Happy Christmas 2015

I know it’s been a while, in fact it has been far too long, but once again I’m using the time of year as an excuse to post on the blog after a six month break. I hope to write more again next year, at least once a month, but for know I’ll take this opportunity to wish any one who is still reading a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

As you can imagine lots has happened over the last six months, although it probably comes as no surprise that the house remains unfinished, oh well!

Malina as ever remains our main focus and her progress in walking, running, climbing, talking and jumping up and down in muddy puddles keeps at least one of us busy and both of us entertained. Any frustration and annoyance that she may cause us is melted away in a second with her smiles and loving hugs, and she knows how to work a crowd. The years ahead promise to be full, eventful!

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The house has moved on, just not as fast as we had hoped, but the rooms upstairs are taking shape and if the carpenter ever bothers to turn up after letting us down on several occasions (I hope he reads this) then we will be able to complete the corridor and have clear passage to the two rooms we have completed so far. Knowing that there is a bath upstairs has tempted us to make the trip on a few occasions, but I’m looking forward to the day we can slip out of it and into bed without a change of footwear.

The animals keep us honest and continue to reward us with the egg tally well over 2000 for the year so far, although our foray into keeping chickens for meat only filled the bellies of the local buzzard population which seems to have grown along with their girth. Our one time flock of 54 chickens is now reduced to 16 and I have had to bring them back into the fold and construct an elaborate system of fishing wire and old Microsoft software CD’s to keep chicken off the bird menu. So far Small Business Server 2003, SQL and Exchange are doing a good job, it’s certainly the best use I have had of Bill Gates legacy so far. Thankfully the pigs are providing us our selfish protein requirement and we have branched out into rabbits as an alternative and additional meat source. The goats continue to receive free board and lodgings, although there is a rumour that they will be meeting a young chap called Billy on the 30th of December, so we may be getting milk to help balance the books by the middle of next year.

The harvest was good on the whole, despite the near drought conditions over the summer and into the autumn, everything except the onions exceeded our expectations, although we only planted what had done well the year before in our heavy clay soil, relying on the in-laws to grow the things we didn’t and exchanging for spuds which we had in abundance once again. With close to two tonnes of oats and enough tomatoes to have our very own La Tomatina, both barn and pantry are well stocked and will keep us going until the next harvest.

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The future is where it’s at and we are looking forward to it. Hopefully I’ll be announcing that the house is complete and we are taking guests, along with news of more kids, although only if Sunday and Monday (the goats) are receptive! I’m also hopeful that I will be able to point you in the direction of Gosias website, where she intends to sell her handmade soaps, bath bombs and salts, crocheted items and….well who knows what else she will start to create in the meantime. I’m all for it, just as long as she can keep me in the lifestyle that I have become accustomed to!

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Bye for now, hope to see you next year, sooner rather than later. After all, I have to update you on the composting toilet!

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Author: Eddy Winko

Trying to leave the rat race and live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog https://winkos.wordpress.com/

23 thoughts on “Happy Christmas 2015”

  1. Hello Dears,
    I’m interested in straw bale technologies of house building, and during internet exploring I found info about you, and then turned out that you are living only a few kilometers from us… Greetings from Wola Zgłobieńska! 🙂
    Would be great to meet and discuss, may we can support you sometimes 🙂
    All the best!!
    Michał i Magda

    1. Hi Michal, good to hear from you, I will send you an email so we can make arrangements to meet sometime soon. There is quite a lot of straw bale going on in the area, already built and in the planning stages, so we may be able to put you in contact with a few like minded people.
      All the best
      Eddy

  2. Oh now I am sad because I have caught up with your writings….. It has been a great way to sort of get to know your advetures reading from the beginning as one long story. Hope everything goes well with your Sunday and Monday mating. There was something else I had to write about goats and their milk. If you let them eat the green tops from beets their milk will also taste bad. In this country, goats used to be known as the poor man’s cow and they were fed whatever was left over or could be got for free. So also the tops of sugar bees, turnips, celeriac and so on. These leaves have bitter components and they make the milk taste accordingly. This is the main reason that a lot of older people think of goat’s milk as unpleasant and cow’s milk as good. It’s what goes in that produces what comes out. Good Luck to all of you this new year and I hope there is more news to be reading soon.

    1. Wow! That was some kind of marathon, thank you for taking the time to read through, I’m impressed, or is that surprised (that anyone would find it that interesting)! Great advice about the goats, I will bear this in mind once we get round to milking. Judging by the noises, amongst other things, I think we may have two pregnant goats 🙂 A busy week this week as we prepare for guests so please forgive the late and short reply.

  3. Lovely to hear from you! It sounds like your life is going very well. 🙂 I had to sell/give away all of my farm animals, and I miss them terribly. So good to observe (from afar) people getting to enjoy their farm! I do hope you blog more often in the future, as you are living the life I wish I had, and this is the closest I’m going to get! 🙂
    Parker

    1. Hope you are well Parker? I will be checking in on your blog again soon so beware of comments in reverse order:) It’s a shame about your animals, mind you didn’t have to get up to feed them this morning in -10C (14F) lucky you 🙂

  4. Well done Eddy! You’ve achieved a lot this year, and Malina is growing up so fast! What a smile she has. Like you I’m hoping to write more next year after leaving the blog lie fallow this year. Let’s see what flourishes in the new year.

    All the best to you and the family,
    Toni.

    1. Thank you Toni and all the very best to you too, I look forward to finding out how you are getting on next year. Take care and enjoy the festive season…but not too much 🙂

    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours too Beth.
      To be honest no one knows what kind of oats they are, it was our own seed from the previous years crop which was originally started from a couple of sacks from an uncle 🙂 What I do know is that all the animals love em!

  5. Hi Ed, good to hear its going well, apart from the carpenter. When is Malina’s sibling arriving? 😉. If you run out of CD’s, I have loads. Have a great Christmas and prosperous new year. Big Al.

    1. Great to hear from you Big Al a fine Christmas and fruitful 2016 for you and family too, we wish you all the very best. If we have any more kids we wont have room for guests, and then I might have to work for a living again, god forbid…it never suited me the first time I tried 🙂

  6. I opened my Reader
    And down I scrolled
    And there was an angel
    Beautiful to behold

    Her adorable smile
    Her shining eyes
    So grown up now
    My how time flies

    She’s a gift of joy
    A gift of awe
    For a loving couple
    In a house of straw

  7. Great to read this! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope we’ll meet at your place one nice day. As this winter seems to be more like spring than winter so far I may be mad enough to make a bike ride from Rzeszów one day soon 🙂

    1. You would be very welcome, although not the first to cycle from Rzeszow:) There are some good routes through the wielkie lasy I’m told. A happy Christmas to you and family, lets hope the sun stays for a few days more.

  8. Rabbits, that takes me back! Delicious food, and I have enjoyed many, especially in Belgium. Great to hear your far too infrequent update, and to see Malina becoming a lovely young girl.
    My best wishes to you, Gosia, and Malina, and my hope for every happiness and success in 2016 for you all.
    Pete. x

    1. Cheers Pete! I think that I read somewhere that Stalin had a war time rabbit breading program as it is one of the fastest, most reliable and efficient ways of producing meat. It sure is tasty!
      All the very best to you Julie and Ollie, lots of love from The Winkos.

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