Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stay Out Of The Kitchen Or You Might Get Burned....

...or you may have to peel some more potatoes.
You know the adage "To many cooks can spoil the broth", well this saying fits in many situations whereby the situation calls for organization of an event.  Now, I have done many trials, and events over the years-in high school I helped put on a magic show - magically it went off without any heads rolling (even though he did have that box that cut up people), when I was involved in the Jack Russell world, I put on many trials - including the Western Canadians.  Now that I am spending my pewter years (those are the years before the golden ones start) involved with border collies, I have put on quite a number of trials - from our own trials, to the Canadians/Western Canadians in Okotoks, Alberta in 2009, and the same event will occur this year in Mankota.
One thing I have learned with doing events, is that many hands make light work, but that work must be designated, so that 1.things are not done over twice and 2.the cooks doing the work don't get into a spoon fight, or cause the soup to boil over, or make a soup so distasteful that no guest will ever come again.  One of the big things that has to occur for a trial is to secure a judge - and it is best for this to be a one person job - you don't get the he said/she said type of thing that happens with multiple conversations, and you can talk directly to the horse to get the information.
Last time I checked, I could talk clearly on the phone, and people could understand me, so it behooves me why a person would take initiative and make plans about a judge without telling the person in charge obtaining the judge - namely me.  All that happens is that I look like a total ass for not having all the information needed for making important decisions-decisions based on budgets and timing.  Please don't take it wrong, help is very important to put on a trial - and I won't say no to help, but I have a list which says who will do what, so that toes are not stepped on. 
I just had a pedicure done, I really don't want the nail polish scuffed up.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This Cracks Me Up

Early on this month, the famous Randy Dye showed us his fancy chicken coop.
 These Barred Rock loved their pad, so much that they spent more time laying around than laying eggs.
 Now, we have a chicken house, not as nicely painted as Randy's, but it does the job.
 It is perhaps the strength of this mighty rooster in the center that keeps everyone in check.  His name is Rob. 
 He and Leggy Leghorn has a firm understanding...he is the boss.  And behind every leader is their spouse - notice Chris the wife in the background.  I imagine like many husbands he is henpecked.

Rob ensures that the girls on the line get to work every morning.
His wife Chris is the floor supervisor.
On this particular day, out of 10 working girls there were 11 eggs.  I am sure that is a record in some book.
Randy, if you would like Rob to work at your penthouse, let him know.  He works for chicken feed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Challenging Times

I would like to say I am not afraid to try new things - I am pretty bold and if I haven't done something before, I will try my best to accomplish the task, no matter how much sweat comes off my brow.
McCord has weekly community suppers in the winter, and I (now being a part of the bigger community ladies group - yeah, I'm a lady) would be in charge in making a few pies to feed the hoards of people who come in the Friday to have a scrumptious meal ($10 - where can you find that deal?!).
I have not been much of a baker, so the thought of making pies led me to many nights of no sleep.
But soon the day would arrive when I could not dismiss it anymore.  For those of you who are afraid to cook....I feel your pain.
First it was gathering the eggs for the very detailed recipe.  Not much of a pain in the ass to get (unless, you are the hen who laid them).
 Next it was reading the recipe over and over, making sure all my ingredients (eggs and water) were close at hand. 
 Then slaving over the stove (when bubble happen, stir for 30 seconds).  It is about then when I remembered I would have to get the pie shell ready.
 Whew, just in the nick of time. Quite a difficult crust to make - really hard to get everything even along the edges.
 And with another mixing and whipping of egg whites (takes culinary moves to separate the whites from the yolks), meringue was put on top and popped in the oven.  Voila!
Amazing, I do have the ability to make the pie - the hardest thing there was to do was to read the directions (seems to be that my eyes are not focusing like they used to - and no, I was not drinking while I was baking).
Fearful bakers unite - you to can create a culinary creation (thanks to Shirriff and Ready Crust).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wonder What They Would Say?

On my travels around southern Saskatchewan, whether it be to cut another head off of a dead cow, or retrieve the parts of a dead pig to put in our freezer (mmmm, bacon), there are many old farm sites with buildings.  I imagine if walls could talk, they could tell a story. 
I have a plan this year to include one picture per month of a building of an old farmstead.  I will put my caption on it, but you are welcomed to put your own on it.
So, here it starts with this picture.  It may look familiar to some.
My caption:
Rollin', rollin', rollin'....keep those bales a rollin'..Rawhide!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I Am Seeing Spots In Front Of My Eyes

