Monday, August 31, 2009

E-Spashdown part deux

Last night we, as a family, reviewed the highlights of the summer and
found that it was different for each of us. Because we all seemed to
like our trip to Splashdown, I decided to take the girls back for a
final afternoon slide. With Les working in town, Bryan and Luc spent
the afternoon together at the beach. Much like Lucas himself, this
seal pup had been temporarily abandoned by his parents and left to
fend for himself. The pups Mom returned with some fresh sea food
while the boy's Dad brought home a beach pack from White Spot which we
ate while watching yet another beautiful sunset.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Starry Nights

At the beginning of the summer, I stuck "starry nights at Deas Island"
on the calendar without really knowing what it was. Something about a
hike and a flashlight...anyway, it finally appeared on my Google
Calendar for today and we decided to go check it out. Goodness knows
we owed the kids something after four straight days of home
improvements, which means that they are left to their own devices for
entertainment. Plus, the crazy amounts of paint fumes I've inhaled
while redecorating (I use the term loosely) has permanently altered my
brain...and not for the best, so fresh air seemed like a great idea.

I was so Impressed with the event. They were handing out lights for
the walk, all of which was beautifully lit with tea lights. There were
activities (hence the animal masks below) and stories. There was a
drumming circle for the kids to try and hands on nature lessons. I
thought was well worth the trip. And apparently the first annual
event, so maybe I should mark it on the calendar for next year. After
all the painting I've done, I don't think I can trust myself to

E-Tree topping

The small cedar hedge that was planted all along the southern edge of
the home 15 years ago has now become a very large one that blocks out
most of our sun during the winter. It has grown large enough that
trimming it is a real the local arborist wants a few
thousand dollars for. I opted to take up my friend Guy's offer to put
his forestry fire fighting skills to the test and do it ourselves. It
wasn't easy! Guy was amazing....climbing up to 60 feet and going from
tree to tree with the chainsaw.

The yard looked like a cedar slaughter house and took a lot of work to
clean up as well, so I enlisted some help. The draw of money pulled
hard on the kids as they worked in the back yard for the better part
of an hour piling logs and picking up cedar boughs. Thanks
everybody...job well....actually half done...but a good start. Let's
hope the neighbour likes it when he gets back from vacation.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

E- Mohs down

Our good friend Ed and his wife Kay came to visit today so we took a
break from our home improvement quest for a day and hit the beach.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

E- Sturm season

E- While the cat's away

Les had a mini vacation up in Whistler while the kids and I tried to
come up without own fun at home on the Point. We started with Coke
floats to get our sugar levels up and then went motor bike riding
with Bill to get our adrenaline to match.

We got on our own bikes later and cruised the marina. We met sone
friendly people with an awesome catamaran boat (that they had sailed to
New Zealand in) who invited us for a tour.

In the evening we met up with Les at the Tsawwassen movie nights and
watched Shrek in the Town Centre parking lot.

E- Course done and lesson learned

Although I don't love heights, I don't mind them either. However, I
have learned that I am not cut out for confined space work..... But
anyone who's seen me get out of a small car probably already knows this.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Livestock and God in Northern Washington

Today the kids and I spent a fantastic day in Lyndon, Washington at
the County Fair. We made the trip in the company, and at the brilliant
recommendation, of some wonderful new friends here in Point Roberts.

Everything about the Fair harkened back to a different time and place.
Maybe it was my last few nights watching the PBS documentary, "The
Farmer's Wife", but there was such a simple and earnest charm about
the event. It is so human to make things, whether it is a handsewn
quilt, a peach pie, a massive zucchini or a perfect Pygmy goat.
Equally human is the desire to show said specimens off to the world at
large. To have ribbons affixed to our productions denoting the
acheivement for all to see and remark upon. This carrot is perfection
amongst root in class. That carrot is too
ridgey...third place. One can only guess at what long standing rural
interpersonal politics play into the awards. You know, ever since
Denise gave Rhoda third place in the cookie division, Denise's husband
can't get a prize winning hog because Rhoda's brother is a judge. It
doesn't help that Denise's son stood up Rhonda's neice at that dance...

One thing I couldn't help but notice was the religious element that
was very obvious at the Fair. It is clearly a good, God-fearing
community. Booths like "Teens for Christ Cheesecake on a Stick" (no, I
am not kidding...), make a statement. So does the fact that the Teens
were doing brisk business. I'm not sure if the cheesecake was
particularly tasty, or if the Son of God is just great marketing in

Another feature of the Fair was a great kids area with free games to
play, complete with prizes. The girls were instant fans. They were
beanbag throwing and wooden car racing like crazy, scooping up rubber
balls and plastic telescopes.

The only catch was you had to fill out a form to get a games card. No
biggie. Oh, and the whole thing is sponsored by the North County
Christ is King church. Um, okay. Good for those guys. We'll happily
accept their erasers in the shape of ice cream cones. But wait. What
does that little bracelet on Molly's wrist say? I Love Jesus...? (As
an aside, Molly read the bracelet and said, "I don't know if I love
Jesus, but I sure like him a lot".)

