The weather man is having some fun with us.
After the gorgeous sunshine, we had RAIN!
There were several thawing days, a bit of hot sun, but mostly gloom and strong warm winds. My bushroad became a terrible mess.
Half the snow disappeared. This is what it normally looks like in mid April.
Two nights ago, it froze a bit.
The puddles on the road made interesting ice patterns.
That afternoon, it got gloomier than ever, and started to snow in earnest.
It dumped snow for several hours. At first it was just above freezing, then just below.
Then, last night, the temperature dropped to -17C.
On Thursday I go to town for my second shopping trip of the year. I will be picking up two volunteers. I plan on gutting my house and doing the interior carpentry work. In 3 weeks I leave for my knee replacement. So these next few days is the only time I have to clean house, pack for the trip, bake bread and cook a meal so we have something to eat when we get home, and finish my income tax. But how could anyone stay indoors and do chores on a morning like this!
Spring birds are arriving quickly now. Juncos have been here a week.
This morning a starling came. Starlings are the only alien bird I see here. This guy looked as though he wished he were somewhere else. He was not genetically designed for -17C temps
But the sun soon reached the cabin.
The flock of redpolls appeared in their usual noisy fashion. (They will be heading north soon.)
And once the dishes were done, on with the snowshoes and away I went on a hike.
By noon the snow was sticky and a hot wind was blowing again. More snow is forecast.
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First: Arthritis Interrupted.
DON”T BUY THE BOOK!
A man (or team? Who knows with these guys?) calling himself Jim Healthy has a great website for people with chronic ailments like type 2 diabetes and arthritis. His recipes on My Healing Kitchen are to die for – and quite simple. Halibut (or any fish, meat or tofu) marinated in green tea….. He and a Dr Sinatra have put their names to a book called Arthritis Interrupted. They maintain you may not need a joint replacement if you follow their food and supplement ideas.
The Arthritis Interrupted website had me inspired. There are great free downloads on it. I am not usually taken in by advertising hype but something struck a chord with me. Whoever wrote this site is a master advertiser. Even now I find some of his other products desirable. But I will not do business with these people again.
I found the site about 6 weeks ago On Feb 5th. I am due for a knee replacement mid April. I did not take pain killers or supplements when I found the site. It was 10 days before my first shopping trip of the year.
I thought the website so good, I splurged and ordered the book for $35.00
The only supplement I had was Bromelain, a pineapple extract that someone had given me but which I had not tried. I immediately took some between meals as suggested. Within 3 days I had a knee the size of a football and pain like I had never suffered before. I wrote to Jim Healthy asking if others had suffered the same way, but no reply.
I waited for the book, and waited and waited. On Feb 22nd, I receive an email from the company saying they had shipped it priority mail. That was 2 and half weeks after I ordered it. I checked my credit card info: sure enough, they had billed me for two items, one apparently the book and the other the priority mail – total over $74.00. The really annoying thing was that they had the gall to charge for priority mail but waited so long to ship it. I wrote and complained – no reply. 5 weeks after I bought the book, it arrived. It had a cheap glossy cover, but the inside was simply a computer printout. The content was mostly a rehash of the free downloads. It came with a CD. That contained only the free downloads.
There are also inconsistencies with the information. MSM is a painkiller that should be taken with meals, otherwise it causes stomach upsets.. ”Jim Healthy” (no wonder he does not use his real name) says this in one place; he also says you should not eat 3 hours before bedtime; then he says to take megadoses of MSM at bedtime.
He got most of his info from much better books, The Arthritis Cure and Maximizing the Arthritis Cure by Dr Jason Theodosakis. (At $0.01 each used from Amazon.ca you can’t go wrong! ) The following comment shows the difference between these comapnies.
