March 9, 1996
Jerry and I came down to choose and fell trees for the log house. It was a beautiful, warm day.
March 30-31, 1996
Matt, Mitch, Ian, Dylan, Nick, Kasey here. Really snowy! Managed to get the van in to the cabin. Not much to do.
Went for a hike. Really beautiful.
We came, we saw, we trudged through a foot of snow - at least there are no bugs around .
Weather could have been better- had a great time - would love to return in the summer.
Snow..only hot. Slept well. Fixed other heater - works now.
Lots of snow - had fun!!
(I believe the boys spent 6 hours trying to get the van up the hill and then called AMA -)
April 21, 1996
This is the first weekend that we've been able to drive down to the cabin, although we've been in a few times over the winter to fell and limb trees for the log cabin. Bill Robinson was up here this winter too and, when I visited him in hospital last week, he said he'd been here comet watching recently.
Today, while we were in the north forest, some neighbours rode through and stopped to visit for a few minutes. (David? who lives in the log house on the Bowden road) He told us that Dennis Overgaurd is getting out of the cattle business due to ill health. Said that Jake Sevrens is still living in Sundre.
We are making progress - a dozen logs short of a building.
Love to all
May 5, 1996
Buster, Jerry and me here today to bring the tractor back from the acreage so that we can use it to move the logs out of the forest. Jerry mounted our garage-sale winch onto his tractor and it works just great.
We had planned to meet Earl Volmer, one of our neighbours, her today to get an estimate from him for some fencing but he couldn't get away from his calving cows.
May 20, 1996
Mark and Carol's wedding this weekend and the clan gathered in Calgary for two days of celebrations followed by an Ejor meeting. It was decided that we would do the fencing that Dennis Overgaurd wants us to do this Spring and that we would have some work parties to do some maintenance on the cabin.
Jerry and I came up Saturday night after we took Karin to the airport. She's off to Germany for two weeks. Stefan and Fabi are on their way back to Vancouver.
We used the tractor and winch to pull the logs that we felled over the winter out of the forest. It was hard work and slow going. We have some lengths of power pole down in the river that we want to bring up the hill too but we'll need more winch cable before we can do that. Meanwhile, hope that they don't get washed away.
Love to all,
May 25, 1996
Met Jerry here this morning. He picked up and delivered the supplies for the fence project and we staked out the line and spray-painted the spots where the posts will go. Then we spread the posts out, ready to put in the ground. Now all we need is a post pounder.
Saturday afternoon we took the tractor down to the river and winched our salvaged power pole off the gravel bar. It was tough going - kept getting hung up. I talked Jerry into trying to re-establish the ford at the bottom of the road and he managed to slope the bank and drive across. Once on the gravel bar, the front axle of the tractor broke and it was stranded. Jerry had to drive home to get tools to take it apart - got back at dusk - 9:30 pm
Sunday morning we drove to a garage near Olds to get cast iron rod for welding and then to an old fellows farm in the west country to have him do the welding. Not everyone knows how or has the equipment to weld cast iron and this fellow did a top notch job.
Jerry was able to fix the tractor and get it out of the river - he sure didn't want to have to leave it there until next weekend.
Sunday, June 2, 1996
Spent the morning winching and towing two driftwood trees off the gravel bars. What a job! Jerry was determined to salvage them and went at it with chainsaw, chains and cable until he finally won.
Karin and Mom arrived about 1 pm and we went for a tour in the VW bug - a bumpy ride but it got Mom to the far corners.
A lovely day - strawberries and wood violets in flower and dandelions galore.
Friday, June 7, 1996
Karin here for three days. Painted the inside of the cabin and helped Jerry with some logs today. Saw two deer. There are lots of mice in the cabin and many crows that appear to be nesting on the property.
Saturday, June 15, 1996
Chris and Dave dropped off a $10 fridge that should do us for the summer.
Sunday, June 16, 1996
Stopped on my way home from the campout at Jerry's to put bait out for the mice.
