Blades Homestead

So the last post I mentioned it was going to be short due to the shortest gig thus far. Then it ended up being the longest post. Things like that happen to me a lot. This stay was mini compared to the rest though. Not even a full week. And as expected, it didn’t lack excitement in the least.

101_0641My next set of BFFs was the kindly folks of the Blades Homestead, aka Adria, Josh and the handsome twin-baby superstars of Arlen and Ewan. These are friends of the post-before-last Hunter Homestead. Those past hosts took me on a choice beach trip to the Pacific and these new hosts were their friends who met us there. I brought up I was interested in coming to stay, since I knew they were interested in hosting and the rest fell into place:) Their property hosts a huge garden and I had the privilege of occupying a tent overnight in the thick of it all. Slept like a baby.

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Adria is a photographer and Josh runs a landscaping business around Victoria. There was a framed picture I noticed of a radiant/pregnant Kirsten Hunter hung up at the Hunter Homestead and I found out that Adria took the picture. I like things like that. Full circle stuff…it makes the world go ’round, no?.

Josh runs what seems like to me a dream job. He works outside everyday (check), is his own boss (check check) and gets to exercise some creativity while helping the world grow (fat check). He has two employees and I had the pleasure of working w/one of them for an afternoon. Josh is really easy/fun to be around, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that his employee was too. Sebastian and I were joking around w/each right away and shared a lot of similar experiences in college (Canadians only use the word college to talk about what we think of as a technical college. They say say “university” when we say college) and life thereafter. Paralleled vices/virtues.

My work here was around-the-house/garden help. The real noteworthy project was the tire-made stairs we spent about two days completing. I had the only hand in day one, using the coveted b-day Ipod mix to push me thru 7 hours of in-the-sun labour. I did this on my own volition of course, sometime you just get into projects and have to finish it! Day two was led by Josh, who had great ideas to add tiers up the sides of the hill, thus flattening portions of land so he could put in some plants. It looked pretty slick I must say.

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flowers8528Thanks to Adria for contributing some of her work of the Blades’ garden. Photo credit to the left. Check out her work sometime.

Now I am in Seattle w/the great Cameron Hypes until Monday, when I will pick up momma Keyne in Spokane, WA, and head to Kooskia, ID, for a week of farm fun. This will be her first time to the West and her…57th b-day is this Saturday:) Can you believe I talked her into coming way out here? The Stanford-family adventure starts tomorrow!

I miss all my friends in Texas, Florida, New York, Colorado and elsewhere further.

More to come!

Canada Hey!

So I get across the San Juan Islands and land in Sydney, BC. Now it’s illegal to “work” in Canada w/o a work visa, which I’m not getting. But, I’m going to work for this couple so I can stay at their house and be fed. Now I can’t tell the CA custom jerks that, it’s all over the blogosphere that worldwide, you never tell customs you’re HelpXing, because that’s working and they will deny you entry. 101_0599However, when customs asked me how I knew these guys, I got flustered, and instead of just saying we met online, which I thought would seem sketchy, I made up a story that Blake (the dad) used to work at an insurance company with me. Customs got their phone# out of me (one of many, many mistakes I made w/these people) called my new hosts up, who of course knew nothing about the “insurance gig” and I was hauled back into the office being caught in lie #1. I also stubbed my toe really bad in the office.

After about an hour of questioning and pulling basically everything out of my car they ended up letting me in. I have a sheet of paper I give US customs on my way out saying I left, and if that doesn’t happen (as in if I stay past 30 days) a warrant goes out for arrest. Yay Canada.

ANYWAY, I got into the country and made my way the to Hunter Homestead. My fist hosts for Canada have the last name of Hunter! How could this NOT work out? It’s like we’re related or something. 101_0545They are maybe a few years older than I, Blake and Kirsten, but she goes by the Putu as a nod to her First Nations roots. We say Native Americans, they say First Nations, now you know.

I’ve been on a great streak for hosts and they were no exception. Right off the bat we were laughing and teasing each other and all other jazz old friends do. Blake runs his own business selling help seeds and oils (which is produced off of his family farm in Saskatchewan) and Putu works for BC dealing in human trafficking issues.

This was my first “in the city” gig. The last one in Bellingham was outside of the city proper and still very much has a country vibe. The Hunter Homestead a little outside of Victoria proper but quite residential nonetheless. I have a bike with me and got the most use of it of any gig yet. They live next to what’s called the Galloping Goose bike trail which runs all over Vancouver Island but more importantly runs a direct trail from the Hunter Homestead into downtown running next to a road for maybe 200 yards tops. This thing intersects the city like a champ.

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This city is quite old and it shows. Canada is interesting because of the influence the UK, France and America all have on it and the resulting culture. Music was all over the place (a la ATX) and the weather was totally fabulous everyday.  Further, I read on a blog that Victoria has four women for every guy and it shows. Gorgeous women were everywhere.

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I went to something called the Bug’s Zoo while in Victoria and it was pretty slick. Even though I was a little disappointed to shell out $12 to walk into one big room,101_0561 they had some really bizarre stuff and if you followed the guide you could hold almost everything. The highlights were a stick bug that was about as long as your arm and a katydid who was about the size of a small horse. They also had a particular cockroach who has made a visit to my nightmares every night since. He was huge and he hissed and it was horrible. The thing would quiver as it hissed and I’m almost certain it was silently chanting my name. I’m going to change the subject..

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101_0581So mostly for the week I hung out with the Hunter Homestead crowd, biked downtown and did begrudgingly kept up with my insurance work. At first I was totally bummed that these hosts didn’t have internet, but that made me go different locations to get my work done and the work was much easier. Turns out I waste tons of time on soul-sucking sites such as Facebook and TheChive when I’m sitting around with nothing to do. Instead, while at home, with no internet, I practiced guitar like never before and read a bunch. Just started Fools Die by Mario Puzo, the guy who wrote The Godfather book. Good stuff people. To the left is Asher, the Hunter’s SUPER CUTE son. We bonded like WHOA and I’m positive I had a pivotal influence on his life. If we never speak again, I fully expect to be credited in his Best Picture speech.

The baby looks uncomfortable for reasons completely unrelated to me holding him. He told me.

The baby looks uncomfortable for reasons completely unrelated to me holding him. He told me.

Thanks again to the Hunter Homestead for hosting a fellow Hunter. Favorite HelpX so far! From here I head to the Prancing Horse B&B in Malahat, BC.

More to come!

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