Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Old Year Passes

Here we are at the tail end of 2007; I swear that each year passes a little quicker than the previous.

Things happened here this year...we cleared a couple of acres of beetle-killed pine, the shop got built, we grew a greenhouse and planted our first garden. Our most major life change this year was the birth of Ravenwood Transport, and the purchase of the truck. Mike is able to thaw it out once in a while in places warmer than here!

And of course, another major event was the arrival of Tucker! He'll be making his inaugral Tucker the Trucker Trip next week to points as yet unknown.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Once again, Merry Christmas from Lone Butte, BC! In true Christmas fashion, snow has started falling, and we expect several centimetres through the day.

Last evening we talked with Jennifer in South Korea , and with Mike's Zia in Australia to wish each a very Merry Christmas. Our Christmas morning started with Bailey's coffees and pannetone (Italian Christmas Cake, which is more like a bread than a cake - I have been introduced to some great grub via Mike's Italian heritage in the eight years we've been together!), and with gifts which were opened in bed.

Mike and Tucker are out in the big truck; Tucker getting used to his new "mobile home", and Mike playing with his new BlueTooth.

All the critters are having special dinners this afternoon before Mike and I go to Dori & Gary's for dinner.

Have a warm, wonderful, safe, and peaceful day!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

From all of us here: Michael, Karen, Gillis, Lucy, Jasper, Buck, Rupert, Molly, and of course Tucker...we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Coming Home, Leaving Town, and Winding Down

Mike will be home tomorrow afternoon...and I'll be handing over charge of the farm to him Thursday morning for a couple of days while I make a quick trip south and back.

As it's winter, and there's very little going on here, and I can only post so many adorable equine and canine photos against snowy backdrops, the Inman Road Chronicles won't be published quite as frequently over the coming couple of months. Look for a post at least weekly, and definitely again before Christmas, but postings won't be quite as prolific as they have been recently.

Do check in, and try not to miss us too much!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Windy Day

Blustery today...nothing too serious though. Termperature is just below zero, and we even had a few drips on the south side of the house this afternoon. Except for outings to feed Buck and Rupert, and to replenish seed in the bird feeders, we've been pretty much holed up inside.
Jasper and Lucy, who wasn't feeling very photogenic.
Tucker checking out some seedheads. His personality shows itself a little more every day. He's hilarious to watch in the snow...he bounces like a lamb!
Rupert awaiting handouts.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Some new snow last night, but it's hard to tell how much, because it was also windy, and some has drifted. Based on what was on the porch steps, I'd say 5 cm. I'm just in from doing a somewhat crude, but workmanlike plowing job with the tractor. Mike does a way better job of snow clearing. It's only -1 outside, but it's windy and feels raw.

Here's Buck, the world's thinnest horse (just the camera angle - really, he's well nourished) mooching carrots...note the evidence at the side of his mouth.

I believe it's a good afternoon for lighting the woodstove, making tea, and watching the Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 14, 2007

Feeling Better

Thanks all for your kind words yesterday. The funk has lifted, and it's business as usual here today. I have wangled two days off work next week, and Mike is going to mind the farm while I do a quick trip south and do some visiting.

Fairly mild here today with the temperature hovering a degree or two below freezing all afternoon.

Elaine asked what Buck is up to? Eating, sleeping, and pooping. That's pretty much it at this time of year. Once in a while he wanders around a bit, but it's pretty much hanging-out-at-the -fence-waiting-for-the-next-meal season. (The hanging around part makes for great compost - Mike scrapes the area with the tractor blade every couple of weeks, and come fall we have composted manure extraordinaire) We don't have to feed at all May through September, and he roams the property foraging, with Rupert never far behind. We have ample hay to last the winter (on paper at least) and are going through a bale every other day - we buy small rectangular bales for ease of handling and monitoring intake. Last spring we put out half a round bale for them to finish, and Rupert almost exploded (well, not quite). I'm trying to get Buck used to beet pulp for extra calories on the coldest days, but he's not very impressed with it. He's getting a big coffee can of flatted oats every afternoon, and Rupert gets a handful of apple flavored treats.

