Our Summer Adventures: Week 1 and 2.


Sorry there was no post yesterday but I want to share with you some of our adventures we are having this summer so I will be posting on a Tuesday now instead of a Monday. For the summer Mondays are mine, the farmer and Sids day off so we are trying to head away from  the yard for that day. So last week it was the farmer who decided where we went and we headed to the beautiful city of Kilkenny. This is a beautiful place to visit with so much to see and do. We parked in the car park beside the river which wasn’t expensive, we were parked most of the day. We headed to the shopping centre first and then back down the town to get some lunch. Now being coeliac getting food out when we are away is always a little nerve wracking because you want to get good food and also not limit the farmers as to where they can eat so we tried Langtons, they had a huge choice for us all and there was no problem with me getting gluten free. After lunch we headed to see the castle which just like something out of a fairy tale. You can go on a tour of the castle but we didn’t we just enjoyed the grounds which has a playground, acres of grass to play on and a beautiful rose garden.

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We then headed back to look at the rest of the shops along the streets of Kilkenny and stopped into a little cafe just across from Kytelers Inn for the best scones and tea I have tasted in ages they even have gluten free. We spent the whole day in Kilkenny and enjoyed every minute of it, its a beautiful place and Sid didn’t get bored once.

So yesterday it was my choice and I brought the farmer and Sid to the Irish national stud and Japanese gardens in Kildare. There is free parking at the stud, there are picnic tables in the car park if you didn’t want to buy food when you were there. It cost 29euro for the three of us to entry the stud which isn’t expensive when you see the size and the up keep of the place. We went to see the gardens first and they are so pretty with a stone track to follow and a map to explain each stop on the way.

Sid loved exploring the gardens and looking into all the little tunnels and caves. When we were finished in the garden we headed to the restaurant for our lunch. It was 33euro for the three of us for our lunch and there are lots of gluten free options on the menu.

We ate our lunch out on the terrace and this was our view along with a swan and her baby.

 

After lunch we headed to the best bit or for me anyway, the stud farm. This place is just a horse lovers dream but it is equally beautiful for anyone. On the stud you get to look around all the stable yards, the stallions have air conditioning in their stables!. You get to meet some mares and their foals, see some of the top stallions they have and meet some legends of racing like Hardy Eustace, who we got to rub he is really friendly.

We got to visit the racing museum, see a video of a foal being born in the stud and learn a little about the man who started the stud back in 1900, Colonel William Hall Walker and how he believed the stars sealed the faith of each foal born and that every horse should be able to see the stars from their stable.

There is a playground near the mares and foals and also a fair door trail right around the stud for the kids to follow. Each fairy they find has an important job on the stud and each child gets a map for them to follow. Sid loved this but he did want to take home this foal, she was such a friendly little thing looking for rubs from everyone who went past. This is a great day out for all the family even if you have no interest in horses and its fully accessible to buggies or wheelchairs.

So there are our first two summer adventures, where have you been this summer on your adventures ? would love to hear all about them.

What I Learned This Week.


  • It’s a dogs life ! This is my shadow who follows me everywhere she can and most mornings sneaks upstairs for a snuggle.
  • That the old ways are still the best sometimes, like leaving Sids porridge out on the window sill to cool down because he is STARVING as he is always telling me.
  • That its good to meet up with family and friends you haven’t seen in years and just catch up.
  • That if you get an invite to one wedding in a year you will get an invite to ten.
  • That its just too warm at the moment for porridge for me.
  • That when the farmers are spreading slurry I need a room that they can leave all their clothes and boots in and get a wash before they come into the house !. The slight smell of slurry in the house is not pleasant.
  • That this years potatoes haven’t reached that burst open dryness yet and they are still really expensive.
  • That you can be a tourist and have a lovely day away less than two hours from home if you set your mind to it.
  • That my gluten free cornflakes has so much more added sugar than just normal cornflakes, which I don’t understand.
  • That the best cup of tea I have had in a cafe in ages and the best gluten free scone I have ever had I got in a little cafe in Kilkenny just across the street from Kytelers Inn in the city. The scone beat the ones I get in Avoca hands down! and the farmer said their normal scones were amazing and only 4.95 for tea/coffee and a scone.

 

So there is what I have learned this week, how has your week been? 

The Power Of Three.


One question I am away’s asked is ” How do you manage to fit in everything you have to do in a day?” and up until a few months ago I wonder as well how I managed it. I do know that a lot of things were missed on and I was constantly chasing my tail in a state of constant stress about what I had to do and beating myself up about stuff that was forgotten or just not done. I wasn’t as organised as I am now and I had no direction from week to week.

