Friday, 31 May 2013

Family event!

I wanted a fence fixed, not a difficult task, but as usual it turned into a family event. I have noticed lately that everywhere I go I am shadowed by four legged animals. Even in the bathroom, one will appear staring at me in that way that a toddler does, when they want to ensure you are going to get no peace!

I mentioned to hubby that a fence needing fixing, off he went to complete the task followed by one of the dogs. I went to help, so followed two other dogs, and a cat. Shortly after this my daughter appeared to offer assistance, well to stand around pretending to help.

During the fence building activity I soon noticed that there was three humans, three dogs, two cats, three kittens, a duck, a chicken and a rooster all being part of this activity. When did we need this much attention, in fact, I then noticed that the neighbour across the way was also watching!

FFS, if everything and everyone that was getting in the way, watching and generally not being much help, did in fact help the task would be done far quicker! I love all the animals but there does come a point where my own personal space would be nice.

So, new rule unless you have a purpose to be there, or you can hold a hammer and use it effectively, will you please go somewhere else!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Head or Heart

When I begun this journey I had no clear idea of what animals I wanted, or how we were going to feed what we had. I was so filled with enthusiasm that I would have taken anything and everything just to fill the place. However, the practical side has kicked in a few times, and I have said NO!

I was always adamant that everything had to have a purpose, make either money or food. However, my ice heart appears to be melting as slowly animals are staying here in Casa Chaos. Therefore, the debate about the baby goats (still unnamed) begins.

A friend of mine believes the moment you name an animal it becomes yours, which is why goat 1 and goat 2 are just that for the moment, although a suggestion of Mork and Mindy did make me chuckle! I have to decide whether I want to go bankrupt being kind, or sell the babies, which was always the intention.

I love all animals, but there has to be a line where we can afford to care and feed what we have here. There is no unlimited supply of money, therefore, practicalities must be considered. The biggest problem is they are just so cute, but this does not pay for their feed!

So, for the moment I will keep admiring the babies, deciding on names, and thinking about the financial implications of having two more goats, hmmm did I get wiser, or did my heart begin to melt that is the question.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Goat Hospital

Some people make me smile, and others make me cringe, however, the innocence of others makes me wonder. Whilst having a conversation about Jill having her babies, a lady enquired where the goat hospital was on the island. This question stopped me in my path, and made me wonder what the hell she was talking about.

It seems that she was under the impression that we would take Jill, in the car to some form of hospital, where she would have her babies. Every part of this bizarre scene then played out in my mind, as I imagined Jill on a hospital bed, gas and air in hoof, surrounded by midwife's and doctors.

I very slowly explained that Jill would be having her babies in her pen, surrounded by trees, straw and no expert team of physicians. The lady then looked at me like I was mad, for not considering the use of the goat hospital.

I am always fascinated to hear what people have to say, and it continues to amuse me that people simply have no idea what actually happens with animals. I am sure there is some conspiracy to send all of these people to me, ensuring that I go completely mad!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Finally the Day Arrived....

Wednesday started like any other day, everything was going about its normal daily activities of eating, sleeping, and some more eating. Then over the peace and quiet like an air raid siren I could hear my daughters voice "Jill's giving birth, Jills giving birth, Jills giving birth" It was like rapid machine gun fire.

As I went to investigate, all I could think was oh hell, I should have been better prepared, and please let them be alive. As we approached Jill there was no doubt that something hanging out of her, and I knew we had to separate her from Jack. Jill was extremely calm, in fact, I wish I had been as calm as her when I went into labour.

My next shout of bring me some towels, made me realise that this was really happening, and hopefully it wouldn't be a lengthy labour. The next hour passed quickly as Jill, calmly and with ease gave birth to two cute kids.

My son's running commentary kept us amused and he was most concerned that the baby goat was in a plastic bag when it was born. We pointed out that wasn't a bag, and that it was fine. In all fairness to Jill I did very little, I was there to clean off the babies, and unblocked their airways, but apart from that Jill did the rest.

Once all gunk had been licked off, Jill decided that eating the umbilical cords and the placenta was the next plan of action. Whilst rapidly Googling to check Jill hadn't turned into a cannibal and that she wasn't going to eat the babies next, I discovered this was perfectly normal...Phew!

So, Casa Chaos is now the proud owners of two un-named kids, Rosie and Jim has been suggested, not happening! Now do we eat or keep, eat or keep, decisions, decisions....

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Stay Calm and Never Panic

A lady said to me the other day "You must be so brave" now I know Casa Chaos can seem daunting , but it isn't really that scary. However, it wasn't Casa Chaos she was referring to, but living abroad. This made me chuckle, as to be honest what am I really risking?

