The fox returns and life continues

Who would have thought that toast would unite us as it did in my last post. I loved reading your comments because they made me feel like I was spending time with some wonderful people. Thanks for sharing your toast ideas. I'll try some of them. It was great to see some of the lurkers commenting too. Toast lured them out and that made me smile. Thank you toast - you did it again.

 This is Tricia, on the right, with her cloak of exploding ginger feathers.

Sadly, on Saturday, a fox killed our frizzle, Tricia. Tricia and her sister Kathleen have been with us for nearly four years. I noticed everything was quiet when I walked into the garden so I went into the chicken coop and found four chooks hiding under the nests. When I walked outside again, I saw the little frizzle body under the pecan tree. It's so sad finding a pet like that. I called Hanno and he found the other girls hiding in the palm trees. We were just about to go out for lunch with the family so we locked the girls in the coop and they happily stayed in there until 9am the following morning.

At our family lunch on Saturday. Jamie was eating a burger, and Hanno next to him, fish and salad. I've blocked three faces above because I didn't ask if I could use their photo here. 

Yesterday was spectacular. The sun was shining, Jamie was here, I had some light gardening to do, lunch was leftovers and generally the day went very well.  When I took a break I was knitting something for Eve's birthday, which was on Friday. I won't see her until next week so I'll continue knitting and hope to finish her little vest/shawl in a couple of days.



Our beautiful puppy Gracie is such a joy to be around. She loves Jamie but won't leave him alone so she's banished to the backyard most of the time he's here. Don't worry, she's well cared for out there. She has a little house just outside the back door so she sits in there, quite comfy-cosy, listening to the goings-on in the house. 



Every year I buy a tray of white alyssium and a tray of violas, this year they're mauve and yellow. On Sunday, I planted up half of them in a huge pot that will soon sit in the vegetable garden. The rest of the alyssium will be planted along the garden edges near the tomatoes and the rest of the violas will go in terracotta pots. I also repotted ferns, brought out the pot plants that had been summering in the bush house and placed them on the back verandah. I put up trellises for the tomatoes and pruned. I still have things to do out there but there is no hurry now that the vegetables are planted. I can do the odds and ends when I have time for them.

When I organised my ingredients for the biscuits, I realised I'd run out of brown sugar. Luckily I had molasses and white sugar in the cupboard so I made up some brown sugar (in the small bowl) and went ahead with the biscuits.

Inside the house I made a batch of Anzac biscuits, sorted out the ironing, organised some yarn and thought about cleaning the bathrooms. That cleaning will be done this morning.  I'll get as much as possible done today and tomorrow because my sister, Tricia, is coming for a visit on Wednesday. She'll stay about three weeks so we'll probably be out more than normal when she's here.


I stayed in the garden till around 3pm, Sunny was due back at 4.30pm to pickup Jamie, so I picked her a bunch of fresh herbs and came inside.  Then I talked Hanno into helping me reposition the bed in the room Tricia will sleep in.  It will give her better access to the window and light switches. I'll make up her bed today and do a bit more in the garden. The next few days will be busy.

What will you be doing this week?


27 comments

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about Tricia. I'm glad your other girls are safe. Sending you loving hugs Rhonda.

    You just reminded me I need to get onto our Anzac cookies. I tend to source a different recipe every year as mine come out of the oven and then flatten too much. I've made an Anzac slice before which is good.

    We will be settling our new chickens in this week and spending a lot of time with them.

    A couple of new dishes on the menu plan this week. I'll also be making your stew in the slow cooker from your Down To Earth book. I'm using brisket. It will be a little cooler later in the week so this meal she warm us up.

    Enjoy your time with Tricia.

    Kylie

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  2. This week is when we typically mow down the land surrounding our house, for brush fire control. I try and always leave enough tall grasses for the wildlife, birds and insects to still have habitat, while keeping us safe from fire danger. So it's one sign that summer is not far away!

