Sunday, November 10, 2019


I've decided I want to get back into some blogging.....time will tell as to how that goes, lol!  A while back I was looking for something that I knew I'd blogged about, and then I started reading some old posts, and I enjoyed reading them.  After all, this blog is for me, it's just a lucky by-product that a few other people enjoy it as well, so I hope I can continue to keep you interested and amused.

This was part of our trail through the back bush, as we call it, about three weeks ago.  So pretty!  After what is sticking in my memory as a quite rainy September and most of October, we finally got some Indian summer.  I did wonder if it was even politically correct to call it that, and went to the 'knower of all things', otherwise known as Google, and the jury seems to be out on that one.

Image may contain: plant, tree, sky, flower, outdoor and nature

And this is the same part of the trail, just this past week.  

All the leaves are down, and they are very thick on the trail as they are in the underbrush around the trees, but you can't rake the leaves out of the underbrush.  Besides, there is an eco system out there, and I didn't want to disturb it that much, so decided to gather only leaves in the really thick spots on the trail.  I've always mulched our raspberries with leaves, it keeps the weeds down somewhat, as I gave up trying to keep them weed free, and the leaves are the only fertilizer they get.  After we lost half of the big maple at the bottom of the driveway, and some big pieces at the one by the gate, the leaves on the driveway are much much less, and not enough to fully mulch the raspberries.  As well as that, in the gardening group I belong to on Facebook, lots of info has appeared on the benefits of leaves as mulch, so I'm trying to get more on board with that.

Luna loves to attack the rake, which can actually be pretty darn annoying....

Nine bags of leaves collected from the back bush.  Larry went out with the tractor and trailer and brought them back.  I'll do some mulching at the upper garden, if I ever get it cleaned up.

Then Friday evening, just on the edge of dark and before the predicted rain I drove the car down the road.  There I met Larry who had taken the dogs for a walk while I finished off some jam, and we raked 6 more bags full from where the leaves had piled up along the shoulder.

Some leaves mulching the kale, and in the background the raspberries.

And then just some random Fall shots, playing around with a little point and shoot Nikon that I had bought second hand.  Unfortunately some coffee got spilled and ran down the back of LED screen of my DSLR (so little that I didn't even think it was an issue), but despite all my efforts, the camera died.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Happy New Year!

Where has the time gone!  I started this blog with great enthusiasm nine years ago.  The enthusiasm has certainly waned over the last few years, and this year it was pretty pathetic.  I thought I could do a brief recap of some of the things that happened in 2018, just to prove that we didn't actually fall off the edge of the earth.

Larry and I, Christmas Day 2018, during an afternoon walk around Mill Lake in Abbotsford.  We had gone to lunch at Meredith's.  Our Christmas dinner was on Boxing Day when we could be all together, as David and Melissa were at her parents on Chrismas Day.  A very relaxing Christmas Day, we kind of liked it that way.

Our annual photo.  I aim to take a different one each year.  Last year we had the massive tree hanging over our driveway, courtesy of the ice storm.  This year we had a bit of a post pounding party on Dec. 28.  Might as well take advantage of the younger muscles to replace a few fence posts.
Left to right... Meredith, me, David, Larry and David's significant other, Melissa.
Our dogs Jake and Luna, and David and Melissa's dogs, Chy(ene) and Tucker.  I had enough thrift store sourced rain gear to outfit the visitors!  No ice storms this Christmas, it was mild and wet.

