Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Night in the Dark

When the wind began to blow from the west, bending the bars and larches at a 45 degree angle, I began to run for the blankets that were airing over the porch railing, to save them from going into the woods. I missed on the BBQ cover and called Anita for help with the thorniest of problems for it was lodged in the blackberry vines on the north slope, too far down to reach with my industrial broom and too far up for her to dig out with the straw broom. I slid down the hill to see if I could push on the BBQ cover and she grabbed a rake trying to catch it with its tines. Success in retrieving it, and fearing the lightening that was flashing through the sky by now, we ran to the porch for shelter, and to enjoy the trees bending over, the smell of the rain, and the claps of thunder. I am usually the last one left on the porch. I can’t drag myself away from the sights and smells of a storm ... until I remember that I left my car window down at which point I brave the rain again to fix that problem.

The window that was letting in rain is on my1980 Honda Accord which had been towed home that day from Salmon Arm, having given up the ghost in the downtown Askews parking lot. My mechanic keeps telling me to let the car be retired ... and I hope this is not the month I have to take his advice. Lloyd Beatty, the driver for Ben’s Towing was at the parking lot in 10 minutes and chatted with us on the drive home. I am always trying to find out when local people arrived in the community and where they came from. He and his family of 9 children arrived from Surry B.C. in 2001. “A blended family?”, I asked when he said that the ages of their children range from 36 to 6 years old and I had figured out the math on the kids. . “A good move, coming to this community,”

“Yes,” he replied. “Good to live here. Where ever else people live, if they want to talk to God they use a 1-900 number. Here, the call is local.”

Later the lights went out.  That is how why we spent the night in the dark, remembering the days when we thought we had to eat up all of the ice cream in the house in case it melted in the freezer.

These kids don't like ice-cream, so we just went to bed, a good place to be since it was 11:30 pm anyway.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First Night Home

From Rebecca:

So... I am off to the ferry terminal in 15 minutes to pick up Steve, Alex and luggage.... they took the ferry from Vancouver. 

Anyways, there was a knock at the door, and there are 4 boys, who basically ask me if they can sleep over tonight to hang out with Alex.  They assured me that they could bring their own sleeping bags and sleep in the back yard since it is a nice night.     They also told me that they have been waiting a long time, so they really think it should be OK.  

I guess it will be a different kind of night all together than the one I had imagined.   I told them to seek permission from their parental units, and that they would have to make a trip over to safeway for snacks, but that it would be OK with me.  

Well...  Alex will be happy. 


Holidays for Bonnie

Bonnie officially began her holidays today.  That is why we are in Salmon Arm at the Health Unit, finishing off just one last report.  What a lucky job she has -- she is allowed to go in and work on her day off.

I came along with her for I really am on holidays -- have been ever since I retired.  Today I toured the new Askews that is up on 30 Avenue.  I tried to buy some lighter fluid -- the best product I know for taking labels off of book covers, for example.  But Askews is health conscious and they don't sell any tobacco products.  "They don't sell tobacco at the drug store anymore, and since we have an on-site drug store, we just decided to be tobacco free," the man said.

"Alcohol?", Bonnie quiried.

"None of that either," the store assistant replied.

"Chcolate?", she continued.

Apparently she has a list of venal sins that could extend through many conversations.


Rock Camp and Golf Camp

David and Meighan go to Rock Camp each day.  She is playing the guitar.  He is playing the bass.  Neither of them were intersested in singing the lead, though Meighan told me that she can do back-up.  They brought their music home last night.  The chording goes C, G, E minor and back to C.  They are to strum on each of the four beats of each bar, but David has a rest on bar three.  Still he has to count it.  There is a repeat at the end of four bars of music, which doubles the length of the song.

Last night Meighan was wanting her mom to go to town and buy her a guitar so that she can practise chording all evening.  Both of them studied their music before they went to sleep last night, David's fingers showing Bonnie how they had to curl around the neck of the bass fiddle and then reach way out to press down on the strings.

Ceilidh and Dalton are taking golf lessons -- two hours each day for three days.  Already they have figured out that they either want a golf bag or a cart to ride on, the next time they take lessons.



I am a prisoner to my raspberry bushes.  They fruit faster than I can pick them.  Two and a half hours and I have only done the north side of the bushes.  The next morning I get up and do the south side of the bushes, but the sun continues to ripen the berries on the north, and so they have to be picked the next day as well. 

