We are starting back on the sunny side of life again.
Has been a mammoth little while - but we are settling into the swing of things.
We are the proud new carers of over a thousand hens. 400 ish of them have begun laying eggs and the younger 600 ish of them (fondly called the hoodlums) will start laying in about 6-8 weeks.
The first night, we had a temporary caravan set up for them to overnight in with perches. Their big ol' A frame houses didn't arrive till the next day by a building removal company. ....Anyway, after a HUGE day preparing for the chookies..... picture this:
6:30 p.m. - 3 kids strapped in the car with Charlie and Lola on the DVD.
Big kids: happy
Little man: not so happy - "where's my milky and my bed??? what do you people think you are doing????"
Husband: under the caravan (in mud and poos) scruffing chook by chook and passing said chooks to wife.
Wife: taking chooks one by one (keep in mind here there are FOUR HUNDRED of the precious little beasts) and popping them in the windows and door of the caravan. Shooshing them up to their perches.
Once the majority of them were safe from suffocating eachother under the caravan there was:
2 gaurdian dogs to feed and settle in their new place, water to be hooked up, another hundred or so chooks to relocate to the caravan from perching ON our vehicles (Nic ended back at the yard with four of them perched on his driveline) dinner to be served to children followed by bath and bed, mud to wash off of EVERYTHING.
Husband left house the next morning at 2:40 a.m. to milk cows and drive north to pick up the hoodlums.
Full swing the following day unloading large A frames, unloading 600+ chooks, hooking up waters, feeders, unloading bulka bags of feed, ordering egg cartons by the pallet, creating a label, talking to council, collecting eggs off the ground (and inside of whatever they could find)........... etc. etc.
Pause for a moment to appreciate our truly wonderful retired neighbors across the road that swiped my kiddos and looked after them all day, with Cliff back at the farm wonderfully lending a hand to us with everything. I have been waiting for wonderful people like this. I don't feel so alone now!
Anyway - after all of that, we are settling into life as egg producers.
There is still a hell of a lot to get done before the little beauties are packaged away in their perfect little cartons with a label of our own on it.
Better hop to it.
I'm still technically on a break, but I've scored most of the day by myself as Nic makes yet another run to the Highlands to pick up the last of the things that we have bought with the 3 kidlets. So I thought I'd check in with you.
Back to the grind, but I am going to be sure to take a few moments today to do something I want to do rather than have to do.
P.S. I will have an exciting litttle something to introduce you to next week!! Stay tuned.
I'm not sure when I'll be back, but when I do we can all hope that winter solstice will be a bit more gentle than it has been leading up to it, and I plan to come back revived and in the swing of things with the farm and the family. Oh, the balancing act.
We had our lovely little friend, Nina over on Saturday. She helped make Tahini Balls and then splashed in the mud and puddles at the farm while we hunted for pumpkins in the patch.
I love this picture of her reflection in the trough.
I also love the picture of my big boy helper and one of his many pumpkins he carried back to the trailer. He was such a help and wasn't worried about the
slaters, worms and slugs underneath the pumpkins as much as the prissy girlies were.
Funny how they weren't so worried about the mud when they were splashing it on eachother an hour later!
Monty took his regular surveying post in the backpack on Nic. He know's he's the real boss of this show.
The white nobby container and the orange pearl bowls are my favourite.
My grandmother has glassware with lots of nobby bits on it - I think that's why I'm attracted to it. And for some reason I alway's like white nobby glassware. I don't know the exact name of any of it - do you?
The little orange pearl bowls were the perfect thing for pumpkin pie lastnight sans the crust. I baked them like custards in a water bath along with our roast. The kids have just finished up theirs this morning for breakfast. Not a bad effort $3 for a half dozen!
The last item - I need help with. It is heavy and it is a press of some sort. When I bought it a fella came up and said that it is a meat press - as in for tongues etc. Any ideas?
I had a creative hour yesterday and whipped up these little trousers for the zooma.
...waaaaay too long and too skinny in the bum for the long term. I used a little pair of stretchy pants of his which I have now altered the pattern to add an inch to each side. I added the cuff, but when I make another pair I will make it so that the cuff can be rolled and keep the length. My babes seem to sprout up pretty quickly at this stage, so it wouldn't surprise me if these were fitting before long.
Can you get over the fabric??
Just ONE of my collection from the states last month.
Just wait till you see the donkeys. They might be the next trou's.
My creative time is SO needed at the moment. Life is a little jiggled and hectic - money and bank stress, chookens and their delayed arrivals, pending moving (one day hopefully!!)... it's all a bit much at the mo and I need to just play with the kiddos and create. The house had a good scrub for the auction last week so the housework can wait too. In fact - it can wait all the way thru the weekend.
I'm off to play with my kids and not think about the bank, chooks, money, houses, moving, school, etc. Well, maybe I'll think about it, but I'm not doing anything about it for now.
Have a happy day. Hop on the floor with the kids and let them know you're still there.
Hmm - to the Beach or jobs at the farm?
I think at this stage it'll be farm then beach if there's time this afternoon.
It is going to be a big week ahead as we will be adopting our chooks Wednesday or Thursday. There's a massive amount of planning to do and preparations to be made. It is exciting to see this happening.
I have an infatuation with all things Papaya!
Have a tissue ready - you'll probably start drooling.
mmmmm - this was the perfect warming up treat for our new bank manager today..
but before I give you the details - have a listen to my favourite new groovy song from Mark Ronson.. sure to get your bum moving...
Right - so Gretta and I made Spice Cake with Burnt Butter Icing. YUMMO.
2c flour (I use spelt)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t bicarb
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t gr. cloves
1/4 t gr. ginger
set aside then mix together:
1/4 c butter
1/4 c oil (never rancid canola/corn/veg - I use Macadamia Oil or Rice Bran or stable oil)
1 1/4 c raw sugar
1 1/4 c buttermilk or sour milk
add dry to wet and combine thouroughly
bake on 175C for about 35 minutes until a knife comes out clean..
Burnt Butter Icing: (a rich caramely flavour and easy peasy!)
(I used 1/2 this recipe for the above cake)
in sm saucepan on Med/Hi heat melt 1/2 c butter till melted and then begins to turn brown. The browning happens quick, so watch it that you don't burn it.
remove from the heat and put into a bowl
then sift over 4 c icing sugar
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
beat until desired consistency adding a tiny bit of milk if needed.
This little boy and I have just been on autopilot for the last couple of months.
I had a conversation with a good friend of mine from Queensland the other day and she was asking how we were going... Sleepless, unsettled, emotional, sporatic and frequent feeding, etc. but all is okay, right?
Do you know when you are in the thick of things that you sometimes just take things as they are? Like not seeing the forest for all the trees?
We are now nipping that in the bud (and thank goodness it's not my boob anymore!)
Going to sleep on his own in his cot without feeding first thru the day.
Slept all the way thru the night lastnight till 6:30. Sigh. Relief. Gratitude.
Thanks, Em. I needed a bit of a pep talk. I only wish it was over a cuppa after a warm hug!
Isn't he a saucy number in his crazy hand-me-down hat from Gavin and his cowboy boot slippers from Auntie Roneita? Daddy thought so when he got home from milking this morning.