Monthly Archives: January 2018

The Earthship, Welcome to Our Home

Please bear with me as I try to suss out the inner workings of WordPress!  Please do read first then click through the thumbnail photos. Use your back arrow key on your browser to return to the Gallery to proceed to next pic. Sorry for the inconvenience. 


Funny that; i noticed when arranging the photos that we don’t take photos of the West side of the Earthship! Like, hardly ever! Even in scouring through past photos I couldn’t find any. I will tell you now that my kitchen sink faces West and I have a lovely few of Tullin Mountain to keep me company as I do my dishes. It’s quite lovely, in all the seaons; the only thing I might want to change is the clumps of unsightly “grass”.  I don’t want a fancy green lawn and white picket fence but unsightly, uneven mounds of prickly grass have simply got to …be tamed…into something more aesthetic.

The Earthship is comprised of three layers, the bottom which is built from tires and mud. The story goes that once that layer was finished the original owner stood upon the roof and said “What a view! ” and added the second floor in order to enjoy that view. Then he stood upon the roof of the kitchen and said “What a view!” and built the Crow’s Nest.
The front of the bottom layer is fronted by a Greenhouse that provides fabulous warmth when the sun is shining and in the case of summertime sunshine, way too much heat! Each end of the Greenhouse has a sliding door and screen doors so when the temps get too high for us we just open both doors and hope there is a cross breeze happening to offer some relief from the heat. During the Summer we are sure to keep the sliding doors from the Greenhouse into the Earthship CLOSED thus keeping the interior nice and cool. Great how an Earthship works! Amazing, really.

There are gardens on the East and West side of the Earthship with, obviously, the East one getting full sun and the West one getting afternoon sun. I did plant out the East garden last Spring…too early, I might add, but didn’t plant anything except Lupins in the West garden. The Lupins loved it over there! Also planted a hydrangea in each garden – East one did well, West one wanted more sun. I also put an azalea in the West garden but it didn’t like it either.  When we returned to the Earthship after a three week evacuation I planted out some Gooseberry bushes, Red Currant bushes, Raspberries, Wild Roses and Peppermint plants which all thrived until the frosts came. Gardener I am not so we will see how they will fare through the Winter 2017/18? For me? The biggest job was getting the gardens ready as they were over run with weeds! So not how I remembered them the October we moved in!  How do weeds grow under the snow??? Tell you what, gardening makes me feel pretty inadequate! I haven’t the faintest clue how to take care of the earth to ensure that it gives us a plentiful crop each year? Oh hell, I’ll take a solitary bean every now and again if I could just get them to grow!

Which brings us to the Greenhouse. The former owners said they grew stuff beautifully all through the Winter. The only thing I can grow is aphids! Okay, not entirely true. I DO have a thriving herb garden! Except for cilantro and parsley – just my two most favourite herbs. Go figure. And I have heard that Peas are super easy to grow; not so for me! And beans, hell, kids grow them in paper towels but I can’t get one to grow in the Greenhouse! Bah! I do grow proliferous Tomato plants that are super showy but don’t produce a lot of fruit. I remember O-Mommy saying something about growing tomatoes…too bad I can’t remember, for the life of me, what that was?  One thing I do remember O-Mommy saying is, don’t ever plant before May long weekend. Well, wasn’t I just busting to get out into the garden, the fresh air, Spring; so with O-Mommy’s words running through my head I planted one week post May long weekend – couldn’t plant on the actual long weekend because Sammy was being rushed off to the vet – and guess what? We got a late frost and everything died ! Bah! And now my Father’s words run through my head, “I will persist until I succeed!”  Oh yea, we were talking about the Greenhouse! I do tend to wander, sorry about that. Zucchini seem to grow alright in there; Kale, which is fabulous because both Luke and I love kale! During the Winter months Lettuce seems to do alright in there but the lettuce plants don’t seem to like the heat in the Summer. I had…have…a Blueberry plant in a pot in the Greenhouse which I have miraculously nursed back to health after our 3 weeks away; while in the Fraser Valley I bought 10 Strawberry plants so I created a lil strawberry garden in a big black tub; they haven’t given us many berries yet but I love how vibrant and green they are; they’re like a lil cheering section for the rest of the plants in the Greenhouse! “Grow guys, Grow!” with their cheery lil leaves raised up towards the light! Glorious lil things, absolutely glorious!

