Monday, April 20, 2009

One up for Nature!

While working on a client's property today the ditch-digger machine came round and dug a huge ditch along the roadside, picking up debris, rocks, branches and whatever else was in it's path. After the deed was done I was clearing up the side of the road and noticed further up the hill a tiny patch of green in an otherwise mud coloured landscape.
On further examination I found a small cluster of green shoots minding their own business, seemingly unperturbed by the goings-on. When I mentioned them to the owner he said they'd be there forever. What a wonderful example that man can come and go, but nature will always prevail!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Those Easter moments

Every year, earlier and earlier it seems, those dastardly chocolate eggs with thick cream filling lurk on every store counter right by the till, with false promises that they will be gone by Easter. Which frankly almost constitutes grounds for sueing in my book because you eat one, and then another, and then just one more, and one more... you know, before they're gone. And Easter comes and goes and there are still some left to buy... so you eat some more, well okay, just one more... but I digress...

What my story is really about is how during my first year on Gabriola I had gone into our Coop and had just enough money for gas and a movie with very little spare change left over. I counted my pennies (literally) but did not have enough for one of the said eggs. The young girl who was working there at the time took out her wallet, and put down the money for the chocolate egg. "Pay me back next time you're in - you just can't not have one!" she said. I couldn't believe it - it totally made my day.

It was a few days before I got back in to see her. I paid her back the money she'd lent me, thanked her again, and bought another two eggs. I promptly gave her one of them. After all, she knew how good they were!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In the spirit of the pioneers...continued...

Making it rainproof... Adding some skin...
An insiders view...
A little blemished, but happy...

Wishes for the Women of Gabriola

International Women’s Day was recently celebrated at People for Healthy Community. A huge sheet of paper was on display for everyone to write down their wishes for the women of Gabriola, a lot of the wishes were for all Gabriolans: Life dreams that come true ~ Mutual Nurturing ~ Financial Equality and security ~ Freedom from oppression ~ Bouquets of Kisses ~ Peace and Safety for All ~ Bread and Roses ~ More sex or even some sex ~ Happy I.W.D.! ~ Good food (Yum) and good company ~ Friendship and support ~ A safe meeting place ~ Strong life force, deep and green as grass – and as widespread ~ To think for yourselves, to say injustices, to act on injustices, to reclaim feminism ~ People who bring us flowers just because… ~ Lots of Laughter ~ Pay equality for all and for the federal and provincial governments to restore rights taken away from both women and the population at large ~ Energy & Health ~ Be strong and compassionate… ~ More Fun !!!
What's your wishes for Gabriolans?

Please leave your wishes with us in the comments... if you wish!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Growing up on Gabriola

I grew up on the Island and am extremely thankful I did. It is a special place where everyone seems to fit in and the sense of community has always been very strong. Like the Deer at the end of Harrison Way that are often seen basking in the sun with the rabbits and the peacocks, the people of this island are just as odd of a mix. Attend any local pub or potluck and you will find characters of all sorts. Old timer's, hippies, redneck's, crazies, yuppies, parents, teenagers, children, grandparent's, travellers, foreigners and many more and for the most part we all get along! It is so nice to feel excepted and encouraged by your community.

It is a great place to grow up because of the colourful people and equally because of the beautiful natural surroundings, to feel at home in the forest and at peace near the ocean is truly magical. I am sad that so many trees have disappeared since I was little and that the petroglyphs and galleries are rapidly eroding. Things have changed tremendously in the past decade but if we reflect on all that we cherish about Gabriola maybe not all will be lost.

These are some of the good things: kayaking the flat top islands, Sunday soccer games, lunch at Harvest Thyme, Farmer's markets, SUMMER TIME, swimming at Sandwell, jumping off the galleries, beach fires, swimming in phosphorescence, great potlucks, surf sunsets, mudgefest, blackberry picking, art shows, the cliffs of Valdez...

