Well, we’re back. We didn’t make it quite to the end. But it sure felt like it!
We drove up to Fort St. John, BC. This is near Dawson Creek (of the tv show popularity), and kinda close to the Yukon Territory (and about the same longitude as southern Alaska). Well, close to me, but apparently the Yukon is still 6-8 hours further north. The trip took about 18 hours from where we started, on Vancouver Island. That’s because kids have small bladders. 😉 It really felt like we were approaching the end by the time we hit FSJ. We could see the trees already greening up from the recent forest fires, it’s amazing how quickly everything recovers! FSJ seems like a really nice place, if you don’t mind 8 months of winter. Personally, about 4 months of winter is what I prefer. The kids got to meet so many relatives, and ride quads and horses, and I don’t think they wanted to come home!
We were there to celebrate the 90th birthday of Nathan’s grandmother. I did up a family tree in a quilt format (using fabric markers) and it turns out she has over 100 direct descendants!! Not bad for 90 years! 9 kids, 30 grandkids, and the rest great-grandkids…two more coming this year! It’s really amazing to see the power of multiplication at work. And such a blessing to visit with all the family who were able to make it – over 80 people were in the family photo! Although it does remind me of the pictures in the vets’ offices – “If you don’t fix your cat, it could outnumber humanity in three generations!” LOL. Ya. Well, the bald eagles and coyotes apparently help handle the stray dog and cat population in FSJ. Thankfully, none of the kids went astray while we were there. Of course, we came home to find that a local cougar has taken up residence in our area. A couple of neighbors took pics of it lounging on their back porches, and at least one recent deer kill has been found….but Nathan says he’s been seeing the deer the last couple of days (they make themselves scarce in cougar country) so we’re hoping the cat decided to move on. I won’t let the kids play in the backyard without our pit mix dog around right now, anyways.
We also found out while we were gone that our current landlord won’t be renewing our lease as they have decided to sell the house. There’s a massive housing bubble blooming in the Vancouver area, and it’s coming over to the island as well. Unfortunately it means that people like us, unable to qualify for a large mortgage (average house prices are $300-500,000) are plumb out of luck. The rental market is almost completely gone, between houses being put up for sale and a glut of people needing rentals. With our family size, 8 people, it’s looking almost impossible to find something even with two months notice. We may be living in our 22′ trailer soon. Which would be better than being homeless…but 8 people in a small trailer…well…let’s just say I’m not looking at the prospect with eagerness. It’s ok during warm months but the winter?? Our trailer (technically my mom’s) is a hybrid trailer, so two beds pop out with canvas roofs on each end. It’s pretty spacious for a small footprint but NOT cold-ready.
And so the adventure continues….:) I’m already downsizing. We’ve been here 10 months, and were only 12 months at our previous place, so it’s not like we have a lot to downsize. But we have acquired more stuff, and part of me is happy at the prospect of slimming down again a bit. I went through the kids’ clothes to see where we’re at there. I made 10 outfits each my rule last purge. I was surprised to find that they’re all still at that number. They’ve gotten more clothes but have also outgrown more clothes, so the only clothing clog we have is the stuff my 3 y.o. girl is outgrowing but won’t be passing down to her little brother. That’s at least several days worth of work I don’t have to do, yippee!
Nathan’s working odd shifts, sometimes days, sometimes nights, so I’ve been making more dinners. This is yesterday’s creation: GF Meatballs and Taters