Saturday, 28 November 2015

Who'd have thought it .... ? so ironic ... !

Well how ironic ..... many (many) years ago when I had just moved over to Shropshire, 1978 to be exact as a young, newly divorced Mum of three, I found it hard to settle down at first.  I had never been one for nightclubs/pubs etc., but perhaps it was because I suddenly found my freedom from being tied to a destructive/abusive husband in an abusive marriage that I went a little mad - not in front of the children you understand, once a month when they went back for a weekend with their father.  I had made a couple of 'girlfriends' on the estate that I had moved into and we went out 'on the town'.  I'm not proud of it, but it's something that I had to get out of my system, I was only 18 when I married and hadn't had a social life at all.  This period didn't last long, I soon tired of it, it was never 'me'.

So where's this leading I hear you ask ?  well there was a club in a small town close to where I was living and it was open until 3 am - OMG - how shameful.  Believe me, comparing it to the antics that todays young people get up to, it was very tame indeed, but it felt very brave and daring to me !
So moving swiftly on, during the years since then I 'tried' many religions, researching and studying them, I've always been drawn to religion and believe it or not, death and what happens after !  apparently it's one of the things that are attributed to my star sign - Scorpio.

I spent many years searching, and ended up going 'very deeply' into Spiritualism because it seemed to provide the answers I needed - almost.  However, I always felt a little 'uneasy' with this, I think because there is such a thin line between Spiritualism and the Occult etc.  However, I did go on to become a Tarot Card Reader and qualified as a Healer, stages 1 and 2.

I hope you are still with me ...........

Yesterday, a guy came to fit two fencing panels that had come down in the recent storms.  He also had to come in to check the smoke alarms and fit a carbon monoxide alarm, so a little chat ensued, and I don't know how these things happen but it transpired that he was a 'healer' but not the kind that I was, bit of a long story.
He told me about his church and I was immediately drawn to what he was telling me.  It is non-denominational - I like that, it's open to everyone, all religions and creeds, colours, shapes and sizes, I like that too, they have informal gatherings during the week as well as the usual Sunday services - I also like that.

Anyway, long story short, I'm giving it a go this weekend, he said he will be there to meet me with his family - something else I like, and there is tea and biccies after - I like that.

So how are these two stories linked ?  the 'church' is now held in that self-same nightclub that I kicked my heels up in all those years ago !  ironic or what ??

(the nightclub has long since expired !)

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Mighty Pine - so many uses ...

There was a time when I wouldn't have believed it if you had told me that the pine tree was edible ! it has so many uses and is a staple on the list of all 'preppers', survivalists and people who like to eat natural food.

I have been using it for a long time now and am continually finding new ways of adding the wonderful nutritional goodness of this tree into my diet.

The first thing I started with, and would recommend to anyone else starting on eating wild edibles, is Pine Needle Tea.  Now the nutritional components of various parts of the pine are too numerous to mention here, so I suggest you Google it and see just how versatile the pine can be.

NOTE:  Before starting to eat any wild food, be it leaves, roots, flowers or trees, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH - the saying in 'survivalist circles' is 'If you're not sure it is edible - leave it well alone'
There are many blogs/sites and Youtube videos that will help you with recognition

The Pine Tree as I said can be used in many ways, and the only negative 'I know of' is that it is not safe for pregnant women to consume.

I can't stress enough to 'do your own research'.  Check on several sites/videos/books etc., before consuming any wild food.  Follow this advice and you should be fine.

Right, on to instructions for making Pine Needle Tea - a drink from the Wild Superfood Family.

First find your tree - not too difficult, they are literally everywhere, but best if you forage from one around 50' from a road.

Pull off some branches, I usually go for the youngest growth around 6"/7" long.  They may have a cone on them, just pull that off.   (you can collect the cones by the way, dry them and use for firelighters if you have a woodburner)

You can just put them in a saucepan as they are or you can pull the needles off the branches, I've done it both ways and it makes no difference.

Bring to the boil and simmer for around 15/20 minutes.  Strain off the liquid into a cup and add a spoonful of honey (optional) and enjoy !  It tastes a little like Lemsip and is indeed praised for it's ability to ward off colds.  Remember to add more water than you think you will need, because as with all liquids, after simmering you will have a lesser amount.

To take it a step further (as I now do) if you have some Rosemary in your garden, then pick of a few sprigs of that and add it to the pan, also liquorice root makes the mix a mighty power packed drink.

