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.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Winter Wonderland

The Bag Lady wanted to share some winter scenes with you. She went to help the Rancher load some equipment the other day, and while she was waiting for him, she was captivated by the beauty of the season. Well, okay, she was bored thought the sun shining through the snowy trees looked pretty.

Please click on any of the images to enlarge them if they aren't already making you feel chilly enough!







Yesterday the Bag Lady's world was coated with hoar frost. The pictures don't really convey just how pretty everything was.





Even the weeds are sparkling in the sun.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Snow and Surprises!

True to her promise, the Bag Lady is sharing a picture of the snow that fell yesterday. For those of you in the warmer areas who want to see snow, but not necessarily first-hand, enjoy. For those of you who will eventually get some snow, here's a taste of what's to come!


The Bag Lady had to do some ranch work this morning. Because of the snow, the Rancher decided that the cows needed to be fed, so the Bag Lady took 4 feeders and 4 bales to the cows. The Rancher knows that cows are inclined to wander if they don't think there is enough to eat where they are, so feeding them helps keep them happy and inside the fences!

On her first trip to feed the cows, the Bag Lady had a look around and did a quick nose count (it's faster to count noses than it is to count legs and divide by 4....). All but one of the cows had a calf this spring, and two of the cows have two calves. One of the Bag Lady's old cows didn't have a calf in the spring, and the Rancher and the Bag Lady thought that perhaps she was just too old and would have to go for slaughter sometime soon. This idea didn't sit well with the Bag Lady because this particular cow was one of the first cows the Bag Lady bought. The cow was old when the Bag Lady bought her some 11 or 12 years ago, but she has produced a good calf every year since! The Bag Lady calls her Marble because she reminds her of marble cheese.

When the Bag Lady was doing her nose count, she glanced over at old Marble and had to do a double take. This is what she saw:



The Bag Lady had been working in the corral the day before and had seen Marble, but she didn't have a calf at that time. She must have been waiting for the storm!
As most of you know, the rest of this years' calf crop were all named for bloggers. The Bag Lady gave the opportunity to Marianne, who passed the honour on to her children. They chose to call this last calf of the season:

Autumn!

This is a comparison shot. The black calf (Mojo) was born June 8th. How quickly they grow!

So calving season has officially ended at Scratchnut Creek Ranch. Finally.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

White Stuff

The Bag Lady's Blather is definitely not a political forum, but she did watch the American election results last night with some interest.

She was impressed with a couple of things. First, the number of voters who turned out to cheer for their chosen candidate. This was definitely an historic event and the American public realized it.

Secondly, she was impressed by John McCain's gracious concession speech.

And the American President-elect gave a wonderfully stirring speech. Barach Obama certainly seems to be the right choice to lead his country into what will hopefully be a more peaceful and more prosperous time for all of us, not just for America.

**

The Bag Lady is trying not to look outside this morning at the white stuff covering everything in her (still dark) yard! Dang it all, she was quite happy with the way things were - chilly, but not cold, and still a little green. Oh well, it was inevitable, but perhaps this first blast won't last!

What's the weather like where you are?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Going Bump in the Dark

The Bag Lady doesn't spend a great deal of time in town, but has recently had occasion to be there more often than usual. Her mother-in-law had knee-replacement surgery last week, so the Bag Lady has been in several times to visit her in the hospital.

The Bag Lady doesn't really like being in town after dark. Don't get her wrong, she's not afraid of the dark, but she is afraid of things that go bump in the night. Well, more accurately; people who go bump in the dark. There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of crime in the little city where the Bag Lady grew up, and she doesn't like being there after dark. There are some really scary-looking people wandering around the streets.

Last evening, she and the Rancher went to visit his mom. The Rancher had to go to work, so the Bag Lady was going to drop him off on her way home. They decided to grab a burger in town - not a very common occurrence. They stopped at a downtown burger joint, got their meal and sat at a table by the window.

The Bag Lady thoroughly enjoyed her burger and fries, and was gazing absent-mindedly out the window, people-watching. She said something to the Rancher along the lines of "I am thoroughly bushed." He looked at her quizzically and said "You're tired?" She replied, "No, I've been in the bush too long - I'm not used to all these people!"

It was at that point in the conversation that the Bag Lady happened to glance out the window again in time to see a young woman walk smack into a street light. The Bag Lady couldn't help herself, she started to laugh. The young woman bounced off the light post, recovered quickly, and never missed a beat of her text-messaging! That kind of person who goes bump in the night doesn't scare the Bag Lady at all....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fly Like an Eagle....

The Bag Lady has had a busy morning. She and the Rancher are soon going to move their cattle home from the current pasture, so she had to go all around the fence this morning to make sure there were no escape hatches! She found one very large tree on the fence, which entailed sawing it with her trusty hand saw to make the pieces small enough to move.

She also had to rebuild a corner of another part of the fence that had a tree fall on it. She removed the tree using the loader the other day, but needed to tighten the wire and fix a break.

She saw an eagle while she was out and about, and thinks it might have been a Golden Eagle. Either that or a young Bald Eagle. Unfortunately, it was too high to get a really good picture - even with her camera zoomed to the maximum.

It was really difficult to see the bird on the camera screen because of the way the sun was hitting the screen over the Bag Lady's shoulder, so she lost sight of it with the camera a couple of times. But at least you get to see how nice and blue the sky is 'way out here in Alberta..... keep watching, though, because she does catch it again.

Can anyone determine what kind of eagle that is? (It was very, very large, so the Bag Lady knows it was an eagle, she just isn't sure what type.)

See for yourselves:
video video

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Update

Due to circumstances beyond her control, the Bag Lady was unable to meet her commitment of having a table at the craft sale.

She will now have to wait until the next craft sale - she thinks there is an upcoming sale a little closer to home sometime this month.

So there will be no report on the sale. She can, however, report on fixing fences that have been torn down by elk, but she knows that is not very exciting, so she will spare you.

Hope everyone's weekend is going well. Hers is certain to improve, right?