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Archives for: July 2008

First Floating Cabin Visitors

July 31st, 2008  · stk

Yesterday, we returned from hosting our first visitors at the floating cabin. It was a success! The weather (for the most part) cooperated, the boat didn't break down and we even remembered to bring the cabin key this time! We did encounter a few SNAFU's however

Bruce & Michelle / Langley, B.C.

This summer season seems to be all about the floating cabin, as we're trying to find the best way to get there and work out some kinks and make sure that the boat, "Blue Yonder" is reliable and seaworthy. We were eager to share our love for the outdoors and the unique wilderness experience at the floating cabin, but we were a bit nervous about having our first visitors.

It's fitting that they were Bruce and Michelle, because they were also our first guests in Edmonton, showing up within a couple of weeks after we'd moved. They also like the out-of-doors and have recently gotten into kayaking. They were visiting Vancouver Island for an anniversary vacation and when we found out, we invited them to the floating cabin for a few days.

We had a great time, even though there were a few mishaps: an overloaded boat; a swarm of vicious, stinging bees; and the loss of eight crabs to determined seals. It seems that every trip to the cabin brings up 'interesting challenges' that turn into humorous and memorable events!

To read about the adventure of our first floating cabin guests .... carry on (the narrative is in their own words, as transcribed from the cabin guest journal) ...

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Updated: 1-Mar-2009
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Filed in:Book Reviews

The Time In Between

July 25th, 2008  · Rachel

Rachel reviews "The Time In Between", an award winning novel by David Bergen. A

(Fiction)Review of "The Time In Between"
an award winning novel by David Bergen

The 2005 winner of the Giller Prize, David Bergen’s novel, “The Time In Between” is about a Vietnam veteran, Charles Boatman, who returns to Vietnam to face some of the demons that have haunted him for decades after serving there. When he goes missing, his son and daughter, Jon and Ada, travel to Vietnam in search of him. While Jon soon emotionally abandons the search for his father, Ada continues to follow any clue that might lead to her father, becoming entangled in the lives of those she meets. The novel unfolds, moving between past and present, father and daughter, as the two main characters each weave their way along an emotional journey. The strength of the tie between father and daughter is developed in the section of the book covering the years prior to Charles' return to Vietnam and then as Ada gains insight into her father's trauma as she continues her search for him.

Click "Read Full Story" to continue reading the review of "The Time In Between".

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Updated: 26-Jul-2008
Web View Count: 13799 viewsLast Web Update: 26-Jul-2008

Svala Checkerboard Table

July 22nd, 2008  · stk

IKEA Svala Checkerboard Table Project: Alex got an IKEA "Svala" table from her grandparents. Most IKEA furniture must be put together and a finish applied. This was no different. What was different, however, was that Scott turned it into a checkerboard. (Step-by-step instructions, tips and photos are included for other do-it-yourself project types).

DIY Project for an IKEA "Svala" Children's Table
(or any other unfinished table, for that matter)

I had the idea of doing something special with an IKEA TRIVIA: What Does IKEA Mean? ikea logo The popular Swedish home furnishings retailer - IKEA - has 282 stores in 36 countries (and plans on opening about 23 more stores during 2008). It was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad (17 at the time). The company name combines the first letters of the founder's name and the village in which he grew up (Elmtayrd Agunnaryd) ... hence: Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd! happy boyNow you know! Just remember it for the next time you play Trivial Pursuit!  table that Alex got from her maternal grandparents, as a gift. Sure, I could have simply stained it, or applied polyurethane, but I wanted to try my hand at something slightly more fancy.

By adding a checkerboard playing surface, Alex could use the table for more than just tea parties and coloring sessions. The only question was, "What's the best way to add the checkerboard?"

The project languished, partly because of other chores and a busy schedule, but also because I was couldn't decide on the best way to proceed.

Ultimately, I flew by the seat of my pants, using a combination of spray paint, wood stain and polyurethane. I tried to add an 'antique touch' to the finished product and all-in-all, I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

I thought I'd share the steps (plus a bit of what was learned along the way and things I'd do differently) in case someone else out there wants to take on a similar project. ;)

For step-by-step instructions and photos ... carry on brave DIYs!

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Updated: 4-Aug-2008
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Filed in:Family

Miss Marilyn Dyer

July 19th, 2008  · stk

See how searching for an EXIF program, led me to find a 50 year old photo of my mother on the Internet! (She was then "Miss Marilyn Dyer") SURPRISE MOM!!

The Things You Find on the Internet!

I didn't get much done today, as my nose led me tripping across the Internet. The bloody web, eh? It can be such a time waster.

