wordless wednesday: ancient fallen tree

>> Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tree 2


wellness wednesday

CWO's Live Well WednesdaysI'm sorry, ladies. I got nuthin' today.

Oh wait, there has been one miniscule change: I've been saying for weeks already that I want to start buying fruit and veggie platters from the deli because I KNOW we'll be much more likely to eat fruits and veggies then, but I have yet to actually make good on that. BUT... I have started putting a fruit basket on the table rather than just leaving it on the kitchen counter or in the fridge, and that has definitely increased our fruit consumption. I think these last two weeks are probably the first times I've ever gone shopping for more fruit because we were actually out of fruit and not just because I'd had to throw the rotten stuff away!!

Anyway, in the last weeks, I've doled out all sorts of encouragement and advice and once finished here at my computer, I've risen from my desk, promptly forgetting everything I just said, and done the opposite. I've been feeling incredibly hypocritical. But this has led to some self-examination, which is generally a good thing to do every once in a while, and I'm working on a post for next week that deals with one of my major hurdles: self-sabotage.

I've mentioned it a few times in the past, but according to some research I've done this past week, it's actually a fairly common problem. So tune in next week for a brilliant assessment and, more importantly, awesome advice for how to kick it!!

Well, okay, maybe it won't be brilliant and awesome, but I'm hoping to personally find it somewhat insightful and helpful ~ and that you will, too!

Until next week,
Have A Nice Day


a little prayer request

>> Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Bushman's baby sister is winging her way from her home on the Canadian prairies to Bangkok, Thailand as I type. She'll be there for the next 10 months teaching and finishing up her education degree. Please pray for her safety today as she travels. (And that her luggage will also arrive when she does!) And while you're at it, maybe a prayer or two for The Bushman's mom ~ I think the adjustment might be a little tough on her.

Angel 1



>> Monday, April 28, 2008

I saw this quote over at I will take it Lord, all you have to give..., and somehow it was exactly what I needed today.

I've been feeling a little down in the dumps the last few days and there's really no specific reason for it; it just happens sometimes. Just a general, overall BLAH feeling! There seem to be a number of things contributing to it ~ all things I'm actually quite in control of ~ and so what it really boils down to is I am the only one who can do anything about it. (Nuts.)

Changing one's attitude is such a struggle though, isn't it? Especially when it requires changing from a BAD attitude to a good one! (at least, that's how it works for me.) But I'm so thankful for odds and ends that I hear or read, placed specifically in my path where I can't miss them. Like this quote.

I went over to CWO's Internet Cafe to read the rest of the devotional Lori had written there and I'm pretty sure she wrote it just for me. I've just never thought about it this way before, but in her own words:

That mountain top view is lovely, I have seen it, sat in my lawn chair at the top....but I was not meant to LIVE there, that is for eternity...I was meant to live in that valley, walking and encouraging others with what I have witnessed 'up there!' So, I fold my chair and begin to walk down, grateful and praising HIM, for another view from 'up there,' now ready, with sleeves rolled up to do some real work!! The work I was born to do! You know, 'proving my mettle!' Knowing always, that HE has another 'view from the top' waiting for me....to encourage and refuel me on my way....

He is FAITHFUL like that!!

So on that positive kick-in-the-pants note, I'm off to tackle my to do list for today with a brand new attitude and outlook on my day.

I love my valley... and today (for a refreshing change) I'm going to live like it!!


friday fun

>> Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy weekend!!



'tis the season: part 2

>> Thursday, April 24, 2008

...for Dust.

You wouldn't think so, would you? What with all the posting I've done about water lately, but see for yourself.

Below is the rear view of the grain truck that just drove past our yard and the mile road on which I was walking:

Here's the cloud of dust on the road right in front of our yard (the tall trees on the right side):

Now the dust is entering our yard:

And now the yard (AND myself!) are completely engulfed.
(cough cough sneeze sneeze!)

Whew, I can breathe again. But the dust moves on.

Ahhh, that's better.

Now if only I hadn't left the windows in the house open...

