Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Winter 2013

 Here are some tracks made by a chicken who was hanging around the door of the house.  It had flown over the fence by the henhouse and was looking in my living room door face to face with the cat.  Anyway, she decided to venture back to the henhouse and here are her tracks.
 I went out one day in late February, and these eggs were flowing out of the roost.  Hens will lay eggs in the weirdest places.  And then one one does it, they all follow suit.
 Brian! He is so good!  I am asking him and Graham to do more of the heavy stuff around the yard because those 50 pound bags of feed are awkward and heavy.  No sweat for the strapping young men though - they do it for spite (and to show off), and, I guess, to help their poor mother.  The real reason I get Brian to bring that feed to the hen house is I actually afraid I will see a rat.  He doesn't seem to be a scared of rodents as I am.  Thanks Brian.

Here's a chicken sticking her head out but not venturing out into the snow.  They aren't called chickens for nothing!
Pecking the snow off my boots.  
 Another date late in February, I went to the henhouse and found 17 eggs!  Wow!  Most ever.  I laid them in the snow to clean them off a little.  That was surely a good find.

 One sunny, mild Saturday in February, I decided to build a snow sculpture of a chicken.  Here is Gail helping me.  What a fat hen!


What, you ask, does a pharmacist have to do with hobby farming?  Not a darn thing! But ain't he sweet!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Fall 2012

So here I am, finally back from months away from the blog.  You'd think my life was exciting that I had no time to blog.  Well, life is busy for sure.  Oh, I have so much to write about.  Where do I start?!

I'll start with dad.  My father, Ted Ozon, died on August 30th at the age of 86.  I could write for days and days and days telling all about him.  Dad died at home and all his children, my siblings, were around him in his last months and days.  He had a peaceful death and the most beautiful funeral I have ever attended, thanks to the wonderful priest in our parish, Fr. Fred Brown.  Thank God he was in no pain during his palliative period, and we certainly celebrated and continue to celebrate his life and legacy. Here's to you, dad!

Today, it's a miserable, rainy, wet, cold day out today so I will not be outside doing anything with the hobby farm.  Some jobs I HAVE to do before it gets too cold are: clean out the henhouse, insulate it, and patch up the hole that the chickens use for a run.  I usually close it off during the winter and they are housebound unless I open the big door.

A few days ago, I went to the henhouse and found one of my older hens dead as a maggot on the floor.  It was in the same position Dick, my poor old rooster, was in when he was fading away after Rodney had attacked him months ago.  Luckily, Dick was nursed back to health and made it, but this poor hen, a black one, well, her time must have been up.  I "disposed" of her in the woods out back and returned her to the earth from whence she came!

Speaking of coming from the earth, my family have recently discovered we qualify for Indian Status!!! There was never any doubt we have deep roots in the west coast of Newfoundland where dad's mother is from, but we have two lines of "indian" blood in us!  More to come on that subject later!

The biggest dilemma I am faced with right now though, is a rat problem in the henhouse.  Anyone have suggestions?  Ideally, I would like to lift up the hen house, wrap it in a fine metal mesh, burry it down a few feet, and keep traps in the henhouse that the chickens couldn't get at, but, I am not Hercules, Rockafeller, nor am I Fanny Farmer, so I need a simpler solution.  Rats put me in the horrors!  The thoughts of them creeps me out.  If I had a dog, they might be deterred.  I heard Terriers are rat killers.  There's enough stray cats around but not sure if rats are afraid of them.  I'll tell ya one thing, if I see one near the house, the hens are gone.  Now, the rats have a good supply of food so there is no need to come near the house.

I promise, I will write more often and keep this blog up to date.

Pictures to Follow!

Well, I have not written here in a long while, I know, and so much has happened since February!  I have many photos, but there are five hundred million cords that go into my computer and hook up to various cameras and electronics, and I cannot, for the life of me, find the one for MY camera with all my hobby farm pictures on it.  SO, that means I will have to post the pictures later.

Now, lets talk roosters.  As I was saying, I have three.  Dick, the original, and Rodney and the white silkie, who hasn't got a name yet, and maybe never will have a name, came to me at the same time.  Last summer, I bought two silkie chicks and two Ameraucana chicks.  One of each turned out to be roosters! That was all well and good, when they were little, but oh, what a racket they are causing now.

