Derek and laughter

Derek the orphan calf moved out to the field a few weeks ago. While I have not missed the little presents he left in my yard (however they provided endless that’s bullshit jokes), I miss seeing his little face peering in my window looking for me to come give him cuddles.

I decided this afternoon it was time to go give dear Derek a visit so we headed out to the field. It apparently was nap time as he, Blindey, and the two cows they’ve been put with were all lying down. The other three got up and stared at me with caution (but didn’t move away) and Derek just perked his eyes up and stayed where he was. I went and sat beside him and we cuddled and cuddled for a good long time.

It’s important to note here that I am not a cow person. A horse, dog, cat, etc etc person yes – I’ve never really wanted to bond to a bovine. But Derek… oh Derek…. he captured my heart.

It was so sweet how he leaned right into my arms and really wanted those hugs so badly. Amazing how all us animals just want to be loved. Happiness moment right there.

As a bonus, when we got home Jacob played for me a couple of videos that had him laughing all day. We may have discovered the cure for depression – snorting, hiccuping, laughter.

No idea what he’s saying but omg is it funny

a man yodelling with chickens – what more do you need?


The last night

It’s the last night before the beginning of summer vacation. The last night I have to chase the kids to bed early(ish) so that they can get up and have a fighting chance of getting through the day. The last night I have to think about what I’m going to pack in lunches the next day (hallelujah).

It’s also the last time I have a kid in grade 5 and grade 9. How did the time go by so quickly?

I was thinking earlier today about how this really is their time. These are the years that hopefully they will look back on with fond memories. The years when their values and morals get shaped and formed, when their friendship bonds are made, when their sense of the security of home and family is established. I hope with all the crap of the last few years that they are able to say that some of it was goodWe all have our own baggage to carry no matter what our life story is – I hope they remember the good times, the people who love them, and come out it with the understanding that there is a tribe of people who love them and support them no matter what.

I had a beautiful happiness moment walking tonight with Jenna. She babbled the entire time about how much she enjoyed her field trip today, how excited she is about having friends over tomorrow, and how happy she is that summer is almost here. On the way back we passed a cow and her baby trotting off the other way on much the same kind of evening walk.


Exactly how it’s supposed to be 

Every once in a while there are those days that remind me that life is exactly how it’s supposed to be.  I thank God every day we are home – and a million times more on days like today. 

It’s hot, we had a family branding, I planted the heirloom purple potatoes, we are at the creek. There is very little I need in life beyond these simple pleasures to make me happy. I’m sitting here with Jacob, blowing bubbles and watching the girls swim in the water. Life is exactly how it’s supposed to be. A happiness day. 

Totally got him. I won!!


It’s May

It’s May already. On the 28th it will be a year since Dad died. I can’t believe it’s been so long already. So much has happened in this year, yet in other ways it feels like a lifetime. Sometimes now I can even talk about dad without immediately bursting into tears. Other times I’m still crying for no reason at all. I don’t think I’ll ever be used to him not being here 

My sister and family were down for the weekend and we had some fun full family time. Spring time at the ranch means calves, outside fun, and reuniting with neighbours after a long winter. 

Today was filled with seeing the newborn calf, blowing bubbles, running in the fields and doing puzzles. 

Last night we went up to the community hall for a family dance. I two stepped with my uncle (I really need to learn how to do that properly) and line danced like it was 1992. 

Being here with the tribe. That’s what it’s all about. 

My happiness moment: Jacob came in and asked me to make Mac and cheese for lunch. I told him to fill up a pot with water and go prepare to be an adult and look after things. He went into the kitchen and called me from the house phone. When I answered he said come make my Mac and cheese please. When I asked are you really calling me from the kitchen to come make your food? He responded with yes. You said go prepare for being an adult. When I’m am adult and I don’t know how to do things I plan on calling you to come do them for me. 

A happiness moment because it was funny, but also because he’s healing enough that he’s found his funny again. 


Oh Mickey…

I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time this afternoon and watched a newborn calf make its way into the world. For me a birth is always such a reminder of the joy and miracles that new beginnings bring. They are a thing to celebrate. 
This afternoon the kids and I had to go to town for a doctors appointment. On the way there was a homeless man standing with a sign asking for help. I got Jacob to reach into my wallet and pull out $5 for us to give to him. He was so touched and seemed  so happy to receive our gift. Because kindness is contagious the next few cars behind us also rolled down windows and gave him something as well. It was a good reminder that when you can’t take it anymore, it’s time to give   The world can always use more kindness. Now more than ever I felt that  there but for the grace of God go I. I am so grateful for my tribe who have helped us out. We are also in a time of new beginnings and there is a lot to rejoice in. 

