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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

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Finally a Day Off for Good Behaviour

No hard work for me today - first the meeting this morning that got a bit heated at times. I took my tape recorder and got every word now I have to transcribe it. A lot of the locals had some good questions for the MNR and logging guy. It appears the ministry has to "change" a few words on the maps they issued before we will be satisfied with the outcome. They said it was a "misinterpretation" on our part. I don't think so - how could we all be wrong. This is our neighbourhood we are trying to protect - they say they are just doing what nature would do in a fire and what would we rather have - a fire or logging.
Then to town - first I don't have arthritis that I self diagnosed myself with. He said it was nodules on my tendons and he could send me to a plastic surgeon to have them cut my tendons or inject it with steroids - I said no thanks. I can live with it.
Got my chairs and loaded them into the truck all by myself - that was a sight but I got them home ok. Now I just have to wait until the dock is built to place them just so on the end of the dock, facing the sun with my cocktail on the matching tables. Can you just see it? I'll have to get a "do not disturb" sign and hang it on the back of my chair. I'll get a picture of them tomorrow - it's too cold to do it tonite - so I will leave you with a picture of the sisters with fish. Good Times!!!
See Ya Bye

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sittin on the Dock on the Lake....

Yes, that will be me this summer - Rejean called dock guy and worked something out and it is official - there will be a dock on the lake this year!!!! He'll start probably the end of May - just in time for tourist season - the chairs I want are on sale in town and I will be picking them up tomorrow so we are all set. Can't wait.
Also we called Terry and discussed the fill required for the addition and that is also in the works - let the construction begin....
Guess what I did today???? Yes split more wood. My wood shed is filled to capacity and now we are starting on Rejean's wood. We got a good head start - we were out at 8:30 am and didn't finish until 3:30 and boy was it cold. When the sun was out you could feel it on your back and it was pleasant but when it was cloudy and the wind picked up it was brutal - and it was snowing today around dinner time!!!! It's April 30th for goodness sake - I want at least spring!!
I identified the two ducks I thought were 2 female mallards - they are black ducks (not really black but dark brown) Very pretty ducks and they are sticking around so maybe they will nest around here - AND I have seen the TWO loons - so they are back. They were swimming around right out in front today so I yelled at them to go make babies!!!
Tomorrow is a day off from the hard labour - the logging meeting, doctor's appointment, make a deposit on the dock and buy my chairs - then I have to start transplanting my plants in my garden to make way for the fill. No rest for the wicked.
See Ya Bye

Monday, April 28, 2008

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More More More

More hard work again today but we are now in the splitting stage having cut "enough" to fill our wood sheds. We filled two trailer loads and stacked them in my woodshe and we should finish it off tomorrow. Then we have to stack Rejean's over there because he still has to build his wood shed this summer after we get Terry to put some fill in the low area beside the garage. More work. Whoever said being retired was easy. Not that I am complaining about it. It is the best hard work I have ever done - I hurt but to see the stack of wood and know that I am all set for next winter - it's great. We have about three more days of splitting to do - Wednesday is sot because there is a meeting about the forestry industry trying to cut down the trees beside lakes when there is supposed to be a "buffer zone" - I have been asked to take the minutes...never having done that sort of thing I am a bit scared. I have a tape recorded that I am going to use to make sure I don't miss anything. Then I have a doctor's appointment at 1:30 - (we were talking to a woman who has lived in Thessalon for years who still doesn't have a family doctor - she was a little upset that we did in our short time up here - I told her how I did it so now she is going to try) Dr Wagigecik is the best - each appointment lasts about 45 minutes - she is very good!!
The little fox was just around and is he ever scrawny!! I fed him his hotdogs and he is on his way probably for desert at Axe Lake.
Just a couple of pictures (if I can get it to work)
See Ya Bye

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pull Over Lady!!!

