Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Is it nearly Christmas?

Oh my word..... tired does not even come close! 

What a term. New school. Failing department. Sixteen hour days and I am on my knees, but with a hard-earned "outstanding" judgement. We don't finish school until Friday. No tree up! No decorations! Not a thing bought to eat ............ And I have two birthdays to sort too, on Boxing Day! #2 will be 24 and #4 will be 18! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh............. HELP!

On a positive note... I trained a signing choir at school and they performed in our carol service last week. I don't think there was dry eye in the place. 

How are you my friends? I have missed you all. I haven't done any crafting and my poor house has lacked any loving attention. I shall do a bit of blog hopping and see what you are up to.

Mrs Thrifty

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Zena meets the Princess

Hello my Lovely Readers 

I can only apologize (yet again) for my lack of blogging .... I have been lost somewhere in life's dramas ..... anyway, I am back. How are you all? I have missed you so much. Thank you so much Millefeuilles and Cindy for your messages - I have so appreciated them. Welcome to new readers Carol and Eight by Six - I am sorry that I haven't been here to welcome you.

So, my news! Last week Zena was runner-up in the Hearing Dog of the Year Awards and we went to London to meet Princess Anne. Now, I am not a royalist, but she was delightful - utterly charming and so easy to talk to. The judge of my category was Pam St Clements (aka Pat Wicks from East Enders) who displayed a disappointing lack of warmth and personality. The ceremony was presided over by the delightful John Barrowman who was so pleasant and friendly - he made a point of talking to all the recipients of hearing dogs and gave me an autograph to take back to school for my year 11s! I a guessing you'd like to see.............
John Barrowman with Hearing Dog puppies
photo courtesy of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Here's John again, with Zena!
photo courtesy of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

The Princess Royal with award winners and dignitaries
photo courtesy of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

We stayed in London overnight which was great fun and what made it even better was that our lovely friends Simon, Vicky and Foggy were there too.Simon and Foggy were winners of the Life-changing Hearing Dog Award last year and this year Simon was awarded a Hearing Dogs Ambassador Award. Here they are with the Princess:

Thank you to all at Hearing Dogs for your support and help on our journey.

I will try to catch up with my reading of the wonderful blogs that I follow.

Love Mrs Thrifty

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Hello my Lovely Readers

.... and the hugest of huge apologies for my silence. What can I say? I spent the last 12 days of the summer break in my new school trying to sort out the department and I have pretty much worked 7am to 7pm since. I have just finished the week's planning and I am taking time out. Pub lunch and a beach walk are on the agenda for this afternoon .... if the threatening storm stays away that is.

Welcome to Alison, Poppy, Bonsaimum, η γελαστή κλωστή (sorry, no idea at all what that says!) and Hollywood Graham. I am sorry I haven't been around to welcome you earlier.

Is it really Autumn? I love Autumn but the cold is not so welcome. #3 returned to university this week and is 20 today .... only one teenager left at home and he is 18 at Christmas. Empty nest looming!

The wonderful Zena has been short-listed for an award; life changing Hearing Dog of the Year. She is in the last 3 finalists.. we have a film crew coming into school on Tuesday and the awards ceremony is in October in London. I'll keep you posted!

My crafting output is zero .... school has been all consuming, but I hope to sort out my life-work balance sooner rather than later.

Off to check out your blogs and catch up on the news.

Loads of love and have a wonderful Sunday

Mrs Thrifty
PS. Our polecat/ferret never returned!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Uninvited Guests

Hello Lovely Readers

Apologies (grovel, grovel, grovel) for my long absence. However, I thought you might like to see our latest house guest. I say "guest" although he (she?) walked in the other evening uninvited and made himself at home.

Mr Thrifty was reading in the lounge and caught the visitor out of the corner of his eye and thought it was our cat, Gomez. He certainly did a double take when he realised it wasn't and called us down to have a look. #4 coaxed the visitor out from beneath the couch with ham, but his idea of catching him in a shoe box didn't work out. 

