Monday, May 31, 2010

Farmers Market Weekend

Thanks to everyone that stopped by from the Blog Hop! Nice to meet you all.

Weekends are going to be pretty hectic for us until Thanksgiving. If we are not at a farmers market on Saturday and Sunday, we will be probably be attending an agility event.

It was not the best of weekends. Saturday was raining. Not really hard, and there wasn't much wind, but it was just kind of unpleasant standing at the market for 4 hours. Sales reflected the weather, but weren't too bad considering.

Sunday's weather was dry, at least until the market was over. You can read about Sunday's market here.  We had a lot of salad greens and arugula to sell, and I managed to make up 5 bouquets out of what was blooming in the garden.  All the produce went, as well as the eggs.  It was an awesome day sales wise in White Rock.  Lots of jam needs to be made this week though.  I'll have to get started at it tomorrow.

I won't have time to lay around.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Horse Herding

Luna is fascinated with Pride, but Pride is not fascinated with Luna.
When we walk out in the morning to do our bush walk, Larry gives Pride an apple and opens the gate into whatever field he is currently spending the day in. 

If we remember, and are not talking, or letting our minds wander, we make Luna lay down and stay while we deal with Pride.  This particular morning we had the whole pack in a stay, but quite often it is just Luna. 

But if we forget, well Luna finds Pride wherever he is, and waits for him to move.

If he doesn't move

she gets a little closer

gives him a nudge or a nip

He gets p*ssed off

They might come to a standstill

or he just tells her to take a hike!!

Not that she ever does:(

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Poor dogs seem to be getting a little shorted on their interesting walks these days.  They almost always get a walk in the afternoon off the property, but most of the time lately it has been around the block or up or down the road, and those are mostly on leash walks. I've been making jam every day this week, not that it takes me all day, but it seems like it is afternoon before I get started, and then by the time I'm done, it is supper time.  Anyway, this afternoon we made a point of going for an off leash walk for a change.  We headed down to Duncan Bar.  It's been two months since we were there, and of course everything was much more overgrown than the last time.  I was disappointed that I couldn't find any signs of fruit on the plum tree that had been so loaded with blossoms the first time we were there.  The other fruit trees seemed to be fruitless also, and so were the two large walnut trees.  Too bad, I had visions of going back there in the Summer and Fall and finding all sorts of edble things. 
I wandered off the trail to check out the raspberries, and at least they looked good, with lots of fruit coming. 

Came back to the trail and there was no one in sight at first.  Then two faithful hounds raced back to see where I was.

When we got to the end of the trail the dogs got some swimming in.  The Spring run-off has begun, as the river was definitely higher than the last time we were there.  It was flowing quite fast out in the middle, but there was a back eddy where we were .

They are always reluctant to leave the water, and on the way back would stop hopefully at every spot where there was access to the river.

There is a good fence along the south boundary of the park.  At one low spot the fence looked like this.
Like something large and round had pushed underneath it.  The only thing that made sense in that situation was a bear.  Hmm, not so sure about coming back for those raspberries.  Well it's between the possible bear and the probable mosquitoes.  I had two buzz around me while we were down there, and something gave me a good bite.

Then at supper tonight David mentioned that the owners of the horse farm across the road had seen a young bear in their driveway one night a couple of weeks ago when they came home. 
Hmm, not sure I will be hanging out on my own with Mother Nature in our back bush any more either.
My first bear experience as a child was kind of scary, and has scarred (scared?) me for life:(
Reminds me of two or three years ago when signs of a cougar were spotted in our area.  Larry was still working away from home, so I was doing the bush walks on my own.  I kept the dogs pretty close, walked LOUDLY, and carried a big stick.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Postcard from Paradise and other random stuff.

In yesterday's mail we got a postcard from David when he was on Rarotonga.  It took 2 weeks to get here.  There is a flight going to New Zealand each day from there.  Did they take it to New Zealand by outrigger canoe instead?

Our power went out for 5 1/2 hours again yesterday.  Really weird to have two power outages so close together.  And what was even weirder was that I was at the same place with a batch of jam as I was last week when the power went out.   This time at least I was able to use the camp stove in the house to finish it off.  For supper we had latkes cooked on the campstove, and salad made from greens from the garden.

Yesterday I discovered a new spot where a hen is laying eggs.  Came out of the barn/shop and there were 4 eggs under the pear tree right in front of me.  Sometimes you wonder why you hadn't noticed them before.  The hen was back in there this morning.  Sometimes once you take the eggs away, they don't go back, but so far so good.

We were watching the hens this morning when they got let out, as we figured there were some laying in places that we didn't know about.

I spy with my little eye....

