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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
I know I've said it before, but I truly enjoy your posts. Even when you have something difficult or frustrating to share, some how you are able to do it in a calm and lovely way.

If you or Bill are seeking a new challenge (and now I'm being purely and completely selfish), sharing the detail steps you take to plant, tend, harvest, prepare and store particular things would be wonderful. Taking us along on your journey for beans or whatever would be lovely. Hoping you stay healthy and are able to return to the cabin soon.
Thankyou mzgarden for your comment.; Maybe what I should do is keep a diary when we move back to the farm and how we live there. It is different than our winter quarters. There is no running water. although we had a well dug last summer and throw a bucket down or use a pump with a generator. There is no electric but Bill plans to install a solar panel this year. . We have a tiny wood stove 1ft x 2 ft. and I wash clothes in a bucket. Our cabin is 10x 12ft with a 12ft x 8 ft sun porch. We could live there year round except it is all hills of varying degrees and would be hard to walk on in the winter. The cell phone doesn't work there and neither does internet. I have to come up to the main road where our trailer is to have access. Thanks for the idea. Our whole thing is about keeping life simple and uncomplicated as possible. My Grandma was born in 1880 and raised me from 67 yr to 80 years. I grew up only knowing the old pioneer ways and so did Bill. He spent a lot of time with his Grandmother growing up. She lived to 92 yrs, I think that may be why we find the fast pace and materialism of modern life so frustrating. Farming growing up Bill preferred working with the horses rather than tractors and grew organically when it wasn't popular. After we found each other it has been quite the adventure, You have a nice day.Linda
 

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I have been honored to read all this lmrose, this is the reason I joined this site so many years ago, people with a dream and finding a way to make the dream real, and still dreaming ..... very inspirational ......jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Today is Friday March 19th 2021; Hard to believe we are almost officially to Spring! This winter has been cold here but not a lot of snow. Then last night and this morning we had blowing snow but no accumulation. I am starting to miss our winters of long ago with several feet of snow and cold temperatures that kept the lakes frozen to skate on. This morning was about -5 c or 22 F. tomorrow is getting up in the 40's F or high as +5 C.

Our lazy days of winter are about over and work has begun. I have been keeping track so I don't forget what is done each day. Our goal is to live off the land for at least 95% of our needs. That requires paying attention to the seasons and doing everything on time. In homesteading or farming or gardening there is a right time to do everything. Do things on time then you don't get behind, overwhelmed or miss a harvest. Get behind then it is almost impossible to keep up.

January starts our planning for this year's garden . Bill went through all his seeds as he grows most of the seeds he plants. Every bag of seed he saves is labeled and dated. Generally we don't keep seed more than two years old, This year he found seed for onions he somehow missed writing a date on.

February-He drew up a garden diagram of each bed and what is to be planted in it. Since we practice crop rotation this is necessary as it is easy to forget from one year to another what we planted where.

February normally is when we would start tapping the Sycamore maple trees for sap but this February was too warm. Tapping trees requires cold nights and warm sunny days and that didn't happen until March this year.

March 6th- We put the taps in and got our first sap. Boiled down on the wood stove it only made a 1/2 liter (pint) but the syrup was much sweeter than last year. It was disappointing but there shown promise of much more if the weather co-operates.

March 8th.- Bill hauled a load of rock-weed ( a type of seaweed) from the ocean shore. This is the first year in 43 years he didn't have a horse to help haul the load. Over the years our horses, Tiny, Rex, Pal ,Flicka all took turns hauling seaweed. It was our main fertilizer for both fields and gardens. This year Bill was the horse!! He took his old lawn tractor and cart he made and a small wheel barrow along with a fork. He loaded rockweed in the wheelbarrow and pushed it up to the tractor and load his cart. 12 trips back and forth to load his cart. One cart load is all he can do anymore at one time. This getting old sure isn't easy! We need a work pony.