Miranda was making us raspberry kuchen every morning.  In the evenings we eat ice-cream covered with freshly sugared berries slathered on top.  Rapsberry vinegrette is now our favorite dressing:

1/3 cup canola oil (I used olive oil)
1/3 lemon juice (sometimes I use freshly squeezed lime juice)
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed raspberries

The dressing is to go on a bed of arugula leaves on which lays some blanched asparagrus, some sprouts and raspberries are spread on top.  Bonnie came in after work to help us in the kitchen one evening.  She took the asparagus, chopped it and put it in a different salad.  What does it matter?  Everything tastes good with that dressing on top.

Mary's favorite bran muffin recipe calls for raspberries -- frozen so that they don't loose their shape as they are folded into the batter.  So out came the muffin tins today.

Joaquim bought me some Certo so that I can make jam.  I notice that the recipe asks me to take half of the fruit and strain the seeds out of it, to make a finer product. 

Wah! Picking the berries is taking so long.  The job is only fun when there is someone picking alongside me.  At those times, I no longer feel that I am a prisoner to my raspberries.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

If you chance to meet a frown

Story Hebe was mad because I wanted to take her picture with Rhiannon. Since she wouldn't smile, we asked both girls to frown. Here was the sequence of frowning photos until Hebe finally decided it was o.k. to smile. Love Rhiannon's attempts at frowning. I am not sure her face can frown.
Wish my frowning face would always looks like Rhiannons.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cousin Party in Montreal. Xavier Brooks spent the last two weeks in Montreal with the Jarvis gang. Highlights of the cousin party included: 1. Water pad 2. Movie making 3. Tons of freezies 4. Staying up late every night 5. Outdoor swimming pools 6. Watching Lord of the Rings 7. Computer games 8. Making dessert and dinner 9. 30 minutes of work everyday out of every child (Catherine's addition) My house has never looked better 10. Putting together and staining dining room chairs--and getting paid for it. I can't wait for the next cousin party.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sister Trip

Moiya, Wyona and I took a sister trip -- something we learned to do years ago.  I would like to say it is an annual event that it is driven by some anniversary, but no ... it just happens when one of us thinks – why is it that we are so busy we don’t have time for each other anymore.  We hop in a car and have no idea if we will be driving 2 miles or 200.  We only know we are getting away together.

This week Wyona was the driving force behind organizing a trip which is a lot of work and entails the following: make sure that all three of us can leave the property at the same time,  making sure that we have enough money behind our credit cards so as not to not be hindered by any of the hidden costs that such a trip can incur.

Moiya saved money on yesterday’s sister-trip.  Lunch at Red Robins was a burger for each of the three of us.  She is the only one who turned her burger over to examine the bottom of the bun.  Now, tell me, who does that in a restaurant. But ¾ of the way through, she had to take a look and then ask the waitress about the green splotches on the bottom of the bun.  The manager came out to assure Moiya that he had thrown out the rest of the buns in that package, and that this item would be deleted from her bill and to thank Moiya for so graciously bringing that fact to their attention.  That is the moment (recognizing the now low price of Moiya’s bill) that Wyona decided it was her turn to treat Moiya to lunch -- the bill being only a Coke and some sweet potato fries.

At our last stop of the day, Costco, we stopped for an ice cream cone.  I am the one who loves cones.  They got cones, but the clerk delivered a sundae to me.  “I wanted a cone,” I said.  “Yes, I know,” said the cashier, “but the helper delivered a sundae, so I will just charge you 23 cents more.”  At 3 pm, I am too tired to argue and deliver the extra money to her.  She takes a cone and places it upside down on my sundae.  Now doesn’t look appetizing to me.  And further, I am worrying that someone watching will think that is the way I order my sundaes. In the meantime, someone in the food line-up has commented on Wyona’s new pillows, and in a monologue has told Wyona that the now non-stop chatter lives in Kelowna for 7 months of the year, rent4s in Hawaii for 5 months of the year, has done this for 35 years and has cruised 8 times.  The woman is also pulling her latest cruise agenda out of her purse to show Wyona – who really hasn’t had the chance to say a word to her.  Then the woman says, “So nice, chatting and off she goes,” Wyona. still silent, watching her leave, shakes her own head and asks, “What did I do to deserve that!”

Wyona told me never to leave my bill taped onto items in the cart.  Someone might steal the bill and the groceries, she said, and then Wyona checked that I didn’t ignore her caution to me and watched me until I tucked my receipt into my purse.  When it was time to produce our receipts at the Costco Exit Wyona couldn’t find hers.  The futile exercise of finding her now-lost- receipt lead to checking each of her pockets – of which she has many ... on every outfit she wears, just not on today’s clothing, but that is her regular uniform – lots of pockets.  Watching her check each pocket is like seeing someone give themselves their own security pat down.  Next she dumped out her purse onto the camera counter where the clerk also helped her try to find the receipt, by going through multiple papers of the day.   

