Thursday, December 27
Christams Day was a great success. The family met Bing for the first time and what a star he was. He loved the attention and behaved himself impeccably.
I must admit I wasn't feeling 100% but the preparation I had done the days before kicked into operation.
The menu was as follows :-
Melon pieces in a orange blossom jelly **
Roast leg of lamb
Roast Potatoes and Parsnips *
Vegetable Bake **
3 root mash **
Brussel Sprouts *
Mashed Potatoes *
Yorkshire Pudding *
Cheesecake Scones with Blackberry **
Raspberry Trifle **
** Made day previously
Everybody ate well and we are just making our way through the leftovers.
The vegetable bake is my take on the ones we get from Marks & Spencer's.
Here is how I make it:-
Half a white cabbage - chopped and lightly steamed.
1 large onion - chopped and lightly steamed.
4 large potatoes partly cooked
2 Big hand fulls of green beans chopped
4 carrots cooked and chopped
3 tomatoes finely chopped
1 cooked cauliflower finely chopped
Stir all together and add 3 beaten eggs, half a pint of milk and grated cheese and season to tastle.
Place in a casserole dish and cook - you will thank me for this recipe it is awesome.
Enjoy the rest of the holiday.
Sunday, December 23
I am more or less ready for Tuesday. I have also put down the stick I was beating myself with. Watching Kirsty's Homemade Christmas was not helping, neither were the comments from my neighbours "Oh Denise wasn't the same without your card!" or "I have saved your cards - wasn't the same getting one you had not made!" SO taking a positive move I phoned a couple of close friends in the village and we are meeting here in January having a sherry ( or two) and will make next year's Christmas Cards - using this year's cards! Watch this space! Yay! Positive thinking rules!
On that note ......it's Goodnight from him.....
Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2013 from all of us here in the Nesbitt madhouse!
Friday, December 21
Bing is settling in well. He is using the newspaper for his jobs, is getting along well with Elsie and Freida and his overall character is absolutely fantastic. He loves to sleep at our feet and is a lovely little soul to have round the place. He is fascinated by Ella and barks at her - but we are not worried as we know Ella will keep him in his place and remind him who is boss.
Today (Friday) is his 8 week birthday. To celebrate we took him to the vet for his first injection and a dual flea/worm treatment. We received a puppy pack with a free sample of puppy food. We have always fed our dogs a mixture of wet and dry food but with Bing he will be on the Pro plan puppy food.
We have introduced him to his cage - often he will go into it for a lie down. This will be for when we have to go out. We have not really been far since we brought him home as we wanted him to settle in - which he has done. We had thought he would cry a lot when he was first plucked from his original surroundings and his little family, but to our amazement he settled in straight away.
I have managed to catch the flu and have been feeling dreadful for the best part of the week. Jobs which needed to be done have been half heartedly attempted and abandoned. Fortunately Jon is now on his Christmas break and is helping out. He just advised to leave until I feel better, good advice and I am following it. I do feel slightly better today, thanks to a dose of "Day Nurse" by taking it every 4 hours I know it will see me feeling better day by day.
Because I have felt dreadful I had a sense of indifference about certain little niceties associated with Christmas. Each year we have a village carol service in the village pub. This normally puts me in the Christmas mood and it gives me inspiration to do all the christmas preparations with enthusiasm, but I didn't go as my throat was very sore so I missed out on some Christmas spirit. Normally I make my own cards, but this year I could not summon up the enthusiasm or energy to do this normally cheering job. I know many people do start to make cards with plenty of time to spare but because I am not such a person I do mine in December. The long and short of it is I bought this years cards - again without any enthusiasm so when I come to write them out the task lacked any enjoyment because I didn't really like all of the cards, trouble with buying a mixed box I guess. So in January I will sit and make some cards! Infact I think January will be a very crafty month.
Monday, December 17
It is important to have a ready supply of water for the chickens. Apparently if chickens do not get sufficient water their egg production and overall health can suffer.
Chickens do not drink as much water during the cold months and ours have a ready supply of fresh water in many places round the garden.
We have had a good supply of rain (understatement over the past few weeks and this when collected in the various buckets and containers we have round the garden are ideal drinking stations for Ernest and the gals.
