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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Today is Saturday July 13th. My break to go fix supper turned into almost a week! Things are changing and warm weather is peeking in with a few rainy days. The sun makes a big difference to the garden! The plants are flourishing and we have salad greens every day. I take what ever the garden offers so far. Today it was lettuce, beet greens, garlic tops, green onions, dill and parsley. Salads vary according to what grows the fastest! Dressing is always a little red wine or apple cider vinegar, olive oil and honey. Yesterday I added cooked red beans to the salad. We are eating a lot of last year's beans as we wait for the potatoes and carrots to get bigger. Supper is usually scrambled or omelete eggs and bread and butter. Breakfast is oatmeal and yogurt. Most of my canned goods are gone now except for beets , currents and goose berries and tomatoes. I also have a little spinach spaghetti, whole wheat flour and oats left. So we are about on schedule and welcoming new vegetables from the garden.

So far I have dried red clover, chopped up rhubarb and froze it and am cutting up garlic tops to freeze. Bill just told me it looks like our garlic has a problem . There is a disease going around affecting garlic and we won't have a goof harvest of it this year. That is a new first for our garlic. So preserving the green garlic tops this year is especially important. I think I will can some in half liter (pint jars) as I want to eliminate freezing as much as possible.

All Spring right through to the first week of July it was colder than usual here and we had a lot of rain which will cause problems for some plants. Our strawberries we started came with Red Steel disease so will be pulled up and destroyed. Hopefully wild blue berries, goose berries and currents will produce if we get the sun enough. ( 1) thing we have learned through the years is not to count on anything! We take what nature provides each year and do with out the rest. Last year carrots were a write off but this year look good. Something always grows when something else doesn't and we never go hungry; just adjust what we eat.Right now tomato plants look good as does potatoes and corn. If we keep getting rain like the first six months of this year the wells here shouldn't go dry!

From now until late fall is our busy time on the farm until harvest is over. We miss our fresh goats milk and yogurt and haven't ruled out getting another goat eventually. (2nd) thing we have learned lately is we really need an animal to eat some of the pasture so we don't have to mow it! We definitely don't want the farm to grow up in weeds as will happen if the fields aren't mowed. So far Bill has been mowing with the walk behind mower and he and a friend load the grass on a truck to take to his friends horses. Very soon one of the horses will be joining us and hopefully be a four legged mower! The horse may become permanent if it works out good. We will wait and see.

When not cooking or storing food I have been hand mending Bill's clothes and have time to do some writing and reading which I enjoy. Daylight and dark still are working for us and we don't miss electric lights or the noise from trucks and cars. So we are up at 5:30am and in bed by 9:30pm. The fox family have moved out and our hens have breathed a sigh of relief! With the summer residents back at the house I suppose the foxes felt a bit crowded. Now mabe some rabbits will move back in now it is safer.
Our 41st anniversary was July 9th. Bill took me to visit Le Village Historique Acadien which is French for Historic Acadian Village. It is an hours drive from us and is a step back in time. It is a late 1800's and early 1900's Acadian village situated on a beautiful 17 acre site overlooking Pubnico Harbour in southern Nova Scotia. The staff all dress and act the parts as they demonstrate Acadian life as it was lived for 350 years. A walking trail, Light House, barns , rail fences, Post Office, two homes, Blacksmith Shop , Root cellar, Boat Shop, fish store, wharf, salt hay stacks , pig pen with a cauldern of potatoes being boiled out side for pig feed, chicken coop with wooden upright fence, cow and calf all give insight into 19th century Acadian life. We saw a dory boat being constructed and a Black Smith forging nails. He made a flat headed one with our names engraved since it was our anniversary.

The visitor Information Center with restaurant offers Acadian meals. We were there three hours and it was very interesting and for us like going home. All the house furnishing and kitchen wares I have either had or still use. Bill also recognized so many things he still farms with or has in the past. It was a good three hours-- that is until we started home.

We had traveled a highway going but decided to take the old road home which was there long before the highway. We started out alright but the pavement led to a dirt road and next thing we knew we were in the middle of a golf course complete with the big signs marking holes! Surprised golfers looked amazed and we felt a bit overwhelmed to be there! But as calmly as possible we turned around and stopped and asked directions out of there wondering when the old road had changed to a golf course? Later I found out we had made a wrong turn and the original road is still in tact. We got back on the highway briefly until picking up a country road again.

If that was a shock so was stopping to a Dairy Treat for ice cream! $5 each for one large which was three small scoops ice cream on a cone! Welcome back to the 21st Century! We sure were glad to get back home behind the hill to our farm! But it was still a wonderful day and Bill never once mentioned work he should be doing! So we are good for another 41 years. to be con't
 

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Such a wonderful read

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Today is Thursday August 22nd. I stayed at the trailer tonight as I had been sorting pictures and papers working all day and wanted to use the internet. What a month we have had! It finally warmed up the second week of July and quit raining so much.Since then we have had only two rains one of which was last night. Some people have wells that are low. Ours is holding but we aren't at the trailer much to use water. We come and get some for cooking and drinking and take it to the farm.

