Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Not since January 2012??? That has to be wrong~ apparently not.

I cannot believe I have not posted for over two years.  Crazy.
But, I'm rethinking how to start blogging again~ from an entirely different location. 
Should I continue with DL Dispatches or start a new blog?  And what should I blog about?
Our new adventure is pretty low key compared to our move to the Cariboo and building our
gorgeous new home.

I shall be back. 
PS~ the kids are in Kelowna~ yet another adventure.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I love Christmas.  I love the lights, I love food, I love the cold, I love the smiles, I love the stories, I love the movies, I love the shopping....I love Christmas.  Even as a child with little money in the family, Christmas was celebrated at many levels with family always at the top.  Candlelight Service was the last Sunday in Advent with one of the younger kids singing Morning Star, the massive tree in the Moravian Church all lit and decorated, candles being handed out to everyone, the Church glowing in candlight, the choir singing...There was the Pageant on Christmas Eve with the kids all doing some sort of play or recitation, paper bags of nuts and oranges given out to the children, carol singing, giggling and so much excitement; and then off to the Grandparents for our *special* gifts (always new jammies or nighties that we would wear that night to bed), more singing and oranges and chocolates and hard candy that was all stuck together in a kalaidescope ball and aunts and uncles and moms and dads and cousins and brothers and sisters, tree lights and it seemed so magical at the time.  It still does in my foggy memory.

As an adult and mother/wife I've tried to find the magic that I felt as a child and teenager.  Christmas is my holiday (okay, All Hallow's Eve is a very close second) and I love every element of it.  But I think I've tried too hard to find that *perfect* Christmas and have always felt a little unsatisfied with the day itself.  For me, the days leading up to and Christmas Eve is the time for magic with anticipation of gift giving and receiving, lights in the city, searching for the right gift, wrapping and creating the right quote for the gift card, and then a quiet evening with family, all lights out except the tree, The Christmas Movie (Alistair Sim's Scrooge when the kids were young and now A Child's Christmas in Wales), the gift from The Spirit of Christmas Past and just a feeling of peace.  The day itself ~ filled with family and friends at dinner, music and's a love/hate relationship.  Maybe it's because it's the end of the anticipation; I've always leaned to celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas up to Twefthnight but that isn't acceptable to friends and family.  This year was just not my Christmas, no family at Christmas Eve, no daughter...just different.  Our son and his partner had Christmas Day dinner and this was just wonderful.  There were kids and wrapping paper flying, family and such good food!  Lovely yet Different.  When we came home the house was so silent, a glass of brandy and to bed.  But I think that's what will be in our future.  Our children are adults and it's time for them to take on the mantle of Christmas magic.  As parents and grandparents we are part of it but as an accesory, a well loved accesory but not quite in charge any more.  We are now the storytellers of past Christmases.

We move on knowing we are loved and needed.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Are you joking me?  It's December?
I don't understand!  Life just disappears when you're living in the fast lane!  There is so much to talk about but a paragraph will probably do it.

Summer sucked, weather was so anti-Cariboo, the place was lush though~~I had the best naturscape you couldn't even plan this growth!~~but we didn't have ANY fires, a plus but still a little sun and heat would have been nice, the non-permanent residents were out in droves on the last weekends of August/September and they were a rambunctious lot, bless their noisy hearts (not the brightest group, though~even though we had a wet summer when it did get hot we had major restrictions, apparently some people didn't know that fireworks could set off fires, uh huh), we did enjoy having the sister up for her birthday at the end of August...there was a little warmth and sun for at least two days of her birthday week, friends and relatives came and enjoyed bocce, margaritas, horseshoes, margaritas, swimming, margaritas, canoeing, get the picture;  we got our final inspection at the end of August and celebrated by firing the staple gun into the air!  What a wonderful release for us.  We still have one corner of the house inside to do and the landscaping (including deck and overhangs for the kitchen porch and cantilever) but we are D O N E!  It's been heaven enjoying the area finally and just sitting in our home and doing home things~decorating a little, Bill did the final touches on his last Jack Strong in the trilogy and works on his next novel now, and moving the daughter to the Saskatchewan North!!  Our friends from Pender spent 5 days with us and we enjoyed that visit soooo much.  Just talking and eating and travelling around the area.  Oh, oh!!! we went to the Bridge Lake Fall Fair and I won an electric motor~how cool is that?  Now, we need a Zodiac of some sort.  We celebrated children having birthday parties and All Hallow's Eve...  And now we sit surrounded by snow, with a blazing fire in the woodstove and prepping for the Christmas proceedings.  Bliss.

