Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Family ...

and fun! I can't imagine Christmas without kids, for sure ... and our friends Carol and Jan and their newest wwoofer, John, joined us for dinner, too.

.... but I'm glad the holiday season is almost over, frankly... lol. It's a lot of work, and a lot of emotions...

We'll go into Victoria today for dinner at Jason's, and *then* we're done. I've already cast on a new non-Christmas knitting project, and a pair of socks for *me.*

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Christmas, to me, has always been magical.

I suppose we celebrate something akin to the 'Christian' version of the holiday, minus the churchy parts. But the magic is in the 'feeling' rather than the theme ... having a heart full of gratitude and peace and love, and being around friends and family who feel the same way is what it's all about, to me. Then add great food, all the lights, the music, and yes, even the 'hustle and bustle' of it all, and the gifts (I listed that item last on purpose), and it's just a really special time for me.

This year, it's even more special because I get to host my family right here for the first time in many years. Hailey's already been here for a week or so, Mischa, River, Gibson and Joe arrived yesterday, Jason and Julie will be here today ... and then 'Galiano' Mike will join us tomorrow, and possibly another old friend, David, from Nanaimo (if his fight with cancer will allow him the energy to travel). Then on the 27th we'll travel to Victoria to have dinner with Jason and Kristin (who is spending the next few days with *her* family), because Joshua is spending Christmas with his mom, but will be down from up-Island for a few days, too.

Yesterday was a flurry of activity decorating the house here on the property -- half of it sits empty, but the 'bottom' half is minimally furnished, so we put up a tree and some lights and added some candles and other Christmasy trinkets, and it's looking pretty festive now! River agrees...
Gibson was playing 'hide-and-seek' so I couldn't get a picture of him!

And even though Christmas can sometimes be stressful with family issues and stuff, it can also be a healing time ... more of that magic I love. I'd like you to meet Clayton ...
Clayton is the 17-year-old son of Michael's younger brother, Paul. Paul and his wife Sandy and Clayton and his big brother Curtis live in Courtenay on Vancouver Island. We've been about a 3.5-hour drive apart for many, many years .... and haven't spoken. I don't need to get into the details, most families have some variation-on-the-theme going on, I'm sure. But a few months ago, Clayton and River connected on Facebook - and Clayton got on a bus several days ago, and came down-Island to spend 'pre-Christmas' time with River. He's been here with us since yesterday .... and what a wonderful young man he is, and now we have a 'bridge' to reconnect with Michael's family. We have no idea what that might look like right now, but it doesn't matter ... some healing has happened here, and that's wonder-full!

I wish you all warmth and love and light and peace and goodness this holiday season ... I have it all, and I couldn't be happier!

Friday, December 23, 2011


That was the headline in this morning's Times-Colonist. You can read the rest of the adorable story here.

I'm not yet cleared for take-off, however; I still have too much knitting to do! I did manage to cross two items off my list yesterday, and this morning I *must* go into town to do all that last-minute shopping I dread every year!

Maybe more later...

Thursday, December 22, 2011


... but this blogging thing is pretty neglected, huh?

I've been knitting like a fiend, of course .... and have hardly anything to show for it, since most of it is for gifts. You can see these really boring beige socks ....
... because our old buddy Mike doesn't have a computer, and won't be checking out my blog. I've finished at least 3 other pairs in the past ten days or so, and a few hats, and a few other 'items,' too.

And today our employers stopped by the marina with this lovely gift basket for us...
... and the KEYS TO THE HOUSE!!! Can you tell I'm excited? We have two huge three-bedroom suites (upper and lower) to play in for the next 4 days, and I can hardly wait --- the family starts arriving tomorrow!

Back to my knitting.... only four pairs of fingerless gloves to go! mwah ha ha

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Esther came over from Victoria yesterday to knit with us Rock Salties, but she got the server to take this picture of the two of us before the others arrived:
Another special guest arrived this morning to have a few 'sleepovers' with us .... you see, Gibson is in kindergarten this year, and school's out but his Mom still has to work -- so he got to come early for Christmas! (River, on the other hand, will be 13 in a few weeks -- how did THAT happen?? -- so he and a visiting cousin are hanging out at home). So .... quality bonding time with 'Auntie' and of course, with his Papa:
It's supposed to dip below freezing tomorrow night, maybe, but the last several days have been beautifully warm. Warm enough that some neighbors were out in their kayaks this morning...
Hailey and Gibson have gone off to Carol's farm to collect eggs and visit the goats, but it's my job to make supper .... a certain little 5-year-old requested Kraft Dinner and weiners, of all things ... I sure hope veggie rice and sausages is a good substitute!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Even with Esther reminding me, I haven't blogged for two days. I'm knitting .... stuff... that I can't tell you about or show you .... 'cuz it's Christmas. So .... later!

