Monthly Archives: February 2014

Snowdrops and a Case of Mistaken-Cat Identity!

The snowdrops are looking great this year, and so many of them!

2014-02-22 15.49.55It feels like spring has sprung… although, I can’t help feeling its all too good to be true, and hoping we’re not in for a nasty shock of ‘May snow’ or something crazy! I just can’t seem to understand our weather/seasons any more.

Caleb was not feeling particularly photogenic …..

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Which was a shame… on the plus side he was up for lots of fuss instead 🙂 which I dutifully gave him. He is possibly the chattiest, friendliest cat you could ever wish to meet.

Percy was feeling much more photogenic, when we took a visit this weekend to see Ayla’s Granny and Grandad. He is so handsome and has the softest cuddliest coat.

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My unfortunate case of mistaken cat-identity.

One winters night driving back from the stables I saw a dead cat lying in the side of the road (it was a pitch black country lane… in my defence) I stopped the car fearing the worst and peering down at the little black cat with white paws and a white chest I started to cry. At the time I remember looking at his face and thinking it didn’t look completely like our cat, but then I thought, I suppose you wouldn’t look yourself after being … well .. knocked down.

Wrapping the cat up, I sobbed as I lay him down in the car and drove the short distance back to the house. I then had the agonising decision of how to break the news to Josh. When no sooner had I stepped out of the car when I heard “mmmeaow”, and the cat flap swinging… “Caleb?….CALEB!!”. Scooping him up into my arms I ran into the house tears of joy now down my face and Josh looking bewildered.

“What’s happened??” he asked

” I thought Caleb had been ran over! “

“He’s fine “

“Yes … but, I’ve got a cat in the back of the car….and he isn’t!”

I was so embarrassed I made Josh drive the poor dead cat back to where I had found it and knock on the nearest house. Turned out it was a cat from one of the farms and Josh was able to break the news to the owner. I was so relieved it wasn’t Caleb but felt awful for that poor cat…. he actually didn’t look like Caleb really, I had just convinced myself it was him.

Our Cats (Three brothers) – Top – Amos (sadly no longer with us R.I.P lovely boy), bottom left – Caleb and right – Shilo, all relaxing together!


Floods, Farms and Valentines!

Had such a great weekend spent with my hubby and baby girl (despite all the rain!). Valentines was really special, we put Ayla to bed and I set the table up to make us feel like we were eating some place fancy. We had a lovely meal and a bottle of bubbly 🙂

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We ended up chatting and giggling for hours, it was so nice to just take our time over dinner for a change. Made me realise how much time we take up ‘plugged in’, to either the telly or the computer in the evenings.

So nice to just be together… no distractions… bliss!

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On Saturday we visited Ayla’s Granny and Grandad’s place they have land and horses, pigs, dogs and cats. Was great to see them and all the animals, really nice as I am missing having horses and dogs around so was really great to have a cuddle with the dogs.

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I had an especially lovely snuggle with one of their mares Verity, she has the softest coat and the warmest nature, she is such a beautiful horse to be around. I am desperate to go and visit Saracen, Glenny and Oscar when I get the chance!

Josh dug out one of my favourite books this weekend and it has got me so excited about getting out in the garden this year and get growing some veggies.  Just need to get strong enough now to get going!!!

2014-02-18 20.03.35Mum and Dad gave me this book for Christmas 2007 and in my opinion is one of the best books on Self-Sufficiency. It was written by John Seymour firstly in 1975 and this is the new edition was published in 2003.

It covers everything from food from the garden, animals, field, the wild, brewing and wine making, energy and waste, to crafts and skills.

I know the idea of living completely self-sufficient is perhaps nothing but a pipe dream to many. However there is something very appealing about becoming ‘self-sufficient’ or maybe put a better way as living more ‘sustainably’.

It is a pretty radical to think about being completely ‘self sufficient’ and I am in no way living like that but I love the idea of it, even if the reality is only small. Love the idea of growing a few veggies or making your own bread, there is something so rewarding about feeding your family from your own garden produce. It isn’t without hard work though, and since we had Ayla the reality has been that we have not managed to grow much this last year. My husband is the really great grower and after dusting off my gardening books this winter I am getting excited to get out there. I think Ayla will really enjoy it too, hoping to get her some gardening tools of her own!

Anyway I will leave you with some flood pictures that I took today, hopefully we are coming towards the end of all this now.

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Blown Away!

