Sunday, 2 October 2011

To Can or Not To Can ... That is the £50 Question!!!

Well today I have just looked in my pathetic little blue recycling box and have realised just how many cans we use in our house!  Surely there must be a way to make some spare cash from all these tins?

I know some people save all their tins and cans and sell them to the scrap metal merchants in their area.  Scrap metal prices are quite decent and if you can make a few extra quid from them then that's great!  I just wish I could find somewhere up here that would be prepared to do this.  I would then be able to recycle all our tins and cans and probably my mums as well and make a few extra pounds to save up for a rainy day.

I will keep searching and will update the blog as soon as I find a merchant that is happy to pay out for scrap metal in the Highlands.


Friday, 30 September 2011

Rest In Peace Sasha

Well we have had a sad week.  Sasha, my youngest daughter's bunny, sadly passed away.  It was a sad time as it was the first experience of death that either of them had.  I hope it is the last for a long time.

Sasha is now interred in a lovely spot at the bottom of the garden, next to the raised herb beds.  She did love her herbs!!! We will now have to think of getting a wee garden ornament or something to mark her grave so that the kids always remember her.

I did used to call her the demon bunny as she was part albino and had the pink eyes but she was a real cutie and will be sorely missed.

I will now depart and go to bed, for some much needed sleep and rest.  Back tomorrow!!!!!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

How do I do this?

Well in an attempt to reduce the amount of stuff that goes in our wheelie bins ... I am currently looking into ways to reduce this but to also make some cash out of it.  So I have emailed a bunch of scrap metal dealers in Inverness (our closest city) to see if there is any way that they would accept domestic scrap metal (like food and drink cans) and if they do, then how much would they pay for this.  I know it's a long shot but if people in England and Wales can make money from their scrap metal then so can I! That would certainly reduce the amount of waste going in my wheelie bins!  I know our local council provide these little pathetic blue boxes for cans and paper but to be honest they are pants!  I can fill one in a week with tins and if I recycle my mum's tins as well I would fill two in a week and these pathetic little things are collected fortnightly!!!!

I am also getting my mum to save all her jars for me so that I can start making some preserves.  I will start small with stuff like onion marmalade but will branch out into jams and stuff when I am a bit more confident that I can do it properly.  That will prevent jars going into the bin as well!!!!

We already compost but that was a complete disaster last year and have had to start from scratch again this year and it's not really working as well.  Last year, my compost bin (affectionately known as george ... I'm going to get another one and call it mildred!) was doing nicely.  Then we went on holiday.  My lovely next door neighbour was providing us with her kitchen peelings etc which was really helping the composting along nicely but when we went on holiday she chucked whole potatoes in!!! So we came home from holiday to find tatties growing in our compost bin!

The whole lot had to be chucked out.  To say I was gutted was an understatement as we had some proper good quality compost at the bottom.  But off it all went and this year hubby decided to site the compost bin elsewhere in the garden.  Big disaster.  It's in a shady area at the side of the house and the stuff just does not seem to be composting down as fast.  But I will wait and see how things go.  I will continue to supply the bin but we are just not producing enough to keep the bin filled up.

But I did have a total brain wave!!! We have 3 brown garden waste bins.  One is ours, one is next door's (her gardens front and back are paved and gravelled) and we found one when out on a walk.  So the third one now has drainage holes in it.  I filled it with shredded newspaper and hubby then piled all our grass cuttings on it and we have left it.  Hopefully it will mulch down and we will be able to add this to the compost bin to speed up the processes.  If it works then I will be well chuffed!!!! But I really need to get one of those aerators for compost bins.  Having a really bad back means that I just can't use the garden fork to move the stuff in the bin as it's all so far down!!!! But I think I will just leave that for hubby to do ... it can be his job.

On the home front ... the children are really getting into the spirit of money saving and being thrifty.  They always give their teachers a gift at Christmas and last year it cost a small fortune as they don't just have one teacher, even though they are still at primary school.  There are a number of teachers so this year it is going to be different! I will post about it separately as I am very proud of them for it. 

Anyhow ... it's off to do some laundry and dishes ... although the dishwasher will do the latter ... all I have to do is load it lol.  I will be back later on ... have a good day y'all x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Two years already!!!!!

Has it been two years since I last posted on here? Well the simple answer is yes! And such a lot has happened since I last posted. My big princess is 9 and wee angel cakes is 7 and today is my birthday! The sun was shining but it is now right royally raining!

On the self-sufficiency front, we now have a cherry tree and a grape vine. Neither have produced any fruit but they are still young so there is plenty of time for fruit from them!
As I write, the kids are squabbling beside me ... well that's what happens when your 9 year old takes teenager-style tantrums and my 7 year old whinges like there is no tomorrow!
So today was a disaster from the beginning but I am determined to get on and do some housework and exorcise these birthday blues that are bugging me!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Summerhouses and the Tooth Fairy

Well good evening/morning all. I know this is a strange time to be writing on my blog but I am just about to go off to bed and suddenly thought of something to write and thought it best to get it down before I forget!

My youngest was at hospital this week and had 3 teeth removed. Her back ones had taken such a battering and with the vitamins the hospital put her on when she was first born (pure sugar really) they were on their way out. So the poor wee thing went and had her first operation and she was such a brave wee thing. I was the one in tatters! So the tooth fairy had to pay her a visit and then tonight my oldest came through from the bedroom and presented me with 2 teeth! So I suppose the tooth fairy had better visit her too!!!

