Salt Spring Island 2013

By mid-June we had arrived safely at our island retreat.  This would be our second summer there andIMG_1099rs we had lots of projects that had to be done by experts as opposed to ourselves. 


Our island home in a forest of Douglas Fir and Arbutus trees






The pool will get a new safety cover next summer but will not be revived just yet – right now it makes a great cistern!


The staining of the cedar siding, de-mossing the roof, pointing the chimney, replacing deteriorated window trim and running  a new beam between the house and the pool was all very important.IMGP4816  We hired a local contractor to complete the various projects and were very pleased with the result. 

Brad sets a new support beam in place









Briggs cleans out the old cement and points our chimney





The chimney has a new look!









The new glass goes into place!

We also needed to replace the windows in our living room as they had lost their seal.  The local glass shop was able to complete this project in fine order.  The new glass is UV resistant glass and should help to preserve the furniture, walls and flooring from further fading. We are researching refinishing the cedar walls and the cork flooring which we will tackle next summer.

Judy, as is her usual pattern, visited with her mother three times a week, at Greenwoods CareIMGP5158 Facility on the island.  Phyllis is doing very well and is now 101 – to be 102 in January 2014.  Judy and her mother do crosswords and puzzles.  Phyllis is very good at crosswords!


Judy and Phyllis enjoy their visits


Before her visits, Judy heads off to the local pool for an aqua fit class and then to the fitness centre for some weight training. Then it is off to the coffee shop followed by a visit with her mother and some grocery shopping. All this time away from the house allows Ron to get his pet projects completed.




Judy keeps her mothers 1988 Honda Accord in good working order for those weekly trips into town

The sights in downtown Ganges are quite interesting, to say the least.  Having been an old “hippie” destination, the grown up hippies are still around.  You can see them twirling on their roller skates on McPhillips Street – with fairy wings on their backs.  They have also decorated up old pianosIMGP5126 and placed two of them in Ganges and one in Fulford.  On any given day you might hear chopsticks or Chopin!


Time for a piano break at the Fulford ferry stop



One of our joint projects was to clean the drapes in the living room and remove some to increase theIMGP4934 viewing range.  However, we soon discovered what 35 years of sun can do to fabric – very scary!


Clean but torn curtains are hung out to dry before disposing of them


Another project was “cookie making”.  It was a difficult process to find the perfect cookie….that is a cookie made exactly like Judy’s mother used to make.  The infamous Crunchy Crisp Cookies.IMGP5054  Once perfected – after weeks of attempts – then Judy was able to modify the recipe by adding walnuts, pecans and chocolate chips. Both of us packed on a few pounds as a result of this project!

The search for the perfect Crunchy Crisp Cookie!


IMGP5191This summer our personal projects kept us busy while the major ones got completed by the contractor that we hired.


Ron and Elvin take over the kitchen as they fill, cork and label the wine bottles




Ron puts together the framework for several shelves in his new wine storage room


Ron’s projects revolved around winemaking with the creation of a wine storage room and the production, with partner Elvin, of hundreds of bottles of wine!  The winery is appropriately named, the ELRON Winery.

To help in the cutting up of logs for the fireplace, Ron built a sawbuck – Utube is wonderful for IMG_1104rshelping figure out projects like this.



The new sawbuck has been wonderful for cutting up large branches into fireplace logs





Judy is right at home with her new electric chainsaw and new sawbuck



Pruning back branches of our fir trees that grow into our view is always a project for us.  Ron has perfected the technique IMGP5149by climbing into the trees and using the pole pruner to lop off the errant branches.  Judy directs his aim by verbal commands from the viewing deck (not always appreciated!). 


Ron reaches out to an errant branch with our new pole pruner – marvellous invention!



Ron also rewired our covered deck lights that had been constructed of cedar by Judy’s dad.  Judy refinished the wood while Ron rewired the lights.  What a difference! IMGP5153


Ron completes the final attachment of the newly refinished and rewired porch lights





Judy’s main project was refinishing the deck chairs and tables that her dad had built in the 70’s from the cedar left over from the house construction.IMGP5009 She dutifully carved her initials in each piece to accompany her dad’s initial, carved on the underside of the furniture.


Judy refinishes a cedar deck chair made by her dad in the 70’s






Final sanding touches on the cedar tables before the finish coat





The garage is a great place to apply the finishing coat to the deck furniture






The final touch!


We did have a little excitement at the house when we discovered what we thought might be an iguana hiding under our steps to the lower porch.  After a IMGP4854call to the wildlife rescue people and a search on the internet for “lizards”, we discovered that we had found an adult  “bearded dragon lizard”.

Strange visitor to our home!



With turkey vultures circling overhead, we rescued the lizard and placed him in a large box with some chopped up veggies. 

Ron starts to like the idea of having a pet lizard….

Then the process of finding the lizard’s owner started.  After numerous calls to neighbours we got a lead which turned out to be very positive. IMGP4865 We had found the lizard’s owners, learned that his name was “Muffin”, and returned him safely to his home. 


Muffin’s owners were relieved to have him returned safe


As a reward, we were presented with a jar of homemade spearmint jelly!  That jelly is excellent on pork and chicken!

We had lots of visitors while on the island.  Both Ron’s sons and his daughter arrived with family and/or friend.  It was good to see how all of them had grown.  IMGP4883


Ron’s daughter, Jocelyn, who lives in nearby Victoria, visits often



Jocelyn, Ron’s daughter, visits us often and brings us freshly caught salmon, crabs and smoked salmon.  Her friend, Nick, is a recreational IMGP4935fisherman and Jocelyn often accompanies him out on his boat.


Jocelyn and Nick arrive on Salt Spring with crabs and smoked salmon – yum!



Ron eyes the crabmeat that was removed from the claws of the freshly cooked crab






Ron’s eldest son, David, and his two boys, Jack and Conrad, prepare to take a tour of the island on this motorcycle with sidecar

When David and his two sons visited, they spent most of their time camping in Ruckle Park – a great experience for the three of them.  We had them at the house for one night before they had to head back to Vernon.

Ron’s second son, Aaron, his wife, Liz, and their new daughter, Morgan, also paid us a visit.  They touredIMG_1070rs the goat cheese farm and also the island during their two day visit.

Liz, Aaron, Morgan and Ron visit from Edmonton



Judy’s son and his family visited as well.  Unfortunately IMG_0992rsdaughter Kelly was not able to visit.


Rob and daughter, Sage, make funny faces at the camera while Carol, Carol’s mother, Judy and Jade try to be “picturesque”


All good things must come to an end and so it is that we left Salt Spring and headed back to Lethbridge to visit with our friend, Phyllis, and her son, Richard, in our old house. It is always fun to visit the old house, especially when it has old friends in it!

After out stay in Lethbridge, it was “on the road again” to Pioneer at Wayfarers Cove in NorthIMGP5225 Carolina. 

We have perfected “eating on the go” at rest stops across the USA


We have several boat projects to complete before we head out for the Florida Keys, Bahamas and final destination, Cuba.  We will stay only for two months maximum in Cuba this winter as we have to be back in Lethbridge by mid April.

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