Thursday, 18 December 2014

George .. Dresser And Cristmas Wreath Thriftiness..



 Hello there ...
Well.. yes .. a very busy day here today.

But first of all .. thank you for all the nice comments about George .. I will pass them on to him.

He is indeed a light Sussex .. he was raised .. from an egg ... by my Aunt who lives over the hill ..
There were a few cockerels in the batch .. and of course they needed re homing ... 
more than one in a run and they fight like crazy.
When she first asked if we could take one I said unfortunately .. No .. we had our dear old Rocky ..

Ancient as he was .. he still saw himself as a gladiator .. and there would have been trouble.

Sadly we lost Rocky .. as age takes us all .. he just faded away.

George was still looking for a home so we offered to take him.
He is quite at home and romancing the Girls ... who knows what spring may bring!

The weather today was awful .. so Hubby P decided to work at home rather than try and trade ...
He has so much to do ... there is always so much to do..


 More bits of the rustic pine dresser .. ready to be fitted..


 A glittery Hubby P trying the doors for size ...
He's not always just so shiny .. the flash on the camera caught the fluorescent strips on his 'allovers'....!

Dresser is coming on nicely ... I have found some nice rustic .. make do and mend-y type handles for the doors ... 
 Hubby P made them from spoons years ago.

I do love a handmade thrifty thing!

Speaking of which ... I found this in a box of house clearance stuff.


 Quite pretty in itself ... but I thought it would look quite nice as a wreath ... 
with a bit of greenery around it.
I had a foray into the wet garden and pulled a handful of branches from the manky looking leylandi tree in the hedge .. 
and a couple of sprigs of Ivy from off the wall ...
 nothing fancy at all ...its all I could find really.


 I fastened them around the pine cone 'wreath' with sewing cotton and a needle ... and yes ..
 you guessed it .. because it twas all I could find.

A few bits of bright ribbon added a burst of colour ... 
and I thought .. well that will do.

After all its just going outside to brighten up the doorway .. 
it will get blown about by the wind.. and rained on ...
 it will be fine.


A fine Thrifty Thing .. twill do us nicely ..!

Take care .. Bye for now x


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Hurrah For George ... Every Girls Dream Date ..!



 Hello there ...
Just thought I would introduce you to the new Chap ...
Say Hello to George .. the cockerel .. isn't he rugged and handsome ..!

Yes George is his name .. short for Chicken George ... or (I think more fitting) George Clooney ...
 he has that handsome suave silver look about him.


The weather has been fairly mild for an hour or two mid mornings ..
 although colder.. and dark as the day progresses. Still no real heavy frosts .. 
I can still find some pretty colours in the garden.

We gave the chicken shed a good clear out .. raked all the deep bedding (shavings).. out into the run .. it will beak down nicely into good compost for spring.
We find this system  works really well ... deep bed with an outdoor run .. for the chickens .. 
Hubby P is free range.
 We used a large bag/bale of shavings over the last 8 mths or so .. just topping up once or twice with a smaller bag.
 It has stayed dry and friable .. very 'scratchable' .. it absorbs all soil from the hens and there is little smell in the house.
We don't over stock .. we have four hens .. they give us enough eggs and we so enjoy having them just outside our door ...
I can hear them chatting to each other as they go about their daily scratchings.


Once cleaned out we put down new litter ..
 Rather than shavings Hubby P bought this chopped oilseed rape straw .. its supposed to be super absorbent .. and cheaper than shavings.
The 'Girls' seemed to find it all rather interesting .. giving it a good old scratch about.


We introduced George to the Girls yesterday .. 
I think they were a bit taken aback by his rugged manliness at first ...
 they were a bit wary .. 
mind you they had only ever known Rocky ( a bumbling little bantam cock).
They settled on the perches for the night .. poor George was one end and the Girls cuddled up together at the other end.
We checked again an hour later and one of the Girls had cuddled up to George ...
And today..  Oh yes! .. he has won them over ...

All was peace and harmony with George keeping a wary eye over them.

And he has a wonderful ... robust crow!

Such a show off!

