Monday, 26 August 2013

Travelling Into August

We travelled up to the lake where we fish and camp with the grandkids in the spring.  We were trying to escape the heat in the river valley.  We camped in the bushes near a back-eddy area, for a week, and glory of glories.... there were no bugs.  I do enjoy my evening campfires.  It is a spot that looks like there should be alligators but we don't have them in Canada.  There were a lot of goldeneye ducks and frogs and beaver though in that backwash area.  We could hear them slapping their tails to warn their friends of danger.  I watched a golden eagle for several days as he used the closest telephone pole for a perch to watch for dinner prey.  The trout are sluggish in the summer so we were not interested in fishing, but just wanted shade during the day.
  Eventually Old Man's tailbone healed enough that he didn't need to use a cushion to sit on a campchair.  He needs to stay out of hedges.  It might not hurt so much if he landed on his head instead of his butt.  He agreed with me about that.

We had a few visitors while camped in those shady bushes.  Our landlords from last winter, who both retired this year, came to see if we would like to rent the ground floor suite permanently.  They like living where they can walk everywhere in the village but are getting tired of the Bed and Breakfast work.  So it was on the market.  They want to go kayaking and fishing and camping and travel a bit.  They would take the house off the real estate market if we are there full time.  Can you see the agent's sign on their upper balcony?

The hanging baskets' colours got washed out in this picture, as they are lovely pinks and purples really.  The owners would still have 2 bedrooms to let upstairs but it sounded like a real win-win situation for us all.  We both get some freedoms back.  
We can put up our own pictures and add our own chairs etc.  Not having to care for  lawns or repairs or upkeep or snow-shoveling appeals to Old Man Watching.  We could help with guests if the owners are on holidays and share the profit.  The fellow renting our house says he will be ready to buy it in the spring.  Alleluia.  Perhaps all the coins will fall into their proper slots over the next six months.  This is a more appealing option for us than the independent/assisted living units we looked at for our old age.  At 76, with medical issues, this might be the best option for Old Man.   The hospital is 10 blocks away "in city talk" but about a mile in our talk.  Plus he claims he was born in Ashcroft (on the steps of the wee hospital in 1937) and wants to die in Ashcroft.  I am sorry I have written too much, just trying to catch up, but we will be out of Internet service for about 10 days.  

We had agreed to another house sit that was fortuitous as the weather went up into the 30's and they had A/C and a cool basement entertainment room.  I cleaned up all their flower beds and potted plants and kept the yard watered.  Duncan enjoyed the Internet and TV.  At church that Sunday a friend who is presently teaching high school English in a Christian school in Hong Kong, brought two sisters/students she was chaperoning around BC, named Shelley and Circle.  What an experience that was for them.
They got to see stars in a dark sky for the first time, made a snowman at Whistler ski hill, canned tomatoes and make jam (their kitchens at home are too small for that) and rode a horse, and make an inukshuk that they dismantled and took away for home in their backpacks as they were sad to leave it in Canada.  I wonder what airport customs will say about that?  They also were taken on a local produce farm tour, and got to go into a large field and see the miles of vines, find the flowers starting to become buds/small fruit, and then find WHOLE melons that they were allowed to pick.  At home in Hong Kong, melons come from the market.  They spoke English well, but I think they may have been a little befuddled by our liberal ways in church and the Quaker style silences, and then our welcomed discussions of the priest's teaching, by anybody after his delivery.  They did enjoy the Gospel style music though as that is what they had requested.  We had to sing, 'This Little Light of Mine' again this week but they liked it and knew the tune.  I am beginning to think that Southern Gospel is becoming international.  Imagine young ladies who had never cooked on a campfire or roasted marshmallows or fished for trout from shore but knew "This Little Light of Mine".  They thought our small part of Canada was 'totally awesome' and 'so much nature everywhere'.

A week later we decided to go back to Fountain Lake where my Crones group had their yearly campout in July.  
Other friends were already there and our future landlords came to visit for a few days also.  We were all escaping the normal summer heat in the valleys again.  I caught some nice-sized trout from shore while the boaters and kayakers weren't having much luck.  

Here I am pajama fishing one evening again.  I just have a hard time bringing in my rod until it is dark.  The purple fluffy slippers are a special good-luck fishing accessory.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Wellness? July and August in an RV in BC

I have a little extra energy this evening so will do a bit more catching up to tell you about our travels.  We were in Ashcroft Village during the Wellness Festival Weekend.  
That was the weekend I also began to feel we really should settle down here in this river valley where the winters are mild but not mouldy like the coast, closer to Vancouver.   I took in parts of the Festival on Saturday and went to the street ecumenical Church Service on Sunday morning at 10:00.  It was a hot day so I appreciated the tent coverings for shade.  We were so blessed to have so many different local spiritual groups who agreed to participate.  

