Thursday, November 29, 2012


A couple of weeks ago when I was visiting my mum, she made a comment about November...two births and two deaths.   Mine and Meredith's births are the 6th and 23rd of this month.  My dad died 26 years ago today (29th), and my maternal grandmother died this month also, 24 years ago, although my mother didn't remember the day.  The past few days I've been sorting through some of the paperwork that we shoved into a big box when we were clearing my mum's place up in the Spring.  Lo and behold I came upon information regarding my grandmother's death.  She died on my birthday:(  That just seems weird and kind of sad, and I don't recall ever knowing that.  My dad died young, only 61, and I'm not that far off that age myself.   It makes me realize how young my dad was, and it seems so unfair.  He missed so much.

In that pile of paperwork I came across three recommendations that my dad must have brought with him when he came to Canada in April of 1963.  I had to chuckle at the wording of this one.    He obviously didn't come to work drunk,  got there on time and put in a full day:)


                               He was fun loving guy and was game to try just about anything.



He was a bricklayer for 13 years in Canada before making a major life change when he was 51. 
Ten years later he died out on his sailboat.  Meredith was two years old.
I wish my kids could have grown up knowing him.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Pumpkin Party

Remember these?  Well I did pick them and they sat in the wheelbarrow for a week or so.  We had a couple of nights were it dipped below freezing, and the big pumpkin got soft and rotten on the bottom.  Before it turned into a mushy mess in the wheelbarrow, I carried over to one of the chicken fields.

I dropped it from waist height, figuring it would smash on impact, but it actually took some serious rubber boot stomping before I was able to break it open.

I called all the chickens to the party, and they dug right in.


Except for the little rooster.  He kind of hung off to the side.  He's really wary and hard to get close to, and maybe he's still feeling embarrassed about his coyote ravaged tail.  It's taking it's time to grow back in.   


He was actually in the 'wrong' field.  The last few days he seems to have taken a hankering to visit they other hens in the north field.  He just flies up to the top of the fence, throws a few crows out there to let the world know that he a big little tough rooster and he's going to go calling on some other ladies.  Then he flies down to the ground, swaggers across the lawn, throwing out a few more crows along the way, and then flies over the next fence.  Thank goodness the rest can't fly as well as him.  Or maybe it would be a good thing, it would be harder for the coyotes to get them.

Henrietta, you've spilled some pumpkin on your rather generous front porch.
Let me clean it off for you


And when the sheep came back to that field late in the afternoon, they finished off what was left of the pumpkin.  Actually, I'd taken most of it out, just left a few pieces for the sheep.  Today when the sheep went out to the hay field, I threw the other half back to the chickens, and then the sheep finished the rest of it off tonight.  I'm thinking I should cook up the smaller pumpkin and make a pumpkin loaf or two.  And if I procrastinate on that long enough, and that pumpkin starts to go all soft as well, you know where it will end up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Real Men Wear Pink

This past week we have been picking away at cleaning up the spare bedroom.  That would be pushing it to call it the spare bedroom, as it doesn't even have a bed in it.  We took the bed to Oliver.  Might as well call it the junk room, as that was where everything goes that we didn't really have a proper place for.  
Including things like this.

When our dog club puts on an agility trial or a flyball tournament, we always have a raffle table.  Club members donate, or get other people to donate, 'things'.  Some of those things are items that you might have won somewhere else, and have no use for, hence the Snuggie.   A bunch of items are grouped together in a basket.  Quite often you put a ticket in the bag next to the item because there is ONE thing in that basket that you want.  I know it wasn't the Snuggie that I was hoping to win.
Since we don't have any dogs the right size, 
Nelson was 'volunteered' to try it on.

He wasn't impressed, but Luna found it all pretty interesting.
Luna finds him interesting whether he is dressed in pink or not.

He did some high stepping before just giving in and laying down

'Let me outside, I'd like to show the rest of the neighbourhood my new outfit'

In the end, I picked the cat hairs off it, shoved it back in the box, and will probably donate the Snuggie back for the next raffle table.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Frost on the Pumpkins

Thursday morning was the coldest morning so far.  Lots of frost, which only makes sense as we are on the downhill slide to the shortest day and the start of winter.  This is the biggest pumpkin I've ever grown, but it sure wouldn't win any prizes. Not that I've ever been much into growing pumpkins.  If I actually started my own from seed, I'd probably have more luck.  This was a plant I bought, and it sat there and did absolutely nothing for weeks after I planted it.  Finally the darn plant got things figured out and eventually produced these two measly pumpkins. The big one's not even ripe yet, and is just going to become sheep or chicken feed I guess.

Frost on the dahlias too, but still not enough to kill the plants off.

Gorgeous colours on the blueberry bushes

The kind of morning that makes you late for work because you can't figure out where you put that d*mn ice scraper

We have maple leaves everywhere

And if we have frost, it probably means the sky is clear and we don't need rain hats or umbrellas because we have sun!
We have maple leaves (Is this Texas?) big enough to serve as either though.

The Old Ewe is still hanging in there.  Getting special treatment.  One day at a time

And when we walked through our back bush this morning.....we saw bear poop!
Looked like Mr. Bear had been helping himself to some one's apple tree.
I'll be talking loudly if we walk through there tomorrow morning.

