Archive for ◊ June, 2017 ◊

30 Jun 2017 TGIF…………
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I started my day early getting all the little things that need to be done before the “working” day starts at nine. I spent time with John, Capture’s President, discussing a potential new banking relationship. What most bankers understand about ESOPs could be written on the head of a pin. It is never easy.

David and I had communication problems as I had asked him to arrive at eight instead of nine to help Fred then called back to cancel. He never checked his messages and arrived at eight. Fred didn’t so Dave started cleaning and sealing the river rock at the Entry Gate. Speaking of Harry…….

My expectation for the entry gate key pad was simply a visible square iron post with two key pads conveniently located to accommodate drivers of both larger trucks and cars making it possible for all guests to enter a code without getting out of their vehicles. Harry had a whole different idea and has carved a piece of art that will accomodate the key pads. He is also making a on a new River House sign www.riverhousecanada.com that we will christen this evening.

Calum’s mom dropped him off at nine. He is Fred’s seventeen year old grandson who is visiting for the summer and has agreed to take Avery’s place for a few days. His first task was to put some cedar nailing strips in the truck and he started his day by running to get the first boards putting a smile on this old man’s face. Calum is a quick learner and we had the process down pat in thirty minutes and were completing a post every three of four minutes. By the time we quit at three thirty we had completed getting the nailing strips on all the post on the northern fence line.

Harry is wrapping things up and intends to depart as soon as the sign is in place and a few last minute projects are finished. Dave will concentrate on the Entry Gate and should have it finish next week. Once that is done I’ll start on the landscaping which should take less than a week.

I was off to Poker Night shortly after seven. Only seven were sitting around the table when the cards went into the air at eight. I didn’t get many good hands but the ones I played seemed to develop into something and I ended the night with a forty dollar profit. On the ride home there was a big elk near the road in the same place we encountered the big moose last Thursday night.

Today ends the work week. Harry will be wrapping up things. Calum and I will mark out the last of the fence posts and start cleaning up the fence lines. Dave is off until Tuesday and Andrew won’t be back until either it rains or he finishes haying. Judith and I have a few days alone before our next guests arrive on Sunday…………

29 Jun 2017 Goodbye Avery……………
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Photo Upon Arrival………

My day started well before six. With coffee in hand I headed to my office to do my daily task lists, check e-mails and replying.

I talked with Fred early and his helper, Leonard, has to be off for a few days so they may not be able to come until Monday. Andrew and Dave came in separate trucks and arrived at nine. Andrew informed me he needs to do his haying and will be only available on rainy days unsuitable for haying. Dave has a bus driving job limiting him to just three days a week. With Avery leaving in the morning I have lots of things left to do and too few helping hands. It is never easy. Andrew started the day putting on the backhoe which still remains a miserable job. Dave resumed staining the River House deck and finished taking one more thing off my to do list. Avery and I resumed putting on nailing strips and had our most productive day.

After lunch I hopped on the backhoe and dug a hole where Harry will do his last job, at least for this year, before he leaves the Bulkley Valley. Harry insists on putting in a cedar post at the end of the split rail fence near the entry gate. Love that Harry. He is also putting the final touches on the River House sign and a wonderful carved piece of art that will house our entry pads to open the entry gate. With that done Andrew and I laid out the last of the cement posts nearly completing the job.

Avery insisted on going to the river one more time the minute we finish working for the day. We did and caught one small whitefish.

Departing Photo…….

Avery requested spaghetti for dinner and Judith gladly obliged. She fixed her version of my mother’s recipe with both meatballs and Italian sausage. I picked fresh salad greens including spinach from the best crop I’ve seen since gardening in the Great White North. Wonderful.

I did the dishes while Judith and Avery went for a canoe ride at the lake logging some last minute Gramma and Grandson time. Avery and I played the last set of pool for this trip and I kept my streak going; Avery got to lock up the chickens…….

Tomorrow Avery leaves on the morning flight. Great kid and we had an enjoyable visit. The world is his oyster. Dave will arrive at nine with Fred’s grandson who will help me put on nailing strips. Kaliam is visiting and will be able to help for a week or so. It is never easy.

28 Jun 2017 Four………
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I knew the morning was going to be an interesting one when I woke up at five thirty. The plan for the day was to start the day with a bladder and kidney sonogram at the hospital in Smithers. I think our Canadian doctor is being over active but he wouldn’t take no for an answer and insisted I NOT wait until returning to the States. It took five weeks to get the appointment and today was the day.

