Thursday, 31 January 2013

Bye Bye January!!

January was a relatively uneventful month in my world (apart from the beginning of my blog of course!). It seems so long ago that we packed up the Christmas decorations and put them back in the attic for another year. While it felt great at first, clean & uncluttered, now our house just looks bare. I always like to decorate the house with something of the season but January has been quite unimaginitive!

My pinboard is boring...
My table display is lacking...
Even my giant snowdrops are struggling!!

Roll on Springtime!!!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Happy Anniversary to us!

December 17th, 2012 was our 1st wedding anniversary. First wedding anniversaries have long since been associated with paper gifts and this gift from my mother has to be one of the best paper anniversary gifts ever! It is a picture of us on our wedding day...painted in acrylic by her own fair hand!!

We love it! It has just been given pride of place on the landing so it's the first thing you see when you go upstairs!!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Feed the Birds!

"Come feed the little birds
Show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry
Their nests are so bare"
Do you feed the birds? We feed the birds from about October to March/April. The harsh weather we have had recently is very hard on wild birds. They can lose 10% of their body mass in one night, just trying to keep warm! And while Spring is fast approaching, it can also bring severe weather! It's not too late to start!
These little birds are easily attracted to bird feeders and tables and can be watched from the comfort of your own home. It is fascinating to see these wild birds so close, watch their acrobatics on feeders, their pecking orders and how they interact with each other. It's really exciting to see a new species come into your garden and learn what it is. This winter we have seen all these birds in our garden...
I purchased a bird feeding station a couple of years ago quite cheaply and it is still going strong. They can be got for as little as €15 in Heaton's. It's safe for the birds as cats in the area can't climb the metal pole. We leave out Nyger seed, good quality peanuts, black sunflower seeds and suet balls studded with seed in feeders all the time. In addition, we leave out a variation of dried meal worms, raisins, suet pellets, oats and mixed bird seed on a tray feeder and always plenty of fresh water!
Okay, so it's not 'tuppence a bag' but bird food is inexpensive and can be found in all supermarkets and garden centres. You probably have plenty of bird food in your kitchens at the moment! Porridge oat flakes, cooked rice and potato, fruit; currants, raisins, apples and pears can be skewered onto branches, grated hard cheese, fat; suet, unsalted bacon and meat trimmings. Dry bread is not good as it can swell up in their stomachs. I often make my own bird food and will include some tutorials in the coming weeks. Bird tables and feeders are easily made from stuff lying around the house.
My husband fashioned this seed feeder from a lucozade bottle!
Bird feeding can cost as much or as little as you like but what it does require is consistency! Once you start, they will become dependent on you. I find it best to leave out an adequate supply of food and refill as soon as it has been eaten. These little birds often come a long way for your food, you don't want it to be a waste of their precious energy. I never fill feeders to the top as food, especially peanuts can go mouldy.
Keep the area clean; you can wear gloves and use some household disinfectant to clean feeders ensuring that it is rinsed off and dry before refilling with food. Move your feeder around to avoid a build-up of droppings as many birds will feed off the ground.
Lots more information can be found at Birdwatch Ireland.
So go on, give it a try...
Feed the little birds...and you'll be glad if you do!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

That's Home!

My husband and I went to see The Hobbit in cinema recently. As already avid Lord of the Rings fans, we weren't disappointed by the film. But...
Oh to live in The Shire!! In a Hobbit hole by the stream to be precise! It's just idyllic, isn't it?

 The Shire is described as a small but beautiful and fruitful land, beloved by its inhabitants!
And my favourite little smial (or Hobbit hole!) of all.....Bag End! 
 At the end of Bagshot Row is the enchanting home of Bilbo Baggins. A surprisingly spacious dwelling which tunnels into the earth. Inside, it's warm and cosy, dimly lit by candles. The fire always crackling in the hearth, his favourite armchair beside. The entryways and windows all low and perfectly round. The pantry well stocked with good things to eat and drink; cake, bread, meat, potatoes, ale and tea. The decor homely; panelled walls, wooden furniture, an antique chair, his mother's heirloom box. His study; lined with books, a feather pen and ink atop his writing desk, his poetry and his memoirs; "There and Back Again". 
 Bilbo clearly loves his dear little home as much as I do and missed it so on his adventures...
"I often think of Bag End. I miss my books and my armchair and my garden.
See that's where I belong. That's home."

Saturday, 19 January 2013

My Very First Post!

Welcome to Sweet Auburn Life.... 

"Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring swain;
Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delay'd.
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please,
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene! "

From The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith

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