Monday, December 14, 2009

deep freeze

I know this is downright balmy compared to what you prairie folks are experiencing .... .... but after a certain point cold is just COLD. Sun's shining, though, and it sure is purty.

Went to the big city the other day and found these. Sweetened with Splenda and NO SODIUM. Score! (yummy, too)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

the day the crowing stopped

It's a sad day here on our little hobby farm. Our rooster died. No....he didn't just faint....he really did die. For those that don't know, he was a bit of a sissy and when confronted with a potential disaster, he ran into the bushes and fainted, leaving his harem to fend for themselves. But where he lacked in bravery he excelled in handsome good looks and a lot of crow-i-tude-e-ness. I will miss that serenade. (I stole this picture off the internet....can't find any that I took. But it looks just like him)
We are now left with 5 hens and one of those is pretty crippled up and can't get around very well. I have a feeling that these birds were a few years old when we bought them, so as sad as I am to say, I think it's time for the stewpot. They've not been laying well for awhile now and Art wanted to slaughter them earlier. My only concern was the rooster. Didn't seem fair to whack him because his girls weren't producing. Well, I guess that problem got solved, didn't it?

You'd never know that I grew up on a farm. That I belonged to 4H poultry for years as a youth. I have partaken in the raising, slaughter and butcher of many a barnyard fowl (as well as beast) and never batted an eye. So, why am I crying now?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

frosty the snow girl

Which thermometer to believe? One says it's minus 26, one says it's minus 11. All I know is....when my moustache freezes, it's COLD!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

winter's here

This arrived about a week ago.There have been a few snowfalls, but this one's here to stay. It was time to put the plow on the skidsteer.After a little swearing and a little bashing, it was ready to go.Art was busy clearing the driveway and the yard...... and a nice flat parking spot. You know....just in case we get company for Christmas (wink, wink, nod, nod, say-no-more....)

Friday, October 30, 2009

a little jet lagged

I'm home from a quick trip to Montreal. On a whim, I flew in to surprise my Auntie Berta for her 80th birthday. Over this past year I've been in close contact with her as she's helped a TON with my genealogy research. I have not seen her or known her for the past 45 years, partly due to the vast distance between us, but mostly due to personality differences of those around me. I decided to hand the problems of others back to their rightful owners and beat my own path to her door. I'm just sorry it took this long. I had a super wonderful time and it went by way too quickly. She is fun and interesting and full of love and goodwill. I met 2 of her children and they, too, were warm and welcoming.

While the time spent with my newly reconnected family was great fun, the getting there was not. I tailored my plans specifically so that I could travel with my cousin and arrive with her at the big surprise party. The last time I saw Leslie we were wee small children. I was really,really looking forward to this. Two things went against me, though. Westjet chose that very day to do upgrades (obviously not very well tested beforehand) to their computer systems. The other opposing force was the weather. Fog at the Prince George airport .... apparantly ONLY at the Prince George airport and nowhere else. Now, I'm no expert, but if you can take-off and land a plane in the dark, why can't you do it in fog? Seriously. I sat on the tarmac for 5 hours. It was bleeping ridonkulous! This caused me to miss my connecting flight ... my cousin ... the party. The whole danged shabang. I was NOT impressed. I think Westjet needs to hear from me.

One good thing came out of that experience, though. Sitting beside me for those 5 hours, on a plane going nowhere, was one of the Directors of the BC Historical Federation. She was in PG doing research on her own family tree. When she casually started to tell me about it, my ears perked up and I turned completely in my seat to face her. Was this kismet, or what?! I still can't believe it. Since returning home, I've been in touch with her and she has offered tons of tips to help me find my very elusive grandfather. Very woo-woo.

I didn't know how the whole family visit in Montreal would go, so didn't plan to stay long. Once there, however, I wanted to hang around. Westjet was not very accommodating with my attempt to change return flights, so I just came home as originally planned. I was somewhat ticked with airport security rifling through my bag ... looking for God knows what ... only to have them confiscate my toothpaste. There went my plans to run amok with flouride gel!

I don't want to sound complainy, because the discomfort and annoyances were totally worth it. I got to meet some great people and maybe start the healing of an old wound in the family.

It was good to get home to my hunny-bunny and all our kritters. If I look a little tired, it's only coz I was.Oh ya....and no plane trip is complete without catching the obligatory cold. But don't get me started on why they can't put better filtration systems on those airplanes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

first snow

Look what we woke up to yesterday (and today, too) ....Two days ago I was wearing a t-shirt outside and today it's a parka and snow boots. Gonna go get one more load of firewood .... just for insurance.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Endako 5K

We didn't make it to Kelowna, so did our road race here in Endako. We paced out 5K on Hwy 16 and ventured out into the sunny (but cold) day. Art ran the distance (check out his finish line picture) and I walk-ran it. Here I am, pushing the ribbon.It's the farthest I've done so far. Very exhilerating. We're sorry we missed seeing Sara run the half marathon in Kelowna. We hope you did great kid!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

in training

I'm in training. Art is too. We are registered in an upcoming race in Kelowna. I'm going to walk the 5K portion of the Okanagan Marathon. Art will run. Sara is also entered, but she will run the Half-Marathon. One day it would be fun to join her, but for now I'll stick with the short races. I'm not as advanced as Art just yet, so we go to the High School track to practice. It works out great because we can each go at our own pace and yet still be within sight of each other.

