Sunday 31 August 2014

New beginnings

A new school term, a new month, changing seasons, changes at work and the start of a new week has me feeling thoughtful.  I feel grateful and appreciative for what I have, positive about the present and giddy like a school girl when I think of our country plan future.  I am compelled to get organised in every aspect of life.  Now....... I've been here before and because I usually jump into trying to do too much at once, it all dies a death rather quickly!

So, where does this leave me.  There's always today and this week to plan for (in that we've always got so many things to do) and Christmas is coming up.  Now, sorry to those who don't like to hear of Christmas in September but I do -  I like to budget and get presents early (yes already have some) and then plan, plan, plan. 

December see's Neville arrive.  He's the elf who comes to stay with us and is extremely mischievous.  I need to find out when to make the Christmas cake - isn't there something called Stir it up Sunday or such?  I also would like to compile a list of all Christmas related activities that I'd like to do and which my family would like to do.  The only catch is it needs to be cheap or free, of course, oh and something we can keep doing when we get a farm. 

Back in the present day and I've joined the lovely Sue from in her No Spend/ Low Spend challenge for September.  Ours won't be No spend but low would be fantastic.  I'll keep this in mind as I plan the week.

Sorry this post has been jumping from one thought to another - I told you I was feeling thoughtful.

Here's Neville me and my son from Christmas last year:

York Dec, 2013

A busy Sunday!

I feel like I've met myself coming backwards today. 

We had a lovely morning at the yard with the horses where my gorgeous little boy spent some quality time with the little pony who loved the attention.
Practicing braiding (that's what he calls it)
A quick grocery shop and change of clothes later then we were off to lunch at my Father in Law's which was lovely and a free meal!!  Then I couldn't put it off any longer, we had to go to town.  I hate town.  I hate shopping, being cramped in with all sorts of people and of course I hate spending money.  Ha!  Well, hate is a strong word but you get the jist.

We spoke briefly to gorgeous husband's father about our dreams - just to mention a local farm that came for sale and how we'd like to go for something one day.  He was quite dismissive about it - not nastily, just that it'd probably never happen in our world to people like us.  I, of course, know differently!

2018 will be our year, watch this space. If not before :)  Take care.

Saturday 30 August 2014

Changing seasons...

I love this time of year.  One of the reasons I love living in the UK is to see and feel the seasons change.  The last few weeks have seen some leaves starting to drop from a few of the trees, the mornings have a nip in the air and leave me pulling the covers over me to stay warm, the blackberries have ripened and the apples are ready to be picked from our apple tree.  It's so nice to take time out and chill sometimes, soaking in what's around you and concentrating on what's important to you.  Take care.
Our son running ahead enjoying the fresh air

A busy couple of days

Well, we made it through the first working week after our holidays!

After a quiet meal at a local pub last night, we were up early this morning raring to go.  The chickens wondered what was happening when they were out so early and after a quick breakfast Mother and Daughter headed off to the farm to see the horses.  (The farm one day will be just outside our back door.)

We had a lovely morning riding, mucking out, grooming and catching up with friends.  Grace, our daughter, was practicing for the Christmas (show jumping) show which sounds a long time away but will be upon us in a flash!

Then it was home for lunch before heading out to collect some logs we'd spotted that had been dumped.  A nice spot by hubby means we will have free heat to supplement our coal for a little while yet.

Then the surprise of the day - we thought the chickens had stopped laying eggs due to the crazy weather we've been having here.  My daughter went to check on them and spotted something outside their hen house - on investigation  - she found a pile of eggs!  They've taken to laying in a new and secret spot instead of where they've laid for years!  Maybe it won't be Roast Chicken for lunch tomorrow after all!

We've now just collapsed in the arm chairs totally shattered after an afternoon spent Geocaching.  We did 10 in total and foraged 2 tubs of blackberries whilst we were out.  Well worth it I'd say. 

Even if we don't live on a farm just yet, we can still enjoy the countryside and forage for free food.  Perfect.

The stash!

Rosie, one of the suspects.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Flowers and wine!

Yesterday saw hubby and my 9th wedding anniversary.  He bought me a lovely bunch of flowers and a fantastic card.  We received 6(!!!) bottles of wine from my parents and a box of chocs from my lovely Nanna.  Our daughter made us such a sweet card too.  Here's a quick pic of the windowsill in my kitchen before I'd taken the flowers out and displayed them properly.  The ones on the right are from a lovely lady who left work today to say she will miss me.  Spoilt rotten?!

