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Archive for April, 2011


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Early morning a bit chilly …. there will be sun later on!

Watching the antics of 2 squirrels in the backyard, battling for possession of the lone suet block.   The Cherry tree has branches heavily laden with flowers .. if the bees are busy, we are sure to have a bumper crop this year.

Reminder to purchase a Mason Bee hive this week.

Looking forward to working on my stories this weekend, on my “new” used laptop!   To test the theory that my creative mind works in overdrive when I am outside in the fresh air in a tranquil setting.   Baby steps.

Enjoyed reading about the Royal Wedding in today’s TC!  And Oprah’s show yesterday was wonderful!

Even though I was watching the Ceremonies live on tv … and taped it (and erased it) .. it is so enjoyable to watch the segments shown on various tv programs.   Such authentic pomp and ceremony is a great relief in todays world.

Sigh.

Well .. on with this absolutely lovely new day!!

🙂

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Met with our CS group for supper last night!  Good food (too much).   Discussed who would be getting up a 2 am to watch The Wedding!

I set the dvd player to record (getting closer to having a pvr).   Then, wide awake at 3 or so, I went to the big screen to watch the nuptials.

Well done.  Seems only a few years since the groom was a little boy.

A world class event.

Well .. now .. the day is sunny and the weather promises to be warm all day!   Refilled the bird feeder with sunflower seeds … a twitter went up around the yard.   A little Bushtit nibbled away on the suet block (just one remaining in the yard).

I look around at the digging to be done, the grass to be trimmed and the rest of the beautification of the yard yet to unfold!

Sigh .. a few things to do first and then I can release my Inner Gardener to play in the yard.

So .. on with this beautiful day.

🙂

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

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Brrr …. cold and rainy .. however I do see blue sky!  Bet we’ll see sun later on.

Just visited the eagle cam site: http://www.cbc.ca/bc/features/eaglecam/ and I see that the Sidney eagles have 3 babies!  I like opening up all the eagle sites and just visit them all!   Such beauty.

Anyway .. on with this lovely lovely day.

Walkies and then play in the yard!

🙂

Quick walk to mail a card .. then continue on my walk .. discovering different routes to the Sanctuary!

A little rain, a little overcast sky .. mixed in with some sunny periods.

Didn’t see any little Mallards at the observatory … must be nesting.  A lone Canada Goose drifts over and I throw some flatted oats onto the water .. a half-hearted nibble.    He seems a little lost … and emits a few honks.

The Violet Green Swallows put on a little air show.  Nice.   Only see a few seagulls .. wonder if the eagles are nearby.   Forgot my binoculars, so not able to see distant trees clearly for them.

The Red Wings sing and fly about.   I talk with a Birder who points me in the direction of goslings that I’d heard about yesterday …so my short walk at the Lake turns into  a longer one.   I don’t mind that!

Make my way on the trails, drinking in the lush greenery cascading from the branches of the trees.  Such a far cry from the chilly barren branches of winter.

I see the Geese and their babies .. so lovely … first time I’ve ever seen little Goslings.   They even swim in formation.   Beautiful.

Make my way home …. breathing in the fresh oxygen laden air … enjoying the sounds that my shoes make as I walk on gravel, cedar and earthy pathways.

Lovely day ….

🙂

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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A rainy start to a sunny day!

Fingers crossed for the Canucks!   Watching the game last night, dh predicted 2:1 win for the Canucks  .. .and  .. whoopee .. he was right!  Fingers crossed for the next game.   Means Coronation Street will be on earlier today, to make time.

Our Little Jane E thinks that she is an alarm clock.   Her favourite times of the day are breakfast, followed by supper.    So, in order to reach her first favourite time of the day, she tends to do her best to get my attention.

She begins by jumping on the bed .. walks around .. and then jumps down to the floor.  Once I’m sort of awake, she then intensifies her efforts.   Somehow, she is able to make her little body about 10 pounds heavier .. I just don’t know how she does this, but she does.

Now she makes much heavier jumps onto the bed … thunders around on the duvet and then bam .. she lands on the floor.

