Thursday 31 December 2015

Isnt Life Great.......

I have been absent all week,
I have had a very good friend here to stay
We have had a wonderful time, even though we talk at least once a week on the phone
Nothing beats a face to face gossip.
Its been late nights and sitting around in PJ's until mid morning
Endless cups of tea, then spending time in my cabin sewing
Martin was bringing us refreshments
And when it got dark he would bring us some torches so we could find our way back.
We went out to dinner in the pub last night down in the village.
Its been a wonderful week, laughing chatting and spending time together,
my friend headed off home this morning
So its back to normal, or almost.

Tomorrow starts a new chapter, first day of the new year.
So much has been achieved in the last 12 months
Life is just wonderful, no complaints noting to get down over
plenty to look forward to and get excited about in the coming year.

We both love living here and don't want to be anywhere else,
We have no complaints with our home, we have plans to make changes a few small ones but there is no rush, we have already pared down our plans since we first viewed.

We have a big plan that is in motion for the outside but I am keeping mum until all is signed and sealed , its something we are both really really looking forward to.

Life is good Happy New Year Everyone 
Roll on 2016 

Sunday 27 December 2015

Weather Forcasting

I hope you have all stayed safe over the holidays
There has been some dreadful weather about
Talking of weather, back in November Martin got me weather station for my birthday
Well we have now got it all set up
 There is an old gate post in the field, been there donkeys years, Martin has mounted the weather station on top of it.
 This is the working part of it all, and it transmits data to the base station
 The base station displays the current weather conditions and also stores the data,
I can plug it into my laptop and retrieve all the data, I have yet to learn all that bit of it
Its going to be an interesting past time, I can also set alarms on it so if the temperature drops to freezing and I have tender plants out I can protect them.
 A couple of things I got for Christmas, a new bee suit, my other had a few rips it in not what you want when handling bees.
Also another pair of wellies what a fab colour, I am keeping these for best
I also got some crafting gifts, and we got a few items for the house.
right now I am waiting for my friend to arrive, she is coming for a few days, really looking forward to seeing her.
I have a joint of Lamb in the oven for tonight's dinner, tomorrow I am cooking a ham, so we will have plenty of time to spend together.
Martin has taken Sol off for a walk on the beach.
He had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed opening his present
It was a very quiet day here, total rubbish on the TV, weather wasn't good either
so the day was spent in front of the fire :-)

Thursday 24 December 2015

Fitting In A Bit of Christmas

The Weaver of Grass asked the other day were Christmas fits into my week
Well today it was fitted in
 I made up a bowl of crunchy garlic mayo coleslaw
 Made the grape juice its such a lovely pink colour
Made up a bowl of fresh Salsa with lots of fresh coriander and lime juice 
A dozen deep filled mice pies with some of the mincemeat I made a while ago
 Two Christmas Cakes, the mixture makes up one big cake, too big for us so I make it into two loaf tins, I love doing this cake its a Nigella Lawson recipe packed full of fruit and lots of flavours, orange chocolate and Coffee Liqueur it doesn't need to be made in advance doesn't need feeding
There isn't any need to decorate it, so moist and fruity,

I finished up making us a pot of Chili Con Carney for dinner tonight
we will have rice and tortilla chips with it, 
I am now sat down cup of tea slice of cake 
watching my favourite film
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Tomorrow morning I will make a fresh loaf then I am finished in the kitchen
We will be having, lobster with garlic dip, we have some prawns and mussels, we will just sit in front of the fire and have a very relaxed meal 

Merry Christmas Everyone I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow

Wednesday 23 December 2015

A Bit Of Seasonal Stuff

I got into the spirit of the season today 
and put out a few decorations
 Mr and Mrs Gnome are from a workshop I ran a couple of years ago
 I have hung this stocking for Sol it is again a sample from another workshop
 My wooden candle pyramid I have had since my kids were young and its still doing well, I love the way the heat from the candles makes it all revolve
 This glass Christmas bell I bought when we were in Germany with friends and visited a Christmas market
 New this year, wax led candles, I stitched out a design and fixed them to the candles
being wax they look so realistic
So its just a few bits around the fireplace this year.
I did make a new table runner as well
Martin is due home again tonight I am looking forward to having him home for nearly three weeks
And I am looking forward to my friend coming for a few days next week.

