Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Review

The Bag Lady admires all those bloggers out there who take the time to go through their archives, pick out the posts that they enjoyed, or that got the best responses or the most reaction...... but..... she's too freakin' lazy to do all that!

Some of her posts really stick out in her mind. Unfortunately, she's so lazy, she forgets to label her posts, so can't find any of them to link to. ~~Sigh.~~

Remember this one? Camping was such fun, even if the weather wasn't the best. The Bag Lady loves making videos, but hasn't had any really good subjects lately.

And this post got the most comments.

Okay, enough reminiscing. Most of the Bag Lady's Blather is simply that - blather! Thank you all for reading, though! The Bag Lady enjoys sharing her rather mundane life with you, and hopes that some of what she blathers on about is occasionally interesting, or educational, or at the very least, amusing!

She has decided not to make any New Year's resolutions. (*gasp*) Yes, she is breaking with tradition and will greet the New Year with only a smile. It's too damned hard to find anything new to resolve to do, or not do, or lose, or quit, or start, or..... (all the old ones have been broken and beaten to death - you know you're getting old when you've broken every New Year's resolution ever invented....).

What about you? Have you made a New Year's resolution? And how long before you think you'll break it?

Monday, December 29, 2008

TA DA!

Here, finally, is the finished product!

This is the Bag Lady's niece, who kindly consented to having her picture plastered all over the Bag Lady's blog! (Personally, the Bag Lady thinks her niece could have a second career as an Internet model, but the Bag Lady might be just a wee bit prejudiced!)

As predicted, the fabric was a little difficult to work with, and the lining material was even worse, but the Bag Lady thinks everything turned out well, and her niece was pleased with it. She seemed quite thrilled to have a new, unique dress to bring in 2009. (Doesn't she look good?!)

Monday Morning

This is just a short little post to let you know the Bag Lady survived Christmas! She hopes everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Hers was great; filled with food, family and fun.

She is still a little tired from all the festivities, and has been working on the dress for her niece. She is hoping to have some pictures to share with you a little later on today.

The weather has warmed up slightly, for which the Bag Lady is grateful. The Rancher had a few days off over the Christmas holidays, so he has been doing the chores. Now that he's back to work, the Bag Lady has to take over, and she's glad it isn't as cold as it was! She also really hopes that the temperature doesn't drop back down as low as it was. Minus 40 is just too darned cold!
It is much more tolerable now, only in the minus 20's (Celsius). Of course, the Bag Lady doesn't really like it too cold (or too hot either, for that matter.... must be a Goldilocks thing!)

How was your holiday?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Nice Recovery

During the Christmas festivities at the Bag Lady's house, a Downy Woodpecker got confused when leaving the feeder and smacked into the Bag Lady's kitchen window!

The Rancher went outside to check on him and discovered him nearly unconscious on the snow-covered deck. The Rancher picked him up and held him in his warm hands to help him recover: (click on any of the pictures to enlarge)


The poor little guy was in a stupor for quite some time:


But he did finally manage to lift his head:


The Rancher held him while he got his bearings:


He did eventually recover and the Rancher released him.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rudolph, Is That You?

The Bag Lady had a visitor yesterday. He ordinarily only comes around at night, but he is getting bolder, so she managed to get a few pictures of him today. The bird-feeder that he was busy raiding is right at the bottom of the steps going up to the Bag Lady's deck. He was cleaning it out when the Bag Lady caught sight of him:



He looked at her as if to say "Is that all there is?"



Then he slowly went on his way:


(Of course, the Princess realized there was an intruder in "her" yard about then and practically tore the door down, so the Bag Lady let her out and she chased the deer away. It's almost the only exercise she gets when it's this cold....!)

The Bag Lady spent part of the day in the kitchen, making pastry and shortbread. For the amount of time it took her, and the energy expended, it doesn't seem as though she produced very much. Of course, she still has quite a bit of pastry to make other things with....


Here is another photo of the fruits of her labours:


Butter tarts and shortbread....who could ask for anything more?!


And finally, from the Bag Lady's place to yours:

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Almost Ready

Well, it's coming down to the crunch. The Bag Lady has been such a slacker, she is going to have to really put out today and do some baking, some cleaning and some decorating.

She and the Rancher went to town yesterday and did some grocery shopping. They bought a nice turkey and a ham, and all manner of vegetables and other tasty things. The Bag Lady is going to bake shortbread and some pastry (butter tarts, her favourite!) and do a few other preparatory things today. Tomorrow she has another appointment with the physiotherapist early in the day, then she will come home and do the few last minute things before she and the Rancher sit down in front of the woodstove for a quiet Christmas Eve.

