Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mystery Man

Who is the mystery person behind the clever disguise?

Mmmm. I still don't know as the disguise just got better.


Now I am really confused. The disguise just got better because the mystery person now seems older. I think one is the old block and the other is the chip off of it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bee Aware

Bees don't just go for yellow!

Bees are very social creatures but they do not depend on Social Security. Their security is in their work ethic and  their division of labour (every bee has an important job and pulls his weight). There was a time in our society, before my time actually, when there was no Social Security. We took care of each other within the family unit, the caring of a community, or as a result of the faith based help from a church, of which we were all a part. As we fell away, as a society, from our faith, and the family unit began to break down, there were people 'falling through the cracks' who needed our help. Society caused this and now had a solution. Everybody contributed to a larger tax base and Social Security was invented. It was meant to be a safety net for those 'less fortunate' but eventually became an entitlement for all, both those who contributed and those who did not. The result was two types of citizens, those who were net givers and those who were net takers. The net takers have recently out numbered those who work hard and pay taxes and take nothing out, and now the chickens have come home to roost. 
Tomorrow, the US social security system will, for the first time in its history, be paying out more than it is taking in. This was supposed to happen in 10 years, but with the huge economic correction taking place, it is happening ahead of schedule. Canada will not be far behind. Add in the soon to be retired baby boomers, and the fact that they are aging and will certainly require more health services, and you have a recipe for major social and tax reforms. Oh, we saw it coming, but did nothing about it. Why? Governments get elected to spend, not to cut. We are all stupid to have bought into this thinking and now we will pay the price. 
I came across a quote yesterday by Frederic Bastiat, a French economist and philosopher. " Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else."  This scenario is unsustainable, as we will all discover in the years to come.   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bees and BRIC

The little honey bees are frantic these days to get in their last licks before the blossoms fade away and winter sets in. Our garden was buzzing with them in the warm Saturday sunshine.


I am sure you have all heard about the reluctance of the Commonwealth athletes to move into the village being provided for them in India. As the day of the opening ceremonies approaches, there seems to be a an almost hourly improvement. That there was a problem in the first place should not be. The BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are the movers and shakers in the race to rebuild the world's economy. Investors are flocking to  these countries and India is dropping the ball by showing that they still have elements of third world about them. This is no way to attract sophisticated business people. It looks like the games will go ahead after all and now it is up to India to redeem themselves. They have a lot of impressing to do in the next few days.
And speaking of BRIC. China is the world's second largest economy and did you know they are still receiving international aid? This is aid that goes to poor countries to help stimulate business and trade. Germany has announced that they will reduce their share of the $2.5 billion that China receives annually. China is complaining. Boo hoo and cry me a river.   

Monday, September 27, 2010

What? Two Already?

This weekend was my grandson Liam's second birthday. He invited some friends and family in and we had a party. Here he is getting a bit silly and it got every one in the party mood.

It was soon time for the gift opening. Here my little man is concentrating hard as he tugs and pulls on all the wrapping paper.


It was a toss up as to which was his favourite gift, the fully loaded tool kit, or this toddler scooter. There were many other gifts too that made it seem like Christmas.  


Then it was time to blow out the candles. He was so excited that his breath was coming out in rapid little bursts and there was no air movement over the candles. Mom helped and all was well. This was a 'construction cake', chocolate, with toy excavators moving hunks of chocolate around through the whipped cream. This, plus the Chocolate Cheese Cake, made it a delicious birthday for sure.


After getting changed into his 'tool time' pajamas, he came back out among the guests and gave us more entertainment. We left a wonderful party with chocolate in our bellies and big smiles on our faces.
Happy birthday to a most wonderful grandson, Liam.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just Across the Ditch


A few days ago, we thought we would check out a new portion of the Discovery trail. This is a series of paths through the green spaces of our city that link east with west and are all interconnected.



We saw this section being worked on for the last year, but only as we drove by on the way to church. It paralleled the main road and then disappeared into the forest.




What we discovered was very delightful and very well done.

