Friday, August 26, 2016

wanna learn secwepemc?

Land of the Shuswap Nation
In answer to Tonia's question, Rebecca says if you want to learn a few Secwepemc words then try the First Voices: Secwepemc words site.

Today I learned "telephone call another person".

Yesterday Rebeccca learned "Hello".  Try it if you have a minute.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mount Ida (klas7ant)

... festival tents at the base of Klasant ...
On our morning walks, one of Rebecca's wishes was that she could learn more Secwepemc words -- even just the Secwepemc names of the flowers and plants we would look at along the way would have been enough.

In fact, we even wished we knew the English words.

But now, here it is for all -- the name of the mountain that is part of the landscape for the Roots and Blues Festival:  Mount Ida (klas7ant).

... life is good at the base of the mountain ...
... Ben's sunglasses have prepared him for the heat ...
... Duncan has found a way to escape the heat:  sleep ....
That 7 is not a typo but a symbol that they use in their alphabet.

So, say help to Klals7ant.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Transparent Apples

Anyone for a taste of a transparent apples.  I picked four off of the tree as I was at the beach watching the wind and listening to the water crash against the shore this afternoon.  Each one tasted like the one before it -- like a transparent apple.

What they are really good for is apple sauce.

I can feel a pot of it coming on.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Plethora of Games

 ...a treasure chest of games ... 
Doral Johnson delivered.

He said he would bring games for us to play.

And so he did.

This suitcase is only the beginning of what he pulled out of his van when they arrived for their holiday.

LtoR Doral, Duncan's back Ceilidh, Ben, Daivd's back, Bonnie
I have to admit that my favourite of the games is Sushi.

I will never be afraid of ordering when I enter a Japanese Restaurant again.

Duncan told the Johnson kids that they have the best parents ever -- board game parents. 

This is a family who plays board games up to five evenings a week, not just five evenings a year. 

So let's hear it for the parents of the year: Doral and Anita. They brought the gaming holiday of the year to us.


Roots and Blues - A Break

It was so hot today at the festival -- 31 degrees and it was that hot in the shade.

Ben, Duncan, Rebecca and Bonnie came home at 6:30 pm for a quick dip in the water.

The boys ran off the dock into the cool lake and soon were up on the paddle board or skimming the top of the water on Tonia's kayak.

All ... a gift.


Roots and Blues Festival, Friday Night

From Rebecca:

"I added my name to the back of this festival
chair: Ceilidh 2016"
"My first time to the festival.  Aunt Bonnie gave me
a $20 bill, told me to spend it and to come
back and tell her what I had purchased."
This year Arta didn’t come to the Roots and Blues Festival.

We banned her until she can do 12 hours in the hot sun.

So Bonnie and I headed off as the only two adults for our small group: Duncan, Ben, Megan, Ceilidh and Connor (David’s friend).


 Six teens or teen-wannabees. They all had programmes, chairs, blankets, money and had been instructed in festival protocol.

Not a full instruction, because when the band Digging Roots asked us to come to the front to participate in a round dance, I couldn’t shame a single one into joining me.

But I got up there myself.

And ended up having my groovy dance captured on the big screen for the pleasure of my little crew. I can still boogie.

My favourite band this time was Digging Roots whose first song, “I’ll Cut My Hair” was about residential schools.

The second song, “Highway 17” was about missing and murdered indigenous women. They were just great. I bought their CD, along with 17 others. This is my once a year event to support musicians. Every year a big purchase appears on the VISA bill. It is always the same thing. Me with my festival purchases.
"My festival chair is before me.
I am packed and read to go." 

The Secwepemc welcoming at the beginning of the festival was a relatively quiet affair.

A prayer from an elder and a flute song by one of their relatives from the Navaho nation who has married in the Secwepemc.

I had already been told that the big elders gathering is this weekend in another venue, so I know most indigenous people are elsewhere this week-end, unfortunately.

The flute, though, was amazing.

 It sounded like he had two flutes going at the same time.

 It is a particular wooden flute that does have two openings at the top.

"My sunhat doubles as an umbrella."
I also loved having him there because the Elder’s introduction and their use of him as part of their introduction was a reminder that people from different places can become part of the same community, which felt a bit like an introduction to settlers to understand themselves as people who can learn to belong to the community.

The bonus is that the community will continue to acknowledge where they come from and draw on their skills as part of the new community.

"This is my fourth Roots and Blues Festival."
Bonnie and I walked past the flute player later in the evening and I grabbed him to tell him how much I had enjoyed his music. Bonnie asked him how he managed to make two notes at the same time and so he pulled out his flute and started playing for us again. I had assumed he made the notes by changing his finger position on the flute but it turns out it is in his embouchure. That was fun. I keep being reminded, say hello to people.

There was a funny thing that happened in the evening.

I went to check out the aboriginal art booth at the festival. I admired the goods. I started a conversation with the artist and his partner/wife. There was a beautiful woven cedar hat there and cedar roses on the table. I told them I have a cedar rose that someone gave me after they took their first workshop (the rule on the coast is that you have to give away the first one that you make).
"I am looking forward to the
flavoured lemonade at the festival.
Raspberry to be specific."

