Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I'm Still Here

So much I'd like to say that I get bogged down with it all, and nothing gets done.  So behind on everything, but then I always am at this time of the year.  David has been around quite a bit, in his 'between university ending and his English internship starting' time.  I commented the other day to him on the amazing amount of 'stuff' he can get done, and he said, well what did you do when you were 28.....And so true.  Where oh where has that young energy gone?

The garden, what part has been planted, is running wild.  And so is the part that hasn't been planted.  The first White Rock farmer's market was on Sunday.  An excellent day, loads of people, sales were good, and I think every vendor would say the same thing.  Almost 90 vendors there, amazing!  Lots of work to be done to keep up stock for the market. 
I only did four markets at Abbotsford this year, and I have 'retired' from there, probably until next Spring.  I must say though,  all four of those markets were excellent.  
We have made a quick trip to Oliver, just two full days there, and I spent much of those days making jam. The rose bush on the west side of the house there was in full bloom.  Just beautiful.  I wish it was planted in a much more visible spot.  It didn't get pruned this Spring, so was a great beautiful sprawling mass. 

 I cut multiple blooms off it and brought them back with us on the Friday, and made some pretty nice bouquets for the Abbotsford market on the Saturday.  These were the last two (the pink roses were from our bushes here.

This post was going to be short and sweet just to let you know that I'm still alive.  One last photo. I finished off this fun sign yesterday to hang over the vegetable table at the market.  Two 50 cent pictures from the thrift store, as well as a bunch of wooden carrots, and and old coat hanger from home.  I love it!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Same Old

You've seen most of this before, but I wanted to show you how green Oliver Mountain was this Spring after the fire of last summer.  The grass has returned with a vengeance.  It was a beautiful day for a hike.

A new line of power poles went up the mountain, along with a wider ATV trail, so that is what we followed.  We worked hard to keep Luna on the trail and close by, and I am happy to say that this is the first time I didn't have to pull spiny cactus bits from her feet.

The clumps of Arrowleaf Balsamroot  were so pretty.  I was wondering if there were two types, as some seemed to have wider petals than others.

Not long ago vandals cut the guy wires to the cell tower at the top of the mountain, and toppled it over.  When we were there, three guys were working to take the tower apart in preparation to remove it from the mountain.  The next day we could see a helicopter carrying parts away.

Luna relaxing on the helicopter pad.  You can see for miles. We are looking down the valley towards Osoyoos.

Looking to the northeast with Tuc-el-nuit Lake behind me.

Look at all that grass.

Some of the Ponderosa Pines had only been burned at the bottom, so it looked like they would survive.  Some of the smaller ones were burned for their full height, and I think they were done in.

Lots of green, and a good dog on the trail.

Lots of little clumps of different sorts of flowers.  These look like a creeping Phlox.....anyone?

These little yellow flowers were tiny, about the size of a penny.

This something new.  It was in the really burned areas.  I have just decided that it is probably a flower from the Prickly Pear cactus.

They were only in one specific area.  A little valley I liked to walk through, that was burned badly, but the Columbines on the rock scree were still there.

Almost at the bottom.  The water tower ahead on the right.
Two good (tired) dogs plodding down the trail.

I have managed to accidentally delete two posts, maybe more.  The Sun Run one, and the one of the fields of yellow flowers.  
Very maddening.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Funky and Fun

It's been busy around here.  So much gardening and yard work to do right now, and not enough energy.  Since it seems like Summer has already arrived, I've been trying to get some of my pots and other containers planted up.  Maybe for once I'll actually have a decent display, and have it done before July or August.  Now wouldn't that be something! 

I thought I'd show you some of my funky yard art.  For Christmas last year I asked David if he would make me some sort of funky metal sculpture.  A couple of years before he had made a really cool one for his girlfriend's mother.  We had all sort of heads from gardening tools, and I was imagining them all welded together somehow.  I don't think any welding got done until Christmas Eve (is procrastination hereditary?....) and then on Christmas Day I was informed that it didn't work out with the tool heads.  There had been a lot of crashing and banging earlier while my new funky yard art was arranged on the deck for my Christmas morning viewing.  Not quite what I was expecting, but hey, I can work with it.

The petunia is in a wire 'chair' frame that I already had.  I used moss collected on one of our morning walks.

There were three pieces of funky welding.  The first is that piece at the back of the wagon bed.  I've decided it looks good there, so am going to drill a couple of holes in the back of the rim of the wagon and stick the two ends of the baler tines in the holes. Right now it is just shoved in the dirt.  So it is some sort of pulley wheel, 4 baler tines and four horse shoes.

The next piece is the wagon part of a Red Flyer, welded to the PTO shaft of a piece of farm equipment.   Since it is quite shallow I added the pots to give a few plants a bit more depth, and then filled the wagon up with soil and put some succulents in around the pots. I've just planted them all so am hoping they fill out nicely.  Of course that would require a person to feed and water them in a timely manner.  I'm not sure that person is me, but I'll try....

 The two angle braces are two pieces of a set of fireplace tools, the shovel and the log poker.  All are welded to some other random cog wheel from something or other, who knows what....

