Monday, January 28, 2008

A wee bit chilly here. Minus 32 early this morning, and perhaps colder tonight. Tomorrow should be a bit warmer. Buck and Rupert were together inside the loafing shed this morning. Buck can generally be found outside in rain, shine, sleet or hail...but I guess even he has his limits on how cold he wants to get. Even though it's picture perfect outside, the best place to be today is inside by the fire.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


We've had some company! A cow moose and her calf have been taking shortcuts through our place. They leave meandering, drunken looking tracks in the snow, and Mike was able to get this shot on Friday. They've been within 10 feet of the hay shed, but very luckily for us, they didn't bother to check out its contents. I'd have a hard time explaining to Buck and Rupert why their rations were dwindling.

It's supposed to get extremely cold here for the next few days. B&R will get a warm bran mash tonight in anticipation of a very, very, chilly night. We went to the mill this morning and bagged lots of free shavings for their bedding.

Poop scooping Cariboo style! The boys hang out by the fence, leaving lots of poopsicles that aren't easily shoveled. The tractor does a great job of cleaning up the area. It's snowing quite hard at the moment, so it'll look white and pristine until the next deposit!

Snow games! Jasper and Lucy have a great time frolicking in the snow. There's been no word to pass on about Tucker. We miss him terribly, but the raw, biting pain of his disappearance is lessening.

Yesterday morning was productive...we cut a tree off the fence that had fallen from the neighbour's side, and we split lots of kindling. We did some exploring behind the far end of Horse Lake, and wound down the day with a visit to the pub at 70 Mile.
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Moose Jaw Humane Society called today to follow up, and we got a call from a lovely woman who had stopped when Mike was searching for Tucker. She had seen the Lost notice, and called to inquire if he'd been found. She has offered to post on the town's free website. Other than that, there is no progress to report.

The days here have been clear and lovely, the nights are cold and into the minus twenties.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

There has been no word of Tucker. Mike returned yesterday to search for him, to no avail. I have placed a "Lost" notice that will run all week in the most nearby daily newspaper offering a large reward. Perhaps that will spur someone into action to search for him. We can only hope. And hope.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


This afternoon Mike called to let me know he was broken down in the middle of nowhere on Highway 39 east of Moose Jaw. About hour later he called again, completely distraught. He'd been in and out of the truck, trying to solve its problems, and after getting out the most recent time, hadn't latched the door properly. Tucker had jumped up on the seat and put his front feet on the window to watch Mike, and the door opened a little. Tucker jumped from the truck, and ran off into the field beside the road. Mike called and called, and went after him, but Tucker had disappeared.

Mike spent the next few hours in bitterly, bitterly cold temperatures trying to find him. It got dark, and with no power in the truck, and therefore no way to keep from freezing, he had to get a towtruck and go to a hotel in Regina. Other truckers stopped to help look for Tucker, and offered Mike the warmth of their truck cabs to help him warm up a little. The towtruck driver shone his spotlights along the roadsides. The RCMP and the Moose Jaw Humane Society know that Tucker is missing. He has identification.There is nothing else we can do.

Our efforts to provide a damaged little rescue dog some happiness may have cost Tucker his life. We are devastated and heartbroken, and tonight hold little hope of his safe return.

Friday, January 18, 2008


The nice thing about banking overtime at work is that now and then you get paid to stay home and have a nice day...and that's what I'm cheerfully doing today.

After a slight sleep in, I talked with Mike, who along with Tucker is in....Peculiar, Missouri. That's a weird (i.e. peculiar) name for a town! They're doing their mandatory reset; every eight days, or seventy hours of driving, whichever comes first, they have to take 36 hours off. They picked up a load in Texarkana, and are delivering to Kamloops probably on Tuesday.

But I digress...after some mandatory houseworky chores, I took a quick trip to the transfer station, and then picked up a couriered envelope in town at the local U-Brew. (Only in a small town will you find a U-Brew/Courier Depot/Oxygen Depot all in the same shop!...and by the way, CS, I saw a batch of your vino on the shelf there, it's looking a little cloudy!) After that, I treated myself to a vanilla latte at the Chartreuse Moose (100 Mile's answer to Starbucks), and got it in buy 10 get one free!

This afternoon has been devoted to making Rupert's house clean and tidy with a luxurious deep bed of shavings, scrubbing out the water tub, making a "wicked good" (as they say in the LLBean catalog) batch of ratatouille, and finishing the book I've had my nose in off and on all week. Not a very eventful day, but very pleasant.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Winter Called

Yesterday afternoon I had just hung up the phone from talking with Mike (who was in Kansas), and was about to feed the dogs, when Winter called.

"I've been reading your blog," she said "and you don't seem too impressed with me so far. Go look out the window". I could imagine her on the other end of the line, some crusty old babe with long white hair and a slightly too tight white gown with cathedral sleeves. I went over to the window and looked out and holy crap was it coming down - sideways. It was hailing like I've never seen hail. And then it turned to blinding snow. The wind started howling to the west, and within seconds we were in a white out. "I'm not all mundane and being about hovering around zero,'' she snapped "I've still got it, you know!"

