What a winter! It's been a wild ride here in Ontario ever since the second week of deer season last November! It started with snow. And then more snow, then bitter cold that froze your blood from pumping freely through your veins, to a slow thick syrupy glug, glug, glug. Or maybe that was collesteral! No, I think it was the constant -36's we seemed to have day in and day out! And did I mention more snow?! It was definitely a bumper year for it! I remember making a wish in front of co-worker's for 4 ft of the white stuff! I do this every year just to harass them! This year I should have wished for winning the lottery because we received at least 4 ft if not more!
We actually broke down this year and bought snowmobile trail passes. We have had really bad winters the last 2 years so we decided not to buy passes. What was the sense? Well this year I'm glad we did! For once you could go out onto a lake with NO FEAR of going through! It was that good! The snowmobile club did an amazing job of grooming trails this year. Our last ride was in April this year and what a great day of riding! Warm beautiful sunshine! Tons of snow on the trails! Warm enough to ride in jeans! And not a lot of idiots on the trails! Lots of moose poop though!
Deer! Deer had a hard winter. Up past their bellies in the white stuff! Wolves also were feeling the impact of this winter. The snow was deep and hard on the deer, but the deer could get through it. The wolves had no base to walk on, and so dog attacks by wolves were heard through out the county. Thankfully the owners were able to fend off the wolf doing the attacking! My Mom resorted to feeding the deer this winter. Not really by choice but because they were helping themselves to her bird feeder. Her yard was always full of deer, squirrels and birds! Just like a scene out of a Disney Movie!
My husband brought home a big 4 litre jug of maple syrup last night. After a supper of pancakes sausage and bacon, topped with fresh maple syrup, Don put some in a jar and Hailey and I struck out to Mom's house to give her a taste of spring tonic! Her and Dad always drank fresh maple syrup out of a glass! Yummmm! So Hailey and I and my two boxer dogs climbed into my PT cruiser and struck out to Grandma's house. Now usually this time of night I'm sitting on my fat ass watching tv, but no, I wanted to get mom her maple syrup! We saw a deer chewing on a tree along the highway in someone's yard. Nothing new. Further along came upon a deer at a birdfeed way up a driveway, but a small deer was closer to the ditch and it seemed intent on being scared of my car and was threatening to jump out in front of it! I was intent on trying to get by it without hitting it! I was thinking Whew! Coast is clear when there was a God awful smash on my left side! I let out a scream and many curse words as I tried to keep my car in control but to also see what had just hit the car!!! While I was watching the 2 deer on the right side of the road, a deer had come out of the ditch on the left side of the road and ran into my car! Literally!!! It hit my mirror which is now non existent and I have what I presume to be deer slobber all over my drivers side window! I looked in my rear view mirror because I don't have a side mirror now, and I see a stunned deer standing on the highway giving her head a shake and then she finished crossing the highway! Poor thing! But at least she's not dead! Bet she has a really bad headache though!
My nerves are now shot! The dogs, who had been sleeping are all alert and wondering what's going on, Hailey is like "Most people slow down when they see a deer!" Which I was positive and am sure I did! We carry on to Grandma's house with her now very expensive syrup! We pull into her driveway and we see a deer. I tell Hailey to grab the dogs while we go into the house but she grabs Heidi first and Maddie is away! On the scent of a deer around the back of the house she goes! Full tilt! Now I don't know if you know how fast my Maddie girl can go! I will tell you I'm sure she can outrun any grey hound dog going!!! That's how fast! So by the time I got around back of Mom's house I see a deer on the run at the FAR end of the field, and a little brown deer running like a streak not far off the big deer's butt!!! That little deer was Maddie! Now I know how when she runs after a snowmobile, you have no hope in hell of getting her to stop! So I thought she'd run that poor deer into the ground! I was hollering so loud the tree's were shaking! And finally she stopped! Looked longingly after the deer and turned around and came back to the house! I couldn't believe it!!! We are now knocking on Mom's door with her now very pain in the ass maple syrup and it seems no one is home! I am now getting pissed at myself for not staying home, so Hailey pulls out her cell phone and calls Mom. "Hi" she says. "We're standing at your back door!" (Guess she had her hearing aides out) After a brief visit and delivering her mega bucks maple syrup and telling her our tale, we head cautiously for home! We didn't see any deer! Thankfully we didn't see a dead one laying in the ditch where I hit her. But we did see a dead mirror! We made it home with no more casualties and I quickly took an advil and a migraine pill and went to bed. Frigging maple syrup!