With only a few more remaining letters of the alphabet left in my ABC of life with the Nesbitt chickens I was thinking about what I could focus on for the next round of this addictive meme...
well wonder no more....for my next ABC Round I will be focussing on the Wonderful addition to the Nesbitt household.....Bing, our 7 week old German Shepherd puppy.
Her arrived home, snuggled inside my coat on Saturday and I can tell you these facts about him to date.....
1. He LOVES Ella the cat's bed, though how long he will fit inside it I can not tell - but it will be fun observing!
2. He loves to nuzzle up next to wherever we are sitting.
3. He has a "thing" about slippers!
4. He loves to sit on our lap....will he turn out to be a lap dog? Only time will tell!
So - there you have it....hope you are prepared for the amount of photographs, comments and obsevations coming your way!
For more ABC fun follow the link in my sidebar!
Sunday, December 16
He settled in well. A little nap in the snug.
He has a "thing" for Jon's slippers.
He ate his food and told us when we wanted to use the toilet - he is paper trained.
Notice he measures 1.5 kitchen floor tile.
He likes to curl up on knees!
More pictures to follow!
Saturday, December 15
Wednesday, December 12
Tuesday, December 11
You must plan where to grow your vegetables and how to protect seedlings, young plants and some vegetables if your hens are free-ranging. Netting is an option, as is a vegetable cage. Low fences are also an idea – you can get rolls of green, sturdy chicken wire 2ft high – hens can't really fly over these. They fly onto fences, such as post and rails, because they can perch on rails on their way, but they can't perch on chicken wire. Alternatively, you can use raised vegetable boxes, tunnels, cloches, containers or hanging baskets. Some people mulch around precious plants and seedlings with rough gravel, use crinkly lawn edging or twiggy sticks – all should prevent scratching feet.
Another idea is to use an edging of box or rosemary but this would, obviously, take some time.
To a large extent, what hens eat in a garden depends on how much grass they have access to. The more land they have to free range, the more likely they are to feast on weeds, wild herbs and grass and less likely to eat precious plants, flowers and herbs. I can't emphasise enough how important grass is – my sister in law bought two 20-week-old hybrids recently which had been kept in a barn and put them in a run with grass and they went crazy, pecking at it ferociously as though it would be taken away at any moment. If hens have only a little space to roam and a small area of grass and greenery they will soon eat all the grass and anything else green. It follows that if you keep your hens enclosed and let them out to free range every so often they will eat anything that's green, including vegetables, herbs, weeds, beech hedges and some of your flowers.
Our hens won't touch snowdrops, crocuses, primroses, violas, buttercups, daffodils or tulips. Other flowers they shouldn't be interested in include lavender, roses, asters, camellias, dahlias, azaleas, hydrangeas, chrysanthemums and iris. Most evergreen shrubs, especially prickly ones, are unlikely to be eaten. Strong-smelling herbs such as rosemary, mint, lemon balm and feverfew are not attractive. Mine don't eat parsley or chives but I know of hens that do.
Hens shouldn't touch carrots, parsnips, leeks, onions, potatoes, squash, pumpkins and courgettes. Climbing beans should be fine, once established, as they won't be able to reach most of them (protect seedlings). Hens love surplus sweetcorn.
You could also grow sunflowers and feed them the seeds. Spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, cabbage and lettuce (except for spicy oriental leaves) will be popular; beetroot leaves are relished and my hens also eat beetroot and love Jerusalem artichokes, which I let them nibble on when I have a surplus. They shouldn't, however, eat the leaves, so this is a good vegetable to grow.
On the berry front, hens love strawberries, raspberries and all edible berries except blackcurrants. I managed to video my hens stripping elderberry branches - a whole 16 seconds before my camera packed in!
Hens love weeds such as chickweed (so named because chicks love it). Your hens will also eat dandelion, comfrey, sorrel, horseradish and dock leaves if desperate. Perennial geraniums, hollyhocks, nasturtiums and their seeds, busy lizzies, lobelia, pansies and hostas are all said to be popular.
My chickens eat elderberries with no ill effects, although these are said to be toxic. We have a beech hedge in the garden that the hens do not touch; however I have noticed a neighbour's hens, which are enclosed with no grass, have stripped all the leaves from the beech hedge as far as they can reach.
