Snow games for the rats… β„οΈπŸ­

Decided to bring a little of the outside in for the boys today as we woke once again this morning to fluffy white snow covering the garden. Always on the lookout for ways to make life more interesting for them at the moment, as they don’t get as much free range time just now as usual; and always glad of games I can play with them.

My whiskery pair πŸ’™

Snow has seemed to take all our rats’ attention in the past, especially when digging through it for hidden treats, and Jasper and Jet, meeting it for the first time today, turned out to be no different (when I eventually persuaded them to leave their cosy hammock!).

Lovely to see them enjoying their fun and to spend some time with them. The sun is out now, and the peaceful blanket that fell overnight melting away under February’s brightness – but plenty digging and playing to be done for J&J!

Hope you are all having a lovely week. X

Happy Advent β™₯οΈβ„οΈβœ¨πŸ•―

December has arrived at last, tumbled towards through the beauty and transition of autumn and early winter; and is now fully settled in, bringing with it all its usual cosiness and warmth.

I love the first morning of advent so much, calendars being opened and the countdown to Christmas truly beginning. Jasper and Jet got stuck in to opening their first door this morning, and were delighted with the dandelion treats they found inside!

I look forward every day to my early-morning routine of breakfast treats and a few minutes with them while the kettle boils, getting ready for the day to begin; but it was lovelier than ever today letting them explore the very beginnings of their first Christmas.

At the farm, too, I love to bring a bit of festivity early to Charmer’s stable with the same, and during the breakfast-and-muck-out routine we’ve hit the ground running with this week, the old boy was happy enough to take the first of his extra treats and do his best to help with the opening…

Arrived to the loveliest extra surprise too from our yard owners of an advent calendar for every horse outside our stable doors – we have in the past discovered stockings of treats for them at Christmas, or chocolate eggs and urns of coffee out on a table for us all on Easter morning, and it’s just such a nice reminder of the kindness and camaraderie of the livery yard, and of what a blessing it really is – especially when it can be such a big responsibility and such a challenge to find – to have a place for the pony to live that suits him and me so perfectly.

This has been the first week of my maternity leave, and, with work finished up now for a while, I have had some extra time for organising and pottering inside the house and out, getting the last things ready both for our new arrival and for Christmas time (our two new seasons ahead!) so have started on some gift-wrapping and preparing a little earlier than usual. Still, this morning, with the arrival of Advent itself, I feel the usual excitement I do every year at the idea of the preparations picking up pace, darkness falling earlier and earlier each day while lights begin to twinkle more and more in the homes around us as we head towards Christmas time.

At night, the togetherness and cosiness of this time of year really comes in to its own, and I love to get in to the warmth for the evening and light our advent candle for the first time, starting a month-long tradition that will count us down to Christmas morning and bring a peaceful and lovely hour to our every evening while we wait.

A very happy Advent / winter to all, wishing you all the loveliest December. β„οΈβœ¨ x

Weekend fun with the furry babies… β™₯️

This weekend has been one gratefully got to after a busy week, and one I’ve enjoyed so much, spending time with family, friends and of course the furry family we’re blessed to have in our lives too.

It’s been cold but sunny, thick frosts lingering til mid-day but the sun as high in the sky as it ever tends to reach at this time of year and the days beautiful – last leaves falling and everything glinting with winter’s arrival.

My very fluffy Charmer was especially enjoying his afternoon in the field yesterday when we arrived to visit, lying curled up (and, later – once he had some treats and got even lazier and more relaxed – completely flat out!) in the sun.

Back at home, the rats are doing great. They have been having more time out in the mornings than evenings just the way our routines are working out at the moment, and I’ve taken to a wee stand on the doorstep with them sniffing at the dawn air while I wait for the kettle to boil and us all to start the day, which they really seem to enjoy for something new and interesting – before the usual scampering on the sofa and cuddling in blankets they love so much.

This morning brought another jaunt to the farm to see the pony, who amused himself rolling his treat ball around and making short work of his favourite Likit while I alternated between coffee-drinking and engaging in the endless winter battle, armed with brushes of all shapes and sizes, to keep him resembling something akin to mud-free.. or at least marginally neater than he’d be left to his own devices!

We’ve also happily welcomed a house guest for the week this afternoon, my mum and dad’s beautiful black cat Phoebe who’s here to stay with us for her holidays – very excited to have a taster of life with a cat in our wee house, something we’d love one day, and have Phoebe’s lovely company for the week.

