Living the simple life

I am Goth by nature, a carer by choice and a crafter by habit. living the Old Style way, spending less and making what I can myself. I follow Money Saving Expert and NYK forum avidly and am working to be debt free.

I shop wisely as every penny counts, my stock cupboard is my solution to any problem.

My home is full of craft stuff and I love making things for my grandson Michael who is the reason I get up everyday. My kids are the best in the world and I thank them for being there for me and John

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

My New Favourite Place

This oasis of calm is Michaels new school. A specialist autism school 5 minutes from our house. I think they built it with him in mind. His previous school was wonderful but it was decided he needed a special place more attuned to his needs. Jenni and Ant fought long and hard to get him a place and it turned out the education committee failed to notify them that there was a place in September. During a meeting about the boy a very embarrassed representative of the committee was put on the spot about it and he started part  time 2 days later. It was apparent after a week that he had found his niche and last week he finally went full time.

The difference in him is amazing, he is trying new things everyday from foods to situations. He is making decisions that were previously impossible and the set in stone arrangements for him staying with us are now being changed by him. After 6 years I am now able to have weekends off and do those things that only occur on a Saturday. He is happy to stay with Mummy and Daddy at weekends or stay Friday night instead.

Its not that we don't want him here its that we want him to spend quality time at home especially in the summer. We will have him here anytime he wants and love every minute but Grandy gets tired and I am struggling with lack of sleep due to a frozen shoulder and carpal tunnel in my left arm and hand.

Good news yesterday that he will have transport from next week so the entire family can stop juggling things to get him too and from school - its too far from his house to walk and buses in Manchester are terribly unreliable nowadays. Things can then settle more for all concerned.

This morning he went in early to use the soft play area before school starts - what a fab start to the day! He was a little unsure as he had an accident in there last week but we mentioned it when we took him and they phoned Mummy to assure her he thoroughly enjoyed it - what more could you want!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Rainy Saturday

I have a weekend off as Michael decided to change thins around and stayed last night instead of tonight. John dropped me at the chemist - which was shut!!- so I walked to the shops while he drove Jenni and the kids to the shops to meet her friend for coffee.

10 minutes later my phone rang - 'the clutch is playing up on the car - AA duly dispatched a very nice man and I walked back to Jennis in the pouring rain. Luckily I only had a little bit of shopping as I only got as far as the Asian supermarket.

Half an hour later the nice AA man followed us home and we booked the car in for Monday, its nothing major...phew

I am now spending my weekend off wrapped in a cosy blanket and practising 'Hygge'. Baked potatoes and chicken in the oven which will warm the house and dry my coat when it comes out of the washer.

Picked up this big bag of Biriyani spices for £1.99. They need crushing in the pestle but will lasta long time. When you think a little bottle of spices at the supermarket are anywhere from £1 to £3 this was a bargain and I use a lot of spices to stretch food.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

January Blues

This is how Banjo and I feel at the moment! My arm is still very painful and not working particularly well  but am managing a little crafting.

The boy is now enrolled in a special school where he is in a class of 7! He is calmer and much happier than ever before. Its an oasis of calm at the Grange which is perfect for him. Gone are the stresses and strains of regular school.

Beth is coming on fast and saying lots of words now. She will literally eat anything you put in front of her so the cat keeps out of her way.

We are so busy helping out with the children we are not getting much time for ourselves and when we do one or both of us is worn out and in pain but on Saturday we are going out for coffee and a whizz round the garden centre ( hopefully).

Now I'm going to get on my soapbox. I watched a programme called ' A Plastic Tide' the other night and it has driven me to try and encourage everyone to be aware of the consequences of buying things in plastic wrapping. Please pop a cloth bag if possible or a bag for life in your pocket when you think you may be shopping. If you can buy your veg from a local market without packaging, try it. Bottled water is the biggest waste of money there is as mostly in the UK our tap water is lovely, so pick up a re- usable bottle ( £ shops usually have them) and take water with you instead of buying. These tiny steps will make a huge difference over time.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Cold November with a smattering of boredom.