This exercise is repeated until I struggle upright, put my feet on the floor and head for the kitchen & her canned food.

We have a little ritual.   I scoop up a tablespoon of the canned food and begin spreading this like a paste, onto the surface of her dish.  She is getting on and has difficulty eating large amounts of food  .. so this just makes sure that she can only eat a little bit of the food of the time .. she doesn’t gulp the food up and then later throw it up.  It works.

While I’m spreading the food in a thin layer .. she makes attempts to break in and gobble the food and I gently draw her back .. at which time she begins purring and throwing her little head back.   A routine is being followed and she is content.

Finally, the food is ready and she daintily begins to eat.   Her day has begun.  Next on the agenda is a light brushing, some treats, and she is ready for her siesta!   The window is her tv screen and she dozes away into a dainty little sleep.

What a life.

The boys, Duncan and YouBou are quiet as little mice .. tucked cozily onto the living room sofa .. a place of privilege normally held for the evenings and a brief time in the mornings.   They are smart and know that if they start running around .. they’ll be placed outside.   So I bide my time and let them stay there a little longer.

I have a few more things to do before heading outside on this beautiful morning!

🙂

I made my way over to the Sanctuary .. glad that I wore a jacket, scarf and gloves … brrrr .. it’s a little chilly today.

Not too many people out at mid-morning.   Stopped off at a little side pond and saw a couple of Mallards peacefully feeding away at the grasses in the water.  They were very well camouflaged and weren’t easy to see.   I was thinking of giving them some flatted oats when I noticed a Canada Goose not too far away.   She was looking over at us with some interest.  I knew that if I threw some oats into the water, she would swim over and the tranquil scene that I saw in front of me would no longer exist.  So I didn’t.

Finally I reached the observatory and noticed a guy looking intently up at a tree.   “What do you see?” I asked him … “a Yellow Rumped Warbler” he replied.  Glancing quickly at this bright bird before he swiftly flew away I noticed the yellow markings and wished I could see this bird again.   On my way home .. stopping at the side pond, I got my wish!  I saw this bird several times .. very fleetingly, though.

Anyway, on to the end of the boardwalk .. what will I see this morning!   A Violet Green Swallow (only one) flew around, made several circles and then left.   No seagulls on the lake or in the air .. hmmm . … there must be eagles around somewhere.

The Red Winged Blackbirds, male and female .. quickly flew in, ate some oats and then left.

Saw a large bird flying high overhead, big, lazy circles.   Looking at my book and noting the wing shape, I think this is the Osprey, but not positive.  Lower down in the thermal, I see an eagle soaring  below.    I watched till the eagle flew away to another area.

I also viewed the Double Crested Cormorant sailing by, gradually descending till he settled in the water.    A Great Blue Heron entered the picture, gracefully flying overhead the water and settled in on the other side of the lake.

One lone seagull can be found soaring .. and then another .. .they looked so joyful, flying in large open circles.    I soon noticed a small flock of the gulls near the middle of the lake, catching a thermal, rising higher and higher …. until they disappeared from view.   Hmmm . .. must be eagles around.   Yes, one is still resting way up high in the top of a fir tree.

Brrrr .. the weather is still chilly.   A Drake has flown onto the observatory .. he isn’t Mr. as he doesn’t approach my outstretched hand, full of oats.   Mr isn’t shy at all.   This one isn’t Limpy either .. he’s the Drake who grabs a beakful of oats then settles in a few feet away, to dine in solitude.   I leave lots of oats for him, anyway.  Pulling on my gloves and stowing my bird book & bag of oats into my pack .. I begin my trek home.

Nearing the exit pathway, I stop and look up at the sky.   There I see a seagull soaring and way belong him I see an eagle, lazily flying along in the same thermal.   I look back at the other eagle atop the tree … doesn’t move.   Ok, no action here .. the eagle disappears into the sky.   I walk on.

Crossing an intersection, my eyes are drawn to a pile of little gray/white feathers.  All that remains of a Hawk’s feast on one of the little Homing Pigeons.

And life goes on.

