Category: Allotment garden

A stepladder’s revenge!

We’ve had beautiful weather the last few days, I mean seriously gorgeous weather, nice and warm, like 25-26 degrees C in the shade.

So you know the whole nation of Norway (OK, maybe just the people on the south-west coast), is out and about, rather than sitting cooped up inside.

It makes perfect sense to me to use these warm days getting stuff done in the respective gardens, and yesterday it was my stepmoms allotment that was being worked. B (being the nice guy he is) handled the cutting of the grass, while I was working my fingers to the bone, cutting a large hedge, with an electric hedge trimmer.

It was all going pretty well, I was down to the last  few yards, when suddenly the stepladder I was on, decided it had had enough of it all.

I had gotten up on top of it and was leaning in with my hands on my hedge trimmer to start working on the top of the hedge, when the ladder decided to just take off with me on top. It fell outwards and I had no choice but to follow (as I did have my feet firmly planted on the top step).

And I crashed… hard!  Mostly on top of the darn thing! And let me tell you, that stepladder have some sharp edges 😦   All I remember is hitting the ground hard on my right shoulder, enough that I needed to catch my breath (a few minutes), before I managed to scrape myself off the ground.

I decided to call it a night, there was no way I was going to tempt fate getting back up and finish that hedge. That particular decision might have had something to do with the fact I was bleeding all over the place, from scrapes on my leg and shoulder, and I needed to clean that stuff off.

I’m not one to run of to the doctors prematurely, but it didn’t take me long to realise that my shoulder needed to be checked out, as I could no longer lift my arm. So off to the emergency room we went. 4 hours,  x-rays, one tetanus shot and 3 doctors later, I was declared OK. No broken bones 🙂  Just a severely internally bruised shoulder (leg, hip and neck).

I’ve been told it might take up to 3 weeks before it’s healed 😦

Which is quite a bummer, as friends from abroad came in this morning and we had been planning to go on hikes in the area (which demands a bit of climbing.. read: use my shoulder). I have garden plans, like clearing up plants and painting the garden brick wall. And not to forget I have my little scanning project.

I know that computer work is going to be out of the question the next few days (one hand typing), so guess what! Yepp, you are right, there won’t be a lot of sensible stuff out on this blog for a little while. I might post a picture or two, depending on what my friends and I are up to.. but actual words! Probably not… much 😉

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Yepp… that would be me!

Pretty, ain’t it?

September in a nutshell!

It seems I keep dropping the ball on my monthly sum ups, here we are already more than half way into the month of October before you get an update from me 😦

But you know what they say, better late than never… right? So here goes!

Activities and exercise
Having been ill for a long time, and me now being on a 100% sick leave from my company, I ran into a major bump late august (company related), that unfortunately have taken a toll on my health.  

So my happy average of 6 times a week (that I had during summer) took a crashing nosedive during the month of September, to where I think I just about squeaked by to an average of about 1,5 a week 😦 

Declutter
My decluttering is slowly… sloooooowly picking up again, not quite as much as I hoped, but still, there are a few things that have gone out the door.

I cleaned up some of my medication, and said goodbye to my old vacuum machine. In addition there are a couple of other things that went out the door, that I completely forgot to take take pictures of or even write about. Not really anything big, just some junk, a flowerpot or two, some pieces of clothing ++

Together with the medication and vacuum cleaner, it racked up to about 23 items out-the-door.

Not a lot, but hey.. I’m on my way again 😉

Only buying necessities

I think I’ll change this up a little. Earlier I used to list all my allowance categories, regardless if I bought anything or not. The next months I’m changing that to just mention the categories I’ve spend money in.

Eating out – As most of you know, we seem to struggle with this category month in and month out, so I’m sure it will come as a big surprise (it sure surprised me) that we did “fairly” well during the month of September. we “only” ate out 5 times 🙂 Big shocker, I know!

Now if we can only keep this up for October, we might still have a shot at the overall yearly goal (when it comes to money spent, not the amount of times eaten out.. because that one, we have already failed miserably at).

