Friday, August 24, 2012

We're expecting....


Ok, so I might have some family members and close friends who read the post title and are a little mad about the fact that I'm talking about chickens and not babies (but really people, who breaks THAT kind of news to close friends and family via a public blog post?).


You may remember that last year at New Years a dog killed all but one of our chickens and our two ducks (I still get a little upset about the ducks.... they were cool ducks). A few months later, we ended up taking two pullets (young hens who had not yet started laying eggs) from my in-laws. We took one beautiful black Australorp and a half Silky half some other breed of chicken we're not sure of. Phillip ended up naming them Cypher and Hawk (but we usually end up calling them by their breed or their color and not their somewhat stupid names).

The thing about some breeds of chickens is that they can be good layers (like our red Iser Brown), good for meat (our little Australorp, though they're good layers too), and good for going broody. There's also breeds that are well known sitters (once they go broody they will not leave the nest unless you force them) or good mothers. Basically, chicken breeds are as diverse as dog breeds, and depending on what you want in your chickens, you get various breeds.

Hawk, aka, the yellow/tan one, sittin' on a whole bunch of eggs.
Spoiled girl, I bring her her own dish of food and water.
Hawk has tried to go broody once before, but outside of their shed, so we had to try and move her at night (chickens are funnily calm at night) so that she wouldn't get eaten by quols. Silly thing.... She decided she didn't like being moved to safety and got off her eggs. Which... was ok since we get to eat the eggs. This is the second time she's gone broody and she's chosen one heck of a spot to hatch her chicks again. It's about four and a half feet off the ground, where our chickens roost at night. So, chicks hatch, try to walk out of the nest and.... not pretty. Phillip is building a small enclosure to put her and the eggs in, to keep them cosey (and safe from plumets to death and out idiot cats, and neighbor's idiot cats) from scraps of wood and chicken wire. We'll move her there sometime this week since she's only got maybe a week left until the eggs hatch.

Apparently the nesting boxes I make sure are full
of soft, fresh hay are not good enough.
It must feel safer to hatch babies 2.5 meters off the ground.
Another fun fact about chickens: once they go broody, you can get them to sit on any eggs, not just their own. So, since our hens have been tandem nesting the little Silky has some Australorp eggs under her as well. We also were given a few eggs of unknown type (two were probably Australorps) from my in-laws  two days after she started sitting, and chucked those under her. (Well, next to her, because to put them under her you'd probably loose fingers she's so angry if you get near her). She (and the black one for some reason started helping) immediately started moving them underneath her.

The good thing? We should end up with a few chicks of multiple possible varieties. I'm hoping for at least two healthy hens to share with people or, well, more eggs, which we also share with people. The bad thing? Our one laying hen, little black Australorp, is still basically sitting on top of the broody Silky and laying eggs. Which that dumb hen then takes under her. So... we have no fresh eggs and will end up with a bunch of rotten and un-viable ones at the end of this sitting. The little lady has already pushed two very rotten ones out from under her, but is sitting pretty on at least seven more eggs.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Hmm, so there have been a few big things that have happened since my last "lazy blog". Perhaps I'll spread them out so as to encourage my lazy self to blog for my... 5... readers.

We bought a car.

It's a very Australian car. And it was from a family friend here who was, sadly, recently diagnosed with cancer and is quickly "going home to glory" as he says. This little old man is quite lovable, really, and I've only seen him and his wife maybe 5 times? But he knows my husband's family very well and the both of them are just... sweet.

So he said that he wanted to give my husband and his siblings first go at the car when he was gone, and, since the other two boys already have new-old cars, they thought Phillip and I should take it. Which was... quite a blessing (a very mixed blessing because, little as I know this couple, it's sad to think of him leaving us). This lovely little man decided that he'd rather be rid of the car and know someone was enjoying it before he died, so, we have it now.

