May 29, 2012

Zero degrees at 06.00

Top O' the Mornin to Ya!

Well it's official, we had the first frost of the year this morning.. A big Zero' degrees registered on the car thermometer and Brooke captured these 4 awesome pics as soon as  daylight appeared.

Brrrrrrr, reminds me of summer in Scotland (sorry Laura!) ha ha. Actually it's a bit of a heatwave over there which means a massive increase in sun burn and everything related to over exposure to sudden sunshine.. I remember as a kid going to Largs in Ayrshire for the day (that's Robbie Burns territory!) and it was burning hot, well, me and my big sister baked in the heat for hours and yes you got it, she suffered heatstroke and I got really bad sun burn.. not cool and certainly not recommended.

So, frosty morning eh? the winter veggies and doing great, we had the yummiest broccoli and cheese sauce last night.
Is there a difference or what when it's picked fresh from the garden? I can't believe the difference..go on everyone, get planting, you'll never go back to a bought off the shelf green again.

Well gotta get on with work, but have a beautiful day everyone and remember, Green is Good.

Thought for the day: 

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)


May 26, 2012

Past, Present and Future

It's not where you are, it's where your at that matters,

Sometimes, just sometimes you gotta have a breakdown before you can have a breakthrough. Ever had one of those times when you have to stop, I mean literary stop, get off the bus that is your life, do a headcount of everything and everyone who is part of it and then make an honest evaluation of who and what do you choose to be on your bus?
What an empowering action, I recommend it to anyone who may feel that a cleanse is on the cards...a very wise man once said to his passengers, I'd like you all to get off my bus now, because I need to set a new direction without distraction and when I'm ready to set out again, I may or may not invite you back on......
I had a conversation with one of my lovely casual staff the other day and asked her, now that you are finished school, what's your plans for life? she is such a happy wee thing her answer was not surprising, "I'm taking a year out before I make a decision, I don't know what I want to study or be yet, but I'm off to Europe for a few months with my family, that's my short term future that I can't wait to happen" how awesome was that? 
Suddenly the stages of my life began to unfold and I wanted to tell you about it...
When I was at primary school I was ok academically, I got on well with most people, however I was incredibly competitive in sport and therefore had to be the best, I did become the best, but I also became a little cocky because of it...I can see myself now, 12 years old and invincible. 
After primary I went straight to secondary school, when boy oh boy! did I get a shock..I wasn't the best anymore, I wasn't even second or third best...I had to try to beat people, the opposite of what I was used to, so I competed at everything in order to be the best again, but the reality was, I couldn't be the best at one can.
So here comes the first of many choices life throws at us; what do we keep and what do we let go? I couldn't see what life's lesson was here because I was too busy getting lost in 'not being good enough'...
As I stepped out of the school gates for the very last time, I remember how it felt, honestly I felt afraid, I was on my own now with my next competition waiting with folded was life....real life.

I told my young friend to always be in an attitude of gratitude for what and who you have in your life at this time...these times will shape your future.
As I look back at my school life and at 12 wonderful years when I had routine, accountability, structure, discipline, consequences, tests, results, mentors and leaders...I had it all.
This brought to mind the book I'd like to write one day...It's called '' APennyless Education" and you will read it, just watch this space.

This weekend:

Saturday we took the puppies to Omaha Wharf, the tide was perfect which meant they had a lovely swim. The water was so flat we could have taken our Paddle Boards and got onto the water...but boards and dogs don't go well at all, although Finn did get onto our friend Jodies board one time before leaping off the front and sending Jodie off the back..what fun!

Today it rained which may have been the catalyst to reflect, who knows? what I do know is this:

Life owes us nothing, we will be in it's debt until our time is up. It is in this that I ask you one question.. as you look at all the areas of your life... what would you change if you could and what's stopping you...?

Some pictures of today where chickens are eating their yummy yogurt, autumn colours are stunning and dogs continue to love the life they are living...

Red reflection

lemons in the light

 Kodak komfy on the kouch!!

Finn at one with the landscape

Murphy Brown having a moment.

Oak tree over the Chicken House

Carrots on the up

Finally - I've selected 5 songs that have had significant meaning in my life. They're in no particular order...if you have time, have a listen...

