Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Catching up......

It has been a lovely autumn here in SW France, with the turning of the year being done at a dignified pace that has been a pleasure to see. My mood, which can be on the grouchy side as the cold starts invading my bones, has been lightened and my energy has remained on the upside instead of the slothful slowness of winter hibernation that comes upon me as daylight hours are reduced. Not to worry though, the shortest day is not so far off now, autumn is still just about hanging on, and there are enough leaves still on the trees to make a goodly glow when the sunlight shines through them.

We have lost a sheep. We did have eight, but now there are seven. The ewe has been searched for, but remains unfound. It could be that she fell off the bank into the river. The river is quite shallow. Lester thinks that she might have swum her way across to the large island in the middle of the river. I think not. I think she tucked herself into the bramble bushes and went into the long sleep. Or perhaps she was abducted by someone and taken away from here. Lester favours the first and third possibilities. I favour the second, either way our flock numbers have been again reduced. Six are now residing in the freezer, it being the time of year when we do the unwelcome job of culling the flock. It is part of farm life. It has to be done.

Lissie and Bonny, our two housecows, are getting very plump. We thought that Bonny had finally come into season a couple of weeks ago,  so called the artificial insemination man out. A quick insertion of his complete arm into her rear end, and the verdict was that she was not in season. Oh dear, neither cow has been in season for months, so it looks like its going to be long time before our new milking machine will be used. But that it is not so, because the AI man then inserted an appliance into Bonny which showed her positive for being in calf. And then he did the same to Lissie, and she proved to be positive as well.

I have been invited to be the conductor of a small Christmas choir, to go round to three Maison de Retraites (Carehomes) in our local area to give afternoon concerts to the elderly residents. I waved my arms about in a business like manner, ordered everyone about as one does when one is in charge, and got everyone to sing their socks off. I even did a 'Wahoo' in the middle of one of the songs because I was so enthused with the large sound they were making. I shall not, of course, do that in the middle of any of the concerts, but then we are singing to old folk, who will most likely be tending towards afternoon napping while we are singing to them, so perhaps I shall put the 'Wahoo' in to keep them awake, bless them.

Laughing Yoga. Have you heard of it? I hadn't until last week when a friend mentioned that she had been to a Laughing Yoga class. She was not impressed. Said she wouldn't go again because she thought it was silly. Me being me, I had to have an investigation so I went on to YouTube and had a look at some vids, and have been lighter in spirit ever since. Have a look yourself. I don't think I shall go to Laughing Yoga classes because I have other commitments on the night the class is held, but I do follow some of the teachings, and have found myself smiling more, especially indoors, and I also tend to jog and dance around the house when I am moving to and fro through the rooms, especially during energy gap times.

A new acquisition to the farm is a Flymo lawnmower. It is for me. We already have a big tractor, a smaller tractor, a hefty petrol driven lawnmower, and an equally hefty petrol driven strimmer, none of which I can use because they are man tools and not of suitable use for us of the opposite sex. And it is sad to watch the farm start to lose its way because Lester is working long hours and so cannot tend to its needs. So I bought myself a Flymo. It is electric and is supposed to hover while it cuts the grass, which might apply to proper lawns, but not to my overgrown field grass which has mole hills hidden in it.

I have just come in from half an hour mowing. I am using muscles which have been asleep for a while, and my legs are shaky, but not to worry, this first cut should be the worst, and after the purchase of a new cutting blade, because the one the Flymo came with is already battered and blunt, plus the honing of my muscles (!) as I mow, time I should find the job easier. The spare part for my damaged scythe should also be arriving soon, and that should take care of the longer grass, and give some exercise to my back. I have missed early morning scything. The swish of the blade across the dewy grass keeps me warm, while the cold morning air wakes me up very efficiently.

I am sewing a lot at the moment, although I have to keep machining time to the evenings because I am sharing the same space as Lester is while he is working on his computer. Since his work is more important because it is providing us with extra finances at the moment, I have decided to move the machine onto the kitchen table during the day. It is light for me to lift, but it does mean that I shall have to keep the kitchen table uncluttered, and we shall have to be careful not to trip over the extension lead, but not to worry, at least I can start working on my fabric stash. The use of the huge garden table I used for seedlings last year is now inside the Half Barn, has been given a thorough wash so that it can enjoy its temporary change of use to that of cutting table. It is a joy to be able to sew again. Since we came here ten years ago, my sewing activities have been confined to small spaces which is not ideal. For the moment I have the hugest of spaces, so onwards then with working my way through my sewing stash!

I have kept you long enough, so wishing you love and light,
......bye for now



Coco said...

Congratulations on the new mower - may it make your life much easier and your land much tidier!

We´ve had on and off rain for almost a month now, which really complicates picking up the leaves for the garden. Half are still on the trees and half glued to the pavement/grass.

