Sunday, May 10, 2009

Week 3 @ Home

Monday morning broke bright and sunny and yes Deb I was up to see the sunrise. We are early risers but I was up earlier than usual as I was taking the bus up to Woody’s RV in Red Deer. They are going to have a look at the list of things we made this winter that need fixing. Not to many big things but while it is there we are getting them all looked at. Unlike some of our fulltiming friends we have the luxury of being able to leave our outfit there while they fix things at their leisure. We are planning a couple of trips out this month, one to the Yaha Tinda with the horses and one out to Kananaskis with the boys and our grandchildren. We will use the camper for those trips.

Once I got back I took a couple of the horses, Hank and Rosie, for a little workout. Hank is a character who is always up to something when he is with the others but he was great today. Stepped right out and left his buddies behind just like he was supposed to. And Rosie is always a gentle soul but she doesn’t like to leave the others either so a little practice was in order. It was a beautiful day for a ride. After I got done that part of the day we took the Jeep into Cochrane to get it serviced and a recall on the transmission looked after while it was in there. That done we popped into Safeway for a few groceries, first time I have been in a grocery store since we got home. I believe Brenda has got the hang of shopping without me by her side again though…….LOL!!

Tuesday we ran back into Cochrane to pick up the Jeep and I took the old couch and chair to Paul’s house. They will find a use for it somewhere either at home or at their rental property. I saw Luke and Annika while I was there, I think those kids grow a foot every time I see them. After a short visit with Paul I headed back out to Cremona for dinner. Brenda had gotten home and it appears that the Cochrane Dodge folks had spilled oil into the belly pan as it is dripping out all over the garage.

Wednesday was a working in the yard kind of day. I managed to get the lawns all mowed for the first time this season. Good to get them evened up and the leftover leaves from the fall all picked up so we can start the water, fertilize, mow cycle all over again. Also managed to get some of the paddocks drug so the mole hills are flattened and the manure is broken up and can help with the fertilizing, and then I recontoured the dirt around old Dolly’s gravesite and reseeded some grass there. Dolly was a horse we had here for her whole life (34 years) and had to say farewell to a couple of years back.

Wednesday evening we headed over to the Water Valley Saloon for “Wing Night”, it’s been a few years since we had been there but not much has changed. While there we saw Kathy and Mike Overton and Jennine Anderson.

Thursday we ran the Jeep back into Cochrane Dodge. The aforementioned leak of old oil has changed from a sloppy job to something wrong and we were down a quart. There is oil all over our driveway and garage floor so those of you who know Brenda know just how happy that made her. She left the Dodge dealer with a can of cleaner guaranteed to remove oil from concrete, or they will come and shampoo the farm to get rid of all the stains. Being a little OCD is not always a bad thing. While they were fixing the oil leak (broken cap?) we ran into the city to have a look around. Wrong thing to do, we came home with a new 40” TV and an Ipod Touch. Pretty expensive oil change now!! LOL!! But after spending the winter watching our 42” TV in the motorhome our 27” one in the house looked pretty small. And the TV in the basement had quit so we had all the reasoning lined up to buy a new one.

Just note about our Sprint card though, we woke up Thursday morning and our internet had left the country. I called the 3G Store where we bought our equipment and they walked me through some things to determine the issue. Once we determined that it was not equipment but appeared to be a network issue they sent me on to the Sprint Help Line. After remembering my friend Joe’s experience with his Verizon card it was with much trepidation that I dialled that number. I was sure I was heading on a long distance trip to somewhere in the Far East, where many of the help centres are located, and what with my limited computer skills and those folks accents I usually just get more frustrated and the problem seems a lot more difficult. Imagine my surprise when a fellow with a Texas drawl answered the phone. Now there are some language issues there too but after Brenda and I participated in the immersion class at Kerrville last winter I have a pretty decent handle on those southerners peculiarities. Kinda of ironic how Joe’s Help line took him all the way over to India to get his card fixed and my Sprint card gave me a good old boy who maybe was just across the trailer park from him in Texas.

Friday I ran into town to pick up some shirts and a few things for the weekend, even made a trip to the Apple Store for a surprise gift. I went by my Mom’s and took her out to lunch at the Golf Club. We had a good visit and then it was back to the farm, I had some horses to ride. I took Hank for a spin and then a short ride on Rosie. Hank is doing well but I don’t think he is ever going to be a kids horse. Too stubborn and needs a firm hand to deal with that. Rosie is a jewel though, not a mean bone and although she doesn’t like to leave the others if you insist she will go. Matt, Michelle, Claire and Madison are out for the weekend to work in their garden and enjoy the farm life.

It sure is nice to see the kids out here enjoying the farm every weekend.

Saturday was just another day, ride some horses, do a few things around the yard, and oh yah, get a sneak preview of the new baby. Now that was exciting, modern technology is amazing, not only can you have a look at the baby, but they can stream the video right into our living room out here in the country. Not to many years ago women in this neighbourhood were having their children right in the home, now we have jumped into the 21st century and have all the modern conveniences now. I will include a picture of the baby that I stole off the internet. Yep, it’s really our grandchild and he/she is already an internet star.

Saturday night we went into the city to help celebrate the marriage of one of our friends daughter, Mrs. Bobbi Woodward. Now this was a terrifying moment for me, I'm not much of a dancer and dancing with a beautiful woman in a long gown is even more worrisome. What if I take the wrong step and rip that beautiful dress. Oh well, I worried for naught no one noticed my clumsy two step, their eyes were on my partner and I didn't step on the dress. Just slid my feet along the floor though, not taking any chances.

