Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bitter Sweet

I was excited to spend the day at home today. It was a beautiful day. I let the Crafty Neighbour's chickens out for a while. They went to Lake Coleridge for the night (it was lovely and they came back with a large trout). I did some cleaning and the day just seemed to race by. 
 The wee birdies in the entrance hall look so sweet with their little bird house.
 My Easter display on the table has survived Mousie for 24 hours. I keep adding more and more little things as I find them. I should have ironed the table cloths. I don't have one big enough to cover the whole top since we added a bigger top. I must try harder to find one. A crisp white one that never needs ironing would be good.
 I made this wee mini-layout for Mouse yesterday.
 There are bunnies hiding all over the place.
 I was given the icing Easter egg by the wonderful mother of one of my teacher assistants. I will just keep it to admire as I can't imagine eating it. I love the pretty colours- yellow, green and blue. Perfect with my primrose china collection. The wee bunny with a jersey on matches too.
 I whipped up this simple layout for the photos of The Cottage on the family farm. I am keen to record things like this because Mum and Dad may move away one day, and things like The Cottage, that have been such a big part of our lives over the years, with only be memories.
 I attached the photos so that there is a pocket for little tags behind each one. The tags have wee notes recorded on the reverse sides.
 This dear little butterfly "brad" (as they call them in the scrapbooking world) reminds me of my first encounter with monarch butterflies. Grandma lived in The Cottage when we were little, and she had a swan plant around the back.
 I love the way this tag matches the design on the background sheet of paper. It isn't from the same range, but is a very similar image.
 I was excited because our gorgeous cousin Emily was coming around this afternoon to give the animals their inoculations. Mousie was such a good boy for his Auntie Em, and she discovered that he has a gum problem that needs antibiotics. It may be partly due to his strange little mouth. She found that his bottom front teeth are baby teeth still. A bit weird. We need to train him to have his teeth brushed, which, knowing him, will not be too tricky. Miss Dog has had a sore area on her face, which I wanted Em to check. That was the least of our worries. When Em started checking her over she discovered that she has a very sore area in her abdomen which could be something simple, or could be much more serious, given the area and amount of distress. Her breathing was not right either, although she was quite upset to be poked and probed, which probably didn't help. There have been things I have noticed just lately which I attributed to changes with age that may indicate she isn't well. Anyway, we are having a thorough investigation done on Tuesday, so should have some more answers then. I am trying not to worry about it being something dreadful, obviously.
If the worst happens, it won't just be me and Johnny grieving. Somehow that feels worse than missing her myself.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

What a wonderful feeling - five whole days off work. This is how I started my day today. 
 Mmmm- Chocolate hot cross bun from Baker's Delight. They are one of my favourite things to eat in the whole world. We're very low on Easter eggs around here. I'm not eating too much chocolate at the moment as it seems to give me headaches in generous quantities.

It started out a bit dull, but after chatting to family - who sounded very merry enjoying spending time together over the breakfast table - the sun came out and shone brightly all day. I discovered that Miss Dog has a nasty sore patch on her face, so that is getting a bit of attention from me to try to settle it down. She is a miserable, scared looking patient, but is very good for me as I clean it and apply cream. I think it is looking a bit better after several applications of medicated ointment. She will be having a visit from her personal physician tomorrow, so I am relieved about that.

Miss Dog and I took a gentle stroll over to the Nature Reserve to look for a branch for my Easter display. The trees had been trimmed so there were plenty of bits lying in piles waiting to be disposed of. I spotted interesting patterns and textures.

 Miss Dog was more interested in smells.

 There is a shallow collection of water in one spot, which is a bit odd considering how dry it is. Maybe there is a spring there. Of course Miss Dog found it before I could remind her that we are trying to keep her face clean and dry. She did the crocodile dog thing, lounging decadently on her tummy in the water, but as it was so shallow her face stayed dry. The water was very clean too, thank goodness.
 Back in the garden there are some cheerful colours.
 A furry beast was lurking in the grass.
 Checking for danger.

 Any monsters?
 No. All is good.
I managed a bit of scrapbooking today. Sometimes things come together well, and other times I'll be started on something and I'll have to leave it for a bit until inspiration strikes. I've got two half-finished layouts and a completed mini one using a picture of Mr Mouse as a wee kitten that I found lurking on my craft desk. I need to work out how to take decent photos of my layouts. One day I might submit some for competitions or challenges. There always seems to be something going on in the scrapbooking internet community. 

Surprisingly, I decided to take another stroll with Miss Dog later in the day, and she was rather exhausted by the time we got back. We moved along at a good pace, but there were plenty of sniffing opportunities. I was very pleased to discover that the park is now a dog-friendly zone, and off-the-leash play is allowed!!! After the stern "no dogs" signs and warnings of fines for the presence of man's best friend in the only big public open space (apart from the Nature Reserve) in the village, it was a fantastic change. Miss Dog will enjoy running around there again. 

