Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tux joins our family

We have a new addition to our family. On a recent trip to the city for our anniversary, Jim and I went to look for a dog. We found our perfect guy at one of the shelters. We have named him Tux, short for tuxedo. From this picture you can see why. He is adapting well to his new home. On our first trip to the beach, he immediately jumped into the water. I am looking forward to swimming with him next summer. It has been a good decision to adopt an adult dog. No puppy training! He has all the basic training skills already and loves to please. He also loves to hug and cuddle. Which can be pretty awesome with this 85 lb. dog! Now we have to work on getting our cat Dusty to warm up to him. She is very wary and has stayed upstairs most of the time since we brought Tux home.
So what did you get for your anniversary? Why, a doggie!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Welcome to the Egmont Saloon!

Well, after much planning and hard work, the Egmont Saloon was open for one night only on November 21 at the Egmont Community Hall. This was a casino night fundraiser for the hall foundation fund.

All the local businesses were very supportive. They sponsored tables and donated some wonderful prizes for the High Rollers of the evening and the silent auction. All in all we raised over $5000 that night. Then Karen and Rick King of Madeira Marina pledged to match whatever we raised up to $10,000! So thanks to them, we raised over $10,000 in one night. After expenses over $7,000 will go into the fund.

The Club plans on starting work on the foundation next spring. Over the last 5 years we have raised $107,000 of the needed $115,000. Amazing for such a small town and a large project.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall Harvest

Fall is upon us and it couldn't be busier! Time to get ready for colder weather which includes bringing in the tender plants from the deck, sealing up windows, filling up the woodshed and stocking up on supplies.

I have been busy with the annual canning
. This is something I love to do. There is a good feeling of going to the pantry and seeing all your homemade goodies. This year I have put up pickles, applesauce, grape jelly (from our own grapes), blackberry jelly, a papaya salsa, salmon and corn. Jim brought me some King salmon fillets. I have some in the freezer and I just smoked the first batch.

I use the Little Chief smoker and this year tried a dry rub instead of the usual brine. I combined brown sugar, salt, pepper, dill, garlic powder, some cayenne and add some maple syrup at the end. Delicious!

I usually have some mushrooms to dry too. I have been growing shitake mushrooms on logs for the last few years. But they are played out and it is time to get more logs and reinoculate them. Once started they will produce mushrooms for four or five years. We eat them fresh of course, but I also dry them and they are ready to add to soups, casseroles, gravies, etc. all winter long.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Close Encounters of the Bear Kind!

Wildlife around here has been busy. We have been having trouble recently with bush rats. They are sort of cute, but very destructive. Eating my vegetable garden, sunflowers, the cat's food...lot's of trouble. So when I heard sounds coming from the back porch the other night, I figured it was another bush rat trying to get to the cat's food. I stepped out onto the screened in porch and saw the cat food container was gone. Figured the rat dumped it over, but no where to be found. There was a scratching at the back screen door so I stuck my face next to the screen to see if I could see the rat all the while giving it a good talking to and telling it to get out of there.
Slowly, I realized that I was face to face with a bear! We were literally 2 to 3 inches apart with only the door screen between us! Never been that close to a bear.
In fact we haven't had any bear visits since the first couple of seasons we moved here. Once we brought our dogs over, that was the end of bears, deer, cougars, etc. coming close to the house.We are now realizing how good a job our dogs did keeping the critters away! So time to look for another dog in earnest.
In defense of the bear, I had some bags of garbage to burn stacked outside the porch. So he was only looking for food and it was my fault that I had them out there. Was planning on burning them the next day. Which I did. Normally I am very careful with garbage and my compost. Lesson learned!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

There be whales!

The evenings are getting chilly and we are needing to start a fire in the evening to warm up the house. Lots of the fall critters are returning to the point, including the black-capped chickadees, the jays, the gulls and the blue heron is hanging around again. But the recent sighting of a humpbacked whale this week is the most exciting!

The other evening I heard a loud "blow" of air and knew it was not a seal or sea lion. Way too loud. I stepped out on the balcony and there was a large whale diving right in front of the house. Too cool. It has returned for a couple of evenings and this time Jim and I were able to see it dive and flap its tail. No pictures however. Just happens too fast. Although now I am looking at around 6 pm as that is when it seems to show up.

Boating friends were up the inlet and said they saw the whale too. It is quite large probably 40'.

Here are some pictures from the Internet that duplicate what we saw.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer's End

Another summer, another season, another good time with friends and family, now only memories.
As usual, I have been busy and will post the summer recap.


Summer began with a busy Egmont schedule. June 6 was Egmont Day. Lot's of organizing as I am active in the Egmont Community Club which sponsors the annual celebration. A parade, bbq, dinner, relay races, canoe races, burger eating contest......lot's of fun for the families.

Egmont Parade Katy & the Cornpones band Community Club bbq

We had an Aboriginal Art show at the Egmont Heritage Centre to showcase our local Native artists. Some of them wore their Native traditional dress and the work was beautiful. Quite a diverse group with carvers, basket weavers, felt artists and painters.

The Egmont Fire Dept. became operational in June and they gave an open house which was well attended. The local volunteer firefighters have been working hard for years to get their fire house built and ready. Congratulations!


Can't keep good friends apart for too long! Gary and Jody and their son Cooper and wife Stephanie came up for a visit. It was Cooper and Stephanie's first time in BC and they loved the inlet. But they are off to Africa in only a couple of weeks time. Stephanie who works with aids education will take a job their through her university. Cooper, a teacher, will go with her and find his own adventure, I'm sure. They are a lovely couple and great people.

