It’s pretty easy to have a great day when you start it at the farm.

sheep blood testI woke up early to spend some time with Saïd before he had to leave (unreasonably) early for work, and once the kids were up, had eaten and were ready to go, we headed to Quinn Farm to feed our fish. Seeing Mr. Quinn’s truck near the barn, we couldn’t resist going over to say hi to Elwood and Pam, who we hadn’t seen most of the summer. We happened upon a live science lesson, as usual: they were getting a blood sample from a sheep to check if she was pregnant! This is the sheep with the damaged udder, so if she does have lambs, they will need to be bottle-fed. We tried (not so well) to contain our excitement at this prospect.

We learned about their projects for the fall and more ways we could get involved with the work on the farm. Then, it was time to cuddle Winnie and learn how to lead her on a harness! She’s a beautiful, strong, little calf; and my kids are more than happy to get her used to being with people and help out with the leash training.

None of this was meticulously noted in my agenda for today. All of this, though, was significantly more interesting and far more educational than anything I had planned.

We didn’t go straight home but rather stopped at the library. I had received a message that my book club materials had arrived, so I wanted to pick them up right away and continue planning. The first meeting for the younger group is just two weeks away!

I had packed up the kids’ math notebooks and Leila’s infamous Pirouette (handwriting). The change of scenery did us all good, and the kids worked diligently until tummies started growling.

We went home for lunch and to let the chickens out for a bit. Unfortunately, they have become crazy escape artists—all of them except my good, older girls Izzy and Atwood who obediently stay in the backyard. The others think the grass is greener on the neighbour’s side—not the one who has dogs, luckily, but the one who likes (well, maybe tolerates is a better word) the chickens. Still, our animals in their yard is rightfully testing their patience, and so the chickens are on strict lockdown unless we’re outside policing the perimeter. Even with that, we managed to lose the little one, Kitkut, and just minutes before needing to leave for Zahra’s first violin lesson with a new teacher.

We locked up every chicken except the missing Kitkut. I counted the chick good as dead because there was no sign of her anywhere and no noise.

Zahra’s violin lesson was great. This teacher (Peter Blair) will expect a lot out of her, but she’ll rise to the challenge. I’m so excited to find a violin teacher on Ile Perrot, too! After the violin lesson, we rushed home to be there for our friends who were coming over for dinner. And who should greet us at the coop door but that little, mischievous Kitkut. Still alive, but not for long if she continues these antics.

I just love this crew! We don’t get to see them as often as we’d like, but whenever we do, they pick up right where they left off. In fact, when the violin teacher asked Zahra to name her best friend, she answered “Julia” without hesitation.


After dinner and baths, we picked up our read-aloud book. With audio books and travelling and later bedtime schedules over the summer, we had gotten out of the habit of having a family read-aloud; the kids were just reading or listening to their own books. But I love family read-alouds. It’s my favourite part of the day. We’re reading The Egypt Game right now. I would say it’s just ok. It’s holding everyone’s attention, but borderline. Anyway, it’s a fast read and we’ll probably finish this week.

What books do you and your kids have going? I’m always looking for suggestions.