Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our 'houseguest"

This is Cooper, the Aussie-dog, staying with us for a few weeks; Cooper takes a few days to figure out that he's not alpha dog and I am so we tend to butt heads for awhile. But, he's getting older..eight years old today and not the holy terror he has been in years past.
Moles, voles, whatever those things are our lawn such as it is was mounded with mole-scuptures horribly last year. If I could fire a chemical down their holes, I would but with dogs around, I'd rather not so we keep cutting over the mounds and eventually the grass starts growing through them but I know what you mean, Doris, they make a huge mess of lawns every winter here.
An overcast day, himself has had a short flight with a young lad who is in Air Cadets locally so it was a thrill for him...not much lift at this time of year as the sun's warmth is waning quickly.
Winter is coming on.


Friday, October 22, 2010

wild life !

I had no idea that you would have moles in America ! We don't have them here in NZ but we certainly had them in England and my daughter is plagued with them in Scotland. As children, we were fascinated by the tidy piles of earth that magically appeared on the lawns. I guess the grown-ups didn't see it in quite the same way !

Rosey, that sure is one huge amount of wood...did you stack it by yourself ? Take of week off from Curves, if you did !

The church we belong to outgrew its premises a few years ago . This gave us the opportunity to put up a purpose built, community building. It contains an auditorium, a hall, several smaller rooms, showers toilets etc and a commercial kitchen. It is well used, most days of the week. It is situated next to the High School , which is another plus. Every six weeks a team of us run a Foot Clinic there. We offer a foot soak, a nail trim and a massage . It is done on a donation only basis . It took us a year to get under way , there are many regulations about such a service. We have had the support and encouragement of the local, part- time, podiatrist . We have been going now for three years and it is a great success. It was there this week, that I met with this amazing lady...... 90 yrs old, still living on her own and managing most things well. Her home was very badly damaged in the recent quake and she is now living with her son and family nearby. He quietly suggested that maybe now was the time to consider moving into a retirement complex and she was outraged ! She said "I told him I still had a lot of living left to do and that I intend to rebuild !!!" This is the second home that she has lost, she was a young married in England, during the war and was bombed out in London during an air raid . She said when the earthquake happened, she thought it was an air raid again and hoped that the bombs would miss her house ! What a character ! I expressed concern and sympathy over her plight but she brushed it off saying that "there are many out there who are worse off then me" Something we hear a lot, these days.

Have a good w/end.

The Wild Kingdom

Sandi - LOL was the breathing from the bear in labor? Too funny!

Rosey - what a lot of wood!!! Hopefully you will have a mild winter, and won't need it all.

Sarah in FL - I hope your stomach is on the mend. Possibly some bad food? Your dogs are so sweet to be your K-9 Nurses.

Life in the Wild Kingdom --- We have had moles in our yard for some years, and they finally crossed a line with me in the Damage Department, so I hired a guy to trap them. I won't tell you they are alive after they're trapped, for the animal lovers here, but they won't be bothering us or anyone else, any more. We trapped 3 already, and are trying to get the 4th. He showed me one, and I was amazed how large they are! It was seven or eight inches long, and 2 - 3 inches in diameter. Aaaaaack! The smaller tunneling critters, that are more the size of mice, are shrews and voles. I've gotten such an education in the past few weeks. LOL I would trap them myself, except I am not strong enough to even open up the trap. I tried. ugh...

I was bemoaning our "invasion" and the wildlife guy told me ours is nothing. He has a couple neighborhoods where he does a lot of work, older more established areas of town where the homes & yards are 50 - 75 years old. One yard had seventy (70)! moles trapped. Yikes.

He told me they can come into my yard by tunneling under the street, and they can tunnel four feet under the surface. Wow. I am going to try some liquid fence (repellant) treatment, but if it doesn't work, I'll know it's because they can travel so far under ground. I'm tired of these critters tearing up our lawn...

He had one customer, in a neighborhood two miles from me, call him to trap something that had dug a very large hole (almost 12" wide) next to their house. He expected to catch a groundhog, and instead, got an armadillo. Here in Nashville, TN! I knew they had migrated this far north and have seen them on the side of the interstate (as roadkill) but had not realized they were invading our yards. Yikes.

As long as we don't see any bears, we will be okay....

Hugs to all y'all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

1,000 apologies

So sorry for the heading and no post yesterday. I had spent 30 min. watching the comedian on Youtube, then when I went to post it all disapeared.

Doris-the Titans won the game on Mon. night, our team forgot to show up.