I cannot take the arthritis miracle-cure, glucosamine as I am allergic to shellfish. Dr Theo was advertising a joint supplement containing glucosamine from other sources. It also contained “full RDA Vit C.” I am unfortunately sensitive to commercial Vit C or ascorbic acid (which is in many foods, even organic). I did not understand what Full RDA meant. I wrote to Dr Theo and he replied at once saying he was sorry but he advised me not to buy his supplement. I sure wish I could take Vit C – I would have bought a ton of his products.
On my shopping trip I did buy supplements that “Jim Healthy” suggested and also changed to a full anti-inflammatory diet (I didn’t have to alter much as I haven’t eaten sugar or processed food for years.) And I have to say it worked quite well although I had to give some supplements up because of stomach problems. I am also making my own glucosamin/chondroitin supplement with cartilage-rich bones and eggshells a la Jim Healthy – fortunately I have local sources of grass fed beef and chickens that run around. I still have knee pain, but most of the inflammation is under control. I guess people are supposed to follow this routine for 3 months before they see much improvement and my operation will come before that, but with luck I can keep the osteoarthritis that is also present in other joints at bay.
So was I ripped off at having to pay $74 for this info? Actually, all together it was probably worth it. It certainly gave me a new way of looking at dealing with arthritis, even though that information is in other places and if I’d known, I would have gone there. The website, My Healing Kitchen, has great food ideas and I will continue to peruse it. The big quarrel I have with Jim Healthy and co is their sloppy business practices. I will certainly never buy anything from them again.
The dull, gloomy weather didn’t seem to want to leave.
But gradually the cloud cleared.
Then the sun was glorious!
I’m sitting and sunbathing where my deck will be. (The coat over the back of the chair is to block a sneaky little wind.) I actually bared my forearms!
I went to Nimpo Lake to pick up mail and along Highway 20 saw the first pussy willows.
This is the twig time of year. I love to bring them into the house and watch the various buds unfold long before they will do so in the wild.
The forsythia was stolen from a bush in the Bella Coola Valley last weekend. It has opened in the house. The advanced pussy willows were from down there, too. The knobbly twigs at the back are cottonwood. (The primulaceae are from my last trip to Williams Lake).
This morning I snowshoed up onto the north bluff. The warm weather was melting the recent snow and the weed stems were popping up again, leaving interesting shapes where they had been.
The mountains in their new snow coats were spectacular.
Above is Noghwhon. Below is Middle Mountain set off by dead, beetle-killed pines.
Here is a panoramic view from the top.
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Several of you have asked about books I am reading so I thought I’d throw in a few posts once in a while – I have a new category for Books I have Read. (to see other books I will add, click on the title of the post and check the categories on the right. To comment, scroll down to the bottom of the same page)
Something Fierce is an amazing story. Carmen is Chilean and was eleven when the narration starts. Her mother and step father (who was Canadian born) were secret revolutionaries against the Pinochet dictatorship. To maintain their cover, they lived in a bourgois way and sent the kids to right-wing schools. The kids had to learn from an early age that they could not breathe a word of what went on at home. Carmen’s teenage years were all about the awful conflict of living a lie. Most of her life was filled with terror.
I travelled through Chile and Argentina during the late seventies, the years at the beginning of this book. Argentina had a war with Chile at that time but apart from nuisances at border crossings, I was totally unaware of what was going on beneath the surface in Chile. In Argentina the terror of the people was much more apparent.
This book is very well written and shows a life most of us in North America cannot imagine. Carmen does say at the close of the book that her sister (who was a year younger) remembers that time quite differently. It would be interesting to hear her version of the story. Something Fierce is a fascinating read.
The forecast was not great. The trouble with going down The Hill to the Bella Coola Valley is that rain and wet snow can cause avalanches. The Hill has been closed so many times in these last 3 years, what with fires and floods and avalanches, that when you go down you are never quite sure if you are going to get back up again!
The two inches of snow we had the other day had not melted much, but no more was falling when I left home. However, west of Anahim is where the real mountains start, and before long some pretty flakes were drifting down.
The road is generally maintained pretty well. I had the truck in 4 x 4 and low gear, and there was no problem.
