The posts on this blog are copied from my private blog: "At The Rose Cottage". If you are interested in viewing The Rose Cottage, which has more personal family posts and pictures, email me at stewcrew9 at

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Impromptu Holiday

Since Steven had to work over the May long weekend, he said he would take off the first nice day he could. The next Wednesday was the day we chose. Steven took the boys and Emily out to work up our garden area at his parent's farm. They spent some time shooting gophers and hiking around.
In the evening, he wanted to go fishing. Emily offered to stay home with the two youngest as they really needed to get to bed early. She said she had done lots of fun things lately and she wanted me to have a chance to get out. :) What a sweetheart!

We drove down to the Red Deer River. It was kind of muddy from all the rain, but still "fishable". This is one of our favorite areas to fish, hunt, canoe or just enjoy. It has such a wonderful ruggedness and is full of contrasts.
On our walk to the fishing hole, I trialed behind the others to enjoy SEEING life - many people look without seeing and they miss so much.
This fat bumble bee was clumsily working around the bright purple pea vetch.

There is almost no soil here - at least I don't think this clay can be called soil. It is slimy and slick when wet and bakes hard and almost white when dry. On it's smoothness, every print or track can be seen...even the paths from worms.
There is a starkness and harshness to the shadows.
Hardy plants still find a foothold and push up through the crust.
Every touch of softness, beauty and color stands out against the hard lines of the rock and mud.
And flowing through the middle of this dessert-like landscape is the river. Its banks are thick with willow and huge cottonwoods that are rich with wildlife - an outdoor playground.

Climbing the bank.
Flowers from my girlies.

Some of the wildlife we saw up close...
A duck and her bobbing brood.
Many, many bunnies where hopping around.
A great, fat beaver waddled on the bank for a while, and then slipped into the water to swim past us.
And a ring-necked pheasant! That was a trophy to see!
And some "Amy-inspired" photos...

And a few minutes at the campground park to finish up a lovely evening.

I am looking forward to some warmer weather again so we can do more things outside. It israining again today and is quite cool. We started the spring with dire predictions from the farmers because of how dry it there is more then enough water, we just need some HEAT!
It'll come. :)


Monday, June 7, 2010

God Surprises Us...Again

Do you ever get surprised by God?
I do.

I won't go into all the details of the situation, but we were going to buy half a beef from a local farmer. Our friend works for this farm and we were going to split one beef and the second beef was for the farmer. We were going to do all the butchering and cutting.
I began to feel like we were being taken advantage of - we were buying this meat, plus doing all the work - and we had not even been told a firm price!
I complained.
I didn't even pray about it.
God surprised me - in mercy.
We found out yesterday that the farmer GAVE us the meat in exchange for the butchering.
I nearly choked on my complaints!
Steven preparing the garage Friday morning for a day of butchering.
It took us most of the day. The steer had been a big one - 1600 lb live weight. Half of that would have been the hide, offal and bones - so we cut up about 800lbs of beef! Graeme and Mitch butchering (one of our friend's four boys - they all came and helped at different times during the day, which was a wonderful help!).

Kind of blurry picture, but this is Graeme trimming roasts.

The second beef was butchered out at Steve's parents' shop on Saturday. They have a meat saw and there were more people to help. Emily was really the only one from our family that helped as there were so many others.
We were able to get our garden planted on Saturday morning. It is also out at Steve's parents' place. I really enjoyed planting. Now that all the children are helping, it goes so fast and isn't half the chore it used to be. I forgot my camera at home, so I didn't get pictures, but later in the day, we went out to pick up the older kids who we had left there.
Emily was helping with the butchering. Steven, Clara and the boys were gopher/blackbird hunting.
The little ones were playing on the swing set...

William hasn't figured out how to slow himself down on the slide - every time he goes down he lands with a resounding "THUNK" on his bottom. It doesn't deter him as he laughs and runs around for another slide. I snapped a picture of him on the way down - anticipating the "THUNK".
We finished up a busy weekend with a quiet wiener roast with Grandpa and Grandma. Then Steven took me out for a few minutes of hunting. I got to try the .17 and I killed several gophers!
What a fun date...sitting side-by-side in the middle of a field - sharing a gun - blasting gophers - keeping a sharp look out over our shoulder for the bull... red-necked romance at it's best! ♥
At least I thing so. ;)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Early Bird

Taken through a dusty window early Friday morning. Our sunrise is now at 5:17 am...
that means, no sunrise pictures for a while! As much as I love mornings, that is just too early! Well, now that I think of it, maybe I will have to get up early at least once to catch a summer sunrise...but I'll wait until we actually get some summer weather to try it out!