Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Catchin' Up

I feel the need to do some catchin' up, so today will be a hodge-podge of topics. Here's a good ol' boy (Walter) flipping pancakes at the Mother's Day breakfast. He took time out, at his busiest time of year, to don an apron and spatula. Good on ya, Walter!Here's Art building his empire of tires. He's got plans for some wonderful gardening this summer. Check out his blog http://www.home-on-the-hill.blogspot.comWhat the heck do you suppose this is? It looks like some sort of nest, but who's? There was another one under a bush and when I poked it there was a very fierce buzzing sound. I didn't stick around to see who I had just P-O-ed.Our truck is only really big enough for Art and I, so we had to find a way to travel with a dog. Art built this clever doggie-deck. It lifts up so we can store all of our crap under it and put Xena's blankie and assorted paraphenalia on top. She looks like she's having a hard time adjusting, doesn't she?Our little angel had a hoot of time at Auntie Echo and Uncle Grant's. They had a bunch of dirt to dig in. Wheee!I noticed this when we were camping at Howard Lake. I wonder how many people have tried to actually plug into it.Art and Xena having some quiet time in the Boler.On the way home, we stopped at Canim Lake. Art lived here as a teen. The water is VERY high (he's standing on a rock).All my bird feeders were empty when we got home. I quickly refilled them all, but I guess the hummers packed their bags because only one or two have returned since. I'm sad about that. There was a new visitor, though. At first I thought it was a pigeon, but it is in fact a Mourning Dove. Pretty.On Sunday, we went on a fieldtrip with the Burns Lake Rockhound Club. They booked a barge to take us to the north side of Babine Lake, and we spent the day exploring miles and miles of logging roads. It was a total blast!

Monday, May 29, 2006

A boy and his dog

We're back, and had a good little vacation. There is much to tell, but first and foremost is the new addition to our family. This is Xena.Ain't she the cutest? We got her on Mother's Day, but I didn't tell you about it because we wanted to surprise the Rockeys. Barb is an avid dog lover and I couldn't wait to see her face. I also respect very much how she has trained her own dogs and aspire to be as good a "Mom" as she is. This is all very new to me, that's for sure, but I am determined to make it work. My true love are cats and I know a LOT about their behaviour and care, but puppies .... not even an eensie-weensie bit close. So the learning has commenced, for all three of us, and it's proving to be a challenge. I hope we survive it.

I think we've probably confused the poor little girl. The first 10 days of her life with us were spent camping in the Boler. I guess she took it to be her "den", so there were no bathroom mishaps. But now that we're home and she is in the house, it's just mayhem. Even with Art sleeping on the living room floor to help her transition better. So, last night was the first night that the spare bathroom was made into her new den. Her blankie, food dishes and all chew toys were put in there and she spent the night alone. She cried a lot, but eventually calmed down. Here's what it looked like in there this morning, though. She ravaged a couple of rolls of toilet paper, but that was the extent of any damage.There's a lot we don't know about Xena. The whole litter was rescued from a ditch on the local Indian Reserve. They were 5 or 6 weeks old. She looks a little Golden Retriever, a little Husky and there's some smaller breed(s) mixed in. Her foster Mom brought her to the Mother's Day breakfast here in Endako and, as a joke, Art bribed the little boy who was playing with her to let him show her to me and ask if he could keep her. The Mom jumped right in and said "she's yours!". Art was immediately smitten. How could I say "no"? And God's clever. He makes them so adorable so that we won't choke the living @#$%! out of them when they're misbehaving.

When we got home, the fields were full of dandelions. Acres and acres of yellow. Gorgeous!Also, Carol will be very happy to know .... the cow's have arrived! While we were gone, Walter fixed the fence (to keep them out of the house area) and "drove" them up. I kinda would have liked to see that. On horseback, they just herd them down the road from their place to ours and close the gate behind them. This was taken from the veranda. There had to have been over 50 in total (a bunch not in the picture).Here's Art and Xena watching a few of them walking past into the west pasture. I don't think Xena's ever seen cows before. She sure was curious, and afraid, which is a good thing. We don't want her chasing them.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

While I was napping

I'm very glad to report that I am back on the road to recovery. I felt so horrible yesterday I layed down for just a minute. A couple of hours went by and I had missed all kinds of stuff. Walter and Audrey brought some friends to visit. She brought me this plant (she's so nice).It's a "mockorange".

