Saturday, December 26, 2009


Yes, four days off! Time to go outside and play. But first, got to bake Gary an apple pie and get the turkey in the oven. That done, it left time to spend a couple of hours hiking up in the Pickering's with Pam, Yeller and Kilo, crunching through the snow. Such fun. Got back, spent a few minutes saying hi to our guests that arrived shortly before and then hustled Marlene out the door to go explore down by the Bull before darkness settled in. Lots of ice in the River. I love watching Bull Mountain, it looks so different moment to moment.

Boxing Day had us outside once more, enjoying the azure blue skies framing the snow covered mountain peaks. We hiked around and over Horseshoe Lake, listening to the crack of the ice as we walked across the lake observing several ice fishing families, feeling the bite of the -15 degree air made colder by the wind blowing on our frozen cheeks...a beautiful Boxing Day in Bull River. Very exhilarating.

From there we went up the Bull River Forest Service Road and spotted 'Noel'. At least that is what I will call him. The Bear that didn't want to miss Christmas. He was poking around in the scrub about 40 feet off the road. Shouldn't he be sleeping like all good little bears!

Every time we go exploring, whether on foot, horse, car or whatever, there is always some adventure waiting! I love it here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Wandering

I spent my last afternoon of 'freedom' (from paid employment) with my friend Caroline happily wandering through the bush down by the Bull and Kootenay Rivers. We had a great time exploring; finding fabulous colours, textures and shapes everywhere. If only I knew how to use all the settings on my camera. Guess I better do more 'photo rambles'. Caroline, you ready? 

 Can you see the turtle in the picture above?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Message in a bottle

You hear stories about people finding a 'message in a bottle' washed up on the shore of a beach somewhere. What is it that makes this seem so exciting, the unknown, the romance, the chance that it someone special will find it? It's the stuff romance novels are based on.

While traipsing along the Kootenay River trying to avoid meeting a bear I found a bottle. A little green plastic bottle, not the old fashioned female shaped Coke bottle, washed well up onto the rocky beach of the Kootenay River. First I thought it was just someone's garbage, that they were to lazy or careless to pack out. I was about to pick it up to pack out when I notice a little scroll of paper stuffed inside. Bears forgotten I pulled out my camera to document the find.

I opened the bottle and shook out the little scroll that was tied with a very thin brittle piece of string. What would this scroll yield? Was is writtten by a child keen to find out how far this little botttle would travel and would someone find it, was it a written by someone capturing their innermost thoughts and stresses and then throwing them away, trying to discard them, or was it someone, a romantic someone sharing their dreams hoping that someone special would find the bottle and scroll.

The scroll contained the thoughts of someone sitting on the bank of a river, a sketch of an eagle and a fish. Part of the message reads..
"Thus the silly notion of tossing a bottle in the water and leaving it to fate, or just a crazy idea from a dream. Someone will probably find this when I am 50. Anyways, here is the letter, the rest is up to chance. Just like fishing."

The letter also indicated that it was written by a woman hoping to find someone special to share fishing and other life adventures. I sat there on the beach, closed my eyes and envisioned this woman, sitting on the beach, alone, enjoying the quiet, the wildlife, the solitude but wishing for someone to share it with. I rolled the little scroll up, stuffed in back in the bottle, and tossed it back into the Kootenay River with good wishes for this woman with a romatic soul, for the right someone to find it.

The last I saw of the message in a bottle it was floating towards the Koocanusa River, coordinates approx:  49°27'10.83"N  115°25'56.21"W.

I have emailed the message writer, hopefully the address is still valid.

Good Luck

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Kevin!

29! I remember being 29; it was not that long ago. How can our son be there already? If time flies when you are having fun then the last 29 years must have been a blast!

Happy Birthday to a wonderful son and new father! We love you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My Granddaughters

I think the picture says it all.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stella Rose

Our newest granddaughter Stella Rose.

Masses of dark curly hair, long fingers and long toes. The first thing Kevin said about her was 'her ears match'. (Kevin's don't). She is one very precious bundle.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pizza delivery

Several months ago I wrote a about 'The Pizza Test'. I am happy to announce that the pizza has been delivered.

Stella Rose Wilson arrived September 14, 2:57 am, weighing in at a very healthy 9 lbs 12 oz.

