Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My blog post yesterday was already too long, so I waited to tell you about this part of my road trip home on Sunday.

I had driven into Chemainus for breakfast after watching the barge dump, and, as I was driving back up to the highway from Chemainus, I glanced over to the left -- and noticed a LOT of water through the trees. Now, I've been to Chemainus lots of times, and I was thinking to myself, "the harbour doesn't come THAT far in..." The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was looking at a LAKE.

I've lived on Vancouver Island for almost 40 years. I've been down that road to Chemainus dozens of times. I've even noticed a road going off the highway called 'Fuller Lake Road' and been aware that a large white building there is called the Fuller Lake Rec Centre.

How on earth did it never occur to me that there is a FULLER LAKE?

Well, I found it day before yesterday, and it's a delightful spot. Grassy areas to picnic on, at least two playgrounds for kids, a tennis court, a beach volleyball court, a dive platform, and a boat launch. Lovely!

An hour's drive away!

And ... you folks are so funny. I got one comment and two private emails yesterday asking for details about that ball of yarn I purchased. It was a 3.5 ounce cake, actually (1000 yards or so), of a mohair silk boucle blend in a fuschia/bluey/lavendar colorway, and I have no idea what I'll do with it. It's just sitting on my desk being admired right now.

Monday, March 30, 2009


The Nanaimo Weavers and Spinners were having a sale on Saturday, so even though I still wasn't feeling that great, I drove up for the day. It was a scenic drive ...

I bought a skein of yarn. (Yes, that's correct. I drove 1.5 hours in each direction to buy one skein of yarn. Is there a problem with that?) Then I decided since I was up that way anyway, and feeling crappy, I might as well impose myself on my sister in Parksville -- so I drove for another half an hour.

After dinner at our favorite Chinese food smorg place and a short evening knitting in front of the fire in her living room, I slept straight through for almost 8 hours.

Then I drove home again. But I happened to stop at one of my favorite look-outs, in Ladysmith, and saw this coming in to the harbour ...

I knew, from past experience, that this monster is called a self-dumping log barge, but I had never actually seen one do its thing.

So I drove a bit further south to a better vantage point, and got out my knitting to wait.

And wait...

It takes about 2 hours or so to flood the front chamber of the barge to the point where it 'tips' and the logs go into the water.

By the time I left that behind and drove further down-Island, I was exhausted, so I decided to take the "Island's most beautiful short-cut" -- the Mill Bay/Brentwood Bay ferry -- instead of driving over the Malahat.

It was a lovely trip!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Even though I work from home, even though I have a pretty easy life, even though neat stuff happens on other days of the week ... I still love Fridays. And this week has been an especially looooong one, with being sick.

I spent yesterday trying to pace myself so I don't have any more setbacks, but it was the most human I've felt all week, so I'm behind on some things, of course. But Fridays ... Friday mornings have traditionally been my 'clean off the desk' time, so that I can reward myself with Knit'n'Cafe on Friday afternoons, and today will be no exception. I'll drive Michael over to Mischa's to take care of Gibson for the day, then I have a few little things to finish up .... and then the day is mine, mine, mine. :-) Clover Point is calling.....

I finished the baby sweater store sample...

This was a great knit ... it's an all-over cable, but the yarn is 70% bamboo/30% silk, and was wonderful to work with. The pattern is a size 1 and it's from an Ella Rae book that's available at the store. I'm not sure if the photo does justice to the color ... it's a really pretty green.

I also finished the 'spring socks.'

Not sure what to cast on next .... I might just work on this gorgeous mohair scarf, or finish the purple sweater, or resurrect the side-to-side vest.

But don't quote me.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I must be getting better: instead of sleeping all the time, I'm wide awake at 3:45 a.m.

I'm a member of a Craft Book Club, and last week, just before I got sick, this came in the mail...

I haven't loved a book, even a knitting book, this much, in a long time. Cover to cover, it's all 'eye candy', and I want to knit every single project in it. At a time when I can barely even sit up long enough to cast on a dishcloth.

