Another week gone. You know, I’m certain I’ve written that before. Probably several times. Sorry!

Anyway, it’s been a week of little jobs around the house, settling in, and unpacking. Things are slowly being put into shape. Anne got all the boxes for the kitchen unpacked. Even those that had not been opened in three years have been emptied out and their contents put into cabinets for use once again. Huzzah!

My life has mostly consisted of puttering, at least as viewed by others. When not unpacking, painting, or putting things back together after painting, I am fixing little issues and solving problems so they stop bugging us. I won’t claim any of them are huge, but they matter. Here’s an example of the next one: the kitchen cabinet doors don’t open in the right way in a couple of places. That is, the hinges aren’t on the proper sides of the doors. There is no easy way to change them, except for swapping a set of doors from left to right. Doing so will open up the pantry area to easier access for the cook. I need to see if I can do it without leaving awful holes where the hinges were. These are mass market cabinets, probably installed in about 1995, so who knows how ugly this will be, but I will give it a try.

Other than that sort of thing, the big news is that we’ve got a roofer lined up. With luck he starts next week. We knew half the roof needed replacing when we bought the house and we’ve been preparing for it. It should only take a few days, and doing it now is better than finding a leak in a Vancouver winter. There are a few more things we’ll hire professionals for soon, and then a bunch that I will do myself once the big stuff is out of the way.

In any case, it’s coming together slowly but steadily, and we’re happily making it happen.

And that’s good because I continue to worry about Covid resurgence. BC has done very well, but there has been a slight uptick in case numbers lately as the province continues to reopen. That worries me. I want to get all the big stuff done before we are hit with another possible shut-down situation. And yet we have to do those items carefully and avoid exposing ourselves to the virus in the process. We walk a line, it seems.

I discovered this past week that I was not clear about something. Even my mother didn’t know that the back yard has a water feature in it. Well, it does:

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That’s the bottom pool just off the patio in the back yard.

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A closer view. You can see the little fall into the big pool at the bottom.

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And a view from the top, looking towards the house. Sorry about the bucket, but Anne is always working on the yard and I wasn’t going to find a new home for that for the picture.

Most important about this water feature, though, is what Tinkerbelle thinks of it.

Tinkerbelle is very particular about her water bowls. In the rental house, there were several choices. In ranked order of preference they were:

  1. The broken birdbath under the gutter. When it was raining or had recently rained, this had “fresh” water in it, and it was the best choice to drink from. Alternately, if we put water into it for her, it was still better than all other choices. Note that we’re talking about a slimy, concrete birdbath bowl, and the water coming out of the gutter was fairly disgusting as well. Yum!
  2. A tiny little, metal water dish that she could empty in two drinking sessions. This was also outside, and if it was empty, it was a problem.
  3. A large, metal water dish that was to be avoided if at all possible. Basically drink from here only as a last resort. It was also outside, and we would use it to fill the tiny dish. Once transferred, the water was fine. But in the big dish, that water was a threat. Or something.
  4. An indoor water dish used by the other two dogs. Never use this. Never ever. Die of dehydration first.

Moving to the new house with this water feature in the backyard we had no idea how Tinkerbelle would react to it. The big pool could be viewed as a huge threat, for example. With this dog, we had no clue what to expect.

And what we got was a dog that wants to drink from the moving water in the “stream” at the top of things. The water is recirculated — obviously — by a pump, and it’s just there. It’s a bit slimy and ugly, but it doesn’t smell, has no fish or bugs in it, etc. As it evaporates out we refill it, but mostly it just works. The little pools in the stream up top seem to be perfect supplies of water for this idiotic dog. She shows zero interest in the big pool, thankfully. None of them do, but only Tink wants to drink from any part of this thing. Dogs are weird.

In much less silly news, I can share this lovely photo:

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That’s me (in the mask) and Xwalacktun, the mentor of my wood carving instructor at Langara College (Aaron Nelson Moody, aka Splash, who took the photo). We’re in Xwalacktun’s studio in North Vancouver, looking at one of his latest projects — a large totem pole that will be lit internally. That’s yellow cedar, which is hard to get, and he’s just given me a big chunk of it that I am holding over the location it came out of the pole. That’s a future carving project for me!

Xwalacktun is an amazing and wonderful man. Full of stories and a zest for life. Aaron follows in his footsteps, and the two of them are great company. I hope Covid gets controlled so I can spend more time with these two, learning from them and working with them. Great people, and fantastic ambassadors for their culture. I am honoured to have met them.

I visited Xwalacktun because I have offered my help trying to get his CNC machine working again. It turns out a dongle that enabled the software went missing some time back. I am trying to figure out if and how we can make it useful again, since otherwise it’s nothing more than a large door stop. I’ve done a bit of research and there is at least a glimmer of hope. I still need to talk to the manufacturer, which is proving a bit difficult. Should that fail there are other ways to get things moving again.

You know, someone is probably going to ask how to pronounce “Xwalacktun.” The best I can do is: Huh-lack-ton, with the accent on the first syllable, but I think there are some subtle sounds in the original language (Squamish, I believe) that don’t come across in English. That leading X implies something that might be glottal-stop-ish in the first phoneme that I never learned to pronounce as a child, and which I can only barely hear now. I probably get it entirely wrong every time I say it, but Xwalacktun is generous and hasn’t corrected me so far.

As for publishing the photo, Splash put it on Instagram moments after it was taken, so I don’t think there are any concerns about sharing it here.

I think that does it for this week. Projects call, and I need to get back to them. Still more things to paint, and somehow I have to start organizing the garage, though how that will happen I honestly don’t know. There’s a huge chicken and egg problem out there. Too much stuff and no place to put it, and yet I have to put it someplace to get on with things. *sigh* It will get resolved.

Written by

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.

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