Thursday, August 30, 2012

If This is Fall, Bring it On

An evening's stroll included neighbours' kids on the road.
Harvest is swinging into gear.

I did not Photoshop this sunset. Honest.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Great Outdoors

Crop damage in a neighbours' field during big wind and rain on Saturday

Since when do lupins bloom a second time in August? Since I'm a lucky wench, that's when.
My rainwater-holding system, complete with floating rest/escape platforms for frogs, et al.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Babette and Baby C

First-time mother Babette gives unnamed Baby C a tongue bath. Orange sibling Carsten seen behind.

I am running out of C-names here. Need three more for three little blacks.

Heh. I'm not looking that hard. But —

Thought I'd post a quick photo before getting back to work.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Plain Old Livin'

On an evening walk this week; that's a neighbours' farmyard about two miles across the fields
Unfortunately it no longer looks so peaceful and warm outside. Scott turned the furnace on before going out this afternoon, and I'm about to bundle up real good to make sure the kittens have enough food on the tractor shed floor. There is plenty on a table but every morning I refill the two dishes on the floor for them, and haven't seen them climb up on the table yet. Time to put it all on the floor anyway, as the dogs never manage to make their way in there. (Anyone need cats or kittens? Plenty to share.)

My morning was spent in bed with a migraine, but a phone call roused me just before noon so I got up to see if the day could be salvaged. And it has. After going outside and coming in half-frozen and probably soaked, a nice soothing bath to warm up my old bones should be just what the doctor orders.

Now what the heck was I going to tell you? There was something on my mind, but it's vanished. Hmph.

Oh yes, last night's supper at Grandma Viv's café in Archerwill. We ordered quickly and off the daily specials board because Scott was starving by the time we arrived, about 8:30, and needed to order immediately, so I didn't hold things up; I asked for fish and chips (pronounced excellent by my sidekick, who usually eats half my meals) because it looked like the smallest thing on the three-item chalkboard list. Fish and chips all taste pretty much the same to me, though, so I ate only half of the rather large piece they served. Scott ordered a combo of dried ribs, chicken wings and Caesar salad. It was a heaping plate of well-spiced grub, so he was happy, and I taste-tested it all and agreed it passed muster. We brought some of it home as a midnight snack.

I wish I'd remembered to check out the actual menu though, to see if it's worth going a second time; as it is, an hour-and-ten-minute round trip and driving home after dark with a snoring man beside me means their menu will have to offer something splentastic before I'll want to do it again. However, they've built a pleasant atmosphere and Mr Fussy says the food is good, so when locals are looking for someplace different to go for a meal, it's a suitable option.

In other news, I am trying to identify the water bird that sounds like a cackling witch out on the slough west of the yard, at night. I went to All About Birds and listened to the sounds made my our habitual dwellers: northern shovellers, American coots (we call them mudhens) and blue-winged teals. No success. I know it isn't the sora's springtime call, but maybe later in the season? Must go try that one although I have my doubts.

*** Yep, I was right. It's not the sora. But listen to the sora anyway by clicking here.
Is that not a lovely call? We hear it all night here, in the spring.

Hm. Must find the answer. I may have to sneak up on dem boids with night-vision binoculars and rubber boots!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Last Weekend in August

Calendula petals are used to make face cream; not that I've made any.

Readers of Joanne's letters from Out Margo Way are wondering where her entries are. She's gone AWOL!

I saw her the other day when Scott needed a ride to Canora for a chiropractic treatment. He limped up the clinic sidewalk and I went and found Joanne's room in the hospital. Her laptop hasn't been working there and I haven't received entries she's sent via smartphone. 

She was getting packed up for a move to the community lodge. 
So, with luck, technology will work for her over there and we'll soon be updated on "the life of Jo Bo."

Back here at Golden Grain Farm, it's cooler indoors than out. You have to go outside to warm up. The sky's turning a weird smoky colour and rain is forecast. 

