Friday, April 29, 2011

The Hats of The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding

Well the Royal Wedding has come and gone, and I can say that I as crazy enough to wake up at 4am to watch future King and Queen of England be married.
So here is a little Coles Notes recap of my thoughts from the big day!

1. The Dress

Where else are you going to start. Since the day they announced their engagement it has been on everyone’s mind who will design Kate’s dress, and what will it look like? I knew all along she would pick a British designer as it would be the right thing to do, and I really hope that she would pick my favorite designer Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen to do the design. Well my wish came true.

The dress was…. OK. It was a perfectly fine dress, fit her like a glove. However, I can’t be a bit under whelmed by it all. Compared to Diana’s dress, it looks like it came from the bargain rack. There was no drama, no wow factor, and that is what McQueen is all about.

2. The Bouquet

Along with a dramatic gown, I was really hoping Kate would hold an amazing bouquet of flowers. Instead, we were treated to something that looked like she had picked it out of a field on the way to the church.

Later I learned this little piece of information:

The flower meanings in the bouquet are:

                 • Lily of the valley – Return of happiness

                 • Sweet William – Gallantry

                 • Hyacinth – Constancy of love

                 • Ivy – Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection

                 • Myrtle – The emblem of marriage; love

3. The Jewelry

Middleton wore a tiara belonging to the Queen herself. The Cartier “halo” tiara was made in 1936 and given to Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday as a gift from her mother. She also dawned small white gold and diamond earrings. A far departure from the rumors that she would be raiding Diana’s jewelry box for the special day.

4. The Guests

I will let the photos do the speaking here. But man there were some great dressed people at this event. I have to say the Beckham’s blew everyone else away though.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

White Owl

This week my good friend Shaun celebrated his birthday and he also finished getting his second diploma from NAIT. To celebrate his graduation his class is throwing a dinner at the hotel I work at.

I thought that I should get something to congradulat him on this big acheivment. I thought about it, and then suddenly it came to me.

A few months ago all Shaun could talk about was this new whiskey that he found. Rye/Whiskey is a very common drink here in Canada. Sure in the US you have Crown Royal, but until you try a drink of Gibbson's you have never tasted pure heaven, or liquid candy!

This new whiskey was called White Owl. It is an undyed rye/whiskey that is pretty high end, about double of what Crown Royal is worth. Shaun raved about how good this drink was, but because he is a college student, he didn't really have the budget to buy himself any.

Needless to say, this is what was waiting in his hotel room for him when he arrived at the hotel tonight.

Hope you enjoyed Shaun and thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Time

On my way to Easter dinner this weekend I was able to get a good look at what the country side of Alberta actually looked like. Being in the city, and only seeing it on the weekends, you can really see the changes.

We had a lot of snow this winter, and with the warm weather this past week, we have seen a lot of that snow melt. But with the snow melting, there is large amounts of water laying around. This is great to have moisture in our fields, however, it makes it tough for the farmers to plant crops and start producing another year's crop and food for the world.

Let's hope this warm weather sticks around and the snow that they are forecasting for the end of the week stays away.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Couch Update

Well I can officially say that I have new couches! They were delivered on the weekend, and while the living room still has some work to be done, it is a great start!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Better Luck Next Time

This picture surfaced yesterday in the midst of the NHL playoffs going on. As a huge hockey fan, and a hater of the Vancouver Cancucks I could not be happier.

For those of you that are not up to date of the NHL Playoffs Vancouver is in a best of 7 games series with Chicago right now. Luongo, Vancouver's goalie, usually is a great player but last night he let in 6 goals on only 28 shots. Not a good night for the netminder.

And Vince, I always liked you, but you just took a big step up in my books!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trenching 101

This spring things are wet, no question about it. Many roads are washed out or flooded over, rivers and streams are over flown already, and there is still a ton of snow to melt. 

This week we are supposed to get temperatures between 5-10 degrees with the weekend getting up to the mid teens. We will see a lot more snow go this week!

Because we are breeding right now, the cows and calves are still in close quarters. Rather then having the water just laying around, we try to drain the pens and dry them out as fast as we can. This is done by creating trenches and water ways.

This was always my favorite part of spring. I can remember spending hours out playing in the mud draining water, seeing how fast and big of a trench you can get.

