Wednesday, 25 February 2009

ABC Wednesday - F

Wednesday has come round really quick!! Anyway, this week's letter is F for Fundraising.

My eldest daughter, Jedi, (for those of you who don't know) has a passion for Greyhounds and for raising awareness of their plight. Along with this comes the need to raise money to help rehome and reabilitate ex-racing Greyhounds. To find out how this passion started please read my previous post.

Anyway, once again she has the urge to Fundraise. This time she is planning a sponsered silence, not any old sponsored silence, but for a whopping 48 HOURS!!! That is quite a feat for an eleven year old!

Greyhound Rescue Wales is her chosen charity, as it is our local Greyhound charity and of course you can't support them all! We are currently waiting for GRW to register with so we can make this the biggest and furthest reaching fundraising effort yet. So if you would be interested in sponsering Jedi, and helping abandoned, ill-treated or just plain unwanted Greyhounds wherever you are, please keep an eye out for a future post (hopefully within the next week) which will give details on how to find her JustGiving page. Or leave a request in the comments and I will notify you when we have the information.

Remember, this is all off the back of an eleven year old with a very big heart, nothing to do with me, I'm just the skivvy!! Please show your support, not just for the Greyhounds but for a wonderful little girl who has the want and determination to do something bigger with her time and energy.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Chickens, Gardening and Springfever!!

The last couple of days, while I've had a week off (Ihave such a great job, that means I get all the school holidays off!) I have been doing a bit of gardening. I thought it was time time to tackle my overgrown borders before everything starts growing in again. Trouble is the soil is terrible, it is practically pure clay. It makes digging it twice as hard as other soil. Every fork full weighs a ton, it sticks to the fork and mostly stays in large clumps. In about a total of five hours digging I have dug over and weeded such a small amount.

It does look amazing though, it lifts the whole look of the garden. I've dug in well rotted chicken and rabbit litter and tried to convince the girls not to feed all my precious worms to the chickens. I am hoping the more compost I dig in the better the soil will get, but I am also guessing it will take some time.

The weather has been quite good for the last couple of days and I am hoping it will stay dry for a while so I can get some more done before I go back to work. The chickens have had a great time digging in the freshly uncovered earth and compost and the cats have been enjoying the sunshine. I think they are starting to feel spring in the air. Little clumps of snowdrops are appearing and everyone seems to have a bounce in their step.

I am also glad it is mild at the moment for an entirely different reason. We didn't have a cat flap, so hubby made a whole in the 'dining room' wall, lined it will tiles and attached a cat flap to the outside. Now, seeing as how he's a builder it was never quite finished. (Anyone who's been married to a builder knows that they don't finish their own house!) But it was perfectly operational and did a good job..... until one of next doors big fluffy cats decided to visit. She came through the cat flap but before she could get out of the tunnel into the dining room she met Harley. Harley was non too impressed and expressed his disapproval of the uninvited guest as only disgruntled cats can. Mocha attempted a hasty retreat and being a rather large puss with a lot of excess fluff, must have got caught up. She ripped the cat flap off and the tiles all collapsed. I now have a cat hole!!. They love it!! Much quicker when you are being chased by your brother!! Stretch (our neighbour) has promised to fix it for us, but for now at least it is mild and dry!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

THE Riding Lesson

At last, the day came when the girls could get their bums back in the saddle. Because they haven't ridden for about two years and we're going to a new riding school, they are starting out back on the lead rein.

Here they are listening intently to their instructions:

It was wonderful that they were the only ones in the class, you can imagine what their old classes must have been like with 15 or so kids in one small indoor school. Just look at the space they had and the attention from their instructor.

Trouble is on the left and Jedi on the right:

Trouble struggled a bit to keep her reins short enough and when she asked her pony to stop by sitting deep in the saddle and reducing movement, he ignored her (at first) and she ended up with her hands round her ears!! After a while he started to listen and she did a great job.

Jedi tries so very hard to sit up straight she sometimes becomes a bit stiff so in rising trot she sometimes leans forward and ends up with her bum sticking out!! (Sorry Jedi, if you read this :P) But after a bit of relaxing in sitting trot she soon got it whipped.

I think they did great, two years is a long time in the life of small people. Next time they are booked in for half an hour stable management too. Trouble needs a bit of confidence on the ground, I guess that's the problem with being so small, everything else is so darn big!!

