The farm house

The farm house

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Selfish Self

Ah, Christmas has come and gone and I sigh a very selfish sigh of relief. This post is about my selfishness.

On Christmas eve afternoon, my husband picked up my Mother and drove her to our house. Her license was taken from her when she suffered a stroke 2 years ago. She has since suffered a TIA and another stroke in her sleep to which she did not tell a doctor nor went to hospital. My Mother lives by herself in a remote location. One must also go down and up a steep hill to get to the house. My Mother believes that one day she will drive again as her  car, bought a few months before the stroke awaits on the hill.

My Mother complains of solitary confinement but does not want to move. She complains that she can't get out or do things as she would like and that it costs to have a volunteer driving service(paid for mileage only) to take her to appointments. Her cousin who lives nearby drives her for groceries once a week or as needed.

She asks my husband to open canned goods for her as her hands are "useless". She returned a sleep apnea mask to a clinic as she could not manage the straps so it was useless to her. Since she can't prevent her sleep apnea, she requested I call more frequently so that if she dropped dead, the cat would be looked after. Let's add the same conversations and questions repeated frequently as short term memory has been impaired.

But there is nothing wrong with my Mother: so she believes. The doctor recommends she move to the city-she refuses. I had great difficulty watching her this Christmas as it is painful to see someone decline in health when a lot of it is due to their own stubbornness. I am a miserable daughter as I have refused to help with a few things or requests as I was hoping that someone would see that it is an inconvenience for others to come and cater to the needs of someone who is too obstinate to accept the inevitable.

So after entertaining and seeing that all her needs were met during her stay, something she said, near had me across the dining room table ready to choke her with whatever utensil was in my hand.
She didn't know if she could eat an animal that she was on a first name basis with. What? Did you hatch it? Teach it to eat and drink? Feed it and make sure it wasn't too hot or cold? Move it to different locations? Make sure it was transported properly to it's final destination? No, you did not. And yet I am willing to share what my hard work has provided for all who are sitting here. The meat in the store that you seem to enjoy doesn't get there by accident. I am not a murderer. I know how to be self-sufficient. I grow much of my own food, bake my own bread, can spin and knit garments. If there ever was a zombie apocalypse, I'm ready.

By the way, it was the best friggin' turkey I ever ate. And now, I am knitting for myself as I appreciate the finished products as much as my finished food.

A la prochaine.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Turkey Day

Monday was turkey day. I can giggle a bit now but at 8:30 am on a flippin' cold day, catching large, powerful birds that fly with a sore back, tendonitis and a "helper" who is afraid of touching animals other than cats and dogs, well makes for a bit of a stressful time. We only had a few birds left to bring in to the processing place, so I figured it shouldn't take long lo load them all. The buggers are heavy and because they can fly they can just leap from out of your arms if you don't hold them correctly.

My oldest son was my helper. He is very much a city boy and hates helping with this sort of thing. I'm using the word help very lightly in this scenario. I felt bad for the turkeys as it was cold and they very getting a bit riled up and I had hatched and raised them all. After tackling them gently so that they don't get injured my sympathy waned. Yes, it actually did. I don't know what that means psychologically but they were loaded into crates with small openings. Unlike the chicken cages, these ones don't latch. So, we had to put something on the tops to prevent a head from sticking out from time to time. Baling twine is a tool around here, so we tied the lids with that.

After this is where I needed son most as we had to load the crates into the back of the truck. I had put feed bags down as there was a few inches of snow back there. We loaded, my back screaming after the mornings' events and I realized I need to cover the turkeys as it was frightfully cold and it gets colder while driving them... off I go to find .. what exactly? All my tarps are in use. The dog's blanket needed a wash so, the turkeys arrived styling for the inspector.

Not sure if I will be doing turkeys next year...selling poults is easier, eggs too!
These are the breeding trio-they are still with us. None of the females lived to slaughter day....

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Poor Octavia!

Well, once again what a week. If you are superstitious, yesterday was Friday the 13th. My bad luck has been running all year long. So, the 31st being the reverse of 13 would be a good omen?? We'll see. Meanwhile, on Thursday the 12th, a frigid day and it continues to be so, little Octavia broke her foreleg. How she managed to do it we can all speculate but I did not see her do it but saw a dangling limb and a lamb who was not weight bearing.

