Wednesday 15 April 2015

Middle of the week yeah!!

Well it's official. I made it half way through my first week back after the holidays. Work has been ok though today has been testing as I've been told my job is changing. It's not for a while so I'll keep my head down and earning those pennies until I'm told otherwise.

GH has been busy working on another piece of woodwork. This one was more testing than the first as the letters couldn't be completed the same way. It's all good learning for him though. I'm very impressed still.

The chickens are in full swing and are giving us an average of 4 a day. Egg recipes in the near future I think.

I'm trying to get myself up a bit earlier each morning. I'd love to class myself as a morning person but there's nothing I want more when I wake up than to nod back off to sleep! So with that in mind, I'm off to read a bit of poirot then sleep. Alarm at 6:00 rising at 6:10 maybe? Place your bets!

Monday 13 April 2015

Utility bills and keeping the costs down.

Well hello! This is my first attempt to post to the blog from the blogger app, so forgive me if it doesn't look as it should.

Ok so today's thoughts revolve around the gas and electricity bill that I've just had to pay. It was expected of course. I just hate parting with hard earned cash to the utility companies.

Our energy usage for the gas is up 12% on last year. This is due to the cold weather we've had this month and the hot weather we had last year. Polar opposites it would seem.

The energy company rang me with a better deal and I refused as I don't trust them! So I logged in and decided to find one myself. We used to pay £170 a month when I was carefree with money (useless more like).  Now we pay £90 as I've just moved over to a new tarrif from pay quarterly.

It's got me thinking again about how to reduce the cost of the gas and the electric. We've already done a whole host of things including getting rid of the tumble dryer, ensuring lights are off, use the woodburner, only wash dirty clothes opposed to just because they've been worn once. We reduce water use, shower time, bath use etc, I cook more than one meal when the oven is on, make sure the freezer is full to run efficiently, run the dish washer on the quick cycle for the most part and use the economy setting on the washing machine. These are just to name a few but I need to get back into that way of thinking.

It's not just for the gas and electricity either, the grocery bill needs to stay low and can only be done with planning. Fuel consumption needs to be brought back in check and general spends need to remain low.

So combined with an hour or so work tonight, I shall be getting my brain working as to how to keep or get the bills down.

Starting with the heating is now off until the winter. We have the woodburner for emergencies, but it's physically off at the boiler now. The kids will stay warm in their beds on cooler nights with extra blankets such as this gorgeous one my amazing mum crocheted for them.

Friday 10 April 2015

The end of my week off - but I'm still smiling.

I can't believe Friday evening is here already!  Where has my week off gone?  Well truth be told, I know where and I have loved every minute of it.

Last night I made the largest bread that my new breadmaker will do - it's called XL and it is that for a reason!  I know you can buy some huge loaves in the shops but I personally have ever made one, until last night.

It doesn't look big in the picture but it is ginormous.
We've had another lovely day at the yard though the larger horse has had a cough for a few weeks on and off now.  She's not doing too well so we are going to have to get the vet out I think.  The question now is do we call her tomorrow or wait until Tuesday.  She's waited this long so I'm inclined to wait until Tuesday but is that wrong?  I will see how she is in the morning and if I need to, I will call them out.

The kids and I have been to a local free outdoor play area and place of natural beauty today with my Mam.  We really enjoyed it and it was a nice couple of hours out. 

I have a few midgie bites for my troubles though.

Farm life is now 1 year and 8 months before they can become real!

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Bath day!

What an amazing day we have had. It was bath day for the pony and he was super good. I'm very impressed. He also popped a little jump without any fuss for Dd so he is in the good books today. We spent all day at the yard and today will be one for the memory books.

We came home and the kids visited grandparents for an hour whilst GH and I set about getting his car warning light sorted. All fixed now for the decent cost of £10.

I've just made a quick but tasty tea of pasta with tuna, leek, sweetcorn, garlic and mushrooms. It was really tasty and cheap so a great combination.

