Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Anyone Home??

Time for the next barn installment - this month, there is the added benefit of the house from ages past.
I did knock on the door to ask permission to take a picture - but there was no one home.  The curtains were drawn - perhaps they thought I was a salesman.
Caption for this piece - The Ol' Homestead.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Most Difficult Hand Dealt

We come from a long line of card players.  From an early age, I can remember our family getting together with either extended family or neighbors (who were like extended family) to have a rip-roaring game of Nerts, Gin Rummy or Hand and Foot.  New games would happen over the years - like President or Sticks -and a visit home would not be complete without a card game. I remember often games of Rummy with Mom or Dad when I was 6 or 7, and the lesson learned to lose gracefully. Winning gracefully was never taught - heck a win was a win!. It was a rite of passage to be able to be one of the card players -nieces and nephews got old enough to join in the games, and leaves were put in the tables and decks of cards added to join everyone in whatever game was being played.

During our lives, some hands that are dealt are difficult, if not impossible, to play.  No matter how you shuffle things, it may be a round that will not be in your favor.  Sometimes you might be lucky enough to pick a wild card to help work things out - keeping yourself out of the hole after the round.
My oldest sister Jean was dealt a difficult hand.  It was a game called Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia- a game that not too many people play.  She got a few wild cards over the years to keep her in the rounds, but eventually there were no more wild cards to be had. There were a few difficult rounds in which she came out on top with the help of her family.  Many doctors joined in towards the end, trying to make sense of the final cards that were dealt to her - and when they finally figured out the rules for Bing and Neel Syndrome, the deck was all used up.
The last Richardson family get together was one full of hugs and tears, and the occasional joke to ease the tension.  Saying goodbye to someone you love for the last time is hard.  It has taught me that life is way too short, and if you love someone, let them know it.
I thank God for letting Jean hold on long enough to see everyone before her last card was drawn.  I thank God that she went peacefully and not in pain.  I thank God for allowing her to be my sister.
And like a big sister, she promised me she would put in a good word for me in Heaven...which is good since I will need all the help I can get.
Card games won't be the same anymore.  She was the best scorekeeper.
I love you Jean, and I will miss you.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cowboy Up!

Due to difficulties (in myself getting the time to create a blog entry), the regular program has delayed.  We now invite you to go back in time (only 3 weeks ago) to experience the Dean Anthony Memorial Rodeo in Mankota, Saskatchewan.
The rodeo is an anticipated event for the community - everyone comes out to help put on this class 1 event.  
Spectators watch from their vehicles on the terraced parking.  The rain gods stayed away this weekend, since often it is more like a mud bath occurring during the rodeo than a dust bath.
Everyone comes to watch.  You can choose to sit in the comfort in your vehicle....

....or the comfort on your backside on the grass.

Porky the pig came out to enjoy the events. 
Some of the stars of the show.

Before the rodeo started, I was asked to do a stockdog demo.  (The rest of the pictures is by Kyla Kohl - our resident photographer- I love her use of shading, but I wish she could have shaded a few pounds off my carcass.)
I did my spiel about the use of a good stockdog.

The dogs showed them how things were dong.
After the demo, the rodeo began.
Gripping on for dear life.
This guy looks like he is riding a rocking horse.
The pick up guys (for those of you not familiar with rodeos, this has nothing to do with pickup trucks.)
Calf roping....oops, I mean tie-down roping.  Lets call a spade a spade eh?  Or should we call it a blunt digging tool?
What would possess a guy to jump off a perfectly good horse?
The team ropers.
The can chasers (aka barrel racers).
Some awards were given out - this fellow was given an old card...or maybe that was a gold card.  I think it allows him to get into any senior citizen's whist game for nothing.
Always some clowning around to do.
Up and coming bull riders.
The real McCoy.
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.  They may get into a situation like this.
Now, not to be outdone by Kyla, I did my my own photos for some Kodak moments.
This is just another angle of the photo from Kyla - a zoom would have helped to show the fellow's "What the hell was I thinking!" face.
 This fellow is praying the horse doesn't step on his hat.
 Calf roping...oops, when will I learn...tie down roping.
 The little cowboys

 The important people behind the sidelines.  The whole community comes and supports this event - without them, there would be no rodeo.
 Jumping off of running horses.
 Careful where you put that foot please.
 Run Forrest, run!

 More cogs of the wheel.
 Ride'm cowboy!
Horse 1 - Cowboy 0
Sticking on!
 Whoa big feller!
 I said WHOA!!
 Some bullshit.
 Ready, set, GO!
 Waiting for their mounts.
The mounts.
The mounters.
 The Mountain.
 The nuts behind the operation.
Kyla checking out picture 541 of 2300. 
The stands were full of spectators.
 Idle hands they were not.
 The scary sheep for the children to ride.

 Excuse me bull, may I wipe the snot from your nose?
 Taking off Ferninad's belts.
 Good hands.
 Viewing from the lounge.  This watering hold was visited regularly.
 Waiting patiently for their turn.
 Roping dummies.
 The pickup guys.
 I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.
 Happy trails to you, until we meet again.