An Absent Blogger…

Its true I have been absent for the last while. I have not been active in my blogging pursuit since August 13, 2013. But I hope to change that now that spring has arrived. Well kinda! (It is snowing out there now).

I have included our Christmas letter here too as an update and summary on last year’s events.

Sitting to write our second annual Christmas letter gets me to thinking about the year gone by; the milestones along the way, and the trials and tribulations of country living. It has been most assuredly a wonderful year full of adventure and excitement with friends’ family and neighbours.

The year began with fireworks!… Literally, we celebrated the New Year with friends and family, lighting fireworks and ringing in 2013 all together! The winter months were cold and snowy but when the spring was in full swing we began planning our gardening and animal strategy for the summer months!

We planted another garden this year and had much better luck with our harvest than in the past, in fact early in the spring as the snow started to melt I headed out to see how the carrots faired through the cold months. Last fall it was not initially my intention to leave the carrots in over the winter, however with the early and abundant snowfall I had no choice I couldn’t get to them for harvest and they had to stay put. I could see the tops of the carrots when the snow melted and dug in to find full crisp tasty garden carrots ready for eating!

 Through the summer we spent a few wonderful weekends at the lake this year with family camping, fishing, boating, and swimming! We also made it to the local Rodeos in Grande Prairie, Tee Pee Creek and Dawson Creek. All were great shows and weather too despite the rain on the weekend of the Dawson Creek Rodeo! Steve also acquired a Back Hoe this summer and has spent time playing and working with it! We did some riding near our home and a couple overnight trips with the horses where we camped out (this time not under the stars!) We also did some cow chasing something I just love to do – and so does Willow!!

 As fall arrived planning for snow removal did too! Although lucky for us this year’s snowfall was not as early as the past! We hosted our second annual Pizza Pumpkin Party and enjoyed our time competing and carving all together!

1376444_10151736836560849_106487340_n

 Winter hit and so did the snow, I learned how to run the backhoe and began my task of removing snow from the driveway. Not quite quick enough because this winter already I have been stuck a few times in the deep snow!

 Work continues for both of us, Steve at a new company now, he is enjoying the new job and that is great! I am working for the same company at the college and still loving what I do!

We had many new additions to our little farm this year, including pigs, new chickens, a donkey, goats, and a new horse. While living in the barn in the pen next to the chicken coop the pigs sometimes thought they might like to be chickens… rooting under the wall in an attempt to reach the other side they succeeded on three occasions! We were thrilled when the weather warmed enough and the outside pen was ready for them! We acquired an incubator this year and began the process of hatching out our own chicks. Olive cat was quite intrigued by these little moving noisy fluff balls as he sat on the chair above the brooder watching them move about. Heading out to the Exotic Animal Sale in the spring was an adventure unto it self. While at the sale we purchased 6 chicks (likely only a week younger than the babies already at home), a pair of Guinea fowl who did not survive Dia dog for more then a couple days, and a mini Donkey Penelope (a gift for a friend!) We also purchased 2 goats while at the sale, L.B. and Vera and while away for a weekend Vera had her kids Nena and Sera. Unfortunately Nena did not make it but Sera is doing well and growing like crazy! Later in the year Steve picked up 5 more goats to join our little herd. All the goats we have now are happy and full of energy free ranging around our barnyard! Sadie Horse was the final addition to our farm this year before winter arrived! She is a beautiful horse and I was even able to ride her once before the snow flew! 

 So now we plan for a joyous Christmas all together and look forward to another year! And we wish all

of our Friends and Family a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

529226_10151927508805849_1466936727_n 

What a year it was!

Now that the new year 2014 is in full swing and the snow is trying to melt – unsuccessfully at the moment, I started to think about the upcoming year; what will it bring, what adventures will we take and who will we meet?

