The Last Summer Tree

Taken first thing this morning in the first beam of sunshine that came along

Taken first thing this morning in the first beam of sunshine that came along

We as packed up as we’re going to be.

The Rv’s as loaded as it’s going to be.

The bloody rain has FINALLY stopped.

This is it!

Videos and posts and pictures as we go.

Thank you all for your wonderful support. I will miss you for the little while we’re out of touch.

Big hugs for you all.

Widds

Boxing and Unboxing

Our first load to the storage unit for this year …

It may not look like much but you'd be surprised many boxes and bags we squished in there

It may not look like much but you’d be surprised many boxes and bags we squished in there

… and then we moved more empty boxes into the house to fill up …

It may not look like much but you'd be surprised many flattened boxes we squished in there

It may not look like much but you’d be surprised many flattened boxes we squished in there

… and then …

… for a while now I’ve been subscribing to newsletters, YouTube channels, blogs, etc, created by people in the RV-ing community. The amount of things we’ve learned about RV-ing in general, maintenance and fixing things ourselves, how our travel trailer is put together and what we have to do to keep it together, has truly been an education worthy of a high-falutin’ degree of some sort.

One of those newsletters, RV Travel, has a weekly giveaway. I enter, just because I can, and let’s face it, if you don’t play you don’t win, and last week I won …

A box within a box!

A box within a box!

… an air fryer!

At this point I had no idea what an air fryer was …

Ok then, it's a plastic ... um ... thingy

Ok then, it’s a plastic … um … thingy

After opening up everything and removing all sorts of interesting bits …

Still none-the-wiser

Still none-the-wiser

Time to read the instructions … chop up a couple of potatoes, toss ’em in a bit of oil and herbs, into the pot-thingy they go … turn it on and see what happens …

Voilà! Widder-fries!

Voilà! Widder-fries!

They didn’t taste half bad either.

We’re not sure yet if we’ll take it with us or put it into storage, but we’re going to experiment with a few recipes over the next few weeks and see how it works out.

Smashwords and D2D Merger

Important news for indie writers. An email just arrived in my inbox, from one Mark Coker, the CEO of Smashwords, saying that the two publishing platforms have decided to merge, and it’s all set to be concluded on or about the 1st of March.

D2D’s YouTube channel is hosting a live Q&A tomorrow (Wednesday) at midday (Mountain Time) with Mark Coker and Kris Austin. (D2D’s CEO)

I plan to be there with my ‘The Wunder-Lusters’, hat on – mostly because that’s the name of our YouTube channel.

Here’s the LINK to the Q&A. Or just do a search on YouTube.

My feeling is this is going to be great for authors who publish on either/both platforms … the best of both worlds. Of course there’ll be chaos and grumbles and pouting though, that’s what humans do.

2022 Here We Come!

I’m back in the swing of it all, with my shiny new, curved, 32″ monitor.

These things have to be seen in action to be believed. The actual curve of the monitor took some getting used to, just because it’s visually unfamiliar, but once I did .. wow!

What a difference it makes to the far left and right of any images/print/video I’m looking at. I don’t have anywhere near the same feeling of eyestrain that I did with my flat screen … and this thing is 12cm (5″ bigger!)… sheer decadent indulgence, for the price of an average indulgence … I’m a happy camper!

This picture really doesn't do it justice, but you get the, ahem, picture. :)

This picture really doesn’t do it justice, but you get the, ahem, picture. 🙂

I still haven’t been able to find an adaptor for my old monitor at a price I’m prepared to pay, to even be able to find out whether the problem was with the adaptor or the monitor. So, for now Old Faithful is back in her box, and off to the storage unit she will go.

I had wanted to do a couple of posts videos and pictures about the wave after wave, after wave, of snowstorms followed by rain/ice storms we’ve had recently, but it seems that the modern world refuses to even to speak to my old computer which runs on Windows 7 … c’est la vie.

So I decided I’d just post a few of my favourite photos from the bunch of ’em … and unless something impressive happens, I’ll keep the rain/snow/mud slushiness currently surrounding us to meself.