Art showed them the shed work he's been doing and they found me another bird feeder hidden in one of the barns. Yay! I was just thinking of trying to make one. Our yard is getting to be a real aviary. I love it. I now have 6 hummingbird feeders up and have lost count of how many hummers....around 12. The kitchen window is now a cat TV.

There's much more to tell you about ..... my day with the farrier ..... Mother's Day breakfast at the Community Hall ..... and some other fun stuff. It'll all have to wait til we get back from our campout, in about 10 days.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What is going on?!?!

My good heavens, I think I'm going to MELT!!! It's bloody 38 degrees out there! That's in the sun, of course. It's only 27 in the shade, but still...... let's have some moderation here. Sheesh! There is one thing that's cool about a log building, though ..... it's cool. I think I'll just stay inside. I'm nursing a terrible cold right now, anyways. After a week, I've now lost my voice. Nothin's gonna keep me from going camping, though. Here's Art working on getting the Boler ready to go.We are leaving on Thursday for a weekend of rockhounding at Heffley Creek (near Kamloops). Of course, I may regret that if it stays this hot. That's just a stupid place to go when it's hot out .... unless you like it hot .... which I don't. Anyways, back to rocks .... it's a yearly event known as "Rendezvous", where rockhounds from all over get together for fieldtrips and fellowship. After that, we're going to Howard Lake to camp with our friends Mike and Barb Rockey. Hopefully, all the yahoos will be gone by then. One reason we prefer winter camping is because, usually, the only yahoos are us.

Saturday, May 13, 2006 a big pizza pie

Moonrise last night.

No fenceposts, yet

Well, the fence building got postponed yesterday, so Art went for a little toodle on the quad. He took my video camera and shot some panoramas from the high ground at the back of our property (I'm putting together that video for my Mom). It's getting really pretty now that things are turning green. Not all the trees are budded yet, but almost. He's wearing gloves and an extra quilted shirt because it's still a little nippy out there. We're lucky up here on the hill, though, because it's tropical compared to down in the valley .... where it got to -7 last night!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Fences and horseshoes

Today we might be putting in fence posts. The grass is turning very green and it's time to get those cows up here (they are our lawn mowers), so Walter's son-in-law, Russ is coming up to do a little fence re-arranging for us. Last year the cows had free run of the entire place. I don't really mind the strategically placed cow pies, but they have no regard for gardens. Shrubs and ornaments just get broken. So, this year we are fencing them out of the house area. Now we'll have to cut our own grass .... either that or get a goat.

Tomorrow is horse shoeing day at the Reads'. Walter and Audrey's son, Calvin, is a master blacksmith and makes the horseshoes from scratch, right there. I'm very interested to see that, so will be taking my camera along for sure.

As Art would say...... " What fun we do have !!! "

Happy B.D. Rock

Yesterday was our very good friend, Rockey's, birthday. I hope it was a great day, big guy. We'll celebrate with a Kelly Kettle cup of tea when we meet you for camping in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Smile, you're on camera!

I have been learning how to use my video camera more and found a very cool feature. The camera can take stills as well as video, so I don’t need the separate digital camera anymore (good thing, coz I think I wore it out). I was finding it a bother, though, to switch back and forth between stills and video. Then I discovered that I can take stills FROM the video. What I mean is, take video of everything. Later, at my leisure, play the video and snap stills at the points I like. That’s just the BEST!!! It’s the only way to get the shot I want from something that is moving. Like Art swinging the axe, or birds flitting around. The stills get plonked onto the memory stick (like a compact flash card), which I received the other day. What I didn’t know when I bought it was that it requires a special reader to get the pictures off the camera and onto the computer .... or a special USB cable. Neither of which came with the darned thing, of course. So now I’m waiting for a cable to arrive. Can't just whip over to the local computer store. Have to mail order everything.

