Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My World Tuesday ~ Happy Birthdays

There are two special celebrations this week. On Wednesday, Canada celebrates its 142nd year of Confederation and our great neighbours to the south are celebrating 233 years of Independance on Saturday.

Today I pay tribute to my adopted country, Canada and what better way than the singing of our national anthem at our national game...hockey!
Happy Birthday Canada!
Why not celebrate other great places around the world by joining us at MY WORLD TUESDAY!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SkyWatch Friday #50 ~ Change

When you live by the ocean the weather as the ocean is strongly influenced by the moon, and in particular the new and the full moons. We have just past through the summer solistice and a new moon and with these came changes in our weather.

We have been blessed with amazingly warm, beautiful weather since the beginning of June but the forests are dry and we are on water restrictions.

Sunday was a beautiful day for a walk and to give gratitude.
I lay in the warm grass and watched the clouds herald the change in the weather.

As the tide changed so did the weather, happy summer everyone!

For more beautiful skies from around the world why not join us at SkyWatch Friday.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My World Tuesday ~ Hospital Day 101


The third Saturday in June is Hospital Day in the Village of Queen Charlotte. Why a Hospital Day you ask? Begun in 1908....Hospital Day has always been both a fund raiser and a fun day. Originally it was also a work bee....chopping the winter's wood. Early Hospital Board minutes describe raising money to buy a sewing machine with community members coming toegether to celebrate their efforts and successes with food, games and dancing.

This Hospital Day is the longest running fundraiser in the province, this year celebrating its 101st year.

The original hospital still stands but just barely. The nurses quarters which stood to the right of the building in the above photos was taken down several years ago and the old hospital is sorely neglected.

I'm not quite sure when this hospital was built but I am thinking sometime in the early 50's. I took the picture one day because I was so surprised to not see any cars parked out front...it is usually full! We are blessed with such a small population to have a remarkable hospital staff.

This hospital will be replaced starting next year as a new hospital is built for the south end of the island. Some of the money from the Hospital Day has purchased such things as palliative care furniture, the covered area over the entrance to the QC Hospital, staff education support, LCD tvs and other items for patient comfort, one third of the $75,000 cost of the ultra sound at the new North Island Hospital. The fund does not fund items that the "Government" should fund but funds items or projects that are needed but are outside normal funding channels.

N. Tattan
There was a pancake breakfast, parade, entertainment...

N. Tattam

The kids where the big winners as we work to create a better future for them.

But the big people also had fun with Loonie auction, dragon boat races, dinner and dance.

The skies started out clear but clouded up as the day wore on and opened up just as things were winding down. The goal this year was to raise $36,000 for a Labour Delivery bed - $20,000(the current one is 25 years old!), a Stryker bed for chemotherapy treatment - $5,500(currently cancer patients have to go off island for treatment), patient exam table - $1,900, mental health activity program - $2,000, Bursaries for on-going health field education - $2,000 and an electric lift for lab outpatients - $5,000. Not bad for a community with a population of just under 1000!

To visit more great places from around the world why not join us at MY WORLD TUESDAY.

Pet Pride ~ Marvellous Marvin

That's me "Marvellous Marvin"

Hello my name is Marvin, I was found in a dumpster when I was a youngster and rescued from a SPCA sponsored pet store in Ottawa, Ontario by this pretty university girl. Life was pretty cool until the girl left university for the summer for a job on the road and I had to find a new place to hang out. So I was placed in a crate, drugged and sent on a couple of planes 4,000 km away.

My new caretaker was older, fatter but had a pretty neat place to live right on the ocean with lots of other critters. I grew to be a handsome, healthy (25 lb) fella. I loved the beach and all the birds. In the evening the raccoons visited the deck to eat the plums that fell off the tree. One day I climbed a very large red cedar tree...seemed simple enough going up, however coming down was much more than I expected. Spent four days up that tree because some guy said "we don't get cats out of trees anymore".

Six months after my arrival I was on my way back to Ottawa. My university girl had graduated and now lived and worked in Ottawa. She had a nice little apartment albeit on the forth floor with NO access to the out of doors and she had a boy friend. One of us had to go and to my surprise it was ME! I'm not sure if the jump off the window sill onto the boyfriends private parts had anything to do with it!

Scaredy cat Kayley and me

Once again it was back across the country to the older fat lady and a life of leisure and laziness on the shores of Haida Gwaii. I share my home with a pretty, scaredy cat called Kayley and occassionally with some annoying foster kittens....I don't know what people see in them, they are so annoying!