The garden just bloomed when the temperatures hit 20C or 70 F! As always some things did exceptionally good and others less so. We have had plenty of beet greens and Swiss Chard, carrots are long and straight and such a contrast to the stubby ones of last year's garden. Potatoes so far are smaller than usual and have some wire worms but we will have enough. The strawberries are a flop and we will try a different variety next year. All berries seem scarce this year. Our peas both green and snow peas were plentiful and I have been canning and freezing them. Broccoli is abundant and that also I have been canning and freezing some. Parsley did good and I have enough dehydrated to last a year. The basil didn't fair well and there won't be enough to dehydrate. Parsnips look good and the nastursims flowered and are abundant. They are the flowers we grow and put in salads. The flower, stem and leaves are all good to eat. Bill plants several kinds of leaf lettuce in two week rotations so it is ready at different times. That way we have fresh lettuce every day. Our small corn patch so far looks good and should be ripe the first week of September.

Bill transplanted and restarted our asparagus and it looks like next year we will have a crop. It takes more than two years to re-establish a bed of it. Last years cabbage bombed because we ordered winter cabbage which has smaller heads. Instead summer cabbage was in the seed packet and we had huge heads that don't winter store. So I had to chop and freeze it. This year we planted the right seed and the cabbage looks good so far. The 15 or so varieties of pole beans also look good and soon will be ready to harvest once they dry some on the vines.. Our garlic is out of the ground, smaller than we have ever seen but is drying well .We will have enough for the year. The turnips will be sufficient and Bill planted some mangles and let them go to seed since we don't have a goat or horse to eat them. It is a very old variety seed he has kept perpetuating for fifty years. It isn't something you can buy anymore. There is a heritage farm in Nova Scotia called Ross Farm. He is hoping they will keep the seed alive and grow it for cattle feed.

Bill restarted the grape vine when we moved. It is growing good so far and in a year or two we will have grapes again. He bought cantalope (musk melon) seed and planted it in a bed he made at the trailer property. Since we don't have grapes this year cantalopes make a special treat for us in the summer. The vines are growing and the flowers coming sure look familiar. But they looked like squash NOT cantalopes! And they are squash. Apparently the cantalope seed we bought didn't germinate BUT the compost Bill put in the bed was from the farm and had discarded squash seed in it. And IT GREW and is still growing! He had already planted squash at the farm so now we will have twice as much but sure will miss those cantalopes!

We only planted a few cucumber plants but they are producing prolifically as are the tomatoes. The biggest bed of tomatoes is planted at the trailer property and a smaller bed at the farm. There are steep hills at the farm and the other property is level and easier to make new beds. Also I have to do all the canning at the trailer so it makes since to have the tomatoes there.

Two new beds are being established at the farm in the only level spot left. One is in its second year of soil preparation. The first year it was planted with buck wheat twice and turned under twice. The second year it had compost added and more buck wheat. It will be ready for potatoes next Spring. The other garden space will have several beds and was planted with buck wheat twice this year. The first time it was turned under and the second planting will be left to die down and turned under next Spring. That garden won't be ready to grow vegetables until 2021 as next year it will have more buck wheat and compost and sea weed added. When we sold part of the farm the property went through the original garden, The caretaker of the house we sold; plants the half that went with property. We fenced our half and have potatoes and beans there but the plan is in two years not to plant there at all. Instead it will be seeded down for pasture.Then all the gardens will be back where the cabin and other gardens are.

The fennel, agrula,dill and Egyptian onions are doing good. I like things reseed themselves every year and aren't much work. This year we will be mostly short of wild blue berries, currents, gooseberries, raspberries and blackberries because they just didn't grow. I suspect it was because of the cold wet Spring and early wet Summer we had. We plan to plant more things that come back on their own because they are less work.

Our animals had dwindled to one house cat and four laying hens. But now has increased to six hens, still one cat and a borrowed pony/horse. We bought two more laying hens almost ready to lay because last years hens didn't start laying until fall and now will soon molt. While they are losing feathers and regrowing new ones the two new hens are just starting laying eggs. Easy to tell the hens apart as we now have two amber/ white hens, two red and two black ones.

When introducing new hens to a flock we always put the new ones in the hen house at night on the roost. That way they all wake up in the morning together. It works best if they all go to a new building too at the same time. Well; we couldn't do that so hoped for the best. Best didn't happen and one of the amber/ white hens developed a bully persona and was determined to beat up the new comers and keep them from leaving the hen house! One red hen joined in the fray and the first couple of weeks were horrible for the new black hens. They had come from an enclosed barn and seeing grass was a big change for them. But being terrorized they wouldn't venture out the door way. So then we made a little switch and with patience persistence gave the bully hen a little smack when she misbehaved. She squawked a lot in protest and flew at me but she finally got the point and now was behaving most of the time.

She got revenge one day when I was gathering eggs. I patted her and reached underneath her billowy white feathers to retrieve an egg. She squawked at me as mean as she could muster; pecking me and literally tearing at my hand with her beak ! I gave her a snap with my thumb and finger to make her release me and reminded her that where she spends the future ( in the hen house or in my stew pot) depends on both her present and future behavior ! It was a bluff because I don't eat meat but she got the message and is steering clear of the new hens most days. The newcomers are venturing outside like conjoined twins but at least they aren't being bullied anymore.

I have to say the wild life is prolific this year. The raccoons made a home under our former barn and multiplied from two to eight. They moved to a neighbor's barn when the summer residents came home and too many humans were around. I came out literally from the out house one evening met by two scampering raccoons coming down the hill towards me. They slammed on their brakes as did I and made a hasty retreat. They were as startled as I was!

Another evening I was at the out house again and heard something by the door! Taking a peek there was a skinny fox on the rock step lugging someone's cooked ribs obviously a theft from a grill or table! He kept dropping the ribs and picking them up until getting a good grip disappeared through the fence to where ever his den is bringing home supper for the fox family!

