Bee Stings – What to do

I was out working in the garden today and got stung.  I didn’t even see what it was.  There were no bees, or wasps that I could see in the area.  I’m always very careful to give them their space.  No one likes getting stung and some people are very allergic.  If you are one of those unfortunate people, follow your doctor’s instructions and get to an emergency room right away if needed. If not, here’s a tip.


So what do you do with a bee sting or wasp bite, or any other critter for that matter?  First of all get some vinegar on it. We use cotton balls and soak them with white vinegar and apply the cotton ball directly to the affected area.  This works really well. (It has something to do with the toxins being the base and the vinegar being the acid, so I’m told by my husband, the hazmat guru.  It doesn’t matter to me how it works, I just know that it does.) It takes the sting out and helps reduce swelling.  Secondly, I always take an anti-histamine as well.  It helps with any of the other reactions.
What do you do when you are on a motorcycle in the middle of nowhere and you get stung? Pull over as quickly as is safe to do so.  Get your vinegar on the sting spot right away. (If you’re not sure of the exact spot, the general area will work too)  We carry vinegar soaked cotton balls in an old film case on the bike at all times. We also usually have some dissolving anti-histamines so we don’t have to worry about having water all the time. (I use Claritin, but I’m sure all the brands are good). Having these small items in all your vehicles would be a great idea too. You never know when you’re going to get bitten or stung. Bugs don’t care if you’re in a car, on a motorcycle, riding a horse or camel. They just bite!
I got stung last summer right at the helmet line at the temple on the side of my face.  We pulled over right away and I got the vinegar on and the anti-histamine in.  In about 10 minutes the stinging had really eased down to not much of anything, thankfully.  I was very concerned about swelling so close to my eye. One can’t ride a motorcycle with a swollen eye affecting your eyesight! Like always, it worked like a charm and I had very little swelling in a small area.
If you don’t have these items on your possession and wonder what to do.  My daughter was stung right on the upper lip, poor thing. And on the Friday of a long-weekend no less. We didn’t have any vinegar with us, but we were only about 4 miles from a McDonald’s Restaurant.  We high tailed it for McDonalds.  I ran in and got some napkins and some vinegar packets.  We put that on as soon as we could get it poured onto the napkins.  It helped a bit, but we were a bit late.  We also didn’t have any anti-histamines with us, so we used Advil.  Any anti-inflammatory will help with the swelling, but not any of the other reactions that may be possible.
Of course none of this is designed to deter you from doctor’s orders or advice by any means. But whatever you can do for yourself at home without medical attention the better.  And on the road it’s a must. Medical services and restaurants aren’t always handy when you’re travelling. 
If you are unfortunate and get stung, try this method.  It really works.
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Woodturning Lessons

Interested in learning to turn wood, or becoming a “Woodturner.” Contact Ed Pretty in Langley, BC for more information.  Never turned before?  Doesn’t matter.  Turned a bit in high-school and haven’t touched it since?  Doesn’t matter. Turning already, but want some pointers?  Whatever your needs, Ed can customize a program for you. Perhaps only one day, or maybe three.  Maybe you want to do a family or friends group. He can do that too.

Click Here to connect to Ed’s website for more information.

Ed Pretty lives in Langley, BC.  If you live in the Lower Mainland, Greater Vancouver area, Fraser Valley, or even the state of Washington, check it out.

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Ed Pretty – Langley Woodturner

Ed Pretty is a woodturner in Langley, BC.  He does amazing artistic work.  He’s been turning since he was a kid.  His work has progressed over the years from salad bowls to incredible forms of art.  I refer to him as a Wood Artist rather than a Woodturner, but either will do.

Click Here to check out his website

He is also very crafted in turning for production.  If you need your spindles replaced on your staircase, he’s your guy.  Or you have a special knob that needs to be replaced on an antique dresser and you just can’t find one anywhere, he’s your guy.  Pretty much anything that can be turned on a lathe, he can do. Even potatoes if you want curly fries 🙂

Keep up with Ed and I on Facebook:  Click Here  You don’t have to sign up for Facebook to do that.  If you want to join the group, you’ll have to be a Facebook member.  The group is called Ed’s Woodturning.

