Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Hike to the Lookout!

The view from my front yard.... Beautiful blue sky!
In the winter where I live, it can be overcast and gray and drizzly 90% of the time... or at least it seems so. Needless to say, last Sunday, when it turned out to be such a sunny day, I decided to take advantage of the fact! After church, Cody and I took a hike up to the Lookout. I haven't been there since I was in my early teens - before proper trails or roads went up to the top!

It took Cody & I about and hour and a half to hike to the top.  It was about a 10% grade all the way. Boy, I need to do this more often!

First of all, no comments on my choice of footwear LOL! I live in my Birkenstocks! Even in slush! (Sad, I know!) Actually, it was so nice I didn't think I would need anything else on my feet to keep them warm.

View of the road up to the Lookout.  Most of the trail was in the trees, so no direct sunlight.

The higher we got on the trail, the more varied the plants were. Nice to be in a forest of ferns. We may get a lot of rain here (79 inches/year, most of it in the winter).... but we have green! I can't tell you how much Cody was enjoying this hike!

 He did insist on walking through all the puddles.

Looking upwards along the railway tracks. Still a ways to go.

Views just getting to the lookout!

Cody, of course was the first there! I was barely able to stop him from rolling in the grass at the edge of the bluff (darn dog!).  This, I have to say, is my favorite picture from the hike.

And oh the views of the valley! 


 Yes, I have proof I was there too!

 So here is me hoping for more good weather, and more hikes around the valley! Be sure I'll share more pictures of the places we go!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

A Day of Rememberance

Had a very good day today…. Traveled to Gabriola Island to attend the Remembrance Day Ceremony there. My mother’s family has quite the history on the island, and are one of the pioneer families there. Silva Bay is named after them. Four Silva’s served in the World Wars… 3 in the 1st one, and 1 in the 2nd. It was an honour to be on their island to honour them. It was a really nice ceremony as well… everyone was invited to participate in singing some hymns in the service, so it felt a lot more personal.  Here are some of the pictures I took. Sorry, no selfies!

There was a log boom sorter going past the ferry berth on the way over… couldn’t resist taking a picture. I love the west coast and the logging history… combine that with the life on the water, and how much better could it get than that?!!!

A picture of the cairn after the services.

The next two pictures are of the family plot at the Gabriola Island Cemetary. First is the view from where the plot is … the trees are oaks. It was a beautiful day, and the sun was shining just right! It was nice to see the family has put a marking stone down as well. 

When I get a chance to download the pictures I took on my phone, I will update this with the picture of Henry Silva, who served in WW2. I can see the family resemblance in some of the Hall’s I know.

Right now I’m listening to Belleau Wood by Garth Brooks… so suitable for this day of remembrance! I know it’s a Christmas song, but I think of all the hardships and hope those soldiers had, and the peace they must have felt that night.

"Belleau Wood"

Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence
Over Belleau Wood that night
For a Christmas truce had been declared
By both sides of the fight
As we lay there in our trenches
The silence broke in two
By a German soldier singing
A song that we all knew

Though I did not know the language
The song was "Silent Night"

Then I heard my buddy whisper,
"All is calm and all is bright"
Then the fear and doubt surrounded me
'Cause I'd die if I was wrong
But I stood up in my trench
And I began to sing along

Then across the frozen battlefield
Another's voice joined in
Until one by one each man became
A singer of the hymn

Then I thought that I was dreaming
For right there in my sight
Stood the German soldier
'Neath the falling flakes of white
And he raised his hand and smiled at me
As if he seemed to say
Here's hoping we both live
To see us find a better way

Then the devil's clock struck midnight
And the skies lit up again
And the battlefield where heaven stood
Was blown to hell again

But for just one fleeting moment
The answer seemed so clear
Heaven's not beyond the clouds
It's just beyond the fear

No, heaven's not beyond the clouds
It's for us to find it here

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A New Beginning, and a Poem for You!

It’s been a while since I posted to my blog… I guess life in a new town, work, and fracturing your ankle (last May) can do that to you.
I’m doing this post as a new beginning…. In the past 50 posts or more, it has been mostly greeting cards I’ve made, but I haven’t got my craft room set up and running yet, so there won’t be many of cards posted. Today’s post is a fresh start and hopefully will be more of a reflection of who I am, and things I’m thinking about or doing. Enjoy!
 I tried to think of how I would send this poem I wrote while in high school to the producers of The Deadliest Catch on A&E… well, they are out of luck, because I’m sharing it with you!

 Neptune’s Power
The sea in her wrath roars
At what she may devour
Challenging any man
To fight against her power

Neither here, neither there
She stalks the balmy sea
Until she finds incautious man
And batters him with ease

Blowing gales she bellows
With arctic cold she blows
 Sending fear into hearts of men
Who’ve heard of woe ne’er slow

 It happens so quick and fast
 There’s stories that could be told
 Of men who’ve battled and lost
With no chance of becoming old.

 I was living in Ucluelet at the time I wrote this. I loved walking to Johnson’s Beach and the way the sea changed during the seasons. Nothing quite as good as watching a full out winter storm! The danger that you could feel, even when you were in a safe place was exhilarating.

 I have to admit that most of the poetry I have written has been when I have been upset…. Kind of my own therapy to work things out. This poem was written for the love of being by the sea, and my respect for it. In that sense this poem is even more special to me. I hope you liked it!

Below: a picture I took last month of a sailboat at Rebecca Spit, on Quadra Island.