Thought for the day:

"One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks"                                      Jack Penn

May 21, 2012

I love my Job

Happy Lunch time followers,

Thought I'd pop in and say a big hello and tell you just  how much I love working at Auckland Zoo.  It is a pleasure and privilege being part of this wonderful  organisation. Today the sun is shining beautifully, around 450 school kids are here enjoying lessons with our in house Educators, our Friends of the Zoo are in with their wee ones and many day visitors have come along to enjoy this beautiful space. The Zoo is unique and special because every staff member and volunteer knows exactly why they choose to be here!

Our Vision is:
A future where people value wildlife, and species are safe from extinction.

Our Mission is:
To bring people together to build a future for wildlife.

Here are some of the guys we look after here at the Zoo

Say hi the Charlie our Bornean Orangutan

This is Lazarus our male Lion 

Rukiya our Female Giraffe


Little Blue Penguin

And our gorgeous Red Panda

These are only a very small handful of our very large, special collection, check out our website or even better come down for a visit.

Boy I love the Autumn....

May 18, 2012

'Chick Bay' for Jenny....

Saturday May 19.

They say everything comes in threes...where does that saying even come from? Although today it was true...
last night Brooke went to lock choocks away for the night and came back with Jenny who had been lying on the ground in the den looking a bit rough. For those who don't know her too well, Jenny is the biggest, strongest bossy boots in the pack and to see her so weak and vulnerable was not a pretty sight.
We quickly set up the washing basket with old towels and took her to the shed. We examined her and she had a real poo poo bottom and it really smelled bad. We got a bucket of luke warm water, bathed her botty, trimmed the excess poo and the feathers around her bottom. Her head was all droopy and she couldn't stand up. We decided to bring her into the study and keep her warm and quiet for the night. We checked every half hour to see if she was all right, she seemed not to worsen which was a relief. This morning we checked on her and she was a little brighter and her poo was more solid (sorry to those non chook lovers! but solid poo is good). We decided to build a make shift pen in the garage and keep her there for the day, she slowly started having a wee chirp, then a wee drink of Brookes brew of honey and water, she then started eating her seed as well as some yoghurt. We are hoping she just had a 24 hour bug (do chickens even get these?) and if she is good tomorrow, we will pop her back with the pack..

Jenny in the 'Chick Bay'

The next 2 things were planned, but they were still challenges for us. We has 30 Karo trees delivered on Thursday, and today was the day they were going in... our lovely neighbours at the Duck farm delivered a pile of compost as well as a bigger pile of fire wood and both had to be moved from their drop zones. I started on the hole digging and quickly realised it's was gonna be a tough one! We intend to use the trees to block the view from the road side and for shelter, they will go in just in front of the massive Willow trees...can you guess what the challenge was yet? .......bloddy roots, hundreds of them and boy were they tough. At one point I planted the spade with such force into a root that my hand was shaking with the pain for ages.. but as with all challenges, they are only as big as you choose them to be!

This was number 17, 13 to go
Finn was no help!

As i dug the holes, Brooke had the job of setting plants in and composting them.

And what a fine job she did
Their in..yay!
And of course, what do yu do with 2 cubes of firewood?
well, stack it of woriries we said, and then?, 
It started to rain right on top of the dry wood. So it was tarpaulain and the quickest launch of wood to shed imaginable, I tell you the All Blacks would have been proud of us! we got there with only a few random logs getting a little pics for this one, too busy.

There, that was 3 challenges of today..Sick chicken, Ramming spade in Willow roots and firewood throwing in the rain...great day all round I would say.

And finally some photos of the pack, this was after the rain

Finn and best friend..Bob the Ball

Beautiful Murphy

Kodak and Surf Board

Thats all folks..........................

Thought for the day:

Wherever you go.......there you are! (Kermit the frog)

May 17, 2012

Quick Update

Hey everyone,

I just checked the traffic report for my Blog and it was 111 views just for today, WHAT! I screeched, this must be wrong, and then I checked on Laura at My wee Farms Blog and she had written a lovely mention of my Blog and posted a link to it. Well, talk about methods to increase an audience. Brooke actually came across my wee farm ages ago and has been an avid follower ever since.
I think I've managed to open up my comments box too, so anyone reading this (is there anybody out there??) can you try and send me a comment. Laura, if you are reading this, I am a bit of a Blog Novice, any tips or pointers for Blog are appreciated.

