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Winter sunrise, Lake Cowichan, B.C.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

First week of summer at Kyle's Kottage

Hard to believe we are in the last week of June. Time seems to be screaming by. Sunday afternoon clouded up and the rain began. By 5pm it was teaming down. Hardest rain we've seen since moving here mid-May. It continued to rain all night. The forest sure needs it though. This first week of summer was much cooler than the past week. More typical of June weather.

This week we have more meetings scheduled with contractors for various things, mostly landscaping items. Ray has really been having trouble finding people available as most of them have been booked since early spring.  We need to get the stairs cemented in down to the beach and the rock retaining walls on both sides as some of the rocks seemed to have come loose from this past winter's high water.

Monday, was not a good start as 2 of the 4 people scheduled did not show. Hopefully the rest of the week will be better. (Wed/Thur/Fri appointments) Fingers crossed. My new housekeeper did come however .... yeah. Dusting all of our beams is way too much for me to want to take on. It has to be done via ladders. Jackie and her employee tore through the house in 2 hours and will come every two weeks for bathrooms, floors and dusting including polishing my kitchen appliances. The hood fan is a ladder show as well.

Tuesday morning we stopped at Monti's Marine in Duncan before driving to Nanaimo. Our new boat arrived last Thursday an we wanted to see it for ourselves. It will take a few more days to have all the electronics installed. Next off to Nanaimo for an appointment and a Costco run. Must get more dogfood for Freya and all of our other "doggie" visitors. lol

Kristi and Jason are on holildays so we did not get a chance to see them. :( Ray and I ate lunch at our favourite sushi place, Nori. Always worth the drive. Back home in the late afternoon and time to have an hour sitting on our deck until a huge black cloud came over.

Wednesday, up early again. Today Ray's "helper" should arrive by 7:30 am and after I feed him will get back to moving more rock for Ray. Zack arrived, breakfast served and to the rock pile for him! I headed out at 8am to get the remainder of my grocery shopping done in Duncan. Sunny with clouds for most of the day, but we did get some time on the deck late in the afternoon. By 5pm the black clouds had rolled in and showers began. It was short lived though and was done by 6:30 pm.

Thursday woke up to cloudy skies and the wind came up shortly after. Quite the difference from no wind and flat calm lake of yesterday. Of course this is the beginning of the long weekend so inclement weather is always on the menu! lol Today, Price alarms arrived for our security install. We are also having cameras installed to view the dock and driveway for the winter time when we will usually be away. Ray will be able to see the lake levels from his armchair in Arizona. lol Although this is a "gated community", the gate has been broken since last December, so hopefully it gets fixed before this winter. Someone ran into it during last winter's snow event.  Also someone forced it open instead of releasing the peg manually, so 2 problems need to be fixed. There are long-term renters in one of the houses on the street and it is believed they may have forced it. The bent part was done by Slegg Lumber and they have paid a bunch of money already towards the repair. I think the Strata is having trouble finding someone to fix it as we are somewhat off the beaten path.

Quite a busy day here at Kyle's Kottage. While Price Alarm guys were on the ladders fishing wire, the dock people came and lowered the gangway to the ground so work can start on the cement approach to the gangway. Ray had his helper tear out the old decking on the approach a couple of days ago and the neighbours were worried the whole gangway would drop, even though Ray guyed the ramp back to some trees. (I thought the same thing, but what do I know!).  Unbeknownst to Ray, the end of the gangway weighs about 900 lbs. He figured a few helpers would be able to lower it NOT!  Ray did not want to wait ... so after concerns were raised he called Cliff (who is building our new dock) and his dock guys came and dropped the ramp the same day. Disaster adverted.

The "before" picture before Ray's planned destruction!

And just like that "down she goes". In three weeks, the new concrete support for the gangway will be poured, hopefully. We can still get to the dock via the beach stairs. Of course everyone was there at the same time.

Price Alarm guys, (There were 3 of them but I only got a picture of two of them lol)

The gardener's arrived to mow the lawn right when the dock guys were here!