Our sweet Jake, at somewhere around 14 1/2 years old, is showing signs of some Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.  We had some weird nighttime barking happening in the early Spring.  We finally figured out that his night vision was not good, and once we left a lamp on and some night lights, he was okay.  In August he had an odd event, and then some lesser similar ones a couple of months later.       I did decide that they were probably some sort of seizures.  He also has a perianal adenoma under his tail.  He has been to the vet a couple of times about these things, but I don't think this vet is going to be a huge help with the doggy dementia.  I've joined a group on Facebook and from what I see there, every dog is different, and a different cocktail of drugs and supplements may or may not work for each one.  He also showed signs of anxiety in the evenings, and being unable to settle.  One day I happened to read something in the Tumeric User Group on Facebook.  Sundowner Syndrome was mentioned, I looked it up, and there were Jake's symptoms all laid out in front of me.  He seems pretty stable right now.  I've added an Omega 3 supplement, he was already getting turmeric Golden Paste.  I've bumped that up and am giving it to him four times a day (when I remember) with a small add on of a curcumin supplement.  I've added in a bit of CBD oil.  He settles well in the evening, most days. One day at a time.

I grew lots of veggies again this year.  Some successes, some failures.  I failed to get a proper roof over my tomatoes, and they fell to the usual viruses that hit tomatoes here in the late summer.  They need to be protected from the rains at that time of the year.  This year was a bumper crop for fruit, so we had lots of pears and apples to sell, as well as plums and a few raspberries and blueberries.
Our winter has been very mild so far, so I'm still picking things from the garden.  The carrots, broccoli and greens were picked just recently.

So, not long ago I had this post finished, all ready to hit publish.  I was working on the old laptop and it was giving me a bit of trouble.  I hit something wrong, after I thought it had saved the post, which hadn't happened.  So everything from here on down was lost.  I wanted to cry.  So probably a couple of more weeks has passed since then....

This was the year of Larry getting a hear aid.  I was probably happier about it than him.  At least I didn't have to repeat myself so often!  He was able to hear customers at the market much better, and he would definitely notice the difference if he didn't have it in.  Thankfully he only needed one in his left ear.  
This is one recurring problem though.  The clear tube keeps turning red.  No one seems to be able to tell us why.  He is now on his third tube, and it is already 'pinking' up after just a week.  The hearing place is stumped. Anyone have any ideas?

We started two things in 2018.  One of them was puzzles. It all started in the Spring when I picked up a free brand new puzzle at a garage sale.  When we put all the leaves in our dining room table, there is enough room for the puzzle at one end, us to eat, and leftover horizontal surface at the other end for piles of papers, lol.  We don't have a puzzle going all the time.  One was finished over Christmas when David and Meredith really got gungho and spent a lot of time working on it.  I just got another one out yesterday.

The other thing we started was square dancing.  Oh my! Never ever thought we'd be square dancers.  I remember my mum and dad going to square dancing when I was a kid, and we still have their square dancing badges.  January 2018 we took advantage of the three free lessons offered by our local club, and we were hooked!  So much fun, and quite a workout too.  I swore I'd never wear one of those big poufy skirts (much more poufy than in my parent's era).  I do like to wear a skirt, and I've got some pretty full skirts, but haven't taken the crinoline plunge just yet, although I'm close, very close, lol!  It's funny, I've talked to quite a few women that also swore that they were never going to wear one of 'those' skirts, and now they do.

Here's Larry front and centre at a demo our club did at a Christmas festival.  I'm there too, just a head visible between two other heads on the left.

And then, after much thought, I made a big decision.  A huge decision, to mostly put an end to the market that has been a part of my life for 20 years.  Add another 6 or so years before that, that I did other markets, fairs, events.  I feel like I'm losing a part of myself to end it, but it's time to make time for other things.  I have admitted that I might still go to the market randomly, maybe once a month. It's the pressure of having to keep up production enough to put on a good show every week that I want to get away from.  I still don't know how this is all going to play out.  We shall see.

I have a massive amount of fabric, so have been putting some effort into getting some things sewn up.   
Aprons, bags, bibs, tea cosies maybe, lap blankets,  all coming up I hope. I'm working on aprons at the moment.  Thirty six so far.  

