Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Excuses

The Bag Lady has been rather neglectful of her blog lately - she has had a lot going on in her life - but nothing very blogworthy. The Rancher's uncle is in the hospital, and there has been much running hither and yon.

She is also trying to get some cleaning done.... how is it that she can always find things to do that take precedence over washing walls and windows and dunging out closets?

The worst part is that her 'busy season' hasn't even started yet! The cows have not started calving, but it is imminent. And of course, that means that the Bag Lady still has to wander out to the pasture and check on them every so often, just in case one of them has problems. She is hoping that they hold off for a little while longer because, although the weather has been moderate, she wants it to be warmer for the calves.

She has one more day to get her picture framed and entered into the competition. She is obsessing over the frame.... keeps painting it to make it exactly the right colour to complement the photo, rather than take away from it. Before too long, there will be so much paint on it, it will be too heavy to hang on the wall.....

She is also a little worried about the computer virus that is supposed to be unleashed tomorrow. Does anyone know more about it? She heard something about it, but missed most of the report on the radio.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Report

The Bag Lady had a fairly busy weekend. She and the Rancher went to town on Friday to run errands and do some shopping.

She got the photograph enlarged - the one of the sunrise taken last month - so she can enter it into a competition! She also bought a frame for it, but when she got it all home and put it together, she decided that the frame wasn't suitable. So she painted the frame. But she still isn't sure it looks right. She may have to go shopping again - she still has a couple of days before the entry deadline!

On Saturday, she and the Rancher went out for an evening of dining and dancing! They attended a fundraiser with several other couples and had a lovely time. Champagne reception, entertainment, dinner and dancing. It was a lot of fun. The Bag Lady's only complaint was that the music was too loud - does that mean she's getting old?

Yesterday was a beautiful day in her neighbourhood. The sun was shining and the temperature was above freezing! It almost felt like spring.

How was your weekend?

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Name Game

The Bag Lady's sister, Reb, had a meme on her blog that made the Bag Lady smile, so she thought she would play, too.

1. Your rock star name (first pet/current vehicle) - Professor Explorer

2. Your Gangsta name (favourite ice cream flavour/fave type of shoe) - Chocolate Sneaker

3. Your Native American name (fave colour/favourite animal) - Magenta Mountain Lion

4. Your soap opera name (middle name/city of birth) - the Bag Lady doesn't have a middle name - well, unless "the" is her first name.....

5. Your Star Wars name (first 3 letters of last name/first 2 letters of first name) Ladba???

6. Your Superhero name (second fave colour/fave drink) - Purple Whiskey

7. Your NASCAR name (first names of your grandfathers - the Bag Lady is using their middle names, because her sister already used their first names) - Henry Millard

8. Your dancer name (favourite scent/fave candy) - Beautiful Cherry Blossom

9. TV Weather Anchor name (5th grade teacher/city that starts with the same letter) - Duplessis Dodge.

10. Your spy name (fave season/flower) - Spring Lily

11. Your cartoon name (favourite fruit/article of clothing you are wearing) - Raspberry Jeans

12. Your hippie name (what you had for breakfast/favourite tree) - Granola Fig

13. Your movie (or porn) star name (first pet/first address) - Professor Doris
(How lame is that!?)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring?!

They say if you don't like the weather in Alberta, wait 15 minutes! Well, it's probably going to take more than 15 minutes for this storm to blow itself out, but the difference between yesterday and today is ridiculous!

Yesterday was a fairly nice spring day - the temperature was warm enough to melt the snow and the Bag Lady was wandering around in the pasture, thinking that the cows would have to be moved to a drier location!

There has been at least 6 inches of snow fall overnight, and it's still snowing, but the worst is the wind. It's blowing so hard that when the Bag Lady walked down to the pasture to check the cows, her tracks were gone by the time she walked back to the house 15 minutes later!

Here's a picture of how much it has drifted around the bales in the hay yard. The Bag Lady couldn't take a picture out in the pasture because there wasn't enough definition - everything was white!

