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Saturday, June 30, 2012

San Diego Day 1

So we flew in on Friday and I read the planes we were taking and I kinda thought a DeHavilland was a propeller plane, but wasn't sure so we looked it up and it was.  I never flew a propeller plane before so that was kinda cool.

We were in it till Seattle and I couldn't really tell the difference except I don't think we went as high.  We had lunch at the airport and then flew down to San Diego.
(me and my sister on the plane)
It was  a good flight and good hotel experience, but the rental car was a fiasco.  They tell you a rate then you get here and we ordered a midsize car and they had us down for compact which means our luggage wouldnt fit in it and so they upgraded us then made us buy insurance and it was more than twice the price they quoted us.  Was not that happy with that, but what do you do??  Will definitely have to write up a complaint when we get back.
(Boys on the shuttle bus in San Diego)

The weather is beautiful here, quite warm, 27C and sunny with no clouds and we went shopping today and sat by the pool for quite a while, I sure wouldn't mind a pool at home :) with warm weather all year of course....and a pool boy.  We also used the underwater cameras, they take remarkably clear pics!
(My wonderful pool view)

We been trying different restaurants, and food is soooo cheap, its hard to not get the giant meals.  But thats kinda nice so we don't have to eat all the time cause we are always full.  We kinda want to go to the parks, but we are hoping to wait till weekdays, although I am not sure it would make much difference cause there are so many people here all the time anyways.
(our hotel room, it got kinda messy pretty quick, lol)
We took a tour (accidentally) and drove through a ruralish area (it had smaller acreages and farms right next to houses) and we saw lots of horses already so that was kinda cool.  I would like to know if some kind of event is going on, but no cutting down here I can see, but probly jumping or racing.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Feet and a Tour

So on Wednesday morning I had an appointment with my farrier so I could get new shoes on Jessie and I took Razz to get trimmed cause her feet grow really fast in the summer and she could probly get done every 6 weeks, so I headed down there.  I haven't been down there in a while and used to go to the barn so I went to the same spot not remembering his wife built a vet clinic just down the road.  No one was there, but I did get a pic of the carseat in the tractor which I thought was cute.

I went back up the hill to where I was supposed to be and it just started pouring as I brought the ponies in the barn, whew.  We got done and I stopped in the pasture to drop them off cause its so much easier than trying to go through the gate.  But while I was there I spayed them with fly spray and Bailey jumped in the trailer and I thought I would get a pic of her but I see in the pic she was shaking all the bugs off, lol.  I also made an appointment when I get back for everyone else to get done at home.
 (all trimmed up and ready for when I get home)

Then that evening Neil said he was taking Bob (the bobcat RTV) down to the creek to look for a bull so I went with him to see our full creek and how much water was around and if the Saskatoons are growing so I will leave you with some pics of that trip.
 (creek looks so nice when its full)
 (where the water rushed down a coulee)
 (Beaver swimming in creek)

 (Neil checking out the crossing, we did not cross there!)
 (Saskatoons look plump but long ways from ready yet)
 (cactus flowers)
(water leaking across the road, I guess the culverts are not big enough)
And now we are sitting in the airport waiting for our flight and then off we go.  I will try to maybe put some pics up as we see stuff (mostly for my own memory for when I get back to scrapbook it.  Since its nice we are in a hotel with free internet and I am bringing my computer.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hauling Cattle

So on Sunday since Susan wasn't coming out like she planned (he daughter had ball again, sometime I just wanna cancel something she wants to do cause I have to go watch someone play ball, not that I begrudge her watching her daughter, but every game?)  Anyways we  Neil decided that we should haul cows up to out place at Stettler.  I call it the Stettler place but its really Rosalind, but no one knows where that is.  We were bringing up 46 heifers, a 2 year old who lost her calf but we wanted to keep her, and 2 bulls.  So 3 loads in Neil's trailer and 2 loads for me.  When its a 5 hour round trip, that is way to much for me to do in one day, but Neil don't mind, so I was gonna take one Sun, and one Mon and he was gonna do a second one Sunday.