Wet snow and rain fell all night. The following morning I drove the remaining 40 minutes to Bella Coola to shop. At my friends’ place, it was still quite snowy.
That afternoon, I started back up The Hill. People in town had told me it had been dumping snow up there: the road services had been working all night. They had 2 graders and 2 plough trucks but only one plough truck was working.
At the lower end of The Hill, it was pouring rain.
However, I drove slowly and there was no problem. The falling snow lasted until just before Anahim Lake. I ran into a few more flurries, but there was little snow on the trees and the road was half sloppy and bare. The temperature was +1C. So I was quite surprised to find 8″ snow on my roadway. My neighbour obviously was not home or he would have ploughed it. A short distance along the road, there was a tree across it.
And I did not have the chain saw in the truck. Because of the weather, the dogs had to ride inside and I did not want to leave the chain saw in the open back of the truck. This was nearly 3 miles from home. I had the axe and figured that if I cut one end of the tree, I could attach a rope and back the truck up and pull it free. But all I did was pull the truck sideways into the pile of snow at the edge that had been created by the plough, and which covered a shallow ditch. I was well and truly stuck.
First I chopped the tree in half and manually dragged it off the road. Then I dug the truck out and fired the motor. I got 2 feet and was bogged even worse. I dug a bit more and tried again. That wasn’t going to work so I dragged out the come-along.
I drove all those hours on the “dangerous” road, then got stuck in my driveway. Interestingly, it was in exactly the same place where we had the big bog hole last spring and where I got stuck before. At least, this time, I had clean snow to lie on while crawling under the truck to fix ropes.
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You can help all authors by requesting books into your local library (in Canada, at any rate).
Yesterday, when I went for mail, I received one of the year’s bigger cheques. I can generally count on a little below $2,000. The cheque always comes in February, which is a dead time of the year otherwise, so is much looked forward to. The Public Lending Right Program was started by the Canada Council for the Arts and is a kind of royalty for books found in libraries. I receive between $28.00 per “hit” for older books. and up to $48.00 for the newest ones. There is a maximum of 7 “hits” for each book.
However, I see that one book was found only 5 times (A Mountain Year), another 6 times (Nuk Tessli), and one (To Stalk the Oomingmak) was not found at all. If a book is not found for 3 years in a row, it is discontinued in the program.
So I just thought I’d put it out there to you library users. Not just for me, but for every Canadian author. Please request Canadian books into your local library. You don’t have to read them – just request them! It costs you nothing. Provided authors are registered with the program, they will benefit.
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It started late one afternoon and finished the following morning. We had three wet inches.
In the afternoon, it cleared a little. (Most of the ground in the following picture had been bare.)
I walked to the bottom of the North Bluff.
Badger posed beautifully with Finger peak in the back ground.
The mix of mild hazy sun and gloom that we have had now for most of a month continues….
The day before it snowed, Bill the plumber finally installed the reverse osmosis filter. (We have left the tubes long for now in case there is a problem.)
When I bought the filter last November, I told the seller I had excess manganese, iron and sodium chloride in the water. He said a reverse osmosis filter was the only thing that would get rid of the salt. It cost $450 (and the plumbing is another$175) So not cheap. This filter takes care of the salt (and it would take out arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals if I had them.) Upon reading the small print, I see it doesn’t like excess iron and doesn’t like excess hard water: the manganese makes a lot of scale. So I don’t know how long the filter will last. The system provides four processed 4 litres a day, using 16 litres of well water. Fine for me alone, but it would not be great for more than two people so when I have volunteers, I may still have to haul drinking water from the post office. I use the untreated well water for cooking (the sulphur smell and salt do not taint the food) but it is so wonderful to have water in a pot that looks clear and does not immediately build a scale. There is no sulphur odour either. The post office water is also very hard. I can scrub a wide pot free of scale with steel wool every few days, but many kettles and thermoses have been ruined: once the scale builds up enough, any water put into it develops an unpleasant taste. Using the filtered water for all food would not be wise as it is so pure it is lacking in minerals.
