Saturday, October 27, 2007

days like this

today I am loving......

EVERYTHING.


I kidnapped my little niece again today. We zooshed out to Bungendore to ride Thomas - the Duchess' lovely little welsh mountain pony.

Now the Duck Herder had a blissfully girls own adventure childhood with an abundance of ponies in the paddock. Not having children of my own, I LOVE providing little Lara with a taste of what it is like to have a pony for a friend.

And Tomas and Lara were just made for each other. Tomas recognises Lara now and wickers when he sees her. The cutest thing was the first time he did it, she thought he had growled at her! I had to explain it was his way of saying "Hey there little girl, I recognise you! - did you bring me some apple and are we going for a ride?"

Today I led Lara on Tomas while the Duchess lead Morris the little miniature pony. We went out for a long walk through the pine trees, chitter-chattering all the way. After the storm a couple of days ago, all the flies in the known universe have hatched, which was a little tiresome. But Tomas looked so sweet in his new pink and purple fly vale.

Lara is still gaining her confidence. She is though, a complete natural with a perfect seat. It won't be long until she is game enough to go off by herself. That will make me quite happy, because it is a little tiring running along beside Tomas as they trot along - with Lara rising perfectly to the trot. We even got up to a canter today - which the Duchess found quite amusing - watching the duck herder running her 37 year old heart out alongside this little cantering pony!

Small girls and ponies - is there anything more perfect in the world?

I am not sure who has more fun - Lara getting to go for a ride on the most perfect pony, or the Duchess and I, killing ourselves laughing at the cuteness of this tiny slip of a girl trotting up the paddock on this tiny, perky little pony.

And what about the afternoon?

  • Big batch of rhubarb and apple muffins
  • Lots of pottering in the garden planting butter beans, borlotti beans and some peas
  • potting up seedlings and sewing more seed trays.
  • Coffee and muffins with the girls next door talking gardens, plants and cats
  • A little more pottering in the garden.
Well, that's it for Saturday really.

Friday, October 26, 2007

lotions & potions

Here are today's experiments:

Only Good Things Moisturiser plus Borage for Courage!

In one saucepan:
150mls freshly made rosemary and parsley tea
10mls Glycerin (5% of total liquid plus oil)


In a double boiler or saucepan in a saucepan with water:
30mls olive oil
15mls jojoba oil
5mls borage oi

5mls emulsifying wax

Heat contents of each pan to 70 - 75 degrees

Slowly poor water mix into oil mix, whisking as you go.
Keep whisking
….. and whisking
When cooled to 45 degrees, add essential oil or fragrance oil and rosemary tincture (for preservative)

When mixture starts to thicken, poor into clean containers.

Review:
so far so good. feels divine! Have one scented just with lavender oil, and one lot scented with Dewberry Fragrance Oil. Have sent one bottle off to Mother in Law for comment.

All up, this batch cost: $3.40. The most expensive ingredient was the jojoba oil - $2.10!
Using more olive oil instead of jojoba would bring the price down to $1.35 for 200mls.


Only Good Things Shampoo

In a clean shampoo bottle:

100mls rosemary & parsley tea
100mls castile soap
fragrance oil
1 ½ tsp olive oil
½ tsp glycerine
essential oil or fragrance. (this time I used tropical coconut fragrance oil)

Shake up!


Cost for this one: $0.93 for 200mls.

Only Good Things Conditioning Rinse

Well, after some experimentation, I have moved on to using AVC in the shower as an after shampoo rinse. The good thing is that if you get it on your face and body, you don't have to use toner when you get out!

In the interests of not pouring cold water all over you at the end of your shower, try keeping the correct amount of ACV in a container in the shower, and filling up the rest of the bottle with warm shower water when you are ready to rinse!

Put 1 – 2 tbs ACV in a 200ml container.
After shampooing, fill rest of container with warm water. Shake briefly and then pour over hair. Rinse again briefly under shower (just a little)

Conditioning Rinse: $0.25 / wash.

