Thursday, 26 March 2015

A Conversation with Sophie

Sophie is studying the history of Douglas at school.  She said that they are learning about what Douglas was like 150 years ago...."You know, Mom, back when you were a little girl."

Of course.

So she had to make a list of all the current businesses and important places in Douglas today....and then they would compare them to the way Douglas used to be.

She had listed quite a few and then she was having trouble coming up with a couple more.  I noticed that she hadn't listed the post office.  I told her that I knew one that she had missed and she told me to give her clues as to the place that I was thinking about.

So I told her that it was across from the fire station.

She said that she didn't know....

I said it's a place that I go into quick and usually leave you all in the truck...but when I go to go in there you all say to not talk forever to the lady in there.

She still didn't know....and I was surprised.

So I said it's a place that you can buy stamps....I was sure that the guessing game would be over.

But she said....You can buy STAMPS in Douglas??

I said yes....STAMPS....what place do you buy stamps?

She said she didn't know...

So I asked her what do you do with stamps....

And she said that you put them in ink and then you stamp things.

UUUUggggg.  No Sophie.....not those kind of stamps.  The stamps that you put on A LETTER!

She was looking really confused.

I asked her..."What do you do with letters?"

She said....YOU MAKE WORDS!

I started to laugh.  She started to laugh.

Good golly.  We were no where near the post office

I know the letters that you write to people and you put in an envelope and you put a stamp on it and you mail it at the....

POST OFFICE....she shouted!

We did it!

So then I mentioned to her that I thought I had a book about the way Douglas used to be....and it has a map in it.  She said that her teacher had showed her the map already at school....Douglas had Blacksmith Shops and things like that. 

I asked her what a Blacksmith Shop was.

She said "I think they make butter."

I love my conversations with Sophie.


Monday, 23 March 2015


It was 9 p.m. on Saturday night....and I was looking forward to going to bed.  I was tired but I was thinking of going up and reading for an hour.

Then Jack came in the door....he always checks the sheep before bed....and he said "Her water just broke."

My plans just changed.

This was the ewe that we had been checking on day and night all week.

This was the ewe that was as big as a house.

Terry went ahead to bed....because he had the alarm set for 1 a.m. to check on the cows.  He is still getting up every night to check.....and he was a little exhausted.

It was all up to me and Jack.

We went out to the barn...but it was cold....colder than I expected.  And the wind was picking up.  It felt like January....not the second day of spring.

We actually stood around and watched nothing happening for about 20 minutes when we decided to go back inside and get warmed up.  We stayed inside for about 10 minutes and went back out...but there was still nothing and when we were starting to feel cold again we went back in to get warmed up.

We had only been away for 10 minutes and we had missed the first lamb being born.  She had it all licked off when we returned.

There was another hoof sticking out of the back of her....which didn't surprise us because she was so huge.

She continued to give all her attention to the new lamb.  She didn't seem to be in any pain.  It was as if she was ignoring the hoof sticking out of the back of her. 

This went on for over an hour....we got the new lamb to have a good suck and it was doing really well.

We were getting really cold....and really tired.

Jack suggested that we go in the house....maybe she wasn't lambing because we were standing right there.  But I told him that she can't actually hold it in.  When you are going to have a are going to have a me, I know.

Then finally she lay down and gave one good was backwards but it came easily and Jack was there to help.....there was lamb Number Two.

I was relieved....and said something like...GOOD, Lick it off and we'll get it to suck and then we can get to bed!

But then Jack said....There's another hoof back there.

Good grief.

And she wasn't really interested in licking off number two.  We had to towel dry it off a bit, wipe its nose and rub it down to get it to come alive.

Number Three came shortly after.  And she was even less interested in it.  She wanted to give all her attention to Number One.

We had a plan....get Number Two to have a good suck and then we'd take Number Three into the house.  And that's what we did.  But it took us a little while....and Number Three was looking awfully cold.

