CHICKENS! (from the archive)

I picked the chookens up the day after my birthday, so we've had them here for about 10 days and I'm still reasonably besotted.
Chook looking pissed off after
spending 40 mins in a box.
The people we picked them up from (City Chicks in Marsden Park) were just lovely. They showed me how to clip their wings, they let my little boys go exploring in their yard, showed them baby chicks and the advice they gave about feeding and husbandry all seemed very sane and matched with what I have read already.

The henhouse
We got home late afternoon and popped them in the coop. I fussed around trying to make sure they knew where food and water was located (we are using Dine-a-Chook and Wet-a-Chook for food and water - a bit different to what the chooks were used to, so I put some scratch grains (AKA chicken treats) around the feeder and even inside the feeder and the hens got the idea at once). The black chicken (an australorp cross) managed to escape and I realised that she was the feisty one. The kids had their first lesson in chicken catching (slow, quiet, no sudden movements and try to corner her) and I discovered that hunting a black hen through the shrubbery at dusk was something akin to trying to catch a shadow. Luckily it only took us a few nervous minutes!

The next morning I heard some noisy clucking, and when I went to check on the girls I found TWO EGGS! 
First Eggs!
We haven't had two eggs every day since, but we've had one egg most days (and one hen hasn't come into lay yet). When chooks are stressed they stop laying, so the fact that despite the big move, and despite the kids wanting to pat them and talk to them they are still laying, albeit not perfectly regularly, is fantastic.
Six year old learning to catch and carry a hen
They were named mostly by the boys - Kiz sayd he wanted the brown chooken to be called Henny Penny, so that was fine. I wanted the black one to be called Kali and Asher wanted them all to have the word 'hen' somewhere in their name so the Light Sussex became Henrietta and the black chicken became Henny Kali.

So far the thee chooks are doing everything I'm 'paying' them for. Providing eggs, teaching the kids about caring for animals and providing all of us with amusement (Asher said to me yesterday "We have the most fascinating chooks mum!"). Of course, I now need to get the planned raised beds with bird netting sorted pronto, and some more fencing organised - the chooks are scratching up my seedlings, stomping on my new lavender, discovering new and creative ways to escape, pooping in  remarkably inconvenient and I strongly suspect Henny Penny has started laying her eggs under a bush or somewhere because the last few days have only been one-egg-days. Despite all that, they are funny and friendly and the whole family is glad we have them.

The girls saw the treat bucket!

Back on the blogging wagon (from the archive)

It turns out that I'm far less inspired to write now I'm in therapy. I'm not really sure why, but I'm going to give it a try because Sanjay reminded me I won't remember when Kiran's milestones happened if I don't write them down, and I won't write them down if I'm not blogging them so here goes.

At 13.5 months Kiz says plenty of words more-or-less reliably:
Nigh-nigh (goodnight and it comes with a wave)
Gah (Ta for thank-you)
Maamaa (mum)
Dada (dad)
Ah-ro (hello)
Agh-aaa (Asher)

I'm baaaack (again)

Life over the last year has been pretty fraught, but isn't it always? I feel like I just lurch from one crisis to the next. Not that these crises are always terrible, or necessarily negative at all, just times when life requires more than I thought I had to give.

There are tough times for a whole bunch of people - a dear friend had a rather serious breast cancer scare and another close friend's preschooler had open heart surgery and yet another one of my closest people has a horrible infection that is proving very difficult to treat. There are others having dramas in their personal relationships and tough times with their kids. I don't think I dwell on this stuff too much, but I'm conscious of all of it all the time, sending my love and good thoughts out to these people I love that are having difficult times.

I have also been the recipient of lots of love and good thoughts - as many people know Sanjay and I are in the process of divorcing. I'm not going to go into detail here and now, except to say it's been a long time coming, it hasn't been an easy decision for us to make and that our focus now is on the kids and making sure that we do what we have to do without too much negative impact on them.

This week I'm back at uni, which is great (structure to my weeks! learning is fun! closer to graduating!), but increases the stress level (assignments! classes, readings and self doubt!) and I received a challenge to write a bit more so I will be procrastiblogging a bit over the next few weeks. I want to write about nursing and bullying on prac, and how it relates to feminism and the performance of gender identity. I'm doing a mental health subject, one on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, I had a crappy time on my last placement and I have just finished Clementine Ford's 'Fight Like A Girl' so it's all swishing together in my head in some pretty interesting ways.