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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

Farm News - Winter Ready



The firewood is all nestled into the woodshed.


The meat birds (chickens) are all nestled into the freezer and for sale.


Excluding 16, yes 6 more than normal – egg laying chickens and 1 rooster. These girls are giving us 14-15 eggs per day right now. I do my best to keep them happy and they happily provide eggs, a win/win. I am anticipating a lowering of eggs come cold weather but we shall see.


The woodstove is fixed and burning regularly. I so enjoy the comfort of wood heat.


The heat tape is plugged in for the water lines.


The birdfeeders are full.


We have spare gravel put away for the driveway and learned that wood ashes are excellent for putting on ice as well, we have those.


The generator quit the other night. Brian was at work and the dogs and I were at home when it simply shut down. I went out, checked the fuel, it was fine. I tried to start it and it was totally dead.  OH BOY…. I called Brian and he said he would be home in about an hour or so, the dogs and I had candlelight and the wood stove until Brian got home.


Poor man had been working extra long hours and had to come home and try to figure it out. We ran into blank after blank, the machine was dead! Brian even had to do a parts run to Gr. Prairie at 8:00 at night, but alas, it would not start.


We ended up going and getting our Canadian Tire special – sounds like a D9 cat portable generator out and got a bit of back up power for the night. I am not sure your neighbours would be okay with that, but you know we live in the bush and neighbors are a fair ways away. It did mean that we had no water for the night. For us having no power is not as drastic as most people loosing power. Yes our fridge, freezers and washer run on electricity but we have a propane hot water tank, stove, and dryer and propane is topped for the winter. The worse for us is the water as it has an electric pump and keeping our water shed warm so the huge container of water does not freeze is first priority. Our generator warms the shed to prevent that.


Totally stumped we went to bed and got up in the morning and stared at the generator some more. Notta.


I got the prayer chain activated! Those faithful friends who will pray for others when the needs arise.


Brian called a friend who is a mechanic to see if he would not mind coming to have a look at it. He said he would and proceeded to get a flat tire a short way from our house, poor fellow. He arrived and not even 5 minutes later I heard the generator start. He touched a few things and it simply started! I knew it was God answering our prayers because He’s like that.


Still a couple more things to do for winter, but we are fighting “mud” because it has warmed up so much that the ground is thawing! I have so much mud over the floors because the mud gets stuck into the dogs paws and even wiping the paws does not remove it.


The plants have no idea what to do with these temperature fluctuations: plus 10 in the day to minus 6-8 at night.


The animals are out and about again, chipmunks – pesky things, yesterday Mila had a squirrel trapped up a tree. This morning I am going to confess that the dogs and I chased a squirrel around the “dog pen”, a huge fence encircled area. I might have been shaking the trees to provoke the pesky thing to move so the dogs could see it. Once Mila locked on, then it was quite the game.


And then the other night…………..

I had to take some fresh water down to the chickens, it was dark and I wanted to use the light in the chicken coop to see as I poured the water out of a bucket into the water feeder.


I looked up and saw this bird flying around – I thought to myself, “weird to have that bird flying around at night.”


I kept pouring the water, glanced up again to see this silent bird flying erratically, I was mystified about what it was doing. I stopped pouring to study the bird.


I finally noticed that it was coming directly for my head!


It was no bird; it was a bat!!!!


“Heck no!”  I jumped back into the chicken coop and slammed the door shut!


I stood there for a while and waited; very thankful Brian had made sure we could unlatch the coop door from the inside. Last winter you might remember that I got stuck in the chicken coop because we had not put an inside latch. I was very thankful for it the other night!


When I thought enough time had passed, I opened the door slowly and peered out. I shone the flashlight around looking carefully around. I saw nothing.


I hightailed it up the house, real quick, not looking around too much, in the off chance that I might actually spot something!


It’s kind of funny, well for me, but I always think of my sister at times like that. If I had to say she had a phobia, it would be things landing or flying around her head! I had to text her my latest adventure and she agreed that if it was her, it would not be a pretty response to the bat. She usually reassures me that she would not live out here in the bush – like ever! Totally true fact!


We have a list on the kitchen table of “things we have to do before winter”. I am happy to report that most of the list has been crossed off and I am enjoying that we are not fighting the snow and ice just yet especially on our driveway.



The sunrise this morning was so spectacular that I had to take the time to simply sit back on the couch and watch God paint the sky. Every few minutes new colors would emerge and it was different many times over, my favorite is the mixture of reds, oranges, yellows and blue.


Simply by taking some time to sit back and wait for the day to unfold, literally in the sky, it brought a sense of calm and peace. I realize I cannot change the weather, I cannot change much, but watching the hands of a master creator create right before my eyes, I know He can fully handle the rest of my day.

 

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