Friday, March 30, 2012


Remember this guy?
 That's our Wonder mutt in the blue collar, having a nap with Ruckus.  He was the last of Ebony's puppies to find a home in January 2011.

He's gotten a lot bigger since then!  And his name is Boomer now.  It suits him.
#2 is friends with a girl who is friends with the girl who took him home.  (It's a true story- it happened to the friend of a friend of mine...)

#2 told his friend, almost a year ago, to tell her friend, that if she ever wanted to give him up, to let him know.  She doesn't want to give him up.

However, after finding Bruno a new home (the dog who kills things just for fun), in the city,
#2 was kind of sad.  Not so much about Bruno.  The boys all understand that the only way Bruno could stay here was to be tied up all the time, and that is a very SUCKY life for a dog.  They're happy that he has a nice fenced in back yard and a new family.  But #2 was sad, because Bruno could not be our boy.

It's been almost a year, and we are all still hurting from the loss of our boy.
Waldo was the BEST DOG EVER.

So #2 asked his friend, again, how her friend's puppy was doing.

And her friend friended him on facebook.  And asked him if we wanted to come visit her puppy.

I didn't want to visit.  Our neighbour kept two of Waldo's daughters, and it hurts to see them.  But I told him to ask if they got him fixed.  They didn't.  He got the phone number, and Husband called.

They agreed to let us borrow him.  We can make puppies.  We can have a grandson of Waldo!

The very next morning, I noticed blood spots on the floor.  It took half the day, and I'm sure my girls were getting tired of me following them around, but I confirmed it was in fact Wonder.

And now we have Boomer as a house guest.
There's been a lot of sniffing going on, but so far, we haven't witnessed any action.

It's quite the experience.  We don't know if he remembers us, or having lived here, but he's settled in like one of the crew.

His mom, Ebony, growls at him at feeding time.  It's kind of funny, because our dogs have food down almost constantly, share bowls, and the only time Ebony ever growled at anyone for eating alongside of her was when she was ready for her puppies to get out of her dish and find new homes.  But she growls that low growl every time I fill a dish, telling him to back off.  Otherwise they get along great.

His sister, (Ebony's daughter from another litter, different father), thinks he's great fun to play with.

Wonder hasn't cuddled up with him quite like she used to, but they're getting there.
But the strangest thing has got to be the cat.  Lucky does not like dogs.  We picked him up off the street about 11 years ago, a mean lean scrapping street cat.  He used to beg for scraps where I used to work.  When we brought him home, he cornered our jack russel in the bathroom, growling, loud, like a dog, and I swear he was going to kill him.  He has smacked around every dog we've had since then.   Somewhere along the line he decided he liked Waldo, and he would curl up beside him on the floor, and even play with him.


So, imagine my surprise to find him rolling around on the floor beside Boomer.


Boomer does not have a cat at his new house, and was not interested in playing with Lucky. So Lucky just sat and stared at him.

He's a lot like his dad.  It's hard to see it every day. 

His long, lean body.  Curly black fur.  The white patch on his chest.

The way he barks when someone comes in.  Not really aggressive, but a very clear warning, that you don't belong here.

The way he plays with the other dogs.  He's the biggest, and the only male, but he totally lets them be dominant.

The way he climbs up on the couch or bed slowly, front first, and then dragging his rear end up behind him.  No jumping.

The way he stretches his huge awkward self out in the middle of a room, in the way, and makes everyone walk around him.

The howling.  I didn't even realize I missed the howling until I heard him.  Waldo was part husky.  The girls don't howl.

The way he just loves to be outside.  All of the time.  Even at -16°C.  The girls rush out, do their business, and rush back in.  Waldo loved to be outside.

The way he eats his veggies.  He likes potatoes, beans, and apples.  He took a carrot, but then didn't seem to know what to do with it.  Waldo ate everything, but he really loved a good carrot.  Especially one earned in the pasture by utter cuteness when he knew darned well those carrots were supposed to be barn critter treats.

The way he lays down with his back legs tucked up tight, like a rabbit ready to pounce.

He's a lot like his mom, too.  He has her face.  He must scratch and rearrange the blankets before he lays down.  He must squeeze in front of the other dogs, under your arm, 'pet me first!'  The way he wakes me up because he needs to go pee!

And on top of all that, yesterday one of the ducks was out in the yard alone.  He was way out of reach.  He went running.  But he didn't pounce on it and kill it.  He just stopped and sniffed and nudged it, and looked back at me as if to say this isn't supposed to be here.

It's been a pleasure and a curse.  He is absolutely great.  And hopefully he will soon realize that he has work to do and get the job done.  He is exactly what I want, and I am very excited for the future. 

But I am also crying every day again.  I miss my boy.  It hurts to see him every day, but just not quite.  I miss my Waldo.

Apple Seeds

So, after my overzealous attempt to play Johnny Apple Seed last year, I never even transplanted any of the seedlings outside. To start with, they never sprouted as well in the open top bags as they had the year before in the ziplocs. Then, I was busy playing in the greenhouse in the spring, and neglected my indoor seedlings. Before I knew it, it was June, and they were all dried out and dead.

