Wednesday, May 30, 2007

just checkin' in

You may not hear from me for a few more days. We are busy staining a log cabin on Francois Lake. It's almost an hour's drive (one way) so we are up at 4:30am and not home until almost bedtime. Today was our 3rd day and there's several more to go. I'll post pictures and will write more when I get a chance.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

finding time

I really don't like falling so far behind on my blog because then I just don't know where to start. And for Missus-Analytical-Brain know. Not that I live in the fast lane or have particularly scintillating topics, but I do like to share my pictures and I know family and friends are interested. Also, we have been hired to stain a log cabin on Francois Lake next week, so will be away from the computer for a few MORE days. So, I'll catch up here as best I can.

Now that the snow has melted, I can see my car again. Unfortunately, it has a flat tire and dead battery so will be staying put for a little while longer.Scored some old windows at the dump.Together with the ones I collected last Fall, they should make into a pretty nice greenhouse. Just gotta find the time to build it.Got some sand delivered and spread it over the new garden.Art was having so much fun zipping around in the skid steer that he didn't notice he had mowed over the fence. So, there was a bit of a delay while we fixed that. This method of fencepost driving sure beats hitting it with a sledge hammer .....

.... but the barbed wire had to be repaired by hand.Art tilled the sand in a bit, but it still needs topsoil and manure .... and maybe a bigger tiller.We've also been bringing wood home from Tom's. He gives us the scraps from his log-home building operation. The physical excercise does a body good, but the chopping is also great for releasing tension. Got a resentment? Chop up some wood. Art took some great action shots, but none of them too flattering. I like this one ... even though I'm not in full axe swinging mode.We figure 10 or 12 more loads and this area will be full and we'll be set for next winter.I have been working on my crocheted curtain tie-back project in the evenings in front of the TV. I'm close to finishing this first one. If I like how it turns out, I need to make 5 more.I have more to post, but Art has called me to help him with a programming problem. That's way fun, too.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I've been fooling around with Windows Movie Maker and spliced together some videos I took of hummingbirds. It was a rainy day, I was filming something else and the hummers were particularly active. They were buzzing all around me as I was standing between the 2 feeders. So this is a little bit of them fighting and some close-ups of them just sitting around. It's an old wives tale that they must continuously be in flight and that they will die if they stop moving. There's one little lady (I understand it's the females that are the aggressors) that sits on that green rock for long periods....guarding the feeder. This probably won't be the last time I post about these fascinating little birds. Especially now that I'm having fun with Movie Maker. I hope I don't bore you to death.

return of the cows

When I ambled out of bed this morning and looked out the window, this is what I saw.

Yup. The cows are back. I guess Walter brought them up last night. This is just a splinter group from the herd. The rest are further up the hill. But do you notice what's wrong with this picture?There are 3 cows on the wrong side of the fence! I hurried to put my boots on and get out there to see where they got through, only to find that up by "gramma's" the whole damned herd was on the inside of the fence. Something like 70 yearlings, which I'm told have all got attitude.

I tied up Xena because I didn't want her chasing them, Art jumped on the ATV and I walked up the hill wondering what to do. As soon as they saw Art, they came running towards him. I think that's how Walter has fed them all winter, so they associate the ATV with food. He then drove through the open gate (hmmmm....that answers how they got in). With a little extra encouragement from me, they all followed suit.

There is still a lot of fence repair that needs doing, so I'm sure we'll be seeing more of Walter over the next while. He was up here a few days ago with his tractor and fence-post driver, fixing the cattle guards.


Mabel and her calf. Taken from our veranda 3 days ago.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

quite the line-up

....of equipment, that is. These are the latest additions to our arsenal.OK, just kidding. They're Tonkas (Art is saving them for any future grandchildren, along with the "pony").But seriously....we are getting quite a line-up.

the new garden

We decided to make a new garden, so Tom came over and pealed the sod off for us with his excavator. I'm standing on the veranda of the house.

