Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter stroll

Its been really warm here lately, well above freezing. Since we had so much snow, and it all melted so fast, the farm's been a muddy mess these past few weeks.  Then, on Saturday night, it snowed. I love it when it snows, nothing makes me happier. This particular snow was made up of huge wet flakes that stuck to everything. When we got up on Sunday morning, we just had to go play and explore before it melted away again. (and it was gone by late afternoon) So, as soon as all the animals were fed and watered, we set out for the forest. Here are some pictures of our Sunday morning stroll

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the horses watching our return threw the trees. (their field extends a long way to the left of this picture. Their amenities are at the other end of the field)

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All tuckered out after the fun

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Christmas is now passed, for an other year. And I hope yours was as nice as ours. Good food, good drink, family and presents from Thor. Yes friends, that wasn’t a typo, presents from Thor.

After we spent the last week or so researching Norse Yule traditions, The kids came to the unavoidable conclusion that Santa is in fact Thor. I mean, Thor flies around in a chariot pulled by flying goats,  He played an unknown, but central role in the Yule celebrations, he has an affinity for fire and was known to enter houses threw the chimney,  And he lived in a mysterious place, called Northland. So, in light of this the kids insisted on leaving this for Thor instead of milk and cookies

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We had an idealistic Christmas morning, with soft, large snowflakes falling gently. A world dressed in white. We had coffee/hot chocolate and opened presents. We were supposed to go have a large Christmas dinner with extended family, But Paul has had a really bad cold for the last while and wasn’t feeling up to it. Rather than having dinner without him, we all opted to stay home and I constructed Santas/Thors out of cheese garlic bread as the face, with bacon eyes and mouth, a ham hat and mash potato hair and beard. Later in the evening, Paul's aunt and uncle stopped by with heaping plates of Turkey dinner for all 4 us. We ate them this morning and I'm still stuffed, yum.

the view out my front door Christmas morning  photo 106_5506_zps1eaf052b.jpg Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yule goats day 3

There seems to be a lot of conflicting accounts about how long Yule actually lasted. Every one is in agreement that it started on the Solstice and lasted a while, and culminated with a giant feast, But that’s all we seem to know for sure. Since it starts with the solstice, I would say its safe to assume it had a lot to do with the sun. Since in the north, the sun barely rises at all in the days surrounding the solstice, I bet the return of the sun would have been a pretty big deal, and chances are that is what Yule was about. So how long did the celebration last? Some accounts say it was 12 days (giving us the 12 days of Christmas) and others say not until January 12th. Again, most the accounts agree that in the 10th century AD, King Hákon the Good, who was a Christian, demanded that Yule should be held on the 25th of December in accordance with the continental Christmas celebrations. I could go on and on about the history and myths surrounding Yule. and if you'd like to learn more, This is a great article, that I highly recommend  

For today’s Yule goat picture, Here is Iseabail with a big ribbon

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We have beautiful weather at the moment, well above freezing and clear. The goats weren’t the only once who took advantage of the day.  photo 106_5470_zpsf3bc7f52.jpg The chickens could not be persuaded to come outside, but the geese are out even on the nastiest days  photo 106_5476_zps011ff89a.jpg

Monday, December 23, 2013

Yule goat, day two

I got it in my head that everyday between the solstice and Yule, I would post a picture of my lovely Yule goats for your holiday enjoyment. But unfortunately, today, we got hard, cold rain all day long and I couldn’t coax the goats out of the barn. So instead, here is a photo of Susann Eklund in Sigtuna, Sweden, December 4th 2011 in her home made, papier-mâché Yule goat costume. She spent the day handing out candy and gingerbread to children on the street while informing passers by of the history of the Yule goat.  photo the_yule_goat_by_sakalah-d5b5x1d_zps567e6f54.jpg I don't know who to give photo credits to, so if this is your picture, or you know who took it, please let me know.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

