Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Remembering Holly

Hello dear friends,

We have had a very sad week at Carogil Farm.  Last Sunday our sweet Holly crossed the Rainbow Bridge to be with her brother Drakk.  I have a few photos to share that will remind us of the wonderful life that she had here at our farm.

It is hard to believe that Drakk (pictured above left) and Holly (centre) arrived at our farm in 2009!  At the time our very pretty Jessie had just passed away and Kodiak (on the right) became quite depressed.  After consulting with our trainer we were advised to find another dog to keep Kodiak company but within an hour of that conversation our trainer called back to say he had not one but two dogs for us!  As it turned out, Drakk and Holly's owners in the city had decided that they were too busy to look after them and had just called the same trainer looking for help in finding them a good home.  So as is always the case here animals become a part of our family in the oddest of ways.

Holly and Drakk were very bonded to each other and were half brother and sister.  Drakk passed away almost one year ago and Holly has missed him.  After Kodiak passed away we adopted two yellow labs but while Holly tolerated them she really never bonded with them after Drakk's passing.  Dogs go through a grieving process just like humans do.  Some of our dogs have gone through a depression after losing one of their pack members.  Holly didnt show signs of depression but we believe that she missed her brother very much as they have spent their entire lives together.

Such a very pretty girl!  She was also quite big at just over 40 kg and very strong.

The area around our home is fenced and the driveways are gated to prevent our dogs from getting to the road.  Here Holly (left) and Drakk (right) are on a lounging break.  This area is particularly good for keeping an eye on the road and advising passing strangers  and people on horseback to keep moving! 

Holly loved the snow and was not bothered by the cold.  Both she and Drakk loved to play in the snow and when they wanted to rest would just lay down as long as we were outside with them.  When we go inside the dogs always come inside too.

This is a recent photo.  Both Drakk and Holly developed Degenerative Myelopathy, a devastating condition that can affect older dogs.  German Shepherds are prone to the condition which causes weakness in the limbs and ultimately an inability to walk.  We have learned that reputable breeders will test for the DM gene before breeding their dogs but unfortunately there are many other breeders that do not know or care to consider genetic conditions in their breeding programs.  Clearly the breeder that produced both Drakk and Holly did not any testing.  For those that are buying pure bred puppies it is so important to check into the reputation and practices of the breeder to ensure that they are not perpetuating health issues in the breed.

In the meantime our labs Willow and Lucy are adjusting to their fur family being somewhat smaller.   Over the next few weeks we will consider options for introducing another dog into our family so that Lucy wont be alone when it is time for Willow to leave us.

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Feeding the Birds

Hello dear friends, our bird feeders have been very busy this week! The temperatures are much below normal for this time of year and we have about 15 cm of snow at the farm so the birds are enjoying a selection of seed at the various feeders.  At this rate we need to refill all feeders every 3-4 days.  

The little red barn bird feeder is outside our kitchen window and provides a great deal of enjoyment for me while I wash the dishes or prepare meals.  Another feeder is outside our living room window with other feeders installed on posts or trees around the property.

Cardinals are always a welcome sight.

We have had 3 mourning doves cleaning up the seeds that other birds toss to the ground.

This is a very rare bird-dog.


The blue jays are aggressive feeders and toss much of the seed to the ground.

 A colourful woodpecker.

 I was surprised to see a rabbit under the feeder.

I love chickadees.

And junkos.

Thank you for visiting!

Antique Decanters

Hello dear friends, it is still bitterly cold here with wind chill values approaching -30 celcius so we are staying hunkered down in the house.  The kitchen renovations are coming along slowly with the specially milled trim for all of the windows almost complete.  The next stage will be to start framing the lower cupboards starting with the wall that will have the stove and the coffee and tea area!  I am very anxious to get this mammoth project off of our plates.  I am spending this week puttering in the house and gathering up items to donate to the local hospital thrift shop.  

Today I am sharing some antique crystal decanters that belonged to my great grandmother.  These decanters traveled from Holland to Canada with my mother during her various return trips over the years.  My parents have spent the last few years downsizing and the decanters are now in our home.

We have three of these old decanters.

The tops are beautiful.

I dont use the decanters but enjoy looking at them.  For the holidays they have been arranged on the tea table in the dining room.

Thank you for visiting and wishing everyone a warm and safe week!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tea Pots!

