Archive | March 2012

Rocking horses

My husband loved to carve. I think I’ve told you that before.,, but it needs repeating!

Before we had any family of our own, he carved his first horse for his sister’s family. Luckily, we have a picture of it. It was left outside in all kinds of weather, and it did not survive. They didn’t realize what a treasure it was.

He carved  a rocking horse for each of our families. Gary’s  and Ra’s kids loved riding on them, and they still have them, quite a few years later.

Danny didn’t want rockers on his “rocking horse”…, and he never allowed the girls to ride on it. He eventually built a mantle over his fireplace that had the perfect spot for his horse… and it is still in ”mint condition.”

All three of these horses are well taken care of and are treasured as family heirlooms.

One time he was being interviewed for TV. The lady asked him how he could carve a horse out of that wood? He said it was easy, ”just carve away everything that doesn’t look like a horse.”



From what I have gathered, and from what I have observed, most horses are kept in a stable, or barn, when they are not out in the pasture. But not all of them!

When we lived in Langley we had two horses, but no stable or pasture, for that matter… so the horses lived in our house. You guessed it… they weren’t the real thing. But pretty close, as you will see.

My husband loved to carve. … and while we were still living in Vancouver where he had a basement to work in, that’s where he spent a lot of his spare time. He loved to carve horses.

One time a TV interviewer asked him how he could carve a horse out of wood?  His reply, “ It’s really quite simple. You just cut away everything that doesn’t look like a horse!”

We had a rocking horse in our dining room, which I showed you before. Here it is again so I can answer a couple of questions that arose.  The saddle was removable. He made it separately from the rest of the carving.

The tail? That was the real thing! We went to Abbotsford to a place that “put them down”  ( sounds better than the real name of the place) and bought it… and washed, and washed and washed it. That was a very big job for my husband!

We had another horse in the living room. This one is all carved. Horse, tail, mane, saddle, bridle, all in one!

On another post I will show you some of the rocking horses he made… one for each of our three families.

Jim and flowers

As most of you know, I live in an assisted living complex. Some of the residents need more help than others. I am one of the fortunate ones, and I am grateful for that.

We had a very nice man, Jim, living here. He was in a motorized chair as he was partially paralyzed… such a nice man. He bought Purdy’s chocolates and gave them out to people that he was in contact with… a lot of chocolates.

Jim passed a couple of weeks ago. Purdy’s sent chocolates for his memorial service!

Jim’s family were very grateful for all the kindnesses that were extended to him. They were very cognizant of what everyone had done for him, and they sent a magnificent flower arrangement to Bidar, staff, and residents to thank them.

The second day it was here, it had started to fade, and in three days it was dying. It was obvious that the flowers used had not been fresh. I went to Bidar and said that it was a very expensive arrangement, probably $200.00, and it should not be dying, and he should call the florist … so he phoned, and even put me on as “the lady that knew flowers”!

The following day, upon return of the dying arrangement, a new, beautiful arrangement replaced it in our lobby.

Over the years, this has happened to me twice before… and in each case, I had the florist replace the dying flowers. Someone had spent hard earned money, and they were entitled to have fresh flowers sent in their name.

Friendship Through Art.

Back in 1972 we participated in an art show held at the Longhouse on the Capilano Indian Reserve. It  was sponsosred by the Kinsmens Club in North Vancouver. Many different kinds of “art” were on display… pottery, glass blowing, jewelry, carvings, and paintings.

The glass blower had just been married a few days before the show, but as he was booked to do the show, he and his bride had to postpone their  honeymoon.

My husband came up with a pretty good idea. We went to every participant, except the glass blower, and asked for one dime. Some wanted to give more, but we specified one dime only.  We had a pretty fair amount of dimes, and my husband went to the glass blower.

The story Mickey came up with…he said  he owed this guy some money, and the guy was being a jerk, so he wanted all of these dimes enclosed in  glass, and  sealed so he couldn’t get them out without breaking the glass. The glass blower thouht that was a great idea, and went to work. When he was finished, Mickey paid him for the job and left.

The next day when presentations were being made for best booths, etc, the glass blower was called over, and he was presented with the “Dime bubble.” He thought it was a great idea!

The show was very successful in bringing different artists together, and also with letting the public meet a variety of artists all in one place.

Hunting Trip.

I met my husband in Williams Lake when I was returning from a trip to visit my sister in BeaverValley. He was stationed there at the time.  Without going into details, I never heard from him for four years. When he finally got in touch with me on the telephone, he was leaving the next day on a hunting trip with his father and two brothers.

Needless to say, he did contact me when he got back!

For a few years when we were first married, that hunting trip happened each fall. They went to the interior of British Columbia, in the Cariboo. To be more specific, Oie Lake Area.

It was important not to shoot a moose too early in their trip, or they would have to head home to have it butchered and put into cold storage. Whoever shot the moose willingly split the meat three ways. Ray was still living at home, or out on his own, and didn’t want the meat.

There were many stories told about those trips. One was the night they were on a mountain and saw the aurora borealis and thought the world was coming to an end.

Another, when my husband got lost. He lit a fire and kept it going all night to keep predatory animals away. In the morning, there was a circle of tracks in the snow around him, as “they” circled, with hopes of a meal! The rest of the group were out at daybreak looking for him, and eventually found him walking along the road that had been only a few feet from him, but in the dark, he had to stay put.

Their dad would always lose his mitts, so they finally tied them together and hung them around his neck!

Yes, this turns into another story. When we went to get some steaks from the cold storage plant, they were all gone. No, we didn’t use them. The storage plant had stolen them for some outdoorsmen’s dinner party. We were very lucky that we had kept a record of what was in there, and what we had taken out. Ended up they had to replace them with beef steaks.

Wind Storm.

We had put on a week-long show in the mall at Quesnel. We stayed with my sister, and were able to visit in the evenings. When we left there, we headed to Williams Lake and another show at Boitano Mall. We were parked in the police station parking lot (their suggestion) for the whole week.

It was almost like a picnic as every evening at supper time, I cooked in the van!

On Saturday, the last day of the show, I looked out the doors and could see nothing but brown. I had no idea what was going on until someone said “don’t go out there. It’s a wind storm.”

Luckily for us, by the end of the afternoon, the storm was over. We were headed for a visit with Jack and Dot, my husband’s brother and his wife. They had a home at Oie Lake. You turned off the main road just above 100 Mile House, on the Canim Lake Road. Not long after, you turned again on to the one lane trail to their home.

Once again, we were lucky. The wind had taken a swath right through the area  and uprooted all the large trees. Someone else had gone over that road after the storm, and they had sawed out the logs that were blocking the way… except for the small one in the picture.

We spent a couple of days with them… even caught some fish in the creek. That was fun and very relaxing. We headed off to Vancouver and home, where I did an oil painting from one of my photographs.

St. Patrick’s Day

My maternal great grandfather, James N. Andrews, was born in Coleraine, Ireland in 1819. He was one of 15 children! At the age of 15, he came to Canada with his family. He was a baker by trade. He lived in St. John, New Brunswick.

On my paternal side of the “tree” I also have Irish ancestors… so this is a day to honour them.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!