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November 25, 2010

Bad Week at the Ranch

The peace and quiet at our ranch has been shattered by the bellowing of a momma cow who just lost her calf.  About 4 days ago word got to me that a cow with a very young calf was making their way down the road from their summer grazing place.  None of these are our cows. All the other cows had already gone past almost a week ago just when the snow started falling and getting really cold. 

This cow was way behind because the calf was possibly injured and she would have had to go slow.  In going slow she and the calf got caught in the extreme colds of –25c.  The morning we were going to check to see if we could see her we noticed a road crew employee who keeps our road clear of snow stopped in front of our house.   He was dropping some hay off and the cow and calf were right there.  Later I was going to go and move them further down the road.

My next neighbour has cows and could keep her and her calf with her cows.  We don’t like to feed them here as then they don’t move on to where they will get their hay for the winter.

I had looked out across from my house and could now see the cow walking up and down the road but not the calf.  I could then see a dark spot down an embankment and freaked now knowing the calf must have fallen down it.  I took this photo later to show across the our field where the road is.  Right in the center where those trees are is where he went down.  Now I have no photos showing him till after he was recued as I was in panic work mode to save the calf and not thinking of photos at the time.  

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

It was down this steep bank he had fallen.  I suspect he was trying to get down to the creek for water.  Which was mostly frozen and had he reached it would have fallen thru the ice.  He ended up on his back with his legs up the hill. 

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

With ropes Hubby and I pulled the calf up from the bottom thru these 2 trees.  I was able to use one to wrap the rope around.   One slip or struggle from the calf, Hubby and the calf could have fallen back onto the ice in the creek.  When we got the calf up he was too week to walk so we struggled to get him into the back of our Rav car. 

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

We left him in the Rav for a couple hours with a heater going.  He seemed to be doing better.

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

We had put the cow in our field with some calves we kept for a friend over the summer and hadn’t been picked up yet.  Unfortunately the calf was still to weak to be out and way too cold so we put him in our chicken coop.   We couldn’t keep him in our car and there is no power in the barn.  

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

A few hours later the owners arrived and took the calf home or so I thought, but found out later they took him to another friends house and dumped him there for her to care for the calf. These are suppose to be ranchers who can’t even care for their own animals.   As we still had Momma cow we kept her over night in our field and fed her lots of hay.  But the bellowing started about 2am as she was feeling better and wanted her calf back. 

I got a message  next day thru the grapevine of messages that the owner said to push the momma cow back out on the road as the calf had died.  It was possibly from a twisted gut from him being on his back when he fell.  Also just way too cold and possible prior injury.  So for 2 days we have had to listen to her go up and down the road looking for her calf.  It’s a very hard thing to take as we can’t give her hay now as she will never leave here.  We have been in this position many times over the years and seems the circumstances just never change.  Some people just don’t put in the effort in the care of their animals and think they will just take care of themselves.  Complaints have been made many times over the years and nothing changes.  The world of ranching and free ranch cows is often very harsh.

She has finally quit bellowing and I hope she moves on down the road soon.  Just a couple kilometers there is a whole herd she can join up with.  I have tried to walk her down the road but she turns off in some willows every time and I can’t get her out.  All of this is taking place in very cold temps when I would like nothing more then to have been snug in my house.

As my only form of communication is e-mail I have been doing that quite a bit the last few days trying to stay in communication with what everyone involved is saying or wants done.

Meanwhile along with all this and some gruelling cold temps, we had a few vehicle problems. 

First our little Datsun truck hubby uses around the ranch got a flat tire.  Then our big old truck we using for ploughing our driveway decided to blow the heater just when hubby started it up.  Which can be such a comfort when ploughing in these temps. 

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What should have been a quiet week enjoying the snow falling turned into what I sometimes just can’t take here and want to move.  It’s hard not to get involved when stuff happens right here on our property or on the road right in front of us.