Ray's "vision" is starting to come together.  A slate patio by the front door will be removed (replaced by stamped concrete) and used for the back steps.  Hopefully there will be enough slate pieces left over to finish off the path you can see heading to the right in the picture.

Friday it was cloudy and started to rain ... of course the beginning of the long-weekend. Good thing Garrett and Kat are not coming for the weekend as BC Ferries is down a ship from Horseshoe Bay and they are cancelling people's reservations. Lots of unhappy people. This weekend, here at Laketown Ranch, they are having a 3 day music event. Too bad the weather is so crappy. Some of the headliners are Colin James, Collective Soul and Creedence Clearwater Revisited, not to mention Sass Jordon, Kim Mitchell and Youngblood.

Price Alarm spent the day finishing the install for the camera's and wireless sensors for the patio doors, wireless smoke detectors, as well as a flood alarm for the basement. Ray hired another landscaper who came this morning to finish off removing the rest of the dock approach to the front of the house in preparation for a dump run tomorrow by our gardeners. Ray has some more garden projects for Gord to do including spreading new topsoil for gardens and replanting some grass. We had Zack move a bunch of plants from the back yard to the front on Wednesday.  Eventually new plants will be purchased and then finished off with bark mulch in all the garden areas. Apparently the deer here eat a ton of stuff so we are trying to plant only deer resistance shrubs.

That's it for this week. Even in the rain the young girls visiting next door were swimming! Yikes.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Judy, Ray's sister comes for a visit from Tacoma, WA

Tuesday, June 19th

This was a very, very busy day. We had 2 deliveries in the morning to wait for, Judy, Ray's sister, made good time leaving from Tacoma, catching the Coho Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria and arrived here at the lake by 4pm. After the tour of the house it was time to get down to the dock to enjoy the breeze as it was really warm ... about 32C. We had a great dinner of prawns on the BBQ.

Wednesday we stayed home, as Kristi for Father's Day (and Birthday), hired a strapping young man for 7 hours to move all of the rocks Ray wanted done. Boy does she know her father, as he was frustrated getting contractors to come before at least August.  Zack did a great job and agreed to come back on Thursday at our $$$ to finish it all off. A great worker and a pleasure to have around.

Ray's saviour Zack (and Kristi) lol
I had a dental appointment in the afternoon and once back we all retired down to the dock. Judy managed to go for a kayak ride and I laid in my floaty lounger enjoying the sunshine.

Hi I'm OK!!!!

And off she goes!

I floated about staying cool waiting for her to return.
While we camped on the dock for a bit after our water time, we had a visitor! Now I know who ate my hostas!

Judy treated us to dinner at Jakes at the Lake.

We sat outside on the deck after we got back from dinner but after a full day outside we were all pretty tired so off to bed early. I find the heat and the sun make me really tired. Not acclimatized yet to the heat.

Thursday, Zack arrived at 7am, the predetermined time to have breakfast with us. Ray woke me up at 6:15 and I hit the ground running to get everything cooked before he arrived. Judy was a great help, especially doing all of the dishes after breakfast. Thanks a bunch. Next up was her yoga. Not for me. lol ... Boy can she bend.

While Judy was doing Yoga, Ray sorted out his new/old desk. He always wanted a roll-top and we needed a place to store our stuff instead of rubbermaid containers.

It started out quite cloudy/foggy this morning but it finally burned off about 11 am. The wind stayed up though, so no kayaking for Judy today. Ray and I spent a good part of the day watching Zack move rock around the yard. 

Freya hoping Zack would throw her stick and pouting when he ignored her!

We are getting rid of the path and plant grass. Mort dirt will be added to this garden inside the stacked rock.

The new path will be sunk into the grass and will be easy to mow over (all slaye from the property.)
I took Judy on a short drive down to Gordon Bay Provincal Park just to see a little further down the road. We have been so busy, Ray and I haven't driven past our turn off so far. lol  

A beautiful beach at the day use area. Great for swimming. I didn't drive through the campsites as they had a gate with an attendant. The overhead canopy from the trees is pretty dense though, so solar would not work here. Looked to be more set up for small rigs and tents.

