28 November 2007

Flying eggs

Last week Ann asked if I had two dogs as usually Rosie is in my photos. Here are Alice (left) and Rosie together last night for Ann, and to remind us all of the pleasure pets can bring to our lives.

It has been my experience all through my life, that while the vast majority of days are lived in a very ordinary way, they are sprinkled with days that test me to my limits and those that are the sweet icing on my cake. It sometimes feels like life goes on its merry way then, just to remind me that this is not to be taken for granted, something upsets the ordinaryness of life with a set of circumstances that test my purpose and strength. I accept these difficult times, like now with the kitchen, just as much as I do the ordinary days because I know as sure as night follows day, that just around the corner a diamond is waiting.


When I came home from work yesterday, where I was so busy I didn't stop for tea, lunch or bathroom breaks (eek!), I walked into our home to find even more of the floor ripped out, furniture moved from the lounge room, a bookcase in the kitchen and the lounge packed in tightly behind my computer desk. Then fate stepped in with the most wonderful counterweight.

A couple of weeks ago, one of our Rhode Island red chooks went broody for the first time. She's so focused on becoming a mother hen that she has to be physically removed from the nest to eat and drink. And when she is removed, she runs to the bucket to drink, runs to the feeder to eat, then runs back to the nest, settles down again to try to hatch unfertile eggs. We want some more chickens so we decided to look for a rare breed that we could raise with a dual purpose. We get eggs and a rare breed, and many of them are dying out, is given more space in this fragile world of ours.

I asked around and was contacted online by a lovely lady in Perth. She only knows me from my writing but she said she had an excellent line of bantam Partridge Wyandotte chooks (bottom right hand photo) and that she could send me some fertile eggs. These chooks had been given to her by a vet who had raised them over the years to a very good show standard, but he now has a terminal illness. He had given them to her with the hope that his Wyandottes would live on. Of course I was interested but they were on the other side of the country - 3600 kilometres (2250 miles) away. I've been silently hoping for the past week that we would be lucky enough to raise these chicks, but the likelihood of that happening, because of the contraints of distance and cost, seemed very remote.

Until yesterday.

When I walked into the increasing wreck that we are calling home at the moment, among all the emails and messages, this gem was waiting, and verbatim I will quote it: "I have 8 [eggs] already, if the girls play nicely I should be able to get the eggs on a Friday flight, does that suit you or how about Saturday? Instead of sending me the postage over how about we barter? I would love some dish cloths if you can knit or sew them."

This, my friends, is the most beautiful affirmation of why I live as I do. This simple bartering of goods needed for each of our simple lives, the reaching out to our (long distance) neighbours to help fulfill a need and in turn to be helped, this is what I want my life to be. I want these acts of kindness, generosity and support to be well and truly a part of my days. But balance always steps in. The symmetry of life only allows a slender and humble number of these wonderful days so that when they come along I recognise them for their true and genuine worth and don't take the profundity of simplicity for granted.

I will really enjoy knitting dishcoths and sewing an apron for my unseen and distant friend. The days I make them will be diamond days, as will the days the chicks hatch. I'm not sure if Helen reads my blog, but if she does, thank you, Helen.

The eggs arrive on Saturday. : )


  1. Thanks Rhonda,

    Lots of oohs and aahs at this end!

    Our West Highland Whites are 16 and nearly nearly 14 years old. I will try and send a pic.

    Hope the kitchen resolves.I'm getting ready for an early night here - big day training food handlers from food businesses tomorrow.Seems reassuring that your life is going on, yet in another day.

    Very best wishes,


  2. How do you transport the eggs on a flight ? Are they in a special box ? How do you keep them warm ? How long is the flight ? How do you get them through customs/clearance ? Would be interested to know how they travel from start to finish. Karen.

  3. how lovely of Helen to do that! :)

  4. This is such a lovely post. I am happy for you. Hope the eggs arrive safe and sound and your kitchen will soon be fixed. I love your blog!


  5. Rhonda,

    Wonderful, Wonderful post! This post made my day:) It is so nice that simple things still happen.


