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.

Make Something Every Day

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.

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?

Make 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

Blue sea sky Haida Gwaii blog. You should follow it. Just sayin.

This is a fabulous blog by a great writer, on my favourite island, that I used to reside on ~ in the north pacific of Canada. Enjoy.

blue sea sky

A lot of my day revolves around the kitchen table, really. (And this is ironic, I suppose, because I don’t even have an actual kitchen table at the moment!) But you know what I mean. A good many hours of my day’s work are accomplished at the counters and chopping boards, over the stove, minding the oven, and hands in hot soapy water at the kitchen sink.

And right here beside me, on the kitchen floor, my daily trek over the years is visibly etched. The enamel paint has worn right through to bare wood from sink, to stove, to fridge, to chopping board. Epic marathons are traced in these grooves.

No matter how smart I might get to thinking I am, or how puffed up I might get about doing “important work,” at the end of my day, there I am … chopping those carrots, scrubbing the potatoes, and…

View original post 1,194 more words

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

BEST foundobjectbeach item EVER

38 Inspiring objects

#3 of 38. 

Japanese Glass Fish Float from Haida Gwaii, BC. This is the one remaining fishing float from a fleet of dozens that were given away when I loved off island. I proudly gathered them after  south wester wind storms, while living on Haida Gwaii, almost a decade ago. The magic of my 5 years there is still forefront in my creative heart. Just ask anyone who knows me  ~I’ll blore you to death with stories of living off the grid in a driftwood cabin, surfing, driftwood, making art daily, seashells, best friends and Haida culture. I love this float and it sits proudly in every house that we rent.

#4 of 38.

The Princess Bell Telephone is back! Truth be told ~ I had an original princess bell in my bedroom as ateenager. The ringer is obnoxiously loud like an army of machine guns going off. I love it. This one is a cheap replacement from a thrift store, as the original was sold at a family garage sale. I’m still mad at my parents for that. On Quadra ~ cell does not work so we were forced to bite Telus cult bullet and get a land line. This is our proud phone (with a wireless back up ~ thanks to Dad). 

Make Something Every Day

Thrift store scores!

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Major cabin fever set in yesterday. And it rained!!! I agreed to get up on my day off and get on the 8am ferry with my sweety, just so I could have the car! I spent the day doing errands then thrifting in CR, hoping for some creative inspirations.
Above are my finds! Who doesn’t love a bag of clown and barbie heads for 25 cents? Also a ziploc of new zippers for same. Best score was the pottery mug shown. It matches my Tlell bell which…. is also made by bottle and jug pottery! ~ my FAV pottery studio in Tlell, Haida Gwaii! It is stamped “I didn’t go to Expo”. Score for 10 cents! (the Bell came from a thrift store in Kimberley).

Heres an interesting link (& upside down post… classic HG)… Of my fav artists/ studios on Haida Gwaii, including my pottery crush.

http://www.hgartscouncil.ca/images/Art%20Route%20Brochure.pdf

As well I’m not sure what era or what I’ll do with it but the green pottery vase is pretty awesome. Thanxs Salal for modelling it (& laying on my chest as i text this entry from bed). Maybe for paint brushes but I’ll research it first.
Make Something Every Day

Port & Wine


Next time we make hootch, we’ll get the equipment and do it from home.We have been shopping for a u-brew that we like in Campbell. still no luck. This latest one didn’t even have wine tasting & cheese. Imagine. smerk*. I made it regularily on Haida Gwaii. In fact, I ruined a bathtub making my 2nd place ribbon at the Fall Fair ~ homemade blackberry wine.

We bottled a house white Gwertzraminer.  We also (and when I say “we” I mean Corey and I  went in, chose the hootch, gave the nice lady our money and I went back and bottled it this week)… WE also  made a PORT. yum Port. A  bit pricier and an extra 2 weeks to make. Ideally it requires an  extra year to age but that never happens. This special brew always gets an extra filtration before they bottle ~so post filter and pre-bottle, I add in a 250ml of Apricot Brandy! This gives it a fruit finish. This time, I added one of those AND a 250ml of Mango Brandy. The fruityness and booze level is mucho high. Drop in at the cabin for a tasting. Mi casa est su casa.

One week officially until we leave for  our wedding in Mexico!

MAKE SOMETHING EVERY DAY

Remember Salal’s birthday

Happy Remember Day Canada!

I’m sure all “cat-people” at one time say they never thought they’d be a cat person and post photos of their cat online.  Salal turns 10 years old today. He was rescued during a child protection child removal from a foster home on the  Old Masset reserve on Haida Gwaii. I was not a cat person but heard the squeal and went nuts taking him home. My admin also ran the SPCA on island and hooked me up with all the gear and knowledge. I  named Salal after the BC wild blueberry bush that grows up to the armpits on Haida Gwaii and also here on Quadra Island.

Amos nursed him and I brought him to work for 6 weeks and fed him with an eye dropper. He hid under my clothes in major meetings, diffused MANY an angry reluctant youth counselling session and became a car cat, as a result. He’s super healthy and tolerates his cat brother Estevan. He likes to jump in the bathe with Kate. Even my dad loved him. Here’s some of my favs photos over time of Salal-berry-Jam-face.

the eagle

It’s because I’m sitting too close isn’t it?
6 sets of eagle thighs vs. one of mine. I’ve been working out but I’m pretty sure an eagle could take me out. It also occurs to me that I could have left the dead fish heads at low tide.
The tide coming in is just washing dead fish heads closer to me.
What I do to get the right shot. I’m doing my part to further domesticate the endangered balde eagle of northern coastal British Columbia. wink.
Heading into hour two of Fish Head Eagle Photo Shoot and still no fantastic shot. The wind is SE today at 40 km, they are not landing and I’m getting cold.
I want “the” shot. Not just another overdigitized, cropped in, then over digitized eagle shot, on macro with a 320mm zoom lens.
Here’s a slideshow with a few that I like. *enjoy*