Mary had a little lamb

Well, in this instance, I’m not Mary. Nor is the sheep a lamb, although it is wee-er than other breeds. And it’s brown, not white. But, every where I go, these lot are sure to go.

These boys were not getting offered a bucket for no apparent reason. The after dinner chat with the Mini Crofter (fifth time of reading Posie and Pip), a sheep was spotted to be caught in some wire. Now, the electric wire is set up to allow sheep through a gate but not the cows. Somehow one of the Jacobs decided to use the electric post as a back scratcher and pulled up a post. This in turn dropped the wire, which the muppet then got a leg caught.

Micro Crofter was placed in a bouncy chair, Mini Crofter told to watch Mummy through the window. And with that, on went the waterproofs, for having watched the sheep in question, I was going to be wrestling the muppet to untangle. I decided to take a bucket as comfort food, as that works for most of us in certain situations. However, the site of the bucket got the sheep to walk with a determined mind and just pull himself clear. And join the other five wanting a treat too. And I hadn’t even whistled to get their attention. Having just watched sheep dog trials, we still have no need for a sheep dog. And the nursery rhyme needs to be adapted.

Bye bye Lugs, hello luscious meat

That’s right, my soppy, sentimental part was back as we sent Lugs off. Hmm, that is, if you count the phrase, ‘You big baffon, stop messing around’ as I shed a virtual tear as sentimental. In reality I think I have spent more time crying due to my severe lack of sleep in recent months due to motherhood and insomnia. But that’s a different story.

So, soon, we can say hello to beef on the menu board (very end of May is the forecast). So if you want your meat fresh, speak to one of us (as in the Crofter or I, not the little person in my head that I often have conversations with and myself), send a message via the contact page, phone or text. And I’ll admit, phone is the worst option. Shouldn’t admit it as surely every good business needs to be good at phone conversations. However, I may be good at the conversations with the wee dude in my head but I feel the phone may break out in the plague. But, if you feel you have to phone, I’ll prep to ensure I answer all phone calls over the next wee while.

I will upload all the cuts and prices soon but there should be the usual of:

Steaks: Ribeye, fillet, rump, sirloin

Roasts: Forerib, topside, silverside

Dices, mince, sausages, burgers and beef olives.

Now I need to put a disclaimer on, we’re using a new butcher so packaging will be different and the sausages and burgers will be too. Now, I know quite a few really liked the last butcher’s burgers but these ones have come recommended to us as well so why not give them a try and let us know how they compared?

I’ll now just go and start practicing ‘phone chat’.

The bare necessities.

The bees are back and they are buzzing in the trees (although, not making honey for me if we continue down the Disney’s sing-a-long to The Jungle Book).

Which is good. The bees that is; not the singing along with Baloo. For it was not that long ago we got hit with a cold snap, just after several of our orchard trees had blossomed. And yes, they can stand a little bit of cold but not massive amounts. So it was a bit of grit teeth and hope for the best.

However, not all the trees had burst forth in full colour as this week, the temperature has been hot. Which in turn has brought out a lot more flowers in our orchard. And some that had flowers before have got more.

So I’ll go back to dreaming of making apple pies from the bees pollinating the flowers, not honey. And on that theme I’m not having to search under rocks and plants to find fancy ants. There are more exotic looking insects then normal at the moment. But there is no chance I’ll be trying a few.

P.S. Hopefully no legal representative at Disney Limited is reading this to notice how much of their lyrics I borrowed.

Decalfinated

Decalfinated: when your last cow of the year finally has her calf.

Yes, that is correct. She waited until the Crofter was away and popped it out. Typical as she has had a few sessions over the past two weeks of ‘ohh, that will be tonight, today, tomorrow’ and then has been the facing of a laughing cow as to my guessing.

Today, she not just waited for the Crofter to be away, but waited all morning while I had only the Micro Crofter. See, the Mini Crofter was away at a childminder’s (a very good one at that I might add; they often don’t get recognition for what they do and particularly dealing with so many children). Any how, Gilly waiting until I needed to be in be car and down the road to pick up the Mini Crofter before popping out the calf. Cows have a sixth sense to know when to pick their moments.

Now, it’s not the most stunning photo of the wee thing but I wasn’t hanging about for a photogenic newborn picture. I just needed proof I wasn’t making up excuses.

The de-calfed croft it now is. With snow forecast on its first night, I was looking forward to the next few days where much warmer weather is forecast. However, this first night has been rough. Not for the calf (as far as I know) but having two wee Crofters now wide awake. So, the croft may be decalfinated, but I’ll be needing the caffeine when the ‘sun’s up’ on the Mini Crofter’s clock and they are raring to go. Just hope the wee calf is too…

Dawn chorus

No, I do not have any cockerels to joyfully give a wake up call as I sit on the edge of the bed with a yawn and a big stretch. Nor do I have the sun always poking its rays over the hill, casting shadows with the trees.

What I do have is a Matriarchal cow who you can identify in your half slumber by her moos as she wakes you up at 5am! OK, what’s wrong now? Hmm, one cow still to calf, something wrong there? No other sounds? Head to the lookout points (aka windows) to spot the issue.

Yes, the Crofter got sent back to work yesterday so what happened the first morning of him being away? One calf getting itself into the fenced area around our drainage. How did it get in? No idea. Could it get out? No. Have they ever managed to get stuck there before? No. But today? Yes. Fab.

The Mini Crofter at the age of two is learning new words everyday; he can now say ‘daft muppet’.

Made of Stone.

Some people collect stamps, or cards, or fousty things in their veg drawer. Me? I collect stones. All sizes. But I’m picky. These aren’t just any stones, these are hand picked. Each one specially eye catching to the beholder. No, I don’t work for M and S. But I’m not lying. Each one is picked, pulled, or prised from a specific area (the space the pigs ploughed last year, the section of the chicken area that got ploughed). Each one has caught my eye saying, ‘Pick me, pick me’ in the stone variety version of Donkey from Shrek.

Little and often works best. And not focusing on the task itself of picking stones. But on what you’re planning on making with them gives the satisfaction (because really, picking stones is a lifetime job and fruitless, unlike the hobby of collecting fousty veg. No wait, that would be fungus, rather than fruitless if Ibtook that up…). Stone shifting is the daytime TV programme task on its 758th repeat. So where am I rolling my stones to? First space, the polytunnel. Yes, a bit odd but I’m doing a mini Calum (I am never going to hand make a road like him, but great book) and making a mini path (rather than a road) around the raised bed.

I have a wee ways to go. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. But I’m running out of stones.

Ride ‘em Cowboy.

With the bonnie weather, we’ve had a few days off. A wee trip to Urquhart Castle (man at the desk: “Where you from?” Me (with the Micro Crofter), “Other side of the loch”. Crofter follows about 20 mins later with the Mini Crofter. Man at desk: “Where you from?” Crofter, “Other side of the loch”. Man at desk, “You got someone else already here?” Hmm, yes. But that wasn’t premeditated as not all visitors have to travel far, we just don’t tend to get out much.

Latest ‘day off’: Ohh, let’s just ‘nip’ down to our local pub for lunch. Aye, on our bikes and our ‘local’ is 14 miles away. Maybe not the best way to build up gradually but best to always have a purpose (aka lunch) when doing these things. Which is fine, until you reach said local, and find it was an error on the website and they are closed for lunch. Thankfully one of the ladies who runs it was outside and offered us drinks. Yep, half pint of ale and I’ll be back on my bike pedalling home. Now, getting off the bike at the other end wasn’t easy but I always wanted to be a cowboy and I guess walking like one is the closest I’ll ever get to riding out cattle in the Midwest.