Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book in Hand

Friday, June 28, 2013

I haven't been out walking as much as I desire which is really a sad situation. Situations of pain - rain and just being over worked. I have a couple of times enjoyed a brief stroll to enjoy the flowers that are making their appearances along side the road and ditches.
I must admit I think the Western Columbine has been my favorite. (Aquilegia formosa)

However the Ox - Eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) still holds on as my top favorite

Yellow Arum Yellow Skunk Cabbage (Lysichitum americanum)

I think this is Queen cup (Clintonia uniflora)

Butter cup

Thimble berry flower

Campers and Sun arive

Saturday, June 29, 2013

29th June first day of summer camp is upon us. YES indeed we are expecting about 155 people for the next week. I'm going to be very busy.
The sun has decided to come out in full force to celebrate this day - the heat is a rising already early in the morning.
Good news for those who have been following my posts - the Second dishwasher person has arrived and training as begun. He seems to a great guy - going to work out perfectly... but it whether or not this job does not get to him - it is a long day - tedious - thankless - hot environment to put up. We will see the sun - we feel the heat - but we do not get to run around with the kids - we do not play the games - we don't get the fun - the laughs -- just the satisfaction that we make it all possible so that the others can make this camp experience the best for our campers

Gotta go - must go prepare 250 grill cheese sandwiches..

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

On the other Side

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tonight after work I went into town to repair a Geo- cache that had broken. Stopped at the drug store to buy more Robax - extra strength -- Yes I have been in extreme pain these last couple of days - getting worse. Tomorrow the new improved mattress is suppose to arrive - I sure hope so.. This afternoon we went into Squamish to the Recreation center so I could sit in the hot tub - Sat I did for 45 minutes. I am still in pain but at least I can move now.
But tonight for my second trip to town - the main reason being was to attend a Strata Council meeting. This is my first one since I did not get reelected back in April.. I must say I enjoyed sitting on the other side much better than being the president. Also I am impressed with the professionalism I witnessed tonight. There was conversation back and forth - no shouting or name calling or attacking each other -- all of which the last council continually dealt with every meeting. Members seems to had done their home work and brought to the table information based on what they found out from research they had done.. I am impressed - I even told them so. I should be happy - four of the five people, I had voted for at the AGM to be on council. On another positive note I was able to put my two cents in a couple of times - about information I had as the past president that these new council members did not know about. (One reason why there should be one or two returning council members elected to council - but since that did not happen...)

Kitchen Crew

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday - it is confirmed the second dishwasher person has been hired. I think he will begin on Friday. It shall be interesting - I learn today that my dishwasher has never actually met this person in person. Both are gamers and have been playing together for a couple of years - talking by Skype and what naught - but never face to face. My dishwasher was the one who arranged his hiring -- just like the last person I hired who enabled her friend to get hired... and we all know what happened there......
So I will have two young lads working under my supervision -

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Full Weekend Ends

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Second day of the weekend was relaxing yet packed full of restful times.
As I wrote about yesterday at the mining museum - I bought at the mining store a gold panning pan.

OK today I once again stayed in bed a little longer than I usually do - woke up and drove the half hour to church - stayed along time after just talking to friends then it was a visit to my Mom's place.
We stopped at Tim Horton's Doughnut coffee shop on the way and selected three French Vanilla coffee's. She was so surprised and happy for her treat and to see us - in what order - not so sure :)
After this visit and a stop at A&W for a bite to eat; I got to go find a GEO Cache. I am happy..... found quite fast.
After this it was a trip down to the Squamish River where I tried my first go at panning for Gold. I don't think there was any success in this as I really don't know what I am looking for. I did see a golden stone a couple of times and discarded it - I am sure it was not gold - but it could have been - I am clueless. I guess I need to do some researching.

So now I am discovering more about my true nature - Geo caching - now panning for gold is awaking that primitive nature to find treasure ....
my wife really is being to wonder about her child she married.....

So this ends my two days OFF - when will this happen again?? I have no idea. The new staff are arriving one by one - it is good to see some returning staff who I respect.
My dishwasher person has come back - this is good - I had some concerns about this.. but he is here now and he has informed me he has a friend who is applying for the second position. So it might be that we replace two girls for two guys - how interesting...

Throwing my hands up in the air and let what come what may..........

Britannia Mine Museum

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I have been driving past this museum now for over four years and have never stopped to explore. Well today is the day Noni and I did so. I stayed in bed until after eight - yes I woke up at my regular time( 6am ) and rolled over for two more hours. Noni and I are very tired - once I crawled from the bed to the couch - I sat and read a book on the Kindle which I haven't done in ages either. So around noon I thought today would be a good time to visit and explore the mining museum. I want to relax - rest the body - rest my mind before the camp starts up again for the summer programs. This upcoming week is staff training - then we are up and running full out for the next ten weeks or so, I do not know when I get my next day off. In the past it is like 33 days then one day then seventeen before I get time off again.
But for today Noni and I spent from two o'clock to five o'clock exploring. At first I was not so happy about paying 21.50 $ per person to enter - but after being there for a short time I changed my mind. It is worth every penny and more,especially the underground train ride into the mining tunnel.

