AT RANDOM: All hands on deck

Carpenter, plumber, electrician, all-around handyman – I am none of these things, at least not yet.

Carpenter, plumber, electrician, all-around handyman – I am none of these things, at least not yet.

Aside from some so-so irrigation and gardening skills, about the only thing handy I can lay claim to is the Hoo-Hoo award I won for the shelving unit I built in Grade 10 woodwork. I did win a sweet set of Marples Blue Chip chisels for that little project, and still use them from time to time.

So, as I begin life as a hobby farmer in Armstrong (Spallumcheen, technically speaking), I face a learning curve steeper than Enderby Cliffs.

Our first big task (after a gargantuan four-day move) was to rebuild the rotting roof that covers the deck outside of our suite, which happens to be the new home of the Om Naturale herbal care product empire. The existing roofing material comprised some soggy chipboard underneath an aging tarp, covered by about three inches of pine needles.

From that perspective, anything we did would be a huge improvement.

Under the watchful eye of father-in-law Larry, we assembled a materials list (joist hangers, beams, plywood, felt, galvanized sheet metal etc., along with half a dozen mouse traps) and made a B-line to Shepherd’s Hardware to make our first big home improvement purchase.

I suppose we could have paid someone to do the job, however, not only do we have to watch our money, but now that the job is (almost) done, I have a huge sense of satisfaction after having hauled my butt up the ladder and built it with Terryn and Larry.

Also on the to-do list are a chicken coop, greenhouse, animal shelters and, once the farm is fully operational, I’m guessing about a kilometre of post-and-wire fencing.

We have only been in town for a couple weeks, but we have already discovered some real gems, like Shepherd’s. The Brown Derby has already become our go-to breakfast destination.

Larry has been about a dozen times already, and the friendly British lady who runs it is always quick with a snappy comeback every time he tries to give her the gears.

The Great Wall serves up a good Chinese smorgasbord, and it also turns out we reside in “the blue zone,” and are therefore within delivery range for JJ’s Pizza.

My first official act was to splash out the $10 for a Co-op membership, so I now get a dividend whenever I buy gas.

If life wasn’t hectic enough moving onto a 6.5-acre plot, we decided to add a new member to the Corbett-Thachuk fold – Bo, our new puppy.

We had talked about getting a second pooch for the farm, to beef up security, so to speak. Having been through the whole puppy process before with London, we weren’t keen on a repeat.

A younger rescue dog from the local animal shelter was more what we were thinking. However, when we heard our friend Urs’ Swiss mountain dog, Winston, had knocked up the neighbour’s border collie, we caved.

Bo provides more entertainment value than Netflix, and there are a lot of perks to owning a nine-week-old puppy, but 4 a.m. potty sessions aren’t one of them.

I had expected London’s maternal instincts to kick in when Bo arrived, but it turns out she has opted for the role of big sister/sparring partner.

Tolerance might be an slight overstatement of our cat’s attitude towards him, but overall everyone seems to be settling in nicely to life on the farm.

—Graeme Corbett is a sports reporter/business editor for The Morning Star

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement facility. (Good Samaritan Society photo)
Resident of Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement home tests positive for COVID-19

Interior Health has not declared an outbreak at the facility

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

Most Read