I got a text from a good friend of mine the other day. "Are you going to be home later on this evening?" she asked. I told her yes than asked if everything was ok? "No! But I'll call you later!" I told my hubby this as we drove home from Lindsay this past Friday afternoon. Must be something about 4-H or a guy we both agreed. Then continued on our way home.
I call Kelly my Horse show daughter. I got to know Kelly from attending Lindsay Horseman Association shows with my biological daughter, Hailey. I can remember the first time I heard her hollering from the sidelines "Go Hailey, Go!!" Kelly was always and is still today a huge supporter to Hailey and they have become lifelong friends! Kelly always oozes energy and a good will to all she meets! I can remember her riding some crazy buckskin horse at the LHA shows named Susie I believe. I always felt a little fearful she may get hurt on her, but Kelly persevered. The next year Kelly came to the first LHA show with a gorgeous white roaned paint mare by the name of Fiona. Fiona was a nice quiet change compared to that appy mare she rode the year before! Fiona stood over 16 hands and had the sweetest most even temper a person could want in a mare. Mares can be a little like women. Just plain bitchy! But I never saw Fiona exhibit any of these behaviors! Win? Win they both did! Fiona was not only a big mare, but she had a huge heart. And that heart belonged to Kelly! That mare would do anything for Kelly! Much the same as our Hunter does for Hailey.
As the years passed, Kelly continued to show and kick ass with Fiona, all the while hugely supporting Hailey at shows which brought Hailey more out of her shy little shell. Wasn't long before Kelly showed up on another new gaming horse by the name of George. Man he was a wild bugger that first year! I thought for sure Kelly was gonna get killed! Thankgod she didn't! So she'd game both horses! Crazy George and Steady Fiona. George and Fiona became very attached to each other but Kelly was still number one in their eyes!
Kelly soon finished high school and went off to college. So she took the opportunity to breed Fiona so she wasn't just sitting around the field doing nothing but being a field ornament and Kelly wanted a foal off her. After what seemed like an eternity, a wee filly was born! Kelly named her Dove! Dove was a sweet gorgeous filly who was the spitting image of her mother Fiona! Kelly was ecstatic! But fate had other plans for Dove and she was injured in a trajic accident when both she and Fiona tripped and fell in their pasture. I'll never forget it! A horrible turn of events that left one's heart ripped open!
A wonderful offer from Garry Scott soon had Fiona re-bred to a gorgeous paint stallion and we all waited over the winter and spring months until Fiona gave birth to the most gorgeous little stud colt. Kelly promptly named him Mac! Mac is all white except for brown roaning on his ears the same colour as his moms. What a sweetheart!
The phone rang and Don went and answered it. I think he was expecting Kelly to give him a hard time cuz they constantly tease each other. Ones as bad as the other! But he quickly passed me the phone and I expected to hear the same happy chirpy Kelly on the other end. Instead I heard my show daughter in tears telling me Fiona had died! I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I didn't know what to say! I just wanted to give Kelly a hug and try to stop the pain in her heart that was ripping her apart inside, I wanted to stop the pain that was ripping me apart inside! Fiona gone! It just couldn't be so! She was always there! When I thought of Kelly, I automatically thought of Fiona! They were a team! Fiona was such a constant, a strength, a comfort, and a friend to Kelly and to all who knew the sweet mare!
Kelly is now pushing her grieving aside in order to help Fiona's son survive! You see, Mac is not even 2 months old yet and he's not taking the bottle of milk real well. But he is drinking from the water bowl and eatting hay. Kelly's Dad, Charlie helps her to get milk down his stubborn wee throat! But Kelly's a strong girl. She's endured health problems that took its toll on her as well as the loss of her equine friends. She has the most awsome sense of humor and I believe this helps her tremendously! She already texted me the other day telling me that Mac was a little Shithead and always would be! I couldn't help but laugh! I can just imagine what a little bugger he can and will be! But Kelly and him will have a bond soon that no-one can break! And I do believe this was Fiona's last gift to Kelly. A little piece of herself for Kelly to nurture and love as much as she loved Fiona!
