Sunday, August 31, 2014

victoria, bc or bust

a few days ago, 
we spent the afternoon visiting the art gallery of greater victoria.
guess who we ran into.

hitchbot... the hitchhiking robot from port credit, ontario.

he has made it all the way to victoria, british columbia from halifax, nova scotia 
and is currently staying at the art gallery for the month of september.

i love the fact that he has traveled across canada.
i've done the trek across this vast, beautiful country of ours, a couple of times in my life... 
a journey i would highly recommend to all, especially fellow canadians.

i'm not too sure about the hitchhiking though...

the trip across the country, from coast to coast...
 would take approximately 5-6 days of solid 12 hour driving.
during our first trip across (a time before kids),
 we did it in just under four months... 
that's because we got off the trans canada highway and checked out 
all the quaint little towns, campgrounds, rivers, lakes and hiking trails along the way.

the second time... with five days of non-stop-except-for-sleep highway driving,
 i recall only a blur of fast changing scenery and pit stops and motel rooms 
(we were in a hurry to get back to start school).

thanks hitchbot... for making it to our island and inspiring others to do the same.
victoria, bc or bust !!!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

clearing out the clearance rack

i kind of went crazy the other day...

we were in root cellar
our neighbourhood farmers' market to pick up some fruits and veggies 
when we took a detour into their nursery to take a gander on what is growing.

my sister was the first to spot it....
the clearance rack filled with plants.

i had been admiring all the hydrangea that have been blooming around town lately 
and had made a mental note to get some for our yard...
and there they were... half price !!
definitely, law of attraction in action.

i also picked up a great selection of hellebore species. 
 i love the fact that they start blooming in december 
and more importantly that they are deer resistant.

 finally... i picked up four different scented geraniums:  
chocolate mint, lemon, orange and ginger.

it really is quite the loot. because i think i cleared out the clearance rack.
these pictures only show half the purchase 
because i had already placed some of the plants in the garden.

the garden is getting full...
but tomorrow, i'm going back for some bulbs!!!


Friday, August 29, 2014

moment 08/29/14

a moment
a friday ritual, a single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week
a simple, special, extraordinary moment
i want to pause, savour and 


p.s.   this post was inspired by soulemama...thanks amanda !!!

s'mores anyone???

summer never feels complete until we've had a campfire.
now that the ban for campfires had been lifted... 
we finally got to have one,
in our backyard.

 until after the initial smoke out, while waiting for the fire to get nice and HOT... 
we gather all the little twigs, old newspaper, 
and secret papers from diaries to be burned as kindling.

we have a big tree in the backyard... 
so we have a ton of little branches to feed the fire.

it gets roaring really quickly... just in time for night fall !!!

there has been a change in the air..
.as we say goodbye to august and await september.

the fog horn has been blowing more frequently these days.
the nights have become chilly, so the fire is so inviting !!!

while we gather around it... and become mesmerize by the glow of the light... 
we share our stories and sing some silly songs
 and even ask our silly questions about life...
who's the patron saint for sore throats, for arthritis, of loneliness???  
did you know that there is a saint for each of these?

we didn't actually have any s'mores... 
but bags of popcorn and some other healthy stuff (NOT !!).

 as we chatted deep into the evening, we tried to hush our voices.
the time went quickly and soon , though it was way past their bedtime,
 the kids went into the tent which they had set up earlier.