That was when I started to look at Slow living a lot more and I came across planning your day into three’s. Now this might not work for everyone but it has been a huge help to me and I actually get so much more done now than I ever have. I am not beating myself up anymore that I haven’t reached on my to do list for the day/week and I am not stressed about how much I have to do, so I wanted to share it with you as well.

At the start of my week, normally Monday morning at breakfast I take a few minutes to see what really needs to be done that week, the things that just can’t be put off and I pick three as my main todo’s for the week. If there is more than three that could be done I add them to the list in case I get the three main ones done and have some time to do more.

So for example for me this week my main three are : order a skip , cut the grass and sort college for Liam. These are my main three but then I have six others on the list if I have time to get them done then it’s a bonus this week and if not at least the main three are done. I do the same when I am in work so I will have a list for work and for home.

I then break each day down into three’s as well, so say today my three is pony camp, moving calves and going to the bank on top of my ususal housework, dinner making jobs. I will be delighted to get these all done but I also have extras on the list if I get to them and if I don’t I will be happy with getting my three done. This system for me has been a life saver and has taken all the stress and pressure out of my day because I am always getting my three done and that’s such a good feeling, it also makes me more organised so I nearly always get all the extras on the list done. As well I have found if I have reached my three at lunch time I don’t feel guilty anymore heading off with Sid somewhere in the afternoon because I have reached my set goal for the day.

Three things a week and three things a day is also a very reachable goal for anyone, setting yourself three goals a day you are getting 18 little jobs done in six days on top of your general day to day which is a lot of extra done a week. I have found it a total life saver and I am on top of all my jobs which were just piling up on me because now I have been slowly chipping away at them with no pressure. Now there will be times when you might have to change your three a day half way through the week, maybe you or a little person in your house is sick or you have visitors or just life in general gets in the way. When this happens me I still stick to my three main things for the week but am freer with my three for the day.

The power of three is so good, I have no stress now at the start of the week about all that has to be done and none of that feeling you get when you set yourself a target and don’t meet it which is great. It motivates me to do more each week with no pressure because if I only reach my three I am happy its not 23 things I have to do.

I hope you try it and find it as helpful as I have ! if you do try it let me know how you get on. 

My Perfect Childhood Summers.


My summer childhood memories are some of the best I have of my whole childhood the only thing that might beat them is the horses. My summers started about May when I started to pray the last few days of school away and head to my Grandparents house for the summer, the whole summer, I very seldom ever went home and at the end of the summer I never wanted to go home but that’s another story. The excitement of the last day of school, knowing that possibly that evening or at the latest the next morning I was heading to Courtown for at least two months.

The time was spend swimming everyday twice a day no matter what the weather, playing for hours on the beach with the constant stream of cousins that also came to visit. We spend it getting ready for the kids/teenage disco that was on every week, spending all our money on sweets and bars of Chocolate, having adventures, having many summer crushes and just being kids and teenagers. There was no technology to distract us from our own imaginations, the freedom to come and go as we pleased even with no phones to keep track of us. We went outside in the mornings, managed to be home on time for lunch and dinner, no one ever got lost or into trouble. We were free to be kids, free to explore and free to make friends.

This weekend got me thinking about my summers after I meet some of the many kids/teenagers we spent our summers with for the first time in 25yrs. It got me thinking about my own kids summers, how 25yrs can go by in a flash and how times have changed now for kids.

We used to just sit and talk for hours, kids wouldn’t be able to do that now. We were happy if our Gran gave us enough money to go to the shop in the local caravan park so we could get a bar of chocolate, Mars bars were my weakness. We were happy with swimming everyday and getting the Tv only in the afternoons or evenings. Kids now, even my own kids couldn’t cope with a summer like that they would be bored and have withdrawl symptoms from all the technology they need now. Where has kids getting bored and having to find ways to keep themselves happy gone? My Grandad used to have a saying that drove me mad every time he said it ” only boring people get bored ” , this is what you would hear if anyone said they were bored and now I am older I see he was right. Kids are missing out now on summers like we had, a chance to make amazing memories, a chance to be bored and having to make your own fun so you aren’t bored and the chance to really take in the world around them. I worry that when our kids get to my age they won’t be able to cope with a time when they might not have all the distractions they have now.

I am 39yrs old now and every summer I miss my childhood summers, there are times I wish I was 14 again and for just one day could go back to that time of freedom and fun. A time when the biggest problem we had was if it was a wet day and everyday was an adventure. I haven’t been back to see our old beach or where we used to hangout in years but I will have to take a trip soon and maybe bring Sid minus any technology,let him have a fun day on the beach just me, him and his imagination maybe we would even get a Mars bar at the end.

