Sunday, May 30, 2010

Grateful Thoughts -May 29, 2010

We are grateful to still discover some flowers that come up in our yard where we don't remember seeing them before.  Like this lone iris that bloomed this spring in the center of the sunken garden where I just completed the stone wall. It seems like we have a lot of flowers blooming at this time that are purple.

Like these chives that are really doing quite well... the bees just love them!

And we still have lilacs blooming.

We were grateful to get a letter back from US Airways this week.  We had sent off a request for compensation for a hotel room that we missed due to our plane arriving too late to make our connection between Phoenix and Ft. Lauderdale.  To our amazement they gave us each a travel voucher for $125. PTL.  

This past week I got started on a new rock project on the view side of our house.  It will be a curved stair that will connect with the sidewalk that comes around to the basement/crawl space of our house.  When it is done it will have 13 steps.  I have 5 steps done so far, even though this picture omly shows the second one in progress.

This weekend we are grateful to have Shelby and family home.  Of course Shirley has prepared lots of special food.  Lucy is pretending to have a big moustache with her cookie!

After lunch we had a lot of fun and went to Piggot Bay to play on the beach.

But I think Beatrice enjoyed it as much we all did.  She loved to go fetch the ball and didn't seem to tire of retrieving it.

Beatrice would run after that ball again and again and faithfully bring it back so Shelby could throw it again.

Shelby, Kim and Lucy relaxing...

and here is Maizy, the budding artist!  ...soon to be ten years old in July.

When we finally got home, Beatrice was the first one to have a bath and get all cleaned up!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Grateful Thoughts -May 22, 2010

I like the tradition of taking time to make a Grateful List each week. This morning I did a little walk around with my camera and took some pictures for the blog. 

I am grateful for flowers... many that just happen on our property.  This cheerful one is called Oregon Sunshine. 

Out of this bud in two weeks...

Came this flower... Hookers Onion. It has been fun to watch it develop.  In two weeks notice how the grass has died.

I am grateful that my sweetheart loves flowers!  Shirley came home from town yesterday with this Peony... it has a picture of the flower that says, "Actual Size."  ...and with that they get $49 today for future value of a one gallon size! 

I am grateful for a leather hole punch. I have been having trouble keeping my pants up.  In about 16 months I have had to punch 4 more holes into this new Christmas present belt.  My work belt has 5 extra holes.  In the same time I am grateful to have lost 28 pounds and 4 inches around my waist. The running is paying off.  PTL!

I am really grateful for full time Internet again.  We have been using 3-G sticks since getting home from our winter holiday... and just yesterday our service got back in business and we are now up and running.  At last equilibrium has been restored to this part of the planet.

I am really grateful to be done with this rock wall. We still have to finish planting... and irrigation. But that will go much quicker than building the wall.

The upper wall was built two years ago... it is about 48 feet long.

This new lower wall measures about 90 feet.
Now I am getting started on the next rock project... the curved stairway.  Two stairs done and 11 more to go.  This is the trickiest rockwork I have attempted yet... and really look forward to seeing this one done before the end of June.  All the rocks in these projects have been found on this hill where we live.

I am grateful for my dear sweetheart.  Here Shirley thinks she is helping balance the weight of the heavy rock.    We brought two large rocks to cover the stumps of the two largest trees that we removed along the driveway near the top of the hill. 

I am also grateful for my other dear... my John Deere.  Seldom a day goes by without using our tractor for one project or another.  Cool using the self timer with camera on tripod for these self portraits, eh?  It gives about 10 seconds to run and get into the picture.

We are grateful for the birds here.  This crow was doing what crows are famous for... crowing!  And while I was busy capturing his caws...

This BC Celebration ferry came cruising by on its way to Swartz Bay.  Long after the 2010 Olympics it still has the huge colorful graphics advertising the winter Olympics here.  Notice the sailboats in the top of the photo.  What you don't see is about two dozen other boats doing a regatta near Salt Spring Island.

I am grateful for the widlife we see daily here.  Twice this week the captian on the ferry announced sightings of whales along side our boat.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Favorite Dr. Suess Quotes

Here are 13 fun Dr. Suess quotes along with some fun family photos.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” 
Grandkids Seth and Maizy dancing on the top deck of an Alaska Cruise ship!

