Life and Pets

Good morning …

I’m awake and chatting with you instead of sleeping, but I couldn’t sleep past 5:30. There’s no reason that I know of that I awoke early, but I felt that I had slept soundly and long enough.

We’ve had an eventful week and a half! Starting from before the Robson Valley Music Festival and up until yesterday, life seemed so very busy, but there was a five day holiday to Nelson. Yippee!

Even before the majority of the dogs were picked up from the Festival rush, we headed down to southern B.C. to meet our four week old granddaughter, Juno Quinn Schwartz Tremblay. I’m the step-grandmother, technically, but shall be known as “Nana”, and the moniker became very comfortable in the days that we were there to cuddle and rock and burp. To a point, I became more comfortable with holding a tiny baby (even our “own”), though I was unnerved when I couldn’t make her more comfortable as she cried. Juno is still getting used to eating and digesting and being out in the big world.


That’s us at the beach … Beth, Gary and I went with Juno to a strip of public beach that was idyllic. The small backwater was as warm as could be, the sand hot and clean (I wondered aloud if the sand had been “brought in”, but no), and there was not much of a crowd. We had a beach umbrella, and there was a bit of smoke cover protecting us all from the sun.

We stayed at Zev’s son’s apartment over his garage. What a wonderful job he had done building that! It is a perfect vacation home, though while Adam’s children are young, he is not going to rent it to the general public. We felt privileged to be invited to stay there.

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As you can see in the first photo, there is a “ship’s ladder”, with stairs built a certain way for ease of use and conservation of space. I think this particular set of “stairs” is perfectly designed, solid and beautiful. Even so, the first night that I had to descend the ladder to use the bathroom, I almost fell. Then I stayed awake most of the rest of the night worrying about having to go downstairs again. I slept the rest of the week on a very comfortable mattress on the main floor; it might have been the doggy bed, I don’t know, but then I didn’t have to visualize me breaking my neck, ruining our vacation, and becoming a paraplegic. Gary could use the stairs with style and grace, without problems.

We dined out at least once per day during our time in Nelson; there were wonderful places to eat! Everywhere you go, there is a new and beautiful view. I got caught up in the new experiences and especially that of having a baby in the family to cherish. I visualized a life without quite as much hard work and being near to at least some of our “kids”.

So, Thursday afternoon, I deked into several real estate offices, pretending to be well-heeled financially, and pretending (almost fooling myself) that I was looking for acreage with a home on it. For a fleeting while, I was semi-serious, and the realtors took me seriously. At one office, I averred that we could accept a “fixer-upper”, and the nice lady countered, “Oh, is your husband handy?”. When I said that I was a little bit handy (a teeny stretch too), the realtor was so apologetic for stereo-typing another woman.

The long-and-short of this is that I can’t actually see myself making such a move. I LOVE our friends here, I treasure the wide valley and the sparser traffic. I still want my career, and can’t see myself even buying the boarding kennel that I learned was still for sale in Nelson.

After we got home on Friday night, we reviewed the occupants of the Pet Hostel with Rob, the friend who oversaw everything so well. Then Gary was in charge, because I travelled to Lacombe, Alberta for a barbecue celebrating the upcoming wedding of our niece, Sarah, and her Justin. I was anxious to see daughter Kim, and my sister Rae as well.

Over the Banff-Jasper Parkway, the tourist traffic was insane. I didn’t notice any poor drivers, but the volume of traffic was crazy and the pace very slow. I finally was able to turn East onto the David Thompson highway, and made some good time there. I had forgotten how very beautiful that area is.


Once I was in the area of Lacombe, I got completely turned around while trying to find the party. The directions that I was in possession of did NOT include the approach from a secondary highway. I couldn’t force my iPhone to find the correct Township road and rural route. I tried for almost an hour to get myself sorted out, and then asked for help. My daughter Kim came out and fetched me!

Kim had waited until my arrival before feasting, bless her heart! I was so late getting to the pig roast that almost everything was all cleaned up and put away, and not too warm. On the way to the food table (I was ravenous), I was obliged to meet a lot of people I will never see again, and even after getting a plateful, I met another dozen or so. Suddenly, we were all commanded to meet in the party tent for some “presentations”, so I didn’t even finish my main course. Nobody pointed out to me that there was a celebratory cake somewhere, but hey, I didn’t really need dessert.

I had such a wonderful visit with Kim, but eventually she had to leave to go back to Calgary. Rae was pretty busy visiting with people she knew quite well. I actually chatted with quite a few of the dogs that were at the party, texted with my Gary, and drank Crown Royal with lemonade.

When my nephew Dave (as the DJ) started playing music, and after another couple of drinks, I went into the tent and danced by myself. Nobody minded or cared, and sometimes I was the only one dancing at all, but I think Dave appreciated the appreciation. A couple of young bucks danced with me through the night, but they had been drinking more, and longer, and when they two-stepped, they were out-of-rythym or they yanked too hard on my arms. It was fun when everyone just did their own things to the rock-and-roll, and I heard Sarah exclaim, “Hey, that’s my Aunty Ann!”, which I was thereafter known as by all.

This is how my brother-in-law parties: at least he had donated the whiskey! Poor soul.


It was a very chilly night, and when others learned that I intended to pitch a small tent or sleep in our little car, I was invited to claim a couch in the basement. That is what I did, and it was a beautifully finished “rec room”, the leather sofa perfectly comfortable. I’m afraid that I was restless when I woke up after a few hours of sleep, and I left without saying goodbye to anyone  but our host (Sarah’s new father-in-law, Bill).

So that was the week, basically. Lots of “highs” and no lows, but it was all so busy that I feel quite fatigued. I cancelled an appointment that I had made weeks ago to see a banker in Prince George … that can wait, because for now, the crew on the New House has been paid.

Now the little house is ready for paint inside. Doors are on, and I will stain them when I get the chance. This is almost more excitement than I can tolerate!

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The Pet Hostel is pretty quiet now… now that I’m back “in charge”, and after it was so busy and others had to do all the work and organization! I’m grateful for the help and support, always.

Thank you for reading my blog. Now it’s 7:30 am, and I must accomplish some great thing. Things. So much to do, even other than care of pets.

Love, Ann

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