New life

2 March 2009
It's been a very full weekend here. From the minute I wrote the Biggest Kitchen Table post, It's been non-stop. I've been visiting friends, Shane and Sarndra have been here, and we've been settling in some new chooks and Princess, Sarndra's little black cat.

But the most important new addition to our home has been Sarndra. In all these years of being married, then having babies, I've always been the only woman. Shane and Sarndra are staying here, on and off, while they prepare to go to New Zealand for a holiday. They finished up at their jobs last Friday and have brought all their worldly possessions to our place for safe keeping. Having Sarndra here these past couple of days has been an absolute pleasure for me. There is giggling, someone else's dresses and skirts, and order; Sarndra is tidy. So the bed is made, she helps with dishes and folds things, and she talks, the way we women do. She seems to be very comfortable with Hanno and I. :- ) We talked about babies the other day, and Shane, and a whole lot of other innocent inconsequential topics that, with another person, may not seem important, but between us, are creating a glue that will hold us together for many years. It's the first time I've formed this kind of friendship and I know it could go wrong, but I've seen no bad bits yet, it's been the best kind of discovery. I know we are all flawed, well I know I am, so I hope when I see her not so good side, and she sees mine, we will take it all in and accept it as part of our all too human package. She is all I ever hoped for in a daughter-in-law and I am really pleased she's here and part of our lives now.

Our cat Hettie, has no clue yet there is another feline in the house. Little Princess was found by Sarndra living on the streets a few years ago, an obvious lost pet. She had a collar and bell on but she was skin and bones and extremely hungry. Sarndra started feeding her on the street on her way to and from work, and over time, built up trust, and then took her home. Advertisements in the local paper didn't find her owner, so she's been with Sarndra ever since. But she's still a very frightened cat. Having that time on the street, probably fighting with other cats and dogs every other day, has made her ever watchful and anxious. She's always slept in a cupboard, in the dark, away from what's been happening in the house. Since she's been here, she's lived in the second bathroom, in the cupboard. Hanno put a flyscreen on the window in the big shed, so she can live in there with the window open. We think if she was let outside she'd run into the bush and we'd never see her again. Anyhow, it's a slow process, Hanno is talking to her and playing with her, with a little mousey and a shoelace - her favourite toys. She lets him pick her up now and I've patted her. So progress has been made and we hope she will come to accept us as her friends.

And here are the new chooks. That's mama Lucy there on the left, with some of her chicks. They're a mixed bunch of Old English Game, possibly a Leghorn, and what look like a couple of Australorps. One of the EOGs has green legs, which you can see in the photo below. We think there are two roosters, so the flock might be smaller soon.

Here are the green legs. Strange eh? They're pretty wild and have been roosting in trees before coming here. They're locked in an area away from the other chooks and we'll keep them apart, but within eye contact, for a week or so, and then let them live together. The task now is to get them used to eating greens from the garden, grain and porridge. We'll have our hands full for a week or so before they all settle in, but it feels good to have new life here, both inside and outside the house.


  1. Goodness...Talk about hit the ground running!
    You have so much new happenings and new Family members!!!
    All the best.

  2. Good morning Rhonda,

    Sounds like you've been busy over the week-end. Thanks for the Kitchen Table discussion, all very helpful and lots of hints and tips to remember.

    Blessings Gail

  3. Tony says of Mum "I won the lottery when I got my mother-in-law". Mum says of him "and I won the jackpot". Sounds like you are Sarndra have had similar wins. :)

  4. Daughters are a blessing for sure. I wonder how much Shane picked Sarndra because she was somehow similar to YOU?

  5. HI - It sounds like big big changes all around. Wonderful big changes. Enjoy. Emily

  6. You really deserve all this happiness Rhonda. Enjoy it and the new friendship. I'm so happy for you, Margaret

  7. I need to comment on something else than Sarndra, although no doubt that's a great thing you get on so well... the cat and the hens caught my attention. Introducing new animals to a house, and getting friends with animals is always such an adventure! Good luck!

  8. Hi

    Glad you're getting on so well with your daughter-in-law. Errrmmm..I am just feeling a bit uneasy here about babies having been a topic of conversation though - so would appreciate reassurance here that it was her who raised the subject and that it was in the context of her saying how much she wants one and that she wants it to be soon - set my mind at rest. (I guess we're all so aware of having heard a lot of comments from women about them feeling "pressured" to have babies by others....)

  9. I treasure my relationship with my d-i-law, it took a while for us to feel comfort with each other and now she is a close friend. I am sure that the same thing will happen with you. It sounds like it is well on the way,

  10. Wow! Green legs...that's surreal and kind of Dr Seuss-ean. Or something.

    Sounds like some good bonding has been done over the kitchen table. Oh how lucky Sandra is to have a MIL like you. Believe me.

  11. We introduced our fourth (and final) chook to the others today. They're all snuggled up together in the nesting boxes asleep. I so love having chookies again!

    Those green legs are very strange! I've never seen legs like that before. weird!

    So glad to hear you're having such a wonderful time getting to know Sarndra!

  12. Hi Rhonda,
    Just wanted to show you what happens when you "teach your children well'. My son is a professor at Eckerd College and this is what he is doing with his students!
    My husband was an organic farmer when Kent was young.

  13. Sounds like a busy time.

    Sounds like you are thoroughly enjoying it as well.

  14. Sounds like you had a lovely weekend. Thank you so much for the Kitchen Table talk. I really enjoyed it and love "visiting" with other people who have the same interests as me. Thank you a thousand times!


  15. Thanks everyone. Ceridwen, Sarndra has said in the past they want to travel before they have babies and I'm happy with what ever they want to do. Our conversation was babies in general, they have a friend who lives near us who has just had their second, so the conversation was mainly about that baby, and our next door neighbour who is due right now.

    Jan, it's great to see that kind of project in a school.

  16. Sounds like a lovely start with your daughter-in-law-to-be and I wish you the very best!! I love mine too, but her family seems to have taught her to keep distance with those not in her immediate family, so we do not see them often. Life is full of adjustments. My son seems happy so that is what is important to us. Though we did move clear across the country to be able to see them more often and live 40 minutes away by freeway. But is change and life is adjustment and we have and are continuing to make those. It is wonderful to be close with family and it sounds like things are started off well!! Blessings to you and yours!!

  17. Hi Rhonda, you are so lovely! Your post made me feel happiness and joy. You're so welcoming and accepting of this change into your family and have such a lovely way of looking at it. Yet again I wish you could adopt me ;) You make the world a better place.

  18. Enjoyed your post, as always.

    You do have alot going on. It will all soon come together and everyone will find their spot--get into routine.

    We have three green leg chickens (chooks--love that word) [grin].

    Do you know if the green leg chickens come from a specific breed?

    Take Care,

  19. It's so lovely to read about you bonding with your soon to be daughter-in-law. So many relationships like this are strained and painful so it's refreshing to read. :)


  20. I like to read About your canning, I, like you, save the store jars that have been purchased in the past.
    Keep up the good work!


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