Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturna Ridge

A day at Saturna Ridge with my brother and his family is such a break from the regular world. First because we're worlds away from traffic and commerce. The little cabin is hundreds of feet above the ocean with an incredible panoramic view. There are no neighbours (the nearest one being about a mile away).
Occasionally we see a couple of people hiking the trail along the ridge, but mostly it's just us and the wildlife (eagles, hawks, wild goats, and deer). The dogs can roam around and play. Well, not Geordie, he has to be on a rope because he would chase after the wildlife. But he's happy to hang out on the grass by the front deck.

And I love spending time with this little family. Callie, age six, is at that wondrous age when everything is exciting and interesting. We explored the beach, climbed trees, walked the trail and found a dead lizzard,

played with the dogs ,

and made an "art museum" complete with pictures cut from magazines.

I stayed for a barbeque as the sun set and then took the 9:00 ferry back to Victoria. A lovely day.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Shadow Shot

I'm a little early with my shadow shot this week as I have a ferry to catch today and won't be back till later this evening. I took this photo of Maggie at the beach earlier this week during the start of some beautiful sunny weather. It's still sunny and I'm heading over to Saturna Island by ferry this morning to spend the day with my brother and his family at their cabin on the ridge. I'll post some photos later.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Garden plans

Things are happening in the garden project and it looks like we may get a start on it next week. The municipality has sent us the boulevard permit and we're getting quotes on the irrigation and the construction. A couple of days ago my sister Jan helped me lay out the garden beds using string and chopsticks to create arcs. Harry is thrilled that there will only be two small areas of grass to mow. On Sunday Jan is going to come out and help make a list of plants, shrubs and trees to buy and decide where to locate them.

We're doing a trade, Jan and I. She helps me with the garden and I've been helping here to paint her attic room. It's all moving ahead beautifully now. These are two more of the rhodos I've put on hold. The cream one is named Leverett Richards and the pink is named Cotton Candy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Planning our third winter in Mexico

It' s coming together. We are in the process of arranging for a four-month rental of a house in the Sabalo Country area of Mazatlan from December of this year through to March 2010. It looks like we are real snowbirds now for sure. This will be our third winter driving down to Mexico, and this time with a four-month rental and the drive on each side, it will mean we'll be away for nearly five months. (It's so nice to be retired!)

Details of the rental still have to be pinned down but this place looks perfect--with three bedrooms and a private outdoor area. The dogs will be secure and people can come down and visit us. Now that this is arranged we can settle down and enjoy our summer here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mrs. W.C. Slocock

I guess I'm truly a blogger now. My blog was mentioned by Distracted by Shiny Objects in her blog, A Tidings of Magpies--a first for me. And so I've claimed the 2009 Friendly Blogger award that she awarded me. Thank you "Distracted"....

I feel like I have so many new friends now through reading blogs and hopping from one to another. It's absolutely amazing the enormous number of fascinating, astute, intelligent, funny, beautiful blogs there are out there. And it's as easy as clicking on a name to visit them and find new friends. My world has expanded hugely with this new pastime.

I have to be careful not to start reading blogs while the bath is running. Just yesterday I missed an overflow by only an inch! Tonight through the list on Tidings of Magpies I found a blog about books, another passion of mine. I'll be following this blog now. My list of blogs to follow is getting very long. But each one leads me to another and so my world just keeps growing. What an amazing community.

Here's a photo of one of of the rhododendrons I've purchased for my new garden. There are six in all and it looks like this project may start coming together in the next couple of weeks. We're talking to guys with bobcats who can help us with the construction. It's very exciting. Many of the rhodos are named after women, perhaps the ladies that developed them. This one is called Mrs. W.C. Slockock. Isn't is pretty?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beautiful wedding announcement

My cousin Dean who lives in Southern California and his girlfriend Tari sent us this beautifully designed wedding announcement.

They are both artists and it shows in this lovely keepsake announcement.

Even the postage stamp is special--with a photograph of the two of them.

And I love the way when you pull out the announcement card there's the surprise of this charming quote on the back.

They are in the process of moving to Oregon so we may be able to see a bit more of them, and that's a good thing. I think we've seen him twice in the past 23 years. Congratulations Dean and Tari.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dream fragment

I rarely remember dreams but this morning I woke myself up at 5:30 in the middle of a vivid dream fragment. In the dream I am exploring a new city with a group of people that includes a couple about my age. I think they are Spanish or maybe French. In any case they speak a European language, although they are quite fluent in English. Over the course of the afternoon visiting parks and little stores, this couple keeps coming up to me and asking me questions to settle silly arguments they’re having. The next thing I know I am analyzing why they are always arguing, observing their interactions and writing lengthy notes.

Then we are in a shoe store and I am explaining to them how everything they encounter turns into an argument. One of them makes a comment about something, then the other contradicts an aspect of it. He says: That woman’s pretty agile for a seventy year old. And she says: She’s not 70; she can’t be more than 62. And the argument is on. One partner always negating the other’s observations.

As I am explaining this, he interrupts to tell me about a time when he came home from work to tell her about a serious mistake he’d made. Her reaction was to say, “bullshit.”

In the dream I say: OK, that’s a different type of argument. And then I realize that it’s actually the same pattern--she ‘s negating what he told her. For some reason this revelation becomes very important to me and I get really excited trying to demonstrate the pattern.

I say to the woman: You say “Look at that cute little blue car.”

I turn to the man: And you say: “That’s not blue, that’s green.” Instead of responding to her comment, you negate an aspect of what she says. Maybe the car’s blue, maybe it’s green, maybe it’s aqua. What does it matter what the color is called? Rather than argue about the color, you could just respond to her comment in a pleasant way.

