Wednesday, September 26, 2007

of mice and parsnips

My parsnip harvest was a bit of a disappointment. It was really difficult to get them to grow to start off with, so I was pleased when they finally took off. But when it came time to pull them out of the ground, all that was left were stalks. Some dirty rotten little mice had secretly devoured all the roots. This is all that was left .... and as you can see, one of them has the top chewed off.I ain't eatin' that one, so essentially all I got was one. We didn't plant many potatoes, but the same thing happened to them. My friend Audrey was dismayed when digging up her flower bulbs .... all eaten. And it seems like it's not just here. This story was on the news about a mice infestation in a food warehouse in Etobicoke (Toronto). More cats required! Get those strays off the unemployment line and put them to work.

oh, my aching back

I'm taking a break today from the manual labour. Had planned to sit around and crochet, but ended up not doing that either. I feel quite lazy. The last 2 days have been hauling, splitting and stacking wood. Art came home early yesterday from silaging (is that even a word?) and helped me with the last of this pile. I did one of equal size the day before, by myself. Great way to keep warm and tighten up those flabby muscles.Our new log splitter works really well, but it's a much faster job with 2 people.....one working the machine and one heaving the wood around.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

working hard

For the last few days, Art's been helping our neighbour put up silage. Audrey sent him home yesterday with 2 plants for me. A plush and healthy geranium .... ... and a lovely Boston fern .... I love Boston ferns, but have never had luck with them. I hope I can keep this one alive.

While Art's been busy, I have been too. My project is to make this pile of wood into lots of smaller pieces.I spent a few hours yesterday and will get back at it in a little while. Right after I finish this cup of tea .... and finish updating my blog .... and ....

Monday, September 24, 2007

Max

I have a friend named Lane. He turned 14 a couple of weeks ago and while we were over at his house for supper I got this shot of his cat, Max. I love the chair he's sitting on. It makes him look so HUGE!

on our walk

I took this picture while we were on our walk the other day. We were heading down the hill from the pond and the look of the sky struck me.

our living room just got smaller

Not really. We just had to pull our chairs in closer.

Our TV broke and we can't afford to replace it just yet. So we are using this little tiny thing that we bought at London Drugs while we were in transition between Burnaby and Endako. It's something like 12 or 13 inches ... I put my tea cup on top for scale. It also has no remote volume control, so I'm at least getting some excercise going back and forth to adjust the sound ... although, I don't have to go far because we are only sitting 3 feet away.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

chicken run

If you look at Art's blog, you'll know that we finally got the chickens moved from that big old barn into their very own digs. The move was a pretty exciting event. If I hadn't been involved in the actual chase and capture of those little road runners I'm sure I would have gotten some priceless footage. When we first let them loose in that vast barn, months ago, I knew that catching them again was going to be a challenge ... and it was. But we did OK. The toughest one was the rooster. Had to use a fishing net for him. And my God, you'da thought we were pulling out his pin feathers one by one by the fuss he was making. He's pretty vocal anyways, but Lordy-Lordy, what a sissy!

Art built a really spiffy coop for these birds, complete with a fancy run and chicken tractor. The run and tractor are portable so after they've scratched up and sufficiently "fertilized" an area, we can move it over a little, leaving the coop in place. We lock them in the coop at night and this is me opening the hatch in the morning. I see how it got the name "run". I left the very last bit in for you, Carol ... knowing how you like bird songs and all.



I very much like this design feature. It sure beats the egg hunt we had to go through each day when they were in the barn.

saskatoon - of the berry kind

This has apparantly been a super year for Saskatoon berries. The trees are dripping with them. On our morning walks, Xena couldn't seem to pass one by without picking a few for herself. I know bears like them ... didn't know dogs do too.



Art found this berry picker in a store in Burns Lake and it works like a HOT DAMN! He filled this bucket in no time.Here it is in action.



Now, even though I've never made jelly (or jam really, for that matter), I was pretty sure it couldn't be all that difficult. So I very confidently "whipped up" a batch from that bucket of berries.I suppose there must be more to it than I thought, though, because I ended up with this.....I never was much of a Suzie-Homemaker, but that's OK. It still tastes delicious.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

a tough day

It seems all I've been writing about is the ups and downs of our kitten Wasi. There ARE other things for me to post about .... and I WILL get to them .... but today it's about him. This morning, Wasi had 3 more seizures. We had to take him back to the vet. They are going to keep him for a couple of weeks of observation. We told them that if it looks like there will be hope for him we'll have him back, but they are as concerned as we are. It's an incredibly hard thing to watch such a tiny, helpless darling go through those seizures. Today was a bummer day.

On the upside .... looks like it might snow. It's not in the forecast, but it just has that feel.

Monday, September 17, 2007

look who's home

Our sweet little Wasi has come home. No seizures in 4 days. That's great news. He's doubled in size, eats like a horse and is running around the house like he's making up for lost time!Xena loves it, but Blackie and Chickie aren't too on-board just yet. Blackie comes over and hisses...Chickie watches from afar. But there IS hope. If they can get used to a dog (which I would have lost the bets on that one), they can get used to a kitten.

The women at the Burns Lake Veterinary Clinic are a bunch of super gals. They worked extra hard to bring Wasi 'round and we appreciate it so much. I especially want to acknowledge Kirsten. She kept a 24 hour vigil over him for a week, even taking him home at night. I know it was hard for her to let him go as they were developing a bond. Thank you, Kirsten, very much.