I’ve included a photo of the thermometer that sits on the North facing window sill because it is something we pay a lot of attention to. First,  a story about it’s companions on the sill:
My paternal Grandmother – O-Mommy, ran a lil diner downtown Montreal in …. the Dirty Thirties… and this is a photo of her, in her diner, with her girls. Makes me smile. And the lil brown bean pots on the sill are the very same ones she used to serve up with her hearty baked beans and bacon. Sigh. Gone but never forgotten O-Mommy! I wish I had her recipes but sadly she passed away when I was living in Australia and I didn’t get any of her earthly belongings. She used to send us Christmas Cookies every year along with a letter telling us how many cookies she had baked. In each cookie container there were but 2 or 3 of her Pretzel shaped cookies and I would fight any and everyone for those cookies! I have tried and tried over the years to replicate her recipe but I have not gotten it yet and that makes me eternally sad.  S’all good, a cookie will fix that, right?

Oh yea! The thermometer! I told you! You have to keep me on track! So in the Winter we watch as the temps dip lower and lower and lower and wonder how it is that we can survive such cold temps! To be honest though, it never really seems as bad as the numbers say! Sure you have to rug up before you go outside for a walk but a quick run to the dunny? Slip on shoes – as long as they have a bit of grip left on ’em – a jumper and you are good to go! Not like you are going to read the Sunday times when you’re in there! It’s definitely a “there and back again” trip with no dillydallying! A few other reasons we closely monitor the temps in the Winter is: to determine whether or not we can walk on the creek/lake ; to determine how the roads will be if we have to go for a Water run and it will also determine how long we will let the dogs out for though Sammy is pretty quick to let us know he simply will NOT be going out in THOSE temps! Bear, on the other hand, loves the cold! Loves it! Sometimes when he is allowed out? He just goes and lays in the snow, at the top of the hill and looks out over his domain. Dang! He looks so regal! Totally in his element!

And in the Summer we watch the temps just because, with no real reason; well, one reason – to determine how long of a walk we will be able to take and when we will be able to go for a walk.  We usually try to go out early in the morning on Summer days before the heat kicks in because that same coat of fur that protects Bear in the Winter is a bit of a killer in the Summer! The boys both love a walk down to the Boathouse in the Summer because they love to go for a swim for a full body cool down in the lake!

Ah, the stove. Propane. Four burners. That wiggle. Two oven racks. No idea what the temperature is in the oven. Bought an oven thermometer which sorted that out quick smart! It is … serviceable…. I guess because I spend so much time in the Kitchen I just want it to be more…. If I love it and believe in it, do you think I have a chance of it turning into a shiny, industrial size stove??? With a hood? And four oven racks??? And six spider burners??? And a grill in the centre of it??? A girl can dream, right? I love you, lil stove that could.
The fridge. Another lil bone of contention in my life. I’ll get it sorted out. Still struggling with the lack of cold storage space. small!

Oh, I didn’t include a photo of the chilly dunny! So Luke’s Dad built us a flash new dunny that houses a composting toilet! But there are a few kinks that need to be worked out so it is just a lil pretty thing , sitting out there, taunting us. It WILL be lovely, once we can use it! Imagine! A toilet so close to the house! No more close calls…