March 9th-- Bill went to check on our woodlot five miles away. He walked it over to see if there were any fallen trees from the winds we have. Those trees already down will be for harvesting for fire wood for next winter. That is if the government doesn't interfere as new regulations are coming next year regarding all forest lands. Greedy people clear cut the forest and don't replant. So now there will be rules as to what can be cut and how. Today was also Bill's 76th birthday! I made home made vegetable pizza and freezer ice-cream and chocolate cake. Our sister-in-law brought him Blue Berry cake so we ate well!

March 10th; Bill hauled another load of rockweed. The trick is to get it when the ocean tide brings it up higher to the shore but get it before it washes back into the ocean. The ocean is a powerful force and moves tons of seaweed as easy as we can pick up a mug! After working like that he has to lay down and rest these days.

March 11th.- We are back tapping trees. We also raked and spread ten piles of gravel on our pasture driveway at the farm. The Highway Dept. dumped it in our ditch so we used it as they didn't seem to want it.

March 12th- We have three canning kettles of sap cooking on the wood stove. Bill went to the farm and sharpened his power saw so he can cut up trees the wind blew down. On the farm are old Cat-Spruce trees. They only live about sixty years and then die out. The strong winter winds often blow the dying trees over. We have been planting little Sycamore trees to replace the Cat Spruce. Have to put wire around them so the deer don't eat them though. We won't live long enough to see them mature but someone will. We planted 100 Spruce trees 10 years ago on the farm. two thirds survived and some are twenty feet tall now ! Sadly they were in the field that went with the house when we sold it. Hopefully no one will cut them down.

March 14th- I canned 6 half liters ( pints of syrup) and another half liter on the 16th. That makes 8 jars now of syrup. Bill also replanted his onion seed as only a few germinated. He has soil in a plastic tray and starts the seed there in the basement. We had to buy seed as what we had was old.
March 17th- Bill hauled another load of rockweed. Little by little and being persistent he has accumulated about enough seaweed to fill a half ton truck!

Today is Friday the 20th and there are three canning kettles of sap cooking on the wood stove. For my part work is constant cooking, baking , cleaning and in spare time reading , planning what we need for living back at the farm soon. Hopefully by the end of April the days will be longer and we will be back there. I am looking forward to when we can see our two great grand daughters again. One is three now and the other nine months. We are pretty isolated because of Covid but very thankful it hasn't reached this end of the province yet. Some times it pays to live in a place that is on the way to no-where. Have a nice day everyone. to be con't
 

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@lmrose - I always enjoy your updates. Missed this one somehow until today. How are you doing now that it's mid-May? Were you able to return to the farm?
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
@lmrose - I always enjoy your updates. Missed this one somehow until today. How are you doing now that it's mid-May? Were you able to return to the farm?

Greetings from Nova Scotia! Today is June 2nd. Wednesaday;--- Yes mzgarden; we have returned to the farm but not as soon as we wanted to. March and April too remained cold! We never had hardly any snow but it was cold! Two of our five hens died Winter and Spring so we ordered two layers from the farm Co-Op. We previously had one die. We buy them about twenty weeks old so when they arrive they are a month away from laying. I would not recommend buying this way as it is expensive. We ended up buying three so we are back to six now. Factory hatched birds don't seem to live as long as ones we hatched under a hen for some reason. Ours would live seven years but the factory birds last about three to four years maximum. Back when we used to eat meat we hatched new chickens every year and culled others for food. Three hens cost $38 so to buy a big flock at this age would be too much money.

All of April it was cold and I spent my time cooking soup and canning it besides the normal cooking and baking. I do this when ever I cook a large pot of anything. What is left is bottled to eat later.. When all the harvest is in we eat the root crops first like cabbage, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots , beets, also squash and tomatoes and dry beans, Beans keep indefinitely so are always there when we need them. The root crops will last until the middle of March except potatoes and carrots keep, depending on the variety until the end of June. Between March and when greens are ready to harvest from the garden we rely on the food I dried or canned. April end our rhubarb was ready to eat so I canned rhubarb and bananas in 1/2 liter ( 1 pint) jars. So far sap and rhubarb are bottled and done for this year. More rhubarb is cubed and put in the freezer at the trailer.

