Thursday, 15 April 2010


Setting smaller goals is helping my motivation so far. Once the routine jobs of the day were done I set to on the garden and planted the peas I've been waffling about for weeks, then diverted the spring that appeared in the garden to water in my newly set seeds. If it's going to be there it might as well be useful!

I've had big urges over the last few days to get back in the saddle and start riding again.......hopefully I can fence off a paddock so I don't have to worry about the horse running off if something happens and get on Maya again to continue her education to be a riding horse. She's not very good in the cart but seems to be willing under saddle and just needs time and patience, plus some real commitment from me.

The horses and donkey were all wormed and covered in bug stuff over the last few days as it's tick season here again - the downside to having so many sheep and goats pass the house is that we do find ticks on some of the animals including the cats and dogs, so they're wearing their new killtix collars that worked well last year. We tried Frontline and although it did work to an extent we found it only kept them clear of ticks for around 3 weeks so worked out very expensive. Tonight the dogs and cats will be getting their wormer tablets and next week is the turn of the pigs and poultry. I must remember to write everything down on the calendar though!

Time to go find something for tea - a nice, hot chilli would go down well tonight if I'd remembered to pick up some chillies while out shopping yesterday! Oh well, back to the drawing board and raking through the freezer lol

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Another "No Garden" Day

This morning was cold, windy and didn't look very promising so after putting the horses and donkey out and having my first coffee of the day I was wondering what to do. Don't get me wrong I love to get on with things in the garden but if I'm feeling cold (as this morning) everything seems to take so much longer and needs more effort.  A quick chat with my sister in law decided that we'd go do some food shopping and pay a couple of bills etc.

So off to Kaufland we went, shopping list in hand and 2 kids in tow. As usual the shopping list was left in the car, impulse buying took over and I predictably forgot to take carrier bags with me so had to buy more! But we got most of the things we needed, paid the phone and ever-so-slow internet and left the shop considerably lighter in the purse than when we went in.

Next stop was the animal feed factory.....since we have so many pigs here now we are getting through a lot of feed, mind they all look good so what they're eating must be ok. This year we're going to try and mill up some pig feed from raw materials - barley, oats and maize are what is commonly used here and we'll need to adjust the amounts to suit our animals. They all get a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit when it's in season so have a pretty good diet. In fact it's a bit of a joke in the village that the English families animals are very well fed. We still have a turkey and bantam hen sitting on eggs, and a load more turkey eggs waiting for a hen to decide to sit, fingers crossed this year we'll have good hatching success rates.

Tomorrow hopefully I'll get back into the garden (and my shorts if the weather is nice) and finally get the peas planted. I have some more seeds to start off  and also need to find a place to plant leek seedlings before the get too big and leggy. I'm inclined to give myself smaller goals to work to then if I don't get everything done on the day I'd hoped at least I won't feel so let down :)

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I'm another year older and starting to look it too! This week I've found a grey hair in my eyebrow to match the ones that have appeared in my over the winter........but we all have to grow older so I'm not too worried.

The sun is shining, the animals are all happy and the weather will only improve further over the next couple of months. Last summer the temperatures here hit a high of well over 40 degrees C in the sun, far too hot to work in so we do try and take a siesta midday. That also means I get up earlier and get things done before it gets too hot but then enjoy the evenings outside having a barbecue or meal.

Hopefully the spring that has appeared in my vegetable plot will dry out soon and I can get started planting more. Yesterday I did manage to get some more seeds in the ground and another patch completely dug over so the peas can be planted today. It's hard work but very fulfilling when the food on your plate has come from the garden.

Roll on summer and fingers crossed - a bumper crop!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Surprise Visitors

We've been busy the last couple of days tidying the garden and yard, trying to get the flower bed weed free and generally pottering about doing small jobs.

All of the animals are enjoying the good weather, things are growing well and the grass is coming through thick and fast that the horses gorged themselves yesterday and were a little colicky last night. Milka looked the worst and was in obvious pain but after being walked around the garden for a while and managing to shift some of the gas build up she was fine! Have you ever heard a horse belch? lol was a first for me but a relief to know that she was getting better.

This morning I've been trying to do some more weeding in my flower bed which hubby has started dog proofing so large spaniel feet don't trample my seedlings. I'd just got started when out of the corner of my eye I saw something small dash from the wood pile across the garden and back. So out came the camera and this is what I managed to snap.

I spent a good 15 minutes or so watching it jumping around the garden, hiding in the wood pile then scampering off.......very cool. Pity I couldn't get closer to take a better photo but that's wildlife for you. The kids came out to have a look too.

 I'm going to try and keep the camera handy from now on just in case we get any more visitors. This is the time of year when everything is coming out of hibernation as there's a plentiful food supply now. The bull frogs have started singing at night and we've seen the first fire flies of the year too.