Take care x bye for now x

Monday, 15 December 2014

Thrifty Boots .. Boot Boy!



 Hello there ...
Well its been a day of assessing the footwear situation .. in readiness for the bad weather..
By that I mean Hubby P has managed to wear out all his work boots .. they all had some hole or other in them!

We got them all out and .. and the ones deemed useful and sturdy.. Hubby P then gave a good polish  ..
just look what a good job he has made of my pink boots ..
I shall feel rather festive wearing them!

So ... what to do .. good leather boots are so expensive.

Luckily .. the other week we had a clearance and one box was full of outdoor/walking stuff...
including some good old fashioned walking boots.


What a find ... two pairs in Hubby P's size .. and one pair in my size.
Hardly worn at all .. still that 'new leather' stiffness to them.
I think someone had bought all the gear .. all good intentions of a new hobby .. 
but didn't really get into it .. for whatever reason.
 

I always keep a good stock of polish and whatnot ... any bits and pieces .. 
shoe laces etc .. that I come across .. you never know what you are going to need. 
Hubby P gave his 'new' boots a good old Dubbing .. to waterproof them.


 They must have sat in the cupboard a good whiley .. they are fairly vintage .. nowadays walking boots are more kind nylon-y.
But they will do us for roughing it at work and around the garden.

People may turn their nose up at wearing 'secondhand' shoes ... but I bet the Charity Shops do a roaring trade in shoes .. good ones are so expensive.
At least our feet will be warm and dry this winter ... and I for one am grateful for anything passed my way.

Thank you for all your comments on the mushrooms.

I made a big pan of soup .. Chicken and Mushroom .... I had just a handful of cooked chicken left from tea .. so we had soup for lunch .. and very nice it was too. 
There is some left for me to take to work tomorrow in my soup flask.


And something a bit exotic for me ... this was Pam's (My New Life In Wales) idea .. 
Mushrooms, can of chickpeas, bit of onion, cumin and curry powder mixed with some oil and roasted .. I added a bit of red pepper ...
I must say it was lip smacking good ... really tasty.
As you can see I did a bit of plain rice ... I had used hot curry powder .. 
so it had a kick and the rice toned it down a bit .. and a dollop of sweet chili sauce .. lovely.
And some left .. nice cold I thought with a few fresh tomatoes .. yum.

Plus two big bags of mushrooms in the freezer for another day.

That's me for today .. not really exciting .. but we live a quiet life ...
and March To Our Own Drum .. as they say.

Take care xx bye for now x


Sunday, 14 December 2014

I Do Like To Peel A Thrifty Mushroom ...



 Hello there ..
Hope you have had a good day ... 
We've been working today .. it was cold .. but profitable...hey ho!

Just stopped by to show you my bargain of the day ...
just a case of being in the right place at the right time.

The veg stall had bags of these mushrooms in a box ... 
50p a bag... 
They don't look great .. getting past their best (but arn't we all!) ... 
but still good food .. good eating.

Nice people the veg stall ... a family run business ...
 On the '50p a bag ' sign some one had written 'ideal for soup'...
 Great marketing ploy because some people just wouldn't know what to do with .. urmm ..
 produce past its best ... or 'manky mushrooms' as a friend of mine remarked!

Anyway .. I know Hubby P isn't a great fan of mushrooms so I picked up just one bag ..
 thought I'd make a drop of soup for me .. I love soup ... as you know.
It was halfway through the day and obviously the manky mushrooms were not a great seller ..
 so the lady gave me a bag for free ... how kind ...
 I'm sure I will find something to do with them.



 Once we got in from work .. got the fire lit and the house warmed up ... 
To be honest I wasn't up to much..
So I had an enjoyable hour .. by the fire peeling mushrooms.
Once I had taken the outer skin off ... they were fine ... firm and wholesome flesh.
 And I found it a very therapeutic thing to do ....  
bit like peeling sunburn skin .. or is that a bit yuck!


So here they are ... a big colander full ..
What shall I do with them all ... a little soup perhaps ... any ideas?

Its funny/sad the kind of thing that can make a Girls day ... ha ha.

