Monday, 31 March 2014

Drinking up Spring.


The snow is deep but....

Spring has arrived!

And we are drinking it up!


Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Terry and Jack were cleaning out a cupboard over at the other farm and they found this...


Take me back in time.

Strickland's was the grocery store that my Mom went to every week when I was a kid.

I remember that place like it was the back of my hand. 

The aisles of food and goods all priced with an individual price sticker.

The places in the floor where the cart would bump over as you went from one part of the building to another.

The stairway up to the office....I always wanted to know what was up there.

I'd watch in awe at the butchers cutting up the big slabs of meat right in front of me.

My brother Irwin would eat bananas as we was okay because the entire package had a price on didn't need to be weighed at the cash.

Food was so different then.  You couldn't find aisles of frozen dinners and boxed processed food.

I remember asking Mom if I could order the sliced ham at the deli counter.  I think it was 2 pounds that we needed.

And the spice and baking aisle.....just being amazed that all this stuff existed.

Their 'Fall Fair' days were especially popular.  They had that sale for a couple of weeks just before the deer hunt.  The place would be packed with people.....the hunters shopping for the upcoming hunt and the moms stocking up on big bags of sugar and flour.  It was a sale not to be missed.

When you got to the cash, a young man would pack all your groceries for boxes and these paper bags.  There was a huge roll of twine that came down from the ceiling and he would wrap it around the flaps of the boxes to make everything secure.  Then he would load up all the boxes and bags into his special cart and take them out to your car and put them in the trunk.  My mom was so lucky to have this service.

And when she paid, she always had to use cash...there were no bank cards at that time.  Sometimes she would use a cheque to pay....I think it was the baby bonus cheque.  They were accepted at that time.

We would get into the car and unwrap our package of suckers...those big ball ones that came all wrapped together with an elastic around them.  We would each choose a colour....I think Kerrie-Lynn was the only one that would eat the black one.

Strickland's added a Broasted chicken and potato wedges counter when I was in high school. We all begged Mom to get us some!  What a treat!

They also started making freshly made 'oven ready' pizzas.  Mom would buy those sometimes for us and they were so good.

Mr. Strickland retired and then the new owner built a new grocery store across town.  Strickland's was left vacant and then it burned to the ground.

But I could walk you through that entire store in my mind.

I remember.


Monday, 24 March 2014

Morning Yoga

I try to do yoga 3 times a week.  If I don't then I'm tired and moody and my back aches.

I have an old VHS tape that I's so old that parts of it don't actually work...but I've been following it for years so I just continue and the tape eventually starts to work again.  I only have to hear the tape...I don't actually have to see it. 

One morning when I was rewinding it, the tape actually tore in half in the machine and I just used some scotch tape to put it back together.  It still worked....and I was so thankful...because I need my yoga.

This morning, Lydia joined me on the living room floor.

Then Terry just happen to come in from the barn, when I was trying to hold a yoga pose.  He commented in his best Rodney Yee voice, "Feel the natural curves of your spine breaking."

This totally cracked me up.

As I got back into my seriousness of yoga, Lydia said, "Don't rip your pants Mom."

This totally cracked me up.

As I continued, Lydia was watching the T.V. as she tried to keep up with the video.  The instructor is on a beach with the waves rolling up close to his feet.

Then Lydia asked, "Does that guy live in the sea?"

This totally cracked me up.

I said, "No!  He's not a mermaid!"

Lydia responded with, "Well, he sure looks like one."

This totally cracked me up.

No serious yoga this morning.


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Looking for Spring

The calendar said that it was the first day of Spring on Thursday.

It didn't happen.

It snowed off and on all that day....and again yesterday.

Sophie asked what was going is suppose to be Spring....right?  I told her that this was completely normal...spring would eventually come...we just have to wait.  And she said, "I guess there is a still some winter in this spring."

I guess.

Everyone is tired of's all people talk about.  We just want to smell the earth again...walk in some mud....taste some sap.....feel a little bit of warmth....take off our socks.

At Mass this morning, Father asked all the children to say a little prayer....that spring will come.

I went for a walk yesterday....hoping to find a little bit of spring...

Is it under there, Ruby?


A nest waiting for a bird...but there are no birds to be found.

Then I did some interviews....I asked them, "Is spring coming?"

"Have you seen spring?"

