Thursday, June 28, 2012

Projects, projects

I can't believe it's been a week and a half since I posted here!  Well, maybe I can because we've been awfully busy.  We started with a fence, arbour and gate project.  You can see Harry's feeling good about what he's accomplished.  Then we had to interrupt ourselves to handle some rental stuff.  Tenants are moving out of our other house and we took the opportunity to do a major garden cleanup, which included the removal of a 40 foot birch tree that was completely overpowering the little back yard area.  That included stump grinding, sifting soil, resetting the rockery and replanting shrubs.   Add to that the regular work, the dogs, the housework, the volunteer organizations and you'll see what's been holding me up.

The move in happens on Saturday so I'm hoping by early next week that we'll be able to proceed with the gate project.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Three poppies

The other day I was visiting a friend in her back yard and there on the table were three beautiful Icelandic Poppies shining in the sun.  Thought I'd share their beauty with you today.  I hope they brighten your day as they did mine.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not my Canada

Wednesday I attended the first demonstration I've been to in probably 30 years.  It was to oppose Stephen Harper's Conservative government's Omnibus Bill, C-38.  I won't go into detail about this budget which has hidden within it many bits of legislation that bring Canada backwards in terms of its social services and environmental protection.  Stephen Harper is taking Canada in a direction that most Canadians do not support.

That's my friend Ritchie holding up the sign I made.  Elizabeth May is my Member of Parliament and I am so proud of her for standing in the House of Commons for more than 20 straight hours doing her best to debate and oppose this ominous bill.  Naturally, with a Conservative majority in parliament, the bill was passed.  But I was heartened to see that there are people beginning to stand up and speak out about the damage that is being done by this government.  

This sign is in reference to Stephen Harper's plan to bring more oil tankers to British Columbia's coast and to build a pipeline bringing oil from Alberta's tar sands across our province to fill the tankers.  He's systematically dismantling all agencies that oversee environmental protection so that this can proceed.

I'm pleased to see so many young adults taking a stand.  It gives me some hope for the future of my country.  

The problem is that there are three progressive parties in Canada and only one conservative party.  We've recently seen the progressive votes split three ways so that the Conservatives  can form the government with only 39% support of the Canadians who vote.  Personally I think a couple of these parties should merge so that we have the potential of electing a government that might be able to move forward with a Canada I can be proud of.   

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June light and June flowers

I just love the light and the flowers at this time of year.  Here in British Columbia, dawn comes very early as we approach the summer solstice in June.  Around about 4:30 in the morning the sky starts to lighten up.  Even if the sun isn't that strong or hot (and it's not!), the light is lovely.  And there are just so many beautiful flowers blooming.  Our rhodos just keep coming, the dogwoods are flowering and the lupines (both wild and cultivated) glow with colour. This photo was taken about a week ago at Vancouver's Spanish Banks.  Happy June!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sushi at sea

The other night we went out with some friends for a unique sushi experience on a North Sea Trawler.  

Moored in the Sooke Harbour this boat called the Rolano is owned by Captain Ralph who, with his young woman sushi chef puts on special dinners in the harbour.

He's quite a character with a storied past, which includes breaking the new story of the Mei Lai massacre and being drummed out of the USA.  He's had this amazing ocean going vessel for many years and now runs a B&B plus the Sushi at Sea dinners.  Part of the experience is seeing him change from his captain's jacket to a Japanese silk one.  He actually wore three different ones as he served the sushi throughout the evening.

We sat in the main cabin around a polished table and tasted a beautiful variety of freshly-made sushi.  It's informal and you can bring your own wine (which we did) and have a special dinner with good friends.

Here's the feature sushi with fresh albacore tuna.  I have to tell you that it was delicious--plus it was a lot of fun.  A nice way to spend a sunny Friday evening in June in Victoria.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The dining hall at boarding school in 1964

Back in 1964 when I was in grade 12, I attended a boarding school in Vancouver. Crofton House School housed its boarders in an old Edwardian mansion and the ballroom with its fancy fireplace and arched ceiling was used as the dining hall.  Just the other day I got a note from my old school with a link to a website page about the history of the old building.  

This photograph of the old dining hall caught my eye because I recognized some of the girls in the photograph--including myself.  Even though it's very blurry I was able to see my face among the diners.  I'm having trouble describing where I am in the photo but if you draw a line down the fireplace from in between the nearest two curved beams you'll be at the top of my head with the jackie kennedy hairstyle.  When I look at that photograph I'm brought right back to the dining hall and its rules from almost fifty years ago.  I even smell the Sunday lunch of  lamb with mint sauce and roasted potatoes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dogs from Sunday's dog walk

Here are some of the dogs who came out with their owners to our 9th annual Citizen Canine "Everybody and Their Dog Walk" on Sunday.  There were dogs of all sizes and ages.

The best part of this event is seeing the owners chatting together and watching them interact with each other's dogs.

The dogs do some socializing of their own as well. 

Here's a beautiful dog resting by the water dish.

 And this sweet Australian Cattle Dog stole my heart with his affectionate gaze.

This last one is "Little Miss" who won the best-dressed dog contest.  Isn't she cute in her purple fairy dress?
It's a lot fun for everybody, including the dogs.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The gorgeous cat

Look at this gorgeous cat.  Do you see anything unusual about him?  He's an unusual colour, yes, a beautiful cream with red markings.

And here are his eyes, an intense shade of turquoise blue.

But take a look at those front paws.  This guy has two extra toes on each paw, making his feet look like catcher's mitts.  He's an amazing and very cool cat who lives with my tenant.  The other day I got to spend some time with him in the back garden observing his wild antics, jumping out from behind shrubs and rolling in ecstasy in the sunshine.  I want one just like him!