And when I finally got it down to the house it was really cold.  But I worked away at it....drying it off....and rubbing it down.  Terry came down to see what was going was 1 a.m.

We made it a bottle and it had a little drink.  I left it in front of the heater and went to bed.

The alarm went off at 4 a.m.....Grady needed to milk this morning.  I went out to check on the two new lambs and they looked good.  They were up walking around....and their bellies looked full.

I gave another little bottle to Number Three.

By 8 a.m. Number Three was running around the kitchen.

By 11 a.m. I insisted that Number Three go out to the barn to be with the rest.  I put a little lamb coat on it.

Sophie settled it in under the heat lamp.

And I told all the rest to behave....and get along and be nice.

Number Three would be good there.  Everything would be fine.  Jack would bring it out a bottle.

We needed to go and pick up Johanna at the airport.

But when we got home....Number Three was back in the house.  It was being bullied out there by the mother sheep.  It needed to be protected.  It needed to be in the house.

Heaven help me.

They put it in a big Rubbermaid container and put a laundry basket upside down on top of it.  They said that it was caged in couldn't get would be good there for the night.  We all went to bed.

At 3 a.m. I heard.....

thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump.......



It was out.  It was running all around the house downstairs.  And it was hungry.

I sighed and rolled out of bed.

Terry laughed and rolled over.....and went back to sleep.

I made it a bottle and settled it back in the Rubbermaid.

And I made another bottle at 6:30 a.m.

And Lydia is having the best day of her life.

And I need to scrub the floors.


Friday, 20 March 2015

The March Break

It's been cold.

The sap hasn't really had a good run yet....there was some today....but it's suppose to get really cold again.

We've had a pretty uneventful March break.  Which is perfect.

I cleaned the living room.  Really cleaned it.  Sorted all the books and games....put everything in it's place.

And then Sophie walked into the room and she was all drama....MOM...YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD CLEANER!  THIS ROOM IS SO CLEAN!  IT LOOKS SO GOOD.

I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry.

It was as if I had never cleaned anything before.

I admit....I have vacuumed around things.

And she is my fourth by the time she arrived I had totally relaxed given up on keeping the house clean.

Our house isn't's just lived in.  I do clean...but the state of clean never lasts.  How can it when it's six against one?

Anyways, twin lambs arrived on Monday night.  They are adorable....and it's amazing how much they have grown already.  Their little wrinkly bodies are really filling out.  They spend all their time doing this....

And hanging out under the heat lamp...

There is another ewe that should lamb at any time.  But all she does is this when I look in at her....

Johanna will return from Peru this weekend and I can't wait to hear about all of her adventures.  They tore down an elderly woman's bamboo house and then rebuilt it.....totally changing the woman's life.

Johanna had been a little disappointed when she realized that she wasn't going to be able to take her fiddle on the trip.  But on the weekend all of the kids were put into family homes to really experience the culture....and Johanna ended up in a home with two teenage girls that play classical violin!  She had found a fiddle to play!

She took her stepdancing shoes and danced at several different places on St. Patrick's Day.  The Peruvians are all staring at her feet in the photos!

I still don't know if she has any toothpaste....


Monday, 16 March 2015

The Ruby Leprechauns

The 4th Annual St. Patrick's Parade was held on Friday night in Douglas.

We have put a float in every year for this....but this year we wanted to get some 'outside' help. 

With Johanna away in Peru, we had no fiddle player.  And the boys are teenage boys....not really interested in participating in a parade.

So we joined forces with Terry's childhood neighbours from Ruby...the McGrath's...and we became The Ruby Leprechauns.

Terry built us a Leprechaun house....we made a pot of gold......and there were some serious beard making evenings here.  I found this site on how to make the beards here.

Our little leprechauns had a great time stepdancing!

And who are these guys?....I thought they didn't want to be on this float??

We made a sign for Dennis...."World's Tallest Leprechaun"....because he probably is.

Look at all the red faces....we were frozen!

But it was so much fun!


