Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Small motors - for occasional operators

I am in no way suggesting that I am an expert on small motors, as far as I'm concerned, this is what husbands (and as a last resort, small motor mechanics) are for, however I occasionally find myself home alone and in need of using one of our many small motors.  This is intended as a short guide for occasional operators of small motors, such as myself.

Husband shows off some of our collection of small motors
(note Cheryl, bottom left, would prefer he just threw the ball)
Small motors come in two types, two-stroke and four-stroke.  It is ESSENTIAL that you know which you are dealing with if you need to re-fuel as the most important difference from an operating point of view is that a two-stroke engine needs to have oil mixed with the fuel at a specific ratio, whereas a four-stroke engine takes neat fuel (petrol or diesel) with a separate oil reservoir.  If you're interested in the more technical reasons for this (and sometimes that helps me to remember the important details) try this website.  As an example, most of our smaller motors, like the chainsaws, whipper snippers and boat motor are two stroke, whereas the ride-on mower, dam pump and mulcher are four-stroke.  A good clue is to look for an oil reservoir, this will indicate that you have a four-stroke motor.

The dam pump - we made it a little house to keep out the rain and sun
Once you've figured out what type of motor you're dealing with, you need to check the fuel level, oil level (if a four stroke) and any other important aspects, such as tyre inflation on a ride-on mower, or the amount of cord left in a whipper sinpper.  If needed top up/inflate/refill before use.  This is where I can get stuck at times if I don't know exactly how to do what's required.  My advice is, if in doubt, stop before you break something!

Next find the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).  My husband and I both work on an industrial site, so this has become second nature to us.  Apart from being able to bring home various items from work, we also feel wrong doing work without it.  The minimum is usually long pants, long sleeves, steel-capped boots, safety glasses, hearing protection, sun protection and gloves.  For the whipper snipper we also sometimes use goggles and/or a visor depending on the work.  I see lots of people whipper snipping in thongs/jandles and shorts, I can't believe it, I would not feel comfortable doing that, I recommend you invest in some decent PPE and look after it, it may save your fingers, toes, eyesight or your life one day.

Appropriate PPE is essential for safe work
After you've checked everything and suited up, you're ready to start the engine.  Most engines start best with the choke on (unless they have just been running, say after refueling) as this restricts air access to the engine and with a fuel-rich mixture it can get started more easily.  If its not an electric start, you have to pull the cord to get the motor turning over until it can sustain itself.  Some two-strokes will also need you to pump in a little fuel to get it started, not too much though!  Best to press the fuel bulb only once or twice and put some more in later if that's not enough, otherwise you will flood it and have to wait for the fuel to drain back out.  Generally you also hold the throttle on a little bit for a two-stroke as you start it as well (our whipper snipper and chainsaws have a clip to hold down the throttle the right amount, otherwise you'll have to do this manually).  Now you pull the cord a few times until the motor turns over, then open the choke and pull the cord again until the motor starts.  You may need to repeat this a number of times if its a fiddly one, our large whipper snipper usually needs to be thrown to the ground and sworn at before it will start.  Chez also finds it helps to bark encouragement at this stage.

An excited Kelpie is just what you need if the motor won't start
(she likes chasing push bikes too)
Once the motor is running you can adjust the throttle and off you go, it shouldn't give you any trouble until it runs out of fuel.

Any tips for working with small motors?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flowers in my garden

I've never been a flower gardener, my garden is all about eating, however I do recognise the importance of flowers in the vege garden for attracting bees and beneficial insects.  I think there's three kinds of flowers in my garden at the moment:
  1. The perennials: things like comfrey, arrowroot, sage, and lavender are flowering at the moment and they are the good flowers, because they let you know that the plant is happy enough in its surroundings to flower for you.
  2. The annuals: these are the bad flowers, these make you think "oh crap, you're bolting to seed and I haven't planted any seeds yet to replace you".  At the moment that would be the parsley and the broccoli, and over the past few months have also included lettuce and rocket.  The only consolation is at least you get to keep the seeds!  And they do look rather pretty.
  3. The plants that you actually want to flower: plants like peas, beans zucchini and tomato that you NEED to flower so you can grow your veges (of course then they're technically fruit) and I've indulged and planted some marigolds, calendula and nasturtiums, they so cheerful, and supposed to be good for the soil in various ways themselves :)
top row: lavender, comfrey, arrowroot, marigold, pea, bottom row: broccoli, sage, tomato, bean and zucchini
What's flowering in your garden at the moment?

