First thing that came into my head – it’s been an eventful year.

Ten weeks

Busy. Always. Working harder, again. Watching it snow, think we’re probably ready for the big freeze, snowmageddon, whatever winter throws at us. Managed double the firewood we usually have time to get…feeling good about that. Managed to finally tie up a half dozen projects around the farm that have been waiting and waiting…place looks decent. Cupboards full…a relief.

Covid – it’s about so much more than a virus. It’s about supply chain, availability – or not of product – still. It’s about making choices. Vaccinate or no? No? Well where I live if you aren’t, then you get to NOT: go out to eat, attend concerts, go to a bar, fly, cross the border, attend a hockey game, attend the community Halloween thing for the kids….it’s a long list. If you are vaccinated you still have to wear a mask. If you are, you have to decide if your ‘friends’ who are not, are welcome at your house. In our case, that’s a ‘not welcome’ and no that doesn’t come with an ‘I’m sorry’. You have a right to choose not to be vaccinated – of course you do. I have a right to feel safe as I can against a virus that’s still killing thousands every day. 🤷‍♀️No hard feelings either way – I got other things to worry about than my social status.

The mood has shifted. Covid is turning some, many of us really, into jerks. Angry jerks. Rude jerks. I get it. I’m still trying, but my patience is wearing thin. We have spent the last…two? years keeping our heads down, following all the rules. Doing what we’re told to do. No gatherings. No big family Christmas. No travelling. Wear your damn mask. We were told, (rather optimistically I think) that collectively we would beat this virus. Most of us thinking sort, knew that wouldn’t be the case. And we soldier on.

Mother Nature wins.

The hits keep coming, BC lower mainland was hit with the mother of all atmospheric rivers. The lower mainland supplies the rest of the province with the majority of our milk, cheese, eggs, chicken …produce. Untold thousands of birds, dead. Many many cows dead. Many more to be euthanized. We were cut off completely. Every single road to the north (4 major highways) – broken. Landslides, mudslides. The engineering feat called the Coquihalla, completely destroyed in five separate places, will not be up and running for months. Yes, we can get stuff from Alberta – but Alberta cannot feed BC. BC feeds much of Alberta.

Hmmm – lemon loaf? Preserved lemons? Lemonade? Wait – there’s some weird cabbage things still on the shelf!

As a testament to where people’s heads were at, in one day, the shelves in the grocery store were stripped bare. People snapped. It’s winter, Christmas is coming – and still with the Covid. We’ve lost our civility. I had a lady gesture me to proceed her in a grocery line because I only had one item. An elderly man left his place some distance back to march his way to me and proceed to yell at me to get in the damn line. In Costco I watched a man storm on past with a cart full, took note half of it was full of Cheerios, and wondered if he were going to eat them dry – there wasn’t a cup of milk to be had anywhere in town.

One highway open now…essential freight only. The Hope/Princeton. (Or the hopeless Princeton- it’s a rather wretched road full of switchbacks and steep drop offs that if you’re not familiar with, uses up all your driving nerves). Freight is slowly creeping through.

People refuse to grasp, all the food they see in the store – it does not show up once a month. It arrives every single day of the year. By truck. From someplace else. It will take many many months for this mess to get straightened out. And the rains keep coming. One atmospheric river warning after another. Don’t get me started on climate change.

Well – how are we doing? Fine. Just fine. The cow is dry as she’s due in February, so I guess if there’s no milk, there’s no milk. Should we run out of cheese and butter? 🤷‍♀️ There are worse things. We’re pretty solid for a year, maybe more. Is it because I’m a hoarder? No. I stay prepared. It has taken many many years of thinking ahead to get where we are now. There are others like me, who are prepared as well. No, you don’t need a farm to be prepared. You need common sense and the ability to think ahead. That’s it.

