Archive for October, 2012


August, September and the first half of October were very warm and dry here.  That meant no outside campfires.  I missed sitting around the campfire, the crackle of the flames, and the smell of the smoke.  This past week we have had several really good rains.  The ground was soaked, the grass was wet…it was time for campfires again.

I had the first one last Wednesday.  I even had company over and we had the first wiener roast of the season.  Delicious!  Late yesterday afternoon, I lit another one, and sat and read by the fire for a while.  The dogs enjoy it too…they love it when I am outside with them.

This morning I decided I would have my coffee outside by the fire. I got up, got dressed and Emma and I headed out.  Surprise!

It was a winter wonderland.  Not a problem though…that would make outdoor coffee even better.  I lit the fire and went back inside to make the coffee.  When it was ready, I grabbed a cup, a couple of biscuits for the dogs and headed out…to find the winter wonderland had turned into a winter snowstorm!

My chair was covered with snow before I had a chance to sit in it.  The log table was covered too.

If it had just been snow falling gently, I would have cleared the chair and table and stayed outside.  It wasn’t just snow , the wind was blowing bitterly from the west.  It was not the best morning for coffee outside by the fire.

Fortunately I have options.  I went back into the house, took off my boots and coat and sat down in a comfy chair and had my coffee by the fire.

Odin seemed happy with this decision too.  He didn’t want to come in the house, but was happy to curl up close to the door, out of the wind and snow.

Isn’t it nice to have options!

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Someone (there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on who) once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over,  and expecting different results. So it follows that if we want to see different results…we have to change what we are doing.

Look at these two.


Who would think they could be capable of bringing out insane behaviour in me?

Let’s talk about Emma.

She is a good dog; she is affectionate, very smart, energetic and loves to play and snuggle. She does have the habit of jumping up.  (Siblings… stop nodding now!)  Emma is not a large dog but when she jumps up on people (yes she jumps up on people…still) she can hurt them, and dirty their clothes.  I wish she wouldn’t.  My attempts at correcting this  have been to say (often quite loudly) “Emma No! Down! Off!”  This has never worked…but I continue to do it, again and again…expecting different results.  Insanity!

Let’s talk about Odin.

He too, is a good dog: also very affectionate, smart, playful, very energetic and also loves to play and snuggle.  Sometimes, a bit too much of everything.  Odin doesn’t know when to stop playing, when to stop being very affectionate (pushing up against me, leaning into me).  And so, as with Emma, I constantly say “No Odin! Enough! Sit! Stop! No! Odin!”  And, as with Emma, this never works, but I continue to do it, again and again, expecting different results.  Insanity.

It isn’t only with the dogs I do this.  I engage in insane behaviour in others areas of my life too.  I know I should eat healthier, more fruits and vegetables, fewer bags of Lays.  It never fails though, when I pack my bags of groceries into the house, there they are.  The Lays.  Oh there is usually a small bag of fruit and vegetables too, but it’s always the Lays that get eaten first.  Again and again, I do this. And again and again, I tell myself “I should eat healthier”. Insanity.

As you know I walk regularly. Every day, and sometimes twice a day, the dogs and I head out on the trails for an hour.


This is a routine that works for me.  I like the result.  The positive physical  feelings I experience from the exercise, and seeing the joy the dogs experience as they explore.


I used to be a runner.  I loved the feeling of a good long run.  I stopped years ago, when I had an injury.  My injury is all healed now, and I have the time and perfect place to run again.  I want to run again.  So far, I have not.  Why not?

Our lives are made up of habits and routines.  They are comfortable and easy and so we keep them.  That’s okay, when we are getting the results we want from those habits and routines.  If we aren’t though, if we want different results, we have to change something.

Change is hard.  I’m sure you all know that!  It is the only way to get different results though.

So today, I will make a change in my habits and routines…just a small one.  Whenever Emma jumps up, or Odin just won’t stop (playing, leaning, pushing) I will NOT respond with the usual loud voice saying NO!.  I am not sure what  I will do instead, not yet.  Maybe nothing…just completely ignore them. I do know, that by making a change in the way I react to them, I will get a different result..even if it’s simply the more positive feeling I will get from not yelling (yes sometimes, it is yelling) at them.  Who knows, in time I may come up with a solution to the jumping and pushing.

I will only buy Lays every other grocery shopping trip.  That’s a small change.  I know I can do that. I will lace up my running shoes at least once a week and hit the road.  I know I can do that.

