Today, one of my oldest rabbits and friends, Miracle passed on. She was such a gentle soul, and I'm grateful I was able to offer her my love and care. She came to us in early 2008 when I took in 23 rabbits from a large rescue of about 300 rabbits the SPCA did... someone running a breeding farm had abandoned all the rabbits and they were starving in their cages and a mess. Miracle had a bunch of babies she could not feed because she had no milk from not getting enough food of her own. I bottle fed the babies, and still have two of them here, Peter and Yukon. Miracle was a very sweet girl and even litter trained herself because she did not like being dirty - probably coming from living in such an icky situation.
She was elderly and it was very peaceful crossing, but still, this was a hard one for me. I will miss her. Jim dug a grave for her today in our cemetery and I stood under an Aspen tree that stands over so many of my dear friends... it was quaking, the leaves blowing gently in the still warm autumn wind, like the many whispered prayers and goodbyes I have said there.
Looking back at pictures of her arrival distracted me for hours. I got completely caught up in the memories of so many animals, many passed, some here still but much older, that I felt both sad, and happy at the same time. Sadness for the many times I've had to say goodbye, but so much happiness for the love and joy that radiates through so many of our pictures, and memories. I can mostly look back with all love now. Time heals and reminds you to focus on the good, and the gifts you received from it that you will always have. But I still can't do that with Sammy. It's going on a year since he left me and my heart is still just as broken as before. Sometimes healing takes a lifetime, but it's important to not overlook the love, and the way it made you feel, and how it helped you grow.
I felt stronger today than I have this past week, and I was grateful for that. Yesterday we ran some errands in the city and Kevin had his annual heart tests done (which he passed with flying colors!) Our favorite grocer/friend gave us some pumpkins to bring back to the goats, and also some produce scraps which every one had a bit of, mostly the turkeys. Max was more interested in just getting a belly rub.
Then we also had a nice walk, the dogs, Jack, and I.
It's hard to believe but Rollie is now TWO years old! Douglas also turned 5 this week. Seems like yesterday both of them were just tiny babies.
We have been enjoying the strangely warm weather here and trying to keep up with our chores in preparation for winter. I have been slowed down the past few days so I was able to work on some knitting, which the dogs didn't mind...
But I do need a bigger chair, although I'm not sure it would help.
I've really been enjoying knitting boot toppers and lots of fingerless gloves... with my faithful assistant.
We have only needed a fire a few times so far. The Chihuahuas cannot wait until the fire is going all the time, it's their favorite thing no matter how warm it is outside.
We've also been enjoying the last of the color. This picture of Beatrice is one of my favorites from this year.
Our deer are starting to come around but many of our friends, deer we know and have named, have not shown up. Last winter was very hard on them. We also have a cougar in the area which doesn't help, and although the population is suffering and it's well known, the Ministry is not adjusting the hunting season again this year, keeping a longer season.
For 10 years I have watched and got to know the patterns of the deer here, and especially the deer we know well and some even by name... and since last December everything has been thrown out the window and is still changed. Patterns are disrupted, many deer are gone. But I have great faith a balance will return. I have to.
We have had some really amazing weather, sunsets, and colors this month.
Now that the leaves are almost all gone we can start spotting our Porcupine friends easier too. Yesterday evening coming home from the city around 6:30, we saw two Owls on our road as well which was a real treat.
Every season has it's wonders, but autumn is full of such bright colorful beauty, and then such quiet, reminding us that a time of rest is coming.
The guys also managed to get another planting of garlic in a few weeks ago - and we just got some more seed garlic yesterday to put in as Insurance... the first planting sprouted because it has been so warm, so they had to bring over additional straw to cover it up to protect it from the frost and snow that will be coming, possibly starting this coming weekend.
We've been getting lots of interesting things on our trail cameras lately, and this is one of them. He passes through regularly and we have consistent pictures of this bear, but this one he stopped to look at the camera. He's a really nice looking bear.
I doubt he'll cause any trouble. The real problem is the three juvenile raccoon's living under our porch. They have been here since August when they either lost their mom, or she kicked them out... but they seemed too young to be kicked out. They have been here ever since, and run around together in their little group. I lie in bed in the evening and listen to them outside the bedroom arguing. Several times now I have broken up fights outside the bedroom and on our back porch, they yell at each other, fight, and throw things at each other. It's like having unruly children.
I worry about my chickens, whom are locked up at night, but I still worry. But I haven't come up with a good solution yet. I cannot live trap and separate them from each other, when they have only each other and no mother. So I'm being patient for now and we'll see what happens. I'm really starting to wonder though if some evening the dogs are going to come in from an evening pee with three little raccoon's following behind them, acting like they are just part of the dog pack now and should be allowed to sleep in bed like everyone else.
Around here, I wouldn't be surprised.
This week hopefully we'll get some more wood cut. The ticks have been wild, and I mean wild. You cannot step outside the door without picking up a dozen. Hopefully a little cold weather will slow them down. I have a few craft projects I am hoping to work on as well. Today all the rabbits and all the dogs got their nails trimmed, so I think that's a pretty big accomplishment! I'm trying to adjust to doing only so much in a day so I can be productive but not set myself back. To me it feels ridiculous because before I really got sick and my last two operations I would have done 10 x what I am doing in a day right now, but for now I need to learn a different pace and it's hard. But I'm grateful I'm up, doing things, enjoying my animals, walking, and being productive even if it's just one step at a time.
A big lesson I've needed to learn for a long time is not to rush things or be in a hurry. I think nature is trying to beat it into me. Focus on one thing, enjoy that one thing, and drink it all in. It tastes better that way :)