Saturday, 29 September 2012

What is a holistic home?

I've been thinking about this a lot since starting my new blog.  Why would I call it this and what makes my home holistic?

If you look at the meaning of the word, holistic, it means to consider the whole system of something.  The way that the home, in it's individual parts, comes together to form a complete way of living.  For me, it's about looking at everything I do so that my overall goal of living a simple, low impact life can be achieved.

I want my homelife to fit easily into the world around me and although my goal is to one day have a small holding, I realise that it's quite possible to live more thoughtfully wherever I am.  The Vertical Veg family have proven that it's possible to achieve great things in a small space and I find there are other inspiring people on the internet sharing their secrets.  I'll post links as and when I find them.

Living simply and holistically isn't the same at all as living easily.  If I want to have fresh bread for the day, then I have to get up extra early to bake it.  My jams are homemade, so that means a day in the kitchen.  I'm not perfect though, and will sometimes use the tumble dryer if I've not been able to line-dry my washing.  For me, it's not about being perfect, it's about having a go and making changes.

Today, the sun is shining, so I'll be getting my washing hung out, and some fleeces washed and ready to spin before heading out to visit the new addition to my family.  More on that tomorrow :D

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Miracle Happened.

Do you remember my earlier post about Bo, Merlin's baby?  I didn't think I could afford to take him as many of the fields near me have been built on and there are few affordable liveries near me.  Also, I'm pretty sure I can't have him at my field (it's complicated!).  Well, the lady that owns TamLin has said I could keep Bo with him once he's been gelded, as a field companion.  How wonderful for these two youngsters to run around and let off all the steam they need!  I'm a very happy bunny tonight, as Bo would have faced a less than certain future with so many ponies changing hands due to all the rising costs of keeping them.  Looks like I'll be shaving even more money off my accounts now though.  Fingers crossed for more work!!!  Perhaps I should write a book, haha!

Such a difference a week makes.

I'm so happy with how TamLin is coming along. He's such a sweet pony and is so keen to learn. He's really pleased to see me when I get to his field and has started calling out, although that could be anticipation of his bucket at the end of our lessons :D

His first two and most important lessons are to lead properly and to be tied up. He's handling them very well, but I can see his stress levels rising when he starts trying to self-soothe by chewing things, anything he can grab, in fact! The lead rope and my arms are usually coated with either very smelly shower gel or most recently saddle soap as he became too used to Avon roses, haha!

Now when I see him looking for something to bite, I relax the pressure and back off for a bit. He really appreciates this approach and as a result is learning very quickly.

Sadly, Tam is the sort of pony that an inexperienced or heavy handed trainer would find very easy to abuse. He turns his emotions inwards and unless you can see the signs as his stress builds, an outburst would come as a complete shock. This is one powerful little stallion and I'm very keen to encourage his trust as we play and work together. I'm also trying real hard not to fall in love!!!

Progress so far: Tam can step back at a light touch to his chest, he will step over if touched on his neck or stifle and he can be loosely tied for a very short time, although I can't leave him yet. That's a target for a few more weeks. He's also unhappy to have his tail fiddled with, which is something I must deal with if we are to expect a vet to get close enough to geld him at the appropriate time!!!

The heavy rain and wind may mean that progress in the coming week is very slow indeed.  I may not be able to do a great deal other than visit and talk with Tam, but that's not always a bad thing.  If you're interested I'll let you know more about his progress :D

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Raised Pie - or, Dog food pie!

This is normally a pie I make at Christmas, packed with all the leftover meats and stuffing and anything else that I can find! Although, so far, no vegetables have made it into this pie as my son would have a fit!
I adapted the recipe from a Game pie that I found in one of my old house keeping books. I have so many second hand cookery books, often bought for £1. or less from Amazon marketplace. I adore old books and prefer them to new ones. I love holding them and thinking about the people who used them before me!

So, I made this pie as I had a whole load of meat offcuts from the supermarket. I originally bought them for the dog, but in a moment of total selfishness, thought they were too good and would make a lovely pie! My Mum was horrified, haha!

The recipe for the hot water pastry is:
350g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
75g lard or white fat
150ml milk or equal measures of milk and water

In a bowl, mix flour and salt together.
In a pot, warm the milk and add the fat and bring to the boil.
Add to the flour and beat to make a soft dough.
Knead until smooth and leave to cool. (I usually roll it out warm as it's more pliable).
Set aside 1/3 of the dough for the lid and roll out the rest.
Line a high sided pie dish with the dough or use a pork pie tin if you have one. Fill with chopped meat etc... I usually add a white sauce as the children don't like the jelly that goes into most meat pies, but you could add that instead if you prefer.
Add the lid and bake in a pre-heated oven at 220C for 20mins. Turn out onto a tray and bake for a further 20-30 mins.

Sorry these pictures are so dark!

PS. Check the Studio blog, as I have updated the Etsy shop and there are some cute Halloween earrings in there, with more goodies to follow :D

Monday, 17 September 2012

First job!

Well, it seems that no sooner have I qualified as a Reiki Teacher that I've been offered some work. My Reiki will definitely come in handy for this youngster! He's a four year old untouched stallion.

