Friday, April 30, 2010


Yesterday we spent the better part of the day researching online and then going looking at vans to replace our poor old Windstar -- it's blowing blue smoke, misfiring, and generally really, truly on its last legs. We found a 1996 Chevy Lumina ...

... which we don't love, but it's okay, and the price was right -- $750. Good thing, because what we can actually afford is $0! lol

Oh, well, life is what it is, and it's pretty exciting for these folks....

Meet Cec and Marissa, and their twin 16-year-old sons ... tenants in our marina who left yesterday after several years of preparation to spend 4 months going through the 'north-west' passage on their sailboat...

They'll spend a month in refit, and then head north through Haida G'waii and around Alaska, hoping to get through before the ice becomes too thick again in September! How's that for an adventure??

While we were all watching them get off the dock, this crane operation was coming through...

And they're off!

Knit'n'Cafe today, and maybe I'll get a decent picture of this sweater in progress...

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I woke up the morning I was leaving for Vancouver SICK with a sore throat and a bit of a fever... but I wasn't going to let that stop me!

I had a lovely, leisurely ferry ride over and got lots of knitting done (pics tomorrow). Apparently the wind kicked up badly here in Victoria after I left (thanks for the call, Esther!) but the crossing was easy, and I was at the airport by 2:30 pm. Plenty early for a 6:30 pm flight, right? Well, I just didn't see the point in going anywhere else in the big city, especially feeling crappy, and I had knitting to do -- so I found a comfy seat in the observation lounge and watched a bazillion planes come and go.

When Hailey arrived we made our way to her client's penthouse in Coal Harbour (just off the edge of downtown Vancouver). Here was the view from the living room:

The place wasn't my personal style at all, and I can tell you that if I ever had big money, the last thing I'd do is buy a 5000+ sq ft condominium (even if it is overlooking lovely boats in a pretty marina), but it was pretty comfy and I got a great night's sleep.

On Tuesday I woke up still feeling crappy but we drove up to Whistler, stopping for a picnic lunch at this lovely little beach in West Van:

Whistler sure looks different post-Olympics, and there's mud everywhere there was snow a few months ago, but I had a nice visit with Hail and we went out for dinner to our favorite pasta place in the Village. I slept well again, woke up still feeling crappy and headed back to Vancouver and the ferry.

Got home last night, still sick, still feeling crappy this morning.

That's my report and I'm sticking to it. Nothing some drugs and some curled-up-on-the-couch knitting won't help!

Monday, April 26, 2010


I reached all my work goals this weekend, so I snagged a fair bit of knitting time! The result? The green shawl came off the needles and on to the blocking board..

My design, Ruth Stewart's wool, and a few weeks of knitting -- and I think it's my second-favorite shawl of the ones I've made. :)

So I cast on immediately for a sweater I've been intending for myself for a really long time (don't worry, Monica -- I haven't forgotten your sweater, I have a 'dye date' in May!), in a lovely pale blue wool-acrylic blend:

Seems like it'll be a fast knit, which is nice -- besides, I just bought myself a ton of knitting time for the next two days. I'm going to Vancouver to meet Hailey! She finally got a confirmed stand-by flight for today (from London, England, for anyone who's just found this blog, where she's been stuck under the ash cloud for six days longer than she intended to be there)so I'll spend the night tonight and come back tomorrow. One catch ... I've rented a car because it seems my trusty old Ford van may be on its last legs. :( Michael will take it in to the mechanic while I'm away to hear the latest round of bad news and then we'll have to make a decision if it's worth fixing ...

Meanwhile, that 50th pair of socks languishes on the needles in my sock bag. Maybe on the ferry today?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The last few days have been busy ones here, for both of us. First of all, Michael got a contract to do some work on the roof of the Value Village building just above our marina -- I wasn't sure if I wanted to go up there to check it out, but (my mother used to say...) "curiosity killed the cat."

So it looks pretty much like you'd imagine a roof would look (imagine that!), but it was fun to take a picture of our marina from up there:

I've been working. Paid work, and Victoria FibreFest stuff -- I'll have a few major announcements to make about that in the next day or two, so if you're not already on my 'updates' mailing list, you can sign up at the website!

It's SO spring here in Victoria... inside ...

... and out...

This is a LARGE patch of grass, and it's all over the city right now from the blossoms blowing off the trees!

We went for a drive to Clover Point last night, mainly because I wanted to take a new photo of it for my new cell phone -- I lost my dinosaur-of-a-cell-phone the other day, and (whadda shame) had to get a new one.

Sometimes it's fun to check out where these tankers and freighters have come from and what they're carrying -- this one is a 'pure car/truck carrier' and it can hold over 6000 vehicles! The Apollon Leader is 200 meters long and over 32 meters wide. It's pretty new, just built in 2008, and I also read somewhere that this ship is 'solar powered' but I'm not sure what that means.