Some of my friends were not comfortable with this diversity on Sunday, but I feel that Jesus would have revelled in the desires of people's hearts to share their senses of seekers honouring other seekers looking for The Path.  I feel Spirituality is in our DNA.  But it manifests itself differently.  I chose the teachings of Jesus.  What did you choose?  I will honour your choice, even if it is Humanist/ Agnostic/ Atheist/ Muslim/ Buddhist ... etc........etc  

Our Anglican (Episcopal) priest had started his career in Tennessee, so had good memories of Elvis on the radio as he went to serve small communities on Sunday mornings.  He opened the service with a Hebrew Hora verse using his guitar to encourage chanting and dancing.  The drummers in the background picked up the beat and some folk actually rose to dance in the aisles.  
That is a new one for our Canadian conservative feelings.  Then the Hare Krishnas were asked to do the Invocation.  The long chanting session in another language made some folk uncomfortable, but most of us have travelled enough these days that we are not so xenophobic.   

We were led in some Southern Baptist style hymns with the 'amens'  and 'yes brother' type responses, by our Anglican priest ( of all people ).  I found that amusing on the streets of our staid little village.  We sang very familiar hymns for the drop-ins, like 'This Little Light of Mine'.  There was a lot of clapping and 'Alleluias' during those several hymns.  

Then an Elvis impersonator came on to sing.  He was the real preacher that day, in the good old revival style, that annoys me, but he made it enjoyable somehow.  Maybe it was the jokes about St. Peter and fancy folk.  He really was a good singer and did about 6 of Elvis' best Gospel songs.  He was also easy about sharing his 'Born Again' beliefs.  Alleluia is all I could say afterwards.

I wish church could be this interesting a few more times a year, but really enjoy my own weekly rituals.
When I got back to the home that we were house-sitting, Old Man Watching had experienced a bad session.  He was trying to shut down the RV so we could go up the mountain to a cooler lake, when he fell backwards over a curb and into a cedar hedge and had nobody to help him get up and out.  He did it himself eventually and drove away to our new campsite.  He was on Ibuprophen for 3 days.  More later....

Monday, 5 August 2013

June and July in our little part of the world

I had this blog almost finished last night when I knocked a small glass of sugared water over on it.  I fried my machine.  Evidently the sugar is worse on a keyboard than the water.  So I am back to using my old computer, that I still prefer over the Windows 8, as I am used to it.  Old Man thinks this is his machine now, so he is not impressed.  I can't take the new one to see if it can be fixed until Tuesday, where I bought it.  So now I will try to remember what I wrote last night.  It went poof with the computer.

We were delighted with the birth of Prince George as it was so good to see and hear good news for a change.  Somehow the level of energy in conversations those few days, was more positive in Canada.  Why is that?

We were out at the Lee Creek Ranch again for a month in June  Old Man had done some tractor work clearing the hay stacking yard and put down some horses that needed to be hauled away.  It is ugly stuff that I stay away from.  It is a good time for a shower.  He also hauled away some fallen trees from some big winds we had out there.  But Megan was fortunate to have so many folk who came to help with welding, mechanicing, and cutting and baling hay.  

I was working in the garden every day as it had gone to weeds after it was planted as Megan had no time to work there and June was very rainy so it was hard to find a day to work in there.

 I left it looking like a show garden, but enjoyed the work.  We weren't really needed by then so moved along.  The first crop of big round bales was off the field and stacked.  She is crying less and will cope well now.  It has been six months since Layton died, but we still can't believe that such a charismatic person is really, really gone.

Then it was time for my yearly (5th) Crones' Campout.   We chose a site this year that is almost across the Fraser River from the Lee Creek Ranch.  

Old Man and I went in to set up a few days early to reserve spots for the other campers.  Joanne helped clean the camp and move the firepit barrel closer to the lake.  Fountain Lake is up in the mountains above the Fountain Lake Indian Reserve.  The drinking water is very good here.  It is only $7.50 to stay there a night and has a concession and showers and indoor toilets if you want to walk that far over to use them.  We used the pit-toilets mostly except at night when we use the inside RV ones.  
We were only nine this year, but swam 

 and kayaked and hiked and explored and tried new food and wines.... in the bush.

I liked Fountain Lake as there was so much Indian TV to watch.  After the Crones left on Sunday/Monday we stayed 3 more days to just watch the beaver and herons and loons and catch a few fish.  Old Man doesnt' fish but I was inside the RV cleaning, so he brought this little rainbow trout in for me to have for breakfast the next day.

Then we left to come back to our village and house-sit a cat that owns a salt-water pool, alongside the Thompson River.  

 I did a lot of weeding and dead-heading in the patio area to pay for our free showers, swims, and use of the cool house.
We certainly enjoyed the front porch in the mornings looking out at the river.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Hello Strangers

  This is our last camp, int the willows as it was so hot.  I strung a yellow sheet to make a privacy area where we could use the outside shower.  There were few other campers anyway.  But it was time to leave that rustic life with few modern amenities.

We are settled into a house with great Karma.  I like the smell of it..... an essential oil called Thieves, and it is at the end of a road in the village looking out at the hills and sagebrush.  We have a great Internet connection and will be here for another week house/plant-sitting.  There are huge TV screens in 4 rooms so Old Man Watching is watching.  We don't miss TV when we travel and camp but easily get sucked back into it's mindless vortex when back in towns.  So I will do a condensed version of our last few months in the bushes in a few days.  But tonight and tomorrow I will probably just spend as much time as possible reading your posts.  You are so entertaining.  You are almost as good as Indian TV.  Well maybe beavers and otters swimming by and playing or working really are more amusing, but you all are second best.  : )