On the way home Jenna cranked up Mickey by Toni Basil and we smiled and sang songs the whole drive. It is a wonderful happiness moment to realize that we are happy just because we are alive and together.


Geese in the sunset

I went out for a walk this evening that turned into a bonus happiness moment. I love where I live. Tonight I felt such peace and bliss as I walked my road with my dog. I feel more secure and stable with every step I make. We are walking  into a fantastic new life. 

A sure sign of spring. Calves in the yard.   

 Cows on the hill 


Geese flying into the sunset  
This one is from last night but it was much the same tonight. God’s beauty reflected in our world. 



What is love?

Love should make you happy. It’s that beautiful feeling of knowing you’re with someone who knows you to your deepest core and thinks you are wonderful. It’s tender, kind, loyal, faithful, and honest. It does not attack, betray, cheat, purposely hurt, or lie. It has taken me a long time to understand that love is not conditional and that I am only worthy of it if I behave in a certain manner. 

I’m finding the more I walk along in my happiness journey the more I’m finding love. It’s in big things and small things. I see it in the faces of my children every day. I saw it this morning when my big, strong, cousin’s husband gently fed a bottle to a newborn calf. I see it in our pets, and I see it reflected in the people who surround me. 

My happiness moment today was being with Jenna while she helped feed that calf for the first time. It was a beautiful, gentle act of kindness and I felt honored to be a part of it. 

I’m discovering that as long as I keep my eyes open I see love everywhere. It’s easier to find than I had ever believed. 


The swans (happiness bonus)

I made Jenna join me for forced family fun time this evening and we went for a walk along the ridge. Although it took some encouraging to get her there, once she got going she didn’t want to stop. 

It was a perfect Alberta spring evening. The mountains were sharp, the cows and calves were eating supper, the deer were out, and we were joined by the visiting swans. I love where we live. 

The naughty dotted dog discovering the deer 

The mountains   
The swans.  

Being on this ridge always makes me feel so much closer to dad. I miss him incedibly. The more we get into spring, the more I realize how long he’s been gone. It makes me happy to walk in a place that brought him such joy. 


Morning soul warmth. 

I need to add a happiness moment to my post from earlier today. 

As we were getting in the car to head to school this morning I looked east and saw this sight:

The sun rising over the hill while the cattle were grazing.  Every single second I count my blessings that not only are we home, but that we are home. Nestled right in the heart of our family, where our roots are planted, in the house where it all started, with views like this as a way to start the day. 

We are incredibly blessed and fortunate people. 



When I was a little kid my grandpa used to throw me in the truck beside him and take me out in the fields to check the cows. I have lots of fun memories of bouncing through the fields with him while he taught me to whistle, or told me stories, or as I listened to him curse the damn gate

He would tell me all the time to stay away from the cows, that they were dangerous, could charge for no reason, and were something to be feared (and in addition to the smaller Herefords, back then they also had Chianina cows which were monstrously huge). So, I ended up terrified of cows. Grandpa died when I was 7, and he never had the chance to reprogram me  so my fear remains. 

Yesterday they moved the cows and calves into the field behind my house. It’s a quarter section that stretches down the hill and across the creek. But even with all that space, the entire herd seems to find the need to huddle up in the corner between the barn and my garden all the while mooing their heads off. 

This morning there was one rogue cow who had escaped and was in the grass right beside my yard. We still aren’t sure where she wound up, but the assumption is that she found her way back through the fence. 

This afternoon I looked out my kitchen window and there were two cows in that same space. I called my cousin for back up because….. scared ….. I was sure if I tried to herd them back myself they’d for sure run the other direction. She said she’d be over to help. Of course within minutes there were four more naughty cows that joined the first two. They were making eyes at my garden, and I decided that my anger at the possibility  that they would ruin my garden outweighed my fear of the cows. 

I walked out and slowly and calmly guided all six back towards the fence. For a brief moment they were all doing exactly what I was asking. I and this huge hurrah moment. I was overcoming my fears. I was doing it!!!! Four of them jumped back into their field and then two bad asses turned around, ran through the horses’ electric fence and ran through the yard. I had to go retie the fence and contain the horses (and yell at the cows). My help arrived and she so competently and easily brought those cows back where they belonged. I learn a lot from her. 

Since life is all about the little moments, I have decided that today’s moment of happiness was that small, little moment of hurrah when I was facing my fear and feeling powerful.