Too windy for dock time today although Judy managed a couple of hours down there reading her book cuddled into a lounger by the gangway once we got back from our little drive.

A combined effort was made for some Chinese Food for dinner. It was fun to have my sister helping me. The new kitchen makes it easy for several people to be in the kitchen at once.

The three of us managed to stay up long enough to watch a TV show and then it was to bed for all of us.

Friday we woke up to more clouds. It even might shower this morning. The forest needs it badly as it's been so hot this week and with the thunderstorms in the interior the news reports 100 more forest fires were started last night. Yikes! Hopefully not another fire year like last summer.

Today, we decided to take Judy on a bit of a tour as we have stayed mainly at the house since she got here. Not that she minds sitting on the dock. :) Although the day was mostly cloudy we went to walk around downtown Duncan in the area where the Farmer's Market sets up on Saturday mornings. We wandered in and out of some ecclectic shops and viewing the totem poles.

Wild Woman

Back in the car, off we went to Cowicham Bay for lunch at the Rock Cod Cafe. Yumm. Next up was a walk through the Wooden Boat Museum. They were working on repairing the pier so not all of it was open to the public.

Putting in new pilings for the docks.

Oh oh .... something is wrong! They did not seem worried though and soon the smoke cleared and they continued.

Judy looking at the Cowichan Bay Marina boats.

Old motor display

Quite a few houseboats here as well.

Soon after we headed home. Unfortunately it was still a bit windy and cloudy so no kayaking for Judy. She leaves tomorrow. Hard to believe the time went so fast when it seemed we did not do very much!.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Busy, busy, busy and a quick trip to Vancouver.

Ray and I have been so busy this past week arranging contractors, going to Vancouver (me).... I forgot to take any pictures.

Monday the gardeners came back and finished off the hedge, I now have our view back on our sundeck. :)

They did our side first and then did the neighbours side.
I rented a car on Tuesday am and went over to Vancouver to stay for a night in order to go to Surrey City Hall first thing on Wednesday morning and pay the property taxes on Dad's house. I never received the notice, so I needd to go there in person. It turns out they addressed it to me at Dad's house and the mail as usual was stolen! I put in a change of address for any of Dad's mail but as they addressed it to me it was delivered. Anyways got it sorted out, payed the taxes and changed the address for future correspondence to our new Lake Cowichan address.

After paying the taxes on Wednesday, I met up with my Aunt and Uncle in Coquitlam for lunch at their favorite pub, The John B. I had 2 boxes of old dishes to drop off for them to take up to Babine Lake as a donation to the place they stay at every year. Last year the lodge had a fire that destroyed quite a few of the buildings at the fishing resort. Great to catch up with them.

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Aunt Norma, me and Uncle Ken

After lunch I made the run to catch the Horseshoe Bay ferry back to Nanaimo. I did not want to stay another night as it was really weird staying in a mostly empty house ... also some car drove through our driveway the night before, making me a little nervous with all of the break-in's currently happening in the neighbourhood. Made it back home at 6:30 pm. Thursday morning, early, we drove to Duncan to turn back in the rental car so I only had to pay for 2 days instead of 3. Did a little shopping and came back home.

Friday, we took a drive up to Nanaimo to look at a new stove at Coast Appliances. I am not happy with the old Electrolux range currently in my kitchen, the burners cook unevenly. Kristi is coming to stay over night at the lake so we picked up her 2 dogs from doggy daycare and brought them home with us.  My neck is still bothering me after all of the lifting of boxes from the move, hopefully it corrects itself soon. It is hampering me doing too much and there is much to do. 

