Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas, Chicken bark and first snow of the winter

Ok, I do like Christmas, I love planning it and creating it. I do try to do it thriftily, environmentally and conscientiously, maybe not as much as some , but I do my bit. I spend money on the important stuff and over the last few years have let the unimportant drift away. I love having the family around me for the festive season and people visiting so I can cook for them.

Home made truffle gifts to family and friends
  two years ago

I've started putting up the Christmas cards we've received so far, the Christmas cake and mincemeat are marinating nicely in the cupboard and plans are made for what we'll eat on Christmas day and then boxing day when Becky and Adam join us.

Christmas cake mix

Home made mincemeat bottled

 Lots of other bloggers are doing a reverse advent of getting rid of something they no longer want or need every day running up to Christmas. It's a good idea as our homes become weighed under with Christmas gifts and stuff. Since we moved here four months ago, I have been gradually going through cupboards and stuff re accessing whether it is still relevant, required or needed now. I've taken several bin bags of clothes and household items to the cash for clothes place where I've made about £15 in the last couple of months and over £50 in the past couple of years. Now there is a pile of books to go to a charity shop. I rarely get rid of books, but these have lain in shelves and never been looked at or read in a decade or so and are no longer relevant or of interest. Hopefully some one else will get  use of them.

Books and miscelanious items to go to a charity shop

We invested in some bark for the chicken enclosure this week, in four months they have made it very muddy, even though there's only six of them. A certain DIY store had course bark on offer so David loaded up the car with four bales and brought them home. We spread them between the gate, the feed box at the back and the hut, this will make a huge difference to us going in and out as its slippy and dangerous and hopefully the hens too. We have a money off voucher valid next month so we'll get the rest then. We've laid it quite thick and though the chickens have already started scratching in it, it will be easily raked back.

Buffy and his ladies watching us spread
the bark

Bracken is outraged he's not allowed out to
 play with the chickens

That looks better

We had snow on Monday, not much, just enough to make everything white. It was chilly too but by the time Bracken and I were half way round our five mile circuit we were warmed up and got some great snow scene photographs too.

Coulter Fell covered in snow

Sun setting on an icy puddle on the way home

I've spent all day Tuesday making truffles for christmas and for gifts. This is a traditon I started probably 20 years or so ago. Its a lot of work but worth it for the pleasure the recipients get; hand made truffles in lovely gift boxes. Its much cheaper than buying the same amount ready made and they are made with love. More on the truffle making in my next post.

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