(sure did a number on that one!)
But as we were going down the Dorothy hill, Neil blew a truck tire.  Of course he is all worried about me and having a spare, since Friday night I had 2 flats on the trailer (I think I musta drove over something)  and he had to fix the last one at 11 at night cause I could not get the jack down.  But anyway he had his spare tire in the nose of the trailer.  But whoever designed the trailer never put a door on the outside, so we had to go in with the heifers and get it from there.  Not good.   And the spare was not good either, we pumped it up but figured we better head home cause we were not sure it would hold.  And he had no jack, we had to borrow one from the same guy who pumped the tire up.
 (haha I got her in the air!)
(The tree that broke off and landed on the corrals)
We got home and let the cows out (the rest were still in the corral) and he found a better spare and put it on and after lunch decided to try it again.  We got loaded with a different bunch of cows and left to go through Hanna rather than Drum cause its closer.  We were only going through Drum to stop at East Coulee cause they were having thier monthly breakfast there.  We were almost to Hanna and I called Neil to tell him to turn around cause I needed to change a tire.  It was not flat yet, but the tread was coming off in big chunks.  Not sure what caused it, the tire looked good, wasn't that old, but sure was hot and I was sure it would blow if we left it.
 (another mysterious bird)
(too much water, it killed the trees)
We put the spare on and decided to keep going anyways.  Have I mentioned how I hate tires!!!  Well the spare everyone thought was crappy lasted the rest of the trip without any trouble.  Which was good.  We got up there, unloaded the cows and came home.  We were exhausted and it was about 7, so we decided to call it a day.
 (Pretty rose bud)

Monday morning we got the rest of the cows in and loaded all but 12.  My truck can haul 6, Neil's trailer 13 and so the last load was one cow light.  I am amazed how much more power my half tonne gas truck has than our old dodge 3/4 ton diesel.  And better fuel mileage too.  When I used the old truck I always had to stop for gas at Castor (hour or so from home) and with this truck I still had 1/4 tank left.   I know the gas tank is bigger, but still it was quite a load for a half ton.
 (wide loads again, you know its heavy when it has a bajillion tires and 2 pusher trucks)
(weird bee stuck in my radiator which is much smaller than the one being hauled above)
We had no problems except for 6.5/10ths of rain on Sunday made the corrals a mess to be in.  Luckily the cows were fairly cooperative and the trip was good.  Sure lots of good grass up there.   And another tenth Monday night and lots Tuesday.
 (More wild roses, so pretty)
 (the diplomat mine site we always stop at to use the washrooms)
(pretty butterfly on the red rock that is so popular up there)
I stayed home for the second bunch and Neil made it home by 8:30, so all in all a much better day on Monday than Sunday.  Guess that's what happens when you work on a day of rest.  Either that or Neil shoulda just been more prepared.  I think we shoulda called someone to haul them for us, and we are this fall cause they will be bigger and it will take even more loads.
 (already mowing ditches up there, guess no one hays them)
 (peek a boo, I see you)

(OK, come on out!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rain Rain and More Rain

Well apparently I have been remiss is letting you all know how much rain we have had and how much I want sun!  I sometimes forget that all my We figured in the last 3 weeks since all this rain started.  It was about at Neil's Mom and Dad's Anniversary party we got the first big shot of 8/10ths.  Since then we have gotten almost 9 inches.  In 3 weeks!  Our ground is so overloaded and saturated with water.  I am so sick of rain everyday and I need to mow the lawn before Friday when I leave or it will be a jungle when I get back.  So I thought I would post some more pics of all the rain we got.  We are not the worst area around here though, up at Youngstown they got 6 inches last night and the water was flowing over the highway.  I really wish we could send some of this down to Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona where all the fires are burning.  It sure would be a great help to them.