Our winter has been so mild, we've been able to work on outside stuff.  So much to do, not enough energy, or maybe not enough enthusiasm.
Better go out and clean out another chicken coop!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Paddling on the Pitt

I really should do a post on things around here, but sometimes a post just presents itself and it's just easier to take the path of least resistance, lol!  

Meredith had some time off work, and no big plans for it, so we figured we could at least get one day of kayaking in there.  I wanted to go to to Pitt Lake, which is what we did.  The plan was to cross the lake and go into Widgeon slough and paddle up the creek from there.  We weren't exactly sure where the entrance was, so went across the lake and up the shore to the north a bit, for some sight seeing.

Below is where we set off from, although the picture was taken when we got back.  It was cloudy when we started out.

The entrance to the slough was just behind the boat to the right, we could tell that when we got out on the water, but still kept to the original plan of paddling to the right once we got across.  It was quite breezy there, and I had read that it often gets windy, but just a light bit of chop on the lake at that point.

The sky was looking promising, and the forecast was for some sunshine, so we were hopeful.  Meredith took most of these pictures, so that is me.

Heading back south down the lake.  Depending where you read, Pitt Lake is either the largest or second largest tidal fresh water lake in the world.  I couldn't find out which lake is considered larger, if there is one.
The water was very shallow along that grassy area, and at low tide is probably dry ground.  There is a 2-3' tide change.

Look at that sky.  The sky was amazing that day.

We found the slough and it was quite calm behind Siwash Island.   Some very shallow bits there too, Meredith and I both ran aground, gently enough that we were able to push ourselves off with our paddle.  Parts were a bit weedy in the slough.  The sky was a bit ominous, coming over the mountains on the west side of the lake.

We found the entrance to the creek.  

We were heading northwest and then north.  The sky was looking pretty ominous now, and Meredith was sure she felt a drop of rain.  

We had been paddling for an hour or more by this point, and shoulders and arms were aching.  A sandy bank presented itself and that seemed like a good place to stop and stretch our legs and put on a long sleeved layer.  It had gotten quite cool.  We had taken some muffins and dried apples, so we called that lunch.  

Those two mountains were interesting looking.  We weren't quite sure where we were, we had passed a side channel that may have been the way to the actual creek, and we couldn't get any phone reception so no help from google.   Since we were tired and knew we had quite a way to go to get to where we had started from, we called it good and headed back.  We were paddling into the wind now, but it wasn't as hard as we thought it might be.

The tide was going out, so the water level was dropping.  We kept to the deeper channel on the way out.  When we got to the open lake the wind had definitely picked up.  There were white caps and some big swells.  We made out okay going across, at an angle to the wind.  It was a bit exhilarating, not really scary, but you had to pay attention and there was no stopping paddling to take any pictures.

I think that dark double topped mountain over Larry and I is actually a sideways view of the two humps in the previous two photos.

The sun was shining on the east side of the lake, and we were happy to have made it back in one piece.  None of us felt anywhere close to tipping coming across the lake, but we were glad that the wind wasn't blowing any harder.

The longest paddle we have done this summer, and but it was probably the most interesting one too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Happy Birthday Jake!

First of all I want to thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my last, long overdue postπŸ’–

Today is Jake's unofficial 14th birthday. 

I don't know if I have ever shared the story of us acquiring Jake. Over 13 years ago one of the members of my dog club posted about a border collie looking for a new home.  This woman's brother had found Jake on a popular dirt biking mountain, hiding under a bush.  I don't know what kind of attempts he made to find Jake's owner, but hopefully he did some.  Since the brother couldn't keep Jake because of the dogs he already had, he ended up giving him to a friend of his sister's, who had one big dog.  Turns out he didn't really work out for her either, she said she wanted him to be an inside dog, and he didn't want to be, and that he kept pooping behind the couch when she did bring him in.  

