Tuesday, November 30, 2010


So this is my final posting to fulfill my commitment for NaBloPoMo. I did it!  :)

Here's some knitting to show you....

This is a test knit for a designer in Portland, Oregon, and it's SO much fun. I can't show you the 'product' yet or tell you much more, but what I can tell you is this: every time I think I'm pretty clever, someone like this shows me what true brilliant, creative genius really is!

Oh, and no, I haven't slacked off on the Gratitude Challenge, either. I sent off my 5 notes yesterday, and yesterday's challenge was this:

Try to see the world through the eyes of a child. Think about the things you take for granted on a daily basis, and then express gratitude for everything down to the basic necessities that sustain your current life.

You know what? I already do this, pretty much every day!

Today's challenge:
Pick three friends or family members you see regularly. View their actions and gestures through a positive lens, assuming their goodness and witnessing their best intentions.


I'll let you know tomorrow how that went.  :)

Monday, November 29, 2010


Got back from my little retreat this afternoon -- it was nice, and not long enough.  :) Oh, well, we'll spend three nights on the dock at the Empress this weekend, so that'll be a nice little break, too.

This was the view from my room when I arrived ...

Then I walked over to my favorite restaurant for dinner (this was in Sidney, not sure if I mentioned that) and this was the view en route..

I knit. Stock stuffers for family which I can't show you ... and a delightful test knit project for a designer in Portland, which I also can't show you (yet)!

Now I believe my hubby is waiting for me to finish this so he can take me out for dinner.

Only one more NaBloPoMo day to go!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I have packed enough knitting for at least a week, one change of clothes and my jammies -- and I'm off!

I'm checking in to a nice quiet place out on the peninsula. I decided, since I would have had an extra day to myself in Tofino, if I'd gone, that I would just create that extra day anyway. :-) So the idea was my birthday present to myself -- but at my request, each of our children contributed financially so that amounted to enough money to pay for it.  How fun is that??

I'll be back tomorrow afternoon sometime. With more Christmas knitting DONE.


(Oops, I almost forgot to catch you up on the gratitude challenge. Yesterday's was:
Send thank you notes to five people who deserve a little recognition.
Well, I haven't done it yet, but I have the list of people, and I'm taking those cards with me to finish on this little retreat -- they'll go in the mail on Monday.

And today's challenge is:
Pick one of your five senses to focus on each day. Take note of how many gifts come to you via that single port of entry. Write about this experience.

I started off this morning focusing on smells. River has decided he needs to wear deodorant now, so I became aware of that smell right away. I also noticed the smell of the felt pens that Gibson was coloring with, and the smell of the Christmas present wool blanket as I was weaving in the ends this morning. Then I met Esther for breakfast, and was really aware of all the smells in the restaurant.

Walking home I noticed the smell of the air -- THAT was the 'gift' so far today. Even though I live right downtown, the smell of the air this morning took me right back to being 8 years old and walking the path to my school on a crisp autumn prairie morning!  Lovely ....

Saturday, November 27, 2010


For some reason, I woke up this morning at 3:45 a.m. ... and couldn't get back to sleep. LOTS of knitting happened, which is a good thing -- finished the lap blanket. Then I had to attend the skipper's meeting for this weekend's Lighted Ship Parade in the Inner Harbour. I finally made it down to Clover Point just in time to watch this go by....

This beast looks like an old ferry but apparently it belongs to Fraser River Pile and Dredge; it must have been at the Esquimalt Shipyard, but was leaving the area when I saw it.

When I got home, Penny and Robin came for coffee, and then Jason stopped in for a visit. Then we went to the Santa Claus Parade with Gibson and River, who are having a 'sleep-over' tonight.

Oh, and somewhere in there I did a 45-minute walk along the waterfront -- it was lovely!

Friday, November 26, 2010


For the first time in several days, when I woke up this morning and came out of the aft cabin (that's boat-talk for 'bedroom', by the way) into the salon (that's the nautical word for 'living room', by the way) it was WARM. Yes! It's finally back above freezing!

Yesterday I got about 3" knit on a lap blanket I need to finish for Christmas (only about 6" to go now, so I think I'm good) and printed out a pattern for a test knit pair of Gibson-sized mittens. 