I went to the henhouse the other day and Dick was cowering almost completely under the hay on the floor, barely moving, and obviously very scared.  I thought he was dead, but I could see his body move as he breathed.  I poked him and he got up and wobbled over to another corner.  His head feathers were all plucked off!  His comb was bloody and looked like it was chopped off completely.  OR hacked off! I was horrified.  It looked like something had attacked it.

RODNEY!!  It had to be Rodney, because the pen is fenced and nothing can get in.  Well, I'm sure a cat could crawl up over the fencing, but I had a sneaking suspicious that Rodney was the culprit!

I retrieved the dog kennel from the other shed and set it up in the henhouse.  I filled it with hay and water and placed Dick in there away from the other hens.  I had to do what I can to a) let him die in peace, or b) help him recover, if that was possible.

My next step was to deal with Rodney.  He was going to the big house!  I have a second garbage box someone gave me, so I got my nephew, Mitchell, and his friend, Mitchell, to carry it out back for me, into the chickens' pound to place Rodney in there.  The garbage box wouldn't fit through the gate entrance to the chickens' pound, so the boys had to precariously balance it on TOP of the gate and gently lift and lay it over the fencing inside the pound.

I then had to CATCH Rodney!  Mitchell and Mitchell tried to catch him too but I managed to grab his tail feathers and hold him enough to put him in the garbage box.  He wasn't pleased.  He hissed and made noises I didn't know chickens made.  It was scary.  I gave him hay and water and a bit of food, and left him there until I could figure out what to do.

Later that same day, Rodney was still clucking in the garbage box.  No rooster crows like he normally does, but just clucking.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Well I'll be a Monkey's Uncle!

I have THREE, roosters!!!  It's true!  I was minding my own business, washing the dishes, peering up towards the henhouse a few days ago and I see a white silky chicken on top of the young Ameraucana!!!  I thought, "that's odd." Then it hit me, maybe one of those fluffy white silkies is a rooster!  There hadn't been much egg production from all them young ones so that would certainly explain it.  So before it got too dark, I ventured up through the snow, camera in hand, and sure enough (well, as sure as I can be), I sized up the two white silkies, and it had higher, spikier tail feathers, and a different shaped body compared to the other silkie!  No wonder there is such a racket in the henhouse all the time!  Three roosters throwing their weight around trying to impress the ladies.  I did take several pictures but when I tried to download them to this blog, they disappeared and photos that were taken three years ago and I guess put on my computer, miraculously showed up on my camera again!  If I tried to do that, I'd never be able to.

So it's mid winter and the chickens are all surviving.  I only get to see them about every three days. The door is open a crack since the weather warmed up slightly so they can get in and out during the day, but they tend to stay inside.  I'm only getting about 2-3 eggs a day out of 8 layers but I don't want to force them to lay with artificial light.  Maybe when spring comes, I'll invest in two more chicks to add to my brood.  The oldest hens are now going on their fourth summer so egg production might not be that great this year.  We'll have to see.

I'll try and get the photos of the silkie rooster to post soon.

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Christmas Tree at Bohol Bee Farm. Made from coconut fibre.
Christmas is over and this past Christmas was very different than any other I have spent! I took my boys to visit their father in the Philippines!!  What a trip.  The flight there was crazy!  St. John's to Toronto. Toronto to Seoul, Korea (13 hours long), and Seoul to Cebu!  And even then, we still hadn't arrived at our destination! On top of all the travel, there is 12-hour time difference with us losing half a day in travel. Phil met us in Cebu where we stayed in that city for two nights, then went on via passenger ferry to Bohol, the island where he lives. As soon as we got into the airport, we could smell the difference from Canada and Newfoundland.  I had jeans on and very quickly rolled them up and took off my socks.  The temperature when we arrived was 29 degrees Celsius.  It was 2 degrees Celsius when we left St. John's!  A musty, humid smell hit us as we deplaned.  That scent tickled my olfactory nerve until we were settled all snug in our seats on Korean Airlines on our return home.

Two days in the city of Cebu were spent shopping at the mall, mostly. There is a nice big modern mall with all the latest in fashions and brand names much like we would get here in Canada. The only thing was, Large size in the Philippines, is not Large size in Canada! I felt like an Amazon woman there, and although I am no twiggy, I would rate myself as "average" by Canadian standards.  Prices were not much different than here, although the currency is in pesos and my old brain had to rely on my young sons' brains to convert currency for me.  They were getting pretty good at it after a very short time, especially Graham, who is like Mr. Krabs for loving and handling money!

