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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Feeding The Herd

I call this picture "Feeding the Herd". I took it over the hood of the Massey on December1
when I put the first hay bale of winter out for the cattle. They were good and ready for it
and followed along all the way to the feeder helping themselves to the hay right off the
front end loader.
Theres many a day that I would gladly get rid of the whole herd of ungrateful animals, especially
when I am busy at another job and the cattle are complaining for water/feed/ needing fences
Its also getting more difficult to keep a small herd as the new rules for cattle
identification will soon apply and all cattle sold will require electronic ear tags before
they even leave the farm of origin.
Mine are all home grown, no tags, needles, or antibiotics of any kind. If the day comes that
I have to upgrade my facilities and install electronic tags in all the cattle, that will be
when I get out of the business for good. It will be strange to break a tradition of over a
century of cattle on this farm but I guess it has to end some time.
But on a sunny winter day when the cattle are contentedly eating hay out of the feeders it
is not a bad way to pass the time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Same old, same old

Weather refuses to give us a break as we enter the last week of October. A time when we should be finished harvest and preparing for winter. The figures I am hearing say anywhere from 60 to 75% or our crops are harvested. Thats about right for my acres. In two out of the last ten years I have harvested into November. It can happen but the odds are against it.
Remembering the late harvest of 69 when my Dad sat out into the early hours of November 11 morning on an open 542 Cockshutt combine in below freezing temperatures to finish the harvest after an October similar to the one we are enduring now.
In this photo (not winter) you can see just how little protection from the elements there was on that machine. At least today, if we can ever get back in the field it will be in the comfort of an all weather heated cab.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Missing in action

Been absent here for the whole summer so time for an update. After a good start to spring seeding, things went downhill with poor crop emergence, frost, flea beetles, etc. A cold summer made for slow crop development and prospects looked pretty hopeless for getting even an average crop. But things turned around in September with record high temps that helped ripen the crops. Still later than normal though and the nice weather did not last long enough to finish the harvest. Sask. is about 75% completed (more like 66% on my farm) and the snow and cold temps have not let up for several days now. When (if) the weather does warm and dry up it will take quite a few days of drying before harvesting can begin again. Every day gets shorter meaning less drying time and less combining time. Can't start early in the mornings and probably won't be able to work after sundown. Good thing we are an optimistic bunch here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

We are approaching a historic date in my family's history. Easter Sunday, April 12, 1903 was
the first day my two great Uncles, Ernest and Arthur Nevard first saw Canada.
They had sailed with the Barr Colonists on the S.S. Lake Manitoba from England. No personal
reports but from what I have read, it was fairly arduous voyage on an over-crowded ship.
They got off the ship the following day, April 13th, Ernest's 25th birthday.
From there, a long journey by rail as far as Winnipeg, Manitoba where the two Nevard brothers
got off the train, deciding to go off to seek work on their own and abandon the idea of the
colony. They eventually got their homesteads in what later became the province of Saskatchewan.

Monday, March 16, 2009

1914 Wedding

This letter to my grandfather was written in great detail by his sister, Emily,
back in Lexden, Essex. Describing the wedding of their younger brother, Cecil Nevard.
I was tempted to leave out some of the minute details of the pink helitropes and such
but thought at least one reader might find them of interest.

