Have-to’s and want-to’s

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Just got back from a two week holiday on another island, the Isle of Wight, and feel very rested for a change. I must admit I didn’t really want to come back home. I had this big dark cloud of “have-to’s” at the back of my mind but then my daughter asked -So mum what is it that you really have to do when we get back? Started thinking and realised that there wasn’t actually anything that urgent, it was all in my head. Now we’ve been back for a week and I’ve spent most of that time in the garden, not because I’ve had to but I’ve wanted to. Also the best thing I did before going on holiday was finishing the hammock! Tried it yesterday with a good book and it was perfect for doing nothing in. We have also extended our family. 7 new little chicks arrived a few days ago(sadly we lost one today) and they are irresistible! All different breeds so they will lay different coloured eggs, if they turn out to be hens. We’ve had a really bad turn out lately though. Peanut and Astrid we were quite sure were hens, then Astrid started cockadoodeling for hours day before we left so she got sentenced to the veg patch. Then gorgeous Peanut also started but at least he doesn’t do it that often so we’re keeping him on for now. The two younger ones Betty and Bert are great, so friendly! They come for us when Peanut bullies them and jump up on our laps or shoulders and fall asleep. Tomorrow we’re building a bigger chicken coop for the little ones so we don’t loose more. They are still too young to stay in the henhouse(this is Swedish summer after all) so we’ve been keeping them in the basement under a heating lamp apart from during the day when we’ve been taking turns keeping an eye on them(obviously not enough).

Summer is here!

Last entry spring had arrived but now it’s summer! Got back from a long trip, Malaysia, a few days ago. When I left we had 9°C and today it was around 20°C. Since I got back I’ve been trying to get back to Swedish time but keep waking up around 4-5 in the morning. I did worry because it’s the longest I’ve left the family ever but they survived and most of my plants did to. I was very excited for the chicks to hatch the 24th, Maggie has been cooped up in her nest most of the time. When she left the nest to eat I thought I would check on the eggs, there was none!! The crows and magpies have had a field day since I left and ate them all. So now we’ve ordered new eggs but we will put them in my neighbours egg hatching machine and I’m also getting a hen nest where the eggs roll down on a shelf you can pull out to pick them. The chickens, Astrid and Peanut, are keeping to themselves. The hens are really not very nice to them, even Nettie who adopted them is now picking at them as soon as she gets a chance. I think Peanut is an Iceland hen and Astrid i Wyandotte but most likely they aren’t pure bred because they both have feathers on their feet. It’s crazy how much the garden has grown in just over a week. The rhubarb I dug up half of what we had for the plant exchange day but now there’s a jungle out there! My green house is coming along nicely. I have to wait for the roof to be delivered so I started a new project today. Our hammock is completely rusted and broken, I am building a new one. Finished the main part of it now it’s just the legs and chains for having it, oh and oiling and painting. After all the sawing I was completely covered in saw dust so I cycled down the beach. They’ve put the jetty in now and the water was lovely. Summer is here!

Went for a run and came home with…

One of those days! Started the morning going down the harbour to help out the Hönö Klåva second hand shop. A few times a year they have a lorry coming to pick up stuff to bring to Romania. They have been to Romania a number of occasions and everything is sent to a few families and then divided to other people in need. Today was the worst weather so far, it was grey, heavy fog and rain. Lucky me is only entrusted to count everything brought on to the lorry so I got to stand in a container watching all the guys carrying sacks, bags, boxes and beds.
Tomorrow is the first day open for my gallery this year and I have so much to do, left most things until the last day as usual. The weather miraculously turned around to sun and a warm wind. I cleaned out the barn/gallery for a few hours but then I had promised my daughter to go running so we did. -Hey lets jog around the corner to check out my hen-friends new hens. So we did and so one hour later we came home with the promise of three little chicks!
I did try to reason with myself but as always it just happened so fast… We picked up the little chicks and put them in a box in the hallway for a while until it got dark. One of our hens, Nettie, has been wanting babies for quite some time now so we let them into the catbox, where she’s been laying everyday for weeks, and covered it with a net. She seemed confused but happy and the little chicks snuggled up to her straight away. I really hope they are still alive in the morning! So tomorrow is the premiere for Camera exchange day in the gallery and at the same time I will have to build a cage or something to give the chicks more room and stop crazy hen Lottie getting to them. It seems my favourite motto should be “When you have loads to do best go out and find some more!”.

 

New energy!

