We have been submerged in wildfire smoke for the last week or two. So many fires in the interior have sent the smoke our way, but it is sitting over the Vancouver area like a very large hen incubating her progeny. My husband’s cousins were evacuated for two weeks at one point but have finally returned to their home near 108 Mile. The dry weather and lack of rain make wildfires an issue every year, but it seems to be getting worse year after year. The drought we’ve had has turned the grass brown, brought out the ants in great numbers, and made it harder for the black bears in the nearby mountains and forests to find food. The invasive[…]

For Mother’s Day we visited Kamloops, where my husband grew up. He lived on a ranch when little, and the town and surrounding areas are quite beautiful. Kamloops in the winter often has snow and cold, yet the past few years have been much milder. In the summer it is hot and semi-arid, with coastal mountain ranges and ranches and ski areas nestling the valley. It is a smallish town, though it has expanded quite a bit since my husband lived there. Driving there is always so beautiful, once we get out of Vancouver traffic. We pass the vast farmlands of Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, and Hope and then climb the mountainous highway to the Coquihalla Summit, and edge back up[…]

I realize today just how exhausted I am. Since late May the temperatures have been above normal, increasing to much higher than normal for June and now into July, especially the last 2-3 weeks. Compound this with little rain, bringing drought conditions. Since May 15 we have had hardly any rain: 7mm on June 2 and 4mm on June 19. None since. Generally, June is a rainy month, with July and August (sometimes into early September) being warm and dry–but not this summer. Because in this area we usually have mild temperatures, many people here do not have air-conditioning. Fortunately, we have a basement that is fairly cool and one room conditioner, which only goes on if it’s still very[…]