Monday, June 30, 2008

Trash or Treasure....

Today the Bag Lady wants to talk for a moment about garbage.

Those of you who live in the city probably don't give much thought to where your garbage ends up. You take your garbage to the curb and never give it another thought. Well, when you live in the country, there is no curb-side pick-up. You take your own garbage to the dump. Oh, excuse me, landfill. Actually, out here, it isn't even called a landfill anymore. The landfill site is full, so there are now two enormous dumpsters with a ramp in between them. You drive up the ramp and unload your garbage into the dumpsters. It's called a "transfer station" now. Common household garbage goes in the dumpsters, but anything else is supposed to be put in various other designated areas. There is a place for old cars, another place for old appliances, wood scraps, etc.


The Cowboy ordinarily takes on the chore of "going to the dump". The Bag Lady is not allowed to go to the dump. The Cowboy has put his foot down because she has a tendency to bring home "treasures" that other people have discarded. He was okay with this at first, because she brought home a really nice table the first time, which she stripped and repaired and painted. They use it all the time. But some of her treasures haven't been to his liking, and the day she brought home an antique couch that she had dreams of restoring to it's former glory, he made her turn around and take it right back! That's when he took over dump duty.


But the Cowboy has gone back to work this month, and the garbage was starting to pile up, so the Bag Lady was allowed to go to the dump! And the Cowboy forgot to tell her not to bring anything home! With trembling hands and quickened heart beat, she tossed the garbage into the dumpsters, then hastily made her way toward the other section to do her "shopping"! She drove slowly through the piles, scanning the contents. There were twisted pieces of metal that used to be a bed frame, an old lawnmower, a bicycle with no chain. In another section, there was a pile of interior doors that looked in very good shape. She pondered those for a few minutes - with the addition of folding legs, they would make a perfect table for cutting out fabric. But wait, what is that? Her eagle eye spied something lying on it's side, with the back toward her.


Quick as you can say 'scavenger', she was out of her truck and inspecting what at first she thought was a dresser, but quickly realized was a china cabinet. Someone had attempted to give it a facelift with a can of "suede" paint, (she knows this because they left the can in one of the drawers). They must not have liked the results, and decided to give up and get rid of it. Faint-hearted, that's what the Bag Lady calls it! She will admit though - it was butt-ugly!

She tried to judge the width of it to determine whether it would fit in her truck. Then she pondered the size of it and wondered if she could manage to get it in the truck by herself. A measure of her determination? A test of her courage? She huffed and she puffed and she strong-armed it into her truck. Oh, the guilty pleasure she felt! A shiver of anticipation went through her as she thought of all the stripping she could do!

She got it home and huffed and puffed and got it out of her truck, then huffed and puffed and dragged it up the steps onto the deck. Where she promptly collapsed in a heap. When the Cowboy arrived home from work, he eyed it suspiciously. The Bag Lady had the grace to blush, and stammered out that it was a china cabinet, and she had big plans to fix it and make it pretty. His only comment was "Well, it sure is ugly now!"


So, are you dying to know what it looked like? Are you?


Scroll down...





Here it is!

Told you it was butt-ugly!


The Bag Lady set to work. She got out her trusty Poly Super-Strippa and scraped all the ugly paint off. Then she sanded and sanded and sanded some more. She even resorted to using a dental pick to scrape the paint out of the little design carved into the wood.


It took her almost two days to get all the paint off. Whoever spray-painted it was very thorough, she'll say that for them! (They even painted the hinges.)

There is a little flip-up lid in the central part that hides a removable silverware tray.

The tray was lined with felt, which was filthy, so the Bag Lady took that apart and made a new bottom piece with new felt.


Before:


After:

The cabinet had also suffered some water damage, and some of the wood veneer had lifted, and the plywood backing and the bottom shelf had warped. So the Bag Lady replaced those pieces. The glass was missing from the doors, and all the knobs were gone.


She knows you are dying to see how it looks now, and she would love to show you. But she isn't quite done. She needs to take the doors in to town to have glass put in them. She could do it herself, but someone ran into her stash of glass (not someone who lives on the ranch) and broke it all.

So check back tomorrow if you'd like to see how the cabinet turned out!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cows and Clouds

The Bag Lady thought she'd slip a quick little post in this morning before she gets back to work on her project. Be sure you have a little extra time tomorrow morning - her post is going to be a long one! (In fact, she may have to do a two-part series so no-one falls asleep and cracks their head on their keyboard.....)

She thought the cloud formation in this photo looked like a ladder to heaven. (click on it to enlarge to get the full effect.)



