Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Under the Microscope

This morning, early, I could hear the roar of the propane burners of a hot air balloon.
The dogs had gone out a little bit before, and Jake now had his nose pressed to the glass door, begging to come in.

I went out to let the chickens out, and here is the balloon coming right over our house and heading over the trees in the sheep field.

Right over my head.  When I waved, people waved back to me.  I heard someone say 'look at the dog', as Luna did her usual outrun around the sheep field.  I felt like I was putting on a performance, being watched from above.  It was a weird feeling. 

I headed over to the south field to let the other coop of chickens out, away from the direction the balloon was going.  Those hens would have been able to see the balloon from the window in their coop.  They were a little more hesitant about coming out, and stopped to have a good look at that great big 'predator' in the sky.

Coming down!

Just landing in the field next door

I thought Pride might be all wound up and snorty, but I don't think he'd even noticed.   His hearing isn't so great any more.  He finally saw it when  Luna ran out to him and he put his head up and then saw the deflating balloon out of the corner of his eye.

I brought Jake back out, he wasn't really thrilled about even looking at the balloon, but since it was no longer making those roaring noises, he figured he was going to be okay.

The wind late yesterday afternoon undressed some of the blueberry bushes.  I dressed them back up again after I picked the ripe ones. 
 Breakfast appetizer!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Oh My Aching Back!

Every other Saturday, my next booth neighbour at the Abbotsford Farmers market is Darlene from Mountain Farms Soap.  She has the most amazing array of products, and some of her soaps are made to look like cupcakes and slices of cake.  They really do look good enough to eat.
You can see some of them here:
See something you like?  Darlene can ship it to you.

Luna had rolled in something gross, gross, gross on Friday.  The bright orangey yellow disgusting smelley something or other was smeared all over the left side of her head and neck.  She was quite proud of herself.  Larry hosed her off, which got rid of the worst of it, but stick your nose in close enough, and you could still get a whiff. 
So on Saturday I bought a bar of soap from Darlene.
Neem soap with peppermint and tea tree oil.
(Yes, I do know that tea tree oil in high doses can be toxic to dogs)

Today after I got home from the market, I figured it was time for a bath.

We have an adapter that allows us to hook a garden hose to the kitchen tap.  That's what we used to do when we bathed our horses. Warm water is much nicer than cold. Since it was warm and sunny, it was easier and less stressful to wash the dogs outside.

Luna doesn't trust anyone that stands outside the bathroom door.  Bathing a dog might be the last thing on your mind, but Luna slinks away just in case

But outside was pretty stress free.
Except for my back.
Then it was hard on my knees.

When we first got Jake, he was terrified of the hose.  The first big agility competition I went to, they had doggy pools and hoses.  Every time we walked within a hundred feet of them he was straining on the leash trying to get further away.  He still doesn't 'like' the hose, but he can deal with it, and was quite relaxed having his bath.

Calli wasn't too thrilled either, but sometimes a dog just has to put up with these things

Yes, she sits funny like that.  It's because of the nerve damage to her back legs.

One aching back and three clean dogs later....
I like the soap.  With enough water on the dogs, it lathered up nicely.  It seemed to rinse out easily.  Not like some shampoos that seem to take forever to rinse out.

Hopefully Luna doesn't find anything stinky to roll in for a few weeks now.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The first thing the hens do when you let them out in the morning, is to put their heads down and start pecking at grass.  Since they peck at the first grass they see, the grass near the coop is always quite short.

Then a whole bunch headed over to the water bucket to wash that grass down.  We keep the hose dripping so the bucket is always full.

After opening up both coops, I took my morning wander through the garden, and had some breakfast appetizers.

I could stuff myself with these peas, pods and all.

And then Larry comes out and gives Pride his breakfast - 'senior horse pellets'.

Hey lady, since you aren't sharing those peas and raspberries, how about getting us our breakfast?

No food, no toy throwing.....boring!

Some dogs take matters into their own mouths, and help themselves to what Pride drops.  


Even Smudge gets in on the 'raw act'.  Somehow she seems to magically appear when it's dog feeding time, and requests her share too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Following Your Dream

David is passionate about Land Rovers.  A few years ago he bought one, proceeded to take it to pieces and rebuilt it, but it wasn't quite what he wanted, so he eventually sold it.  His passion waned for a while, but then the flame was fanned, and it is burning strong again.  Luckily for him, our neighbour is also a Land Rover lover.  And luckily for David, he offered a Landrover to him to use on some outings that the Land Rover club held.  He'd been out twice, the first time with Larry as co-pilot, and the second time with his girlfriend. 
There are pictures of those outings here.  Notice the cool sleeping arrangement:)