She wanted to share what it looks like when it's really cold in town, so here's a picture she took yesterday:

She was trying to capture the way the smoke from the lumber mill is flattening out due to the warmer air above it. Of course, she missed a whole bunch of really cool pictures, but what else is new?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Aw, Nuts!

The Bag Lady finally started decorating for Christmas....


She decided to display her nutcracker collection on her antique ironing board this year. There are too many of them now for the window ledge.

What about you? Do you collect anything? Do you decorate a lot for Christmas?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Weather Report

It is cold. Almost minus 40. The Bag Lady's office has ice on the windows. On the inside!

She is hoping to get some holiday baking done today - that should help warm up the house.

She also needs to bundle up and go outside to get more fire wood for her stove. She has a wood-burning stove in her living room that helps heat the whole house. But when it's this cold outside, the furnace has to run, too.

At least the sky is clear. The high pressure system that is bringing the cold weather down from the north is keeping the clouds away. So it is sunny. Not much consolation.

What's the weather like where you are?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Little Link......

The Bag Lady encourages everyone to visit Mizfit's site today for a good cause.

To clarify - for every comment she receives on today's post (from now until Christmas Eve), she will donate a dime to a local shelter in her area (Austin, TX). Such a worthy cause deserves the couple of minutes it takes us to leave a comment on her site!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect

The Bag Lady has quite a sense of accomplishment today. She was a busy little beaver yesterday! She fed her cows and the calves. She also put out bedding for the calves again. She did some sewing, and, last but definitely not least, managed (finally) to steam-clean her living room carpet.

Then she fell into bed sometime around 1 am. (In fact, immediately after she finished posting this!)

Here is a photo of what she's been so busy sewing:


This is the practice dress for the dress she is going to make for her niece. Actually, this is the second practice dress (the Bag Lady really believes in the old adage "practice makes perfect"!) She first made the dress out of broadcloth and it will be winging it's way to her niece this weekend. She will try it on and see how it's going to fit. When it comes back, the Bag Lady will make note of any adjustments that need to be made, then start on the real dress!

She has another physio appointment today, so will be off to town yet again! This is proving a little trying for the Bag Lady - she's not accustomed to going to town so often. Especially in the winter when the roads aren't always the best. Maybe this time around, she'll finish up her Christmas shopping!

What about the rest of you? Are you finished shopping and all ready for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Woes

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, and going to get worse, apparently! It's been in and out of the deep-freeze in the past few days, and heading back in soon. Winter in Alberta.

The Bag Lady took her mother-in-law to town yesterday for appointments. It was a long day, due in part to a mix-up with mother's appointment (the booking office told her to be there at 10 am for a 10:30 appointment, but the clinic didn't have her on their roster until 1:30 pm! And of course, they were running late, anyway!)

The Bag Lady dropped her at the hospital and did some shopping and running around, then went for her own physio appointment and hurried back to the hospital, thinking mother would be done and waiting. She was a little surprised to find that she hadn't gotten in yet because by this time it was after 12 pm. It was only after the nurse called another fellow who had been waiting with mother and had mentioned that his appointment was scheduled for almost an hour after hers that the Bag Lady decided inquire. The nurse who discovered the mix-up was quite accommodating and got mother in right away. It was still quite some time before she was done - lunch was delayed until almost 4 pm!

The Bag Lady is more than happy to stay home today and try to get caught up on some of the chores that have been neglected in the last few days. She has mountains of laundry to attend to, needs to do some more cleaning and start decorating for Christmas. The weather is also making her want to hunker down and hibernate until, oh... April! It's been alternating between really quite cold and slightly warmer. When it warms up slightly, it snows.

The Bag Lady also discovered that she has no sound on her computer. She isn't sure where the problem lies, so will have to do some investigating. Her cat likes to sleep and play amongst the wires under the desk, but the wires all seem to still be connected properly. The Bag Lady will have to crawl under the desk to make sure, but she thinks it is something else. Any suggestions?

Edited to say that the Bag Lady's tried and true* method worked yet again and she can now 'hear' on her computer again! (*turned it off, counted to 100 and turned it back on!) Modern technology - gotta love it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Quickie!

The Bag Lady has hit the ground running this week. She is off to town today for appointments for herself and her mother-in-law, just as soon as she finishes making the Rancher's lunch for work tonight and feeding cows.

She is hoping that she will have time some time this week to write a proper blog post, but right now, real life is interfering. (Not that she is complaining, mind you!)

The weather has warmed up ever so slightly, for which she is grateful, but apparently this area is going to be plunged back into the deep freeze tomorrow, so the timing is working out fairly well.