No receipt. 

A third strategy, the camera clerk told her, is to go to customer service and get a duplicate receipt – not a bad thing to do unless you have to do it in the presence of the person you have just lectured about keeping good care of your receipts.

Oh yes.  Sister trips are good trips.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kicking Horse Canyon Park Bridge

Kicking Horse Canyon Park Bridge
The building of this bridge is memory based since I travelled this road so many times, wondering if I would have the courage to ride over the structure as I watched it rise from the bottom up.

Now it is done, and the casual traveler will hard notice that the bridge is there at all.

I stop many times on the way through, each time wishing I had set aside more time to look the space over.
names of people who worked on the bridge

Or at the very least I should bring a picnic lunch in a wicker basket, for the price is right -- free!

And the view can't be captured in pictures.

This trip out I was interested in the metal plaque that commemorates the opening of the bridge: the second one honouring people who worked on the bridge.
... a view back to the bridge ...

The road winds alongside the hill and then the highway rises and reaches the other side of the canyon without hardly a bump or a sight that lets one look down into the narrow gorge.

The rest of us know that rafts and kayaks are going in and out of the water, and if you stop at this park, it is not a long walk down to the river where the water travelers alight.

I have slipped down there in the winter, as well as in the spring and autumn, always looking for the tour buses that are full of wet-suited vacationers.
... shadows on stairs leading to the canyon ...

One day I took the time to count the number of picnic tables in this area -- there is always one for every family with extras left over.

The stairs that lead down to the river are steep, as is the path that can be followed to some of the eddies where I can put my hand in the water and test its temperature.

Always glacial cold!
Looking down to the canyona ...

The pictures of this site to not do it justice. But a park bench, some food in a wicker basket and the gentle wind blowing through the canyon!

That is enough to well up feelings of the deepest patriotism.


Sicamous Coffee Break

Grandma and Grandpa ... right next door

The house boats are lined up along the shore, still not out carrying their happy passengers along the shores of the Shuswap.

The town was quiet this morning when Bonnie and I drove into work. Miranda joined us later -- all of us looking forward to finding out what Bonnie does at her coffee breaks.

The temptation to hang out at Grandma & Grandpa's is a strong one.

But instead, we circled to the back of the building for a good walk.
... a wild flower garden backing onto the jogging track  ...

The community got a grant to build a paved footpath around the park and to add exercise equipment.

There are five stations of equipment, all of the busy.

As well we were passing joggers, some with weights on their wrists, and others carrying water bottles.

We know the answer as to why more people don't live in here.

There are just no jobs, and things are looking even worse right now, since the tourists are not coming here. Why should they?
... government grant at work for you ...
Miranda and I were amazed at the number of people using the equipment.

As well there is a child's playground, a soccer field, and a full baseball diamond.

 The house boats are still tied up, though Dave Wood says that a luxury houseboat has been rented out on the other side of the lake.
... sitting on the back of the train ...

The boat is worth 1 1/2 million dollars, holds 30 people and costs $20,000. When he said that corporations rent the boat I thought, "What kind of crazy people work all day together and then vacation with each other?"

We finished our walk beside the railroad car, which is gleaming yellow and black after a new paint job. Arta

Drinking Water

... water for Sicamous residents ...

On driving into Sicamous this morning I saw a sign at the intersection of the trans-Canada with the town.  The sign said “Water at the Rec Centre”.

 I remembered where that building was ... just behind the Sicamous Health Centre – I was there to watch Glen and Janet vote last year.

Today during Bonnie’s coffee break, I walked the perimeter of the Centennial Park which is in the same area.

She went back to work. Miranda and I had to go over and see how water is being distributed.

A security car sits in the parking lot, keeping eye on the silver tank that holds water for people. As well, two pallets of water are brought in each day. A hand written cardboard sign swings from the top of a tent on which the words are written, one case of water per car per day. Miranda and I were standing in the tent and the security agent called out from the car. “The sign is there because people were taking 14 or 16 cases each time they would come for water. Now they can only take one case. The next palette comes in tonight.”