Tonight .. high drama in the household!  Where did I put my IPod recharger stand?  Thought back to our last getaway …hmmm .. no .. wouldn’t have packed this item, as all my ITunes are in my computer’s hard drive.

Went through desk drawers twice (in case I missed something in the first search).   Looked through every pocket of any suitcase that I tried to use to pack for the weekend.  Nothing.

Finally .. second search through my purse/backpack.   This time I looked through every tiny little pocket.   And there it was.  My IPod charger!  Which I’m now using to recharge my little basic IPod.   Thanks again, St. Anthony .. once again, I’ve found my treasures.   You just never ever fail me.

🙂

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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Wow … oh … wow … this day is sunny and sparkling!   Up early .. out and about on errands .. look forward to my lovely little walk later.

So excited about my little laptop from Mother’s Computers!   I’m in the process of learning the what’s and wherefore’s about the thing … and am so happy with the patience of the staff there.

I didn’t buy a new, state of the art laptop.   I did buy a used Toshiba ..and it works great.   When the time comes to purchase a new one… where do you think I’ll go?  Not to the box stores.  I will go to Mother’s … knowledgeable staff and they stand behind their products.   They didn’t make much money from my purchase, but such good service is priceless.

Now we have to discuss whether or not to get wireless .. if we do .. then dh and myself won’t have to stand in line to get online!

Such a beautiful day .. one more errand to run and then I can go about my lovely daily life.

Which will include hours of weeding, planting, and all those other lovely things.     Plus the brewing of my lovely Yorkshire Tea …. mmmm mmmm mm!

So out I go .. to explore this new bright day!

🙂

A few more errands and then I make my way to my second home … Swan Lake.

Weather is sunny and warm.  Leaves on the trees are shiny and new.   Canopies are nearly fully formed.   A myriad of birds singing away.   Fresh new marsh grasses swirling in the breeze.

I pass by a birding group . .and recognize a former co-worker!  We chat for a while and she promises to send me the details of the birding group’s walks.

Finally reach the observatory . .only one other soul there .. a visit from Manitoba.   We chat about the local birds and suddenly we identified a rather large winged bird which she identified as an Osprey.   It gracefully flies a direct path to the lake’s surface and makes a bit of a splash.  Quickly ascends into the air .. I can’t see any fish in the talons.  It repeats this action a number of times.

Finally, a bratty crow comes flying by, teasing the Osprey .. which flies away to a bare branch jutting out from the uppermost tip of an evergreen tree.   Several of the crows’ friends and a seagull join in the teasing of the Osprey .. which eventually flies away.

Saw two Herons fly into the side grasses .. they shortly flew away to another area of the marsh … sort of near one another, but not too close.

The two Geese which had been settled in the side grasses let out mighty squawks and then flew onto the water nearby.    Gracefully paddled over to the observatory and I threw them some oats.  Mr Drake came swimming over to be fed.   Then Mr. Limpy (he’s missing a talon on his right foot, so he limps, right now).   He’s the one who will grab a beakfull of flatted oats from my outstretched hand and then moves away to eat them.

Couldn’t see any eagles .. or seagulls!  A few Red Winged Blackbirds sang their songs as they flew about the woodsy area by the edge of the lake.

Sigh… time to go home, get gardening!

Really enjoy walking on the new sidewalk on the boulevard!!

so .. on with this very lovely day!

🙂

Outside, worked for awhile on potting up cuttings in my styrofoam trays .. worked like a dream and I filled 2 flats!  Picture tomorrow.

Funny weather, sunny, chilly .. some rain.

Tonight .. looked out on the front porch and, omg, so sweet, a robust robin stood, posed on the porch railing.   A long piece of branch held firmly in his beak.  Would have made a lovely photo .. if I’d had my camera and if I’d been outside.

Time to take it easy tonight .. my lovely computer expert is updating my laptop computer!

🙂

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Monday, April 25, 2011

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So, this is a Monday that seems like a Sunday.   That’s what you get when there is a four-day weekend!

My dh & I had planned our trip for this weekend .. to be far, far away … in a distant part of the province.    We had prepared and packed.  And left.