Messy Sneeze


wellness wednesday

>> Wednesday, April 23, 2008

CWO's Live Well WednesdaysI found this quote on another blog last week and knew I had to share it here. It's powerful enough, so I'm just going to leave it at this for today:

"I heard a story about a king whose brother tried unsuccessfully to assassinate him.

As punishment, the king imprisoned his brother in a room with a window facing the sea. The room had a normal-sized door that a normal-sized person could walk through. They must have built the room around the guy, though, because the king's brother wasn't normal-sized at all- he was way overweight.

So all he had to do to be free was lose enough weight to fit through the door.

But everyday the king's servants brought platter of fine food to him. They set the food in the
Buy this book from Amazon.cawindow. This was his sentence-overcome his addiction or die in that cell.

And he died in that cell.

Just as the king knew he would.

And the person in the story I can identify with most is that imprisoned brother, staring at the gulls and the open water, eating another mouthful of rich food and telling himself that tomorrow he'll deal with his problem and walk out the door. Yeah, he'll start tomorrow. Or someday. Whichever comes first. But neither ever did."

Excerpted from "STORY: Recapture the Mystery"
~ Steven James

Fat Man 6


wordless weekday: haha, remember spring?

>> Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hardy prairie Canadians were hardly under the illusion that winter was gone for good, but it still kinda bites to have a day like we did yesterday. (Although out of respect for those provinces west of us that got UP TO THREE FEET of snow over the last few days, I'm not complaining. Honest.)

The end.

All's well that ends well.
I guess.

Happy Earth Day



>> Sunday, April 20, 2008

Trying to teach manners to my two little girls is a challenge at the best of times, but with the Bushman at the table, well, sometimes I figure it's just not worth the effort.

The other night, we were sitting around the table eating supper like any normal civilized family ~ well, such as that is around here ~ and for dessert, the girls wanted raw strawberries (leftovers from the yummy pie that made it onto my header briefly last weekend). The two of them instantly began wolfing them down by the handful and I reprimanded them a little, telling them to slow down and TRY to eat like little ladies.

Ha. I looked over at my dear husband ~ who'd attracted some attention from the corner of my eye ~ and there he was, giggling away, wagging a strawberry on his tongue and his mouth wide open for all to see.

This is what I have to deal with. On a daily basis. Of course, in the blink of an eye, both girls were duplicating daddy's very cool trick.

I looked longingly out the window and only half-jokingly sighed, "I wish I'd married someone a little more refined."

"HA!" the Bushman spat out, "that's YOUR problem! (Pause) I wish I'd married someone who cleaned more."


Dang it.

In The Garbage


ice road exposé

>> Friday, April 18, 2008

Many of you have already seen episodes or even the entire ice road series created and aired on The History Channel and have left comments to that effect. I've alluded to the fact that in some aspects, they don't really present an accurate picture of the job in a couple of previous posts, but now I'll give you the details.

Yes, it's extremely cold. The Bushman got frostbite on his one forearm when the chains he was throwing onto his tires briefly touched his bare skin. It scabbed over and everything.

Minus 50C (-58F) is no joke.

And yes, it's somewhat dangerous. But there are safety regulations and procedures like you would not believe. The ice is constantly being tested and break-throughs generally happen due to driver error. (ie. driving too heavy on a weight restricted road ~ signs are clearly posted ~ driving faster than the posted speed limits and causing a wave beneath the ice that breaks through in the shallows nearing a portage, driving along the snowbanks at the edge of the road where the ice is under the most stress, etc.) You can actually read a summary of all the 'incidents' here on last year's ice road project. (click the "safety" tab) The following is a quote from that site:

2007 was a record year with nearly 11,000 truckloads transported over the road. There were very few minor truck accidents/incidents with no significant safety or environmental consequences resulting. There were 5 incidents/accidents on NWT Highway 4 and eight in the ice road. There were no animal encounters or collisions on this year’s road and only one minor shoulder injury to a driver.

Yes, they're up there for a solid two to three months away from their families, living in their trucks. It's sucky. Trust me.

But let's not forget the drivers who are primarily featured on the series were specifically chosen for their reality TV appeal.

