Monday, December 31, 2007
1. Getting back to the gym. I've had a membership at the 'Y' all year ... and only went occasionally. :-(
2. Being more conscientious about the financial reports for the marina owners (we are the managers here). I always get them done, but often late in the month and then I'm sometimes slow in sending the back-up materials away to them. I'd just feel better if I 'tightened up' the process, and I know the owners would like that, too.
3. Biting my tongue more when I'm about to say something critical or negative ... especially to my kids (who are all grown ups! why DO we mothers do that??)
Knitting-related resolutions include:
1. Learning to knit SOCKS. I've said that every year for the past three, and I'm still hopeful....
2. Knitting at least three more sweaters for myself ... I already have the yarn and the patterns, so I just need to make the time. In general, I'm resolved to giving equal time this year to knitting for charity, knitting for others and knitting for me (that's always been heavily weighted toward mostly knitting for charity, then knitting for others, and 'occasionally' knitting for me).
3. And speaking of time, I'm resolved NOT to leave all the Christmas charity-related knitting until September. I'll do a few things each month and just store things until fall.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: This is a shot of the Chrome Island Lighthouse(off the southern tip of Denman Island) with the harvest moon rising over the Strait of Georgia in the background).
Finally, here's my wish for you for 2008 - I've Googled for the author of this little ditty, and can't find any information, so I'm hoping that I'm not infringing anyone's copyright. It's from a screen saver my son had on his computer for a long time, and I hope I'm remembering it correctly.
ALL THE BEST IN THE NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU from Michael and I both!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
This webcam, along with several others, is maintained by a local windsurfer dude, and you can check it out (and all of his cams) any time at BigWaveDave.ca.
Today is almost the last of the Holiday festivities in our world ... we'll go over to Mischa's for a 'brunch' this morning because Hailey has to go back to Whistler this afternoon, and our oldest grandson, Joshua, may go home tomorrow -- and we haven't had a 'family' get-together since he got here.
Tomorrow I'll pick my sister Julie up at the airport on her return from Christmas with her daughter (our niece Doneen) in Calgary. We don't 'do' New Year's Eve so we'll take care of the boys so Mischa can go out, and then on New Year's Day we'll take Julie home to Qualicum Beach, and spend the night with our friends Susan and Sri up there.
And by the time we come home late Wednesday, that'll be 'enough' of the 'Festive Season' for us!
ON THE NEEDLES: diamonds for River's blanket.
... and I'll die of boredom long before I'm done these, so I'll have to get back to the purple shawl, or start a new project pretty quick. Whadda shame...
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Michael and I almost always go for awhile on Christmas Day to a place called the Alano Club -- a 'clean and sober' environment where they serve dinner to about 300 folks, and we like to volunteer some time there. Then back to Mischa's for our own dinner -- a 22-lb turkey and all the traditional trimmings.
Boxing Day we spent quietly at home, but went back to our daughter's for leftover-turkey dinner and to spend a bit more time with the boys. This evening we'll have another little family dinner at my son Jason's because tomorrow morning his son Joshua and our older daughter Hailey will go home ... Joshua up-Island to Qualicum Beach and Hailey back to Whistler. Here's pics (my faves from earlier this year, mostly)... Jason and Joshua:
Hailey and Mischa:
River and Gibson:
And here's a local view during most of the Christmas season... a little bit of snow, a little bit of rain, and a lot of fog:
Afterthought: I finished all my Christmas knitting, and have started a 'Building Blocks' blanket in red/black/white/gray for River's 9th birthday, next week. Pics to follow!
All the best of the season, from our 'house' to yours...
Sunday, December 23, 2007
My big sister Julie just turned 59 a few weeks ago. She has been and done lots of things in her life .... interesting things. She was Canada's youngest x-ray technician when she graduated many, many moons ago, and worked for many years in that field. She is a self-taught interior designer and space-planner, and has a great eye for colors and textures. She's been married twice, and raised two great kids to adulthood -- they all survived very well!
She's a talented quilter and a talented seamstress, and currently makes a living as a (also talented) website designer and private housecleaner/organizer.
Well.... about 4 or 5 months ago, a friend convinced my sister that she should try painting -- you know, with an easel and palette and brushes and such. She was only vaguely interested at the time, but kind of wanted to please her friend, so she got Erin to show her a few brushstrokes.