For a long while now he has been looking for his own Land Rover.  The selection here is somewhat limited, and the prices are high.
But.....go to the home of the Land Rover, and the selection and prices are much better.  After doing a lot of research, he figured that in England, he had more chance of finding a Land Rover that fit his dream, and at a price he could afford.  Add on all the shipping and governments holding their hands out for their share of the pie, and it still wasn't going to cost any more than what he would pay here, IF he could even find one that he liked.
He found a decent price on a flight to England for an eight day stay, asked Meredith if she was interested in coming along, and off they went.  They landed at Gatwick, picked up their rental car, and headed north.  Since it was cheaper to rent a car under Meredith's name since she was the eldest, she drove first.  I give her a lot of credit.  A strange car, steering wheel on the right, driving on the left side of the road, in a torrential downpour, and the car being a stick shift to boot, I'm impressed.  She said she stalled it once and got honked at three times for not getting going fast enough, and proceeded to drive 200 miles north to York, and then she never drove it again:)
Since the first Land Rover David had arranged to see was in North Yorkshire, not far from Harrogate where I was born, I asked them to have a look around at my old stomping grounds.

Here's where I lived until we headed to Canada when I was six. It looks pretty cute.  It's what is called a semi-detached, and what would probably be called a duplex here. Kitchen, bathroom, front entrance and bedroom across the front. Another bedroom and living room across the back, and small entry porch on the side.  Detached garage at the end of the driveway. 

When we lived there, there was a farm behind, but now it's more houses.  Sometimes the creek used to flood, and water would rush down our driveway and come in through that side porch.  My mum had one of those incidences to deal with on her own after my dad had left for Canada before we did.

My dad grew up in the next town over, called Knaresborough,  about three miles away.  They tried to see his old house, but the GPS led them astray, so they didn't actually find it.  That's okay, I found it on Google street view.
Knaresborough is a really quaint, picturesque place, with loads of history, not that there's probably a place in England that doesn't have a long history.  Here's a shot taken of the railway bridge, that was finished in 1851.  It had collapsed before they had quite finished building it three years earlier, so they just set to and built it again.

In Blackpool, they found this little reminder of home

And stopped to watch a horse show held in a not very flat field.
What gorgeous ponies they have.

In Blackpool there was a large area along the beach that was covered in funny quotes

In Nottingham they posed with Robin Hood

Neither were as good looking as the Hollywood versions

They had a wonderful visit with my cousin Julia and her husband Peter.
Those are their dogs, Prince and Charlie.
Aren't they Bonny?

Since David and Meredith's non-English half is of Icelandic heritage, they got a kick out of this store, which sold groceries.

And here it is.....
THE Land Rover.
 It seems small, and kind of cute I guess:)
David actually 'won' this in an eBay auction a few days after they arrived.  He slipped that last bid in just 12 seconds before the auction closed.   When he went to see it, there were no unpleasant surprises, and the owner had all the service records.

Fortunately it was only about 40 miles from the port at Southampton, and the tow truck driver knew exactly where to take it when he got there.  So there it sat ( I think it needs a name, any suggestions?) parked with a lot of other VERY expensive vehicles, all waiting to be shipped to Tacoma, Washington. Just a measly $290,000 for that Rolls Royce. The Land Rover left today, and will arrive in just under four weeks.

To add to the stress of trying to get everything arranged in the last day, the cellphone company was having trouble with their service, so his cell phone wasn't working, and he was having trouble with his laptop and the wireless as well.  Nevertheless, he managed to get it all sorted out.

And Home Sweet Home, or almost.
Coming in over Vancouver, almost at the airport.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Doggie Day

It was doggie day at the farmers market yesterday.  There was some amazing road art.

This was drawn in chalk, yes, even that cone on the right 

And the real Rosco poses next to his portrait.  

This is Major.  He belongs to one of the vendors, and comes to the market most days.

The weather yesterday, in the morning, was Not nice.  I guess we've had our week of summer.  
As one vendor said, 'it's the middle of July, and I'm wearing a toque!'
And despite the fact there was a little dog show happening, which usually brings everyone and their dog to the market, it was a slow day.

Major's mom Judy, sent us home with this. See that empty tart thingy on the left.  That was to give me the energy to pack up our booth.
 Is there any wonder that I'm not losing any weight?

The best part of the day for Luna was when the chalk art had to be washed off the pavement.  She got to chase the hose, and star in a few stranger's  phone videos.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mad Dogs

Mad dogs and English men women were out in the noon day sun. 
We were out at the garden in the north field, picking raspberries this morning, and came back to the house just before lunch.
The mad dogs didn't care that it was hot.

The sensible dogs (and cats) found shady, cool spots to lay

And the mad dogs just got madder.