Is there an echo in here?
Well, I'm here so I'll get started. After all - I don't have much time - only 9 more hours until the end of the year. Talk about procrastination with a capital P and pushing it to the wall. I had promised myself I would get this post out by the end of the year. Gee - where does the time go when you have so little to do in life?
And - I'm already worn out. I've just spent two hours getting the photos ready - not much really - but since I was reliving the last 11 months of the Wood Clan's life it feels - well, like 11 months since I started. To be honest it was my second time reliving the 11 months - THAT is what one gets when they are very rusty at blogging and go and spend the first two hours saving photos without sizing them first! Sigh.
And - no - I'm not going to apologize AGAIN for my lack of existence here at a life made simple - we are long past that - aren't we.
So - here we are - December 31, 2016. I'm about to fill you in on how the rest of our year went. Is this a one time shot - is this how our blog well end? To be honest I am not sure. Do I have more blogging in me? I didn't think so - but maybe there is a spark. We'll all find out together in 2017.
In the meantime I've got 90 - yes 90! photos waiting in the pipe. Now, I've always had trouble not posting too many photos - you didn't think that had changed did you? - how is one who is photoverbose supposed to choose from hundreds of photos covering 11 months! Not very well as you'll see.
So - as I've written ad nauseam over the years it seems - get comfortable if you are here for the duration.
We are starting where we left off - with early February, actually I think it was the 1st that we set off on a road trip. We had cabin fever.
Hmmmm - what the heck is this! No - or very little - snow at home. THAT is what we get for heading over the mountains!
We were heading east over to the Kootenays - one of our most favourite areas in BC. Here - waiting for the ferry.
Our main destination. We've been here many times before and have blogged about it. This time we treated ourselves to a night in the adjoining swanky hotel. Livin' like kings! A trip to the hot springs is all about the C A V E S - hot hot water in a small hard rocky place - good times.
In a few days we hit all of our go to places.
I know - not the best picture - but a picture of the BEST thing that I have EVER drank. We only bought 2 bottles - as I look at this picture now I'm really kicking myself for leaving any at the brewery.
We then carried on to Castlegar to visit with Derek's dad and stepmom.
All I know is that cold and playgrounds just don't go together.
Hey Rufus - they're talking to you! Sure wish we had signs like this at the Park!
To know me is to know that I don't DO suspension bridges. Look how caring and concerned my husband is about that!
Yup - Cas will go for the dog every time.
Well, that was good fun - now we just had to get home.
Man - why do people travel in BC in the winter!
Seriously - look at that WALL of snow! But just when you think it can't get worse ..... it doesn't and you get .....
And this! This - is actually really close to home. I skipped over a day or so. On the way home we stopped in Osoyoos for a night. Boy were we glad to be home - only after a 4 or 5 day road trip. We just don't have our travelling legs under us anymore. Homebodies is what we have become.
February was actually really decent so we spent lots of time in the Park. Nice to get out walking.
Cas with her friend Emily.
Snow - what snow - boy the falls have sure changed since the last time we showed them to you a post or so ago!
With March arriving we headed out again - this time back to Vancouver Island and Victoria. Yup - we had just been there in the fall. New here? We go to see my family on the Island every fall and spring so I have done a ton of posts on that in the past. The one thing we have never done is get up close to the Parliament Buildings - Victoria is BC's capital city btw.
We do all the same stuff when we get to town - like visit the Beacon Hill Park petting zoo.
Of course - the spring is special with all the blossoms.
This trip was a little different in that we drove over and brought Derek's mom (Audrey) with us. Having wheels also gave us the chance to drive up Island to visit Duncan and where we and Audrey used to live - as well as visit with my sister and bro in law.
And! visit our most favourite restaurant in Duncan. Derek and his mom have been coming here since the 80's!
Our Victoria post just wouldn't be complete without our photo of the Beacon Drive in.
We go every time we are in town - no exceptions.
See I was on the trip!
On our way home from the Island we visited a few days at Derek's sister's place on the Mainland. I decided to include this picture because it so represents Cassia to me. Her father's daughter - she has fallen really far from my tree! This - I would never do.
We also brought a new member of the Wood Clan home with us! Meet Bubbles - or Bubs for short. THIS is Rufus's sister. While Rufus got his Dad Nanuq's eyes, Bub's was blessed with her mom Chinook's baby blues.
She'll be with us for a short time or a long time - either way we think that Rufus likes the company.
The end of March only meant one thing for us - W.O.R.K. And what a way to get those muscles tuned up! Thanks to Derek for really soldiering up to this task!
And thanks to Cassia for capturing what mom was doing to start her working season!
Park wise - Shorts Creek was really working hard to hang onto her banks!
Ahhhhh - love this time of year - lookin' good!
One of the most amazing things about the Park in April is the amount of lilacs we have. Here - looking at the Manor House.
With May brought the first of three Friends of Fintry Festivals to the Park.
And Birthdays for the two of us! Cassia 7 and me well, cough cough - 46.
(BTW Cas's lips are super dry - she is NOT wearing lipstick lol)
This is the point where a mom (and dad) asks - where exactly did the time go?!
This is how May ended. Who know then that this would be how our summer was going to be - wet, wet, wet. We barely went a day without rain for the next two months! Sunny, hot Okanagan - sure.
We were a little late getting it going but our garden was ready by June.
Awwww ...... there's Hraefn - looking all sad and lonely back there. Only a trip up and down the drive way to look forward to these days.
Nice that we inherited such beautiful old roses.
By late June our cherry tree was really doing well. It went on to produce a great first year crop for us.
While in the Park - Friday nights mean Fire Truck night! A huge draw as you can see.
I'm moving pretty quick now - here's the July Friends of Fintry Festival. Our Ranger friend Sara of BC Parks just gave Cassia her first set of Moose Ears.
Fintry also received it's first 'food truck'.
Was that the three of us eating there A LOT instead of cooking - nope wasn't us!
Derek got some great shots of our resident Owl.
Ok - we are in August now!
We headed south to Penticton for a 36 hour vacation! We made the most of it!
So - I included this photo because - this is Cassia. It's a selfie. When I take her picture I always ask her to smile nice - look this way - look like this. I laugh when I look at this picture - she has such a funny personality - quirky - fun. I LOVE that. One of my biggest hopes for her is that she is able to hang on to it in a world that isn't always fun.
Cassia's first time to a place like Loco Landing - did she have fun ....
or did she have fun!
This was a dad and daughter kind of place - you know - where mom is content to just watch from over here in the shade and hold all the stuff!
We ended our trip with Cassia's first game of mini golf. Beginner's luck I guess - I didn't even bother to add up the scores - embarrassing.
This will always be what August 2016 looked like at Fintry Provincial Park. As you can imagine we had quite the scare. We had a wind storm - to put it nicely. This happened at around 9:00 pm about 20 feet away from me as I was changing out a garbage. It was almost dark. I was the only one on shift - I have never been on my radio and phone so fast or at the same time.
Thankfully and not without a whole bunch of irony - the Owners of Kaloya - our bosses - were camping at Fintry for the weekend. A decision was quickly made to evacuate the Park. Now you have to picture it - wind blowing, trees cracking, limbs falling, people sleeping and us going door to door telling everyone to leave! With Derek and I, our camp hosts and the Owners we were able to secure the area. It was quite the night.
This was why we knew we had to evacuate. Thankfully there were no injures to this family of 5.
The loop that had the most damage with 50 sites was closed for the next three days as crews took out 19 hazard trees. Then - we carried on.
Just a brief intermission here - as I was looking for pictures I couldn't pull myself away from this one. I don't know that I've seen a sunset since. Barely any sun for us right now knee deep in January let alone a sunset. Boy do I miss summer.
The end of August meant a new year for Cassia and time for me to get my butt in gear with a new year of homeschooling.
At Fintry, September means the third and final Friends of Fintry Festival of the year. This one was different as the Vikings arrived! For the kids it was great fun to be rallied by the head guy.
The Vikings had no chance against the mob of little people. It was a huge draw for the Festival.
Time for us to relax a bit after a busy two months and for Cassia and Derek to get back to longer walks.
The dogs look pretty happy about it.
Our fall front garden.
Fall at Fintry Provincial Park. The Park closed on Thanksgiving Day - October 10th. I can't say that after six months we weren't done with it all. Phew - we closed the gates on the Park and our second season at Fintry.
Shortly thereafter we headed back to Victoria. I actually didn't take any pictures this time - we did all the same stuff. The one exception was a trip out to Goldstream Provincial Park.
We were there to see the Salmon run - a little early but we saw a few.
Fall is such a beautiful time here at Fintry. Derek's mom came for a visit and took this family picture.
With such nice weather we spent a lot of time walking around and hanging out down on the beach.
A dinosaur last year - and this year - Arrrgh Matey!
It was a cool and wet experience but we forged on for 1 1/2 hours - even Cassia was done by then.
An interesting foam formation on Shorts Creek.
Another family photo.
These were the best of days - but we knew it was not to last......
And it didn't. First snow fall of 2016 - December 2nd.
The same day as Tree Day! We love Christmas - the start of December means the start of Christmas for the Wood Clan. In November we FINALLY painted the walls and ceiling white. We LOVE it. The room is so dark all the time. We - I mean - I - hung lights to help with that.
All was well until this happened mid December - our life has been all about snow and cold since.
One of us isn't upset about it at all.
No, it wasn't exactly all that cold but it was wet.
With the creek frozen, Cassia and Derek were able to get back to their trips up to the falls and deer trails.
The hugeness of the falls is amazing to see once tamed by the ice.
And last but not ....... well, you know - least.
Our beautiful little lady - Cassia's 7th Christmas.
The Wood Clan hopes you had one of your best Christmas's ever and
we wish you a most wonderful - healthy and happy - 2017!
P.S. I've missed you!