Headless Rooster Hunt

It was a mix between a scene out of a Monty Python skit with me awaiting the calls of “bring out your dead”… and a gruesome treasure hunt, and I’m glad I had a willing husband and two fascinated sons to carry out the clean up.  Keeping chooks isn’t all cuddles and fresh eggs on toast…. no, turns out things can get ugly.

I had been dreading this day all week… a day we’d planned with a friend to “modify”, as he put it, our four remaining roosters. It wasn’t the ‘modifying’ (read culling) I was dreading, or even the cooking of them to turn into home reared soup and stock… but the plucking. I was determined to do it though as I figured if I was prepared to eat chicken, I should be prepared to prepared them!!   However, in a sad and very strange way, I was spared from the dreaded task. As ‘they’ say… “Careful what you wish for”!  It was about 5am when I realised something was wrong…. the property was silent…. no roosters proudly announcing the break of day…hmmm… strange. Darryn went to investigate… turns out Mr /Mrs Fox / feral Cat had beaten us to the task. And here comes the gruesome treasure hunt bit…. headless roosters were deposited around the property… only one unaccounted for and presumably consumed that night. Out came the wheelbarrow and shovel. Such a waste. At least the garden will benefit from an extra mineral boost… but I really was looking forward to cramming the freezer full of fresh stock.



They grow up so fast!

And I thought kids grew up too fast… yet it was only a few months ago that we had these gorgeous little babies chirping the night away in our dining room… and now two of them are laying!!!!

00231 00223 00227 00221

It’s Easy Being Green

I have been asked to write a newsletter article on sustainability for a childcare group- Little Peoples – that have facilities all around NSW. Great to see organisations interested in incorporating green and sustainable ideas into their policies and resources. Nice work Little Peoples! Thought I’d share the short article here as well.

It’s Easy Being Green

Daydreaming about our children’s future is a treasured pastime of all parents. What kind of adult will they be? What role in society will they play? What will make them happy? And will they come and visit me?!  I also wonder about the type of world that they’ll be living in when they’re adults. For me, being ‘sustainable’ is all about the kind of planet we are leaving for our children and grandchildren…. And I’m excited!

As I read books to my children about the importance of recycling, endangered species or explain to them why we aren’t going to buy the coolest Ben 10 plastic toothbrush they’ve ever seen, I look forward to the day when all the toothbrush options are compostable, when all the cleaning products are eco-friendly and when the concept of landfill and non-renewable energy will be in my grandchildren’s storybooks – reminding them of our wayward past.

Why am I excited?  Because I no longer need to daydream. Our society has all the answers and options for living sustainably for our planet and we can do it affordably and without giving up life’s luxuries.


If you are interested in making your environmental footprint, and those of your children, smaller – then here are a few easy steps to get you going in the right direction.

*Follow the 3Rs. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reduce the amount of ‘things’ you buy. Reuse things you do buy – eg. Food jars into storage containers or vases, used pallets into tables, beds, fences, compost bins etc, etc. And anything you can’t find a new use for, recycle it.

*When you buy, look for eco-friendly options. Eg. Cleaning products, clothing, sustainable timbers, eco-paint, second-hand goods.


*Grow your own ORGANIC fruit and vegetables.

*Energy use – try and minimise consumption as much as possible. Turn the heater down, use fans not air-con, hang out your washing to dry rather than using a dryer, turn off the lights. Opt to buy ‘green power’, put up solar panels or solar hot water. Or, do as my husband is doing, build your own solar heater to warm up your house for free!

*Offset some of the ‘footprint’ you are leaving by planting trees. Trees soak up lots of carbon dioxide – great in the battle against global warming.

*Buying for kids. Yep, kids are expensive, but let’s not make them cost the earth as well. Buy biodegradable disposable nappies and wipes (normal disposables take 500 – 600 years to break down), buy compostable toothbrushes. And I know it’s hard, buy TRY and avoid plastic!! There are many beautiful and educational toys out there made of wood or recycled materials!


There are so many ways that we can all make a positive impact on the future of this planet, and with so many people wanting the best possible future for their children, I have no doubt the future is clean and green!



Possum Proofing

They come each night… I say ‘they’ because surely only one could not create such a raucous noise! As they crash their way across our tin roof I’m not alarmed, almost comforted, it’s a delight to be living with wildlife around us. And late night possum spotting with children swaddled in great volumes of fluffy blankets and weak torch light is equally delightful. What is not so enchanting is the reality of their eating habits in the morning! Turns out the beautiful old roses that ramble about Greenlaw are constantly on the menu, but apparently the dish most cherished is the climbing rose that we are trying to train into an arch over the steps to the verandah… ie. plumb at the entrance!  Then of course in summer when our ancient apple orchard was heavy with ripening produce… our furry little friends managed to munch through the netting bags and consequently through what fruit the parrots hadn’t already decimated! I was still forgiving though… that was until winter hit and obviously a possum has to get a feed… and how could they resist the juicy, plump, ripening strawberries nestled in their lush bed…. hmmmmm…. As you can see in the pic they didn’t stop at the fruit!! NOT HAPPY!


So after giggling and reeling at various possum prevention techniques on-line I decided that a nightly offering of fruit was not going to be part of this gardener’s ritual… and that a possum proof patch was called for…. DARRYN!!!  Enter my wonderful and very talented husband who can now add ‘Possum Proof Strawberry Patch Builder’ to his CV.

strawbbox1 strawbox3 strawbbox4

Not only is it constructed primarily out of timber we salvaged from around the property or from the local tip shop, but the chicken wire lid can either lift off completely for easy garden maintenance OR just be propped up for picking!! So, that’s strawberries saved…. any tips for the roses??!

strawbbox5 strawbbox6 strawbbox7



Home Haircuts

I’m not sure if I’m being really tight, or incredibly resourceful here?! I cut my kids hair.  I can hear the comments now “You can tell!”. But can you? I can’t say I know what I’m doing, or am particularly skilled in the art… and Josh’s wavy locks must hide some of my sins… but my dear friend and hairdresser tells me (when on the odd occasion she has trimmed their locks whilst doing mine), that my sins are few!  Tomas’ fringe has had the odd bad month or two … but at 2 he really doesn’t mind… as long as he gets his frozen yoghurt whilst mummy snips away he’s happy. Oh yes, bribery is alive and well in this hair salon!

homehaircuts homehaircuts2