How to Make a Baby

Okay the title is misleading. Here are a few photos of the zillions I just edited, organized and purged. Note to all ~ never keep 12 000 photos on your laptop without an external drive. I just purged down to 4000 and backed them up. phew. Week 10 with Fern and time to get some projects finished and posted! Next project is blowing up and printing some family photos to make our family photo frame wall! stay tuned.

These again were taken by Bluetree Photography’s NJ. SOOO glad we had her to capture our process of baby making. These photos taken at 8.5 months pregnant, at the best beach on the east coast of Vancouver Island and the old growth forest beside it. I’m trying to post photos here that I didn’t on facebook.

Make Something Every Day

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We Are Getting Some Weather

Well, it looked like this on my commute to work this am.

We have moved.. so the commute is backwards to last year. This is north of Courtenay headed to Campbell River, BC.

Photo taken holding iphone out the window.

Imagine how awesome it could have been if I had the real camera?IMG_3771

And by the time dinner came, back in Courtenay, we took this photo out the front window.

I’m thinking maybe the end of the world IS coming?

 IMG_3821Happy Holidays! 

and

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Kitty Does Have Nine Lives

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After our awesome, sweet heart of a dog passed on in May, I began to wonder if its best friend Salal ~was experiencing depression?  The grey, 11 year old cat from Haida Gwaii, lost his spunk & appetite in a matter of  3 weeks. Nothing we offered helped. I force fed him for weeks after our travelling vet told us it was renal (kidney) failure.  (which was not a joy for my husband or myself). He bit through endless syringes and turkey basters.  I was not giving up. Recently, we added the stress of moving to this list. The move went well. Plan B. We added a small dose of daily vallium to his routine. His appetite came back but he didn’t gain any weight. He also looked like a drunk at 2 am in his back legs, which was at first funny ~then sad.
Plan C!    I visited our new neighborhood vet, a naturopathic and Chinese medicine based healer. She was awesome! Tree of Life Vet. I didn’t have an ap’t but she answered my questions in the waiting room. She photocopied 2 recipes for cat renal failure and I bought a tub of powder to put on it.
I went from there to the grocer and spent $25 on 2 months fresh ingredients. The salmon was a score as I got a huge tray of ends (it didn’t need to be pretty).  It looked like poop, lol.  Long story shorter…. Salal is wolfing down his food – both the salmon recipe & regular kibble and is off the meds. His gaunt cheeks are regaining their chub! Yeah me & new vet! I’m making another batch today & will tell you about the chicken recipe next month.

Any questions, please comment below.

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We bought a HOUSE!

38 Inspiring Objects #11     our HOUSE!

I know, so exciting right? I keep hearing the price is right announcer bellowing out “Corey & Jen… you have  bought a house! C’moon down!” lol. With much love and support from family OXOXOX we will be moving into our first house together as a family, on September 15th! It’s in Courtenay BC, in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. Otherwise known as “the big island”. We are stoked. I’ve already been taking paint swatches to bed and planning the move. But where will the craft room go? So that’s been keeping us pretty busy this summer. winks*

Make Something  Every Day

 

Homemade Blackberry Fruit Roll Ups !

“Are you gunna make fruit roll ups today”? Nope, that is not a four year old. That was my husband bugging me for the last few days. So yes. Today I took my first shot at home made blackberry fruit roll ups, in our new dehydrator (see bottom).

And here’s how we did it.
1. Pick a big freezer bag size of local blackberries from all your neighbour’s bushes. Prime time= end of August.
2. Clean and dry.


3. Make an apple sauce in blender just in case whatever kind of berry you choose needs thickening. Use the fruit bowl apples you hoped said husband would take for lunches but never does.


4. Put bag of blackberries in blender on low til they produce a somewhat thick syrup. Use juice if needed to get the blender goin’. Yum.


5. Mix apple w blackberries.


6. Pam spray roll up flat inserts. We did three.


7. Pour mixture on evenly. Lick spatula.


8. Turn dehydrator on to 130-140 degrees for 4-8 hrs.


9. Take out when leathery dry.
10. Cut to size. Roll. Store individually in seran and store in a Ziploc in freezer. They come out looking like photo #7.

38 Inspiring Objects

#10  the New Lee Valley Dehydrator.