Keep warm and toasty 
Bye for now x

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What A Dreary Day ..... A Thrifty Pie Kinda Day!



 Hello there ....
Well .. what a dreary sort of day ..
 I don't think it really ever got properly light ... and so cold.

As you can see from the top pic .. Hubby P now has good/proper lighting in his workshop ....
so that means he can work ... every hour possible ... 
Not that he would for a moment consider himself 'Driven' as they say on the Talk Shows!

But well .. he is always doing something .. and the lack of good lighting in his workshop was always a problem for him ...
Not so for me .. at least I knew he would be in for his tea when it was too dark to see..

Anyway enough of our little domestic issues ...

Whats for tea ?
Something warming and sufficiently stodgy to warm our cockles on this dreary day ...
and of course Thrifty ... money is tight over the winter months.


 I thought a gammon and egg pie would be welcome.
I had bought some very thrifty gammon pieces the other week ... 
cheap and cheerful because they were the end of the 'gammon' .. all misshapen end-y slices ..
not that it mattered to me .. they taste just the same.
So I pulled a pack from the freezer .. defrosted and chopped into small pieces .. fried up with an onion.

Made a lump of simple shortcrust pastry.
There was so much of the gammon and onion mix I made two pies .. 
I cracked a couple of eggs on to the mix and plonked on a pastry top.


I had some pastry left so I made an apple pie .. I have one or two apples hanging around.
Not that we will eat the Apple pie tonight ... two lots of pastry may be a bit much.
But we can have it tomorrow ... just lovely with some warm custard.


I switched the oven off and put one of the gammon and egg pies back in to keep warm...
we will have it for tea with some cheapo beans ..

I put the 'spare' pie in the freezer for another day.

This afternoon was so dark .... 
I had all the lights on in the house just to see where I was going ...

Just the sort of day a Girl wants to sit by a nice fire and read a comforting book.



 These are my 'go to books' when I need a comforting read.
I must re read them every winter .. to me they are like a warm comforting blanket .. they make me feel good .. its gentle escapism.
I do so love the Miss Read books .. they tell of a gentler time ... idealised life in a small village...
warm .. funny stories ... 
and I really did go to a village school just like the one in Fairacre.

But no doubt I am preaching to the converted .. a lot of you will be familiar with Miss Read.


Now just look at these wonderful illustrations ...



 Hubby P found these hardback versions of Lillian Beckwith's books ... again much treasured.
If you like stories of simple village life with all the funny .. lively .. quirky characters of a rural village .. 
then again you will love the tales of life in a Hebridian Isle.


 Well its time to go and drag Hubby P out from his workshop ....


Here he is busily repairing and renovating ... recycling and restoring ...
Make Do and Mending ...

We will have lots of new stock to take out Trading at the weekend ...
lets hope people want to buy ..
And keep us small traders in business .... keep the money flowing around our small community.
  
Enough of me .. what about you .. have you had the chance to snuggle up with a comfy book?

Bye for now x


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Energy Of Kindness ...

 Hello there ...


Well what a day ... its been awfully cold .. wet and blowing me to bits..
 We were standing the Car Boot Sale today ..  
And although we were mostly undercover .. I was .. well .. just cold and miserable.

But .. we had a good old natter with the hardy types that ventured out .. and made some money .. 
which always helps ..ha ha...!

Anyway .. whats all this about Kindness .. and Energy ....
 it all sounds a bit  'Hippy Dippy'  I know..

Well I was just thinking ... Hubby P shudders when I say 'I was Just Thinking'!

But I was ... thinking .. this afternoon as I warmed up by the fire ...

It had been a hard morning .. wet and cold ...
but then two lovely things happened ... two kindly ... unrelated little happenings ..

A regular customer .. a rather strict looking man .. reserved but friendly ...
 likes a chat with Hubby P ...
but sometimes I feel a bit ferocious ... 

Anyway he hands me a parcel in his decisive quiet way and goes off to talk to Hubby P.

 I'm left holding an oven ready pheasant .

So Kind in his quiet way.