HOWEVER.... big news! I'm so excited, because for 14 years (since we moved aboard the Wind Walker) I haven't been able to host Christmas - the boat is roomy enough for two people to live aboard comfortably, but not to host a big family dinner. So we've been mostly at Mischa's since the boys came along, and that's been great. But I miss 'mother henning' my brood on Christmas Day, especially, and having to 'help out' in someone else's kitchen. So .... this year I stuck my neck out a mile, and asked the owners of this property that we are taking care of if I could host my family in the 'big house', because I knew they weren't going to be here. THEY SAID YES!! I'm over the moon about this, I just can't even tell you how much fun it will be for me. :-)

And I have much `smaller` big news, too ... this morning for the first time I put my wool handknit socks on these feet *without* cotton sockies underneath -- and my skin has not been irritated all day! (For those of you who have no idea why this is such good news, you can read what happened to me in September here and here.)

So it`s been a great day all around!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last night's boat parade went great ... in the sense that it was calm and warm, and we had a boatload of enthusiastic friends, and great food. It almost wasn't a parade because it looked like we'd be the only boat.... and at the last minute, a small 'runabout' showed up out of nowhere with a young couple and their three dogs to join us. So we were a small but enthusiastic parade of two whole boats.... but we had lots of fun! I'll have to see if anyone emails me any pics of us....

And today I did the mountain of dishes we created and tidied up the house and stripped and made up one of the beds in the V-berth, because ....
... Hailey's home from Whistler for Christmas!! :-)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Esther sent me a picture she had our server take yesterday when we were knitting at the Rock Salt ... she was telling us to put our hands on our cheeks and pull back a bit so it takes away our wrinkles. Whadya think, did it work? From left to right .... Carol, Shirley, Ester, moi and Bev!
I was able to 'show and tell' one knitted item, finally ... my Debbie Stoller New York hat (with the personal addition of a beaded 'Big Dipper')!
And I've already got another 'mystery object' on the needles (it's Christmas, what can I say? I'll tell you latah)!
I'm having a domestic day today to get ready for our little Christmas cruise this evening.... I'm even DUSTING.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I spent this morning finishing up a hat, and then forgot to take a photo while I still had daylight. ... so you can see the original here, for now.

Then I had to do some housework ... we have company coming tomorrow night and I want the boat to look lovely and Christmas-y -- it's "Festive Friday in Fulford" and, all decked out in our lights, we will be leaving the dock and cruising out around the bay. (Festive Friday is an event in the village that involves live music, hot apple cider, shops open late, etc., and I've sort of tried to get a few of the local boaters interested in doing a Christmas boat parade, but I don't think I convinced anyone).

Doesn't matter -- I'm putting on a big pot of chili in the morning, and some new and old friends will be here, and we're going Christmas cruising, even if we're the only ones! I miss the fun of the Victoria Christmas boat parade, and next year, I hope to plan one here, starting much sooner in the fall.

Then, this afternoon, Esther and Bev came over from Victoria, and Carol and Shirley came from here, and we knit (and Carol and Shirley both do bead weaving) at the Rock Salt for 2 hours. It was lots of fun, and I came home exhausted!

So, n the absence of knitting photos, here's a 'PHOTO OF THE DAY':
This is Sunset over the Gulf Islands from the anchorage in Winter Cove on Saturna Island -- one of our favorite marine parks here.

Here's another (unrelated) photo, just for fun!
Wind-surfing in the Juan de Fuca off Clover Point...

Stars on Ice is on TV tonight, and watching it is how I'll wind down a great day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I forgot to blog yesterday .... arrgggghhhh! I'm really trying to post every day... but I think it is a bit unrealistic, anyway.

First of all, Happy Birthday to my sister Julie .... I won't tell you how old she is, but I will tell you that she's older than me. :)

So we spent yesterday afternoon finishing the neighbor's yard work .... I'm sore today, but the place looks great for her family to come home for Christmas, so we're happy about that.
I FINALLY got a parcel that my pal Grace in New Jersey sent several weeks ago... I'd like you to meet Hope (Grace said 'Everyone needs a little Hope')! ...
Don't worry ... we'll move her if we decide to start a fire in the fireplace! Here she is a little closer up...
Isn't she adorable? Thanks so much, Grace! By the way, if you want to see more of these characters, Grace has been an absolute knitting machine with them this fall .... just scroll back through her blog and check them all out.

For the last several days, there's been a forecast for snow for today, here, but it's pouring rain now, and too warm for snow. The east coast of Vancouver Island, just a few miles away, still has a snow warning. I keep an eye on this webcam to see what's happening over there!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I almost forgot to post today!

Had a great day, starting with going into Ganges this morning to help Mike put Christmas lights up on his boat. Then there was knitting at the Rock Salt with several other women, including Esther who came over from Victoria again. :-) I'm to finishing the socks on the needles, and I've started yet another hat.

