Published: June 19th 2012June 17th 2012
Cory, Tai and Vicky
Lots of smiles and visiting on April 8th in Langham.
Easter Sunday! We are back at our home in Saskatoon. We were up bright and early so that we could head to Linda's parents in Langham. There, we feasted on a delicious lunch with a lot of Linda´s family present, 14 to be exact. After enjoying the traditional Easter dinner, we sent most people home, grabbed a nap like our parents, and then headed to North Battleford to have Easter supper in a private room at Mr Ribs with most of Maurice´s family. Then it was off to Tyler´s farm for the night.
Bennett woke us next morning. We made time for coffee and more visiting before heading out into the crisp, cold, fresh air of the farm. The wind caught us off guard and we needed to dress in order to keep warm and be outside all afternoon. Bennett kept Grandma busy as she kept him out of Tyler, Kim and Grandpa´s way while they did yard work and spring cleaning. Calving had begun and from time to time Tyler and Maurice would slip away to check on the progress of the 350 cows that they have calving this spring. Later in the day we headed up to Marc´s
Is that the Easter Bunny?
Tai meets a stuffed Easter bunny from Great Grandma and Grandpa.
place by Turtleford to visit with Marc, Holly, Saydi and Ally-Anna. Marc and Maurice headed into Livelong to move the girls' playcenter from his other house. We helped set it up and spent more time outside with the kids in the warm spring weather. Before long it was time to go to Marshall to pick up our other 3 grandchildren and bring them back with us to Saskatoon for the remainder of the week.
The next morning, back in Saskatoon, we were awakened by 3 cheerful but hungry grand-kids. Getting ourselves organized after being away for a few months took the rest of the day. We still had lots of time for biking in the driveway, going to the park nearby and even managed to get some yard work done. At the park, Grandpa was very impressed with Sawyer´s ability to hit the ball on each pitch. Gracie would not be bested by Sawyer. It wasn't long and she was doing a fine job of hitting the ball as well. Easton was delighted to take Casey, their dog, up and down the slide with no interference from his siblings. We wondered who got tired out more or faster, the
At Mr. Ribs in North Battleford
Maurice's family enjoyed visiting and great food for Easter dinner. In attendance were Tyler, Kim, Bennett, Aaron, Colette, Beatrice, Gisele, Crystal, Arogorne, Jim, Rosemarie, Maurice and Linda.
kids or the grandparents. We reconnected with our neighbors, spent time in Langham with Linda´s folks and caught up with the rest of our family and some friends in Saskatoon for the next few days. All too soon it was time to take the 3 angels back to Marshall.
We celebrated Bennett´s first birthday out at the farm. There was visiting with family and friends, coloring, games, horse drawn wagon riding, lots of great food and an amazing birthday cake! Bennett destroyed his cake in fine style covering himself in blue icing! A bath was needed.
Linda left Maurice on the farm to be Tyler´s right hand man and headed back to Saskatoon. She took care of personal business in Saskatoon and was able to spend time with Tai, Vicky, Cory, Kody, Kristen, Colette and her folks. Linda got Kody ready for spring university courses, spent more time visiting Tai and marveling at our latest grandchild.
Meanwhile, Maurice, the farm hand, helped with calving. They were tagging up to 16 newborn calves a day! There´s always lots to do around the yard as well. Kim took advantage of Maurice´s time out there to get some things done,
Four generations of Blanchette Males
Alfred (94), Maurice (58), Tyler (33) and Bennett (1). The first Blanchette boy of this generation.
like moving sheds, cleaning out granaries, and doing odd job repairs. Linda joined the farmers on the weekend and became the assistant farm hand. We checked cows for new calves, tagged the ones we could, separated the pairs from the rest of the herd, played with Bennett and watched the dogs work the cows (the cows are very touchy about their babies at this point). We built a gate to help move the cows and Linda assisted Maurice while he removed trees with the tractor (can that man drive a tractor). We also realized how crazy pregnant cows were after watching some of their unusual behavior. We fed the pairs with Tyler´s great feeding set up and enjoyed the 25 degree spring weather.
