Archive for ◊ April, 2017 ◊

30 Apr 2017 Pizza Time……….
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Double Your Pleasure………

We woke up to a very chilly morning with ice on the puddles. The skies were overcast with the prospects of the high temperature not getting over fifty.

Sher joined me in the kitchen for coffee as we discussed the day. Our hopes of working in the garden were diminished by the forecast.

I decided to clean up my office and get things in order. The phone rang at seven thirty. It was friend, Fred Tabert, who has helped us tremendously over the years on doing projects and recommending qualified craftsman. He was headed to Prince George and wanted to stop by to say hello and discuss the fence project. He came by a little after eight and we talked for an hour. As we sat by the fire the first humming bird of the year appeared at the dining room window looking for a free meal.

Shortly after Fred left Russ drove down the driveway and started putting the new wheel bearings in my Polaris. It bit the dust late last year and while we pulled it apart time ran out to get it fixed before we headed south. Russ takes care of my boats and is willing to do anything mechanical. Thank you, Russ.

I started the pizza oven at noon. We aren’t organized enough to have a full blown pizza party yet but wanted to cook a few for Sher. I love it when both the fireplace and pizza oven are ablaze.

Richard called and wanted a ride down to the lower hayfield to get his pickup. He moved his big backhoe to the piles along the northern fence line and didn’t want to make the mile walk back down the hill. He is now burning the last two piles which will allow me to cross that task of my to do list.

A New Addition To River House

Judith bought a new BIG clock and today we put it up in the living room.  It sits above the puzzle table and is over four foot in diameter.

We invited the Weston’s down for pizza and sat down to the first of just two pizzas. We only made Italian style pies and they were cooked to perfection and the best pizza that crossed my lips since the last time we fired up the pizza oven. Our first “official” pizza night won’t be far off.

Today is Sher’s last day and we are going to take a day trip to Hazelton and drive up to Kispiox River to see The Bear Claw Lodge. On the way back we will stop at the Tandoori Bristo for dinner.

30 Apr 2017 Better Late Than Never……..
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The day after Poker Night is always a challenge starting with being behind the eight ball. For some reason I forgot to write and post my blog. That couldn’t possibly be memory loss due to old age!

Sher was up when I started my day at seven and had the coffee going. We talked for a few minutes before I went down stairs to take care of e-mails and make my to do list for the day.

The plan for the day was to resume making posts when Andrew and Dave arrived at nine. Last night I sent Andrew home with the F-350 and he returned this morning with a load of well composted cow manure. Job one was unloading that near the garden which was a snap. He put the entire load on a big piece of plastic and under the plastic was a big tire secured by a long chain. We backed up to the tractor and hooked on the chain. As Andrew drove forward the load came sliding off. It won’t be that easy getting it to the garden but will make all the veggies reach for the sky.

It was too cold to start pouring cement so they started cleaning up behind the shed and taking anything that would burn to the burn pile on the new road. Richard was on the job burning the pile down by the pond cabin near the river.

After lunch we started on the pouring project. I brought back a new part for the big mixer which only worked for a few batches, last year, when it was brand new. Yesterday Andrew put in the new part and built a platform to elevate the mixer high enough to get the cement in the molds. We started the mixer and started to put in the first batch and within minutes the mixer stopped. After several tries we decided to go back to the smaller mixer. Unfortunately the platform wouldn’t accommodate the other mixer. I waved the white flag and called off pouring for the day and put Andrew and Dave back on clean up. It is never easy.

We accomplished a lot the first week back. Unfortunately we have a ton more to do before I’ll feel comfortable having the first prospective buyer visit River House The weather is the wild card. If we can get some warmer and dry days the fencing project has a chance of being completed by June 15th.

Judith took on the cooking duties and made a nice chicken dish. After dinner we headed for the movie theater and watched a Tom Hanks movie. The guy is a great actor. I almost stayed awake for the entire movie.

We are looking for a little time to recharge our batteries this weekend and have little planned. Sher’s time is winding down and departs Monday.

28 Apr 2017 Work Day–Poker Night
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The day started cool and sunny then gave us a real display of spring weather. We had a little rain, a hail storm, some wind then a beautiful sunny afternoon. The trees and shrubs are starting to bud out and that usually means the bush will be lush and green soon.

Sher is in now in charge of the starting the morning fire and keeps it running all day long. While our geothermal system keeps River House toasty warm a nice fire to sit in front of is special.

Richard keeps plugging away at getting the brush piles burned and Andrew and I are loading small brush piles on the flat deck of the F-350 and taking those to the bigger piles. Three of the five big piles are now just ashes with the last two on Richard’s short list.