And there is Luke, maintaining the batteries that allow us to use electricity when the sun is not shining. I love those things!  He doesn’t love to maintain them. I mean, it’s not super difficult but it almost always gives him a headache and makes his eyes itchy. Still, small price to pay for the great dividends they offer us!
Next up is the Brain. Man! This thing gets watched more than a Kids Cartoon on a Saturday morn! It really determines everything we are going to do, or not do, in a day. It is the reason I sit in the cozy candlelight all those early morns. It is the reason I am given permission to be …. slovenly….for a day or two, or three or four or maybe even five….and not run the vacuum cleaner. Or the washing machine.  You see, instead of just willy nilly using any and all things electrical we judge which things NEED to be used and which can wait. The coffee maker HAS to be run! Luke’s computer HAS to be run; mine doesn’t and I often don’t use mine at all when there is no sun. Every time we turn on the water? That is using power so we don’t do laundry, or shower,  and we definitely DO NOT TURN ON THE LIGHT AND HAVE A SHOWER,  and, though it kills me to see dirty dishes sitting on the counter, I cut down on the amount of times I do dishes all in the name of conserving power. Don’t get me wrong, when the sun is shining, which is OFTEN, it is all systems go! And go hard! When the sun is out I get ALL the chores done because tomorrow it may not shine!
Also, if we run the generator? It is do all the things that require power while it is running but not all at the same time!  Oh man! I tell you! You think about every. single. little. thing. you. do.

My lil jaunts down to the Fraser Valley are quick reminders as to why we prefer to live this way. I enjoy the challenge. I would love to get a wood cookstove in the kitchen! Really take us back to a different time! Right. I love to visit the land of “run all things electrical”, night and day, indefatigable hot running water, warm toilet seats, hell, indoor toilets with no mozzies,  but in the end? I just don’t think I can trade in the peace and tranquility that we have out there at Brittany Lake. We are not afraid to live with ourselves. I had a therapist tell me once that my life was utter chaos and that I CHOSE to live in chaos because it was easier than dealing with the truth.
Here, in the quiet of the Chilcotin, neighbour to my childhood home at Bute Inlet, I CHOOSE to not live in chaos. I welcome a life with me, myself and I that allows me to be the best person I can be.

Thanks for joining us today. Any questions, comments or suggestions, drop us a line!

Oh! Found a photo of the Chilly Dunny!

Yup, that’s cold!

A Glimpse of Brittany Lake through the Seasons

I have found a lil bug which I am not sure how to fix so I recommend reading the blog before clicking through the photos. Sorry about that, I’ll try to work it out! 

We have been at Brittany Lake for one calendar year now; we have decided that it is quite beautiful during each season with Winter being our favourite. Only the dogs have gone for a swim in the lake so I am unable to tell you what the swimming is like. I have an adversity to lake bottoms…they freak me out! At least on the Lake side, where the Boathouse is, the bottom is rocky…but slimy rocky. Ick. I know, I know, get some water shoes! I have procured some shoes that have Boathouse designation now and I am gearing myself up to give the lake a go this Summer 2018!

By the time we moved to Brittany Lake in October 2016 it was too cold for us city folk to go out on the lake though we dreamed of being out there, drifting about on the lake on lazy afternoon but first we had to get through our first Winter with the lake frozen solid well into what we thought should be Spring. Oh, what newbs! Once we had sustained -17C or colder days for a week straight we finally deemed the ice safe enough to walk upon; we had waited with great anticipation for the day! It was a great way to walk around the inner side of the horseshoe shaped lake. And the walking was easy! Nothing to climb/crawl over, nothing to shimmy under, just plain easy walking! What a treat! What explorers we were! And then Luke and Sammy fell through the ice! Ack! That was on Casselman Creek. We were heaps more cautious after that, though I imagine we would have been fine out on the lake. We have learned since then that the edges of creeks and lakes are the worst places to walk as the ice is um, dirtier, that is to say that the ice may have defrosted some near the edges and then refrozen as well as having snow frozen on top of it? Not 100% sure on the exact details pertaining to “dirty ice” but we now know not to walk so close to the edge.
Have I told you in a previous post how a raven taunted a young grizzly out onto the ice and we were freaking out that the grizz would fall through? He was way out on the lake! Turns out he was far safer out there than we were clinging to the edges of the lake and creeks.

