Saturday, February 28, 2009

Victoria Grid Project for February

I finished loading my photos to the Victoria Grid Project for February. I was using my ND grad. filter and the colors turned out looking really rich... almost velvia. It was a bright, sunny, mid afternoon shoot. The bridge ones turned out quite nice too, but I don't think I will load them here.

Pat and I had picked up a deli sandwich at the Red Barn deli and went to the Gorge Park in the Van to have our lunch. I have some good photos from that Park, too that I want to sort for any keepers. The Red Barn deli has some very good food. The cookies are superb! Must go back and get some for a treat here.

The Third Wave

why aren't my photos showing. Hmmmmmmm The text is not showing on my blog, but the side bar stuff is there. I can click on the side bar and see the posts. Its free... guess you get what you pay for.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Second Wave

After a lot of time spent doing moderator work in the Atque Artifcia group on Flickr, I finally got a bit of time to see Detlef's YouTube video of his recent trip out to Tofino. I hope you can get this. I have not added any widget to add videos, but it seems to play for me this way.
EDIT: removed the video, as it is no longer playing: March 1st. m

The wave one more of mine from my bizzillion shots of the waves on Sunday out by the Esquimalt Lagoon.

I am spending far too much time doing moderating stuff and not enough time doing my own stuff or seeing my friends stuff on Flickr. So, the only person who can change that is myself, no use whining about it. I did promise to do this stuff though so try do a good job of it. Ken has joined Twitter...I suppose its a chat program, but I don't have time to investigate that or use yet another chat program. I did a quick look around Facebook ... just lurk there once in a while. All the Smith girls are ever so busy.. doing good, I think.

When I got up this morning there was a skiff of snow on the ground. Its been cold lately. Guess its not spring, just yet, despite the best efforts of my crocuses, cyclamen, anemones, and snowdrops in bloom.

Monday we get the kitchen and bathroom floor coverings. One more step finished.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Ocean

On Sunday we took a drive about the West Shore communities. The development in the commercial areas has been just booming in the last few years, along with new roads and much beautification and landscaping of the boulevards. When we lived out there it was just a little wide spot on the road.. 20 years makes a lot of difference. We stopped for a look at Langford Lake. It looks rather like a big weedy slough. The cottages in the area look just a bit down at the heel, too. No doubt, it will get a facelift, soon, too. Then we drove out to the area where the big development is going to be where the gravel pit is now. There are some little pockets of development with big new houses. Some with some terrific views. We went home past the Esquimalt Lagoon, where we stopped while I took wave pictures!! Lots and lots of wave pictures. I love the ocean. It was great being out in the refreshing, cool breeze with the smell of the ocean.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Photos from January and my walk in the park. The day of the wonderful light.

She left us in the dead of winter, wafted up to heaven on silent wings. She goes to join her life time partner, Adam, and enjoy the comfort and ease her kindness, good humor and generosity here on earth has earned for her. My sympathy to her children and grandchildren who will miss her. As will we all, miss her; but always remember her as she is a part of our lives. She was like a second Mom to me, my oldest sister, Florence. Enjoy your well earned joyful peace!

Silver Salt and Pepper Shakers

Colleen had left these silver salt and pepper shakers with Pat at Christmas time. We had them cleaned and some small repair done, and picked them up yesterday. They are from Aunt Norma. I could not get a good photo of them, as they are mirror finish shiny. I have no idea how to take photos of silver. Probably need a setting or two of fine china on linen to make them look right.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Walk - January 10, 2009

At the beginning of January there was flooding happening in some parts of town and more seriously, up island. I took my camera and went out to see how our river was doing. There was a sign across the path in the park saying it was closed due to flooding. By the time I was out for my walk the floods had receded. There was a bit of wash out on the path, but not bad. The river is just the usual full to its banks. Since then we have not had much rain. Our water reserve is at 80% they say, which is not great. We could be full and it would be better.

The colors were really quite bright, but I think I should set my camera's saturation off, if it is on. I like the colors though. I enhanced the water drop with the berries in photoshop. :)) I have a few more from this day's shoot that I like and want to upload to this blog, if not to Flickr. If I load to Flickr I feel obliged to return comments on my stuff. Lately, I just don't seem to have the time. I have been catching up on some moderating duties and my Whimsies group has gone wanting for comments the photos. I don't know why I feel I have to comment them all, but I like to.