Today is Knit'n'Cafe, and today's Gratitude Challenge is this:
Enjoy the people around you. Take a moment to appreciate their unique talents, abilities and personalities.

I can't think of a better place to do that!

I *was* supposed to go to Tofino (again!) today, but that's been cancelled again -- we'll try again in the spring, I guess. So since I had intended to celebrate an impending birthday there, I think I'll go *somewhere* on Sunday for 24 hours, with a lot of Christmas knitting and a Starbuck's card.

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

We woke up to a blanket of about 3-4" of snow this morning and it's still coming down -- although it has warmed up and Environment Canada swears it'll be rain and slush by noon.

Meanwhile, back to the Gratitude Challenge -- I missed my task yesterday because I was out-and-about most of the day, but I've completed it this morning. The task was:

Take a few minutes to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell them how much you appreciate them.

Well, I called Rosalie, who is hosting the Thursday spinning group today. Rosalie is a sweetie -- she's one of the kindest women I know. I've almost quit going to that group several times now (partly because I'm a spinning imposter, but that's not the only reason). Wendy M (whom I already put on my gratitude word list the other day) and Rosalie make the group what it is, so I told Rosalie today that I'm glad she's in my life.

Come to think of it, I want to tell you ALL -- if you're in my life, in any way, I appreciate you!

Now, today's gratitude challenge was this:
Take a picture of one thing, person, place or specific moment that makes you feel grateful. Share it with your social network.
Since I don't do Facebook and I don't twitter (or tweet or whatever that silly thing is), you're my 'social network.' Or at least you're the online one!

Anyway, the picture that immediately came to mind when I read that was this one:
Unfortunately it's not mine -- someone sent it to me a few year's ago, and I've tried to find the photographer to credit him/her, but had no luck so far. But it IS one of my all-time favorite photos, and shows the Inner Harbour here beautifully. (Our marina is just beyond the one you can barely see behind and to the right of the blue bridge in the photo, and remember that you can click on the photo to see it bigger).

Anyway, I'm SO grateful that I get to live here in Victoria, and on Vancouver Island!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I spent most of the day with Mischa, running errands and doing a bit of Christmas shopping. When I wasn't walking around with her, I was sitting knitting while I waited for her -- got almost half a sock knit!

I just really want to wish my American friends and readers the very best THANKS-giving -- have fun, get stuffed, stay safe!  :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We've lived on our boat for 12 years, and been in the Victoria Harbour for 6-1/2 of them. Yesterday, and through the night was the worst wind/snow storm we've had since we've been in Victoria. And check this out, a first for the Wind Walker:
Those are icicles outside my salon window. Can I just register my surprise -- and displeasure -- one more time? Those are ICICLES hanging off my boat. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined ever seeing that! But it made it to -5C last night, and with the windchill, almost -20, apparently (that would be -4 Fahrenheit, by the way).

People often ask us, when they find out we live aboard, 'but aren't you cold?' Well, we're usually warmer than most folks, given that we have less than 300 sq ft to heat ... but the exception is when it goes below zero and gets windy at the same time. This is, after all, an old wooden boat, so she gets drafty.

That's how it was yesterday, and in spite of having a wood stove and two heaters on, I went to bed cold. (So in light of yesterday's gratitude challenge I thanked the universe for making me appreciate the warmth of my bed, and said a little extra prayer for all those folks who don't have one...)

I'm not particularly domestic (stop laughing, those of you who know me), but yesterday I made cabbage rolls for the first time in my life, that's how traumatized I was. :) And knit an entire pair of plain black merino fingerless gloves.

Today I'll be braving the elements and going OUT in it. At least the wind has calmed down ... but it's still ccccold out there.

Today's Gratitude Challenge:
Take five minutes to write about how grateful you are for all of the wonderful things that you currently have in your life. Don’t long for what you don’t possess — instead, take stock of all the blessings you already enjoy.

Okaaay ... haven't I been doing this all week?  :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010


(Scroll down for the first one)!

You *knew* I would put off posting the answer to today's Gratitude Challenge:
Write a short message of thanks for some of the “negative” things in your life.

