Sunday, November 19, 2017

Mosaic Canada

Our whole family went to Ontario for our nephew's/cousin's wedding.  At first Larry said he would stay home and look after the place, but we managed to convince him that he should go.  Larry and I and Meredith all travelled together from Abbotsford, David and Melissa from Edmonton.  The three of us arrived in the very wee hours of Sunday morning, the day of the wedding.  My sister had booked us into a hotel at the airport and left us a vehicle there to use, and it all worked out perfectly.  It was a lovely wedding.

Larry flew back home on Tuesday afternoon, Meredith and I were staying until the next weekend, but flying home separately as Meredith was heading to check out Toronto for a few days.  Thursday morning we took Meredith to the train station and waved her off on her trip.  She stayed in a hostel for three nights.  A young Korean woman there was impressed with Meredith 'living' out of her small carry-on bag.  Meredith probably didn't tell her that she had 'wedding clothes' in there too!

Later in the morning Cathy and I headed off to Ottawa to pick up her daughter and the three of us headed over the bridge into Quebec to this spectacle. 

Sculpture forms covered in plants.
The event was free, as were many things this year, in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday.
We were even able to get a pass for free parking along the street! 

The plants this side of the train were little sunflowers, but since it was now almost the middle of October, they had stopped blooming.
Imagine that as a field of yellow, it would be something wouldn't it?

Horses rising out of the sea

We loved the musk ox. We felt like we would like to go and pat them 😄

The city of Shanghai, China did a couple of the displays

Thought this would be Paul Bunyan, but it wasn't, and I can't remember who.

He scores!

Mother Nature.  
You can get a sense of the scale of it here.

Cathy is wearing a Lole jacket that I had bought here from the thrift store, new condition, but was a bit tight on me.  It fit her perfectly and looks great!

Heather and Cathy having a little fun

Sisters too!

The mare and foal weren't made out of plants, but we loved them, and their setting was gorgeous.

A friend and her two dogs had stayed at the house while we were gone.
Larry said the dogs weren't overly excited to see him when he got back. More like he had just been gone for an hour or so.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Rubber Booting It

The raining is pouring down as I type this.  Our forecast for the next week is rain.  It's that time of year.

We live in rubber boots here.  I bet they get worn every month in the year at some point.  Not so much in the summer of course, but still get put on every now and again.  We can get such heavy dews, and early morning walks mean long wet grass, so rubber boots tend to be our 'go to' footwear.

Remember that cute puppy we had living with us at the beginning of the year.  Tucker belonged to David.  Tucker liked to chew on ...... things.  

Tucker decided early one morning that my boots needed a bit of style.  Let's round the tops off and make them look like cowboy boots.  Fortunately he was stopped before he got to the second boot.  I looked at the boot and wondered about the amount of rubber than may or may not have been in Tucker's belly.  

Not to worry.  I was driving with him in the back seat of the car a little while later.  
Worried about me and the rubber he said,  well I'll sort that out for you.  And then he immediately deposited a pile of black rubber bits on the back seat.  Good dog, not!

Anyway, my lovely personalized pair of boots seemed like they were going to last forever.  I wore them yesterday through the bush, still going great!  We had a fair bit of rain overnight and there were more wet spots this morning. At one point I thought I felt a bit of dampness, and then that thought immediately left my head.  We got to the little creek and I commented on the amount of water now flowing, after it had been dry for months, and sloshed through it like 6/61 year old.  Aw shit!  Now there was water sloshing inside my boot as well as on the outside.  On further inspection there was a nice slit on the left inside.  Time for them to go.

Not a problem though.  Being the Thrift Store hound I am, I'd already accumulated a spare pair or two, or maybe five.  So I brought out my collection and picked out a replacement pair (some of them have been borrowed by visitors, so have got a bit mucked up already).  I chose the second pair from the left.  They had a name on the buckles, can't remember what is right now, and am too lazy to walk downstairs to see.  I googled them of course and on the website there was not a pair of rain boots under $85.  I paid no more than $3 for them. I'll get a few years out of them.  I keep a fellow farmer friend supplied with boots too.  And Larry as well.

And here's the Tucker puppy now.  All grown up, just over a year old, and freezing his buns off in Edmonton.  They've had snow and cold for a few weeks now.  The coldest in 20 years David informs me.  A rude introduction to cold and icy winters, but I guess if they can handle this one, future winters might seem like a piece of cake.

A bit of colour added to the dining room on these dreary wet days.

Friday, November 10, 2017

This Morning

Today was what I call a 'bonus day'.  A day when the weather is much nicer than the last forecast I had seen.  It was lovely this morning when we started out for our walk.  The fog from the valley below started to roll in, but then it must have rolled right back down there because we didn't fog in.

We have some cattle on our place for a few weeks.  They are four bred heifers (young females bred to have their first calf) and belong to our friend and next door vendor at the farmers market, Carol.  Back when we had four horses, all our grass was used, either for pasture or hay.  As the horses died off, we had hay to sell and then eventually we stopped cutting hay, and handed that over to our neighbour.  This year it was so dry that he didn't get a second cut, but the grass did start to grow a bit again when we got rain this Fall.  Anyway, they are here to do some cleaning up.  They were in the field where there is a vegetable garden.  There is not much there that they can damage, but they did tromp around and through the garden a bit, leaving their calling cards (sloppy cow pies) all over the place.  I had to google if comfrey was okay for them to eat, but apparently is, and is quite high in protein.  There is a sizeable patch in that field, now well pruned off.  This morning they were all at the compost pile where I had dumped all the dahlia foliage.  In fact they were climbing all over the pile to eat the wilted foliage.  Apparently that isn't bad for them either, as far as I could find out, and they seemed crazy over the frost wilted leaves.  
See the frame for the Ticky Tacky Redneck greenhouse in the background?

Mmm, must eat more dahlias!

We decided it was time to push them out to the back field, so Luna helped to move them through the gate,  and Larry blocked the gate to the other field they had already been in. Well blocking involved him standing to one side of the gateway waving his arms and yelling, and he thought he was about to get run over until he got Jake to give a few timely barks and off they went in the right direction.

So pretty walking down the trail.  Lots of crunchy golden leaves still.

I turned to take this shot, thinking a needed a dog or human to stand in the 'tunnel'.

When I turned back, I saw this, Jake getting some 'lovin'

A few days ago we noticed that this dead birch had crashed over and flattened the wire fence.  This morning Larry put the chainsaw and helmet in a wheelbarrow and pushed them out on our walk.  On the way back he stopped to cut it up.  We did wonder what it would be like.  The birch seems to rot really quickly.

On the other side of the fence, in our neighbours.  I carried the rounds out to the trail.

We pushed the wheelbarrow back to the barn and brought the tractor and trailer out, and between us got the punky looking birch loaded on the trailer.

The cattle made a nice picture, grazing on the green (buttercups mostly) in the sunlight filtering through the trees.

Back at the barn, I got the maul and split all the wood and Larry stacked it.  I like splitting wood, and I'm pretty good at it 😜  Some of it was good, and some it was wet and mushy, like we expected, but most of it ended up on the wood pile.   We even raked up all the mess and dumped that.  Wow, not often that a job gets done and cleaned up all in one go!

I'll leave you with a  couple of teaser pictures for another post 😉

November 11, Remembrance Day
I hope you take a moment or two to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.