There and back again

My husband loves Mike Holmes.

One of M's biggest projects was the ski jump for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

When I asked him to sum up his fascination with the man, he responded:




As a journeyman carpenter, he also enjoys the practical aspect of Mr. Holmes’ show.

“I never really got to see the construction of a house from beginning to end. I like how much I learn watching him, and I like seeing how Mike has grown as a contractor, how much he’s learned over the run of his show. He’s obviously committed to helping people, but also encouraging others to perform the best possible work – not only among the people he works with, but within the industry in general. They just do really good work.

“It also gives me lots of great ideas of what I would like to do with our house.”


REALLY awesome.

I too like Mike. Not necessarily for the same reasons that M does, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t pretty darn affecting to see how grateful people are for the help they receive from Mr. Holmes and his crew.

(I may or may not cry regularly during the last ten minutes of the show.)

For reality programming, it’s certainly not your run-of-the mill “how desperately can one person embarrass themselves over the course of fifty-two minutes?”

(Aka it’s one of those exceedingly rare “positive” breeds of reality tv.)

I mean, other than highlighting all the shoddy work being down by crap, pass-the-buck companies, episodes are enough to make the hardest heart grow three sizes (plus Mike probably has a tool for that.)

And at the very least hopefully viewers be extra careful when considering having work done on their house.

Remember: References people, REFERENCES!

This weekend we trekked up to the Sunshine Coast for a mini getaway.

We were gone only two days, but the weather during this time was all over the map.

(This is, depending on your taste, one of the best or worst qualities of life on the west coast of British Columbia. For my part, I like the variety.)

At the ferry terminal, I espied these two birdies, hanging out, having a chin-wag together:

"So I says to Mabel I says..."

These two feathered friends stirred something in me. The morning of M’s and my wedding, he sent me a beautiful bracelet to wear with my dress. This was the card that accompanied the gift:

Love birds!


Whist on the ferry we encountered some insane fog. I went out to take some photos and the gentleman standing to my right turned to face me as I snapped away.

“It’s like we’re heading into Narnia,” he said laughing.

I nodded. “Either that or the Gray Havens. Being on a ship and I all.” I answered.

“Of course the Gray Havens!” He exclaimed, almost as if he was sad that his brief lapse in nerd knowledge was intensely disappointing to him.

“We’re not exactly crossing walking into a wardrobe here,” he muttered.

Love it.

This was taken facing Horshoebay:

Sail away, sail away, sail away...

This was heading towards Port Melllon:


Driving past Sechelt, up towards the cabin, we encountered a lot of fog.

I'm picking up a fog bank on my radar...

The route all of a sudden became a little bit more mysterious, and a little bit more exciting. While the mist gave our travel time more character and a decidedly more somber moo (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), needless to say that the views were not what you normally get when heading up that way.

And my rear view mirror.

Not that I’m complaining.

As soon as we arrived, I took some photos of the dock, before warming myself in front of the wood burning stove.

Baby it's cold outside...


But not in here!


Later that evening, I froze my feet taking photos of the how spooky the water looked, lit-up amid the night boat lights and fog.

Linda? Is that you?

That is some exorcist stuff, if I ever saw it. EEP.

For the rest of the weekend we ran, cooked, watched Eli Manning and his compatriots (no double entendre intended) run over New England’s defence, and played more rounds of Trivial Pursuit Genius Edition (released in 1981!) than we could count.

I was seriously on the verge of peeing my pants at some points, I was laughing so hard.

Every time one of us drew a history card, and it happened to be something like, “Who was Truman’s vice-presidential running mate?” we’d lose it, before guessing some random “American” sounding name.

“Ummm, Harold Williams?”

A good set up. The best, really.


Although, my favourite of the night was:

Who lived at Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, with his pet duck named Dab Dab?

Good grief, I was crying with laughter as I attempted to choke this question out for M. For serious, I now know my life will never be complete until I acquire a duck and name it Dab Dab.

Holy quack.

This morning the water was completely frozen over (and again I froze my little feets when I ventured out to take these photos at 7:30am. The clouds looked like milk, frothed, and spotted pink in places, making candy-coloured striations fly across the length of the sky.

Beauty, beauty, Beauty.

As I ran my favourite ten kilometre route (in the whole wide world) my breath hung close, suspended in the frigid air. Couples out walking their dogs nodded to me, and I smiled and waved back, concentrating on my breathing, and stride length.

At one end of the loop, the fog clung to the tall firs, and spindly pines, the air smelled like fresh sod and salt cod, my cheeks stung cold, and my hands burned hot.

My feet, legs, hips, arms – back and forth, one and two, sprinting to my finish line, where freshly strewn pine needles, and the contented call of water fowl mark my place in my self-timed race.

I was home.

(Just like Holmes.)

Published by

Vanessa Woznow

Writer, runner, ranter, reader. I write about all things.

6 thoughts on “There and back again”

  1. Love, love, love!! You got some gorgeous shots! Glad it was a fantastic weekend for you. :)
    And I’m quite thrilled that you’re a fellow nerd, just seeing the title of this made me happy!
    Trivial Pursuit is the bomb and your run sounds perfect… Great post!

    1. Thanks! The weekend was a hoot and a half – board games are my forever weakness.

      I don’t know what I’d do without my fellow nerds. They make the (my!) world go round!

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