Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Ours was very quiet this year. Just the two of us. It was so low-key we didn't even put up a tree. The only decorations we had were a string of lights along the fence in front of the house and this.My Mom made this ceramic tree in 1977. That was the last Christmas before her accident. I know she really loved it and displayed it proudly. Back in June, when I went to Victoria for my sister's birthday, she and I went through my Mom's Christmas decorations. We chose what we wanted to keep and what to put into a garage sale. I chose this and a few other things and shipped them home to myself in the mail. That must have been when this happened.The base is broken. Mom would have cried to see this (I know I did). Art came to the rescue with his bottle of Crazy Glue and put it back together for me. Thank you, Art. I'm eternally grateful that the tree part is undamaged.It does light up, but I couldn't get a good picture of that. Here's one with some animals in the background.Speaking of animals, here are some shots of our beasties enjoying themselves. Ewie does like to stretch out. How does he do that???He also likes to tear up the joint. Somehow he got a ribbon wrapped all around his body and when I'd try to help get it off, he'd dart through that hole in the door, into the basement. I couldn't catch him. Eventually, he did manage to untangle himself.Blackie is getting ready for a nap....... but all Xena wants to do is play BLUE BALL !!!!!! Cold shmold. Just throw it would'ya.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Art is sitting right where the new chimney will go. Xena is helping. She will do almost anything for yummy cheezie snacks.Fast forward .... the new chimney is all in. The last piece joins the furnace to the chimney.This thing is so full of crud ...... AND HOLES! Look at that big one in the elbow! I couldn't believe it. No wonder the basement was full of smoke sometimes. And who knows what kind of noxious fumes were leaking out. Jay-sus! We're lucky we weren't asphyxiated.We're also lucky that we needed just one more item and had to go to Burns Lake to get it. The salesman there knew all about this type of furnace and told us that this elbow pipe thingie was not only unnecessary but dangerous. For heaven's sake. Why was the bloody thing there to begin with? Thank you God for taking care of us yet again.

So, once that last bit of pipe was in, we fired up the furnace. Ahhhh....nothing like wood warmth. Now the trick is keeping it from getting too hot!

Next step, get the fireplace out of the living room. First, Art put scissor jacks under it, front and back (note the shiny new furnace chimney, just installed, beside it).Then he whacked the supports out from under ...... and lowered the jacks until it's chimney separated.It looked to me like it would weigh a ton, but apparantly not.Onto the dolly and out the back door. Blackie and Chickie are very curious about what's going on.Ta-daaa! Now it's a yard ornament. Actually, I believe we're going to put it out by the garden and build a stone enclosure for it (or something like that).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

need a bigger flame

It's about 5 degrees colder than that right now...but you get the point.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

cold enough for ya?

I know you are suffering in Vancouver and Victoria with minus 8 temperatures. And I sure don't envy you the snow with all those ill-equipped motorists on the road. Blizzard warnings for the North Island, too .... Yikes! I hope things clear up for you soon.

Up here in Central BC we have this ....

Could get to minus 45. OMG!! And that's before windchill. Holy crap! The other day The Province had a poll, asking "It's so cold that...." and Art answered "...the chickens are laying frozen eggs!" I wonder if they published it.

We got up early on Thursday to drive to Prince George. I guess it would have been best to warm up the truck before getting in because at minus 27 C I was FREEZING!!! Art finds it so surprising when I feel the cold, he just has to take my picture. He should have waited til I was breathing out so you could see my breath.In my last post I mentioned the "enhancements" made to keep the truck warmer. It's too cold to go out there and take pictures right now, but this one shows the white foam cut to fit between passenger and door. There's also a piece stuffed under the seat, which greatly reduces the chance of any butts freezing off .... or shut, as the case may be.

So, I just looked out the window and it's snowing. I was always told it has to warm up to snow and that it just can't happen when it's this cold. I guess that's not true.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

still chilly

Check out that "min". Brrrrr. Yesterday, we took a drive to Prince George. The heater in our little truck was working overtime, but frost was still forming on the INSIDE of the windows. Those vehicles are not well insulated and it was just plain old cold under the seats and next to the doors. Check Art's blog for the story of how he solved the problem so we could have a comfy trip home (I've gotta take some pictures first, then I'll put a link here).

Our Christmas shopping is now complete, so I can get parcels made up and sent off. We were going to go to Vancouver for Christmas, but unforseen circumstances have forced us to change those plans. It'll be a very quiet one at home.

We did pick up a few of these while in town ....

We'll be posting them on the fences on either side of our property where the PNG pipeline goes through. For some reason the snowmobilers think it is public property. Well ... it's NOT. The pipeline crosses all kinds of land, some of which is PRIVATE. We do not appreciate the intruders.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

how cold is it?

I'll tell you how cold .... DAMN cold! Minus 27 C today, and not much better yesterday. The howling wind doesn't help, either. Normally, the cold is not an issue for me. I kinda like it, but yesterday I was shivering all day. I didn't know if the fireplace was safe, so cranked up the electric furnace. It just couldn't quite keep up. Art was away all day, so I bundled myself in warm clothes and blankies and hunkered down on the couch to do some crochet. Soon, I had 2 cats snuggling up and when I asked Xena to lay on my feet she did. Ahhhh, that was nice. I find that if my toes get cold (which takes a LOT) then I'm done for.

When Art came home around suppertime, he deemed the fireplace useable (if I'd only known) and stoked it up. How wonderful! Nothing like a cozy fire.

I understand it snowed in Vancouver and on the island. Brrrr - stay warm you guys. I guess the whole province is in a deep freeze.

Friday, December 12, 2008

blame it on the man in the moon

Monday was a super duper day. Perfect timing all-around, every little thing falling into place. Tuesday - crap. Shouldn't even have gotten out of bed. Wednesday - back on track. Looking good. Thursday - crapola. Today - egh. Can't get around to doing much more than playing Sudoku on the computer and eating peanut butter with a spoon. And I'm not the only one having this kind of a time. Everyone around me is, too. Then I started to wonder. How much is just plain old fate and how much is being influenced by the moon?It's a very special one right now. Not only is it full today, but it is also the closest to Earth it's been in 15 years and or will be again for 8 more years. Being this close and full at the same time, there's gotta be some unusual forces at work.

So, ya, I've hardly moved from in front of the computer all day, but have I caught up on email or updated my blog? No. Well, I'm updating my blog only because I promised that I would. It's been extremely hard to get motivated lately (more than just today or this week). Seems to be for ages now. Mind you, today is cold, snowy and blowy (gale-force winds, to be exact ... expecting the power to go out at any time), so being inside is a really good idea. The chickens need water, though, so I'll have to bundle up and get out there before dark.

Speaking of the chickens. One of our hens died yesterday. Yes, I know she's just a chicken and yes, I know that happens sometimes for no apparant reason, but it still makes me cry. Maybe I'll blame that on the moon, too.

We did go to Prince George recently to get this snow plow for the skid steer.Check out Art's blog to see it in action.

I took advantage of being in the "big city" and stocked up on a couple of things that we can't get here.The cookies are Art's, the tea is mine. Substitutes of either will just not do. We found some fake Danish butter cookies in Fraser Lake, but upon reading the label they are made in China. Put 'em back on the shelf. We'll pass on the melamine, thanks.

Friday, December 05, 2008

construction zone

Amidst all the chaos of the chimney/fireplace rebuild, I am working to get my knitting and crochet projects completed. This is another knit intarsia (before all the ends are woven in)...... and yet more intarsia, but this one is crocheted.While knit looks better, crochet is much easier (and faster). That's my experience anyhow.

So, the middle of our house is "in transition" right now. Our wood burning furnace is in the basement and it's chimney runs up through the centre of the house.On the main floor, it shares an enclosure with the fireplace which acts as a divider between the living room and the kitchen. Unfortunately, the original installation was hoojie-balled so we are forced to "take it down". If you've been following Art's blog, you've seen pictures, but here are just a few more.He is having too much fun, I think.It's becoming a nice wide open space. I kinda like it.Can hardly wait for that horribly ugly fireplace to be gone. It will be replaced by this wood stove that we were given last summer.Of course, with all the noise, there's not a cat to be found. Xena doesn't like the racket either, so she's happy when it's time to lounge in front of the TV after a hard day's work.On another subject, we received some beef from our neighbour. They grazed their cattle on our land for part of the summer and gave us a bunch of meat as a "thank you". These are different cows from the Red Angus and Hereford that the other neighbour pastured here before. These are called Belgian Blues. They are kinda funny looking with big bulging muscles. One website I looked at called them Schwarzenegger cows, because they look like they've been pumping iron. You might think they've been genetically altered or are enhanced with hormones or steroids, but they're not. They are just weird..... naturally. Anyhow, I never paid much attention except to notice that the calves are really super cute coz they're so round and plump looking.

Turns out this beef is super lean and has nutritional qualities far and above regular beef. Even above chicken.We had a roast of it last night and O.M.G !!!! Purely divine! With not even a sliver of fat on or in it I expected it to be dry as toast, but it was the opposite. Moist, juicy and delish. Now, I love beef and I love the fat on beef, so I will need to do more sampling before I'm a total convert, but so far I'm impressed. This has got to be good news for health-minded individuals. Or is it unobtainable? Or maybe just undiscovered?

So...Kevin...this is waiting in our freezer for when you come to visit again. We asked the butcher to leave any fat on it that he could find.We were supposed to go to Prince George today to take our snow plow back (don't get Art started on that one ..... why can't people just do the jobs we pay them to? .... the first time?), but it snowed about a foot overnight and was still coming down all morning. Then it turned to freezing rain. A good day to stay off the roads and maybe just tear down some more of the kitchen wall.

On Wednesday we went to Burns Lake. This fellow looked so sad, I just had to stop and get a picture.Maybe it was the sudden cold, or maybe he is just depressed....kinda like the sad picture on Art's blog today.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


On Tuesday it was plus 7. Yesterday and today, this.....We go nowhere without our crampons on. Ice everywhere.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

winter has arrived

Before the snow came to stay we had some foggy days. We had several snowfalls, but it would then warm and melt. This one's for real, I'm pretty sure.I've been talking about Ewie a lot and here he is, up to more shenanigans. I don't know where he thinks he's going.Xena does her part to make kindling for the fireplace.She's so helpful.All that excitement calls for a little nap ...... and a snack.I think I'm getting the hang of this knitting intarsia. It's fiddly work. What I'm making is a surprise, so I will only show you this little bit for now. This is what the intarsia looks like from the back-side.Do you know what's harder to photograph than a black cat? ... or a white cat? ... or black and white cats together? Stitchwork. I tried every setting on my camera and every kind of lighting. It's really hard to do! After about 50 shots I finally gave up and chose this as the best I could get. I have a whole new respect for those photographers that shoot "product".