This Christmas will be very unusual but wonderful all the same.  It won't be the same without our Christmas Elf but our son will be having dinner at his place and there will be lots of celebrating!  The Elf will be staying in SK with her guy which is as it should be, there will be many years yet to get together.  And, really, we've had her for 29 Christmases... I can share one.  Sort of.  We hope to have son and friends and g'children over for Christmas Eve.  So I'm baking a little bit and have really cut down on my shopping.  I'm moving to buying from small craft stores (used Etsy in the UK and am really impressed with the items and the shipping) and not buying as much.  Today we'll go out and do some decorating with spruce boughs on the Blue Barn sign to help brighten up the area.  The tree is up but not decorated; the lights on it are so beautiful and honestly they do twinkle that I hate to decorate it.  But during the day it does look a little empty. 

We are still enjoying our life here.  Our community is very eclectic, friends haven't been made but we are social with a few people and enjoy our simple life.  Visits to town include stopping at the Nuthatch bookstore and visiting with Joy and Kathy.  They have a great little bookstore and are very outgoing, always stopping to spend time to talk.  I'm hoping Kathy has another Girls' night soon.  Deka is the farthest of the lakes so having one here would have to be a summer time event..after the deck is done.  We spend time with our neighbours Jack and Carolyn when they are up at their log home on Deka.  And we have our son and his girlfriend and the girls and their extended family.  So~~we're happy.  Our good friends are always with us by phone or fb or skype, they will never be too far away.  These friends have been with us for 40 years and it takes time to make new ones.  I think I use the word friend differently than most people.  It's not a word to be taken lightly.

Signing off for a short while, I hope.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Well, hell, forgot about the Coastal Visitation

Can you believe I haven't gone on ad nauseum about the Coastal Visitation? It seems so long ago now.

So~Greyhound and I had an unadventurous journey together down to Coquitlam. I had a double seat all the way which is the only way to travel on Greyhound. My pillow and I were very comfy. It was crowded leaving 100 Mile House but I managed to secure the last double seat. Don't mess with the G'Ma. When we left Cache Creek it was half full and very quiet all the way down. It helped that I was into my WordSearch puzzles. I don't even remember going through the Fraser Canyon. The Thompson, yes....I love the Thompson River and Canyon. It is magnificent.

My sister and nephew picked me up, and the visit started with some lovely wine. C and I spent a few days together shopping at consignment stores, visiting, eating and drinking. Then Bill drove down and we ambled over to Victoria. C had bought a fantastic lamp for us for our two birthdays~so generous. It looks absolutely perfect in our living room!

The wind co-operated and we enjoyed our visit with J2. So many friends to visit, the library staff and I had a great lunch, dinner with two wonderful people from the library~~I count myself very lucky to have worked with such incredibly eccentric and loving people at the GVPL~~next year we will have a 'girls' night'...miss those immensely. The three of us spent one beautiful day with B and J, our good friends on Pender. We've known B since 1972; many adventures have been had together and continue to happen. He is the reason we have a house foundation that will have to be blown up to get rid of it. Also, he is the reason we have a deck. Our friends have been so generous with their time and skills building our home.

It was hard to leave the daughter but we knew we'd see her in the summer.

Back to New West Quay for a few days of shopping, more food, lunch at Scoozi's (you absolutely must go to Scoozi's) with B, and lots of visiting with niece and nephew. So many stores, so little time. Our big acquisition was a set of bookcases from Ikea; Bill walked them over in the buggy to the Greyhound and put them on a bus back to 100 Mile House where we would pick them up the next day. Then before we left for Yarrow we stopped at my sister's favourite grocery store on the Quay and stocked up on mega items we cannot buy in 100 Mile House! Love that!