Now I’m really rolling in the dream. I’m talking fast. I say: We can look later at why you both always have to be right. But right now, just observe your interactions. See if there is a pattern here where each of you feels compelled to negate what the other is saying.

At this point I’m feeling like an amazingly astute and skilled therapist (I am not a therapist or counselor of any kind in reality) but at the same time I realize that I have stepped in a pile of dog poop. Still I keep taking and explaining but as I do so I realize that I’m no longer asleep. I’m lying in my bed talking about this couple’s argument patterns.

When I woke up I felt this dream was important so I got up and wrote it down. I’m going to observe my interactions with H. today to see if this is a pattern in our relationship. I have a feeling there may be something more to this.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Just the one shadow shot for tomorrow (Sunday). This was taken on the staircase of our rental house. The sun was just right to make a nice geometric pattern. I've spent the day over there today doing a little cleaning up to show the upstairs apartment. It has a cool little deck halfway down the stairs where people can put a little table and chairs and a barbeque on summer evenings

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mount Tolmie Camas slideshow

Planting beans

Today was the day to plant the beans. They're scarlet runner seeds that I harvested from last year's crop. I love doing that, saving seeds from year to year; it makes me feel like a farmer. I kept the biggest and healthiest to plant. This year I've cleared a little patch in front of the shed for some more vegetables and herbs. It gets sun most of the day so things should do well. So today I dug in some compost and prepared the soil, then planted the beans and transplanted some little leeks from the organic farm co-op across the street. I'll tell you more about that sometime.

Meanwhile we're meeting with two irrigation companies this afternoon to get quotes on installing a watering system in the front yard. Yeah, I'm really beginning to feel like a gardener.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Evening in the garden

Something about the light in the evening inspires me to get the camera out and photograph the growing plants in my garden. The slanting sun (sometimes behind clouds) lights everything up with such a beautiful glow.

I am just astounded at how much I am transfixed by plants these days. Since I've started planning the redo of the front garden I can't stop thinking about them. The other night I realized that I was reading a plant reference book in the bathtub.

When I was younger I liked plants just fine but now I find myself obsessed with them. What an incredible variety they show--and what beauty!

Late night and rhododendrons

It's 4:30 in the morning and here I am posting to my blog. What is this all about--this waking up at 2:00 am and not being able to go back to sleep? I'm not worried about anything in particular, except for a few little details, which are always in the background. Some nights I sleep beautifully and others, for no apparent reason, I spend two or three hours waiting to get back to sleep. Usually on those nights I fall into a fatigued drowse some time around 5:30 or 6:00. So tonight I've gotten right out of bed and taken my laptop into the spare room. Here I am answering emails, reading blogs and listening to the birds wake up. Soon I'll head back to bed and try to go to sleep.

But before I do I want to include some photos of rhododendrons. Jan and I went out to the special Rhodo nursery this afternoon and I selected four huge rhododendrons for the front yard. We're going to create a woodland garden under the cedar trees and these will be the feature. Unfortunately I forgot my camera (!!!) but I've found some images on line that will give a sense of what I've ordered (apricot, cream, pink and white, and two-toned peach). I'm so excited. The garden project is underway. Well, duh! Maybe that's what's keeping me awake.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

By the skin of our teeth

My mother used this expression for a close call. I always thought it was an odd image, and it reminded me of the skin on top of cooling cocoa. In any case, my dear old Border Collie Maggie just missed poking her eye out yesterday by the skin of her teeth. And once again it's all my fault. I had picked up a lawn sign on my way home from the dog walk on Sunday night and left it on the floor in the back seat of the van, metal feet pointing toward the door.

Yesterday morning without thinking I opened the door and told Maggie to hop in, which she did. A little yelp was all she gave as the metal stick scraped her eye. It looked to be just on the white of the eye and not on the cornea, and thankfully that was the case. But the vet had to put dye in her eye to check as it was so very close to the edge. She's feeling better today with the antibiotic ointment the vet prescribed. But I just keep thinking of what we would be facing if the stick had gone into her eye. We missed that trauma by the skin of our teeth.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dog most like owner

I didn't post this photo earlier because it didn't really show that much, but Rudee asked about that contest so here's the winner. This guy looks like a thug, complete with tattoos (although I see he's wearing a cross). His dog is one of those dogs that looks really scary (I'm not sure of the breed, I think it's a Bull Terrier). Anyway, they won and it was so cute to see this tough looking guy so pleased with his certificate and prize and showing off his dog dressed in a skull T-shirt to the kids.

Everybody and Their Dog was There

We had a fabulous day yesterday. Our Citizen Canine Dog Walk was a big success. The sun shone and people came out in droves. Everybody was so happy showing off their dogs and meeting other proud dog owners.

And what a variety of dogs!
Big and little; old and young.

But I think the best thing was to see the wonderful interactions between kids and dogs.

These kids had entered their dogs in the "fastest eater contest" and were holding up their hands to show their dogs were finished eating.

These were getting their dogs ready for the "most unique trick" contest.

People just love to bring their dogs to an event like this and show them off. This woman dressed her dog as a pirate for the "best dressed dog" contest. She came in first place.

It's wonderful to see how much everyone loves their dogs. All these people are waiting for the final contest: dog the judge would most like to take home. The judge said (of course) that she wanted to take them all home, but of course she couldn't find the space in her house. I know I would have had a difficult time choosing. They're all so gorgeous.