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Fruits + Vanilla + Memory Lane

I will start with a trip down memory lane, coming from a traditional Scottish family Christmas time there was certain foods that we always had and we associated with this time of year
Scottish Tablet or as we called it Swiss Milk Toffee
Its not a toffee at all and its not a fudge, it has a crumbly texture
 Its made with Condensed milk, sugar, milk and butter and once brought to a rolling boil you have to keep stirring it and once it has started changing colour you remove it from the heat and beat it until it starts to set.
It is very sweet and high in calories but a lovely treat.
There are plenty of recipes on the Internet for it.

Next is non alcoholic Ginger wine, mum was never a drinker the occasional snowball or cherry B, we never really had alcohol in the house, I am not really a drinker either , I always loved this drink again it was only made in the winter, Sophie over on My Empire Of Dirt reminded me of it the other day and I had a bottle of the ginger essence in the cupboard
This is so easy to make, sugar water and ginger essence, Its nice cold over ice and is also nice as hot drink on a cold day, I have know some have it with a tot of whiskey. 
If you want to give it a go they do the essence on Amazon.

Talking of essence I thought I would do some vanilla essence
I had some vanilla pods, sliced them down the middle, popped them in a small bottle and went to top it up with vodka, only to find there wasn't enough, I poured in what I had will pick up another bottle and top it up, shake occasional and it will be ready in a few months.

Yesterday we got into town to bank some cheques
and called into the fruit and veg wholesalers to buy a net of carrots for the animals
The dog has one every day and the goats and Alpacas have them, they are only a couple of pound for a big sack, we have a few of them as well
while we were there we picked up
 5 punnets of Raspberries for £1 now in the freezer
 Grapes £1 for this lot I am going to do some grape juice with them
Box of tomatoes £1 I will make up some Salsa I think
There was a box of apples £1 again we will feed them to the animals
Melon 60p
Cucumber 30p

It looks like its back in the kitchen preserving this week :-)


Sunday 20 December 2015

The Turkey Shed Is Empty

The fire is lit
We are both showered
I have a cup of tea
The plates are warming
Martin has gone to collect a take away
It has been a week end of hard work
The Turkey shed is now empty 

If you are squeamish don't progress any further

This week-end we had to get the turkeys done,
along with the normal chores
we were in the barn working away listening to Christmas songs on the radio.
 Martin was on catching and killing duty
 He did them one at a time brought them into the barn
 and tied them up
I was chief plucker washer, weighing bagging and pricing
Martin also did the gutting he also helped with the plucking
We finished the task at 7pm this evening
Cleaned up the kitchen and barn
My finger tips hurt, my hands ache my shoulders ache
Its a great feeling that its all done
The biggest of the Turkeys was 16lb 8oz and that was collected this afternoon.
The others are all going back with Martin on Tuesday we have customers for them.
The smallest 7lb 7oz we are putting in the freezer.
Tired and very satisfied that we are putting some lovely meat on friends tables this Christmas
they have a nice layer of fat on them, they have been raised outdoors, no medications have been needed, they have all been healthy and problem free.
The rest of my week is free, all gifts are made and wrapped, no Christmas shopping to do
I might get some greenery brought in and decorate ready for  the holidays.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Its Spring Again

Two spring seasons in one year or did I sleep through winter ?
Everything in the garden is confused 
I hope it all comes right when it is suppose to 
The Gorse is in flower
 The Daisies are flowering
 Buttercups in bloom
The holly is back in flower after the birds stripped the berries

 Dandelions are about to break bud
Best of all my orange is almost ripe,
 we might eat it over the holidays

With spring coming early its great for the bees, 
who of course are still heading out on these mild days
but really we could do with a hard cold snap to kill off the bugs and nasties
Is there signs of spring in your garden ?