Bill was at the farm every day preparing for planting. Compost was added to the beds and rows made. He sharpened bean poles and collected alder brush to stake peas. He also made sure every fence around each garden bed is secure against wild life predators. The old lawn tractor and two other old ones were rebuilt to make one good for mowing lawns and the other to go on the beach with to get more rockweed or use around the farm. The remaining one was junk for the junk man. Bill also prepared the hen house to move the present hens and new arrivals too when they would come. He cleaned the chimney in the cabin and I went and swept down the walls, cleaned everything, made up the bed and unpacked all our books. Everything that freezing would hurt had to be removed in the fall and now replenished. We were anxious to get moved but were waiting for the new hens to arrive. The old hens more willingly accept new ones if they are all moved together.

The end of April we had lettuce and chives flourishing and had our first lettuce salad . Bill always says seeds can't grow unless they are in the ground. So he plants anything that can stand cold weather while it is still cold. Other things like beans, corn, green peppers have to wait until the soil warms up. This Spring is more rainy that last year and cooler. May 22nd came and still no new hens so we moved ourselves, cat and three hens back to the farm.

The 27th our three hens finally arrived from the farm Co-Op. Bill fenced off a small area in the hen house for them. That way the old and new hens could get acquainted without the old ones picking on the younger hens. It only took three days and he removed the fence. The curious thing about the new factory hatched hens is they did not know enough to set on a roost! We introduced them to the roost by placing them there but they retreated to their former corner! Last night was their fifth night and Bill placed them on the roost and they stayed there.. Our older two black hens seem to accept the new ones but the old red hen didn't want them there. So Bill placed her on the roost between the two black hens. The three new red hens he put on the opposite end of the roost. Surprisingly they all stayed in their places overnight! Anytime moving hens around the best time is bed time. Then they wake up together in a new morning and don't seem so inclined to fight. The other curious thing about factory hens is they don't know what grass and outdoors is!. The hen house door is open and they are free to roam in the hen yard and pick and eat grass. The older hens love to get outdoors but the new ones peek out the door but stay inside! The third day they would stretch their necks out and look and finally step outside. Any little disturbance and they would rush back inside! The fifth dqy they finally went outside in a group but stayed away from the other hens. Gradually they will get used to each other and their freedom.

That accomplished our next challenge was the foxes! Near as we can tell there are four dens in close vicinity of the farm. There is one mother and four young that live under the old barn we used to own. Another den in the hill side houses a single fox. Our former neighbor's barn houses daddy fox and another den by the ocean fish plant has a mother and young. That is quite a number of foxes watching our chickens! By the way all fur baring animals including foxes are protected species here. It is unlawful to kill them. We have no desire to kill any thing as long as there is an understanding. You may visit but don't touch our hens!

We are best acquainted with mama fox who lives under our former barn. We often see her from a distance laying and watching us from a distance while her young ones romp and play. She is a good mother and if any of her little ones wanders from sight she goes after it and brings it back to the rest. Mama fox visits us regularly. Bill was alone one day tending a garden bed and heard coughing behind him! There was the fox a few feet away watching him and trying to get his attention! She is not afraid of us at all. Another time I went out side and almost fell over her ! We have our usual discussion about "live and let live". You stay away from the hens and you can visit whenever you wish! We actually enjoy watching her raise her family although we realize she is wild and we never feed wild animals.

The single fox and daddy fox are more aggressive and have one objective! That is to get at the hens. They have tried several times but bless our hens because they have not forgotten being attacked last summer when a fox got in the hen yard. He jumped on one hen which triggered a fiasco suitable for a cartoon character chase! The old hens set off a chicken warning alarm as soon as a fox is spotted. They run and group in the hen yard near the cabin and SQUAWK !
They are calling us to rescue them! These foxes are afraid and all we do is make a clapping sound and they run away. The old red hen always comes running to us whenever she feels threatened or when we go in the hen yard. Foxes are not very persistent as they seem to give up if they can't get their prey quickly. They will move on where hunting is more profitable.

