so we have joined a rock club….

So what do you do when you move to a new place?  To get to know the locals…. join a church, a choir….   I guess one might consider our attachment to rocks a bit like a religion???

So we have joined the Vernon rock club and have been out on 2 field trips with them.  As you can see Tucker fit right in.  Everyone loves Tucker.  This first one was at another gravel pit in Armstrong. (Quite a bit larger than our gravel pit.)

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And this was the view from the second field trip we went on. Something about rockhounding, you always get to go to the coolest places. In the middle of nowhere and with great views.  Turns out that this site is just on the other side of the mountain from our place.

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So our THIRD field trip was here…. look familiar???  Yes we invited the rock club all to come up and look for rocks here.  The Vernon rock club sent the invite far and wide and … over 100 people showed up at our place.  The largest turnout that they have ever had.

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The neighbours down below were freaking out seeing 45 cars come driving up the road….. the road that usually sees maybe 10 cars a day… My picture does not show them, (I started taking pictures after many people had left.)img_6899

Everyone dispersed in all directions and everyone had a great time, especially the kids. …. and social distanced, I think? There are about 25 acres in total to explore, so lots of distance between everyone. One guy even went all the way to the top of the mountain… to see what was there.

These kids found some great agates etc…. and they were quite excited about it until the found……

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THIS…. a snail in a shell, and suddenly there was No interest in rocks, only what they were going to do with the snail.

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…. and some kids found the large puddle down below and…..img_6901

people brought picnics and everyone just seemed to have fun. There were some clever “hounds” that we learned lots about rocks from.  AND everyone found agates to take home with them… COOL.  We have  been quite thrilled with the family nature of the rock club field trips, lots and lots of kids. Makes us wish we had taken on rocks back when we had small kids. What a great way to run them ragged.

 

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A few weeks ago we purchased a smaller motorhome.  It is a 2016,(so over 20 years newer than our other MH)  and it is shorter, but has 3 slides. So pretty much as big as the other one, only easier to drive, easier to get around things.  With all of the rock cutting we have been doing for the past few months, we are starting to miss the southern rockhounding we do in the winter.   We are hoping that by next spring… it might be easier to travel.  We are taking some time to go on a trip around British Columbia for the first 2 weeks of August.  See what BC has for cool rocks.  In previous years I feel that since I take 3 months off in the winter, that I should not take time in the summer, but….. i am getting old. what the heck.

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Our newer motorhome is really quite nice…… after we got rid of the cigarette smell.  We were so enamoured with the rig we had not noticed it at first, but after a night in it we realized that the strong perfumie smell was covering something up. So we took it back and they “ozonated” it over night and it really seemed to work. Now it just smells normal.

As you can see it is Garlic Scape season and we are falling sadly behind in doing things with the garlic scapes, but did make some pesto with them.

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Speaking of the garlic, it has sadly been through a lot this year. If it looks kind of striped in this picture, it is because last fall, I took the tractor and left piles of chicken manure in various spots.  As you can see, the deep green garlic leaves are in the areas near where the chicken manure was left. The garlic that was covered with the chicken manure…..died.  Too much of a good thing.  You can also see in this picture that there are areas that were lower than others. The guy we bought from said that the whole place was really well drained. Well not so!  The areas in the garden that were lower lying have tended to be under water whenever we get the torrential rains.. that we SEEM to be getting quite often…. NOT good for garlic.  We also at this point are wondering why we bothered to put in an irrigation system. We have not gone more than a day or two without rain for ?? a few months (pretty much when we put in the irrigation system)

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Here are the walls going up.

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so what it will look like in the Living room,/kitchen/dining room room

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Some days we think perhaps we should be building an Ark, rather than a house.

 

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So this picture is from today, storms coming and going.  We are warm and dry.  Ken has never wanted an RV with slide outs …. “because they all leak”  We shall see. We are dry thus far.

Much Love from Janet, Ken and Tucker, the rock hounders hound.

