Monday, June 29, 2009

Busy Monday

The Bag Lady spent a busy day around the house, cleaning and tidying her sun porch, which should actually be called the cat house. Both of the Bag Lady's cats spend a great deal of time sleeping in the sun porch.... and there was a ton of cat hair everywhere to prove that fact! The vacuum cleaner got quite a work out. The floor is washed but the Bag Lady has a small mountain of laundry to do before she can put the room back together again. She is too exhausted to tackle the windows ..... all 38 of them will have to wait until tomorrow. Well, maybe she'll break out the vinegar and do a few tonight.

Here are some more pictures from the Bag Lady's sojourns to the pasture:

The wild roses are blooming everywhere - even on the barbed wire fences. The Bag Lady has no idea what the other plant is called, but she thought the two of them looked pretty together.

The bush between the yard and the pasture is loaded with wild roses

There is an abundance of these little white flowers close to the corral. The Bag Lady has no idea what they are, either. She's not exactly a fount of information today, is she?

Friday, June 26, 2009


The Bag Lady thought you might like to take a stroll through her yard with her today. We'll start with a peek at these little forget-me-nots in her flowerbed. She planted them several years ago, and is always happy to see them in the spring:

Around the back of the house, the wild roses (Alberta's provincial flower) are blooming in the bush:

It's evening, and the trees make long shadows across the back lawn:

Looking in a different direction is the firepit and the back of the outdoor oven:

Turning slightly, we can look across the lawn toward the garden:

And here is the front lawn:

The Bag Lady artfully ignored a good portion of her yard (the parts with all the weeds and mess!). These pictures were taken about a week ago, and she can't believe how dry things look in comparison! She has probably complained in previous posts about how long it takes her to mow her lawn, even though she uses a ride-on lawn mower, but if it doesn't rain soon, she won't have to worry about mowing! It seems to have stopped growing.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rescue Me....

Imagine, if you will, getting a call from a frantic mother/father/sister/brother, telling you that their child/wife/husband/family member has gone missing on a wilderness hike/ski trip/canoe ride/whatever.

You are an experienced woodsman/hiker/skier/canoeist; you volunteer to help look for said missing family member.
You risk life and limb, but find the missing family member and all is well.

Imagine doing this on a regular basis. As a volunteer. You don't get paid. It's dangerous work. You do it because you are experienced in the outdoors, and feel a desire to contribute your particular skill to help your community. You don't always find the missing person in time to save their life, but you give it your best shot, risking your own life to try to save someone else's.

Now imagine that you are on a ski holiday, at a resort, wanting a little thrill. There is an area marked out-of-bounds, but you are arrogant enough or bold enough (perhaps even drunk enough) to think you know better than the operators of the ski resort. You and your spouse decide to ski that fresh powder beckoning just beyond the markers. You get lost. You do everything you can think of to attract attention. You stomp SOS in the snow. You spend long cold days and longer colder nights on the mountain. Your wife finally succumbs to the elements just two days before you are finally rescued.

You are overcome with guilt, frantic at the thought of your wife needlessly losing her life because of your own stupidity. Do you compound that stupidity by turning around and SUING THE VOLUNTEERS for not finding you in time to save your wife?????!!!!!

I can only assume that the asshole who went skiing out of bounds in the mountains of BC with his wife (who subsequently died of exposure after they spent seven nights in the elements) has lost his mind..... why else would he sue the people who volunteered to search for him? He and his wife must have known there was at least a chance that they would lose their lives when they deliberately crossed the clearly marked barrier into the out-of-bounds area of the mountain.

This has made me so angry, I can scarcely marshall my thoughts into coherent phrases. Volunteer Search and Rescue organizations all over the country are wondering what will happen. Their volunteer searchers - those brave souls who go out in all kinds of weather at great risk to themselves to help find someone who is lost - are dropping out of the organizations, fearful of being sued for not finding someone on time.

I am over-simplifying the situation, perhaps, but the whole idea of suing someone who didn't have to go out and look for me in the first place doesn't sit well with me.