He decided to have a little play in the potato basket, a look around the kitchen and a nosey in the bin (full of Zena's hair after I had brushed her).

When the boys had had enough playing they coaxed him out with a broom and he left the same way he had entered, by the back door.

I contacted the British Wildlife Society as we aren't supposed to have pole cats in our area, but that is what we thought it might be. The very nice man from the BWS emailed back to say that he thought it was a pole cat x ferret and had possibly been an escapee pet as he seemed rather friendly.

Anyhow, it brightened an otherwise dull evening and #3 (who is 19) described it as "the best day ever" - bless him.

So, what do you think? Is the BWS man right or do you think it is something else? Anyone in East Anglia seen pole cats? (They are apparently spreading east)

Love Mrs Thrifty

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Good Evening Lovely Readers and many, many apologies for my lack of posts...

Thank you for all the lovely comments you left after I returned from Canada. I am still organising the house and de-cluttering, but the end is in sight. Pics to follow soon.

I have been lucky enough to have been awarded the 'one lovely blog' award by the wonderful Sue from http://sftandthe101challenge.blogspot.co.uk/ who is currently in Africa. Sue is such an inspiration for anyone wanting to pay off their mortgage and still lead a full life. Thank you Sue.


Thank the person who nominated you on their blog -Thanks Sue.

Tell 7 things about yourself

1. The most amazing place I have visited is Petra in Jordan.

2. I love reading travel books and novels set in other countries. One of my favourite ever books is Lisa St Aubin de Teran's "Off the Rails: Memoires of a Train Addict".

3. I am hearing impaired and use BSL with friends who sign. I lost my hearing through Meniere's Disease. I belong to a signing choir. My hearing dog, Zena, goes everywhere with me. 

4. I love the look on peoples' faces when I tell them I teach languages.... they assume it would be impossible with my hearing loss. 

5. I love "Little Women" and "Jane Eyre" - two of my favourite childhood novels - both given to me by my Grandmother.

6. My hero(ine) is my Nanny who was dumped in a convent by her mother to be raised as an orphan. She never knew that she had a family who had moved from Dublin to London and lived near to the convent where she had been placed. Although they had money, my Nanny had been born out of wedlock to a widow and in 1906 Ireland that was not acceptable. Her mother later married the father but they never made contact with my Nanny who died when I was 17. She taught me to knit and to sew. I still miss her.

7. I have worked as a teacher, counsellor, community theatre worker, shop assistant, make-up consultant, canning factory worker, waitress, barmaid, chambermaid, accounts clerk, and voluntary care worker, breastfeeding counsellor and Samaritan.

Nominate 15 blogs. This is hard because there are so many that I love, but I consider most of these my "blog friends":

Sue at http://ournewlifeinthecountry.blogspot.co.uk/
Debbie at http://myblog-nannysplace.blogspot.co.uk
Isobel at http://thehomenest.blogspot.co.uk/
Jane and Chris at http://swiftsuresongbird.blogspot.co.uk/
Kay and Sime at http://thesmithsontour.blogspot.co.uk/
Cindy at http://justnorthofwiarton.blogspot.co.uk/
Amanda at http://craftyinthemed.blogspot.co.uk/
Lena at http://frugalandthankful.blogspot.co.uk/
Linda at http://lindacraftycorner.blogspot.co.uk/
Stephanie at http://sbmillefeuilles.blogspot.co.uk/
Sue Marie at http://www.home.suemarie.co.uk/
Lexie at http://piecesofwonderful.blogspot.co.uk/
Jan at http://slowlivinginafastlife.blogspot.co.uk/
Justine at http://justine-jazzysplace.blogspot.co.uk/
Arwedd at http://arweddindevon.blogspot.co.uk/

I will be back to blogging soon - I promise - swamped by the de-cluttering and sore eyes (apparently they are very dry following the laser eye surgery and I now have two different eye drops to try. Excuses, excuses .... I know.

