Vegetables and Herbs

Every year we grow our own food.  Something about the taste of a freshly picked vegetable really makes a meal.


Every evening my wife goes out to water and cover the plants. Every morning she goes to check on the progress.  It’s always a slow start at the beginning of the season as the seeds begin to take root.  Patience in gardening is required.


In the past, we have purchased some plants that were already begun at a nursery.  This year was mostly seeds.  We also tried something new by putting everything up higher on tables.  This was to keep the wild rabbits out.  It seemed to work.


We have moved everything closer to our house now so that they don’t wither up in the sun.  This should also slow the growing process a bit as well to spread out the vegetables over the next couple of weeks as they finish ripening. 

I can’t wait to dive into some of the peppers my omelettes will be devine.

Touring Breweries

Since last Wednesday, I stopped at a few breweries for a couple of Growler fills and to try something new.

IMG_4240

First we stopped at Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company for a fill of a blonde and grabbed a couple of bombers.

IMG_4259

Before making it to my mother’s, we stopped at Gladstone and got a fill of a Cream Ale.

img_4327

The next day we stopped at Shelter Point Distillery.  I shared that adventure here. Followed by a stop at Beach Fire Brewing Company for a flight and a fill of a Raspberry Beer.

IMG_4598.JPG

We headed to Powell River the following day and stopped at Townsite Brewing.  I was here in the spring and enjoyed a flight. We picked up a fill of a Blackberry beer since Powell River was celebrating Blackberry Days Festival.

My wife and I enjoyed the brews we sampled and have some remaining to enjoy at home.

Eclipse

Big news today! The sun is getting blocked out and everything will go dark.  I’m excited- like a true nerd should be. 


However, I didn’t buy into the commercial hype.  Or the kooky glasses.  I’m not planning on staring at the sun.  Up north here it’ll be a partial eclipse. Still exciting and retina damaging. But I will watch the live feed on NASA


Just remember to wear the right kind of glasses. No need to kill your eyesight.  So be safe out here. Even in the partial zones. This is the scientific event of 2017. Pretty cool. 

The Eagle Has Landed

Yesterday evening, my 14 year old nephew and my 11 year old son wanted to go out before dinner.  They asked everyone in the house to give them a ride. Each person kept sending them away and told them to ask someone else.  Including myself. Finally I asked where it was they wanted to go. 


My nephew talked about a place just up the road called Eagle River. He mentioned pools of water and cliff diving. I decided that it sounded kind of neat, and I really didn’t know what kind of cliffs a young boy would imagine. Next thing I knew, I was driving four children for a quick dip before dinner. I’m glad my wife came along as well to help look after the kids.


My nephew directed me towards the location that we could take the vehicle to. The river run directly under Highway 101 on the outskirts of Powell River. As you walk down, you can see the water running off and forming a large pool.  The cutouts in the rocks almost made it look like old Aztec ruins.  Then you round the corner and the views continue to be amazing.


There was only a few guys on the far end.  I went over and took a look.  One guy was doing backflips off the waterfall into a pool of water below.  I was most impressed.  These were definitely cliffs and it was definitely not something I was about to attempt or let the children who were with me attempt. That was a young man’s adventure. I’ve been cliff diving before, but didn’t want to encourage the small ones to try it.


So we stayed in the first pool of water.  By one edge it was fairly deep, so the two oldest did their version of cliff jumping about ten feet up from the water. Even though it wasn’t nearly as high up, the kids still had a bit of fear in them as they teetered before the first jump.

If we return next summer, this is going to be a place we hit for longer than an hour.  It was secluded and essentially empty. The water was clear with a jade hue, but clean nonetheless. Sometimes taking the time to listen to a kid can lead us on a great adventure. Eagle River was exactly that.

Powell River

Powell River is a silent little city that my sister and her family lives near. There are two ferry terminals that you can use to get to off this rock towards more civilization. The summer months are absolutely beautiful here.


My sister is right on the water with a view of the ocean and Texada island. Her home could be a Bed & Breakfast if she wanted.