Buying non essentials – as most years, Christmas sure came early this year too! I think it’s crazy how the businesses start Christmas three months before the real thing. I mean, no wonder people are sick of christmas by the time Christmas actually rolls by.

IKEA tends to be one of the first ones out, and they started to roll out their wrapping papers, ribbons and tree decorations late September. All their good stuff seems to disappear in no time, so if you actually want some, you have to hustle. So guess what 😉

Yep, I got some. I got wrapping paper, ribbons, and a couple of really cool tags (picture below). This time around I went for paper that wasn’t all that typical christmassy. Which means I can use most of it, all year round, for anything that needs to be wrapped. How very “frugal” of me 😉

Financial goals
Interest rates are going down like crazy, which is wonderful for my mortgage, but suck even worse for any money I have in the bank.

I’m thinking, that it’s probably time to “do something”, as the money I have in the bank, won’t be generating much interest after they reduce the rate again, December 1’st.

I haven’t decided yet, between making another extra down payment (like I did in March), or maybe stocks or mutual funds. Hmm, maybe a little of both is the smart way to go. I’ll let you know, when I figure it out 😉

Projects
Well… projects, just like activity, kinda went out the window, except as always I did get to enjoy my garden a little.

Oh yeah, and my stepmom got a small Cinderella Classic Incineration toilet for her allotment cabin. If I ever make or buy an tiny house, this is the system for me, as they have an RV version that doesn’t take a lot of space. Now to the exciting part! Guess who had to install it? Yep, you’ve guessed it 😉

B and me spent a few hours one afternoon. It involved a hole in the roof, some pipes and a few new composite shingles, and then we were done.

There are still a few of bits and bobs left to do at my friends house (the one that recently moved), but we had to put some of that on hold in September. But hey, there are still a few days left of October, so we might have a shot at getting it done this month 😉

Well, I guess that’s it, not much else to tell ya. Better get this out, while there is still a few days left of this month, because before you know it, it will be time for the October update… which, by the way, I promise to be a bit more timely with 🙂

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August (and July) in a nutshell!

I’ve done it again! I fumbled the month of July, and here we are, at August’s sum-up. So, once again you will get two months in one post 😉

We’ve had some great days here lately, and as always I’ve been enjoying the heck out of my garden. I’ve also been spending a few days here and there helping a couple of friends with a few things.

So let’s get to it, how am I doing with my goals!

Activities and exercise
My focus is still just being out and about, more than exercise on it’s own. And between picking currants, and other berries. Spending time on my step-mums allotment, planting some plants, tinkering around in my own garden, helping a friend in her new house, walking the streets of London and the streets of my own town, I’m sticking to my average of 6 days a week. 

I’m sure I’ll get into some proper workouts at some stage, it’s just not my focus right now as I’m having enough on my plate with me leaving work, and I’ve had a need to do fun things to keep my mind off it all.

Declutter
I’m still pretty much doing nothing about my declutter tasks. As far as I remember, nothing went out during July, and August only wielded 3 pots leaving the house, when I potted my neighbor’s plants.  Items out-the-door = 3

So what will September bring? It looks like things might be picking up, I’m slowly but surely getting into decluttering again. Not a lot yet.. but I think I might finally be on the roll again (maybe) 😉

Only buying necessities

  • Books – nope, none – which is great for my wallet, and I’m not filling my bookshelves either.
  • Eating out – July we had our trip to England, so we did a bit of eating out during the trip. The rest of that month we didn’t do to bad as we spent a bit of time with a friend of mine, grilling and cooking at her place. The later part of August we are back to really bad, but I’m hoping September will be a better month, as we need to get back into cocking for ourselves.
  • Flowers and plants – 6,  3 tiny small orchids, 3 outdoor plants, two for me and one for my neighbour
  • Buying non essentials – I have to admit I did spend a few pounds in London. So what damage did I do?
    – 1 pair of ecco shoes, 2 bra’s and a couple of Eagle creek packing cubes.
    So why are they non essentials? Well.. I do have plenty of shoes, but I wanted a pair that are good travel shoes and at the same time looks good enough, with nice clothing, so that when I travel, I can get away with this one pair only. My old travel pair, are so worn out that they no longer look good. The bra’s I get at Victoria Secret, and since they don’t have a shop in Norway, and since I’m not traveling to US this year, I figured I should grab a couple, even though I strictly don’t need them… yet! And the packing cubes? I definitely didn’t’ need as I have a bunch from before. It’s just that the new ones are the super, super light type and use next to no space in my luggage.. so I went ahead and got some…