One of our many trenches
The best trenches always come from tractor tires. We are still feeding hay, so the tractor is being used each day. If you can use one of these tire tracks for the trench it works the best. However, if that is not possible then we use shovels and sticks to create the trenches for the water.

As much as I love this, hopefully it will not last to much longer. Water laying around is just not good for calves, and makes doing chores not fun at all!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Every year it seems like we have a cow or two that will lose her calf at birth. This year, it was one of my cows. Rather then have her go dry (not milking) for a year, we grafted a calf from our friends Beechinors onto her.

This calf they had been bottle feeding for a few weeks, and so she is really quiet. She sticks our pretty bad in the pen because of her color. Funny thing is that bottle calves, usually are not the best quality. This one though, is actually pretty good!

We will see how she turns out, but for now she is our friendly misfit!

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Friends

This weekend I headed out to the farm. It had been a while since I was there, and after a good week of flushing I was excited to get out there.

Since it had been about 3 weeks since I was there, the calves have really changed. I have some new favorites, some are going through growth spurts, and others, are suffering from a bit of sickness with all the mud and water around.

My favorite heifer on this trip is a In Dew Time out of a Power Drive x Signature 19L 2yr old cow. She is real stout and still pretty flashy for a Simmental. My other favorite black heifer calves are Elle's Explorer calf, as well as Dream Date's natural Cool Venture calf.

Elle's heifer calf

For the red heifer calves, we have 2 real standout Revolutions. My favorite is out of our Queen of the Nile female, and the other is out of our old 6P cow,  the mother of Cool Venture. They are pretty cool right now.

For the bull calves, there are some real studs out there right now. We have 3 awesome black bulls, and a super cool red bull right now. The red calf is a Revolution out of our Simply Irresistible cow. We showed her as a yearling heifer the year of the World Congress, and she sure had lots of friend then.

The black bulls all are out of standout donor cows. Signature 2N is the mother of 2 of the bulls, one being a Joker, and the other being a 680S calf. Both of these calves had full sibs that we showed at Agribition last year. The other black bull calf is Dream Date x Joker. He is a full brother to our First Date female who was a class winner at Agribition last year.

We will keep watching how these calves develop over the next few weeks. A few of them will get to make the trip to  Drayton Valley for the show there in June.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Home Decor

Recently I have really been wanting to replace my couches. The ones I have right now are fine. Sure they are older, and if you take the couch covers off there is an ugly flower pattern, but they do the job. I have been debating either buying new couch covers, or just buying a new new couches altogether.

If I do buy new couches I really would like white leather ones. I know it sounds crazy, however, being leather they would be super easy to clean. I did some digging last night, and these are some of the ones that I really like!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Flush Day

Well today was flush day at the farm. We flushed 4 of our donors and got 10 eggs implanted as well.

For those of you that do not know what flushing is, here is a brief explanation. When you have a really good animal that you want lots of offspring from, you can flush them to speed up the reproduction process. The female (donor) is given needles to over ovulate eggs during her cycle. The donor is then bred, either naturally or through artificial semenition. 7 days after breeding, a vet then comes and removes the fertilized eggs from the donor female and these eggs can either be frozen and saved for later, or implanted into a recipient cow that will house the eggs, and later on have that calf.

On average you try to get about 8 or more eggs out of one flush. Today we did well and got a total of 35 eggs from the 4 donors. Some of these eggs we froze, and will sell to other breeders, the rest will be used in our herd.

Below are the donors that we flushed, as well as the sire of the embryo's. Stay tuned to our website, for more information on eggs for sale, as well as upcoming flushes.

 CDY Signature 2N

 RJY Dream Date

 CAJS Elegant Force

LRX Rasberry 71T

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 2011- 101 in 1001 Update

Well it has been a big week for my 101 in 1001 list. In the last 10 days I have stroked, or will stroke a good number of items of my list.

26. Flush one of my cows- We are flushing Elle on Thursday. Stay tuned for the results
28. Go on a roadtrip with no predetermined destination- You can ready all about it here
29. I went on my final girls trip with our February 2011 trip to Vegas with Brett
52. Get a raise- Happened in March 2011
74. Get a quarterly bonus- I just learned today that I made and beat my first quarter quota! This means bonus    cheque for me!

With these updates this bring my 101 in 1001 stats to:

10 in progress
44 completed
1 to be completed Thursday

That means that I am over over 50% completed when it comes to completion or started.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

28. Go on a road trip with no predetermined destination

Well another item stroked off the 101 in 1001 list. This time it was go on a road trip with no predetermined destination.