Just kidding -- the truth is, I've sat here for 20 minutes trying to think of something negative enough to bother writing about. I could whine about my old fridge that makes funny noises and keeps some things too cold; I could whine about the fact that we just installed our third hot water tank in 3 years; I could whine about half a dozen 'little' things, but none of them is bugging me today.

I do get the point of the exercise though ... for example, becoming an alcoholic by the age of 25 (maybe sooner, but that's when I got around to accepting it) was pretty negative at the time -- but thanks to that, I've had 30+ years in recovery and a life beyond my wildest dreams as a result. It's true that negative things in our lives can turn out to be pretty positive -- or just teach us lessons along the way. Right now the biggest negative in my life (which I skimmed over a few days ago when I took on this challenge) IS teaching me - or trying to! - patience and ACCEPTANCE.

There are some things over which I have absolutely no control ... and that's a good thing.  :)


.. for many of you, but for us here in Victoria, guess what it's doing right now?

I'm still in my jammies (two days in a row!) and I have knitting to do and cooking to do and dishes to do  -- it's a perfect domestic day! :)

*Edited 5 minutes later to add this screen shot from the Dallas Road webcam:
(That could even be Penny and Robin's Honda SUV about to pull out there)!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I've been intending to post to my blog all day today, and the day just keeps getting away! Funny thing is, I never got out of my jammies until at least noon.  :-)

I had a disconcerting experience this afternoon .... I was on my way to do grocery shopping, and it was cold and miserable, so I thought I'd stop at the Starbuck's en route and get a hot cup of my favorite orange blossom tea. I parked and got out of the van, and just as I reached the door of Starbucks, I heard "Hi, Grandma" from behind me. I turned and there was River! That coffee shop happens to be right across from the skateboard park, which he is now old enough to go to on the bus by himself, but it was just a weird 'bittersweet' moment -- I'm kind of sad that he's growing up so fast, but I was tickled to run in to my grandson unexpectedly. So I treated him to a hot chocolate and a cookie (funny, he's not too old for that!) and we sat in the van and chatted until Jeff came to pick him up ... which meant that I got to have a little visit with Gibson, too, so that was nice.

Got the grocery shopping done and headed to Clover Point but it was already dusk, so I didn't stay long. Just long enough to get this amazing photo (which you can click on to see bigger -- I even got the 'man in the moon' this time):

Today's gratitude assignment is:
Write about something you feel grateful for in your life today.

Are you kidding? I'll miss the NaBloPoMo deadline to get this published before midnight EST if I start! I'm so grateful for so many things. If I just focus on today, then I'd have to say i'm grateful for River -- he'll be 12 years old in a few months, and he's a delightful 'young man' now. Deep voice and all, already!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


... but it's all around us, apparently. The Malahat was closed last night for a time, and both Michael on Galiano and Monica on Mayne have checked in to say that they've got lots of it (and Monica was without power, as well).

We just got wind. Lotsa wind. For the third time since I commented a week or so ago that we hadn't had any windstorms to speak of. The forecast is still for snow, so it may happen yet ... but I'm skeptical, personally.

Meanwhile, I have finished a pair of socks that I can show you -- oh, yay. :)
(No, Esther, they are not identical -- I actually prefer fraternal twins, to be honest)!

My gratitude challenge for today was ...

Use the alphabet as a fun and quick format for making a list of things for which you feel grateful. Share this list with your social network through email, a blog post or a Facebook or MySpace page.

Well, I immediately started thinking of long lists of words, so I decided to limit myself to just 3 of each letter of the alphabet: 






Chris Craft






















Needles (knitting, that is)




Penny (and Robin)














Wind Walker
Wendy (McD and M)


Xmas (I know, that’s cheating… a little)




Zinc (keeps electrolysis from harming wooden boats!) 

That was fun!  :) 

Friday, November 19, 2010


I was catching up on reading some of my favorite blogs last night, and came across the gratitude challenge.

Now, I'm generally pretty grateful -- I know I have an amazing life, and I'm thankful every day for that.