Hope everything is going well for everyone else....... and that you are better organized than the Bag Lady! She is just now starting to think she should maybe look around for some ideas for Christmas. Procrastination, thy name is Bag Lady!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quickie

The Bag Lady is having a busy morning. She had to run the Rancher's truck to the garage first thing this morning in order to have a tire repaired.

She is now supposed to be going to pick up the meat from the butcher shop from the cow that paid the ultimate price for taking a run at the Bag Lady and various other folks! Unfortunately, the Bag Lady's truck is refusing to start. It's very cold here, and her truck is being obstinate.

She is supposed to be meeting some friends at the abattoir, because there isn't enough room in her little truck for the 10 boxes of meat that the cow turned into. 500 lbs of meat. FIVE HUNDRED pounds of meat. The only good thing about the extreme cold weather is that the Bag Lady can leave the meat outside and not worry about it thawing out while she tries to find a home for it in various deep-freezers.

What a way to spend her birthday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Don Your Pith Helmet

And so, once again, we rejoin the Bag Lady in her quest for the perfect......

What the heck? Who was that? The Bag Lady isn't on a quest for the perfect anything!

She spent the day yesterday doing mundane household chores and sewing. 11:00 pm last night found her staggering off to bed, satisfied that she had tamed the back porch closet back into submission. Her back porch closet is a hell-hole of the most fearsome kind. The kind where everything just keeps getting piled on top of what was already there, so that cleaning it is rather like an archeological expedition....

"Hmmm, haven't seen this coat since 1998... had totally forgotten about it!"

And

"THAT'S where I put the electric organ!!"

It seriously was a stroll down memory lane. That closet contains an amazing array of items, including (but not limited to) the aforementioned electric organ (which is there because middle "C" no longer works, and the Bag Lady can't find anyone who will fix it, but she can't bear to part with it), a fancy clock (that also needs repair work), left-over tiles from the shower-stall, old records that belonged to her parents (and the record player to play them), vintage clothing that belonged to her mother, large table umbrellas, an old sewing machine, a box of nails, old coats, and a variety of medicines for cattle. Oh, and we can't forget the dust and cobwebs, and a few spider carcasses (and one live one that scared the crap out of the Bag Lady!)

With almost Herculean effort, the Bag Lady managed to get everything back into it, minus the dust, cobwebs and spiders. Tonight she plans on tackling steam-cleaning her carpets. Or not. She has to go back to town today for another physio appt., so she'll have to see how she feels when she gets home again. It just might be a night of lolling around in front of the television.

Have a good weekend!

Runnin' on Empty

The Bag Lady is running on empty today. That is to say, perhaps a wee bit sleep-deprived. The Rancher started night shift last night, and the Bag Lady had a hard time getting to sleep without him in the house. Not in a scared-to-be-alone way, but more in a gee-I-can-do-anything-I-want kind of way, which, by the way, turned out to be sewing until all hours. The Bag Lady knows how to have a good time, eh?

When the Rancher got home from work at 4 am, he woke the Bag Lady up to cook him something to eat. Which means the Bag Lady got very little sleep. Which means the Bag Lady might be a little giddy later in the day.

The Bag Lady had her appointment yesterday with the physiotherapist. She got an 'adjustment' on her back, and the therapist gave her a core-strengthening exercise to do at home. The Bag Lady really needs to remember to breathe when she is doing things. She has a tendency to hold her breath when she needs to exert herself, which gives her a false strength. This is something that is going to take a lot of work on the Bag Lady's part, because it has become such an ingrained habit. The Bag Lady has another appointment on Friday.

One more thing. It is the Bag Lady's motivational partners' birthday today, so if you have a moment, slip on over and wish her all the best. You can find Marianne here!
Happy Birthday, Marianne!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Foiled Again!

Yesterday was a chilly, snowy day. The Rancher had the day off and had planned to take the Bag Lady to town to do some shopping, but fell asleep instead. When he woke up, he insisted on taking the Bag Lady to town for supper. (Oh, like she was going to argue....!)

So off they went. The roads were not in the best condition, but it was no longer snowing, and the driving lanes were reasonable. When they started down the river hill, they could see down into the valley, and the Rancher took the words right out of the Bag Lady's mouth when he said, "Look at all the traffic!"

There were headlights stretching as far as the eye could see. A split second later, both the Rancher and the Bag Lady realized that the headlights were stretching up the other side of the hill, too, and that there were at least 3, perhaps 4 sets of red and blue lights flashing on the bridge. Fortunately, there is one driveway just after you start down the hill, so the Rancher pulled in there and turned around. No point in sitting and waiting for the accident to be cleared out of the way, and that is the only way to get to town from where the ranch is, unless one were to drive across country to a different crossing on a log haul road. But in order to get to that particular road, one would still have to negotiate the snarl of traffic at the intersection leading to the blocked bridge....so there went the Bag Lady's supper in town!

