Cushion / Crumpets / WoodRSS feed

Posted: Monday 31 December, 2018

by Rosemary at 12:19pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 24th December

Hard frost with temperature -4C at dawn and didn’t go up much all day. Milked all three cows but planning to move to alternate days now, so won’t be milking tomorrow. Put hay in for the cows – a round bale is lasting five or six days.

In anticipation of Christmas, the ponies had a can of “Sweetheart Stout” on their feed. And carrots. Even though they aren’t reindeer.

Dan made bread and wholemeal sourdough crumpets. The bread was delicious; the crumpets were interesting.


crumpetsWholemeal sourdough crumpets

Tuesday 25th December.

Yay! It’s Christmas! Milder than yesterday – so no frozen water, which is a gift in itself. Dan helped me with the chores then we had a special breakfast of Buck’s Fizz with home cured and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on our own bread. Magic!

To prepare for lunch, we took the dogs for a walk – first time I’ve walked them for ages and I was delighted at how good they are. Lovely lunch, then feet up until the hens needed corn and shutting in.

No milking – none of the cows seem bothered.

This is Dan and my first Christmas ever, just the two of us (if you discount all the animals)

Wednesday 26th December

Very mild – up to 8C. Spent some time in the vegetable garden weeding; Dan was digging out one of the old manure heaps and taking out the worst of the couch grass. It’s fantastic manure – moving with worms, so we’re getting it on the beds and covered with black plastic. We’ve never been this far on at this time of year before. Long may it continue.

Milked all three cows but there were flakes in the milk so discarded it. Now worried about mastitis although none of their udders are hot, hard or tender.

Dan cleared out the yarn / knitting boxes. He also finished the cushion cover he’s been knitting for his Mum – it’s lovely and once it was blocked, it looked great.

coverBlocked cushion cover

We’ve been identifying stuff we don’t use or need anymore, so will get the bits on Gumtree / eBay and so on, over the next few weeks. A task for a rainy day or after dark though!

We took the dogs over the Buddon – what a run they had. Very tired puppies tonight.

Put a bale of hay out for the ewes – the last one lasted from 8th December, but the ponies are helping themselves, so I don’t think this one will last as long.

Thursday 27th December

Dan took a load of manure to the allotments; our contact there, Alan, was showing Dan an area of grass he’s sown in November – it’s three inches long.

Urquhart is lame so he’s had a full pedicure.

Did more weeding and planted some bulbs and wallflower.

Friday 28th December

Sunny and mild – hope we don’t pay for this later. Dan and Andy felled a sycamore tree to top up the wood store, then planted a medlar in the apiary, to make up for it. There’s a second medlar to go in somewhere – we were given them as a gift, so have no plan yet. He did a bit of tidying in the apiary but we need a day to get it strimmed and weeded. The bees have been flying this week.

Milked the cows and the milk was fine; udders fine. Urquhart is almost sound. Glad I was up at 3am worrying about them all.

Walked the dogs and planted the last of the wallflower and some bulbs. If they all come up, the garden should look quite nice come spring.

Saturday 29th December

Heavy rain overnight and very windy this morning, but improved to sunny and clear by lunchtime. The wind made the ponies very frisky and they had a right blast about the field on the way in for their breakfast.

Dan took another load of manure to the allotments – that’s them full for a while – them brought in the rest of the cut wood and stacked it for splitting.

woodWood store

I planted the last of the bulbs – I think they were a free gift, so a bonus. While in the greenhouse, I sorted through this year’s shallot sets – a few were rotten, so ditched them. I can’t find my box of seeds – I’ve looked in all the logical places, so will start on the more likely places tomorrow.

Dan and I did some housework – he’s a demon with the vacuum cleaner; we topped up the beans in the dogs’ beanbags, so they look more comfy – and I cleaned the French doors in the classroom. Let the sun shine in!

Sunday 30th December

Mild and cloudy, with sunny intervals. Dan spent the morning in the orchard – repairing the holes in the deer netting that Gwenna has made. She’s now banned for there – although given her ability to wriggle through pretty small gaps, I think that’s a pretty forlorn ban.

Flakes in the milk again – but I only milked Blizzard. No other symptoms. Gave Rosie a wee bath – especially her knees. Planning to do Annie tomorrow, then Blizz, and then Ace.

Had an hour or so in the veg garden, weeding. Again. Nearly done. Oh, and found the seed box, so will complete “the plan” this week.

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