That's a spot they have used before, on and off.  I took 5 eggs out of there this morning when I saw the hen heading that way.  I need to do some baking to get those eggs used up, or we can have scrambled eggs for lunch I guess:)

And I remembered to take some buckets with us on our bush walk this morning.  The salmonberry crop is awesome.  In about an hour, and only half the way around the bush, the buckets were full.  Near the end, after Larry said he had had enough and he had taken the dogs with him.  I was finishing filling the last bucket myself, and it was just so peaceful  out there.  There was a bit of drizzle coming down, and the birds were singing, and that's all I could hear.  It's good to be alone with nature once in a while.

Notice the caterpillars along the edge of the bucket?
There are a few of them, a few spiders and other small random bugs that are making a run for it.  Always best to give the berry a good look over before popping it in your mouth:)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Chillidog Sunday

On Sunday we headed out to Yarrow and the Chillidog Trial.  In other years participants were allowed to camp out there, but for whatever reason the parks department is no longer allowing it.  Not that we have ever done that, but maybe this year we might have given it a try.

As is quite often the case, the weather at that trial can be a real mixed bag.  Thankfully there wasn't too much rain on Sunday, but the wind was wicked cold.  The sun flashed out the odd time, but by the time you had shed a few layers, it was back behind a cloud, and the layers went back on.

Luna and Larry finally had really nice jumpers run, and their first Starters Jumpers Q.  I've got to remember to stop talking while I'm filming:(

Here is a Masters Standard Run with Jake.  Nothing brilliant but I was happy with it.  For those of you that don't know anything about dog agility, a dog starts out in Starters, and as they accumulate Q's (qualifying rounds) they eventually move up to Advanced  and then to Masters.  A Standard run has all the equipment in it, whereas a jumpers just has jumps, tunnels, tire and chute.

Larry and Luna are still having weave issues.  At times it is like she doesn't even see them when Larry is running her.  I took her in one class and got a great entry to the weaves, although she popped out at the 9th pole.  Her contacts also need a lot of work, as well as Jake's.  He used to have a great 2on 2off, and somewhere along the line I have really messed him up.  We are going to set some equipment up at home and try to get some practicing in.

Luna just got one Q out of 5 runs, and Jake got 3 out of 5.  Yesterday he decided in one class that he didn't want to go to the bottom of the teeter.  He does have reoccurring teeter issues.  Since it was Snooker, and the teeter was the 7 point obstacle, he went on it three times.  The first two times he touched the yellow contact zone by a toenail and then bailed off the side, and then last time he didn't quite get there before he bailed and we were whistled off.  He still had enough points to Q though.  The next class I had better luck with him on the teeter, although it was a different teeter in the other ring.

Our little spot at the trial.  The chair in the corner was the warmest spot.  Luna needs work on willingly going into the x-pen or crate. 

Another rain cloud rolling in.  Larry is out there helping to course build.

The site looked much nicer when the weather brightened up.  Before I adopted him, apparently Jake was found on that mountain.

Jake's friend Kozmo, with handler and fellow clubmate, Christine

 A cute sheltie puppy 

Poor Larry.  We were throwing toys for the dogs on a long grass stretch behind the parked cars.   The wind was gusting across the field and one gust in particular sent a Flying Squirrel over the edge and into a really deep drainage ditch.  There was long grass and blackberry vines along the edge, and I thrashed around in there until I spotted the FS in the black sludge below.  There was no way to reach it, despite a long pole with a hooked end, so Larry took a long walk around to a roadway going over the ditch, over two fences and along the edge of two fields, to fish the FS out from the other side, which was lower and not as overgrown.  As he is on his way back his lovely wife keeps playing with the dogs, and the next gust took the remaining FS over the edge and out of sight again.  More thrashing around by me until I spotted it on the other side of the ditch this time, so Larry did the long walk, fence climb a second time.  I'm glad I couldn't hear what he was probably muttering under his breath.  On a positive note he found a good dog ball that had been there who knows how long.  I think a lot of our dog toys are one's that other people have lost or given up looking for.    We don't give up easily.                                

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rants and Raves and Market Moments

Rant-  When you're setting up at the market in the morning, unload your vehicle, remove your vehicle, and THEN start setting up your booth.  At the Abbotsford Market there is not enough room down the middle of the road once vendors start setting up, for two vehicles to pass each other, so who gets there first or second or whatever tends to limit who can come in next.  Therefore common sense would surely make you realize that Unload, Remove, Setup is the polite and timely thing to do. 
Another thing, if you are waiting to move your vehicle in to unload it, and are just sitting there, don't keep the engine running.  Don't think I should even have to explain that one.  Of course, if it was me in that situation, and I can see a way to move things along, I would be asking people to do whatever it took.  The woman with the engine running, well if she had just got out and asked the two people in front of her if they were finished unloading, she could have been in there sooner.  I could see that they just needed to be asked/told to move their vehicles, and went and did it.