My favourite position!
For more wonderful pets why not join us at Pet Pride.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

SkyWatch Friday ~ And the clouds arrive

The clouds finally arrived after 17 days of sunshine, however no rain! This is the float plane dock at low tide. It is also the fuel dock for small craft. (click on the photo to get perspective of size and see the number of craft at this dock!)

The same dock at high tide.

The clouds encircling Sleeping Beauty Mountain west of town.

For more beautiful skies from around the world why not join us at SkyWatch Friday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My World Tuesday ~ Work, Hard Work!

As I mentioned Friday, Haida Gwaii has a temperate coastal climate which means our temperature range is between 10*C and 20*C year round and rain fall is between 150 cm to 500 cm depending which coast you are on. Our driest months of the year are usually June & August but some years it just rains, and rains and rains. For the past three years it has been endless rain summer and winter. So when the sun shines and shines for long periods of time everyone goes into overdrive to paint houses, stain decks and replace roofs. This beautiful home belongs to friends of mine and they hired me, a 60 year young to do the job!

The house is huge, five bedrooms and three suites and at it's highest point is nearly 50 feet tall! It is cedar sided. So every three or four years it needs to be restained(painted). In a perpetually wet land cedar is the best building material. It has a natural perservative which prevents rot and mold and if you have a cedar home you will have no problem with bugs as there is a natural bug killer in the cedar....it really is a remarkable wood and is why the Haida call it the "tree of life". The Haida just let the cedar season naturally which is a drab grey which fits in with the surroundings during the rainy months however "city folks" like there stained siding!

So I have been contracted to paint the place. I have sanded and stained the railing around the upper deck, stained the upper deck floor...
stained all the walls on the upper deck, done all the trim....
stained all the walls on the lower part of the building, the posts and I am currently doing all the ceilings in the lower deck and will end with all the lower deck floors which wrap around the house!
I don't know if any of you know the movie "Karate Kid" but there is a scene where the Sensei is preparing the "kid" for karate by having him stain fences, up and down with wrist action and decks with wrist action from left to right and waxing cars, "wax on" with one arm "wax off" with the other arm.....well that is pretty much what I feel like plus adding squats!

There are some benefits, they supply lunch with a view!

After I finish work here I travel up coast to help a friend who also has a bed and breakfast(oh, did I mention that the paint job is a B&B?) and has waited two long years to have a new roof put on her 40 x 60 foot building (approx 2700 sq feet of roof).

The cedar shakes have been on the roof for just over 20 years and it was time to replace them. The roofers are working from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. to get the old roof off and the new tin roof on.

Each night I drive up, have dinner or watch a Stanley Cup final game and then when the guys are done Cacilia and I go out and pick up the shed shakes and put them in the dumpster. It is a race against time to get as much done as possible before the "Noseeums"(little bugs you can't see that have voracious appetites) find you!

We have to sort the shakes from the tar paper, from the insulation, from the flashing. This was the first nights load. The dumpster is 8 x 8 x 20 feet.

The plastic sheeting used to cover the exposed roof and eight sky lights was 60 x 30 feet.

Day two on shake patrol and the dumpster is about half full and not quite half the roof has been shed of shakes. We have worked as late as 12:30 a.m. to clean up the shakes and then I head back to Charlotte or overnight and go down in the morning to continue my painting on the Dorothy and Mike's.

The new roof is going on under the watchful eyes of Cacilia and Marley! What are friends for eh? I can tell you my body doesn't know what's hit it!
This is the type of frenzy that goes on when the weather is sunny and warm on Haida Gwaii!
To see other great places from around the world why not join us at MyWorld Tuesday.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

SkyWatch Friday #48 ~ More Blue

Haida Gwaii has a coastal temperate climate which in our case means up to 168 inches of rain a year. So when we get hot (25*C) temperatures and boring clear blue skies two things happen~enjoyment (which is the focus of this post) and construction (the focus of next Tuesdays post).
This is the east coast of Haida Gwaii and the ocean has looked like this everyday for two weeks!We get up to 24 foot tides twice a day so you head for a swim when the tide is coming in as it is warmed by the sun baked sands. That's me in the white, I swim daily!

Even the gulls were enjoying the beautiful weather and bathing in the fresh water creek at the edge of the ocean.

There is no one on the beaches except you and your reflection!

Even the flowers are happy!

Click on any of the photos for better detail and enjoy the sunshine!

For more great skies from around the world why not join us a SkyWatch Friday.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

SkyWatch Friday ~ Blue

The departure of the Northern Adventure from Haida Gwaii under the watchful Columbine!

Click on this picture it is simply beautiful.

For more beautiful skies from around the world why not join us at SkyWatch Friday.


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