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

 

Mid May

Well here we are, already the middle of May and I am thinking about how exciting it is going to be to get out in to my garden. This past weekend my Father – In – Law brought over the heavy duty rotatiller and got to work in the garden mixing up the soil after last years much too early snow fall.

 photo

In fact because the snow fell so early last fall we missed 2 entire rows of carrots at harvest time. Lucky for us this created a wonderful spring bounty and tasty treats early in the year! We were able to salvage most of the carrots from the two rows before the ground was worked up and ready for planting again this year! Of course this will not be the case every year; I fully believed we lucked out, as there was no care taken to ensure the carrots would not rot over the cold and frozen winter.

 photo-1

The carrots that didn’t quite make the cut were still a delicious treat for the pigs that enjoyed the early evening snack!

As my husband has just purchased a new backhoe, after some brush clearing he will be heading out to build me a secondary garden. The main garden consists of annual plants and crops; I have now learned how to save most of the different plant seeds and hope to do so this year for a more personal planting experience next year. The idea of the secondary garden is perennial vegetables, herbs, and berries to provide us with a plentiful crop that can be nurtured year after year.

Once the weekend comes to an end and the chance of a May Long weekend Snow Fall (haven’t experienced one with out some amount of snow yet!) is behind us I will be getting out in the dirt and planting! I am looking forward to the extra time this year I will have to devote to working on out farm and planting a wonderful crop for fall harvest. I have many projects I would like to complete through the summer and warm weather and hope as well to have many barbecues, fires and gatherings with Friends and Family.

This weekend we are heading out to an exotic animal sale… more on that after the weekend!

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!