Interesting phenomenon: as the lake freezes over it sings. The fluctuations in temperatures cause the ice to expand and contract; the shifting ice causes all kinds of sounds in varying frequencies.  And then it happens again in the Spring with the break up of the ice. It is quite fascinating though I will say that Bear and Sam were quite…weirded out…by it the first time they heard it! Heh, I had grand thoughts of clearing a patch of ice on the creek so we could have a lil “ice rink” but when I was shovelling the snow the creek sang out alarmingly and I refused to go back out on it again! Oh, I might add that we were both very careful out on the ice because we had no idea how deep the lake or creek were. Turns out we were worried for nothing…

When Benny was there he was perturbed that he was not able to go out in the boat or canoe because the lake was still frozen. Lucky for him a section of the lake over by the Boathouse DID melt enough to get watercraft out there and he determined that he ought to be able to stay because he only got to go out on the boat once! He was here around Spring Break, so late March. Once the lake well and truly did thaw and there was a brilliant sunny day Luke and I hopped into the canoe to go and explore Brittany Lake, at long last!
Now I don’t know if I have mentioned it before but I am a lil afraid of heights and to me, a lake is a mountain in reverse! I was a nervous wreck! We did discover that the lake is actually quite shallow and the creek? Though wide, it is almost only ankle deep in some spots!! While the water is not very deep, I’ll tell you what the muck on the bottom of the creek and lake ARE deep! Very deep!

Bear and Sam love the lake! Bear, though a Labrador Retriever/German Shepherd mix has never been a water dog but he saw Samwise Gamgee frolicking about and actually swimming so he thought he would give it a go. Bear swims absolutely beautifully; so regal! Sammy? Oh. My. Word! He looked absolutely ridiculous in the water! He swam upright! So funny! We got him his own PFD which straightened him out right smart. I would softly lob a floaty toy out for Sammy to retrieve, ever the worrier,  but Luke would hurl it out into the lake and Sammy would happily take off after it! It was a great way to tire him out!
Neither of the boys had ever been out on a boat before and we were both nervous that they would … rock the boat…trying to get to the ducks, birds,  or loons that caught their attention. They were fine! They were very cooperative and hardly moved at all!

We have cleared a spot at the mouth of the creek, up on the hill, which we have dedicated to Luke’s Granny, Clarice Gibson. There was a bunch of blow downs there which we cleared away, save for one; it is upon that “bench” that we often sit and sip our morning coffee. It is incredibly peaceful. In the Fall, with the mist rising off the lake? Amazing! Absolutely amazing! And then there is a work in progress, a lil farther down the lake; again, up on the hill, we have dedicated a lovely spot to Luke’s Gran Irene Duguid. It is our hope to hang bird houses in some of the trees out there as Gran Irene was always singing ever so beautifully, just like the birds.

We love our lake, in all her seasons.

We have been very lucky to have seen a moose this winter and are thankful we are in a protected area where hunting is prohibited. We’re Vegetarians so they are safe with us.

The Boathouse Trail

Last Winter we spent so much time out in the snow! While we have gotten out a lot this year as well we have been limited to shorter trips due to Bear’s surgery. He is doing really well but we do find that after about 2 kms he is ready to go home. He will be in primo shape NEXT Winter, and we will have even more trails by then too! Anyway, a trail we did often last Winter was the one down to the Boathouse; probably because it was one of the few super maintained trails we had access to. We loved it but found the  saplings that were growing down the middle to be quite bothersome so we determined that if we did nothing else, trail wise, we would definitely clear those lil suckers before Winter 2017/2018!

Now I have to tell you, we have truly enjoyed the wildlife up here but one species we could definitely do without is the mosquito! Oh my! They were thicker than thieves at a public market!  They loved me, in particular, and then Bear and Sam; Luke seemed pretty unfazed by them. Lucky fella! And those mozzies, they hung around forever! I honestly thought they might spend the Winter with us!

