Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where Did I Put My Glasses?

To Do List for Wednesday:
- go to bed
- sleep
- get up
- make tea
- read e-mail
- drink a smoothie with strawberries, mango and yogurt
- exorcise......
- write blog
- go to work

Well I accomplished the first 6 items on the list.  It seems that when there is any shortage of time in the day the exercise is the first thing to get exorcised.  Oh well, running, swimming, jogging, blogging.....whatever....
I am sitting happily on the patio, slurping a strawberry/mango wowser and working up quite a sweat, I'll have you know!

I entered my kitchen this morning, after work, and was startled by my new appliances.  They arrived just before I left for Gabriola, and I am still not used to them yet.
"Who are you two gorgeous appliances?"  I mutter, "Am I in the right house?"
The stove is so beautiful, ( compared to the old Admiral ) that if I could put wheels on it , I would put on some great shades and drive it down the street. Waving at people as I go by, like in a parade.

While we were at Lennard Island, I stupidly, misplaced my favorite reading glasses.  They were my late husband's Ray Bans , I had lenses put in them for me, and liked having that little, personal part of him with me throughout my day.  I didn't  keep much of his stuff so I am a bit panicked by this. My friends on the island are aware and keeping they're eyes open for them.  I'm sure they will turn up.  I think I put them somewhere in the guest house, maybe they are between the couch cushions.....
I have to stop sending them an e-mail every time I have a hunch of where to look....(Lucinda, check the couch) ...I know I am becoming pathetically annoying.

So , in order to write today's blog I must make do with the shabby, drugstore, readers I have laying about.

These are the red ones that are missing one of the nose pieces and make me look like a Sally Jessie Raphael wannabe.  Uggg.

These ones are cool because they fit in a case that is no larger than a fat pen.  They unfortunately have a tendency to slide down my nose if I move too much which makes me resort to moving my entire head from side to side, like a lizard, if I want to read.

Which way to Woodstock?

Get over it....move on.

On a lighter note, while on the forest walk at Lennard Island, I gathered a bunch of beautiful sage-green lichen.

Here it is posing between some beach pebbles that Tony and Lucinda gave me a while back , the shells we gathered last weekend.  Why I brought it home, I have no idea.....just liked it.  Maybe I knew subconsciously that I would find a yarn store in Tofino and purchase this.....

....glorious hand-spun.  Wool, mohair and silk with beachy glass beads all through it......

Now if I could only read the label....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Friends by the Light

We had the most wonderful weekend with our friends, Tony and Lucinda, at the Lighthouse that he keeps off the coast of Tofino.

Tony and I met at work and became fast friends, spending most of our shifts together talking about what we would do if we weren't doing that job.  We talked about writing and painting and how great it would be to make a living at something we love to do.

Eventually I took a relief position  in another department ,and Tony did the same, and we weren't able to share those long 10 hour shifts together any more.  Which made the job just a little more mundane.

One summer, Tony was hiking the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island and decided to stop by the Lighthouse there and talk to the Keeper.  He was told that they may be looking for people to act as relief Keepers, to cover for holidays and such, on the few light houses that dot our coastline here.

He applied.  I think it took a lot of guts to even consider giving up a secure, well paying job for something so different.  At the same time I was very envious and curious, not even being able to imagine a life away from the dependence of the dreaded "day job"......

He stood at the edge of the cliff....discussed it with the wife.....thought long and hard.... and jumped.

He is now the principal Keeper at the Lennard Island Lighthouse.
Lucinda is able to spend three months a year there and between his vacation and hers, they are able to spend quite a lot of time together and have found a way to make it all work.

They picked us up in a Zodiac at the pier in Tofino on Friday afternoon.

They showed us the way to the crew house where we would be staying.  The main buildings are all joined together by these elevated concrete walkways.  The handrails are all painted in glossy, red, marine paint.

This is the little house that we got to stay in.  It was exactly like my Grandmother's house when I was growing up.  It felt like being thrown into a 1950's time-warp.  Very tidy, very simple, too cool.

This is the view from the bathroom window.  Lucinda laughed when I mentioned it.  She said, it seemed like ,  every light house they had been to, the best view was always from the can.

We were treated to pizza that evening, pick-up from Tofino.  They give the pizzas to Tony assembled in the pan, to be baked at home.  The best pizza!  He brings the pans back when he returns to town.  We sat around and talked about what it is like to live and work here....the adjustments, the isolation.....what a unique life this must be.

Saturday morning brought us to the beach to look for shells.

Followed by a hike through the trails that circle the 22 acre island.  We had two dog-friends with us which made me really miss having a pooch to share a walk with.  They make it so much better.


                                                                   .....and Molly..
There was a little pocket-pooch with us too but Frodo preferred to stay home and hold the fort.

We then went to climb up into the Lighthouse.  The boyfriend really enjoyed this....I don't like heights and chose to stay on solid ground.....chicken.

Tony and the boyfriend at the top of the Light.

A quick trip in the Zodiac to see if there were any crabs in the traps...but all we got were two very large starfish.  Despite the bust, we went on to share a feast of perfectly barbecued filets, a bounty of crab that Tony and Lucinda had , asparagus....potatoes....
Perfect company, lots of laughs, we had the most enjoyable weekend.

