Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Fun!

Summer arrived late this year and apparently we may have frost tonight - so summer is leaving early, but we sure enjoyed it while it was here!

This year, more than any other so far, we have really enjoyed Charlie Lake. We have been kayaking a few more times (still with just the kids boats) - Maria and I really enjoyed it the other evening as a storm was approaching - we got to ride the waves!

We have also been fishing... a lot!! Michael has finally figured out the secrets of fishing at Charlie Lake and has had quite a bit of success this year - enough that he catches something almost every trip. So far there have been numerous walleyes and quite a few pike... so far no sign of the fish that is supposed to look like an eel (thank goodness!).

The kids have each had a turn bringing in a fish as well, which was a lot of fun for them, especially Allan. He is hooked now (no pun intended!) and often requests to go fishing.

kids are calling so this is it for now... more to come!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Before heading off to the houseboat this summer, we purchased some inexpensive Pelican Solo Kayaks from Canadian Tire. These have been awesome. The kids have played on these so much already... at the houseboat they paddled them around for hours. We also pulled one, with a kid on it, behind the zodiac! These little kayaks are so strong and sturdy and they are so stable that the only time the kids have fallen off was when they tried to fall off... and it was no problem at all to get back on. I even went out and paddled a few times and it was great fun.

Since coming home from the houseboat, we have taken the kids to Charlie Lake and they paddled around and explored and are still really enjoying them... They have also figured out that the boats are so stable that they can stand in them and use them like paddle boards, which is particularly fun when other boats go by and they can ride the waves that come in.

So the outcome of these inexpensive toys... is that they are not going to be inexpensive for long. Hubby and I have watched the kids go out and have so much fun that we have decided WE would like kayaks too... and of course the adult version of kayaks are a fair bit more money! However, it looks like something we can do as a family and spend a day out on the lake (and maybe the river if we practice a lot more!) and use for years and years... I want to play too!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Well, we are now in the middle of July and the common question around town is... are we ever going to get summer?!?! Up here that is pretty much the truth as we only have about a month left for a potential summer, before the colder weather starts in! We have had three weeks of rain - although there have been the odd nice day thrown in to tease us! There have been three different weeks of flooding - I feel bad for the people who have been in the low areas - I can not imagine cleaning up after a flood only to have it flood again less than a week later! We have major roads that have been washed out and worse than that we have BUGS!!

I can't even describe how bad the bugs are this year... they have had so much standing water to multiply in it is ridiculous. A brief foray out to the garden to see how my stunted, water-logged veggies are doing results in a mad-dash back into the house sporting a number of new bites. A few weeks ago it was (I was told) gnats - my daughter had bites all over the back of her neck, behind her ears and on her forehead. These little bugs would leave a trickle of blood behind as they took a chunk out of her, leaving her a complete mess. Now we are inundated with mosquitoes...

We had some visitors last week and we were very limited with the activities we could take them to do, as a result of the rain, high rivers, mud and bugs... however we dragged them around as best we could! When they left here they were certainly looking a little worse for wear and covered with bug bites! It was a lot of fun and we are so glad they made the trek up - although I don't know if they will ever want to come back!!

Another thing we have been having to deal with this summer is vehicles. Hubby's truck self-destructed a few weeks ago, while he was working a 3-4 weeks of straight night-shifts at work. As such we never really had to worry about it because he was working nights, so he used the van when we didn't need it and we used it when he didn't need it. Now that he is back to his normal schedule at work, we are starting to notice the lack of a vehicle. For instance yesterday and today he is at work, with the van, and we are at home without any transportation. We took it as an opportunity to try out the local transit system yesterday.

We have a bus stop three houses down (and around the corner), so we caught a bus there and headed down-town. We wound up at the mall, bought some shoes for the kids and some groceries that we needed, had lunch and then hopped on a bus at the mall back home. We had to get a transfer to get home, but that was easy enough, and all in all - I was impressed! I have always been intimidated by public transit and transfers and what bus goes where... but it was easy and if I didn't know which of the three buses to get on, the drivers were all friendly and helpful. It was clean and bright and not at all yucky - and we got a little giggle at the lady who waited ten minutes for the bus at the mall and got off the bus at Walmart across the street... I don't think I am prepared to give up my vehicle entirely and replace it with buses but it is good to know that in a pinch, or if desired - that option is there.

Well, I have just looked outside and I see the rain has started again... my daughters summer camp starts tomorrow, I think we can forget the sunscreen, maybe a snorkle instead!

