I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

An Interesting Summer

Yep, an interesting summer indeed. Now I know for sure that I'm getting old. The start of work was a bit rocky in my opinion. Getting to know a new boss is not always a smooth journey. It seems he couldn't trust me to get the job done, concentrating more on how many hours I put in rather than the fact that I was forced to wait on the others to accomplish certain deeds before I could finish what I had going, and so needed to move on to a task I really wasn't ready to move on to. Ah but I'm just complaining; I can do that once in a while. I'm rather set in my ways, and I realized that I was rather spoiled over at my last place of employment.

As the summer progressed and things settled into a rhythm, a new kind of spoiling was discovered. Since I was expected to be there through dinner, my day ended up averaging 13 hours long, but for the duration of the King fishing season, there were empty cabins, and it was expected that I take a nap. Of course, my boss told me more than once that I would have to clean up after myself before the cabin could be rented during Silver season - as if I wouldn't know such a thing - as if he thought I would 'move in' to a cabin to the extent that it would require such 'cleaning up' after. There was no such place during Silver season, so those 13 hours were really long, even though my afternoons could still be considered down-time and I could just sit down somewhere, sleep was not an option. I took my computer to work so I could do some writing or editing. That worked out just fine until I got too tired to think. You see, there isn't even a day off. It's 13 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only days off are a week or so between King season and Silver season. I didn't really need the break to rest, not then, but it was nice to be able to catch up on things here at home.

As soon as the chef got his start-up supplies in, I put in my first list. Since my freezer was nearly empty, I ordered things to fill it. My reasoning was that since there were some things down in the bottom of the freezer, it would be easier to keep things frozen if it was full - meat stays frozen better next to other frozen meat rather than next to a volume of air - it just seemed hard to get the freezer to cycle. Then again, maybe I was imagining things. Next year I'll be ordering meats last.

Since my boss couldn't be bothered to buy a flight in order to get supplies out here (I'm talking about lodge supplies) my stuff didn't come and didn't come and still didn't come. The lodge was running out of stuff too. I was getting worried, I mean I had two more big lists of stuff to get out here, and if it was so much trouble to get this much, I was wondering how I would be getting the rest of it. Of course, the chef was fit to be tied as his options for what to fix for his guests were getting skinnier and skinnier. You see, at this lodge, they get their supplies only 'space available', meaning if a plane has to come out here empty or only partially loaded for someone else, they'll throw something of ours on, and since it was start-up season for all the lodges in the area, very few planes came out here empty - hence the occasional need to buy a flight at the cost of what one guest pays. Ah but that would have cut into his profit margin; we were expected to suck it up.

Yeah, in case you haven't guessed, I don't have a very high opinion of my new boss. For him, all his decisions are based on his profit margin or his personal advancement or image. That is no way to run a lodge. That's also a whole other rant.

But enough about my boss. He pays, so I will work there until I get a better offer somewhere else.

I finally got my meats and filled the freezer, and since the summer wasn't very hot, we were able to run it every other day most of the summer. There was an unanticipated side-effect to having a full freezer though. Something compounded by the cool summer which produce very nearly no berries - hungry bears - bears that know what a freezer is. So for the duration of the summer, my husband had to stay home and guard the freezer. There were at least two black bears who came around from time to time. Don was able to run whichever one off each time, but one time he actually had to fire his pistol off to do the job, and even then, the bear seemed to think about it. This happened by the time I reached work. One of them came back since I've been home and even though I'm a light sleeper, I wasn't able to prevent the bear from mauling the freezer. At 2:30 in the o'dark morning, I heard a noise and jumped out of bed. By the time I reached the front of the house, I heard another noise near the front door. Looking out the window to the right of the door showed me nothing out of place so I went to the other side of the house to look out over the freezer - there he was, highlighted by the moonlight, half way across the yard and heading away at a leisurely pace. I stayed up for another hour just to make sure he didn't come back - he didn't. The next morning I went out to look around and discovered an empty trash can tipped over and all kinds of muddy footprints all over the freezer. Seriously, he couldn't have worked on the freezer for very long, but still my newish freezer now has at least three new scars. He was biting at the lid, trying to get in. I think pure luck kept him out, like maybe he was leaning too hard on the lid while he was biting it and he didn't get a good hold on the lid, only pinching the top at best. Close call. We've been talking all summer about moving the freezer to the shop, or maybe back inside. This pretty much decides the issue. We also need to get a dog. I'm a light sleeper but a dog is better. 

Another thing that happened this fall, and earlier this summer I wish I'd seen, was a young moose came calling. When I saw him, I heard a thumpty-thump and thought it might be a bear (this happened before the previous account) so I jumped out of bed and went to look. There, standing in the middle of the yard was a young bull - maybe a 4-year-old. His rack was still bloody so he only just lost his velvet and he was cranky with rut. As I watched him, he started to make a head-down approach at our snowmachines. He could pick on most anything else, but not the snowmachines so I opened the window to holler at him. He backed off from that to check out the new distraction, but he wasn't done. I had to holler at him and even step out of the door to wave at him before he gave up and moseyed on up past the guest cabin. That afternoon, I jumped on the 4-wheeler to check the boats and saw him still hanging around up the sizeline not far from the cabin up there. I haven't seen him since.

Earlier during the summer, my husband told me about a young bull and cow that came calling. He said it was so funny. The poor bull was trying his hardest to impress his female friend by mock-charging various things in the yard, namely the big smoker still set up in the middle. Apparently his girlfriend wasn't too impressed, but that didn't stop him from trying. He didn't hurt anything so my husband just watched. When I got home, he told me about it, making sure I knew how badly the female of the species tortures their male suitors. haha It did sound so cute and so funny. I wish I could have seen it.

Yesterday, I went down to drain the rain out of the boats, they're pulled now, by the way, unless the water comes up again. My boat is tentatively pulled and left still low if that event happens - I couldn't even get the boat out of the slough until it is floating again anyway. I pulled the plug so my boat could go pee and then stood there looking out over the river. Around the corner came a pair of otters. I haven't seen otters for a while now - they are such a comical creature. The first one swimming around the corner immediately dove, but the other one did something like a double-take and the cocked his head to the side before following the example of his companion. I sat down in the hopes that my non-upright posture would be less threatening and they would come close again, but they didn't. They did hang around farther out though. They were hunting dieing fish, so I left so they could get on with it.

So there are critters around again, not like last year when my world was rather devoid of wildlife, to include those of the feathered variety. Not many of those around still though, but they are around. I'm thinking it'll be a while before the big flocks build up again. My spruce hen momma raised another family here. She had five chicks this year, and I'd occasionally meet them on the trail. It's rather funny when they decide to just walk along in front of the 4-wheeler. They are rather short-legged, you know. Their leisurely pace is really quite slow. hahaha I got a big kick out if it though.

I do love my life here. I would miss all of this if I moved to town.