Motivated by Mango

I love mangos, and I’m not the only one around here. I gave the chickens a stone to peck at yesterday, thinking it was nice for them to have something a little extra-hydrating on a hot day (Pearl prefers the zucchini, though). I came in to write up yesterday’s blog post, and came out to find… well…

Is this a dog that looks contrite? She was very pleased with herself to have reached that mango pit.

Marigold-or-Buttercup, checking out the situation.

Sunday Photos

Just a couple photos, and not much to say, on this late Sunday night.

Today we boxed up our first 1/2 dozen eggs to give away. I think there are 5 more in the fridge – we did well this week!

Early evening, we picked blackberries.

There are lots, and they’re beautiful and tasty. I’m making jam tonight (more on that later) and will have some to freeze for baking as well.

And Cora is recovering from surgery. Public Service Announcement – do NOT let your dogs get ahold of corn cobs! She gave us quite a scare. She’ll have her stitches removed later this week. But, she is eating well again, and her energy has definitely returned. I think the t-shirt look is kind of sweet (she’s tried many different colours this week). She’s been driving me crazy, whining to go out constantly, but we’re glad things turned out as they did!

Mmmm… lettuce!

I’ve only had one dog before Cora, but he was not a healthfood nut. Tanner loved cheese and filet mignon.

Cora loves carrots, green beans, and above all, bananas. Her new discovery, however, is lettuce. I had some leftover iceburg lettuce that I bought for burgers and don’t like for much else, so I thought I’d offer it to the chickens to pick at. They didn’t seem terribly interested in it, but Cora went crazy for it! We found this whole thing very amusing, of course, so we took a quick video. Turn up your volume and listen for the crunch!

A Couple Days in Photos

Yesterday, it rained. A lot. The dog refused to go out, I went to a cold and wet (and totally disappointing) workshop about gardening and composting… and we acquired a cheap pond:

Today, we were all eager to be outside. The Mr. is working on our fire pit, which we are definitely looking forward to using:

Cora would like you to see her favourite collection of “sticks.” Yes those are huge branches trimmed from a tree, and yes she does try to drag them around:

And I am excited to let you wonder what this old sandbox is hopefully going to become:

Go on. Take a guess!

My Husband the… Farmer on Call?

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is a new teacher. This is his first year working after completing his education degree last year. As is usual around here, he was hired as a teacher-on-call. We’re feeling very blessed and a little lucky that he is getting lots of work!

Today the Mr. did a half-day in a kindergarten classroom. I was working from home to keep an eye on the new puppy. When he arrived home at 2:30 I noticed that he took a little bit of time getting in to the house, but I was busy so I didn’t pay too much attention… until he came in to tell me this story! It made me laugh, and we can all use a good laugh, so I thought I’d share. For sake of forming a picture in your head, do keep in mind he was in his work clothes. He can write it better than I can, of course, so here it is in his words:

I pulled in to our driveway this evening after work and looked down towards the barn to see three sheep (two lambs and their mother) staring back at me as they wandered around idly on the driveway. There was no one else in sight, and so I went down to see if I could find someone. There were no farmers to be found, but inside the barn I found an old hockey stick leaning up against the wall by the steers’ enclosure. I’d seen a farmer coaxing a pig to move with a walking stick once and, I thought, a hockey stick does look a bit like a shepherd’s crook! So I grabbed it and walked back over to where the sheep were grazing. I never got close enough to them to use it as I had intended, because the minute they saw me coming they bolted and ran up the driveway toward our house. Apparently I’m much more intimidating when I’m carrying sports equipment.

I moved slowly toward them with the stick held out lengthwise in front of me so I could block them if they tried to get past me. They ran back toward the barn, but stopped outside it. The lambs moved in closer to their mother as she began looking around for an escape route from the crazy man with the stick. Apparently she wasn’t willing to give up her freedom just yet. I kept creeping closer though, crouched like a stalking predator and she finally relented and went in to the barn, the lambs trotting behind her. I went in after them and closed the sliding door behind me.

Now I had to figure out which pen they had come from, because they couldn’t be left free wandering around in there. I spotted an empty pen at the far end of the barn from me with the plywood used to block it knocked over. I figured that was theirs. The problem now was that the ewe and her lambs had moved to the opposite corner from their pen and were cowering in a corner with me…  in the way. They needed to go down a narrow run to get to their pen, and they wouldn’t move unless I chased them, but it seemed like me that the ewe, hefty as she was, might knock me over as she ran past. I didn’t relish the idea of being knocked on to the floor of a place where livestock are constantly relieving themselves. I went for it anyway, and to my relief I was able to move far enough over to let the ewe go by as she and her babies ran for their pen, their last hope of getting away from this crazy, scary man with a hockey stick. I propped the plywood back up and went home, the sheep staring at me in bewilderment as I left. I made sure to close the barn door tightly behind me as I left too, since I had no desire to match wits with any more sheep.

So there you go.

My husband the teacher, and occasionally, farmer-on-call. I guess there’s nothing like learning on the fly! And of course, every good FOC needs a dog who is acquainted with the sheep. Cora, on our little walks, has been startled by the noises they make (though she does like the horses). I thought it was probably a good time to get her used to them, so we all stood by the fence for a while. I think she… in fact, I think WE… are going to be just fine.

Yes Dad, You Can Have It In Writing!

My dad has told me several times since my last post that I don’t blog often enough.

I’m  here to say that this is one of those (rare?!) cases in which he is right. He probably wants that written in stone, but this is the best I can do.

So… what’s been happening?

Our puppy is home. Her name is Cora. We do NOT have enough sleep, though it’s getting better. This is my excuse for not writing, and I’ll try to appease the masses with a cute picture. Cora loves this squeaky sock monkey, and we think it’s pretty cute, too.

There’s lots more going on, of course, so I promise to post more in the next few days.

Puppy Love

We have a house. We have a yard. You know what we need?

A puppy.

Here’s our girl. She’s coming home next Wednesday.

She’s a black lab / golden retriever cross, and she’s just perfect. We met her last weekend and fell in love. To be fair – who could not? Look at those eyes and the floppy ears! The Mr. is still finishing up that fence, and luckily has 2 weeks off to be home with her, due to spring break. We’ve bought dishes and toys, and are off to pick up a crate! Many more pictures coming soon, I’m sure.