There are very few sections of this trail that we have not walked. We are always surprised at the beauty just on the other side of the ditch. We really need to get out of our vehicles more often and enjoy the magnificent scenery right in the middle of our city.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

What Did We Learn?

Just recently there was an attempt in our House of Commons to do away with the Long Gun Registry. This is a boondoggle (useless make work project whose purpose it was to give the appearance that something was being done about crime) created by the Liberals, that was supposed to cost the taxpayers a million dollars to get up and running. It seems that a few years later, crime was still rampant and the cost had soared to a billion dollars. I guess they just couldn't get those pesky criminals to register their guns.
This recent vote taught us a few lessons.
1. MPs do not really care to vote according to the wishes of their constituents. Except of course, the Conservative ones because this was an election promise
2. The CBC is on side with the Liberals on this issue (surprise surprise) because they reported that the annual cost to the taxpayers for the registry was about $4 million a year. It is actually between $44 million and $56 million. I suggest we give the registry the $4 million and then force them to close their doors when the money runs out which would be in about 6 weeks.
3. So called free votes in parliament are not really free. Everyone voted along party lines. Our elected MPs have no backbone and the party whip system defeats true representation of the people as a voice in government.
This will be an issue in the next general election.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bees and Honey

I was reading to Liam, my youngest grandson, out of a book about animals and insects the other day and there was a photo of a bee in a hive making honey. He was quite intrigued with it so we got the honey container from the kitchen and proceeded to show him the real thing. He knows bees from his time spent outdoors and gets a little annoyed when they buzz around him but is not paranoid about them. But now, there was connection between bees and honey. I put a bit on my finger and licked it and thought he would want to try some too. He would have no part in it. The funny thing is that he has honey on his toast in the mornings.
He was right beside me and watching with great interest when I took this photo this summer.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Feeling Artsy

I spent a delightful evening with my grandsons but they wore me out. I wanted to post a creative piece on analytical geometry and how it relates to the intricacies of the geotechnical properties of the antediluvian shelf that sits below the San Andreas fault in California, and how that will influence our stay in Palm Springs this winter. Instead, I just got creative with Photo shop and turned this mundane photo of a seagull into an orange mundane photo of a seagull. Just don't make me explain how or why I did this.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ode to Aging


I walked in the garden in the morning light
And discovered something interesting about my sight
The flowers were fuzzy, the edges all blurry
So I reached for my glasses in a big hurry.
Some day when I'm old and turning all grey
But wait just a minute, I'm already that way!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Transitions

Partnerships can be tricky whether in business, team sports, ownership, marriage, or whatever. It is not one person making a decision that will effect only him, but it is multiple people trying to come to a compromise in order to reach a consensus, so the interests of all can be met. Everyone must be heard and their needs addressed. Because we are all different and are at different place in our lives, we find that the six owners of our holiday property are having to deal with an issue of transition at this point in time. The first requirement in any discussions is honesty and we took a good step in that direction recently. The pros and cons of a long list of options seems endless and at times confusing, but action must be taken. Or not. You see, before we even get started, there has to be a discussion about that. The property was gifted to us and at the time seemed a wonderful gift and something we would all cherish and pass on to the next generation. But that concept also raises questions and must be discussed. Discussion is good but must be amicable and all opinions respected, even if contrary to the majority. For now, the above photo, taken in the Oroville garden, represents a 'thumbs up' for the property, but there is a work day coming soon where some changes will take place, and that was agreed upon. 
Everybody's dream is to have a lakeside resort, but my advice is to be careful what you wish for.    

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Book Review

I read a very good book this week. In1969, a nineteen year old boy is the sole survivor of an unsurvivable plane crash where the pilot and co-pilot are killed. The story revolves around his recovery and the miracles witnessed by those who watched, as he piloted a plane one year later over the exact spot where he should have been killed.
That in itself is a fascinating story, but what is at the heart of the matter is the way it changed his life and the explanation for why it had such a profound influence on him. He did not even realize until months later why his heart and mind were drastically different after the crash. The memories, which started coming about six months later, of what had happened to him during the first few days of coma, came as a surprise and shock to him and profoundly altered his life until today.
Warning. It is hard to put down.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spinning Tires = Burnout

This is a slightly manipulated photo of a portion of our friend's Bill and Ella's flower bed. We are going there for dinner tonight.