Hopefully this will be the last of this year's bad storms!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Cleaning

The day you've all been dreading has arrived. The Bag Lady and the Rancher are selling last year's calves. One consolation is that most of the calves who went to auction were heifers (females), so will sell to other ranches to go become herd cows and lead long, happy lives, raising babies.

One of the things that the Bag Lady has to keep reminding herself about is that this is a business, and the way to make money when you raise cattle is to sell the calves..... but it is hard to see them go.

The Rancher might go to watch the sale, but the Bag Lady is undecided about going with him. She has gotten quite attached to the calves and gets a little emotional about saying goodbye to them. She also has lots of things she should be doing at home. She still hasn't finished the paperwork for the taxes, and would like to get that over and done with. The weather has been a little warmer these past couple of days, which means it's time to start spring cleaning. As hard as she tries to ignore it, she knows it has to be done! It will be so nice to be able to see out the windows again....

Does anyone else "spring-clean", or is that an old-fashioned idea that has mostly gone out one of those slightly grimy windows?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Snow Bath

Saturday was a beautiful day in the Bag Lady's neck of the woods.

Here's some proof.....





video

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Spring!!

Today is the first day of Spring! Yippee!!

The Bag Lady's area is under a heavy snowfall warning. Sigh.

Tomorrow morning could look like this:



Or even worse!

Spring sometimes takes it's own sweet time arriving in northern Alberta, so the Bag Lady is accustomed to this. Doesn't mean she likes it, just that she's used to it!

So, is it spring yet where you live?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Seasons

Wow, this week has flown by! It's Thursday already!

The Bag Lady is still trying to get her paperwork organized for the dreaded taxes. It is slowly coming together, although you'd never believe it if you looked at her office!

Once she is finished with that, she will start her spring cleaning, in spite of the fact that it feels nothing like spring yet! According to the long-range forecast, it isn't going to feel much like spring for the next 15 days, either. Sigh.

Calving season will start within the next couple of weeks, as well. The busy time on the ranch is approaching. Ranching in northern Alberta has seasons, just like the rest of the world. There is calving season, then fencing season, then comes haying season and there is cow feeding season. Sometimes calving season bleeds into fencing season (one year it even bled into haying season... that was the year of the lazy bull!).

This year it looks like cow feeding season will once again be bleeding into calving season. As long as it doesn't bleed into fencing season.....

In northern Alberta, cow feeding season lasts until the grass is long enough for the cows to eat. Most years, this happens sometime in May. For some reason, this year the snow seems to want to hang on and hang on (it is snowing again this morning). And on this ranch, calving season is going to start earlier this year than last. For several years, the Rancher set back calving season so the calves were born later in the year. The advantage of this is that the calves were born when the weather was nicer, so there was less chance of them being born in snowstorms or really cold weather. This year, the Rancher kicked the bull out earlier, so calving will start sooner.

Many years ago, the Rancher almost always arranged for calving season to begin in March, and the Bag Lady spent a lot of time managing calving season on her own, because the Rancher was still working (at his seasonal job). This year, the Rancher's work ended earlier so he will be home to help with the calving. (Luckily for him, because he is the one who turned the bull out early! If it had been up to the Bag Lady, they wouldn't be calving for another month or so!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Voodoo Bag Lady

So, the Bag Lady decided to try something different yesterday. She went for acupuncture. This was a big step for the Bag Lady because she is not overly fond of needles.

She is pleased to report that the acupuncture did seem to relieve the pain in her hips and legs. How long this relief will last remains to be seen, but for the first time in almost 3 years, her hips are not aching! She feels like dancing!

She will, of course, continue with the exercises given to her by the physiotherapist, but she was truly amazed at the results from the acupuncture. If only she had known sooner.....