Living abroad provides numerous amusing amounts, and whole new ways to mess up on a daily basis. Any dignity that you may think you have built up over the years, soon vanished as you go through the linguistic and social pitfalls of daily life. The language here is filled with sneaky ways to trip foreigners up, and ensure that you make an idiot of yourself.

For example the word "huevos" literally translates to eggs, but this is often used by the old Canarians to describe their testicles. Therefore, be careful when you are at the farmers market asking whether they have eggs, as often they will reply with "yes, two large ones" This of course causes huge amusement, and you will have no idea.

There are dangers everywhere, but to be honest GC is not an active war zone, there are no flesh eating zombies, in fact, there are very few risks when living here. What this lady considered to be terrifying, I deal with every day, and have come to love the quirks and issues the island brings.

I once asked a Canarian man if he had ever been to America, this was met with shock as he couldn't think of anything worse. His reason was that he could not wander down the street with an open can of beer, which was enough to put him off ever travelling to the US.  Everyone is scared of different things, but living abroad, piece of cake!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Please, Pick Up The Dead Animals

Since the gun has arrived, hubby can often be found wandering around the place searching for his next victim. He is a cross between Elmer Fudd, and a game keeper. In fact, more Elmer Fudd, but he is happy and does seem to be shooting the right animals.

Every time he grabs the gun I find myself shouting, "don't shoot the goats, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats or children" Not that he would ever intententionally shoot one of these but it makes me feel better knowing that I have advised him on the correct animals to be killing.

There is often evidence of his shooting spree, as he tends not to go and investigate what he he has shot, and we often find dead pigeons laying around. Even a polite conversation of "will you please, pick up your dead animals" is falling on deaf ears.

The only animal that he has bothered to go and retrieve was a massive rat that he shot, and in true "man" style we had to have pictures of the dead animal. An egg was used for a size comparison, and then the delightful picture was sent to friends and family. Oh well, he is helping with the vermin issue, and men will be men after all.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Well You Don't Do Anything all Day

There is a lady that I know that truly does believe that I do nothing all day, and on several occasions she has uttered the words " Well you don't do anything all day" this causes me to stop for a moment and want to beat her with the nearest object. However, I find myself smiling sweetly, and replying "Of course I don't"

The logic it seems behind this statement is the fact that I work from home. Therefore, this must mean that  I sit around all day playing on FB, drinking coffee, and performing very few tasks. Although some of this is true, I do also work, and run Casa Chaos and maintain a home.

I don't expect a huge medal for what I do, I am just talented at juggling several balls, and 90% of the time I do not drop any of them. I love my job, I love the flexibility it provides, and the only time it annoys me is when small minded people think I do nothing all day.

The irony is that the woman who claims I do nothing, in fact sits on her arse all day doing precisely that, and when I mention this, she gets all defensive. She claims that my social skills must suffer, and questions whether I miss interaction with other people.

Err hello I do leave the house, and am not stranded on a desert island with only a football called Wilson! Although, I did find myself having an indepth conversation with the goat the other day! Hmmmm maybe it is time to get out more!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Collecting Poop!

Cleaning the rabbits out is my sons job, and although he grumbles about the job, it is one of the easier ones to complete. The process is straightforward, sweep all poop into bucket, put in compost heap. However, I wandered past the other day to find him attempting to put the rabbit poop in bag.

I asked why on earth he was spending ages trying to put the poop in  bag and not just straight in the bucket. Asking my children any question can often result in the strangest of answers, so I braced myself for the answer. "Daddy told me to" was the answer.

This confused me even more, as why on earth would hubby ask him to bag rabbit poop! I asked why Daddy had told him to, with which he gave a shrug of the shoulders, and a "Idunno" So, off in search of hubby I went, to discover why our son was bagging rabbit poop.

On finding hubby, I asked why he was asking our son to bag rabbit poop, with which he answered that he wanted it to take to work. This concerned me even more, and I had horrible images of what on earth he was intending to do with bags of rabbit poop.

However, it seems the chef wanted the poop, thankfully not for the food, but for fertiliser. It seems that rabbit poop is the best thing to place around herbs, and who else would he ask for bags of poop, but the resident of Casa Chaos.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Yes Eggs Really Do Come Out of There....

Selling eggs has become a huge part of my week, and thankfully they are now laying enough to cover their own food and a small profit. However, this involves me having to interact with the general public, which never goes too well. People who want free range eggs, seem to love the concept of them being free range without realising where they come from.

Of, course they come from a chicken, but then it seems to dawn on them that the area of the chicken that they appear from is their bums! Many people sheepishly ask me if their eggs do in fact come from the chickens bum, and for all of you here is a quick biology lesson. if you are easily grossed out, or bore rapidly, keep moving....