As Kristi's arrival time was somewhat up in the air, we stopped at KFC in Ladysmith on the way home so supper would be ready whenever she showed up. The dogs sure liked the smell in the car all the way home. :) Freya was beside herself when we unlocked the house and her two buddies roared in. We had left her home as it was quite warm outside.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny morning so we all sat out on the sundeck with our coffee. First time since we moved in it was warm enough.  By 8 am Kristi, with Ray's direction, were outside replanting some plants from the back gardens into the front as the back is getting redone. Thanks for all of your help Kristi. While they were busy I made scones for breakfast.

By 10:30 it was dock time. We all sat on our chairs enjoying the sun and breeze down on the dock. You could certainly tell it was going to be a scorcher today. By 12:30 we came back up for some lunch and then Kristi headed out with her two dogs to meet a friend in Ladysmith to go on a hike.

Ray and I spent the rest of the afternoon up on our sundeck in the shade watching all of the boats going by. A lovely day.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny too. Wow ... 2 days in a row! lol After a few chores we decided to  see Skutz Falls in the Cowichan Lake Provincial Park. We should have checked a little closer as to where we were going. Ended up going about 8km past our turn off. We checked out the other couple of stops on our way back to the Skutz Falls Trailhead. There was no place on the map that actually showed how far the falls were .... so we will have to investigate this further from our armchairs first. lol

The Cowichan River becomes quite narrow here, further up there was a guy fishing. Apparently the Cowichan River is one of the best sports fishing rivers in BC with lots of access spots nearby from the road.

Once back home it was time to have lunch and then get down to the dock and stay cool. Ray decided to put together the deck box and picnic table we purchased from Costco last week. 

Today the temps went up to 30C. Pretty warm after days and days of cool weather. It will take a little time to acclimatize but jumping in the lake works pretty good. :) Love the heat pump though when you are tired of the heat.

Tonight, I took Ray out for dinner at the pub for Father's Day. We arrived fairly early fortunately, as it sure became packed by the time we left. Lots of other people with the same idea after a day on the water. Both Garrett and Kristi called to wish him a Happy Father's Day. (Thanks kids)

Monday, Ray spent the morning on the phone making appointments with more contractors for quotes regarding the dock, address changes, concrete wall, etc. I drove into Duncan to stock up with food. Ray's sister Judy, is arriving tomorrow for a visit. As she is "Gluten Free" I have to get a few items so she will feel right at home. Once back home, after our appointment at the bank, it was time to get down to the dock for a swim. Temps were 33C when I got back. A lovely way to spend the afternoon. Hot enough that Ray even went into the water a couple of times. The lake still is a little chilly but will certainly warm up this week as the temps are forecast to stay hot.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Dad's House is Sold!!!

On Sunday, June 3rd, I signed the papers accepting an offer on Dad's house. A bunch less than we originally thought, but prices are coming down in the Vancouver area in spite of what they say in the news. I am very relieved that it is finally sold. However, I am not jumping up and down yet. The purchasers are new Chinese Immigrants and say they have a pre-approved mortgage. With the new rules, other people from China have had a hard time getting money out of China to here. So .... we wait until June 18th when all of the "subject to's" are supposed to come off. They will take possession at the end of August. I truly hope there are no "hiccups" and the deal falls through at that late date and we have to put it up for sale as an empty house as we will have removed everything in it by the end of July.

All the houses Ray and I have bought and sold, this was never an issue. Once you signed the papers and the subjects come off it is a done deal. I won't breathe easy until the end of August. I have to go over to Vancouver next week to pay the property taxes and check on the house.

Monday, June 4th

We woke to blue sky with some clouds but that soon turned to more dark threatening clouds. The gardeners showed up for a couple of hours this moring and started pruning the hedge so the concrete guys pouring the ramp up to the gangway have room to work. They left as it had started to pour again. The dock guys, Cliff and Dave, showed up to view the area and tell us what they plan to do. If everything goes well the forms and then the concrete will be poured sometime this week. Also had a meeting with Price Alarm about how they are going about alarming our house. So, all in all quite a busy day.

As you can see the hedge is taking over the walkway.

My current view from the deck, you can hardly see the lake over the top of the hedge.


