Tuesday, July 31, 2007

To Catch a Thief...

This little guy frequently raids the bird feeder, but gosh, he's cute. We don't have a lot of squirrels around since we've done some clearing and lost so many pines to beetle kill, so I don't mind having him (her?) around. He devotes most of the time he spends hanging out around the woodshed to tormenting Molly and Lucy. Molly's not the best hunter yet, but she's starting to bring some dead mice home. We once had a cat (Abigail, who was also black, and had a horrid wailing voice) who left a squirrel tail on the back doormat every morning for weeks.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fruits...er...vegetables of our labours...

We've been enjoying great success with the garden, and have plans for a big garden expansion for next year. The garden is going to be on the east side of the driveway, and have its own fence. Some stuff will have raised beds, but a lot of the root veggies will go straight into the ground.
A cabbage head forming
Peas. We've only been able to have wee tastes of these as I didn't plant enough. They're very delicious!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hey...hay! Scenes from a hayfield.

Three trips to 70 Mile, and 9 hours later, we have 150 bales of super nice hay crammed into our hayshed. Here's me...I got to do the easy part for the first two loads. On trip #3 we didn't need the trailer, so I had to drive and pick up bales while Mike stood in the back of the truck and stacked bales.

Here are Dennis and Dennis loading the truck on our first trip.

And here's Ken, raking the hay before baling. We took all the already baled hay on our first two trips, and when we got back for load #3, we picked up bales that had been made only minutes earlier.

And here's the hayshed crammed full. We have sore, scratched forearms, and we're more than a little tired. The baler was acting up and was making the bales too large for the bale-picker-upper to use...this is a good thing for us, as the bales are almost twice as heavy as last year!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

From Planning comes Progress

Give Mike a list, and he leaps into action! He's crossed about a zillion things off it already.

We believe we have found a builder for the house! We will do the contracting ourselves, and as this guy is extremely versatile, all we'll need to go elsewhere for is the drywalling and mudding. We'll do our own painting and clean-up. That will begin next spring. Unfortunately we didn't have foresight to place the raised beds and greenhouse elsewhere (that's where the house is going!), but we will move them this fall so the ground is clear.

We spent the morning working on the west fence. We have page wire all around the perimeter of the property, topped with a strand of barbed wire to stop Buck from leaning over. The wire has loosened due to windfalls coming down on it. While Mike was tightening, I was cutting aspen and willow suckers away from the fence. Were you aware that for every aspen tree you cut down, about eight thousand aspens pop up to replace it? Well, perhaps that's a slight exageration, but holy crap there are a lot of them to contend with.

This afternoon we had to drive up to Williams Lake to get a few things unavailable in 100 Mile. We spent a hellish fifteen minutes trying to get someone to help us in Canadian Tire, and eventually gave up and went to Home Hardware. I have come to despise big stores.

Mike took on the cooking tonight...grilled wild salmon, zucchini sauteed with garlic and oregano, spinach and chard sauteed with garlic, parsleyed baby potatoes, and a tomato bocconcini salad with basil. Most ingredients came fresh picked from the garden...it was divine. Being married to a former chef has its definite advantages.

All plans for tomorrow have been bumped ahead...we got a call this evening that our hay is ready in 70 Mile, and we have to go and pick it up. Imagine us tomorrow humping 150 bales of hay around.

I charged the camera today, so will be putting up pics tomorrow or Monday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Mike and I had a long and at times slightly heated discussion this evening about just how we're going to be able to accomplish all that we need to get done this year. I'm getting frustrated with lack of progress, and he's getting frustrated with me for getting frustrated. And so on. And so on.

Mike's work schedule this summer has been horrid. Abysmal even. There's no predictable routine, days off have gotten changed at a moment's notice, and days scheduled for one and a half trips have been arbitrarily bumped up to two trips. This has made it hard to get things done. Next week should bring a positive change, as his bosses' trucks are switching companies.

To address the stuff that needs doing we've made a giant list and prioritized everything. Now that it's down on paper, a lot of it will get accomplished in short order. And then I won't get frustrated. And so on.

The main focus of this blog has always been to document our progress in developing our property, with a bit of rural lifestyle stuff thrown in for good measure. When I look back through the archives and see what we've done, it's pretty impressive. We're kind of in the doldrums right now, with not much happening on the visible progress side of things. Now that there's a definite plan of attack, I should have plenty more to post about. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Garden Centre Therapy

To be blunt, work today sucked. And so, enroute home I took a little detour to the garden centre and bought some new perrenials. They were on sale, which was nice, but at this time of year, they could have knocked off more than 20%. I am just in from planting them, and feel a lot happier.

Monday, July 16, 2007

An Unusual Visitor

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Mike found this fellow beside the house a couple of weeks ago. I'd forgotten all about him, but as I'm in posting-frenzy mode, I thought I'd show you. It's a common garter snake, completely harmless, not especially common around here, but obviously there are some about. I'm not fond of snakes - I'm not afraid; I just don't like them at all. This one apparently lives under the house. I'll leave him alone, as long as he leaves me alone.

You're In Luck, Buck!

To use up the last of last year's hay, and to give the little bit of grass that's growing on the property a chance to rest, yesterday we got out the tractor and pushed out the remains of a large round bale out to the loafing shed for Buck and Rupert to pick at between grazing. They've been gorging nearly non stop.

Rupert with a belly full of hay! He's looking pretty sleek with his summer coat.
Speaking of bellies (how's that for a segue?), Mike and I were both laying low all weekend with either a norovirus, or possibly a bit of food poisoning from our dinner out on Friday. I was the sicker of the two. We're feeling well again now. I've been out hoeing weeds all afternoon.

More From the Garden

Instead of flowering, Egyptian Onions form new little onions at the top of the stems. These are sprouting now too! I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do next...time to Google them.

I should have spaced the cabbages further apart

The spinach is fantastic! We had some today, sauteed with minced onion and garlic.

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In The Garden...

Perfect Petunias

Luscious Lettuce

The Best Basil

Zucchini (we've had about a dozen of these already)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

No News

Nothing much going on to report. We're in the dog days of summer here. Too hot to work outside for much of the day. Mike is working nights and we're trying to keep things vewwy, vewwy quiet so he can sleep well.

I'll put up some photos over the next few days, so you'll at least have something to look at when you kindly stop by!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Right...back online after a hard drive failure and some problems with the evil NAV.

We've had the first tastes of things from the garden...a couple of zucchini (from in the greenhouse), some spinach, a few leaves of baby lettuce, rhubarb, and tons of italian parsley. The tomato and pepper plants are doing well in the greenhouse. Potatoes, leeks, carrots, onions, chard, and peas and cabbages and strawberries are all coming along nicely too. The garlic looks nothing short of spectacular; unfortunately I can't remember where I tucked my garlic "map" that tells me which varieties are where. I'm going to have to start a full scale search for it. Three months ago it seemed impossible that things would warm up enough in time to get any kind of garden established but things are doing well. The raised beds and greenhouse are going to have to move in the fall to make way for house construction next spring...we have plans to make a very large garden space for next year.

Gillis has made a remarkable recovery, and other than having a very minor limp and being slightly cranky sometimes, he's pretty much back to his usual self.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Technical Difficulties

A quick post from my workplace to say that we're having PC problems at home and haven't been able to post. Back as soon as possible.