Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Calm During the Storm

No, I'm not talking about that Sandy storm that is battering the east coast.  We are on the west coast, and  will not be affected by Sandy.  We didn't feel that earthquake that hit Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) on Saturday evening either.    Although if we were going to be hit by anything it would more likely to be an earthquake, as we have been told for years that we are overdue for the 'big one'.

Yesterday was just a miserable stormy, windy, wet day.  On the plus side, the temperatures were mild.

At times it looked like it might clear up, the sky would lighten, the sun even flashed out once for a second or two, but a few minutes later it was pouring rain again.

We don't get a lot of brilliant Fall colour here, but when the sun came out for ten minutes or so just before it set, the trees were just a golden glow.

Even looking to the east, the cottonwoods and alder trees were pulsing with gold.

Kind of made the rainy day seem not so bad.

An hour later, the moon was out as I drove to dog agility. 
Half an hour after that it was raining again.

Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm Addicted

Just lately I've been spending far (maybe I should make that FAR) too much time scrolling through the Craigslist ads.  Here in the southwest corner of the BC there is a massive Craigslist community.  It was probably about seven or eight years ago, when David was spouting out ads for cars for sale or car parts or something car related, and I asked him what he was looking at.  And so I was introduced to Craigslist.  And I was hooked.  We started off gently.  The first purchase was a tv armoire.   At some point I became seriously hooked, and it seemed like every other week I was dragging Larry off to Vancouver, or more locally if he was lucky, to pick up something.  We bought a fridge, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, an over the range fan, bookshelves, fencing, farm gates, pedestal sink, bathroom vanity, dog crates and a multitude of smaller stuff.  We've also got free stuff.  We've given stuff away, sold chickens, and a few other things.  

Now that we have a new house to furnish and fill up with 'stuff', I'm in Craigslist heaven.  And because the house is very small, I have to be very careful about the size of the things that we get.  We are still feeling our way, although we did take measurements and are looking for specific pieces of furniture for specific places.  So far we have bought a small table and chairs, two night tables, a side table.  I also got a free side table that I am refinishing.  I bought a patio set, but we decided to keep it here.  Yesterday I bought another patio set.  $45.  The chairs are very comfy:)

  This one's going to Oliver.  I worked it so that I stopped on my home from visiting my mother, so really no extra driving or gas involved.  I managed to fit it all into the Echo, with the donation of one bungee cord from the seller:)   The table was on it's side in the trunk, with the lid bungeed down.  Thankfully the chair backs came off, and the chairs stacked, laid on their sides in the back seat.  There was still room for quite a bit more.

 Now I'll stop looking at patio sets.  Maybe.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What We Did There.

When we went to Oliver, we took the dogs (of course), so we did a lot of walking.  The best place to walk is the Hike and Bike trail along the Okanagan River.  Once you are out of the town limits, it is off leash.  This day was the worst day weather-wise when we were there, cloudy and trying to rain a little bit.  It never did come to much though.  The walk was lovely, nice Fall colours, and we didn't meet a soul.

The dogs did what our dogs do.  Luna ran ahead, Jake peed on bushes, Calli found a rock.

We walked a couple of miles this particular day, and could have easily walked farther, but we have to keep Calli in mind and keep the walk to a length she can handle.  She had picked up a monstrous rock down by the river, and was going to bring it along.  I made her drop down the side of the dyke and leave it.

On the way back, we were chatting away and not paying attention, and she remembered exactly where that rock was, and went and got it.  I've seen her do that before.  It was a situation where she couldn't even see the rock, it was about 30 ft away down the side of the dyke hidden by long grasses, and she still knew exactly where she had left it.  Since we were close to the truck at that point, we just let her carry it back.  She doesn't chew the rocks, just carries them and if there is sand, will dig holes and drop them in.  Weird.

Of course Jake found a stick, or many sticks, and he is always hopeful.  He's not always lucky though.  Sometimes we just want them to run and sniff and NOT play fetch.