Lots of love
Mrs Thrifty

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Going Underground

Remember this?

I am winning the clutter war and will be back soon. Welcome to new follower Kim.

Love Mrs Thrifty

Monday, 23 July 2012

Not waving but drowning

Good Morning Lovely Readers and the hugest of welcomes to new followers sbmillesfeuilles, Sooze, Jo, Ileana and Pickle-Lily.... great to have you on board. Please do let me know if you have a blog so that I can follow you too (If I haven't already found it).

Now do you know this poem by Stevie Smith?

Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man, 
But still he lay moaning: 
I was much further out than you thought 
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead 
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way, 
They said. 
 Oh, no no no, it was too cold always 
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
 I was much too far out all my life 
And not waving but drowning.

This is how I have felt since coming home from Canada. All out-of-sorts. Unable to settle to much at all. Really not sure why. My brain has even felt dead when it comes to blogging .... no inspiration.

I have been pulling the house apart. It doesn't work as it is. It is a strange house... a detached house built in 1966 with a weird lay-out and no storage space! We Mr Thrifty bought it for the location and I have spent the last 5 years trying to make it work as a family home. If we had money we could extend but just for now it has to work as it is. So (yes, you guessed it) I have been de-cluttering again and trying to figure decent storage into every room. Moving furniture, changing rooms around and generally getting into a mess!!!

This is what I did to the kitchen last week..

See what I mean? Anyway, please be patient and I'll post the "after" photos. 

Tell me, do you get times when you are all at sixes and sevens with the world? How do you shake yourself up? I'd love to know..... am feeling like a bear with a rather small brain right now!

Have a wonderful day and I WILL get around to reading blogs - I promise

Love Mrs Thrifty

Friday, 13 July 2012

Crochet Crazy

Hello Lovely Readers

I'm back and grovelling apologies for my absence. A huge, warm welcome to new followers Rae, Literary Ladybug, Jamie Hanna and and Angeliki - if I haven't managed to find the link to your blog then please do send it so that I can join you too. 

I am now back to feeling human (as much as I ever am that is) again after my laser eye surgery last week and Mr Thrifty had his eyes done yesterday. I feel that we have been rushing backwards and forwards to Norwich getting check-ups and the like, leaving little time for other things.

My distance vision is now 20:20 which is wonderful, but I am having to use glasses for reading. They have said that should improve as the swelling goes down ... so watch this space. I hope it does! This has been the main reason for my lack of blogging - I have found reading or using the computer quite difficult.

As you know I started crocheting in January and I just love it. So I thought I would show you what I have achieved so far:

 I am rather pleased with myself. This is just 6 months of crocheting. I also have a granny blanket that is very much "a work in progress."  This reminds me that this gorgeous book is waiting for one of my lovely followers... have a look at the tab above for details.....

I know some of my followers are amazing crocheters and give me such wonderful inspiration. What about other newbies.... how are you doing?

I am off to catch up on all the blog news I have missed over the last week... please accept my apologies again for my lack of commenting. It might take me a while to catch up with you all. 

Love Mrs Thrifty

Friday, 6 July 2012

Absent Without Leave

Good Evening Lovely Readers

Yesterday I had laser eye surgery and as I am somewhat sore, I can't blog or comment as normal... so sorry in advance....

Love Mrs Thrifty

PS. You might find this amusing given the circumstances!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Liebster Blog and Thrifty Shopping

Good Evening Lovely Readers 

.... and a warm welcome to new followers Deborah and Magie.You will notice that the lovely Lena at http://frugalandthankful.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/3-prize-giveaway.html is hosting a giveaway, so if you have a minute do pop over and have a look at her sweet blog.

