Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sagacious Sadie takes over

Well, my mama is grumpy busy and is muttering away about nasty computers and the pace of change and this modern world and all that other stuff old chronologically challenged people go on and on about, so I'z just gonna helps myself to the computer and show you what we'z been up to. Okay? I may not rite write as eloquently as my mama, but I can still post pickchures I fink.

On Thursday, my mama and me took a long, long drive. We left Charley and Allie at home (Tarben's mama and Archie's mama came over to take care of them), and we went on de big boat back to the mainland.

This time I didn't get to go see my Gran Rose like we usually do. Instead, I visited my pal Riley


and our buddy Taleah was there too, because her mama Sharon is away so she is being doggy-sat.


Mama picked up her 2012 calendar from Auntie Deb, who is an artist. You'll see her work here.

Then we got back in the van an' went to Tisol's petstore, because they haz my vewy expensive food for $10 less a bag than what it costs on the island. Then back in the van again and drive, drive, drive, drive.....and then we was at the Piggy Lady's! Yes, Hearts on Noses sanctuary. As soon as the piggies heard my mama's voice, they came running - Scotch and Soda and all ten piglets that we fostered. 'Cept they is all big piggies now.

Hey foster mama!  Where ya bin?


Handsome, smiling Papa Scotch

Hick town pig, straw in mouth.

Scotch enjoying sunshine

Hi foster mama.  'member me? 

I'z as cute as ever!

An I still luvs you!

But we luvs the Piggy Lady, too!

My mama sez they look great - their skin is smooth and their hair is thick and glossy, and they is all happy happy pigs! We feds them some apples and some tomatoes (I grewed the tomatoes myself - well, wiv mama's help!), and had a quick visit, then back in the van. We drove and drove some more, stopped in to see Auntie Ann and Uncle Ken, and then mama had a visit wiv Emma, who is sorta her dog but lives at mama's old, old house wiv her dad (Emma's dad, not my mama's dad!). It waz dark by the time we got to visit her.


She still remembers all the stuff my mama taught her six or seven years ago. Here she is, showing mama that she knows how to 'stay' even when mama walks behind her.

Sit! Stay!

What a suck-up - ya wouldn't get me to do that! Heheheh!

Then we hadta make a mad dash fer the ferry so we could get back home. It waz a long, long day - 14 hours of travelling. I waz so glad to get home and see Charley, that I playbowed to her and played bitey-face and acted like a silly puppy. I waz a silly puppy - I knocked poor Charley right over wiv my exuberance! Oops!

Happy Sadie

On Friday, mama and I just slept all day long cuz we was so tired.
But yesterday was nice out, so mama and us dogs went outside to play. Or work. Mama had to finish the fence between the side and back yards. We helped:

Hey, Sadie - does this look right to you?
Nope, looks likes something's missing!

I can hop right through this!

She sez she was getting to that, but we thinks she thought she was done. Good thing we showed her what to do!

Okay, the concrete is set and the post is straight.

That's better, this looks solid!

All done!

Um, mama???  You forgots me!

Here I am!

Today mama is being lazy again. She is reading mostly. She hazn't even taken me for a walk yet, though I think she will soon because this morning's rain has stopped and it is sunny right now. But she also has to do more work on the gutters because the gutter seal didn't work. She shoulda let us inspect it. We coulda showed her how to do it!

Luv, Sadie.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogger friends - Can you comment?

For the past few days, I've found myself unable to comment on a few Blogger blogs I've always been able to comment on before (Evensong and Karen, yours were among them - can't remember which others).  (Note to non-bloggy people.  When I use the term Blogger here, I'm referring to the trademark name of the site which hosts my blog).  When I type my comment and move to 'select profile', the drop down box doesn't work, but of course I can't comment without selecting a profile - there's no other option.  Has anyone else experienced this and figured out how to resolve it.  I have changed absolutely nothing on my computer.

(Note:  I don't always get the 'select profile' request from Blogger - some Blogger blogs allow me to just enter my comment and automatically put in my name and link to my own blog.)  

Anyway, I went to Blogger Help and see that people have been asking that same question for several months, and the only responses are so full of technobabble that I don't have a clue what they are talking about.

If one of you have faced and conquered this challenge, please let me know how to make that drop down box drop down!!! 

I'm not sure what my own blog asks people to do in order to comment, but if you are unable to post a comment on this blog, please try the 'email me' button on the right to let me know. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Misty mornings, must-have tools, and the cleanest gutters in town!

This sunny, crisp fall weather has me energized and active - I wish it could stay like this all year round! I decided to make the most of the great weather by doing some much-needed maintenance around the yard. I'd already washed all the windows and screens and turned the last of the veggie beds under for the winter, but there were other tasks I've procrastinated on for a couple of years.

Ever since buying the house, I've had gutters that drip right by the front door and right in front of the gate - not very inviting to visitors on a rainy day, and darned dangerous when the temperatures drop below freezing. As well, the downspout right by my bedroom window was missing the top section and the resulting river of water pouring straight down onto the ground drove me crazy every time it rained.

What's wrong with this picture?