The other thing I have finally figured out .... after a lot of trial, tribulations and swear words .... is how to get the video off the little tapes the camera uses onto my VCR. (I’m quite proud of myself, actually. I’m either a very good figure-outer or I’m really dumb. I vote for the former). I have been promising my Mom a tape of our new home for ages and I wanted to give it to her for Mother’s Day. It’ll be a little late now, but at least I can do it. Still pictures just don’t do some things justice and the only way to really show what this place looks like, and convey it’s size, is to put it on video. I doubt that Steven Speilberg needs to watch his back or anything, though .... yet.

Here's that kooky Chickie, using that rock pillow again. Only now she's just lazily watching birds out the window. In the old house, there used to be a great big rock that sat on the living room floor. It was her favourite. She would lay next to it and prop herself up on it. I don't know how that could have been comfortable, but she did it a lot.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Do bears poop in the woods?

The other day, next to the woodpile right beside our house, there was a big mound of fresh bear poop. Right when I snapped this picture, Art was explaining that, based on the size of the deposit, “it’s arse-hole must have been THIS BIG!” (it's the black blob just over Art’s left shoulder in the picture)I’ve got 3 hummingbird feeders up now (do you like the ingenious hanging device for that one in the middle?), but it’s not enough. I’ve got one more that I’ll put farther away. They really do fight, those little guys. Sometimes it sounds like a beehive out there.Here’s Chickie, taking a break from a hard day of bird watching and general sentinel duty. She’s so tired that even a rock makes an OK pillow.On Saturday night we had our second card making party at Walter and Audrey’s. She cooked another feast (if I keep going there for supper, I’m never going to lose this weight!) and we had hoot of a time. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. There were no kids around, so even Walter and Russ joined in on the crafting.On Monday it was time to crack down and get some database work done. Art was moaning a little about how he’d rather be outside and just then Audrey called. She and Walter were delivering 2 bulls to a ranch near Houston and invited us to go along for the ride. ABSOLUTELY! It was a beautiful day (although it did try to snow a little here and there), the scenery was breathtaking and the company was A-one. They gave us the grand tour, pointing things out as we went. We stopped for lunch on the way, pie and coffee on the way back and they introduced us to people they knew. The ranch we went to was 32.5 km down a logging road and up a hillside facing Mount Nadina.Stunningly beautiful. They are off grid, so use a generator for power and have satellite internet and VOIP telephone. My kind of lifestyle. I didn’t want to leave! Here’s Art, Walter and the couple that live there, standing in front of Walter’s truck and cattle trailer.Audrey also did something very special. She gave me this cookbook, which is a collection of her family's favourite recipes. She even inscribed it to Art and I. What a sweetie! I love that woman.

I’ve been taking a lot of video of birds and was sitting on the veranda stairs when I thought that this was a cool angle of the burl logs.Speaking of taking pictures…..I hope you enjoy all the pictures I have been posting. I just think it makes the blog more fun. And I know that the family and friends that we left behind in Vancouver and Victoria are curious about where we have moved to.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Deer, birds and Gramma's house

We took a trip into Vanderhoof yesterday, to do some shopping. Besides the usual groceries, etc, we picked up some seed potatoes and a few more small hummingbird feeders. I read that it's best to have a few because hummingbirds get possessive and don't like to share. Now we are on the hunt for some old truck tires. Art is going to build potatoe planters out of them.

I do have one complaint about the day. We stopped for lunch in the mall. Not a fancy place, but quiet. Well, for a little while anyways. Right next to us ..... and I mean right next to us ..... a group of 4 Moms and their collective brood of about 10 babies/toddlers plunked themselves down. Screamin' and cryin' and general mayhem ensued for the next half hour. What is up with that anyways? Surely it can't be fun for those women, but they seem to be deaf to it. It's like it's their only chance to visit with each other, so be damned how much their heathens are disturbing the peace. Anyways .... that's my rant for the day.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the shed project continues.I helped Art put up fascia boards and then he got inspired to build this covered bird perch. What do you think? Pretty creative, eh?

