Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Wood cutting and crochet......

Having breakfast, (porridge), and out of puff after having brought up this pile of logs from the river path, the logs having once belonged to an oak tree which fell across that path last winter and been left unattended to ever since, allowing the fallen wood to act as a platform for an energetic bunch of brambles to grow across the path and latch themselves on to field fence thus producing a barrier through which we cannot pass. Nooooooo! They shall not win this war, so with clippers, saw, and wheelbarrow, we (Maz and me) trundle our way to the broken tree to rescue the wood, bringing it back to the Courtyard where it will be cut up into smaller logs for the Rayburn stove.

This is my project, Lester is glued to his PC all day and has no time available to get jobs done other than looking after the animals each side of his working day. It is fierce for him at the moment, and he gets very tired. It is not forever, though, just for now. Meanwhile I do what I can out on the farm, which is good for me because it is building my fitness levels up after my health crash in September 2017. It is also building up my confidence in myself, which is good. It would have been so easy to have used my age (71) as an excuse not to do things. But that will not do. I love this farm and the lifestyle that goes with it, even if it is hard at times. Living life as a human being has many facets of difficulties and if we expect to coast through life without ever having had battles to fight, then we are foolish indeed. Overcoming these battles, whatever they are, strengthens the fibre of our being and keeps our spirit running high. 

Anyway, back to the logs.......... with a degree of surprise I have learnt that I can cut quite a thick branch into the right size to fit the Rayburn's firebox but there is a point at which I become stuck, as illustrated in the photo below...... the saw can't go any further through the log because the engine to drive that saw (me) is in 'run out of puff ' mode because the log is too thick and I have reached my limit. 

So what do I do? Carry on perhaps, which is not wise as my body is telling me that it has had enough of being involved with this particular task, or go do something else which will use other muscles, allowing the ones I have been using to rest.  What do I do? I go sit in my little arbre........

...... and do some crocheting........

....... but only four rows maximum otherwise I get sucked into the rhythm of crocheting and will find it hard to get up and carry on with the day. 

And thus it is that I go through my day, going from active task to creative task in small parcels of time, often about 30 minutes duration. I find big chunks of active tasks will make me too physically tired, so better to do thirty minutes per day for as long as that task takes to complete, is a more sensible strategy. I am fortunate in that I am not constrained by having to do certain things at certain times, apart from producing lunch somewhere around 12am-1pm each day. 
As for the creative tasks, these I do have to limit the time to thirty minutes, because if I go over this time then I shall probably fall asleep because I have been sitting too long!

Anyway, that is how the fabric of my day is loosely woven. And now I need to go get some lunch so I must be away, so......

Bye for now, 

Sunday, 16 September 2018

...and another snake episode.......

So on a frantic skip and a hop to the loo the other day, with trousers already at half mast in readiness for the joyful moment of collapse on to the toilet seat, my OH was put into a state of high panic which sent him spinning away in the opposite direction,  complete with arms flailing wildly about his person, in haste to get away from the  snake which, just at the very moment he was going to position himself on the loo, had come out from behind that same loo and was heading  straight towards him on a collision course. To see such a thing at such a delicate moment of loo requirement would send anyone into a state of panic, as I am sure you will agree, and so Lester was receiving of  quite a big panic and was not particularly impressed by  the mirth which cascaded from me when he told me what had happened.

Well, that snake was captured and deceased, the same as was the snake that was lolling about by the doors in the Half Barn workroom but that was only a small one and could be held underneath a bottling jar until my OH could decease that too. But the snake which fell on my head as I walked through the front doors a few weeks ago still lives on, and did not give me a fright because I happened to be half asleep when this episode occurred.

As for the snake in the bathroom episode, we do not know how it got so far in to the house. Snakes around doors, we can understand that, although I did not know that they could climb up walls to sunbathe on ledges over doors, but I do now, so I always look upwards when going through the front door...... just in case. But the bathroom is at the back of the house so goodness knows how it managed to get there. Often times ever since, especially during loo trips at night, thoughts about snakes popping up from somewhere or other will come into the mind, the worst one being one wiggling its way from out of the toilet bowl when I am sitting doing my loo job. This is a time when common sense is hidden behind the fug of sleep.