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Our Day in Local Produce

Although we can’t wait to move off this overpriced tourist destination of an island, I have to say in the summer there is something to be said for leading a lifestyle based on the 100 mile diet ~ if you can. Yesterday Corey forced me off the couch to go blackberry picking, again. It’s an annual tradition with us, one that we swore we’d take more seriously this season. It’s a dangerous but yummy sport. Full chain metal clothing required. Three afternoons have been spent so far with a few more to go. What are we using them for? Our morning smoothies, beer & wine making, fruit roll ups, desserts.. you name it. I’m considering writing a therapy article entitled something like “The Couple that Picks Berries Together, Stays Together“. What do you think?

After berry picking we head to Fox road to our favourite EGG guy. I also buy handmade croched face and kitchen cloths from his daughter. Both items are found with an honour system for cash trade in this adorable fridge at the end of their farm driveway. The cat in the egg photo is a curious Salal (our cat).

   

As we drove back down the road we spot this… (dad will surely comment on the budweiser flat)

Further around the corner we see two red coolers with a “VEGGIES” sign. We stop and again on the honour system purchase these yellow beans and 6 hot peppers. What a hoot. Total spent for local produce in one afternoon? $6.50.Now I’d love to be one of those righteous “organic” (said with nose in the air) people that we are about to surround ourselves with on our next move in two weeks.. SEE BLOG TOMORROW ! but the truth is ~ from there we went and purchased a $30 pizza. Yes, that’s what I said. A $30 pizza at the only place on the island to get take out pizza. lol. And it was good. We finished our pizza and bottled a pinot grigio wine, in our rental bathroom for the last time. Quadra Island your days are numbered.

Zuke’s  and beans for dinner tonight, my creative blogger friends. Do you shop locally? Organically? I will be harvesting the garden & plum, apple trees and dehydrating herbs ~basil, mint and cat mint and cherry and roma tomatoes from the topsy turvy experiment in the next 2 weeks so stay tuned… And thanxs for staying with me.  xo. 

Make Something (grow) Every Day

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It’s my job to marinate the Sockeye Salmon

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And marinate I did. It’s a foggy day at Alder Bay (across from Alert Bay on Bc’s north Vancouver Island coast ~ also around the corner from Telegraph Cove ~ for those google mapping). My sweety went to do a scuba job in Port McNeill for the afternoon and I’m chillin by the fire, watching fishing boats come in. After my blueberry snack I’m heading out with my trusty slr camera. I’m bringing my biggest member because size counts when photographing eagles & the whales, that I’m most certain are waiting for me. Smerk* Other excitement today was the lady that ran from from site to site inviting us to the dock. “In 10 mins the Stanley Cup is being helicoptered over”. I’m guessing the winning team had a player from Port McNeil (name lost on this artist already…). Proud Canadians jumped and waved in the 2 secs it took to fly by. I was at least hoping it would be dangling below it? Non.

Back to our dinner. Actually bought this fish in CR the other day while visiting the fishing dock with my sweet dad. I just did the simple BC BBQ marinade: deboned her, split her open, fresh lemon squeezed and sliced, some chives, some fresh dill. Tin foiled her up, zip locked her to be “cooler safe” & laid her on a bed of ice til the chef gets home. I’m guessing hibachi bbq’d not campfire. What are you having for dinner?

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PS. This blog was photographed & submitted entirely on my iPhone by the campfire. We can’t even get cel coverage at home! Yeah!
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Berry Picking is a Labour of Love *or* What to Do with a Kajillion Huckleberries?

It’s that time of the year again. So much fun to wander around the yard in barely any clothes and pick your dessert… or pick your smoothie ingredients for the next day… or? What do you do with huckleberries?

We’ve never lived where there are so many bushes of them, so we thought we’d give it a go this year. My Love bought an actual Berry Scoop from Lee Valley, when we there earlier in the month. It’s pretty amazing. Though, it’s still a labour of love separating greenery and bugs etc from berries and storing them. We just started tonight. My Love had to climb the cherry tree ~ they are ready but super high up! I saw a raven the size of an eagle in that tree today.  Competition is tuff. It’s not even fully salmonberry or blackberry seasons yet. See blog posts this time last year. What we also have on the horizon are three kinds of apple trees and a plum tree. yippee. Missing in these photos? Strawberries ~ we ate them promptly while picking.

the berry scoop !

Make (Gather) Something Every Day

Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone?

