Thursday, February 21, 2013

Try then judge ...

I am fed up, mad, angry, furious ... name it.

I am fed up of people who know better. Of people they think that the fact that once said Hello to them give them an instant card to judge every of my single moves, every of single words.

It's getting very hard to endure the contempt, every single day.

Today, my switch went off. That was too painful, too hard to read ...

I was on a chat I go often to practice my languages (I speak 4 - remains of my former life) and a friend was asking me about the cats.

A random guy passing by asked:

"Why was the cat attacked by a coyote at the first place? Why wasn't it inside?"

Judgements, easy.

Normally I would have defend myself, as if I would have been guilty of a humongous crime.

Today I haven't. Those words went straight to my heart like blades. The pain of losing Baptiste, or any of the cats who died recently is so there, all the time, screaming in my chest. I just couldn't.

I went berserk. I said tons to the guys. I don't even remember all.

But all I know is this.
Try it.
Before judging try it.

Try seeing a cat on your porch screaming of pain 'cause it hasn't eaten for days, 'cause it's alone, 'cause it's cold.

Try seeing them everyday with their cute face, try to say no to one that is a newcomer and begs with its eyes.

Try to endure the constant pressure of people wanting you to explain them why don't you take that one they are offering you.

Try to find them a safe place when all is deconstructed here, when it's -20 outside.

Try to sleep at night when you hear the coyotes through the woods

Try to invest your personal money to have them cured or every possible diseases they might have when arriving 'cause the person who just left it there was not as responsible as you are, to have them vaccinated, the cure the wounds where there are battles with other animals ... 'cause yeah of course you try to protect them, but good lord you are not God.

Try not to cry, when after all the efforts you've put, they finally die.

Try to be there 3 times a day to feed them well.

Try to search for them by - 25 on a windy night

Try to get out of your bed at 2:00 am in the morning when you hear one screaming (and then figure out it's not yours)

Just try.

Then you'll be able to judge.

Baptiste was not in the barn that day.
No Baptiste was not inside.
No I can't bring Baptiste inside.
Yes I could if I would. But would you live with 20 cats in your home?
No, then why should I?

Baptiste would have died at the tender age of 3 months old if that wasn't for me. Were you the person who stopped the guy holding the gun that wanted to kill him and his 3 brothers?
No? I was.

Then why don't you just shut up?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Glimpse of hope

We will survive ...

Smashing walls ... Regaining sanity

This is the second floor as it was on February 17th at 9:00 am.

Featuring Muscade!

The second floor was having 4 disgusting rooms, the previous owner never really finished them. We want to convert it in one large room and one bathroom.

This is how the place would look at 5:00 pm the same day:

Funny to see that Muscade took her spot back right away!

I destroyed part of the walls myself (sooooooooooo amazing therapy). And we got some wood that we can keep to build other stuff in the barn. So that was step one. Next week we will get rid of the other one and replace the support beams that were there 150 years ago.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Baptiste is dead

It was a coyote, we don't even know how he survived it. The wounds were too deep and too important. We had to let him go.

In Memoriam

Vanille- July 14th 2003 - Feb.14th 2013

Pirouline - May 2012 - Jan 25th 2013

Glouton - August 2013 - Feb 5th 2013

Baptiste - March 15th 2012 - February 14th 2013

Strudel - July 31st 2012 -  February 2nd 2013

Moutarde - April 2012 - Feb5th 2013

Enough is enough ...

The Beast

The day after Strudel's passing Baptiste came to me in the parking lot walking very slow. As I was already dealing with another situation (a newcomer that was really hitting on my Soleil that was amazingly receptive ...) I just check him a bit ... he seemed ok and went back to the barn.

Baptiste is what I call a potato-cat ... not moving a lot, sleeping most of the time ... you know a couchpotato ...
Day went by and Baptiste was off ... I talked to my beloved vet who told me that there was possibility he would have ingested some antifreeze too ...

Last Sunday Martin found him with a lot of pus on his fur. He tried to help him, but was not able to.
He phoned the vet but ours was not on duty. We have been told to clean up the wounds, what Martin did ... With all of the fur, and the fact that Baptiste wasn't that happy we didn't manage to find ... all the wounds until yesterday.

We brought it to the vet as an emergency as he was not going well ... He was probably beaten up by a coyote or fox, or something way bigger than him. I am freaking out.