Where we have our hens was a goat pasture with page wire fencing. We had to put hen wire half way up the page wire to keep the hens in and foxes and raccoons out. It works to keep foxes out as they don't climb but raccoons can climb. They also have proficient little paws that work like little hands. They have the ability to manipulate their little raccoon hands to open up things we didn't think they were capable of. So the hen house had to be tightly locked both door and windows at night. Both the foxes and raccoons dined on neighbors chickens and ducks but so far ours have been spared.

Not having goats anymore or a horse proved to be a challenge until Betty came to visit for the summer. Betty weighs about 800 lbs. and is a tall pony. She isn't a draft pony like our original pony Tiny was but looks like a perfectly proportioned small horse. Betty's job is to keep the former goat now hen pasture and adjoining pasture mowed. She has proved to be an excellent mowing machine with a big appetite. She has expanded her territory to around the cabin and beyond.

Now Betty is a good pony very gentle and kind but with a definite mind of her own. She has never been trained or taught anything near as we can tell and is an independent thinker one might say. When called she may or may not come. She didn't know any commands like Whoa or Git-up or hee and haw! Get on her back and she will stand still and no amount of urging will set her in motion until she decides to go! Bill having been around horses all his life decided he would teach her some commands. He uses a lunge line or training crop to circle the horse until it becomes submissive and comes when you extend your hand and say to come. Betty reluctantly finally submitted and came almost to him and Bill felt pretty good and thought he had accomplished something positive. That was until he turned his back and Betty got her revenge!

We heard the splash of water as Betty took hold of her water container and upturned it ! Bill has to lug water for her from the lake or bring it from the trailer where we have a well. So it is frustrating the horse would not only deny herself water but cause all this extra work. Bill got a big truck tire rim and placed the rubber container in side and tied it with rope through its handles on each side to the tire rim confident it was impossible to upset. However after the next training session Betty using her teeth managed to tip the container again spilling more water. Then she stands there looking (or laughing at us) knowing she had the last word! Among her other habits she knows how to open gates and untie some knots. This is what happens when a horse isn't taught anything and left to its own devices like an undisciplined child!

The flies were bad so we tried putting a mesh face mask on her designed to keep flies off the horse. It slides over the nose and up over the horse's ears. But Betty doesn't like her ears touched. We have been carefully rubbing around her ears getting her used to the motion. We looped a rope around her neck and the end around the fence post to give me leverage to hold her still. Bill slid the face gear on over her nose no problem but when he tried to put it on her ears she threw her head forward and side ways! She hit Bill in his chest and he rolled curled up down a hill like a bowling ball ! Thankfully he wasn't hurt except for his dignity! She also pulled the fence stake loose with the rope I was holding on too. Again she stood there looking at us having her own way. By the end of September she will return home probably never to return again. We will miss the good times but not the bad.

The past two weeks both the foxes and raccoons haven't been seen and our resident rabbit has returned! He ( and I say he because I haven't seen any baby bunnies ) feeds on the clover by the lower gate and in the driveway. The driveway is grass and quite long being uphill from the dirt road. Clover grows in the middle. The rabbit is a grey brown color and quite large. He is getting accustomed to our coming and going and isn't afraid of us. Why anyone ever coined the expression "dumb bunny" I will never know! This bunny is definitely not a dumb bunny! He has managed to escape being eaten by both a family of raccoons and a family of foxes! They are all gone now and the bunny is still here! I would say that is one smart rabbit! to be con't
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 · (Edited)
Today is Tuesday September 3rd. and already leaves are starting to fall from the trees ! Seems a bit too early for fall to start as we had a very short summer here. I have been very busy still canning tomatoes and making tomato vegetable soup to can. I have never seen so many tomatoes as on the dozen plants we have this year! Our first bell green peppers were picked this morning and am hoping there will be many more. Last year none grew. We ate our first corn last week and was it ever good! We like to eat sweet corn raw on the cob as a treat. This year it will replace the musk- melons and grapes we don't have. Swiss chard is growing like crazy! The more we pick the more it grows. It is a wonderful green as it will continue to produce right up until it snows!

This week Bill is digging potatoes. The good news is the Yukon Gold ones he planted are exceptionally big and very few wire worms in them. Many years ago we used to plant Yukon Gold potatoes then they started to develop pointed ends and rot. So we stopped growing them until this year. This year they look good. We like them because they are yellow when you cook them and if there is no butter it still makes you feel like there is! They are tasty too.
The bad news is all the purple and blue potatoes are smaller than usual and have some wire worms. Still the three 40ft. rows of varying varieties will be enough until next year's crop is harvested. Also the garlic is much smaller than usual but all dried and stored in the cellar for winter. The cabbage, beets and turnips all look good . The broccoli is still producing side shoots and besides chard is one of our favorite vegetables as it produces well into late fall. The carrots are beautiful big and straight and we should have a bumper crop of squash with the extra planted by mistake.

Our old hens and two new ones are all laying good now and finally they are all getting along together! I guess the scolding the two bullies got with the little switch made them shape up! The red, black and white hens now share nests and perches together and have worked out their differences. Too bad the population of the world couldn't solve their differences likewise so easily!