When I first got Gin, lots of people thought she was a blue heeler cross because of all her speckling.  I personally thought she was part dingo.
Now Gin has only been a mother four times in her life- and one thing is for certain, she has put her mark on a lot of her offspring -in looks and in attitude. 
 This is Millie from her first litter -working sheep.
This is Millie's brother Tim - I do believe his ears stand up.
 The amazing Mikey (I think he got more of the ear gene than dot gene).
This is Ky -Mike's bro.  If it wasn't for his testicles, he is Gin all over.
 Kelly is another cookie cutter of Gin. 
 Flinty McGinty. 
Flint was developed on a raw food diet - apparently that includes his own foot.
Take away the rough coat, and who do we have....yes, Gin('s daughter Alice).
Where did the dots come from?  Well here is Jill, who is a cousin to Gin - notice her dots.
Here is Gyp, Gin's mother (and grandson Gus, but he looks more like his father than his mother).  Yup, I do believe the dots came from the maternal line.
So here we wait, waiting for the dots to surface. 
 By rights, I should call this one Dot, or Spot.
But the verdict is still out.
I may call her Esther (hopefully not the Molester).
Or maybe Fleet...or Flei...or Flo.
Heck, I don't know.
But I should be able to spot her on the field.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

All By Myself

You know the old saying, "Let sleeping dogs lie."  I like to leave them lie as long as possible, since when they conscious, they are most noisy, and even a deaf person wouldn't be able to sleep.
One morning all the pups collapsed after a time of frolicking.

 Except Callie, she was not ready to have a nap yet.
 "Dan...Dan..DANNY!  Want to play?"
 But Danny did not move.
 "Fine then, I'll go find something else to do."
 "But I wonder what that could be?"
 "I'd better have a snack first!"
 "Hey, Eldon, will you play with me?"
 "Eldon....Eldon...ELDON LET GO!"
 "Your might handy with those back feet!"
 "I think I will just lie down and think of what I should do next."
 I can just imagine what she is dreaming about.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Can You Get Out Of My Sandbox!

As years pass, the size of the sandbox gets bigger.  You remember - there were kids who would hog all the toys, not share with everyone, make a big scene if someone tried to borrow their Tonka truck.  Then there were the kids who would be the tattle tale - tell everyone within the sandbox and out - maybe even to the higher in charge people, like Mom. Some of those kids even made up stories to get a rise out of the other - stirring the pot of sand.  How about those kids who would suck up to those who had bigger, better toys - and those that had all the fancy toys would usually have quite a following, all ready to beat up the next kid if they dissed their sand god.  There were also the kids who sat there, minded their own business, didn't make any noise about anything - but if someone needed a shovel to make a hole, they would give them their own so the job could get done.  Seems to be it is often the silent type that get the jobs done with the least fuss.
As the years travel by, the size of the sandbox got bigger - so that the adults that play in it can fit their sorry behinds in it.  Yup, it doesn't matter what club, community or political party you are a part of, it is actually just a huge sandbox of life where 25 plus year old children rant, cry, argue and piss in.  Some adults go to sandbox to sandbox, kicking sand in the other's eyes and moving on before the job is done.  And there still exists the quiet, minding their own business type of people, building their sandcastles with maybe a truck with a missing wheel, and a shovel with a crack in it - but they scoop away, getting the job done.
It doesn't matter what phase of life one is in, but if you find a present from a cat in the box - flip it out of the box.  We don't want more crap in life than there already is.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Remember The Blizzard Of '13?

Having grown up in Western Canada, I have experienced many winter blizzards - I remember as a kid when our school bus would get through the roads, but other buses couldn't, and there would be maybe 5-8 of us at school (out of 30) - needless to say, the day was a snowday, and there would be no classes. I think now, with the rules in place, we probably would have had a lot of snowdays - our bus driver Stan was amazing and no drift was too small for him.
Over the years, many blizzards have come and gone - some disastrous, especially if they come during the time of calving.  It was a few years back, but there was a storm in which ranches lost close to 100 calves due to a spring storm - Mother Nature can be cruel at times.
Only last year, our first blizzard here was on our first day of calving - unfortunately, those calves did not make it - but the coyotes were really happy for our losses.
This year, a storm came up from Colorado - and apparently the border patrol services were not on guard since they let it come through.  Luckily, we were neither calving or lambing - so no lives were lost.  That is not to say that we won't get another storm - that is what living in the prairies is all about.
Some people during a storm get to bunk 'er down and watch Dr. Phil and eat bonbons.  Okay, Chris and I did that until Dr. Phil was over, and then we did the chores.
I could see why people would just stay inside.
I didn't think I would get anywhere soon.
Drifts galore.

You could see how animals could walk out of pens with drifts - fortunately the drift was on the outside.
Unfortunately, drifts were on the kennel side. As Chris looked after Daisy the milk cow, I looked after the dogs. My shoveling muscles would come into play to get them out.  Some kennels had three foot drifts inside, as well as outside. 
All the dogs were snuggled in their beds in their barrels, On the right side of Jill is June's kennel - and she was in there.  I had to dig her out to see daylight.  I bet she wished I was a St. Bernard with a whiskey barrel.
As we put them to bed for the night, the wind was still howling.   Somehow, I believed in 12 hours, I would be digging them out again.  You can bet the prediction was correct.