The great big spring clean is coming along slowly though I think we will need to break it down into more chunks as the house is too big to tackle on a sunny week off. I've still got an inventory of the pantry, fridge and freezer to do. Then tomorrow I'll shop at aldi for a small top up as we've ran out of cordial and dishwasher tablets.

It's a bit chilly tonight so instead of putting the heating on GH has put the woodburner and it's lovely.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Doggy update (plus GH's woodwork starter pieces).

Can you see the size of my left ear? :(
Well Buddy has been to the vets and they said we're looking around £800 just for the draining of his ear.  That's not a fee we're prepared to pay for an operation that isn't guaranteed to return, nor is a life saver operation.  So back to home remedies and managing this ourselves with a little bit of help from daily steroids for him.  So today I have paid out £42 for steroids and a vet check up. 

In the mean time GH has bought himself a scroll saw and has been practicing on some items to keep the kids happy.  Hopefully we can end up making a few pounds on this once he manages well.  Not bad for a first attempt?

New breadmaker, poorly dog & Easter holidays.

It's Tuesday and GH is back to work so it's just the kids, me and the animals.  We have had the loveliest time off together so far.  Sunday we went to Raby castle together and took Buddy (our black Labrador).  He really enjoyed it being out and we loved walking around the grounds and seeing the deer.  We didn't go to the castle itself as we didn't want to leave him in the car alone, plus it was cheaper not to.  We have been inside before though and really enjoyed it.

4 out of 5 looking the right way!
Buddy's head with deer in the background.

Poor Buddy had a haematoma in his left ear though today.  It happened a couple of days ago and now the vets is open I'm heading over to see what we can do.  He's had one before and they do self heal but this has come back worse than the first and is causing him discomfort.  I'd like to find out the root cause which is why he's shaking his head which results in the haematoma.  We already know he has allergies but depending on what the allergy is (expensive to find out and requires a GA) there may be nothing we can do anyway.  So I'm going to find out and pick up his latest prescription of steroids (which he has to control the allergies).  Wish me luck.

In other news though, my lovely parents bought us a new bread maker for Easter and after a tester loaf, I now have one in for them as a thank you.  It'll be done in four hours so a late lunch maybe.? It's a Panasonic SD 2500 and looks great.  It will see us through our time in this house and hopefully beyond.  The first loaf turned out a bit light.  This was done on rapid bake for a large loaf.

Tonight I will post he pictures of GH's new adventure, he is doing great with it but I've just not had time to upload them yet.  For now I am off to the vets, then on with the great big spring clean, stables, tea and relax.

Thursday 2 April 2015

Happy April - Let the holidays commence!

Well at lunch time I finished work for 10.5 days now and I couldn't be happier!!! 

I have already spring cleaned the master bedroom and hoovered and steamed downstairs.  I pulled the bed out (no mean feat) along with the bedside tables, hoovered under the wardrobes, under the bed, did the skirting boards and washed the windows and sills.  Then I only put back on the bed side table what should be there and gave the other things a home.  I'm really impressed with the results and hopefully it will stay like that for a good while.

I also steamed the carpets though I am not entirely sure what that achieved.

Downstairs and the stairs got a really good hoovered and then the kitchen and hallway steamed.  I'll wash the steamer cloth and do it again when I get round to doing the kitchen and hallway's deep clean.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, how sad some would say!

The weather is lovely and sunny so we took the dog out for a lovely run over the local quarry and there was no one around so he had a good run and stretched out his old legs whilst the kids went on little adventures.  He's now flaked for the next hour no doubt and they are busy in the garden again.
Buddy thoroughly content
The kids having an adventure

GH is at the gym, tea is cooking and after that my daughter and I will head out to the farm to get the pony rode and the horse turned out for an hour.  I'm hoping the weather holds so that we can get out for another nice walk. 

What a fabulous first afternoon off.  Tonight when I'm back I shall be indulging in a wine or three. This truly is time to have farm life dreams :)

week 17 w/c 22 April Just photos :)

April 22, 2024 - Week 17