Tag Archives: machinery

The prettiest thing in the garden

Someone asked me for photos.  Here she is.

She deserves a vignette

Scabby's blind eye

We had this weird plant in our garden growing all winter.  We knew it was a perennial, but some of the flowers we grew last year weren’t all that spectacular, and this one was doing so darn well that we kind of assumed it was one of those – something we didn’t really like that was going to take over the garden and we were going to have to spend years and years getting rid of it.

Then it Sweet williamstarted to bloom and it’s the prettiest thing in our garden right now.  Plus, it’s often covered in butterflies.  It’s called Sweet William and I like it a lot.

Someone came by to buy Truckasaurus today.  We’ve had Bets, our new truck, for about 5 weeks now, and we’re finally ready to sell the big guy.  As long as his frame isn’t completely rusted through, he should be gone this weekend.  It feels like the end of an era… I kind of felt like a farmer when I drove that truck.  Granted, I also felt like I was destroying the planet, but it’s okay to do IMG_0215that as long as I feel a little bit guilty, right?  I mean, monster trucks are okay as long as we contemplate how not okay they are, right?  Regardless of whether Truckasaurus, and the dinosaur bones that he consumes, are okay, it still makes me sad to think of him being gone.  I don’t know if I’ve ever really loved a vehicle the way I love him… I guess he’s just more truck than I was used to.  Anyways, I wish him all of the dinosaur bones he can eat, except maybe I hope that’s not very many.



The luck of the person-sewn mitt

I’m really lucky.  I know this.  I feel grateful for it.  I work really hard, and I do my best at most things, and I try to be good and kind and fair (but sometimes I fail), so I deserve some of the things I have.  But I am also lucky.  I am lucky enough to have a fantastic job, and a lovely partner, and an amazing dog, and a farm and a pair of beautiful person-made (I was going to say hand-made, but she used a machine, so I don’t know if that’s appropriate.  I’m not a quilter.  We’ve been over this before.  Anyways, they were made by a person, and I know her name, and she doesn’t live super ridiculously far away, even if she lives in Alaska) from vintage fabric oven mitts.Pretty mitts.  I know – who cares about the job and farm and dog and partner if you can have beautiful oven mitts.  And I don’t really know how I got them.  I saw them on facebook, and then found out they were made by this woman who’s coming to my little island to teach a quilting class, and then I asked her for some, but then she told me that she was doing a trade with my amazing neighbour… who then proceeded to give them to me.  See?  Lucky.Really pretty mitts.

A friend of mine came over for dinner the other night and said that she’d made 2 resolutions for the year.  1 was to fix everything.  I don’t know why one would need a second resolution if the first was to fix everything, but one may need more than a year.  I’ve tried to keep my resolutions more simple (and achievable, but I’m not pooping on anyone’s parades).

1) 15 minutes of cleaning per day.  Putting away laundry and dishes and general tidying doesn’t count.  Washing the stairs, clearing out old boxes and scrubbing (half) of the tub count.  So far I’ve done it every day.  If I last another 30 days or so I’ll have reached the whole house.  Maybe.  I’m trying.

2) I want to knit a marathon.  I don’t need to buy a marathon of yarn (although the thought of it kind of makes me want to try, but then I start to feel dirty and consumer-y and I don’t like it, but I like the pretty yarn, so we’ll see).  Some super inspiring ladies I know ran a marathon last year, but I don’t like running and it doesn’t feel good on my knee, and I like to knit, so I’m going to knit a marathon instead.  So far I’ve knit about 300 yards.  Only about 45 825 yards to go.  Uh oh.  Maybe this goal isn’t so realistic.  Drat.  Well, I’m going to try?

I had to go to work today.  I like going to work.  I don’t like waking up at 6 am when it’s dark out.  I also don’t like going to work when there are exciting things happening at home, like the tapping of the maple trees.  If only there were more daylight hours in the day… although today there was almost 12 minutes more daylight than there was on the solstice, so that’s nice.  I wish I had enjoyed those 12 minutes a little more…

Each of these 4 L jugs full of maple water will make approximately 80 mL of syrup.

Each of these 4 L jugs full of maple water will make approximately 80 mL of syrup.

Sometimes it drips.  Sometimes it drools?
Sometimes it drips. Sometimes it drools?

Orwell underwater

So I cut down a tree.  It was my first one.  Here’s a stop-motion animation of the event!

Jeremy said that when I wrote on facebook  that I’d cut a tree down,most people would think I was cutting down a Christmas tree… he said that I should say I fell a tree instead.  So I did that too.  I fell me a tree.  It was a maple.  It was scary as heck, and my muscles all hurt, but it was exhilarating and awesome and I’m proud of myself.

Meanwhile, Jeremy hung Imagecurtains.   Aren’t they pretty?  We should be proud of him too.  This is obviously not true.  Jeremy taught me how to cut a tree down, and was taking pictures of me while I was doing it.  However, he also DID hang curtains this week, to try to keep some of our lovely warm air in our living space, and not vent it out through the holes in the windows.  ImageHe also put in a new fancy water tap, so that our water doesn’t taste like stinky sulfur!  Yes, we planned on putting it in immediately after we moved, but it’s in now, and isn’t it nice?  Especially when the camera is focusing on the clean utensils in the background?


Underwater, of course

We went to the distillery on Hornby on Saturday.  It was…

(I couldn’t figure out what adjective to use right now, so I looked on my “farm mac” – all of the keys are a really dirty shade of brown – thesaurus for another word for cool and it’s informal options are “trendy, funky, with it, hip, big, happening, groovy, phat, kicky, fly”.  I don’t like those.  Points to someone who can find me that right adjective.  It’s certainly not “groovy” or “fly”.)

