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winter!

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The brown fields and grasses are slowly being dusted by white.

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Just the other day the sun was shining and the “icing sugar” was only on the mountain tops.

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I was able to spend time trimming the lavender and lamb’s ears in the warmth of the sun.  Quite unusual for the middle of November.

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The cows and sheep were still grazing and resting in the fields.

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Isn’t he a handsome fella?  It always amazes me how fast they grow.

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I guess it’s a good thing, because that means there is less time to get attached to them.

Tomorrow some of the sheep and Jack, the steer, will be “leaving” the farm.

I know some of you would prefer not to hear about that (you can stop reading now if you like) but it is part of life here and I would be sugar-coating things if I only talked about all the happy days and sunny ways of life on the farm.

In order for the freezer to be filled, there has to be one difficult day.

I once read a story about a farmer who was being questioned and judged for raising his own meat.  His reply has always stayed with me, and I like to think it applies to this little farm too.

“My animals are well cared for, and have a wonderful life on this farm, and they only ever have one bad day.”

I will be glad when that day is over.

 

 

I let time slip away from me again!  I can’t believe my last post was in September.  Where did the time go?

I did take a trip to see Brother Bill and the fall colours were spectacular.

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I have also been on many, many walks with the dogs.  Again, enjoying the fall colour.

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Buck’s markings look like he is wearing a necklace.

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Odin even joined us on a couple of the walks.  Most times, he stays home and waits for us to come back.

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We have had quite a bit of rain too, the creeks that had dried up are flowing again.

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There were even a couple of frosty mornings,

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turning the fields white and crunchy.

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For the most part, October was quite warm.  While I enjoyed the weather, I didn’t enjoy the things that came with it.

Do you remember my sun room/greenhouse?

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It has turned into a sanctuary. Unfortunately, not for me,

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but for flies.

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So disgusting, and disappointing.  I had visions of myself sitting out there, enjoying the warmth and protection from the wind.  I guess that will still happen, once the cooler weather stays around, and I can get all the fly corpses cleaned up.

There has been one very interesting change on the farm.

Last year I had included a rooster in my chicken flock.  This past summer the 4 am crowing, and the attacks on the hens became too much, and the rooster went in the soup pot.

I was left with five hens.

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Over the past few months, I have noticed some strange sounds coming from the chicken pen in the early hours of the morning.  It kind of sounded like a rooster learning to crow.  That wasn’t possible though, the rooster was gone.

As time went on the crowing attempts became more frequent, and I was able to identify the source.  The black hen.  What was going on?  She was a hen, not a rooster.  Hens don’t crow.  Or do they?  Early yesterday morning, before daylight I was able to capture the crowing in a recording.  Have a listen.

Crowing Hen

So my hen is crowing like a rooster, and for the past couple of weeks has stopped laying eggs.

What has happened? Has the rooster returned and taken over the body of the hen?  Did the hen really miss the rooster and try to fill his boots?

Or maybe she has made a very personal decision, and has come out of the chicken barn.

What do you think??

 

 

 

 

Puddle Cousins

Thank goodness for Pro D days at school.  An opportunity for the three dudes to visit the farm again…this time with the leader of the pack.

It all started with games on the leader’s tablet.

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It was wet and rainy but they wanted to go out, so I sent them out to the hay barn. I knew they  would stay dry there.

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That was my theory anyway.  The next time I looked out the window to check on them, what did I see???

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All four of them out in the rain jumping in puddles.  So much for keeping them dry.

Call them back inside for story time with Uncle Tom/Grandpa.

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The story seemed to keep changing but the cousins didn’t seem to mind.

They worked up an appetite laughing.

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The rain had stopped, and the bellies were full.  It was time for a walk.

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What is it with the puddles???

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They had to hit every one we came across.

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Then we found the best puddle of all…the lake.

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The mud around the lake was just like quicksand.  One of the dudes got stuck and wasn’t able to move.

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The face said it all, “Help me!”

Good thing the cousins were there to answer his call.

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They pulled, and pulled to no avail.  Those boots were not budging.  I had to put the camera down and help.

Time to leave that puddle and continue the walk,

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making our way home.

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Tired cousins and tired dogs,

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A perfect end to a perfect day.

 

 

I don’t like flying, so travelling by air always entails quite a lot of angst and second thoughts, but road trips have always appealed to me.

Maybe I come by it naturally. We had a couple of uncles who were well-known for hitting the road and heading off by themselves, camping along the way.

Although I am not really much of a traveller, there are places I would like to see.  Cypress Hills in Saskatchewan, Waterton Lakes National Park, Hay River and Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, and the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, just to name a few.

A road trip seems the best way to get there, and the idea of camping along the way appeals.

I have a truck and a canopy, but the canopy leaks and isn’t very secure.  A camper is just too big and cumbersome.  The perfect solution seemed like a camperette, so I have been keeping my eye out for one.

Well the other day the perfect one turned up.  Just what I wanted and within my price range.

So I bought it, and brought it home.

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It fits quite nicely on the back of my truck, and isn’t too much bigger than my canopy.  It even came with this handy foot stool.

A nice size bed that makes up in to a table.

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A little furnace for those cool times, lights, a fan and a few cupboards,

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and even a little ice box fridge.

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So there it is…if I really want to take a camping road trip, I can.

I have the winter to think about it.  To see if I have the courage to actually make a plan and head out on the road like my uncles.

Or maybe it’s just a pipe dream, and there will be a nice little camperette coming for sale next spring.

