Edna’s Story 26 (FGK 143)

Chapter 4 – The 50s

In 1950 we were a bit short of feed or were afraid we would be, so Percy arranged with Mr. F.E.M. Robinson of the Alberta Ranch in Pincher Creek to pasture our steers there for the summer. That was an interesting place, one of the first ranches in Alberta I think, and the rolling hills had wonderful grass for the cattle. It was a successful venture but perhaps unnecessary as it rained enough to give us grass at home. But we were becoming a bit cramped. In 1951 we heard that Mr. Chas Matthews was wanting to sell his ranch in Grand Valley. Percy and I talked it over carefully. Should we sit still and lead a placid life or work like mad for a few more years. I don’t believe you can sit still, you either go ahead or slip back. We went immediately over to see the place. We bought it the next day.

Trailing cattle back and forth across the Bow River and by Cochrane to Grand Valley was no easy feat. It always seemed to be done when there was snow on the ground and it was a long, cold ride. I used to time it so that I’d catch up to them just before they reached the river and I’d give them hot coffee and fresh hot doughnuts. Then I would race home and pop in the oven and individual chicken pie full of good vegetables for each rider, a dessert, and more hot coffee. I would meet them for the noon lunch just north of the railroad track where there was a good spot to hold the cattle. Sometimes the smell of the hot steel railroad track would panic the spooky cattle and they would have to scatter hay over the rails to get them cross. The bridge across the Bow was another bad place, it didn’t take much to spook them.

By this time the whole country was joined together by well built roads and the cattle rustlers thought they had it made. We were just losing too many as were the other Alberta ranchers. There seemed to be a syndicate of rustlers taking them across the border to the USA. In 1952, the Alberta government decided to place mounted policemen in Cochrane on a few of the ranches, secretly, to work as seemingly regular ranch hands. We were chosen to have one of these men and we nicknamed him “Slim”. Things really began to happen. A lot of comical things, and our share of tragedy.

The day after Slim arrived, Clarence moved his cows and calves to summer pasture. That means he drove them by here – strung out for a mile or more or dust and noise. The hullabaloo upsets the adjacent livestock considerably. That night a black and white milk cow of Kumlin’s went missing. Naturally you would expect it to get tangled up in all the excitement of Clarence’s cows and would be easy to pick out of a herd of Herefords. But Kumlins rode and roe and never found her and Percy kidded them about being so dumb and he went out, and rode and rode and couldn’t find her. Finally Len Kumlin went in and reported it to the police. Poor Slim had to hand in a report every week and did he ever take a ribbing for letting a cow be stolen from right under his nose the day after he arrived here. To end this little yarn, that cow came in with Clarence’s herd in the fall, and she had twins with her, we had many a laugh over that.


Edna’s Story 25 (FGK 142)

These stories are a big part of why I have my giant velociraptor aka guardian dog. I don’t remember bears or cougars being an issue in the area when I was younger, but as the city has grown and more people are in the mountains we sure have a lot of them around now. The story of Uncle George killing the grizzly is pretty legendary around here.

There were four legged predators destroying cattle too. About 1947 a large grizzly began killing our cattle and once they become killers there’s just no stopping them. This one was very cunning and hard to find. One time Percy found four carcasses in one spot that he had killed. We figured he would kill one and the others smelling fresh blood would come bellering in to chase him. It really scares you to see how powerful they are. With one swat of his paw he would bash in the head of a full-grown cow. With another swat he would rip off the ribs from the backbone. Nobody really wanted to tangle with that fellow but the men did try very hard to find him for the two or more years he was active. They posted a reward of $500 to anyone who could catch him. In the spring of 1947 we had two experienced hunters come from Crossfield and Percy gave them an old horse to take out on the range and shoot it and leave it for bait. But the bear was too smart for them. One day Percy’s brother George rode upon a fresh kill, the carcass of a yearling. George was used to the ways of the wild and he very carefully concealed a huge bear trap in a sort of natural windfall of logs. He succeeded in trapping him and shooting the monster dead first shot. It was a seven foot, 700 pound male grizzly.

Talking about bears, Percy nearly shot Clarence once thinking he was a bear. I had a girl working for me who had lived all her life on the prairies. She hated trees and got the creeps when she had to walk under one. Of course, the boys delighted in spinning tall terrifying yarns to her and this evening she had walked down to visit the girl at Jack Copithorne’s. It was almost dark when she hurried home and Clarence and another boy put fur robes over themselves and hid under some brush about halfway down the hill and jumped out behind her. Percy and I were sitting quietly in the kitchen when she hit the back door. If she had been more fragile she would have come right through the door. We were very concerned when we saw her white face and when she finally was able to speak we had our doubts about it being a bear, but we hadn’t been told about the trick. Percy grabbed his shotgun and went out and shot it off in the air anyway, just to satisfy everyone. I guess those two boys never scrambled up the hill so fast in all their life, expecting maybe another shot.