But yesterday I started to feel a little more human, and I just happened to have brought home some Alessandra 'Super Kid Seta'(70% kid mohair, 30% silk), so I dropped everything (who am I kidding? I haven't been able to hang ON to anything!)... see that lovely pale green scarf in the upper right corner of the cover? Wanna see it in a gorgeous plum color?

Apart from the fact that this scarf is going to weigh all of one ounce when it's done, the pattern is a delight -- it's mostly purling on the *right* side, so that's an interesting difference, and increases and decreases across the row result in those 'mounds' you see instead of greater or lesser widths. And, as you can tell, it's been a quick knit, too.

Which is a good thing, because there's several more items in this book that just hit my to-do list.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


After nearly 11 years on the Wind Walker, our V-berth bathroom has finally had the facelift it's needed since we moved aboard. I can't get a decent picture of it to save my life (it's a small, dark, corner ... what can I say?) but I can tell you that it looks wonderful!

I've finally been able to hang the pictures my sister Julie painted for me, and the reprint photo of the Bluenose, a famous Nova Scotia ship, which I love!

Last time I was down at Clover Point (which seems like weeks, but it's really only been 5 or 6 days) I also finished another one of the Ravelry 'Traveling Scarves' -- I even remembered to toss the remnants out on the grass for the nesting birds to find:

Speaking of nesting birds, have you checked out the Islands' 'eagle cams?' There's one in Sidney, just 20 minutes from here, and the other one is on Hornby Island -- that eagle pair has been nesting for over 20 years! (If you just see black it's because it's night-time here....)
Sidney Eagle Cam

Hornby Island

When they're just sitting on their eggs it's a bit like watching paint dry, but if you catch them when they switch off, it's pretty interesting.

I'm slowwwwwwwwly on the mend, but I can hardly move today .... sore ribs from coughing so much! I can relax and work on my spring socks ... I chose to knit these right now because I thought the colors would cheer me up. It hasn't worked.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


So last Friday evening Mischa called at about 9 pm, pretty freaked out -- Gibson was burning up with fever, and she couldn't find her thermometer. By the time I drove over with mine (but mainly prepared to take Gibson to the hospital if necessary, because Mischa doesn't drive), she'd given him some baby Tylenol, and was wiping him down with a cool, damp cloth.

He had a fever of 103.7 -- so I said if it didn't start to come down in 15 minutes, we'd get him to emergency. Poor little guy... we decided to put him in a luke-warm bath with Mischa, which lasted about 30 seconds, he wasn't having any of that! But it was enough that the fever started to break.

So I stayed for an hour or so to give Misch a break, and got home about 10:30.

Woke up on Saturday morning with my own fever of 103, and I've pretty much been in bed since. NOT FUN!! By Sunday Michael had the bug, too...

Yesterday I thought I was okay to go to work, but they knew I wasn't feeling well -- when Stephanie called from home to offer to come in and take over for me at 3:00, I jumped at the chance. Home in bed again by about 4:30, where I've been off and on since. Aarrgggghhhh --- I don't even have energy to knit. I think I've accomplished half a pair of socks in the last 4 days and that's all.

Going back to bed .... sure hope to be back blogging regularly soon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Having a work-at-home wife means that a handy-man husband sometimes has to wait for the opportunity to do certain projects. For Michael, that means making plans for every single time I leave town for the day (or two).

One time, about eight years ago, I came home from somewhere to discover a plastic-covered hole in the side our hull the size of a man-hole cover. He'd found some wood-rot (the bane of old wooden-boat owners) and had to excise it -- but he didn't want to start drilling and sawing until I wasn't around! (He claims it's because he doesn't want to disturb my work, but I think it's because he doesn't want me to know the drastic nature of some of these projects!)

Last spring we had talked about taking out all the carpet in our boat, and putting down laminate floors with a few scatter rugs. Well, when I came home from the Quadra Island knitting retreat last spring, the job was done (except for the bare wood floor under my desk which has been there since, but that's another story...).

