All’s well

A week on from last week’s post and I’m so glad to be able to tell you that all’s well in the Winwick Mum household!

Thank you so much for keeping me company with your comments and emails, and for your good wishes for the dog.  It was so lovely to hear from you and what you’ve been up to, and I’m sorry to hear that some of you have been poorly as well – I do hope that you’re feeling better this week.  I’ve replied to all of your comments – I never know if you see them or not but I do like to reply when I can anyway 🙂

A black dog stands in a water in a muddy ditch in a wood

This photo is from Wednesday last week, and I just missed the grin before the hippo wallow into the water. 

💜  The dog went for his scan on Thursday, and the vet said there’s nothing to worry about and he’s in very good shape for his age.  It was such a relief!  I spent all day on Thursday trying to keep busy and jumping every time the phone rang (we don’t usually get sales calls but we got them all on Thursday!), and I couldn’t wait to go and pick the dog up.  He was very wobbly as he’d been sedated and it was really quite funny to watch him, but we were just very glad to have him home and know that whatever had been making him sick wasn’t something unpleasant inside that we would have to deal with.

We’re no wiser as to what was making him poorly, but the vet thinks maybe he had gastroenteritis and it’s passed now.  The dog is certainly back on his food so whatever was putting him off it seems to have left his system.  He’s got to go and have a dental at some point (a scrape and polish – ugh, I hate those visits to the dentist!) and he may need to have a tooth out, but I’m brushing his teeth every day now to try to avoid that.  Yes, yes, locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, perhaps, but if there’s any chance I can save his tooth then I’ll do that!  We’ve never been able to give him anything to chew to clean his teeth as he swallows it whole, or cracks bits off it and swallows it (so no bones for this boy) so I probably should have started cleaning his teeth earlier, but I didn’t.

He’s been shaved so that the vet could do the ultrasound – they did warn me that they would be doing that but I don’t think I expected quite such a big shaved area!  I can’t decide whether he looks like a Belted Galloway sheep …

A Belted Galloway cow - black with a white stripe around it's middle

Source: @herdyshepherd1 (I contributed to the crowdfunder for this herd of cows!)

or a clipped horse!

A dark brown horse with it's coat clipped to leave less hair along it's underbelly

Source: Tara Gregg via Horse Illustrated Magazine

No, I’m not going to show you, I don’t want to embarrass the boy 🙂  I don’t think there’s any reason why he can’t go back in the  muddy ditches without any fur other than it might feel a bit cold, but I think I’ll try to keep him out of them for a while!

💜  The wild garlic is out in the woods.  I don’t remember noticing it here before, or maybe I’ve just gone at the wrong time.  It’s starting to flower now, and it smells wonderful!

Wild garlic growing up a woodland bank

I’ve got a recipe for leek, potato, spinach and wild garlic soup which came in the veg box the other week, and I’m really tempted to give that a go.

💜  Also in our veg box – coloured carrots!  Oh, you might have been eating these for years but these are new to me.  I was the child who was always told off for making a decision about whether to eat something or not based on what it looked like, and I would not have chosen to eat purple carrots, no matter how much I love the colour.  Yes, I know that all carrots originally used to be purple, but that would have been as persuasive to me as trying to tell me that if I didn’t eat my dinner, it would be sent to Africa to someone who would appreciate it (I may even have gone to get an envelope … I was a difficult child sometimes!).

A selection of coloured carrots on a black granite worktop - they are yellow, orange and purple

Now, however, older and wiser and with these turning up without warning in the veg box and me having a different view about food waste, I have discovered that these carrots taste just like carrots and it’s absolutely fine for me to eat them.  In fact, look at the purple ones on the inside!  I love that!

A section through a purple carrot showing that it is orange inside

Our veg box is very good for me, it’s a good combination of veg that we always eat and something that might be just off my radar but should be on it, and I am appreciating the opportunity to expand my horizons.

💜  Back to the woods – wood anemones.  I love these little white flowers, they make me think of fairies and I can imagine them being the latest style in headgear 🙂

A clump of white wood anemone flowers in a woodland

💜  The bluebells are out in the woods too.  Every year, I post a photo because I really love them, and every year there’s a discussion about whether they are “real” bluebells or not (as opposed to the Spanish bluebell interlopers which are taking over in lots of areas).  I think these ones are proper English bluebells but the white ones in the bottom photo aren’t, and the ones in our garden that we inherited when we moved in definitely aren’t so I won’t show any of those this year so that I don’t cause offence – but there’s something about seeing that sea of blue in amongst all the green that makes my heart lift, even though the dog and I were tramping along in the rain (yet again).  It’s my Wildflower yarn season and it makes me very happy!