It is so wonderful to have any water, though. A sink and a drain is pure luxury. No more spitting toothpaste into the slop bucket and having to carry the dishwater into the outhouse. I can do laundry without having to save it all up and drag it to friends when I visit.
You will notice a pipe with nothing connected to it at the left of the sink drain. This will be for the hot water when I can figure out how I am going to get that.
You can just see the colours of the American flag stuck onto part of the filter. On it are the words: “Proudly Assembled in the USA.” Talk about propaganda. Any idiot could put it together: the actual parts were made in China.
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No one can remember such a mild winter. The weather is more like late April than early February. The river has large chunks of open water.
And there is bare ground on all the sunny slopes.
So it was quite a surprise when I ran into wintry driving conditions going to Williams lake on the 14th February for the first shopping trip of the year.
it wasn’t so bad when I left home in the dark, minus 3 C with an occasional flake, but soon I ran into 3″ snow on the road and -8C temps. Snowflakes whirled thickly in the headlights but at the same time it must have been raining because ice was building up on the windshield. We’ve had such a soft winter I was not prepared for those conditions!
Towards Williams Lake, the weather cleared a bit. The road is full of logging trucks at this time of year. What matchsticks the Chilcotin produces! When I first came to the area 30 years ago, Chilcotin timber was considered worthless. Now they cannot cut it down fast enough.
I spent the night at 108 Mile but did not have time to visit Walker Valley as I needed to be back in Williams Lake by 8.00am for a van service. While there, the temperature rose and the sun came out. Another coatless day.
I took this picture because of the bird on top of the pickup. Isn’t he a fine fellow.
I was able to leave town by early afternoon. To avoid falling asleep on these long, driving/shopping trips, I often pick up a coffee at Lee’s corner, the first stop along the Chilcotin. (I never drink coffee at any other time.) I enjoyed their notice board.
Lee was a man who thought he could make money out of the Yukon gold rush. He decided he would make his fortune, not by grubbing for gold, but by driving cows from the southern ranchlands to the goldfields. The lack of feed and rough terrain defeated him. The last cow died here.
It was cloudy again when I left Williams Lake but all along I could see a strip of blue sky in the west. (This large burn happened in 2003.)
The edge of the cloud was quite dramatic. I got sunshine all the rest of the way home.
On the Tuesday before I left, Bill the plumber came to finally fit my reverse osmosis filter. I bought the thing last November, and Bill has been promising to fit it since the New Year.
Of course, he found he was missing an adapter. The under-sink pipes that he put in were the wrong size. He was on his way to Williams Lake: he would be returning the day I left. I looked forward to having drinking water when I got home. I have been hauling water ever since I bought Ginty Creek nearly 7 years ago.
There was a nice new tap in my sink. But nothing came out of it. Bill could not find the right adapter in Williams Lake. He should get it within a day or two. He might be by to fix it in two or three weeks. (It is not covered by warrenty unless it is fitted by a plumber.)
Such is life in the Chilcotin.
A mix of weather, although I see that most of these pictures have been taken in sunshine. It remains ridiculously mild; about -10C at night and plus 2 – 4C in the afternoon. In the sun it is positively balmy and I often hike without a coat.
Sunrise. Water has started to ooze on top of the ice on the pond:
That same morning, the moon composed itself nicely.
The sun now clears Middle Mountain when it sets.
On a clear evening, the light is superb
But sometimes there is a bit of fog.
There is not much snow, but the shadows are pretty.
Last Saturday the Tatla Lake annual ski competitions were held. Competitors ere of all ages.
There was a tea-boiling competition.
And people just came to socialize.
On yesterday’s hike I was entertained by a pileated woodpecker. I don’t see them that often here. This guy was checking the resonance out on every branch on every snag. Hi drum rolls followed me all afternoon.