We miss you Fiona! I hope the pastures are lush and green up there in horse heaven!
I was stressed! I was walking around work hating everyone and everything about the place and wondering how I was going to make it to 65 in this hell hole! A thief had made his or her presence known amongst us and now the rest of us have to pay the price. Cameras are now watching us from every angle and believe me, whether guilty or not guilty it is really an awful feeling knowing somebody is watching everymove we make. They can even do this from their home if they like! So now adjusting ones bra or scratching ones ass is a no no! So when my sister Cathy asked us to go on a fishing trip to Kiosk with them, I jumped at the chance!
We loaded up our new to us trailer and hit the road. It was a cloudy very cold morning and a long the way snow flurries blew past the windshield. We weren't concerned. We were excited! No kids, no dogs, no phone cuz where we were going there was no internet service! After 3 hours in the truck we arrived! A huge lake lay before us surrounded by bush. We settled into the campground. The grand total of 3 trailers altogether. It seemed like we were on another planet all by ourselves! Everyone was chomping at the bit to get fishing so the guys unloaded the boats and all at once Tom announced water was gushing into our boat like we'd just struck oil! Frig!!! Out of the water came our good ship sink a lot and promptly the three guys, Don, Dave and Tom, 3 chrysler mechanics may I add, were all over it like snot to a mustache!.. eww! They quickly discovered the boat had popped a rivet! And of course out in the middle of the bush you just can't run to the hardware and buy a rivet! Out came the silicone and the guys quickly got to work! At last they stood back to inspect their handywork and all 3 gave nods of approval! Don and I were grounded until the next day in order to let the silicone harden so while the other 2 couples climbed into their boats and headed off into the wild blue yonder, Don and I grabbed our gear and started walking down the old abandoned railway tracks. We came to a trussell and began our fishing. We waited with baited hooks for that all too familiar tug on the line and to land a catch of a lifetime!....and we waited, and cast, and waited, and froze, thank god I packed my gloves and winter coat! Nothing, nada ziltch! So we crossed over to the other side of the bridge and tried our luck there. Holy! Suddenly my line seemed much heavier but no tugging! I reeled in my line with hopes of a fish on the other end but figured for sure it was a twig, but what I wasn't prepared for was a clam! A frigging clam! It had clamped right on to my hook! Immediatly I gave it to Don to take off and cast my line back in. Another hit! I was kinda excited this time and wound that reel back in a lot faster! I couldn't believe my frigging eyes what came in on my line! Another frigging Clam! Don yells down from above on the tressell, "Seriously!" I re-named the lake Clam Lake! It was getting onto evening so we gathered up our rigging and wandered back up the railway line. We saw some dormant blackflies the size of small chickadees, champing at the bit to get biting us, and also a big pile of moose poop. Have you ever seen moose poop? It looks like gigantic rabbit poop! It always amazes me they don't poop like a cow! We also came across wolf scat so we were kept interested looking at piles of different poo on the way back to the trailer!
That night it must have got down to -10. Man it was cold! But the new trailer was snug as a bug and we woke to gorgeous sunshine and a gorgeous calm, smooth lake. After a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, we packed a lunch and all our gear and got into our boats. I was very afraid actually of how that silicone would hold on. So far so good but then we headed out across the BIG HUGE LAKE, with Dave and Cathy on one side, and Tom and Sue on the other just incase we started to gush water again. It didn't help when Dave yells over "We're at 140 ft deep and its 45degrees!" "Thanks for the info Dave!" We were then warned about the deadheads. Holy Mother of God! They were everywhere and just under the water! You couldn't see some! The others looked like peoples heads bobbing in the water! Very creepy! I was glad when we got out of that area! No fish were caught so we stopped at a campsite on shore and a fire was started to warm us up. We enjoyed an on-shore lunch of cheese and crackers, sandwhiches and granola bars. It tasted sooo good!