Made the ferry – coincidentally, the Queen of New Westminster on the way over and also on our return trip! (more later)

We enjoyed the trip over to the Mainland.  Onboard, we went to the Cafeteria … we’d hoped to have visited the buffet (our favourite place when we travel .. terrific food!!) .  However, these are only available on the odd-hour sailings, and, as we had made the 2 pm sailing, no buffet, our holiday was starting off well, so no complaints.

Vessel docked, we drove off and away we went .. happy to have started our newest adventure.  And adventure it was.

Soon – we came to the Ladner Trunk Road.  And here is where our happiness ebbed .. a bit.   Traffic was stopped .. there must have been an accident … there was no traffic in the oncoming lane.  We had time to enjoy the landscape.   Saw a Heron hunting for food.   All else was quiet.

Finally, after at least 30 minutes or so .. traffic started to inch forward.   A few vehicles were seen in the oncoming lane.   We slowly made our way forward .. eventually were able to reach highway speed and we were on our way.

At last, we reached Hope .. where we stopped at a gas station and filled up the tank.   Made our way towards the Coquihalla Highway .. lots of traffic, huge trucks, campers, sport cars, you name it ..  was on this road.   Everything travelled very very quickly.   We hadn’t gone far when suddenly my dh noted that the vehicle’s power was rapidly diminishing.  Not wanting to worry me .. he worked at pushing the gas pedal to the floor, giving the vehicle permission to move forward.   We slowed down considerably and were very fortunate to be able to make it to the Portia chain-up area.   The vehicle came to a dead stop.  There was no power.   There was no cellphone access here.   Cars, trucks, every kind of motorized vehicle whizzed by us in a blur.

If we hadn’t been able to reach this pullout … if our vehicle had stopped on the side of the road .. we would have had to abandon our vehicle and run to this area.   For the odds were that,  surely, a vehicle would have driven into our vehicle.

My dh put up the hood and started the 4-way flashers … the universal roadside indicators that we needed assistance.

No one stopped.  It felt very surreal .. to be in this area beside the highway and not be able to communicate with anyone.   Our distress was our own and no one made the effort to help us.  Very alone.

Until finally, after about an hour, a truck and a car (travelling together) kindly pulled in and promised to communicate our problem to a tow truck operator in Merritt as soon as they were able to make cellphone connection.

Snow was lightly falling and the temperature was extremely cold, so we waited in our vehicle.   And waited.  Several vehicles pulled in .. for a “P” stop.  No one came over to check with us.    No one bothered.

Finally, the welcome sight of an RCMP cruiser!  The red and blue flashers were a sight for sore eyes!  A welcoming presence.   The young officer told us that, yes, the good Samaritan had called the Merrit police, who had contacted the Hope police and thus the cruiser came to our assistance.  After gathering our personal information, he called a tow truck and kindly stayed with us.  His presence was very comforting.   I thought of this young police officer and of the role that he plays in the safety of people and I just bless him.   So young and yet so many acts of kindness that he will fulfill and dangerous situations he will be venturing into.   And I am so thankful that he was there tonight.

Soon, the tow truck arrives.   The driver is confident, strong and capable.   He quickly has our vehicle safely stored onto the truck-bed.   I climb into the cab (which is about a zillion feet above the ground.)  My dh simply climbs in .. he is much taller than I!

We all enjoy a great series of conversations.  Turns out that this friendly, capable guy was the mayor of Hope for a series of years!   What an interesting guy.   And he enjoys helping people.  This showed.   When he arrived at our vehicle, he took the time to introduce himself to us … and I felt comforted by his calm manner.  My lovely dh has the same calm manner!  🙂

We went to the compound, to leave our vehicle there for the night and ask for recommendations for a hotel.   He drives us to a place and we enter, booking our room.   What lovely people they are.   The Heritage Motel … I strongly recommend this place.  We had a room on the second level.  Clean, quiet.

My dh & I, once checked into our room,  set out for a pub supper.   There was a lovely pub down the road.   A group of young kids were in one room, having fun.    We settled into a side room .. ordered our supper and some Pale Ale and settled in to just relax.   Such a change from a few hours before.   Cold and shivering at the Portia chain up area, not knowing if someone would come to our aid .. and now, cosy in a pub.   We are so very fortunate.

