Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Catching up and Veggie Condoms

Its been awhile since I wrote about daily stuff, my last two posts have been about Dr's - you know your old when.

So today I looked at my iPhone (which 99% of my pics are taken on) to see if I had anything to write about this morning and low and behold there were 20 pics since the last one I posted.... so here goes the update. This will clear up June and I can carry on with July as it comes.

Front yard of our property

Our house & wood shed

If I have ever seen him so relaxed - I don't recall it!! This property seems to be doing wonders for him

Went to the Saturday market in the north (downtown) part of the island this week and saw this - incredible and creative art. I said to Brad, "Where do they get that many bee hives -- and why haven't they moved?!" LOL

Our tomatoe plant is thriving up here on the deck. We transplanted it into a much bigger bucket and gave it a sturdy pole to climb.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, the slugs in BC are incredible. Huge, thick, slimy.. some are army green with black spots and some are jet black. Both do a number on our vegetable garden. The romaine which we started from seed were ready to transplant and we didn't want to put them in the garden because the slugs would just kill them with slime and munching, so we put them in pots on the deck. However, I still found slugs in the mornings. SO... I set to work with my sewing machine and the summer curtains from our motorhome windshield and made covers for them. 

First one... will this even work?

6 rectangles, 4 rounds.

And one for the huge tomatoe

I originally made this with stick on velcro that I then sewed once in place. The sticky ruined 3 sewing needles in my machine so I have since picked up non sticky velcro and sewn that on. This tomatoe plant is very large and the support pole we gave it is about 8ft tall so it needed a wrap, not a pullover.

Lettuce and Dill


We put them on at dusk each night and take them off each morning, they are loose enough to allow the veg to grow also. I did make some for the garden but they weren't really practical and frankly too small - although I do have an idea to make that work, just need more fabric.

It has been a week and we haven't seen a single slug! The lettuce is growing quickly now also. So they do work. I may just make them and sell them at the market... Pondering. 

Note: the ones I made here were just quick throw togethers since I didn't know if it would even work. We thought the slugs might chew through them but they don't. If I were to sell them I would do a much better job of putting them together.

I am calling them Veggie Condoms but if I were to sell them  - on this island - they would have to be Veggie Covers... Salt Spring would gobble them up if I called them Veggie Condoms but this island is not Salt Spring. At all.

We lost a few Pepper plants to the slugs so we picked up a couple more (on the table behind me)

We went to the Sunday market at the south end of the island. This was opening day for this market.

This catamaran belongs to Finding Simon.

I have been following Simon's YouTube videos for about 5 years now after first seeing him on Canada AM with the Mulroney kid. I watched all his videos from the beginning, as I do with everyone I follow. I remember about 3 years ago sitting in our house waaaay back in Hell on the East coast and watching this kid ( he's roughly my sons' age) buy this 50+ ft catamaran for $5K on some obscure island in BC - the catamaran was a complete disaster and he was going to fix it up and tour the world. He is still rebuilding it - as off-grid -- an all electric (solar) boat.

Of course, I never imagined then that we would ever be on the West coast, much less on that same island! We did come to Gabriola when we first arrived in Salt Spring about 2 years ago to give him a mini dehumidifier that we had which was too small for us but would work great in one of the berths on the boat, so we have met him but since moving to Gabriola we been so busy nesting that we haven't had a chance yet to connect with him although he did a live broadcast a couple of weeks ago and I told him we had moved here. Eventually, we will see him I'm sure.

View from the Sunday market

Game Changer

I think I mentioned in a recent post that I have discovered that a foot issue I've had for over a decade is actually Plantar Fasciitis and is quite common. When Brad went to Salt Spring for his massage on Friday he saw these inserts when picking up his prescription so he grabbed it for me. What a game changer. I am significantly flat footed and my feet curve to the insole but this insert actually has me walking mostly on the outer part of my foot. Quite a noticeable difference for sure. I've used inserts before but they were not designed for PF.