Weekend, June 21-23, 1996
Jerry rented a post pounder and, by the time I got here after work, he had the north line of posts in the ground. We finished the job on Saturday morning - a tricky business manoeuvring the tractor and pounder down the slippery slope. At times, the whole rig was sliding and Jerry had to control it by lowering the bucket on the tractor. We placed some extra posts along the hill in front of the
"driveway" to support a rail fence that we hope to build. Karin arrived after lunch and Dan later Saturday afternoon. The three of them worked at bracing the corner units of the fence with cross-bracing and wire. Karin and Jerry strung wire along the east part of the fence and they cleared away the old fencing that had fallen down.
We enjoyed having the fridge here - had ice and ice cream!
CANADA DAY WEEKEND JUNE 30, 1996
TODAY I CAUT A FROG AS A PET. I'M NOT SURE IF I CAN KEEP HIM. I NAMD HIM EDWARD AND HIS LAST NAME IS MOUTARD.
Today I caught a pet toad and named her Tiffany Toad.
I caught a frog. I'm going to let it go tomorrow. His name is Woody.
Arrived about 11 am to join the crew. We had lunch and then started in on the deck repairs with Dan. Three or four hours later - it's sound again! If I can, I'll do a little more staining later in the week. We plan to stay tonight, go home for two days, then back with Kate on Wednesday or Thursday. The kids are going to stay here with Autie Judy and Uncle Jerry. THANKS!! We brought the "2buck truck" and will leave it here for a while. It runs well. Plan to sell it soon though. Any offers?
June 30 - Blue Moon!
Thanks Chris for bringing me for the campfire. It was a joy to see the grandchildren and their friends here - the song never dies! Thanks too to Dan and Tim for the guitars.
P.S. Impressive work!!Love to all,
July 1, 1996
Came up last night with Tim and Craig. It was a warm, beautiful night for a campfire and the weather is spectacular today.
I honestly can't remember when I was last here. It must have been six or seven years. I had forgotten how gorgeous it is up here. I slept in the hammock last night. It was nice to fall asleep under a full moon with the sound of the river flowing. I definitely won't go so long without coming here again.
July 1, 1996 HAPPY CANADA DAY!!
A little work done, a long hike, then down to the river with the kids. Hot sun, cold water - a great combination! Off home soon but back later in the week. It was great to have a real campfire again.
Canada Day Weekend, 1996
Left Calgary at 10am Saturday with the Civic loaded to the roof and Alec in tow. Wanted him to be able to spend some time with Jake and Jenna and the rest of the troops. We drove out via Hwy 766 - a lovely drive.
Dan was already here and Jerry arrived right after we did. He had been working on Karin's car - fixed the brakes for her. We spent the afternoon stringing barbwire and Karin arrived in time to help us finish the job.
We barbequed steaks for supper and then Karin, Jerry and I went down to the river. We saw the beaver - came within 15 feet of us.
Dan put a campfire together and we enjoyed a lovely evening.
Alec slept in the hammock half the night and then came in. Karin slept on the livingroom floor and listened to the cats catch mice all night. YUK!!
Sunday morning we all had a big breakfast then went to work on the east-west span of the fence. Jody, Craig and Tim arrived, Steve brought Jenna and Jacob out, Greg showed up and, in the evening, Mom and Chris arrived. Dan and Steve repaired the deck and Karin helped Jerry finish the fencing. Only the gates left to do.
Jerry and I winched away the tree that was blocking the "driveway" east of the well. Greg felled a dead poplar. Karin went to Penhold and came back with Cathy Charelton and her friend Greg.
Karin took the kids down to the beaver dam for a swim and wallow in the mud. The three little ones spent hours catching frogs and toads.
The campfire on Sunday evening was the best in some time - lots of voices and Dan and Tim on guitar - lots of food and many voices.
