January 2008RSS feed

Cassius and the prawns

Friday 4 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 4:50pm in Cats Comments closed

Cassius is well and truly in the dog house tonight after munching his way through about half a pound of prawns that were intended for our dinner. He's not guilty of going on the work surfaces, but he loves prawns and the temptation was obviously too much for him.

Never mind, there's some leftover bolognaise sauce that we can have; I'm sure it will be lovely...

Late Christmas present

Friday 4 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 4:53pm in Anything goes 2 comments Comments closed

A late Christmas present was delivered for me today - an adjustable floor standing frame for my tapestry frame. I almost always have a wool tapestry on the go - sometimes they take me ages, but I like to pick it up when I feel like it (sometimes I wish it was more "useful" - there's a limit to how many framed tapestries one's home can accommodate). I find it hard to get a comfortable position to sew, so I'm hoping that this will be better.

Dan's done some lovely wool tapestries - it was he who got me started - and he's currently making a beautiful rug. And has been making it for nigh on 10 years, we reckon. He bought the wool and the canvas one year for my Christmas and said he would give me the completed rug to me the following year. Boy, he's building the anticipation! It's a lovely pattern in blues, golds and creams, called "African Marigold" by Beth Russell. It will be truly stunning when it's finished - it will be a crime to walk on it!

Seed sowing

Saturday 5 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 4:22pm in Growing Comments closed

The weather has been rather horrible here for the last few days (weeks?). I don't mind the cold, but cold, horizontal rain is just too much. However, this afternoon, I was having a wee doze in front of the fire and feeling fed-up when - the sun came out. It was a pretty watery affair but there was definitely some blue sky.

So on went the wellies and off I went to get Smokey. His field is a mudbath so I like to give him a treat by letting him on to our field for a wee while - so he can move about without the perpetual sound of squishing. Anyway, this made him all frisky - that and having his rug off - and he has a good blast around, bucking and carrying on. It's not hard to see how horses mess up the grass real quick - there are holes the sheep could fall down!

Riding lesson

Saturday 5 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 4:31pm in Equines 3 comments Comments closed

I'm going for a riding lesson tomorrow. I haven't ridden for ages, initially because of a medical problem then latterly because I've lost my confidence. Over the last few weeks, I've started to feel like I want to ride again. I'm going to have a lesson on a school horse for a couple of reasons - firstly, it will know what it is doing and secondly, there is no "emotional baggage" as there is with Smokey and me.

In preparation, I bought a pair of Musto "Snugs". Dan nearly had a heart attack when I told him how much they were - and telling him they were a bargain via the internet didn't seem to help! But, boy, are they wonderful. I haven't seen myself in a mirror (and nor do I want to) but they look fine looking down. And they are soooo comfy - they're like fleecy leggings but you don't feel like you're wearing anything, they are so soft and stretchy. Buying the right size helps - but couldn't they call XL something else, like XXM or something? I've had to take them off because I got them muddy and it was a real wrench (literally!).

Riding lesson 2

Tuesday 8 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 5:20pm in Equines 2 comments Comments closed

Well, I had my riding lesson and it was fine. In a group with three under tens,it wasn't hard to shine - at least I could keep my horse on the track! We walked, trotted, had a little canter, managed to stay on for a couple of little bucks. So I'm feeling a bit better emotionally - physically, I can hardly walk. I'm going for another lesson on Saturday, then I think it will be time to get on my own horse.

And no cameras!

I'll keep you posted!

Kune Kune looking for a new home

Tuesday 8 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 5:23pm in Pigs 3 comments Comments closed

A work colleague of mine is looking to rehome two, one-year old Kune Kune gilts. They are ginger and black. Currently they are living near Port of Menteith.

If anyone is interested, can you contact me asap and I'll put you in touch.

January weather

Wednesday 9 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 10:06am in Anything goes 5 comments Comments closed

The weather overnight here has been just horrible. We've had gales and heavy rain. This morning I got up to find a few slates slipped on the roof, a dislocated downpipe, two smashed panes in the greenhouse and the garage under three inches of water - the horses' feed buckets had floated to the back of the garage. Oh, joy! And Dan's in London - so it was on with the Marigolds to get the drain in front of the garage unblocked. Then it was a case of keeping the water moving out of the garage into the drain. It's now clear and the garage floor is cleaner than its been for ages - possibly ever! I still have a few things to move that might have got damp but fortunately the bags of feed were stored on shelves high enough to keep them out of the water. The slates etc will have to wait until Dan comes home and the wind abates a bit.

Forth Valley and West Fife Smallholders' Association - meeting

Sunday 13 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 3:11pm in Anything goes Comments closed

the next meeting of FV&WF Smallholders' Association will take place on Wednesday 16th January at 7pm in Stirling Indoor Bowling Club, orth Street, Riverside, Stirling FK8 1UE.