This is Jedi's Dougle:

This is Trouble's Dougle:

Sorry about the blurry pics, it was lunch time and they weren't really interested in posing!! And this fella here just wanted to kill anyone who came near his dinner!!!!

So we went home for our own, all full of smiles.

Bethddusuit's Recommended Read

I have decided to give a shout out to all my favourite bloggers so Thursday is going to become;

I am going to go through my reading list, from top to bottom, and each Thursday write about one blog. I do have quite a few, so it may take a while, but I hope you enjoy maybe finding new blogs and finding out what amuses me! So without further fuss or bother I present you with the first blog in my list;

A View From The Green Barn

A View From The Green Barn is written by Don, an elementary school teacher from Michigan. He lives and writes from his little farm, surrounded by chickens, woods and wonderful scenery. Don always posts the most amazing photos of the farm, chickens and other beautiful things, and I enjoy looking at these as much as catching up with hatchings, gardening plans, bread making and general goings on. Don is a friendly chap who always makes the effort to respond to comments on his blog and to leave comments for others. I'n not sure how he has the time though, what with all his fans!

So, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Don for a fanscinating blog and for all the kind comments he has left for me. So why don't you pop on over to Michigan, visit Don and say Hi.


Oh dear, that actually sounds like I'm sick of the saddle but it's actually meant to be like the exact opposite, like homesick! Oh well. The girls have their riding lesson tomorrow, thank God! They have been quite unbearable this week. They have been wearing all their gear around the house and Trouble's scooter has become an interesting, if rather skinny, silver pony!! I'm looking forward to it too, I can't wait to see them back in the saddle, it will be worth the money I've spent already this week, honest! I will be taking my camera, which reminds me; I must put new batteries in, and am hoping to get some great shots.

The trouble is I'm bloody jealous! The more all this goes on, the more need I feel to get back in the saddle. It hasn't been too bad up to now, the road that passes the end of the drive is not suitable for horses and poor old Blue is too old anyway. But now all this talk has started, and I know the girls will be riding, the need to ride again is growing.

Also, just to fuel it, while I was perusing the ABC Wednesday posts I stumbled across this blog. Janie and Steve in Utah have some beautiful horses and the most wonderful countryside to explore, all from the back of their trusty companions. Boooooo! Not fair. Hmmmph. I'm going off to sulk.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

ABC Wednesday - E

I thought I'd do something a little different this week. So this weeks letter, E, is for Elbow!!!

The elbow is a complex joint which forms a hinge or ginglymus. What a great word!!

The elbow is where three bones, the humerous (upper arm bone), ulna and radius (the lower arm bones) meet.

The nobbly bit on the outside of your elbow is actually part of the ulna bone called the Olecranon.

When you hit your funny bone the sensation you feel is actually irritation of the ulna nerve which is the largest unprotected (by bone or muscle) nerve in the body. It runs from your shoulder all the way down to the tip of your little finger.

This useful info was sourced from Wikipedia.

Other 'interesting' facts about elbows;

It is physically impossible to lick your own elbow.

The length between the inside of your wrist and the inside of your elbow is roughly the same as the length of your foot!! Looks huge, but try it, it works!

This info came from a file in my head labelled 'Weird and Useless Information!'

Scientists have discovered that Octopuses and Squid have the ability to form 'part-time' elbows to help them eat. Strange but true!

And that came from a random google search for 'elbows'.

Hope you've enjoyed discovering more about your elbows!! To read more interesting ABC Wednesday posts from around the world please visit here.

Monday, 16 February 2009

What a shame horses don't poo money!

First, I have been asked by Jedi to let you know that she has started blogging again. Her first attempt at blogging was a bit slack but she's decided to give to another go, so please drop over to House of Jedi and say Hi.

Anyway, on to horse poo. When we lived down in Somerset the girls started having riding lessons, they were doing ok but the groups were so big they just didn't seem to move on. I promised them when we moved here they could start again. Finally, over a year later I have found a riding school that looks really promising. At Bradnant Equestrian Centre they will be having lessons with just the two of them in the group, so hopefully they will improve quickly. They can do stable management classes which I think is great, teaches them a bit more respect for the animal when they have to do some of the work to look after them, not just hopping on for half an hour then leaving them in someone else's hands. There is also the chance to get involved with Pony Club which is something I'd really like them to do.