I spent the morning enjoying a coffee as the boats sailed by. It was a great way to start my day. But my allergies were not being my friend.


For lunch, we drove out to Beach Hut Fish & Chips.  It was recommended by a friend of mine. Boy, was it delicious. Some of the best deep fried goodies I have had in ages.


After lunch, we drove to the end of Highway 101 to a bakery that my sister recommended.  $48 in cinnamon buns for tomorrow’s breakfast were picked up.  Our car smelled heavenly for the 45 minute drive back to my sister’s home.


This afternoon is pretty much the same as the morning. Only it’ll be a cold beverage and a deck chair as I enjoy the views. My kids are down exploring the rocks and the ocean while I write this.  

This quick getaway visiting my family is exactly what I needed to start my vacation time. Now to get back to lounging and doing nothing.

Campbell River

We had 48 hours in Campbell River.  So we made the most of it.  

My wife and I hit the Shelter Point Distillery at lunch and then off to the Beach Fire Brewing Company for some more samples.


My wife and I had a lovely afternoon together sampling booze.  We paused at the 50th Parallel for a short walk and enjoyed the scenery. We returned to my mother’s place for dinner with the family and then headed out again.


We goofed around with a selfie stick and the kids took pictures at the beach with their cameras.  We took my mother’s dog with us for a walk as well.  My family has stopped using her slave name Jodie and renamed her Snowball. (Rick and Morty fans would love this dog!) 


We checked out this year’s wood carvings.  It added a bit more silliness to our night.  Then we headed back to Gramma’s for some dessert and another sampling of Sunshine in a Barrel before calling it a night.


This morning we went down to the local beach near Gramma’s for an early morning stroll. Our oldest daughter grumbled and argued about going. In the end, we “forced her” to come along. We parked near the sea walk and her and I wandered out towards the water.  


There was a large rock that had an entire ecosystem living at the base. We saw sea stars, crabs, hermit crabs, a sea anemone, some eels and a sea slug. My daughter took some photos with her cellphone.

After an enjoyable walk, we went back to Gramma’s and I made breakfast. We were getting ready to pack up and head out to my sister’s place next when my sister called. My kids decided that we should invite Gramma to Auntie Nikki’s. More because they wanted her dog to show up.


We ventured forth to another ferry. And waited for almost two hours to catch this ferry.  We wanted to be early so we could wander the beaches nearby and our oldest could take better photos with a digital Canon Powershot S5 that we lent her.

All-in-all it was a good 48 hour visit to Campbell River. The family and I are all smiles going on these journeys. Our puppy was happy as well.

Shelter Point Distillery 

Today’s adventure was something I never thought I’d truly enjoy.  It was few steps above brewery tours and a step above a winery tour. I’m talking about delighting in a Distillery tour.


The Shelter Point Distillery is in Campbell River on Vancouver Island. They use barley that they grow themselves as the sugar for the base. It is soaked in hot water after crushed. A ton of grain gives 5000L of Wort. One tank is filled every day. It takes seven days for wort to become wash. All grains are from BC. For single malt, they use their own grain grown on site. Fun fact: Whiskey is distilled beer. But you wouldn’t want to drink distilled beer. It is 10% alcohol.


The Shelter Point Distillery uses pure copper tanks, 1/4″ thick and 18 feet tall which were hand made in Scotland. The tanks were extremely impressive. Turning liquid into steam, back from steam to liquid.


Then it goes into a condenser. Then back to a spirit cell. This creates a purer alcohol. Nothing is wasted. They separate the heart (the good stuff) from the head and tail during this process. Three barrels worth of alcohol are created, then a desicion to make either vodka or whiskey happens.


They distill four times and make a beautiful tasting whiskey. Shelter Point started production seven years ago.  Whiskey barrels stay in warehouse for a minute minimum 3 years or it is not considered whiskey. It takes 5 years to make their gold winning whiskey. Fun fact 2: Their whiskey is 20% faster to reach maturity than in Scotland. Because of the temperatures in BC. Each year 2.5% evaporates from the barrels. This is considered “The Angel’s Share” in old Scottish terms.


