Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Is that a unicorn?

So I took this selfie in the car wash today and messaged it to Gordon, who was waiting for me at the Service Ontario office, because we sold our Mazda 3 to a nice young lady who was meeting us there for the ownership switchover. This will be her first car ever so I hope she gets lots of years out of it. It was a good car for us. We just wanted something bigger!

Aaaaanyway, the selfie...

I posted this on Facebook and my friend Valerie sent me this:

 I will never look at car wash chemicals the same way again!!

And here is yesterday's sweet, if blurry, moment:

Redford going nose-to-nose with Ophelia in the lower barn. Ophelia was resting her head on my legs and getting a back scratch while I sat on the bottom step. Redford came down to join us. He and the pigs are mutually fascinated with, and slightly scared by, each other.

And speaking of old dogs, well... I guess we weren't. But anyway, here's Tristan...

It's hard for me to believe he's still here, just over a year since his spleen and a cat-sized tumour were removed. He's pretty wobbly but in good spirits and still enjoying life...

...not to mention our new fire pit up by the house!

We ate supper out here the other night. Fantastic!

I know how to light me a good fire!

And this is what has been consuming my summer...

Honey, honey, honey, bees, bees, bees. And yesterday one of my hives swarmed, and I caught the swarm, so I currently have 11 hives. Geez! Pictures of that later. The honey is spectacular this year!

Monday, August 18, 2014


I had a brain fart the other day, thinking I hadn't told you about Jersey, but of course I had! She's fitting in great...

What a sweet little pig! She has a sunny personality and is just such a nice addition to the barn. We've completely integrated her now and things are going very well, although she likes to go back to her own pen to sleep at night. I'm hoping that soon she'll be sleeping with the rest of the herd as well.

She's very curious about all the birds, including the guinea fowl!

And here's a gratuitous shot of Button. All our pigs are filthy! I'm looking forward to getting them into their new fenced, grassy pasture, but we're waiting for their new little pen to be constructed.

Happy Monday. I have to go take 13 honey supers off my hives. My friend helped me bottle 500 lbs of honey on Saturday morning. It's going to be a banner honey year. Last week I added my 65th medium honey super (box full of frames that the bees fill with honey for me) of the season. One of these supers contains 35 - 40 lbs of honey when full. Multiply that by 35... holy honey bee!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I broke down the wall!!!


Why yes, that's Redford the shy barn kitty. Last night he let me pet him, and he continued to let me love him up (carefully) today!

We did selfies! I can't tell you how happy I am that he is finally losing his fear of me. Of course the bowl of tuna didn't hurt.

I sat with him for an hour or so today and just let him come to me. He is still very wary but so desperate to be touched. He danced all around me for the longest time. I finally won him over by playing with him with a piece of baling twine.

I think we'll be best buddies soon! Isn't he handsome?

This afternoon I sat with him and worked on my writing homework. He was under my chair for a while, and kept patting at me for attention.  He has extra toes on three of his four paws and you can hear him padding around the barn!

Finally he had a nap in front of me. I figure he must be starting to trust me if he'll go to sleep in plain view.

Poor little guy. I think he has been quite lonely. We are going to take a couple of barn cats from friends of ours who have too many cats, and there may be a couple more barn cats on the horizon in the future. We will make sure they are all well cared-for and have a heated space in winter. I love this guy!

And here's Doppelganger indoors. They look so alike, but Redford is 12 - 18 months old while Emerson is around 8 months now. I still suspect they were dumped here together, as they appeared at pretty much the same time.

Emerson was smart. He moved right in!

Somehow we now have seven cats... and have I mentioned the new piglet? No? Next post! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Redford shows himself

Well, I was worried about the new barn cat, Redford, because he hadn't eaten a couple of meals. I'd left out for him. So I set up the wildlife camera in the upstairs barn, and got a photo of this hairy beast:

Exciting, but not quite what I was looking for. However, the next morning, things improved..

HA! Success! Redford came to eat breakfast.

Then of course I saw him again in the afternoon, without the camera, and again today:

What? You can't spot him?

Look for the glowing eyes next to the old toilet!

You can really see his polydactyl front paws here. He is getting braver! He sat there and watched while I put down his food this afternoon.

I sure hope this trend continues. I am dying to pet this cutie.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Number EIGHT!

This is what happens when the local animal shelter pegs you as a sucker...

You bring home pig #8! 

I picked up Jersey on Friday, within an hour of the shelter manager calling me. Jersey was born May 24th. Someone had her living in her apartment in Cornwall, which I can guarantee does not allow pigs within city limits.

