Saying goodbye to the lovely Rosie….

Our little old lady Rosie sadly left us yesterday, but thankfully at a wonderfully old age and without having really been unwell at all other than a gradual slowing down over the past few weeks. Rosie was a real sweetheart of a pet and will be very missed from our home. 

She arrived into it on a sunny May bank holiday Monday back in 2014, which feels so long ago now. Back then, she joined us and our house-rabbit Simba, who ruled the roost in those days, our first male rats Chae and Winston who were only a few months old, and our Giant African Land Snail Sandy. It was a really busy time for us for lots of different reasons – Charmer was very ill at the time and it was a battle to get him nursed back to health; both my husband and I were studying for exams at work alongside working full-time; and we were in the last few months of planning our wedding too, so our world was more than a little hectic – but our new little dwarf hamster was nothing but a lovely addition. Rosie was there that first summer while we managed to see Charmer through his illness, although also at the same time sadly lost Simba very suddenly. She’s been with us throughout almost all of our first two years of marriage, a time period that has seen the arrivals of Harvey and Ty and departing of Chae and Winnie, as well as our Pipkin living out his whole life with us. A lot has moved on since the day we adopted Rose, and she was a wonderful part of our lives as it did. She was never any trouble and always very content – a while back I enjoyed writing this post about her which sums her up: 

https://amischiefmanaged.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/the-adventures-of-rosie-hamster/

Two and a half years on, we were home again this week on a bank holiday Monday –  this time a stormy September one – when it became clear that Rosie was probably not going to be with us much longer, and we had a really nice peaceful day with her. She was a lovely part of our little family, and I’m so glad we had such a lovely long time with her. x

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Liebster Award

feature-image-liebster-sept-2016

Absolutely delighted to have been nominated for a Liebster Award, by https://afrilly.wordpress.com/ – thank you once again so very much. I really enjoy reading your posts on everything from art pieces and DIY to pets and relationships. Loved especially the beautiful insight into your wedding plans and day, and being introduced to Brisket and Cricket of course! ☺️, so am so very glad you have enjoyed reading my posts too.

One of the things I love about this blogging community is all the many different worlds a browse through my WordPress feed can take me to. There are so many writers from so many corners of the world that I love to dip into the lives of, and it was very hard to choose both an ultimate favourite blog to write about and other favourites too to nominate (and also to find those who met the criteria with under 200 followers, as a couple I love to read were just over.. Well done you!😉) (Rules below)*. 

I started blogging about our pets and our home life simply because of my love for the animals themselves and my desire to share some of the joy they bring and enjoy the scribbles and photos of others doing the same. While that remains very much the case, through being here I have discovered another passion too simply for reading and watching stories unfold, post by post.

My favourite blog of the moment certainly falls into that category – https://bletheringbylinley.wordpress.com/. Amazingly put together and absolutely captivating, I am currently hooked on the daily installments of Linley’s story. I would really recommend reading this from the beginning and watching it pick up pace, before it reaches its “Season Finale” on Friday. I don’t want to give too much away but this is a spine-tinglingly unsettling story, full of mysterious twists and turns but tempered by the warmly-described Scottish scenery framing the action everywhere from Glasgow to the Islands, and the affectionately drawn, well interwoven characters given a depth, humour and truth that makes them impossible to forget to check back in on. It really is an amazing read, and a blog is such a good platform for a story that reveals itself with so many unexpected twists, piece by piece.

I would also like to nominate some of the others I love to follow: 

https://gaddingaboutwithgalahad.wordpress.com/ – I really enjoy reading about ponydreamer’s adventures with the handsome Galahad, can always relate to them so well as they’re often similar to mine with my own native pony – so many lovely tales and photos, especially the through-the-horse’s-ears shots!

https://yetanothercrafter.wordpress.com/ – I started reading Nikki’s blog because we had our “mischiefs” in common and enjoy hearing about her rats’ adventures – they are such a lovely little group – but I also really enjoy all of her crafting posts too and seeing her beautiful blankets and creations. 

https://sunshinestarlight.com/2016/09/11/silent-sunday-too-41/ – Sunshine and Starlight’s adventures never disappoint, such a gorgeous pair of Westies who write so very wittily about life with their “manservant” and “womanservant” in Madison, USA.

https://tortoiseadventures.wordpress.com/ – Have learned so much from Oroano – tortoises are an animal I know nothing about but it is amazing to get an insight into the habitat, care and personalities of these amazing pets – and really love their Lego house!!

Thank you so much again afrilly for the nomination and thanks so much all for reading and for writing and posting so much that I love to see! 🙂

 

*The Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2016

(Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2016

http://theglobalaussie.com/the-official-rules-of-the-liebster-award-2016/)

Back in 2011 the rules were a simple case of acknowledgement of the nominator and to nominate 5 more. Now in 2016 it is a little more involved!

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  1. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.) At the bottom of this post I’ve included a whole lot of images you can use for your 2016 Liebster Award.
  1. For the 2016 Liebster Award I will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  1. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)
  1. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  1. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  1. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

Caring for the little ones… the peace at the end of the day

Driving home last night at the end of a long and busy day, there were more thoughts in my head than I had a hope of getting to line up – until, that is, I reached the animals. First, the horse, drawing into the farm on a dark night and flipping the lights on in the barn, feed piled into his bucket and the stable door propped open before grabbing his headcollar and my torch and making my way across to the gate, from where I could just make out a few heads raising briefly in interest from their grazing down the hill and then, all making short work of identifying me, just my own boy’s bobbing as he made his way up the hill, confident of a reward when he reached the top.

