Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Car Show Fun

#cbtambassador #mybadlands #ThreeHillsCarShow17 #familyfun #TravelAlberta

Last weekend was the Three Hills Car Show. Most everyone will be remembering that weekend for the Friday 'most photogenic tornado ever' but we went the next day to enjoy the sunshine on the chrome, test our will power against the mini donuts and enjoy some well deserved family time.

Alberta has a number of awesome car shows and cruise nights - as the Joker says, "It's worth a Google!"

Going to a car show is a lot of fun. Taking an 11 year old who loves classic cars and his Dad, who also loves classic cars, makes for a day of total fun. Barbed wire grills on rat rods, chrome skulls on a lead sled. Classic pick ups and newer hot rods. Custom rides of every kind.

Gotta figure out how to make this work on my truck.

Having fun as a family is the best part of summer.

These won't wreck your diet - they are crocheted! 
Such a cool prop for a classic 'drive in' car.

Glitter and a Camaro - two of my favorite things!

How many people can you fit in an old school station wagon?

Yeah. Nice square body.

Love how they did this oldie. It was a real hit.

There is no school like the old school.

This was under the hood of the Psycho Bird.

No I didn't buy it. But I don't disagree with it either. ;-)

What an amazing line up!

New made to look classic - a retro mashup.

Barbed wire spider web grill - now that's a cool touch on a rat rod.

Where are you Clark? We found your car!

The usual: Photos by Shanyn. Do not use without permission. Thanks for visiting. Come back again.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Summer Dreaming

Click to see entire image - Photos by Shanyn is on Facebook

Spring 2017 goals include reviving my blogs. Also being active on social media for agriculture and as a Canadian Badlands Tourism Ambassador this year ( #CBTAmbassador ). I am keeping some awesome company - check out all the great tourism ambassadors we have! Search the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and especially Instagram!

When you have a life that in intimately and intricately tied to agriculture you live in two seasons, 'in season' and not. We are very much 'in season' with #plant17 going strong for the guys at #CarlsonAg . They are all doing a great job! This summer is going to be a busy one with tradeshows, field tours, spraying and yet we will get in much cherished family time.

Having the opportunity to live in the Canadian Badlands ( #mybadlands ) makes that family time full of fun choices. Like the Royal Tyrell (of course) but also Dry Island Buffalo Jump, the Wintering and Hand Hills for a photo tour drive, the beautiful Red Deer River valley with all the amazing sights. Fishing, hiking and taking photos.

The Canadian Badlands stretches a long way and covers a lot of ground. It also includes so many amazing places that should be on your #SummerBucketList !

We have friends coming from Manitoba this summer and are so excited to be showing them around one of our favorite places. We'll also tour into the mountains as well - another favorite place.

The renewal of this blog will be fun. I'll share our badlands adventures, talk about farming. Share links to #EarlTalks videos and we'll learn together about the amazing things that happen on a #ModernWesternCanadianGrainFarm .

In the mean time why don't you share your #SummerBucketList and favorite #mybadlands spots in the comments? Would love to hear them. Maybe we'll even see you on the road this year!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Take Ten Country Style

Heather from Where the butterflies go has us thinking about Taking 10 minutes to write about winter traditions. No editing. No fussing. Just write. For 10 minutes. 

Check it out at her blog: http://heathergracestewart.com/2014/02/06/take-ten-thursday-writing-prompt-2

Winter traditions. Country style. 

When I was little and home from school sick we could watch Sesame Street. Buffy St. Marie making bannock on a stick over the fire. Quebec and Ontario kids making snow candy and maple syrup candy. Things these prairie kids never got to do. But they were fun to watch!

Instead we have our own traditions for winter. Like hood sliding. What is hood sliding you ask? Take a tow rope, a rope handle and an old truck hood. Put on a mattress pad. Hook up behind the quad or side-by-side and have a grand time riding. This winter has been hard on the hood sliding. So cold. Cold enough we can't enjoy our snow.

The other winter traditions we share are chores. Winter chores. I don't gain weight in the winter. Between walking in the snow, and falling through the crust on the drifts, and forking hay and carrying salt blocks it's a workout daily. Oh and put in a few pounds of winter gear and boots. That is fun! It is also an important job. Caring for our animals.

A favorite treat in winter is tracking. Seeing animals tracks, wing imprints and sometimes interesting scat. It's all so cool to see what animals stick around in the winter, how they live, what they eat and if we can spot them.  The other day I was waiting for the school bus to come and the birds were just everywhere. Then I heard a tapping. Tap. Tap. Tap. And I slowly started looking around. Up and sideways. There he was. A woodpecker making a hole in a birch tree. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Blue jays scolding. Chickadees chirping. Snow buntings flying wildly. Soaring ravens. Owls almost invisible. Sparrows. Magpies. Cedar waxwings.

Wildlife watching in winter can be so cool. Like watching the coyote eating frozen apples. Jumping up to get them off the tree.

All the fun things we get to see in the country in winter.

What are some of your winter traditions?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Why I don't ask why

Jo Ann and the lovely Voice Bloggers are talking today about 'why' at Jo Ann's blog. Join us for the link up after you are done reading here if you like! 

