Sunday, September 25, 2011

The "Up Side" of a West Coast Storm

We've officially reached autumn, my favorite season.  But it has come in like spring.....srain, rain and more rain!  Strangely warm temperatures, but strong winds and the sound of the rain on the skylight is constant patter, with the odd interruption when someone up there dumps a whole bucket right over the house!  Or at least that's what it seems like! 

However, remember the back yard that was all dirt in my last post?  It's since been hydro-seeded.  We watered for three days and the rains came.  We haven't had to water since and the yard is such a lush brilliant green everywhere!  How lucky is that!!  Here is a photo where you can see the green if you look past the carpenter's saw on the deck!  He was busy putting trim in the addition as I was going around catching up on my "progress" pictures. 

But we had a break in the rain and our dog needed a long walk.  Without his exercise, he turns into a bad dog.....or should I say a worse dog!  He makes the cat's life hell wanting to play with her and she's a cranky old lady so it's all bad.  Off we go to the beach.  What a delight it was to be there on this post-storm afternoon with the sun shining! 

First of all, I really do prefer the beach during or just after a storm.  It is so much more interesting and beautiful.  This walk was no exception.  As we walked down the path, there in the field were a group of Canada Geese.  They were just standing there and I stood there and watched them.  I wished I had a better camera for this picture, but I took this one with my phone, and then just stood and admired them.  Even the dog snuffling around didn't bother them.  And my error, I was so entranced just watching the geese that my picture completely cut off the mountain range in the background!

When Tuffy and I emerged from the park trails and came out onto the beach it was absolutely breathtaking.  The sky was whipped clouds with feathers on them, the water had all kinds of whitecaps, the sound was delightful......water lapping on sand, mixed bird calls, wind in the trees.....just generally a stunning day at the beach.  My favorite birds are the sandpipers.  They dart about so quickly and usually if you move they pick up and fly off in a cloud of feathers all together, travel 5 feet and settle on a new piece of sand until they feel the need to flit away again.  But this day was not calm enough for them to be darting around on sand and they were playing in the updrafts at the edge of the water.  My walking there and them squeaking and enjoying their play allowed me to be closer to them than I've ever managed, but of course no picture as they are just too fast for me to capture.  The sandbar a few feet out from the beach, actually at the mouth of the river, was literally white with seagulls just sitting on it!  Usually they are up and floating and diving in the wind too.  Here is the view from where I was walking along the trail at one point. 

Even tho I haven't had a chance to be creative in my sewing room for quite a while, I'm still able to appreciate the beauty in our corner of the world.  But I have to admit to looking forward to getting back behind my sewing machine!  

Thursday, September 08, 2011

An Indoor Avalanche

We've had an incident!  I may not have mentioned this before, but perhaps I have....I admit to a pretty overwhelming book fetish.  I LOVE books.  I have a great collection of books on all the things I'm interested and they need a place to live. 

EXPEDIT Bookcase, white Width: 72 7/8 " Depth: 15 3/8 " Height: 72 7/8 " Max load/shelf: 29 lb  Width: 185 cm Depth: 39 cm Height: 185 cm Max load/shelf: 13 kg  When we lived in the biggest house we've ever lived in, I purchased an IKEA unit to store them in because they had outgrown the other bookshelves I had. This is a photo and link to it as it's the best storage system for books I've found to date!  
Now, we've moved again, to a smaller house, and that storage unit was relegated to holding fabric in what would, for other people, be the master bedroom!  this left my collection of books with no place to live. 

There  WERE plans.  My dear husband was going to build bookshelves in the extra wide hallway, or on the biggest wall of the living room.  The problem was that I couldn't decide where I would like to have them!  So the plans waited till I made up my mind.  The books remained in boxes. 

But then when we got settled in just a bit, I wanted to refer to one of them and I couldn't find them.  By then Bob was away and I dare not try building so I solved the problem by buying three plastic storage units from Wal-Mart.  I brought them home, assembled them and proceeded to place my books on them.  It was a delightful evening sorting, finding and fondling some of my favorites all over again.  This solution worked well and I still haven't decided where I would really like to have them permanently.....well I have, but I'm not allowed to take over that room too!  So it's now a waiting game! Bob has some idea he should have one room in the house that isn't consumed with my sewing possessions! 

But who would have guessed that these units wouldn't hold books for more than 9 months?  Two days ago I went down the hall into my sewing room and I noticed that the one shelf was leaning out from the wall.  I pushed on it and it swayed dangerously.  I thought I should find something to wedge between it and the wall to hold it in place.  There was nothing around and it was dark out, so I decided that in the morning I would go out and find a piece of 2 x 4 and wedge it into place. 

It wasn't to be.  I was in bed reading a couple of house later and heard a strange sound.  It got louder and more staccatto-like and ended with a clatter.  I got up, looked out my bedroom door into the hall and this is what I found!  It seems the plastic corners that the posts are inserted in separated and split and the books very gradually and gently slumped onto the floor and the broken unit fell on top of them!  No books were damaged at all.   Needless to say I now have the two remaining units braced against the opposite wall in hopes of stalling their demise!
The next morning I restacked the books on the floor, removed the broken plastic, and went straight to my computer and ordered another IKEA unit!  I guess I'll be sorting and purging books some time this fall, an activity I actually look forward to! 

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Appreciating Retirement!

I'm smirking today.  It is my first day of retirement that I am actually appreciating being retired!  It's the first day of school, and I'm NOT THERE!  How wonderful that feels, even though, instead, I'm raking rocks!  Amazing the things that can make you happy. 

Our addition is going well, in fact drawing to a close.  I never thought I'd see the day and there were some days I never thought I'd survive!  Needless to say, any kind of textile creativity has lain by the wayside over the past six months.  Altho there's been a bit of other decisions, paint colors, and deck designs! 

My retirement started out with three weeks in my chair with my foot broken.  Then I flew to Edmonton because my Dad broke his hip.  I was there six weeks.  Then my Mum had a heart attack.  I was there another two weeks.  These incidents resulted in them asking to move to my house so I've been working on making my house bigger since about March.  The paperwork is overwhelming, the permits and inspections seem a bit like make-work projects, but the contractor has been fabulous and my experience with construction has been a great one.  I'd recommend Denise Mitchell Interiors in Campbell River, BC to anyone, and 2 Hills Renovations as a contractor extraordinaire! 

It was a sad day when they took their tools and
left, with the only things left to complete being done by other trades.  The foreman, Dave, was here a lot and we got to know him really well.  A wonderful thoughtful and talented man.  Very attune to the people who will be living in the addition and made several improvements for their benefit.  He will be coming back for one more day, finishing up the front door and handrails on the deck.  As he was packing his tools I said "This feels something like ending an affair!"  He grinned and said "True, but I'll be back for a quickie!"  Needless to say he's just as fast with the sarcasm as I!! 

Above is a picture of he and Bob preparing to install a new picture window in our very dark living room.  A project I came up with in the midst of everything else!  A woman's prerogative right? 

Now, on to more appreciating retirement....and raking rocks!  I'm preparing the area where a new septic field was installed to be hydro-seeded at the end of this week.  I'm hoping it's grass before the winter rains hit so that we don't have two little dogs in the mud all the time!  Here's what I'm fixing up.  It's all covered in and back-bladed, but I'm raking it to level it as much as possible and get rid of the surface rock.  The idea is that if we can turn it into grass quickly, we can fill potholes and patch next spring when it's all settled a bit.  Wish me luck!