If you are still reading then you are obviously curious, or have nothing better to do with your time, so let me begin. Chicken anatomy is very different to a human, and I am hoping that you know that you have different apertures for different tasks, if not please go seek help! Well chickens don't have this luxury, in a very basic way of putting it, they have one hole!

This hole is called a "vent" and everything that you can imagine happens in this area, so, its rather busy! However, chickens don't pee, so that's one less thing to worry about, but yes everything else occurs around the vent. The good news for all you egg lovers is there is a "valve" which separates the areas, so most of the time the chicken produces a clean egg!

Chickens are dirty and poo everywhere, so the fact that 90% of the eggs are clean is a miracle. When you buy battery and farmed eggs from the supermarket they have been washed and cleaned to ensure that not a speck of poo is near them, but in reality due to the nature of where those birds are kept, they would be covered in stinking chicken poo!

Sorry for the morning biology lesson, and too be honest if this sort of thing is too much for you, please never visit a farm of any description, as they are gross! You need to accept that your eggs that you are dipping your soldiers into this morning, came out of a chickens bun!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Some things are Just Worth It!

I am so tired this morning, even more than usual, and although I have drunk three cups of coffee, I am not feeling the love. I am also very burnt, which is unusual as I never leave the house, which poses the question what on earth have I been up to. Well, there are very few things I feel strongly about and animal cruelty is one, which is why I am one of the dog coordinators for a local animal respect organisation.

This involves me being part of their fund raising efforts as money is always an issue when you run an animal charity. Unfortunately, there are far too many animals, and just not enough funds, so fund raising is essential. We have done several events in the past, and I am typically involved with them in some way, but this time I am fully absorbed.

We were offered a float for the HUGE Gay Pride Parade, which is one of the largest events in the GC calender. Although we were worried about the time we had, we also knew that it would be amazing for publicity, and to hopefully raise some much needed funds. This has resulted in myself and some of the other volunteers, stood in a field, in 45c heat decorating a float!

After 12 hours and a lot of greenery...We are an Enchanted Forest  we think it is nearly there, so with a burnt upper body, and no energy left at all, I came home. Today is the day when we party like animals, although at the moment sleeping like a sloth would be better! Hopefully raising awareness and money for this amazing charity.

I will let you know how we get on, and take a look at this to see what we do....


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Why Do We Have Goats Again?

Goats are one of those creatures that you have big plans with to milk and make cheese was my intention, but to be honest they have become more like pets. I actually didn't realise that there are several different varieties of goat, and it seems we have the high fat, eat everything in their path goats.

That is not to say that my goats don't have a purpose as they are fantastic at destroying fences, escaping, eating the plants on my drive, and making loud human screeching noises if you do not feed them quick enough. They have an amazing ability to find everything they shouldn't to eat, and walk past the nicely prepared hay that is intended for them to eat.

Every feeder we give the goats they destroy, and often they seem to want to destroy things for fun, Jack will spend hours attempting to rip the door off the hinges. Having said all of that they are fun to watch, and do have their own personalities. As it seems goats live for up to 12 years, we are stuck with them for the foreseeable future.

Whilst Googling random goat facts the other day, it seems that goats can in fact have up to 6 kids, rare but true and I am beginning to think that Jill may be a rare case as she is HUGE. Did you also know that China has over 150 million goats, WOW that is what you call a herd! But not to bore you with mundane goat facts, they are considered to be far more useful than any other animal to have on a farm, so I made a good decision with the goats.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Its not all Corn and Lettuce

People think that chickens are vegetarians, however, I can confirm that they are far from it, and love to eat anything including meat. These savage creatures love meat, not only cooked meat but often raw meat such as dead animals. They are not far from cannibals to be honest, and I have seen them happily eating on dead chicks,  or rats that are discovered.

You will not believe the speed that chickens move when they see meat in the orchard.  If something happens to die, they race over, knife and fork in each wing, with a napkin tied around their neck in preparation for their feast. You would think they were entrants in the Olympics the speed they run, and chickens are not known for their ability to move fast.

I have heard that in slaughter houses the chickens will gather and circle the men killing the other chickens in the hope of getting some "bits". This is all rather gross, and it does make you wonder what they would do if you ever died in the orchard. The next horror movie in the making "Revenge of the Killer Chickens"   just think how many parts there could be before people tire of the storyline.

As regards to what we feed ours, yes they get bones, meat and if we have a BBQ people take great delight in throwing rib bones to the chickens to see what happens! This is another reason not to visit un announced as I have the perfect way to dispose of your body!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Knight in Shining Armour

There are very few people that I call in a crisis, who I know will calm me, offer support and solve the problem. There are in fact two people that I have on speed dial for those occasions when I think "oh shit" The first is my husband, that goes without saying as even if he can do nothing he waits whilst I scream at him until I feel better. The other is my mechanic, this may seem strange to some but he is my knight in shining armour.

