Monday, May 30, 2016

One month post fire

Today marks 1 month since fire claimed our buildings and returned them into the earth at Myrah Farm.  Not in a morbid way: anyone who knows me knows that I am someone who keeps track of dates.  I love checking my progress and remembering where I was and what I was doing 1 year ago, 2 years ago, 10 years ago.  When my Gran passed away last summer I got her "Nature Notes" book where she recorded happenings and observations on the farm.  It was so neat to look back: "January 22, 1991: Paul, Stephanie and Teri visited the farm, -42*C".  So, I started my own book for recording things and have been doing so since January.
One month ago we awoke as usual to our farm with all buildings intact, and one month later we awake with still stinking ashes which are being overtaken by grass growing between the burnt timbers and endless metal hardware turning to rust.  But, I DO like the phoenix metaphor- up from the ashes rose a caterpillar tunnel!  This field burned and then Jon tilled it and we just put the plastic on this tunnel yesterday morning.  We awoke at first light to rain, and decided to wait.  When it stopped raining, we got a 2 hour window with very little wind and got the plastic on.  We've never done it with only 2 of us so we were a bit nervous, and didn't want any unnecessary encumberances.  The first photo is the critical point, plastic on and not tied down.  I have heard of people losing their plastic like a kite in a tree this way.  It's over $400 and a trip to Winnipeg to get more, so we really didn't want that to happen!
We hurried to get the ends tied.  They are twisted opposite directions (or the same, depends on how you look at it) on either end and then held by two t-rail posts on a 45 degree angle: like a big tootsie roll!  Jon got the ends so perfect that the ropes didn't have to cinch in much (our first attempt of this on Tunnel #2 wasn't quite this good!).  Jon had the ropes all ready and so we threw over and tied one set, then then other, and then tightened the first.  When things are well made and square and carefully measured it all goes very smoothly!  It turned out Perfect.
Here's a peek through the lilacs.  The tunnel looks short in this photo, but is 12' x 100' by 7' tall.  We watched the sun set sitting cross legged on the ground inside last night and commented on what a neat and excellent design it is!
It has added a new focal point to the farm, which means I'm less likely to look at the rubble, which makes me happy!  View from the compost pile, I had a swelling of love for this farm when I looked up and I had to take this photo.
Two turkey vultures circled me while I planted potatoes yesterday.  It was really neat, they are such gigantic birds and float so interestingly on the wind currents.  I was alerted to their presence by huge shadows ripping across the field and looked up to see them soaring high above the farm. 

I planted some red potatoes for us yesterday, the German Butters are up!  I also planted Linzer Delekatess, Satina, Yellow Finn, Agria, Charlotte, and Nicola for our friend Greg who is a master gardener with limited space to grow potatoes and squash, so we are growing the seeds here for him.  Exciting to try some new varieties, especially ones that are selected for flavour.  The Charlotte potatoes came from seed from France, I think the story was they were the most delicious he had ever tasted!  We'll see if the terroir here can produce some epically delicious spuds.
I had a conundrum yesterday that I solved in a funny way.  The neighbour has 4 baby (4 week old) kittens.  I wanted to visit them.  The car is at Mom's and Jon was at work, so I took the tractor!  It was funny ripping down the road.  Of course I caught a train- less than a mile to go and it's inevitable that we wait for a train every time!  He was happy to see our new tractor, and the kitties were adorable!  Mitch would have been the first on the scene if I hadn't been home the day of the fire, he pulled in the driveway just behind the fire department.  We are grateful for our neighbours and excited to have gotten to know them better because of the fire.
If you look VERY closely, you can see two black ear tips just to the right of the building.  We came up on the fox kits last night, rolling around and jumping and playing with each other.  There are FOUR!  Shortly after I took this photo they noticed me, barked, and all four tumbled back under the building.  Ironically, this is the building where the chicken coop is going.  It's like someone building a rooftop restaurant on your house! I have a contingency plan if the hens all get eaten.  I suspect the foxes will leave them alone like last year, but as I'm not willing to remove them from the property I am taking a chance.

