Header Photo

Header Photo
Take your chance before the ducks arrive!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

A Happy Life

Had a slightly iffy hour or so getting the boys ready for school but they have just left so I am realxing with my coffee and breakfast after making my list of jobs for the day outsideand checking in with everybody. Yes, I said outside. I am missing our monthly community lunch because it seems today will be a good day, hopefully, and there are things I need to get done before the weekend.

It is a happy life Jon, me and the kids lead in general but my life would not be so happy were it not for Jon, and today we celebrate 11 years of marriage. Wow - how'd that happen?


Oh how we change over the years. 

I'm not sure what I was hoping for on that wonderful day in Cyprus. I knew we were starting our first business together in a month or so but not sure I imagined all the things we have done since before, for and with our boys.

Well, better crack on with my list.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx



Wednesday, 29 June 2016

O M G! (that stands for Oh My Garden!)


The latest issue of Grow Your Own hit the slate this morning and look!!!!!!



Eeek!, I'm publsihed! Very chuffed I'll recieve a £40 garden voucher to spend on gubbins!

Also the magazine came with this book so just a lovely couple of things.


The rain here is just never ending today but I have managed to collect the eggs, water things in the Poly Tunnel and put some small stakes on the broccoli as the main stems are getting quite sturdy now!

I have been doing some rainy day papercrafting by starting to decorate some envelopes for my letter writing.

I'll share some photos of the finished articles when I get them done, but I'm hoping the weather is drier soon and that I can do things outside!

Jon has some glass in stock and is keen to make a cold frame affair for the strawberries so that we can hopefully harvest a bit more fruit this year. I know the first year can be a bit lean but if the wet weather continues this may be a help.

I went to the PTA meeting at school on Monday evening. I was waiting until they asked for volunteers for the cake stall and they were about to say that interest had dwindled a bit as nobody really bakes any more; I said "I do!" .Therefore I will be baking like a mad woman incase other people are not so keen but will still ask for donations; I do dislike it when people just bring shop-bought cakes.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Words For Life.


 :

Whilst perusing Pinterest I found these two pearls of wisdom. Perfect!























Nuf said!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Dogs, Logs And Bits And Bobs.

Our neighbour has a dog called Meg, a very lairy Border Collie who loves having a crazy run around with Jake. She is a lot smaller than him so manages to squeeze into quite small spaces - no more.

This weekend as part of solving this problem we cleared the bottom corner near the veg patch ready for it being our fruit tree 'orchard' when the time comes. Jon cut down lots of over-hanging branches to add to the bonfire pile ready for the next dry day...  and I blocked the bottom of the existing fencing with some old caravan awning metal pegs. Just the job.




We used the remaining chicken wire from when we bult the girls' enclosure to fence off where Meg had been getting in. The dogs sometimes run over the veg patch and now things are coming on really well I just can't have that! 


 After the picket fence was put up last week we now have a gated section for the whole growing area so no animals will get in there at all.



Other news, Jon has made me a lid for the compost heap that you may just be able to see above and we have now installed the second water butt. With all the rain in the last couple of days they are BOTH full to the brim! Really chuffed as easier for the boys to get water for the chickens and much easier for the Poly House watering.



Jon has built a kindling section along side the butt, as you can see above, next to the woodpile, chopped some of the branches for kindling and logs and we are now waiting to get a load of wood from the saw mill then we are set for the winter or the odd chilly day we may get here and there.






Alfie is beginning to turn into something like the 
Pied Piper of chickens!He loves going in there to talk to and feeding them but there is always an arguement between both boys when they have to take turns in changing their drinking water.




Baking was needed this weekend. I was given yet more rhubarb by our neighbour, we were low on bread and the cake tin was just about empty so on I went. Chocolate brownies, although I missed putting in the baking powder so they a bit dense but yummy all the same,



two loaves of bread

and rhubarb crumble with pecan nuts on one side for an extra bit of crunch.Mmmm



This morning I have given our bedroom a good top to bottom clean including mopping the floor boards - they get so dusty especially under the bed! All upstairs is vacuumed, bread is on the last prove, yes MORE bread, and I have to get the chicken house cleaned out before the rain comes - holding off so far.