Contact Ed directly at:

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Another Reason To Always Wear Protective Gear.

There was a motorcycle accident on Highway #1 in British Columbia yesterday in the HOV lane.  Our son-in-law, Derek was right there next to the bike when he went down.  The fool wasn’t wearing any protective clothing, only a t-shirt!  He suffered severe road rash and I’m sure there were some other injuries to accompany the rash.  His bike landed on top of him and Derek had to pick it up off of him. One can guess that he probably has some burns to go with the rash. Protective gear would have protected him from that as well.

That prompted my newest post. Click here for the full post Always Wear Your Protective Gear

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Always Wear Your Protective Gear

I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time but never seemed to get around to it.  After yesterday, I have decided now is the time.  
There was a motorcycle accident on Highway #1 in British Columbia yesterday in the HOV lane.  Our son-in-law, Derek was right there next to the bike when he went down.  The fool wasn’t wearing any protective clothing, only a t-shirt!  He suffered severe road rash and I’m sure there were some other injuries to accompany the rash.  His bike landed on top of him and Derek had to pick it up off of him. One can guess that he probably has some burns to go with the rash. Protective gear would have protected him from that as well.
Ed and I May 2011
First some background. My husband Ed and I have been riding for a long time.  Ed started riding way back in the 60’s before he drove a car.  I grew up around motorcycles with my brothers and took my first ride on the tank when I was about 4.  Ed and I starting riding together two-up in 2001.  We put on 100,000 miles in seven years before I decided to get my own ride.  I have been riding my own now for 5 years.  We do a lot of long distance touring, having been from coast to coast, Alaska, and all over the USA. (We only have 13 States to go)  We have seen a lot, experienced a lot and even instructed motorcycle skills for a local school. We both come from an emergency service background and have seen and heard just about everything there as well.
That brings me to my point and very strong opinion about wearing your protective gear at all times, no matter what!!  You may think it doesn’t look cool to wear leather or any other type of gear, but sliding across the pavement with nothing more than a t-shirt and shorts isn’t very cool either.  Ever fall off your bicycle when you were a kid?  Remember how much that hurt. I sure do.  Picture the same hurt multiplied by the speed of a motorcycle versus a peddly bike.  Ever seen a little kid fall while walking and scrape their hands or knees? Again multiply it.
I have a scrape on my leather jacket sleeve from where I dropped my bike in a parking lot. (I put my foot down when I stopped and there was a large dip in the pavement that I didn’t see) so I went over.  I wasn’t moving!  There was no speed, or God forbid another vehicle involved. Only me, and the pavement and it left a nasty mark.  That mark is one of my many reminders to always wear my gear. Thankfully it is on my jacket and not my arm.
You may think that it is cooler, temperature wise, to go without your gear. We were riding in 120°F heat last summer for weeks on end.  We rode with our full gear at all times.  Like everyone else, we are human. Hard to imagine I know. We had enough of the heat and thought we would try taking our chaps off for a bit. (We did keep our jackets on). We rode down the road, about 20 minutes and we pulled over and promptly put them back on again.  It was much cooler with them on.  We found that the sun was beating on our legs directly through our jeans without the protection of the leather to stop it. I’m not saying that it isn’t hot when you’re stopped in traffic, but once you’re moving it really does help keep you cool.
Not quite this bad, but almost…
We saw everyone around us wearing a colorful array of clothing. T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, swim wear, flip flops, you name it, other than being totally naked there wasn’t much there in the way of clothing. We couldn’t imagine doing that.  Remember the last time you got hit with a bug, ouch! On bare skin! No thank you.  We were also finding that dehydration could be a problem. Luckily we always had lots of water with us, hot, but it was still hydration.  Just picture frying a steak in a pan, or on your BBQ. That’s what is happening to your skin in those temperatures.  The wind is also key, as it is a hot wind and is also drying you out. Not to mention perhaps causing a burn all it’s own. If you keep your gear on, your body will work the way it’s intended to. It will sweat and cool you off. If you don’t allow your body to cool itself, again it will dry out and you will become dehydrated.  Dehydration affects your whole body and can cause long term effects, even death.  Keep your gear on and keep well hydrated.  (We found freezing water overnight helped a bit to keep it cool).
We have occasionally rode with only our jackets and not bothered with our chaps.  It may seem a bit cooler at times and you certainly don’t feel weighed down, but I personally am not all that comfortable doing that.  I find that my confidence suffers causing me to be over cautious in some situations.  I also found on my style of bike, 2009 HD Street Glide, without having fairing lowers the wind beat on my legs and gave me very sore shins.  Ed has fairing lowers on his bike, so he doesn’t notice that as much.
Bottom line…where your protective gear at all times. Whether it’s leather, nylon, or Kevlar, or even a suit of armour, keep it on. It just might save your life, at the very least, your hide.
Don’t even get me started on helmets!  That’s another day 🙂
Ride on…Ride safe!
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Introducing Ed Pretty