When I called into book the appointment the nurse told me the preparation for the procedure which seemed rather simple. Empty the bladder at six AM, drink three cups of water and arrive at eight forty five to register for the exam. I did as instructed and sure missed my morning joe. Everything was going swimmingly until I headed out to let out the chickens at seven thirty and on that trip it was very clear I wasn’t going to make it until 9 AM. So I took the only option available and then drank another bottle of water. Thirty minutes later I headed to Smithers and by the time I got to Telkwa Mother Nature was once again knocking on my door. What’s a guy to do? I did and drank more water. I got to the hospital twenty minutes later and got in the registration line five people deep. Fifteen minutes later I was desperately looking for a wash room when a nurse from the department came up to the line and asked if “I was Mr. Wright”. She said follow me and I did letting her know I didn’t think I could last long enough to complete the test. She said if I couldn’t “hold it in” I’d have to rebook which would take another sixty days. I crossed my fingers, legs and everything else crossable and climbed up on the table. That part of the test took only two minutes and this old man tied the world record for the ten yard dash.

I returned for the rest of the test which took ten more minutes. As she was finishing she said my bladder was better than twice the size of a “normal” bladder which probably accounts for the fact, at seventy something, I usually sleep through the night.

With the test done I raced to Tim Horton’s for my first cup of coffee of the day along with two Boston Cream donuts. Better late than never.

I made a couple stops on the way home trying to find drill bits for the fencing project. Nada.

I picked up Avery at eleven and headed for Houston with the idea of getting a long overdue haircut before heading to the golf course. The salon was crammed and the wait time was about an hour. We went to Plan B and went to the Elements for lunch. While the Elements have been in Houston for many, many years we have never graced their door. They serve Chinese food and surprisingly it was better than decent and the best I’ve eaten in this part of The Great North. Not San Francisco or Vancouver good, but………………………

Avery has gone to a driving range but never played golf. Until today. We went to the nine hole course in Houston and paid our sixty bucks for a cart and two green fees. Avery whiffed the ball the first two attempts and then tried to tee up in the fairway making for the highest score every recorded. On about the third hole one of the maintenance people, AKA the owner, came over and told Avery he didn’t have to swing so hard, something I had been preaching the first three holes. Nada. We did have fun and somehow the score card disappeared between the clubhouse and the truck.

The salon was empty when we got back there at three and got my hair cut before picking up several drill bits and heading home.

Harry joined us for tacos. We discussed his stay which will end in a few days. He is making a special River House sign which will hang just below the pitched roof of the Entry Gate.

After Dinner we went to the river for the last time as Avery leaves Thursday morning and his ten day fishing license expires tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be a very busy day. Taking a day off put me a day behind on so many projects. Andrew and Dave will arrive at nine and Fred and Crew may return today or Thursday.

27 Jun 2017 Limited Crew………
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My day started with a call from daughter, Tina. We had little time to talk on her birthday and she called back this morning to catch up on things. We had a nice long talk. She seems happy in her new life and marriage. She has just gotten her real estate license a big change from all her years in education.

Andrew called a few minutes before eight and cancelled coming today. His lady friend hurt her ankle and he had to take her to the doctor.

Avery was up a few minutes before nine and we were out the door minutes later. Job one was putting up the nailing strips on the concrete posts. Everything was going swimmingly as we completed a post every four minutes then we broke our last two drill bits ending that task after only two hours. Next we piled gravel around the post along the eastern fence line which will make things easy for Andrew when he returns. Next we cleaned up around the entry gate getting it ready to do the landscaping next week. We ended the day with Avery weeding the mound near the entry gate and I put on the brush hog and mowed around the top shop.

Judith took on the cooking duties and made hamburger stew. It is another dish from the distant past. Excellent. Avery and I did the dishes then headed for the river to fish. Avery caught the onlyfish, a nice whitefish.

Tomorrow I’ll start my day with a simple test at the Smither’s Hospital then pick up a few things. I’ll drive back to River House and pick up Avery for a trip to Houston then a round of golf. He has never played before and wants to give it a whirl. He has worked hard and deserves a day off.

26 Jun 2017 Not Your Laid Back Sunday………
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25 Jun 2017 Hard Labor–Good Food……..
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It was light well before three. It is always a battle to stay in bed when it is light out and so much to do. When we first arrived, seventeen years ago, I tried to work all of the daylight hours and soon learned that wasn’t possible.

It looks as if the danger of frost has passed and now we are into a warming spell with temperatures forecast into the high eighties.

I checked my e-mails and worked on to do lists and expectations for next week and even had time for a quick $3.50 SNG where I failed to cash.

Avery slept in until we rang the breakfast bell at almost ten. I cooked sourdough pancakes and sausages. Avery eats like a teenager putting in six hours of hard labor every day. He has been here almost a month and his upper body strength has improved dramatically.