I looked at the thermometer, and the temperture had dropped about 10 degrees in 10 minutes. "If you think you're so smart, get out there and feed the horse." So I did. And it was the first time ever that I have absolutely instisted to Buck that he was going to be eating inside the loafing shed. I took his grain in there, and fought my way through the wind and blowing snow back to the hayshed for enough hay for the night. I could hardly see where I was going. Rupert got his hay in his house, and after clearing snow off the logs I brought in from the woodshed, I was back in and warm once again.

After the dogs and I had finished our meals, Winter called back. "Don't forget about your car, honey!", she said slightly sarcastically. I opened the door to have a look out, and the inside doormat was promptly covered with snow that had driftted up against the door. My car had all but disappeared under blowing snow. "You'll be needing that to get to work in the morning," she sneered. Hah. I looked around for the broom to start clearing it off, and then looked over at Mike's pick up. It had blown completely bare. I decided those were the wheels I'd be taking to town in the morning.

Winter's next tactic was messing with the lights. They went out for a few seconds, twice. "Never mind that, Winter!",I said. "I'm turning off the computer right now. I know exactly where the flashlights are, and I have the bathtub filled with water in case of emergency. I have zillions of candles, ...and (my tour de force) a windup combination radio/flashlight. And better still, I have a generator that's full of gas!"

"You win that round," conceded Winter "I'll mess with the lights over at Horse Lake instead...but I'm not done with you yet...I know how much you hate lying in bed at night with the wind howling. I'll give you a heaping dose of wind tonight."

And she did. But I was reading such a good book, and was so tired, that I fell right asleep instead of my usual cowering under the covers.

Winter was a bit of a bitch last night...but she left everything looking pristine and beautiful this morning.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

An Update

As you can see, there's plenty of snow in our part of the world. We haven't had any fresh stuff for several days. I took this photo from the back porch yesterday afternoon (Mike resurrected my camera from its death!). The lengthening daylight is just starting to be noticable, and it is very welcome. Winter so far has been a fairly gloomy affair, with many cloudy days, and very few sunny ones. We haven't yet had a prolonged cold snap, though the local weather guy is hinting at an arctic outflow next week.

It's pretty much the usual goings on here. All creatures great and small are well. Mike and Tucker are heading for Oklahoma City, currently in Utah. We'd thought they were going to be going to Ohio, but plans were changed at the last minute. Tucker is adjusting well to his new lifestyle, and the house seems a little empty without him.
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Monday, January 07, 2008

Ahhh, Life.

Life here is settled into a comfortable winter routine. The day starts with letting dogs out. All except Jasper, that is, who would rather have a few more minutes in bed. The kettle goes on, and if Mike is here, on goes the coffee maker too. Boots, jacket and gloves go on, and Jasper is finally roused from his repose. Next a quick trip to the hayshed is in order, to make morning breakfast offerings to Buck and Rupert. Tucker will race up to the fence and bark at Buck, and then Rupert. Then the dogs come back in, except Gillis, who is rather deaf and slightly addled, and tends to follow his nose, and has to be retrieved. Dog, cat, and human breakfasts happen, and if it's a work day, a human goes to work (that would be me) after first searching for, and then utilizing a lint roller to remove dog hair from work clothes.

Around lunchtime, if it is a work day, the human comes home and lets the dogs out, and bemoans the fact that Jasper has once again covered the living room window with dog snot (life isn't always pretty, you know!) Dogs romp and frolic outside while hay offering #2 sails over the fence to Buck and Rupert. After human lunch time, which dogs observe in minute detail, there is generally some sort of walk, which involves more coats, boots, jackets, and lots of kleenexes, because my nose runs like crazy in the cold. If it is an "on property" walk, the hounds are unleashed. If it's an "off property" walk, lots of leashes and planning are involved.

Some time early to mid afternoon it will be time to light the woodstove. If Mike is home, there will be a difference of opinion as to when it should be lit. (I'm always freezing, and he's cooking...and so what if the house is 26 degrees inside?) The "let's light a fire" conversation ends in my favour approximately 80% of the time.

Four p.m. is oat time. Not four-oh-five. It is also time for hay offering #3. (About this time it is time to help people get their vehicles out of the ditch too. We've had three vehicles in two weeks in the ditch in front of our place...what's with that??)

Wood gets carried inside from the woodshed after most hay offerings. If kindling is being cut, about 25% of it must be retrieved from various dogs before it is chewed into splinters.

Dogs are fed, humans are fed, woodstove is fed, we bundle up one more time to feed Buck and Rupert some more hay, and then it's time to sleep and do it all over again tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

2008 has dawned white and windy in the South Cariboo. The temperature dropped to minus 16 last evening as we headed out to bring in the New Year, but by the time we arrived home, it was only -8 and the wind had started. There's been a little new snow overnight too.

Sadly, yesterday my camera decided it had been knocked off the desk one too many times, and is no longer working. Taking photos is a necessity of life in my world, so it won't be long till it's replaced.

So now, off to have breakfast, top up the bird feeders and try not to break any New Year's resolutions.

The IRC crew wishes you a Happy, Healthy, Safe, Prosperous 2008.
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