Of course, she does not have pictures to share with you, but she is sure that she resembled a voodoo doll, lying there on the table with needles sticking out of her back, hips and legs! The needles were then hooked up to some kind of machine that sent a low-voltage current pulsing through the Bag Lady's body. It was a strange sensation, but not unpleasant (except for the one in her calf, which made her want to kick like a mule!) Once the needles were removed, the doctor did some massage and some adjustments, and showed the Bag Lady some exercises to do. Then she applied a patch of herbs and told the Bag Lady to leave it in place for several hours.

The doctor also told the Bag Lady she is not to lift anything heavy. The Bag Lady will try to follow the doctor's orders, but the Rancher is also not supposed to lift anything heavy, so that could present a problem. Sooner or later, something heavy around the ranch is going to have to be lifted! Wonder if the Bag Lady and the Rancher can hire someone to do the heavy lifting. Hahahaha....

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The P-word

Paperwork.

Paperwork.

Piles and piles of paper.

'Tis the season.

The Bag Lady swears every year that she will be better organized when it comes to her paperwork, but in reality, she seems to get worse every year. Sigh.

When she closes her eyes, she sees paper. With figures on it.

The Bag Lady is hopeless when it comes to figures.

Why, oh why wasn't she born smart instead of funny-looking?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shorts.

So, the Bag Lady has had trouble posting at her usual time all this week.... it isn't that she has nothing to post about, it's more a time-constraint issue.

Here are a couple of things she wanted to write blog posts about, but hasn't had time to devote to actually putting them into cohesive, intelligent, interesting form. (Like she ordinarily does. Hahahaha)

1) A rant about getting older. Does anyone else out there have to use Clearasil before they slather on the crater-filling, wrinkle-reducing night cream? Sheesh.

2) A rant about the economy. Meh, forget it.

3) A rant about reading the news on-line, and the two articles that were one above the other - the first was an article about a fellow who jumped over Horseshoe Falls in a suicide attempt, and they used a helicopter to rescue him. He refused to hang onto the life-preserver they offered him, and actually swam away from the helicopter, so they used the wash from the chopper blades to create an artificial wave to push him to shore where he could be pulled to safety by volunteers who risked their lives to save his!

The second article was about a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan. In a perfect world, these two guys could have traded places. The suicidal fellow could have gone to his 'reward' and the young soldier could have gone home to his family.

4) The Bag Lady has been putting together a video for your enjoyment, but it is taking her a really long time. She might get a chance to work on it over the weekend, and if anyone is still reading her boring old blog by next week, they might get to enjoy it.

She hopes everyone has a great weekend, and fully intends to enjoy the warmer weather that her area has been blessed with, even though she has no intention of putting on the article of clothing that her lame post title refers to....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Such is Life

The Bag Lady did finally make it to town yesterday, but not in time for her physio appointment, unfortunately. Her truck wouldn't start. Apparently, the cord running to the block heater in the engine compartment was compromised, so the heater didn't heat the engine. And, because her truck was plugged in, the Rancher's truck was not. Consequently, it wouldn't start, either. But after it was plugged in for awhile, it did start, so the Bag Lady went to town and did the rest of the errands she had planned.

This morning it is 20 degrees (Celsius) warmer than it was yesterday morning. It is supposed to reach a high of +3C (37F) and the Bag Lady couldn't be happier! Well, okay, it would make her happier if it was supposed to get warmer than that, but anything above freezing will be wonderful!

She did a little shopping while she was in town yesterday, but because she had the Rancher's truck, she didn't have her CartSmart bag with her. Damn and blast. This morning she is blowing her nose and sneezing....
Coincidence? Perhaps.

She was hungry when she went to Costco yesterday, which is always a bad thing. Ordinarily, she ensures that she doesn't shop on an empty stomach.... And of course, Costco was giving away samples of all kinds of wonderful things. The Bag Lady bought some rice chips that tasted fabulous (and are gluten-free) and some dill pickles that were delicious. She also bought an industrial-sized bag of fresh brussels sprouts*, which she loves, but is now realizing there is no way she and the Rancher will be able to eat them all, nor will they be able to eat the three huge English cucumbers she couldn't live without. She must have been in some sort of hunger-induced fog, snatching up whatever appealed to her with no thought of the consequences! How on earth are she and the Rancher going to consume that 2 lb Asian salad with the expiry date of....today!?
At least most of what she purchased is healthy!