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly uses the phrase “the mean reds” to describe her generalised anxiety:

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

I’ve been off the blog (& got back logged on my record a day blog) because we’ve been off line ~cruising around this wonderful province. The heat is here and we’ve got to get out while it lasts. Thats was one wet and long winter and spring, heh? Here’s a few snaps I took in Vancouver a couple weekends ago, while out playing. We saw Wimbledon Finals on the huge screen in 3D (thrilling and an new annual event for sure! federer is #1 again. All is well in the world), saw Spider-man in 3D (save your money ~it was medium at best), ate out,  ordered in (until you live remotely you never know how thrilling Thai food delivered to your door at odd hours is), shopped on Robson, slept like a king and queen in my in-laws incredible condo, had a Lee Vally and an Ikea visit (duh) and other fun stuff too. I love Vancouver. And I love my husband. All photos taken on my iphone, most while hanging out the car window. Some are from the Vancouver China Town summer night market. Can you spot my handsome husband in one of these photos?

 

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Japan Tsunami ~Coast of BC Canada Beaqch Cleanup.

I’ve signed up already. Will you!? Please read this article. danke. xo. love your beachcomber ~Fireygoddess.

Volunteers sought for West Coast tsunami debris cleanup

CBC News

Posted: May 11, 2012 2:21 PM PT – click on the triangle to view an informative video.

Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C.
Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. (Jonathan Hayward/CP Images)The wave of debris from the Japanese tsunami that is starting to wash up on the West Coast has prompted a call for volunteers to clean up the trash.

The Vancouver Aquarium and the World Wildlife Fund are teaming up to recruit volunteers to pick up everything from bottles, to plastics, fishing paraphernalia to appliances, that is expected to wash up on North America’s coastline.   In recent months, some of the first debris that drifted across the Pacific has triggered international interest, including a container with a Harley Davidson motorcycle, some volleyballs that have been traced back to their owners, and even an unmanned fishing vesselthat was sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.

But residents in Alaska and Haida Gwaii, which used to be known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, have reported that more and more uninteresting trash has also been washing up.

Making a list to be ready

The aquarium’s Jill Dwyer is in charge of a registry of volunteers needed to collect the junk, and she said people can sign up for the cleanup registry at www.shorelinecleanup.ca.

“We don’t really know when the majority of the debris is going to start hitting our shorelines, where it’s going to hit or how much,” Dwyer said Friday.

“What we’re doing is just getting a list of volunteers who would be willing to help when needed and then we’ll connect them with the site co-ordinator or the local people on the ground who would actually be organizing the cleanup.”

Dwyer said ocean debris could be harmful to wildlife if it contains chemicals or if animals ingest items or become entangled in them.

According to some estimates, the March 2011 tsunami washed between 1.5 and 18 million tonnes of debris into the Pacific Ocean.

The recruitment effort is separate from the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, which has been happening across Canada every September for the last 19 years. A spring cleanup of shorelines involving students began in B.C. last year and has now started in Ontario.

making my commute to work more creative

All photos taken holding my iphone out the window of my car as I commute from Quadra Island through Campbell River en route to my practice in Courtenay, on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

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beachcombing 101

We explored the top west coast of Vancouver Island for Canada Day weekend and it was OUTSTANDING! blogs and photos to come this weekend when i get a chance to process some stuff on here. yippee. I took some great travel shots. ‘Til then, here’s a comic that my sweetheart forwarded yesterday.

Happy almost summer (seriously c’moon sun!)

Make Something Every Day

Gourmet Pesto Quinoa stuffed chicken breasts!

 oh Julia!
Yet another reason for YouTube~ to learn how to stuff a chicken breast. I had no idea. The above was entertaining & Julia is lovely as always but below is really helpful. Especially about putting the breast in a ziploc before pounding it! Smart. 

And what is the husband and father review? 

not the prettiest after photo, but you get the idea.

Recipe came from this awesome quinoa book.

Make (stuff) Something Every Day

adventures of my green thumbs begins.