I felt like the still belonged in an Orwellian underwater H.G. Wells undersea space odyssey journey.  It was one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen.  Apart from my puppy, obviously.Image


Less pretty these days than normal, as she is in a “rolling in poop twice a day” phase

  The company was founded by an Icebreaker Captain and an organic chemist… you should go.  It’s the real deal.

So is roasting sausages over a bush fire.  They were delicious.


It’s almost December. You’re allowed to sing. I promise.

ImageThis log has a piece of flagging tape on it from when part of our fenced-in farm area was a path through to Dusty Road from our house.  We flagged the path off because I was perpetually getting lost.  I get lost less now.  Not a lot less, but less.  It was a little sad to see it burning,

And, finally, I dug up my gladiolas.Image  They were diseased with thrips this year, so we’re hoping to treat them and have better luck next year.  Any advice?

Chainsaws and spinning wheels

Birdhouse feeder Christmas presentI broke my car key on Thursday.  In the car door.  At Buckley Bay, the ferry terminal on Vancouver Island.  The spare key was at home, on Denman.  The lovely folks at the gas station at the ferry terminal lent me a pair of pliers to get the key out of the door, but I wasn’t going to put it in the ignition and risk having it get stuck in tBirdhouse feeder fed many juncos!here and have Volkswagen charge me $794 for a new ignition and $156 for a new key.  So I called work and told them I was going to be late and called Jer and he found the key, borrowed his mom’s car, drove to the ferry terminal, got on the ferry to give me the spare, got right back on on the other side and went back home.  I drove to work, half cursing and half smiling.  The next day the lock was frozen shut again, but my foresight had told me to fold down the back seats and so I climbed in through the trunk.  Part of me thinks it’s awesome that I’m entering my car through my trunk – I’m rather proud of the fact that I used to have a car that was so ghetto that it used to stall whenever I turned left.  Most of me, though, does not want the car I drive now to be ghetto.Chainsaw lesson!

I told Jer when I got home on Friday thaI bucked up 2 logst I thought I should learn to use a chainsaw.  He decided that the bluebird sunshine day we had on Saturday was as a good of an opportunity as ever.  So I learned how to use a chainsaw.  I like chainsaws.  In the same way that I like spinning wheels.  I also love the fact that we moved to a house where our neighbours are textile artists and want to have co-operative sheep.  Co-operative sheep!  Who ever thought I would be so lucky.

And then I loved my puppy

Springnesses and things that make me smile

It’s pretty thrilling to watch spring unfold for the first time here.  I feel way more aware; way more present in this springtime than I have in springs gone by.  Most of the springs of my 20s I spent treeplanting, and often felt like I missed the season altogether.  Spring was usually well underway when I left Victoria, yet wherever I was planting still seemed to be in the throes of a late winter.  Plus I was more interested in other things than I was in the bees coming back, or the nettles or thistles or the birds.  Spring in Bella Coola was more of an event (or many events, for the first couple were always followed by a significant spell of winter), but we were so impermanent there that I don’t know if I really took note in the same way.  We spend so much time watching here – watching and waiting – that it would be hard not to notice the change a single day can make.

This Easter weekend has been pretty glorious.  I don’t think it’s rained, and it’s been warm enough to dry out the soil in our garden and rev up our roto-tiller.  Much of the garden has been tilled in the past two days, and we’ve now got a dozen asparagus plants in, as well as peas, beets, carrots, radishes, and an assortment of other nicenesses.  Our big plum tree out back of the house is BUZZING with bees, and I can only imagine what the next couple of days will sound like if the weather stays nice.  We’ve got hummingbirds at our feeder for the first time since Bella Coola and every time I hear one buzz by I smile.  We’ve seen our first house finches this week too – the first really colourful bird we’ve seen at our feeders this year.  We’ve planted fennel, camas, lilies, day lilies, a hellebore, a rhododendron, walnut trees, cherry trees, a red currant and a marion berry, a bougainvillea, and goodness knows whatever other flowers in our house garden.  I can’t WAIT for things to start coming up and making me smile.  Really.  I. Can’t. Wait.

Jeremy made me smile the other day by hanging up our clothes line.  It makes me SO much more inclined to hang up the laundry than when we had to hang it in our loft, stooped over like a drunken hunchback in the 4 foot nothing ceiling.  It is much more lovely to hang laundry under the plum tree.  Although, I must admit, it holds nothing to hanging laundry in Bella Coola, with this for a view.  Other things that have made me smile are finished new knit socks (although the colour scheme is rather blinding), finished new knit shirts, and the prospect of starting an aran sweater for Jer for his (30th!) birthday.  Daffodils and hyacinths, and lovely visits with friends and family.  Sleeping (and eating and cooking and living!) with the windows open.

Oh!  and our incubator hasn’t hatched any chicks yet.  We keep checking – today is the day the first few were supposed to hatch, and we’re just crossing our fingers.

What’s making you smile?

TRUCKASAURUS! and new houses.

Some of you are familiar with truckasaurus.  Some of you aren’t.    He kind of looks like this.  Except not as shiny.  At all.  Jer’s headed down to Victoria tomorrow to barter the stink out of Marc, and he should be back with our very own truck either tomorrow or Thursday.  Because really, every farm should have a truck.

On other news, I’d like to send out a congratulations to 2 friends who have recently had accepted offers on houses of their own.  It’s such an exciting process, and I wish them luck, easy moves, warm winters, and appliances that never break down.  Oh.  And double-paned windows.  Maybe one day we’ll have double paned windows.  Maybe.  So, congrats to our new-to-be-permanent neighbours in Bowser, and to some folks (one of whom has her own blog)  I worked with in Calgary who own a coffee shop in Dartmouth that I’m sure is fantastic – it sure looks like it.  So yay!  To debt that’s truly worthwhile.