Ups and downs.

What has been happening for the past two weeks? Well we have had a mixed bag of weather, rain, wind, mild, freezing you name it we have had it. The wind bought a tree down in the front driveway and to be honest we were lucky to get away with just that, at one time I did think the roof was going to go it was banging about so much. The rain has of course made the mud much worse and a new pastime of mud skating has been invented, it takes much more effort to get too and from the paddocks and at times with a horse in each hand it’s downright hairy stuff! 

Hubby had flu, not really but you know what they are like, a sniffle and a cough and anyone would think the insurance policies needed dusting off 😉 obviously his legs were incapacitated because of it and so not much got done that particular weekend. 

The geese have been my main focus over the past few days, the grass is fast running out now and it’s time to turn to other forms of feeding for them. The large quantity of fallen cooking apples that are too small for using in cooking have been a godsend, at least 6 wheelbarrow fulls have kept them going, there is grass in the front paddocks but it is not stock fenced and right next to the road and they can’t be trusted not to roam, the fencing is on the list but we have not got round to it yet. In the meantime I have just ordered some waterfowl feed and some ingredients to make a poultry spice, you can buy it ready made in pellet form but it’s much cheaper to get the ingredients and mix them. I have been sat today making notes to make the best use of the herbs I could use from the garden next year, the trouble is that when they are growing the grass is abundant and they are not needed so I need to look at drying them or harvesting the seeds to grind to a powder ready for Winter use. I have sweet cicely growing and I can probably grow fenugreek and ginger and use those next year, well that’s the plan at the minute.

The dogs are filthy every day and need to be bathed before they come in, luckily we have a great set up in the form of a plastic bath and hot and cold taps with a shower attachment, they don’t know how lucky they are but judging by their aversion to the word ‘bath’ you would think they were about to be whipped 😝 We did reach a milestone however when Patch finally got in the bath by himself instead of having to be dragged out from the back of his cage, he was rewarded with much praise and treats 😄

I have made my Christmas mincemeat, I almost forgot which would have been sacrilege as I haven’t bought shop mincemeat for years. I had a quick look through the cupboards, gathered together odds and sods plus my homemade glacé cherries and voila, four jars of mincemeat ready for the feast of mince pies which I traditionally start making on the 1st of December. I normally make the Christmas pudding as well but this year we are at our eldest daughters so no need to do that and I gave up making Christmas cake a few years ago when it took longer to eat it all up than it did to make it and feed it for a few weeks.

With the shortening of daylight hours comes the drop in the number of eggs laid by the chickens, fortunately they are still laying enough to cover the cost of feed at the moment, not much longer until the shortest day thank goodness and the nights will draw out again, it is one of the dates during the year that is firmly set in my memory as we limp through the colder months. 

Have a great week 🐶

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