Dave spent all day at the Lake Cabin staining the decks. Andrew and I got the production area ready for today’s pour.

Judith and Sher cooked BLTs for lunch taking me back to the farm in Lagrangeville. The guys each enjoyed two while I ate just one. I did gain back fifteen pounds after the Australian bug knocked me for a loop but now heading down to two hundred as I get back into working my butt off.

I was off to Smithers at seven for poker night. I stopped at Safeway to get some veggie oil for the concrete molds before stopping at A & W. For the first time ever there wasn’t a sole in the place. My Momma Burger combo was excellent and ELEVEN bucks. Yikes………….

It was like old home week at poker. Ten showed up over the evening and each one made a reference to River House going on the market. Trump was also on the radar. When the smoke cleared I was up Thirty five bucks. The long drive home is still the pits but……….

Andrew and Dave will arrive at nine and we should have four corner posts poured by noon. The plan is to pour thirty small posts and six corner posts each week. IF we stick to plan we should be done with this task by June 1st.

27 Apr 2017 Burn Baby, Burn……..
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Lake Cabin Taken On Today’s Canoe Ride………….

Sher and I were on the road to Telkwa a few minutes before seven. We spotted a mule deer doe on the way up the driveway. Halfway up Walcott we saw a big white swan and a goose feeding together in an old cornfield. Shortly after we turned west on Hwy 16 we spotted nine elk feeding in a hay field. Amazing.

The first stop was at Midway to get fuel. When I left River House the needle was bouncing on empty. The tank holds thirty eight gallons and it took just over thirty seven gallons. Once the tank was filled we had enough fuel to make it to Andrews to pick up a couple seven gallon propane tanks. We got those and went back to Midway to get those filled along with jerry cans of diesel and gas.

Next we stopped at BV Supply. It was like old home week as I was welcomed back home by the Owner and manager. Sher hunted for lettuce seeds while I picked up stain, deck paint and two twenty foot eight inch culverts.

We pickup up a couple cups of coffee and rolls and headed back to River House. We were right behind Andrew and Dave who start at nine.

Dave went back to the Lake Cabin to work on staining and Andrew and I started working on getting the production area ready for our first pour. Andrew started cleaning the molds while I dug a small drainage ditch with the hopes it will help dry out the area.

Our neighbor, Richard, came by mid-morning and said the felt the time was right to burn the piles. I gave him the green light and it didn’t take him long to get two piles going. He stood by with his big backhoe to fluff the piles and keep an eye on the burning piles. With a little luck all the burn piles will be just memories and small piles of ashes by the end of the week.

Judith is as busy as a beaver getting the RV unloaded and things put away. Sher has been a good sport helping, helping, and helping.

When the crew left at three thirty Sher and I took a canoe ride on the lake where she took today’s blog picture. While canoeing around the lake we saw at least thirty ducks and a lone goose. I believe another goose might be nesting.

After the canoe ride Sher and I went to the garden and prepared two beds for lettuce. The Osprey kite, we put up yesterday, is flapping in the wind. I love the way it looks and hope it will keep a few critters out of the garden this season.

We had a quick and simple dinner; the last of the BBQ we bought in Vancouver. Still yummy and easy……

Today we’ll finish the prep work on the production area, stain decks and burn another pile or two. Tonight is poker night and I plan to take my place at the table.

26 Apr 2017 The Dock Is In……..
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Get Out The Fly Rods…….

I woke up around three to see the night sky full of stars. I knew we were in for a chilly morning and a beautiful sunny day. I started my day a little before six. I did my animal check and only saw a thin layer of ice over the many puddles caused by runoff.

Sher was up when the coffee was ready and came down to the office. We talked while I caught up on my blog. She is enjoying the peace and quiet of River House and taking lots of pictures which she does very well.

Andrew and Dave came down the driveway at nine. Dave went to the Lake Cabin and started getting the decks ready to stain. The key is to stain when the temperature hits around fifty which is normally around midday this time of the year. Andrew and I started with putting in the dock at the Lake. The dock goes right off of the deck making a place to dock the canoes and row boat not to mention fish. Speaking of which………

We’ve decide to stock the lake this year. It has been a while and will be a test for the redigging which happened four or five years ago. I talked with the Campbell Fish Farm and they are taking orders and are estimating the delivery will be in late May. I want lots of eight inchers and a handful of lunkers in the two to ten pounds class.

With the deck in Andrew and I started getting all the implements out of the shed and the backhoe on the Kubota. Ed Weston came down and helped with getting the molds ready. He put wooden blocks in the ends which should keep the concrete from seeping out.

