Saturday, July 26, 2014

What a Great, Full Week

This has been a great and a full week... and so this blog is my grateful list.  Here are some of the things that I am grateful for... not in order of importance... but as the week progressed.

I am grateful to have a saw that can cut rock, concrete, etc.  I bought it to cut adobes when building the orphanage.  But when I couldn't move these two rocks with my tractor I decided I would cut the tops of them off at ground level and cover them with earth and gravel.

I make a number of parallel cuts that enable me to break off the rock in strips. The water helps to make the diamond blade last longer...

The parallel slices can now be broken out with a hammer and chisel.

I almost got done, but I knew the minute the diamond blade was worn out... I had to stop. I still want to take off another layer after finishing the current layer. It's like making bricks.

I realized that if I did this carefully, always cutting the same depth, I could break out the pieces so they could be used in rock facing on our house.  I am always grateful when I can do one job that has spin-off benefit to another job.  This is why I was careful to try to make all the cuts parallel and the same distance apart and the same depth.

I am grateful to live in a ferry land... on a small island away from the rat race.  I took this shot as the sun was setting on our way home from Victoria... from one level above the car deck on the ferry. I was grateful to find a new diamond blade for my saw in town.

I like the quote, "One thing wrong with being an atheist is seeing a beautiful sunset and not knowing who to thank."

I am grateful to have this wonderful storage file for all the artistic projects we are planning to do.  It was a trick to take it all apart and move it up from our "tin shack" storage building.

I am grateful to be back doing watercolours again.  I am not finished reading the book, "The One Thing," but both Shirley and I have been looking forward to using our new studio to pursue our One Thing... artistic endeavours.

So we are committing to spend at least two hours a day putting paint onto paper or sketching or something creative.  This is Sidney Spit with the Lagoon and Sidney Island to the right.  Eagle Island is the little island in the centre of the lagoon.

I tried a fun thing here.  First I painted the letters, "the Lagoon" in white acrylic, before doing any watercolour.  Then when I painted the blue water it took the colour differently than the acrylic painted letters.

To see more  about our art projects, and home improvement  projects, check out Shirley's blog today... for her perspective.

This is inside our "tin shack" now. A month ago you could not see the far end from the front door.  O how I wish we would have taken a picture of the mess. There was barely an isle to get to the other end. There were boxes and junk almost to the ceiling. I am grateful for the best wife in the whole world who knows how to handle this type of project and she focused on getting rid of a lot of junk.  That nice 10-drawer file cabinet was in the middle of this room and it took a lot of work to even get close so we could move it out.

Once all the junk was gone I made a simple desk using a 2-drawer filling cabinet to hold up one end of the desk top... and I made a simple plywood end leg for the other end.  The stack of boxes on the floor were just brought in so I can go thru filing cabinets and transfer out the stuff that will go to recycle.

Thank you Shirley for doing such a great job here!

I am grateful to have both the toilet and sink working now in our studio.  I got the right length supply lines this week in town to connect the water to the basin taps.  It is nice to have water handy when you are doing watercolour painting.  Now I have to get the right finish to fit the valve we used for the shower rough in.

I am grateful to have been able to power wash off the cottage roof this week... and not break a leg, or anything else.  I put a rope between the end gables along the ridge, with enough slack so I could hang on and walk down part way with the power washing wand.  I fell a couple of times, but hung on and got up to finish the job. It was slippery up there!

I am grateful to have a sweetheart who is a nester.  She knows how to make a house a home... and has a real good eye for how to make things beautiful.

While I was busy doing the power washing on the cottage roof, unknown to me Shirley was busy re-arranging the living room furniture.  This has happened to me many times before. I came in that evening and thought I was in the wrong house.  We have been eating a lot of meals in the living room while watching Knowledge Network Great Canadian Parks programs on the PVR.  I thought Shirley was joking when she said maybe we should set the dining room table in front of the big screen TV.

How could I not be softened to the idea when she lights a candle for our first meal at the dining room table in front of the TV? I am truly grateful to have a sweetheart with good taste in design.  She  knows how to make every detail work together.