As a political act, I don’t drink bottled water in B.C. or Alberta. Where is the water cleaner or fresher, I reason, than in those two provinces. But in this case – bottle water is best for still the residents don’t have safe drinking water.
Drinking Water
one case per car

Yesterday Moiya drove Wyona and me around 97A so that we could see how the stream at 2 Mile has been diverted by the slide, and now it is easier for “man” to build a new bridge, than to change the course of the water. We saw the farm fields alongside the river that empties out of Mara. The fields are still sitting in pools of water. Moiya pointed to the place where her friend lives at Swansea Point saying, “We wanted to come and help our friends and we weren’t even allowed in. Later David came to help Waterways, and his trousers were full of dirt and sand up to his waist. I wouldn’t let him put them in my washing machine!”

The safe drinking water was gone for the morning in Sicamous. The next palette of water comes in tonight.

Water – the gift of life.


The Duck Pond

I love the early morning walks.

Well, I tell myself that, but when I really enjoy them is half way through them, ... and of course I like the feeling when they are over.

And of course, there is a certain euphoria in knowing I did it again -- I woke up, and took the appropriate exercise steps to keep me ticking.
In Alberta I have a stretch of wild daisies, transplanted from B.C. the seed tossed in the gravel and sand beside my garage.

They are to remind me that the daisies will grow anywhere.
Alberta Cinquefoil

I was surprised to see the cinquefoil planted in the parking lot of the Children's Hospital, since I had detoured through there on my way to the duck pond on my last walk in Alberta before coming out to B.C.

I like the surprise of seeing what I know as the wild plants, domesticated and used for decoration on dry prairie ground around the hospital.

 Bonnie and I have been walking in the morning's in B.C.

We have been measuring how far we can go at Larchhaven and how fast we can go in an hour.

She claims that I can pass her on the incline, and she wonders why I am so slow when we are going downhill.

That is because I work at going uphill.  I change my breathing pattern and my stride, because I don't want to be at the last of the pack -- and my desire to keep up with the group can put me right at the front of any number of walkers.
... foxtails on an Alberta prairie ...

I use the decline for gawking. I have to slow down and take everything in. At the Shuwswap that has to include observing where the water has come down and washed out small gullies at Shuswap Estate Developments, looking at the million dollar house built on the west side of the bay that now has water in its basement, staring at the logs that are starting to line the shoreline since the water is receding.

Why wouldn't a person want to take a slower pace when there is so much to see?


Fluffy Bread

"Punch it down how far?"
"Taint moving down for me!"
In the early part of the week, Bonnie woke and asked for hot fluffy bread.

I pulled out the yeast to supply her with the product she wanted.

The flour, the yeast, salt, sugar and the temperature of the day cooperated.

All I needed was a little boy to help punch down the dough.
"How do I get this off of my hand?"

One cooperated.

A few handful went into his mouth.

He also made a few attempts at punching the dough down, but he is little and there was a lot of dough.
"Have my other cousins really swallowed this?"

While I was watching him, I was reminded of the number of people who have learned to punch down the dough.

Ceilidh got to be an expert at it one summer.

Then I was thinking of those who know how to cut hot bread -- really hot -- right out of the oven.

The trick is to get that first cut through the crust and then to gently move the knife back and forth -- no sawing, just let the blade do the work.
Watermelon in background for next experiment!

By evening the bread was well on its way to being consumed. One loaf had gone home with Joaquim.

The last loaf became a science experiment.

In the past we have seen people take store purchased bread, butter it, fold it in half, and then press it-- give it a couple of good whacks to take all of the air out of it.

So we decided to see if that could be done with this bread.

No luck.

Gentle pats, hard whaps, even taking a meat tenderizer to it wasn't enough to have it loose its structure.

How -- sweet flour, yeast, salt, oil and that right humidity!


Science Experiments

The Ivory Soap Experiment
The bar would melt.
David Camps has been doing science experiments with Miranda.  His first one was the volcano that has rushing lava.

The second experiment involved a watermelon. Miranda and David set the experiment up by naming it, telling the date of the experiment, what they plan to do, and then they construct their hypothesis as to how this experiment will turn out.  For example, the watermelon was to be thrown off of a balcony and David did not know what would happen to it.  His fear was that he would get watermelon all over himself.  When Miranda assured him there would be no juicy, pink splash, he lost his fear of the experiment, so quicker than she could run to grab her camera, the watermelon went tumbling over the railing.

Thus we have no pictures, and no outside observers, but we had a delicious end to the experiment, everyone with their spoons.
The third experiment was ... what happens when you put a bar of Ivory Soap in a microwave. The experiment was written up again. Miranda is a true scientist -- she makes the description and data collection an important part of the work -- and it has to be done first, so David has been doing a lot of writing.

For the fourth experiment, I want to submerge an egg in vinegar for a couple of days and see what happens, but David won't be back to the cabin until the weekend.  I can hardly wait until he arrives.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Naomi at Horse Camp

Naomi with Billy
Monday was Naomi's first day of horseback riding camp at Ecurie Jacob.

