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Friday, October 30, 2015

Throwdown Finished

So I finished up my horsemanship challenge this time around on Wednesday.  Hadn't planned it but that's how it worked.  I wanted to ride on my birthday but it was so cold and windy I just stayed inside and enjoyed it, doing crafts, playing video games (love me some Luigi and Zelda)  while Neil was over helping a neighbor wean.  Anyways I got in a bunch of hours moving cows and gathering cows, both at home and for the neighbors, and the poker ride, but most rides were spent at home just enjoying the scenery we have here.  Although I do prefer to ride with others most of the time just cause it keeps me motivated.  But seems I have no friends who want to ride and so alone it is unless its at a group function.
(moving cows into weaning field, this cow wanted to play....so we did)

(Cows going through the gate, I rode point and Neil brought up the back)

One of the funner rides I like at home is to ride over the dams we have, we have 3 of them but one is a bit tree filled and hard to ride over in the summer/fall when there are leaves cause you can't see the trail very well.
(Treeless dam in farm/hay fields)

(south dam)

I also lots of times just ride out East and towards the slough and the creek, Jessie doesn't like being in the bottom of the creek valley so I can't enjoy it much on her, I do make her go down there and she's fine if there's others around or there is cows (a job) but otherwise shes always trying to head back up the hill and its not that fun.
(there's the slough with the brush and birds nest pole)

(pretty fall colors in the coulees)

(and on the way home)

(walking out towards slough)

(loping...I don't remember which way)

Of course I also been riding in the arena some, I really love it, but when the weather is so perfect I can ride out I tend to do that, although I usually only walk and sometimes trot out so I get a better workout in the arena.  The other day I worked it and then wrote Jessie's name in there, I saw a girl in the challenge do that and I wanted to write my name but thought I would do hers and it turned out really well, a little hard to see but still cool.  Sure makes you see how broke your horse is cause that's a lot of little turns and stuff, specially since I did it three times so it would show up better.  I almost got lost at the top of the J, mostly cause I don't do much cursive anymore, specially capitals, I tend to print and it works its way into writing.
(Writing Jessie's name)

(Hard to picture but I think it turned out good)

I think I might start taking some lessons this winter, of course cutting lessons, but just basic horsemanship lessons as well.  Not sure where yet, there's a place not too far away (in Tilly) that does them but I don't know who they are so I might have to try it out and see how it goes, keep life interesting and improve my riding as well.
(one of my favorite pictures of her,
 wish I had been lower when I took it tho)

(After moving cows one day
 I got Neil to take me and Jess's pic by our 100 year sign)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

When I Get Creative

So last Friday was our annual bean and Bingo supper at the Pollockville Hall.  Its been going on forever, long before I was around here but its always kinda a fun night and now that I feel like I'm getting old we get home early from it too and I like that.

They asked people to volunteer to bring something and I said I'd bring a desert, and thought cupcakes cause they are easy and people eat them more than cake and I didn't wanna take home leftovers.  So it was a couple weeks to the night and I got thinking, hmm bingo balls are round, cupcakes are round.  Hmm maybe I can so something interesting.  So I mulled it around a bit and decided a bingo card with the cupcakes as numbers and and the title.
(the plan)

So me and Neil went shopping to find icing and papers, I just picked fun colorful papers and we could only find black writing type icing so that's what we used.  I had 2 9 X 9 cake mixes at home I figured I would use and mini cupcake pan.  And on the day I wanted to make them I couldn't find my cupcake pan anywhere (of course) So my neighbor had one and I went to borrow it and had tea all morning and visited, it was great.  She also had a great idea that I use mini loaf pans and make them as the title bar, so I borrowed those too.

Well finally got started and make up cake mixes, pour into cupcake papers in pan and bake them as long as cake mix says.  Make some cupcakes and 1 loaf pan out of each mix, I had one chocolate and one white for whatever people like.
(love that antique cupcake pan, now I want one rather than my new plain one)

Let them cool and then the hard part was icing, the plain white went on easy, but the numbers and letters were a bit challenging but I think it turned out OK.  I used a pizza box lined with tinfoil to serve it in.
(Finished product)

(and leftover numbers)

Was a hit at bingo night, which was good cause as usual I never won a single game.  And I never had to take a single piece home :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Our House, In the Middle of the Street.....