Those people knew the risks involved in going into an area they weren't supposed to be in, and I for one, hope that this case is thrown out of court. If the case is actually heard, and the fellow actually wins, there will be no-one willing to volunteer for anything ever again, because this opens the door for myriad abuses. Would you volunteer to help someone with their groceries if they could turn around and sue you because you didn't bring the groceries into the house quickly enough to suit them and a fly got into their house? Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? But is it more ridiculous than suing someone for not rescuing you quickly enough from a situation you created with your own stupidity?

Am I off-base? Do I sound like a cranky old woman? What do you think about suing volunteers? Do you wonder, as I do, if some of those volunteers are wishing they had been just a little slower finding this guy?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And Another Thing....

Here are a couple more photos the Bag Lady took on her weekend trip. Her sister-in-law has this "yard ornament" in her backyard:

And there was a rabbit on the side of the road..... honest.......

The Bag Lady and the Rancher have been swamped with appointments and such these past couple of days, so she's sorry she hasn't been around much to respond to your comments. She's hoping things will be back to normal (well, okay, as normal as things ever are for the Bag Lady!) sometime later this week!

In the meantime, thanks to everyone for visiting here!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekend Travels

The Bag Lady had a busy weekend, and it's still busy around the ranch. She and the Rancher had a family reunion dinner to go to, and she took a few photos during the drive.
As they were leaving home, there were river boat races:

She thought this little creek looked interesting:

And even in summer, there are snowsun men!

They saw this little old church along the way - it looked abandoned:

And Saturday was the longest day of the year, so she took this picture on the drive home Saturday night. It was 12:16 am, and there was still light in the northern sky:

She will have a few more pictures to share with you tomorrow!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Photo Phinish Phriday

Here are a couple of pictures of the Bag Lady's flowerbed for you:

This is rock soapwort:

This is a honeysuckle bush:

And here are the newest additions to the ranch:

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

....And Later that Day.

After the Rancher and his brother and the Bag Lady finished up with the calves, and the Bag Lady's aborted attempts at photographing the deer and fawn, the Rancher and the Bag Lady decided to take a drive to another piece of family property to see if there were any ducks to photograph.

There were a few ducks, but they were not co-operative at all, and kept flying to the other side of the dugout, so the Bag Lady contented herself with a couple of pictures of the reflection of the trees in the water.

By this time, it was after 10 pm, and the sun was starting to set, which made quite a difference in the light quality, depending on which direction the Bag Lady was standing when she took the pictures. It was a lovely, calm mosquito packed evening, which made for some very nice pictures.

Oh, and earlier in the day, the Bag Lady had gone out to weed the garden, and had pulled some radishes that had volunteered from last years' seed.

Now we are caught up with what happened on Tuesday around the ranch. The Bag Lady will try to get organized enough to post some more pictures tomorrow of the events of the rest of the week...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Well, the Bag Lady had such a busy day yesterday, she didn't have time to compose a blog post in advance! On the other hand, it gives her something to tell you about!

She did some laundry and house cleaning (don't envy her because her life is so glamorous!) and took her truck in to the garage for a tune-up. When she and the Rancher got back from picking it up in the late afternoon, they decided to go for a walk around the place. When they got to the corral, they realized that almost all the cows and calves were actually in the corral. It was another hot day, and the corral is surrounded by big trees, so it's shady (and there's a water source) and the whole herd was lying down, resting.

The Rancher decided it was too good an opportunity to miss, so he and the Bag Lady snuck around and closed some gates and trapped the animals. (She knows you are wondering why they would want to trap the animals, and she's about to tell you - patience, grasshopper!) This sneaking around plan wasn't entirely successful, and the Rancher and Bag Lady did get in a bit of a cardio workout (interval training!) chasing the few who made a break for it. In the end, the humans won, even though the Bag Lady almost collapsed from the exertion. She hadn't had anything to eat since her breakfast cereal, and she prefers to blame that fact, rather than admit she is really out of shape.

One of the necessities of ranching is having to do a few things to the calves when they are young. Sometimes these things can be done almost immediately after the calf is born, but this year, with the Rancher and Bag Lady both a little crippled up, these things haven't been done. Now that the Rancher is feeling a little better, he decided it was time to get caught up. His brother had volunteered to come out from town and give a hand, so after the animals were locked in the corral, the Rancher called his brother.