This afternoon we were at the vet for shots for Tucker and Molly. Tucker was a model of very good, though slightly timid behaviour! He even willingly got back in the car when we were done...not sure if he's overcoming his fear of travel, or if he figured it was a slightly more favourable option than being abandoned at the clinic.

Photos tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blue Thursday

Let me start this post by saying that I love the life that I have here in the Cariboo with Mike. I love our property, our animals, our surroundings, our town, my work, our lifestyle. I’ve made some new friends this year. This place is well and truly my home.

Today though, I’m missing each and every person who is dear to me and who is absent from my life at the moment. I miss Jen, who is on the other side of the world, so much today that my heart might break. I miss Mike who is days away but heading homeward so much that I ache. I’d give anything right now to have a cup of tea with my mom and dad. I miss my brothers and my sister in law. I miss family gatherings and being able to hug my dear nieces, my cousins, my aunt & uncle.

I miss Karen, and Debbie, and Nancy, and Barb, and Jackie, and Jayne, and Janet, and Margaret and Carol.

This is all brought on by the season, and by it being Karen’s birthday and being unable to attend the traditional birthday gathering of friends. It’s brought on by having all my Christmas stuff in storage, and by having no room for a tree, and no lights up because I can’t manage our stupid heavy ladder. I’m sure hormones are playing a significant role in my pity party too, but there’s not much I can do about that.

Doubtless things will look brighter tomorrow…but today they’re looking a little blue.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Snowy Day

Except for a two hour window early afternoon, it's been snowing quite steadily for most of the day. (I'm sure it's because I spent much of the afternoon yesterday plowing. Sort of like washing your car to ensure it rains.) Much milder today, mostly around -9 or -10...that sounds very cold to those who seldom see "south of zero", but it's a pleasant temperature to be out doing things...when it's colder than around -25, it's getting a little more uncomfortable.

After lunch I took a quick trip into town, and took Tucker with me. The future "trucker" got car sick and barfed. I don't think he's been in a vehicle very often, and when he has, it's been traumatic for him (being transported in the back of a pick up as a pup, going to the vet for shots and neutering, and leaving his home at Turtle Gardens to come here.) It will take some work to overcome... I did a little Google research, and it seems that most canine car sickness relates to anxiety rather than anything physiological.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Picture Perfect Day...

A truly beautiful morning here. -27 first thing, but it has warmed up just a bit now. The dogs were getting cold paws this morning and were alternating which foot to hold up off the ground. Buck didn't eat his hay this morning - I hope he's feeling okay. He seems well enough.

Buck and Rupert, catching the early morning sun to warm up a little.

Frosted aspens.

Looking up the driveway.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 07, 2007


Cool...somehow my critters ended up on The Friday Ark . I have no idea who, why or how. Huh.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Beautiful Day

You really couldn't ask for a more beautiful day here. It's cold and crisp and just glorious. After a -23 start to my day at 2:30 a.m. (insomnia), it warmed up to somewhere around -15. It's 3 p.m. now and the sun is sinking already and the temperature is beginning to drop. By 6:30 a.m. I had done housework, laundry, dishes, fed all critters and still had an hour before leaving for work, so we all went on a fenceline tour, which is quite tricky in the dark with stuff under the snow to trip on...time to pull out the snowshoes. After work I was spared plowing again, as I got an invite to the pub for lunch!

Gillis keeping watch.

Buck and the dogs...

"Winter is so not my favourite time of the year."

Buck with a frosty muzzle.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


When I went to went to bed last night it was +3 and drizzling; when I let the dogs out this morning in the dark, it was -11 and I could see it was snowing...I didn't realize until I got out there myself that we'd had about a 15 cm dumping of snow overnight. Everything looks pristine and fresh again.

I arrived home from work this afternoon to find that some kind soul (I'm thinking Cliff) had plowed the driveway! How nice is that?! I'm grateful as today was my "long" day at work, and I wasn't really looking forward to getting out the tractor this evening.

The dogs all had a great frolic in the snow and are all tired out and sprawled on their beds sleeping. I stopped at the pet store to get Tucker a "belly band" help re-establish his house training etiquette - unfortunately I chose one too small (I can't get my head around him being a size Medium - he's such a little pun intended!), so I'll have to exchange it tomorrow.