Friday, June 24, 2011


When will this rain END?!!? It has been raining off and on for about a week or two but today it has rained ALL day - not even a peek at the sun today... I don't like it.

Tomorrow is the kids soccer tournament - it had better be better weather, we are going to be out there from 8:30 until after 6!!

I will stop pouting soon, but not yet.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This spring...

We had the most amazing May... it was hot and dry and beautiful and green! I have never noticed this much green up here... and flowers and trees galore! At the kids school I walked by a tree, which I have walked by almost every single day for the past three years without noticing it, and this year the tree was spectacular. I am fairly certain it is a variety of crab apple but its flowers were red and almost resembled an azalea - and the smell!! It was really amazing.

I think that there have been more varieties of trees and flowers blooming and green showing than in the past years due to our earlier than usual thaw. I don't know when our last frost was - but I think it was near the end of April. I kept expecting one in May - every other year I have planted my garden too soon and then had snow and or frost come along and spoil my plans. This year I kept waiting and it never did frost or snow through May. So I finally planted veggies and a few flowers near the end of May... which is of course, why we got snow last week. Although thank goodness it didn't seem to frost at all and the snow was gone quickly - we are back to normal weather, although a bit rainy!

Another result of our lack of a late frost (at least I think so) are mosquitoes. Before we moved up here everyone kept talking about the bugs up here and how bad they are. I have not been bothered by bugs at all since we moved up. There are certain areas - at marshy lakes and in the woods, where there will be more mosquitoes, but not in my yard. It was no different than anywhere else I have been - until this year. I think that normally the late frost must kill off a bunch, because this year without a late frost - holy crap!! It doesn't matter what time of day or how hot it is - they were out there biting! I am hoping that the snow killed the little buggers because that was most unpleasant.

June has just begun and we have already exceeded the total precipitation that we had for all of May - and it looks like we will be having more... but May was nice while it lasted.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Well, yesterday before the storm it was about 25 degrees... hubby received a very nasty sunburn while fishing. Today we woke up to snow!! Tomorrow is supposed to get back up to 17 degrees... I think the weather has a mood swing disorder!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The summer storms started early this year... we started the thunder storm season last month and today had (are still having!) a good one!

As I was driving the kids home from school I noticed the wind sock on the hospital sticking straight out and blowing Northward, about 3 blocks later at an elementary school the flag there was blowing completely Southward... needless to say, the storm broke pretty much straight on top of us! With pounding rain, hail, huge gusts of rain and plenty of thunder and lightning (and apparently a few power outages!) it has been entertaining... and typical. We have been having beautiful weather in the mid-twenties and this weekend the fair is in town - so of course the weather is going to turn!

Anyway, I am enjoying the storm - although I bet my baby plants aren't!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Washed the cars in the front yard...
did gardening...
played in the hose with the kids...
played bocce ball...
inspected flying ants and carpenter ants...
had freezies outside...
got a sunburn...

... I guess spring is over and now we have summer!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quiet Rain

It is raining today. I don't know when it last rained here, probably October. This spring we have had slush and rain mixed with snow, but this is the first time we are having rain all by itself. It is a very gentle rain, one that you don't even realize is falling until you look into a puddle or go outside. When I dropped the kids off at school Allan was asking why he had to wear his raincoat since it isn't raining, only to step out of the van and realize that it was. He thought this was fascinating and when I left I could hear him trying to explain to his friends that where we lived before "you always KNEW when it was raining before you got out of the car". Obviously he has forgotten the torrential downpours we had last summer which led to the flash flood!

I don't think this rain will last, I can already see the clouds have lifted on the horizon (it is handy living where it is flat, sometimes). It has been a nice rain though, hopefully it will wash some of the dust/dirt away that was left when the snow melted, freshen everything up a bit. Although I have been thoroughly enjoying the beautiful sunny weather we have been having, sometimes a rainy day isn't so bad.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Meltdown

This year, spring was a little later in arriving. In each of the past years that we have lived here, we have missed the "big melt" while we have been away for spring break... this year, we got to witness it. It was actually kind of fascinating, watching the piles and mountains of snow disappear - and they weren't slow about it! These huge piles of snow have basically created a huge layer of water over almost the entire town - there have been rather large rivers running down the sides of the roads and the kids have thoroughly enjoyed the mud that is everywhere.