 

 

The Big storm…..

Progress is being made on our house, and in fact they were supposed to be pouring the basement yesterday, except for a huge storm that was forecasted (which did end up coming true).

At about 5 pm, the sky became black, with a lot of lightening and ensuing thunder.   Then  the large hail stones came, and rain, lots of rain.  Ken took some great pictures, it was pretty scary in a motorhome and poor tucker was hiding under the table.

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Warning: expletive language. Unknown   WHOOPS

It was brie,f but scary, we could not help but think of how nice it would be to sit and watch the storm in a house, warm and safe.   Then we had to deal with diverting all the water away from the bank.

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unfortunately it had already gouged out the bank in front of where the house will be.  Still a long ways from the house to the bank, but we clearly need to work on this.

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So we now can clearly see where the water will go in a storm and have a few plans to divert the water.   I was thinking … an engineer would be able to determine where the water  would go and prevent it.  We can now see where the water DID go, and so we can change it for future storms.  We seem to get the brunt of some of the storms.

Our garden did OK, I feel it is somewhat sheltered from the south winds, however the hail put holes in large leafed plants, and the onions seemed to just break off.

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The garlic did OK, but there are low areas in the garden that the water seems to sit, and yesterday was no exception. The long dark rows are the potatoes, and they look great.

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So here is the house, a week or so ago.

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Then this is a few days ago, there is a “ledger board” screwed into the top of the concrete. this will form the basis to attach the “joist hangers” and subsequently the joists will be attached here. The purpose of this, is so that we can have a house that we can just walk out to level ground, with no step down going outside.  These two guys showed up a few days ago to measure the tar area space.  They had billed our builder for WAY more in square footage, and so they came back to measure…… it was odd, two guys in cowboy hats and measuring tapes just pulled in to the driveway. (I am sure they did not think anyone was actually living there )

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so in this picture you can see that they have done a lot of levelling out the big piles of dirt from the basement dig.

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I guess when we were having the plans drawn up we thought we would save money by building a small basement and the rest crawlspace, and the greenhouse area, just a slab.  This has turned out to be completely wrong in that having 3 different levels in the basement it has complicated things quite a bit.  I am sure adding a lot to the cost.  I am sure that the apprentice builder is learning a lot with such a complex basement build.

We are continuing to cut rocks, in fact the saw is running all day, most days.

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Ken is working on fence building and starting to act his age, and hired someone to dig the holes for the posts.  We have just hired someone else, as a labourer to help with the fence posts.  These posts are HUGE, we found them online in the fall, someone was selling them cheap, so we got them delivered here.

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So THIS IS the builders toilet… and this was before it started raining today.  I wonder who decided to put it there thinking emojiimg_6731

could be an interesting week

Bye for now, much Love… Janet, Ken and Tucker the scaredy dog…..

 

 

 

 

RIP William James Ramier Feb 12 1928- June 5 2020

10 days ago my dad fell coming out of the grocery store where he bought lottery tickets and newspapers for the crossword puzzle.  An ambulance was called, he was taken to ER, and his injuries were determined. Fractured ribs, clavicle and left hip.

It was determined that he needed surgery, so was transferred from Williams Lake to Kamloops to see orthopedic surgeon.

However because of Covid 19 there was no family members there and when I was phoned, there was no mention of WHERE he had fallen.  My sister went to his house after this and realized that he car was not there, and so a search ensued to find his vehicle, and it was only then that we found out where this had happened and what exactly had happened.

He was received in Kamloops and prepared for surgery. But because of Covid no family members were there to tell them that he has COPD, and kidney disease, and what his medications were.  (we could only phone in and get snippets of information.)

His surgery was delayed because a clever anaesthetist noticed that his potassium was high and so the kidney specialists gave him treatment to lower his potassium. I was able to talk to a family practice resident… I guess at this point I thought that they knew his history and no one asked.

