Hello...

Hello.
I knew at the beginning of the year that I wanted to let go of the blog. I am in a different place now and I need the space to work through a great many things. I intend to keep the archives up for a time, although I have removed the comment function.
If you have landed here - welcome and feel free to dip in to what was our life - once upon a time...
J xxx

Monday, October 29, 2012

Seven days: seven blessings





















<> Misty mornings

<> Winter vegetables growing in our garden

<> Down days

<> Active days

<> Successful thrifting

<> A gift in time from beautiful friends

<> Golden landscape all around.

How blessed we are.

Wishing you all a wonderful week - my thoughts and prayers are with all those facing the storm.  Hoping you all stay safe xx

Friday, October 26, 2012

This moment


Taking a moment - to share a moment - a moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Happy to be joining in, once again with the wonderful Soulemama.  Wishing you a blessed weekend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Autumn beach picnic


A fiery, misty dawn burned off into a glorious day, still with a hint of the Summer warmth.  A perfect day for a beach visit, to remember, celebrate and enjoy.  But chores first, and play later - and a beach snack to prepare.




Spicy muffins, seemed like a good idea - there are lots of ideas around online for autumnal cakes, which are perfect to pack for a trip outdoors. A quick root around the cupboards and pantry and I
thought that parsnip and courgette spiced muffins sounded perfect.  After a good few hard frosts, the parsnips are just coming into their best just now, and they are often overlooked in favour of their more flamboyantly hued cousin, carrot.
Recipe
1 large egg
1/2 cup  soft brown sugar (I used UK cups - 1 cup =250ml,)
2-3 T melted butter (you can use sunflower oil if you prefer)
mix these together very well then add
1 medium parsnip - grated
1 medium courgette (zucchini) -grated (aim for around a cup of each)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
sift together
1 cup wholewheat SR flour ( or 1 cup plain flour and 1 t baking powder)
pinch salt
1.5 t mixed spice (or combination of cinammon, ginger, nutmeg - whatever your favourites are)
Add dry ingredients to the batter, and fold in until just combined.
(The mixture was slightly dry looking)
Divide between 6 muffin tins, (lined with cases or greased as you prefer)



 Bake at 150 deg c for around 20 mins, until light brown and firm. (they don't rise a great deal)
Leave to cool in the tins for 10 mins or so.




And what more autumnal beach picnic accompaniment could be more appropriate than spiced hot chocolate? And for me - it has to be Cardamom and real chocolate (85%!)


Just bash a few green cardamom pods around a bit and add them to enough milk to fill your flask. (I added a generous spash of double cream too) Heat gently, until just coming to the boil, remove from heat and add chocolate and sugar to taste - whisk until frothy and pour into the warmed flask, cardamoms and all (they will infuse away until ready to drink.




Then, find yourself a beach, or other similarly beautiful spot and enjoy.



























Perfect♥


Monday, October 22, 2012

Remembering



It's two years today since my Mother died. 

Although our family is scattered over the country now, we came together in spirit to celebrate her life.


We wrote her name in the sand.


We left flowers on the rocky shore


We climbed the hill where her ashes are scattered.



We remembered her with love.


Thank you to Daniel and Daniel for photographs 3,4 & 5

Friday, October 19, 2012

Brief Encounter


Taking a moment - to share a fleeting moment - a moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Happy to be joining in, once again with the wonderful Soulemama.  Wishing you a blessed weekend.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Girls



We have some new ladies on the croft. Two new Dexter heifers, and one female calf have joined us on the island.  This is Madame, here - she is due to calve around Christmas time.  She is a beauty - very friendly and gentle.  We are hoping she will become our milk cow after her calf has been born. Lots of learning to be done there, and we are currently sorting out a place to do the milking - most likely down at the old barn.  Fortunately, one of our neighbours, until fairly recently, kept a milk cow, and he has been a wellspring of wise, practical advice.



The other two - Celia and her heifer calf, Gretel, are a bit more wary, and don't tend to come too close.  See, they are still wearing their lot number stickers from the auction, and won't let us remove them.  Ah well, I dare say the Lewis rain will deal with that in time. There is a fair bit of work to be done to get these girls used to us though. When we were all down the field the other day, Celia got quite skittish when she saw James, and made a run at us. I think we must have got between her and the calf.  It was a very scary moment seeing a horned beast charging towards us.  Fortunately she backed off when John shooed her away, and we trudged, rather shakily, but chastened, back up to the road.
Gretel is 5 months old, and Celia, her mother has apparently been 'running with a bull' over the Summer, so we are hopeful for a calf from her in April or May. Lets hope we can earn her trust over the next few months then.


Delia and Baby, our original two cows are still there, but are currently in a different field.


That is because they have company!  


Gorgeous Georgeous, our neighbour's Highland Bull is spending some time with them right now.  Isn't he magnificent?  He is like a Viking!  We cannot imagine what the offspring will be like. A Highland/Dexter/Belted Galloway cross? Everyone is highly amused at the idea, but whatever the result, it will be beautiful. 
We had hoped to have our AI operation up and running by now, but we have suffered a few setbacks with the logistics. We decided, after taking advice, that it was more important for Delia and Baby to be in calf, sooner rather than later.  Now we have made a few useful contacts, and found out a lot more on actually getting the AI straws and equipment to the island, so we are hopeful that from early next year, we should be able to keep the continuity of the Dexter breed in our wee herd.
So - another step along the crofting way - the beginning of another vertical learning curve. Never a dull moment, to be sure.♥ 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Seven Days


















This week we have been:

:: entranced by the golden Autumn Light

:: falling in love with Gretel

:: enjoying old movies and popcorn by the fireside

:: marvelling at the miracle of a tiny seed which grows into a strong and sturdy plant

:: grateful that this is our morning rush hour traffic

:: warmed by the company of friends and neighbours

:: and cycling in the twighlight.

Wishing you joy and blessings in the coming Seven Days ♥






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