She has been taking riding lessons there since November 2011, with a lengthy hiatus over the spring when she broke her leg (the fracture happened on the trampoline, not a horse).
In preparation, last week we went to the Apple Saddlery to buy her first pair of riding boots and riding pants.  I am not sure who was most excited -- me or her.  I think perhaps it was me.

When she got up I did her hair in braids and told her she needed to eat some protein to get her through her 9 hour day, so she had a few bites of "egg pie" along with her cereal.  To make egg pie, beat one egg slightly in a small bowl and microwave for 1 minute.  Dump out and eat with ketchup.  This is one of only forms of protein I can get into my little mostly-vegetarian.  Yes, she is a little incarnation of her Aunt Bonnie Wyora in more ways than one.

On the way to the stables she told me she was a little nervous.  I told her that was normal and that all the kids were probably feeling the same way.  Naomi told me she had that feeling in her stomach that she gets when we drive past the dentist's office.
At the stables she was given a new t-shirt with the stable's logo on it and she was told to pick whichever pony she wanted.

Her favourite pony who she has ridden most this year --  William -- was already taken.  She seemed happy to spend the day instead with Billy, a beautiful painted pony.

Photo of Roxene

Thank you Cathy for forwarding Roxene's obituary to me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Roxy Stewart

Many of you will remember Roxy Stewart (as she is now named).  She and Reid were married for a time and many of you will remember her sweet smile and earnest manner.

She passed away on Tuesday after her second battle with brain cancer.  She leaves behind her two young girls (the youngest is not yet 2 years old), and her husband Rob.

She lived in Ottawa for a time and was in my ward where I got a chance to know her well.  I loved how sincere and honest she was in all her conversations.  She really cared about those around her.  She and her family moved back to Alberta a few years ago.  In my ward here in Ottawa she has a very good friend -- Angie.

Angie is putting together a book of stories about Roxy for her girls.  She knows that people will tell them all the time what a wonderful person their mother was, but Angie wants them to have specific stories about their mother to read.

So if you have any stories or fond memories of Roxy that you would like to share, let me know and I will pass them along to Angie for you.

I wish I had a picture of Roxy to post as I remember her in my mind. 

Lake Water - by Arta

(Rebecca scribing as arta dictates...)

We are trying to live by the rule that if an expert gives you advice you should take it.  For example, if an expert advises you to insure your house with sewer backup, take the advice.  Or another example we refer to in occasionally, if a lawyer gives you advice, take it.   In my case, if an expert tells you that the water is the warmest he has ever felt it in his whole life, try out the water. 

I put on my suimsuit at 10 a.m., thinking I would check out the temperature of the water before the sun really got at its peak.  Glen and Charise are right: the only time I trembled when I walked in the water, was when my foot touched a tiny pebble on the cement ramp. 

Some people thought the cement ramp was taken out.  No.  Not gone yet.  Still there for all to enjoy. 

Greg said that the water was at this height once before in his memory, in 1972.  He calls it "the year we had Primrose".  It is easy to remember what that year was  for the milkers, as the cow needed milking morning and night. 

Bonnie's friends brought their children here last night, to try out the water as well.  Four year old Bea told her mother that this is her favourite beach.

 Doral Pilling would have been happy to hear that.  It was his favourite beach as well.  We are all  only stewards of this place, so I hope that Bea will enjoy it with us until she is in her 20s and moves away to another place.

Glen says that Moiya has fixed up the beach really cute this year:  She has laid down some artificial turf and put down some chairs.  She and Dave are busy pushing logs back out into the water, since logs that get beached now, will be there for another 40 years.
p.s.  I have to go.  Bonnie Wyora asked me to to make white fluffy bread today, and it is in the oven cooking as I speak (note:  "as I type"!)

Kahlil Gibran on Love

Photo Credit:  Anne-Marie Bouchard
Rebecca reminded me a last week of the poet Kahlil Gibran. A friend had recited to her a favourite verse he had written about marriage and Rebecca shared it with me. I was reminded of the profound beauty of his work, having first been introduced to him by my speech teacher Dr. Leona Patterson. She was one special woman.

My journey over the last months with Annabelle has given me pause to think about love in many new ways. And I have thought a great deal about how grief and joy are bound together.

Kahlil Gibran on Love

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.


Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Water Report

I went down to play bridge at Wyona's last night and Glen asked if we had bee in the water yet today.  He had been down to the water after work and stayed in until 8pm.  He was pushing out logs and working the debris along the sides of the water.  Don Robertson had been down there as well.  Glen reported that this is the warmest he has ever felt the water -- ever!

