Wednesday, July 10, 2013

So, how has your day been?

We have had the most wonderful of days - no traumas, no animal mishaps, no bickering and fall-outs.  Just a lovely day enjoying the beautiful sunshine and pottering around the house.

This follows on from another blissful day yesterday when we were fortunate enough to welcome one of our first visitors to our 'new' home.  Ok ok, so it's not exactly new now is it?  We have resided here since October of last year but we have kept visiting invites to a minimum.  This was at first out of necessity.  We had severe flooding of the area just a few weeks after we moved in, followed by the threat of snow.  Anybody that knows the local lanes in these here parts will know that snow can equal days of being blocked in with no way out.  Of course we then had my parents here from Spain throughout the festive season in December, followed by more snow.  With one thing or another we became little homebirds, not really feeling as if we wanted to share our 'sanctuary' with anybody.  Is that strange?  Instead we preferred to just plod about the place and enjoy it's peace and quiet for a time, getting on and doing the jobs that needed to be done.  That isn't to say we haven't been sociable at times.  I don't mean that we have locked ourselves away for the past 8 or so months.  Indeed we have met up with friends out and about from time to time and certainly enjoyed their company, but we haven't felt the need to entertain guests.

I think that will change now as the warmer weather is upon us and entertaining BBQ's and buffets just seem to go hand in hand with summer.

Anyway, back to the tale to be told.  Yesterday we had a lovely family visit us.  A couple with their two boys.  I have only met this family once before in 'real' but we have been friends on Facebook for a long while and I feel we have always gotten along fabulously.  Fortunately they all love animals and had no fear of the goats trundling around or the chickens at their feet.  Makes life much easier for me knowing that I don't have to keep people and animals apart.   They arrived armed with gifts - food goodies and the most gorgeous crocheted blanket which I wanted to put away but Taisia found it and was rather taken with ....


Isn't that just delicious?

We had 7 children in the house but you genuinely wouldn't have known it.  There was very little noise apart from excited chatterings and the occasional footstomping as a game of chase was being had.  Callum in particular rather loved having a couple of lads to play with.  Skylanders was introduced, role playing games out on the land were enjoyed, the hamster was cuddled, chickens and goats were discovered, board games were played and kittens were loved and adored.  It was a real pleasure to have everyone here.

Today has been one of those days when I am feeling really really contented with my lot.  Actually, living here where we do, I have this feeling a great deal.  I often catch myself drifting off into another world as I gaze out at the view or sit in the field with the animals, thinking to myself that life just couldn't get any better.  Of course, financially it would be nice to have a bit more to play with, but hey, we really can't complain.

This morning, once the early animal chores were done, lounge windows cleaned, and breakfast devoured, we added a few more words to the summer display.  This will be an ongoing thing throughout the summer months.  Artwork and poems will be added as we go along, and anything else that is deemed to be of relevance.  This is how it looks as of today...




A little random yes.

The children have pottered around doing various activities throughout the day.  I found out a couple of days ago that Joseph sets an alarm for 1pm each day to remind him to do guitar practice.  I thought that was wonderful idea as he himself had acknowledged his self-felt failure and chosen to seek a way of changing (and I felt bad for not noticing previously!)

So there was guitar playing and drawing time...


Quiet reading...


Game playing...



Butterfly name learning...



and view adoring...


I am truly loving our attic room during this sunny weather.  The warmth is blissful and sitting with the doors and windows open allows the gentlest of breezes stroll on through.  It is a multi-function room for us.  At one end it hosts a double bed for myself and my husband to sleep in (with Taisia most of the time), and at the other end it is our home-education resource space in the main.



Kira apparently rather likes it too...