On the way back to the ranch, they had to pass the Ranchers' mothers' place, so he pulled in there. She hadn't had supper yet, and hadn't really made any decision as to what she was going to have, so the Rancher cooked bacon and scrambled eggs for the women!

Well.... he did promise to take the Bag Lady out for supper, and technically, he did!

The Bag Lady has an appointment today with the physiotherapist, so she will do her shopping too. The Rancher starts night shift tonight, so he may just go with her to town. Or not.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday. Just Tuesday.

It's snowing in the Bag Lady's world.


(Fortunately, not this much yet - this was last year!)

That is not at all unusual for this time of year, but this has been such a mild winter so far that it still comes as a bit of a shock. It started snowing a couple days ago and shows no sign of stopping yet. The Bag Lady is getting wimpier and wimpier as the years go by, and hates winter more and more. The cold and snow just make things harder to deal with. Everything becomes a trial (in the Bag Ladys' mind, anyway.)

Enough whining. The Bag Lady is really scraping the bottom of the idea barrel thinking of so many things to write about today, she is finding it difficult to settle on one topic! This post may be all over the place, or it may turn out to be really, really short.......

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend Recap

The Bag Lady had another busy weekend. She had to do quite a lot of work outside in the rain (yes, rain in December....crazy weather!) on Friday. Her cows needed to be fed, and her calves needed feed and bedding. She got quite a little work-out on the business end of a pitchfork because she couldn't get close enough with the loader to shake the bale out into the calf shed!

(The first picture shows where she had to stop with the loader)

She had to put this:

In here:


Using this:



To make it look like this:

And put feed in the feeders so the calves can do this:



Don't they look happy?

She did lots of other stuff too, but if she told you now, she'd have nothing to tell you later!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Farewell

This is my aunt Doris. She was my mom's youngest sister. Doris loved a good time, and loved to goof around. Here she is, all dressed up in a friends' sailor suit.



She sang, played the guitar and enjoyed life. Here she is when she came to visit her sister (my mother) on the farm in the early 1950's. Doris lived in Nova Scotia, and visiting her sister in Alberta was quite an adventure. She even had to travel over the Athabasca river in a basket, because the river was flooding and the ferry couldn't operate, and she had a train to catch!


Most of what I knew about my mom's sisters (there were 7 of them altogether, and one brother) and their families was through photographs like these. Most of the family stayed closer to home in Nova Scotia, unlike my mother, who married an Alberta farm boy and moved far away.

Here is one of my favourite pictures of Aunt Doris, all dressed up for a party or dance. In my childish imagination, Doris was always glamourous, always dressed up and on her way to a party.

Doris passed away yesterday. I hope they remember to put her party shoes on her because, knowing Doris, wherever she is, there will be dancing!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tissue of Truths

The Bag Lady saw her physiotherapist for an assessment yesterday and is confident that this woman will help her. She did a very thorough assessment on the Bag Lady and determined from her examination exactly where the problem lies. This in it's turn, made the Bag Lady say "way cool!"

The therapist told her that it was nerve damage in the L4 region of her back, which is exactly where the Xrays showed the damage to be. There was nothing written on the paper the Bag Lady brought from her doctor as to where exactly the problem was! How smart is the therapist to be able to figure that out by rubbing a couple of tissues up and down the Bag Ladys' legs!!? It was like visiting a fortune-teller! (It also surprised the Bag Lady immensely, because until that examination, she had no idea that parts of her legs were numb!)

The Bag Lady is going to have to relearn a whole lot of things, and this wonderful therapist is going to teach her! Therapy-woman seems to have great understanding of how ranchers deal with things, which gives the Bag Lady the impression that perhaps she is NOT as unique as she thought she was......

The Bag Lady did not get any Christmas shopping done, much to her chagrin. But hey, it's early yet.....right?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Woot!

The Bag Lady is off to town this morning. She finally has an appointment for a physiotherapy consultation in regards to her back. She's been on the waiting list since February.

She may get a little Christmas shopping done, too, if the stars are properly aligned.

The weather has turned a little more wintery, which helps put her in the spirit. Of course, she hates winter, hates driving in winter, and hates shopping, so the spirit she's in is more Grinch-like than Santa-like.....Ho Ho Ho....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Wow, the Bag Lady has some really great folks who read her blog! If you haven't checked out the comment section in yesterday's post, please do so to find some excellent-sounding recipes.