Danita, Kevin and Stella all doing well. I will add some pictures later this week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Exploring the Flathead

Our neighbours, who own and operate Baldy Mountain Outfitters, have their base camp (and a few smaller private hunting cabins) in the Flathead Valley; their guiding area including over 300 square miles of the most incredible back country.

According to the Sierra Club BC,

The Flathead River Valley is a window to our past. Never settled, this remote valley in BC’s southeast corner is a hotspot for biological diversity. The Flathead is a modern-day Noah’s Ark for many species that have been squeezed into a Rocky Mountain ribbon of green, as their age-old habitat vanishes due to human activity.
The Flathead is home to an astounding 16 species of carnivores, ranging from the tiny marten to the towering grizzly. Six species of hoofed animals (ungulates), roam the spacious valley bottom and serrated mountain tops—including elk, bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat. There are more grizzly bears here than anywhere else in the interior of North America, and the greatest density and diversity of carnivores on the continent.
When offered the opportunity to trek into one of their secluded hunting cabins we jumped at the chance to explore with people who have spent most of their lives living in and exploring this valley.

The road from the base camp to where we were going to begin hiking was in good condition, but really steep. Sure glad I was not walking it!

We hiked for a couple of hours through some of the most incredible terrain most of it above the tree line. Lots of rock, snags, brush...areas for wildlife to hide.

The hunting cabin is secreted away in the trees near a creek, challenging to find even if you know where it is! The grizzlies can get pretty hungry here as evidenced by the bite mark in the metal roof of the cabin.

On the hike back we travelled along a windy ridge overlooking the valley then down a somewhat steep, rocky animal trail. Yes, clutzy me did fall, smacking my camera good on the rocks. Good thing neither one of us was hurt, just scratched and a little bruised.

What a day! An awesome hike, great people, followed by a delicious dinner at base camp overlooking the pond full of trout. Thanks Harry and Jill!

Monday, August 17, 2009

That's gotta hurt!

Another first! Yes, almost 50 years old and still having firsts.

This 'big city' escapee is learning about living rural; attending a rodeo is part of the process. When it comes to education I always seem to learn better by doing, but in this case, observing was quite enough. I am not going to be a rodeo queen. Learning to ride is one thing, but what these cowboys and cowgirls do is something else, it has got to be painful, and takes years of practice.

The rodeo included Bronco riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and 'trick riders'.

Just watching the participants and the way they interacted with each other was lots of fun. I am not sure who had more attitude though, the riders or the ridees! I think some of those bulls like the sound of applause and want to spend more time in the arena; they really did not want to leave!

It was quite a show. I am sure every one of the participants now needs chiropractic adjustment. Including the four legged ones.

That's gotta hurt!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Celebrating 80 years

Last week was my Uncle Bill's birthday. Eighty. Eight decades. Twenty years shy of one hundred. Young.

It had been a long time since I had seen my Uncle Bill, my Dad's brother, probably fourteen years or so. He has not changed. He is still kind, funny, thoughtful and loving. His blue eyes sparkle with love, joy and mischief. He makes me smile and laugh. He reminds me of Dad.

Bill loves his family. All of us. That's a lot of people. I could feel it when I sat and talked with him, sharing memories; when I was young, when he and Dad and the rest of his siblings were younger, happy times, sad times.

Not all the aunts and uncles were able to attend. My dad (John), Victor and Barbara Joan have passed away, Sally, Betty and Donald were unable to attend. (But I am sure they were all there in spirit, one way or another.) Uncle Bob and Aunt Nada made the trip over from Victoria. The bond between Bill and his brother Bob was very evident. The pictures below tell the whole story. The expressions on their faces as they shared in telling a story (and clowning around) says it all. (Doesn't matter what the story was, plug in anything you like, being sure to include,'You're not going to tell that story are you', 'That's not how it happened', 'I don't think so', 'Not that again', 'Who, me?').

Here is the group of us that attended the birthday celebration.

It was a pleasure to spend time with all the cousins, aunts and uncles that I have not seen in years. It was great to see Aunt Virginia, Malcolm, Richard none of whom I would have recognized if I had sat beside them anywhere but here.

The Great and the Grand. Bill and Laura's grand kids that is. Lots of them; having fun. Hamming it up for the camera, letting their personalities coming through.

I will put a slideshow up of all the pics from the celebration or you can click here.

Thanks so much for inviting us to share in Uncle Bill's birthday. Looking forward to the next one!