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Lucy at the beach

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.”
Sherilee, Greg and Shelby

“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”
Maizy Lee

“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)”
Shelby after winning a swimming bet

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant,
An elephant's faithful, one hundred percent!
Maizy, the Birthday Princess

“It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it
are troubled with troubles almost every minute.
You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot,
for the places and people you're lucky you're not.”

“So you see! There's no end to the things you might know,
Depending how far beyond Zebra you go.”
“As you partake of the world's bill of fare,
that's darned good advice to follow.
Do a lot of spitting out the hot air.
And be careful what you swallow.”
Shelby getting fed

Fun is good.”
Lucy loving the hot tub with Grandpa

“Just tell yourself, Duckie, you're really quite lucky!”
Maizy nnd Lucy

“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!”
Lucy on Grandpa's shoulders

For more Thursday 13 partcipants click here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Grateful List May 15, 2010

What a wonderful, grateful week we have had. So much revolves around the projects we are doing here on Mayne Island... and there appears to be no end of projects here.

I am grateful for the new flowers that we see each week. While working on the front gate irrigation, these Fairy Ladyslippers invited us to take their picture. They are so delicate... a very tiny orchid.

“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time.” -Georgia O'Keeffe
I am thankful for being able to get irrigation water from the cottage to the front gate, so that Shirley can finally have automatic watering for the flower bed there. If it was so easy to do... less than a day’s work... why did it take almost three years to get around to doing this? There is still another day’s work to get the timer and valves set up, but we at least are watering it easily now.
I am grateful for the little rotor tiller that we got... it is electric and small enough so that we can easily lift it into flower beds and garden boxes. This saves Shirley a lot of hand shovel work. But she insists that it is NOT her Mother’s Day present! Ok. Ok.

I am grateful for my new private “reading rock” on the hillside below our bluff against the cliff. There is no telephone or other distractions, except for a noisy nuthatch!  This is my first self-timer photo with the D300. It doesn’t show much of the view...

but just while I was doing the self portrait, a ferry was passing below in Navy Channel.

“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.'' -Anon

I am grateful for the little nuthatch. She has a nest close to the rock on which I sit... and is insistent about me leaving so she can return to sitting on her nest of eggs.  She makes this "click, click, click" warning.
I am grateful for the new trail I am almost done building to this private spot. I have been doing this in lieu of walking. Less than two hours will see it done.
I am thankful for good luck finding flowers for our elevated flower boxes. The day we went to town to get them our ferry was an hour late leaving Mayne Island so our limited shopping time just got tighter. On the way to the ferry Shirley asked for 5 minutes to stop at Marigolds Nursery just to see if they might have the flowers she needed. We didn’t think we had time to actually buy them and still make the 4:15 ferry. But when she found what she liked, we took a chance and bought them. We made it to the ferry by 4:15, and on a normal day, we would have not been allowed on the ferry. The rules are that check-in is a minimum of five minutes before sailing departure time. I prayed that the ferry would be still running late so we could get home earlier and not have to wait for the 7:30 PM. ferry. Fortunately the ferry was running about 20 minutes late and we could get on. PTL!
I am thankful to have the tools to cut rock. When Shirley asked to have the California Lilac moved to the sunken garden area, the perfect place for it from a design point of view was unfortunately solid rock. Living here we are often never more than six inches away from bedrock anywhere on top of this mountain.

So, with my portable rock saw I knew I could cut out six inches... three inches at a time!

It would just take me an extra 60-90 minutes.

Once all the rock was chiseled out, there was plenty of room for fresh mixed soil and our California Lilac to grow.

This is the California Lilac at the far right of the photo... and it is doing just great in its new home!
I am grateful for the “free” topsoil and our friends great little trailer. We expected to get our normal 1.5 yards of topsoil in our truck... but John had his 10-foot trailer loaded for us when we arrived...another 2.25 yards . So we were able to get more than twice as much done on Friday with the extra dirt.  Thank you, John.

I am thankful to be able to see the end of the sunken garden project within sight. Less than two days will finish the rock wall... and we are almost half done planting the new terrace behind the wall.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend... and a great new coming week. 

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”-Eric Hoffer