Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Historic Hartley

Visited Hartley on the weekend, a small rural village about a half hours drive from us. The local buildings inspired me to play around with the photo settings.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Girls are Back in Town ....!

I'm so happy! My girls are back with me after living at my friends place for the past few months since we moved here.

Ruby at the front, checking out the new digs.

My friend who was looking after them went jetting off to Europe for 5 weeks (oh, the high life!) and I was visiting them twice a day for feeding/cleaning/egg collecting etc. Problem was, we hit freezing times here and went below zero a few days in a row, so their drinking water was freezing solid and I was tripping back and forth to give them fresh water.

Silvie (no comb) and Blondie (huge comb) ??why ??

After much guilt and anxiety, I practically begged the real estate agent to let us have them here, and within 3 hours they said the landlord said yes! Woo hoo!

Lady- fully recovered from the fowl-pox that killed Racey Rooster, but still she is still not laying after 3 months.

We can't move the ark here yet so for now we built a ramshackle lean-to into a holding pen. Bit of chook fence we went to our old house and pulled down (it is STILL for sale -not happy) and a bit of a hutch thingy and hey presto - new chooky accomodation.

BG- more Blue than Gold but still a beauty

Blondie - check out the mad comb!

The wyandottes are HUGE now- I really didn't understand how different they are to other breeds until I had my own- they are like soft round fluffballs! Check out the fluffly butts !!!

They seem very happy, even though they are still trying to figure out where they want to lay (there has been a few eggs rolling around the ground!) I made a nice nest inside the hutch and they just dragged the whole thing out :-0
So then I made a box on its side with straw in, but instead of using it to lay in, all 5 of them stuffed themselves in to sleep in it last night.... what the ???!!!!!

Crazy chooks - love 'em.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More animals......

The latest additions to the mountainwildlife household .......

Rainbow and Google (before their lovely wall-paper went on!)

A Shubunkin called Rainbow ("cos she has lots of colours") and a Black Moor called Google ("cos he has funny googly eyes!")

How could you not love those BIG eyes?!!

Both joined us on the weekend, hand picked by our kids. Well, given a total free-choice I think they would have gone for 'Nemo' and 'Dory' but since we are running a coldwater tank, tropicals are not on our list.

"Hey, check it out... another Shubunkin!"

We played safe and started with goldfish (yes, they are both goldfish!) as they are hardy and relatively easy to look after, and there are really so many different looking ones, I was quite surprised. 2 for now, then when the tank biology stabilises (another steep learning curve for me- aquatic management!) we can get another couple, but we might go for some little Zebra Danios which are just lovely and can live happily with the goldfish, if the numbers are right.

Google pretending to be a shark!

We picked up a great little fishtank on freecycle, 50cm/ 38 litre so fairly decent size, and enough for a small fish community. The nearest big pet shop is in the next town, and they have a huge range of fish and assorted bits and pieces. What they don't know about fish in there I can't imagine! Talk about fish.... well you could be there all day!

Other exciting animal news- we have our chooks back !!!! Hooray !!!!!!!!  More news about that later, along with some photos (if it ever stops raining!)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy birthdays :)

Has it been another year already? Sure has!

Despite the fact that I always get a little bit stressed about it, I do love the whole birthday-cake-making thing. I love thinking about cake ideas with my children, looking through books and thinking about colours.

Miss 5 decided a pink-and-purple flower cake would be just the thing this year, and was very happy with my interpretation!
Master 5 got his idea from a drawing he did the week before, a colourful rainbow-rocket. And we were all pretty pleased with the cake! My version is very-loosely based on the rocket shape from the womens weekly kids cake book.

I haven't worked with soft icing before, only ever doing butter frosting for the past 4 years. So that was interesting in itself, and with some helpful ideas from a brilliant cake-making friend of mine (as well as loaning a bit of equipment!) I had a great time working different colours into it and cutting shapes to make the ideas become reality.

I think they looked better in reality than in the photos. The rocket was brighter colours. Well, you get the idea anyway.

I also made hearts and tiny pink icing petals into flowers around the flower cake, and the rocket 'flames' are made with soft icing through a garlic press (never used with garlic!) It was very much like playing with playdoh! Thankfully it tasted a lot better though :-)

And of course, to top them off, sparklers out the back of the rocket and one through the centre of the cake (not shown on photos as we were too busy when they were 'sparkling' -especially when we set off the smoke alarms!!)

The party was lots of fun, 12 happy kids all enjoyed themsleves (and quite a few parents as well!)

Another year older, another year of childhood behind them. Oh, how can I be so happy and sad at the same time?