Thursday, July 26, 2007

poor chicken little

The day before yesterday we found that one of our hens appeared to be in trouble. She wasn't moving a lot and standing kind of like a penguin .... with her butt on the ground and legs far apart. We watched her and she was eating and drinking and walking with a weird penguin-like waddle. None of the others were picking on her, which is unusual because chickens can be cruel that way. We left her overnight, but yesterday she wasn't any better. In fact, she had become listless. We thought maybe she had an egg stuck and couldn't pass it. I held her in my lap awhile and massaged her tummy, but couldn't feel an egg. I hand-fed her some water and she perked up a little. Our neighbour suggested we put her outside for a while, so we pulled the almost completed chicken tractor over to the garden area and put her in. Just then, for good luck, a ladybug landed on her back. That was a good omen.She seemed to enjoy the warm sun and did have a bit of an appetite. We started to think that maybe she was hurt in some way, so left her there all day. Art made a nest for her out of a cardboard box and some hay, and at bedtime we put a tarp over the tractor.

Today she is looking a lot better. Her legs are back underneath her and her tail is up in the air again, where it should be. There were some monstrous piles of poop around, so maybe the poor dear was just constipated. Who knows. I'm just glad she's OK.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

surprise visit

So there we were yesterday....hunkered down for a weekend of computer programming....when the phone rang. It was Art's brother inviting us over for coffee because their sister had driven out from Vanderhoof for a visit. So we took a break and headed over. When we arrived some extra people were there.....Art's other sister (and husband) who live in Kamloops were also sitting and smiling at us. I was in disbelief for a second because although I knew who they were my brain was saying "does not compute...out of context..." Funny, eh? What a great surprise. They are 2 of our favourite people and it's always so much fun to be around them.

PS....happy birthday, yesterday, Echo!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

treasures in the mail

Art and I have been very busy with this database upgrade. Art has been putting in 14 hour days for over a month now and recently I've been working with him. We're actually a pretty good team and work well together. I know doodly about Access but have quite a lot of experience from past years of computer programming. The basics are the same. Logic is logic. So, when he gets really stuck he calls me in and we bash our way through the code. As all projects like this tend to go, we were a bit delayed in getting the thing delivered to the customer. Weird problems kept popping up. We finally did get it deployed a couple of days ago, and the client has since found a bug or two. So this weekend we are putting those fires out.

We've been so busy, in fact, that I received this parcel and didn't have time to open it for 2 days!It's a bunch of wool. I have some projects in mind for Christmas.I really MUST find time to do some things outside, though. Like get this wisteria planted. I received the live plants in the mail about a month ago, but as you can see they haven't even made it out of the box yet.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Art!

Today is my sweetie pie's birthday. I love this picture of him and Xena out in the field west of our house, with daisies as far as the eye can see. Daisies just happen to be my favourite flower and this is my favourite guy (and of favourite dog!)

our hacienda

Art and I went for a drive around our place the other day (it's kind of fun that we need a truck to explore our back yard). We drove as far up the hillside above the house as we could go and I took a video of the panorama. It's interesting that the property is so big you can't see all of it from any one location. In this clip, the barns and some buildings are out of sight and when I zoom in on the house it is partly obscured by a shed. Also, the blue thing in the foreground is the roof of "gramma's", our second house and you can see most of the pond....James Pond. Art is picking wild strawberries (if you're wondering what he mumbles right at the end there, he's commenting on Xena whipping past by calling her "Miss Rip-shitter"). Yup, that's her alright.

storm watching

That was a kicker of a storm! We could see it coming, so quickly got the chickens fed and eggs collected before the almost hurricane winds arrived. Big thick bolts of lightning were coming down on the hills across the valley and huge clouds of dust were kicking up from the tailings at the mine. Then the thunder. Booming and crashing and scaring the animals. It lasted quite a while and poured like a monsoon. The temperature dropped 20 degrees (Celsius) in a couple of hours. By bedtime things had calmed down, but I woke up yesterday morning to what I thought was smoke outside. Turned out to be fog (thank goodness).

Yesterday was another cooker at 36 degrees. Staying cool was a challenge and then last night, at around midnight, an even more violent storm than the day before. The lightning was so bright it was like someone was turning the bedroom light on and off. And the thunder....I could feel the concussion of it! And again, monsoon rains. My groggy brain said "go turn off the computers", but before I could get up to do it I was sleeping again.

Today is MUCH better and one way I can tell is, my potatoe feet feel normal again. They must be affected by air pressure or something. It's a mystery to me.

Friday, July 13, 2007

hot enough for ya?

My god, what is with this weather?! The last 3 days have been horrendous, with the hottest being a couple of hours 35.6 Celsius (that's 96.08 F) !!!!

