Hello and Welcome! We are the Dwyer Family. We farm in the beautiful Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada. We are a Christian, Roman Catholic family with five children. We own and operate 'Dwyer's Farmhouse'. It's a farm vacation get-a-way place. Our guests stay in a farmhouse and experience a working farm. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures.....there is never a dull moment here! This is our farm story....
We managed to get some new family photos taken just before Christmas.
The kids were actually wanting to have them done as they said that they had grown....Jack especially.
So we went outside....
In other news, Lydia has told me that there are several sets of BUD LIGHT headphones at school. She was telling me all the boys that have them. Nicely played BUD LIGHT....do you realize that it's a whole lot of 9 year olds wearing your headphones?
It's been cold. They had another snowday yesterday....only it wasn't because it snowed....it was because of extreme cold. So I guess it really wasn't a snowday. I don't know what to call it...it's all new. This is the first winter that they have been cancelling buses because it's cold.
We were low on food and snowdays mean eating days so first thing yesterday morning I headed to town by myself...the girls were still in bed! On my way, my Mennonite neighbours were heading to school. One girl was walking with a black scarf wrapped around her head. All you could see were her eyeballs. Her mother had already put all the wash out to dry on the front porch. It was -26C....-36C with the windchill. Then I met a wagon load of kids coming with the horses.....they were heading to school as well. They had black scarves all wrapped around their heads as well only I couldn't see any eyeballs. Their heads and faces were completely covered. Carrying on like it was a regular day.....there were no buses cancelled in their world.
Terry got out his one piece snowsuit a couple of weeks ago. It hangs from a beam by its hood in the basement on the off season and it startled me once...I thought there was a man hanging there. It a big bulky warm suit. He has to step into it and zip it from the bottom to the top.
He was thrilled when I snapped this photo at the backdoor.
I told him that I had one of those in '78....and I did....and I wore it well!
We were talking about one piece snowsuits this past weekend and I was told the story of how a friend of mine got into her snowsuit without going to the bathroom first....like her Grandma had suggested. She was outside for 2 minutes and had to come back in.....the zipper was stuck and there was no way out....she pissed all over the inside of that snowsuit. Her Grandma was not too pleased with her!
The zippers always seemed to get stuck on those snowsuits. I remember thinking that I'd be stuck in it for life!
We were also talking about how they used to wrap the scarf around your neck and then around the top of your head and then tie it. I hated that....it was so tight that I thought I would choke.
Here is the full picture and you can see that my cousin has his scarf wrapped that way....that stripey thing is a scarf not a hat. I probably refused to have it put on that way that day.
I remember the first time that I had put a scarf on one of my kids and went to visit my mother-in-law. It was the last time that scarves were used here. She had a FIT. She told me to never put a scarf on a child. They could catch it on something and choke to death. I grew up with scarves but my husband did not. Scarves were a BIG NO NO. There were no scarves in the Dwyer house in Ruby.
Another thing to note about this photo above is that I'm probably not breathing in it. Not because of the scarf but because of the wind. The wind takes my breath away. My aunt used to babysit me...she was the one that probably took this photo. She would wrap me and my cousin all up and send us outside and if it was windy I would complain and come right back inside. It drove her crazy because she wanted us outside so she could watch her stories on tv. But I couldn't actually breathe out there! They still tease me about it as I always used to say "It's TOOOO WIIIINDAY!"
I still have trouble with the wind. I even had trouble the last time I went to the hairdresser. She was blow drying my hair and I couldn't catch my breath. It's weird.
Speaking of hairdryers....they are working in overdrive in the water bowls this winter. I just found out that the one that I usually use quit this morning....while in a waterbowl. I'm currently using one with shit on the cord. I'm continually buying hairdryers. It would be nice if REVLON could give me a discount.
We had an interesting meatbird this past summer. We had had them for a few weeks before I noticed one that wasn't quite right. I had went in to the barn to check on them and make sure they had lots of feed. Most of them were resting and then I noticed this one that was smaller than the others.
It went over to the feeder and then I knew why it was a little smaller.
At first I wasn't sure if I was really seeing what I was seeing.
And then I thought I was going to puke.
Chickens have tongues. I had never really thought about this before....or even seen one.
And I was looking at one. A chicken tongue.
It was scooping up feed with the bottom part of its beak and flip flopping its tongue all around. And eating.
It didn't have the top part of its beak.
It had only half it's beak....the bottom half.
I was horrified.
I nearly screamed. Or puked. Or both.
And then I thought....how can I help you?
But there was no helping to be had. It's just the way it was. And it had survived this long so it would probably be fine.
And it was.
Until we had it processed...along with all the others.
Because that's why we raise meatbirds. So we can eat them.
It's January. I buy mangos in January. Is it mango season? I have no idea. I think must be. I don't live where mangos grow. But I've always had good luck with getting good mangos in January. I buy them and let them sit on the counter for a couple of days and then I make this.
1 mango peeled and chopped
some green or red peppers chopped
some sweet or green onion
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
splash of lime (if you have it)
Mix together and then add some heat....
Epicure poco picante
some taco or fajita spice
or chili spice
Make it as spicy as you want. A crushed up garlic clove and jalapeno pepper is also nice in there.
I always double the recipe because there's never enough.
Eat it with tortilla chips. Add it to a chicken wrap.
This is one of my most asked for recipes. Everyone loves mango salsa!
We are on snowday number 3....that's 3 in a row I mean. They haven't been to school this week. It's Wednesday.
This time it snowed. It's still snowing. The extreme cold temperatures are gone.
The girls are making brownies in mugs. They are going to watch some Full House season 1. They got it on DVD yesterday at Value Village.
The kids got Terry a case of beer for Christmas. Over the years, he would always say 'a case of beer' when they would ask what he wanted for Christmas or his birthday. They could never buy it for him but now that they are old enough that's what he got.