I hope 2022 has been kind to you thus far, but I also hope you’ve got your seatbelt fastened … just in case.

Mrs Widds Vs the mountain

Mrs Widds Vs the mountain

-15C, not counting the wind-chill, and I'm  widds-cicle

-15C, not counting the wind-chill, and I’m widds-cicle  

Ice-crystals on the INSIDE of the window

Ice-crystals on the INSIDE of the window

45 cm of snow, and our poor long-suffering pontoon is iced in

45 cm of snow, and our poor long-suffering pontoon is iced in

The other end of the lake - through the truck window

The other end of the lake – through the truck window

Ice floes on the Fraser River

Ice floes on the Fraser River

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Things have been a bit quiet around here lately.

On the 30th of December, last year, (isn’t it wonderful that 2021 is now ‘last year’?)  my computer monitor stopped working.

It’s either the monitor, or the adapter. Parts have yet to arrive to tell which is which – stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

I’ve been barely online using my old faithful hard drive, which thankfully I kept as a back-up, and using it to check my WordPress dashboard once a day.

So yeah, it’s not you, it’s me.

Also, at the end of they year I had a bit of a meltdown.

I was dealing with the multiple environmental disasters fairly well, I thought. But it seemed like I never had enough time to catch my breath at the end of one before the next one struck.

We live in an old house, and stuff keeps on breaking down. Stuff broke down, in the middle of an arctic outflow, with daytime temperatures in the double digits below freezing. (we now have our very own electrician on speed-dial)

Some health stuff happened too. The concussion … aren’t they fun? .. I didn’t have time to catch my breath there either.

… and then … and then … you get the picture.

I kept saying I wanted a break, for the world to stop for a while. You know that feeling, where you just want to get off for a while?

I cried a lot. A lot … and then my monitor stopped working. It wasn’t the break I wanted but it was the break I got.

Yeah, not you, me.

I sleep late, and go through my day slowly, sometimes staring out the window at the snow, watching the raccoon yearlings and their mum bound through it like its their own personal playground, which, of course, it is.

I can feel my energy returning as the days slowly, almost imperceptibly at this time of year, get longer.

2022 is going to be momentous. I’ll be ready.

Winter Solstice – Snow And Ice

First came the snow …

Then the sun came out and the snow turned to  …

Slushies!

Slushies!

Then the ice rain …

Eerie coating on the jasmine vines

Eerie coating on the jasmine vines

Mother Nature in Her very best ‘deep midwinter’, mode …

Icicles in the night

Icicles in the night

Now, the days grow longer, and although our troubled world continues to struggle on under the weight of almost insurmountable challenges, this window of time, between the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one, always seems to be full of … possibilities.

May you find your possibilities. May you find your Path, and may there be beloved others who will choose to walk with you on it.

Blessed Be.

We’ve Been Here Before

Calamitous events of recent times, both near and far, have given me pause in these latter days of 2021. They might have for you too.

I find myself feeling a deep knowing, as though it comes from far enough within me that it might even be reflected on my DNA. It has certainly reflected on my Spirit.

The civilisations that have grown and thrived all over our world since the Industrial Revolution, are now seeing their Days of Autumn slide into Winter’s embrace.

It is the way of all living things, this birth, growth, decay and death. And are not our civilisations living, breathing entities as well? The Macro reflecting the Micro?

Our species has been here many, many times before. More times than even the most ardent of archeologists can only find mere remnants of.

The great city-states of Mesopotamia, Central America, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere, all rose to great heights, and all, finally, fell into ruin. It is only hubris that leads us to believe we will end differently.

Perhaps because our world actually does encompass the entire world, and not the ‘known’ world of those times, we have been provided with a unique time-scale.

Will we collapse on the swords of this mess we’ve created and leave our descendants to scrabble among the ruins of their forbears?

It’s happened before.

Or will we reach the stars, whether they be metaphorical or literal?

And has that happened before too?

-oOo-

I found inspiration for this post in the series, ‘Fall Of Civilizations’, on YouTube. It’s well worth a look.

