Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our little bitty tent trailer is up and ready for camping ..
It's in the pond field this year - should be a fun spot but may be buggy so we might wait for Labour Day Weekend to stay over :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Horsing around ...

Rode for the second time this summer yesterday. Amazing. Awesome. So. Much. Fun.

I rode for a lot of years. Pony Club (up through B levels eventually); hunter stuff; Prince Phillip Games; schooling shows; Trillium shows; eventing; running a trail riding string for a resort; riding other people's horses; breaking in young horses; managing a barn for a year between high school and university. Running a riding camp for the YMCA.

I drove, rode English, Western and spent a LOT of hours absorbing the world of the horse. My dad engaged my interest in history through horses. I can still tell you about Traveller and General Lee; Marengo and Napoleon; Buchephalus and Alexander The Great. (Smart trick on my dad's part!)

I have had horses of my own but the time came when there were too many other ways to spend both the money and the time. My best riding friend ever left to move to England and it just wasn't the same. I walked away from equipment I had worked hard to get (including two lovely Steuben saddles) but I really didn't think there was any in between with me. I have one bridle and a martingale still and they bring back memories every time I trip across them. So it was with some trepidation I called a local stable to see if they had a lesson spot for me.

Nelly - not with me though :)
They did. Off I went to check them out .. the mare I rode last week and this is a lovely bay TB some what like my first horse Beau. Last week was HOT and I wore myself out quickly. This week I was pretty determined to really ride. The instructor Katie is great - so positive and friendly. Nellie went beautifully this week. She's stiff as a board to start - and short but once she engages her hind end she floats along in a lovely trot. Like many TB her walk needs serious work. Her canter isn't pleasant either actually but we worked through and got a  couple of  really nice transitions. We also worked on leg yields, turns on the forehand and extending stride. It was quite funny, I could not post on the wrong diagonal to save my life.

Big T has mentioned before that he'd like horses in our life. I have been a little slow to embrace this idea. I am getting to a point now where I can not only imagine horses in our life but be excited about it. Oh dear.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I think I whine about the heat every summer but today is INSANE ... it's 88 degrees inside the house and Big T just called  to tell me it's 39 degrees on the road- that's got to be 100 in F?
Funny eh? I am a convert kid - they changed measuring systems when I had just started school - so I sort of know both - in hot weather I think in F, in cold C .. weights are in pounds  and distance is in km. Our thermometers cover both - so it depends on what you are looking at how you'll report a temperature in this household.

It's crazy! This perfectly built house is a haven of cool - the windows are angled to maximize heat in winter and cool in summer. Usually just adjusting the shades keeps it 10 degrees or so cooler in the house. NOT now. It's boiling. Hot rabbits, chickens, chicks and dogs all agree. The parrots think it's the best day EVER mind you.

Monday, July 18, 2011

too much excitement for me

A lovely lazy day til the excitement started .. actually we were woken up by a thunderstorm but everybody was still snug in bed so it was no big deal

Lazy time watching things dry and the sun come out - cleaned out the front cupboard which was in desperate need - apparently plastic bags were having a party in there!

I left to go .... wait for it.... RIDING at Fox Field Farm... for a lesson with Katie Buxton. It was awesome. It had been a very very long time since I had been on a horse with any serious intention at all. I suspect 18 years or so. I rode a lovely TB mare - Nellie - who had a very Beau like head (Beau was my first horse). She was a sweetie - she wanted to offer a LOT more contact than I wanted to take though .. I was feeling hunter/pleasure and Katie wanted to see the mare warming up and bending ... we did a nice leg yield - amazed I automatically just did it and some how was never on the wrong diagonal without thinking about that either ...then ...I overheated ... which was fine by me - I suspect I had enough thinking and riding for one day ...

As I left the farm a massive storm blew up ...driving home wasn't fun - 2 Huge trees were down - which actually meant the highway was closed but I knew everything would be safe a secure at the schoolhouse. HA! The chicks pen had blown apart a bit - a huge sheet of plywood was on the other side of the road. The swing was upside down on the lawn. The bunny pen and hutches were a disaster (we might end up with some surprises in 30 days to remind me of the day the rabbits "played" together!) The laying hens were soaked and their feed shed was flipped face down - not a hope I could move that but I managed to right everything else.

What a day!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

hot delightful daze ...

It's that time of year - when a stolen moment or hour is still work - just work we want to do. Headed to the farm today to cut some trails and cut out some bush on a fence line (also collected fresh for the rabbits- but that's an every day activity!).

 Sampson got to hit the pond and wallow - then roll in the dry dry grass. He thought it was great.
Big T carefully rigged up his helmet so he wouldn't lose it. It ended up under the blades of the mower. VERY glad his head wasn''t in it.
Sally was very very hot but very very happy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

everything is still growing ...

veggies, puppy, chicks .. I would have thought things would have slowed down but no everything is still chugging ahead ..tomato plants will not be spectacular this year - they are already fruiting instead of still growing but the peas have been awesome, beans look like they'll be fine, and squash are threatening to take over the planet! Potatoes, onions  and garlic are looking ok too.
Pretty fine start to my two months of farm life. Dogs and rabbits are THRILLED and the three laying hens are just a pleasure to live with.

Egg count - at least 30 - I think I'm losing count!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hot chicks .. do better in the shade ...

chicks are outside - my they poop a LOT! moved the pen a foot or two today - will repeat again tomorrow :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

3 hens a layin'

We have some fine ladies this year. 7 days .. 19 eggs. Not bad considering we were told they weren't laying!They are super super friendly hens now too. Quite the characters. They are easy to tell apart but I haven't named them yet. I'm sure something will come to me but ideas are always welcomed!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Won't you come out and play today?

Poor little chicks are so hot today - they moved to slightly larger accommodations and lost the completely solid sided walls on their brooder as they are just getting too hot. Can't wait to get them outside on grass I think they will be very happy. I hope so.

The new ladies are doing their job already - three eggs in 24 hours! They can slow down a bit if it suits them! They seem terrified to come out of their coop. Although one was letting me pet her and being quite calm so hopefully the great outdoors won't be so scary soon. (Yes, that's one of the ladies peering out at the great wide world.

Hay was cut yesterday. The annual YAY HAY shot!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chicken Summer ...

If 2009 was the summer of Rabbit and last year was the year of the Great Garden this summer will be chicken summer!

We have 21 white rock crosses (if I buy grocery store chicken and hate doing so how can we not try raising ethical food- at least once?). We got 2 week old started pullets for our first adventure and so far it's going OK. The chicks are taming down nicely and growing well too. Alone they would be an adventure.


We also have three laying hens. Like the first summer we got chickens we have little to no story on them. They were basically dumped at a local feed store. I happened to ask if they knew anybody with laying hens that needed homing when they had boxes of hens about to turn to stew. We got three hens and despite being quite sure they wouldn't lay for awhile (they are nearly naked at the moment) they immediately rewarded us with an egg. If I get an egg a day from them that will be way up from last years production and I'll be happy. These poor ladies have been debeaked so I hope they can get bugs etc as well as the girls the last two summers.