Life just carries on, where something ends there is a new beginning, like these baby robins I found last night.  In the pigeon bin there are two full grown babies, 3 tiny babies, and 4 egg clutches: so it appears the ones who lost their home in the barn have moved in.  Trees grow, trees fall down, we planted a Fat Albert Spruce last night and have to find the perfect spot for out showy Mountain Ash.  The farm is like a living organism, always moving and shifting and changing, and so we just keep trudging ahead.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Making some progress

So, I thought I was good & positive about everything, and then I started some construction on my chicken coop and had a relapse.  Construction is one of my weakest skills, it's a guaranteed way for me to be immediately frustrated.  I have tons of ideas and a perfectionist vision, but I just can't execute it.  To be honest, I can barely pound a nail in straight.  So, Mom suggested I plant some flowers to make myself feel better.  So I did!
 Most of these are from Aunty Jayne (Thanks!!) with a few additions from Patmore's (creeping Jenny, Ipomea, bacopa, and lantana).  My washer and dryer tub combo planters!  Salvaged from one of the buildings on the day of the fire, so it was fate that they be my planters this year.

It was raining in this photo so it looks a little hazy, but here's our house.  Once those plants trail over those tubs it's gonna be gorgeous!!  The herb garden returned to it's convenient spot under the kitchen window, and if you look to the left you can see my finch feeder, oriole feeder, and hummingbird feeder (they returned on May 18th!).

Jon has been working hard the past 2 days getting our caterpillar tunnel up.  He had already bent the steel but it was in the quonset which burned and so it was not salvageable.  We had to start over and due to lack of time we ordered the steel painted white.  We weren't able to source galvanized steel and so this is a critical step in the process of preserving our metal and the plastic covering the tunnel.

The first step was to lay out the markers for the site.  Then he unrolled the landscape fabric and cut it so that we will still be able to access the beds.  Then he burned holes for the rebar which anchors the tunnel to the ground, and also put in the stakes for trellising.  He bent all the hoops and was touching up the paint when it started to rain, so now he's working on the trellising.

We're doing things very carefully and getting them right the first time.  Four years ago we put up two of this same design on another farm and learned our lessons.  Lesson #1: Plants do very well in a tunnel, especially weeds.  Hence the landscape fabric.  The first two didn't have it and it wasn't long before the weeds overtook the ends where the plastic is tied.  Also, weeding where the posts meet the ground SUCKS.  Since there's plants near the edge, you can't weedwhack, it's impossible to get it all with the tractor tiller, and so it's not long before the sides of the tunnel are overgrown and look terrible.  We are able to lift the edges on the fabric which means it will stay weed free and we can till directly beside the structure no problem.

Lesson #2: Put your trellising in FIRST, before you put on the plastic-- kinda seems like a no brainer, but we've already done this the hard way once and had no desire to do it again. 

Lesson #3: Learn your lessons on someone else's farm where they're paying the bill so that you can do it right when you do your own.

Some other things:  We've done this same design with a ridge pole and found that it didn't add any significant strength and in fact was extra hard on the plastic rubbing on the ropes.  The design we are using is not meant to have a ridge pole.  The ridge pole was not very effective for trellising, either.  The rebar is pounded 3' in the ground, so we'll see if that enough for these Manitoba gales.  It should be, we're not worried as the area we are using is also sheltered.  We copied our friends & colleagues and used parachute cord for the ropes.  The ropes hold the plastic on and allow for it to be pushed up like a roll up side on a greenhouse.

We haven't stayed on budget for the project due to the steel reorder, but will come out at around $2000 for this puppy (12' x 100').  If we can lengthen our tomato season and provide a more marketable fruit to customers, it will all be worth it.  With careful use the plastic should last up to 5 years, realistically at least 3.  This is Jon's project, so he will be looking after the crops in the tunnel this summer, which is why the weed barrier is a necessary part of execution.  Why waste time weeding when you could skip it??  He's working full time and doing this in his "spare" time, so there's no room for f-ing around!

