Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thrifting Excesses - a False Economy?

I was over at Frugal By Choices log this morning and one concept she was discussing concerned ¨Cheap Chic¨ Thrifting, garage saleing and uptaking from friends. (They offload, you uptake)

For me, I am a very enthusiastic thift/opshopper. I love the thrill of the hunt, finding a high end label piece of even finding things I never knew I was looking for. Does that make it a bargain? Not always. Even op shopping can be a false economy. I have 12 brown t-shirts. Granted I wear them all, but who needs 12 of them? I could get by with 2 or 3. Even though they are all thrifted t-shirts, were they still value for money? Pink t-shirts....many. Black t-shirts? Don´t ask. Too many to count.

Another weakness is black pants. I have almost 20 pairs. Again, alot of that little amount of money could have been spent on something else, committed to debt reduction or further financial investment.

Don´t get me started on how many pairs of jeans I own. I live, eat and breathe denim and my wardrobe shows it. I could quite possibly NEVER buy another pairs of jeans in this lifetime and still be denim clad in my coffin at the age of 90.

Shoes? Another weakness.

Just because something is cheap, does not always make it a bargain. I thrifted a pair of Wrangler jeans a few weeks back, AND I HAVE NOT EVEN WORN THEM YET. I haven´t needed to. I have so many other pairs. The $2.50 is not alot of money in the scheme of things, but start multiplying that and the numbers start stacking up.

I shudder to think how much I would have spent on clothing had I purchased at full retail price. Should I also be shuddering at how much I could have saved on my extensive thrifted wardrobe?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Who´s Got New Shoes?

Cash has new shoes!

Yes, the poor pony has a new pair of ¨Mary Janes¨ to give him a level of cushioning comfort while coming back into work.

These are ¨Easy Boot¨ Gloves and while they are not a perfect fit they are pretty darn close. Now we just have to wait for his other pair to arrive from New York and he and I will be stepping out on the town again. Such a cosmopolitan horse! I don´t even have a pair of shoes shipped in especially for me! I do have a pretty little pair of ¨Dorothy¨ shoes from the local op shop. Does that count?

Stay tuned for the photo shoot of Cash in Boots.

Don and Wessex Saddleback Pigs.

I give my two little pigs a very hard time. I spend too many a post dwelling on their excavation talents, and not enough time on them as my two little pigs.

For starters, they are no longer so little. When the boys first arrived, they fit on my lap. Those days are over. There is now considerable bulk and spillage. They simply no longer fit on my, or anyone elses, lap. They also squirm a little bit too much, so all of a sudden you are trying to contain a 25 kilogram bowl of jelly (without a mould) within the confines of your lap. Good luck with that one!

There is some seriously good eating on these little fellows, and we have nurtured them for exactly that purpose. That is never far from our minds when we interact with them. Their sole purpose is to fill our freezer. They are fed well, kept well, we keep them in wallow when the weather is not forthcoming, but we always keep our distance. These boys are not our pets, they are our eventual food.

This has been quite a confronting experience for me. As a confirmed animal lover, it has been difficult to maintain that professional distance and not mother them, as cute as they were, and still are. They have distinct little personalities. They are happy to see us when we arrive with their breakfast and dinner. They come bounding up to the gate, ecstatic to see us (dinner, that is) there is much snorting and squealing at seeing us. Their backs arch up to receive back scratches and they LOVE nibbling on rubber wellies.

Raising happy meat is not for everyone. It is for us, as we would rather know that our happy meat has really lived a happy life and their slaughter and butchering will be fully appreciated and respected. Our pigs will not be a part of the consumer anaethetisation where you have no idea of the conditions under which your produce has existed for your purchasing and eating pleasure. Our pigs will never be subjected to inhumane living conditions that redeuces them to only the choicest cuts at your local supermarket and the rest is cast off to blood and bone or feeding your dog. We plan to waste as little as possible from these two little pigs and respectfully and ethically consume them from nose to tail.

That´s MISTER Potato Head to You!

I didn´t realize that Mr Potato Head was lurking in the potato patch, but lurking he was in all of his mishapen potato-y glory.

As with the fanged tomato, and the X-Rated carrot who was never featured on this blog, perfect vegetables are things that happen to other people.

My vegetable patches are the freak show of the circus, with produce that scares the littlies and adults alike.

Still, they taste delicious.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Little Patch of Mud

I have never been a fan of white on horses, or in the horsey vernacular,¨Chrome¨ or ¨Bling¨.

White on horses equates to filthy horse. It means lots of rugging, or washing and grooming to keep on top of the dirt. That is not me. I love brushing horses before and after riding, but to brush simply to keep a horse looking clean in a paddock is just not my thing.

However, I do own a paint clydesdale cross with HEAPS of chrome. I had vowed never to own a horse with bling, but this sad little horse was at the horse sales and destined to end up as a can of dog food. I could not leave him behind. So he and his little buddy in the next pen came home with me.