Eight Seconds of Fame

There was a photographer from the local White Rock newspaper wandering around the farmers market last Sunday. When I checked the website today, I found this.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Morning Humour

I needed a laugh this morning....and got it:)

Here's the followup

And the t-shirt!__deer-t-shirt

An update on the chicken situation - We found another body in the morning, so a total of 6 dead.  After a search along the fence line, we found feathers, and one horizontal wire on the fence that was broken, which created a hole big enough for a coyote to get through.  No doubt it or them were coming in and out all week while there we were away and there were no dogs here.  So our job this winter is to clear all the brush and the thorny blackberry vines away from our side, and reinforce the whole 200' fence line.  In the meantime the few hens that are left there will remain fenced into the smaller area.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Livestock and Deadstock

The Old Ewe, who is the grand old lady of our three sheep flock, is about 15 years old, and looking her age.  Yesterday I noticed that she was not doing well at all, and Meredith said while that we were away, she looked depressed.  Not depressed because we were away, depressed as in not acting normal and looking, well, depressed, head hanging, not moving around much, not eating much.  This morning we were scrambling around to dash off to one of the pre-Christmas farmers markets at White Rock.  Larry came in to say that the old ewe did not look well at all.  She was laid out on her side in the barn and he couldn't get her to move.  It didn't surprise me at all, after seeing her yesterday I figured her time had come, and she would most likely be dead when we arrived back home this afternoon.  Sure, she's been here since birth, and I know her well, but she is a sheep and not a pet, and I can be a bit practical about that sort of thing.  In other words,  no heroic measures were going to be taken.

I was doing my usual post market Sunday , 'push her around the grocery store' visit with my mother.  We had two vehicles and Larry had headed home.  I received a text telling me to bring home molasses.  The Old Ewe was still alive, and she needed an energy boost.  After playing phone tag, I finally talked to Larry in person.  He said it was a mess at our place.  I asked him what he meant.  He said there were four dead chickens in the south field, and one badly injured one.  One hen from that field, and the rooster, where in the north field.  Another couple of hens were out on the driveway.  I drove home in the dark and pelting rain, and then climbed into some rain gear and we wandered around the field.  We found another dead hen, for a total of five.  The whole back half of one was all eaten.  The others appeared untouched, although they were rain drenched and it was hard to tell for sure.  No obvious wounds at least.  Tomorrow in the daylight we'll check the fence line for clues.  The death scene didn't fit any of these descriptions.

There were only 27 hens in that coop tonight.  It's been a while since we've counted them, and some of the older hens have dropped dead in the last while, but there's an awful lot of hens unaccounted for.
We are guessing that it is coyotes again.  Was there a whole pack in the field while everyone was gone for the day?  I feel bad that we didn't keep the chickens safe, and subjected them to the stress of whatever predator was after them.  It must have happened in the morning, as there were only 16 eggs in that coop when they were collected tonight, and there should have been twice that many. Quite a few hens didn't get a chance to lay today.  It's so bloody frustrating.  If it wasn't for the income the hens bring it, I'd just get right out of the egg business.  Four of the dead hens were the young ones that have only been laying a few months.  They have a black band around one leg.  The fifth body had no legs, but I think it might have been an older hen.  We'll have to pull the other fence back across and keep the hens in 'jail' (a smaller more confined area) again.  I'd just let them out a week or so ago, after the previous attack.

The Old Ewe looks like death warmed over, but she drank some warm molasses water, ate an apple, as well as a bunch of soaked in warm water soy hull pellets, and is munching on some hay.  I guess it's not quite her time yet.  Unfortunately some of the hens can't say that.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween, a few days late.

 We spent Halloween in Oliver.  I did manage to speak to a neighbour and get some idea of how many kids to expect.  He told he they had 30 last year, and about 70 the year before.  So we bought a box of 90 mini chocolate bars, and were quite prepared to turn out the lights if we ran out of candy.  Of course there weren't quite 90 in that box by the time the kids started coming around, but since we only had to hand out candy to 17 of them, there were a few bars left at end anyway. 
Before dark I had a bit of fun with the dogs.  Calli thought it was all rather boring, wearing my hat and posing by the dorky looking pumpkin

If you can get her into the right position though, she'll stay there forever.

So then I tried for a threesome.  
Yes, the petunias are still blooming.  There were two pots of petunias that had been left dry for a couple of weeks before we got there the first time, and I figured they were dead.  I guess not, as even they had perked up and were showing signs of life.  I had thought that Oliver had had some below freezing nights, but obviously not in our little spot.  I even picked a ripe tomato off the sad looking plants that morning.
I didn't place Luna very well... she looks like that pumpkin stalk is coming out of her mouth.

So then I added in my other Halloween prop.
Luna - Is that you under there Jake...what the h*ll is that thing on your head?

Jake - I'm getting a little bug eyed here, can you get this thing off me?

Luna and Jake - Where IS that squirrel you keep talking about?

Jake - I think you're playing with us

 Calli - I'll just maintain my regal pose.  Do you realize that pumpkin looks like it's sitting on my back?

Jake and Calli - Are we done yet?
Luna - I'm still looking for that squirrel

Karen - Okaaayyy!  Good dogs!