Archive for

November, 2013


R.I.P. Our Moose Friend

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Last night as we drove home we spotted 2 hunters gutting a moose only a km from our place, it was probably the guy living on our land :(. We are sad!


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We were in the lodge at the ski hill putting signs together when a critter was spotted.  It was an Ermine!  The cutest little gaffer!  They have 2 cats that live in there  to keep the mice down but they move them out while they are open for people with allergies instead they let these little Ermine hang out and they keep the mice away, they are really good little hunters!  So this little guy was trying to get outside, we managed to help him out, he was the cutest little guy with his little black tip tail!   We have them on our property but I didn’t know they were called ermine.  The first year we were here there was one by the old trailer that used to be at the top of the driveway … These ermine only get to be about a foot long.  This was a small one, maybe 8″ so probably a female.  I also see them running around on the other side of the creek in the winter from time to time.  They turn brown in the summer so they would be so hard to see.  I did a blog about a tiny stoat we saw on the creek in Barkerville a couple of summers ago, that was a smaller version of this guy… I will find the photo and post it.  So cute!

I did not take this photo, I borrowed it from



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some of my old photos just need to be reposted… LOVE this one!


Mini being a spaz!

Two Old Miners…

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A few weeks back, before the snow started, we had a visit from 2 old miners who have purchased the claim that is at the top of our property.  There are new rules these days, you have to prove you are active on the claim or you can lose it.  They were mostly here just to get a bit of proof.  Barry climbed up to the claim with them, they had the coordinates marked on their GPS so they knew when they were on it (Chris and Barry had climbed a lot further into the claim when they went up looking for it).  They had pans with them and Barry helped them get a few pan fulls of dirt from the banks but they found not even a hint of the yellow… black sand but no yellow!  One of them was a little older and had a hard time getting up there, the other man was in better shape and didn’t have too much trouble.  They said if they were to work the claim (very unlikely) they would come in from above, not through our land.  There is a road up there from when they did some logging years ago, they could branch a road off of.


On thing we did learn from these men was more about the shovel heads we have found on the land.  Some of you might remember when the cottonwood tree fell across the creek, we found an old shovel head in the root ball.  After doing a lot of research we found out it was from the late 1800’s because of the rivets.   This is that shovel head…

Spade from late 1800's found on the bank of Hyde Creek


Right around the same time Barry was building the pad for our woodshed and parking lot taking dirt from the gravel pit at the entrance to the property.  After working the gravel for sometime he found another shovel head but it was flattened from the loader… this one had come out of the gravel pit.  Because it was flattened and didn’t look like much, Barry stuck it at the end of the new bridge (cottonwood tree) and dubbed the bridge Lost Spade Crossing (see the spade behind Barry’s elbow) …


Lost Spade Crossing



These 2 old guys spotted the old spade and explained that this one is even older than the riveted shovel, it was before they started using rivets circa 1850.  Wow!  Nice score.  You can see sort of with this photo how it was put together…


Shovel head circa 1850 found at Hyde Creek


So this not only gave us information about the age of the shovel but also tells a different story for the land.  For that shovel to come out of the gravel pit, we are thinking it is probably a tailing pile, not a natural deposit.  Very interesting!

Technical difficulties

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Still experiencing some technical difficulties, more photos to be loaded on the blogs below so check back…

Doing Laundry

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I want to start by saying this is not a rant just sharing a moment in my life…


It has snowed a lot as I already reported.  It’s about to my knees so I decided I better get the snow shoes out today… Even with the shoes on, The snow is so light and fluffy that I sink every step, almost up to my knees anyways.  I am finding that every step is a workout of it’s own with the weight of the snow on the shoe but I’m up for a good workout … Leave the snow shoes on.  Laundry day… The wagon is officially put away for the season so I go into the shed and grab the small sled and load up the laundry basket into it.  The snow plow takes 2 people to start so Barry joins me so we can start it as I go by and we set off down the driveway.  10 steps and I’m panting like I just ran a 4 minute mile, the sled feels extremely heavy in the deep snow.  We round the top of the driveway to find a tree down across it… no worries, we will go down the bat cave.   The bat cave is a bit more of a challenge than the downhill slope of the driveway but it’s the only option at this point.  I get to the shop and by now I think I’m going to die pulling this sled (Barry went ahead to get things ready).   I’m happy to stop and help so I can take a breather.  My part in starting the plow is to spray ether into the intake stack, well the can we are using right now is leaking and I end up with all over my hands and gloves… we get the plow going and I carry on my way only to start getting all woozie a few steps away.  I stop, take off the gloves, a few deep breathes of fresh air and I’m feeling better…. It was at this point I started wondering how badly I actually needed clean clothes But I’m half way there now, no use turning back at this point.  Even with having to break trail, going forward is the lesser of 2 evils … Now I get to the up hill part of my trek.  My steps have gotten smaller as I drag the sled, suddenly my hero arrived, took the sled for me the rest of the way … Yay!  There will be clean clothes today.  The house was only 4* so I started a fire and hung out until it went into the dryer (save a trip), everywhere has been plowed now so we will go back with the dogs and bring the laundry back, it will be a considerably easier trek … Beats going to a laundry mat!