Read more about seed saving here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Raucous Roosters

If you have a civilized city flock of hens, you might not have had the pleasure of watching a rooster looking after his girls.  Both our roosters pay the hens close attention, they can usually be seen wandering around the yard with at least one or two hens following.  Whenever the rooster finds something to eat he has a special cluck to call his ladies over to share the treat.  He has another call to warn of danger, and he goes running to any hen that calls out in trouble.  One of our roosters used to wait each evening until all his hens were up on the roost before he would jump up to sleep there too.  Roosters can be over protective to the point that it can be difficult to collect the eggs without being attacked on entry to the pens.  None of ours are that bad at the moment, but we have been attacked a couple of times when we got too close, so it pays to stay a healthy distance in case they get the wrong idea.  However, one rooster we had used to play "chicken" with the dog, I could never tell if the rooster was enjoying the game, but Cheryl sure was, they would run at each other and see who turned back first, I think Chez had a few pecks to the nose as a result, but her tail never stopped wagging.

The right corner: Ivan the White Leghorn - check out that beautiful tail!

And in the left corner: Randy the Rhode Is Red - Ivan's arch enemy
Sometimes I wonder if the roosters really are, or in fact even should be, the leaders of the flock.  They seem to be less intelligent than the hens, or possibly they don't see as well, its hard to tell.  They are ALWAYS the last to to figure out how to get out of the cage when I open the door.  After all the hens are out and pecking around in the grass, the rooster is calling out to them and still trying to figure it out, sometimes for several minutes.

We usually keep several roosters for our breeding program, at the moment we have three, each with a small flock of 3-4 hens, and at times we have even more if we're raising cockerels to eat as well.  The roosters have to be kept separate as they have a habit of FIGHTING TO THE DEATH if they get close enough to each other.  Our three roosters are separated by chicken mesh fences, but this doesn't stop them challenging each other.  I'm not sure if they have really short memories, but they seem to be really surprised to see each other each time they are out of their cages.  On an almost daily basis, Randy the Rhode Island Red will spot Ivan the White Leghorn on the other side of the fence and launch an attack.  This involves running at full speed toward the fence.  Anyone who has seen a rooster running at full speed will know how funny this looks, head down, tail up, wings aerodynamically folded down and the lurch from side to side that only happens at high speed.  When they get to the fence they face each other and mirror each other's movements, bobbing up and down, eyes locked, until one of them, usually Ivan, loses interest and wanders away.  Randy then spends several minutes patrolling up and down the fence and calling out to the other rooster (probably calling him chicken), until he realises that he looks like a fool and wanders away too.  If the fence wasn't there, the resulting fight (and we have a had a few when roosters have sneaked around/through the fence) involves much frenzied wing-flapping and kicking.  Once separated, the roosters are often bleeding from their combs, panting heavily, but determined to continue the fight at the first opportunity (did I mention that they're stupid?).

ah ha!  there he is, now if I can just get through this fence we can sort it out once and for all!
I know people that keep multiple roosters in contact with each other, but we have not been able to do that with the Rhode Island Red roosters, they're always too aggressive.  However, when he are raising cockerels to eat, we can keep 6-8 of them in a cage together.  At first we used to let them out to free range, but they started fighting when they were let out.  We found that they didn't fight when they were in close quarters together, only when they were let out, so that was the end of free-ranging the cockerels.

Roosters are well known for their crowing at dawn, however this is a fallacy, our roosters crow all day, replying to each other and to neighbour's roosters, although they are most vocal at dawn.  They also occasionally crow during the night is we have a particularly full moon.  Usually this doesn't affect my sleep, but sometimes we unfortunately position the cages so that they channel the sound towards our bedroom window.   The other problems is the occasions when I forget to lock up the chickens at night time.  We are usually alerted to this mistake by early morning clucking around our window and then the rooster will start crowing.  I don't know if he knows where we are, but he always seems to find that outside our window is a great place to crow.  He also likes the carport, I think he finds the acoustics pleasing.  If its a weekday morning, this results in both of us jumping out of bed and rushing outside to attempt to herd the chickens back to their cage so that they will be safely locked away (from the elderly killer Kelpie dogs) while we're at work.  If you've tried to herd chickens, you will know that they don't herd well, actually we find it ends up being more effective to lure them back to their cage with food, often meat scraps or bread will coax most of them back inside.