I am really enjoying being back in my kitchen. Tonite I roasted a chicken, dressing, gravey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, and butternut squash. Was good. Neither one of us had room for any dessert. Since Pat cannot have salt, I made chicken/vegetable soup. I have 3 jars of it. I just have to add water, heat and serve. We have not looked for soups with less sodium and are doing ok so far with homemade soups. Its fun actually. My cream of asparagus turned out really good last week. I have some left over asparagus to make more. It just takes a bit of time. I have stuff mostly put away. I have to put my gardening books in the liberated shelves in the library. I moved my camera stuff out here into the cabinet next to the closet.

Brad was back last nite to finish installing my faux Tiffany light and to move the baseboard heater over a few feet. Now I will turn my desk to face the wall. Pat reminded me that the reason I had it facing the door was so that no one could look into our patio door and see the computer. hmmmmmmm... I don't think my old model computers are something that would be particularly high value on the black market. Tonite we settled our account with Brad, and it was approximately what Pat had expected. I was a bit surprised, but what do I know. The pot lights are a bit expensive. I didn't price them out, or I may not have gone for them, even though I really like them. They will be finished after the painter is done. It is suppose to be easier for him to paint around them as they are, and then the trim goes on after. They are white, and I want the ceiling to be the same gold as the walls.

Wally should be here to instal lino, at the beginning of March, and then we wait until the beginning of April for him to do the carpet.

It has been a beautiful day out... 10 degrees celcius and sun. I have light blue crocuses and the yellow crocuses, as well as 'lady killer' crocuses up. Snowdrops, cyclamen, a few anemones.. the bright blue ones, and a few arabis have decided to bloom. I should get out and clean up a bit. I was planning to move my good daffodil bunch out of the little rockery by the veggie garden. I think I will wait until they finish blooming and then move them. They really are lovely. I think I will add more compost over top of the Oriental poppies by the garage, remove the little rockery along there, as it looks rather lame. The plants can go in the new rock garden area or over by the veggie garden... which rockery is expanding into the veggie plot.

Spring seems to do this to me... plans plans and notiions.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

The new counter tops

This is how the renovation looks, so far. Cherrywood 'Honey Spice' from Kraftmaid cabinets with bronze pulls and knobs. The counter tops are "granola" Corian with Pompey red pinstripe. New tap to match the bronze hardware. The pot lights are in the ceiling but we are waiting for the painting to be completed before they are finished. Countryside Designs from Cobblehill did the countertops and Aquarian Plumbing hooked up the sink and dishwasher, David Denis installed the cabinets that we bought through Home Depot. Brad was over today to complete the installation of the faux tiffany in my room and move the basebooard heater over. March 2 - 3 Wally from Hourigans carpets will come in intall the new lino in kitchen and bathrooms. The carpet was not in stock and the order should get here end of March. After the carpet is in we get David back to finish the kickplates and other trim. Then, we contact John Gray to see if he will ccome to paint. Yeaay, it is looking good. Brad was very impressed with our countertops, which he had not seen last time he was in. Others were impressed with the all wood cabinetry and how well made it is. Looks like we chose some good stuff. If anyone needs hardwood or tiles when we are ready to downsize they are welcome to instal them. I am personally not going to miss either hardwood floors nor tile floors. Who knows? by the time I am ready to move the fad may have changed back to kitchen carpet or lino and blindingly white kitchens. I am very pleased with how mine is looking so far.

Yesterday, I moved, washed and stored the everyday dishes, the stemware, and cutlery, as well as most of the microwave dishes. We also shopped for plastic bins and trays for putting in the pull out drawers and other places we needed them. Man! $85 worth of plastics at Canadian Tire! outrageous for what we got. The kitchen trolly did not need that $89 pull/bar that we bought and returned a while ago. The Corian guys made a handle out of the Corian for moving the trolly, if ever. Its very heavy, as it contains to units of the cherrywood. Seems to be the only way we could manage to get what we wanted in the trolly, with matching wood. The wine rack is much appreciated, as well as having the empties wine case out of sight behind a closed door. I am trying to not have too much stuff on the countertops. I do seem to have it down to the kettle, the fruit bowl and the onion/garlic bowl. Everything else gets put away after use and brought out again when needed.

Today, I moved, washed and placed more dishes. I am getting stuff organized, slowly. The cupboards are NOT lower as I had wanted, but are standard height. It was so difficult to talk to our designer, Alan, in that noisy atmosphere at Home Depot. I guess its lucky we got as much of what we wanted as is. Its not impossible with the higher shelves. I guess I just will have to keep my sturdy chair for standing on handy.

My blog is not showing any of the contents - neither pictures nor text, but the side bars are intact. I clicked on the VFXY and saw that the content is there. So, if I click on February the February stuff will load and be visible. Strange. Hope they get it fixed soon.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A deer! At last!

