Thursday 31 January 2013


All last fall I was begging someone,
to come and help us with our winter lambing this year.
Nobody,  could be conned into experiencing our Northern Alberta Winter.

All except, Djoeke.
And he,
well he landed with his nose in the butter...
Djoeke came to us through a number of organisations,
he comes from the Netherlands,
so we all got to improve our Dutch!

He had no experience with  sheep,
or horses,
or chickens,
feeding grain
nothing really when it comes to ranch life...

But, after 4 weeks he has embraced this life style..
He knows what it feels like to stand among a whole flock of ewes with a pail of grain in his hand,
he knows how cold it can get when cutting net wrap off the bales,
he understands that his specialy rated -35C boots just don't cut it here,
he knows how to butcher a lamb,
dispose of an egg eating chicken,
feed dogs,
move ewes and lambs,
fill grain hoppers,
weigh lambs,
fork hay,
bring water to the steers (not elephants),
carry over sized guardian dog pups to the pasture,
and has an intricate understanding of what the Alberta Chainsaw Massacre job entails.
So, all in all,
things are going well.

He can  often be found:
stalking moose,
dumpster diving in the grain silo,

trying to tame the local whitetails,
making snow angels,
tobogganing down slippery slopes,
playing "super hero" on the hay bales,

ice fishing with the lads,
riding my horse

or simply enjoying some quiet time at our Outhouse.
So, he is actually quite fun to have around.
He and I share the same silly sense of humor.
Our favourite coffee past time is looking up hilarious auto correct text jokes on our phones..

 or, watching silly you tube films.
His favourite film also happens to be my all time favourite film...

So, I think when he leaves our ranch next week I shall miss him.
  We have spent some time talking about dreams and aspirations
and have come up with a plan:
He is going to become a stinking, rich architect,
(who is going to design my mountain cabin)
and I,
in exchange for teaching him about ranch life,
 can take my future vacations in all his houses scattered around the world..

Sunday 27 January 2013

Oh, Deer!

"We want a world where the only shots that can be heard in the forest are those made by a camera."
Last week I noticed a little deer hiding in the woods close to where we feed our cows and the two colts hay bales.
She (or he) just watched from a distance
did not move away when we came rumbling in with the tractor.

hello baby..
don't be shy

Well, she has now discovered that we feed grain to the calves at  the other corral..
 Today, she decided she was brave enough to come out and see what we were doing.
We could get within about 2m from this little white tail deer.
She is young and thin and battling the huge amount of snow we have.
We don't mind her eating a bit of feed from the cows,
it is nice to help the wildlife through the winter.

 We do have a resident herd of whitetails on our ranch and I am pretty sure she belongs with them but somehow got separated from them.
Well, she has  Crackers to hang out with until she can reunite with the other deer.

Bye Bambi
See you tomorrow..

Uhmm, Hallo Moose,
(actually there where three of them)
Are you also looking for some food?

Saturday 26 January 2013


Having pups did not only expand Katcha's waistline,
but also expanded her mind.
She has found  possibilities,
discovered her wings,
and explored a world...
beyond the sheep pasture.

All this, has meant that a lock down was inevitable.
The fact that the snow is almost fence high,
and that the hot part of the fence is down,
has not helped this delicate situation.

Katcha discovered that popping over the fence was actually no real problem.

ALL my dogs respect fences,
they do not just hop out,
or over,
or through..

If they do,
I look for solutions.

For Katcha that means living with a tire for the next while.
She, does feel rather sheepish with her new attachment.

However, if she does not stay in the pasture with her sheep,
there could be serious consequences such as:
  1. being shot
    (she looks like a wolf or coyote and with a bounty here she is not safe)
  2. she goes wondering
  3. gets run over
  4. sheep are unprotected
  5. she gets killed by wolves, cougars or coyotes
  6. she gets accidently bred by a border collie, a coyote, a wolf, a poodle...
  7. she wonders off into the woods
  8. a moose stomps on her
  9. she gets stolen ( not likely, but still..)
  10. aliens abduct her ( not likely, but is a possibility)
All this hoping over fences also just makes me mad.
When I am mad:
- I am in a foul mood
- tend to be unreasonable
- will swear on occassion
- get pissy
and generally life gets very unpleasant.
So, to prevent all of the above happening,
I placed Katcha on lock down.
Now, when I go out and see her
I am happy to know she is still in the sheep pasture and I am in a good mood.
When the snow is gone, and the electric fence works
I will put some serious training time back into her.
For now,
life kind of sucks for Katcha!

Thursday 24 January 2013


It has been awhile since I have blogged about the guardian dogs.
They are doing well.
I have had females in season,
the dogs have been barking at moose and coyotes,
they hangout at the bale feeders,
and are generally doing well.
One, however has been naughty and has been jumping fences so she is in lock down.
More about her in another blog...

The pups have been watching the ewes have their lambs.
Yesterday, I felt the need to start expanding the pup's world.

Hank aka Harry ( remember the orphan pup Harry Potter?)
was the the one slected at the reaping ( haha, what movie have I just seen?)
Hank is a pup that is staying longer at our place.

He has always been as good as gold.
Has actually never done anything naughty.
So, he now gets to hangout with the big boys.

We had to first carry him out of the barn...
Djoeke had to carry him out of the barn,
before Hank felt confident enough to walk the rest of the way.

He was then placed before the bull and ram pasture.
Poor baby.
Vuk and Shadow came to the gate to greet him.
Hank thought he was getting thrown to the lions.
He sat down and looked really sad.
He was careful not to offend anyone.
When we left him behind,
it was like leaving a child at school for the first time.
He looked  lost.
However, we do tough love here,
and we waved him goodbye and left him to make new friends.

 After a day of getting to know his new buddies,
he has settled down well and seems comfortable with the new sheep and young bulls.

He has learnt that the warmest place to sleep is right in with the sheep.
He can play with Shadow
and he has learnt not to mess with Vuk and his food.

He is doing well.

I think, Louanne, that you will like him.
He is laid back and calm.

Monday 21 January 2013

Some snow fun

Ok, so the last ewe lambed, (Yippie)
I can sleep again,
it has snowed,
it is cold,
So, it was time for some snow fun!

Together, with a whole bunch of 4H kids from our district,
we went to the most awesome toboganning hill in High Prairie at the EC Bar Ranch
Fun was had by all,
the wipeouts were specatular,
the wieners tasted like a 5 star meal,
the warmth from the heated cabin was like a favorite blanket,
and the hot chocolate was soul warming.

Hope you all had a great weekend.

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