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About the Blog

Tara is a wife, mother and rancHER, who along with her Other Half is busy raising kids, raising cattle and living life on a beef cattle ranch in southwest Saskatchewan. Her family is proud to be a part of the beef industry beef industry and want to share with readers a little bit about beef production, and why Canada is home to some of the highest quality cattle, and safest sustainable beef, in the world! Come along and read about the western way of… the good, the bad and the ugly!

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Cuts Like a Knife

Last year after a bit of a chaotic fall, we took a hiatus from carving pumpkins. The kids were slightly disappointed but their overabundance of Hallowe’en candy eased the pain, their sorrow was short-lived. I may have actually missed carving the pumpkins more than the kids so this year, I was intent on accomplishing our ghoulish goals. One of my kids and I carefully selected shiny, orange pumpkins, we all discussed designs, weighed the options, and I sharpened my knives. I was pretty excited. I mean, for the kids’ sake, of course.

I’ve always appreciated a good pumpkin specimen and had a pretty large pumpkin patch when I was a kid. I used to grow so many pumpkins I sold them to a nearby grocery store, back before marketing products from gate-to-plate was even a “thing.” I sold small pumpkins for a dollar, medium-sized pumpkins for two, and three bucks would get you a nice, large pumpkin. Of course, being a little kid, I needed some level of support from an adult for my entrepreneurial adventure. My mom possessed an ever-useful drivers’ license, which was instrumental in getting the pumpkins from the origin to my market destination. She graciously donated a large portion of her garden in a prime low-lying area toward my cause, and probably more time than I actually realized as well.

My pumpkin patch gradually dwindled over the years, probably following a drought and I returned to growing pumpkins simply for my own decorating purposes. As I got older, I created spider webs, bats, cows, scary faces, black cats and full moons in my little round pumpkins. I preferred to concentrate my efforts on the impractical, never actually creating any useful like a pie or a loaf. Even in university, somewhere between mid-terms and Ag Bag Drag, my cousin and I would carve out time in our schedules to cut up a pumpkin or two. Come to think of it, most of my carving memories really came from adulthood.

This year, specifically for my kids’ enjoyment only (not mine, I swear!), we cut the tops off our pumpkins and scooped the seeds out, elbow-deep in orange slime. Not one to let children play with knives, I set forth cutting their designs out under careful supervision. One pumpkin was carved into a traditional jack-o-lantern, one was carved into a Ninja Turtle, and I carefully cut Cinderella and Prince Charming in a carriage on the third one. It was a tedious process, one that even extended over a couple of days, but I gave it my best effort. For the kids.

In one last selfless act of parenthood, I ruffled through their total mixed ration of Hallowe’en treats after the little gaffers were asleep. I took it upon myself to sort out a few goodies I deemed inappropriate for their tender, young palettes. You know, really bad things like M&M’s, rockets, full-sized chocolate bars, and licorice. I disposed of the excess sugar carefully, one treat at a time, until all I had left was a small pile of wrappers. Someone had to do it. For the sake of the children.