Birdsong Farm

We don't inherit the land from our ancestors.
We borrow it from our children.

Blog

Welcome to Birdsong Farm's blog/website. I am currently in the process of transferring my website to a new design and hosting program, and will share the link here as soon as I am finished. In the meantime, I invite you to visit my blog, and check back soon.

You can contact me at naomisbirdsong@gmail.com or 250-838-0235.

Naomi

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Tattooing Your Jersey Calf, Part II

Posted by Naomi Fournier on September 8, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

This is the second post in a two-part series about tattooing your Jersey calf; please click here to read the first post.


I've found that tattooing takes at least two people (one to restrain the calf and one to tattoo), so I always ask one of my brothers or sisters to give me a hand. A younger sibling often tags along as well and hands me my pliers, ink, et cetera as I ask for them. If no brothers are handy when you tattoo, I recommend that you ask a friend or neighbour to assist you. ;)


Prepare your calf 


The first step is restraining your calf. I'm always amazed at how strong a two-week-old heifer is, so strong brothers are very handy. :D



Alexandra is restrained and ready for tattooing.


After your calf is restrained, you will want to clean the inside of her ears with a soft cloth or paper towel wet with plain water, and then with a cotton ball or pad wet with the antiseptic of your choice. Calf ears are often quite waxy (that's a good thing—waxy ears are a sign of high butterfat milk in her future), so it might take a bit of work to get them squeaky clean.


Tattoo!


Your herd tattoo letters go in your calf's right ear, and the animal number and year letter go in your calf's left ear. Remember that the calf's ears are reversed when you are facing her (her right ear is on your left and vice versa).


Traditionally, the tattoos were placed between the two ribs in the calf's ear, but now that Canadian farmers are required to tag dairy cattle before they leave their farm of birth many farmers place the tattoos above the top rib and reserve the space between the two ribs for the tags. I place all my tattoos above the top rib; this way the tattoo isn't in the way when I tag the calf at a later date, and if the tags ever rip out the tattoo is not damaged.



Alexandra's ear before washing. You can clearly see the two ribs in this photo; the tattoo will be placed between the top rib and the top of her ear.


Most farmers will apply the ink to the ear before tattooing; I always tattoo first and then double check the letters and readability of the tattoo before I apply the ink. This way if I make a mistake while I'm tattooing, it's easy to fix—I skip the ink and retattoo in a couple weeks. ;)


When your calf's ears are dry, double check your tattoo digits and position your tattoo pliers, remembering to watch out for the big blood veins (if you hit one of the big veins the blood can damage your tattoo; the small veins are fine). When the tattoo pliers are in position, I gently squeeze them so that the positive ear release is touching the ear, but the tattoo needles are not. Ask your assistant to keep the calf from squirming while you squeeze the pliers, and then count to three...one...two...three...and squeeze on three. Squeeze the pliers firmly (you'll feel a little "crunch") for a deep, clear tattoo. The positive ear release on the Stone tattoo pliers releases the ear from the tattoo needles and keeps the tattoo crisp and clear with no scratches.


All set and ready to squeeze in one...two...three!


Check your handiwork, and if everything looks good apply ink to the tattoo. I rub the ink in with my thumb and a soft toothbrush that I've reserved for tattooing and keep with my tattoo kit. You may want to apply ink two or three times to get good coverage—you want to make a tattoo that lasts the lifetime of the cow. Leave the extra ink on; it will dry out and flake off.



Checking the tattoo...



...and applying the ink.


When you are finished, repeat on the other ear, remembering to change your tattoo digits. I always tattoo the right ear with my herd letters first, and then tattoo the left ear with the animal number and year letter.


Congratulations! You've finished tattooing your first calf! You'll find that tattooing gets easier every time—it took me two and a half calves (five ears) to stop cringing with the "crunch". :D



Alexandra's completed tattoo two weeks later.

Tattooing Your Jersey Calf, Part I

Posted by Naomi Fournier on August 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

There are two new baby calves on the farm—Birdsong Princess Alexandra (born May 30, 2014) and Birdsong Golden Buttercup (born July 13, 2014)—and over the next few months I am going to write a series of blog posts about tattooing, tagging, and registering a calf with Jersey Canada, with Alexandra and Buttercup as my models. :D


When registering a calf with Jersey Canada, you are required to tattoo or tag her first. I tattoo and tag, but both are not required and many dairy farmers choose to tag but not tattoo. I choose to tattoo because tags can get lost, plus it's a lot harder to tamper with a tattoo than with a tag!


I tattoo my calves when they are between one and three weeks of age. I don't like to tattoo earlier than one week because I want to give my calves a chance to "get on their feet" first, or after three weeks because the calves are harder to restrain.


Register your herd tattoo letters


Before you start doing any tattooing, you are required to register your herd tattoo letters with Jersey Canada for $5 plus tax. Your herd tattoo letters are three or four digits that are tattooed in the right ear of every calf that you register. This tattoo will identify you as the owner of the calf when she was born. For example, if you buy a bred cow and register her calf, you will tattoo the calf with your herd tattoo letters, not the herd tattoo letters of the previous owner.


You can choose letters or letters and numbers for your herd tattoo, and often farmers will choose their initials or the initials of their farm name. For example, I registered my initials, NKF, as my herd tattoo while my friend Melanie Guttner from Butterkup Farms in Pink Mountain, BC registered her farm initials, BKF, as her herd tattoo. But you aren't limited to initials—I found Jersey farmers with COW and MOO registered as their herd tattoo letters!


Purchase your tattoo kit


The two brands of livestock tattoo equipment that I am aware of are Ketchum and Stone. I ordered my tattoo kit from Valley Vet Supply in Marysville, Kansas. They've got a great mail-order catalogue and good prices. 


You will want to buy the following items for your tattoo kit:


Tattoo pliers     When I researched my options for tattoo pliers, I really liked the look as well as the price of the Stone brand, and the positive ear release was a big plus for me. Stone sells 3/16 inch, 5/16 inch, and 3/8 inch tattoo kits (that's the size of the tattoo digits); the 3/8 inch kit is your best choice for tattooing calves.


I wanted to keep my herd tattoo letters in my pliers all the time, so ordered the 3/8 inch revolving head tattoo kit. I'm glad I did, because it makes tattooing a breeze—no switching digits between ears, no searching for lost digits in the grass or hay, and no tattooing errors because I reversed the digits by mistake. 


Complete alphabet set (A-Z)     You can buy your tattoo letters one by one, but it's a lot cheaper (15% cheaper before adding postage costs) to buy a complete set. Remember to match your tattoo digit size to your plier size, or they will not fit. For example, if you buy 3/8 inch pliers, you'll want to buy 3/8 inch digits.


Complete number set (0-9)     You can buy your tattoo numbers one by one as well, but again, it's a lot cheaper to buy a complete set. My tattoo pliers already came with a complete number set, like all of the Stone tattoo kits from Valley Vet Supply.


Extra tattoo digits     If you want to keep your herd tattoo in your pliers all the time, you might want to buy an extra set of the letters (or letters and numbers) that are registered as your herd tattoo letters. I ordered an extra N, K, and F for my herd tattoo letters.


If you think you'll be tattooing a lot of calves (or goat kids :) ) you may want to buy a couple extra numbers as well. I ordered an extra 1 and 2, and with these two extra digits I can tattoo as high as 32! (So far I've never tattooed higher than 2 with my Jerseys and 4 with my Nubians.)


Tattoo ink     You can buy tattoo ink in black, green, or white, and as a liquid, paste, or roll-on. Green is your best choice because it is visible in both dark and light ears. My tattoo kit came with black liquid tattoo ink like all of the Stone tattoo kits from Valley Vet Supply, but I ordered green roll-on ink as well and really like it because there are no messy spills and the ink will not dry out between calves.


Soft cloth or paper towel     You will want to clean your calf's ears before you start tattooing. Paper towels are fine, but I like the microfiber dairy towels wet with plain water because they are so soft and remove 99% of bacteria, plus I can rewash them for the next calf.


Antiseptic/disinfectant     You will want to clean your calf's ears with an antiseptic before you tattoo, and will want to clean your tattoo digits with a disinfectant both before and after tattooing. 