I got pulled over by the OPP last nite!!!! Just a little background - Rejean, John and Kenny were supposed to go smelting last nite in Thessalon, but because it was a bit windy and there was a hockey game on John and Kenny backed out. Rejean was all hyped up about it and I decided to go with him so at 9 o'clock last nite I was putting on my long johns, turtleneck, sweatshirt, heavy sox, touque, winter gloves and winter coat and my winter boots and heading down to Thessalon. We arrived and about half the town of Thessalon was out with their flashlites, nets and pails all looking for these little fish. We got a spot and Rejean started scooping the net through the water (it is pitch dark at this point) I am pointing the flashlite at the net to see if there are any fish in the net (no) so he scoops again. We must have been scooping for a good 1/2 hour before we got one little fish. It was slow going but in the two hours we were there we managed to get a couple of dinners worth of fish - each scoop consisted of either 1 or 2 or 3 fish - never any more. My hand was frozen because I had to dump the fish in the pail with my hand (I didn't want to get my gloves wet). But people were treating this event as a social outing. We met Frank who was very friendly - he was visiting at the house directly across the street and I said I would signal with my flash lite when the fish started "running". He offered us hot coffee after we finished but we decided to go home. It was about 11:30 by this time and believe me there were no cars on the main street in Thessalon. We headed up highway 129 and because of the hour I was going about 80 k just in case a creature jumps out (I usually go about 100) I saw a car pull a U turn and follow another car pretty close but we soon lost sight of them. A little further up there was the OPP car pulled over to the side - as I passed he started following me. I put my cruise on at 80 and watched in the rear view mirror - he was following close - then the lights started going and I pulled off. I knew I wasn't speeding and I wasn't driving eratically. I got my driver's license out of my back pocket (thank goodness I brought it) registration and insurance and I was watching in my mirror for him to get out of the car - next thing you know there is a knock on Rejean's side - it surprised me - it was a woman OPP officer and she must have seen the net and pail in the back because she asked about it - we explained about the smelting and we were on our way home - she asked if we had had any alcohol and we said no - she then took the papers back to the cruiser to check things out and brought them back shortly and thanked us. Now up here we usually take "travellers" with us and if it had been a nicer night we might have brought a beer or two to drink while smelting - thak goodness we didn't!!! Just goes to show you you never know when or where you will be stopped so think before you do something like that. Tonite when Rejean goes with the guys they are going to have a designated driver - and it won't be me.
It took over an hour to clean those little fish - they better be worth it!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back to Work

Yesterday was a rest day and boy did I need it - my hands really took a beating - I had beautiful bruises on both my middle fingers from smashing them and my forearms were quite bruised as well from carrying the logs. I displayed them for all to see standing in line at the Legion in town for the fish fry - war wounds - that got everyone trying to find little cuts and bruises on themselves to compare to mine - it was fun. It helped pass the time in line waiting for the delicious fish dinner. For $12 it's an all you can eat white fish, cole slaw, baked potatoes, buns, pickles, and a sundae for desert with your choice of strawberry or butterscotch topping (butterscotch is my favourite). We usually go a little early and head down to the bar downstairs to see Al the bartender (married to the mayor of Thessalon, Donna) There is a pool table and a great straight board shuffleboard. It's fun to see all the people who show up for this function - there is all kinds of characters. Small town people are the best - everyone knows each other and greet each other warmly. We are getting to know a lot of people ourselves from going to these events.
Saturday we headed into town and then went back to the bush for the afternoon - we got four trees down, cut and piled. Tonite Rejean, John and Kenney are heading back to Thessalon for the smelt run (along with practically everyone else in town and Wharencliffe. I've never eaten them but I have feeling that I will tomorrow. I'm staying home and relaxing.
Tomorrow we are heading back to the bush for more work - I have recouped a bit and am looking forward to more hard work (yea right)
Montreal won as did Detroit (what a great game!!)
Joanne my sister is doing a 1/2 marathon tomorrow in Calgary - apparently it is going to be 10 degrees and not -10 with snow. Good Luck Joanne!!
I have decided to downsize my marathon event in October to a half - I am running for the first time but I think I may be a little too ambitious for a full. I will save my first running full marathon till next year for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco (the medals are given out by firemen in tuxedos!!!!) So I will register for the Detroit Freepress Half Marathon tonite!! Chicago was cancelled due to not being able to find accomodations at a reasonable price.
See Ya Bye