Financial goals
Nothing new really, except, I have been able to save a little extra towards my next mortgage down payment, as I received some stock dividends in August. The money went straight to my saving account 😉  And my interest reduction finally came into play, saving me another few dollars a month on my monthly interest payments… Every little thing counts towards getting that mortgage paid off, and interest saved, is just more money towards that yearly lump sum. How am I doing on that particular goal? Pretty Ok I must say, as I’m a couple of months ahead of schedule 🙂

Projects
As I mention at the top, I’ve been enjoying the garden (as always)!

And I have been working on fixing a couple of areas on my outer garden wall, that had some loose stone. It’s a fiddly process, removing the loose stone, removing the gravel behind, put concrete in the hole and stuff the stone back in. It’s not big stone, so it’s not heavy work, but I have to sit wrapped up as a pretzel doing it (it’s a low garden wall) and my hip only want’s to sit in this position for a very short time. So.. you might say it’s a project in progress… I’m hoping I will get it done this year, but if it spills over to next summer, that’s ok.. the garden wall isn’t going anywhere 😉

What else… hmmm..  I have a friend that moved into a new house a few weeks back, and we (B and me) have been helping her out with a few things, like hanging up stuff on the wall, changing handles on the doors, cutting a piece of molding to fit a cabinet she wanted put in, putting new feet on a piece of furniture.. you know the drill.. all the little things, that is part of moving to a new place 🙂

Guess that is it for August and June!

PS. Tonight is my friends move in party… so if you don’t hear from me for a couple of days.. you know why 😉

“Homemade” apple juice

My step mum have two apple trees on her allotment. One little one and one big brute of a tree! Somewhere along the way she decided it be a good idea to pick the apples, but she didn’t want any.. would I?

Saturday last weekend, a friend of mine and me, moseyed over there and picked the trees clean. With the exception of about 6 apples hanging so high there was no way I was going to get to them, without risking my “life”. Yes.. had a little “scare” when my ladder started to slip because a branch gave in, or rather to be absolutely frank with you, it broke! Not a comfy feeling let me tell you 😉 So I caved and left the last ones on the tree. Better safe than sorry.. right? 😉

There are a couple of places in town that lets you do something about your apples.

One place will exchange 1,25 kg of apples for a 0,7 litre bottle already made apple juice (of the type that has been treated to last a while). You pay for the juice, but you pay less than normal, since you are bringing the apples.

There is another place in town where they will press apples into fresh apple juice for a small fee. Since this is not treated apple juice (pure fresh, as if you used a juicer yourself) they will only last a few days, so you will be needing some room in your freezer for storage.

Since this was the first time ever, trying this (and we had no clue if the apples were good or not), we decided it be a good idea to try both of the options above.

So off we went with about 60 kg worth of apples 🙂

We delivered about 38 kg to the “swap” place! Which amounted to 30 bottles of juice at reduced price. But since we had no idea if that juice was any good or not, we decided to buy only 15 bottles this time, which gives us a another 15 we can buy later.

Then we delivered  22/23 kg at the apple press place, and would you believe it, it amounted to about 17,5 litres of freshly pressed! Woohoo 🙂 How’s that for utilising our resources, and they are guaranteed organic (since nobody have done didli squat with the trees in years) 🙂

Which one tasted the best? As nice as the juice at the swap place is, I have to admit the freshly pressed is way better. So guess which version I’ll be doing next year? Yepp, the freshly pressed way (depending on how much room I can borrow in my friends freezers 😉 )

Did we save some? Yes, off course! The little tree had some really nice red tasty apples, and these are kept outdoors in my garden box. So right now, I’m eating apples like a crazy person 😉

 

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