It's that time of the year when a big sheet of ice is THE place to play. Last weekend, some local folks hauled their toys and a pickup with a plow blade down to Monte Lake (just west of us, on route to Kamloops) to see who could scare themselves the silliest.
I absolutely love ice racing and truly wish I was a few years younger and a few notches braver, and I'd be out there.
It's a family affair and great to see everyone out having a good time. The little girls in pink snow suits (seemed to be an awfully lot of them) swarmed the puppies, providing the moms and a few dads a reason to also move in on the action. Bikes, quads, a bonfire to toast chilled finger and toes.
Monte Lake is a popular fishing lake and the ice fishermen are keen, seen off in the distance. Many of them have those new self-erecting shelters that are so neat. None of that fancy stuff when we jigged for jacks and whitefish (not whitebait, you kiwis - whitefish are big freshwater lake fish) up in the Peace country.
Wonder if they drink as much black rum as we did?
Jacks are another name for northern pike, also known as slough sharks. They can get enormous - Claudia can attest to that! They aren't fish to be trawled or tempted by fly fishing, though. You use a lure that looks like an overgrown worm (albeit in alien neon colours) with a longish wiggly tail, and you play the line up and down, making the lure wiggle. Jigging.
I have no idea who this guy is but I borrowed the picture to show you what a jack looks like and the size of one.
This is not a fisherman or a jack fish. This is a man and his dogs.
Hannah and Socket are now 4 months old and as you can see, growing. They've been learning their manners: sit and wait to be let in when they've been outside, asking for treats, 98% house-trained (still the odd accident) and better yet, asking to be let out when they need to go.
Leash training is taking a bit longer because it's primarily my job and I'm not with them as often as Bryan is.
We go for 3-4 kms around town, down to the river and back along various routes. Today was probably the best outting we've had with only a few tugs and admonishments.
Last weekend was a whole nuther thing! I liken it to a cross between jack jigging and training a 4-H calf to halter.
If you were ever a farm kid in a 4-H beef club, you already have the picture in your mind: a 9 year old biped, maybe 100 lbs with attitude vs a 7 month old quadruped, maybe 600 lbs with attitude; both have their heels dug in literally and metaphorically, and there's gonna be some tears and rope burn from the hemp halter before too long.
In this case, the human weighs a little more but the trainee is maybe 8 lbs soaking wet. The quadruped attitude is about the same but the odds are in favor of the biped, hence the jigging analogy.
One or both pups dig in their paws, hauling back for all their worth on their body harnesses. To no avail. I haul up and forward on the lead lines, very much looking like working a jig line from a boat in deep water. It becomes a rhythmic motion by the time we reach the end of the driveway.
One night this week they clued into the fact that if they stayed nicely alongside me, they didn't get dragged forward nor hauled back. It became a pleasant outting. It's still hard to get them to focus when something catches their attention sometimes, but hey, they are Russells.
Wrassling is a common diversion for these two, and they play hard.
Stalking is part of the game, and as the lounge chairs are 'fair', they're a favorite stalking site. Socket eyes up her sister (you can see her tri-colour nicely here) ...
Hannah dares her ....
And they're back at it.
I told you (I think it was here) that a co-worker lent me the Stieg Larsson 'Millennium' trilogy.
My husband isn't a book reader. Hard to believe in this house, but he prefers magazines and newspapers to books. I often share incidents with him from books that I find interesting, and apparently something I related from the first book caught his imagination.
As I cracked into the second book, he asked, "Where's that book you were reading?"
"Which one?" - fair question as I usually have a few on the go at any given time.
"That one with the girl with the tattoo."
I pulled it out of a stack, handed it to him.
And a reader was born.
I've known this man for 30 years and it's the first time I've seen him read a book. Nay, devour it. And these are not little quickie reads - they're upwards of 800 pages.
He finished the third one a few days ago. I haven't pushed the issue but I did say, "You know, there are some other pretty good books in this house besides those ones."
Baiting yet another jigging line.