Panning for Gold


End of spring Season

Friday, June 21, 2013

Today - this day 21 of June is the last day of the Spring Camp Season. Our camp season is divided into three seasons. Spring - Summer - Fall. Duh ... is what you want to reply to me eh! Spring and Fall we cater to school group for two or three days stays here at camp with the occasional school group staying longer. Last week we had 157 souls to feed for four days - grades six and seven. Do you know how much food young lads of that age can consume? Lets say I do not have much left over food and we were extremely busy keeping up with the demand of the bottomless pits.
Observational note I made to Noni - these people eat just because they can - it is available so they eat - kind of like us when we went to Mexico. We attacked that buffet line not once but twice and some times three times - not because we were hungry - but because the food looked so good and we could - and had to make sure we got our money worth..
So when school groups come they stay on an average eight meals at a time - with one meal being a crossover with another school arriving - usually on Wednesday where we have double the people and two meal times. This Thursday was no exception - we had the 157 plus a tiny school of 35 to do an overnight stay. This last school to finish the season is a local one. The owner daughter attends this school who is in grade three or four -- so tiny - so small. Now I have some extra self proclaimed stress - I know the owner started the camp in many ways for this purpose -- his family - his daughters - so he wants to be a proud father and a proud business owner showing off his achievements to his local peers -- maybe yes - maybe no - human nature - I know I would if I was in his shoes... The twist... it is not just these little ones - that would be a peace of cake to do with our eyes closed....
It must be a secret reality TV show !!! my paper has numbers of 50 and on the last meal of the last day - no numbers just a note saying family BBQ. I am tired - and did not clue in when I did my order to feed 50. Soon afterwards I get an email from the owner 125 have registered to come and a possibility of 80 more.
YES - you read that correct -so right now I am waiting for a food delivery to provide food for tonight's supper. Going to keep it simple the owner says - hotdogs and hamburgers and a full salad bar to feed 180 souls of all ages. To keep my life full of spice - it is raining so everything will be done inside.
Then -- yes there is more - tonight after they leave is Staff Party to end the spring Season. I don't have to cook - I don't have to do anything but come - I think over to the owners house - he has catered this from a local restaurant or company.. This school is to leave at 6:30 - then the staff party begins.. we will see if I go Noni and I will be so exhausted after this school's meal -I have been asked three different times if I was going to the staff party.. I really don't know... this morning as I write this...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

One cookie - One haystack - two buttertarts !!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This makes loosing weight so hard. Can you feel my pain?

After work I just had to go for a walk, I managed to get over eleven thousand steps in. I walk just under two hours. Dalhouise is now curled up sound asleep besides me - I tired him out.
The first part of the walk I walked alone with Dalhouise then on the return I met my wife at the camp gate. This is at the 18 mile marker and we walk to the 19 mile marker. On the way I seen a deer cross the road ahead of us - we keep walking. Eventually we reach the spot where I had seen the deer walk across the road and there he was standing in the field. I had my camera - Noni takes Dalhouise and keeps walking - I watch the deer which just stands there looking at me and then at Dalhouise. He does not move just watches - most of the time Dalhouise - I take my pictures and then walk to join them. Later on our return he is still there and it just watches us as we pass.

A dreaded weekend

Thursday, May 30, 2013

How are you feeling about this upcoming weekend?  
I am dreading this up coming weekend - yes I have to work - and my favorite staff are all off leaving behind the high maintenance ones. Vegetarians - vegan - gluten free and plain picky ones and those who just push my buttons the wrong way - it is going to be a very tough weekend..
- I wonder what would happen if I took a sick day - never had one before at this job - this could be a first...
There is no joy - anticipating this weekend at all -last weekend was good I enjoyed cooking and even made extra fancy snacks and food items to the meals. I don't see that happening this weekend.
I know the staff talked about the "treats" I did last weekend to the other staff who were off - I hope the working staff for this weekend don't think they will be getting the same treatment - it just won't happen. YES my meals will be good and tasty - I hope - but the passion and extra's probably will not be.
Unhappy cook - unhappy food - I hope the food is good just because -- won't be fair to the group otherwise. However if I concentrate on the guests and put the love there and just throw together the high maintenance staff foods I might just survive.

I am still without a full crew - no news of potential replacements as of yet. I know the other staff are becoming tired of their double duties..