The first crows of a young cockerel are quite unnerving.  The first time we raised a clutch of chicks and they were old enough to go outside in a cage, after a few nights I heard the strangest sound, like something was being strangled out in the paddock.  It was ones of those wide-awake - ohmygodwhatwasthat? - moments, but luckily my husband stayed calm and collected, "its just the baby rooster" he mumbled, half asleep.  Over the next few days the cries got louder and more like a proper crow, its interesting now to hear the crows develop, each is slightly different and we can recognise each rooster by his crow.

Roosters have a habit of getting up high.  I don't know if this makes them feel bigger, better able to survey the terrain or they just like climbing, but I will often look out the window to see them crowing from the top of a hay pile, the kitchen steps or anything else they can find.  My husband had a particularly nasty rooster (who was eaten before I had a chance to meet him) that apparently had a personal vendetta against my husband.  On several occasions, my husband would look out the window to find himself face to face with this rooster that had climbed (most like hopping and half-flying) half way up a trestle that my husband was using to paint the house.  Needless to say, this rooster didn't last long!

Any good rooster stories?

By the way, my chicken eBook is now available if you want to know more about backyard chickens and using chicken tractors.  More information over at the chicken tractor ebook blog.  Or you can get it directly from my shop on Etsy (.pdf format), or Amazon Kindle or just send me an email eight.acres.liz {at}

What's the eBook about?
Chickens in a confined coop can end up living in an unpleasant dust-bowl, but allowing chickens to free-range can result in chickens getting into gardens and expose them to predators.

 A movable cage or “chicken tractor” is the best of both options – the chickens are safe, have access to clean grass, fresh air and bugs. Feed costs are reduced, chickens are happier, and egg production increases. 

 But how do you build a chicken tractor? What aspects should be considered in designing and using a chicken tractor effectively? In this eBook I aim to explain how to make a chicken tractor work for you in your environment to meet your goals for keeping chickens. 

I also list what I have learnt over 10 years of keeping chickens in tractors of various designs and sizes, from hatching chicks, through to butchering roosters.

Reviews of the Design and Use a Chicken Tractor

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How (and why) to drink herbal tea

I've always thought that tea bags were wasteful, so I was pretty happy a few years ago to find out I could use a "tea ball". You can get them from speciality tea places, or any kitchen-ware place would stock them these days. It just means that you can scoop up some tea leaves and brew a single cup of tea in your mug instead of using a teabag or a teapot. Its quicker, it reduces mess and waste AND loose leaf tea is cheaper than tea bags. I have a cup of tea using my tea ball every morning at work. I was thinking about posting about this a while ago and then Rhonda from Down to Earth wrote about something similar, so that saves me explaining all the details of tea balls vs tea bags!

Rhonda wrote about black tea, but I don't drink black tea, because the caffeine doesn't agree with me at all (get the shakes, can't sleep, etc).  I stick to herbal teas.  Nourishing Traditions recommends drinking herbal teas, both as an alternative to obvious bad choices (sugary drinks, black tea, coffee, pasteurised milk) and even to plain water, as they contain some of the minerals that are essential for healthy bodies.

Herbal teas also contain something called "phytochemicals", these are chemicals found in plants that interact with the human body.  Although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of what the various herbs are traditionally known to do (just google "herbal tea"), the actual chemical interactions are not well understood or proven by conventional research.  This means that it is possible to get sick or die from drinking too much of the wrong tea.  This only proves to me that herbs can be used as gentle "medicine" to alter body chemistry, and that they deserve a certain amount of respect.  I have had some teas where I could feel the difference after I drank them, and some have even had side-effects that I didn't feel comfortable with, just another situation where its important to listen to the signs from your body.

I am not sophisticated enough to know which herb to use in each situation, or have a wide variety of different herbs in my garden (yet), but as I only have one cup of tea in the morning, I think a "detox" or "refresh" teas is just what I need to start the day. When I'm at home, I pick mint and spearmint from my garden and put a few leaves into the tea ball.  If I was more organised I would take fresh leaves to work as well, but in the meantime.  My mother-in-law has a lovely Lemon Myrtle tree and when I'm at their place I usually have a few leaves of that in my mug to make a refreshing tea.  Even in summer when its too hot for tea, I enjoy chilled herbal tea (or I just let it go cold in my mug until its comfortable to drink).