Friday, September 14, 2007

setback

There's been a setback in the kitten department. A couple of days ago the vet said he could come home on Friday (that's today). Art had somewhere to be at 10:00, so we didn't hang around to call first and just drove straight to Burns Lake before they even opened. They told us they want to keep him awhile longer and do some blood tests (how DO you get blood from a kitten?) because the seizures started again. Poor little guy. In the 5 days since I saw him last he's grown. I'm not kidding. So, that's a good thing. But these seizures are not a good thing. Then they revealed that on the day they found him he had just suffered a bad fall. Jeez guys, that might explain a few things! So, it's touch and go right now. Say a prayer for Wasi, would ya.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

kitten update

Our little Wasi is doing well. He will be coming home tomorrow (Friday). We are ALL very happy about that!

coyote

While on our walk yesterday we encountered one of our resident coyotes. This guy is always alone, even though we know there are several more around. I saw him first, thankfully, so asked Art to grab Xena's collar. Not only did we forget to bring her leash, but I also didn't bring my video camera. So, I missed him running down the hill towards us, yipping away in coyote talk. He came fairly close and let Art & Xena move even closer while I took some still pictures.
It was hard to hold Xena, so Art went back to the house and got her leash and the video camera. I'm pretty pleased with this footage.



I suppose our farmer neighbours would be appalled that instead of trying to kill it we were welcoming it. I think these critters get a bad rap. Yes, they do not belong in the city, but here in the country they serve a purpose. I hate to think what our mouse population would be without them. And as long as they don't eat our chickens or our cats, or mess with our dog, they can stay.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Boose and Wasi

There are 2 more Blomquists in Endako ..... Boose and Wasi. If you look at Art's blog you'll know that we have adopted 2 more cats. They are both abandoned strays, so we have no history on either of them, but they are definitely part of this family now. Boose is a stunningly gorgeous Calico and she acts like she has lived here and known us all her life. Even Xena is no-big-deal to her. In something like 3 days she has assumed free reign in the yard, shop and all the sheds. She gave Xena a stern word or two in the beginning and they now share an understanding.

This is her "station" in Art's workshop (note the electric blanket he so graciously donated to make her feel cozy on these cool nights).I believe I have a subject for some award winning portraits.This morning, Boose (which means "cat" in the Carrier Indian language) voluntarily joined us on our daily walk.After awhile she suddenly turned and headed for home. We didn't want her to be out in the open all alone (easy prey for eagles and coyotes), so escorted her back. Good thing we did .... maybe Boose had a premonition .... because when we resumed our walk we almost immediately encountered a coyote. I got some of the best video yet of that beautiful guy, which I will post in a little while.

The other new member of our entourage is Wasi (Carrier for "lynx"). He's an itsy bitsy boy and is still so brand new that we have to feed him with a bottle. Here is a little medley of his first days with us.



We were given quite a fright on Monday morning, though. He'd been with us for 2 days and I'd been spending a lot of time with him, as feedings were every 2-3 hours. Suddenly he had what appeared to be some sort of seizure. A few minutes later, another one. Right away I was phoning the vet, but the line was busy. I didn't hesitate to bundle that baby up and Art and I were on our way to Burns Lake (that's where the vet is). It's about a 35 minute drive and poor Wasi had 7 more seizures along the way. Each one was getting worse and worse. We left him in the hands of the good doctor and I was sure that we would never see him again. That night, the vet called to say that things were looking up. They used drugs to subdue the attacks, changed his diet and administered antibiotics. No more seizures in 48 hours and they think he'll be just fine. I'm so glad.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

fun times in Endako

OK now, the universe has shifted. The last post on my blog is about heavy machinery and earth moving equipment and Art's is .... well .... go have a look. Just for the record, it was all his idea. Not that you will hear a peep of complaint from me!!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

the long, long driveway

For the last 2 weekends there's been a lot of earth moving going on around here. Around 32 truck loads of gravel at 13-15 yards each .... so far. And we're not 1/2 done yet. I made a video of the first day's work. This is for all you yardy-ho guys who like to watch heavy equipment doing it's thing (and some of you girls might like it, too).



But wait .... who's that driving the dump truck on day 2 ... ?

video

Well, I believe that's Art getting in on the fun!

We are very lucky to have our own gravel pit on the property and also the use of all this equipment. Art's brother has been very generous in loaning us the dump truck, excavator and skid steer, not to mention the labour of 2 operators. All for the price of coffee and sandwiches. Yup, very lucky indeed.
video

crocheted curtain

Now that the sun is coming up later it is hard to sit at our kitchen table in the early morning. The sun glares in until it gets up in the sky a little. I've been pricing out curtains and roller blinds and venetians and quite frankly they are all outrageously priced. Even a simple rod to hang something from is silly expensive. All that's needed is a valance type thing, about 15-18 inches long, so I had a brain wave. We'll see how it turns out, but so far this is what I've got.....

I have a bunch of extra light-ish weight wool, a kind of willow colour. I am crocheting it up in a mesh-like pattern as one long piece (about twice the width of the window).It's easy and fun and is getting long fast.I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

grizzly bear

I did not believe that this was Grizzly country. They are such elusive creatures, preferring locations not so close to human habitation. And then one day a week or so ago we saw one. It was on our road and as we approached in our truck we could tell that it was not a black bear. It ran part way into the bush, then stopped, looked back at us for a moment and disappeared. I couldn't get my camera ready in time, so tried to take a snapshot in my mind. It looked just like the smaller one in this picture, so I suspect it was a yearling.People keep asking if it had a "hump" and I honestly can't recall. I do remember distinctly it's coat and how it's whole body shimmered as it ran. I suppose it could have been a brown bear....possibly.

And then a couple of days later we found claw marks on a tree by our pond up the hill. Art wrote about it on his blog and posted pictures. This one shows how high it is above me, as I am reaching as far as I can.It was a pretty big bear that put those marks there.