To make a long story short .... Julie has only painted about 7 or 8 canvasses at this point, but she has SO found her 'calling' in a big way! She LOVES it, AND and she just sold her first painting AND has been invited to exhibit her work in the local art gallery! Needless to say, my sister is OVER THE MOON with this newfound interest (which she is now calling a passion/mission) ... and so am I, because look what I got for Christmas....
The technical details (and since I don't have much of a clue about these things, I hope I have this right!): these are watercolor paintings, and although they are two separate canvasses (called Herring Season I and Herring Season II), together they are apparently called a 'diptych.'
The emotional details: My sister knows that herring season on Vancouver Island, in March, is one of my favorite times of the year. It's absolutely magical out on the water ... the fish boats, the eagles hovering, the sea lions feasting, the warm spring air, the smells, even the color of the water is turquoise-y because of the herring spawn. Here's a column I wrote about it for a newspaper once -- and another one.
The diptych ....
Unbelievable. I'm SO excited about these paintings ... and now I have to remodel the v-berth bathroom before I can hang them up!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
So last night when our friend Susan from Qualicum Beach turned up with her relatives from Ontario, I knew it would be fun to show the Wind Walker to the two children, who were 8 and 5 years old. The number one question adults ask when they hear that we live aboard is 'But aren't you cold?' (The answer to which is 'no colder than anyone is in their houses in the middle of winter' -- we have two electric heaters that work just great, an additional ceramic we can plug in if we need it, AND the wood/pellet stove we installed just this year! And keep in mind that we only have to heat about 300 sq feet...
But children ask more interesting questions, usually, and in this case the question was, 'But where do you have your couch?' I guess it's not part of childhood consciousness that it's possible to live without a couch ...
We've often said that if we ever won 'the big one,' we WOULD buy a boat big enough to house a couch, but in the meantime, we are indeed couch-less, and none the worse for wear as a result.
These two kids were also interested in the fact that we have a woodstove on the boat -- I resisted the idea of a woodstove for a lot of years simply because it meant having to cut a hole in the cabin roof to accommodate it, but this fall, just before we left on our annual Sept cruise holiday, I knew it was time! And we do love it ... it can burn small pieces of wood, wood pellets, and even bark off the beach. It's a Newport Dickinson marine adaptation, and it's especially wonderful when it's really stormy outside. See?
(And no, that's not a real Christmas tree ... but it's a pretty good fake.)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
ON THE NEEDLES: In the absence of current knitting projects to show off (still slogging through that long list of 'finishing/tucking in ends' projects) I'll tell you a story about my 'beach blanket'. Almost two years ago, I got an idea that I'd like to try intarsia knitting for the first time. I had a photo of a favorite beach (Tribune Bay on Hornby Island, to be precise) that I had been hoping to somehow 'reproduce' and it would require knowing how to change colors across the row. Around the same time I found an online site that will instantly change your uploaded photo into a knitting graph. Here's the photo:
And then you upload the photo at Microrevolt.org to have it magically changed to a graph.
And here, with a little creative embellishment, is the queen-sized blanket I knit as a result...
But here's the thing ... after, let's see, 320 stitches per row (which took about 7 minutes to knit) and 6 rows to the inch, and the completed blanket is 84" long ... after about 70 hours of work ... I don't like this blanket. It's not just because it took so long, either. It's because it doesn't work in the bedroom at all, it's much too busy; and because even the tiny bit of acrylic I used (for those dark 'mountains in the distance' at the midpoint) has already pilled; and because I spilled some coffee on it while it was a WIP and the cleaners couldn't get it out. In short, I don't like this blanket. It's a work of art, I guess, but .... I have to decide what to do with it now.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
That was about a 40kt wind blowing, so the waves were about 6 - 8 feet high -- it gets much worse than that sometimes!
Knitting has been happening. I have three projects on the needles right now -- the first is a gorgeous heathery purple shawl in New Zealand scheepjeswol that I started for Threads of Compassion... but I may end up keeping it for myself. I found an easy 4-row lace pattern somewhere, and I just love how it's working up. The finished shawl will be a rectangle about 20" by 70".
I also have a hat on the needles that I can't say much about because the recipient probably reads my blog. Finally, I got a call from the Neo-Natal unit at our local hospital saying they could use about 8 more Christmas-themed preemie hats, so I've done several of those...