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  3. I'm sad to hear of poor Tricia's demise. Keep a close eye out for that fox though. We had one a few years ago...and I live smack bang in the middle of suburbia...he came the first night, killed one chookie and scared the rest. The second and third nights, nothing. The fourth night he came back and killed all the rest of my girls and left carnage right through my backyard. It was dreadful. As they were beloved family pets, they were buried so the children would understand a little more about death...but would you believe that fox came back and dug up the remains! It was decidedly unpleasant.
    I love that you made your own brown sugar...I never thought to do that!
    Cassandra xx

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  4. Good morning Rhonda, I am sorry for your loss of your little frizzle, so very sad. Does your council know of this fox? Maybe they can do something?
    This week I am starting off another batch of water kefir, hopefully doing some patchwork tomorrow after we go to the ANZAC day dawn service, later this week I am starting a course of dog obedience for one of the little Jack Russells we inherited when my a Mother in law passed away, she is a good dog but has no manners and was never trained. She is very intelligent and I want her to be a good dog. The other little female is easier to handle but I will probably do the course with her as well later on. Have a wonderful week.
    Fi

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    1. Hi Fi, the only thing the council will do is to lend us a fox trap. The rest is up to us. There are a lot of foxes and wild dogs out here in the hinterland so I guess responding to single reports is beyond them.

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  5. Sorry to hear of your frizzle Tricia's demise, Rhonda. It is sad to find a pet, or indeed any animal; like that. But wouldn't a fox have taken it away or partially cached it? I would think so. Glad your sister is comig to visit; it will be a nice time for you and your family. this week I plan to get some meals cooked and put away in the bottom freezer of our fridge; clean all the cupboards out and reorganise them, and of course the weekly chores we all have to do such as laundry and shopping. Oh yes, the garden is being seen to as well. Slowly but surely it is coming together.

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    1. Hi hopflower. Generally a fox will take the body but I think, without knowing it, we may have scared this fox and it took off. I had been outside around the time it all happened. By the look of the frizzle, she'd been dead for an hour or two (ants) and her throat had been removed. Maybe the fox saw Gracie near the chook fence. Whatever it was, I'm grateful more chickens weren't killed.

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  6. Sad news about Tricia. I saw a fox here, in the suburbs of Melbourne, mid morning a few months ago. I thought they only came out at night so it was a surprise to see it in broad daylight.

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  7. Sorry about your chicken! It sounds like you will have a lovely visit with your sister. Enjoy yourselves!

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  8. Sad news indeed about your frizzle. We see foxes out and about at all hours of the day - they run across the paddock over our back fence.

    I made ANZAC biscuits a few days ago as I just love them and hadn't made them for ages, but the time of year reminded me of them. I heard debate on the ABC radio recently as to the "real" ANZAC biscuit recipe - is it an Australian or NZ invention? Should it have coconut or not? Should the biscuit be crunchy or chewy? These are big questions!

    Personally, I use the Commonsense Cookery Book recipe, so I include coconut, and I like crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.

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  9. Hi Rhonda. I'm sorry to hear your cute little clucker was taken by a fox. Hope that it decides to move elsewhere.
    The bikkie barrel is empty so I might get in and make some Anzac bikkies later today.
    My parents arrived here yesterday and overnighted with us. We haven't had a catch up since January so it was very nice to see them. The have not long headed back to Buderim.
    I will be cleaning the caravan, this is where my folks stayed. We are planning our caravanning adventure for this year and have a bit of maintenance to do on the van. I want to clean out all the cupboards and make a list of what we need to come out of the house for our journey.
    I have some more seeds for various perennials that I want to get into seed trays this week. My other seedlings are all up and thriving and some will be planted into the main garden.
    It's so nice being able to be outside without cooking. I am loving it.

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  10. Hi Rhonda, I enjoyed the toast post and smiled to see all the responses. Word to the wise: don't get between a DTE reader and their toast! I'm sorry to hear about Tricia the chicken. It would be very distressing to find a pet like that. On the other end of the pet spectrum, I loved the picture of Gracie in her house! I spent today at a craft sale out in the country where they featured local products, including wonderful homemade goat's milk lotions and soap. The best part was the family and children that made the products had brought 3 of their baby Nigerian Dwarf goats with them. I spent a lot of time talking to the family and petting and watching the goats - they were so gentle and loving. Now I'm back home in the city and looking at a new work week. Not much fun compared to baby goats! Enjoy your visit with Tricia. Beth in MN

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  11. sorry for your loss, she certainly was a looker with those exploding feathers.
    Gracie is such a cutie, love her out box kennel, looks very cozy
    your garden is looking lovely as are all your pot plants, so green there.
    thanx for sharing
    selina from kilkivan qld

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  12. Sorry to hear about Tricia, not had chickens, yet! That would be my fear though. Rhonda, how do you block peoples faces out on photos? I'm focusing on getting the house straight this week. Our son Tom, visiting from Uni, is hosting his birthday party on Friday! Strange to be cleaning first? We've been lucky in the past, he has a good bunch of friends!! Ellen, my daughter, and Millie, granddaughter, are staying with friends and Nick and I have opted for a night in a hotel in Stamford. Have a good week.

