We have enjoyed an extended summer here on the island. Judy’s mother continues to thrive in her senior care facility and Judy sees her three times a week. Even though it takes Phyllis a few minutes to realize who Judy is, she always figures it out. Between the two of them they have completed half a book of crossword puzzles, with Phyllis getting most of the difficult questions!
Ron diligently replaces old worn out boards on the deck
This summer we have done a lot of work on the family home. Ron has repaired and power washed the aging decking. Judy had the task of treating the deck with preservative. We have both worked cleaning up the gardens and berming up branches from topped trees in the forest below the house. Luckily we own all the trees that potentially could impede our panoramic view of Stewart Channel and Sansun Narrows. Within a few weeks of arrival on the island we had our logger come up and clean up the view a little more.
One of the restored views from our deck
Another angle from the deck
The last section of the 180 degree view from our deck
We also had him remove some very large arbutus trees that were dying and were way too close to the house for comfort. Needless to say, we have our shed now full of firewood that we can’t use for a year until it dries properly; however, we have more than enough already stockpiled for those cool nights.
Our Logger, Thomas, 40 feet up a large arbutus tree that hangs out over the house – or should I say “hung”
Judy had a lot of fun draining and cleaning the cement swimming pool that had been built into the hill beside the house back in the early 70’s. It is amazing how well the pool survived after 8 years of neglect.
The green/black slime in the long neglected pool was a formidable challenge
Next year we will try to patch up a few spots, paint the pool and get the machinery running again. It probably won’t be usable next year but you just never know!
With the pool all cleaned up it is time to put the winter cover back on, says Captain Ron
The spiders seem to think this is their home!!
Judy in the living room watching the Olympics
Living room view towards the front hallway
Although some of the furniture and rugs are “tired” and the wallpaper could use a “strip and paint”, it still looks pretty good considering the house was built in 1971. At the time, Judy’s parents selected quality furnishings and appliances, so the twin ovens may be avocado but they are built in and they still work well! We have decided that it is somewhat fashionable to live in a “retro” house. The living room with its large stone fireplace is the most awesome room in the house. We have changed around the furniture and added our own touch, including our Cuban carvings and paintings.
Judy relaxes in her dad’s old chair and takes in the magnificent view, watched over by Pedro, one of our Cuban paintings
Ron’s hideaway in “the room under the house” – also with a great view!
Tough chick here, cleaning up her chainsaw after a hard day’s work!
Judy cuts up the brush that mounted up after the logger trimmed up the trees
We had tremendous fun with our Vesuvius friends Elvin and Sally and Norah and David. A few nights Norah and David treated us to dinner on Scout, their West Coast wood trawler – a most beautiful boat with the same name as our dinghy – karma!
Judy, Norah and David in the wheelhouse of “Scout”
Relaxing on Scout’s flying bridge
Vancouver Island at dusk from Scout
One evening we joined Norah and David for Chinese food and then a presentation at ArtSpring called the “Scrotum Diaries”. The presenters were local and had us in stiches the entire time! However, for most of September we have been on our own with David and Norah off to Desolation Sound in “Scout”, Sally off to Ontario to visit her grandkids and Elvin off sailing “Omache” singlehanded to Hawaii. He has arrived safely and had great conditions for his passage. Ron would like an adventure like that but I am not sure that I am ready for 27 days on the high seas, at least not yet! Before Elvin left on his great adventure, he and Ron started making their own wine up here at the house. They figured the cost per bottle is about $1.50! They aptly named the operation the ELRON Winery!
Elvin corks up the first batch of red wine
Judy and Sally prepare a luscious Caesar salad for dinner
Jocelyn enjoys the view from the kitchenette as she works on her computer
The salmon starts to cook in our “retro ball-b-que”
It was sooooo…… delicious. I think that we could live on salmon alone without any cravings for other meats!
The salmon is cooked and mouth-wateringly ready to eat!
Judy also made yoghurt and learned how to strain it to get Greek yoghurt. Making your own yoghurt is easy and not much bother as it does all the work on its own. Between that and the bread maker it made for easy baking days. We shall miss the bread maker on the boat.
Judy and Jocelyn prep the milk for creating yummy yoghurt
The most outstanding thing about this summer has been the weather. No rain for almost three months! Unfortunately no rain means extreme forest fire conditions…… so we are really hoping for rain soon.
Before heading off island, the annual Fall Fair on Salt Spring is a “must see”. Besides the prize chickens, rabbits, cows, llamas, sheep, goats, etc., there are baking, crafts, photography and wine-making contests.
Garden tractors strain away at the weights in the tractor pull
Old restored cars and converted electric cars are on display and the souped-up garden tractors even have a tractor pull contest. My mother’s craft group at her nursing home (which she takes part in religiously) won two firsts and one second place for their craft entries. The crafts were a bouquet of paper flowers, a California Raisin and a cookie monster made out of paper Mache and snakes made out of men’s ties. They are a very imaginative craft group and reflect the artist colony flavour that is Salt Spring. The highlight for us was the performances by local musicians and singers at the small outdoor pavilion. We made sure we were in the front row when Valdi, a Canadian folksinger, came on stage.
Valdi performs with the “Raging Grannies” of Salt Spring
Fairgoers gather at the pavilion to get their “Valdi” fix
At 11:00 pm. a very tired crew gets “Mayo head” to kill the lice
In case you haven’t tried it, mayonnaise on the head overnight under a plastic cap works great!
Clear night and a full moon at the house
Our companion, frog/toad poses for a good shot on the railing
At the end of September we headed back to Pioneer via Edmonton and Lethbridge to prepare for our annual trip south. We hope to make it to Honduras again this winter but we are always prepared to adjust our sailing plans that seem to be set in jello! While in Edmonton we visited with Ron’s son, Aaron, his wife, Liz, and their new baby girl, Morgan. We had a great time with them and hope to visit again in the future.
Mt. Robson, on the Jasper highway as we head to Edmonton
Aaron, Liz and Morgan with Ron
Phyllis enjoys the ambiance of our old kitchen
From there we went to visit Ron’s mother, Evelyn, in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. She was not doing very well when we saw her and unfortunately passed away a week after our visit. The memories of Evelyn, the laughter we shared, her kindness and her engaging personality will stay with us always. Her love for us and ours for her will always be remembered.
Evelyn Hardie November 6, 1913 – October 9, 2012