Thursday, April 24, 2008

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Talk about hard work!!! Yesterday was hard but today was harder. We got quite a pile going but the trees were a bit bigger - and by being bigger they were heavier!! I have put off my weights and running for the week because I am getting enough exercise doing this stuff!! I had my steel toed boots on but what I really needed was steel fingered gloves - I smacked my finger on my left hand yesterday but I really smacked my finger on my right hand today - carrying a big log and hitting your hand against the trailer - UGH. I swore a lot. I tripped over a branch while I was loading the trailer and that's how it happened - you can bet I cleared a path for the next load. No pity from Rejean - "you should be more careful - watch what you are doing" well I was and it still happened.
Kenny and John stopped by in the afternoon to give us a hand - John's arm is still bothering him and he quickly disappeared. Kenney lost a load of wood on the way down the hill but we got it cleaned up.
More fun and games tomorrow - we need another full day of cutting before we have anough - then my favourite part - the splitting. I like to see and hear the wood split - it is always a surprise to see the power of the log splitter and the ease in which it splits the wood - that tractor has paid for itself many times over.
It hurts to type....
See ya Bye
ps - we are going over to Linda and John's to watch the hockey game - GO MONTREAL!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just Another Day

And what a day it was - we hit the bush early at about nine and by the time we were done we had taken down about nine trees and have a good head start - we had a good routine - Rejean would cut the tree and I would measure the 16 inches where he would cut the logs - I would load the trailer and haul them down the hill to the garage and unload them - then up the hill where Rejean would have another one down and ready to load - NO BUGS - it was a great day to be in the bush.
During lunch we explored up the hill and I found another antler!! Only the second one in 25 years - I was pretty happy with my find.
My camera was not charged so I couldn't take it with me and take a picture of that tree that lighnting had struck but there is always tomorrow.
AND the ice is out today and guess who is back? The Loons - I swear they circle the lake until the ice is out then they land - they'll chase all those other ducks off the lake shortly. I've got my fingers crossed for some baby loons this year. We haven't had any for the past three or four years. We are due.
It is great to lo0ok out the windows and see the water - it's been a long winter.
See ya bye

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back on the Chain Gang

You thought Winter was hard work...spring is worse. Back to hard labour!! We are cutting trees for fire wood and have found a good spot on the other property. We blazed a trail up the hill and cleared the way. There was a big oak that had fallen over the trail and Rejean cut it up with his new chainsaw. Works Great!! I loaded the pieces into the trailer and hauled them down and unloaded them by the garage - there were some big pieces and they were heavy!! But - I got it done and tomorrow we are making a full day of it. I'll bring the camera and take a picture of a big hemlock that was hit by lightning - the bark was just blasted over a large area - pretty amazing.
The ice is almost gone off our lake and the frogs are chirping!! There are a couple of ducks in the lake as well and I'm predicting the loons will be in by the weekend. The snow is pretty well gone in the bush and it is actually a bit dry - I did see some bugs today so tomorrow we will take the bug spray - nasty black flies and those other pesky things.
Dock guy gave us a quote and it is waaaaay over what we were considering - we'll talk to him tomorrow and see what we can work out.
See ya bye

