Life in the Countryside

Toddlers and life in the countryside

So let me preface this by saying that both J and I adore C, she is amazing and we are so proud of her. However, at the same time she is a big pain in the bum. I don’t think it’s personal to her, I think all toddlers seem to go through this phase. There are now a good number of outside chores to be done daily and obviously trying to do them all after C has gone to bed can sometimes prove a challenge. She gets very excited about checking if there are any eggs (which I have to say is also one of my favourite chores) and then also checking if there are any poos which of course there inevitably are. So we can generally combine topping up food and water and socialising with the chickens with egg collection. I should point out that socialising with the chickens takes on a whole new meaning as a toddler it basically means trying to force feed them whatever she can find, mainly sticks or leaves, and then chasing them to try and stroke them. The girls are very tolerant of her although they do tend to run away from her at first, hopefully they’ll slowly start coming round to her.

However, C is less keen on venturing towards the field. Particularly the hose. Now that means that my options are to either drag her to the field under duress which just results in lots of screaming and crying or leaving her in the house plonked in front of the TV whilst I dash back and forth between the field and back to the house to check on her. Does this make me a bad parent? Or is it sometimes a case of needs must? There’s no doubt that completing the work on the cottage and garden would be so much easier without her but we are doing the work here to create our family home and to give C the upbringing that we want for her. Once we have some gates I will feel better about leaving her in one part of the garden whilst I dash to the other. And when the extension is done on the cottage then the kitchen will overlook the recreation area so C can be out playing whilst I’m inside cooking the dinner. That’s the kind of idyllic future I’m hoping for at least. How on earth do other people manage to manage the conflicting pulls of work, parenting and household chores. 

chickens · Life in the Countryside

A day off

Today I had a bonus day off work and as C was already booked into childcare until 2, I took the day as a day to myself. I knew that if I spent any part of the day at home then I would end up doing chores. Not that that would be a bad thing, but as a bonus day off is a rare occurrence it seemed a shame to spend it doing the same things I do everyday. So today I had booked myself a massage and a facial first thing which was heavenly. Then, as I was nearby, I went to a fabric shop for a good old browse and a sneaky purchase of fabric for some outside cushions. Although I did feel a little guilty about not spending today with C or spending time making progress on the garden or cottage, having some ‘me time’ has done me the world of good and I now feel ready to tackle the busy few weeks at work and at home.

This afternoon C and I chilled at home, putting out fresh water for the sheep and chickens and ensuring the pots, raised beds and lazy beds are well watered. There looks to be the start of beetroot peeping through in one bed along with the turnips (which will require thining this weekend) but no sign of life in any of the others yet. And still no sign of life in the lazy beds, I will be very disappointed if we don’t get any potatoes after all that hard work. C and I did manage to discover a clue in the great egg mystery however. We found Boss in the nesting area just getting up from laying us a lovely egg. So maybe we only have one laying girl at the moment. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it does beg the question as to why Belle hasn’t started yet as she looks very ready to lay. I’ll make sure she’s fed some special treats this weekend to hopefully encourage her to join in the laying club.

This weekend is a bank holiday again, the joys of having a late Easter. Saturday J is busy for most of the day so, weather dependent, C and I might go for a swim and do some cooking. Sunday we’re seeing friends and then no doubt Monday will be spent doing some work on the garden.

Life in the Countryside

Back to work

So last week J and I were off work and managed to achieve loads. This week being back at work has vastly limited any progress. We still have a number of daily jobs to do which have to take priority: top up the water and food for the chickens and sheep, remove any eggs, water the raised beds, lazy beds and pots. Then there’s the things which need doing every couple of days such as emptying the tray under the bars in the Eglu. Once you start adding in the general chores such as cooking dinner, prepping the lunches, washing, dishwasher etc then your time to work on extra bits and pieces is small to none existent. One thing I’ve noticed now with being back at work is how much I am missing just being in the garden and getting stuff done. We still have a few small things to try and do in evenings but I find myself stuck in a rut of feeling like I don’t have enough time for everything and feeling tired and just wanting to chill in front of the TV instead. Hopefully once I get back into the swing of things again and start being a bit more  organised then I can start achieving more. We still have lots of painting outside to do, two more beds to line and then fill as well as the rockery to keep plugging away at.