Archive for July, 2019

Taking Reese for a Walk

Reese is now 15 years old, which is getting up there for a Westie.  Still lean and mean in structure but she does like to sleep a lot.

Daily walks are how we try to keep her fit.  As you can see by the picture, Reese does not go on short walks with me.  Very reluctant.

She does love her walks with Pat and with some encouragement can go for an hour or more with her, but local walks with me are a non starter.

However I have found a solution.  I have her jump into the passenger seat in Little Red and I drive her to a hiking place with her nose out over the passenger door (on a seat belt leash).  She loves it and will tolerate a walk in a forest with me.

There is no question that Reese loves her Geemaa more, but like when I was courting Pat… a girl loves a guy in a sports car.


Another Adventure

Pat and I had another adventure today.  A few months ago Pat bid on a charity auction for a day trip for two on the Frances Barkley which sails out of Port Alberni.  We managed to coordinate this to travel with our dear friends Wayne and Terry.

The Frances Barkley is a ferry/freighter that sails from Port Alberni down the Alberni Inlet (which is actually a long fyord) that leads to the Pacific stopping to provide supplies at camps and communities.  This particular trip is only one day started at 8:00 am in Port Alberni  goes to Bamfield, staying for an hour and half and heads back to Port Alberni to arrive at 5:00 pm.  A few stops at camps to drop off supplies and at one point picking up 20 young campers.

It was a beautiful day.   Maybe 50 passengers when we headed off.

The fyord twists through low mountains covered in trees.  Not quite as Craggy as the Milford Sound fyord we visited in New Zealand, but still lovely.  Smooth sailing under blue skies.

We brought along Reese who was welcomed by everyone aboard.  A very good doggie today.

Our visit to Bamfield was interesting.  This is a small town (about 200 people)  basically strapped along each side of an inlet that gets most of their income from fishermen, kayak adventurers and people heading off on the West Coast Trail.  A long series of cottages linked by a boardwalk.  A qwerky west coast town with funny signs and artsy sculptures and fences.

There is a road access but it is very rough so most people arrive on the Barkley.

Wonderful Day


A New Priest in Town

Pat’s parish priest has moved on.  Father Merrick came to the valley from Poland many years ago.  Now my observations are, from the times I accompany Pat to Mass, he seems like a good priest.  Dynamic, not boring (an important criteria for me when I attend mass) and involved in the youth groups taking them on camping and adventure activities.

To me a success for a priest is the number of people that show up for masses.  In the winter Father Merrick had between 1500 to 2000 people for the three masses on the weekend.  He then headed off to give mass at tiny parishes like on Denman Island.  He was the computer guru for the church and much in demand for the sub groups that wanted his presence at activities.  The parish has an active support group and a good income.

But as it is said… all good deeds go not go unpunished.  Father Merrick has transferred to a tiny parish in Zambia Africa.  He has high hopes that they have electricity and has taken all his shots.

There is a new Priest coming in town.  Lucky guy with a big, active, wealthy parish.  I suspect a rarity.

Anyway the point for this blog.  Tonight (Tuesday) is the welcoming Mass and reception for the new guy.  Pat’s CWL is, of course, in charge of the food for the reception.

Heaven forbid the Knights of Columbus (the male equivalent of the CWL) would have to prepare and serve food.

Pat was charged with preparing fruit and dessert slices for the reception.  She then headed off to help set up the tables, but before she left she made a special plate for the fruit presentation.  What an artist.  Just a small part of the fruit and slices she had prepared.



Potato Salad… plus

As I sit writing this blog, Reese is busy cleaning the plates and Pat is loading the dishwasher.

After a week of cool wet weather, summer has returned.  Granted we really needed the rain.

Today, Saturday, we were invited by friends to share lunch at an Austrian bakery in downtown that does an unusual meal once a month.  A small bakery/deli that is noted for people dropping in to have coffee and pastries and special sandwiches.  This is a small place run by a couple from Austria.  He does the baking and she runs the front counter.  No credit cards and if it gets busy, you know you have to wait a bit.

Last winter they decided to add a special.  Once a month on a Saturday the husband prepares Schnitzel for lunch.  No real advertising but the regulars look for this.  Friends of ours invited us to join them last January and it was as good a Schnitzel as I have ever had.  We have been back 3 times.   Thin, with a great light coating and just delicious.

Today we again attended the lunch.  We now have to make sure you know someone because he only makes a limited amount and by 1 pm they are sold out.  Like all good Schnitzel it is the size of a dinner plate and comes with great side dishes.  Way too much for a lunch.  We now know to save half the Schnitzel each and bring it home.