I’m learning how to garden! I know, exciting right? Living in this glorious retreat ~ and by glorious I mean a whole lotta “free” work on our end while paying someone else’s mortgage… Anywho.. the gardens are spectacular, at last!  I’ve been weeding and cutting flowers for vases for both my therapy offices and for both bathrooms and the kitchen, in the house. Awesome. So I have spent some time photographing the progress and I thought i’d start sharing photos of new finds, researching what they are and anything interesting about them, how to close down stuff as it dies (we had this overwhelming daffodil bed by the front door that I discovered I was supposed to trim after it died off.. leading me to wonder.. do I have to remove the greens from all bulbous plants after they kick it? I dunno). *** see middle photo with the ends of the poppies. Do I dry them out in a paper bag all winter and plant that? or is it just the little dry purple hairs that I plant?*** THIS IS WHERE THE PARTICIPATION FROM YOU BLOG FRIENDS, READING THIS ~ COMES IN! Please comment below or send me a link? danke.*

I just like the colours and smells and the ambiance they bring our summer life now. lol. So I’m learning and thought you might like to witness my learning and contribute  a thing or three for my learning? oui? Let’s begin our adventure of my green thumbs together.

This weeks’ fav flower is the peone. Have you smelt a peone lately? Oh man. This is the flower to put in the bathroom that really makes a difference after the mano f the house does his morning business. And what a great name. Did I even spell it correctly? Also pictured here is my new fav summer drink The Orchard peach Cider. yum. And I managed a craft placement of my fish ice cubes! As well, my arms took a serious beating when I tried to pick the pretty pink roses that have sprouted up everywhere! eek.

More on roses another time, there’s several species here.

Make (or grow) Something Every Day

Wes Anderson delivers again

Movie review! We don’t have a theatre on the island where we currently reside. So when we get off island / on mini vaca’s we take in flicks. When in Vancouver recently, we went to the movies two nights in a row. The Avengers in 3D & some forgettable Johnny Depp is a vampire this week ~movie. But tonight!? Tonight we saw a whimsical movie after my own heart. The very creative, colorful & odd Wes Anderson movie ~Moonrise Kingdom. 4.5 stars (out 5). The cast, staging, soundtrack, geography, and set up of the movie were glorious. This movie has craftsmanship. For whatever that’s worth. It ended and I had ~that head tilted to side ~ thing happening. I wanted to see it again as soon as possible. Lovely.

If you loved The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Darjeeling, The L:ife Aquatic and The Royal Tennenbams you are in good company with Moonrise Kingdom. Just the right amount of French Music combined with just enough saturated down colours equal a delicious piece of fun. The plot could have been deeper but it really was an essential must see movie. He really loves the dioramas. This video is Bill Murray giving a set tour. So Bill. 

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Wrap me in bacon. And by that I mean ~ wrap bacon around everything*

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These were my contribution to dinner tonight. My sweets was out fishing today. So after I got more than enough sun, and by sun I mean haze and humid, not direct sun! ~I came in and prepped a side dish. He was kayak fishing on the ocean so I didn’t want to offend and make a meat dish in case the catch of the day was halibut! Bacon. Just the word posted beside the word halibut makes me want to try that now too. I used the crockpot and recipe book (wow, I’ve come so far in one year, eh?) to cut down on the fat quota but don’t worry these little bad boys were as bad for us as they were delicious. My husband was very pleased, indeed. No fish brought home, though many caught and cool go pro videos to go with them. He bbq’d ribs. oh my. Team work.

PS. on the bacon theme ~ said gorgous and sweet-toothed husband has a crush on the toffee lady at the Saturday Farmers market, here on Quadra Island. Oh yes, he does. She makes organic chocolates, truffles, toffees. Today he bought 3 bags of naughty. Bacon toffee & almond bark. He always buys the bacon toffee. Today she actually warned him to “take care of your teeth!”. Which I thought was cool. Perhaps she could give away toothbrushes too? No bacon shame.

***fish on!

It was a strong start to the fishing season, yesterday June 17, th, 2012.. Fathers Day. Yes! Johnny Cash week this week consisted of my dad, myself and my handsome husband on re -con of the Quinsam River in Campbell River, in Beautiful Bristish Columbia. With JC playing in the car, the sun trying to peek out.. off we went.

The stats? A few bites, nothing caught but a lovely afternoon on the banks of the Quinsam river, below the hatchery. Um, it’s gorgous~ just outside of Campbell River. Myself, I’m an ocean girl so I’m looking forward to the future “we have a boat days” (shh baby, I know, there there, we’ll get a boat someday!) ~the ocean sick days out on the pacific ocean swells. You can call me “Ginger” then. 

