We have just come back from a lovely holiday. We don’t go away on holiday very much, and so, as departure day drew closer, the lists came out. There are many things to be done before Twiglet Homestead is deprived of our presence. This holiday was an 11-day visit to Christchurch, so the to-do list was no small thing. And it’s probably a tad different from most what most people need to get done before they go away. Some things didn’t make it onto the list because I just did them, like configuring my holiday packing list spreadsheet, organising the animal-minding and harvesting the kumara grown in the pots.
Here’s my main pre-holiday to-do list:
- Set rat trap
- Dehydrate capsicums
- Make chicken soup
- Cut hair
- Make roost holders
- Clean chicken coop
- Check Frodo’s feet
- Install chicken waterer
- Plant peach tree
- Move pot plants
- Put together thank-you items for people we’re staying with
- Cull Lorelai
- Make kombucha
- Harvest walnuts
- Harvest feijoas
- Pick apples
- Chop and freeze veges
- Plant seedlings
Some of these things need a little explanation. Hold on, what now?! Way to bury a major chicken event, plonking it in a to-do list. Those who know how much I loved Lorelai will know there are only two likely reasons I would kill her: illness and egg-eating. You can probably guess which one applies. After a couple of suspicious occasions earlier on, it became clear that Lorelai had succumbed to the dark side, following the rest of her old flock mates into the downward spiral of egg-eating. I was gutted but not surprised. I was always afraid this would happen, after exposure to so many egg-eaters. And so it was that the day before we left, I had to cull Lorelai. Another one bites the dust. Frodo is the last of the old flock standing, and she continues to amaze me with her respect for eggs. As I did my final check of the chickens on the morning we were leaving, Frodo was standing in the pen looking puffy and making minor screechy noises. Yup, she was going broody again at a very inconvenient time. But I don’t care, as long as long as she keeps respecting the eggs!
In other chicken news, Frodo’s feet healed up well before we went away and I managed to finish making a new waterer for the chickens and roost holders so the roost could be set in its proper place in the coop.
I needed to plant the peach tree before we went away, as it was really in need of planting and kept getting dry quickly in its planter bag. It could be facing death if I didn’t plant it. Of course, the spot I wanted to plant it in the Cedar Pen was on the dirt mound that has formed with the demolition of the raised garden bit during the Demo Project. I had to do some dirt removal to lower the ground level before planting the peach tree, but I got it done. I also had to move some of the pot plants from the deck out into the weather. I was supposed to plant out the leek, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli seedlings that have been growing inside, but they weren’t big enough to handle the garden, so I left them on a windowsill in a tray of water. They survived, but some only just! I didn’t plan that seed-sowing timing very well.
The craziness of Autumn harvesting and preserving continued, which found me climbing the apple tree again and harvesting lots of walnuts with The Little Fulla. You’ve gotta get ’em while you can or they’ll be gone. There were more paprika capsicums to dehydrate, other capsicums (purple, green and red) to chop and freeze, beans to chop and freeze and tomatoes to chop and freeze. I doubt most people find themselves chopping and freezing 20-odd capsicums the night before they go away on holiday… The kombucha also had to be bottled and a new batch made before we went away.
I prepped some things from the homestead to take with us to give to people as part of little thank-you baskets for having us to stay at their place: dried herbs and paprika and walnuts, the best-looking ones I could pick out. Somehow, I even managed to sneak in time, much time, to cut my hair short again before we went away.
Because it is Autumn, some rodents decided to take up residence in our roof. There is soft, warm stuff up there and the rodents appeared to take great, noisy delight in their accommodation discovery. We responded with breakfast on the house, served in both a rat trap and the bait station.
Oh, and we did get the packing done, eventually.
What do your pre-holiday to do lists look like?