And then the fence between my side and back yards was falling apart, the gate no longer closed, and the gate post wobbled badly (of course, this could have something to do with its location next to the missing downspout!).

Old fence and gate tied together with twine

But first a walk to the ocean with Sadie. The Sea Walk was very frosty, so I opted not to go there as frost on old wood is incredibly slippery.  But the rising sun still made the walk to the wharf worthwhile:

Morning sunrise at Crofton wharf

Then off to Duncan to buy the materials for the day's projects. But enroute I get sidetracked when I come across a surreal scene of misty meadows - thankfully I have my camera in my bag:

Photos taken, materials purchased, and it's back home to work.

Over the years, I have become convinced there is some sort of code of secrecy among men when it comes to doing 'guy stuff' and the tools one needs. Yesterday, when I made a first run for some supplies,  I asked one of the Home Depot salesmen for some assistance selecting what I needed.  When I got home, I discovered they'd steered me wrong -  two wrong gutter parts and the wrong kind of cement for the post. And when I asked how to avoid denting the metal gutters with the ladder, I was told it would be fine, just put the ladder near the little spacers on the gutter.  NOT - been there, done that! What they didn't tell me was what I found out online last night - I needed these amazing, fantabulous, not-even-expensive  (Less than $30 including tax) things called ladder stand-offs, aka "painters' wings". How could I have not learned about these in forty years of cleaning gutters and putting up Christmas lights???  

Painters' wings

They are now one of my favourite tools - right up there with my power mitre saw. They made the job of cleaning the gutters a breeze - very stable, easy to work around, and no crushed gutters! I'm thinking the previous owner hadn't known about them either, because the gutters on the carport (where there is no wall to rest a ladder) looked like they had never been done - two inches of muck and a good inch of thick moss! Now my gutters are squeeky clean, and it took me less than two hours to do the whole house.

The cleanest gutters in town!

Once the gutters were cleaned, I scraped away layer after layer of four different types of sealant and re-did all the joints. Hopefully I did them well enough - my skills with the caulking gun and gutter sealant leave much to be desired. The new downspout is now properly attached (which is more than can be said for the existing downspouts, each one mounted to the cross piece with the screws facing the wrong way and therefore obstructing the flow of gunk! I guess next year I'll think about taking them all apart and doing them correctly.)

All fixed! 

I decided to salvage the gate post - it is sunk deep in the soil and the wood is still good enough for the little weight it has to support. I just dug a wide hole around its base and filled it with cement, attached my handy-dandy post level to get it 'just so', added some temporary support braces, and covered it with plastic to let the concrete cure. Charley inspected the work, and pronounced it a fine job.

Inspector Charley

If the weather holds, I shall build the fence and new gate tomorrow, or at least get a start on it. The cedar is piled in the yard, the power mitre saw just needs to be carried out of the shed, and my 18V Hitachi drill/driver and favourite Kiwi screws are at the ready.

Someone once told me that there are only two things a woman living alone must have to do any 'guy job' - duct tape and WD 40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use duct tape; if it doesn't move and it should, use WD40. That advice has served me well.  I think, though, that I would add a few more things to that 'must have' list - a power drill/driver, a power mitre saw and circular saw,  safety glasses, a bunch of screws, a ladder, and some painters' wings. Yup, that'll about do it. Unless you are setting fence posts, in which case a post level is mighty nice to have, too.

And with those few tools and some internet research, there ain't nuthin' we gals can't do!  I am woman; hear me roar!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Colour My World

Each season brings me new delights - the first snowfall of winter, the first crocuses poking through the earth in spring, the first tomatoes to ripen in summer. But no season brings me greater joy than autumn, when colour engulfs me - fall flowers still blooming, green grass still growing, and the best and most beautiful of all - the trees. I am consumed with happiness. Perhaps it is because red and yellow are my favourite colours, so cheerful, so bright, so joyous.

Only in autumn can a short fifteen minute drive from Crofton to Chemainus on a Sunday afternoon become an hour of awe and wonder as I stop every few minutes to inhale the splendor of the world around me:

Old wooden bridge on Chemainus Road

Chemainus cemetery

How can one tree - one leaf - hold so many beautiful shades on its palette?

I think October must be Mother Nature's Christmas, when she decorates her trees in crimson and gold, and strings shimmering strands of sunlight among them.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

When the sun shines in mid-October

...we go out and enjoy it. Which is why I haven't blogged anything all week. The weather has been gorgeous!

We've been busy ...

Harvesting the last of the garden and putting it to bed for the winter:


Spaghetti Squash

Everbearing Strawberries

Tomatoes yet to ripen

Fertilizing and deadheading the fall flowers:

Wandering neighbourhood garage sales and buying beautiful handmade pottery for a song (or fifty cents, in monetary terms!):

Walking the sea walk in the early morning mist:

Taking photos around town to illustrate our next column in the Courier:

Watching the birds find warm little places for the winter:

And watching the birds watching themselves:

I'm so beautiful!

And by the time we come back inside we are just too pooped to party - or even blog.

Charley:  Excuse me, but that's where I want to sleep!

Georgi:  But I am a guest, and you must be nice to me!