Well the weekend has started

Friday, May 31, 2013

Noni has made Boston cream cupcakes. Earlier today I went into town to deposit our pay cheques, get a much needed haircut , visit Mom - water the plants at the condo, go to the nursery to buy a couple of plants for my little container garden and a hanging plant to place by the kitchen door so that whenever I look outside I can see it. Stopped at a Tim Horton's coffee shop for a coffee and I wanted to buy a Boston cream doughnut - but my wife said NO she didn't want one. We have at camp!

So there I am with my new snazzy hair cut - shaved to a number three clipper..

So the weekend group has arrived. Twenty one guess - the kids are so sweet. The staff that are working this weekend are still not here they a -re on route... they were off sight for this last week working another program - IT WAS A GOOD WEEK - . Most of the staff have left the camp leaving only a couple to cover till the weekend staff arrive. So supper went well with three gluten free and six vegetarians.
I fed samosa for the vegetarian meal and chicken - rice - corn to the rest.
Cookies for snack later.

Oh yea when I was at the condo I collected the mail - TAX time - oh Joy!! So back down town I went to the Municipal office and paid my 2013 property tax. So much for a pay cheque.

The Weekend ended

Monday, June 03, 2013 Weekend is over - food was good - met all the food special menu needs with flying colors. The two vegan people that I fed -- my wife and I both said they looked sickly. They were thin and drawn out like they had been on the adventures with Frodo or something like that. The kids were polite and friendly and ate modestly.
Wondering about the issues with the staff - well - lets just say - there was a difference between last week and this week and they know it. So today I had a little chit chat with the camp owner. He is not exactly happy - but I held my ground - specially when it came to the one staff member telling me that she was doing me a favor by doing my dishes and pot and pans -- well I could had handled that conversion a little better - but I told him I would not tolerate a self righteous self entitled person like that talking to me in that way. Period. Besides they are not doing me favors I didn't fire the kitchen crew..

Sunday afternoon the kitchen is cleaned - salad bar put away and out the door - on the road by two, Noni and I went to Brohm Lake Park. Of course one of my objectives was to Geo cache.
Mission was to go to the view point over looking the Tantalus mountain range.
What a great view. Last year before I started Geo caching I went looking for this site - but the trail signs are not very good at pointing the correct way to go and I ended up back at the lake. This year I had my GPS - arriving at the same location that I took the wrong turn last summer this time following the GPS I went the correct way. The hike was interesting - trees toppled over pulling apart a board walk and at another spot steps upside down for no apparent reason. My guess is that some young people were bored so they wanted to do mischief. As I approached the cache, I had to share the area with mugglers who were sitting taking pictures and enjoying the view also. By the time I was nearing the cache for a second. The first time I had walked right past it concentrating on the views so now that I had taken my pictures I was determined to locate this cache. By this time they had all left the area so it was an easy cache to find even though the GPS had me a few meters away - but the hint made all the difference and Noni and I had the area to ourselves. What a perfect afternoon - the sun was shining and the view was amazing. I could had sat on the rocks soaking in the sun for another hour or two but we didn't.
After seeking the cache at Tantalus view and we heading back down to the Cheakamus loop trail. Since we had lots of time before dark and I have never hiked this trail and the sign post said it was only one kilometer we took it. Something went wrong. My GPS lost satellite signal for over half an hour and we missed a turn so ended walking a very long distance from the parking lot at Brohm Lake.
Eventually we did find the correct trail again and we headed back to the Brohm Lake. Well just before we came to the last junction in trails again leading to the final lag of the journey my GPS kicked backed in and indicated that I was near another cache I had programed to find. So we stopped to find this with the only hint being to the left of a small stump. My Magellan eXplorist 310 brought me to ground zero but it is 12 meters out even as I signed the log book. Fork in the Road - well that tells me to go closer to the area where I have to make those choices of trails to take. So with the hint and the name I was able to find my second cache of this month.
The whole time we were hiking I was looking for bears - we had left Dalhouise home in the cabin as I was afraid of him being eaten by a cougar. My only concern was running into a bear.
Well to end the day we did meet a bear - but we were safe in the car as we drove home. Only issue is that where we seen the bear is where I walk near the camp..

News of a kitchen crew Replacement

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Such a sweet jester - one of our guess this morning brought me a flower with a ribbon attached to it. She was so sweet. This is one of the reasons why I do what I do.

Well I have been told that Monday I will have a young lad who is the younger brother of a program staff starting to work. His sister is a very friendly person and hard working - actually she is holding down two jobs - this camp one which is like three jobs in one and she goes on the weekends to work in the local store between four am and ten. Such work ethic from a young person. She is a fireball of energy - so if her brother is similar it might just be a good thing.

Some male kitchen help are super good - others well -- useless comes to mind. I personally would rather work with females - it's going to be a long season. But nevertheless - he has been hired to give him a try, and if he is like his sister he will be a good worker.
But if he is not...