Every year, the Kinsmen's Club hosts an Easter egg hunt at the park beside our house. This is the first year we have been in town for it, so we were happy to join in and we met up with quite a few of the kids friends too. It was great fun; they had the kids in different age groups and all of them had to find two hard-boiled eggs with numbers on them. Kids ages 6 and under had to find pink eggs in the playground, ages 7-9 had to find blue eggs a little bit into the forest and the 10 -12 year olds had to find white eggs, deeper into the forest... all in the snow. They gave the kids about 15 minutes to find their eggs then they called them all back and they drew a grand prize winning number for three of the eggs and all the kids got a chocolate bunny. It really was well done, and fun!

Anyway, a day or two later we went back to the park to look through the forest to play and find eggs that weren't found during the easter egg hunt (we found about 10!). It was astonishing to see how much snow had disappeared in those two days and to see the creeks that had cropped up... we also found something else in the forest, she had left a lot of "chocolate eggs" in the spirit of the easter egg hunt!

We didn't notice her until we heard her "huff"... we were pretty darn close at the time!!
You can see the moose behind us, an also how much the snow melted just two days after the easter egg hunt!

Later on, during that long weekend, we decided to take the new (to us) little quad out for a test ride and we had a lot of fun there too. We were up on a flat on top of a hill, that eventually goes down to the Beaton River. I rode the quad for a bit and let each of the kids have a turn riding it (with me on the back)... Maria did great, she rode a few laps very carefully and slowly. Then Allan hopped on and pegged the gas full tilt! He was good once things were explained a bit more, but boy oh boy, the kid likes speed!

Just before I let the "speed-demon" have a turn driving!

Meanwhile, just over a little hill from where we were riding, the kids found a stream that had formed from the snow run-off. It was a pretty fast moving stream and the kids (and us too!) had great fun floating things down the creek and watching it go over the waterfall at the edge of the field.

Maria and Allan found a bunch of bones from some large animal, I am thinking it was a moose, but there wasn't a head so I can't be certain. They had been there for a while but were still fascinating! We also found some animal tracks which I am thinking were probably lynx?

I have since been told that the bones were from more than one animal... the spine you see here hubby thinks it is a deer, whereas the leg and hip bones were BIG and likely from a moose.

Now, my front yard is completely free of snow, my backyard is almost free of snow (the places where it had been piled and where the sun doesn't shine yet are still snowy), I have raked the snow-mould off my lawn and I have my first flowers blooming. I love this time of year!

I am pretty sure this is a hyacinth, but it is tiny... only about 2 or 3 inches tall

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fingers crossed...

We are supposed to be getting a fair chunk of snow over the next two days... after the beautiful weather that we have been having, that would truly SUCK. I am hoping the weatherman was wrong and meant to say rain...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Break!!

We were away for spring break. We left winter behind and went down to the Island for Allan's cardiologist check-up and for some long overdue visiting. We were short on time, as seems to be the case each year, but we crammed in visits and got to have some wonderful time catching up with almost everyone! The check-up went really well and we got to have a quick snoop around Victoria that afternoon for our annual "Breakwater walk", which has showed us something interesting each year. This year the point of interest was the otters... well, I don't know if it was interesting or disturbing (both) but apparently it is mating season and it was not nice - so we got all kinds of questions...

Then off to Squamish for a visit to our old hometown... where we got to have more great visits and see so many of "our" people in such a short amount of time. Hubby and I even got to go out for an anniversary dinner - just the two of us!! The grandparents took the kids to the fair that evening and they had a great time too.

The entire time we were down on the Coast and the Island the weather was typical for this time of year... soggy, gray, little bits of sun but then more gray and soggy. I was surprised this year, by the moisture on the Island in particular. Everything was soggy and rot was prevalent - it seems I have been living in a dry climate for long enough to notice it much more acutely than before. Squamish wasn't quite as rotten and wet, but it wasn't far behind... perhaps because it hasn't completely thawed from winter yet? As soon as we left Squamish and were heading up the highway towards Whistler, there were snowbank still along the edges of the road.

Our drive home was fabulous. Driving over the Duffy Lake Road has, in the past few years, been an adventure in brake repairs... this year we managed to (narrowly) avoid any brake issues. The roads were mostly bare and clear the entire drive up - with only little bits of snow falling through the 100 Mile to Prince George areas, but nothing sticking to the ground. Once we passed Prince George, it was beautiful, sunny, warm and great driving. Which is good because that tends to be the boring part of the drive, so it is good to be able to drive at a decent speed! After we passed Chetwynd we noticed Northern Lights in the sky as well as a beautiful night sky, full of stars. We followed the Northern Lights all the way home, watching them change shape, stretch and fold... we arrived back home just before 11pm absolutely exhausted.

