Thursday, 22 February 2018

Arming teachers

Somebody explain to me how arming teachers helps improve the gun situation in America.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Paying for medical help? and a poorly dog

Hello Bloggy Friends
In my last post I talked about feeling vulnerable as many of my friends struggle with different issues as they grow older and I become aware that maybe I'm next. The support my friends  have had from our wonderful NHS has made their difficulties more tolerable
This post was on facebook after the latest shootings in the US. I thought it seemed a bit extreme and wondered how accurate it was or whether the author was perhaps a little jaded. So I am asking my bloggy friends in the States what they think of this.
In case you are not aware of how it works here in the UK. If you had been injured in the Manchester bombing you would not have had to find a penny either for the initial intervention nor for any follow up surgery, advice or rehab, all of which could go on for months and years.The NHS is funded by those who work through National Insurance contributions and Government monies ,and with no contributions at all from those that don't work or are disabled or elderly, with no upper limit on the amount of treatment received by anyone. (yes I know that this is simplistic view, but pretty accurate)
Since starting this post I have just read Leigh's ("Five Acres and a Dream") post which rather seems to demonstrate the above posts' point. Leigh is having to crowd fund further medical assistance for her husbands' injured fingers.
So guys, what do you think? What is your experience? What about people with long term mental health problems ?
I guess my thoughts on gun law should wait for another day!

On an entirely different subject we are all fingers crossed here for our dear Coda. Coda is the yellow lab you can see on my header, he belongs to my eldest granddaughter and comes here daily for doggy daycare. He is an absolute sweetheart with a generous and loving nature but, like many labs has had problems with his joints since he was a pup. He has arthritis in his fore legs and has had a fatty lump growing in a rear joint for some time. This was removed a few years ago as it was growing round his ligaments. The lump has now returned and it looks as though it has become cancerous with more growths in the same leg. We await the results with trepidation , as if the growths are malignant he will have to have the leg amputated. At times like this I wish I believed in God so that I could pray for a good result, which might make me feel better  even though it would in no way affect the result!
I have all sorts of subjects and issues going around in my head at the moment and if I can find time I will write a few posts to empty my head!
Until then
Bye for now
Ps. A big hello to Carla Valero and Lyn Palmer on the follower bar and Gem and Anne Christine Simpson on Bloglovin Great to see you here.x

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

On feeling vulnerable and up to date

Hello All
Firstly Hello to Charlotte Weaver, Jennifer and Fenella Rowe on Bloglovin and Jennifer Williams on the follower bar. Thanks so much for following, especially as I am such a tardy blogger!

As as I have said in my last blog, there are several changes happening here in frugalderbyshireland. One of the outcomes of my youngest daughter moving away for a year or two  has been the rehoming of her cats and dog. As Sammie, her black labrador, comes to us for doggie day care and has separation anxiety issues the obvious choice of new home is us! Over the next few months while she is splitting herself between two other jobs he is spending much of his time here anyway and when she goes to Jersey he will stay with us full time. As for her cats..she has three, or I should say HAD three as she has gradually rehomed them over the last month. Her older long haired tortoiseshell has gone to her son's, her younger ginger haired three-legged cat now lives with her daughter and her huge, grey, half bengal, psycho cat is now with us ! After losing our Dixie last year we have missed having a cat and Baloo (also known as Beebop) is fitting in well and has made himself at home. Baloo is unfazed by dogs and has made it clear to Coda ( my eldest granddaughter's dog who comes here for daycare) and Sammie just where they are in the pecking order.
Coda and Baloo went missing yesterday. I hunted around the house and found them on my bed!

 Here is Baloo again with Coda (and me) sharing a sofa this time.

 Over the last year my circle of friends has been affected by illness, disability, death and accidents. I am beginning to feel like the last man standing! Being in our 70s I suppose I shouldn't be surprised but I really am starting to wonder if perhaps I might not be invincible  and perhaps it could happen to me. I am currently the only person in my circle of friends who takes no medication (my choice) and is, on the whole, pretty well. This is fortuitous, as I lead an active life, but when my close friend, who I see at least weekly, slipped and broke her ankle a couple of weeks ago, I wondered how we would cope if that happened to me. I suppose I would delegate tasks to others (and there are less and less of them!) and some things would have to wait a while, but what I fear most is that I think I would go stir-crazy being immobilised.

