Monday, 28 July 2014

Gates Up, Absentees, Cooker Hefted, Plums, & 7

Wahoooooooo! The wall is finished, and the gates are up, and they shut and lock, which means that the dogs can be kept in, and we can rest easy with having to keep am eye on them all the time. Of course, one has to remember to actually remember to shut the gates, this being something which was not done last night due to us watching the antics of the hens trying to get up into the fig tree to roost after the removal of the chicken hut yesterday, upon which they used to jump before then getting up into the tree.  With no step up, they were finding it very hard, bless them. We tried not to laugh, really we did. But there was much flapping, crashing, moaning, and general confusion such that in the end we had to help them to get onto the branches. 

And then the gnats came out to feed on us, so indoors we hurried, the last check of the gates not being done. Ah, but the front gate was left open by an inch, and those rottweiller girls found that inch when they were let out into the courtyard this morning at dawn, making a quick exit while I was sorting out the chaos of my storage shelves. 

Message to self: Vera, you must really get some sort of filing system going in regards to what you actually have on those shelves. Organisation is a must if you want to keep filling those shelves with food, which then gets all into a jumble over time so that in the end you do not have the foggiest clue as to what food you have available to eat. 

Anyway, there I was, busy getting some order on those shelves, and I though that the dogs had gone a bit quiet, but then they do tend to be zomby-like when they wake up in the mornings, and the gates were shut so I didn't have to worry about them being out and about, ...... but then the quietness became suspect.....and I found them gone, the front gate being only left open by a fraction, but they had found it. I suspect that they must do a recce each morning to see the status of the gates: open or not, escape or no chance. 

So that was not a good start to the day. No good looking for them because they have long legs and gallop at a tremendous pace especially if they are doing a jolly romp out and about. Best to keep busy. 

Today I was supposed to be making jam with these plums.....

I have already pitted them and canned ten jars, but the rest is to go into jam. Three times I started to head towards the rolling boil, and three times I switched the heat off because I was not in the mood to mess about with hot jars, restless as I was because of the thought of those girls running loose. The plums remain not done. Hopefully I shall get my jamming mojo back tomorrow. 

Lester, though, kept busy. Time to do more work to the kitchen. Down came the small half walls he had built because we decided that we shall keep everything simple, and not put fancy stuff in which is really only cosmetic. We have now learnt that it is best to let the space tell us what it wants, rather than making the space into how we want it to look. Meanwhile the SMEG cooker had to be shifted out of the kitchen. Ummmmm, it is heavy, and we nearly got it stuck .........

..... but we wiggled it, pushed and shoved it, and got it through into the temporary kitchen area. It is now safely covered up with its cardboard box, face against the wall. I hope it was not upset by the manhandling we gave it.

But now the proper kitchen is empty, and it is all go to get the chappe (screed is the English word I think) onto the concrete floor. We don't know how to do that yet, so another learning curve is to be added to the many learning curves that we are currently involved with. 

The rotty girls made their return home late afternoon. But no, since they went AWOL before breakfast, and doggy breakfasts are between 6 and 8 in the morning, they shall not get fed until tomorrow morning. And no, they shall not be allowed indoors since they took it upon themselves to do a jolly romp without permission, then they can stay outside until we decide that they can come indoors and go to bed. We know from experience that they will be very, very tired, and will just want to eat and sleep. But no, they can sleep outside. Shame that it is raining. They don't like the rain. Not to worry, at least we don't have to be worried about their safety, or that they might be causing mischief and mayhem, or even worse, might cause an accident. 

And seven!!!!!!!! Seven little piglets are now with us, or rather, with Mum Pig out in her hut. They are all pink velvety lusciousness, with little ears, and little tails, and little legs, and little squeals, and oh so we would love to pick them up but know that they will squirm and wriggle and yell, so no, we cannot do that, but we can ooh and ahhh like most people do when looking at youngsters. And then there is Mum to cope with of course. She would really not like us to be involved with those littl'uns yet. So we can only get little peeks at those piglets. No photos, though, as it is too dark in their hut, and I would have to lean over at a difficult angle to do a photo shoot anyway, which would mean possibly colliding with the electric fencing wire, which is something I would prefer not to do, not to mention having Mum Pig scold me for interfering with her space. 

It is raining again at the moment. We have had a wet summer, which is OK because it means that we are not having to spend time watering the veg plot, which is being neglected at the moment because of needing to spend time with renovation work. But at least the grazing is holding up well for this time of year, and the animals are looking plump and healthy. Normally our fields would be dry and brown, but this year they are bright and green. we let the rotty girls indoors, or not. It is getting dark, so perhaps we shall relent, or not. Oh all right......give them another half an hour, then in they can come!



Horst in Edmonton said...

Love your front gate, it looks awesome.

northsider dave said...

The gates and gate posts look really good,Vera. Please post post photographs of mummy pig and her new family.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

ok i totally gave an out loud "WOW!" at the gate! that is just terrific work! and yes, Zander is figuring out to watch our hands so he is also figuring out how to open the gates. latches that require thumbs for us. i'm so excited about your kitchen - cant wait to see it. and absolutely fantastic about the piglets! what a wonderful update!

rusty duck said...

The gates look fab! And you'll never forget to shut them now.

John Gray said...

I am getting excited
The kitchen almost LOOKS like a kitchen

Niall & Antoinette said...

We've just harvested our mirabelle plums.
Those gates look very smart :-)

Vera said...

Horst, that's our back gate, which is the same as our front gate. But it is not a posh gate, because everyone round here has similar ones. It is to keep the animals in and intruders out!

Northsider Dave, photos of mum and piglets in next post. They were out in the paddock today!

OhioFarmGirl, your Zander sounds like one clever dog. Ours just wait for the gate to be left open before the make their escape!

Jessica, you are right. Last thing at night and first thing in the morning either Lester or myself check them!

John, hold on to your excitement, John, we still have a long way to go!

Niall & Antoinette, so have we! Half the tree picked and already got a huge bucketful!