Tuesday 30 November 2021

We had snow!

 Monday morning is garbage day. One of my Monday morning joys. Happily, I don't have to get dressed up and put on my face, like the olden days. Then drive into work. 

Out I went for 7 a.m. The photos were taken with the videocamera, which isn't great, but lighter to carry in my pocket. 

The latest storm dropped about a cm, and I enjoy the snow. I know not all people do. I like reading the stories in the snow. Overnight, in the dark of the night, we had visitors. A bunny, big coyotes, and smaller fox. Maybe.

bunny (or squirrel!)

You can see the size difference.

Here is my November precipitation total.

After all this, the trailcams revealed my night friends. A new coyote, with a very sore leg. This poor one has a sore leg.

I was in my chair, relaxing, when I heard a noise overhead, Nov. 28, 2021! It was low, deep and strong. Going to Flight Radar, I figured it out. One of those huge Hercules!

Monday 29 November 2021

British Columbia's Storm Damage

British Columbia's a mess. They are making predictions about reopening, but this is only for commercial vehicles. It involves TransCanada highway #1, the culverts being washed away, and bridges collapse. It impacts a lot of people. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are similarly hit, as well the the UK. Then there is the Omicron variant. sigh.

Coquihalla Highway could reopen by late January, minister says, as repairs underway

 I was listening and watching British Columbia's Agriculture Minister, Lana Popham. She was talking about how much damage there was to the Sumas Prairie and the food industry. Blueberry farms, all under water. Also, there are flower farms that are devastated. 

But, she says the B.C. Dairy Association has estimated a loss of around 500 cattle. Popham says there are also thousands of poultry and about 20,000 hogs that have died. She says she expects to have exact numbers in the next week or so.  

Spences Bridge, in B.C., has been largely ignored, since they are concentrating on giving the biggest bang for the buck in road repairs. Highway 8, which goes through the area, has been destroyed. What you can see on the map are the First Nations communities that have been upended.

Satellite images

Stephen Rice is the mayor of Spences Bridge,  can only get cell service when he drives 30 minutes to Ashcroft. He does interviews twice a day, and explains that it'll be 2 years, if ever, that they can repair the road bed. It has been washed away. People cannot access their homes. There is talk of using decommissioned logging roads, after they refurbish them, to provide a route to their homes.

From B.C. Transportation on Twitter

Barb Roden, mayor of Ashcroft, explained the issues to CBC. It is a mess. This is a screen capture of the transportation map.

When you read the fine print, you can see that they predict reconstruction to be finished Nov. 2022.

I am grateful to be warm and dry indoors, having put out garbage at 7 a.m. We had snow!

UPDATE: another atmospheric river attacked B.C. Nov. 30th. 

In the meantime, the Nooksack River flows north and floods southern B.C.

UPDATE:  Dec. 2nd; Livestock death toll from B.C. flooding: 628,000 poultry, 12,000 hogs, 420 cows

Additionally, 110 beehives were destroyed.There are still more than 800 farms under evacuation, so officials believe the death toll will likely change as residents and operators return. There are about 700 acres of blueberries planted in the Sumas Prairie, part of which is located in Abbotsford, and as with other crops, the full extent of the damage is not yet known.

UPDATE: Dec. 3rd from the B.C. Minister of Agriculture 

 Poultry: chickens; 61 poultry farms in evacuation zone. Good news: 97% of laying chicken survived. Also, 98% of the turkeys survived. 
 Dairy farms: 98% of the cows from Sumas Prairie survived the flood. For 48 hours one farmer feeding cows in neck deep water. They survived. The rugby association players cleaned up 100s of stalls, removed stuff from basement. Also, the hockey team has been working like this. 
Additionally, 110 beehives were destroyed. There are still more than 800 farms under evacuation, so officials believe the death toll will likely change as residents and operators return. There are about 700 acres of blueberries planted in the Sumas Prairie, part of which is located in Abbotsford, and as with other crops, the full extent of the damage is not yet known. 
There are 817 parcels of land registered as farms (Premises ID), with 159 livestock & cattle farms. Several farm families were hit really hard, like the blueberry farms which will have to be replanted.