Thank's for sharing your piece of paradise with us.  It will take days for the effects to wear off.
It is a weekend we will always remember.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Gotta Guy

It doesn't matter where you are, could be at work or at a pub, maybe with a group of friends....You tell them that you need something , like new tires for your car, or tiles for your bathroom, and there is always someone who says "Oh, I gotta guy".

Well, here on Gabriola it turns out that I too, "gotta a guy".
His name is Henry and he lives around the corner and down the road. He has a small engine repair business and became my go to guy when my lawn tractor packed it in last year. We hit a rather large rock with it and knocked the axle, drive shaft thingy out of whack.  I thought I was a goner.  I almost cried.  I can't manage this place without it .

Henry had a sign on the road advertising his business and we brought the tractor to him to look at....
He wasn't sure that it would be able to be fixed but offered to do his best.  We left it with him .

A month and only 300.00 dollars later , we got the old girl back , tuned up , oiled and lubed , new blades.
She is running like a dream .

I then brought him my chainsaw , which had seized up completely , and I left a message for him yesterday to see if it was able to be fixed.  It was a small chainsaw....a Barbie chainsaw.....I liked it.

He calls me back.

Ring , ring,
"Greetings from Gabriola" my standard answer here on the island.
"Oh brother, that's just pathetic" he says jokingly.
He continues, " It's a good thing you called today because tomorrow, I'm taking off to the Peace to do some moose hunting with my brother-in-law".
"Oh, lucky you" I say, "Have a great trip.
"Ya I have to get away from you people" he chuckles, meaning , part- time summer residents and tourists.
"I'm gonna try bring back a live one and set it loose on the island" he says.
"I would love to wake up and see a moose in the yard!" I laugh, "By the way, any luck with the chainsaw"?
"Nope, seized up, can't be fixed, you'll have to get a new one".
"Have a safe trip Henry, thanks".

What's a girl with out a chainsaw?.....

This morning I got up and started raking up all the grass I cut yesterday.

Rows and rows, piles and piles, until I felt a muscle behind my right shoulder blade go, twink.
So I finished what I could and decided to finish mowing the back 40 with the tractor as this will probably be my last chance before the fire department decides it is  too dry to use gas operated power tools.
It happens every year.
Got it done.....put the tractor away.
Glass of wine on the porch.....dirty feet.....happy heart.

Tomorrow, the Boyfriend is leaving work early and boarding a sea plane from Vancouver to Nanaimo.
I will be waiting on the dock like Ingrid Bergman waiting for Humphrey Bogart.
We are going to Tofino where we will be picked up, at the pier, by friends in a Zodiac and then whisked away to spend the weekend at the light house that they keep.
I know.
Crazy fun!.
Can't wait.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday on Gabriola

First of all, I would like to apologize to all six of my readers for being such a neglectful blogger.
 It was not for a lack of things to write about.
 Being new to the blogosphere, I am very unsure of how much to personal do I want to get?  So, when in doubt, error on the side of caution, that's my motto....anyway, all is well....back to the blog.

On Tuesday I was released from work at 5:15am and made a B-line for the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal to catch the 6:20 to Nanaimo.
I had a nice snooze in the truck and woke up 95 minutes later at my destination, happy to be one of the first cars to unload.
 I gunned it to the Gabriola Ferry Terminal to try to make the 8:20 sailing.  The MV Quinsam was already docked and loading and I was stuck in a line-up for the toll booth.  I was the 3rd from the last car to board and landed on the Island in just 3 and a half hours.  That, I believe is a record for me in all of the 19 years I have been coming here.

A month has passed since I was here last.  It is shocking to see how quickly nature wants to take over when there is no one to keep it at bay.

Weeds have taken over the garden and are trying to take over the front porch.

I found this owl feather on the porch as well.....there was obviously a party going on at my house while I was away.

There is always a spider waiting for me in the kitchen sink.  A big , black , pulsating spider.
I don't mind mice , snakes , rats or ugly babies.
I cannot stand spiders.
When I see one , my brain can't process it.  I just have to walk away.
I don't hate them.  I don't want to kill them.  I can't even imagine scooping one up in a tissue and flushing it down the toilet . When I see it move I have a weird reptilian , paralysis responce and indescribable sounds come out of me.
The spider removal method I have come to is this:
-drape a rag or paper towel from the counter into the basin for spider traction
-turn on the tap, just enough to make the bottom of the sink wet but not enough to wash the spider down the drain.
-retreat to a safe distance
-tell the spider about the evacuation drill

Usually the spider is gone when I return.  I don't care to know where.

I decided to snip the flowers off the Milk Thistle that grows in one area of the property  to prevent it from spreading.
 I noticed that there were many more bees this year and that they were getting very annoyed with me.  I decided to clip only the flowers that were ready to go to seed and leave the good  flowers for the bees.  They do good work pollinating and we should help them every chance we get.

Check out the blackberries that those bees made possible!

I can't wait to pick these when they are ripe.  This is the first year this bush has produced fruit.

I mowed and mowed and mowed.

Then a rest on the porch with a glass of wine and the Sounder.

A very good day.