I've still not actually seen the series, but my cousin (who's driven up there with my husband for the last two years) owns them and The Bushman has seen a couple of episodes. The employer they worked for this year and last also owns the DVD set, and all of them are more than a little unimpressed with the representation of the truckers in general.

Not all of them drive irresponsibly, throw garbage out their windows that will eventually make its way into the ocean, and regard the regulations and other drivers with such disrespect.

The behind-the-scenes reality is this: Four of the main characters in the original series have been banned for life from this particular ice road and any other operations overseen by Nuna Logistics. I believe at least one of them is still going to be a lead character in the second season, but it will not be on the same road or for the same company he worked for last year.

Not only were these men banned, The History Channel was not allowed to film its second season on the same ice road.

Drivers are no longer allowed inside the Diavik Diamond mine mess hall and lounge like they were last year and all the previous years. The exact reason for this is unclear ~ when one driver wrote a letter of inquiry early on this season, he was promptly fired with little to no explanation ~ but it's very obvious that the mines and the logistics companies responsible for creating and maintaining the Tibbitt-to-Contwoyto ice road are not impressed with the outcome of the HistoryBuy 'Ice Road Truckers' on DVD from Amazon.ca Channel's series.

I couldn't find any supporting information for this online, but word has it that The History Channel wanted to do sort of a spin-off or subsidiary series inside the Diavik mine, but have now been refused access as well, due to their representation of the ice road operation.

Another thing The History Channel makes you believe is that any and all thrill-seekers are eligible for a job after being inspired by watching the series. They even provide a link on their site called, "Jobs on the Ice Road." Of course, they give all the legal requirements for working in Canada, but what they don't say is that unless you're actually FAMILIAR with driving on ice and snow, trucking companies won't even consider you. That's pretty much a door-closer.

Having said all that, the series is still an incredible look at one of the most interesting and extreme jobs on the planet, not to mention a documentary on a mind-blowing feat of engineering and a peculiar breed of man. I would still recommend the videos to anyone, just don't believe everything you see and hear. (and be prepared for some seriously foul language ~ sailors ain't got nothin' on these guys!)

It will be interesting to see what Fox comes up with for the big screen....

Trucker Smiley


My husband, The Bushman, who spent February and March of this year and last, hauling fuel in Super-Bs on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto between Hay River, NT and the Snap Lake and Diavik diamond mines.

(And whose ice road pictures from this year you can view here.)


now you see it, now you don't: part 2

>> Thursday, April 17, 2008

Here are some more pix showing the death of winter suddenly on Monday:

Believe it or not, below is a shot taken at exactly the same spot about 24 hours later!!

And here's a look at our little 'frog pond.' Take special note of the culvert in the background.
Monday noon:

Tuesday noon:

Notice the difference in the water level?! That's probably about as high as it's going to get here (barring excessive precipitation), but there are a couple of spots nearby where the road has been washed out or will very soon. The hills to the northwest of us still haven't let go of their snow and ice yet, so once that happens, we'll definitely see the waters rise again. Often by that time though, the culverts and ice dams here in the valley have let go, letting the run-off head freely to the rivers and lakes.

Last night, the fam went for a little drive to the nearby ford crossing....

And just three days ago, the ford crossing was bone dry and The Bushman and a visiting relative drove their quads across it. Probably wouldn't want to try that now!! On our side the road up to the ford is fine, but too far to see on the pictures, the approach at the far end is actually washed out. The ford itself is concrete (so it doesn't wash away each spring), but the roads are still just gravel. (click the second picture to get a better look. You'll even be able to see the bulge of water on the upstream side of the ford where it can't get across fast enough.)

We ended off our li'l tour of the countryside with a visit to a semi-abandoned farm (house deserted for probably 40 years, but fields still in use) that belongs to someone The Bushman knows. A very beautiful chunk of property overlooking the river. Below, we're crawling around on a long-dead tree at the edge of about a 15 ft cliff. And yes, we could really have used a leash for Fidget!

I'm sorry you can't enlarge this picture to see it a little better. That's Blogger for ya, I guess. At least you can on the one at the ford crossing.

So this concludes the tour of the countryside and my celebration of spring's arrival here in my neck of the woods. Hope you enjoyed it!!



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