:: I sit and drink tea in the mornings, and come out at dusk to listen as the world tucks itself in for the night :: Please won't you join me? ::

In nature there is a large place for sentiment. Nature is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.

:: Living simply ::

Thursday, 26 February 2015

My new chicken coop Episode 5 - Day 9, 10 & 11

Since I hastily erected a make-shift coop in January 2011, when I was given Henny Penny and her ten babies, the time finally came in October 2012 for the up-grade of my chicken coop! It was long in the offing! If you look back over the last few posts, you'll see the progress I've been posting since Day 1.

Day 9, which was a Wednesday, started off bright and early with Solomon and his 'handlanger' already waiting at the gate when we opened at 8am. Today was the day that the roof was going on, and I was terribly excited! Solomon got straight to the point and started measuring the length to which the IBR sheets must be cut.

While he was waiting for his handlanger, who was cutting the IBR sheets, Solomon started on the nest boxes for the girls. I've got 6 hens, so I was only building these 5 nest boxes, which would have a little roof on them, as I already had some loose standing nest boxes which some of them loved and I wasn't sure whether they would actually use the new nest boxes or not (And at the end of the day I was right - the other nest boxes are always fully occupied and these 5 mostly go unused!)

Day 9

Day 9

Day 9

Day 9

Just as Solomon finished building the little nest boxes, the roofing sheets were also ready and by end of day the roof was on! I brought out coffee and cookies for everybody and we all celebrated this event while chatting what the next move was for tomorrow.

End of Day 9

Day 10 - Thursday also kicked off bright and early (I mention this often as it is a rare event! lol!) and Solomon got ready for the plastering job. I always look forward to this, as it somehow gives the whole job a sense of reality and progress, meaning the move for the girls was getting close!

Day 10

I love watching the plastering process and after a while I asked Solomon if I could have a go at it, after waching carefully how he 'throws and slaps' the plaster into place with such apparent ease. First of all, he had to hold the trough containing the plaster mix for me, it was quite a weight! After three attempts, I had managed to dislodge all Solomon's plaster he had done up to that point and although he smiled, I had the feeling he wasn't that pleased with me! I gave up with a sigh, leaving the job to the experts!

Day 10

Day 10

Day 11, Friday, the outside plastering started. Whoot whoot! It was all coming together!

Day 11

Day 11

Day 11

The week ended with a big bang with the plastering being completed by 4pm on Friday afternoon, leaving the whole weekend for the plaster to dry properly so that painting could commence on Monday. Wow! I was totally thrilled and we once again celebrated with coffee and cookies (and paying the weekly wages!)

Next - Episode 6 - Days 12 - 15


Monday, 16 February 2015

Help a tired Bee

Found a tired looking bee in your garden? You can help bring it back to life!

Mix two tablespoons of sugar with one tablespoon of water and put it in a small receptacle like a teaspoon to help that bee get back on track.

How often have you been irritated by bees buzzing around while having a meal outdoors at a restaurant or a tea garden? Another plight of the bee is getting stuck in a soda can or bottle when they go into it to have a sweet drink, often losing their grip and drowning. Please consider these little wonders of nature and cover your soda can and cooldrink glasses when eating out in the open and rather offer them a bit of the beverage in a teaspoon. You can make a difference!


Thursday, 5 February 2015

My new chicken coop Episode 4 - Days 7, 8

Day 7

Sorry, I've been a bit amiss keeping up with this up-date, I've been spending far too much time on my art blogs!

Day 7 of the building process started off bright and early - the building crew already arrived at 7.30am and it was a scramble to open the gates for them (normally only open the gates for buiness at 8am). Solomon immediately started preparing and installing the 6" tanalised blue gum poles and then followed a row of bricks to secure the wire they are tied with.

Day 7

Day 7

Day 7

Day 7

Day 7

Just after lunch-time, the builder started on the 2"x3" brandering, which is quite a tedious job - each piece of wood has to be measured and cut to size and then securely nailed and wired to the blue gum trusses.

Day 7

By end-of-day the woodwork was completed and the next day they could start on the roofing sheets.

 End of Day 7 - Solomon cleaning up and getting ready to go home.


Well, that was wishful thinking on my part. Day 8 came and went with, once again, no sign of the builder. My patience was wearing thin, but luckily he doesn't get paid by the day, but on a finished, quoted price. So if it takes him 6 months, that's his problem. Mine also, because I'm dying for the girls to move into their new home!


Saturday, 17 January 2015

The simplicity of Nature

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.”
― Isaac Newton

The inner peace and happiness created by nature forms a world in which one can view life through simple observations and clear images. Rural life is connected to nature in ways that urban life can never be. The attention to the smallest details that can come from rural life are impossible to get from living in an urban center. Living in a rural setting you are able to take in your surroundings to the fullest extent. This is possible because of the lack of distractions and slower pace of life. People experiencing rural life are able to make connections with nature and often create emotional states that accompany the happenings in this simplistic reality. This visualization of the simplistic aspects of the world is evoked through nature's response and interaction with the surrounding environment.