A case of BUD LIGHT bottles.
He doesn't even drink much beer...he much prefers his rye and water. But the kids and neighbours will probably drink it for him anyway.
There was a pair of headphones that came in with this case of beer. They are big and bright blue and have a large BUD LIGHT label right across them.
They lay around the living room and then one day Lydia noticed them and realized what they were and she was all over them....and no one else wanted them anyway.
She read the little instructions and it said that they can be hooked up to Bluetooth. She really wanted to get them working.
I was no help. I didn't know how to do it.
She kept pestering me about it. And I kept telling her to just wait until Grady got home and he could help her.
She messed around and messed around trying to hook them up to my phone.
She had these giant headphones on and suddenly she said "IT'S WORKING!"
Sophie and I were surprised. We basically just said....that's nice....GOOD.
And Lydia belts out 'WAY DOWN RUBY ROAD'.
She is singing this song. A song that the Dwyer's wrote about the Dwyer's on Ruby Road.
Sophie and I were stunned. How could that song be on those headphones. I hadn't heard that song in ages.....I hadn't thought about that song in ages.
We looked at her and asked...Are you serious?? Really? That song?
And she's sing and saying YES and totally has us convinced.
And completely baffled.
And then she starts to laugh and says JUST KIDDING. She takes off the headphones and says "I can't get these to work" and walks away.
Sophie and I are still stunned. Sophie is just shaking her head.
Is she for real?
How did she even think of that song?
Anyways....when Grady did get home, he got it all fixed up for her. She's all set with those headphones and music.
She loves to wear them when we go somewhere. Yesterday I took them in to town as I needed some things and they had a snowday....only there was no snow.
She was in the backseat the entire time with those ridiculous BUD LIGHT headphones on. I told her that she couldn't wear them into the store and she was quick to remind me to lock the truck as we don't want those headphones stolen.
Terry asked me to buy a thermometer last week. And I did.
He wanted a big enough one that we could read inside but the thermometer is outside. It is.
He put it up right outside the door so when I come down the stairs in the morning I can see that it's winter temperature outside. I already knew this but now it's staring in my face.
He thinks it's great because we can see the actual temperature. He's all about numbers and data. I'm not so much. And he remembers all numbers and data. I don't.
He will ask me what the outside temperature reading was in the truck when I get home from somewhere and I always say....I don't know....I never looked. It's winter temperature.
The kids are enjoying a second day on bus cancellations due to the extreme cold outside. It's not because of snow or freezing rain it's because it's cold out. I don't remember them ever cancelling for cold weather before. It's not like it's unusual. It's just winter. But whatever....I don't make those decisions. When we were kids we were lucky when we got a snowday because of snow. I remember my friends talking about the bucket of sand at the door of the bus...how they would spread it out and all help push when the bus went off the road.
I asked Terry this morning if school would have been cancelled in the old days when our parents walked 3 miles to school and it was -40 C....he just looked at me sort of stunned. What do you think? he said. Of course school wasn't cancelled! I was thinking about it and said...but they didn't have modern day snow suits and warm mitts and stuff!
And he said they didn't even have thermometers! They had no idea how cold it was! They just kept on keeping on.....
And that's what you do when you farm....
Only we are super lucky because we have a thermometer and we can see just how cold it is.
Lydia asked me yesterday what I did all day while she was away at school.
I said "The Farm Books".
It's January. It's the time of year when I spend days in front of the computer entering a million receipts into the AgExpert farm program. I should do this at the end of every month and not once a year but it's just the way it's done here. I don't even make a resolution to fix my problem at the beginning of the year because it won't work. I'm so tired of entering all the receipts in by the end of January that I'm not going to start the account new and do more for the end of that month. And then by the time I think of it, it's April or May and I just can't get myself to do it. So it's just the way it's been for 20+ years. Farm books suck.
But when I answered Lydia with 'farm books' she thought I meant I was writing a book. One day during the Christmas break she came into the kitchen with the copy of the first year of this blog in her hand. She had been reading it and she said that it was REALLY good. I asked her if she realized that's it's a book about her....about us. She said YES! and it's really good. and I should write more! I told her that there are several more years but I never made them into books.
So she was sort of disappointed when I explained what 'farm books' meant.
She said that I really should be writing a book.
So here I am...thanks to Lydia's encouragement.....I'm back on this blog.
How do I catch up? I left off at the end of June.
I was going to post the entire year of one second everyday but blogger wouldn't let me and says that it's too big. So I will post each month......
It was so hot. Lydia celebrated her champagne birthday and Jack popped the champagne for her. Sophie also celebrated her birthday. We went to the river to swim nearly everyday. We brought in the hay. The farmhouse was so busy with families coming to stay.
We attempted our FIRST family vacation ever!.....a week away at a cottage on Manitoulin Island. We all made it there but we weren't all there at the same time....does that make any sense? The older kids had work that they couldn't miss so the boys came for a few days at the start of the week and then Johanna and Tanner came after the boys had left. Our neighbours looked after the farm while we were away.
Back to school and back to routine. Not really. It's fair season! Sophie and Lydia were back at fiddle and step dancing lessons. This is Lydia's first year on the fiddle.
I can't remember. Just look at the video. There was pie. We got a mini pool table. Halloween happened. oh yeah...Johanna and Tanner got ENGAGED. We have a wedding to plan!
The deer hunt. I offered several cake decorating classes at the farmhouse. It snowed.
Getting festive. I ate too much and had to buy new pants in January. Sorry....I can't remember anything. duh....that's why I blog.
We had an amazing Christmas! We watched the movie Nacho Libre over and over. We call each other Nacho (insert name here). We sign our messages with big kissy, little kissy....AND we've all had diarrhea since Easters!