Oh a bit of other news before I sign off, 
Got this message today 
Hi Dawn; we are award winning documentary producers; we actually work a fair bit out of the UK, as well as Canada; currently doing a project in the southern US- where some people living in the country have had attacks on their chickens; we were hoping to use your image of the chicken-buzzard attack. Can we use this image please? and if you agree- we'd like to send you a photo release to sign please. thanks so much, Peter von Puttkamer 

I am chuffed as I am no photographer but some-one out there wants to use one of my photos
I have agreed its only a photo after all.
it makes me want to 

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Lots Of Gains And Loses

While in the shower this evening (its were I think best)
I was thinking how much I have gained 
in the last 18 months since being here.
Firstly, I have lost 2 stone (28lb) in weight 
no diet, no trying it just came off on its own
I can eat things like
Double eggs and chips with bread and butter 
 (tonight's dinner)
and not worry about putting weight on
I do eat better now
Have breakfast something I often skipped before
I have noticed I drink a lot less tea
and drink a lot more water, just the stuff from the tap
don't like the fancy stuff
My nails have improved so much
I have never managed to really grow my nails before
You would think doing more manual stuff I would have no nails.
I sleep better, so does Martin when he is here
no waking in the middle of the night
I go to bed tired and wake up feeling rested.
My fitness has really improved
I can carry 25kg sacks of feeds no problem
race up and down the fields without getting out of breath
I feel my stress levels have diminished 
there isn't anything here to get stressed about
My health is overall brilliant 
I haven't had to visit the doctor since being here
(must get registered)
I have only had one cold nothing really, one sore throat,
No tummy bugs, very few headaches, 
I think that is more to do with not being in contact with a lot of people.
I feel happier and healthier and defiantly a lot calmer :-)

Monday 14 December 2015

Talking Turkey

Today we did the first of the turkey's, 
its being collected tomorrow
It was a very quick dispatch no fuss no noise
It was fairly easy to pluck 
This one weighed in at just under 14lb 
Next week end we do the rest of them all ready to grace Christmas tables.
They are all single breasted heritage breeds.

The other day when I was cleaning out the poultry houses
the turkeys started scrapping, 
I managed to get a short video of them

They often have a little scrap.

The chickens were being difficult as well
refusing to wait until I had finished 
they started piling in and scratching about while I was still putting bedding in.
Of course a lot of it ended up outside the hen house.
A couple of weeks they move into bigger accommodation.
That's it from me today.

Sunday 13 December 2015

Christmas Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the 
Christmas Giveaway is 

Send me your details Emma and I will get the book in the post to you.

Sorry everyone else I wish I had a copy to send to you all.

Friday 11 December 2015

Mamma Pea Asking Questions

Mamma Pea is asking bloggers to join in with her questions, you can find details on her blog HERE 
These are my answers
1)  Do you like blue cheese?
      No dont eat any cheese

2)  Have you ever smoked?
      Yes was a heavy smoker now not at all

3)  Do you own a gun?  
      Yes Martin got one for me last month

4)  What flavor of Kool Aid is your favorite?
     Never Drink it but use it for dying textiles
5)  Do you get nervous before dental appointments?
     Use to but not any more

6)  What do you think of hot dogs?
     The only hot dog I have anything to do with is the one lying in front of the fire
7)  What's your favorite Christmas movie?
      Scrooge and its many variations closely followed by National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

8)  What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

9)  Can you do push-ups?
      Nope my wrists are too creaky

10)  What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
        The only jewelry I wear is wedding ring and eternity ring, not a jewelry person

11)  What's your favorite hobby?
        Anything to do with fabric, textiles, yarn, paper well just about any craft followed by growing anything

12)  Do you have A.D.D.?
        No dont have time for it

13)  Do you wear glasses or contacts?
        Glasses for close work had laser eye surgery about 4 years ago so dont need to wear contacts any more

14)  What's your middle name?

