in my pajamas

Am I becoming a bore about the whale? I accept that you are all probably sick of hearing about water systems, sunsets and tomatoes but admit it, talking about our new resident humpback whale has got to be a reprieve from covid statistics or one more ignorant quote from that moron in the country below us.

And so … my day with a whale

I sat down with my coffee at 6:30. Bobby, the whale swam north in front of me almost immediately.. Hmmm I thought.. Where does he actually sleep?

At 8:30 when E was walking the dog, I noticed Bobby swimming just under the deck, again heading north.. He seems to be swimming circles in the channel in front of us. To those of you who know the island, he swims from one end of Link to Morris’s and then back.. sometimes over as far as BH but usually up the centre and then down close to us…

I put my ipad set to video and trained on where I had last seen him. I waited for him to come up again. His normal routine for the last week has been three up and downs and then he disappears. Often there is no sight of him for five minutes, some times for two or three hours. Bobby (as I call him) hadn’t put on a big show which included breaching etc. Yet.

Within minutes from my seeing him just in front of our little deck there was a loud splash over near Link, halfway to Mudge. I went out in my pajamas and watched his first incredible display. He breached three times. After the third, I took advantage of a pause in activity to get my camera. There was much tail slapping which I was able to get on video. However, I had missed capturing the breaches on film.


If Bobby  is going to hang around, we are determined to catch the next show on video. But it’s hard.. You just cannot predict when he is just moseying by or when he is feeding. That being said, the entire reason for our house renovation was to be able to take advantage of this kind of opportunity in front of our house and we appreciate any sightings at all.

My neighbour reported seeing four porpoises just before we saw Bobby breach this morning. So was there a delicious school of fish swimming by which both porpoise and humpback find yummy? I suspect, when he was slapping his tail on the water he was killing the shit out of tonight’s dinner.

Soooo… anyways.. I spent my day watching Bobby swim back and forth and got absolutely nothing else done.. and yes I am still

in my pajamas




plant the lettuce

To say it is distracting to have a humpback whale swimming back and forth in front of one’s house all day is an understatement. To say that it is in any way a hardship is unlikely. I do, however, admit that it is a first world problem, in a world, which to be frank, has a lot bigger problems than my predilection for distraction.

I made Amish white bread this morning while we await whole wheat flour arriving with my sister in law. It has been a long time since we ate a loaf of white bread but I have to say, it looks yummy and will go quite nicely with our chili. The best thing about this recipe is that it is fool proof and easy as can be.

Once it warmed up this afternoon I spent some time in the garden. Now, I don’t know about your voles but the voles we have on our island like to eat peas if they are planted  straight from the packet into the ground. Our voles will dig them right back out and you will have no peas for supper. So we soak the peas between some damp paper towel until they have sprouted. Then we can plant them. Cool weather is just fine. Today was perfect. Thanks to my friend who gave me some of her extras. We will have peas soon enough for supper. The lettuces I started in seed pots have sprouted and are also ready to go into the garden.

I did a bit of weeding. Almost got the garlic sorted out but I could hear Bobby (the whale) out front and honestly I was sure I was going to miss him breaching or doing an amazing flip the one time I didn’t pay attention. Sometimes he disappears for five minutes sometimes he is gone for three or four hours. You just never know. So I left the garlic unfinished and returned to my deck to watch for him.

I’ll weed some more tomorrow after I

plant the lettuce





the nature channel

Well, we could title this blog post with several thoughts. We could go with… Whew, finished quarantine or isolated for months…. or maybe,  back to work, off the couch or whale is outside. Really any number of topics.

We had the most wonderful day today. I know, a day spent splitting and stacking wood is not the idea of wonderful for a great many of you. But to have a normal day with a return to our usual routine was a relief.

Last May we cut down a bunch of trees for the bunkie. We split half of the wood and stacked it under a tarp as our wood sheds were full. Then we, well,  frankly, ran out of steam. So we left maybe one hundred rounds under a tarp waiting to be split and stacked. It has been almost a year.

To celebrate our good health, we peeled back the tarp, pulled out the wood splitter and got to work. We still didn’t get it all done but we got five truck loads of wood split and stacked in our smaller wood shed. The burn pile to clean up the residual mess is going now. We are one step closer to being mess free, tarp free.


I have named the humpback whale Bobby McGee. When a whale wants to hang around four days in a row in front of our house… he warrants a name. Bobby McGee was the song playing on my play list when he first came by.  This afternoon apparently there was a large pod of Killer whales in the same channel in front of us. We were at the burn pile so missed them. This morning, there were seven seals sleeping in the shallow cut next to our house.

I expect we are going to be on the island here isolating for a very long time, months.. I really don’t see an end to it, until there is a vaccine discovered. E and I are safe but of course we worry about those whose jobs are essential. We worry about our kids.  Wildfire season is starting, so honestly, it’s a concern.

We hope you are all at home, staying safe. In the meantime, I will, whales willing,  strive to distract you from your day to day worries with a little bit of entertainment from the aquarium show on

the nature channel.


days to come

Thirteen days since we were in an airport. Twelve since we were in the city. I am still getting very little done. I just feel that spending my time reading, watching Ozark and drinking red wine in my pajamas is a much better way to quarantine than days filled with physical labor.

