Ready or Not!! 2014!!

Remember Hide and Seek as a child?  One…Two….skip a few….99…100!!  Ready or not, here I come?

Yes, I know – childhood cheating at it’s finest.  There are times when we all cut corners.  I know I do.  I believe it’s called “taking the path of least resistance”.  Well, I’ve come to a point with everything that it’s time to really make some serious changes.

In the last number of years it feels very much like there has been a global conspiracy working against everything we’ve wanted to accomplish on the little strip of land near Summerberry, SK.

My precious, 298 cherry trees have dwindled to 24 – with a couple of “may not survive the winter” possibilities.

2009-James Setting up

The temporary accommodations…

In hindsight, it most likely would have been a more intelligent move to invest the $5000 into running water or a steady power supply.  Perhaps setting the cash aside to re-roof the barn would have been a good idea.  There have been (more than I can count) little frustrations and very expensive learning curves.  We STILL do not have pressurized water.  The underground power lines are rapidly disintegrating and will need to be replaced.  The only suitable, semi-livable accommodation on the whole 40 acres is a 28 ft. long travel trailer that was bought as a “temporary” measure.  Six years later, our temporary measures are still in place and things have not progressed nearly as far as I would like.

Early in 2014 I was forced to find another home for Moose.  The big Magoo, as it turns out, has a very strong hunting instinct.

Moose awaiting the first slap shot

Moose awaiting the first slap shot

We’d never really thought much of him chasing muskrats or the occasional gopher, but when Pat’s kids decided they would like to try their hand at raising goats, things got nasty.  Moose went after the goats with same intensity he’d gone after anything else.  It was a long and difficult process to say good-bye to Moose, but in the end a far more perfect home was found for him!!  A family in Porcupine Plain, SK took him in and made him their own!!  He now has some 600 acres to himself and carte blanche to hunt whatever is unfortunate enough to cross his path!   We’ve kept in touch with Moose’s new family, and are looking forward to silly Christmas photos from them!!

Prepped and ready

Prepped and ready

As always, the end of April and first few weeks of May lend toward the excitement of getting the gardens planted.  I borrowed an Earthway Seeder from my neighbor, broke out the carefully stored seed, and away I did go!!  Yep, once again, my enthusiasm over-rode my sense, and I planted a HUGE garden with beans, peas, carrots, potatoes, onions, calendula, sage, more beans, three varieties of corn, tomatoes, beets, chives….if there was a seed for it – I planted it!!  Once again, hard lessons were about to kick me right between the eyes.

The Garlic Patch

The Garlic Patch

As I stood back and admired my own efficiency it occurred that there was no fence around the garden.  That it was carved out of the prairie with little more than a “yuppie” tractor and a hand driven rototiller.  Pat had spent HOURS on the tractor tilling out the beds and shuffling rocks out of the way.  What did not register to either of us is the fact that when you till up long abandoned soil you wake up whatever happened to be sleeping by way of weeds and other invasive species…it would be a while before this circumstance revealed itself in all its glory….

April showers my *ss.  The rains started around the end of May and it rained for what seemed like a month.  In reality, it was about a week, but the continuous downpour was enough to declare MUCH of this area a disaster assistance recipient.  There were many residents whose homes were flooded with sewage when the town systems couldn’t handle all of the run off.  There were cabins and summer homes at nearby resort areas completely wiped out.  Some people lost their houses completely.  Others, like us, were fortunate in that the damage was limited to the basement.  It took until after Christmas to get a contractor and the insurance company organized and get the basement fixed!  It’s been a long year!

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