He went for surgery, and because of covid he was all alone, none of his family were there.  He came back from surgery and because of covid none of his family were there to be there when he woke up…. or tell them that he is quite sensitive to narcotics, even as a younger man, they made him wingy.

ALL day Long I made calls to find out how he was doing and my sister called in once and the nurse said that what was going on with him was normal for dementia patients.  I guess because of Covid 19 we were unable to tell them that he HAD been out in his vehicle a few days earlier getting lottery tickets on his own.  102911137_915453112213393_4049043637802230254_n

Then it was back to the phone for me to make sure that they knew that he was not that demented before.  He had been slowing down recently and I am sure he memory was failing, but they were thinking he was normally like this, because of covid, and because no one was there to say otherwise.

I guess there is no point in going into the whole story, sufficient to say that because of covid he was all alone.

I was able to use my position to get into see my Dad on Wednesday.  Had to go past the gestapo at the front door.  Wore my hospital badge and said it was all approved.

THEN I was able to speak for my Dad.

He went downhill quite a bit and so yesterday, I was able to get permission for my sister and myself to visit him. (they told us we had to visit separately but we ignored that)

We sat there for the afternoon with him, and reminded him frequently that we were there and that he had 4 daughters who loved him. Not sure if he heard.

And then he died.   He was not alone, and we felt that although we had missed all the previous times to be there (because of Covid) At least we were there at the end.

Covid 19 has been an earth shattering disease. I am frequently surprised by how every aspect of life seems to have changed somewhat due to Covid, but in the area we live in Interior Health Authority, which is a large part of BC, I am guessing at least a million and a half people, we have absolutely no active Covid cases.   In medicine we always weigh treatments, Risks VS benefits. I currently wonder if the covid restrictions right now are causing more harm than good.   We have another rule in medicine “above all do no harm” Although it is not part of hippocrates oath, it is attributed to him.

The premise is it may be better to NOT do something or to do nothing at all at the risk of causing more harm than good.

Although I was an early voice to add protection to LTC facilities and the elderly in the coming of COVID, speaking out loudly in early March.  I was all for screening all visitors for symptoms and travel history, the concept of stopping all visitors to hospitals and LTC facilities, I BELIEVE is a case where we are causing harm by our action.

I hope it changes soon.

Much love to all

Janet

you MIGHT be a redneck…..

We are feeling that……. maybe, just maybe…..

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we might be….  Is the next picture convincing?

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YES we decided that the ONE THING (and at the time there WAS only one thing we missed) is a washing machine.   And doggonitt…. Ken just went out and got one.  Then he built a roof and sidewalls on it, and put on a metal roof.  I think I may never move it indoors ( well … until the snow comes)  and I might not be able to move it in until then.  Nice to just do laundry out doors and hang them to drying between the Sea cans.

So they have built the basement walls, and in this photo are pouring the concrete. It certainly seems to have improved over the years, for builders backs, not have to shovel the concrete into these spaces.

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this is the truck that the concrete truck pours concrete into and they can move the boom around to put the concrete in the right place.

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And here are the walls with the forms being removed. Our basement walls.  Well in all honesty, MOST OF it will be a crawl space, and a small basement.

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So with all this concrete around, with leftovers, we needed to play…. practice our project to work out the bugs..

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And we already found some bugs.

What happened was that the wood was hard to get out of the concrete once it  was dry… Ken had to chisel it out, which would not be a good thing, given the size of cut rock areas we are wanting to do.

So he DID get the wood out, and we WILL be able to practice the project.img_6650

Our head guy builder came by the other day and said that we could possibly use the forms they use for the basement walls, because they are oiled and concrete does not stick to them.  We are going to use one form from the basement walls to practice on the basement floor.  We shall create a depressed area in the basement to practice our project on, and work out more bugs.

In the meantime, these practice hunks of concrete will become a funky piece in our yard.

Lot of interesting rocks being cut now. The rock saw is running most waking hours of the day, every day.

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In the mean time, Tucker is trying to gain the hearts and minds (and odd lunch snacks) from the builders.  Here he is just waiting for the 2×4 to drop.