So now she lives with us. We have to introduce her slowly to the rest of the herd, so for the moment she is bunking in the turkey coop (which has yet to house turkeys!) Gordon made a little window in the bottom of the door and screened it so the pigs can all start getting to know each other through the mesh.

She is such a sweetie. We both try to spend quality time with her so she's not lonely but she does seem content right now.

Gertie (her face is filthy!) came over to visit.

Yeah, I think we're on our way to becoming some kind of pig sanctuary... that's okay! We love 'em.

Meanwhile, Charlotte and her chicks got to spend the afternoon in the chicken tractor in our garden.

They were quite happy! Charlotte is moulting, too. Poor hen, there's a lot going on for her right now but she seems as content as the pigs.

Here's little Jersey. I think she needs to gain some weight, but my six milk-fed porcine fatties are not really a reasonable piglet size comparison.

She does at least have lots of space right now.

Meanwhile, it was a good day for hanging laundry...

We like colour around here! Hope you all had a lovely summer weekend.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Charlotte's birthday bash

Sorry for the silence, everyone. It's not that I'm not thinking of you! It's making me crazy that I haven't been posting here enough. I've been dealing with an explosion of honey (lots of beekeeping), homework assignments for the writing courses I've been taking, barn chores, work and whatever else. I am starting to feel my age!

Anyway, we had a little party for the birthday chicken this weekend and my friend Ronna made this fantastic cake:

The chicken part was chocolate cake, the rest was red velvet. Fantastic!! Ronna did a blog post about it too.

I love this hen. She better live forever!

Blowing out the candles (and wow, looks that patch of grey!)

Charlotte even got presents, like these freeze-dried mealworms from our friends Pierre and Kathy.

And also a rubber chicken, a stuffed chicken, a hen house dip bowl, yogurt and a watermelon!

Charlotte and her babies LOVED the yogurt...

On top of everything else, she's started moulting!

And my friends' kids made a beautiful album all about Charlotte...

We are lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives!

And here's a video of the birthday girl and her kids, enjoying yogurt..

PS: Redford the barn cat is being sighted almost every day and is eating his nummies at his feeding station!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Look who's home!


He still despises me. It probably doesn't help that I had his man-bits lopped off. He is now neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, de-flea-ed and microchipped. I let him loose in the upper barn when we got home yesterday. He polished off a big bowl of raw food. I was happy to see him streak through the barn again at bedtime. I'm still hoping he'll warm up to us as time goes by. 

And the piglets are increasing in girth!

Dahlia and Gertie


Who knew I could love pigs so much? I especially like it when they quietly come up behind me in the barn and snuffle at my ankles. They really are the sweetest, most intelligent creatures.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kitty update

Say hello to REDFORD! Deb from Just Cats suggested his name and we loved it. Yes, HE. This is not Emerson's Mama! I wonder if he's Emerson's papa? I think they were dumped here together.

The trapping went perfectly last night, and Redford was scared but calm and quiet when I drove him to the vet in the towel-covered trap his morning. He has now been neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas and ticks, dewormed and I'm getting him microchipped. They also removed his two extra front claws (he is polydactyl) as the vet was concerned about him having problems with them when he is older, particularly since he will be a barn cat. I am also getting him microchipped. 

He's staying at the vet until Friday to ensure he is fully healed before he's allowed outside again. Gordon and I both feel very relieved that he is looked after now.

Cat #7... geez!

Sweet things

It's a rainy, chilly (for August) day here today. Just 18C/65F. I don't mind!

Look who showed up at my new window hummingbird feeder:

Little Miss Ruby Throat. I just love my new feeders! I have three different versions. They are from a great Etsy shop in Arizona. You can see another one at the upper left of this photo:

The little cups that hold the syrup are dishwasher-safe. They are small, but that encourages you to clean them regularly. I bought extras and just switch them out every day or so, throwing the dirty ones in the dishwasher. Much easier than cleaning  the traditional glass-bottle feeders, and I think these copper ones are beautiful. I've ordered two for my mother-in-law.

And here's something else sweet...

The first crop of honey. It's going to be a fantastic honey year. My bees are awesome.

And an update on Garage Kitty. The trap worked last night (Raincoast Trading tuna, only the best for our cat!) I got up this morning to find her lying quietly in the towel-covered trap. Not a peep out of her (him?) on the way to the vet. They are going to spay/neuter the cat, vaccinate, deworm, treat for fleas and ticks, and do a health check. Dr. Dave said they may remove her extra toes if they are going to present a problem for her in later life. He is going to let her recuperate at the vet clinic until Thursday or Friday before we her loose. We want to make sure she is completely healed up and free of infection before we let her outside. I am so relieved she is safe at the vet's, being well looked after! I'll give you another status update when I have one.

Not a bad day!