Happy New Year!
We hope you had a fantastic Christmas and we wish you all a beautiful New Year.
We would also like to thank everybody for the festive Christmas cards, joyful emails and informative letters. It is so nice to hear from you. It makes me feel connected. Some of you we haven’t seen for over 30 years and hearing from you is extra special. It is so good to be kept in the loop.
We had a somewhat stressful year, starting with Stephan being quite sick and nobody knowing why or what to do about it. Maybe it was the aftermath of his stomach operation, maybe he has some autoimmune illness called Christian Weber Disease, or….? We spent quite a few months at the beginning of last year battling his symtoms, driving to Quesnel, Williams Lake and Vancouver for tests and starting quite a strict diet. Slowly but steadily he is getting better and has had only a few “hickups”. So fingers crossed!
Because of that we hardly did any skiing, snowshoeing or crosscountry skiing last winter. Winter 2013/14 was absolutely gorgeous and very long. Lots and lots of snow and a frozen lake until late into the spring.
With Myka getting older — she turned 13 just a few weeks ago — and having some health issues herself, we hike mostly along ploughed roads. Her leg, with the fixed ligaments healed very nicely, but as soon as it gets very cold or the snow gets a bit high she suffers after the walk. To leave her at home is not an option: THAT really upsets her. She is very cute and a lot more cuddley now. When she was young she didn’t enjoy all that mushy stuff. She loves to sleep in front of the hot wood stove in the basement soaking up all the heat she can stand.
Max is getting to be an “old” boy too. He is turning 6 at the beginning of February. Still the same goofball though. He absolutely loves snow and rolls around in it as often as he can. It took quite a while for this winter to arrive, but at the beginning of December we got a huge load within about 3 days (over 40 cm). The weather stayed very cold for a few days and then within about a week it warmed up a lot. So warm that everything melted. Absolutely everything! Poor Max finally found a small leftover pile of snow to very carefully roll around on.
Luckily for us the snow and colder temperatures have returned. Right after
Christmas! We did have an almost white Christmas and then on Boxing Day it
started to seriously snow. Right now we have a good 20 cm of snow, the
weather is cold, minus 17 C this morning, and should stay so for quite a while. The lake is starting to freeze over and so there is hope for a fun winter.
But I am getting ahead of myself!
Once again our cows calved with ease. Sixty-six calves were born between March and May 2014. The moms are so great they do it all themselves. So all we had to do is go up to their field at least once a day and make sure everybody was okay and doing great. That is something both Stephan, the dogs and I enjoy. The calves are so funny, especially once they are a bit older. They race each other up the hill or race, tail high, alongside the truck, trying hard to be faster. Every year we have a few that are very curious about us and Max, coming closer and closer until their mom calls them away.
Even though spring was so extremely wet that we couldn’t open the resort/campground until beginning of June, it turned out to be a very busy season with lots of people camping and renting cabins. We were fortunate to have a few Wwoofers helping us. We had Albin fron France, Charles from Quebec, Emanuel from Germany and Riet from Switzerland. Albin, unfortunately, was only able to stay for a short while. His wisdom teeth gave him so much trouble he had to cut his visit short and fly home to have those taken care of. He was a great help and a very nice young man. Charles was able to stay longer than planned. He too was a great help and a fantastic young man, doing whatever needed to be done and always in a good mood. Riet and Charles built new picnic tables for our campgrounds. Those of you who have been camping with us in previous years know how desperately we needed those tables. Well, those two built them in about a week, doing a very nice job.
While Stephan recovered from another attack on his health, Riet, Charles and I took a trip to the sandune at Farwell Canyon and drove out to the viewpoint at Sheep Creek Range. I almost broke down on the way up the sanddune. Two steps forward, one step back and so steep! But I made it and the view from up there is worth the “suffering”. The drive out to Sheep Creek Range is also quite spectacular. The drive ends above where the Fraser River and the Chilcotin River meet. Another gorgeous view worth the drive along a very rough dirt road.
The rest of the summer was spent haying, visiting the Art’s on the Fly Festival, having nice dinners and BBQs with friends, fishing, trips to Suey Bay and hikes. On Labour Day weekend we had a beautiful, tasty Pork on a spit party. Stephan outdid himself. The pork, which we had raised ourselves, was absolut divine. My mom and Stephan’s brother were here from Switzerland as well as many friends, neighbors and guests. The weather was not really cooperating, so Stephan did hang up two tarps, which looked like two large sails. Sure enough later that evening it started to rain and we were happy to have them. I think everybody had a fantastic time
In October we went to visit Kristi and Felix in Calgary. We went hiking along the Bow River, shopping and had a fun Birthday lunch for Felix at the Boxwood Café. One day we spent with friends exploring Calgary and got invited to a very tasty dinner. On the way home we stopped for 2 nights in Banff and even though both Stephan and I had caught a very nasty cold, enjoyed ourselves exploring Banff and hiking beautiful Johnston Canyon.
Christmas was celebrated one day early. We all met in Revelstoke rented a nice appartement right by the gondola and spent 3 days skiing and celebrating Christmas. Then on the 24th of December back home we went. On the 25th Kim, Stephan and I got a nice Christmas Tree, decorated it and celebrated Christmas AGAIN.
Now, Kim has left too and everything has calmed down a bit. But the countdown to the New Year is on……….
We hope that you all have a great New Year’s Eve and a peaceful, happy, healthy New Year
Monika + Stephan Schlaepfer-Gysi
2015 is at the door;
life is short……
never regret anything that made you smile