Charise concurred and asked him why it feels like a bathtub.  He said we had had 7 days of blistering heat and no movement on the water so it is very warm on top.  There are no boats cruising up and down the lake -- too many logs out there from the flooding.  Since there have been no storms they just sit there.  Charise asked when the logs will leave and glen says when there is a big storm that pushed them all to the shore.

Bonie and I checked out the water on our early morning walk today.  They are right -- it is so warm you would not want to drink it. 

The only person who did not enter the conversation last night was Zoe.  Glen made many inital attempts to engage her in conversation.  She either ignored him or turned her back on him.  He didn't give up.  Finally he said to her, "I saw someone swimming way out in the water today -- so far it made me a little nervous."  She burst out laughing and said, "ha, ha that was me Glen.  Me and Charise."  From the other side of the room Charise said, "Zoe you big tattle tale."  Zoe was still laughing as though she had tricked Glen.

Yesterday was July 12th and the water was just lapping the top of the ramp.

Hot and high.

Today the water is 6 inches lower -- 6 inches is the length between your thumb and your baby finger stretched out.

You will remember that you can always tell where the high water mark is by the bits of debris that are left along the short.  This year the debris includes lots of driftwood zig-zagging the top of the shoreline.  Someone has laid down artificial turf just in front of the ramp.  To get on the dock you have to walk along the boardwalk that stretches between the land and the dock.  Coming off the dock I had to ask Bonnie to stand while I held on to her shoulder because I could see my first dip in the water was going to happen if I tried to get off on my own.

If you wish to confirm the temperature of the water, call Glen  at 250-836-4405.

(transcribed by Mary for Arta)
(Mary here -- sure wish I was there to test out the water.  I plan to call Glen collect shortly to confirm that I am missing out on a beautiful summer -- drat!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Love is Treasure

Last month our precious Annabelle passed in utero after surviving 28 week despite severe heart defects. Her heart was growing outside her body and she had only one ventricle. I love her dearly and miss her tremendously.

This week I read a novel by Jeanette Winterson called The Stone Gods and was touched by the following passage:

“What do you think love is, Billie?” 

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s recognition, perhaps discovery, sometimes it’s sacrifice, always it’s treasure. It’s a journey on foot to another place.”

Leo built a gorgeous casket for Annabelle out of canary wood. I am told that at the funeral more than one little boy asked his mother, "What's in the treasure box?"

Annabelle truly is a treasure.

Photo Credit:  Anne-Marie Bouchard   

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

6am walks - From Arta

Bonnie and I are trying to get an hour of exercise in every morning before she goes to work.  We walk up toboggan run and back.  Then we walk up to the Transcanada, and then down our own road, to what used to be a beach, and is now the new high water line. 

Glen has mowed all the way down past the original camp, so there is a beautiful path along the railroad.  Bonnie asked me if i could walk a little faster.  She said that i have two speeds.  on inclines, she can't keep up with me; on downhill, i go far too slow.  That is because, on the declines, i find myself busy looking at the flora and fauna. 

So, the little patches of wintergreen are now in flower in the woods, occasionally we have to step over last winter's deadfall.  Along side the road there are clumps of daisies, the chicory is in full bloom (Bonnie calls it chicory, i call it douglas aster, and we both are right).  She is the one who spotted the wild strawberries. 

Also, she had the eye for the baby loons that were out on the raft.  We tried to count them, and I thought my dad Doral was by my side:  as soon as one would put a head up, another would pop its head down.  It was a bit like one of those shooting duck games, or maybe 'whack a mole'.  In the end, we counted 13 ducks.  One of them has a severe limp.  We think he will become some hawks lunch before the week is out. 

Bonnie made a stop to pick the wild strawberries, thinking this was the only patch we would see.  Then, we discovered that they cover both sides of the path along pillings road. 

Knut was out trying to stop the damage (from the water) in the development to the west of us.  They have brought in three loads of rocks (in the past one load might have previously done).  Everyone is worried about their land sliding.

We saw a new stream ourselves alongside lots 21, 1, and 2.  My guess is that there must be an undereground spring there.  Bonnie says it is spillover from "Moose-pees-in-stream".  I didn't understand what she was saying and asked her to repeat it.  She said, "Ah, I forget, you are a 'seasonal'.  In the fall, David and I stopped our car and watched a moose in that stream for 1/2 an hour.  We even saw it pee there".  Teague will know the spot we are talking about, as it is where he used to practice his trombone as a teenager.

