Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

All the best to you and your loved ones in the coming year.  I hope you have a wonderful, warm and happy Christmas.
It was a warmish, rainy day.  I put out the humming bird food.(This is a photo from 2 years ago, Feb.)  Made the Christmas pudding with rum sauce.  We are fortunate and thankful to have good health, happiness, friends and live in a paradise.
I hope for Peace in the trouble spots of our world.  I believe this starts within the heart and mind of every individual.  I hope for a more even distribution of the wealth of the world.  With the world economy in a shambles, now would be a good time to consider starting from a clean slate, with a view to using only what we need, and having enough for everyone.  It IS possible.  We have the capability to get to the moon and space.  Google has the ability to look up my driveway and into my windows.  Surely we can use this computing power to organize our distribution of food, medical attention, and help in catastrophic climatic spots, as well as settling political unrest and injustice.  Peace!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The sunshine coast

While waiting to catch the ferry from Victoria (Schwartz Bay) to Vancouver (Tsawwassen) on Dec. 8th I caught a snapshot of this line up of cormorants.
After arriving at Tsawwassen ferry terminal we drove across Vancouver and met our friends at the Capilaino Mall.  We spent the night on the Wall Mart lot.  The best we could do for dinner there was the Red Robin.  There was some shopping including a large hippo and a singing hippo by Dan.  In the morning we navigated to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal and caught the ferry to Langdale.  We drove to Gibson's Landing  where it is a must to have lunch at Molly's Reach.  We visited the information center and walked out on the pier.  The sky was overcast with bits of rain.  The above photo is looking out the window of Molly's Reach out to the marina.  In the summertime, the Sunshine Coast is a paradise.
After a bit of time at Gibson's we go Sechelt and a campground and go then go back to Sechelt with the Hagarmobile- This is the Airstream.  They bring their dog, Hagar with them.  The above photo is the sunset from the walkway along the beach, just at the Driftwood Inn.  The Driftwood is not open to diners so we go back to Gilligans Pub for our dinner.  Get back to the campsite and have icecream and talk over our plans for the next day.  The showers were locked and there was no one around this campsite to take our money, although their note said they would be back by 9:00.
In the morning we breakfast in Sechelt and head to Earl's Cove to catch the ferry to Saltry Bay (about 50 minutes) We drive into Powell River and find the Tree Frog Bistro for a most delicious lunch!  Then onward to Lund.  .. more photos of this later, perhaps.
After lunch we drive a very challenging road to Lund.  The light is awesome but there is no where to stop for photos and we want to get to Lund before dark if possible.  We book into the historic Lund Hotel and our friends get the Hagermobile plugged in out on the parking lot by the marina. I finally get a good shower! We have dinner at the Fish and Chips restuarant. 
In the morning we have a leisurely start.  This slower start leaves us arriving at Egmont in the dark.  We get situated in the campsite and into the Back Eddy pub for our dinner.  There is someone else having a birthday celebration here.  Quite a few people.  In our corner by the pool table there are some guys from Jasper who are going to kayak the Skookumchuck Narrows Tidal surge.
We start at 8:00 in the morning and get to the head of the hiking trail to walk to the lookout over the Skookumchuck Narrows.  Its raining lightly.  We have our umbrellas.  Its a 3.5 miles round trip through a glorious rain forest.
After our walk we go back to the Back Eddy pub for brunch and there are only hambergers available.  We then start back home.  This is a pretty long day, with the Langdale to Horshoe Bay, and a quick trip across Vancouver to catch the ferry at Tsawwassen to Schwartz Bay.  We have our dinner on board the 5:00 o'clock ferry and arrive home and unpack.  There has been some heavy rainfall in Victoria while we were gone.  All is okay at our place.
This is my youtube rendition of the Skookumchuck tidal flow.  I did not catch any of the kayakers in my video, but they were out there playing.
Edit:  Let me see if I can make this into a hot link:  Skookumchuck Narrows video click here

