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Thursday, March 12, 2015

March arrives like a lamb, without the lambs

There is no use complaining about it. We are Canadians and we are blessed with four seasons. Unfortunately, one of them is freezing cold.
I don’t really mind winter. I love the first morning when you wake up to a blanket of unblemished, perfect white snow. Christmas this year just wasn’t the same with mud instead of snowflakes. But this is enough, already. It’s March. Take a hike, Old Man Winter. We’ve had it with you.
They say you are never given more than you can handle in life. Well let me tell you, there’s a reason my family did not settle in Kapuskasing. We can only handle so much cold. Those people up in Kap get snow a solid month ahead of us and they keep it into April. And they’re still smiling. Winter builds character. So I guess we shouldn’t complain with our lot in life.
According to weather sources, this is the coldest February we have suffered since 1889. No, it’s not your imagination. February has had an extremely poor attitude this year. Let’s hope March is a little kinder to us.
The Farmer and I like to escape the cold for a week every winter. It’s a cheat move, I know, but we’re getting up in years and can no longer bear the brutality of winter for so many days in a row. We’ll leave that for the young’uns on their snowboards.
This year we almost didn’t make it. Our flight was booked for February 15th and on the 12th I woke up with a funny feeling. I thought to check our passports and, sure enough, they had expired three weeks earlier. Thank goodness for emergency passport service. Twenty-four hours, two horrible passport photos and $450 dollars later, we had passports that are good for the next five years.  Phew. That was a close one.
Now we’re into March and it has arrived like a lamb. We filled the house on Sunday with family and friends to celebrate a very special double birthday – my daughter Milena’s 26th and my grandmother Vicky’s 100th.
Just as cars were beginning to arrive I looked out the window at Cody the dog, who was not doing his characteristic hopping up and down for attention from the arriving houseguests. He was in fact lying quietly in repose. Something wasn’t quite right about it, however. When I took a second look I realized his left hind leg was suspended in mid air. He looked like he was a hospital patient, in traction. Somehow he had managed to get the chain wound around and around his leg until it was suspended in mid air. Seriously? Right now you have to pull this stunt? I traipsed outside in my high heels to assess the situation. Then I changed into more sensible shoes, unhooked his chain and brought him in the house. With his long, matted winter fur, it took three of us to untangle the chain and set him free. By the time I finished reattaching him to his dog run my pant legs were all wet. But people were arriving so the show must go on.
The Farmer made Grandma fish for her 100th birthday dinner as per her request. It was a recipe we learned while in Jamaica. Unfortunately, the Farmer has very strong ideas about how to cook and doesn’t always listen to me. I advised him to remove the seeds from those chilis before he put them in to steam the fish. He did not. As a result, at least two of our family members are choking on chili resin tonight. Sorry. My 100-year-old grandmother, however, is fine.
Around the farm, things have been rather quiet lately as we have no lambing season to prepare for this year.
Mocha has been ushered into the barn as she is showing signs of getting ready to give birth. Or maybe she just knows how to con the Farmer into bringing her into shelter, giving her hay, water and a room of her own so she doesn’t have to share. Either way, she’s in there and we are waiting, along with her, for that calf to arrive. We are crossing fingers and toes, hoping it isn’t as big as the last one, that got stuck.

The forecast says next week at this time we should be up above zero and hovering there for a few days. We spring forward an hour next weekend, and spring is certainly on its way.

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