Friday, December 12, 2014

Bye bye, Jux

Well, Jux, it's been fun, but it's over. I'm sad that the platform didn't make it, and I really enjoyed sharing our stories on Jux, but such is life. So here we are, back on blogger, let's see how it goes.

It seems winter is upon us, in the last few days since I've been home the entire place has been blanketed in soft, fluffy, white snow. It's pretty, and the animals like it, and it's not too cold so I'm not complaining. If winter could be like this the whole time, it'd be totally ok by me.

There's an awful lot to catch up on since I last wrote here, and I'm wondering if I should post my Jux posts here, too, to fill the gap a bit. I'll tackle that question in a bit. For now, let's just get back into the swing of things.

Lately I've been pondering the name of this blog. Life on the farm ain't always laid back. And you know what? I still really feel like it fits. Let's face it, it just ain't :) But we love it, what can I say...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We have Sprung... Forward!

Yes, spring has finally sprung, and the farm is bustling with new life yet again. After a tough year last year, we are exciting with all the changes happening on the farm, and in our lives.

This year is the first year that we have finally expanded to follow our dreams of organic, sustainable livestock production, and it's extremely exciting! On May 14th 100 little "chicklets" arrived on the farm, and will soon be followed by some piggies and cattle.

Project "Out With The Old Barn and In With The New" is in full force, see us on Facebook for pictures and videos. Looking forward to chronicling our journey here, and hope you enjoy reading it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Change Is In The Air

After close to a year of silence, I think now's as good a time as any to write about this year's trials and tribulations. No one's life is easy, or perfect, this much I'm sure of, but I have to admit that sometimes things are more challenging than usual.

First it was in April, when Honey's foal was stillborn. There is not a lot sadder than seeing what should be a beautiful, vibrant little baby lying there motionless. Then there's dealing with the stress of the mare. It was heartbreaking to lead her away from her foal, knowing that she was probably thinking something along the lines of "No, this isn't how this is supposed to go, I'm supposed to stay close and take care of my little one!".

It was, of course, a difficult birth, but my incredible vet was able to sew her up. Looking at the foal she was able to say that she was "dis-mature", but there's no way of knowing why. We can only pray that this won't happen again with future foals.

At the end of May, I spoke to my husband before hopping on a plane home from Calgary, and he told me that our cat had come home that day with his leg dangling lifelessly. He had rushed him to the vet in town (not our usual vet, mind you), and they confirmed that his leg was badly broken and they suggest we put him down. I cried all day, all the way back to Montreal (on a side note, if you had told me 10 years ago I'd cry this much for a cat, I don't think I would have believed you...).

Thankfully, my incredible vet was able to give me some hope when I called her as soon as I got home. I told her what had happened, and that if she thinks the best thing for the cat would be to put her down then that's what I'll do, but I honestly just can't reconcile the thought of ending this amazing creature's life just because of a stupid leg. She asked me if I had considered amputation, and that cats adapt incredibly well.

We brought him in and they ended up doing surgery on his leg, pulling out all the little bits of chipped bone and wrapping the two bones in his forearm together in the hopes that a callous will form and save his leg. The surgery was almost two months ago, he spent a month in a cage with a huge bandage on, and has been slowly, slowly starting to move around. Right now he's back at the clinic, because his x-rays look really, really bad. I'm waiting to hear back whether or not he's going to keep his leg after all of this.

On the 4th of July, my husband was climbing a 40 foot antenna tower to remove some internet equipment for a job he was working on. The tower collapsed along with him. He broke his fall, and his body, on the edge of the roof before landing on the ground, and suffered 2 badly broken wrists, a shattered femur, a broken ankle and a couple of fractured vertebrae, and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.

The day after I finally brought my husband home, one of my brood mares was diagnosed with botulism, and I had to rush her over 3 hours away to the large animal hospital to try and save her life. That was a whole other adventure involving me getting my hands on a hard-to-get antitoxin... Incredibly, she pulled through, and is slowly coming back to health.

Those are the major events in the last 6 months, along with plenty of amazing times and trying times thrown in.

What I have learned is that it's easy to be grateful in life when everything is going your way. Some people seem to get everything they wish for handed to them on a silver platter, and still they find a way to be miserable. I intend to live my life the opposite way. I will stubbornly cling to happiness, and force myself more than ever before to see the light in dark times.