And here's our local LeFarge barge making it's weekly trip to the Fraser River:

You'll be happy to know that I'm knitting... and knitting ... and knitting... I decided to add a beaded edge to this shawl, and it's taking FOREVER!

The photo still doesn't do the color justice ... it's a much brighter 'apple' green, and really pretty.

By the way, you might remember that I mentioned that Hailey flew to London England almost two weeks ago to work with a client there. Yup, that's right, she was only supposed to be gone for ten days, and she's been a victim of the ash cloud. She's on stand-by now with a confirmed flight home on the 29th -- at least she has somewhere to stay and money in her pocket! Here's a little story for Hailey's benefit ... but the rest of you should enjoy it, too. The day I lost my phone I was on the beach with Gibson...

Gibson: Grandma, when I grow up I want to be a lady.

Grandma: (after stifling a chuckle) Why do you think you want to be a lady when you grow up, Gibson?

Gibson: Because men get bald, and I don't want to get bald.

He then proceeded to give me the list of all the men in his life whom he perceives as 'getting bald'... and he was pretty much right! Too funny... I, of course, assured him that not all men 'get bald' and that he had a LOT of hair so I didn't think he had any worries!

Back to work I go...

Monday, April 19, 2010

MUST BE SPRING in the Harbour

It's been a lovely weekend -- too much almost-summer to work, so we went out and about. A lot. Lots going on around the harbour the last few days, so it was nice to see it all from the viewpoint of the inflatable!

Joidies Resolution came in to Ogden Point for a refit and provisions after crossing the Pacific from Australia, apparently.

We watched the Golden Alaska on its way in to refit at Victoria Shipyards.

Out on the Juan de Fuca Strait, the prawn boats and private yachts were on the move...

The Pacific Swift (one of our local tall ships) came home from a short voyage:

And the US Coast Guard came in for a visit, following the daily arrival of the Coho from Port Angeles:

Then the ship that brings boats was here unloading for 24 hours...

On Saturday afternoon we participated, along with hundreds of paddlers and other boaters, in a protest about a proposed marina in the Inner Harbour. (If you click that link, you can see the sheer size of this proposed marina -- it's HUGE! Also, if you look closely at that picture, you can see, top left, a long blue building with boats in front of it -- that's where we live)!

On Sunday we checked out this new million-dollar mooring buoy that the Harbour Authority has added to the cruise ship dock in order to accommodate longer ships (up to 1200 feet, apparently!).

And yesterday morning, before that, I drove Sri to the airport (he's on his way to Mexico for some seriously needed R & R) and got in some knitting time while I watched the sun come up over Sidney Spit...

I'm almost finished the green shawl -- pictures tomorrow, hopefully. But today ... I have a LOT of work to do!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Well, that was fun! And sad... and fun...

Only four of us showed up for the FIRST ANNUAL Boa Ride -- but Jollean only thought of the idea a few weeks ago, so there wasn't time to really get the word out much. That's okay, we had a good time, and we brainstormed ways to make this a truly annual fundraiser starting next year.

We headed out from Jollean's to the weigh scales south of Parksville, and then swung along the water on Resort Way -- whooping and hollering and laughing the whole way, I might add! First stop was Jollean's hubby's office so he could take pictures of us...

Then we went to 'Judges Row', the street where Michelle and Ken lived for many years and where Ken scattered her ashes (they were caretakers of an estate there, and Michelle LOVED it!) -- our purpose was to leave a few feathers behind for Michelle, and to blow her some kisses to be carried by the ocean breeze she loved so much:

Michelle rode with us the whole way in the form of this card (with a photo of the original 'boa girls') --that's her on the right in the red boa, which I had the honour of wearing on this ride.

Finally, Ken met us at the Golf Club, which hosts the business networking group that Michelle belonged to for several years:

The weather cooperated, we all shared some memories of Michelle, and we generated some great ideas to put the event on the map for next year ... I'd say that was a success. :-)

I got home yesterday afternoon and Michael wanted to go to the water after two days of working on the boat, so away we went. (Switching tracks here...) -- We got to Clover Point just in time to see this huge bald eagle snacking on the remains of a baby seal (awwwwww....) ...

I just slept for almost 9 hours (unheard of, for me!) so I guess I was tired! Today is Knit'n'Cafe, so I wasn't planning to accomplish much, anyway.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It would have been Michelle's 60th birthday today, and in her honour and memory, a few of us are going on a little car ride in Parksville today. :-)

I may not have the details exactly right, but it seems to have started out like this...

Michelle had been on the board of the Parksville-Qualicum Foundation, and one day she was picked up for a meeting by another woman board member. That woman was driving a convertible, with the top down, and had a huge feather boa around her neck. After Michelle's initial surprise (and delight!), the woman produced another boa for Michelle to wear, and the two of them went off to their meeting -- whooping and hollering and giggling the whole way, I'm sure! Thus began the tradition of the 'Boa Girls', as they called themselves (and others joined them later) -- going for outings in convertibles in full boa regalia.