I didn't have Rosemary (I've since had a couple of cuttings given to me) so I started adding crushed Rosemary seeds, but now I buy dried Rosemary leaf powder from Ebay and use that, I also bought some liquorice root but it is expensive,  I also invested in some of that dried too.  You get a lot so it lasts a long time.  When you use these dried ingredients, strain it through some muslin to remove all the residue, (it's like used coffee grounds) before adding your honey and other sweetener.  The sum of these three ingredients is much more powerful than pine needles alone.

A rough guide to quantities, which you can change according to your taste of course :

To make 2 mugs/tumblers of pine needle tea:  (best drunk hot)
6 x 6" pine needle branch tips
1 teaspoon of Rosemary seeds/a handful or fresh Rosemary or 1 teaspoon of dried Rosemary
1 handful of dried liquorice root/half teaspoon of dried liquorice powder.
Spoonful of honey (optional but recommended)

Don't be put off by the rather 'muddy' colour - this has no colourings/additives/or chemicals so it is in it's natural form.

There are many more ways to use the Mighty Pine and I'll be adding them to the new page 'Nature Will Provide'

Monday, 23 November 2015

Yet another 'free' item .....

Following on from yesterdays post about the free vacuum, well that's not all I got for free, the day after the vacuum broke, my iron packed up too !

You know how I got the free vac, by using Sainsbury's 'double up' promotion, well I got the iron for free too, using the normal amount of Nectar points, as well as that, I got eleventy nine tins of cat food and a bottle of wine for me - 'cos I'm worth it !


Just a short post tonight, it's been a funny sort of day.

Another step forward.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Here is how I got my free vacuum ...

First of all Welcome to Sugar Ellis - what a great name, glad to have you here Sugar.  It's nice to get a new follower after losing some recently because of my absence of some weeks.

 I picked up my vacuum yesterday and now have a clean house !  Here it is:

It's smaller than I've had in the past, but this rented house is much smaller than I've had before and I don't really need one of those large uprights here.  Only the living room and stairs are carpeted, the rest is that awful wood strip flooring which I hate.

  This cleaner is BNIB as they say on Ebay, has a 700w motor and as you can see, a good range of accessories.

 I was a bit doubtful about the strength of the motor at first but I needn't have been !  I can't believe the power it has, it 'lifts' the carpet whilst cleaning it.  I would go so far as saying it is more powerful than my top of the range beast that just ended up in the tip.

I also like it because it is 'bagless' and you can see what your are picking up with it, again I was amazed at just how much dust/hairs/fibres etc., I was getting off my 'clean' carpet.  I am also going to save money by not buying bags for it.  I had to pay around £10/12 for a box of bags for my Sebo.

All ready to go:

Right, so how did I get it for free ?

As you can see it's from Sainsbury's - I collect Sainsbury's points.  At frequent intervals Sainsbury's offer a 'double up' promotion i.e. you have £20 worth of points deducted from your Nectar card, and in return get a token for £40.  The vacuum was exactly £40 normal price (even having to pay cash this machine is a snip) so after having the necessary points deducted I got it for FREE/zero/nowt/zilch !  I also got a voucher for 5 x Nectar points which, even though I didn't spend any money, were still added to my account.

Now that's what I call frugal ...

There's more about this tomorrow ...

Friday, 20 November 2015

New page ... 'Save Some Pennies Every Day'

One of my new pages is up and running.  I hope you find some hints and tips to help you save money.  If you have any suggestions, please send me a private message and I'll include them in the next lot with your name.  Make do and mend tips also welcome.

 These ideas are about saving money without spending any - i.e. 40% off a new washing machine or half price clothes don't count, just how to use what you have.

Looking forward to  hearing from you.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Vac update and a frugal tip for the ladies ...

I haven't got my 'free' vacuum yet because when I went to collect it they only had the shop display one available and have had to order one in for me, so I'll show it to you when I get it (hopefully not too long because my place needs vacuuming now!)

Anyway, here is a quick frugal tip for the ladies - men look away now.
OK, that's guaranteed all the men readers are watching, so here goes.

Bras - I wear the good old faithful Triumph 'Doreen' bra, have done for years and will continue to do so.  They have been described as not so much a bra, more a construction of scaffolding !  The pretty little lacy numbers look great if you are wearing a shear top or open stitch sweater etc., but no good at all if you have more than 'two fried eggs' to support !

They certainly are well made, made to last of course, except the back fasteners.  They are not cheap, around £34 each I think at the time of writing.  I used to buy just one a year, but as they last so long, I haven't bought one for longer than I care to remember.