After breakfast we headed for Houston where I had hoped to get a haircut. Nada. It is the weekend of the Mud Drags which they treat like a National Holiday. I did pick up the Ride on mower and rototiller which were in the shop. Avery talked me into a root beer float at A & W. Next we drove to Telkwa to pick up three packages at the new Tyhee Market formerly the Telkwa one stop. There is a food truck, in Telkwa, which we heard is pretty good. I’m not sure if it was an off day or what but we got two awful cheeseburgers.

After lunch we worked for almost three hours putting nailing strips on the cement posts. We finished half of the eastern fence line. About ten hours of that task remain. One by one we are checking things off our to do list.

Judith and I shared the cooking duties; I fired up the Tool Box Grill and cooked a couple New York steaks. Judith baked potatoes, fixed corn and another garden salad.

After dinner we retired to the movie theater. It was a long movie perfect for an evening map. I sat between Judith and Avery and was poked from both directions.

Tomorrow is Sunday and unfortunately there will be no time for the Sunday Storm. Avery and I will work around River House weeding, burning and pressure washing to get ready for visitors at two. The young lady from Walla Walla, Rebecca, who is helping us with direct mail marketing, is visiting her parents, in Telkwa, and we have invited them over for rhubarb cake and coffee.

24 Jun 2017 No Rest On The Weekend……
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The day after Poker Night is always a challenge. Avery not happy with his Poker Night loss stayed up until three playing online, for play money. I greeted the day after just six hours of shut eye way below my normal of eight or nine. Avery made the work bell at nine but wasn’t bright eyed and bushy tailed; put up a nailing strip—drag Avery……….

Andrew was a good sport and stopped in Smithers to pick up goop for fastening the cedar nailing strips to the cement posts and marking paint and staples in Telkwa. Even with all that he arrived at nine and immediately went to the northern fence line to help Fred and Lenard plant the last corner post in that section.

Dave was off today and Harry was working at the neighbors. He did install a nice handle and lock on the entry gate yesterday. He also did a final modification on the Steelhead people will see as they pass through the gate leaving River House www.riverhousecanada.com . Avery and I organized my Polaris with all the tools need to attach nailing strips and went to and finished the lower end of the southern fence line. We have streamlined the process so it takes less than five minutes for each post. Fifty posts down—two hundred more to go…………..

After lunch Andrew, Avery and I poured two corner posts. The last two. Avery got a good taste of what it takes to pour cement and after just an hour declared he wouldn’t choose it as his occupation. Speaking of which…. As I type a story came on about teenagers refusing to work on their summer vacations. Parents, shame on you! Letting that happen is a disservice to you, our country and most importantly—-them. Why again are “kids” living in their parent’s basements in their twenties, thirty and forties. May I suggest looking in your mirror?

Our work day ended at three thirty. A cold beer, a hot shower and a short nap never felt better.

Judith took on the cooking duties and made chicken nuggets, something she hasn’t done in probably thirty years. She started making them almost fifty years ago to disguise the dark meat so the kids would eat it. A rice dish, peas and a fresh garden salad completed the meal. I picked six or seven types of salad greens including; kale, beat greens, arugula, and red leaf lettuce. I also pulled the first of three types of radishes. Wonderful. I shared the greens with Harry and gave him the day’s asparagus harvest.

After dinner Avery and I went to the river to fish and enjoy the evening. We caught a nice whitefish and one small salmon smolt. The river remains closed to salmon fishing.

Tomorrow we’ll work a few hours doing mostly gardening to make up for taking Tuesday off to play golf. Avery has left than a week left at River House. My, time flies.

23 Jun 2017 Poker Night Fears……..
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I woke up well before six and was greeted by another FROST. Really? It is the second day of summer. We’ve had two frosts in the last four days. I quickly went to the garden and started spraying everything with cold water which only helps in a light frost. With the exception of by beans, which are holding on by the skin of their teeth, it looks as if we escaped another bullet. It is never easy………..

I logged on to Pokerstars and registered into a $7 SNG where I took first and logged a $28 win to start the day.

Next I did the assignments for the day. Dave is off today, Fred and Crew are planting posts and Avery and I processed cedar nailing strips and Andrew is working on the fence lines.

After lunch Avery and I laid out posts completing half of the last fence line. With Andrews help on the large posts Fred and Crew planted a record twenty five posts.

Avery and I were off to Smithers for Poker Night with the Nice in tow. It has a few little issues I need checked out before my next ocean trip. Mixed results are coming in on fishing. Some say it is horrible others say they are catching a few fish.