'thank goodness'... i can imagine our neighbours saying.

it was a beautiful night !!!
i think we have enough wood for another roaring fire or two.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

what a mess!!

we have this gorgeous english walnut tree in the middle of our backyard.

every summer it provides us with wonderful shade so we can sit and enjoy the outside.
however, it also produces a ton of walnuts....
and a real mess.

i have a hunch that most of the squirrels in victoria come to our backyard to feast.
we don't mind providing the nuts... if only they didn't leave behind such a mess.

the squirrels dehusk, crack open, and eat the walnuts on the spot.

every morning, noon and night in the month of august...
 if you were to sit under the tree... you would think it was raining walnut husk. 

since the tree is huge, with its circumference covering most of the yard...
 i  find walnut skeletons everywhere.

i have to rake often... especially when the kids were younger, 
because stepping on the sharp shells is quite hazardous to tender bare feet.

the worst part is...
 the decaying husk leaves a walnut stain on everything.. 
except the deck that needs staining !!!

it truly is a mess...
we've tried harvesting the walnuts
but there are thousands that we can't reach.

the month of august is the month for messy walnuts around here.
when september and october rolls in... be get a bit of a reprieve from all the clean up.

we rest our rakes and wait for mid november... 
this is when the tarry, heavy walnut leaves come down 
delivering another whopper of a mess to clean up.

overall, all this work is worth it for our little garden of we'eden.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

thrifted threads: gardening duds

 it's another 'what i wore wednesday" once again 
and i'm linking up with lindsey at the pleated poppy.

i bought some plants yesterday and i am super motivated to clean up my garden beds, 
to do some raking and if i'm lucky, to get the newbies into the ground before the weekend.
so today, i'm wearing my gardening duds.

this is actually one of ian's old shirts that i've confiscated for myself. 

maybe because it is about 20 years old and made of 100% cotton,
it is super soft and comfy to wear.

i prefer wearing long sleeves when i work in the garden... 
can't be too safe against sun damage, 
and we have a ton of prickly blackberries that always seem to get my bare arms.

because the shirt is huge.... i took in the lower part of the sleeves.
it's a trick i've learned to retrofit oversize shirts.

if ian ever attempts to claim it back... 
he might have a hard time slipping his arms through. LOL

oh... and my denim hat of course... 
my favourite summer accessory !!!

yes, as soon as i'm finished with the garden,
 i'm putting on my "clean up the bedroom" duds.
please excuse the mess...


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

doing the fan tan...

london may have diagon alley...
 but victoria has fan tan alley !!!

with visitors in town, we are doing touristy things these days.
and one of the coolest spots downtown is chinatown on fisgard street.
did you know that victoria's chinatown is the oldest in canada and second oldest 
in north america (after san fransisco)? 

 after ordering some bubble teas to go... 
we sauntered down the famous narrow fan tan alley
which is tucked behind the fan tan cafe.
 in the past, fan tan alley housed the gambling quarters of victoria 
within its stores, eateries, and opium dens

today, tourist and locals come for
 the unique little boutiques, barber shop, record stores.  
a family friend of ours had even rented a beautiful art studio above one of the shops.
another interesting fact:  
fan tan alley, measuring just under three feet wide, 
is the narrowest (recognized) street in canada !!!

you really do learn something new every day 
(especially when reading tourist info on tours of your home town)
i can't believe we are nearing the end of august already.
the teachers' strike in british columbia hasn't been resolved and it doesn't look promising 
that school is going to start next week.

my kids are both bummed out and a little happy that their summer isn't ending yet.

thank goodness for visiting cousins 
and little touristy adventures like this one to keep everyone's spirits up!!!


Monday, August 25, 2014

beautiful markings

my nieces and sister are visiting for a couple of days...
so it has been busy around here.

in between little tours around town, 
we've been spending lots of time enjoying the late august sun on the back deck.

 yesterday morning (or should i say almost noon)... 
when all the teens finally woke up,
the sun deck was perfect for a henna party.
 the henna came in a box from the craft store... 
complete with an application tool, design ideas and more.
after mixing up the ingredients... you only have a couple of days to use up the concoction
the cousins had a great time with it...
designing beautiful markings on their hands, arms, legs and feet.
 the little tube of henna was everlasting...
after all their limbs were covered,
i think they have enough left over skin paint to mark the whole of their backs.
it is so much fun sun-decking around with family... 
especially with a box of henna... such a creative, tactile, teen-age toy.