Other flowers chickens will tuck into include marigolds (the petals make their yolks even yellower); violets, border pinks and sweet peas. There are always exceptions. Some hens eat parsley, lavender and even artichoke leaves which mine have never touched. On the whole, hens will eat anything that tastes similar to grass.
Unfortunately they won't eat nettles (although I have read that some do eat wilted nettles), bindweed, plantain, moss, ground elder, mallow or anything too bitter. I sometimes see mine eating dandelion or dock leaves, but these are not favourites. Hens will be useful in the garden – they are very good at breaking up soil after you have dug over the vegetable garden in the winter; they forage for pests and produce droppings, an excellent fertiliser.
My hens love following me around when I am digging the vegetable garden and are practically under my fork as I turn the soil so that they can grab worms. Whist we should also allocate bare earth where your hens can enjoy their dust baths – ours love the soil areas under the hedges - hens clean themselves by flicking dry soil into their feathers and this helps keep them free from parasites. For more astounding facts follow the ABC link on my sidebar.
Sunday, December 9
This is our new boy – we bring him home next Saturday. We decided to be pro-active rather than reactive with our thinking.
Both Elsie and Freida are not young anymore and whilst they have many years ahead of them we felt it would be good to introduce a puppy. We have always had rescued dogs but this time we decided we wanted to be part of the puppy’s development – both physically and emotionally.
We have been looking for a while and knew we would sense when the right one came along – and he did today.
We had planned to look at 3 pups in various places Northallerton, Bradford and Lincoln. We didn’t get past Northallerton. The parents of the litter showed great calmness and tranquillity and the pups were free to explore and play – which they did with confidence.
Freida LOVES other dogs and we feel she will be a great mother to Bing. We feel she will form a bond and will be a good companion.
We decided we had to find a German name for new boy on the block, so as we were having lunch Bing Crosby came on the radio singing “White Christmas”. I said the name “Bing” to Jon who said it was perfect as Bing are a German carburettor manufacturer! Well what do you expect from a precision engineer! lol!
I am warning you well in advance my blog will be displaying ENDLESS photo and stories of Bing the new Nesbitt German Shepherd boy – so watch this space and please don’t yawn too loudly! We don't want Bing’s sleeping sessions being interrupted!
Bing with his brothers and sisters (he is at the top – noticeable because of the little white patch on his nose.
Thursday, December 6
Just a few minutes ago I caught our friend Phil the pheasant nibbling away at some corn which had been knocked out of the chicken’s breakfast dish. If you look closely you will be able to make out the visiting robin. This is the robin who prefers custard creams to bourbon biscuits.
Yesterday I opened the hatch to the henhouse around 2pm. The chickens made a quick dash for their food, returning to their house a matter of minutes later – wise I would say.
The snow stayed with us all of yesterday and whilst the roads are clearer the threat of ice forming is always hanging in the air.
I tend to get my jobs and shopping done early as possible and return to the comfort of our snug. We purchased a new unit a month ago and we are so pleased with it.
Tuesday, December 4
It is going to be a very cold night! The gals are cuddled together in a pile in an effort to keep warm. Ernest remains at the opposite end of the henhouse, next to the door.
I was talking about this with my neighbour who explained that penguins also keep warm this way.
“The emperor penguins secret is huddling. Really just an extension of the "be big" method of surviving extreme cold. Emperor penguins have developed a social behaviour that when it gets cold, they huddle together in groups that may comprise several thousand penguins. That way for most of the group, where their feathers end, instead of all of them having to face the biting wind and relentless cold, most of them have another warm penguin blanket to shield them instead. The surface area of the group is greatly reduced and a great deal of warmth and body fat conserved. Of course it's not quite so great for the individuals on the outside of the group as they only have a part of their body protected and warmed by the other penguins. So there is a continual movement of penguins from the outside of the group to the centre so displacing the warmer and more protected penguins to the outside where they will take their turn in the worst places against the wind and raw cold.”
We learn something new every day!
For more ABC astounding facts follow the link in my sidebar!
Tuesday, November 27
It hasn’t been much fun for Ernest and the gals over the last few days. The torrential rain and flooding outside our front gate meant I did not let them out to scrat around as I normally do. When cars were passing our house yesterday huge waves of water were actually being caused and coming over the hedge where the hens like to search for grubs. I had visions of them being washed away!
