I’ve just started my third and final month of my sabbatical from work. Work is such a distant memory now. Looking back, the sabbatical had distinct phases I can see now in retrospect.

First, I went too hard into everything, trying to eclipse the pace of regular work. I baked too much, ate too much, exercised too much.

Then I switched and because more sloth like as I had to heal up from all the over-exercising. I stayed up late, slept in late. Watched too much TV.

Then into the second month I really hit my stride and starting taking day trips, photographing more, looking for creative outlets, reading actual books.

This third month has this looming deadline though, so I am already feeling the urge to squeeze more in while I can!

So far I’m planning a solo camping trip up the Dempster, an overnight trip on the ATVs with our friends, and a camping trip in the trailer with Jeff and Hank.

I thought I’d still be working on some work related coding and learning projects, but instead, I’ve avoided my computer almost entirely. What a delightful time-out! I also have been avoiding all online news and Twitter. Once you take a step back, you see just how toxic it all is, with everyone angry and vicious and full of attacks and demands. If people just got off the computer and went for a hike together or sat around a campfire, I bet they’d get along well. Differing opinions are a good healthy thing! That’s what makes us all diverse! I think the key is that people aren’t online on social media when they are at their happiest, so you don’t get to share in the good parts. I enjoy following people’s personal blogs the most. And when I feel like scrolling through something else, I hit some nice subreddits, like https://www.reddit.com/r/HumansBeingBros/ or https://www.reddit.com/r/MadeMeSmile/ or https://www.reddit.com/r/aww/ .

Enough of that. Life is too short to rant.

Here’s some random photos from the last few weeks:

Summer is a time of construction in Dawson City, usually sewer and water pipe upgrades. 5th Avenue is dug up again between the Westmark facilities. The pandemic was a bit of a win here, since the Westmark hotel is closed, tourists aren’t being inconvenienced by the street they can’t cross, because tourists aren’t allowed into the Yukon yet.

Jeff built us a couple raised gardening beds, and before I planted them, Hank discovered he could get closer to the ravens on the neighbour’s roof by jumping on them.

The river got really low after break-up, but now it is back up to the highest we’ve seen since we moved here, covering the bottom of the trees along the right shore shown here now.

After I moved my seedlings from the kitchen table to the gardening boxes, I put the tomato cages on early, to keep Hank off! We’ve made it through a couple frost warnings on the weekend safely. Whew!

One box is all tomatoes, and the other is all herbs – arugula, chives, sage, oregano, rosemary, basil, and thyme. I’ll have to go out and take another photo because now that they’ve rooted in place, they are really starting to grow. We’ve already ate some of the arugula. None of my parsley seeds germinated this year, so I guess we’ll skip it.

Mom gave us a hammock for Christmas a few years back and it took us this long to finally get to it. True enough, I wasn’t up to hammocking when I was healing the last couple of years, but maybe I should have been. It is nice! It’s free standing, but of course I’ve already found a way to tip it over completely and pinched the back of my arm in the hardware. The fabric is just hooked on each end and is easy to take inside and out of the weather.

We tried to take Hank swimming, but when he’s off-leash he tastes freedom and runs for the horizon, or in this case, beaver dam. So we found a pond in a gold mine and let him swim on a long leash. Sure beats screaming at him to come back.

He is a fabulous retriever! We were throwing a bumper in the pond for him and he got it and brought it right back over and over. He’s a bit hesitant to swim, but he does swim. He takes a long time to dry!

I spend many afternoons on the front porch, listening to podcasts and reading books and watching some Netflix. Sometimes I Facetime with my mom and sister and baby niece. I’m so far away but still feel like I’m watching her grow up. Julie is really good about sending photos daily in between video sessions. This one is my favourite this week:

I got in for a haircut when our salons were allowed to open about 10 days ago. To enter their salon, you have to put on a mask (they provide), use hand sanitizer, then go to their bathroom and wash your hands, and keep your mask on until you leave again. I got the rest of my chemo curls cut off, which left me with a shorter pixie like cut. The first day it was very straight, but it’s bounced back with some body now, just no more ringlets at the ends. Feels really nice and normal again, with a soft light texture. More and more white hairs but hair of any colour beats bald I figure!

We had been trying to order from our restaurants that were take-out only at least once a week to help keep our local economy going. We are 6 hours from fast food restaurants, so one of our restaurants did their version of a KFC bucket deal! It was a nice treat! Fried chicken, fries, macaroni and potato salad, and gravy.

Hank has become such a dog of routine, it is predictable and kinda annoying, but we still love him. He begs for his walk after dinner by sitting in front of us, staring, whining a bit, and sometimes resting his chin and chest on our torso. Shortly after his walk, he demands his big red Kong toy to be filled with peanut butter and a big Milkbone. Then he spends the next half hour throwing it into the floor, hoping the cookie bounces out or dislodges, while he licks up the peanut butter. Eventually he’ll start begging again, and he’s asking to be put to bed and locked in his pen in the back room! A dog that begs to go to bed! Weird.

I’ve continued to take drives and adventures, but nothing worth it’s own blog entry lately.

I bought these striped petunias when I was down in Whitehorse a couple of weeks ago. I don’t see these up here (there is really just one grower here of all our bedding plants, so if they don’t sell it, you won’t see it). They are striking looking and almost too bold, but we’ll see how they shape up in a mixed basket. I have 5 hanging baskets out now. I love flowers! I’ve also planted the long 50+ foot planter along the sidewalk. I’ll share pictures once it starts blooming! We’ve got some rain, now we need some heat!

We have a nice rhubarb plant that Jeff planted from a friend’s larger bush last year. He read that he shouldn’t harvest it for its first 3 years, but luckily we still have rhubarb in our freezer so I made a rhubarb crisp last week. It didn’t last long!

Last week I sat on the porch one afternoon and watched the teachers parade through town in their cars with the sirens and horns of the police and ambulance and fire trucks, celebrating the scheduled last day of school, even though the school has been closed due to the pandemic for months. I video recorded the entire thing and shared it with my mom and sister. I was oddly struck by a bit of emotion near the end. That wasn’t like me. Don’t even know what triggered it. Another similar parade is planned for tomorrow for the graduating class.

On Thursday the Triple J hotel/restaurant was allowed to reopen their patio! We had our first dinner and beer on a patio. It was spectacular!! The tables were spread apart more and there is a sink now to wash your hands on the way in, but otherwise it felt normal!

I tried out the crispy chicken tacos and salad. Pretty good! And their garden salad is always the best – complete with goat cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries!

Last night we used our new pressure washer and cleaned up our quads and my truck. It is amazing how slippery that gravel back alley gets when it is wet. It’s also ridiculous how sore my arm is this morning from holding that pressure washer wand.

Here is the updated picture of our garden boxes I took just now for you. I planted some marigolds around the tomatos last week to help keep the soil in place. Filling the boxes with soil was tricky, since we don’t have a big garden centre here. It is a mix of black dirt, potting soil, and composted cattle manure, whatever I could find in bags for sale!

And Jeff’s rhubarb!

Still hoping to take some spring baby wild animal photos for you – maybe later this week!