Thankfully the mozzies finally dropped off in numbers so we braved the ones that remained and hit the Boathouse Trail hard with picks, pruners and secateurs. Now some of the lil saplings were so little you could just pull them out, root and all, which was absolutely fabulous. We soon learned to give a trial pull and if they gave easily we went ahead and pulled them out; sometimes though, you would give them a tug and instead of coming out it was like the lil suckers tried to pull you into the ground! Very X-File moment, that! (Schizogeny Season 5, Ep 9 and Detour Season 5, Ep 4) It was back breaking work due the sheer quantity of saplings but we persevered and cleared them ALL! Woot, woot! Alas the work is not finished…is it ever really finished…all the piles of saplings still need to be burned off; when those fires are lit I will have the lovely task of clearing more saplings and adding them to the fire. Unfortunately those guys will be about the same size as me so a bit more challenging to cut down. Last year I used my secateurs, meant for pruning, like, rose bushes, to cut down 150 cm (5 ft) trees….they get “tree”  status when they are that tall, yea?  I was pretty pleased with myself! I tried to do the same this Fall and there was just no way! S’all good; when Ryan was up in August, I think it was, he introduced me to the pruning saw. Then when Luke’s folks were here, Dad bought me one of my very own pruning saws.But  I think there is a bit of a learning curve in using it effectively; I tried my hand at using it and found myself  doing more cursing that cutting but I am sure I will get the hang of it sooner rather than later.

We all love the cleared path! We ventured down a few times before Bear’s surgery in October, relishing in the clear, wide path; plenty of room for us to walk four abreast even! Once the snow started falling we appreciated our efforts even more! As you can see in the second last photo Sam still prefers to bounce along to the beat of his own drum; Bear tries to do the same but quickly ends up on our heels, in the trail we have broken in with our snowshoes.

It is a nice lil walk down to the Boathouse. We didn’t really spend a lot of time down there last Summer; we hope to get down there more this Summer though. We’ll tidy the place up a bit, clear some of the trees from around the Boathouse, maybe build a dunny down there, improve the state of the Boathouse itself – make it a place you want to go to. Note to self, build a mozzie proof gazebo to enjoy the breeze off the lake during those hot summer days!

Apparently the lake is full of trout. There is a canoe. There is a row boat with a small motor. There is a dock …though I think it is in need of some TLC to make it float properly….one corner is sinky. So if you are into trout fishing and you love solitude, come on up and go fishing! I’ll pack you a nice lunch to enjoy on the shores of Brittany Lake. (oh, I may email you a grocery list which you can fill at William’s Lake and we will happily pay for if you just deliver the order AND then I can fill a Picnic Basket for you)

An overview of our lives at the Earthship

So this is where we live. Few have made the journey out here; maybe they are intimidated by that last 10km stretch of rough road that brings you to our lil oasis?
I think the few who have made the trip will tell you it is well worth it…even having to suffer the Dunny out back.  Yup, it takes a bit of an adjustment, that’s for sure. You have to think of it as Glamping, that’s the best way to describe it? Luke and I are just so used to being out here, are in sync with the Earthship that we don’t even think about it anymore.
I may bellyache from time to time; I am used to having everything clean and tidy and I have found that I have to turn a blind eye to dust, pet hair everywhere, an often overflowing laundry hamper, muddy dog prints EVERYWHERE but I get the job done when the Batts are well charged. Imagine, I get excited because I get to use the Vacuum Cleaner!!! How many people are EXCITED to vacuum? Crazy, right?

To date I have not had much success with growing our own food. And that saddens me. But I certainly have not given up! I look forward trying again next Spring and hope and pray that the growing season will not be interrupted by wild fires. In the meantime I can try my hand at growing fruit and veg in the Greenhouse. Last year, when we came up, I brought a crap tonne of seedlings from a Chilliwack nursery. I planted them with such hope! Hah!  So you know how Winter days are super short? Turns out  plants really like the sun! And it’s not like I can flip a light on to give them fake sun because, you know, that takes power and we guard that stuff with our lives!

