Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

The Bag Lady is currently laid up, waging a battle against sciatica. So far, the sciatica seems to have the upper hand, but the Bag Lady is going to try to enlist some assistance today (somewhere, somehow, somebody must be working in a physiotherapy office, or chiropractic office..... right?)

In the meantime, she finds it impossible to sit at her computer for any length of time, but wanted to share some photos with you of what her neighbourhood looks like right now.

There is a lot of frost around:

Frost and snow:

The sun is just behind the hill, and the "rainbow" is part of a sun dog:

More frost and snow line the driveway (c'mon in, we'll have some hot chocolate!)




First though, the Princess wants you to throw her frisbee for her (but don't throw it in the deep snow or you'll have to go get it yourself, thankyouverymuch!)

Yes, out here where the snow is packed down is much easier for her!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Birdbath Closed

Due to the onset of winter, this birdbath is closed until further notice.


Poor birdies.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Coyote

As the Bag Lady was busy preparing for her Christmas feast, she glanced out the window and saw that there was a visitor in her yard!




The Princess happened to be sleeping beside the door, so she didn't see the coyote right away, which allowed the Bag Lady time to get the camera and take a picture. When the Princess awoke shortly thereafter, she spied the coyote and set up quite a ruckus. The Bag Lady, however, refused to open the door because she could see what the Princess could not - there were at least three more coyotes out in the pasture not far away, which meant that the Princess would be outnumbered.

The bold coyote who had ventured so close to the house heard the Princess roaring, and quickly rejoined the rest of the pack and convinced them that it was time to move on. The Princess eventually settled down and forgave the Bag Lady for not opening the door.


It is not at all unusual to see coyotes around this area, but the Bag Lady rarely manages to get pictures of them. In spite of their boldness, they move away quickly when they feel threatened, and most of the time when the Bag Lady sees them, she doesn't have her camera close at hand.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mizfit's Hidden Talent Show

Mizfit is hosting a blogger hidden talent show today! Many, many bloggers have participated and uploaded videos of their talents, so slip on over there and have a peek!

Charlotte, of the Great Fitness Experiment, and POD, of Thuffering Thuccotash have also participated with posts on their blogs. There are probably others, too, that the Bag Lady is unaware of! (AHA, the Bag Lady has a talent for poor sentence structure!)

She would love to post a video of her own hidden talent (if only she had one.... a talent, that is. Or even a video of a talent, which is hard to do when she doesn't have a hidden talent....) BUT she DID find a video (of very poor quality, which is, in itself a talent, she supposes - the talent to consistently produce poor quality videos!) from many, many years ago....

(Please keep in mind that this is supposed to be funny.... the Bag Lady does not actually know how to play ANY musical instruments....obviously!)


video

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays!

The Bag Lady had yesterday off from work, so did some baking. She made another batch of shortbread (the first batch mysteriously disappeared....), butter tarts and fiddle diddle (using Sagan's recipe!)

She has to work today, then has a couple days off, then works the morning of Christmas Eve. Uh oh. That means that Christmas is only four days away! Time to panic....

She may not get around to posting very regularly this week. (especially now that she realizes how little time she has left to get everything done!)

So, in case she doesn't get another chance, she'll wish you all a Merry Christmas! Hope the season is full of peace and joy for you all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

The Bag Lady finally remembered to take her camera along when she went out to do the chores! The calves that were born this summer are in the corral, along with some yearling steers, and the Bag Lady gives them oats every day. When the calves were first weaned, they were quite leery of humans, but oats are like crack for cattle, and the calves now look forward to their daily "fix"!

They are still a little wary of humans, but are also very curious, so when the Bag Lady went to check on the barn, they followed her and peeked around the corner to see what she was doing.

This guy figured that if he looked cute enough, he might get some extra rations. Alas, the Bag Lady had no more to give him.

These calves look like they were all lined up for inspection. In truth, they were inspecting the Bag Lady!


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Morning

It's that time of the year again. The time of year when the short daylight hours are compensated for by the beauty of the sky as the sun rises or sets.

This was taken a couple of weeks ago (the Bag Lady has been too busy to download the pictures from her camera!)

(and yes, she is trying to distract you from the fact that she has nothing much to talk about today!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Brrrrr

It is still cold out, but gradually warming..... only -37C this morning! Yippee.

The Bag Lady has the day off, and the weather is supposed to be warmer still tomorrow, which means her truck might start! She had to have the Rancher drive her to work yesterday because her truck absolutely refused ("I'm not going anywhere - are you crazy?"). He replaced the battery in her truck yesterday, which should help.