It was a lovely start to the season. Happy Fathers Day Dad, love You ~ Jenny Penny

A slideshow for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

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Bacon Wrapped Corn on the Cob

That’s what I said. Is there no shame? BBQ husband extraordinaire (I’ve never touched the thing but that’s another story for another time) was handed a few items for the BBQ, when he arrived home tonight. I got the idea for this recipe from a podcast on CBC radio3 about summer and bbq’s and surf music. It was blasted all afternoon while I gardened.. see other post about today’s romp in the garden, in the sun. Then I looked it up  and found this recipe click here for foodnetwork bacon corn recipe We saw the potential for a seriously naughty yummy treat but our corn was not quite in season. It was motivation for sure, to try it again n season.

before

We also bbq’d up some some portobello mushrooms ~I made a garlic butter and sea salt scrub for them and marinated for 30 mins before the bbq master took them to meet their maker. I also threw together some Old Mill Cornmeal and niblet  muffins with feta~organic, gluten-free la de da. They were blah and really too wholesome without the butter, flour and milk. smerk*

PS. HAPPY 1st day of SUMMER! 

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tried tested and true MEC

38 Inspiring Objects 

#8 The MEC Merganser tent and #9    the MEC thermos.

Both purchased pre-Haida Gwaii, during university days approx 10 years ago? Both in sort of mint condition still today! Used 2 weeks ago on our season opener camping trip on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. If you’re Canadian you know all about MEC. It’s an equipment co-op. It’s THE equipment co-op, really. Print catelogs no order exist so it’s all online at http://www.mec.ca I have lived remotely and in cities in Canada and always had a catalog at hand (& an Ikea one..lol). Their stuff is enviro friendly, lots of organics, durable, lasts forever and is all fully replaced if it ever dies.  These are just two of my fav oldest items from them. Happy to sport them again this camping season and picked up a few nice new MEC items this month as well – dresses, canoe foam racks, waterproofer etc. I swear photos of that trip will get posted this weekend! (some are amazing, if I do say so myself).

What’s your MEC story?

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Cruise Ship to work

This takes us calling the small ferry to the big island (on our daily commutes to work) “the cruise”  to a hole new level. This was taken from my iphone, in my car on the wee ferry headed back to Quadra. Usually they are doing the Vancouver to Alaska trip. This isn’t even close to the biggest cruise ships that come through here in the tourist season. Cool, though, heh?

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May ~purge a thing a day report!

30-38 UNinspired objects.

As per my May Purge challenge…here’s my list.

1. thrift store score $1 car racing kids game that we had fun with then i sent it in a pkg to kate in NS

2. HP printer journal – doesn’t work with our printer ~ why am i keeping it?

3. Wax sex toy joke thing from wedding (unopened)

4. lp console- got a new turntable for xmas from my love so why am i keeping thiw antique if it doesnt work – craigsliat?

5. 2 folder things

6. a dog toy

7. records. my record blog -justfortherecords.wordpress.com -a big box of rejects leaves every month. I get them thrift and return them thrift.

8. make up. I’m new to make up and realize now that it expires so “b-bye”.

9. May 2- I finished a physical 12 day herbal Wild Rose detox purge. That counts, non!?

10. Plastic toys, crayons, sequins, a crystal, old maps, kids & adult books, a dinosaur, 3 pieces of jewelry etc.. In a pkg for a friend on the other coast of Canada.

11. 2 DVDs

12. Bathroom hygiene products x5

13. Tube of tennis balls

14. Sweater I love but I shrink. Ugg.

15. hygeine products- unopened stuff that’s sat here over a year. x5

16. Frames

17. Books-several that if I haven’t read em yet…

18-21. dog bowls, food scoop, pottery water dish, to the thrift store for another doggie to enjoy.

22. Odd stuff like rope, a belt,

23. Lots of clothes

24. File folder thing for receipts.

25. camping gear

26. Glasses & mugs

27. 2 pillows

28. Husbands clothes

29. Kitchen wood bowl

30. More clothes x4

My sweety is away at camp & when he returns this week I’ll add his pile to my car load & off it will go up the ladies transition house thrift store in Courtenay. Missing from the photo is the console, a xmas tree stand, some furniture.

TIPS for your PURGE:

1. did I use it / wear it this year?

2. is there a sentimental value that couldn’t be replaced / isn’t recorded somewhere else?

3. is it multi-purpose?