Review: read for yourself! Although truthfully, this relates to the previous batch.

Useful Links:
Horse Supplies Direct: for bulk ACV - and lots of other goodies like Kelp Granules, Cod Liver Oil, Liquid Seaweed - all good stuff for your feathered friends and gardens.

Heirloom Body Care: for bulk raw ingredients and lovely things.

more lacuna sabbath

I think it is going to be one of those reflective days. Just what the Lacuna Sabbath is for.

I am wondering how the little rocketeer is going - there hasn't been a peep out of her since last week - the busy work week leading up the the big painting and moving in to her new little apartment in Brissy. I get all teary with pride when I think about this clever young woman. The Rocketeer, Couragnaut (aka Pa Kettle & Mountain Man) and I worked together in an amazingly fraught work environment - the work itself should have been (and to some extent was) exciting and important, but the whole experience was overtaken by the madness (narcissistic personality disorder) of our supposed boss. As a team, we tried many strategies to manage the crazy person, get stuff done and try and made things functional, but in the end, the whole thing descended into pear-shaped bananadom. We all managed to limp out of there alive - mostly.

Our shared experience of the whole ordeal has forged a formidable triangulation of strength, mirth, resilience and the deepest love and friendship. An incongruous trio - but lovely non the less.

And now Pa Kettle and I get to see her bounce up the ladder and zoom though her life with much pride and wonder. We are very fond of that little person.

Coming soon: updated shampoo & conditioner recipes & a first attempt at hippy herbal natural moisturiser............

Lacuna Sabbath

*yay* This lacuna sabbath will be a double cellebration - a day of mooching AND rain - the real stuff, overnight. hooray! Must have been the 6 bales of straw we left stacked out in the open that brought the storm on. Will remember than next time.

While daylight saving was not designed for dairy farmers, I think it will be of some benefit to rooster owners. Maurice is starting to drive us a bit nutty with his very early crowing. (watch out Maurice!)

Having completed an early morning mug of tea holding inspection of the garden, I can report the following:

  • Despite late frost and many bare branches, there some some mulberries ripening up (mostly out of reach).
  • Marionberries (or are they kerriberries?) are doing very well indeed. Fluffy chickens have stolen all young fruit within fluffy chicken reach (not very far) but happy to share.
  • There are good signs for a modest raspberry harvest
  • Avocados - complete disaster. Will replace with hardy berries and perhaps one more kiwi.
  • Kiwi vines - lots of flower buds on male vine. So far, only a few on one of the females. Hopeful, but not holding breath.
  • Nashis - the earlier budjump problem has resulted in a no-nashis-this-year year.

Something has eaten my young dill plant. Other herb plantings are going well. Parsley lovely but older stuff going to seed. Brandy wine tomato seedlings going well. Have put some more seeds in to get a second round. Silver beet coming along well.

Reasonable for such a young garden methinks. It is good however, that we are only playing at being self sufficient, and that there is money for food!

Amelia the youngest duck is sitting very tightly on a little clutch of eggs. Second week in I think. I have pulled out most of the eggs so that we do not suddenly have 23 ducks in the backyard. She is AMAZINGLY aggressive - much more than her lovely mother. I am most impressed with her clever instincts. Clever Amelia.

More reports as news comes to hand.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bianca

Yesterday was meant to be a very happy day with the return of the working girls (Bianca, Charlotte and Gretel) from their mobile chook run down and the community garden back home. Everything was going well - I went down early to get the girls. When I let them out into a run on the back lawn, I noticed that Bianca was not looking well. I didn't notice anything when I went to pick her up at the garden, and she was perching the night before, but she was very not OK now. Her undercarriage was very distended and she was having trouble walking. Her usually jaunty tail was touching the ground. I couldn't feel any eggs inside her, but her cloaca was very enlarged. She was eating however and still managed to struggle up to me whenever I went to check on her.