I ensured they had plenty of dry sawdust and water inside their henhouse and at around 3pm I let them out to have a good feed. They are governed by the light – so once the day starts to draw in they make their way to bed.
Today however I let them out at 11.30am and it has been a joy watching them forage in the garden, drinking from the water pools left behind by the awful weather conditions we have had.
They have had a great day and have had porridge, mixed corn and some vegetarian sausages so they have had lots of their favourite foods and around 4pm they will make their way home – where once again there is a fresh layer of shavings and sawdust on their perch.
Hopefully we have seen most of the torrential rain heading our way – apparently weather conditions are about to get a lot colder! Oh to be in England eh and Yorkshire at that!
For more ABC fun follow the link in my sidebar.
Monday, November 26
Yesterday the weather conditions were particularly bad - so we went for a tootle on the moors. Just near Danby a car was abandoned.
The River Esk as we had never seen it before.
Returning home we drove as far as we could up Handale Banks. The duck ponds had risen so much the entire road was covered.
The ducks meanwhile had found a make shift pond in the shape of a hugs puddle in one of the fields.
Wednesday, November 21
Tuesday, November 20
Monday, November 19
October 15th Dear customer Thank you for your order.We have shipped out it.It usually takes 7-15 days for shipping.
October 25th Hi - my boots still have not arrived. Regards
October 25th Dear customer, Thank you for your order.We have shipped it out.Here is your tracking number:U110167002 You can track it here:http://www.usaaad.com/Enindex.asp We will track it.Any questions,please feel free to let us know. Best regards! Customer service,
October 30th My boots have still not arrived. Please advise.
October 30th Dear customer Here is another tracking number:RR188811264SE You can track it here http://www.posten.se/tracktrace/TrackConsignments_do.jsp?lang=GB You will receive your order in the near future so please wait with patience.
October 31st I have received notification from Deckers Europe Limited and the UK Border Agency informing me that the boots you have sent are counterfeit. I therefore request a full refund. The parcel is currently detained at Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre where it will be destroyed.
November 1st Dear customer, We are very sorry to hear that. We are the legal agent and our factory is a result of a long history of dedication, workmanship and attention to details. So our products are authentic. They are of good quality and low price. And the UK boarder agency misunderstood. We can reship out your order but please DON'T take any further action. Do you accept? Sorry for inconvenience.
November 1st I want a full refund.
November 3rd Dear customer Sorry to hear that. We can refund 40% to compensate you and please file a claim with the UKBA because they misunderstood and are responsible for the loss. Do you think so?
November 3rd I am entitled to a full refund. The total amount.
November 4th Dear customer Sorry to hear that.We can refund 50% to compensate you and please file a claim with UKBA. You know we have spent so much money on these boots (advertise fee , shipping fee, processing fee and the cost of the boots).Hope you can understand, we make little profit from the deal. Waiting for your reply.
November 4th I am entitled to a 100% refund.
November 5th Dear customer Sorry to hear that. We can refund 60% to compensate you and please file claim with UKBA. Thank you for your cooperation,. Dear customer Please respond!!! Sorry to hear that. We can refund 60% to compensate you and please file claim with UKBA. Thank you for your cooperation,.
November 15th We will refund your money. Do you think so? Please respond.
November 15th A full refund. Yes.
November 16th When will I receive my full refund please? Thankyou
November 18th Dear customer We have given you a full refund. Usually, we return money to the transaction bank, then they will return money to the issuing bank (it take 7days to handle it), then issuing bank will return money to your account. The issuing bank control the time , it means when you can receive the money depend on the issuing bank. You will receive your money at last but maybe you need to wait for 1-4 weeks. It depends on your issuing bank. Hope you can understand. So we hope you can inquiry the issuing bank and have a check. Thanks. Please don't take any further action.
I will keep you posted!
Friday, November 16
Last night at Slimming World we held a vote for Miss Slinky!
Was totally bowled over.
Really really touched by the support I received from a group of women who are friends for life - we are all on the same journey.
Some are travelling faster than me - I have been tootling along for 2 years - 3 lbs away from target.
Others have ZOOMED to their destination in a matter of weeks - months.
But I prefer to tootle along......
