The Sweetest Thing

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Augustine suffers the indignity

Hello dear bloggy friends!

You know this already. ¬†But I still have to say…

I have the best blogging friends in the world. ūüėÄ

The Bluestocking household were invited to spend Christmas at the farm of a certain blogging friend whom I will call¬†Ms H. ¬† Ms H invited us to stay a few days so we¬†could be woken up each night by dogs and roosters and frogs, oops, no.. um.. It was so we¬†could be waterbombed and shot at by small boys with nerf guns,¬†¬†¬†(It’s awful when posts¬†will¬†write themselves!) One more try… ¬†She invited us to stay so we could grow corpulent and happy eating delectable baked chocolate cheesecake and roast dinners and homemade caramel slice… ¬†(That is the honest to God truth.)

While I’m tempted to tell you a bunch of funny stories about things that went on during our stay, ¬†and the many fun activities Ms H involved us in, I really want to share something that I thought was as sweet as pie.

Christmas in Australia is hot. ¬†(That’s not the sweet part!). ¬†Children were in the pool, or stalking us with water-bombs, grown-ups were sitting in the shade in that lazy, Christmas-arvo kind of mood. A fellow guest brought out a red, wrap around skirt her husband had made for her, with the view to embroidering flowers around the hem. And here’s the sweet thing: she invited everyone to join her. ¬†Can you imagine?! It was so lovely of her to share her new skirt! A bunch of little girls felt ten feet tall being able to help in such an endeavour, and of course conversation flowed more easily because we were working on a project together.

The experience was so¬†inclusive.¬†Coupled with Ms H’s ability to entertain eight overnight house guests without developing a nervous twitch, it has caused me to re-think how I try to make people feel special. ¬†When I entertain, I plan and plan and stress and stress about it being perfect. Why? Because I want it to be special. ¬†But this visit has shown me that being relaxed, and allowing people to be a part of your life is what actually makes an experience special. ¬†Happy realisation! ūüôā

Thank you, Ms H and family for opening your hearts and home to a bunch of city folk! ‚ô•

sewing cirlcle

And now, friends, I offer you ¬†Lies People Tell about Chickens and the Joy of Good Friends…. The Sequel! Yes. ¬†Because there is a lot I have to tell you about chickens (and good friends), that the unwary ought to know. ¬†For example: have I told you I have geese? ¬†I do. ¬†Adorable things, geese. Lookie…

goslings

A dear friend gave these to me, and when they are good, they are very, very good, and when they are bad.. well, they are certainly naughty. ¬†Just like puppies, they get bored if you don’t play with them. Then they find something to play with that you’d rather they didn’t. But as my geese are well¬†¬†loved¬† and frequently cuddled, I had opportunity to notice giant, prehistoric looking insects crawling on them. Really, really big insects. ¬†Horrid looking things.

I looked on-line. I rang the vet. I determined to rid my geese of what turned out to be (shhhh…. they are still embarrassed about it.. ) lice. Uh huh. ¬†My geese had nits.

I turned to my trusty, farm wise friend, Ms H.  She informed me that a dunking of the geese AND the chickens was necessary, told me what to buy, where to buy it, and blithely instructed me to fill something with water and pop the birds in.

Well.  This is where I tell you the truth about friends, AND birds who need to be dunked.  Friends who give you chickens, and say that those chickens need to be dunked, and imply that the process is not going to endanger your very life or at least your sanity, are Not Quite Being Truthful.

chook dip   my day

After repeating this process on three geese and four chickens, I spent days wafting the aroma of ¬†freshly washed puppy wherever I went. ¬†Fleas, lice, and probably man-eating crocodiles if I encounter them, will melt before me in a three mile radius for weeks to come, I’m sure, so saturated was I in the “kill any baddies” wash. The moral of this story is that friends who lead you to believe that your birds getting lice is no big deal, are telling whoppers, and that should you ever find yourself in that lamentable circumstance, wear a raincoat! (and goggles, and gumboots, and… )

And that’s it folks. ¬†I hope you are all enjoying ¬†time with family and friends over the holidays. Stay safe!

