Monday, July 15, 2013

Good weekend everyone?

I hope you are all surviving the heat without stresses or woes.  Boy oh boy, it's hot out there huh?   I am trying so hard not to complain about the heat.  We promised ourselves after a few months of living here that we would never complain about the hot weather if  it ever arrived - we seem to have waited such a long time for it.  Living (and surviving with smiles on our faces) through the floodings, the snow, and the copious amounts of rainfall and mud, we knew that once everywhere was dry with the sun shining, this place would seem so different.  And it does.

We have been very careful to stay out of the heat during the hottest parts of the day, only venturing outside to check water buckets and animals throughout the heat fest and doing all the necessary outdoor chores in the early morning or later evening when cooler.  We are fortunate in that the animals have plenty of shaded areas in which to hide should they wish to do so and we ensure that they have numerous water containers refilled regularly scattered around the land.

Our attic room has really come into its own during this hot spell.  We sit here with all the windows and doors open and although you still feel the warmth from the sunshine, it doesn't feel as hot as it would outside.  If it is too hot though, the lounge is always much cooler.

On Friday our morning started with a visit from these little guys...


I think there are around 6 babies in all and they are becoming quite the regular visitors.  Sometimes they pop over with their mum, sometimes alone, but they appear to use us as a morning and evening cafe stop off.  We don't mind of course, we enjoy seeing them, although some of our own animals appear to have mixed feelings about them pinching their food.

They visit, eat, drink, and toddle back off through the fence again...


One of the first things that happened after the morning chores had been completed was that Callum and Taisia asked for some cardboard boxes to play with.  We always seem to have plenty of large boxes to hand recently due to our animal feed deliveries if we aren't able to use the local supplier.   We regularly order from Farm and Pet Place and find their prices very competitive.  Their delivery and customer service is excellent too.  Just what is it with children and boxes?  I love watching them play with something so simple.  Their imaginations are really fired high and kids are able to turn those humble boxes into whatever they wish them to be.  On this day two boxes were pretending to be trains, double decker buses, art spaces, beds, children containing parcels left on people's doorsteps (to cheer them up?), hideouts from enemy bad guys, and pirate's treasure chests.



As all of these great adventures were being had, Tiegan chilled out with Harry Potter...


She is a real read-a-holic!

Whilst Kira enjoyed being in the sunshine with her nose in the great outdoors...


Later on there was more drawing to be done...


Callum was trying his hand at drawing rabbit faces with different expressions...


and a certain young lady rather likes colourful chickens :)


Then there was a Journey through Europe to be had...


Chelsea made a delicious apple crumble which we ate with clotted cream.  Chelsea has been doing lots of baking recently, we certainly enjoy eating the fruits of her labours and they are much appreciated.

Saturday was a scorcher.  There was the usual morning egg collection to be done...


and chilling out in the garden before the sun got too strong...


Joseph (with his dad's supervision) made a gate to separate the two areas of our land.  We usually let the animals free-range around the place but there are times when they need to be kept in one section.   Anyone with any knowledge of goats know that they need a higher than average gate confinement...



Of course Taisia helped too...


The finished gate in situ - with a space for the chickens to roam through.  A job well done.


Joe and Lee also put together a garden swing which we had picked up from Ebay for £30.  Just need to make some cushions for it (and maybe add a bit of bunting...) and it will be perfick!   Joseph sure deserved a rest after working in that heat...


We have a pond area which we need to clear and re-line for the ducks.  In the meantime we have dug a water tank into the ground filled with water for a temporary swim space.  Why oh why do they then choose to use the small washing up bowl instead?


We discovered what was going on with the greenhouse plants and why thing were being knocked over....


You can just make out Pixie holding an emerging plant in her mouth, complete with plant-pot shaped dirt attached.

Another bit of woodwork building went on for Joe and Lee with the construction of a goat milking stand.  The two youngest goats were very curious as to what it was all about...


It's not quite completed yet but it's looking good and is very sturdy.  Next on the list is a goat climbing frame!

Unfortunately throughout Saturday I was hit with a terrible cold-like bug.  I had booked the weekend for doing some home-ed planning stuff but that wasn't able to happen. 

We are shaking things up here in the Pollard household as we have two children who really want some structured 'lessons' and projects, and two that are happy to go with the flow and follow their own lead with my facilitation.  Obviously the beauty of home-educating is that tailor made education is possible for individual children so I'm going to make that happen.  Taisia is at the stage when she is at her happiest joining in with the bigger ones so I'm going to work out some sort of basics for her, as well as activities to keep her amused at the table during 'work' time.  What this means for you guys is that the blog will be overhauled with a slightly new direction.  I understand that in recent times the postings have been all about us living our dream in our wonderful home and caring for the various animals and waifs and strays along the way.  Obviously I'm aware that many home-educators don't live this way so the blog postings aren't always relevant to where they are at.  With Callum and Tiegan wanting plans, ideas and structured mornings, I can start to incorporate those sort of things into the blog alongside our lifestyle writings - hopefully this will provide the best of both worlds and useful to many more readers.  We are going for 'flimsy structure'.  No pressure, live life to the full, do what you want to do, but with flimsy structure there for back up for those that want it.

On Sunday however I felt far far worse than on Saturday, really dreadful.

Initially whilst doing the morning animal chores I felt a little weak but nothing to worry about.  It was just after 6am at that time and I was enjoying the early morning warmth and blue skies with husband Lee and Taisia.  

The goats also enjoyed the early morning sun before things got too hot...



 At just before 7am we witnessed these beauties overhead...



We saw about 7 of them in all, all peacefully drifting by and sharing the early morning quietness and beauty with us.  

Taisia requested breakfast out on the swing seat...


and then requested a going down the slide photo shoot.  



That child is not demanding in the slightest! 

Meanwhile, I felt rough.  Really rough.  

I thought eating something may help, so munched on an apple and a banana which I ended up sharing with Poppy (goat).  She is rather partial to fruit and ended up following me around the garden seeking out more bless her.  

Unfortunately for me, things got worse.  I felt dizzy and had to return indoors to be sick.  I went for a lie down upstairs.  I was full of a cold, continuous runny nose and razor blade scraping sore throat.  I felt hot, then cold and shivery.  I was aching all over, head felt fuzzy, eyes hurting, back pain incredible at times.  By late afternoon I had had enough and admit to crying like a silly baby unable to cope with it any longer.  I walked around and around the room like some mad woman hoping it would go away - and I was sick again.

What a waste of a beautiful weekend.   

It's not often when I can truly set aside a time to do something and I was frustrated and annoyed that I had been unable to fulfil that plan.  I had to keep reminding myself that it couldn't be helped but I felt a failure which is nonsense really.  Nobody can plan for unexpected times of poor health.  I really had expected to be starting our new routine today, with a file full of ideas and plans, all set up and ready to go.  Not yet.  Must have patience dear grasshopper.  Maybe I will manage to make a start on the planning today?  I'm sure I can knock up some ideas for the children in the meantime.

I am feeling a whole lot better this morning thankfully.  Still got the cold-like symptoms but nothing to compare with yesterday.  Tiegan and Callum were struggling yesterday too so I'm hoping that after a good nights sleep they will be feeling more up to scratch today.  All of the children apart from Taisia are still sleeping.  Taz is sitting next to me here flicking through an owl book and asking many questions, Lee left for work a good hour or so ago.  The animals have all been seen to - fed, watered, let out where appropriate.  Now it's time for our own breakfast and then to see what this soon to be hot again Monday has instore for us...

2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post Julia!

    ReplyDelete
  2. so glad your feeling better. Nothing worse than being sick on a beautiful day.

    ReplyDelete