Bonnie and i take different routes every day, trying to figure out the perfect one hour walk. When we walked down through Swanee's development, we walk past the new house that people say cost 1 million dollars to build.  It too is having to have water pumped out of its basement.  I remember one other year when the water was this high.  There was flooding two blocks into Sicamous that year.  I hope this is it for another 20 years.  The good news is that the water is starting to receed.  

Arta (dictated over the phone to Rebecca, her conscripted scribe)

Dinner for Three - From Bonnie

Amanda, Teryn, Nicholai, David and I went up into the woods to pick wild strawberries. 

Actually, we were on Pilling Road, which in the Wintertime is known as Tobaggan Run.  Teryn was getting chastised for eating too fast and picking too few.  I am a very good strawberry picker, so i would pick them and put them in her hand, then she would drop them in the bucket, and get alot of praise from her mother.

We saw a snake.  Amanda was not fast enough to catch it, though she tried.  We did find a snake skin.  We also found a slug. 

The kids had the idea that this would be a good snack for the adults who were at home, so we went back to glens, and found a platter, and bowl to put over each of our offerings.

David Wood, Janet and Glen were the victims. 

Glen got first pick:  the strawberries. 

Janet and David Wood screamed appropriately at their selection.
Signed, Bonnie (through her scribe, Rebecca)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Life in the Air

"Duncan" Livingstone Seagull
Leaving the year behind in London is hard to do.

But easier when a person is flying with their mother and has been upgraded to business class.

Duncan's friends said they were going to have a party for him -- the day after he left.  His mom reminded him that what he was hearing from them was truly British humour.

I am a little jealous of him ... having never flown business class.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Across John Laurie

Cribbage or a walk?  I will take the walk.
Zoe and I took a walk today trying to find the most direct way to bicycle path that parallels John Laurie Boulevard.

We wend our way through footpaths that lead to Chippewa, Crocus Road and then we hop over a low fence and walk through the prairie grasses until we get to the paved bicycle path.
 -- 3 deer -- finally -- I got a shot
I thought it would be fun to climb the hill right up to the road and walk along the chain
link fence that marks the perimeter of the path.

Zoe is the one who spotted the deer across the highway.

We ran along the fence trying to get good pictures of them.

The best I can say is that the deer are well camouflaged. I could never catch them in my viewfinder.

One more thing about our walk -- the mosquitoes had voracious appetites.  


Canada Day -- a 3 day celebration

I don't know how long the patriotic celebration is going to continue at Chisholm, but this is the third day and it is still going on.

In fact the celebration is getting longer.

Today I saw Gabe and Audra wheeling their carry-on luggage up the back walk and into Wyona's house for a sleep over.
Zach, holding Kalina

And ... since they have feasted both Saturday at Wyona's and Sunday at Marcia's, the party moved to Peter's Drive-In for a family get-together today.

Now that is a family who knows how to party.


bodhsavatta tara

The Buddhist Goddess, Tara
... her right hand in the gesture of giving ...
Rebecca takes her second last day in London to go to the British Museum.

She sends me an email with this pictures and reports to me, "The bodhsavatta tara is 54 of the history of the world in 100 objects."

I didn't know that the British Museum could tell you the history of the world in 100 objects.

What's there to do, when there is so much to learn in the world, and so little time in which to learn it?


August Long Weekend 2012

If anyone is interested we are going to make one of these videos during August long weekend and dance all over the property.  Bring costumes, dance move and dance shoes.  Meet on the Bates' porch around noon.  Now who has a camera and a director's eye?

Here is the link if the video is not so great on the blog:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canada Day Celebrations

"Oh Canada ... where pines and maples grow"
How did you celebrate Canada Day?

At our house, Kelvin went to church twice (a devotional connected with the Mormon Historical Association and his regular sacrament service).

Both times he got to sing "O Canada" -- all four verses.

In the Globe and Mail, I read about the new works of five young Canadian authors.  If that doesn't count, I also listened to music on CBC radio from Parliament hill.  If that doesn't count, I saw some cupcakes yesterday that were decorated with a Canadian flag poked into each top.  I only ate them just with my eyes -- not a crumb crossed my lips, so maybe that doesn't count.  The day before, I went out in the evening with my bag slung over my shoulder, a bag that is created with a Union Jack print.  I wore a matching scarf.  For sure that doesn't count, even if I hummed "Hail Britannia, Britannia rules the waves", as I walked!

Anyone with any other kind of patriotic celebrations than those above.


