Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blatant Self-Promotion

The Bag Lady has entered a contest, but needs help from her friends..... she entered one of her photos in a contest to win a laptop (yes, she knows she just bought one, but if she won another, she could donate it to the museum...... so, essentially, you would be helping out the museum if you went and voted for her picture!)

Click on the link and at least check out the photo!

Vote for Me
Access Your Core from Intel

Oh, and just by voting? You, too, will have a chance to win a computer!!

(And, apparently, the Bag Lady has pulled up stakes and moved to Alaska. She heard it was nice there.)

Friday, February 26, 2010


The Bag Lady had a busy day yesterday, but it did not all go according to plan. It took her until 10 am to realize that she was mistaken about the repairman coming to fix her washer. The Rancher came in from doing some chores outside and asked her if he had phoned yet, which made her look at the note she left herself, which was when she realized it said March 4th. Sigh.

Her meeting was not a long one, so she had more time in the afternoon to do a few things around the house. She put a soup together and weeded out some papers in her office. Late in the afternoon, she and the Rancher settled in to watch the gold medal women's hockey game between Canada and the States. It was fast, it was exciting, it was down to the last 1 minute and 20 seconds.... Canada was ahead by 2 goals and

the screen went black as the power went off.

They knew that Canada would probably win, but a lot can happen in a fast-paced hockey game in a minute and 20 seconds. The Americans might score, cheating Canada out of a shut-out win.

The Bag Lady called the power company, who promised to send out a serviceman. Then the Bag Lady spoke to the neighbour, just to double-check that their power was off, too. There are only the two households on the line, and the power has been known to go off on just this section. The Bag Lady settled in with a flashlight and a book, while the Rancher napped on the couch. (yes, they lead an exciting life!)

The Rancher finally drove to the highway to confirm that yes, the switch at the highway was open, so the Bag Lady called the power company back to let them know. An hour or so after that, the serviceman from the power company drove into their yard and waded through the snow to their transformer pole (where the main breaker is situated), then eventually waded back out to his truck........

He finally came to the house and the Rancher went outside to talk to him. He explained to the Rancher that the problem appeared to be that the transformer in their yard had blown and would have to be replaced, and could the Rancher please plow a path to the transformer pole so the serviceman could get his truck out there?
Three big trucks eventually pulled into the parking lot space the Rancher had cleared and set to work. Five and a half hours after it went off, the power was restored. There is now a nice shiny new transformer in their yard that will, hopefully, provide them with many years of service.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time is Flying!

It has been another busy week around the Bag Lady's household. She has been hard at work at her job in town, and working on papers for the museum.

She and the Rancher took some steers to the abbatoir yesterday after she got off work. The meat processing place that they prefer is about an hour's drive away, but they really do a good job, and their facility is absolutely spotless! The Bag Lady knows this because every time they take an animal there, the owner takes them on a tour! After saying goodbye to the steers, the Bag Lady and the Rancher took the long way home so they could have supper with the Rancher's sister and her husband.

The Bag Lady has a repairman coming to her house today. Remember her front-loading washing machine? The door latch broke the other day and needs to be replaced. She has to admit, she is looking forward to having it fixed so she can do some laundry. (OMG, did she actually say that she is looking forward to doing laundry???)

She also has a meeting to attend this afternoon at the museum.
Wow, where did February go?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quick Update Again!

It appears as though the Bag Lady purchased her laptop just in time. Her other computer seems to be in a bit of a snit now, so perhaps it is jealous....

She and the Rancher had quite a busy weekend, which didn't leave her a lot of time to compose a blog post, so this will be just a quick update on the fly. She has to go to her job in town today.

She has been working on all the paperwork she needs to have before she can start accessioning for the museum. There are a lot of forms she needs to make and she doesn't want to forget anything. She wants to make sure she has everything organized and in order before she takes in a single item for display.

But right now she needs to dash off to work

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quick Update

The Bag Lady has been really quite busy this week, and is using that as her excuse for not posting!
In spite of the fact (or perhaps more accurately, because of the fact) that she only worked two days this week, she really had to put out. She is on a bit of a deadline for sprucing up some of the areas at her workplace, so she was busy painting for most of the last two days (and isn't anywhere close to being done!) She has to wait for someone else to move some things out of her way (they are just too danged heavy for her to do it herself!) and the someone else has other things to do, too. Sigh.

