Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Movie night at the Library

It's movie night tonight (Wed, Oct. 16) at the Gabriola branch of the Vancouver Island Library,  in the Folklife Village.  They will be playing ET at 6pm, get out the kleenex and pull up a seat.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Adventure Racing!

Here we are at the finish line of our first MOMAR!

My neighbour, Vanessa, and I have spent a fair amount of time in the trails on Gabriola training for various athletic events.  First on our list was the Ride to Conquer Cancer, after that we thought we'd try a triathlon which we completed at Shawnigan Lake this spring with our friend Julie.  After training through the summer, we headed up to Cumberland to complete our first MOMAR (Mind over mountain adventure race), alongside over 450 racers.  We signed up for the sport course, a 30km trek that included kayaking, running and mountain biking, all while trying to map read to ensure we didn't miss a checkpoint and that we were headed in the right direction.  It was a gorgeous day, at 9:05 we received our map so we could start planning our route, at 10:30 we were in our kayak waiting for the countdown to begin, what seemed to be an hour later we were back on land ready to start our trail run.   The run had lots of elevation (I mean a lot) and eventually led us back to town to start the mountain bike trek, this was about the hardest hill I have ever done (actually, I think it was called a mountain) and had everyone hiking their bikes for at least a portion of the gruelling uphill grind. After a few more checkpoints we were back running again to find the next checkpoint, all the while trying to get a chance to take a glimpse of the gorgeous scenery around us.  For the last leg of our adventure we were back on the mountain bikes, wow there are a lot of good riders out there and a lot of bridges, ramps, and teeter-totters in those trails.  After 5:34 we crossed the line with smiles on our faces, and still remaining "Island View Besties".  Of course, we'll be signing up again, with husbands in tow and hopefully a few more islanders on the course. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Gertie- Gabriola's community bus.

We were lucky enough to have been near the bus stop last week when Gertie (Gabriola’s Environmentally Responsible Transport for Islanders Express) pulled up and was en route to the ferry.  The kids and I hopped on and took our first ride in Gabriola's community bus.  It's a great service, we currently have 2 buses running on the Island, friendly volunteer drivers on board, the bus is equipped with bike racks, it's comfortable and clean and a great way to get around Gabriola.  If you'd like a copy of the current schedule and for more information, visit A COMMUNITY BUS FOR GABRIOLA 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CycleArt:Downtown Nanaimo

On Sunday June 9th some fantastic organizers from the Nanaimo Design Nerds and a graphic artist team from Awarewolf Creative organized "Cycleart".  It was great, we met up at Maffeo Sutton waterfront park and painted a mural, decorated our bikes and pedalled through downtown on a scavenger hunt to the downtown businesses and ended at the Nanaimo Art Gallery.  We had a great day at this family event and we're now keen to plan a neighbourhood bike parade on Gabriola. To top it off we won some fantastic prizes (thank you New York Style PizzaCayo Fashions) and a huge thanks to all those that made this event happen.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gabriola Elementary School @ Track & Field

I took the morning off work on Wednesday to join the kids from the Gabriola Elementary School that qualified for the Zone Track & Field meet in Nanaimo, there were 57 from our school.  It was intense, fun and great to see kids in action.  I do have to say my favourite part was seeing how much these kids care for each other, there were a few kids that had minor injuries, when they did they were surrounded with kids from all grades ensuring that they were getting treatment and offering supportive encouragement, it made me so proud to be with them.  I think the community on Gabriola is doing a pretty good job raising these kids!
(the photo is of my daughter Bianca, she finished 3rd in the 1500 and is headed to the Districts)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Extreme Science at VIU

I was lucky to be one of the parent volunteers that got to go with the Gabriola Elementary grade 2/3 class to the Extreme Science show at VIU today.  It was loud, colourful and had all the kids (& adults) in the audience engaged.  It was a great way to promote the value of science to a young audience.  To start the scientists came out in lab coats armed with marshmallow guns, they later shot darts at a moving target, there was an explosion that sent ping pong balls around the auditorium, lightning, some rain clouds, and so much more.  I can't wait for the next field trip form to come around.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Art Supplies - just a great little shop nearby!

I've recently signed myself up for an online art course, with a catchy title like the "Mermaid Circus", I couldn't miss out.  Teesha Moore is one of the fabulous and talented teachers, she was also the organizer of ARTFEST, the best little art retreat in Port Townsend.  Over the weekend I had to order my supplies online as I just could find them locally, something I do with a cringe as I much prefer to support local business.  This week I heard about the House of INDIGO in downtown Nanaimo (near the Royal Bank), it not only has some great gently used clothing, the temptation starts outside of the door, but it has a great selection of quality art supplies.   Yesterday I found the time to make a 5 min trip into the store.  The store is well stocked with Golden products (including fluid & open paints,medium & texture products), journals and water-colour paper as well as pens, watercolours, beads, feathers & endless supplies.  The prices for the Golden products are better than I've found elsewhere on Vancouver Island, it's locally owned and close to the Gabriola ferry, how lucky !  If your looking for some supplies that she doesn't have, just let her know as she's willing to bring in more products.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Enjoying Earth Hour on Gabriola Island.

