Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Time to Update the Blog

It has been a while since we last updated the blog. Strangely, that is the only time I can tell for sure that folks are reading it, when they send messages wondering how come I haven’t written anything for a few days.

Not to much exciting going on here at Dogpound South but I will try to catch you up on all the comings and goings. First off, Miss Ella. She has had a rough week but appears to have turned a corner back up there in Rocky Mountain House. Seems that her stay in the hospital, although short, might have enabled her to run down a few extra bugs to take home. Hopefully they have all run their course and she is on the road to recovery now.

Grandma was up there for the hospital stint too and when she came back down here to the sunny south, I am thinking she brought a few of those bugs along with her also. After the initial flush of euphoria Smile at re-joining me down here she also spent 3 or 4 days under the weather recovering from her trip to the vast frozen wasteland that they call winter in Canada.

Things around Dogpound South are slowing down a little bit, the crushed rock has all been spread, so the trucks and bobcats have moved on to their next jobs. Now there is just the painting crew working in and around the casita to keep an eye on. Looking at it last night after they all cleared out it appears that the texturing has been done, and all the door and window casings have been updated so I imagine there will be some actual painting done over the next day or two. Then it will just be waiting for the cupboards to be completed.

The other day some old Shell friends and folks who we traveled with a bit a couple of years ago stopped by for a visit. It was good to see Dennis and Denice and catch up on their journeys over the last 8 or 9 months as they have traversed Canada and most of the United States to get them to this spot where they are waiting on winter to loosen its icy grasp on our homeland before they head back north.

We are starting to see that inevitable migration north is starting for many of our Canadian snowbird friends. Last night we went to Eva’s Mexican Cafe in Casa Grande to bid farewell to another two couples who started north this morning. Brenda is not a huge Mexican fan but this has become her favourite restaurant so you can believe it is good food.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Down the Road at Dogpound South

Well another week has almost come and gone here at Dogpound South. There have been lots of happenings but nothing that makes for that interesting a blog. Since I wrote last Thursday Ella has been home and although doing OK she has a touch of the flu and the doc wants her to come back into the Children’s Hospital in Edmonton so they can watch her a little closer. So tomorrow Ella, her Mom, and Grandma will head back to Edmonton, hopefully for not to many days. Updated today, they are home with all systems go.

Back here on the southern front we have been progressing some renovations around the mobile that is onsite here and spreading a little rock around to make a more solid base that may not blow around as much on those windy days that seem to happen from time to time here at Dogpound South. We have hauled in about 300 tons of crushed granite and then spread it about 2 inches deep over the non-paddock parts of the place here. With a little watering it sets up pretty good and makes a hard surface that seems to resist the wind. That’s the theory at least.

Brenda was wanting a few pictures to update herself on what is happening down here in her absence so here is one of the inside of the house.


And a rock operation going on.



And although the rock is not all spread here is a sneak preview of the almost finished product.


Believe me all that rock took a lot of raking to get smooth.
And don’t let me forget I was over to cousin Micks for a Pool Party with her, Jeff, and their houseguests Mel and Alma. Thanks for the invite Mick and as a Macnab it was good to see that you are following the old family tradition of serving tube steaks to all who want them.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ella Has Left the Building!

She was discharged from the hospital and sent home with her Mommy and Daddy to recover. Grandma is staying in Edmonton for another day or two to continue HER recovery. Smile And then she will be off to help with Ella next week before returning here to Dogpound South.

There is not a lot going on here but over the next week or so things will start to ramp up as we have a painting crew and a rock haul going on at the same time. Could make for an interesting texture in the paint. Winking smile

I am still managing to get my walk in everyday and the last few mornings Bill has joined me for it while he is staying here. Margaret returned to Dogpound South in the middle of the night last night from her visit home to see her mother. All is well on the Dease Lake front now also.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ella is Doing Fine!

The reports coming out of Edmonton are that the surgery was successful and after some follow-up over the next few weeks it will just be a wait and see type of thing for the next few years.

Miss Ella was back after about 4 hours of surgery and although pretty pissed off at everyone around her is on the way to recovery. Thanks for all your prayers.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Catching Up

Brenda reminds me that our blog is getting a little behind. We originally started this as a blog to update our family on our RV’ing adventures and we haven’t been doing a lot of traveling the last month or so. Since we acquired Dogpound South we have been hanging pretty close to our new southern headquarters. What with fences to build and a thousand other things that come along with owning property we have been busy but not doing anything that is really interesting. Just hanging out and getting comfortable here in the Maricopa area. Our goal this spring was to get the place in good enough shape that we felt comfortable bringing some horses south with us next year and I think we are there. We have a lot of other stuff to do but we are getting estimates and making arrangements for some of that to happen later this spring or over the summer while we are gone.

There have been a few highlights over the last week or so though. Bill and Margaret from Dease Lake stopped by to borrow a suitcase, she is going home to deal with some family medical issues, and the next day after Margaret flew north to Terrace, Bill moved their rig down here to Dogpound South and is going to spend some time hanging out with me. He is a pretty handy guy so to bad I don’t have a lot of projects to get done this week.