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Also … stay tuned for a formal recording of a  song I have written about presidents Trumps response to the Covid infection.

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Then there is Talon.  I go to work in Kamloops on Wednesdays and  drop Ken off at Dylan and Sarahs, and Ken spends the day with Talon.

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He seems to be a squatter….. which we just LOVE.

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Now it is late on a Friday afternoon. My 92 year old father fell 2 days ago, up in Williams Lake, and broke his hip and clavicle.  He was brought down to Kamloops via ambulance and is in the Royal Inland hospital. As much as I know, he is in the OR now, or possibly out.  They did not operate yesterday because his serum potassium was high, related to his kidney disfunction.

It is a very odd situation, I have 3 sisters and we are all sitting waiting to hear how everything went.  After all, he IS 92.   None of us can go in to see him at the hospital because of Covid.  No one is allowed into the hospital to visit people except in certain situations, such as end of life.

I have phoned many times trying to find out how he is doing and when he might be going for surgery.   At 1 pm today I got a call from a nurse whom I know personally, and I was totally thrilled that she was his nurse.  He was just heading for surgery then. That was 5 hours ago.

I realize that there is another side to this COVID situation that the media does not cover, I guess, because it is not exciting enough.  There are many elderly people who are totally alone, in nursing homes, and hospitals, and at home…… with no one to visit them.  Families have no idea how they are doing, and  (if they are in a facility )are totally dependant on a kind person on the end of the line whom might be empathetic enough to understand how it must be for families on the outside, wondering how their loved ones are doing on the inside.

I believe we know a lot more about the infection than we did 2 months ago.  I feel sad for all of the people who are alone right now.  I feel sad that we were not there to see my dad off to surgery today.

 

Bye for now, much love from Janet Ken and Tucker the apprentice…..

 

 

 

another victoria day weekend…hohum

So the house is moving along at a slow pace… boring…. but then there is the garden, …. and Morels.

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We have put in a drip tape watering system, and we think that the garlic will love it…however … our timers are packed away in the Sea Can.  They are expensive, so we do not want to buy new timers…img_6602

So this afternoon, Ken is deep in the bowels of the SeaCan searching for the timers… WHERE DID WE PUT THEM?  He has been in there a LONG time, perhaps I shall send a search party soon to find himthinking emoji

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The SeaCans are SO much easier to deal with when all the stuff is inside and the doors are closed.  It just seems like you open the doors and our lives come falling out, what ARE we going to do with all this stuff?  The garlic is looking great….

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.. and Ken just found the best wheelbarrow, and Princess Auto.  This thing is like a small truck and it tips up to empty too.

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I have never had such great looking potato plants either, and to the left of them is a row of the Broccoli.  I guess with a new property you never know how the soil is, and so far, I am impressed… even the weeds look very healthy…

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Speaking of weeds, does anyone know what these are?  They are new to me.  But seem to be growing everywhere.  And growing well.

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And on to the rocks, I decided to try to cut some of the ones we have found here on the property.  I have not seen anything like this in the books, perhaps I need to ask some local rockhounds. thinking emoji

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This one below, we found at Chase Creek a few years ago.

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and this one, we have been able to take several cuts from, so lots of material.

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Our plans are to do a practice run in the basement, we plan to cut out a large piece of Plywood 3/4 inch thick and place it in the concrete, and then after the concrete is dry, we will remove the plywood and have an indentation  the size and shape of the plywood, 3/4 inch thick.  We will fill the area with the stones, as we would for tiles, and then grout the area around the tiles.

New territory for us….

Bye for now, much love, Janet and Ken and Tucker (the dog)

 

 

the foundations

 

It has been a little over a week and little has been done. They dug the hole and had to finish up another job, so only came back this week to get going.  Today they are going to pour concrete into the footings.

So here are a few shots of the hole digging.  We had a huge rain storm a few nights earlier, and the puddles filled up again.