Anyway, the only complaint with this bra is the back fasteners, which do wear out or break off, it's a shame that the manufacturers don't use a stronger back fastening because the rest of the bra is obviously high quality.  So save yourself some money by replacing the back fastening strip.

Something like this picture, but the Triumph bra needs a kit that has three hooks and eyes, I've got them from Hobbycraft in the past.  They retail at a couple of pounds each, well worth the effort, can save you over £30 if you just spend a little time unpicking the old section and replacing it.

This isn't a paid ad for Triumph or Hobbycraft by the way, just a frugal tip.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

I was sooooo prepared ... !

There were really strong storms here last night (Shropshire) with the winds roaring and creating havoc.  There were one or two very short power cuts that came as a warning that more were to come.

I immediately started getting together my 'survival kit' which consisted of loads of candles in strategic places around the living room and kitchen, matches, a LED torch and a wind-up torch.  I also boiled the kettle and filled two large flasks ready to make hot drinks.  I made a sandwich in case I got hungry but couldn't use my electric cooker, the cats were given extra food and packets and tins left out with dishes and tin opener so I could find them in the dark.  I fetched down two large thermal throws that I keep upstairs to keep me warm with no heating and put on extra thick socks to keep my feet warm.

I even have what I call a 'twig oven' which means I can cook outside using just twigs - not a BBQ - a proper oven just like a small metal box and I was looking forward to using that !

So there I was, feeling very smug indeed - then the power came back on !  I felt cheated - after all that effort.  Never mind, I've had a 'dummy run' and know how to put stuff together should it happen again, which I feel sure it will during the worst of the Winter.

Someone told me this morning I was sick for doing all that .............. perhaps I should get out more ?

Anyway on a more serious note, there are two fencing panels down this morning in the garden and the back gate has blown off its  hinges - the landlord is going to be pleased he's not known for doing any repairs or maintenance.

I hope you are all OK and survived any storms in your area.

Goodbye vacuum - RIP ............

My vacuum finally bit the dust (if you'll pardon the pun) and I'm delighted !  It wasn't a cheap one and apparently has a lifetime guarantee if I send it back to the manufacturer - I can't be bothered to box it up and do that, so it's going to the tip this afternoon.

This isn't this model by the way, but it illustrates the situation.
So why am I delighted ? because the ***** thing kept falling over behind me and cracking me on the back of my knees ! believe me, my legs weren't the only thing that were black and blue - the air was too !  but as it was in working order I didn't feel justified in replacing it, so I've waited patiently for nearly 8 years, and in some considerable pain for it to pack up.
Another reason I'm delighted is - I'm getting a replacement for FREE !  as I said nothing to do with the lifetime guarantee, I'm going to choose another model later today and will tell you how I'm getting it for free tomorrow.
Can't get more Frugal than free .............

Monday, 16 November 2015

Darn it ... !

I buy black tights from Asda in packs of three.  I think they're £4.99 but it's been so long since I bought any I can't really remember, actually it may be packs of five.

The reason they last so long is because I darn them.  As soon as that little hole appears at the toe (it's always at the toe) I darn them with a little  black thread, it takes a couple of minutes and the tights live for many a day more.

I couldn't throw them out just for the sake of a few stitches, it's such a waste of money.  I now have about 18 pairs all in very good condition, except for the little darn here and there.  I wear them once, then wash them by hand, they're difficult to wear out ! 
When they do eventually become too worn to save, I cut them into strips and use them for garden ties.  A little darning goes a long way.
Happy Frugalling .....

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Moving on ...

Time to move on .....

No not me, (yet),  the neighbours over the road.  Directly opposite is a large 4-bedroomed house with garage and large garden.  I don't sit in the window all day but can't help seeing who's coming and going.
When I moved here, there were 5 young men in there, it must have been a company let, they looked like mobile phone salesmen or some sort of technical whiz-kids.  After them there was a young Asian couple, they were here just over 3 years and in that time the young woman had two children, one  boy and one girl, I know that because relatives put pink or blue balloons outside.
When they moved out, another young couple moved in, while they were there the place underwent a total overhaul, the owner/landlord must have spent a fortune on it, kitchen fitters arrived, bathroom, new tiles on the roof, new garage door, garden fencing and a coat of paint.  I think the tenants must have got a cheap rent whilst all that work was going on.  Anyway they have just moved out, this weekend, and now it has gone up for sale.
If houses could talk, they could tell some stories couldn't they ?  Wonder who's next ?
Thank you for all your comments and good wishes.
(Happy Birthday to me!)


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