Next time we go to Oliver we are going to have the canopy on the truck.  Calli can ride in there in a crate, and Jake and Luna can share the narrow space behind the seats.  Last trip Calli and Jake shared that spot, and the passenger seat was pushed back as far as it would go, and Luna was curled up on the floorboards.  Since we have a Ford Ranger ( a mini truck), it was squishy for everyone but the driver.  On the way back home, Luna had had just about enough.  She was trying to get on the seat (not really enough room),  was looking over into the back and looking like she was going to jump over and land on the other two dogs. Next time it will be better.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Window Coverings

Quite often when you buy a house, there are other things included in the purchase besides the house and the property.  Frequently the appliances are included, as they were in our case at Wyndson Cottage, and we also got the window coverings.  Not that the window coverings were something I really was drooling over, but you have to have something to give you some privacy, just in case you want to wander round stark naked in the evening.  These windows were covered.  I think every window had at least two forms of covering, several had four, and  one window in the bedroom had five.  We are lucky enough to have two windows in the bedroom, on different walls.  I'm thinking summer, and cross-drafts.  But yeah, five coverings.  First there was a drapery made of a heavy tapestry type fabric.  Underneath that was chocolate brown broadcloth drape.  Then there was vinyl venetian blind.  On the outside of the house there was some special sort of screen, which I've never seen before, that I guess was to prevent the sun shining in.  It was a lot of very thin horizontal bars between vertical strips.  It stopped anyone from being able to see in during the day, but wasn't effective after dark.

And over the top of that was one of those outdoor roll down blinds made of plastic slats.  I would have hated to be trying to get out of that window in case of a fire.

The first morning we rolled up the outside blind.  The inside drapery remained open.  The venetian blinds were used at night, just in case someone in the house next door was able to see in.  As soon as the light was turned out, that blind was pulled back up.  I like to see the sky when I wake up.  Covered windows make me feel claustrophobic. Let the sun shine in!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Getting There

We took our first visit to Wyndson Cottage in Oliver this week.  We were planning on leaving about mid morning, but in our usual fumbling, bumbling unorganized way, it was 2pm before we were finally leaving town.  We did get the bed and a bunch of other small stuff loaded into the truck on Sunday, and figured it wouldn't take long to load the rest into the trailer in the morning. Ha! Should know better.

The weather wasn't cooperative so we had to go and buy a couple of brand new tarps of the appropriate size to cover everything.  The only thing was that what we thought was the appropriate size was actually too big, so I returned them both on Sunday afternoon and got the next size down.  We used the 6 x 4' utility trailer that all the jam and tents and shelves and what have you that we take to the farmers market each week usually travel in.  We had an old rack thing that fit in it that made the sides higher for when we had to use it to haul sheep.  It's a multi-purpose trailer! Anyway, it was just like wrapping a big rectangular present, with lots of places to hook bungees to, so that part was easy.  The truck not so much.  The bed didn't quite fit flat in the back, so was at an angle, and there wasn't always an appropriate place to attach the bungees to.  Larry had it roped and bungeed as best he could. (I had nothing to do with the whole tarping process, I must have been busy doing something more important. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)

 We made a stop on the way out to buy some pipe insulation to fit around the rope so that it wouldn't rub the paint on the truck.  Then another stop in Abbotsford to sort some insurance out, and finally we were on our way. Or not.  Less than half an hour out and we had to pull over because the tarp on the truck was rearranging itself, and flying down the freeway at 100+ kph wasn't helping.  We had to pull over in a hurry.  OMG.  All those big rigs now flying by us at 100+kph, just a few feet away, was positively frightening.  We got it fixed, we thought, and I said that if we had to stop again, lets not stop on the side of the freeway.  A few minutes later, as I'm staring into the passenger door mirror, I see a rope flying in the wind, and a piece of pipe insulation disappear behind us.  Once again we had to pull over right NOW!   Fortunately this time we had a couple more feet between us and the traffic.  Seems the rope that had passed through the wheel well with about 6" of clearance from the tire, had burnt through.  Probably as the truck bounced, the tire had caught the rope enough to burn it through.  Well doesn't matter, things were coming undone again.  So ropes and straps were once again rearranged.  We set off again, both of us watching their side through the mirrors.  We made one more stop, our choice this time, and pulled off at an exit to move a couple of bungee cords to stop the last flapping part.  I thought we were never going to get to Oliver.  Thankfully after that, it all went well.

 We were supposed to meet the realtor at his office to pick up the house key, but in the end we met him on the side of the highway, as he was at home by that point, and drove down to where his street met the highway when we let him know we were close.  So we arrived at our cottage about 6:30 in the rain and dark and blustery winds.  We ate some expensive potato chips and come nut cluster thingies that were in a welcome basket while we unloaded the truck.  The plan had been to arrive in time to go and buy some groceries, but we had to make do with a box of cereal and some milk from the drug store for breakfast the next morning,  and can of soup to go with the chips for supper.  The next morning dawned bright and beautiful and sunny, the perfect Fall day.

