28 December 2008

what happened to Twiglets?

This Christmas has been a Twiglet free affair here in the Highlands. No Twiglets anywhere. Is this a battle won by the Marmite Haters or are they another victim of the current financial crisis and no one told me?? Have the Marmite Lovers taken supplies hostage and not released any for us up here?

Twiglets - where are you??

22 December 2008

So, 2008, where did it go?

I can't belive that I'm writng the annual catch up again already. Where did 2008 go? Was it two months for the price of one and no one told me? Apologies for those who signed in prompted by the note in the christmas card - I had great intentions of getting this done ages ago but life got in the way, so no change there!

This year has been a kind of a stop start year for us at Highland Madness. It started with having to take the kids to and fro for school, severely impacting on our day in more ways than the hour round trip twice a day. We had to spend the time in between fighting the council for an extra escort for the bus to ensure safety for all concerned. Our epilepsy nurses were not happy to put it mildly.

Once this was sorted - six months later - we had more time to spend on the market gardening side and did manage to produce and sell successfully. We learned a lot along the way and will be better prepared for 2009 as a result. We still have a lot of potatoes in the ground as well as swede and beetroot which has not been harvested due to storage issues.

The good news is the extension is coming on really well. The bad news is we have no space in the garage and the weather has been too wet to put the barn up since we dug the foundations so no space to make more propagators, hen houses or storage for root veg.

In spite of their dilapidated housing the birds (10 bantams, 10 hybrids and 6 Muscovy ducks) are doing well and are still producing eggs. We're looking forward to breeding our own ducks next year and may even sell a few if I can get the dispatching right.

Summer holidays passed more easily this year as we were able to get some help with the girls and therefore out and about, including visits to various beaches and Landmark Forest Theme Park.

Unfortunately Scrumpy's epilepsy is becoming more unstable and we have had to use emergency medication in the most awkward situations. It's an on going issue but life goes on regardless and we take it in our stride. She's a real trooper and copes with it so well. Bear seams to have some awareness of it to as she has several times comforted her sister during a seizure (so much more preferable than the other option of running a muck!)

Our household has somewhat swelled this year with the addition of 26 birds and two cats and four staff to work with the girls. The cats arrived in November as barn cats but it soon became obvious that cats are animals of very little brain and they are currently house cats. IF I have the heart they will be outside cats but it's more likely they'll be utility room cats and we'll put a flap in the door. I'm still clinging to my original idea of pest control...

We're looking forward to 2009. More help with the girls means more adventures and more time to work. Farming, computing - yes, it took 3 1/2 years but he's back at it - and helping out in school and Youth Project will keep us busy.

We have two family weddings to look forward to and we already have visitors booked in as far ahead as May, so if you were thinking of dropping by, we'd love to see you but get penciled in now!

A wonderful Christmas and fabulous New Year to all.

10 December 2008

Happy Advent to One and All!

Thanks for the climbing frame mum!

Three days ago Hot hubs and I went back to the Tattooist and got inked. We screwed up our courage and went in, a few minutes late, to find he was doing someone else and we had to go back in half an hour. We retreated to the bakery cafe for Dutch courage after raiding Woolworth's closing down sale. At the allotted hour we returned and Hot hubs went first. Having lost numerous medic alert bracelets he now has a tattoo on his wrist announcing his condition and I have to say even at this early stage it looks really good.

Then it was my turn and having seen Hot hubby's finger tips going white as he gripped his arm while it was being done I sat in the chair with a fair amount of trepidation. Here goes nothing. It took an hour and a half of scratching feeling but I now have a Peacock butterfly on my back. I found my happy place and it didn't hurt as much as I feared. Until now. Now I feel like I missed a bit with the sunscreen and have a bad case of sunburn. It didn't occur to me that it would hurt after having it done. Washing it and applying bepanthen cream three times a day didn't register as a healing process for some bizarre reason. Apparently the bruised sunburn feeling will fade over the next couple of weeks.

In spite of all this, I am still glad I had it done and I'm pleased with the results. Judge for yourself.

For those of you who don't know, Peacock butterflies are a rare breed native to Highland grassland areas. They grow to about 7cm wing span and are quite beautiful.

02 December 2008

I'm NOT a cat person.....they're NOT growing on me....

At 11 weeks old Tim and Bruce had their first vaccinations at the vet yesterday. Neither of them stopped purring through the whole thing, needle and all. They got weighed again - Bruce was 1kg 3 weeks ago, now 1.6kg, Tim was 900g and is now 1.26kg. Vet is pleased with their progress and thinks Bruce is going to be a BIG cat. That's my big bad barn cat on the right, Tim's hiding behind her brother. As you can see they're not cute at all.

To Tat or not to Tat - that WAS the Question...

Now I'm deciding on a design for my oh so original Christmas present from Hot-Hubby. I have narrowed it down to a butterfly, indigenous to the British Isles, hopefully Scotland but at least to find one that lives where we do. Why a butterfly? Because it's a symbol of rebirth, renewal and life. Photos will be posted, so no it's nowhere the sun never shines!

Of course there are downsides to having a tattoo. I won't be able to give blood for a bit, it will hurt "like a hot cat scratch" according to the tattooist but is that going to be like "tiny scratch" by the doctor as you nearly hit the roof? It will be there forever so I have to be very sure about it and I can't whimp out part way through, it's an all or nothing deal.

On the up side my mum will hate it and I have to admit this does appeal to my inner teenager - sorry mum!