We learned that there was a five car pile-up, shortly after we had been towed away.   And that there are many accidents on this stretch of the road .. constantly.

The next day, my dh arose early to walk to the repair shop … to make arrangements for our vehicle to be inspected, to see what the problem was.    Found out it was the fuel pump.

Thus began the series of hourly visits as the work progressed.

We checked out of the motel and I set up the waiting station, by a geranium filled planter .. where my dh visited me with hourly updates.   Finally, about four hours later, our vehicle was deemed roadworthy and we set off on our trek.   Decided to not continue on the Coquihallia… which turned out to be a good decision, as our vehicle was still experiencing problems.

When we arrived at a restaurant, to meet friends, the problem was noticed by our friend M, who noticed that we were evidencing problematic issues!

Sigh.  Luckily, M was very knowledgeable on car issues .. so he worked away (later) at the vehicle … and soon had the issue resolved!   Many many thanks!!

We re-connected with our friends, M & M ..  whom I hadn’t seen for many years and I enjoyed our visit so very much!   Years and years passed by .. and we had non-stop conversations!   We stayed with them for two nights and these were full of such enjoyable times .. non-stop discussions of flying (dh) and nature (M & I) .. this was so much fun.

Met little Amber, a Calico …  such a personality!    She resembles our little Jane E (Calico Manx).

Oh, my .. we had so much fun!

I was introduced to the artwork of Marjolein Batin http://www.marjoleinbastin.nl/marjolein/marjolein.asp?act=1&lg=uk

And I learned that the Dutch wooden shoes are definitely made for walking and working!!   My knowledge increases.

After discussions of beautiful, artistic items made in Europe .. I resolve to search for such items myself!

Sigh.

Ok .. time to call it quits for tonight.

More, tomorrow!

🙂


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Sunday, April 24, 2011

well.. .yes .. oh my goodness .. it’s been a while .. and do I have a lot to say.

But .. not right now.

My dh and myself embarked on a little holiday a few days ago.   Quickly packed, took care of all the holiday preparations, including  ensuring that our lovely pets would be well taken care of, for food and water and comfort while we were away.

I, myself, looked forward to this opportunity to take advantage of some quiet “me” time .. an opportunity to reflect, write, become more in touch with my thoughts.  I even had a very good deal on a laptop computer from a reputable store .. oh, the highs and lows of it all.

Things didn’t turn out as we planned.

We went with the flow .. and we survived… we were so lucky.

Along the way we met many kind people.

And we reconnected with some longtime friends.

We visited places, enjoyed good food and had good conversations.

We caught up on what’s been happening with our friends.

Went to restaurants.

Enjoyed delicious warm, mixed veggie salads .. yum yum .. BBQ ….. drank some delicious beer & wine.

Met Amber who resembles our Jane E (perhaps they are distant cousins?)  they have amazingly similar personalities.

I have now, in our home, a lovely, handmade – crocheted work of art on a frame (photo later) .. to place in a focal point in our home…. thank you, M!  I know the work that was involved in making this work of art, stitch by stitch.  Friends.

We are just home today, early afternoon, caught the noon sailing of the Queen of New Westminister.

Time spent emptying the vehicle (dh) and I was busily putting things away in their proper place and starting the laundry cycle.

I have many photos to show .. and words to type.

For now, though, it  is enough to write these few words and then I look forward to posting some pics tomorrow .. and then .. to write some more.

Life is a bit funny .. we go along .. living our lives, dealing with all the little “adventures” that pop up .. and then, it seems, “a few years” later .. time has passed.  Then we meet again our friends from our earlier lives .. we embrace each other and eagerly share all that has happened since we have last seen each other.

This is what has happened to us .. and I am so very very happy.    To reconnect with former friends .. to catch up… and to begin again, a friendship that started many years ago.

How wonderful is that!  Better than that ole 649 that eludes us.   Reconnecting has such a higher value.

sigh

till tomorrow.

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