This is "before".....This is "after".....Xena is watching with me, but is just itching to be out there "helping". In the video on Art's blog she enters stage right after I finally let her go.Tom did all the digging, but while he was on a break Art gave it a whirl.When I was working at the dump, Tom offered to teach me to work that machine, but I was too chicken.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Jo's new excercise plan

Maybe I should write a book....or start a club. Maybe I'll get rich.

Here's the plan .... eat whatever you want and just follow this simple excercise routine every day .... unload a chord of wood (already cut into 2 ft lengths but unsplit) from the trailer it was hauled in on .... while one of you plants a splitting moll in the end of a log, the other whacks it with a sledge hammer until the log splits .... repeat for each log .... toss the resulting pieces from the chopping area to the stacking area (might require 2 tosses, depending on how close you are) .... stack neatly.

My arms and hands feel all woobly. Let's see how I feel in the morning. If I can't hold a fork to feed myself, then we may have the calorie reduced portion of the plan figured out also.

eye poppin'

These photos were taken only 2 1/2 days apart. When spring finally arrives around here, it does so with gusto!
Unfortunately, the big tree on the right has been killed by the dreaded Mountain Pine Beetle, which has devastated so much of the forests throughout BC. It will have to be chopped down. Too bad.

ATV cutie

This is our friend's little girl. I think she is around 4. She was so pleased to let me take her picture on her very own new ATV. Adorable!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

crochet progress

I'm getting there.

first bear of 2007

The bears are now out and about. This guy was in our east field yesterday. Xena gave him a little "woof", but seemed to know to just leave it be (thank goodness).

We watched a show on TV the other night. It was about wolves and how they had been eradicated from Yellowstone National Park by the infinitely wise species called Man. The impact of their absence was dire, even for, of all things, plants. When this was realized, then wolves were re-introduced to the area. Balance has been restored. That show left an impression on both Art and I and when we looked at that bear in our field we were happy to see him. All things are connected. He has a purpose and a job to do.

Sandhill Cranes

I've told you about the Sandhill Cranes that visit us daily. They usually keep just out of camera range, but this day they came VERY close to the house.

I was thrilled! Then someone (who shall remain nameless but her initials are XENA BLOMQUIST...) came barelling out of the house and chased them away. I wasn't quick enough with the video camera because I was yelling at her at the same time.

I know she's just a dog and didn't know why I was mad at her for the rest of the day.....but I was. Thank goodness, the cranes eventually came back. But it took a few days.

A lot of hard work

On Saturday, Art and his brother Tom put in an astonomical day of digging trenches and installing culverts in our kilometre long driveway (the chicken coop project is temporarily on hold). Check out Art's blog for more photos and some video. All in all, 1 conduit (to run water and electrical to the shops and garden)....
....and 4 culverts. As well as a little ditching and road widening in strategic places.Art's sister Cheryl (and Mike) came for a visit, and encountered the work in progress.It was back breaking work.....almost literally. All that manual labour left Art walking crooked over for the next few days.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mom's Day

Art is so sweet. Even though I am not a Mom he always gives me a card from "the kitz". I remember one year seeing Nikita (my dearly departed Calico) come racing out of his study with Art in hot pursuit.....until he saw me. Then he stopped dead in his tracks, stood straight upright and with his best poker face said...."nothing!" I hadn't even asked what he was doing. Well, it turns out he was making a card and was attempting to dip the cat's foot in food colouring so she could sign it. It just cracks me up every time I think of it.

Yesterday he made me another lovely card. This picture kind of looks like Blackie is saying "quick, you distract her while I sign it".

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Today is both sad and happy for me. It's the first Mother's Day since I lost my Mom. I know that all the "firsts" over this next year will be tough and this one sure is. My dear friend Sharon did something very sweet. She anticipated that it may be a difficult day so sent me a special card in the mail. What a good friend to be so thoughtful.

Now for the happy part. Today is the one year anniversary of our getting Xena. We were at a Mother's Day breakfast and someone there had this beautiful puppy named Susie. It was all kind of a blur how we ended up with her, but that day we became proud "parents". This is the very first picture I ever took of her. As a matter of fact, I believe that at this point Art was just "holding" her. She wasn't ours.After Art did some wheeling and dealing (with her owners AND with me) she was ours. She was such a cute little ball of fluff.....and so small! Walter can almost hold her in just one hand.Here's a little "then-and-now".Happy Mother's Day. I miss you, Mom.