Day two saw us taking the two-hour ride on a passenger ferry to Bohol. The Super Cat ferry! Reminded me of the ferry from Fortune to St. Pierre.  It was smooth and comfortable.  Lots of ships we passed along the coastline, some small fishing boats.  I noticed a good few pieces of Lots of trash in the water.

When we arrived in Bohol, Phil had his vehicle parked there so we all piled in (and I mean "piled) his Isuzu two-door SUV. There were the three of us, Phil, and his girlfriend. I was a little concerned about three of us jammed in the back, but in the Philippines, it seems no vehicle travels with less than 10 people in or on it, yes, I said ON!  Out came the camera as I started snapping photos wildly of what I was seeing!  Motor cycles with families of 4 and 5 on them, no helmets!!  Some side-riding like Lady Godiva herself. Babies in mother's arms, toddlers jammed between mom and dad and the sacks of rice or satellite dish they were also carrying!  It was amazing!  I soon realized that safety standards are not what they are in Canada.

I did take notice of the infrastructure as we drove to Phil's place.  It was difficult not to!  What caught my eye were the electricity lines running through the city where we arrived on the ferry.  It reminded me of my father's workshop in his basement of the family home.  He saved every cord, wire, string; anything that could possible used for something else. There were piles of wires and cords in his workshop just hanging on nails or hooks, tied up like ponytails.  The wires running along the streets in Tagbalaran looked like strands of hair tied up carelessly with twist-ties hanging down in front of buildings, drooped like Christmas garland on staircases.  That was just the beginning of the difference in infrastructure I noticed, compared to here in Canada.

Just before we left the city, I noticed a building under construction. Workers were up 7 or 8 stories high, wearing flip-flops, hanging off buildings with no safety harnesses, out on the edges placing rebar. I don't know what the work accident rate is but I would be interested in knowing if there is a Workplace Health,  Safety, and Compensation Commission there and how that works!

Roads in the Philippines are poured concrete and really just one lane wide.  Vehicles just veer off to the side if another one is coming toward yours.  AND, I forgot to mention, there really seems to be no rhyme or reason to traffic. It's every man for himself.  There doesn't seem to be many accidents, but traffic just flows in and out, weaves through, passes are made on the inside or outside, wherever there is room, and drivers are courteous in that they barmp (is that a word?) their horns just before they pass someone.  As a result, there are horns barmping constantly.

The vehicles themselves, are all small three-cylinder tiny vans or what look like old smart cars to me.  I can't remember their name but Phil, if you are reading, you can help me out here.  Phil did tell me that many cars and whatever they are (vans cut off, trucks? I don't know) came from Japan or other parts of Asia, and the driver's side was on the right, but were modified to be left-sided driving.  Consequently, all the mechanisms for operating the vehicles are backwards, such as indicator lights, wipers, etc.  So, if you wanted to turn left, you flicked your indicator as if it was turning right!!  Glad I didn't drive there much.  I wonder about the clutch! Forgot to ask about that.  Phil??

Finally we arrived at Phil's place which is rural Bohol.  It kinda reminded me of Logy Bay, but a bit like cabin life, something like the community of Ocean Pond.  Phil has a new modern house built last year by a local contractor.  He was away for some of its construction and found a few flaws upon his return.  Well, the contractor didn't know what the fuss was about.  Isn't everyone 5 feet tall? Why does the bathroom mirror need to be any higher?

Who needs hot water in the kitchen?  The contractor didn't see a need for such a thing.  And, I must have stubbed my toe a dozen times in Phil's house with each room having a two-inch difference in floor height between rooms!  Phil says he has to go to the back of the house through the kitchen to turn on the lights in the front rooms of his house!  It was a lovely house though.  Most houses in his neighbourhood are newly built with many expats living nearby, but the older, already established homes on the island mostly had grass roofs, no solid foundations, and not painted bright colours like the newer ones.

As I mentioned earlier, there were animals all over the place in Bohol.  In the mornings, there was the lovely howl of roosters all over the place.  None quite so sweet as my own Dick at home.  He has the nicest crow.  A real classic cock-a-doodle-doo!  The roosters of Bohol sounded like they were going through puberty.  Maybe it was the heat!  Cock-fighting is fairly popular there, and we did pass by some roosters that were tied by the claw up on a stick out in the middle of a field.  It appears that roosters used in cock-fights are not to be around hens at all, so they are tied on away from other poultry.  I didn't get to see a cock-fight, and heard they are quite disturbing, but I would like to have witnessed one for my own interest.