The third piece was an old jack, with the base of the fireplace tools set welded to it as a little adjustable shelf.  The base is a lug wrench (Larry saw it and said 'I've been looking for that....') Oops! Four more horse shoes brace the jack and the wrench.  The pot is one my Dad made.  It's a bit precarious on there, I might run a piece of wire around the pot and fasten it tight to the top of the jack.

At the base is a resting rock goose.  The rest of the goose family are at the front of the house.

Still some cleanup to do there by the front door, and the Scottie dog needs a plant.  The little girl has a dog, a cat (peeking around the big planter) and three geese to keep her company. 

I had two dogs keeping me company.  

Please please can you throw our toy.

I think Luna might be catching the little platypus this time.

I was trying to give them each a turn

Jake tends to look slightly crazy doing this sort of thing.

A lovely summer type evening to end a lovely summer type day.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Creepy Crawlies

It probably seems to some of you that I am kind of obsessed about ticks.  I probably am, because last year was the first time I had anything to do with them.  They are still new and fascinating, in a creepy sort of way, to me.  Last year was the first time I had ever found any on our dogs.  So now I think about them a lot.  

They say to have a shower after you have been in a tick area.  Well a fat lot of good that did me (previous post) with the one I found crawling in my hair.  It must have been hanging on tight to not get swept down the drain.  So after we got back from the Okanagan, I was checking the dogs for ticks pretty well every day.  After a while when I hadn't found any, I figured (thank goodness), that we hadn't brought any back.  And then on Friday afternoon Larry was giving Jake some attention and informed me that there was a bump.  And it was a tick with a death grip on his skin.  So I got the tweezers and got a good hold on it and pulled and pulled until it finally came free with a chunk of Jake's skin.  He didn't seem bothered.  The weirdest thing was that under the bloated tick was another tick, that hadn't yet started to feed.  Very strange.  Anyway, didn't find any more on Jake.  Then it was Luna's turn.  I found these three on Luna.  All of them were just to the side of the spine, near the shoulder blades or back a bit from there.  Calli didn't seem to have any.  We had been back nine days from the Okanagan.  That seemed a long time to me, too long.  But, I looked them up and they appear to be Rocky Mountain ticks, which one site said were not found west of the coast mountains. If that is true, although I wonder with climate change and all that, they must have been on the dogs all those nine days.  Gross:(

When we were at Oliver I did notice some rather large spiders.  This one took the cake.  It may have been the same one I saw earlier on the front of the house, but it disappeared down into the flowers before I could show it to Larry.
Here it is crawling up the hand railing to the front door.  That is a honey bee it has a hold of.  I think the bee was still moving a bit when I first saw it.  That gives you some idea of the size of the spider.

I couldn't really get a decent picture.  The thing made me think of a mini tarantula.  I was using that orangey cloth to try keep the spider in position on the post.  It just seemed like it wanted to hang out under the corner of the railing.  I looked up spider pictures but didn't find anything that matched.

I think the ticks freak me out more than the spiders.
Excuse me for a moment while I go check that itchy crawly feeling on my back.

In other news, I went for a run with Meredith the Friday before last.  My knee seemed okay while running, but afterwards kind of felt like it was back to square one.  Bummer! So I'm giving up on the running for a while, and am resorting to bike riding instead.  Which is okay because I actually like that better.  I'm trying to do it on a schedule, trying to maintain the fitness level I had reached.  This morning both Larry and I went out together, and rode 8.5 miles.  We saw a couple of interesting things.  

This is the gate to a residence.  We couldn't actually see the house, but if it matched the scale of the gate and stone wall along the front of the property, it must be enormous.  I just have to ask 'why?'

We saw a few of these signs.  

$5000 Reward?  That boggles the mind.  The other thing was that the cat was a spitting image of Nelson.   One of the signs said 'never give up hope' at the bottom.  So my mind got working overtime the way it does sometimes.  Did 'never give up hope' mean that the cat had been missing a long time?  A very long time? As in 10 years?  My mum adopted Nelson from a shelter less than two miles from where I saw one of the signs, ten years ago. 
I wonder if I can get up the nerve to call the number. 
Do I want to call the number? 
That would be just too weird....

Oh yeah, on Thursday when we were out on our bikes, we saw an air conditioner sitting in the long grass at the side of the road.  It was still there on the way back, so when we got home we jumped in the car and went and back and picked it up.  It was dirty and looked like it had been sitting somewhere for years.  What the heck, we had nothing to lose, and maybe an airconditioner to gain.   
We plugged it in and turned the fan on, which started up and then stopped.  It sounded like it had got caught on something.  Another day passed and I took the cover off and got some grass out of the fan area, and managed to haul about eight Trivial Pursuit cards out of there as well.  Plugged it in again and the fan worked fine and the cold air did too.
So today I got the air compressor and blasted all the junk out of it (as well at four more Trivial Pursuit cards) and wiped down all what I could with a damp soapy cloth.  It seems to work just fine, so will maybe try it in our bedroom window one warm evening. 
That's me, Ms. Junk collector. 
You just never know what you might find!