Rescue Chickens – What are they and why should you have them

Backyard chickens are becoming more popular, and if you have the yard space they are a very rewarding fun pets to have. I have had chickens for about 4 years, and in April we got our first rescue chickens. Most people understand what a rescue pet is if it is a dog or cat but are less sure about what a rescue chicken is.

This is a clip from a podcast we did. I have just included the chicken part here

Continue reading

Happy Hog – I found bacon!

Quite by accident I have found a wonderful supplier of free range pork. The Geek had a job in Bonnievale and he was driving past Ashton. There he found Happy Hog Free Range Pork Farm, he got some pork directly from their butchery for us to try.

Wow the difference is incredible! I have never been a huge fan of pork sausages. But these were wonderful they do not shrink when you cook them and they are delishious. The bacon is amazing and again does not shrivel to nothing like shop bacon/pork with all the extra water and fillers that they use. The Apple and pork patties are a favourite ammoungst the kids and are really fillng. I can’t eat more than one and I am stuffed.

The best part is that they deliver to Cape Town and surroundings. The courier is R90 for less than 5kg and R120 for less than 50Kg. Over 50kgs is 2.25 per kg. A friend and I split the delivery fee and got our next lot of pork delivered. Again I am impressed.I found if you buy directly that the meat is not more expensive than the shop pork even for free range.

They have their own butcher and the pork is by far the best I have ever tasted. So now I no longer have to feel bad about having pork.

If you read the horrors of sow stalls, intensive pig farming and the cruelty that normally happens on commercial pork farms it is easy to make the switch to more ethical meat. Our country is taking 10 years to phase sow stalls out, but this is not good enough for me now. I am not going to risk supporting this cruel practice

Pictures from their website of happy pigs rather a stark contrast to the life of commercial pigs.
Now I must stop speaking about bacon and yummy pork as it is meat free Monday and we are having spinach quiche sans bacon.

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A hairy question

Ladies: could you stop shaving? To help save the planet and to claim back the right to be feminine as we are and not as society and media says we have to?

Men: could you date, bed, wed a woman who did not shave?

The problem with starting an eco sustainable challenge is that you have to start looking at areas of your life which you did not really want to come under the eco spot light. The process of getting rid of body hair is not that kind on the environment

A little google research taught me that women shaving gained popularity during WW1 when all the men were away and the sales of razors fell, so they started marketing them to women! So many things motivated by money.I knew it was a marketing and media ploy but did not realize the exact origins.

Of course now it is a society norm and we just expect it, we are lead to believe that it is gross to be hairy and that men will find us repulsive. I wonder if this is the case? The Geek seems to have mixed feelings. He is not complaining about my winter leg hair and to be honest I have still been shaving my underarm hair.

It seems like it is not just us ordinary everyday ladies who are questioning if society should dictate how we look but some celbs have decided to be hairy too Julia Roberts in 1999, and more recently Mo’Nique

Whether I can keep up this fuzz in summer, I am not sure, but I guess even 4-6 months of the year cutting down on shaving has to be good. The biggest thing that people can do is to use a reusable razors and just buy blade and not throw away the whole razor. Apparently in the US 2 billion ( and who knew there was a debate about how many zero’s in a billion has 9 or 12 – the things google teaches me) disposable razors are thrown away each year. That sounds like a lot to me. I realize in SA the number is not as high but we have to be more mindful of what we throw away.

There are even more eco friendly razor but they seem to be marketed mostly at men. I have no idea if women can use them wihout a blood bath.

The old barber’s straight razor or cut throat

Saftey Razor

The kind of shaving cream we use also needs to be examined as the normal stuff available in the shop is not that great for the planet. A list from normal shaving cream
But have you seen what’s in canned shaving cream? Here’s an example list of ingredients from a well known brand:

Palmitic Acid
Stearic Acid
Triethanolamine,
Butane
Isobutane
Laureth-23
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Propane
Parfum
Sodium benzoate
Hydroxythylcellulose
Lauryl alcohol
Stearyl alcohol
Irish moss
Dimethicone PEG/PPG-20/23 benzoate
DMDM Hydantoin
Coceth-7
PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol ether
PEG-40 Hydrogenated castor oil
BHT
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate

That is quite some list! Many of those ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are particularly bad for the aquatic environment. More info here on EcoMall

There are other options and I have seen eco shaving cream and gel on line but don’t know too much about what is available in South Africa. I usually use soap in the shower but realize that for guys this is not an option.