Chickens were everywhere too, crossing roads flat out.  They are true free-range hens!  The chickens are all smaller breeds than I have seen here.  Chicken is a big part of the diet in the Philippines, as is pork.  We did see pigs in many yards too.  Most of their meats are roasted.  Every house seems to have a BBQ pit of sorts.  In fact, every few hundred feet on the side of the road near houses, there are small BBQ pits as if they are vegetable stands.  Phil told me that people often cook things in these pits, and sell meals to the passers by.

(this is as far as I got with the Philippines trip.  More to come when I get around to completing.  Stay tuned)

In order to link my trip to my hobby farming blog, I have to talk about the animals we saw on the trip! Well, there were chickens, goats, cows, and pigs everywhere we went, it seems.

Geographically, the Philippines is not that far from the equator so needless to say, it is quite hot there.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Why did the chicken cross the road?

.........Because it knew I was in the Philippines and wanted the perfect picture for my blog!!

Chicken crossing the road right in front of me in Bohol, Philippines!
I couldn't have asked for a better picture if I had asked the chicken to pose, itself!  Went to the Philippines for Christmas to bring my two boys to see their father, where he lives, and boy was it an eye-opener for me! Chickens! Every ten feet, there were chickens scrambling (not eggs).  Pigs galore too, and cows grazing outside the door of my rented room!  I have tons more photos to come so stay tuned!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

More Weather Coming!

Who needs the Farmer's Almanac when we got Ryan Snodden!!  Actually, he is off this week and someone else is delivering the bad news.  We are supposed to get snow tomorrow, then rain, and how about that wind yesterday!  My concrete house never rattled once, and we didn't lose power.  I fully expected a few of the chickens to be blown away though, but no, they came out of it unscathed as well.

A few weeks ago when we had the first snow, the henhouse door blew open, then blew shut with the chickens and roosters outside.  The next morning, I went out and a few of the hens were huddled in the corner of the fence OUTSIDE the compound, too stun'd to find their way back in.  Well, not stun'd.  In all fairness, I don't think their little feet are much like snowshoes, and they just didn't want to walk across the snow.

So there I was in my rubber boots rescuing them, two by two, bringing them up around the fence, in the snow, and into the henhouse.  I felt like Noah loading up the ark!  First the two Silkies, then the two brown ones, the two black ones, and then the two white ones.  I planked them on the roost near the heat lamp to dry off.  Poor things were frozen.  Now the roosters, let me tell you, I was tempted to leave them out.  They were flipping out when I tried to catch them anyway, and Dick just hid under a tree.  Rod, was in the neighbours yard up in a tree!  When Rod saw me collecting the other hens, it was like he was saying (in chicken language) "I'm over here!"  He said, "cock-a-doodle-do!"  I yelled to him, "Hang on b'y, I'm comin." But he wouldn't let up.  Then, when I finally climbed the fence to rescue him, he turned on me and wouldn't met me come near him.  I grabbed those gorgeous tail feathers when he waddled by and had no time for his nonsense.  Got a handful of plumage in the process, but it was do or die.

One even laid an egg in the snow!

Dick, taking off.  To stun'd or scared to know I was trying to rescue him!  Men!!

All hands back safe and sound!

Eventually, they all got back safe and sound, and the hens were fruitful and had eggs waiting for me the next morning.  Quite the adventure though.

So, tomorrow is another sloppy day.  Just have to check the henhouse door again before I go to bed.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

My Hobby Farm

My house.
My friend, Chris, took this picture from an airplane!  Very cool, hey!  This is where all the hobby farming takes place!

Around the yard during Fall.

Silkie trying to hide from me.

As I mentioned earlier, Mitchell, my nephew, just showed me how to transfer photos from my camera to the computer!!!  Was doing it on the old laptop before, but that one is broken now.  Anyway, here are some photos I took a week ago when I was out farting around the yard.

The silkie tried to run away from me.  Not very photogenic at all--not like Rodney!

Below, they were hiding under a shrub next to the house.  They are like archeologists, the way they have the ground scratched up!
Let them out for a while, and they hide under the bushes.

Added some hay from the hen house, to the middle garden.