We have laying hens arriving in the next couple of weeks.  I had moments last week of thinking "why the heck am I bothering with this right now when we're already so behind" and then I thought outside the box.  So many people have told us to let us know if there's anything they can do to help, so I asked my super amazing friend Abby to pick them up, which she's willing to do, so that's perfect!  That leaves me enough moments to haphazardly rough together a chicken home, while staying on top of weeds and planting on the farm, and putting the finishing touches on my bag fundraiser project for the Brandon Farmer's Market.

So, my construction project is building another coop to replace the one lost in the fire.  There is one remaining useable building on the farm, a wooden rectangular building which was used as a grain bin.  It has 6 compartments, and so I sealed the top of this one (12' x 14') in with 2" hardware cloth salvaged from a fence that will be pulled out eventually because all the posts burned.  My crowning glory is the nest boxes.  I had seen people make bucket nest boxes and thought it was a hell of an idea.  Because we had existing nest boxes, I had used those, but they are no longer and so I did this!  These are galvanized chicken feeders salvaged from the fire.  A little worse for wear but I don't think the hens will mind!  The idea being, fill it with straw, they lay their eggs there, and if they shit all over the place like chickens do, you can just dump it out and add fresh straw.  My biggest hurdle last year was dirty eggs.  I spent WAAY too much time cleaning filthy eggs from the hen tractor, which in hindsight was not well suited to 12 hens.  This makes keeping nest boxes clean a snap!

There is an access door to the outside where I will build a run.  We spend between 9 - 14+ hours each day away from home and so any outdoor run needs to be well secured.  There are skunks who live under the building, and three new baby foxes!  We have two resident fox families- one at the end of the field in a den and this one who has babies under the building the past 2 years.  Hens and foxes don't mix, but they didn't give us any trouble last year so we will move forward and do our best to not make it an easy meal for them.

Our neighbour Jim Frank told me last summer that one time they had foxes living under a building, so they smoked them out.  The foxes, who hadn't been bothering any chickens, moved onto the next yard site and then returned and ate all the chickens!  So, the saying "don't shit where you eat" holds some truth!  So, cute baby foxes, don't eat my chickens and I'll leave you alone.  I'll probably leave you alone either way, but I'll just be real sad if you eat my chickens!

I'm going out tonight to hide in a tree and await baby foxes tumbling out from under the building at dusk.  We saw them last night, they are like puppies and kittens mixed together and somehow cuter than both!  They play with each other and peek at us from around the corner of the building.  Hopefully I can get some good photos or video and share it!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Swallows' Return

We've been anxiously awaiting the Swallows' return.  They came back yesterday!  I love the way they "bitch" at each other and swoop through the farmyard and chase the cats.  The first thing I noticed was there's no power wire for them to sit on anymore.  Then, near dusk we went outside and heard them calling to each other.  We followed the sound to the burned out pile where the barn used to be.  They were calling out loudly and sorrowfully, mourning the loss of their home.  So sad!  My heart broke a little more, but I know they'll find a new home nearby.  Animals are resilient like that.  So are people!

Jon and I have both had dreams about Roseanne the last 2 nights.  The point of songs like "the cat came back" is because they come back long after you've given up hope, right?  We haven't given up hope yet, and probably won't for the next decade!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Breaking new ground

Jon tilled up a new field area on Thursday evening.  Sherman says they used to grow potatoes here.  We are going to put our tunnel here as well as some perennials like raspberries, rhubarb, and asparagus... and maybe a couple fruit trees, well protected from the many resident deer of course.

We had to reorder the metal for the tunnel because it melted in the fire.  Since we are short on time now we had to order it painted, so once it's ready we'll get this sucker up in no time!

