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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, October 8, 2010

Song for Friday...birthday!

On Saturday it's my niece Meghan's 14th birthday!
I remember the dark, rainy night that she was born, the first time I saw her little face,
so perfect and peaceful and beautiful.
She's grown up into this amazing person and I love her to bits.
She spent hours with this little orphan rooster in the summer...
She shares her birthday with John Lennon, he would have been 70.
So I thought I would put this classic song out for her and all of you.
Happy Birthday Megs!!
Have a great weekend all.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Big Swap...

A while ago, Nadia over at la porte rouge, put out a call to anyone who might be interested in a autumn swap.
I joined in thinking this was a cool way of getting to know other bloggers and what they blog about.
Our mission...
Nadia sent us the name and address of our recipient.
To them we were to send:
#1: A postcard or photo with a favorite saying or quote.
I chose this vintage postcard I had received in a box with about 100 others...
They all had messages written on them and I like to wonder who and why they were written.
People use to write a lot more than they do now, as you can see by this one, which the sender is wondering why she hasn't heard from 'Sara' in 2 weeks...when was the last time you wrote a letter?
The quote, in orange lettering is my contribution.
#2: A favorite book, new or used which you love.
It was challenging to think of sending a book to someone I had never met and not knowing their tastes so I decided on this sweet little Beatrix Potter book.
I love her imagination and I think that children's books are often under rated.
Sometimes they hold great life lessons.
#3: Something from nature.
I used to make these pictures and take them to craft fairs and I decided that this was a good choice for #3.
Fiddle heads are a sign of spring around here, and although this is an autumn swap, it could be a new beginning of sorts. Maybe new friendships will be born and unfurl.
Lastly #4: Something of our choice.
One of the things I do know for sure about my recipient is that she's a foodie so I am sending her a jar of my home made blackberry lavender jam...
In late summer, the Himalayan blackberries are plump and juicy and the lavender aromatic and abundant.
I always make a few batches and love the combination of flavors.
So there it is.
All packed and ready to go...
My recipient will remain a secret, as requested by Nadia, until she receives her package in the coming weeks.
The suspense is killing me to know who has my name and what surprise I will find in my mailbox one day!
This was an interesting exercise in finding things which please you and are a reflection of yourself.
It's like having a pen pal you never met and introducing them into your world.
Cheers Nadia!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book review...

Every time I read a book about WW2, I am uplifted by the strength and power of the human condition.
This is the true story of Jan and Antonina Zabinski; zookeepers of the Warsaw Zoo in Poland from the onset of the war up until the end.
It is the story of two people who saved over 300, destined for death because they were Jews.
Their courage in the face of unending danger is astonishing and only part of the story of many who aided Jews in the underground, getting them out.
Taking the chances of being killed themselves.
Being brave is an understatement.
As Jan says "I only did my duty...if you can save somebody's life, it's your duty to try."
380,000 Jews lived in Poland at the start of the war.
Many did not survive.
But some people, like the Zabinskis, knew that they had to use what little power that they had to try.
Diane Akerman is a descriptive and informed writer with beautiful technique.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

All to ourselves...

Griffin and I drove out to French beach the other morning...
Long before you even get to the seashore, you can hear the crashing of the surf...
Along the tree lined tunnel...
down the sea grass lined path...
And there it is...the beach.
With not a soul in sight...
...except Griffin who's miles ahead of me...
I wanted to find out more about why this beach is called French beach and found out something extraordinary...James French was an explorer, naturalist, adventure seeker who took 2 years to travel from his home in New Brunswick (on the east coast) in the 1880's and after paddling around Vancouver Island found this place. 
Not an easy task I assure you with the wild coastal weather.
No fancy GPS or Gortex in those days.
Probably hostile territory as well.
And all of this after falling through a crevasse in the Northwest Territories and losing all of the toes on one foot and the heel of the other foot to frostbite!
His family continued to live here until the mid '70's at which time they donated the land to the province for now has a campground and lovely picnic sites.
Of course the beach is the star of the show...
Surfing dogs love it here!
Logs that escaped from booms...
natures anchors made with rock and seaweed...
bits of the giant moon snail shells...
beautiful rocks with every step that have a hard time resisting coming home with you...
gifts of feathers left for curious noses...
Then we ventured up into the out though!
About 4 years ago we had the most violent windstorm in a century which ripped through these parts.
Loads of trees came down and not just snapped off but pulled straight up roots and all by the power of the wind...evidence of this is still everywhere in these parts...
People have been killed from standing by the root ball when the upper part of the tree is cut off.
The shear weight of the earth and roots falls back to the ground burying the bystander.
Lots of strange little things in the deep woods...
 The tourists have gone home now that the stormy weather is back and once again the locals return to favorite, deserted places.