Monday, 28 June 2010

Diamond days and stone days

A friend said to me a while back ' Some days are diamonds and some are stone'. Well, I have my eye always out for diamonds, but we've run into a fair few stones recently.

Mind you, the weather has been great and the garden up at my aunts has it's share of diamond plants, such as this scented rose.

So, it's been a while since I've posted - I guess we've been a bit distracted.

Since the end of May its has been a bit crazy.

On Monday 24th May I found out - by checking online - that our planning application had been .. REFUSED. Needless to say, I was utterly shocked. I found out later that it was due to 'technical errors' made by the engineer. Long story short, we have to put the whole application in again, from scratch and so it looks like it will be late August before we're able to return to the build.

That day went from bad to worse when Frenchie the hen decided to dive under the wheels of the van as we went off for a well needed breath of fresh air after the shock of the planning refusal. She died instantly. Normally, the hens run FROM the van and we make sure that they are nowhere near it. She ran direclty towards and under it. RIP sweet Frenchie. (Here's a picture of her from last winter).

That was certainly a 'stone' week - with Sam being called to the GP to be told that the blood tests from his finger showed high blood glucose levels. They diagnosed him with type 2 diabetes that same week. That was another shock - but we've got on top of it .. and we're now exercising more and refining our diet even more and he's showing great improvement!

We've even started painting the outside of the house up here - brightens the place up a bit.

Sam did make a trip down to site in Leitrim last week. Our beloved house is still standing. Here it is .. in case you've forgotten what it looks like by now!

The beds where the polytunnel was have gone a bit wild - here's the mint - enjoying the rare hot, dry summer.

Here's a few onions..

Solstice came and went, with just a quick candle lit in celebration as Sam took quite ill, a kidney infection, and had to spend a few days in hospital to recover (he got rather 'toxic' and they were worried the infection could spread). He was out before midsummer's day though and is making a good recovery now. It also seems that the diabetes might have been misdiagnosed somehow, as the doctors noticed how normal his BG levels were when he was in hospital. Actually, they are quite confused by a lot of things, including why he got the infection so badly. Anyway, he's doing really well now - and BG levels are still tip top.

The garden is still glowing, with roses and other wonders.

Our last 'stone' is that my favourite hen (I know I shouldn't have a favourite but I just can't help it), Madeline, is quite poorly. Both her and Benny, our two remaining hens, were a bit ill, but some meds in the water soon sorted Benny out - who is in rude health again - but, alas, Madeline has not responded so well. She has good and bad days. The vet said to nurse her and thats what we're doing. We're trying to entice her with tasty food and giving her lots of attention. I'm not sure if she'll pull through or not, but we're doing all we can. Here she is, the hen in front, in this pic taken last winter.

She really is the sweetest hen, very silly, with a daft floppy comb and gentle nature. Fingers crossed that she pulls through ok. Whatever happens, she's had a great year with us - a world away from her previous life as a battery hen. To remember their first taste of fresh air, to see them get used to the feel of grass under their feet, chase a flying insect or tsate their first piece of pasta - they've all had a good time.

Of course, I haven't been able to resist doing a bit of container vegetable planting. I'll elaborate on that in the next post, but for now here are some carrots ...

tomatoes .....

and sweet and chilli peppers....

I'll post again soon, showing some more of my container experiments.

Fingers crossed there are some diamond days ahead!