Friday, December 27, 2019

Christmas Day at the Brandson's

It was a pretty low key Christmas in our household this year.  Just the four of us.  David made a rather treacherous drive from Edmonton, dividing it over late afternoon and evening of the first day, and all the daylight hours of the second.  The second day was bad, blizzards, stuck for an hour and a half at the summit of the highway, waiting for the road to be plowed and the semi drivers to get the chains on their trucks, which were blocking the road.  It was such a relief when he finally arrived at dusk on the Friday before Christmas.  

Christmas morning I was the first one up and wandered around turning on Christmas lights and snapping a few pictures.

The outside animals are all taken care of first, and then the dogs are fed, and then us.  We had some leftover chicken/bacon/sweet potato/onion/egg patties left over from supper the night before, and they made a nice brunch meal.

A few years ago we said we didn't want any more gifts.  We do fun little stocking stuffers, and of course there are random things I find at the thrift stores for a dollar or two that I think *may* be useful.

In the afternoon we took the dogs for a walk down on the dyke.  I thought that would be a good place to do our annual Christmas photo, and Larry insisted on taking the tripod, which in retrospect was a good idea.  ( I was coming up with ways we could manage without it).  By the time we got there the light was already fading.  Everyone else and their dog seemed to be there, so it took us a bit to get along to the swimming hole.  

These were the only three posed pictures taken, so I'm pretty happy they came out as good as they did.

Jake had had enough by this point.

Tucker even had an actual swim!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, full of love and laughter, with family and friends.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Big Holes

Now that we are finished with the farmer's market for six months, we can get a few jobs done that have been waiting in the wings to be finished.  Because we are rural, we have a septic tank.  That said, we are on 'city' water though, so no well and pump to have to worry about.  When we bought this place in 1986, (wow, that's a long time ago), a new septic field was being installed.  We were good at getting the tank pumped out for the first while, and then it kind of got forgotten about.  I pushed Larry to dig the lid clear so we could get it pumped out this summer.  We did add to the height of the lawn in this area when we added on to the house.   

Anyway, Larry had a pretty good idea where it was, and did manage to hit concrete without digging a lot of useless holes.  I was shocked though, at how deep it now was, and how big the lid was, and how faulty my memory of it all was. I thought the top of the tank was much closer to the surface, an the lid much smaller!  The hole was about 20 inches deep and 30 inches square.  That was a lot of dirt to dig out, as seen by the three wheelbarrows full.  And then the job came to a halt.  We are both very good at letting things slide, and just ignoring the 'elephant' on the lawn, so to speak.  I think I finally nagged again and the tank was pumped out.  The Pumper Guy, yep that was what the company was called, told Larry that we could get a riser and lid to save ourselves all the digging the next time.  We decided to do it ourselves to save a few dollars, and the 'elephant' was there even longer.  Finally, yesterday, after much discussion over the size of the riser, exchanging the one Larry had first bought, overthinking the whole job, etc etc, we heaved the heavy concrete lid off for the last time, and installed the riser.  

So much fun, working over an open, full septic tank.  Yuk.  The base was sealed to the concrete around the hole, the first riser was screwed to the base, the second riser screwed to the first, and the lid screwed on top.  Happy to say that no tools or screws were dropped into the septic tank.  That was a miracle in itself.   At this point the hole still has to be partially filled in.  Of course not all the dirt in the wheelbarrows will be used.  I think the tires on two are flat, so we will have to bring the little compresser around to blow them up to move the heavy wheelbarrows, that are now filled up with rainwater.  The lawnmower may have to be brought out to cut the grass that had grown up under the wheelbarrows.  The lid will be pretty well level with the lawn, maybe a bit lower on one side.  In a few years it will be much easier to get the tank pumped again.

It was a relief to get out up to ground level and straighten up.  And I looked up, and wow, the sky was so cool looking.

It was already getting to that feeling that dusk was coming, so we got the dogs into the car and headed down to the dyke.  It was a beautiful evening with partially clear skies.  Down at the bottom of the hill I noticed these clouds, although I didn't take the picture until we had gone a mile and a half west to the dyke.  These are called Fallstreak Holes.  Here's an explanation.

The nearly full moon was rising to the east

I love taking pictures of sky and clouds.  It wasn't as dark as it seems, it was just the camera adjusting to the sky and making the trees appear dark.  Looking south.

Looking east southeast. Mt. Baker is just visible above the tree tops in the right quarter.

The holes are falling apart, but another one is starting to form.

Looking southwest.  I love reflections too!


Lovely sunset

Ground fog rolling in.  Time to head home, shower the funky septic smell away, and get ready for square dancing.