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Lies People Tell About Chickens, and the Joy of Good Friends

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Hello Bloggy friends!

 

I hope you are well and hearty ūüėÄ

 

Today something delicious happened to me. Yes, delicious.  I have to tell you!

 

But first, do you recall back in January, the very dear Heidi ( alias: Super Secret Agent Chicken Little), surprised the BB household with four chickens?

Chickens generate an enormous amount of fun. ¬†Chickens make great pets (here’s Bloss having a ball with them..)

 

 

They are relaxing to watch, they keep down weeds in the lawn,¬†they eat your left over veggie scraps and if all that weren’t enough for you, they also lay eggs.

But friends, there is a dark side to chicken ownership.  At least, there is if you believe every thing you read  about the purported benefits of chickens.  I have read times without number that chickens will keep down pests in your garden. That they will help fulfil your permaculture dreams. (Yes, I can hear everyone who has ever owned chickens, snickering.) And I am going to expose that claim for what it is: chicken propaganda.

Let me tell you the truth.

 

Chickens, those dear, sweet, relaxing-to-watch creatures, will wait until you are out, and they will EAT your garden.  They will DIG in your garden. They will DESTROY your garden.

Yessssirrreee.

Those sneaky girls will betray you.  If they survive that, they will openly defy you, and right under  your very nose,  will waltz up to your lettuce and eat it clean up.  Just. like. that.

And if that isn’t insult enough, they will abscond to your neighbour’s yard, the neighbours who haven’t given you a moments grief in all the years you’ve been neighbours, and decimate their pride and joy flower garden. ¬†It will happen. ¬†You can take it to the bank.

So, what’s a chicken owner to do? ¬†WELL. ¬†Cue the joy of having The Best Friends in the Whole World. ¬†And I do. ¬†And two of them came over today, and, in an act of something between mercy and insanity, they undertook to fence my chickens in.

 

 

With the help of five members of the BB household, I’m sure you can imagine what a task it was to achieve. ¬†As a bit of a hint… we are so accustomed to doing useful jobs such as fencing, that three of our number were wearing ankle length skirts. (Yes. We have never put up fences before. You live and learn!)

 

Not only did my very dear friends fence in my chickens and in many other ways improve my yard, but they came bearing gifts.. There were little butterfly cupcakes baked fresh this morning, and enough cut jasmine that every room in my house is perfumed.

 

I may have mentioned once or twice before, but it bears saying again…

 

I have the best friends in the world! ‚ô•

Of Chickaroos and Vice

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Chicken buddies

See the fine specimen of chicken at the left of the picture?  Her name is Sago.  She is the chicken I chose from the random blur of cute fluffiness  that assailed my mothering instincts at the markets two weeks ago.

My family have been convinced that she is a rooster.  I chose her because she was large and healthy looking, and by far the fluffiest (after all, is that not the most important feature of a chook?)

Recent times have given pause for doubt.¬† Here is Pecan.¬† I would have it that Pecan was practicing to crow.¬† Poor miss 13, who chose Pecan and is rather attached to, ah,¬† him, won’t hear of it.¬† You be the judge –

Pecan practising crowing?

Almond, who is by far the friendliest, most loyal follower, and will always come when called is looking much like Pecan.

Almond

In a previous post, Missy the chick whisperer, and Jillian, another experience chicken raiser,¬† both shared ideas on how to determine whether my sweet balls of fluff are boys or girls, and the wilder among my readers have suggest this could be a betting matter ūüėČ

Friends, I am not sure of the legal implications of turning my blog into an online den of iniquity, but if you happen to fancy yourself as the person who can eliviate my chicken anxiety as to whether my feathered friends are destined for the pot or not, by all means cast your bets, um, opinions!

Pecan standing, Sago sitting

Just as an aside, have you ever tried to photograph chicks?  They follow you.  You cannot get away from them: this makes it very challenging to achieve anything but the tops of their heads, not to mention the danger of standing on one!  Trying to run away and take a picture results in stressed looks of unbelief on the faces of your chickens.  Putting them on the trampoline when we were all exhausted finally did the trick.