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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Signs of hope!

I woke up this morning to sunshine! What a nice feeling to look through the tarp on Newman’s front window and see sunshine!



Newman’s tarp stayed in place despite the very windy night we had last evening. I was so tired of listening to the tarp slap against the front windshield that I finally went and read in bed. It’s cozier in bed anyway, with my heated mattress pad on and I can close the bedroom door, so I don’t have to hear the ‘slap, slap, slap’ of the tarp against the front window. Everytime the tarp slaps the window I want to jump and see what’s wrong! If I had a ladder I could adjust the tarp, but Owen wasn’t home today so I couldn’t go and borrow his ladder.


I finished my 39th book last evening. I’m definitely on track to exceed my goal of reading 40 books this year. I think I mentioned in the past that I set a goal in my ‘Goodreads’ app every year and it nudges me if I’m behind to ‘get reading’! Some of my favourite books that I’ve read this year are: ’Cloud Cuckoo Land’ by Anthony Doerr; ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ by Amor Towles, and ‘The Midnight Library‘ by Matt Haig. It’s nice to get lost in a book instead of watching Netflix or Amazon Prime all the time!




This morning I was due for a big workout. I pedalled my cycle trainer for 20 minutes and then did floor exercises and stretching as well as squats for 40 more minutes. I feel a lot stronger from having kept up my fitness from last winter, when I worked with my strength trainer in Courtenay. Unfortunately Paul is no longer in Canada so I can’t see him this year to continue my training with him.




As I was about to leave Newman this morning I looked outside and it was pouring rain. I mean torrential rain. Yeesh! Is it ever going to end? I had to take the garbage out too, so by the time I finally got into the car I was soaked. Thank goodness for heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a goretex jacket and water proof hat.


I looked down at the gas gauge and realized that I was closer to empty than I had thought, so instead of going the Inland Island Highway south today, I stayed on the Coastal Hwy and drove down to the Esso station in Bowser to fill up. The nice thing about this Esso station is they pump the gas so I could stay in the car and keep dry and still get my PC Optimum points!




After I left Bowser I saw the signs for Horne Lake Road and thought why not take a drive over to Spider Lake to see if there are any leaves turning colour on the trees around the lake? I quite enjoyed taking some photos at Spider Lake last year, when the lake was like glass and the trees were very reflective in the Lake.


By the time I got to Spider Lake, the sun was shining and the rain had stopped. Very strange weather, but I was happy for the reprieve from the rain.


I stumbled upon a couple and their dog who were fishing in this secluded area of the Lake.


Spider Lake Provincial Park is a favourite of fishermen. The Lake itself is 57 hectares and contains small mouth bass which provide for year round fishing. The lake is also stocked with both steelhead and rainbow trout. Power boats are prohibited on the lake, but I did see a couple of guys fishing from their kayaks which is kind of cool.



As I walked around the Lake, I turned around to see a beautiful rainbow appear over Spider Lake. Rainbows are a sign of ‘hope and of better things to come’. I think that rainbow was meant for me today! It was very serendipitous that I even drove to Spider Lake today, since that wasn’t where I was planning to go when I left Fanny Bay!



The end of the rainbow across Spider Lake. I wonder if there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?






I saw this fallen tree and from this angle, the tree actually looked like a crazy spider, on Spider Lake! The water was this neat shade of green too when I took the photo! I thought about walking around Spider Lake because there are some pretty flat trails, but I saw this sign that made me think maybe that wasn’t a good idea! BEARS!!! Great. I think I’ll just go back to the car and carry on with my day!




It’s one thing to go hiking with Richard, but I wasn’t interested in finding myself in the middle of the forest with some critters!


After I left Spider Lake Provincial Park, I caught the Inland Island Highway south and took the cutoff for Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni and Coombs. I was on a mission as my good friend Heather Kurtin had told me that I needed to go to ‘Goats on the Roof’ Old Country Market as soon as I arrived on the Island, because she had seen online that the goats were still on the roof! When I arrived at ‘Goats’ the place was pretty busy. It’s crazy how on a Friday afternoon and now again a rainy Friday, that people go to ‘Goats on the Roof’!



There were NO GOATS on the roof again today! Every time I’ve come here there are no goats on the roof. I’m sure it is a seasonal thing and I’m always here when its the wrong season!


’Goats’ has a few nice stores, so to get out of the rain I went and checked them out.


Nice wool alpaca scarves for $29 which are washable.



Nice colourful birdhouses from Nepal which are handmade and made of wool. I’m not sure how they would survive in the rain, but they looked nice and cheery in the store.



I’m a sucker for a beeswax candle and this one was on sale, so I bought it and it’s pleasantly burning now in Newman as I write the blog.


I knew that ’Goats on the Roof’ had a Cafeteria which we had never tried before, so I thought it would be a nice alternative to sitting in the car, in the rain, eating my lunch.

