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I am a homeschooled graduate trying to figure out how the world works and continuing to find out that no. It doesn't run the way I want it too.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Branding and Stuff

Hallo all.
Great heavens it's been a busy couple of weeks. Of course it hasn't helped that my house has been a mess and I was stressed over that, but more about that in a minute.

We've been branding, and preparing for seeding this past week. We still aren't completely done calving, but we're close enough that we don't have to watch them too closely any more. Branding was, I can't say fun, but it was a whole day of doing one general task, which was a pleasant change. Seeding prep has been pretty much limited to making sure equipment is cleanish and runs, we started some of the preliminary cultivating this afternoon though, so I expect next week will see some real action in that sector.

The community choir I've been participating in is also performing this week, which has added to the chaos of my life. We had an extra practice Monday, then a performance and practice Tuesday, another performance Thursday and the last performance will be tomorrow (Saturday.)

And then there's the Provincial election coming up next week as well. And as it is my first chance at voting I don't intend to miss the opportunity.

Suffice it to say I've got a lot on my mind.

So I was complaining to my mother about my dirty house, and my ridiculous life and work etc, and she said I needed to look up FLYLady which is basically a website/councilor/encourager/teacher/group-of-women who have made it their goal to teach/help other women get their lives back under control. Very handy.

So now I'm slightly less stressed but still busy.

Surprisingly enough I managed to get my life together enough to complete a very satisfying drawing of a pirate lady, mostly inspired by the fact that I saw Pirates of the Caribbean; Curse of the Black Pearl for the first time on Monday. You can check it out here if you like (the drawing not the movie.)

I also made a vlog on Monday, apparently I was feeling a little absent minded, sorry about that...


Friday, April 10, 2015

Calving

Hello Hello,

So, lets see, where to begin? Well first off, we're a little more than half done calving so things are starting to slow down again that way, which is good because there are starting to be other things demanding attention.

    March 25 vlog
If you can't view it here, you can try it on youtube: https://youtu.be/YGia7L-dVUM


As far as calving goes it's been not too bad. We haven't lost too many, although we have had three breeches, which are nasty affairs, firstly because there is no outside sign of the calf and secondly because to get the calf out of the cow, you must get your arm through the birth canal and into the uterus to bring the back feet into the canal. A task made more difficult by the fact that the cow will likely be pushing the other way, squishing your arm.
But I haven't been the one handling those. The ones I help out more with are just basic front feet and head when the calf's coming too slow, or two back feet. Although that's a bit tricky too, because you have to loop chains around the calf's feet while they're still mostly in the cow, so you can't see what you're doing and you can only work with one hand at a time
The other thing we do is sick run, where we go out and find the sick calves and doctor them, which is made more entertaining by the fact that not all of them are necessarily feeling sick and can still just about out maneuver a quad.

                                                My vlog from March 26, if you can't view the video
                                                    this is the link: https://youtu.be/obddBtY2GY8



Then yesterday we parted the yearling heifers and steers, which was a bit of a rodeo because yearlings are spooky, and really fast. We got 'er done with minimal damage to people, animals, fences and equipment though, so that was all good.
Today, as I mentioned ever so briefly in my vlog, we vaccinated and weighed the yearling heifers which was also interesting but also accomplished with no damage done.


My April 10 Vlog 
https://youtu.be/9DLXBVbyZrg

In other news, I have gained a new respect for the wives of farmers, because try as I might I cannot keep up with my own mess, and trust me, when you work on a ranch, the mess is substantial some days. Not that the all carpeted floors in my house help cleaning any, but still, I would have thought I could at least keep my dishes clean, but some days I can't even manage that...

Ah well, messes gonna mess I suppose.

Stay awesome.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Oatmeal Apple Cookies.

Okay, so, first off, last year, my Mom gave me a book of advice for cowgirls. One of my favourites was 'Never, under any circumstances, admit you like to cook.' which I had pretty much blown years ago.

