Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The History Lesson

Dave and I under an a willow tree that was there during the Expulsion.

This has been an amazingly busy week! I don't even know where to begin.

Well first, like I've already posted, I've started with the soap making. It's so much fun and I wish I had more time to make it. I made 2 batches on Monday. We've started to use 3" PVC pipe for the molds and it works great. It's hard to get out, but "Red Green" already has his brain smokin' on a way to take them out easier.

Then we got an email from the Baptist minister we met on the ferry last month. They're coming for a month long visit next summer. They've already booked at a B & B. This is going to be lots of fun.

Dave has sold all his piglets from this litter. Well he's got deposits on all of them. I've also found out how to make lard!! So when we take our pigs to the butcher I'll be able to get free lard! Cheaper soap.

The goats have gone nuts. I think Tommy has begun to be bucky. Tonight we were getting whiffs of some different odor while we were beside him. I haven't seen him pee on himself yet, but I'm also not here all day. Cindi Lou was going nuts tonight. She was trying to jump on our backs and stay there as we were walking away. She would actually walk on her hind legs and follow us. Methinks she's going into an early heat. Even Febe is getting edgy and nasty, which means heat time is a coming. It would be so nice if they could be bred early in the season. Then I could relax the rest of the fall. So far in the past years, Febe has only come in heat at the end of October, early November.

We put Tundra in with the goats a little while ago. We stayed there. Thank Goodness!! Who needs a livestock guardian against coyotes when you have Febe. If we wouldn't have been there, she would have hurt badly or even killed Tundra. I mean Tundra is now almost the size of a coyote (they're small here, about 50-60 lbs). But we tried again tonight and it went a bit better.

I'm holding a scorpion!!!

This last weekend we went to the Windsor Exhibition. It was really good. Lots of animals, tractors, old, old machinery and a venom show. I got to hold a tarantula, a scorpion and pet a python and an alligator! How cool is that!

My grandmother had one of these and so did my mother while I was a baby.

We also went to Grand Pre. Ok, here's a quick history lesson.

J. and I in front of the chapel at Grand Pre. The statue is of Evangeline.

In this part of the province we are mostly Acadians. Acadians were peace loving French people that came to the new world sometime in the 1600's. (Don't quote me on that, I can't remember my history at the moment, lol) It was also at the time when the British and the French were fighting for this land. To make a long story short, the British won the land and wanted the Acadians to swear fealty to them. They didn't want to swear fealty to them or the French, they just wanted to be left alone, in peace to live like they had been for years.

Dave put J. in the tree, so he could climb it. Then on the other side we saw a sign saying ,"DO NOT CLIMB THE TREES" Opps. But I mean, doesn't this tree just beg to be climbed?

So one night the British told all the Acadian men to meet them in the church for a meeting. After they were all there, they were locked in and held prisoners. That's when they began the deportation or expulsion of the Acadians. They were sent to the four corners of the earth. Most ended up in Louisiana. Some were sent to Jamaica but never made it since it was hurricane season when this happened (no cruise ships here chickies). It lasted from Sept 5, 1755 to Dec. The men were separated from their families, children from their mothers. It was a great way to break their spirits. I mean, if you've just lost your entire family, what is there to live for?

This is the exact spot that the Expulsion took place. This is known as the Acadian cross. I have the same in gold on a chain. (only a lot smaller, lol)

If you've ever heard of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Evangeline" this is where he got the inspiration from.

This tree was so desolate. It was by the path going to the beach. It just seemed to fit.

Many of the Acadians actually walked back from Louisiana to Nova Scotia. To return to their land. And that is why I'm here today. Because my ancestors were extremely stubborn. A couple of years ago, we actually got a formal apology from the Queen of England for the Expulsion.

This is the beach where they were sent away. So sad.

But that's all in the past, we learn from our mistakes ...don't we?

Anyway, Grand Pre is where it all happened. So we wanted to show J. his heritage. As we were walking the grounds, he kept saying to himself, "I'm so proud to be an Acadian." I felt so proud that he recognized his heritage at his young age.

So that was your history lesson for today children.

So that was my "slow" week. Saturday is our annual yardsale at work. It's going to be a long day. Sunday, if it's nice, I want to go apple picking after church.

Have a Blessed Week!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Finally soap!

I cannot believe it! I've finally made soap. I was so stressed out, I got a headache. But it was really nothing. I don't know what I was stressing over. Geeezzz! I knew that was going to happen. I made oatmeal and honey goat's milk soap. I finally found a recipe that wasn't very big. Just in case it flopped. But low and didn't flop!