Since my original post introducing Ed as a Wood Artist was deleted when I was hacked some time ago I have re-done it and am re-posting.  Of course this version is better, newer.  Enjoy!

Click here for the full post:  Ed Pretty – Wood Artist

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Ed Pretty – Wood Artist

Let me introduce you to an outstanding artist, Ed Pretty.  I love his work, all of it, always have and always will.  Unfortunately because the medium he uses was a trade for many years most people still consider it a craft rather than art. It seems that most people don’t view something as art unless it hangs on a wall.  Hogwash! I say. 
The type of artist I’m speaking of is a “Wood Artist” or “Woodturner.”  Woodturning is most commonly known for making spindles, table legs, salad bowls, that sort of thing.  Only recently is it starting to be considered as an art form rather than just a craft.  If you don’t believe me, check out the instant gallery at any of the AAW (American Association of Woodturners) symposiums to see for yourself.
Ella’s Slotted Spoon

One of Ed’s first turned pieces was for his mother Ella.  She needed a new handle for her slotted spoon, so Ed made one for her.  He recalls he was about nine years old at the time.  That’s just a few years ago 🙂


My first little vase 1997
My first little bowl 1998
I remember the first turning I received from Ed.  It was back in 1997 as a Christmas gift when we were working together.  I was lucky enough to get one the following year as well.  I love these little pieces, they still sit proudly on a shelf in the bedroom.
Ed was getting bored with “round and brown” as he puts it, so he started coloring wood to enhance its natural beauty, not cover it up.  He uses dies rather than paints or stains on most of his pieces.  Painting will cover up the wood completely.  Stains sit on top of the grain, which isn’t an undesirable trait depending on your goal.
Wedding Ring Holder
He made a lovely colored bowl for a very special occasion in July 2002.  His wedding.  It is a lovely burgundy color piece that has been enhanced by “lime-waxing” making it a combination of burgundy and white.  Inside there are satin ring slots. The young fellow, his step-son, who was his ring bearer carried this piece instead of the traditional small pillow. It also has a “special” spot in his house.

The “That’s Not Leaving the House Collection” was born when Ed made a gift for a friend.  He calls it “Harmony.”  It has become his signature piece.  It is a combination of round and square, black and white, large and small, old and new.  It is a lovely piece thwarting all traditional woodturning techniques and styles.  His wife liked it so much she said, “You’ll have to make something else for a gift, that’s not leaving the house.” Thus the collection was born.  It increases on a regular basis. His newest piece is struggling to make it to the gallery and not become part of this rare collection.  He told his wife that if it sells, it’s a cruise.  How can you argue with that logic? 🙂

Rag Time side 1
Rag Time side 2

Ed’s work has progressed over the years and is now something of a marvel.  I’m still amazed at his most recent work.  Having been there during the progression, I’ve become a large part of the idea, or brainstorming, phase for his newest pieces. Ideas and inspiration come from the strangest places and at all times convenient or not, doesn’t matter. Sometimes it’ll be on a cruise from a liquor bottle, or at a restaurant from a salt shaker on the table.  Of course there is always the middle of the night “Light-bulb” or “Aha” moments that Ed thankfully keeps to himself.

