So that was that weekend

Leave a Comment
Every year, we have one in summer, and one in winter.
The weekend when just about everything happens.
And this was it.
From School Performances, to the YFC Mistletoe Ball, to work Christmas dinners, to having my lovely brother and sister in law and their two adorable kids down for the weekend, everything happened in the last three days.
I have driven miles, lost the plot, cooked for 8, forgotten who's showing up, hugged and laughed and possibly eaten too much so that tomorrow's Slimming World might be one of the less successful.
I have watched Boo play clarinet in the band for 'Guys and Dolls' and she was fab. I have toted her into town to play carols outside Sainsburys, and then on to a matinee of Guys and Dolls, and then on to work.
I have buzzed between livery yard and work for H (her dad did the taxi stint for Mistletoe, I don't do 1 am!)and been so proud of them both, with their busy, productive lives.
It's been lovely hanging out with Sarah and Simon and Joe, and playing with Amy and Zoe.
And then this morning, it was great to leave the roast in the oven and head off to church to hear Ben talk about shepherds and angels - and what it all really meant, the night the baby who changed everything was born.
I am truly blessed, to live in this crazy life, this mad whirl of draft ponies, dairy goats, sheep and chickens, aspirational children, Strictly semi finals, daft dogs, massive lunches, and the pause that recognises what it's all actually about.
I am however bushed. Goodnight!

Blow!

2 comments
Well, it's been real.
A week with two car break downs, has taught us to be humble. Not one but two church friends lent us a car. Kudos to Ben and Phil.  Also Margaret gave us lifts. And that's great because Margaret is also known as Mrs Lodge and for the first time in ever Boo was ready for school on time cos you don't mess with Mrs Lodge.
But God is good and a very cheap tide over car has come up, which will be a brilliant first car for H once she gets through some lessons (almost two years late, but you can't rush people)
Meanwhile, H could no longer tolerate the bullying unprofessionalism of the yard where she was keeping the ponies, so she has followed her heart and bitten the bullet and put Mr C on the smartest yard - it's a lovely place, full of lovely people, but boy is she going to have to work to keep him there.
This means that I have his 'companion' - AKA my draft pony - back and she's on her own.
That's not ideal, but she does have a lot of sheep to keep her company and I am longing to get her into harness properly.
Online friends have been featured in Ben Fogle's New Lives in the Wild Uk - I have mixed views. It does all seem to hinge on inheriting a little heap of cash, or down shifting from a very well paid job. Not to say I don't think they've all done a great job.
I would like it to be more possible for more people. I would like that people like us who rent our home, and rent our land, and live in a whirlwind of bill paying to have other ways.
But for now, this is a good series.



Advent Eve

2 comments
Today was a total whirlwind, in all senses of the word.
It was the day of our local town's Christmas Light Switch On. We are happy because what has for a few years been the 'Winter Festival' has been reclaimed and is now the 'Christmas Festival' - complete with camels and donkeys and nativity and carols. I don't expect anyone of any other faith or none feels any the less welcome. But it's our own heritage at play, and it all looks lovely.
Or as lovely as you can look in a gale force wind with horizontal rain.
Our church had two main events - I was involved in the second and less glamourous, whereby a  lot of people sang carols and my friend Jo and I organised the giving out of an awful lot of hot chocolate and cake to passers by.
We did this last year and are now getting it down to a fine art. We gave out nearly 100 cups of hot choc (Lidl's instant hot choc and an awful lot of compliments we got for it too) with marshmallow - and handed out gazillions of small, delicious squares of cake - mars bar cake, malteser cake, Emma's legendary brownies, jam tarts, coconut cake ... if there's one thing our lot do really well, it's make cake.)

Earlier in the day though, the church was transformed as the little people of the town were invited to come and have their picture taken with a princess or a super hero!  In they all came, free to take as many pictures as they liked - and although one daughter was working so unable to attend, I do have a 'Tangled' Rapunzel in there!