Bluebell flowers in a wood Blue and white variations of bluebells in a park area of a woodland

💜  This has made me very happy this week too.  I’d completely forgotten that I’d planted tulips in my new border, and even if I’d remembered, I probably wouldn’t have remembered what colour they were (no, of course I didn’t write it down!).  It has been such a joy to see these open up over the week, and I am very grateful to see them this year – and I’ll keep my fingers crossed the mice haven’t spotted them as they’re the reason that all my tulip bulbs usually disappear!  Hattie the cat likes this border (I have a feeling there are lots of little parcels under that bark) but if it keeps the mice away …

Pink and white tulips in a garden border

💜  Sock knitting … well, there has been plenty of that going on this week but not the Nepal sock and nothing that I can show you, I’m afraid.  Sometimes, when it all feels as if it’s getting a bit much, I just need to knit.  Nothing special, just my Basic 4ply Socks pattern, round and round in those little circles with yarn that doesn’t need any attention other than to make sure it’s coming out of the ball fast enough.  It’s like coming home, and it soothes my soul in a way that nothing else quite does, not even being in the garden.

I have knitted a whole pair and another sock this week and I’ve got the second sock of that pair already on the go so as you can imagine, there has been plenty of sock knitting and I have so appreciated it.  The yarn is a brand new one, not launched yet which I why I can’t show you, and I’ve been very grateful to have the opportunity to try it out – the good news is that when it is launched, I’ll have some photos to show you so that you can see what you think, but for now, it’s secret knitting that’s has brought me back to me.  That, and your company this week, that’s done it for me.

Thank you xx



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57 Responses

  1. Ven Wood says:

    I grow purple carrots, you can get purple french beans too but they go green when you cook them

  2. Christie Heath says:

    I enjoyed reading your letter this morning and especially hearing words like…a good report. Glad your four-legged family member will be okay. The flowers are gorgeous! Spring has sprung here in Woodstock, Georgia as well and bringing lots of pollen. Happy weekend to you and yours.

    • winwickmum says:

      Thank you! I’m glad spring has reached you too, and I hope you have plenty of sunny mornings to enjoy the flowers! 🙂 xx

    • Tracy Lamb says:

      Glad all is well with your gorgeous dog, I love seeing your walks you share.
      Have you ever tried an olive or coffee tree stick they are tough and take a lot of chewing without dangerous bits coming off. Buy the biggest one and it will last ages.
      Love bluebell time, we always head to one of our local NT properties to enjoy them.
      Look forward to seeing the new wool, thank you for introducing me to the wonderful and addictive world of sock knitting !!

      • winwickmum says:

        I’ve never heard of those sticks before but I’m going to investigate! We did give him a reindeer antler once but he didn’t like it and I didn’t realise there were other options! Thank you! xx

  3. Jan says:

    I love the good news about your dog….our pets are family!! I also particularly enjoyed the photos of the wild flowers AND tulips. Here in coastal Connecticut, between NYC and Boston, spring has been slow to sh0w up. We now have daffodils and forsythia in abundance and finally flowering trees as well. Thank you for always “hitting the spot” in my weekend inbox.

    • Lynn says:

      I lived in Old Saybrook CT for two years in the 1980’s and loved the area so much! Much colder icy winters than I was used to but beautiful summers. Back in coastal Cumbria we’ve had nothing but rain for much too long! Today I saw beautiful primroses and blossom trees!

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh that sounds lovely! As much as I love the snow, I do love to see the trees and flowers blossoming too! 🙂 xx

  4. Jude says:

    So happy your dog’s okay. I’m into dog walking, knitting socks (thanks to you) and gardening too. We created a wildlife pond in my front garden last Autumn and I’m so enjoying watching all the plants come to life and the little creatures which are inhabiting it. Thanks for your posts.

  5. Joy says:

    Good to hear your news about your dog. I lost my fur baby 4 weeks ago, and I still cry everyday. I miss him so much. Can’t concentrate on anything very much, but knitting in circles does help.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that, I’m sending you all my love. Whatever size our fur babies are in life, they leave such a big hole. I’m glad the circles are helping xx

  6. Fiona says:

    the purple carrots would be a good inspiration for yarn!! 😁

  7. Christine Knowler says:

    Great news for your dog. I went for a walk with a friend the other day and saw some bluebells. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go to the other side of the woods where there are carpets of them. I have red tulips in the garden and a couple of years ago bought a mixed bag to put around the different borders. Most of them came up red with a couple of yellow lol!

  8. Heather from Australia says:

    I love how your dog looks right into your eyes from the ditch, he’s beautiful how blessed that he is ok and that you are well and live with such beauty around you.

  9. Helen says:

    so glad the dog is okay and back having fun.