 

Not What I Planned

I had planned to do an update-y post about how we’re going to spend the next handful of months getting ready for our big Wunder-Lusters Adventure next year …

…but … I have a galaxy-busting migraine …

… so in lieu of, please enjoy this short movie I came across the other day on Omeleto – a YouTube channel that curates shorts form all over the world.

Along with DUST – which is strictly SF&F, it’s one of my ‘go-to’ channels for short movies that never make it to a mainstream release.

Autumn Harvest And A Paper Calculator

The rain stopped just long enough to tempt Mrs Widds and I out into the front yard …

Leaves, weighing almost nothing, sit quite happily above the grass, and moss, and mud

Leaves, weighing almost nothing, sit quite happily above the grass, and moss, and mud

… Yes, ’tis the season…

Cue the garden implements

… look at this little beauty? Isn’t Mother Nature grand?

Moss has taken over our driveway, but it does make a colourful backdrop

Moss has taken over our driveway, but it does make a colourful backdrop

… until all is but a memory. We’ll do one last rake-around when the last leaves have fallen, but that’s it for Autumn, which is just as well because it’s starting to rain again.

The Autumn Tree - all tucked in for Winter

The Autumn Tree – all tucked in for Winter

-oOo-

I may have a practical mind but the complexities of slide rules, abacuses, and other mechanical sorts of calculating machines, prior to the Computer age never captured my interest … (I truly appreciate how ingenious they are though)

… until the other morning, when I opened my daily newsletter from Instructables and came across, Genaille’s Rods! … here’s a hint – you don’t have to know your times tables!

So, of course I had to check the figures with my calculator and yep, it works!

Screenshot - 21879 x 5 =?

Screenshot – 21879 x 5 = ?

I printed out a couple of copies of the pdf (linked in the Instructables tutorial) and will go forth and entertain myself for a while playing with them.

- Why, oh why, didn't they tell me about these when I was in primary school?

– Why, oh why, didn’t they tell me about these when I was in primary school? (Note – I wrote down the wrong number. It should be 49,119 – Thanks for the catch, Tofino. 🙂 )

And Now We Have Bears

There I was minding my own business, doing some cool stuff with my new toy when …

… let’s back the story up a bit shall we?

This winter, for financial reasons, and the fact that we’re still working on the last of the additions to our travel trailer, we decided not to put it in storage.

Part of the whole ‘winterising’ thing we need to do to keep it here is to have some sort of protection between the tires and the ground, or in our case, gravel.

Cue me and my new table saw, cutting this honking great slab of wood we’ve had lying around doing nothing to earn its keep, in two, knocking off the flange, and putting a 45° on each of the ends so the RV can roll easily on and off them.

Farewell flanges

Farewell flanges

I love my table saw

I love my table saw

As I was taking a well-earned tea-break, with feet up and heater on …

You can't tell but the rain was pelting down outside. I felt rather smug and snug

You can’t tell but the rain was pelting down outside. I felt rather smug and snug

… I happened to glance across to the far corner of the garden, where the compost bins are stored.

We have a very simple compost system – fill one bin up with layers of kitchen scraps, garden waste, and poor-ish topsoil which we get from the supplier just up the road – then fill the next bin, and so on. By the time we need the first one empty again, its contents have been fully worm-erated and ready to sit in the open-air compost pile until needed. It’s a dead-easy, no work, system that’s survived the depredations of a mama racoon and her seasonally renewed offspring-ings for … goodness me, how long have we been here now? Almost ten years!

The word had gone around the neighbourhood that a black bear had been seen cavorting among the trees elsewhere on the island.

It’s not a very big island, and the lake surrounding it is rather shallow this time of year, so it wouldn’t’ve taken Madame, or Monsieur, Bruin, too much effort to come a’visiting. What is somewhat surprising is that the land surrounding the lake is well and truly domesticated, with housing developments and farmlands, but I suppose a bear’s gonna do what a bear’s gonna do.

And come a’visiting our Ursine friend certainly did.

No puny plastic garbage bin will stop me!

No puny plastic garbage bin will stop me!

I didn’t think I’d need a sturdier composting storage system, but it seems that now I do.