May 9th, 2010:
Some sun today; also some snow, rain, wind and cloud. Doubt if the temperature got up above about +5°C.
Last Sunday, we left for our annual spring visit to Sandy and Blaine's place at Carstairs. The forecast was not very pleasant, but if we waited for a good forecast we would never go anywhere.
I slept all the way to Kindersley, but the girls tell me it was unremitting overcast with one brief period of bright sunshine. From Kindersley to Cactus Corners it was more cloud, but when we left Cactus Corners the sky was black, and we ran into and out of several heavy rains. Then finally, about Three Hills, the sky started to break and we had bright sunshine all the way to Sandy and Blaine's.
They had had a heavy snowfall, but we didn't see any snow at all in the ditches until just east of Didsbury.
There wasn't much farming activity but we did see one tractor pulling a cultivator; another pulling what looked like a sprayer, in the same field, an air seeder parked, and another at work.
The Kindersley area looked very dry with almost no water in the potholes, but west of Hanna there was lots.
Puppies come and puppies go, but there are always lots around. I think Sandy said they have thirteen young ones right now. The old-timers, Mojo and Ginger, are always in the house, and seemed glad to see us – but then, I think they are glad to see anyone that will fuss over them. Sandy and Blaine bring the little pups into the house to get them used to a house environment, but only for short periods of time. They spend a lot of time playing with their dogs, so when they go to a final customer, they are used to being handled and petted.
When Blaine and I had coffee in Carstairs last Monday, we got into conversation with the couple at the next table. It didn't take too long to exhaust talk of the weather, which was fine at that particular moment, so we started on the “Where are you from?” It turned out that the lady was from Foam Lake, had lived there from birth to when she left in 1963. Her name then was Judy Steele, and her mother, Ila Steele, still lives there, and just turned 100. Seems to me there was a write-up on her in a recent issue of the Foam lake Review, and I think Judy said she was in a front-page photo. Judy still gets back to Foam Lake several time a year. She knew some of the people I have coffee with on Wednesday mornings, such as Bryan Bjarnason, Eric Mumford, and Jim Reid, and also she is a regular reader of the Greenwater Report. Wonderful visit!
Awful weather moved in Monday – high winds had semis jack-knifed all over the area and poor visibility caused some accidents. It started to improve Thursday afternoon, in fact there was even a brief period of sunshine, but it's still several degrees below normal for this time of year. A farmer just south of Cisna's made one round with his seeder on Monday, then the snow and rain forced him to quit.
Sandy and Blaine raise Havanese dogs – their web page is http://www.Arlynkennels.com and we took a bunch of pictures of their pups for their web page. Cute little tykes, but they sure don't know how to pose! Getting a picture is just a matter of snapping away and hoping. It was fun, anyway. They are the sweetest little things.
Keep expecting Sandy and Blaine to have a bunch of jobs lined up for me when I visit, but there sure hasn't been much this trip. I helped Blaine take the snow blade off his yard tractor and put the mower on; then I stood and watched while he tried out his new trash shredder. Then we went to town for coffee a few times, and once to Calgary to visit Doreen's nephew, Ron, his wife, Patty and daughter, Sara. Ron and Patty came down from Prince George to visit Sara, and managed to spend some time with us. Tomorrow, we may go to Cochrane and Kananaskis, so it doesn't leave much time for work.
There has been a lot of reading, a little TV watching, and quite a bit of napping, and lots of great visiting. In theory I should be well rested up by the time we get home on Tuesday.
Doreen & Jerry Crawford