Standing in the backyard looking northwest.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Weirdest Dream

As we are getting closer to actually owning Wyndson Cottage, the excitement/anxiety is building.  One more trip to the lawyers to get us to sign something that he missed getting us sign on Tuesday.  Hmm, can we bill him for our extra time and gas money?  The money has been passed over, and Saturday is possession day.  I haven't been sleeping well anyway, but this is just adding to problem.  This morning I was awake at 5, and tossed and turned for a good hour and a half at least, and then finally dozed off.  And then I had the weirdest dream.

We had arrived at our new to us cottage.  I'm calling it a cottage because it is tiny and right now it is a place to visit, frequently I hope, but we won't be there full time.  Of course being a dream, it wasn't the same house.  This one was much bigger.  When we went down to the half basement to see what had been cleared out and what had been left behind, there was this massive long room lined up with old furniture, it looked like an antique store, and there was more furniture there than we would ever need.

The front and back yards were open and unfenced. In reality they are quite private, with hedges, and the back is fenced, and the front has a hedge except for the driveway.  People started appearing on our lawn.  This bothered me, as I don't want other people wandering in to what I consider is mine.  Luna ran off into the yard next door and was sniffing around and wouldn't come back.  We have been wondering how the dogs are going to take to this, are they going to bark to much, will the neighbours be anti-dog.  And all these people kept arriving.  The whole neighbourhood showed up.  They didn't bring us casseroles or weren't particularly welcoming, they were just all there, wandering all over.  I was worried about the deck collapsing (we don't have a deck) and it was this weird wire mesh floor.  Finally people started leaving, and one fellow gave me a list of everyone's names.  And then I woke up with a jolt. There were more details I remembered when I first woke, but in the fashion of dreams, those details quickly faded

So the beginning of next week we will load up our little truck and trailer and make the first trip. After our mega dry spell the weather is changing and is not cooperative, but hopefully a couple of big tarps will take care of that.  And here's to no more weird dreams.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Day in Canada is always the second Monday of October.  A lot of people like to have their big dinner on Sunday, but we used to always have it on Monday.  Mostly because we were at a farmers market on Sunday, and was I not up to cooking a big meal that day.  It would have been the same this year, but we discussed it and came up with a solution.  
Meredith said she was willing to make an attempt at cooking the dinner on Sunday, while we were at the market.
That way I was able to pick up my mother, who is in a care home about 5 minutes away from the market, and bring her back to our place for dinner.  It was nice to get home after the market and really have nothing to do.  
So we had turkey and homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce.  Also roasted carrots (ours), green beans (also ours), sweet potato casserole, and brussel sprouts.  I made some gravy, but that was all I had to do (well other than clean up afterwards).  The meal was great, and we had a much better time that this picture indicates.  

David and his girlfriend headed back to her place, and dropped my mum off on the way.  They left just in time for me to be able to sit down and catch 'The Amazing Race.'  You'd think I'd planned it that way!  It worked out about as perfectly as it could.

Larry came in that evening after closing up the coops, and reported that there were patches of chicken feathers all over the south chicken field.  

We went out the next morning and had a better look.
I know who these belong to.

Our wary little banty rooster had one close call, and has an almost tailless butt to show for it.
It must have been his lucky day.  There were a few hens that weren't so lucky.

The coyotes left their calling card, at least four or five times.
Brazen buggers:(
This was probably all happening while Meredith was merrily cooking away with the music playing.  She said the dogs were barking once at a coyote in the field next door.

Sure enough there was another hole dug under the fence from next door's.  The hole came into the chicken field, and also into the hay field next to it.  I got a piece of the farm fence, shaped it into a blob, and shoved it and jammed it in to fill in the hole.  So far the coyotes haven't touched it.

To be extra safe the chickens are fastened back into their jail, which is about 4000sq ft, compared to their regular field which is about six times that size.

I guess the coyotes couldn't find any turkeys for dinner, so decided to settle for the next best thing.
I think they should become vegetarians.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Just Weird

We do get the occasional weird egg from the hens.  Wrinkled ones, tiny ones with no yolk, and sometimes eggs with no shell.  
I think this is the weirdest one.  No shell, just an extra thick membrane, and then almost like an umbilical cord at one end.  
I have to wonder if the hen ever laid a normal egg after that one.