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

This and that

This gorgeous lace cap hydrangea is not in my garden, but I sure wish it was!
Yesterday I planted the 32 tulip bulbs I had purchased about a month ago.  I filled one of the old grey big pots and added 6 tulips to it.  This pot is going to sit on the deck and have basil growing in it.  Buying basil leaves for our new found pesto habit is expensive.    The rest of the tulip bulbs which are a pastel mix have been planted along the driveway.  These tulips are in a single row... I hope they expand quickly or they are going to look rather silly.  I should have planted them in clumps, but this is a very narrow garden bed and the area I have to plant is in front of the cedar hedge.  I have a nice bunch of perennial geraniums along part of this strip along the driveway.  I should get more of them.  They are tough and look good all year. 
We are to get more rain tonight and for a few days.  We were to have high winds.  We had that for just a few minutes and it calmed down again.
I put more apples out for the deer.  They do seem to eat them.  Something eats them.  I still have quite a few to gather up.  There are still some apples on the tree, too. 

Friday, December 03, 2010

More Hatley Castle in November #4

A few more photos from Hatley Castle in November Autumn Colors.  These are a few photos from the Italian Garden.  This is just the 'bones' of this garden at this time.  It is a riot of color in Spring and Summer. Nice bones, though!

Yesterday I finally got out to the garden.  I raked leaves off the paths in the front garden and put them onto the beds as mulch for the winter.  There are still leaves on the liquid amber tree that will be again covering the paths.  I raked the leaves and apples off the back grass.  Also took a bag of the apples over to the deer pasture.  Pat has been seeing a one year old buck in the mornings.  I have not seen it yet, but I did see a doe sashaying down the street early one morning.  It left the deer pasture and crossed the street and carried on up the short block to the park on the other side of our house.  The deer have 2 streets to cross to get from park to park area.  We shouldn't have too many accidents, I hope.  These deer never bother my plants.  I guess they have better food in the parks. My back yard is difficult for them to access, also.
I still have 32 tulips on the deck that need planting.  I have a bag of potting soil left over from the orange tree transplants.  I think I might set up one of my old plastic pots on the deck for some of the tulips and for basil plants when it warms up in the spring.  I have learned how to make pesto and we like it! 

My site counter stopped working properly a few days ago.  But, tonight, it is working again.  It is showing a lower number of hits, but I understand these meters are not always accurate. Actually the hits don't matter much to me, as this blog is primarily for my own interests. I will blog, and facebook to promote our Megashot, but I refuse to twitter.  Enough is enough.  :-)

On Megashot we now have videos to promote the photos in the contests and on our facebook page.  The videos are on YouTube and I have started an archival community on Megashot to record all the videos produced by Cyrus for Megashot.  The last ones are looking really good.  They have music synched to the display of photos and text.  You can view them on youtube or on Megashot in the Movies on Megashot Community          Click the hot link and go to each discussion thread to see them.  Also on the front page of the community there is a playlist. You can click on the playlist and see the categories of the videos and watch them from the play list.  On youtube you should be able to see them full screen.  See the list in the side bar for more megashot. net videos on this hot link.

The last photo, is the top of the water heater we just had replaced.  The pipe where the hot water leaves the tank was totally corroded and rusted.  The plumber, Vern was amazed that we even had any hot water pressure left at all.  The pressure was normal as far as we could tell.  We are very lucky that Pat caught this before we had a great flood.  We now have a 60 gal. tank too, which should let the 4 of us go through the shower without running out of hot water.

I made more squash soup today and have frozen 2 jars and have another in the fridge.  I gave Tara a jar of pickled peppers and pickled beets.  I made the mustard bean pickles, but they did not turn out as well as they should have.  The taste is good, but the beans should have been cooked more.  They are a bit tough.  I suppose I could microwave them in the jar. This would not hurt the consistency of the mustard sauce.

Life is really very good on the wet west coast.