I love my car, but it is old, therefore, it breaks often, and typically in the worst places ever, now I know a lot about cars but when I need them fixed I call mechanic S. Yesterday I had a normal busy day, loads to do, not enough hours in the day. So, as I joined the motorway, and felt that awful feeling of a flat tire, I knew my day was about to get worse.

I pulled over, inspected the damage, and yes I had a flat, so out comes the BB, and dials hubby who can do nothing but listen to me rant, moan and complain. As I hang up, I am already dialling S, and begin the sentence with "help" now this is not the first time S has had one of these calls, but that is for another blog.

I explain I have a flat tire, where I am parked, and within 15 minutes S arrives like a knight in shining armour, all be it in shorts and on a motorbike! Now I am no girly girl, but in all honestly I have NEVER changed a tire in my life, and I wasn't going to begin now. My excuse is that my car is heavy  very unlikely I am going to be able to undo the nuts, and lastly...WHY would I need to when I have S on speed dial.

I am grateful for people like S, and as I say this is not the first time I have needed his services. After just 10 minutes, some idol chatter and a minimal payment, well worth me not needing to get my hands dirty I was on my way. I thanked him, and he smiled and said "its fine one day I will need your help" This comment made me laugh why on earth would he need my help.

However, I always knew that expecting him to drop everything and rescue me whenever I call was always going to come back and bite me on the arse.  So, late last night when I saw him pull up outside, I was curious as to what he wanted, and when he stepped out of the car and said I need your help I begun to worry.

He emerged from the boot of his car with a box, and in the box....three kittens, which he had found in the wheel arch of a car he was working on. Where else would he take them, but to the crazy lady who calls him early on a Saturday morning to rescue her....

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Yes, Yes she is still pregnant

People are seriously beginning to think that I have imagined the whole pregnant goat thing, or that she is just obese, but honestly she is pregnant! In fact she is huge, bigger than huge, bigger than the proverbial barn door. Jill is going for the record of the fattest goat, and I am wondering how many babies we do in fact have in there.

One of my ever helpful following asked the other day why I did not know the exact date that she was going to give birth, well this is because Jack is hornier than a pubescent boy, and I have no idea on what date conception actually occurred. Bad goat keeping I know, but come on I never claimed to be a goat farmer!

Strict breeding regimes may suit some people but here in Casa Chaos that would seem strange, actually it would be lovely, but hey too late now. So in anticipation of the big event, as I have already got it wrong once, I asked a local goat farmer some of the common signs that Jill is giving birth. With which his reply was I will see a baby appearing from her!

These Spanish are well prepared aren't they, so off to Google I went and found some very interesting tips, mixed in with some strange, and some just not happening ones. Some I can cope with but when it comes to sticking any part of me inside Jills lady canal (as my friend L calls it ) it just isnt happening. Some of the tips include:

  • Pacing, digging making a mess......errr hello have you never met my goats this happens every day
  • White vaginal discharge that smells...errr wouldnt this involve me sniffing it, not happening
  • Appears restless and stressed.....again everyone appears to be this in Casa Chaos
  • Eyes appear glazed and stares into the distance...oh come on who knows what the hell Jill is staring at
  • Urinates frequently...well again goats seem to do that all day anyway
  • Udder begins to fill, teats feel waxy and smell.....err not sniffing her teats either
  • Lala is flabby and puffy on inspection...why would any sane person want to inspect a goats lala
  • Refuses to eat...yeah right nothing EVER refuses to eat here
So, with all that in mind I have decided to wait, and although I am not the most patient of people I prefer this action to sniffing any part of my goat. 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Boys and their toys!

I only went away for the weekend, and in that time hubby went shopping, which is odd as when I ask him to go shopping at any other time he is far too busy. However, he found himself attracted to a shop, and it seems that the allure of the shiny things in the window was just too much to handle. Not only did he look, but he also bought the item in question.

As he proudly informed me down the phone all I could think was "I only left you for a couple of days" but in all fairness I suppose we did need this item, and yes it was something we had discussed, but did he really need to go and buy a gun!! Yes, we are now the proud owners of a gun, and he spent the day on Saturday shooting pigeons, with regular updates of how many he had shot!

What is it with boys and their toys, he was so proud that he had bought a gun, and that he was dealing with the pigeon problem. I however, was more practical, I was concerned with the cost, the legal aspect and the safety issues, god I am getting old! But these needed to be addressed, and he assures me that it will be stored away from out trigger happy 12 year old.

So, we may have found the solution to the pigeon and rat problem, and any other creatures that roam onto my land! ooo this could in fact be fun, how many fraggles can I shoot in one day! However, I have learnt my lesson and will not be leaving hubby alone in the near future, I hate to imagine what he will come home with next!