But lately, I've been feeling negative about just *one* thing going on in my life, and it's amazing how that negativity can affect other things pretty quickly. So this gratitude challenge came along at the perfect time to get me 'back on track!'

Here's the contract, and here's my public statement of *my* intentions:

With a hopeful outlook, I, Marilyn G, promise to fulfill the terms of The Gratitude Challenge. Over the next 21 days, I pledge to complete the
activities on my gratitude calendar, including writing journal entries, taking
photos and connecting with friends. I promise to take note of life’s little blessings and to give thanks for the relationships, experiences and opportunities that make my life unique. From this day forward, I commit to living on the brighter side of life.

Here's the Day One challenge:
Today you start The Gratitude Challenge. Sign the contract and make a commitment to take note and give thanks for the next 21 days. Express why you accepted this challenge and what you hope to achieve from it.

I think I just did that. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I've pretty much had a play day today -- almost finished the socks on the needles, but then had to drive Mike back out to the ferry ... going home to Galiano again for a few days. I decided to treat myself to a latte, and then knit my way home, so I stayed parked at the ferry for a bit, then drove back in to Sidney and parked at the waterfront there for awhile. Then I remembered that the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula was having a Christmas show show and sale at their space, so I went and checked that out!

Then I drove south to Island View Road, stopped at the market there for veggies for supper, then drove to Island View Beach. Knit some more, and then went for a looong walk along the shore and back to my van -- it was lovely. (By the way, I've been walking *almost* every day for two weeks now, and hope to keep doing that 5 out of 7 days a week). This was my view ... the Darcy Islands to the south ...
 ... and James Island to the north....
When I got home, Michael was outside bailing out the inflatable (it's rained a LOT lately!) and giving it a pump-up so we could go for a ride. That was even more lovely -- our local tall ship....
 ... and the little harbour ferries (they call them 'happy boats') were all tucked in for the winter...
 It was a great idea but we got cold pretty quick and came home.

Now I have to finish those socks, and get another pair on the needles -- Weavers and Spinners meeting tonight!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


** I'm participating in NaBloPoMo, so I'm committed to posting something to my blog every single day in November... wish me luck. :-) Since some days it's difficult to think of things to write about, I decided it would be fun to ask YOU for your ideas.

Now's your chance ... if there's something you'd like to know more of about me -- regarding the liveaboard lifestyle, my passion for all things fibre, what it's like to be a grandma, living in Victoria, whatever -- leave me a comment with your question, and that will give me (hopefully) some 'subject fodder' for the month.**

I've noticed that many bloggers do something they call 'wordless Wednesday.' Now, those of you who know me know that I have *never* been at a loss for words, ever, so I think a wordless Wednesday would be a stretch ... but I have pretty much nothing to report today! Yesterday I did some knitting I can't tell you about and some writing I can't tell you about, and I'll probably do more of the same today!

So I found this little blog toy to entertain you ... it's called a 'wordle.'

If you google 'wordle' you can make your own! (I can see using this to make my own personalized greeting cards...) 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


We got hit with another one last night which is still banging us around as I type ... the wind is still hitting Ogden Point at over 30 kts right now. Lots of trees down, power outages, etc. - the Times-Colonist story is here.

(As I was writing that, a marina tenant called to tell us that the big wrought-iron gate at the marina entrance, which we couldn't get locked last night for some reason, had blown 'down' and off of its hinges. Looks like Michael's work is cut out for him this morning....)

So I'm going to stop telling you when we're leaving to transport Mike's boat over to Galiano, since it's changed so many times now. I'll post 10 minutes before we LEAVE, I think -- which now looks like it could be Thursday or Friday!

Yesterday, in among several errands, I got to spend some time with the boys and Mischa -- Mischa wants to re-learn to knit, which is pretty cool since she's the only one of my three kids who's ever shown any interest -- so she and I and Gibson went to KnottybyNature and picked out some wool for some legwarmers she wants to make, and then I ended up picking Riv up after school and hanging out with him for a bit. River is in 'middle school' now and Gibson is in daycare 4 days a week -- so Riv has more freedom than ever and sure doesn't need us as much. And daycare is really good for Gibson, who has hardly been around other kids, but we miss him -- so yesterday was a nice treat.

