This time last year I wrote about the year we grew giant pumpkins at the smallholding.
This photo that shows how big they were.....Col sitting on the biggest of all the giants.
This is the photo I put on the blog last year with all five giant pumpkins, taken the year before Colin was diagnosed with Lymphoma. It was much easier growing normal sized ones, they didn't need shifting with tractor and trailer!
A load of normal sized pumpkins from several years before the photo above when we still had a grey Fergie tractor and older trailer
Anyway............back to this year and October whizzed by as all months seem to do nowadays. There was some pretty grotty weather on several days, but luckily the weekend when Eldest Daughter and Jacob were staying was perfect for getting out and about.
I got a few outside jobs done including cleaning the greenhouse glass, inside and outside. Weeding the asparagus bed, cutting back the holly hocks and Alstromeria in the Cutting garden (and at last after three tries the Alstromeria (Peruvian lilies) have taken hold and spread). Unfortunately they are all the same colour - pink - unlike the patch I grew for selling at the smallholding which were mixed oranges and shades of red. I've never seen similar plants for sale since then.
In October there was the usual income....... County Council Spouses pension, bits of interest on savings, repayments from family plus £10 for books sent to Ziffit
The expenses during the month included
- All the usual things - food for me and the cat, diesel for the car, phones and charity direct debits
- Chimney sweep £60 - and he put the new fire bricks inside the wood burner for me.
- I went slightly mad and bought clothes (new and secondhand) and boots. The boots were from Hotter and were a special offer reduced by a few pounds......and how annoying is it that on the day after I ordered them another email popped up with a "extra 10% off on top of the previous reduced price - this weekend only"! Now I've got one pair of boots and one pair of shoes for winter it should make them last longer.......is that how it works?
- Bought some new even lower energy candle bulbs for my living room lights after one went pop.
- Treated the family to lunch out - my favourite thing to do when we are all together.
- Son's Birthday present
- A sheepskin cover for my bike seat
- New jars and lids for more hamper presents
- My regular once-a-month-pick-up-prescription-on -the-same-day-as-the-pensioners-fish-and- chip-cheap-lunch treat for £3.50
- Septic tank emptying - £99 this year.
- Paying for the labour for gate fixing.(Gate pictures to follow)
Still Clearing Out...................
Lots of old plastic clothes hangers into the bin
Old pair of slip on sandals into bin
Emptied out some various bottles of spray things that were in the greenhouse, left here by Mrs F and put bottles into recycling.
Craft bits to charity shop
Odd children's books and few toys ditto
Some reference books that I've not needed to charity shop
Hardly any boot sales due to wet weather!
Last of the tomatoes and final cucumber during the first week of October
Using breadmaker for bread and malt loaf
Made a hanger for my "fishing float" using cheap jute string
Mixing milk with water.
A few pears from the garden
Cheap apples from boot sale.
Gift of a book from publishers
At one time there was a blog thing of No-Spend November which I've tried but something always happens to put the kibosh on it so this November I'll not bother.
There are no regular bills due but I'd better get 500 litres of heating oil and there are Christmas things to organise. I try to spread the buying through the year but November and December are the spendiest months.
Thanks to everyone for comments yesterday - there were so many on what I thought was a dull post about LPG!
- As Colin was in and out of hospital when we moved here, it was left up to me to choose and organise the cooker. When I found one that fitted in exactly - so saving me having to think about a cupboard of some sort to fill the space. I decided to ignore the cost and get the double oven range! I didn't regret it!
- The cooker stands in what was once the fireplace in the old part of the house. Although the wood beam isn't the original as that was lower and the previous owners cut it out and put a new beam above. The old beam is now the mantel shelf in the living room.
- The LPG cylinders last longer than they used to because of having the bread maker and my lack of enthusiasm for cooking much for myself. I think I use 3 a year now.
- I've been changing over cylinders for years, although not shifting the 45kg ones that we had everywhere before here!
- The grill is the top right door and bottom left is a drawer. I don't use the grill much because I hate washing it up as it's so large.
- I do try and reply to comments but some days just don't have time and that's the same reason for not leaving comments on every blog I read which would be just as difficult - actually impossible as it would leave no time for writing my blog!
- The hob has four normal burners - 1 large, 2 medium and 1 small plus a double wok burner. Which is really good for stirfries.
- The Nan's Kitchen sign was a lovely Mothers Day present from Son and DiL last year