When the vet showed us the wound that was hidden, I started to freak out in the cabinet, almost fainted.

He is stable now, tonight we meet with our vet to check what we can do.

Though, this, plus the antifreeze episode, brings the bill to a chunky 750$ and more.

And people who are like "well, why don't you kill them..."


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On your Mark, Get Set ... GO !

Omg! It's going so fast I feel like I am in a roller coaster!

Last Monday, Martin and I decided that it was time for us to put some challenge and more marketing in our farm project. We always wanted to be vegetable producers so we decided to offer friends and relatives weekly baskets of fresh products for the upcoming season.

We spent two nights planning seeds, and we sent the order yesterday ... I am so happy of that. But I can't help to worry, would that be ok, will we be good? Of course we warn our people that was the first and a test year. We are hoping for them to be understanding. We have around 10 years of gardening experience behind of us, but growing for us and a bunch of people is very different from growing for people.

Well, let's be positive, it will work fine!

On another aspect, the second floor is now empty and on Friday we start the demolition (3 months late ... better late then never) I am very excited about it. The second floor is the key move to get done with all the other renovation of the house. We build a second bathroom on the second floor, so once that bathroom will be done, we will be able to destroy (yeah you've read well, that's how fed up I am) the other one we have on the first floor and rebuilt it in a laundry room/smaller bathroom for the guests. Then it will be like a domino effect. The bathroom, then the kitchen, then the rest ...

The second floor will be like a master bedroom suite, with a bathroom and our bedroom.

I can't wait!

This is ... more for me than anything else... This is a video from a children program that was uber popular in Quebec when I was a kid ...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sometimes I'd rather be deaf ...

"I don't understand why you are so sad about those cats passing ... with the number of cat you have some of them must go at some point!"

Heard today from my neighbour (another one - not the land one)

Can't help but start to be very concerned.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Welcome to all new readers

Thanks to my amazing blog friend 1stman we have tons of new visitors each day. I am super glad of that. One part of doing what we are doing is being "alone". I mean in most part of the United States and in some part of Canada, homesteading people or wannabe ones (like us) are a few but a strong community. Here in Quebec ... we are laughing stocks, strange, marginal people. I blame culture difference and the fact that this "movement" is not well-known nor well understood.

Anyways, this being said : Welcome newcomers! I am glad to read your blogs, to talk with you and share with you guys.

Here a lil welcome "gift", a song I totally love and that inspires me nowadays.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Possibilities ...

We just talked to our lawyer. There is a possibility we would have to be obliged to sell the land to the neighbour. I am pissed. Please people, pray this don't happen.

Coming out of the Closet

Today, I make my coming out. Well, if you already have read the description of my humble lil self in the right part of this blog, you might know that already. I am ... clothes addict. But when I say addict, I really mean it.

In my former house, I used to have a 11 feet by 13 feet walk-in closet. Yup, you've read right, that's the size of a room. And even with that side, I would have trouble to fit all my shoes, purses, accessories, tshirt etc.

Back here in that in constant demolition house, most of the clothes are now in a box in a warehouse waiting for me to pick them back up.

Though, I don't miss them that much. Yeah sometimes I miss the days when I would dress up and get out for dinner or things like that ... but those days are mostly gone. I mean in 1 year and a half ... we've been to the movie theater once (to see Warm Bodies - don't even think about it, it's bad), we've been to a fancy restaurant maybe 10 times (this is nothing compared to the fact we would go 3-4 times a week before) so occasion to be all dolled up are very very few.

As I was taking a bath this morning (Fibro needs it) I was looking at the pile of laundry and I was thinking that ... there was already no room in the closet (and this even with the fact that most of my clothes are in a warehouse).

Something must be done. I mean, I want to be greener, I want to live as a self reliant person ... No self reliant person have ... ok don't hate me please ... have ... well ... please ... ok fine... No self reliant person would even dare tell on her blog that she has 93 pairs of shoes.

*closes eyes*
*waits for thunderbolt to fall on her*


I am still alive?

Well, so people. I am taking things seriously.

I am cleaning up this closet for good and I am doing it progressively (remember my clothes addiction being as hard as a cocaine one)

I will keep:

10 tshirts
8 pairs of jeans
2 pairs of pants
4 dressed tops
5 hoodies
10 pyjamas (I know that's a bit extreme but I am progressing, believe me)
2 pairs of dirty pants (I call those that way 'cause they are the one I use for dirty barn business)
4 dirty shirts
10 lingerie kits (yeah I know I know ... getting there)
12 pairs of socks

If I am not shaking I'll get rid of some purses and shoes too ...

Potato, potato

Hey Poppies! (for those who don't know Coquelicots is French for Poppies)

It's Friday, it's snowing (blah) and I am trying to be in a good mood! haha

I am thinking about my upcoming garden ... sigh ... and I just found this on Facebook. I thought I would share.

I think it's a very bright idea especially when one doesn't have much room in his garden. I will definitely try that ... If I can find a gro-sack ... Probably another thing we don't have in Quebec ... Do you guys think anything will work or it will not work well because of humidity?

I also found this? Does any of you tried it ?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

This is our land

Well, things are going from worse to worst at Domaine Coquelicots nowadays.

Yesterday, one lady from the village to whom I already taught Spanish phoned me to take some news. I was really surprised, people rarely call "just to take news" around here. Anyways I was super pleased by her call.

We talked a bit, about my health, about the farm ... At some point I told her:

"We still don't know if we will have the full land this year or just part of it?"
"How come?" she asked, surprised.

I explained her that since we are there, a neighbour was cultivating our land and that when we first arrived here we didn't really know who it was since he never came to introduce himself ... for days I kept watching the land in order to see who he was. One day, I saw him and came to him to tell him we bought the place and were planning to take it back. The guy obviously felt "attacked". After some talk, he convinced us to keep just a part and leaving him the rest. "you had a lot of work to do" he said "I can take care of the land as you are working on other things". The guy was wrong. At that time there was no way we could take care of all that land ... It will still be hard in the next year if all to us ... but with the coming pigs and ducks we would need more room.

We let him part of the land like 3/4 of it and we take one fourth to grow some tomatoes and potatoes last year. During the fall we put some fruit trees on the part that were us. We even buried some animals on the side of the place he was cultivating.

In exchange of that, he would plow our entrance ... Let say that this part of the exchange was a bit "puzzling" He would come to our place, just push the snow near the barn and go. Total worked time : 2 minutes max. Most of the winter our place wasn't that well done.

When the time to consider if he would keep the land for this season (2013) we went to see him and decided to let him the same amount of land for the next season ...

But this was before what happened in December.

In December, Cayenne, our dog, fled. Martin was walking her while he was fighting a strong cold. Since Cayenne is quite strong (the lil miss is around 80 pounds now and is 4 feet on her paws) he lost hold on her. Of course, she started to run and went directly to the neighbour land (our lands being connected).

Martin politely went to the neighbour house and asked if he can go and pick his dog. The neighbours are a family of 4. The parents, around 80 live together with their son (the guy who cultivates) and their daughter that are around 50. For some reasons, they never let people on their land. They seem super cautious and it's fishy ...
But heh? Who am I to judge?

Anyways, so instead of being nice, and say "yeah of course"

The old man started to yell at Martin, telling him that his dog shouldn't be here and that the next time he sees the dog walking by the place he shot him with his gun (note to the audience, in Quebec we are super anti-gun like very very against that, it's a super sensitive subject and people see that with a very cautious eye ... plus, that was 3-4 days after the Sandy Hook shootings) Martin was shocked. Took the dog and came back home.

Martin is a  very more calm person that I am ... When he told me this, I went into a rage. Ok, fine, my dog should not go on your land I get it... but never will I accept someone threats on my dog or on anybody!

I was about to go there and make my point when Martin stopped me.

"We won't make enemies" he said

"It's already been done!" I replied

There was no way I would accept that and I wanted this people out of my land now. I don't ask for them to praise me, but a lil kindness would be great.

They heat their house from our land, they sell products from our land! A lil kindness is just normal.

I put all the things together, the fact the guy wasn't plowing properly. the fact that when I go to his kiosk to buy veggies that grow on my own land, not only they ask me to pay, but they don't even wear a smile...

But I calmed down. Martin phoned the guy explaining him the situation and that since we have received threats we couldn't let them cultivate our land any longer. Plus, (which is true) we told him that we will need the land in the season.

