“Become dust - & they will throw thee in the air; Become stone - & they will throw thee on glass." Muhammad Iqbal *Beyond the bushes, boiling with dust, is 4Shoes West boundary road.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017


There is a mat, but it's there for you to wipe the bullshit off your boots before you step into my house.
Pretend you don't understand this at your own peril.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Happy Turkey Day

Y'all probably know how I feel about chickens in general... To me, turkeys are much like chickens, but WAY bigger, & therefore = even more flop sweat.
My Dad used to say that turkeys are so dumb that they will stare up into a rainstorm with their beaks open & drown themselves; not sure if that is an actual farm fact
(Turkey experts, feel free to weigh in with facts.or my Dad pulling my leg).
"Turkey" was also my Dad's favourite thing to call us kids when we were acting the fools. 

This close up of wild turkey feathers actually surprised me; I had no idea their feathers were so colourful & beautiful. However, I'm still not inspired to have a Gobbler on the 4Shoes. Unless someone else has already cleaned, plucked, & stuffed it into my oven, that is. Turkey: King of the holiday table. 

We Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving last month already because, Great White North here. Nonetheless, the sentiment of the holiday lingers.
From the 4Shoes to all our American Friends,
~Have a Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving~

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Cripple Buddies & Horseshoes

This pretty, tanned gam sporting a full leg brace belongs to my niece, SockFeet. She slipped on ice at her workplace & torn her meniscus & some other ligament, so she'll be needing surgery. These braces work really well, but they are hella uncomfortable!
There was already a good amount of snow on the ground here & temperatures had gone from Autumn to Winter in one day, dipping as low as -18* (-2*F). However, Monday & Tuesday were very mild - it got up as warm as 0.9* (33.6*F); gotta luv those 30* temperature swings,eh? 
It was riding weather for sure! 
Sadly, I had no camera that day, so I'm subbing in  this Padre photo from 2006 in Alberta. Trust me, Padre was feeling just about the same way as he did in this snap. Super fun ride down the snowy trails!

It was also the kind of weather I needed to be able to chip the mess out of the rabbit hutches. Mother Nature sure did catch me with my pants down this year; I was still cleaning out the gardens when winter arrived & I did not yet have the Rabbit Shack set up for -18*! 
In the summertime I bed the rabbit houses with pine shavings over a dusting of Stall Dry (dries pee quickly & eliminates odours). For winter though, I switch that out to lots of straw bedding instead; partly because it's super easy to clean up, & partly because the buns weave the straw together with haystalks (after they've eaten the seed heads) to make nice cozy nests.
Ever the joker, Mother Nature sent us some light rain late Tuesday night, which made Mr Shoes' commute home a white knuckle drive.
Just getting back from doing chores yesterday morning, that dirty slick of ice pulled my leg out from under me & threw my arse down flat on top of the back of my heel while simultaneouly hyper-extending my ankle to the front. 
I pretty much obliterated this same knee in 2010 & haven't had 100% functional bend for the last 7 years, so Holy Ballz, it hurts. A really lot. I legit had to just lay there & cry it out for a good 15 -20 minutes before I could flip over & get into the house. Good thing it was only -6* (21*F).
So SockFeet & I are cripple buddies for a bit; having worn this brace for 6 months originally, I already tipped SF off to place a soft, thin piece of flannel between the back of her leg & the brace to make it less irritating on her skin. Eh, wisdom comes from strange places sometimes but, however you acquire it, might as well share your knowledge.
 Hearing about my fall, Slipper was attempting to be comforting when she said to me,
"Well, at least none of the screws popped out through your skin Mom." 
Ack, even just the thought of that makes me gag. 
On the bright side, I have found an unlimited source of free, used horseshoes.
I don't need 2 good legs to play with my treasure boxes full of fun!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Knitter DESPERATELY Needed!

Manic Min Pin needz one 2 pleez...
 However, Saint the Good Shepherd does NOT need a hat.
Or velcro booties. Or sweaters. Or jackets.
Or clothing of any kind.

Saint is a dog.
Saint is covered in dog hair.

Saint is clearly made for harsh Canadian winters.
But still, let's be real, a LazyBoy is meant to be used.  "Ahhhhhhhhh... Zzzzzzzzzz"

& then there's Manic....

*deep sigh*
Manic has needz, & feelingz, & strong opinionz...
Manic does not like to be cold. Like, ever.
Manic is a dog, & she does have some hair.
Short hair that is pretty much embedded in every piece of furniture we own. 
And, I'm embarrassed to admit, our bed sheets.
*Head hanging, deeeep sigh*

But Manic is oddly smooth from the base of her chest all the way back to her hoohah.
Nekid... as in buck nekid.
Manic is a dog, but...
a dog who 
clearly is not made for winter of any kind. 
Manic has so many outfits that she has her own closet.

