Tuesday, 22 May 2018

To cap it all

With our normal washing machine disconnected we decided
to try out the new portable one that we have for washing
fleeces to wash our underwear instead. It worked well enough
and even spun out the clothes quite well. It might still use
too much of our precious water on the land though. 
This week we emptied the cellar of our old apartment and moved most of the remaining stuff out from the apartment itself. We also finished putting wardrobe together in the one we will be living in over winter so that we could put the clothes away. It is nice to be able to find other clothes again to wear. On the Thursday I took the car to the garage early then went back to our old apartment to clean it, since just about all our stuff has been taken out that needs to be taken out. I had arranged to meet up with someone to talk about weaving that morning too but somehow I managed to mess up the times. At some point what should have been 10am meeting in my head turned into a 10:30am meeting. It meant that the poor lady ended up waiting for me and I didn't show up. I was mortified, when I rang and found out my mistake. I hate it when others do it to me and so to do it to someone else was awful.

This little madam decided to worry our friend who was
looking after our animals by disappearing overnight. I did
explain that she does do that every now and again and is less
often now than it used to be, when she sometimes
disappeared for a week at a time
I said last week, very tongue in cheek, "Not much on my plate then!" but it was at the point when I realised my mistake that I knew I had too much going on in my head. I was making too many mistakes like that. I can be forgetful but I don't often leave people waiting without at least calling to explain. I went back to the apartment and sat down and wrote an email to Ian to explain what had happened and said I wouldn't be back until later on in the day as I wanted to get my head clearer and I wasn't in a good mood at all. I also wrote down in the email about all the things that were in my head and needed sorting or I was dealing with. Bless him! When I did eventually go back to our land on the last bus (only about 6ish) he was busy making shelves in the barn so that stuff could be organised and it means we can clear out the greenhouse in time for our felting workshop at the beginning of June.

Rain clouds. Not much but at least it is some rain for our
A friend also realised that some of things we were talking about could be causing me a degree of stress and offered to take some of the workload off me. I hadn't said anything about what had happened and that things were piling up on me but it was such a relief to be able to say that her actions were really, really helpful at the minute and yes it would take some pressure off me that I rather badly needed. Of course, just sitting down and writing everything out was also helping me to sort things out in my head and made me feel a bit more balanced and less overwhelmed. There is still a lot to do, but I am starting to tick things off the list and another job was postponed by someone else until later on in the year, which again was helpful.

Ian has been busy cutting grass again. The alpacas don't like
long grass and Ian also likes to keep the grass short in some
areas like the orchard and around the current bushes.
I managed to book a flight to Slovakia for around mid-June to attend a PhD course. I was quite pleased to find out that flights to Vienna were cheaper and it is relatively easy to get to Slovakia from there. The only problem is that it was easy to find out how to get to Bratislava and quite cheap too, but the next leg was not as easy to find out. I sent an email to the university organising the course and they will send me details later, so not a problem - I think! I will worry about that nearer the time of course.

The view from the "office" yesterday
We went without a car for 2 1/2 days and Ian went to collect it around mid-day on Saturday. He rode there on his bike, which he hasn't done for a long time. He felt surprisingly okay and I was surprised how quickly he got back. It was rather an expensive job though and the car still needs a couple of jobs doing on it. When I say it was expensive, that is all relative but it is certainly more than we have paid for a long time. The car is getting old and so in many ways only to be expected.
Looking the other way from the "office"
Potential client?
The office. Ian starting the shearing. I had my own shearing
the day before. A friend of ours came to get some of our eggs
to put under a broody hen and since my hair was getting a
bit long she cut it for me. It won't be long before I'm as
white as that alpaca.
I have finished planting out all the tomatoes  and pepper plants in the greenhouse and the trees I bought outside. The spaces in the greenhouse we have left now will be planted up with basil or other plants that can tolerate warm weather. Outside we have been having to do quite a bit of watering.  We are resorting to emergency measures with the water as we are seriously short of moisture in the ground and it is only May. Since last week we have only had one very small shower on Thursday and little more again today. Just barely enough to wet the ground and not much more. This is not helping the germination of seedlings or helping plants just getting established. We have now set up a water tank next to the garden and filled it with water pumped from the newest pond. We might have lost many strawberry plants in the newest bed I made, but at least I should have been able to save some anyway. It is mot too much of an issue as there are still plants that are growing well that were made when there was more moisture in the ground and those strawberries are very prolific and will soon recolonise the plot.
Concentrating hard

Those shears are sharp. I hold the animals head down to
keep it still
We have also now organised getting our milk from our neighbour. We went up to take milk bottles ready for filling and she was in, so she gave us some milk from the morning milking. As she says, the morning milk is the tastiest - something you don't really appreciate with supermarket milk. Whilst we were chatting, aided by her son who was home for the weekend from university, her husband came out. He said with a big grin on his face that he went to make coffee and, spreading his arms out wide to emphasise his point, there was no milk in the house - apparently we had the last of their milk and she hadn't done the evening milking yet. Not too worry, it was time for her to go milking and for us to put our animals away and so he didn't have long to wait for the milk for his coffee.
Taking a sample for testing

This time holding the animals head still while Ian shears
the tail
For the last two days we have been shearing up in Estonia again. This time we had 17 alpacas, which is more than Ian can manage in one day without straining his back. He could manage more if he was just shearing, but we often help with getting the animals to the shearing area and then there are toe nails and teeth to check too, so it all adds up in time. Those who do more in one day, usually have a larger team. It is also a time when we get to socialise with other alpaca owners anyway and so is not a high pressure event. This particular gentleman and his wife are also good hosts who feed us well. A coffee break for instance means sandwiches or some savoury pastries, large home-made cookies, some fresh honey still on the comb and maybe some salad too. As for lunch! That was a tender slab of spiced, roast pork each with roast potatoes, leek sauce and salad with more of those home-made cookies. I don't think I need to eat for a week. We were put up in a local hotel overnight too and so it made for an enjoyable and reasonably relaxing time, even with the long day, due to the early start and late finish on the Monday.
Clipping toe nails - yes a pedicure too

Ian is holding down the animal while I clip around the ankles
which cannot be done with the shears as the ropes holding it
down are in the way. It might look kind of drastic but the
animals are much calmer once they know they can't get away

Taking time to get up

Off she goes

To cap it all! She was stuck again when we got back
I did manage to create chaos again though before we left. This time I forgot to shut the door on one of the arks and the chickens escaped. Not great when you are trying to get away early. I don't think I was particularly popular when the incident was discovered. We managed to capture the chickens - or at least we thought we had, until a friend of ours who was putting the animals away at night discovered one was still out. He wasn't sure how she had escaped. At least he managed to get her in and she seemed happy enough to be reunited with her flock and so he guessed he had managed to put her in with the right group. Our stupid sheep was also discovered once again with her head stuck and making a right racquet and our friend ended up cutting the fence to free her. Obviously she is not going to learn her lesson.
One stuck sheep and two more sensible ones, who don't bother
sticking their heads through to get grass, maybe just their noses.
Our friend ended up cutting the fence to
free the sheep this morning. She had been
there a while, but did this teach her? No!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear your comments and will always reply, so go ahead, ask a question or just say hi