Of course, the guy went berserk. Call us unreliable, that our word would mean nothing etc etc.

Martin got in the trap, told him he will think about it.

Days went by, I tried to convince him to let it go and just never talk to the guy again ... Martin called a number of time (5) and never did he had an answer.

That brings us back to yesterday night. As my former student was talking to me, she made me realize there is a law in Quebec where someone doing something on a piece of land for more than 30 years becomes the owner of the place. She also tells us that this guy was not trustworthy ... he went for years from place to place taking lands or simply not paying rents.

The shock!

Martin called right away, and we are talking to our lawyers this evening.

We think the guy has been there since 20 years or so.
Of course we have notary document proving we are the owner of the place ...

But still, that brings stress.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Outch ...

Calm down, Julie, calm down.

Stress kicked in, then my symptoms went back and now they are to the roof. (which is practical, we need to renovate that place too ... lol)

It's hard to be sick and stressed at the same time.

I have to get rid of stress. I have to get rid of that constant lil voice in the back of my head reminding me that one of them can be lying dead somewhere.

I have to calm down.

Anxiety is never good.

Autopsy result for Strudel

It's definitely antifreeze. In Quebec, we use "prestone" in cars like in many other places in the world. Sadly, those are not only super toxic for animals, but also very tempting for them (it tastes sweet).

I am having mixed feeling now. I can't help but wonder if I could have done something more. But I've never seen any of that in the yard. I keep my eye open.

Though, now I know that non toxic prestone can be used. I also learned that in BC it's even illegal to use something else than non toxic one.

You would have never seen a girl becoming part of a cause faster than this. I will fight 'til my last breath to make sure that toxic prestone becomes history.

Adopt a Cat

My husband and I are thinking about different ways to go on with the shelter.

We calculated that we can keep "easily" 20 abandoned cats in the barn. This is money talking.

Of course, shit happens. People still and will always drop cats on our doorstep, even if we are planning on sterilization (that will happen soon in Feb.), cats will always come.

Those are free range cats. Well, let say they spent their days on the farm with us, and they are living in a barn.

They have a great life, they run free, play together, hunt... They have a different life than the house cat, but they have a good life. They are mentally good, they play a lot, are sociable, cuddling machine.

We play with them daily, cuddle and pet them daily.

Well so what we were thinking is that, a cat costs us around 15$ per month. This include food, shelter, blankets, toys, vaccination, sterilization and a "oh shit fund" (cat can wound themselves, get sick etc).

We are now offering to virtually adopt a cat of the shelter. I will soon post picture of each of the cats we have here. So if you want to virtually adopt a cat contact us. You will be sent monthly newsletter about the cat, vids if possible and pictures.

Of course, adopting the cat, is a way to help the shelter, it is not a guaranteed way to make sure that one, the cat will never been given away (though that's a very small possibility, people don't really like farm cats and I rarely have demands for that that are serious), that the cat will never become part of our house (we have 3 places, when one of the house cat goes, we might offer the place to another one --- and since Vanille has cancer ... :-(

But we will give you all the details, and we will be fair and honest to you guys. I know a word isn't worthing much nowadays, but you can have mine.

So stay tune for some profile to be posted.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Autopsy on Moutarde's body

Moutarde's body has been autopsied ... She died from a mix of very hard flu virus and probably ingestion of Prestone (should I mention we live next to a garage)

Other autopsy result will enter as my favorite and precious vet will perform an autopsy on Strudel's body.

We are relieved it's not a hard incurable thing that is going on.

I miss Moutarde really much. She was full of life.

I have a hard time going to the barn now ... I hope it will pass.

We are still raising funds and I am thinking about several ideas, not only to go on with the shelter project, but to make it better. Stay tune.

To all of you who supports us, 1st man, especially. Thanks a million.

It's not going well ...

Strudel died last Saturday.

We brought the body to the vet, as we were talking of the autopsy, during that night, two others, Moutarde and Glouton died too.
We tried to save Moutarde by bringing her to the Vet emergency room but it was already too late.
Glouton died in Martin's arms last night.

My friends convinced me to put a donate button on the site.

I have already a lot of help by the vet. But just Moutarde attempt to be saved cost me 250$.

I am trying ... I am hoping. I am crying.

I miss them.

I follow my friends advices.