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Remembrance Day

In memory of those who served…

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Thanks, Dad.

Snow and Sourdough

It just keeps coming.

After the last big dump and freezing temperatures we had one day for a good long walk.

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The conditions in winter have to be just right for our walks.  Odin and I can walk anytime, but not poor Emma, with her long hair and sensitive feet.  If it’s -10 or colder her feet get too cold and she can’t walk for very long.  She ends up just standing, and lifting one foot, then another. If it’s 0 degrees or warmer, the snow is so soft it balls up on her hair and she ends up with great big snowballs.  One day for a perfect winter walk, and then the weather changed.

It warmed up to just below freezing, and yesterday it snowed all day long.

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We are back to shovelling those critical paths.

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Where is my driveway?

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Thank goodness for John Deere…I am sure he will be here before the day is out.

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Housebound by snow, I couldn’t think of anything better to do than bake bread.

A few weeks ago I went to a workshop on baking sourdough bread.  We were given a sample sourdough starter and  I have been faithfully feeding it ever since.  Yesterday was a perfect day to try it out.  I mixed it the night before and let it sit out in room temperature overnight

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Looked pretty good the next morning.  I added the rest of the ingredients and made my loaves.

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Spelt flour and a few sunflower seeds for crunch.  I let it rise for a couple of hours and popped it in the oven.

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Ta Da!  Fresh homemade sourdough bread.

Tasted delicious for lunch with a bowl of soup.

I hear it’s supposed to be raining by next week…..

 

 

Still Here

Time to catch up and let you all know we are still here!

I surprised myself by not writing about this just after it happened, but it was such a tense and unsettling time, I couldn’t bring myself to post about it.

A couple of days after the last post of Scenes of Summer, a forest fire started near us.

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The summer had been very hot and dry, and fires were breaking out all over the province, so we had talked and planned and prepared as much as we could.  When it happened here, it was very surreal.

We got the sprinklers going on the buildings, trucks loaded with everything we couldn’t leave behind, and equipment moved into the middle of the field.  While we were doing what we could, the planes were flying above us.

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One after another they flew, a very welcome sight.

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A police car pulled into the yard with lights flashing and said we were on evacuation order and to leave.

We weren’t quite ready to leave, and the fire was moving north and not east towards us, so we stayed.  The evacuation order was lifted four days later, so we were much more fortunate than many others in the province.

A week later another fire broke out in our area.  The entire summer was spent watching and waiting, wishing for rain that never came. It was hot, hot, hot and dry.

Emma took to the water.

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It was unseasonably warm right up the end of September.

October arrived and so did hunting season.  Yes, three years ago I started hunting.  Some of you may not understand, and not want to read about it but it is part of my life now.  Lucky for you, I didn’t get a deer yet this year, only some grouse, but be forewarned…if I am successful there will be pictures and stories.

This was the year all my “great” nieces and nephews started school.  No they didn’t all start this year, but the youngest are all now in Kindergarten.  Lucky for me that means professional days for the teachers, and this October the four “greats” that live near me came and spent the day at the farm.

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It was a great day for all.

The lambs have grown from this

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to this.

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Yesterday morning I woke up to discover winter.

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From 0 to 15 inches overnight.  First thing to do was make some critical pathways.

To the woodshed, the hay barn, the generator shed,

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the chicken barn and solar panels,

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and most important…

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I have two hay feeders in the sheep pen now.  One is not enough for 8 sheep.  It never fails though, this is how they eat.

7 gather around one,

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and Cotton, the matriarch gets her own.

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One resident of the farm is enjoying the change in the weather.

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Odin is in his element.

This morning it was -18 degrees.  Brrrr especially when it comes so sudden and unexpectedly.  It caught me unprepared, but not completely.

I am very happy to have this.

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So after the floods this spring, the hot, dry, fiery summer and now the sudden attack of winter, we are still here.

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Happy to be on Morris Brook Farm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walks through the daisies.

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Cooling off in the lake.

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One batch of new chicks.

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Three weeks later, another batch.  Eight new chicks in all.

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Garden flourishing.

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Lots of homegrown food.

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Lambs growing like weeds.

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It is getting hard to tell them apart from their mothers.

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Here comes the hay.

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Lessons for the next generation.

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The three musketeers.

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It has been a good summer so far.  Everything growing and doing well.

Hope you are enjoying your summer days as much as we are!

Babies

That’s it…we are done.  All the babies are here.

Olivia had her calf, another fine-looking boy.

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He looked like Jack, so that is what we called him.  Jack 2.

Then it was Birdie’s turn, and she had a lovely little heifer.

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What a colorful pair.  Brother Tom’s grandson Jace named her Hope.

Last, but not least, Lily had a little boy.

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Look at that face, and those long, white eyelashes.  We just had to call him Patch.

I thought that was it for babies this year, but then one of the hens decided she wanted to try hatching a few chicks.

She did a good job too, these four showed up yesterday afternoon.

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We have had some pretty warm days here, but the animals are adapting.

I had to walk out and check on Paddy the other day.  I wasn’t sure if he was sleeping with the sheep, or if he was dead.

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Henry was having a hard time getting comfortable, but finally found a position that worked.

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I hope you are all enjoying the summer as much as we are!

 

Shearing Day

One of the advantages of the cool spring is that the sheep have not had to suffer hot weather while still wearing their winter coats.

Yesterday afternoon I got the call.  The shearer was on his way.

I called the sheep in from the field, they are so good about coming when called.  I put them all in the barn, babies too and closed the gate.

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They were very patient, just relaxing while we waited for the shearer.

He arrived, got set up, and lucky PJ was the first to get trimmed.

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The others all stayed back out-of-the-way, and watched the show.

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It didn’t take long for a haircut and a pedicure.

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What a difference.  I always worry a little bit that the sheep are getting too fat, but every year once they are sheared, I can relax.  It wasn’t fat, just lots of wool.

It must feel so good to have those big winter coats off.

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And now I have three bags full of wool…again.

I really must get spinning and knitting…

April 20th already, almost one whole month into spring.  This morning when I poured my second cup of coffee, I sat down with my box of seeds and starting sorting.  Time to plan the garden, and get some seeds started.

Flipping through the packages, I could taste the peas and beans, and the fresh bowl of salad.  The flowers were so beautiful and smelled lovely.

And then I looked up, and out the window.  What dream world was I in?

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It was a blizzard out there!

The red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds didn’t seem to mind, they just kept eating.

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The garden looked sad and forlorn, it was so looking forward to my company.

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As for me, I set the box of seeds aside, threw another log on the fire, and poured myself one more cup of coffee.

Spring on the calendar, and in my head and heart, but still winter outside.