More time at home = more time for adventures
We recruited a handful of Damara sheep to help reduce the fuel for bushfires on our block. They have plenty to eat at the moment after so much rain but they are very greedy and are always looking out for a bit of a treat. The boys are always keen to give them a bit of a treat.
First we need a bucket of pellets...
Then follow the sheep trail across the paddock...
... through the trees...
... along the fence...
... find the dish and fill it up.
Then sneak away to let them enjoy their snack in peace.
With winter come viruses. We have had the inevitable succession of runny noses, coughs and rashes that accompany big groups of small children. We've been spending some extra time at home when we're snotty to keep the bugs to ourselves. It's starting to feel like we're home more often than not!
When we're at home we miss the company of our friends. We miss the change of scenery too. We can start to feel frustrated with each other and cooped up at home. Visiting the chooks is a fun change in our routine that gets us out of the house.
The boys don't get to visit the chickens very often because we usually don't have time. They love to explore this different area and come up with new games to play. Fox loves to open and close the gate for the chickens over and over again. He checks for eggs and scoops pellets into the feeder. When he runs out of inspiration he copies his big brother.
Bear looks for the sneaky pets that are always hiding close by. He imagines race tracks or train tracks to drive along. He flaps his shadow wings and picks oranges to bring home for a picnic.
I'm incredibly thankful that despite these viruses the boys have stayed generally well. They get tired and need extra reassurance (and regular neurofen). I know other families suffer much more over winter from these same bugs.
We decided to get a dog soon after moving onto our farm. Our cats and chickens were being terrorised by a huge and very bold fox. We realised we were going to need a guard dog for our peace of mind.
Izzy was a stray. She was found near Maitland, was taken to a shelter in Newcastle then made her way to the RSPCA vet clinic in Ugoona. My sister had been scouting the shelter for a while to find us a dog and it looked like Izzy might be a perfect match for us. She was big but still a puppy, had a quiet temperament and not much of a prey drive.
She had a problem though - she had been diagnosed as "unhousable" due to separation anxiety. She had proved herself to be extremely destructive and an escape artist. When she came to live with us as a foster dog she was taking an antidepressant and a tranqueliser and had a regime of relaxation and meditation exercises to do twice per day. Needless to say we were nervous about how this might turn out!
It turned out great! She was a lonely and very energetic puppy who needed a family and lots of space. Her separation anxiety has translated into loyalty and her destructive energies have been redirected with lots of exercise.
Izzy's like a big sister for Bear. They have a lot of common interests - sticks, balls, dirt, puddles, steeling clothes pegs... Sometimes Izzy snatches Bear's toys or Bear hits Izzy with his shovel. Other times they play so beautifully together. She's found a special place in our family.
June and Grug became part of our family in October 2012. We were on our way home after celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary at Janolan Caves. We finally decided after long discussions in the car to buy some guinea-pigs. We found June in a pet shop in Bathurst and Grug in Orange. It wasn't long after we got home that I found out I was pregnant with Bear!
I'm glad we made that impulsive decision. Guinea-pigs have always been my favourite pets. Bear loves them and they provide all sorts of Montessori opportunities.
The guinea-pigs live in a corner of the "school room" at the moment. I put out the bowl of cut up fruit or veg and some pellets so that Bear can feed them every morning. In time I think he'll love chopping up their treats himself.
Twice per week we clean out the cage together. Bear helps collect the straw, fill up the cage and sweep up the mess.
Once a week we clean their food dish and water bottle (a great excuse to get wet when it's 35 degrees!)
We enjoy their company anytime!
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.