The only thing I did wrong was I didn't mix my oatmeal and honey well enough. But I'll know for next time. And the oils cool off alot slower than the lye and milk mixture. Note to self, melt the oils way ahead of time.

I was kind of worried because the recipe I found on the blog Chickens in the road said that goat's milk soap takes 15 minutes to trace. Mine traced in 5 minutes. So I was hoping it hadn't flopped.

Tonight I unwrapped it did the ph test and it was safe. It was officially soap.

I finally found coconut oil. After running everywhere,going online, having every grocery store in the area try and find it, a craft store 30 minutes away from here sells it for 4$ a pound. duh!

I sent Dave all over creation last week to find me some. The stores sent him to the health food store and they were about to sell him some. 20$ for 6 oz! He's like, I don't think so. Then they said, "What do you want it for?"

Dave told them it was for making soap. Ahhhhh!! They told him to go to this craft store downtown and they had some there. Who would have thunk it?

Now I have to find a cheaper source for olive oil. I can't buy it at the store. It's too expensive. I'll call the craft store to see if they have any cheapo stuff.

Krissy, thanks for all your advice! I do have one more question...can you double a batch?

I've registered with the Fly Lady. Only one problem. When am going to find the time to do these things. That's what I'm wondering.

Have a Blessed evening.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hurricane Earl update and autumn update.

Well, well, well....It just amazes me how fast the temperature can turn. Last week it was so hot and muggy you could have steamed carrots in the greenhouse. A week after "Earl" went by, God flicked the switch and it's now freezing out. We actually had to start the furnace tonight.

First day of school.

Mind you the first day of school it was still hot and the kids actually went in shorts. That's the first time ever. I don't even remember going to school in shorts. Some schools in Halifax let the kids go home because of the heat. See the schools around here don't have air conditioning.

The pastor we met on the ferry actually called us on the Sunday after the hurricane to see how we had fared. It's nice to know that there are actually people out there who honestly care.

Hurricane Earl. It was low tide. The wet part on the wharf is when it's high tide.

The funny thing is that Hurricane Earl turned out to miss us and hit Halifax. We were prepared and they weren't. Bummer for them. Good for my sunflowers. A few fell but most stayed up. Nothing was damaged around here either. Mind, we had strapped everything within an inch of it's life, so short of a tornado would have moved anything. It was actually anti climatic. On that Saturday morning we sold out of batteries. Funny. But I guess it's better to be prepared.

There are so many things I love about having animals. But there is one thing I really despise about having them and that is BUGS!! Oh mylanta! The last few weeks every time I leave the chicken coop I have a little bug or two on my arm. Nothing serious. It kinda looked like baby spiders. I can handle that. Then Friday night I stuck my hand in the hen's nest. I took my arm out and it was full of bugs!! UGGGGHHH. Oh my, oh my, oh my! I brought the eggs in the house and they were crawling with these little buggies also. So we went out with the Raid. Now 99% of the time I do e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g organic. But when it comes to stuff like that, I whip out the Raid can.

When we got to the coop we opened the lid of the nest and it was teaming with crawlies!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't think it was baby spiders. I think it was a kind of mite. What ever it was, they is dead! Saturday I Raided that coop. I'm amazed the the hens are still alive. What saved their butts is that I let them loose outside. I never suspected anything since the hens weren't scratching. Oh well. We should be fine for now. I hope.

My mother and J. at the picnic

Today was the second annual Meteghan Family Picnic. We were asked to bring Cindi Lou Who for the kids. It went well. Well kind of. I brought her in the back seat of the car. (uhmmmm didn't I say in a post somewhere, that I would not bring a goat in my car again...) She wouldn't lay down, sooo you know what they say...a goat won't poop or pee if it's laying down. Well, she pooped in the car. Dangit! At least I had the dog cover on the seat. Phew!

J. and Cindi Lou going home from the picnic

But the kids loved her. But again, most kids had never seen a goat other than in photos and a few adults asked if it was a dog. Huh?

On the way home we stopped to get an ice cream. Again...not a good move with a goat in the car. I'll never learn, will I.

My tomatoes that I found in the weed garden and the little ones from the greenhouse

Guess what I found in the weed garden a.k.a the veggie patch. Tomatoes!! Beefsteak tomatoes! I'm so impressed. It was hard to find them in all 2 foot high grass, but I found them.