4. do i see myself packing and moving and unpacking this item?

5. can i picture myself missing it in 5 years?

Make Something (or purge something) Every Day

a beach story I’ve been following

A Harley Davidson lost in the tsunami changed my life

by Community Team Posted: May 18, 2012 3:38 PM
A Harley Davidson lost in the Japanese Tsunami was found in Haida Gwai. (Peter Mark/CBC)
My name is Peter Mark. I am 32 years old and reside in Masset, B.C. On March 11, 2011 I, along with millions of others around the world watched in awe and horror as the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami ravaged northeastern Japan. Those images of vehicles, boats, buildings and even entire towns being swallowed up by sea will stick with all of us forever. Harder to comprehend is the cost of human life, the loss of family and community networks that are gone forever and can not be repaired or replaced. On that day more than 15,000 people died and many, many more lost family, friends, their homes, their communities and everything but the clothes on their back.

A year has passed since the horrific events of that disaster. I recently received a stark reminder of the event that quite literally shook the world. On April 18th I was beachcombing on the east coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands and came face to face with a piece of the aftermath from the wave that took so much from so many. In just 13 months an insulated container holding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, five golf clubs, tools, tent poles and other small weathered bits and pieces drifted across the Pacific Ocean some 6,500 kilometers and came ashore in an area I frequently visit.

The container washed up on a remote beach approximately 50 km south of Rose Spit. When I first arrived on the scene I was in shock. I could see the motorcycle from a distance but it wasn’t until I got closer that I could see the license plate, a bent, algae encrusted piece of metal with Japanese characters on it. We knew tsunami debris was coming but I never expected something this big this soon, never mind a Harley Davidson!

My first thought was, “What?!?”. It dawned on me that this was something that might be in my backyard, something one of my neighbors might own. These were somebody’s belongings, somebody that might have lost everything, possibly even their life.

The unit had thick styrofoam under the fiberglass exterior which allowed it to float. How the bike and other items remained in the container all the way across the Pacific is a mystery to me. The bike was not tied down and the door of the container was ripped off. It was quite an eerie feeling stepping inside. It felt as though I was trespassing on someone’s property. I also knew this might be the first known item that washed ashore from the tsunami that could be traced, both by the license plate and the VIN on the motorcycle. I took several pictures of the container and the items inside.

Being on my ATV and alone there was no way for me to move a 600 pound bike from the container to high ground. I looked through the contents of the container for anything that could be saved. Everything was in bad condition. The bike was very rusty and banged up. The other items were badly corroded and equally battered. All I could save were the golf clubs that seemed to resist the corrosive effects of the salt water better than everything else. I could see that there was a water line showing on the bike, it looked as though it was sitting in at least 8 inches of water for quite some time. I also suspect waves would have often swept through the open door.

When I returned home from the beach I told several of my fellow beachcombers and friends about the find. I also researched the Internet on how to report such a find. I found very little out. NOAA posted an e-mail address for reporting debris. I sent an e-mail to them and have yet to receive a reply. Quickly word spread. It wasn’t very long before CBC got in touch with me (April 24th). I made them a deal. I told them that I would supply the VIN number and photos of the license plate so they could confirm the bikes’ origins before posting the story. Right away they called me back. I was informed the plate was registered in the Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami. We had our smoking gun.

The CBC ran the story on the evening of April 29th. I was not prepared for the amount of attention the story would receive. Immediately Ralph Tieleman from Vancouver Island contacted me. A man I have never met before. He asked if I would be able to recover the motorcycle? I had not considered it. The bike was in such bad shape I didn’t think it would be practical to do anything with. I thought it would stay on the beach, a memorial to the Tōhoku tsunami. Ralph offered with the help of his friends to restore the motorcycle and return it to its owner if they could be located. We knew this would be an expensive undertaking. The bike was virtually destroyed. They would need to strip the bike to its frame and start from almost scratch. I agreed and the next day with the help of my friends we went and recovered the motorcycle.

In the following days I did interviews with 4 or 5 major news agencies in North America and 5 in Japan! Late in the evening on April 30th a Japanese news correspondent located in California called me with good news, the owner of the bike was alive! From the moment I laid eyes on the motorcycle I wondered the fate of the owner. I had my fingers crossed and was hoping he/she would be found alive. There it was, the words I was hoping for, “They found him, he’s alive!”. I went to bed with a sense of relief. The next morning the CBC called with the news.

