Life and Pets

Still tiling …

Technically, I’m done with tiling the shower stall, the tedious part of cutting and adhering tiles. Today I spent many hours grouting, and only have about a third of the large space grouted, but I’m very pleased with the result. A few of my less-than-accurate tile cuts are not very noticeable any more, and I’m happy with the colour of the grout.


I applied sealer to the concrete floors of the house, and although the glossiness accentuates every nick, gouge or other flaw, it looks nice. I think I told you back in June when the concrete was poured, that the wind blew a few spruce needles onto the surface. I picked some of those out, and I scraped up a couple of drips of wood stain that only I could have been responsible for. But I tired of going over every inch of the floor, scrubbing, rinsing, scraping, drying, vacuuming … and declared it good enough to “seal”.

My dear young friend Joy said that the flooring looks “glacial”. I like that. I had said all along that it was fine if the surface looked like slate, and I suppose that it does.

Other than grouting and all it entails, and sealing the floors, with all the moving of “stuff” that’s involved with that (I have a surprising number of items in the house already), I didn’t do another thing today. Of course I cared for the dogs and left them with each other and the music for much of the day, and they were fine.

At some point last week, Gary took the time to clean up the horseshoe in the sidewalk. It looks even nicer, and as friends of ours said, “It has been noticed by the neighbourhood.”.


When I talked to Ray, our contractor, the other night, I offered to take the “forms” off the concrete wheelchair ramp/sidewalk, asking if there was any special skill involved. (Ray said there was not.). I have to admit that I was rather huffy when Gary suggested that I be careful not to break the concrete. Guess what happened in about 3 minutes of trying to pry the forms off? I chipped said sidewalk …  a piece about the size of a toonie. I abandoned the effort.

Sometimes I feel like such a loser. I’m not a perfectionist and don’t struggle with most details. But when I make a mistake, or go at a task in too much of a rush and not do my best, I find myself thinking, “I’m sorry Myrtle.”. She always seemed to do everything with such precision and with such ease. If I find myself stepping back and thinking, “That’s good enough!”, I can’t help but think that my late stepmother would not agree. Even though I bristled at her criticism and critique, I would love to have some more time with her now, open my mind and learn.

We only have five dogs staying at the Pet Hostel at the moment! Big Jasper and his growing kid sister, Timber, have the biggest exercise yard during the day. Timber has eaten a weeping Norway Spruce, and most of a Corkscrew Willow, and has “girdled” a poplar, with no ill effect on herself… serves me right for planting ornamental trees INSIDE the dog enclosures. She also eats doghouses.


Sadie and Nellie are here for a few more days. They seem always content, and rarely make a sound.

Also staying with us is “Henry”, a pit bull from Whistler, BC. Henry’s owner is hiking in Jasper, Alberta, and it was better that the dog stay with us. I will try to take a picture of him, as he is very cute, obedient and well-adjusted.

Early this week, Gary hired a professional faller, Wes, to remove the dying birch trees from the area of our largest bank of dog runs. Every once in a while, Gary or I would find a sizable branch inside a kennel, or elsewhere in the yard and gardens, and we felt that it was a matter of time before a person or pet was hurt.

I felt sad at first … when I bought this acreage, those trees were not so stately, but they had grown a lot in twenty years. As trees go, birches are not long-lived; now we haven’t the “dangerous trees”, and Gary has some dandy firewood to buck and split. I was fascinated by Wes’ expertise, and very soon I didn’t feel it such a shame that we had this work done; nothing stays the same forever.


My friends, I was tired when I started chatting with you, so I’ll sign off. I hope you are well.



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