I am grateful. For the love in my life, for the support in my life, and for the blessings in my life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bye Bye Rocky and Razz

Today was an exciting day, because we said goodbye to our two 2009 foals by Stylish Rey; sorrel colt out of Telesis Young Gun - Stylish Rey Gun (Rocky), and red dun filly out of Bar Doc Bambi - Rey Doc Razz (Razz). It's always sad to say goodbye to horses, but this is after all the name of the breeding game.

I was very proud and pleased with them both, especially when they hopped right up into the stock trailer, even though it was their first time. According to the buyers, they traveled like seasoned show horses - eating calmly for the 2 1/2 hour ride and not even breaking a sweat.

I have no doubt that Rocky and Razz will have a great future in their new home, and I wish Gab and Eric the best of luck with their new reining prospects. Looking forward to seeing what the future brings in their show careers.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Ultimate in Country Living... The Pig Roast

When I think about my life on the farm, there are so many things that come to mind as to what is great about country living. Fresh air, animals, gardening... All things that make me really appreciate where I live. But out of all of the things I love about farm life, there is one thing that really stands out above the rest - our annual Pig Roast.

To be able to have around a hundred of our nearest and dearest, from all walks of life, here on the farm having a blast, is just too wonderful to describe, but I'll try.

This year, despite morbid weather forecasts, we had a spectacular sunny and dry weekend. The piggie was perfect, thanks to my husband's home-made, gas-powered roaster (did I mention he's a gas fitter?), which has had several tweaking sessions over the last few years since it's inception (I think almost all the men in my life have had something to do with improving the roaster...).

The pool was crystal clear, and about 90 degrees. The emphasis here has to be on crystal because I'm ashamed to admit that it started the year as nothing short of a swamp. The last month or so of my life has been virtually dedicated to the revitalisation of the pool - if the words "backwash", "shock", and "rinse" don't mean anything to you, then I can help. Maybe I need to start a pool-care for dummies blog... ok... focus... the pool is now crystal clear, and that's all that matters.

So to sum up - best part of country living = the ability to throw huge bbq parties with great food, great folks, and great fun, without ever having a complaint from the neighbors or the cops, because they're all invited.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Note To Self: Never Underestimate Pony

Our farm is a lovely place to live. Most of our animals agree, and even when a gate mishap leads to some horses getting out, they never wander past the front yard. With one notable exception - Silver, the pony.

Silver's role on the farm has been mostly decorative, until we started to breed and he displayed an unexpected penchant for babysitting. One of his more annoying pony quirks is that he has a severe case of "grass is greener" syndrome. He has actually managed to break out of his paddock (should have called him Houdini?), trot down our ~200m driveway, then down the road only to come up along the fenceline in our neighbors yard to precisely the other side of the fence from where he usually lives.

When I let him and our three yearlings and school horse out the other day to eat some grass, I forgot about this annoying habit. I figured they have plenty of green grass to munch on, why on earth would they want to leave?

Well, next thing I know, I sit down at my computer with lunch, hear the thundering of hooves, and look out the window only to see the entire gang galloping down the driveway. Full speed ahead. Then I'm on the highway in my slippers, stopping traffic, and leading my horses home from the neighbor's.

Lesson learned.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Change - The Only Constant

Here's the thing about change - it's so inconsistent!! It can take years to achieve, or it can happen in an instant. It can become the last possible thing imagined, or an incarnation of years of visualizing. In my case for instance, I had no idea that I would become a cat person, much less that I would end up living with and loving three of them in addition to three large dogs. And yet, today, nothing could seem more natural.

I am learning more and more to embrace change. I'm suddenly reminded of a white water rafting guide giving me this lesson as a kid- if you fall out of the raft, stick your legs out in front of you downstream, and just float. When I did fall out of the raft and resurfaced just in time to panic at the sight of a huge, jagged boulder rushing up to meet me, I managed to put my fear aside and do as I was told (trust?). And sure enough, when I stopped trying to fight what I thought was my impending doom, before I knew it the current swept me safely around the rock.

We never know who we'll become, or what will become of us, but I believe that the only thing that limits human potential is our own self-image, and the fear of changing or re-defining it.

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In May of 2006 I moved onto a 67 acre farm in Alexandria, Ontario. My husband Mike and I live here with our ever-expanding menagerie, and the adventures never seem to end...