30.7.12

Beware What Lurks Beneath the Sea

Once upon a time, a lone paddler headed out on the water on what appeared to be a beautiful and friendly sea...

... da-dum...

... perhaps a glance or two around the boat may have been warning enough...

... or a careful look on shore may have alerted the paddler to the evil that lurks within the eyes of the SHARK...

...da-dum...

..da-dum da-dum...

...carefree, the paddler is enjoying the morning, and admiring classically-styled neoprene shoes...I wonder if the matching colours make it all taste better...

... da-dum da-dum da-dum da-dum...

...ATTACK!!!

 And the sated shark glides effortlessly away.

The End

28.7.12

Grabbing at the Breeze

With the weather being so lovely, we've been trynig out the new-to-us windsurfing boards every chance we get... sometimes even joined by Peter and his family too!

Logan, floating...

...two brothers trying to get it going...

...Bobbi enjoying the show and wondering when someone will actually start sailing (!!)...

...

... and he's off...

... off the board, that is!
Good times in the sun. Hoping for another nice day of wind-- perhaps it will come up again this afternoon, we'll start whistling this morning in anycase.


20.7.12

Can You Smell Them?

The honeysuckles were off to a great start this spring...

... and now, they are spreading their scent all over the place!

With the breeze coming off the water this morning,

the house is full to bursting with this beautiful aroma.

19.7.12

Battling the Birds

We have an abundance of cherries this year...

...which are not yet quite ripe...

...and even though some of them look ALMOST ready, they are not. The birds, however, seem to feel that by using the same strategy they used with the strawberries (pick 'em while they're green, that way we get them ALL), they will be the winners again. I'm thinking about a herring net to cover the trees for next year, as the number of cherries left on the trees each day is rapidly diminishing. On the other hand, I really like hearing them around the house and yard, it makes quite a difference. Cherries or birdsong?

I also have a few blueberries to look forward to, though, and so far, I don't think that they've been spotted...

18.7.12

Making Good Neighbours

While cutting down the trees we used for building the boat slip, there were many very tightly packed very skinny trees that also got taken down along the way... as I was dragging those down the mountain and piling them up, I was wondering what to do with them. I saw George had built a very beautiful and pro fence as a windbreak for Shannon's garden, and I thought to myself, that is exactly what my future-garden of bountiful vegetables needs...

...so yesterday I made a good neighbour with the front of the lot, and built a small fence. I will plant raspberry and blackberry canes along one side, and probably peas or beans or something along the other, and hopefully it will become a reasonable windbreak for the rest of the garden... which will become larger next year (I keep telling myself I have enough projects this year, and the garden is already started, again, so I will add a little at a time).

In the meantime, although very leggy (I wonder if that green roof is actually too dark???!!), things are growing and being produced on a regualr basis in the greenhouse: basil, dill, lemon thyme, oregano, cilantro, parsley, mixed greens, spinach, and more....

...cukes...

... and next to basil and dill, my all-time favorites, the tomoatoes are starting to appear!!

17.7.12

Painting Painting Painting

Now that we've had such lovely weather, it's time to catch up with maintenance chores around the house... painting the steps up the mountain...

...painting the lower shed; I also installed a tuna fin that I was given in Cape Breton, as well as a cast glass tuna fin (it is actually in 2 1/2 pieces, hard to tell from the photo, which is unfortunate, but good enough for the shed!)...

... painting the upper shed...

... which really made a big difference close to the house... (and note the amazingly matching flowers... serendipity-- it must be, as I didn't know what colour these would be until they started to bloom)...

... and painting the deck, the rocking chair, the hand-rail-oars, the table, the steps to the studio, and pretty much anything I could possibly slap a paintbrush to. Good times.

Next catch-up project after the rains and the mosquitoes are gone: the crazy garden. I'm finally actually sort of looking forward to finding out what is going on in there. The lilies are up and starting to bloom now, so at least I know where those bulbs are supposed to be!

16.7.12

What a Busy Weekend!

Saturday started off with a morning paddle with The Buddies-- that was a laugh and would have been enough fun for the day, but things just kept going! My crew arrived shortly thereafter, and the boat slip was banged together in what seemed like less than 30 minutes... wham bam and back up the hill for icecream and berries, a chat, and a photo op. (No time for photos during the work party, hands too full!)
The Crew

A large part of The Crew left to another job site, and the Fossils stayed behind... so we went for a walk to Helicopter Lookoff... there you see Wee Ball and Woods Island in the background...