And we seem to be having a lot of sightings of mice at the moment, who seem to be are quite brazen about being seen, even refusing to budge if we are nearby. Actually, I must correct that..... the mice are being seen by my OH when he is walking between the Tall Barn and the Middle Barn  and normally during the evening milking, when he is carrying the milk pail back to the kitchen, the door of which is at the end of Middle Barn. It is a dark space, make darker by the going to sleep of the day, so I tend to avoid this space at this time of day preferring to use the front door, but if I do feel bold enough to take this short cut to the house I will make much noise with my voice to let any creatures that might be lingering about know that I am coming and would they scamper away somewhere else and not give me a fright. I have made the suggestion to my OH that he also do this, but he doesn't, so that is why he is seeing the mice, and also got a fright the other night when a 'very huge rat'' (his words) crossed his path.

I think the recent appearance of these 'tame' mice, is because my OH has spent the recent weeks getting the old bedding straw  cleared out from the cow pens in the Tall Barn so the cows can start coming in at night. The mice would have had their homes in that bedding, and would have also been used to seeing Lester when he sat on the milking stool milking the cows.

The Tall Barn......all clean and tidy, waiting for the new bedding to be put down, and having a peacefulness which is magical. 

It will take lots of wheelbarrows of straw to fill this space, just as it has taken loads of wheelbarrow trips to dump the old bedding out on to Veg Plots 1, 2, & 3, but the work of doing so has improved the soil in the soil in these areas over the years, which has made this work worthwhile. 

Must be  off to cook some food for my hardworking husband, 
so bye for now. 


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The hedge,,,,,,,,,

Sitting over my bowl of porridge, thinking I ought to let the family and you know that I am still here and carrying on in my normal way, although my hands are a bit stiff due to the cutting of the overgrown hedge out front. They also have been stabbed in several places by thorns. They are also feeling the strain of regular practices on the accordion. We have been invited to play for a Sunday afternoon lunch, whose hosts will have  guests from Ireland staying with them so they thought it would be a good idea to have an Irish based singalong. So that is what I have been doing during this spell of continuing hot weather.....practicing and sorting out our music, which is a job which had long needed doing. 

As for the front hedge, this again  has been an ongoing project, which has been frequently started but then left as I was diverted away to other projects, or we hit a patch of monsoon type weather which kept me indoors. But the hedge has got too big and scruffy, so I am on a mission to carry on getting it cut down. It will be a slow job, because it is a very big hedge now, and I only allow myself thirty minutes, (or one full wheelbarrow load of clippings) per day because I have several other projects on the go which I have to share myself with. 

The Hedge

........ and I have nearly made a break through from one side to the other.

And then I went round the other side of the Chicken Pen and clipped the blackberry shoots which had regrown since last I cut them back, which was in June. And that was me done for the day in regards to outside work because by then the sun was out in its full force,  and I needed to retreat indoors.

 But the chickens were happy because I lobbed some of last year's butternuts over the fence at them, although at first they thought they were being bombed by unknown forces so went into a bit of a panic. I shouldn't have put them into a fright, but it was too much of a bother to have to wrestle with the tangle of weeds and nettles to get to their gate so over the fence the butternuts went. 

Missed cooling off by paddling in the river this year, but after I saw the size of fish which swim in the river when several were washed up on our land in the recent floods, I feel a fear about putting my toes at risk of being eaten. And I can be silly and eccentric about this because I am of a respectable age to be so. I suppose I could wear old shoes, but this thought has only just occurred to me, ........ meanwhile, ..... if we have another hot summer next year, global warming and all that, I am of a mind to buy a plunge pool so I can cool off. Not sure where I would put it though as all available space where it could be placed would put me in full view of anyone passing. So perhaps, shoes in the river might be a better solution for cooling down next year!

 Off to attack my washing up, which seems to grow at the same rate as does those damn blackberries out on the smallholding!

Bye for now,