During my travels however, I happened to dig up an old photograph of my mother (a certain Miss. Marilyn Dyer) taken in 1957! If it surprised me, my bet is that it will really surprise her!

When she met my father, she was working at Camp Wolters, just outside of Mineral Wells, Texas. (They were both living there, my dad as an army dude - not sure his rank or duty. Funny how little we actually know about our own parents.) Mom however, was the Assistant Director of the Camp Service Club. (I bet she had lots of guys asking her out on dates, because, being single and setting up all those social activities, you're just bound to meet lots of cute guys.) ;)

So my dad stood out from the crowd at Camp Wolters. They met there and married there too, at the little church that was on the base. The church is still there, but Camp Wolters (later called Fort Wolters) is no longer. An Army camp from 1925 to 1946 Camp Wolters was deactivated for a time. It became an Air Force base in 1951, but in 1956, it reverted to the Army to house the U.S. Army Primary Helicopter School. Camp Wolters was renamed "Fort Wolter" in 1963, when it was designated as a "permanent" military base. The base was deactivated in 1973 and now the site is an industrial park, National Guard training center and a Weatherford College branch campus.

To find out what led me to discover my mom's old photo, to see the photo and a bit more about Camp Wolters ... trip on to the next page!

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Updated: 19-Jul-2008
Web View Count: 16203 viewsLast Web Update: 19-Jul-2008

The Oop Catches a Rainbow

July 11th, 2008  · stk

Alex caught her first fish (a rainbow trout), at Nora Lake, while visiting her grandparents in California, during our mid-June holiday. She had great fun fishing and catching her first slippery trout!

Alex Catches Her First Fish at Nora Lake, in Northern California

There's something very special about a kid catching their first fish! Funny though, because the Oop probably won't remember the event, as she's only four and a half. Nope, it's more a memory for the parents and - if your lucky - a great photo opportunity! (Wonder how many family albums contain grinning kids and their prize catch?)

The Oop didn't disappoint, in the photo department. Sporting rather cool-looking purple shades and gripping a decent-sized rainbow trout, Alex proudly showed off her first fish. Grinning gamely, she's gripping it tightly with a washcloth, in order to gain some traction against her slippery catch!

Alex's first fish came during a recent trip to California, with her Dad, to visit her paternal grandparents. The fishing expedition was suggested by Bill and Kitty, friends of the family and it was a huge relief to drive out of the (hot) northern valley and into the hills that surround Mount Lassen.

The weather was cool and the smell of pine trees permeated the air, as we drove past Grace Lake, driving over to nearby Nora Lake. Alex was excited to go fishing and eager to get her mitts on some ' Power Bait What is Power Bait? powerbait Powerbait (Berkley Trout Bait) is a moldable fish bait that comes in a small jar. It's effective for catching fish, but boy does it stink! Powerbait comes in a variety of bright colors and also comes as pre-formed nuggets. ', which she wanted to buy when we got home, as she was pretty certain that Tuxedo, our cat, would find it a delicious snack!

To read more about Alex's first fish ... continue on ...

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Updated: 12-Jul-2008
Web View Count: 15705 viewsLast Web Update: 12-Jul-2008

Rough First Time

July 7th, 2008  · stk

A trip to California with the Oop, a new hot-tub project and the normal run of web work ... things have been pretty thin at Randsco for a while. We recently took a family boat trip to the floating cabin . Read about the adventurous ordeal in this floating cabin log entry.

First Solo Trip to the Floating Cabin

Our first solo trip to the floating cabin was very memorable. Some of the memories will actually be GOOD ONES!

A flat tire, a bloody nose, getting hung up on the dock while launching, a rough-as-cobb trip (during which, we almost turned the boat around and headed for home), a four-hour boat ride, locked out of the cabin and running out of gas ... are some of the not-so-good ones.

We're new to the floating cabin and also to our boat. As a bunch of newbies, we're learned a BUNCH of valuable lessons during our ill-fated trip! HA!

There were some positive events. Despite pouring rain all Friday night and Saturday morning, it did - eventually - clear up and we had a rain-free (and sometimes sunny) Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. We spotted a couple of sea otters (a baby one on the back deck, which we watched from about five feet away). We also saw loads of bald eagles and a few bear (one of which we watched all morning, as it meandered along the beach, flipping rocks and eating various sea creatures). We met a few of our cabin neighbors. We also learned where we can get gas, along the way to the cabin.

To read the cabin log entry from our first solo trip to the floating cabin ...

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Updated: 1-Mar-2009
Web View Count: 17246 viewsLast Web Update: 1-Mar-2009