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Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Do

At long last, I signed the papers and committed myself, for better or for worse, to pay large amounts of money for a new vehicle.
It took hours and hours in the hot car dealership (with broken air conditioning), but at the end of the day, we drove away in our Nissan Rogue.
Whew! I'm relieved to be done with the researching, test drives, soul searching, and endless conversations with salespeople. I really didn't like the intense focus on buying stuff. And despite feeling sick about such a huge purchase, it's pretty nice to drive a new car!

The wild life.

Life continues to be a blur.

Please excuse my lack of literary inspiration. Instead, I hope you enjoy the photographic vignettes from here.

Typical Australian wildlife coming up…..


It still amazes me how a large joey can fit all the way into its momma’s pouch…….OUCH!


Lizardy thing that enjoyed coming up close & personal to the camera.


Cassowary – bad tempered, vicious, and ugly


Tasmanian Devil – doesn’t have the best eating manners. Eats carrion.


‘Orrible squiggly things….ugh!

P1110172a P1110173a


Saltwater croc


Echidna – hyperactive, snuffly hedgehoggy lookalikes


My fave is the koala (sometimes known as the “Koala bear'” – but it is a marsupial and therefore not a bear at all. I think the ‘bear’ bit comes from it looking cute, furry, and cuddly) P1110230

And my own wee ‘bear’ being croc fodder!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Birthday Trip

Thank you, Southern Ange, for the lovely birthday wishes! And you too, Crystal!
I woke up on the big day in beautiful Coalmont, hamlet of eclecticism. I particularly love the pair of ancient pickup trucks that live permanently outside the former mining office. Big Bear gave me a blue iPod Nano; I adore the thin design and couldn't wait to get it home to fill up with music!
Big Bear and I drove leisurely, after breakfast at the Chinese restaurant in Princeton (not a recommended breakfast spot!), through the Similkameen Valley, past orchards and vineyards, and arrived in early afternoon at the American end of Osoyoos Lake. Our friends, Dan and Elizabeth, had a campsite all ready for us and we planted ourselves at the lake. I marked my birthday by trying out their jet ski for the first time. Pretty nice!
The hot, hot weather kept us by the water just lying around lazily. This was a true vacation! (except for the tent and having to walk to the washroom...)

On the third day, the storm arrived. With thunder, lightning, and rain, we decided to visit some local wineries. It was lovely sitting on the deck watching lightning as we drank a local chardonnay and ate cheese!
There have been some pretty big forest fires around BC and the lightning wasn't helpful. We even passed a small one that was started that morning; a couple of helicopters with water buckets were working to put it out.

The following morning, after a wet night, we packed up and hit the road. On the way, we had a gorgeous lunch in Osoyoos at the Inkameep winery and resort looking over the lake. They have created a beautiful oasis in the desert!
Home again. And time to get back to the car shopping. We saw the Honda Fit today, which actually did fit us, and the Nissan Versa. What to do???

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


... to one of the most dedicated mommas that I know!

Ange of the North ...

I hope your special day is filled with
some adventure, much fun, lotsa laughter, lovely surprises and wonderful moments!

With much love from the family Down Under...
Here's to an awesome year ahead, filled with God's richest blessings!


Monday, July 20, 2009


Summer is here. And what have I accomplished??
I have finished two books. One good, one OK.
I have gone car shopping until my head spun - and it still is spinning. I don't like playing the game. (What kind of car did you finally decide on? Tell me what I should get!!) This red baby is my favorite, but I'm not sure about a Hyundai. Or new versus used. Aaagghh!

I have sweltered in a motorcycle campground.
I have dallied with wannabe school administrators and talked leadership at ELDI.
I have dabbled with a Jessica Sprague online photoshop course.
I have cleaned Tim 'n' Lea's old house as they moved into the spectacular new one, looking over the ocean.
I have neglected my garden.
I have spent two lovely days at Greg 'n' Erin's lakeside cabin.
And now I must pack the camping gear once again, for tomorrow I join Big Bear in Coalmont. After I hopefully pick up my new glasses with old-people lenses! We will then head to the US side of Osoyoos for the week. I hope the customs officials don't fuss about our non-machine-readable passports. (Really, some of those people are intolerable.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weather fit for snakes


This week, the weather forecast was for rain every day.

On Tuesday, there was a hint of a drizzle for a wee patch. It wasn’t heavy enough to deter us from walking a kilometre into town without any rain protection...since we don’t possess an umbrella or raincoats at the moment.

Our friends tell us, that when there is a light drizzle, often outdoor games of sport are cancelled because Queenslanders are a little wary when the sun isn’t shining!!! Or so the story goes anyway...


Yesterday (Wed), our first visitors from NZ were arriving. We awoke to the status quo - blue skies and sun. Hurray! The Sunshine State lives on. By the afternoon, it was a little cool, but the rain was nowhere to be seen.


And today (Thurs), there is absolutely NO hint of precipitation anywhere! Here endeth the week of rain, I believe!

Jenny & Ian, you are documented as our very first overseas vizzies since we arrived in Briz! It was so nice to see you both!


It was lovely to wander around Southbank & Kangaroo Point cliffs – some of our favourite haunts from times past.



We also happened upon some circus entertainers who had all their equipment out for use by the general public.

Free use, free advice, free play! Cool!!!


The big scare of the day though, was when the boys and I were walking to Southbank and we happened upon our first snake for this period.


Coming from good old Kiwiland, which is strictly snakefree (hurray!), the snake is one creature which is top on my “Iggly” List. I don’t like snakes. Horrible creatures. I do have a morbid fascination watching them writhe and wriggle, but they are the kind of thing that I’m happy NEVER to see again. EVER!


I found it unusual to happen upon a snake in winter, and such a good sized one at that. It looked to be about 2-3m long.


Couldn’t tell if it was smiling or not.




That’s my snake quota for....ever, thanks. Yuckkk.

Happy to stick to cute, cuddly, and furry.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Men and Motorcycles

Testosterone abounded last weekend when I joined Big Bear on a Dual Sport motorcycle ride (except not on the ride part) up the Fraser Canyon in Spences Bridge. 180 riders, only about 8 of them women, prepared to spend Saturday on a pre-set route through the hot, dry hills.

We camped looking over the Fraser River, lined with railroad tracks on either side. The trains barrelled through regularly, sometimes in both directions at the same time. It was a loud night, and our tent did nothing to keep out the noise.

It’s amazing how a bunch of middle-aged, greying, ordinary men can be transformed with a little equipment, a helmet, and a bike. With a loud engine. Wow. In moments, they become mysterious, indomitable road warriors. By 9am on Saturday, there wasn’t a man to be seen at the campground.

I spent the long day with another wife in the hot, hot campground. It wasn’t very pretty there, and it was too hot to do very much. I did take a walk around the town of Spences Bridge. Past the old broken down houses, the abandoned motel, the former RCMP detachment, and the closed school. It’s sad to see a waning community. The railroads pulled out of the town long ago, the new highway was built on another route, the children were bussed to other communities to go to school, and the kids who went for post-secondary education didn’t return.

On Sunday, on the way back home, we stopped at Hell’s Gate, a turbulent, narrow section of the Fraser River. This whole area is very historic, being the gold rush route to the Cariboo in the 1800’s. I tried to imagine the gold hunters picking their way along the river cliffs as they pursued their dreams. I found out, too, that for a time, it was also the site of battles between natives and whites; at one point, the bodies of 29 headless men were discovered in the river. Nowadays, it’s a favourite for white water rafting.

It was fun to take a road trip together, but I was sure happy to sleep in a bed on Sunday night – with no train noise!

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