We have occasionally had a black bear turn killer and molest cattle and once or twice a cow came in off the range with a big patch taken out of her side that looked suspiciously like a cougar’s work.


Edna’s Story 13 (FGK 130)

I don’t remember Grandpa’s legendary sneezes, but Mom used to tell stories about how epic they were. It has become a family competition with me and the kids to see who can best carry on that tradition and I’m pretty sure some of our sneezes shake the very foundation of the house.

Percy always sneezes terribly loud, you can almost hear him a mile away. He often came to the end of his patience trying to teach the junior rake boy how and where to drive his rake. One day when the boy was in the wrong place away across the field, Percy called him into the stack and gave him a good lecture and sent him off to where he was supposed to be. He just got there when Percy sneezed. The poor kid came galloping back to the stack thinking he had been called in for another lecture. The men often laughed over that, tired and all as they were when they got in at night, they had many laughs over the supper table.

In the evenings, Percy repaired all the breakdowns and the mower men sharpened their knives either evenings or before breakfast. Our crew hauled the XC hay valley too. That wild prairie grass was very nutritious, we were always able to winter our cattle on it without any supplements. We could even winter our calves on it without feeding them any grain.


Edna’s Story 10 (FGK 127)

There were three or four steady men to cook for and do their laundry. I was kept quite busy. The men milked about a dozen cows and separated the cream. We had to walk over to the dairy every morning (located near Annie’s house) to wash the pails and separator rain or shine. One bowl had 35 disks which had to be washed and rinsed separately. I churned once or twice a week and with the butter and eggs bought the groceries. Butter requires a lot of cold, cold water to wash all the buttermilk out of the butter to make it firm. Then you add salt and work it in, then pat it into a mold so that the result weighs exactly one pound. My churn was a big wooden barrel one that made about thirty pounds at a churning. We carried the water from a well on the other side of Annie’s house. It seemed like a quarter of a mile away.

We had a big windlass built out in the corral and butchered our beef there. Hung it up on the windlass to clean and skin, about an hour’s work. Then after it hung in a cool place for ten days, we would cut it up and put it into a brine and some jars and cook it. I also canned chicken. I remember one time I starved the roosters and other chickens to be butchered as usual the night before so they would have empty crops and be easier to handle. Never thinking about the weed seeds in the bottom of the trough. The chickens ate them. I had forty beautiful jellied jars of chicken but when I opened them to use they smelled so strong of stink weed and tasted like it too. I nearly wept when I couldn’t use them.

The year of 1936 was the driest one anyone could remember in our district. There was practically no crop to harvest nor hay to cut. Percy was very worried about feed for the cattle, and he had the enormous tasks of settling affairs of the estate as well. The dirty 30s seemed to be extra dirty to us when we lost our beloved parents but all over Canada people were suffering poverty and drought, so many, so much worse than we were. The men left the cattle out on the range waiting for the first fall of snow because there was so little feed at home. Cattle from the district have used the range at the base of Jumping Pound Mountain and Moose Mountain since long before it was made into a forest reserve. Riders camped up there to round up the cattle and bring them home early in November if not sooner.

This year, late in the evening of November 18th 1936, Jack Copithorne came up to visit Percy and to point out a pin point of smoke southwest on the range. They became very worried and decided to leave for the round-up camp, “The Lone Star” about 4am the next morning. I remember setting bread and baking it that night, along with fries and other food to send up with the wagon later in the morning but the wagon never left home. The men left on horseback and when they got as far as Frank Sibbald’s they met the fire and it swept past them. Here at home we had a high wind and the air was so full of smoke and dust you couldn’t see anywhere. Percy went into Sibbald’s and phoned home to tell me to send a man and a tractor up to Sibbald’s. He ploughed quite a furrow down north of Sibblad’s house to save it if the wind changed. But there was just no way of stopping that fire.