Monday, 8 September 2014

You are in my heart Mom

Today my family laid our Mother's ashes to rest with her Mom.  Mom had died last January, and we were waiting for a time that all the family could be there.  It was a simple, heartfelt farewell.  I read the story that to me summed my mothers life up from:

I've seen the poem before, but it still broke my heart to read it for Mom for this last time


The young mother set her foot on the path of life. ‘Is
this the long way?’ she asked. And the guide said: ‘Yes, and the way is hard
And you will be old before you reach the end of it.. But
the end will be better than the beginning.’

But the young mother was happy, and she would not
believe that anything could be better than these years.. So she
played with her children, and gathered flowers for
them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and
the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried,
‘Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.’

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was
dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother
drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said,
‘Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.’

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and
the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary.But at all times she said to the children,’ A little patience and we are there.’
So the children climbed, and when they reached the top
they said, ‘Mother, we would not have done it without you.’

And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up
at the stars and said, ‘This is a better day than the last, for my
children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage..
Today, I’ve given them strength.’

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened
the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped
and stumbled, and the mother said: ‘Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.
‘ And the children looked and saw above the clouds
an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the
darkness. And that night the Mother said,
‘This is the best day of all, for
I have shown my children God.’

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and
the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent.
But her children were tall and strong, and walked with
courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her,
for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill,
and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And
mother said, ‘I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end
is better than the beginning, for my children can
walk alone, and their children after them.’

And the children said, ‘You will always walk with us,
Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.’
And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates
closed after her. And they said: ‘We cannot see her
but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She
is a living presence…….’

Your Mother is always with you…. She’s the whisper
of the leaves as you walk down the street; she’s the smell of bleach
in your freshly laundered socks; she’s the cool hand
on your brow when you’re not well.. Your Mother lives
inside your laughter. And she’s crystallized in every tear drop.
She’s the place you came from, your first home; and
she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love
and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can
separate you.

Not time, not space… not even death!

Love you Mom....

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

What an idea for a muffin

Cheese, apple & pecan

Sweet & savoury! The cheese is just on the top. Will have to arm wrestle the cooks at West Coast General Hospital for the recipe!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Card a Day Blog Invitation!

I’m in the middle of moving, and almost all of my craft items are packed (EGADS!). In the back of my mind I’ve been thinking about how I was going to make a card with so little available to me to use… thankfully I had a bunch of scrap cardstock available, as well as some old “cut” scraps.


The card base is an ivory cardstock from Staples. (Cover stock actually, as I find that is the thickest my laserjet printer can print on).  The card is a 1/4 fold size (4.25 x 5.5 inches).

The blue card stock was embossed with Crafts-Too Embossing Folder “Daisy & Swirl”, and distressed by gently trying to rub a silver ink pad on top and rubbing gently with paper towel.

The red polka-dot paper was actually a scrap piece from another project I had cut a bracket frame out of (don’t you just love keeping scraps! They come in so handy!).

Now, if I would have had all my craft supplies available (even my Silhouette cutter is packed!), I would have made a better bracket shaped “You’re Invited” shape, but you get the idea of how easy it could be with just a couple of pieces of paper can inspire a neat card.

Here is an example of what you could change the card into with these “shapes”


Enjoy! And remember the challenge at the Card a Day Blog too!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Two weeks until I move! And a poem...

Last December I applied for and got a job in a town about 148.9 km (92.5 miles) away from me. I got it, and start in just over 3 weeks. I start moving my stuff over there in 2 weeks! This is the first time in 30 years that I have moved by myself (and definitely could not have got this far without a LOT of help from my family and friends!)... and it is definitely the farthest move I've done in over 35 years... this time is different as well, as I have a house to sell, and another to buy --- I've not done that before, and am just hoping that things go alright.  So, be aware that there will be lots of posts in the future about my new place, but not for quite a while, as I expect there to be a 4 month period between starting to sell, and getting the keys to my new place.  But, there will be a lot of posts about things I've discovered that are new in the town I grew up in :-) It has been almost 40 years since I have lived there! Now I'm feeling old! This year is bound to be a year of change, some good, some bad, and some definitely sad. But then, right now I'm thinking of this coming weekend.

Tomorrow I go there to attend my Mom's memorial service. It will be bitter sweet to attend. She fought a brave battle with cancer.  I hope that if I ever face that battle, that I will do it with such calm determination that she had. Sweet, because I know she is now at peace and out of pain.

My niece Tina, and Aunty Joy did a wonderful job on her obituary:

I wrote another poem for Mom... it is very rough around the edges, and I don't know if I will ever try to polish it up so that the rhythm is better. I don't think doing that matters, as I was just writing down memories of what made my Mom, Mom... a classy lady that I hope I reflect as I grow older myself.

Our Mother

motherless at 12,
her Grandmother raised her
she married Dad at 18
and was mother shortly after
she learned to cook for a crowd
making the most of hamburger

the budget was tight
with 8 mouths to feed
and a pantry to keep
with gardens to grow
chickens to pluck
and clothes to sew

she loved to try new things
harvesting wild crafted plants
like skunk cabbage and nettles
and learning which
vitamins or herbs to use
to help cure our sore throats

at every river or beach
there was a treasure to find
as she looked for the rocks
for her rock polisher to fill
or fungi and shells to paint
for gifts that were made

there were laughter and tears
as families will have
but firm faith she held
'though sometimes it made her sad
to let her children grow
and go their own way

growing old with our Dad
their smiles were glad
as they walked their lives
together hand in hand
down the road of life
until he passed

by herself she let
her spirit enlarge
to study and help
those who'd let her impart
her love of the LORD
and the hope she held dear

her hope was secure
until the end of her days
her thankful heart
around her shone
and touched all who knew her
and felt her sweet spirit