Friday 31 October 2014

Dont Cry Over Spilt Milk

Had a bit of an accident this morning, I dropped the milk, my hands are pretty stiff in the morning and it just slipped straight out of my hands, just as well it wasn't a glass bottle
Kara thought she should help clean it up 
And she did a great job without any complaints, shame she doesn't clean up her paw prints.
It has been so mild here today its hard to believe its November tomorrow, taking advantage of the weather I spent most of the day out doors
Getting the garlic and shallots in the ground
Look at the size of this fella, I would be elated if mine grew that big, the advantage of this big boy is you get nice big cloves from it, no wastage of little cloves they were all a nice even size so they could all get planted out, not like this one
I use the nice plump big cloves then the small skinny ones go into the kitchen to be used up.
Three different lots of garlic Mesidrome, Purple Wight and Edenrose went into this bed along with Shallots Longor and Griselle, I still have another bag of shallots to get out and the onions but need another 2 raised beds made first.
In the greenhouse I notice some of my seeds were up 
They are teeny tiny but they are there, they are the Aubretia its great to see my little seeds growing.
I must show you what I spent the day doing yesterday 

Yes my kitchen food cupboards now all organised stuff in jars and every jar has a label, it has been something that has been grating on me since we moved in, the kitchen looked liked a bomb site afterwards, strewn with empty packages, it didn't take long to clear up and now I have organised happy cupboards.

Thursday 30 October 2014

Feeding Routines On The Homestead

I was chatting with a friend the other day on the phone and she was asking how I manage to get round everyone in the morning with feeds and what I did about the clock change.
The clock change I started working on a couple of weeks before it happened, just by changing there feed time making it a bit later each morning, my mornings are very much set in stone,
during the week when I am here on my own I get up between 6am and 6-30am week ends I let hubby do the feeding. He does the same routine as me.
So let me walk you through my morning routine
Stoke the Rayburn up is first port of call, then while I wait for the kettle to boil 
Switch on the washing machine to take advantage of the economy 7 reduced rate.
Then I get a cup of tea to drink on the go 
Get dressed then its usually 7am and its time to feed Kara 6oz of dried feed
Coat and boots on head outside and into the barn to start putting every ones breakfast together 
First up is the Alpacas 3 small scoops of feed each 
here they are waiting for breakfast, if its late they are not happy
They get stuck into there breakfast as I head back to the barn for the next one 
Pigs are next 10lb of feed between them Kara hoovers up any crumbs I drop
The girls quickly demolish there breakfast 
1 large scoop of layers pellets for the chooks 
They dash out as if there lives depend on it
Then its the ducks 1 large scoop of layers pellets 
They don't rush for there feed they prefer to stretch there wings and get a drink first 
On the way back its bring in the logs for the day 
Then the floor needs a wash yes Kara that's your muddy footprints
All cleaned up 
and its now getting on to 8pm and time 
For my breakfast, Bran Flakes and dried cranberries today 
And another cup of tea while I check e-mails and decide how I am going to spend the rest of day.
4pm its feed time again Hay for the Alpacas, 2lb of feed with vegetables for the pigs, 1 cup of corn for the chooks and ducks to share, then 5pm Kara gets her supper another 6oz of food then last of all after there all done and shut up for the night and feeders brought in I get to sort out my dinner.
Yes we very much have a routine I think its important for the animals and for me :-)

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Pain Free Bread

Today was a red letter day, the barrier going across the garden came down
Now Kara is free to roam the front and back garden, it also means I no longer have to do high kicks getting over the barrier, which isn't that easy when you have your hands full. 
I got some bread done today as well, I no longer have a bread maker over the years i have gone through several, when the last one gave up the ghost I decided not to replace it, I practised making the dough by hand which was all well and good but some days my hands and fingers give me problems they are stiff and painfull and kneading dough is very difficult, so I resorted to using my mixer with the dough hook, after all that is what it was designed for.
Over the past couple of years I have perfected my technique for making dough in the mixer, I slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients and once the liquid is added I leave it for a few mins to soak through the flour, I then switch it back on and knead it for 7 mins, it is too easy to over knead, and often or not its too easy to under knead, 7 mins works well for me, once kneaded I shape the dough and leave to prove 
Today I did one brown loaf, 1 white loaf and some bread rolls.
I only do one kneading for basic bread,
There all done, i seeded the rolls with sesame seeds, The rolls and one loaf have gone into the freezer, one loaf will do us a week.
As my finger joints seem to be stiffing up more just lately I am knitting myself some fingerless gloves.
I will put a link for the pattern on my craft blog, I am doing them in Aran and hopefully they will help keep my joints warm when I am outside. I need to get some more socks knitted up too.

Monday 27 October 2014

Water Glorious Water

We finally have our own water supply, all connected up this morning at the water mains by the water board that has taken them three months to do.

This afternoon neighbours came round with the digger dug a trench through the garden and connected the house up for me.
The garden now looks like a mud bath 
But in time it will be sorted, at least I can now have a shower when I want use a hosepipe when I want and knowing I have the water pressure there for it.
The garden boundary fence will be completed tomorrow I can now start planning the garden and get stuck into finishing off the planting. 
Happy days, I feel we are getting somewhere now and making progress. 

Saturday 25 October 2014

The Log Store

Today we got stuck into repairing the roof of the log store, it was in pretty bad shape, the roof was rotten
Well the whole thing is rotten but it has to get us through this winter next year it will be all torn down and a new store will be built in a different location.
This was the problem these branches and the ivy had grown over the top and were pushing in the roof 
Hubby was the one to get up there, I watched on standby from below waiting for him to fall through the rotten roof.
It was more worrying when he was up there with the chain saw, he cut the branches and handed them down to me 
Eventually we got it all down yes this is Ivy and some Hawthorn.
Hubby then got some new metal sheets on the roof, they have been put on top of the old ones, the shed is so rotten and rickety if we had taken the old ones off the whole store would have collapsed.
We went and picked up the little trailer I ordered from Halfords, I ordered it online a few days ago, to be collected in store, I went to collect it and they didn't have one in stock, I wasn't impressed and made the manager aware of it, he offered me a discount of £80 off the price if I was prepared to wait for a couple of days, I wasn't go to refuse an offer like that.
As it was raining first thing hubby got stuck in putting it together
With the help of Kara who kept picking up his tools and bringing them to me.
It was soon taking shape
Just a few more bits to do 
Then it was ready for me to try out, so I bombed about the field, collecting broken branches, I need a bit of practise reversing with he trailer on, it was great fun and its going to be a great help to me transporting things about homestead.