Tanker

A tanker sits at anchor in front  of Gabriola Island on a March morning. Some don’t appreciate them here, sometimes there have been several waiting here to get into Vancouver. I don’t mind them. It adds some interest to the sea scape. We can hear and even feel them drop their anchors in the channel. There will be this deep rumbling / scrapping sound and sometimes a little boom when it hits the sea bed.

Bob though is a bit sensitive to the sound of their generators running, a low hum, especially at night.

Unfortunately I don’t hear it – or it doesn’t disturb me enough.

“Can’t you hear that? What you mean you can’t hear that? !”

“No. Can’t.”

 

Lyle and John

Photo courtesy of the web

I crossed the water to see these guys a few nights ago at the theatre downtown, a great show. I adore Lyle, his vocal styling , his masterful writing and guitar prowess, and to be frank it was he that I was really excited about. I didn’t know a lot about John Hiatt, I knew some of his work, watched some You Tube videos, but all that changed with seeing him in live performance. He was Amazing. IS amazing. A harmonious contrast to Lyle and equally powerful.

Coupled with their (really funny! ) dry wit bantering it was an intimate, warm welcoming night with two of the best music masters,  made us feel we were just sitting with two guys singing and playing guitar in the living room.

Beginning with watercolor

I have spent the day working on watercolor sketches, choosing a couple of past prime roses that were given to me on Valentines – yes they sat in the vase as their water slowly evaporated till now. I can be inattentive at times. Using low-grade student quality paints that have sat for far too long, some of the tubes rock solid from age, I thought I would begin. But the paint quality isn’t an issue at this time since my focus at this stage is to get a feel for the medium, and practicing looseness.

Watercolor sketch 2017

Watercolor is a different animal, once the paint touches down on paper it’s there to stay. It is key to be fluid and not overwork a piece, it almost becomes a meditation on the balance of letting go, and knowing when to withhold, and it is so very evident that I need a lot of meditation practice. I have very seldom ever worked in this medium, choosing Acrylics for its speed of drying and forgiving plasticity. Right now I have these poor little paints at my disposal to facilitate my getting back to painting again. And, it’s better for me to work small-scale for the time being as I reawaken those once dormant creative muscles.

Watercolor sketch 2017

All along the waterfront

I craved some sun so I went to town. My island neighborhood is so heavily treed that much of the road is shady this time of year. There are spots to sit in the sun but not so much for a long walk in the sun. For that I needed to go across the water to town where the entire waterfront bathes in light. And fortunately there is a splendid walkway that hugs the shoreline for about 2 miles. All totaled I clocked my 10,000 steps easily, and a sufficient dose of good ultra violet therapy. Skin damage be damned.

When I look at this view of my little island and Newcastle Park from town I know I must live in one of the best little corners of Canada by far.

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Religious tolerance lives here

 

Under bridge art.

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In truth it has taken me some time to have real affection for my town even though I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else in my 59 years; went to college here, had my daughter here, met and married my husband here, built a home.

But there is nothing not to love about Nanaimo, although it took years of desperate struggle, it has blossomed over the years and it’s harbor front is its winning card hands down. It’s a bit urban, some quaintness, great concerts, and celebrations, and what city can boast an 800 acre island park right in its harbor accessible only by boat?

Oh, a note about the Photo of the pirate at the top. That is our late, great (hmmm.) pirate Mayor Frank Ney. Black Frank, immortalized in bronze. He held the office of Mayor for 21 years and was also a developer. He was the guy to subdivide my little island, shown behind him, and responsible, among other very important things, of naming many of the city’s streets; Dingle Bingle hill, Twiggly-wiggly Road, Buttertubs, and Berger-Op-Zoom. My island didn’t escape unique naming, we received his Piratey legacy with  Captain Kids Terrace, Pirates Lane, Treasure Trail, Captain Morgans. It’s said he’d delegate the business of street naming to his young children. He had eleven, so.

Colorful man our Frank.

 

 

 

 

A Prairie winter came to the west coast

snow boots 2017Snow Boots. Now I know it doesn’t look like a lot of snow here but believe me, we had snow ! It was well over one foot, two feet in some areas. Don’t laugh, that is impressive here in our non mountainous areas, it was beautiful. I can’t understand why I didn’t take any photos of it as it was blanketing my wee island, but I got a few before the final thaw.

Vancouver on the other hand was suffocating in it. Vehicle travel was pure and utter debilitating chaos. We just are not accustom to this degree of white rain.

Crab claw 2017

 

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One of our chickens. Okay it’s a quail, scavenging some fallen bird seed from the feeder.

Bob shoveling the dock 2017

Clearing the dock to our boat was a good work out…for Bob. Twice. We dock at the very end, and with the repetitive freezing rain, partial thawing, then more snow proved walking to the boat was a tad treacherous during those weeks.

Today all is green again. I worked out in the yard the entire day yesterday and it felt so good sensing spring feels oh so near ~

Quarantine

There are always two sides to every decision, pro’s and con’s, and when my 91 year old mom had to move into a full care facility last summer it was no different. In her new place she would be cared for 24 hours a day and my sister and I could feel a little less concerned about her being alone on her own at night, the upside to group residential care. All of the stress we all went through over the last few years with our mom was greatly lessened, although it was difficult to see her lose her independence. But mom did adapt to her new surroundings with her sense of humor intact, and some of her personal belongings to make her room quite homey.

With the winter season all residents got a flu shot and even still 12 folks came down with the virus, my mom one of them. The procedure for that is lock down. Fortunately my mom has a cell phone so at least we could keep in daily communication with her while she’s confined to her room.  She greatly misses our thrice weekly drives and lunch outings and my sisters evening visits, but she knows it’s a matter of time to get over it and soon enough would no longer be in her words Hog Tied. It’s into the third week.

Now today we get news that the doctor took a swab from my mom to check on her persistent cough and although she feels good and has energy they tell us she has  HA-MRSA, a.k.a. the super bug. She has been fighting urinary tract infections for several years in which antibiotics were frequently prescribed and then with this last flu outbreak was given more antibiotics. Is it any wonder?

Enter the down side of group residential care. It’s a virulent soup for the prone. When she lived on her own she was never sick.

So now it’s serious lock down but only for her. The other residents are free to come out of their rooms. She is highly contagious, the nurses must “suite up” to care for her we’re told. We’re told it will be one month before they can lift her quarantine, even if the new antibiotics seems to work. The only way to visit her is to stand outside her window and have our conversations over our cell phones.

But that is better than not seeing her at all.

 

 

 

Food Glorious Food

winter veg hash 2016

I enjoy food and eating well, and to eat well you pretty much have to make it yourself, not to mention it’s more economical to cook at home. Fortunately I enjoy cooking and baking, and have some training in these areas. Thought I would encourage you to check out my food blog Boca Delicia  click on the blog name to visit.

poached egg over tuscan ham, red peppers and hash browns with chimcicherri sauce

It’s still a “young” blog and in development as I work to designate blocks of time for recipe research and preparation and set a regular cooking/posting schedule, which is my biggest challenge even though I cook everyday to feed myself and Bob. I tend to not use recipes, along with very little meal planning, using what I have on hand and that isn’t the best formula to convey recipes to others!  The exception of course is Baking- there isn’t much room in that area for improv!

Almond Biscotti 2106

I hope you don’t mind that I peppered this blog with food shots from my other blog but a little taste won’t hurt ~ Salute!

Chocolate Spice Cookies 2016