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

Friday, 25 November 2016

Black Friday 2016

Well it's  Black Friday and all morning emails were pinging into my inbox advising me of all the fantastic unmissable deals available to buy on this day of supposedly mass consumerism.

Well we've just been into Llandudno, the biggest shopping town of our area and there was no manic buying in evidence ... thank goodness.  May be we didn't look hard enough but then we didn't want to.  We walked the dogs along the prom in the bright November sunshine, chatting to each other and planning something we had had in mind since my chat earlier in the week to our regular Big Issue seller, who I found out is now, through no fault of his own, living in a shed.

We went into the local camping shop and bought a waterproof rucksack and then we bought some things to put into it.  A warm hat, a couple of pairs of good quality thermal socks, a pair of thick gloves, a set of thermal base layers (long sleeved t shirt and leggings) a waterproof bag that fits inside the rucksack to guarantee everything stays dry, and finally a thin insulated roll up sleeping mat. 

Then we went outside to look for Chris.  He had been in his normal place but was no longer there, so we went into Waterstones and had a coffee while we waited to see if he would reappear, and took the opportunity to take the labels off all our purchases and pack them neatly into the rucksack.  When he was still not in sight as we left the shop, we slowly walked along the road looking in all his usual haunts, and checked in at the newsagents where he picks up his copies of The Big Issue, but he was nowhere to be found.

Oh well, that was our foray into shopping on this Black Friday, it's the only shopping we did.  And as the messages and emails keep pinging into my inbox still, I just keep on deleting them without reading ... there's nothing either of us want and nothing either of us need.  And I'm glad that our favourite town appeared peaceful and untroubled by mass buying expeditions.

Chris's early Christmas gifts are in the boot of my car and we will check to see if we can find him at every opportunity.

Have you been tempted by any Black Friday deals or are you, like us, happy to go about your normal business and not shop when you are told to shop?

Sue xx

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Just a Day in the Kitchen

It was quite a nice day today, although it was cold and damp after days and days of heavy rain, the sun was shining and the view from the window was of the cottages on the hillside opposite bathed in sunlight.

On our side of the valley it was a bit duller and it wasn't quite as tempting to go out, so I stayed in the kitchen pottering around with the cupboards.  Pulling things out and wiping down the empty cupboards, before putting things back in and trying to make the contents of the various food cupboards more logical.  There will be pictures over on the other blog for the next couple of days.

While I worked away the dogs snoozed in their beds, they like it when they know what I'm up to and when I stay in the same place for more than an hour.  Mavis was curled up on the sofa with Ginger  :-)

After snapping the photo of them sleeping I carried on taking pictures around the room.

Just little areas that I love ...

... and that make our house a home.

It's nice to have an indoor day and feel like you've accomplished something. 

Tomorrow Lovely Hubby has decided it's the day we put all the raised beds to bed for the Winter, weeding them, piling on the manure and the homemade compost and then covering them with membrane, so there will be lots more accomplished .... just not in the warmth of the house.

Sue xx

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Weather ... and Anniversary Presents

I'm just in from braving our dreadful weather to have a shopping expedition to Llandudno to organise Lovely Hubby's anniversary present for next month. 

Yesterday we had strong winds and torrential rain buffeting the house all day and all night, but up to now ... touch wood .... we seem to be watertight.  No repeat of last year with every window sill being draped in towels with lines of bowls and jugs along the top to catch all the water ingress ... phew!!

  Surprisingly even though it is so wet and has been for days, the snow that's on the top of the distant hills opposite us, the Carneddau, hasn't melted so it's obviously even colder up there.

Anyway back to Lovely Hubby's present, he's going to know what it is as soon as it's delivered on Sunday, it's huge, it's being delivered by two guys ... and he'll need to be here to help them unload it and find space for it in his workshop ... so there'll be no surprise that I can pull out of my sock drawer for him this year unfortunately.  I just hope he really did want it when he said he did!!

And just to let him know if he's reading this .... that while doing a spot of research for his present I have discovered what the mystery package, hidden in plain sight beside the sofa is!!

Well that's our presents to each other sorted out for this year then  ;-)

Sue xx

Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Log Store

Lovely Hubby's latest little build has been a stone pathway leading across the front of and down from the log store. 

It matches the one that runs along side the shed in Chicken World, the two are connected by the gate and a paving stone ... not that the chickens use many of our logs and actually need a connecting path 😉 

It all ties in neatly with the new permanent fencing that we have separating Chicken World from our garden area.

It got really slippery at the front of the log store last Winter with all the rain we had, and the slope down to the house when you were carrying a basket full of logs was quite precarious.

Now we can approach the log store and stand in relative safety while we fill the basket and then either step off in front when the ground is not to slippery, or walk down the pathway and turn back to the house if it is.  I just need some thicker soled wellies or some thicker inserts as I can feel every stone through mine at the moment!!

Did you spot a little doggy waiting by the gate.  She was banished from Chicken World while they ate up some popcorn .... she hoovers it up faster than a Dyson if I let her in when I'm giving them a treat !!

Sue xx