Life and Pets

We can only eat so much green stuff…

… or in fact, other produce. At this time of year, we feel so lucky to have a garden and the means to process and preserve  FOOD.

Even so, it can get overwhelmimg. The days are gone that I participate in Farmer’s Markets. Jam-making on a large scale is a thing of the past, and I’m good with that. The Pet Hostel has become enough of a job and a calling, and I AM, after all, over 60 now.

Some days when I pick the peas or harvest something else, I think, “What are we going to do with all that …?”  You can fill in the blank with any of a few things: I go to bed thinking of the abundance of cabbage, chard, onions or carrots. We have just ONE zucchini plant, and it is too productive. The early apples are raining from the tree. I have left a lot of our raspberries, Saskatoonberries, and cherries for the birds.

We didn’t plant a single potato this spring, and yet we have the equivalent of a short row, in “volunteers”!  Those are a wonderful gift from the garden and I don’t complain about those.

People mean well. They almost always do. But I chuckle inwardly at those who lecture me on “wasting the garlic scapes” or question why I don’t grow kale. For the most part, Gary and I have found the kind of gardening and food preservation which works for us. He has harvested about 150 pounds of garlic to sell, and the rest of our plot is devoted to what we can eat and process without too much waste.

Still, what ARE we going to do with all that chard?


Speaking of blessing and abundance, here is the latest picture of baby Juno. She looks like an Anne Geddes portrait, only better, because she is “ours”.


We just came through an epically busy weekend in the Pet Hostel. At one point we had 24 dogs, or perhaps 25, not counting Lady and McKenna. Everything was “under control”, but by Monday night I felt truly exhausted, really pushing myself. We got a beautiful dog brought in at supper time that evening, and it looked like she might escape over the six foot fence, so I moved some “lighter-weight” fence panels over to the run, lifted them up and attached them to make (voilà!) another covered kennel.

Mercifully, when it got good and DARK here, all dogs were quiet. There was hardly any noise between 10 pm. and 5 pm., which almost works for a good night’s sleep. Some times are just going to be like that, in this business.

This little girl doggie checked in last night, just for two days. Her name is Casey:


Casey is a few months old, and we hadn’t met before, but now we have a bond. She is easy to love, and seems to love me back.

Every day I try to visit the new house-under-construction at least once, and sometimes twice, you know… make sure it’s still standing (not that it wouldn’t be!), to answer questions or ask them. The project is like a dream, a dream come true, even if we don’t live in the house any time soon, or even ever.

On Sunday afternoon, I had a quiet time painting the faux beams at the front of the house… the things holding up the little porch. I didn’t want them to look like two by sixes screwed together, which they ARE, and they are built that way for structural integrity. Weeks ago, the contractor and I discussed how to “wrap” the posts and beams to make them look like solid timbers. Evidently if one uses solid timber, they are inclined to twist.

So now we know that a product called “Smart Trim™”, which is a weather-resistant board made from OSB with a cement-like coating, is suitable for the above-mentioned purpose. What I DID learn, while trying to make the product look like real wood, was that it doesn’t take semi-transparent acrylic stain like wood does. Lucky for me, or at least I believe, a good outdoor paint adhered satisfactorily to the Smart Trim. On holiday Monday, some of the construction crew came to the house and put a second coat of paint on the faux beams, as I had done a fairly sketchy job (painting with a roller on a broomstick at the very limit of my reach in places).


There are so many decisions to make as we go. Some days I sort of “dodge a bullet” by changing my mind just before it’s too late. Other days, I simply have to adjust my expectations… for example, today I had to adopt a different vision of how the fixtures in the shower stall would look. It will be perfectly fine and probably lovely. Stay tuned for pictures of faucets, etc, as long as I still like the vision.

Mostly, I like to be an easy-going boss. Today I told the plumber that I could live without the overhead rain shower, and he said, “No, that would NOT be good. You shouldn’t let go of what you had your heart set on…” . So the contractors and tradesmen are “on my side”, and I know that they should be; I simply haven’t had the good fortune to have that many men (people) respect my opinion. The electrician said that as long as I keep those cheques coming, they can ALL listen politely and with respect!


Thank you for visiting my blog.

Love, Ann


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