  6. Hi Rhonda

    What a fantastic story. Please will you give us the full details of how the eggs get transported - do you just use an ordinary egg carton and put a hot water bottle under it or what? Very interested to hear. All the best with the eggs. How wonderful of Helen

    All the best to both you ladies.

  7. What a beautiful story, there really are some wonderful people out there. I am sure the kitchen will be well worth it all when it is finished. Can't wait to see photos of the finished product.

  8. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    How Wonderful!It is so nice to know there's still kind ,Loving people left in this world.:o)
    To barter ,is a Good thing.I do it often. Helps both parties .:o)
    Hope your kitchen is back together soon.
    Blessins', Lib

  9. What a great story Rhonda Jean. I'm in love with your dogs, they are beautiful. I would love to be able to have some chickens in my backyard but I've checked and can't have them in my part of suburbia. We are planning on moving in the next 2 years so hopefully will have a larger garden then. But still doubtful whether we can have chickens. To get within commuting distance of my husband's work we can't seem to go far enough out into the country.
    Oh well farm fresh eggs will have to do for now.
    Hope your eggs arrive safe and sound.


  10. That's awesome. Hope your babies arrive save & your new mums enjoy their babies.

    We have 3 cucky hens at the moment & with a rooster we could have babies - but prefer not to at this time - last hatch was all roosters a bit tough on our son as we had to move on the roosters - thankfully to a nice farm who could have them all.

    Looking forward to seeing photos of your new kitchen.

    Love Leanne NZ

  11. Followed your link to see the chooks-boy are they pretty!! How nice it is to be able to get such special eggs flown in!! Enjoy them and I hope your little hen will sit on them for you!! Hugs-Sharon

  12. What gorgeous chickens they look to be! Like something out of a rustic french country farmhouse painting.

    Good luck with the hatching!

    It must be trying living without a kitchen. Just think how much sweeter the completion of it will be for having had to wait.



  13. Your dogs are adorable! There is a "rightness" in your bartering arrangement with Helen, more of our lives should be lived this way, less stress, more satisfaction in knowing what we produce or provide has value.

  14. How wonderful! You're dogs are so beautiful. What is their breed?

  15. Gotta love bartering! I also love synchronocity, and learning to be open to such opportunities. Have a wonderful day today, Rhonda.

  16. Lovely story and I hope the eggs arrive in good condition. I’ve got 4 Silver Laced Wyandottes and they are beautiful. I bought them as layers (although as it’s winter here only one is laying every other day) so they are not as friendly as other chickens I’ve had. Hopefully they will gradually get more used to me as they are fun creatures to watch and you can’t beat the taste of a fresh, free-range egg.

    Hope the house is sorted soon. I’m having one of those months where everything is breaking down. After the heating, car, lawnmower and tractor, it’s now the turn of the washing machine! The balance here is that I’m lucky to live in a beautiful place with my 4 wonderful cats. Makes up for it all.

    I look forward to seeing pictures of you chicks in about a months time.


  17. What a precious post, Rhonda Jean! From the pictures of your adorable Alice & Rosie all the way to the "thank you" at the end :)

    When I first read the title, I was certain that your dear canine friends had created an adventure for you - lol!

    I am so excited for you :) about a neat friendship and about the new chooks! Looking very forward to reading more... Love, Q

  18. Hi Ann, thank you so much for sending the photo of your gorgeous dogs. I love all terriers.

    I'll do a post about the eggs next week. Helen contacted me again and said she does read my blog, so hello Helen! It is wonderful knowing that there are lovely and generous people in the world.

    Tami, Alice and Rosie are Airedale Terriers, the largest terrier. Alice will be 12 on new year's eve and Rosie is 13. They still run around like demented puppies though.

    Paula, I hope you get some chickens one day. They are a lovely addition to any backyard. I am really surprised that north American backyards are sometimes restricted with chickens and clothes lines. It seems odd to me that the very things that help us live a simple greener life would be restricted in such a way.

    Thanks to all for your kind words.


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