But hubby was busy today and erected the kids' summerhouse in the garden. I will add a photo or two tomorrow after we replace the windows and give it a lick of paint. It was donated by my best friend who had it in her garden and it was only used by my kids so she told us to take it for our garden. So we now have 2 sheds, a summerhouse, 2 compost bins and a herb garden!

We are getting there slowly - I just wish the weather would stay nice!!! But it is typical Scottish weather. Sunny one minute and thunderstorms the next!

So it's off to bed for me and then off in the morning to see the nurse about stopping smoking! That should give me some spare pennies to put in the fund for the dreams!!!

Goodnight all, sweet dreams xxx

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Composting for Newbies!

Well good evening all! I have decided to add this for any newbies who may stumble upon my lovely blog and are in need of some information or advice on home composting. I know I certainly found that when I started composting at home, I was unsure about what to put in the bin and what to dispose of in other manners.

Whilst browsing on the internet one day I stumbled upon a really informative site and wanted to let you all know about it. The website is and it is full of really useful information. I really devoured the section on home composting innovatively called "How to make compost"! Yes it really is that simple!

Anyway, I read this several times, and now I have a list pinned up on the wall of everything that can be put into the compost bin so that I never have to wonder and I just check the list if I am unsure about anything or if the kids ask what to do with their rubbish!

The article itself is pretty self explanatory but goes into details about exactly what can be composted and what cannot. In fact I'm off to my next door neighbour tomorrow to ask that the next time she is cleaning out her hamster, can she let me know and I'll put the waste sawdust into my compost bin to help the process along.

I was going to put a long list on here about what can and cannot be composted at home but I would really just be writing down what is already written on the website to won't go into too much detail. Although suffice to say I was surprised to find that hoover contents can be composted if it is mainly dust and that tumble drier fluff can also be put in as well! Needless to say, my tumble drier fluff is currently being collected in a spare kitchen caddy that I had lying around! I hate to bin anything that can be re-used!

I'm lucky that I have all girls as the clothes tend to get passed down, and we have managed to get quite a lot from freecycle lately. So once the little one has outgrown them, they really are not worth doing much with! Although I do tend to take them down to the fabric bank if they really are that bad. I have taken a lot of her stuff down to the charity shop but am going to start keeping it all for a massive car boot near to christmas, to see how much I can get rid of and make some money towards the kids christmas. My books get listed on and that is being kept towards buying books for the kids for christmas. Same thing with DVDs that we don't need any more. I must get round to getting shot of the old computer games as well. I have several cameras that do not work any more that I must list on a certain website to see if I can get anything for them.

I'm even knitting towards christmas pressies! The two little ones only have one teacher each so they have a hand made scarf each so far. I'm in the process of knitting a jumper for my best friend and am making more scarves for various other people as well. I really must make a list and start ticking things off when they are done. I'm also making mobile phone cases for the two oldest and for a few other people too. They are so easy and are really done within a day. In fact I made 3 in one day and that was just going back to it a few times. I will take some photos of the finished articles and post them just for some extra artwork!!!

Right I must get my behind off to bed as I have the dentist tomorrow morning so really need to get myself some sleep!

Night night all, sweet dreams to you all xxx

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Oops - Big apologies!!!

Well it has been around 8 weeks since I was last on to post any messages and I feel absolutely awful that it has been so long. But all that has been going on at home has really taken up our time and left me pretty much no time for much else. Just the odd checking of emails and thats been about it.

We did have some good news. Because hubby is ex-forces, SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors and Air Force Association) agreed to help us get the things that we just could not afford to buy. So in the space of 2 weeks we had carpets fitted on our stairs, hallways and 3 bedrooms AND got a brand new cooker. The cooker we had was given to us and was really not big enough for our family but it was keeping us going. Now that we have a brand new one, the cooking is so much quicker and easier and better. And I felt so good when we got the carpets and the cooker, although the house is still recovering!!! Mess everywhere lol.

And then 5 weeks ago we got a kitten from our next door neighbour and she has been named Sapphire on account that she has blue eyes. However she is now about 12 weeks old and a complete and utter psycho!!! My hands are bitten and scratched all over!!! The kids are loving the kitten and she has certainly become a part of the family very quickly but she uses me like a scratching post lol.
My dad gave me a huge bag of shredded paper for my compost bin which is starting to look like a compost bin. It was about half full by the time all the paper went in!! But it has certainly started mulching down as we had a few days of rain and I left the lid off the bin for those days as the flies were starting to annoy the heck out of me lol. I do have a fair collection of tumble drier fluff to put in but am waiting till there is more veggie peelings to go in before the fluff goes in. We did put all the paper in but I made a large pot of exceptionally strong coffee which went in as well to wet it all down! Hubby said it was a waste of good coffee but it was the value cheapy stuff so when he found that out he sure changed his tune!!!

On the down side we got an electricity bill for over £1000 for 6 months!!! Have now spoken to the company and established that we have been on the wrong tarriff since we moved in and they have admitted it was their fault that none of our calls were actioned. So in the process of writing a stiff complaint letter and will see what happens with that!

There has been other stuff happening but not going to go into those just now lol. Am in the process of writing a complete list of all that I put in my compost bin to help others who are new to the process and are not quite sure of what can go in other than veggie peelings. I know a few folk who are a bit unsure of what else can go in their bins and their bins are not getting on the same as mine. I do have two but am only using the one at the moment. Am considering getting another one and getting it delivered to my mum's house so that I have 3 going. One to fill, one to mulch down and one to use! But it will take a while to fill one so will wait and see how it goes!

Right, am off to try and get this list into some kind of order. I think I will just have to add the link as it would be much easier lol.

See you all very soon, this time I intend to keep up with this, it's quite therapeutic lol.