yule goats on the solstice

Yule goats are one of the oldest Scandinavian Christmas traditions. No one really knows where the idea of celebrating goats on Christmas came from, but the leading theory is that it is connected to the goats that pulled Thor's chariot threw the sky. Many strange (to us now) traditions cropped up threw the years involving the Yule goat. Men dressed up as goats and went door to door singing songs, The family’s oldest living man would dress up as the Yule goat to give presents to the children. More recently, a goat was dressed up as saint Nick and paraded threw the village, For most of December it was common for Children (and kids) to play pranks on everyone. and most well known, a giant goat was made out of straw to look over the village. Its unbelievable how many of our modern day Christmas tradition we owe to the Yule goat. So, this Christmas season, Don't forget our faithful friend the goat  photo 106_5440_zps85350de5.jpg  photo 106_5442_zpsd487e7e1.jpg We had amazing weather for the solstice this year. It was warm, everything melting. The perfect day to spend outside. We let the goats out of their pen to play. They get so upset when anyone's outside and they're stuck behind a fence. They like to fallow you around like little puppy dogs. The kids built snowmen, and the goats would destroy them. The game went on for hours. So cute!!  photo 106_5438_zps3212f84b.jpg After our awesome solstice feast, I went outside to finish up the chores, and as if right on cue, This huge, unbelievably bright moon came out form behind the clouds to light the yard for me. Happy Solstice everyone! and have a goaty Christmas.  photo 98237a38-cb21-4818-bb6a-74839a927a55_zps15922738.jpg (If your thinking the moon is wrong, that’s because it is. This was taken last week, on the full moon. I did not have my camera with me at chore time last night)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let it snow

 photo 106_5421_zpsac23254b.jpg  photo 106_5417_zps5af4a40b.jpg  photo 106_5412_zps89a480c2.jpg  photo 106_5411_zps073a2838.jpg  photo 106_5407_zps8ef0e991.jpg  photo 106_5404_zps9a2eae26.jpg  photo 106_5422_zpsf4654566.jpg  photo 106_5425_zps9c0e62c2.jpg Things have just been speeding along here, there was just too much to do before the ground froze. Not enough hours in the day. But this week, the snow has come. Everything's soft and white, and I have enough time to take some pictures, and do a bit of writing. We got a new horse. A stunning Gypsy Vanner named Fynn. He's an 11 year old who is the sweetest most cooperative horse I've ever worked with. He gets along great with Star and Rowan, He even taught them to use The large shelter we built for them. We also got two Oberhasli goats, a mother and daughter. named Iseabail and Sugar. They're a handful, so sweet but always finding a way to get into something they shouldn’t. Well worth it for the milk I'll get from them next year. I can't wait to try my hand at cheese making and yoghurt and butter...not to mention the fresh milk. The Children are really excited to learn to milk and for the birth of our first kids. For now they're just enjoying spending time, bonding with there new friends. I'm so happy that things will slow down for a bit around here. They're calling for a big snow storm tomorrow and I'm ready. I'm looking forward to hunkering down by the fire, some good reading and snuggling with my little monkeys.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

4h Halloween

I'm so happy and proud to say that both my kids share my love of animals, and have an interest in farming. To my absolute joy, they both wanted to join 4h this year. One will be taking horse and pony, the other poultry. In this small town, where everyone knows each other, participating in that kind of community based organization will be great for them for so many reasons. Yesterday evening. our 4h group hosted a Halloween party for its members. It was the first event of the season, and the first ever for my little monkeys. They had a blast. They were so happy to see all the other kids, who live near by and share interests with them. Since they go to French school, they don't know that many neighbourhood kids yet. I'm so excited for them to get to know more local kids, while exploring the possibilities of farming. Here are some pictures of them on the way into the party.  photo 20131022_182632_zps1161abc7.jpg  photo 20131022_182611_zps6c1fcf2d.jpg  photo 20131022_182602_zpsfd8fba39.jpg