And men we are not forgetting you. Here is a who article about using a saftey blade and Learning to shave like your grandpa

Could I go completely hairy, embrace my inner true woman? I am not sure.
Could you?
Men what do you think?

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Potty Training

With Rachel I did Elimination Communication or Nappy Free. I did used to back up with cloth nappies when we went out but mostly with a combination of timing and her signaling we did pretty well. She was totally dry at night from about 11months, with occasional accidents but these were few and far between. She was potty trained from about 15 months. She would reliably tell me when she needed to go and we had very few accidents after this.

Caleb was born in the UK which is colder and so being nappy free was harder, we were also renting and the place had carpet floors which meant that a missed wee was not easy to clean and so I used cloth nappies as a back up a lot more even at home. But still he always knew the cue for going to the toilet and would try when I remembered to take him. Life with 2 kids and my ex away a lot off shore meant that I never had the same time to focus on EC like I had with Rachel. But still he potty trained earlish for a boy I guess. He was out of nappies by 2 and although we had more accidents than Rachel. I am not sure if it is a boy thing but even now (just turned 5) he has a few accidents at night. Mostly if he drinks a lot before bed. I do try to remember to lift him for a wee before I go to bed and it is not that often. Up to 6 for boys for occasional bed wetting is considered normal. But I admit to being a little concerned as Rachel was dry at night from just under a year.

Titus I have mostly used nappies, it is hard to EC with 3 kids, a business, home schooling and housework. But like the others I introduced the idea of the potty very early and let him sit on it, made the cue sounds and praised him a lot of he did a wee or poo in the potty. He does really well, it is more my lack of time and remembering to take him that stops him being totally out of nappies.

Zoe from Baby Throne sent me one for Titus when he was little and it has been a huge help. He loves his potty and it means that he can sit comfortably. I used it on the base when he was little and it was convenient to move around as we needed it.

He can now sign toilet and so every time I take him to the potty/throne I use the sign.He is now at the stage that he has the seat on the toilet.I have a few toys in the bathroom which he likes so this helps him sit for a few minutes. Today was the first time that he signed toilet to me without me signing first. Nappy was dry and he did a big wee in the toilet – Mommy was very proud.

What I love about EC is the bond and the communication that it build between mom and baby. I wrote more about it on Parent 24 But with out drive to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly I have always loved anything that cuts down on nappy use. Be it disposable or cloth. I EC’ed the others by just holding them out over the toilet or sitting backward but the Throne really does help. I do make sure that when out and even at home on occasion we do try without it so that he is used to not using it if we are out or at another house.

How was potty training for you?

I can’t kill a chicken

Yesterday I went out to collect eggs and saw poor Lily lying like this is in the bottom run of the chicken coop. They free range all day so this is just for chicks that need separating and an entrance to the coop for laying eggs in the nesting box and sleeping at night.

image

I at first thought she was dead. But she was still breathing. I am not cut out for squeamish stuff. I am embarrassed to say I could not even turn her over. The neighbour who has birds helped me turn her. But she kept throwing her head back and flopping over. Her comb was all bluish and she looked very out of it. I read that in chicken breeds like Lily they can have a heart attack and their comb goes blue, so I knew she was dying. She did not have feathers on her tummy as she was so fat that she would waddle a little and then sit down, so she spend a lot of time resting on her underbelly.

She is the last if the church fete disaster chickens. Disaster in that the eggs laying females we were lead to believe they were turned out to be mostly male and all broiler meat birds. These chickens have been breed to put on weight quickly and be slaughtered in 8-12 weeks.

Lily made 8months. She was enormous weighing 6kg but we promised the kids that that white meat birds, who they got as pets could have a good life with us as long as they lived.

But this time had drawn to a close for Lily. I could she was dying and I did not want her to suffer. I phoned The Geek and my first words were I am so sorry but I am not a chicken farmer. I can’t kill her. I made him come home from work in my panic that she could not suffer like that.I knew I could not kill her but I knew she could not stay like that. While he was on his way I spoke to Carle who suggested I bring the chicken to the farm and one of the workers would do it. I knew The Geek would not relish the idea of killing it either so this seemed a good plan.