Mother’s Day started off with a bang here, for the last week or so Brenda has been cursing Bill Gates and his Internet Explorer. I thought what can I do for this wonderful woman that is taken for granted all the time. Well I ain’t much at cooking or cleaning and when it comes to crafts I have no skills, so I thought the one thing I can do pretty well is exercise my Visa and a couple of days ago I headed into the Apple Store and bought her a ticket out of Mr. Gates’ world. So far it seems to be working fine and I can honestly say I have not monopolized it. It is hers and hers alone. Maybe someday I’ll catch up but for now I have two PC’s to keep me out of trouble. It broke beautiful and sunny here with very little wind so we caught Rosie and Blue and Brenda and I went for a ride around the neighbourhood. Now you have all been listening to my blabbering about riding every day but today was Brenda’s first ride in about 2 years. Last year was a little busy for us and she just never got around to it, but we are heading to the Yaha Tinda towards the end of the week so thought she had better stretch out some muscles before we go. It sure was nice to have her beside me on horseback again.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Week 2 @ Home

The picture above is one of those Alberta Chinook Arches we talk about so much. Legend has it that Chinook is an Indian word for snow-eater, not true but a great story nevertheless. This part of the country gets warm winds that come over the mountains and literally eat the snow in the winter, although this past winter it seemed like they were less frequent than usual.

This weekend Matt, Michelle and Madison were out for Friday and Saturday nights. It was a little cool to work in the garden but not a bad day for playing with the horses. What with a little rain and snow to keep the edge of the heat we had a nice day on Saturday grooming horses and even a little riding for Madison.

Brenda cooked us up a mess of appetizers to hold us through the day today, jalapeno poppers, spicy chicken, mozza sticks and some chips to make it all go down smooth. A little spicy probably for Madison but just right for her Grandfather.

Sunday we gathered a posse of grandchildren, my Dad’s, and myself and we moved Grandpa back to the farm. He has been living in Calgary for the winter and was itching to get back out on the farm. Matt, Paul and Ryan helped us haul his furniture out to Matt’s storage locker and we left the bulk of it there and just moved his big reclining chair into his house out here. Other than that there was a bunch of clothes and as anybody who knows my father knows a whole bunch of papers. Didn’t take us to long to get the stuff in storage and I managed to manhandle the recliner by myself so the rest of the crew just stayed in Calgary.

Monday I had an appointment with a new doctor, longtime readers remember my old doc passed away last January, to get my prescriptions renewed and to set up a time for a complete physical later in the summer. That done Tuesday Brenda and I both went to the dentist for a checkup and a cleaning, and then headed out to do some furniture shopping. The sofa we have in the living room needed changing, or so Brenda told me, and we were looking all over for one that fits the Western kind of flavour our house has on the main floor. We ran down to Claresholm, 120 miles south, to have a look at a new furniture store that has opened there and although they had some nice stuff there was nothing that jumped out at us so back north we headed. A week or so ago we had seen a sofa and chair set in Rossinni’s in Calgary that had all the right stuff so we stopped there on the way through the city and it will be delivered on Thursday. Once we got home I needed to run the bus into town and refill the propane tank, it has been cold here and we have had the heat on low for a week.

Wednesday was motorhome cleaning day for Brenda. She likes everything to be Spic and Span when she puts it away so that is done. I washed my truck and gave it a rubdown with “the Solution” so it is nice and clean also. Later in the day I walked the perimeter of the farm just having a look around and enjoying the warm afternoon sun. I have been trying to keep up a 2 mile a day pace and what with the blizzards and such have actually made it about 5 days out of 7.
Matt was out to the farm on Thursday to return the truck after moving Grandpa last weekend so we sucked him into giving me a hand taking our old couch and chairs out to make space for the new one that will be delivered later today. Here is a look at the old furniture.

And with the new couch and chair in place.

Once the new furniture was delivered I gave him a ride into town and we stopped at St. Basil’s and picked up our granddaughter Madison. She has a Professional Day tomorrow so she is coming out to spend the night at the farm with Grandma and I and then tomorrow she can give me a hand with the fencing and the horses.

Friday Madison and I got a couple of fence problems resolved and visited with the horses for a while. Although we didn’t seem to get much done it took us all day and we sure had fun doing it.

Brenda ran into Chestermere to visit with Rebecca and help her start packing. They are hoping to move into their new home in a couple of weeks. Matt and Michelle came out to farm for the weekend after work so I had a visit with them and we sat around their trailer until the sun went down and it cooled off.

Finally today the temperatures got high enough to make it a great spring day. I spent most of the day working with the horses and Madison and Michelle got in a short ride, although their horses were still a little rusty. They spend all winter standing around together so really hate to leave their buddies behind at the barn. It takes a few rides to work that stubbornness out of them. I manage to get 3 of the 4 horses we have ridden and we worked on leaving your buddies behind as the primary lesson. Sometimes we have to do a little counselling to get er done but by the end of the day Rosie and Hank had agreed with me that it was easier to leave the others behind than to fight a losing battle with that big cowboy on our backs. Now my main man and also the youngest horse in the crowd is a gelding named Blue, his dam is the aforementioned Rosie that Brenda usually rides and he was born here on the place. He is pretty well schooled and when I got on him for the first ride this year, this afternoon, he just stepped right out and left the rest like he had been waiting all winter to spend some one on one time with me. He is a pleasure to ride and even more fun just to be around as he genuinely loves to be with people. Matt and Michelle were BBQ’ing tonight so they had Dad and Christine as well as her mother Leslie over for dinner. Brenda is not feeling great today so we opted out although my mouth was watering with the smell of those pork loins wafting across the farm.

Today, Sunday the 3rd we had a visit from our daughter Lacey, it was sure nice to see her and she happened to be traveling by on her way home to Rocky Mountain House and stopped in for a visit and lunch. For those of you who are keeping up with our quest for another grandchild I have included a photo of Lacey. It will still be 6 or 7 weeks but things are coming along nicely I guess.