  10. Jan says:

    I’m very glad your dog is feeling better. I’ve been trying to clean our 10 year old dogs teeth. she does not like it. I have also been knitting your basic sock, it’s nice to go round and round without stress sometimes. Have a good weekend

    • winwickmum says:

      Luckily for me, our dog doesn’t seem to mind me poking about in his mouth with toothpaste – at least, he tolerates it for long enough for me to give them a quick scrub and I figure that’s got to be better than nothing! 🙂 xx

  11. Jeanie Maier says:

    So enjoyed reading your post this morning!

  12. Susie says:

    Your newsletters are such a joy to read. I can relate so well, especially your worry about your doggy. they can cause the same stress and joy as a family member.
    Our season now is autumn, leaves are turning red, while others are in bloom!
    sock knitting time for me is not far off and I’ll go hunting for suitable yarn for the Treasure socks! x

    • winwickmum says:

      I think it’s magic that I can talk to you in another season way across the world! If it’s autumn, it’s definitely sock knitting time and I hope you enjoy knitting the Treasure Socks! 🙂 xx

  13. Lindsay says:

    I’m so pleased that your dog’s been given the all clear, pets certainly keep you on your toes, don’t they?
    I love those purple carrots, I made purple and pink coleslaw with some purple carrots, red cabbage, radishes and chopped apple. Husband was a bit 😵‍💫 but it was yummy!
    Isn’t it uplifting seeing everything beginning to grow? We have wild garlic and wood anaemones here but the bluebell flowers are only just in bud. All the hedges are greening up and the May blossom is beginning to flower.

    • winwickmum says:

      Ooh, what a good idea – I love coleslaw but I never think to make it myself! It’s so lovely to see everything starting to come out again – you’re a bit further north than me, aren’t you, so you’ve still got the joy of the bluebells to come! xx

  14. Barbara says:

    Hope you don’t get the relentless winds we have had. Daffodils now in ribbons 😢. They usually get a battering every year but this year has been the worst ever.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh no! We have had some strong winds recently but fortunately, the daffodils have managed to stand up to them. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about my tulips! 🙂 xx

  15. Gillian says:

    I’m so pleased your beautiful dog is ok. Our fur babies are so precious. I too get comfort and relaxation from knitting socks. l have learnt a lot from your blogs and your Basic sock book, thankyou. l love crochet and cross stitch too so always keep busy 😆 Take care xxx

  16. Susan Rayner says:

    Wonderful news that your lovely dog is fine. Hope the tooth brushing goes well.
    Lovely to see the Bluebells – do you think they are earlier this year – everything else is. Certainly here in Surrey – despite being drowned a lot of the time and most of the winter.
    I too love mindless knitting – nothing better for the soul when you need just to relax.
    Happy weekend. x

    • winwickmum says:

      I’ve just been back to check on last year’s post about the bluebells and it was a week later so maybe they’re a little bit earlier this year but not much – not up here, anyway! Thanks for your lovely words xx

  17. Kathy says:

    Glad all is good news. I agree about the relaxation of just knitting not rushing

  18. Ruth says:

    I’m so glad your doggie is ok. I am sitting in the garden at 6.30 in the evening writing this, what a joy. the birds are singing like mad over the noise of the traffic from 100 yards away dual carriageway ( my daughter who lives a similar distance away from it views it differently and says it sounds like the sea, perhaps I should change my point of view), the camellia are blooming away, ( one was s present to my grandparents for their ruby wedding in 1965, its massive now and has ventured into next door’s garden, I don’t think they mind!
    its been a mixed few weeks of sadness and gratitude for my family, my mum died aged 91, and although we are sad she is not here, we are grateful for a peaceful death, a long and very good life, and the thought that she is with my Dad, and that she is now at peace and free from arthritis and dementia. Years ago, before her previously wonderful memory failed her ( torture, she called it), she told me not to grieve for her as she had a had a blooming good life! it’s a great comfort to see nature continue with the cycle of the year.
    I love wild garlic, it grows in profusion in the woods near my childhood home, Mum hated the smell and called it stinking garlic! I cant remember anyone picking it in those days, unlike now!
    looking forward to seeing your yarny secret!

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your Mum, and I’m sending you all my love. I don’t think it matters how long or how good a life someone has had, we still miss them terribly when they’re not here any more! I like your daughter’s view of the road noise. The road near to our house has got busier over the years and maybe I need to try to think about it as the sea as well – although we have a lot of HGVs going up and down and they definitely don’t sound like the sea! 🙂 xx

  19. Gillian Varlow says:

    So glad your doggy is okay. My little fellow will be 21 next month so every morning I wake up before him is a worry for a few seconds. I just love when he rouses slowly and gives me a looks that says very clearly “Get stuffed” like a teenager that wants a lie in.

