Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hoofing it and paddling

My sad, feeble brain can't recall whether or not I posted these horse pictures before. I don't think I did, but I'm too lazy to look. Anyway, we've been taking horseback riding lessons, western style, and it's fantastic! 

Gordon loves Bonnie, aka Bon Bon.

I love Ella. Her legs are green because she'd been dressed up as an alligator in a parade the night before.

Now before you freak, yes, I wear a helmet when riding! I use one of the instructor's, but I've now ordered my own. This was my brief "Risk death for a photo op" moment, okay? :) Not the first time I've sat on a horse without a helmet, but I'm wearing one all the time now.

We both love horseback riding! I've wanted to take lessons for a couple of decades. It's too bad I waited so long. And Gordon's a natural! This is a place where his constant state of muscular relaxation is a big help for him. I get tense and think too much!

Ella is a great horse!

And I took a selfie while trying on helmets at the tack shop. I like the brand name on the tag, ha ha!

And when not hoofing it, we like paddling. We went out on Lake St. Francis (St. Lawrence River) again last week. Another beautiful evening...

A giant container ship cruised by! Eventually the wake hit us. Fun!

Gordon drifts past the Glengarry Cairn.

It's getting dark earlier and earlier... sigh. We can't kayak until 9 pm like we were earlier this summer!
Hope you are all having a Labour Day weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Porcine shenanigans

Shenanigans. Say it with me: shenanigans. I love that word!

But before we get to porcine...

Hello Redford!

Look who follows me everywhere now!

He loves hanging with the livestock! He's particularly enamoured of the pigs, but today I saw him lie down right in the middle of a crowd of ducks, chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl and pigs. He looked completely blissful.

I think it's nice that he comes down to the lower barn now. (A) He'll have more company and (B) it's where the rats (the very few that are left!) live. He heard one squeak the other night, but it was running along the top of the stone foundation and he couldn't figure out how to get up there!

Pig (Button) sniffing pig (Cordelia) sniffing cat. By the way, that pig on the right is NOT black.

Nor is the pig (Cordelia) on the left (Olivia's on the right.)

But this pig on the right (Dahlia) IS black! (That's Button again on the left.

Aaand here's Button trying to assert her authority over her sister. Guess who was playing in the mud yesterday? Yes, both of them!

Luther, the manly man.

Button trying it on with Cordelia. She just stayed there as Cordelia walked way, so there was this little piggy train going around the barnyard!

Luther, Jersey and Redford.

Dahlia and Redford.

Jersey and Redford like each other best. Poor Jersey, last Thursday she was fine in the morning but by evening was off her food, shaking and clearly feverish. I called the farm vet right away and he was there within the hour. She had pneumonia, poor thing! I'm so glad we caught it early. The vet gave her a shot of Draxxin (antibiotic) and by the next day, she was already improving. Yesterday I gave her the second dose. You have not lived until you've had to deliver an intramuscular injection into the neck area of a screaming piglet!!

I'd say today she is 100%, running around and eating like a pig. We were very worried for the first day or two, having lost the runt piglet of our Easter litter to pneumonia. But Jersey bounced right back. The vet thought that the stress of changing homes may not have helped, and I think she is a bit underweight, so I'm trying to fatten her up a bit (but not to the extent of her milk-fed, sausage-like adopted brother  and sisters!

Ophelia has gained back some weight too and I think she has finally weaned her babies! As you can see, she and Redford get along quite well too.

We are just about ready to move the pigs to their new digs and pasture. I will be glad to have them separated from the birds. It's hard to keep them all from eating each others' food, and I think the pigs will be better off with their grass pasture to fun around in.

That's my news for today!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Is that a unicorn?

So I took this selfie in the car wash today and messaged it to Gordon, who was waiting for me at the Service Ontario office, because we sold our Mazda 3 to a nice young lady who was meeting us there for the ownership switchover. This will be her first car ever so I hope she gets lots of years out of it. It was a good car for us. We just wanted something bigger!

