Summer is here with a vengeance.
After a cold winter followed by somewhat less cold days and the occasional rain storm that passed for spring we are now baking in 35 degree weather. We've also had lightning storms the past week which ignited forest fires in the surrounding area. The current conditions make it very risky if you live in these parts and your home is located on a forested hillside that is peppered with just as many pine beetle ridden trees ( dead trees ) as green Ponderosas.
Fortunately Merritt is doing alright with just a few small fires that I heard of. Kelowna, which is about 125km east of us, had entire neighborhoods evacuated because of fire.

Smoke on the connector coming in from Kelowna

I don't mind the heat because we have air conditioning in the house for which I am so grateful- it allows me to work very hard outside in the garden...which is far from what it should be. We talked to a contractor and just to have the top soil removed and carted away was estimated at 4 hours of work at close to 500 dollars. We have a small lot that is full of all kinds of grass and weed- mostly weed which forms a dense network of tangled roots. My husband and I have been manually pulling it out with a pick axe and I think we are going to finish it this way rather than go with the contractor.

Classic cracking in hot weather!

Now that he is almost totally recovered it will go faster with two of us working on it...it turns out that it was not a broken blood vessel that caused his nose bleed- it was a major artery that runs alongside the brow bone. I suppose such a thing is easy to misdiagnose when the doctor on call only spends a few minutes with you and there's no one around who checks to see how much blood the patient has already lost. :\

Anyway, we also made a gym in the back of the house. This is something I've always wanted- a place to do pull ups, legs stretches etc.I don't have much upper body strength and now I can build it up again without having to fork out for a gym membership. It's basically wooden closet rods suspended on fence posts set in concrete blocks- very sturdy and most importantly, private. :)
And in all this we are trying to quit smoking again...down to half a pack a day from a full pack but it varies...the struggle goes on!

Heavy wind blowing the crud from the mill north

On the photography front I intend to expand to do weddings and portraiture. I went to the Community Futures Office in Merritt to find out anything I could about starting a business and was sent some literature via e-mail on what steps I would need to take and what steps I should take. I will be creating a web identity to reflect this and will advertise it under my own name I think...my current web site is undergoing an overhaul as I hit an obstacle with my image server that could only be solved with rather drastic steps.
On the bright side of that it will give me more of a reason to update this blog! As I get my galleries back on-line I will update so anyone who is particularly fond of a certain type of photograph may very well find it via the search engines.



Well it's that time of year again when Merritt's Mountain Music Fest rolls around. It runs from July 9th to 12th.
Too expensive for us so hubby (who is doing a lot better a month after the 5 day nosebleed ) and I opted to walk around downtown Merritt and check out the vendors instead. There was a great stall selling hats and purses made with real cow hide. The lady told me she was out of Kelowna and makes the stuff herself but I just checked the address and it's American...oh well- we're so behind the times here western fashion-wise! That's Just Bull has great stuff regardless.
A pleasant surprise was Ridley Bent doing a free mini concert downtown- I took a nice picture while he was singing Heartland Heartbreak.

Bigger View at DA
Later on I went to Kamloops to find packaging and photo mats for my art work and got a pretty good deal on that...one of my panoramics is on the back cover of the official Merritt Tourist guide; this one:

Bigger View at DA
A portion of that image was also used for a local commerce publication.
I just finished a Star Trek portrait; Koval. I obviously struggle with colour but thought I would share anyway:

Bigger View at DA
Over at the Official Star Trek site you can figure out who all these alien characters are- lol.
The new movie was awesome by the way in case I never mentioned it before. :)