Truth be told, I like to mess around in the kitchen almost as much as I like to eat what I make.

So this Weekend's little project was Oatmeal Apple cookies.
They are really very easy, take an oatmeal raisin/chocolate chip recipe and do this instead:

These measurement sizes will vary depending on the size of the batch you're making of course. But for most undoubled recipes you should need about 1/2 a teaspoon of cloves or allspice and about the same or a little less of cinnamon. Add the spices when you add the vanilla. Use your own common sense on this, if there's two teaspoons of vanilla in the recipe for example, chances are you should up your spice measurement a little.

Next step is to see how many chocolate chips are in your recipe and swap them out for apple. I wasn't exact on this. My recipe called for half a cup of chocolate chips but I peeled, cut, and added a whole apple instead because I didn't feel like saving the leftovers.
One medium sized green apple should make about a cup of chunks. Stir them in and bake the cookies as directed in your recipe.

If you need a recipe for oatmeal cookies you can try one of these,

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies
The best Oatmeal cookies
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some other ideas for using apples in baking;

Use apples instead of raisins for Cinnamon Buns,
Wrap apples and cinnamon in sweet biscuit dough for a strudel type dessert,
You could basically add apples to any recipe with Cinnamon in it and make a new dessert so...

Happy baking!



Friday, March 20, 2015

Back To Work

I'm not dead, just busy.
No I did not make this gif. This person did http://shockingblankets.tumblr.com/
Check out their stuff, some of it's pretty cute.

Anyway. So February was great. Hung out, did art things, wrote a little. Then I flew from Turkey to Canada on the 24? maybe, eh, dates.  
This is the vlog I did the day before I started work.

video


And now I'm back at the ranch and we have 20 calves. Which is good because for a while there we didn't have any calves and there were supposed to be calves but there weren't. 

And because it's cold and the grass isn't growing we get to feed the cows, calves, three year old cows, and heifers. Which means I have now learned to drive the silage wagon. Not too hard once you get the hang of it. 

Hmmmmm What else what else? 
Oh yes, I learned to run a chainsaw. (Yes I do still have all my fingers and other assorted limbs. Thanks for asking.) So I got to help finish clearing a fence line. A dubious honour, which involved a lot of stumbling around in the snow trying to drag cut willows out of the way.

And here's a vlog from today.
  video

To all a good day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January Report, February Goals

January

So, here we go. 

Finish a gif; Not exactly.... I did download the free trial of Adobe Flash so I've been doing animations. If you want to see one of the finished ones you can look here.

Draw more people; Well, sort of? Kind of.... Did a couple of anatomy studies and at least one sketch.

Finish another post; Yes! Yay! I actually accomplished this for once. 

Wow, short list. Okay then onto goals for February;

Finish the storyline for Lego The Hobbit with my siblings; need I say more?

More animating, more drawing, more watching artist videos on Youtube; I found a couple of epic artists on Youtube this month and I've learned a bit from their videos so I think it must continue!

Blog post; Well, never hurts to try...

Figure out a slightly more bareable blog design; The current one is too white...

There we go. huzzah! 

If you haven't already seen it Nicole's report card is here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Hobbit Trilogy

Well, it's over. It's done.
I said I was making a spoilers post. So this is it, my rant, post, list, thing.

Warning, this post contains opinions you may not agree with as well as various and assorted spoilers. Proceed with caution.

An Unexpected Journey.


Too much Frodo/Bilbo cameo;
 not enough dwarves;


You should know you have a pacing problem when the extended version is more bearable than the theater version.

Too much slow motion, not enough character development. (with the notable exception of Bilbo. (An argument could be made for Thorin. But I am currently trying not to care about Thorin.)

Too much of this:
Thorin: You think a night raid by orcs is a joke? (walks off to brood)
Balin: (Suddenly appears and provides seemingly random back story to Fili and Kili who should have grown up knowing this stuff.)


