Archive for the ‘recreation’ Category

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sweet summer

August 4, 2013

After a pathetic start to the summer season (lots of rain, and three weeks of illness) things have turned around and there are still a few weeks of summer to go!

In addition to the usual, we’ve been busy with building a new house; harvesting our first crops of potatoes, onions and garlic; enjoying summer visitors from out of town. I’ve also been getting into canning and sewing for me (rather than just for school).

July 22 - collecting river rocks

While enjoying a mini vacation I made some strawberry jam in anticipation of figuring out a buckwheat cracker recipe that tastes good. Then I found transparent apples but didn’t have time to figure out what kind of GF shell to make so I canned them all for future experimentation in the fall.

I’m slowly getting better at finding and using my camera too. Documenting the progress on the house has helped, as has the documentation of textile dyeing by others. Today I even pulled out the gorilla tripod and took shots of our crabapple jelly processing.

Aug 3 - Hand-dyed goodness

After three years of being on the fruit tree program call out list, I was finally able to help. Pickers help take the fruit from trees so that bears aren’t attracted to it and then distribute it among themselves, the landowner and the local food shelter. I wasn’t sure what to do with crabapples but since they weren’t plums and I was available I thought I should help. It probably didn’t hurt that 2 nights earlier I’d witnessed a huge black bear walking across our foundation and then up into the big old plum tree next door. Branches cracked and the whole tree shook as he picked it nearly clean. (Of course I wasn’t in the habit of carrying my camera so no proof, just the story!)

Crabapple surprise!

And I almost forgot – I went blackberry picking in my own town! Usually we rely on Gulf Island field trips for our seasonal fix but they’re abundant, juicy and more than a tad tart right here. Last year they were wizened and kind of gross, but I remember our black bear sightings went up right as the berries got ripe. It seems the same is true this year as I saw the black bear on the same day as I picked my first blackberry of the season.

I also saw this:
Aug 2 - new local wildlife sighting
which, thanks to my growing collection of field guides, I can identify as a common skimmer. (Which reminds me of another first encounter with an aquatic bug – a giant stonefly. It had been familiar to me in name only and it was so interesting to observe and learn more about it that fine spring day.

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A different way to start the New Year

January 7, 2013

Despite its calamitous start, I’d say that 2013 is off to a good start.

That first day is one that, as much as I’d like to forget, will likely become the memory that pushes me beyond the ho-hum to make this year a great one. 

You see, I’d been feeling tired and stressed before December had even started but I’d hardly noticed.  Then I was obliged to work extra hours every day while juggling a final week of school that was bordering on insane.  On top of all the usual seasonal chaos there was a municipal hearing, two performances of a school play, preparing for and hosting our biggest solstice celebration yet, and a fabric dyeing workshop.  How I survived it, I just don’t know.  And the funny thing is, I thought I was doing well because in the 10 days following, I kept from getting sick despite all the sugar and late nights.  That was, until, I woke up on January first.

Despite not a single glass of bubbly the night before, I woke up at 9 am with one nasty headache.  I had already determined that this was the day for cleaning out our main living spaces; clearing the cobwebs so to say.  Well, I did that, but my allergies didn’t like it and by the end of the day I was little more than a miserable pile of tears with a splitting headache. 

I loathe visiting that place so by the time I went to bed I had determined that I was going to eat better and sleep better for the rest of the holidays (in the hopes that I might start the new school year better than I had ended the last).  I figured it might be easy enough and then I went for labwork.  They revealed that there was more to my crash than just a few weeks of late nights and too much sugar.   It seems I’d gotten too cavalier about taking my vitamins, holding space for relaxation and getting exercise, and all the other things that keep me healthy. 

Seven days into this year I’m on a whole different pathway.  I’ve made a list of menu ideas for the month, Kevin and I have been snowshoeing twice and cross country skiing once, we’ve gotten things started with our architect, I’ve got a plan for my stories and circles for the new year, I’ve started attending contra dances again, I’ve been going to bed earlier and getting up before the sun, I’m taking my vitamins, I’m preparing meals in advance (so that I can better avoid blood sugar crashes) and, most importantly, I’m feeling better.

2013 – I know you’re going to be one heck of a challenging year but I’m ready for you!

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So long 2012!

January 7, 2013

So long 2012, it’s been good to know you!

You were a different year alright.  I’m going to remember you as the year of crazy stress, new adventures and reacquainting myself with old friends and nature. 

You started off with lots of skiing – regular Sunday xc skis, and then a my first days of downhill in 5 or 6 years during spring break.  Oh, and there were many nights and afternoons of playing Catan while nursing my ouched toe.

 There was the kootenay road trip to visit old friends, preparing dinner alone and then taking it out to the guys after their long evenings spent scrubbing new climbing routes 

 In the summer we made our long awaited road trip into Northern California which featured long drives, outdoor dinners at sunset, tiny dots of climbers on El Cap, and meeting 3 generations of the same family enjoying the best parks interpretive program I’d ever seen – a one man act about John Muir.  It was a trip full of impulsive decisions to go this way or that and some horrible camping spots that will give us stories to laugh about for many years to come.

