Sunday, 30 November 2014

The End of Spring....Hello Summer...

We had a very busy weekend ...yesterday was our turn to host the family Christmas Gathering....28 people for was a beautiful sunny day....great to catch up with everyone and the weather was just perfect...gorgeous sunshine but not too hot.....the kids had a great time playing cricket in the yard and also getting into the Christmas gifts I had given them...simple pleasures really are the best.

All the adults at the table....the kids picnicked on a blanket

Gorgeous little faces lined up for a family photo....great memories here.

The girls getting into painting their Christmas pressies....the two little guys are looking not that interested I think....
Today is the last day of Spring as we welcome Summer to the hills.....Life changes with the seasons and today we also visited Ed's elderly aunt who has taken seriously ill and has been hospitalised and not expected to survive...she is a lovely lady who has recently developed dementia and now has heart failure ....our thoughts are with her family as they take her through this very difficult journey.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Killing Them With Kindness ?...........

I have another sick chicken...this poor old girl is pretty lethargic, has a floppy comb and very watery motions and is emaciated....I have isolated her into the chicken my husbands trailer...she is eating and drinking a little but is on the way out I think...I'm trying to boost her with meal worms....dosing her with antibiotics, upped the ACV in her water and will keep my eye on her....I have a very strong suspicion that by spoiling my chickens with treats, lots of green leafy stuff and organic seed mix has been detrimental to their health.  All of my girls are underweight even though they have access to food all day and free range in the back garden a couple of times a week, have a large enclosure the rest of the time.  I cannot get them to eat layer pellets....they just flick them all over the yard and refuse to eat them....they have become very fussy which is obviously my fault.  I have had them for 3 years and they usually lay every day even throughout winter...I don't think the nutritional value of the leafy greens I grow for them is high enough, they need more protein and calcium.  I know isa browns don't live as long as other breeds but I'm sure they would do better on layer pallets...

3 year old isa brown....she is not looking too good
To top it off I went out this morning and the girl on the left of this photo....she is only about 18 months old....was very dirty on her bottom and didn't come for food...on closer inspection I saw she had a very soft shell halfway out of her vent which had broken and that was all over her bum....I had to carefully remove the crushed shell which thankfully was still intact...then put her into a salt bath and cleaned her up...hopefully she will be okay she seemed to perk up once the egg was out.

Looking a bit better afterwards....but these girls are both very thin also.
The new chicks will certainly be raised on layer pallets...they will get tough love...not too many treats and limited leafy greens.....I think the incorrect diet has caused me numerous problems over the past couple of years.....Does anyone else have feeding issues or any tips?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Sweet 16 ....

The chicks are 16 days old today....I couldn't believe it when I saw 4 of them roosting ....this roost is about 40cm off the ground....they flap their little wings and fly/jump all over the place.......they are looking a bit odd as they are losing the fluffy down and their feathers are coming #5 was sitting underneath mum....they still tuck themselves up under the hens all times of the day....... incredibly cute and they grow like weeds....fingers crossed I have some girls among them.
Not the best photo but I was in a hurry in case the little monsters jumped down......
 The very first flower on this tiny rose is huge...and smells amazing...Haven't grown roses before so was very happy to see this..

It's the only rose on the little bush and it's huge....
 Finally a bit of action in the vegie garden...this is the corn that I grew from seed....first time struggled at the start with snail attack but it seems to have survived....should be able to remove the temporary fence now...big enough so that the chooks won't destroy them.

Corn has struggled but it's getting there...
Just another day of watching things gives me such a sense of purpose....and I get so much joy from seeing what I can produce....although I can't take credit for the chicks...those hens are doing what nature intends them to glad I gave them the opportunity.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Sixties Style Luncheon......

It was our turn once again to hold the monthly luncheon at our place.... as the last of our guys turned 60 ... my theme was sixties as in getting older and moderating spending and thinking like transpired into what they ate in the sixties...we had a fantastic afternoon in the sun ... too much food and too much wine..!! As usual I kept forgetting to take the foodie photos....will never win any prizes for my food photography....but you can get the general idea.

Enjoying  a few drinks before lunch.....Daisy nicked my chair...didn't have the heart to tell her she wasn't invited !!
The boys ...all now 60....looking very laid back...... wearing  matching Tshirts ..... a gift from J & A recently back from New all gets a bit silly as the afternoon wears on !!
This was a delicious Cob Dip.... it looked lovely until we ripped it apart and then I remembered to take a pic....oops.
Wow, this one bought back some memories....cabana , cheese and cocktail was hilarious...but very tasty too !
Coleslaw ....Waldorf ....and would you believe lettuce cups were around in the 60's...have had a big revival since then !

