stripped

RCE_7948Willow sporting her new haircut.

We got a new dog. . . well not exactly. It took two sessions but we gave Willow her annual stripping.

Wire Haired Dachshunds grow a thick wiry coat over winter and it has to be ‘stripped’ in spring. This is done by grabbing a few hairs at time and pulling them out.

RCE_2541

Willow with her winter coat digging for spring mice. 

It is not that bad because the hair has loosened and needs to come out. I’m not sure if the hair is even really attached to her anymore, but held in place by all the other long wire hair.

Once it is out they have a smooth soft coat for summer.

RCE_2563Cooper and Willow wrestling over a stick.

Although it doesn’t hurt her, Willow doesn’t like it. She endures Lisa and I pulling, while she thinks of hunting, letting us know if we grab a couple more hairs than acceptable.

At the end of it we have half a dog as what we had at the beginning.

_LME2448Willow trying to talk me into a late night fetch.

background

_LME2620-smMines and clearcuts.

In town or up the pass, it makes no difference, the creek still bubbles and the stars jump. In this day and age the trick is cutting out the noise and light. Not easy. Still, the stars and Milky Way outweigh fireworks anyday. The sound of a log caught on a sandbar, geese honking, trumps the gunshots and voices spouting nonsense.

It’s about putting your ear to the track, looking high and deep, not being taken in. It’s not that hard.

local

 

_LME2481-Pano.smJupiter peaks around. The Teapot’s down there above the ice.

I keep telling myself I can write whatever I feel like, but usually I don’t. It’s got me into trouble in the past.

I’m employable only because I can lift more than fifty pound. They keep me around because I can lift a lot more. Not that I’ve written anything but the truth. As I told our current MLA when he came after me, ‘what the fuck do people care what I think anyway’. I was trying to satiate him, but he saw a fight and an opportunity to crush a perceived enemy, not even really an enemy, but someone not sharing his message.

CRW_0004

These men are a dime a dozen. Everything, especially politics, has become religion where if you can’t agree you go to war.

I should have been a roofer. Putting roofs over people’s heads is an honourable trade. I would only espouse the virtues of small town politicians who championed the most roofs, overlooking the money they received in kickbacks, much more than a roofers wage. Just guys saying yes.

It is interesting to note the small time politicians who have had the biggest impact on local communities don’t live there anymore. They were happy until they were voted out or retired. After that. . . they move. The towns; each campaign they devoted their love to, and changed in there image, in the rearview mirror once they stopped collecting. Meanwhile we stay and clean up their mess.

CRW_0013

Hey man, I’ve seen it over and over. That’s the burden with being in any one place for a long time, I guess.

brother and sister

IMG_0049Scarlett and Cooper

We went to Costco today, or as I like to say, a visit to Dante’s Inferno. We even drove an hour out of the city to a Costco we thought may be less busy. We were dreaming.

Still it’s hard not to get caught up in it. A person can buy a giant bag or oranges for the same price as a regular bag of oranges back home. The problem is, what to do with all those oranges?

***

I filled the truck up with fuel tonight. It took over 100 litres. It has a big fuel tank and I usually don’t let it get under half empty. The same fill up at home in British Columbia would have cost me $30 – $40 more, all carbon taxes. Carbon taxes are designed to make people think if they need the fuel before they fill up, it is a way to curb consumption and it works. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it is about time we ask people to pay to pollute. It is also notable to see Mr. Trudeau and family on yet another holiday that involved a private jet.

There is a lot more carbon taxes coming down the pike federally and for every province. I have been on a plane/jet twice in my life. I am certain I’ll never be on another again. Still, I cherish a few gallons of gas to get me out in the bush. I hope I can always afford it.

At the same time, regardless of carbon taxes, I don’t believe consumption will go down. Wealthy people, like our own Justin Trudeau, will make up for it jetting off to more, less busy, beautiful destinations, happy to spend more to escape the riff raff.

***

At night Lisa puts Cooper to bed, which is easy :-), while I put Scarlett to bed, which is hard. Cooper is usually so tired he dozes off after he reads a book. Scarlett, on the other hand, has me lay on the floor while she reads me books. Sometimes it’s ten books, and of course she can’t read. I ask If I can read them and she tells me ‘no’! Then I put her in her crib. At first, I would leave the room. Lisa and I would hear her fuss. After 20 minutes we’d go back in and she would have her pyjamas and diaper off. Once she peed the bed.

So now after she reads me a story and gets in her crib. I sit in the rocking chair with the light out until she goes to sleep. Sometimes I think I fall asleep before her. So far the pyjamas have stayed on.

***

Tomorrow Cooper and I are doing some handyman chores. We are fixing a wonky light switch, a loose toilet paper holder and a toilet that doesn’t flush right. I would never do this without permission from Kelsie and Tom who seemed pleased.

Cooper and I inspected the toilet tonight and we both agreed it needs a new flapper. That means a trip to Home Depot, or Heaven as we like to call it.

Early

_LME247smWoke up to the sound of Willow throwing-up the stick she ate the day before. She does that sometimes. It was 2:30am. I put her out and cleaned up the mess. I tried to go back to sleep with no success. Since it was clear, we (Willow and I) decided to go for a walk and look at stars. Willow was happy, it took me awhile to get into it. We opted to stay in the valley bottom. The ice is almost entirely off the lake. The Milky Way stretched the length of the lake and was visible regardless of the artificial light. By 7am it was off to work. The days only guarantee would be an early bedtime.

between seasons

CRW_00144smWhich way to go?

This is spring. Lisa and I had snow during breakfast in the mountains this morning. We huddled while Willow hunted. The thawing winter smells must be wonderful for her. The clouds shine every shade of grey. Birds sing from thick once and awhile they let us see them. Every now and again the sun shines through, warming us up. Still it was chilly enough to put a small fire on to warm the house.

CRW_0014Western Meadowlark letting it’s voice be heard.

early April

RCE_9363

We’re going in search of birds this weekend. I have been hearing Meadowlarks. It looks like it could rain. I’ve stopped looking at the forecast. It could be good, or bad. Like most things it can go either way regardless. With luck we will see some Meadowlarks. 

****

I looked at one of my old check stubs from the School District. A hundred bucks each cheque went to CUPE 440 – the union. It went to pay and advance apathy, discontent, laziness and sleepy carelessness intent on killing inventive, heartening, truthful labour. 

There are many wonderful people stuck in the union. They toil and deliver regardless of being surrounded by the worst workers in Canada who have landed, finally, a job, after many, they could finally be their thoughtless selves. Nowadays, that’s a union’s purpose.

****  

There is no gold plated pension waiting for Lisa and I. Hopefully the body holds up to keep working. I met a fellow today recently retired. He said he spent the winter sick. I told him that’s what retirement will do for you. He laughed, but neither of us were joking. 

****

_LME7032.jpg

Lisa bought some oil for Willow that is supposed to keep ticks away. It smells like oregano, so much so, I’ve thought about calling Willow ‘Spaghetti’, which would be a good name for a Long Haired Dachshund. The oil must work, because after a day in the bush, there was nary a tick on her while I picked one off my neck. Now I’m wearing the oil and we both smell like pasta sauce.

****

It’s tough to say goodbye to winter. It’s a season you can hide and hang out in. The silence, the early dark, where every star shines bright, Orion and his dog Sirius chasing the sisters Pleiades and Hyades across the frozen sky. To be on earth, watching, is both awful and the most amazing gift given.