Mischa will knit these legwarmers, with a bit of extra ribbing top and bottom ...

It's a free Lion Brand pattern called 'Londonderry', but we picked up some lovely Mirasol Hachu hand-dyed yarn in 100% merino that should knit up perfectly.
I got her started by casting on and doing the first round or two, now she'll carry on. I'd love it if she caught the knitting bug -- Mischa and I are often 'at loggerheads' so it's something we could do together.  :)

Monday, November 15, 2010


Well, it's been a few days of surprises and things to celebrate, so this morning I'm so excited to add one more .... my cowl pattern, my first-ever published pattern, is finally available on Ravelry! 
Hope you'll take a look at it, at least, and if you're not interested, pass the word to anyone you think might be. It's the Around the Salish Sea Cowl and I'm so glad it's done, done, done!

Today will be a busy day doing all the last-minute things (again!) before we go cruising to Galiano tomorrow. Sure hope the weather forecast stays true this time, and that we have no further troubles with the boat...

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Since we're not leaving on the cruise now until Tuesday, I once again drove Mike out to the ferry to go back to Galiano for the day tomorrow. When I dropped him off, I picked up a copy of the Gulf Islands newspaper, Island Tides, and there were two articles on the front page that were pretty interesting.

Click on the lovely lamb in the hot pink sweater for the first one, and then the next article is all about new tanker shipping rules in our local waters, the Salish Sea. I parked at my favorite viewpoint in Sidney, but never got a single stitch knitted, I just read the whole paper!


My friend Esther says she likes this picture of me better...
Like I said, to me it just feels weird, but they say I'll get used to it!

Meanwhile, it looks like tomorrow's trip to Galiano is put off again until Tuesday -- the wind is supposed to blow up to 40 kts westerly tomorrow! Today I'm doing not much of anything -- working on the lap blanket still, and a pair of socks, both of which should be finished on that trip -- if we ever get gone.  It's gray and dreary and misty-rainy, so after I take River home this morning, I think the Laz-E-Boy will be calling. More later!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I was down at Clover Point this afternoon, and met Najla and her hubby, from Kuwait -- they've been here for a year, studying English, and may be heading back to their home within the next month or so. I really enjoyed watching them enjoying feeding the pigeons!

So... I have a few surprises to share with you. If you've never met me, you wouldn't know that I've been waiting for over a year to be able to afford dentures -- and, thanks to two of my friends (you know who you are, and how grateful I am!) I now have my upper dentures.

I feel weird, weird, weird, but good, to have them!

And I was going to save this for another blog entry, but since I'm into surprises now, I'll just say it. A year ago this week I stopped chewing my nails -- for the first time in over 50 years, I now have fingernails. THAT doesn't feel weird, it just feels GREAT!

River is here for dinner, and so is 'Galiano Mike' so not much else to tell you today. We'll leave for Galiano on Monday morning with the boat!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Living really close to Value Village is a blessing AND a curse, but once in awhile  I find a real gem. This little black case is the current one:
 It's vinyl (wipes clean easily!) and measures, folded up, about 10" square; it has a carrying handle like a purse. There's an embedded mirror inside the top, so I imagine that it as meant to be a make-up bag .... but look how perfect it is for all things 'knitting'! There's a zippered compartment you can't see that holds a ton of pattern pages, and there's room where you see the little wooden bowl (for beading when I'm knitting) for at least two skeins of yarn, so it could carry a WIP, too.

The cost? $2.99!

** I'm participating in NaBloPoMo, so I'm committed to posting something to my blog every single day in November... wish me luck. :-) Since some days it's difficult to think of things to write about, I decided it would be fun to ask YOU for your ideas! Now's your chance ... if there's something you'd like to know more of about me -- regarding the liveaboard lifestyle, my passion for all things fibre, what it's like to be a grandma, living in Victoria, whatever -- leave me a comment with your question, and that will give me (hopefully) some 'subject fodder' for the month.** 

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Unbelievable, the whole event. I didn't mention the other day that the reason we bought the tickets was to celebrate Michael's 32-years-of-sobriety birthday day before yesterday.

