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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Down in the bogs...

Yesterday when we got to the gate of Erinan, it was open! A rare occurance since no one uses this old road much anymore. 
I knew there was something going on when we heard the big trucks come rumbling by carrying my beloved moss covered water pipes! Thank goodness I took their photos only a few weeks back..
Too bad...I will miss the mossy things on that part of my walk.
So off Griffin and I went to the other side of the woods and down into the bog by the pond...
That gorgeous yellow plant is called Skunk Cabbage or Swamp Lantern. You may have guessed by its name that it has a pungent aroma. Not too offensive though.
When the weather warms up around here, it is one of the more impressive plants to show off....
Griffin is always so patient while I take photos...always standing guard.
I love how the sunlight shows through its hood of yellow..
...and that striking poker emerging from the center...
This plant loves the moisture and sometimes the leaves get to be 4 or 5 feet tall. This happens a bit later in the season. The native Indians used to use it for all kinds of ailments as well as wrapping salmon in it while baking  in pit ovens.
The view on the ground....
...and up to the sky.
mosses are sprouting up all over this gully...
What a tiny little world it is down here...
...with only snippets of sunlight penetrating through to the forest floor...
...but they who dwell here like it that way.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Song for Friday...song for the city...

 All right...hang on to your seats because this percussionist is simply incredible! 
If anyone's going to the city this weekend, hope you have as much fun as these guys are having!
Patrick Watson and Robbie Kuster...fellow Canadians...Montreal based...destined for another world.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St Paricks day leftovers....

We had a lovely night at The Farmers Daughter with mandolin, fiddle, drums and other assorted percussion...
There was story telling, a few jokes...
LOTS of foot tapping...
...more jigs...
Afew tunes on the penny whistle...
Going on well into the night....
Cheers my friends!

I humbly accept!



Lucinda over at Cobalt Violet just surprised me today with a lovely Sunshine award!
She has the most amazing photography and paintings that she does and I am quite flattered by this.
Thank you so much. I really enjoy your chronicles as well.

There are only 3 things that I remember winning in my life...
#1 was  in sixth grade; I won a guitar shaped cake complete with shoestring black licorice strings and jelly bean machine heads. I was so excited to show my mom that as I was running home with it, I dropped it FACE DOWN on the road!
#2 was when my sister and I went to some Beach Boys imitators concert and I won the door prize of about $100 worth of indoor tanning products...yuck!
#3 was when I bought a scratch and win lottery ticket and gave it to my daughter who proceeded to win a bright yellow Sony Walkman. Technically she won it but because I bought the ticket, I shared in the glory.

I am posting "the rules", but really, don't feel obliged...there really are no "rules" in life. It's all fun and games...
1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award to 12 bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person whom you received this award.


Here are some who have inspired me...

Brenda  for inspiring me to start a blog..
Beth for her beautiful photography and graphics
Ann Marie who is another superb artist
Susan and her incredible techniques in picture taking
la porte rouge another simply beautiful blog
farmlady for always leaving such sweet comments and stories of her circus of critters
Jenny and her Cobble Hill chronicles of delicious duckery
Dawn for all her generosity
And last but not least Paudie for his wonderful ramblings and a link to my ancestory.

Part of this award is to tell 7 things about yourself so here goes...

 My church is the outdoors and my daily walks with my dog, Griffin
I love to dance and sing
I am a CBC radio junkie
I have an extremely keen sense of smell
I am obsessed with my ancestory
I love to cook and eat
I  'talk' to the wild birds with my whistling (who knows what I'm really saying to them!)

So cheers to you all once again out there in blogland for making this world smaller and more interesting

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One for the da...

Marie over at her lovely blog included this favorite photo of an evening with my da in a Dingle pub...such good times!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So tell me kid,...are ya' feelin lucky?


 
There are times in my life in which I feel twice blessed. I mean, everyday, I can honestly say, that I love my life.The crisis are minimal, the company incredible and the view from where I sit is lovely. I have family and friends who I adore and who I think, like me pretty well just the way I am. I have travelled to places I have dreamed of and done some of the things on my 'bucket list' which make me want to pinch myself to know if they were really real. But like I said, there are times when I know that someone or something has shone a light on me and given me days where I am walking a foot above the ground. Some call it luck....I'm not sure if I would call it that, although I do like the sound of it....Is luck just being in the right place at the right time? Or does it mean being in the right frame of mind? I can't quite put my finger on why it feels the way it feels when things fall into place and make your life that much better. Not for just that moment, although these happenings are monumental too, but for days and weeks and sometimes years on end.
One such incident happened when I was about 25 years old. I was a widow with  a 7 year old daughter, trying to make ends meet as a landscaper after completing a horticulture course in college. The work was hard, the hours long and the pay was shite but, you do what you have to right? By chance I saw an add in the paper for a 'horticulture technician' with the Department of National Defense and thought "what's to lose?". So off I go to the interview with papers in hand and my love for gardening as my credentials. Well lo and behold I got the job! It wasn't until months later that I discovered an odd twist to the scenario. You see, my biological father was in the Navy, stationed in Victoria (where the gardening job was) when on a routine trip to Singapore, he slipped and fell into a drainage ditch, hit his head and died a few days later there. I was 3 years old and my mom had 2 other children older than me at home. Anyway, I was doing some weeding near the Admirals house one day, and got to talking with an older man in the Navy. We talked about travel and life and the subject of his trip to Singapore, years ago, came up. Turns out he was on the same ship as my father (John) and remembered him quite well. He remembered the day John died and how devastating it was for all on board. I went home that night thinking that maybe John  was somewhere, somehow, out there, lending me a hand ...it was an excellent paying job and helped me to get on my feet after years of crappy jobs and welfare.
 Landing a job by chance with Canada Post years later, was another bit of good luck for it was how I met my husband. I delivered the mail to his buisness for 2 years before we had a restructure where all the routes were changed and I lost that route...luckily I thought to leave him a little message in his mail on the last day with my phone number and, well 12 years later here we are, in our little slice of this beautiful world.
 The chance to make a pilgrimage to Ireland came by chance because of my daughter living in Dublin. Of course my dad (who has always been my da and raised me from the age of 4), was the one to make the trip with me. It has been a year in April since our voyage and the journey is embedded into my heart and soul. Not a day goes that I'm not reminded of those times and how deep it changed me in ways I can't explain. Suffice it to say that I will go back one day, hopefully to stay for a while. The place, the people, the light, the feel are in me to stay.
 Of course there are a multitude of life altering moments in my life in which I feel changed me forever. My daughters birth is first and foremost, as I'm sure most parents would say about the birth of their own, but its these 'chance' offerings that elate me and make me feel truley blessed at times...and so I feel that somewhere, somehow there's some kind of crazy light out there shining on me.

