Dry Creek Ranch 2002 Christmas Newsletter

Hello everyone! Sorry for the lateness of this newsletter. Not only was it a busy Christmas season, I decided it was time for my annual cold, which struck just before Christmas and is still plaguing me!  Annie helping to get the Xmas tree!
 Two bottle lambs, Thumbelina and Stella, keeping warm by the wood heater The year started off with another mild winter up until mid-March. Most of the lambs were already born and the calving had barely begun when the weather turned bitter cold. I don't even want to think about what the wind chill was - the temperature was -30 C and the wind was howling. Poor creatures! As it was, we lost 5 lambs (the mothers couldn't get them licked off before they froze), even with me checking every 2 hours. Fortunately, the only damage to the calves was a few ears - we have some calves with smallish ears now!
We had another cold spring, which lead to a delayed and low hay harvest. The summer weather was phenomenal - gorgeous hot, sunny and dry days. In fact, we're still in a bit of a drought. The summer meant easy haying, but just not very much in total - about one third to half of the usual. It was still a very enjoyable haying time as we bought a new tractor the previous fall and a new swather in May. It was nice to sit in an air-conditioned cab, listening to the news and zipping along at much faster mowing speeds. The lovely summer weather also meant I had the best garden I've ever grown in my life! We will be eating the produce until well into the new year, perhaps even close to next year's planting.
 Kid and I at North Thompson Fall Fair in Trail class My shoulders are coming along nicely - not 100% yet, but certainly well enough for me to ride again. I took Kid to the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo on the Labour Day weekend, along with rabbits, hay and wool. It was a busy, fun-filled weekend and we competed very well. I brought home enough prize money to pay for my entries and fuel.
Perry is still working at the mill in 100 Mile. Although the market has been drastically affected by the 29% import tariff imposed by the Americans, Perry's mill is still going strong. In fact, he has had to work some Saturdays to keep up. There has been some talk about retirement, which I hope he will do sometime soon! Coroner-wise, it was a quiet year but with a few interesting investigations again. Due to the advances in DNA technology (access as well as cost), we've even been working on some old "cold case" files. I'll keep you posted!
 Kate and the girls, December Anyhow, we're enjoying incredibly mild winter weather right now. There is less than 3" of snow and the coldest temperatures so far have been about -16 C. We've had mainly sunny days that are well above freezing and very little wind!
Anyway, life continues to be very busy for us, both ranch-wise and work-wise. I've said this every year and I'll say it again; it is such a rewarding lifestyle, that I can't imagine living anywhere else.
Well, I hope that all is well in your own household. Here's to a healthy, happy and prosperous new year! And, a happy, healthy and safe holiday for everyone.

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