Making our way in he was straight into the stable and nose straight in the bucket in spite of the fact that our autumn/winter routine is only a few days old, and stood happily chewing while I fussed around him with fly sprays and brushes in his short time in before back out to the field – not yet time for the overnight stays of the thick of winter. 


There is nowhere more still and more calming to me than the abandoned barn at night, our presence and the orange glow of the strip light above our heads the only disturbance in the silent yard, shrouded in darkness at the top of the hill, with the lights of the city across the water the only twinkle in the distance. We made our way back to the field gate where we part ways with a quiet and steady clopping of shoes on the track; and, C sorted for the night, I wound my way on and drew up once more outside home, still turning over so many topics in my mind, when the little ones all lined up to demand attention.

Little Rosie must have heard us mention her 100th birthday at the weekend as in the last couple of days she has all of a sudden looked her age overnight, struggling a little to get around her cage and sleeping more than ever. Although her teeth seem ok, some of her hard food seems to have been a bit of a trial in the last few days, so had her some soaked biscuits and a little rearrange of her cage to keep things close, handy, and up no slopes. Nursing her and making sure she had everything she needed while she used my scarf to nestle in and give herself a clean took all my attention – there’s no space for anything else when the wee ones are needing care.

 

Harvey and Ty, our little mischief, don’t need too much at the moment, but are always there to politely line by the bars and ask for some attention and a wee jaunt out of their cage all the same. We are celebrating Ty being fully back to health and off his anti-biotics now – in spite of being prescribed the good-tasting one, the sight of the syringe made him make this face……

 

… while Harvey, by contrast, became VERY interested in voluntarily finishing up any medicine we didn’t manage to force feed his poor brother!


As my husband despairingly said, it always seems to be the wrong rats who get ill! We’ve had this in the past too, with our old boy Chae spending years watching Winston and Pipkin be syringed medicine for their recurring respiratory infections while he always sported a very left-out expression, had to have some yoghurt to keep him the same, and was the only one of the family never to need it! Still, Ty’s plight is over, and the boys were doing fine last night, both in a very cuddly mood.


The pets we have in our home and have had over the years always bring so much happiness and good times; but, more than that, even in the times they need more help or support or aren’t 100% at their best, bring such a stability, routine, and steadying sense of purpose to every day. Looking after our little mischief is one of the highlights of my day, and especially when things are busy elsewhere, is a retreat and a focus I am so grateful for. 

Have a wonderful Thursday – and a wonderful Autumn Equinox 🍃 🍁 🍂 all, from all of us. x

Sunday with my boy… 🐴❤️

This weekend was a beautiful one, on the cusp between summer and autumn with a warmth still in the air but enough of a breeze that the flies and midges have eased up a little at least for my little pony, and his coat has begun to fluff up slightly – a little over all, but excessively, as always, on his furrball ears, slowly morphing back into my winter bear.. ❤

We had a lovely day at the farm on Sunday, meeting friends for coffee at the yard before heading out a wandering hack around the fields and hills nearby. Charm was well keen for the adventure today – these days his enthusiasm for work comes and goes, and some days he is decidedly less certain than others about the winding roads ahead, but on Sunday his feet were clattering ahead of his friend’s from the word go, ears forward and valiantly serving in the role of Lead Horse, chest puffed out and special attention given to the greeting of toddlers, dogs and admiring walkers as he passed them along the bridleway down from our farm – always popular at weekends with people enjoying the fresh air in so many different ways.

We were able to combine C’s two favourite routes in one – the ducking-and-diving meander down through the woodland track he likes best (plenty of opportunity to snatch at low-hanging branches on the way for a quick leaf or twelve to keep him going), the ponies deftly avoiding the thicker of the branches and leaving us riders to crouch flat along their necks to do the same; and the open stubble field on the way home – at this time of year lined on one side with the straw bales that will make the boys’ beds all winter all and on the other a strip left for the battering canters the horses jog towards, itching for us just to let them go and race each other to the top. I’ll never tire of that feeling, the rush of the rhymthic canter up, and the toss of Charm’s head as he slows back down snorting with the exhiliaration as I lean forward to pat his neck.

I love every moment of spending time with him and every aspect of life at the stables, but an autumn ride under falling leaves and billowing up a hill on a September afternoon is a feeling that can’t be topped.

Back at the yard, it was dinner time, and after a quick cool down, back to the field once more, grateful once more for the change in the air and slightly more comfortable turnout. The fly rug is forgotten at last, and it’ll be a month or two at least before we’re back into the cosy winter ones – for now just a swish of the tail and the start of the winter coat will do on both fronts, and it is lovely to just stand out in the field with my boy, enjoying the still of this season. ❤

Hope everyone is having a really lovely week. x

 

 

Happy 100th birthday to little Rosie-ham… ❤️

The littlest member of our household, Rosie, was celebrating a milestone today at 2 1/2 years old. She is doing amazingly well for her age, being a Campbell’s x Russian Winter White, and both breeds being listed as among the shortest life expectancies of hamster variations at 1 1/2 – 2 years. From as close a comparison of these into human years I can do, this should have made Rose approximately 80 back in March on her second birthday (which we made a suitable fuss of!) and now at 2 1/2 should make her the equivalent of 100 years old! ❤️

She is just a gem of a wee soul, so content, and pootling around as much as ever. Here are some photos of her the day we brought her home aged just 10 weeks on 29th May 2014, looking very bright-eyed and youthful, and some from today, celebrating her centenary!! 💯❤️…

… plus just one more I couldn’t resist, on her wheel this morning working out in spite of her advanced years!

Happy birthday Little Rose… 🐹💞 xx