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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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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
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Getting Off the Fence Project

June 23rd, 2006  · stk

Summer Season in Full Swing the Hammer

As a "jack of all trades" and retired geophysicist, Scott often takes on handyman projects, both to earn side money and to get the satisfaction of building something with his hands. (Of course, there's now the hopeful outcome that he'll lose some of those winter pounds he's put on too!) ;) This project, for our friends Dan and Jen, is a new fence across the back of their lot and a fence replacement down the side, shared with their neighbor. They have a large lot and it's something like 200 feet of fence, all told.

Dan has asked to work with Scott, both to learn about fence-building and to help defray some labor costs. This is not a problem and Scott likes working with home owners. It's more fun to work with someone else. Dan only has Monday afternoons and Friday's free, so it'll be a multi-week project.

To learn how to make a better wood fence and follow this project, read on

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Updated: 25-Jul-2006
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Christmas Anticipation

December 22nd, 2005  · stk

Alex is almost twenty seven months old and unlike last year, is now fully engrossed and involved with Christmas. We haven't been to see "Santa" (yet), but we will, no doubt. Her Gran and Grandpa arrived from Vancouver today and so there is a gathering of family. She is excited with all the hubbub, the decorating and has been chowing down on candies from no less than TWO Advent Calendars.

Tom and Sheila, PCT friends from California, sent up a special Christmas package for the Oop. Inside, was a present to be opened "immediately". The gift? A unique, fold out book for Alex called, "The Twelve Bugs of Christmas". She has been wanting to "read" the book, non-stop, since its arrival. Of course, supervision is required or the unique fold out pages will rapidly cease to function as intended, but this doesn't dampen her spirits any!

Rachel noted that before we met Tom and Sheila, they were sending US presents in the mail (awesome chocolate chip cookies), while we were on our six-month hike. Unfortunately, we no longer get (or need, for that matter) chocolate chip cookies. Again, it seems to be that Alex gets all the fun things in the mail, but no matter ... the joy she has opening up the parcel overcomes our own disappointment. (Sort of). A BIG thank you to Tom and Sheila for their thoughtful gift and bringing joy to Oop's second Christmas ... and being a part of it, even though they're way too far away.

Our Christmas tree looks much more like a Christmas tree this year. Alex helped decorate it, adding many ornaments. She found it easier hanging ornaments having a looped string and she gave them a pass, if they had a metal hook. We held her up, to decorate at higher levels and we did notice she had a slight tendency to apply all the ornaments to a single branch!! But it's much improved over last year, when we had to move all the ornaments out of her reach, otherwise she would pluck them off the tree and into her mouth. This year - (perhaps because she helped decorate?) - she's left the tree alone and it actually STILL looks good.

The Christmas lights are on a timer and when they come on, around dusk, Alex demands that the other lights (which are not on a timer) be turned on. "Lights on," she says to Daddy, "now." We ask her, with a trailing question, "Lights oooonnn ... ?" and she pipes up with a required "pleeze".

Keeping up with the Advent Calendar hasn't been as easy as one might imagine. We typically go for a treat (chocolate kisses), after dinner, though sometimes she's so fussy about eating ... that we decide to give the treat a pass. Yes, our little angel is in the middle of her "terrible twos" and believe me, they're TERRIBLE! She can't hang the foil ornament on the wall-hung Advent Calendar, so she asks, "Daddy help?" To her credit though, she hasn't tried to pinch any chocolates, which we think is pretty amazing (especially as we've been pinching, Rachel more so than Scott, the candies that remain in cupboard). Seems our 2-year old daughter has greater self control!

She's left the presents alone too, though she's certain that each is for her and her alone. (Mostly, she's correct). After all, Christmas really IS all about the children, isn't it?

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Updated: 26-Feb-2006
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Oop gets a Piggy Bank

December 3rd, 2005  · stk

We've been trying to find an honest-to-good piggy bank for Alex. It's more difficult than on might imagine. Finally, an old college friend came to the resue. Easthouse Design Studio, a ceramic business run by Kim Easthouse, makes hand-painted ceramic piggy banks.

Once upon a time... we were in the market for a piggy bank for the Oop. Around Easter time, her paternal grandparents mailed some money for the acquisition of such a child-appropriate gift. We delayed in the purchase because we were looking for a special bank, a classic "piggy bank". Though we kept our eyes open for such a swine, none of our shopping forays unearthed any such beast. (Of course, neither of us are avid "shoppers", so it wasn't like we were on a city-wide boar hunt or anything. But we DID keep our eyes peeled!)

A solution came as an epiphany, one day, when Scott remembered that his UCD friend, Kim Easthouse, runs a successful ceramics business from her Seattle home. A quick telephone call confirmed that she did, indeed, make ceramic piggy banks and that she would be happy to craft one for the Oop.

The summer months slid by and although we did get a chance to stop and visit the Easthouse clan - it was fun seeing you guys ... as always - the bank (like so many of our own projects) had yet to migrate from "the drawing board", into an amorphous clay creation. We had all but forgotten about the slotted swine, when ... out of the blue, we get a large postal delivery! (The Oop immediately thinks that it's for her and of course, she's correct again ... nobody sends Scott or Rachel presents any more! Grrr.   :-/   They're all for the cute little Oop! How fair is that? )

When Rachel returns from her day at the University, we help Alex tear into her package, eager to reveal the contents and meet Mr. Piggy. Lo and behold ... we unwrap the well-padded, delightful, ceramic pig, which is personalized with Alex's name written across its haunches. The Oop was thrilled with her bank, but Mom and Dad were a tad leery of letting her spend much time with it alone ... for fear that it would be immediately broken. So ... we supervised, as she moved her coins from her temporary piggy bank, into their new home.

She's on her way to becoming a gazillionaire and we owe Kim Easthouse a big "THANK YOU" for such a special piggy bank! (And to Grandma & Grandpa for sparking the idea in the first place).

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Updated: 5-Dec-2005
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