This trip was completely unplanned to start. I jumped in my car, didn't know what was gonna happen, but I knew I would be having a good time regardless. Fast forward 7.5hrs and I was on a back road stuck in a truck with 4 other people waiting for the tractor to pull us out. Let me start from the beginning though.

So I jumped in my car and made the 2 hr drive to a small town to visit some friends. We didn't really have any plans so we had a few drinks and played a little rock band, when the idea came to take the MPV van out for a little drive. When we got to the van, lets just say it wasn't in the best shape ever. But that was what made her so great.

Fast forward about 15 mins, and we had splashed through some pretty sweet puddles, and were now at the end of a lease road with the MPV at a stand still, she had died on us for the night. After getting it pulled back to the yard we thought that round 2 should be attempted, this time with a 1 ton superduty truck.

The truck lasted a good while, we hit few different roads, had some laughs along the way, and just a solid night, still no predetermined destination, just having fun was the only goal.

Looking back we may have needed one more goal for the night... Not to get stuck a second time. After attempting to go a little to deep on a road that we probably shouldn't have this is what happened.

It may not look deep, but it was. We were stuck and no getting out. So we called for help and an hour of so later the John Deere tractor showed up to pull us out of the snow.

We got out, and headed back home with the road trip complete. This roadtrip turned out to be a real fun night, and one that I need to do more often!

#28 is now compete

Monday, April 11, 2011

Birthday Wishlist: Round 2

I have been in need of new luggage for a while. I got a great set when I was 18 for my birthday from my parents. They have seen many miles from cattle shows and friends houses, to Thailand and many trips to the USA.

The large one now has a flat spot on the one tire and makes a terrible noise when it is being wheeled around. The carry on one the handle will only go up half way making it way to hard to use unless you are a child.

Needless to say it is time to retire them. I am not picky when it comes to luggage, only a few requirements.

The first is that it needs to be light weight. I tend to be a heavy packer so a few extra pounds in just luggage can be the make or break.

My second requirement is that I would really like 4 wheels. Again, I tend to have lots of stuff when I travel, so it would be great to make it as easy as possible to get around.

My third and final requirement is that it is not black. Something a little different, but still classy would be great. I love the idea of zebra luggage, but might get some funny looks when showing up at business events.

 Love the color of this set. It can be found here

This set is really nice to. I am a big silver fan too

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Homemade Beef Burgers

I love to BBQ, and one of my favorite meals to make are homemade beef burgers on the grill. I am not sure if it was the +9 degree weather today, or the Masters on TV, but I was ready to fire up the grill for the first time this year.

I was not really prepared for grilling season, but I knew I would have some Alberta Beef in the freezer. My options were steak or ground beef, and some homemade hamburgers sounded really good to me.

I started with 2lbs of ground beef. This stuff was from the steer that we showed last year, but any hamburger will do. I prefer lean the best. This went into the microwave to defrost.

I needed something to go with my burgers, and what better then some fries. These were all I had in the house, but they work just fine!

Once the beef is fully defrosted throw it into a bowl and break it up. I prefer to use my hands, it can get a little messy, but it works the best.

To the beef, add some pepper, seasoning salt and 1 large egg. Mix this up good with your hands.

Next you want to form the patties. I like my hamburgers to be big in size, so I make mine a little bigger. When making them, keep in mind that they will shrink, so make them a little bigger then what you want to eat. Once they are ready, thrown them onto a hot, clean grill.

 While you are waiting for them to cook, you can get your toppings ready. Tonight I added a little lettus, tomato, pickles, and some cheese. You can use whatever you would like though.

Don't forget about your burgers on the grill! Make sure to flip them over once, and to cook them so that there is no more pink in the middle. You can either open them up to tell this, or use a meat thermometer. They should read about 160 degrees F. After I flip my burgers for the last time I like to put some BBQ sauce on them as well.

While I wait for my burger to finish cooking I prep the rest of it. Layering the toppings, and trying to keep the wet items (tomato and pickles) to the inside to keep the bread from getting soggy. I usually use buns, but like I said I wasn't prepared for grilling season!

Finally I add the cheese to the burgers and let that melt.

Once the cheese has melted take the burgers off, and add it to your toppings and bun. A few fries and this meal is complete!