I dunno why I always think of that song when I say our house.  But none the less it fits here.
(we saw it coming from a long ways away, 
hard to see in the pic but you can see the dust better,
 its dry here)

(yay, it came :) )

Our house finally came on Wednesday.  Much later that we were told but its here now and so worth the wait.  It was pretty cool to watch it come in and get unloaded and put on the pilings.  Sure didn't take long, they backed onto the spot and then lowered it down on the blocks, then raised the piles to the right height and jacked it up and then set it on the pilings.  They got here about noon and they were out of here by 3:30.
(all set up on blocks with the truck still underneath)

(welder guy welding pilings to the right height)

(truck driver/jack guy lifting it up so they can 
remove blocks and set it on the pilings)

(Neil and Ty checking out the bottom)

(Elaine talking to the pilot truck lady)

(they load trucks on the trailer for the way home)

We had our neighbors come over with a bottle of champagne to watch the procedure and celebrate :)

We had to have a look through so we set up a ladder and looked inside.  It is amazing how much stuff they had on the floors and stuff that wasn't installed.  But we could still see how it was looking.  And I can't wait till we move in.
(Neil checking out the auto light in the pantry)

(living room with gas fireplace :) )

(view from kitchen, love the 3 windows)

(one of the 2 spare bedrooms, we got extra big windows 
cause they wont really be bedrooms)

(Porch area with cupboards above washer and dryer)

(all the house stuff on the floors)

(oval tub in master bath)

(and 5' shower in main bath)

(a better view of living room without so much stuff on the carpet)

(and the kitchen with drawers in)

Then Thursday we had a guy from Triple M come and he took off the strapping from the roof and put on the roof vents, put in the drawers and closet doors.  He also measured up the base for the skirting that goes around the bottom and he will be back after the heat and stuff is on to fix anything inside that needs to be fixed.
(the plumber/electrician)

(putting in the gas lines)

(holes dug for electricity and phone and gas line being cut)

(Neil describing another job he wants Pete to do after the house is done)

Then in the afternoon our plumber/electrician came by and started looking at what all needed to be done and he stared digging the trench for power and phone lines to the new house.
(and Nintendo, wondering why we wont pick him up to put him in the house, 
he has arthritis and wont jump and prefers not to climb)
And this week, yesterday the drywallers put heaters in and covered the floors for thier repairs and they are coming to finish today, and then the main repair guy is coming to hook up fridge and light fixtures and chimney and whatever else and tomorrow stairs and skirting, and thursday plumbing and sewer should be done.

Hopefully he will be done soon and then the repair guy comes and we can move in, our sales lady thinks it could be about 10 days, but I am more realistic and I think it will be more than a couple weeks.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Weaning Day

Last Sunday we had a bunch of neighbors come over to help us wean our calves.  We had lots of help, more than we really needed but I much prefer it that way than not enough help.  We said 9 but everyone showed up early and so they went and got the cows early.  The cows start in the small field just north of the house (my horses other summer pasture, about 200 acres)  The cows don't really like that field for some reason, not sure why but they go in there good and then they just wander, and there is lots of grass, good water just not sure if its cause its too small and they have to hang around each other or what but they don't like it.  That's why we only put them in there a couple days before we wean.

Then they cross the road into my horses regular summer pasture and into the corrals.  It works really well and the cows just go in quite nicely, and it only takes a half hour or so.  Then we cut out the cows and let them into the bull winter pasture and the calves get put up the alley, when all sows are out, we put heifers in one pen and steers in another.  Then the truck comes and we loaded up the steers, he was here way early, was supposed to come at 11 and he left the yard at 5 after.  But worked well, he knew he was early and wasn't in a hurry just come to visit with us while we worked.

The we went for lunch, I wasn't really ready for lunch that early but no one minded, they came in had a drink and bull shitted until I was ready and then we ate.  The vet come had a bite to eat as well.  15 for lunch, more than we had ever had at a weaning.  But we had more plans.  We always get done so early we decided to preg check the cows the same day.  Just a test to see how it works, since last year we were done before lunch as well.

Well we got the cows back in the chute all ready, everyone had a job and off we went.  221 cows and it took us about 2 and half hours, of course that includes loading the heifers when the trucker come back.  Pretty good timing, after the open cows were in the pen with a bale and the other cows turned back out, we went to the house and had another drink and it was only 3:30.  Everything worked really well.

Then today our dry cows went to town as well, so we are pretty well ready for winter, tomorrow our cows will get to go up north onto the hay and oats field and hopefully weather is nice and they will be up there 6 weeks, boy will they be fat and happy after that.

And somehow didn't get any pics of weaning and just this one of our truck leaving hauling cows today.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

When The Cows Come Home

Friday the 9th we headed up to the what I call the place by Stettler but its really by Donalda on the Roslind Road.  I was told I was gonna get to bring my pony but at the last minute Neil decided it would be fine without her :(  I was pretty sad but away we go.  I took the old grey trailer and it was pulling just terrible.  I complained to Neil about it and we looked all around and couldn't see anything so we kept going.
(we are right beside the Hutterite Colony Of Donalda 
and they had thier sheep in the canola field,
 no fences and they were just well behaved, was really weird.)

