Posted by: Kate | November 20, 2015

Friday Quote

I remember wondering, within a year or two of taking my first steps, why only men sat to drink tea and converse, and why women were always busy. I reasoned that men were weak and needed rest.

The Book of Negros, Lawrence Hill

Posted by: Kate | November 16, 2015

November Knitting

A certain 3.5 year old boy called me (via FaceTime of course) to ask a very serious question. Seems his current toque is not fitting so well after more than a year of wear, and he would like a new one. Blue if you please. What’s a girl to do but cast on immediately in the face of a request like that!?november knitting1

Of course, there is also Christmas knitting underway. First up a pair of socks for my mother. Just one now, as she will be away for Christmas so I can give her the second pair after the holidays.No idea what this yarn is, came in a bag of odds and ends. I think it has more acrylic in it than I would usually use as it is a little shiny, but at the same time I think it still has some wool as it isn’t squeaky like say Bernat Sox. The pattern is a simple one on paper, just two rows, yet it trips me up time and again. My fingers on autopilot are determined to put the yarn over after the knit 2 together, never mind that the pattern calls for a singly knit stitch in between.

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My dishcloth stash has been seriously depleted this past year, and as I had built it up quite well the year before I didn’t realize how low it was getting. So those are also on the needles. Plain ones and patterned ones, usually one of each in matching colours for a gift set.

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I’m feeling more productive than I have in a while, and it feels good to have the needles moving regularly again.

Posted by: Kate | November 13, 2015

Fall Days

november 111The other day, at work, we watched from our office window as three big killer whales swam through the pass between our shore and Quadra Island. Later that same day Bushboy and I watched two large bald eagles swooping low and playing over the trees as we drove home from shopping. Just another day in this particular natural paradise. So normal that if you tell someone local the only reaction you get is “oh yeah” before they start talking about something else. Like, no big deal. 
november 112Fall has truly arrived, with frosty mornings and stormy nights followed by cold, bright days. Walking in it gives me an earache if I forget my ear warmer, which I did the day I took these photos. Just walking around my neighbourhood, not having to drive anywhere to get to this natural beauty.november 113Chika and I walked and listened and felt the peace. Simple, profound – an oxymoron that someone else might ignore. And so I tried, and I put myself in the moment and simply was.

november 114

Posted by: Kate | November 10, 2015

Book Review: The Engagements

The Engagements, by J. Courtney Sullivan, was an intriguing book. Tackling the world of advertising, and diamonds, and engagements all in one novel seems a heavy task but Sullivan took it on. For the most part she succeeded, although not all of it worked for me.

The story is told in five different pieces. First is the advertising world which created the demand for diamonds, specifically the demand for diamond engagement rings. This is the story that most intrigued me, as it pulled from true facts to create a fascinating look at the world of advertising through the 20th century. This story is the backbone of the book, reappearing to remind the reader of why we are involved. The four other pieces are four distinct stories around relationships. This is where the book didn’t quite work for me. While at the end the stories made sense and I was satisfied with the conclusion, the telling and interrupting of each story left me frustrated as a reader. I didn’t like jumping out of one story and into another, and then five chapters later coming back to the first story and needing to remember where we were in the storyline. A couple of the stories were easier to follow as well, leaving the more complicated stories to fall flat.

The book is well-written and the author committed to each story line, creating believable characters and plot. A lot of work and thought went in to it, but in the end I wasn’t sold as a reader that this was the best way to get the story of the diamond across.

I see that the movie rights to the book have been purchased, and I can understand why. In this case it may lose some of the history I enjoyed but having it on the big screen may make the story lines easier to follow. I would see it if it ever came to the screen, just to see how the story is handled.

Posted by: Kate | November 7, 2015

November Hibiscus

Those two words shouldn’t go together. November is rain and wind and dark skies. Leaves have fallen, bare stalks mark the perennials in the garden beds. Yet at my front door, a memory of summer refuses to acknowledge the arrival of fall.

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This is the weather past my front door. In the past I would have chrysanthemums, or ornamental kale, planted by the front door. But who am I to tell this scrappy Hibiscus that it is supposed to flower in the summer months? Who am I to tell it that it is most certainly not a November flower? Fight on, little plant. Be a ray of brightness in my day.

nov hibiscus3

Posted by: Kate | October 22, 2015

Family Time

With Bushboy now working as well as going to school, family time outside of the house is less frequent. But when it happens, it still is most likely to involve some time outside.


This was taken during a quick walk at the Courtenay Air Park (it’s where the sea planes take off from). You can see fall is well under way here, both by the changing colours and the damp grey light. (Trust me, it’s damp.)

Even when we see either of my parents, or Mr. Kate’s sister, family time still involves the outdoors, usually in the form of a walk. There is something connecting about being together outside.

Posted by: Kate | October 16, 2015

Friday Quote

Thea was still under the belief that public opinion could be placated; that if you clucked often enough, the hens would mistake you for one of themselves.

~Willa Cather “Song of the Lark”

Haven’t we all tried that at one point? To hide our difference, to blend in?

Posted by: Kate | October 9, 2015

Feature Photo: Driving Scenery


Dust devil on Route 66 detour. On a road trip of over 3,000 miles (over 5,800km), a lot of the sight seeing is done from inside the car. A big part of this trip was the experience of being in very different landscapes from the lush west coast we live in. The Arizona desert was probably the most foreign to us, and thus the most fascinating. Mr. Kate loved the dust devils that whirled up on the side of the road – this one even crossed the road in front of us. A trip like this is done for the value of seeing new and different places. Experiencing, however briefly, how these foreign landscapes shape the people and towns we find along the way.

Posted by: Kate | October 7, 2015

Fall Sunshine

I love it when the island gets the early fall sunshine. We don’t always, so it is a treat when we do. Late afternoon walks are taken where there is maximum sun exposure – the Seawalk being the best place of all.

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I can’t say it enough – I get to live here. This place of beauty and wonder, that I know people dream of visiting. This is the landscape of my home and as such is imprinted on my heart and hardwired into my very being. The ocean, the mountains, the beaches – they are a part of me on the deepest level.

Posted by: Kate | October 2, 2015

Friday Quote

(I’m reviving a couple of regular blog features I’ve had in the past: Friday Quotes and Feature Photos.)

It is after all so easy to shatter a story. To break a chain of thought. To ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain.

To let it be, to travel with it, as Velutha did, is much the harder thing to do.

                          ~”The God of Small Things” Arundhati Roy

I love the contrast of fragility and inner strength in this quote. It speaks to that inner spark and dream so many of us carry as children that so easily gets snuffed out. The strength of character it takes to hold it close and not let it be extinguished – that is determination. At the same time, it is also the stubbornness of seeing something the way you want to, not the way others say you should. Maybe healthy, maybe not. Fragility, or strength?

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