Monday, November 22, 2010

Excuse me while I duck out...

For those of you that don't know, I'm inserting a quick advertisement here for my Facebook Farm Page - . It has all the updates you could possibly need on the chickens, ducks, new flock, culls, slaughter and all the general mini-farm related stuff. I might possibly get a twitter for this in the near future. Ugh. :P

So. The farm has, count it, six sets of babies waiting to come to light. Basically, spring happened and everyone is now expecting. I've got a barely-laying hen on a Muscovy egg, a Muscovy on Blue Swedish duck eggs, a Swedish duck on Silver Swedish eggs, a leghorn (!) on 5 sets of rare breed eggs, a pregnant cat and we're picking up our new beautiful King Parrot on the 1st, when she's old enough.

Here's how animals work when it comes to all of the above, because as I wrote it I realized a lot of the information was stuff I had to learn - but that I haven't told anyone. So naturally now that I've learned it I assume everyone knows it. Here's the skinny:

Muscovies are EXCELLENT mothers and I. didn't. know. this. Pissed. Turned out Muscovies can clutch 14 eggs THEIR FIRST GO. This is 20 chickens. After that they can do 20 ducks! or like 30 chickens! What does my Lady Duck Muscovy have? 5. 5 Blue Swedish ducklings. And by the time I figured out what I had done - it was too late.

See, once a hen has a set of eggs, she has THAT set of eggs and unless you can time the hatching of ducks and chickens to the DAY, you're gonna screw yourself over. Because once things hatch, mama gives it a day and then gets off. So if you put new eggs under there too late - you just killed an entire clutch. (Clutch = one full set of laid eggs before the hen decided to sit on them usually 12 for chickens and 15 for ducks)

Leghorns are NOT known for getting clucky. Especially my Leghorn, which is an ex-battery hen. It was BRED to make eggs. For years and years and generations. It should not be clucky. Which is why I put eggs under her the SECOND day she was clucky. Sometimes new to cluck hens get un-clucky too soon because of their childish impatience.

Which brings me to Natalie. The reason we had to buy new nesting boxes. Bitch likes to swap eggs! Remember what I said above? I spent every day reorganizing eggs to very much the danger of the eggs. I tried to move all of them but she DOES NOT like it. The muscovy and leghorn have adapted to the new separated nesting boxes (it's a triple - three separate boxes in the same structure) but I've had to block her in with a cardboard box and a tyre. Which sucks because her singular duckling is due in 3 days. Meaning I have to make sure she STAYS there while simultaniously making sure once that baby hatches, she can get off quickly and start raising it without smushing it.

I've let the Silver Swede build her own nest in a corner near the house and lay an egg a day until she was done (which I believe was 9) and then I threw another what I suspect was Blue Swedish egg underneathe her. Muscovy was clucky but the blue has only laid that egg since. Could also be a Silver egg, but it was laid in a funny spot. Either way, they (10? 11? 9?) should all hatch at the same time and all, but one, 100% naturally!! From nest to lay to hatch, all natural. How cool is that?

The cat is just a whore.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm not sorry...

When I was a little girl, I used to apologize for everything. Was it too bright that day? It was clearly my fault. Was the air a little cold? It was definitely my doing. When someone chirped up with even the tiniest complaint, such as, "Gee my feet hurt," my immediate reply would be a sudden and fearful, "I'm sorry!"

I blame my childhood. Mostly because I was a child and, well, I can't blame my adulthood, it hasn't happened yet. When I was little, for some unknown reason, the entire family decided things would always be my fault. If I had not been somewhere for weeks, I would come back and people would say to me, "Oh, it rained while you were gone! Why did you do that!?" They thought it was funny. I'm sure it was at the time.

It gave me a fucking complex. For years. Many. Many years.

And by many, I mean 'until pretty fucking recently'. See, I still apologize for everything. Not NEARLY as much anymore and, well, these days I pretty much refuse to apologize even for things I did (depends, really). People blame me for something and instead of apologizing these days, I just fix it. I'm so damn fucking sick of saying I'm sorry to people.

And you know why?

Because I don't fucking have to.

I'm hyper. Very hyper. I jump and get excited and just when you think, "Hey I know, I'll get excited too." it... just makes me worse. When someone else starts jumping, I start jumping and it becomes a cycle. Four year olds love me. For many many many years I apologized for this. I tried to cover it up. I had to not be hyper. People really don't like hyper for the most part, did you know that? Also, hyper is almost always paired up with 'stupid'. I did everything I could to not be hyper. If someone said, "Gee, you're hyper!" I'd apologize. I'm so sorry I'm hyper. I'll try not to do it again.

Fuck it. I'm fucking hyper. I'm twenty fucking four and I'm STILL hyper. It's not going away. No amount of alcohol, drugs, medications, etc will make me not hyper. And, well... it's not a bad thing. And screw the people who think it is! So what if I'm hyper? You're not me. You don't live with me. My husband loves my hyper (although admittedly it's a bit much for him sometimes too - but the best thing about me is I love honesty. Tell me to fuck off... and I will!). I'm sick of apologizing for an aspect of me that never changed.

That will never change.

And this is not the only thing I have done this with. And many of my friends too. Apologizing or being embarassed for things that make you, well, you. I cannot honestly recall a single time where I saw a woman snort when she laughed and I thought, "Ugh, how nerdy"... every single time I thought to myself, "Aw, that's cute!" and yet, every single time someone has done it around me they were humiliated, embarassed and apologetic. You snort when you laugh. Some people don't like it. Some people, like me, do. So why apologize for an aspect of yourself that may or may not make someone happy? Take your fucking chances!!! If they don't want to be your friend because of your laugh do you really want to be their friend?!

So. I'm hyper. And I'm bubbly. I'm excitable. I'm exceedingly and probably annoyingly (especially to the chronically depressed) positive. I exaggerate sometimes without meaning to. I blurt out sexist jokes on occasion without meaning to. When men piss me off, I aim for the crotch - fist or words, it's gonna get one of 'em. I love animals to the point of absurdity. I can take a genuine interest in simple basic things like curtain design or spoons. I read really quickly. I walk really quickly. I eat really quickly. I sometimes forget my keys. I always forget my glasses. I would lose my face if it weren't for mirrors. When I'm really insanely happy and I smile super big, my tooth sticks out really far and I look like a horse. Sometimes I just don't remember to do things. Sometimes I try to do too much. I am so sure I can do anything that I sometimes fuck things up because I won't let a professional do it. I eat things I dropped on the floor. I like expensive things. I like cheap things.

And you know what... I'm okay with all of that. It's just me. And I'm not going to apologize for it any more.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My first photo on my blog as a new wife is just like me - classy.

So I am back from my wedding, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I had some horrible people treat me in some horrible ways (see "I am not a Bridezilla" and then add another 20 crappy things, only from 'friends') right up until the wedding so I was nervous, stressed and basically on the verge of calling the whole thing off. ("Why get married if nobody will be there!?" I cried.)

It was worth it and I'd do it 100 times. The people that were there... well, they were the ones that mattered, now weren't they? Some of my closest friends came hell or high water, risking even death (!) to come to my wedding!

But now, now I know I have surrounded myself with quite possibly the world's best people. I have great taste, I think. Looking around at my wedding at all the people that were there for me just made me realize that it really isn't about quantity, but about quality and damned if my wedding was based on quality guests, I'd get a fucking medal.

At one point I was standing in the aisle and we all realized nobody had my music! My music! What were we going to do? All of a sudden one of my closest friends says to me, "Wait, I have a solution!" and whispers to me. I forgot. My friend.. is an opera singer. And only usually a drunk one. But there we go, stone cold sober and she sings for me. Sings loud and clear and beautifully for me to walk down the aisle. Screw iPods. Screw predone orchestrated music from a speaker system. I accidentally had a live opera singer sing me down the aisle. Beat that from your friends!

I am looking forward to writing out thank you cards. Wedding gifts rule. So thoughtful, really. I want to describe the things I got but I fear if I forget one, I will be just distraught with horror at the idea of offending someone who gave me a fantastic gift. Let it be known though that there wasn't a single damn gift I either didn't need, didn't want or couldn't use a million times over. And I'm hard to shop for!! Some people actually got me kitchen things I didn't have! Who can do that? My friends!

So now it's all over and my mother is gone, the coffee machine broke during the wedding so it's not on the counter, the dishes are all over the place, my candles are in a box in the garage... and sadly when we got home, one of our parrots had to be taken care of until she passed on, so her cage is missing as well. The house feels eerily empty and like we just moved into it - what with living out of laundry baskets and plates on the counter. I'm working on fixing it up - but we're still missing my adorable parrot sounds.