The kicker was the tattoo table. There are always those tattoos at
fairs and the kids debate between fairies and flowers. Not here. We
ended up with one Jesus fish and two Praise the Lords. Finny asked me
what hers said while still having it put on by a very earnest teen
volunteer. It was an awkward conversation: "Praise the what? What does
that mean? Mumma, why is that on a TATTOO?". Picture my embarrassed
whispers and her near shouted questions. Are you cringing? I was. Of
course, they totally dig the tattoos. And I do expect some literature
in the mail from Christ the King. I don't mind. They gave us a good

The Lyndon Fair is a new family tradition, I think. Next year I might
even try the cheesecake on a stick.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Too many sisters

Lucas is forced to tag along with whatever his sisters are doing a lot of the time. Sometimes I feel sorry for him, like when he spents forty percent of his day taxiing the girls to various activities that have nothing whatsoever to do with him.

Sometimes I think he gets away with murder, like when he gets gum just because I don't have the heart to deny him when the girls get it. Molly didn't have a single piece of gum until midway through Grade One.

Sometimes I just shake me head, like when Lukey insists I paint his toenails bright fushia like his sisters'.

And finally, sometimes I just have to laugh, like when he is potty training and after he pees, he rips the most miniscule shred of toilet paper off the roll. I asked him what he was doing and he told me he was wiping, just like his sisters. That little lapse resulted in an immediate mano a mano conversation with his dad. Apparently a guy can have too much of his sisters.

Oh, and in case you were wondering what the picture is of, that was Lukey trying to keep up with paper mask making. He gave up pretty quickly and watched "Handy Manny" through his mask's armhole.

Sent from my iPhone

Too many sisters

Monday, August 17, 2009

E- Local abundance

It's that time of year that everything you need to survive is available to be picked or plucked from right around here. Our yard has had plums and cherries but we mostly left them for the birds.  Part of our job tending Martin and Dorothy's yard while they are away has been picking their vegetables and fruit.  We have had carrots like these, peas, beans, lettuce and lots of berries.   Now that crab season has started, life on the beach in Point Roberts is a great place to be.  We've had a couple of great nights at the McKnights crabbing, eating and drinking around the fire and watching the sun set and some meteor showers come out.    

Sent from my iPhone

E- Alex Fraser

On our 5th day of high angle training, it was time to practice our
skills from the first week and put them to a real test....repel off
the Alex Fraser bridge and do some rescues Although putting yourself
over the edge a few hundred feet in the air goes against all your
natural senses, the climb up was far worse for me. The steel cages
are pretty small and I couldn't bring my knee up straight without
hitting it on the ladder.... so every step was a challenge. Climbing
600 feet up like this wasn't all that much fun but was a good workout
on the forearms.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

E- In a blizzard

Once again it was time for the fire fighters to serve Blizzards in
Tsawwassen to raise money for Children's Hospital and we had a line out
the door all evening. The kids came at the end of my night and got to
make their own ice creams. For my own Blizzard I went for choclate
overboard......with chocolate sauce and chunks, brownie, Oreo, Score
and Smarties.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

E-WPFG gold medalists

For much longer than I have been working as a fire fighter I have
looked forward to competing at the WPF games. Although I am not in
normal playing condition, I knew that with Pete Morris, Bob Hiltjies,
Navi Sekhon, Steve Dinny and some other strong players, I could come
in and contibute as is. It was a real challenge to get ready to play
and though a sprained ankle didn't actually slow me down any it didn't
help either.

We played well as a team and everybody got along great. By the end of
the tournament we seemed to know our roles and looked like we had
played together a lot longer than we had.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We've got Annie

Tonight we took the girls to see the Theatre Under the Stars
production of Annie. We were all impressed by the show. It was
slightly different than the movie, but the music was familiar. My
favourite part was when Daddy Warbucks got FDR to help verify the
identity of Annie's real parents. Finny leaned over and whispered to
me that if it were her, she would check online. Hoover would have been
lucky to have her.

Monday, August 10, 2009

E- 2 year old in the house!

This picture tells a lot about the state that a curious and energetic
toddler in the midst of potty training can leave an unattended
kitchen. It took me thirty seconds to set the table and this is what
I came back to.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A message

I was sitting in the mudroom in Point Roberts, trying to pick up a signal on the Internet when Finny marched in and taped the above message to the wall next to my head. She commissioned Molly to write the note for her. For the uninitiated to Molly's writing, it reads:

"I wish I know how to read."

I had just finished reading Finny eight (!) books and had departed to other things. Molly was reading a Magic Treehouse Book by herself. I think the note classifies as a peaceful protest at her literary abandonment.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009




After much preaching to the kids about trying to consume less
(especially cheap plastic toys from China), I felt my birthday gift to
Fin should reflect this desire. Also, by giving her some future
experience I didn't have to worry about any last minute shopping. The
down side is the constant questions about when we were goin to go on
the promised go-kart ride. Today after watching the Tswassen Sun
Festival Parade seemed like the right time. Nothing like hanging out
on the steaming pavement and breathing the fumes from the noisey two
stroke engines to peacefully spend one of the hottest afternoons of
the year.