Tuesday, 2 September 2014

My One Thousand Mile Weekend, for Me ..... and Mavis

 Mavis meeting Suky for the first time on 31st December.
This weekend I was away staying with Lovely Hubby at his digs in Berkshire and catching up on visiting some of our favourite haunts down there, a two hundred and fifty mile journey each way.  I got home at 11pm on Sunday night and after a quick tidy round and cuddles for Ginger and a check on the chickens threw myself into bed.  Up bright and early at 7ish the next morning, the henhouse was well and truly cleaned out, I sorted myself out, fed Ginger and sat down at the computer to do a quick Blog post to kick off my No Spend/Low Spend September before going to pick up the dogs from the kennels up the road, then the phone rang .....

Mavis on 10th April, just before she went missing.
... it was the receptionist at a vets practice in Peterborough saying that Mavis had just been handed in to them, she was 'found wandering the streets'.  I rang around, asked the kennels if they could keep my doggies for another day, let Mum and Lovely Hubby know what I was doing and then set off at midday.
Mavis at midnight last night.

After a five hundred mile round trip though places I have never visited before later, my gorgeous little Mavis was tucked up in her own bed for the first time in four and a half months.

When she went missing Lovely Hubby thought she had been caught by foxes or badgers and had met a grim end.  I guessed that she may have been picked up by someone returning home after a holiday and kept for themselves and I remember writing that on here that if that was the case, I hoped she had gone to a good home !!
That looks like it was the case .... but she did NOT go to a good home.
Whoever the bastards are that did this (and I DO NOT swear lightly) must have got her pregnant virtually straight away and hoped to make money from her by selling the pups.  I have just got back from our vets and the she reckons that Mavis has had puppies within the last 2 -3 weeks, and probably they have either been taken off her MUCH too early or they have all died, because at the moment she is full of milk.  When they had no further use for her she was dumped.  All I can say is thank goodness for micro-chips.
When the nurse at the vets practice in Peterborough led her out to me, Mavis recognised me more than I recognised her.  If it wasn't for those big trusting big brown eyes she could have been a complete stranger.  She was still wearing her spotty red collar although it was now thick with grime, but the tags with our name and contact details, and the one that stated that she was micro-chipped had been ripped off. 
The main thing is SHE IS HOME. 
She has medication to dry up her milk, some pro-biotics to help her poor gurgling tummy, I have given her a dose of Advocate to get rid of the fleas and worms that she is riddled with, and once that has taken full effect and her 'undercarriage' is less tender she will be bathed.
She is already wearing a new spotty red collar to match her sisters, one that I had bought for Rosy but I can get another.  So while she sleeps off the trauma off the long drive home last night and the early morning visit to the vets, I will be calling an amnesty on my No Spend/Low Spend September and nipping through to the shops to get her a new ID tag and some tasty chicken to get her eating again .... oh and some more Dentastix to try and help with her now chronic bad breath.
Once she has put on some weight (she is once again down to just over 4kg), and returned to full health she will be booked in for spaying and having her teeth sorted out.

  In this picture it was the first time her ears had gone back to their usual position instead of being held fearfully back against the side of her head.  Once you are back in your own bed the world starts to feel a much safer place.
Welcome home Mavis.
Soon you will look more like the Mavis we know and love, but in the meantime you will have to suffer lots of loving and lots of cuddles .... but somehow I think you'll cope.
Sue xx

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Getting Ready?

You'd think with No Spend/Low Spend September starting tomorrow I would have been out and about topping up supplies, filling the freezer with food to last us, making sure the cupboards were full to overflowing of foods to see us through ... but NO ... quite the opposite in fact. 
I have already, without even thinking about it, been using up supplies.  Fishing in the cupboards for food I already have instead of dashing out and buying replacement things for items that we have used up.
This jar of homemade Green Tomato Chutney was taken from the cupboard, when the jar of onion marmalade in the fridge was finished off, and do you know what .... it is gorgeous!!   We ate it on buns from the freezer with sliced chicken for Lovely Hubby and sliced cheese for me.  We were slightly greedy having two each but we were hungry after a mornings barrowing and this set us up for an afternoon of even more work.
As you can just about make out on the label I made this in September of last year, and the time it has spent developing it's flavour tucked in the dark cool cupboard has mellowed it's taste wonderfully.  It's that mild, mellow and flavoursome it could be eaten on it's own, in fact I snook a cheeky spoonful straight from the jar ...... for test purposes you understand ;-)
(For the very easy and basic recipe look at the recipe page at the top of the Blog.)
So starting tomorrow .....  a month long food fest of use it up and wear it out. 
 Seeing if I can run down food supplies enough to be able to turn off the large chest freezer (we have to ..... the roof could be coming off the conservatory in the next couple of months!). reading the books and magazines I have instead of buying more, and digging out last Winters clothes to see if I can get away with not spending a penny on clothes for the foreseeable future.
Join me for No Spend/Low Spend September either just reading about what I'm up to or having a go yourself, in whatever form you decide to do.  There's something appearing on the horizon that takes up a lot of some folk's money, and not spending for a whole month could start some serious saving towards that.
Don't shoot me .... Lovely Hubby raised the dreaded 'Christmas' word before I did ... honest!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Suky Has a Question ......

Suky has a question ... just one question for you ...
" Does my Bum look big in this? "

Just in case you said yes!!
Sue xx

Friday, 29 August 2014

There's something behind the woodpile .....

Can you see Lovely Hubby disappearing into the woodland ....
... the dogs didn't even bother to follow him he had been going up and down, up and down, like a yoyo for hours!!
... he vanished behind the hedge that is behind the washing.
He was clearing some of the undergrowth with his brushcutter and with secateurs and sheer brute force.

Once he had made an impression on either side of the gap we both set too barrowing load after load of wood chippings from our enormous pile, to their new home on the edge of the woodland where the huge slices of the old oak tree are now weathering.
It took almost all day to do the bit we did, with me skiving off to make us some lunch and pour a few much needed long cold drinks.  Hard work, but well worth doing.
It turns out we have to move the wood chippings as soon as we can, as where they have been unloaded is exactly where we have to have checks made to see if the rainwater harvesting soak-away system will work effectively.

So the 'something' behind the woodpile - is a pathway made of woodchips :-)
(And yes, this is yet another little shed lurking on the edge of the woods!!)
Sue xx

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Finished Bed

I realised this morning that I never got round to putting up pictures of the finished new bed after doing the 'Molehills' post.  Ooops .... sorry!!
After barrowing all the soil over from the soil pile near the raised veggie beds, and filling in what was a much larger dip than even we realised, I laid out the pots of plants that we were planting.  Some were bought specially, including the one on the far left which was from the Maenan Hall NGS open day ... there were plants on sale as well as coffee and cake!!  The others bought on our visit to Snowdonia Nurseries just up the road from us.
A few of them we already had and they were just waiting their turn for planting.
Once they were planted I gave them all a good watering and then Lovely Hubby set too barrowing lots of chippings over for me to act as a good layer of mulch. 

I think it sets the plants off really well too.
I do have a list of virtually all the plants, I took a clipboard out with me and made a note of the names as I was planting them ...... now I just have to find the clipboard ;-)
Hopefully this bed, which fills in what was a dangerous dip and gap near the road, will now keep Charley a little bit safer.
Do you find that wonky bit of edging bl**dy annoying ... or is it just me being completely OCD.
Sue xx