Childhood memories include: Community Potluck's at twin beaches, meteor shower sleepovers at Ike's orchard, finding arrowheads on the beaches and peering in old Indian burial caves, walking out to the sandbar at Twin at low tide to dig for treasure, playing in the forest that used to exist behind the school, trails, tug boat island, Mr. Moo the milkman, Gabriola days Dances, First night at the Community Hall, jellyfish fights, playing at the fire hall, sand castle competitions, Birthday parties at Pizza, swimming lessons at camp Miriam, The pool at Silva Bay. When they first made the mall I was in Grade 5 and for some reason our class went down there to pick up all the nails left behind.
That's all for now,
From Hayden

Friday, March 20, 2009

In the spirit of the pioneers…

The old dilapidated cabin next door, although back-broken and feeling very sorry for itself, still cried for rebirth.
I contacted the owner of the cabin and asked if I could dismantle it and use its lumber. He mulled it over for a bit, being one of the old timers of the island, so I assured him that it would be used for a garden shed for a long time resident. So he said “OK!” and the relocating began…
I walked around the poor old cabin a few times, sizing up its construction and the easiest and safest way I could dismantle him while saving the most lumber.

The old bones laying in rest waiting for reshaping.

The old bent and rusty nails, that were the sinew and tendons of the old cabin, were loosened and set aside to be used once more.
The old country doctor at work!
The old bent nails were enough to keep the old cabin together once, and, with a steady hand, and a bit of luck, they would be ready to do so again.
Early stages of labour…

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Feed the Birds

With the recent snow the birds are still needing lots of food. Here are some recipes that are fun to do:

To make bagel treats
Cut bagels in half. Spread cut side with peanut butter. Sprinkle with birdseed. To make hanger, thread short lengths of yarn through centre hole in bagel and knot ends. The birds will be able to recycle the yarn in their nests in the spring.

To make apple treats
Cut short length and fold in half. Wrap loose end of wire around apple stem, leaving a loop for hanging. Secure wire to tree so it cannot be removed by the birds.

To make cereal garland
Cut long length of dental floss and thread needle. String dry cereal onto floss. Group garlands together hanging on a tree. Remove dental floss as soon as cereal has been eaten.

To make stale bread treats
Spread peanut butter on hard stale bread and cover with birdseed. Leave out where the birds can peck at them.

We get our natural peanut butter from the bulkbins in the larger stores. Do you have any favorite birdfeed recipes? Please share them with others here.
Any other favorites?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Remember who we are

Hi Everyone!

A few weeks ago I wrote a letter in response to an individual who was trashing the good people of our community. I wrote that particular piece with the hope that he and others would reconsider their negative attitudes about people and our community and decide, rather, to become part of the healthy solution instead of being part of a bitter problem. I did not expect them to start spreading suspicion and dissention via the media into our community.

Our island is wonderful collection of individuals, groups and organizations who came to live here with a sincere hope and wish to grow in a peaceful, healthy community. This is the reason that I moved to Gabriola. Some dark energies have come here at different times to invoke confusing and difficult experiences for Gabriolans.

But always have the people of our community stood up and held fast to the goodness and richness of our home. I salute our community’s courage for its sense of moral conviction and common decency.

I beseech the writers of such negative letters in our local papers to please put down your pens of abysmal blackness and instead pick up your illuminating pens of encouragement and support. In this way, your spirits can come back to our community’s positive way of life. Gabriola has a wonderful healing energy that one exalts in. Let us all enjoy this and each other. Thank you for being.

Tony Gibson

Making a Difference

Overwhelmed today with issues such as depletion of our natural resources, global warming, a failing economy, and the sense of hopelessness that can follow, it’s so easy to succumb to negativity and the feeling that there is little one can do to make any kind of difference. I recently came across a little folk tale that had a huge impact on me, and decided to do my part by celebratrating the spirit of the people and place that I call home.

In the forest there lived a hummingbird, a rabbit, a deer and a bear. The forest was their home until the day the fire broke out. No one knew how it started but it swallowed up their nests and their homes. Quickly the creatures scurried away; the bear ran, the deer leapt, and the rabbit hopped. And the hummingbird flew out of danger’s way. The animals stopped to rest at the edge of the woods by a pond. Without hesitation the little hummingbird filled its beak with water and raced right back towards the fire. Back and forth, and back and forth it went, that little hummingbird, until it was so exhausted it fell to the ground. “What are you doing?” asked the bear. “What are you doing?” asked the deer and rabbit. The little hummingbird looked up at them and said:

“I’m doing what I can
With what I have
Where I am.”