Emil decided to stay at the group home this weekend ("I think I'll watch my Such-and-Such video. There's no point in keeping them if I'm not going to watch them!"). Scott's got a couple social functions lined up for the weekend, and I'm leaning toward taking a little jaunt northward to a new restaurant for supper. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why So Standoffish?

There are still some very young birds paddling anxiously away as I pass by. It seems late in the season for them to be so small, but what do I  know? Although ducks and crows are already flocking up in preparation for their flights south, and I fancy a chickadee the other day suggested it was time to fill the feeders with niger seed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fishing Lake

Emil managed to wangle the promise of a boat ride out of my cousin Oscar, and after some back-and-forthing we finally got a time organized and met at the lake last night.

Of course Emil had to be in the co-pilot's seat.
He enjoyed every moment of that long, speedy ride around the lake. I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of him with his arms raised over his head to feel the wind -- that would've been a good one.
He kept requesting that Oscar drive faster.

There was a glowing sunset and by the time we got back to the dock in front of Barb and Oscar's cabin the light had pretty much gone.

Previous entries mentioning Oscar:
Jan. 5, 2011
Jan. 6, 2011
Feb. 11, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Harvest Begins

One of our neighbours is combining peas. This was my view as I walked north toward our driveway last night. We've had such gorgeous evenings lately.

I'm spending every possible moment outside.

What can I say.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


All over the roadsides is goldenrod, another useful plant

It seems we are now at the top of that slippery slope that slides into fall.
The air dipped to 5C overnight. A freeze cannot be far behind.
There have been predictions of warm temperatures for the weekend though, so we can hope for a reprieve. After all, it is only the middle of August. Surely the weather gods wouldn't be so cruel as to cut summer off at the thighs. With a hacksaw.

Once again the wheels of gainful employment are back in motion here in my office. Life returns to "normal," which means setting the stove timer to go off after each office hour so that I have to get up to turn it off, thus getting some blood to my ass.

The sun is shining, and that's the main thing. Everett caught a ride with his uncle back to Edmonton, so the house is all mine during the day again. Scott has just been in to make a brunch of fried eggs and toast after spending the morning tending to farm business. As far as I know. Who can keep track of that whirlwind?

Monday, August 13, 2012



If so, it's another medicinal plant growing in the moist roadsides here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer's Day

Can you walk around your front yard singing at the top of your lungs,

"Oh what a beautiful morning!
O what a beautiful day!
 I've got a beautiful feeeeeee ling 
Everything's going my way ayyyyyyy ...

All the cattle are  -- "

But you get the idea.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

An Oven-y Kind of Day

Not drying a ton of wild herbs and flowers this year. Above, just yarrow, pineapple weed and giant hyssop, all of which I will use for teas.

I am able to prevail upon Everett to do the dishes once, most days, and he likes to do them while listening to podcasts of a CBC radio program, Wiretap. He will happily do anything I request if he is within earshot of this show.

Today Ducky Doodle awakened me at 4 a.m. to let him out on "business," and I stood waiting for him as the cold wind blew. Of course I crawled back into bed immediately; can't meander about the yard in The Most Lovely and Soft Green Housecoat in that kind of weather. Now, in the late morning, we've had thunder and hard rain and one short power outage so far.

Yesterday at 5 a.m. when the brat asked to be let out, it was so gorgeous out there I didn't want to come in, but foolishly hadn't grabbed my housecoat so had to. But the air was mild and soft, mist hung above the dugout seen from the back step and over the slough in the distance, and the birds had begun fairly laidback morning chirpings. These are among the moments that I feel absolutely blessed to live where I do; and there are many.

Perhaps the early morning hours are just as refreshing from the balcony of a city highrise. I expect so.

Well, no slowcooker plugged in to the outside of the house today. We shall use the oven in creation of culinary delights -- or maybe just plodding dull things like beef roasts, which keep Scott fueled up.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Walkin' with my Bay-bee

One perk of having Everett home is that sometimes he'll come walking with me. How quickly those two miles fly by, then!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Asters in the Wild

Smooth Aster is in bloom along the roadsides.

