Saturday, 22 May 2010

A Bad Day Gets Worse

There are times when I really feel like screaming here, frustration and anger are not a normal part of my daily life but every now and again something throws me over the edge. I'm a woman, I can be hormonal but for the best part am in control of myself. I make no excuses for having the odd off day and don't feel I need to.

Today has been an awful day........not only did I have hangover to contend with but the Beech Marten has been back overnight and slaughtered another turkey hen despite our efforts to try and stop it getting in, find out where it was getting in and staying awake until dawn in case we heard anything outside. A neighbour came round with a load of traps yesterday, and I've got to say that I hate them and won't have one used. They're barbaric and cruel, and even though I know we need to stop the critter killing any more of our birds I won't have the traps used.

We've made the decision to stop rearing turkeys and also cut down on the amount of chickens we currently have and calmly discussed which ones are staying and which ones need to go. A more secure turkey house has been made for the time being until the birds are dispatched humanely.

The kids have been playing happily in the garden, pigs cleaned out etc and we've had a mainly quiet day, until one of the kids found our cat Buster with his leg hanging off! This ensued immediate panic and screams of "Mum, Buster needs a vet NOW!" to be honest I though they were joking at first, out I run and it's true.....cold reality sets in and after picking the cat up I know he's got a huge infection by how hot he is, maggots in the wound, which isn't fresh, is very dehydrated and in a lot of pain, has lost a load of weight and is covered in ticks. We decide the best thing is to quickly and quietly put him out of his misery and although it's something I hate I know it has to be done. He's now buried in our garden and we will miss him lots. The kids are very upset but understand why we did what we had to do and I'm thankful that they're old enough to chat to calmly about it.......they still need a hug from their mum though.

So all in all we're having a crap day, to top matters off we're again in the midst of a huge thunderstorm, it's cold, raining and the chances of any of our first cut of lucerne being salvageable are slipping away fast. Sometimes life can be hard, but I'm sure days like this are sent to teach us something :(

Thursday, 20 May 2010

A Bit of an Odd Day

The weather today has been better, still windy and cold but at least it's stayed dry. The horses and donkey have been doing a wonderful job of clearing the lovely, lush grass that is growing where my vegetables should be by now. And while bringing them in tonight I've noticed that the spring which appeared in the middle of the garden after the snow melted, has actually stopped flowing! Yeeha - maybe the garden will start to dry out properly now.

This time last year all of the tomatoes, peppers, chillies and many other vegetables were in the ground and doing ok, with the exception of potatoes and root veg which don't seem to do much here to be honest. I get so little crop from them that I haven't grown any this year.

Our egg hatching is not going to plan at all this year. I've had to remove 2 turkey hens from their eggs as they were long overdue and have a bantam hen that's been sitting on her clutch for far too long, unfortunately I can't reach to get her out of the way and take the eggs from her! Today, sadly, I found our oldest turkey hen dead, from the looks of her she'd been attacked by a Beech Marten Click HERE for more info on this animal. Two more of our bantam hens are also missing, presumed dead and probably taken by this polecat like predator. So now we're left with 2 bantam hens and 4 young cockerels from the 19 we were given late last year.

The piglets are no longer small and cute, they're big, boisterous, hilariously funny at times and still cute, although the kids would say differently. Charlotte their mum is in pig again and starting to put on weight rapidly. I've just been outside to do a late night check on everything and all I can hear is Charlotte snoring away contentedly! She's certainly not missing her babies now and is back in her old routine. It has been amazing keeping the pigs and piglets here and something I'm really glad we did. Hopefully the next litter will be just as satisfying and fun.

Well that's it for today, no philosophical rants, moans about rain or kids not behaving themselves. Not much gardening either.....but I enjoyed wandering around with the camera, taking pics of my everyday life and hoping that someone will appreciate the things that keep me happy, healthy and sane!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Garden 1 - Suzy 0

I have come across the phrase "The Gentle Art of Gardening" a few times and after heading outside this morning I can confirm there is absolutely nothing gentle going on in my garden. In fact some of the weeds are as aggressive as a rottweiler on steroids and the artistic side of me is most likely to be described as abstract.

This mornings foray into the garden lasted around 45 minutes, in which time I'd weeded my flower garden, attempted to weed the pumpkin/squash patch, looked at the garden shovel waiting patiently for me to use it again, shook my head, downed tools and plodged my sorry backside into the house for another coffee. I say plodged because the sheer weight of mud attached to my wellies meant I kind of shuffled, shifted and wobbled my way across the garden trying to miss the wettest parts and stay on  my feet.

The horses and donkey have been given day ticket passes to the top of my vegetable plot and are happily munching their way through the abundance of grass that has managed to grow there in the last 2 months - saves me getting the strimmer out and keeps them close to home in case the weather should worsen and I need to get them into the stables quickly.

Hubby is at home today and by the amount of machinery noise coming from the workshop he's busy with a project......frequent coffee top ups will be appreciated by him I'm sure as it's a little chilly today although I draw the line at lighting the wood burner, it is, after all May and the sunshine will be back where it belongs sometime in the near future :)

Where'd My Sunshine Go?

Yesterday was a "No garden" day due to the weather we've been having and I'm not impressed that things haven't changed much overnight. The rain has stopped but it's awful windy and temperatures have dropped from 30 degrees C to 8 degrees C this morning, definitely not shorts weather! On the bright side at least the mosquitoes can't fly in the wind so I won't get bitten today.

I've been up early this morning as Molly, our Cocker Spaniel decided that she wanted to go out at 5.30am and she wasn't going to wait. The kids have gone off to school now so I'm chilling out with my second coffee of the day and trying to decide what to do. My small flower garden could do with a good weeding, although there are loads of flower seedlings appearing again. I'm slightly impatient so keep throwing seeds on the garden and then cursing myself when yet another load of marigolds appear, but it's my own fault for having saved all of last years flower seeds in one bag together!

There's more digging to be done, a permanent raised bed structure still isn't finished and once again the house resembles a midden, so housework is on the job list too. I've a bantam hen to boot off her eggs (she's been sitting too long and nothing has hatched), pigs could do with a muck out and the stable yard could do with a sweep while I'm there. Inside the house there are some finishing off and decorating jobs awaiting my attention, tea needs sorting for later and there are a pan of yellow split peas soaking that will be pease pudding when I get a chance.......the job list is never ending but quite flexible and I don't worry about things, as long as everyone is well, the animals and family get fed and there's enough money in the coffers for a treat now and again then we're doing just fine.