We left the farm behind to catch up on some things in Saskatoon. We celebrated our second anniversary on April 24th. We helped Aaron with his basement renos and then headed back up to Marc´s to help out with house and yard things there. Then, once again Linda dropped Maurice back off at Tyler´s to continue being the hired man, and she then headed back to Saskatoon.
Jack, Linda´s brother, arrived from BC for Jerald´s
At Marc's Home
April 9th, it's morning and all of them are relaxed; Marc, Saydi, Ally-Anna, Holly and Maurice.
60th birthday party on the weekend of the 26th of April. Saturday Jack and Linda headed to North Battleford for the birthday bash. What a great event it was! At least 60 of Jerald´s family and friends attended the function, played games, enjoyed the elaborate food and of course, had a few drinks too. The party went on from mid afternoon till late in the evening! Lorna truly out did herself.
Monday morning Maurice and Linda headed out on a road trip to Cannon Falls, Minnesota to trade Tyler and Kim's stock trailer and lodgings for a bigger, new one. We left at 10:30 Monday morning and arrived at 2PM Tuesday in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, an hour south of Minneapolis. After some minor complications which allowed us time to visit the Mall of America for shopping and a bit of sightseeing, we headed back to Canada. Maurice encouraged Linda to drive and use the brakes as little as possible. By the time we crossed the border Linda was comfortable enough to drive while Maurice was relaxed enough to nap. We arrived back in Saskatoon about 9PM on Thursday evening. Maurice backed that 35 foot trailer into the driveway just
Saydi on her battery powered quad
Saydi loves to be outside. Her mom is very good about her wearing her helmet. The quad goes about 1 km per hour.
as slick as could be. We felt that we had not rushed and were very comfortable with our trip. The scenery was spectacular, rolling hills, ponds and the neatest farmyards we have ever seen. Spring was earlier than in Saskatoon by about 3 weeks, the grass was green, the trees fully leafed out and the temperature a balmy 75 degrees F.
Linda helped Kristen pack up for her move out of her shared trailer. We celebrated Vicky´s birthday at Total Happiness Restaurant on May 4th. Maurice and Linda packed up once again, then headed to Marc´s farm for his surprise birthday party the next day. Aaron joined us. It truly was a surprise for Marc! There was a great sit down meal, lots of visiting and laughter. Around midnight Marc encouraged all in attendance to tattoo his leg! Maurice won the award for best touch. Next morning we helped set up the trampoline and clean up from the party.
After sandwiches we headed to Tyler´s for a visit, because it is so close to Marc´s and helped put on a garage door. We then hustled back to Saskatoon to be sure that Kristen´s move went well, and it
Linda, Sawyer, Easton and Gracey are the monkey head people. We stopped off in Langham to give Linda's folks a giggle.
did, in spite of the rain. Linda spent time with Kristen the next day and then joined Maurice at Aaron's where he was working on the rototiller. The basement at Aaron´s had seen a lot of construction as he's installing a basement suite, so while Maurice worked on his machine, Linda cleaned up the basement so the work could proceed much more comfortably.
We celebrated Maurice´s birthday by having a garage party. Many friends and acquaintances came over for beer and a burger. The weather was perfect and the company was terrific. 58 and doing GREAT Maurice!
Next day Maurice worked on the rototiller at Aaron´s some more so I helped by staying out of his way and cleaning out Aaron´s garage. By 2 PM Maurice had his machine running so we took it home, got it in the garden AND nothing! The tines would not turn. We again stripped it down to the gears, got all the parts moving, put it back together again AND AGAIN....nothing. We did it again and again and then realized that the new part we were installing was faulty. Maurice took the part back and went to get the old part rebuilt
Casey wears a Camo Vest
Gracey puts Casey in a vest to keep him warm. The dog is very patient and lets her do most anything to him.
instead. Linda worked to get the grease off and out from under her fingernails! Yuck! That evening , we chose to go watch Aaron´s ball game rather than work on the rototiller.