I go out into the paddock this morning and there is Hendrix, in all of his painty glory, looking like he has been slip-sliding through a mud slick. I just have to close my eyes and pretend that the mud does not exist. At least Faran, my appaloosa clydesdale cross, LOOKS clean!

Cash can be counted on to keep himself looking spiffy, so I don´t have to worry him with a brushing, but....

Guess what I got up to today?

Yep, restoring a naughty little muddy pony to his blingiest best...and then it rained..and then he rolled...and then I gave up.

I swear that I will NEVER buy a bling-y horse again!!!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Note to Self: ¨Unbit¨

I left a comment on Frugal Down Unders blog this morning. One of my usual sophisticated witticisms, and the word verification function asked me to type ¨unbit¨. For the horsey people who read my blog, I thought it was very cute as I have not ridden any of my horses in a bit for more than five years now.

I think that word verification and I shared a special moment together this morning.

Of course, you can fully expect me to freak out if it requires me to type in ¨treeless saddle¨ or ¨barefoot¨

One Little Artichoke.

At the very end of the growing season when all the other artichokes have come and gone and been eaten or left to flower, there is one little late starter showing up after the curtain has fallen.

I will let him go to flower and have a little splash of colour in the grey of the day.

Chickens in the Garden.

My Chickens have green talons.

I am serious. My intentionally planted sunflowers failed to thrive.

My chickens overlooked sunflower seeds in their seed mix...flourishing. I have no idea what their secret growing tips are and they are all keeping mum. It is a conspiracy, I am certain.

So dotted throughout our orchard are neglected flowering sunflowers. Also out there are sunflower seeds that couldn´t be bothered making an appearance simply because they were planted by me. Maybe they are waiting until my back is turned, or we have sold the property and moved on.

Either way, the chickens are more skillful at growing sunflowers than myself.

How is that for demoralising?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday Night Daffodil - An Update...

A direct quote from HH. ¨You know, you are like an Atilla the Hun who also likes gardening¨

I am speechless.

Thursday Night Daffodil

I am a nightshift worker. I have been for years. It suits my lifestyle of not wanting to get out of bed early just to go to work. On the days that I am not working I am actually up with the sun. I am a reasonably good sleeper during the day. I usually manage to clock up 7 or so hours straight. But the quality of sleep is not there.

It is a lighter sleep, with less REM. You wake up feeling less than refreshed. Then do that four days/nights running and you start accruing a rather serious sleep debt. After my last night I will only sleep for about 2 hours to ready myself for returning to sleeping at night. Which is the mode I am in right now. Eyes half shut and brain foggy with a headache that only a good nights sleep will cure. I have all the vibrancy and energy of a spring onion that has been hiding in the bottom of the vegetable crisper for the last three months. I am also about as charming as said spring onion.

This is Thursday Night Daffodil. She is not allowed to watch any News or Current Affair programs as she becomes loud, obnoxious and opinionated. HH claims she becomes a facist, communist, red neck with lashings of left-wingism and a whole load of whoop-ass thrown into the mix. I don´t see it myself, probably because I am too busy yelling at the television and letting a whole lot of indignation and huffing and puffing cloud my self perception.

...and just wait until she has a glass of red wine with dinner.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Left Foot - Heel Spur Update

..the story continues...

Well, I have been heel pain free since my last Bowen session. Could the saga actually be over?

I have been religiously soaking my left foot in a hot epsom salts foot bath for at least 30 mins each evening. I then apply 2-3 drops of copaiba essential oil which apparently has anti inflammatory properties, and RC (I still have no idea what that stands for) essential oil which some claim ¨break down¨ the bony spur. I have no idea how. I have one glass of milk every morning and I continue to do my foot stretching exercises. I have not had one single Voltaren over the last two weeks and I have also ditched the dencorub for the leg muscles.

I cannot explain how all of this has resolved my heel pain, but I can tell you is that I no longer have any heel pain AT ALL. I can wear real shoes again, and being a nurse, that is very helpful. Up until very recently the only shoes I could wear without crippling pain were my beautiful leather short riding boots. All leather, upper, sole and inner and very supportive. They didn´t cause any further heel pain, but they also did nothing to stop that initial walking pain post rest.

I went to work last week and people were commenting on how successful my ¨surgery¨ had been and were marvelling at how quickly I had come back to work....and without crutches!

I had to reassure everyone that there was no surgery involved and that my treatment regime, although very unorthodox, may just have resolved my bony spur issues. I haven´t cracked open the champagne just yet for a full recovery. I still have to rehabilitate my calf and foot muscles. My left calf is almost 2 cms smaller than the right, and I still have a slightly odd gait from almost 6 months of walking/shuffling a la Quasimodo. My ankle has reduced range of movement from simply not being able to move as it normally should.

I had another Bowen session this afternoon, and even my therapist could not believe the transformation since my last session. I wasn´t screaming the roof off of the joint. There was no wincing, swearing or toe curling in response to pain. I actually enjoyed the session right from the start.

I think I see some light at the end of the tunnel. I have been too long in a not very comfortable place.

Daffodil may just have escaped the surgeons knife after all.