Foxes also kill cats! Although so far they haven't eaten any we know of but we know three cats that lost the fox versus cat battles. One fox brought the dead cat back and it was displayed I suppose as a warning! Other cats were dumped. I believe the foxes kill cats as they see them as competition in the hunt for food. Cats have the sam appetite for mice and rodents and young chicks as foxes do. But then last week I was back at the trailer to do some things and happened to look out the window, There was a fox stalking a neighbor's Persian cat! I grabbed my shoes and a walking stick and headed across the road. Unfortunately no neighbors were home! The ball of fluff immediately hit the ground with all four legs extended and claws out reached. Before I could reach them bloody screams filled the air the such as I had never heard. Fox and cat both screaming in terror!! One would have thought some woman was being murdered!! I swung my stick yelling and the fox retreated . The cat ran one way and the fox another! I went looking for the cat but he found me and believe it or not was not any worse off for a near death encounter! He licked a little blood from one paw and settled down to eat from his dish on his owner's porch. I think is sharp claws and full coat of long fluffy hair saved him !
I love animals both domestic and wild but we do know the difference. Feeding wildlife is never good as it encourages them to come around depending on people for food. Leaving pet food outside is bad too as animals such as foxes will eat it too. Feeding wildlife like foxes does not keep them from killing domestic pets. . instinct is to kill .The best thing is to enjoy wildlife from a distance and don't interfere with nature. Around here there used to be many rabbits but the foxes killed the rabbits. Now coyotes will kill the foxes. Bears are seen from time to time and so are many deer. People seem to feed deer and they are becoming a big problem. They are only hunted in season and less people are hunting. Animals in nature are both beautiful and cruel at the same time. But nature will take care of its self if people don't interfere by feeding wild animals.

When not rescuing cats I have been honing my 19th century skills! Our little stove is one foot wide and two feet deep. It is a heater stove so throw s heat out rather than up to the surface for cooking. So Bill cut sheets of metal left over from an old oil furnace. He used bolts to fasten the sheets to either side of the stove about an inch from touching the sides. Another metal sheet is bent in two places to form a barrier behind the stove. The metal directs the heat upwards instead of outwards. So now the heat goes towards the surface of the stove where I need the heat to cook. We keep a teakettle and and a pot of water on the stove when it is going so I have hot water for tea or washing dishes etc.

Nights have been exceptionally cold here even as we enter June. The end of May we even had frost. So before we go to bed we lay the fire and in the morning at daylight when in is in the 30's and 40's F and we hate to get out of bed where it is warm all we have to do is get up and strike a match to get the fire going. Then jump back under the cover for a half hour until the tiny ten by twelve cabin is toasty warm! The door to the sun porch we keep closed until the cabin is really too hot. Then we open it and let the heat go out into the sunporch. By then the water is perking in the tea kettle and there is hot water in the pot. I just remove the pot and cook our oatmeal . Then what ever I want cooked for dinner like boiled vegetables I start in an iron dutch oven on the stove. Once it is boiling I put the iron pot in the Wonder Bag and tie it up. It works like a slow cooker but without electricity. By noon dinner is all cooked. That Wonder Bag is about the best thing I ever get from Amazon! It is made with space age material and hold s the heat at whatever temperature the pot is when place in it. Then I put the pot of water back on the stove. Unless I need to bake we let the fire die down and go out. As the sun rises higher the sky light in the sun porch and windows keep the cabin comfortable. I do have a one burner Butane burner in the sunporch if I need it but seldom use it. So far this year it has been so cold at night we need a fire in the morning but not later in the day.

I didn't have an oven but I do have a three leg iron pot that just fits on top the stove. So after oiling a enamel cake pan and mixing up cookie dough cookies were baked in the iron pot. Half way through I flip them so they brown on the top side too. Also made bread dough and formed it into balls and baked it the same way. It rose but is different from traditional bread and heavier but Bill likes it and that is all that matters.