Unfortunately much of the research into phytochemicals (for example)  is in regards to extracting these chemicals, understanding their impact on the body and producing them as commercial drugs.  This makes me cringe!  I think we are always better to use these chemicals in their natural form, where there may be other chemicals in the plant that compliment or reduce any negative effects.  The rest of the research seems to be reports of the side effects of overdosing on herbal teas, as if the researchers want to scare us from using them rather than help us to find sensible doses or at least understand the effects.

Do you drink herbal tea?  What is your favourite combination?

See more about the teas I make using herbs that I grow.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tanning a hide

The hide from the steer that we had butchered in June (Bruce) had been lying on the floor of our shed for several months, covered in salt and waiting for us to start working on tanning it. We had been putting off the job because we remembered how much work it was last time, but we finally got around to it a few weeks ago.
Bruce, and his massive steer hide.
Tanning a hide is hard work, so if you're going to do it, you need to be organised and prepared to put some time into it, but if you do a good job you can produce a lovely rug (or useful leather if that's more your thing). We like to think that we are using as much of the animal as possible, and even though our first tanning attempt didn't turn out perfectly, we still use the hide cut in half, one half on each side of our bed, which is lovely on a cold winter morning! And as one of my tanning books says "every time you tan you will get a better result as you will have more experience", so we hoped that this hide would turn out better and maybe with the help of this post you will have a head-start too.

We have now tanned two steer hides, and even though I'm not very experienced, I wanted to write this because there isn't much information available on the internet on steer hides. If anyone reading this has something to add from personal experiences with tanning, please do, I'm not claiming to know everything on the topic, I'm just recording what we did. We also have two books, which are not the best references, but are better than nothing. These are 'Leathercraft', by RM Williams, which is mostly about working with leather and has a small jumbled chapter on tanning at the start, and 'Tan Your Hide', which is from the US and early 70s, mostly about small hides, but has given us a few tips on steer hides. I think because there are so many different methods of tanning, its been a challenge to write about them all in one book, and this had led to very confusing instructions! There's also not one best way to do it, it will just depend on your access to resources and time. Its certainly been difficult to find a modern Australian account of tanning a steer hide.

This is the method that we have pieced together for tanning our two steer hides:

The Tanning Process
Tanning is the process of modifying the protein structure of an animal skin so that it will not naturally decompose. There are many different ways to tan hides, depending on the size, the intended purpose and whether you want to retain the hair or fur.

The steps we have used to attempt to create rugs are:
  • Drying and salting - leave the hide stretched out, fur side down, covered in coarse table salt (sodium chloride) for several weeks until dry 
  • Fleshing - with the hide draped over a log, fur side down, use blunt tools to scrape the fat from the hide 
  • Washing - soak the hide in detergent and water for several hours to remove the last of the fat/grease and any dirt, blood etc 
  • Tanning - soak the hide in a tanning solution for several days (we used a chrome tanning solution) 
  • Breaking - remove the hide from the tanning solution, rinse, break the hide by stretching over a frame and working with a blunt tool 
What to organise before you tan a hide 
  • a dry safe place to spread out the hide 
  • 20-25 kg of salt
  • remember to tell the butcher so that he doesn't damage the hide 
If you are having a beast butchered on your property, you will need to dispose of all the waste, including the hide. If you would like to tan the hide instead of burying or burning it, you need to tell the butcher, so that he can cut the hide away from the flesh without putting any holes in it. As soon as possible when the hide is removed from the carcass it needs to be spread out hair side down, somewhere dry and away from potential predators (including the family dog, Cheryl tried to gnaw on the our first one, but it was too heavy for her to move!). We spread our hide out in the shed, on a frame of roofing iron, surrounded by mouse bait. You need to put salt on the hide immediately, so have a 20-25 kg bag ready. This can be purchased from rural supplies stores, especially if they cater to horses. Just sprinkle the salt so that it covers the entire flesh side of the hide, this should draw out the moisture and start to cure the hide. Once the hide is safe and dry and covered in salt, you can leave it for weeks, even months, especially in winter, until you have the rest of the equipment organised. In fact, we left the second hide longer and found it far easier to work with, so its worth just leaving it until you're ready for the next step, because here comes the hard work!
The fresh hide out on the shed floor to dry
this is the frame we made later for drying the hide
Equipment you will need for tanning
  • a blunt tool for fleshing 
  • a large log (or similar) for fleshing 
  • a large watertight non-metallic container (we used an old wheelie bin) 
  • detergent 
  • tanning solution 
  • frame for breaking the hide 
The first step is to drape the hide over the log and use a blunt tool to scrape all the fat off the skin. We have the log on the ground and straddle the log to stop the hide from sliding around (at times this involves sitting on the hide, wear old clothes, you will stink of beef fat, but your skin will be silky smooth!). The drier the hide, the easier this is, but you will always have some large wet chunks to remove. This time we tried scraping the hide completely, and allowing it to continue drying for a few weeks, under salt, as we weren't quite ready to tan.
it was a huge hide, so we weren't worried about trimming off some daggy bits