Anyhoo, by the afternoon she was no better, perhaps a bit worse, flopping over on her side and she did not perch. She smelt sick. Joe came over to help relocate their big chook run home, and we agreed that she had probably prolapsed, and would probably go down hill very quickly. So Joe did the deed and I held her while she died, stroking her and telling she what a lovely chook she was.

I had been increasingly worried about her - all three had gone off the lay early in winter, but she had not come back on despite the array of treats, fresh greens, comfrey and supplements, which was very strange.

Poor Bianca. Wonderful layer of enormous white eggs. Bianca with the lovely pearly earlobes. Bianca who slept in my pockets when she was little. Naughty, bossy, scratchy Bianca.



Oh for the love of a cross bred chook!


Friday, October 19, 2007

Lacuna Sabbath

Just to prove I am a flexible free range chook and that my hours really are stretchy and ribboned, this Lacuna Sabbath was spent working in Goulburn - a series of meetings in my favourite cafe - the Greengrocer which combines all my favourite things in one shop, in the town of my birth, served by lovely people. The Greengrocer combines fresh local produce, a bike shop specialising in TREK bikes, fabulous fresh healthy food and great soy lattes. What more could a free range chook want? I mean, if you have to have back to back meetings, I can't really think of a better way to do it.

did I mention I love my job?

Other news, tomorrow we are off to Narooma for a wedding, staying the night in a little eco-motel on the edge of town.

And, this may only be of interest to Sherdie, but the biggest hippy and I have moved offices - we have lost our veggie garden car park with the worm farm and compost bin, and are now making do with a veranda! I need to clean up one of the worm farms to put up there. Naturally the biggest hippy has already planted a new herb and salad garden in pots, and furnished the veranda with second hand rocking chairs and coffee tables. The new tenants in our old digs have strict instructions to water the garlic and to maintain our record of not letting an ounce of organic matter leave the site. Naturally we will be back to harvest in a few months.

So even though I only go into the office once or twice a week, it is lovely to know it has all the mod cons - you know, like a newly fixed blue teapot from ebay, lettuce, parsley, oregano, coriander, thyme and micro-livestock.

A duckie has gotta have standards.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

working from home

Tuesday and Wednesday I went in to my little office in Queanbeyan to catch up with some colleagues and in theory, to work like a Trojan on the business plan.

Well, it was lovely to have cups of tea and chats with people, but the computer systems were playing up, and the server was soooooo slow. At one stage it took 45 minutes just to open an XL spreadsheet.

By late yesterday I could feel the stress bubbles starting to rise! I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about work - just like I used to. This was VERY battery hen like and most un-free range chook like. The tutti fruiti time decree is that night is for sleeping, not worrying about work.

This morning I woke up early, meditated and 7.30am found me ploughing away from my home office, up to my armpits in business plan. Suddenly it was 11:00am and perfect time for a cuppa and a trip out to see the chookies. I then jogged down to the community garden to let the big chooks out.

After a quick bite to eat and some more chicken love, I got back into it working solidly through to 5.00pm, where I stoped and zipped into town to buy some more chook food.

I got HEAPS done. HEAPS and HEAPS and HEAPS. It suits me so well to work from home. I just need to remember that next time I start feeling frazzeled.

I am a free range chook living in tutti fruiti time again! yeah!

big day out

Today the fluffy world decreed that all new hatchlings were old enough to venture down the ladder and out into the big wide world - well, the fluffy pen anyway.


Here are some little handfuls of fluffy cuteness for you all.



By morning tea we had all learned to scratch with our feet, and by afternoon tea we had managed to work out how to eat whole grains of wheat. Clever silly chickens.

We can drink, eat, stretch and micro sleep when we get trapped in a sun beam. We are very clever!

Oh, and there are 10 of us! 5 white and 5 who knows!

