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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Buried treasure??

My friend Norene, who's an amazing mosaic artist LOVES to beach comb.
Funny so do I!
So the other morning we took advantage of the low tide and went down under the docks...
These ghosts of wood were once a very large fish trap back in the 1920's.
These were called 'weirs' and were used to trap migrating salmon. 
There was also a cannery there at one time.
Where there was people, there was garbage as well.
Fortunately plastic hadn't been invented yet but there was lots of glass, crockery and metal.
Walking along there's a lot of broken dishes and bottles...
I suppose because this stuff gets trapped in the mud, it stays sharp edged. 
We like to find more worn out pieces but it's still fun to see what lies beneath the muck...
The skeleton of an old barge lies sinking back into the ground...what tales could it tell!
Norene took home some rather large pieces of this and I'm curious to see what she'll do with them.
Along the beach there are scores of rickety docks no longer in use...
Save for the swans who take advantage of a spot for preening...
Someday soon this will all be gone since a new posh hotel is going up in the area and old docks will be replaced with swank marinas and wharves for yachts.
I've been finding lots of these old fishing lewers and am thinking of making a rustic wind chime for the garden..
Found objects for future masterpieces...
...butter knives and horse teeth?
Now, here's what keeps you digging...
Norene found this stopper today and I think she found one the last time we came here...lucky gal!
We've found a few of these mint condition glass bottle stoppers which they stopped making in the '30's or '40's. 
Here's my little collection.
Sometimes you might find an unbroken bottle as well.
This is an old Castor oil bottle...
Norene found a really tiny bottle with Chinese writing on it on a previous 'hunt' which is still under investigation to see what kind of concoction it held.
So you never know what's going to show up coins?
treasure chests?
Jewels from Titanic?
You just might see us on the Antiques Road Show one day exclaiming...
And then for sure the next post will be from my villa in Tuscany!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I won't say much about the anniversery of September 11th.
We all know the story.
The tradgedy.
The ones lost and the ones left behind.
I was bound for Mount St Helens but the border closed.
It was a beautiful day. 
Just remembering it all.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thoughts on a still morning...

On my walk this morning I was thinking about Sherry's thoughts over at and her thoughts on bearing witness.
Although we all have our own reasons for writing these blogs, there is one thing for sure:
We are now a witness' to each others lives through these posts.
My reasons for starting this blog was simply to keep a journal, mostly of the photos I take, the places I go and the people I meet.
I never thought of it as a open invitation for the world to 'witness' my life.
But now that I think of it, I like the idea.
In the past, people kept journals and diaries to record their lives.
Some personal, some not so much but it gives insight into a human being.
A life lived.
I was intrigued by Sherry's views on someone who had died whom she never met and grateful for the fact that I could read some of  Penny's thoughts which were recovered by another blogger.
I'm not sure why her blog and pictures were removed but I hope when I leave this earth, my blog will remain as a record of some of the things that I loved and found beautiful.
I believe that EVERY life is interesting and EACH and EVERY one of us has a story to tell.
A thought to be revealed.
An opinion to be aired.
Or maybe just a pretty picture to be shown.
I love to know what someone is seeing out of their back door.
I can read world news anytime but finding out how someone feels about a storm rolling in or the pie they just baked or the visit to the grand kids is much more interesting to me.
I think it connects us in ways in which I think the world needs to be connected.
"The unexamined life is not worth living"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Viva la revoloution!

Whats going on?
There's broccoli on the boulevard!
Squash by the sidewalks!
Radishes by the roadside!
Yes, there is some radical gardening going on.
I went for a walk in my old neighborhood of Haultain Fernwood the other day and found this going on...
People are taking over once, water guzzling grassy boulevards and turning them into micro gardens.
Some have no backyards...
These people live above store fronts..
I met Chris and Aurora planting fall flower seeds this day...
What a better way to spend a few hours.
Do you see what I see?...
Yup...that's corn and kale growing by the bus stop!
One house has taken over the whole front area beyond their yard...
There was a woman and her 2 children taking a walk and looking at the progress of the veggies in her neighborhood...what an education!
Some may call it guerrilla gardening...trespassing on public property...urban farming...
Whatever you call it, I think it's a good thing...a GREAT thing.
Saves the city workers mowing the grass that's usually there which equals less air and noise pollution.
Saves water. The garden shades itself and uses mulch to conserve water.
And even though people in the city have access to large amounts of water, these gardeners collect rain water to help ease the strain on public resources...
Oh yes...this is definitely the land of casual living!
Responsible composting is a collective effort here...
Everything in the neighborhood benefits...
These crows will likely use debris from plants for nest building.
The area has a real community feel to it.
Even the garbage bins are looking good!
Are those fairies moving in now too?
So here's to all of those who are making this a greener world.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Side trip...

On our way back from the fair, I took the long way home... usual.
I wanted to stop and take a picture of my dream greenhouse.
Funny enough it's at a winery!
Funnier enough it was open for tastings!
 So Regina says to me "Why don't we go in for a taste?"
"Why not" says I.
This small family run  little winery has been here for about 12 years but has only been bottling and selling wine for about 6 years.
All of their wines are made in limited quantities.
All of their grapes are grown within a few miles.
That may sound funny to Californians, but a lot of wine made in B.C gets it's grapes from elsewhere.
Or they combine grapes from here and elsewhere.
So past the sweet little house...
...and up to the tasting room...
They make a fantastic 'champagne'.
A stunning red and two crisp whites. One of which I bought, the Pino Gris.
But our favorite was the Wild blackberry Port...Of which we both bought a bottle.
So rich and fruity and, thank goodness, it goes with chocolate very well!
Oh yes...the main reason I stopped was to take this picture...
Right now it's a bit sparse but in the spring it is full of greenery and the outside is surrounded with snapdragons of every colour imaginable.
So if you are on the Island near Victoria, make a little side trip down Starling Lane.
Your palette will thank you!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fun and fir and feathers...

There's something about the Fall Fair.
It's the excitement of winning ribbons and the sure end of summer.
It's on Labor Day weekend and has been going on for 143 years.
It's the Saanich Fair and I try to go every year. 
And even though I know what to expect, it still gives me a thrill.
This year I took my friend Regina along...

Is it the shrieking of the midway?
The warm German pretzels?
Relics of the past?
Perhaps it's the Highland dancers?
The Blacksmith pounding on the iron?
Goats, goats and more goats?
Or those lovely gentle giants?
Flying dogs?
Tiny hooves and little cowboy boots?
Laughing cows and lazy pigs?
How about those ears?
Proud roosters and crazy looking chickens?
Spinning local wool?
Produce, flowers and belly dancing scarves?
Whew!! I'm exhausted!! 
If someone were to ask me?
"what is it about the fair?"