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?