Friday, October 24, 2014

trying hard to live up to my promise...and it isn't easy

i first met him in December 2009. he sent me an email through the Canadian Preppers Network, which i was running at the time. he asked if i would be interested in posting some stories that he had written. i said "of course!". he then sent me 8 or 9 of the most beautiful stories i had ever read.

this was the first story that he sent me. about his cousin, Mary Catherine, and it had a profound affect on his life. he sent me several more stories, each one somehow better than the last.

we spent many hours on the phone together. our conversations ranged from Bible Study, and he was an exceptional teacher! - to the most ridiculous of topics that you could ever imagine. we laughed a lot together. we were also very serious.

he taught me and jambaloney so much about the Bible...he was very proud when one of his stories taught jambaloney, in an instant, about the two seeds. for those of you who aren't religious, please don't be offended that a lot of his stories are Bible-related. his stories are for everyone who simply wants to learn about the world and it's ways and it's whys.

after he had shared several of his stories with me, and told me how many more he had, i knew that i needed to start a blog for him. he truly did not want a blog, but i convinced him that his stories needed to be shared with the world. and so i created The Last Robin for him. and he became my Dear Uncle and mentor.

we became very close and very fast. i shared so much with him about myself, and he did the same. jambaloney would hear snippets of our phone calls and told me that he thought we were both crazy. he was right. some of our telephone conversations would go from dead serious to almost blasphemy. we wanted to start a reality tv show in which we would travel around rural america and rate the reds of various barns. oh my - we could talk and screech and laugh about that for hours. jambaloney said it wasn't funny the first time i told it to him...and that was years ago! but me and Uncle Gerald could laugh about what a great reality show it would be.

we also planned on buying up a whole pile of cheap rocking chairs. then we would set up a General Store somewhere that got lots of tourists, like maybe Florida. we would hire a little old lady to sit in the rocking chair out front. as tourists would approach, she would tell them that the rocking chair was made by her great, great grandfather for her great, great grandmother. she would hook the tourists with that story. then they would come into the store and ask if they could purchase such a beautiful antique. Uncle Gerald and i would say that there was absolutely no way that we could take that chair from our grandmother out on the porch....she would die if we did so. during this part of the conversation we would start the ridiculous giggling. but back to our plan. the tourists would be drooling to get that chair. and we would sell it, sadly, for a great big hefty sum of money. we would sadly help the tourists tie the chair to the top of their car...and sadly wave goodbye. then we would snicker, count our money, pay the little old lady....and go get another rocking chair from the basement. we were sure we could get rich this way.

yes, jambaloney was right. me and Uncle Gerald were crazy!!!!

for such a serious guy, my goodness was he funny! and smart! he knew everything about everything and he always told me that he would come up with the idea...but that jambaloney and i would follow through on it. and we tried everything that he suggested or recommended.

he was very proud of us for choosing Framboise Manor to live out the rest of our days. he was very proud that jambaloney first learned to hunt with a ben pearson cougar re-curve from both the left and the right. he enjoyed talking to jambaloney on the phone and always told me how smart my jambaloney was. and that is something coming from the smartest man i know.

right up until the last time i spoke to him (the day before yesterday), we laughed about him telling me to plant duckweed down by the river in order to attract ducks who would then stay year-round and we could get duck eggs. talk about a ginormic fail! for years i told him he owed me $3.49 for the price of that seed pack!!!!

although i have always felt close to God, and Jesus, he brought both me and jambaloney even closer with his incredible way of teaching the Bible to both of us. i always told him how grateful we were for his lessons...and he always acted like he couldn't believe it.

we laughed many times about how he would mention something and i would run off with it, crazy and not thinking it all the way through. he told me about hugelkultures and poor jambaloney was out building one that very afternoon. and it sucked. and i told Uncle Gerald - that's another big fail and we laughed and laughed.

