maandag 28 februari 2011

Twenty Forth of February Two Thousand and Eleven!

Herinneren jullie mijn verjaardag? Die prachtige dag op het strand van Prince Edward Islands eind vorig jaar (zoniet, scroll back!). Onvergetelijk! Wel het spreekt voor zich dat ik er wou voor zorgen dat mijn vrouwtje hetzelfde heerlijk verblijf kreeg! We zouden twee nachten in een 'sjiek' Spa Resort doorbrengen dus alles zag er goed least that's what we thought! Welcome at Jackson's Point, Lake Simcoe - Ontario.

This is the dining room. A little bit old fashioned is an understatement. They still had Christmas decoration on the table not to mention the fake electric candles they used during dinnertime. In the background you can see an old lady who represents the average visitor of this resort : )!

We had a lot of fun in the recreation room in the basement, playing pool and throwing darts like back in the days in 'Café De Ploeg', awesome! And next to the game room we found the entrance to the swimming pool. This place reminded us at our first swimming lessons at school twenty years ago, everything was so eighties! Anyway today we are so spoiled with all the luxury and the modern things that it's hard to appriciate places like this but guess what...WE DID!

Anyway on Hannahs birthday we had a spa appointement and the treatment was great! The breakfast in the resort was excellent and the lunch and dinner meals were good! Een kleine attentie van 'Haarman' op het einde van de dag maakte het verhaal af, geen verjaardag zonder 'brand new bikinis' en een kaartje, niet waar! ; )

Ons kort verblijf was dus niet al kommer en kwel en we hebben ons eigenlijk ziek gelachen en ons redelijk overdreven goed geamuseerd...dat is belangrijk toch? Heerlijk die onverwachte situaties met een extreem hoge hilariteitsfactor... : )

More FarmNews tomorrow so keep on reading!
Goodnight friends - Goodmorning friends!

T&H - The Beast and the Beauty.

Post Mortem.

De guanaco, Taschi is dood. Oud nieuws maar deze dieren hebben een prachtige vacht dus Rosemary besloot dat ze de huid wou redden. Er zat dus niets anders op dan het arme dier te villen. Deze onaagename activiteit gaf ons de gelegenheid te onderzoeken waaraan deze grote broer van de lama precies was gestorven. Dit, beste docenten en medestudenten, was een dissectie om U tegen te zeggen. Terry, beenhouwer op pensioen, hielp ons een handje. Deze beelden zijn niet voor gevoelige kijkers maar een fotoreportage is onvermijdelijk.

First he skinned and cut off the backlegs, that makes it easier to attach the carcass to the tractor. Because guanacos have such a long neck it's difficult the start to skin it the normal way (from tail to head) so Terry decided to skin the head first before hanging the carcass upside down.

Once we had it upside down the skinning passed by pretty fast! It's a matter of cutting the attaching membrane between the body and the skin. It's important to keep the sharpe blade in the direction of the body. In that way you don't cut any holes in your future carpet. I'm proud to say that I skinned a little part of it myself.
Thereafter it was time to examine the inside, the intestins, to see what caused the death of Taschi. Well, we can tell that his stomach was full which is normal but the small intestin was totally empty. That means that there could have been a torsion somewhere which caused a severe digestion problem. The second thing we've noticed is that his lungs where dark red instead of pink so they were full of blood. He also had a bruise on his head probably caused by a horsekick but we didn't know wether it was fresh or it was something that happened in the past.

The combination of sunlight and an emty ribcage makes you realise again how a body wether if its an animal or a human being is build so symmetric, almost beautiful to look at.
So in Belgium your neighbours would probably call the police if you were skinning your favourite pet in your backgarden. Well my friends, this is just do it and you drag the leftovers into the woods for the wolves or you just feed the carcass to your dogs...that's just the way it is!
Dit maakt allemaal deel uit van ons intens avontuur. We leren ook uit deze negatieve en sombere dingen des levens. We zijn dus niet helemaal zeker wat zijn dood veroorzaakt heeft maar er was alleszins iets ernstig fout boven onze macht. Terry vertelde nog dat het dier de dag voordien geregeld opstond en terug ging liggen en redelijk onrustig leek. Een kleine reatie van de reeds bovenvermelde docenten zou hier misschien wel handig zijn ; )!

Met vriendelijke groeten


maandag 21 februari 2011

Tiraislin Farm - Ontario: An Impression.

A little flyer in the kitchen gives the perfect description of our new home in Maberly:

"Tiraislin' is a Gaelic word meaning "land of my dreams." For Rosemary, the 722-acre farm that she purchased in 2000 is indeed the place where she can apply and enjoy both the scientific and the artistic passions that form her life. She raises Tibetan yaks, Highland cattle, sheep and goats in a manner that promises them "the happiest life they can have." Rosemary firmly believes in the many benefits that this stress-free farming practice brings to consumers.

It's pretty crazy how a woman of sixty-seven survives all by herself on this enormous piece of land, baptised Tiraislin. Well she does it and she does it pretty well! She has some help of friends, wwoofers and two Karabash to protect the livestock from wolves.

