This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Anniversary Party Footnote

We had a lovely surprise present for our anniversary from our children this week.  They were disappointed that it arrived after it was supposed to because they wanted to give it to us at the party.

Our daughter invited us round for tea a few weeks back.  While we were out, our son nipped round to our house, borrowed the photo albums, scanned the photos and then returned the albums so that we were none the wiser.  Then this week we were presented with a properly bound book of photos telling the story of our wedding and all the years since.  It is absolutely lovely and so nicely done.  I've looked through it so many times this week and I still smile at all the memories.

: )


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Party time

Last weekend was Party Weekend.  We had the three grandchildren's party in the middle of the day in the church hall, complete with bouncy castle, and they thoroughly enjoyed it.  Then we cleared up and cleaned the hall and went straight into preparations for our party in the evening.  I have to say that two parties in one day is Jolly Hard Work!  We had over 80 guests and that is a lot of food to prepare. Our daughters had made lots of cake and I provided the savouries.  We had various friends play (guitar and keyboard) and sing and then we had the food with recorded music playing and then two friends of my daughter's played and sang for the second session. They were really good and we all really enjoyed their playing.  It was far more easy going than it sounds and I think people enjoyed it all.  I know we certainly did. But I was soooo tired afterwards.

On Sunday morning, we had to be at church early because the service was the last session of the holiday club.  So when we got home after setting the church back to rights, we had lunch and then just sat, like zombies who weren't up to walking. We've both slept well all week : )

We've been doing lots of jobs all week and then yesterday, we went to my daughter's to put up guttering on her garage. I pottered round while the work was in progress (managerial role again) and found a nice bramble just covered in ripe blackberries.  So I came home with a nice bag of various snippets that my fussy rabbit will eat and a bag full of plump juicy blackberries.  I had thoughts of putting them with the bag of windfall apples that I was given on Friday but I don't think that they are going to get past puddings after dinner. I shall have to find some more blackberries to go with those apples.  The blackberries in our garden are nowhere near ready yet.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Busy non-stop days

I've been doing lots of "busy" things recently.  We've tidied up the allotment so that it looks a bit more presentable and have picked more fruit.  This means that I've made more jam with Christmas in mind as well as our year's supply.  So far I've made raspberry, blackcurrant, gooseberry and elderflower, and gooseberry and redcurrant.  There is still plum to come as the little damsonlike purple plums are not ready yet.  My husband's favourite jam is raspberry but mine is damson so we are both catered for.  I'm not sure if the tree is really a damson but the fruit are small and more like a damson than a plum both in size and in flavour.  A kind squirrel planted a plum stone in our garden border and we transplanted it to see if it would grow - and I did and produces a nice crop each year.  I want to have a few bags of stewed damson plums in the freezer for the winter because one of my favourite puddings is to serve them with a dollop of greek yoghurt. Yum!  I've also made lots of marmalade and it should be enough to have some to put in Christmas presents and to keep us going for most of the year.

I'm still beavering away on the tidying and aim to do a little bit each day.  I find the whole process quite stressful so a little bit each day is enough.  Many a mickle macks a muckle, though, and it IS necessary. I'm not at all sure how to spell that phrase but I'm sure you've all heard it said and can understand : )

We've built one and a half more sheds in the garden to house things and now there is a lot less grass available. When I say "we", mine was the managerial role... We were given two sheds for firewood o whatever.  My husband managed to replace the rotten parts from our stash of useable wood and has made them useable again.  He and our son have also rebuilt a trailer which was borrowed from a friend so that our son could use it to go camping.  Three children and a tent plus equipment won't all fit into their car and the top box any more. However the owner said that we would have to repair the rotten piece of wood to make it fit and safe to use...  It turned out that every bit of wood have some part that was rotten so they stripped it down, repainted the metal frame and replaced all the wood - from his great wood stash. (And he has been known to comment about the quantity of craft stuff I have.......)  After a couple of coats of wood preservative, the trailer looks pretty much like new.  The owner came to have a look and took a photo to show his friends at work who have now all asked if we would like to borrow their trailers too : )

Last Saturday was my grandson's birthday.  This Saturday is youngest granddaughter's birthday and the following Saturday is middle granddaughter's birthday. So there is a grand party this Saturday for all three.  Then we carry on into the evening to celebrate our wedding anniversary which is a rather big number. We have about 60-70 guests coming to that and I am surrounded by lists and time sheets to enable me to cater.  I have the feeling that I am going to sleep well after all that.

This week is Holiday Club at church - Polar Explorers. We said that we couldn't help this year but they had a couple of leaders with hospital appointments etc on Thursday so we've agreed to help on Thursday only.  And we've got to go to the bbq for families on Friday.  Well, we don't have to but we feel that we ought to.  And then Sunday is the final holiday club meeting with a revamped service so we'll be helping with the music for that.  So I'll get my good night's sleep on Sunday. I'll certainly need it.

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