If I had thought of it before I could have saved him a trip. But anyway he helped me load the 2 boys. Lily and Knight the rooster into the car.

Knight was now crowing all day and driving me mad so he was being re-homed on the farm.

Carle’s housekeeper and weaver were all too delighted to help me by ending Lily’s suffering and took 3kg of chicken home each.

So now we are down to 5, but 5 proper egg laying females. Let’s hope there is no more chicken drama soon .

Oh and The Geek told me to HTFU which is not nice but true. If I am going to have chickens I do at least need to be able to help them.  I will never be able to kill a chicken but I should stop being a wuss, I should have at least been able to turn Lily over and check she was okay.

Meat

Meat, this is such an emotive topic. The fact is that we are a family that does eat meat so we need to see how this fits into our sustainable and green challenge.

The biggest thing that I have realized is that while it’s easy to point a finger at the farmers, complaining that they have cruel farming practices, the reality is that we as consumers are support these practices. Rachel was asking in the car today why chicken farms are so cruel. I really do not want to fill her head with over idealized propoganda against farmers and meat, so it was important to me, that the answer included that we as the consumers are also at fault. We demand cheap meat, we want lower and lower more compeditive prices and then we are surpised that aminals are not treated well. We turn a blind eye and never look past the cling film and syrofoam packaging because if we don’t know the suffering, we don’t have to feel guilt. But we are guilty, our obsession with a eating a lot of meat at a low prices is what drives these farming practices.

Ethical meat costs more. This is a fact. It is no point saying you can’t afford meat from a farm that treats its animals well. You can, just eat less meat. Then use the money saved to buy meat from a place where the animals do not suffer. We as consumers are not powerless, we can speak with our Rands and move our money to support smaller farms with animal welfare as a priority.

The criteria that I have decided to evaluate the meat we eat and decide what we are happy with are:

1) Can I keep/raise them at home? – truly sustainable
2) What impact on the environment does what I am eating have?
3) Are the animals treated well including the slaughter processes?
4) Beyond the label, I do not want to be dupped by a label, organic meat can be sold as such even if the animals are in a feed lot.

Raising our own meat.
* Chickens: I don’t have the space to have proper free range chickens at a meat production level. I am not willing to have confined chickens so while we get a lot of eggs and we might have the odd Rooster or older/injured hen we are not going to produce enough meat chickens and still have an intact garden.
* Rabbit: This is actually one of the best choices for urban families as far as raising your own meat, the breed and grow very fast and the meat is very healthy. I am not sure if I can get over eating cute bunnies but this idea is not off the table yet ( did you see what I did there?) I just need to do some more research
* Aquaponics is something that I am very interested in and so is The Geek’s brother Jacques so this might well be something that we do in the future and this would mean a source of fish for the family too.

Any other meat in our small urban setting is not realistic, so for now we are cutting down the amount we eat and are looking for outside producers that meet our criteria. Having done a bit of research on the conditions of most mass animal farming it was just not something I could support any longer.

As I find ethic meat suppliers I will blog about them and let you know what we have discovered. Please feel free to let me know about places in other areas as my focus will of course me on the Western Cape but I am happy to highlight other ethic suppliers around the country.

How much does it matter to you where your meat comes from and what conditions the animals lived in?

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Greener Baby

I wrote an article for Parent 24 a while back Saving the Planet, don’t have more kids This was before I met Yme and Titus graced us with his presents. I mentioned that I was not saying don’t to have kids or even that I would not have any more, but the question was should we consider the environment when deciding to have children.

I think there are ways to have kids without having a huge impact on the environment. I want to highlight some of these over the next few weeks. I was going to do a baby week but I thought even I might be sick of baby talk by the end of that so I will intersperse the baby stuff into the general life news.

My first tip is on clothing
Kids grow so fast and one of the great expense is keeping them clothed. Titus fondly known as ‘bundle of puke’ when he was younger would go through quite a few changes of clothes a day. One of the best ways to decrease the environmental impact is to use pre loved clothes and pass on the clothes that your kids have out grown. I know not everyone likes hand-me-downs but they make economic and plant saving sense.

I am always very grateful for stuff that has been passed on to us and I notice that some offer it hesitatingly though, I guess not all people are as welcoming when it comes to 2nd hand clothes. I in turn pass mine on with enthusiasm, so if I offend you offering you our hand-me-downs please forgive me I am just trying to save the planet.

