Posted by: Kate | July 23, 2014

Feature Photo: Traffic at Night

cruise ship night traffic

Cruise ships pass through Discovery Passage regularly, especially on summer nights. This photo was taken Canada Day, while we were waiting for the fireworks to start.

Posted by: Kate | July 20, 2014

Carvings 2014

The Transformations on the Shore carving competition heralds summer around here. It is always held the week-end closest to Canada Day, and the sound of chainsaws and the smell of fresh sawdust will forever make me think of the beginning of summer. This year’s creations did not disappoint – these are some of my favourites.











Amazing work, and a great west coast art celebration!

Posted by: Kate | July 17, 2014

Green Cables

I finished these gloves almost three weeks ago, and even took the pictures, but never got around to posting them. I love them, and think I have enough lovely yarn left (thanks again, Kathy!) to make a cowl as well.

cabled mitts2

cabled mitts3

cabled mitts4


The pattern is Serpentine Mitts. Even did a left and right mitt, which I don’t usually bother with. Followed the pattern aside from adding a little more length to the top ribbing and on the thumb ribbing.

Love these!

Posted by: Kate | July 16, 2014

First Jam!

We ran out of home-made jam this year, mostly because there was no blackberry harvest last year. It was a little traumatic to have to buy jam. So it was with some relief that I made the first batch of this year’s jam.

str-rhub jam


Strawberry-rhubarb jam, all fruit from the garden.

Apricot jam is next on the list, and something else with rhubarb as I have a lot of it this year. Maybe raspberry rhubarb as I don’t think my raspberry harvest will be enough for a full batch on its own (we need to eat some of the berries as well, after all).

Feels so good to get some jars in the pantry!

Posted by: Kate | July 13, 2014

Escape to Victoria

Whenever we visit Victoria we get a little nostalgic, Mr. Kate and I. We met at high school there, our son was born there. I grew up there, so the beaches and the landscape are a part of my childhood. They echo in my heart with memories of my youth.

A perfect summer escape, if only for a couple of days.

victoria july1

victoria july2

victoria july3

(Photos were taken with my Ipod , a fourth gen, as I left my camera at home. It felt awful to be without it on such a beautiful week-end!!)

I have so many updates – jam has been made, vegetables from the garden are being eaten, projects have been knitted and gifted, summer has arrived. But my desk is full of editing and my garden needs watering and the job needs doing and summer is here….so I’ll check in when I can!


Posted by: Kate | July 6, 2014

Swept by Passion or Keep Cool?

I was recently taken to task a little for the amount of reading I do. Apparently it is too much in some people’s eyes. The conversation got me thinking about the difference between feeling passion and playing it cool.

I was brought up to be quiet, to not boast,to always think others are more interesting. I didn’t do very well at quiet, but I paid a price for that in the disappointed looks and the being sent away from a room where adults were talking. I was told more times than I care to think that I needed to not speak up. I was also told, a lot, to get my nose out of a book. Reading was encouraged and a good thing to do, but not to excess. Not to the point of absorption.

These comments stayed with me for a long time, even as a young adult. I was hesitant to achieve not because of a fear of failure but because it might be construed as boasting. I would stop myself from reading because I could hear someone telling me to get outside on such a nice day. I didn’t promote my expertise for a long time, because someone was likely to tell me I was wrong.

In the end, of course, personality wins out. I know no other way to read. I get swept away in a story – I cry, I laugh out loud, I get angry. Although I don’t completely disengage with those around me while reading, I can be hard to pull away from a good book. My boys know this, they tease me about it, gently, but don’t get in the way of me finishing a book. (I did put down novels for a number of years when my son was young, as I knew he needed my full attention. I still read of course, but interesting non-fiction that I found easier to put down and pick up at a later moment, stealing a page of reading here or there when I could.)

A facade of coolness was what I was expected to achieve. Read, but not voraciously. Speak intelligently, but not too passionately. Be smart, but not too smart. Meet all the societal norms with grace and good humour.

There are people who are naturally that way, and are so obviously comfortable in that coolness. I admire those people, and appreciate their ability and their effortless way of making people feel good around them while admiring them at the same time.

I am not one of those people. I love to debate. I love to get so caught up in a discussion that we don’t notice the light fade around us. I love to read. I love to be so swept away in a story that I can’t emerge until it’s over. I like to laugh out loud. I cry, easily and readily. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and coolness has never really been in my repertoire.

It’s taken me time to get comfortable with these parts of me, and the recent conversation reminded me that I can still be made to feel uncomfortable with who I am. I didn’t like that, and so I am putting it out here for anyone to read.

This is me.

Posted by: Kate | July 1, 2014

Oh Canada!