His brother came out and the three of them separated calves from cows and herded the calves into the barn. It was hot and dusty work, so once the calves were locked in the barn, a wee break for a beverage was taken. Then they set to work ear-tagging and ringing. (Sounds rather charming, doesn't it?) All the calves had an identifying ear tag inserted, and (if you are male, you might want to skip the next part of this sentence!) the bull calves were turned into steers by putting a castrating ring on them.

Here they are, inserting an ear tag:

(click on any of the images to enlarge)

Naturally, this is a rather noisy occasion, as the mothers stand outside in the corral and bawl at their babies to "get out of that barn right this minute and come to me!" (naturally, when the Bag Lady took a second to take a picture, the cows had all turned away....)

After all the ear-tagging and ringing was finished, the calves were released and reunited with their mothers:

As soon as the corral gate was opened, the cows took their calves and left for the furthest corner of the place!

The Rancher's brother stayed for another beverage and a bit of a visit, then he went home to have his slightly delayed supper (it was 9 pm) Shortly after he left, the phone rang. The Rancher answered, and after a few cryptic sentences, hung up, turned to the Bag Lady and said "Get your camera" It had been his brother on the phone, explaining that as he was passing the edge of their property, he saw a deer with a newborn fawn! The Rancher and the Bag Lady jumped in the truck and drove down the road. Sure enough, there was a deer with her baby. As soon as the truck slowed down, the deer took off running across the field, tiny spotted fawn at her heels. The Bag Lady apologizes, and begs you to click on the picture to enlarge it, then use your imagination and try to spot the little brown dots in the centre of the photo, just above the pesky tree branch that was in the way....

Oh, and the Bag Lady took this next photo at 11 pm the night before last, in an attempt to show how light it still is at that time of night at this time of year. The flash went off, but it really didn't illuminate the Bag Lady's entire yard....

And, finally, one last picture that was on the Bag Lady's camera that she has no clue how it got there....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Arguably the Most Boring Blog Post on the Entire Internet

The Bag Lady spent a good portion of yesterday outside. She mowed the dandelions lawn, then set the sprinkler on it in the hopes that it would induce the clouds to produce. They gathered, so that's something.

She also spent some time working on a sewing project, but she's finding it difficult to concentrate on any one thing for very long. Short attention span. Must be the heat. Makes her lazy (any excuse will do).

She obviously doesn't have much to blog about. There are all kinds of things happening in her life right now, but nothing worthy of an entire blog post (she's pretty sure she could spin a tale about her potatoes growing an entire inch overnight, if she really set her mind to it, but it's too hot to think.) Maybe she should have been wearing a hat when she was outside......

She'll leave you with a picture of a cake she baked last week.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Typical Monday

It's hot.

And dry.

And the Bag Lady's computer is acting like a jerk.

It must be Monday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Friday Again?

The Bag Lady has been having a bit of a hard time coming up with blog posts. Part of this is due to her lack of imagination, but a large part of it is because she is being distracted by real life.

When she started out blogging, she tried to keep her anonymity, to a degree. As time went on, she did let things slip a little, so that by now most of her regular readers (bless you, one and all) have a pretty good idea where in the universe she is.

The Rancher's boss died suddenly last week. The funeral is tomorrow. It has thrown all of us for a loop. Mohinder was from India, and went back to India on a 'working holiday' every spring. He was in India when he was taken ill and subsequently died.

He was "Uncle" to a huge number of people. As far as I understand it, being called Uncle in the Indian culture does not necessarily mean there is a blood relationship, but is a sign of respect. Moe was the patriarch of his family and will be sorely missed by all who knew him and worked for him.

Rest in peace Uncle Moe.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


This was given to the Bag Lady awhile ago, and she decided she should share it with you.

Absolutely click on it to enlarge.....

It always makes her smile.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Backyard Baking

The Bag Lady doesn't have a whole lot for you today. She spent most of yesterday outside again, working on her yard. The dandelions and weeds seem to take great delight in multiplying behind her back!

She gathered some wood from the pasture and stacked it by her outdoor oven in preparation for doing some baking some day soon. She has to do a little repair work (again) on the crack that reappears every spring. The frost makes the ground move, which causes a shift in the blocks that hold up her oven, which causes a crack in the cement. Every year, the Bag Lady tries to repair the crack, and every year, it reappears. Sigh.