What to do? I knew something was wrong but how severe? Best to call the professionals on this. The vet arrived as the last call after 3:00 pm that day. Sure enough a confirmed fracture. While I waited for the vet to arrive, I observed that Octavia was shivering. Could be shock, pain, cold any or all of the above. So, I put a wool vest on her as I had nothing smaller to fit her. Remember a while back, I had posted a vest I had knit using wool from another project and I had not steamed the wool after unraveling and it created a lumpy surface on the back of the vest? Well, Octavia
sported a lovely cabled wool vest no less for her first vet visit.

As you can see above, she was made as comfortable a s possible while the sedation wore off. We had to come inside for the cast to cure properly and it didn't hurt to warm her up. Today is still cold and a winter storm is sneaking up on us. The wind is picking up and not many people are travelling on our road even though the holiday shopping is on full tilt. I am going through hay like water just to keep all the critters warm- far too cold for December. It makes me cringe for January.

Now to make some bread and bake it before the power may go out??? Horrible thought in this cold weather but an absolute reality when they are calling for high gusts and snow....

Saturday, December 7, 2013

It Starts Now...

It's here. The culmination of so much effort and I am not disappointed. All my wool is now roving and skeins. Soon, it will be online for purchase and then the fun begins.I now have a better idea of how much things cost for the next processing. My spot is already booked and if it took 2 months to complete what I've sent off, I should have it all back in time for Fall fairs and the busy knitting season.

Patience has been required for this leg of the journey. Now to get the website up and going...2014 had better be an improvement. I have tried doing things differently in order to get a different outcome and things are still dismal. So, perhaps it's just a time issue?Sadly, we live in a time where we are so dependent on utilities to make our way through life. I would be happy in a cabin with a woodstove and candles and a lap full of knitting. This blog would be a journal entry on good ol' paper.

My Christmas knitting nears completion and then I begin my knitting again. Finishing some pieces I have started and maybe a few new ones. I should attempt designing a few items to use my own wool. I have some ideas on some new skeins for processing. Yup, certainly an adventure...

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Second

Today is Monday. Middle son has exams at college and I am alone, cleaning and wondering how to make ends meet. It's the last month of the year and accounts need to be put in order. Difficult to do when a) You're not employed   b) Your spouse, after 27.5 years has had to change companies, taking a reduced rate, return to previous company where they no longer wish to pay his departure rate....a loss close to $800/month.... There are moments when I panic and wonder what is the purpose of all this? What is the life lesson? So, once again, Christmas will be a dinner with whatever I've knit for gifts, once again.

The Canadian horse will have to be sold and the Quarter horse can be a "free" companion...Oh yes, it's certainly not what I want to do but I see no alternative. It won't be a quick sale but.....

My oldest son has also announced his move back to the city-less income for us or really? All his electronics plugged in, his visits to the city, driving him to work and back on weekends..may work out to even in the end. It's just not where I thought I would be at this stage of my life. So as I hear a few doors closing, I'm wondering what's behind the doors that should had better be good.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December First

December has finally arrived!! As much as I am not looking forward to the holiday season, November had me pinned to the mat. I've been ill and many of my plans have fallen apart and I must think up new ways to achieve my goals.

A good thing that will happen shortly is the arrival of my roving and wool. Many dollars later...more than I thought...I will need to calculate if I can even cover the expense of sending processing and having it mailed back. A prime reason why it's important to support your small producers, not just at Christmas but year round.

It has finally warmed up and it is snowing again ever so lightly. After posting, I need to drag the hose from the basement window and fill the horses' trough and the sheep buckets. I may as well do it while it's warmer! Lugging water the past few days has been a royal pain in the ---. Heated buckets could eliminate some of the issue but there is not enough power to the barn and with Hydro costing what it does, well I refuse to give them another penny of my hard earned money.

So the countdown has started. I must finish the gift knitting as in knit the 2nd sock and mitts to make pairs! Shawls and scarves need to be blocked and that will be that!

A couple of Sundays ago, I learned to make Artisan bread. A bit different from your traditional white loaves. I will be baking some today. While driving there, I really was amazed at how many little villages are still occupied. What I mean is, it's more difficult even with all the technology to live in these small places as we must really on vehicles and fuel to get around usually for employment and services that are no longer available in the small centers. Many places don't have a shuttle service etc.....I still enjoyed the sights of mature trees, old architecture and amazing churches with ancient grave markers.

Here are a few photos of the big snowfall- you would think the world can only be seen in black and white!