Happy St.Patricks Day, one and all...
 

Monday, March 15, 2010

'A' for effort....

I used to get  comments from teachers on my school report cards that would say things like..."If Kerry would only apply herself, she could go far" or "If Kerry would spend as much time on her schoolwork as she does socializing, she would do quite well".
Although I would always get top marks in visual art.
It was just that some things, like math, didn't mesh with the way I thought.
When I decided to take clarinet lessons in grade 7, I was so thrilled! Finally I will learn to do something I love!
I would lovingly open the case and shine up the silver buttons and oil the ebony wood...until 2 weeks into the music class, I realized that the teacher and I were not meant for each other. She did not seem to enjoy her job and was VERY impatient with us kids. At the end of the 2 month session, I quit and never took it up again.
Reading music, to me, is like math. I have never been able to get a hold on it and my meager guitar playing has come from playing by ear and reading those oh so easy guitar chord diagrams above the music.
Its the visuals for me that get me through.
Look at this beauty!
I bought her at a yard sale many many years ago with the honest intentions of learning to play her...
Those bellows are like a work of art!
After reading endofera's
post on accomplishing 'lists', I decided to really put the effort into one of the  things on my list of things I want to accomplish which is....
#3: Learn to play one song on the cello.
Yeah, funny looking cello hey?
But since I don't have a cello handy, I am substituting this lovely push button diatonic accordion.
I was listening to Kate Rusby singing a beautiful version of the old folk tune 'Wild Mountain Thyme' and thought this would be an 'easy' one to try...I am  in deep appreciation of those who have mastered the art of playing an instrument and thought if I could have one wish it would be to be able to play a musical instrument really well.
I may need to buy a book to help me along but I'm definitely giving myself an 'A' for effort.
I try to practice when Tom isn't home so as not to torture him with the same notes over and over...
My childhood teachers will be happy to know that I AM applying myself and keeping my socializing only to the dog and cat (who can't talk back anyway, are afraid of the noise coming out of this thing and usually hide in the bedroom).
If I can at least master just 1 song on this old girl, I will surely be inspired.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Of books and squid...

Friday morning saw snow on the hills behind the house...I knew it wasn't over yet despite the daffodills and hyacynth flowers blloming all around!
Anyway after work, I took the nieces and nephews for a long overdue trip to the bookstore in the next town down the road. Their Uncle Danny,who lives on the mainland, gave them a gift card for Christmas which they still hadn't spent, so off we went for a Friday night adventure...
Aahhh...BOOKS! What can be said about teaching kids the love of reading. I have always believed that if you teach someone to enjoy reading, they will posess a gift which will keep giving all through their lives.
Not only will they escape through the pages with their imagination...
...they can learn to do ANYTHING they want to!

I even believe in comic books as a way to inspire readers...some kids I know have improved their reading skills by reading these short publications. Nick had finished this before we even left the parking lot!
Books can be expensive to buy new and although it's such a treat to have a new book, books can be had from thrift stores for next to nothing and then of course there's the LIBRARY!!
Aren't libraries fantastic?! As many books as you want...for FREE...as long as they are brought back...what a system!
The kids were all allowed to pick out what they wanted for themselves and then I added this lovely book for them all to share..
The illustrations are so sweet as are the words.
After the bookstore it was off to Columbos Taverna for Greek food!
This platter was about as big as a babies bed and had plenty to feed us all...and the favorite item on the plate for all of them was....
Calamari!!
These kids are great eaters and will try anything. Such a joy to see them trying new tastes and finding something exciting and different to eat.
After dinner we went for a dusk stroll on the Lagoon before it got dark...
I am looking forward to those long summer evenings when we can go and explore the evening world...
This was a surprise...someone had made the bridge a gift and attatched it to one of the rails!
Hopefully these memories will remain with the kids to talk about in years to come...