Posted by: Kate | May 24, 2016

Outdoor Therapy

The May long week-end couldn’t have come at a better time. Camping with friends on our anniversary week-end was exactly the right way to mourn a little and remember Chika in a place he would have loved.

Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is a large campground, and it was full for the first big camping weekend of the year. But it was still fun, and like all park campgrounds it settled down nicely at night.

We sat around the campfire a lot. Ate s’mores. Walked to some amazing waterfalls. Did some geocaching (treasure hunting that delighted the three year old member of the group). Had an ice cream and visited a used book store. Talked into the night with good friends.

Camping – always good for the soul. Breathe deep.

Posted by: Kate | May 20, 2016

The Sharing of Joy to Get Over the Sad

We were camping on Hornby Island in the summer of 2004 when a most fortunate series of meetings led us to the beauty that was Chika. From the moment he arrived at our campsite at 8 weeks old, he was a dog who just wanted to make sure his family was content. He wasn’t highly spirited, he didn’t want to play tons of games, he didn’t whine and bark to get attention. He just watched us oh so carefully, and made sure all was right with his family’s world.

chika puppy

Chika at four months

We were told in no uncertain terms that sheep dogs such as Chika (Australian Shepherd with some Border Collie thrown in) would not go in water. But we were a family that did, so Chika got over his hesitation and joined us. As he got older, he wouldn’t go in the water when we were in, as he had to watch over his family. Only once we were out would he go in. But once he was in water, any water, he was the most joyful creature you have ever seen.

chika camping

Chika watching his family in the water

chika stick

the only time Chika would play fetch was in the water

Everywhere we went with Chika, people commented on how beautiful he was. Literally every time I walked him someone said, “Wow, what a gorgeous dog!” He was pretty, and yet completely oblivious to the attention.

chicka snow

Oh those freckles!

Chika would have been 12 in another month. I like to think he lived a good life, although I often thought he was too good a dog for us. He made it so easy, never complaining about getting a walk or needing out or wanting attention. He was just there, giving his unconditional support as only dogs can and content to be a part of his family. That is what Chika gave me more than anything, an understanding of both pure joy and pure contentment. That he shared that with me means everything.

chika four

A happy dog

In the end, like many big dogs, cancer caught him and caught him quickly. He went downhill before our eyes and in the end we had to make the right decision for him. He didn’t complain, not once, even when getting up was hard and he was likely in discomfort. Yesterday was his last day with us, and it was quiet and dignified and then it was over.

He was a great dog.


Posted by: Kate | May 15, 2016

Be Active Update

One of the ways I am trying to be active this year is in reaching out to friends. This is hard for introverts, I can happily spend the weekends reading my books, knitting and hanging out with my boys and frankly need to do a lot of that to recharge my batteries before another work week. But I do value my friendships, so I’m putting effort into making those calls.

This being the year to ‘be active’ I’m connecting with friends in the best way I know how – walking outside. A double ‘be active’ score.

 Double win, in other words.

Posted by: Kate | May 11, 2016

Spring Summer

May has been a lot more like summer than spring, with lots of warm, sunny days. 

That means walking by the water more as well as hanging out or working in the garden. 

Evening walks are getting later, thanks to more light. We are eating from the garden already – rhubarb, chives, parsley and pac choi.

The sciatica is still there; I’m working long days. But… The sun is shining and I live here.

Posted by: Kate | May 6, 2016

Friday Quote

Pushing the calico scarf off my head, I felt the greasy slick of my short hair. It had grown since leaving Mrs. Wentworth’s, but was nowhere near being an acceptable length, especially for a whore.

Miss Everett let out  a frustrated sigh. “You sold it, I suppose?”

“Yes ma’am,” I said, stacking yet another lie, neat and close to the rest, like sticks bundled for burning.

~The Virgin Cure, Ami McKay

While The Birth House was my favourite of Ami McKay’s books, I enjoyed the Virgin Cure for her use of language. She has a way of story telling that really appeals to me, and a big part of that is her ability to quietly use language to tell hidden stories and create startlingly vivid imagery.

Posted by: Kate | April 26, 2016

Out in the Trails

We are so fortunate that we have many, many trails to choose from in our town. Sunday, after some time spent planting, Mr. Kate and I  went and walked one of my favourites.

It takes us along a tributary or two of the Campbell River and then opens up to the estuary. I like coming at the ocean from behind the river, so to speak. There are islets and inlets along the way, and you don’t even realize the ocean is out there until the farthest point of the walk when you look across to the spit that separates the estuary from the ocean.

April 24 walk2

The area has been reclaimed, as this was a hard-working river in the 1900s, acting as a log dump and transportation hub for a lot of resource activity on the north end of the island as well as the central coast. The local Greenways group is still working on it, and they have created an amazing space in an industrial area of town.

April 24 walk1

My friend and I sometimes pick blackberries here in the summer, and have come across a bear while doing so. Most of the time we just come across a lot of dogs, as it is a popular dog walking trail.

April 24 walk3

I like that it is still a working estuary. It is safer, and healthier, and cleaner, but it is still a working space. That is so true for this resource town we live in where nature is as loved.

(Do you see nature at the top of the crane? I’ll give you a better look. I don’t have a strong zoom lens, so it’s still small, but you can see it.)April 24 walk4

Love being out on the trails with my guy on a simple Sunday afternoon. Breathing, absorbing, observing, talking. Living outside where I belong.

Posted by: Kate | April 19, 2016

Blooming Beauty

Spring is here in a big way. Lawns are being mowed ( thanks to Bushboy), dandelions are bringing yellow to the boulevards, and trees and shrubs are bursting.

The fruit trees are all blooming in the back yard. Pear above, cherry and apple below.

Peas and pac choi are up in the garden and the rhubarb continues its attempts at backyard domination.

I can tell spring is early – the lilacs are already blooming!

I still feel overwhelmed when I look at the garden, but little by little I’m taking control. I haven’t given up yet.

Another clean corner. The rest will come.

Posted by: Kate | April 11, 2016


We took a little time this week-end to do some exploring down island. Bushboy went to a concert with his aunt while Mr. Kate and I enjoyed some free time, some dinner out (both on our own and then the next night with good friends), and did some sight-seeing in areas we don’t usually visit.

First up was Cowichan Bay, where we had a lovely dinner at a waterside restaurant. This is a quaint little west coast village on southern Vancouver Island, with houseboats and little seaside cottages. The sunset was beautiful.




The next day we went to the Kinsol Trestle. What a great walk and historic site!





Love this island and that there is so much to explore right here at home.

Posted by: Kate | April 5, 2016

Books and Knits

Read The Martian this week-end. I’d seen the movie already and really liked it, so was cautious about reading the book. A colleague convinced me to give it a go. So glad she did! I really enjoyed it, laughed out loud a lot and was impressed at how well the movie captured the essence of the book. Lots of science but also a good, fun adventure read.


Along with Bushboy’s blanket which I knit on at night, I am finally working on sock 2 of my Wanida Socks. Loving this pattern (by Cookie A.) and the colours of this yarn (Nova Yarn). Made it to the heel on Sunday!

What are you knitting and reading?

Posted by: Kate | April 3, 2016

Week-ends Are For….

Garden fever has hit! We are having a mild early Spring, which means lots of garden time. 

I find it hard to manage my time well when this happens. When you only have two days in the week-end it is hard to fit all that you want to do, plus the chores and errands that you should do. 

Book-keeping, house cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry… When there are gardens to dig, socks to knit, walks to take and books to be read?!

How do you manage your week-ends?

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