Summer Saturday

On Saturday morning, the two of us went for a walk along Victoria's Inner Harbour, a scenic place that was surprisingly busy. Dragon boat races kept to one half of the narrow entrance while float planes landed and were escorted by Harbour Authority boats. Pleasure craft large and small left in a single line after one race moved out of the way. The little harbour ferries (we call them jelly-bean boats) bobbed from stop to stop. 

The tide was extremely low. In the shallow bays the banquet table laid for a siege of herons, several squabbles of seagulls, and a herd of geese. The birds waded and watched, then with darting flashes of beaks into the water pulled up all sorts of delicacies and enjoyed them with gusto.

The temperatures were cool over the weekend and are supposed to rise again this week. The blue sky in the photo might be the last we see for a bit as smoke haze from the wildfires colours the light pinky-orange and obscures the blue. There are over 600 wildfires burning in our…

August Break 7-9

August 7: Five Facts About Me

Oh dear. Do I go deep or shallow? Perhaps a mixture, I think, for this is supposed to be a "break." Here goes:

1. I am learning to be content. I'm more contented now than I was even 5 years ago. 

2. Blue and white will always be my favourite colour combination. 

3. I often push through fear to do the things I do. I've discovered that the worry often precedes the event/activity/project, and once I attend/set off/begin, the fears evaporate.

4. Being bored never happens. 

5. Curiosity often motivates me.

August 8: sky

Endlessly changeable and fascinating. 

August 9: happiness is...

Another tough one to nail down. Different things make me happy at different times. I think this is true for all people. It can be elusive, and like the sky, highly changeable. 

My family brings me great happiness. When they are doing well, I am happy. The converse is also true. 

I'm happy in my garden, even while pulling weeds. 

Teaching makes me happy. Interacting with t…

August Break 2-6

August 2: ground

I don't drink coffee, but my husband does occasionally, mostly when there's company. Our children all drink it, so there's always some Fair Trade coffee here. Ground, not beans. 

August 3: skin

This took some thought until I realized that almost everything has skin, from people and animals to vegetables and fruit. I've been admiring the butternut squash in my garden, pale green with white stripes. They are growing larger almost visibly in the heat we're experiencing. 

Apple skin can be red, green, yellow and many shades between. One of our apple trees is loaded this year and the apples have begun falling. So...

I made the first batch of applesauce. Our grandchildren love it with oatmeal for their breakfast, and our son and his wife make batches of it to last the winter. They ran out this year and bought some from the store. The children hated it, saying it didn't taste like "real" applesauce. Nana came to the rescue and handed over some fr…

Coastal Inhabitants Then and Now.

The Broughton Archipelago is a maze of channels, islands, islets, narrow twisting passages and very few people. However, it is not completely uninhabited. During the first three-quarters of the 20th century, First Nations villages and European settlements were found in much greater numbers than currently. Most of the European settlements were on floats, not on cleared land, and I'll write about them in another post. For today, I thought I'd tell you about some of the First Nations peoples who have lived here for thousands of years.

We visited New Vancouver, also known as Tsatsisnukwomi, which means "Eel grass along the shore." The village is currently occupied by members of the Glendale family, whose grandfather wanted his family to live traditionally, and to not lose the old ways. There are 8 homes, a variety of outbuildings, a dock, and a Big House, seen in the bottom right photo above. A young woman gave us a tour of the village, and told us her family's story.…

Morning Light

For the month of August, I'm joining in A Month of Mindfulness, hosted by Susannah Conway. She provides a list of photo prompts and encourages participants to share, or not share the results on social media. I'll be sharing. Perhaps not every day, and perhaps I'll combine photos. Why don't you consider joining in, as well?

Our home is set on a west-facing hillside in the city and we're surrounded by large trees on the east, so sunlight comes a bit later to our garden. I took these photos just after my husband left for work, around 7:45. The white geranium caught some of the first rays peeking through the forsythia bush. 

Our "Secret" rose still in shade, but the unclouded light of morning shows her petals to perfection. 

Am I cheating by including other photos? I don't think so. This is what I picked from my garden yesterday. It feels so luxurious to go out and see what's available for dinner. Did you notice the top tomato? One of my tomato plants is…

Camping in a Forest by the Sea

Summer is all too short in Canada, and most Canadians try to make the most of it. This past weekend, we, along with our three children and their children packed up tents (one tent trailer), coolers filled with delicious food, folding chairs, and all the paraphernalia that goes along with camping and drove out to French Beach Provincial Campground, about an hour away. 

The eleven of us (8 adults and 3 children) had two sites and we set up our homes away from home, in the forest, before trekking down to the beach. The waves break upon the shore in constant rhythm, rushing forward to tumble stones upon the sand before falling back to build again. Mesmerizing. 

I snapped mostly beach treasures, with a few forest finds from our hike through trails overgrown with salal trails where it seems few others ventured.

We walked or sat on the beach, with piles of smooth stones that begged to be held and caressed, or built up into stone towers. A few made their way into pockets and carried home where t…

Sermons in Stones

Got your life jacket (aka personal flotation device, or PFD)? One of the best parts of a boating vacation is time to read. Long hours bobbing gently on the water, lost in another world, with periodic times of looking up to admire the scenery. 

I don't like to take library books on the boat for fear of loss, so I collect possible reading material for quite some time, from used book stores, friends, or the occasional new book. Here are some of the books I took along on this trip:

Britt Marie was Here (Fredrik Backman)
The Little Paris Bookshop (Nina George)
A Royal Pain (Rhys Bowen)
Totem Poles and Tea (Hugina Harold)
Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante (Susan Elia MacNeal)
The Death of Mrs. Westaway (Ruth Ware)
If You Want to Write (Brenda Ueland)
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper (Phaedra Patrick)
I'll See You in Paris (Michelle Gable)

and a few more. Lighthearted, easy reading, for the most part. On vacation, I read about a book per day. Oh, how I anticipated the reading I would do on thi…