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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Still Planning my Shopping and using Coupons (MONDAY)

Last month Sainsbury's sent me an email asking me if I still wished to receive offers and other marketing data and I agreed, after all you can always press delete or unsubscribe at a later date.  Shortly after I received some coupons from them 3 x £4.50 off £30 and 1 x £6 off £30. (15% & 20%reductions or £19.50 off £120). I don't have a local Sainsbury's so I have to time my shopping with visits to the family or friends to make it viable.  I used last weeks coupon because I'd received a £30 Sainsbury's gift card from a friend for helping her do some things around her house.  I wasn't going to use this weeks coupon but my daughter asked me to pick the grandsons up from school yesterday as she would be working  in London until 6.
After consulting Mysupermarket as I always do I prepared a shopping list  to take advantage of any offers they had.  I'm stockpiling 'kiddie' bits at the moment as it will soon be summer holidays and we will be looking the grandchildren far more. Things like cordial, ice-cream, biscuits and various spreads for sandwiches are handy so we can pack up and go to the beach. 

eeing all these various bread products reduced was great, just the sort of ' at the ready' food for the freezer. I loved the mini assorted rolls but I wouldn't pay £1.40! (Sorry its blurred, most were 34p, finger-rolls 19p, pancakes 34p)
The boys had taken their bikes to school so nanny looked like a pack horse coming home with two lots of lunch/day bags and two lots of PE/football kit bags! I made them their tea and I  had to have the obligatory 15 minutes on the trampoline with them but I did visit the loo first!  I did trampoline classes when I was 14 and could do somersaults, hollow-backs and all sorts. Trying to convince  the children that at 60 things are more difficult is hard work!

My daughter phoned to say she was calling in at Aldi to do a bit of shopping but would be home soon. She came through the front door with these beautiful flowers, gave me a big kiss, followed by a hug and thanked me for always being there.  Arhhh they're beautiful and they smell just as good as they look! My favourite flowers, peony and stocks, I never realised the peony has a double centre. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

I presume the centre petals will also bloom, how beautiful are they? What's your favourite flower? Bye for now. Tx

Monday, 26 June 2017

Thank You

Thank you all for guessing what was so carefully opening and eating my peas! The consensus is MICE. I have never seen any mice in the garden or droppings in any of the out buildings (garage, shed, workshop) so they are obviously on holiday from the SAS bearing in mind all the netting and bits I've got protecting the peas and trying a bit of Pick Your Own! I'm just going to have to try to get there before them.
Its been a really warm weekend, not hot like last weekend but 20 degree warm. We had lots black clouds, swirling windy moments and  threats of rain but nothing more than a few spits of rain.  Tomorrow the chance of rain on the Essex coast goes up to 90% so fingers crossed it does.  The rain butts are dry and its getting tiresome watering with cans from the tap. This is when I wonder if I could really cope with a  small holding.

Once again the kayak had an outing, hubby wanted to take the youngest grandsons out on it as one is particularly frightened of boats despite being a strong swimmer. If the truth be told its why hubby bought the kayak to try to rationalise his fear as nothing as ever happened for the fear to manifest itself. We  choose to go to Alton Water which is about 11 miles away from home as the local tides were wrong. Alton Water is a manmade reservoir. It is the largest in Suffolk, with a perimeter of over 8 miles. Due to a shortage of water in the Ipswich area in the 1960s, a list of 20 potential sites for reservoirs was made, with Alton being the chosen site. The land was mainly farmland, but was also home to a mill and Alton Hall. The mill was dismantled and reconstructed at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket.
Smiles all round!
Daughter, hubby and youngest grandson.

Waiting to have another go!
Well as you can see it worked and a great time was had by all. Hope you had a great weekend. Back soon. Tx
PS: I hate those MEECES to PIECES!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Guesses on a postcard please!

Anyone out in blogland got any ideas what is skillfully stealing my peas, splitting them open and eating them! The netting is over everything but the little b@ggers are still getting to them......grrrr

Oh how I wish I had a camera. Hope your weekend is going well. No rain yet, rain dance this evening as everything is do dry and water butts very low.   Tx

Friday, 23 June 2017

Where's my mum?

