Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 and 2013

I have spent much  of this last week thinking about what I would like to blog about on the last day of 2012 and the first day of 2013.

Well, at least the Mayans had it wrong,
that I think,
is the really good news from 2012.

I thought first to write a blog, a sort of Review of 2012,
but then I realised anybody can just go through the blog archives and will know what kind of year it has been.

The I thought of a "Photo of the month" over 2012,
but I see that Facebook did that for me,
So, I did not need to do that.

While pondering this matter,
I realised the normal thing  to do would be to write down New Years resolutions.
I am not going to that either.
I have decided instead to make a wish list for you.

So, I wish you all the following ( and more)
for 2013..

Close Friendships

Meet new friends..

Have your own guardian angel..

Be surrounded by people who believe in you..

Lots of funny and crazy moments..

Someone to snuggle up to..

That you always can show your best side..

Have fun and play games..

Venture out and discover the world..

Together, explore new paths..

You have the strength to weather the storms of life..

Someone has your back..

Someone to share your thoughts, dreams and feelings with..

Someone to guide you, when you get lost..


Laugh heartily..


Some one who will care for you in times of need..

Someone who will watch over you..


And, may you all have a tiger stuffy for all those unforeseen moments in life.

I wish you all the best ( and more) for 2013!

And by the way..

"I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticising, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me."
- Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

No news really...

Like every fanatical blogger,
even if I have no news..
I still blog!

So, here is what has been happening.

The kids have Christmas holidays..

The cows and sheep are fed..

The chickens are laying eggs..

I get our truck stuck almost daily on our ranch..

Some days are sunny and others are cloudy...

It has been very cold lately, our "highs" have been -28 Celsius,
our lows have been somewhere in the -30's Celsius.

That means the collies get an extra thick straw bed for during the day,
and a an extra thick straw bed in their night boxes.

Christmas was a quiet event this year.
The tree was a bit later than normal...
however it was up and decorated before Christmas eve.
We were all good and Santa brought us some interesting gifts...
Like, I got an air compressor! Yay!
And Eric got the normal male type of gifts like tools and knives.
Roy got tools, tool box and some model things to build.

Santa gave Jess a painting of her and her Loretta..
Our fantastic neighbours came over for a relaxed and  low stress supper.

I think the biggest news right now is that we are expectantly waiting for our lambing time to start.
The ewes are plump.
We have started the watch routine.
Every two hours day and night,
 someone walks up and down to the barn to check up on the sheep.

I have the late night ( graveyard) shift.
My alarm wakes me at 1.50am.. and I usually crawl back to bed again at about 5 am if all is quiet.

Sounds like hell, but
I actually love this time:
the quite, peacefulness, the dark nights, the starry nights, the moon, sometimes the northern lights, the cold,
the ewes chewing their cud in the deep straw, the walk back to the house,
the warmth of the house, the couch, the all night news
and then the walk back to the barn again for another check.

I hope you all had a quiet and good Christmas!

Friday, 21 December 2012

More to celebrate

So far, so good!
It looks like the Mayans may have had it wrong,
and that is good news.

there is more to celebrate than an ancient calander that just kind of stopped...
Today is another special day,
with a special date

As, of tomorrow,
things will be turning around and we will be heading towards
summer once again.

And, with -20C here
that heading towards the summer part
 is certainly worthy of a celebration!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Parties

Yep, it is that time of the year again.
Time for the traditional office Christmas party.
Which often includes an activity such as bowling,
lots of food and drink,
some tipsy people and bad jokes.
All very predictable and often rather boring.

Eric works at a small insurance office in town.
They held their annual Christmas party last Saturday.
It was started in the late afternoon with some
pond hockey.

For those that did not want to venture out onto the ice,
there was a nice warm campfire going ringside.
With a nice hot coffee,
a touch of Baileys,
the afternoon was warm ( well as warm as could be at -14) and fuzzy.

What a great way to celebrate Christmas..
around the warmth of the fire,
beautiful winter landschaap,
laughing children,
and watching the last golden glow of the sun setting.
Definitely, one of the best Christmas Office parties ever.

Friday, 14 December 2012

I am in sharing mood..

Roy looked at this picture and asked "Who is that?"
I gave him a really evil look.
He said " Mom, what happened?"
and I replied
" I ask myself  that daily.."

Well, I suppose Life happened, and today I celebrate another milestone.

Seeing that its my birthday,
I thought I would share some random list of  random things about me for all my blog readers.

So, here goes, in no particular order:

*I like making lists, they help to clarify things

*I like all kinds of music, from Lady Gaga, to Country. to Techno,
it all depends on my mood I suppose.
I used to have a boyfriend who was/is very into music.
He made me  introduced me to all kinds of vague bands.
(Hi Jon..)
We are still friends after about 27 years!
One of my all time favourites is still In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins it is on all my iTunes playlists.
*I like to write and share our daily dose of drama from our ranch.
* As far as my favourite movies goes, its is also kind of all over the map.
The same boyfriend ( Hi Jon..) used to take me to just about every movie showing in our town in the late eighties.
But, I have always liked the long drama
" A river runs through it"
I also enjoyed the book.