36 Straight Road Lexden,Essex
April 16, 1914

My Dear Horrie

Now I have some news to tell you I will write . I went up to London last Saturday and saw Cecil married to Ethel. It was a
double wedding as her twin sister Alice was married directly after Cecil and Ethel. Of course one service answered for both.
The wedding took place at St. Mark's , Battersea at 1:30 p.m.
Mother went up with Cecil on Friday morning. Miss Dumm, Mrs. Cornish's aunt, went up with me. We met Will at Colchester
Station and the 3 of us travelled up together. It was raining fast when we left here but by the time we reached Liverpool St. it had
cleared up fine in time for the wedding. When they left in the afternoon the sun was shining bright. It couldn't very well shine on
them in the church as the windows are high and the church is rather dull. Not so bright as Lexden church. The Rector of St. Mark's
married them. Our Rector, Mr. Evans promised Cecil he would go up and marry them and he fully intended to but two youngest
girl Spurgeons wanted to be married on Saturday. The Rector tried to persuade them to put it off and tried to get another clergyman
to take it but could'nt. You see a great many clergy object to marrying anyone on that day as they consider it Lent.
The service was fully choral. The organ played selections before the service during the time the people were assembling in the church.
We drove in style in a motor brougham. There were 6 motors employed for the bride's guests, etc. The service was very nice. The
processional hymn was 281, Lead us heavenly father lead us, and the other was 578, O perfect love all human thought transcending.
The bride looked very nice dressed in cream crepe de chene with long trains. The dresses were trimmed with real lace. They had
white tulle veils and wreaths of orange blossom, carried bouquets of white carnations, lilac and white heather.
Ethel's two bridesmaids were dressed in very pale pink, almost flesh color crepe-de-chene and Alice's were in pale helitrope.
They all wore tunics (which is like a coat without sleeves) of cream lace tied around the waist with a girdle or sash. On their
heads they wore little round caps of lace with a frill round. The ones that wore pink dresses carried helitrope lilies, and those
that wore helitrope carried bouquets of pink carnations.
The reception was held in St. Mark's hall adjoining the church. It is a very large hall. You could put the institute inside it. There was
a long table down each side of the hall. On one table the presents were arranged and the other was for refreshments. The large
wedding cake stood on a table in the centre of the room. It was 2 tier, a large cake at the bottom and smaller one above, then a
receptable above full of lovely white flowers and smilax trailing down.
Mr. Cornish provided lunch for all the guests who cared to go to the hall before the service. We had ours at the house. The bridal
group with Mr. and Mrs. Cornish and the 2 best men had their photo taken with the cake in center of group. There was plenty of
nice dainties to eat, champagne,tea, coffee and other drinks. Piano and two violins played lively selections during the afternoon.
The brides and their bridegrooms changed their costumes in dressing rooms at the hall and each left in a motor about 4 p.m.
Cecil and Ethel for Lowestoft home, Alice and Bob, or rather, Mr. and Mrs. Duminel I should say, en route for Bournemouth.
We left the hall about 5 p.m. and returned to Mrs. Cornish's house again. We had supper and left just after 7 p.m.. Mr. Cornish
provided a motor brougham for us to drive to Liverpool St.. We had a good view of London along the embankment. We passed
St. Thomas' hospital, St. Paul's cathedral, Bank of England, and a lot of other places too numerous to mention. Mother,
Miss Dumm and I came home but Will stayed on until Sunday night, being his first visit to London he wanted to see all he
possibly could. We left a party of friends at the house.
Louie went to Sax station to see Cecil and Ethel as they were passing through. She took them some butter, eggs, bread and
pickles. Cecil has a very nice house and nicely furnished. Mrs. Newton, his landlady, very sorry to part with him...............

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Today, February 25 being the anniversary of the funeral of my great Aunt , Margaret (Daisy) Nevard, seemed like a good time to add a photo and a few details on her.
Born Margaret Montagu Winstanley in December , 1873 in Milbrook, England. Always known as "Daisy" she had some training and worked as a nurse in England before coming to Canada in 1909 to marry Arthur Nevard and live in the newly constructed log house on his homestead in Saskatchewan which they named "Winstanley Grove". Her medical training was quite useful out on the prairies, miles from a doctor. She often perfomed the duties of a mid-wife, travelling with a horse and buggy and favourite dog "Pants" .
Daisy and Arthur ran a boarding house/hospital for a time in a Regina home at 2081 Ottawa Street from about 1914 to the end of WWI, then returning to the farm .
Daisy died relatively young at 59 years of age from an apparent stroke. Buried at Lipton cemetery, 76 years ago today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Letter from Arthur to brother Horace

Letter written by Arthur Nevard to brother Horace about Feb. 10 of 1916.
Letter completed by Daisy Nevard.
2081 Ottawa St.
Regina, Sask.