Three weeks ago, I came home from up-Island, to find a bathroom remodeling in progress. What a job! Unfortunately I have no before pics to show you, but picture it: it's the 'v-berth' bathroom, which means it's about 3' x 2', but full height, and it contains a toilet and a sink, period. When we bought the boat, it was wall-papered with a 1960s 'psychedelic' silver geometric wallpaper ... a bit like this...

... only imagine the colors reversed: silver where the white blocks are, white where the silver lines are. Like I said, 60's psychedelic. A couple of times we peeled back a little corner of the wallpaper only to discover 40-year-old glue that wasn't budging, and the job got relegated to the REALLY BIG JOB list, which meant postponing it indefinitely.

Until a year ago Christmas, when I was the recipient of some amazing paintings. I knew then that those paintings had to hang in this bathroom, but we also knew that removing 40-year-old wallpaper/glue was not going to be fun.

Oh, we had a few 'fits and starts' with it -- every time someone would give us some advice, we'd try it ... and another corner of wood would get exposed (complete with gouges, bits of wallpaper still drooping, etc.) until the v-berth bathroom was truly the ugliest thing you've ever seen, and an embarassment when we'd have guests aboard.

But I went on a road trip last week, and again yesterday, and here's the result:

It is the palest pale blue, PERFECT for a tiny boat-based bathroom, and I'm so excited. Today he just has to put the molding on, and I can hang pictures!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


First of all, a belated Happy St. Patrick's Day! I have some Irish in my background, but don't usually get too caught up in the day, with all the drinking connotations attached to it. Yesterday I had to go out to Sidney, and I watched this landing barge come in for a landing (MUCH more interesting than green beer, IMO)...

Then, when I came back into town I drove along Esquimalt Road and saw this ...

... anchored out at Esquimalt Lagoon -- and by dark there were two of them. 'Tis a mystery, though -- they're not Canadian military (our boats are a pale green color), but they had no other ID or flags flying, which I thought was sort of odd.

Then I drove to Clover Point just in time to see this military helicopter returning to the Esquimalt base...

Wanna see that a little closer? I did, it flew RIGHT over my head (like about 100' up in the air, maybe?)

Must be some military exercises going on...

Today I'm taking Mischa and River (and Gibson's along for the ride) to Nanaimo to meet Joshua and then they're taking the ferry to Vancouver to meet Hailey, who's taking the boys to Whistler for the rest of spring break for snowboarding! I'm looking forward to getting away -- maybe I'll even get some knitting done, have you noticed the distinct lack of knitting content lately?

Monday, March 16, 2009


15 years ago this morning, our son Jason called .... with the news that he and his girlfriend Cara were the proud parents of a son, whom they named Joshua Darien.

Jason and Cara were only 19 when Cara got pregnant, but they were good kids who loved each other and wanted to make it work. They separated a few years later, and Cara went on to re-marry a man who shared custody of his two daughters, and then together they had another little girl -- so Joshua ended up growing up with three sisters. He's always lived here on the Island, though, and over the years, has come to spend time with Jason and the rest of the family when he can.

(Joshua is also the reason I quit smoking. I was a two-pack-a-day-er when Jason and Cara -- avid NON-smokers -- found out about the pregnancy. I decided, right then, that if I was going to have a positive relationship with my first grandchild, I needed to be a non-smoker -- so I became one before he was born!)

In spite of the rough start in his life, and the twists and turns since, he's had a lot of love in his world (kudos here to Cara, and Chris and Cara's grandparents 'Nanny' and 'Papa', and Jason ... and many more folks!), and Joshua is now turning into a young man ... and a really nice young man, at that. He's an awesome big brother, a wonderful cousin for River and Gibson ... and just a real pleasure to be around!

(This picture was taken a few years ago, but it's still one of my favorites, and I don't seem to have a decent, more recent, one.)

Happy, happy birthday, Joshua -- we love you and we're proud of you!

