Posted by: Kate | July 21, 2016

Carving in Fresh Air

The sun has come back out so I went down to look at the finished carvings. Some had already been moved but my favourites were still there.

Poseidon won first place in the professional division and it is easy to see why. The attention to detail is amazing!

There were a number of eagle depictions. I always love these as they are so fitting for our area. The carvings just look like they belong.

Every year there is a bench. Love this year’s version!

The carving competition is a perfect presentation of our community. Chainsaws and big logs, beachside, and beautiful art. Resource workers and artists have long co-existed on this island.

Art in fresh air.

Posted by: Kate | July 17, 2016

Driving Miss Kate

Bushboy got his Learner’s permit in June so we are deep into the driving lessons. He is a very good driver and I have discovered that I love driving with him.

This could have gone another way, he could have decided he didn’t want me telling what to do And been surly about driving with me. 

He has said he likes driving with me as well. Another quiet parenting moment I had to pause and recognize.

Posted by: Kate | July 3, 2016

Small Pleasures

While there is no doubt something about a breathtaking experience that resonates (the Grand Canyon at sunset will forever live in my brain) life does not generally provide those moments on a regular basis. But if you’re lucky, and lift your head from your daily path and open your heart, then small pleasures can find you at any moment.

A friend of mine who has been far away for 8 long years knocked on my door last night. I knew she was on her way but what struck me was how good it was to have her in arm’s reach again. To know I could call and she might be able to see me that day. That connection. And to know she was just as happy to have that again.

When I walk by the lavender that lines the driveway I can hear the bees. I stopped and counted the other evening – there were 16 of them just on one plant.

I learned a new word today. It gives me a little rush whenever that happens. I was reading along and came across the word minatory. I had to stop and look it up. (Love my Kobo with its built in dictionary.) I was so tickled to learn a new word I shared it with my guys, who humoured my love of language as they always do. It means ‘having a menacing quality’ and it was delicious in the situation it was used.

Bushboy’s eyes lit up when he saw all the jars on the counter. “Jam, at last we have real jam again!” 

A morning in the summer, picking berries at a local farm. So not a chore.

So many small pleasures in my life it makes my heart swell. Keep your eyes and mind open, because these small moments are everywhere.

Posted by: Kate | June 26, 2016

Summer Starts Here

We are approaching summer very differently this year. No big trips, only some shorter camping trips and a jaunt to Victoria. I am determined to enjoy summer in my backyard, both literally and more figuratively.

Summer weather arrived this weekend just in time for the annual  chainsaw carving competition. We’ll go back later this week to get pictures of the final products, but it was fun watching the carvers work this week-end.

I got another patch cleared in the garden. Satisfying, sweaty work! So overgrown.

The vegetable garden is well in hand, with fresh potatoes and the first handful of peas this week.

I’m enjoying this slower paced start to summer and look forward to a home-grown couple of months.

Posted by: Kate | June 20, 2016

Observing as I Walk

It took me a couple of weeks after Chika’s passing to feel comfortable going for my neighbourhood walks, but I’ve been back out the last few nights. I pick a different loop each night, and love seeing the sights.

One direction takes me to the ocean views, while the other direction takes me to mountain views. Both are different every night, changing with the light and the clouds and for the ocean the activity on it.

Last night I spotted this giant wasp nest high in a tree in someone’s front yard. I had to resist the urge to run, but it definitely made me shudder!

One of my favourite things walking in the evening is seeing all the cats on driveways soaking up the warmth from the concrete. They’re everywhere! I love how they try to pretend I can’t see them.

Do you like observing as you walk?

Posted by: Kate | June 10, 2016

Rain in June is Welcome

The garden is growing in leaps and bounds! Some sunshine and a little bit of rain… Happy plants!

The potatoes are flowering, and the beans are up. Should be picking peas next week. 

There were definitely bees around when the apple blossoms were out as the tree is now loaded. I will have to do some thinning.

And then there are the hydrangeas, which I really do prune every year. They are once again trying to take over the back of the house.

Lots of work to do, but happy to be spending time with the plants!!

Posted by: Kate | June 4, 2016

Romance Junkie

I have read every main genre, all the ‘top’ authors, classics old and modern. Since I was four, I have been a passionate reader. But the one thing I always get flack for reading – romance novels.

I kind of hate that term. The novels I have read under the term ‘romance’ have been as varied as the literary novels I have read. Yes they do have the happy ending and the angst in common. But the stories range from mysteries to comedies to sweet and sassy. They are stories, and the one criteria I have, as with any book I read, is that they be well-written stories.

It irritates me when people belittle those who read romance novels. I know life isn’t always happily ever after or big romantic gestures. But I read for fun. Some people enjoy movies that make people scream. Those terrify me, but I don’t think less of someone else for watching them. Why does reading a love story make me ‘less’ of a reader?

As someone who people consider ‘smart’ I find myself defending my choice of reading material far too often. “Why would you read those silly books?” 

I read what I like. And I like love in all shapes and sizes, so I read about love. 

Get over it.

Posted by: Kate | May 27, 2016

Garden Explosion

We’ve had a warm spring and the garden is happy!

It’s amazing to me how quickly things grow. We’ve been eating pac choi by the bucketful and a couple of the potato plants are almost big enough to scrounge under for new potatoes.

So happy to be growing again.

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.


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