Another cloudy morning. Ray was off early to Nanaimo for a doctor appointment and I stayed home and waited for the electrician to come. The guys for the dock ramp were supposed to come but did not see "hide nor hair" of them. Maybe tomorrow.


Today was our dental appointments with the dentist here in Lake Cowichan. We did not expect much from the look of the outside of the office, but Dr. Wilson sure has all of the "new tools" of the trade, including taking an EKG to check out your heart function while sitting in the chair! The weather has been kind of cloudy with showers, so far this week but late this afternoon the sun came out and we were able to spend some time on the sundeck enjoying the view of the lake.


Our great friends Malc and Kathy Warrington, from Victoria are coming up for dinner and a visit. Hope the forecasted rain holds off until after dinner so we can enjoy some "deck time." Kathy brought me an orchid as a house warming gift. Thanks Kathy.

As it turned out we just gave them the tour of the house and sat down outside when it started to sprinkle :( ... Oh well. We came inside and had a lovely visit. All my new recipes, including the pork shoulder that I did on the rotisserie in the BBQ (the crackling was awesome. :) seemed to be well received. Kathy brought a chocolate brownie dessert with fresh strawberries. Yumm

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Malcom and Kathy. This picture was taken a year ago in England with their newest grandbaby.  


Back up to Nanaimo to McLaren's Lighting. I need to pick out a dining room light fixture that will hang from the 30' ceiling. Our electrician said McLarens had the best selection and are a great help with the design for the room. So I took a bunch of pictures with my phone to give them some idea of what I will need to match in with the kitchen light. After a little wandering around with the designer, we picked out a fixture and now we wait to get and answer that they can modify the length of the electric cord for 20 feet. lol. It poured rain all evening and overnight.  PS no sign of the dock guys.


Woke to clouds with the sun breaking through and by 7 am there was sunshine again. Yeah. I think we will go into Duncan today to check out the Farmer's Market. Apparently it is one of the largest in BC with over 140 vendors. Left the house just before 9am to miss all of the traffic and parade that was going to happen, closing the main road this morning for Lake Days here in Lake Cowichan. The weather was showery the whole morning ... poor people sitting on the sides of the road to see the parade.

Lots of live entertainment ... they had all of the kids up dancing when we passed these guys later in the morning.

Fresh locally grown strawberries

Quite busy at 10 am

Lots of birdhouses.
 I 'd developed back and neck spasms since Wednesday afternoon and was really suffering. Days of lifting items Ray's incapable of has taken a toll.  Malcolm had tried to fix me on Thursday night to no avail. He is a retired physio and said my back was like a plank .... Anyways I am trying to take care of it and happened to notice a booth for Shiatsu Massage and Craniosacral Therapy. Took him up on it for $15 for about 10 minutes. Felt much better after. :) Did not realize Ray had taken my picture lol.

These two little girls played their celtic harps beautifully. They are raising money to buy 2 of them at $4200 a piece!

 After walking around for an hour we stopped in the Art Gallery in Duncan to frame Garrett's painting he made with Kat's families help in honour of my Dad. At the same time we inquired about E.J. Hughes work. Ray is quite interested in getting a couple of his prints for our new house. We were told that most of the prints were taken to the Arthur Vickers studio in Cowichan Bay for a showing.  So off we went.

Old rowboat in the basement of the gallery.

Quite a few float homes in the marina at Cowichan Bay

After taking a walk through the gallery it was time for lunch.

We tried out the Rock Cod Cafe first, but when Ray saw that it was going to be $30 for a 2 piece halibut and chips .... we left. lol

We decided to have lunch at the little take out stand instead where a 2-piece halibut would have been $24. However they were out of halibut, so Ray settled for cod and chips just like me. It was okay .... not fabulous so we would not go there again. (Lighthouse Restaurant)

Back home by 1 pm. A lovely outing. Ray took Freya for a couple minute bike ride to the marina, a short way down our road, and managed to snap this gorgeous picture with his phone.

Almost like a painting.