Well so much for the thunder storms they forecast for yesterday.  At 11am we had 3 claps of  thunder, a little after rumble and a few spit spots of rain. I'm seriously hoping that the rain forecast for much of next week actually materialises as the mugginess is getting to me.
There is a distinct lack of sea breeze that we are normally blessed with  on the coast. So last evening due to the lack of rain I have found myself having to water everything in the garden. It was when I was going to and from the water butt that I heard a continuous faint squawking.  I searched high and low and eventually found this little chap at the back of the water butt. By the time I got my phone to take a photo he had turned his back on me! 

I touched him and he shuffled along so I don't think he can fly.  I have left him some water and hope his mum hears his cries and comes to find him. He had two little tufty eye brows and looked very cute. Yesterday was another warm day and I actually managed to complete one side of the tea cosy and I've started the other side twice three times so far. But I'll get there.   The pattern is called moss rib so its nice and stretchy to go over a tea pot.  The yarn is a  wool mix  so it should keep the tea nice and hot.

The hard bit next decreasing every time is different. 
Hubby found 4 pea pods on the lawn, they had been opened and stripped of the peas inside. I can only presume its birds! I have to say there are lots of pods that I'm hoping will fatten up nicely over the next few weeks. So its another thing I've had to net. Oh how I would love to have a net tunnel.
Off to the market to see if there are any fruit bargains. Next time I see some cheap mangos  I would like to make mango chutney. Have a lovely weekend folks Back soon. Tx

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Tidying UP and Card Making

Although yesterday started a lot cooler than Monday which even I found uncomfortable and I can 'do' heat. I'd already tasked myself  with sorting my craft boxes. I literally tipped out the whole contents on the floor and sorted it into different piles, toppers, sentiments, embellishments, stickers, glues and ribbons. I had been given lots of used cards by friends and family and set about chopping them into bits I could utilise.
There were 3 cards amongst the many that I literally tore out the inside leaf and printed a new one.  I then set about making a new envelope to fit the card. I wouldn't normally do this but I know who they are from so I'll make sure they aren't sent back to them, that would be Deja vu! He-He!

These cards had an inner leaf that I simply
replaced and new envelopes made.

Inner leaf printed and the granddaughter one
was personalised with her name inside
The rest of the cards were cut into reusable sections and I still had some precut Christmas toppers that I needed to use up to make space in my craft box. Eventually had a pile that I could start making cards with. 

I found a pack of very small cards and envelopes.  When I purchased them they were described as  A5 but when they arrived it was A5 before they were folded, so they should have been advertised as A6! They were however good quality and just the right size for inserting a gift card or a £5/£10 inside to give to someone. Moreover, I managed to use up lots of the smaller toppers I had cut using my Big Shot ages ago and I'll have enough gift card/envelopes for a few years to come.
I always buy Lidl's book of card £1.99 but its great quality and larger than A4. Its comes with such an array of colours which is great as I always try to pick out the colour in the topper I'm reusing.  Lots of cards weren't standard sizes so again I had to make envelopes too.  But hey ho I'm time rich now!  

Colour coordinated.
The little orange badge will have a number
 inserted when I decide who its going to.

Colour coordinated insert too

I loved the greys and silver on this card. 
 I even found some beautiful Christmas silver ribbon

I do love card making but I have to be in the right mood and yesterday was just perfect. I have enough cards for a least a year although I could do with more male ones.   Today I will try and complete one side of the Tea cosy I am Knitting, I will not be defeated. Once its done, I aim to teach myself to crochet a flower to adorn the cosy.  I understand storms are on there way, stay safe and I'll be back soon. Tx

Thank you once again for all your lovely comments.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Phew! its been a scorcher