I was expecting my second child then, not quite as active and spry as I’d like to have been, but able to do the work just the same. When word came over the phone to vacate our homes and go to the creek for safety from the fire, I decided to put Sheila in the car and try to drive to safety. The story of my being trapped in the fire is told elsewhere in the history of our district. When I got home from the episode, I had a good two inches of solid cinders in my hair which took several shampoos to remove. The fire never reached our house and so I had done the wrong thing and got severely told about it even though it was not all entirely my own idea of what was best to do. When Percy came riding home he had lost our precious collie dog somewhere in his mad travels trying to save livestock. We wondered if we would ever see him again and loved him almost like a person. The next day, half of Calgary drove out to view the devastation and most of Cochrane too. All of the burnt country looked the same, just miles and miles of black cinders – no fences – no telephone poles, and nothing alive. Percy’s cousin Claude drove over to the Brushy Ridge area and while driving about three miles north of us, he saw something move. He got out and called to it and it nearly knocked him down racing to him and piled into the car. Claude continued his tour and then came to see ow we were doing and you can imagine our joy when “Buster” got out of his car. We often wonder if Buster recognized a Copithorne about Claude, or if there was something familiar about his voice. There were literally thousands of people milling around there and Buster was a very shy dog.

The following week, the ranchers started out to locate feed for their cattle. Percy’s brother George had just bought a new car and he offered to drive Percy, Frank, and Clem Gardner up into the Olds country to buy some straw stacks. They got a few miles north of Calgary when the car hit some loose gravel and rolled over into the ditch. It rolled over about four times before it came to a stop against a telephone pole, and it was upside down. No one was hurt at all, but they said everything was all mixed up like a pup’s breakfast inside that car. Later in the week they got to Olds and arranged to ship their cattle and put them out in little herds on the many farms that had straw stacks. Some of our men spent the winter up there looking after the cattle. What a winter that was! I think Percy became very well acquainted with the farmers around Olds and the snow was so deep up there that it was piled 10 feet high on the side roads.


Edna’s Story 8 (FGK 125)

Percy owned a very nice 28 Chevy and his father drove a Chandler. A very precious Chandler. I think Percy is the only other person that ever drove the Chandler, and then it would be because of a dire emergency. Living beside Annie and her father was a great advantage for me in many ways. Percy was terribly busy all the time but his Dad would drive to Calgary or Cochrane, and occasionally would take me with him. And driving with him was an experience I will never forget. He was a good horseman but I doubt if he ever felt at ease with a car. After we would get into the car and were all settled and ready to drive off, he would race the engine so that I was sure something would explode any minute. And sure enough, we did! We shot forward with such a leap I don’t know why we didn’t all have whiplash! Then we would level off and enjoy the scenery. At least father Copithorne did enjoy it and as he turned this way and that way to look, the car turned too! When we got to Calgary the streetcars just were supposed to get the h….. out of his way, why not? Coming home from Calgary alone one day he drove over two little calves near Springbank. Then just didn’t get out of his way. I was horrified when I heard it and asked if he had killed them. He just laughed and said he had to get out and pull them out from under the car, but when he threw them in the ditch they ran away. Then he said “It wouldn’t matter anyway, they were only Holsteins.” In his way of thinking, Herefords were the only kind worth raising. Another time he missed a turn in the road and had to get an axe to chop this way out of the bushes and back on the road.

Shortly before we were married, Percy gave me a fine big black saddle horse named “Spades”. He was part Arabian and very gentle. I loved going out riding with the gang when they were working the cattle. Annie rode a very beautiful spirited hob hunter and she certainly was a good rider. Percy’s dad always had a string of coyote hounds following him and occasionally they would go after a poor little rabbit that crossed our path.

Grandma and Grandpa in front of the barn Grandpa built – it’s still in use today and over 100 years old.


A Brief History of the Ranch Part I (FGK 86)

My Uncle gave a talk at the Jumping Pound Hall on July 14, 2016 to a group of people. I can’t remember who they were, or what the function was about, but somehow I was there and not only did I gorge myself on the family famous garlic cheese dip, but I sat with my kids and cousins at a front row table while he gave a brief history of the ranch. About 30 seconds into his talk I realized this was one of those recollections I was unlikely to hear again and recorded it on my phone. I’ve had a few suggestions that I should be turning this into a book, and I’ve decided to take some time and lay everything out and do just that!! I’m not sure how to put it together yet, but I do think it would be a lovely way to remember who we are and where we come from.

When I was a teen I spent a summer working at Mackay’s, and I spent many lunchtimes sitting at the Lodge with Grandma while she told me stories of the “olden days”. In my teen arrogance I thought I would always remember those stories, but I quickly forgot them. I swore that if the opportunity came up again that I would make sure I recorded them.