Yesterday I ran into Sky Harbor airport (note to Paul – notice no “u” in Harbor) and picked up my cousin Mickey and her husband Jeff as they are coming down to their southern “home” for a few weeks before they head back for a winter vacation as they call it outside of Edmonton, Alberta. They were telling me that there is no danger of a population explosion amongst the brass monkey community up there as it has been pretty cold all winter and the monkeys are suffering irreparable reproductive damage. Some of our RV’ing friends will know Mickey as “JB’s cousin” from the comment section of their blogs. She is most of yours biggest fan and keeps up on all the goings on of our blogging community. Along the sidebar of my blog Mick’s DIL writes the blog called Currie’s Corner to keep her family updated on the goings on of her San Antonio family.

We have had a few pretty nice sunrises here at Dogpound South this week.


Many of our readers know that Brenda headed home last week and has been visiting with her daughters and Ella for the last 7 or 8 days. I think she is really enjoying her visit but the real purpose of the visit was to be home for Ella’s kidney surgery tomorrow. Lacey, Clayton and Ella are heading to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton for a pre-appointment meeting today and then we should hear, if and, when the surgery will take place tomorrow. Ella has had a cold all week and Grandma has been staying with her so that she didn’t have to go to daycare or outside to much so hopefully she has recovered enough that the doc thinks it is OK to go ahead with the scheduled surgery tomorrow. Later: surgery is on for 0800 tomorrow. For the next while we will be praying for steady hands and sharp eyes for the surgeon and a successful resolution for our youngest granddaughter tomorrow. We know that our RV’ing friends and our blog reading community will join us in our prayers. Thanks in advance for those prayers.

I’ll leave you with some of MY favourite Ella shots.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


The compound here at the Brown family retreat, Dogpound South, is now fenced. We had a neighbour do the work and they did a great job. Shouldn’t have any problem keeping our ponies in comfort with a five foot tall no climb fence.


Brenda headed home on Saturday morning to have a visit with the girls and Miss Ella. Once I got her on the plane I stopped by a shoemaker and picked up my riding boots. New soles and all and it only took a couple of days. The last pair I had done at home took the best part of a year. Long story but a couple of retirements and a shop closing fit into it. I almost forgot I even had the boots by the time they came back. I also had to make a stop at the local Camping World to pick up a couple of things and then it was back to Dogpound South.

About the time Brenda landed in Calgary the wind started kicking up here and soon after that the dust started flying. It was time to batten down the hatches and ride out a dust storm and that seems to be a regular occurrence around these parts. That is an incentive to get some rock spread around here so that at least our little piece of ground will stay put. I am sure we will get enough off of our neighbours that it won’t make much difference but you do what you can.

I guess it will be my job to wipe everything down and get all the grit cleaned up before the boss gets back. Not likely to be as good as she can do it but again you do what you can.

Sunday Meg and I thought it was time to see a little country around here. Brenda is not big on aimless wandering in the truck but I like to do a little to find out just where it is we are. You never really know your neighbourhood until you know where the bad roads lead to. It was an interesting day and there are lots more bad roads that need exploring over the next few weeks.

Today was another day that began with my walk and although this month distance was a little shorter than last, the walk has become a integral part of my day. I like the fact that it gives me an hour to soak in the atmosphere around me and nothing to clutter my mind with. Not that I come up with any earth shattering ideas while I am wandering around the neighbourhood but it does give me time to play out things in my mind with only the odd dog slamming into a fence trying to put the run on me to distract my thoughts. I have written some great blogs while walking, but alas by the time I get back to the rig most of them have evaporated back to the mists from which they appeared.

I stopped in at Albert Lucas’s place this afternoon. I had first met Albert when I was doing some work for Shell up around Caroline probably twenty years ago but Lee pointed out his place to me earlier this month and he was out in the yard when I drove by today so I stopped in to re-introduce myself. It never amazes me how small the world is, I knew that my father had some dealings with him over the years but Albert was telling me that Mom had come down to take a lease from him some time back also. Along with the fact that he and his wife were friends with my Uncle Brent and Aunt Hazel. Uncle Brent had built some bucking rolls for Mrs. Lucas after she was bucked off her horse. She also recalled my cousin Blair doing some announcing at a roping jackpot that her son Joe was hosting. Said he talked for hours and never repeated himself, yep that’s Blair alright, he is a raconteur of the first order. And of course cousin Mike has roped there recently and rumour has it that Uncle Brent stopped in for a visit also. The things you find out when you stop to talk to people along the road.

Brother Brent is lamenting the fact that his time in the sun down there in Costa Rica is coming to an end soon and I will miss his stories about a Bunch of Brown’s on a Beach but I do agree with him that anytime you head back to Alberta before Stampede week you are not likely to escape winter. Our own time will come soon enough. Brenda got some good news today from her doctor, she has an appointment with a sports medicine guy on April 19th that should move this knee thing forward. Sports medicine you say, but horse back riding is certainly a sport, and that is where the bad knee first made itself felt. We are hoping to get that knee thing on the road to recovery because we have a lot of plans for horseback riding based here down the road from Dogpound South.