For the flavored vodkas: they use only pure natural flavors with no sugar added. It take 3-4 weeks to make vodka compared to almost 3 years for whiskey.

The tour was given to us by an older gentleman named Brian.  It was from him that I was able to parlay all of my whiskey wisdom in today’s blog post. It was a good thing I took notes… He gave us samples of whatever we wanted to try.  After sampling the vodkas and the whiskeys, my wife and I had to make some purchases.


Barrel of Sunshine is one of the best tasting liqueurs I have ever tasted.  It was a tasty mix of orange,chai spice and maple.  It is a perfect dessert sipper to end a beautiful day. Three bottles are coming home with us! Plus a bottle of Red Apple Vodka.


A safe ride after was in order. It was a beautiful day to visit Shelter Point Distillery and sample BC’s only quadruple distilled Whiskey.  And only the second Distillery in Canada that makes quadruple distilled whiskey besides one in Nova Scotia.

Cheers!

Rest and Relaxation

Day one of vacation began at the end of a 12 hour night shift.  And it was Go Time right from the beginning.  I had planned an early arrival at the ferry terminal to connect with a ferry about an hour and a half later.  So I took a nap in the back seat of our Nissan Pathfinder. 


We boarded the vessel and I took another nap in the back seat with our puppy.  Our kids went onto the upper deck and played some cards- like typical BC ferry riders! I had a tough time falling asleep because a car alarm was going off two rows over throughout most of the ferry ride.


Our puppy enjoyed the time we had sleeping.  He also enjoyed going for walks at the ferry terminal. Lots of neat smells and places to mark apparently.  He was even treated to a couple 67¢ McDonald’s Hamburgers.  McDonald’s was doing a one day promotion to celebrate 50 years in Canada!  Thank you for the dog food McDicks!


We stopped in Coombs again on the drive up to Gramma’s.  I wasn’t hallucinating, there was a goat on the roof.  And it was a busy little location.  Picked up some road trip candied and smoked salmon before we were on our way again.  A couple brewery stops to fill some growlers were a must as well.


We stopped along the water for a few more photos and I discovered some new friends.  These guys rock!  One was named Potato Rock and he came with us because he needed a new home. We made it to Gramma’s home and I took another nap. Now it’s dinner time and I’m going to crack a bomber from one of the breweries.


A good start to my vacation. Cheers everybody!

18 Days of Freedom…

I am doing a night shift tonight followed by 18 days away from work.  Nearly 3 weeks.  I’m looking forward to just chilling out for the end of the summer. It’s been years since I’ve had so much time off.  The last time I can remember having a block like this was when I was laid off. At least this time, I’ll be getting paid vacation.


As much as I am looking forward to my time away, I still need to remain focused overnight.  My work is not a forgiving environment when mistakes are involved. Statistically most accidents or incidents occur when it is right before a weekend or vacation. People’s heads aren’t always in the game.

I want to safely finish my day (night) and enjoy some time away from work.  A little rest and relaxation are in order. My wife is looking forward to spending time as a family as well.  I’m looking for to enjoying a couple of adult beverages and a tour of Shelter Point Distillery this week.

Cheers!

I Forget

Holy balls. I completely forgot what I was going to write about today.  I had this thing in my mind.  I created an outline in my head and put the pieces of my ideas into thoughts.  But I didn’t write it down.  


I know I had a thing to write about.  And it was going to be such a great literary piece.  But I didn’t finish -let alone start- today’s blog when the thoughts were current.  I came home from a night shift and promptly crawled into bed.  Ugh.  All those thoughts as I drove home, gone in a nap.


So now, I have forgotten my epic story.  My masterpiece is lost forever in the deluges of the dream world. Dreams which I have also since lost clarity of as each waking moment passes. Today, I underachieved- and that’s ok.