Tuesday, 9 January 2018

An Emotional Roller Coaster

The past five days we have been on a real emotional roller coaster, our beloved Tess was rushed in for an emergency life saving  operation on Saturday.
She was very poorly and with her age the vet said to prepare ourselves for the worse.
It all started on Friday evening when she kept being sick or trying to, Saturday morning she refused breakfast, in the afternoon she was being x rayed at the vets, they gave us three options as they needed to operate, a twisted gut and her stomach had started to die off in which case she would be put to sleep, a tumour that was causing a blockage in which case given her age she would be put to sleep, or a blockage from something she had eaten in which case they would do what they can, we went home and waited  nearly 5 hours later we got news, they operated for almost 4 hours and removed 7lb in weight of compacted sugar beet. 
She was very very poorly and we had a sleepless night with worry.
Sunday morning we went to visit her as she wasn't recovering well from the anaesthetic. Her breathing was very laboured.
We went back in the evening to spend a few hours with her, she wagged her tail when she saw us, and seemed a lot more with it, they couldn't get her to eat anything or drink, and more so she was not making any attempt to get to her feet.
 we couldn't get her to eat, but working with the nurse we did get her to her feet although it wasn't for long before her legs gave way.
 Monday morning and I had a conversation with the vet, he was saying she wasn't making any progress, her legs couldn't hold her and she still wasn't eating or drinking, he said we should perhaps let her go, she had gone through a lot of trauma and seemed like she was giving up, I disagreed I thought she was more scared of being back in a cage a surrounded by strangers, it was suggested that we should take her home to end her days. We went to pick her up and she brought out to the car on a stretcher.
Martin carried her into the house and she was put on a bed in the lounge, Sol was pleased to see her and she was to see him within a few minutes she was trying to get to her feet drank a bowl of water and I manged to help her outside for pee. She made her way back to her own bed with help were she went to sleep with Sol in his bed beside her. She ate some supper.
 This morning she ate breakfast, once on her feet with help she stood in line waiting for a brush while Sol had his
  Throughout the day she has improved 100% eating, drinking going outside, she can now get to her feet herself most of the time, she is still a little shaky and her legs keep giving out but she is getting stronger all the time.
Tomorrow she has to go back to the vet for a post op check up, they only gave us enough medication for a couple of days as she wasn't expected to make it. I am hoping she will walk in and show them
There is life in the old dog yet  🐕

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Has He Done IT

Today our loan Billy Treacle went home, fingers crossed he has done the job and springtime will see us with new kids on the block, he got to share a Christmas tree with the ladies before he left
This is the first of 5 trees I have been offered from locals. I pick the others up later in the week.

The poly tunnel has been cleaned and tidied up ready to go again 
 we still have some winter salad leaves in the tunnel 
which went lovely with grated carrot and some red onions from the store 

The citrus trees down the middle are still doing well and the orange trees are laden with fruit 

 We have 18 oranges in total and they are just starting to change colour, as well as fruit the trees coming back into flower again.
 using up some leftovers in the kitchen a lovely smoked salmon quiche went down well with salad

 A Chicken hot pot was put together when we have new year visitors
followed by lemon meringue  pie
I got a good bargain in the sales on line, Mucker boots with a voucher for £30 and free delivery the same as the ones Martin bought me  couple of months ago for £110 these will be put away until needed.
Anyone else managed to get some good sale bargains ? 


Sunday, 31 December 2017

Adventure Before Dementia

2017 saw us having lots of adventures
Martin has been home more that has been our biggest change making such a difference.
Our 4 little porkers
 Filled the freezer and got made into lovely hams 
Tess our podgy chocolate pudding joined the family
Became slimmer of the year and is now enjoying her golden years. We had lots of new kids on the block

 but sadly had a loss as well
 we had our first attempt at raising some meat birds for the table
They grew into fantastic birds and have fed us well.

