Sunday, July 19, 2009

scenes of summer

We may have had an unusually harsh winter here but oh ~ what a glorious summer it's been so far! Due to some unscheduled expenses (and can anyone suggest a way to get delinquent dealers to pay their artists on time, for !@?*$!'s sake?) we probably won't be going anywhere this summer, but that's OK -- there are many overdue household projects that need tackling.

One of them was to tear down and remove the long-disused eyesore of a hot tub gazebo and its contents. A heavy snowfall that buckled the spine of the roof last December was the catalyst. All it took were three manly men, a sledge hammer, a chainsaw and a U-Haul. And a floral-scented maiden bearing refreshing jugs of lemonade. That would be me of course.

Then there were the cherries to pick. Our neighbours started keeping bees this year and the result was about 25 litres (this photo shows just the first harvest) of cherubic cherries just from the healthier of our two trees. Adam picked them while Coco and the crows duked it out over who got the fallen ones.

Speaking of Coco, her self-confidence has grown to the point that she has shown her mischievous side a-plenty. Today's lunch seems to have magically disappeared without a trace off the counter ... and she puts up with all kinds of shenanigans from us, too.

The biggest change is that, after 10 years without a new (to us) vehicle, we finally had to throw in the towel and give up Ruby, my 1992 Ford Explorer, whose ailments were ultimately too numerous to address. She was a perfect candidate for the BC Scrap-It program, a fantastic environmental initiative for people like us who hold onto our gas-guzzling, polluting vehicles to the last possible moment out of economic considerations. Check out this short (less than two-minute) informational video.

We replaced Ruby with a zoom-zoom, i.e. a 2005 Mazda3 (the 5-speed hatchback model) for Greg's commute. It's so much fun to drive but I'm now mostly driving his hand-me-downs: a 1993 Nissan Quest (also red!) whose fate will probably be the same as Ruby's in about a year.

Also in the fun-and-games department, we had our first Canadian juniors' and women's Australian Football Championship at UBC last month and I snapped almost 700 photos that day. Both my kids played and Greg and Carl umped a couple of games each. Here's Carl in action (below) during his game. We actually have women's teams in North America, something that Australia itself is a tad slow to pick up on. (Hey Oz -- did you know that women can also vote here?) As you can see, they give it the same kind of no-holds-barred attitude as the guys. We also have women umpires. Take that, Australia!

And then there's always the excitement of wildlife in our backyard on summer mornings. This fine-looking mama raccoon left her trio of babes in our old cherry tree on Thursday while she casually went about her business, foraging for snacks in ours and the surrounding yards.

I love summer.


Blogger zIggI said...

I am envious OF IT ALL!
Everything, all of it.

We're having rain doncha know.

20/7/09 10:31 a.m.  
Blogger Ian Lidster said...

Fresh cherries and raspberries are good things, along with endless sun. Raccoons are evil things.

20/7/09 11:35 a.m.  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

We're getting a lovely mild summer, too, and I am thrilled. Nothing like fresh fruit and getting stuff done at home. Good for you guys. (I have that raccoon's cousin living at my home.)

21/7/09 7:57 a.m.  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

I'm glad you're enjoying your new girl. How do you find having bees in such close proximity? Any issues? My mother got a hive in her yard this year and I'm feeling a bit jealous, but worry about the relative smallness of our yard...?

22/7/09 2:42 a.m.  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Wow- removing the hot tub and gazebo looks like a hard project!

Sounds like the cherries are good this year and Coco is oh so adorable...c

22/7/09 8:18 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Its rained and rained here... quite warm though... just very wet...

Your summer looks and sounds wonderful.

Coco is clearly a clown - a truly wonderful personality for a dog!

And that Raccoon looks a very beautiful visitor.

Wish I'd decided to visit you!

22/7/09 12:21 p.m.  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Coco seems to be crossed with a gazelle - look at those legs!

And raccoons! Bit like my possums I suspect - omnivorous, cheeky and with dangerous pointy bits?

22/7/09 4:06 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Zig: Of course you are! (I spent a summer in England!) Seriously, though, next time we need some manual labourers we know who to call! :)

Ian: Maybe, but we just looked. The babies were pretty darned cute.

SAW: Once again Tennessee and British Columbia double as each other. Must be that mountain thing.

Tara: We have huge yards (1/3 acre -- 195' deep) so there's lots of space for them. There are two such yards between theirs and ours. That said, I am thinking seriously of getting a hive, too. It might be a good alternative to those chickens I wanted.

Cynthia: It was. Glad I didn't have to do it! :)

Caro: I didn't know you were considering it! This year would've been a stellar year for it, too.

Dinah: Very pointy! And Coco, though only 38 lbs, is quite tall for her size. Kinda like me. :) (Wish my Oz insults had gotten a reaction but I know -- it's not rugby league! :)

22/7/09 5:16 p.m.  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Oooh! This gets you a reaction. Oyez! Oyez! be it known that Dinahmow hails from All Black land.
Aussie Rules is known, Chez Dinahmow, as "tight knickers" football.
And, while I'm twisting my knife, NZ women got the vote 'way ahead of most of you.
Oh yeah...NZers are known for their laid-back, easy-going sense of humour. ;-)

22/7/09 11:46 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

That's true -- weren't Kiwi women the first to get The Vote? I just thought that all those years in Oz might make you a little protective of your borrowed land. (My boys refuse to wear the tight knickers BTW.)

23/7/09 9:55 a.m.  

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