We headed back out to try our luck but again not a bite, for us anyway! Don and I had already headed back to the trailer and Cathy and Dave weren't long behind us. Dave caught a fish scale! How does one catch a scale? But he did! So when Tom and Sue got back and Dave said they caught a fish, we figured he was bsing us! There's no frigging fish in that lake! Tom presented us with a nice lake trout which he fileted up and ate for supper.
Saturday night was a bit warmer so we sat around a bonfire snuggled up under blankets cuz it was still pretty chilly! But no bugs might I add! Sunday morning we headed back out for what was mine and Don's last fish for the trip. We tried trolling. I had given up hope of catching anything when suddenly my line bent with a mighty tug! Really? I thought! But no! It definitly felt like I had something on the line. So I started reeling in! My heart was thumping in my ears I was so excited! But the fish didn't seem to be fighting. I said that to Don that I think I had lost it but I kept winding it in anyways just to be sure! I couldn't believe what was on the end of the hook. ANOTHER FRIGGING CLAM!!! No Frigging Way! Trolling at that!
Don and I had to head for home that afternoon so after packing up and saying our goodbyes to everyone we struck out for home feeling bad we had to leave cuz the other 4 got to stay another day or 2, and it was such a good time! We were tired and dirty, heavey hearted and yet light hearted because it was exactly what we needed! Gorgeous country! Fantastic weather! coulda been a wee bit warmer, and great company! Thanks Cathy and Dave for inviting us! We can't wait until the next time to try our luck on Clam Lake! :)
You know you're pathetic when you're hugging the toilet bowl for the 10th time that day, with each gut wrenching wretch, your stomach feels like its turning itself inside out and at any instance splash into the toilet bowl your heads stuck in. Entwined in with all these awful noises filling the bathroom, my family has to listen to me start to cry, but they know it's really bad when I start crying "I want my Mom!!!" Frigging right! A 43 year old baby crying for her Mommy! But man, in those moments when you think your never going to stop puking, I know my mom's warm hand holding my hair out of my face while I empy the contents of my stomach, which by this time is nilch, is the only thing that's going to miraculously make me feel better! The funny thing is, I work in a nursing home and look after the elderly. There's nothing I hate more than having to clean up someone else's vomit! And I get paid to do it, which by the way is never enough for such volgar jobs, but hey! Somebodies gotta do it. I always think how much better a nurse my mom would have been than I am!
My Mom was a school bus driver. But I'm pretty sure she didn't sign up to tote me and my 1000 lb horse Dezi around to all the local horse shows. But she did! She even trailered two unknown to her yearling horses to the Sutton Morgan horse show one year. Man, talk about cowboying up! I wouldn't have the nerve to do this, but Mom did awsome! The trip went off with out a hitch, and both babies arrived safely!
Dad worked on the railway and worked a lot. So Mom being a busdriver had summers off. Every last day of school we'd rush home to a packed to the rafters car, and off we'd head to 12 Mile lake in the Haliburton Highlands. Mom would keep us 3 kids there with her all summer long, and never go home to Markham until Labour Day. Dad of course would come up on weekends or holidays, but it was mainly Mom ruling the roost. What wonderful summers they were!
I get very carsick, but I was much worse as a child. Mom would try everything in her power to get gravol down my throat before the trip, but the thought of swallowing a pill made me sick just thinking about it. Mom tried putting it in a teaspoon of honey or jam and Man, I still gag to this day just thinking about it! Then we were going somewhere one day and Mom had given me liquid gravol, but didn't let on it was gravol. I used to try and sleep in the car to stop being sick, and so Mom thought I was actually sleeping. For some reason I can't figure out to this day, she turned around in her seat and said to my brother and sister, "Keep it a secret, but I gave Liz some liquid gravol. So don't tell her!" All this said in whisper tone. My eyes instantly popped open wide and Mom was caught like a deer in the headlights, her mouth wide open. I still laugh about this!
Skip forward a few years to when my Dad became sick with mylodisplasia. My Mom turned instantly into the best nurse around. Doctors appointments were numerous, pain management, trying to cook meals for him that he would eat, only to have him say he couldn't eat it, washing and bathing him, taking on the household all by herself, watching for fever. She never missed a beat! Right to the end. My Dad used to tell her "You're a really nice lady!" His way of telling her how much he appreciated her!