As my uncle’s story begins, I believe he is talking about my great-grandfather Richard and his brother John.

..and the reason why they both wanted to homestead here is because it was close to the railway, close to fresh water, close to firewood. They went through miles of prairie, and don’t kid yourself, in those days prairie was prairie because it was continuously burned off by Indians travelling through it, and there were miles and miles and miles of nothing, not even a stick of wood to burn. So everybody burned buffalo chips, you know all about that don’t you? That’s why they did it. Even the old round up wagons in the early days burned buffalo chips – there was no wood except for along the odd little creek.

Anyway, getting off the story a bit but.. the fact that this country was homesteaded is sort of why our family ended up here and I’ll go back a notch further again, the original settlement in this area was at Morleyville, with the McDougalls and the mission there. And there’s another old family that lives to the west of us, their name’s Sibbald, and they came in in the 1870s and he was the first white teacher in Morley, and we’ve had a great relationship with the Stony Indians for a long, long time – due to the fact that way back in Ireland sometime in the late 1870s – our family was a family of Protestants in Cork, the County of Cork in Southern Ireland, and that seemed to be kind of an event.

They were quite religious, my great great grandfather was a pastor there. He raised 7 sons and they travelled out, one of them went over to Africa and they never saw him again. He went with the missionary work with the Dr there.. Dr. Livingstone. Another one went to Australia, but anyway they were poor, worked real hard, and they decided they were going to take the youngest son and educate him, so everyone worked real hard to get this young guy an education. And talk about kind of picking the black sheep, I don’t know… sent him to school and he ended up back home, with a little bad reputation behind that, and anyway, stayed home.

My grandfather, I didn’t hear him say this, but my dad always told the story, they were over digging peat bog there my great uncle John, which is who I’m talking about, he stuck the shovel in the ground and my grandfather said you could hear the shovel vibrating and he said “I’m going to Canada”. So the family settled on that and they bought him a boat ticket to take him to Montreal and that’s all he had was a boat ticked and no money.

He ended up in Montreal and they didn’t hear from him for two years. Until, they heard from him in Brandon, Manitoba and he got a got a job with a farmer there and learned to drive mules, they never had mules to drive in Ireland, I don’t know what they were using – donkeys probably, But, he was a mule skinner and he became friends with a band of Cree Indians who were camped in that area and were in the area, and he also worked for the Canadian army as a mule skinner. And he learned to speak a little Cree Indian so the army hired him, he was an adventurous young guy no doubt about it, they hired him to travel west with this little band of Cree Indians.

He spent his first winter in Fort Qu’Appelle and his job was as an informant for the army and the RCMP <I believe at this time they were the North West Mounted Police>, which hadn’t been formed at that time, I guess they were, with regard to the Riel Rebellion. So he travelled West and ended up at Calgary. And his first job was as a freighter from Calgary for the East to bring supplies to Fort Denton in Montana, to Fort Whoop-up in Lethbridge, and then on up to Calgary and his job was to distribute some of this stuff out to the Tsuu T’ina over here, we used to call them Sarcee, and also Morley. And the old Morley trail, kind of wagon ruts, that he carved across this part of the country.

And as a result of that, he became the first Indian Agent, the first white Indian Agent for Morley, and he spent the early years of the Riel Rebellion in Morley, had lots of friends there and they looked after him, but it was quite a dangerous thing. There are quite a few stories about what happened you know, unsettlement, and anyway he survived that. In his travels back and forth across here, he sent letters back to the family and attracted the interest of my grandfather who arrived here in 1885. By that time the railway was here so he didn’t have to walk all the way across those prairies. And he set up a homestead over here, my great uncle set up a homestead over here, and they homesteaded together. My grandfather bought the property just to the west – where those buildings are – you saw the CL barn – and so they were right next door to each other. My great uncle down the hill, and my grandfather was on top of the hill and they were stockmen, and they loved livestock. My grandfather tried raising some sheep and he finally ended up getting up page-wire fence to keep the sheep in and the coyotes out, but the coyotes still got in so he quit raising sheep I guess.


Curling is one of the best games going (FGK 85)

I was going to title this “Skinny cows and fat cows too” but I figured that would be taken wrong if one just read the title. Sometimes the gas plant near us lets off the most horrific smells, but nothing like what my uncle is describing here – it sounds pretty grotesque.

Mount Royal College

Thursday, Jan 29 1953

Dear Margie

How are you doing? I’m sorry I didn’t write sooner, but I just didn’t get around to it. I am going to curl tonight. My curling team is fourth best on the league. I sure like curling! I think it is one of the best games going besides baseball or hockey. I’m getting so I can throw the rocks about right by any sweeping is kind of slow.