one day, several years ago, i told him of all the different versions of the Bible that i had and how i liked to spread them all over the floor and then read them all at the same time. he had the gaul to call me crazy! he had done the same thing his whole life!!!! then he told me i need a Scofield Concordance. of course, i got off the phone with him and ordered one. when i spoke to him the next day and i very proudly told him that i had gotten a Scofield, the Old Version, he said i needed the new version!!!! i said - "couldn't you have told me that yesterday????". he said i was the only person in his life who jumped on whatever he said. then i told him he owed me $40 bucks.

he sent us many books. he sent us many of his favourite films. he loved us and we loved him.

he had the good fortune of meeting up with John Wesley Smith, of Destiny Survival, and John's wife, who Uncle Gerald called an angel...and he meant it. John Wesley and his wife have done so much for Uncle Gerald...not the least of which is put up with him. honestly, Uncle Gerald could be a handful! i thank them for all that they did for Uncle Gerald, and for what they are still doing.

to end, my dear Uncle died yesterday. when i last spoke to him the day before, we laughed, we cried, we came up with a few more money-making schemes that i can't share in case any of you steal our ideas.....he begged me not to mourn him. i told him that i would only miss his voice...he loved it when i told him how much i loved his voice. he would tell me something and then say "ohh, maaaaan" - and i would screech everytime he said that. me and jambaloney say "ohhh maaaan" all the time. he liked that, too.

i told him i would never miss his physical presence as i had never physically met him. but that i would miss his voice, even though i will always hear his voice in my head.

my heart is broken. he is the only Uncle i have ever known. i know that he will be there when we are all called. but i miss him. and i promised that i wouldn't grieve. i am really trying to live up to my promise. it's just a little bit hard.

John Wesley, who actually knew Uncle Gerald for almost half of his (John Wesley's) life...has a beautiful tribute to Uncle Gerald over at The Last Robin. i would be very grateful if you went and read John Wesley's tribute, read a few stories written by The Last Robin, and checked out John Wesley's excellent site, Destiny Survival.

i promised Uncle Gerald that his website will be there until the internet goes down. John Wesley has at least another 6 months worth of daily posts from Uncle Gerald and he will be sure to post each one of them. then the plan is to start back at the beginning and re-post all of Uncle Gerald's beautiful messages. he may be gone, he WILL NEVER be forgotten....and through the tears, i still hear his beautiful laughter.

my last words that i spoke to him were "i love you Uncle Gerald." his last words to me were "i love you kymber. i love you, my dear niece"

thank you, Uncle Gerald....for everything. your loving niece,

Saturday, October 18, 2014

a busy october! - a dance, a baby shower, 2 thanksgivings, a potluck supper and then a halloween dance coming up! whew!

wow! this october has been a busy one with events every week!!! but as busy as it's been it's also been awesome, too!

it started with a dance on october 4th which we all enjoyed, danced together, chatted together and laughed together. plus there was a bit of a kerscuffle but we just brushed it off. the following weekend we got together with my sister c and brother g and set up our hall for a baby shower. my sister e is the grandmother, and c and g are the great aunt and uncle. you have all read here before that my sister e has 5 boys that jam and i really adore. well, my sister e's boy who is having the baby, asked jambaloney and i to be the godparents! we are honoured! (anyway, none of the people mentioned are my blood relatives - but if you were able to pick your own relatives, i would have hand-picked each of the afore-mentioned brother and sisters!!!)

so like i mentioned we went down to set up the hall on a friday as the baby shower was on saturday. here is the table of gifts before the shower even started!!!!

 the table was full of gifts by the time everyone arrived and the mom-to-be received a ton of wonderful gifts! we were all very happy for her! between what she got at the baby shower, and all of the stuff that our sister c has been collecting for months - they are well set-up with just about everything!

here is the table of food, again before anyone even arrived! by the time everyone arrived, that table was full of food.