Well the winds have blown the poly tunnel away! Not just blown the cover off, but actually picked it up knocking over the fencing to the chicken pen! (The door to the chicken coop is also looking a little dubious).

And this was what my lovely husband had to rescue this morning.

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Thankfully no real harm has been done and the chickens seem completely unfazed by it all. We haven’t got any plants in there at the moment anyway, we were using it for storage mostly and the chickens enjoyed the extra shelter. We are going to need a new cover for it now though I think as it has been badly ripped, so be nice to get it up and going reading for some planting in the spring when I am fully recovered.

On a more positive note – a surprise box of goodies was waiting for us in the porch this morning!….

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Thank you Hollie, Adam, Linden, bump and Fitz too! 🙂 This box of goodies has had Ayla entertained all day!

Ayla especially liked the reusable sticker pad…

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Hollie is my very good friend and the owner of Saracen one very special horse, that I have had the privilege of taking care of when I was younger and again over these last few years. He is 30 now and one amazing horse, I am so thankful to Hollie for letting me share in his life and for her friendship – (thanks Hollie if your reading this!)

Spent the rest of the day visiting the Supermarket and picking up something nice for me and Josh’s Valentines meal!

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Ayla spent the supermarket trip singing this silly song that I made up the other day … my fault entirely! She was saying “Shake… shake your Body” . This is because when we were shaking shakers and dancing in the living room the other day, I made up this stupid song “Shake, shake shake your body”.

The unfortunate thing is that out of context and to members of the public a 15month old telling you to – ‘shake your body’ sounds, well… a little inappropriate! Especially when Ayla’s speech makes it sound almost like… ‘shake your booty!’ 🙂 Me and Mum tried to hold back the laughter so as not to encourage it, but it was hard not to laugh!


The neck brace came off!!!!!

Oh my goodness it feels great 🙂 and my scar is healing nicely… hardly even noticeable!

2014-02-11 20.45.09For those of you that don’t know I had to have a C6-7 disc replacement and fixation – basically they took a disc out of my neck, put something in its place to cause it to fuse to the vertebra and then screwed a metal plate over it to keep it all in place… I think!

So I thought I could share my neck brace wearing tips!

1. Straws are your new best friend, you cant tip your head up far enough to finish a cuppa, and cans are virtually impossible to drink. (You can drink to about half way then forget the rest!)

2. Scarves are great for hiding the fact that you are wearing a neck brace and help to make you blend in….. although you tend to look a little stiff in the neck.

3. Rolled small towels either side of your head on the pillow create a nice cradle and help you to adjust your position without lifting your head.

4. Perfectly positioned seating for either television or visitors as you cant move your head to look at anything!

5. Tops with big necks that you can step into, or button up shirts are easiest.

6. A mountain of pillows that you can never quite seem to get in the right place

7. Some one to cut up your food for you…. or just order pizza!

8. Yawning is virtually impossible … and it causes you to make the funniest face because you can’t open your mouth wide enough.

9. People will tend to talk to you right where you can’t see them… and then wonder why your not looking at them!

10. People will ask… ‘What happened to you?’ … if you get bored of telling the same story again and again make up new ones!

On the plus side people will avoid you in crowds, it does help you get around and people tend to hold doors for you which is nice. So wear it with pride! Unfortunately people will stare, children are often scared or ask their parent loudly – “Why has that lady got a funny thing on her neck?”

But when you are finally released from its jaws you will be a stronger person than you were before, in more ways than one.


SAM_1976Wearing my collar since the 10th of Nov until the 11th of Feb day and night has been tough at times but weirdly, I now have a sense of achievement…. I did it! And I pray I never have to do it again, but I am so thankful to God that I was not paralysed and that they were able to successfully operate on my spine.

Feel like I am coming out the other side of all this now, still got a way to recover yet,(physiotherapy etc) but at least I’m on the way out of this. Looking forward to being active again…… I’ll be like one of those fresh horses turned out for the first time in months!


Doctor Doctor…..

Poor little Ayla Baby has a chest infection, we took her to the doctors yesterday which was funny because she looked about as sick as… well not a very sick person in the waiting room. We were waiting for over an hour and for a 15 month old 1 hour is like an eternity!

