|A shaving horse, no not for beards, for shaving bits of wood|
|Now that's what I call a hammer!|
|A treadle lathe|
Oooh the stress we've had this week! Not only walking on sheet ice to post a letter, but trying to decide on a combination microwave. Now buying a microwave could be quite easy, just look it up on a Which report, see what's available and what suits us and buy it! No chance! The models available in different countries are well..... distinctly different. One microwave we looked at only had information in Russian, another one was available elsewhere and so wasn't too bad to look up. At least the Which report gave two companies that we can find here in Latvia gave the thumbs up for the ability of their microwaves to actually cook- a useful feature I find and so it was narrowed down to a Whirlpool and a Panasonic. In the end we went for a Whirlpool, because its bigger, unfortunately it did not arrive today as expected. Heh ho! Delivery companies! Don't you just love them! I suppose I shall have to ring tomorrow and find out what has happened to my microwave.
Our seed order is completed this year and I managed to narrow that down to just two seed companies this time, instead of four like last year - mainly because I have saved many of our own seeds and I still have seeds leftover from last year. I did a grand stocktake to make sure I knew what I had, which kept me busy on a winter's day. I couldn't purchase solely from one company, MoreVeg, that I have used for a few years now, as they didn't have Sweet Meat squashes, which I am reliably informed can last a whole year and so something we want to try, as it is something to fill in the hungry gap when other things are past their best and before the salady things start coming through. I have used MoreVeg for a few years now, because they are excellent for small packets - I mean who wants 100 cauliflowers? The small packets are often around 50p which means it is possible to try out many different vegetables at relatively little cost and since we are still finding out what works for us, that is very useful. Someone emailed me this week via a post I had made on another blog, because they were struggling to source Sweet Meat pumpkin seeds within Europe, so
I am making sure I give out the link and for the Styrian pumpkin (which has seeds without the hard coat) as they are a bit scarce too. If you know of anywhere else please feel free to post a link at at the bottom. Anyway the link for the Chiltern Seeds is as follows
Sweet Meat - http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk/item.php?id=1351A
Styrian Pumpkin - http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk/item.php?id=1362G
Their veg catalogue is a lot of fun too, with some interesting illustrations, their website is quite boring by comparison, but still it does what it has to do and that is provide information about seeds.
|Even a three legged stool|
We thought we were on a roll with the eggs, as we were getting two a day for a little while but we are mainly down to one a day - from 9 females! Actually coming from one ark only. Not stupendous really, but it is still early in the year and it has gone chilly again, so hopefully soon they will start to produce more soon. It turns out our suspicions were right with one of the birds we weren't sure about, it is a male and he reliably informed Ian of that fact with a cockle-doodle-doo, well kind of, give the guy a break he is a novice at it. Mind you, he just signed his own death warrant with that noise, we have nowhere to keep a single male in these temperatures and he is starting to flex his muscle, which will only lead to fights in the ark eventually. For the time being we will leave him as he adds extra heat, but any fights and he is out of there. The other bird we weren't too sure about has laid the eggs and so we are pleased we were right with her, as she is a lovely looking bird and obviously a good layer as she is the only one to be consistently laying eggs at the moment. So all in all, we didn't do too badly when we separated the chickens out, we were only wrong with one of them. Still miffed at that! It would have been the best layer of the lot.
|Just to prove I really did get the skis out|
I finally got the skis out this week and made my own track for cross country type skiing out on the land. That way there is no one to watch when I fall down, which fortunately was only once this time. It was only a small track and only took about a minute to get around, but at least I could practice the movements, which is what I was most bothered about. I now have to sweet talk Ian into making me a track maker to make the tracks a little easier to make and then I can make an even bigger track out on the land.
|Enjoying the sun|
I must be getting emotional in my old age, or it's my hormones at this time of life, but the new song by David Bowie made me cry. It just spoke to me of a world weary from crisis and I just wanted to put my arms around the singer and say "It's going to be okay, there is hope." His singing reminded me of Solomon in Ecclesiastes, a man full of wisdom who explored life to the maximum and yet at the end of it all opted for the simple life.
The Final Word. Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs. The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth. The words of the wise prod us to live well.They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are given by God, the one Shepherd.But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 The Message)
|The alpacas are much more confident with Ian now. Here is|
Hercules eating straw from Ian's hand
|Sunday was such a beautiful day|
|The frost was an inch thick on trees and wires. It's difficult|
to select the best pictures of the day