12.8 oz!!

The greenhouse is almost over for the season. I figure by next week I'll be cleaning it. I have been forbidden from making anymore pickled beets. Like I've said before I hate the darn things, but I love making them. But that is one thing that actually grew well in the garden this year. I still have a row of them left, but Dave won't let me pickle them.

Little does he know, I'll get to them eventually. Muahhahahahahaha!!!

Tundra the amazing growing dog!

Tundra is growing like bad weeds. She's almost 40 lbs now.

I just had to leave you with this parting shot. One meeeeaaannnn panther. Or a sleepy one caught in a yawn.

That's it for this week. Have a Blessed Day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Growing up.

Upside Down J. on the monkey bars

I was pondering on this past summer, when I realized how much my baby has grown. Not only physically but emotionally and spiritually. He's become more responsible.

As much as I hate him growing up, it's also kinda neat. It's amazing seeing this little life you brought into this world, nurture it, love it, teach it, feed it, clothe it, pray over it and hope for the best. Then you see it blossom into a beautiful,God-fearing, God-loving, caring, hardworking person. Raising a child, you see the world through new and amazing eyes. You now see that a daisy is not just a pesky weed anymore, but a thing that houses little bugs (yuck), or a way to see if that little girl in your class loves you, or not.

Checking out the big toys at the breakwater they're building.

This summer I noticed that J. will get his snacks ready by himself, like using the microwave. Taking a shower and actually getting clean! Dave thought him how to drive the ride-on lawnmower. He now loves to bring in the firewood, because he gets to drive the tractor with the trailer. He's doing an excellent job and he's so proud of himself. We're so proud of him to. He goes to pick up the mail by himself.

First time driving the tractor

So proud and grown up!

There's so many little things that are too numerous to mention and yet some days you wonder if he's not reverted back to being 3 years old. But all in all my baby is growing up! Sniff..sniff...

Tomorrow is the first day of school. He's going into grade 4!! When he left for his first day of school in grade primary, I told Dave, "You watch, we're going to turn around and he'll be graduating from high school." Dave told me I was nuts. Well guess what...It was just yesterday that he started primary. Well that's what it seems like.

Time marches on. Things still need to be done like pigs need to be mucked out, goats need to be milked and puppies need to be taught potty manners.

Tundra on the trampoline!

Tundra is also one that is growing like a bad weed. The flea meds we gave her when we first got her stopped working, because she outgrew it before the other dosage was due! She gained 10 lbs in 2 weeks!

J. jumping on the beds at the hotel. Another little ritual we have in hotels. Can you tell we don't get out often? You can dress us up but you can't take us anywhere!

We all went to New Brunswick a few days ago for Dave's arm. We needed to wait over a year for a specialist's appointment here in Nova Scotia. Only a few weeks in New Brunswick. He got a few injections and we are hoping they are going to work. We crossed over on the ferry. It's a long 3 hour ride. But on the way back we chatted with two couples on the boat. They were great. One guy was a Bible thumping, fire and brimstone, Harley Davidson riding,Southern Baptist preacher! Another lady was a dog trainer. The ferry ride, just flew by! We have photos of them, but I didn't ask their permission to put it on my blog, so I won't. But that's what I love about travelling. It's not seeing new places and different things, which that is all fun too, but meeting new people. That's the exciting part!

Well we are battening down the hatches for Saturday. Hurricane Earl is going to hit us head on. Crud. We do need the rain, just not the winds. This is a picture of my sunflowers before hurricane Earl. I'll post another one after hurricane Earl on Sunday. I waited and waited and waited for blooms on my sunflowers. I finally got them this week and now Earl's going to show up and razor them. Oh I'm not impressed!

Dave and the sunflowers

But don'tcha find that they grew tall! Dave is 6 feet tall and they are dwarfing him. The heads are supposed to be giants, but I guess they put all their energy in the stalks.

Six little piggies and their momma.

Since there's only 6 piglets in this litter they are growing fast, fast,fast! They've been going outside now for a week.


Oh and Ginger passed away this week. She survived the great mink massacre, but she couldn't escape old age. I had had her for over 4 years and she was old when I got her. I don't even remember where I got her from. She had also survived being almost pecked to death by her fellow hens.(Nasty things) But we had nurtured her back to health a few years ago. But old age marched and took over.

Well that's it for this week.

Have a Blessed day!