Yesterday this deer was spotted in my back yard, by the countertop installers. I have never seen a deer in my back garden! I tried to get photos of it, but was shooting through trees and so not the best. The deer left my garden going across my vegetable garden and across next doors veggie garden which is right beside mine. I dashed out the front door to find the deer across the road in the deer pasture, where I managed to get quite close to it. The noise of the recycle truck up the street scared it away, and it left, quite calmly. There were a few apples left lying around the vegetable garden. I think the deer must have smelled them and came to get them. Sure hope it doesn't smell anything in the veggie garden this summer! The deer's coat looks quite shaggy. Perhaps it is shedding its winter coat, now that Spring is here.

Yesterday they installed my countertops and sink. It is sooooooo nice to have the use of my kitchen back again!! The kitchen is getting to look really nice! We get the lino in the kitchen and bathrooms on 2 and 3 of March, with the carpet for my room ordered and might arrive end of March. When installation of carpet might be is hard to say. David cannot finish the cabinetry until the carpet is down. Then, we get the John in to paint. This whole effort will have taken a year to complete! oh man! The draperies were a real nightmare at the beginning! ah welllllll...

On Sunday, the electrician comes to finish up the few things left to do. I want the heater moved and the plug in moved, so I can turn my desk without leaving space in the corner to get at the plug in and without having the heat pouring on to the computer tower.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Pictorial Story

I made this up from several photos for the story Things in Pink in our new group on Flickr, called The Pictorial Story. We only have 20 members, so far, and as usual only a few active ones. Oh well, hope it grows as more people find it. I think its a hoot!

I have been spending quite a bit of time on Flickr lately... getting a bit caught up in the comments and group moderation. Two days ago I spent a few hours getting some tunes for Pat and transfering them to his music on his computer. It works... I should have kept the networking file, though. His computer would not connect to the internet. We shut off our computers and I unplugged the black plug in the router and plugged it back in. Also made sure the other plugs were stuck in too. Started up again and his computer was working again. Learned that from a Shawcable techie a while ago.

I see one little crocus peeking out from under the mulch. Snowdrops and the small purple cyclamen are blooming. We have had some pretty cool weather, but did not get snow that they had up island.

Tomorrow I get my sink and counter tops. Its all slowly coming together.

I am reading a book called The Fall of Rome... its not the old one. Its a new fiction history novel about the germanic tribes who were forced to migrate southward by the invasion of Atilla the Hun. This story begins at the death of Atilla, and how his empire broke up, when he was gone. It quite interesting, but I wish I had maps to see the areas they speak of in the movements of the different tribes or clans of people.

Monday, February 09, 2009

My $12 orchid

I bought this orchid when it was out of bloom and on sale, at the florists in the grocery store about a year ago. It is bigger than my other phalenopsis and has more blooms on the spray. Its a gorgeous plant. My smaller dark pink one is also in bloom. I shall have to pay better attention to feeding them.

Yesterday a robin flew into the patio door/window and died. I only had the curtains open a couple of feet. Oh dear, I felt rather sick seeing it die. I closed the curtains. Today, I went out to clean it up, but took a photo or two first. Poor thing. I really did not want to pick it up, but had to clean it up.

I have been a lot of Flickr stuff the last 3 days and have most of the stuff caught up. Of course, the more you get done the more you get to do in commenting, etc. And so it goes.

Yesterday, I made borscht with an extra jar left over for another day. While I was in the soup making mood I made cream of asparagus with our left over asparagus and the stem ends of the new bunch that Pat had just brought home. We had the cream of asparagus today.... yummmm it turned out really good.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Pictorial Story

I took this photo today with our new group on Flickr in mind. I need a pen that indicates more of what the story is about. In this version I made the wall yellow to try and see what it might look like when I have it painted. The pen actually sits on our oak roll top desk. The rock that is the base is quite close to what our granola Corian counter tops are going to be. I think the light lemon yellow for the walls might be better than the light old gold color I was considering.

Pat made a bar for in the closet part of my new cabinets and I contemplated where to put the shelves into the compartment that I am going to use for camera equipment and books. Finally stuck the 2 shelves in where I thought might be best. I have some tall books, so needed a bit of height between shelves for them. I can start moving things into the closet and camera place. I have my pantry pull out drawers loaded, with things getting nicely settled in the pantry. The tall shelves are empty, of course. Its all going to be fine. May even be finished by the end of February..... well maybe not the painting.

About 3 days ago I put apples out in the deer pasture. They were gone overnight. Its the last of the apples.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Pictorial Story and other stuff

I made this image using Ken's textured photo of the pink wrapping paper, a photo of mine of the gold cross, and the page curl in my old Photoshop editing program. Since we had a store going on the comments of this photo (Ken usually gets stories going on his photos) I took a notion to start another Flickr group called The Pictorial Story . As if I don't have enough to do! But the group seems to have taken off and is going to be fun, I think. I finished the front page of the group today, adding a counter last. After I added the counter, the group pool seems to be missing a few photos. I wonder if Flickr is having more than the usual hiccups! It really should stop eating the photos from our group -- might give it food poisoning! Hmmmm there might be a pictorial photo and story in that idea! The food poisoned Flickr! imagine?

Last nite from 5 to 8 Brad and Chris were here putting in the 13 - 4 inch pot lights in the kitchen. They use 50 watt / 130 volt halogen bulbs. Its going to be a bright kitchen with them all on. The dishwasher is ready to be hooked up when the plumber is finished with it. The breaker is turned off now, so we must not be dismayed if it does not work; but go turn the breaker back on. There is one light on the switch above the sink, three on the switch above the desk, the rest are on the switch for the kitchen. Brad suggested we put a dimmer switch on the one with the 9 bulbs. He will be back sometime next week to install the tiffany light, move the heater, and the plugin that is behind my desk. When that is done, I should be able to move my desk right into the corner and turned around with my back to the kitchen. I will be able to see out the patio door if I look to the left. I think this arrangement will be more suitable with the way my cabinets are now. Also, if I get my TV for along the same wall as my desk, I will be able to the TV from my computer chair by looking to the right. The tv will be visible from our old oak roll top desk also, and from the rest of the room, of course. I hope to get my old folding oval, Ikea table's top refinished with an arborite material cut to the right size and glued on. This table top will then match the rest of the kitchen / my room in golds and greens. Brad was really impressed with our cabinets. Anyone who has seen them has expressed the same kind of appreciation for them.

Pat has given me a full year at a glance calendar. He hung it on the door of my desk. This calandar has golden colors on black. It looks just super! When I have my desk turned around, I think I will keep these doors open and both enclosing my desk area, but might have to reassess this once I have the desk turned around.

Randall, from the Corian suppliers will be here next Friday, the 13th. I hope he brings the plumber guy and the new sink with him. We spent a bit of time getting a tap for the kitchen. It is bronze and matches the knobs and pulls on our cabinets. It has simple straight lines to match the simple straight lines of the cabinets. The counter tops are not going to be the rounded bull nose that I wanted, but another style to match the straight lines and the pin stripe. This is all moving along quite nicely, now!

We talked to Rob at Hourigans and he came in and measured for the lino and carpet we want to use. The lino looks very much like tiles but is far more foregiving. Everyone seems to be using hardwood everywhere! It really holds no appeal for me. I think its slippery to walk on and noisy. The carpet we are getting for my room is an industrial office use kind of carpet, made of nylon. Rob was away when we picked it out, so I hope the guy conveyed our choice to Rob, and he calls us back with the total price on it. I think we get Wally to install it again. I really hope he brings a big guy with him to help move stuff. Our desks, fridge, stove, dishwasher are really heavy.

A couple of days ago Pat got the old pantry moved and set up in his garage. Its looking good and gives him so much more storage room. I helped a bit, but mostly just cheered! So, I guess if Pat can move that big thing on his little dolly, Wally should be able to move or desks and stuff with his industrial type tools.

Now that we have a firm date for the counter top installation, we can schedule the flooring to follow as soon as possible. After the flooring is done, David needs to be notified to come back and finish the trim on the cabinets. Then we need to get ahold of John Gray again to see if he would do our painting and the bit of drywalling necessary to fill the holes where the old light fixtures made in the ceiling. If the carpet goes out to the edge of the wine rack, I should not have to change the stipling line on the ceiling as it will match the carpet line on the floor... or close enough, anyway. We should then be able to move the roll top desk over one foot to clear the light switches on that wall. The desk will have one side sitting on carpet and the other on lino. Its side should line up with the side of the cabinets, making the galley kithen with straight sides. They should be level, I imagine. And we will have a bit more room in front of the pantry.

I am so looking forward to being finished. And to be able to use my kitchen and dishwasher again. Its quite an adventure making meals just now. I have to work from the two bedrooms where I have different things stored, and in the bathroom for cleaning, the dining room to eat, and the kitchen to use stove and microwave!