If you blink when you pass the Markerville Creamery, the entire hamlet is so small that you just might miss it! However, Markerville is very quaint and an interesting spot to observe. This old Blacksmith shop looks like something right out of a John Wayne western movie and is only a few hundred feet down the road from the wooden-truss bridge (2nd...more
This particular view of a Coyote beating a retreat in tall grass was taken not too far from the small community of Spruce View, as Ryan and I drove back to the house after picking up some construction supplies from the local hardware store. In this case, we had the two dogs with us and, before I could get properly set up for a shot, they...more
On the short drive from Chantel's cottage (Accoms tips) to the new house I saw an Alberta tourism sign pointing down a road to the 'Historic Stephansson House'. Finally, one day I took a few minutes off to make the detour to see what this was all about.It turns out that Stephan G. Stephansson (1853-1927), was an Icelandic immigrant who settled here...more
We did make a few trips into Sylvan Lake to pick up supplies from their supermarket, hardware stores, liquor store, gasoline stations and even a car wash on one occasion. On one of those trips Ryan and I happened to be in the centre of town beside the lake itself when I noticed all the activity that was taking place out on its frozen surface!In...more
It was the afternoon of Christmas Day, 2007 when Ryan and I decided we needed to take a short break from our house construction duties! Fortunately, with their house being located in the wilds of Alberta, all we had to do was step outside and we were already there.Our plan was to take a spin along the frozen Medicine River, which happens to flow...more
Although originally opened in 1899 by the Icelandic immigrants who settled here, the creamery you see today is a restored version showing what it would have looked like in 1932. From its inception until its closure about 70 years later, the Markerville Creamery was the main source of income for this small hamlet. These Icelanders were obviously...more
We were there to help finish with the house construction chores, so there was not a lot of time in the evenings to drive the half-hour or so required for restaurant meals in the nearby communities. As a result, we limited ourselves to cooking meals at home from whatever we happened to have on hand when we finished work in the evenings.
Favorite Dish: As habitation of the house was nearing, we had our first inside meal in the new dining room on Dec. 23rd when I prepared BBQ cheeseburgers outside the house. By the next day, Christmas Eve, we had the kitchen appliances working so I prepared my rice with meatballs 'special', cooked in a mixture of chopped onions, ketchup, brown sugar, lemon juice and soya sauce. Sue had scratched together a Caesar Salad to accompany the meal. Ryan, Carolyn and Sue are ready to dig into the feast as seen here!
On Christmas Day, Sue and Carolyn slaved away in the kitchen preparing our turkey & stuffing dinner, including the side dishes of roasted potatoes, carrots, broccoli, squash and gravey while Ryan and I continued to work away on the downstairs interior walls. It was really special to have these first meals in the new house coincide with Christmas celebrations!
Alberta seems to be swarming with wildlife, and the Markerville area was no exception! This presents a problem when night driving is required - these wild animals are totally unpredictable as to what they will do next or which way they will bolt if they decide to run.
One evening after we had finished work well past dusk, we headed off in our vehicles into the dark of night (Sue and I in my old car and Carolyn and Ryan in their big 4WD Ford F-350 pickup truck). The stretch of road near their house is unpaved, so we were only travelling at about 70-80 kph as we approached a small bridge over the Medicine River, with its steel guardrails visible in the photo. Sue and I made it safely across but, only a few seconds later, a deer that had been browsing in the tall grass beside the bridge suddenly bounded over the guardrail directly into the path of the truck. Death was instantaneous - Ryan stopped to pull the animal off the road and back into the grassy area. It was still there several days later, maybe too well hidden and frozen to be detected by scavengers. The second photo shows Ryan's truck with a small ding at the left corner of the bumper. If it had been our much lower to the ground car involved in the collision, the deer likely would have struck the windshield.
On my later drive home, between Cold Lake, Alberta and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan I saw 7 deer and 1 coyote road-kill beside the highway, with most of the carcasses in the process of being partially or mostly eaten by small groups of large Ravens.
I am no home handyman, but Ryan certainly is! Since September, he and Carolyn have been building the house themselves with just whatever help they can get from available friends. By the time I arrived in Regina, most of the heavy duty stuff was completed but there was still plenty of work to do both inside and out.
These photos show what the house looked like one month before the Christmas visit - taken in mid-November when I took advantage of a 3-day weekend to make the 8-hour one-way drive from Regina to lend a hand. Most of the interior work at that time involved getting the itchy fibreglass insulation batts installed in the walls and ceilings between the wooden joists. In order to reach some of the high spots above the stairwell, we nailed a couple of planks above it to provide a scaffold of sorts. The first three photos show Carolyn, her Collie Kira and I hard at work!
I had more fun outside running their miniature 4WD 'front-end loader' (4th photo). This thing was really nimble and could spin around on a dime! Left hand controlled both left wheels, Right hand controlled both right wheels, left foot controlled the up/down motion of the bucket supports and the right foot controlled the tilt of the bucket to dump or pickup material. In the photo, I am pushing piles of dirt to re-cover the sewage septic system pipes after the material had been dug up by a backhoe to fix a problem.
Christmas chores included laying the floors, installing trim around doors, windows and cabinets as well as the heavy two-man job of cutting and installing interior drywall sheets on the ceilings and walls of the lower level rooms.