On the homefront, she bought herself a laptop computer so she can tote it back and forth with her in her capacity of curator at the new museum. The museum doesn't have a computer, and she thinks she will need one, so she found an inexpensive laptop at Costco that she simply couldn't live without! Now all she needs to do is figure out how to use it. She also bought a router so she could access the internet without a warren of wires to trip over, and actually managed to hook it up AND have it work properly, all on her own! (She is quite proud of herself for that!)

The weather in her neck of the woods continues to be quite mild, which makes her happy. Except, of course, for the periods of freezing rain, which do not make her happy! Today promises to be clear and sunny and quite warm, so she is planning to spend some time outside enjoying it.
There are chores to attend to outside (giving the calves grain, filling bird feeders, sweeping up the sunflower seeds that the woodpeckers delight in tossing around, etc.) and in (laundry, cleaning, etc.) and you can bet that the Bag Lady will be concentrating on the outside chores as much as she can! In fact, as soon as the sun comes up, the Bag Lady will be outside!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Peek at the Past

Here are a couple of short installments from the history book of the region where the Bag Lady lives:

"Mom struggled with a garden. The growth was terrific, but occasionally a summer frost would kill her potatoes and that was a disaster as that was a staple they depended on. She often told of times she and a neighbor lady would go horse back riding to pick blueberries or cranberries, or the lonely nights when the men were away hunting and the only sound you would hear was the howling coyotes. No communication in those days, but somehow life was not boring as there was so much to do one was far too busy to feel sorry for oneself.

I was born in January of 1918, in the tiny hospital in town. It was so cold inside the hospital that the water froze solid in a glass on a bedside table.

Soon the flu epidemic spread to our area and families and neighbors died by the score. Dad made boxes and helped bury the dead. People that were well a few days before were suddenly sick and dying. "

Another woman wrote of her experiences attending school in the 1940's:

"When my brother and I were school age, we rode horseback for the spring and fall months. Several families in our area travelled together with horses and sleigh during the winter months. School was about 5 miles away and on very cold days we often suffered frostbite on face, hands and feet. Our mothers would heat rocks in the oven and wrap them in blankets. The rocks held the heat for quite awhile and we would keep our feet on them to keep warm. However, often the roads would be badly drifted and we children would have to get out and break trail for the horses and sleigh. This, of course, meant extra time spent on the road and as a result, the rocks would be cold long before we arrived at school."

Stories such as these abound in the history of this country, and the Bag Lady is fascinated by them! She has great admiration for the pioneers who suffered all manner of hardships in order to carve a life out of the wilderness.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weird Work Week

The Bag Lady went on a bit of a road trip with the Rancher last weekend. He had to move some equipment, and needed her to come along to drive his truck. Without her help, he would have had to move the equipment and walk back for his truck. As it was quite a long distance, he opted for some assistance.

Of course, the Bag Lady took her little camera along and snapped some pictures along the way. The frost on the trees sparkled against the blue sky:

There was a hint of fog visible in places:

The Bag Lady followed the Rancher as he trundled along:

She thought this clump of willows looked pretty, sparkling in the sun.

The weather was actually fairly mild that day, and has stayed quite mild all week. It is even supposed to warm up a little more for the coming weekend, which suits the Bag Lady just fine!
She is looking forward to getting lots done this weekend (It is a long weekend where she lives, which means she doesn't have to work on Monday. Which means she will have had 5 days off in a row by the time she goes back to work. Which means her work week will be the same length as most people's weekend. How weird is that?!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


The Bag Lady has been attempting to take a picture of the birds that visit her feeders and finally managed to get one a) that is reasonably well-focused, and b) in which you can actually SEE the birds. The Bag Lady has numerous pictures where the lighting makes it impossible to see anything other than the shape of said birds. (She also has a few taken mere milliseconds after the birds have flown away.....)

But her persistence has paid off and she finally got a shot of these Evening Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls on her deck under the feeders. (feel free to click on it to enlarge it so you can see them in blurry close-up.)

Pretty, aren't they?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Days are Getting Longer!

