Yesterday I got home and the wind was ferocious, wild, gusty and fierce. I think it did ‘something’ to Big Ears and as he suddenly started running, really fast, and bouncing and jumping and leaping around the other sheep and his muma, stopping for a brief second to see if I was still looking at him, which I was because I’m the nutter out in that wild wind taking photos of cute lambs until my fingers went numb! I will admit to laughing out loud, possibly ensuring I really did look like a crazy women, but boy it was so funny to watch. He was springing off all fours like a jack-in-a-box and his dear little personality shone through his leaps and spins and bounces. Precious!
I still pinch myself when I look out the back door in the morning. The view takes my breath away and the ever changing weather reveals a slightly different mood so it never really looks the same to me. This morning I awoke to see Big Ears and his muma sleeping by the fence that surrounds our house. Out the back door and through the kitchen window I can keep an eye on him and fall in love with him a little more each glance. Oh and to top it off, another little cute as a button lamb was born this week. What a treat it is to see these cycles out the back door, beats suburbia for me hands down.
There are some things however that are taking a little getting used to. Heating is not as convenient as a switch, nor as fast as a moment or two. Heating now takes some time, building the fire, lighting it, tending it, and then waiting for the heat to start pumping out and working its way around the house. It’s a beautiful heat, and worth the wait for sure, but there have been nights we’ve got home from work and I’ve sat there eating dinner in two alpaca jumpers, a scarf and a beanie. Would have worn my wrist warmers too if I ever found them. These seem to be one of the casualties of the move, all three handmade pairs! Vanished, maybe to be discovered at some time in the future – like how the peeler turned up one day! But for now I am without wrist warmers so I set to work on crocheting another pair, in aqua. As you can see from the photo, this enthusiastic start was closely followed by unpicking. Despite using the correct size hook and yarn, they worked up suitable for a giant. So I’m going to try with another yarn type, same ply, different fibre mix. Fingers crossed. That’s my plan for this afternoon actually after I’ve done a few things on my to do list, I will then ignore the rest of the list and sit by the fire which is now roaring, and crochet whilst it rains sideways down the valley.
Stay warm, may cute things make you laugh out loud x
One day this week I arrived home from work early and it was still daylight, which was such a treat! As soon as I opened the gate I noticed a sheep near next doors dam, not where they usually are. Then I spotted it. The cutest little newborn lamb. It sprung up, as only lambs can, and walked all wobbly like over to its Muma who was busy staring at me, no doubt wondering if I was a threat. I assured her I wasn’t, like she could understand me, and made kissing noises to the lamb. Oh if only you could see him turn his head and flop those big ears of his around. There’s something about the face proportions of a baby suffolk lamb, long little face with two ears that mostly stick out sideways and are as long as their face. I name him Big Ears, he’s adorable!
Meanwhile our neighbours cows have been busy chomping through our long grass and ‘fertilizing’ all the paddocks. They’ve been so entertaining to watch. The little fluffy calves are my favourite and I had quite the moment with one I’ve named Babyhorns. He, of course, has teeny horns sprouting out of his tufty curly fringe and is a gutsy little one. Mostly they take off as soon as you walk towards them but little Babyhorns held his ground. I approached him super slowly and when I saw him flinch and think about running I stopped. I talked to him the whole time, you know telling him how cute his curly fringe is and how one day those horns on his head are going to be so big. He looked at me for what seemed like ages, then tentatively took one step towards me. Then I took one small step towards him. Our eyes were locked and without blinking, but with some trepidation, Babyhorns took another step towards me. I repeated my last move and we stood there for a minute or so just checking each other out and me doing all the talking. I didn’t want to push my luck so I stepped backwards and then turned and came inside, smiling from ear to ear. I like to think Babyhorns was smiling too.
So after falling in love with the calves and the lambs I am now seriously asking myself if I’ll be able to ever keep animals like that to provide meat for us. I’ve got my doubts. I really want to as I am a meat eater and I like the idea that the meat I eat will come from an animal that’s lived a good stress-free natural-as-possible life. It’s been part of our grand plan for ages but the reality of seeing these animals every day, and not getting attached to them, is hitting home. I’m no fool, I always knew it would really challenge me, but am now considering how possible it will be rather than how hard it may be. And yes I know you’re not supposed to name them, golden rule and all that… but I can’t seem to help myself at the moment. Maybe it’s because they aren’t mine and I’m allowing myself to get attached to them, after all I’m not going to eat Babyhorns and Big Ears. Maybe it will be different when we get some of our own, for the sole purpose of providing meat for us. Maybe I won’t fall in love them.
