21 December 2011

House Sitting

Christmas time

For ten days, Sam and I are house sitting for two families.  The first gig is on the south side of Christchurch, on what is called a "lifestyle block" or "farmlet."  We are taking care of Bella, the elderly bird hound, 7 alpacas, 15-20 chickens, and a partridge in a pear tree.  Okay, I made up that last one.

Fresh eggs

I've never given much thought to owning chickens before coming to New Zealand, but now I see it as a must for our future home.  Chickens are curious and cute, not to mention productive!  Kate & Jason get an average of 15 eggs a day from their free range birds, and they sell the extras to neighbors and friends.  And as they live with a family of vegetarians, these chickens have a nice retirement ahead of them when their laying days are over.

Follow the leader
Where Sam goes, the chickens follow.

The alpacas have been freshly shorn, leaving them looking leggier than usual.  I especially like the legwarmers of wool left at their ankles.

Holy alpacas
Holy alpacas

In the evenings, we have been visited by the cutest (and only) wild hedgehog I've ever seen.


Kate & Jason's

We have been blessed with some beautiful days, and today we got out in the garden for a while.


Next we will be house sitting for Chris & Paula, who hosted us last week.  They're a very cool young family and we had a lot of fun during our week with them.  We'll be HelpXing with them for a few more days after house sitting, into the new year, so they'll be our first hosts of 2012.

Produce stand
Sam added handles & casters to this produce cart for Chris & Paula

Sam enjoyed doing some handyman jobs for Chris & Paula, while I worked on scraping, sanding & repainting a bedroom in their house. He got to use his new table saw, which he built* using scraps at Bill's workshop in Nelson.  He can attach his portable Skilsaw to the underside and it magically becomes a table saw!

Sam's DIY table saw

*My husband is awesome.


jbecker said...

You are both awesome, however, I must admit I was,also, thinking how Sam is very awesome after reading about the makeshift tablesaw. Very jealous about the fresh eggs.

Jeannie said...

As always, I enjoy your pictures AND your story-telling. The people seem to be pressing on, bouncing back after the devestating quakes. Makes me think of the gulf coast here where they are advertising heavily promoting tourism. It's breathing life back into the economy that was was SO hurt by the BP disaster.

Kristen said...

Thanks, both of you! Jane, we got 20 eggs today. I'm going to bake a cake to use a few.

Rosa said...

You found a great husband! The picture of the chickens following Sam was pretty adorable. :)