Whatever it takes

We have 4 little calves running around on the homestead now, and these are just little guys. Bottle feeders that we picked up from a local feedlot. Originally we started with 5, but 3 days ago we lost one. Kind stinks but I guess that how it goes with these types of situations. Sometimes you can do everything in your power, and it just doesn’t work out.

We are at the same point again with Coby’s little calf, Sadie. She was taking the bottle really well, but has now been weakened by Scours, or diarrhea. We are now having to stomach tube her to make sure she gets her nutrients. Both the milk replacer and an electrolyte solution. It’s a pain, but, sometimes that what’s involved when you want to raise your own meat. I could only imagine what it would be like to have 40 or 50 or more calves at one time.

 

Cows and Computers

After the last two days of technical difficulty, I’ve had enough. I picked up a new computer and, we bought 5 little calves! Yesterday was a super busy day and super exciting! Now with bottle feeding these little guys, we’re going to be even busier for the next while.

Hockey in the off-season

Well, regular season might be over, but that doesn’t mean there is no hockey to be had. Actually, it’s pretty much as easy as pie to play year ’round, or to have your kids play year ’round. As Alan Jackson once said, “It just takes money.”

Some people still think that having your kids in spring hockey or summer hockey means that their kid is somehow a better player than “other” kids from his/her team. Nope. Not true. Not anymore. Now, anyone can pretty much make any off-season team if their parents are willing to fork out the cash to make it happen.

We take a different approach to the game. I want to give my kids all the help they can get when they are playing something they love so much. So during the regular season, we make sure they’re at every practice, have good performing and safe equipment, and we even get them into specialty sessions, camps and a little one on one training. But pretty much only during the regular season. Once hockey is over, it’s okay for it to be over for a while. Grass is turning green, the temperature is warming up and the days are getting longer. There are so many things that can be done outside now, and why waste this nice weather stuck in an arena if you don’t have to be. Okay, that sounds different than how I probably mean it. I love hockey. The game, the lifestyle, all of it. But, with anything that we really enjoy being a part of, it’s good to sometimes take a break. A little stroll in another direction for a while.

I’m looking forward to that part of the year right now. But, our one last kick at the cat is a fun little 3 on 3 tournament that is hosted by the Wheatland Athletics Association. It’s a great time (a little disorganized on the minor level of who get’s which dressing room etc…) and all in all a pretty fun weekend.

Both boys finished their semi-final games on the winning side and are going into Sunday playing for the tournament banner. Coby for PeeWee and Isaiah for Atom.

It’s really nice (and rare) that both boys play at the same arena, and even nicer that all games are here in Strathmore. Kind of makes for a nice little hockey wind-up weekend.

And, here’s the second video in the 30 day video challenge. It’s a vlog of yesterday’s hockey-centric activities.

 

It’s a 30 Day YouTube Challenge!

30 Day Challenge titile

It’s a personal challenge. In an effort to do more of what I really enjoy doing, but somehow don’t seem to prioritize and never seem to get around to. Isn’t it a shame that so many of the things we love to do in life are often things we rarely do? Fishing, hiking, a day at the spa for those who are into such things? Well, in effort to do more of what I love doing, I’m going to shoot, edit and upload one video a day to YouTube. I love making videos. I have heaps of ideas of videos I want to shoot, but somehow, just don’t get around to making the videos as much as I would like to.

Enough is enough, personal challenge accepted. It won’t be easy, and I can’t guarantee it will happen flawlessly or that I’ll even end up getting more than 75% of the 30 videos made. But, I’m pretty sure that by at least trying to take this challenge, I will have made more videos that if I don’t. And that’s kinda the whole point.

Stay Tuned.