Sorry about your disappearing sheep. Very strange. I love lamb, but V doesn´t really care for it except in chops, very occasionally.

Enjoy your space for your sewing projects!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

That was a wonderful catch up. What things are you sewing? Clothing for yourself? -Jenn

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thank you for the update Vera! Certainly sounds like you have been busy.

DUTA said...

Conductor of a choir? Sounds like great honor, fun, and responsability.
I like sewing too, but I do it mainly during winter and it usually consists of minor but important repairs.
Our weather is still fine, and it's a pleasure to be out and about.
Enjoy your new lawnmower acquisition!

Vera said...

COCO, we are tidier already, and it is so nice to have pushed the 'wilderness' further away from the house! I shall try to get more cut before the weather closes in for the proper winter.

we don't have any trees right by the house, most of them are on the perimeters of the fields, so we do not have a problem with leaf drop, which must be a nuisance if you have a properly planted flower and vegetable garden.

Vera said...

JENN, Glad you enjoyed the catch sewing projects? For me, for Lester, for the house, for the dog, in other words lots to do!

Vera said...

DUTA, I do feel responsible for the choir now I am the conductor, and much more interested in the activity of the choir than I was when I was one of the singers.

I also have a lot of repairs to do, as well as other sewing projects. I am taking advantage of the darker evenings instead of wasting time by TV watching.!

My lawnmower has been of real benefit in keeping the grass around the house tidier.....and my feet stay drier because they are not having to walk through wet weeds and grass!

Vera said...

TOIRDHEALBHEACH BEUCAIL, I like to keep busy as it makes me feel that I am getting value out of the days of my life. When I have non active days I feel like I am wasting the hours!

Rhodesia said...

We have a sit on mower which I am the only one to use it. The only thing I have against it is that I spend my time trying to keep out of the branches of the trees especially a problem when they are heavy with fruit!!

I am hating the cold of the last couple of days, I will never get used to it!

Take care and enjoy being a conductor, sounds like a fun job to me especially if you can Wahoo. 😊 Diane

Vera said...

DIANE, I can just imagine you chugging along on that lawnmower all the while dodging the fruit trees laden with fruit!

It is the heat that I find difficult to cope with, the cold is not too bad for me.

Conducting is fun, and I am enjoying the experience...the wahoos seem to just spring out of me without any pre-planning from me!

You take care too, and stay warm.....Vx

minwks said...

Thank you Vera for such a nice long catch up. I felt we were sitting over a cup of tea and you were relating all the happenings of the past couple of months.
I welcomed a friend and her sewing machine here today. We had lunch together - leek and potato soup from my garden. We then both sewed on our machines to make produce bags. We had ordered cotton mesh and quickly sewed five each bags with drawstrings. Mission completed we then had dinner together before she headed home after the traffic had abated.
Winter is settling in with rain and wind in the forecast. It has been a milder than usual Fall here near Vancouver BC. We had beautiful weather in France till the end of October so all in all an easy segue into winter weather so far.
Sorry to hear about the missing sheep. Congratulations on becoming conductor for the choir. It is so wonderful to hear voices raised in harmony. So nice you have your sewing machine on the go again.
Enjoy each day.
Regards Janine

Vera said...

JANINE, thank you for your kind words. It is nice to have a cyber friend, and who also sows as well!

Music sings in my soul, and to stand in front of a small group of people who are singing their hearts out is a wonderful experience to have.

As for my sewing machine, I am gradually getting my love of sewing back again after having had no proper space to work in for ten years. Also doing a lot of knitting and crochet, all of which add to my general love of crafts. Would have loved to have joined in with you and your friend in your 'sewing lunch'! Unfortunately the choir rehearsals are falling on the same afternoon as the Knit and Knatter group I belong to, .... I do miss those crafting afternoons!

Blessings to you, Janine, and happy sewing!

Mama Pea said...

You sound so full of get up and go in this post! Having so many things you want to do is the best feeling, isn't it? I think it all goes right along with feeling good physically. (Well, okay, feeling good mentally really helps, too!) A nice catch up to let us all know what's happening in your special place. I can only imagine what a blast it must be to conduct your musical group.

Theresa Y said...

Sounds like your days are wonderfully full. Keep dancing and smiling. It does wonders for the soul doesn't it?

Vera said...

MAMA PEA, I have just been admiring your Christmas tree, and am thinking that I really ought to put some sort of decorations up, even if they are homemade.
As for conducting the little choir, I am in total love with the job! I bounce up and down like a young thing, which I am of course in spirit if not in body!

Vera said...

THERESA, anything to do with music is good for the soul I find, and I often find myself singing and dancing when I am doing my house jobs!

Anonymous said...

Sending good wishes for the new year to you and Lester.