Wednesday, 29 April 2009

OOPS!!!! Update number one!!

Well hello to you all. Big apologies to all of you for the gap in postings. I have slapped myself for it though!

So there has been quite a lot of news to report since my last posting all those many days ago!

Firstly hubby was coming home from work on Easter Monday (yes he had to work lol) and spied a skip at the side of a house full of stones. They were the kind that are seen in the old fashioned stone walls. So he goes up to the house and politely asked the owner what he was doing with the skip full of stones. Well, it turns out that the skip was to be collected the very next day and he was just getting rid of the stones. So hubby nicely asked if he could come back later that day and take some of the stones out of the skip. The owner was quite happy for him to do that so he came home, emptied the boot of the car and promptly went straight back to the house. About an hour later he came home with a car full of stones!!! But they are going to good use. He is building a raised bed and is using the stones to make the walls round it. But the only downside is that he needs more stones as he only got enough for one part of the wall!!!

Hubby is now a very happy bunny as his shed was delivered and he put it up straight away! It is only a small one (6x4) but it's enough for now. And he has been promised that when the money situation is better, he will be getting a bigger metal one! But this one will remain as a potting shed of sorts. The kids are also getting their own shed! My dad is getting a new one in the summer so the one he has at the moment will be transplanted into my garden as a kind of wendy house for the girls to play in and store all their garden toys in during the winter! Although this has made me wonder about this bigger shed hubby wants. I don't know if he will really need a bigger shed if the kids' one is to be used to store their stuff!

Compost bin number 2 also got delivered! So Derek the Dalek now has a girlfriend by the name of Davina! I just have to get the sticky faces so that they will be more fun for the garden! Derek is coming along nicely with his composting. I am going to go and buy some activator as hubby just will not pee in a bottle for me to use as activator for the composter! But am still working on him and I'm sure that I will get him to wee in a bottle one day - I'll just have to wait till one day when he has had a couple of beers!!

Okay that's enough updating for one post or it will end up being a book! Am off to add some photos now and will post another update later on today - I promise!!!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

I almost forgot!!!

I almost forgot part of today's entry ... chickens!!! We were driving home from dolphin watching when I joked about getting a goat as they keep the grass down and provide milk! Hubby was none too impressed and replied to me that a "bloody goat will just eat all the herbs and plants". So I suggested chickens as we could get all the eggs we wanted then and it would be much cheaper and we could use the chicken poop as fertiliser or chuck it in the compost bin! Hubby remained quiet and then just said "maybe" so I might just be making progress but we shall just have to wait and see!

Night night all xx

Day 2 and not much done yet!!

Well it's day 2 of my adventure and what a lot got done ... not! We were all late up as hubby stayed up last night watching Quantum of Solace on DVD. I popped off to bed as I had managed to watch the whole film the night he bought it! So today, got the kids sorted, fed the dalek and beggared off into town for some retail therapy!

We went to our local Poundland and got some rather good bargains. I bought 3 of those pop up green bins to use as planters. I'm advertising on Freecycle for a couple of barrels for potatoes but these bins will do for radishes and carrots hopefully.

Hubby bought himself some gardening gloves and I bought 4 packets of seeds. Not bad you may think but it gets better. Each packet of seeds had 6 different varieties of seeds! So 24 different seeds for £4!! Bargain!! Well happy and it looks like I will be growing my chillie peppers after all! Hubby was dubious about chillie peppers but I'm not going to use them in my cooking too much, I love to use the dried ones to flavour olive oil so will be able to have a stack of dried ones. We only spent £12 in the Poundland so well chuffed with my bargains. Oh I almost forgot ... I got a gnome!!! He is rather cute with a little plant pot attached to himself so once there is something in the plant pot then I will definitely post a photo of him. You should have seen hubby's face when he saw my gnome in the basket! I'm calling him Gordon after the kids cartoon series (Gordon the Garden Gnome!).

The only downside was that the kids were with us (only joking really!) and they insisted on buying easter bonnets as well. We then went outside and stopped off at the easter market on the street. Hubby bought some herbs from a Frenchman who had a stall. He had grown everything himself and his sun dried tomatoes were delicious!! So another £13 went there.

Then it was back to get the car after it had been washed in the local shopping centre car park, complain about the fact that the car was still filthy and there were scratches that were not there when we parked the car! So hubby got his money back and off we went to see the dolphins. Although when we got there the water was quite choppy and although I didn't see any dolphins hubby and the kids did. I was much more content to collect mussel shells on the shore. I came home with a good pocket full and they will be crushed tomorrow and sprinkled in my dalek just to keep him hungry (he is called Derek the Dalek now!).

