Sunday, December 28, 2014

we're all just running feral here

what glorious weather 

dogs (including extra guest)



many guests over the last week - loved having them but looking forward to a peaceful week too :D


are pretty confined which is a good thing as they'd have blown to Oz last week 

bunny is also safely confined 

in most exciting news ever the barn is DONE!

completed photos next time 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Winterizing ...

not nearly as much as we'd like - as we are still waiting for the garage to be finished and the barn to be started - but slowly bit by bit it will come together

need to dig up garlic and move it - need to winterize equipment

need to figure out winter water for the horses

have a source of round bales for hay  which is great but have to get them inside if we can

the list is long but the gang is happy and we'll get it done

... won't we?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Summer Loving ...

What a summer - it has flown by with a hundred things undone but what a lovely summer it has been

horses came home to the farm

hay happened - but it can have it's own usual post!

house is so close to done only we know it isn't quite

got to play some agility and some scent work - got to teach some of both too

dogs have decided this is indeed the good life

visitors came from around the world and around the corner - friends and family - canine and human so lovely to see them and share our corner of the world with them

we made it to Paradise and Sandbanks - more than once this summer!

work continues to be fun and fulfilling - in all it's variations

and I still have things to unpack and find homes for

Monday, May 12, 2014


What would you do if you were offered a horse before your farm was finished?
A horse you really didn't need or want but who really needed out of his situation?

I was asked how I could say no. I couldn't. I decided even if the answer was euthanasia it was a better answer than saying no.

And Sept 13th, 2013  Valiant arrived. I knew he was thin. I didn't know he was near death and starving.

Now on the anniversary of his 8th month here he is happy and filling out and muscling up. We've been able to have his teeth done and deworm him (many times).

He went onto a Cornell Study refeeding program - slowly slowly building him up to eating huge rations - for the first 72 hours he got less than 4 pounds of hay a day.  Now he eats free choice hay 24/7 and gets 2 large meals too ...

Last night he wanted to canter while having his short ride - we did a half circle each way. What a good good boy.

Team Valiant deserves so much credit for making this possible. They fund raise for him so he can have the best of everything. He sees a chiro and vet monthly and has as good a life as we together can make for him.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

we are here

yup - many many years in the making but we are actually living full time at the farm ...
still lots to do cleaning and packing school house stuff and figuring out what the future should be for it ..


The dogs are loving it.

We planted 37 trees Mum got us in a little tree nursery and along the fence line of the house - so neat to be planning so actively for the future

There are signs spring might be coming. All is good.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


house is coming along fabulously ....

Arnold  is growing up

dogs are enjoying the tease of spring

I got out in the garden twice before the snow and cold came back! Big T spent quite awhile rebuilding a fence last Sunday. SO much work to be done.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Raising an orphan pig

If you get asked to raise a pig and go to your friend Google you will discover raising a baby pig is very difficult. Survivability  is low. (Yah, I made up the word. But you get the point.)

It's a scary thought to put so much work into something with the expectation it won't work out.

But saying no to this little face proved impossible. Meet Arnold.

A month of hard work and I hope the highest risk is over. He's very cute, very funny and been quite the education.

I present for you some cuteness and a primer on raising an orphan piglet. (Based on one pig and many many other orphan species).

1. Warmth is your friend. If you don't have a warm orphan you must NOT feed your baby. Warm them up first. Keep them warm and out of drafts. Arnold lived in a diaper box lined with towels and a heating pad at one end set on medium or high depending on how cold it was. He could always get away from the heat and he could always get to a hot spot. He did both. He still is draft free and has a little warmth source in one spot ... we've gradually increased his living space and it's working well.  When we travel he has a snuggle safe in with him - warmed int he microwave it holds heat for up to 8 hours.

2. Find buddies. Even fake ones.  He has 2 towel wrapped water bottle buddies that he can snuggle with. They stay quite warm up against a heat source.  Arnold has some dog friends and a cat friend and gets lots of human contact too. Contact with living breathing interactive things is really important to proper growth. Singleton orphans need particular attention in this regard.

3. Feed the right stuff. Sometimes this is easy. Kitten formula for kittens, whole cow milk for cows but sometimes it is much harder. Pig milk replacer is on back order in our part of the world. It's been a month and it still hasn't come in. So off to my friend google and our farm vet I went and settled on kitten milk replacer fed at whatever amount Arnold wanted - mixed just a little stronger than the directions called for. Kitten milk does not have quite the same fat level as pig apparently. I thought about various ways to up the fat level and have been watching carefully to see if I should do anything but Arnold has thrived on kitten milk replacer. Thrived all the way up to consuming a tin a day.

4. Weaning is hard. Getting your orphan eating is tricky, messy and sometimes frustrating. Know it's coming and you will get through it. Start a little earlier than you might think. Just one or two meals in a dish the rest by bottle. Then one day the ratio will switch - one bottle at bed is a nice tradition to keep awhile but usually in my experience the animal eventually chews the nipple top off and weaning from a bottle is done. Keep a mash sloppy and wet for a long time to ensure the baby is getting enough water intake. I put a dish of water down at this point but it seems to take awhile til water is consumed.

5. Introduce your piglet to new foods in tiny amounts. Arnold is now eating a mix of oatmeal cereal (to ensure he gets lots of iron) kitten milk replacer and pig pellets - all soaked in hot water and allowed to sit - then just before feeding I add more water to make it more sloppy again.

6 Enjoy and love your baby. You are doing a great thing even trying to save the baby. Thank you!

Friday, February 21, 2014

So close we can smell it

The farmhouse is nearly ready - and, to be totally honest, it's glorious.

the dogwash/boot wash is nearly done

the tree door is just as beautiful as I thought it would be

the kitchen will truly be the heart of this house

loving our big fireplace

the stunning swan faucet

the main floor shower ... 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The thing about a new build

is you have to decide absolutely everything!

Our farmhouse is being built in the middle of a big field  so the first decision was where in the field would it go - we thought we knew - then we second guessed ourselves a bit - then got input from builder. It's very close to the original plan.

Then every little detail - siding, flooring, window, colours  I expected - but trim for doors and windows? handles on doors? types of doors? baseboard look? stairs? railings? Wow.  What an education.

The house is starting to look complete - just a few more choices for it and we'll be starting to move in ...  so on to outside choices

Getting dog yard fenced - where? With what?
Garden? (any regular reader of this blog will know food garden will be first priority)
Where will  the rabbits go? The Chickens?

Barn? Garage? What do we need today, tomorrow, in 10 years?

so much thinking - so much joy

Friday, January 31, 2014

water ... never a drop to drink

our water supply has gotten quirky ... iffy ... and we aren't quite sure why

occasionally it starts to freeze when the wind is a certain way and the temps are arctic - but we now have a good handle on stopping a full freeze ... but the pump is feeling gitchy too - occasionally with no warning at all it just stops. Give it 24 hours or so and it comes back - but highly annoying - always seems to happen when I was about to do dishes or laundry or both. Once poor Big T was in the shower - whoops!

oh rural living - sure helps you appreciate the hard work of our rural forefathers!