We have a few friends that we have known our lifetime together and one of them lives in Yarrow~her daughter was also going to be there overnight and we were looking forward to seeing her too. It was a great visit! Lots of stories, laughs, memories...and a little wine. Having friends that you can just pick up where you left off is a joy. You walk in the door, and just start talking. We are blessed.

The drive home was a little stressful for Bill. On his way down the car started to act up. It has never done that and it was really upsetting to be driving through the canyons on your own with a car that was being poopy. It seemed to work itself out when down in the Mainland but on our way out to Yarrow, it started again. So we drove home without ever turning the car off. We took turns getting out for food and washroom breaks. The car did fine but we are now looking for a new one~one we can lease and feel comfortable taking down to the Coast or to the Prairies. We need to have another journey to the Prairies, that's a given. Love the Prairies!

The bookcases were waiting for us at Greyhound and we had so much fun putting them together and they look so fine .

Journey done~~looking forward to October for our Birthday trip.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Spring never came~waiting for Summer....Sigh

It's May 30! And Spring never came. Well, it came in the strangest fashion~cold, snow, rain, some flooding at the fen off Womack and the lake has actually risen up the Access road about a third of the way and the creeks are really swollen. Eek. Our egg lady is near Deka Creek and has about 18-24 inches of water on her property which doesn't help with calving and chickens and turkeys..... We have been untouched by any of that, knock on wood. The house is extremely well sealed and the runoff hits the ditch on the other side of the road first. Which brings me to a story of Buyer Beware~~

There is a piece of property just up from the corner of our road that was for sale. A couple from Calgary came to look at it and bought it. Once they were home the real estate agent phoned to say that she had sold them the wrong property and it was the property beside it that was for sale. Say what, you say? happens more often than not here. The agent said the property that really was for sale was better than the one they looked at. The buyer hemmed and hawed as they hadn't walked around it; but, the price was right and they said okay. On the long weekend they came here to view their property, cut some trees, prep it for their trailer.....they found a bog. Most of the property was under water and the rest was just mud. The culvert carrying the water off the hill roared into their lovely area. Nothing they can do but fight the M of T to move the culvert. This I've got to see. The agent has no obligation at all to them. Which I find morally wrong. If you had the sign on the wrong property, sold the wrong property you would think there was a legal loophole....I mean~there are maps and this agent even lived in the area. Maybe there is a loophole and the owners just don't have the energy. Not sure.

But other properties have been sold incorrectly, including selling a property to a person who built their house and found out it actually crossed a property line. They had to buy the property next to it. I don't know how many times I checked, measured, checked again, all our property markers. The new owners huddled around a campfire for the weekend and it was all very sad.

There are all sorts of little issues rearing their heads as more and more people come here to live full time. Outhouses for one thing~we have one which we don't use except in dire emergencies but other properties use them all the time in the summer. And this year the flooding of outhouses is rampant. That is so not good for the water table and the lake. Ugh. Imagine the runoff charging through outhouses on it's way to the lake and over wells. Ewww. The time will come when this area will have to lose it's rec sites. That will be entertaining.

I don't mind having people here on their property only for short vacations but I dearly wish they would take better care of their places. Some are just derelict looking and others look like used trailer lots. They also live outside as they are *camping* which is so contradictory to those of us that live here full time and tend to spend our time in our homes. Noise levels, machines, big boy toys, just yahoos. Then there are those that take such pride in their property and keep them so clean and neat. There really needs to be more vigilance with property sites. There I've said it~would you have your city yard look like this? I think not~the neighbours would complain and something would actually be done. Our neighbours that come for the long weekends and summer are very respectful with any noise and they don't own big toys. Blessing.

Enough complaining. I love it here. Part timers go home and leave the place to me. The silence when walking the roads is bliss. Watching the deer graze through our property in the morning on their way to the lake is heaven. Building our home is hard but satisfying. The place looks wonderful.