We can’t always just get away with 2nd hand things so what about the times when you want to add that something special or you need something for your kids. Honey Badger Eco Friendly clothing fills this gap very well.

Look out for the full blog article on Honey Badger Clothing but in the mean time I just want to let you know of the special offer they are running for Pink Hair Girl readers. On their Facebook page they have an album of pictures of clothes less 25% for you including fitted sheets. Postage NOT included, while stock lasts,offer runs until the end of March. Their shopping trolley is down but you can contact Renee on the FB page about items you are interested in.

I am definitely going to get the kids a few more things. I was lucky enough to get a voucher for Honey Badger Clothing in an authors gift pack and have been very impressed with the clothes we got. And now you can OOOHHH and AAAHHH over how cute Titus was in October in his Honey Badger Clothes and sweet hat

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It is official I am a chicken farmer

It was my baby sisters wedding this weekend and my dad did a father of the bride speech and amongst other things he humorously introduced the family to my sisters new husband ( we of course have known him for years) He said I was the one that was hard to miss, and that I trained as a nurse and was now a writer and chicken farmer 😉

this is my pretty frock and the shawl I knitted

I thought since I was a chicken farmer I would introduce my flock

This is Potter (sitting) and Lilly, they are the only ones of the original chickens that we got at the church bazaar that started the chicken farming and in fact these are the ones that our friends got and not ours as all of ours turned out to be roosters.They are enormous and affectionately known in our house as The Fatties.

Potter has purple on her as she was the chicken we were saving the other day and I am pleased to say that despite the vets doom and gloom, the chicken forums predictions won out and Potter made a full recovery, the purple spray just has to grow out with her next molt

Next we got Jack Hen which you know about, she was the first of our chickens to require the Pinky and Geek vetinary clinic services when she got a prolapse and was the model for the felt chicken. She was recently broody and I tried to get eggs for her to sit on (ours are not fertilized as we have no rooster) and she was a great mommy, but The Fatties kept trying to lay in the same nesting box and crushing her eggs with their gargantuan size. After 23 days (eggs are supposed to hatch after 21 days) I took her off the nest. She can get sick if she sits for too long as they don’t eat or drink much in that time. There were 4 of the original 10 eggs left and I was going to candle them, a method of trying with a light source to see if a chick is growing, so The Geek took the eggs out in a towel and left them inside…

There is always drama, and of course Moby the delinquent dog stole them and ate them (insert puke face) so I never did get to see if the eggs had even started to form. I am not even sure they were fertilized, next time I have a better source to get eggs from if I have a broody hen and I will keep the Broody separate, so The Fatties can’t disturb her. Jack Hen does not seem too worried about the lack of babies, she spent the day eating and wandering around the garden after 21 days of hardly leaving the nest. Next time I will do better for her or whoever else goes broody.

Next we got The Babies. A friend Jo had a broody hen and she sat and hatched 3 babies but Jo could not keep more chickens in her smaller garden so she asked if I would like them. They were 6 weeks old when we got them and are now out in the main flock and doing very well. I think these two are girls

and I am guessing this is a boy, I am hoping to keep him, I want a Rooster to fertilize our own eggs but it may mean I have to get his vocal cords severed – is that mean? I say that any creature would rather be alive than in the pot and The Geek says removing a Rooster ability to crow will make it sad. So not sure what we are going to do if he is a boy. And because we did not know what sex these were and if they were male or more than 1 was a male they were destined for the pot the kids have not been allowed to name them. I am yet to see if we can actually get over the we-don’t-eat-our-chickens hurdle

Next we got a beautiful red hen. She arrived with the name Princess but that was not deemed to be enough so we call her Laya ( Princess Laya from Star Wars and she Lays eggs 😉 ) I really like her but she is very noisy – the reason she was re-homed was she was driving a friend mad with her clucking.

Then Jo contacted me, when she put her Mommy Hen back in with the other hens after she had the afore mentioned babies they were mean and pecked her severely on the head until she had to be removed for her own safety. Jo asked if I would take the Mommy as it was not safe for her in her own flock any more. Hence we got Mommy hen. I thought she might like to go in with the Babies as they were her babies and then slowly as she felt better integrate with the flock ( the babies were separate at this point) but No… more drama

Mommy does not welcome her little babies under her wings, fussing and clucking over them saying “my, how you have grown” and ” Are they treating you okay here?” No, what does she do? She rushes over and pecks them! She attacked them, my kids start screeching and getting most irate and finally we have to remove Mommy and check no babies got injured.

