FARM NEWS

Weather continues very cold with a few mild spells now occasionally bringing freezing rain. The men are busy outside chainsawing big logs of maple that arrived, and then splitting each one to leave them to dry over the summer. Selling firewood in the fall is very popular in this area.

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Add lots of snow to this photo!

Not getting much done this month on my website since I am printing off my web collection of records,  emptying binders as I discard the original copies once they are loaded,  and finding things to correct or add.

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Half my collection in print is now gone,  and three bookshelves about to be given away. I reorganized the remaining shelves and am very pleased with the result.  I continue to downsize. I love things in print and would have kept it growing, but  it overwhelmed my children, who will inherit and maintain it.  They felt it was too much for them, so asked me to find a solution.  All my efforts will now be online.

I dewormed the chickens earlier this month, as the odd egg had a slight smear on it occasionally. All seems fine in the chicken coop, but it is hard to face going outside to wade deep snow and dig out the entrance door. The snow piles up against it from the wind circling the building. I had one of the men really clean out the door area which would not close tightly from ice buildup.

Temps inside the coop are staying fairly steady at 5 C, but that is at waist height. I left the waterer unplugged the other day, thinking I might not need to keep it turned on,  and found the water frozen the next day. The girls get chopped up spinach or cabbage as their daily treat when I arrive.

Wonderful visit with my cardiologist and usual ECG and cat scan of my heart to check the stents. Such patience and empathy, a wonderful man,  so caring. New goals we decided together are now in place. Canada is a wonderful place for health care, as my only cost was the gas down to Brampton,  a light snack, and $15 parking fee at the hospital. All my medications are free, as are all doctor visits.  I can go to the doctor as many times as I need to, at no cost to me. Blood tests are free. However, the dentist is another thing and proposed work will cost $1,200. Ouch and ouch.

My son and I are working at the Keto diet, which mainly cuts carbs and sugar. One eats two to three healthy meals in an eight hour period 11:00 am to 7:00 pm and then fasts 16 hours with only water from  7 pm at night to 11 am the next morning (sleeping most of that time).  I have dropped five pounds with ease, and feeling good about this one. No cravings at all, and often not hungry. Just have to be careful to push fluid intake, as I tend to get dry.

My exercise program not so great at the moment wishing I had equipment at home.  I am not a fan of any gym, the closest one in Collingwood, although once there  I don’t mind it and work my way on all the basic machines, etc. There is no shopping mall with a walking plan under an hour’s drive away. Yes, I know excuses, excuses!! My 10 exercise video tapes haven’t been out of their box in a year. I was doing terrific with others at the Cardiac Program at the hospital once a week, with gym two other days the same week, but once that ended, so did my self discipline. I do love walking in nature, and the Bruce Trail is just around the corner.

I bought another garden shelving unit and have tomatoes started,  also asparagus and one green pepper plant. The only perennial flower I am starting is Rudbeckia. For some reason it dies out here so easily, but was a staple in my other flower beds for many years. The main seed sowing effort will be in March to  start most of the veggie garden seeds. I stopped doing flower seeds as I need to cut back on the number of flower beds this years.They are getting too much for me.  Lots of plants for sale in the spring for $5.00 each. One can cut a clump of phlox into 4, as an example for that price. I paid between $15 to $20 per plant to get the flower beds established.

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I need to buy another two, four-foot florescent plug-in lights since one went into the chicken coop ceiling, and the other I gave to my daughter to encourage her. Cost about $50 a unit now.  I have to find my four foot boards for the shelves,  on which I sit the plants.  I then raise the board up or lower it with books or blocks of wood to keep the plants close to the lights.  That keeps them from getting spindly.  Puttering in new plants is very relaxing.

One more week of February,  and then  March will be here.  Time to prune some trees and vines, and maybe tap some trees for the syrup. I love sitting outside by the fire boiling down the sap.

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Augh…..a sudden terrible sickness, the dreaded ‘flu‘ hit me and a week later I am still weak and maybe it is pneumonia instead. I am at my desk during the night and suddenly I hear the excited yapping of coyotes in the wood yard at the bottom of the garden, and that means a ‘kill.’  Could it be one of the cats?

Horrible sound to those of us who dread these creatures. The pack is hungry and  have something surrounded, but the yapping lasts only a few moments, then silence. In the morning their paw tracts will be evident on the snow, but not much else.

The calves are deep inside the barn with the cows, heavily bedded down but in front of an open door to the east. I think the presence of big bodies of protective mammas will keep the coyotes at bay there. The chicken coop door nearby I must start relocking, in case any visiting animal might dig and claw at it. The yard gate is always open in the winter.  Close, much too close to the house.  I feel a  slight shiver,  and March arrives.

 

Link to earlier Farm News Diary entries

 

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