** It is almost 11pm as I write this post in this room and darkness has surrounded me.  I have a low lamp on and can here the sound of distant cows and owl calls, I just love it.  Gone are the days when all I could hear was the constant drone of car engines and sirens, and the drunken antics of supposed human beings.  This place inspires me.**

In animal news, we let 'doorstep duckling' free-range today.  It was her first adventure out into the big wide world since the day we opened our front door to find her firmly planted at our feet.  She was so tiny, barely 48 hours old at a guess and unable to track down from whence she came, she spent a good few weeks under a heat lamp to ensure she kept warm.  More recently she was moved out into the garden in a run with 'safe house' attached so she could acclimatise to the weather and meet the other animals.  Our runner ducks showed next to no interest at first, but over the past day or so they have been seen 'chatting' to little duck through the wire of her cage.  At one point it looked as if they were trying to break her out of it, with two runners at the back of the cage trying to move the latch up on the door.  We thought today was a nice enough day to see if she wanted to run free.  It was done on the understanding that she may decide to leave us.  She was never our 'pet', never ours to own, so we can't control her behaviour.  All along this has been said and understood by all, adults and children alike.

Here she is exploring...


We stood and watched the intros just in case of any bother.  Pip, one of the runners, seemed to go into 'mother mode' as she kept close to little duck and appeared to be showing her around.  The other two were a little more cautious but no nastiness was seen.




All of our animals are popped away safely into their homes at night away from foxy loxy and any other predator that might see them as easy pickings.  Little duck was no exception and happily strolled into her house without effort this evening during the bedtime round.  There will always be a home, food and water for her for however long she chooses to remain with us.

If you had told me this time last year that I would be strolling out into the garden to be greeted by this lot, I would have thought you had gone fruity loopy...

LOOK!  NO mud!!

The goats are doing really well. Rosie and Pixie, the two bottle fed kids are growing up and becoming real pains - erm, I mean becoming utterly delightful.  Here is Pixie doing her bird impression...


Rosie looking gorgeous as ever...


and Pixie actually finding something that she should be eating...


Poppy (mama goat) is doing really well and her babies are thriving at near-on three weeks old.  We had a little bit of an issue with her only allowing the kids to feed off one teat for a while and really couldn't understand why.  She would let me touch the teat and massage the udder area, and there didn't appear to be any tenderness or sores, either directly in that area or on her inner leg.  I milked her from the unused teat and the milk was easy to obtain, blood free and clean with no lumps or other issues.  It appears that this little problem has ceased now and the kids are feeding from both teats - albeit in a funny position at times...


I just love seeing the little ones with their mama, it feels very special and watching them develop in comparison to the bottle-fed girls has been eye-opening.  These guys are developmentally much further forward as they take their mama's lead. They readily try various foods when offered to Poppy and will climb and experiment with confidence.  They are still very tame though and often come up to their human family for a scritch and a kiss. 

How could anyone ever tire of seeing scenes such as this....



or tire of being greeted by these gorgeous faces each morning saying hello...


This dear little lad is going off to have 'that' procedure at the vets very soon poor love, but needs must.


It is a much easier task to be done when young and if ever the need arises to rehome him (over my dead body comes to mind...) then finding a castrated male a home is a darn sight easier than an entire one.

Of course no day would be complete without a play outside in the open air, sharing the space with the free-ranging chicken ladies...

Babs...


A now grey (after an ash bath!) Betsy-May who should be pure white with the black speckled neck...


Molly and Mabel are now free-ranging and night-time coop-sharing with the big gals and they are loving it, although they stick together like glue...



These monkeys were found hanging around...


and this little gal looked like nobody owned her, bless her...


What a ragamuffin!

Taisia truly adores living here.  She is thriving from the freedom that the outdoors provides and likes nothing more than exploring her territory.  Often she can be seen cuddling a goat or chicken or searching the dirt for worms or other critters.

Of course outdoor fun often means dirty fun...


but the freedom to run and roam...


It can also mean funny faces...


Ultra cuteness...


and smiles...






5 comments:

  1. lovely lovely xx just wish blog pictures had 'like' buttons on like FB xxx

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  2. Sounds like a fantastic day, your love of your new life just pours from the page. I think mucky kids are the cutest thing, it means they had so much fun :)

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  3. Fantastic! So happy for you! x

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  4. Gorgeous! We often end the day with a 2 yr old that has run a thousand miles and is covered head to toe in who-knows-what, but full of smiles and isn't that what childhood is for? Beautiful. x

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  5. Gorgeous! We often have a 2 year old who has run a thousand miles and is covered in who-knows-what by 10am, but full of smiles and sleepy tired. Isn't this what childhood is for? Beautiful x

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