historic farm and eco-resort

We take a vacation

Post 126 of 139

Joan left Mendocino to visit relatives in Winnipeg and Matlock, both in Manitoba. We have a cottage about 100 yards from Lake Winnipeg – a huge lake which drains to the north into Hudson ‘s Bay.

I followed a week later, July 29th, 2008. At the Lake, there is only very slow dial-up and these notes were made and pasted below. We share them because they help illuminate Manitoba which received undeserved bad publicity due to a particularly heinous murder on a Greyhound bus.

Winnipeg is a phenomenal city. Ethnically diverse, the city celebrates its diversity with the Winnipeg Folk Festival every summer. Just before the Folk Festival is the Winnipeg Fringe Festival that provides 18 venues for small theatre groups to stage performances and plays and audiences to experience live theatre.

Winnipeg accommodates vegans: There are a variety of restaurants that offer extensive vegan menus. The hot area is Corydon Avenue between Wilton and Osborne Street. At Corydon and Wilton is Falafel Place which specializes in freshly made falafel as well as outstanding sweet potato fries. At the east end of Corydon is Organza a natural foods grocery which is attached to Dandelion Cafe where I had an outstanding Tomato Zucchini Napoleon made with heirloom tomatoes and asparagus. We ate at both restaurants on Thursday, August 7th. Our daughter, Kate, had joined us the day before. Our excitement to have her with us was lost Thursday morning which we leaned that veterinarians believed that Gypsy, Kate’s dog, was dying.

July 30, 2008 – Not at the Inn

Left Mendocino for the not-so-wilds of Matlock, Manitoba, just north of Winnipeg. We are at Joan’s cottage. She spent summers at another cottage now owned by her cousin, which is 40 feet away from this cottage. Her parents bought what we now call Joan’s Cottage 43 years ago.

Kate, our daughter, will be coming to visit and she finds the cottage old (it is 100 years old), the water dirty (it isn’t), the furniture tired (it is), the beds horrible (they are old), the outdoors mosquitoey (some years – not this year), and the weather oppressive (it can be hot and humid). We want to rearrange furniture, buy some new lamps and beds and “enhance her experience.” We feel that her visit might be a bit of self-sacrifice.


July 31, 2008 – Manitoban Courtesy

Joan’s cousin Dave and I rented a truck and drove into Winnipeg to pick-up new mattresses and box springs to replace the 40+ year old mattresses in the Cottage. Winnipeg’s oldest Costco had only two of the beds so we went to one of the newest. On the way home, we were in stopped in rush house at a traffic light when a kid, more than likely a summer employee, driving a flatbed truck for a paving company clipped the mirror of the virtually brand new Silverado we were in. The truck continued up the open left turn lane. Dave jumped out and grabbed the pieces of the mirror and another driver jumped out his car and ran to us with the truck’s license number. In the meantime the offending truck’s passenger was signaling us to follow them to talk about the accident. We did. The kid driving the truck was very sorry and offered to pay for the mirror on the side of the street. The truck was rented and we could not accept payment. He gave us his driver’s license and the truck’s registration. We told him we were sorry that this happened to him.

This is Canada’s Midwest – the Manitoba I have known since I moved here for graduate school.


August 1, 2008 – Eating Out

“Don’t tell me,”- an otherwise outstanding man – affirmed, after I told him that I would not describe conditions in so-called “humane dairies.” He just had told his server that he would have some ice cream. He looked away, as the dessert was brought to the table.

Joan apologizes for me especially if I am critical regarding dairy choices someone makes – that is, choosing to eat dairy. The millions of calves born every year to dairy cows, who never are able to nurse them, are often put into veal operations. Calves in our part of the country where veal is politically incorrect (PETA is a strong force in Sonoma County) spend their life in feedlots, eating a diet so rich that by the time of their deaths, their arteries are clogged from grains and enriched food which would not be found in their natural habitats.

During the dairy cows’ short lives they do get to nurse hundreds if not thousands of human beings who were never weaned. Ironically, we worry about the “drug problem” and whether or not the citizens of California were correct in allowing medical marijuana dispensaries which provide a flow of weed into recreational use. Virtually none of the smokers are dairy-free – none experienced weaning. Dairy products like our mothers’ milk releases endorphins. Weaning is in some small way like getting off a drug.