speaking of food - last weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving! woohoo! Thanksgiving is mine and jambaloney's favourite holiday! we had our first Thanksgiving, on sunday, at our sister c and brother g's house, here in Framboise. it was awesome as usual, and as usual c cooked for 3 days to put on such a big spread!!! there were 12 of us scarfing down food that day - it was deelish! we also all sat around the living room for a couple of hours chatting and enjoying each other's company.

then on monday, we had our 2nd Thanksgiving with our Fourchu family, at b and c's. it was another huge spread of deeelicious food and excellent company. we left earlier than we usually do as JUGM's auntie came for a visit - grrrrrrrr!

continuing on with food - here's some yummy veg shish-kebabs with rice:

and still speaking of food - this afternoon is our vfd potluck supper. everyone is to bring a main dish and a dessert, and all community members are invited as well. it should be a good turnout, and again - lotsa' food! woohoo! i love events that involve food!

then next weekend is our halloween dance! that's always a hoot! just about everyone dresses up and my bestie c in fourchu has a gabillion costumes that people borrow. her whole house is all decorated with ghosts and goblins and spiders!!! her sister m is apparently even worse than her!!!! i don't know how that is possible!!! one thing about the people around here, is they love decorating for all of the different holidays!

here is a pretty sunset from the other evening. we like to sit out as the sun is going down, sip our tea and plan for the following day - it's lovely. then it's off to the hottub baby!

here is jambaloney's very first ocean-caught striped bass. man, that fish is delicious. we are planning to head down to the beach and try and catch some more.

served up with a tiny tomatoe, fresh off the vine. my tomatoe plants outside are finally done, we picked the last few today, but to have gotten tomatoes right up until mid-october - that's pretty impressive and something we could never do back in the city!!! my greenhouse tomatoes, called cobra, are still going strong, we'll have fresh tomatoes for a while yet. the corn is local and we got a ton of it when it was in season (end august around here). we blanched those babies for 2 minutes when we got them home, and then scraped them off the cob, froze them and can have delicious fresh corn all winter. the corn tastes like it was just picked! deelish!

okay - well i am off to start getting stuff prepared for the potluck. we are bringing rice krispy squares, kind of plain, but i noticed that some people here like the option of having a plain dessert. some of the ladies here make these wickedly-horrible-for-your-waistline desserts like chocolate lasagna, and a variety of tarts and cakes. but man are they delicious! we are also bringing a rotini pasta in tomatoe/hamburger sauce with a ton of cheese. i can't wait to see what everyone else is bringing - these functions are deadly with all of the food available, but sometimes it's nice to just pig-out - bahahahahah!

i hope you all have had a good week and i hope that your weekend is treating you well!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

hopefully not the last swim of 2014....and some other stuff

we went down to the river and had a river day on october 6. we even took several dips! the water was blood-curdling freezing and horribly cold - but it didn't matter! the sun was warm enough when we got out and we try to stretch out how long before "the last swim" happens. this was probably the last swim...but we've still got some nice days coming so hopefully we can get a few more dips in. i hope.

i always try to get this exact pic to put in our posts. the reason? it's for my friend C who lives in new york but grew up in a little house right across our river and in that bay.

as you can see, we are surrounded mostly by evergreens so there aren't a lot of trees in our area and on our land that change colour. that's why autumn shocks me so much each year - i look out into the front and backyard and all of the trees are still green and we don't see any reds, yellows or golds. so i still think it's summer. my friend Rob sent me a picture of his gorgeous grandbaby playing in all of the fallen leaves. and that's when i realized that, although i love to still see green trees when there is snow all around, i do kind of miss all of the fallen leaves.

the only things that turn gold, brown and red are the ferns. they are very pretty.

this was our river lunch - some mixed bean salad with different-coloured peppers, our own cucumber and tomatoes.

lots of people think that we live in the middle of the arctic, but the fact is that we live in a very temperate climate - i am still collecting tomatoes and have a whole 'nuther whack of them coming in. want proof? ok then...