Our neighbor, Richard, came by and we checked out the piles. He is taking on the burning project and will set up water pumps and use his big backhoe to push the brush together to get the job done quickly. We expect all the piles to be nothing more than ash by the end of the week.

When Andrew and Dave left at three thirty I grabbed Sher and we went to the garden to put up a twenty five foot pole for my Osprey kite. The task took only about thirty minutes and is now flying over the garden and hopefully will help keep a critter or two out of my berries and other goodies.

We teamed up on dinner. I fired up the Tool Box Grill and cooked rack of lamb. Sher did the salad while Judith the veggies. Excellent.

Rick Boonstra came by just as we were finishing and we talked about finishing a few projects. He’ll haul in the boulders for the mound in front of the entry gate and spend a day or two hauling gravel and topsoil.

This morning Sher and I will ride into Telkwa and pick up fuel, seeds and other goodies. Dave and Andrew arrive at nine. So much to do—–so little time.

25 Apr 2017 Full Speed Ahead…….
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It was light at five thirty when I started my day. I did my animal check. Nothing. The temperature was near freezing which is expected this time of the year. With my computer down there was no poker or doing my blog. I started a fire and Sher and I sat by the fire talking about old times.

Andrew and Dave came down the driveway at eight thirty on the dot. While making cement fence posts is job one the production area is too wet. We discussed the projects and goals for the next six weeks then picked up rakes and started cleaning up around River House and River Cabin. We go to great lengths to give the area immediately surrounding the River House and River Cabin that “natural” look; wild roses, native grasses and lupine. Grass would be so much easier but……. Happy wife – Happy life and it looks fantastic. I had lots of phone work to do and divided my time between taking care of business and checking in on the guys.

Judith and Sher fixed lunch; one of Judith’s great soups and sandwiches. After lunch Judith and Sher drove to Houston to license the F-350 and T-Bird then drove to Smithers for groceries. Last year the only grocery store in the Houston area pulled out giving those people an hour drive in either direction for a decent grocery store. Meanwhile a NO Frills moved into Smithers apparently lowering the prices at Safeway dramatically.

Andrew and Dave left at three thirty and I made a beeline for my garden. With so much to do last fall I didn’t do a very good job on fall cleanup and am faced with that now. I cleared out the asparagus bed which will start producing within the next couple of weeks. Next I tackled thinning the raspberries. Last year’s crop was huge calling in the neighbors to help pick. I estimate we gave away over twenty gallons of those wonderful red berries. I did a little snipping and clipping on the blueberry bushes and weeded two chive patches already three inches tall.

While at Pismo Beach I bought an Osprey kite which I’m dying to get up in the garden. Job one was cutting a twenty foot pole out of popular. I found the perfect one about the time the Judith and Sher came down the driveway on their way back from Smithers.

We teamed up on Dinner; Sher did the salad, Judith boiled little potatoes and heated Bush’s Beans while I cooked the halibut. This is exactly what I cook on the boat and as weird as it sounds it is excellent. The halibut was over the moon. Thank you, Richard.

Today Andrew and Richard will arrive at eight thirty. Dave will work on getting the Lake Cabin Deck ready to stain and start staining when the temperature hits above fifty. Andrew and I will work on getting the production area ready. The goal is to pour our first batch on Friday.

24 Apr 2017 NOT a Restful Sunday………….
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Mountain View From River House Living Room

I apologize for not posting my Blog this morning. After a grueling first day back at River House by computer bit the dust to the point I couldn’t get any of my programs. Fortunately I was able to open TeamViewer and my good buddy, Darrell, logged in and saved the day. I called him at ten not remembering it was his birthday. At Seventy Seven he is the best computer guy on the planet. Thank you, Darrell.

Opening is always interesting. The rigs haven’t run in six months and all the batteries need to be recharged before anything will start. I charged five batteries and got everything from the old plow truck to Judith’s T-Bird running.

Andrew drove in at eight thirty and I had the huevous Rancheros ready. Sher joined us for breakfast. Judith joined us a few minutes into breakfast.

Job one was unloading the F-350 which was in the garage and full of firewood to season in the warm and dry garage. Andrew and I worked together and filled the storage area near the back door. We have had a fire burning since we opened the doors and love to see our beautiful fireplaces doing their thing.

Next we unloaded the F-450. It was filled to the brim and took a couple of hours. With that done we started putting out the deck furniture. Before we knew it was three thirty and Andrew put in his six hours. My tail was dragging as it was the most work I’ve done in six months.