So it really IS like a new beginning for us, I suppose. We're putting away all our beautiful gifts (sheepskin rugs! two person woven picnic sets! digital photo frames! Tupperware! blankets! booze! GOOD BOOZE! Money! Shit I did what I said I wouldn't!) and even our own stuff so it does feel all brand new.

I feel different, the boy doesn't. I feel older and more mature. Possibly because I nearly killed myself with stress. I think I aged 6 years. I also lost some hair. Okay, I lost a lot of hair. But nobody noticed. Nobody even noticed my missing earring (except just before the wedding one whole person did). I stressed for nothing.

So now it's time for peppermint tea and naps. With kangaroos.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't Count Your Fois Gras Before They Hatch!

5 days until I get married. 10 days until baby chickens hatch. 30 days until we have baby ducks. And possibly only a week until we have kittens. Due to an overwhelming oversight in feline Houdini magic, a big fat orange tabby managed to make his way into my home about 6-7 weeks ago to give my 5 month old (at the time) little kitten a what-for. Figuring I had a couple months to fix her after the wedding, I was a bit taken off guard. I didn't witness the what-for and had actually assumed it didn't occur since I only found the behemoth in my garage, not the house itself. Judging by the belly...kittens.

So, I fail at cat ownership. In my defense, the little thing is barely seven months old and was always kept indoors. In my defense, cats are notorious for doing this and I should've just really known better.

However I really seem to WIN at duck ownership. I candled the eggs last night under my newly-nesting Lady Duck, who is Elvis's girlfriend, the muscovy. It appears we have two duds but SIX ducklings. My current problem is I made the mistake of not separating Muscovy eggs from Blue/Silver Swedish and Muscovies take about 4-5 days longer to hatch than Swedes, so hopefully this works. I'm GUESSING that the two duds might be Muscovies because her and Elvis are new to mating and, since it does take longer to grow, might not be duds at all, just slow-growing Muscys.

Lady Duck

So I am excited. I really don't know what kind of ducks she's hatching and I'm pretty sure she doesn't care, she's been stealing the unfertilized chicken eggs (much to my poor hand's distress when I need to retrieve them) and trying to hatch those as well. As you can see, she's plucked much of her gorgeous ducky down feathers and built her nest up with them. I have wild notions of sitting there for hours picking through it all to get enough fluff to make a pillow. Clearly this will end after about 10 minutes of cursing, but I like my wild notions nonetheless.

My fiance made a sook last night because I was excitedly telling people of my ducklings and kittens. "You are more excited about babies than you are about marrying me this week," he said. I felt bad, but he's not right - it just appears that way.

See, when you're about to get married, you talk about it a lot and people get, well, kind of sick of it. So you try not to talk about it as much. Only... the day gets closer the less you try to talk about it. So you feel like a rubberband about to snap wanting to describe your dress for the 1056387th time to your friend because the day is only a week away but you know you're just going to get an evil glare, so you don't.

... but this is my blog, so fuck you guys.

My dress is gorgeous! And the amazing tailor at Admiral's Quarters in Brisbane CBD really knows how to take care of people. Not trusting any tailor with Glynn's first suit, especially at Hugo Boss prices, I knew this particular tailor was, well, good. I've used him before. He has excellent prices, takes pride in his suits and it always willing to help you out and make you feel great - even if you're the 10,000th bride he's seen that day. He'll excitedly whisk you into a beautiful dressing room and professionally but nicely compliment you and help you any way he can. The whole experience is over before you knew it began - and the whole thing is relatively painless. Even the price - so I thought I'd put a little advertisement here for them. Stuart's Suits is just below (but inside) Admiral's Quarters and is fan-fucking-tastic.

Truth be told, I'm panicking just a little. Didn't think I would but I think my mother makes me panic and well, she's here. So I feel like I've got to entertain, plan a wedding, make sure she's proud of me, farm and get married all in the same week. All while feeling scrutinized beyond recognition. It's been making me nervous and I've been dropping things, stuffing up recipes, feeling sorry for myself and even crying - which is something I really don't do these days.

It's not hard, I'll say that. It's easy, life. It's just complicated. So many things to do, I feel a little overwhelmed but I don't feel so terribly challenged. I know I can do it. I know it'll be fine.

This might also be why I just start going on about ducklings and how excited I am 5 days before my wedding. Because actually talking about the wedding makes me start hyperventilating.

6 ducklings!!! 6 beautiful gorgeous roasted ducks. 200 bars of duck fat soap. 24 litres of duck stock. 3 gorgeous duck down pillows or 1 duck down blanket. 6 servings of hand-made fois gras.