Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fencing - And Not With A Sword

You may recall that back in November I had an issue with a bear. The bear pulled down a section of my fence, pulled out a wall in my wonderful compost bin and had a munch on some apple leavings from when I made and canned my applesauce in the fall.
THIS year I will not make that mistake.  THIS year I will dig the apple leavings directly into whatever vegetable bed I am working on in order to augment the soil directly AND avoid any bear invasions to my yard.
This weekend saw the initial stages of the New Back Fence project get off the ground.  Or into it, if you like. 
On Friday my Mum & Dad and their dog Querida, and my Brother and Nephew came for a part of the day to visit and help get the old fence torn down and taken apart, dig fence-post holes and brace up the posts to hold in place until I can get concrete into the holes and also to put up a temporary fence to keep Miss Jasmine contained in my back yard while all of this is ongoing. Because it was a Friday, my Sister in Law was working and unable to come (I asked her to skip school but she has a good work ethic and went to work instead of coming to goof off with us up here) but I am hopeful that on the next fence project day she can come too.
While Mum and I distracted Finn (my gorgeous Nephew) Dad and Rob went to town on the old fence.  The pulled it down, pulled out the old post that the gate was hung on, dug deep holes, braced and placed the new fence posts (in readiness for concrete insertion - which one of my neighbours is going to help me out with) and then erected a new temporary fence to keep Jasmine in the yard.
Here's the state of the union before:

Before the bear pulled it down

After the bear pulled it over and
I propped it back up

Fence post in the corner - yes, it really IS
not touching the ground!
The fun part of Friday for me was actually playing with Finn and my Mum in puddles.  Mum & I walked Finn around to the Number 6 Mine Park in Cumberland where they have some great toddler-friendly activity thingies like slides and wheels to spin around on posts.  The skies opened up and POURED on us while we walked over so we took temporary refuge on the platform and waited for the rain to ease off a little.  We checked out the fun stuff and then on the way back we sploshed Finn in puddles.  Mum and I each held onto one of his hands and played "one, two, three - WHEE" with him - whee being the part of the game where we swung him up in the air and he landed both feet into the puddle. Finn had a ball with this and made some great splashes as Cumberland has some rather significant potholes. Needless to say, Finn`s clothing all came off when we got back to my house and it all went into the drier!
The bulk of the work dealt with, after lunch all that was left to do was to take apart the old fence sections.  Rob, Mum & Finn headed back down to Nanaimo, and Dad an I made short work of taking it all apart and pulling out all of the old nails. I will not be able to salvage any of the old fence for use in the new fence - the boards are pretty rotted and worn away - but I WILL be able to recycle the old fence boards into my compost bin.  I`m going to be moving it (yes, again) and I have decided that I will be going back to a single bin as, except for Autumn (when the leaves make a great addition) one bin is typically enough for my needs.
I`m going to move it back across the yard to where it was in the first place - between the lilac tree and the shed - it will be less visible in the old (new) spot and with the help of the fence boards I am going to be able to incorporate, it should be sturdy and unlikely to leak compost guts out the sides.
Compost bin - current location.
New (old) compost bin location
Here`s a final shot of what the yard looks like at the end of today`s fencing activities.  I can only hope that no hooligans come around and push the posts over before the concrete gets poured!

Temporary fence in place
New fence posts in and waiting for concrete!
With love across the waters,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Organizing Stuff

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to arrange things, re-arrange them, organize stuff, reorganize stuff, de-clutter things and basically make the energy in my space flow comfortably and easily.  I think part of it may be a little obsessive / compulsive disorder-like, but for the most part I think it has to do with needing a tidy space where I can locate what I am after.
Today I spent some quality time with some of my family (more about that in another post) and then after I had tidied the kitchen and done my dishes, I got to tackle one of the BEST organization projects (for me) to date.
This particular project started last weekend when my WONDERFUL Sister in Law let me know she was going to be going to IKEA while on a work trip and asked me if there was anything I wanted her to pick up for me. I let her know that I absolutely DID have a couple of things in mind and then, when I got off the phone from our call, I promptly forgot about the IKEA trip. 
My Sister in Law must have a sixth sense - she sent me an email the day before leaving letting me know that if there was anything I wanted to just email her the spec numbers... God bless her for that!  I immediately got onto the IKEA website and emailed her the spec number for what I needed... what I have actually been looking for for roughly the last year.
When I moved into my house, one of the things I immediately appreciated was the HUGE kitchen cupboards - massive!  What I realized shortly after taking possession of the house was that the HUGE kitchen cupboards weren't 100% conducive to true kitchen organization. 
So what have I needed, and been looking for for the last year or so? Shelf Inserts. Yes, truly, I have been looking and not finding anything sturdy enough to do the job.  Short of buying lumber and building them myself I just wasn't getting anywhere.
So Carrie, bless her forever and ever, picked up 8 shelf inserts for me.  Thanks to Carrie (and in small part to IKEA for having organization stuff that people like me need) I now have kitchen cupboards that look like this:

Organized!  Woo hoo!!
Ah the bliss of organization!

With love across the waters,

2013 Vacation - Part The First: May

I am coming to the end of my initial 2 weeks of vacation for 2013 (yes, after 22 years with the company for whom I work, I have a whole PILE more vacation booked) and this last couple of weeks has been spent doing great things.
I spent the first week of this vacation at the cabin - my own personal Heaven on Earth.  This time around I took both Jasmine and Missy with me.  I didn't take my camera, but I did take my iPod and so was able to get a few pictures here and there. 
Jasmine has been to the cabin a few times - and LOVES it there.  This was, however, Missy's First Time.  Missy likes it there!  She wasn't overly impressed with the weather, I am sure (it mostly rained while we were down) but there was great hunting (mice) and exploring, lots of happy cuddle time (I had the wood stove on) and I am sure that she found a few hidey-holes to curl up in outside because she would disappear first thing in the morning and not show her face again until supper time.
Here are a few pictures from the first week of vacation:
"Excuse me - it is POURING out there - you're
kidding me when you say come out there, right??"

Happy Kitty in the Window
Sleepy Fur Kids. 
But where am *I* supposed to sleep??

 With love across the waters,