Friday, March 13, 2009


It's been another full week here at the Wind Walker ... Hailey was home from Whistler last weekend for a workshop and stayed until Wednesday, and then my friend Monica from Mayne Island came over for the day. Yesterday our friends Susan and Sri were here from Qualicum (and yes, the women lost at euchre AGAIN)so I haven't accomplished much this week -- in the writing department, knitting department, with the FibreFest, or on the 'home front.' This morning, if I'm lucky, I'll get some marina paperwork done, and then it's off to Knit'n'Cafe this afternoon.

A few of you commented with fond memories of the Esquimalt Lagoon. I love it there, too, but ever since we discovered Albert Head, the Lagoon has taken second place in our hearts. During July and August we do day-trip knitting cruises out to Albert Head, so if you can come along, I think you'll see why we're so enamored of it.

And I'm already looking forward to getting off the dock this year -- we've had more snow and cold spells this winter than I can remember in the 5 years we've been here.

I spent several hours yesterday wrapping up the International Scarf Exchange, which I'm now coordinating. It's a lot of work, but it's a lot of fun, too. I'll be starting another one in April, so if you want to bookmark the site, you can watch for the announcements. We accept up to 100 knitters (and crocheters) from around the world!

As my friend Grace says, 'Knit On!'

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


That's what my blog just told me, but I don't believe it! It doesn't take *that* long to recover from chasing herring boats! :-)

Been a busy time, though... I helped River with his first-ever public speech (all about his rock collection):

I knit:

I actually left these 'leftovers' socks with my sister in Qualicum, but forgot to show them to you. :-)

These will be finished today, and will go to Mischa.

And these also need to be finished today, but they're for a newborn baby, so not a big task.

And we played... Michael and I went out to the Esquimalt Lagoon for a picnic lunch on the weekend, and hung out here ...

And relaxed...

And saw this...

And on Saturday afternoon, just before the snow hit...

...I saw the first pink cherry blossoms of the spring...

There. You're all caught up now, and my friend Monica is coming over from Mayne Island today, so I better get myself together to go meet the early ferry! :-)

Friday, March 6, 2009


Here's a SLIDESHOW of the highlights of the 2009 herring fishery up-Island.


Thursday, March 5, 2009


It's time, once again, for my annual herring migration. I'm leaving shortly to drive up to Parksville, and I'll be back tomorrow morning. I've also been invited to pop in on the Bradley Centre Spinners and Weavers while I'm up that way, AND there's a new yarn store in Qualicum Beach to check out, too.

Sounds like a fun road trip to me!

I know I'm a bit odd, but if the herring run fascinates you as much as it does me, I've written two other pieces about it for other publications over the years ...

Silver of the Sea
Conversation with Myself


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Victoria's 33rd annual Flower Count will get underway a little late this year ... not for lack of flowers but because a new organizational/administrative partnership (of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Victoria) was solidified just recently.

For the week of March 18 to 23, the citizens of Greater Victoria count all the blossoms they can find, and report their results to Flower Count Headquarters via telephone at 250-360-BUDS (2837) or via the internet at http://www.flowercount.com. As the numbers come in, announcements are sent to local and national media to inform everyone of the growing count. And every year it's in the thousands!

The flower count began in Victoria in the 1960's as an initiative of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. Since then it has grown to be a symbolic and light-hearted signal of spring in Victoria, while winter still covers the rest of the country.

I love living here! :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I've been up since 3 a.m. AGAIN, so I'll be going back to bed in a few minutes! Aaarrggghhhh....

I'm afraid I haven't been much inspired lately in the knitting department ... I'm knitting, but all I have to show for it is three different UFOs!

The current pair of socks...

The resurrected purple sweater ...

And a baby sweater I'm knitting for a store sample. I'm the most taken with this one ... it's a luscious bamboo/silk blend yarn that feels like no-big-deal on the skein, but this sweater? Soft, soft, soft, yet sturdy -- I'm really liking it! This picture doesn't show the green very well, unfortunately -- it's really a pretty apple green.

Today I'll wrap up an editing job and hopefully have some time to get to Clover Point. The first few days of a new month are always really busy here at the marina, so I haven't had much time to myself.

Monday, March 2, 2009