Twenty-nine year old Ikuo Yokoyama lost much on that day in March 2011. While I was watching on TV, Ikuo lost three family members including his father and brother. His house, the container in his backyard he used as a shop/garage for his motorcycle and everything he owned were swept away by the devastating wave. I was very happy Ikuo was alive but overwhelmed by the thought that so many others were not. Ikuo like thousands of others, is currently living in temporary housing. The man from CBC referred me to an online video interview from NHK with Ikuo. He was looking at pictures of the motorcycle that I had taken. He expressed how happy it was found and returning to him, “A miracle!” he stated. He also wanted to thank me.

Harley Davidson stepped in. They heard what Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman were planning to do and decided to finance the restoration. They contacted Mr Yokoyama and told him about the planned restoration. Despite the desire to be reunited with his lost bike Ikuo declined the offer. He said that he was not financially capable of owning the bike nor did he have room to store it in his temporary shelter. He thought it wasn’t fair to spend so much on his bike when so many others had nothing. It is very honorable that Ikuo has put the needs of others and the needs of his community above his own hopes and desires. Harley Davidson has offered to give the money they would have spent on fixing and returning the bike to a tsunami relief fund in Ikuo’s name instead. Harley Davidson is going to stabilize and preserve the bike. It will either be put in a museum or made into a memorial for the victims of the tsunami. They have offered to pay for the salvage of the bike and the transport to Vancouver Island. Hats off to Harley Davidson, Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman for stepping up to the plate and doing a good thing.

The story isn’t over yet. So many people have lost so much. There may be few opportunities to reunite people with their missing belongings. I feel that there still may be something I can do for Ikuo and plans are in the works.

I have been told that items like the motorcycle were not insured for events like earthquakes. A reporter from a Japanese news agency sent me an article about insurance for the tsunami victims. It states only 23% of people were insured. People that had insurance were only covered for their houses. Vehicles, cash, items worth more than $3000 and businesses were not covered. It seems that Ikuo will receive nothing for his lost belongings. When I try to put myself in Ikuo’s shoes I come to the conclusion it would be very hard to decline Harley Davidson’s offer to return a prized possession after loosing everything. Could you do it? I know many people in Canada are financially strapped, especially in the northwest but in comparison to the events unfolding in Japan we’ve got it pretty darn good.

This has been a wake up call. There are no good systems in place for reporting tsunami debris and no plans as of yet to deal with it once it’s here. Its very likely that much more debris is coming. It is very important that any items located should be treated with respect. I’m sure there will be times when personal items can be retuned to their rightful owners. Common sense is important in these cases. Not everything can be returned and there will be many cases the items would bring back bad memories for the original owner. There are many people that care about the beaches and spend a lot of time on them. I’m sure many of these people will go out of their way to clean up debris. Nowadays the world is a very small place. I hope people keep this in mind. I myself live in a coastal town on the ring of fire. One day my ATV or boat may wash up on the shore of Japan. If that ever were to happen I know I’d hope that my belongings would be treated with respect as well. I also hope that government agencies will work will local people who have been exploring the local beaches for years if not decades. Many of us have a deep understanding of ocean currents and what types of items might wash up and where. This knowledge may prove invaluable in the years to come.

Peter Mark
May 2012

she’s got good eggs

Well someone’s been making a little something, haven’t they? These beauties are in a nest on the craft-room porch. Spotted today April 28, 2012 ~ I will keep a close watch on them and report back! Birds have been a big feature of my Spring on Quadra, as we have no cable. lol. I’m stoked to watch these hatch! From the hot tub, we spotted the momma heading into the nest.  And last night, I was prompted by my friend Berry on Haida Gwaii (via FBK) to buy the Audobon APP for $1 (usually $20 usually) as it was John Audobon’s birthday yesterday. I added it from iTunes and fell asleep learning that Robin’s are in the thrush family. Then today I spy Robin eggs!  In the hot tub I was sure I was seeing Robin’s mating and wondered if the App showed mating rituals? i’ll keep you posted. 

((PS. while writing this post – I had to get up and got outside to photograph a woodpecker on the large Maple Tree outside the window. On my way out I spotted a baby NEWT on our doorstep. Photos of those gems tomorrow. Jen-Geographic to the rescue!))

Make Something Every Day