Thursday, 30 May 2013

Paying bills.. kicking it oldskool!

A long, long time ago, in the 80's, my sMother used to pay all the bills by cash (Remember those days?!) Every Friday my Dad would come home with his wage packet and before it was even opened, it was placed in my sMother's hand. My sMother then had the task of juggling money to pay bills, keep us fed, basically keeping all of us alive on a tight budget.. and I mean TIGHT!
I remember the sMother having this huge green purse with lots of little pouches and panels. She would take an allotted amount of money and place it in each pouch for each bill. Thinking back now, she really was Superwoman. My hands would be so itchy with money sitting in my purse which I suppose comes from having too much money during the 'good old times'. Now the good times are well and truly over and I feel like I've been kicked back to the Irish recession in the 80's. It had me reminiscing at the local Stitch'n'Bitch club, how it was a simpler time. I remember bills being paid on time, no confusion over direct debits, standing orders or if the incompetent staff in Ulster Bank will manage to lodge money on time. It was only today that I had a conversation with Himself about how unproductive he is when it comes to paying his bills. (We pay our bills separately) Then, I came across this, 'A Time for Everything' It just brought me right back to the 80's! (which made me sad) So I rang Himself up and explained that because I am so efficient when it comes to paying bills that I should manage his, lo and behold he agreed. I am definitely going to invest in this little beauty!

I heart Organizing are having a great giveaway for one of these fab purses! Click here to enter!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The 'No Dig' bed..

(OK I lied, you have to dig a tiny bit!)

As promised, the lazy 'No Dig' bed for planting vegetables. As planting season is already under way some of you might not find this post very helpful, but I would see it as already getting prepared for the coming autumn. Maybe it's because, for me, time seems to be going so fast that I feel the need to think ahead. Anyhow, hope this post helps for your future gardening adventures.

Start off with a small bit of land. You can mark out the area using string and canes. If there is already soil on the ground grab your gardening fork and turn the soil. For your first layer, add sheets of cardboard, this will smother the weeds and mulch into the soil eventually. The second layer, add seaweed, if you live in Ireland you'll notice we are lacking in seaweed, so the best time to collect it off a beach is after a storm. If that's not possible to do, your local garden centre should have powdered seaweed in large bags. The third layer is straw, again, most people won't have this to hand but it is available from agricultural centers and some large pet stores (used in rabbit and guinea pig hutches) To keep that layer of straw down you should add a layer of soil and/or compost. The fifth layer is shredded newspaper and cardboard. It makes a great mulch for most beds, but make sure there aren't any glossy magazines, they don't break down like newspaper. The sixth layer is optional, but is great for the soil. You would tend to do this part in Autumn. When the leaves finally fall off the trees, get out there with refuse sacks and collect all the leaves you can. These are invaluable! They are great for mulching and a good thick layer on a bed will keep the weeds at bay. I've noticed on a lot of forums gardeners have used cut grass instead but I find it goes into seed and basically ruins the beds. You don't want to spend 90% of your time weeding, right?

And lastly, add another layer of soil or compost. All these layers will break down and will give you lovely soil. I will do another post on soil soon. Let me know if you have attempted a No Dig bed before and if there is anything I can add that might be helpful to my no dig bed!

Monday, 13 May 2013

On top of me head!

I want to say an uber big SORRY to my two followers for not updating in a while. As I'm sure you read back in March that my Mother passed away, it was a terrible heart-breaking time for the family (and still is) and everyone that knew her. My Mother and I were, at the time, attending a night course to get our FETAC 5 cert as Care Assistants. After my Mother passed I found it quite difficult to continue with my study and unfortunately missed the submission date for my work. Since then I've started another module of the care assistant course and I am finally on a roll with my work, so that has been taking up a huge lump of my time. When I'm not studying or at the gym, I am usually working on a community allotment in the local countryside. I love it, it's so good to get the hands into the soil. The Irish weather has been unkind again this year, so our beds are still empty. While we've been waiting to the seeds to sprout, (cat+seed tray=disaster) we've been busy (between showers, hailstones and thunder storms!!) building a No Dig bed. It was our first time this year trying this out. I promise to do a small blog explaining what this is and how easy it is to do! I do have a lot of blogs to post up but I just haven't had the time to sort out the photos and words. Here is an idea of what will be coming soon;

  • More crafts with tins
  • Layman's danishes
  • Recycling 
  • An Cuige allotments
  • My own allotment
  • Knitted tea cosy
  • Interiors
  • yes I know, I'm in my wellies and mucky clothes most of the time!