This is a photo of the left over marinated BBQ pork fillets with pineapple rings....very retro.....

I really should take the photos before we start demolishing the food.....not to mention drinking .... because I completely forgot to take a photo of dessert which was that old favourite ....Pavlova.  Entertaining is really all about the fun don't you think.

Thursday, 6 November 2014


I don't have a twitter account or do facebook but want to do my little bit to get the message out to the G20 summit on climate change.  Please go to this link sent from OneMillionWomen campaign and add your voice if you agree that Climate Change should be an item on the agenda at this meeting.

Herman the German......

I have been gifted a portion of Herman the German friendship starter from my daughter, who received it from a friend...who received it from a get where this is going....yes ....I had to feed the mixture once on the 4th day (which was today) and then on the 9th day divide into four portions and keep the friendship cake moving by giving it to 3 friends....while keeping a quarter of the mixture for myself and making the cake....I'm told it is a delicious sourdough apple's a really nice thing to keep going so hopefully the mixture won't die and I will wind up with the friendship cake.

The sourdough starter mixture that keeps on giving....

Copy of instructions if you want to go to the website and start your own friendship cake.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Hallelujah .....

Yesterday was 21 days and right on time the chicks started arriving....from 8 eggs the ladies got 5 healthy chicks and one had managed to break through the egg but appeared to be trapped in the membrane...after seeing this poor little body which mum had pushed out of the nest.... I had to assist as midwife...other's will say interfering the last two to arrive also appeared to be unable to break the membrane.

only two chicks in the photo...the others are tucked up under the mums..
The mother hens are fabulous...they don't seen to mind which chick tucks itself under them, they both just make sure all 5 babies are tucked up somewhere...nature never ceases to amaze me.
First close up.....they are so cute...Isa Brown chicks..
Hopefully there will be a couple of girls among them...I can't be so unlucky that all 5 will be roosters can I ??? this space.

Monthly 9 Link Up for October ......

Joining up with Linda for the monthly 9 link up for October....the weeks fly so fast...great to look back and see what everyone has been up to.

Nourish: Our health was in the forefront of my mind this month...had success with the first time using the seed sprouter....
Sprouting seeds for adding to healthy salads....
 Prepare:  Dare I say I have been preparing for Christmas...there I said it out loud....we have got quite a lot of entertaining to do in the lead up to Christmas....lots and lots to do....but it's my favourite time of year so there will be no complaints from me.  Will be trying to create a few homemade gifts this year...hopefully will blog about them is they turn out OK.

Reduce:  This weekend was tomato planting time...Cup weekend in avoid the need to buy new trellis for the tomatoes to grow on, I reused old garden stakes and using sticks that had blown off the gum trees into the yard and managed to make a rustic looking trellis...all tied together with string....see how it goes.

Rustic twig trellis....hopefully the tomatoes will grow ok on it.
 Green:  At last I have my long awaited man spent a lot of hours constructing this for many pieces.... this should now allow me to grow all my own seedlings from scratch....and hopefully grow food in the colder months of winter.....can't wait to get started.

The Greenhouse......great construction job from my main man.
Grow:  Been a bit of action in the vegie patch...really happy to have grown a few cauliflowers...and some lovely heads of broccoli...first success with them...beetroot is not as good as last year and leeks are ok but quite short in the stalk.... lettuces however are abundant. 
Daily goodies from the vegie patch.....
Create: Things are a bit slow in the creative area...still working on the mosaic and have a huge list of things to start on and finish before Christmas....better get cracking..

This project has been ongoing....but am getting back into it now that the warmer weather is here.
Discover:  Spent this month trying to learn all I can about bees...attended a workshop and hands on experience opening a hive....really want to have my own hive .... hopefully in the not too distant future.
The opened hive....bees really are fascinating...and the honey would be such a bonus.
Enhance:  The books I am reading this month....The Last Love for bookclub..unfortunately once again not a big fan.  I'm starting to think that I am a bit hard to please when it comes to novels...will see what the others think next week at the local community bookclub.

  I have just started The Rosie Project and have it on sound advice that I an going to LOVE this has been doing the rounds for quite a while and everyone seems to rave about it am giving it a go...hopefully I will fall in love with it as well.

Enjoy:  I'm enjoying everything at the moment...Spring is here and life is good....obviously not without its ups and downs but I'm a big believer in making the most of every day ... life is what you make it...follow your dreams and see where they take you.