What the Pandemic has Taught Me!

At the ranch we are focused on All Things Tourism and of course that has come to a grinding halt! We have had many weeks to do the things that we never seem to have time to do and we’ve learned to do a few new things too. Now that I have some time on my hands I thought I would share some “Reflections from the Ranch” with you.

First off, I have never written a blog before but was encouraged to do so by our marketing peeps at Nonfiction Studios Inc. I just have to take a minute to commend the team at Nonfiction as they have been so supportive during this difficult time; always good to have people you can depend on when the world turns upside down! So here goes…

Running a B&B means never getting to sleep in. We deliver a two-course hot breakfast to the cabins each morning so I am usually up at the crack of dawn. I have discovered that I love sleeping late! I like it even more when my husband Marv puts the coffee on and brings me a steaming cup as soon as my eyes pop open. Of course he has been up since 5:00 a.m. feeding horses and shovelling “you know what.” Given that we have to wash our hands a 100 times a day, I don’t have to worry that he hasn’t washed before making the coffee and after shovelling “you know what.” There is an upside to hand washing and not just in the middle of a Pandemic!

Our beautiful property has lots of trees but some of them have fallen or been cut down over the 27 years that we have lived here. Needless to say that is a lot of wood to split and I think Marv is well into his third or fourth cord. Many of our friends and neighbours will have wood for their camping adventures if the campgrounds open this summer…fingers crossed that it happens soon!

Marv also has more time to trim feet; not his own, but the horses certainly have great looking hooves! I wish he was as good at people pedicures as horse pedicures because I could use a trim and a coat of polish too, and I don’t kick like his equine clients! Given that we have no access to spa services, I have heard that some husbands have been painting toenails and cutting/colouring their wives hair. For obvious reasons they shall remain nameless. Do you remember your Mom cutting your bangs when you were younger? They just kept getting shorter and shorter as she tried to get them straight. That is not happening again in my lifetime! You might wonder why a ranch gal need a spa? Someday, I’ll tell you what happens when a cowboy marries a princess but that is a blog for a different day!

I have always loved baking but I don’t do it that often as I don’t have the time and we don’t need the extra calories! I have never baked bread but seeing that there was no flour and no yeast in the grocery stores I assumed that I was missing out on a popular experience so I thought, why not? I had flour and yeast; not sure why I had yeast when I don’t bake bread??? I could do this! I found a recipe with only 4 ingredients and the prep time was only 8 minutes excluding the rising/baking time. The loaf was amazing and we ate half of it before it had a chance to cool. I put the recipe on our Facebook page if you want to try it. https://www.facebook.com/RockingRGuestRanch/

I am also baking cakes and cookies and sharing them with family and friends. They get delivery to their front step. I made a chocolate layer cake for our Easter dinner. The day after, I looked at the remaining cake and decided that the two of us didn’t need to polish that off over the next few days so I took the cake over to the neighbours. Sadly, it was moving day at their house and I thought the moving guys might like a piece of cake. Best neighbours on the planet and we are going to miss them!

After days of isolation I find I am texting less and talking more. Reinvent the art of conversation – I think you will find it refreshing! I also have more time for research and have some great ideas for new experiences at the ranch once life gets back to normal. In the new normal, I think people will need to “unplug” and get back to the business of living; walking, riding, roasting marshmallows over the campfire, soaking in the hot tub and being tourists in our own backyards. There are many “hidden gems” in the Canadian Badlands and we would love to help you find them! Continue to learn new things in this Pandemic and remember to be kind to each other.