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Archive for June, 2014

It starts small, one or two cows, one or two sheep.  It grows…the cows have calves, the sheep have lambs.  The cow’s calves have calves…before long there are too many.

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There isn’t enough grass to feed this many.  It doesn’t make sense to feed hay in the summer.  What will we do with all these animals?

Some decisions are made by us…the humans.

After much thought and many discussions it was decided that Brother Tom would sell one of his cows, and our friend Margret would sell one of hers.  That will leave us with a cow and a calf each, and one for meat in the fall. So two cows were sold this week.

Some decisions are made by the animals.

Callie has developed a bad habit.  She has started climbing through the barbed wire fence and going to graze in the hay-field.  Elliot follows her of course.  Julie would like to but doesn’t always figure out how to get through the fence.  Cotton and her girls never leave the field. It is risky for Callie and Elliot to be off by themselves.

I tried putting boards up where I thought Callie was getting through.  That didn’t stop her.  We tried scaring her back with a bang from the shotgun.  No luck…

I was beginning to think that Callie would have to go…before she taught Cotton and the others how to escape.

Yesterday I was driving home from town, came around a corner and there,  grazing on the other side of the road, up in the bush,  were Callie and Elliot.  That was when I knew…Callie had to go.

I made a phone call and it was done.  Callie would go and live on the same farm as Pritchard.

This morning we loaded her in to the truck and off she went.

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So now there is one less sheep.  Cotton will have to look after four young ones, which she is more than capable of.

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I have always known that there is a difference between a pet and a farm animal.  Emma is my pet…she will be with me as long as she lives.

The sheep and cows, calves and chickens are farm animals.  There is no knowing how long they will be here.   They may begin to cause problems that cannot be solved without extensive effort and cost, or problems that  increase the risk of losing them.  In that case they will move on…like Callie.

Circumstances may change on the farm, and it may no longer make sense to keep them.  Or maybe I will change, and no longer want to raise farm animals.

Knowing this is one thing, living it is another.  It is hard to let animals go.

I have to admit I shed a tear when I put Callie in the truck, but in my mind that is better than shedding a tear when she gets hit by a vehicle or mauled by a coyote or bear.

Goodbye Callie…

 

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Happenings

I have been home for six days now and a lot has happened.

The chicken coop is completed and fenced and new residents moved in.

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26 chickens.  12 hens and 14 roosters.  The roosters will be meat birds and the hens will keep us in eggs.

They are only 7 weeks old and still have a lot of growing to do but they sure are cute.

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Lily is growing and doing well.

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She has a new playmate…my friend Margret’s cow  Brandy had a little boy…meet Bobbie.

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The sheep and lambs are all well too.  The lambs have grown and are looking more and more like sheep.  Here is Julie resting in the grain feeder with Elliot at her side.

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The wildflowers are out in abundance. Emma and I went for a long walk

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and brought a bouquet home to brighten the table.

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Last night Brother Tom’s cow Birdie had a little calf.  I wasn’t able to get a picture of it…I don’t even know if it is a boy or a girl.  I will do that today.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there…enjoy the day!

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Isla Mujeres

The time spent on Isla Mujeres was very different from the time in Cancun.

The downtown area is not very big but the streets are filled with places to eat, drink and shop.

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There are beautiful flowers and exotic plants and trees everywhere.  I struggle to get my little hibiscus plant to bloom each year, and on the island there are hibiscus shrubs taller than me…blooming profusely.

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The standard of living varies from area to area like any country, from homes like this…

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I met the most interesting characters on the sidewalks.

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The red taxis are everywhere.

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We had a few interesting taxi rides.  On one occasion we thought we had negotiated a price of 50 pesos for a trip home, but when we got there the driver demanded 78 pesos.  We tried to be strong and insist on only paying the negotiated price but when he got out of the cab and threatened to call the Policia  we paid the higher price.

Another time we were headed into town and when we got into the cab I noticed both the gas and the oil light were on.  I didn’t say anything, just assumed maybe the lights were always on.  We didn’t get too far before the cab stalled going up a hill.  The driver wasn’t worried…just backed down the hill and coasted until the car started again and away we went.

The car was running pretty rough but the driver wasn’t at all concerned.  Until it stopped again…in the middle of the road.  There was no starting it this time.

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He had to push it off the road and hail us another cab.

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The trip as a whole was a good one.  I mentioned earlier that I am not a traveller, and I have to admit that there were a few (okay more than a few) times when I felt very far from home.  At one point I told Sister Mary that if my truck had been there I would have been on the road home as fast as I could.

I was out of my comfort zone…it was a good thing I still had access to my favourite comfort food.

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There is nothing like a handful of Lays to make everything okay again.

Now that I am home and have had a bit of time to reflect on my adventure I am very happy I went.  Yes, I had to deal with things I wasn’t familiar or comfortable with, but I managed to do it, and learned a lot along the way.

I have to say I saw a different side of Sister Mary.

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Her ability to travel to different countries, live among the locals and absorb and assimilate into their culture is something I admire and respect.   It is not something I could do.

 

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Hola!

The time is going by so quickly, I thought I should give you a little update of my Mexican adventure.

Here is the view from our room in Cancun.

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We took a tour of the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza…quite a sight.

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On our way to the ruins we drove past a field of blue agave…the plant that is made into Tequila.

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The day after the tour we spent on the beach. How decadent…I swam in the Caribbean Sea and spent many hours just relaxing and chatting with Sister Mary.

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Lunch was delivered to us on the beach…

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I felt very far away from Morris Brook farm.  It was enjoyable for a couple of days but not something I could make a life style out of.

Yesterday we took the ferry to Isla Mujeres where I will spend the next five days.

It has rained a fair bit and we haven gotten wet more than once, and it is so humid here that our clothes take forever to dry.  We have hung a clothesline in one of the bedrooms so hopefully that will help.

So far it has been quite an adventure…last night in the restaurant it rained so hard the street outside filled with water and people were wading up to their knees.  By the time we left it was only up to our ankles,

No rain today though so we took a long walk to the middle of the island…saw some very colourful homes.

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Tomorrow we are off to explore the down-town…maybe do a little shopping.

I’ll keep you posted…

 

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