This large turkish breed is an exellent guard against all kinds of predators. Normally they live between the herd and become part of it. Daisy is three feet high and very gentle, she protects the property together with Ismir. This Anatolian shepherd is very common in Belgium especially in the sanctuaries. People bring them into our country as pets but after six months they don't turn out to be the lovely housedog they expected, sad isn't it!
A big part of the livestock is Highland cattle, these beautiful animals are very resistant against all kind of things. Rufus, son of Decklan is a massive bull but gentle as a little baby! The calfs look like little rockstars and are very cute. In Europe they use Highland cattle to graze in protected green areas because they graze very selective and they don't need much care and shelter.
Mister Rufus has some black offsprings. This breed grows very slowly so it's not good for any commercial use but if you have enough patience they do produce very good meat.
The second group of cattle are Tibetan yaks, these long-haired bovines are pretty wild so you have to watch out for their big horns! Did you know that they can cross with the Highland cattle, they call the crossbreed Highyaks.

The domesticated yak is used in Tibet as a transport animal. They also breed it for milk, meat and their warm fleeces. Can you see the difference between a purebred yakcalf and the running Highyak?
A whole bunch of other animals on this farm cross my camera every day...
This young handsomeboy is the last born of the big flock of sheep that graze on the property. He was very weak the first days so we had to keep him warm and give him some extra collostrum. He's doing great now...We call him Hent.

Meet Taschi, unfortunately this 18 year old Guanaco died the night before yesterday. We don't know the exact cause but his loss makes us all very sad! He was a beautiful animal, this is the last picture ever taken of him.  

And ofcourse every farm has his feathered friends everywhere, making a lot of noise and dropping a lot of eggs! Chickens, roosters, geese et les pintades...


Rosemary Kralik is an artist. She started drawing when she was six! She paints, she makes sculptures portraits and all kinds of stuff artists make! Some of her works decorate her house, that and many other things...: )

So here it is, the beginning of a new story! I think we'll have to write a book one day anyway... this blog is already a good start. Enjoy whatever you are doing and seize the day...SMILE!

Kind regards


zaterdag 19 februari 2011

Mont-Tremblant: Snowy Adventures!

You can not visit Canada and not feel how it is to board down a hill in fresh snow! As we will be in the Rockies during summer we decided to take a little Snowboard trip in Quebec's World Famous Mont-Tremblant! We arrived a day in front so we had the time for a dogsledding experience...let me tell you the story!

Expedition Wolf

Dogsledding is something we really wanted to experience in Canada. As I maybe want to do an internship on a dogsledfarm in BC next summer I have to get some experience in front to know what I'm up too.

Zo gezegd zo gedaan we konden die zondag een halve dag mee op 'expeditie'. An expidition means a guided tour in group through the forest navigating your own dogteam with 'allez allez' and 'wows'. It was a matter of finding the balance between your weight on the sled, your speed and ofcourse the strenght of your dogs. Interesting isn't it? Well it must be interesting if you have your own dogs or if you're joining a small non-commercial dogsledcompany whitch I don't know if they exist.
This farm had 270 dogs, you could almost call it an industry! Purebred huskies, lot of mixed breeds husky - malamute, husky-wolf and two purebred wolves. I think the first mistake we made was seeing these dogs as pets. Well they're not, they're working dogs and they have to work!
We would do everything in the world to make things as comfortable as possible for a blind dog. In this world a blind dog is just part of the team, somewhere in the work, to pull the sled and the poor thing was in our team!


We were six or seven teams doing eco-tourism. We barely had the time to take pictures and the hot chocolate break didn't even last ten minutes. The only contact we had with the dogs was bringing them back and forth two times from one guy to another, from the sled to their spot and the other way around!
The sport itself is great and it must be awesome to train and work with your own team. This experience wasn't bad but this is not the way to do it plus we had probably the slowest dogs in the world.The problem is I don't know if there's an other way to do it as a tourist. To end this story: we bought the first picture for twenty bucks!!!


We had a fresh inch of snow the first night and day, we didn't had any goggles and the visibility on the hill was very bad so we didn't take any pictures. But the experience of sliding down in the fresh powder was great! Anyway the second day we had a blue sky, a cold sun...awesome! It had been minus thirty at night and the temperatures climbed up till minus thirteen. during the day..I can assure you that sliding down a hill by minus 13 is pretty cold! Our face was fozen, we had ice on our nose but we had a lot of fun and the hill was ours.

Mont-Tremblant is definitely not the Alpes, the highest point is not even a thousand meters but the snow quality and the condition of the tracks are just awesome, the feeling is totally different!!!

So this is how we left Québec! It's a beautiful province with some beautiful cities...remember that Québec-city is Bruges and Montréal is Ghent so if you visit this know where to go and oh yeah they speak very silly french : )!

Au revoir Québec, bienvenue a Ontario...

We're in the new keep on reading!


maandag 14 februari 2011

The Masterpiece!

