Friday, April 26, 2013

In The Frame

We've lucked out and had sunny weather from Sunday afternoon until lunchtime today.  Rain is coming, just in time for me at the market tomorrow morning:(
The early morning light was so beautiful.  This is looking through the double pane of the back door.  Did catch some reflection from inside, but avoided the dog nose and cat paw produced 'frosted' glass near the bottom of the door.


I seeded some basil under that plastic tunnel on Wednesday.  Hopefully there will be enough heat created under there to get it germinating.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blooming and Growing

(My apologies to anyone still under a blanket of snow.  Don't want it to feel like rubbing salt in a wound)

Mother nature is going wild now.  There is green everywhere.  Yellow too.  The dandelions are in full bloom.  First choice of grazing sheep, and Pride likes them too.

Spring hasn't been early for us.  The  Bartlett pear tree is finally blooming, and so is the cherry tree (although we don't get any fruit off it, but the birds do).  The plum trees also are in full bloom.



Grape hyacinths and Forget-me-nots.


Ornamental cherry with regular cherry in the background.


These tulips are just about done, although we do have some that haven't bloomed yet.  The weeds are going wild.


The greenhouse is full of seedlings.  Kales, cabbages and broccoli.  Tomato plants in the one gallon pots.


Zucchini and lemon cucumber seedlings still on the hot mat, which is an old waterbed heater.  I have two, and had better look after them, as I don't seem to see them at garage sales and in thrift stores any more.


I've put some of them outside to harden off.  Poor things, it wasn't gradual as it should be.  I've forgotten to pick them up and put them back in the green house at night.


Carrots finally coming up, with garlic in the background


My best success story this spring.  I got lazy and didn't move the pea fencing.  Usually my first planting of peas isn't totally successful.  I lose a lot to birds, and then the slugs of course.  This year I planted them under some narrow strips of gauzy fabric, like stuff that sheer drapes would be made out of .


I clothes pegged the strips together, and to the fencing, and germination and survival has been almost 100%.  I think as the peas get taller, I'll move the fabric up a bit, and it will hang down the outside of them and help lean them in towards the fence so that they wrap their little tendrils around  it.  Usually I have to help them out, but I think my idea will work like a charm.


This morning I finally got some potatoes planted, only about a month and a half later than I like.

And a note about the Sun Run.  There was a lady in the 80-84 year old category that did the 10 K a minute faster than me.  Is that motivation or what?
Or how about the lady in the 95-99 year old category (yes, there were two participants in that division).  They both finished, the fastest one in 1 hour and 35 minutes.  I find that mind boggling.  

Planning on going out for a run after supper tonight.  I've got a lot to live up to.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I Hate Running

Just wanted to remind you of that.  I've never found running easy, and I've never  liked it.  I do like that feeling of success, that 'yay, I did it' feeling after a difficult workout, but doing AND liking the workout are two different things.  Would running be my exercise method of choice? No way.  Give me the option of a brisk walk or a bike ride any day.   So why did I run?  Because it's there I guess.  The Sun Run that is.  Do I have a bucket list?  No, I don't, but if I did, this would have been on it.   So I've done it twice now.  Will I do it again.... probably.  Why?  Just to say I did.  Kind of makes you feel good.  Kind of like name dropping.  You happen to talk to someone, and just happen to mention that YOU ARE GOING IN THE SUN RUN.  Makes you feel like you are a bit special, are part of an elite group.  Maybe I'm a bit of a snob.

So yeah, Meredith and I survived.  It was raining this morning.  That hadn't really been part of my wardrobe plan.  I changed it up a bit.  It was cold too, and we have to do a lot of standing around before we actually get across the start line.  45,000+ people take an hour to all get across the line.  Luckily for us, we managed to feed into the back of an earlier group, as we gathered on the sidestreet because the actual starting street was full.  Which meant for less standing around.

