Thursday, August 27, 2009


Early Saturday morning, I hopped in the boat for a 15 minute ride to Cortes Island, then took a 20 minute auto traverse across the island to the tiny community of Whaletown. Jan and Carole, co-horts in the Craft Co-operative, put together a group of four for some dye lessons at Carole's place.I brought 2 tubs and a bucket with supplies, while Jan used her wheelbarrow to carry her things from across the road.

A lovely deck in the trees with an ocean view was the perfect setting for our eager group to watch and try out dyeing techniques.

The canning jars and a multitude of other supplies lined our tables.

Helene shows us her work. Notice the moonsnails on the railing and the coastal backdrop.

The buzz of the sawmill drifted through the air most of the day.
Everyone went home with a lovely palette of colors. I will be showing you what I did with mine very soon.

I couldn't help but notice Carole's sewing nook, peacefully located in a shower stall that isn't being used. Clever, yes?Thanks, Whaletowners, for a great day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Here's Jerry. He is so amazing - married to a beautiful wife, Reene, for 56 years, lives full time on the amazing boat that he built by himself, and has a fantastic and devoted family that he loves to help with building and renovation projects. After all, he was a high school shop teacher north of Victoria, BC, and he obviously is one those guys who can do anything and everything.

Every summer, Jerry and Reene bring their boat north and cruise through the Desolation Sound area for four beautiful months. Along with a handful of other boaters, they make Refuge Cove their "home away from home" and are included in the group we loosely refer to as "locals".

Last week Jerry turned 80! Reene hosted a deck party for all the other "locals" and provided her fabulous pies (blackberry or lemon chiffon) for 60. And she's close to 80 too. Both are my inspiration...still adventuring, still celebrating with friends, still enjoying all that life holds.

So I searched through my box of recycled white clothes and found only one white t-shirt, but just perfect for a quick tie-dye for Jerry's 80th. Doesn't he look great? And I hear he's been seen wearing it at other events. What a guy!


The beauty of Refuge Cove is found in the raw, natural environment surrounding us. We have the ocean as our front yard with all of the wildness and mystery and depth that it holds, while my garden and the forest are right out our backdoor. It's everywhere...and we love it! Although our island is immense, we witness very little wildlife. We hear about winter sightings of a cougar or maybe a lone wolf, but during the summer months, we may see a small marten skirting along the beach or a seal surfacing as we paddle along in our kayaks. Squirrels jump from tree to tree and taunt my little dog with their chirping. Bats whisk through the air at night in search of the many bugs filling the sky.
My most faithful and interesting visitor is a barred owl. Every afternoon, when I hear the robins squawking and chirping up a storm, I know the owl is near. Eventually the robins' squawks enter my yard and I begin the search for the owl. He has three favorite perches and I believe he's looking for snakes, baby birds in their nest, or a small mouse or vole. He also sits above my pond where I have ten 4 year old pet store goldfish with their 12 babies. We made a hideaway out of rocks that they can tuck away out of harm's way, and Mr. Owl hasn't managed to get them yet.
But lately he's nowhere to be seen and I haven't heard the robins cry. Where is he? My ear is listening, tuned to the backdrop of the forest. Where is he?