Yesterday, while in Salt Spring for a Dr appt, we went to a foot specialist who is making custom orthotics for both of us as we both have different foot issues. The Dr suggested inserts for Brad and since I obviously could use them also, we both went. He will try to have them ready for us next Friday when we go for Brad's massage. Not sure how much longer Brad will be willing to do this 4 ferry trip there and back, especially with tourists. Yesterday we went to the ferry line 70 min early and just got on with only 4 behind us making it.

Gutter Guy

Because we are on a cistern and depend on the roof for water collection, our landlord brought in someone to clean out the gutters. He has a vacuum with a massive stick and a curve on the end which allows him to stand on the ground and clean them from there. Simple and Ingenious.

Update on travel plans: Brad contacted the courthouse where we need to file the suit about the house problem and due to Covid-19 they are allowing filing by mail. WooHoo, we don't have to drive all the way to Hell and Back! Of course, that means our stuff will have to stay there in storage longer but we can get that anytime. Dad & Ann have postponed their wedding until things sort themselves as they want as much family as possible to attend.

And that's it. All caught up. Whatever will July bring?

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Specialist appt

Had my appointment with the specialist on Friday and all is well. He does not want to change my dosage as it seems our family doctor got the dosage right the first time which is highly unusual and he was very impressed with my doctor.

He is sending me for more bloodwork which we will do Tuesday when I go for my in person appointment with the family doctor. This bloodwork is just precautionary since I told him about the other issues I have been having and he didn't want to deal with 'probably nothing', so he wants to make sure and obviously -- I'm good with that.

The specialist did say my TSH being 3.2 is great as it should be between .5 and 5, and while he could adjust it to bring it down to 1 -  I'll live longer at 3 so he wanted to leave it alone.

This makes me very happy as it will allow me more time to torment my wonderful husband. :D

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Gotta go in next week

Had my Dr appointment yesterday (via telephone) and he wants me to go in next week so he can physically check all my issues... (feet, leg and breast). This is scheduled for Tuesday which means we will have to make 2 trips to Salt Spring next week as we go every Friday for Brad's massage and to check our mail.

He tells me that my Thyroid blood work numbers are perfect from last friday's taking.

My FT4 which should be between 7 and 15 was 3 and is now 15
My FT3 which I didn't take note of at the time is now 3.2
My TSH which should be between 2 and 5 was 124 and is now 3.17

We discussed my issue with this extra weight and he thinks that by the end of the year, I should be back to normal which is what they said at the beginning of all this. I will be holding him to that - and I know where he lives. LOL

Aah, the wonders of getting old.

We essentially spent the day on the deck yesterday, just chilling out waiting for our 3pm Dr call. Brad took Robbie for a walk but otherwise we just hung out at home all day.

Tomorrow is my appointment with the specialist who will decide what to do with my prescription dosage.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Doctors, Critters and Projects

So, since this thyroid issue popped up I have put on what can only be described as -- well, fat. I've gained about 10 lbs that won't go away, mostly around the middle. Because the thyroid controls the metabolism, when the thyroid stopped working the weight added up, and quarantine didn't help. Well, I think they have me more or less back to 'normal' now but the metabolism is still too low and the weight is still on.

Last friday we went to Salt Spring for Brad's 1st weekly massage for months and while there, I went to the hospital to give some blood for the Endocrinologist that I have an appointment with this coming Friday...

Today we both have appointments with our family doctor, great kid (LOL - he's my oldest son's age). I have a lot of things to tell him about, all of which I assume are related to the thyroid issue but since I do not generally make good medical decisions - I will let him be the judge, however I know there is a painful squeezy machine in my future. Perhaps its just old age and my body is falling apart - that is an option, not one I like to consider, but an option nonetheless.

A couple of days ago I pulled out the sewing machine. Some curtains I put up a few weeks ago were too long and it was making me crazy in the head -- okay, so I was already crazy in the head -- but that is beside the point. I shortened the curtains and then went to my closet.

Brad has many, many old grubby T-shirts that he refuses to get rid of (he is a T-shirt hoarder ;D) so I convinced him to part with one and proceeded to cut it up in to 2 inch strips. I then gathered a bunch of my T-shirts and proceeded to cut the seams and sew in a 2 inch strip on each side. This will give me something to wear that will be a little more comfortable in the short term and WHEN this weight comes off, I can just cut out the strips and sew the shirt closed, no one will know the difference.