Monday, July 1, 1996
Monday morning, we had a communal breakfast and then Dan, Jody, Tim, Craig and Greg headed home. Steve looked after the kids all day and Jerry and I used a transit to measure and place stakes marking out the log house footings. I mowed the building site first so that we could move around a little easier. Jerry rigged up an a-frame "hoist" to help us get the logs down to the building site and to lift them into place.
We saw a hummingbird today!
Tuesday, July 2, 1996
Jerry and I got the kids fed, clean and in their "Sundre best" and drove into town to pick up a gas-powered hole auger from Sundre Rentals. I took the kids shopping while Jerry looked after getting building supplies. No sooner were we in the Drug Store than Jacob got sick - too many marshmallows? Alec kindly shared the $20 his Mom gave him and the kids bought posters to colour and more junk food which Jacob seemed ready to consume.
Once back at the cabin, Jerry and I started augering the holes for the log house footings - no easy job with that monster piece of equipment.
We'd been working for about two hours and had four of the twenty required holes dug when Stefan arrived with his friend Warren and his German Shepherd, Cassie. They worked till the sun went down and got all the house and deck holes dug. In the process, Jerry got his ring-finger on his left hand caught in the machine and crushed it from the knuckle to the fingertip. He didn't think stitches would help but it is very painful and he'll surely lose the fingernail.
Stefan made a campfire for the kids and set up the telescope. The little guys started out the night sleeping on the deck and, when a huge thunder and lightning storm hit, moved into the cabin. The storm only lasted about half an hour but it knocked the power out.
Wednesday, July 3, 1996
Called Transalta re the power and had breakfast cooked over a campfire. I videotaped the action this morning as the men worked with the gas auger, putting in footings for the stairwell - that's a 30 degree, slippery slope. They dangled the machine from a cable off the back of Jerry's tractor. Stefan and Warren had to pick it up to position it. When the last of the holes were dug, they installed the pilings and cemented them into place. Our log house is going to be spectacular! Turns out that the deck is higher than we thought it would be and we'll have quite a view.
Jerry had a rest after lunch - his hand is throbbing. The rest of us spent an hour at the swimming hole with the kids.
Jerry gave Jacob, Jenna and Alec a log of their own to turn into a totem pole. He marked it off in sections so that each person has a length to work with. They each came up with their own idea of what to carve and Jerry showed them how to use a chisel and mallet. They are delighted with the project.
After supper the kids had a campfire with Stefan and Warren. I got out the old record player and kids records and they sang along. Had the ukeleles and accordion in action too. The evening ended with a thunderous hailstorm - short-lived but impressive!
Thursday, July 4, 1996
Another beautiful morning. Got breakfast over with and then Jerry, Stefan and Warren drove out to Harriman Lumber to buy more railway ties for the deck footings. Steve and Kate arrived and set to cleaning up the kids and all their paraphanalia. They pitched camp and, when the guys got back, we worked with the kids on carving the totem pole.
After lunch, Jerry, Stefan and Warren felled the 100ft. tall dead spruce next to the cabin. It was a tricky operation. Stefan climbed ¾ of the way up the tree and tied a rope on to it so it could be guided to fall safely toward the road rather than on the cabin or power lines. Once it was down, Jerry bucked it up and Steve and I stacked it in the woodshed. Warren headed back to Vancouver this afternoon. Jacob fell out of the hammock this morning and cut his chin. Steve took him to Sundre hospital but stitches weren't needed.
This evening, it rained and we had a double rainbow. Jerry and I hid out in our room and read log building books and reviewed the video I've been making.
Friday, July 5, 1996
We drove over to Jerry's acreage today to do laundry and have a proper bath. While we were there he cut out a figure for the top of the totem pole - an eagle? hawk? We watched the videotape that I've made so far and I was really pleased with this first attempt. Brent Van Dusen arrived at the cabin today and is a big help with the building project. Jerry has come down with a cold and sore throat.
Saturday, July 6, 1996
Sue Forest, Amy, Holly and Heather arrived this afternoon and Don came up after work. Steve, Kate and their kids left after supper. Jerry, with Stefan and Brent helping, pulled the sill logs out of the forest. They are each over 50 ft. long!!