Our borrowed horse has returned home as of two nights ago. Unfortunately she wasn't very happy about leaving but she was just here visiting for part of the summer

The night she left Bill had a bad heart spell so it is good she is gone and the responsibility of her care. Bill is tough and by morning his heart was back to normal. He says he will live as long as God wants him too. There seems to be nothing any doctor can do for him. He has a heart defect which is hereditary. Otherwise he is extremely healthy and strong for a 74 yr old man. He has a bar-rod that my swing hangs on in the cabin. He removes the swing and does eight chin-ups every morning! Like the heart specialist said; Bill is doing everything right health wise as far as diet, exercise and he doesn't smoke or drink alcohol or take drugs. The doctor told him to go home and live his life and if anything happens to call him. He didn't explain what " if anything happens means". I won't ask as if it means what I think it does it is too sad to think about. I hope God isn't ready for him yet.

Good news is happier to think about and I do have good news! A friend is coming for us one day soon and taking us to the city Halifax to his home in another community. Halifax is about 180 miles from where we live . We will be gone five days and he has plans for us to visit Ross Farm which is a heritage farm. Also we will visit the Light House at Peggy's Cove. Both are places we have never been but always hoped to go. He says he also has other surprises for us! This will be the first time in thirty-one years Bill and I have been away from home together over night! We were always tied to farm animals and their care so couldn't go any where together. A few times I went camping alone or he visited a friend over night who was sick. Then one of us would stay home to do barn chores. Once upon a time you could hire someone to milk goats and feed animals but those days are gone as later generations don't know how to care for animals. Now we are down to one cat and six hens we have neighbor and family member who will look after them so we can go.

Bill doesn't like traveling and was reluctant at first but now seems to be looking forward to a vacation. He is very tired both from work and his heart problem and I think this vacation will be just what he needs with no work or responsibility. I am looking forward to this time together. Forty-six years ago when I received that first letter from him my heart went a-flutter because I knew our destiny! Five years later on our wedding day he set my heart a -flutter again. Forty-one years later every time I look at my husband my heart skips a beat a-flutter with respect and love and I think how blessed and thankful I am that God brought him into my life. to be con't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Today is September 10th; 2019-- I write the date for my own reference as I am getting a bit forgetful lately! Our anticipated vacation had a slight delay because of a hurricane named Dorian! We listen to radio news so was well warned in advance what was headed our way! We decided the safest place for us was at the farm in our little cabin rather than in the house trailer. Also the cat and hens are there at the farm. The way the storm tracked up the East Coast of the USA we got just the edge and the full force hit Halifax 180 miles from us. Still this was more wind than we have ever experienced even with the first hurricane 18 years ago and another in 2015. It rained hard but was not prolonged. The wind and rain started Saturday afternoon and lasted well into the night. We could hear the cracking of falling trees near the cabin and hen house but none struck either.

In the morning we counted two very large trees down and four smaller ones. One landed of the pasture fence. Other than the trees our little house withstood the wind. The wind came from the North East first and later swung to the North West, then West. That was the worse because it was hitting the house broadside from the ocean. One good thing is we are on a hill behind trees and there is a dirt road, lake and high ridge between us and the Atlantic Ocean. Then on the North and East we are protected by woods and a high hill on the South. It could have been a lot worse if we were out in the open. The trees will be cut up for fire wood.

A mile away the house trailer also withstood the wind as there is a big house on either side and woods behind. The people in the camp ground next to the trailer were fortunate that no trailers of 40 there and three cabins were destroyed.There was also no people injured. There were some scared shaken people though!

Our area the biggest damage was falling trees caught in power lines so power was off as well as land lines, cell and internet service most places. In town ten miles away the story was the same with many fallen trees. Some power was restored Sunday in our area as the storm had sub-sided here and was pounding Halifax. Today is Tuesday and there are still people in the back country without power and 105 thousand without power province wide down from 400 thousand two days ago. Crews from Florida and Maine and New Brunswick and Ontario arrived prior to the storm to help get people re-connected in the aftermath.Same as Canadians go to the USA to help out during their storms. It is nice to help each other in times of need.

It looks like we are entering a time of more frequent violent storms although nothing like experienced in the Bahamas. We are off grid at the farm and like it that way so there is no power to go out. I continue to refine how we live with out power to keep things as simple as possible and make the work easier. Eventually we may be able to live winters at the trailer too without power too but that will take some re-modeling to accomplish.

Life is a journey always evolving. You have to be flexible and adapt when change comes .Ageing; weather. political change; whatever happens; change is guaranteed at some point. At the same time we try to keep grounded in the fundamentals of life and keep to the basics of taking care of ourselves and knowing how to provide the basics of food, water; shelter and clothing. That along with faith in God, family and friends and someone to love is all that is really important in this life. Everything else we think we need is really just extras. Stay safe where ever you are. to be con't.
 

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I am glad to read that you and your Mr survived those storms safely. I have friends in Halifax and the South Shore area who are just getting power back now. One friend has some minor roof repairs ahead of him, but he's not too concerned as those are nothing compared to what some are dealing with.

I'd also like to say that I enjoy your updates, full of happenings and ways to deal with this and that, very much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I am glad to read that you and your Mr survived those storms safely. I have friends in Halifax and the South Shore area who are just getting power back now. One friend has some minor roof repairs ahead of him, but he's not too concerned as those are nothing compared to what some are dealing with.