I almost always get in hot water by asking too many questions. More often than not when someone says, NO my response is why?

No one likes that, but sometimes it is good to ask ourselves why we answer things the way we do. Is it a well thought out no or a knee-jerk no or a 'I don't know what else to say' no?  Maybe it is just NO - no way I'm going there!

When it comes to God I think sometimes I need to investigate the why a bit deeper. I love being able to rest on Him, and on my faith. That solid rock is what I cling to and what I reach for when I get into water that is too deep for me to walk upon.  

But I think I need to seek His will in the why and put that into action in my life. It is well, and good to rest but we also need to be faith in action. We need to put the boots in the stirrups and saddle up. We need to move knees to chest people! We need to speak using our out loud voices and risk being heard.

We need to be the answer when the world asks WHY. We need to be the WHY NOT when they wonder about being selfless instead of selfish.  

I used to ask God why. I used to wonder why things happened, or didn't happen. Then a time came when there was no 'why' but instead I asked 'what would You have me do?'

I started to grow deeper faith roots, stronger faith wings and a bigger heart outside of my own need to know. Sometimes we don't need to know. God doesn't want us knowing why when He wants us to be doing.   We can spend a lot of time sitting and talking about why or why not, and be distracted from doing.

Distracted from praying. From reaching out. From being present for someone. I learned that when you ask 'why' you have opened the door to the question 'why not'.  I have also learned that when I say, instead, What would you have me do? I am seeking guidance for action. And sometimes that action is to be still, and let God fight for me. Be at peace, let God work. Pray, surrender and stop mucking about!

Have you ever tried to fix something when someone is trying to help? When they don't know what you need, or haven't asked?  You want to smack their hands and say, Sit still, I've got this. or  I will let you know when I need your help.  Neither response really endears you to them, after all they are usually really trying to help!  But when I learned to say, You being here encourages me, thank you. and Thanks for offering to help, it makes it easier with you being here. Then I found myself understanding things a bit better in my walk with Jesus.

We cannot run ahead, shouting, LEAD ME LORD! and say we are following Christ.  If we are shouting, crying or chanting WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY we can't hear an answer. We can't hear a thing. And the devil wins another round in the battle to distract us.

There are thousand (okay maybe a dozen) why questions I could ask God right now. Right this minute! And like a loving parent who knows more than I do, He would be right in saying because I have plans for you. 

God has plans for you. And they won't change with the volume or frequency of our questions as to the why. Nor will they be any less, or more, than His will. What we do while we wait is where the blessings are found!

Why didn't the dream job happen? Why did the "I'm ready to go where you lead Lord" get answered with "stay"? Why did the I can do this ministry become "You aren't the right fit for us"? So many whys - why is this winter so danged cold? 

The 'dream job' may be the one I'm doing right now.

The place to be is in the now, where He is blessing us. Where if we were looking elsewhere with longing hearts we could be missing something amazing.

The ministry wasn't right for me - or for them. And it is all about Him, and He knows best.

As to winter, I don't know. It's just cold.

So instead we work on the doing, the being. Praying. Loving. Being present. Asking what we can do. Doing what we can. 

Jo Ann Fore

Monday, December 23, 2013

When you can't see, listen

I wrote about Listening to God over at Strawberry Roan, and was chatting with Pastor Kevin from Save The Cowboy, and thought of how we listen differently in the country than in the city. Here is another take on being still and hearing God.

John 10:27-28 (NIV)

 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

When you are riding in rough country the brush can be thick. Very thick.  You cannot rely on your eyes. You have to listen.  Sometimes you have to listen very hard.

A good brush horse is quiet. They can walk without raising a ruckus. Picking the right path.  But it only works when you let them find their way.  A level of trust is needed.  You are busy anyway, you are listening. For the cows in the brush. For other sounds. Sometimes for a lack of sounds.

We don't do much yakking in the bush when we are working cows. You gotta pay attention to what is going on around you. You need to listen. You need to ride your feet and legs. You need a hand on the reins and one in front of your face. Hat screwed down tight. Toes turned in.

Many times life is like finding cows in the bush.  You know the they are there. But they are hard to see. Cows are generally not stealthy. Yes I said generally, there are some sneaky critters who are very stealthy.  Most cows are loud. They crash. They leave a wide trail. They leave a lot of manure. You can hear them, and sometimes smell their trail, even if you can't SEE THEM!

Lots of the time we miss things because we are being too loud. Too busy. We miss danger signs. We miss trails. We miss blessings.

You can have a really long day if you aren't listening. Have you ever seen the show Mantracker? Cowboy Terry Grant uses his brush skills to find people doing mounted search and rescue.  He did a show for a while where people on foot would try to beat him and his mounted sidekick to an end point. 

People would laugh - thinking they could outsmart a mounted man. Lots of times they were betrayed by the small sounds they made. Sounds heard by the horses. Who then alerted their riders.  Man to man it is a race, add a horse and you suddenly have an advantage. More speed, more ears, better smell and another set of eyes.