First of all, it was held in the Victoria Conservatory of Music's Alix Goolden Hall, which I'd never been to before. Here's a bit of the history, and more here; Jason tells me that the pipe organ is the biggest in Canada, apparently.

 It was billed as an 'acoustic evening with Michelle Wright, so there was only her lead guitar player and piano player ... very close, very intimate, and we got FRONT ROW SEATS - we were less than 6' away from the front of the stage!!

See that poppy? Well, it fell off of her lapel at some point, and Michael got up, picked it up and passed it back to her -- she KISSED him on his forehead! The woman sitting next to me got a video of the whole thing (I didn't recover in time, it all happened so fast!), and as soon as she emails it to me, I'll post it here.

I got a video of a song she did, but for some reason I'm having trouble uploading it here. It was amazing, though .... at some point, Michelle mentioned that she had a special guest in the audience, a special Olympian dancer who had performed with her years ago in Toronto during the Winter Games there. She invited him up on stage to just hang out with her during the song, and invited him to dance if he wanted to. He did, and it moved most of the audience to tears, and then got him a standing ovation. If I can figure it out, I'll get it uploaded here, too! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Right after I commented that we had only one this fall, we got hit with a huge one yesterday -- up to 50 kt winds! I made it Clover Point for a little while and it was lovely:

Even this helicopter came over for a look ...
I've been on the fly today and trying to get the Guild newsletter done and out, but I may have to quit early -- we're off to see Michelle Wright tonight!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BEST LAID PLANS and all that...

Well, we made it out of the harbour yesterday morning, and about half way to Clover Point, before the engine exhaust started smoking like crazy and we could smell rubber burning. We slowed right down and limped back in to the marina before lunch!

Mike and my Michael and a shipwright here on the dock worked on the boat yesterday, and got *that* problem all sorted (this is after 4 days of sorting *other* problems so that we could go), so we'll try again later this week. Mike had to get home to Galiano on the ferry last night, and Michael and I have tickets to a concert here tomorrow night, so maybe Thursday ....

Here's the boat Mike bought ...
It's a 30' 1950 Monk design, and it's palatial compared to the 24' Double Eagle he's been living on for 3 years now. If we can ever get it over to his dock in Whaler Bay, it'll be a lovely home for him!

I'm doing lots of Christmas knitting now, so may not be able to show too much -- I'll post pics as I can. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010


And we're off! It's about a 6 - 8 hour cruise to Whaler Bay, and the red line shows our route (click the image to see it bigger) .... just inside the US border, and then east through Active Pass, out around the east side of Galiano and then in to Whaler Bay off Georgia Strait.

We expect to arrive before supper, and we'll spend the night and then 'walk on' the ferry to come home tomorrow.

I've got a half-finished pair of socks on the needles, yarn enough for another whole pair, and a 1/3-finished lap blanket -- think that'll be enough knitting? :-}

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Usually, fall colors in Victoria are a very 'fleeting' thing. For one thing, the Pacific North-West has far more evergreen than deciduous trees. But what also happens is that the leaves start to turn, and within a week or two gales will blow in off the Juan de Fuca, and the trees will be bare before we've had a chance to appreciate them.

Not this year. There's only been one sort-of serious wind storm this fall, and it was before most of the leaves had turned. So, while we certainly have our share of this...
... we also have this ....

... and I, for one, am just delighted! (What can I say? I grew up in the prairies where autumn is always much more 'pronounced)!

On my walk yesterday I also saw this...
 ... and this ...
 ... and this...

(I'm calling this last one 'The Rebel' ... can you see  why?)

It was a lovely fall day, and we seem to be having another one today. Tomorrow Michael and I are cruising to Galiano Island to help our friend Mike take his new (old wooden) boat home to Whaler Bay. We hope to leave with the outgoing tide at about 9:00 a.m. and be in Whaler Bay by 4:00 pm. I'll post tomorrow morning before we leave, and then not again until we're home sometime on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to lots of knitting time while these two old f____ do most of the steering.

(Want to hear something funny? Mike is 73 and has worked on tugboats off and on for years, my Michael is 60, and has grown up on this coast and on pleasure boats of all kinds -- and I'll be the only one on board with a skipper's license)!