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Posted: Monday 7 September, 2020

by Rosemary at 12:16pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 31st August

Lovely last day of August – cool and sunny, then warm and sunny. Did a bit of pottering in the house and office then had an early lunch, before going picking ragwort. There’s still a wee bit out there so will patrol again at the end of the week.

Blooming cats - Diesel and Thomas stopping the dogs going to bed. Naughty.

catsCats on guard.

Rode briefly with Rebecca and Ave, but I think Smokey has something going on with his waterworks. He pee’d before I tacked him up, pee’d once we were out and plainly wanted to pee again, so I got off and walked him back. Vet tomorrow, I guess.

 

Tuesday 1st September

Dry, sunny and warm. Vet coming out to see Smokey tomorrow. Walked him out with Ave and Euro tonight and he was great. Striding  out and seemed quite comfortable.

This morning was spent driving around – dropped a trailer wheel off to have a new tyre fitted, post office, picked up a prescription in Carnoustie, then into Arbroath to return the wrong stuff we bought for the byre’s electrics and to pick up the right stuff; recycling centre with a box of spent batteries; supermarket for milk; garden centre for some bedding plants; filled the car with diesel; then down to J’s to drop off patterns I’d borrowed; East PItkerro to feed and check the steers then back to Barry to drop off some apples and finally, to the trophy shop to pick up the salver we’ve bought as a prize for the Best Senior Cow in the Shetland Cattle Online Show. Phew. Great opportunities for scoring stuff off a list though.

Festival call this afternoon and a SCBA call this evening. Knackered. A nice relaxing day in the garden tomorrow.

Wednesday 2nd September

Christmas is coming, so I started a batch of  mincemeat – it uses some cooking apples but not enough. We’re cooking and freezing – we love stewed apples with yogurt for breakfast. Just as well, really.

Vet arrived just after lunchtime. There’s not much amiss with Smokey’s undercarriage, certainly not at first inspection. He’s lumpy but that’s not unusual in elderly grey geldings; he was clean and all the bits work. I’ve to get a urine sample for testing. Vet took a blood sample for a Cushings test. We had a chat about his breathing and we’re going to try a new steroid inhaler; I looked at oral steroids before but they carry a risk of laminitis but the inhalers put the drug straight into the lungs so reduce the risk significantly. It’s not cheap but it’s one-off ten day course. It will be good to give him some relief.

Smallholding Scotland board meeting this evening. Heavy rain too. Unrelated.

Thursday 3rd September

Lovely morning – dry, cool, sunny. Jarred the mincemeat. I need to get brandy before I make more. Planted out the bedding plants. I need to get a few more, and maybe some bulbs. Linda’s garden is always lovely; mine is always a poor second.  And I’d like to get some nice herbaceous plants for the front beds and plant them up well.

On to the collection of Smokey's urine sample, I made a device with a plastic beaker (one with a good tight screw-on lid for afterwards), my Parelli carrot stick and a load of parcel tape.

peestickEquine pee catcher.

Booked the pigs into the abattoir for early October; we’re going to butcher our half ourselves this year. Couldn’t get a definite date for the lambs – we’re on the waiting list for 12th October. The abattoir must be busy. I need to speak to the butcher about the steers – I’d like them to go to Perth this year – it’s much closer.

Friday 4th September

Today’s task was to get a urine sample from Smokey. I decided to take him for a walk along the railway, let him graze then started to whistle. And he pee’d. And I caught it. Yay! What a good boy!

resultIt works! Result!

Off to Dundee to drop it off and got the results tonight – nothing amiss. And his Cushings test is fine too.

Dan cut the front grass – just in time, I think. It’s so dense. I picked peas – there’s one, maybe two pickings to come – courgettes and tomatoes. Dan collected apples and plums. The freezers are filling up – I’ll be glad to get them moved and sorted out.

Saturday 5th September

Mainly dry, breezy, sunny with light cloud. Dan and I started to tidy up the barn. Even with the best of intentions, it needs a blitz periodically. We started with the bags of fleece and netting, clearing out the rubbish and folding the rest up neatly. That lead us to finally covering the muck heaps with black plastic. Then Dan started sorting the cattle gates and he mats; we have cattle in there all winter and nothing much moves. Ponies, for a few hours a day for a few months and it’s all over the place. Looks much better now – and far fewer trip hazards too.

gatesGates in a straight line.

When I wasn’t required to hold things or clean things, I weeded the leeks, the parsnips and the sprouts. And made tea.

After lunch, we took the wee trailer into Arbroath with rubbish, then went to Screwfix for fixings for the barn, picked up some shopping and finally, collected Linda’s bike from Halfords. Once home, Dan finished in the barn while I did the feeding.

floorMinor alterations to the floor.

Very productive day so enjoyed a wee G&T before dinner.

Sunday 6th September

Just the most glorious autumn day. Woke at 5am, thinking “I didn’t put the dishwasher on last night” and “OMG, our tweet week starts tomorrow and I’m not prepared”. So got up, put the dishwasher on, let the dogs out and started some mincemeat. Once it got light, I let the ponies out, fed the pigs and let the hens out. They’re being wormed this week, so special pellets.

After breakfast, Dan went off to weed the comfrey beds – we’ve got our first inspection on Tuesday – then Andy arrived and they started to lift the potatoes in the fruit garden (I know) – there’s more comfrey going in there as soon as it’s cleared.

fruitgardenTatties lifted, muck on.

I headed up to the hen’s caravan to clean it out, then I gave the outside its annual wash. Not perfect, but at least it looks like someone’s made and effort and that it’s not abandoned. It’s one of these jobs that looks worse than it is.

Took Smokey out in hand; he was very good. So was Euro – he must have had his brave pants on tonight.

We weren't placed in the online Shetland Cattle show, but my wee herd are all winners to me.

RosieRosie Posie (Rosedean Umber).

Had half an hour in the office just to round off and prepare for the coming week. And relax.

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