Friday 23 July 2010

Life rushes by

Term finally ended with Pirate day for the younger ones. Our two pirates look more like pickpockets from Fagin's gang . The treasure they are searching for is red-tailed bumble bees. My son, like most small boys, is fascinated by small winged or creeping things. ( He is also mighty proud of his sister's boots, which he has borrowed - he is convinced they make him look as cool as Johnny Depp)

And a birthday for my eldest daughter, who said goodbye to her primary school, and prepares to take the next step onwards in life. Granny baked her a beautiful cake, with crystallised Pinks on it, as requested. It feels like such a momentous step forwards, and part of me mourns the loss of childhood - she is growing up into this beautiful young woman before my very eyes, and so fast.

And I have to show you the fruits of Steve's hard work. We have a deal in our house. Steve works the allotment (but I have start the seedlings in the greenhouse, and do all the pricking out and potting on ) and I am supposed to be responsible for the back garden. Well, the allotment is looking stunning - finally coming into it's own after 3 years of reclaiming it from the wilderness. It is organic, but Steve is a traditionalist. He double digs, and follows his rotation plan, and I occasionally sneak extra catch crops in little gaps. At last, we are eating almost entirely from here. I am SO proud of him. He works extremely long hours at work, six days a week, then arrives home, picks up his tools and at least one of the children, and does another couple of hours working on the allotment.

I, on the other hand, am ashamed to admit that I have let the back garden turn into a jungle. I feel like I have been run off my feet, just trying to juggle work, childrens taxi services, cooking, (cleaning has completely gone out of the window) dragging water to 6 horses, and trying to keep the kids ponies vaguely fit, and two dogs who haven't had the sort of walk they would like ( a decent 3 or 4 miles) for at least a month. My temporary job finishes on Monday, thank goodness, though the money from it is also much needed, as it will pay for my winter hay delivery.

I haven't even got round to staking the tomato plants in the greenhouse, or tying up my sweet peas, which are sprawling across the flower beds. My grape vine is threatening to swamp the apple tree, and the runner beans fell over and I didn't get around to picking them up. The grass is knee high, and the bindweed and ground elder is creeping back. So, I am in disgrace, and need to devote some time to sorting the mess out. I am hoping I can persuade some small hands to help me.
I will keep you posted!


Valerianna said...

At least you got things planted and growing... I still have a bunch of seed packets that probably will NOT get into the ground at this point. Oh well, won't have enough cucumbers... if any!

And one thing about the garden is that it seems so overwhelming to me, and then, an afternoon devoted to it and things seem to clean up pretty quickly. Hope its the same for you - in between your job and your taxi service!

Aisling Kiernan said...

My dear girl, dont even think of feeling ashamed and you most certainly are NOT in disgrace in my book. I am mightily relieved to see that you are in fact human like the rest of us!!!
I confess to sometimes feeling very inadequate when I read how much you get accomplished each day. I am in awe of and inspired by all the creative work you produce on top of Mothering, working, keeping home, minding ponies, and all that that entails, baking, growing stuff and you even find time to keep up with your Mother and siblings.
Whew! Girl, you are doing great. Take a bow, and throw away that stick you are beating yourself with.
I think you are great.

Bovey Belle said...

Ah, that sounds like my garden most years too - but this year, being On The Market, I just HAVE to keep on top of it - when it's not raining for 10 days solid that is!

Did your boys find any Bombus lapidarius (I think I have that right. It's the only Latin name I know - apart from Saxifraga oppositifolia.) LOVE the cake and hope that your wee lass enjoys Big School in September.

If you ever wanted proof that clicker training/positive reinforcement works, check my blog out. The palomino has been completely turned around from a horse who thought everyone was out to get him, into a confident non-aggressive horse.

Joey said...

My word, I don't know you do it!

The cake is so beautiful! My daughter is the baker in the family. Going to tell her about your cake.

The garden... sheesh, you guys are incredible. I would eat you out of house and home! Beautiful plants, and a greenhouse? That is my secret wish.

I understand how you feel about your daughter moving up. I celebrated every milestone. I still do, except... they are grown, so the milestones have become birthdays and weddings and births.

sshhh... I was the Valentines Squirrel in our house. They still miss that Squirrel. I do too, although we always remember them.

Gator said...

I think many of your followers (PICK ME!) Would volunteer to sleep in your barn and till your garden for a chance to visit your enchanted piece of the globe! Perhaps you could hold a raffle? Or better yet! Contact several Universities and tell them you are offering a horticulture or animal husbandry internship! Seriosuly!

commoncents said...

LOVE YOUR BLOG! Keep up the great work!!

Common Cents

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Danielle, I don't know how you do all that you do! I agree with Aisling, you accomplish so much. Take another bow!

Theres just life said...

If you saw my garden, you wouldn't worry about yours. The weed demon as put in overtime over here.
And the babies grow up way to fast, whether they are the 2 or 4 legged kind. We just have to take lots of pictures and pack away as many memories as we can.

Danielle Barlow said...

Thankyou everyone, especially Aisling for giving me a much needed boost! I've decided to set myself some small do-able goals. Today I am going to tackle my bathroom, which is a total health hazard ( I HATE cleaning!)

Kath said...

Ah, what little boy wouldn't want to be as cool as Johnny LOL
You and I are in the same boat regarding the "jungle". Our new house has a completely overgrown garden, which has not been touched since March. Last time we went up to look, the brambles were waist high! I can;t wait to move in and get started' I guess we just have to plod along, doing a bit every day. Don't worry, you'll get there (especially with such delightful helpers).

Julia Guthrie said...

wow, danielle, I am still impressed..even of your jungle backyard! lol
You guys have achieved so much! What satisfaction you must get from the allotment goodies :)
And it's no small thing to keep up with kids & animals & 'everyday stuff' too!
I love the pirates hunting for bumblebees...heehee... that could make a good painting for a 'storybook cornwall' scene :D

And I did think of you & the horses the other week when Mark & I were at a Farmer friend's 60th birthday (a hog roast in one of the barns :) ).
Mark used to work there, (he is also our landlord) & we wandered off to visit the stable block (that Mark helped build). They have 16 Horses stabled but only 3 were in their stalls... we had to leave in the end as they started competing for our attention! LOL
I rarely get to see horses so I am always a little bit in awe of them! :)
Gorgeous animals.


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