Last Saturday, a cunning fox visited at an unprecedented 11am in the morning. Seven of our eight chookie girls were taken. The lavender Araucana was the only survivor, huddled and scared away from the carnage. The lavender Araucana is the nervous Nelly, or as I call her “The Panic Merchant”. One of my favourites, she has a “the-sky-is-falling” disposition. And rightly so.
Here are some of the girls when we got them, at 8 weeks old last October. And more recently, running to say Hello and pecking at my gumboots.
I spent yesterday picking up the feathers that are strewn everywhere. I can’t stand to look at them.
I grew up on a farm, I know how it goes. We have lost chooks before, but only one at a time. Seven? Well, seven was a bit much to handle.
You move on, you dust yourself off, and you keep on going. Ari and I picked up 3 new girls today. A point-of-lay Isa Brown, and two 8-week-old babies: another Araucana and a Light Sussex. They won’t lay until about 22 weeks. They are settling in, with the babies separated from the older ones. The Lavender Araucana has no time to be lonely now, she is too busy puffing herself up and looking in charge.
I can’t wait until the girls get home from school to see them, and fuss over them. As we start over again.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is exactly how I want my kids childhood to be: making up games outside, exploring, climbing, digging, being together. Like my childhood was.
Well the proof is there. I have become a once-a-month blogger. Thought I’d better get a quick blog post in before July passes by.
We have been partying hard here, with an 8th and 10th birthday to be celebrated. The birthday cake is a big deal around here. There are weeks of birthday cake book perusing. I have the Women’s Weekly one from the 1970’s which my mum used for us, plus some others collected along the way. Ari likes to flick through them at least a few times per week. I have happy memories of a few cakes I received as a child from the Birthday Cake book.
Ella’s 10th birthday cake.
Mia’s 8th birthday Octopus cake.
I am taking the day off from my studies today. What are you up to today? Busy or on the go-slow?
I’m making some fetta and listening to Jack White. Fetta is my go-to cheese for minimal hands on time in cheese making. Set for 90 minutes. Stir once. Wait an hour…..that kind of thing.
I am playing Jack White “Blunderbuss” over and over. I tend to hook onto an album and play it relentlessly for about 3 months and then move on. Until the new Angus Stone album comes out in July, I expect Jack will be on constant replay for at least another month (I think the kids have tuned out). What are you listening to lately?
The Front Lawn Cartwheel Competition has been postponed until further notice.
Thankfully, the arm is not broken. The elbow and surrounding muscles are a little upset though.
It has been a week of making and baking here. We recently had our 2 Dexter steers butchered for our own consumption, and some meat for friends. This is our second time round with butchering own own livestock. The Dexters are small and compact and great for keeping the feed in the paddocks down. We bought them in mind of eating them, and have used a mobile butcher. Last time we had a sausage making night with some friends. This time we borrowed the sausage maker, and got to making our own sausages.
Disclaimer: a photograph of raw sausages is never going to look attractive.
The sausages were simple herb and garlic sausaages, made with natural casings.
I made a batch of hot cross buns that were devoured, both by myself and family. This confirmed to me why I try not to buy either hot cross buns or mince pies early in their respective holiday seasons. Once you start, you just can’t stop.
Do you bake any special foods over Easter? I mostly bake buns. Every year I aspire to make a Chocolate Cake decorated with Easter eggs, but once the kids are already hyper and I realise just how much chocolate that will be it just doesn’t get made.
It just occurred to me that February was full of new starts for us. I looked back through my archives of Feb happy snaps and there they all were: new school, new Kinder, new horse riding venue, new friends, new experiences. I have to say, it has all been a little overwhelming and disruptive. I am longing for the lazy days of summer and no routine.
I have taken over the reins at the new school with the Kitchen Garden. I am undecided about how that is going. There is a fantastic veg and herb garden already underway. There is gardening and then kitchen cooking every week. The kids are so into it. Week 3 is tomorrow – more zucchini recipes!
Amongst that there has been sad news about friends, a concert at the zoo, yabbie catching, a $26.25 challenge, some serious hard waste perusing (and snaffling!), prodcue preserving, the chooks finally laying, our first green/blue araucana egg, committee meetings, picking blackberries, making jam and holidays planned. Oh, and a truck smashing the front of my car off. At least the 3 1/2 weeks in the substitute 4WD meant for some serious hard waste action. All was not lost.
We are keeping it sane with dreams of weekends at home. So precious and coveted at the moment: Ella for reading, Mia for sleeping in, Ari for trampolining, me for knitting and Jamie for the veg garden. It’s the weekend dreaming that keeps the weekdays sailing by.