Here are some pictures of the oven from a couple of years ago:

First, you start a fire.....

When the fire has burned in the oven for a couple of hours and heated the bricks sufficiently, you let it die down, scrape out the ashes and put your food inside. The Bag Lady has a wooden "door" that she built to fit the opening. She soaks it in water while the fire is burning, and once she puts her food in the oven, she blocks the front opening with the door.

On a good day, when everything is going well, this is what comes out of the oven:

Artisan bread!

The outdoor oven makes the absolute best pizza in the entire universe, too!

Now, if the Bag Lady could get the crack repaired, she could bake something....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Looking for a Stool.....

The Bag Lady spent most of her day yesterday outside, working in her yard. She finally got around to tackling the weeds and grass that had been invading her flowerbed. The Rancher pitched in, too, and did some digging for her.

He mowed the lawn, too. The Bag Lady went around the yard, picking up the dog's toys that were scattered all over the lawn so he would have clear mowing. When she got to the back of the house, she decided to move some big rocks in order to make it easier to mow.

She picked up a fairly large rock and it almost slipped out of her grasp. She managed to recover and not drop it, which was a good thing, because this little guy was hiding underneath it!
(click on any of the pictures to enlarge)

The Bag Lady picked him up and took him around to the front of the house where the Rancher was setting to the task of moving a very large water barrel that the Bag Lady decided would work better elsewhere.
She showed him to the Rancher, then took him back to the area where she found him, just in case he had a family close by!
The Rancher hollered at her a few minutes later to come back. He had succeeded in moving the barrel, and said "Look, here's his grand-daddy!"

The first one was a dull greenish colour, but for some reason, this one is red! He is also quite a bit larger than the first, as you can see in this picture.

The Bag Lady picked him up and carried him to the back yard and set him free with the other guy. When the Rancher got around to mowing the back yard, he later told the Bag Lady that he had spied the big guy making his way across the yard! Must have been looking for a new toadstool to hide under!

Oh, and in case you ever wondered, toads' urine is cold. The Bag Lady knows this because BOTH of these toads peed on her hand! She was wearing gloves, but they have mesh in between the fingers, and she felt it immediately!

And yes, she washed her gloves AND her hands..... more than once!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fight Night

The Bag Lady went for a walk in the pasture the other night and a fight broke out!

The bigger calf on the left was the last calf born last year - she was very late, born in November.

The little guy who is challenging her is about a month old. He has supreme confidence in his own ability!Fortunately, the fight didn't last long, but the little guy did manage to hold his own against the bigger calf!

Calves do this kind of mock fighting all the time. Full-grown bulls do it in all seriousness, so perhaps the little guy thought he should practice taking on bigger critters!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


June 6, 1944. The day the Allies launched the Normandy invasion.

My dad served in the RCNVR (Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve) as a communications operator on a corvette.

I wish I had paid more attention to detail, because I cannot recall the exact date he joined the navy, but do know it was 1944.
(he is second from the left in the second row in this picture)

Take a moment today to remember the sacrifices so many young men and women made during the Second World War.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Just Dandy

Here is proof for those doubting POD Thomases out there that the Bag Lady really is making dandelion wine!

First, you pick the dandelions.
Then you wash them really, really well (especially if you have a dog.... eeeuuuwww!)

Then you pour boiling water over them and let them sit for a couple of days

Then you add some fruit and sugar and spices

And boil it for an hour

Then you strain it, let it cool, add the yeast, and let it sit overnight (the Bag Lady forgot to take a picture of that, but it was boring anyway - all it was doing was sitting there, bubbling occasionally like a miniature lava pool)

Then you pour it into bottles. Poke a few holes in some balloons, fit them on top of the bottles (easier said than done!) and watch the balloons rise up like little black condoms....

Then you put them in a dark place for three weeks. And hope they don't explode.

Oh, and here is the (aforementioned dog) Princess, relaxing after a hard day helping the Bag Lady in the yard. (Chasing sticks and barking at birds and squirrels is exhausting!)

Have a great weekend!