I think I have a lot of variety in my line of work, but there are times when I feel a bit burnt out from the mundane. I am in that spot now. I am working on probably the biggest job I have ever undertaken in all the years I have been contracting as a home decorator. I no longer look at this job as a single entity but as a series of hurdles and small projects that need to be defeated. Because the colour scheme and plan of attack are evolving one day at a time, it is difficult to know what to do in order to use my time efficiently and, indeed, today I am off to another job awaiting a colour decision. There are times when it seems unending, but, the way to eat an elephant, say those that eat elephants,  is one bite at a time. This is wearing on me physically and mentally and I cannot wait for weekends when I can recharge my batteries. I thought of taking today off, but the lovely folks whose children are letting us use their Palm Dessert home in December asked me very nicely if I could come and do one room for them, so, off I go. 'They', again, say that a change is as good as a rest. I will know by evening if this is true for me at this time.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nostalgia

The Victoria Times Columnist published an article a few days ago announcing the new Ocean Falls Archives. I have had access to many photos the last few years, of Ocean Falls, both past and present, because I belong to the Ocean Falls Google Talk Group, but this picture is quite recent. The last of the old mill is being demolished. By the lie of the land and proximity to the 'Falls', I know exactly what part of the mill this is. As a young man I walked up and down that area many times a night as I collected pulp and paper samples to take to my lab for crucial tests. It was old and rickety back in the early seventies when I was there and whenever there was a paper break on the machines, the whole concrete structure would shake and rattle and at times actual pieces of cement would fall from the ceiling. It was frightening and I often thought the whole place would collapse on me one day. Well, it is now collapsed with the help of that Hi-Hoe. I look at the photo and can hardly believe I was there.   

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

At a Distance

This is an unassuming house, but it has a story. I got a call from its new owner. She said we could not meet but she had the ideas and the colour scheme all ready for me so I could get the house ready for the moving date a month down the road. She gave me colour numbers and wallpaper stock numbers, and told me I could get at it whenever it suited me. The neighbour had the key and I could keep it until she and her family arrived. She had looked at the house once, bought it, and then flew back to Ontario where she and her family lived. As I recall, we only spoke one more time on the phone before her arrival date. When I finally got to meet her, it was when she and her family walked across the threshold of their newly decorated home. She was thrilled and has been a customer of mine ever since. I like operating that way. Give me the plan and then get out of my way. I know what to do.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rules and Regulations

No photo today, but a bit of a rant. I heard a first hand account today, of something that made me quite upset. What is your reaction?
The lady beside me was recounting the story, and it just happened this last weekend, Sept 11th. She has a 63 year old brother who has been in her constant care since he had an industrial accident when he was 19 years old. He has been more or less housebound but recently, after years of saving and planning, the lady and her husband were taking the handicapped brother on an Alaska Cruise, leaving from the port of Vancouver. The cost was $9000.00 for the three of them, including some very expensive medical insurance and trip cancellation insurance. 
Before check-in, they all went through US Customs (Homeland Security) They were denied entry. The reason? The injured man had a warrant for his arrest on suspected car theft in the USA. This was news to all three and they demanded to see documentation. Request denied and all three were escorted out of the terminal. No refund from the cruise ship cancellation insurance because it was an infraction of the law that made them cancel the trip. The lady and her husband could not abandon the brother in the terminal and take the cruise and had no one to call to come pick him up. The drove home, no cruise and no $9000.00. 
There is the letter of the law, and there is the intent of the law. In this case, the letter of the law states that no entry be allowed because of an apparent infraction of the law. The intent of Homeland security is to prevent terrorists, drug dealers and or criminals from entering the USA. The problem is that nobody is allowed to, or nobody is brave enough to think outside the box. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that this 63 year old man is not a threat, in fact he has to be escorted and cared for by his two guardians. Could  someone not recognise this and allow this threesome their trip of a lifetime? 
There is an email 'forward' floating around that mourns the death of 'Common Sense'. When I hear something like this, I know it is true.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Recovery

This is a home on the same street as the one in Saturday's post. These people are good friends with the banker and his wife. They play cards a lot. When I estimated this job, the man of the house informed me that he was scheduled for heart bypass surgery and was expecting a call at any time. As it turned out, he was in the hospital the day we arrived. We did the whole house so were there for a week. Before we were done, he was back home. He sat very gingerly in his easy chair, holding a red heart-shaped pillow against his chest. (Those were his instructions, to keep the incision from tearing open in case he coughed or laughed too hard) He gave very precise instruction to us, his wife, and his dogs as he sat there in recovery. Normally he would have done everything himself. He was younger than me and been a teacher and was used to telling others what to do.
Another thing I remember about this place was watching the squirrels defeat the home made contraptions on the bird feeders, designed to keep the squirrels out. This was a constant irritation to the man of the house, and may have even contributed to his failing heart.

The Oroville Gate


This is the lower of two gates that adjoin our property with the neighbour's. The upper one is used more and is similar, but has a cowbell mounted on top so one can hear approaching visitors. This is a very photographed gate as the lighting to the south is usually quite attractive through the wrought iron passageway. My sister-in-law, who is an artist, has made a lovely painting of this gate that hangs in the holiday house. The two large Birch trees on either side keep getting larger, but the gate continues to open and close without difficulty. It was no doubt retrieved from a house demolition in Vancouver, by my father-in-law, many years ago, as was so much of what makes our property in Oroville interesting and unique. This will be a year of transition.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back to the Banker's

We really enjoyed working for this couple a few years ago. He is a retired banker, one of quite a few I have worked for. This house is in a subdivision of beautiful acreages with a deep ravine along the back. You can see the trees in the background on the top edge of the ravine. There was plenty of wildlife here, including a bear. There was also bare wildlife next door. To the right of this photo is another home with a very large bathroom facing the banker's breakfast nook. He told me that in winter when it was still dark in the mornings, the lady of the house would bathe in the tub in the big bay window that had no curtains or blinds, totally oblivious to the fact that her neighbours could see everything.
"Mind you, I try not to look," he said with a straight face. He should have hid the pair of binoculars on the window sill so I would have believed him. I got a call from them last week asking if I could come back for a small job resulting from some water damage. I will wait until winter and then go early in the morning. Of course, only to get my day off to an early start.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

This is Getting Silly

The Nectarines are now ripe. Enjoy!


This very intriguing situation that Mr. Terry Jones has gotten himself into regarding his idea to burn a few copies of the Koran on Saturday is getting a little out of hand. It has not even happened yet and presidents and kings around the world are begging him to stop. It has not even happened yet and there are violent protests because of it. This was on my news site last night:

Elsewhere, tension also grew around the world in response to Jones's plan.




One church in India received a bomb threat. The pastor of that church received a letter threatening to blow up churches in the area if Qur'ans are burned.



He immediately relayed the message to police and the pastor said the church had no plans to observe Jones's so-called International Burn a Qur'an Day, and he says that Christians in India are united in their mission to spread the message of universal brotherhood.



Protests in Pakistan were getting more radical. Hundreds of people marched down the street chanting "Death to America," and then set fire to a U.S. flag. Protesters say if Jones follows through with his plans there will be a reaction against the Christian church across the world and that a new war will begin between Muslims and Christians.

Can someone tell me when the 'old' war of Muslims against Christians ended? What kind of nonsense is this when the Christians in the Christian nations of Canada and the USA are sending the bulk of the aid to flood victims in Pakistan? This is the height of "biting the hand that feeds".

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Explain This

I am wondering if anyone out there can explain this strange cloud formation. This image is not manipulated in any way. This is just the way it was, looking east across Lake Osoyoos one summer afternoon.