I'd also like to say that I enjoy your updates, full of happenings and ways to deal with this and that, very much.
Glad your friends are okay. I know a lot of people especially in the city had a hard time with power out. It is always nice to know if anything I may say is of value to anyone. Sometimes we feel pretty useless in this modern technological world. But if anyone wants to know how to live frugally, simply with basic needs met and be content that we may be able to help with. Thank you for your comments.Have a nice day. Linda
 

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I look forward to your updates. While I very much enjoy the details and hearing what's going on, I am always encouraged by the tone in which you share how you live your life. Your positive attitude is encouraging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
I look forward to your updates. While I very much enjoy the details and hearing what's going on, I am always encouraged by the tone in which you share how you live your life. Your positive attitude is encouraging.
I appreciate your comments. My Daddy always said to be positive and never give up no matter what happens because if you hold on things will get better. If you quit you will never know what good thing you have missed. His positive outlook brought him through poverty, two wives who both left him because they were short sighted. He was working on automobiles in the 1930's and they thought he was wasting his time! He raised three daughters by working hard and growing our food while fighting several health issues. He fought in court to keep us children together and with Grandma's help he succeeded .He struggled to pay the debts my mother left when she deserted us. He suffered from Parkinson's disease late in life but never did I ever hear him complain about anything. When times were hard he would laugh; dance a little jig and say; " Oh well; things have to get better because they sure can't get any worse!" And you know things did get better because he never quit. I was blessed to have such a wonderful father who gave us two things in life. One was determination to always do our best no matter what life threw at us. The other and most important was his love for which I am forever grateful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
Today is September 18th; Wednesday. How time flies by and a lot happens in a very short time! Nova Scotians are still cleaning up after hurricane Dorian passed through . Mostly it was trees falling on power wires that knocked out electric to about 400,000 people. As the power company was making repairs another 10,000 were disconnected when broken trees continued their downward descent onto wires. So we got to see how Nova Scotia Power and assisting power companies earn their pay. And they sure do earn every penny when a disaster strikes! I can't say enough about all the crews that worked well through many nights in quite miserable weather conditions to try to get everyone reconnected to the grid. So many trees had to be felled before wires could be repaired so there are still some folks in the dark in out lying areas.

On Wednesday September 11th. our friends whisked us away to Halifax City. It was quite an adventure covering many sights in five days.The hurricane delayed us and we actually left on the day we were supposed to come home. For Bill and me it has been 30 years since we have been away together over night. We saw those dedicated power crews still working in many places as we passed by. We were fortunate every where our friends took us power was back on.


Peggy's Cove may well be one of the most photographed Light Houses in the world ! It stands among the largest most interesting huge rock formations not far from Halifax. It was windy when we visited there and signs everywhere warn visitors to be careful climbing over the rocks when they are wet. More than a few people over years have slipped into the foreboding ocean never to survive. I may be biased but our Light House at Bon Portage Island where we lived years ago was equally as interesting as that at Peggy's Cove. An older lady playing guitar and singing Nova Scotia songs by the light house added sense of nostalgia to the experience. It is a popular place judging by the crowds of people visiting the day we were there. Goes to show what advertising and marketing can do to promote an attraction. It was a nice place to see though once in our life time.

Thursday at Ross Farm Heritage Museum was a whole day experience which we enjoyed very much. It is located on 60 acres of the original 800 acre grant given to Captain William Ross. Five generations of the Ross family lived and worked on this farm fro 1816 to 1969, after which the New Ross District Museum Society purchased the farm and so the Ross farm Museum began. It is still a working farm giving visitors a chance to go back in time and experience life 100 to 175 years ago.

There is a Cooper Shop where wooden barrels are still hand made and can be purchased. The Black Smith is always busy making a variety of things from iron in a forge with bellows hammer and tongs. Some also can be purchased. There is a Stave Mill , barn where hay is still put in loose, a workshop and school ; Pedlar's Shop, nature trails and Rose Bank Cottage where generations of the Ross Family lived. It has five fire places where the original owners cooked and later generations added wood burning kitchen stoves. Ladies in period dress fix meals for the volunteers who run the farm and bake cookies for visitors to sample. The furniture is simply made and authentic. For me it was like going home because most things in the house I have had in the past or still use.

For Bill the horse drawn machinery is very familiar as it is the same as we farmed with. All the animals, hens, ducks, pigs, cows, sheep are all old heritage breeds as are the Canadien breed of horses. They are smaller than the large work horses like Belgums and Clydesdales. The Canadien is the only breed solely developed in Canada. Our friend and I rode around the farm in a horse drawn wagon while the men explored on foot.

In one of the barns are many kinds of horse drawn implements and hand operated ones. From a winnowing basket made of bark woven together to threshing machines can be seen the progress of farming over a 150 years. We grew wheat once and threshed it by hand so found the winnowing baskets quite interesting. You use a frail first which is a wooden stick of sorts with another stick joined to it with a loop of leather passed through two holes, tied joining the sticks together loosely. The staves of wheat are placed on the floor of the barn. Then one swings the joined sticks beating the wheat so the kernels fall from the stalks. We did it but placed the wheat on a plastic tarp to keep the wheat cleaner. You remove the stalks and sweep up the chaff and wheat kernels placing them in the winnowing basket. We let the wind blow out some of the chaff and shook the basket back and forth to get rid of the rest of the chaff.

One man who has worked on this farm thirty years grows at least thirty-five varieties of potatoes. He has developed a few varieties over the years of his own. Bill and he got talking potatoes because Bill also grows heritage potatoes! We almost left my husband at the farm he fit in so well! Bill also has kept alive seed for an old variety of mangels ( cattle beets) which farmers raised for cattle feed. We raised mangels for our goats and Bill has been raising seed for thirty years. He is quite pleased those who run Ross farm will carry on and continue with our seed as it can't be bought anymore of this particular variety.Most seeds today are hybrids but ours is a straight strain. I would say having heritage seeds continue long after we are gone is part of Bill's contribution and legacy. We had our picnic lunch with our friends before heading back to the city.
We ended the day with supper at our friend's mother's house in the city.

