Thursday, March 22, 2012

A seemingly insignificant decision....and my new business!

You know sometimes your life-as-you-know-it does an unexpected flip and suddenly you are heading in a totally new direction? It happened to us a year ago when we dropped years of building plans and dreams and made a fresh new start. And now, well, some big changes have happened again already this year. In a good way. Again!

Last month I had (my first...) unexpected job offer, it literally knocked on my door! An old friend of mine picked up some housekeeping work at a holiday home across the road from me, and came to ask if I would like to work as a team with her. I wasn't looking for work, and it wasn't really what I wanted to do.... but it meant I could work a few hours once or twice a week, in school hours. I would be self-employed, so could charge a decent rate. So..... I accepted. Job no.1!

Holiday home views

When I went over to look at the place, the owner was clearly very saddened at the state of the grounds and gardens, and even less happy with his groundskeeper who had abandoned him. Weeds aplenty and lots of tidying up to do. Well I am not going to miss an opportunity like that am I??!! Both myself and my friend are keen gardeners, (and I have some training in native gardening) so we immediately offered our services as groundskeepers too. The owner jumped at our offer! (There's my job no. 2!)

Views whilst weeding ....!

A few days later I turned up for my first day at work, and whilst the owner was pleased to see me, he was shocked I hadn't told him I was a qualified massage therapist. OK -no points for guessing what comes next!! He asked if I would be interested in working as the in-house massage therapist for his guests. WOULD I??!! (of course I said yes-job no.3!)

I qualified as a massage therapist back in 2005, finishing my diploma when I was around 28 weeks pregnant. With twins. I was HUGE! My gorgeous babies were born not long after that (very premmie) and so between then and now the madness of general family life has meant I haven't had the opportunity to work at what I REALLY want to do for a living. I LOVE massage work! I have always had a new business plan in my head, but sadly it has remained in my head, until now.

The seemingly insignificant offer of work- which started out as a few hours housekeeping - has kick-started me into launching my own business as a Massage Therapist. Who would have thought? I am sure I would have done it anyway, but I have been 'thinking it over' for the past few years. I will work from home as we have plenty of space here, and a room I can use next to the front door as a clinic room. It will keep down my overheads and expenses which means I can charge very reasonable rates.

I the past few weeks I have completed mountains of paperwork, registering with professional associations, upgrading my first aid, obtaining professional liability insurance, ordering business cards/flyers/stickers etc etc, and officially registering my business name. I've started networking and revisited my old business plans. I've shopped for appropriate furniture and other essential items for work, and have almost finished decorating my clinic room.
I am nearly ready to put my business 'out there', just a few things to finish the room and I am waiting on a provider number from the Health Funds so clients can claim their rebates.

It reminds me of the 'big change' we made a year ago, when suddenly everything fell into place and went full speed ahead, and it did so easily because it was the right path for us.

I can hardly believe how much I have done in only a month, I feel like this plan has been waiting eagerly for the right moment (or a little nudge!) and now its unstoppable! I am very excited about my new venture and my family are all very supportive and excited too. I will keep my other 3-in-1 job for as long as I can, the hours are few and I feel so grateful to both my friend and my employer that they started the ball rolling for me (albeit incidentally!)

I will post a little more about my business soon, and hopefully also an update for the chooky-fans out there (I haven't forgot you!) as we have finally settled on our permanent flock after reducing the numbers somewhat.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's that crazy chook lady again.....!

About time for a chooky update I think, it has been a loooong time!

So .... the cute little balls of fluff all grew up, made it outside to reside in the chook pen with our existing 5 girls, and after a little bit of chasing and pecking, everyone knows their place and is happy! We currently still have all of them with us. I did have 2 friends lined up to buy some around Christmas time,  but both fell through for different (and genuine) reasons. Really I didn't mind either, as I wanted to watch them all grow, and it took us quite a while to judge the girls from the boys.

Finding a comfy seat - age 9 weeks

Of the 13 chicks, 7 are Australorps and 6 are Rhode Island Reds.

Australorp pullet (hen) 15 weeks

RIR pullet - 15 weeks

Of the 7 Australorps - we have 3 hens and 4 roosters (average odds)
Of the 6 RIR's - we have 4 hens and just 2 roosters (better odds!)

It doesn't take a maths genius then to work out that we have a cockadoodle-doodly total of SIX ROOSTERS with us at present ..... OMG! Luckily they all seem to get along fine, with no macho fighting displays as yet.

And since we are talking crazy numbers, the grand total now in the pen- old and new, guys and dolls- is a whopping 18 chooks!!! I think I am a very strong candidate for crazy-chook-lady of the mountains :-)

....and quite a few out of shot.....!

The young ones are 15 weeks old today. Which means the cockerals will start probably start crowing in the next few weeks and officially become roosters. Obviously we can't keep 6 roosters, but I am glad we have kept them this long. We are planning on keeping one, and have a firm favourite of the Australorps. He is a very handsome young chook, the biggest of the bunch with stunning feathers and a lovely temperament. He will sit quite happily on our laps or in arms for a pat as long as we want, as the others will too. 

'No. 1' rooster guarding one of his ladies from the camera!

"and look, I can do comical feather stuff too!"

But the RIR boys are lovely too! They are very happy to be picked up and handled and I don't really want to say goodbye to them. I would like to keep one but 2 roosters is probably too many for the 12 hens we will have. It would mean that we could breed both Australorps and RIR's in future years though......

One of the 2 (identical) RIR roosters, getting his lovely feathers in

Clearly I am not good at culling (!) and we are still deciding exactly who to sell. The roosters will probably have to go soon, especially if they start crowing. I might sell 2 to3 of the hens, or perhaps a hen and rooster as a breeding pair. They are good stock lines so it may be an option.

Speaking of options, we are considering if we can't sell the roosters that we may 'dispatch and process' them ourselves. Not a option we like of course, and we haven't done this before, but if no-one wants to buy them for breeding and they are going to end up in a pot, it may as well be our pot! Hens will always find a home of course, seems a little unfair doesn't it?

POT??? Is that why we're lining up??!!

No 2 black roo - how could anyone not want this handsome creature?!!

You may have realised from the photo captions that we have NOT named this hatch lot yet. It has been a long time but it has worked to lessen our attachment to individual chooks, so when selling/culling time comes it should be less emotional.
In theory.

BTW - do you remember I had to splint one of our chicks legs? I am happy to report the band-aid splint worked perfectly and just a week afterwards I had lost track of which chick it was! So it is now one of our healthy happy chooks with no leg problems :-)

Anyway, I will leave you with a couple more photos from today.

Miss A feeding the hungry beaks

3 girls having a rest :-)