But the best part of the day was getting this picture ....
I love this photo! For one thing, that's how clear the water is here.... on the right side of that log the water is at least 10' deep, and you can still see the bottom. And that seagull is one of two who seems to think he's a permanent resident here in the marina, so he's almost like a 'pet' seagull. We were just walking up the dock to go to town when I saw this, and I had to put down my bag, put down my knitting bag, get out the camera, take off my gloves so I could operate it, and get this shot -- all while the sun behind me was disappearing into a cloud, and Michael was already waiting for me in the van.

Tomorrow we have to go back to finish the last of that yard work we started last week... and it's supposed to snow here. I may end up with extra knitting time!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


At last, a knitting success to report ...
It looks lovely, and I'm glad I made one (as in: met the challenge) but what a PITA! I don't think I'll be making any more of them. It measures about 5" across at the widest point, and could easily become a 'corsage', I guess. Now I have to decide .... should I put a cluster of beads in the centre? And if so, should they be green or yellow ... or red?

I'm off to do something that's NOT knitting! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Good thing that the decorating is going well...

... because the knitting isn't! I've frogged another hat twice now, and a poinsettia 'gift topper' has been ripped back twice, too. Net stitches for today: zero.

I did drive in to Ganges, collected our friend Mike from his boat, and take him grocery shopping, though. Got home in time to watch the figure skating Grand Prix final, a bigger priority this Linkweekend, anyway .. I've never been very good at knitting and watching TV, believe it or not. But I love watching figure skating ... no surprise that our favorite Canadian, Patrick Chan, won it!

Now, to get back to decent knitting.... :)

Friday, December 9, 2011


Guess what we're doing today?

I'll get a picture of the results later!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


... when I see one. So today, when I was sitting at the Rock Salt Cafe waiting for other knitters to join me, I noticed this woman come in, take off her coat and sit down at the table next to mine.
"Indeed it is," she said, in response to my query, "but not by me. I commissioned a woman in Seattle to knit it for me." I told her I hoped she paid dearly for it, and she said she did, but had no regrets! It's a Kaffe Facett design, apparently, knit in pure wool, and the woman said she's had it for about 3 years. Pretty amazing design!

I, on the other hand, have no knitting to show you ... I've cast on and frogged a cable-design hat three times today. :(

I do, however, have a little treat for you, courtesy of my Metchosin friend, Wendy. Check this out... . :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Spent a few more hours this afternoon at the Stowell Lake acreage raking and bagging leaves ... which we immediately took to our friends at EcoReality Co-op for their compost.
The sun even came out for us today, so it was lovely!

Other than that, I'm knitting like a mad-woman. Christmas is only a little over two weeks away! Two more hats join the stack ....
I'd like to finish a hat, scarf or pair of gloves every other day from now until Christmas Eve .... wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Today is Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, a time to honour and remember all women who have been killed by violence. From the government website .... "Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.

As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls."

I hope everyone will take some time today to attend a community candlelight vigil or think about/take action on working to stop violence against women.


This morning we went to help a neighbor -- she has a one-acre property on the shore of a little lake nearby, and needed some extra hands to rake up a LOT of leaves. It was fun to work with Michael and to be outside breathing in the fresh fall air.

Home for the day now, all dried off and warmed up .... I have left-overs for supper, so lots of knitting time now! :)

Monday, December 5, 2011


The dictionary definition of 'kismet' is destiny and 'unexpected' or 'delightful surprise' destiny is somewhat alluded to in the full description of the word.

So day before yesterday, when I went out intending to go to the two south-Island craft fairs that were going on (Fulford Hall and Beaver Point Hall), it's no surprise that a sandwich board outside one of them caught my eye, and I followed it. It said "KISMET GALLERY ... just past the hall." I ended up at another one of those 'this-could-only-happen-on-Salt-Spring' kinds of places...
This is the entrance to the 'Kismit Gallery', on an acreage pretty much literally in the middle of nowhere (note the welcoming fire burning in the pot):To the right, this false front separates the gallery from the proprietor's home and private yard:This is the 'outdoor store':Inside, looking out:
More 'gallery' (and that's Carola, the delightful proprietor, in the background):
You can barely see it, but Carola is busy making me a latte in the little coffee shop part of this 'gallery'. And the loveliest surprise of all:
Wouldn't you love to join me for lattes and knitting, right here?

Speaking of knitting ... I've done some. I've looked forever for a knitted snowflake pattern (they all seem to be crocheted) and finally found one:
Once I pinned these out to block them I could see I made some mistakes in the bind-off ... but there's never supposed to be two alike anyway, right? :)

And every year, about this time, I go on a hat-knitting binge. This year's first one is a lovely deep purple color, but the photo doesn't show that very well...
The regular Monday Ganges knitting group had to move somewhere else today because the restaurant where we usually meet is closed for some reason.... so we are meeting at the Rock Salt instead. Works for me, maybe I'll get Mike's socks done!