Memme with a view to the Bay of Islands...

... a round ball on top of the black spruce (caused by NL's tiniest shrub that is a parasite specific to black spruce)

...Sheppie in the ferns...
On the way down, we met up with Hiiner, and decided that since it was so hot, we would all take The Buddies up the creek to the swimming holes... which we did, and ended up walking around the whole loop of the trail. Home again, and dinner with the Fossils, Ian put on a nice ham, and we enjoyed a beautiful salad fresh from the greenhouse (it is doing much better in the new location this year, but still may need a bit of tweaking).

And how could I forget, we met a nice couple in Gillams, who sold us their used windsurfing gear... and showed us their hedgehogs that they breed (female is pregnant with pups right now), their BEAUTIFUL black and white great dane, Harley, (whose head comes up to my shoulders when he is on four legs, and he is only 6 months old!!!!), and their horse...
So we did try out the gear... (no time for action shots, the rides were very short:)!
This day stretched and stretched and stretched-- like summer days should-- and that was only Saturday!

13.7.12

Fishing with Kala

We tried going fishing the other day, of course with the dogs. Shep was a good dog and stayed on shore, but that bad bad Kala kept doing his thing! Every time we stopped to cast, in he would jump, and out he would swim. And because it was so much more fun swimming, he would continue to swim as we paddled, so trolling was out of the question too-- we want to hook a fish, but not a Kala.
So we settled on just poking around, and look, we found a bit of string in the water...
...which Hiiner deftly hooked...

... amazingly enough, it was attached to a wooden object... full of tiny crabs!

And, occasionally we would wait while Little Buddy cleared the way of sharks and other ferocious creatures before heading back towards home.

10.7.12

Glass Artisans Studio and Gallery: the Cape Breton Trip

My intrepid friend Lori and I went to Cape Breton to Wendy Smith's Glass Artisans Studio and Gallery-- to test out the facilities for a variety of reasons, the most important of course, to see how much fun we could have...
My office on the ferry... extra keyboard, nice office chair, and room with a view... all the comforts!

I had measured out sides for boxes, screens, etc., and packed all the pieces into the car prior to leaving. So Friday morning, one of the first things we did was build the boxes and the sifter while we waited for special sand to arrive.

And bags of sand arrived... along with bentonite...

... so the badminton games began... no, sorry, the SIFTING began...

... and the mixing...

... and the mixing... our premade screen was not working, but the rackets did the trick...

And we visited the wood carver next door, who very kindly cut out a few shapes for me to try to use with the sand and glass project... an I practised for the Calgary Stampede while I had the chance (seize every opportunity dontcha' know!)...

Lori liked this picture so much that she made a movie of it. I wish I could re-figure out how to post movies, because it is a very good one.

We went to the wharf to see what we could find in terms of shapes to use for casting, and of course got to chatting with the fishermen... that's another long story... the upshot is that we found two beautiful tuna tails on the roof of the car when we came back from our hunt...

Cape Breton's own Liberty...

Back to work! Prepping sand before next pour...

Glass girls at the glass foundry...

...pouring molten glass into the mold, and entertaining the folks all at the same time. We even got tips, what a laugh, enough to buy beautiful dinners at the Clucking Hen Bakery across the road!

My very serious assistant and world famous torch worker.

Swimming hole under the bridge... Lori had to fight for her union breaks on the sweltering days!

We had to keep working at the sand mix, and finally found that beach sand was a great addition... the workers were quite tired by the time management decided that more R&D was required in the materials department...

...so much so, in fact, that sand angels seemed reasonable (and the photgrapher had to take 7 photos before Lori's head actually got included in the image)... it's a tough world out there!

Sunset beach walks after long days...

... morning beach walks before things got crazy at the hot shop...

And to top it all off, beach colours were de rigeur on this coast; a quick stop in Value Village when we went to Sydney for groceries resulted in these what-I-thought-were-an-interesting-red-but-turned-out-to-be-rather-intense-fucsia pants. Much to some peoples' chagrin, I wore them all the time, they are linen, which is, of course, a much coveted and lovely fabric. Everybody knows that.
So, the trip was busy, eventful, packed, and good. There is a lot of potential for this to be a great resource for me and for other glass people on the East Coast... Wonderful people, great neighbourhood, check it out when you're on the Cabot Trail, I might even see you there!