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Here's me and my friend Sherman.  He's technically my "landlord" I suppose, but I think of him as an honorary Grandpa, or a funny old curmudgeon that I enjoy visiting.  I first met Sherman on May 2, 2015, the day we arrived from Nova Scotia & Dad, Jon and I went to pick up keys for the farm.  I had heard lots about him my whole life, but I don't think we had ever met.  Dad and Sherman became friends long ago through Dad's business, and as Sherm has gotten older with his "damn legs don't work anymore" Dad has increasingly been a help with selling land and equipment, fixing things, cleaning up the farm, etc.  As Sherman says, "Paul has been a real good friend to me".

In early 2015 we decided we needed a change to be able to achieve our goals.  We decided to move to Manitoba and join Brown Sugar Produce, Mom's business which was in need of a succession plan.  I didn't want to live in Brandon.  Then I looked at places in Brandon online and I REALLY didn't want to live in Brandon!  We had a few leads on places that friends rented out, but nothing panned out until a couple of weeks before we arrived.  Dad was visiting Sherman and got to thinking about the recently sub-divided farmyard section at Myrah Farm.  It was divided from the rest of the section because Sherman still had all his stuff there and also wasn't ready to part with it, and it didn't add any value to the farmland parcel & appealed to a different market.  Dad helped Sherman sell the farmland earlier that spring before we decided to move.  Finally, as Sherm tells it: "Paul said, 'the kids are coming and need somewhere to live, and you need someone on the farm', and I said, 'Yes, you just go ahead and move them right in, Paul'".

There's friends who are acquaintances or contacts or business networks, and then there's true friends.  The kind you know are always looking out for your best interest and whom you trust completely.  That's the kind of friendship Dad and Sherman have.  Sherman didn't know us, but he knew Paul well enough to know that he could trust his beloved farm was in good hands.

So, after a few days getting the systems running in the house we moved in.  I remember walking around the farm in utter disbelief that we could be living somewhere so beautiful.  We decided on a rental amount with Sherman and then eventually drew up an offer to purchase.  I remember being a little nervous to drop off the first few rent cheques to his house in town, but I would come in and sit down and visit Miss Kitty and Sherman would regale me with stories from the farm.  They're often the same stories, but occasionally there's a new one and it's like finding an easter egg!  I'm grateful for the overlap on our property between Sherman and us.  This way, we can learn so much more about how things came to be and what has happened here.  I even got to see some old photos of the farm, back when there was a duck pond, the barn was a glorious freshly painted red, they kept some geese, the Continental was shiny new-- utter gold when you're someone who cares about a place and it's history.

Last summer Sherman would come out to the farm occasionally and if we were home he'd pop in for coffee or lemonade.  We'd ask him things like "how did you paint that design on the ceiling?" and "did you make that live trap yourself?" and "what did you use that building for?".  Getting the answers to these questions straight from the owner is priceless.  He delights in seeing us make improvements and he loves to tell us about the history of the place.  Of course he also has his quirks-- that's why I love old curmudgeons!  (Seriously, I may have a problem... Give me a grumpy old man and I'll melt his heart instantly and fall in love with him, myself, too.  I think it's because my own Dad is such a grumpy bugger, it's the only kind of love I understand!).  Once you understand that everything in Sherman's life is how he remembers it when he bought it, it makes it easier to understand his perspective.  The Continental has sat out years, is infested with mice and probably barely has a useable part on it... But we saved that one, AND the other one he kept around for parts (which had a tree growing through the engine block) because "that's a good car, someone might want to restore it someday" (& often the "someone" is 87 year old Sherman himself).  I hope someone does!  I hope they get it back to it's original glory and love driving around a big white indestructible boat with suicide rear doors and the coolest dashboard I've ever seen.

I LOVE Sherman's perspective.  At 87 years old, why not remember everything when it was at it's best?  Put on your rose colored glasses, sit in a comfy chair with your cat, and relive the glory days.

When I found out Sherman was on his way to the fire a couple weeks ago, all worry about the
smouldering pile of shit in front of me faded away and I worried about ol' Sherm, adrenaline pumping, driving his big shiny red truck out to the farm.  When he arrived on the scene, Jon and I met him at his truck to lend assistance, but the first thing Sherman did was say "Oh, Teri" and give me a big hug.  In tough times like this, I'm even more glad for Sherman.  He has loved this place since 1972 and I can't imagine how tough it must be to see the devastation of those buildings.  It's tough for me and I only had 1 year to get attached. 