Think I cought the stomach bug that is going around.
Spent most of the night throwing up, kept DH awake, and was generally miserable. Slept from about 9AM to 12 noon, and spent the last few hours sipping warm ginger ale and watching mindless TV. Think I'm going to live, but at 8:00 this morning wasn't too sure. My 2 dogs were very attentive, stayed right by me on the couch this morning, and gave me some measure of comfort.
Rosy-that's a lot of wood! I'm sure you are glad to have all the work done.
I called DD on Tues. they are going to have the furnace repaired, it needs some parts, etc. It will cost about $800.00 for the labor and everything. She said it is already down in the 40's there at night. I needed to consult with her about the type of Vera Bradly purse she wanted. She will be 40 on the 30th. Gosh, that makes me feel old! I'm going to be 62 on Tuesday the 26th. DH has bought tickets to see Carrie Underwood (or hear I guess, since she is a singer). Other than being a bit overweight doing well, all the original parts are in working order. I haven't done much exercise lately, unless you want to count yard work, but doing OK.
Back to the couch.
Sara in Fla.

Winter's Wood

This is the first year we've stacked our winter's wood in a long row, three logs deep, so the length is repeated in depth, 3 times. That's me with the white hair; that's Hope with what I used to hair.

Sandi, you've had a very funny experience with the bear breathing overlaying your programme. I relayed that to himself and we both laughed.

Sara, Canadians say 'eh'; Americans say 'huh'...just a humorous poke at our idioms.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

bear stuff

The bear story was great!
Last winter the bear center in Ely, MN had a bear den camera watching a mama bear before and after she had her cubs, very fun to watch.

Late one night I'm playing some game online and I'm hearing this really odd noise, it starts and stops occaisionally, lasting a good 20 minutes or more, very eerie. I had my son come and listen. "Listen to this, doesn't it sound like a guy breathing heavily?" He agrees it does and it NOT going away. Totally creeping me out. How is it possible that I'm hearing this disgusting guy's heavy breathing while I'm gaming? I turned the sound way down and it's still there.
Finally my son points out that I had not shut the page down for the bear cam and I'm hearing the bear's heavy breathing through the headphones he uses online! We had a good, long laugh at my silliness!

Canadian acents? eh?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Earthquakes and firewood

In 1983 a 7.3 earthquake occurred at the base of Mt Borah in Central Idaho. The quake raised Borah Peak, dropped the surrounding valley and the scarp is still visible today. My sister and I went down and took pictures shortly after it occurred. There were two schoolchildren killed while walking to school, but we happened to be running late that morning and hadn't made it to town yet. Having grown up in California, DH and I both just thought "earthquake". I got into a doorway (the worst place to be is outside of a building, which is where the two children were killed by the falling face of an old building) and DH just kept on putting on his shoes and socks. The worst damage we sustained was a picture that fell off a shelf. Apparently the orientation of a building to the shock waves determines how much damage there is.

The US Geological Survey came to town and installed a seismograph in DH's Earth Science Lab. The kids learned about changing the paper on the drum and reading the significance of the days' aftershocks. The last significant aftershock registered at 5.8 and occurred on Aug 22, 1984.

This is a picture of the sign that's on the highway just before you get on the dirt road to the fault.

We always get our wood from the national forest. The Forest Service designates a new area each year for free woodcutting. You can only cut a certain distance from the road, can only cut standing dead trees and are only allowed two free cords per household. A permit for up to ten cords can be purchased, but those areas are different than the free area. The forester does a study every so many years that will indicate which areas need to be thinned. Good thing trees are a sustainable resource!


Algonquin Park Video

Doris, where in the world and how in the world do you find these things? I've watched it; it will probably put my slow-speed/high speed internet service over its limit...Bell signs you up then forgets to mention there is a cap on your band-width.

To explain the in-Canadian Jokes:

We have provinces, not states. States have governors, we have premiers. Danny Williams is the ninth premier of Newfoundland & Labrador (look to the east folks...Newfoundland is called the rock and I'm told it's wild and gorgeous. The Newfoundlanders are supposed to be pretty nice folks too.

Canadian Tire stores are our large chain of hardware, everything stores. Stephen Harper is our current Prime Minister, see the following: "Stephen Joseph Harper, PC, MP (born April 30, 1959) is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada, and leader of the Conservative Party." We have Prime Ministers, the US has presidents. Stephen Harper is known as a not so benevolent dictator and control freak within his caucus (sp?)...but then he has a nice hair cut.

Jim Flaherty is his finance minister and always the butt of people's antagonism because he delivers the financial laxative that Canadians live by. He's Harper's fall guy. He's probably paid well to be his fall guy and he'll have a nice pension, also paid for by us taxpayers.

So that in a nutshell is the Canadianisms explained. And Rick Mercer is a clever comedian. You wonder where his staff come up with the ideas he gets to perform. No snow as yet in Algonquin Park (Grace could attest to that if she was at home) so it must have been done last winter. We are still snowless, thank heavens.

Marion, I truly would be around the bend experiencing these earthquake/after shocks. I'd be bumping up my tickets to Hong Kong at this rate. Too bad DD#1 is off flying around the UK right now. I'd be heading out of New Zealand about now.

