Thursday, June 30, 2011

Swing and a Miss

This last weekend we decided to get a round of golf in. The weather has not been that great for golfing as the rain keeps coming, so we wanted to take full advantage of a nice day.

So far this year I have golfed more then I have any other year. Being in Edmonton, there are so many courses to chose from, and so we have played 6 different ones so far. It was supposed to be 7, but last night we got rained out after a crazy storm that hit the city.

My big goal for golf this year is to score under 100. This is the first real year where I have golfed 18 holes, before it was just 9 that we would do. 100 is a pretty good score for the average golfer. Take into account that I have never had a lesson, just worked off of tips from friends and family, and 100 is an even better score!

"The Eng" showing us how it is done

Part of my problem in the past is that hardly any of my friends know how to golf, or just don't enjoy it like I do. This was all solved when my roommate Brett decided she wanted to take up the game. She has even bought her own clubs now, and we try to hit the course at least one a week, weather permitting.

Brett trying to stay out of the water.

The other thing that has really helped is that "the Eng" loves to golf! He is a really good golfer himself and has been able to help me with my game this year.

I think the best part about golfing this year has just been getting out with friends and having a couple of laughs. I am a highly competitive person, but with golf it doesn't seem so much about winning as you are only competing with yourself. Plus who can get mad or not be having fun when you have views like this!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Farming 2011- Part 3

I have been trying to track the progress of some of the crops in the area over the last few weeks. In the area by my house there is a lot of canola, wheat, barley and oats grown. There is the odd field of peas and corn grown, but our weather is usually just not hot enough for the corn to get the yeilds that they can in some of the US states.

Over the last couple of weeks we have been getting a lot of rain. Last count at the farm was about 8" in the last 10 days with more to come in next few days.

Finally a day of sunshine
Because of all of the rain both before seeding and then during seeding many fields have areas that are flooded with water. These areas can be either low spots in the field, or areas that do not have good drainage. When this happens it effects the yeild (how much crop comes off the land) and it can also make things difficult when seeding having to go around these spots so you do not get stuck.
Field with a washed out section
Right now the crops in my area are coming in nicely. Most everything is seeded which is nice as there is still some land that has not been touched. It is getting really late for the farmers to do seeding, so most of the land that is not planted already will either be left until next year, or planted with a crop that they can make green feed bales with.
Canola crop that is coming in nicely

Barley field that is looking really good.
The next step for these farmers will be to spray for pests and weeds. I hope to get a few more pictures this week as the crops have already grown so much. Can't wait to show you the canola fields in bloom!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Esks Opening Night

Well it is that time of the year and the Canadian Football League is back in action. We are pretty lucky here in Edmonton to have a decent team and a huge stadium to watch in. This year is also really exciting as Jenna, one of my room mates, is a cheerleader for the team!

Jenna doing her thing!
I have to say that I never really liked CFL football until one of my good friends Keith started to play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Since then I have followed the game, and have actually started to go watch a few games. As with most sports it is much more entertaining to watch the game live then on TV.

Edmonton vs Calgary
With Jenna now part of the show it was fun to watch and see her in action. Those girls really do work hard on the field. With the CFL season being from June until November, the weather is highly unpredictable, and can go from 30+ degree days to -30 days as well.

My other favorite part of the game is the fireworks. I absolutley love a good pyro show, and no one does it better then my friend Shaun! He was on hand that night to help out with some touchdown celebrations and the half time show.

Shaun doing his thing in the end zone
Can't wait for the preseason to be done, and get this season under way, and a few more home games.

Monday, June 27, 2011

AB Simmental Tour 2011

This weekend we went on the Alberta Simmental Tour. The tour was held in the Rimbey/Bentley area this year, and it was a beautiful day to get outside, look at some cattle, and visit with old and new friends.

The tour started at Lockhart Valley Simmentals. We toured their herd of cattle, seeing a pen of replacement heifers, as well as a set of cow/calf pairs with bull calves. Tina and Lee, the owners raise traditional, red and black cattle. It was great to see a mix of what the Simmental breed can do.

Next we headed over to Darryl & Anissa Friessen's farm. Here we see a set of their commercial cow/calf pairs. They are just commercial breeders, but use a lot of Simmental genetics in their herd, including AI'ing their females to purebred Simmental bulls to get  the best genetics possible.

The final stop was at Beechinor Bros Simmentals. We have become very good friends with this family over the years, as we have bought 2 herd sires with them. The Beechinor's are great people, and showed us a set of yearlings, cows with heifer calves, and cows with bull calves. It is neat to go through their cattle, as they have many of the same genetics as us, because of the 2 bulls we have bought. Beechinor's also raise traditions, reds and blacks, so again it was a great cross section of the breed.