When not working we have been having fun too with each other! Every evening before it is too dark to see we play Scrabble. Bill is better at thinking up words than me ( although he sometimes likes to invent words which is why we have a Scrabble dictionary) and I am better at spelling. So we help each other. Sometimes he wins and other times I do but our scores run very close together. Now he wants to switch to checkers! We will see how that goes.

Living in such a tiny space and with the cat has taught us both patience. We found we need very little around us to be very happy and we are happy. We also discovered we actually like each other as well as love each other. After living together in a covid year pretty much isolated from anyone else we discovered that was fine too. Bad things are happening in the world everyday that could be discouraging. These are the things none of us can fix but could get us depressed if we let them. We choose to leave with God to fix what we can't and choose to concentrate on the good things and be thankful for them. We are so blessed! to be con't
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Today is June 8th 2021; Thanks Dananus29- Sorry for going on too long! This time of year I don't get access very often to a computer as we are so busy at the farm. Then when I do I tend to ramble on but I will make an effort not to write so much at once from now on.
It is finally warming up here along the ocean. Inland has been heat waves but not where we are. We have had rain which was welcomed and everything is growing good now. We have leaf lettuce, chives, asparagus and parsley to make salad with now and add other things as they grow. I am cutting up the last of the rhubarb today I hope ! It has been prolific and there have been many jars canned with bananas and other rhubarb in the freezer.

Some of our local foxes have been killed by people who don't appreciate nature. It is against the law as foxes are a protected species but some people don't care. What some folks don't realize is game wardens have tagged these foxes and are tracking them. They know for certain one large male is missing. We knew too as he hasn't been back. The mama fox and four pups have also not been seen for a week now. We miss her as she visited us every day and wasn't afraid of us. I hope she has just moved her fox family elsewhere. There is at least one fox left because we see where it sits on the well cap watching at night. Our hens are really good at warning us if any critter comes around. When they start their squawking in unison we know something is up other than laying an egg! The hens run to us for protection and gather together by the cabin and gate in the hen yard. That is one advantage having the the hen house and fenced yard right next to the cabin as we can get to it quickly if need be.

I came back to our winter trailer home yesterday and had a marathon cooking and baking day here finishing 8:30pm last night ! I filled the freezer with cookies, bread and veggie burgers and will take them back to the farm as we need them. In between I can still bake in the iron pot on the wood stove if we need anything else. Now warmer weather is here baking in the cabin isn't much fun! It heats up very easily especially since there is a skylight in the sunporch too. It is like living in a greenhouse! Good thing we have lots of windows to open to catch those ocean breezes.

Today is just dawning and it is overcast and the wind is howling. I would guess it isn't going to be hot today unless the weather changes by afternoon. Thankfully this Spring so far has brought abundant rain unlike the drought year we had last year.
Today I am getting my bicycle out and going for a ride back to the farm. There I slip back into the past. Life comes to a standstill. No rush , no hurrying around to get a lot done. No need to go anywhere. We get up at dawn and go to bed at night. Bill tends the garden while I fix meals, wash clothes in a bucket and sweep the walls and floor of the cabin with a broom. He takes his pole and goes fishing in the lake and I enjoy walking in the woods or along the rocky ocean beach. Evenings if Bill isn't too tired we play Scrabble still.
He continues to write his studies of a spiritual nature with pen and paper on raining days and I post his writings on my face book when ever I get a chance to go where there is internet. I am realizing the best way to live is a mixture of old and new ways. We love our simple old ways life. But modern technology has much to offer too. The internet was a wonderful invention for communication and can do much good. But it can also be an instrument of evil and all technology can consume us if we aren't careful ..