"The Cree called these plants mistahisak-wiwask and used the root in their traditional medicine for toothache. The whole plant was used to strengthen the mother after giving birth." - The Standing People, by Keane &Howarth

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Laurel Gets Hitched

Laurel and Brett cutting their wedding cake
While Everett is home from Edmonton I haven't wanted to be away; there are not going to be many more summers when he will come and hang out with his mother for a month. This is probably the last one. Not that he "hangs out" with me; hell no (except for instigating a Lord of the Rings movie marathon over the past three nights), — my "constant" singing apparently drives him batty. But he's around and I'm loving it.

Anyway, I stayed here and Scott drove up with his brother and niece to his sister Laurel's wedding, which took place Friday in the back yard of their house at Denare Beach.

And a fine time was had by all, as you may surmise from the photo above.

Looks like the long drive back took its toll on Scott though; he turned up here at midnight with a bum leg, likely sciatica.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Some Cats

Dark areas are reeds, or cattails, in sloughs in the field in places there haven't been any in recent memory.
Some cats are aggressive. On the other farm there was a female calico that would attack the cows if they came into the stall where the cat was. She'd beat up the other cats on the place too. She wasn't well liked by the family for those reasons. She was crazy, was the verdict.

Here, we've a calico female, one of last year's batch, that I have seen act crazy like that.

And when I came from Shelly's I brought a female cat that needed a new home. She is blue-eyed and will broaden the gene pool around the place, which can't hurt, but ... she is crazy too. This morning she made Ducky Doodle cry, run away, and hide. When Jenna Doodle wandered to a sheltered corner of the house where she (Lacy) has been sleeping, she ran from me in order to chase the dog away, viciously. She did it a couple more times when the dog came into my vicinity. Poor dog isn't sure what to think! I told her to go ahead and bite the cat's ass if it pleases her. Damn cat has it coming. She attacked two adult cats because they horned in on her petting moments with me, and when I gently pushed her away from them with my shoe, she bit it.

She is starving for attention and affection, and I'm happy to give it to her, but not exclusively! Crazy cat.

One of our neighbours used to have a garage cat that would attack visitors' legs and claw them up. Eventually one of them visited with a rifle and put a stop to that bullshit. This morning this particular visitor and his gun crossed my mind, particularly since Lacy also wraps herself so aggressively around your feet as you walk that you can't move without tripping or stepping on her — and then she gets mad and bites you.

Many's the time I've been glad there is no rifle about the place, as I have had the implacable urge to put a stop to an animal's pain-in-the-ass-ness and if there was an instrument handy ... I might have done it. And then regretted it bigtime.

Now you are getting a glimpse of my no-nonsense nature. Part of my nature, I should say. Other parts can be pushed right over. I think.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The C Batch and a Home Search

This is Charlotte.
This year's kittens (so far six) have all been given names that start with C so I have half a chance of remembering their ages in the future:

Cameron Diaz

Is there anything more amusing than watching kittens play? And play? And play? And play?

Also, my friends are looking for a new home for their seven-year-old male cat, due to an allergy that has reared its ugly head for one of the homeowners. Henry Richards (must pronounce with French accent: onREE reeSHAR) is an indoor cat that likes to go outside in the small town of Kelvington but might get lost in a bigger place, so they hope to relocate him to a farmhouse or another village. However, all offers will be considered possibilities.

Are you a cat lover who lives around here, perchance, and needs a feline companion? Henry is a real sweetie that will love you to pieces. He is a well-behaved gentleman.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Flowerbed Today

By the way, have you noticed I added a page about tea?
Tea is not only tasty. It's used as a tonic and a medicine. I've been picking certain wildflowers to add to my afternoon brews. CLICK HERE or on link in sidebar to see The Treasure That Is Tea.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

About The Place

I put Everett and a little gal from Kelvington to work for two hours.
Everett helped me bring over my collage from the old house and tack it up in the hallway.

Did I already show you these two trees that went down behind our house, in the windstorm several weeks ago?