Many people find their greatest peace and serenity in nature. The natural world is exactly what it needs to be, no more and no less. There is no excess or clutter or a lack of organization in nature. Every rock, tree, drop of water, leaf, piece of sand and animal plays its part in nature with no thought as to whether they will match the local terrain or whether they will need extra storage to have all the things they want to have.

A walk in the woods in the fall, or in the mountains by a bubbling stream, or by the roaring ocean can bring a new perspective into your own life and how it is affected by its surroundings. Our own living spaces should give us the same feeling that we get from being in the outdoors. Peace, quiet, and the time to reflect on our place in this world.

Nature has a great simplicity and, therefore, a great beauty.

The benefits of nature is to experience the magnificent expressions of nature, who is our greatest teacher. She teaches us to experience and embrace the present moment, expand our deep appreciation and gratitude for all of life and deepen our love for self and other. Nature provides a feeling of full connectedness and aliveness with all, for all and stillness and a peaceful state of being.


Friday, 9 January 2015

My new chicken coop Episode 3 - Days 4 & 5 & 6

When you decide to acquire some chickens, you are going to need a place to put them once they are all big enough. You have a few different options when it comes to housing your flock. There are hen houses, chicken coops, and chicken tractors, but which one works the best for your flock? How many square feet should you plan for?

I must say I have always tended to "think big". Nothing small like a chicken tractor for me, it might be fine if you're living in town with not much space, but on a smallholding there is always more than enough space.

But I must say, once my coop started taking shape, I saw just exactly HOW big I had planned! It's almost big enough for a 1-bedroomed cottage, which might be a thought one day if ever I should not have my girls any longer. Mmmmmm....

Day 4 started off with another hiccup again - Solomon, the builder, never pitched until after 10am and then he seemed to pfaff around for ever and my lunch-time only 5 rows or bricks had been laid on the side wall. But by close of day, both walls were up to window-height. Just a few more rows until roof height!

Day 4

Day 4

Day 4 - reaching window height! Concrete lintels above the two side windows

Close of day 4 - both walls at window height

Artemis and the girls getting ready for the night, still in their old coop, after exploring every inch of the new coop inside and out.

Day 5's progress, below, ended with the last few rows of bricks which will carry the wood rafters, for which I used 6" tanalised blue gum poles and 2"x3" brandering. Then will come the job of laying the IBR roofing - I can't wait!

Day 5

 At close of Day 5 

Day 6

Day 6 nothing happened - no builders pitched, not a word of explanation! But it gave me time to take stock of everything and to check all the supplies. They usually notify me only when the last brick has been used or the cement is at its last, so if I don't keep an eye open, it just causes further delays.

Keep an eye open for Episode 4!


Saturday, 3 January 2015

My new chicken coop Episode 2

Day 2 of my new chicken coop project didn't start off so smoothly. First of all the builder, Solomon, had a family crisis and only got to the job at mid-day and then we had a short down-pour which delayed things a bit further. But once they got going, loads of bricks were carted to the site and they started with the mix for the floor.

Once the concrete slab has been thrown, the brick-work won't take all that long (I'm hoping!) as I've sort of set my sights on it being finished by the end of that week so that I could start painting and furnishing it. So the chooks will probably only be moving in the week after that... sigh...

But I'm not going to rush the project - we've waited this long, a couple of weeks longer won't kill us.

After another hour delay because of another heavy down-pour, the first half of the floor was done at the close of day. We do it in two sections to allow for expansion and contraction and to prevent cracks.

At least the new structure won't be a total shock to them as they will be getting used to seeing it grow as the days go by. I'm sure they'll also investigate inside the half-built structure in the afternoons before bed-time, so the big move might not be so strange at all.

While I was talking to Solomon that afternoon, Artemis brought some of the girls along to come and have a look at the proceedings. They all clustered in the corner, discussing the events! The previous afternoon they entered the chicken run very cautiously, navigating all the equipment scattered around very carefully to get to their coop, but I assured them everything was fine, offering them an extra treat for their discomfort.

Hettie was not quite sure of what is going on in and around their coop! 

Chicky-Boo also seemed unsure of herself, but quickly followed me into the coop to see what the treat was. 

Artemis, on the other hand, was quite confident that nothing posed a threat but nevertheless kept a vigilant eye and comforted his ladies every now and then by calling them closer and eventually leading them into the old coop to settle down for the night. 

Day 3 dawned cloudy but warm and I was holding thumbs that the rain would not interfere with our plans for the day! But the weather held and within 2 hours the last of the concrete screed for the floor was thrown and Solomon started marking out where the walls would go.

 Soon the first row of bricks was in place and I felt my excitement rising!

 Solomon's handlanger (helper) did not pitch that day, so Solly, our trusty handyman (pusing the wheelbarrow) was called in to assist with the building.

 The progress by lunch-time

Shortly after lunch-time, the door was in place and then everybody had to run as the rain decided it had held out for long enough. We don't actually mind showers in between the building progress, the wet ensures that the cement does not dry out to quickly, which could lead to cracks.

But really, we were hoping for a very sunny day tomorrow!

Closing thought for the day : 

Follow the third episode, coming soon!



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