Are you getting tired of deer pictures? I'm not. There are 2 families (3 in one, 5 in another) that visit us twice every day. They are coming right up to the house now. They run away a little when we get too close, except for this one. He just posed for us as we drove by.I know that I might not be so fond of them once the garden is planted and they try to eat it. We will just have to make it deer-proof. I just love so much to have the wildlife around me. And that I cannot see or hear people.

I took this picture on my evening walk to "Gramma's". That's the name of the second house on our property. The former owners built it for their gramma and she lived in it 'til she died. It currently sits empty on the hill above our house. Everyone in the community still refers to it as "Gramma's", so we just continue to call it that.

The memory card for my camera arrived today. Yay! Now I can go crazy taking pictures again.

We were supposed to go to Burns Lake tonight. It's the monthly meeting of our new Rockhound club. Unfortunately, our truck is out of commission again. Tom and Art worked for most of the afternoon, changing the power steering pump. The job went fairly smoothly, but at the end the pump was leaking fluid. Turns out it is defective and they'll have to replace it again tomorrow. Oh well, no big deal. Hey ..... am I getting Endako-ized?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lotsa little things

Here's a few more pictures from Mike and Carol's visit (although the pictures are of Carol....Mike was around somewhere).
I think my Mom will get a giggle from this one. Art on his bucking bronco!Last Friday, we had a date at Walter & Audrey's for supper and a card making party. There turned out to be 9 of us, with Art at the helm. Walter, Russell and Lane (the other 3 guys) hi-tailed it outside to do "chores" because they didn't want nothin' to do with that girly stuff. Pretty soon, though, we saw them sneaking back for a look. I think we were having too much fun. Lane couldn't resist and ended up jumping right in. After all, there were some cute young girls around that dummie him!

We completed 100 cards in about 3 hours, but there's still 100 more to go. So, this Friday we'll do it all again.

We're still getting to-and-fro weather. Yesterday we froze, today it's too hot. There's a helluva wind that blows here sometimes, which chills ya to the bone. Real nice in summer, though. Keeps the bugs away.

Art's been working hard on that shed project. He took time out to help me extend my bird feeder. We made it taller, with more room for bigger birds and anchored it with some boulders of that gorgeous pink granite we have laying around on the property.

I saw our first hummingbird the other day. He stopped at my feeder and he looked like he's had a long journey. We also spotted a big fat, handsome marmot living in a stack of fallen poplar at the end of our driveway. Art always sees him first, as we're driving by, so all I ever see is his big round butt as he goes into his burrow.

I ordered a bunch of flower seeds, some tomatoes and purple carrots. Can hardly wait for those to arrive so I can do a little planting.

I also had to order a new memory card for my digital camera. I must have worn it out because it used to hold 300 pictures, but now will only hold 20. That'll just never do.

Oh ... and this morning .... a touch of excitement. See this unfinished balcony? It is off our bedroom, on the 3rd floor of the house.

I had the door open to take pictures of these guys in the front yard.Chickie, my little tabby cat (who is usually the smart one) decided to explore a little. When I looked down from my camera all I saw was her rear end sticking out of this little hole.
Can you see the hole I'm talking about? It's that triangle in the right corner. Here's a close-up.

And here's a look at it from the other side. It's that triangular bit of sky you can see above the stairs.Nowhere for her to go but down. She couldn't turn around. She couldn't back out. I felt my heart fly into my throat. I went out as far as I could (you did notice that there are no railings, right?) and layed down. I couldn't reach in very well, so grabbed her tail and pulled. She didn't like it too much, but I got her out enough to grab onto more of her. I finally had her in my arms, fur flying, and scared spitless (and that was me).