15 August 2021

Gathering the Fragments 15th August 2021

It's been a while, but I've been busy. Life has a way of getting in the way of our plans.

So this last week, our lockdown was extended for another 2-1/2 weeks (and I am sure it will keep on being extended).

When Hannah was here in between lockdowns, she brought me three beautiful pumpkins. One will be soup. One will be cooked and dried to make pumpkin powder (video coming), and one we will use to enjoy baked pumpkin and pumpkin scones and pumpkin and sultana cake.

The days have been glorious. Sunny, but very windy, with occasional showers. Great for getting the washing dry.

Cheapskating accomplishments this week:

Brought extra throws and blankets out of the linen cupboard to use on chilly mornings and nights instead of turning the heater on (we have the fire going all the time, we try not to use the ducted heating).

Rang and queried an insurance bill, it had gone up well 13%, and the cover amount had dropped by 15%! Spent some time explaining nicely that that just wasn't going to keep us as customers, even if the amounts were decided by a computer program. Also suggested that the company might like to check the depreciation rates as 15% was a little steep for the item covered. After about 20 minutes we came to an amiable agreement, bill was lowered, amount covered increased and the policy renewed. But I'll spend the next 12 months looking for something else, to be prepared next year.

Made some cards for the nursing homes.

Knitted two dishcloths.

Crocheted three scrunchies.

Worked on some projects for Christmas gifts - I think Christmas 2021 is going to be very different to what we have been used to, especially the range of decorations and gifts.

I'm a part of a Christmas ornament exchange, so I've started working on the ornaments to send - they need to be finished by mid-September so I can get the overseas ones sent off.

Emptied the bokashi bucket into one of the garden beds and dug it in, in-between rain showers, now it's ready to be filled again. I drained all the "tea" into an empty 3 litre milk bottle to make up into liquid fertiliser in the spring when I start planting again.

I placed a seed order a couple of weeks ago. Seeds were in short supply last year, and from what I've been reading and hearing from friends overseas, they are still in short supply and it looks like being a world-wide shortage for a while. Seeds keep for a couple of years, so I ordered more of what we use all the time, with a few extra packets, and they arrived on Wednesday. They'll be good for at least three years and won't go to waste.

Cut more lavender for starts. Lavender plants at the nursery cost between $7 - $8 each. Starting new plants from cuttings is easy and free, and lavender fills blank spots in the garden beautifully while being a plant that gives back. They also make beautiful gifts in pretty pots. I have some ideas for pots that I'll share soon.

I noticed that a lot of the basic craft supplies I use all the time have gone up. Embossing folders have gone up $1 each. Crochet cotton has also gone up by $1 a ball. These prices are still lower than buying from a branded retailer, but they impact my budget. I'm now rethinking some of the ideas on my gift list.

Today we are working in the garden, getting everything ready, or as ready as we can, for spring and summer.

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