Our lovely lil Earthship sits there on the hill. Well, built into the hill actually. Now, to be clear, we did not build it; it’s often the first thing I am asked when I tell people we live in one, “Did you build it yourselves?” Luke found the listing for an Earthship and since he has always wanted to live in one, here we are! Likely when he first dreamed of living in a such an abode it was to escape the Australian heat; here we burrow into the earth like a bear in a den, to settle for a long Winter sleep. The nights are so long! But as Luke pointed out to me, from December 21 onward, we gain 40 seconds of daylight per day!

The appliances in the kitchen leave a lot to be desired but we must be thankful to have a propane stove,  fridge and the propane to operate them. Now you  have heard me go on and on about conserving electricity, right? Well, you will also find, in my kitchen, a hundred small electrical appliances! The current fave is my InstaPot; my ALL time fave is the coffeemaker. So the deal is, when the generator is running or the sun is shining use ALL the power you want! That’s when I get super excited because, as stated earlier, it is when I get to do all the housework!

I have to say that the thing I love best about the kitchen is that it is a floor unto itself. Well, I share it with Billabong but he only takes up a small corner over by the table so I am cool with that. When living in civi I often lamented that the dogs were constantly underfoot in the kitchen and left their fur everywhere!  Obviously they still shed like crazy but not in my kitchen anymore! And I love that! I sorta, kinda miss having them underfoot but not enough to invite them in the back door. Okay, okay, I have invited them in the back door! You caught me out! Neither one of them like the steps into the cold room or the cold room itself and since they would have to pass through there? They prefer to keep out. In the collage above you will note the … stairs… Ladder Stairs, really; well, they sure can’t climb up those though I think if Sammy had the right motivation he would find a way up them! He stretches his lithe lil self up the bottom four steps but that is it.

The wrap around views from the kitchen are absolutely amazing! Though the basic landscape remains the same there are subtle changes that occur daily and they are fun to watch for. Obviously watching for wildlife and seeing them is the BEST but another thing that completely inspires me is to see the work that we do. The pushing back of the saplings, clearing the debris, the peekaboo glances of the trails we have built on the east side of the property, the knowing that we cleared the blowdown from a trail down at Moose Hollow, cleared all the saplings from the Boathouse Trail…it’s all back breaking work but so worth it. There is something about working on the land that brings such peace. If only I could coax said earth to sprout forth an abundance of fresh vegetables, we would have it made! I am hoping for a better year in the garden this Summer…one thing I have already learned – Do NOT plant in May! Not at all! We got a frost in early June that did not do my lil seedlings any good, at all! I was going by my paternal grandmother’s rule of thumb to plant after the May long weekend…doesn’t work where we live! I think this year I may start seedlings in the Greenhouse and on the ample kitchen window sills before I set the lil fellows out to bask in the outdoor world.

Okay, so one of the biggest drawbacks to living out here, off the grid, is that dang Dunny out back! I’m going to be frank here so stop reading and skip this paragraph but I am gonna spell it out! Now I have not counted the actual steps to the Dunny …weird, actually that I haven’t!…but that is a long fricken walk when you GOTTA go! You’re fine if it is just water works that are screaming at you because, you know, we have a bucket at the far end of the Greenhouse for that; we usually only use that in the dead of night when you can’t see your hand 15 centimetres in front of your face. During the day, you will often find Luke just peeing over the edge. Oh, hell, I am not opposed to doing that either! Beats trying to run up the hill with a bladder, ready to burst! Okay, here comes the messy bit. You get up, you have that morning cuppa coffee, you’re settled in front of the fire all cozy like and then it hits you…I gotta go. The first nudgings are subtle but we have learned that you get up and start acting on that PRONTO! You see, in the Winter? Well, first off you have to brave that ice cold toilet seat which your legs often stick to! So you have THAT mental block but again, those first subtle nudges you get up, you get dressed, you layer up, you put on your boots, hat, gloves  then pry the frozen door open and you want to run, because now you really have to go but you can’t run because, well, because it’s slippery and icy or knee deep in snow that needs to be shovelled when the sun comes up and here’s the most important reason why you can’t run…if you do, you just might not make it! Trust me, I have had more than my fair share of close calls!