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We started off with a book which was quite civilised until it came to the tiger pictures which instilled loud roaring much to the other patients surprise. Which quickly turned to wanting ‘down’ so I gave her the car keys and one of her toy figures which lasted all of about 5 mins which then became a dance around the waiting room and waddling up and down the corridor with either me or mum attempting to herd her in directions that were least offensive to the other people waiting in the surgery. She did spot a gentleman on a mobility scooter and pointed quite excitedly ‘Tractor! Tractor!’ … I suppose a sit on scooter vaguely represents her sit-on toy tractor.

Just when we thought we had run out of ammunition to keep her amused mum whipped out a pencil and paper from her handbag which held Ayla’s attention until we were finally seen.

Really lovely doctor and it turns out I wasn’t an over-reacting-first-time-parent and she has a chest infection or touch of croup, she wasn’t sure but either way Ayla has some medicine and is on the mend.

                                                                                                                                                                       So we spent the rest of today being ill…..not!

We played tents!

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And did LOTS of drawing and colouring in the kitchen, which was accompanied by lots of chatting.

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Then we played more tents!

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Had a lovely visit from Uncle Grant too and managed to actually fall asleep eating lunch!

Here’s to not being ill! And to taking my neck brace off for a whole day for the first time in over three months!!! Woo Hoo!! I never want to wear one again!

I leave you with….

Eating corn-on-the cob for the first time!

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Mums The Word!

Ok so we haven’t got a farm…. not yet anyway! I have wanted land forever it seems, wanted to care for animals all my life and have had an overwhelming desire to be around horses ever since I can remember.

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I think I thought that by the time me and Josh had children we would already have a farm, Josh’s workshop would be on the doorstep and I would bake bread everyday and ride around in a pony and trap.(… ok well maybe not the last two!)

The funny thing is while your making plans life often has a habit of making plans of its own! Finding out I was pregnant was one of those life surprises that you never forget and for all the right reasons. I was shocked, excited, nervous, happy, (it felt quite surreal to be honest).

I remember me and Josh taking the test and thinking ….. we’re pregnant? checking over and over again the packet, the instructions and the result.

Who would have thought that two little lines could mean life… another little life in my belly another human being a person, a baby, our baby….. our family!

We carried on mucking out the horses that Sunday afternoon with smiles and laughter in shock and bewilderment….. we were really having a baby!

The thing is no one tells you how much you then worry about this little being inside of you and the hours you wonder about them. It is incredible how a baby is formed inside the womb. Going through childbirth and pregnancy has made me see and appreciate the fragility and beauty of life all the more.

Having Ayla has changed our life in so many ways but having the chance to be her Mummy has been the greatest honour, challenge and reward I could imagine.

Now that I am a ‘stay at home mum’ although… I don’t like the term ‘stay at home’! Me and Ayla like very much to get ‘out and about’ the home. It hasn’t been possible so much lately but certainly plan to when I am back to full health.

I am really enjoying this time with Ayla and planning and dreaming ahead to our future… I hope to get back to working with horses when Ayla is older and when I am better would love to get involved volunteering for the RDA (Riding for the Disabled), something I have always wanted to do and not got around to doing.

If you keep on the track headed towards your dreams .. you will get there, even if the steps you take seem really small your still heading in the right direction and you will get there eventually, just keep going!

Ventured outside!

Have been missing the outdoors these past few weeks and it actually stopped raining here for a change and so we jumped at the chance to go outside… Im not entirely sure who was taking who for a walk….

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It was perhaps a bit excessive to make Ayla wear a hat and a hood but she seemed to enjoy getting out in the fresh air, its as much as I can do to keep up with her. Luckily Mum was on hand to take over when I got tired.

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There were hints of Spring on the way…. but don’t let that fool you!

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Was so nice to get outside, you can get a bit stir crazy being inside… there is only so much television I can watch.

Thankfully the television has been made redundant due to the fact that my ever-so-lovely husband bought me my very own laptop! (Another reason why I can’t help myself blogging) I have never had a computer that is so fast… amazing!

I don’t shout at this computer nearly as much as the last one…. we have only fallen out once and that was over windows 8! I hasten to add this is not my lovely laptops fault. It doesn’t seem to have taken it personally and I think I am even starting to grasp this WIndows 8 thing.

Hopefully the rain will let up again tomorrow and we can get back out in the fresh air again, I think walking everyday will help with my recovery which I am eager to get started with. Have to see surgeon again in about 3 weeks to check my neck and then can start physio.

Until then Ayla is pretty good exercise for now!

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My heart goes out to all the families who have been effected by all this flooding, and for everyone with animals/livestock in this area, thinking and praying for them all at this time.