that's my harvesting basket and underneath Frankie Blue Eyes is the tomatoes that i harvested yesterday - arghghghghgh! you can't put a bowl or a basket down for 5 seconds and no matter where he is - he will get into it! thank goodness he got out when i shook the "snackedy-moe" bag and didn't do too much damage to the tomatoes! (we call the little yellow bag of snacks "snackedy-moes" - don't ask me where we come up with our names for things. jam and i have actually established our own language!)

here's one of our favourite salads - shrimp, vermicelli, cucumber, tomatoes, green onion, and mint, cilantro and basil. with our fave lime-chili-garlic dressing!

here's some home-made tomatoe/basil soup made with tomatoes fresh off the vine, basil fresh off the...vine? and using home-made bone/veg broth. add a little parmesan and a ton of black pepper - deevine!

here's a beautiful shot of the sun just starting to go down. i love that sky!

and here's one of our favourite suppers - spaghettini cooked in a mushroom, bacon, garlic cream sauce - yummeh! with little cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine.

this weekend coming is a very exciting one and i will share it all with you then. until then, we have our vfd meeting tonight and plan to spend this afternoon re-arranging the greenhouse. our hungarian wax peppers are doing awesome and it is time to take them into the house to overwinter them. we thought we had lost them to the aphids but a bunch of our pepper plants bounced back - thank goodness. ok - that's it for now. off to check up on my blogroll and see what you all have been up to.

Monday, September 29, 2014

ATV shed - full meal deal

jambaloney here!

danger - MANY pics but i will try to keep the text to a minimum you can make a baby barn/shed outta a truck cab..

first up  -last trout day (okay it was a month ago)... water was high!

i canoed out from where i store the canoe - never done that before!

it was a nice night

and i caught a couple of trout! one each for sandy and pp!

so the shed starts with our old front deck that jimmy built .. it is 6`x10` - perfect

and the cab off the truck, 5 1/2 feet by 8'..

so i picked a good spot that will allow for easy access to the driveway and be out of the wind:

and then i trenched the spot

next up - i got a bunch of ratty plastic, old tarp and old poly..

which is good enough for a vapour barrier if folder over a few times..

to the beach for rocks..

and spread them out on the poly..

one of our summer friends told me his neighbor was ditching a pile of old creosote 4x4 - i was over in a flash - a whole pile of 7 footers and to the right is a 12 footer and a 16 footer - pure gold!!!

i only needed 3 for the base..

next i horfed the old deck on the 4x4s - it was pretty heavy!

but sat nicley!

deck begins at the back with 3 braces across 2 pallets - the pallets are 40"" x  48" so the walls are 40" high..

then a pallet on the back...

and then 2 more up front

a thick side brace on each side

and there is a bare bones frame! i used a lot of deck screws securing it

next up i put on a lip with old boards..

it is spaced properly for the cab clamps to use - you can see underneath..

so now the cab - it proved a bit much to lift

so i made a ramp that you saw in kymber's earlier post

and spaced the ramp inside the cab so i wouldn't bend the cab bottom while sliding

away i went..

and it worked - nearly blew a gasket mind you ;-)

after i got it up, i put poly all around..

and added two braces near the front on each side for stablility..

i used plastic leftover from making garden markers to make teh ploy tight by screwing it in the gaps of the pallets

i was then able to remove the 2x4 and tie-down braces that i had as a "bottom" for the cab....

oiled up the clamps..

and secured teh cab in place over the poly lip - on the lip i put a layer of sill foam under the poly - worked perfectly!!!

last time under a tarp for you!

atv being freed!

in a new home that will be dry all year - eliminating water problems!!!!

osb door screwed in place...

and later painted with a four-point secure system made outta old clothesline wire and a bungee cord - just one hook in the middle - i don't want to be pouring frozen water on metal latches to get to the snowplow.

This was a great project - it worked out perfectly and cost only the price of deck screws and new sheets of poly... WAY cheaper than a shed from a kit - woot!

here is a nice sunset

and bird feeders:

cheers all!