Cowboys and cowgirls - God rides with us every day. We are never alone in the saddle. We are never alone on any trail. He is with us. 

Riding through the storm. Through the dust on drag. Alone on night watch. Watching the fire. Scouting the trail. Getting critters outta the brush. He is with us. 

We don't need to shout for Him. He hears the small sound at the beginning of a whispered prayer. 

Elijah went riding, looking for God.

1 Kings 19:11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (emphasis mine)

You know that moment, don't you?  Riding through tight brush, and coming out to see the most amazing vista.  God-light streaming through the clouds after a storm. Sunshine on a distant river. A cow cleaning a new calf. An elk on a ridge.

We can get used to riding alone. Or what feels like alone. We know the sounds of the brush, the land. We know the ebb and flow of the wildlife and weather. We are attuned to the sounds of our world.  What we forget is that it was God's world first.  And knowing it as His, lets us know Him in a special way.

And knowing Him that way is a blessing without measure!  A sailor may hear God on the open seas. Truckers on the highway. 

But we can't know Him when we are loud, busy and crashing through life.  No one moves up a herd of cows by running ahead shouting, Y'all follow me now!  Rushing through things, being loud and distracted only serves the devil. We can't hear God when we are laying on the horn, chewing on complaints like an old piece of rawhide or spitting hate at those who are not the same as we.

We can't hear Him if we don't listen. And He wants us to listen closely. Reverently. 

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  We celebrate the birth of our King. He chose to be born in a barn. Amongst the animals which warmed that little family with their bodies and breath. Shared their fragrant hay and manger with the newborn King. Offered their protection and trust. As you go to do your chores, remember those first shepherds awoken from night watch by the first Christmas concert!  Remember their stewardship and celebration.  Remember our King!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Romance in the country

My blogging friend Leah wrote today about romance and marriage.  It is a great post, I invite you over to read it.  http://www.leahheffner.com/it-just-aint-what-it-used-to-be/

She shares some thoughts and amazing quotes about romance, expectations and marriage.  Rather than fill her comment box with a blog length comment I thought I would share my thoughts here.

Men and women are wired differently. We all know that.   But what if your husband is the romantic? Or if you are the breadwinner? What if you work together?  Maybe he is away, serving in the military or working?  Things can change from those circumstances.

Even more interestingly is personality.  My husband is way more romantically oriented than I.  He knows the good chick flicks. I don't care for them at all!  Picking a movie from a date night list is a weird experience.  He knows what really moves my heart.  I know what moves his.

He is not wired to be more practical than I but differently.  He sees somethings I do not, and I can do things he does not wish to do.  We are all about balance.  

Romance ain't easy farming or ranching! But sometimes it can be sweet.  I love that he picks me up for a tractor ride.  Or that h shows me where he wildflowers are blooming so I can take photos.  He will carry my saddle when I want to go riding.  He opens the gate when we are walking to check the cows.  I open the gate when he is in the tractor.  We watch each other's backs with the animals.  I bring him food and drink to the fields.  We do it together.

Fencing may not seem romantic but it is time together. Time to talk, to share, to laugh.  Field picnics can happen when it is busy on the farm.  But again, it is time together. And it is a gift of food, and that in my world equals love.

I check on him to make sure he is safe.  Not exactly a Hallmark card is it? Sometimes I'm working with the animals and he is watching me.  I love his smile as he sees me bringing a young horse up through training or see a calf's first steps.

Touch and time together are our love languages, and we make it work on the farm.  Non traditional roles to be sure.  But in farm country and ranch country it is how we do it together.  We share the work, and we try to make it fun. We take the time together, whenever and however we get it, and we cherish it.

It may not make it into a movie, or a romance novel, or even a cartoon. But it is romance for us, in the country.  And it can be dirty (hey babe you look hot holding a grease gun!) and messy (oh no afterbirth from two calves is super look for you!) and tiring (one more round before the moisture gets too high) but is is balanced by wild sunsets, evening walks, the breath you take after seeding and after harvest.  The joy in doing a hard job together means so much to me!

So farmer and ranch sisters - share your stories of farm and ranch romance!  I would love to hear them! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Why I don't really journal but

...I blog. In four places of my own, and on others. I also put tons of photos on my pages and social media.  That is my journal.

I have two cameras, plus my phone. I record our moments when I can.

That is my journal.

Private thoughts, dreams, and ideas get shared via poetry. Sunflower Poetry

My faith which is no secret gets shared at Strawberry Roan

The healing journey I am on was shared on Scarred Seeker for a while but I've let it lapse so I can write here and on the other two.  I am still healing, we always are working on it aren't we?

I am utterly fascinated by colored pens and pencils.  I love nothing more than to decorate the pages of a journal with illustrated quotes, sayings and Bible verses.

It has been said by my hubby that if you really want to know me read my poetry.  I guess the same could e said of any of my blogs.  I write from the heart and am not ashamed of my faith or my family or those I love. 

I have done a gratitude journal, and right now it is packed with 90% of our family belongings but I am still grateful for so many abundant blessings each day.

Linking up with sweet sister Dawn at Beneath The Surface. Stop by, link up and read some posts. Oh and leave some love people!