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AND here are the footings.

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Here are the plans for our house…..

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It is also mushroom season, it is a month later than usual, but we have found several morels in the past few days.  We have been bushwalking through the forest finding new secrete morel beds.  I was thinking, I had better not get Covid 19, because I have heard that they are using your phone for contact tracing, and my phone might give away some of our secret morel spots Unknown

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But it seems we must be pretty safe out in the middle of where we find mushies.

So we are working hard at our cutting rocks, for our flooring etc. We are particularly thrilled with the petrified wood cuts.  Our hardwood flooring will be HARD.

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and then some truly gorgeous pieces.  Aren’t these beautiful.

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Oh and then the garden is coming along well. The garlic is up and growing well, as are the potatoes, onions, and the broccoli and lettuce have been transplanted as well.

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We are quite happy, the weather is here, and the house is coming up.  Here are is Tucker, NOT socially isolating, with his best friend.

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Much love, Janet, Ken and Tucker the anti deadlock dog.

It starts……today

I thought I would write in my blog today, because our house building begins today I do not know how to make squiggles on a photo, but the front of the house will be central in this picture.

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Then the garden, plowed and planted with potatoes, onions, beets, peas and spinach

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AND GARLIC. OH and that machine is going to dig the basement……and we have left enough room for it to get out without trampling on the garlic.

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We have started to cut the rocks for the floor and backsplashes and countertops. It is going to be fun laying them all out, figuring where they will all go best.  These ones look a bit like fish.

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We have a large rock saw that we just put the rock into a clamp, and turn the saw on and walk away and it cuts the rock and then turns off. So we are trying to keep the saw going all day. We have LOTS of rock to cut.

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We are kind of wondering what rocks might come out, as they dig the basement.

Oh and here is our little Talon, learning the gears on the tractor.img_6519

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I guess I had better go, the crew is here…. STAY TUNED

Much love Janet, Ken and Tucker

 

A River Runs Through It.

So yes we still have snow, however it is starting to go away….  I think this first picture was a few weeks ago, the garlic bed on the right…. it takes me awhile to get around to writing blog.

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The really interesting thing is that last fall we got a large load of chicken manure, and we spread some of it on the garlic, but at the end of the fall, I went around with the tractor leaving piles of manure all of the garden.   So those are the first areas to lose the snow.  So all we have showing in the garden is chicken manure…. and it ain’t pretty…. sheesh. We have had some cold nights recently so still able to walk on top of the snow, however today it is quite warm, and so unable to hike up to get a picture without falling down through the snow.

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As you can see there are a LOT of piles of chicken manure, I do not remember there being that many.

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But of course we are starting to accumulate something else.  THIS is our driveway, and we might need a bridge to get to the hoop house.

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So we had a great day redirecting water….. which really IS FUN….. as long as our house is not going over the bank and we do not have a house so we are  fine with all of this, and it is great to see where water accumulates  …. before we build the house, and do the landscaping stuff.

We have it from several sources that this has “never” happened here. No one has ever seen this much snow… and the story that I am sticking with (clinging to) is that a freak storm hit this area (maybe like a 100 year storm)… on December 31, and dumped a TON of snow on a small area, and we are just living with it now. We are not going to have snow until MID April every year ….???

The guy we bought the place from, who was up here hauling gravel out of here for several years… said he has never seen snow like this.
This picture below is the first time we hiked up to look at the place, and where the  pile of gravel is  on eat right in the picture is essentially where the motorhome is now.  Lot of growth. May 4 2019.

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Well ……water is not our only issue right now, we have ….. another …… little ….. issue.Unknown

Trying to do my part in the “victory garden” concept,  I have started  just a few tomato plants…and then a few more…  Anyways this is the Old German heirloom tomatoes, that I put out in the hoop house with the heater to make sure they did not freeze.

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.. and this was them the next day… SOMETHING had gone along and chopped off all their heads..    The ones on the right.

