Thursday, October 22, 2009

Red Canoes at the Red Canoe Cafe

A rainy fall day with a parking lot full of cars with red canoes...
And a wonderful evening of music with Albertan country performer Tim Hus, fresh from a tour with Stompin Tom. We are so lucky to have so much great music here in Wilno!!

Personal life

And here I am with a large roast pan of beans preparing for our catering at the Woodlot Conference. A very hectic day as it was also Studio Tour and we were tremendously short-staffed and I won't even go into our friend and neighbour Pete who arrived to "help" us after a wild night of "liquid fun" on the hill. (LOL). That's Wilno!

Thanksgiving dinner at the home farm with our favorite aunt and uncle and long lost cousin Maureen. Hadn't seen her in 27 years!! We assured each other that no one had aged at all.

And Tom with eldest daughter Robin just before she departs with husband Lucas for their belated honeymoon trip to Czech Republic to visit family and then off to India for four months of travel and exploration. Lucky girl.

And last but not least, my forty year wish to see Ian Tyson perform finally came true with a mad impulse drive all by myself to the Empire Theatre in Belleville on the eve of Rural Ramble. I got a ticket in the FRONT ROW. And I stayed after the show and got to meet him and tell him about my Navajo Churro sheep (the wool that Katie's blanket is made from in his very popular song, actually co-written with Tom Russell). It was wonderful to hear him sing and wonderful to see him in person and I am so happy I went. What else is mid life for but to live out your dreams!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wolves were harassing the cattle in the late summer and we had several episodes of midnight wolf visits to the barnyard. Thank heavens, the sheep like to graze in among the cattle because it definitely provides protection from predators. In September, my brothers sold most of the cattle and within days, the wolves were chasing the sheep in broad daylight. I kept them in the orchard for a couple of weeks but then they decided they had eaten what they wanted in there and were escaping through various holes in the fences. So now for their own good, they are in the barnyard when there isn't anyone home to supervise their activities.
Henning and Tom loaded Hamlet and his sister without any great difficulty for their trip to see Mr. Reiche in mid September. Hamlet turned out to be a fine pig of almost two hundred pounds dressed weight and his sister slightly less.
And the inevitable sad day arrived in which we had to take the six little rams to the abbatoir. At least, they are going to be appreciated by our diners who say it is the best lamb they have ever tasted. The Navajo-Churro meat is on the Slow Food Ark of Taste and it is truly delicious!! I sent the sheepskins to Ward Wright to have them tanned and I'll sell the sheepskin rugs in our gift shop. Farewell Big Boy, Galumphy, Black Boy, Moussie, Vinnie and Brownie. I will miss your sweet faces.

harvest time

All grown up! Our three geese are NOT going to the abbatoir. I am keeping them as watchgeese, since they do such a good job of creating a ruckus whenever anything unusual occurs. We kept four ducks and they are laying eggs which I believe is not the norm at this time of year. So I have gotten an incubator from the kid up the hill who was tired of it, and am hatching a dozen duck eggs. Our first batch of meat birds are in the freezer, and in fact are all sold. We have a second batch of 50 chicks on the go and hopefully it won't get tooo cold to fast. I also added ten more hens and we now have 25 laying birds and I am able to supply many of our regular customers with eggs as well as for our own use.