PHOTO OF THE DAY: This is what a 'travel lift' haulout looks like -- a boat gets taken out of the water on giant 'slings' when the owner needs to work on the hull. We haul out the Wind Walker every other year, and it's the single most stressful thing about owning a boat!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Then I had to stop at a different LYS for a gift certificate for a friend, and right across the street was an independent toy store -- MUCH nicer than the local ToysRus -- and I found a perfect little ride-on toy for Gibson (our 18-month-old grandson). A quick pit-stop at the local Sexual Assault Centre to drop off the 4 shawls I had for their Threads of Compassion program, and then home with dinner from the deli.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: This is, IMHO, one of the most beautiful classic wooden boats on the west coast. It's a Grenfell, and this photo is taken as it was leaving Silva Bay on Gabriola Island.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
These pics were taken by an Island resident named Brian Haller, and they really capture the spirit of the Gulf Island Christmas season!
ON THE NEEDLES:
Well. There's less than 10 days until Christmas, and I have seams to sew and ends to sew in on all manner of projects. All those finishing details I was going to attend to 'later' are now in a pile in the v-berth, and it'll kill me, but I just have to tackle them one by one, and get them checked off the list!
PHOTO OF THE DAY: One of our favorite day trips (or more accurately, dinghy picnics) is to go 'up the Gorge' here in Victoria, in our inflatable. This is a picture of the bridge over the Tillicum Rapids, which can run up to 9 knots at their fastest. It's great fun to go through in the dinghy when it's running fast!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
According to the Times-Colonist, the 'Coastal Renaissance' is the first of three new Super C-class ferries, and it was built in Germany. It took 48 days to get here, including a trip through the Panama Canal. Here's the rest of the story.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island is a place of mixed feelings for us -- we've twice had boating mishaps there. But it IS beautiful!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
So, first of all, Christmas decorating happened...
There were apparently 28 boats, and it was great fun, as always! We had our friends Susan and Sri from Qualicum Beach aboard, along with their son Rennie and friend Kaisch, and a local pal, David.
It sure wasn't our best year, as Michael and I are both getting over crappy coldy-fluey bugs, but it's always a fun gig, sponsored each year by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. Part of the deal is two nights free moorage in front of the Empress Hotel, which is like being in a giant Christmas card, so we paid for an extra night just to chill out a bit.
So knitting happened ...
A baby blanket for Afghanistan was a quick knit in a gorgeous dark green Lopi, and I threw in some intarsia stripes to keep it interesting ...
Here's a close-up of the striped bit ...
I also completed one of my favorite knits this year ... a hat, which will be a Christmas present, from a pattern in the new Pattern-a-Day 2008 Calendar. I love it, love it, love it -- and it was my first foray into adding beads with a crochet hook, as I was taught by Sivia Harding, too. I'll definitely make more of these!
And here's a close-up of the stitch pattern, which also shows the beads ... they were delightful 'pre-made' tiny little flowers, which I found in a package in a local second-hand store.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: This is a picture of Bull Passage, between Lasqueti and Jedediah, at dawn. We were cruising to our favorite anchorage (White Rock Bay) on Jedediah at the time.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I'm reminded of several years ago when we lived in a mobile home overlooking the Macleod River (in northern Alberta) about a quarter mile from where it joined the Athabasca River -- powerful bodies of water, both of them -- and one year the Macleod flooded severely, spilling into our back yard. Our home was never in danger because it was still 'uphill' from the banks, but I remember watching and being in awe of the power of that water. I remember that, and not allowing our children into the back yard to play for several days until the water receded.
On the needles: absolutely nothing, for the first time in WEEKS. I finished the baby blanket (edging and blocking will happen tomorrow) and I'm going to cast on tomorrow for a Christmas present hat, but I spent the day running errands, so couldn't even start a take-along project.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: This isn't my photo, and unfortunately I can't give anyone credit for it. Someone emailed it to me, and I can't remember who. This is a common sight here on the west coast - a tugboat hauling a fuel barge. When we lived at Stone's Marina in Nanaimo, it used to come within 20' of our boat while docking at the Esso silos next door.
Monday, December 3, 2007
. I was hoping to get it finished, but ... maybe tomorrow....
