A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quesnel Lake

This week-end we packed up the tent trailer and headed over to Quesnel Lake, to camp out with some friends at their cabin. It is about a 45 minute drive, down some very windy gravel roads but man is it ever worth the drive!

Such a beautiful spot and almost completely untouched. Quesnel Lake is the deepest fjord formed lake on earth and the largest lake in the Cariboo. According to the Horsefly Realty site:

At junction of the North and East Arms Quesnel Lake is approximately 4 miles across. The North Arm is 25 miles long, the East Arm is 34 miles long and the Main Lake is approximately 50 miles to the outflow of Quesnel River located at Likely, B.C.

The end of the North and East Arms are right in the Cariboo Mountains with peaks in excess of 7000 feet that are snow capped a good part of the year, and in the summer have beautiful alpine meadows. There are many interesting names that all have stories attached to them: Mount Watt, Mount Brew, Niagara Peak, Mount Wotzke, Roaring Peaks, Mount Mitchell, Mount Mathew, Mount Youngren, Mount Spranger, Miller Peaks, Roberts Peak, Three Ladies Mountain, Welcome Mountain, Mount Stevenson, and Spanish Mountain – just to name a few!

There are fabulous sandy beaches at numerous locations around Quesnel Lake, many accessible by boat only.

Our friend's cabin is part of a strata which means they get the benefit of a few amenities like this boat launch and dock...or what used to be a boat launch and dock. The water is incredibly low...
Not that it mattered to the kids who had a blast collecting 'seaweed' to make a tanning bed on shore.
The rest of us were a little less industrious and just enjoyed the beach...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Building a treehouse

We've been talking about building a treehouse with the kids since we moved here. A few week-ends ago we decided to get going on it. We found a spot where we had two nice big spruce trees and an aspen in front...to make a triangle. It has a pretty nice view too!
G.'s friend from next door came over to help out. They hauled lots of lumber, cut off branches and hammered in lots of nails. Knut was happy to be able to climb up there on the pile of logs.
This gives you an idea of where it is, in relation to our house. Our front deck is in the bottom left corner of this pic. Notice Knut, positioned so he can keep an eye on everyone, he's such a good dog!
And this is the almost finished product. We would like to put a roof on, and a swing off to the right and perhaps some side walls, but it's good enough to play on for now until we get around to that.
And notice the very tidy piled logs? Well, that has been Grandmaman's project, while here on vacation. She has been sorting the pine from the aspen, piling everything neatly and moving probably more than a hundred wheelbarrows full of logs to the side and front porches...getting us ready for winter. We do let her have a rest occasionally...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meet Hvitkarr

Here he is...Hvitkarr...our little ram lamb ding-dong :)
He is fitting in quite nicely. The girls gave him a bit of a run for his money, butting him about a bit but he seems to be standing his ground and even eating with them...sort of.
This week-end Grandmaman, who is visiting from Montreal, filled in for Erich and I and we drove to Creston in the Kootenays...an 11-hour drive each way. It was lovely to meet Colleen over at Flannelberry Farm, as we have been conversing online for sometime...she is a wealth of information on all things related to Icelandic sheep (and chickens too :). Little Hvitkarr was born in April, he is one of three (triplets) and comes from good milky and fleece lines.

We had originally intended to get a ram lamb from my friend in the Okanagan who also has Icelandic sheep, but very sadly, the little lamb she had for us died from eating a neighbour's poisoned pasture...damn those pesticides!

So fingers crossed, the little guy will be able to perform sometime in November and we will have lambs this Spring!

Friday, August 7, 2009


This is my second season of gardening and I have to say I am hooked. Last year, I started a little late in the season so had to use seedlings from the nursery. This year I had a lot of fun, thumbing through the seed catalogues. I ordered from West Coast Seeds and Salt Spring Seeds. I talked about what I ordered in this post. So I've been harvesting salad, arugula and spinach for some time but things are really exploding just lately. This was my harvest today...
How awesome is that??? My sugar snap peas are going crazy...so tasty too! I don't really have enough beets to can, so I am just enjoying them fresh in juice or cooked, like in this yummy salad.
So great! Hard to believe they started as those teeny, tiny seeds.

Two Festivals and a Wedding

What a glorious summer it has been! We kicked off our summer holidays around here with Arts on the Fly at the beginning of July.
What a blast and in our very own town! The Horsefly school grounds were transformed, with a beautiful outdoor stage, an artisan market, the Inspiration Station for children and over at the Community Hall, a wonderful fibre arts show. I think the highlight of my family's weekend, was a last-minute request to host some artists for the week-end. Linda McRae and her hubby James (Sr.) and Steven Nikleva and James Lillico all bunked down with us Friday and Saturday night. They were good sports, especially since Steven and James had to sleep in my daughters tiny twin beds! They enjoyed the trampoline with my girls and even went with Erich to feed the chickens and move the chicken tractors. Then, they put on an amazing show on Saturday evening!
What an awesome group of musicians, between them they played the stand-up bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin and banjo. What a treat for us! Especially since we are huge Spirit of the West fans, and have seen Linda (one of the original band members) play with them several times.
It was a great week-end but also very tiring...as you can see Mimi passed out in the middle of the show...
**All photos taken by Florian Krumsiek

Check out this youtube video of them performing one of my favourites...

Last week-end we had the pleasure of seeing Linda play again at Arts Wells, another music festival in the North Cariboo town of Wells (close to Barkerville). Another great time, we camped out in Wells for two nights with some friends and family. Arts Wells is a huge festival, with over 70 musical acts of folk, jazz, country, funk, hip hop, electronic, world, pop, roots & more. Click on the poster for more info...
Phew...and in between all of that we squeezed in a fabulous family wedding out at the ranch in beautiful Beaver Valley. Remember those pictures of the hayfield well that was the backdrop for the reception and barn dance that went on til about 4am (apparently...I only stayed standing til just after midnight :) It was a beautiful wedding, with girls arriving in horse-drawn covered wagon...groomsmen on horseback (really something to behold) and seating for the crowd provided by some comfy square bales. It was a really hot day, but the breeze off of the lake felt good, and we were able to cool off with a quick dip after the ceremony.

This week-end looks like another road trip to pick up our little ram lamb...his name is Hvítkárr. More about that later...