Cotton balls or pads     I pour a little antispetic/disinfectant on cotton balls or pads to clean my calf's ears and the tattoo digits and kill any bacteria.


Soft toothbrush     You might want to buy a soft toothbrush to rub the ink in the tattoo you've made.


Sponge     A sponge works really well for cleaning your tattoo digits when you're finished.


Storage box     You can buy fancy storage boxes for your tattoo kit, but I purchased a clear 4 liter Really Useful Box from Staples instead and my brothers cut me a piece of 1 inch rigid foam insulation to store my tattoo digits in. It was a lot cheaper and I'm really happy with it.




Prepare your tattoo equipment


Find your herd tattoo letters and insert them in your tattoo pliers. Since you tattoo your herd letters in your calf's right ear, I highly recommend that you insert the digits starting from the left side for a crisp, clear tattoo; if you insert the digits starting from the right side the tattoo will be closer to the outside of the ear and not as nice. Remember to insert the digits backward as well; I inserted my herd tattoo letters, NKF, as FKN. When you are finished, check for mistakes by tattooing a piece of heavy paper first. I never take my herd tattoo letters out of my pliers, but I still double check them every time I tattoo 'cause it's a lot easier to fix a mistake before I start doing any tattooing! 




Next, choose your animal number and the year letter and insert them in the other side of your tattoo pliers. Since you tattoo your animal number and the year letter in your calf's left ear, I highly recommend that you insert the digits starting from the right side for a crisp, clear tattoo.


The year letter is assigned by Jersey Canada, and the letter for 2014 is 'B'. You will tattoo the first calf that you register in 2014 with 1B, the second calf with 2B, and the third calf with 3B. For example, Alexandra is tattooed with NKF in her right ear and 1B in her left ear, and Buttercup is tattooed with NKF in her right ear and 2B in her left ear.


The year letter for 2015 is 'C', so next year you will tattoo your calves as 1C, 2C, 3C... The letters I, O, Q, and V are not designated as year letters, so the rest of the letters in the alphabet are repeated every 22 years. For example, you will find animals tattooed with the letter 'B' in 1992, 2014, and again in 2036.




Remember that you will want to insert the digits backward again (1B will be inserted as B1), and when you are finished check for mistakes by tattooing a piece of heavy paper first.




After you've checked (and maybe double checked ;) ) your herd tattoo letters and the animal number/year letter, it's time to clean the tattoo digits with your disinfectant of choice. Now you're ready to tattoo your first calf!


This is the first post in a two-part series about how to tattoo your Jersey calf; please click here to read the second post.

Wearing Red

Posted by Naomi Fournier on June 22, 2014 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Did you wear red on Tuesday, June 10, 2014? Our whole family was wearing red that day in memory of the three RCMP officers who were killed in Moncton, New Brunswick on Friday, June 6, 2014: Constable Douglas James Larche, Constable David Joseph Ross, and Costable Fabrice Georges Gevaudan.


Here are a few family pictures that we took that day:



Dad & Mum



The Four Girls



The Five Boys

Designing Birdsong Farm's Business Card

Posted by Naomi Fournier on May 27, 2014 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I've had my farm logo for about eight months now, so I thought that it was time to get business cards printed. There are various pre-designed business cards available (the type where you choose a design and then add your logo and type in your name, address, and phone number), but I wasn't really happy with any of the options...so I had my business cards custom designed by Pure Graphics in Enderby. (Pure Graphics is the business that designed my farm logo; please click here to read about that story.)




Naturally, I wanted my business card to feature my lovely new logo, and I wanted my name, email address, phone number, website, and Facebook page listed on the card as well. I thought that it might be nice to add my farm quote (We don't inherit the land from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.), plus a list of what the farm offers (Jersey cows, Nubian goats, and cheese making workshops).


Becky Shuert, the owner of Pure Graphics, asked if I wanted a photo on the card as well, maybe as a background. That hadn't even crossed my mind, so Becky let me look through a binder filled with other business cards that she had designed for ideas. I liked the look of the business cards that had a background photo, so promised her that I would send her two or three of my favourite farm photos. When I got home later that day, I emailed her my favourite photo of Daisy as well as my favourite photo of the cows out on pasture.