By now you have all heard of the southern USA pastor, Terry Jones, whose idea it was to burn Muslim holy scriptures. I am not one to condone such behaviour, but I find the reaction of our political leaders a bit strange on this. It is like they are doing major damage control and apologising for this guy who only has a following of 50 people. Knowing the Muslims, they will only hear that America is burning Korans so maybe damage control is necessary.  
When they burn our flags, and our leaders in effigy, we are outraged, but our reaction is measured and we consider the source. We know it is only a minority of people that do this kind of thing and a thinking person will not write off a whole people group because of the actions of a few. I believe that having the President of the USA and our own Prime Minister make public statements decrying Mr. Jones,  is showing fear. Would it not be best to ignore this fellow? 
And another thing. Our own Defence Minister, Peter MacKay, says that "our Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are not fighting against Islam or Islamic beliefs, rather the war they are fighting is against an extremist and brutal enemy."   
Last time I looked, the reason they are extremist and brutal is because of their faith. There would be no Jihad against America, Israel, and Christians, who are all infidels and deserve death, if it were not for their faith. 
Where are the so called moderate Muslims? Why do they not speak out against this extreme and brutal element of the faith? We are speaking out against Mr. Jones, are we not? And he is not even violent but only expressing his firm beliefs in his own intolerant way. Will the media be brave enough to publish the inevitable cartoons poking fun at Mr. Jones?      

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tiger Swallowtail

 While stalking a Hummingbird in the flower bed, I got an unexpected visitor.
Had I taken one or two photos like in the old days of film, I would have been disappointed. It was not until my 30th frame did I get some sharp images of this beauty. I kept on blasting away until she decided the nectar had run out. I tried different lenses, shutter speeds, apertures, and angles. What great fun when your model does not fly away on a whim.
Digital photography has given me a new appreciation for God's creation in that I see it through different eyes and when I review my photos on the large computer screen, I see things that my sixty year old eyes never saw through the lens. What a bonus! And because of my failing eyesight, I just want to publicly thank God for Auto Focus. I am serious because without it, the hobby that I love so much would be useless to me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labouring on Labour Day

As mentioned a few days ago, I took on a job as a favour to a decorator friend. It was at the Ramada Inn here in town, where some severe flooding from a plugged toilet ruined a suite below. They did the ceiling and drywall repair and then hired an inexperienced paper hanger to replace the wall coverings. He did a terrible job and then I was asked to 'fix it'.
I went in on Saturday to prepare the walls and discovered, much to my delight, that the poorly hung paper come off very easily and I was out of there in a few hours. Today (Monday) we went in to hang the new vinyl and I must say it looks quite fabulous. This is a photo of the room from the website but the wall covering we installed is much warmer looking than this older style.
I did not bring my camera to work so this is not a photo of what we did either, but looks more similar. I used to hang this type of material full time, installing about 3000 to 4000 rolls per year. One roll covers about 26 sq. ft. I roll the adhesive on the wall and then lay the vinyl onto the wall. Each piece is 54 inches wide so it goes fairly quickly. The edges are overlapped and then double cut to make a perfect and invisible seam. Each piece is reverse hung to avoid any discrepancy in colour or texture shading that might occur across the sheet. So each seam is left side to left side and right side to right side. There, now you can do it too.  

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bluegrass

John Reischman and the Jaybirds, one of our favourites.

The month is September and it is time for corn. On Saturday night we drove to Chilliwack and picked up some amazing Jubilee Chilliwack Sweet Corn and then just down the road took in the Blue Grass Music Festival which, in the world of music genres, is corn. I am sure that most of my readers have never been to one of these so let me set the scene.

The Heritage Museum complex has a huge parking lot and it was mostly filled with monster RV's. These Bluegrass festivals have a loyal following and what better way to take in the whole weekend than by camping right next to it. When you observe the people attending, you would never know that these are the same people who own these expensive houses on wheels. In the crowd of 800 or so, we counted maybe ten people under the age of fifty the whole afternoon and evening. Bluegrass people are almost all very old and many of them decrepit. They are dressed in shabby clothing, overalls, denim, sneakers, and straw hats. There are electric scooters, walkers, canes, and oxygen tanks. The die hard fans come early and place their fancy lawn chairs in the choicest spots on the auditorium floor and the uninitiated, who did not bring comfortable seating, are relegated to the hard and backless bleachers. That would be us. There is a continual stream of people going back and forth to the concession stands, bring back with them french fries and ice-cream cones. Did I mention that most of these folks are quite overweight, as in knee replacement overweight? 
The bands come in 45 minute spurts with a small break for 'supper' and an entertaining corn husking competition. There were seven bands that rotated the schedule and you knew who the favourites were when the concessions had no lineups. 

Now, for the music itself. Bluegrass is not for everyone, at least not in large doses. The typical band will consist of at least four members, usually men, although four of these bands had a female member who, strangely enough, played the biggest instrument, the bass, and did vocals. The really good bands will have some connection to the Ozarks, Tennessee, or Kentucky, the home of Bluegrass. The other instruments are mandatory, mandolin, six string guitar, and banjo. (The banjo is a difficult instrument to keep tuned. A banjo player spends half his time tuning the thing and the other half of his time playing out of tune. It has four strings so that at any given time at least one of them will be in tune.) There may also be a fiddle and or a slide guitar. Every instrumentalist in the band has to be very good because every number has a series of rotating solos. This is because of the great amount of repetition in the music and they have to somehow make it interesting. Six of the seven bands we heard were very good and these fellows really knew how to play. They are very polished and well practised. The sound is crisp and very intricate. The most amazing thing to see is the speed at which some of these tunes, such as "The Margurita Breakdown" are played. The fingers on the frets as well as the strings are a blur. (Or do I need new glasses?) 

What really separates the bands are the vocals. It must be rare to find a musician who can write, play and sing, and it seems that all of them did just that. Most of what was being played was original music. I use the term lightly because most of the songs sound the same. So it boils down to who can play and sing the best, and who has the catchiest lyrics. One nice thing about both Country and Western and Bluegrass music is that you can actually hear the lyrics. While Country and Western songs are mostly about pick-up trucks and lost dogs, Bluegrass tunes are a little more heart grabbing. Indeed, every 'set' had an obligatory gospel song almost always sung acappella with those nice tight Bluegrass harmonies. There are typical phrases and themes that punctuate a Bluegrass tune. The Romantic songs will talk about:
darlin'
layin' there beside me (usually in the past tense)
 a ribbon in her hair (usually red)
aint no use in cryin' (them big old tears)
smilin' through the tears (of either joy or sorrow)

Then there are the songs about Mama and Papa
Mama's grave (what do we do about it because the bank took the farm away)
Mama's grits and gravy (how we miss 'em)
Papa planned it that way ( the trees that shade Mama's grave in the hot noon day sun)
Sure gonna' miss her
What I learned at Mama's knee

Then there are the songs about work:
Papa was a miner
Granpappy laid track, Papa was an engineer and I'm a'workin' on the railroad
Workin' for to earn my pay
Don't need no job when I got you
Workin' in the corn (cotton or hay) fields

Then there are the jilted lover songs:
Didn' wanna' leave her but I had to
Couldn't get away too soon
Takin' a fast train away from you
Can't see through these tears of joy since I left you
Mama wouldn't approve
Your memory keeps on huntin' me down

And last but not least, the prison songs:
Workin' on the chain gang
Only three more years to go
Got those lonesome prison blues
Breakin' these stones aint easy
Done did my time, now I'm comin' back for you

After 8 hours of this, apart from the skill of playing a banjo, I too could be a Bluegrass musician. But, I guess you have to be a fan first. I have had my 'Bluegrass fix' to last me for a long time to come. Besides, I have never been too keen on buying one of those big ol' motor homes.  
         

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Falling Down


I took this photo in spring on the dyke of the Pitt River in Maple Ridge. The water was dead calm and gave a mirror like reflection of the old rusty barge moored near the shore.

