Tuesday, 28 March 2017

So .... what's different ?

I snuck back in last week to do a 'comparison' post and although I thought I wouldn't be noticed, it seems lots of you have been looking out for me ... thank you for caring  :-)

So I thought you all deserved an update on what's been happening here on our little bit of Welsh hillside since I vanished from this blog last December.  Although I have been in action in a slightly sporadic fashion over on my other blog 'Polytunnel Vegan' 

Well as you can see from the top photo not much has changed in the kitchen.

Spring has finally come to this cold, wet and windy part of Wales, with blossom on the Almond trees in Nut Wood, and also just this morning appearing on the cherry trees in the fruit orchard.

Ginger has claimed one of the dog beds as his own, usually the small one ...

... as he has found out if he gets in the bigger one the others simply pile on top of him.

I'm still saving the pennies .... in this instance by washing and reusing plant labels from last year.

Suky's diet is working well. 
She's now down from her original 12.2kg to a much healthier and happier 8.2 kg.  She would most likely love this photo, it makes her look even slimmer than she is!!

I still cook homegrown veggies from the poly and net tunnels .... only now I'm no longer a vegetarian.

I'm a vegan :-)

(As you might have guessed from the name of my other blog.)

The polytunnel is just starting to fill up with freshly sown seeds and newly turned beds. But I'm taking it slower this year as the nights have been toe curlingly cold here.

I wore out my old salad spinner and had to invest in a new one.

And Mavis has turned into the most laid back and loving little doggie you can possibly imagine.  Even being allowed off the lead on our property as long as we are close by.

So although there are some changes here, there are lots of things that are ticking over in just the same soul satisfying way.  I still don't really know if I want to come back into daily or even regular blogging, but after all your lovely comments last week, I am considering it, or at the very least popping up from time to time when there is something I feel is worth writing about.

Thank you for reading and for taking the time to send your comments.

Sue xx

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

For Comparison

The Net and Polytunnels.

Inside the polytunnel as it is this year ...

... and as it was on this day last year.

Where are all the veggies .... the chickens have been eating them during their enforced stay undercover during the Avian Flu crisis over the last few months.  Also sacrificed as chicken treats and something to peck at that they could find suddenly hanging from their tree when they got fed up with layers pellets and corn, were all my Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants from the net tunnel.

Oh well, it's a fresh canvas in the tunnels to start from now ... and the chickens have had their freedom since the first of the month so they are busy scratching for bugs, eating the last of the over-wintered windfall apples and rummaging through the woodland on wet days   :-)

Sue xx

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Ginger ... and us .... off into the future.

Sue xx

Monday, 5 December 2016

Anniversary, Christmas ... and The End of an Era

It was our ninth wedding anniversary yesterday and we made the celebrations last the entire weekend.

On Friday we took Suky and Mavis to the groomers and whilst they were washed, dried, snipped and titivated and made to look even prettier than they normally are, we treated ourselves to a coffee.  Later on in the evening we went to the cinema to see Allied, a surprisingly good film, even better than the trailer had led us to expect..

On Saturday morning we opened our Sealed Pot and after years of using the money to do various Challenges this year we decided that the money was ours to do with as we wanted.  So we went to the bank to pay the bags and bags of loose change into our account and then hit the shops.  I bought myself a new dress and two pairs of shoes, and Lovely Hubby bought himself a power tool and it's accessories.

We ended Saturday with a meal out, something we have not done that often this year, so it was a treat to put on my new dress and dine at our leisure ...slightly too much wine may have been consumed  ;-)

On Sunday morning after a much more leisurely breakfast than usual we gave the house a good clean  and then put up the Christmas decorations.  We don't go mad, indeed each year we seem to streamline the decorations a little bit more. The ones we didn't use have been bagged up and will be dropped off at the charity shop later today while they still have time to sell them this year.

As you can see from these photos, the little black piggies on the gateposts have got their Christmas finery on too :-)

And this is where I have decided to share our lives for the last time.

Since January 2009 you have journeyed along with us as we moved from town to country.  You've been with us through the trials and tribulations of learning to look after chickens and pigs and as I learnt to grow enough vegetables to feed us and to preserve them in lots of ways to see us through the leaner months of Winter.  You have laughed along with our messy adventures and cried along with our losses ... feathered, furry and family .... you've been true friends in every sense of the word.  But, after much deliberation I think that now is the right time to claim back privacy for ourselves, and to close the gates on our lives in this public domain for the last time.