This is the back section of the garage/workshop... where I do lapidary... cutting and polishing rocks.  This space was also wall to wall stacked with too much junk.  I am so grateful that Shirley takes the bull by the teeth and just empties the space.  We had the two table tops that came out of the Bistro in Acorn Plaza... I attached a 4' x 4" post for a leg and attached them to the wall.  Again we took another truck of paper and cardboard to recycle on our island.  I think they have our number... two truck loads in two weeks!

I got busy cleaning out the eaves troughs this week... and these higher ones were a little tricky.  Again I have a rope off the top of the roof to hang onto... but the pail gets full so fast.

I am so grateful for my little John Deere tractor to hold a plank with cleats so I can safely walk up the roof. I am always grateful to get these nasty maintenance jobs done without any mishaps.

Our garage looks great inside... but the carport is now full of stuff that has to either go back inside on to shelves or to the landfill or to recycle.  Most of the boards will be painted white and trim the windows and corners on redoing siding on the south side or our house.  I am grateful that one more day will likely see this phase of clean up completed.

This morning as I was walking around the loop driveway I heard this loud pecking noise.  I walked more slowly and soon could see where the noise was coming from.  We are grateful to have a couple of pairs of Pileated Woodpeckers making themselves at home here. Shirley thinks we can charge them rent.  Good luck with that one, Shirley!  I am grateful for my Samsung Note 3 that has an incredible zoom lens on the phone... pretty cool for a phone camera, eh?

But the best news relates to my diabetes score.  I did my quarterly blood test this week in Victoria, and had an appointment on Friday to see the doctor here on Mayne to find our my results.  I have a kit to take my blood score before and after meals... but I also have a standing order to get a professional lab blood score done every three months.

When I did my first blood test mid-April and the doctor saw it was 9.2 she threw the book at me and said, "I'm not going to tolerate this any more."  She scheduled me to go to Diabetes School... and get a blood testing kit.  I didn't know our island doctor was on holiday... but her substitute doctor was quick to realize the situation when she saw the latest blood score... which was 6.4.  Wow! She said she has never seen such a great improvement in just three months... so since she looked so young I asked her if she was thru going to school?  She said she has been in private practice for seven years. Asian women don't show their age... or does everyone just look so young to me?

Thank you Lord for a good blood score!  My target is to get my blood score under 6... and I was pleasantly surprised at the difference the changes we have made worked so fast. Most of the credit I give to Shirley, who is more than my private cook.

I am grateful for Shirley who has gone the second mile to prepare food that is healthy and tasty... and she has been eating the same menu that I eat. Thank you Shirley.  You are the best!

Please take three minutes to watch this super cute animated poem, written by Shelb Silverstein... about Sara Cynthia Sylvia Stout... and don't forget to take the garbage out!

Kind of fitting since we have been doing a lot of this type of thing lately.

Which leads me to my last grateful thing... Our Mayne Island Recycling Depot.  They provide a great service to our island... and a lot of volunteers help to make it all happen.  Thank you to each of you.


  1. It was a 'great, full' week! :)

    I too am most grateful for your new blood score! And the great thing is you have been so willing to cut your old favourite fruity drinks and you watch football games without your chips, etc. You are finally eating veggies, lots of them. Thank you for being so pleasant about the lack of desserts.

    For all that I am grateful. (and of course, much more)

    1. Thank you Shirley. You are the reason I want to get the blood score lower.

  2. Actually, this new diet is not a cake walk... it's a salad walk. I don't mind salads three times a day... and it's not every day the same. I've learned if you put a crouton on a sundae it counts as a salad.

  3. I love the new layout in the house. Now you can relax on the couch and watch all the activity in the navy channel and I do enjoy watching TV while I eat. Great job Sherwin on the new lifestyle. Change is very hard you made it look simple. Also thanks for the photos and info on what you are doing to the place. I always like seeing what you are up to on the island. Next time I visit I would like to see how the laser engraver works if you have time to show me.

  4. Thanks for your kind words. I don't know how long the new living room layout will last... but we always enjoy a change. I do miss laying on the sofa to watch TV and then falling asleep.

    I'm hoping to get my blood score down to 6 or less in the next three months. It was for sure the high light of the month because we have worked hard to eliminate sugar and juice or any drinks except water.

    Hope that you put your next visit to Mayne Island on schedule for this fall before we head south.