Thursday, July 12, 2018

Travel Post: Cape Lazo and Marina Park, Comox

On July 3rd, 2018 : We had come from our appointment at Comox Hospital and had been given the 'all's clear' for Bruce's scan so we were feeling happy ....and a bit adventurous.  We drove up Comox's Lerwick Road heading southwards until it reached the end and found ourselves at Cape Lazo.   Its roughly just below the horn shaped  piece of land.  It was a glorious day with a cooling breeze, not overly warm  and low tide.  In the map below you can locate Lazo Road and where it hits the shore line. The video below was taken from that point. The area in the map above Cape Lazo is the bottom end of the Comox Airforce base

The islands you see off in the distance of the Salish Sea (formerly known as Georgia Strait) are Texada Island where you can see the limestone quarrying operation, and beside it is Lasqueti Island (pronounced 'lass-skeeti').  Closer to the coast of Vancouver Island is Hornby Island.   Yes, many people live on these islands and have rather self sufficient communities. They use the inter-island ferry system to get to either the big island or over to the coast and Vancouver . Its quite a lifestyle.

Here is a brief sweep of the view from the Cape. Starting towards the mainland and Powell River, with Texada and its obvious mine right up close. Then sweeping right past Hornby and towards the Island and you can see the snow covered mountains that run mid island. It stops short of showing you the Comox glacier...

There was a low sandy grade and a natural pool that was perfect for kids or dogs to play in. Sun warmed water; lots of sticks, sea shells and tide creatures to find under shore debris. Or simply squish toes in the warm wet sand.

These three pictures are a panorama sweep of the bay from right to left. I was surprised by how few people were here. Parking was right where we stood and lots of it.....  It was like a best kept secret.

So we carried on our journey around the bottom end of the peninsula, heading roughly west towards the downtown area, but still near the water and found ourselves at Marina Park.  A very large open green space right down by the water. Trees, grass, a public gazebo, concession stands and public facilities.  There was a children's playground and waterpark and people enjoying the day. 

Nearby was the marina facilities and Government dock, complete with a restaurant nearby and stunning water views. Now if you click on the picture below and enlarge it, you'll see just under the cloud layer, the Comox Glacier. The winds that blow over that bed of ice keep temperatures in the valley cooler. (or as a friend who lives here says 'sweater weather' ๐Ÿ˜Š)

I have two maps for you to view: The first gives you Vancouver Island and you can see how far the distance is between Campbell River and the Courtenay / Comox area is. It takes us about 35-40 minutes.  There's a fast highway mid island or the more scenic ocean side drive.

The second map brings up the smaller island names with a closer in view of things.

We hope to do more day trips and share them here with you. Vancouver Island is larger than some states, or countries for that matter.  From Campbell River and heading north, there is still half an island to go yet!  

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Chocolate 'n Cherries

Chocolate and cherries make a fine pairing for dessert. I still recall my first Black Forest cake when I was a kid.  My mother's Viennese born neighbour and best friend could make them like a pro! Then, in the 1960's  there was those large chocolates that were filled with a maraschino cherry called Cherry Blossoms.

So when I spotted a painted warp at Iridescent Fibers called Dark Chocolate, it appealed to me.

Now this wasn't in the range of my normal 'go to" colours and quite daring. After it arrived I liked it and then it hung with some other warps while I pondered what to do with it and ... what the heck would I use as a weft colour?? (That's a thought that should have run through my mind before I bought truthfully....)

Its black that works best.  I had nothing in my tencel or even silks that looked decent.  Black makes the colours really pop and somehow really intensifies them.  I framed the painted warp with black and a touch of olive green. Its the same draft as my previous scarf warp that were done in deep midnight shades.   So we are talking same 12 shaft point twill, same tie up, same 24 epi..... just a change in colours.   I get more from the same tie up and that is helpful since I have to lift my loom up to change it.  Here's the draft.... with an arbitrary colour in the centre to denote the painted warp portion.

We had a fine breeze blowing as I took these pictures!  I had to strike a balance between getting good light, but not bleaching out any of the colours, or being in the shade and having everything too dark. I settled for later afternoon natural light but not in direct sunshine.  I was pleased with the results and the colours (depending on your monitor) look fairly accurate.

The scarves are 9 1/2 inches wide by 76 inches long.

...and while I had no control over where the colour placements would be, it happened the cherry blush  occurred in roughly the middle where the extra loop around the neck would go.  Sweet!

Its quite a warm rosy glow and as you see below, the milk chocolate has a gentle run through.

In the picture below, you get a glimpse of the back side.... where the black is more dominant. I prefer the brighter colour side out...

Then there's the second dessert course....   ๐Ÿ’

As you can see a change in the treadling makes a big change in the pattern.  This is why I like playing with my Fiberworks program so you can see what will happen if you changed a few details. Check the float length, and view the back side etc.  Can you imagine trying this with expensive yarns and the time involved?  Well, it sure is more fun this way.

This portion of the warp had dark chocolate sections that were, well, darker! It still works as the pattern disappears and rises up out of the, well, darker section of the warp.   Geesh.   ๐Ÿ˜ณ

These two are very alike except for the lighting..... and the real colour is somewhere in-between the two of them.

Here's a few that get closer to see the details better...

My model's name is Judy and she did a fine job in a stiff breeze. Very steady on her feet, never complained or needed a break. (She also doesn't mind partial nude shots either... )

The colour changes happen where they happen.... and it makes for some interesting fringe!