I have also been keeping busy hand shovelling all my paths to different buildings.  I have gotten so much exercise this week and spent more time outside then I have for almost a month.  But that is what I love about winter here.  There is always something to keep you moving and busy.  Well a little to busy this week.  Meanwhile its very cold looking outside.

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But I am back again inside snug and staying warm with our big stove going full time heating our house and water.


Speaking of hot water I think I will go take a hot bath now as I have 2 tanks full of hot water. Darn it’s almost dark and hubby is in town so one more trip down the hill to feed the calves in our field.   

Wishing everyone a warm and snug place and being thankful for all that we have. 

Also wishing those celebrating Thanksgiving a safe holiday.

And everyone else a
Good Morning…   Good Afternoon…  Good Night…
What ever it is to you…

Photos and Words
Here I Am/Carrie 

November 8, 2010

Cooking with Carrie Vegetable Soufflé

As many of you have gardens or access to lots of fresh vegetables at this time of the year, here is a recipe that’s simple and light using fresh vegetables. 

Melt in pan           2 Tbsp butter

Blend in                2 Tbsp whole wheat flour

Stir in                    3/4 cup cold milk

Cook stirring till sauce thickens

Fold in                   1 1/2 cups choice of cheese

Fold in                   1 1/2 cup vegetables your choice

Season with          1 tsp sea salt and  whatever other herbs or spices goes good


Looks like I have put in cottage cheese and mushrooms, kale, eggplant and  onions.  Be creative try whatever you have fridge or what is in the garden.  I always go with different ingredients.


        Beat in                          4 egg yolks


 Beat till fluffy                  4 egg whites


                           Fold into mix 


                       Pour into buttered soufflé dish..


Bake 350 for 30 min or more.  I love my little oven which uses way less power then a great big oven.


 Ready when light and golden and tooth pick comes out clean when put in.


Simple light cooking for a harvest summer or fall meal.  Add a salad fresh from the garden to complete your light meal. 


Simple meals and simple life

Hope everyone is enjoying healthy eating.

Wishing you a

Good Morning…  Good Afternoon…  Good Night…

Whatever it is to you

Photo & Words


Here I Am/Carrie

November 2, 2010

Wildflowers Journey

To all my cat friends who have been waiting to see and hear Wildflowers story. 

Her life with us began sometime about 14 years ago.  She is one of the many cats over the years that had been dumped on our road in front of our property.  She is one of the few who we were able to catch or came to the house latter and allowed us to finally grab her.  But before we did actually get hold of her we watch her for almost 2 months hunting in the fields below our home.  She was so shy we couldn’t get near her. 

Finally when the snow started to fall and hunting became difficult for her, she came up to the house looking for food.  As we had 2 large dogs at the time who often chased away anything that didn’t belong, she spent all her time under our deck.  I began putting food under the deck closer to the edge each time.  After about 2 weeks I was finally able to grab her.  She was so tiny under her big ball of fur which felt like rabbit hair.  So began her life with us.

As we spent our winters near Salton Sea California she learned quickly how to travel and adapt to a new environment. However even to this day she is very shy with other people and often for many years our friends weren’t even aware we had a cat.  She often would hide whenever anyone arrived.  Even with long staying company she would stay hidden and only come out when they had gone to bed.

Here she is in her early days sitting atop the cupboards we had in our house near the Salton Sea.

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie

Original I wanted her name to be Wildfire as she is the color of flames. But the 1st Christmas she was with us some friend with small children were visiting and thought her name should be Wildflower.  So it stuck.  We often spent some time at our ranch when the snow would be on the ground before heading south.  She loved spending time outside even then.  Of course our dogs at the time quickly accepted her as part of the family.

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie

She was soon a veteran traveler who even went with us in our Motorhome across Canada from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and down the Eastern Coast to Florida then back west to spend the remainder of the winter in Salton Sea. 

We had lost her once during that trip.  We were staying at a casino campground that was at the edge of a very thick forest with swamps further in.  I was vacuuming the motorhome and had put her in the bathroom while I was working.  Later when done I went to check on her to find her gone.  We had been empting our holding tanks earlier and had passed a hose out the bathroom window and forgot to close it. 