One small change will lead to another, and before I know it I will see a different result.  The result I wanted.

It’s easy to stay in our comfortable routines, and it’s okay,  if we are happy with the results.  If we continue doing the same things, and yet expect  different results, that is insanity.

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I’m Done!

This past year has seen a lot of projects undertaken and completed on the farm.  There were only two left that I really wanted to get done before winter.  One was to get a roof over the back steps, and then replace the steps with a little landing and walkway.  I have found an excellent carpenter, and over the past few weeks he has been here on the weekends working away.  This past weekend he completed the job.  I am so happy with it…my steps will have no ice or snow on them this winter, and my barbecue and deep freeze are both under cover.


The second big job I wanted to do before winter was to have some crush gravel spread around my yard.  I can’t complain too much, because my yard has been pretty good for mud.  Good in that there hasn’t been too much of it…Brother Tom and Dan hauled a lot of gravel over the past year.  There were still a few areas that needed some more, and I wanted to put some down in the pole shed where I park my truck.

Yesterday it arrived, in the back of a gravel truck and pup.  I was amazed how quick and easily the driver backed into the yard and within minutes it was all down.  Two big piles of gravel.


Today John Deere showed up and spread the gravel all around where it was needed.

It looks amazing, and as luck would have it, as I write this post, the rain has arrived.  No mud for me tonight, just clean crush gravel.


So that’s it.  My projects are complete.  All done before the snow flies too.  Now I can work on cleaning up the yard and garden and organizing my firewood.  Once we get enough rain, it will be time to start having outdoor campfires again.  There is nothing nicer that sitting around a campfire, early in the morning with that first cup of coffee, or in the evening with a glass of wine.

The animals are all fine.  I am getting quite a few chuckles from watching Ferdinand the Bull.  There are cows in the pastures on either side of us, as well the cows in our pasture and poor Ferdinand doesn’t know where he should be.  He is grazing peacefully in the field and then a cow will call from another field and Ferdinand heads off trotting as fast as his big, bulky, body will allow him, across the field.  Then one calls from another field, and off he goes again. So far he hasn’t broken through the fence.


Odin seems to enjoy watching him go back and forth too.  I think he would like to be out there encouraging Ferdinand to run faster.

Every day I give the cows a helping of grain, and they sure enjoy that.  I had to laugh at the little steer, after they had finished eating, he climbed right into the feeder…I guess he was making sure it really was all gone.


The weather has turned and I am getting some beautiful misty mornings.


All is well at Morrisbrook farm.

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A Busy Week

Time flies when you are busy.  I have been busy!  Last week Brother Bill arrived for a visit.  It was so good to see him, and the timing was great.  Brother Tom is off working, Brother Dan was away for a few days, and Big Sister Mary is in France.  I was starting to feel sibling withdrawal symptoms and then I got the call.  Brother Bill was on the way….

I couldn’t let him leave without leaving his mark on the farm, so he built a roof for a new hay feeder.  The hay feeder came from Brother Dan, but it didn’t have a roof.  Fall rains and winter snow make a roof a necessity.  He did a great job and the critters love it.


The cows have a gentleman caller…Ferdinand the Bull showed up in the pasture the other day.  He is well-behaved, but I did have to check the fence to see if he broke anything when he arrived.  The top wire in one spot is broken, and will have to be repaired.


Odin is becoming quite a sheep dog.  He loves to hang out with the sheep, goes from one to the other, checking to make sure they are all right.  He is more interested in them than Emma is, and she is half border collie.  I don’t think she knows that though,  she thinks she is half human.


I have been told that bottle fed animals tend to have big bellies for the first year of their life.  I accepted that information but I have to say, I am beginning to wonder about Olivia.  I’m not sure if it’s a bottle fed belly she has or if she just eats too much.  Sometimes it looks like her legs are struggling to support her belly.


This is what her belly looks like at the end of the day when she comes home from grazing.


She looks ready to burst. If I didn’t know better I might think she had been hanging out with Ferdinand!

The mornings have been cool here, the coldest so far has been -4 degrees.  The days are beautiful though, sunny with brilliant blue skies.

The paths we walk on are changing, more leaves on the ground and a nice mix of green, orange, yellow and brown.


It has been a busy week, but not too busy to remember…



Sixty five years ago a young couple in love celebrated their wedding day.


They lived and loved and raised five children, and grew old together.


We miss you Mom and Dad.

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