These 2 are keeping me on my toes at the moment. Boo is the great adventurer now and carries the stool across the room to reach whatever she wants! She is besotted with the cat who sits patiently while she strokes his toes. Michael is on his best behaviour lately with us and finally sleeping better. No more 4 am's - phew.
I am not doing so well myself as in the last 3 months have been diagnosed with more arthritis - in my lower back, carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist and worst of all either bursitis or inflamed ligament also in my left arm. This is seriously cramping my style I cant knit, crochet or sew for more than a few minutes and its painful and boring!!!

So am making decorations for the tree and a few bits for gifts. I am hoping for a steroid injection asap which will help the arm and stop the pain a bit.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Pinching those pennies.

Tough month with little income means I need to polish my frugal skills. Luckily the pantry has 2 shelves full of various bits and bobs and the tin cupboard is still full. Muscle foods order is now getting to the end but I must say it was a worth while (and lucky) purchase. The chicken breast are amazing. 

Due to the heat we had pasta salad and rice tonight with a boiled egg and a piece of pork pie. I actually  thought I had run out of pasta - nooooo - found several packs in the pantry ...phew...

Sadly when the S*** hits the fan I always start making things to sell however there is no point to that as I cannot sell anything due to the stupid rules when benefits change - Dagnab it!

One thing we will be able to rely on this year is soft fruit as  the garden is positively groaning with strawberries, raspberries and red currants. The strawberries are either from my dear friend Annie, posted from London a couple of years ago or from 2 bedraggled 50p half dead plants from Homebase a while ago.

Raspberries are all from Annie posted with a bit of damp kitchen roll wrapped round the base of the cuttings.

Redcurrant has been in the garden for about 6 years after being bought from Aldi. I bore no fruit for 3 years, it basically just sat there then on the 4 th year its had one bunch of fruit since then its been so prolific I cannot believe it.

3 years ago my Mum bought me 4 apple tree's that were a bargain from D T Brown nursery - I picked M9's so I wouldn't over crowd the garden and its worked perfectly.

Last year I grabbed a patio pear tree from Morrisons for £7 and that is doing very well this year so we will see what they are like. If they are hard I will add them to pies or jam.

I am trying to keep busy and so far have recovered a seat cushion for hubby and turned up Dgs's school pants. Tonight I am going to make some cards as I keep wanting to send cards to friends and find I have none in stock. Also need a new baby card as a friend is due to pop this week.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Moral Of the Story

I started a tiny business in December and last week had to close it due to government ineptitude. They could not grasp that I was starting a business that only earned me £30 a week! I hoped to grow it slowly but surely and be able to support myself. Add to that Johns benefits changed as he had run out of contribution based ESA. So they left us with a little PIP and my carers allowance to live on.

They even stopped the rent payments and expected me to pay them from £30 a week - un-bloody-believable. Oh and they stopped my tax credits due to the change of ESA.

I see so many people with online business's and at craft fairs and just wonder how many of them have gone down the legitimate route?

Anyway am filling in paperwork every day and crossing my fingers.

Tomorrow we have a medical to see if Hubby is fit for work, I am guessing there are few jobs where you can take your wife to work, be able to have a shower and a nap but we will see.

Mean while these two are keeping me busy. Boo is standing up now and shouts very loudly when she wants something. Pickle is the sweetest boy but struggling with stress though he tries very hard to understand everything. He has an enquiring mind and asks things like 'Why does February have the wrong number of days?'

I now have a house full of things I have made so am packing everything away. I have turned our old office off the kitchen into a sewing room and hope to be in there soon making some nice things for the family.

The garden is full off wee plants which will hopefully give us lots of vegetables and fruit. Pickle is already inspecting the raspberry plants as he adores picking them and of course eating them right away.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Fresh Fields

Pickle and Boo now have a shop on Folksy! Its a small start but will be filling up soon.
Here are 2 of the listings to start with.



B for Boo and bears! Boo has fallen in love with just a few of my bear collection and looks for them every time she comes over. In fact today I couldn't part her from one and she dragged it into her car seat. Luckily he ended up in the car or he would have never been seen again.

Pickle is still practising his pknitting, as he calls it. He has come along in leaps and bounds of late and is baffling his teachers as if you give him a date he will tell you what day of the week it is. Yesterday he asked if we were going on holiday next week because its the same week we went last year - amazing memory.