Any smallholders or aspiring smallholders are very welcome.

House Cow

Friday 18 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 12:21pm in Anything goes Comments closed

No, not yet. But I know what we're getting when we get one - a Shetland!

I've been browsing the web and was intending to look up Dexter cattle, but opened the RBST website to discover that the Dexter isn't listed. So I looked up the Shetland instead and that's what we'll have!

It ticks all the boxes for me - size, nature, thrifty, dual purpose. More research, now.

First tidy

Sunday 20 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 9:35pm in Gardening Comments closed

Dan offered himself to me for half an hour today! So I sent him to cut back the buddleia and prune the roses. Hey ho, we've been together a long time, now!

It's been rather nice here this weekend. Due to other commitments, I didn't get in the garden yesterday, but I was out for a couple of hours this afternoon. Mostly, I was pottering, cutting back some of the dead vegetation and sweeping up, but it all looked much better afterwards.

Dan came round with the secuteurs to do the buddleia but had to go back for the loppers. I didn't cut it back last year, so it was pretty tough. I'm hoping to move some plants around in the spring - I'm not the best picker of plants and I hate throwing anything out, so I end up with odd combinations. Some of the plants in the courtyard need more sun or are too big for where they are, so they will need moved too.

Back in the saddle

Sunday 20 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 9:46pm in Equines 1 comment Comments closed

I was back in the saddle yesterday for the first time in a long time (apart from two very brief and demoralising events over the summer). And it felt good! It was in the arena and we didn't do anything except walk and trot, backup and turns on the forehand but there was no spooking at the trailers, or the jumps, or the digger parked outside the arena fence. Smokey did have a good, long look at himself in the digger's window, but he IS a handsome boy.

I did plan to ride today but just had so many other things to do, I ended up just walking Smokey out in hand for 15 minutes (for his feet). However, the walk gave me a chance to play some games with him, to keep him listening and respectful. The plan is to do this every weekday and ride at the weekend. Give us both the chance to get a bit fitter as well - we trot together, until I run out of breath (not far!).

How to scare a fledgling smallholder.

Sunday 20 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 9:54pm in Anything goes 1 comment Comments closed

Some folk like to scare themselves witless by watching horror movies. Some like to do it by going on huge fairground rides. Some do it by taking a "ghost wak". Me? I read a book about stock rearing!

I buy the "The Scottish Farmer" every week. It's written is a strange "farmer-speak" but I like to look at what's for sale. This week, it had a 16 page "Lambing Special", half of which was adverts for drenches and injections to prevent and cure diseases I haven't even heard of.

So I got out my sheep book and terrified myself. At one point the author says that sheep are either healthy or dead and it's generally quite easy to tell the difference! Although we're not lambing this year, I'm thinking ahead. To be honest the lambing itself is the least of my concerns - I'm more worried about grass and how to have enough. I'm also worried about liver fluke, coccidiosis, abortion, footroot and various skin parasites. If I treat them all, the girls will be like pin cushions!

Take the TAS exam

Monday 21 January, 2008

by Dan at 4:56pm in TAS Website Comments closed

We get lots of enquiries at TAS, of all sorts. Most are what you'd expect - people looking for advice, giving feedback on the site, making link requests, that sort of thing, and on one occasion recently dog's abuse (might share that story soon).

Early last year we had a somewhat unusual request: the AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) emailed us asking if they could use some of the material from articles section of the TAS website in an english examination, to be sat in summer 2007. We said yes, on the proviso they credited us and sent us a copy of the examination paper when it was all over. They sent a very formal letter confirming the arrangement, and we heard no more.

Meet the Hubbards

Sunday 27 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 9:32pm in Poultry Comments closed

Courtesy of the TAS forums, we're now the owners of five Hubbard chicks. The Hubbard a meat strain of chicken - so I'm thinking of them as five Sunday lunches, but it's quite hard because they're awful cute.

As usual, they are in the guest room, in the puppy cage. They seem to eat and drink a lot more than our homebred chicks did - they also seem to gro fast. I got them on Wednesday and I think they are noticably bigger already. I might try and weigh them, in my attempts to be more scientific!

Herbal wormer

Sunday 27 January, 2008

by Rosemary at 9:45pm in Anything goes 2 comments Comments closed

We bought herbal wormer yesterday, for the sheep and the hens. Both products are used monthly - over three days for the chooks and seven for the sheep, so I'll start on Friday (since it's the 1st February). The wormer for the hens is liquid, so it can be put in water or on bread. I'm going for the latter because ours freerange and drink from puddles etc.

The sheep wormer is pellets and goes on their food - I don't think there will be any trouble getting them to eat it. They're getting a pedicure next weekend, too - so healthy, inside and out! I've got the vet coming to do Smokey's flu and tetanus next week, so I'm going to ask him about worm counts for the sheep, so I can check if it's working OK.

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