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SO Ken is onto it, and has found on youtube the very best mousetrap, and I do not want to know any of the details.  Just no mice in the hoop house…. so far he has “caught” 8 of them.

So back to planting, I now have about 250 Amish paste tomato seedlings started

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not sure what i am going to do with them all, but I figured if I had them all planted, I could figure it out later on. UPDATE  3 days later, I now have 600 seedlings….  Know anyone who wants to grow Heirloom tomatoes this year? Or do you know of someone who knows of someone….etc?

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I finally have Garlic up… you really have to look hard, but its there.  I am a bit worried they might all drown with all the snow sitting on top of them now .

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We were planning on starting our house on April 1st, and although the snow has been quite an issue, it is not the issue that has delayed the start of our house.  We had to create a “covenant” to verify how far the house was going to be from the bank.  So we had to get a surveyor out here, and a geotechnical engineer and a lawyer to create the covenant, to say how far the bank is from where the house will be.  It has been onerous and expensive, and thank goodness Ken has the patience for this kind of stuff, but it appears to be over.

The word we have is….. wait for it…. drum roll… they are going to start digging the basement April 23rd…..

Now I have to admit that there are moments when I consider the concept of feeling sorry for myself, stuck in this extremely small space since last August… and then all the snow.

And then I feel shamed…. what the heck do I have to complain about? We have been living in a 280 square foot home for 8 months, and there are aspects of it that I MUST admit that I am getting tired of.

HOWEVER… I came to my senses and really feel like I am a pretty lucky person.  For starters, we got a huge head start on social distancing. We have been, for the most part, been living in a small space, just the 3 of us for 8 months. We do not feel our life has changed much, with the exception of occasional visiting with people. Living in the country, we rarely go shopping, and when we do we get lots of stuff.  We are loving the great outdoors, now that it has gotten a bit warmer.  We have a nice little grocery store, that has arrows in it to keep people from meeting up with others.  Oh and then this is what I see looking out my kitchen(dining room) window.d25ccf41-bd1a-4d0e-864e-a68e6a9d846b-5113-0000054bb0dccf87_file

Of course work has changed a lot, everything at work has changed, but we are encouraged to do as much as possible from home.  So lots and lots of phone calls and faxes.  I have recently been offered the position of Medical director for Long term care for Interior health west, which stretches from about where we are, to Williams lake to Merrit and Clearwater…  It is kind of weird starting a new job and  doing it all online or on the  phone.

My “project” this week has risen out of reading about the facility in Montreal…… STORY IN MONTREAL NURSING HOME   There have been similar stories in Spain and even up state New York where the facility was understaffed and the situation just became so severe that the workers fled. The situation horrible….  So I am thinking we need an early warning sign here in BC if places are getting badly understaffed and to have a plan for that.

In Canada one of the key issues that has driven the virus to so many nursing homes is that the care aides are so poorly paid, they tend to work at more than one facility. It seem to just make sense to rectify this situation since our society are so dependant on Care aides.

Well that’s all for now, lots more tomatoes to plant

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Much love to all from Janet, Ken and Tucker, the dog who chased a coyote this morning.

 

 

 

 

 

I have never known March to last so long….

In so many different ways……

It is hard to look back a month and see any chance that in one month we (the world) would be all staying home.  I also never thought a month ago that the first of April would come along and I would still need knee high boots to get to my compost.  THIS IS MY garlic field. Everyone else’s garlic is already up.

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We are pretty thrilled to be up on the property, FINALLY HOME  SUITE HOME….. 5 months since we left the place.  Can you believe all that snow?  My Dad who lives 200 miles north of here said the other day “you guys should move up here, we do not have any snow”. We finally got enough snow moved that we could get all the way up here with the motorhome.

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Someone else is pretty happy too….  This is how Tucker LOVES to sit, with his butt on a stair above, and great way to watch the world go by.

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Such an exhausting job…..