She forgot to take her camera with her yesterday, which is rather a shame, because there is a great deal of beauty to be seen even when it is that cold (if, of course, you can see through the ice fog). The sunrise was incredible, but you'll just have to take her word for it. Those of you who have never experienced the kind of sub-zero temperatures she's talking about will be shaking your heads and wondering "ice-fog?" That is the fog that is created by the warmer, moist air being emitted by exhaust (from furnaces and vehicles, etc.) The air above is crystal-clear, and the sky is an incredible shade of blue, whilst the ice-fog makes it nearly impossible to see anything at ground level.

She may get another opportunity to photograph some ice-fog for you because she and the Rancher have to go back to town today for errands and appointments.


Ten days until Christmas.
Uh oh.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

The Bag Lady wanted to share this with you:


Unfortunately, it's hard to take a picture through the window, but there was NO WAY she was going outside in her housecoat to snap this! So it is a little blurry, but you can still read it, can't you? (Kind of her to add the numbers, wasn't it? For clarity's sake.)

Technically, it is reading -49, but what's a degree or two between frost-bite, right?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Clean Freak (or Freakin' Cleaning, take your pick)

"There is no point in wasting my money on mind-altering drugs, because the drugs need something to work with."


This thought popped into the Bag Lady's head this morning. She was, as she so often does, writing blog posts in her head. Sadly, a lot of the time when she does this, she is nowhere near the computer, and by the time she has finished whatever she was doing and is sitting in front of the keyboard with that little cursor blinking expectantly in front of her, she has totally forgotten what she had so cleverly composed mere moments before. Which is why y'all are so often subjected to mundane, blow-by-blow posts about nothing.

In a lot of ways, you should probably be really glad that this happens to the Bag Lady on such a regular basis, because otherwise you would be subjected to all manner of strange, nonsensical babble. Oh, wait.....

Moving right along (nice segue, don't you think?) the Bag Lady (returning now to regular programming, aka, mundane minutiae) is up to her elbows (figuratively. In reality, it's only up to her knees, but somehow that doesn't sound right) in cleaning and tidying her house in preparation for the festive season. She has even cleaned the light/fan fixtures in her living room, which involved rickety ladders and much cussing of design of said living room (it wasn't pretty, especially considering it was the Bag Lady who thought having a ceiling that sloped from 12 feet high to 8 feet high would be such a good idea.... giving nary a thought to the fact that someone who is deathly afraid of heights would have to climb a rickety ladder and actually clean the freakin' light fixtures every couple of years time she turned around!) But the light/fan fixtures are all shiny, the carpet has been shampooed, the (brand-new, $50.00-on-sale-and-now-we-know-why) artificial tree is shedding it's artificial needles with abandon, and the Bag Lady can move on to decorating the tree. (Honestly, you would think they could make an artificial tree that would at least hang onto all the little plastic needles until you touched it to hang stuff on it - the Bag Lady is going to have to hang a LOT of ornaments to cover up the fact that all that's left of her $50.00-on-sale-and-now-we-know-why tree is the metal to which the little green plastic needles used to be attached!)

Once the tree is decorated, the Bag Lady will move on to cleaning the rest of the house and doing some more baking. Oh crap. She's only got 15 days left to get everything done. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Meanwhile, Back at the (really freakin' cold!) Ranch

The Bag Lady thought Sunday was bad, what with the power failure starting her day off, but that was only because she hadn't experienced Monday yet!

Yesterday morning, the Rancher got up and went to work at his usual OMG-it's-early!-o'clock, and the Bag Lady got up not long after he left. When she went to the bathroom and turned on the tap, a wee trickle of water was all it produced. She sighed deeply, struggled into her clothes and grabbed a flashlight. Monday morning was even colder than Sunday morning had been, and the heater in the pumphouse (where the well and the pressure tank that delivers water to the house is situated) had been turned down during the recent warm spell. When the Bag Lady got to the pumphouse, she could tell that the Rancher had been there before her. (Footprints in the snow, the pumphouse was quite warm, the heat gun was already plugged in and lying close to the pipes. "Bag Lady - Girl Detective") He had thawed the pipes a little, but the ice was still jammed in there, so the Bag Lady worked on them a little more.

By the time the water was flowing freely, it was too late for her to take a shower to get ready for work. Still dressed (although not exactly in the attire that would be presentable in her work-place.... ahem), she went out to start her truck. The Rancher had very kindly plugged in the block heater on her truck for her, so it should have started. It didn't. It tried, then made a funny little grinding noise, and refused to try any more.

She went back into the house and called her work place to tell them she couldn't get her truck started and didn't know if she would make it in to work. She consulted with the Rancher on his cell phone, and he told her how to hook up the super-duper heavy-duty battery charger he purchased for this very reason. Out into the cold she went again. She dragged the super-duper heavy-duty battery charger from the shop to the house and decided she needed to use the extension cord that was currently (get it? snicker) supposed to be delivering current to her block heater. When she tried to unplug her block heater from the extension cord, the end of the plug came right off the cord going to the block heater! Which explained why her truck wouldn't start. The current wasn't getting through the broken plug to the block heater.