The Desolation of Smaug

Too much of this :

Thorin: A Dwarvish Wind-Lance.
Bilbo: You look like you've seen a ghost.
Balin: (Suddenly appears and explains everything)


Also;


You do know why we're here right? That whole reclaim homeland slay dragon thing?




To much Peter Jackson cameo in a flashback telling us what we already know, not enough killing dragons.

To much weird love triangle,

Not enough Dwarves
Picture drawn by This fantastic artist.


The Battle of the Five Armies

To much dramatization not enough Character development.

To much of this;
 not enough characters we actually care about. (yes the image is from The Desolation, it's still true of Five Armies though.)

Not enough Alfred dying. (yes, I actually did want this to happen.)


Too much of this;

Not enough dwarves;
(Dwarven armour is awesome people.)


To much weird elven character arcs not enough crowning Dain king under the mountain and making Bard lord of Dale.

To much climax, not enough ending.

The Series in general;


To much of this;

To much of this;

Not enough of this;


Not enough of this;

Or this;

Or this either;


And only sort of enough of this;


And I'll leave you with this. Just to prove that the movies weren't all bad.
(Though yes this is a clip from the extended edition)
If you can't play the video here try this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DjvQSCzUyE


And now if you'll excuse me I'll go try to do something slightly more productive than search gifs on the Internet.




Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Battle of the Five Armies Review

First off, I saw the movie with Turkish subtitles, so anything that was Elvish or Black Speech I didn't understand. (I feel like the battle would have been better if I'd known what Azog was telling his troops to do.)
Also I've seen the movie once.  So my opinion is subject to change and change dramatically.  Warning, this review contains mild spoilers as well as references to The Desolation of Smaug, Return of the King and The Two Towers.  With that said, things I didn't like first;

On the technical side, Legolas pulls a slow-motion CGI stunt that's even less believable than the slide down a dying Oliphant’s trunk in Return of the King or the shield surfing in the Two Towers.  I didn't know someone would have the audacity to try to top that.  And speaking of topping things, the whole Kili and Tauriel romance was rather cute in the Desolation of Smaug (even if the premise was completely ridiculous and Kili ended up lying in a bowl of nuts.)  Maybe I'm just biased against romance but except for the scene where they're both trying to save each other’s lives, every scene with the two of them just seemed face palm worthy. 
Scripting was alright, but in my opinion, the death scenes needed work.  Of course, any death scene is a bad death scene, these were just worse than usual.  Honestly though, I think I cared about five characters in total; and I'm usually the kind of person who can hear three lines and love a character based off of that.  There just wasn't much to care about in this film. (It's actually one of the few films I’ve seen which could have ended with an atom bomb landing on all the characters and it wouldn't have mattered to me.)  Now usually I'm okay with stories where I yell at the main characters** but even so I spent an awful lot of time mentally screaming at Thorin, and to a lesser extent Thranduil, Saruman, and assorted other characters.  Then, there's the ending, which touches on a few fun things, but also completely ignores certain important scenes that to me are vital to actually resolving the plot.  The Return of the King includes about three good endings; Battle of the Five Armies barely has one. 

On the upside there are actually some amusing, if not laugh out loud funny parts (even Elrond gets a mildly amusing line, what is the world coming too?).  Bilbo is still his awkwardly funny self, which is a bit of a relief in the midst of the conflict going on with most of the other characters.  And I know I put CGI Legolas stunts in the negative section, but it was still funny, as well as the fact that Legolas finally runs out of arrows.  Dain, cousin of Thorin, finally shows up and he's one of the characters I actually liked, he's hilarious; think dwarf, with the temperament of an angry Scotsman and the accent to match.  Also, Dain rides an armored pig.  Thranduil finally gets moving and actually does something with his elf army and his elk, and really it's about time he got around to showing off the typical epic elven fighting style instead of just staying at home and proving himself a jerk.  Bard was still good, which was nice, and even if his daughters are basically useless; his son Bain is pretty awesome.  Galadriel also gets to show off her (scary) tough side briefly before basically collapsing in a heap on the ground and Tauriel was actually useful for much of the film.  Technically, the battle, while it takes up about half the film, is made survivable by several little breaks that deal with one on one duels or someone who is out of the main action at that point.  Also since it was a movie about armies there is a lot of really nice armour and big dramatic wide shots of impressive landscapes; visually this movie was pretty awesome, in spite of the flaws. 