He wanted to know more about it.

What about you..."Do you think Spring is coming?"

And then I saw this....

This is the chosen one.  This is the calf that Jack has chosen to show at the fairs.  He is trying to get her used to a halter. 

She told me that 'Spring is just around the corner'.

I can't wait.


Thursday, 20 March 2014

A 50th Birthday Cake with Tim Hortons

Last week, a friend of mine asked me to make a cake for her husband's birthday.  He was turning 50.  There is a bit of a joke in their house about both him turning 50 and Tim Hortons turning 50 this year.  They were both 'born' in the same year....and he loves his Timmies.  So, she had asked me to some how incorporate something about Tim Hortons on his cake....she was thinking of putting a Timmies cup on the cake.

But I did this...

I just googled the logo for Tim Hortons 50th Anniversary and then I drew it on the cake.

I couldn't help but put some shamrocks on the cake too.  After all, his last name is Donohue and they were going to be celebrating right after the parade.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Waiting on Lambs

We have been patiently waiting for the last two and a half weeks.

Waiting on lambs.

Jack has been setting his alarm clock for 12:30 am every night to go out and check on the sheep.  There were several nights the alarm would go off....for a couple of minutes....and then I would walk over to the boys room and shut it off.  I'd ask Jack if he was awake and I'd see him sit up in I would head back to mine.  Then I would wait for movement and if there was none, I would get up and go out to the barn.  Terry also took his turn on several nights to check on them.  We knew that Jack was exhausted.

But on most nights, Jack went out....and I'd stay awake until I would hear him come back up the stairs.  He would always come into our room and give us the full report on the what the ewes were doing out there.

During the day he would spend his spare time reading his sheep manuals or googling things about lambing.  He also built a spot in the corner of the barn for when the lambs arrived.  He had it well thought out with a heat lamp and boards to keep the ewes out but the lambs in.

He wrote iodine on my grocery list and we ordered NutriDrench from somewhere in the U.S.A....because it was nowhere to be found around here.....I had called all the feed stores and vet offices but no one had ever heard of it. 

He was prepared but I could tell that he was becoming exhausted.

Exhausted from his nights of interrupted sleep and exhausted from waiting.

But finally.....FINALLY....the first lamb was born last Thursday.  It was the busy day before the parade.

And then twin lambs were born while we were away at the parade!  It was a miracle that they came without any trouble.

And today the last ewe lambed!


This is the corner with the heat lamp for the can see their legs in there.....
Snug and warm! 

These three ewes were due to lamb earlier than the rest because they were to have the market lambs for the fairs.  The lambs need to be born at this time of year so they will be the right size at the right time.  We have 15 more ewes to lamb but they won't start to lamb until late April.

Jack was hoping that these lambs would be make good market lambs.

But it turns out that all four of them are girls.

I'm not upset about this today....we will worry about this some other day.

Because I know that tonight there will be no alarm clocks going off at 12:30 am. 

Tonight we will sleep.

The waiting is over for now....


Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Douglas St. Patrick's Parade 2014

The 3rd Annual St. Patrick's Parade was held on Friday night.

It was a day for the wee little town of Douglas to become 'the place to be' in the valley....thousands of people descended upon the village.

And it was spectacular.

The entertainment started in the late afternoon in the downtown.  The 4-H square dancers started it off...

And then there was dancing in the street.

At the other end of town the floats were arriving and people were preparing....and visiting....and eating.....and celebrating.

The theme for our float this year was "Dwyer's Patayda Patch"....because we grow pataydas and eat pataydas....and we love pataydas.

We had two rows of tissue paper pataydas with a scuffler in the middle.  We all took turns scuffling those pataydas.


Time to get on those stepdancing shoes and tune up the fiddle....

Before we left Terry went over to taunt the crazies on the 'Fighting Irish' float....

The floats are all so creative....and so much fun!

Everybody ready?  Time to go....

I'm not sure how many floats there were....maybe 70.

The crowds were amazing....probably about 5000 people.

Thanks to Marie Watson for the following photos of the parade....
Mrs. Murphy was busy getting her wash on the line....
The parade marshals were Harry and Desmond Enright.  They are brothers and dairy farmers that produce 100% Douglas Milk....
We were all blessed by St. Patrick himself.
Happy St. Patrick's Day.
So happy and blessed to call Douglas my home.