I look forward to Sherman seeing the evolution of the place.  He'll probably grumble about a few things, and that's likely advice best heeded as it comes out of experience.  He'll be able to point out a different perspective when we site our new buildings, being that he worked in this farmyard for 45 years.  He'll appreciate seeing things like the upcoming leveling of the yard more than we'll ever be able to appreciate-- it will soon fade in our memories that the farmyard was ever not level.  In Sherman's mind, the shop, quonset, and beautiful barn will live on forever, regardless of what replaces them, and that makes my heart smile!

I am so happy to have Sherman in my life.  I try to visit him at least once every week, and he's always so happy to see me it makes me excited to return.  He looks forward to our farm vegetables and my eggs from hens raised at the farm.  He loves to hear our stories and he loves to share stories about the farm.  I've missed visiting my Gran since she passed away last summer, so Sherman has been able to fill some of that void for me also.  He asked me a couple weeks ago if I would take Missy Kitty back to the farm to live when he's gone, I said Sure, but you're not going anywhere anytime soon!

Bye for now!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Nettles at Myrah Farm

There's a secret at Myrah Farm-- some of the best nettle picking I've ever seen!  For Mother's Day yesterday Mom and I went to find morel mushrooms at one of our spots.  There was some nettle in the woods, but nothing compared to what I call "Nettle Forest" at our place.  We are so fortunate to love these delicious weeds that to anyone else would be a nuisance!

Hoorah for nettles!  Here's what Jon made for supper last night:
 Mac & cheese with roasted root veggies, sausage, mushroom, nettles, and peas.  It was delicious!

Rivers Banner

We really are extremely grateful for all the folks who came to help, including our neighbor Mitch who was the first to arrive and brought a tank of water, also our neighbor Josh who brought a cat for clean-up and a water truck, and Jason who was seeing the field beside the farm and stopped in to make sure we were ok. The Rapid City Fire Department also brought a water truck. Dave and Donna came that night to see what was needed to get the well up and running asap.  There were so many helpful people on site and we are extremely thankful!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

One week

It's been a week.  I'm ready to share some current photos of the place.  (Click to view bigger versions)
I have shared the fire photos with family and close friends and will not be posting them here.  I am only putting these ones up so we can follow the progress of our transformation as we get things cleaned up and eventually put up new buildings.  I don't want to dwell on the fire and the heartbreaking photos of things on fire.
 Some positives: We hadn't spent much time sorting out the shop yet.  Sherman is done with using most of his tools.  The tractor, tiller, and hoops we lost were insured.  The buildings were insured.  The house was spared.  The buildings needed a lot of cleaning up and sorting.  They are making new tractors every day.  The combine wasn't inside.  The firefighters stopped the fire on the East side and saved our favourite International farm truck, car trailer, Jim's grain vac, and another tractor(s).  The yard light burned down and now we can see the stars more clearly at night.  The grass is already re-growing.  There is nowhere for the skunks and rats to hide.
 The barn: it was beautiful, but way beyond our needs and would have been very expensive to get fixed up- needed a new roof and other repairs.  There was 2' of manure and straw that needed to be shovelled out (still burning now, a week later!).  We only had 2 hens.  We had decided against having pigs.  Anything we had built inside was from recycled materials.  The wiring was sketchy at the best of times.  Our view has opened up.  The little grain bins that burned were junk anyhow, home to skunks. 
I laugh at this one, because this winter I traded 12 of these feeders with my friends Lydia and Wian, good thing they got them when they did!  Some of these may be useable still.  The pig food bin survived!  The staunchons in the barn were not something we ever would have used and were in the way.  The fuel tanks were far enough away to still be ok.  We lost a canoe that we never had time to use and a few canvasses that I probably wouldn't have finished painting anyhow.  My paint and brushes were in the house.  The paddles and lifejackets were in the garage!  We can get another canoe and more canvasses.  The leaves are out already, and the grass is growing back almost too quickly!  We jokingly call our farm "Wood Tick Farm" because of the vast abundance we have.  Eat that, ticks!

