It’s Still Winter!

Greetings to all you faithful blog readers. Well, as I sat down to write this Sunday afternoon I realized there would be very little to say because, really, next to nothing has happened here in the last little while! Yes, the puppy continues to be a puppy and is learning some basic obedience: sit, down and shake a paw, as well as coming when called. He’s growing quickly and continues to be adorable and affectionate. He is getting better with the cats though the cats have learned that all they have to do to get the puppy in trouble is make a lot of noise when they see him coming. Yes, the chances of him doing something obnoxious like licking them or sticking his nose in their bum is very high, but they really do play it up a bit too much!

Cory hadn’t shown fear of anything up until last week when he was terrified by the sound of ice melting and sliding down the barn roof. It does sound quite loud when you’re inside the barn, especially up in the hayloft, however now the poor frightened pup won’t go inside the barn at all. I’m not too worried about it – I think, come summer when we’re outside and in and out of the barn more frequently, he’ll have forgotten all about his fear. Otherwise he seems to be meeting most of life’s fascinating new things with healthy curiousity and a strong tendancy to chew on them.

Will is taking a course in welding at the Moncton branch of NB’s Community College network. It is a basic course which should introduce him to the different types of welding and give him an idea what sort of machine to buy for use on the farm. I’ll let him talk about it in more detail. He is out Monday and Wed. evenings for three hours (four including travel time) and seems to be enjoying himself.

Will and I are both trying to learn French: me sporadically and he, voraciously. I think he’s already passed my level of high school French, though I can probably conjugate a few more verbs than he. He listens to French radio constantly, reads the local French paper, l’Etoile, and has a couple of different French instructional programs running on his computer at any given moment. Yes, it’s driving me crazy and, yes, I’m very jealous of his dedication to purpose! Sigh. I don’t know why I have such a mental block to learning languages: they terrify me and overwhelm me. I think of Keith Wilson’s great aphorism for learning the fiddle: “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” and try to apply it to learning something like French, but, though it helped me take on the challenge of learning fiddle, it doesn’t help me even scratch the surface of learning something as beautiful and complex as the French language. I think I really need the structure of a teacher and a class but can’t afford lessons at Alliance Francais or the Community College. I will take advice but, you all should know, just telling me to stop whining and get my act together will not work, I know because I’m telling myself this every day!

One exciting thing that has happened this week is that we’ve found a name for our farm. Will and I sat down and brainstormed a list of names, then each ticked off the ones we liked best. The ones we both agreed on were sent off to Mom and Dad for their opinion – they’ve known the farm longer than we have, after all. When their feedback came in we found that we’d pretty well all agreed to the same two, and then talked some more and chose the single one name that we feel best describes our farm. Yes, you’ve all been waiting so long for this moment and here it is – drum roll, please! And the winning name is: Windy Hill Farm. What do you think? It’s a good physical description because our farm is on a hill, or at least the barn is quite noticeably high, and it is a windy place. It’s a name I can see on a sign or as the prefix to the name of a purebred goat. It flows nicely and shouldn’t offend anyone so should do the trick!

It’s snowing out today which means that the temperature outdoors has come up a bit. It was very cold last week: well below -20 at night and as cold as -25 during the day with the wind chill. The water froze in the barn, even though heating cable runs all the way from the ground to the tap. I guess there were a few inches that were close enough to the surface of the ground but untouched by heating cable that froze solid. The goats seem to have weathered the weather quite well though their bellies are rounder than ever. We have more seasonable temperatures to look forward to this week, though the word “seasonable” doesn’t really mean much any more.

Time to wrap this up I guess. Will and I are off to Moncton tonight to meet up with a friend of mine from college. We haven’t seen one another in about 20 years and are both quite excited about meeting up again and hopefully renewing an old friendship. She lives in Port Hood in Cape Breton and runs a small business making and selling jams and jellies. Actually it’s not that small a business since their products are in Sobeys, the big local supermarket chain in the Maritimes, but you know what I mean.

Till next time….

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6 Responses to “It’s Still Winter!”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Windy Hill Farm definitely has a nice ring to it, rather evocative, lovely. Good choice!

  2. jo willson Says:

    I can understand Cory’s fright. It happened to me once while sleeping in the loft of an alpine lodge when a two foot thick chunk of snow slid off the roof with such a thunderous sound I thought the world had come to an end. The winter Olympics are almost here and we have no snow in the city. They are even trucking it in from Manning Park! Now can you believe that.. ? Love the new name of your farm..very earthy!!

  3. Vivienne Chin Says:

    Bonjour Alyson!

    Yes with French, you need to practice and immerse yourself to get it right! I’d rather fiddle! But you know what, if you fiddle well by ear, you should be able to learn French easily – it’s the same talent!

    On the name of the farm, no, I’m not keen on that name – boring!! John Arcand’s farm is Windy Acres and that’s bad enough!

    Why not something with some imagination like:

    The Brown Dog Farm (after Cory)
    Grazin Goats Farm
    Al & Will’s Windy Farm (okay I’ll concede the word Windy!)
    The Goat and Fiddle Farm
    The Organic Farm
    The Red Ridge Farm (you’ll need to paint your roof red for this one)
    The Shadynook Farm (only fiddlers will get this)

    OH the possibilities!!!!!
    Viv

  4. gary davis Says:

    I have at LEAST a kazzillion possible names for a farm. This is the one I like best: Will Alyson Farm….I couldn’t decide if it should have a ? or an ! after it. lol Any name you pick is fine with me. Viv had an interesting one – The Shadynook Farm. It seems to be an inside fiddler’s joke. That might be a good one for your fellow fiddlers from your local town. Would they get it? Anyway, good to keep in touch.

  5. Eileen Says:

    Organic Goats & Fiddles on a Windy Hill ??? yea, you’re right – a bit long

    Windy Goats & Fiddlers !! – hmm – maybe, if you’re growing beans too

    From Glen to Windy Glen – yea, well, trying to keep you connected to us out here!

    Don’t take these too seriously, now, will ya?
    I think you’ve already decided anyway, so all our “contributions” are for naught … and fun

  6. Shawna Says:

    Thanks for sending me the link again. It was so nice to sip a cup of tea and catch up. I love the name you’ve picked for the farm. You’ve got such a talent for writing. Reading your blog reminds me of all the old letters before we lost touch (yes, I still have them – came across them recently when trying to clean up and get ready to sell our house – and they still make me laugh out loud).

    And don’t despair over the French. My mom is french, I took a year of french immersion and still never got where I thought I should be with it. You could always hang out with my mom if you want some private tutoring….

    PS Can’t wait to see you in April!! You still look the same as I remember

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