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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ooops It's Sunday Today

Well I guess this week being gone so much I am so confused about what day it is and I thought yesterday was Sunday  till after lunch sometime when Neil asked if I want to go to breakfast in East Coulee which is always on the last Sunday of the month.

But that's OK, I would rather be a day ahead than a day behind, which it feels like I always am.  But it was so worth it to take time off to watch the Supreme every year.  It is always the best of the best competing there and so good.  we watched a lot of the cutting and a little of the fence work for cowhorse.  So much fun watching and getting into it, the crowd is so fun to be around when they get excited.

We didnt stay for the horse sale which is probly a good thing, I don't need any more horses there and if I was looking for a young performance horse unlikely I would buy at a sale anyways.  So that was nice and we got home a little earlier that way.  I kinda woulda liked to stay for Saturday and all the finals but that was a pretty long week already but maybe next year.

So after breakfast we headed to Drum for a few items we needed and then back home again and I hope to get all my bricks tore out this afternoon so I can get Neil to help me put in the posts for the deck I have been so slow on building.  But as long as the posts are in I can still work on it in the winter if its warm enough out then have it ready for next summer rather than having it all wrecked for weeks during the summer.

So I guess life goes back to normal for a while, I still do plan on going and watching the cutting in Calgary, which is October 10-14th, and we have a couple community trail rides coming up and still wanna work with Jazz and so hopefully I have a little time left before it really gets to be winter.  And I looked up the winter series which doesn't start till Dec 29 which makes me sad I thought it started end of October, and I want to go to them even though I am sure I miss at least one when we are away on vacation in Feb.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sunday Stills -- Signs of September (fall)

This week we are to show what September looks like in our part of the world.  Well where I live in Finnegan, Alberta it is fall and the weather has been beautiful this fall with temp of about 25*C in the day time.  It is much warmer than usual but I do not mind :)

Our leaves are starting to turn, but there is much more green left around here and I hope it stays a while we have so many months of no leaves I wanna keep them as long as I can.

For more check out Sunday Stills 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Canadian Supreme

Well its that time of year again, time for the Supreme.  I was up there all day Sunday and we watched the open 3 year old class, the non pro 4 year olds, then some cowhorse cutting (which i hate when they have to snaffle bit and rein a horse for cutting, blech!)  and then the never won a buckle invitational class.  We also stopped for supper at the Keg and mmm was it ever good but boy were we full!

I have been watching some more of the cutting on the internet video here:  Video link.

It is not the same as in person, but I think we are gonna go back Thursday and Friday (and I would like Sat) to watch more.

Other than that haven't been doing much this week, just trying to stay ahead of life, but purposely planned nothing to do this week.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Farrier Day

Wednesday was the day I had planned for my farrier to come out. He was planned to come at 8 and I was worried it was gonna be cold out, but turned out to be just perfect.  I had 6 trims and a front shoe.  Wow after 3 or so hours I was exhausted.  But I did not have to walk far to get everyone in.  I caught Bailey and Kali and Jessie and had them tied up and I could see the others just outside the corral gate so I opened the gates and let them in, but of course then they decide they need to run and buck and play so I left them and come back in 15 or so minutes when they were done being silly.  And caught Razz, Disco, George, and Belle.
 (Kali off by herself cause she thought she needed to squeal and strike at the other horses)

(someone always has to get in trouble, lol Bailey didn't even know her rope wasn't right)

After everyone was done I put Razz and Jazz in the alley way and turned out everyone else.  I really need to get something done with Jazz and since Doug is so busy I won't be takin lessons for a while I figure now is a good time to get started.  I picked Razz to go with her cause I am thinking after a few days workin with her I might start ponying her, although I am not sure how that will work yet but that is my plan so when I find a trainer she will be at least a little farther ahead.

