Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday thrift.....

Today's Thursday Thrift relates to the old boy scout motto : " Be Prepared". I am laid up at home with the flu-for the first time in 7 years I've managed to pick up a virus which has given me a head full of mucus, temperature and a cough that's scaring the dogs!

Needless to say, work is out of the question-and as the industry I work in pays casual rates, that means that I shall have no income for the 4 days I miss...which brings me back to the Boy Scouts!

When we built this house I was totally in love with our pantry-it is HUGE! I had always planned that once the orchard is in full production the pantry space will be full of fruit filled jars, neatly lined up on the shelves. I already have some jars of chutney and relishes, and they will be enjoyed this week on fresh homemade sourdough bread.

Our pantry has also been stocked with Baker's Flour, pasta, tinned goods and other bits & pieces-which means that although my income will be down ( I'm not well enough to get to the supermarket anyway!) we will still eat very well. The freezer is stocked and tonight will be pea & ham soup with some of the sourdough currently rising on the hearth of the wood heater.

So, it's although not the end of the world a week of illness could have caused real issues for me, but by being pantry prepared I can concentrate on recuperation without stressing about groceries.

Now, where has that hot lemon drink gone?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Chickens and change....

I didn't post a Thursday thrift yesterday because I spent my hours before heading to work outside-with my chickens.

As chicken converts will tell you, it is far too easy to become enamoured by chicken antics. Yesterday I cleaned out the straw from their coop-closely monitored by the Chicken Committee of Management! Ruby and Betty head this committee- although our young rooster Bebe Le Pew would like to think he rules the roost!

I raked the old manure filled straw out the door-where the girls happily pounced on it, scratching madly and snaffling any bugs they found. If Bebe found any tidbits, he would politely cluck deep in his throat and duck his head a couple of times, indicating to "his" ladies that " Look, I Rooster, have located this prime piece of protein purely for your pleasure!"

Bebe Le Pew's presence ( as unplanned as it was) has added much to our flock. From the early morning shenanigans ( when he wakes up in a "loving" mood and the girls try to dash past him when I open the door) to his standing sentinel to protect "his" ladies from the local Magpie Mafia; he entertains us daily!

Anyway, after clearing the old straw ( and laying it on one of the new vegie garden beds) I laid the new. That's when the Chicken Fiesta started! The flock of 9 launched themselves with glee into the fresh layer, munching up any bugs and spiders they could find. This went on for an hour or so before Rusty headed to one of the laying boxes; unfortunately not long before Betty decided that she too needed to attend to her daily contribution to our egg collection.

Rusty refused to budge, Betty became more demanding-even trying to push Rusty out with her ( Betty's) rear end! By the time that Betty climbed on top of Rusty I was in hysterics! Despite the fact that there was another available laying box, neither girl would give ground and eventually both laid their eggs. :)

Refreshed by my time with the flock, I headed off to work with a smile on my face.

Tonight we are expecting our youngest daughter, her partner and their 2 week old daughter for their first visit since our grand daughter's birth. We will also have two of our grandsons staying over.

This visit set me to musing about our lives and our current place in them. His Lordship and I were young parents and thus find ourselves in our mid 40's with 5 grandchildren-we wouldn't have it any other way!

Many of our friends have young families or are just beginning their's now-and many of them lament the fact that if their own parents are still alive, that they are often too old to have the energy to spend a lot of time with their grandchildren.

In days of yore, our situation would have been the norm; but these days "careers" have become so important that the median age for first time parents is becoming older and older. Ergo, as is that of the grandparents. Thus many parents are finding themselves relying on childcare and without the supportive wisdom of the older generations.

I wonder if this is truly a good thing for society?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday Thrift...

I find that one of the biggest challenges to living a thrifty/frugal/smart life is the "little" expenses. The unexpected or unnecessary is easy to spend $10 or $20 a day with little effort-which ads up to $3650 or $7300/year!

I'm talking about the coffee/softdrink/newspaper you grab at the local shop, the $10 spent on a lunch because you aren't at home or didn't premake something-all seemingly minor costs.

If I handed you $7300 in cash right now, what would you do with it?

My suggestions are twofold-spend meaningfully and spend more time at home. If you don't leave your house every day there will be less opportunity to let that hard earned cash slip through your fingers-plus you will probably find time to do activities around your home which will also save more money. Baking, gardening, window washing-all activities which "busy" people tend to pay others to do...

Have you thought about inviting friends to your home for a coffee morning or afternoon tea? It would cost you less than going elsewhere-and if you find tidying your home gets away from you, then having visitors tends to be a great impetus to get it done!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday Thrift....

I've had a tough couple of weeks with illhealth and work committments. Also, our youngest daughter had some complications with her pregnancy, but happily I can announce that on Tuesday July 3rd at 1-15pm our first granddaughter, Isabelle Tamsyn was born. It was a tough labour, requiring a forceps delivery and Isabelle needed a little assistance to commence breathing as the cord was wrapped around her neck a couple of times. However, mum & baby are now doing just fine! :)

Today's Thursday Thrift is based on leftovers. Obviously, leftovers are thrifty-but how do you present them so that they appear to be a totally different meal? Last night we had what I call Mexican Chicken Bake.

On Monday night we had a spicy chicken casserole which had simmered away in the slowcooker all day-served over a bed of rice that night it was a lovely meal for a cold winter's night.

Then last night I used the leftover casserole & rice to fill 8 tortilla wraps-which I rolled and placed side by side in a lightly greased baking dish. A jar of salsa oured over the top, cheese sprinkled over that....and voila! Mexican Chicken Bake!

I cooked it at 160c for 25 or 30 mins-just until the wraps have crisped around the edges and the cheese has browned. Served with a homegrown salad, it was perfect!

There is also enough left for lunch today!

PS: Sorry, no photos because we ate it before I thought of photos!
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