Friday, May 11, 2007

we'll be drawin' straws

Straw is a very rare commodity in these parts. We've been trying to find some for over a year now. Yesterday our neighbours Walter and Audrey delivered a bale to us. Apparantly this is just a small one.Walter traded with Art for some electrical work. Ain't the barter system great? (shhh....don't tell the government)I've also been looking for birdfeeders, either to buy or make. All the ones I see to buy are ridiculously expensive, but I found these today in Burns Lake for under $5 each. Yay! I'm still going to make some nice ones, but these will sure do in the meantime.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

training intensifies

It was supposed to be my turn to lead Xena at Doggy School last night. She doesn't do too bad once she settles down, but when we first arrive she is super excited. Some brute strength can be required to hold her and she caught me off guard, giving me a terrible rope burn. I had to hand the leash over to Art. I am now determined that she will learn some discipline, so will work with her several times a day to practice her homework. She's smart. Just needs consistency.

Yoww-chh !

Now that's gotta hurt!! Normally the chickens squawk when they lay an egg, but yesterday there was an extraordinary noise coming from the barn. I thought maybe something was in there chasing them around, judging from the ruckus, so I checked it out. My goodness, look at the size of that one egg! I'da been screeching, too.Can't even get the carton closed.

crochet project

It's coming along. I haven't got my magnifier set up, but am doing OK with just a bright light. My eyes get so used to the tiny up-close work that they're then a little blurry when I look up to watch the TV or something. I guess these peepers are just getting old.
(the pen is for scale)


Last year a friend showed us the tomatoes she was growing in a hanging basket on her balcony. They were the greatest. So compact and with plenty of fruits. They are called "Tumblers". I ordered some seeds but they have yet to arrive. These ones came into the local nursery, and because of their popularity, as well as some unexplained shortage, they were going like hotcakes. We scored 4.Because it's still freezing at night (and almost during the day) I'm keeping them in the house, but during the day I put them under this makeshift coldframe .... which is a glass shower door propped up against a southfacing shed wall.

dang it anyways

Well, that didn't work ..... blasted GoogleVideo and YouTube are the same damned thing! I posted one video on Google, then later did a search of my id and there was all my stuff from YouTube. Aren't there any alternatives out there?

I'm switching

I have been using YouTube to store the video clips I use on this blog, but am really quite tired of the cesspool that site has become. I just spent the last 1/2 hour editting all my videos to dissallow comments/responses because I received yet another rude remark from someone. It was a teenage boy in the USA and when I went to his YouTube "site" it was all useless juvenile drivel. I'm sick of it. I'm switching to GoogleVideo. It may also be crap .... we'll see .... but if it is, at least it'll be Canadian crap.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

All about Xena

Xena's latest victim is a styrofoam head. She does do nice work, doesn't she?And of course all that chewing is thirsty work (or is it just more chewing?).Sometimes you've just got to sit back and relax ....... or maybe pester a cat. Waddya say, Blackie? Wanna play .... huh .... do ya?Ever so slowly, the cats are tolerating Xena more and more. Blackie will even allow the odd nose-touch.

Tonight is Xena's 3rd class at Doggy Skool. She's doing pretty good, I think. This is a little video from last week where she is sitting and waiting her turn to do "figure 8"s. That beautiful dog next to her is named Velcro. She is an Australian Shepherd and belongs to the instructor. Get a load of those baby blues!


Art took this picture almost 3 weeks ago. Look how much my hair has grown! (well, the short bit of course, not the long bit). Must be 4 inches since that fateful day 6 months ago.

what kinda tree?

Can anyone tell me what kind of tree this is? I took these pictures todayThis is what it looked like at the end of May last year ......... and mid August .....I hunted on the internet a little, but gave up. I did come across this cute page in my travels....