Sunday, 31 March 2013

The many faces of Roman

Roman is one of our two Dogue de Bordeaux. He's special... really special - the vet even says he's special. You see, Roman is not as complex as most dogs, he's, well, simple in the head.

We love him very much but there's not a lot goes on in there. He mostly takes instruction from Baillie, our other Dogue (she's super smart). Let's just say he's the braun of the duo (he's very tall for the breed).

This is Roman's thoughts this morning. Pretty much sums him up.

 He's beautiful.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

It's Easter and I've got no eggs

Autumn is that time of the year when the chooker moles molt. It's their off season in egg production when they lose and then grow new feathers and slacken off in the egg production department.

We have 5 mature chooker moles and 6 point of lay (new ones who are about to start laying) but I'm only getting one egg a day from Louise (short for "Geez Louise, you're a big chicken").

MOTH is beside himself, unable to supply at work.

What else can I do to make them happier so they will lay more eggs? I built them a bloody palace, they free range every day, their feeders are always full, they get all of our food scraps (except the ones they're not allowed)... fussy!

PS Kerri and Kelly, here's MOTH's hummus recipe...

Sunday, 24 March 2013

MOTH - the dealer

MOTH works in an office with lots of young, Gen Y, beautiful people who, well, aren't necessarily very practical people. But they really want to be and MOTH has identified a niche opportunity in this space.

Known for his culinary skills as a wonderful cook, MOTH regularly takes home made left overs to work (like his curries that he makes from scratch - herbs from the garden stuff) and takes great personal delight in sharing the wafting aromas of his dishes with others in the lunchroom. He is often asked for recipes and treats this like, well I can only describe it like a fisherman who has spotted a brown trout and teases it with the fly until it is caught. You see, MOTH is slowly setting out to teach a man to fish.

He has a book that he records his favourite recipes in. I've managed to capture some to share with you.

Made from wild guava we found growing on our property a few years ago
Free range eggs are the secret to this recipe
Now to the crux of this story... MOTH sells the eggs I collect from the chooker moles to his work colleagues for $5 a dozen. This (as previously mentioned) funds his caffiene habit. And with the recently constructed chooker mole palace, we are now able to increase our flock. So 5 moles is now 11 moles and MOTH's supply has just doubled.

So, he has started to introduce recipes to the egg recipients, effectively getting them hooked like a cocaine addict!

Now they are much nicer than the ones you buy in the shops. The moles get to roam free every day, scratching around in the bush litter and keeping our lawns free of grubs. So, their eggs are big and the yolks are bright orange, not yellow.

One girl even told him recently (and was very chuffed with herself) that she had learnt to poach and egg but she had tried on a store bought one before trying it on one of his eggs.

My prediction is our eggs will be $10 a dozen by Christmas!

PS   Spot the 3 chooker moles in this picture...

Things are not always what they seem...

In December we had a new edition to our family, Maxie the girl Manx kitten. MOTH and I have ventured over Mount Glorious into Wivenhoe Valley to pick up a tiny black ball of fluff with a little bobtail from some people on a farm that probably should go to the dentist.

When we got home, Maxie settled right in and Moet was delighted to once again have a feline friend. (Poor TC, our other cat, had died peacefully in his sleep following, what we suspect was a snake bite, a few weeks earlier).

Initially, Roman our big red dog, wanted to eat this quick black flash of fluff and it took me weeks to desensitise him. In fact, I did such a good job, Roman is now obsessed with Maxie and follows her everywhere.

The fine balance of no one eating anyone was maintained and Maxie grew quickly.

Being a Manx, she developed some doglike behaviours and started to come out with me to let the chickens out in the morning and round them up at night. The chickens also grew to ignore the black cat. She also chirps ALL THE TIME and comes when you call her.

And still, Roman is never too far away...

Competition at the food bowl was fierce and by four and a half months, Maxie was the same size as two year old Moet.

Then one morning, while Maxie was lying on the bed grooming herself, I saw it. Maxie was a Max! Within days, two huge black pom poms appeared under (now) his tail and the playfights with Moet were becoming more and more like assault. There was only one solution... I called the vet and they said I had to wait until Max was 6 months old [sigh]. Poor Moet. So I called back the day he turned 5 months and tried again, they agreed and on Friday Max came home from the vet brandishing a tattoo and a haircut that makes him look like a baboon.

The fur will grow back but the pom poms are gone forever.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

I wonder...

Why are there are black feathers in my bathroom?

Nothing else, just a couple of feathers...

Cats aren't allowed outside... hmm

Do dogs catch birds?

It was just a couple of feathers

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Chooker Mole Palace

It's finally finished!

The all new, chooker mole palace
After much (way too much) rain delay, and the pressing urgency of the old chook shed literally falling down around the poor chooker moles, we ended up dragging the nearly finished new shed into the garage and finishing it yesterday. Thanks to John and Mitch for helping MOTH and I to move it into place. All that recycled hardwood suddenly got very heavy.

And of course, I couldn't have made this without MOTH's significant help (well I possibly could have but would no longer have all my fingers).

The whole thing (including chandelier) cost less than $250 and is totally made from recycled materials. Doesn't look like a swing set now!

Now all I need to do is convince the ungrateful moles to use it (they went in for a look last night and then roosted on MOTH's tractor).

But I have a plan... with the current chooker mole population down to just 4, I'm off to buy some new moles and then will put tractor roosting moles in the palace with the new ones for a few days. Tough love here!