The last room to be mudded is the 2nd bedroom/study. We've moved Bill's office onto the kitchen table [will I ever eat on it?], covered the floor with plastic and I'm merrily (not) throwing mud on the walls, in the corners and on the ceilings. Most of it lands on the plastic or in my hair. I always seem to be able to step in the one large clump of wet mud and track it around the house. I'm constantly barefoot which adds to the picture. Just started the ceiling today....this ceiling was the last one to be drywalled and there must be at least 11 seperate pieces of drywall. They used up all the bits and pieces and then expected someone to actually mud and tape them!! There is only one joint that is dimpled, the rest are all butt joints. Trust me, they are the worst. Now the latest muscles to be wrenched are from reaching across the ceiling. I hate mudding.

Today the thunder rolled across the sky for a few hours. Such a magical, powerful sound. The whole of the Cariboo/Chilcotin had thunder/lightning for the day. There was a little rain but nothing like last week. For this we are grateful. What a week! Torrential downpours and cold. One evening there was snow falling. Gadzooks. Snow. Only in December do we want snow. It took so long to go this year I really don't want to see it before Christmas. Fat chance of that but I want some H E A T!

Bill has spent the last two weeks removing all the beaver dams that we built on the property. All the boughs and twigs have now been burned or went to the landfill. There is an area for wood, etc which they burn during the Fall. Probably not the best for the environment but it keeps the forests standing....I could imagine so many out of control fires happening if owners burned all their rubbish. Bill has also bucked a few fallen trees, thrown the burls onto the wheelbarrow and moved them closer to the woodpile. And managed to severely pull his chest muscles while doing this. So, no heavy work for him for a while til he's better. We have a deck to build so he needs to heal.

The deck! Finally, we will be building the deck. I say "we, kemo sabe" but I mean Bill and our friend B. So looking forward to sitting on a deck and not lounging in dirt. Yay! This should happen sometime in July. Then we stain the house~August and paint the trim. So happy. It will probably not happen in that time frame but this summer/fall for absolute sureness. Promise.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Spring 2011

Spring is slowly coming to Deka. The ice has taken on a new texture and colour; the fisher people are still making it onto the ice so I guess it's still pretty deep. I'm not sure I'd try it. The eagles have returned to the DLVFD nest; there are two nests there now so I'm curious as to which one they'll move into. There are eagles scavenging at the dump; there was a beautiful chocolate teenager there a few weeks ago and either mom or dad sitting at the top of a spruce watching their offspring. Ravens, my favourties, always there at the dump....huge, scruffy, indigo...I love them. Robins are everywhere, well, at least if you have some dirt for them to play in... but I know they'll be on our property soon. Chickadees are singing every morning, they stay all year round but they aren't as vocal in the winter. Cuddles the squirrel is moving, moving, moving all the day; she seems to have found a friend~great, more Cuddles.

Now, Digger is put outside longer and longer. He isn't happy about it but honestly, the boy is an outside cat, a street fighter, lover of all things that skits~~he'll get used to it. Older he gets~but he is destroying our trim so he needs to get those claws dulled on the trees. We put down a large piece of cedar, covered it in catnip in the hopes he'll use it to sharpen his claws. So far, he's just gotten drunk. And we bought some natural ingredients spray to put on the trim and will try that tonight. He'll probably lick it off.

Our daughter turns 29 this weekend! It is unbelievable that we have a child of that age; wait a minute, we have a son that's 38~~~how this happens I'm not sure. As they get older we get younger. Just posted pics of our trip to Ireland in 1978 on facebook and it was a wonderful journey to take again. There were adults that were skinny and had black hair; they looked familiar but just fleetingly.

Pantry door is being painted, more trim, new cpus to play with, brilliant skies to enjoy and a soft wind with noises of Spring to listen to.

Soon we will be on the Coast for a short, wonderful, visit~~sister on the River, daughter on the Island and lunch with the usual suspects from the library. Oh, yes, and golf, golf, golf for the big guy. Sweet.

Another day in our small world.

Note~~Silverado is the best duster!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Catching up

The last time I blogged was June of last year. Woof. What have I been doing? Let me think....

Right, we're building a home in the Cariboo. Still. Probably always. But that's okay. I'm loving every minute. Okay, every second minute. It's had many challenges this past year and I'm one of them. Snapping your knee~makes you cringe, doesn't it~can put a damper on every aspect of your life and especially if you're also building a house. Pffffffthhthththt. Nothing to it.