Karin came over for a couple hours this afternoon and Stefan talked to us about his plans and problems. We had a campfire this evening with Brent "on the pot" and Sue on guitar.
Sunday, July 7, 1996
The Totten clan, except for Heather, headed back to Calgary today. Heather will stay with us until we leave. It seems very quiet without the little ones. I made a huge amount of perogies for lunch and baked an apple pie for supper. Cleaned the cabin and outhouse.
We peeled the sill logs today and, with much manouevering, positioned the first one onto the footings. I spent some time gathering moss for chinking.
July 8th, 1996
It's time for me to go back to work and it's hard to leave!! I introduced two of my friends to the place this week - Warren and Brent. We all worked pretty hard but agreed to come back for more log peeling. Got lots of time in with Heather and Alec and wish that more of the cousins could have been here. See you all next time.
July 5 - 8, 1996
Wow! What a place. Now that I know where it is, I'll definitely be back. I had a wonderful time, amazing hospitality, lots of late night star-gazing and the list goes on. Thanks for everything.
July 6, 1996
Read a lot, slept a lot, sang by the campfire a lot, played at the beach a lot, swam a lot, sunbathed a lot, peeled logs a bit, ran and walked and talked and ate a lot. It was fun!
Monday, July 8th, 1996
Stefan and Brent helped Jerry to position the second log onto the building. I went to Sundre for groceries and made shrimp and scallop kabobs on the BBQ for supper. Finished putting the sunflower on the totem pole - Jerry carving and me painting. Stefan cleaned all the windows and split a good supply of firewood. He and Brent headed back to Calgary after supper. Heather reads constantly.
Tuesday, July 9, 1996
I took the tent down this morning while Jerry worked at notching and fitting the sill logs to the piers. Peeled the next log, ready to position onto the footings. It rained and hailed this evening so shut down work early and baked a chocolate cake and made spaghetti for supper.
Wednesday, July 10, 1996
Our last full working day for this vacation period and Jerry is a man possessed. He wants to have all four sill logs in place before we leave tomorrow. I peeled two more today and helped him sling them down into the building site. He used the log scribe and gouge to create perfect notches to seat the first cross log. We worked all evening at getting the next one into the site and onto the piers.
We attempted to barbeque a salmon for supper but, because the BBQ wouldn't stay lit, wound up baking it in the oven.
The bald eagle top for the totem pole seems too American for my liking so tried to turn it into a red-tailed hawk. It now looks like the hybrid it is. I also painted the mountain bluebird on the totem pole and that was more successful.
Thursday, July 11, 1996
Jerry finished notching the last of the sill logs and put it in place today. I spent the whole day cleaning - what's new - so that the place will be ready for the next visitors. This has been a very productive and enjoyable vacation.
July 19 & 20, 1996
Karin, her friend Mike, Jerry and Judy here. Bill Robinson's tent trailer is set up in the top meadow but no sign of him. We got another log peeled, into the site, positioned and fitted. Trimmed the hedge and started clearing a path to the river from the building site.
July 26-28, 1996
Came out after work on Friday and by Saturday evening we had another log on the cabin. Seems one a weekend is about all we can hope to get done - very time consuming! I'm beginning to think that our 5 year plan won't see the project finished and Jerry admitted today that it might be premature to buy a bathtub. I keep looking for one of the old cast iron claw-footed sort.
Bill Robinson has finished the cairn for his parents and it is very impressive! Karin is coming out on Sunday and is bringing her friend Sheldon and his children. Jerry went fishing this morning and found the river is really warm after a 30degree day. I put some mouldings around the fireplace and in the biffy in an attempt to keep the lino from tearing.
Aug. 17, 1996
The Poll family (Bill Eser's stepbrother) here with us for the weekend and, so far, like the place, the peace and the open spaces. Last night we went beaver watching with them and were lucky enough to see one. Ursula caught him with her video camera.