I am thankful we have a place to live most of the time where time stands still and all we hear are ocean waves lapping against the shore, birds singing sweetly ; and the wind blowing through the trees. The main road is far enough away we seldom hear trucks and cars in the distance. Coyotes howl occasionally, foxes scream when getting their prey and sometimes the snort of a deer reaches our ears when we are in bed inside the cabin. The setting sun is never the same twice in its glory. Going outside on a starry night is incredible! The moon in its brilliance and star constellations spectacular; clouds with many appearances makes me appreciate all the more this wonderful creation God endowed humanity with. -- to be con't
 

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@lmrose - thank you for taking us along on your adventures. A love the long reads, I feel like I can truly see what you're seeing through your descriptions and I love it.
 
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I also look forward to your new entries, and read them all with pleasure, sometimes twice. I've been to the Maritimes, Nova Scotia in particular, quite a few times and some of your descriptions just bring me right back to certain places and sounds.
 

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No, no, no! Don't cut your writing short on my account. I like reading your posts when I am awake late at night or early in the morning which is most days since hubby is currently working the early shift and my body just will NOT go to sleep before midnight.

Right now I am waiting for my daughter at the doctor's office. I didn't bring anything to read and rereading this thread has been wonderful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #92 · (Edited)
Greetings from Nova Scotia! Today is October 9th, 2021 and it has been four months since I last wrote here! Today I reached a mile stone of my 75th birthday! Three quarters of a century already. I must say it has been quite an adventure with many twists and turns, hard and difficult times and many happy and blessed times. I am still learning more everyday and the older I get the more thankful I am for every new sunrise and another day hopefully to be of some good to someone.

This growing season was so different than last year's drought here. This year we had fog, muggy weather and ample rain. Last year the bean crop was tremendous as beans love dry weather. This year there is a fairly good harvest but many of the bean plants also molded from all the dampness. However warm and muggy the tomatoes didn't mind and we had a very abundant tomato crop. This year we had sweet corn and didn't have to share it with the raccoons like last year when they cleaned out the corn in one night's visit! But the chipmunks discovered they like strawberries and got all the first crop. We live trapped the cute little critters so we got to enjoy the second crop of berries.

A ground hog also visited and started digging up potatoes and eating lettuce. So we live trapped him and relocated him far away to woods with no close people with gardens! The deer we finally won the battle with them eating our squash and beans by double fencing and putting rocks around the bottom of the fence and running ropes around the perimeter of the garden fence. Over the years we have tried many things to keep deer out and after a while they get used to things and jump into the garden. But we discovered a deer will not jump into a small area where they can't exit quickly if need be. So this garden spot is about 25 x 40ft, fenced with page wire fencing. On two sides is ditches and rocks but the other two sides are up hill and the deer perched on the hill and cleared the fences. We run a second fence about three feet from the first fence creating an ally way between the two fences There is also a double gate. The deer can't clear the two fences with out landing first in the alley way which they won't do. If they did they wouldn't have room to take off to jump again. On the ditch and rock sides we added more rocks and also around the bottom of the fence so they can't jump into the garden. All around the top of the fence is rope and fishing line. This is the first year we were able to keep deer out of the bean garden. Next year God willing we are still among the living the squash and cabbage will share space with the beans as we will be planting less beans next year.

We had three separate beds of potatoes. One bed we covered with straw thinking it would keep down weeds. Big mistake! Field mice thought we had put the straw there for them and made nests. They burrowed into the ground and discovered they like potatoes! They gnawed on many. Then a fungus attacked the potato crop and it poured rain washing the fungus into the ground. This killed many of the potatoes before they finished growing. This is the worse crop of potatoes Bill has grown in a 76 yr life time!

Carrots grew but short and stubby instead of long. We had bought seed this year and it was poor. Lesson learned is we only can depend on seed we grow ourselves. Despite failures there were many successes. Cucumbers and lettuce were prolific as was all the herbs and swiss chard, turnips, cabbage and even the wild apple tree. Bill started pruning it a few years ago and this year it produced big apples. The grapes were doing well until the chipmunks found them. We had 25 big squash so will be eating less potatoes and more squash. Beets also did well. It is the way of things every year, Some things do good and others don't.