 Accommodation for visitors
 and lots of cook outs were enjoyed
 New equipment purchased to make life easier
 Lots of success with milking
 Starting up a flock of rare breed sheep
 The cut flower garden provided an abundance of flowers for the house.

 The new goat house got built and had electricity put in.
 A foray into keeping geese
 Martin got his boat
 The growing area has been cleaned up with a mat of wood chip
 Our latest adventure sees the addition of water buffalo.
2017 has certainly been an adventure,
 so what will 2018 bring, some plans are in the making and some events are on the calendar.
Goats will fingers crossed be kidding again,
Water buffalo will be calving
Geese will start breeding
More meat birds will be raised
Lambs will join us
Weaner pigs will arrive
Alpacas Kara and Imogen will go to meet a boyfriend.
A bio fuel willow copice will be started
Aquaponics will be set up in the poly tunnel.
Hay will be made.
I am looking forward to lots of adventures in 2018 while mind and body still allows. 
Our 2018 phrase is Adventure before Dementia 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons

I got a box of lemons for £1, after a wash in hot water to remove the wax, I kept 8 back and the rest were peeled
 The peel was dried out in the dehydrator
 and blitzed up for zest, my pot was empty so it was very timely, the lemons were juiced and the juice was frozen in ice cube trays.
 the lemons that were kept back were made into Lemon Curd we have a bit of an egg glut at the moment, 8 lemons and 8 eggs went into this.
 The last of the tomatoes have been picked and the plants cleared from the poly tunnel.
 The last of the Ross Cobbs have been dispatched came in at 7.5lb, 8.5lb, 9.4lb.
 while in the kitchen yesterday, I made up a batch of mince pies using the last jar of mincemeat made last year.
 and a couple of chocolate fruit cakes, these Nigellas Christmas Cake I love these cakes, they dont need making months in advance very fruity and moist, I always do them as two loafs instead of one big cake, easier for slicing, I have been making these for about 7/8 years now.
 The other morning Martin got a surprise when doing his breakfast, a triple yolker, we have had a few doubles before but never a triple.
 The buffalo are settling in well. Thye will now feed from the bucket and come up for a scratch.
 To answer a few questions.
We bought a breeding starter herd from the Buffalo Dairy Aberystwyth, they were being sold through one of the small holders groups, a starter herd is 2 pregnant females and a young unrelated bull and cost £2,500.  The females are originally from the milking herd, when they reach about 7 years old there milk yield starts to drop off, they are then used primarily for breeding or suckling.
Buffalo need as much space per head as cattle but don't eat as much and prefer shorter grass to cattle. They are not cattle they are more related to Oxan, although they have to be passported under the British Cattle Movement. They come from Mediterranean unlike there cousins that come from Asia, these one grow a thick winter coat, They do need shelter although unless we get another heavy snow they wont need to be shut in, being water buffalo they like to have a wet area and will make wallows in summer. 
It will be a couple of years before we have meat they are a long term plan and investment.
Now Christmas has arrived, everything here will carry on as normal we dont really go all out buying in foods that we dont normaly eat full of additives, we are not TV watchers, we might get down the beach with the dogs, I have my sewing friend arriving on Tuesday so we will have a few days crafting together.
How ever you are spending it I hope its a good one.


Friday, 22 December 2017

What Have We Done.

Yesterday was an important day here on the Ranch
 Our Water Buffalo arrived, we had to walk them across three fields
 Including through the Alpaca field, we kept the Alpaca shut in out of the way, we didn,t need any mayhem.
 we got them walked round to there new home that Martin has spent the last two weeks building.
 young Fraser was looking a little lost as its his first time away from were he was born.
 Lavender and Petunia took it in there stride they are used to being moved around for grazing.
 They checked out the accomadation

 a wood chip pad has been put down to try and keep it dry under foot
They are big, very placid, we dont know much about water buffalo, there isnt a book we can read, there is not much on the internet about raising them for meat, Its going to be very much trial and error I think, getting them registered has been a bit of a headache, they are wild animals.
Oh well you can but try I suppose.