The Bag Lady is going to share a recipe with you today that she makes very rarely because it is so good, she can't stop herself from sitting down and gobbling half of the pan at one sitting!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

1 1/2 C softened butter (divided)
1/2 C sifted icing sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk
3 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
3 squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate (or unsweetened), melted

Pre-heat oven to 350
In large bowl, beat 1 C butter, sugar & salt 'til fluffy. Add flour - mix well. With floured hands, press evenly into greased 9" square pan. Bake 30 - 35 minutes 'til lightly browned. Cool slightly.

In 2 qt glass measuring bowl with handle, melt remaining 1/2 C butter* in microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir in condensed milk and corn syrup. Microwave on high 6 - 8 minutes (stirring after each minute) 'til it turns a light caramel colour. Stir in vanilla. Spread over shortbread, drizzle with melted chocolate. Chill 'til firm.
Store, covered, at room temperature.
*Be sure to use butter. Stir the milk mixture faithfully and watch carefully so it doesn't burn.
It's worth the effort!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ready?

Holy crap, have you looked at the calendar? It's December already. Sheesh! Where did this year go?

The Bag Lady has turned her thoughts toward preparations for Christmas. She has to do some baking and is thinking it would be nice to do something a little different this year. She tends to stick to the same old tried and true; but occasionally likes to throw something a little different into the mix. She has her old stand-bys - recipes she learned at her mother's knee, for things like shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth, and butter tarts to die for - but is on the look-out for something to become a new favourite tradition.

Christmas wouldn't be the same for her without the shortbread and the tarts, but she doesn't like fruitcake at all (although her mother did make a light/white fruitcake one year that wasn't too bad), and it wouldn't be the same for the Cow Whisperer without his mothers' carrot pudding. The Bag Lady has to admit that her mother-in-law makes a fabulous carrot pudding, and it rapidly took its' place amongst her favourites! Who needs fruitcake when you have steamed pudding?

What are some of your favourite Christmas foods? Anything unusual that you care to share? Got a recipe for something that will make the Bag Lady swoon and add to her list of favourite things?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Random Friday

Geosomin over at The Supposed Golden Path has tagged the Bag Lady.

The rules state that one must post 6 random things about oneself, and tag six other people, and link to the blog of the person who tagged you. Here goes:

1. The Bag Lady only drinks coffee in the morning before she has breakfast. After she eats, she can't drink any more coffee. Don't know why, it just doesn't appeal.

2. When she was a teenager, her bedroom was purple, with one gold wall.

3. She tried playing the tuba when she was in high school, but it gave her a sore throat.

4. Her baby toenails are so tiny, she can't put nail polish on them. Most of it ends up on the skin around them.

5. She loves shoes. She has tons of shoes of all kinds, but almost always wears sneakers.

6. Not only is she left-handed, she is left-footed, too. And her left eye is dominant. And her left ear. Does this mean she is in her right mind all the time?

Whew, glad that's over. The rules say that the Bag Lady is supposed to tag 6 other people, but she won't. (Does that mean she won't come into any money, and that her hair will all fall out, or some other disaster will befall her?) Instead of tagging anyone, she invites you all to leave a random fact about yourselves in the comment section.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Project Sewing

The Bag Lady has been mindlessly going about her business the past few days. Nothing exciting has been happening (thank heavens!) and everything seems relatively calm. The cows and calves have settled down so, although there is the occasional bawl from one quarter or the other, it's quiet on the ranch.

Consequently, the Bag Lady doesn't have a whole lot to blog about. Even her imagination seems to have taken a vacation. She is pondering the state of her household, and planning to do some serious cleaning and preparing for Christmas, but with the mild temperatures and lack of snow, it seems as though Christmas is still far away (even though, according to the calendar, it is less than a month!)

One thing the Bag Lady does have on her plate is sewing a party dress for her niece. The Bag Lady found (and fell totally in love with) some gorgeous fabric on one of her infrequent forays into town, and impulsively bought enough to make a dress. She also found a pattern for a dress that she thought would look stunning on the right person (please to note: NOT on the Bag Lady). So next week, the Bag Lady will fall on her sewing machine in a fevered frenzy, as soon as she gets brave enough to take scissors to that glorious fabric. (She is also hoping that if she makes a total hash of it, there will still be some of that wonderful fabric at the store.....) Of course, now that she has posted about this, she will find out if her other niece reads her blog, won't she?

Here is a rather poor photo of the pattern and fabric.