I will probably do a couple more little jobs outside like the straw on the strawbs and put the courgettes and squash outside for a bit of sun. Can't remember if I said the other day but I turned over the compost heap and the bottom layers are starting to break down quite nicely which is great after only a couple of months.

Ok, well I'm going to get the bread in the oven then head to tidy the girls house up.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx



Thursday, 23 June 2016

Just A Quick Word.

A quick post today. It was glorious weather so I got a few things done in the Poly House and garden. First of all I cut some more babmboo canes for a couple of jobs that needed doing.

Oh, you know I said Jon would install the water butt at the weekend...well last night it was ready for the next downpour.

You may remember the pond didn't look like this when we frist moved to the house. It was covered with a very thick layer of green algae but after I was told the chickens would like to eat it, thanks Dawn, we have cleared it and Jon has begun cleaning out the pond, and boy does it need it! It is full of leaves and who knows what else.


The chickens congregate in the corner of the enclosure closest to the pond in the hope that the fishing net we use to scoop up the algae will be heading their way. No longer ladies!

Also on some advice given to me I have made an effort to cane and net the cucumbers more efficiently, I hope...


I think I have adequately attached the plants to the canes and the netting so they are not flopping down.

I have also managed to tie the cordon tomatoes to a bamboo cane.


I also made the decision to take one of the tomato plants out of the grow bag as it was not making any progress at all. Not sure if I can plant anything else in there, thought I might put one of the sweet pepper plants in as it is ready to be potted on.

I have successfully dried the herbs I put into the conservatory when being in the cellar was not doing the trick, thanks again Dawn!.

No picture but I have put them in jars I already have, the dill especially smells fab. Can't wait to have it on some fish.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Good Weather, Good Job!

Yesterday I gave the chicken house a good clean out, fresh straw and sawdust etc and it was the best day to do it as no rain - not an easy job in the wet. I also did some baking, took the dog for a walk, cleaned all the downstairs windows inside and wrote a letter.

In the evening it was absolutely lovely outside, too, and it seemed a waste to be sitting inside. So after tea Jon and Alfie finished the fence along side the veg patch; it looks just great! He still has another section to complete on the other side plus a little gate then Jake will not get through to do what he shouldn't be doing on the bark!



Whilst they and did that I gave the Poly House a good old clean out. I swept the floor, pulled up any sneaky weeds that had crept through, tidied the top shelf of pots and trays and moved a few things around. You probably can see I moved the courgette and squash plants to the other side putting them under the benches so I have a little more floor space - they should grow there ok still I think. I also planted another lot of salad leaves in the right hand side of the drainpipe you see here. Just loving picking leaves and herbs for salad at lunchtime!



I've started gving the tomatoes some feed this week now there are a few fruit on them.




I found some good soil in the garden to plant this - the pear tree I sent for from Grow Your Own magazine. I knew I'd find a use for one of the gazunders!



 This is, hopefully, how it should eventually look!



I also tried to tie up the cordon tomato plant as it is about three feet tall now. I think I need to pinch it at the top so it doesn't grow anymore.



I really do need to get two more grow bags at the weekend because I need to get the beef tomato plants moved out of the pots. I have seven so will have to find another container for the odd one so I can perhaps use the space I have created for them.

Whilst my bread was on its last prove this morning I had a quick look round at everything when I fetched the eggs, just before we had a shower of rain. 

(My boys have their sports day planned to start at 1pm but I am not hopefull of an outside event going ahead.)

The cucmbers are growing very tall and I need to cut some more bamboo canes, for this if nothing else.

Both the sweetcorn and sugar snap peas are liking being next to each other which is great; the sweetcorn in not quite three feet tall!