 Returning home, our little suite seemed huge but dark so we got back into hiking, went on a few backpacks, and spent a few nights sleeping under the stars.  We saw bioluminescence for the first time, grew our first successful garden, I started a nature studies program and then started getting ready for school.

 Our hopes of buying a lot and building a house faded after a few failed attempts and Kevin finally realized his dream of owning a boat.  And that very same week, we began negotiations on what is now our lot.  It was just a little bit stressful around here at that time!

 The last few months of the year were a blur of reading house books, meeting architects and getting to know the builders in our town.  Friday dinner nights with friends were a regular part of our fall routine and in December the snow came – and STAYED.  We did candle dipping out in the shed for solstice, won our variance appeal, had our first Christmas on the island and more. 

 You were a good year 2012, and I know that 2013 is going to be even better.  New house!

 

 

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Bikey, bikey

June 28, 2011

School is now over and my focus has shifted. This summer I’m all about cycling! Not that I won’t be doing prep or the usual hiking and climbing, but cycling is at the top of my list.

Back in my university days I loved to ride and even after breaking my wrist, it was hard to keep me off the trails. Back then, mountain biking was the only thing for me and I even raced for a season. It was such an adrenaline rush and so Much FUN!

As I got more serious about cycling I started thinking about getting a road bike so I could train more. I had such a hard time finding anything that would fit and then a whole bunch of other things changed. I moved around, was introduced to new sports and re-introduced to backpacking, climbing and hockey 5 nights per week. And I started breaking bones…

Mountain biking was still part of my regular routine (albeit at a lighter pace) until 6 years ago when my crunched up wrist stopped being able to handle my aggressive position on the mountain bike. It was a painful number of years before I could even handle a couple of km’s of riding. Thankfully those days are over and for the past 2 summers and this spring I’ve been steadily increasing my riding. I’ve also had some help to make my trusty old mountain bike fit better and equipped it with slicks.

It’s been so much fun to be able to get away from school stuff and ride with new friends nearly every week. Bring on summer!

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time. to. enjoy. life.

March 25, 2011

There’s been a lot to reflect on over these past few weeks but getting outside, spending time with Kevin and making progress on some of my projects has been so satisfying.

Kevin and I have spent our weekends together and sharing activities ranging from creating a Nanaimo Bar facsimile that’s free of eggs and dairy to living outside on the beach to bike shopping. Oh, and so many heartfelt conversations too. It’s been such good medicine for my soul!

Here are a few of the highlights in picture form.

doll homework

our attempt at dairy and gluten free Nanaimo Bars

First camping trip of the season.  'Twas beautiful!

Bunnies on the run!

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climb on!

July 16, 2010

BC rocks! We’re so happy to be closer to our roots and finally living under the same roof. Let me tell you, it’s been a long 12 months of playing boomerang.

Earlier this week we set foot in our new place… a modest 650 sq ft suite. It has meant reducing our collection of stuff but we’re happy to be physically closer together and not have to deal with stairs or cleaning 3 bathrooms and a whole lot of underutilized space. We’re also just minutes away from great mountain biking, hiking and climbing.

Unpacking is going a bit more slowly than I might have expected but with such amazing weather we’ve had little interest in staying indoors. Our adventures haven’t been extravagant but we’ve been able to make time for 3 climbing sessions so far and tomorrow we’ll pull the rope out again.

climb on!

Yay for sunshine! Yay for climbing! Yay for togetherness! And yay for being in BC again!

I hope you’re having a great summer too!

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getting my bearings

June 21, 2010

To be back in BC has been wonderful. So wonderful that I really don’t want to leave for my summer training or go back to Alberta for Folk Fest and a string of goodbyes. It’s true, I’ve enjoyed the past 2 weeks of being homeless.

Kevin and I started this piece of the journey with a few days of packing and followed it with a slow 2 days of driving with our truck fully loaded and the E carrying the more delicate and precious cargo. His folks joined us in packing and driving and when we got to our new stomping grounds we took a good couple of hours arranging our storage space. Everything fit and most everything we’ve needed since has been accessible.

moving!

We camped for a few days and then Kevin went back to AB to wrap up work while I joined my class for the last few days of their school year. It was so good to be able to meet everyone and the social calendar has meant that I’ve been able to work at getting to know people from the school and the broader community. It’s been so great that not being able to find a house or rental suite is hardly stressful right now. We knew this piece would be difficult but it’s still a surprise to me that it’s such a non-issue.

I am really happy to be where we are but in wanting to maintain some privacy I’m really reluctant to give too much of my location and my work away just yet. Suffice it to say that we’re where we need to be and we’re looking forward to getting to know our neighbours and all the local recreation hot spots.

As I spend the summer traveling and sinking myself into this new community I expect the opportunities to blog will dwindle… much like in my last semester of schools. I wish it weren’t so but if it means I’m spending less time on-line (as it has these past few weeks) then I think I’m good!

Have a great summer and happy solstice!