This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Feeding folk in February.

It is February now. I've made lots of soup and baked six cakes for our church coffee shop and iced two cakes. Our coffee shop manager usually does most of the baking but she was ill and you can't have a coffee shop without cake. So I got summoned. Last week I made five gallons of soup and made and iced two cakes and I was quite tired at the end of that day. This week my husband was free so I got him to come along and help with the chopping of the veg and washing up. I wasn't nearly so tired at the end of that session but my husband was : )

We've been having a really good go at clearing out things since Christmas. I've lost track of the exact numbers but several hundred things have gone - either to the charity shop, in the bin, been recycled, given to family or on Freecycle. It is a very good start but there is a long way to go yet.

For the last few years, our church has been helping Operation Christmas Child. One of our members used to work for them and we have been a collecting point for our area for people to bring their filled shoeboxes to. This year, however, the charity has put up the money that you have to include to help pay for shipping. Last year it went up from £2 to £3 and this year it has gone up to £5 per box. A lot of people at our church feel it is a worthwhile cause but that the charity is pricing itself out of the market. It can cost quite a lot to fill the shoebox and then another £5 on top now. I've always kept an eye out for bargains through the year, the same as I do for family and friends' birthday and Christmas presents so that the cost of filling the shoebox(es) was kept down. And I knitted the hat, scarf and mittens usually with wool bought in a charity shop. We also found out that the head of the charity is earning a six figure salary. Yes, he has a big job because the charity is international, but people who live on just a pension felt that perhaps some of their money might be going to help pay his big, fat salary......  So now we are looking round for another worthwhile charity that will use our collective talents.

I've been knitting hats since Christmas because we have a local charity that uses them. Lots of them are stripey because I have a really big bag of oddments. I like having some knitting in my hands when I am watching a film on the tv. And these colder evenings are great for sitting in front of the woodburner and watching a film with my knitting in my hands. I recorded a stack of films over the Christmas period and am working my way steadily through them.

I've had one of my cats at the vet this last week. One of the cats in the neighbourhood has been terrorising my two. One of my two is of a particularly nervous disposition and he is obsessively cleaning himself and pulling out fur. He has quite a few bald patches and the skin is practically licked off in those areas. So the vet has given him an injection and we have bought another cat flap which is activated by the chip in the cats' necks. So Nasty Cat can no longer come into our house when he wants to, as he was prone to do. I've even found him in my bedroom on the top floor! But what I really objected to was his habit of spraying in my house, particularly in the kitchen. I didn't like starting to do some cooking and finding that he had sprayed up my saucepan rack...... I'm sure you quite understand that! So we just have to convince my two that they are quite safe in our house because Nasty Cat can no longer come in.

I've been to babysit my two youngest grandchildren this evening. Their big brother was playing the cornet in his first concert this evening and mum and dad wanted to go and see/hear him. I am very pleased that some of my grandchildren are turning out musical. I do so enjoy singing and playing and I'm glad the tradition is being carried on : )

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