This morning, Christa saw a deer at the river and we have all been studying a cat-sized rodent that is living in Steve's old stationwagon. I think it may be a woodchuck. It's very tame - just sits and looks back at us and it let Jerry stroke it with a long blade of grass. Today, we pulled another log down to the building site and Horst peeled it for us.
Aug. 18, 1996
Tina and Timbre out to join Judy, Jerry and the Poll Family for a good solid 24hr. cabin visit. Perfect weather. Hope to come back next weekend before my four month stay in Cuba but we'll see how the packing goes.
Aug. 25, 1996
Karin and Mike were here for a few days. Jerry and I just stopped in for a few hours after a weekend at Sylvan Lake, helping a friend roof his new house. We did a little work on the log house. Discovered a dead squirrel in the spring - gross! Off to Calgary for a farewell supper for Tina.
September 1, 1996 - Labour Day Weekend
Jerry is determined to see some more progress on the house before winter sets in, so has taken a week off "work" to work here. Saturday, we built the cattle gates and put up the totem pole, then brought two more logs down from the stockpile on the pipeline clearing. It seems that the longer they lie on the ground, the harder they are to peel and clean.
September 3,4, 1996
Matthew and assorted fiddlers stayed one night which was rainy but refreshing just the same. Hope to come back soon.
September 6/7, 1996
An eventful week - Eliseo's visit, Mom off to Alaska, Horst and Christa back to Germany, Karin visiting in Vancouver and then off to Winnipeg again, Tina off to Cuba to study Spanish at the University of Havana, Carol back from the Yukon, Bill back from gold mining, Matt back from Scotland, Adam in Calgary for the next two weeks - too many people and events to keep up with.
Here, we got the last of the logs we felled last winter down to the building site and put the third round on the side walls of the cabin. It's our last summer weekend and we've accomplished a lot!! Thanks to all who helped - Stefan and friends and Karin. We learned a lot and had some good times. Hope the woodworms don't eat the building we've created to date and that it doesn't slip into the James next Spring.
We'll work at felling more trees this winter and next summer should see the walls near completion. Thanks to the tribe for letting Jerry be the contractor for the fencing - it made the building project possible financially.
September 15, 1996
Jerry spent Friday here peeling the last two logs. Sunday we came down with Buster - used his truck and Jerry's trailer to take the tractor home for the winter. Brian Lopeter came down on his quad and asked if we were hearing more noise from the gas plant this year. Apparently the neighbours are getting together to lodge a complaint with Shell. Asked him about the quarter west of us and he said he located the owner near Regina and asked him if he wanted to sell. Not at the price Brian offered. Brian would be interested in taking over the grazing lease on our land if Dennis doesn't want it this Fall. I'll pass the word on to Carol. Karin and her friend Michael were here Wednesday and Thursday this week - enjoying the gorgeous weather.
September 21, 1996
Adam and Lynne up for the weekend. We arrived Friday night and had a wonderful evening in front of the fire. The weather was beautiful this morning and all the leaves were starting to turn. Everything was perfect. We went for a walk along the river and up the east side of the land to the "elephant path". The cabin has always been a special place to me. I love it here! Now, it's even more special. I found a beautiful spot in the woods and asked Lynne to marry me. She said yes.
We became engaged at about noon and we've been floating on air ever since. We even saw a coyote, which is very special to me because I've always associated seeing coyotes with good luck and happiness. Everything is perfect. Sunday it snowed!! What an unforgettable weekend.
October 5, 1996
Jerry and Judy here for the day. We split and stacked firewood and went fishing. The Fall colours are in full bloom. Lovely day.
October 11-13, 1996
Scott and Kathryn, close friends of Matt Woodward's, spent the weekend. Had fires, went for walks. Had wine in front of the fire. Nice place to get away from the busy city life, however we are in a rush to get back because I have to work. Very relaxing out here. The forest is beautiful. Thanks Matt - had a wonderful time.
- One more log scribed and fitted!!!