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So I am working from home, and this is my office.  The plan is that all doctors will deal with calls about their own patients in the nursing homes… and then if someone absolutely needs to be seen by a doctor, we have designated different doctors to each facility.   I am currently covering for another doctor who manages the “pathways to home” program.  To my American friends, it is pretty much the same as Skilled Nursing facilities.  SO I am the designated doctor for Ponderosa.  So I guess I am not really on the front line.  I have been going in once a week.  Overlander is the facility I am director at, but someone else will be designated there while I am at Ponderosa.

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My heart really goes out to the nurses in the care facilities, who have to dress, change, toilet, feed, and put these patients to bed.  I had a patient this past week whom I was quite worried about with regards to Covid, and although I had my good old N95 mask from Canadian tire, they had nothing to protect them. We are getting word that supplies will be coming to Long term care facilities this next week, but it is sad how long it has taken. Fortunately that person did not have covid.

I am not as thrilled with the ministry of health and the Chief medical officer, as everyone else is…..to me, the nurses are the real heroes, caring for all of these people in nursing homes (Long Term Care facilities) at a very scary time.  I wish they would have put a greater priority on protecting the nursing homes (and thus the staff), earlier.

SORRY for the rant, but if you know someone working in long term care, please give them a thank you.

There is talk that the supply chain might be interrupted and food that we are “used to” being able  to get  from Mexico, will not be coming for a whole variety of reasons.  So  I think it behooves (is that really a word??, spell check accepted it) us all to grow something, grow anything, grow lots…. because who knows what will be going on come summer. So Janet, what do we have here????

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WELL….. WE have artichokes, and a variety of peppers… but today… I have started Tomatoes. LOTS of tomatoes…

But still no garlic …. well except… in the big black plastic compost bin. But these might be onions….. from last year…img_6384

But no sign of garlic here

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Watching for snow to melt, I guess is like watching paint dry… only it takes MUCH longer.

Also watching charts, Covid charts… New case rates, Death rates, rates per million population…. watching them go up, and up. I keep thinking that Canada is dropping a bit… but then today new cases when up a lot.

Well here we are and just sitting at home, doing nothing, seems to be the very best thing to do despite everything we have been conditioned for our whole lives.  Get out, be active etc etc etc.  Suddenly I have to tell myself not to feel guilty for doing nothing. There is still 2 feet of snow, but since it has gotten warmer, we can no longer walk on top of the snow without snowshoes.

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I listened to a show on NPR this afternoon and cannot overstate how very lucky I feel.  They were talking about the situation in India, right now. The most populated country on earth, but a country with nowheres near the wealth that a country like China has.  It is totally frightening to think of all of those who will die of this.

I think that people need to take a time like this and have discussions with loved ones about whether they would want to have CPR, and more importantly whether they would want to be intubated and put on a ventilator.  Very few people have had these discussions with older loved ones, but it is more important than ever right now.

The thing about this virus, is that when normally we can provide help with breathing with Bipap ,(which is not invasive)  … if a patient comes in with the symptoms of Covid and their breathing is getting difficult, and they are not oxygenating…. the doctors have no choice but to intubate and put someone on a ventilator, unless you have made it clear to your family that that is not what you would have wanted. Bipap is not being used, during pandemic because it aerosolized the virus, spreading it to others.  So the only option now is to put a person with breathing difficulties into ICU on a ventilator.  These are very important discussions to have now, before you are faced with a harder decision. So for right now, if a person comes in the COVID and their breathing becomes difficult and they have never told anyone what their wishes would be, and their substitute  decision maker does not know their wishes, they will be put onto a ventilator for who knows how long. (This is despite age, other diseases, or prognosis of other diseases)

We are really enjoying it out here but missing baby Talon……  As you can see, just 30 miles away.. NO SNOW.

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We are expecting a cold spell for the next several days, so ken is putting the “tin foil” around the windows……which I hate, but keeps the warmth in on cold nights. This is where Tucker sleeps ….. when he sleeps indoors…img_6189

and back to those lovely sunrises..