Fresh paint on window seal and frame

Fresh paint on window seal and frame

Oggy got it

Oggy got it

Vivienne

Vivienne

Oitilia happy in the new nest

Oitilia happy in the new nest

Wow what a difference a couple of weeks holiday can do! I came back from England a week ago and feel so motivated. Yesterday I built a wind breaker in the front garden, a nest for the chicks and painted the window seals on the barn. I also improved my “greenhouse” because it was on it’s last legs. The plastic was just flapping in the wind and no silver tape could fix it so I added a wooden frame to keep everything in place. Before I left I filed a builders permit application, not that I’m changing much in the barn but I apparently need a “change of use” permit to open the gallery. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be ready end of summer… Now I have lights for the barn, I will try to put them up but will pay for a professional electrician to come out and have a look before opening. I’ve decide to paint parts of the inside, not the actual gallery space but in the “garage part”, probably just a chalky see-through white. Need to give it a very good tidy and clean. I cut one of the old beams that was part of the old floor and will try to use it as a support for the main beam which is splitting a bit. I also have to fix the side doors. I really like the old hinges but they are too weak to hold the doors so I will buy new strong ones and put them on the inside. There will be a ramp as well, wide enough for wheelchairs and prams. After that it’s done! Saying that I think the Gallery will never be “ready”, after opening I will keep improving on the place. That’s fine though, as long as I get it started. Then I can go on to my next projects: fixing the windows of our house, the railing, the roof, the gardening, extending th henhouse and building a greenhouse etc etc. I’m like an energy ball craving new jobs but I know it won’t last for long so I’d better prioritise what I want to get done and right ow it’s the Gallery. I sometimes think that our cats are smarter than us going out for short moments and then coming indoors to sleep and relax most of the day.  Can’t ignore the chicks though. While we were away in England sadly our favourite chicken died, the white one called Kiki. We suspect foul play involving a young child but don’t have any proof so I’m leaving it at that. So sad though because Kiki was the most tame one and so pretty. I love the hens but right now I feel that 9 hens and 5 chicks are a bit too much for the garden so I will try to sell off two of the hens but it is sooo difficult to choose.

Let me present to you…

Punken, Pugsy, Vivianne, Kiki and Ronnie Biggs

Punken, Pugsy, Vivianne, Kiki and Ronnie Biggs

Oggy and Esme deciding who’s king of the garden

Oggy and Esme deciding who’s king of the garden

Esme won. We’ve actually gone onto calling her Mean Esme...

Esme won. We’ve actually gone onto calling her Mean Esme…

from left: Vivianne, Captain Pugwash, Bigsy and Punken

from left: Vivianne, Captain Pugwash, Bigsy and Punken

Kiki and Vivian

Kiki and Vivian

Punken was named first because of the punky afro. Now we’ve got to know the others a bit more and after a very creative thinking evening here is the list(we needed to write them down to remember): Punken, Kiki, Vivian/Vivi, Ronnie/Renée Biggs/Bigsy, Zappa and Captain Pugwash/Pugsy. The latest pictures are actually from a few days ago, now they’ve grown even more. Let’s hope they all make it to adulthood. After my morning swim I look out the window while getting changed at exactly the same time as Oggy the cat charge into the hen yard, the hens attack and scream, I open the window(starkers) and shout and hiss at him, he lands and turns around and runs off. A few hours later I realise that he keeps shaking his front paw, thinking the hens managed to scratch or peck him I pick him up but as it turns out his paw had landed in the massive vile-smelling hen-poop-mountain I saw this morning! Obviously it was too disgusting for him to clean in the normal feline way. My son filled the zink up with water and I held Oggy in a wrestlers hold and cleaned him up. I really wish that experience will keep him out of the hen yard but I doubt it. Good job we have a couple of amazing protective mums looking out for the little chicks.

Walking the dog

Kika on the rocks

Kika on the rocks

We’ve had an extra family member the last few days. Looking after Kika while her owners are abroad. Kika was found in a dumpster in Spain as a puppy. They thought she was dead and that someone had just thrown her out. Lucky for her she was brought to a rescue home and shipped over to Sweden. Understandably she is very nervous but she settled in with our family pretty much straight away. Taking over the sofa and attacking my daughter with kisses and her wagging tail. We take her for walks down the beach and as soon as she’s let of the leach she’s off like a cannonball! She runs around in circles, climbes the rocks and charges through puddles. Happier dog is hard to find. Imagine what a second chance she got in life. It’s been great to try out being a dog owner and it will be very hard to return her to her owners in a few days but a very good lesson. One day we will probably get our own dog but now there are too many projects, cats, chickens… One thing is for sure the cats will not miss Kika. She only wants to play with them but they don’t speak the same language.