It's hard to describe to someone who's never felt it, exactly how those endorphins feel. When I used to run (a few years back), I remember telling Sara how addictive that GOOD feeling was, but she thought I was completely nuts. Now that she is a runner herself, she knows precisely what I meant. And now she has done me the favour of re-igniting that desire in me.

It's hard to get started, no doubt about it, especially after gaining an extra 100 lbs, but the more I do, the easier it gets.

Today I ran 1.35 km. Not all at once, but in 100m segments. Couldn't do that a few months ago. Easy Does It.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

cooler heads

I am eternally grateful that this blasted heatwave has broken. At least, it has up here in Endako. Temperatures sure do jump around. We had nearly 2 weeks of 38C and then suddenly we get this .... Yesterday's high was 28, low of 3! Today we didn't even get to 20C. I actually had to put pants on (instead of shorts .... I know what you're thinking!).

Some things that like the heat (besides a few of you crazy people out there) are the sweet potatoes .... and the Saskatoon berries. Plump and juicy. Xena loves to pick them herself, right off the bush.Then Cleo gets in on the act. She likes them, too. Now the race will be on between us and the bears to harvest these yummy berries.Other things that are getting close to harvest are the cabbage .... and squash ....
These guys are being held in slings Art made from socks.The turnips are having a problem, though. Some dirty, rotten bugs are eating them.A good soaking of water and Ivory soap seems to have taken care of that. The potatoes get a squirt, too, just to be safe.What do you suppose this is that we found on our morning walk? Is it poo or is it a mushroom?It's a mushroom. We do get quite a variety growing in the cooler underbrush.

Friday, July 31, 2009

the steps

The only ill effects I seem to have suffered from that stupid flight off the back stairs was a truly magnificent bruise on my butt.... (nope, ain't postin' pictures of THAT) and a wrenched knee. I didn't realize the knee was wrenched until I tried to run on it and then it sure did let me know.

The first order of business was to put up handrails.Pretty skookum, huh? Funny, though, how some projects go .... one thing just leads to another.They look pretty good.Now for some finishing and new lights. It's really great that Art is an Electrician because there seem to be all kinds of these types of projects around here..... a light over the kitchen sink (yay!).... wiring to the island to add outlets for things like the coffee maker and Osterizer.... then the dishwasher stopped working. Needed a new plug.We also spent a day and a half installing and getting the new satellite dish and receiver working.The old receiver went on the fritz after a storm came through (which dumped a bunch of this white stuff on us!!!....only 2 weeks ago!).So, we figured it was a good time to set up the new HD one we've had in a box for nearly a year. In order for that to work, though, we needed to set up a different dish (also been in a box for nearly a year .... no procrastinators living here). I think I've been putting it off because I knew it would not be a super simple job. Installation and hook-up .... easy-peezy. Getting a signal .... not so easy. After HOURS of fiddling and then getting idiotic techs on the phone, we finally had success. One of the problems of living in the "boonies" is having to do these kinds of things ourselves.

Our friends, RT & Rhoda and their pooches Tommy & Molly, came to visit. They will be back in a week or so on their way home again. We are also expecting our rockhound pals from the coast, Dan & Susan, to stop in on their way to visit family. It's nice to have the home theatre now set up.We added a sign to our driveway entrance. It was a retirement gift to Art from his buddies at the EOB and was made by the guys who make street signs for the City of Vancouver. It's highly reflective so it'll be easy to see at night on our very dark road.The garden is doing well. It's kind of a wild thing. The veggies are growing in raised beds made of truck tires, but we let the ground cover do whatever it wants. Right now, it's thick with clover and there are TONS of bumblebees.Living just outside the village of Fraser Lake are a couple of foxes. I remembered to have my camera ready when we drove by this fellow. It's not the greatest quality because I'm zoomed in quite far using the little Canon Powershot, but still pretty good.He caught a mouse and ran away with it in his mouth. We've also seen a black fox about 2 km down the road from there.

On the animal front, back at home, Cleo is still not "getting" that the cats are not snacks. And the cats seem to know this. They are not afraid of Xena and when RT & Rhoda's dogs are here they aren't afraid because they know there is no threat. They are very wary of Cleo. They know she's on the other side of this door.We let her see the behaviour between Xena and Ewie, hoping she might learn by observing. If only.It's unfortunate, but we have to tie Cleo up when cats are around. Then we trade off and lock the cats up to let Cleo run free. She is just outside the frame of this picture, with eyes rivetted on Boose (on Art's chest). I'm sure she is wondering why Xena is not munching on that kitty.So, what are they looking at, by the way? We have a LOT of barn swallows and they were overly active for a few days. There were hundreds of them and they would fill the branches of the two big trees we have by the sheds. Then all of a sudden they would simultaneously explode into flight. They would fly around a little and gradually all go back to the trees. Then explode again. This went on and on.We welcome these birds because they eat the bugs. We rarely see a mosquitoe and that's OK with me.

SOoooooo.... has it been hot enough for ya? I don't know about anywhere else, but if you live in British Columbia you are probably cooking right about now. I know I am. And frankly, it's getting tedious. Enough already! Even the hummingbirds are lying low. I've hardly seen them during this heatwave. They come out when it cools off. The only fun part of this kind of weather are these.Actually, one whole drawer in our freezer is now dedicated to frozen treats. All fat and sugar free, of course.Dontcha wanna just stick your head right in there? I do.