Gary and Jody got to stay with us for a week and we had a great time. Lot's of stories to tell, reading, talking about our kids, cooking on the bbq. Not too much boating as that isn't one of Jody's favorite things! But she is a good sport. She is also a persistent photographer and with much patience managed to get this photo of a hummingbird at the feeder.This little one stayed with us most of the summer and got quite used to us. She would come up and touch the red hibiscus flowers on my caftan as I sat on the deck with my morning coffee.


Another busy month that started out with our nephew Michael visiting us from Oregon. He was here two summers ago. Now at 15 he is 6'3"!! He had a great visit renewing friendships he made last time, fishing, helping us around the place and learning to row the skiff. Great kid. Can't wait for him to come back next summer.

August 15 is Jim's birthday and we had a bbq and invited a few friends. Jessica is also a Leo so we celebrated her birthday too.

A friend and Egmont carver, Arnie Jones, has been commissioned to carve a 24 ' totem pole for the Egmont Heritage Centre. A group of summer camp students from the Pender Harbour Community School visited one morning. They toured the museum and watched Arnie carve on the totem pole. Michael was here and got to see this interesting project too.

The next day, we headed south. Jim stayed in Washington to work on the fishing season while Corbin, Michael and I took a rode trip down to Albany, Oregon where Michael lives. It was great to visit my brother and his wife Jennifer and other son Joseph. It was also great to get to be with Corbin and catch up with him.
On the return trip, we stopped in Portland to visit with old friends before heading back to Bellingham.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

After a couple of trips south, we are hopefully home to stay for a while. You know spring is really here, but the still cold winds that keep coming our way keeps you confused. The animals are rustling about. Saw our first hummingbirds last week and now have two feeders going with at least six hummers arguing over the nectar.

I have seen signs of herring and the birds and seals are active, so there has to be salmon. We are doing well on prawns. Have to get some in the freezer before the commercial guys come in next month. They will take all the prawns for a month or so. Our four pots can't compete with their forty on a string.

We also have a mink coming on the back porch. He has found the cat door and the cat's food. Starting to be a nuisance, so we put out the live trap. We will relocate him further down the inlet.
He's a beautiful chocolate brown and about 2 feet long. Would love to get a picture, but he moves too fast.

Here is my spring poem:

You Know It’s Spring at Jervis Inlet When…………

You Know It’s Spring at Jervis Inlet

When the daffodils bloom in the garden.

When you don’t need to start a fire in the morning.

When the hummingbirds return and fight over the feeders.

When the frogs emerge at the pond and croak their mating songs.

When the wild currant bushes bloom their bright, hot pink flowers.

When the merganser family returns and begins nesting.

When you can see the gray rock through the snow on Mt. Churchill.

When the slugs are back in the garden.

When the cruise boats return to head up the Inlet to Princess Louisa.

When our traps are full of large, plump prawns.

When the eagles perch once again on their favorite tree.

When the dog wants to spend the night outside.

When you have to change to a short-sleeved shirt in the afternoon.

When friends come and visit because it is a perfect boating day.

When you quit working and just spend some time on the deck soaking up the warm rays of the sun!

BDSaunders 2004

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Break from Winter

Here it is, a week until the first day of Spring and we woke to snow on the ground yesterday! Somebody clue in Mother Nature!

Jim and I were tired of this winter weather and took a break. We headed to New Orleans for a Valentines Day treat and Mardi Gras. The 70 degree weather was fantastic and we had a wonderful time. Our good friends, Gary and Jody, flew in from Austin, Texas and spent a couple of days. We hit all the parades we could and came back with loads of beads. We also ate wonderful regional foods including crayfish, oyster po-boys, red beans and rice and pralines. Don't forget the beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde. Heavenly. The entire floor is covered in powdered sugar from the thousands of donuts served daily. We enjoyed a special jazz brunch at the famous Commander's Palace courtesy of Gary and Jody.
Here are a few pictures of our trip

We are back home now and we thought we had missed the rest of winter, but alas, not so.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hello to 2009!

Happy New Year! Still cold and snowy here,(That's our dock and lower deck in the picture.) so we spent a quiet new year's eve at home. As did many people across the province. The weather is just too lousy to risk driving out there! No matter, a bottle of bubbly, some snacks and a good video are all we need for a great evening.

It was great to hear from family and friends far and wide this holiday. Seems we are spread all over from N. America to S. America and Europe. Best wishes in 2009 to you all. How wonderful that we have the Internet to stay in touch. A place where we can watch children grow, celebrate good times and learn what is happening in each other's lives.

Guess we are all gearing up for Monday, when kids go back to school and we have to deal again with the real world. Jim and I have been enjoying kicking back, sleeping in and reading all those new books we got for Christmas.

It hasn't all been easy going however. This cold weather has frozen our water line, so we are hauling water. It will be some days before the long pipe that runs through the forest from the stream to our house thaws out. We must also keep the wood stove going along with the propane heater in order to stay warm downstairs. Going through wood twice as fast as normal. Ah, life in the wilderness.

The animals are having their own difficult time in this weather. We found a varied thrush in the wood bin. Brought it in to warm up and gave it some water. It was alert, but didn't try to fly away. Sat in my house plants all night, but was gone by the morning. Beautiful bird. We are keeping the feeders and suet out for the birds and the squirrels. Lots of Stellar's jays as usual, also vaired thrushes, sparrows, juncos. A large flock of thrushes was here for days nibbling the red berries off the arbutus (manzanita) trees, which have an abundant crop this year.