Mormon History Association, Part III

When I looked at the progamme for the MHA’s 47th Conference, I used the following criteria to pick out sessions I would attend: was this session about polygamy? If not, were there sessions about Alberta or Canada? Because Rebecca and I wrote a mother-daughter set of papers on the subject of polygamy last year, I thought I would follow up and see what others are saying about it.

There were usually 7 concurrent session at the MHA conference, with 3 papers given in each session – which is about 180 papers in total. Usually I slip in and out of sessions, going from one interesting paper to another, but this conference, I settled down to staying to hear all three papers so that I could listen to the comments, which usually give me idea I hadn’t thought about while listening to the papers.

Yesterday’s first session for me was Session 4G:

1. William Jarmon (1837-1971) Apostate Polygamist and Founder of the British Anti-Mormon Society.
Susan W. Howard, San Jose, CA (a lawyer)

2. Mormons and the Mounties: Mormon Migration and the Canadian Mounties in the Late Nineteenth Century.
Fred Woods, BYU-Provo (his paper was read by someone else)

3. “Playing Lawyer with the Case of Plural Marriage [in Canada].
Brooke Brassard, University of Victoria.

There were few in the room, a handful, less than 10, plus those at the front table presenting. I had a moment where I thought, I have chosen the wrong session, but then remembering that sometimes what is interesting to me is found in the quietest corner of Mormonism. I settled down to listen.

Trying to be succinct – William Jarmon was a polygamist whose wives had a fractious existence with him. He abandoned his attempt at plural marriage in Salt Lake City and returned to England where he spent considerable time preaching and publishing his book, Hell Upon Earth: Uncle Sam’s Abscess, The Mormon Hell on Earth, written by one who suffered twelve years.

Fantastic to have a paper that gave the flavour of what lobbying against polygamy in England must have looked like in the early 20th century!   A direct hit for me on that one.

The Mormons and Mounties paper addressed the fact that John W. Taylor and Apostle Lyman went East to ask John A. MacDonald if, among other things, the Mormons could have land, access to water, and would they be able to practise polygamy. They were denied all of their 9 requests by the government. Still they arrived and practised polygamy. One more piece of the puzzles, the government sent a spy among them to see if they were practising polygamy, determined that they were, and when confronted by the government, the Mormons said no, they were not practising polygamy.

During the question period, one older woman (from Chicago, for I had visited with her during a break) asked of the presenter/reader, “Was it duplicitous for them to be told no, the government would not allow this, then come and practise polygamy and then lie about it.” The reader of the paper gave her a long answer, essentially denying that this would be his reading of the facts as presented. Then he answered some other questions. The woman sought me out later and asked what it was that she didn’t understand in his answer. She still felt it had been duplicitous of the pioneers. I laughed right out loud

When she took me aside and asked me her question in the hall. I told her, well, in my mind she shouldn’t have used the word duplicitous, for that was a little weak. She should have call it lying, just bald-faced lying. I told her I couldn’t figure out why that professor from the BYU couldn’t say that himself. What was he trying to protect us from? She felt better about my explanation than the one given by the reader of the paper and went on her way. Now I am laughing again. I always like to hear an opinion that agrees with mine. Who knows? Maybe he was right and she and I were wrong.

Now, how much fun was it to listen to Brooke’s paper? She was in religious studies, had a paper to do on contemporary religious studies issues, picked up the Bountiful Case to look at, ... and she was doing her essay before Justice Bauwman of the BC Supreme Court gave his judgement. She concluded that perhaps polygamy should be decriminalized, at least from her study of the constitution.

For this conference paper, she decided that what she had written was a weak undergraduate paper, she had read some of Bowman’s judgement for it is available now, and concluded he must have been right. I took her e-mail address and am going to send her Rebecca's paper and mine, for the two of us were writing about the same issues Brooke was addressing.  Collaboration, or at the very least, sharing is fun.

The commentator was Ken Driggs, Attorney at Law, Decatur, Georgia. He has done some work for the U.S. polygamists. When the session was over I heard another man ask the general question, would it be alright to drop by Bountiful on the way home? Would they let him come to visit? Driggs said he didn’t know, but he was going to swing around by Creston as well on his way back to the U.S.

MHA Conference, Part IV coming next.


Family Tree Fan Chart

From Catherine Jarvis

Dear Family,

Eric found this really neat site that can create a family tree fan chart.  Check it out.

It is linked to the LDS Family Search site, so it will enter any family names that are already in their database.  You need your login name and password for the LDS website, or you can create your own account.
I made a fan chart for myself and would be happy to  it you, if you want to take a look at it.  

Alternately, you could try making your own.
I love it.