She then proceeded to try peck everyone else in the flock. I think where she came from obviously there was a very strong pecking order and you had to assert your dominance or die. While my ‘hippy’ flock as Jo has since named them, all love each other, accept new chickens easily and don’t pick on each other. The Fatties might be big but they are sweet natured and Laya is noisy by timid. Jack Hen is also very calm and does not pick on others.

I was very worried that if Mommy hen carried on picking on others I would have to get rid of her but thankfully the ‘hippy’ vibe of our garden seems to have mellowed her out and she is not attacking anyone any more and her head is almost totally healed.

So that is our flock and the reason my dad affectionately named me a chicken farmer

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Celebration of being a woman Giveaway

**Competition Closed – winner Jane ***

I was really hoping to do this awesome Giveaway on the 29 for Leap Year. I wanted to celebrate women as it was the day I was going to ask The Geek to marry me. But I was so nervous and in such a flap that it just never happened. I have at last come down to ground and to celebrate our engagement and to celebrate women I have a great giveaway from Esse Organics. If you missed the full set of pictures of the engagement then here they are Cazpix flickr

Esse Organic Skincare offers a range of organic products produced by a company that is 100% ethical in all its dealings. They are certified organic by Ecocert France, and also support PhytoTrade and the Fair Trade movement which ensures that the ingredients and raw materials used are sourced and purchased from local co-operatives to uplift and empower rural communities. Please see more of all the Esse organic skincare products at www.esse.co.za.

Esse hamper
Containing: Gel cleanser, Toner, Cocoa exfoliator and Deep moisturiser. Valued at R740!

Gel Cleanser
A foaming, tingling wash that deep cleanses without drying.

Peppermint and Spearmint oils refresh and improve micro-circulation to aid in the elimination of toxins. pH balanced at 4.5 and uses mild biodegradable surfactants made from coconut oil and glucose. Additional Uses:

Can be used as a body wash
Same to use on acne affected skins
Natural and Organic Cosmetic certified by ECOCERT Greenlife according to ECOCERT Standard available at http://cosmetics.ecocert.com

100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin
66.3% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming

Toner
Esse Toner completes the cleansing process with actives to revitalize, protect and improve skin texture.

Rooibos Extract provides potent antioxidant activity. Olive leave extract combats the negative effects of pollution and reduces sun damage. Additional Uses: Can be sprayed over make- up to freshen and re-hydrate throughout the day.

Natural and Organic certified by ECOCERT Greenlife according to ECOCERT Standard available at http://cosmetics.ecocert.com

100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin.
82.8% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming

Cocoa Exfoliator
A delectable exfoliation experience for all skin types.

Fine Cocoa particles polish and refine the skin’s surface and flavanoids help protect against future sun damage. Wild sourced African oils provide slip and nourishment.

Additonal Information: Treat hands and feet to a gentle exfoliation.

100% of the total ingredients are from Natural Origin
56.5% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming

Deep Moisurizer

Esse Deep Moisturiser will moisturise and maintain balance without leaving greasy residues or dry areas.

Ylang Ylang’s balancing effect stabilises both oily and dry skin patches creating an even skin state. Honeybush is included for its anti-aging, anti-oxidant and healing properties.

Natural and Organic certified by ECOCERT Greenlife according to ECOCERT Standard available at http://cosmetics.ecocert.com

100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin.
82.1% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming

I got a cleanser and moisturiser to try and have been very impressed. I am 34 and so my skin in getting on a bit and showing signs of age but someone did not let my sebaceous gland know that I am not 15 any more. I often struggle to moisturize without getting a break out. But this one seems to have the right balance of care for my skin yet not oily or greasy at all. They smell so wonderful, are good for the environment and help community upliftment. What more could a woman want from her skin care range.

Check their website to order or for your local stockist.

If you would like to enter to win this hamper:
* You have to live in South Africa
* The prize will be posted directly from Esse Organics
* Enter a comment below, what did you do on the Leap Year and what makes you feel celebrated as a woman?
* Closing date is midnight on 14 March 2012
* I will draw the winner using a random name selection on line

And the winner is…

Julia

I entered all your names into this random picker http://andrew.hedges.name/experiments/random/pickone.html and it picked Julia so well done!!