Monday, October 15, 2007

widdle babies

It sure is good being a free range chook living in tutti fruiti time. *grin*
Today I woke up still exhausted from the weekend, and because of the above, I can just send a few emails and decide to start the working week tomorrow. * double grin*

So today I had not one but TWO nanna naps. In between kips I snuck out to check on how Jenni and her little brood were going. So far, 7 little chicks have hatched with some more pipped and on their way. Clever Maurice has thrown 100% feathered middle toes *swoon*. Best $40 I ever spent!

At this stage the chickies look like perhaps a mix of silvers and all whites.

Here is a little nest of cuteness all at various stages of fluffing out. You can see the little white one is still a bit wet.




Well, that's it for the fluffies.
Other things that happened today was another mousie body. *yay*
I also mixed up another batch of homemade shampoo. This time I have tried cutting right back on the glycerin - 1/4 tsp in 300 mls liquid, and adding 1/2 tsp of olive oil. Will see how it goes.
seeya

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Murrumbateman Field Days - Day2!

Double Sheesh!

Well, after my stunning performance yesterday, Joe and Alyson sold 5 runs before I even got there this morning. So that's me, back down the bottom of the spruiking pile!

I did get to do lots of happy small child stuff chaperoning Strawb (short for Strawberry Blond) ensuring that no little person squeezed her head off or ran away with her. Don't laugh - it has happened - the running away bit I mean.


Anyway, Strawb is quite happy to sit up on top of her run, showing off, sunning her self and being subjected to the adoration of numerous small childers. And children find her just captivating. I think Strawb sells more chook runs than anyone. When she gets sick of the attention she just hops down and marches off. That's our cue to scoop her up and pop her back in with the others.

She is often quite sticky by the end of the day from all those little ice cream paws.

And here is Jenni! Her little eggs were tapping this morning, and it looks like one has pipped the shell. But no one is out yet. It was hard to get a good looks because she was FURIOUS that I should even try to look.
hee hee, how exciting! Baby Maurici! It is probably a good thing that I am COMPLETELY trashed from being in the sun and wind and having to talk to people all day otherwise I probably wouldn't sleep a wink tonight.
Lots of families and older folks today. All keen to get chooks. GO THE CHOOKIES! CHOOKS FOR EVERYONE i say!

Murrumbateman Field Days

sheesh. It is very tiring talking to folks all day! And now I have to go and do it all again.

Yesterday I went to the Murrumbateman Field Day to help Joe sells his cool mobile chook runs. The weather was lovely, and this year, folks seemed more positive and less cranky than last year. Even thought the drought is still raging, it felt like people were chatty and happy and positive. EVERYONE loves chooks! And I met lots of lovely folks who have disappeared out of town and want to get chookies or who perhaps after having their flocks decimated by foxes, are keen to get a run that is fox proof (enter Uncle Joes Mobile Chook Runs!)

Lots of folks in town were looking at getting chooks as well. I see this as a good sign that people want to be more elegantly frugal! I also think it is the most wonderful thing a parent can do for their kiddies too. Chooks made great pets. Ah yes, but I am preaching to the converted here on this issue I know!


AND, I was the only one that sold a chook run!

The other exciting thing that happened is that I could have sold 1 million silkies 1 million times over! Everyone wants them. So now I have a list of people to call when ever I have silkies available. Next year, I will breed up for the Field Day so that even though I don't get paid, I can use Joe's gorgeous chook runs to show off my silkies and sell them all while I am there selling his runs!


Alyson did the same thing yesterday but with her new book.

So even though we were super busy all day, we had fun, sold a chook run, had heaps of interest, and Alyson sold a few books too.


Here is a picki of Joe doing his spiel - EVERYONE wants to see what is in the boudoir of a chook run!



And here is my little instand no dig garden showing off Joe's Veggie Row Covers/Chook Run Extentions. It really was a no dig garden, because all I had was a bucket of worm castings, some straw and some sad punnets of seedlings rescued from the supermarket but no tools!

