Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Saddest News

Ryan isn't going to be around very much longer.

This week, Abby was diagnosed with kidney disease. I had brought her to the vet after she peed in her bed, and was devastated by the news that her kidneys are failing.

I had been planning on bringing Ryan in for a 'senior' exam after his 9th birthday in March. When Abby's blood results came back, I decided to bring Ryan right away 'just in case'. He has been slowing down a bit, and last week I noticed that his stomach felt a bit hard/bloated even when empty. He had been sleeping in the hall occasionally, and panting and drinking more frequently. When the vet walked in the room to take a look at him, I was suddenly filled with dread. I looked at Ryan and suddenly knew there was something sinister going on. I don't know why it took until that moment for me to know. After xrays and then an ultrasound, we received the horrible news that he has multiple masses on his spleen and his liver. It's most likely hemangiosarcoma. How can history repeat itself like this? Sam died of hemangiosarcoma 11 years ago. I never thought I'd be repeating it with my Ryan.

He is ok today. We went to the beach and the river yesterday, and for a walk on the docks today. At least I can provide him with his biggest love - food - easily. I've been feeding him non stop and his appetite is still great. Cheeseburgers, cheesy buns, salmon, steak...he's getting it all.

It's incredibly difficult getting such bad news about both of my amazing dogs. My nutty mutts.... I feel ok about Abby. She is acting pretty peppy and I'm really hoping that she can live awhile with her diet managed. I'm making her all kinds of 'kidney friendly' meals that she is loving. Maybe she got sick to try and tell me to take her little brother to the vet.

My Ryan... I keep seeing him stumble out of his crate at the airport the moment I met him, and go rolling around in the grass. He was the happiest from day 1. I couldn't have ever asked for a better boy.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Let the Cuteness Begin

It happened. The cutest event to ever take place on our farm started on May 11th. Pippa had her babies! 

My bet was on two - normally they have one of two their first pregnancy. Not our Pippa! She was up and down all morning and we could tell she would give birth soon.

 At around 1130 she lay down to start pushing..a few horrible screams later and three kids were born, all within a  minute or so of each other! It was amazing. There are two girls and one boy. The tiny white-faced boy was born first, then the Pippa clone (already naughty, too!!) and then the grey/white girl. We spent a lot of yesterday just watching them. At a day old they are already up and bouncing around and very funny to watch.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Fever

The ducklings have all been sold! I felt bad for poor Deedee - sitting on that nest for 35 days and then only a week with her ducklings! We are at maximum duck capacity, though, and it only seemed to take them disappearing out of hearing range before she was back to normal. It was so easy to sell these ducklings compared to Victoria's back in September. I guess spring is when everyone is acquiring new animals. 

Give a duck a worm and suddenly...

This is why my visions of a beautiful garden bed along the side of the house will never amount to anything. Prime dust bathing location...

Zoey was keeping an eye on a bunch of turkey vultures circling wayyyy overhead. Good farm dog.

They have such a good life! 
(...please ignore the fatness of a certain hairy collie)

Fat because it's buzzy-things season and he prefers to hide inside!

Bad photo, but Abby is loving the new farm sport of dock diving!

I love watching all the perennials come back up. I finally did a good job last year of picking the right combination of shade tolerant plants for this spot!

For some reason, our tomato seedlings really haven't done well this year. We've barely had any even germinate! We can't figure out why, since this has never happened before. Instead of selling them this year, we're going to end up having to buy them!

I went in to check the sheep water and was faced with this...

Check out this guy's funny profile! He looks like he's half bull.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Deedee the sneaky duck

So, Deedee the duck disappeared for the last 35 days or so. She appeared at some point during each day to eat and to relieve herself of a giant, horrible, stinky poop (like, seriously - those poops landed a good foot away from her with sheer propulsion). About 15 days in, I managed to follow she hopped over our fence, into the neighbours yard and under their woodshed. I kept putting off going to the neighbours' house and digging around under their woodshed to find I can't really blame anyone but myself for what I came home to yesterday!

Oh, Deedee, you sneaky girl, you! 8 ducklings.

This is where they were when I got home. Enjoying their first mud bath!

Basically the reason for having a pond ;)

I've sold two of them, and hopefully will sell the rest! These funny tiny ducklings pop through the duck house fencing even when their mom is locked in - so then swim around the pond all on their own while she frantically calls them back! 