The second lot of Dwarf Beans are coming along great guns so will have to think of somewhere to put them, probably the veg patch now we are getting the tyres. Those flippin' leeks need moving sooooo soon!



Here you can see the first lot of beans and they are just starting to flower so I think that is a good thing.

Just before I headed outside the previous owners dropped by with these!!



Two water butts, one has a tap and we have a spare in the shed for the other one. So very pleased about these and Jon may be able to get them set up at the weekend.

I was reading about fruit frees last night and about that thing they call the June drop but no sign at the moment. I have read about having to take out some of the fruit to make for a good harvest, too, but am a little nervous about doing that....



As I said perviously we are planning fruit trees beyond the veg patch but I was reading yesterday, I think, that November is the best time to plant container trees whcih is what we will be buying. If this is right then we will have to wait and my £1, improving Raspberry bush will have to stay in the Poly House for the winter until it can go in the ground. (Any advice most welcome, as usual!)

And finally for today the bread is fresh out of the oven and will no doubt not last too long!



Bye for now.

Lou.xx

Sunday, 19 June 2016

In Between The Showers Again

Ooops,now this is a bit weird. 

I just realised this post was in my Draft folder since last Wednesday and cannot think why I didn't publish it. So.... today you get three posts for the price of two?! Sorry for the overload but hope you enjoy it anyway.....  

I had to take my chances today with the weather because the chicken house had to be cleaned out. I kept an eye on the weather whilst I had my breakfast then went for it.

I have never shown you the inside of the chicken house so here it is. The girls now have new bedding, the poo panel down the middle has fresh sawdust and compost has a new layer of goodness on it. Happy ladies! Also three eggs first thing which is back to normal.




I fed them some dried egg shells, changed the water and all was right with the world.

I watered the courgettes, squash etc and checked on the cucumbers and everything else in the Poly House. I decided to harvest our first courgettes and here they are - how exciting is this?! They are around four inches long which is the size it says everywhere that you should pick them at.

I have taken some photos of the veg and strawberry patch. These are the onions,


then the broccoli

 and the carrots.



This is the new netting on the strawbs - much better and infinitely more manageable.



I have these gazunders going spare so I plan to put the pumpkins in them soon as they could do with being potted on soon I think.



Considering how big they grow I think they will each get a tyre of their own when they arrive! 

I also took a quick peek at the apple tree -great!



I came in, got changed then went to post a letter and popped in to see our elderly, 88 year old neighbour who lives along the road from us. After having a cuppa and helping her email her son I came home, and just in time. The heavens opened not long ago and have no intention of stopping by the looks of things so very glad I got outside.

Bye for now.xx


Inside And Out.

This may be a bit random in its writing but I just want to get it down so I have a clean slate for next week.

Our herbs are really flourishing at the moment so I thought I'd have a go at drying some.



After tying them in bundles I hung them in the cellar. If this does not work sufficiently I will put them in the conservatory.



I also decided to have a go at making some mint sauce. Not much but tasty all the same.




I also had a bash at making mayonnaise with our eggs. turned out ok but will try again another time; need to eat this first as a bit rich for the boys. 




Yesterday Jon fetched yet more bark so we can tidy up around the Poly House and strawberry and veg patches.



This morning the boys woke us at 6.45am to tell us they had already been out and fed the chickens and came bearing gifts for Jon along with juice and toast for both of us. Bless!!!!!! After a good breakfast, and I had set today's bread to prove, we headed outside; me to the Poly House where I planted some more salad leaves and sweet peppers and also spied this!!!!



....and the boys helped Jon start work on the picket fence we are building - I use we a lot but mainly mean Jon!




It will be my job to paint when it is finished. Whilst outside I took a look at the onions which are coming on beautifully.

I took a photo of the roses around the front door just because I think they are gorgeous and when we drive up tot the house and see them it always makes us smile.



Ok, battery is about to run out so good time to stop. Hope to see what everybody has been up to over the weekend a little later on.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx