What came first- the chickens or the blog?

The adorable Henry

We visited with our farming friends at the weekend and they have a new dog- a jack Russell/miniature daschund cross called Henry.
Henry is the cutest dog EVER. He has big soulful eyes, long elegant paws and a very waggy tail. Add to this an ebullient personality and tonnes of character. It is impossible to capture all this in a photograph.
They had to check my pockets to make sure I hadn’t smuggled him home.
A lasting memory will be walking across fields of high grass as Henry bounded in great leaps in front of us, all we could see were two black ears flapping with every leap.
Such a cutie.
I think I have a serious case of puppy love.


Feeling Broody

With Gillyboy number two having left school, and number four now aged in double digits we can no longer be classified as having young children. I have always loved babies. I love their smell, their tiny perfect nails, their ancient wise stare, those chubby little wrists…but our family is so busy and our lives full of activities we can all enjoy I am not longing to return to long sleepless nights and the Terrible Twos. Also four children is one more than my car can carry at a time! Enough is enough!
At this time of the year my hen keeping friends are buying new pullets or nurturing their own hens eggs to get new chicks for their flock. It would be nice to introduce some new hens, particularly since our coop is supposed to hold up to ten birds, but our girls are an established flock and we can just about keep on top of using up three fresh eggs on most days. To introduce new hens would take time and may not be successful. Much as I would fancy a little variety by buying a different breed or two mixed in with the rusty Gillybirds. As we have no rooster we can’t breed and incubate our own. Anyway the cost of egg incubators is shocking! And this way of increasing your flock seems to bring its own disappointments.
We had the excitement and novelty of introducing a new puppy to our family last August, naughty Lucas is now about to celebrate his first birthday, bigger and bolder than ever.
And I look after my two year old nephew every Wednesday who has embraced the Terrible Twos with all the energy and determination that a two year old boy can muster.
And I have my gorgeous new niece, now 7 months old, who I get to see on Facebook or for real every couple of months.
At our church toddler group the mums know about my baby cravings and I get lots of cuddles from tiny newborns while they welcome the chance to drink a cup of tea in peace.
However, we have had some new arrivals here at Gillybirds Manor. Unplanned.
You may recall my blog post about a robin who came indoors one morning way back in January. Well, Mr and Mrs Robin found our premises to their liking and have built a nest high in our garage. Once discovered we kept away to leave them to roost in peace. And now we have two robin babies who fly in and out all day long. I’m not sure when they get their red breast feathers but they are tiny wee things just now.

Home Sweet Home for the Robin family

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The World’s Most Expensive Dishcloth

Lucas at home, licking his lips, anticipating another tasty dishcloth.

Our little soldier is home from the Vets! The Vet did offer us the partially digested dishcloth (in a bag) but we declined. In future the pup can lick the dishes dry. Just kidding.
What I have learnt from this-
-do not procrastinate, it will cost you in the end. Pet insurance cover was on my to-do list….
– puppies will eat anything. It’s their digestion that’s tricky.
– how much we love our Lucas. And how much our friends, here and in the blogosphere do too. Thank you.
Рa cheap roll of dishcloths Р10 for £1, can end up costing a whole lot more.

After a mucky run in the garden and a brief chat with the Gillybirds, Lucas reclines in his comfy bed for some zzzz’s

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Puppy Love


After a great deal of family discussion, in light of the Vet’s diagnosis for the overweight moving hearth rug that is our beloved dog of arthritis in both hips and a possible heart problem, we decided to enquire about getting a puppy. Tibetan Terriers are not a common breed here so I couldn’t believe it when TT pups were advertised in our local paper. Yesterday we went to meet M, the breeder, and the parents, and the two remaining puppies. Being the only lady in the house(our four feathered ladies belong strictly outside) I had fancied a wee girl doggie. By the time we had driven an hour to the breeder’s home there were two boy pups left. One was black with 4 white paws and a white ring round his neck, the other white with two black ears, a black eye, a perfect black circle on his back and a wee black waggy tail.
It was very difficult to choose. Perhaps bringing Mr Gillybirds and two of our boys was not the best plan as there was divided opinion over which pup to choose. In the end we chose the whiter pup, his markings are very unusual and he was finer boned than the black pup. M the breeder called them Spot and Andy. Spot is now home with us and goes by the full title of
Lucas Domino.
He was born on 22nd June this year making him 11 weeks old.
We are all in love. Even the hens who were so curious when we took him outside for a sniff and a piddle (some chance)

Except Buttons, our 7 1/2 year old TT. No one likes their tail being treated as a chew toy, or being kept awake half the night by high pitched yapping. But I think he’ll come round in the end.