Endless Summer

 

The sun is in the sky, oh why oh why, would I wanna be anywhere else? (Lilly Allen)

Blue sky, crisp and clear and cloudless.

My child’s laughter floating to me on the breeze.

Warm weather, balmy and sweet and sticky.

The sun slowly rising while I run, turning the sky pink and yellow and brilliant orange.

A rope swing hanging from a tree, twisting and turning.

Watermelon slices in the garden, sweet juice running down my chin.

Today I am concentrating on the small things. 

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Simple Things..

Life is complicated.

Life is hard.

Life is fast, and busy, and passes way too fast.

Life is also good, and wonderful, and very rewarding. 

In order to focus on the good, on the positive, I think I need to narrow down the distractions.

I need to simplify my life.

There are many things that come to my mind when I think of ‘simple’.

I think of less clutter. Less stuff. Being able to find what I’m looking for without a big stress. Things in my home having a place.

I think of food. Good food. Real food. Food with ingredients I can actually say. Food that I know where it has come from.

I think of time. Time to potter, time to think. Time to be with my family.

In these days of rush, worry, and horrible convenience foods, this sort of ‘simple’ life sounds like bliss to me!

I have decided to make a few changes. Nothing massive. Nothing super dramatic. Together though, I’m hoping these changes will bring me closer to the type of simplicity I crave right now.

I am de-cluttering. Getting rid of stuff. Bit by bit, day by day, bag by bag. Years of accumulated crap are leaving my house. Some is still good, just not needed, wanted or used any more. This is being sold, or taken to the op-shop. Some is total junk. Why-did-I-ever-keep-this type of junk. This is going straight into the bin. I have empty bags left in strategic spots around the house so whenever I open a drawer or a cupboard, I can quickly get a few things out that shouldn’t be there. That shouldn’t even be in my house!! So far this approach is working for me. I have done 2 trips to the op-shop, sold a few things, and totally filled the bin. It will be time for a tip run soon! I feel so much better opening a cupboard that I have already done. Being able to see what’s in there. For some reason it makes me feel calmer, more grounded. More in control.

I am changing how I look at food. Going away from convenience foods. Going back to basics. Real food. Hopefully food I have grown myself. So I have started a little veggie patch. Put in some herbs. The herbs I am already using in our meals, and it makes me feel really good to know I grew them. I can’t wait till we can harvest some veggies too. I am also hoping to get some chickens. You just can’t beat fresh eggs! They are amazing for composting food scraps down for use in the garden too. I have to wait for the OK from the real estate first, and I don’t know if they will allow it. I really hope they do. In the mean time I have found someone nearby who has chooks, and I am buying fresh eggs from them. With all this yummy, real food, I am trying to cook proper meals. Meals from scratch. Meals that don’t need a tin, a jar or a packet! So far I am having mixed success, but will keep trying and learning as I go.

As for getting more time, I think it’s a matter of managing it better. I am limiting what I agree to do, and focusing on what I feel is important for me now. I drink my afternoon cuppa in the garden, checking on the vegetables, instead of on the computer. I don’t watch as much television, and instead watch my son more. I have asked for and been given a day off work during the week. This is now MY time. Time I can use to shop, or cook, or plan the weeks menu. Time I can use in the garden, tending the plants. Time I can do nothing with if I choose, and just relax. The best sort of time 🙂

I feel as though I have just opened my eyes. Like I have just awoken to the possibilities. Like in some strange way, I am on the way to finding myself. My new self, my changed self. Because I will never again be who I was. That person has been forever changed by grief. I think my outlook on life has changed, and as I start to come to terms with that, I start to come to terms with the future I will have. The future without Mum.