Monday, April 21, 2008

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Getting Ready for Winter

Yes, even tho it is starting to be nice outside we have to get ready for next wood.
We rotated the dry wood and piled the newly split wood in the wood shed for the inside wood stove. There was a nice pile of cedar that I like to use for kindling. It split nice!!
We got about 4 cords of wood from that pile. We also got a good idea of where we will cut the trees for the other wood for the garage and new addition. There will be a wood stove in the dedicated work out room in the new addition so that also needs its own wood pile. We should be doing that this week.
Ducks in the stream and the lake. I don't know what kind but I thing they are mallards - 2 females. Now that things are warming up creatures are starting to move around. Linda said that the female fox has had her babies - we haven't seen any foxes around here for a while.
The weather was perfect for tanning and we took advantage of it after our hard work - very nice.
Dock guy called but we weren't home - he'll call tomorrow morning - wonder what the dock will come in at????
See ya bye

Sunday, April 20, 2008

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A Sure Sign of Spring

You can tell it is finally spring and the snow is melting - every car that goes by on the highway his hauling fourwheelers instead of snow machines!!!
And speaking of which, we got ours out of the garage on the other property and got them on the road. Mine started up first try but Rejeans took and bit of work. I washed them both as we had put them away dirty - in November after hunting season you don't have too many nice days to wash them. They cleaned up real nice. We went for a ride across on the mine side - a bit muddy but not much snow. Had a lot of fun getting stuck in some snow but we got out. Scoping out some firewood which will be our next big project - we are a bit behind because of the snow but we'll get'er done before the bugs.
The dock guy showed up today - just when the sun came out. Was he ever talkative!!! By the time he left it was time for showers and dinner so I never did get over to the sun deck - maybe tomorrow....
Dinner last nite was great but - what happened to Montreal????? Shoot the puck!!!
See ya bye

Saturday, April 19, 2008

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Highway Run

Well I finally hit the road today for the first time this year. I have been training on my treadmill but the weather is sooooo nice today I figure it is time. I had to do a 4.82 k run so I know from here to FootPrint Lake Road and back is 5 k so that was my scheduled run. Is it ever different to actually run on the road. I admit I had to walk twice especially up that last hill but I felt good. I am recouping with my BudLite (sorry Stacey - I do have chocolate milk upstairs but I am too lazy to go get it) Didn't see any creatures yet but in my walks last year I did see deer, foxes, toads, snakes etc. I won't be carrying my camera so I won't be able to take advantage of those photo opportunities. At the end of the drive way there is still snow on either side so when I finished my run and was walking up the drive it was like walking into a refridgerator - nice and cool....
Did my dump run this morning and am getting ready for company for dinner tonite - John and Linda from Axe Lake and I am doing my famous Turkey in a Box - the easiest way to cook a turkey I know of and it is delicious. Everything is ready to go so I can relax - as it should be.
After dinner we will be watching the hockey game and hoping Montreal wins!!!!
Dock guy is supposed to drop by today or tomorrow - I won't hold my breath.
I have to wash my screens and get them up so I can open my windows and let that great northern air in.
See ya bye

Friday, April 18, 2008

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There Will Be Bears

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful - not what was predicted - the temps got up into the 20s and sunny - just the right time for the bears to start waking up and beginning to feed - we haven't spotted any yet but there is always the chance. Last year we did have a little two year old cub visit us and did not seem to be very afraid of humans - when he was shooed away he just walked instead of running. He made a nusance of himself at other camps and finally Ralphy shot him - It was the same one the highway workers had been feeding the fall before and when he woke up he just assumed that he would be fed in this general area. Not good when you have three lodges within a couple of miles from here and lots of tourist who think it may be cute to feed the bears.
Take a look at the size of poop the sisters found in their travels a few years ago. I would not want to meet up with the one that made that one. Nice find Joanne!! Any excuse for a photo opportunity.
And the ministry tells us that if you are attacked by a black bear you fight back!! It is with a grizzly that you play dead - yeah right - try playing dead with a huge bear chewing on your arm. is where you find out more information - I have it posted on both my fridges "DON'T FEED THE BEARS"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

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Stood Up

Well the dock guy never called - but that does not surprise us as people are very laid back up here and they get around to it when they get around to it. Patience....