Well Mom! I want to tell you how much I appreciate you! Not just on Mother's Day, but everyday! Thanks for being my mom! Happy Mother's Day!
The Madster and I are out for a walk. It's a windy, snowy day on the last day of February, my Dad's birthday to be exact. The snow is blowing off the trees in sheets and periodically I pull my hood up to fend of the bursts of wind. Still, we both are enjoying the freedom of the countryside and continue on up the road. Up ahead I can hear the snowplow coming back down the Irish Line and beyond that, our neighbor Wren is out in his tractor plowing snow. Maddie eyes the tractor with interest and glances back at me now and then to make sure all was safe. Wren see's us and pulls the tractor off to the side and shuts down his tractor in order to chew the fat like we've done on many occasion as I've passed by his house on a walk. We've talked about everything from the weather, animals, our families and especially how the trainings going with the dog. Today as he shoves open his tractor door, he starts out the the conversation the same old way. "Well how are ya today Liz?" "Good Wren!" I reply, then I ask him how his heart is because in the fall he said he was waiting for a valve replacement. They were taking one of his out and replaceing it with a pig's valve. "Oh nothing wrong with my heart." he replies. But the next thing out of his mouth puts me in a state of shock. "Doc says I got the lung cancer and I got 6 months to live." Now what in Hell is a person supposed to say about that! "Geez Wren, that's too bad, how's Rose keeping?" My stomach drops like a stone, I want to say "Jokes on me right Wren?" But his liquid blue eyes are serious and the only thing I could think of to say was, "And there you are still smoking a cigarrette I see!" "Yep," says Wren, "Ain't nothing they can do for me, so I gots to enjoy something. I am 80 years old ya know!" "I guess so eh Wren?" I answer quietly. He's lost weight now that I look closer, and his skin looks thinner and I think to myself that he looks like my dad did before he passed away. But under his worn out old cap his eyes are still bright and the same twinkling blue as always and that comforts me. " I just gotta get out and get some fresh air." he says, "Or ya just give up. Well, gotta get back to my plowing. Have a good walk Liz." "Ok Wren, you take care and say Hi to Rose for me!" "Will do." He shoves the cigarrette back between his teeth, reaches out and pulls the tractor door shut and starts up the tractor. I give him a wave and then tell Maddie to come along and we head up the road to finish our walk. But the light step I was walking has now become heavy as I walk away from Wren's tractor in disbelief. I can't imagine walking up the road in the future and not seeing Wren out in his garden, or driving his tractor, or getting his winters wood ready for next winter. Not being able to stop and shoot the shit with him or him insisting I take home some fresh picked potatoes or beans from his lovely garden. But for now I'm going to not think about that and every chance I get, I'm going to make sure I stop and pass the time of day with my old friend. It's news like this that makes a person think. Lifes too short and this fact seems to be proven to us over and over again. So take it from Wren. Enjoy every day you have!
She was never far from my side. My husband Don used to say she'd crawl up my ass is she was given half the chance. I used to laugh at this but somehow I do believe its true. Funny thing was I wanted a black and tan pup. Yep, not a blonde pup, the nice little female black and tan. But Don over rode me. "I want the blonde." he said. Maybe this is because he got stuck with a brunette for a wife and wanted to at least have a blonde bitch out of the deal! So I looked back longingly at the little black and tan and got in the car and drove home with Don's blonde.
I remember how tiny she was. Hailey had a little purple coat with a hood on it and when they were playing outside the pup would crawl into Hailey's hood to try and keep warm. We had to decide on a name. Hailey wanted Strawberry. No way in Hell was I going to lean out the door yelling "Here Stawberry, come girl!" I always wanted to name a dog Quill, but Don thought that was just as bad as Strawberry, so I came up with the name Kinley. I used to like the country singers the McKinley sisters so I shortened it up a bit and voila. Kinley, and it stuck. Except it was such a strange name people would call her Kingsly, Kinnlin, Margula, (not sure where that one came from) and of course I had to have a nick name so most of the time she was called Bin Bin. It suited her, what can I say!