In the final field that we toured I found an old friend of mine. In 2005 during the World Simmental Congress we sold the pick of our herd in the sale. Beechinor's were the buyer of this lot, and ended up picking a 2yr old of mine that I had bought as a heifer calf. Paradise was not the most friendly show cow, but she sure has done well for herself both at Beechinor's and having a few daughters at our farm.

Paradise at 7yrs old.

It was a great day, and the rain held off for the most part. We will be sure to take part in it again next year, as it is a great way to really see what the breed and breeders have to offer.

Friday, June 24, 2011

NHL Draft Day 2011

Well the time has come again for the NHL Entry Draft. This year the Edmonton Oilers have the #1 pick for the 2nd year in a row. As the Oilers are my favorite team it is pretty exciting to be able to select any player you want.

Last year there was the big storyline between Taylor Hall and Tyler Segin. Edmonton ended up picking Taylor as the #1 pick, and he has already shown that he will do great things for our team.

This year the draft is a little bit more open. Not only will Edmonton pick #1, but we also have the #19 pick. My hope is that we trade the #19 pick and  player or other pick to try and move up higher in the first round. We are in a big rebuilding phase and there is a lot of great talent in the draft this year.

The two players that the Oilers will pick from are Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Adam Larsson. I am really hoping they take Larsson as we need some strong defense on our team, but I guess we will find out what is going to happen later tonight!


2011 NHL Draft

2010-11 Team: Red Deer RebelsLeague: WHL
Position: CentreHeight: 6-1
2010-11 Stats: 69 GP, 31 G, 106 PTSWeight: 170 lbs.

NHL Central Scouting: 1 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 1, The Hockey News: No. 1
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Had a slow start in terms of goal production, including going goalless in 13 games in October, but ended the 2010-11 season with 17 goals in his final 20 games after being cut from Canada's U-20 team. Strengths - high end skills, including amazing vision and agility. Quick elusive skater with superb edges. Soft hands and creative puck handler. Solid work ethic and character. Weaknesses - Needs to add some muscle to compete with NHL defencemen in tight quarters. More of a playmaker than a goal scorer, although he began showing more finish at season's end. NHL Upside - first-line center who draws comparisons to Pavel Datsyuk in terms of style.


2011 NHL Draft
2010-11 Team: Skelleftea HCLeague: SEL
Position: DefenceHeight: 6-3
2010-11 Stats: 37 GP, 1 G, 9 PTSWeight: 200 lbs.
NHL Central Scouting: 1 ES, International Scouting Services: No. 2, The Hockey News: No. 2
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
He's already a solid contributor in the Swedish Elite League. Tried to do too much in U-18 competitions last fall and was prone to mistakes, but simplified his game at the WJC and dominated physically and defensively despite playing with a knee injury. Strengths - Thick, physical kid with some jam, poised puck mover, has some power play ability, hard shot, can contribute at both ends of the rink, keen hockey sense, solid positionally. Weaknesses - he's a clunky forward skater. Not most fleet of foot. Loses concentration at times, not fast enough to be a frequent puck carrier. NHL Upside - Has been compared to Victor Hedman, but with more offensive upside. Projects to be a workhorse, a top two defenceman that can do it all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sharp Shooter

This weekend we headed down to High River to visit my grandparents and celebrate Father's Day with them. My grandparents live a busy life, sometimes busier then us, so we don't get to see them as much as we would like to. Saturday morning I got out to the farm and we made the 3.5hr drive south.

My grandparents live in a valley right next to the Highwood River. It is a beautiful spot, and where my mom and her brother grew up. It is great to hear some of the stories that get told about that place. Everything from my Grandpa's newest creation for the Alberta Beef, to the cattle stories from the early 80's when Highwood Land and Cattle was in its prime.

Grandpa's gun collection. 2 Centential guns,
a CPR gun, his grandfathers gun, and a
Calgary Stampede gun. Most have never been shot.

After having a great dinner Saturday night in Okotoks, more on that to come later this week, we went back to their farm for the evening. A pretty relaxing but great day.

Down where Grandma and Grandpa live there are a lot of gophers. While these animals may be cute, they actually are pretty bad animals to have on your land. 20 gophers will eat as much grass as 1 cow will in a year, and they leave holes all over the place that animals can fall through and hurt themselves.

Grandpa love to sit on his deck and shoot gophers, but on Sunday morning it was dad who was out there shooting away at these little rodents that were on the lawn. After breakfast he told me that I was going to go shoot some gophers with him, so I better get my coat and shoes on.

I have never shot a gun before. Actually I take that back, I shot an air pistol once before during a Pony Club target practice. I have never shot a real gun before, let alone killed anything. It was #8 on my 101 in 1001 list, and as you can see that item is now crossed off.