Yeah, you did read that right - her own closet.
I don't have my own closet - I share with Mr Shoes. 
*Manic demands that I point out to you her buck-tooth kangaroo, which is her most favourite squeaky of all time.*
Straight from the hairless little dictator's ungrateful mouth, just now,
"I am being held hostage in the frozen tundra here; please send me a warm knitted hat with cougar ears, size small.
Better yet, will some kind Aussie please send me a first class ticket to Sydney? I will not need all my clothes down under, so I'll only have a carry on bag.
I do so love kangaroos!"

Saturday, 11 November 2017

War is Hell; Soldiers are Angels

This Remembrance Day post is Dedicated, with deep admiration, to our future Son-in-Law, 

CombatBoot is 29 years old & has been a soldier for over 10 years; being a military man is all he ever wanted to do. Since enlisting at the tender age of 18, CombatBoot has risen by his own merit to the rank of 
'In Country Training Sargeant' 
Canadian Army Active Forces.  

As an instructor & team leader, CombatBoot dedicates himself to training young recruits all the discipline & skills necessary to carry out orders given in any situation, from training exercises (where live ammunition is used) to active combat arenas all over the globe -- whenever & wherever they may be called to deploy.  

In service to Canada, CombatBoot has already done 2 tours of duty overseas & been decorated multiple times for heroism. When he dons his dress uniform, his chest is covered in medals; not hard to see how this particular man in uniform caught the eye of our beautiful daughter, Slipper.
A wall in their home is papered with CombatBoots' commendations. I noticed one in particular that he was awarded in recognition of bravery; CombatBoot was leading a foot patrol when an IED went off, badly wounding several men. Without hesitation, before the dust had settled & the explosion still ringing in his ears, CombatBoot ran back through the frags of debris to save his men.
Reading it, I felt a depth of gratitude - on behalf of those men, of my country, & on a personal level as well. 
Mere words seem so inadequate...  
CombatBoot is the embodiment of all the very best that a man can be -- brave, loyal, selfless, intelligent, & decisive. 
He is one of that rare calibre of man who stand always ready & willing to lay down their lives in service to country & countrymen.
How can a 'Thank You' ever truly be enough? 
Yet it's all I have to give, & it's packed with emotion. 
Somehow, for the true Heroes among us, it is enough.  

Dear CombatBoot: 
On behalf of Dad & I (& our entire extended family), 
please accept our most heartfelt gratitude. 
Sincerely, Thank You for your Service, Sgt. Lee-Mac.  

Monday, 6 November 2017

It Just Got Real

Photo Flashback to "Rippin', Winter of 2007"
Nephew, Nike, going for broke with Saint in hot pursuit 
Saturday we had planned to travel south a couple of hours to visit Nike's folks & to go see Sandals in the hospital where he remains semi-comatose & unresponsive (his parents have decided to wait a year before making any further decisions regarding life support). 
But, as often happens in The Great White North, a storm threw a spanner into the works, so instead we stayed home & tucked in around a roaring fire in the woodstove, watching the snow fly off the edge of Mother Natures' temper. We might have had to draw straws to see who had to go out & do the farm chores, but it wasn't quite that cold, despite the arrival of full on Winter (it is -12* today - that's 10*F for my American friends). 

Yesterday was calm but cold as Mr Shoes got the first plowing of the season under his belt, pushing clear paths to the Rabbit Shack, the Borg Chicken Collective, the shop, the barn, & clearing the barnyard so that I can walk out to tend every animal without getting snow inside my boots. I hate snow inside my boots; sometimes I'll stand on one leg & try to empty a boot before the snow makes a puddle around my heel, other times I just power through it & turn my boots up over a register when I get back into the house. 

I pair down to a single birdfeeder in winter - that may seem backwards thinking, but the feeder that I keep hangs right out there on the back porch where I get to enjoy seeing all the activity. The Chickadees seem semi-dependent on that feeder - it needs filling every 2 days, which attests to the thriving blackcap population on the 4Shoes. There has been a single Blue Jay flying in to raid the feeder - sometimes a swarm of Chickadees will drive him away. I know he's on his own (so far) because when there are a pair of them, they take no guff even from an organized effort by the small birds. That Jay is almost impossible to catch with the camera, but I'll leave you today with this happy winter scene.   
The view outside from my dining table; these merry little birds always make me smile. So long as I'm alive, they will always be well fed. 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Forever Remembered

In Memory of my Brother who is 5 years gone today.
Daniel George
May 31, 1971-November 4, 2012

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Ferocious Unicorn

Raaaiiirrrr! Bitey Face Unicorn!!
So scary, right?
"Yeah, I was trying really hard to be scary, but then I sneezed while Mom took the photo. Not a bad fake, eh? Watch this now as I demand payment...
(Puppies, a word to the wise: Always make sure you get payment for whatever shenanigans your human wants from you!)
Mom, you promised me a milkbone if I put up with the nonsense - 2! I want 2 milkbones!
2! I totes deserve 2 milkbones!