The next morning we awoke to a beautiful blue sky and temperatures up to about +8 degrees, the snow banks are still there but they are melting quickly (causing small streams to run down most roads - and therefore requiring us to buy the kids new rubber boots!) The kids started back to school wearing lighter jackets, no more snow-pants or winter boots (the rubber ones from now on!). It is surprising how warm it is - the kids both complained last night of being WAY too hot at bedtime; even though our heater didn't turn on yesterday. It feels much warmer here, than it did on the Island/Coast, even though the temperatures are about the same... it is also surprising how long the days are already. We left here just after the equinox, but already the days are considerably longer than the nights, and it is still bright out at the kids bedtime.

Spring is here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Just like that...

...although spring up here is different from spring on the coast, all of a sudden I can feel that spring has begun. It is still white, everywhere you look, and we had snow last weekend; but it has warmed up and as soon as it hit -8, the roads turned slushy and you could start to see pavement. By the time it reached -2 the roads were all either slushy or just wet, depending on how much traffic drives on them. By +4 there were some dry, bare roads; some that were under a lot of water and my road, which hasn't seen a plow for quite some time, which is just messy.

So apparently spring up here is a matter of road conditions instead of garden growth - but I'll take it! It was warm! Warm enough to be outside in my shoes and sweater instead of boots and a parka! Warm enough to go outside and feel the sunshine; instead of having to feel the sun through the window. I am certain we will have some winter-like weather still; but spring has started, now it is a matter of weeks instead of months

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Anytime now...

Ok, enough already. It is time for spring to be a visible thing on the horizon at least... but there isn't a sign of her. March has been the worst part of the winter; colder, snowier... and we are only a little way into it! February gave us melting snow and little peeps of the spring to come, but March has stomped all over that spring and buried it in my yard... under the snow. I never thought I would look forward to having the mud that is everywhere during spring, but I REALLY miss that mud. Sigh... enough of my pity party. Even I am sick of hearing me complain about the cold and snow.

Hubby is thrilled with our extended winter. He took up snowmobiling this year - and after deciding the snowmobile that he chose the first time was wrong for him, he is now on machine number 2 and is eager to take it out and use it as much as he can before spring... Judging by my yard, I think he will have plenty of time to use it.

Maria is very excited to have more snow, that kid LOVES snow. She often says she feels sorry for the kids on the Coast who don't get much snow. Allan just goes along with whatever Maria says, but his patience with the snow is waning too.

Ah well, this coming up week our temperature is supposed to get warmer... at least warm enough to be outside comfortably, even if more snow is going to fall... let's hope they are right this time!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ice crystals...

Today is a beautiful day full of blue skies and bright sunshine... and ice crystals. The forecast today calls for ice crystals... also -28. Apparently what this means is amazingly cool, straight up and down, rainbows. My camera doesn't work when it is this cold, so you will just have to take my word on it... it was beautiful.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Hurdle

Some people that we know up here (two separate families) are in the process of moving to Victoria. Neither of these families really expected to be going, nor are they from there... I have to say that I experienced a large surge of jealousy about this, which is strange because recently hubby was offered a job down on the Sunshine Coast which we both decided against because we don't want to move... but still... it would be nice.

Talking to my sister the other night, she gave me some perspective. Fort St John is the right place for us to be... it has a good work situation, it is a great place for our kids and our family. We get a lot of sunshine and blue sky... the only thing Fort St John is lacking or is not ideal, is geographically. Geographically this town is too far away from our family and friends. Geographically this town is lacking mountains and forests and oceans. However the positive things about this town enable us to overcome the shortcomings and go to the places where we like the geography.

Perhaps this only made sense in the strange conversation my sister and I were having... but to me it did make sense. I will miss our friends that are moving down to Victoria... but we will be able to visit!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow Day!!!

We are having the first snow day since we moved up here. That is... WE are having a snow day, although the school is still open! We had record snow falls over the weekend, I think about 20cm since Friday - which is really a lot for up here. I think Dawson Creek got even more. The buses aren't running today, the mail delivery is cancelled for today but the schools are still open. Apparently they have a clause that states the schools will never close down due to weather because years ago some parent dropped their kid off at school and went to work... not realizing the school was closed. Everything turned out ok with that kid, but the result was that the school's will always be open on school days... but I think that some days, you just have to call a snow day anyway... besides, this way they can help me shovel!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope this year is as good as last... I will get back to posting as soon as the kids go back to school!