(The grass up there still looks good)

We got up there and Neil's Mom and Dad met us there and so that was nice, we sat around while Neil used his quad and got the cows in, it took about half hour, hes lucky they were all on the right side of the slough and not in the trees (I was hoping they were and he wished I brought my pony)  Once in, we cut the calves from the cows and that went really well except we made a lot of extra steps cause there is no gates where there should be gates.  Then we had lunch, a picnic we stopped in Drum that morning to get and then the truck come and we loaded him and then calves on Neil's trailer and 3 cows on my old trailer.  They were all in the front compartment which they fit fine but my little half ton cant hold that much weight on the bumper but Neil wanted his bike in the back so that's what we did.  42 pair up there, too bad wasn't only 41 then I wouldn't have needed to haul a trailer.
(not good)

(cows going into bull pasture for the night after being unloaded)

On the way home finally and we get to Castor and I think I should get gas, I might have enough to get home but just in case I better stop.  Well we gas up and I walk around the far side and see that there is oil or something on the tire, go take a closer look and oh crap the bearings are gone.  Probly were going the whole time and that's why it was pulling so bad.  Well we pull over to the side out of the way of everyone else there and jump in his truck and go home to unload calves.  Trucker calls and says his cows and calves are in the corral and that's perfect, he was cleaning ou the liner as we pull in the yard.  We unload his calves and head back to Castor to load those cows onto his trailer (by backing up so doors match and then letting the cows out and they walk across)  And then unhook my truck and tell the guys inside we are leaving the trailer there and will be back in the morning for it.  I was going to poker rally the next day so Neil was planning on stopping at a garage in town and seeing if they could fix it, haul the trailer to them and leave it there and then pick it up when ready.  of course being thanksgiving weekend no one was open, so he pulled the front 2 tires off and drove home slowly, it worked but now we gotta fix it and hopefully trade it on a newer model.  Was late when we got home, about 8:30 and the temperature was still 15*C  Wow that just unheard of for October 9th! We left them in the corral at night and then they went out with the other cows in the morning.

(The dash in my truck when we got home and all unloaded)

Then on the 14th was the community pasture day.  Its always an early morning, I got up before daylight and couldn't see anything but somehow the horses knew and come running into the corral, whew.  We went out to catch them, I thought I might take Razz but then Neil went to catch George and he started running around like he quite often does, he needs to play the move my feet game and then hes caught when he looks at you.  Well Jess thought she would run around to and so I took her, Cant have horses being a dork and letting them think that works.  She was good after that anyways, as always.  We loaded up and headed up to be there by 8.  I got a flat tire on the way in the yard, I think i know when it happened cause all the sudden Jess started jumping around in the trailer, probly cause the tire blew.  Oh well I ignored it till after we were back and fixed it before I headed home.
(9 of us this time, just starting out)

(Oh I see cows)

(and more cows)

(and more, just trailing them in)

Was a little chilly to start, was glad I had my ear warmer and gloves on, coulda used a pair of chinks though.  We took the long route around the lake cause that's where most of the cows were.  There's a pretty boggy spot so we tried to go around it too, no need to go through it if not necessary.  There was 9 of us this year, that was a little weird, I been there when there was only 4, a lot less stress when there is more.  We stared pushing cows south, we need to go farther south than the corrals cause they just cut around and go by the lake if we don't.  We push them north of the road then across the dam and then down south to the corrals.  It works well and this year as well,
(about 300 in this bunch)

(yay got them into the corrals)

(calves are sure looking good this year)

We got them in the corrals and then comes the hard work.  We put our horses away at just over 3 hours riding.  There was 5 people who had cows in this bunch and so everyone took a gate, Me and Stewart never had a gate so we pushed them from the big corral to the small alley.  once they were all separated, we cut everyone's groups into cows and calves and counted them and made sure all the animals were there.  So far so good, we had 50 up there and 50 to come home.  Our truck came 3rd in line and so we just waited and visited and then it was time to load.  Loaded up the liner and then I took the horses in my trailer and Neil was gonna haul a load of calves.  I headed out just after the liner and got home at the same time (I took a shorter way)  We unloaded cows and then Neil drives in, he said there was 4 trailers in front of him so he just headed home and figured we would just load the rest in the liner for a second trip.  So he jumped in with Justin and go pick up the last of the cows and calves.
(on the way home I saw a herd of antelopes, this in only about half of them)

(whew 9 miles, I forgot to stop it till we were in the corral, probly just about 3 hours)

(trailing cows in)

I unloaded the horses and untacked and fed them and turned them back out, they get to go in the alley so Neil could chase the cows through there pasture out to the rest of the cows.  When they got back he took them out, sure looks a lot different having all the cows home.  Makes a huge difference adding 92 cows to the herd.  And now we wean tomorrow and so half them will go to town.
(Horses were so well behaved no need to tie to unsaddle)

(Jessie and George, oats sure help them stay there )

(Jess rolling after I put her back)