Rod is such a poser!

Just hanging out around the back yard.

Burning excess wood scraps (and secret documents).

Enjoying freedom.

Introducing.......for the second time........Rodney!

My beautiful cockerel, Rodney
This is Rodney, everyone.  Graham must be a chicken whisperer, because when we first got Rodney as a chick, we didn't know if he was a he, or a she! Graham would pick the chicks up, cuddle them, talk to them, and he took a liking to this one and called him Rodney.  I don't know much about roosters, but this one, to me, is a real show bird.  His colours are so vibrant and healthy looking.  His claws are very healthy-looking and perfect too.  He IS a rooster though, and wild with the women!

I just learned how to transfer photos from my camera to the Mac, thanks to my tech-savvy nephew, Mitchell! So, I will go mad now taking pictures and posting them.  Like the molting hens, I am through with my dry spell, grew some new feathers, and I am back in business, posting on my blog.

Yes! We have Eggs!!

I am happy to report that the hens are now laying.  Whew!  I was really getting worried. Started with two a day, then three, then four, and now, I get about six a day, out of 8 layers.  The young Ameraucana is laying because I sometimes get two blue eggs a day! The other Ameraucana, as you know, is a rooster, and what a gorgeous rooster he is.  He's a bit wild though!  He was "on" one of the hens today, as a matter of fact, and I thought he was just doing his rooster duties, but he started plucking feathers out of the hen!  I was horrified.

The Silkies, I am not sure are laying yet.  Their eggs were supposed to be beige, I thought, but I will have to do more research on that.  They are very timid birds.  I read that they were more cuddly and good pets to have, but my two, I can't look at them the wrong way and they are gone like a shot!  I suppose the two roosters in the pen have their nerves shot!

Anyway, just glad I am getting eggs again.  I have been opening the pen gate and letting them free-range all over the yard so maybe they are repaying me!  When I go outside, they come running at me just like a bunch of velociraptors in the Jurassic Park movie!  You'd swear I never fed them ever! I think they are enjoying their bit of freedom though, before the winter comes and they are hen-house-bound.

Stay tuned. Going to winterize the henhouse a bit more before too long.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Video of Dick crowing!


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Still No Eggs!!

The hens are just not laying.  I fluffed up their nests, gave them lots of food, lots of scraps, and even gave them flax seed which is expensive! What do they want? Jam on it?  Wait, now there's a thought.  Dad always says that (what do you want, jam on it?). Maybe if I put jam on their bread!  I am actually going to try that tomorrow, to humour myself.  Going to have to go and buy my second dozen eggs in as many years.

Meanwhile, there are still a few carrots left in the ground which I will leave until I need them.  We shouldn't get any serious frost for a while yet.  I have some in my big shed that I picked a few weeks ago, along with the potatoes.  I am not sure if the environmental conditions are ideal but it's the closest thing I have to a root cellar.

Got my walkway on hold for now.  I will have to finish it in the spring.  My elbows are shot anyway, from the heavy lifting I did during the summer.  I will let them heal over the winter.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Photos of some of the harvest.


Not many beans on the go this year.  This is what I managed to pick a few days ago - enough for a meal for about 4 people.  The yellow ones are always good, but the green ones were very tough and woody.  Not bad tasting.  I think it was the variety I planted.  I will try a different variety next year.

Carrots (but you knew that, did you not!)

The carrots grew really well this year.  This was a few I harvested and I left the rest in the ground to pick as i need them.  Last year, I was plucking carrots on Christmas day.  At least dad was, with his yellow rain suit on.  Emily asked him to go and pick some. He did so reluctantly, after she made him put on a pair of rubber boots (that were too small and scrunching up his toes).  She made him put on that yellow duck-suit with the hood up.  He was out there digging carrots, when the chickens came running towards him thinking he had food for them. He tried to shoo them away but the specks of rain were fogging up his glasses and he could not see where he was digging, the chickens were annoying him, and Emily was coming at dad with the hose to clean the carrots.  She inadvertently filled the boots up with cold water, and dad was poisoned when he finally sought refuge inside the back porch again!  I thought the whole ordeal was funny, but I doubt dad did.

Dad picking carrots Christmas Day 2010

If only mom could see him now!

Next (below) is my biggest garlic plant.  I picked it too soon, I think, but it is very fragrant and I think potent.  I think I was supposed to fold down the stems in order for the bulb to enlarge. I was too anxious though and wanted to see how it grew.  I left four more smaller plants in the ground and will probably get them just before the next threat of frost.

Pumpkins! Tiny, tiny pumpkins.  This is the biggest one, and I have three about this size. I should have just plucked the plant and all out of the ground, but I will let it go for as long as possible to see how big it will be by Halloween.  This was a bad year for pumpkins.  Even Lesters Farm had to ship pumpkins in this year as their crop was so bad.

Getting back to the chickens..................................

Inroducing............Rod, the youngest cockerel!
This is the young Ameraucana rooster. Is he not gorgeous!  This is not a very good photo but Rod has beautiful auburn, green, and red feathers.  His legs and claws are really healthy looking and this guy could be a show bird, I think.  The old rooster is Dick, and Graham named this bird Rodney when he was only a tiny chick, before we knew he was a he.

Update on the chickens to come in a few days.  Stay tuned.

Finally! A new Post!!

Well, it's been over a week and I am only now tending to my blog!  Where do I start!  Well, I will start with the chickens!  They have not laid an egg since I left.  Did they miss me?  I don't know, maybe they did!  I would like to think they did, but really, I think they are molting.  I did not know what this was until I Googled a few websites.  Apparently, chickens regularly shed their old feathers and grow new ones.  The hen house is full of feathers, no doubt.  One of the white chickens looks like it was in a fight and had it's butt feathers picked at but I read that this is molting.  They stop laying during this period for 2 to 4 months! I have actually had to BUY a dozen of eggs, if you can believe that!  I haven't seen any signs of molting in the other chickens, but maybe it is just less noticeable because they are all darker.

I wasn't too sure if the lack of eggs was actually molting though, because the seasons are changing now, days are shorter, well, daylight is less (days are still the same length), it is getting colder, and I rearranged the hen house.  The fact that there are now two roosters bothering the chickens made me think the hens were a little stressed too.  Anyway, I laid a dummy egg in a nest there, trying to encourage them to lay.  AND NO, I did not actually "lay" the egg, I "placed" it in the nest! I can do a lot of things, but lay an egg? I cannot.  At least not in that sense of the word.  As I was saying, the dummy egg was to encourage them to lay but to no avail.  I guess I will just have to wait until the molting process is over.

In the meantime, they tell me I just have to keep the hen house clean, make sure their water is fresh and clean, and keep them well fed.  I think I can handle that.

More to come.........plus photos!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

I'm going to Vegas, with my sister-in-law.  The boys have strict instructions to make sure the chickens have water and food.  I topped them up today so if they forget, the hens just might survive, but I don't want to come back to another dead chicken.

Incidentally, one of the chicks I got in June is a rooster.  One of the Ameraucana's is a rooster, so now only one of the new ones will be a blue-egg-layer!  On the up side, it is a gorgeous looking rooster, rich dark colours and beautiful shiny tail feathers.  Photos to come when I get back from the trip.

Getting things ready to go.  Lots of commotion here tonight and as mom would say, "It's like a Chinese laundromat here."  People popping in to see dad and me, comings and goings, all hands talking at once!

As soon as I get back, gotta get the potatoes out of the ground. The stalks are dying back already.  We did have a feed of beans, carrots and potatoes already though and boy are the carrots sweet!

Be back in a week!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Picking Berries

Well, it's that time of year again, berry-picking time, although it's a job to get a chance to get some.  I did manage to go with my father's friend, Emily, last week.  We went down by the cliffs in Logy Bay and there were lots of blueberries.  I spotted some unripe cranberries growing there too, so I know where to get them in a month. Picking berries is so relaxing--you have the soothing sounds of the ocean crashing in the distance, wind blowing, the smell of the greenery, and the day we were there, it was sunny with NO FLIES!!!!  It was a perfect berry-picking day.

The blueberries, by the way, were pretty plentiful, but many seemed dried up.  I think if I go this week, I may get a few more but it's cutting it close now.

I did see lots of partridgeberries too but they aren't ripe yet either.  Usually, I get cranberries along the east coast trail above Marine Lab.  One just has to veer off the trail toward the edge to find the bushes.  

Now it's time to make jam and berry stuff.

Thursday, 8 September 2011


What's scarier than a scarecrow?  A scarecrow at night with the moon shining!  Very Halloweenish, isn't it?  My photographer captures amazing shots of the simplest things.  Thanks Chris.

