Archive for March, 2012

A Musical Walk

It was mild this morning, grey clouds threatening rain.  It felt and smelled like spring.  Tom is away for the day so Emma and I walked over to invite Odin to go for an early walk with us.

We headed out and I was overwhelmed by all the birds and their songs.  I had my camera with me but a picture just would not capture the moment.  I also had my cell phone and remembered that I could use it to make a video.

So come and join us on our walk today….we started down by Biancotto Lake.


And on to Mclean’s cabin…


Down through the meadow where the melting snow has created small ponds.


My first attempt at videography…I hope you enjoyed it!


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Tool or Toy?

One of the first things I did after moving here was sell my car and buy a used 1998 Ford 150 4×4 pickup.  I love that pickup.  It gets me where I need to go, lets me haul things like my water tank,  and so far (touch wood) has never let me down.

It even allowed me to rescue Tom yesterday when we had an unexpected snowfall and he had gone to town with his regular pickup. No 4 wheel drive and he couldn’t get back up the hill.  (Wasn’t supposed to mention that but couldn’t help myself!)

Today I made another purchase.  A beautiful red, yes red, quad.  With a winch in case I ever get stuck.

Only 8 months ago I was walking on a dike with my friend Kathy and complaining about the quads driving up and down the dike making all that noise and raising all that dust.  I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want one!

The woods behind my cabin are filled with fallen trees.  They will make great firewood but I can’t drive my pickup in there, and the wheelbarrow is no good for getting through all the bush.  But my new quad will be perfect.  Once I get a small trailer to pull behind it, I can drive into the woods and gather all that dried wood for fuel for the wood stove.

And once I start my garden just think of all the topsoil and manure I can haul with that.  Need boxes from the storage van?  No problem, just take the quad.

And it will be fun to drive all the trails around here too.  It won’t take the place of long walks with the dogs but when I want to go farther afield, or need to haul something  to or from the cabin and surrounding area it will be great.

I haven’t decided yet whether I have invested in a much-needed tool to help around the farm to be, or a toy to have fun with.  Only time will tell but either way I am looking forward to spending time on my quad.

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Water and Waiting

Water…a necessity of life.  I am not connected to a civic water source, I don’t have a well or any other direct source.  What I do have is a 1700 gallon tank buried in the ground under my back porch.

I have the option of paying a local company $350 a load to deliver city water whenever I need it.  Instead I bought a 200 gallon tank which sits in the back of my truck.  I have an arrangement with my friend Margret (who has a well with an abundance of excellent water) which lets me go and get a load of water whenever I need it.  It’s only 15 minutes away and doesn’t take too long.

The other day Margret was not home when I went to fill my tank.  Have you ever wondered what your dogs do when you are away?  Well I had the opportunity to watch Molly and Rocky while Margret was away.  They weren’t interested in going for a walk or playing with Emma.  After greeting us they just wanted to be left alone to sit and stare at the driveway.

It took about half an hour to fill my tank and the wind was cold and bitter so Emma and I sat in my truck and watched Molly and Rocky.  After sitting for quite a while they must have gotten tired because they decided to do something different.

The water tank was filled and Emma and I drove away and the two faithful companions were still waiting.

Waiting patiently for Margret to come home.


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The Cycle of Life


Early last Friday I heard from a close friend that her beloved Aunt had just passed away.  Several hours later I heard that my niece had just given birth to a baby boy.  Both these events were expected but to have them happen within hours of each other really started  me thinking about the cycle of life.  Beginnings and endings and everything in between.

Aunt Joan was elderly, almost 81 and lived a full life.  Her obituary will tell of her parents and siblings and other family members,  her education, her work life, her hobbies and interests, her personality traits and all the things that made her Aunt Joan.

Jace is newborn, at least 5 weeks early. His life lies ahead of him.  We know of his parents but at this time everything else is unknown Will he have siblings? What will he study? Where will he work? What will his hobbies and interests be?  His personality and character and all the things that will make him Jace.

I am 52 years old, the youngest of 5 children.  Over the past years we have said good-bye to almost all our relatives of our parents generation.  We have two uncles and one aunt still here with us.  And that leaves us, me and my siblings and cousins as the “elder” generation, Yikes!  So now we are the wise ones? The ones with the knowledge and experience to advise the younger generations?  The ones with the stories the young ones like to listen to?

When did that happen?

It makes me realize that our time here really is finite.  We don’t get to go on forever.  And so what do we do with that knowledge?

I started thinking about what I want to do with the time I do have left.  What should I do with it?  How do I know if I am doing the right thing (whatever that is). What if I make a mistake?  What if I have regrets?

All these thoughts rolled around in my head over the past few days and nights. Yes, those thoughts about the meaning of life always arrive during the dark  hours of the night.

And then this morning I woke to a fresh two inches of snow.  All the mud and yuck that had appeared in my world over the past days  was covered with a clean, blank sheet of white,  just waiting to be written on.

And I thought…that’s what it’s all about.  Every day we get a clean sheet to do with what we will.  Over time all those sheets will make up the book of our life.

We don’t have to know what we will do for the rest of our life…just live today. Really live…don’t just put in the time.

Aunt Joan didn’t just put in her time, she lived her life right to the end.

And Jace, well Jace  is just beginning…stay tuned!

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Last fall when I moved into my cabin I hung up my shepard’s hook and the bird feeder with black sunflower seeds.  Then my friend Julia gave me some homemade suet filled with nuts and seeds and I added that.

I couldn’t wait for all the birds to arrive.

And arrive they did…or I should say it did.  One bird has been feeding at my feeder all winter.  I believe it is a female Downy Woodpecker.  And that’s it! Only one bird. She definitely is not “spreading the word”.

Julia tells me it’s only a matter of time, so I will wait patiently.  Well maybe not patiently…I find myself checking out the window constantly.

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Seed Swap and Sale

Yesterday was the 18th annual Shuswap Seed Swap and Sale in Enderby. It was hosted by the Shuswap Seed Savers and there were over 40 vendors selling seeds, vegetables, herbs, baking and even some crafts.  The big draw for me was the seeds.

When I moved from Chillwack I threw out all the old seeds I had gathered up over the years.  Most of them were old packages and I thought a new garden deserved fresh new seeds.

All the seeds I bought were produced by local gardeners and hand packaged.

There were lectures on Berries and Nuts, growing and saving carrot seeds, genetically engineered food, bees and a DVD presentation of the David vs Monsanto story.(farmer vs corporation)  This last one really caught my eye since it was only last Thursday that my friend Amy  http://souldipper.wordpress.com/  had a post about the same issue.  I had not heard of it before and now it’s popped up twice in one week.

I have to confess I was so busy checking out all the vendors I didn’t have time to attend the lectures. Next year…

I also found a local supplier of spelt flour and a baker of spelt products.  And I have a lead on a sheep shearing workshop being held next Saturday.

I think I am getting ahead of myself here, I don’t even have a fence, shelter or any sheep and I’m thinking about a shearing workshop. One of the people I met has been farming locally for over 30 years and when he heard some of my plans and that I had only been here five months his advice to me was “Slow down”.

Good advice but hard to do.

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