically I'm signed off.
The biggest thing I've been thinking about is my future and what I need to do now for retirement. Current plan is 2 more years of teaching. This year (for many many reasons!! 😳) hasn't been very frugal so far. That changes now! I've found a few new to me frugal living YouTube channels so I'm binge watching them while I knit. And I'm making lots and lots of lists 😄
So I may be temporarily inconvenienced by my injury. But I am incredibly grateful for this unexpected chance to pause, reflect and be grateful.
Thursday, 20 May 2021
Yep, did my ankle again by stepping in a rabbit hole on our school playing field when I was taking the kids out for P.E. Same one I did 4 years ago HERE
I've got an avulsion fracture of the lateral malleolus of the left ankle. Basically a hairline fracture and torn ligaments. No cast or boot needed but I do have crutches and instructions to rest!! I'm not very good at that! I'm off work at the moment but I'm hoping I'll be back before the end of term.
Sunday, 25 April 2021
And here's Stirling Castle up on the other side. Not the best view of it (better from the other side, more castley!) but it still makes me smile.
Monday, 12 April 2021
Friday, 9 April 2021
I have 2 wee boards so made 2 different ones. This Oscar Wilde quote made me smile!! I'm thinking I might paint the green background black to fit in with my collection.
Thursday, 8 April 2021