Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ah Nelly you're so fine!

Didn't get to film much - but we had a great ride yesterday! Next time I'll try to film the working bits!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On Living a Life of Loss and Love ...

We foster for an animal rescue and that means, for us anyhow, we deal with more deaths of those we love than many. Palliative fosters, sick kittens, elderly animals -all a part of the family - and most a part of our hearts have died. Fostering is, in and of itself an exercise in loss,even sending a foster to a loving forever home is often bittersweet. We have a tiny family but cancer has been very cruel to those closest to us, taking 7 immediate family members since we have been adults. Add a few other deaths of people near and dear to us and I have become pretty experienced at grief.

Little Wyn was in one of those fluke accidents you hope will never happen to you or one you love.

He and Sally were playing a riotous game of chase on the lawn while I did morning chores. I watched them and appreciated the fun they were having; stepped inside with the small dogs to get warm water for the chickens, stepped out and Sally was at the door-quite frantic. I let her in then hustled around the corner to see what had happened. A neighbour was waiting for me.

"I'm sorry. I hit your dog."


"I saw them playing, I should have slowed down, the kids distracted me."

"It's OK." (Yah, that was my first and ongoing reaction: grief is strange)

"I'm pretty sure he's gone."

I ran to him and she was right. Why he, a 40+ pound dog died when much smaller dogs survive I will never know. One second in time spent differently on so many people's parts and he would not have have even been clipped. All he was doing was a big goofy puppy circle RIGHT at the end of the driveway. As far as I could tell he wasn't even fully in the road. He was killed instantly. I suppose he broke his neck? He bit his tongue and there was a tiny bit of blood from that. (You all know how much mouth wounds bleed).

The outpouring of love for Wyn has staggered me.  From Switzerland, England, New Zealand, all over Canada, and the States, people have reached out in this, the busiest time of year, to offer what comfort they can, to cry and celebrate and do all the things one does in tragic times. People from all of my worlds, and complete strangers, have collided in grief. This funny outgoing little puppy has had more tears shed for him then I can imagine.

Grief is a funny thing. It has pushed some of Wyn's crew to great faith. God must have needed a puppy for Christmas. And others away. Why? How is this possible after seeing you with him? Both approaches offer us consolation. People are being so generous and trying so hard to right this terrible wrong.

From the nearly inarticulate words of some "I'm so sorry", " I don't know what to say", "Please tell me it isn't true" to some beautiful passages shared

“We who choose to surround ourselves

with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.” 
― Irving Townsend

To beautiful memories and words shared:

I had a special place in my heart for this boy!! 

A short life, but a very rich one.
I have followed the wonderful life of Wyn from the very beginning, and I watched him grow from a teeny little guy, into the most handsome boy!! 
He has a very special story and his special story was told by you with such love that it made everyone fall in love with him.
To love is better than never experiencing love. Wynn loved you, adored you from the moment you rescued him.
You welcomed everyone to love him.
Wyn wanted for nothing...right from the start. 
What a lucky boy he was... Although his life was short, it sure was fun!
He took a great big bite of life and leaves paw prints on our hearts.
We just never know when our loved ones time is up and I believe you always knew that and you enjoy and cherish your days.
Wyn was a wonderful gift and a breath of fresh air and he will be missed by everyone.
Godspeed little man.

To this, from communications specialist, author and Wyn's other mother, Kathryn Harvey: 

Every once in a while, somebody comes into your life and ends up not being able to stay very long. But for those who know how to live right, more joy and love can be packed into a short visit than can be experienced in a thousand years of going through the motions. From being bottle-fed every couple of hours to demonstrating impressive skills in scent detection, Wyn lived a concentrated life. His enthusiasm was infectious, his pure evil sweetness unforgettable. And his luck in finding Andrea and Tom, well, that was just about the best part of all. If you're not going to be around for a long time, make sure you're in the best possible company. Wyn did, and we're all the richer to have been able to share in his story.

Perhaps as someone suggested today it's because our inn was so over full with him that fostering was out of the question and there is someone in need of us.

