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Thursday, January 24, 2013

2012 was a very good year.

Whether it was ‘annus horribilis’ or not, it’s important to sit back as the year wraps up, and take stock of your situation. On the Fisher Farm, 2012 was a pretty good year. We had calves born on schedule in winter, and although I had to keep one of them alive with a bottle because it wouldn’t suckle from its mama, they all thrived through the summer and fall until it was time to go to market. We had lambs born in spring, which is when I like them to be born; not in winter when you are constantly battling ice. Ice takes over the water buckets in the lambing room before the ewes have had their fill. Ice freezes the barn doors shut so we can’t get in to feed in the morning. Ice freezes the water hose so we can’t refill the water troughs when they are empty. Spring is better for lambing, to be sure.

We only lost one lamb to a coyote that we are aware of this year, and we only had four kittens born on the farm. That’s a pretty good reduction from last year, when we had 40. Operation spay/neuter was a success.

As the grass greened all around us and the farm animals began taking care of themselves, it became time to shift our attention to weddings. Our daughter’s, and my sister’s. One in January and one in September. First came Anastasia. She planned the whole thing pretty much on her own, on a shoestring budget, and it was impressive. I planted flowers in containers that could be easily shifted to the wedding site, and invitations were sent out for an important date three months into the future.

We managed to buy and put away some hay in early summer, and that was a good thing. You never know what the season holds, but this year it didn’t hold much rain. Our land is low and a creek runs through it so we didn’t suffer much but hay was pretty scarce all the same. Some farmers in Renfrew County are counting on the generosity of strangers out West for the hay that will get their animals through this winter. A winter that is shaping up to be a nasty one indeed. I would have been pretty sad to see the Farmer sell all our animals for lack of hay to feed them. Many farmers in Eastern Ontario had to do just that. I wonder if we sold all our animals if we would start over again?

We saw a terrible accident take the life of a beloved high school teacher, friend and coach in June. The funeral for Ted Cooper became a celebration of life. It brought so many old friends together to say goodbye to the old North Grenville District High School for the last time.

Anastasia married Andrew on a 30+ degree day in the middle of a meadow. The memories of that day are scorched on our brains as the sun scorched our skin. The new Mr. and Mrs. Wiggins went to P.E.I. for their honeymoon and caught a 1000-lb tuna fish. Too bad it was out of season and they had to throw it back for someone else to catch. It would have been worth about $10,000. In any case, I think catching a big fish is a lucky sign. And later in the year the bride was digging for driftwood when she found a diamond ring on a beach along the St. Lawrence River. I’m hoping the lottery ticket she bought me is just as lucky as she is.

We wrapped up the summer of 2012 with our annual Fisher Farm party, and this year it fell right on our fifth anniversary. A perfect celebration of a commitment I would make all over again, in a heartbeat.

My sister married her sweetheart and we celebrated as the power went out on September 8th. Dad was there in spirit, in the form of a double rainbow during the wedding reception. You bet your sweet Aunt Bippy we got pictures.

We have so much to be thankful for, as the seasons go whizzing by. Daughters graduating, finding their way in life, one little success at a time. It’s time to look ahead to 2013, for its challenges and surprises are still mysteries to all of us. May it be ‘annus mirabilis’, a very good year for each of you.

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