Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's Raining Cars among Other Things

Here are images taken last Friday on my trip down to North Dakota:

I didn't dally on this section of the highway because it looked like I just missed a car storm.

Either that or this guy thinks he can plant cars. From the looks of it, he wants a crop of the 50's or is it the 60's?

Okay, give the guy some glasses, would ya.

Found in North Dakota along the highway between Noonan and Crosby, this cement box has fascinated me for 2 yrs while I've tried to discover what it is. I've photographed it in all seasons and this is the first time I've seen water beneath it and realized it's a bridge of some sort. This time around, I also saw tracks gouged into the ground leading down to it.

I'm going to use it in my Prairie Juntion series as a haven for a runaway.

Coal mining along the highway between Estevan and the border.

What's left after the coal is retrieved. This is right beside the road south.

A few Canada geese mixed in with the Snow Geese.

Moose tracks.

Hubby has seen 5 moose in the area during his travels around our farm. There weren't any when we moved here 8 yrs ago.

Well, that's it for me.

What caught your eye this week? Tell me about it...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Before, After, and What Could Have Been

Here's Nelson coming home from work in April 2001. When the water rose too high, he left the Mazda at the corner, put on his wading boots and walked home following the road and driveway.

Note the shack in the back ground - it's the one we use on the Prairie Chicks blog. :)

I was out and about tonight taking 'after the flood' pics and I saw this on the side of the road. It's either a fish or someone pointing the way south.

Looking east, this is our driveway when the flood was at it's highest - during the Easter weekend.

This is what our driveway looked like today.

But, this is what we avoided. It's a pic taken back in April 2001 when we had our last flood.

Nelson put a pole to designate the drain that crosses under the road. Note the top of the fence post 4 to the left of it.

The road going north on the worst day of the flood this year.

This is the road north today.

This is what the road north looked like in the spring of 2001.

The Red Winged Blackbirds have staked out their territories. I love their song.

Monday, April 20, 2009

From Coin Shows to Kilts

My weekend went the gamut from wonderfully satisfying to frightfully awful.

On Friday, I headed down to North Dakota to pick up my mail, exchange the free books at the Crosby Library and visit a bank for some state quarters. I listened to writing podcasts while I drove. A tiring, but satisfying day.

Sat morning found the kids and I packing the van with our overnight bags and heading to Regina. First stop was the Regina Coin Club’s Spring Coin and Stamp show where my son, JJ and I set out our displays.

JJ’s display of Dinosaurs contained Coins and Tokens.

I entitled my display ‘Motherhood’ with the description: On these coins, bank notes and medals, you’ll find mothers nursing, rocking and playing with their babies. And yes, even protecting them.

Once the set up was complete, we headed off to do a bit of shopping as Jessie needed an item for her recital costume. At noon, I dropped her off at the Royal Conservatory of Music and took the 2 boys back to the Coin Show.

First up was selling 30 old worn quarters that were no use to a coin collector due to holes and scratches. You couldn’t even make out the date on one of them. I headed over to the George Manz table and handed over my scrap quarters worth $7.50 if I brought them to a bank. A few mins later, I walked away with a cheque worth $54.65 in my wallet and a smile on my face.

We headed across the hall to where JJ’s CoinHawk mtg was about to start. This is an excellent coin club for kids up to 16. The club provides the young numismatists the required books and a binder to hold the info given out each month. As well, they usually hand out free coins, etc to every kid who attends the mtg. JJ has also rec’d 2 free magnifying glasses and the 2x2’s to hold his new coins. And membership in the club is FREE. It’s worth the trip into the city every month to give JJ this wonderful education of a hobby I’ve loved my entire life. And, the free coins sure help, too.

Anyway, we were half way through an interesting discussion on Canadian 25 cent pieces when the cell phone in my pocket vibrated. Jessie’s recital was over. I left the boys at the mtg and drove over to pick up a smiling Jessie. Her recital had gone well and her instructor had been pleased with her performance.

By the time we got back to the Coin Show, it was 3 pm and JJ’s mtg had just ended. Nick waved a new 1949 silver cased dollar at me which he’d won as a door prize. Plus they showed me the free 1999 and 2000 series coins sets (12 coins in each) which they rec’d for being CoinHawk members. They were happy but wanted to get to the pool.