$1000 for a '93 Holden Commodore. In very good condition. And... it's an automatic, which means I'm now really learning to drive here. Phillip had a little manual when we got married, still have it, but, I never learned to drive an automatic (hangs head in shame). And what with having to learn how to shift gears, as well as sit on the right-hand side of the car and drive on the left-hand side of the road on roads that are much narrower and have little to no shoulder to slide on to and are, at times, chock full of blind corners and people who like to drive in the middle of them because there is no middle line in the road... I just didn't learn much in his car.

Driving in an automatic here on the left-hand side, while easier than a manual, is still tripping up my brain a little. I may be used to it from the passenger side, but when I go to make a turn, instinct kicks in and I start to go into the wrong lane. Or if not go into it, instantly think "wait, no, that's wrong" and have to turn off instinct and actually really THINK about how I'm driving. It's almost like being a beginner driver again. Which is annoying.

But I can DRIVE! At least into Sheffield (the town closest to us) for minimal (and more expensive) grocery shopping, and to the in-laws place and my few friends that live, well, within walking distance (but only when it's rainy. I still enjoy my walks).

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I am... very behind in blogging. And emailing.

I'm sure I have plenty of legit excuses, but really, I'm mostly really lazy about those things lately. Also, somewhat addicted to Pintrest.... If you've never heard of it that's probably a good thing (I console myself with the knowledge that I have tried at least most of the recipes I have found through it).

But hmmm.... so many mildly interesting things have been happening lately.

Firstly, the family over the hill that employ my husband and are also fairly good friends of ours just had their ninth child! The second girl. She's a quiet little thing (at least the few times I've visited) and, well, like most babies I suppose. (Really I am SO downplaying this because I think she's adorable and even though her mother seems to think that when I hold her and put her to sleep it's some sort of pain for me to keep her that long, I could do it for hours. She's just precious. As with the rest of her siblings, I'm completely in love with her). Now that they've got a routine back in place, I'm back to going up Fridays to spend a short amount of "woman" time with mamma and then play with the kiddos while she rests. At the moment, we're reading Eight Cousins, which we started months ago before girl number 2 came along. I... persuaded them to choose that one because it was about a young girl with seven cousins, all boys, and I thought they might find it amusing. And while it might be more tuned to female readers, the boys seem to like it so far, too.

Secondly, the OLYMPICS! We don't have a television. And things like Hulu and most other internet-aired television shows only work in the U.S. And I really wanted to watch the Olympics this year. Phillip knew this months before we even got married, and I reminded him frequently that I wanted to watch them this whole year we have been married. Why did I want to watch, you might wonder? Well, it's the Olympics, and it seems you just kind of HAVE to watch something, at least in part, that only occurs every four years. Also, Michael Phelps. I love the swimming.

Well, Phillip found a way that we pay a small fee and get to connect to a U.K. server and watch the Olympics through the BBC online. Or something to that effect. We still haven't watched most of it live, because of the time difference, and when things have to buffer it's really annoying. But it's the Olympics. And I got to sit, with my Australian husband, and watch U.S. swimmers just cane Australian swimmers. (Neither of us is overly patriotic, but this little rivalry we get going while we watch has been kind of fun). And... I still haven't gotten fully caught up on the events I'd like to watch. It involves our downloads and them being used up and our internet speed dropping back down to basically dial-up. It's annoying and seems primitive to me, but oh well. I'll see Phelps kick major booty late, but at least I'll get to see it.

Also gymnastics and judo. Possibly track and field. And basketball. I've really missed basketball.

Then there is the weather. It's been.... cold. But then I read some novel that takes place during a Russian winter and I'm ashamed that I can barely handle what I've begun to call "perpetual February" weather. It's cold, damp, and cloudy. With occasional bursts of sun and warmth, but mostly it's just been cold and damp. And it's been like this, it seems, almost the whole year I've lived here.

Yes! I have now officially been living here in Tasmania for a year!

And that, is the end of my lazy update. Here's to hoping it's the end of my laziness.