Abby doing her due diligence of emptying the duck house of all possible future ducklings. She crawls in and retrieves those eggs without breaking them! Ryan got the egg-retrieval job for all of 1 egg (said egg never made it out of the duck house). Zoey still needs egg retrieval training.

I love my Abby.

And to finish, a fuzzy pile of cute!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Summer already?

My friend Ffion has been visiting for the last few weeks and we've been so busy showing her the best of the island and working on farm projects that I haven't been taking photos! 

A few days ago we went on a mini road trip that included this beautiful lake stop:

The last week has been amazing weather - tank tops and shorts already! Last night we had bbq'd pork while Pippa weed whacked. We are still debating whether she is pregnant. Sometimes she looks big...and other times she doesn't at all. She's a mystery, that Pipsqueak!

The grass is starting to take off and we are just at that tenuous time between running completely out of hay for the sheep and having enough grass that they don't need any hay. Today was the first day they didn't have any hay at all (the last week or so they've had maybe 4 flakes between the 10 of them, and lots of grazing). If we could leave them down on the neighbour's field, they certainly wouldn't need any hay - but they continually end up on the neighbour's lawn and right by the road! They go through the crappy barbed wire fence easily. Today we finally set up some of our electro-netting. We shall see if that contains them...

Today Ffion and I revamped the deck! It is a bug-free oasis (and the netting can be tied up during the day). 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

If you don't hear from us...'s because we are completely underwater.

Ok, not quite - but getting there.

Happy dogs love playing in the shallow part of the flooded pond!

The problem here is that our pond has no outflow area. It is the lowest point of our property...and it's lower than the road (and no ditch next to the road). So we aren't quite sure what to do about that, other than adding a ton of fill or making a huge bank. Even with a high bank, the water will likely flood the 'dry' side since it comes down from everywhere else on the property. 

Hopefully some willows will grow and eventually help...

The ducks really love their swim up/waterfront property. Duck-erty value has skyrocketed this year ;)

We're going to try some swales along the edges of our paddocks to help with water retention and flooding.

We finally built a fence in this back area! The project was put on hold the day of my wasp anaphylaxis. This is where we were clearing when it happened and it just got left in a semi-finished state (it didn't look this bad - this is mid-project). 

Fence posts in (dug and cemented in). 

Fence complete! We're finishing up the stairs up the hillside here, too. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Enjoying the sunny days

We also enjoy the rainy days...but not quite as much - although we have gotten a ton of indoor projects done over this past year! So that we can remember (this is since last Feb):

-redid floors
-painted cabinets
-finished painting trim
-started wood countertop
-new kitchen faucet
-built dog bowl holders
-new dishwasher hoses 
-plumber replaced all the old plumbing under the sink

-redid floors (due to dishwasher flooding due to rat-chewed -ick-lines)
-new shower head
-plumber replaced bathroom plumbing and re-seated toilet

Living room:
-painted walls grey
-painted trim
-'pinterested' the coffee table and tv stand
-cut up the couches and made them into a sectional..
-turned upright bookshelf into back-of-couch bookshelf
-made wooden dog bed holder
-stained crates for wall decoration
-new TV

-painted old desk (needs replacing)
-temporary floors (also need replacing)

-painted grey and wainscotting along bottom
-painted all doors and trim white (was dark particle board)
-painted hall closet and put a shelf in for linens
-redid front closet

Guest room:
-painted walls and trim

-made a bed frame for our high bed
-redid closet
-painted armoir and crate bedside 'tables'

-painted cinderblock walls and cement floor

Basement room 1:
-foam puzzle floors 
-organized shelves/storage

Phew! No wonder we like to rest in the sun sometimes

Such a nice view on this hike!

7 week old incubator chicks exploring for the first time outside:

They are in an xpen in the coop next to the 3 week old chicks from the next 'batch'. When we're around we let them out. The 3 week old chicks took off exploring the first time (it was hard to get them back in!) but the older chicks barely left. Maybe they develop some 'stay close to the coop' survival instincts between 3-7 weeks? 

Clarice and Squishy, the 2 oldest gals. Pushing 3 this year!

Dogs watching over our sheep while they graze in the neighbours' field (Ryan, you're facing the wrong way...)

3 amigos:

Seedlings house very close to complete! We've got some cilantro, kale, broccoli and cabbage seeds planted in there.