Rosey, a Canadian, eh !!

After-shock or Earthquake ?

That's what we are wondering in Canterbury. Evidently it's all a matter of time. Anything up to two months after a quake, is called an after- shock. It's over five weeks since our big shake up. Things seeemed to have been settling down but yesterday we had two big ones (and 22 small ones ) One over magnitude 4 and one at 5. This happened during the day, some people were at work , the shops were full and children were at school. More frightening for most, than the big one which happened in the early hours, when families were together and most people were asleep. Not a lot of damage but chimneys down in some areas and the power was off for awhile. Despite all of this, the city itself is 90% up and running . ..

Cold snap last night, fresh snow on the mountains so we'll be liable for frosts again. The sun is out now but it''s chilly out there . I think a day indoors is indicated . It is my walking day but it was cancelled last night so I'll make the most of a bonus day at home !


Bear tagging in Canada

Speaking of the Algonquin park/forest.... a friend sent me this video on YouTube that is 7 1/2 minutes long, and well worth the time to sit and watch it. Parts are funny, due to host Rick Mercer (apparently a Canadian celebrity/TV personality), and a lot of the humor were Canadian references that are lost on me. It is really a fascinating video, nonetheless:

Sara in Florida - alas,,,, I did not watch the football game last night. I didn't even realize it was on, and DH came to bed before it ended. I don't even know who won. LOL

Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting ready for winter

Well, Sara, it is true, someone in the Algonquin Park region of Southern Ontario did indeed cut down parts of a forest. He has the rights to take out so much wood each year. This cutting down of trees in certain areas will only last so long too. He is given certain areas in which he's allowed to cut. We've been doing this for close to 23 years now. We have a wood insert in the living room which heats the front of the house and upstairs (to some degree) and a wood stove in the back part of the house in the family room which heats the kitchen and dining area plus my studio as well. Also, I have quilts hanging in my doorways to keep the heat in certain rooms. Hydro here is very expensive and our furnace is electric. Some winters we don't turn it on at all. Putting in a wood stove is not as easy as just taking it out when you move. There is a large pipe to put in and it goes up through the ceiling and out to the outside on the roof. It isn't an easy solution to non-permanent heating problems. A friend is coming on Wed. I'll ask her to bring her digital camera to take a picture of the finished load and post it. It's really quite something but we both enjoy the parts of wood cutting each of us do...Himself does the major part of the hard work and I do the stacking...the easy part...good for the waistline.

The photos really liven up the board, don't they. It takes me into different parts of the world and into different people's lives.

Fran, Shannon had fun the Thanksgiving he was with us, I think. It's a Canadian thing, eh!!


So much wood!

Rosey-it looks like you cut down a forest. Do you have more than 1 wood stove, or only one in a living room area? My DD and family found out that their furnace needs repair. Since it is a rented house I was wondering if they would be better off to get a wood stove, then could take it with them when they move again.
I know nothing of furnaces and wood stoves, just have electric heat connected with the A/C.
We used it some last year, but hardly turned it on for the previous 5 or so years.
Yes, the pictures do add a great deal to the board. I hope to get some up soon.
Am going to the NFL game downtown tonight--Jaguars vs the Tennessee Titans. I'll be almost in the nosebleed section, so you won't see me on the TV. Doris-please watch.
We were all set to take the city bus downtown, now DH wants to go early to tailgate with some folks, and drive. This is not my favorite thing to do, as the traffic coming out at midnight or later is a bear. At least I get an excust to sleep in in the morning.
Going to go paint my fingernails teal.
Sara in Fla.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Love the photos. They certainly add interest to the BB. Wow ! What a lot of wood Rosey ! It must be such a good feeling when it is all split and in the shed. My DH tells me that we buy in 8cubic meters each year, but usually don't use it all.

Fran, lucky you, getting up close and personal with the Koala bear (tho' didn't my DGC inform me once that they are not bears at all ?) They look so cuddly don't they ? I've never seen one, even though I've looked carefully in places where they were supposed to be .

The earthquake saga continues. The "experts" say that there will be a decrease in the number of after-shocks as the weeks go by (?) but not necessarily a decrease in the magnitude...small comfort there ! Most people are just getting on with their lives. Would you believe that we have had 1931 after- shocks so far ! will tell you all about that ! I wonder how many are registered in a normal month. Probably quite a lot.

Lovely day here today. Sunny and warm, just the way we like it ! Lots of colour in the garden and blossom on the trees. A lovely time of year.

A nephew in England entered a competition in the free newspaper which he reads on his way way to work in London (he travels on the tubes) Imagine his surprise when he was informed that he had won ! The prize being two tickets to a music festival in Malawi !! It was this w/end. I look forward to hearing about his experiences. It's not a place that many of us will get to !

Have a good week.