The person in front of me trying to get into the cafeteria was trying to pass off something on her phone as her proof of vaccination. The girl behind the desk would have no part of it and told her she could get takeout if she wanted, but she couldn‘t get into the sit down part of the cafeteria unless she had her BC Proof of Vaccination on her phone with a QR code. I’m so glad I made the effort to get the BC Proof of Vaccitation QR code for my phone. It makes it so much easier going into restaurants than trying to prove we have our double vaccinations, but we’re from Ontario.



I think I will skip the Meatloaf sandwich for lunch. While I like meatloaf, this sandwich was Not appealing at all!



Homemade chilli with freshly grated cheese, and a homemade cornbread muffin. $10.30 for lunch. And the meal was so filling I don’t think I’ll be having any dinner tonight! An excellent lunch, of very hearty food.


After lunch I walked around ’Goats’ for awhile. I didn’t really need anything, but they have such unique things in the store, I had to have a look around.

Hallowe’en has past, but I guess there is always room for a mask in your home!


I think I like this mask better. It is not as scary.


How cool is this wooden walking stick that it has a built in compass?


These very colourful pagoda’s hanging from the ceiling definitely brightened up a very dreary day. ‘Goats’ has an amazing selection of gourmet foods on hand from many different cultures and countries. There is a also butcher and a bakery on site as well.

The bakery at ‘Goats’.

$100 bill toilet paper anyone?



Shauna - they didn’t have the ‘Shore Lunch’ brand, but they did have this brand of air fryer fish coating!



When I first saw this sign I was confused. They put the “Take Home a Piece of British Columbia” sign right next to the ‘Favorite’ brand ‘Newfoundland Baked Beans’! I soon realized the sign was refering to the Summerland Fruit syrups from B.C.!



When I saw the price of Pure Vanilla Extract from Mexico I immediately texted Richard this picture and asked if he could please bring me back some pure vanilla extract from Mexico on Monday when he returns to Canada. When Richard used to travel more regularly for work in the Caribbean and Mexico I would always ask him to bring me back pure vanilla extract for my baking. It definitely is better to bake with pure vanilla, than the artificial vanilla extract at the store. There is a much better flavour to shortbreads in particular when baking with pure vanilla extract!



As I headed back to Fanny Bay, the rain was teaming down again on the Inland Coastal Hwy. Such a weird day for weather! I called my friend and former colleague Gary who had texted me because he was very concerned about me living in Newman with the issues I’ve been having while Richard has been away. It was nice to hear from Gary and everyone else that has reached out to me while Richard has been gone. I know I’m not alone in spirit, even though I’m alone dealing with Newman and the leaking roof!



My bucket has almost at 10 litres of rain since Wednesday morning.




My neighbour on the right of us moved out today, so now its just Newman and his leaking roof and the empty Airstream beside us. It’s very strange not having a neighbour next door, since we always had Jim from Fernie next door to us for the entire winter last year.



Owen, ( my tarp helper) and his wife live in the RV closest to the water. Jody originally from Ottawa, who has been here since last year with her two dogs, is next to Owen in the 5th wheel. This park seems to attract people who are ‘long’ stay RVers or people who work and live in their RVs. It is quiet and that’s what I care about!


Upon inspecting the tarp on Newman’s roof I see we now have a hole in the tarp at the corner of the front slide out. Owen came over yesterday when I got home and said he was worried we might get a hole and he was going to come over this morning and put something on the corner of the slide out to prevent a hole, but I guess the hole happened overnight with the wind. $65 for a tarp and its wrecked in 2 days! At least the tarp is doing its job and keeping the inside of Newman dry until Richard can get home, the weather dries out a bit and Richard can get up on the roof and get the di-cor on it to seal it up properly. We cannot live for any extended period of time with a tarp on our roof!

The new hole in Newman‘s tarp.


It is completely dark now at 5:57pm PST. When the clocks change tomorrow evening it will start getting dark closer to 5pm and as we approach December 21st, the darkness will hit us around 4:30pm. I always dread when the clocks go back, because I don’t like the longer nights. At least I’ve got my ‘happy light’ on which definitely helps with the gloomy days and nights.





Richard safely made it to Mexico City today and he will be staying in the Centro Historico district until Monday, when he escorts the return flight home to Vancouver. His Covid test will be administered privately in his hotel room tomorrow, so I can’t wait to hear all about that!




The weather forecast does look hopeful for the next few days. It’s only a 70-80% chance of rain vs a 100% chance of rain, so perhaps I will get to do some fun outdoor stuff in the next day or two and not have to worry about the weather!









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1 Comment


peddler22
Nov 06, 2021

Hey Cousin Ruth,

I’ve been vicariously / virtually vacationing with you as I read your blogs in bed before I go to sleep. Great photos and descriptions.

Your adventures this year have been over the top and you are due for some good luck soon! Last night I was dreaming about your leak and a couple that I’ve chased down over the years. One came though a wall in the finished basement that I tracked to an outside door over 20 feet away. Another time the water came through the light fixture in the ceiling of my living room. I had to make holes in the ceiling, upstairs bathroom and bedroom then wait for a rainstorm to find the tric…

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