Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Year Gone By The Wayside

2012, there it is, done...over with...finito.
The year seemed to have gone by in blistering speed - and along the way was blisters on the feet from all the running around we had done.
From travelling to dog trials held across North America - Bowman, Drayton Valley, Bowden, Olds, Calgary, Kingston, Meeker, Shaunovan, Klamath Falls, Edmonton, Regina- to hosting a trial in our backyard in McCord - some of the year literally went to the dogs.
 Other times of the year was spend with friends and family - whether that was to celebrate a marriage, birthday, anniversary, birth - and even a life.
Then there were the other times of the year - the yearly progress of babies in the spring,
 shearing sheep, moving out to pasture,
 and finally the trip to the market.
As we travel our way out of 2012, we hope that all our friends and family have great prosperity in 2013.
I just hope it doesn't take me until April to remember to put 2012, oops I mean 2013 on cheques.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Fat Fella Fit Down The Chimney

Well, once again, magically, the big fat red guy was able to fit down the chimney and leave some gifts.  This year Chris and I had planned to stay at McCord for Christmas.  My side of the family would be strewn across the province - with (much) older sisters Sandy and Jean celebrating with their adult kids and their families.  My younger sister Sharon and her family and brother Gary would go to Mom and Dad's in Broadview. 
As I said, we had planned to stay home - up until 7:30 am Christmas day.  "Want to go to Broadview for the day?" Chris asked after Daisy had given up her daily milk.  Now, Broadview is about four and half hours away, and I was technically on call since my boss was soaking things up in Mexico.  It didn't take me long to say "Yes!" for the intended trip.  Things were quickly fed up, we open our presents at mach speed, and we were on the road by 10:30 am - driving faster than Santa did the night before.  I didn't tell Mom and Dad that we were coming, so, like a good daughter on the holidays, I phoned her as we drove into Broadview, and started to ask her what she got for Christmas.  She was still talking to me on the phone when I snuck up behind her in the living room.  Her response was "What the hell?!?!"  I think she was slightly in shock since we had to almost pry the phone out of her hands. 
I had to bring a couple of JRT pups along for the ride, and Christmas socializing was done.
 It was a good thing I had brought them, since there were mice in the house.
 After the obligatory game of cards (in which Mom won, and I do believe she cheated), supper was to be eaten.  Thomas the turkey and Cheryl the chicken were invited for the feast.
 My brother Gary was the main dishwasher (women, he is still single, and he has a good job, and gives great Christmas gifts - he gave me a Coronation Street game!)
 Brother-in-law Terry was Master in turnips, not sled dogs.

 And no turkey should be without cranberries!  The best cranberries were picked for this meal.
 With all the fixings out, we bellied up to the feed bunk.
 Here is Mom and Dad, post supper.  This will be their 61st Christmas together - hopefully many more will follow.  As Mom shows, a little wine makes things go smooth.
 So after supper, we drove back home, singing to all the Christmas songs on the radio.  I could not miss the Boxing Day specials the next day- I would have to get there early for the free parking.
 For those of you who don't know what the symbols mean, Glentworth has gas (and the d means diesel), plates, forks and knives (but no spoons), sleeping people, wrenches, propane bottles, shopping carts (that you don't have to pay for), phones (for those whose cell phones don't work), reading books and skaters.
 Parking would appear to be an issue.
 The Mall (slash post office) was busy with shoppers.  I snagged a few good deals,  This place is truly a diamond in the rough.
When I was a kid, it seemed to take forever for Christmas to come - these days, it creeps up you quickly and it is over before you know it.  Even though it was over in a flash, I was happy it was spent with my family.  Take away the hustle and bustle of the season, and you have what makes Christmas special...a special birthday celebrated with family.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Now, for those who doesn't know what BSE is, it stands for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease.  Now since Canada was honest enough back in 2003 to report they found BSE, to appease the other countries in the world, there has been a surveillance program to evaluate the risk of BSE.  So when a cow is down and unable to rise, instead of shoot, shovel and shutup, the vet is called out to shoot, scoop and send out.  We have to take off their heads to get a piece of their brain for testing - yes, our many years of veterinary training has come down to helping the Canadian Food Inspection Agency proving that there is a very low BSE risk in the country, and therefore keeping markets up.  The rancher (in Saskatchewan) gets $75, and the Saskatchewan vet gets $90 to practice his head cutting off skills - and in my area, it barely pays for the gas - I know in Alberta the rancher gets over $200, and unless it changed, the vet also got over $200 to do the job - seemed to be lucrative in the gas province to do-not sure what the other provinces dish out. 
Now that you know the history BSE, perhaps this christmas song will make some sense (and maybe cents if the radio plays it).  Sung to the tune of "Oh Christmas Tree", everybody sing!

