2019 was a year of changes!
My photo essays are a bit eclectic but there are always so many good photos that I love to display. I start with the Holiday Season that began with Winter Solstice, December 21, 2018 through January 1, 2019 as a photo essay. After that there are pictures of people, the “city culture” and the ranch culture, horses and all the rest of the critters, the changes and so much more.
All through last December I was fortunate to receive a daily post from an international friend who lives in Quebec. She had made wonderful daily inspirational cards that she then posted to her friends. I have chosen the ones for December 21 & 22 to give you an example of her handiwork.
Dec 22 the McLeans arrived with Kelton and a Winning Ways alumnus for the Holidays. The following day we all went to Howard’s Tall Timber Trails for a sleigh ride. I had waited for the grandgirls to help choose a tree and decorate it. Kelton cut down the one they selected, and we brought it back to the TTT yard on the sleigh. Once it thawed out here at Winning Ways, the grandgirls dug through the boxes of ornaments and chose the ones they liked best for the tree.
Traditionally I go to the Two Bar C for their Christmas Eve celebration; the alumnus and I enjoyed the festivities again last year. Santa always appears and we all get the opportunity to sit on his knee and receive a gift. I know George really enjoys this special day with his family and friends.
On Christmas day I know that I must have been good, because there were more gifts under the tree! After we “opened the tree”, the McLeans and Granny worked on the Christmas jigsaw puzzle, which is a time-honoured custom at our house. We had a photo taken before we all sat down to Christmas dinner with Amanda and the Brown Brothers joining us as well.
Boxing day the grandgirls persuaded their Dad to get the old snow machine running. The dogs love to run with the snow machine that is pulling kids (sometimes adults too). It was too cold to go ice fishing, but the toboggan and GT rides were great fun. The McLeans had to return to Fort Saskatchewan the next day with a couple of horses; Vawn was teaching riding lessons at an arena close to the city.
My Daybook shows that it was -37C at the Meadow Lake airport on the morning of December 31, 2018. Although the thermometer here at Winning Ways was 10 degrees warmer, it was still DARN COLD. I recorded it as the coldest day of December 2018. But the temperature started to climb, so by 2 A.M. January 1 it was only -17C!
January 1, 2019 found us back at TTT for another sleigh ride with Howard. This time George and Marlene joined us and I’m very grateful that Marlene made a video with the sound of the bells. After the sleigh ride, my alumnus was fascinated by the size of the shoes Howard’s horses wear as well as their collars. I hope that most of you winter sport enthusiasts will recognize the old-fashioned snowshoes that hang on Howard’s barn wall. After putting up the team, the sleigh riders went into Howard’s shop and enjoyed a pot-luck-lunch. By the way the temperature rose to -1C by 6 P.M. on January 1, 2019. The whole day was a great start to the new year.
It was darn cold in February! I do not think there were many days above -20C, for that reason everyone in Saskatchewan needs to have a face mask or BUFF headwear. Of course, we need keep up with all the chores AND stay warm so many layers are required.
My good friends, Marlene and George, celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary this spring and their family prepared a wonderful meal and a bit of a program to recognize their achievement. I couldn’t let an opportunity like that slip by, so I prepared a few stories to entertain and inform those who came to the celebration. My closing paragraph: “George and Marlene are very caring folks who go out of their way to help others. I would say that it is their persistent determination, may I say bull headed stubbornness, that has allowed them to reach this Golden Anniversary. They might not always see eye to eye, but they are both romantics and as such they value their relationship, their family and their friends. May they continue to astound each other and the rest of us with their persistence and perseverance. Congratulations Marlene and George on your Golden Anniversary!”
There are always helpers who want to do a photo op dressed up as cowboys/cowgirls. These young ladies were very practical, they kept their muck boots on! Later in the spring a whole van load of International helpers headed down to watch the Rodeo in North Battleford. Along the way they decided to climb the lighthouse hill in Cochin for another photo op.
Our part-time ranch-hand, Amanda, moved to Meadow Lake! Here's a photo collage of some of her adventures with us.
There were several birthdays celebrated at Winning Ways this year. Howard Brown had a special chocolate cake for his day, then a few days later we celebrated my niece’s birthday. Later in September, we helped Amanda B celebrate in fine style, with a barbecue and I believe more chocolate cake.
Granny celebrated her 90th birthday this fall!
I will put the pictures of her party up shortly.