It must be two years since any of us have ridden so inevitably the girls have grown enormously. Trouble fits into Jedi's old stuff but seeing as Jedi hasn't stopped growing since we moved here and is now catching me up at speed, she has grown out of everything. So I spent yesterday evening on Ebay, bought her some beautiful muckers (I always ride in Muckers, I think they are so comfy) a new silk (well velvet!) for my/our hat, cos the old one has disintegrated, and a pair of chaps for me. All this talk of riding has made me desperate to get back into it. I can only go so long without my bum in the saddle and I get sad!

Then today we accidently went to 'just look' at our local countryside store, and bought Trouble some gorgeous little lilac gloves and Jedi some new jodhpurs! And all this is before we get to paying for the lessons!!! Oh well, it's my own fault I guess for wanting them to ride in the first place, but at least my parents only had to pay for one!

I think I am going to have to offer myself up for exercising again. That's what I have done for the last few years, just helped out other people with their horses. Can't afford my own yet...... one day.....

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

ABC Wednesday - D

D is for Dancing.

These pictures are from my wedding, there was lots of dancing.

Oh, and D is for Dress!! I love my wedding dress. I go to the wardrobe sometimes, just to look at it!!

The first dance, all together now..... aahhhhhh!

Lots of people dancing. I love the ghostly appearance of this photo.

And traditional Cypriot dancing, lucky man all those women at his feet!

But best of all the traditional Greek money dance. We had been living together for a while and didn't really want presents so we decided on this dance, where guests pin money to the bride's dress. It helped towards the honeymoon. And of course, plate smashing!!

And the result of all that dancing? Discarded shoes!!

To join in with ABC Wednesday please visit here

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Yay! I got to play at last!

Thankfully the snow is still here today and I got to play with the kids in the snow. The in-laws didn't make it but Hubby did, so with Buzzards calling and soaring above us, we all headed up on the field behind the house. Armed with a sheet of good strong, black plastic and wrapped up like Michelin men we trudged our way up to the top of the field, only to throw ourselves back down again.

I haven't had so much fun with my kids for ages!!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Silly Snow or Silly Schools?

My girls finally got a day of school today. The descision was made yesterday, by Powys County Council, to close all of it's schools. (Powys covers a huge area!) We were due a really heavy snow fall and I guess they were staying on the safe side. Today they were looking a little red-faced, we had no where near the forecast amount of snow. In fact it didn't really start snowing until after lunch.

I called the kids from work at lunch time. I had left strict instructions that if it started snowing hard they had to go out in it. I mean that's half the fun isn't it? Playing in the snow with it falling all about you. When I rang they informed me it was snowing quite hard so I asked if they had been out in it like I had said. Apparantly it was too cold. I informed them that is was no excuse and that I expected to find two perfectly formed snow girls waiting for me when I got home! They weren't overly impressed.

I was glad of the snow today though, our drive had become lethal where the car tyres had packed the snow down. I performed the new version of Dancing on Ice as I went to work this morning! The inch we had this afternoon just provided enough for me to get back up it when I returned home!

Anyway, I'm hoping we won't get any more snow, my father in law and his mum are due to come up for the weekend. And of course hubby is coming home. Jedi has spent a lot of time working on an amazing walnut and coffee cake and I am sure it will be well appreciated, well I hope so, considering the mess she left behind. She makes amazing cakes but the devestation is pretty amazing too!!

I'll leave you with a couple more snowy pictures;

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

ABC Wednesday - C

C is for cows. Aren't they cute?

I love their inquisitiveness and the way they can stick their tongues up their nose!!

This fellow, Ringo, is the nicest, most friendly bull I have ever met. He turns himself sideways to the gate so you can give him a scratch!

And where would we be without them?

For more info on ABC Wednesday, and to join in please visit here

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow fun

Unfortunately not enough snow for the kids to stay home from school yet, but it has snowed gently, but steadily since yesterday afternoon. Actually I can't remember the last time it snowed for so long without stopping. Apparantly we are expecting more tonight so there is hope yet!

This was taken about half ten this morning, you can see the chickens morphing through the duck stage into penguins!

These are the snow angels that the girls made when we finally got home this evening.