Then later my ... not so quiet .. rather.. umm chatty really ... friend...
pops over from her stall...
 with a big bag of the most enormous apples.

'Can you make use of these' ... I certainly can!

How Kind of her to think of me ... and Hubby P's fondness of all things coming out of the oven.

Now I feel Kindness .. Thoughtfulness ... Caring ... Sharing ... all those kind of things have their own energy...
 and like a snowball .. gather size and strength if they are kept moving ...

Pay if Forward they say ... yes indeed ... keep the positive energy moving ... spread it around ... 
let everyone have a little ... include everyone.
We must all pull together and do these little kindnesses where and when we can ...
without human kindness we are lost.

So just a little tiny Pay It Forward ...
Some of the apples turned into a simple apple crumble ..
 one for us ...
 and one for friend up the lane..


It was a last minute thought ... I had the oven on to warm up some faggots for tea ... 
so I had to fill the oven space ...
A simple crumble ... I tend to rub a bit of butter into the flour and add whatever is lurking in the cupboard ..
today it was a handful of porridge oats, few chopped nuts, sprinkle of brown sugar and a scattering of coconut...
All plonked on the chopped apple, a knob of butter and sprinkle of sugar.



They look a bit rough and ready ... 
but I am sure they will hit the spot later with some nice warm instant custard.

The Pheasant I put in the freezer ... a little secret ... its Hubby P's Birthday tomorrow ...
 gettin' older don't ya know! 
So knowing him he will want his all time favorite .. Shepherds Pie for tea.

Pheasant will make a lovey warming meal over the next week or two.



And on a different note altogether ... look what I found today ...
 gosh .. 
this took me back to when I was about 16 ... dressing up to go out ... 
I thought I was the bee's knees...
It still smells the same ... ha ha ...
and I still love it ...

Well enough of me .... I'm off to have my Apple crumble ... will think of you Angela.

Take care .. keep warm x

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Oooo .. Its Crazy Hat Weather



 Hello there ... 
I know! ... three posts in a row .... my things must be slow here!

Hows this pic for a bare all .. work a day .. selfie!

You can tell its a bit nippy .. more skins than an onion....

We've been loading the van ready for trading tomorrow at Mona Car Boot Sale .... 
and I was taking some pic's for our work Facebook page ...
 just search Graig Trading ...
 if you are interested in our workaday stuff...

So I thought you might like to see some of tomorrows stock .. and whatnot.

I tend to forget to take the camera to work .. 
and I miss some great stuff that I think would make an interesting post ... 

I suppose I should embrace technology and get a camera phone.



How about these lovelies ... Vintage 1960/70's chairs .. 
in great condition . and so comfy.
I think these will go pretty quick .. there is a great demand for this mid century stuff.



Hubby P's nicely restored Vintage tools .. always a good seller .... 
often bought to give as gifts.

And cases .. always cases ..
 it seems the world and his wife want cases ...
 as storage under the bed .. 
as decorative storage on top of wardrobes ... 
to stack in the corner of a room ...
mind you I must say .. I do like the look and feel of a nice suitcase.



 A quick snap inside one of the units .. a little display of wartime books etc ...

Its always nice to find an interesting book ... 

a body can never have too many books.


These are interesting .. I don't think I have shown you these...

We found them last time we went on a buying trip ..
 they are huge and will need a nice big house to display them ... 
but Wow! .. what beauties ..

They are the real thing .. true vintage shabby chic ..

Made from plaster and horsehair over a wooden frame ..
  they resemble ceiling roses but they are/were made to cover vents in an old theatre.
 The old chap at the antique shop (in Accrington) said he had cleared the old cinema down the road ...
 now as a girl I knew it as the Odeon .. 
but before that I think it was the Regal .. before that I think it was a theatre.

He said they pulled the plaster mouldings down and he was amazed that they were only held up by 'a couple of old rusty nails'.. 

I thought they would be nice simply hung/stood against a wall .. especially in a nice conservatory with lots of greenery .. lovely old things.

Anyway I have rattled on more than I intended ... time for tea.

Take care .. bye for now x