Monday, July 29, 2013

Geordie can swim!

So much for the theory that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.  Today for the first time Geordie actually swam out in the lake after a stick. This is huge news--as we've been trying to let him know that he has the ability to swim for over ten years!

Geordie loves to retrieve sticks and from the time he was a puppy he'd wade into the water up to his chest but wouldn't go any further.  We've tried everything, from luring him into deep water with treats to throwing him off a dock.  He's even fallen off logs and sand banks into the water and has dog paddled his way back to shore with no problem. But he was too scared to realize that he could do what was needed.

Often he would wade back and forth in the chest-deep water waiting for the stick he wanted to drift in. Sometimes it even worked. But today, for the first time, Geordie walked out into the water and allowed his feet to float up.  He swam for about six feet out to get the stick and then turned around and swam back to where his feet touched the ground.  He is so pleased with himself. And we are so proud of our boy dog.

I'm not sure why he actually made the leap this afternoon, except that it was a really big stick and the water is really warm.  In any case, we took him back down to the lake at dinner time to reinforce his learning.

This photo is of Geordie pretend swimmng in Guymas, Mexico.  Here he's not in any depth of water; but today he was actually swimming out past his depth.  Hooray for Geordie.

By the way, he's still on his flexi leash when he swims because of his issues, but I find if I pull it out so its loose he's more relaxed in the water.  Amazing what we'll do for our dogs.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Endless summer

What an amazing summer we're having here on Vancouver Island! The weather has been sunny and warm since the beginning of June and the forecast is for it to continue.

Last night I had a group of women friends over to play Mah Jongg in my garden.  Sitting outside in the evening rarely happens here, but last night we were comfortable and warm even as dusk fell.

The vegetable garden is like a jungle. You can see it behind the table in this photo.

And here are some closeups of the growing things within it.

And here's the late evening sun through the foxtail grasses in my pot on the deck.

Wherever you are I hope you're experiencing some summer sun too.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Evening at Moses Point

Moses Point, a beautiful place to take a picnic and watch the sun set.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Another music festival come and gone

We had a great weekend. The sun shone and hundreds of people came out to hear the music and relax in beautiful surroundings.

Here's Wendy and Paul, our friends who share this experience with us every year. They're waiting on our blanket in front of the main stage for the evening performance to begin...

Along with hundreds of others.

The Vancouver Island Music Festival is held in Comox at a beautiful spot  with fields and woods and a river. Some of the stages for the daytime performances are very intimate.  This is at the Woodland Stage. You can see how close people are to the performer.

Some of the time is spent in lineups for food.  These three little girls in the lineup were passing the time, each in her own way.

As we left one evening the sun was lighting up the fields.

It's all over now until next summer.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The garden is producing!

It's amazing what regular care and watering can do for a garden, not to mention a stretch of warm, sunny weather.  This week the garden has exploded into productivity.

Here are a few images.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The hot water tank graveyard

The other day we discovered the hot water tank graveyard. It was behind the wall in the kitchen we're renovating.  We're thinking this is where the hot water tanks go to die.  (Just kidding!)   But it was a shock to find three of them lurking behind the wall.  

This found space under the hip roof above the room below is a miracle. It will allow us to install a washer and dryer and to create a nice deep storage / utility room for the renovated apartment. It's especially important to create some storage since we removed the only available storage when we took out the wall.

As for the hot water tanks, one is copper and will fetch a bit of money and the other two will be going to hot water tank  recycle land.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Foxtail grasses

I have a pot of this foxtail grass on my patio and I just love the look of it with the sun shining through.

Here's a close up that shows the almost purplish tone of the spikes. Isn't it gorgeous?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jamie is 25

Jamie was born twenty-five years ago today.  So I guess it's really my birth-day too.  I certainly have more memories of that day than Jamie does.  Amazing how the time flies.  Now he's 25 and a wonderful guy on the verge of a life beyond university. He's spending his birthday with a group of friends at our family cottage on Saturna Island. We'll celebrate when he next comes to Victoria for a visit.

Best wishes, Jamie, for a happy birthday and a wonderful year.


1998 (grade school photo)

2006 (high school grad)

 2013 (with Dad in Mexico)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Still in demolition mode

The destruction continues upstairs at Yukon Street. Now we're taking plaster off the back wall of the kitchen to create a little utility room under the eaves for a washer/dryer and some storage space.  You can see the opening just beyond the fridge and the stove.  When we opened the wall the heat trapped under the hip roof rushed in an reminded me that the rest of the world is experiencing a stretch of lovely weather.

We've now also removed another little wall between two doorways in the hall to expand the arched opening into the new living area.  You can see where the little wall was where the beam and electrical cord exit the ceiling. Take a look at Harry's expression here and you'll see how tiring this work has been.

Today we detached the vintage Youngstown Kitchen sink and drainboard that has served this little apartment since the 1950s.  It's somewhat beat-up and stained but still functional and may be just what someone else wants for their retro kitchen. We have an on-line buy and sell site here in Victoria and I'm hoping to get somebody to come and give me maybe $75 and take it away.

Next week we meet with the plumber and the electrician and the drywall guy.  Plus we're going to get one of those honking big bins for the debris.  Hopefully a week from now we'll have ended the destruction and all the  plaster, wood, carpet, underlay, laminate and lath will be gone so we can begin the to rebuild.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Elizabeth May's suggestions

I am so impressed by Elizabeth May, the leader of Canada's Green Party and the Member of Parliament for Saanich, where I live.  She is constantly shining the light of her intellect and her stellar values on politics in Canada.

Recently she wrote an article on her website called "What I Would Change About Politics in Canada" and it's so refreshing and clear that it gives me hope that change might even be possible. It's not too long. She suggests eight actions that would revolutionize our country from within.

Here's the link:   Elizabeth May's suggestions

Take a look and see if it resonates for you.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The wall is down

The wall between the kitchen and living room in the upstairs suite is down. I'm surprised that it went so fast actually.  We started chipping away at the plaster on Thursday, and by Monday morning Harry was able to remove the studs so we could se the opened up space.

Here's Sue walking through the door  between the living your and kitchen. You can see where we put our hammer through the plaster to see what was behind it -- a chimney.

And here's the wall with all the plaster and lath removed.  
The demotion dames are looking quite pleased with themselves. 

You can get an idea of the amount of plaster from the bags in the bedroom waiting for the rubbish bin.

Now that the plaster's off you can see the walled-in chimney between the studs (and some of the debris from the walls). In the early days there was a wood burning heater vented into the chimney on each side.

The wallpaper we found behind
some shelves is another relic from an earlier time.

Here are two views of the enlarged room. The space is now completely open except for the chimney, which will remain.  On the living room side we'll install an electric fireplace. 

The next step is to design the kitchen and contact the drywallers.  It's pretty exciting.