MeetTheMoose Productions is still on the road searching for the Male Moose! Big Antlers is what we want to see...In the meanwhile I finished my Felting Masterpiece a few weeks ago. Just to give you guys something to look forward to...till the day we meet the real one!

This little piece of art ; ) is now decorating Eugene's desk back in Clarence!
At least that's what I hope! : )



zaterdag 12 februari 2011

Cold Colder Coldest.

After our stay in Québec, it was time for a new adventure! We decided to take a trip North all the way to Lac Saint Jean. This is a 600 km trip through the Laurentians. We started the trip around four in the afternoon and after some snowstorms, very bad roads and the falling night we decided to spend the night in l'Etappe. The one and only stop on road 175 North to the lake! It was not a bad choice to leave the heater on while sleeping. In the morning the inside temperature in the Van was around zero and we were wondering if the heating system had failed on us but everything was still runnig...strange!
This is what the outside temperature said...

It was minus thirty and it had been minus forty during the night...I can assure you that this is very very cold! Breathing gets difficult and in a few minutes your hands are frozen, crazy!
We were releaved that we had survived the night without any problems. We felt like real survivors and we knew now that Annabel was ready for whatever...
So it was time to get our Old Lady started so we could continue our trip. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and it was already five degrees warmer, minus twenty five : )!
The Old Lady did not start, boosting her up with several pick ups did not work. The engine was frozen so we had no choice to warm her up inside! Luckely we have a very good insurrance because we drove back to Québec in the front of a Tow Truck : )!

She decided to start again around five in the evening so we had to spend the entire day in a shopping mall in the Québec suburbs! After spending the night on the Walmart parking lot we woke up with the spirit of real adventurers and we did the trip North anyway!
The canadians say we're crazy sleeping in an RV during this season and maybe we are...but we love it!!! And the trip North was worth every kilometer!

And if someone knows somebody in Canada who can find the way to our broken light bulb, anyone please give us a call : )! I think I'll try to do it myself one of these days, lazy mechanics!!! So we had some real adventure the last few days, up to Ontario for more!!!



Québec City: Cozy Grey Days.

We spend three nights in a cozy Hotel in Québec City! It was grey, snowy and Christmas again...crazy the city is still full of Christmasdecorations. The first thing you say when you hear Québec City is...indeed Chateau Frontenac! This big and probably extremely expensive hotel is built in the late 19th century in the heart of the Old Québec.

The first half of february means Winter Carnival in the city! The scene was perfect with a lot of snow and a lot of ice sculptures. This is a perfect moment to tell you that I'm the proud owner of a beautiful pair of Thrummed Mittens - this ladies and gentlemen is First Class Wool made in Clarence! It's a combination of David (Shetland) and Nero (angora), Thrummed with Pure Josef (Cotswold) and Made By Hannah, awesome!

Winter in the city so once in a while you have to spend some time inside to warm up and to drink some Belgian beer, the best in the world of course! I chose for a Rochefort 10 and I don't think this choise needs any explanation! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, delicious! They had a very big assortiment so we ended up drinking a big bottle of Lachouffe, : )!

 Can you see how happy we are? What we didn't know is that we were about to eat the meal of our life that same night in the restaurant of our Hotel! The food they served was amazing, unbelievable! Een topgerechje, peper in de reet! Nie normaal...; )!!!

Groetjes vanuit Québec.
Greets from Québec.
Salutations de Québec.


dinsdag 8 februari 2011 of New Brunswick!

Twee nachten in de hostel waren genoeg om deze kleine stad te verkennen! De eerste avond werden we uitgenodigd door de 'uitbater' van het etablissement voor een driegangen kreeftenmenu (lobstermenu) in het beste restaurant van de stad voor een vriendenprijsje. The guy said it was 'the Number One chef of the Maritime Provinces'...we knew better but we accepted the invitation! We zaten die avond aan de tafel met één amerikaan uit Seattle, één chinees die zichzelf Wolf noemde, één Braziliaan, vier Zweden, één Roemeen, enkele Canadezen, één indiër en één Texaan met Mexicaanse roots!

It's pretty crazy if a chinese guy who calls himself Wolf explains 'How To Eat' Lobster to a Brazilian guy! We had a lot of fun with this colourful bunch of students...I still have a long way to go if I want a beard like Weston! Fredricton is a little town next to the St. John river! We had one day to visit the city and that was enough to get a global picture of the capital. We had a nice walk through the small center and we crossed the river over the old railroad bridge. Did you know that Fredricton has 80 km of hikingtrails in and around the center? Crazy...

Unfortunately the weather changed in the afternoon, luckely I could take this picture right before the dark snowclouds took our shadow...Time for a visit at the Beverbrook Art Gallery where we couldn't take any pictures! The Tom Benner collection was awesome and when we left the museum...the sun was shining again.

Goodnight - goodmorning folks, tomorrow you can read the story about our amazing discoveries in Quebec city! I can already tell you one little detail...Peper In De Reet!


T&H - Citytrippin' like never B4!