A few weeks ago Hubby bought himself a 2.5 person Kayak, the half gives space for a young child or 2 children 1 adult. He has wanted one for a long time and initially went down the second hand route looking on eBay, Shpock  and Gumtree every single day but nothing this side of the country was coming up. So hubby treated himself to a new one but within twenty four hours of delivery we had some of the heaviest rainfall I had seen in a long time. At one point I though he'd had a premonition and we needed our own personal ark!
Well the kayak completed its maiden voyage on Saturday and the family had a blast. We couldn't have asked for better weather or sea conditions. The tides at Holland on Sea were perfect and since the 36million pound upgrade so were the beaches. Gone are the old wooden groynes that break up the beach, instead they have built half circle defences out of rocks.  The upper beach area has been raised so there is always beach available to occupy even at high tide. The local council uses a tractor to comb  the sand keeping it lovely and clean. I'm only sorry I didn't take more photos but I couldn't see the screen as it was so sunny.
No groynes just wide stretches of beach,
 semi circle rock defences
A great time was had by all and we returned Sunday which was even warmer to do it all over again.  Our eldest daughter bought us Fathers day breakfast at the beach cafĂ©, I took another pack-up and flask to keep the cost of the day out down. The evenings were spent watering the garden and greenhouse, as well as picking anything that was ready.  I collected two ice-cream size tubs of strawberries and two lots of dwarf green beans.  I sorted the best strawberries and we took them to the beach with us, everyone was asking where I'd bought them because of the taste.  The supermarket ones are so forced they taste of nothing. The rest of the strawberries were split into two piles, one lot were used for breakfast in yoghurt and the rest made into jam as the heat was making them turn quickly.  I made enough for 3.5 jars, the 2 smaller jars will go into 'C' hampers. If I manage to get my hands on some cheap market strawberries I'll make some more for the hampers.
Hubby collected enough raspberries to put at the bottom of the trifles I make each week.  The sugar free jelly will set with raspberries but not strawberries. I reuse yoghurt pots as its just the right portion size once the low fat custard is added to the top and a swirl of cream.
Raspberry trifles

Elderflower champagne
Yesterday I caught up with jobs around the house. Last night we strained the elderflower champagne and bottled it.  The lids will be released every evening for a week to free some of the initial gas that builds. Back soon, trying to do jobs indoors while its so hot outside. Today I really need to tackle my craft box its in a real state. Friends and family  keep giving me cards which I'm grateful for but I've been opening the lid and throwing them in!
Bye for now. Tx

Friday, 16 June 2017

Tastes of Summer

Thank you for all your comments regarding the Pension Post and doing Frugal things.
Well the frugality continues. Hubby had to work yesterday which is unusual so I went on the hunt early morning for the creamy white elderflower heads to make elderflower cordial and champagne.  While I was busy collecting them down a country lane away from traffic I heard a voice say 'What's she doing?' quickly followed by a couple of cold noses on my shins, I looked down to see two lovely bundles of fluff which were apparently shih-zue, yorkie cross dogs. A young man and his girlfriend were walking their dogs along the path, I turned just as the young lady said ' I think she is collecting elderflowers'.  All I can say is never judge a book by its cover, the male who was  a heavily  tattooed,  baseball capped loud young man was very intrigued.  He was asking me lots of questions about how I would make it.  How is it drunk? Was it alcoholic? He proved to be a great help reaching the elderflowers high up in the trees even risking being stung by stinging nettles. We parted company after getting a carrier bag full of flower heads.
What a glorious setting. The sea is less than a mile away
Once I got home I cracked on with making the cordial, but I didn't have enough heads to make champagne. Hubby loves getting involved in making things and was a little miffed that I made a batch without him. He did spend the evening making two small pots of jam ! (gooseberry & cherry) He got up very early this morning to collect  elderflowers for champagne and more cordial. The first batch of elderflower cordial has been bottled while the second lot is still soaking.  The champagne is in a large bucket covered with muslin, it will be checked regularly over the next two days to see if it starts to ferment naturally, if it doesn't start to bubble a small pinch of yeast will be added to trigger the process. I'll update you on that.
The weather has been super warm and the evenings are spent watering, feeding and trimming various plants around the garden.  The strawberries are coming thick and fast now, we are enjoying them with yoghurt and cream. The raspberries are fewer but just as delicious. The pea pods are starting to form on the plants and we should have more dwarf beans ready by the weekend and we continue to have lettuce with everything! 

Got to dash, off to watch two of the grandchildren take part in  the sports day. Back soon. Tx