I have run into many different situations in my line of work and because I am working in people's homes every day, I am bound to see a little bit of everything eventually. I have been witness to several falls over the years and on Monday there was another one. The elderly gentleman was approaching the bathroom door where he was going to peek in to see my progress in stripping his wallpaper. He no sooner asked me how it was going when I hear a crash and an exclamation. I turned to see him fall onto my toolbox and as he was half sitting on the edge of it, he was fighting to grab the railing of the stairwell immediately behind him. I dropped my tools and ran to his assistance, steadying him while he regained his footing. He was finally able to stand upright and wandered into the kitchen with a distinct limp. He muttered that he was OK but I was not sure. His wife came on the scene to see what the commotion was and assured me that this had never happened before. He pulled up his pant leg and revealed a large swollen bump just above his ankle. He told us that he had bumped his leg a few days ago and it was painful, and just now, his leg had just given out on him. His wife got him some ice and soon he was settled down. 
This would not have been too serious except for the fact that he came so close to tumbling down a full flight of stairs, backwards. 
I had to give CPR once on a fallen customer and I did not want to repeat that experience. When I was done the job on Wednesday, he was just fine. Whew!  

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stressed Out

Near Rosetown Saskatchewan

We have had a very productive week, but at a price. I am a bit stressed out as well as physically tired. Any time we get on a job that lasts more than ten days, I get a bit ragged on the edges from driving the same road day after day, walking into the same house day after day, and dealing with same issues day after day. We are in our fourth week on a very large reno and not yet half done. It is very involved and detailed and at times it feels like we are not making any progress. I need a break from this so I am working this Labour day weekend. I am holing myself up in a nice room in the Ramada Inn and am going to prime the walls and then hang commercial vinyl wall coverings. There was water damage from a plumbing leak on the floor above. This will be relaxing for me because I will be without a customer breathing down my neck and looking over my shoulder. It is not the easiest work but it is straight forward and the money is good. I am also doing this as a favour to a long time designer friend who has been good to me over the years, and was in a bind. I may or may not blog for the next few days. There are only so many hours in a day.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Refuge

We have had some very warm days this summer and we have always found refuge in our home and in our garden. With our new windows, the inside temperature was always at least 5-7 degrees cooler inside than out. Also, I believe we live in a micro climate on our street. Many times I arrive home from work and find the temperature is a bit cooler here than where I have just come from. Then there is our garden which has a balance of sun and shade. Many years ago when we bought this property, we planted trees and now it is really paying off with beauty and with cooling shade in the hot summer months. Our deck used to be too hot to sit on but now covered in the shade of our Maple Tree, it is comfortable and also so wonderful to look out into the garden past this gorgeous hanging basket that busylizzy got for Mother's day last May. It only needs a good watering every day and it rewards us with continual renewal of its blossoms and greenery. When I eat my breakfast and look up, this is what I see every morning. The good night's rest refreshes my body, the Honey Bunches of Oats satisfies my appetite, and flowers renew my soul as I look up from my daily Bible reading. We all need refreshing in the various areas of our lives. Where do you find it?   

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Surf Sailing

There is usually a brisk wind at the lake but this year we had a relatively calm week. There was one day that the white caps popped up when the the North wind brought some cooler temperatures. Andrew was waiting for the opportunity and out came the sail for the board that was being used as a paddle boat up until then. 
 
Down went the keel, up went the sail, and he was off to a shaky start . The wind in the bay swirls a bit, so until he gets out into more open water and a steady breeze, it is a real balancing act.
As soon as he gets into the 'zone', the board takes off and with speed comes hydro planing and even more speed.
He shoots across the lake in no time and you can tell by his big wake that he is really moving. For all you environmentalists, note the small carbon footprint of this mode of transportation. Zero. Well, at least until he exhales.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Looks like Keith got flipped and inverted. Nathan, riding backwards on the Seadoo, is the spotter. One gets a little seasick doing that.
It is great to see Father and Sons having such fun together.
Rachel gets her annual fear filled ride from the scare master, Andrew, her brother. Last year he flipped her off but she has learned to hang on tight and lean into the tight corners.
 
Safe landing.
Paparazzi. She picked up Andrew's camera and put it on rapid fire and peeled off 300 frames in a few minutes. She had trouble finding her subject with such a long lens but got onto it after a while.
That camera in the right hands produces some nice night shots. Andrew is by far the superior photographer in the family. This is the view looking north from our sundeck. You can link to his photo website from the side bar.