And when I got home, I gathered up the four silkie bubs into a box ready to be picked up by their new owners. And when I finally got inside, there was another message on the phone from some friends saying their kids had saved up all their pocket money, and that if I had any left they would like to buy some silkies!


So I had to ring them to say "sorry, none left! but hopefully I will have more hatching tomorrow". In the mean time, the kiddies can come down and see then when they are really little and watch them grow. I am not sure their little four year old will want to wait 8 weeks though!


Is there really a market in such ridiculous chooks?

Oh, Mouse Plauge Update: One more body! Yay!



Did I mention that Jenni's eggs are due to hatch today or tomorrow?



*yay*

Friday, October 12, 2007

rain!

It is RAINING! I can hear it on the metal roof while I blog. I can hear water running down the drainpipe and into the water tanks!!!!







Its RAINING!!!!!









.............................oh. now it has stoped.







typical.



*sigh*

bit less pestilence plus some elegant frugality

Mouse Plague Body Count:
One more dead mousie in glass house today.

Earwig Saga
I made up some derris dust plus soap plus water spray for the beans, but it promptly clogged the spray bottle. So I sort of just sprinkled it on and rubbed it around some of the leaves with my gloves. Fingers crossed 1,000,000,000 earwigs turn up for a bean bush snack tonight and buy it big time!

And now for some frugal elegance:

This is the recipe I have sort of cobbled together from lots of other online recipes, an the herbs in my garden for homemade shampoo:

Shampoo:

  • ¼ cup nettle/comfrey/rosemary/tea
  • ¼ cup liquid castile soap
  • 1 tsp glycerin
  • ¼ - ½ tsp light veggie oil (olive, jojoba, almond etc)
  • Lavender or other essential oils
  • Rosemary tincture for preservative (optional)

Because I am still playing around with the ingredients, this is the actual trial recipe that I made the other day:

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup or 60ml of freshly made comfrey, rosemary and nettle tea.
  • (or whatever is in your garden)
  • 1/4 cup or 60ml of liquid castile soap (the one I am using is 70% olive oil)
  • 6 drops of vegetable glycerin
  • few drops of lavender oil
Method:
Mix together tea and soap in a little bottle . Add glycerin and lavender oil and shake.

Use:
As with regular shampoo, wet hair and then squeeze shampoo onto hair and massage in well. It smells divine and is lovely on your face and body too.
GLYCERIN

Add more glycerin if your hair is really dry, and less if your hair is oily. The glycerin seems to give your hair that thick and full feeling. BUT lots of folks on the internets who try making their own shampoo, and who complain that it makes their hair greasy all seem to use a full tablespoon of glycerin in the mix and I think this is probably too much. It would seem that the glycerin is the one thing that can really make a big difference to how the shampoo performs - so perhaps just experiment with small quantities and see what gives the best result.

You may want to just use a little light veg oil rather than glycerin......or both. Hey, its YOUR shampoo, you can make it how you want!

And now for the conditioning spray. Again, this the the cobbled together base recipe I am aiming for:

Conditioning Spray:
  • ½ tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • 1 cup freshly made herbal tea (as with shampoo - I just used the left overs or use plain water)
  • Lavender or other essential oils
  • Few drops glycerin
Method:
Mix ACV and tea into spray bottle
Add smells and small amount of glycerin
Shake up.

Use:
Spray onto wet hair after shampooing and before combing. Spray onto dry hair before brushing.
The spray should make your hair easier to brush and instantly shiny!

And this is what I actually made the other day: 1 tsp ACV, 125 mills tea, 1 ml glycerin

See notes above about glycerin. One batch I made had none, one had too much and now I think I have the mix just right! You might want to add extra or less ACV as well. Too much might make your hair a bit dry over time, and too little might not give you the shine that you want.


So there you go.