They say a weight loss is like a journey - so I think about the journeys we do on the motorbike - we rarely use the motorway - what's the point in arriving at the destination in record time?
We prefer the more scenic, slower route - giving us time to take in the scenery, the atmosphere and the lovely people we meet along the way.
Unlike the motorway!
I've been entered for the national final! lol!
Watch this space.
Tuesday, November 13
At the moment we can tell how cold the night is going to be by the time the hens go into the henhouse - currently we have a Rotation of sleeping places.
Initially Olwyn was settling down with Bev, Mabel and Ernest.
After a few minutes however she changed her mind and headed towards the other end of the henhouse to settle down with Eva and May.
Ernest had a ponder but settled back with his flame Mabel and Bev.
Notice their feathers are coming back.
Due to technological hitches I was unable to post last week, so this covers my Q and R in my ABC of life with the Nesbitt Chickens.
For more ABC fun follow the link in my sidebar.
Monday, November 12
Each week at my local slimming class we have a group discussion based on the week's progress - or lack of it. My fellow slimmers seem to be focussed on chocolate and we have many a laugh when people disclose exactly what they have nibbled away at during any given time. Now I have never been a sweet person - my failing is cheese.
Only yesterday when out shopping Jon picked out a cheese selection. Now I am aware of being in control of the shopping - it is indeed a rare occasion for Jon to come shopping - I prefer to go it alone - usually on a Friday with my MIL, the other Mrs Nesbitt. Even then we part company at the door, meeting by the car to load and return home. I know if I bring home tempting delights it will not do my diet any good and I am so close to target.
Yesterday however I did feel sorry for Jon - bless - he has to eat what I bring home and so if he wanted a cheese selection then why not - he works hard enough. We brought home the selection......... It appeared in the snug at about 8pm and the blue cheese was lush!
I limited myself to a very small amount and didn't make any trips to the fridge...so good.
There had been talk in the slimming group about Laughing Cow's latest edition....but as ever a weekend scouring the local Tesco's was useless. Today however I tried a nearby Asda - and Bingo! £1 a pack! Well I had to buy 3 packs......at only 25 calories per triangle they are GORGEOUS!
I urge any cheese fans out there to give them a try! (I am not being sponsored by laughing Cow by the Way! Trust me.)
Saturday, November 3
Last year I bought a pair of UGG boots when we were visiting York Shopping Outlet. Jon had been asking me what I wanted for Christmas and I had said I would keep my eyes open. When I saw the boots I certainly liked them and when I tried them on - well they were just so so comfortable......so my Christmas present was sorted. Whilst they are not practical for walking in the dirty weather we have I wear them constantly on all other occasions. I wore them with a dress on Christmas Day last year - apparently they were designed as indoor slippers - so you can imagine how comfortable they are. They are sprayed regularly with a protective treatment and should any particularly difficult stains occur they go for a spell in the boot hospital - our local cobbler who is a dab hand with such matters.
Christmas 2012 approaching and once again I was asked what would I like for a pressie.
My MIL likes to give me money towards something she knows I really want....so when I came across this website
I decided another pair would be ideal - but this time I would go for a leather upper rather than suede.
Boots purchased online and I waited.
A second letter was enclosed in the same envelope, from Deckers, the owners of the UGG brand. They’ve examined the boots, confirmed that they are fakes and now plan to destroy them.
Watch this space.
Friday, November 2
1. The patient has no previous history of suicide.
2. Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.
3. Patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
6. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.
7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
8. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
9. Discharge status:- Alive, but without my permission.
10. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert, but forgetful.
11. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
12. She is numb from her toes down.
13. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.
14. The skin was moist and dry.
15. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
16. Patient was alert and unresponsive.
17. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.
18. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.
19. I saw your patient today, who is still under our care for physical therapy.
20. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
21. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
22. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
23. Skin: somewhat pale, but present.
24. The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.
25. Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.
26. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
27. When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
28. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.
29. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
30. She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.
31. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Smith, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.
32. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stock broker instead.
33. By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.
For the sake of your health - stay away from hospital
Tuesday, October 30
British Summertime officially finished on Saturday - not that we noticed it had ever started - but consequently the chickens find themselves going into their henhouse when they deem appropriate - so some nights, now darker much earlier - they can be spotted through the window at 5pm.