There was also a small pair of earrings with cedar headbands.

I told them I loved the hat but that I have a friend who is starting to make them and so I might end up buying one from her, but that I would buy the earrings, since they reminded me of my friend, Carla Point.

He said, “Carla Point! That is my cousin. And those other earrings are by Mary Martin, who is Carla’s cousin, too.”

So I have a selfie of me and Ernie to send Carla. It turns out he lives near Campbell River where Steve is working on the new hospital. It is a small world.

"And now into town to pick up my friend, Connor.
Festivals are more fun in twos and threes."
I showed Bonnie the earrings.

She took them and put them on her ear lobes and she went back over to browse at the aboriginal art booth, getting no eye contact with the owners and not mentioning anything to see if they would notice the earrings.

 It took a while.

She saw them whispering back and forth. Finally they said, “Excuse me, did someone just give them to you.”

As usual, there was an amazing sunset over the festival.


Sumarga Pun

From Mati Pun to Larch Haven

LtoR: Sumin, Mati and Sumarga Pun
... a sleeping, smiling baby ...

I hope all is well.

The summer must be very good in Calgary with all the foliages.

It is good here in Bolzano.

We are blessed with a baby boy: Sumarga Pun.

We are happy. Both Sumin and Sumarga are doing well so far.

I just wanted to let you know this news.

Most likely, I will be in Calgary in February next year to attend a conference if all goes well.

Hence, I hope to meet you all in-person during that time.

The baby was born on 21 July afternoon with 3.89 kg.

He was big for Sumin's height.

But she managed to do normal delivery.

... some daddy time ...
 He officially completed 28 days today (i.e. neonate period completed).

Hence, he graduated from neonate and now he is an infant. :)

That's just a medical classification.

He keeps us busy and he is lovely.

As you rightly said, he is in our hearts.

You know about love, challenges, tricks and the upbringing of children. Surely, I will ask for the tips when I see you.

... there are never enough baby pics for Arta ...
Yes, I do not mind  you using the pictures.

Thank you.

On Tuesday, his weight was 4.7 kg.

So he is seems making good progress.

Best wishes,


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wapta Falls

... Wapta Falls ...
The last time I saw Wapta Falls I walked that trail with Richard when he was about 10 years old.

He turned to me along the way and said, “This has been the best day of my life.”

Meighan gets a picture along the way 
When Doral said that we could stop anywhere along the road on our way out to the Shuswap, I had in mind to recreate that experience – “the best day of my life”.

I was close.

The walk into the falls is about 40 minutes.

We came upon the falls from above, which is not as I remembered it.

I thought we had ome to it by the foot of the falls last time.
 ....Meighab's hair blows in the spray of the falls ...

No matter.

There was a way from the top of the falls down to the bottom, a path willingly taken by Meighan and her friend, Jessica Chapwick.
LtoR: Meighan and Jessica

When there is a scramble down a large hill,

I am more worried about getting back up that hill than going down it.

 That idea didn’t seem to bother them and down they blithely went.

 I followed less courageously, but follow I did.
... the steep trail back up from the falls ...

They were worried that they would get lost in the mist of the falls, since they had seen climbers coming back up who were soaking wet.
Ceilidh and Jessica walk down
from the Rock Gardens
We were later to learn it was not from the mist, but that moisture had been from exertion from people who were not in shape to take that walk.


Trying to even things out

.... the first round of hot dogs for the fire ...
Bonnie and Doral had figured out what to have for supper.

The summer is winding up and it is time to make meals out of all of the food stuff we have purchased but that haven’t been eaten at other meals.

"Couldn't taste better if I had
roasted it over coals, myself."
Hard to believe that there are even some meals that haven’t been cooked at all.

One of those is the third hotdog roast.
... only ketchup for a condiment, please ...

We have been using a small contained fire just to the east of the house, but after two lovely evenings of roasting wieners and then letting the fire die out, there has been less interest in gathering around the fire until 2 am.

Only Ben and Doral seem to be able to make it until the last cinder has turned from red to black.

... I will take mine with veggies ...
So we have a full meal of hot dogs to be done up at the house.

Or at least that is what Doral and Bonnie thought.

As we were doing another roast during the day – that of turning skin from pale white to red, Doral and I were discussing the evening meal.
... my side is bruschetta on a bagel ...

He was commenting that when he left the house there were many smokies, beef wieners and cheese dogs to be roasted but that there were only 20 buns left.

“Perhaps only 12 by the time I get back up to the house, though I am sure there were 20 buns when I left to come down to the water, he said.
... snap peas and tomatoes for my additions ...

I laughed at his prediction, since the fridge is also full of a flat of peaches and there are plenty of sour dough waffles that I have seen people snacking on during the day.

I was surprised when Doral came to apologize to me about being wrong later in the day.
... the family gathers to talk ...

I tried to slough off his apology, but he wanted to make sure I heard it, so I listened carefully. 

“I told you that there might only be 12 buns left when I got back to the house, but I was wrong. 

There were only six left," he said.

"Anita and I are going to take a quick trip to Sicamous and flesh out the evenings meal.”