This year, I went back to ziplocs, but since I'm expecting to be busy in the greenhouse in the early days of spring, I decided to skip a step.  No paper towels in the baggies, just good ole dirt.  I didn't do as many bags this year either, and I used more seed per bag.  If they sprout, they can be moved to the sunroom as is, and just need to be opened and watered, then straight outside to be transplanted in June.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Big Tub O'Dorie

I'm sure she's tired of me following her around with a camera.
I'm also pretty sure there's the beginnings of a baby bump there, on her left side.
She can't really be that fat, can she?  I mean, if it was just fat, she would look fattier along her back bone, right?

We got Steaks last August, so the earliest we should expect calves, is May 22nd.  We butchered him Nov 14th, making our last possible calving date August 23rd.

 I have a while to wait.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Walk in the Pasture

From the back of the pasture, facing the barn. It's looking pretty good. The boys did a good job spreading hay last fall, and we have a nice spread of manure, with a bit of waste hay.
The last of the snow, along the fence line.
Grass.  And it's green!  In March!?

Transplanting Tomatoes

The tomatoes I planted from my saved 2011 seed were getting a little too big for their pop bottles.
They're doing pretty good, but they probably could have lost their lids with the heat this week.
They're into yogurt containers now.
And while I was playing in the dirt, I figured I might as well transplant the mixed tomatoes from the seed exchange too.  These probably would have been ok for another week, but since I had everything out already, it was easier to just do it now.
Which leaves me with room on the plant stand for another tray to start.  I think more herbs.  I've picked up a few more seed packets, and I had a few that wouldn't fit in the last batch.  And, despite the weather, it's TOO EARLY to start the veggies!!!  (I'm really trying to convince myself here).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The snow is gone in the chicken pen. (Back side of the coop).
And they are enjoying this reprieve from winter.
And/or the reprieve from excess roosters tormenting the poor girls.
Either way, they're out and about in the sunshine, scratching and pecking, and living the good life.
We're up to 5 eggs a day!  Guess what's for breakfast!

Down the Logging Trail

Our property backs up against about 10000 acres of crown land. We call it our playground, where we ride quads, snowmobiles and horses, pick blueberries, raspberries and elderberries, hunt, and gather firewood.

This is the beginning of the trail, our property on the right, and the creek that flows through it.
The creek is overflowing the road.
The creek, on our side.
There's the birthday boy.  He was a little nervous to go across.
The trails were pretty mucky, with lots of big puddles.
Fresh moose tracks.
There's still a bit of snow, but not much.
This is the point that Wonder started wondering if maybe she should have stayed home.
Lots of snow up by the milk truck (somebody's former hunting camp, left in the woods to rot).

Headed back.
Me & Wonder.  I think sometimes she follows us because she likes to ride on the quad.

The Littles.  Hey, you know what?  I called him #3 yesterday, but he's not.  He's #4, lol.  I mix up their real names too, from time to time.  Oops.  He enjoyed his birthday ride.  We certainly weren't expecting weather like this!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For the First Time In 5 Years

It actually, almost, feels like spring on the first day of spring! We're still having beautiful warm weather, although the temperatures are supposed to drop this weekend, and bring more snow.

I can't believe how fast it's melting! Lake Middle of the Lawn got three times as big as what it was before it finally started receding.

The garden is clearing nicely.  I was standing at the end closest to the house when I took this picture, just to give you some idea of the distance things are around here.
The wood shed is looking pretty bleak these days.
Mama and the kids are doing great!
The kids are completely fearless.  I love how Nelly looks out for 'her' baby brother and sister.

The snow in the pasture is also fading fast. 
Dorie is looking pretty plump.  I'm hoping there's a baby in there!  She's pretty even sided though, so it's hard to say!
Lucy is not looking pregnant at all.  She didn't kid last year either, so she may be going off to market soon.

The geese are still out playing on the lawn.  They're happy to be out exploring.  This pic was taken from about halfway between the house and the coop.

Here's a much better shot.
Sunshine makes us happy.

The muscovies (ducks) scared #1 last night.  They were hiding when he went to put them to bed.  I thought for sure they were gone, but they returned at dusk.  They got their wings clipped to prevent them from flying off.

It's #3's birthday today, and we are headed out for a quad ride, to see how the melt is going in the woods.

I hope you're all out enjoying this beautiful weather, wherever you are!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lake Middle of the Lawn

Home to wandering geese and ducks.
Make that, she geese and ducks.  They're pretty funny to watch through the window, but the moment I go out to take pictures, they head back to the coop.
 Nope, nope.  We're not swimming if you're watching.
 Home!  Everybody run!
But the proof is in the feathers.
 Back at the coop.
Three white geese.  One yellow ducky.  So happy, just to be bathing again!
The snow has sunken at least a foot already.  The weather has been above freezing for a week already, with another week in the forecast, and even a high of 20°C predicted for Wednesday.

While I'm not apt to believe winter is over just yet, I am enjoying this lovely break.

We butchered 4 roosters.  9 others have vanished, leaving us with two. 

We lost another turkey hen- to the dog who kills for fun and will soon be living elsewhere.

The kids are doing great.

Casper is staying on his side of the fence!

The boys' room is painted.

The chickens are laying!

A lovely week!