More flowers. Oriental Poppies, this time.


And she realized that she hadn't posted any photos of cows or calves for quite a long time, so here is one:


Isn't little Mojo cute?!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Round-up

(Wild roses, Alberta's Provincial flower)

Well, here it is, Friday again! The Bag Lady has a little project on the go and had hoped to show it to you today,but it's not ready yet. She'll work on it this weekend, hopefully, and will post about it on Monday.

In the meantime, her question from yesterday was answered by an actual Aussie! Lesley assures us that she has never heard of the product in question, so it is indeed a marketing ploy! The Bag Lady is quite relieved that there are no kangaroos being sacrificed for the sake of her hairstyle!

In other news, the deer have discovered the Bag Lady's vegetable garden. They happily munched down half of her peas. She doesn't understand why they only ate half of them, but she's grateful they left the other half. Unless they have plans to come back another night and finish the job. She strung some chicken wire across the row so any peas that actually manage to survive will have something to climb. She also tied some dryer sheets to the chicken wire with the faint hope that the smell will deter the deer. Of course, a little bit of rain fell yesterday, so she may need to replace the dryer sheets. If anyone has any suggestions for keeping the deer out of her garden, she would be happy to hear them.


It's supposed to be quite a warm weekend here. They are forecasting 27C (80F) for tomorrow, and 28C for Sunday and Monday. Guess that means that summer really is here!

Here are some more photos from the Bag Lady's flowerbed. This is called Rock Soapwort. It is a lovely, low-growing plant that spreads out (and helps hide the freakin' weeds!).


Here is yet another photo of her black irises and dark pink peonies:



And, lastly, the first rose to bloom on her Hansa rose bush:

Have a good weekend!



Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Burning Question (To Roo or Not to Roo...)

Okay, so here's the question that's been on the Bag Lady's mind for quite some time but obviously hasn't bothered her enough to actually remember to write a post about it! and the Bag Lady is looking for the answer. What is the question? Good question....but first, she has to ramble around a little.


The Bag Lady uses a lovely hair product that she was introduced to oh so many years ago by her favourite (and long-gone-to-better-paying-things, damn her hide!) hairdresser. The Bag Lady has curly hair, which is all well and good on the days it decides to curl the way the Bag Lady wants it to curl, but there are days when her hair just says forget it, I'm doing what I want, and you can't change it! Which is when the Bag Lady pulls out the big guns:

Okay, now you know her secret, she's getting around to the question. Anyone who has seen the commercials for this product will know exactly what she means when she asks....is it really made from kangaroos? I mean, sheesh, the slogan is "add some 'roo to your do" ! And the little teensy tiny print (the stuff the Bag Lady had to get out her reading glasses AND a magnifying glass to read) says "Contains Natural Australian Ingredients"!

Aaacckk!! How much more natural can you get than a kangaroo?!


Okay, all joking aside, what she was actually wondering was whether or not this stuff is even available in Australia, or are they just tryin' to pull the wool over our eyes and make us believe it's Australian?! Is it all a marketing ploy? Hmmm?


So, are there any Aussie's out there reading this who want to clue us dumb Canucks in and tell us the truth? Do you "add some 'roo to your do", or is this company just full of doo-doo? Are we being snookered?


Stay tuned for more deep, meaningful posts, right here on this station. Coming soon. Really. And the Bag Lady promises to stay out of the sun from now on....should have worn a hat instead of the damned hairspray...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday...the Rest of the Story!

The Bag Lady had a nice little post all planned for this morning, but her computer had other ideas. She had barely started writing her story when things went awry. Now that things are back under control (at least, she hopes they are!) here is the rest of the story:


The Bag Lady took a stroll out to the pasture yesterday to check on the cows, and on her way back, took a little detour through this patch of willows. It looked like such an inviting little trail to follow....
It led her to discover this delightful butterfly: (anyone know what kind of butterfly this is?)
I think it is a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
What do you think?

She eventually made her way back to the house, and had to share a close-up shot of her "jungle" from the other day. This is the clematis that is threatening to take over her front step, and she is afraid to get too much closer because there have been a lot of small creatures disappearing lately! (and some ominous rustling noises can be heard from deep within it's bowels!)


(to refresh your memory, this is what it looks like from afar. The Bag Lady has started insisting that small children use a different door to access her house - she doesn't want them getting anywhere near this monster! It already seems to have it's sights set on that baby buggy...)
As the Bag Lady was strolling along in front of her flowerbed, she noticed that she had been followed!!
And lastly, as she was watering her vegetable garden this morning, this little guy stopped for a visit. He seemed to be enjoying the spray from the hose.