At this point we just had Calli the yellow Lab, and I was realizing that she really wasn't turning out to be the agility dog that I wanted, so I was on the lookout for another dog, and was considering a border collie or cross.  I had enquired about a border collie at a local rescue and had also brought a border collie cross home from a local shelter, on a trial basis, for a few days.  That one turned out to be a chicken killer, thank goodness wasn't successful, but he tried his darnedest.  So the decision was made to take him back, and I did shed a tear or three when I handed him over.

So then Jake showed up.  We went to see him and it was love at first sight.  I did say though that I had to test him on the chickens.  The woman brought him over a few days later.  I put him on leash, we walked into the chicken field, he showed some interest, I made a negative sound in my throat, he sat by my side.  Winner!!  

And lo and behold, he didn't mind coming in the house at all.  I think he had two accidents in the house in the first few days, and never a one since.

I took him to the vet and asked what age he thought Jake was.  The vet guessed about 10 months, and  a friend I had who worked for animal control guessed 6 months, so I decided to split the difference and call him 8 months old the day he came to stay here, which makes his unofficial birthday August 21st.

He honestly is the best dog.  

His health is still pretty good.  He is fed a raw food diet.  His weight has remained the same over the years.  He has a bit of stiffness, and certainly doesn't have the endurance he used to have, but I'm feeding him Golden Paste, which has amazing anecdotal evidence of being very helpful with the inflammation of arthritis.  He hasn't had any vaccinations in years. No flea treatments, no heart worm (not an issue here anyway, but some vets used to push it), we don't use any chemicals here so his exposure to harmful 'stuff' would be minimal.  Of course genetics also has a huge role to play, and since we know none of that, it's just a crap shoot in that department.

He did have one scary incident a few weeks ago.  Larry got up in the early hours of the morning, and Jake was circling to the right.  To make a long story short, when we got him outside and moving in a straight line, we determined that he had no sight in his left eye.  I'm assuming that was causing the right circling.  We brought him back into the house, and went back to bed, as he seemed okay other than the eyesight.  A few hours later when I got up to feed him, I could tell right away that he was back to normal.  When I tested his eyesight, yes, he was seeing out of that left eye.  Very weird.  I did take him to the vet who tested his eyes and said everything seemed as it should be.  He had no explanation for what happened.  He said the sudden loss of sight could be explained by a detached retina, but they don't just reattach themselves, so that didn't explain why he could suddenly see again.  My first thought was a stroke, although the vet did say they are very rare in dogs.  Maybe it was a small TIA. Hopefully it won't happen again.

So here's some random photos, mostly from the last few years. 

Jake has been the only dog to have his own chair.  I love his eyes in this photo.

He has co-piloted a Land Rover

Posed on rocks by the Okanagan River.  This has been the screen saver on the desktop for a long time

Posed in the snow

 Brought us toys/balls to throw, billions of times


Climbed to the tops of mountains

Laid on the lawn

Stood in the water waiting for the ball/toy to be thrown

Won lots of ribbons in agility

And was in the first place position on the podium twice, at the BC/Yukon agility championships, plus several other times in lower placings 

Such a good boy!

Cuddled in a chair with a new toy

 For a short while his doggy family increased.

And he had to unwillingly share his toys with a pesky puppy.  He does not like puppies, but he does like to play with them when they grow up.  He is particularly fond of extra large dogs.

Don't you dare give those scraps to anyone but ME!

Been on an unplanned walkabout when we had to wait for the car to be repaired on a road trip.

Climbed more mountains

It was windy on this one.

Checked out the beaver tree, which fell down this past winter.

Will you please open this gate?

Loved water as a medium to fetch toys out of.

Posed under THE tree down over our driveway from last winter's ice storm.  

Checked for critters hiding in the hollow stump

And these days, he does an awful lot of this.

He has always been an 'enjoy the outside' kind of dog.  He will hang out under the rhododendron bush when it's raining and sometimes has to be convinced it's nicer inside. Once he is in, he seems happy to be there.

πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’• Happy Birthday dear red dog.  πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•