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    1. Hi Sharon, I have a Macbook and use iphotos for my photos. It's the standard program for Apple and included on the machine when you buy it. In there, I just select the photo, click on retouch, and blob out the faces. If you use a Windows machine, they'd have something similar. Look for a free photo program with "retouch". I hope your son has a good party. xx

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  13. Poor Tricia, that's sad! Enjoy your sister's visit.

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  14. If its any consolation, I did see a very large dead fox on the side of the road coming into your town this morning from the mountain above. We have a few up here too in Witta. Your blog and books finally inspired me to move up here 3 years ago from Brisbane. A lifetime dream. Love reading your posts

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    1. Thanks bw, I'll take that fox on the road for Tricia.

      Every so often I get emails and comments about inspiration and gratitude and it reminds me of the power of role models, consistency and values. I'm glad I could be part of your relocation. You moved to a beautiful place and I'm sure you're reaping the benefits of that. xx

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  15. Evening Rhonda. So sorry to hear abour little Tricia and damn that fox! This morning was busy with hubby and I doing a spot of gardening before the weather turned and boy did it turn on us this afternoon. Off to work I went and my husband performed an excellent task. He learnt to cook scones and biscuits from his late mother, he loves to do it and is excellent at it. In fact he outdoes his sister. So home waiting was a wonderful batch of Anzac biscuits. Tomorrow morning we will attend the Anzac dawn service in memory of his grandfather whose name plaque is overlooking the ocean at Caloundra. Hope you had a magical day.

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    1. Hi Brigie, it's great having a competent baker in the family. My dad could make bread, cakes and biscuits. Don't forget to have a cuppa and a biscuit before you go to Caloundra in the morning. It will see you through the ceremony. It's a fine thing to honour a grandfather on Anzac Day. I hope you both enjoy the day. xx

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  16. So wonderful to be a dead chook and a visiting Sister at the same time!

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    1. Hahaha, I wondered if you'd see this. See you tomorrow. xx

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  17. So sorry to read about your loss.
    I have to say that Gracie looks so cute.
    The garden is looking good, it's always nice to plant out pots.

    We have a quiet week planned and the weather here in the UK is quite cool with snow being forecast for more Northern Areas.
    Of course the end of the week and the weekend is a three day weekend ...which will be nice.

    Enjoy your sister's visit.

    All the best Jan

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  18. Sad about your chicken. I remember when our youngest son found one of his chickens that had been killed by an unpleasant kid who was in the neighborhood where he and his family lived. My little grandchildren were so upset about it. Gracie is so cute. Sometimes puppies take a while to settle down and our two still get so wild when company comes. I think that I need to work more with them.Two front flower beds here look so good from the work done by a friend of our daughters. My hubby, Don and grandson Austin put out mulch around our old oak tree and we still need to add pots of flowers there. Still much more work to do in the back yard. Enjoy your time with Tricia. Blessings, Carolyn in Florida

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  19. Looking at those beautiful herbs reminded me to tell you I took your advice about how to plant a number of herbs in one pot (with regards to their water needs) and have two large planter pots on the back deck now with some lovely herbs and even a cherry tomato plant in the centre (winter is our growing time for salad veg). Now to plan some lettuce/rocket pots. Thank you Rhonda.

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  20. So sorry to hear about your hen. It's hard to lose them. Our hens are all in mobile coops now, because I got tired of losing so many to bobcats. We still lose one occasionally (they like to stick their heads out of the fencing to squawk at bobcats--why?!), but the mortality rate has come down a lot.

    This week we started off with a homeschooling field trip to a local aquarium (Clearwater Marine Aquarium--it was featured in the movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2) and I am planning to spend much of the rest of the week catching up on things around the home that desperately need attention, from a backlog of laundry to a half-flat of strawberries given to us by our neighbor (he brought us a full flat and we've been enjoying them--unexpected bounty this late in the season!--but the rest need to be dried or eaten soon). We also need to pull out some of the spent plants from the garden at some point--the heat and the bugs are starting to get to some of the plants.

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  21. Another great article. Love the tip about the molasses and white sugar as a substitute for brown sugar! So sorry to hear the fox got one of your girls. I know how upsetting that is, chickens are such characterful creatures each with their own personality, you get very attached to them. Sending you a big hug.

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