Holly Kormany was the graphic designer who worked on my project, and about a week later I received an email from her with the first proof. It featured five business cards to give me a bit of an 'idea board' that I could work from:




I was so impressed with all the designs that I actually squealed when I opened the email! It was hard to choose, but I went with design #5 because I liked it the best. :)


I didn't like how Princess Sonja's rump was cut off, so I asked Holly to change that. I asked her to add my name to the card as well, and switch the quote and list of what the farm offers around.




After receiving the next proof, I asked Holly to make my name larger and my phone number smaller, and add the link for my Facebook page. Holly recommended removing the quote to keep the business card from being too crowded, and shifting the layout around a little as well. This was the result:




I was happy with the new look of my business card, but requested that Holly switch my phone number and email address around. Email is the best way to get in touch with me, so I wanted to encourage that by listing my email address first. I asked Holly to change 'cheese making' to 'cheese workshops' as well.




I was almost happy with my business card, but thought that the card looked a little heavy with the extra text on the right side. So I asked Holly to take the list of what the farm offers and put it under the logo instead.




She did that, and changed the bullets from black to purple as well 'cause she thought it looked better that way. I agreed with her, and was very happy with that design. My new business card was finished!


Pure Graphics offers printing services, but in the end I ordered 500 business cards, printed on matte paper, from Staples Copy & Print because it was less costly.


I think my new business cards look amazing, and am very happy that I paid the excellent graphic designers at Pure Graphics to design it.

It's Time to Vote Again!

Posted by Naomi Fournier on May 21, 2014 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you remember Jersey Canada's fun youth photo contest last spring, when Anna's amazing picture of Daisy placed third out of fifty entries?


For this year's contest, youth between the ages of 9 and 21 were again asked to submit their favourite Jersey photos, and my sister Anna submitted this picture she took of our youngest sister Rhoda with BIRDSONG PRINCESS GRACE.




All of the entries were posted on the Jersey Canada Facebook page on Friday, and the winning photographs will be chosen by the number of 'likes' they receive. The contest ends on June 8th, and prizes will be awarded to the top three photos.


So please, click on this link https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152398068157618.1073741837.46252262617&type=1 and vote for Anna's picture by 'liking' it, and please ask your friends to vote too!


June 8, 2014 Anna's photo of Grace and Rhoda placed 7th out of twenty three entries. Thank you to everyone who voted!

Searching the Canadian Dairy Network

Posted by Naomi Fournier on April 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

If you raise registered dairy cattle or want to research your new family cow, you should check out the Canadian Dairy Network. This amazing website is where you can search for the registrations and records of eight breeds of dairy cattle: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Canadienne, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, and Norwegian Red. In this blog post, I'm going to guide you as you learn about searching for records, with my registered Jerseys as the models. 


First, visit the Canadian Dairy Network at www.cdn.ca and click on your language of choice:




This will take you to the CDN's Welcome page, where you want to click on Animal Query on the right hand side of the screen:




This will take you to the CDN's Animal Query page, and this is where all your searches start:




There are four ways to search for an animal on the Canadian Dairy Network: by registration number, by name, by animal tattoo, or by semen code (for bulls).


Search by Registration Number


Our first search is with the registration number of one of my Jersey cows, Princess Sonja. First, choose 'Jersey' from the Breed menu, 'Canada' (the country where she was born) from the Country menu, and 'Female' from the Sex menu. Next, enter the registration number, 10219933, and click Submit Query. This brings you to a new page, the Genetic Evaluation Summary for BIRDSONG PRINCESS SONJA:




Search by Name


We are going to do a series of searches here, and our first one is a search with the name of one of my Jersey cows, Aster. First, choose 'Jersey' from the Breed menu and 'Female' from the Sex menu. Now enter the full name, BIRDSONG AUTUMN ASTER, and click Submit Query. This brings you to the Genetic Evaluation Summary page for Aster.


For our second search, we want to find all the cows registered with the Birdsong herd prefix. Again, you will choose 'Jersey' from the Breed menu and 'Female' from the Sex menu, but instead of entering the full name of a cow you will enter BIRDSONG and click Submit Query. This will bring you to a Customized Query Results page listing all of the Jersey cows registered with the Birdsong herd prefix:




If you are searching for a bull, there are two option buttons to choose from: Name (Full or Start) and Short Name (Full or Partial). Today we are going to try both of these searches, with my favourite Jersey bull, Minister.


For our first search, choose 'Jersey' from the Breed menu again, but choose 'Male' from the Sex menu. Next, enter the full name of the bull, SELECT-SCOTT MINISTER, check that you've chosen the Name (Full or Start) option button, and then click Submit Query. With many bulls this will bring you to a Genetic Evaluation Summary page like our searches on Sonja and Aster, but with other bulls (like Minister) it will bring you to a Customized Query Results page like our search on the Birdsong herd prefix. The Customized Query Results page lists Minister twice, as SELECT-SCOTT MINISTER -ET, and again as SELECT-SCOTT MINISTER -ET CJCC. When a bull is listed twice like this, always click on the name without the CJCC listed after it, and this brings you to the Genetic Evaluation Summary page.


If you don't know the full name of the bull that you are looking for, you can search for his short name instead. For example, the full name of my favourite Jersey bull is SELECT-SCOTT MINISTER, but his short name is plain old Minister.


For our second search, choose 'Jersey' from the Breed menu and 'Male' from the Sex menu again. Next, enter the short name of the bull, Minister, check that you've chosen the Short Name (Full or Partial) option button, and then click Submit Query. If there is one bull registered with that short name this will bring you to the Genetic Evaluation Summary page, but since there are two Jersey bulls registered with the short name Minister this will bring you to the Customized Query Results page, where you can choose between SELECT-SCOTT MINISTER -ET and MAYFIELD PRIME MINISTER -ET.


Search by Animal Tattoo


We are going to do a series of searches here as well. For the first search, choose 'Jersey' from the Breed menu, followed by 'Female' from the Sex menu. Under Letters enter NKF and then click Search Query; this will bring you to a Customized Query Results page listing all of the Jersey cows registered with the tattoo letters NKF.


For the second search, enter NKF under Letters and Z under Year Letter, and then click Search Query. This will bring you to a Customized Query Results page listing all of the Jersey cows registered with the tattoo letters NKF, and born in 2012. (The letter Z was the designated year letter for 1990 and 2012, and in older herds you will find animals from both years listed.)


For the third search, enter NKF under Letters, 1 under Number, and Z under Year Letter, then click Search Query. This will bring you to a Genetic Evaluation Summary for the first Jersey calf born in 2012 (1Z), and registered with the tattoo letters NKFand that is BIRDSONG SHIRLEY ROSE.


Search by Semen Code


Bulls that enter an artificial insemination program are assigned a three part semen code. For our first search, we will enter the semen code 200JE427. Enter 200 (the code for bulls from Semex) under AI Stud Number, choose 'Jersey' from the Breed menu, enter 427 under Sire Code, and click Search Query. This will bring you the Genetic Evaluation Summary page for SELECT-SCOTT MINISTER -ET.


Do you want to try that again? This time, we will enter the semen code 7JE1163. Enter 7 (the code for bulls from Select Sires) under AI Stud Number, choose 'Jersey' from the Breed menu again, enter 1163 under Sire Code, and click Search Query. This will bring you to the Genetic Evaluation Summary page for ALL LYNNS VALENTINO IRWIN -ET.


Tips and Tricks


When entering names, please note that you can enter a name as BIRDSONG PRINCESS GRACE, Birdsong Princess Grace, or birdsong princess grace, and you can hit the 'Enter' key on your keyboard instead of clicking on Search Query as well. And remember that the CDN searches are limited to the registered cattle of the eight dairy breeds I listed earlier.


Now that you are familiar with the Canadian Dairy Network's Animal Query page, you can start researching your family cow, or checking out the cows from your favourite dairy farm. Post your questions below, and I wish you many happy hours discovering the Canadian Dairy Network. :)

The Making of a Logo, Part II

Posted by Naomi Fournier on March 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

This is the second installment of a two-part series about designing Birdsong Farm's logo, so if you are curious about how the story started, you can read the first post here.