Next day we were off to Tyler´s farm again. This time we helped move cows with calves back to the home pasture to prepare for branding the next day. Linda got to use the fancy zero turn mower to cut the grass in the farm yard. Tyler and Maurice mended corrals before we headed to Vawn for steak supper. Then we headed back to the farm to clean and organize the garage so that those attending the branding had somewhere to sit and relax while enjoying refreshments and supper.
Next morning, we were up with Bennett and had a quick coffee. We brought in the first batch of cows with calves, about 70 pairs. We needed to separate the cows from the calves. We drove another 210 pairs across the pasture and into the corral and held them there for the time being. Cowboys and girls arrived to help with the branding. A table was set up with all the medicines needed, as well as the
Gramdpa loves his popcorn, and so do Sawyer and Easton.
horn burner, branding irons and tags. The calves were roped and dragged about 30 feet to the waiting fork that would hook their heads and then the roper would stretch the calf. A tag went in one ear, a growth hormone in the other ear, the head was checked for nubs where the horns might grow and were burnt off, a vaccine was given in the neck and another behind the front leg, the calf was castrated if male, it was branded and finally given a delouser along the back. The roper then dragged the calf away and released him.The whole procedure was done in under a minute! It was very humane and done very efficiently. Because of our effective teamwork, we were able to process 275 calves in under 6 hours.The calves were then released to find their mothers and ease them of their full bags of milk. At the end of the day the herd was sent off into the pasture away from the corrals. We took only 2 breaks during the day to eat the delicious food Kim prepared for the 20 or so workers. No one stayed too long after a full day's work. Linda had
Bennett's First Birthday Party
So many people to see, gifts to open and lots of action.
sore feet and Maurice a sore back from all the bending.
Tyler brought in the heifers the next morning for their branding, tagging, and such. After finishing with them we called it quits and left a very tired but happy Tyler, Kim and Bennett to relax for the afternoon.
Mother´s Day started with coffee in the sun on our patio. We joined Vicky's family for Dim Sum in the afternoon and later in the day, Linda´s kids and Aaron were over for a back yard barbeque. Linda received 2 beautiful bouquets of flowers and they reminded us of Mexico, what a treat!
The next few days saw Linda preparing for her return to Mexico City. We worked a little more on the ¿?&%$"! rototiller, still not working, went highchair shopping, visited with Luc and Colette, had a few brunches and dinners with friends and family, planted our and Lulubelle´s gardens and smiled at how well our yard and plants were progressing. Linda got the royal send off on Thursday night from her kids, Janice and Colette and Luc.
Friday morning, Joanne, Linda´s cousin arrived with her daughters Keeley and Cristianna. We met up with Donna and
Tyler with his team and wagon
Tyler took the guests for long rides with his team and wagon. It was cold but SO much fun!
Aunt Sophia and headed off to Edmonton for a girls´weekend. We checked into the Mayfield Inn in Edmonton and then enjoyed the fabulous dinner theater "Chicago", compliments of Joanne. Very Impressive! Next day we went off to the West Edmonton Mall to explore and shop. We were out of energy by late afternoon so we had a lovely sit down meal at the mall, headed back to the hotel and played cards and visited till we´d had enough fun.
Next morning, after yet another fantastic brunch, we decided to go for a long walk in the picturesque park by the river. That was not enough exercise for Donna so once we got back to the Mayfield Inn we had a few games of squash, then hit the hot tub and pool. We dolled up for dinner and found the High Level Restaurant. We enjoyed a gourmet meal overlooking the river. More cards followed and then we were off to bed. Monday we checked out of the Inn. Joanne and I were driven to the Edmonton International Airport some 20 miles away so we could catch our flights to Mexico City. We said our farewells and vowed to do another
The Cake Before
The cake was beautiful and elaborate....the farm theme of course.
weekend like that again soon. A couple of hours later, Linda and Joanne were in the air and on their way!
There are more photos below