Today is Canada Day. Not quite a long week-end, but Bushboy and I did take my mum camping on the week-end past, so I thought I’d share those photos (Mr. Kate had a motorcycle course to attend, so he was off having his own adventure). They are representative of everything we love about this country….

We went to Malcolm Island, where we once saw the orcas rub on a beach. There were no orcas spotted on this trip, but every day saw at least one humpback whale spouting, and dolphins swimming by. The weather was overcast as is typical for the northern Vancouver Island region, but there was only a small amount of drizzly rain.


view from the campsite at Bere Pt Regional Park


typical tall coastal cedar tree


seagulls resting on a log


Pultney Pt lighthouse – still manned





A bald eagle – Bushboy took this picture



cruise ship traffic is heavy through the summer, if you’ve been on a boat to Alaska you’ve been by Malcolm Island



the view of Malcolm Pt on the last day when the sun poked out




lots of fishermen out every day

Happy Canada Day – get out and explore this amazing country!

Posted by: Kate | June 25, 2014

Feature Photo: Garden Friend

“Hey Mom, come take a picture of this!”


Never lose that sense of wonder.

Posted by: Kate | June 20, 2014

Mid June Garden

These were taken June 13:

June 13 garden1


June 13 garden2

Columbine (aquilegia)

June 13 garden3


June 13 garden4


June 13 garden5


June 13 garden6


Posted by: Kate | June 15, 2014

Getting Schooled

[As I write this the BC school system is on the brink of a province-wide general strike after three weeks of rotating strikes. The teachers have voted overwhelmingly to walk out completely, starting on the 17th. Apparently there is bargaining happening all week-end, although neither side is providing updates. Perhaps this will be over before Tuesday.]

I am hesitant to write this, as I have friends who are wonderful teachers, and whom I respect and like. But I have a right to my opinion and with all the time I have spent at various education meetings, I do believe I have some insight as well.

I am so frustrated both as a parent and as an advocate for education, by this situation. I am tired of being told what to think, by both sides. I am tired of being told who is right, and how if I’m not with them I’m against them. I’m tired of having numbers twisted and my emotions manipulated.

Here is what it boils down to. The teachers in this province would like a wage increase. They would like smaller classes. They would like better class composition (meaning tighter restrictions on numbers of children with high individual needs per class without aides). They would like more specialist teachers.

The government has said the amount of money it would cost to fund these requests is simply not available. They have offered wage increases less than what the teachers want, and are not willing to talk publicly about the other requests it seems. There is no question the government has bargained in bad faith in the past and is not friendly to the teachers’ union.

I am not in disagreement, in principal, with any of the things the teachers want. I simply ask that it be acknowledged that all of these things would mean more money in the pockets of more teachers. It does not mean, as some teachers are trying to imply, more supplies for the classroom. It does not mean better computers, more library books, new text books, art supplies, photo copy paper or any of those other things required to run a school. It does not mean more playground equipment or sports equipment. It does not mean new blackboards or smart boards, it does not mean new chairs and tables. Granted, many of these classroom supplies come out of the pockets of teachers. And many of the things on that list come from the pockets of parents either directly or through PAC fund raising. More teachers and more classrooms, means more janitors and more desks and more demands on the system. Where does the funding come for those things? These are questions that need to be asked.

I have spent more than enough time in a classroom helping to have great respect for many teachers. I see that they care, and that they are tired of seeing children get lost in the system. I applaud their advocacy for those children and share their frustration in a system that seems to be overwhelmed.

I also know that the rest of the school community – the administrators, the support staff, the board office staff and the trustees – are also fighting for more support and funding for our education system. There is more than one solution to this problem, and it will take everyone hearing all suggestions to solve it.

Because there’s the rub. The school system in this province is in need of more funding, there is no question about that. The question is, who should make those decisions about more funding, and where should it go? There aren’t unlimited resources, as much as the teachers’ union would have us believe otherwise. And when the union starts manipulating numbers as much as the government, then they all lose my confidence. Yes, the number of teachers is quite down from 2005. So are the number of students – quite noticeably (in our district alone it went from 8,000 to about 5,000 in six years, and is still slightly dropping) which thus would mean fewer teachers needed. When I see ads and press releases about how terrible this government is for cutting teachers, then I start to question what else the union PR team is trying to manipulate.

So here we stand, the teachers saying all parents should be standing with them as this is the education of our children we are talking about, and if we aren’t with them then we are for the government. The government saying it can’t afford the demands of the teachers and tax payers will shoulder the burden. And a whole lot of people who care deeply about the education system once again left on the sidelines, watching the two school yard toughies knock each other about and wondering when we can get back to talking about the whole community, not just the two loudest members.

**I fully respect everyone’s right to an opinion on this matter, and welcome healthy discussion. But considering the heated nature of this situation, please keep it respectful. And remember, this is my opinion on my own blog.**

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