Easing onto Georgia St. for the start

30-35,000 runners behind us, waiting to start

  The actual race started, with the elite runners heading out first,  while we were still standing in the line up for the portapotties.  It was kind of nice to start with a faster group.  There seemed to be less people that we had to pass this year.  Well except for those annoying walkers that start way ahead of where they should, and then don't keep to the side and walk a few abreast and block the road.  Or the runners that are running, and then suddenly decide to walk when you are right behind them. By the time we hit the first kilometre, the sun was out and I had my long sleeved top tied around my waist.   We remembered a few things from the last year.  Stay to the middle of the road at the water stations, since we didn't use them.  Couldn't believe the people waiting to use the portapotties  about 1.5 km in.  We did manage to keep running the whole way.  About kilometer 7, my legs felt like they had 100 lb weights attached.  Meredith was struggling too.  She said later that if I had suggested walking, she would have jumped at it.  Things got a bit better and on the last half a kilometer on the downhill side of the Cambie Bridge we were able to make a feeble attempt at a sprint for the finish line.  Grabbed hands and ran across it together.  Our times were identical.  Felt sick and light headed at the end, so walked around a bit to recover and then did our stretches.  We went into the stadium for some free food and drink,  and managed to get together with two of my nieces that ran.  We all finished in times that were no more than four minutes apart.

Niece, Aunt, Niece and Daughter

Cute grand-niece in her 'Go Mommy Go' t-shirt

Meredith's and my time was 1 hr 2 mins 50 secs.  Nearly 4.5 minutes faster than I did it last year.  I was pretty pleased with that, and it was about 20 minutes faster for Meredith, who was hobbling along with plantar fasciitis the last time.  We started off slightly faster this year I think.  I had wanted to do that.  It's okay saying to start off slow, but you can never make that time up.  Maybe that's why our legs felt so dead at 7 K, who knows.  I know I didn't have the oomph at the end this year that I did last year.  I'll settle for the faster time though.  You know what I find the most amazing about all this though?  The fact that I CAN run for an hour, non stop.  I actually find that mind boggling.  Who'da thunk it?

There were a lot of blue and yellow ribbons in evidence, in support of Boston.  We had some pinned to our numbers.  Did we think about bombs.  Yeah:(  Meredith and I talked about it at the end.  If we were of a terrorist mentality, what were the places we would have picked to do the most damage.  There were a few 'good' choices.  Sad that the thought even crossed our minds.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Winery Tour

I've been in a bit of a funk this week.  First the bombing in Boston, and the whole story of finding the bombers, and how it will or will not affect the Sun Run tomorrow.  Then I had to sell thirty chickens because we have new ones arriving on Monday.  The whole selling on Craigslist thing and how you never know for sure if the person you think is coming is actually going to show up.  Buying and selling on-line seems to make some people think they can be rude and inconsiderate.  Anyway, long story short....they did all sell to one person last night.  Larry got the coop cleaned out today, and between us we got it pressure washed.

I've been going through my running outfit for tomorrow.  The forecast is for cloud, clearing near noon, and a 30% chance of showers.  I'm running in shorts and a tank top, but have a very lightweight pair of pants and top that I'll wear until just before the start, and then stuff into the pocket on my water bottle belt.  I'll be glad of something to put on at the end.  Another fleece top will be tossed to the sidelines when we start running. We have to do a lot of waiting around before the start, and it might be a bit cool.  We are driving to Surrey and taking the skytrain the rest of the way.  Hoping to meet up with two nieces who are also running, at the end.  Better go and have another drink of water....which will mean I'll have to get up in the middle of the night.  Trying to keep hydrated....

Nearly a couple of weeks ago now, when my sister was out from Ontario, I took her to a winery in Oliver.


Most people go to wineries to taste and usually buy a bottle of wine.

Not us.  I had put an ad on the Okanagan Craigslist, looking for some free manure.  I was contacted by the owner of a winery who told me just to come any time.  We went there one afternoon.  The guy (who probably could get a gig as Santa Claus at Christmas) sent us over to the horse paddock.  Two old horses.  DO NOT let them out of the gate he said.  Were we used to horses he asked?  Oh sure, no problem.  They were a couple of old-timers, showing their age.  Not as old as Pride I don't think, because I mentioned we had a 31 year old, and he looked surprised, but definitely showing their age more than Pride.  I think if I wasn't a horse person I would have been nervous going in the paddock with them, as they definitely checked us out.  Once they realized we didn't have anything edible for them, they left us alone.