I know it's hot all over and in some places even more scorching than here. I can only imagine what you guys at the coast are going through. Amazingly, it is fairly cool inside this log house. I have been afraid to go outside and just now am watching a storm roll in. The sky suddenly went black and there's lightning all around us. I went outside to have a look and was shocked to find that it's not too bad out there. Temperature-wise, I mean. Yes....this is Jo-Ann talking! I can't believe how much of a difference the lack of humidity makes. Mind you, tell my swollen up potatoe feet that. They don't do well in these temperatures.

I just hope the lightning doesn't start any forest fires. This whole part of the province is ravaged by the Mountain Pine Beetle and the trees are like millions of dry matches just waiting to be lit up.

round 'em up - move 'em out

I'm having fun with Windows Moviemaker. This one is just under 4 minutes long and is all about our neighbour rounding up and sorting some of the cattle he has grazing at our place. All of the footage is taken from the comfort of our house.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

John McAdam

I used to have a friend. His name was Jack. He was my pal. Today would have been his 101st birthday. He used to always say how nice it was that the whole country threw him such a big party every year. I always think of Jack a lot on his birthday. I miss him.

I met Jack at the Royal Canadian Legion in North Burnaby, around 1985-86. I played on the dart team, he played on the cribbage team. He came up to me one day and asked "would you like to see a picture of me when I was 21?". Cheeky, I thought, but OK. He pulled out an old photo of himself in full Seaforth Highlander Regalia, including a bearskin hat like the Queen's guards wear. We became fast buds. Turned out he lived in a BC Housing complex just around the corner from our place, so I would walk over and visit him at least once a week. He'd make me a cup of tea (good STRONG tea, too .... not "piss-willie" as he called it), sometimes we'd play crib, we'd watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. If it was a Wednesday we'd also watch the 649 draw and I'd check his ticket for him.

We invited him over for New Year's Eve a couple of times and he'd get so excited at midnight, running down the stairs and outside to ring the doorbell like crazy. He said it was good luck. I felt that he was such a special person in my life that we invited him to our wedding. We lived in Burnaby, but the wedding was in Victoria (my Mom was unable to travel). Because I couldn't watch over Jack the whole time, Art's brother Darcy latched onto him. It worked out great. Jack was one of the few people outside the family to be invited. In my eyes, he was family. When I showed him pictures afterwards he said "God....I look like a little old man!". I said "Jack, you ARE a little old man", to which he humbly replied "oh ya....I forgot". He was so young at heart and full of life that we all forgot his age.

There was one event in our time together that was extra super special. Prince Philip was coming to Vancouver to inspect the Seaforth Highlanders. Jack asked me to escort him. What an honour! I didn't meet HRH, but Jack did. Even shook his hand. We had been warned to not bring a camera, but once we were there people were whipping them out left right and centre. What a disappointment because I'd had the perfect shot of the two of them. Art made up for it by taking some pictures of us back at the house. I'd never seen Jack looking so proud.

I never met any of Jack's family, but when he died and we were at his funeral, I noticed that the picture of him at the front of the room was one that Art took that special day. People were asking about the picture, as no one knew where it came from. They were also curious who I was because no one knew me, but Jack had my picture all over his apartment. So I told the story. His family appreciated it.

So, I've got to dig out those pictures and scan them. I'm not sure why I felt so compelled to write about Jack today. Maybe because it's his 101st birthday.

Happy Canada Day

Wow! It's been 24 hours without rain (in this past month). Maybe we'll get some summer now (???) Mind you, except for the few days that we took off to visit with our guests, Art has been pretty much cooped up in his study programming. It's much easier to do that when it's crappy outside. He's hoping to be finished soon.

Not only have the garden, chicken house, fence, driveway projects (as well as that paint job that's still incomplete) been put on hold, but we have been unable to live up to a commitment we made to the local rockhound club. They are hosting next month's "Summer Camp", to which about 100 rockhounds from far and near come for a week of fieldtrips and fellowship. We have missed 3 or 4 exploration trips with the club to search for suitable collection sites. There's another one on Tuesday. Maybe we'll get to that. Apparantly, conditions haven't been too great out there. There's still snow in the mountains and a lot of flooding in the valleys. We may be very limited to where we can take people.

Speaking of rockhounds ..... our little kleptomaniac is becoming very discerning in her thefts these days. She swiped something yesterday and was carrying it around in her mouth (which is a very common occurance).When I made her spit it out this is what I found!Jaysus-murphey, I hope she didn't swallow one of those points! She really can't be trusted to wander around the house on her own.

Graeme & Terry

Graeme & Terry only stayed for 2 nights, but they had fun while they were here. Not only did they witness our bear visitation, but they partook in another monster puffball extravaganza .... .... and went on some ATV rides.Terry was a little tentative at first, but it didn't take long 'til Graeme was eating her dust!