Back to normal

17 April 2008

Work is finished at the neighbourhood centre for the week and today will be my first day here doing my normal routine in what seems like ages. Hanno has done all the washing, hanging out and folding, without being asked :- ), so all I have to do with the laundry now is to put it away and iron. Ugh, all that ironing. I'm going to tackle it in 30 minute blocks. I know I won't get it all done but I'm going to pretend that is my goal.

There are a couple of bathrooms that need cleaning, I'll change the linen on our bed and I have some plants to go in. We have almost finished the vegetable garden now, there are just peas and beans to plant up, along with a few sugarloaf cabbages. I also have some small daisies to go in. I always plant flowers in the vegetable garden as they attract the bees, so we get good pollination, and they look beautiful. Beauty is always the best excuse for doing something.

Two buckets of rosellas were picked yesterday and I'll make tea and cordial with them today. There are still quite a few bushes to pick so they'll be made into jam that should be enough for us throughout the year.

I have more bad news about the chooks. Little Lotte was taken by a snake last Saturday night. The night after the party, Lotte went to bed, tucked up in a closed hen house with the rest of the girls, and the next morning there was no sign of her. She was Hanno's favourite, so he was upset and angry that she was taken. The only sign that something had happened was a small amount of blood, but no other signs - no feathers left behind and we heard no noise. Hanno spent the next day covering all the coop openings with small gauge wire so no snakes can enter. We think it climbed a tree right next to the coop and came in just under the roof. It's probably a young python, there are a lot of them around here; the same one that killed the other silver Hamburg, Stella Gladys, two weeks ago. Stella Gladys was bigger than Lotte and couldn't be swallowed whole, so she was left, dead, with a stretched neck and wet down to her waist. It's pretty gruesome. We've delayed putting the other babies into the coop at night and they're still sleeping in a large box covered with a blanket to keep them warm at night.

My sister Kathleen, who commented yesterday for the first time, gave me a pasta maker for my birthday. I'll be using it today to make some lasagna sheets that I'll make into ravioli. I'll stuff them with spinach and ricotta for our dinner tonight. Thanks Kathleen! There will be photos of that tomorrow and, if I get myself organised today, a tutorial on making pasta.

And another birthday gift is this felt and wool cushion cover, made by Tricia. Isn't it beautiful! As is the tradition of us sisters, we don't always go by patterns but rather what is in our heads. You get the best things using imagination as your guide.


  1. So sorry to hear about Lotte, I would never of thought of snakes eating chickens in Australia. I do so hope you manage to close all its entry points. It's obviously learnt that there is food there for the taking.

    And what lovely presents, the cushion cover is stunning and as I've a pasta maker I'm really looking forward to your tutorial, I'm thinking spinach and goats cheese for me

  2. Belated happy birthday wishes, Rhonda. It seems you've had a wonderful time over the past few days.

    I am really enjoying being older. That's something you cannot quite imagine when young; one could have the opinion that life is more restrictive somehow, but that is not the case, unless there are health issues of course.

    Ask me again when I'm 85, however right now, life is pretty darn good!

    In the past few weeks I have lost some chicks to snakes, for the first time ever I think. Very sad. I thought they were in a snake proof pen however have been hastily afixing smaller gauge wire over everything a snake could possible get through.

    I realised some older chicks were venturing into the feed shed of a day (nice and cosy in there) and this is where the snakes hang out of a day! I also thought they'd be too big to be snake fodder but no, they weren't, and I lost another one. :(

    I took a picture of a very fat and peculiarly shaped Diamond Python which definitely had a teenage chook inside it.

    And I make sure the door to the feed shed stays firly shut at all times.

    Love the cushion cover! Have fun with the pasta maker!


  3. I love the orange stitches. I hope to go to the ladies museum in Tumbarumba one day and look at all the lovely hand work done by ladies. It is called pioneer women's hut. I have read the book with some of the exhibits in it.

    I have a pasta maker we haven't used, so looking forward to it.

  4. Rhonda that reminds me of the gorgeous Portuguese embroidery I have around the place.

    It is lovely and makes me want to start yet another crafty art! Good job that it's bucketing down with rain today!

  5. poor little lotte! it's heartbreaking isn't it? we've been having problems with raccoons, this year, getting in and killing my poor hens. we've got a havaheart trap set now and have relocated three of the murderous little buggers so far.
    we've got our coops buttoned up tighter than ever, as you did, so hopefully, our problem is solved too!

  6. That cushion cover IS gorgeous. I love crewel.

  7. Hi Rhonda Jean :) I hope that your day is going well - productive and restful and filled with joy. It's nice to have "back to normal" days, isn't it? Even when they aren't so very predictable :)

    I love the cushion cover! All of that sassy red just makes me smile. Love to you! Q

  8. Happy Birthday.

    How about a cushion cover craft swap?