Earth Hour, Gabriola, Candles, Board Games, Settlers of Catan
Earth Hour

Last night (March 18 2013) we celebrated Earth Hour with our kids on Gabriola.  We turned off the lights between 8:30-9:30 pm and played a game of Catan by candlelight.  It's a way to show the kids that it is possible to do small things that make a big change against climate change.  If you haven't had a chance to play Catan, it's a great game about building, settling and resources for kids and adults alike.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hand-painted postcard anyone ?

This morning I had the pleasure of speaking with Gretchen Markle, it didn't take us long to delve into the topic of art.  Within our short conversation, I learned about a project that she said I could share with all of you.  Are there any of you out there, that just love the touch of something hand made, whether it's crafted by hand of hand written ?  I think of this project as a celebration of our good old fashion mail system - something I love as well.

Here's what I found on Gretchen's website:
'WISH YOU WERE HERE' - The Postcard Project
Do you like to receive 'REAL' mail (the old-fashioned kind)? Well, in this new project of mine, I will send you a hand-painted watercolour postcard. Interested? Read on:
I will send you a handmade postcard the old-fashioned way, i.e., by post (REAL or 'snail' mail). All I ask in return is that you send me back a postcard (homemade or commercial). On it, tell me in fifty words or fewer why you like - or don't like - to get 'real' mail.
Eventually, I'm hoping to put together an exhibit based on the postcards I send and the ones I get in return.
If you would like to participate, please fill out the following form, making sure to fill in all the boxes with an asterisk (*). If you're not sure what to put for 'Suggested by', just put in 'Gretchen' or 'you'."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Twenty-Five Walk on Gabriola - Coats Marsh Regional Park

One of the walks in the 25 walks on Gabriola Brochure that Gabriola Land and Trails Trust published (GALLT)
Coats Marsh, Gabriola Island

Last year the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust published a brochure with 25 walk on Gabriola.  We're aiming to do all 25 and share our experiences with you this year, here's the second one we've done.

In the Gabriola Elementary School the students have been given a topic that they will study throughout their years in school.  My daughter has ponds/lakes as her topic and my son has reptiles, they can explore any aspect of these topics that they want and the idea is that they learn about it in depth (LID).
I decided for this weeks walk that we should go and explore the Coats Marsh Regional Park (walk #11 in the brochure) as I thought it might help them generate some ideas that they might want to explore in their research.

We turned onto Coats Rd from South Road, and after about 1km we turned left onto Stanley Rd.  We parked at the end of Stanley (a very short rd) and found the trail head.  We were wearing our gumboots, came with our paper and pencils and we were almost dressed warm enough!  It's a very short easy 5 minute walk from the parking area to the marsh, where we were all awe struck.  In a quiet setting with no houses in site, we found an expansive marsh, about 20 beautiful white trumpet swans and the sounds and calls of nature.  

We had to stop several times on our exploration of the marsh, not because it was a difficult walk, but because the kids had found one more thing they had seen, wanted to research, or wanted to remember, and they needed to make a note of it.  After a bit of exploring, my son pointed out the Beaver dam across the marsh.  With a little more exploration we saw the trees that the beaver had been busy chomping down, and the pathways from the marsh to the trees.  

We spent about an hour on our walk, and we all decided it was one of the best walks we've gone on, but with the night setting in we had to call it a night and promises were made to return their soon, with our gumboots on and our notepads in hand!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Anti bullying on Gabriola - Thanks to the BCTF

The Gabriola Elementary School PAC has organized a presentation on Anti bullying through the BC Teachers Federation.  Benula Larsen will give a one hour presentation free of charge and allow parents to learn strategies, gain knowledge and share concerns.  Benula is a practising teacher who is volunteering to share her knowledge and experience in these areas.

This presentation will take place on Wed, Jan 23 in the Gabriola Elementary School Library from 6-7pm.  

Here's a bit of information on anti bullying from the BCTF website: 

Anti bullying
Bullying behaviours are no longer acceptable in our society and schools are attempting to do something about them.  This introductory session on anti bullying will include: the definition, the bullying triad, the cycle of bullying, and the signs to watch for if your child is being bullied.  Participants will also learn and share strategies for bully proofing children.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Twenty Five Walks on Gabriola - Sandwell Park

Gabriola, Beach, Walks on Gabriola, Lynch's
Sandwell Park, Gabriola Island

The Gabriola Land and Trails Trust published a great brochure with 25 walks on Gabriola.  We're going to try and do the 25 walks listed this year and share them you.
Over the holidays we took the kids to Sandwell Park (walk #15 in the brochure), a beautiful sand and pebble bay on Gabriola.  To get to the parking lot, you drive to the end of the Strand.  You'll see a yellow gate and a wide path, a 5-10 minute walk gets you to the bay, there is a steep part so watch your footing.  At the bay there are outhouses and an expanse of beach and driftwood lies before you.
It took us about an hour with kids in tow to walk down the path and along the beach, of course we stopped and beachcombed along the way.  There are some beautiful clear winter days when you can see down to Mt. Baker, we were lucky that this was one of those days.