Wednesday, December 14, 2005

the silly season

At least this is what my brother calls the Christmas season and I have to agree.

Right now it is kinda crazy. We are working full on these days at our jobs and now progress on renovations is halted a bit as we just try and keep ahead of the pile of firewood. Not much in the ways of days off until the 23rd or so.

I got our first Christmas card of the season. Thanks to my Aunt Irene for the card. I had an idea I'd get Greig, the kids and I up on the bow of the ship, hang a big fat wreath off of it and send it around. Yah, you don't see it do you?

People have given up on sending me cards as I just don't have the time to send them out to anyone anymore. It is one of those I miss having the opportunity to do. I have the cards squirreled away somewhere....

No real plans for Christmas so far as it's Nell's turn to have the kids this year.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Fire! Fire! Burn Stick!

(With apologies to the Old woman and the Pig.)

It has been three years in the "planning" but Greig has finally devised a good method of getting firewood onto the boat.

We sit about three boats out from shore with our starboard side (bow pointing eastward up the river) adjacent to the shoreline. We have a substantial dock between us and our neighbour, the wonderful Jimi Siwa*. The dock just happened to be floating down the river one day and Greig wedged it between us and Jimi's boat. The Fraser has many log booms going up and down and often these will come apart or logs will pop out of the boom. We'll often gather quite a few logs between all of our boats.

Greig has put a wood chute in the side of the hull and put a metal framework in place that was part of a vent from somewhere else. With the chainsaw he can now buck up and split the firewood on the dock and pop it through the chute where we can pile it up inside. The metal framework won't damage the hull when pieces get shoved through. (It is the kind of system that my Dad would probably drool over as the logs just float by. He has to actually go out into the bush to find the stuff.) The main disadvantage is that it is often wet and green. Ideally, we should have been doing all of this in the spring and summer to give it all time dry/cure.

Regardless, it beats the heck out of carting cord after cord of firewood down the docks. We did however have to get a load of dry firewood from One-Eyed Mike* yesterday that we can mix it up with the stuff on hand and get a hot fire.

Last night, with plans for yoga dashed,again, I shlepped firewood down the dock. Marcus, Steve, Ted and I unloaded the truck, in the dark. It was high tide - it had to be done. Nothing worse than carting firewood down the docks on a LOW tide.

*Jimi Siwa, welder, mid fifties, lives on a steel 60' boat that he built himself. He is a Japanese Canadian from Prince Rupert. Claims to be decendant of Samurai. He is a total flirt and a tease and tries to play the ukelele. I adore him.

*One-Eyed Mike, old as dirt, lives in a house up the river a way on River Road in Richmond. He lives alone and he's quite a curmudgeon. Probably sitting on a couple million of riverfront property and lives in a furniture-less house that is teaming with cats. Drinks Royal Red. Last time I was there I counted about 40 and those were the ones I could see in the house. He has a boom coming out from shore and hauls in many logs for firewood that he sells from his house. He reminds me of the old loggers from around Kaslo. Considering the man has one eye and the other looks pretty rheumey he is pretty keen with an axe. Grieg likes taking me along when we see him as Mike actually likes me and sweetens up a bit and tries to practice his flirting skills.

Monday, December 05, 2005


"Out with the old and in with the new," as the saying goes.

Crystal finally came to get her stuff. As a consolation she has given us her beautiful doors that she has packed around with her for years. She just has no use for them now and I know she feels bad about the way things went down last month. The woman doesn't have much and since she is on a disability and there was little I think she felt she could do to remedy the situation. The gesture meant a lot. I do miss her. She was great with the kids and they liked her very much.

We have moved Chris's stuff out of his room into a corner by the back door, in the hopes that he will be back for his stuff. A gentleman named Ted has taken up his space. He's in his mid-50's with five grown children, most of whom live back in Ontario. Has one son in Afganistan at the moment. Works as a constrution site safety/industrial first aid attendant. He apparently has a "connection" at Cantabury Coffee to supply us with the "good stuff". What no President's Choice floor sweepings? But it's only 5.99/can...

And up on the Promenade deck where our room is, the spare room on the Starboard side is now occupied by Steve, 29. A Nova Scotian he has just started a job in Pest Control. "I suprisingly like it as it is not unlike gardening/landscaping really."

Sweet Hallelujah! Methinks this is serendipity in my battle against the rat(s).

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I heard a scritchy-scratching...

whilst I was putting on my warpaint this morning. I walked into the galley to investigate and I heard it behind the fridge. My rat-bat wasn't in it's spot over by the stove..."Oh but there is that a chunk of metal pipe outside".

I grabbed it to wedged the pipe behind the fridge to pull the fridge away from the wall. I think nothing of my murderous intent toward this beast.

"Lookit ya little bugger - ya can't scale those pipes. Grunt, Grrr!" I jammed the pipe onto the top of his head and he zipped back into the fridge motor. "Little shit...I'm gonna git-choo."

So I went around to the left side and pryed it out there as the fridge is wedged in between the counter and set of shelves for the "pantry." So the little rotter tried to scale the pipes again and I zipped around to the right of the fridge to smack him down again. Then he zipped out and across the galley.

Foiled Again!

I went into Chris's room to see where he was hiding --Chris wasn't home thank goodness...and the rotter zipped back under the fridge, scaled the wall, over some power cords and up the big ventalation fan in the corner. "ARRGh! I'll get you yet RAT! Stupid freakin' fan!"

And of course where were the cats? Still sleeping. I said, "Go get the rat!" Their ears perked for a moment and then they yawned, considered the idea for a moment and but clearly thought that not the best action. "Whatever...your not the boss of me. Be off with you." I know that is exactly what they were thinking.