  9. Cushion cover swap sounds good to me too

    Sharron in the UK

  10. Yes! A pasta tutorial! I hope you get round to it, my daughter as a picky eater (ah, those toddlers!) will eat almost nothing else for diner, so I'd love to make some pasta myself!
    So sad Hanno's favorite was taken by a snake, and a python no less. I've only seen those in the zoo, just the thought of having them crawl around the house, yuck. Do you have those big spiders too, I'm terrified of spiders!
    I love that cover your sister made, it's beautiful.
    Have a good day!
    Christine from the NL

  11. I'm so sorry about Lotte! We lost one of ours not long ago (we think to a snake as well). We have a LOT of vipers in my particular corner of Georgia. We border Alabama and get to see any number of VERY poisonous snakes curled up on our front porch in the summer months.

    Just be glad it wasn't one of your dogs. Ours were bit by a timber rattler last spring and we had a dreadful time. All lived -- but it was very scary.

    Come on by the blog and cast your vote for the Name That Photo Contest (I haven’t voted yet — looks like only two people have so far).

    Also, you should send me a photo of any one of or all of your really cute pets and you could be in the running to win a year's subscription to Mother Earth Magazine!!!!

    Have you read Mother Earth? It is fabulous. If you win and we find that Mother Earth won't ship to to Australia (though I think it does), you can pick the journal of your choice.


  12. I would love a tutorial on pasta making - as long as I don't need to buy any fancy machines!

    And lots of photos to show me how - lots of pasta la vista, baby!


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  14. I'm sorry about Lotte. I just purchased chickens for the first time and am a novice. Reading about your experiences really helps me learn what to look out for and expect.

    Your sister's cover is beautiful. I love the colors.


  15. That cushion cover is absolutely gorgeous and has inspired me as to what to embroider on a bag I've just knitted - inspired by you Rhonda Jean! Once I've embroidered it I'll email you a photo. I'm so proud of having done it so far :-)


  16. So sorry to hear about poor Lotte. When I was a child it was foxxy who took our chickens. But foxxy is naughty and will kill chickens for the fun. Dad was always adding extra protection for the run.

    Love that cushion cover, makes me think I might like a try. I do crossstitch which I love but it takes a lot of time.

    Pippa in Cornwall.

  17. Sorry to hear about Lotte, I do hope you and Hanno manage to prevent any more snake visits.

    Reading the comments I noticed that Linda mentioned the Pioneer Woman's Hut in Tumbarumba. I too have been wanting to visit it after learning about it in the book 'The Gentle Arts'. Maybe Linda and I will meet there one day.

  18. That is GORGEOUS!!! I love the beautiful colors and what lovely work. What a treasure!

  19. Dear Brenda, Happy Belated Birthday from Ohio! I see you had too much fun. Long may it continue!
    I'm very sorry to hear about your chickens. We don't have snakes here, but I remember visits to my grandfather's brother's farm and the chicken hawks that were a menace....Your sister's gift has a real exhuberance and joy of life in it. I have no sisters and always wanted one! Count your blessings.(I know you do. That's what your life is all about. The awareness of 'simple abundance'.)

  20. The cushion cover is beautiful. I love your blog!

  21. Gorgeous cushion cover! I always enjoy reading your blog, even tho you have lost another of your chickens, for which I am so sorry. I can't imagine a snake large enough to eat a chicken, must be huge! Have fun with the pasta maker! I know you will put it to good use!

  22. I love your cushion cover and your new sewing basket. Fantastic presents :)

    So sorry about Lotte :( Here in the UK we have to worry about foxes, but I can't imagine having snakes in my back garden, no no no no !!!! I hope the improvements Hanno has made ensure no more chickens become snake food

    Kathryn (UK)

  23. I hope you make that visit one day, Linda. What a nice day out that would be.

    Christine, yes, we have the big spiders too, but like the snakes, we see them as part of our natural environment and we live and let live.

    Sorry to read about your dogs, Lacy. I hope they're ok now. I'll be over to yhour blog later. I went yesterday and it took a long time to load.

    Kristi, I'm so pleased you have your first chickens. I've kept chooks for over 20 years and these are the first the snakes have taken. It tends to go quiet for years, then you haved problems, then it's quiet again. I hope you enjoy your girls.

    Whohoo Fifi! That's great, I'm looking forward to that photo.

    Belovedgoddess, I love the Gentle Arts book. I bought it when it was first published in the late 80s and I still refer to it frequently.

    knitsational, welcome!

  24. Oh wow...that pillow cover is gorgeous...someone is very talented!


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