Friday, January 25, 2019

So... a brief catch-up

I just got to thinking that since I had been away from blogging for almost a year a catch-up even if it is a brief one might be a good idea. I feel as if there is not much to say and so much at the same time. 

Unfortunately the defining feature of the past year has been the drought. It really has been dry but it is what it is. My animals have enough to eat and drink and now I have another tank with water just for the garden so no complaining. I'm grateful for having enough. I did give up on the vegetable garden in early 2018 as at that time there simply was not enough water but good to go now.


There is some sadness from last year. My precious little pet hen passed away in March. I miss her when I am weeding as she was always following me around and chatting. I think 10 years is not a bad  inning for a chicken.

Bellingen street art

There were a few short trips but no big travel (that is for later in the year and next year perhaps). Coffs Harbour for a university trip for Grace (any excuse for a holiday for us), Byron Bay, Sydney and Hervey Bay. So not too far from home but a chance to unwind and see and experience new and/or different places.

We had been chicken-less for a while and decided to rescue a few hens. So now we have five laying hens who are as ungrateful as can be and demand tidbits and are always hungry for whatever you might have. They didn't know how to scratch or were frightened of the greens I gave them when they first arrived but not so now. They know it all. I'm glad.

Snail mail from friends

On the creative front, I honestly did not make much other than a mess (which I am very good at). I kept up with my mail and tried to be creative in that with decorated envelopes and such. I also have my junk journal which I mostly just stick in bits and pieces that I want to keep. It's a bit of  a mish-mash with pages dedicated to the teabag packages from tea that friends send me, postage stamps from my mail,stickers . Anything really.

A routine I did establish in 2018 was bread making. I started my  sourdough  baking in 2017 but it was not our daily bread, rather a treat now and then. These days, I am baking a loaf every two days. It is habit now to feed the starter and to bake. I've just taken today's bread from the oven. I like that every loaf is a little different and it is very much affected by the ambient conditions. I'm not as keen on loaves made when there is humidity in the air for instance. Not much of that at the moment.

Other things. Hope is in her last year of school as I mentioned the other day. She is keen to be done with school of course. Grace will be finished her degree in October but what her next step is up in the air at the moment. Tim is working hard and his new roster gives him more time to work hard here too (even if we don't).

I stop here for now. Don't want to use up all my words in one post.
Tracy xo


Jeanette said...

Sorry to hear about your pet hen. You new hens look well & happy to be living with you. Your bread looks yummy. Hugs,xx

Fiona said...

fun post to read....

Sheryl said...

Good morning my lovely friend i am so sad that you lost your feathered gardening friend,chickens are funny they are such curious things all so different personality wise,lol.
Your family are growing ups so fast my oldest GD just got into Deakin Uni and will be living on campus,the years are flying by.
Wow your bread looks fantastic i would like to be making my own but i am trying to stay away from carbs,fresh bread with butter and jam is a big weakness for me,lol.
Hope you have the best day my friend its going to be around 40 degs here today for the first time we had the air conditioner going through the night xx

Janice said...

It's nice to have a little catch up post. That's sad about Chooky. We had "Blacky", a little black bantam who never laid an egg in her life. Other chooks came and went, but she endured it all, including foxes. She was 12 when she died. It wasn't the same after that. I'm glad you are giving some girls a better life than they had in the past. Here's hoping you get some more rain and this horrid heat passes soon.

Lisa said...

My goodness - no vegetable garden, Tracy! But I can see you had to give it up. The weather is very strange here - or inconsistent is a better word. I bake far less bread than I used to because I'm trying to eat it less. But I still enjoy the process and can use it for bread crumbs, and I do eat it sometimes. Your loaf looks beautiful!

River said...

I love that street art and I'm happy your new hens settled in and learned to scratch. I'm surprised they didn't know how, perhaps they were kept in cages.

Kimmie said...

Though it is my first time here and more of a 'meet and greet' than a catch up, I enjoyed seeing some of what you've lived out this past year.

Sorry for your pet hen, 10 years of friendship is a marvelous thing to hold within your heart. Perhaps one of your new hens will surprise you and decide to pick you ❤

Mama to 8
One homemade and 7 adopted

mamasmercantile said...

So nice to catch up with you. Such a shame to hear about the loss of your pet hen. We too have got hens now, they are so much fun to watch with their antics.

a rich tapestry said...

I enjoyed hearing more about what has been happening in your life in the last year. The drought must be a difficult thing to deal with especially the growing of plants and having enough water for the animals aspect. I'm sorry to hear about Chooky because we get used to having animals around that are company. I think that if we lived permanently in our house in Italy we would have hens, but I know from the past when we were there that they are a responsibility and it's not so easy to leave them to go away for a break unless you have someone to look after them for a while. Take care and speak again soon.

kiwikid said...

Lovely to read what is happening at your place. I guess the hens were not used to outdoor life and not want everything all the time!!😊 I hooe you get some rain soon, we are supposed to have a cool change and rain at the end of this week, fingers crossed. Sorry to hear about Chookie, but I bet she had a very happy life with you. I admire bread makers, ot a skill I have. Time marches on so fast doesn't it.

Tania said...

That is an amazing age for a hen. She must have been extremely happy :D

It is so sad when pets pass away. It takes a while to get used to them not being around. They leave a hole in our lives and a big impression on our hearts.

I make sourdough regularly these days too :)