A pleasant place to walk

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Well one good thing is I am doing more walking. I have been walking to the one mile marker or the two mile marker on the road and turning around and returning to the cabin. I do not like walking this way -I like to walk a a loop circuit - or at least different paths and trails. I have little choice right now, so I make do. So to through a little variety into my walks - Noni and Dalhouise and I walked to the beach..
I do not know why they call it a beach - maybe because there is sand. There is sand - scrub brush - pebbles - fallen logs - sand. Oh -- there is a river - glacier fed making it so bloody cold you can not go swimming.

I have yet to see a bear or a cougar while walking. Not that I want to meet one up close - a distance - far distance would be OK I think. But this fear of doing so keeps me on my toes and my stress level up somewhat.
This beach gets a little noisy and a little busy on weekends as it is a popular hang out for a weekend party of Young people from Vancouver and locals - I am sure more than one life has began from the result of a stay at this beach.
The sad things is often they leave behind garbage - and more garbage. This river will rise and fall - move here and there as the rains come or as heat rises up on the mountains causing glacier snow to melt thus sweeping away into the ocean all this garbage. So sad.


Thursday, June 06, 2013

Once again I have wheels. Remember just before I came to camp someone had stole my bike. They cut four different locks to get it, taking my expensive bike and leaving my wife's less expensive one. So Noni goes for a bike ride alone - but not any longer. I did not want to buy another expensive one - just something that we can go for a ride together around town or around camp. We will go into Vancouver eventually to ride the Stanley Park Seawall.
This bike has six gears compared to the 18 I had before. I had looked at several but choose this both because of price and comfort. I like the handle bars up in the air so I am not hunched over while riding.
Reminds me on the bike I had as a child with the large handlebars and banana seat. I am reverting into a child again!!!

Date night

Saturday, June 08, 2013

We have a group arriving from Mexico - but they will not be here until some time in the middle of the night, so Noni and I had the afternoon and evening off. The school group left camp after lunch so we are free. Time to go on a date with my wife. Left Dalhouise home and we headed to Vancouver.
Actually Burnaby to go watch a movie Star Trek and then dinner at a downtown Vancouver restaurant.
(New Peace Chinese Restaurant).
I enjoyed watching the movie - yes I am a Trekie fan - but Noni - well she fell asleep.
On the Food Net TV channel Noni watched Guy Fieri show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives that showed case this restaurant. For the past couple months or so she has been wanting to go eat here. The restaurant really is a a diner as the TV name suggests - but the food was GOOD.
I will definitely go back to eat here.

Off ** to Geo cache and to explore

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Breakfast is served. Forty people fed and now I have the rest of the day off. OFF.
I am hopefully going to do some Geo caching after church in Vancouver .To make this more pleasant for my wife we will also visit the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park. I do not remember ever visiting here. As I goggled parks last night I read that this is the most visited park next to Stanley park as being the most visited.
So this is my plan for today - I will blog more after I am back or on another day to give my view of this Conservatory - wish me luck with my Geo caching.

Oh yea also on my agenda is a stop to visit the VanDusen Botanical Gardens near the Conservatory to find two caches in and near this place.

Bloedel conservatory

Monday, June 10, 2013

Such a wonderful place the Bloedel Conservatory.
** This copied from the pamphlet I picked up at the door.
- "" The Bloedel Conservatory opened December 6th 1969 as the second largest dome conservatory in the world. At 43m (140ft) in diameter and 21m (70ft) high at the center, the triodetic dome design allows a large ground space to be spanned without the need for supporting columns.
Three simulated climates are maintain within the Conservatory - tropical rain forest - sub tropical forest - and desert climate zones ""
I will definitely come back to this place again and again.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

I haven't written in a couple of days - the words just seem to fail to flow.
I been thinking why did I like the Bloedel Conservatory.
Is it the birds flying around, the plants - orchids that were in bloom - or is the smell in the air or the humidity. There is something special about having living life all around you enclosed in a glass.
I can not put my finger on it -Most likely it is the combination of all - but all I do know is that I would go back there again and again.

Many years ago now I had over fifty of these Zebra Finches in my house in a large cage that I had built.
I started with only a pair and they did what birds do naturally when they are healthy. I think they sound like a squeakie bed spring.

Now what to say about Vandusen Botanical Garden.
Noni and I did not enjoy this park. We were here last year and didn't really enjoy it so much and this year we both said it seemed worst than last year. I do not recommend this place - I don't think it is worth eleven dollars to enter. It might be if they would invest the money back into planting flowers and making the place attractive. Yes there were sections that were well groomed - planted - but so much more was dead looking or bare.

Container gardens - would love to create these on the deck near the kitchen.

Well at least at the entrance they invested some money and time to make it attractive