Saturday the 14th was nice because we had breakfast with my oldest daughter and grand daughter and later they joined us at our friends house for dinner. We hadn't seen my daughter since last year so she took us all out for breakfast. We seldom if ever eat in a restaurant and I was amazed at how big a serving of anything is! One plate could easily feed two people! I am confounded by the amount of food there is in this one city and much never gets eaten while in other parts of the country and world people don't have enough to eat. There is great inequity in the world. By chance we had the parents we had in the countries where there is so much. We could all have been born in less fortunate circumstance.

After dinner we were on the road again to Truro Nova Scotia and Victoria Park. Right in the middle of this small town is their pride and joy; Victoria Park . It has water falls, trees growing out the sides of cliffs, beautiful plants and then Jacob's Ladder. Jacob's Ladder is a series of hand hewn log stairs twisting and turning its way high into the forest and mountain rock cliffs.The view is incredible! The water falls are spectacular! This is a family friendly park with extensive play ground area for young children and is well used by local people.

One thing we won't want to experience again is Halifax traffic! Friday we were almost run into when a car didn't yield the right away ! Our driver was quick on the brakes as was the other driver but it was close. Saturday we got caught in miles of bumper to bumper traffic before leaving the city. We were tied up inching along for over an hour. How can so many people be going so many places at the same time is beyond my understanding. Now when I hear a radio announcement say there is a back log of traffic on the Mac Donald Bridge in Halifax for 3 kilometers at a stand still or 5 kilometers on a highway ;I will understand what they are talking about! I found the situation terrifying! Most of all I wonder how anyone gets to work and back with so many cars on the road.

We started home to Short Beach Sunday the 15th but not directly. Nova Scotia is long and narrow so instead of the North shore or South shore we cut across the center from East to West. More beautiful country and old farms some being farmed and some not. In one tiny community there was only one public wash room available. It was in a very small restaurant. It was also the first time we were ever in a wash room with a sign on the wall that read; "This rest room is for customers only. If you stop here please be respectful and make a purchase on your way out!" Needless to say we left with more than we went in with!

We continued West and then South towards home making one more stop to see my other daughter in Weymouth which is a very small village. She and her husband live on the outskirts and weren't home so we visited her horses!

So all is well that ends well and by 3:00 pm Sunday we were safely back home at our farm . We thanked our friends for the past days that we enjoyed family and friends. We were extremely tired though as we never travel. We had seen things we had never seen before and the spectacular beauty of this province.

Sunday night I stepped out of our cabin as the sun was setting a hue of red color and shades of grey and white clouds settled over the Atlantic as the ocean echoed splashing waves against the rocks. The mountainous hills, woods and silent sway of the trees in the wind , the hens cooing softly as they settled on their perches, a crow cawed and I could hear a distant coyote and I took it all in. Looking up the stars shown brightly, I saw the Big and Little Dipper and the soft light of the moon. Our house stood quiet and dark welcoming the night. I thanked God for so richly blessing us with family and dear friends. I thanked Him for all the beautiful places we had been and I thanked Him most of all for our home and each-other. Truly many a place we could wander but there will never be any place like home. to be con't
 

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Sitting here by my husband's bedside in our small local hospital and reading him your post. He looks at me and says see we can still have our dream. Thank you for making him smile. My city born and raised husband that is trying to adapt to my farmer ways on barrowed land.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Sitting here by my husband's bedside in our small local hospital and reading him your post. He looks at me and says see we can still have our dream. Thank you for making him smile. My city born and raised husband that is trying to adapt to my farmer ways on barrowed land.
Good morning Blue Rose; I sure hope your husband will recover soon from whatever ailment has landed him in the hospital. You made me cry when you said he smiled. It makes me happy if anything I share gives anyone hope. You tell your husband to hold onto that dream and pray he will out of the hospital and home soon.Linda
 

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Hello Imrose... We are in the bush of far north west BC. Clear across the country from you, but, like said, many things have changed life over the years. Also having to "reinvent" ourselves periodically as life, family, life changes have required us to adapt to.

Frankly, like the saying goes... What doesn't kill you makes you stronger... We each have endured life changes to the point that now together as "seasoned" adults we think we know enough to make our later years pleasant. Life is a work in progress, day by day.

Best wishes... eh...
 
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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Hello Imrose... We are in the bush of far north west BC. Clear across the country from you, but, like said, many things have changed life over the years. Also having to "reinvent" ourselves periodically as life, family, life changes have required us to adapt to.

Frankly, like the saying goes... What doesn't kill you makes you stronger... We each have endured life changes to the point that now together as "seasoned" adults we think we know enough to make our later years pleasant. Life is a work in progress, day by day.