The Bag Lady will be sure to post a photo of the dress if she doesn't totally screw it up, that is! when it is completed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Then and Now

Well, the Bag Lady sorted out her problem with uploading photos. Of course, all the text she had planned has gone totally out of her head - probably burned up in the steam that was coming out her ears.....


She was scanning through her vast collection of photographs desperately seeking ideas for a post and came across this old photo of her uncle bringing in a load of logs with horses. These logs would have been cut by hand (probably with some sort of hand saw) and loaded onto skids by sheer manpower. They would have used some chains and hooks, perhaps, but it was back-breaking, physical work, back in the days when men were men and hard work was a way of life. (cue music "show me some men who are stout-hearted men...." Okay, never mind.)


In contrast, this is a more current photograph (taken sometime in the 1990's) of the modern method of bringing logs in from the forest. These logs would have been cut with a machine, probably a feller-buncher, which holds the tree, cuts it off, then strips all the branches off before laying it in a pile to be loaded onto a truck by the machine in the picture below.

Another machine will unload the logs in the mill yard.

The Bag Lady was going to make all sorts of analogies about the changes modern technology has wrought in our lives, but she has just reminded herself that this particular modern technology that she is parked in front of is doing nothing to reduce her ever-expanding ass, so she's going to get up and go do some chores.....outside.....in the fresh air.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What the.....

So, the Bag Lady had a little post planned, but something has gone wrong somehow and she can't seem to load any pictures.......

She will keep trying.....

It's Tuesday?!

The Bag Lady has had a bit of a busy time the past couple of days. And she has been having a little computer trouble - nothing major, just irritating.

The cows have been unimpressed about being locked away from their calves. So unimpressed, in fact, that two of the younger, more agile cows actually jumped the almost-five feet high corral fence! Which meant that the Bag Lady had to do some repair work, as well as add a board or two to discourage an encore.

And she discovered a huge hole in another fence that would have enabled the horses to escape the pasture and possibly end up on the highway, which would have been a very bad thing! So she had to use her trusty handsaw to cut three trees off the fence, then repair the break in the wire.

Nothing else very blog-worthy has been going on around the ranch. She will put on her thinking cap and try to come up with something for tomorrow, perhaps.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Harsh Realities

What the heck is in shampoo, anyway?

The Bag Lady gets her very best ideas for blog posts while she's in the shower, which means, of course, that she has no way to write them down, short of using her finger on the steam on the shower door......

Perhaps it's just the stimulus of massaging shampoo into her hair, but she will get a great idea and work it out in her head. Unfortunately, by the time she has rinsed, conditioned, scrubbed the rest of her body, toweled off, blow-dried her hair, gotten dressed and made herself ready to face the world, whatever was in her head is long gone and forgotten. (Hmmm, what does that say about the Bag Lady, anyway? She has to have a blank mind in order to face the world?)

In other news, the Rancher and the Bag Lady, with help from the Rancher's brother and a couple of good friends, brought their cows home yesterday. Some of you may remember the White Bitch from this spring. She was the first cow to calve this season. The Bag Lady called her the White Bitch because of her rather nasty disposition, which turned even nastier yesterday.

She was one of the last cows left to be loaded into the trailer, and she went a little berserk. She charged at everyone in the corral, almost ran over the Bag Lady and the other woman who was helping (twice!), took a run at the other fellow who was helping, then charged the Rancher's brother! She finally jumped out of the corral, knocking down part of the fence in the process. Few things are more frightening than being down on one knee with your other foot in a rut in the mud with a two thousand pound cow charging directly at you! (She charged the Bag Lady twice before the Bag Lady could get her foot out of the rut in the ground....cows can move pretty fast when they want to!) Fortunately, no-one was hurt.

She is now hanging at the butcher shop, waiting to be turned into hamburger. The Rancher will not keep a cow that cannot be trusted. After much discussion, we all decided that she was trying to protect the wee calf that was left in the corral. A noble cause, which she gave her life for - and it wasn't even her own calf!

The peace and quiet of the ranch has been shattered, and will remain a little on the noisy side for a few more days. The calves are being weaned. They have been locked in the corral and the Bag Lady will give them some grain and extra attention now to compensate for the loss of their mothers' milk. The cows will stand on the other side of the corral fence for a few days and bawl at their calves, demanding that they "come out of there and have some milk!" to relieve the pressure. Eventually the cows will stop producing milk and everything will settle down. This is not the Bag Ladys' favourite time of year because she feels sorry for the cows. But it is a necessary part of the procedure. The cows need some time to recover before they have another calf next year.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Round-up

Something fell to earth yesterday. The Bag Lady didn't see any bright lights in the sky, but it was all over the news last night, and she's very curious to know if they will find anything today, after the sun comes up.