As I am a bit of a romantic I always loved the epic Out of Africa..

it kind of does it more for me than the Twilight movies..
Although I do like the Werewolves!

* I like to read ( everything), I even read the labels on toilet spray.

*I am a Sagittarius  and under the Chinese Astrological signs I am a Sheep/goat
- how could it not have been.
* I love being at home. But, home is not necessarily my house!

* I enjoy having visitors but like to have some warning so I can clean our house.

*My idea of retirement is a 3 horse trailer with built in living quarters,
and then travel to all the great natural wonders. Ride my horse, walk the dog etc..
Something like this:

 *I like to collect quotes on my computer.

*I love riding my horse and training dogs,
I did not realise that the Canadian winter would hinder this.

*I have both German and Irish blood,
but have had a South African, Dutch and Canadian (PR) passport.

*Who knows, I might move to another continent again.

* I always carry a pocket knife with me.

* I cannot tie knots, I do not know the difference between a half hitch and a bow..

*I have work hands and painted toenails ( thanks to my teenage daughter)

*I remember a childhood drama, I think it shaped who I am.
Our family was invited to a springbok hunt when I was just a kid in Africa.
I don't know what my child brain understood with a "springbok hunt" but when they shot a young buck in front of me, I was mortified.
I remember my horror and revulsion.
I have gotten over this drama, and can actually accept that people hunt,
but it can only be justified in my mind if it is to put food on the table.

*It is rather contradictory as we breed butcher lambs.

*It was never my life goal to have kids, however I am so pleased with the two I have.
They are two great kids!
I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Our nek of the woods

I posted this pic on Facebook,
so if you are my FB friend then you may have seen this one passing through the wall posts!

Walking around like this is normal in our nek of the woods.
Usually, I do have a toque on my head as well,
but I wanted to show my frozen hair and eye lashers.

There is no place for vanity on a Northern Canadian Sheep Ranch..

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Weaning calves (and colts)

The fall weather turned into winter really quickly this year.
Normally by now the calves would have been weaned and shipped,
however we got a bit behind with this chore.
 I made the decision that it had to happen...immediately.
So, I kept Jess, my right hand girl when it comes to cow wrangling,
home from school to help me.

Today was a perfect day to do this.
The weather was sunny and mild and it actually warmed up enough to be able to work without coats!

I have the cows pretty well trained to come when called, so I called them up to the gate and let them drift over from the winter pasture into the horse corral.
Here we have some pens so that we can sort and handle the cattle.
No chutes or tubs, just two pens.

When we work the cows I like to tie up the horses we are not using, they just get in the way and are all excited.
So, by tying them up they are close at hand if needed and things stay nice and calm this way.
 Jess hopped onto Loretta bareback,
and with Lad at my side we drove them into the pens.
Here we quietly sorted the cows from the calves.
I spent about 20 minutes teaching the calves to work with a border collie (Lad).
Lad has the right amount of pressure on these young animals, he does not rile them up.
He calmly stands his ground,
corrects when they break from the group (or want to sniff him).
When they return to the group he backs off and leaves them alone.

and release,
sometimes its a standoff!

Once the calves figured out what Lad wanted, they stayed nicely bunched up in the corner.
This allowed me to walk in among them to squirt  dewormer onto their backs.
No stress and no fuss.

Once the calves where done, we dewormed the cows in a similar manner.
Convincing the cows to leave their babies was a little more of a chore,
but between Jess on Loretta and my Lad it was done in no time.
We returned the cows to the winter pasture.
Crackers and Ace look on when the cows return to the pasture.
While we were weaning we also decided that it was time for Crackers ( Roy's colt) to be weaned.
She is now 1.5 years old and still drinks from mom Qtee.

 Crackers  got weaned today and Ace went along for the company.
They were not amused.
Qtee however is  a very old horse and she could not handle this big baby drinking from her.
So, we decided to put the two colts (Jess's black Ace and Crackers) in with cows to force this weaning of crackers.
The colts were not amused!

They horses  were  not quite as calm as the cows.
Once we let them go they went racing and bucking through the corral,
They thought it was a party.
Here Ally is having some fun..

After this chore, we had one more job and that was to pen up three old breeding bulls.
I had been working with them these last few days, working them with a dog and getting them to come
towards the catch pens.
We got two  directly into the pen,
but one bull, who is a nasty piece of work decided that today was not the day.
He run over Lad and was eyeballing us and generally being a pain.
So, once again Jess hopped onto Loretta bareback and with just a halter,
she and Lad worked this ornery bull around...
without too much fuss we convinced him that he really did want to go to his buddies.

Today the bulls got loaded and headed off to the auction market.
So, all in all, a good day!

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