The Adventures of Paula Vol. 1

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Snowed in Paula cartoon


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Well, we are in winter!  As reported yesterday, we had well over a foot of snow fall in one day!  It is -7 at 8am so it won’t be melting today or probably any time soon.  We had one big fall already but it was warm and after a few days, most of it had melted.  Im pretty sure this one is here to stay.  We are ready!  We have brand new studded winter tires!  Nice!  We didn’t get any extra wood this year.  Barry had a back problem and is just healed now, a little late to be getting wood.  This is why we have 2 years stock piled!  We will have to go out in the spring and fill the shed instead of waiting until the fall.


The kids are doing great!  Shooter is so happy and playful everyday, he is like a young dog.  I call him Benjamin Buttons cause he’s  less of an old man now than he was when he was a puppy … He was pretty grumpy.  He loves his sisters even if he wouldn’t admit loving Mini!    I think he is happier now than he was as an only child… He seems to thrive on the pack dynamic.  And speaking of Mini, she is still the life of the party!  She is so full of fun and adventure.  She loves to sleep curled up right between us (not under the covers) and she is fast to wrap her little arms around your neck and give you kisses, very affectionate!  She is smart too!  But the most love comes from Lily!  She is the most loving dog either of us have ever experienced!  She is so dedicated to Barry, she does not leave his side and if he leaves her behind, she sits in the window and waits for him to return.  He steps on her toes from time to time because she literally is right behind him every step he takes!  We have found out that she LOVES to curl up in front of the fire, her and Shooter take turns.  She doesn’t like to go to the groomers (remember the story of her hanging onto Barry’s leg when we dropped her off) So we are working on doing it ourselves.  We think she should keep her long coat for the winter but she can’t see half the time but we are getting better at trimming her eyes.   We need to learn to do her chin, every time she gets a drink, she gets soaked then comes and gives you a big hug… Slobbery love.  We are pretty sure she likes it here with us, she seems happy and is very healthy.  they are a happy little trio!



Lily Hangin by the fire

Miss Mini in the snow


I have switched from pastels to acrylics.  When I was in Penticton in September, I started a painting of the Hong House when I spent the weekend painting with Sandy Hucman (a featured artist in our gallery).  I have been working on it almost every weekend and am finally getting close to finishing.  I can do the acrylic at the house so I am putting in more time.  This painting is large so a bit awkward on our 3’x3′  dining room table so I will do some small ones after this.  I am in Penticton again at the end of the month and attending a one day workshop with Terry Isaac!!!  (I’m not worthy)  I am so excited!  I’m gonna want to come home and paint paint paint!  I already have a few things lined up that I would like to attempt but I might change my strategy after a day with Terry.   It is going to be a fun winter, I love that I can paint at home.  I do miss the studio a bit but now that the snow has come, the lack of indoor plumbing has become a bit of a deterrent  for me.  I will be posting my paintings as they are finished… I also plan to update the gallery site ( with all of the art work that is available for sale, I will keep you posted on that.


As soon as the snow came it dawned on us that opening on the same weekend as the Barkerville Christmas weekend is not realistic.  We have no heat in the gallery (4 stoves but not one hooked up) and even if we used an electric heater, it’s gonna be cold in there!  Also, as soon as the snow starts to slide off the roof, it’s hard to walk past the house and if it’s sliding at the time, it can be dangerous.  It’s not worth trying to clear it, we tried the first year to keep it open, doesn’t work.  People would have to go thru the studio to get to the gallery and we are’t too keen on that idea.  Anyways, it just isn’t gonna happen this year but it isn’t off the table for next year.


We are still going to be putting a boot room on the front deck, Barry’s bad back delayed everything but he can do that at any time so he will start framing it in and slowly piece it together over the winter.  It is going to increase our living space by 150 sq ft!!!  That is exciting when you live in 400 sq ft!  just to get all the coats and boots out of the living room will be awesome but I can move the freezer from the kitchen out and I’ll have shelves for pots and pans etc… OMG!!!  I am hyperventilating thinking about it.  Hahaha.  Can you imagine my reaction when we actually add onto the house!  Barry might need to learn CPR.  We are doing some more work for the ski hill (I will post photos once it’s all done) and they have so graciously offer us access to all of their equipment etc… if we need something we are just to ask.  They are such nice people and so amazing to have as our closest neighbors.  I feel pretty secure knowing we can call them at any time if we are in a pinch.


I better get off the computer and to work, making Christmas gifts today.  Seems appropriate with all the snow outside.  Hope you all have a great weekend!


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We had about a foot of snow fall around a week ago but it warmed up and most of it melted.  It was getting pretty mucky around here!  This morning we woke up to blizzard conditions and it hasn’t stopped all day!  We have about 18″ right now (it’s dark) on the wood shed!  Can’t tell what kind of a truck we have.  Poor Mini gets snow balls so bad she can’t go far in this… too warm.  The photo of her was from the first snowfall of the year.  She came in today with so much on her belly  she couldn’t move!  Poor girl.  I ordered a couple of little Tee-shirts for her, just light cotton to keep the snow off her, hopefully they work.


We will be doing our second plow f the year tomorrow morning.  Fun Fun!!


Second snowfall of the season




Mini's Snow Balls

Back in Business!

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I am finally back online!  All of my 3+ years of blogging is stuck somewhere in cyberspace, I got tired of waiting to see if I was going to get it back and decided to start fresh.  New look for the fresh start, it might change a few times before I’m happy but for now I kinds like the new format.  Funny, I hadn’t blogged for a while but while it was down, it was all I wanted to do.  Glad to be back!