I received another email from Holly at the end of August with a new logo proof. She had taken out the second silo, added a calf beside the cow, and given me a few bird styles to choose from:




I really loved logo #1, and thought that the black bird in the loop of the 'g' on 'Birdsong' was eye catching. I wasn't happy with the calf, so asked Holly if she could switch it back to one cow, but leave the cow where she was standing and add an extra furrow to the field to fill the white space instead. My mum thought that the logo might look better if the bird's feet were touching the loop of the 'g' as well.


It was about two weeks later when I received two emails from Holly. The first one featured a cow with two furrows added where the calf was:




The second email featured a cow with one furrow added:




My family and I really liked the second logo, and we were so happy with it that it became Birdsong Farm's new logo.


After agreeing to the finished logo design, I received a final email from Pure Graphics about a week later saying that my files were ready for me. The disk had several versions of my lovely new logo on it: the full colour black and purple version, plus an all black and all purple version, as well as white and purple, all purple, and all white logos on a black background.


All six versions came in both .jpg and .pdf files (as well as the original .ai files), and I was given a sheet that showed all of the colour variations as well as the details of the purple colour we chose on the Pantone and CMYK colour scales and the names of the two font styles in the logo:




It took about three months to design the logo from start to finish. Originally I had hoped to finish it in time for the 2013 Armstrong IPE at the end of August, but after we started the design process I decided that I wanted to take my time and get a logo that I would be happy with forever.


After my new logo was finished, I had an address stamp made. Now I guess the next projects on my list will be designing business cards, farm brochures...and fancy new signs for the 2014 Armstrong IPE. ;)



The Making of a Logo, Part I

Posted by Naomi Fournier on March 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Ever since Birdsong Farm was founded on July 15, 2008, I've wanted to design a logo for the farm. Five years laterin 2013I finally did it!




I'm friends with a few graphic designers, but Pure Graphics in Enderby was my first choice because it is local, plus I've often admired Rebecca Shuert's work in the past. I am so happy that she agreed to work with me, and she and Holly Kormany did an excellent job!


My logo started out with a list. That's right! I've admired many lovely logos since I started my farm and knew what I did and did not like in a logo, but I still didn't really know what I wanted my logo to look like. Becky encouraged me to stop by her studio to talk about what I wanted, and so I finally took my list and paid her a visit.




Becky and Holly worked their magic from here, and about a month later I received an email from Holly with a few ideas for me to think about:




I surprised myself with the first logo proof because I really liked the woodcut style of logos #1 and #2, as well as the bird on logo #6with a few changes of course. :) I wanted a gambrel style barn (my dream barn) with a silo, but didn't care for the fonts or colours, so when I visited Pure Graphics again Becky and I chose another shade of green and two new shades of purple. The one shade of purple was my choice, and the other one was Becky's; the purple that is featured on my logo today is the colour that Becky chose.


I received a second email from Holly about a month later, and this time she focused on various layouts, colour schemes, font styles, and bird designs:




My first choice was logo #3 as I really liked the offset oval style, but logo #1 was a close second. The 'Birdsong' on logo #1 features one of my font recommendations, but in the end I found that I liked the font on logo #3 better; that is the font featured on my logo today.


We decided to reverse the purple and green colours on logo #3, and I thought that the goat looked like a sheep, so I asked if we could try the logo with a single cow instead.


About two weeks later I received a third email from Holly, and this time she had played around with colour variations: all green, all purple, purple with a green bird, and green with a purple bird...and a logo with one cow and no goat:




I liked the all purple logos, #1 and #5, the best. My mum thought that maybe a bird outline would be nicer than a coloured bird, and we didn't really like the solitary cow so I asked if Holly could add a second animal back in, but make it a calf instead of a goat. I wanted to delete one of the silos as well, and left it in her capable hands.


This is the first installment of a two-part series about designing Birdsong Farm's logo, so if you are curious about how the story ended, you can read the second post here.

Hockey!

Posted by Naomi Fournier on December 23, 2013 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

When I asked the Fournier family what everyone's favourite sport was they all chose a winter sport—hockey. (Other than Mum; she replied with swimming. Boo!)