There hasn’t been much going on around home I don’t think. Dad and Ken went over to Grand Valley to help Reese build the frame of the barn. You know that they’re building a new barn over there don’t you?

We started to feed all the cattle last Saturday. We cut the cows and heifers into two bunches, the skinny ones in one, and the fat ones in the other. We took the skinny ones to 21 to fed them sieves. I think dad’s figuring on taking the other bunch to Springbank in a little while. Buckles or whatever you’re going to call him is sure putting on weight. Last weekend I was going to get him in and work a little of the fat off of him but I didn’t get around to it. I’m going to try and find time this weened or I’m liable to have to halter break him all over again. Him and the other three colts are out with the bulls doing nothing but eat and sleep and get in the road.

They tore the goose pen down and got quite a lot of lumber from it. Boy the oil well has sure been cutting up lately. Early Saturday morning they turned it on full blast without setting it on fire. The gas fumes caught in the wind which swept them down on me and Red who was riding through some cows and _____ stuff by the machine shed. There was some liquid gas with it and when it hit your face and eyes it would sting like the dickens. It pretty near choked you when you breathed. The cattle sure did some running around in circles.

They’ve got a new well site staked out in 24. You know where the ditch is where we dug out the den of coyotes when old Alex was along, it’s about a hundred yards west or so. It’s kind of going to be a bother but I guess we will get used to it. That are moving this same rig over.

I sure have been teasing Anne lately. Jeff N. has taken quite a shine for her but she hates him. Last Friday night at the dance he danced nearly every dance with her.

Last Sunday I came in with Ken and Delores and we went to Blanch and Fred’s and played cards till ten o’clock. When I got to the College I was locked out. I sure was scared for a while. Finally Mr. Schultz let me in. This week we had to change rooms. Wayne and I are in Bernard and Jim’s old room now and they are up on the third floor. I’ve had the whole afternoon off today because Mr Schultz was sick and couldn’t teach health. I always get off at two o’clock Thursday though.

Well I hope you’re feeling alright


Love, Marshall


In Grandma’s Words part 16 (FGK 78)

And finally we have the story of how Grandma’s kitchen came to be in her own words. I absolutely love this description. I have to say I smile every time I look at the photo of Grandma in front of the fireplace as she’s accompanied by the best dog of all time, my old friend Kayla. I don’t know how Kayla managed to get into Grandma’s memory book but I love that she’s there. I miss that dog.

I have so many memories of lying on that old red leather couch, surrounded by the overpowering smell of geraniums and reading old Archie comics. It was one of my all time favourite places to hang out when I was a kid. Although the geranium smell made me swear I would never ever have those flowers in my house, I religiously plant them in the flowerbed in the verandah just off the kitchen because that’s what was always there and anything else seems wrong. They just fit.

We decided then to tear off and build a new kitchen, level with the rest of the house. And build up the earth to be level with the back door and widen all our doors so that a wheelchair could get around easily.

At this age in my life I had enough experience to really know what I wanted in a kitchen, and I got it. Small kitchens were the style then but to me and our way of life the kitchen always seemed to be the heart of the home. I compare a good kitchen in a home to a good woman. And in my way of thinking a good woman is the most important person in the world. Like a good woman, a kitchen should be efficient and beautiful and always have a pleasant fragrance surrounding it. What is more alluring than the aroma of fresh baked bread, hot pies, and a roast in the oven?

One wall of my new kitchen is of knotted pine and has a fireplace with built in china cupboards on each side. The cooking area has knotted pine cupboards. Natural wood adds warmth to a room. The south west corner is all windows which look out on a panoramic view of the Jumping Pound valley up to the wide range of Rockies. This area is an indoor garden of flowers because we seem to have 9 months of winter in this country. It also holds our old red leather covered chesterfield. My range is a beautiful old fashioned one Percy bought me many years ago and I wouldn’t have it for any modern one even an Ultra Ray. There was one small window, about 3ft by 2 ft off the south wall which I didn’t like so I designed a stained glass one which portrayed our wildflowers and friendly wild birds and of course our source of existence – a cow and calf on pasture. This adds colour and conversation to the room.

I spend time every day looking at this stained glass window, it has always brought me a feeling of peace. I was told that Grandpa informed Grandma that the window was missing a bluebird and so he drew one in the top left hand corner. You can kind of see how the artwork of the bluebird is different from the rest of the window and that’s why.