Feeling blessed

The engraved wine glass I got for GH

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Odd Jobs and a happy dog

Yesterday I was eased gently back into work after 2 amazing weeks off.  That meant I didn't have to start until 2 ish but it also meant I had to work until 10.  I am lucky enough to do some of my work from home so depite having to work until 10, I didn't have to get dressed up to do it!

At lunch time we had a meander out with our dog and he happily sniffed away at every knook and cranny going.  He has to be kept on a lead when we walk locally as there's no free running area where I'd dare let him off.  That didn't stop him smiling though :)
Smiling dog!
Last night, Gorgeous Husband was busy updating his man cave which is the (almost) recently converted loft.  He's bought a desk for up there and last night was busy putting it together - he even read the instructions!
Gorgeous husband in his element
He's spoilt me as he had put a blind up in the kitchen the day before so that finishes the kitchen window dressings now and it feels a bit more complete.
 Tonight will see us celebrating our 9th Wedding Anniversary - relaxing with a bottle of wine by the roaring fire (I know it's not that cold, but it sets a scene) and maybe watching a film....bliss!

Nobody wake me...

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Summer holiday memories

Well today marks the official end of my summer holiday.  I've had 2 lovely weeks off with the kids and my Gorgeous Husband.  We also had the Bank Holiday snuck in there too, shhh, don't tell anyone.  GH is back to work today (he leaves at 5:30 ish and is a butcher) and I'm working from home from 2-10 (American time zone hours today - will explain one day). 

What a fantastic 2 weeks it's been too.  I've loved every minute of it!  The first 3 days it was just me and the kids so we went to the local park, play areas and to the horses.  The horses are around 10 minute drive away at the moment.  Then my hubby joined us and we had a trip to Cadbury's World in Birmingham and Chester Zoo.  We stayed over a night at both places, with a night or 2 at home in between to break it up.  The days spent at home saw us Geocaching which is our new found favourite family hobby (meaning the dog comes too) along with trips to the park and a day trip to Whitby (crabbing) which was SO much fun.
Our beautiful daughter and her cheeky pony, Sonic.
3 hour walk, stopping off for refreshments.  Filthy!

Arriving at Cadbury's World, too excited!

Stunning Whitby views from the car park

Little and Large crabs (all went back in safely)

Our son enjoying the Whitby views (and he's only 4!)

The fantastic Inn Keeper's Lodge at Chester - highly recommended

A walk along the canal at Chester

On one of our many walks out we went brambling (picking wild blackberries if the word isn't familiar) and came home with quite a bounty considering many of them aren't ripe yet.  I immediately set to work on the "must make" apple and bramble crumble which was divine.  Next on the list is apple and bramble cake/loaf, then some jams to see us through the winter to go with our porridge, yum.

Brambles and apples - free food (foraged and from our on tree)
Yum - thoroughly enjoyed
On a foody note, we are a family who love our food.  I try to cook everything from scratch but it's not always possible with working full time, having the animals and kids etc so of course the odd take away sneaks in or frozen pizza which is all part of getting the balance.  We love the great outdoors as you may have picked up on and would prefer to be outside given the chance however you will also see in coming posts that we try and make home life as cosy and comfortable as possible too.

If you've stumbled across our blog, welcome and I hope you follow us as our journey unfolds and opens up into the wonderful world of blogging.  Thanks, Tracy x

Monday 25 August 2014

An Introduction..

Welcome to our blog.  We hope you enjoy reading it and spend some time with us over the coming months and years as we develop our plans and follow our dreams.

"We" is myself, my husband, daughter and son (7 & 4), our dog, our chickens, our horses, tarantula and fish....I think that's it. 

The blog title sums up what we are aiming for and the blog is intended to follow our escapades, as we dream and put these dreams into action.  It's a long time off yet but that's not stopping us preparing.

Today, we live in an area I guess would be described as sub-urban, and though we're on a busy road, we're not townies either.  We have countryside 10 minutes drive away (if that) and town is the same in the other direction.  To be fair, we have the best of both worlds, however, especially with the ways things are going with our economy and government (not something I intend to write about!), we would like to have our own piece of heaven and be at one with nature, surrounded by our own animals and home grown crops (maybe even home produced wine & ale)  One day.....for now, our new mugs from Whitby are keeping the dream alive  :)

Eat, Drink and be Merry - but now what?

In the words of the old adage "eat, drink and be merry", we can safely say we have done that during our time off the paid job.  As...