And so, life goes on.  Each day that passes things get a little easier.  With every week, we are closer to a different future for the farm, one that we get to shape.  The sun still rises and sets each day, and it hasn't gotten any less beautiful watching it from the protected cove of Myrah Farm.  This little piece of prairie paradise is continually growing and evolving, and we are focusing on all that we do have instead of lamenting the loss.  We can DO this, and we can't do anything to change what happened.

Our thoughts are continually with the folks in Fort McMurray.  We are fortunate we didn't lose our home and could stay here the whole time that this happened.  There is a hazy smoke in the air the past 2 days from the massive fires out West.  Our experience is a little raw so we have avoided the reports and photos, but it resonates very deeply with us and we are thinking of everyone involved in that devastation.  Ours was not a devastation.  Some buildings burned down and no one was hurt.  A minor setback, which will allow us to grow as people and remind us how many people support us.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Advice from Lydia

This is my friend Lydia.  She runs Luna Field Farm with her partner Wian, and we have become good friends, sharing our farming journeys with each other and enjoying each other's farm products.  Lydia and Wian raise phenomenal pastured lamb, beef, pork, poultry, and eggs on their farm about an hour away from us.

We are sharing a delivery location this season, so our customers will be able to order meat and pick it up with their veggies.  This way we get to see each other every second week despite the busy summer farming season!

Lydia is a very smart person and an ass-kicking woman farmer who I admire.  We can geek out over online marketing and farm bookkeeping as we are both in that realm in our businesses.  Lydia and I met last night for the first time after the fire at our farm this past Saturday.  I expressed how many people are wanting to help and how I don't know what to tell them.  She immediately came up with the perfect solution, one that makes me feel hopeful and optimistic for the future.

"When people ask what they can do to help, tell them to support you.  Tell them to buy your vegetables this season and tell their friends about you, so that you can recover from this loss.  Farming is hard.  It's really hard, and at times it feels easier to give up than to keep going.  The best thing your customers can do right now is to keep supporting you so that you can remember why you love doing this, continue to have it be a viable choice for you, and recover from this setback."

Wise words from a very good friend.  I did consider giving up.  But then I think of all the people who would be so disappointed, and that makes it necessary and easier to keep going.  So, thank you to Lydia for sharing her strength with me and thank you to all of our supporters, who appreciate our hard work and make it possible to continue on.


"Tough isn't about how many fights you've won, it's how many you've been in".

I can't find a source for this quotation, so I will credit it to Paul who said it yesterday.

Jon and I are doing good.  I was busy seeding yesterday, which feels like a most appropriate thing to do.  New life beginning!  Jon spent the day at home cleaning and fixing the remaining building we have.  It was used as a grain bin and has 6 different compartments.  One will be turned into a chicken coop, one will become a shop/tool storage, I might even make one a painting studio, as I had been using the barn loft.  Once you shovel all the shit out and shoot the skunks and foxes it is actually quite a decent building.  We will paint it as we planned to paint the other buildings this spring.

I'm grateful for all the good that has come of this loss.  We feel so loved and supported.  I have gotten to know the Myrah family better.  I have met all my neighbours.  I have gone through a hard situation and come out the other side a better person.  I have a deep appreciation for the people who put their lives in danger and fight fires.

This place was our dream farm.  I remember walking around a year ago in disbelief that we could have all the beauty surrounding us.  I never thought I'd be the owner of such a beautiful old barn.  I guess I never was!  We are grateful to have had our dreams come true for a moment, but we are working on creating new dreams for the place as we come to terms with the loss.  This gives us an opportunity to create something that suits us and our needs.  It's hard to think of something new while we are still grieving the old, but it helps us pull through.