*For those of you saying "Brussels sprouts? Yuck!" - the Bag Lady says YES! If you have only ever had frozen brussels sprouts, you have not had good brussels sprouts! Fresh, cooked in the microwave or steamed with a teensy amount of water so they are still firm, not mushy - they are delicious! And chock full of really good things like vitamins and stuff. (Yes, "stuff" is a technical term when discussing nutritional value and you are too lazy to look things up....)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Off to Town

It's still cold here. Not quite as cold as yesterday, but still not swimsuit weather. The Bag Lady had to go outside to plug in the block heater on her truck, and was wearing her slippers, housecoat, blue jeans and a jacket and gloves and still wished she had put on a scarf!

The Bag Lady has a physio appointment in town today. Hopefully, her truck will start after it's been plugged in for awhile. If not, she will have to borrow the Rancher's truck. The Rancher's truck is much bigger than the Bag Lady's truck, and has a manual transmission. It's easy enough to drive, but harder to park because it takes up more room. In a perfect world, the Rancher would chauffeur the Bag Lady around town, but the chances of that happening are slim to none. The Rancher has better things to do than take the Bag Lady all over town so she can run her errands! Actually, in a perfect world, it wouldn't be this freakin' cold, either!

In case you don't pay attention to these sorts of things, the moon was full last night. The Bag Lady can still see the moon this morning, lighting up the countryside. Perhaps now the weather will change. The Bag Lady isn't sure there really is a correlation, but it seems to always be coldest in the winter when the moon is full. Has anyone else noticed this?

**Edited to add - this is what a really cold morning looks like around here:



And this is what it looks like a few seconds later, when the camera lens frosts up!

Weather Woes

It's minus 40. Forty below zero on both the Fahrenheit and Celsius scale.

Bloody cold.

There was a country and western song a few years back that went something like:

"It's forty below and
I don't give a f**k
I jump in my truck
and I'm off to the rodeo"

Every time the temperature drops to minus 40, that song runs through the Bag Lady's head.

Sick, isn't she?

She knows she said a week or so ago that she was no longer going to whine about the cold temperatures or the length of the winter or anything else to do with the weather, so she just wants you to know that she is NOT whining. She is just stating the facts, ma'am.

This is Tuesday, and the forecast is for the temperature to reach zero Celsius by Thursday. The Bag Lady is a little skeptical, but she really, really hopes they are right! In the meantime, she is just going to hunker down by the fire and wait this out.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Coping and Hoping

A blizzard blew in on Saturday. The snow fell and the wind blew. It was cold and miserable. The temperature is still very cold today.

Here is how the Bag Lady dealt with it:


video

She really hopes that this is winter's last kick. The forecast is for warmer weather by Thursday, and the Bag Lady hopes that it will continue to warm up and be reasonably mild, because calving is due to start within the next couple of weeks.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mmmmm

Well, the Bag Lady made the mistake of volunteering to participate in a meme that has been making the rounds. Her sister, Reb (who designed the Bag Lady's new header, by the way) has assigned her the letter "M", and the Bag Lady has to come up with 10 things that she loves that start with that letter.
So, without further ado, here are ten things the Bag Lady loves that start with the letter "M":

1) Macaroni and cheese. No, really. But it has to be made with a proper cheese sauce, and baked in the oven. The Bag Lady doesn't get to eat it very often because the Rancher doesn't like it. Sigh.

2) Mountains. Especially the Alberta Rocky Mountains.

3) Mauve. Actually, all shades of purple, but purple doesn't start with M, now does it?

4) Movies - who doesn't love movies?

5) Murder mysteries! The Bag Lady loves to read, and her first choice is always a mystery novel.