We had naturally assumed that there would be a big manure pile that to shovel from, but no, the manure was just spread all over the ground a few inches thick, and had been walked over.  At least it was dry, so not heavy, and much easier to scoop up  than we thought.  It wasn't long before we got our bins filled up.


Back at the cottage, we dragged the old gates open off the back lane (very handy) and backed the truck onto the lawn by the garden.  Dumped the bins, spread it out, and rototilled it into the vegetable garden.  Probably not the best thing as it wasn't rotted yet, but I decide just to go for it.  Planted some potatoes and some carrots, and then tried to devise a plan to keep the cats out of it.  (There is an abundance of cats in Oliver it seems) Since the dollar store is very handy, we made a quick trip there and bought four packages of netting. Or maybe we went there to get chocolate bars.  We came back with both.  There were no dimensions on the netting package, but the thing turned out to be huge and we only used one.  The rest of the garden that hasn't been planted was covered in some pieces of cedar lattice we got off a 'free' pile, and some odd bits of wire.  There are a few herbs and some garlic that I planted last Fall.  Hopefully next trip, the carrots and potatoes will be up, and there won't be any cats tangled in the netting:(


Monday, April 15, 2013

Dark, Dreary and Sad

What a shock at lunchtime today to hear the horror story coming out of Boston.  So very very saddening, sickening and scary.  There is just no understanding of the insanity of it, my heart goes out to those affected.


It does hit close to home.  The run Meredith and I are doing on Sunday is among the largest 10K races in the world.  As of last night there were over 44,000 people registered.  We are in Canada, but that does not negate all chances of an act of terrorism.  The bombs in Boston are sure to be on the minds of many as we run on Sunday.  I know it will be on mine.  


We are two training sessions away from the race.  Meredith has had no trouble with her plantar fasciitis.  The knee I messed up last year has given me some issues on and off.  Usually felt better instead of worse 10 or 15 minutes into a training session , and the last few runs it has felt pretty good right from the start.  We are as ready as we can be with the training we have done.


This afternoon we had quite a storm move in from the east.  The sun was still shining on us for a while.  There is a very faint rainbow just above the roof of the barn.  Then it clouded right over.
There were flashes of lightening and lots of thunder rumbling.  The only one bothered was Jake.
The sky was incredibly dark.


We got a shower of rain, and then it did clear up again.  
For many people in Boston, and elsewhere, this day will always remain dark and dreary.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Keeping In Touch

It seems if I don't post in a few days, then I get kind of stuck and the none-communicado phase just threatens to drag on.  Lots has happened just lately.
My sister visited from Ontario for a week.  Mostly to see our mother, who she hasn't seen for a year.  We did manage to get lots of sister time in though.  Lots of visits to thrift stores.  We headed up to Oliver for a couple of nights, and visited more thrift stores.  She called it going to a fitness camp.  Not the thrift store part, but what we did the rest of the time. I will eventually do a post on it.
Calli has a bladder infection.  Well now I hope it's 'had', as she has just finished a week of antibiotics.  I'll collect a sample and do the sniff test tomorrow.   Her urine was very strong smelling.  It's been that way for a while.  I just thought it was really concentrated, as she wasn't showing the incontinence symptoms like the last time she had an infection.  Since she doesn't have full bladder control anyway, it can be a bit hard to decide if things are not quite right.

Here's something fun to watch.  This girl not only trains dogs to do agility, she trains cats too!
I'm in awe of all that she has trained this cat to do.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Painted Furniture

Here's a couple of other furniture bits that I've painted lately.  This old kitchen chair had been painted white, but that was a bit stark for the place I wanted to use it.  It was in great shape though, no loose legs or rails.  $2.50 at MCC Furniture and More thrift store.


I wanted a small chair in the bedroom to put my clothes on.  Up 'til now I've been piling them on a bench at the end of the bed.  The pile was getting pretty deep, because the size of the bench enabled me to let stuff accumulate.   We make jokes around here about horizontal surfaces....The rule now is that my clothes have to be on the chair.  We are constantly changing clothes, or at least it seems that way some days.  And the jeans or shorts that I wear around the farm don't get washed the minute they get dirty.  I just put them on again the next day and add another layer of dirt.  The chair had to be small, because really there wasn't much room to put anything else in the bedroom.   It will go on the wall by the bottom corner of my side of the bed, just far enough back that there is room to swing the closet door open, and leave just enough room to get past it down the side of the bed.  I always wonder when I see the photos of wonderful looking bedrooms, just where are the clothes that have been worn but don't need washing yet?  I can put clothes on in the morning for being outside here, then have to change them to go out to the store, then change into something else to do a run, then change back to farmy clothes, but maybe something cooler than I had on before.
Right here next to the laundry hamper it would be blocking a door, and that's where Luna's bed is anyway.