Buck and Rupert got warm bran mashes tonight as a treat...that was the best part of my day -being out in the cold (but bundled up warm) mixing up their dinners in the dying light, with the dogs having the time of their lives romping around like 4 pups.

Mike has had to reroute his trip north to avoid the Interstate 5 closure between Portland and of the highway are under several feet of water. It will add about 200 miles to his journey, but the road may not reopen for days. There are truckers stranded indefinitely between those two cities - I feel for them.

I promise photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Note to self....

Don't get out the tractor and plow the driveway and surrounding areas when the temperature is going to climb dramatically. I have created the most treacherous slippery area I can imagine. Silly me.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Tucker Report...

Young Tucker is thoroughly at home with the other dogs now. He remains cautiously friendly with me, but still tries to deke out of the way rather than being caught when approached. I'd removed the short leash from his harness, but have put it back because I don't find it too much fun doing laps around the coffee table so I can get him. He will approach on his own terms, and responds much better to an upturned palm than a downturned one. He walks happily with me on or off the leash and is never far away when loose. He's still iffy about accepting hand offered treats, sometimes he will, and sometimes he won't. Our bed is his favorite spot, and there isn't a glove, shoe or bathmat in this house that hasn't been taken to a new location. He goes out unaccompanied with the other dogs for short periods and trots around happily in the woods with them (we are fully fenced with page wire for those who worry about him going AWOL). My goal for him for the short term is that he be happy and comfortable in his new home base. It is Mike who he will form the strongest bond with, as they will be together in close quarters 24/7. He will have to learn about trucks and truck stops and going to different places every day, but not just yet. I have to consciously stop myself from reassuring him about everything, but that would feed into his fear and shyness. He's come a long way in a little over a week, and I know that in time, he'll be just fine.

Nothing much else to update about today. The "pineapple express" has turned the snow to a melty mess. It was -9 when I left work in 100 Mile, and +2 at home! I spent a little time plowing the driveway this afternoon. There's a freezing rain warning for our area, but so far, no precipitation. Freezing rain on frozen roads is not a good combination. Mike has been in Nevada and has missed the worst of the weather.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Evening Eagles

This photo was forwarded to me by my dad, and was taken by his neighbour Kathy Stewart, who is an ardent birder. They live on the banks of the Chehalis River, and across the flood plain from the Harrison River, not far from Agassiz. Every fall, bald eagles arrive in their area to feast on the remains of the salmon that spawned and died on the river banks. Here, they are gathered to settle for the night. What an amazing sight.

A Tad Chilly...

-23.5 here when I got up. It was a pristine, clear morning with tiny ice crystals gently floating to the ground. The dogs all went out, and I bundled up and followed them outside to give the boys their morning hay. Then back into bed for an hour.

We're just back inside from a walk through the woods, have given Buck and Rupert a bit of extra hay, filled their water tub, brushed yesterday's snow off the Subaru, and brought in some firewood. Thick clouds have rolled in in the last hour. I think I'm going to make a latte and sort out the paper piles that seem to multiply by themselves in our house. Seems like a good day for shredding and filing.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Quiet Saturday...

-17 just now. It's been snowing lightly but steadily for the last two days but with very little accumulation...the sun peeked out for a few minutes earlier on, but it didn't last. The temperature has been steadily dropping all day. I had a wicked headache all afternoon and evening yesterday, and though I'm fine today, I feel out of sorts for some reason.

Dogs and I did a tour de fenceline this afternoon...good thing there's snow, as we're going to have to do a bit of "Tuckerproofing" along a few areas under the fence in the spring. Nothing that a tractor bucket full of rocks won't easily fix. I kept losing sight of Tucker on our walk, and 90% of the time I'd find him immediatlely behind me, right on my heels. He got brave enough to go into the forest, but was never far away. He's going through some adjustment issues...has peed inside several times, but we're working on that. Tucker thinks it's great fun to run along the fence beside Buck...Buck couldn't care less, but he's going to have to learn some equine etiquette before Rupert sorts him out. Each of our dogs has learned the hard way that you don't mess with crabby little donkeys!