Please click on any of the photos to enlarge them. In fact, I invite you to do so with the butterfly photos in order to see them better!

Wednesday.....,Already?!

The Bag Lady has been experiencing some mild technical difficulties and apologizes for this hastily thrown-together post. She may have something more for you later today, but for now, here are a couple new photos of flowers blooming in her garden!

Here's a peony:



And a tiger lily:



Have a good day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Odds and Shorts (or Short Ends...)

The Bag Lady wanted to show you what it looked like here at midnight on the longest day of the year. Unfortunately, she couldn't stay awake long enough (give her a break - she's old!), so she took this picture at 11:30 (close enough, right?) She promptly lost it in her computer somewhere, and only just now found it.



Here is a picture of total and blissful relaxation:

The crazy cat has a crush on the boot-scraper - he sleeps with it all the time!

Now, the Bag Lady is a little hesitant about this next little video clip. Who wants to see the Bag Lady in action? Can we have a show of hands, please?

Hmmm, not much enthusiasm... perhaps she needs to save it for later.

Oh, what the hell....


video

(short, eh? The Bag Lady's mother-in-law got ahold of the Bag Lady's camera, and wasn't sure how to operate it...and also may have been afraid of what little treasures might come out of the Bag Lady's potty mouth at any second.... fixing fence does not bring out the Bag Lady's best side!!)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Strawberry Pie!!

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the Bag Lady's version of Strawberry Pie! (especially for Mizfit, 'cause she asked about strawberry pie.)



If anyone wants it, the Bag Lady will dig out the recipe, but it's definitely not a "diet" food...

Mundane Monday

Here are a few more photos from the Bag Lady's seemingly inexhaustible collection....

Tiny little peppers are starting to show on her pepper plants:


This is the jungle that threatens to overtake her front step:

And here is the iris that was only a bud on Saturday:

Her photographic skills are somewhat lacking. (If only she would remember to check the setting on the camera BEFORE she takes the picture...sigh.)

She doesn't have much to tell you today. She hasn't been paying much attention to the outside world, so can't even think of anything to rant about!

She did watch part of the news last night, and feels very lucky to live where she does, because the rest of the world seems to be suffering from a variety of catastrophes - fires and floods, pestilence and disease. Oh, dear, that doesn't sound good, does it?

But her little corner of the world is pretty quiet right now, and that's just fine with her! Well, except for the dust-devil that blew through on Saturday, knocking over and smashing a window she had propped up on her deck. There were three dust-devils that she witnessed going through the yard, and may very well have been more. One of them picked up the dog's frisbee and carried it all the way across the yard! The Princess was more than a little surprised when her frisbee flew away all by itself...she decided it was time to go to the house! But after seeing the fires in California and flooding elsewhere, the Bag Lady considers one smashed window and a frisbee blowing across the yard is pretty minor.
What's happening in your corner of the world?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday Soul Candy

Here are a few photos of the Bag Lady's flowerbed: (click on any of the pictures to enlarge, in order to see the weeds, too!)


The chives are in full bloom:


Here is a bearded iris bud:


The peonies are starting to bloom:


And here is the very first ripe strawberry of the season!


Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Round-up

Here are a few more photos from the summer pasture.

This is the little pond where the cattle drink. There is a family of beavers who keep damming the culvert under the road that leads to the corrals (you can see the corrals in the background. This is where the Cowboy and the Bag Lady round up their cattle to take them home in the fall.)


Here is another shot of the pond from a different angle:



And here's a picture of the river that is near the pasture:


The Bag Lady is playing out after her busy week, and seems to be fixated on water today. It is supposed to be quite warm this weekend, so perhaps that is the driving force behind her fixation! (Either that or she's thirsty...)

Tomorrow is the longest day of the year! How are you planning on celebrating the summer solstice?

Anyone interested in finding the length of daylight hours in their neighbourhood can find out by clicking here

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fencing

Give me land, lots of land where the ....something something roam, Don't Fence Me In....
(Anyone remember the words? Anyone remember the song???)

Here's how the words ACTUALLY GO:

Give me land, lots of land UNDER STARRY SKIES ABOVE, Don't fence me in....