Farmers have to be the most optimistic people in the world because no matter what failures there are there is also much to look forward too. I did more dehydrating this year than ever before, I found Chard dehydrates easily and gives us greens for soup and stew year round. You just put the leaves spread on the trays and dehydrate until brittle. The middle spine won't dry but the rest of the leaf crumbles off easily. I first cut the stems off and chop and freeze them. The only waste is the spine in the leaf which goes into the compost bucket. I dehydrated onions, garlic, lemon balm for making tea and more.

Sadly this year my middle daughter who is 52 had breast cancer and surgery, She is now doing Kemo Theraphy and then needs radiation. So far she hasn't had any stomach sickness. She also has Graves disease . Her husband had a heart attack early this year also so they have not been without trials. I pray she will survive. Cancer has taken most all my immediate family and now is showing up in my children's generation. My sisters died at 52 and 61 so I feel blessed to be alive still.

Covid is here like it is around the world. But in this part of Nova Scotia we have escaped with only three or four cases. Up in the city area of Halifax there is many more but for the most part with most people vaccinated, safe distancing, hand washing and wearing masks in public covid numbers are less especially in rural areas. No one likes restrictions but sometimes it is necessary for the common good. I only go from the trailer to the farm and back and in Sept was at one home once and one corner store but managed to pick up a virus that had similar characteristics to covid. I had to be tested and it was negative. All I can say I was very sick but recovered now after a month. That is the first time I have been sick in ten years! But then getting older makes me vulnerable. In July a spider bit me and poisoned me and by the time I recovered I suppose my immune system was compromised. Anyway I am alive and kicking for another day. So is Bill despite having more heart trouble. He has learned to work slower, stop to rest and go to bed early. Now the harvest is finished we will catch up on rest.

One thing to remember living off the land is how much you work during Spring; Summer and Fall determines how well you will eat for a whole year. But as you age you have to learn to work smarter instead of harder. That said we do miss our horse as Bill had to do much of the garden work the horse used to do. We also miss our dog as she kept rodents and predators away. Planting in beds has made gardening easier and fencing out critters is easier. We planted buckwheat for a cover crop after the garden was out but deer have been eating it where ever the beds weren't fenced!

I still have trouble walking as I have a turned foot but discovered going barefoot I can scoot up and down the farm hills and even run. Only when I have shoes on I have difficulty walking! So I have been barefoot all Spring and Summer and now Fall. I love the feel of dew and grass on my feet and always stay barefoot in the house. Because I have allergies to many things including the sun I like it outside towards dusk. No one said life would be easy but you have to concentrate on the good things. Other people have things a lot worse.

The sun is setting in its brilliant always changing colors. The birds chirp quietly before reposing for the night. I hear a loon's mournful cry and a hoot from the owl. The hens coo as they perch for the night. Mama fox comes around the corner of the cabin to bid me good-nite. We have reached an understanding. She is welcome to stay and raise her pups as long as she leaves the chickens alone! A lone coyote wails in the distance. I watch the clouds move across the moon. All is quiet now and still except for the lapping ocean against the shore. Everything is perfect in my world. I am so thankful to be alive and so thankful for God's rich blessing. to be con't
 

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@Imrose , Happy Birthday!
I was happy to see a update from you again, and as usual enjoyed it thoroughly. I had to chuckle at the "understanding" you and the fox have come too; and the way you dealt with those pesky deer eating the garden. Mostly I like to read about your adventures, including the hard ones. I wish the best for your daughter too, it sounds like she's getting the best care possible.
 

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Happy Birthday @lmrose I'm so glad to see your latest update. I'm very sorry your daughter and her husband are having health difficulties. My mom beat double breast cancer 42 years ago - I pray the treatments they have now will help your daughter do the same. I hope you have time to provide more updates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 · (Edited)
Today is Oct 13th 2021--Thankyou mzgarden and alida for the birthday greetings and well wishes. My daughter seems upbeat and doesn't have any nausea from Kemo. Two more treatments with-in a months time and then she has three weeks of radiation. She has to go to the city for the latter and stay for treatment. She had Graves disease first. These were two major health events in her life. Other than this she had always been healthy; not even a cold! The same was her husband being well until the heart attack. Neither of them were ever over weight either. Both have people in family with similar problems. Some things just have to a genetic pre-disposition and will happen no matter what you do to prevent it. I have lost most of my family to cancer now.