As you can see from the derris dust spray and shampoo recipe - I am definitely getting my moneys worth out of this 5 liter container of castile soap!

While we are on the topic of elegantly frugal skin care, and if you start using your shampoo as a face wash, you might like to start making your own ACV toner for the same reasons that you would use the Conditioning Spray.

In a little jar, mix up say a cup of water and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of ACV and if you have it, a little bit of witchhazel. When you get out of the shower, poor a little of your toner on a tissue or cotton wipe and gently wipe over your face. It is lovely, and fixes up the acid mantle of your skin after using the soap. I LOVE it!!!! and I am loving the way my skin is looking. I used to use ACV on my face when I was just a teenager, and don't know why I stopped!

So there you have it! Here is the lovely shoppie I have been sourcing my goodies from. Its not much use to you Killi, but might help give you an idea of what to look for.

Lovely Pickle has asked me to make her some natural moisturiser, so this is my next little challenge.

Have fun! May your lives be free of earwigs and mice!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

pestilence

This morning I opened the glass house door just in time to see a mouse scamper away from the coz lettuces. Sheesh.

Bloody Hell!

I had better buy some more mouse bait tomorrow. Bloody things. They have almost eaten all the lettuces.

Killi - I will post the recipe for my shampoo and conditioning spray tomorrow. I realise that I meant to say 1 tablespoon ACV in 200 mls of water...but hopefully you figured that out.

In other news, the four little baby fluffies are now 8 weeks old and going to their new home tomorrow night. I am sad that Nefley will be sad - they still manage to sleep under her each night. Well, sort of. A friend is buying them (with a returns policy for any roosters!)

Jenni's fluffy eggs should hatch on Sunday.

It is actually sort of sprinking/raining!!!!!! crazy stuff - water falling out of the sky. unheard of.

bring it on. MORE PLEASE.......BRING IT ON!!!!!!

Seeya.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

pestilence & frugal elegance

Mouse plague update:
One deceased body
Hopefully the rest of its family missing presumed dead.
The furtive rustling when I go into the glass house seems to have stopped. Poppet is still keen though.

Earwig plague update:
Earwigs wrongfully blamed for decimating seedlings in glass house. These crimes appear to be purely rodentine in nature.

So, no longer a problem in glass house, but VERY big problem in garden. Have started munching bean seedlings. Have "bagged" clumps of Italian parsley in effort to save them. Bit hard to do this with beans. They are even munching the rhubarb leaves!

Garlic/Chilli spray? Perhaps. Ideas anyone?

Natural, Hippy, Lovely, Super Homemade Shampoo Update

This morning I made shampoo and re made a conditioning spray. I used freshly picked nettle, comfrey and rosemary to make the base. As I sit here, my drying hair is wafting up lavender. It was lovely to use, lathered up nicely and I think may double up as a gentle face and body wash. The new improved conditioning spray seemed to work well (less glycerin this time!) and made my hair easy to brush while wet. Will see what happens when it is dry.

I am also sipping the left over nettle, comfrey and rosemary tea.

Monday, October 8, 2007

more frugal elegance

Some lovely things happened yesterday. Yes, it is good to know that life can still be wonderful even in the midst of an earwig and mouse plague.

The duck herder has discovered the most wonderful detangler/conditioner/brushing aid in the world! It is CHEAP as chips and fabulously effective.

I have been doing much research to wean myself off expensive hair products. Having long dark hair, prone to oily up top and dry at the ends, it has been a bit tricky. I have played around with bicarb shampoo - very effective - especially at the roosts - but perhaps a bit harsh on the ends. BUT still needing conditioner and have still tended to use detangling stuff - at $10 a pop! I have looked at the ingredients, and mused and wondered how to make my own.

After reading heaps of homemade chemical free shampoo recipes, it sounds like the secret is all in the apple cider vinegar rinse. Using a vinegar rinse apparently sorts out the ph of your hair, smoothing down the cuticles and getting rid of static.

