Sunday, August 5, 2007

Chicken and chips

By golly I worked hard in the garden yesterday, and was so proud to get all listed tasks completed. There's something both empowering and kind of depressing in spending three hours ankle deep in chicken sh*t. I dragged the bedding out of the coop, swept out the run, washed down the walls (!) and laying boxes and spread new straw. Then, because I'm the kind of chook owner who cares, I caught the chooks and rubbed vegetable oil on their legs to get rid of what Organic Gardener magazine tells me are mites. Rubbing oil on chicken legs is just a little too intimate for me - I got a heapin' helpin' of the heebie jeebies and wonder how people can eat those scaly pins. Uggh. Yuk.

(On a related matter: the student has become the master. I couldn't actually catch the chooks - they're too quick and I flinch when beaks and talons come flying into my face. Al sent out Lu, who caught each one of them without fuss. I asked how she does it and she replied 'Just like that, Mum'; patronised by my two year old!)

(Also - can I have two sets of parentheses like this? - I think we're getting a little too lax with hygiene. My daughter stood beside me, kissing the chooks' combs and murmuring 'I love you sweetie'as I rubbed oil into their mite infested legs; even with the five second rule, I wonder if this is a biohazard too far.)

I felt really pleased with myself until I realised that now the chooks have a cleaner house and nicer legs than I do. And they're still being stingy with the eggs.


Al and I are so careful with the girls' food. It's not sophisticated fare but we eat organic, eat fresh, eat local, cook from first princples - we live all of those feel good phrases. Why is it then that at least twice a week we end up sitting on the couch, watching really bad telly and eating junk food? We'd never feed it to the kids, why do we feed it to ourselves? Al gets into his coat, searched for the keys, drives down to Coles in the very cold winter night, buys the chips and lollies,the ice cream and chocolate, and then comes home again. He does this, and I want him to so this, when we know what we eat is, in my father's useful phrase, 'gutrot'. We live a double life: right on pseudo-hippy homesteaders by day; toxic, couch dwelling potatoes by night.

On Saturday we woke up hung over from the junk food. We felt ill. We have shaken hands on a new approach: we won't eat anything we wouldn't feed the girls. Two days clean so far.

But again I ask: why is it we are so careful with our children's emotional, physical, spiritual health and so careless - more than careless, knowingly destructive - of our own?


Michelle said...

Hi Kris

Thanks for popping by and visiting my brand new blog. I just came in from the garden myself. I've been refreshing the herb garden and planted an Avocado. I'm practising for when we finally move smewhere and do the psuedo-hippy thing :-)

My kids are much older than yours and I haven't the control over their diet I used to, but I can relate to what you said about loooking after them first.

Glen said...

I'm really impressed with Lucy's chook catching abilities. Frankly they terrify me.

traceyleigh said...

We did the same on Friday night, although this time I let the children indulge too and we all woke up feeling sick. I have no control of my eldest now and my youngest is the world's worst eater..well she is your typical "no I will not eat fruit or vegetables" type of toddler (although she does have a desire for raw vegetables). Movie night here on Friday night resulted in lots and lots of popcorn and then some takeaway that I couldn't even stomach. Toddler child was feeling off all day Saturday and worried that her teeth were going to be permanently damaged by her indulgence!

Glad you had a good gardening day :-)

Kez said...

I totally agree about the junk food. I stop Billy eating it and then sneak it myself :(

BTW I've just nominated you for the Frugal Subversive Blooging Award - :)

Suse said...

I love the visual of the child crooning to the chook as she kisses its comb.

What's the 5 second rule?

Kris said...

Suse, the five second rule is this: if something drops on the floor for five seconds or less, it's clean enough to eat.

Kez, thanks for the award, though I'm not sure if I'm frugal. I can be pretty splashy with the cash when the mood strikes!

Also: 5 days without junk! And we're sleeping much better.

VictoriaE said...

Rubbing oil on the chooks legs - what a great picture that makes in my mind!!

Kate said...

Great post. Regarding the chicken and chips, it's Ok to be inconsistent -- that's what makes you human and interesting. Paragons of virtue are reeeaaaallly boring.