Tuesday, 29 July 2014

..and another Birthday!!

Here's to another birthday in the family!!!

Wishing our nephew, Brandon Bucholtz a super Happy Birthday today. Too bad you have to work today but hey, someone has to keep those contributions to the Canada Pension plan coming!! Uncle Doug and I really appreciate it!!

Anyway - have a good one and we will tip one in your honour!!

Happy Birthday Brandon!!
Thought for the Day: Don't worry so much about knowing the right people. Just make yourself worth knowing.

Monday, 28 July 2014


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our beautiful daughter, Teagan O'Connor!! 

I have to say that it doesn't seem possible that 32 years ago you were born.....sheesh! Where did the time go? You are an inspiring woman and your Dad and I are proud to call you our daughter and friend!! 

We hope you have a beautiful day in the mountains, camping and picnicing with Shawn in your VW Westie. Crack open that cold bottle of wine and get the hot dogs on the grill!!



Thought for the Day: Find joy in the ordinary!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Bathtub Weekend in Nanaimo

This weekend marks the 47th annual Nanaimo Bathtub Race weekend. There is the usual assortment of markets, car displays, fireworks etc. Of course, the highlight is the start of the bathtub race on Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

We started with going downtown on Friday and Saturday to check out the downtown market.

Just before we left on Friday, Doug noticed that we had
a little visitor on one of our light flowers on the patio....


The old downtown part of Nanaimo. Really busy with
people enjoying the sun and warmth!!





A few hot rods but not too many. There was, apparently, a show and shine
in Parksville this same weekend so I guess that is where everyone was.


Still, some were quite "showy"!!
So often the market vendors are pretty predictable (nice but predictable). It was refreshing to meet Heath who has a very unique type of art work. He uses the glass globe to wood burn beautiful pictures into cedar planks. He also does very light and delicate jewellery. Way to go Heath. Nice to see something different!! He has an email heathra360@hotmail.com or you can check things out on his facebook page: www.facebook.com/heathandthesun

He has to wear welding goggles to protect his eyes...

It's only a 5 minutes walk down to the harbour
from the little downtown core...

When you continue walking from the main part of the harbour you
come to the park where the bathtubs will leave from.....

Remote army robot...
Saturday night it was time for fireworks. It takes place right in the harbour that I have shown you above. Pretty impressive display for a small city that's for sure. It started promptly at 10 pm and went on for 20 minutes....





Sunday morning we headed back down to the harbour. Good thing it is only 10 minutes away. The GIANT bathtub is there and this is the official start line for the race. Below, I have copied a small article about the history of the race.

Nanaimo harbour was the scene of a bathtub race extravaganza at the first race in 1967, which was Canada’s 100th Birthday. As the City of Nanaimo's "Centennial Event" more than 200 tubbers in every type of watercraft imaginable entered the fun competition and amazingly, 47 completed the 36 mile course to Vancouver's Fisherman's Cove across the Straits of Georgia. Now the "Great RACE" finishes at Departure Bay beach in Nanaimo covering a very grueling course that starts in Nanaimo Harbor, goes around Entrance Island, north west to Winchelsea Islands, around a naval ship, past Schooner Cove
and then back to Departure Bay beach in Nanaimo.
In the early days it was indeed a challenge to just get past the starting line in the choppy confusion caused by an extra 785 small and large observation and escort boats in Nanaimo harbor. From the confusion of a first time bathtub race in 1967, the Nanaimo to Nanaimo "Great" INTERNATIONAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BATHTUB RACE & 3 day Marine Festival has evolved. Where once a select band of tubbers were the highlight they now share the spotlight with many other land and water events which are interesting and often spectacular to watch.
All photos below are courtesy of the Nanaimo Bathtub Race website from the 2013 race. I would never be able to get close enough without getting my feet wet!!

I mean, these guys (and gals) are C-R-A-Z-Y!!!
 There are rescue boats that accompany each of the
bathtubs on the circuit for safety reasons.....check this
guy out. He is actually airborne!!
Here are my pictures from the start of the race. There were only about 34 tubs this year. It certainly draws lots of people. The race takes about 1-1/2 and up to about 3 hours. Sorry but I couldn't find exactly how long the course is. The finish line is at Departure Bay Beach which is right by the ferry terminal.

The line of red barrels is the start line....and here they come!!

Back down at the harbour later, this rather dilapidated old boat
came in. It was towing a small flat raft behind it with
two plastic chairs attached!! Crazy!!
This is what was being towed behind..... 
It was a great weekend of sunshine and warmth. Nice Nanaimo festivities. Hope everyone else has had a great weekend too!!
Thought for the Day: Do more of what makes you happy...

Friday, 25 July 2014

Friday callin'-Westwood Lake & some bread...

Today we FINALLY got to go for that walk to Westwood Lake. I am sure if you have read my previous posts about this great park, just a 5 minute highway drive from us, you will be bored so I give you creative permission to skip to the below part!! I write about it and I still don't get bored with it!!

It is a 6.1 km walk around Westwood Lake. There is a nice swimming beach and beautiful trails and can get quite busy in the summer. The trails are open all year long and I particularly enjoy them in the fall when the leaves are turning. Anytime of year it is a beautiful walk....

Two Lifeguards on duty and a marked swimming area....


Just in case you forgot what we looked like!!
(Yes, sadly, the same shirts we had in the van!)



View of the rock we were on in the picture just above this one.
...and the swimming beach from the backside of the lake.



Gorgeous trails just pretty much like this the whole way around.
A few hills just to keep you honest too!!
A little history I dug up on Westwood Lake. We have not found the old dam it speaks of. Maybe we will have to try and figure that part out. As for the old farm that is supposed to be submerged, I don't think I will use my new-found snorkelling skills to find it. Guess it will have to remain a mystery to us!!
This little valley was flooded in 1907-08 to create the lake, as a
hydro-electric power source. The dam is still here. It's said that an old farm is submerged beneath the waters at the south end. 
The sun-bleached old snags near the shoreline, remind us of
the changes that took place a century ago.
When we were at Dale & Sue's in Appleton, ON in June, Sue made us a loaf of bread to take for lunch when we left. She has an amazing book called "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. It is a fabulous book and directs you on how to EASILY make bread dough that can stay in your fridge for up to two weeks. After the dough is made and has sat in the fridge overnight, you just pull off a grapefruit sized chunk and let it rise for 45 minutes and then put it in the hot oven on a hot baking stone. There is no fancy schmancy kneading, punching down of dough or anything like that. Now, I have never had much (...except for Meat Bread) to do with bread making but Doug became quite interested in the process and vowed to take up this challenge when we got home. 
Here we go.......
Ahemm...Sue, this book is the
NEW version with Gluten Free recipes!!

Always double check the instructions!!
Apparently, the bread dough is initially made up and set in the fridge overnight. Then you can do the baking part.....

This is a torn off piece, let to rise on the counter for 45 minutes
before being transferred onto the HOT stone that is already in the oven.

A bread makers hands.....


The BEAUTIFUL finished product!!!
I think the bread maker is pretty happy with the result!!

And just WHERE are those cooking channel people, anyway???

Delicious artisan bread, hand made by Doug - his first try and
it turned out perfectly!!  
So, our humblest of thanks to Sue Arden for introducing us to this book. We will weigh 500 lbs by the end of summer!!! (I can hardly wait.....)
Thought for the Day: Love more. Worry less...