Life goes on.

Driving around in the automobile today~~the buffalo came to say hello. Huge wonderful beasties. There were some young ones but as soon as I came near the elders rallied round and had them hidden in the middle of the group. A few ranches in the area raise buffalo and there are two that I know of that also have Longhorn. Maybe that will be the adventure this weekend.

Girls' night~~~a friend that we met through The Mackenzie and who now is part owner of the 100 Mile House bookstore invited me to a girls' night! I tried very hard not to be hysterical when invited but after shrieking Oh my god about six times my hostess was starting to regret the invitation. It was a great night. Although it was exhausting making conversation with 8 new-to-me women in one room. But the group was wonderful. Met the woman who sells eggs and chickens (and soon to be Turkeys!), the woman who bakes the best buns I've tasted in a long time, Trapper Eric's wife, the wives of the two *lumberjacks* that Bill and I know, the owners of the bookstore, the hairdresser and more. Lots of good food, great conversation and much wine.

The night also had another first~me driving. It was a really crisp, clear night and I loved being out on my own driving. It was a longish drive~about 15k. The drive in was fine as most of the roads were snow pack and then they were clear in spots. As there has been thawing the area over the Bridge Creek bridge was all water. So I made a mental note to watch the wet parts on the way home. The way back at 10:30 was amazing. So black, black, black. Thank goodness for the snow. Once I looked in the side mirrors on Mahood Lake road and it threw me off~nothing, absolutely nothing is reflected. It's like driving through mud. Eyes front, the water had become slightly frozen and crunched as I drove through. The ride home was at 40 k all the way.

The medical help here is becoming impossible. My knee was more swollen than I thought it should be so I wanted to see the doctor. Sorry, the office is closed on Fridays. Okay, how about Monday~nope, it's Spring Break and they've taken the time off. Really. Sad isn't it. The clinic was suggested and that's where I went. Took my book and waited about an hour which was good compared to Bill who waited 3 hours one time. Anyways, 'parently I shouldn't be walking about 1/2 a mile every couple of days. And it's the scraping of the arthritis that is causing the swelling~who knew. So back to sitting on my tushie most of the day. So dreary. And taking anti-inflammatory meds for 10 days~~miserable stuff.

Not too many wildlife about. Maybe it's the deep snow that keeps them in the forests. But we have seen Eagles. Beautiful soaring Eagles. One was a teenager with the most chocolate of feathers and then the adults, presuming they are the parents. No moose but there have been glimpses of deer. One day there was a fox playing with his lunch across the road from us. We could see him perfectly in the forest on the snow floor. He had on the fluffiest of red coats and a black tipped tail. A beautiful sight. Although I think his lunch wasn't too happy to be thrown about like that.

Bought my ticket for my trip to see the sister, then Bill will pick me up and we'll go to see J2. Yippee. I hear they have green grass, cherry blossoms, and rain. No matter. It isn't white. And it is always soooo nice to be with them. Also, Denise. And maybe a girls' night in Victoria. But golf for sure for Bill!

I've been putting the cat out for short periods. He doesn't last much longer than 15 minutes but not to worry. Digger really needs to get out. He's getting really flufffy and a tad overweight. And he's clawing all Bill's cedar trim. Not good. It's almost two digit weather so he can just tough it out. He has lots of fur.

The house continues~the trim is now being painted. Shelves were attached to the kitchen walls and puck lights were added. The colours in the house are delicious~~Ancient Copper, Ecru, Wool Tweed, Phantom Mist, Shellflower, Evening Glow....absolutely delicious.

We've also been out and about a little more~~~performance of the grand daughter at the high school~a wonderful evening with J1 and C and one of her daughters; K sang beautifully! Then we went to C's band performance (younger group~~around 10-13) which we really enjoyed, so much great energy~again at the high school. It is just so new to be out trekking in the cold and the snow, then warm in the local school...everyone out for the performance. We are really lucky to be part of J1 and C's families.

Time for bed. Hate this time change~but tonight the sun was still shining at 6:30pm!