           

These days, John (aka Dad) is a fan of the Vancouver Canucks, although he was a fan of the Edmonton Oilers back in the Wayne Gretzky days. Not surprisingly, his favourite hockey player is #99. :) When I asked dad what his favourite jersey number was, he stated that it was 21 because “it was the number on my football jersey when I was in high school.” Dad’s favourite position on the ice is defence, but when he was younger he liked playing forward.

Heather (aka Mum) is a fan of the Vancouver Canucks as well, but like Dad her favourite team was the Edmonton Oilers back in the 1980s. Her favourite hockey players are Wayne Gretzky and Mason Raymond (because he was raised on a farm). Her favourite jersey number is 52, and when asked why she said, “I really like how the 5 and 2 are opposite of each other." That’s a homeschooling mum at heart! Her favourite position on a hockey team is being a spectator. “I’m not good enough to play hockey, but if I did I’d probably be the puck!” she says with a chuckle.


Naomi (that’s me) is the oldest of the nine Fournier children. My favourite team is the Vancouver Canucks because they are British Columbia’s NHL team. My favourite hockey players are Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider, and Sidney Crosby. My favourite position on the ice is as a referee or linesman, and I love my black-and-white striped jersey! If I had to choose a number for my jersey it would be 21 (my age when I officiated my first hockey game), or 24 (my age when I officiated my first paid hockey game).


Peter is the best skater and hockey player in our family. His favourite team is the Pittsburgh Penguins “because Crosby is on that team. If he was playing with the Montreal Canadiens they would be my favourite team.” I guess it is not a surprise that Peter’s favourite hockey player is Sidney Crosby, and his favourite jersey number is 87. "Definitely 87, although I would choose 17 if 87 wasn’t available, because Kes wears it and I really like Kesler.” His favourite position on the ice is centre.


Anna is our family’s hockey encyclopedia. If you ask Anna a hockey question, she’ll almost always know the answer. Her favourite team is the Vancouver Canucks “of course!” She couldn’t choose a favourite hockey player, but I think that’s because her list of favourite Canucks is too big. ;) Anna’s favourite jersey number is 18 because “that is the age I was when I started watching hockey.” Anna likes playing left defence.


Thomas is a Boston Bruins fan. His favourite hockey player is Patrice Bergeron, and his favourite jersey number is 16 or 37. “I like 16,” Thomas says, “and Bergeron has 37.” He likes playing any of the forward positions, but his favourite is centre followed by left wing.


Stephen's favourite teams are the Carolina Hurricanes and the Vancouver Canucks, and his favourite hockey player is Cam Ward. “My favourite jersey number is 30 because Cam Ward wears it and it’s a good number,” Stephen says when asked about what number he liked. His favourite position on the ice was being a goalie, but knee issues forced him to resign and now he plays right wing.


Miriam is a Vancouver Canucks fan, and like her older sister Anna, her favourite hockey player is every player on the Canucks. When asked about what number she would put on her jersey, her response was 17. “I’ve liked that number ever since Jari Kurri wore it, and now Kes wears it.” Her favourite position on the ice is defence.


Isaac is a Vancouver Canucks fan as well, and his favourite hockey player is Ryan Kesler. His favourite jersey number is 5. When asked what position he enjoys playing, Isaac replied with “I don’t know; probably whatever position I’m in.”


Matthew is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. His favourite hockey players are Cory Schneider and Manny Malhotra. His favourite jersey number is 35, and he likes playing defence.


Rhoda is the youngest hockey fan in the Fournier family. Her favourite hockey team is the Vancouver Canucks, and her favourite players are Mason Raymond or Chris Higgins. “She adores both of them,” says her big sister Miriam. Big sister Anna says that “She started liking Higgins because I got mad at her for liking Raymond so much.” Rhoda's favourite jersey number is 2, and while she can't choose a favourite position on the ice she often acts as our fearless goalie, and does a pretty good job of it too!


The Musical Ride

Posted by Naomi Fournier on August 20, 2013 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Our whole family went to watch the RCMP Musical Ride in Armstrong on July 24, 2013. We all loved watching those beautiful black horses, and the riders were striking in their red serge. My sister Anna is our family photographer, and here are nine of the best photographs she took that evening.












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