Quick up to date here on what has been happening on the old homestead -
We've been really busy with the Civic Society and Canal Society this month and my "office" looks as though a bomb has hit it! I wish I was tidier, I really try but somehow other things take over and I drift off from the chaos. I look at pictures on other people's blogs and think how good it would be to be that organised.
I have started the early seeds off under the propagator with the help of my grandson's partner. She is unable to work because of a disability, but has been really helpful with this task and we have quite a good system going. We have also started on the huge fabric stash, cutting out patchwork pieces and shopping bags.
I'm taking the last veggies from the garden now. Kale, beetroot, brussels and celeriac (I had some salad leaves but the chickens found them!) I made a lovely gratin type dish the other day with the celeriac. I just layered slices of potato, celeriac, onion and grated cheese into an ovenproof dish, poured a little vegetable stock and cooked for 30 mins. it was a great hit with the family.
For the first time this winter the river has been up to the banks, though not over. In past years it has broken it's banks and flooded a little of the paddock. The weather is till pretty mild on the whole, but then winter is not really over yet is it?
We have bought a new car. We expect this will last us for the remainder of our driving lives. It is another Berlingo multispace, which suits our lifestyle. The car salesman was somewhat bemused to hear how many bales of hay, pallets and lambs could be carried in a Berlingo!.. "Could you send a photo for our facebook page"? he asked
Lastly, it looks as though we are on lockdown because of Bird Flu again. really?! Come on . It's almost impossible.
Back Soon

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Hello All and a Happy New Year
Well Christmas has come and gone. Much as I enjoy it I also like to return to normal (whatever that is!)
Christmas day was lovely, after a shaky start when the power went off at 8.15, an hour after I had put the very large turkey in the oven. I looked outside and there were no Christmas lights to be seen so I gathered it wasn't us, but a general power cut. You could almost hear all the households screaming Noooooooo! I decided to go outside and see to the hens and rabbits. On my return 20 minutes later the phone was ringing. it was my granddaughter ringing from her father's house, some fifteen miles away. "Is your power off"? she asked  "Blimey" I thought,"Tthis is a major outage". "Why yes", I replied (as it came back on) "Are you off too?" "No I saw it on ... (local friend) facebook post!" So all was back on and I spent a goodly while thinking about what I would have done if the power had been off for the morning. I do like a challenge, especially a self-sufficient, SHTF- type situation. Does anyone else do this?
So onto lunch, just 14 people this year, which made for a little more elbow-room at the table. In the early evening, as is usual, my sister and her sons arrived with their families to join us. A few weeks before, my younger daughter and myself had found some odds and sods of cine film taken by my dad many years ago, which we had converted to DVD. We surprised everyone with a film show. It was lovely to see my parents and grandmother and our children, now 47 and 50, as babies. (We were also quite surprised at how many shots of women's bottoms were taken by dad while on various beaches!) The younger generation, that is, my sister's and my grandchildren, were shocked to see people smoking in the house and naked children playing on the beach. How times have changed eh?!
And talking of change......
The left-overs are now all sorted, eaten or frozen and we face a new year with some big changes for our family. The first came just before Christmas when our granddaughter and her partner moved out of ours to their own home, they have been living with us for over two years so we do feel that we are rattling around the house at the mo. They have moved four miles away ( the house was even on Homes under the Hammer!) and we still provide doggy-daycare, so still see them often. A more radical change is my elder daughter moving to another county! This is not as far as it sounds as she is to move to south Yorkshire while we live to the north of Derbyshire, which abuts said county. She has gained a significant promotion and she and her husband and daughter (and pony) are to decamp in the new year (oh my goodness that is now!!) As if that change wasn't enough to rattle our cosy little world, my younger daughter has been asked to be part of a team setting up a utilities project, for four years in Jersey!
We are still getting our heads around all this. Now I know that many of you have family all over the world and that we are so lucky to have had our little family within 10 miles of us since we, ourselves, were born. But Crikey !!!!!
That being said, we are SO proud of our daughters for doing so well and our granddaughter for buying her own home aged 23 years.
2018 is going to be very different for us isn't it?