When Michelle died, the Parksville-Qualicum Foundation set up an endowment fund in her name, and at her request, to raise money for women to take training in alternative healing therapies., which gave Michelle an extra nine years of life's adventures! So that original woman (with the convertible) has proposed that supporters do an annual 'Boa Ride' as a fund-raiser for this endowment fund, and to make it on today's date. Today is the '1st Annual Boa Ride!'

So ... I have neither convertible nor boa, but wild horses couldn't keep me away from this one!

I'll spend the night at my sister's and be home tomorrow. (Oh, and if you feel inclined to donate, you can paypal to me and I'll see that it gets into the Foundation's hands....)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


One of my favorite views in the world is from the anchorage at Cabbage Island, the eastern-most Marine Park in the Gulf Islands. From there, looking north-west, you can see almost all of the southern Gulf Islands in silhouette. I take photos of it every year when we're there (even though it never changes!) because it's so beautiful. Here's a 'dusk' one and a sunset one I've taken in the last few years...

I asked Julie if she could paint that scene for me, and when she was here on Easter weekend, she brought me the result -- to me, it's like a combination of those two photos, and it is stunning, as all of her paintings are!

She did it as a 'triptych', which is three 5" x 7" separate paintings, meant to be hung together. There is a spot over my desk where they will fit perfectly (so that I can look at that view for the 11 months of the year we're not cruising in the Gulf Islands!) and I was going to wait to show them until I got them hung, but we're having trouble finding just the right wood backing we need for them, and I couldn't wait any longer! Aren't they awesome?? You can check out my sister's blog here to see more of her works.

Hailey has called once and emailed twice since she arrived in England, so all's well in her world, and that's a relief for her 'mama.' She says she can see Kensington Palace (which was Princess Di's residence) out her window.

Today is a work day for me so I won't be making much progress on the green shawl or anything else knitting-related ...

Monday, April 12, 2010


I am sometimes completely amazed at people's creativity!

On Friday at Knit'n'Cafe, Renate showed us her capelet, made entirely from handspun (hers and others') and with her own pattern ...

Esther is making 'slouchy' hats, making up her own patterns now, and including bobbles:

And, while we were there, knitting, this woman walked in ... we were like vultures, grabbing her and getting her to sit down with us, and tell us about this jacket:

It was WET FELTED in its entirety, if you please!

And on the weekend, I observed a completely different kind of creativity...

There's two things I keep forgetting to write about. One is that my daughter Hailey is in LONDON, ENGLAND right now, all expenses paid and on a daily not-too-shabby retainer! She is a professional organizer , and has a client who needed serious help moving out of her home there. She flew out on Saturday, and will be gone for 10 days!

I'll tell you the other thing tomorrow. :-)

Friday, April 9, 2010


Yesterday afternoon I rewarded myself for getting lots of work done this week by going to the Thursday spinning group -- I haven't been there for weeks! I didn't take my wheel, so I'm more like a spinning imposter, but it's still fun. We met at Wendy's lovely home in the woods in Metchosin...

... and I worked on my newest shawl, a lovely spring green merino that I've designed myself!
Along with almost 3000 other people, I've joined a Ravelry 'challenge' group called 'Ten Shawls in 2010' so this is shawl #2. It's a quick knit compared to the blue cotton, so I'm lovin' it so far.

Knit'n'Cafe today ... guess I get to reward myself again. It's a hard life....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


My sister Julie with the Mill Bay ferry just coming in in the background...

While we were sitting in Maple Bay, a squall came up and pretty much made the entire bay disappear ... and then we looked up and saw this!

We ended the day (Saturday) with dinner overlooking Cowichan Bay ... but I was cold and hungry and tired by then, and forgot to take any pictures!

On Sunday we knew we'd be cooking the big family dinner at Mischa's, so we didn't want to venture far away -- but we did make our way out to Cordova Bay ...

Julie walked down those stairs to the beach to get some photos while I stayed in the warm and dry van to FINISH the blue cotton shawl I've been working on FOREVER. Here it is in its unblocked fine-ness!

While Julie and I cooked Easter dinner, Michael, Jason and Joshua napped and Mischa and Hailey took the boys to Beacon Hill Park for the annual Easter egg hunt. They took my camera with them...

And, once again, at dinner I never got the camera out!

Oh, well, it was a wonderful weekend all around... Julie left on Sunday evening, and Hailey and Joshua left yesterday morning (Hailey on the Vancouver ferry, Joshua on the up-Island train), and then we had visits yesterday from Mike on Galiano and an old friend, David, from Nanaimo.

I need a day off now. :)