Only six showed for poker including Avery and me. Avery learned poker isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and booked a $25 loss. A good life lesson. Everything in moderation……. I won ten bucks and enjoyed the evening.

On the way home and only about a mile from our Walcott turnoff a big cow moose started to run across the road in front of us. Avery saw it first and yelled out as I slammed on the breaks. We were only doing about forty and adverted what I always fear on my late night trips back from Poker Night. Smell the roses—enjoy every day.

22 Jun 2017 Hello Summer…….
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Mule Deer Mom and Hour Old Fawns…….

Well, today is the first day of summer. Frost should no longer be a threat. Should. We have had frost twice in the last week and I’m afraid we are NOT out of the woods. It is never easy. Today also is the longest period of daylight in a single day. What does that mean in our part of the Great White North? It was light this morning before 3 AM and will not get dark until around eleven.

My day started well before six. I’ve started providing each worker with a daily to do list which seems to be helping, however, doing so takes another thirty minutes each morning.

Andrew and Dave drove in at nine. Dave worked on the River House Deck and Andrew spent all day getting the fence lines ready to either plant posts or actually hang the wire. Finally. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on the fencing project. I did a final count and NO MORE cement posts are required. Amen.

Avery and I marked out posts on the northern fence line. With then done we spread out the post too make it easier for Fred and Crew to plant them when they return tomorrow.

On one of our many trips up and down the driveway we came upon a mule deer doe with twin fawns just hours old. The fawns walked on wobbly legs and fell several times before I got them herded off into the bush. Cute.

After lunch Avery resumed transplanting Lupine near the entry gate and I took a quick trip to town to pick up fuel and other items. I stopped at the bank and the exchange rate still puts a smile on this old face. Next I bought every large eye bold in Smithers and Telkwa and ordered another sixty. The will be used on the corner posts to anchor the wire. On the way home I stopped at Rick Boonstra’s to pick up more cedar nailing strips. I drove through the River House Gate www.riverhousecanada.com at six ending a long work date.

Judith did the cooking duties and fixed ham and scalloped potatoes along with corn and more asparagus from our garden. Even with the heavy lost over the harsh winter we have had enough asparagus to have a meal every other day and even share some with neighbors. Love that garden.

Avery and I ended our day at the river. The river is going down and clearing. We caught only two small white fish but enjoyed the day.

Tomorrow Fred and crew will arrive early and have a good shot at finish planting the posts on the northern fence line. Avery and I will cut cedar nailing strips into five foot lengths and then install as many as we can before quitting time at three thirty. It is poker night and Avery and I will drop off the Nice at Russ’s to fix a few issues. My next fishing trip will be with son David and Granddaughter Sydney in mid-July.

21 Jun 2017 Check Seeing A Bear Off Avery’s List…..
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My, how time flies. Today is the fourth anniversary of our getting re-involved in Capture. Four years ago Capture was weeks, if not days, away from being out of business. Judith and I saw no other option but to pull up our sleeves and save our butts along with the jobs of thirty five employees and keep providing valuable services to faithful customers. It was probably one of the toughest challenges we’ve ever faced. It took hard work and sacrifices from the employee/owners. Hard work paid off and I’m happy and pleased to say that Capture is back, healthy and on track to being a bigger and better company. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

Fred and crew arrived at eight and “planted” twenty three cement posts. They have broken the code and should have all the posts planted in the next week or so. Andrew worked on marking out the southern fence line. Dave worked on the River Cabin lower level ceiling. Avery planted Lupine in the morning and helped me attach nailing cedar strips to the cement posts in the afternoon. Harry came back for a few minutes and mortared several cement posts that needed a touchup.

While making the rounds at the end of the day to check things out we stopped to talk to Fred. While talking a nice big black bear walked across the easement road just a few hundred yards away. That completes Avery’s wanta see list; moose, deer, fox, elk and black bear. Who knows with more than a week left he could see a wolf and maybe even a grizzly? River House www.riverhousecanada.com is home to lots of animals.

Before dinner Avery and I went to the river, built a little fire, and settled in for a couple hours of trying to catch a white fish or two. Nada.

Judith and I took on the cooking duties; I fired up to Tool Box Grill with my new supply of organic coals and cooked smoked pork chops. Judith made a rice dish and cooked broccoli and made a nice salad.

Exhausted Avery hit the couch after dinner and was out for the night.

Tomorrow is another very busy day. Fred and crew will take the day off. Avery and I will mark post placement while Andrew compacts around posts and Dave will stain the River House deck. I’ll make a quick run to Smithers in the afternoon to pick up supplies after lunch.