6) Munchies. 'Nuff said.

7) Massages. The Bag Lady loves a good massage.

8) Money, of course. She's not greedy, but it's difficult to live without money.

9) Music. The Bag Lady's love of music comes second only to the last, and most important M...

10) My Man. The Rancher.

And there you have the Bag Lady's list of things she loves that start with M. If anyone wants to play, let me know and I'll assign you a letter (chosen randomly, of course!)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Under Construction...

You may have noticed a wee change around here. The Bag Lady has a new header, created and designed for her by her sister, Reb, who blogs over at Sibu Pegasus Power. What do you think of it?

The Bag Lady will probably play around a little more with the look of her blog - she feels the need to redecorate periodically, and this is easier than moving furniture.

In the meantime, she has also been quite busy doing some sewing and isn't done with that yet, so she has been neglecting her blog just a little. She is almost finished sewing though, and things should be back to normal next week.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

That Sucks!!

The Bag Lady is happy!

She and the Rancher went to town yesterday and, amongst other things, brought home a new vacuum cleaner! Now, before you sneer, please recall the Bag Lady was excited to receive a new bagless vacuum cleaner just before Christmas 2007. That excitement lasted right up until she had to empty the damned thing! What a mess! It got to the point where the Bag Lady had to take it outside to empty it because if she emptied it inside, she would have to vacuum again! A total pain in the ass. Especially when it was minus 40. Occasionally, she even had to use her old vacuum cleaner to vacuum the inside of the bagless vacuum cleaner! She suffered for over a year with the mess and inconvenience of that Blessed Bagless Beast, until she decided she was totally and completely fed up with it.

She bought the same kind of vacuum she had before the Blessed Bagless Beast, which means she can use the attachments from the old vacuum. The new vacuum has slightly different attachments, so she should have just about every possible vacuuming situation covered.

She has sworn that she is going to take great delight in destroying the BBB - she is going to take it outside and run it over with the wheel loader. Then she's going to run over it again, just to make sure it's dead!

Now she understands the concept of a bagless vacuum cleaner - it's supposed to be better for the environment because there are no bags cluttering up the landfill sites. Unfortunately, the Bag Lady didn't feel it was better for HER environment to spend her entire life cleaning her house, then cleaning up after emptying her vacuum! Add that to the fact that an upright vacuum cleaner is awkward and inconvenient, and she was more than happy to go back to her canister-style.

Now, if she could just convince the vacuum to run itself, she'd be in heaven!

Pictures!

The Bag Lady decided to share a picture with you today. She went to the third folder in her photo file, and chose the third picture (because today is 03/03/09... original, isn't she?) for today's post.

Coincidentally, this picture was taken last March. These were the flowers she purchased to decorate for Easter last year.



As an added bonus, here is another picture from that file - it is the bunny cake that she made for Easter last year.

This year's Easter celebration isn't until April - hopefully, the weather will have warmed up by then and it will feel more like spring!

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's Monday ?

The Bag Lady had a wild and crazy weekend.

Well, okay, maybe not. She wishes she had, because it would be fodder for blogging....

The Rancher is finished working. For awhile, anyway. This makes the Bag Lady happy because she is hopeful that he'll be home to help with calving season. Of course, things change and he may get called back to work before then, but for now it's looking as though he will be home. This has necessitated some changes in the Bag Lady's life. She actually has to cook occasionally. But she no longer has to make sandwiches for the Rancher to take with him to work. The Bag Lady has made in the neighbourhood of 750 sandwiches over the last 8 months. The Bag Lady hates making sandwiches almost as much as the Rancher hates having to eat them!

The Bag Lady and the Rancher ventured into town on the weekend. Together. At night! They attended a surprise birthday party for one of their very good friends who was celebrating a milestone birthday. It was a success in that she was surprised! There were a good number of friends and relatives in attendance, and none of us had let anything slip.

Other than that, the Bag Lady hasn't much else to share with you. How was your weekend?