Aaaaanyway, the selfie...

I posted this on Facebook and my friend Valerie sent me this:

 I will never look at car wash chemicals the same way again!!

And here is yesterday's sweet, if blurry, moment:

Redford going nose-to-nose with Ophelia in the lower barn. Ophelia was resting her head on my legs and getting a back scratch while I sat on the bottom step. Redford came down to join us. He and the pigs are mutually fascinated with, and slightly scared by, each other.

And speaking of old dogs, well... I guess we weren't. But anyway, here's Tristan...

It's hard for me to believe he's still here, just over a year since his spleen and a cat-sized tumour were removed. He's pretty wobbly but in good spirits and still enjoying life...

...not to mention our new fire pit up by the house!

We ate supper out here the other night. Fantastic!

I know how to light me a good fire!

And this is what has been consuming my summer...

Honey, honey, honey, bees, bees, bees. And yesterday one of my hives swarmed, and I caught the swarm, so I currently have 11 hives. Geez! Pictures of that later. The honey is spectacular this year!

Monday, August 18, 2014


I had a brain fart the other day, thinking I hadn't told you about Jersey, but of course I had! She's fitting in great...

What a sweet little pig! She has a sunny personality and is just such a nice addition to the barn. We've completely integrated her now and things are going very well, although she likes to go back to her own pen to sleep at night. I'm hoping that soon she'll be sleeping with the rest of the herd as well.

She's very curious about all the birds, including the guinea fowl!

And here's a gratuitous shot of Button. All our pigs are filthy! I'm looking forward to getting them into their new fenced, grassy pasture, but we're waiting for their new little pen to be constructed.

Happy Monday. I have to go take 13 honey supers off my hives. My friend helped me bottle 500 lbs of honey on Saturday morning. It's going to be a banner honey year. Last week I added my 65th medium honey super (box full of frames that the bees fill with honey for me) of the season. One of these supers contains 35 - 40 lbs of honey when full. Multiply that by 35... holy honey bee!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I broke down the wall!!!


Why yes, that's Redford the shy barn kitty. Last night he let me pet him, and he continued to let me love him up (carefully) today!

We did selfies! I can't tell you how happy I am that he is finally losing his fear of me. Of course the bowl of tuna didn't hurt.

I sat with him for an hour or so today and just let him come to me. He is still very wary but so desperate to be touched. He danced all around me for the longest time. I finally won him over by playing with him with a piece of baling twine.

I think we'll be best buddies soon! Isn't he handsome?

This afternoon I sat with him and worked on my writing homework. He was under my chair for a while, and kept patting at me for attention.  He has extra toes on three of his four paws and you can hear him padding around the barn!

Finally he had a nap in front of me. I figure he must be starting to trust me if he'll go to sleep in plain view.

Poor little guy. I think he has been quite lonely. We are going to take a couple of barn cats from friends of ours who have too many cats, and there may be a couple more barn cats on the horizon in the future. We will make sure they are all well cared-for and have a heated space in winter. I love this guy!

And here's Doppelganger indoors. They look so alike, but Redford is 12 - 18 months old while Emerson is around 8 months now. I still suspect they were dumped here together, as they appeared at pretty much the same time.

Emerson was smart. He moved right in!

Somehow we now have seven cats... and have I mentioned the new piglet? No? Next post! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Redford shows himself

Well, I was worried about the new barn cat, Redford, because he hadn't eaten a couple of meals. I'd left out for him. So I set up the wildlife camera in the upstairs barn, and got a photo of this hairy beast:

Exciting, but not quite what I was looking for. However, the next morning, things improved..

HA! Success! Redford came to eat breakfast.

Then of course I saw him again in the afternoon, without the camera, and again today:

What? You can't spot him?

Look for the glowing eyes next to the old toilet!

You can really see his polydactyl front paws here. He is getting braver! He sat there and watched while I put down his food this afternoon.

I sure hope this trend continues. I am dying to pet this cutie.