He looks quite grumpy in this picture and he is certainly used to getting his own way and has never been challenged, until today that is!

We reached a bit of an understanding and despite minimum handling, his weakness is food, so I do have a bit of leverage to work with! I think progress is going to be very slow, but thank goodness that he doesn't seem to be a rearer or kicker. He would so love to tear a chunk out of me though, that was pretty obvious! We'll see which of us is the quicker, haha!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

That was the week that was!!!

Last week I took my final step and became a fully trained Reiki Master Teacher.
I just had time to take Manchee for good long walk in the woods to calm myself and spend some quality time with him, as being away from him for most of the week, I knew, would be hard on my boy.

It was a gorgeous morning and the light was very dramatic in places.

These are a few of the photos from the day at the Furnace. This lady kept us entertained with her beautiful recorder playing.

This family were so sweet and the children kept us entertained while Dad was off fighting!!!

The pikes were fine, but when they brought out the cannons, we struggled to spin any decent yarn!!!

Then my training began and my brain was stretched farther than it has been in many good years! It was an amazing experience despite how tiring it was.

We took a day out mid-week to go to Glastonbury for my Master Attunement Ceremony. As you can see, the Tor completely dominates the town. It's all you can see for miles around.

This was the view from inside the Chalice Well garden. I love this place so much, it fills me with such deep contentment. We did take a paddle in the healing waters, but for some reason the photos I took were most odd, with blurry bits all over the place!!! Read into that what you will :D

The well stream is so beautiful and such a gorgeous colour due to the heavy content of iron.

This is my lovely Teacher Zeb. We had an amazing time being peaceful and contemplative in the gardens before our long walk to the top of the Tor.

Holy mo, it was windy up there. As I had my attunement, I honestly felt like we'd blow away. A whole lot of baggage left me that afternoon, that's for sure.

Now it's time for fresh beginnings and a new journey. Will you join me? :D

Friday, 7 September 2012

Fernhurst Furnace.

Firstly I have to say that Manchee has had a huge turnaround. A great, nasty lump popped on his head this morning and he's finally started to eat again, in fact, he's hardly stopped all day!!! We had a short walk in the woods and took things nice and easy, although for the rest of the day he was quite wired and drove me almost mad with his antics. I am a very happy bunny :D

Tomorrow I'll be taking my spinning wheel along to the Fernhurst Furnace to do a demonstration with my lovely spinning group.

I pinched this picture from their website so shhhh, don't tell them. I'm really looking forward to an old fashioned day of spinning and gossip and probably a whole lot of crochet.

There are lots of things to see and do plus a lot of lovely food from lamb roasts to vegetables in the woods. There will be displays from all kinds of artisans like blacksmiths, wood turners and spinners, yaaay :D

If you're in the area, why not drop in, entry and parking is free. I'll be there on the Saturday and it should be great fun :D

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Poor Manchee has been so unwell for the last week and despite antibiotics he's only improved a little. Wednesday saw him almost back to normal, bouncing around the garden in his usual Tigger style, but just a short walk leaves him tired and listless. Today he played in the park with his friends, but then spent the rest of the day crashed out with the kittens. I must say that I'm getting quite worried and will take him back to the vet tomorrow if there's no change by morning. I can't bear the thought of him getting really sick. I can't say anymore than that :(

Edited to add: He's just had a mad dash around the garden chasing off 'intruders' it's a regular activity and is just to let everyone know he's doing a grand job :D Fingers crossed he's on the mend!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Early morning.

I love the silence before the day begins. The gentle moments as the sun creeps above the hill and kisses the sky with pink and gold. The birds are quieter now, no need for the dawn chorus as they instead prepare for winter. The hawthorn outside my window is empty save for a single fat pigeon. With hardly any berries this year many of the birds have moved on to a more fruitful tree. It could be a hard winter for them this year, so I'm going to hang feeders out, high up where the cats can't reach them.

There's a bite to the air this morning making me close the windows but as the sun climbs higher, burning off the whispy clouds, I think that later it may be hot again. But for now I can savour the coolness a little longer. A few tiny birds are piping in the hedge, probably sparrows, my favourite birds. They are so small and plain, often overlooked but I love them. I think I'd like to get a good bird book and learn to recognise the visitors to my tree. Oh dear, another trip to Amazon then!!! Maybe later :D

I hope the day is beautiful for you, my blogging friends :D

Monday, 3 September 2012

Growing your own food.

Quite a few years ago this book changed my whole outlook on life. The American farming industry and it's practices are dipped into, but not enough to dominate a thoroughly good read about turning your life on it's head. The writing is engaging, just like sitting down for a cuppa with a good friend and discussing the problems of the world!

So why am I mentioning this now? Well, I was looking for a companion for the little chick below and have been offered some meat birds to grow on.

Hmmmm.... I'm not sure how I feel about this, as there are so many issues to consider, the biggest one being at the end of the project!!! I'm such a softie, but I do feel that we should be able to look at where our food comes from and be happy with the process it went through to get to us.

So what would you do?