Archive for May, 2012

Musical Memory Lane

I am the youngest of five children and over our childhood and adolescence we each listened to and collected our own choices of music.  Well…maybe not Dan…I don’t remember him spending too much money on music.  Anyway, one by one my sister and brothers all grew up and moved away from home, most often leaving their music behind (all on LP’s of course).

I was the last to leave the nest and I gathered up the whole collection and took it with me.  For many years I had a record player (remember what that is?) and would occasionally play them.  Eventually the record player died, and new music was bought on 8 Tracks, Cassettes, CD’s and now digital downloads.

The records stayed with me though.  I can’t count how many times I packed and unpacked them as I moved from place to place.Each time they are brought out and placed in the bottom shelf of one of my many bookshelves.  I kept them out even knowing I didn’t have a way to play them.

When I moved into my cabin I debated whether I should keep them or try to sell them.  I sat down one day and counted and there are over 250 albums.

Yesterday I bought a turntable that allows me to play and or transfer the LP’s to a file on my computer.  After that I can save them to an IPOD or a CD or simply play them on my computer.

Last night I hooked it all up and sat down and played some of the old albums.

Listening to the old albums was a real trip down memory lane.  Sometimes I just had to laugh and wonder what ever possessed me to buy the album in the first place. Other times I was transported back in time and the old feelings came rushing up. Joy,sadness, freedom, youth, possibilities, uncertainty,love  and loneliness.  Music holds a lot of memories and sometimes it is good to take that trip back.

I think I will keep them for a while longer.

Read Full Post »

Breakfast Anyone?

It doesn’t take long to establish a routine, and all the creatures at Morrisbrook Farm have learned that when I step out the door in the morning it means breakfast.  First to feed are the birds…yes that is plural!

The hummingbirds are early feeders..I can hear them buzzing around before I am out of bed.

The sheep scamper around my feet until I put out a bundle of hay for them…Garcon seems more interested in the camera than the hay.

Olivia is growing up and has graduated from drinking her milk out of a nipple to straight out of the bucket.  This is a big step for her and it makes it soooo much easier and faster!

The appearance of the pink bucket brings Style and Onyx trotting to the front gate.  They each get a couple of handfuls of crunchies…and Emma has a little appetizer too.

Onyx always asks for more….

Then it’s back into the house and Emma enjoys her turn.

Once everyone is fed, quiet and content for the morning, I settle back in my chair for my second cup of coffee.  Mmmmmm…all is well!

Read Full Post »

Rodeo Days

The animals are now used to leaving their little pasture every afternoon and roaming around the big yard. They wait at the gate and once I open it the sheep pour out and head to the grass.  Olivia takes her time, doesn’t get caught up in the rush, but eventually makes her way out too.

They spend an hour or two wandering, eating, and exploring all the interesting objects they come across.  When it’s time to head back to their pen the fun begins.  It began by me catching each of them individually and steering them through the gate. That worked the first couple of times until they realized what it meant when I caught them. So then I  brought out the grain…they love it, and with a bucket by my side they follow me back into their pen. Although it seems like they have made a pact…three of them will go obediently and one will make me work for it.

When it’s one of the sheep hanging back it’s not much of a problem.  They are easy to catch and carry back into the pen.  When it’s Olivia’s turn to be evasive, it becomes something else.  Tom describes it as a mini stampede or rodeo…he sits on his deck and watches the dust and legs  fly as I try to outsmart and outmaneuver a 3 week old calf.  She is hard to catch and hard to hold!

He suggested I put a rope around her neck so I would have something to grab and hold on to.  Great idea!  The next time I was at the feed store I asked the young man for some rope.  I told him I wanted it for my calf and he showed me what they had.  Ugly, rough, nylon rope that would be hard to knot.  He could tell by my expression it wasn’t what I was looking for, but it was all they had.

Not a problem…I told him I would just buy a dog collar!  I picked out a pretty green one and when I paid for it he commented that he had never heard of using a dog collar on a calf before…but whatever works.  I came home and put in on Olivia.  I think it looks very fashionable but even more important…the next time it was Olivia’s turn to refuse to enter the pen I was able to catch and hold her and lead her back in.

Here she is explaining to Cotton why the rodeo didn’t last as long at it should have.

Emma is getting used to sharing my attention as well.  She gets along well with the sheep…they are her very own chocolate raisin  factory, and she is learning that when Olivia jumps and runs it doesn’t mean chase me!

I love to watch the interactions between the sheep and Olivia…they always hang out together and if I see one I know the others are close by. Last night was the first time all four came running when I brought out the grain bucket…I’m crossing my fingers that maybe my rodeo days are over.

I stopped by Margret’s the other day and checked on the pigs.  Pippi was always the smallest one but she is catching up to the others.  They are doing well and growing steadily.

So far, so good.  This farming stuff is okay!

Read Full Post »

Morning Visitors

I love it here!  I never know what I am going to see when I look out the window.  This morning I was brushing my teeth and I glanced out to see Onyx and Style running over to the fence.  On the other side of the fence were three deer walking towards them.

Neither the horses nor the deer seemed at all afraid or nervous…they just calmly watched each other for a few minutes.  Then the deer wandered on below Tom’s cabin and back into the woods.

Emma just started barking and I went out on the deck to see what was up…there in front of the cabin down by the pond was a coyote.  I hope you can see it in the picture…it really blends in with the brown grass.

