A walk on a sunny October day

Dear Vi,

It was so pretty this afternoon, I just had to take Sam out for a walk. Actually, it was Sam who took me.

I was happily basting a quilt, head down, paying no attention at all to leaves blowing over the lawn, sunshine streaming through the windows and bouncing rainbows around the room.

Sam waiting not so patiently by the door

But Sam grumbled and barked and grumbled and barked until I finally gave in.

We walked through the forest, down a country road, past a horse in the field and a wild apple tree whose branches were busting under the weight of hundreds of little red apples. The sides of the road were covered in blue wildflowers – the kind that will turn to stickers as soon as their blossoms drop. I’ll hate them later, but right now they’re stunning.

Sam is not cooperating

I wanted to take a picture of Sam sitting with the flowers. It seemed like the perfect photo opportunity. There I was, squatting on the side of the road, juggling the leash and the camera phone and trying to cajole Sam into smiling (or at least looking interested)…

Yeah, right.After I gave up, we walked back along the beach, where the water level has dropped but the sand hasn’t dried out enough to walk out very far without getting muddy.

Sam loves getting muddy.

And then we came home and had some lunch.

Have you taken a walk today?

Posted in outdoors, Salmon Arm, Samson, Shuswap, Sunnybrae, Walks | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Rain!

Dear Vi,

It’s been the most awful summer of heat and heavy smoke every day, and then…just this very minute…it started to rain!

REAL rain, not an intermittent shower.

Steadily dripping, sizzling on the roof tops, glorious, cool, wet, rain!

I know I owe you a big chatty letter…and I’ll write soon, I promise.

But not right now.

Right now, I’m going outside in my nightgown to dance in it!

Posted in Blog Categories, Salmon Arm, Sunnybrae | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Smoke & Fire

Dear Vi,

A few people have written to ask if Mr. C and I are in any danger from the wildfires wreaking havoc in British Columbia, so I thought perhaps a blog post on the subject was in order.

122 fires are burning, with several communities evacuated, including entire towns. Here’s a map of what’s burning as of 5am this morning:I’ve marked the area we live in with a green star. To give you an idea of distance, it takes us about an hour to drive to Kamloops.

As of this morning, 40,000 people have been evacuated in the province. Our town is one of the evacuation centers, and people are even being sent as far away as Vancouver. Because really, where do you put 40,000 people?

We had an incredibly wet spring, including flooding and mudslides. All that rain made the grasses grow. And then it got hot hot hot and all those lush grasses dried out and turned into fuel.  They say this is only the beginning of what is predicted to be a Very Bad Fire Season.

Our visibility is about one mile in smoke, which is an improvement, actually. Two days ago we couldn’t even see to the bottom of our street, let alone across the lake. And yesterday, it was snowing ash.

Here’s the view from my deck this afternoon: And here’s what it usually looks like:Cough cough hack.

As of right now, we’re not in any danger here in the Shuswap, but keep your fingers crossed nobody throws a burning cigarette out the window.

My deepest appreciation to the firefighters, some who are coming from as far away as Australia. 

And to all the emergency organizations who are managing the refugee centers.

And to all the volunteers who are lending their hands and their hearts to those fleeing their homes, including those who are taking in displaced livestock and pets.

And to small businesses like Katja’s Quilt Shoppe in Kamloops, who is organizing social activity days for evacuees and locals to get together and work on sewing projects as a way of helping the time pass. Quilters looking after quilters.  Awesome.

Posted in Salmon Arm, Shuswap | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Socks and Rings and other Traded Things

Dear Vi,

I was knitting away in the shade of the back deck yesterday when I noticed that my sock yarn exactly matches my sun dress. Ha!  Too bad the socks aren’t for me! (though I can’t imagine wanting to wear wool socks on a day hot enough for a strapless cotton dress, lol.)No, these socks are for Kelly’s cousin, Gabrielle. She and I made a trade…I will knit her a pair of socks in exchange for these two silver rings:I am always knitting something, and she no longer wears the rings, so it seemed a fair bargain at the time. But between you and me, I think I’m getting the better part of the deal.

