Tag Archiv: Misty

Cold Snap


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Before Christmas, there was this. Then came the rain that washed all the snow away. (There followed wet and brown.)



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At last a bit of snow and ice, but some really cold temperatures to go with it. The mother hen in my head began to afflict me so I go out and check on the animals. Twice (it was in the -30’s with windchill) I went to put them inside but they were fine. Even with the animals inside for the night, I lost some sleep when the actual temperature was -33. The barn is far from air tight with four by six feet chunks of open mitigated by hanging feedbags only. I was too afraid to check the windchill while my mother hen head kept me up fretting .



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The girls like to have their picture taken (as do the eunuch sheep, but we call them girls too). The husband sheep is in there somewhere right now. He arrived December 13th. With about ten others, he will leave for sunnier pastures sometime in the next few weeks . . . at which point we will not eat chicken for two or three weeks out of gratitude for the fullness of our freezers.



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Buster is a rather sulky lad. He is especially irritated by all attempts to have his picture taken. This was his best attempt at a smile. Most attempts end in pictures of his backside.


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I have limited patience for this and my fingers outside the glove were beginning to harden.


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Misty will look at me for an apple, otherwise, not so much. At least the kids like her. If we lived in France, I’d vote for her making the final journey with the sheep in a few weeks. Alas.


Hope everyone is staying warm. The snap has lifted a bit and the house is toasty again. This weekend we hope to clear the pond and at long last inaugurate the skating season.




First day of school

A few hours after self guided lessons

A few hours after self guided lessons

Buster is rambunctious. This wanna be farmer is wondering if he is destined to be veal. I am told that 1200lb beef cow is his destiny. A scary thought at the moment.

After some days inside, I thought it was time to get outdoors yesterday, at least while I cleaned up the stall. Anabelle was ready. Out the door and thirty feet away without looking back. She was revelling in space and air and sunshine when Buster’s soft little moan called. (Roughly translated . . . mom, where are you? The door is open. What do I do? I don’t want to do it by myself.)

This was very sneaky. Buster didn’t mean much of it, but that is what he said.

Anabelle mooed softly. Buster moaned back and Anabelle was there. Sniffing, rubbing, talking. Stuttering steps.

Three pregnant sheep and a nervous Misty looked on. Misty has anxiety issues. (Also control, gluttony, and patience issues.)

Buster saw Misty, trotted away from Anabelle boldly, sniffed Misty’s nose and trotted around to check out the rest of her.

This triggered panic attack. With Misty’s disorder, panic equals I hate the world and I cannot stop running. Misty bucked kicked. (Anabelle gasped when she saw those hooves in the air only a foot from Buster’s head. I did too.)  Then Misty took off running. Circles. Pause for catch your breath obesity moment. More circles. One of Misty’s favourite ways to say I hate the world, is to chase the sheep. Occasionally, she looped towards Buster, mostly she ran laps with timeouts to charge at the sheep.

The sheep, bellies full of baby lambs, have unfortunately not been keeping up with their prenatal exercises. I had thought the snow was prohibiting movement, but based on the successful mad dashes away from Misty every third circle of the pasture, the snow was not as much of an impediment as I had thought. Buster was unphased by the goings on. He was ready to explore by himself, thanks. If anything, the fat galloping pony gave him confidence. Ten feet he would run. Anabelle moved in front. Twenty feet the other way. Anabelle ran or walked as needed. Buster went where he wanted, but Anabelle stayed in between Misty and Buster at all times.

The sheep begged to get inside away from equine insanity. I have a soft spot for expecting mothers, so I let them in. A few minutes later, Misty was begging to get inside. She never chooses in, always preferring an open field, but even she had had enough. It was time for somewhere quiet. Safe from that nasty black thing in the pasture. The only one at peace was Buster. I put Misty in, made sure she and the sheep had hay and water and left Buster to it with the whole pasture to himself.

Anabelle appreciated the arrangement.

Bath time

Bath time




image courtesy of rochjose from morguefile.com

Boy one and girl one are really bonded to Misty, I say to my husband thinking no one is listening. Everybody does their part, but for boy two and girl two, it’s not the same.

What does bonding mean? asks girl two (who is on a self imposed vocabulary investigation of staggering proportions these days).

Well, I say trying to think, if you’re bonded to something it means it’s something that’s really important to you.  Everybody likes Misty, but to boy one, Misty is one of the things in a circle of things most important to him in the world. You like Misty, but not in the same way.

Ok, says Girl two. She sits thinking with eyes fixed while the rest of eat, then turns to her sister, serious.

I think I’m bonded to macaroni and cheese, she says.

All of a perfect Saturday

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Another good day for a ski



Sheep want to know if its time for dinner yet



Cow, Anabelle surveying her kingdom, an icicle sucker waiting to ride, the rider, the leader, and the star of the show



Close up of Misty, the star



End of the day . . . light is fading but not the delight at perfect sledding conditions

Great and small

We live on County road 21 for the joy of it, and in an attempt to stay grounded. Misty, the pony is giving us an education. The kids are surprised at how much fun taking care of a horse is not. At the same time, getting to know her has a kind of richness that we haven’t known before.

Anabelle, the cow, is turning into one very big momma. We had her bred with a Black Angus. He was the kind of husband that comes in a tube from a truck, so fairly low on the romance scale, but supposedly a great match for producing a nice calf with small shoulders. (Small shouldered offspring = every mother’s dream, I know.) Anabelle has done a nice job befriending Misty. They sleep together now. We put the sheep in at night on one side of the barn, which keeps them from becoming coyote food. We leave the stall on the other side open. Misty and Anabelle graze until dark, then put themselves to bed inside the barn.

The last round of chicks before spring finished their earthly sojourn this week. We wanted to give up on chickens after the last batch. This time, out of 33 chicks, we still had 30 when it was time to transition to the freezer. For the first few weeks, the chicks get a lot of care, and even more checking to make sure they have what they need. When it is time to get them out to the main coop, I always feel like I’m dropping off my kids at daycare. I’m fretful and unsettled. Back in the house I startle again and again worried I’ve forgotten something. But, it’s easier as time goes by.

Strangely, regardless of size and stage, we always call them the chicks. “Tomorrow’s the last day for the chicks, right?” we say solemnly about their five or six pound selves. It isn’t until they are in bags getting loaded into the freezer that we finally say, “good batch of chickens this time around, don’t you think?”

We are wondering if we want to get bees in the spring. We don’t know. We know that all this life – new, old, pregnant, happy, lonely but adjusting, hungry, content, human, bovine, equine, ovine, avian – even the homemade yogurt life. It keeps us learning. Keeps us wondering. It’s good for what ails us.

Creature Update

Misty the pony: extremely not impressed that we had her best friend shipped elsewhere. Not interested in speaking to humans. Will tolerate them if she gets to speak to an apple or a carrot.

Anabelle the cow:  all the change in the air has made her pregnant self grumpy. She takes it out on the sheep. Grazing for a while, drive them all to the next field. Drive some more. Graze. Drive. My children do this to each other also except they don’t eat grass in between figuring out how to annoy each other.

Sheep (population 12) and Chickens (population 43) are happy and content. If it doesn’t work out to be a writer, I think I would like to be a sheep or a chicken.

Cluster flies (population 1500 plus in house alone): They are in their drunken buzzing phase, perpetually disoriented and therefore bumping into things like me. I love our farm. I love our province and our country . . . but boy do I hate those flies. Self calming now involves not only vacuuming them from the windows, but taping the hose nozzle on the vacuum after every killing spree – – otherwise I can’t stop picturing them inside mating like mad and then flying out in droves while I sleep. I look at the little Japanese beetles (population in house of at least 17 too many). . . who apparently aren’t actually Japanese but do belong to the beetle family . . . and I shake my head at how worthless they are. Like lady bugs but NOT lady bugs and they don’t even eat flies. Pathetic.

Rats (population unknown – closer to 0 than a month ago):  seem to have either finally developed a taste for the poison we bought for them, or found other quarters. Either option suits us and the chickens they tried to move in with.