So in special mention of Glasgow and all it stands for, here is the link of the century . If you don't laugh your head off at this, something is definitely wrong.

Kia Ora everyone

May 11, 2012

3 Weeks to make up to you

May 12 - First Blog in 3 Weeks!

April drifted into May and suddenly 3 weeks has passed since my last Blog. I can't believe I've been so slack, but when I look back at the last 3 weeks I just might have an acceptable excuse!
It's dark in the morning when we leave for work, and dark when we return..when we get up we gotta have our porridge, feed chickens (news coming up on that one), feed doggies, make coffee for our thermos cups for car and then drive 1 hour 20 to work, then work.....and if this isn't hard enough, we gotta  do it all in reverse, drive home, feed chickens, feed dogs again, make dinner, get fire going and then try and relax, so we watch some telly and do some more chores, then before you know it..Jo Nesbo's new thriller is calling my name.. so my wee Blog was sadly abandoned... But then , just today I had  a breakthrough, my Blog idol, Laura, at Our Wee farm www.myweefarm hasn't put up any excuses for 'not' doing her Blog, so I've decided to get committed (not literary) and keep my Life on the Lifestyle track alive and kicking.

Well, firstly I must tell ya, work was crazy busy over the Easter Holidays, over 2 weeks, 63,000 visitors came to the Zoo, it was manic and it was awesome...the very best School Holidays ever, we themed the holiday programme 'The Truffula Trail" based on the Lorax Movie. The weather was exceptional which really helped.

News Flash

'The Magnificent 7' . About 6 days ago, our good friend Paula at work informed me there was the cutest little Brown Shaver in the Zoo Car Park, looks like it's been dumped (why do people do that?)... so, yes you've guessed it, I only went to look and when I saw this tame little thing I really couldn't leave her.

   Friends, meet Jessie

Paula is a bit of a bird nut and gathered Jessie up with ease, popped her into a box for us, gave her some much needed food and water and at the end of our shift, home she came to join 'the others'. We names her Jessie after Paulas wee girl jessica. At first she pooped pure liquid and was really wobbly on her feet. she could perch and slept in the nest boxes for the first 4 days. We slowly introduced her to the pack, fed her well, and trained her to sit on the perch... now she is a happy, quite dominant I must say, but cute chook. We think she may have been a battery or cage hen. Here she is with the others

                      That's her at the back.

You see, I have this crazy idea that I can create, design and build things, but for the majority of times I try to create something I end up loosing my silly Scottish temper and chuck it all in and give up. I know... short fuse M'graw, that's me...
But, last weekend I beat my demons and created this..... it's an 'A frame feeder station', but I knew you guessed that right!

The frame

Finished product.
Painted with a home made feeder inside

Veg garden Bulletin

Ok, so, winter veg is the coolest in town right? you better believe it is.
Our wee gardens are producing the meanest  Broccoli, Silverbeet, Beetroot, Cabbage and Cauliflower. We are eating the Silverbeet now and the yummy Beetroot is being pickled or roasted..The Rocket is still going nuts.
For novices, and first time Mums at growing the 'wee things' we are very proud of ourselves. Here's some pics of the wee ones all grown up...

Beautiful Beetroot

The Coolest Cabbage

Rocket to the Moon

Blooming Big Broccoli

Luscious Red Lettuce

Stunning Silverbeet

Not bad eh? I recommend anyone who has got room for a wee vege patch, to get's rewarding in so many ways from simply saving money to reaping the rewards of growing your own organic vege garden. It's just so awesome popping out for the evening veg for dinner.

And to end our return to the Blog world....I give you her Majesty Finn, watching on as the Magnificent 7 parade past....

Finally.....Winter is coming and we all know it... We have had the most beautiful Autumn, rewarding us with rich sunshine throughout the days and gifting our land with evening showers... and us, we are blessed with the opportunity to warm our hearts in the house that has become a sanctuary, a haven...a Home.

Nice to be back with you..... I'll see you real soon.

Thought for the day: 'Some people walk in the rain...other just get wet'.