Our neighbor, Richard, showed up with a welcome home package of halibut, prawns and crab. We ate the crab and prawns. Wonderful. What a great welcome home party.

I discovered my computer was caput about seven and immediately called Darrell. He worked on it while I looked on. At almost eleven I gave up the ghost and went to bed.

Our first day back at River House was a long but satisfying one. River House is a special place and we plan to enjoy every last minute.

Tomorrow Andrew and Dave will arrive at nine to begin the race to have River House standing tall before the first guests arrive on June 3rd.

24 Apr 2017 Computer Problems Today
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Be back posting as soon as up again!

23 Apr 2017 River House Still Takes My Breath Away…….
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The heater ran more last night than it has in the last week. It was near freezing when I greeted the day at five thirty. I logged onto Pokerstars and took third in a $3.50 Sitngo almost doubling my entry fee. Sher was up by six to greet the day. Judith joined us at seven and we were back on the road at eight.

The traffic from Williams Lake to Prince George was almost nonexistent. Shortly after we left Williams Lake Sher saw a moose back in the bush. Animals are everywhere. We have seen just about everything save a bear and elk. The trees haven’t budded out yet and just a few green spots are showing but all that can change in a heartbeat.

We pulled into Costco in Prince George at eleven an hour after they opened. The parking lot was full and we had to park next door. We each grabbed a big card and started through the aisles. An hour later we checked out and paid a whopping thirteen hundred bucks.

Traffic was very light to River House and we enjoyed the beautiful snow covered mountains. After fighting all the traffic in both the United States and Vancouver one quickly realizes that the biggest advantage of living in The Great White North is living a life with no waiting lines, lots of fresh air and breathtaking views in every direction.

It took three tries to open the combination lock on the new entry gate. It will be automatic with a key pad soon eliminating fiddling with a lock in the very near future.

A mule deer doe greeted us in the upper hayfield. She gave us the what are you doing in my world look before trotting off into the bush.

River House still takes my breath away. It is an amazing place. I backed the trailer in and walked immediately to my garden. The tulips and rhubarb have just broken through getting ready to greet Spring.

The house was toasty warm thanks to our in floor geothermal heating which I turned up remotely two days ago. Technology is amazing.

We started a fire and started unload.

Andrew arrives in a few minutes and I’ll have Huevos Rancheros waiting. Our to do list is a mile long starting with getting all the rigs started and ready for a really busy six weeks to get things ready for our first visitors…

22 Apr 2017 Animals Everywhere……….
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I was up before six and got to play on Pokerstars for real money. How crazy is it that the bill preventing Americans from online gambling has been “stuck” in Congress for over five years. Along with it are many, many more much more important bills that “our” representatives just can’t seem to even get to a vote. Sad.

With only one channel the choices for TV are what comes on which is the news. Most of mainland Canada put in a Foreign Byers Fee to match the one in place in Lower BC for the last six months. It is a surcharge for Non-Canadians of 25%. China has been the big player in the Vancouver market and it shows. I counted six cranes putting up new, big and beautiful condos. I’m convinced THE buyer for River House will come out of the Vancouver area where they probably own a vacation condo and are looking to get away to a very remote and beautiful place just over an hour away by private jet.

We were on our way toward Hope a few minutes before nine. The traffic was more than I expected but a lot less than what we experienced in the States. The closer we got to Hope the lighter the traffic became. Once we got beyond Hope there was very little traffic and magnificent views. Thank you Canada.

Just after passing Spence’s Bridge we saw a heard of Big Horn Sheep grazing alongside the HI way. They already have lambs at their sides. Spring has sprung. We stopped for a quick lunch at a rest area near Cache Creek. The temperature stood just below seventy. Amazing.

I stopped in Cache Creek for diesel. The days of cheap diesel are over. It was $1.09 a litter which converts to $3.05 a gallon when I apply the excellent 1.3337 exchange rate.

Animals were everywhere: we saw a dozen Big Horn Sheep and at least thirty or forty deer eating the new green grass along the roadway.

We pulled into the Stampede Grounds at Williams Lake to find a half full RV Park. It is early in the year and the lady that runs the place said LOTS of US visitors are already heading north. They are still in the winter mode with winter rates and limited services. We paid the winter rate of $25 and took a quick walk around the grounds. The geese were out in force taking advantage of the new grass.

We didn’t unhook and took advantage of lots of leftovers including Thai,
Chinese and BBQ. Good and easy…….

Today we’ll leave before eight, stop at Costco in Prince George then plan to be at River House at four. If the insurance company is open we’ll stop and get the Canadian Vehicles registered and licensed.

Tomorrow the REAL work starts…….