Monday, November 22, 2010

Grandpa's Stuff

Last month I went out to Manitoba to my Grandpa's place and while I was there I took some photos of his collections of useful stuff ... I find these things intensely compelling and tenderly heartbreaking.

In Canada ... oh, the countryside ...

Back in October my friend Kate and I turned our backs on Toronto for a too brief stay at a beautiful refuge in the forest in eastern Ontario. A simple cabin far from everything except endless trees and a tiny peaceful lake - it had a wood stove, no running water or electricity but a back-up propane range ... we brought food ingredients, big sweaters, knitting and books and writing/drawing/painting materials, Kate brought her ukulele and guitar and we packed some bargain scotch too and we just melted into our surroundings. I didn't want to leave. I want to live in the forest. Is that so much to ask?

As embarrassing as it is, I am including something that I wrote while I was in my melted state:

In the canoe with a glass of scotch and a low golden sun and Kate with her ukulele on this little lake that I love. So calm - the water, music and me. The cool air and sunshine, the tree reflections on the water's slightly rippling surface, it completes me for this moment ... makes me right. My hair has become metallic gold across my eyes, blowing in my face gently. Please lake, save me from the ugliness of this world. Please let me take your strength with me away from here into the human wilderness.

Back In Toronto ... eating well at home

An old breakfast standard of mine on this grey, rainy Monday morning.
Simply any type of apple cut up with plain yogourt on top - I like Astro Balkan style original. I often put other stuff with the apples, like pieces of banana or dried prune or any fruit really and I like chopped raw almonds on top (or any nuts) and if you like sweet things, honey or maple syrup is good on top too.

Back In Toronto

After two months of being back in Canada I am beginning to feel somewhat adjusted.
One of my favourite things about being here is having my kitchen to cook in again.
Toronto is wonderful in the autumn ... and as it becomes colder it is a pleasure to stay indoors cooking my favourite things, or trying out some of the recipes I learned in Italy ...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

At Pasture

In the morning and evening we spend hours watching the sheep and goats eat in various unfenced pastures surrounding the farm. The kids practise head butting, running and elaborate jumps - they are incredible to watch. We return to the farm when the animals have had enough to eat - they just start walking in the direction of the stable when they are finished. We watch the sun evaporate the morning mist and we watch it set behind the Alps in the evening - the pastures are silent except for the singing of birds and baaing of sheep and bleating of goats.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some of my new friends and activities

Milking. I am going to post this and head over to the stable to try to master milking - I am not a natural - but it supposedly takes a lot of practice.

Ok, can you believe that this creature exists? Lots of them in fact.
They spend most of their time practising head butting each other - head to head or head to bum or head to ribs, this while climbing anything available. It is mesmerizing to watch.
The sheep are milked in batches of 5 and moved from their main pen to a holding pen as the batches are finished and then they are all sent back - but it gets crowded in the holding pen close to the end of milking.

This is Ryan the only make goat. He is very intimidating.
The goats are very nice. We haven't taken them out to pasture yet, so I mostly see them eating like this.

There are lambs too but as incredibly cute as they are, they simply can't compete with the kids (in my opinion).

This kitten is my favourite. He/she has the sweetest trill of a meow.

The cats are always lounging around on top of one another.
They are outdoor cats and allow only a quick single-stroke pet ... nothing more.

Prince Petulio is one of the most noble characters I have ever had the pleasure to acquaint myself with. Like Dago, when he greets me he places his two front paws onto my abdomen and stands staring calmly (searchingly?) into my face with his soulful and utterly heart-breaking eyes. Petulio is old and broken-down looking and has a quiver in his jaw and a sore leg but he jumps up on a hay bale in a flash where he positions himself to reign over the stable.

Dago the dog is trained as a sheep herder and is a wonderful friend too.

The fruit trees are blooming.