There were some really cool videos of this event - especially one caught by a camera in Calgary, and the Bag Lady really wishes she had seen it for herself. *sigh*

She hasn't had a whole lot of excitement on the ranch this week. Having spent the majority of the week sleeping off the flu, she doesn't have much to tell you.

She saw an interesting idea for a meme over at POM's yesterday:

1. Find the 4th folder on your computer.

2. Find the 4th picture in the folder.

3. Publish that picture with an explanation of what's going on.

4. Tag 4 people to do the meme.

The Bag Lady had a little trouble with the rules for this meme, mostly because the fourth folder on her computer only had 3 photos in it! She compromised by picking the first picture in the next folder.....



This is a picture of the Rancher and his brother, taken in the barn during the calf "doctoring" session. There is a calf in front of them, up against the wall, and the Rancher is putting a tag in its' ear. His brother has the shitty end of the deal..... (click on the photo to enlarge it for more detail - in fact, I insist you click to enlarge - there really is a calf there!)

As for the last rule of the meme - the Bag Lady will not single anyone out, but if you want to participate, feel free!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Good Morning Sunshine

This is what the sky looked like at about 8:15 this morning in the Bag Lady's neighbourhood.


And about 10 minutes later it looked all soft-focussy:


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well? (Not really....)


So............... is this ever going to come back into style, or should the Bag Lady give up the dream of fitting into it again.....?



Halter-style, full-length, button down the front. Dated?

(Okay, maybe the Bag Lady did have a serious fever with that flu..............)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Update

Thank you to all of you who stopped by and left comments for the Bag Lady while she was under the weather! She appreciates all your advice and concern, and it made her feel quite a bit better!

She cannot quite believe how much she slept over the past couple of days, but she had little other choice - she simply could not keep her eyes open.

She is feeling more like herself today, and has a great deal of catching up to do around the ranch. The poor Rancher pretty much had to fend for himself the last couple of days. Ordinarily, the Bag Lady tries to make sure that the only thing he has to do when he comes home is eat and sleep (because that is generally all he ever has time for, considering the long hours he works!)

The Bag Lady doesn't really have a lot to say today, mostly because she is pretty sure you don't really want a blow-by-blow of her activities over the past couple days (sleep, get up, stumble around house moaning about stomach pain, go back to bed.....you get the picture!) and not much else has been happening for her to blog about! Her head is feeling quite a bit clearer today, too, but still seems a little devoid of any real thoughts, beyond checking with all her body parts to see how they are feeling!

She is going to try to eat something today and see how that goes, but only because she knows she should, not because she is feeling hungry yet. And she has quite a lot of housework and laundry to catch up on, so she had better get at it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Feelin' Poorly

The Bag Lady is not feeling well.

She has an upset stomach and can't seem to stay awake.

She'll be back to visit with you later.................

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Crankiness

So......

The Bag Lady isn't going to whine anymore about the poor turnout at the craft sale on the weekend. She will only say that if all of the people who showed up had been there at the same time, it still would not have been crowded! ~~sigh~~ Don't know if it was a sign of the slowing of the economy, or simply that there were too many other events going on around town, or the sale wasn't well enough advertised, or people were afraid of road conditions....... perhaps a combination of all of that.

Oh well.

The Bag Lady must now turn her attention to something more productive. Like housework. She needs to do some serious deep-cleaning and perhaps even some painting and spiffing-up of her home. She bought a new cleaner (remember her whining about not being able to find her favourite cleaner anymore?) and she is quite enamoured of it! It has a light scent (she's all about having a little clean smell lingering to remind her that she actually did do some cleaning....but hates the pine smell that they used to put in everything!) She's not trying to do a product endorsement here, but has anyone else tried the "Mr Clean with Febreze"? It's nice.
Of course, for some cleaning projects, she still prefers using a little vinegar in water, but to be honest, Mr Clean with Febreze smells better!

The Bag Lady has a little bit of an obsession with cleaners not cleaning, mind you, just the cleaning products! Wouldn't it be nice if you could just buy the cleaning products, bring them home, open the bottle and your house would magically be clean and smell fresh? and likes to try different products. She has ranted in the past about "new and improved" being not so improved, but she doesn't think the companies are really listening to her! And why that is, she has no idea! Doesn't she represent a whole section of the population?

Listen up, scJohnson - Fantastik really WAS fantastic - what did you do to it?

Okay, I'm stopping now - it's time to take my meds......

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quick Sale Update

The Bag Lady has a few minutes to spare before she goes back to her craft sale, so thought she'd give you a quick update.The sale is being held in the community hall in the little hamlet close to where the Bag Lady lives, which is roughly 25 km (15? miles) from the nearest large city.