Well, it WORKS!!!!!!

Using about 1 tablespoon on apple cider vinegar in a 200ml spray bottle, I sprayed it on my dry hair and got all excited about how easy it was to brush and get the knots out. The spray made my hair instantly soft and shiny. (hooray!) As promised by all the websites I have looked on, the vinegar smell disappeared as soon as the spray dried. The cider vinegar rinse works just a well if not better than all of the other sprays I have used over the years.

And then, after a few days I got very creative and added some lavender oil and some mandarin oil. It smells great! And I use it every time I brush my hair. (Which is quite often at the moment, because I am excited about this new clever product!)

In the mean time, I have ordered some castile soap, glycerin and other bits and pieces to experiment with making shampoos and conditioners without nasties.

It is very exciting! I HATE buying shampoo and conditioner. It is such a waste of $$, resources, packaging and they all have such awful chemicals in them.

So now I can be frugal AND vane!

Oh, and the other happy thing is that I have been thinking about buying a Fowler's Vacola Preserving Kit for some time - keeping an eye out for a second hand one, looking on ebay etc. Having coffee with my neighbours yesterday, we decided to SHARE one - so suddenly a new kit costs $75 instead of $150 and it can live in Sue's shed, where there is a bench and power and everything we need and we can use the money we saved to buy extra jars and well, it is all so elegant and clever!

We can have pasata parties!

Friday, October 5, 2007

death to earwigs

Well, there are 13 dead earwigs in a little jar of cooking oil out in the veggie patch. I will spare you the photos. I popped this jar underneath a patch of Italian parsley the little *$%&###%ers were starting to decimate.

and now there is a body count of 13.

Still no dead earwigs in the jar in the glass house. This could mean diesel. I is WARNING youse!

What else? Today is the second day in a row I have been working at my little desk looking out onto the back yard. No travel this end of the week. It is just bliss. And apart from a couple of blogging lapses, did manage to get heaps done. I have done half a research strategy, and some business plan. Yay! Yesterday I made muffins and worked on the business plan. Did I mention how much I love my new job?


hee hee hee.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

good and less good things

Sheesh. There has been a bit of bad luck and frustration down here at the Princess Castle.

Here is a list!
  1. something has eaten 15 meters of pea seedlings (chomp chomp). I have no idea what it is but suspect rabbits or earwigs
  2. EARWIGS have decimated two generations of veggie seedlings in the glass house. They have eaten EVERYTHING!
  3. And what the EARWIGS didn't eat, the mice dug up and ate (yes even the brandywine tomato seeds)
In desperation I have put mouse bait in the glass house. I have been musing (and sulking) about how to manage the earwig problem, and serendipitously came across a fellow (at Joes place in Jugiong the other day) who suggested wiping down the potting benches with diesel. Noxious but effective as both a deterrent and exterminator apparently. I am DESPERATE, so will perhaps give this a go on the weekend.

So now I am behind with the spring plantings - the broccoli is almost finished, and I will now have to replant spinach, more broccoli, kale, tomatoes, onions etc. I am going to have to buy other people's veggies on the weekend. Sheesh.

blah blah blah.

waaaaa.

BUT, on a happier note, I candled the 13 Jenni/Maurice eggs and ALL 13 are developing! What a clever little Maurice - quietly going about his Rooster business. What I am going to do if they all hatch? That's a lot of fluffy love!

As you can see Jenni is sitting very tight. The weather is much warmer and her nest is much better than Nefley's was so hopefully all will be well. So many little eggies! I wonder what colour they will be? They are due a week from Monday. Clever chickens!
Which all means that it is coming on time to find the last lot of babies some new homes. They are going through an awkward Boris Becker stage (perfectly normal for a silkie). Here is a photo of one of the strangely coloured ones. The other two are still perfectly black. I think these ones are going to be partridge - but I am not completely sure.




Pretty cute huh?