We were out on the road Tuesday nite - just down the highway to see what the river is doing and we stopped at Pig Pen Chute - that is it above - as you can see there is still snow in the bush - we walked from the highway into it (without our snowshoes) and the snow was still up to my knees. At times you could walk on top of the snow but then - Surprise!! - you've sunk up to your knees on the next step - what fun. Looks like it would be a real adventure in the Kayaks but that will have to wait until I am better at it - plus a lot warmer!!!
Last nite we went over to Axe Lake where they were cooking their maple syrup - I've never seen that and it was boring - just watching a big pan of liquid boil but we visited and helped pore the syrup into another pan to be cooked down some more and if it works, there will be a pancake breakfast Sunday to try it. Yum Yum - can't wait.
Washed both vehicles and windows today as the wind has finally disappeared and it is actually a little warm out there. Major melting time. Got to do my run today 3 miles so I better get to it.
See ya bye
Oh and thanks Joanne for the comment about the chair that YOU gave me - it will look even better on the dock!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

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Quote Time

As this year has been dubbed "the year of construction" I guess we need the quotes. Yesterday we were in town talking to the Dock Guy - J.C. who will be coming out here tomorrow to give us a quote on the dock. A few options were discussed yesterday and it was decided to go with a "lift Dock" with legs. It will be about 12 feet deep where the longest legs will be and he says it is no problem. We had been thinking of a floating dock but he said it would MOVE with people on it - no way - when I am sitting out there in my easy chair with my cocktail in hand I want no motion at all. It will be 26 feet long six feet wide with a 10 foot T on the end. That's where I will be - on the T. We've gone all these years with no dock and I promised a lot of people we would have one this year.
Also Basho was over for the addition - as soon as they finish their project we are next. We just have to get Terry to bring the fill over so there will be room for the addition (without slipping over the edge to the garden)
Should be interesting.
Other than that notion new - still chilly but sunny - if only that wind would die down....
See ya bye

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Little Visitor

Actually this picture was taken about two months ago so that snow is almost all gone - thank goodness. We have about four little foxes that come around - one is too shy to come up to the house but the others do. I feed them - just like everyone else around here. They usually get chicken hot dogs (99 cents at ValueMart) and some leftovers. Today one was around so I got out the hotdogs and broke it up into smaller pieces. He ate one or two then buried the third. I just left the remaining pieces on the ground for him. He proceeded to try and fit them all in his mouth at the same time. He would have two or three pieces in his mouth then try and pick up the rest - one or two kept falling out but he was persistent and finally did pick them all up. Was it funny!! Hey - up here you take the entertainment where you can find it and I was certainly entertained. I laughed. I think he may have been taking them back to the den - there may be some babies!!!
But it was a beautiful day - sunny, warm (7 degrees) and no breeze - if we weren't so busy with the closet I would have been out tanning on the deck. But we were working - I painted the closet doors. We had to go into Thessalon to give blood today. So no time for fun.
Time to relax - See ya bye
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Sunday, April 13, 2008

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My first post on my first blog. The purpose of this blog is to record my adventures in my life up north and to share them with you - it's better than a journal that only I get to see and I can also post my pictures (I have to get some more on my Picasa2) and I have lots!!
Just a little background on me - I am a retired Banker who, after 30 years of employment, took an early retirement and sold our home in Windsor and moved up here to paradise. It is not an easy life - hard as a matter of fact - but sooo rewarding. I can look out my front window and see our beautiful lake and forest and all the creatures that visit occasionally. To date there has been 1 bear, deer, foxes, squirrels, 1 wolf, tons of birds and one moose swimming across the lake. Can't see that in Windsor.
More another day - have to get to the Trading Post to buy beer - that is one thing I have learned up here - Up North 101 - always have cold beer in the fridge because if you don't - that's when you get company - so I am always stocked.
See ya bye
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