I have to cut your head right off,
A piece of brain I will send off.

Did I go to school for eight long years,
Just to read old tags in ears,
Your head will soon be coming off.

My knife does not seem very sharp,
I couldn't even cut a carp.

If I had brought a butter knife,
I may get this done within this life,
Can I get a knife to be Wilkshire sharp?

The wind is blowing in my face,
The windchill turns things to a race.

My fingers feel like they've been froze,
Along with them there are my toes,
The wind chill will pick up my pace.

I finally found the vertebrae,
I spooned the piece of brain, HOORAY!

It is safely in a sample cup,
We'll wipe the blood and send it off,
Coyotes will drag your head away.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Is There A Room?

The expectant mother, full with child, asked if there was any room at the inn.
The innkeeper said there was no room. 
The innkeeper's manager said there was no room.
 The expectant mother called the Better Business Bureau and lodged a complaint.  Lodging was soon obtained, just in the (St.) nick of time. 
She did receive a bill though for cleaning, and extra lodgers.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Eleven Days Til Christmas

To get in the mood for season, I thought I would share this little diddy...
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my husband gave to me...
Eleven or so dogs,
Ten more bills to pay,
Nine eggs from the henhouse,
Eight all the cookies,
Seven hours of riding,
Six packs for parties,
FIVE PAILS OF MILK (from Daisy),
Four cups of cream,
Three more bills to pay,
Two foggy to see,
And a backache and a very bad knee.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Southern Comfort Was Not Comforting

My day started yesterday with pregnancy testing 240 heifers yesterday - they had been hauled in to the auction mart to do, and after the first 50 was done, we had a coffee break - with Tim Horton's doughnuts no less!   Oh, and there was a little bit of Bailey's as well.  There happened to be a few more coffee breaks as we waited for loads to come, but we got them all done in pretty good time.  You see, last night was the Mankota Community Christmas Party - and Chris and I went.  When I got home and cleaned up, I thought I should start getting comforted with some Southern Comfort.  By the time we got to supper, the Comfort had hit me hard.  This is where I have to apologize - in order to eat, our tables had to tell a joke or sing.  I chose to tell a joke - and then helped a few other tables to eat when I told jokes for them.  After the last joke, I was asked not to do anymore - on account that I had made one person leave.  Oops.  Reminder to self - no native jokes.  Guess I will have to find a bunch of Newfie jokes now - I don't think there are any in the community.  Can't tell blonde jokes - there are loads of them about.  Maybe fat jokes would work next time.  Maybe I should just learn to shut my mouth.
I am not quite sure how long we stayed, but there was some dancing done, losing an earring in the production.
I woke up this morning, having lost the other earring...and somehow my glasses.  I looked everywhere (which was quite difficult) that I could think of.  I finally found them on the floor of Dora the Explorer.  I also found my earring, and the mate was found swept up from the dance. 
I do believe somebody spiked my drinks last night.  I didn't drink that much...I don't think much as I remember.
Yup, the vet in Mankota can tie one on.  I certainly don't see my self tieing one on in the near future.  I don't think Mankota can take it....and neither can my head. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