That evening the sunset was so pretty and I asked Neil to get me a bale of hay and he did so quite late so I was feeding just as the sun was setting and looked so pretty.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Crabapple Butter

Yesterday I made a batch of crabapple butter and documented it for Shirley who asked about it, maybe you only wanted the recipe Shirley, but sorry you are getting it all ;)  To make the mash, I took my crabapples and cut them in half and remove the stems, put them in a pot and cover it with water.  I boil it until they are mushy and smell soo good.  Then I drain the juice and I froze that to make crabapple jelly better.  Then take the leftovers and put them trough a sieve and get mush.   This works well cause it is much less juicy and so not as good for applesauce but perfect for butter.

My mom had been making crabapple butter forever, but she doesn't remember where her recipe is, so a few years ago I got this book and I really like it, it has sooo many recipes I like in it and that is where I am going from.   Sometimes I adjust the ingredients, my crabapples this year are quite sweet so I added a little less sugar, but of course that makes it a bit less jelled, I like to try the first batch as is then adjust for flavor later on.  So the recipe calls for
-6 cups crabapple pulp
-juice and rind of one orange
-2 cups granulated sugar
-1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground cloves
-1/2 tsp ground ginger

1.  Pretty simple, just start up the canner, mine is large and takes about half hour to boil which is perfect for this recipe cause as is it boiling everything is getting ready to put in it.

2. Combine crabapple pulp orange rind ( I most of the time just use orange juice, just pour some in, I am not super specific on amount) in a large pot and bring to a boil.

3.  Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and ginger together and add them to fruit.  I just put them in the pot, there is lots of stirring going on I am not worried about them getting mixed in.  Boil gently for about 10 -20 minutes until mixture thickens and is translucent (which sounds weird since its a solid but it really does look so much different).  Stir lots cause it will stick to the pot, keep turning it down a little bit at a time so it keeps boiling but not crazy.  Quite often I use an oven mitt to stir with cause it spits out of the pot and it hurts!

4.Boil snap lids and rims in a pot, I generally turn them on a bit after I add the sugar mix and as soon as they boil I shut off the burner and let them sit in the hot water till I need them then the rubbery stuff is soft.

5.  Ladle butter into hot jars.  I have my jars in a sink full of clean HOT water until this point.  Fill to about a 1/4 inch space is left.  Then wipe with a cloth around the tops of jars.  This is probly the most important step there is, the main reason jars dont seal is cause there is food between the jar and the sealing rubber.  I am usually pretty careful but still make sure I clean the jars well till there is no mark on the cloth.  Then put snap lid and rim on only fingertip tight.  I had about 1/4 cup left over which is just perfect so I can have it for lunch :)

6.  Put jars in canner on rack and lower into water and process for about 10 minutes.  Make sure water is covering jars, if you need more water, add the water from boiling lids as its already hot.  Then remove them and set them where they won't have to be moved for 24 hours.  Check all jars for sealing (no movement) and then you are ready to eat or store or give away.  I rarely have a jar that doesn't not seal anymore, and if I do, I just use it within a week or 2 just put it in the fridge.

Pretty simple really, way easier than jelly cause don't have to worry about it jelling, more like jam or applesauce.  I just like to eat it as is, but my Mom and Grandma always ate it on bread.  Also linked up for Farm Photo Friday at Farmchicks blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Riding and Coffee

Tuesday I took Jessie over to Susan's and we went riding out on the coulees by her house.  It was a good ride, a couple hours and I was not as sore as I figured I would be. But I was also prepared, I made sure I took some advil and put on some muscle rub and it seemed to help.  I used the hackamore on Jessie again and she was fine in it as well, she tried to just pull through my hands one time to get at the grass, but I kinda bumped her nose and she looked like she was surprised I could do something like that she could feel without a bit, and then she was much better afterwards.
 (the wheat was hailed on but it looks like it was patterned)
(the coulee at Susan's is so pretty!)
We went kinda the same route but went a little different (we were visiting more than watching where we were going) and we come to the edge of the coulee and could look down on the coal mine and the train bridge, that was pretty neat.

And the colors are starting to change over there (at home we still have mostly green with a couple yellow) and they look no nice down in the coulees.