I was out in my garden one day weeding near the scarecrow, crouched down, when the wind blew one of hte legs of its overalls and frightened the daylights out of me!  It wasn't meant to frighten ME!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Silkie, again.

The silkies are running free having a grand time now.  People ask me how they keep their feathers so white! I do not know!  I guess they groom themselves like any other animal. They are very soft, and white, and clean-looking though.  Making their pen a little bigger now so they will be tickled pink (well, maybe not), witih more space to roam around in.

Butt out!

This is not what it looks like, I swear! Never did much gardening this weekend at all, Labour Day weekend, and I feel like I goofed off completely, but last night, we had a nice fire in the back yard. It was a lovely starry night but a bit of a chill in the air with the fog lurking around the edges and sun gone down. Sitting around the fire, my front became quite warm, so I crouched by the fire, back on, to warm up my bum and back!  That's what this photo is all about! Ya can't get away with nuttin around here!

Cool Fire!

Chris's hot hoe!!

Playing with Fire, and Photography

Contemplating life while looking into the fire.

A picture tells a thousand words....or none at all!

I walked right into this one! Just so happened my friend had his good camera with him, and has a good eye for photography.  I always loved the image of clothes hanging on the line blowing in the wind.  Stirs up all kinds of........things in me, but mostly, clothes on the line remind me of my mother. She'd hang clothes out ALL the time, no matter what the temperature, time of year, whether Rose's cows were out or not, except when it was absolutely pouring out! When it rained, the clothes were hung on the line, or wherever, in the kitchen by the stove.  There were many times all of us ungrateful kids complained about the clothes smelling like manure, or being hard from the frost, or bleached from the sun, or full of spiders because mom had hung clothes out on the line. Never gave much thought to the trouble she went through to do just even laundry for 14 kids, using a wringer washer at that!  Now, my own kids give me the same grief! It was bound to happen! I do use my own clotheseline as much as I can now, but am cautious about which way the wind is blowing (from the dairy farm or not), whether it is very dry outside, and if it is warm.  I admit the dryer is very, very convenient and fast and I haven't got the stamina my mother had.  We have all the luxuries now and have no room to complain about doing household chores! (but we still do).

Anyway, seeing clothes on the line is very calming and peaceful and just thought I would share this awesome picture with everyone.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Scent of a Woman!


I was at work last week, getting an odd smell, and I knew I had showered and was clean, but the odour kept following me.  Later on in the morning, when my tea had made its way to my bladder, I went to the bathroom and as I looked down, there it was--pooh on my shoe!  Well, it wasn't really pooh, it was what looked like a nest stuck right at the arch of my good sandals!  It was like a handful of hay from the henhouse that had gotten glued together by hens' poop, and I must have walked into it when I was checking on the birds in the morning.  Guess I shouldn't wear my good shoes to the barn!

A similar incident happened years ago when I worked at the Workers' Compensation Commission.  I went home for lunch one winter with my long, high-heel white boots (how are ya) on.  I used to be pretty stylish in my day, or so I thought!  We had a cat in our apartment then, and unfortunately, when I removed my boots, I placed them close to the cat's litter box.  The cat had done her business, then flicked the litter over it, but must have flicked some of her fresh poop towards my boots and it splattered all over the side of them, unbeknownst to me!  Shortly afterwards, I was back at work, in the elevator WITH 4-5 people, and the stench obviously was coming from ME.  I looked down, and was mortified to see that my boot was covered in pooh!  Talk about embarrassing!  I am none the worse for wear though.

The joys of having animals!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Iceberg Farm

St. Anthony, NL Iceberg

Iceberg in St. Anthony, NL

Iceberg in St. Anthony, NL

The beans and garlic may not be doing very well this year's growing season, but have you seen the icebergs off St. Anthony!  Amazing!  There are hundreds, including the Petermann Ice Island. My friend, who is an amateur photographer, has allowed me to use some of his awesome images that he captured over the last few weeks.  While the photos do give the viewer a good idea of how may and how big some of the bergs are, I am sure it doesn't compare to being there in person to see them, feel the coolness from them, hear them crack and break, and smell them.  My friend told me that people in St. Carol's have been kept awake at night with the crashing and banging of the breaking ice.  It must be unbelievable to be there.