Shockingly enough, I actually did enjoy The Battle of the Five Armies, but with that said, I can’t decide if it was worth it or not…  I might write a spoiler review later because there were some moments in this movie that were just so completely rant worthy.  To sum up, barely tolerable romance, bad death scenes, too much climax, not enough resolution, bad plot, unlikable characters, some funny stuff, armour, weapons, and dwarves riding pigs and mountain goats. 
I'm not even going to venture a recommendation on whether you should go see it or not, so much of it depends on your mood. 

** The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien and Hamlet by Shakespeare are both prime examples of stories where I spent a fair amount of time yelling at main characters and yet I still enjoyed them on some level.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Time flies


Well I was doing good there for a while with that whole, blog post a week thing. Then I discovered that I had a life, or my life found me or something. The ranch got really busy because of round up and getting pastures and corrals ready for the cows to come home. I think this is actually my first real day off in about a month.


Round up is mostly fun unless the cows decide to be ignorant and obstinant. But we only lost track of one calf during the drive so that's good. And we managed to get all the cows home and all the calves vaccinated. Well except for the ones that are MIA, which means they got into some neighbor's feild... Also we also sent all the stray cows, calves, and bulls to their respective homes. So now we have all the cows off in a pasture where they are out of our hair and I'm giving the plowed feilds another couple of coats with a cultivator while everyone else does their thing.

It has come to me all of the sudden that I'm going back to Turkey in a little more than two weeks. The time has flown by. I must admit that its pretty daunting to think that in two weeks I'll be flying alone to Germany. But I've done it so many times that I'm not too nervous.
Saw a coyote yesterday on the field and had my ipod with me so I took a photo
We have two small apple trees in our yard at my family's house and this year they were the best I've ever seen so I couldn't resist making things out of them. Thankfully there was frozen pie crust I was allowed to use. And as you can see there are lots of apples I didn't make into sauce and there is no way I picked those trees clean.





So now I have finally blog posted again proving that I haven't actually forgotten about this blog :P

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 22- 28th

Well, almost finished the plowing. All that's left is the edges and corners. We also salted cows and I learned how to run the rake and how to rerake a feild. We also tried to seed a low spot in one feild that got missed this spring because it was too wet but then it rained really hard.
We also started to install a new scale system on the head gate but we haven't finished that yet because other things took precidence.

And unfortunately I do not have a vlog this week. I kept thinking about making one and then deciding not to.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 15-21

Well, this is a bit late.... I thought I had posted this but the vlog wouldn's upload so I must have given up on it.... but, without further ado;
So, I successfully completed my first ever solo grocery shop on Monday. The only thing I didn't get that I maybe should have was bread, but I made biscuits so that's all fine. On the work end of things I finished cultivating and started plowing. And I hadn't hardly plowed much at all before I got a rake tooth in one of the plow tires, so that had to be fixed. But we got it fixed and all that so that's the main thing.

This weekend I went to a birthday party and a cast party, and made it back to my other house for some odd jobs and church. Which was nice, but it kind of made me miss my family more, being places that we are usually together at...

Anyway. I did make a vlog. And I did it while cultivating. And I didn't break anything. Hahahaha.




video
Some people are having trouble viewing it. So here's a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaWDfszb8M0&list=UUjRLShVaYsCdkdTzNMfNMQQ