 

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Much Love to all from Janet, Ken and Tucker, the ever vigilant hound(except when he is not)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who knew how far this would go?

 

A little bit of tobogganing fun….. our gravel pit.

 

I am sure we are all sitting, isolated, looking at what is going on in the world in utter terror.  Never before in our lifetimes… has something like this happened.  Perhaps if we were sitting in Iraq, we could say, we HAVE seen the likes of this…… OR maybe if we were in Afghanistan…. , we COULD say we have seen this…. but to our safe first world, we have never seen anything like this.

Sigh….. We are still working hard to get our motorhome up here, but somehow it all seems so irrelevant now.

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We are fortunate to have a place to go to still be isolated.   I think of those “self isolating”in New York and I feel so fortunate to be somewhere that is totally isolated and kind of nice to look at too.

Because of shortage for the N95 masks, they are saving them for “acute care”, which means hospitals, and “long term care” facilities  are not getting them, at least yet.

So Ken and I went up to the property today and got into the storage Sea Cans and dug out our N95 masks, which we bought the year of the fires in BC 2017IMG_6364

quite a valued item now.   I had to go into facility and wore this and it felt quite comfortable.

We are starting a policy whereby the doctors of patients in the nursing homes will deal with issues that come up with the patients, over the phone as best they can. If a patient needs to be seen by a doctor, we will only have one doctor going in and out of the facility. So for Overlander, that will be me, and after Friday it will be me for both Overlander and Ponderosa. (another doctor is off for a few weeks).

So happy to have a mask.  I have heard that 5 nursing care facilities in the Vancouver area have positive Covid Virus cases.

I am not sure if this is a time for setting goals like this, but I want to make sure that we do not get one case of covid in our facility and if we do, that we act on it ASAP and prevent further spread.  My approach is to make sure that we think of everything we can possibly do to prevent the virus, so that some time from now, at the very least, no matter what happens, we will have no regrets…. That we did everything we could have done, with what was available.

So we are on lock down, only families of dying patients are allowed in to visit.  We have a volunteer at the door stopping everyone.  Nurses are having to change clothing when they arrive and when they leave. In Longterm care, nurses really are the front line workers, as doctors, we can manage things from a distance.  So of course I am mostly worried about our son Josh, who is a care aid at a different facility, a much smaller facility. HE is the front line.

We are working hard to make sure our facility is prepared for what is to come, that we can safely isolate any patients who DO end up with the virus , and ensure that we keep the staff safe.  We are planning for rooms where we can look after the coronavirus positive patients, our activity rooms.  For the most part, most patients in Long term care will not be transferred to a hospital if they become ill with the coronavirus, they will likely stay at the facility, and be cared for ther

I think that the reality hit home yesterday reading about the care homes in Spain where the staff had deserted patients, some dead, some severely demented, to tend on their own.  I can see that.  I am sure that the staff were scared, as they are here. None of us signed up for a job deemed to be dangerous.  It is hard to know how to confront that.  I feel that perhaps the best way to confront fear is to make sure that everyone is confident that we are doing everything we can.  The BC government issued a statement today stating that all nurses, doctors, care aides, anyone dealing directly with patients needs to be wearing a mask and PPE  (personal protective equipment), and gloves.  I am hoping by tomorrow we will have all of that in sufficient amounts.  VERY sadly in our area, there was a robbery of a large amount of this stuff, from a storage area…of the health authority.

The real bright light in our days is our wonderful baby Talon, who actually is MORE than one year old now and so apparently we can no longer call him a baby.  Somehow Toddler Talon just does not have the same ring.  He is just SOOO clever, here squatting down to examine a pine cone, having been “tricked” into wearing shoes for the first time.

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I hope that everyone out there has a bright light in this otherwise dark and dreary time, even if it is only a small bright light.

Tucker is in the dog house tonite for chasing the turkeys that jumped into the yard.

 

Much love to all from Janet, Ken and Tucker the turkey chasing hound dog.