    If you’re planting more bulbs this fall, it’s a great chance for the dog to chip in. I always plant my bulbs with a good handful of dog hair and have never had problems with squirrels or mice stealing them.

    Wishing continued good health to your pup and the rest of the family!

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, that’s interesting advice about the bulbs, thank you! I wonder if it works the same with cat hair – we’re not short of either! It’s lovely that you’ve still got your dog at 21, that’s a wonderful age for him to be! 🙂 xx

  20. sylvia scott says:

    Sylvia from Australia Glad your dog is OK I am knitting your easy lace socks and really enjoying do it The lace looks so delicate thankyou

  21. Audrey says:

    morning. Very pleased your dog is ok .its surprising they can pick up bugs that’s we get too .But it happens .I love nothing better than walking through the woods at this time of year seeing the wild flowers which are protected .Blue bells are so pretty

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, I’m always surprised when the vet gives one of our animals something to take that we’d be given by a doctor – but I suppose it makes sense as their organs are similar to ours! 🙂 xx

  22. Annette says:

    so enjoyed reading your post, and so glad your dog is ok.

  23. Steph says:

    Lovely post Christine and so pleased your lovely dog is okay. We’ve been through a worrying few weeks with our old Lab, however, for now she seems to be better, she’ll be thirteen in August a big age for a big dog so, every day is precious.

    • winwickmum says:

      She’s the same age as our boy – he’s 13 at the end of the month. I’m sorry she’s been poorly and I’m glad she seems to be better now too, it does make you wonder if there’s something that might be going around that affects dogs! xx

  24. Barbara Goodyear says:

    Thank you Christine for another good blog – so glad Dog is okay. They are a worry sometimes. Toby (now 11.5 years) had about 20 teeth out last year and copes fine (he and his girl, who we lost 2 years ago) have always had their teeth brushed as greyhounds are often fed slush for racing – they like the toothpaste taste).

    My knitting has slowed dramatically: just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in right hand. So it seems everything will be slow, slow, go now! Physio is great and she helps.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve got osteoarthritis, I do hope the physio can help. I’ve just read an online article about castor oil being good for arthritis – no idea if that’s true or not but maybe something to consider along with the myriad of other advice you’ll have been given! 🙂 I’m glad your dog manages without teeth, that’s good to know if our boy has to have some taken out! xx

  25. Liz says:

    so pleased your dog is good to go! he looks quite happy in the mud! A few years ago I bought a primrose from the hairy pot co, it must like the wet patch it’s in as this year it’s spread all over which is great. Our elderly kit(16) is happy too now the sun’s out and he can mooch about outside again. It’s a gardening day today so must get on – more rain forecast for tomorrow night, will we ever dry out?

    • winwickmum says:

      Ugh, I am so fed up with all the rain! My rotary washing pole has fallen over now because the ground is so wet, so I can’t even dry clothes when the sun does come out! I’m glad your primrose likes your garden, they’re so lovely to see, aren’t they? 🙂 xx

  26. Cathy says:

    I’m so pleased that your dog is ok, they are such a worry when they’re ill. My dog will always be straight in the mud and water too. Living near to the beach, he won’t go in the sea… as a posh clean Goldie, he prefers the muddy water. You have my sympathy, I just want a nice clean walk, without him eating rabbit droppings, rolling in something stinky or diving into wet and muddy water.
    I had to smile about your dinner going to Africa, as a child I too was told ‘eat your dinner, there are millions starving that would want your dinner.’ We had hearts, boiled potato (not mashed) and many other extremely plain food eg pile of mince (no sauce), cabbage etc quite frankly they were welcome to it.
    Thank you for all your help with sock knitting. The soon as I’ve finished a few knitting projects this month, I’ll be back on with the next pair of socks. Have a good week x

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, at least I didn’t have to eat hearts – I think steak and kidney pie was bad enough for me! What is it about these Labs? They only want the muddy, scuddy water, don’t they?! 🙂 xx

  27. Allie Lazell says:

    So glad about your doggo. Have you tried the plaque powder that you sprinkle on their food? I think it’s seaweed and it’s quite miraculous. Our dog won’t let us clean his teeth but the powder has been magic. Its improved his teeth no end in around two weeks. 1/2 a teaspoon on each meal, check it out on am***n. Your bluebells look like proper English ones 😊

    • winwickmum says:

      I have bought some of that and we were using it, but when the dog went off his food I stopped and haven’t started again – I should do really! The vet we saw was quite sceptical; she said she was always wary of things that didn’t have clinical trials and this doesn’t, but I’ve spoken to a few people who have had the same experience as you so I’ll go back to putting it in the dog’s dinner again – thanks for the reminder! xx

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