after several months the hide has dried out ready to flesh
scraping the fat off the hide
When you're happy with the amount of fleshing, its time to soak it in detergent to remove the grease, this is where you need a large container, such as an old wheelie bin (you can buy these from rural stores), but it shouldn't be metal, as that will react with the tanning solution, enamel is ok though. Its important to consider your timing at this point, as the soaked hide should then go into the tanning solution after soaking for a few hours or a day, and then as soon as its finished tanning you need to start breaking it. Its best to leave the fleshed hide until you know you will have time to complete each step. On the first hide we didn't work out the timing and ended up leaving it in the tanning solution for 2 weeks before we had time to break it, we think that's one reason why it came out so tough.

Wheelie bin with tanning solution and hide
After the hide has soaked for several hours it can be rinsed and then placed into the tanning solution. We used a Leder chrome tanning kit purchased from our local gun shop for about $100. I was hoping that it would come with some further instructions, but it didn't! It just contained the tanning solution, the 'leather lube' and a fleshing tool. We kept the solution from last time, so we just reused it for the second hide, which doesn't seem to have been a problem (there's no reason for it to "go off" if its sitting in the wheelie bin with the lid on). You can also make the tanning solution from the individual ingredients - chromium sulphate, aluminium sulphate and sulphuric acid - if I can get hold of them, as it should work out cheaper. Its also possible to buy the tanning solution separately to the kit, see here. According to RM Williams, its also important to keep stirring the tanning solution to make sure it penetrates the skin completely, he suggests to make a small cut in the skin to check that its soaked through before removing the hide from the tanning solution. The hide should then be rinsed and then the hard work of breaking begins.

The aim of breaking the hide is to stretch the fibres of the hide so that the final result is a soft and supple leather. On the first hide we didn't really understand how to do this and just spread the hide out on the log and scrapped it again, the same as the fleshing step. This didn't really work, and is probably the other reason why it is still a bit stiff. The methods described in the books above are a bit vague and mainly refer to small hides, but they do have the common feature of stretching the hide in some way and either passing a blunt instrument over the hide or passing the hide over the blunt instrument, in order to stretch it in every direction. After a long think about how to apply these principles to our large, heavy steer hide, the best solution we could think of was to stretch the hide over a large gate, prop it up on axle stands and......jump on it like a trampoline! I have to give my husband full credit for this one, I would never have thought of jumping on it! He was first up and bouncing up and down like a kid before I was game to step up too. As we were jumping we could see the hide stretching, and periodically we hopped off and moved the tek screws to keep the hide taught. This took most of the morning and the gate will never be the same again (don't worry, it was a freebie).
steer-hide trampoline anyone?
We then washed the dirty boot marks off the hide using a pressure cleaner and applied the "leather lube" left over from the last hide. The minimal instructions stressed the need to apply sufficient lube, so we weren't stingy! In future I'd like to use a recipe of neatsfoot oil and tallow, as this is recommended in the books, I assume that the lube is just a cheap moisturiser type lotion (that's what it smelled and looked like).
the hide smeared in leather lube
Finally we put the whole thing back in the shed to dry out and crossed our fingers that all the hard work would pay off and we would end up with a lovely soft steer hide rug! Actually it was a huge improvement over the first hide. The first one was so stiff we couldn't roll it up like a rug, its like cardboard. This one is soft enough to roll.  We've spread it out on the lounge floor and I often sit on the rug instead of the couch.

finished product :)

Have you ever tanned a hide?  Any suggestions?  Do you think you'd like to try?