Email me your address or I can bring your Shewee at our next knit and chat. I hope you avoid many nasty public toilet seats!

Thank you once again to SheWee for this great prize and to those who did not win, go buy one or put it on your birthday list.

Some other random news

1) Our one chicken has a hole in her back, we are not sure what happened. Rachel saw the dog sniffing around her but we are not sure if the dog did bite her. I don’t think he did, as they free range around him all the time and if he really wanted to eat one he would have by now. The only time he might have, is when he was eating. She is the greediest chicken in the world and she tries to eat the food out of his bowl while he is eating and I have seen him snap at her. In any case we spotted it last Friday and cleaned it everyday and put ointment on it but by Tuesday it was looking horrible and The Geek decided to take her to the vet and see if they could close the hole and if we could get something to put on it. Rachel went with him and they returned with doom and gloom news, the vet said it was necrotic and that it could not get better and that it was better to cull the chicken. We could not even eat her as the meat would be affected if the infection had spread around her body.

The Geek did come home from the vet with the purple livestock spray that helps wounds heal. Necrospray or something like that. But he said it was good to have on hand for next time. Rachel was in tears and both her and Caleb said they would be cross with the Geek if he killed Potter. I got stern with them then explaining that it was not a job that anyone wanted to do and that at least Papa was being kind enough to do the horrible job for all of us and it would not be kind of Potter was suffering.

In the mean time I thought to put a post of the back yard chicken forum that I belong to. I took pictures which I will not put here as they are gross and I asked if she was worth saving. I said the vet was not hopeful and had said to cull. The forum is usually very quick to say cull if they think it is necessary. But the overwhelming answers were advice as to what to do and stories of chicken surviving horific wounds. Potter had up to this point being wandering around the garden eating as usual and did nto look stressed or in anyway distressed so I convinced The Geek to help to make a separate place for her in the garage and that we needed to clean the wound and see if we could get her better.

3 days later and Potter is going strong and is in fact very cross at being locked up in a small space but I need to keep the wound clean ( chickens like to sand bath) and keep her from moving around too much. I can also watch what she eats if she is on her own. The wound is not too much smaller but it looks less necrotic and I hope it might start to heal. I think it will take awhile. The hole is about 2cm across and goes into her internal cavity.

If she gets worse or looks distressed at anytime then we will be kind and cull her but I am going to try my best to save this chicken.

2) I have new seedlings sprouting and am getting ready to plant our late summer/autumn crops. The companion planting and winter rainfall charts from Afristar that I blogged about here have been so helpful. I can at a glance see what to plant this month. The planning beds and companion planting is more difficult and I do wish that I had time and money to go on a permaculture course but I will just have to learn through trial and error.

3) Titus turns one on Monday and it is his hungry caterpillar party on Saturday. We have been making things tonight and I am baking tomorrow but I have tried not to overdo it. I even got someone else to make the cake so I would not have too much to do.

4) I feel the the priveladge rich person, which I am not as we don’t really make ends meet, but I have decided to investigate someone coming to help me as a nanny/housekeeper full time. The biggest problem is that I am not getting around to doing all the work, writing and home schooling that I need to do with Titus around. He is a lovely sweet boy but he is busy and into everything. It is affecting my ability to earn money and my time to help Rachel with her schooling. I am worried that we are going to get behind. I am also spending a lot of my time, cleaning, doing laundry etc etc.

This sounds like I am trying to justify this, does it not? I know plenty of people that live overseas, where help is not affordable, and they manage to look after the kids, homeschool and have a clean home. I don’t know why I am failing but I am getting irritated with my kids all the time and it is not fair. The poor Geek hears me moan all the time and it is not fair on him either.

I hope that by not worrying about the house and by being able to have decicated time to work, stress levels will come down. The nanny can watch Titus while I do school work or projects with the other 2 or they can watch the 2 boys while I work with Rachel on her reading and maths. And sometimes they can watch all 3 so I can get some writing or Earth Babies work done. I hope I find the right person.

5) It is nearly weekend – yay

6) I really need to blog about our water saving and how we are moving slowly forward but that will have to come in another post dedicated to water developements