What a great summer for tourism at the Northern Peninsula.  Funnily enough, in the news last week, a woman from the United States was on the radio complaining of not seeing a single icebergs in the Twillingate area when she visited there this past month.  Why wasn't she directed to St. Anthony?  Not only were there tons of icebergs up around St. Anthony, but there were killer whales swimming about, and lot of seals on the floating ice too!  In fact, there were so many tourists in the St. Anthony area the past few weeks, the gas station had run out of fuel, restaurants in the area recorded best year yet in sales, and there were absolutely no vacancies for accommodations in the area. Maybe the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador should look into promoting that area of the Province a bit more aggressively in their tourism ads.  Never been there, myself, but I think that is about to change.

Thanks Chris Patey, for your awesome photographs. If anyone would like to view his work, especially the icebergs around of late, check out his Facebook page (www.facebook.com) as he has allowed access to it for a limited time so that he can share a piece of St. Anthony with everyone. I have posted a few here to give you a taste.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Jacob Two-Two!

Jacob Two-Two is a pre-teen boy character created by Mordecai Richler, and who my boys watched as a cartoon when they were little.  He always said things twice, hence the name Jacob Two-Two.  Gonna start calling myself Jacob Two-Two, because I can't seem to mow the lawn once; always have to do it twice because the fine days are so few and far between, the grass is too long to get it all in one mowing.
After 8 hours of gardening.

After a full day in the hot sun of mowing, it is finally done, front and back.  7 p.m. last night, I was able to sit on the step with satisfaction knowing I don't have to mow the lawn anymore for a few days!  I just hate to see grass left on the lawn and love the look of it trimmed nice and neat.  Maybe it's a psychological condition I have that I need to have neatness and order however I can get it in my chaotic life.  Whatever!  I saw a man on Newfoundland Drive, in the spring, vaccuuming the road sand off his lawn!  No one knows how many times I contemplated doing that in the spring but people would think I had more than psychological problems if I did that!  I would love to do it though.

Great weather! Now I can relax for a bit today, and maybe take in some of the bands at the Festival of Friends.


Never check the oil in the lawnmower while it is running!  I found out the hard way!  Had a thought that it may be low on oil because it sounded sluggish, so, I unscrewed the oil cap and got splattered with specks of black oil.  I just rubbed it in and used it as sun tan lotion, which also gave me a bit of colour too!

Friday, 12 August 2011


Billy (God rest his soul) as a kid!

Mario (God rest his soul), Billys dad.

Daisy (God love her), Billys mom.
Let me tell you the story of the goats, and not the Mobile goats either! Melanie, my niece, and her boyfriend, Mark, live on Colonial Street, how are ya!  If you can picture this, they had two goats there as pets.  They were Mario and Daisy.  They kept them in the back yard of Colonial Street!  I know, I know. How on earth did they manage that.  Well, they did but they asked if we would take them because I think the goats were making noise and the neighbours were complaining.  Never mind the smell! Anyway, it was pretty exciting when we got them. The grazed all the time and had such a good life here in Logy Bay.  They would go on the lawn and in the compost, and cars would almost crash coming down the road with drivers doing double-takes as they realized there were goats on my lawn.  They always stayed around the yard though,and at night, headed for the barn.

Mario and Daisy gave birth to two kids while I had them.  The first one was Billy, and almost a year later, Maisie came along.

We built an enclosed pen for them eventually, and they seemed happy enough. However, circumstances change and the were beginning to be a lot of work for me, so Melanie and Mark, having moved away to Nova Scotia, made arrangements for Lesters to take all the goats to their hobby farm until Melanie and Mark returned in a couple of years. 

So there I was, bringing the goats to Lesters farm, on a sunny Saturday, with four goats in the back of my SUV.  We lured them into the back with food, and they stood very quietly as we drove through downtown. I got many strange looks when people realized I had four goats in the back seat.  We managed to get them to Lesters and they have been there ever since.

Daisy is still alive, but Billy and Mario are dead. Mario and Daisy went on to have another kid when I had them.  It was a female which we named Maisie.  She is also alive and well and living at Lesters (Maybe that is where Elvis is too).  Mario and Daisy got pregnant yet again (I think they are Catholic goats) and had twins while living at Lesters, a black one and white one, males. They were so cute as kids.  We named them (at least I did) Bobby and Teddy.  Bobby died too, so now there are Daisy, Masie, and Teddy left at Lesters.  They may be moving to Logy Bay, but I still havent decided yet.