Well, that could have gone better

Spring on the prairies is not fluffy bunnies, baby lambs, bluebirds and crocuses.  Oh sure, we have those things and I have the pictures to prove it…..

Rabbits (232)IMG_0009Bluebirds (28)Sheep - (43)

Photos courtesy of my mother and daughter, yes, that’s me, age 5ish, admiring the bunch of crocus (crocii??)

Anyway, spring is actually very violent here on the prairies–wind, rain, snow, fog, sleet, maybe sun if we’re lucky, and usually all on the same day if not the exact same time.

My road washed out again on my bus route so I’ve been going around the long way.  The flooding and washouts and runoff this year is incredible.  This is my road, two weeks after it started to flood.


Look how thick the ice is!!  This is how cold and miserable the winter has been!!  Here is a few more pictures from my bus route:


So, anyway, last fall the RM, in their wisdom (I say sarcastically), attempted to raise a low road I travel by piling on several feet of clay, with a thin icing sugar sprinkle of gravel.  Well, this afternoon the inevitable happened.  I made it heading north to the farm to drop off the boys but on the way back I couldn’t make it up the hill.  I carefully backed up and tried again, with a little more speed (but not too much as the shoulders were VERY soft and I didn’t want to wind up in the ditch.)  I backed out a second time, this time to the top of the hill on the north side.  I turned around and headed back to my bus family to ask for a tow across the chasm.  Look at my wheels–no tread left on the front tire and the rear dually look like a single tire…IMG_3119[1]IMG_3121[1]

Just a box full of cats at the farm…IMG_3124[1]

So we hooked up at the crest of the hill and tractor man pulled me across to the other side.  There was no other way out.  I told him I would not be back to pick up the kids till the road dried out, but he’ll drive them across to the good road and I’ll pick them up there.


This is the dry part of the road–I didn’t take pictures of the quagmire as I was too busy keeping  the bus in the middle of the road.  Whew!!  Glad to be out of there.  What a day!!

The winter that never ends

How long is this winter going to last??  I was so optimistic last fall.  We’d had such a beautiful November then blam–into the deep freeze. We’ve only surfaced a couple times and even now, when the days are longer, it’s still cold and windy. I even plugged the heat lamps back in. I don’t think anyone is really happy around here. 

I went out early to do chores on Friday morning. I had an extracurricular bus trip to Unity for a curling bonspiel. I had to stay in Unity for the day, so everyone needed to be fed before I left. It was COLD!!  I snuck out at seven and surprised everyone. I found out the big dog sleeps in the barn with the goats. Piggy didn’t want to get out of her warm bed for breakfast but out she came, snarffled down her oatmeal and then back to bed. 

It’s been good weather to spend time in the kitchen. First, for a non edible. The big jar of hand cream my girlfriend from Greece made me finally ran out. I gathered  my supplies. Olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax. Pretty simple. 

Half a cup of wax, half a cup of coconut oil and a cup of olive oil. I used the mildest olive oil I had, a Tunisian oil, because I really hate the smell (and taste) of most olive oil. I added a spoonful of honey too, just to add more of a honey scent. Melt it all together and stir while cooling, and voila, the nicest hand cream imaginable. You could even eat it!! (if you really had to).

Then I made pies. An apple and cherry. Apples from my nephews garden and cherries I gleaned from a yard in town whose owners didn’t know what to do with them. 

I made a couple of quiches too. I like to have protein in the morning and am usually too famished after my bus run to make something so it’s nice just to have a pie in the fridge that I can graze off of. 

I have been wanting to make clotted cream since I watched “The Edwardian Farm”.  This cold snap was the perfect opportunity. I picked up six little half pints that had just gone on sale at the grocery, poured them into a flat pan and set them  in the oven at the lowest setting overnight. Look at how beautiful it was!!

On The Edwardian farm they clotted the cream on the stove top, but that needed too much attention. The result was the same, carmelized thick cream, and apparently the more layers in the presentation dish the better. I lifted out the cream and then with the thin leavings I made a lovely batch of scones. 

And really enjoyed them with cream and apple jelly!!

I just don’t understand how my clothes seem to be shrinking! 

Then my son came for supper last night. He was feeling under the weather so I heated up some lentil soup I had in the freezer and made fry bread. Great cold weather food. 

Hopefully the forecast is correct and it’s going to warm up tomorrow. I just can’t keep up this strict regime of high calorie food. 😊😊

Water woes

I’m having a big family supper tomorrow. Roast pork, mashed potatoes, creamed veg, broccoli salad and Harvard beets. I needed to find a package of beets in the freezer so after chores I started rooting through the chaos that is my freezer. I had a rough idea where to look but as I was standing there, pondering, I heard an ominous drip!  drip!  drip! 

I looked over at the drip tray under the pressure tank–oh no, it was full. More than full. It was over flowing. I quickly moved out all the things that accumulate in empty spaces and bailed the water out. The leak was under the tank. Very bad. Couldn’t be worse. I had to call for help. In the meantime I turned off the pump and drained the pressure tank. Then into the house to call the service man. He wanted pictures and was out with parts before I knew it. Out with the old then in with the new. Unfortunately he turned on the water to my irrigation system, which mean some broken lines come spring, but I have water once again. It could have been so much worse. Look at the pipe that was leaking!!  

The one going into the black base and up into the tank. If it had let go overnight the pump house would have filled with water, the power shorted out and maybe someone or some animal electrocuted. 

I never did find those beets. 

Pancake day

Yes I know. I’m a couple days late. I got home after my bus run, starving, and my daughter had written me a note on the white board.

  Pancake day today. We should have some 😊

That was the best idea I’d heard all day. So I quickly mixed up a bowlful and buttered the griddle well. Delish. We had them the way I always ate them as a kid. We always went camping as a family and one of my earliest memories is camping at Red Rock Canyon. Kids just free ranged, wandering in and out of campsites like chipmunks. One lady was cooking pancakes that morning and gave me one, thin, well buttered and sugared, then rolled up. I ate it walking back to our campsite and for years never ate pancakes any other way. So both Aidan and I had our pancakes with sugar. 

Aidans grandparents on her father’s side came out to the farm on the weekend for a visit and went for a pony ride. It was quite cold and windy but the sun was shining and I think they had a good ride. 

The chickens are laying really well these days and I’d accumulated quite a few itty bitty eggs. Usually these are reserved for the dog but Aidan has recently discovered the culinary delight that is egg salad so I thought I’d make up a batch. I have such bad luck making hard boiled eggs. I mean really how hard can it be but they are often over cooked no matter what method I use. So this time I baked them in the oven IN THE SHELL!!

I had read about the eggs getting a burnt spot where they touch the cookie sheet so I put them on a Silat mat. Into the oven at 325 for 25 minutes. Because they were so tiny I tried one at 20 minutes. The yolk was still soft. 25 minutes was just perfect and no green sulphurous ring around the yolk. They also peeled a dream. Look at that color!!I used my pastry blender to chop the eggs–does a great job!!Some mayo and seasoning (Aidan likes her salad smooth, I like mine chunky).  I put thin sliced garden onions on mine. I can’t believe how the onions are keeping so well. And that was supper.