Afterwards we let them graze for a while and then I left Jess there in a pen and we headed to town to have coffee with Lu.  I really enjoy having coffee with here since I don't see her very often it is good to catch up again.  I brought down my coconut raisin zucchini loaf and Susan had a peanut butter marshmallow bar.  Before Lu got there Susan made us kinda a pizza on pitas with a chili sauce and ham and cheese and tomatoes.  It was so good warmed up, but we might try it under the broiler next time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Experiment with Jessie

On Sunday I figured I should ride Jessie again, it had been a few days and after Wed I will prob turn her out and so won't ride everyday.  I went and got her and tacked her up and as I was going back in to get her bridle, I grabbed my hackamore for some reason.  Maybe cause I just got the new reins for my smaller bosal, I don't know.  I don't think she has ever been rode in a hackamore, but I figured she is so good in everything else it should be fine.

I had really wanted to go up north to where Neil said the other Tee pee rings were, so we headed out that way.  We went through the north pasture the horses were on this spring and there are a bunch of carraganas out there and Jessie just walked right through them, I would gone around them but I guess she was used to them so that was OK with me.

But boy oh boy was my back sore.  I thought I could just ignore it for a bit and it would be better, but it just wasn't happening.  Which is too bad cause Jessie was being really good and so nice, not even trying to look home, like she sometimes does.  So we took the shorter route just around the bull field and it was only about half hour but I was done.  And the gate was closed that we usually go through, but Neil had seen us and roared over there on Bob and opened it.  Not sure why he did, but he said he wanted it open anyways.  Jessie was real good about that too, not too much can spook her, which is sure nice, but real unexpected when it does happen.

But I hope its better today cause I plan on riding again and don't wanna have to quit early.  And gonna use the hackamore again today to see it it was just fluke last time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Week

So last week I was having blogger issues.  For some reason when I went to the new post page, the title box and the writing box were greyed out.  It was frustrating, but I just kept trying and today it finally worked like it is supposed to, so I will give kinda a quick overview of last week.  First off I sewed up the fly sheet Jessie ripped a while ago.  It actually looks pretty good but since its for super sensitive girl, I put all the seams on the outside so they don't rub, it looks a little odd but should work.

And Monday afternoon we had a horrible windstorm go through here and tear down a 50 foot section of windbreak which we did not know about till the next morning when we look out the window and see horses in the yard.  They musta not seen it till after dark and the windbreak is behind a cattle shed so not visible from the house.  I am glad in this case that Bailey is a talker cause she kept them all close by, 3 were in the corrals and 3 were in the yard by their pen.  They coulda gone all over the country cause we have gates open to the creek and up north cause no cattle around.  We went out and have 2 tractors holding up the fence till Neil gets his truck back and can pick up some lumber to replace it.

But our storm was not near as bad as Hanna got it, it tore out trees by the roots and I went on Wed to the chiro and what a mess, there was still trees down on the streets and all over it is just sad.  And roofs off buildings, I heard millions of dollars damage.  But while there they had the farmers market and so I got some fruit and had to have some pies, it was almost the end of the day and still lots left so she was giving a deal on pies so I ended up with 2, when I really only wanted the raisin, but cherry is good too :)

And since there are so many crab apples on my tree I picked 2 five gallon pails full and been cooking and straining the juice for jelly and the much for butter.  10 gallons of apples is a lot, it took no time to pick and there is still lots of apples on the tree, but I think I am done with what I have got now.

And then Thurs I went down to Silver slate to watch the cutting show going on there.  I was not competing in it cause I think a 5 day show is more than I need right now, but that is where the winter series is held and I wanted to see the place and know how long it takes to get there and just scout it out some.  It is real easy to find and lots of places to park and so should be good, it is 3 hours from home, so I do hope they don't start super early.  While we were there we stopped in Claresholm so shop and I finally found the mecarte reins I have been looking for all summer, and really reasonable too.  They are a little prickly but I think they will be OK.  Now I gotta find an old rein or something to make a hanger and remember how to tie them on my bosal.