We had an unexpected visitor yesterday morning. E noticed him around 9:30 am just in front of our deck. On a grey morning, in a grey bumpy sea grey colored whales are easy to miss. When we do get whales in front of us, they are usually Orca. It is unusual to see a humpback. Apparently a mom and her calf have been seen nearby in the last couple of days. This is presumably the calf.

I popped into the garden yesterday to see how all of the bulbs in the new flower garden look. It still needs a lot of work to finish but the Hyacinth are going to be gorgeous. The vegie beds also need to be prepped. Fortunately, my house-sitting friend got things started. I am eager to spend my days up there again.

Once we are finished quarantine, we will get back to work on the property. My plan for the coming week is to feel relief on Monday then get back to work on Tuesday.

E’s incurable optimism

Every day E takes lots of drugs which medically suppress his immune system. Kind souls who send us articles from health magazines with suggestions on how he could improve his immune system to combat getting the virus, although much appreciated, don’t understand that he can’t improve this immune system. In fact if he did, his old body would reject his new heart.

One side effect of the immune suppression drugs is a risk of skin cancer. Every few years he does a topical chemical treatment on his head which kills any pre-cancerous cells there may be. It is a most unpleasant process. His skin gets sensitive, ugly and itchy and just plain scabby. The first time he did it in October of 2010 he looked so scary he had to wear a mask on Halloween so he wouldn’t frighten the trick or treaters.

As part of his annual medical appointments last month the skin doctor gave him a prescription for another chemical peel for when we came home from our trip. It occurred to us that while we are in quarantine and not seeing anyone anyways, now would be a good time to do the peel.. He could get as ugly as he had to and there would be no one to scare.

So he started the treatment on Monday. As the effects on his head are just now getting uncomfortable and we are just ten days into our fourteen day quarantine, it occurred to us that perhaps this wasn’t the most brilliant of ideas. What happens if he gets sick and it is compounded by feeling crappy from this skin treatment?…

We are still feeling otherwise healthy with no signs of the virus. So we are all good but the decision to go ahead with the skin treatment before he knew if he was sick or not is just more evidence of

E’s incurable optimism

A sea lions

Today is day nine of quarantine or as I like to call it “I didn’t cough. Did you? I was sure I heard coughing.” I will be so glad to finish the quarantine part of our lives and move on to social isolation. We will have more control over those days. Right now, we are either infected or not and there is nothing we can do about it but worry that a minor headache or midnight cough is an indicator of worse to come.. So far, so good. but honestly… sigh..

A few months back we bought a generator from a friend who had had it for years as her back up. It was never used and she wanted to get rid of it. For what was an irrationally minor cost she let us take it off her hands so that we could have a back up. It didn’t work and so we set it aside to worry about when the bunkie was done.

E found himself reminded about the generator yesterday. After lunch he went up to the shed and took off its cover. He spent almost 30 laborious minutes replacing the carburetor and generally fussing over it. The generator started on the first pull. Really good to have it as a back up, tucked away for an emergency. Thank you friend!

I was not so inclined to do any work and basically spent the afternoon browsing seed catalogues. The seeds I started last week have begun… The lettuce seems very happy. Even the tomatoes are starting to peek out.

Got a call from a friend today that he had noticed pollen on his patio table.. It is time to shut down the rain water catchment system. Unfortunately it is the day before a week of scheduled rain. It isn’t worth the risk. Pollen turns your water to sludge.. Fortunately we are pumping successfully from the well right now… Thank you friend.

We are slowly managing to get our freezer and pantry restocked.. Friends have been grabbing a few supplies for us when they do their shopping. We should be able to manage to stay isolated for a while now. Thank you friends.

Although all of us are isolating on our different properties as we should, we know that we are there for each other if needed.

As it turned out the coughing we heard last night was coming from the ocean. Apparently our coughs sound alot like

a sea lion’s

proper social distancing

“Have you been in your pajamas all day?”, E asked me yesterday… I had to give that some thought. I figured that I had been dressed at one point but had no proof as it was 5pm and I was sitting at 5pm drinking my fiftieth cup of coffee for the day in pretty much the same clothing and position I had been in at 6am with my first cup of coffee.

These are days are for personal sacrifice. I for one have given up completely the concept of foundation under garments. (Wearing a bra).

After fixing the electrical wiring issue with our water pump E went to check the tanks and there was still no improvement in our reserves.. He walked around and checked all of our taps. Although tightly closed, the tap at our well pump had quite a substantial drip going on. I guess some sort of damage from the sudden frost in January. Has it been dripping for two months? Would explain a lot…

We had worked hard to have our property relatively tidy before we left on our trip. Our friends who house sat weeded our garden and tidied the property even further.

Knowing that we won’t have any company this summer has reduced any impetus for work to nil. I figure come April when our previously scheduled vacation time has come to an end we will get back to it. We will likely keep a moderate pace.

Our main goal for the next few months is to occupy ourselves completing unfinished projects. We have tons of supplies around. Plenty of chores to keep us occupied. I wish we had our kids here safe but they are all doing what they have to do. All E and I can do is stay home and safely out of everyone’s way for however long it takes.

I don’t mean to be judgemental but it looks to me like none of these birds, although getting along very well are practicing

proper social distancing