I took the time to take some pictures and then I scared it away.  I don’t need coyotes getting too close with the sheep and Olivia here now.

What a start to my day…off now to a farm auction.

Read Full Post »

Organic Lawnmowers

Well it’s been almost a week and all the animals seem to have settled in to their new home. Today was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and I thought it was time they explored the world beyond their pasture. Late this afternoon I opened the pasture gate and encouraged the flock and Olivia to leave their safe little home and venture out into my yard.

My plan was to let them “mow” my yard and eliminate the need to own a lawnmower.

I didn’t have to ask them twice…the gate opened and out came Callie, Cotton and Garcon!

They explored behind the shed and around the wood pile, nibbling away at the fresh green grass.

Callie and Cotton were very brave and ventured as far as the driveway gates.  The tall green grass was a real incentive!

Olivia  stayed inside the pasture for a while, calling to the sheep and wondering where everyone had gone.  It didn’t take too long and she worked up the courage to join them.


I let them graze for about an hour and then decided it was enough for the first time.  Olivia was happy to follow me back into the pasture with an empty bucket.  She knew it was almost dinner time and a full bucket wouldn’t be far behind.  The sheep weren’t quite so willing.

They weren’t so eager to walk away from all the green grass and eventually I had to go and pick Cotton up and carry her back to the pasture.  Once inside she gave one baaaa and Garcon and Callie came running, right through the gate.  They really have become a little family.

I am finding it interesting how concerned I have become about them all.. Olivia has developed diarrhea and I am giving her pills with the help of Dr. Tom.  She is still drinking well though so that is good.  I worried about the sheep eating too much green grass…I don’t want them to suffer from my ignorance.

This is all new to me and I probably worry about things I don’t need to…hopefully time and experience will teach me when to worry and when to relax and just let them be.


Read Full Post »

Yesterday was a very confusing day for me. I was working outside and kept having to come back into the cabin to warm up and get out of the weather.  It felt like fall, but I knew it was May. It was cool and blustery, and felt like the advent of winter.

And then around 7 pm it started…the sky to the west was white and foreboding. Tom was visiting and quickly grabbed his coat and headed for home.  The sheep and Olivia hunkered down in their little stall. The horses ran for shelter in the woods. I poured myself a glass of wine and settled on the  couch to watch.

Winter was back.

This morning it is a bit brighter but still white and -5 degrees. Just a little reminder to enjoy the spring and summer weather when it’s here because winter is never far away.

Read Full Post »

For years I have dreamed about having a little farm where I could raise animals.  When I was very young, we lived on a small hobby farm, and every year my brothers would get little calves to raise.  I was still too young, and I waited patiently until I would be old enough to have one of my own.  Before that could happen, the farm was sold and we moved on to a lot.  No more calves….

Now here I am, in my own little paradise with room to have  a little farm.  The past 10 months have been filled with house planning, building, wood chopping, and fencing.  Finally the day arrived…I could acquire some animals.

The first to arrive were three little wiener pigs.  They won’t be living at Morrisbrook Farm but will living with my friend Margret.  Margret already has a wonderful spot for pigs, a lovely safe enclosure with a warm sleeping shed and even their own little pond to roll around in.

This is Pippi, Maggie and Scotty.

Then it was time for the first arrivals at Morrisbrook Farm.  On Friday we welcomed Style and Onyx, my nieces two horses.  They will be living here for a while, and I will have the opportunity to learn to ride.  I used to ride when I was younger (much younger) so I am looking forward to trying it again.

And then there are the sheep…yes I finally have sheep!  Mary and I drove to Merritt yesterday to pick them up.  We found the farm, met the wonderful woman Janet who was selling them, and were introduced to the sheep.  Janet also showed us here wool room, and what an inspiration that was.  Shelves filled with skeins of wool…all from her own sheep.  Sweaters, toques, and all sorts of equipment.  Maybe someday I will make something from the wool from my sheep…for now I just want to be able to care for them and keep them alive and well.

We loaded the lambs in a big box in the back of my truck and headed out.  Once back in Merritt we remembered we wanted to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner so we stopped at the liquor store.  Mary went in and all the while the sheep were baaing in the back of the truck.  People were staring and smiling and pointing.  I felt like a farmer!  Then we decided to go through the A&W drive through for a quick snack to eat on the way home.  Have you ever tried to place your order while three sheep are placing theirs at the same time

The attendant kept saying “What was that?  Sorry I can’t hear you”.  We managed to place the order and then with a line up behind me, my truck suddenly quit.  I tried to start it but no go!  I looked at Mary and she looked at me, and we burst out laughing.  Murphy’s Law in action.  There we were, sitting in the A&W drive through with a truck load of sheep blocking traffic.  Fortunately I was able to get it going again after a few minutes, but by then the people behind us had left.  We picked up our snack from the laughing attendants and hit the road for home.

This is Cotton getting out of the truck…

Accompanying Cotton is her twin brother Garcon, and a friend Callie!  They didn’t take long to get settled in their new pasture.

And last but not least…I finally have my own calf.  Meet Olivia……

Olivia is a beautiful little girl and will need to be bottle fed for some time.  She is very affectionate and friendly.

Last night all four of them slept together in one stall and I can tell they are going to be great friends.

And so begins my adventure as a farmer…wish me luck!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »