Monday, June 19, 2017

There is beauty to be found in so many places….but this island we call home is a particularly spectacular example.  On the weekend  before last,  we loaded up the Subaru and crossed the island to spend 3 nights camping at the Green Point campground in the Pacific Rim National Park, in between Tofino and Ucluelet.  The campground was just how I like them – full of giant trees. (We had site 28, but 4 and 50-60 also looked nice for another time.) Although the temperatures didn’t really break 20 degrees, it was sunny and the kids spent hours every day running on the beach and splashing in the surf.  Danika found a skim board the tide washed up and Logan was committed to getting the hang of it.  They fell into their sleeping bags exhausted each night.  We set up 2 tents for the first time – Logan had his own private quarters and didn’t come creeping into the big tent even once.  We made a trip into Tofino one afternoon and Ucluelet another afternoon, clambered about on the old volcanic rocks along the shore, found shells and bits of coral, watched crabs and anemones in the tide pools and climbed up to the red Canada 150 chairs for a photo.  Driving home we agreed to make this an annual trek.  I’ll just have to remember to reserve a campsite early!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

There was sun again this weekend, although not particularly high temperatures.  It’s light so late at night right now, the kids are astounded when I tell them it’s time to get ready for bed.  “Really, it’s 9:00.” “It can’t be.  It’s only 7:00, look how light it is.” I love the light, but it does make bedtime seem too early…although at our house, it always seems too early! I spent some time online making camping reservations.  We are headed to Tofino on Friday – since it’s a long drive we’re leaving at noon and not coming home until Monday.  I’ve also made reservations for Living Forest, Cowichan Lake and Pender Island.  Hopefully we’ll add one or two more – but these are guaranteed as every year it gets harder to make a spontaneous trip as sites fill up earlier and earlier.  We hung out this weekend.  I mowed the back 40, planted a few more things in the garden. Danika spent a great deal of time with the chickens, trying to cajole Logan into playing “chicken café” with her – she’s designed a menu, which she puts in front of Peanut Butter and then serves up whatever menu item Peanut Butter pecks at. Logan has a hard time with her make-believe games though… that’s never been his cup of tea (much to Danika’s great disappointment, as she wants nothing more than for him to participate in tea parties and animal cafes just now).  I think we need to rent her a sister for a while! When he wasn’t hiding from tea parties, Logan got in a squash game, and he and I hit the ball around a tennis court while Danika was at a friend’s house.  Last night Logan’s cub scout meeting was on canoe training – I thought that meant they just paddled around Elk Lake practicing their paddle skills.  No.  To get the level 3 badge they had to do a swim test, throw rescue lines, and in-water canoe rescues which included tipping canoes and re-entry in the lake.  Luckily it was around 20 degrees – I have nothing but admiration for the commitment of the leaders who were standing in the lake for 90 minutes doing the demonstrations and swim tests, while I read a book on the shore in my sweatshirt! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ukelele performance

100 m race - Logan is in the center in dark blue

As we approach the last month of school, extracurricular activities ramp up.  Danika had her last ballroom dancing performance, and both kids were in a Canada 150 musical performance at school (a new music teacher is subbing and she's fantastic!). Danika's class had a trip to Crystal Pool to meet their penpals from Quadra school and spent a day at a First Nations wellness center.  Logan had a STEM science day as well as a track meet at UVIC.  He ran the 100m and a 100m relay, placing 4th in his flight and 1st in the relay, same results as last year.  He needed new running shoes before the race as his were getting tight and worn down to nothing.  He's wearing an 8.5 mens shoe now, and his feet are the same length as mine only wider!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Dressed up for the tea party!

People in Victoria were getting fed up….there was an outbreak of Springtime Seasonal Affective Disorder going around.  Every time the sun broke through and the thermometer rose above 10 degrees we smiled and talked about how summer was finally coming.  And then arctic breezes would blow in off the water and the skies clouded over and we shivered and our spirits sank.  I tried to cheer myself up with online retail therapy, ordering two new fleece tops from Lands End – on the bright side they are super cheap at a time of year when I should be shopping for sandals.  And all the rain meant I didn’t have to water the garden, which is sending up radishes and lettuces despite the lack of heat.  Somethings been stealing my snap peas though, rooting through the planter boxes (even when I covered them with wire cages!) and eating the sprouted peas before they have a chance to poke through.  I put in a third planting and if these don’t come up, I’m out of seeds.

I’m happy to report that summer did finally show up for the long weekend.  It was marvelously bright and warm.  There were Coronas and steak on the BBQ and a family game of mini-golf at Mattick’s farm.  We ate a lot of ice cream on the front step and Danika hosted a couple of front yard tea parties, inviting Peanut Butter the chicken to partake as well (she ate the scratch but wasn’t keen on sampling the tea).  This past weekend was equally lovely.  Daniel had to leave for a conference early Sunday morning, so the kids each invited a friend and we headed to the waterpark for the afternoon.  At almost 11, Logan's days at the waterparks are probably limited (they are really geared to a younger crowd) but he and his friend organized a lengthy water war with a battalion of other boys, and then played on the adjacent tennis courts for awhile.  The girls weren't interested in water fights, choosing to squeal in the water spray and play on the swings.   

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This past weekend was Mother's Day and I was the recipient of many lovely handcrafted gifts, including a clay pendant, a pet rock/planter ornament, clay trinket bowls, and a story about a family camping trip that must have taken Danika hours to write. There was also a wooden jewelry box with green LED lights promised - it just needs a little more time for the artisan to complete it.  A special cake was baked, Logan and I made our annual trip down Burnside Road to purchase tomato starts (11 plants, 10 varieties!), we ordered Chinese food for dinner and ended the day with a family walk around the golf course. I would like to say the weather was warm and sunny, but it persists in being cold and often wet (in fact I hear rain on the skylight as I write).  The damp ground is probably good for the cub scouts on the street though as they have been studying fire starting techniques are are enamoured with acquiring fire starting gadgets and lighting things up to hone their skills.  While they are fairly closely supervised, I suspect the neighbours might be looking on with some dismay.     

Monday, May 15, 2017

Time has been zooming away on me again.  I made it made it back from Ottawa just in time to attend Danika's class performing a ballroom dance routine at the UVIC auditorium and Logan's strings group performing at an adjudicated competition at the Oak Bay highschool.  Due to a no photo rule, most of those memories are captured only in my mind, but let me assure you they both put on fabulous performances.  Dressed in tights and a new dress and her very first pair of heeled sandals, Danika shone in the front row (even though she said she was "so nervous!") - it's a big auditorium to look out at from the stage.  I did manage to get a quick pic of Logan as they were getting seated, before the cameras were banned.
The rest of the days have passed in a blur of taxes (I made the deadline!), packing Logan off to Scout camp on 2 different weekends, movie nights with Danika while Logan was away (we watched the Incredible Journey, and the sequel), puttering in the garden and evening games of badminton now that it's light so late, and watching Danika learn to use her Heelys.  These are shoes with wheels built into the sole that she's been pining for the past few months as several of her friends have them.  We agreed she would foot half the bill (get it?  "foot half the bill"?) and ordered a pair online as we couldn't find any on UsedVictoria in her size.  Miraculously they fit, and within 24 hours she'd found her balance.  All good.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hotel room...

This week I am in Ottawa for meetings, and the rest of the family is surviving just fine without me. Word has it that Danika placed in the ribbons again today at her last cross-country meet of the season, 3 places higher than her last run! Yay! Logan and the rest of his scouting pack were at Camp Bernard this past weekend, and have another camp scheduled in 2 weeks - they've learned to use flints and Daniel helped Logan and Nathan make char cloth for their fire starter kits (there were strict instructions around responsible use). And Daniel went shopping on UsedVictoria last weekend and bought himself what he called his 50th birthday present - an amp and electric guitar. Now if the neighbors are complaining about the noise, it's probably him and not the kids!