Sunday 28 November 2021

More froggies, decor, shopping


Last week was warm, then it turned cold. I thought my frogging was done! We've an Alberta Clipper on its way, so more snow, perhaps.

You can see how shaded the goldfish pond get with the end of summer solstice during most of the day. The poor frogs sought shelter in the pond in August, when the wetland dried up. The wetland is now deeper, and filled with November rains. The goldfish pond is frozen over, again! There is a skiff of snow on top of the ice.

I managed to find 7 more frogs in the goldfish pond Friday, Nov. 26th. I captured them, they are pretty slow and sleepy, especially the upside down ones. I popped them into the frogpond, right off the dock, as the ice had melted. I just hope they dive down and get into the warm mud. At least I don't have to fish their dead bodies out in spring! My grand total is 64 frogs moved.

Indoors, we are finding as much light as we can. Caitlin gave me this snowglobe and it refracts the light from our Christmas tree!

Joseph Brian has been having some more fun.

I drove him into town for cat food and drugs. At the drugstore, I waited while JB went in. I noticed a woman in a car beside me whose one headlight was out. She had a baby with her. I told her about it and she thanked me. That was my good deed for the day!

JB is the shopper, and I stay in the car, as I get stressed! The vet still has door-to-car service. They bring out a mobile machine, as well as the cat food, right to the car.

I did an online food order, which we picked up on Thursday. I spotted a young man, I think twice! He had a red mask on the back of his head. It was -5 C., at this point, he didn't look too warm.

The woman who brought our groceries said that there are shortages in cat food. Crikey. We buy cheaper wet food and get the dry from the vet.

Also, Kellogg's products as the workers are on strike. I sure don't blame them. The disparity between CEO compensation and front line workers widens. 
CEOs typically have huge salaries: "CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978" and it always shocks me. The CEO-to-employee pay ratios are staggering. Capitalism at its worst. Why are the rich so selfish? Greed? Why, if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, would you deny basic needs to employees: healthcare, sick leave, a living wage? Not only that, but they want a two-tier wage for employees. They want to reduce vacation time, and cost of living allowances. In 2020, Kellogg's profits were $1.76 BILLION. 

Saturday 27 November 2021

Saturday's Critters

 Chad Coyote (the girls named them!), was in the backyard. It is obvious that he is wary of the house, and glances at the windows checking for humans. That is a good sign. That and the fact that they don't come around in the daytime.

Chad in the forest is another story. There was something up at the house to set off the motion sensor spotlight at the house. As he leaves, he went up the hill and pooped on the path! 

We have a bigger buck than Carl. He's not all that big, Tigger lived longer and had a bigger set of antlers. [Tigger: More deer tails and Whitetail Savvy]

But Gerald has a respectable set. He is maybe 3 years old. I texted and asked for a name; Josephine suggested we name him Gerald! I've not seen any deer scrapes, where they mark their territory during rutting season.

Having the trailcams at either end of the path captures them coming and going. Carl saw me coming, and hoofed it.

Next, Gerald appeared in front of the window. He was trimming my peony plant, which is dead for now, of course!

For more critters: Saturday's Critters # 415, thanks to Eileen for hosting!
Saturday's Critters # 415

Friday 26 November 2021

The skull shaver and the closet

Skull Shaver

This was JB's birthday present. 

Apparently it is as labour intensive as using a razor. You still have to use shaving cream. It is a work in progress. The funny thing is I didn't realize he didn't shave every day!

Also, he's had neck issues for the better part of this year, and he isn't comfortable shaving the back of his neck. It was a good idea at the time!

Go In the Closet!

I've been puttering around the house. I decided that the girls didn't need me to make any more skirts and dresses. Their tastes are different. I'd had clean the closet on the To Do list for a couple of weeks.