Only time will tell…

 

Hoarding?

“Compulsive hoarding, also known as hoarding disorder, is a pattern of behaviour that is characterized by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.” (Definition provided by Wikipedia)

I have never thought of myself as a hoarder. I have no problem getting rid of things I don’t need.  Sometimes I am too quick to dispose of something, and later find myself wishing I had kept it.

There is one area of my life though, I am beginning to suspect, might fit the definition of hoarding.

It all began when I moved to Morris Brook Farm, and the fateful day I brought my first sheep home.

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That wonderful woolly creature. No, I am not hoarding sheep.  I have no problem getting rid of the lambs as they grow, or even the ewes if they aren’t working out.

It is the wool.

I love the wool.  I love everything about it.

I love it when it is growing on their backs out in the summer fields.

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I love to see it coming off in huge fleeces when the shearer is here.

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I love spreading the fleeces out in the spring sunshine and picking all the burrs, weeds and nasty bits out.

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This year I even drove it out to the Custom Woolen Mill in Alberta to have it washed, carded and made into rovings and batts.

The smell of the steamy wet wool as I toured the mill brought tears of joy to my eyes.

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The other day I received the call from the bus station.  There was a parcel for me.

It was like Christmas morning, even though I knew exactly what I would find in that big package.

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Wool.  Lots and lots of wool.

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More wool…exactly like all the rest of the wool stored in my house.

The loft storage space is full,

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and the living room is collecting its share too.

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Bags and bags of wonderful wool!  I just can’t seem to bring myself to say “enough”.  I have sufficient rovings to keep me spinning and knitting and felting for years.  I have sufficient batts for numerous pillows and quilts.

Yet every year when the sheep are sheared, I send the wool away to be processed so I can add it to my collection.

So am I becoming a wool hoarder?  Or is it too late, and I am already there.

I fit the “excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home” part of the definition, but it does not yet “cause significant distress or impairment”.

So for now I will carry on, enjoying the sheep and all their wool until my home begins to look like…

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the storage room at the Custom Woolen Mill.

Then I might have to seriously consider the question again.

 

 

Here it is, the end of August.  Summer is coming to an close and the signs are everywhere.

The flower pots around my deck are starting to look very tired.

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Or maybe it is just me that is getting tired of watering them.

The garden has received some good rains so the flowers there are still doing well.

A bed of bachelor buttons,

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echinacea,

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hollyhocks,

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and a sure sign of the end of August,IMG_5026

sunflowers.

The vegetables are still doing well too.  I have been enjoying potatoes, carrots and swiss chard.

The beans will be ready to pick any day now.

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They are late this year because the first planting froze out.

I also have some new lettuce that is almost ready to eat.

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Whether or not I will be able to enjoy all these vegetables depends on not getting caught by a sudden frost.  That is a very real possibility.

The trees and shrubs are starting to turn color.

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It is very noticeable on our walks.

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The green isn’t as bright and has a yellow tinge to it.

The sheep are still enjoying the fields though.

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Another sure sign is the sight of smoke across the field on the cooler mornings.  Not from a forest fire, thank goodness, but from a wood stove taking the chill off the cabin.

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Such a good idea I had to try it myself.

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Now that is a welcome sight and feel.

I am sure there are still some warm summer days ahead, but the end of August always feels like a turning point.

Get ready for fall…it’s on its way.

Morris Brook Farm was pretty lively the past two days.  Three great-nephews arrived for a sleep-over and it was not-stop activity.

It started yesterday with a trip to a local creek.  Grab the gold pans and start shovelling the sand in.

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Then down to the creek to add some water,

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and start swirling and looking for gold.

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Once all the gold was found, it was time for the three Dudes (or is that four?) to build a dam across the creek.

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The water rises as the dam goes up.  I don’t think those boots are going to keep the water out!

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So what do you do once your boots are full?

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That’s right.  Sit on the ground, raise your leg and let the water run out your boot, and all over your pants and shirt.

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That didn’t stop the others from doing the same thing…first one…

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and then the other.

So now your shirt is wet and doesn’t feel so nice.

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Might as well take it off!

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That feels better, now you can really enjoy the water.

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Oh oh, looks like we have one hold out.  Come on take that shirt off!

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That’s more like it, three shirtless dudes enjoying the creek.

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Today brought a whole new bunch of adventures.  An early morning walk with a little rock climbing thrown in.

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Wait a minute…some one else likes to climb rocks too!

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Now what could possibly be so interesting?

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You probably can’t see it, but it is a helicopter drone.  I tried to get pictures of it in flight but wasn’t very successful.

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Pictures or not, the three dudes spent some time flying (and crashing) the helicopter.

The three dudes (or is it four?) then headed off to the cabin across the field.  I didn’t find out until later what they were doing over there.

Check it out!

What do you think? A future in the music industry?

Then it was off to the sand pit.

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Dump trucks, loaders and shovels.

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What to do when your shoes fill up with sand?

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Take them off, of course.  I think he would be pretty good at the tree pose in yoga.  No problem standing on one foot!

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Bare feet work so much better in the sand.

All that shovelling and road building worked up a bit of an appetite.

Time for the three (or is that four?) dudes to have a break and a snack.

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Pretty scary looking bunch!

Last of all, a visit to Morris Brook Farm wouldn’t be complete without a quad ride.

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Don’t worry, the fourth Dude was driving!

And that ended the visit…the three Dudes went home to their Moms and Dads with lots of stories to tell.

A great time was had by all…we’ll have to do it again soon!