Things that make you go ewww (and ahhh)!!

Let’s just start with the big eww!!!  Found this lovely beast on my kitchen floor. Off one of the cats judging by the hair–Gideon probably,  as he is short one leg and can’t scratch properly. Pen for scale!!  It was as big as a grape!!  Eww!!The good thing is that our ticks, mostly wood licks, are not carriers of the dreaded Lyme disease and a province wide study of many thousands of ticks have turned up only a tiny number of disease ridden ticks. But they are just gross. The dogs got a chewy that kills the ticks as they bite but cats are really hard to treat–things that kill ticks tend to kill cats, in very unpleasant ways. I got bit twice last week after cutting the grass–they hadn’t really started drinking blood but they were quite firmly attached. One must never try to suffocate them to remove them as that only makes them regurgitate their disease ridden stomach contents into you. Simply pull slowly and firmly directly away from you till they pop off. Gross little buggers. Everyone seems to have their own way of killing them– I squish them with the blade of a knife, my daughter minces them with scissors and my son incinerates them with his lighter. But I have never seen such an infestation. Surely climate change is responsible. They were never here on the farm and even with the guineas free-ranging and snacking constantly, they obviously can’t eat them all. 

I returned my bus yesterday to the compound in Wilkie. My sister came to pick me up and we ended up on a road trip. She had never been to Leipzig so off we went. On the way we stopped to take photos of this beautiful abandoned house. I could live in a house like this. We think it is an old Eaton’s house but it is just gorgeous. Then onto Leipzig. This area was settled almost exclusively by German Catholic pioneers and a church and school were built. During the first and second wars I think the name was changed to something more “WASP” but I don’t know what it was. I have a friend who knows the history quite well, perhaps he will add his two cents worth in the comments 😊. 

Then just up the road was a cairn commemorating St Pashal–and acknowledging the contributions of the German pioneers. 

By now,  I was getting hungry. I was actually hungry back in Wilkie but as we were exploring I pushed it away. But I have a tendency to get “hangry” so it was decided to carry on to Bigger and the Snow White Cafe.  This is the best Chinese food on the prairies–just a little family run cafe with garage sale teacups–but fast courteous service and delicious food. We had Cantonese chow mien, extra spicy veggies in black bean sauce and honey garlic ribs. We ate till we were bursting and still had leftovers for supper. Actually I didn’t have supper, as I had a load of grain in the truck box waiting for me when I got home, and by the time I unloaded it it was long past supper and time for a whisky and bed. I did pick up some chicken balls for my favourite daughter as she too loves this restaurant. It was such a fluke that we found it–we had gone to an auction in Bigger and again, starving, we popped in to check it out. Haven’t been disappointed yet!!

Then the trip home with a stop for an online fuel filter from Napa. My darn tractor was giving me grief again so tractor man came out and gave it a tune up. Purring like a kitten once more, I unloaded the grain and had a shot of whiskey before bed. What a nice day!!  Ahhh!!

Hay envy

Today I followed a loaded truck and trailer most of the way to school on my afternoon run. He was hauling the most beautiful load of freshly cut square grassy hay bales. They were beautiful!!  I think I’m the only person I know who covets hay bales the way some people long for gold jewellery or fancy cars or fashionable clothes. I love hay!!  I look at hay meadows, and imagine the hay crop safely stored in my imaginary barn, all fresh and green–smelling like summer– and the pleasure my animals would get from munching it on a cold and snowy winter day. That’s another thing I covet–a barn with big stalls and a hay loft. Full of kittens in the summer and warm and sheltered in the winter. That’s what I dream about doing when I win the lottery!!

Today I checked on the broody hen in the pigeon coop. She’s been sitting on guinea eggs and four have hatched!!  It’s so exciting!!  I love my guineas–they are always cruising around the yard, eating bugs and grass–dust bathing in my poor abandoned garden–leaving their footprints and feathers (and poop) everywhere. My neighbour would lock them up in a coop but I like to see them free. And they eat ticks. If all the ticks lived in the chicken coop I might lock them up too but I’d rather they free ranged. And it was a beautiful calm foggy morning the other day. That same doe that was up on the lawn was down in the valley. She came right up to the gate but saw me standing there and decided it maybe wasn’t a good idea to go any farther. But she sure was pretty in the valley. Not a great picture but you have you use your imagination!!

Fencing day

So today Aidan and I finally got around to replacing the rather nasty rotten 2×4’s on the pony fence. Last summer my kids surprised me by replacing the tangled wire mess with real posts and 2×4’s. But the wood was rotten and Aidan’s pony kept crawling thru the fence. 

This is earlier this spring. She only got half way thru then got stuck. Thank goodness she doesn’t panic. I found her stuck there, killed myself laughing, then had to run get my camera so I could properly pony shame her. She kills me….I bought some steel mesh panels when they were on sale earlier this spring and they look great.

 One side is done and we’ll do the other side yet before I head off on holidays. It’s sneaking up rather fast.  I need to make a list of things I want to finish off before I leave but this job has been top of the list. 

My little chicks are growing fast. We slipped some eggs under a couple broody hens and got 12 live chicks. My freezer is low on chickens but I’m actually hoping these are hens. A few Easter eggers and blue Orpingtons. There’s still a few more broodies and we slipped guinea eggs under a couple and some more meat chickens under a third. Those broodies aren’t laying eggs so they might as well be useful!!

I’m not planting a garden this year as I won’t be here to look after it but my sister and I planted a smal plot at my parents house. We went the other day to weed and I realized how much I miss my garden. 

It’s just a little garden but it has everything in it. Hopefully there will be some things left when I get back at the end of August. It’s a little spotty but the soil isn’t great. But it’s looking good. Amazing how much food can be grown in just a small plot. 

The goats are getting so big. Time for some of them to go so tonight we were goat wrangling. What a production. All the screaming and jumping–you’d have thought we were killing the buggers instead of taking their pictures. I deliberately cut off my daughters head in the pics–these pics are for selling the goats so she doesn’t really need to be identifiable. I am so out of practice writing. I’ll have to find my groove again. There’s been so many things happening but I just haven’t had enough ambition to make a record of them. 

But this doe was very beautiful–they are probably up on the front lawn quite often–I just happened to look outside as she wandered across the lawn. She gets the last word!!