PHOTO OF THE DAY: If you've ever driven over the Malahat from Victoria, you'll recognize this as the view from one of the 'Viewpoints' at the top. I always stop there whenever I go north, and just get out of the car and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
None of the pictures I took along Dallas Road turned out, but it's okay because we get to see the parade twice! After it goes by us at the water, the tradition is that we cut across Cook Street to River's place -- and he just happens to live on the 9th floor of an apartment building that the parade goes right past. So these pics are taken from the balcony ...
The whole thing only lasts about half an hour (there are only 80 trucks allowed), but these trucks are amazing -- I'm pretty sure that whole families spend the entire day decorating them.
To see some REALLY nice pics, check out the Times Colonist's gallery .
PHOTO OF THE DAY: This is 'Boom Bay' on Jedediah Island, a beautiful huge marine park in the Strait of Georgia behind Lasqueti Island. There are rings in the rocks here for anchored boats to 'stern tie' to.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
So ... I'm supposed to be taking my grandson River to our annual Truck Parade but I have a hunch it may be cancelled -- in which case I have nothing to do but knit. Whadda shame....
One of my most favorite recent projects is a 'yoga bag' which started out to be a scarf for my son. But I had ADD that day, and a great set of handles on the shelf, so it ended thusly ---
I love to knit cables any time and this looked like just the right combination of interesting and challenging, but do-able. This is an adaptation of a Fiona Ellis design, and I love it! I have no idea what I'll do with it yet, but that doesn't matter ... it was a blast to knit.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: This is one of my all-time favorite photos! It was taken in the middle of the day in a serious fog, and this is exactly how it came out.... "Fishboats in Fog."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
It's about a 2-hour drive, through Colwood/Langford area, and Sooke. We stopped at Jordon River to watch the surfers (and were lucky enough to see some!) then carried on through the classic rainforest west coast looping-and-winding-highway to Port Renfrew. It was pissy most of the day so we hardly got out of the car (hence, no original photos, either) but it was lovely to just escape for a time. Michael, as always, did most of the driving so I got to knit lots -- finished the scarf I had on the needles, and started another one. That makes almost 100 of the 150 CommunityKnitters.com has promised to the Extreme Outreach Ministry for their Christmas hampers!
PHOTO OF THE DAY: This is as close as I'll ever get to a great blue heron ... especially one having its lunch!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Did those two things ... and this is where it all started to go sideways. First of all, my daughter asked if I could keep the boys (the other one being my youngest grandson, 1-1/2 year old Gibson) for 'just a couple more hours' while she ran some errands -- and then my son called to remind me that I said I would take him to return some stuff to a rental place.
If I ever win the big one, I'll be buying reliable vehicles for all of my children, mark my words.
It's now almost 5 p.m., I'm home -- wet, cold and tired -- and not a single stitch has been knitted all day. Aarrgggghhhhh........
PHOTO OF THE DAY: A rainbow on the edge of Baynes Sound, taken looking across toward the Chrome Island lighthouse on the south end of Denman Island.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
ON THE NEEDLES:
Currently working on scarves for the Extreme Outreach ministry (they need 300 total scarves and touques for Christmas presents, and so far a few of us have created just over 200, so we'll probably reach the goal!) .... and I finished the little yoga bag too, but it's too dark to take a decent pic.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: This is a picture of a beautiful little secluded beach on Ballenas Island in the Strait of Georgia. We used to anchor here as often as possible when we lived up that way...
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Today I drove down to Clover Point (as I often do) to knit, and watched a tugboat re-arranging and pulling a huge log boom along the Dallas Road waterfront. I wonder why we don't see these around Victoria very often? (I'm going to answer myself here: I suppose it's because of the slowdowns through-out the logging industry...) In any case, I always feel such a part of west coast history watching a tugboat pulling a log boom -- I'm glad it still happens, albeit infrequently.
And, as I was watching that, someone came out from the shore paddling a wake-board or something. I was too far away to get a good shot, but I'd love to know what on earth that person was doing there!
ON THE NEEDLES: I'm working on a little yoga-themed handbag that may end up being a Christmas gift for someone.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: I'm going to start posting a West Coast picture with each blog entry. Most of them are my photos (and if not, I'll identify the photographer) and they're just a hodge-podge of scenes from my life! Today's photo is the Deep Bay Marina as seen at sunset from the spit.