It definitely feels like the middle of Autumn in the mornings and evenings at the minute. The upside to cold cloudless evenings though is the beautiful sunshine the next day, Sunday was the coldest of starts but the day fully blossomed into a glorious warm happy day, I hope we have a few more days like that over the next few weeks.
I spoke too soon about the squirrel, I spotted him in the week picking up cob nuts from the drive in the front, he obviously had better pickings to get round first! Luckily I have gathered most of the Walnuts already and there are plenty of cob nuts for us to share 🙂
This week has been more of the routine maintenance to get things ready for the big Winter sleep, more muck on the beds, more cutting back and tidying up, making sure that the animal bedding is kept clean and dry, little jobs that will make the winter more manageable. We have a patch of ground just inside the stable side entrance where the rain runs in and together with the foot traffic makes a mess, Hubby laid four slabs down there so this does not happen this year, it is surprising how little changes like that can make a difference.
One of the big differences we have already noticed is that the insulation we put in when replacing the cladding along the front, is doing a great job. Normally we would know how cold it is outside by the temperature inside but it is nice and toasty now and a bit of a shock when you open the door to find a very hard frost!
I have been washing all the hats, gloves and scarves ready for the enviable cold times ahead, all the winter jackets have also had a good wash, ready to get dirty again. Hubby’s wax coat is beyond any kind of salvage, I decided to buy him a new one for Christmas but when it arrived it seemed pointless waiting most of the Winter to give it him so he has an early present. It was intended to replace the old one which I was hoping to throw out but he seems reluctant to part with the old one and was still wearing it this weekend to cut up logs, mind you parting with it will be like moving house, every pocket is full of useless bits and pieces that ‘might come in handy one day’.
The power washer has come out to play again so I seized the opportunity to indulge Hubby’s playtime and lined up a plethora of items that need cleaning, the garden tractor being one item that benefitted from a blast of water and a touch of soap, hopefully we will put it up for sale and get that quad bike instead.
I have been eyeing up the leeks over the last week and with the change in temperature I think it is an ideal time to make a batch of leek and potato soup for the freezer. The parsnips have been growing nicely all summer and should be good to go now that we have had a frost, they are supposed to taste better once the the cold has got to them, I am not sure if that is true as I have never done a taste test to find out but old wives tales usually have some truth in them and so I don’t doubt it for a minute. The last of the fresh summer produce is slowly being used up, I have a bowl of green tomatoes sat on the windowsill in the hopes that they will ripen and a couple of peppers, in fact my middle daughter is here for the day and loves cooking so I have let her loose on the Rayburn to come up with a pasta lunch using all home grown ingredients including the dried herbs, I will let you know the verdict next time!
On Sunday my eldest daughter, her boyfriend and myself began the task of rubbing down the old paintwork on the horse trailer, preparing it for its new paint job next week. It will need a blast with the pressure washer too but I know someone who will be more than willing to do that job 😉 it should look very smart when its finished and it giving it some TLC now will mean that it should last for a few years to come.
I did say that I would write about Mia and her antics this week but she has been impeccably well behaved and not got up to any mischief at all really. She does like to torment the cats though and I am not sure if she wants to befriend them or eat them, either way they are having none of it and sooner or later she is going to get a nasty swipe from one of them. She has been a bit under the weather again this week and I thought at first she was going to have another visit to the vets but I think that she has had a hangover, the small cider apples are just the right size to throw for her to chase and once caught she sits and eats them. Most of the are on the turn and I think they have been fermenting in her belly, she has been much better since we started using a ball instead! Her training is going quite well and she cottons on very quickly, she is very food orientated which makes it a whole lot easier to teach her new things. At the moment she is learning a hand signal and the command to ‘go round’ not as difficult as it sounds because I go through one gate into the front drive she waits behind the gate naturally and then on my way back I tell her to go round and point to the other gate on the far side of the house, she usually gets there long before me. This should be a useful command in the future if I need her to help round anything up, providing she does not just keep going round in circles that is, the next comment to learn ought to be stop I think.
Well we have just eaten the pasta lunch so I can give you the verdict now, it was delicious and there is plenty leftover to have for lunch again tomorrow, I think she can come again 🙂