15)  What are your thoughts at this moment?
        The sun is shining I really should be making the most of it

16)  Name 3 drinks you regularly consume.
        Tea, water Tea

17)  What is a current worry of yours?
        Immigration, Homelessness and Terrorism

18)  What do you currently hate?
        People who make out they are something they are not and people who have double standards

19)  Where is your favorite place to be?
        Home there is no place like it

20)  What do you plan on doing on New Year's Eve this year?
        Being at home probably in bed

21)  To where would you like to travel?
        Canada or Alaska

22)  Name three people you think will do this questionnaire on their

23)  Do you own slippers?
        Yes a pair in the house and a pair in my craft cabin

24)  What color shirt are you wearing?
        sort of a burgundy

25)  Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
        No far to slippery

26)  Can you whistle?
        Only a little and never can when I need to 

27)  What is your favorite color?
        Blues hate Greens especially in the house reminds me of public toilets

28)  What songs do you sing in the shower?
        No usually its a time to think

29)  Would you be a pirate?
        No wouldnt want to go round with a parrot on my shoulder and a wooden leg

30)  What's in your pocket right now?
        Knife, dog treats, phone

31)  What's the last thing that made you laugh?
        The video on Pioneer Poppy's blog this morning
32)  What vehicle do you drive?
        Black Range Rover

33)  What's the worst injury you've ever had?
        Dislocated knee spent ages on crutches

34)  Do you love where you live?
        Yes, Yes, Yes

35)  Would you change your first name if you could?
        I would but cant think of anything else to change it to

Okay, now all the rest of you out there . . . how about YOU copying and posting these same questions on your blog with your answers.  Come on, I double dare ya.

Wednesday 9 December 2015


I mistakenly ordered 2 copies of the same book so instead of returning one
I have decided to give it away

Amanda Owen and family is one of those that Ben Fogle stayed with and the program was televised a few weeks ago, 
If you would like to enter please comment below I will do the draw on Saturday the 12th should be plenty of time for you to get it in time for a bit of Christmas reading.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Bit Of This And That

First an update on Thelma and Connie
They are both starting to bulge and they are both becoming more friendly
and demanding wanting a digestive biscuit in the afternoon, pregnant goats have cravings too.
Now those cockles we got at the week end, BB was asking if we had to go out far for them, well there was a whole strip of them on the wet sand about 100 yds from the parking area, Pioneer Poppy I suppose they are just a small version of your clams.
After purging the for 24hrs Martin found a recipe he wanted to try and cooked them in cider and garlic they were served with pasta.

Now the sour dough starter I have been feeding it, keeping it warm
its doing everything it should be doing.
tomorrow is day six and it will be ready to use
I have a recipe picked out ready to give it a try.

The box of mushrooms, after having them with everything
I was going to dehydrate the ones left,
But I have two big storage jars of dehydrated mushrooms so I decided to can them instead.
 After washing they were chopped and popped into a pan of water brought to the boil for 5 mins,
then into the canning jars
and kept under 10lb pressure for 35 mins

there was only enough to pack 2x1pt jars, next time we get a box full I will can the lot, 
It always seems a shame that mushrooms cook down to next to nothing, you can have a big pan full and end up with such a small amount, still they will be a lovely addition to casseroles.
(word of warning only ever can commercial mushrooms never wild ones)
The fridge is looking fairly empty at the moment, as we are buying in so little fresh food if any, there is half a pack of pastry, milk butter, cooking chocolate orange juice, some open bottles of sauce and pickles, lard and that is about it.
I have a plan for the pastry tomorrow.
There is a bar of Galaxy that I plan to have while watching the Pottery Throw Down tonight :-)