See more details on how we tanned this hide here, and then how we used a grinder wire brush to speed up the fleshing step here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Farm update - November 2011

Spring is such a lovely time of year here, the cold weather is gone, with some nice warm days, but its not too hot to move yet.  The evenings are still cool and comfortable.  But the weather is warm enough to see some real growth in the garden.  Unfortunately this applies to both desirable veges and weeds!  This week I have spent each afternoon after work moving wheel-barrow loads of mulch hay that was not good enough for our fussy cow.  The garden is now covered in a layer of weed-suppressing, water-retaining, ground-cooling, fertility-enhancing mulch.  Everything is looking very tidy, but that won't last, I'm sure the spring/summer growth will take over again soon and it will be the same tangled mess I had last year, which is quite alright as long as I get some good veges to eat!

I have a mix of old faithfuls and a few new things that I'm trying this year.  In terms of planning, it is very minimal, I've seen some fabulous garden plans on various blogs (here and here), but I'm not a planner.  Too often the seeds I plant don't sprout, or too many sprout, or the plants produce so much more than expected, or just die and have to be removed and I really don't know how much to plant yet, so planning doesn't work for me.  I just put things where there's a space for them and try to remember what I had there last year and rotate it all a bit if I can.  And try to mix things up as much as possible to the bugs get confused :)

Anyway, in the garden this summer are old faithfuls........
  • tomatoes (some from seed and some from the compost)
  • mini capsicum that survived the frost
  • crazy poor mans bean that survived the frost and two others that popped up near it :)
  • normal beans that I planted (bush and climbing) from seeds that I saved from previous years
  • zucchini and squash
  • lettuce - lots of it for summer salads :)
  • silverbeet - still going from winter, got to love it when its the only thing growing
  • spring onions (will be planting some more as soon as the seed heads are ready!)
  • some garlic that sprouted in the cupboard and I planted and forgot about, but seems to be growing again
  • broccoli that is still going from winter and looking far better now actually
  • basil and parsley to compliment my oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme and various mints and comfrey
  • lavender and marigolds for a bit of colour :)
......and some new veges that I'm trying for the first time:
  • corn (I tried this one before and it all got eaten by bugs, trying again with better soil)
  • potatoes (same as above)
  • pickling cucumbers (ie gherkins, I'll be needed your recipe mum!)
  • eggplant (was successful in previous years, but still feel like an amateur with this one)
  • a chili plant that I hope has sprouted successfully

The chickens are laying reasonably, some of them are getting a bit old, but they all look the same, so its hard to tell which are the old ones.  We have done one run in the fancy new incubator and hatched 2 chicks from 48 eggs, so doing a bit of troubleshooting, will post more on that later, but the little chicks are doing well and very cute.

they fell asleep in my lap when I had them out for "cuddles"

The cattle are now all together in one herd of 5, they love being together, but they do get up to mischief.  We've put them all up in our top paddock, which is between the road and the house yard, so we have to drive through there to get to the house.  The other day I parked the car outside the gate and went to talk to our neighbour.  When I got back the cattle were all standing on the other side of the gate staring at the car.  I had to do an interesting manoeuvre to get back in the gate without them all escaping, I hope nobody was watching as I ran from the car to the gate and gate to the car trying to get there before the cattle worked out what was going on!

My husband has been working 12 hr shifts, 6 days out of 7 on a maintenance shutdown, so I have been house mother and doing all the animals, meals and gardening myself (which of course I don't mind) but I'm sorry to anyone that I owe emails, I have been getting behind!  However, I have finally got a chance to do some blog updates, and with my cousin staying one weekend and taking some lovely photos, I've updated the banner, so check that out if you only look at the emails, and I've added a few summary pages to help with navigation.

I hope you've enjoyed my posts celebrating our first wedding anniversary and please feel free to add your own to my simple wedding linking post.

Cheryl sat very nicely for photos as her ball was just behind the photographer
Chime had to bribed with food, and she won't sit still!

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