Then Sat I headed down to Maple Creek with friends to the annual horse sale down there.  Looks like prices are up a little, specially on weanlings, but also on broke horses as well.  Only one colt I liked and a 4 year old ranch gelding was not too bad, but nothing I needed to have so that was good.  They also have a cowboy poetry and trade show there so we went to the trade show and saw lots of cool stuff, Found a bit and spurs I wanted but kinda out of my price range right now.  I would put them on my Christmas list, but Im sure Neil would have a heart attack if I said I wanted a $650 bit and $450 spurs so I will just save and I don't have a horse for them right now anyways so I will just wish.  But we did see where part of a grass fire went through by Medicine Hat, looks like they got it contained before too much damage, but sure is dry and reminds me it could happen here anytime.

Hopefully now it will be working and I can continue to tell my life in little chunks and it don't sound so crazy cause it really didn't seem like I did that much last week till I put it all together.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wedding in Grande Prairie

We left on Friday morning to head on up to Grande Prairie.  Its about a 10 hour drive from our house and I was not looking forward to it.  I knew the wedding would be good but I just didn't want to drive that far.  Plus the fact my knees had been bothering me something bad since last Sunday it was not fun.

But we headed up anyways and the first few hours were OK, we stopped for Breakfast in Drum and then stopped to look at our heifers at Donalda, and then we never stopped again after 3 hours and that was a little long but we ate lunch and wandered around for a bit then onto the last stretch of 4 hours.  That was the longest drive ever!!!  So far and nothing to see but trees and more trees and occasionally a cleared spot with farming going on.  But no moose even though it said moose crossing everywhere, and no bears either :(
(Neil walking among his heifers, they are not very wild)
We got there and all checked in our hotel and tried to get a hold of others who were down, but they were all somewhere else.  So we went shopping for  a bit then had supper and back to the hotel and we found Neils mom and dad and Aunt Jennie.  But it was kinda late so we just had a drink in our room and went to sleep.

Saturday morning was breakfast at the hotel and almost everyone eating there was with the wedding so that was pretty cool.  Then after Neil and his dad went shopping and I stayed to visit.  I talked a lot with Terry and he gave me a bunch of help on running, which he has been doing for 5 years so that was cool.

Then after we got ready, we headed out to the church for the ceremony.  It is a fairly new church and really big.  The Priest said it would hold 1000 people!  Wow!  They just recently got the bells up and that is nice, I like church bells.

The ceremony was very nice, I was worried it would be long, but it was just about perfect.  What a beautiful bride she was.  And I had never met the groom, but he seemed super nice and everyone else loved him so that is good.
 (the grooms mom had on this cute little hat)

We had a few hours between the ceremony and the reception so we headed out to have lunch and then just hang out then out to the hall.  It was at the Elks hall and just a perfect place, only about a block from the hotel so we could all just walk back and no worries about driving while drinking.

 (table decorations)
(they had a candy table with these cool bags)
They did the regular speeches and a video show that was neat and then it was party time!  The Beckers realy like to dance so it was perfect.  I am not a dancer but they did get me up there for one song.  I told Neil I will dance with him if there is a slow song cause neither of us are much good, but all the slow songs his Aunt and Mom wanted, so that was fine with me too.
 (first dance)
 (dance with her mom)
( a ukranian custom to dance in a bucket if your younger sibling gets married first, 
I had never heard of this but it was sure entertaining)
They also had a tickle trunk of stuff for everyone to dress up in and give wishes to the bride and groom, that was so much fun, i think everyone got involved in that.

Then we finally headed back to our hotel way to late and the next morning went back over to the hall to help clean up and say our goodbyes and be on our way home.  We saw on the way up I have a road!  so on the way home we stopped at it and Neil took my pic and then we saw the sunset looked cool so I stopped to get some pics of that as well.

It was a good time, but sure glad to be back home again.