Dear Horrie

I received your letter this morning alright. I am glad you received the JBs alright. I sent them instead of a letter
as I have been busy since the beginning of December getting ready for moving and since we have been in here
I have been busy fixing up the house but we have got it comfortable now. We have one patient in the house. She
has been in for two weeks and is going out on Sat. She comes from Pense, the first baby. She is doing well now
but has been a hard case. Cissy Southward from Cupar is here too. She is taking her normal class. She will be
here about another month. We have another lady from Cupar for a week or so. There is another one coming in any
day now.
I think it will pay alright when the warmer weather comes as the coal bill is high now the winter being such a cold
one and the house a larger one too. 12 rooms and bathroom. We had to spend quite a bit of money for new floor
cloth, bed, etc. but you see Daisy has been helping me pay off the farm debts so I could not very well refuse.
Besides she thinks she can make more money here than going out and nothing venture, nothing have.
The 68th are recruited up to full strength now I guess and may be going any time now. There is another regiment
being formed now, or will be in a week or so. The 195th I think it is. They wiill begin to recruit as soon as they can
find quarters for the men. The Lieut Col. is here now.
We have lots of snow this winter here. It is drifting quite a bit and makes a lot of work for the street cleaning dept.
and the street railway to keep the tracks clear.
I had my notice from the city and sent in my application but don't know the result yet and I would not care if it
was the end of March as it would be easier getting another job but they are not so plentiful now. I think several
have left the city hall. They are sick of it as this is the 3rd time at any rate that the civic staff have been considered
for cutting down and in fact even since the war started the council has been trying to cut wages and do away with
all the help they can but it should not be necessary to do it every new council that comes into power as it only
shows that the heads of departments and the commisions don't know their business in my estimation.
The Rev. Earp is at Winnipeg taking an officer's course. He is trying to go with the 68th to the front as Army Chaplain.
I think he has made up his mind anyhow to go to the front one way or another. I have not seen any Lipton fellows
here although there may be some. Grace Church congregration is made up chiefly of women. There are about 70
men gone in the Army. J. Took is teaming coal for Whitmore now. Joe and T. Borden are down on the farm at
Mclean. They are finding out they have a pretty tough proposition I believe and Joe is not happy at all. He would
sooner be in the Army he told me. Frank Borden's wife was not cut out for a farmer's wife and they have found it
out to their cost. They have not said it in so many words but that is the conclusion I draw by putting 2 and 2 together.
I hope you will get along alright with the broncho busting. I guess you won't do much til the snow goes by the look
of things.
As usual A is in a hurry and asks me to finish this off. We are doing alright, not making big profits yet out
of our new venture but just paying our expenses. As you know expenses at this time of year are great.
My love to Mary. I thought she owed me a letter but it seems its the other way. Jenny Dobson, Mrs.
Brinkworth's sister is dead and buried last week. We have a Mrs. Holland of Cupar here, a notorious woman
from Cupar. Her husbands in jail for bigamy, a lady from Pense, and Cis Southward who is studying
for Normal. She is a nice girl.
A says let the others look at this letter. He he's no time for writing to all. We hope to see you down here one
of these days. The folk are about the same. They came in to our place after Church on Sunday evening.
Mr. Earp is going as chaplain of the 68th. We will miss him.
Much love to you all, especially Mary and Dick. Hope all are well.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

January 15, 1942

January 15 and it is 67 years since the funeral for Alf Goff. This photo was taken the morning
of the funeral. It shows Alf in the coffin , a plain pine box resting on trestles outside the
door of his log cabin. Through the open door can be seen the wood stove with the kettle still
resting as he left it only a few days earlier.
By the angle of the sun it must have been around 10 o'clock in the morning and they would
likely have soon set out on the journey to Lipton for the funeral that afternoon. A long 12
miles by horse and sleigh with plenty of time to think. January, traditionally the coldest
and most depressing time of the winter. It must have been a sad time for my grandfather
and the rest of the family, losing the oldest member of the trio that had emigrated here
from Dorset, England back in the spring of 1903.