She finally managed to pry the broken plug off the end of the extension cord, and plugged in the super-duper heavy-duty battery charger. She wishes she could report that her truck sprang into life with a roar, but unfortunately, it did not. The super-duper heavy-duty battery charger did supply enough boost to the battery to make the starter work, but the truck was just too darned cold to start.

It took until 3:00 in the afternoon for the Bag Lady to get her truck started. She moved it into the heated shop for overnight and will be taking it to a repair shop today.

She was not happy about missing work yesterday because Monday's are usually really busy and she has lots to do, but it was one of those things. (Why, you ask, didn't she call a taxi to come and fetch her and take her to work? It's simple, really - it would have cost her about $20.00 more to go to work and back in a taxi than she would have earned in the day. One of the disadvantages of living so far from town.)

She did manage to get a few things done around home, though, so the day was definitely not a write-off! She got caught up on paperwork and did chores and made a nice supper for the Rancher.

December has certainly not been a stellar month for the Bag Lady so far, and she sincerely hopes that that will be the end of her bad luck....knock on wood.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Where'd the Weekend Go?

Crap, it's Monday already??!

The Bag Lady had yesterday off from her paying job. The Rancher had to get up and go to work, though, so the alarm went off at 5 am. The Bag Lady got up and stumbled out to turn the coffee pot on, but it had only made about 3 cups of lukewarm coffee when the power went off!

She found some candles and a flashlight and phoned the power company. The recording on their emergency line said they were aware of the outage and hoped to have the power restored by 6 am. The Bag Lady went back to bed, hoping they would be right.

They weren't.

The Rancher had to go to work with a cup of lukewarm coffee and no thermos, and the Bag Lady fired up the wood stove for the first time this year. It really hasn't been cold enough to light the stove until now. Naturally, the coldest morning so far is also the morning the power went off!

The power did come back on around 8 am, and the Bag Lady sprang into action. She made a pot of coffee. She vacuumed and cleaned her kitchen. She baked shortbread cookies. The Rancher's cousin had to take a load of gravel out to the area where the Rancher was working, so he very kindly stopped by and picked up the Rancher's thermos to deliver it to him. The Bag Lady gave him a bag of cookies as a thank you!

The Bag Lady's cousin over at the Goat's Lunch Pail usually posts something she is grateful for on Mondays, and the Bag Lady is taking a page from her book today and expressing her gratitude for the wood stove that kept her warm during the power outage!

Sometimes the old-fashioned things are the best!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Recipes

The Bag Lady apologizes for being "missing in action", but she's been busy. (and no, it wasn't because she was dodging paparazzi trying to interview her regarding her torrid affair with Tiger.... she's probably one of the few gorgeous women who hasn't had a fling with him. *ahem*)

She has been working, both at her paying job, and on the ranch, and around the house. She has a ton of paperwork to do, and has made scarcely a dent in it so far (where DOES all that crap come from, anyway?)

She did get a start on some of her Christmas baking. She made Eggnog Fudge, which she has never made before, and survived the sugar coma it sent her into.

Warning: do NOT make this fudge if you have young children observing you.

SPARE YOURSELF THE SHAME, THE DEGRADATION, THE HUMILIATION YOU WILL FEEL WHEN YOU AWAKEN FROM THE SUGAR COMA YOU WILL INEVITABLY SLIP INTO IF YOU SO MUCH AS LICK THE SPOON, BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP UNTIL THE WHOLE FREAKIN' PAN IS GONE!

And what kind of example is that to set for your children?

She also made Marble Bark. Well, sort of. She was going to make Almond Marble Bark, but didn't have any almonds. Her recipe called for three ingredients: white chocolate, bittersweet chocolate and almonds. Simple, right? She didn't have bittersweet chocolate (well, she did, but it had been hanging around her pantry for so long it had turned grey, so she decided it was best not to use it), and her almonds were wa-a-a-ay at the back of the pantry, but the pecans (which she actually prefers to almonds, if the truth be known) were right up front, so she made up her own recipe. She toasted the pecans, then she melted 5 squares of semi-sweet chocolate (2 minutes on medium in the microwave), into which she dumped a couple handfuls of chopped pecans, then she melted 5 squares of white chocolate, into which she dumped a generous amount of toffee bits. She spooned piles of each mixture onto a piece of tinfoil, then drew a knife through the whole thing to marble the mixture. Refrigerate until firm, then break into pieces.
Yum.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Do You See What I See?

The Bag Lady has the day off from her paying job.

She has big plans for getting started on her Christmas baking.

Of course, that means she has to get off of her ever-expanding a$$ sometime soon. *ahem*

And here, for it's entertainment value, is a picture she took at the end of her driveway the other day when she was on her way to work. Can you see what she saw?

(try clicking on it to enlarge it....)