Hello dear friends and happy Boxing Day!  For those that are wondering Boxing Day is the day after Christmas and according to lore it is traditionally a day in which the fortunate "box up" gifts and foods to distribute to those that are less fortunate.  At the farm it is always a day to recover from rush leading up to Christmas day and to enjoy turkey sandwiches on fresh bread!  It is a bitterly cold and windy day today so I am going to share some photos of tea pots to help keep us warm!

I dont actually collect silver tea pots although I do have several.  This one has been well loved over the years and the love is starting to show!  

Over the last few years I have enjoyed making detours in my travels to visit thrift shops for old tea cups.  When I first started buying them they were very reasonably priced but it seems that tea cups are quite collectible and the prices have increased while the selection has gone down.  Every now and again though I do find one that I quite like.

This old tea pot was a great find at a little gift shop in Orangeville.

Another thrifty find.

Tea anyone?

Hoping everyone had a lovely Christmas!  

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Adding Christmas Touches

Hello dear friends, I am still preparing the house for Christmas. Although we are not planning any events for the farm this year I am enjoying sorting through collections of "stuff" to see what I have and what I would still like to get.  In the process I am hoping to locate some items that I used to have...but cant seem to find.  In our pre-renovation "stash and dash" we seem to have stashed some things so well we cant seem to find them back!

This is part of the living room mantle piece.  I have been experimenting with taking photos without a flash and need to practice some more!

I have had this heart ornament for many years.  I cant remember where I bought it...either Savannah GA or Niagara On The Lake.  It is one of my favourites.

i love old silver tea pots.

Many years ago my mother and I spent time together making Christmas ornaments.  We made several satin cornucopias for the tree.

Another tree added to the collection outside.  This is in the alcove which joins our addition to the old stone house.  

Need I say more?

Thank you for visiting!

Monday, December 11, 2017

December Snow

Hello dear friends, our weather forecast is calling for about 10 cm of snow by tomorrow morning which is great news for those of you looking forward to a white Christmas!   The long term forecast shows temperatures well below freezing so any snow we get should stick around for a while.  

I am practicing my night photography using a tripod.  Judging by the number of photos I have deleted compared to the number of photos kept it appears that more practice is in order!😥

This little stone section of our home was part of the renovations we had done about 3 years ago.  We call it the portico entry and it is the nearest entrance to our old driveway.  Inside the portico entry we have a coat closet (the first one in our old stone house!), a little area to sit to put on boots or shoes, and a bathroom with a walk in shower.  

I have quite a case of Christmas spirit this year and have been putting up trees inside and outside.  This tree is in our gazebo.  

It is quite simply decorated with lights, a garland and miniature decorations.  Later I will take some additional photos of the decorations which I think look wonderful covered in snow.

This is a view down the lane towards the barn.

The koi pond is now covered for the winter.  The fish are dormant and will over-winter in the pond.  At the deepest section the pond is about 5 feet deep.  A bubbler will run all winter allowing the fish to have oxygen.  The gazebo Christmas tree is just visible in the distance.

Part of the front of our house.

The snow is coming down more quickly than I thought!  The summer furniture is now the winter furniture.

This is a partly new and partly salvaged fence which will run between the portico entry and the fence that runs just behind the gazebo.  Next year we will add a gate.  The other side of the fence is a secluded little area that we are calling the Secret Garden.

I hope that you enjoyed this refreshing little stroll in the snow.  Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Mantel

Hello dear friends, it has been quite a while since I have posted an update on our activities. Time gets away from us!  We are not going to be hosting any dinners this year at the farm so that we can focus on our ongoing never ending renovations!  😩  Even though our home is off limits this year we have started to enjoy the season's festivities beginning this past weekend with a tour of a home in our neighbourhood that had at least one Christmas tree in each room!  Every tree had a theme and the number of ornaments was astonishing.  I cant imagine taking down and packing up all of the decorations every must be quite the organizational feat!

Our new dining room is becoming one of the most admired rooms in our home.  This stone wall was previously an outside wall on the back of our old farmhouse and care was taken in the design of the addition to allow us to enjoy the stonework as one of the interior walls.  We have not yet finished this room but as we get closer to Christmas I hope to be able to share more photos of this area.  This past summer we made a day trip to some antique markets and shops and came home with a few finds including this electric fireplace.  It makes the dining room very cozy!  For now I am sharing some photos I took this evening and will have more to share soon!

~Wishing everyone a great week and thank you for visiting!~