We had some losses over the winter, some of the old hens didn’t make it through the cold wintery months in the coop, just too old to make it though L We had another very sad loss in Vera she was taken down by our dog and a neighbours dog who was staying with us… needless to say Dia dog spent a week in Doggy Prison (locked up in the garage) and the neighbours dog was shipped off home. It didn’t change the fact that Vera didn’t make it; she was such a great goat, great mommy too! We will miss her!… Sara survived the ordeal and after spending a week in the porch recovering (sprained her leg running away on the ice) she was good as new and the other goats were up on the deck coaxing her back out to the barn yard, they have taken her in now as one of their own and all 5 are doing well playing and learning together. Our final big loss over the winter was Penelope he was an old Donkey and I believe that he died of old age nothing seemed to have attacked him or taken him down. I went to the pasture one day to find him lying in the snow. He was a good old donkey and I am just sad that the friend we got him for didn’t get to ever move him home L

Now we are looking forward to the summer ahead of us with seeds started in the mini greenhouse inside and the animals roaming around the now mud filled barnyard waiting for the first blades of green grass to poke through the ground!  The water level continues to rise in the creek threatening to flood the pens again. The chickens are happy to have their run open and not filled with snow any longer. And mommy hen is brooding 18 eggs – we don’t dare touch them for fear of losing a finger! The chickens are all laying again an abundance of eggs for our consumption, and the pigs are almost ready for butcher.

As we didn’t complete the green house last year that is on the goal list for this summer so we can start planting next spring in it! I also am looking forward to building a chicken tractor and some more flowerbeds on the property.  We will be renovating the upstairs of the house soon in our bedroom, spare room, office, and bathroom, I am looking forward to having a finished flow to the upstairs of our home!… the basement is another project unto itself and may be until the fall or even winter before we get back at it!

Steve is heading off to School soon to finish his last year of Trades School, he will be away for two months… back on the weekends though so I am kind of looking forward to having him home and not working on the weekends even if it means he has to be gone to a neighbouring city during the week!

Well that is some of what is coming up over the next while and we are looking forward to what the future holds!

It is my goal now and full intention to work on keeping up with blogging, my apologies to readers for taking such a long break!

Happy Spring!!!

1148863_631262016898572_1084299265_n

 

May Long Weekend

The saga begins! Friday after work I loaded up on supplies to get my weekend ready for some fun! Then I headed out to the airport to pick up a friend who was flying in for her own may long adventures! After leaving the airport we headed out to the farm for some wine and relaxation on the deck! We spent the evening with my husband (who was home working on the outdoor pig pen) visiting playing cards drinking wine and listening to old records! It was a late night but great to catch up! Early Saturday morning we got up filled our travel mugs with coffee and headed out to catch up a couple horses! Once they were saddled we jumped on and went for a beautiful and relaxing morning ride through the nearby fields! Soaking in the sun enjoying the quiet and each others company!

IMG_5207

Once we returned home my husband had the animal crate all fixed up and loaded for the next part of our day! Traveling to a nearby town my friend had arranged a ride to her next adventure of mountain biking water skiing and boating! We said our good byes and off she went… My husband and I continued 2 more miles out of the neighbouring town to the exotic animal sale. There was some confusion about start times as advertising had been very vauge but by noon we had seen what was for sale in the stocks and found our seats with some of his work friends and the sale began! Many hours later we had purchased a pair of Guinea fowl, 2 goats, 6 chicks (likely only a week younger than the babies already at home) and a mini Donkey (a gift for a friend! – this was not an unwanted gift mind you and we will keep her until she has a space at home for her.)

IMG_5221 IMG_5244 IMG_5253

She was lovingly named Penelope! One our way home after a few hang ups on how we were going to manage getting all the new animals home I spoke with my friend the new Donkey owner and she was headed out to the house to make supper and meet her new stead! She called back once she arrived quite worried about the health of mommy hen (one of my very broody and excellent laying buff ophington hens) she had flown the coop at some point and Dia dog managed to get her teeth in to her… She was in rough shape and I was worried we would lose her all together. As we were still about 1/2 hour from arriving home my friend wrapped mommy hen up ( who had been drug out to the front yard) and took her back to the barn for safety until I got home! Dia dog knew she was in trouble when we arrived home and slunk away from me as I headed out to the barn to retrieve her. I created a makeshift crate out of a box and headed in the house with her where she will stay to recover!