Wordless Wednesday -- Yesterdays Rain

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last Branding of the Year

So On Saturday I went to the last branding of the season.  There actually are about 3 more, one on Thursday of our neighbors that always has a tonne of help and then one on the 2nd and the other hasn't set a date for yet but I will be gone for both those anyways.  I always like this branding cause I get to take my horse and go on the roundup crew.  They have 3 different bunches that get done in one day and so they have a separate roundup crew and a branding crew.  I always refer to ride as to the rest of the branding anyways.
(too dark for my liking to get up, but at least they are by the gate)
(havin breakfast before we left, this is why I forgot the bridle, didn't want 
it hanging on the saddle while she was loose in the pen)
I had planned on taking Razz, but when I woke up at 5:30 I didnt really care who I took, and Jessie was the first to walk up to me, so she was who I took.  I know her feet are due in about a week and I remember thinking I hope she doesn't lose a shoe.  Wish I hadn't thought that though.  Kinda wished I took Bailey, but she was too out of shape.
(Love this view)
(even some 4 wheel horses in this gather)
I got her saddled and loaded and was out at the highway (6 miles from home) and realized I never brought her bridle, so I went back and got it and so I was kinda late getting there.  I unloaded her, tightened the cinch and off we went to get the cows.  There was about 18 in the crew that morning which is good cause those cows dont like to come in and they needed all of us to push them in.  I was riding with a neighborand his daughter I hardly ever see and Jessie stumbled and lost a shoe.  I never noticed but Tracey saw it and it was odd cause it was hardly a fall and she didn't even stop, so I was glad she saw it.  I got off and picked it up and she seemed fine and the ground was so soft, we continued on.  After we got them in and sorted most the cows out, breakfast was brought out, mmm.   I looked at her foot and it looked pretty level and I could harly tell she had a shoe on that foot.  Colin offered to put the shoe back on at the next bunch cause he was roping and got busy.
 (So many cows, so big a field :)
(close as I could get to a shot of me and Jessie)
Then after they started branding, we headed out to the second set of cows.  Its a little bigger field (about 6 sections)  and 3 of us started pushing at the one corner and I saw some cows heading away at a lope, so I started heading over there.  We loped and loped and loped.   She is so much slower than Razz and I am so unused to it.  It seemed like we would never catch up to them.  They were pretty wild cows and I could influence them from about a half mile off, that was pretty cool.  She is still a little unsure of going across the rough ground, and when it got really bushy she would slow down.  Which was OK, better than going through blindly and scared.  She never refused to go anywhere, so I was happy with that.
 (Justin and  his new horse)
 (the curlew)
(Finally got them in)
After getting the cows going the right way we were way ahead of the rest of the bunch so I visited with Justin and we musta gone though a curlews nest cause they were dive bombing us.  We moved out of their area waited for everyone else and that bunch went in so much better.
 (sorting cows)
 (working hard)
(love this brand, 2 heart bar, they call him 2)
Lots of wildflowers out there, I tried to get some pics of them.  But some of them are hard to get cause I just brought my little camera which only has 5 times zoom which I am so unused to, my other one has 35 times optical and lots more digital zoom.  Such a big difference.  We stayed for the first half of that bunch then lunch was served and after that we headed out again to get the last bunch.
 (pretty blue/purple flowers)
(wild roses)
The last bunch was the biggest (about 300) and in the biggest field, but they tend to just go towards the corrals, but then turn around.  We had the smallest crew there but we got them all in and then I was so tempted to go home, but I stayed and visited and got a few pics of the branding since there wasn't enough jobs for everyone.  But I was so tired I just headed home after it was over rather than go for supper.  Neil came home then too, even though he never got there till 2 hours after me.
 (lots of water out there this year)
 (kinda cool how it splashes)
( Movin cows up to gate)
(Watchin cows cross through water)
Colin never did get Jessie's shoe on, I was kinda upset, but I think he quit worrrying after he saw her foot looked good and she was not lame.  So I called Jason and am taking her and Razz over today.  Everyone is due next week, but he doesn't have time this week to do them all so he will come out when I get back.  I want Razz done now too cause her feet grow so fast in the summer, she can be done every 6 weeks anyways.   Then they will be on a different schedule but I guess that's how it will be.
 (a girl, her horse and her dog.  All done for the day)
(Jessie done, and finally gets to do what she likes best, eat)
Lots of visiting I can do at this branding cause we normally wouldn't go there cause they are not really in our area, but they are the people I worked for for 3 years before I married Neil, when I first moved into this country.  So its kinda nice to go back and see how stuff has changed and visit with them.
 (Grant always gets the crew going by bringing in the first calf)
 (Ed, the guy who raised Bailey)
 (He lost his leg and still wrastles, kinda makes me feel super uncoordinated)
( Neil got the branding job)
 (creative marks for vaccinations)
(kids sure start young wrasling, wish I woulda, maybe I would be better at it)
All in all a good day and I can't wait to go back next year.