Another blog I follow https://livingmydreamlifeonthefarm.wordpress.com recently posed a theoretical question, if we had to go back to rationing as we did in the war, could we do that, would it still work? (She put it better than I just did). My answer? Not a chance. Now that I’ve watched the fallout from the storms this last couple of weeks? Definitely not a chance. Fuel rationing has started in the lower mainland. No more than 30 litres per fill. Guess how many people are driving from station to station until they can fit no more fuel in the tank? Did I say the pipeline was also damaged?

Okay on a more cheerful note…we have a new puppy. Our last two made it to 12 years, and 13.5 years. I’ve never been without a dog, always large dogs. We decided this time only one dog, which we intend to have as a more inside than outside dog. I like my guard dogs – all my dogs have had that job. We’re rural. Theft takes place on a regular basis. So under the heading of ‘what was I really thinking’ we picked up a Neapolitan Mastiff. I absolutely love this puppy – but there is yet to be a single day where I am not training him to do something, or not do something…they are smart, stubborn as hell. He is 8 months old now, but still considered a puppy. He is also 130 pounds already and will get bigger yet. When he gets the puppy zoomies, my furniture gets rearranged. Every time he drinks water his face needs to be wiped (therefore in his head ALL the towels in the house are his by default, as is the laundry, and the socks, and….) he is not allowed toys in the house because he flings them with surprising force at everything. His outside ‘toy’ is a truck tire with a lead rope tied around it – and yes he drags that around no problem. He snores as loud as my hubby, and he has gas that wilts house plants. He is very attached to his ‘people’. He is very good at guarding his people. He is a huge handful, but I’m getting through it. I am also training my hubby – who thinks if you love something hard enough there is no training required 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ and then wonders why he can’t sit at the kitchen table without the dog trying to get in his lap and chew on his head. I’ll try to remember to update my readers on the puppy project.

Yum. Firewood.

I hope all of you are doing well, getting through whatever it is you’ve been tasked with getting through. Know I think of every one of you often 😊

8 months
My name is Neo and I’m a moose, and cardboard is my second favourite thing after firewood.

About valbjerke

Farmer, Transmission Rebuilder, Self Sufficiency Nut. Like the old school way of doing things. "Fast is fine - accuracy is final" (quote by some way back famous gun-slinger - likely just before he got shot dead)
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15 Responses to Eventful

  1. DM says:

    Loved reading your update! That is some puppy. DM

  2. Ardith Merton says:

    Enjoyed reading the blog here in Ontario and just love your puppy Neo and your description of his antics!

  3. cookietosser says:

    If you ever need reminding- I think I still have a screenshot of the conversation we had about how you’d thought lots about it and getting a mastiff was really the best idea you’ve ever had 😂❤️

  4. avwalters says:

    What’s his name? We have a new kitten–(Milt) but kitten zoomies don’t have the same impact as a 130 pound puppy. Sorry to hear about the atmospheric river dislocation. Maybe, just maybe, the level of devastation will get the powers that be to sit up and take notice.

  5. avwalters says:

    Oops, just saw the name in the caption. Neo, eh?

  6. Eydie says:

    Well said, Val Really enjoy reading your blog, very informative,and that Neo is some puppy. Our world is sure in some kind of disarray, hopefully it can or will improve. Take care.

  7. 247paulgray says:

    Wow! So that’s what happens when you dose a rottweiler on speed and steroids.
    Still it will save you chopping wood.
    Has he started on the kitchen table legs?
    Ours loved them.
    Keep safe.

  8. marilyn says:

    Good to read an update. Neo is getting huge! What a cutie. Happy to know you are well stocked and prepared. 🙂

  9. DM says:

    So, was telling my wife about the grumpy guy @ the grocery store who told you to get back in line.. inquiring minds would like to know 🙂 What did you do?

    • valbjerke says:

      Well as I was ‘next up’ at the checkout, I simply stayed put. The customer ahead of me was already paying. I could see if I had a whole basket of groceries, the old guy would have had a point…but one item? I’ve always let people in front of me who have just a few things – seems like common courtesy. 😊

  10. steveknife says:

    Hope this means you go back to blogging … I have but branching out a bit

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