As small as she was it didn't take her long to grow. She soon became very tall and lanky with the weirdest ears you'd ever see! They sort of stuck out like wings. Mom often thought she had greyhound in her but apparently she was just shepherd, lab, and collie. Somehow though, I think a hound got tangled up with her momma at some point cuz she sure had the attention span of a hound. Very short! And she trotted like a hound too. She had the most beautiful side stepping gait! Her and I used to walk. Up and down the Irish line we'd go daily which would be about 6 km's in total. She used to love to walk. She'd be outside mucking about and if I was getting ready to go for a walk she would know this and start running from door to door crying and prancing about until I came out the door. Man she'd drive me crazy with her foolishness, prancing and whining and jumping around till we got going. Then of course she'd be flying ahead because she was on the trail of something but she'd always come running back to make sure I was still with her.
I don't know how she survived as long as she did because my Dad ran her over with his golf cart one day, and if you've ever noticed, there's not much room under a golf cart. "God damned stupid dog" Dad would say. My son Randy also ran her over with the snowmobile. She'd run forever chasing us on the machines and one day she cut across in front of Randy and over her he went! He said it wasn't on purpose, but sometimes I wonder! Her and I have encountered many a critter on our walks. Many a bear, a deer, a racoon or two, but her favorites were the squirrels. She'd sit for hours under a tree waiting for a squirrel to come down it. Then the chase was on! My husband Don was working in the garage one summer day and the dog was barking and going crazy running around the garage. Don not having a long fuse temper wise promptly stuck his head out the door to tell her to shutup only to have a squirrel almost run across his face. Kinley was chasing the damned thing around and around the garage and it was running sideways on the garage doing laps!
One of my favorite memories of Kinley is when we used to have a sand pile in the back yard. The kids had all their trucks and toy horses out there and would play for hours. Kinley loved to dig and if you said Digadigadig, she'd go crazy digging in either the snow or the sand. This one day both Randy and Hailey were digging holes in the sand and right between them was Kinley. She'd be digging away, stop in mid dig to lean over and look to see how the kids holes were coming! Then she'd continure gleefully digging hers! But don't touch her hole or she'd show you every tooth in her head! Which had many! She'd never bite, but Randy used to like to tease her by sticking his foot near her hole and she'd bite warningly at his shoes! This is mine! Step back from the hole! She never got many car rides because she was so big , when a truck used to go by she'd leap menacingly at the window to get the truck and you could literally feel the car sway.
Her and I used to love to spend time at the pond below the house. She could swim in the summer and explore all over it in the winter. On a warm winter day we would sit on Cakers Island, basking in the warm rays of the sun, letting the world go by. Sometimes we'd be accompanied by the cats Willy and Lilly but usually it was just me and Binnie.
She was hard on herself. After years of chasing snowmobiles in deep powder at full speed, her hips started to give out. We stopped letting her out when the snowmobiles were running because you couldn't make her stop chasing them, sore hips or not. Our walks started to get shorter as she started to hurt. And I started to get fatter. But we did manage to go on short walks , mostly to the pond just to sniff around and enjoy the peace together. She surprisingly tolerated the new pup Maddie we brought home. I don't think she liked us much for it but she took it in stride like everything else. Not long after we got the pup, I was sitting on the couch petting the two of them because you couldn't pet one without petting the other, and I found a lump on Kinley's side. I slid my hand up to her neck and found a huge mass of lumps from one side of her neck to the other. I felt sick! When the hell did these appear! But we decided not to take her out to the vet because by now her hips were really bad and she was starting to show her illness. We decided to try to nurse her through the winter best we could. But this was not to be. About a month after Christmas the weight started falling off her and her bowels were giving out on her. We came to the decision we weren't being fair to her anymore.
I made the awful phone call out to the vets and my friend Deb made the appointment. She's been a big help thru the whole ordeal may I add. I wasn't able to take Kinley that awful day. I had to work and couldn't get out of it. So poor Don had to do it. The night before though, I took her for a walk down to the pond. The silly old goof was in the lead the whole way to the pond. Trotting along, tongue lolling out, sniffing at all the good scents a dog loves to smell. We walked across the pond in the moonlight. It was cold and the stars were shining down on us. And we just let her do her thing which was sticking her head under the fresh snow, sniffing under sticks, checking out the deer and coyote tracks left behind.. and then we headed back up the trail together for the last time. I'll miss you Kinley! Be good old girl.