First, however, I had an assignment to complete. I’d been hired by a Consumer organization as a Mystery Shopper. It took just over an hour to complete the assignment and I know you’d love to hear about it but that’s a topic for another post. J By the time we got out of the store, it was near 5 pm and the kids were antsy. After a trip to SuperStore to buy pepperoni sticks, snap peas, snacks, pop, muffins, juice, etc, we headed over to our hotel.

Once we hauled everything up to the room, the kids got into their swimsuits and waited for my nod. I tried to get onto the internet to check in with the Prairie Chicks blog where Victoria Bylin was guest blogging, but I couldn’t get on. I asked Jessie to try while I was gone and give my go ahead for the pool. Man, those kids disappeared fast!

I headed back to the Coin Show for the evening auction. Bidding started at $2 and ran the gamut up to $5,100 for an 1872H Canadian 25 cent piece. Wow. I spent $24 on some trade dollars and 25 cent pieces.

Satisfied, I arrived back at the hotel at 9 as the kids were coming up from the pool, wet and happy.

That’s when my fun ended and my troubles began as I spent the next 4 hrs trying to log on and stay on the internet. Horrendous! Lots to talk about here but that’s another post.

Sun morning, the kids enjoyed a morning swim before we headed off to the coin Show. Being a CoinHawk, JJ did his stint at the registration table handing out free coins to any kids coming through the door, member or not. It was neat when they called the next door prize number because it was JJ’s and he was sitting right there. All he had to do was stand up and smile.

After an hour, we finally left the table and started shopping. None of the fancy cased stuff for me. No, I head for the buckets of mixed coins where my fingers turn black from who knows what after an hour of digging. There’s so much to see, I only stayed 30 mins or so at each dealer. Still, I missed one. Yes, I would’ve had more time if I hadn’t let the kids go for a morning swim, but that wasn’t an option.

The Show was over at 4 pm. With the judging completed, JJ and I headed over to pack up our displays. They informed us JJ had won the Junior division. Yay! As for the adults, they said the winner would be announced at the next mtg. However, they pointedly asked if I would be attending. Hmmm...

Within half an hour, we were on the road, 7-Eleven Slurpee’s in hand. But we couldn’t go home just yet.

The kids’ youth group was hosting a Scottish Fundraiser for the kids going on a mission trip to Scotland this summer. Here’s Samantha and my Jessie (on the right) after serving the meal to 30 people. Once the clean up was done, Jessie and Nick were free to leave so we were back on the road, heading south to home. Nelson had joined us for the meal but was already home sleeping since he’d been up since 4 am.

Finally, just before 10 pm, we drove into the dry yard and unloaded the van. It sure was nice to be home.

And how was your weekend? Do anything different? Exciting? Come on, tell us...

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Waters are Receding

Yay! Looks like the 2009 flood is over because the waters are receding. I'll take some pics this morning and post them tonight if I have time

I'm off to North Dakota this morning and will bring my camera to see what else is going on in my little corner of the world.

Have a good day!

What are you planning to do today? Enjoy the weather? Go for a walk? Pray? Hug someone? You could always write... lol

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

JJ Takes Pics of Flood

My son was a 3 yr old the last time we flooded but doesn't remember the water. Since he's fascinated by it and keeps running out to look at it, I gave him my camera this morning and said to take shots of whatever caught his fancy. Just make sure he took pics of the road. I showed him yesterday's photo and said to make sure the photo's not all sky. We do live on the prairies, after all. These are the pics he took:

This is the pasture behind our house (on the left). Usually, you'll see land and a dugout but at the moment it's hard to see where the dugout starts and stops.

The road heading north. It looks like the water is holding back for now.

JJ's close up of the road. I wonder what caught his eye...

Ah - so this is the chattering I've been hearing all morning. The blackbirds are back.

That's all the pics I have today. In other news, the plug hubby put in the basement is still holding although we're to check it every few hours which we'll do before we head into the city today for music lessons.

During the last flood, we were about to leave the city when hubby phoned us to stay in town since the road was under water. He doesn't think it'll be a problem this year.

Jessica says I shouldn't bring an overnight bag because that will seem like I'm expecting the worst.

I like to be prepared and usually when I am, I didn't need to be after the fact.

We'll see...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2009 Flood Photos

Okay, we're officially flooding.

If you look at this driveway pic, check out the fence posts on the left.

Uh - oh!

The road north just before you turn down our driveway.

Close up of the action.

It's quiet outside - well, except for the chatter of birds and the sound of rushing water.