Market Moment- Way back 8 years ago when I was taking agility lessons with Calli, there was a woman in my class called Chantal, and she had a Jack Russell called Terrence.  Like some Jacks, Terrence had a mind of his own.  I ran him a couple of times; I loved it, he ran like stink and I had to go all out to keep up with him.  His recall left something to be desired though, and if he didn't come back the first or second time when Chantal called him, well then she called Calli instead.  Calli would rush over and get the treats.  Terrence realized he was missing out pretty quick, and started to make sure he got there in time for the reward. 
Over the years I would see both of them occasionally, and then they became regular visitors to the Abbotsford Farmers Market, and would stop and chat.  Terrence gained a brother called Henry, also a Jack.  Last Saturday they stopped to visit.  Chantal commented that Terrence hadn't eaten his breakfast which was really odd.  Not long after she said she was taking him to the vet, as he just wasn't right.  The vet determined an infection and a mass in the abdomen.  Sunday he seemed better and then Monday afternoon took a turn for the worse.  On Tuesday morning the vet went in, hoping it was just his spleen, but he had cancer everywhere, and he was let go there and then.   
Chantal came to the market today with Henry.  We shared a big hug and a few tears.  Fly free Terrence.

Market moment-  We had all sorts of weather at the market today.  There was a cold wind, sunshine, and a few heavy showers.  I have two tents over my booth, one behind the other.  The back tent is over where I stand and the utility trailer is behind me with the extra boxes of jam in it.  Where the two tents meet is over the back of the table and the shelf with the jam on.  When it rains of course the water runs off and drips down right there.  I made a plastic gutter thing that velcros to the bottom edge of one tent, hangs down a little way, and then turns back up and fastens to the bottom edge of the other tent.  It makes a U-shaped channel all along that side where the two tents meet for the water to run into, and that channel is on a slope, so the water runs out at one end.  Well I couldn't remember quite how to put it up, did it backwards, so the pieces of  velcro didn't really match other than in a few spots.  Then I couldn't get the other side fastened up properly.  In the meantime the rain is pouring down, and the wind is blowing it in on the sides.  I was fiddling around and a few times the gutter collapsed right over the jam shelf, cascading water everywhere.  Once I had my arm up and the water shot down my sleeve, and another time it came off in a spout and went down the front of my neck.    At one point I felt like sitting down and crying.  Anyway, I finally got it sorted out, the rain didn't continue on, and things had dried up by the time it came to packing up.

Market moment (rant?)- A dog club showed up today.  When I asked one of them about the group, the woman said the were a 'remote' club.  I didn't catch on right away, thinking 'remote', as in a long way off, in the wilderness, whatever.  No it was remote, as in remote collar, and I noticed all the handlers had the control in their hand.  Wellllll...... the dogs were certainly well behaved....and I think that's all I'm going to say on that.

Rant- If I stop to let you cross the street, despite the fact that you aren't at a crosswalk (which is only thirty feet away, in case you didn't notice), please have the decency to give me a wave of thanks, and hustle your butt across that road.  Oh, I guess you can't do that, because it just might interrupt your texting:(

Rave-Thanks to the nice young guy who called me over to his empty checkout at the grocery store, and was really pleasant

Rave-Got to the library to pick up the Crate Games DVD I had requested.  Our dog club donated approx. $900 worth of agility books and DVD's to the library.  Checked the shelf in the pet section, and there were two other agility books there that I wanted to read, yay!

Off to an outdoor agility trial in the morning.  Hope the weather cooperates.  Now I just have to find where I left Luna's ID card..... Wish us luck!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flower Power

Welcome to today's garden report

 Sometimes I spend a lot of time trying to get the pictures placed where I want them, and Blogger just does NOT want to cooperate.  Well the issue is with trying to put them side by side.  I don't have the patience tonight, so they are just going to going to be stacked vertically.

The basil is coming along nicely and the second true leaves are there

The lettuce mix is really shooting up, and some of it is way too tightly planted.  Going to have to figure out a better way to sow the seeds more evenly.  Made up 8 bags of salad mix with lettuce, arugula and kale to take to the market.  Could have done more, but since it is a long weekend, it is hard to know how busy it will be tomorrow. 

Here's the arugula.  Made up 10 bags of that.

The broccoli is developing little heads.  It took a beating the other day with the wind, and has gone from them all standing up nice and straight to many of them leaning at jaunty angles.

In reality these carrots are only a couple of inches high

The potatoes are really filling out


A couple of Delphiniums.  For some reason they wanted  to be side by side

And a close up of the purple one

The double red Peonies are gorgeous, and are much redder than they look in these photos.  The rain and wind really is hard on them.  The big heads fill up with water and the weight drags them down.

 A really lovely bearded Iris

Allium flowers 

 I love this shot.  A Nelly Moser Clematis

We don't have any lambs, but we have Lamb's Ears

This poor giant Hosta took a beating in the wind.  You can see all the maple leaves scattered on the lawn behind.

The more compact Hostas fared much better

Lady's Mantle.  Love how it holds the rain drops.

And what you've all been waiting for................ the very rare Wyndson Farm Buttercup.  Ask really nicely, and add in the appropriate bribe, and I might consider giving you a root.  Act fast though, they'll be gone before you know it!