On a happier note it is unusually warm here for October up to 21 C or 74F. It has been good for cleaning up the gardens and preparing them for next year's growing season. Bill has been screening compost and putting it on next year's garden beds. He built a wooden frame and added heavy gauge wire with inch openings. It can can shake back and forth or use a hoe to sift it through the openings onto the garden beds. Bill built a stand without a bottom to put the frame on over the bed so he can break up the compost and pass it through.. He gets all his beds ready for next year's planting. That way it doesn't need doing in the Spring. So if we get a wet Spring we won't be prevented from planting waiting to for the beds to dry out. Because Bill prepares in the Fall and can plant early we have our first salad greens at April's end or before depending on the temperature.

I am happy to say the harvest is finished now and all the canning, dehydrating and freezing is done now until next August and Sept. The exception is rhubarb which comes first in the Spring. With most of the farm work done and we are about ready to move back to our winter home ; I am getting restless. Really we miss the farm animals. Since my old cat died this summer we are down to five chickens now. I am trying to decide whether to get another cat or dog? With moving back to the farm in the Spring a dog is easier to adjust to two homes. We discovered without a farm dog rodents can be a problem getting into the gardens. Our Border collie used to keep predators away and rodents cleaned up. We really miss her.

I was at the farm yesterday and walked across the mowing fields that are now two acres of lawn. The new owners who bought our house in 2017 haven't been here for two summers now. They live in Florida and haven't been allowed back in Canada since Covid started. The border is opening up now so maybe we will see them soon. The old house was completely rebuilt and looks great!

Bill had planted a hundred Scrub Spruce seedlings 13 years ago at the end of our mowing field. That end was too low to cut hay on and he doesn't like weeds. So he planted Spruce trees which grow naturally along the ocean shore here. Those foot tall seedlings are now twenty foot or more trees ! They have created a mini forest right on the corner of the farm where two roads join. It is amazing how fast those trees grew! Even though on a corner; we discovered mother deer stash their babies among the trees out of sight while they feed. A fox was disturbed from its sleep among the trees when someone walked a toddler through the mini forest. We have marvelled how just planting trees encourages other nature to thrive. So far the trees have survived but we have no control over them anymore as that is part of the property we sold. Kind of bitter sweet observing the return to nature but realizing there is nothing we can do if the owner decides to harvest the trees.

What we are doing now is taking Sycamore seedlings from our winter property and transplanting them at the farm on our own farm. Bill had to put wire cages around each tree to protect them from the deer. We have old growth Cat Spruce at the farm but those trees only live about 60 years and now some are dying. We are replacing them with hard wood if we can keep the deer from eating them down.

Since no one lives in our former home presently I often walk the fields and look under the barn for the foxes. There were at least four babies in a den but I think they have moved else where for winter. Mama fox returns each year or has for three years now to raise her little ones.

Last evening I watched the sun in its glory hung low in the sky. The air was still as I gazed across the old mowing field. I closed my eyes and could see our old horse Rex hitched to the mower. Bill on the seat clucking urging Rex ahead. Click-clack sounds the mower as the knives swiftly fell the tall grass in neat swaths . Whoa Rex ! Bill jumps off the seat to untangle grass from the mowing machine. Rex takes the opportunity to shut his eyes and doze for a few moments. I open my eyes like awakening from a dream. As the sun sets I start back to the cabin. A tear wet my cheek. I miss those days- terribly so. to be con't
 

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Ah, a few tears escaped as I finished reading the last paragraph of your post. You have a picturesque way of sharing your thoughts. thank you.
 

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That was beautiful. I could almost see Bill and Rex mowing. Old memories are treasures, thanks for sharing yours.

I am sorry to hear about your daughter's medical problems. I said a prayer for her and hope she does well with her treatment.
 
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