And speaking of trades, years ago I traded a necklace I never worn for a pair of earrings that my friend Peggy never wore. You’re not going to believe this, but take a look:How’s that for a match made in heaven? I wish I could remember the name of the stone…

Have you ever traded for anything?  Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Friendship, Knitting, Thrifty | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The view from my window

Dear Vi,

We arrived in the Yukon three weeks ago today. Goodness, how the time flies! Today, I thought you might like to see what I see when I look out my cabin windows!

The cabin is really just one big room, with a divider that sections off the “bedroom.” We have four windows, one each facing north, south, east and west.

Of course you’ll recognize this west-facing view, taken out my front window. Look close and you’ll see Mr. C putting in the dock. The ice pushed it up on shore and then dragged and twisted it a bit, finally leaving it high-centered on a large rock. Happens every year. 

Turn to your left and you’ll see this  view from above the kitchen counter, facing south:

Now another quarter turn to your left and you’ll be facing east. This is the lovely view I see every morning from my pillow. There is a screen on this window, so it looks pretty fuzzy. Sorry about that.Last but not least, one more turn to your left and you are now facing north. This is the window over the couch in the living room. I hope you enjoyed the little tour! If you want to see more, just click on the “Related Posts” links below.

What’s your happy place?

 

 

Posted in Cabin, Fox Lake, Yukon | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Yukon HO!

Dear Vi,

I forgot to tell you that Mr C and I heading out for our annual spring sojourn to the Yukon. We arrived a week ago today. Two months off the grid are in our future. No phone, internet or television, no electricity, running water or indoor plumbing, except when we go to town.

Obviously, I went to town today, because here I am, writing to you from the Whitehorse Public Library.

Our departure date crept up on me like a kitten stalking my shoelaces. One minute I was blithely going about my business and the next I was tripped up by little needle claws in my ankles, causing me to run around making last minute lists and piles of things in doorways and on counter tops.

I did write a couple of blog posts along the way, which I’ll tack onto the end here in case you’re interested:

(May 9, 2017)  Yesterday we turned right off highway 16 onto highway 37, better known to northern locals as the the Stewart Cassiar Highway, and stayed the night at a rest stop just north of Kitwanga. It was a pretty place, and we stopped early enough to enjoy a nice supper and the rest of the evening. 

Have you ever been driving along and said to yourself, “I wonder what’s down there?” when you pass a road you’ve never been down?

Well, we did it today. We turned left at Meziadin Junction (highway 37A) and drove the 65 kilometres to almost-too-tiny-to-call-a-town Stewart, BC.

Stewart is a deep-sea port. It’s neighbour only a kilometre away is Hyder, Alaska. 

Our timing was off. It’s too early in the season, and most everything was closed down. The drive in and out was spectacular, though. Straight through the heart of the soaring Stikine mountains, through a narrow  valley, a narrower gulch, past a spectacular glacier and glacial lake. 

We decided we’ll come back on our return trip. Maybe catch the view when it isn’t shrouded in early spring cloud. When the town is awake and the visitor’s centre, museum, and coffee shops are open. 

(May 10, 2017) We’re pretty far north now, flirting with the Yukon border. It was snowing when we woke up this morning. We’d spent the night at a rest stop with the inauspicious name of Rabid Grizzly, a burbling creek beside us, the long expanse of Dease Lake frozen below.

Historically, Highway 37 has a poor reputation among Yukoners travelling south. It’s always been a pretty rough road, a sure bet for potholes, washboards and washouts, narrow one-lane bridges and never ending rain. 

The highway doesn’t deserve that old reputation anymore. I’m happy to report the highway is in fine shape and we made excellent time. 

It’s a pretty drive. Not jaw-dropping spectacular in the way driving though Muncho Park is, but when the sun decides to burn off the clouds, you’re treated to beautiful views of the Stikine mountains.

And bears. Lots and lots of bears.

I promise to post some pictures next time. I’m a bit limited here on the library computer. IMG_1552

Posted in Camping, Yukon | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments