Dogs and Life / Life and Pets

Water …

Water is the thing I think about every day. It’s not press-worthy, blog worthy or even a subject to occupy one’s thoughts daily, unless you what it’s like to not have enough. 

One of Gary’s and my finest gifts in this life, on this property, is having enough water. It was not always so … not enough supply or access, water not potable, and the water for laundry, dish washing, bathing and toilet- flushing was red with iron.  My children suffered along with me while they were teens.

Why am I still going on about this subject after two whole years of “having our water back”, with an improved water line and legal access with new neighbours?  Because I am grateful every single day, that is why. I tell my girls that it’s like champagne at the tap.

Today I was processing vegetables with gallons of clean mountain spring water. It takes a great deal of water to blanch the produce from the garden (that I also never take for granted). In the past, we had to haul extra water from town or a friend’s house. If I used well water, it turned certain foods an unappetizing grey, such as rhubarb or greens. Ugh.

Every once in awhile, I will find an iron-stained dish in the back of the cupboard, and remember those days. After the former neighbour (let’s call him “Rob”, say…) cut off the spring water to this property, and friends got together to install a well, I realized what I had lost. All my dishes, appliances, and fixtures started turning red and deteriorating.  Things got corroded and plugged, and I was ashamed of the dingy look of, well, EVERYTHING. I wondered  if Rob actually knew that I thought of him every time I flushed the toilet.

This evening I unearthed some ice cube trays from a high shelf; I wanted to freeze pesto. They were brownish from the bad old days, and you can imagine my delight while I scrubbed them in our spring water, with dish soap and SOS pad… VOILA! the trays looked clean and new.


Remember to count your blessings, my dear friends. Even when we’re not “religious”, we can delight in our good fortune, gifts from neighbours, friends, the planet, the universe.

Another thing I’m grateful for might seem “smaller” than the gift of clean water. That is the good fortune to have the friends I do. Every single Sunday that I share brunch with friends, I learn something, either profound or just exquisitely useful. Today I learned that, to drain greens such as spinach, you dump them over an over-turned bowl! Tonight we had beet greens and… WOW! No lifting to encourage the excess water to drain, just steaming hot buttered greens. How did I get to 59 years old (having cooked almost daily for almost 40 years!) and not know this!?

Don’t call me Martha. But I have friends who are geniuses.

The Pet Hostel is reduced to a dull roar. This morning there were 18 guests, I think, and now a few have gone home. Maybe later I will report a head count, or maybe not: I’ve had three cans of “Twisted Tea” and can’t count.

Gary and I spent most of the afternoon cleaning garlic. I blanched and froze several pounds of burgundy beans and yellow beans. Then I made a lot of pesto from beautiful basil I bought at the farmer’s market in McBride on Friday. Last night I processed all the peas that I had picked and Gary had shelled… it was a big haul! Tonight’s supper was Chickan Divan, made with locally raised chicken and broccoli. Yum (if I might say so).

Did I mention that I’m grateful? There is a “thing” going around Facebook: people are obliged to state things that they are grateful for, three different things every day for five days, and then they nominate some Facebook friend to do likewise.

I know that I would have little trouble stating 15 things that I am grateful for, and I HAVE been nominated. However, I’m a person who resents being told what I should or should not do (I have come to acknowledge this only recently!) and so I’m not playing that Facebook game. Sorry.

Time to do the rounds … even while I’ve been blogging tonight, some dogs have gone home and another came.  Goodness, I think there are only nine guests this evening. This will change daily until next weekend, when we will be uber-busy again!

Our Internet service is ponderously slow again. This is very frustrating and happens too often.

Love, Ann

p.s.  Linda and Rose, thank you so much for visiting and bringing refreshments yesterday. Love you!

Gary's Dinner Chicken Divan & beet greens

Gary’s Dinner
Chicken Divan & beet greens

Rory, the pleasant little grey cat, got sheared short again yesterday. This helps with her family’s allergies, and Rory does not seem to mind, though she glowers at the camera!


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