You Know It's Going To Be A Bad Day When.... come to work to find your patient dead.  I guess I wasn't that surprised, the little poodle had been a long time without being on insulin for his diabetes.  Still, I try my damnest to save them all if I can.  After this morning's greeting, I expected the rest of the day to go without any other episodes - wow, was I wrong.  After pregchecking a few heifers, I felt like a schmuck when I had to put a large "O" on all but three of them.  When there is a wreck, there is a wreck.  You see, the "O"s stood for open, that is empty, meaning there would be no calf for them in the spring.  This was a heck of a lesson learned - test the bulls in the spring.  One (bull) plus one (heifer) should equal two (cute of a baby calf).  However, in this case, the equation equaled a big fat zero.  Well, that should have been all of the excitement for the day, right?   Wrong again.  The next thing that I had to do was to look at a bloated calf that was to come into the clinic.  For those that don't know, imagine how you feel like after eating at a buffet (I guess I can only speak for myself).  The bloated ruminant (word of the day) looks like a woodtick that is about to pop.  How you treat it is to pass a tube down it's throat and let the gas spew out (don't light a match).  Well, this one came running in, and as I was trying to put it in the head gate, she went tits up.  I grabbed a hose and shoved it down her gullet, but the gas wasn't coming off fast enough.  I grabbed my necropsy knife (maybe that was a premonition) and tried to stab her, but it was sharp like a butter knife.  I quickly found a scalpel and poked her side, and within a minute, the gas was gone out of system...but unfortunately, the spark was also out of her eye.  You know they say hindsight is 20/20 - well, I should have stabbed her right away.  No, wait, I should have been an accountant instead. 
So the last thing I did today was to rework the waterworks of a steer.  Waterbelly is like a blocked cat - and as a vet may say, both are equally challenging.  For those who don't know what that is, it is when a stone gets stuck in the waterworks, and there is nowhere for the urine to go.  The stone was found and released - I now hope the bugger will pee till the cows come home. 
But you know what they say, things happen in threes.
Perhaps I should change my name to Dr. Kavorkian.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Agribition Was Slightly Aggravating.

The Western Canadian Agribition is usually the last trial we make for the year.  It is always a mini-family reunion for us, since my roots - all the grey ones- are in Saskatchewan.
This is my nephew Tim holding his favorite - Tim Hortons....
 ...and his son Reece.
 No, this is not all my family, but there sitting down in the back in the blue is my Mom - it had been years since she had come watched - so with her eyes cleared of cataracts, she was able to watch.  Perhaps that is my problem with obstacles.
 Then there were rest of the damn family.
The serious ones.
 The nuts.
 The ones from friendly Manitoba.
 Even Chris was pulled away from the ranch.
 Jack Rieger was the illustrious judge - we are not sure if his cataracts were done for the event. 
 For the half time show, the dignitaries....yes, that included me, got to ride in the wagon.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! 

 No, I really meant it - we didn't want a runaway to happen.  Lara Forchuk was on the wagon as well - and damn near fell off...but that is not surprising at all.
 No dogs were squashed in the proceedings.
 So, two good runs would get a person to the top five for the finals.  Creed did well for Chris.

 Jill did well as well - each penned - too bad a combination of the two couldn't get you in.
 Gin and I had a good first run.  Out of 35 dogs in the first run, only 13 had completed runs.  Both Gin and Floss were able to pen the first round - would I be lucky enough to get a clear round with both of them?

 In the end, the answer was an astounding NO!  I did get a pen with Floss again, and ended up 8th overall, Gin got lucky and got a very unlucky yearling, one that took her out of the running.  I am not sure what I was thinking, but as three and a half minutes went by, and I was still trying to get the bugger to the pen, I should have walked off - I am sure Gin wanted too.  Darn it anyways - I paid for the four minutes to be out there!
In any case, it was not to be any from Hilltop Ranch to get into the 2012 Finals. 
All I got in was an hour of selling stuff from the SSDA booth.
Stacey Rosvold is the queen of the booth.
 Bev Sommers did her annual stint as well.
 Then I found out what was the food of champions.
 Yes, this is the 2012 Agribition Stockdog Champion - Norm Sommers. 
Next year I will ask if I can have a piece of his pizza - maybe it will rub off onto me - cheese and all.