The Bag Lady is happy to see that the daylight hours are getting noticeably longer now. Can spring be far away?
Well, yes, actually. Spring doesn't arrive in the Bag Lady's neck of the woods until sometime around the end of March.... err.... April.... umm sometimes not until May.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Peek at the Past

In keeping with her about-to-commence position as curator of the about-to-commence museum, the Bag Lady has been doing some historical research about the area where she lives. The first settlers arrived in this area early in the last century, but the population was sparse for quite some time due to a difficult river crossing.

The Bag Lady found this passage interesting and thought she would share it with you because it illustrates the hardships faced and the ingenuity employed by our ancestors.

There were no fridges or freezers in those days, so the pork was salted and put down in a big wooden barrel. We often put a chunk of moose meat in the brine as well. We fried some of the meat and put it in crocks or cans and covered it with melted butter or lard.

We were short of jars for canning fruit, so we took the necks off large wine bottles by wrapping a few rounds of string around the bottle, putting coal oil on the string and burning it, then turning the bottle over in cold water. The bottle usually broke off quite even. A little rub with some sand paper made the top smooth. We cooked wild berries quite thick without sugar and filled the bottles. We then took a square of brown paper, dipped it in skim milk and put it well down the sides and across the tops of the hot jars. They sealed good and kept real well. There were lots of bottles left in a shack that was once owned by a Mr. B***

In 1937, we moved to a different location and put the crop and garden in. There was a beautiful garden spot there that would grow anything without danger of frost. We seeded the field by hand, broadcasting the seed from the back of the wagon. We got a good crop of oats.

In 1939, we homesteaded on a different quarter. We camped there for awhile and did some brushing by hand. There was a very small shack on it, so we ate in the shack and slept in a tent. I had no oven to bake bread, so often took it to a neighbour's to bake it. I even baked it in a trench dug in the ground. We never had baker's bread. We often made biscuits or bannock on the campfire. We always had a cow along, so had plenty of milk, cream and butter.

Another woman describes how she and her husband built a log shack with a pole roof, and covered the roof with sod. When it rained, the water (and mud!) would come through, so they would put the tent that they had lived in the previous year over their bed to keep it dry! They would keep moose meat on their roof in the winter to keep the dogs from eating it.

Hope you enjoyed this little peek at the past. The Bag Lady is thinking about making this a regular part of her posts here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


The Bag Lady was really pleased yesterday afternoon when she went to pick up her mail and discovered a parcel all the way from New York City! Quite some time ago, she won a giveaway on Sagan's "Living Healthy in the Real World" blog. Sagan was giving away the "Flat Belly Diet" cookbook, and the Bag Lady was thrilled to be one of the recipients! The Bag Lady could definitely use some help in that area (can anyone say "apple-shaped"?) The publisher of the book tried more than once to send the book to the Bag Lady via FedEx. Unfortunately, FedEx does not deliver to people who live in rural areas, and returned the book to the publisher, so the Bag Lady gave the publisher the address of her workplace. She waited and waited, and asked pissed off the girls who work at the front desk several times if her parcel had come. She finally decided that it wasn't coming at all, and had resigned herself to that fact. BUT, thanks to the determination of Liz C., who works at the publisher, the Bag Lady now has the book in her hands!! And can hardly wait to try the diet! So thank you, Sagan, and thank you, Liz!

In other news.........

Lots of things have been changing in the Bag Lady's life. Last summer, she was approached by the president of the Museum Society in the community where she lives, who asked her if she would be interested in becoming the curator of the new museum. Her first reaction was one of incredulity, coupled with an immediate desire to say yes! She told him that she would have to think about it, but that she was intrigued by the idea. She has pondered and thought, and discussed it with a variety of people and has finally decided to take the bull by the horns... err.... give it a try. All of which means that she will probably be even scarcer around the blogosphere than she has been recently. But she will still be around occasionally, especially when she has something she absolutely has to share with all of you! (And if she fails miserably at the curator job, she will come whining back like a whipped pup.....)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

The Rancher has been doing some clearing on the ranch, and took the Bag Lady for a walk on the weekend so she could see what he had done.

It's difficult to grasp the scope of what he's done from these rather poor pictures. It was a cold, cloudy day and there isn't a lot of contrast between the sky and the snowy ground!

This is swampy land at the edge of the existing pasture, but now that it has been cleared it can be sown to grass and give the cows a little more room for grazing.

The Bag Lady has a busy week ahead of her with working, and appointments and meetings, so will likely be scarce around the blogosphere.