I'll show you some of my Easter decorations tomorrow. I've got a few wee goodies.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Amberley and Autumn Colour

The sun was so pretty on the flowers in my garden yesterday. I spotted a bit of extra luck in my four leaf clover patch. I wonder if five leaves give me even more luck? I have been keeping my eye out for even more leaves, as I have had up to eight on one clover stem a very long time ago. 
 My Graham Thomas has been looking good this year. It is usually a bit of a battle to keep it looking pretty.
 Crown Princess Margarette (or something like that) is very pretty and has had a wonderful season. She is actually quite apricot in colour earlier in the season. I love the circular centre. She often has a little green tuft of foliage in the middle of the blooms.
 I've finally got Leander to climb in a sensible manner, and she has rewarded me with a spectacular, incredibly long season.
 Jude the Obscure is one of my favourite roses, with delicious globe shaped blooms that are a delicate warm creamy colour.
 Are you The Prince? Forgive me, but I have forgotten. I intend to have a lot more cerise and plum colours in the garden.
 The beetroot and rainbow chard leaves glow in the sunlight. There are probably huge, malformed beasts lurking below the beetroot tops.
 I have one surprise lily that has just opened. All of the others finished flowering long ago.
 Today I had a very horsey day. It was the Amberley One Day Event. We had five boys to look after, and they were good boys (mostly). I don't even know the results, but they had some great moments.
 The jumps were on the other side of the arena, so I got some good photos of the practise jumps.

 Only four days until Easter! I love Easter - the chocolate (of course), bunnies, chickens and decorated eggs in soft candy colours. Something to look forward to.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A wee note

Johnny comes home soon, after what seems like ages away. He was on a work trip. I spent the afternoon out at the farm helping to prepare some very fractious steeds for a one day event tomorrow. And darling Oscar hurt himself being a silly twit. He spooked when Emily tightened his girth and smashed his way out of the yard, shredding the skin on his inner hind leg badly. It was horrible to see the meat showing through the torn skin. He will heal up ok, but he was a surprise entry in the event tomorrow because the ground conditions are so good. It was his last chance to be considered for selection in the national eventing team. I don't think he'll be going anywhere for a while. He was very sore this afternoon.

Anyway, I did get some crafty stuff done this morning, working on a scrapbook layout for Cloud, my cousin's beautiful Welsh Cobb. Isn't it amazing how a morning can disappear in no time at all while chores are done, chats with friends and family, and just sorting life out.

I think Johnny might be home. Must go. XXXX

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Time moves too fast

Wow this year is going so fast. I feel like time is speeding by. Mousie has grown so much this year. He is heavy and feels very sturdy now.
 Pretty things are still tucked in corners around the garden.
I've been doing a bit of scrapbooking. The heading looks like it is missing an n, but I don't think it is. The hearts are cut with a cute little paper cutter and stand out from the paper with little sticky foam pads.
 I headed out to see the girls on Saturday. They were looking gorgeous, as usual. Fergie is growing up and has the most amazing perfect proportions. Her face is so much like her brother Frazer's. You can check him out further down.
 Aria is an elegant princess of a foal. Her light fur is shedding to leave her glossy black permanent colour.
 Look at her pretty face! No forelock though- discussions have already been had about mane extensions (yes, you can get fake plaits for the unfortunate few with sparse manes).

 Zanny gobbled up all of the treats I bought her, then wouldn't smile for the camera. She's a girl with attitude.
 In fact, she and Fergie have been ganging up on Tara and Aria. Yesterday they chased them away from their hay then both did a wee on it so they wouldn't want it any more. How mean is that????!!!!
 Look who's back! Ben has been up in Oxford living a very relaxed life but has now returned to the farm. He can't be ridden due to a serious heart condition, but he still loves a treat and snack, and likes to assert his authority whenever he can. He is the boss of the whole farm.
 Poor Frazer, his paddock mate, is looking rather worried about his place in the pecking order. He is learning a bit about humility. Teenagers need that.
 Guess who is up here:
 Johnny was taking photos at the Kirwee Volunteer Fire Brigade 50th Jubilee. There were displays and demonstrations during the day. Take a look at what happens if you put water on a small oil fire on your stove:
 It was incredible- scary too. Always cover a pot with something like a lid, oven tray or thick wooden chopping board to seal the fire in and cut off the oxygen. NEVER put water on it, or attempt to carry the fire outside.
 We were invited to attend the dinner and presentations in the evening (and Johnny took more photos). It was lovely, and as I got to sit by my friend Viv, it was fun too. The cake was delicious chocolate cake. Mmm...
If there was a volunteer brigade here in our village Johnny would join up. When the Kirwee brigade was started there were less than 10 calls in a whole year, and now they deal with over 90 call outs most years. Our friends Viv and Michael have served for 25 years each - Michael got his 25 year Gold Star award last year, and Viv gets her one this year. They've both got some stories to tell - good and bad - about their experiences. 

I hope you all have a lovely week. I have a sneaking suspicion there are cold bugs lurking within me, trying to gain the upper hand. I'm trying to tell them to sod off. Wish me luck!!!