Showing posts from July, 2009

No Sweat

Actually a lot of sweat. Chief Joseph invited me to the Sweat yesterday. I went early to help him prepare, cutting the metre long pine in half and setting up the fire. When we started to light the fire it was 5 p.m and 28℃. I would have thought that a Sweat would be just to hot on a day like today. Actually it makes no difference +28 or -28, it can only get so hot inside the Sweat. Even tho it was blistering outside, when the flap opened between rounds, it felt like someone had turned on the air conditioning. Wonderfully cool. That's the thing with a Sweat. It goes from gentle heat to ferocious and then to cool in a cycle. A spiritually soothing experience.

One of the spiritual exercises he charged us with was paying attention to the cool breeze that rushes in the door when the flap is lifted. To have it remind us that one day we will take a last breath, to enjoy the breath we have now to the fullest.

I've been spending some time the last couple of days staining th…

Cool Strategy

I feel just a little bad about whining about the heat with what my friends in the lower mainland are putting up with. But relativly speaking going from 5 to 30℃( 41 to 86℉) is a pretty wide spread. We have developed a few strategies for dealing with the heat wave. For example we get up early to do any chores we have to get done before the sun turns to scorch. And of course lot's of cool refreshing beverages. There is nothing like water to quench the thirst. The Dogs prefer the taste of water right from the hose. And of course the ultimate in cool off— popsicles:
Xena has clearly passed on the lick and chomp method of hogging the whole Popsicle to her Sister Cleo who took to it with Olympic finesse.
Oh well, I am collecting Popsicle sticks anyway. We've been on the hunt for those plastic home Popsicle makers but haven't found any in Fraser Lake or Burns Lake. I have plans for a frozen yogurt concoction with a stick.

Another thing we use is gel filled neckerchiefs. I…

Hot Tamales

Well, no Tamales, but a whole lot of Hakurei Turnips. It has been a week of really hot weather with another week of it forecast. Now, I am only talking about late afternoon highs of 30℃(86℉). But around here, where at the start of the month it was almost freezing at night, that is HOT.

We have been getting up early to work in the garden and get our chores done in the cooler parts of the morning so we can hide from the afternoon heat in the luxurious cool of the house. The tire garden really needs a lot of water in this heat.
Somethings been eating our garden, especially the squash. I'm not sure what it is but it isn't pretty:
None the less, the squash have been really growing. I tied a couple of the Red October squash's up with some a high tech squash holder -- commonly called discarded socks. Well worn, and squash friendly:
We planted another couple of tires of Hakurei turnips. They are a fast growing delicious, mild
turnip that has more of a sweet radish texture.
We had…

The Road Ahead

The start of my morning walk. This morning it was a walk to Fraser lake, some 20 kilometers down the road. The hills at the end seemed to take a long time. I was wearing some new high tech duds my Daughter Sara bought me for my birthday. Really nice, at the end of the walk, on a very hot day, I had consumed a liter and a half of water but was dry as a bone.

Now to figure out what's eating my garden..besides me and a few close friends.

"To the moon, Alice!"

Forty years ago today I was sitting in a small pizza place on Hastings street in Burnaby near Sperling Avenue. I was with my wife and two friends Bev and Bob. We watched the ghostly images of Neil Armstrong making the first tentative step on an extraterrestrial body. I remember feeling like it was a turning point in Human History, certainly " a giant leap for Mankind". I still do.

There is just a sliver of moon today, perhaps tonight I might be able to catch a glimpse. It sets at around 9 p.m. tonight so probably it won't be visible. I will certainly be looking. And wondering.

Were looking forward to spending some time with friends of ours RT, Rhoda and familly, Tommy and Molly. Looks like we are going to have a week that will actually give us some summer temperatures. Time to hill the spuds with straw. Maybe sneak a few new ones..

Xena is very interested in Orbs also. Especially ones that bounce. Here she is contemplating her next move:

Hope your having a great d…

Life and Death

The doggies and I started yesterday in the usual way. Going for our morning walk. Cleo gets very excited, jumping up and down and running back and forth. Xena wagging her tail. We set out across the field to a path that runs along our fence line parallel to our driveway. I cleared it of fallen trees and saplings and I like to take it as an alternate route down to the Savory gate. It's like a walk in a park. Spruce, Fir, Willow and Poplar standing watch. In places the undergrowth is crowded out and the ground mostly bare, covered with old Pine and Spruce needles. I was also checking out a half dozen beetle killed pine, some two feet across that I will take down for winter wood in the next couple of days. A hundred feet of forest separates the fence line path from the driveway, effectively hiding it and giving the illusion of being deep in an arboreal forest.

Usually the dogs scurry, back and forth through the path, always coming back to see how I am doing. I imagine they wo…


Given the last week of rain I was pleasantly surprised by the progress the garden is making. A real treat was the Hakurei turnips we planted. They are a delicious crisp sweet white globe about two inches across and so tender you can eat them like an apple.

We had a pile left over after thinning and enjoyed them yesterday raw and in a stir fry. They are extremely fast growing, like a radish so we are hoping to get another crop before freeze up. Several of our cabbages have headed up - a little early for storage, but welcome none the less.

It was a Sunny yet slightly overcast day yesterday and it looks like it is going to be the same today. When we got up this morning it was warmer inside than outside - something that hasn't happened a lot this year.

A common site around the wetter areas and along the roadside ditches and depressions are Cow parsnips:
A very interesting and prolific plant. It is edible but caution is advised as it's juice can cause skin problems due to it's …

Snake Heads

We rarely see them here. This is one we found on our walk the other day. Ignored by the doggies. The other sunny day. More on that later.
It's been raining heavily for the last four days. Today we have a weather warning posted for our area about heavy rain. I can look out the window and see that. Welcome to sunny July in Endako.. Ah well, a great excuse for shop work. And getting the Linux network up and running. Now all our machines, including My Mac Pro have Linux on them. Our print server is Fedora 11 and the rest a mixture of Ubuntu Jaunty and Kubuntu. I run Linux on Vmware Fusion on my Mac and dual boot our working machines with Vista and Xp. I suppose I will have to install Win 7 on a partition also - but don't get me started..

This was a treat for us a day ago:

We have half a dozen tires of strawberries that I got from a friend of mine. They seem to really like the heat up against the shop. They went very nicely with my stab at Lemon Halibut. Not a 100 mile diet,…

Independance Day

Happy 4th of July to all my friends next door. Hope your having a great time!

The weather has warmed up a bit. We haven't had to light a fire for a few days now. It's been really interesting this year to watch the progression of wild flowers. Now were in the Scentless Chamomile(Matricaria maritima) phase- which is often mistaken for Shasta Daisies. It looks like we've woken to snow in the far fields.

The wild roses are in full bloom:

I have been trying to fit some "fun" projects into the mix. Like getting a table saw rebuilt. I had one given to me that was left out in the rain. It ran, has a great 2 h.p. motor but it was pretty much rusted shut. I am restoring it to better than factory condition. I tore it all down, cleaned up all the rust and old gunked up trunnions and am polishing and repainting everything before I bolt it all back together.

When I am done I should have a pretty handy addition to the shop. I am working with a minuscule table saw now that…

Happy Canada Day, eh!