In a matter of about 30 mins I had 4 gophers killed, and dad had nick named me "Snipper". It was a ton of fun, and I think I even made the comment that I wished we had gophers at home so that I could shoot at them! I guess the mangy coyotes will have to do for now!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Drayton Show 2011

I meant to post these pictures from the Drayton Valley show last weekend, but life got in the way with a really busy week. Congrats to all the winners, it was a great show as always! There was about 70 head of cattle and 8 pens of heifers at the show.

Champion Bull- Miller Wilson Angus
Reserve Champion Bull- Wildman Livestock

Champion Female- Miller Wilson Angus

Reserve Champion Female- Northline Angus
Champion Steer- Nixdorff Family

Reserve Champion Steer- Justamere Farms
Champion Jr Heifer & Res. Jackpot  Heifer- Dakota Townsend

Res. Jr Heifer & Ch. Jackpot Heifer- Wyatt Hiller

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We Are The Champions

Well the Stanley Cup Finals have come and gone with a new winner. The finals came down to the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins. I was really hoping for a Boston win as I really do hate the Canucks!

It came down to the full 7 games but with a dominating win tonight Boston hoisted the Stanley Cup as the 2010-2011 Champions.

Congrats to Boston, their captain Zdano Chara and the MVP of the playoffs Tim Thomas. I am thrilled to say that you won, and stopped Vancouver from winning their first ever Stanly Cup. Guess you will just have to wait another year boys!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


About a month ago Crystal told me about this website called Pinterest. It was a place where you could great idea boards of things you liked, wanted, ideas, etc. I took a few looks at it, but decided I didn't need to join.

Then when she got engaged I decided it was time to join. I have been a member of the site for about 2 weeks now and love it. I am able to have virtual boards of clothing I like, event ideas, my dream home and so much more.

Here are a few of my favorite items from my event board that I have found. You can view all of my boards here.

Stay tuned or join for more of my favorite ideas.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I feel like I have been neglecting the red cows at our place this summer. With most the cows that got to stay at the main farm being black, the red ones just have not gotten as many pictures taken of them.

This year we have some really cool red bull calves as we finally got some bulls out of our Sr. herdsire Revolution. There is a heifer calf at home that is pretty special, and 2 red bull calves that are standouts as well.

Simply Irresistible- mother of my favorite red bull calf
The red cows are something that we are really proud of. We have some pretty great black donors, but our red cows have never really had a stand out. They are a very consistent set of cows, that we have been able to use our herd sires on and get some great calves.

2yr old Talladega female with Revolution bull calf
I am excited to watch the calves grown over the next few months. They really are changing everyday, and getting better all the time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The New Boy In Town

Over the last few days word has slowly started to spread that yes there is a new boy in my life. I try to keep my personal life pretty quiet, so for the past 4 months no one has really known except those that I see on a daily basis.

The story broke this past weekend when my parents were visiting Crystal and Jon in Iowa. They were spending the evening at Jon's parents house when Crystal asked who was at the farm with me over the weekend. My family not knowing any better responded, "umm no one that we know of". That is when Crystal showed them this picture that I had posted onto Twitter.

Crystal's response was, "well why is there 2 pairs of feet in this picture then?" Over the last few days a few details have been released, but I am keeping a pretty tight lid on this for now. I am also taking a page out of Crystal's books and will wait some time to reveal a name and face. It seemed to turn out alright for her in the end, so its work a try for me.

So to all those that I have lied to or avoided your questions over the last few months about whether I was still single or not, I am sorry. In time hopefully you will all get to meet the new boy. Until then "The Eng" and I will see where this takes us, and hopefully will have a few stories to share along the way!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Flowers

Hope you are all having a great week. The weather here has been kinda cold and rainy for a few days. I thought I would attempt to brighten your day with some beautiful summer flowers from our backyard!

Hope the rest of your week goes great! I have a bunch of exciting news to share, including an upcoming trip that I am really looking forward too!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Farming 2011- Part 2

Although we have not planted our swath grazing yet, most farmers in our area have finished seeding or are just about done for the 2011 year. Soon the sprayers will be out, but until then it is fun to see the crops really start to grow.

This is what most fields look like after being seeded. They have been worked up from the year before, smoothed out with harrows, seeded and fertilized, and then packed down some to help keep the seeds in the ground to germinate.

Because of the mix of rain and warm weather we have been getting near Edmonton, the crops have had a great start this year. The fields are all turning green as the crops grow and start to get tall. In my area there is a lot of canola, wheat, barley, and oats planted.

I am going to try to follow the progress of some fields just outside the city and see how they change over the summer and fall.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Down on The Farm

This weekend I got to get back to the farm for the weekend. The parents were down visiting Crystal, so I decided to head out and work on the cattle we are going to show net weekend.

Although things are pretty muddy out there right now, and was pretty cold we still got some work done. Thought I would share a couple of pictures that I snapped this weekend. I have more to come later this week.

Dream Date and her heifer calf

Southern Elle