Our thoughts go out to the people in Fort McMurray right now.  I can't imagine losing our home.  It is hard to hear about the fires there with ours so fresh in our minds, but we are sympathetic to the situation.  Doing a lot of turning off the radio right now, the reports describing the fire are too scary for me to bear.

We planted two shrubs, have been cutting up fallen trees and mowing grass.  Little improvements feel like huge steps in rebuilding the farm right now.  Myrah Farm, we're not giving up on you this easily!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Up from the ashes

A very hopeful sight this morning. Like this grass poking up through the ashes, we will perservere and get through this. Feeling very grateful for these little shoots right now.

Glory days

A few weeks ago while boxing up some things I found some old slides and a slide viewer.  I pulled them out and found this one which made my heart sing-- Look at that glorious red barn!  As soon as I saw it, I vowed to get the outbuildings painted this spring and back to their glory days.  Finding this box of slides was like leafing through Sherman's memories of the farm.  This is how he remembers it! I exclaimed.
Well, regardless of what happens, years from now THIS will be how I remember it:
 That glorious old barn, which stood for years and years and was good and true, and we only got to spend a year loving it.  I'm tired of looking at the burned pile of shit that is left, so I pulled out these photos from shortly after we arrived a year ago.

Jon and I keep looking outside and expecting to see this.  Every time I don't my heart breaks a little more.  It's been good to get away from the farm, and so I will focus on all the work we need to do now for the growing season.  Looking back at these photos, I can already see all the progress we've made here, getting the grass and junk tidied up.  On my walk this morning, I noticed grass shooting up through the ashes already.  We'll follow it's example and carry on, try to look at it as a new opportunity to grow and change.  I know I will never be the same.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Anniversary to us

I'm so grateful for the Myrah family's support as we tackle one of the bigger challenges we've faced.  The impact of Saturday's events will be with us a long, long time.  The hardest part for me was watching everything burn, while I stood back helplessly waiting for the fire department.  The bright side is they arrived really fast and saved the house.  It was no more than 15 minutes, though it was the longest 15 minutes of my entire life.  I can't get the sound of the fire and the flames engulfing everything out of my mind.  The firemen were amazing, they saved the bunnies and stopped the fire from spreading to the entire property, and even came by yesterday to check in.  So, endless thanks to Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department, we are forever grateful to you.

Sheri, Brett & Barb, Lindy & Al, Sherman, Darby, and Sherallyn have all been out to visit or contacted us to offer support and kind words through this tough time.  Sherman loved the farm 40 years longer than I have and so he can understand what I am going through, even though I can't imagine how he feels.  We feel like a part of this family and we are grateful for that!

Jon and I are ok, I am feeling a bit traumatized but hopefully time will heal.  We are still hopefully awaiting Roseanne's return.  I'm getting off the farm today which will be a good thing, I am tired of having my heart break every time I look at it.  We arrived in Manitoba one year ago today, and this is a very sad anniversary for us.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

10 Reasons Series: #1 Myrah Farm

When I sat down and began making a list of all the things I would talk about in this blog series, the one that was #1 was always, without question, Myrah Farm.  That's what I call the property we live on, in the tradition of old farmer types around here you call the farm after the person who lived there before you.  So it's never really yours until you're gone.

And then yesterday happened.

Yesterday we lost our beautiful barn and 2 outbuildings including tractors in a fire.  It was the scariest thing I've ever gone through and it's going to take some time to get over it.  All people are okay, the house is fine, the firemen saved the bunnies, and Roseanne the cat will return once things settle down.

But, my opinion hasn't changed, in fact: that's the thing about losing something, it makes you more appreciative of the stuff you do have, and it makes you see more clearly the stuff that matters.

I am grateful for Myrah Farm!  I love this 17 acre little piece of prairie heaven.  And the best part?  Getting to know the Myrah family.  In tough times there's nothing better than a hug from a friend whose heart is broken just like yours, only he's had 40 more years than you to fall in love with the place.

Thank you for your concern and kind words, we will let you know if we need anything.