Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The trouble with chooks ......

.... I have decided, is that they are Creatures of Mass Destruction. For those who don't have any, oh yes, you'd better believe it, and for those who do have chooks, well, this is old news.

But to illustrate my point, here are a few photos I took this afternoon.

This was once our 'lawn' .......

Note the distinct lack of green-ness to it? Yes, we live in drought and I have never actually watered any part of my garden, but in 11 years we have been here it has always been green due to moderate rainfall in our area, and the trees we have lining both sides of our yard and 10 or so in the middle creating lovely shade in the heat of summer. (I'm not a huge lawn fan, but we're planning on selling when we finally build our dream home, and not sure anyone else wants the farmyard-look!)

OK, still not convinced it's the chookies? Well take a look at this ..... on the weekend I raked up huge amounts of leaf litter and general garden rubbish and piled it all up on one side to use later as mulch. Within 2 days, my darling chooks had redistributed it for me.

Here they are at work......

Australorps Emily and Lady with legs a-blur, and Ruby-Lou digging for bugs....

So, what's the solution?

Well keeping them in their ark (see top photo) without a decent run seems unfair, especially since I wanted free-ranging hens. As it is, they only free-range in the afternoons because we also have a dog, so he has to be tied up during their turn of the garden. Not good for anyone, and a situation I haven't been happy with for a long time.

So last weekend we decided to section off part of the yard to use for the chooks, allowing all animals more freedom, and hopefully get some green back into the garden by Spring.

It is taking longer than I expected as general life-stuff means we can only do bits here and there, but here's a sneak preview .....

Using lots of this ....

a handful of these ......

an old gate ......

and a whole lot of this!

Hopefully we will get it finished this weekend, and all will be good again.

Watch this space!

Monday, July 20, 2009

On Being 40 .....

Well the big day came and went, we spent the weekend in Canberra to mark the occasion and I am now officially on top of the hill, (surely the place just before you are over the hill?) and the view here is actually OK.

I have decided I am totally fine with being 40. Possibly, that is, because I am in total denial. I mean, I know I was born 40 years ago, its just that I don't really think I am a '40-year-old'. I suppose it has to do with my perception of what a 40-year-old is. As long as I can remember, being 40 was actually pretty old. When I was a child, being 40 meant you wore tan tights with A-line polyester skirts, wore hair rollers and knitted things. Wore nanna-shoes. Baked a lot wearing an apron. I mean, I knew quite a lot of 40-year-olds, and I am surely not that old. It's not that I am a super-youthful glamourous type (oh, so not!) but you see, I am still ME. Just like I was before.

I have never been one to wish I was younger, or yearn for the return of my youth. Don't get me wrong- being younger was pretty good too and I had some great times while I was there, but I wouldn't want to go back. Getting older to me is just about growing and evolving, and discovering who you are. Through my 20's I had no idea who I was, like lots of people I went to uni, drank too much and spent too much time clubbing. By my 30's things changed a bit and I felt like I grew up a lot then, deciding to return to Australia, getting married, settling down, having a family.

And thats where things changed, because thats the time I started to feel like I was in the right place, doing the right things, being the right person. This past year especially has been one of discovery. I know there are people who find out early on exactly who they are and where they are headed, I'm just wasn't one of them.

So, maybe thats what being 40 is about. Or maybe it has just coincided with another birthday. Who knows?

I'll give the tan tights and the hair rollers a miss, but I'm happy baking (with or without the apron!) and most of all, happy being whatever age I happen to be.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Busy Birthdays

Well I've been away from blogging yet again (as all bloggers know, so easy to do!)

First we all had the dreadful flu -by the time it had been through all 4 of us, it was 2 weeks long....

But then- hurray! We were all well just in time to celebrate! Our twins turned 4 just over a week ago (wow, where did that time go?) and we had lots of celebratory-days .....

Firstly we took them to Sydney Museum on their actual birthday, to see, among other things, the fabulous dinosaur exhibition. It was well worth the trip and we all enjoyed it ... except for that scary mini-movie they show.... well I had no idea it would be quite so realistic. Hmmm, I think they need to put a 'not suitable for small children' rating on it. Anyway, everything else there was great and later we watched the sun go down (and the bats come out) over Sydney harbour. Beautiful.

The following day we had booked pony rides for them both in Megalong Valley. It was a big surprise and they didn't guess until we pulled into the driveway and saw the beautiful horses, they were truly surprised, it was wonderful to watch their excitement. And they rode so well, while we just walked alongside, they were like naturals! (unlike me, who had wheezing asthma by the end. Oh, yes, still allergic to horses!) Never mind, it was worth it to see their happy faces.

The third day was The Party. Just a small one, less than 10 children and it went very well. Party food, couple of party games, lots of noise! (No red jelly, just natural noisyness!) Whoever invented those party blowers? And why did I buy some?

I thought that was the end, but when they went back to preschool on Monday I sent 30 little pieces of birthday cake (I made sooooooo much!) so everyone sang happy birthday to them once again while they shared.

It was a really lovely long weekend, and I'm glad we all got through it well, because .......

I have flu AGAIN. :-(

Aarrggghhhh! Not fair! I only had one week off!

Really hoping this is a quick one because its MY birthday next ..... (and its a big one!) I will blog about it later....... ;-)