The Bag Lady gathered up her fencing tools (and her mother-in-law!) and away they went to the summer pasture to check fence. She's glad she took her mother-in-law because she had forgotten to take some oats with her...sigh. So back they went to gather up a pail of oats. In a way, it was a good thing she was forgetful, because on the way back for the oats, they saw a mama moose with her very, very young calf! Unfortunately, the Bag Lady was driving on the highway and couldn't stop to take a photo. The moose and baby crossed the highway behind them and disappeared into the bush.

The fencing went well. There was one bad spot that they had to work on, and a couple small trees that had to be dealt with, and another spot that needed a repair, but all in all, not bad. And, other than the moose, the only wildlife they saw were mosquitoes. Hordes of them. Nasty little things.

Here are a couple photos of what the Bag Lady's "office" looks like: (click on any of the photos to enlarge)


Trail along the fenceline. Yes, there is a fence there, but it is difficult to see:
There's a fence here, too! (Both of them are on the right-hand side of the picture.)



The wild roses (Alberta's provincial flower) are in full bloom:



This is one of the pastures:



Here is another pasture:

After they had gone all around the fence, they let the cows out of the smaller pasture they had spent the night in. The cows are a little on the skinny side, and seemed more than happy to get onto all that green grass!

The Bag Lady then came home and spent 3 hours mowing her lawn. She'll do almost anything to avoid scrubbing toilets...but she really can't put that off any longer, so she'd better get at it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Here, as promised, is the Bag Lady's recipe for whole wheat bread in a bread machine:
She makes this bread all the time....

Rustic Italian Loaf

(instructions are for a 2 lb loaf)

1 1/2 Cups water (80 - 90F)
2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
4 Cups bread flour (use 2 C whole wheat, 2 unbleached white)
1/2 Cup wheat bran (unprocessed, coarse)
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (or 3 tsp rapid rise yeast)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Place in bread machine in order given. Of course, all machines are different - in the Bag Lady's machine, this takes about 3 hours. She always uses rapid rise yeast because she is an impatient woman!!

Busy Times

The Bag Lady had a busy day yesterday. The Cowboy has gone back to work, but there was a cattle sale he wanted to attend in order to purchase a few cows...guess who had to go in his stead? The Bag Lady has attended her fair share of cattle auctions, but she has never done the bidding. It was nerve-wracking for her! Fortunately, the auctioneer had a pretty good idea of what the Cowboy wanted to buy, so he was kind enough to make it known to the Bag Lady which cows to bid on.

Plus she took her mother-in-law, who is well-acquainted with cattle, and between the two of them, they managed to purchase a few cows. When the Cowboy got home from work, he had to take the slip-tank he uses for work out of the back of his truck, put the fifth-wheel in, hook up the stock trailer, then the three of them went to the auction mart and picked up the first load of their cows. They took them directly to summer pasture, then went back for the other load. Each trip took over an hour. It was almost 11 pm before they got home for supper!

Today, the Bag Lady has to go over to the summer pasture and check the fence. There have been some fairly strong winds recently, which tend to make trees fall over. There is a law of nature that says if a tree has to fall, and it is close to a fence, it has to fall on the fence. There is another law of nature that says if a tree has fallen on a fence, a cow will automatically know that there is now a possible escape route to get at that grass that is always greener on the other side of the now non-existent fence. Consequently, the Bag Lady has to gather up some fencing equipment and take a tour around the perimeter of the summer pasture. A journey of many miles, with many obstacles. And possible encounters with all manner of perils, including everything from rosebushes to mosquitoes, and various wild critters.

With any luck, there won't be too many repairs and the Bag Lady can turn the cows loose from the smaller pasture they spent the night in. With even more luck it won't take the entire day to check the fence and she'll be able to get a few other things done that have been begging for her attention lately (like cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors and various other tasks of that nature!)

Oh, and here's something to brighten your day:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Road Trip - Part Two

The Cowboy and the Bag Lady hit the road on the weekend to haul some equipment to the town of Slave Lake.

Here are some additional pictures from their journey:


A glimpse of the lake:




A forest fire must have gone through the area this spring:


The pinkish tinge on the burnt trees was possibly from the fire retardant they drop on forest fires:



Here's another glimpse of the lake:


There was quite a lot of wildlife along the roadside:


Loading the equipment they brought back:


There were several mills in the area. This one appeared to be shut down, but the Bag Lady had to take a picture of the slightly phallic-looking burner...


One last glimpse of the lake in the distance on the way back, taken at about 10:30 at night:


Hope you enjoyed the road trip with the Bag Lady and the Cowboy.
(The Bag Lady has been having trouble with her computer, but is going to shut it off in the hopes it will correct itself. If it doesn't she may disappear for awhile.... sigh.)