What were your summers like? what do you miss the most about them ? 

What I Learned This Week.


  • I learned yesterday how to to take moody photos like the one of Sid above.
  • I learned that its really nice to meet people you know for years online off line.
  • That I have an idea for something floating around in my head for a while and maybe I should start seeing can I get it into action.
  • I learned that if you work hard enough anything is possible after a really nice email from my editor.
  • I learned that the only way to stop having to go everyday to the shop is to do a really good weekly food shop, only had to go for milk and read once this week.
  • I had thought all my hormonal issues were easing up the last few months but no it hit with force again this month.
  • I learned that the only way I can have a productive week is to use my planning by three.
  • I also learned that even when I have it all planned and have the best intentions there are times when I just won’t get it all done.
  • That we need to just stop and make the most of time when we are off from work, myself and Sid decided on Wednesday to just head to the beach and we had a great time.
  • That I would read a lot of books if I didn’t have to work.

What did you learn this week?

Girls Can’t Do That.


Where do kids learn/hear this? I would love to know because in this day and age there is very little if anything a woman cant do. In this house its very equal, I would be expected to be able to do just about anything the farmers can do, there is never a moment when they would say you are a woman you won’t be able to do that. When there is talk of machinery I would be included the same as anyone else in the house and when something breaks it would be explained to me in as much detail as anyone else.

When we are doing any work on the farm there has never been a time when the littlest farmer has ever heard anyone say you cant do that work, drive that digger, catch those sheep, feed those calves or do that paperwork and yet he is fully convinced a girl as he says can’t do these jobs!.

A week after he was born I was back teaching horse riding and he was and has been with me everyday there is lessons since, any work that I have to do on the farm he has always been with me and has always seen me work the same as the rest of the farmers  which is why I just don’t understand where he is getting this idea from. He is positive a girl can’t be a farmer, cant drive any machines, cant milk cows but we can do any work with the horses!. We are getting a farm office in the next month or so and on Sunday Sid informed us that it was going to just be for the farmers (boys) and not for me to use, when the farmer asked him why I couldn’t use it he said I wouldn’t know how to do the paperwork and he knows and sees that  I am the only one who does it at the moment.

So I asked him why he thinks a woman couldn’t do all the above and his response was because your a girl. So I asked him where he was hearing all of this and he said in school which makes me sad. I am sad that when he is in school this is how women are being talked about, that this is the view young boys have of women when a lot in the school come from a farming background and even though he sees everyday that the woman in his life can and does do the same jobs as the men in his life what he hears in school is out weighing what he sees in his day to day.

I am hoping that as he grows he will change his views on what any woman can do, that what he sees will out weigh what his friends or anyone else says and maybe he will educate them. I want all my boys to see that we are equal and the two older boys are really good that way so I hope Sid will grow up to be the same.

How do you deal with things like this? 

 

 

It’s Good To Be Home.


This is one of my favourite times of year, I get the chance to be off for the school summer holidays. It’s so nice to be at home full time for these few weeks, all those jobs around the house and yard that have been bothering me can  now be sorted or at least a plan put in place to get them sorted. So today I have had my first full week off and what a busy week it was, from pony camp to going back riding blue and pulling ragwort, cleaning out a huge bookshelf to trying to clean the whole place inside and out, helping with sheep and mucking out, I possibly didn’t spread out the work enough and wore myself out.

It was lovely to be able to get up and take my time over breakfast, to be able to turn off the alarm that tells me I need to get ready for work and to have time to go watch Sid play because I am not against the clock from morning till night. Now in saying that last week was a very busy, stressful and tiring week and it was because I did too much all at once. I felt angry when I didn’t reach on everything I wanted to do (i wasn’t thinking I have 9 weeks off) and that hadn’t been happening since I started setting my three jobs a day, it made me much more content and productive so this week it’s back to my three goals.

So how I have planned my week this week is I have set three goals that have to be done at some stage this week, they are to write my first three pieces for the new magazine and send them to the editor, strim all the weeds and long grass out of the paddock at the front of the house and strim around the house as well and to get my hair colour done for a wedding I have on Saturday. Then each day I have a list of three jobs that need to be done that day with extra jobs listed if I get the first three done. I have found this for me makes my life seem so much easier, makes me feel that I am getting what I need to get done everyday and if I get more than the three done its a bonus, I also know at the end of the week I will have reached every target I set myself and that’s a really good feeling.

So that’s the plan for this week, how do you organise your time each week? or do you just let it all fall into place each week?