Best wishes... eh...
Good morning Wypbuckaroo; I really like your comment "seasoned" adults opposed to being called seniors as most refer to people of a certain age. " What doesn't kill you makes you stronger''. I know that is true because as I look back on my life; I remember a crisis would send me into a panic when I was young. As you say "Life is a work in progress"; We are on a journey and our final destination is not in this world. Living in the bush of far west BC sounds like an adventure of its own! Have a nice day. Linda
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 · (Edited)
Today is November 10th, 2019. I am still recovering from falling five days ago. First I was just sore and lame but by the third day I realized I had cracked some ribs on my right side. Been through that before and the only cure is rest. My right leg is very colorful now with blue and yellow bruises and it hurts to lie down. Now nights are spent in our only chair that reclines. It holds me just right to relieve the pain and I can sleep. My DH says he is cold without me in our bed . I suggested he let the cat sleep with him but he didn't think much of that idea so I piled some extra blankets on him . Our tiny bedroom is situated over the wood stove which is in the basement under the trailer. There are two openings in the bedroom floor and it is like sleeping in an incubator when the stove is fired up! At some point in time the unoccupied trailer was used to grow illegal plants which accounts for the stove and openings in the floor and hundreds of staples I removed from the walls. I am just learning the interesting history of our home! It has gone from incubating plants to now incubating my husband who needs lots of heat to stay warm. With his heart condition his circulation is bad.

Things aren't so bad though as if this was a month ago we wouldn't have been ready for winter and I wouldn't have been able to finish the canning, dehydrating and storing of food for the year. As things are everything was finished on time.

Bill moved our six hens from the farm the 8th of Nov. to their winter hen house at the trailer. That afternoon the wind blew hard and our first seasonal snow fell from the sky leaving just a peak of green grass. The hens; two red; two white and two black had settled their differences while still at the farm and snuggled close together on the perch in the smaller winter house.

The two red and two white ones were bought a year ago in August and the two black ones added this August. One red one became a bully and one white one became a bigger bully! They unmercifully picked on the two black hens who when first arriving at the farm were fearful to leave the hen house! As the two black pullets grew bigger they learned to run and sometimes evade their tormentors. Finally Bill cut a switch and we took turns watching the aggressive hens. Every time one attacked a black hen the bully got a switching! It took persistence and finally all were living peacefully together but were careful not to crowd each other on the roost at night. I don't know if chickens can see colors but these roosted by color. The two black ones took their place first, then the two red ones and finally the two white ones . It is kind of like having the United Nations at the table ; in this case the hen house but everyone was getting along!

Even hens have personalities and that big mean white hen meant to get even with me for curbing her activity. One day she was in a nest box and I went to gather eggs . The procedure is; I normally speak to the hen and slide my hand underneath her to remove any eggs but am careful not to disturb a setting hen in case she is getting ready to lay. However bully hen squawked and grabbed the skin on the back of my hand and wouldn't let go! That hurt ! I took her by her neck with my loose hand and pulled her and some skin free! While holding her and having her attention I took the opportunity to inform her she was getting mighty close to being chicken stew at the dinner table! She squawked for ten minutes but you know we have an understanding now. She has not attacked me anymore when I gather eggs and she has quit bullying the black hens! Lucky for me she doesn't know I don't eat meat! The stew pot was only an idle threat!

This has been a very busy fall. Coming back from our trip in September we were faced with a ton of work! Bill rebuilt the end of the basement under the trailer. It flooded last year every time it rained but no more. He dug up the yard until he found the drains and cleaned them out, rerouted them,made a cement sill, new door, wall and window. Then he removed part of the floor and built stairs going from the basement to the room above it so this winter no more going outside at night to get to the basement to put wood in the stove.Bill has also been cutting up trees felled by hurricane Dorian and another wind storm.We have plenty of wood for winter and next year too!

At the farm he dug and sorted the fifth-teen variety of potatoes he grew and stored them in the cabin cellar in wooden bins. There were plenty of carrots to pull and sort as well squash to harvest. We had salad greens right up until this week before it snowed. Turnips were dug today as he waits until the first freeze up and thaw to sweeten them before removing from the round and storing for winter. Garlic is planted and will be up next Spring. We cut our last broccoli earlier this week, pulled and sorted onions. Some have to be cut and frozen as the larger ones won 't keep in cold storage. For what ever reason they started to go bad. Shallots however are fine and will last until Spring. I also dehydrated some onions along with parsley, basil, dill and sliced cucumbers. Other cucumbers were sliced and frozen and will be used in soup or veggie burgers.I freeze some things, dehydrate some and can some. That way if the power goes and we lose something from the freezer we still have canned and dehydrated food. The freezers are small too so if one goes the other might still work.

We had tons of tomatoes this year and yesterday he pulled up remaining vines with tomatoes still on them! The vines are hanging in the basement of the trailer until the tomatoes finish ripening. I have canned tomato sauce, soup, stew, froze some to use first. In 40 years I have never seen so many tomatoes from a dozen plants!
Sweet corn was our treat this year which we ate raw. Bill kept a few cobs and dried them for seed to plant next year. Then there were all the beans! Less than last year but still a lot with 15 varieties plus some string beans. Those I can and the others we dried. Our trailer has a big south window and the sun pours in . I put pans of beans there and they dry good. We are finally getting down to the end. As they finish drying I store them in brown paper bags inside of glass jars. The only plastic containers I use is in the freezer. Other wise it is glass jars from the Dollar store or Mason jars.

We bought a bulk bag of whole wheat flour and another of oats and stocked up on butter, oil and honey,popcorn, soap , Borax and toilet tissue plus cat food and litter and hen feed.

Bill has cleaned up the garden and used a hand tiller to even up the ground. I closed up the cabin until Spring. Everything edible is removed to discourage mice and bedding stored in bags or tubs under the bed..