These guys did the most amazing job. They bought their costumes, decorated (and cleared up) the hall, looked absolutely amazing, (I do think Rachel actually *is* Snow White) and made the day of dozens and dozens of little ones.

They are just the best.

Cinderella, Wolverine, Snow White, Hulk, Elsa,Thor, Anna, Batman, Rapunzel, Captain America and lovely Belle.

Now Storms Have Names - Meet Barney

Leave a Comment
Well, Barney has been and gone (I think) but it's been a heck of a day.

I decided to spend the day house cleaning, not before time, due to the horrendous weather conditions, and got the kitchen, the sitting room (including a bit of a move round to get us all closer to the fire for winter!) the hall and stairs done.

I also managed to spend some time picking over my plans with my trusty sidekick and have almost decided to make some major changes.

Evening rounds was the big thing though as by then Barney was on his way in. I went and picked up H from the decorating job she was on, and we started with the goats, but by the time we were done it was nearly dark. We arrived at the field with chickens, turkeys, and sheep to see to only to find the turkeys had sabotaged the electric fence and the sheep were out.

It's kind of important they stay in, since Owen (named for Owen Farrell!) the Oxford ram is in with the Oxford girls, and I'm not sure my older Jacob ewes could cope with Oxford lambs, never mind the ewe lambs!

We got them back in and hassled the turkeys into their house, and then it was on to the ponies, who are currently at livery down the lane, because We Are Mud.

Unfortunately, so is the land down the lane, and the woman who runs the yard is taking the wotsit out of  H, who is working for her to pay for livery, which is a bum deal. It will not carry on as I cannot stand by and watch the sheer incompetence. 

Anyone who knew me more than 20 years ago is hiding behind the sofa when I tell you the yard looks like a rubble heap, the  mud is hock deep (and hock pulling)  and the flipping woman is all about alternative this that and the other and effectively doing anything not to ride, not to keep horses sound and basically lives in la la land.

Yesterday I swept the bally yard myself, because if someone didn't, I was going to need medication.

Let no one tell you country living is simple!

Midnight

1 comment
Waiting for sourdough bread, which I rushed and therefore will not be best, to cook.

Funny old week. Neil had some blood results - they were looking for arthritis, which he did have in a foot following an injury, but as it turns out is not responsible for his current crop of aches and pains.  What they did find was a low white cell count.

Of course, this could be nothing more than him fighting a low grade infection, but you have to remember I lost both parents and a brother to cancer, tragically young in all three cases,  and I have a terrible fear of losing those I love.

I do what I do. Today I did all the animal chores, with the faithful, incredibly beautiful, incredibly strong H in harness alongside me, despite her being down with a horrible cold.  I made bone broth, I made a stew of good homegrown things. I made cheese, and whey with which to lacto ferment carrots, grown in the garden.

I am awake waiting for good, solid, sourdough bread to cook.

I cut kale, minutes before it was to be cooked, and beans, by the basketful, and cooked them lightly with seasalt and piled them up alongside the stew.

For me, to love is to nurture. I am almost afraid that tomorrow I have to go into work in the office, and I won't be here, to make everything as wholesome and strength giving as I can.

I pray. I trust God. It will be as He intends.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose


Midnight strikes.
Another day. How blessed. How wonderful. 






Nan - Nandos, Ninja, Nandy Pandy, Ninny Noodle Noo.
Great clarity of identity for a working dog.

Chickweed Salve

3 comments
First, gather your chickweed.

Chop it roughly into a jar



then add just a ziz of apple cider vinegar. My home made version is on the dark side, but smells good.


Let sleeping dogs lie. Add oil to cover. (Make tea.)


Place on a sunny window sill


This will steep for two weeks or so, shaken daily, before being made into a salve for sore and itchy skin.


Chickweed

Leave a Comment

and later, what I did with it!
Powered by Blogger.