If you skipped that paragraph, it is safe to continue reading the remaining missive. So anyway, to combat the Dunny run, Luke’s dad built us a lovely, convenient lil Dunny to house the composting toilet. It’s a work in progress. It WAS so lovely the handful of times that we did use it before it all came unglued….not literally, just we’ve had a few hiccoughs we have yet to work out…one of which is to build a false floor for it to rest upon so that we can get proper drainage. Live and learn, right? I look forward to the day I no longer have to a) have my legs frozen to the toilet seat b) no longer have to attempt a run to the dunny when bursting to go. Project One for Spring/Summer 2018

We bought a lovely second bed. If you’ve read previous posts or you know me you know that I do not sleep well. It’s a Schmidbauer thing. It’s been a lifelong battle. My dad, bless his soul, would ALWAYS say, “If you’re awake and you can’t go back to sleep in 30-60 seconds then get up and DO something! Be productive! Don’t waste valuable time laying around “in the fart sack” <- his words, not mine! Dad would often be up at 3 or 4 in the morning, drinking his black coffee, smoking his Sportsman Filters, wrapped in his bathrobe, yellow notepad on the table, pen in hand, and writing, writing, writing; one page of his musings would be his ominous To Do List for the day and then he would carry on and write about? About what? Once both my parents had passed away I found, tucked away, a letter my Dad wrote to my Mother about the perils my life would succumb to if Mother didn’t have THAT talk with me. She didn’t. I survived but I suppose my life may have been a bit easier if someone had had some kind of talk with me. S’all good, I sorted it out soon enough. PS Dad, it’s okay for Dad’s to have that TALK with their daughters too, you know. Just saying.
Oh yea, I was talking about sleep! So yea, I don’t sleep well. Maybe 3 – 4 hours, tops; then I find myself beating up the pillows, tugging the blankets, this way and that, kicking my feet and generally just being impossible to sleep next to so I get up and you know, get productive! Okay, that worked in civi but I can’t just start doing stuff out here because most of what I enjoy doing requires power: turn the lights on, knit, read, cook/bake, clean…yes, clean, in the small hours. Being limited, I do what I can: get the coffeemaker ready to run, make a fire, light a bunch of candles and settle into the recliner with my Kindle or iPad to read. Oh, and play Scrabble! Now if I have had only 1 – 2 hours sleep I will often try to go back to sleep but not in the bed. Prior to the purchase of the second bed I would try to curl up on the loveseat and though I am short, I’m not that short! I moved to the recliner which was heaps more comfortable but kind of bumpy and lumpy in all the wrong places. Now I have a second bed to retire to;  even if I don’t go back to sleep, at least I am resting and Luke says that is important.

So the final two shots are of the Chilko River where we collect drinking water. We do have a great well out here but it’s not the best TASTING water. The Chilko water tastes heaps better! We were diligent about collecting drinking water from the river until the forest fires happened. It seems like a switch went off after the fires and we have not had water from the river since. When we came back to the Earthship once William’s Lake was allowed back in, we brought water with us. Every time we went into William’s Lake after that, we got water at one of the water outlets. And then we were back in the Fraser Valley for Bear’s operation; we brought water back with us again. And then all the post operation vet trips – easy enough just to fill the water bottles when we went into town. I reckon once we have truly settled back into life at the Earthship and Bear is well and truly on the road to rehabilitation we will return to the Chilko for our water.  In the meantime, I suppose Luke is enjoying the break from having to put his hands into the cold running water of the glacier river.

With that, I will bid you, Adieu. I have truly neglected this blog. New Year’s resolution is to write more often even if they are only short posts. Until I get caught up, they will be photo compilations with a bit of writing.

Happy New Year, everyone! Treat each other, and Mother Earth, with love and respect, always.