I then went online and ordered some (hopefully) better fitting clothes. No indication as to when they will arrive. Never bought clothes online before and I'm very concerned about the fit.

Our garden is coming along well, although the slugs out here are a significant problem. Sage green with black spots and solid black slugs are everywhere. They love my romaine and broccoli especially. I have found a solution though - COFFEE. I make a spray bottle of instant coffee and spray it on all the leaves after each rain (still raining a lot out here). I didn't spray the potatoes the first night because they hadn't been near them but when they couldn't get at anything else they attacked the potatoes and so now everything gets a spritz of coffee and they are leaving the garden alone.

We had something else attacking our garden and I was sure it was rabbits but the landlord assures us there haven't been any rabbits around here since he ate the last one a long time ago... Then we discovered the Otters, yup Otters. I was sitting on the deck one day and this massive rat ran across the orchard. I only caught a quick look at it and having never seen an otter out of water before I didn't know what the hell it was. Brad thought it was a rat when I described it to him and I assured him that if that was a rat - we were moving! Then a quick google search and I recognized the culprit, however they (family of 4 - we have since learned) don't seem to be bothering the garden. I saw one climb into the cherry tree in the garden once but that was it.

The zipper I ordered for Robbie's bed cover finally arrived (4 weeks from Guelph Ontario) so I also did that while I had the sewing machine out.

Yesterday, the magnet screen I had ordered for the french door arrived and I promptly set about putting that up, it is ordered to measure and this one (unlike a previous one I picked up) not only fits precisely but is a sturdy good quality one. We also replaced the door handle and deadbolt on the back door as it completely failed the other day.

Our neighbour and newest friend, Kane, gave us a housewarming gift, as we had mentioned that we like the one he has on his cabin. So Brad set about setting it up at the front door.

Because we are on a cistern, and this is new to us, we check our water level each Monday. Our cistern is pretty big, 30ft x 10ft and 63in deep. This allows for a total of 9810.42 Gallons (yes, I have a spread sheet so we can follow it and know what to expect next year). When we moved in the water level was 42.5 inches, and this past Monday it was sitting at 42 inches (6540.28 Gallons). We've had a lot of rain since we moved here so the water catchment has been keeping us in water, however the sun will eventually come out... so we are taking precautions (I think I explained this in another post) but essentially and especially because we have a lot of flowers to keep watered we are using water preservation methods...

My bath water is pumped from the upstairs bathroom via this green garden hose in to this 55 Gal bucket between the house and the wood shed using a pump we purchased. This water is then used in the front garden. Because my bath ritual is for relaxation and not cleansing (I shower in the mornings for that), there is no soap in this water and it can also be pumped back in to the cistern and recycled through the 3 filters on the system allowing us to reuse it.

We also do this in the shower, we have a pail in the (very large) shower that we use to catch the water that would otherwise be wasted while setting the temperature of the water and getting ourselves wet. The water is then turned off for the lather and not used for the rinse, it is strictly for fresh water. It sounds like a lot of effort, but it really isn't. If the shower was a standard shower stall it would be much more awkward but our shower is about 6ft deep and 3ft wide so there is plenty of room. This water is then taken out the back door where I have another 55 Gallon bucket for watering the flowers along the side of the house and the garden we have on the deck.

Because the weather has been so bad and the slugs were such a problem and given that the romaine is generally not doing so well in the garden (Quail have also pulled it out of the ground while 'dusting' themselves - don't ask me, I've no idea)... we decided to plant the rest of our romaine, carrot and dill starts in planters on the deck where we can better monitor and control it. We also have 4 strawberry pots and a massive tomatoe plant that I think I mentioned before in a previous post.