A very happy Sunday to all, hope you’re all having a really lovely weekend. X

Happy Halloween from our little corner of the world βœ¨πŸ”₯πŸŽƒπŸŒ“

A very happy Halloween & Samhain from our little corner of the world, where the nights are moonlit, mornings glistening with first frost (the birds hovering by the doorway at dawn in anticipation of their feeding time) and – clocks turned back and the new time zone settling – winter setting in. I love this time of year of seasonal transition, lanterns bringing light in the darkness, and especially the reminder in these couple of days to remember those we have loved and lost as well as draw close to those around us.

In our wee house the boys have been enjoying cracking into monkey nuts and playing foraging games, we’ve been enjoying having the fire roaring and candles lit, marking this time of year and all it brings; and out at the farm the stillness and crisp air has the pony poised on the edge of his wintertime routine. 



Wishing you all a wonderful couple of days. πŸŽƒβœ¨πŸ”₯πŸŒ“ xx 

Rat adventures – my oldie getting older and the young ones finding their feet πŸ’™

Life for our little mischief of rats seems to be moving on at the same hurtling pace that time is passing generally, and I can hardly believe it’s nearly two months since Jasper and Jet came to join us. They are fast becoming well-loved and characterful members of the family and settling into their new home.

 

 

Perry, Jet and Jasper are a well established little gang these days and are mostly to be found all curled together in their comfiest bed, although at playtime they take the chance to go their seperate ways and get up to their own preferred activities – Perry snuggling straight under a blanket as close to either of us as he can get and settling there for the evening; Jet careering about investigating with an alarming speed exactly how much trouble he can cause on that particular day; and Jasper perching himself on the nearest available shoulder to best observe his brother’s antics – and to be in the perfect position to re-style anyone’s hair he feels might be needing it!

Our Perry has been showing his age lots recently, quite to our surprise as his estimated age is only 18 months. All of a sudden he’s looking very distinguished and grey round his wee muzzle, and has also been really struggling with his back legs in the last couple of weeks, seeming to be showing fairly advanced symptoms of hind leg degeneration.

As we adopted Perry and his brothers from their previous home as adults, there is of course the possibility we’ve begun to wonder about now that their ages when we got them might have been quite a bit out, which could mean we didn’t lose Marley and Reuben as early in life this summer as we believed, and would also explain Per greying and struggling with movement at what seems a relatively young age. We can never know one way or the other, and really it doesn’t matter – the important thing is helping him have the best life he can, and just now he seems to be doing that, just adoring his evening cuddles with us for as long as we’ve time for every night.

We’ve only experienced HLD in rats a couple of times, with Peatie and Sylvie, two of our healthiest and longest living girls, who both made it to around three years old, and in their last months lost the use of their hind legs gradually. They seemed to react to it differently to Perry though, and were both very keen to keep moving regardless of their gait, just completely adapting as the degeneration went on, so we didn’t have to gee them up in any way and they really made the best of it. Perry on the other hand is slowing way down right away and lying down at the moment most of the time, so I am trying to think of inventive ways to keep him busy. Found a great article on HLD here, but if anyone has any tips on how to keep him active and happy as long as possible please share!

I was pleased to see that one of the main ways to do this is give an older rat the company of young active cagemates and Perry certainly has this in abundance with our two mavericks to contend with!  We did speculate at first that the new whiter look could be simply a response to life with Jet as he’s such a horror sometimes I don’t know how he’s not turned us all grey! πŸ˜‰ But he does his job well keeping Perry on his toes and Jasper provides a bit of a compromise, plenty of cuddles but games and scrambles for food too. They are both really coming out of their shells more and more every day and I’m so glad to see all three of them enjoying life together.

 

 

Happy Friday all and have a good weekend. X

 

Happy FridayΒ 

The weekend is here at last… Friday takeaway night in is the perfect end to a busy week and is always a hit with the whole family, the boys loving their own rat-sized share of a prawn cracker… πŸ’™

Out in the field my biggest boy is enjoying the cooler weather, grazing without his fly rug on as the wind changes the air, and adopting his autumn habit of hanging out in his “den” under his favourite tree at dusk, bridging the gap between summertime outdoors and wintering in with his own little sheltering corner. ❀️


Wishing a lovely weekend to you all. X