My kitchen table seats twelve comfortably but of course often more. Adjoining is a very efficient mud room and extra bathroom. I worked hard for that kitchen.

The summer we built it I cooked for 18 men all summer in just a make shift kitchen. At the same time I gave Margie her physiotherapy which consisted of 38 exercises with resistance and each one 15 times. This I did twice a day. Margie also caught the mumps that summer.


Sorry I Haven’t Written, I’ve Been Too Busy Wrestling (FGK-51)

Honestly, these letters make me realize how pathetic my social life is, and not because of Covid. He says he hasn’t had enough exciting to write about, and then describes more activity than I’ve seen in like 3 years haha. I am much relieved though 70 years later to not be the one ratting out my uncle for climbing out the window, instead it was the other kids (it’s always the other kids). Seriously, these Mount Royal days sound like a lot of fun.

Writing Marsh in these letters feels a little bit like the time, years ago, when my son touched my cousin’s husband’s moustache. We were all frozen with fascination and horror, but knew that it was something that shouldn’t happen and never, ever would again.

My uncle would have been almost 16 when he wrote this letter (mom would have been 12.5) and it seems his love of airplanes had already started. I absolutely love that he was going to take his airplane engine into the hospital to show her. I would imagine that would have given everyone there something to talk about!!

Mount Royal College

May 12, 1953

Dear Margie

I’m sure sorry that I didn’t write much sooner but I just don’t seem to be able to think up enough things to tell you that would be worth while to put in a letter. Last night before I got the last card you sent me I started to write a letter but just before that I had a wrestling match with Bernard. We were so evenly matched that the fight went on for a long time until both of us were too tired to fight anymore. I started to write you but fell asleep for the whole study period so I had to do my homework this morning after breakfast.

Last night the other two boys in the suite with Wayne and I crawled out of the window and got in their car and went across the bridge to get some milk-shakes. When I woke up there was a milkshake waiting for me. They’re darn lucky they didn’t get caught. The window to the suite is very easy to get in and out of as they sure make use of it. I haven’t used it yet but I think I will soon, just for the fun of it.

Last Saturday I was plowing with the new John Deere and boy is it slick. To trip the new plow, instead of pulling on a rope you just push the hydraulic lever ahead which pumps oil into a cylinder on the plow and trips it. I suppose that you do not understand all that lingo but it works on that principal. There is only room for one person to ride on it because it is a big high tractor like this:

We just started to plow on Saturday. Bill and Ken are going at it full force now I guess. It’s still pretty wet out there though.

Well, we sure got a big slug of calves now. Must be 250. I’ve got 27 I think and should have three more coming.

Last Saturday I got Red in to ride and he hasn’t been rode for quite a spell so when I climbed on I had to pull leather for a while because every time I went to grab the horn it wasn’t there. Well I sure rode him when I got everything straightened out. He never piled me though, but I guess that ain’t my fault.

I’m truing to sell these Stampede Queen tickets, butI guess I aren’t a very good salesman. That is the most hopeless job there ever was. I’ve had them a month and only sold two of them.

Did I tell you that I bought a little airplane engine? It’s a real internal combustion engine that is like a car motor. It burns high octane gasoline. I am mounting it in a boat which is a model cruiser. It should go about 15 miles per hour. I will bring it in to show you on Sunday. I started it up this afternoon and it sure roared. Tonight in study period I was fooling around with it and I accidentally started it. I sure was scared and I couldn’t shut it off. I grabbed the flywheel to stall it and the thing only turns over about 10,000 times every minute so I slightly burned my thumb but I finally got it stopped! I was sure scared the study teacher would hear because it makes an awful roar.

See you Sunday xxx



The Boys

I shared some time today with two of my favourite boys.

After dropping the monsters off at school, I walked into the field and had some cuddle time with Derek. I have no idea why I feel this bond with this guy – being that I’m more than a little afraid of the bovine species – but man I love him. I think it’s because he was born into such tough circumstances, and not only survived but flourished despite the odds being against him that makes me admire him so much. Anyway, he’s awesome..


I had supper and did some errands with my human boy this evening. As I dropped him off at his grandma’s for the night he turned and ran back to the car and yelled “I love you mom”,  and then went inside. The bond I have with that kid is crazy strong, and it was born out of some pretty tough circumstances. I will never, ever take for granted the relationship I have with my kids. I feel so fortunate that they want to bring me so closely into their hearts.

My boys – happiness moments. Bliss. Love.