Empty..but still here

This week I have struggled.

Really struggled.

I couldn’t even really tell you why.

It’s everything…and nothing…all rolled up together.

It forms a great big ball of blergh that makes me just want to stay in bed and hibernate.

I have been recovering from a badly sprained shoulder sustained while mountain biking with my middle boy. I hit the dirt hard and skidded. It is getting better, but aches all the time. The ache turns into a stabbing burn when I move it wrong, which seems to be a lot. I’m not a fan of pain, so I am getting very cranky about it.

The school holidays are over, so I am back at work. I normally like work. Not so much at the moment. Everyone is annoying me. Everything feels too hard.

I am trying to get the house clean and tidy, but really can’t be bothered. I start doing something, then just stop…no reason why. The house just feels like a house, not like my home. Which is stupid, it IS my home. It is my stuff, and my families stuff. But it still feels wrong.

So I give up on the house and go to do things in the garden. I just end up sitting at the table in Mum’s garden, staring into space. Thinking of nothing. Thinking of everything.

I am missing Mum. Like, REALLY missing Mum. I don’t know why now so much more than before, but it is like a physical pain. I am not sleeping well, and my first emotion upon waking each morning is extreme sadness.

Sometimes I wake already crying.

It is very hard to shake off, and continue with the day. Sometimes I just don’t want to.

We have been seriously looking into buying an investment property. Using the money from Mum. All she wanted was for us to get our shit together, and be secure, so I know it is something she would approve off. She would be so happy for us. We signed a bit of paper the other day, putting a hold on a place. Subject to this, that, and the other. It’s not final, it might not happen, we need to wait and see. After we signed I started to get shaky. Really shaky. The guy thought I was nervous.. After he left I went into the bathroom, not sure if I was going to throw up, or burst into tears.

I did neither, just stood there, staring at the mirror. At the face that looks so much like hers. Even with all my hair cut off I look so much like her. But I didn’t look nervous, or stressed, or grieving…I looked empty.

I felt empty.

I still do.

I am making an effort, trying to be cheerful at work. Spending time with my family. Getting excited about the big holiday we have planned. And I am excited, I really am. But underneath it all I still feel empty.

Because Mum is dead.

We can buy a property…because Mum is dead.

We can pay off our debts…because Mum is dead.

We can go on an amazing holiday…because Mum is dead.

And I just want her back

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Chook chook chickens!!!

It’s been crazy around here for a while now. I have been really busy playing in the garden, making it nice, and making it productive.

I love the idea of becoming a little self sufficient. I mean, I know it will never happen totally, but growing a little bit of food for my family? That’s an idea I can get behind.  The veggie garden is going well. I am already using the fresh herbs, and have high hopes for veggie harvest time. Today I even found our first baby bean!!

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One weird thing that has happened while trying to grow this nice fresh food, is that I can’t stop thinking about eggs. Not the bland shop eggs, but real eggs. Fresh eggs. Eggs with bright yellow yolks that are bursting with flavour.

So whats a girl supposed to do but get some chickens?!

I emailed the real estate, trying to get their blessing on it. They never got back to me, so I rang them. They never rang back. So I chose to interpret their silence as ‘You go girl! Get some chickens! Everybody loves chickens!!!’

I really thought the biggest hurdle would be getting the idea past my husband. He’s not a big animal fan, and I am constantly pushing the boundaries with my ever growing menagerie. This time he totally surprised me. While not loving the idea (or even liking it, if we are honest) he had no big objection. Lots of head shaking and eye rolling, but I’m used to that!

So Operation Chicken was hatched!! ( sorry about that, but hey, it was an eggsellent pun 😀 )

So I started the online ‘research’. By research I mean obsessing and fixating on all things chicken, cause that’s just how I roll.

I looked into all of their needs, into coops, runs, feeders. You name it, I probably goggled it! Anyway, I soon had a working plan in action. I sketched up plans, redrew them into something more practical, priced materials, then showed the husband. He then priced better materials, cheaper, cause that’s how he rolls 🙂

So before we started building, before we even purchased the supplies, I did what any crazy-person would do… I brought home chickens!!! Two little month old, very ugly-but-still-cute Isa Browns. Only problem was they had nowhere to live. So two old budgie cages, lots of cable ties, and a cat litter box later…they had a perfectly acceptable little temporary run. Not pretty, but the girls didn’t seem to mind 🙂

Meet Mildred and Little

Meet Mildred and Little

It really was temporary though, so we had to get cracking. So I dragged my poor long-suffering husband shopping and we got the metal and supplies needed. I then lined up our daughters boyfriend to come around and do the majority of the building and wielding. I figured I’d better cut the hubby some slack, there’s only a certain amount of ‘chicken stuff’ a bloke can handle!

So imagine my surprise when I came home from work the day before the build was due to start, to find him over halfway through the main frame work! I love this man 😀

Two days of bloody hard work later (I really mean bloody, that chicken wire is nasty on your hands) and the framework was up, the coop was built and painted, and the wiring was started. At this point, my crazy started to show a little more. I went to the nursery, and somehow..accidently came home with two more little chicks. These ones were only 12 days old. So now there are 4 chooks in the budgie cages!!

Meet Mikah and Tink

Meet Mikah and Tink

At this point the guys left it to me (smart men). A few more days (and lots of swearing later) I had all the wiring done. It was ready for chickens. Finally!!!!

The finished(ish) run and coop.

The finished(ish) run and coop.

The “Great Chicken Releasing Ceremony’ was set for after school. I think I was more excited than the boy..but that’s kinda normal 😉

The girls took a fair bit of convincing to leave the safety of their litter box, but once they did..boy were they happy chicks! Dust bathing, scratching about, rolling in the dirt like weird feathered dogs (I swear it’s the truth, these chickens are crazy!!) They spent ages exploring, then when they got tired they retreated back to the safety of the litter box!!! I guess that can stay for a while, since they like it so much.

They seem to be settling in quite well. They are getting used to us coming in and out all the time. (For some chicken love) Mildred and Little (the oldest two) come up for pats and scratches, but Mikah and Tink are still pretty skittish. They tend to hide under the coop when we go in, only coming out after we have been sitting there quietly for a while.

They have such different personalities already, and are such fun to watch. Who would have thought chickens could be so entertaining! The feathered freaks have totally won us over. We love our chookies.

Chicken love :)

Chicken love 🙂

Now we just need eggs. Yummy fresh bright yellow eggs…….

Hey!! You lookin' at me!?!  Little has big attitude!

Hey!! You lookin’ at me!?! Little has big attitude!