Couple of notes to share.
Its been just under two weeks since Calli died and we are feeling a bit better day by day. We still have our moments of course, like reaching for a box of her favourite cookies at Costco and then having a quiet cry in the back aisles before soldiering on.  We are adjusting to a very quiet house and the night sounds weren't Calli trying to remake her bed at 3 am but a raccoon on the roof instead.  

Calli, taken by F. Waterfield

 We have our name down to get a new dog... a terrier of course, and that will happen either later this fall or next spring. Depends on the litters, and the length of the line up ahead of us.    

This tangle is a young, goofy Irish terrier.... (not ours!)

and then there's hubby Bruce:   He had a standard CT scan to look for other potential tumours in parts of his urinary system the doctors didn't get to check at his procedure in May. Its called due diligence. The doctor who reported on the scan found a 'shadow' and so this meant going back in for another look to see if the cancer had started to grow back.  So for some weeks we have had this hanging over our heads yet again.  The recheck was done this past Tuesday and with many apologies from the doctor for the scare, he was declared free of anything new!    (now he still has to have rechecks periodically, but at further and further time intervals).   Kidney stones? well they are using fresh lemon juice ๐Ÿ‹ and a special medication taken daily to soften and dissolve the stones (based on their composition). That's far better than surgery!   So good news  and we can get back to enjoying our summer.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Calli : our Girl has gone

Calli: April 11th, 2010 - June 23rd, 2018

Calli was doing just fine. She was enjoying the back yard and would ask to go out and lay in the sun. There were birds to chase, deer to keep an eye out for and someone would come and throw the ball. She loved the new home and yard!   

She had experienced some digestive issues with diarrhea but we had a treatment plan / diet all worked out with our vet. Then there was the soft mass tumour that was successfully removed last July.   At eight years old, she was sleeping a bit more and sometimes a bit slower to get up.... but she was energetic when it came to a ball game, playing chase or going out in the car.   

This past week she wouldn't eat her dinner and had diarrhea. So we weren't too concerned as this has happened before. She was drinking large amounts of fresh water and active.  We rest her for a day and then re-introduce foods (rice and chicken).... but she continued to refuse food.  

Then she quit drinking water. We tried her with everything she loved to eat but no luck.   Now Calli had Cushings disease which is a form of  hyper aldosteronism so we were worried it had progressed, or the cancerous tumour had come back somewhere in her body.   The extensive lab tests came back and no cancer,  Cushings Disease had progressed a bit but nothing serious..... but her creatinine levels were right off the charts in the red.  So high that they had to dilute the urine sample so the machine could read the results!  The diagnosis of end stage kidney failure caught all of us by surprise.   Sadly it was too far advanced for treatment, so we made a hard decision that was in her best interests.

Our house is so still and quiet without her. We gathered all her toys and beds but there are still little surprises we find and  that start the tears all over again.    She was a very gentle soul and simply loved to be with us where ever we went.  She loved car rides.   She also loved us both equally and spent time each day with both of us.  With me, she'd have her afternoon nap near my loom as I wove. 
This is going to take a long time......

Calli at age 10 months with her cute helicopter tail 

Also at age 10-11 months: its a very Airedale thing to cross their feet like this.

Always ready with a toy.

She loved to sleep on her back.....

And she loved to play in the snow. Great fun!

At our last home and property she loved to wander the acreage and sometimes walk in the creek (a bath always followed that trick)

After we moved in 2016 she found this spot at the front door while we unpacked and its was a daily favourite to watch the neighbours, paperboy, school kids and dog walkers going by.

Wearing her onesie after her cancer surgery last July.

Ready to play again two weeks after surgery!

She'd run out ahead of us onto the lawn and get ready with her latest favourite ball!

Playing in the snow this past December...

Car rides....

yes, I know I'm in your seat.... so?

Father's day card June 2018

I'll close with this picture my late father made of Calli using a picture he took of her and applied an art filter to create a painted effect.    She was our treasure and we miss her terribly.....

Edit: June 25th 2018

Bruce and I want to share a special comment that came from a new friend. Tal was at our home just before we had to leave for the vets this past Saturday morning. He met Calli briefly as we lifted her into the car. He wrote to us after learning she had passed away. With his permission I share his message to us: 

I am so sad to hear about your loss. I lost my dearest friend when I was twenty, he was a Labrador Retriever cross with White Wolf dog, and had been with me ever since I was five years old, so I understand how much this hurts. I was struck by Calli, she looked so strong, so full of joy and life, despite having not been eating and drinking for so long, so I can only imagine what a pleasure and sheer force of Life she was for this family. The only solace we can find when we face such loss is in knowing that we have done our best, and that being small, finite humans, sometimes even our best is not enough to save those whom we love. Yet still, I believe that in knowing that we have given them our everything while we could, there is peace to be found, and even beauty in the midst of such pain. I hope that when the time will be right, when this grief will have run its course, you will make another dog very happy, and he or she you--for as I am sure that you and Susan know, we need our dog friends much more than they need us. They remind us of this primal Life that we human beings with our decorum, moralities, and stories so easily forget; they remind us that there is a truth to love and togetherness that a hundred million dollars could never replace; and most importantly, they remind us that despite all of our human madness, that despite all this strange complications that we introduce into our world, Life is profoundly simple.