August 4, 2008 – A Mental Disease Here and There

A 40 year old man on a Greyhound bus killed a 22 year old passenger who had fallen asleep at the back of the bus. The bus was on its way to Winnipeg and the men did not know one another. The crime was particularly brutal and the charges include beheading and cannibalism. The murderer has been described by investigators as paranoid schizophrenic with a history of erratic behavior. The 22 year old loved to travel and had literally joined a carnival for the summer. He was on his way home.

Unfortunately, crazies from throughout North America are sounding off about the murder. Some condemn Manitoba while others are pushing the idea that this was a terrorist attack organized by a radical Muslim sect. The mentally ill man is an immigrant from China, not the Middle East. Members of a Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas are coming to protest outside the victim’s funeral with signs stating that his death is God’s punishment of Canada for allowing abortions and gay marriage. A PETA spokesperson equated the kid’s beheading with the slaughter of animals. These comments are disgusting.


August 7, 2008 – Why I am a member of PCRM and not a member of PETA

I am a member of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine They have not and should not use the Greyhound bus murder to propagandize for their positions which includes adopting vegan diets. They create pamphlets which describe the practices of our factory farms and slaughterhouses. I don’t know if their information has changed one person’s food lifestyle. As human beings, we have tremendous capacity to disassociate from the sources of our food and the results of our policies – international, national, regional, local and importantly, personal.


August 8, 2008 – Beauty and Bad News

We are in Manitoba – Canada’s “keystone” province. Ever square inch of soil has something growing in it. Last winter was one of the worst in memory – and this summer is vibrant and alive. Fat robins are hopping outside the window chirping while they watch the ground for worms. Finches and sparrows jump from branch to branch within the spruce trees which grow slowly in Manitoba’s rugged climate. This morning, as the sun rose above the lake, geese flew over the cottage. Although this is Canada, Canadian or other geese are not common at this time of the year. Pelicans, seagulls, terns, crows, pileated woodpeckers, and now turkeys transplanted from the east are the more common large birds.

And we learned yesterday that Gypsy, our gentle, loving smooth collie mix is ill. Our staff took him to Mendocino Coast Animal Hospital and the veterinarian there found that he had bled internally, causing his low energy. She called us and went into detail describing her tentative conclusions. She said that she could not confirm a diagnosis and recommended that he be taken to Animal Care Center in Rohnert Park, two hours south of Mendocino.
Gypsy_&_Murphy_2004-web.<br />
Jesse and Ryan of our staff drove Gypsy to Rohnert Park. The Animal Care Center admitted Gypsy and is treating him and we are very worried. I know that many pet owners will spend any amount to maintain the quality of life of their pets. I wonder if they will give the time and determination to improve the quality of life other animals, those domesticated for our food.

We are very worried.


August 9, 2008 – Care

The doctors and nurses at the Animal Care Center are outstanding. They have thoroughly examined Gypsy and provided their recommendations and he will be returning home on Sunday.

Dr. Kelly Hayes of their staff spent substantial time explaining their techniques, diagnosis and treatments. We told her that we would add alternative techniques working with Gypsy’s “energy system.” She also recommended a Chinese Herb. Since the diagnosis is cancer, she agreed to find vegan foods for Gypsy while he remains at the Care Center. We don’t want to feed animal proteins which can be readily used by cancer to grow. (See Collin Campbell, The China Study available at Amazon.com ). The Animal Care Center has given us fantastic service and understanding.


August 10, 2008 – Hospital Report and Coming Home

Last night Dana, assistant manager of the Inn, dropped in to see Gypsy. She found him to be very tired and on an IV in Animal Care’s Critical Care ward. She was pleased with the care he received and told us that the facilities are immaculate.

This morning, Dr. Hayes called to tell us that Gypsy could come home. Ryan brought him home and he was not interested in food. Dana called us at Lake Winnipeg and we suggested that they give him nori which is made with the seaweed nori, sticky brown sushi rice, a bit of tofu, almond butter, and a bit of carrot. Gypsy loves nori rolls and he ate all but one piece.

August 13, 2008 – Home to Gypsy

We came home to find Jessie walking Gypsy and Murphy, who had been devastated when Gypsy was hospitalized. The two dogs are very excited to see us. And Gypsy, who is not supposed to exert himself, came all the way to the third floor to be with us. Of course we let him into the bedroom.

In the middle of the night he had an “accident.” After we cleaned-up, I sat with him, doing energy work, until we were both tired.

This morning, Gypsy’s appetite returned. We took him out and there have been no accidents. The color of his gums suggests that there is no internal bleeding. We are very grateful.

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This article was written by stanford