Thank you for being there, for being you, for the comments, the emails and the visits.  Thank you for following along throughout the last almost eight years.  I will still be around in blogland, and will leave this blog as it stands now for those of you who use it to link to the other blogs on my sidebar, although I will change the photo after this post has been live for a week.  This is not totally the end of my involvement with blogland as I will still drop by and comment on those blogs that I read regularly and follow, and hopefully keep in touch in a more low key way with my blogging buddies.   I hope you all have a wonderfully happy and peaceful Christmas and a calm and happy New Year.

We all have so much to look forward to.

With much love from
Sue and Lovely Hubby xx
Rosy, Suky, Mavis, Ginger
and The Feathered Flock

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Keeping Things Going

I've been a bit of an intermittent blogger this week, sorry but I've been busy just keeping things going. 

Busy with just the day to day of living,  of visiting family, of family visiting me ... but mostly trying to keep things thawed out so that the things that have to live outdoors on our property have water to drink.  By things I mean our chickens, the resident sheep and the wild birds ... thank goodness that for now we have no other animal demands.

It's been so cold that I have needed to go over to the drinkers during the course of the day to refill them with warm water as once again they have iced up after the mornings defrosting.  I  keep a watering can near the house and fill it from the hot tap so that each time I let the dogs out for a toilet break I can check that everyone has thawed water available to drink.

They appreciate it, and drink their fill while the water is still warm.

Someone asked me the other day if chickens drink a lot of water, and the answer is yes.  Eggs are composed of lots of water and the laying girls especially need to drink even more than they need to eat, but all of them appreciate some warming water on these cold and frosty days.

Yesterday when we got back from Mum's with my younger son Jason, everything was green again.  All nicely thawed out,  the sheep were making the most of having lots of grass to nibble at and I went to bed thinking that I would have a morning off from the hot water rounds,  but this morning the hard white frost was back and once again it was -3 inside the polytunnel and no doubt a degree or so colder outside, so I donned scarves, extra socks and gloves and did the rounds.

Now it's time to do the rounds again before me and Jason head for an afternoon at the cinema, not a bad way to spend a frosty December day, it's a good way to keep me going   :-)

Sue xx

Monday, 28 November 2016

Cold Crisp Weekend

Oooh ... it was a bit nippy over the weekend. 

But we got some jobs done around the old homestead, both outside and inside.  Lovely Hubby wanted to get his trailer unloaded  ready for a manure pick up in the next couple of weeks, so he set to and shovelled out all the stones that were left in there, adding them to the narrow path way that runs down the side of the wall.  It soon warmed him up.

After cleaning out the henhouse and adding more hot water to all the drinkers I grabbed the camera and got a few shots of our lovely frosty land.

This bit is on the very edge of the woodland at the back of the house, and don't worry I think it's my camera angle that is leaning so badly to the left not the telegraph pole  ;-)

It took a while to thaw out each day but once it did we had glorious sunshine, it was so lovely to see but it was still bitterly cold and you had to keep busy to keep warm.

Sue xx

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Mother ...and a Frosty Morning

Mother is the name we gave our Christmas Cacti when it came to live with us after living previously with Lovely Hubby's Mum and before her, her Mum ... it just had to be 'Mother' didn't it ... it couldn't simply be the Christmas Cacti   :-)

After a break of about three months she is back in glorious flower and bringing a shot of the most beautiful colour to the room off the kitchen.

Yes, that's a Marrow in the background, the last one that was harvested before the frosts struck.

And talking of frost, we woke up this morning to a magical white wonderland of thick, thick frost.

The chickens water had to be thawed, not once but twice.

And with a big snack of corn in their tummies and warmed water to drink they were happy to mooch around in the chilly November sunshine.

Keep cosy and warm this weekend, and thank you for all the lovely comments yesterday. 
I am off out now to try and hunt Chris down, it's going to be another freezing night tonight.

Edit:  I went to Llandudno and immediately found Chris who was thrilled with his early Christmas presents, while we were chatting another guy came up, gave him a pound and said he had a nice warm jacket that was about Chris's size that he would drop off off next time he was passing if Chris wanted it ... he did .  Nice things happening to a nice guy for once   :-)

Sue xx