Saturday, 2 October 2010

To Blog or Not?

I must admit to being a bit haphazard lately and my blogging has taken the brunt of it. Hopefully I can get back to a regular routine and on a much more even keel soon. Some days I just can't find much to write about and I'm sure this happens to other bloggers too. Today is not one of those days!

Hubby and I have both been down to the weekly market/coffee in the village cafe this morning for a change. Usually he doesn't come along due to other committments so it was nice to see him chatting with one of our neighbours over a strong espresso even if they did sit at another table away from "The ladies".

As usual there were bargains to be had at the "Drip Shop" or nearly new clothes stall and today I bought us all something to wear. Hubby got a lined fleece jacket, daughter a pair of jeans, son a winter jacket and I bought myself a padded waistcoat. All for the pricely sum of 10 leva (£4.29ish) brilliant! They'll come in handy as the weather continues to get cooler and the nights are drawing in. And as Autumn is officially here we've started draining the pool today so it can be cleaned and stored for the winter.

My remaining crops are due to be harvested this month and the plants all pulled out so the garden will be looking bare again. I made a start at removing the dead flowering plants today and already the garden is looking very different. I need to decide whether it is worth trying to plant peas at this time of year and have bought a packet just in case, but may hang onto them until spring. There are the house plants to bring back inside and find space for, a lemon, olive and avocado tree (ok so they're only small trees) and lots of geraniums that I'm going to butcher for cuttings to plant next spring. I WILL have a beautiful garden next year!

Another job for today was to vaccinate and seperate the piglets from their mum. Poor Charlotte has lost a fair amount of weight now feeding 10 hungry babies and is starting to look a bit poor, plus she seems to be slightly under the weather (although that could be due to a food change as our usual pellets were out of stock) so we've moved her into the back of the barn and let the piglets in with their older female sibling. There has been a good amount of squealing but everything is quiet now and hopefully within a couple of days they will all settle down. Charlotte will be getting extra attention and rations to help her gain some weight.

The chicks we were given a few days ago are not doing well either, in fact they are dying and I've no idea why. They're warm, fed, have water and a clean box to stay in but one by one they are getting poorly and very quickly dying on us. Tonight we have only 4 left and it's quite upsetting. Vasko is also a little under the weather, as I've said before he's an old Bulgarian hunting dog and not in the best of health. He has more than likely been abused/mistreated and never fed correctly for his whole life and although he has made improvements since coming to live here we are worried how the winter and cold will affect him. He's already opting to spend longer in his kennel during the day than last month and is not eating as well as he has been. In fact he's barely even putting on any weight and I'm quite worried that a lifetime of neglect is finally catching up with him. Maybe it's kinder to have him put to sleep before the bad weather really appears and while he's relatively pain free. What do you think?

Arggghh so much to think about and what with hubby and sister in law heading off in the next few days I'll be stuck home on my own for a large part of the day with too much time to dwell on things.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Change is in The Air

Since the rather wet car boot sale on Sunday there have been some changes here, quite dramatic but necessary at this point in time. Hubby's dad (and my father in law) has had swelling on the brain following a stroke and had to undergo emergency surgery and is currently in Intensive Care. This has brought forward my sister in law's plans to return to the UK, which is completely understandable in the circumstances, but also means that from the weekend I not only lose her company, shopping partnership, wit and fabulous cooking but also that hubby will have to go with her as co-driver and to see their dad.

I'll really miss her and little madam, her daughter, and will also miss hubby for the time he's away but know I can cope and will be fine here with the children and animals. It's rather hectic this week trying to sort out various things, clear sister in law's house and close it down and also deal with everything else going on.

Yantra the new dog is a total escape artist and opens the front door when she feels like it - twice in the last week I've woken up to find her gone and the front door wide open! She comes back but I find it unnerving that she just disappears and worry each time she goes, especially as she's not spayed yet. Next step will be the vets although we have no idea how old she really is, just that she's young and has her adult teeth. Sister in law's 2 dogs will be coming to stay with us until she can get them back to the UK and her 2 cats will also be staying with us, so once again we're full to the rafters with animals!

The piglets and Charlotte their mum refuse to be separated, each time we try there's pandemonium so we've left them all together in the large barn until they're ready to wean themselves. We still have one older pig from the first litter left but she is earmarked for our freezer at some point over the next 3 months. Our friend and neighbour, Yordani, arrived with 11 chicks a few days ago and left them on our dining room table in a banana box! 11 has become 9 today as the 2 weakest died unfortunately but the remaining 9 are snug in a bigger, better box but still on the dining room table where the temperature is quite steady and warm enough for them. I'd imagine they'll be bantam or bantam X's but as our laying hens are getting on and egg production is dropping they will stick around to supply us with fresh eggs next year.

Well I best get off now and have a shower as I need to be up early for a meeting at the school around 7.30am! Hope things are ok with you and I'll be back in a few days to catch up again.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Worn Out

Well what a week we've had! Friends and family have been here for a holiday so it's been busy non stop and we've had some great laughs. There have been birthdays to celebrate, drinks to be drunk and some hilarious times to boot, it's been lovely seeing them again and I hope they all had a great week. Some people think we live in a town and can get quite a shock when they realise how rural it is here and how far it is from our old lives.

In other news, the kids are going to school again and never missed a day. I think it was more of a lack of language and communication on all parts but am glad it's now sorted out. The piglets are all ready to go to new homes and we have had some enquiries and reservations already. Charlotte is due a well earned rest from motherhood and time to pit some weight back on and chill out. Maggie the donkey is now back home after going for grass cutting duties to a friends house for a few weeks. All of the animals are starting to get their winter coats in as the nights draw closer and temperatures drop. Soon I'll have to bring the houseplants and cuttings indoors before we start to get overnight frosts.

Sister in law and I are off to a car boot sale again tomorrow, and hopefully coming back with an empty car as she tries to sell of the last things she needs to get rid off before returning to the UK. I'll be sad to see her go and will miss her loads.

Hubby has some work to do over the next few weeks and I need to sort out winter accomodation for all of the animals, get everything mucked out and fresh bedding sorted and make sure they'll be snug and dry for when the colder weather comes. This year all of the manure is going onto the top of the garden to try and help improve the soil. I'll spread it out and let the frost break it down ready for the growing season next spring. The pool needs emptied, cleaned and packed away this week as it's not warm enough now to use it. Another summer over and done with!

Right now it's raining and the ground desperately needs it, everything is parched and very dusty. Let's hope it's stopped before morning otherwise we'll be wearing wellies to the car boot sale lol