Saturday, October 28, 2006

The big five-"O"

C'mon, tell me this guy doesn't look fifty. Talk about well preserved! The day came and went.... thanks for all your calls and good wishes! I'm looking forward to cashing in my gift certificate for a one hour massage next Thursday.
We had a wonderful steak dinner to celebrate with all the trimmings along with a nice '02 Cabernet. I'm so looking forward to more celebrating on the long weekend.

The new addition to my blog page (the clock down and to the right) depicts the time in Cromwell New Zealand where it is tomorrow. They are four hours behind and a day ahead. Hey Curt, you owe me an email!

Saturday we made the usual recycling and free store run. Ashley picked up something from the free store to make a Halloween costume, although I'm not entirely certain what she will be. Something "dead" I am told.
Then we went off on the Conservancy Nature Walk. Today's walk was to Railway Marsh, and Eagle Marsh. The trail follows the bed of the old logging Railway built around 1900. I was amazed that even after 3 clear cuts, Mother Nature was still trying to regenerate the earth, plants, and animals. Even within the slash piles and fallen logs there was life. The highlight was a glimpse of a curious beaver.
Our guides pointed out that all the slag and dead fall is the home for many organisms and the nursery for future growth. In another fifty years this will be a beautiful place. The trail and the marshes have been protected from future development. There are several walks at various times of the year, each featuring a different subject or location. Best of all, it's free and introduces us "nubies" to some of the island's extensive trail network.

Hey, Bill...can you eat these??

Officially one month without caffeine... OK, so I'm drinking decaf which I hear still has some caffeine, and then there was the chocolate bar fundraiser for Ashley.... that was for a good cause. Yes, there was a grouchy couple of days and some headaches, but that had to be expected (to be able to kick the 30 year-old habit).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Denman Island Prayer: Deer Fodder, who art in my back yard

It seems that the Rye is growing rather slowly. Understandable, as that is what it's supposed to do until spring, when it will have a tremendous growth spurt just before it gets tilled under. Upon closer examination the rye has been neatly "trimmed" about three inches above the ground. Yes, the rye has been discovered and is now deer fodder. The vermin are nibbling the blades under the cover of darkness when the deer chasing K-9 patrol is kennelled for the night. Oh well, at least it looks like a lawn.

The weather has begun to change! I've been lighting a fire most evenings and even in the odd morning. I think it will dramatically reduce the heat bill and use up the 2- year old dry firewood. We have several trees to drop over the next couple of years so the wood shed will be re-filled quickly and for the foreseeable future.

Curtis is alive and well in New Zealand and emails me a 2-liner every other day or so. He's currently "thinning apricots", although I'm not entirely sure what that entails. Curt has always dreamed of being a fruit picker, in fact here's a picture of Curt dreaming of picking fruit when he was 11 years old.
He did intend to set up a blog, but I have not seen it yet.... perhaps he can post a comment on this site from time-to-time ???

Saturday, Kari & I went to the Back-Hall coffee house for some free-form type Jazz by a quartet from The Big Smoke. I rather enjoyed it, However Kari rated it only slightly higher than Japanese flute playing, (see last Blog).

Retro pic of the week is Spa Night @ Ocean's Edge

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

How long can this weather last?

Some things are beyond your control. It has happened. Only one week from the big 5-0.... 49 51/52 of the way there and it happened.... the first grey hair. There it was just the other morning. It was attached, not a random pet hair inadvertently picked up during the night, but attached. Well, the tweezers made short work of him, but a couple of his friends have since appeared. They must have been laying low in the thinning underbrush. "aargg" (Charlie Brown.)

Monday evening you'd have found us at the Denman Island Community Hall for an evening of Japanese flute playing and an inspirational speech by a visiting Tibetan Monk. Perhaps not the Dalai Lama attracting fifty thousand at BC Place, but about 100 at the Denman Hall.. not a bad turnout. OK, so Japanese Flute playing by a "master" is not my thing. Although I can appreciate the skill involved, I can't get past the fact that if there was a bad note played, no one would know the the difference. I think this is an acquired taste, (like a kindergartner eating paste). I did enjoy the speech once my ear became tuned to the speaker's accent and manner of speaking, (which was, kind of an oriental William Shatner). His message as I heard it...
- Without trust, there is no relationship.
-Happiness cannot be provided by the outside world, (it is within you).
-Modern technological inventions make us busier and make it difficult to relax and enjoy life.
-Compassion and humility are the keys to inner and world peace not to mention harmony within the family.

Wednesday, Clay was finally diagnosed and a game plan is in place for his recovery. Hopefully, within a couple of weeks he will be out of the hospital and gaining back some of the thirty pounds (and strength) he misplaced during his ordeal. I'm looking forward to his company as soon as he's up to a little R&R on Denman.

Wildlife update... We dropped off a love seat to Suzanne who lives across the island, she introduced us to her resident deer, two bucks and four does. One particularly friendly doe could be hand fed pieces of apple. Also while on her property we found a newt. I'm sure it was the same kind that we see swimming in Chickadee Lake in the summer. Once we returned home, Ashley was determined to find one in our creek bed. Five minutes later she returned with newt in hand. No, he's not staying on as a pet. This picture (i stole off the net) is the Rough skinned Newt, the only one native to this area. For more info:

Rumour mill has it that the Infamous Denman Island cougar has cat-paddled his way to Hornby. Most, (including local livestock), won't be sorry to see him leave. It's a little like passing a cold onto your brother. You feel guilty for passing it on, but glad you don't have it anymore.

While picking up the mail on Wednesday I saw a flock of about fifty wild turkeys at West Isle Farm. Although they are common here, this is the most I've seen at one time. Again, someone forgot the camera.

Saturday Morning, a morning to sleep-in day as Ashley is at her dad's this weekend. (she had a pro-D day yesterday) So, why am I blogging at 6:45 a.m.? Well, it seems this is the first foggy morning we've lived here. Apparently, the ferry must blow the horn upon departure and every two minutes thereafter. A small inconvenience in paradise as it promises to be yet another outstanding day. I swear you could count the number of rainy days per month since May on a catcher's mitt. The day deserves a walk on the beach with Sienna, whom, by-the-way has a new bed just like her cousin Tanu. She liked Tanu's bed so much on the last visit that she just had to have one of her own. (enlarge pic to see her nicest smile)

Where else in the world can you go and see one of your favourite bands, in an intimate venue, a mere 4 1/2 minute walk from your front door, for fifteen bucks? Two weeks from today, (November 4th) 54-40 plays the Denman Island Community Hall. Guess where I'll be. This could be the preamble to the Birthday bash planned in Ukee the following weekend.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Get well soon

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.
Albert Schweitzer

Remiss on last week's entry... as most know Clay is in VGH and has been for the last week. The pic in the previous blog now seems in bad taste, (although he was on the mend at that time, or so we thought).
He has three teams of specialist attempting to nail this thing down. Sparing the details, he has undergone quite an ordeal which has overshadowed most everything else around here. He does have a phone in his room... call me for the number.
With Mom feeling a little better, we're hoping we will be looking back at this next month with everyone feeling better to enjoy a family get-together. We may have to look into the group rate for CT Scans.

Our abbreviated thanksgiving was highlighted by a short hike along the "spine" of Denman Island with quite a spectacular view to both sides of the island. This view is across Baynes Sound with Ship's Point in the background.

No action yet on Cedar. We'll give it until the end of the month and come up with a plan as the market has cooled off considerably. We may consider a lease until things pick up again.

The weather has remained unseasonably warm and sunny with today being the first day of drizzle in quite some time. We took advantage of the sun yesterday and planted some small trees at the back of the property. We are told they grow very aggressively and in 5 years there should have a privacy hedge.

Curtis and Denise should be in New Zealand today. He has promised to set up a blog and when I have the address I will link to it. They have some leads on picking opportunities and Curt may be playing "gigs" in a restaurant that one of Denise's relatives own. Does that make him an international talent?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

SOLD!!!! to the millionaire from CALGARY

Ocean's Edge is officially sold. Me thinks there is plenty of time for a last hike in Schooner Cove and a glass of red wine by the fire. Congrats guys! Now.... spend, spend, spend!!

The court case was a flipp'in waste of time and a grand out of my jeans only to be told that there was no no reason to be in court.... duh! I did, however, have a nice day with Clay. He has his suite fixed up and I was impressed with how tidy and organized he is. He was taking a couple of days off after being released from the hospital and he's going to be OK. He is trying to set a new record for being admitted to the most hospitals in the lower mainland. Is that 3 or 4 in the last year? I've lost track!
When I arrived he was recuperating at home by cleaning the deck and his workshop, weed-eating, & cutting the grass and then washed his car, all in the matter of an hour. I'm looking forward to having him recuperate here next weekend.

Another week of spectacular weather on Denman Island... coolish in the morning and warming up in the afternoon to 18-19 c or so. There is another week of the same on the way.

Rye Report

Still growing rapidly.... either the deer don't like it or they have headed into the deep woods for the hunting season. (Opening Day... Saturday)

Ashley's birthday is on the 8th.... she'll be with her dad, so we had a mini party with angel food cake and home-made ice cream. Oh ya... home-made ice cream... we'll churn some up this weekend for sure.