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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

Friday, September 3, 2010

Song for Friday...oh to be old again!

 Somehow, while surfing the net, looking for recipes for canning peaches, I found this video.
You know how it goes...lost on the wires..
I think the title means ' Jumping into a puddle' in Icelandic.
Anyway, this video made my day and I will dedicate it to my friend Dianne.
I just know she'll love it!
(And to all of you who may grow old but stay immature forever!!)

Fanning the flames #5:
They took an inner tube down the slow river.
She saw it clearly.
Painted toenails in Teva sandals.
Braving the last days of summer

Sigur Rós - Hoppípolla from Sigur Rós on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh the memories!

Well, it's that time of year when school starts once again.
I always remember the back to school shopping and getting lost in the halls of Junior High, trying to find classrooms.
There was the nervousness of new classes, new faces, new teachers and such. 
Breaking in those new shoes and sharpening up a brand new pencil.
That perfect first sheet of paper that you so carefully and neatly wrote your name.
But I have a much more haunting memory of my very FIRST day of school.
It all began here...
Toronto 1968.
It was POURING rain...
Well...maybe not this bad.. but for certain my vision was seeing this through the car window...
My mom and I were late.
She was driving this green Ford, with, no doubt, bad visibility...
(I was NOT smiling like I was in this picture.)
So into the school yard we drove.
All was quiet.
The yard deserted.
School had already started.
And my mom was backing up to turn around...
Straight into the basketball hoop!
Down it went like an old growth tree in a silent forest!
If a basketball hoop falls in a deserted schoolyard, does anybody hear it?
Well ,of course everyone in the school looked out the window to see my mom rushing me into the school.
When we got to the door of my classroom, my mom turned to walk away.
"Wait a one told me you were leaving me here ALONE!!"
And down the hall she went...
Deserting her baby girl in a building full of strangers.
But you see she had other business to attend to...
Yup...she had to go to the Principal's office!
After the basketball hoop incident, parents were no longer allowed with their vehicles in the schoolyard.
After they calmed me down and sat me at a stiff wooden desk, in my itchy wool tunic, the girl behind me...
BARFED on me!
No wonder I never liked school.
Hope you all have better days for the beginning of a new school year.
And mom? 
I forgive you!...and I did learn to love all the good things about going back to school.

Book review...

I've just finished this incredible book about one mans quest to preserve quiet.
Gordon Hempton is an audio ecologist who travels the world recording sounds. 
Not just your ordinary ocean waves or bird song (although he does this as well) but things like butterfly wings flapping and tall grass in the fields of India.
He is on a mission to try to get the area over Olympic National Park in Washington state a 'no fly zone'.
His reasons are very valid.
He does not want to mask noise or lessen it. He wants to preserve the quiet that is.
Almost all national parks in the states not only have flight paths criss crossing them but also have volumes of air tourism. Especially places like Yosemite and Grand Canyon. 
Air pollution is a big problem everywhere in the world and Gordon takes us on a road trip in his '64 Volkswagen van from his home near Olympic park across the states to Washington D.C to sell his plight to politicians.
He is also trying to find a few quiet places along the way and meets up with some really fascinating characters.
No easy task. If you think you know of such a place, go there and see if you can stand there for 15 minutes uninterrupted by man made sounds.
If you know of such places, let Gordon know about them.
I am a quiet junkie. 
Nothing bothers me more than white noise, machine noise and unnecessarily loud music.
I know that sometimes it can't be helped but there are times when I say to myself...
"What are they thinking?!"
The other morning, it was a Sunday morning. Griffin and I walked down to the lake.
It was 7:30 a.m.
And someone had a wood chipper going.
It was 7:30 in the freakin morning!!
Couldn't they have waited say until 9 or 10?
No! They had to have this god awful noise going on at 7:30 a.m
Did you know that at this time in the morning birds are doing some of their most important communicating?
Some birds have disappeared from areas because of too much noise.
The book is an important statement in these times and tells of a very important message...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Generosity 101...

Not far down the road from our place there lived a man.
I didn't know of this man until after he died.
I still don't know too much about him except that he must have loved nature and his friends and neighbours.
Because down this path...
...and through the woods, stepping into the light...
 you will find a small piece of land.
This was once the home of Eric Sellars St Clare.
He owned 7.2 acres of prime real estate on a small lake.
He lived here for 60 years and when he died, one of his wishes was for this land to become public parkland.
(along with another 8 acres, which was adjoining his, was donated by the government.)
His house was taken down and all of the old fences removed...
New ones were put up...
A shelter was built so that even in the rain we can enjoy the view...
...and on quiet sunny mornings, benches have been placed near the lake...
Left behind are many traces of Eric.
You can tell  he had a love of gardening...
If you are lucky, such as I was this morning, you may even find one of his little artifacts...
I placed this one back high up in a tree.
Reminders of his projects to beautify his land are all around...
This little stone bridge won me over the first time I saw it and even though there isn't really a need to cross over it (since there isn't a creek here anymore) I still do, in honor of Eric.
Another lovely spot under one of the many trees he planted...
Now, it's not just that he donated valuable lakefront property to the community, it's that he had certain wishes for the park.
One was that his cats be cared for and another was this...
Notice the name of the park?
Not his.
Dedicated to a long ago friend who died in 1970.
 I like to think that his spirit lives on through all who come to enjoy this park.
It gives me faith in what people can do.
Commit random acts of conservation.
I tip my glass to you, Eric.

   Fanning the flames # 4:

In the stillness and warmth of the morning
Under the fading
waning moon
She once again believed.