Our First Giveaway!

win this handmade knifeWell, to get things moving further over on the youtube channel, I have decided to give away a handmade knife. We haven’t really shared much on the knife-making front here the blog, but it does happen and it happens fairly often. What started as a hobby and a way for me to have all the knives I wanted without having to drain the bank (knife collecting can be an expensive habit) has turned into a fun little side hustle that is starting to gain some momentum. It was about 3 years ago that I tried making my first knife, and since then they have steadily been getting better.

I’ve started to sell a few here and there and I am now getting orders for one-off custom knives from collectors in the United States. It feels nice to have people want and appreciate things that you make by hand. Anyway, I did a video on making a bushcraft knife and showed all the steps involved. That video is here:

Part of the reason for making that blade was so that I could have that exact knife to use as a giveaway once the SLL youtube channel reaches 2000 subscribers. We’re at just over 430 now so it’s a bit of a ways to go, but I think that it’s a fairly attainable goal. Especially if we can keep putting up half decent content for people to watch. There are tons of channels on YouTube that have multi-thousands of subscribers, and some in the millions, so really, 2000 is not by any means a big YouTube channel, but I think it’s a pretty decent start. Anyway, here’s the announcement video of the contest. Make sure to subscribe, and comment on the video that I will put up once we reach 2000 subscribers and you could win this knife!

Getting a greenhouse!

We had plans to head out in the next week or two and pick up all the materials needed to build an Ana White greenhouse. Around here, we could pretty much start planting in a green house right away.

Steph did some searching on Kijiji, mostly looking for anyone selling the corrugated plastic panels that we could use to build with. If we hadn’t found anything on Kijiji, we were simply going to buy new. Well, Steph’s search yielded incredible results int he form of a really well built high-end greenhouse that some folks simply wanted removed. And it was for $100. Basically the gentleman simply wanted to reclaim some of his yard and needed the greenhouse removed to do that. He had it built over 15 years ago.

The long side of the greenhouse
The long side of the greenhouse

So, my Father-in-law was willing to run $100 into the city (as Steph and I both had prior obligations we couldn’t get out of that day) so that we could be the first to put down the deposit, and then we could work out a time to remove it from his yard.

Front of the greenhouse
Front of the greenhouse

Well, yesterday I started the removal. This structure is amazing! Very well built and I guess it was the exterior of an office building for Amaco back in the day. Then it was repurposed as this greenhouse. Kind of cool to see something with such a long and ongoing life cycle, rather than just being taken to the dump.

Comes with a working gas furnace!
Comes with a working gas furnace!

Yesterday I managed to get all of the roof panels, trusses, furnace, blowers, doors all other accoutrements removed and hauled back to the homestead. I’ll be heading back tomorrow with my Father-in-law to pickup the rest of it.

Small porch-style door on the one side.
Small porch-style door on the one side. The other side has a double-sliding patio door, but I forgot to get a picture of that.

I think that I’ll end up putting this on a metal skid (I was originally planning on pouring a concrete foundations) as I would then be able to move it around if needs be. Also, no need to permit a building that is on skids, because then it’s not a permanent structure.

Really a nice looking greenhouse for a hundred bucks.
Really a nice looking greenhouse for a hundred bucks.

Looking forward to getting this little project underway on our land. Hopefully within the next 3 weeks to a month, we’ll have it ready with plants growing in it. Stay tuned:)

Here’s a little tip for chopping firewood

With the wood burning stove in the sea-can shop, I’ve been going through firewood a lot faster that I had thought I would. I’ve burned up almost 3/4 of a cord already, and it’s been a mild winter. With lots of wood burning comes lots of wood chopping. I found a little trick that makes this job much quicker.

Wood chopping TipUse an old tire (I just used one from my  pickup when I replaced the tires) and stand the wood you are chopping up in it. Make sure you get it nice and tight, and when you chop, it stays put. No flying firewood, and after you’re done chopping, gathering up all the pieces is a snap. I’m not overly big on little “tips and tricks” for the most part; and I really didn’t think this one would be as effective as it is. But it actually makes a big difference. Something I thought was worth sharing. Cheers!