I spent hours in the forest calling her, but couldn’t find her.  The camp host said no cat had ever been found again that escaped from any previous campers.  But I knew Wildflower was a survivor and knew her way around the wilds.

That night we went to a buffet dinner at the casino and when we returned about 11pm there she was sitting at the door wanting in.  Many times over the years and at the ranch she has disappeared for days to hours.  Each time thinking I will never see again, but somehow she manages to return.

Here she is stretch out on the bed of the motorhome.

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie

Summer times at the ranch she loves spending time with me out in the garden.

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie

In 2007 we got another cat which ended up not having a friendly personality towards Wildflower and also was so shy of other people, no one knew we had him.  That same year we sold our house in Salton Sea California, so now our trips south were in the motorhome with 2 cats that disliked each other.

Where we parked on our lot right next to the Salton Sea the cats were allowed out.  There was another stray cat that hung around our motorhome as well.  Wildflower began disappearing for short periods.  She wanted nothing to do with these other cats around.  She always return before we left to head back north.

But in the Spring of 2009 she did not return and we stayed another 2 weeks hoping she would come back.  The area if full of coyotes and packs of dogs.  But she has lived with them around her whole life.  We thought perhaps this was the end for her.  Our neighbours next to our lot had a cat they fed outside.  It was 2 months later we got an e-mail from them that they had seen Wildflower at the cat feeder. 

We were thrilled that she was still alive, but wanted her caught and kept till we returned the next winter.  Being the smart cat she is it took our neighbours over 2 months to finally catch her in a live trap.  During that time they caught many other wandering or stray cats.  Caught at last.

We had another friend who could take and care for her till we returned.  But there she had to be confined in my friends bedroom only as she was afraid Wildflower would attack her cat.  Wildflower had learned to be more aggressive with other cats to survive during her time in the desert.  But in her new home she was loved, fed and brush.  My friend said when she brought her home she went under the bed immediately and didn't come out till she went to bed and turned the lights out.  Then Wildflower jumped on the bed and started purring and cuddling with her.  Just what she use to do with me.

So in December of 2009 we were reunited with Wildflower.  At the time we didn’t take the motorhome down and were staying in a friends trailer.  We still had our other cat Siriun, but Wildflower didn’t seem to back down from him now and stood her ground.  Respect had now been established finally.

Here is Wildflower in the trailer a couple days after being reunited with her.  She or Siriun was no longer allowed outside while at our winter home.  Latter that winter we bought another home there,  which gives both cats plenty of space to roam around when there now. 

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie


Back at the ranch Wildflower was so happy to be back home and enjoying a warm place to sleep and the space and freedom of the great outdoors.

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie


Again she always love to join me in the garden.

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie


She loves to be with me as I walk around the house and yard area. 

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie

Portraits of Wildflower

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie


Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie

Wildflower by Here I Am/Carrie

So ends Wildflowers story to date.  She and Siriun still have some problems and Wildflower sometimes chooses to spend time in our Garden house to get away,  where if some of you remember we have our TV so she gets company down there when she wants to be there.  But Wildflower is a wise and healthy cat who seems to have a few more lives still to live.

To all my friends I normally visit regularly I apologize.  Life has been very busy and when I do have time I wanted to get some blogs out and forever fixing stuff on my computer.  And of course still have all my reposts to do from Spaces.  Been so busy doing other things. 

I still have a few things left in the garden.   Last week I spent a lot of time there the weather had been so beautiful.  We just had a couple days rain so I got a new blog done for God's Garden of Nature in this Changing World  and this blog.  Today the sun did shine but the garden is still wet.  We are expecting beautiful sunny days the next few days.  Amazing we haven’t had snow yet.  1st time here that we didn’t get a little before November.

To all my friends and Cat lovers
Wishing you a purrrrfect
Good Morning…  Good Afternoon…  Good Night…

Photo & Words
Here I Am/Carrie