Because I know someone is likely to ask, yes we can have water delivered should our cistern run dry at a cost of about $300 for something like 4000Gal. However, no one wants to have to do that so we are challenging ourselves to see how much water we can conserve. We're retired and unemployed so its something to do... LOL

Friday, 19 June 2020

A short hike

With things more or less under control around the new homestead we decided to go for a hike yesterday at one of the nearby trails.

Leashed Robbie but never did see any sheep, I think you have to go left for sheep and we went right.

Tons of these decorated rocks all along the trail

We relocated some but left about half of them where they were

At the trailhead

Sure blends in



Reminiscent of an English lane

Great trail with plenty of up and down. We went up and around but then decided to go back the way we came instead of completely the square back home. 1.5 kilometers total.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Broom and a new Chair

Not long after we arrived Brad volunteered to help with Broom removal on the island and also to help a lady with recycling (cans) delivery to Nanaimo. 

On Friday, as we were going to Salt Spring for Brad's first massage since the new normal and also my first haircut, we took the load of cans to Nanaimo for her. The funds from the can recycling (lots of people on the island donate the cans to her and her yard was filling up) are used to help with animal care on the island. Food and medication for people who otherwise could not afford to properly maintain their pet's health. 

Broom is an invasive plant we first heard about on Salt Spring Island (at least I heard heard about it there). It has been cut down all around the island and on Saturday morning we, along with many others, went to help load it up and take it to the burning grounds in our big truck. This has allowed us to meet several people on the island also.


The burn pile

Yesterday, I just happened to be on FB and as I've joined all the local FB pages for this island, I saw that someone was giving away a recliner. She had loaded it in her truck to take to the local goodwill shop only to find that the goodwill is not accepting such items yet, they are only taking recycling (cans and bottles - yes, another totally different place taking them). So as it was already loaded in her truck, she was asking if anyone wanted it. So I tagged it and she even delivered as it was already loaded.

New recliner in really good shape


Oh look, it's a standy upper one! 

I had also seen a dress shirt which was brand new with the price tag still on it of $60, the woman got it on sale for $40 and I paid her $10. Not bad at all. I have noticed a definite difference between the for sale pages on this island compared to Salt Spring though.

SaltSpring has much better stuff on the used FB pages, by far. I still monitor the SaltSpring pages because we are there once a week for massages anyway so if I can find a good deal there, I can usually email the funds and they will hold the item until I can pick it up which is very handy. Same with Nanaimo, I watch that area also on Kijiji and Craigslist.

The trouble I find is that unless you watch them all day long you often miss good deals and frankly I just have no interest in sitting online all day. So I check them each morning shortly after 7:30 when the first days listings are posted and sometimes I can get a deal before anyone else scoops it up. This is how I furnished this house.

Now that we have the basic items we need to live in an house, I am watching for deals to replace what we have with better stuff, and we can then give away or sell what we currently have.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Touring around our island

Like a new mother, I've been checking on the garden each morning... the other day I noticed something has been eating the leaves. I'm told it is slugs - big black slimy slugs. How to solve slugs? Coffee apparently. Simply make a pot of coffee and put it in a spray bottle, spray the leaves and I'm told the slugs will stay away.... so I am. To be honest, I actually didn't get to the garden today (pouring rain most of the day) so I'm hoping the coffee is working but I'll have to check it tomorrow. Brad also picked up some slug 'stuff' from the hardware store so failing coffee - 'stuff' it is.

Coffee solution? Keep you posted.

Our new laundry set arrived on Friday and we promptly got to installing that. Tight quarters and that's all I shall say about it.

We went for a walk along the waterfront yesterday, I had a hip muscle start bothering me so I turned around for the car while Brad and Robbie kept going for a short while before returning to the car. While I was waiting, I went down to the water.


Logging remnants can be seen all around the island

Incredible erosion

Entrance Island in the distance and a naturally formed scarecrow of tree.

Curious pock marked circle clearly defined

The smell of the seaweed reminds us of England

Closer pic of the erosion - fascinating.

And yet another odd encasing in the rock, I have stuck my sexy toes in the pic for size

Today we went for a drive and ended up in Drumbeg Provincial Park, passed this enroute

More erosion

Mixing currents can be seen just under that lighthouse beacon