I was thrilled to be awarded the Liebster blog by Sue Marie - what an honour! Thank you Sue Marie and keep going with your delightful blog http://www.home.suemarie.co.uk/ I have seen different rules for this award and found this on google:

I also found a few different images:

 So, the rules I am going with are:
1. Linking back to and thanking the giver
2. Post the award on your blog
3. Pass the award on to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers:

Liebster means dearest in German - isn't that lovely? I think it a great way of encouraging new blogggers with less than 200 followers. I follow so many gorgeous blogs that choosing just 5 is going to be hard! Some of the blogs I love are also award-free or they have more than 200 followers. I would happily award this to everyone with less than 200 followers because if I follow you, then I think you are a lovely blog, but after HUGE thought these are the ones I recommend to you: 
Sue at http://sftandthe101challenge.blogspot.co.uk/
Kay and Sime at http://thesmithsontour.blogspot.co.uk/
Jane and Chris at http://swiftsuresongbird.blogspot.co.uk/
Debby at http://myblog-nannysplace.blogspot.co.uk/
Cindy at http://justnorthofwiarton.blogspot.co.uk/

Now, on to being thrifty. I had a bit of time today so did a charity shop trawl with a task in mind. Next year I will celebrate my silver wedding anniversary ( and 30 years together) with the wonderful Mr Thrifty and I thought that a vintage tea party would be just the thing. So I have started looking for old china cups and saucers. Now this has proved to be far harder than I thought and evidently they have become very popular. Anyway, I did find these today:
£3 - Royal Albert
£1 for the pair
So, we can have 1 guest at the moment, but my lovely friends at the Salvation Army are going to put aside any cups and saucers that they get in for me. When I was in Canada recently, I was helping Ruthie to prepare for her 50th Birthday and her vintage tea party and we found it relatively easy to find lovely china in the thrift shops. I think dealers are buying it all up over here and then selling on at silly prices. On Sunday, I noticed that the Tally-Ho tea shop was selling cups and saucers with a single tea bag for £12.50 each!!!!!

Anyway, I also found these treasures today:

Old cotton reels at 25p each
My heart missed a beat when I saw this beauty.....

A Kingsize quilt for £4!

Well that's all from me..

Have a great evening
Love Mrs Thrifty

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

How does your garden grow?

Good Morning Lovely Readers

My followers list is growing .... but I am not sure who is new. Now this is not quite as daft as it sounds and I don't think I have lost the plot (yet). If you have an image with your profile, you automatically get added at the front of the list. However, if you don't you are given a grey head and put at the back... that isn't very nice is it! Anyway. I know 2 wonderful readers have joined me, but I don't know who you are. so please leave a comment to say 'Hi' so that I can welcome you properly and if you have a blog then please do let me know so that I can follow you too. I did find a lovely blog this week - all through a comment left on mine.... if you have a chance, pop along and have a look at Chy at http://cottagebriarrose.blogspot.co.uk/ - she is well worth a visit!

Now for serious things!  We finally got around to sorting out  our wonderful wilderness garden. Actually, I should say that we have started ... it is very much a work-in-progress!
Do you remember this?

This was the remains of last year's vegetable container garden. Oh dear!  Well, Mr Thrifty dug it over and now it looks like this:
We think it would be too difficult to try and remove this tree trunk, but we are going to lay plastic sheeting and then cover it in wood chips. It should look better.

Meanwhile, I have been busy planting seeds and transplanting small plants into pots...

I have also tackled the pots and containers which were looking very sorry for themselves..

As you can see I adore geraniums - they are one of the few plants I can actually smell.
The lawn still needs tackling but with the mower still broken that is going to take a while. Parts have been strimmed but we are keen to leave it a little wild in places to enjoy these beautiful daisies:

I think this looks gorgeous, but as you can see, very much a work in progress.

What does your dream garden look like? I think mine would be a little like Elaine's from Pear Tree Log http://applebeesatpeartree.blogspot.co.uk/ - have you seen it?

Have a great day
Love Mrs Thrifty