I think I will leave it at that for now and post again soon. While I don't make new year's resolutions I AM determined to blog more in 2018.
Love Gillx
PS Has anyone read the biography by Caroline Fraser about laura Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie)?

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Happy Christmas

Hello All
Yes, I am still dipping my toe into blogland, I've just been extremely busy here in deepest Derbyshire.
I'm dropping by to wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.
After Christmas, which is going to be a busy one, I will get back to blogging again and reading all my favourite blogs.
David has his last Santa duties this teatime, before he hangs up his suit for another year. I think we will need to take on less next year!

Have a wonderful time

Monday, 13 November 2017

Of the garden and the kitchen

Hello All
A special hello to Clarissa, who thinks I'm being tardy with my posts (I am)
Firstly a garden update (for Clarissa).
As I clear the gardens I am tipping horse manure onto the the cleared area for the chickens to sort. Son-in-law took the trailer and filled twenty bags to the top as he poo picked his daughter's ponies field (yes she has to pick up too!) The bags are so heavy they are impossible to lift so we have to take out half of the brown gold with a spade before we can shift the things.
The tomato plants are finally finished by a light frost. There were still plenty of tomatoes on the plants, many of which I have managed to save. I have made some passatas for the freezer and we are having tomatoes with whatever we can . I have put a bowlful of ripe ones in the fridge to keep longer but this certainly affects the taste, so I need to remember to get them out to warm up.
In the garden ready at the moment we have brussels, black and curly kale, celeriac, beetroot, corn salad and chard. To eat, in the greenhouse, there are several mixed lettuce plants (split up from a living lettuce tray) parsley and the last chillis. As small plants to produce next year we have spring cabbage, purple sprouting, sensyu onions, leeks and garlic. I shall be starting some broad bean seed off in the next couple of weeks. At the weekend Adam podded all the ripe bean seed pods and got several pounds of seed, some for planting next year and some for eating through the winter. After Adam had de-husked the cobnuts a couple of weeks ago my son-in-law and EGD's partner have doggedly cracked them until they are now all ready for eating/preserving.  This morning EGD and I have included chopped cobnuts into our oat biscuits and our cookies and very nice they are too. The remainder are in chinese food containers in the freezer, in a jar in the fridge for immediate use and the rest in jars of honey to pour over yoghurt, cereal etc. Cob nuts keep just about forever stored in honey I have found.
 So that's about it for the garden, methinks.
So to the kitchen -
I've already mentioned the passata, cookies, biscuits and preservation of cobnuts and dried beans, which is kitchen related I suppose. Yesterday we processed the fruit for the marmalade we are making today. This will be used for Christmas presents but also for the house as we are fond of marmalade, both on toast and in cakes (and a very nice steamed pud) As I write this it is simmering away nicely, with the jars in the oven to warm and bread rising from the borrowed heat. If I was really clever the marmalade will be ready and jars out of the oven in time for the bead to go in, but I bet it doesn't work that way! As we had roast chicken for tea yesterday the ubiquitous chicken soup is also bubbling away. I wish I liked it, but I don't. Fortunately David and the shared lives guys love it and will undoubtedly have a bowl or two for their lunch one day this week. The leek and potato soup that I have made today is much more to my liking. I wish I could say that they are my own leeks but they are not and I will have to wait a while longer for those, if they make it at all. So that's about it for the kitchen today, apart from the sausage and bacon casserole that I have made for our evening meal, which we will have with some homegrown potatoes and kale.
We now have semi-permanent signs out for eggs, honey and kindling. As the chickens have decided to go on strike I could done under trade descriptions, but I won't take them down again as they took some getting ready and erecting. I don't suppose it will be long before they oblige again, especially as they are now out of the orchard and roaming all the gardens and the paddock.
I don't know if I have told you about the kindling (skip this paragraph if I have) As you know, we often take delivery of a van full of pallets. These David turns into fencing, beehives, gates etc etc Pallets don't always break up easily and there are mountains of bits of wood to be seen to. These David turns into kindling. He cuts them to a certain length which he passes to Don (shared lives) who chops these lengths into sticks. Colin (shared lives) who loves things to be tidy, then puts the sticks into bags.  Colin then tidies up all the sawdust/shavings etc which he bags for the chickens and rabbits. This team work produces more sticks than we could ever use and so we decided to see if they would sell, the money going to the tea fund. So inside the kitchen next to the honey jar and the egg jar and the garden produce jar is the "stick jar"! The guys really love this activity, in fact would do it every hour they are here. They sit at their respective stations in the workshop, field kitchen lit, kettle on, Radio Derby playing, like a gang of elvin shoemakers!
I reckon that's enough for now. I'm about to jar this marmalade and then fetch David in to sit down. He was very poorly last week, with an infection in his leg. Today is his first day outside and he is overdoing it, so I'll go and nag him to come and put his feet up.
My last post, which was it's usual random rubbish, had double the usual views. I have no idea why, as it wasn't even the Russian spike I sometimes  get (don't we all?!) There is no understanding the wonderful world of blog is there?
Back soon