If it storms we have no need to go out except to the hen house until Spring! Having limited mobility and lame really isn't a problem and I am very thankful it didn't happen a month ago! The view out the windows of the field, lake and woods is pretty so I don't mind so much being indoors. Our neighbors are good to us and come to visit since I can't go out right now.

Bill needs a rest too. He said yesterday he is glad we have winter to look forward too. Last winter we watched the series The Waltons on dvd. This winter it is Dr.Quinn Medicine Woman on dvd thanks to Walmart. We don't have regular tv. We watch an episode almost every night and will finish by Spring. From Spring to late Fall we don't have time to watch anything. Isaac our cat seems quite happy too and likes running from one end of the trailer to the other. He usually does that exercise in the middle of the night! After all he is nocturnal and related to lions!

I think about all the turmoil in the world and then about how peaceful it is here so far as long as it lasts.. I am so very thankful for everything we are blessed with. I wish all the world could experience such riches . Peace and contentment is great gain. Have a good nite. to be con't
 

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Imrose, hope you are healing well. I look forward to your updates. You give me hope that one day I will again own my own farm. Lost one due to divorce, lost one due to health. Now living on a friends and helping them in exchange for a place to live.
 

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This is the best thread on this website! Your courage and cheerfullness on living a rather primitive life warms my heart. Six months ago we bought a 50 acre place in West Virginia, and are, like yourself, getting up in years. I too want to at least attempt to minimize the survival stuff requiring electricity, fuel, and propane heating. Your comments on what worked for you and what did not are so very welcome. God bless you. I hope you continue to update this thread.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Imrose, hope you are healing well. I look forward to your updates. You give me hope that one day I will again own my own farm. Lost one due to divorce, lost one due to health. Now living on a friends and helping them in exchange for a place to live.
BlueRose; I admire you for not letting obstacles in your life deter you from what your dreams and aspirations are! Throughout my life especially when times were tough I could hear my Daddy's voice ringing in my ears."Never quit, never give up. If you quit you will never know what good things you've missed had you held on a bit longer." And my Grandma told me;" Trust in the Lord with all your mind, heart and soul and He will direct your paths." These two important people in my early life had faced many obstacles throughout their years and life was not easy but they were happy. By example they gave me something money can't buy. That is hope, perseverance , belief in a Higher Power , loyalty and love. I hope you will have the same encouragement that my Grandma and Daddy instilled in me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
This is the best thread on this website! Your courage and cheerfullness on living a rather primitive life warms my heart. Six months ago we bought a 50 acre place in West Virginia, and are, like yourself, getting up in years. I too want to at least attempt to minimize the survival stuff requiring electricity, fuel, and propane heating. Your comments on what worked for you and what did not are so very welcome. God bless you. I hope you continue to update this thread.

Mark
Thank you Mark for your kind words. Congratulations on your new home! We have learned less is more in all aspects of our life. It took a long time to figure that out. When we were younger as most young people do we dove head first into what ever had to be done. There was no regard to how we punished our body working but there were injuries that later caused consequences physically. It is funny how we change as we get older and can't do things the same way as we did when young. Now I call it working smarter instead of harder.

The last two years starting over and moving we had to re-establish gardens and pastures but the garden plots were never plowed and prepared as we did in the past with the horse and machinery .

This time Bill covered the sod ground with a black tarp and weighted it with rocks. He did it early summer and left it for a year. When he removed the tarp the sod was rotted up. One time he used a small gas tiller and another plot he used a hand tiller on the rotted sod, then added compost and planted a cover crop of buckwheat. That was tilled under in the late summer and replanted and tilled under again in the Spring .
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More compost was added and he planted . Another plot he made into raised beds. These were the easiest and less hard work gardens he ever established. Another field he spread old hay on part and let it compost and then planted turnips there. All of this was easier and less physical work than our previous way of planting. We let nature do as much of the work as possible. Best of all he didn't need a tractor or even a horse to get the job done and it wasn't hard physically for him. From the time he laid the black tarp to the planting of the garden was two years.

The principle we followed in the beginning farming and in starting over is first prepare your land for planting because it takes time to establish gardens. Bill had some beds for planting this year and two others in waiting. Second prepare the barn if you keep animals. Third fix your house so it is warm and dry. That is the way we go about things.

Letting nature do most of the work takes time and patience. We started establishing the gardens as soon as we knew we would be moving in 2017. This coming year in 2020 two that were planted to buckwheat will be ready for potatoes and beans . Two others were ready this year. He was breaking up ground before we had the wood shed moved and turned into a cabin.

I don't think of our life as primitive but rather we are trying to make it simpler and in tune with nature. Some old ways are good and some were back breaking. Some modern ways are good like passive solar energy and many aren't good. We are in the house trailer for the winter and I would like to have it unhooked from the grid eventually. There are plenty of windows to let sun in and a wood stove in the basement that now is piped to send heat upstairs. The sun warms up the rooms too when ever it shines.

I guess I will for ever be a survivalist because I can see the future could land North America in darkness if the power grid goes down. It can happen anywhere in the world. It doesn't take an invasion; only wild fires, hurricanes or tornadoes and floods . The grid goes down and so does everything that needs power to operate. No stores, no food, gas stations, banks, phones etc. It could happen so I tend to think ahead to "what if" .
Grandma used to say; "A stitch in time saves nine." That means fix a problem before it becomes a bigger problem. That is why we direct our living to simplicity and in harmony with the land and nature. Take care of the land God gave you and it will take care of you.
 
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