I'm standing near the part where the water is over the road and I'm looking south. The farm is on the right.

Looking west to our farm yard.

See the fence posts...

But it's so beautiful.

We have the sump pump going on an 8 min on and 3 min rest cycle and it seems to be holding its own. Still, there are several inches of water in the lowest part of the basement. I took the first watch until 3 am when my knees gave out from going up and down the stairs. Then hubby took over and I went to sleep on the recliner. I woke at 8 to find the boys doing sump pump duty. They said Dad fell alseep while reading his Bible at breakfast but he's gone to work now.

We are Flooding

The basement is flooding.

Water in the ditch is 1/3 across the main road that you see in the photo below.

I will upload a new photo in the morning but for tonight, I am on water detail. Every 10 mins, I must go down and put sump pump on until water level lowers. But, it's rising faster than we can clear it.

With the temp above zero, there's no chance of the water stopping. We need a good long freeze to stop it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

We're on Flood Watch

I took this photo as we left home yesterday around 11 am. It shows the water around our farm at a high level. Nine years ago when we first moved to the farm, the water rose up over the road. Hubby had to wear waders and walk through the 1-2' high water to get to his truck parked on the other side just so he could go to work.

We're praying it won't happen this year, but that water is high and there's still a lot of snow to melt. Plus, it rained yesterday. I'll keep you posted...

I enjoyed a wonderful Easter celebrating Christ's resurrection with the family in Regina. My sister-in-law, Teresa, always puts on a delicious meal with lots of side dishes. It's a special treat to celebrate a holiday at her house. In the photo, our daughter Jessie is taking a pic of her dad, his mom, and his sister, our hostess, Teresa.

After we ate, we played canasta - a card game. It was more fun than usual because we had extra players and when one player had to leave - like when Grandma started to fall asleep and left to go for a nap - my teen son sat in to play. This was the first time he's played canasta and it was a nice to spend the time with him in such a way. When the phone rang, another player left and someone else sat in to play. After awhile, our partners were all mixed up but it didn't really matter who won the game because it was the socializing that counted. While we played, Teresa served up snack food and dessert so we really had a treat.

Later on, we headed to the airport to welcome back Ashley, an Australian friend who had first come over as an exchange student years ago. It was a long 30 hr trip for her and it was nice to see her land safely.

So, other than a glorious celebration of life over death, my weekend consisted of family, friends and fear of flooding.

How was your weekend? Are you worried about anything at this time of year?

Friday, April 10, 2009

What Caught My Eye This Week

The Canada geese are back.

Here's a pic of a gully I wrote about in one of my books.

This is how it looked on Wed...

And this is how it looked just 2 weeks ago.

This is an arm extending off the big Qu'Appelle Valley.

This is ice, but you can see how the water froze in a circular pattern.

Have you ever seen snow melt?

It just kind of recedes.

This was taken Thurs night.

Snow melting in the ditch.

If you look way up, you can see my first hawk sighting for 2009.

My first robin sighting of the year.

The mama's are watching over their babies.

Newborn bull calves gone exploring.

I stopped to take a pic of the bison and they turned to look at me.
What caught your eye this week?

Friday, April 3, 2009

My Week in Pics

Here's a pictorical post of some of my encounters this past week.

I've blogged about my trip up to Saskatoon last Sat for my mtg with the Sask Rom Writers.

Well, half way there I took these pics of someone building farm buildings made from the abundance of flax straw. Here's the house in the foreground with some type of barn or outbuilding in the back...

...and here they're putting up a couple more outbuildings. One might be a garage but I'm not sure what the other could be.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Hubby was working on Thurs evening so I ended up taking the boys to their guitar lesson.
This was taken at 7 pm in Grenfell, SK while we waited for a train to pass.

This is what I see as soon as I step out my door and turn right to the east.
We sometimes use this rooster clanger to summon everyone in. It's more decorative rather than practical since the clanger gives off a thud rather than a clang.

As you can see, still lots of snow here.

Another frost morning, taken on Tues right out my bedroom window.
I literally had to smush my ear against the window for this shot which looks east at the garage through the garden arch on the right.

This is the same photo but around 7 pm that evening with the western sunset splayed all over it.

I woke up yesterday morning to find frost covering just the tops of all the trees.
You're looking north at my sunroom.

I'll leave you with this shot of the barn.
With all the melting that's going on, the chickens are out and about the yard.
Have a great weekend!