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Up to date and a discussion item for you.

Hello All
Firstly, welcome to 99to1percent, Elaine Baron, Hannah Williams and Jen on Bloglovin.
Thank you for your comments about my Dixie tribute. For some reason I am not receiving any notifications that there have been any comments. I am trying to find out why.
 I am also having difficulty following people as "frugal in derbyshire". Whenever I try to follow someone it comes up with my personal details/identity instead, which for family reasons I don't want. As there have been some really interesting blogs I would like to follow I am finding this frustrating.

Well, as ever, I have been quite some time between blogs. it seems that whenever I am busy doing lots of (to me) quite interesting things I don't have the time to blog about them!!
 In brief...
 * We have been extremely busy in the garden, planting the overwintering veg and with produce still coming in thick and fast. This needing processing and preserving...freezing and drying, pickling and made into jam and jelly, juice, cider and wine.
Here is Adam (shared lives) de-husking the cobnuts
 And the state of the"Snug" while we are taking advantage of the gas fire being on. (Honey is easier to manage when kept warm)

 * We have been to Cornwall for our last fishing trip of the year.

  *  The bees have taken up much of our time too. Though a little late, we have taken the honey off six of our ten hives.We have left four to what they have as the hives weren't too strong. From the six hives we have spun, strained, and jarred 246 pound of honey! Our best ever honey harvest. Today I am processing the wax, which I will sell as little ounce bricks while reserving some for balm and polish.

  *  I am also supporting my youngest daughter, who lives on her own, who is moving house on the 29th of this month. At around this time her daughter (EGD), who is currently living with us, will be also be moving to the house she has bought with her partner. When they moved in with us two years ago, I took half of what I would have asked for, for board on the understanding that they banked the rest towards a deposit. This they have done and with this amount added to by careful their saving they are on now on the housing ladder!! My eldest daughter now tells us that there is a possibility that she too will be moving house. Come on girls, give me a break, even more tip runs, curtain altering, packing etc!!

 * September and October is quite a busy time for our Civic Society, so I have been/am pretty busy assembling newsletters, exhibitions etc and preparing for/holding meetings.

 *  Last weekend was my eldest daughters 50th Birthday!! How did that happen? I was a child bride you know.

   I think that brings us up to date-ish.

   Last week I watched " Homes under the Hammer". One buyer was asked why he had bought this particular house. The buyer replied that he had bought it for his son. "Will he be helping you?" he was asked."Oh No" the man replied "He doesn't like work"
  As they say .....  DISCUSS  .....          (You know what I think!)
  Back Soon
PS Did I say this post was going to be brief?!