IMG_5246

She was given some of the chick feed as it has some medication in it and some water with electro lights to help with her healing! She has a definite sore spot on her back but she must have fought back pretty good because she appears now that she will make it and be just fine! Once Mommy Hen was all settled in I headed back outside where my husband was unloading our new farm additions and my friend and the children were checking out the donkey! I must add that she too is not a farm girl anymore than I was when I moved out from town but she is embracing and loving the country life as much as I am!!! Once Penelope was safe and sound in her new pen out came the goats Vera and a mini black, to be named! We penned them up with some food, water, and shelter. Dia dog was most interested in them so she stayed back while we headed to the barn to introduce the Guinea fowl to the chickens! Everybody was a little worked up and the chickens flew high on their roosts to watch safely the new birds who arrived! After everything had settled in the coop we checked in on the pigs who were happy as could be and headed inside with the baby chicks to set up a second brooder… All the chicks (and hopefully Mommy hen too) will move out to the barn by the end of the weekend as it is more than warm enough and the brooder out there is much much bigger for them. We ate a magnificent supper and shared wine, stories and laughs from our day. The children were still very excited about Penelope and wanted to head out after we had eaten to see her and ride her (again)! So we headed back out to the barn yard to find Vera and little black goat had Houdinied out of the pen! They seemed to be sticking close by so decided rather than fighting them  they could free range. I will have to build a gate system so they stay out if my garden once it is planted and starts to grow but for the time being they seem to be doing well! Once everything had settled down and the evening came to an end we too went to bed getting a good night sleep so we could spend the day with the animals on Sunday! Well Sunday has just begun and the goats survived their first night free ranging in the barnyard, Mommy hen has much more energy as well, all good signs! Ill be heading out shortly to do chores and check on all the other animals as well… So I can safely say the weekend has been an adventurous one so far!

Welcome!! :)

Welcome to my Blog and Web page!

This is my First ever blog space so please bare with me while I figure this all out! It is my intention to update, as often as possible but with a busy farm life and work life there may be some breaks along the way… As spring is here now (well almost!!) I hope to get outside and doing more so will try to keep the pics and stories of our journey through our second summer on the farm! It’s exciting and every day presents a new adventure so I will fill you in on some of the adventures so far!

Pigs:522530_559132030778238_2032796599_n We just recently acquired pigs as new additions to the farm. They have been so much fun! Quite the personalities! As it is relatively cool out still they have a home in the barn. Once the sun is shining and the weather warms up they will have a large outdoor area to live and play in! While living in the barn in the pen next to the chicken coop they sometimes think they would like to be chickens… rooting under the wall in an attempt to reach the chickens on the other side they have succeeded on three occasions! The Chickens who can get out to the run before the pigs block the exit by bumping in to and closing the make shift wind blocker generally end up spending the day outside and the others who were not quick enough are perched high on the roosts awaiting the pigs eventual exit! … Of Course Dia Dog is usually sitting patiently by the barn door hoping to help herding them back into their pen!

Incubating: IMG_5198About 3 weeks ago we acquired an incubator, immediately 9 eggs went in. To our amazement this past weekend 8 chicks hatched (on our first try)! They are now chirping away in their brooder in the spare room happy as can be! They will move outside to the bigger brooder in the barn in a couple of weeks when it is a little warmer out! Cute little fluff balls though! Olive cat is quite intrigued by these little moving noisy fluff balls although he sits on the chair above the brooder watching he has not yet tried to eat one of the little nuggets (knock on wood)!

Gardening: Through the winter I might add!

As the snow has started to melt this spring and the garden has now become visible and passable I headed out to see how the carrots faired through the cold months. Last fall it was not initially my intention to leave the carrots in over the winter however with the early and abundant snowfall I had no choice I couldn’t get to them for harvest and they had to stay put. I figured that it was no big deal… I would just work the rotted carrots into the garden in the spring before planting, count it as a loss and plan to harvest earlier next season… no need though I could see the tops of some of the carrots when the snow melted recently and I dug in to find full crisp tasty garden carrots ready for eating! Now I just need to get out and harvest the rest of the row before I have to get in and work up the garden for summer planting!

Well those are the most recent updates although so much has already happened since we moved out to the farm … more about that under my Livin’ the Country Life Tab.

Have a wonderful day all!