On the way back we stopped off at Focus for some more retail therapy (!) and got some already potted herbs for hubby's herb garden. He already has a rosemary bush that accompanied us all the way from Germany and a bay tree that we got in B&Q last week. So this week he got thyme, oregano and sage. They will be re-potted along with the chives from Tesco's tomorrow and hopefully they will grow quite happily in our little garden.

And then the bombshell. I bought hubby a shed! Focus has a 6ft x 4ft overlap shed on sale for £109 but we had to pay £25 for delivery so in total it cost us £134 plus another £33 for the stuff we bought for the garden! So no more spending for us for a big while!!! Shouldn't have really spent that much but we desperately need somewhere safe to keep all hubby's garden tools and his bike but we now have to wait for the delivery so hopefully that won't take too long.

And that's about all of our day today. Not much really got done but we did buy supplies and hubby is determined to get out and de-turf some more of the garden tomorrow and hopefully get the herbs re-potted. He has also suggested that when we have a bit more cash to spare to buy a better shed, that the one we bought today can be used as a potting shed! At least he isn't planning on just getting rid of it!

We are also going to get a second shed in the summer. My dad is getting a new one and the one he currently has is the same size as the one we are getting but my dad is going to take his one apart and put it in our back garden as a kind of wendy house for the kids! So at least we don't have to spend out over £140 to buy them a wendy house when they can get a perfectly good one for free. All it will cost us is some manual work and a couple of tins of wood preserver and we are going to try and get the stuff that comes in funky colours so the kids know which one is theirs.

I'm ordering a second dalek next week as one just is not going to be enough, and I think I may just have to go back to focus next week and buy some of their compost accelerator to help get the bins working a bit quicker (or persuade hubby to have a wee in them lol).

Tomorrow am off down the shore with my kids for a nature walk with a twist. We are taking one of the little pop up bins and we are going to fill it full of seaweed. take it home and feed it to Derek! Between that and the mussel shells he should be a happy bin tomorrow.

Have just checked my household rubbish as well. My wheelie bin was emptied on Friday. Normally by today there is one full black bag and usually a couple of small carrier bags of rubbish. Well as of today we have only half filled a black bag in the bin! So we are really cutting down on our waste already by just having Derek!

Am also going to be pickling some eggs as hubby loves them and I absolutely hate the price of them in the shops. It is much cheaper to buy eggs and big jars of pickling vinegar and do it yerself! And I find that they taste much better. I have pickled eggs and onions before and they do taste much better than the ones you buy in the shops so may just have to go get some pickling onions as well!

Enough rambling for today, am off to take some photos and hopefully get them posted here, then its off to bed so I can get up really early tomorrow and make a good start!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Day 1 - The start of the journey!!

Well Hello There to you, my new reader!

Let me start by introducing myself to you. My name is Di and I am a 35 year old housewife and mother of two, with a desire to be more environmentally friendly but at a fraction of the price. Let's face it, in today's current economic climate, who wants to spend loads of money to be more environmentally aware, then find that the same result could have been had at a fraction of the price or even for free!

I'll add to that, the fact that yes I am Scottish, but that does not generally mean tight-fisted! We Scots are a generous race, but very careful with it. I have developed my thrift over the years, and firmly believe that it was instilled in me by my mother and my maternal grandmother, and I also think that I get my hoarding from nan as well!

And so to the goals that we have! We have recently moved house into a lovely little council house not far from school and family members. We have spent a number of years away from home so this is a lovely start to the new year for us. We have a number of goals but the main one being that the garden, which runs from the front, right round the side of the house to the back, gets completely overhauled and the driveway replaced before the summer is out.

I also want to grow my own fruit and vegetables so we are also going to try and become as self-sufficient as possible. I have informed my family that when the weather improves, we will be taking hikes into the forest to see what edible goodies we can find. I have recipes and books showing what foods you can find that are edible, and some of them brewable!! As and when these treks happen and if they are fruitful, will be noted here.

I have tried to get my husband to let me get some chickens, but still no luck in that department yet! That maybe due to the fact that at the moment, the garden is open but then again, it may be because we are not that far from the city centre. I'll keep working on him and let you all know!!!

We are also on a mission to become debt-free and will also update this blog with that journey.

Don't worry I will be posting photographs and letting you all know where I have sourced my cheap (and hopefully free) supplies for my gardening project.

I think my real goal here is to show our journey as a kind of diary to the world to show that it can be done on a tight budget and that you don't have to spend thousands of pounds on materials when you can source them quite cheaply and sometimes free of charge!

Right am off to bed now as I'm going to get up really early in the morning and see what I can get done before the troops waken up and demand feeding! Night Night all, and will post more tomorrow!