No beautiful boy today, today I'm missing you - and all those who have gone before you- an awful lot. But I'll be OK. More OK for having had the chance to love you than I would have been without you. Thanks for asking, and thanks for being you. Grief extends my empathy and compassion. Grief sucks and while I wish I never had to experience it again I know it has shaped me and for that I must be grateful. 

Will we open ourselves up to this sort of grief again? Not today, not tomorrow (I so so hope!), but inevitably yes. We will. Because that's the way we roll. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Most Eggslent!!

At least 3 and maybe all 4 of the Silkies have started laying eggs.

16 eggs so far - and 3 of them were just yesterday!

Tiny little balls of fluff  to gangly adolescents to egg laying contributors to the good life!

Thanks Girls!

Silkie eggs seem to be 1/2 to 3/4 size of a regular hen's eggs. Perfect for Mum -just as planned!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The way we roll ...

A new fun phase of life has opened up

and I have to say I love it ...

We have a pretty equitable division of labour

Big T is doing the bulk of the off home work at the moment .. and enjoying it I think.

I do the feeding and cleaning up after animals - we share the walking and loving bits!

We shop together, and I do the bulk of the meal preparation. Big T puts away dishes and I do them.

Big splits wood (truth be told I can't even hold the maul above my head!) and I stack it inside.

So far, so good, so fun!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Whoa Nelly!

I just got asked if I wanted to ride a mare for the winter. Uhhh yes!

Meet Nelly. A 17 yo tb mare with LOTS of talent and a serious lack of fitness.

We will have a ton of fun keeping each other fit and happy.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Garden Wrap Up

It was a crazy summer between filming Saving Dinah and then getting ready for the move down here. The weather was beautiful but so so dry. All in all despite the challenges some things did very well.

Garlic . this place should be called Garlic Mound!
Used more rhubarb than ever before
Asparagus was awesome
Peas were positively perfect
Lettuce - loving still using our own lettuce- always so great to figure something out!!
Corn - best year yet - rabbits, chickens and we all enjoyed it!

Herbs came and went - when they were on they were great - the rest of the time not so much!
Potatoes -there were fewer out then put in - pretty sure that was a water issue
Onions - were small but I actually felt like I might begetting a clue with them
Raspberries - pretty sure this is the first year I've had less than a handful from our garden -probably should trim them all back and start from scratch - not sure I can bear to do that though!

Didn't plant

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Garlic ...

2 beds planted!

One whole bed of Korean Garlic in!!
One whole bed of Schoolhouse Garlic in!!

Lots of garlic left for using through the year.

Always feels so good!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Freezing November and yet ...

we are still harvesting lettuce from under our floating row cover ... yay!

and yesterday is likely the latest date EVER for a second cut of hay - off about 25 acres we got 25 bales .. not a great yield for the year (about 2/3 of normal; 1/2 our best year so far) but still pretty impressive!

Hoping it warms up a bit so I can go on a garlic planting frenzy soon.

And the freeloaders are very happy clucking around .. would have liked some eggs some day from them but doubt we'll see any til the days start getting longer now!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall is here ...

I've been waiting for a nice day to spend in the garden but realized today I'd better grab nice moments when I can ... so today I pulled the tomato plants and their cages!

The colours are still beautiful

The dogs are still loving their farm runs!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The youth and I

Went to a part of the farm we've hardly explored before 

the dogs ran 

and jumped

 peeked, explored 

all kinds of neat paths

and neat finds 

 such a pretty little corner

of the farm

such a happy explore

such good dogs

Monday, October 8, 2012

and she's back where she belongs!

With a huge debt of gratitude to Neil and Don as Big T was sick as could be today.

Dogs and I went for a nice walk and collected grass for the bunnies and chickens.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

That beautiful new shed from a week ago? Yup this one right here; she went touring last night.

Most exciting four hours we've had at one time at the farm!

So sad to be dismantling it so soon after putting it up. 
Royal PITA actually but whatever. 
'Tis what it is and all that.

Great to have great help figuring out the safest plan for dismantling it. Even better to have help doing it. 
The experts laugh and say it'll be even faster to put back up tomorrow.

Dogs thought it was great fun too.