It's got some funky looking flowers on the seat, but most of the time those won't be visible under the clothes.  The red matches the laundry hamper


It's got a nice rail along the back to drape stuff over it.  Certain things I will put back in the closet, but other things I want to wear them until they need washing.  Maybe I don't do laundry enough?


While I had that greyish green paint going, well it started out quite a dark green and I played around to lighten it up, I painted this old magazine table at the same time.  It's a really rough piece, cut out of a plank, so the top has warped.  None of the saw cuts were sanded, the routed edge was rough.  One of the nails through the end piece into the side had totally missed it's mark.  I banged it out, pushed the side in, and hammered the nail back into place.  I left all the saw ridges, holes, dings and  cracks.  That's part of it's charm.  It cost me $7.50 at the same store.


I played around with a bit of a white glaze on the top edge.


Added a Dollar Store stencil on the sides and top out of a darker version of the main colour.




I really like it, but don't actually have a good place to put it.  I might try to sell it.  Maybe I can take it to the farmers market.  I have the booth with the most variety of stuff already, why not add something else totally different?



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Training Update

I'm feeling pretty good about this running right now, after struggling with it a week or two ago.  Not that I'm finding it easier. No way. No sir. It's HARD. But.....I'm getting it done, and mentally feeling fantastic about that part.  On Sunday, Meredith and I ran what I consider the hardest training session.  We are into week 11 of  13 weeks of training.  Unfortunately Larry has had to drop out.  The first run of week 10, he pulled something in the back of his calf.  After a few days off he tried running again, and after a few minutes he was in pain.  At this point in the training you can't afford to take a couple of weeks off and expect to be able to run the 10K.  Walking it isn't an option for him.  So he's been doing a bit of bike riding to keep the fitness level up, and doing the same stretching afterwards to maintain the flexibility that he's gained.  We are hoping to keep on with some running after the race, running at a lower level and hopefully he'll be able to get back into that.  He might have been better off switching to the walk/run option at week seven, but you know that saying about hindsight.   We had all wanted to run together.


So anyway, back to our Easter Sunday run.  We started before 9, at my insistence.  I CAN. NOT. RUN. if I get too hot.  Since the weather over the whole Easter Weekend was as fantastic as it could possibly get (sunshine and temperatures of 20-22 degrees, high 60's to low 70's F), I needed to run before it got too warm.  We drove 15 minutes and were running on the Discovery Trail in Abbotsford.  The part we were on was mostly flat, although did get into some small ups and downs farther along.  We had a plan for the first part, but when we came out at Clearbrook road, we hadn't decided which way to head.  That's when I said, 'let's take that boardwalk, I've never been down it and would like to know where it goes'.  The board walk parallels the road for a while, and then heads into the trees.  We've driven past it a million times, but never been on it.  Eventually the flat part started to go up, and up, and did some switch backs, and up some more.  Our legs were dead but we slogged our way to the top.  Then it was all flat and ran along the back of some houses.  There is a large Asian population in that neighbourhood, and almost every house had a decent sized vegetable plot in the backyard.  We came out at a school and onto a road, and other than back tracking, we had one more monster hill to do.   We puffed our way to the top, and right at the top we ended our 40 minutes.  High Fives!  A minute of walking to catch our breath, and then off running again with some flat, a few small hills, more flat, and then a lot of downhill, and we finished off with walking on the flat.  According to Google there was 250' difference in elevation between where we had parked, which was the lowest point, and the top of the hill.  I was on a mental high all day after that one:)  And really the weather was perfect.  The sun was shining but the air was still cool and moving enough that I could feel the coolness against my skin as we ran.

Seven more training sessions and 2 1/2 weeks before the Sun Run.