Calving Capers 2018

The days are drawing near whereby the calves will soon begin to come on our ranch. Each year as we personally get a little more advanced along the timeline of life we push out our calving start date later and later – in hopes that weather will be warmer and more favourable. In hopes that we will rule out the spring storms. In hopes that we can make our calving season a little more graceful on our aging bones and ligaments.

As I write tonight, we are experiencing the usual wet snows that start and stop day in and day out and frustrate our efforts to put out straw bedding for the cows comfort along with some other minor frustrations. But these are small inconveniences in the overall scheme of things because we value the beautiful moisture these types of snows provide. All I can think is how green our pastures can be if this keeps up.

As the calving season approaches we make sure to walk amongst our herd and in particular our group of heifers – the gals with the letter “D” tags – born in 2016. We want them to be as used to our presence as much as possible so we can safely move amongst them if they need our assistance during this new adventure about to enter their lives. Ideally, we trust we have made the proper bull choice and the deliveries will come naturally and without incident. But until then we stroll amongst the girls.


There comes a day when you just have to dress yourself up and head to town. And such a day happened this week. There was an early morning breakfast meeting in town featuring an inspirational entrepreneurial speaker. A farm girl has no trouble getting up at 5AM to get to town for a 6:30AM Meeting. I’m so glad I did too.We heard from Rachel Mielke, CEO and founder of Hillberg & Berk. Check out her website and you will see why I came away oh-so-inspired…

She not only crafts a line of enchanting and sparkly jewellery ( which she began humbly at her kitchen table in Saskatchewan), she is an enchanting gal in her own right and encourages us all to find our own inner sparkle.

And so, I came away from the breakfast meeting that morning inspired to find that inner sparkle and infuse positivity upon this ranch. This ranch where we toil and chore and struggle through droughts, extreme weather, BSE, political directives, regulations, consumer misconceptions, market prices and all the uncontrollables that drive this agricultural industry that is our livelihood.

What better way to signify this personal agenda than to get me some of this jewellery from Hillberg & Berk! I was thrilled to find out our own local jewellery store carries her collection and I could acquire some sparkle earrings right away. I love love love to shop local so big thanks to Vermilion Jewellers.

Her collection includes many many colours and shades but I chose vivid red…the color of empowerment, action, courage and determination. I find I have to count on these qualities out here on a daily basis.  My chore time attire of coveralls and Daniel Boone Hat will now be enhanced by my new red sparkle power “balls”. Because if a woman ever needed to be empowered, it’s those of us on the ranch working alongside their husbands and families as we care for and feed our animals in as safe and humane way as we possibly can.


Photo Challenge – Beloved


Of course, the second living being (beyond dear hubby!) that I thought of, after seeing this was the weekly photo challenge, was my dog. To clarify, that would be dogs we have now and dogs we’ve had that have since passed on. Our canine friends, companions and working partners on this ranch are absolutely our beloved treasures.  We could not function without them!



Photo Challenge-Variation

Variations on a Theme is the official photo challenge this week put forth from the team at wordpress…the engine behind the world of bloggers. My domain of agriculture never fails to provide me a response to these challenges.

This time it’s our young heifers. Normally they line up nice and orderly to the table for their morning “breakfast” but here comes my variant. Not content to just come and dine this little cowgirl literally came UP to dine!


A Snow Day

Back in the days when I was working and I had a half an hour highway drive in to and back from town, there came a day now and then that would compel me to wish that I still lived in town.  The dreaded country SNOW day. Because I would hunker down and head into town along with my rural peers. There was no way I was going to be the pansy that stayed home, while everyone else found their way into town and put in an honest day’s work! I do recall, with absolutely no fondness at all, the terror-filled white-knuckle journeys these proved to be.

When the dreaded SNOW day hits, like today, I’m relieved to have the “privilege” of staying home. But now, the dreaded SNOW day means “extreme” chores. Every little task just becomes ten times harder as the wind whips through the coveralls, blowing snow stings the face and eyes, the trudge back and forth to the routine spots feels like a marathon through the accumulating white stuff. You know, it may look fluffy and puffy and even pretty but no, it feels like cement especially as we push our way back and forth to the troughs with our barley chop pails. Oh how I wish we still had oats in the bin to mix chop….this barley is blasted heavy stuff!


I protest too much though. A day like today, reminds me just how much our animals rely on us. We started the morning feeding our young heifer calves and they were absolutely delighted to get out for breakfast. It had been a long snow-filled night for them and it’ll help them tolerate the long white day ahead with a full belly of barley and pellets. I see my dog Patty was overly excited to escort them to the dining area!

Today of course every pen needed bales replenished. Thank goodness for a warm barn and plenty of cats to cuddle with as I waited for hubby to come back and forth with more and more bales for me to cut twine from and to open and close gates and to fill and refill chop pails. I was actually contemplating the title for this blog post as “Chore Girl Fitness” or something…….

The most rewarding ending to our day though was to bring in our cow herd from the far east field…another big group of gals that had endured a long, dark, blizzardy night waiting for their next feeding time. They needed no calling and as soon as they heard us in the tractor from a distance, they were on the move!


All our critters are tucked away in the corrals close to home and we can rest knowing they are safe, sheltered and fed. Let the snow come on!


Love To Write

Where to begin when one has essentially abandoned her blog except for two posts over an entire year? I am stunned to be sitting here at my desk and opening my blog to see that – yes – I only entered two posts in 2017. What kept me so preoccupied? so detached? so uninvolved? so distracted?

It’s no one single thing and I won’t over-analyze the situation but I will spend this first day of 2018 to recommit to this blog once again. As a child I was very diligent in keeping a diary and then a journal in my later years…meticulously handwritten epistles of my daily events and deepest thoughts and dreams. I came across some of those literary pieces of work recently during a major purge session in the basement and was happy to be able to reacquaint myself with the gal I used to be and realize that she really hasn’t changed one little bit way down deep inside.

I love to write. Always thought I would be a journalist or an author “someday”. For these reasons alone, why would I not continue this blog?


We were in Las Vegas a few weeks ago…yea, FlickaRancher Does Vegas…and it took that getaway from the ranch and the duties and the chores and the routines and the schedules and the appointments to realize I really do love my hard-working, purposeful, chore-ridden life here on our ranch with hubby, cows, horses, dogs cats.  But, for the first time ever, I  let myself be treated really nice too and spent the entire first day there in the spa which included massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, hair and makeup. What an awakening that was for this rancher gal…I may let this habit continue, who knew??

So the writer is back and she might even have her nails done and some makeup on while she shares a story or two.











I look upon my home as my sanctuary (at times). Living on a farm/ranch can be really peaceful (at times)…..particularly when the cows are out to pasture as they are now and hopefully remaining there for another month or so.

But it would appear that even the wildlife are seeing my home as a sanctuary. Two mornings ago, as I was just getting to my first coffee of the day, what should be walking through my garden spot and up to my kitchen window but this beautiful buck deer!!

My faithful companions…camera and lens, jumped into my hands almost immediately and I banged off as many shots as I could as he walked around our yard and I aimed from every window.

Always a treat when these beautiful animals come to me and I don’ t have to be pursuing or searching for them on my evening tours.