Welcome to 2014 on the small holding :)

I hope you all had a wonderful time over the festive season. We had the arrival of our youngest on Christmas Eve back from her two years away travelling, lovely to have her home again, how long for before she gets itchy feet who knows, meanwhile I have extra help which is always appreciated.

The Christmas period is always a great family time for us, we have a couple of birthdays within the holidays and so life is one long social whirl, plenty of eating, drinking and making merry, trips to visit relatives further away and this year we had a family party with the wider family, just because we can!

The weather at the moment is terrible, after the great Summer and Autumn has come a deluge of what seems like non stop rain. The paddocks have been flooded more than once and we are at saturation point now, the run off is beginning to affect even the higher up areas of the farm. At the weekend Hubby had to build a impromptu water barrier to stop it coming in the back of the house, it is running off of the fields next door like I have never seen before. We are still better off than a lot of folks though so I count my blessings, the high winds we have also had have been a little worrying, we don’t normally get them coming from the South, usually they are Westerlies and we have plenty of windbreaks in the form of trees to slow the wind down a little, but are more vulnerable from other directions. Luckily we have only had a branch of a a conifer down so far, although it did sound like the roof might come off at any minute during one storm.

The animals as usual just cope with whatever is thrown at them, the chickens are puddling around in mud, the ducks think we have put a new lake in just for them, the horses are in more than they are out and the pigs are enjoying wallowing. Mia is having to be bathed every night before she is allowed in, bath is her least favourite word of the day but she is always filthy after tearing around all day.

We have been able to do a few jobs around the place when the weather has been good, I have pruned the big cooking apple tree in the front drive, we last did it about three years ago and it was overhanging the driveway quite a bit. Then I spent the day chipping up all of the prunings to put on the paths in the veg garden. Hubby has been moving the pile with the tractor after we finally got it started, he has also moved old muck down to the veg garden ready to start spreading as soon as the weather improves. On the rainy days I have been going through the seed catalogues and writing down my order for the coming Spring, and making notes about the garden, what needs doing and what we need in order to get it done. One rainy day I spent time teaching our eldest daughter how to make bread, the result was extremely good and I hope she carries on to develop her newly acquired skills.

My New Years resolution is to ‘do it’ this year, so if someone asks if I want to do something in particular then instead of thinking I don’t have time, just say yes and work round it, also instead of walking round the farm thinking, that needs doing or this needs fixing, figure out what we need and how to go about it and ‘do it’ I have already started making lists of things to do! So a positive, pro active attitude is in order, I wonder how long it will last 😉

The pigs really need to be going off to slaughter soon, they could have gone before Christmas but it is always a busy time for the meat trade and so I decided to wait until after the rush, but now I need to organise myself and get it done.

So far this Winter the weather has been very mild, the squirrel has still not hibernated, and the blue bottles have woken up again already, I did say that there were not many nuts and so I didn’t think we would have a harsh Winter, although we still have a few weeks to go yet and I may be proved wrong. My Dad says that we will have an early Spring because the Blue tits are busy feeding already, I do hope he is right, it would be nice to see signs of Spring sooner rather than later 🙂

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