... yes you can photograph my food ...
... just leave my face out of it ....
Who would have known?

Hard to get everything to come out just even, isn't it?

Still, we fleshed out the evening meal with other products and we still have buns and meat left to go.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Beach Clean Up

Meighan getting off the paddle board
There is getting ready for the summer, pulling out the summer water equipment, the chairs, the umbrellas, the tables.

That work is done early in the spring.

But now things are going in reverse.

... packing up the paddle wheeler
Time for the beach clean-up is up on us.

My first long day at the water and I got to see the pack up beginning.

The first thing is to separate out the equipment -- whose kayaks belong to whom, and which paddles belong to which paddleboards.

Ben pulling up Tonia's kayak after a ride to Johnson's Point
Meighan and Anita in the water
Greg drove Dave's truck down to the beach.

The paddle board was the first thing to leave the beach and other pieces of equipment were packed around it.

Ben taking off his life jacket
Tonia's new kayak had barely arrived -- ordered earlier in the summer and now it hasn't even been christened nor named.

So it will stay in the water a little longer.

Ben tried it out and it glides quickly and smootly up and back to Johnson's Point.

He really wanted to take it to Canoe Point but that will have to be a trip for another year.
The old adage, many hands make light work, was shown to be true again.

Charise was carring paddles up the the twos and the fours, carrying them across her body to a safe place above the ramp.

Chairs were being stack, at least according to the make and colour.

Art was wondering how to sort out which units go to which house.

Earlier in the summer someone had made that easy for if you search long enough, you will find the name of the family to whom they belong, written somewhere on the chair in black felt pen that is now faded by the summer sun.
Charise climbing the ramp

I stayed in the water a long time.

The temperature was 36 degrees in Salmon Arm and a few degrees cooler at the lake, but not much.


Monday, August 15, 2016

The 7 am Daily Walk

Happy Birthday to Claudia Brown
from Rebecca and Arta
The 7 am daily walk begins whether anyone is there or not.

It takes us up to the intersection of Bernie Road and the Trans-Canada Highway and all the way back to the pottery wheel and kiln -- twice.

That distance measures somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 steps, depending on whose fitbit is doing the counting.

Rebecca's west coast Dr. tells her that the walk is to be in silence, contemplative.

We haven't instituted that yet. Our walk is a list making one, outlining tasks for the day, all the while celebrating the cool shade and the chance to have another day on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people.


Whipping Cream

"This could wear a man out!"
This is what happens when we loose the hand held mix master and all we can find is the wire beater for it.

People join up and take turns whipping the cream by hand.

At least the people who love to eat the whipping cream on top of peaches will do that.

Ben is the one who finally got the mixture to a place where it could be eaten.

Well done, Ben.

To the others, search harder for the hand held mix master.

We really, really need to find it.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Carter-Johnson Myra Canyon day trip!

August 2, the Carter-Johnsons and the Lochran-Rutkowski (Ben!) set out from Annis Bay to Kelowna for our second annual "Bike-Myra-Canyon-Adventure"!

The bike trail sits on the location of what was formerly a rail road track.  

It is a beautiful trip around the top of the mountains.  

One can still see evidence of the Kelowna fire of several years back, but it is looking good!

There were lovely puffy clouds in the sky, which helped to take the edge off the heat. 

 It was interesting how rapidly the temperature would drop as the path took you through rocky cuts in the mountain.  

I was (as usual?) rather obsessed with the amazing clouds against the deep blue of the sky.

 I think there might be 16 trundle bridges that carry one over deep gorges.   

They are both 'cool' and a bit terrifying!   The view is amazing, but i was a bit afraid to stop!

There are a number of benches set up at places along the path.  They are a great place to kick back, enabling quicker cyclists (like Steve and Alex) to have a nice place to rest while waiting for more cautious cyclists (like me and Ben and Duncan).

I was for sure the slowest person in our group, in part because i kept wanting to take pictures from various vantage points. 

Most exciting were the two caves you have to travel through on the way.   

what will be inside?
They are the coolest part of the trip.  

I mean cool both in terms of groovy-ness and in terms of temperature.   

It is a bit freaky cycling with with sunglasses on... there is a wash of cool air, and you plunge into what seems total darkness.   

Of course, Steve waited in the darkness of the first cave to shout "Boo" at me as a cycled by in my blinded mole-like state.   Exciting!  

I was happy to see that if I waited in the cave til my eyes adjusted, and then played with the settings on my camera, i could catch some of the gorgeous definition of rocks on the inside of the cave.   

I also loved the 'picture frame' look as you exited the other end!

The fastest person on this trip was Alex.   He was on his way back when I was 2/3 of the way in.   The only problem was, he told us, that he had left his glasses on a rock at the end of the trail...but was too tired to cycle back there.   could we pick them up for him?! 

Well... yes we could!  Indeed, when Duncan and Ben arrived at the end of the trail, they indeed found a pair of glasses waiting on a rock. 

And so, here is a photo of the FIVE of us at the end of the trail (you can see Duncan and Ben holding up Alex's glasses, so he could be present by glasses-proxy!)