So tonight we had the leftover Schnitzel, on toasted Kaisers with lettuce with a side of Potato Salad…  which leads to the point of this blog.

In my lifetime I have consumed many many potato salads.  Back in the old days in our youth when we went to Tregarva picnics, every farm wife had a favorite recipe.

We used to make it ourselves.  Experimented with the type of mayonnaise and the Dijon Mustard (a radical departure) with dill and pickles.  I have always loved good Potato salad.

But here is the radical revelation or should I say confession…. We have found the red potato salad from Costco to be the absolute best we have ever had.  I know you are saying we have sold out but it is delicious and has everything that was missing in the old Tregarva recipes (aside from the love).

So tonight we had Schnitzel on buns with great Potato salad.  When you think about it… we are living the good life.

Another Model

Well after 2 1/2 years, I have finished another model.  The HMS Themis, another Frigate.  If you are keeping track, this is my third frigate.  The Juno, completed 25 years ago, and the Diana (made for Kelly and Dave) three years ago.

The Themis is interesting.  I have been a fan of historical fiction about the Royal Navy during the wars against the French.  Starting with CS Forester and Alexander Kent and Patrick O’Brian (think of the movie Master and Commander), and many others.  About 5 years ago I found a short series of 3 novels by Sean Russell.  To my surprise Sean lives in Comox.  Got to know him and decided to make a model of the Themis which is featured through all 3 of these books.

Over the last year, Sean has come over often to see the progress of the model.  So interested I have decided to give him the model.  Certainly I cannot believe anyone would appreciate it more than Sean.  By the way, Themis is the goddess of justice.  You have seen the image many times.  A blind-folded lady holding up a set of balance scales with a sword in her other hand.  Try carving one of these 2 cm high!!!!

I will be keeping it for awhile as I contemplate some finishing details.  Still not happy with the figurehead and it needs a plaque, but later this summer we will be hosting a Launching Party, and then I will give it to him.

No idea what my next ship project will be.  This is unusual because I normally have a model in mind and would have sourced plans.  But I realize that I no longer have the skills for detailed Royal Navy ships.  I was struggling with this model, taking longer than I did in the past with small parts because my hands are no longer as steady.  I still love the hobby, but will have to find easier models to build.  In any event, I will take the rest of the summer off.

Saving Money with a Dog

We are a retired couple on fixed incomes so we are always looking for cost saving opportunities.

Running a dish washer consumes water and natural gas and electricity.  Here is a solution we have learned.  Put the plates down after dinner and Reese cleans them thoroughly.  This is after she has had her meal.  Very clean….

We took Reese for her hair cut this week.  It is amazing.  She comes out of the salon full of energy.  Now remember Reese is 15 years old which is very old.

She goes in shaggy and, when she comes out she is young.   She struts around and when we walk her everyone assumes she is a puppy.  Granted she immediately wants a nap when we get home

I wish when I got a haircut I could turn from 71 to 17.

Stampede Parade

In the years we lived in Calgary a highlight was the Friday when the Stampede Parade led off the week of western-style celebration.  I would arrive early to work that morning because Petro-Canada would host a Stampede Breakfast in the courtyard between the buildings in what was then known then as Red Square.  Not just because the buildings had red marble but possibly in reference to the fact that it was a government-owned company.

In those days the company tried to overcome the obvious dislike that Alberta had for a company owned and controlled by the Liberal Party of Quebec and Ontario (an opinion shared by most of the employees) so they hosted the best breakfast at the time.  They also sponsored Kelly Sutherland in the Rangeland Derby chuck wagon races.

Anyway I would arrive and have the free breakfast, then head down to find a spot with all my co-workers to watch the parade.  After the parade we would head off to a bar for a Stampede early lunch.  If we could manage it, we would go back to the office to try and indicate we were being paid that day, but as most of the employees and managers never made it back, I would head home early.

So the Stampede Parade has always been kind of special for me.

Today we recorded the parade to watch from the comfort of our living room.  Now this is not like the Rose Bowl Parade, and no where near the parade that they have in Rio de Janeiro for Carnival, but nice.  We have a particular reason.  Andra and Mason were marching in the parade in support of the Make a Wish float.  Last year they walked by the camera during a CTV advertising break but this year they walked by and the camera was right there for Andra to wave and Mason to walk by.  4 seconds of close-up for us as we watched the parade.

As usual it was raining.  Alberta can have massive drought, but for some reason it rains at least once on the Stampede week.