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Sweet Fun

The most amazing thing is happening outside!

It's warming up!

We headed to the bush yesterday afternoon.

It was time to tap....

It's never all work with these girls...

Sophie brought her camera with her...

Getting the perfect shot of.....

DAD!  I couldn't actually post the photo that she took because she loves to zoom up as close to your face as you can possibly get!

Catching the first drip....

So fun!


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Four Things That I Learned This Week.

1. If the tooth fairy forgets to come two nights in a row, the child will decide to keep the tooth.  But not forever....she will keep all of her teeth as they fall out and then 'cash in'...with ALL of her teeth under the pillow at once.

And the tooth fairy will bring $100.

Nice try.


2. It was the coldest February in the last 115 years.

I think that means that the thermometer was invented 115 years ago.

It was so cold that some local fishermen could not cut all the way thru the ice with their auger.  The auger wasn't long enough....or the ice was too thick....which was the real problem?

IT WAS JUST TOO COLD.  That's what.

This didn't make headline news.  This was just a local rural problem.

3. Terry has been getting up every night to check on the cows and now the sheep that are 'soon delivering'.  Jack volunteered to get up give Dad a break....he set the alarm for 2 a.m.

I heard him getting up....going down the stairs...going outside....I had to stay awake to make sure that he came back in safely.  He did.  He reported that everything was just chewing their cud.....and all was well.  He went back to bed.  I tried to go back to sleep but I just kept having stupid odd dreams.  It was a bad night's sleep.

When Terry goes out to check on the animals....I sometimes briefly wake up....and then go right back to sleep.

The idea of Jack getting up and doing this job is a very bad idea.

4.  Letting your firstborn child fly away in an airplane is not easy.

I cried at the airport.

She is gone to Peru on a two week mission trip.

AND she is travelling with an illegal limit of toothpaste.  When we were buying all of her supplies she said that the small travel size tube would be too small....and I completely agreed with her....because we are both slightly obsessive/compulsive about toothpaste and brushing teeth.  So she bought the next bigger size....and it's over the limit....and I didn't know this.

They took it out of her carry on bag during the check thru but they let her have it back...and she has continued on with it.

But she might not be so lucky at the next airport.

And she might end up in Peru with no toothpaste.

And that would be bad news.

Really bad news.

Have fun girls! xo


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Winter Projects

My aunt gave me a coffee table a couple of years ago.  I just put it in the backroom....and I considered taking it to the dump.  It was really ugly.

My intention was to make a sign....with barn board.  I asked Terry to bring me a piece of barn board....but he never I just started painting the ugly coffee table instead.

I didn't take a 'before' photo because I didn't know that there was going to be an 'after' photo.

I really didn't have much of a plan....and I just used some paint that I had in the basement.

I downloaded some free fonts and I used Aimee Weaver's method of doing the's here.  I used carbon paper to trace the words on and then I painted over top.  It was really easy and I enjoyed it.

Because I didn't really have a plan....and Terry commented one evening "That's not like you"....he was being sarcastic.....I just started placing words on.....and not really knowing how it was all going to look in the end.  I ended up with this space in the middle and I considered a few different things for it but then I decided on a horseshoe.  Terry told me not to use this one that's on there because it's in really bad shape.  He told me that he would get me a better one.  But that was over a week ago....

So that horseshoe is just placed there....when I get 'the better one' I will hot glue it down.  And I can't decide whether to put it on straight or put it on a slant like it is here.  But I don't have to worry about that today.

I'm also considering sanding the sides a bit and giving it a rustic look.

I picked up this little stand at Value Village for $2.99.  It was the colour of dirt....and it had some stickers on it that needed to be removed.  I cleaned it up and painted it.

I downloaded this vine thing for free and then I just traced it on with the carbon paper and painted it.

Sophie and Lydia wanted to paint something I bought them this piece of canvas at the dollar store and they made this.....

I love it!

Our winter projects are complete....spring can arrive anytime now.

It snowed yesterday.