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.