 I used to make the girls skirts and dresses. They mostly wear leggings and jeans now! I threw away the shoe boxes with all those patterns. Well, I put it them into the kindling box. They were stored in the guest room closet and it just managed to become cluttered. I loathe throwing things away!

It felt good to clean stuff out. The miracle of the clean closet means I can put the vacuum in there! I have to write about this, or I will be fuming if I don't remember I did this and cannot find said vacuum. Do you know what I mean?

The bonus to being able to close the door means that I found the yarn and knitting needles I bought, hanging on the back of the door. I intended to reteach myself knitting. That hasn't happened and I had a good excuse. I am so impressed with the crafty people who knit, crochet, and quilt. I am not sure I have it in me, though. 

I have a needle point I've worked on, sitting with clients. It was meant to be for the kids 10th wedding anniversary. (They are up to 16 years, now.) Whoopsie. I haven't had a client since COVID, and then she passed away during that time. 

The Bears

There was water pooling under them, which can't be good. I put one of the cardboard corner braces, found in the box in which they arrived, under the plastic. 

We continue to put up more lights, what-the-heck! Today I shall try glue one of the train wheels axles. Maybe we can get it going. 

This is an old video from 2010. I loved Oliver so much! JB's cat, Sady, was amazing, too.

We are drawn to lights and colour, during these dreary days. As I write this it is raining.

I went to bed to read, whilst the cats made themselves busy.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)😓

I had another CRA phone call, the real deal when they quote their first name and employee number. They demanded I tell them the plan for repaying the $10,000 they say we owe. 

I spent 15 minutes explaining the situation. 

  1. We didn't get their 'letters' on the website. 
  2. I borrowed from the Line of Credit and paid the amount owing from my 2019 error. It will take 5 - 10 days for them to receive our payment, including $194.37 in interest for 2019 mistake.
  3. I have printed a letter outlining what has happened, that I've paid the 2019 overdue amount, and uploaded it to JB's tax return. 
  4. I have copied my medical receipts from 2020, they are mostly mine, and snail mailed them to CRA in Newfoundland (NL). Also, it will take until Dec. 1st to get our paperwork. Maybe longer as roads are washed out in NL.

He said he'd put a note on the file. I guess no one read the two page letter I uploaded to explain all this. Now we wait. 

Thursday 25 November 2021

So many critters!

We've varied progress on projects. Successfully snagging his Rx after recounting his tale in my previous post, from there we came home to rescue froggies. After that I did the work on our taxes. (See previous post.)

 🐸Moving the frogs 

They snuggle up to the warm rock, and that's where things go awry. I counted 19 lethargic cold frogs under a 3 cm of ice on Nov. 24. They are fooled into thinking this is a warm place.

I broke my long-handled net, I'll have to get another for next year, and captured 4/19 and took them down to the frogpond. I had the break the ice with the chopper. I have a shorter net, which sufficed. 

I had to take the ice chopper down to the frog pond and I hoped for the best. 

Later, I found another 5.  It looks like 4, but the frog on the upper left is hiding under the top frog! 

When I took them down to the pond, I could see a couple of them peeking their heads out of the water. I think in the goldfish pond, it cools and reheats so slowly their bodies don't get the message that it is fall.
Yet later, another 2! = #57


The pumpkins have been a hit. As I approached the trailcams, I could see right through the pumpkin!

I'm really behind in showing our critters, as there has been much action and/or stress here. Things are hopping outside with double-digit negative temperatures.

The doe is being followed by young buck Carl! 💓💔💕💖

🎃Carl likes the pumpkin! You can hear the graupel falling.

We had three coyotes at once Nov. 18th🎥, but this is a single Chad coyote on the 19th! I can't tell them apart too well. One, however, had a darker tail, whereas the others look like their tails are dipped in ink.

Several deer in the backyard, they are beginning to make single gender groups for winter yards.