Is it a bit lame to now tell you how I had this awesome vegetarian curry for dinner tonight? About as lame as naming my neighbours sheep and cows? Yep, thought so.
Wishing you sweet connections with the animals in your life x
My perfect Sunday morning is sitting on the back deck in my pj’s, sunnies on and coffee in hand, watching cows, spotting roos, looking for foxes and talking to the birds. The best afternoon is weaving hills and watching cows whilst listening to the birds. A lovely evening is a big deep hot bath with the bathroom window open enough to hear the frogs in the top dam. A chorus of frogs can be really loud – and cheery! A favourite thing to do is take eleventy billion photos of the sunrise and sunset. Wandering the paddocks picking mushrooms for dinner feels almost like cheating as we didn’t do anything to receive this delicious bounty of goodness. Gardening on windy days is a bit like riding a motorbike without putting your long hair in a ponytail – I found out the hard way. Chopping firewood with an axe is harder than it looks, I’m still a bit scared of the axe despite chopping some kindling for the first time in my life and surviving it with all fingers and toes. The lushness of the green grass has to be seen to be believed. The grass in our paddocks is getting really long and we need to get some grass chomping animals roaming it soon before it becomes unmanageable. The wind has to be felt to be believed – all washing on the line must include peg reinforcement. We’ve discovered where a little family of roos live, and love watching them soak up the morning sun. We spotted a beautiful owl on our property for the first time today. Watching a calf run will make you smile every time. The weeks are long and the weekends fly by. It’s a battle to get everything done on the weekends, let alone schedule some down time. We leave for work in the dark and return in the dark, so live for the weekends when we can see our beautiful rolling green hills. But I sense big changes are ahead, so I’m sitting tight and rewriting my lists again and again, and thinking about garden designs. I’m a big list writer and if I happen to do something not on the list, I’ll write in on just so I can cross it off. Cheap thrills.
May your washing never be blown off the line and your list be full of ticks. x
We enjoyed our first flourish of mushrooms, they inundated us for a week or so then vanished! Charlie says they’ll pop up again as it’s only early in their season. Hopefully they do as wandering around our very own paddocks (and yes I still pinch myself when I say that!) collecting a basket full of fresh field mushrooms for breakfast with my hubby and my son was one the best Sunday mornings here so far.
What beautiful days Autumn gifts us with, foggy crisp mornings and warm golden afternoons. I just can’t tell you how beautiful the hills look now, my photos really don’t do it justice. They are blanketed in a gorgeous shade of lime green as the fresh new grass grows thanks to the sun-rain-sun autumn weather. If you pick out the bright mid blue in a pack of coloured pencils, you could draw the sky, it’s been picture perfect. The morning sky has been peachy oranges and as the sun drops in the late afternoon it usually turns a soft pastel dusky pink.
The fire has been roaring through the chilly evenings and keeping us toasty warm. The weekends are full but we are making sure to squeeze in our craft/sanity time. This lovely long weekend just gone I finally took my weaving off the loom. It’s been finished and waiting for its freedom hanging, for over a year – maybe even a year and half. So slack! Of course I couldn’t string up (or warp for you weavers) the loom quick enough to have another go. I’ve had this idea floating around my head since we’ve been here, of trying to capture the vibe of our rolling green hills into a weaving. I’ll let you know how I go, could be a year or two! Some craft happens quickly, other craft takes forever.
Just like sometimes things work out perfect, yet other times there’s epic fails. I had a big fail on my first attempt at Crabapple Jelly recently. Admittedly I didn’t use crabapples so there be my first error I suppose. And I’m a bit loose on following recipes to say the least. I won’t bore you with the other stuff ups I made like not measuring how much water I used to cover the apples, therefore ending up with twice as much as liquid as I should have for the weight of apples etc etc. I did enjoy a glorious afternoon of ignorance as I photographed my pretty little jars of blush coloured jelly before I realised they were still very liquidy after many hours and not jelly like at all. They were a little cloudy despite me being super careful not to squash the pulp and allowing it to drain overnight, but I was ok with that as it was my first time making it after all. I lived in hope overnight, thinking maybe by morning they’ll be set. Um no, this soft pink apple syrup would not become jelly no matter how long I waited and how hard I wished. So, with my make lemon curd when life gives you lemons attitude, I dug out the ice-cream maker and turned my flop into a delicious sweet and tart apple sorbet. I even popped some stewed rhubarb in a batch and made an apple and rhubarb sorbet. Quite the tasty failure. Not what I had planned, but then life’s like that isn’t it?
May your kitchen flops reincarnate as something tasty too x