The weather was quite nice yesterday afternoon, but it turned nasty and a wee blizzard blew in. There is now a nice, thick layer of fluffy snow on the ground. The Bag Lady is hoping that this will not deter people from town from driving out to our sale! (It certainly deterred them from coming to the sale last night - it was very quiet!)



Here are a couple photos of the Bag Ladys' table:


She hung the wreaths and door swags from the wall behind her - hopefully the tape held overnight and they aren't all going to be lying on the floor when she gets back there this morning!


She had several people comment on how 'professional' her sewing looks, but no-one bought anything....yet.


She is hoping things will go better today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Frantic Friday!

The Bag Lady has been busier than a cat on a marble slab...........(Did she just date herself by using that expression? In fact, does anyone know what that cat is trying to do on that marble slab? If not, the Bag Lady will tell you in the comment section.....)

She has some crafts yet to finish this morning, and the sale starts this afternoon! Aaacckkk....
Here are just a few of the things she has ready for the sale:

Casserole Carriers:

Sugar Body Scrubs and Salt Foot Scrubs, with wash-mitts:


Door Swags:


And, of course, her CartSmart Bags:

She will also have some of her salsa, and some home-made granola, and some Christmas cards, and soap-saver mitts, and more......if she gets everything finished in time!

Have a good weekend!

Gotta run....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rambling Babble

The Bag Lady has been scrambling (again) to get some crafts finished in time for the sale on the weekend (which starts tomorrow afternoon).

She took advice from some of her lovely commenters and is hard at work making cards out of her photographs. She has some sewing she needs to finish, and is feeling extremely a little disorganized. Hence this very short post.

The weather has been unsettled, of course - it rained yesterday morning, but the temperature was such that the rain froze when it hit the ground, turning the world into a skating rink. Why does this cause some people to drive even faster than they normally do? (Or is it actually that they would be normally be driving twice as fast, and consider slowing down to just above the speed limit a nod to the road conditions?) It makes the Bag Lady shake her head and want to stay home (which she does, when the roads are nasty, most of the time!)

That being said, she left her house last night at 9:30 to drive to the airport with a friend to pick up his wife. The roads were actually not too bad, but the Bag Lady is not accustomed to driving at night, so she gave herself plenty of time.
Her friends' flight arrived on time, and had taken under an hour. Her friends' luggage, unfortunately, took another hour to arrive. Apparently, the baggage cart wouldn't start. The luggage finally arrived, the Bag Lady delivered her friends safely to their home, and she herself crawled into bed just around midnight.

She is hoping to get lots of things accomplished today, so she'd better get at it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pine and Spruce


The Bag Lady's photography skills know no bounds.... as evidenced in this little video.
These are Pine Grosbeaks enjoying the sunflower seeds the Bag Lady provides for them. (The Bag Lady apologizes for her yowling cat - he has been very vocal lately!)


video

Pine Grosbeaks are quite shy and will take flight en masse at the slightest provocation, which makes it difficult to get good pictures of them.


On the other hand, the Bag Lady did manage to get a reasonably good picture of last night's sunset - it moved slowly enough for her! This is the last of the old spruce trees still surviving in the pasture. It's companion was broken in a windstorm last year.


Wouldn't that make a nice Christmas card?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest We Forget

Today marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The Great War, it was called. The war to end all wars.

Of course, we know now that it was not the war to end all wars.

The Bag Lady would like to take this opportunity to share some photos of her dad, who fought for his country during the Second World War. He was a telegraphist in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve.

Dad was a farm boy from Alberta who came of age toward the end of the war. He finished his training at Ste. Hyacinthe, P.Q. in 1944. (He is second from the left in the second row)



He went home on leave for Christmas in 1944.


He served on three different corvettes during his time in the navy, patrolling the eastern coast of Canada and the United States.


On one tour of duty, he was granted shore leave in New York City, so he and a fellow sailor toured around. Here they are on the Empire State building.


Toward the end of the war, his ship escorted a captured German submarine into Halifax harbour.



The Bag Lady still has his kit bag, and some of his uniforms and other memorabilia. (If you click on the photo of his kit bag, you can see a drawing of a 'dream girl'!)





Dad didn't talk a lot about his tour of duty, but he was proud of having served his country, and I am proud of him, too. If it hadn't been for WWII, there would be no Bag Lady, for he met her mother in Halifax!

His is just one of the hundreds of thousands of stories of men and women who served their countries, and we should all take a moment today to remember them, and the many who paid the ultimate price for their countries.