Rag Time side 3
In case you’re wondering how I happen to know about these middle of the night events, I guess I should tell you that Ed is my husband. I didn’t forget to mention it, I chose to wait until now to give it more of a punch, so to speak. I also didn’t want you to think I was biased or anything. 🙂
In keeping with the theme that art isn’t art unless it’s hanging on the wall, Ed now puts some of his work on the wall.  What else is a guy to do?  Some of these pieces are the most intriguing of all.  At his show in November 2012, the wall pieces were the first to sell.  I think this method is going to continue into something exciting.  Stay tuned.
Nemo Corners the Convict Fish
If you’d like to have a closer look at more of Ed’s work.  Check out his website. Ed’s Woodturning You’ll find it quite amazing I assure you. He also does commission pieces. If you are interested in learning to turn, he also does instruction in his shop at our home here in Langley, BC.
You can also view his work at the “Circle Craft Store & Gallery” Circle Craft Store & Gallery
If you’re a Facebook member, you can join our group called “Ed’s Woodturning” or like us on Facebook at “Ed Pretty – Wood Artist” 
What does the future hold?  Who knows?  We are always searching for new galleries and shows; getting the word out there and informing the public about woodturning as an art form, not just salad bowls and spindles. For the record, I don’t have one single salad bowl in the house, but I do have a lot of “Wood Art” and hope to keep it that way for many years to come.
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Genealogy Humor

I thought I would start the renewal of my blog with a little humour.  I don’t recall where I got this or who wrote it, but it is worth the read.  Enjoy!

                   Genealogy Humor 
1. My family coat of arms ties at the back….is that normal?
2. My family tree is a few branches short! All help appreciated
3. My ancestors must be in a witness protection program!
4. Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall!
5. My hobby is genealogy, I raise dust bunnies as pets.
6. How can one ancestor cause so much TROUBLE??
7. I looked into my family tree and found out I was a sap..
8. I’m not stuck, I’m ancestrally challenged
9. I’m searching for myself; Have you seen me ?
10. If only people came with pull-down menus and on-line help…
11. Isn’t genealogy fun? The answer to one problem, leads to two more!
12. It’s 2008… Do you know where your-Great-G. Grandparents are?
13. A family reunion is an effective form of birth control
14. A family tree can wither if nobody tends it’s roots
15. A new cousin a day keeps the boredom away
16. After 30 days, unclaimed ancestors will be adopted
17. Am I the only person up my tree… sure seems like it
18. Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts and a few bad apples
19. Ever find an ancestor HANGING from the family tree?
20. FLOOR: The place for storing your priceless genealogy records.
21. Gene-Allergy: It’s a contagious disease, but I love it
22. Genealogists are time un-ravelers
23. Genealogy is like playing hide and seek: They hide… I seek!
24. Genealogy: Tracing yourself back to better people
25. “Crazy” is a relative term in my family
26. A pack rat is hard to live with, but makes a fine ancestor
27. I want to find ALL of them! So far I only have a few thousand
28. I Should have asked them BEFORE they died!
29. I think my ancestors had several “Bad heir” days
30. I’m always late. My ancestors arrived on the JUNEflower
31. Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards, as progress
32. Share your knowledge, it is a way to achieve immortality
33. Heredity: Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!
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Memorial Ride for Ron

Yesterday we had a memorial ride for Ron Remenda, and old riding buddy.  Have a look if you like.

Ron Remenda Memorial Ride

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Ron Remenda (1950-2010) Memorial Ride 2012

Ron Remenda
I posted two years ago about the sudden loss of one of our great riding buddies Ron Remenda who passed away at the way too young age of 60. Unfortunately that post was wiped out along with all the others when my blog was hacked.  So, I thought I’d share this with you as he is still often in our thoughts.
Being the good bikers we are we had a 2nd annual memorial ride for Ron yesterday.  We chose to ride up the Fraser Canyon just past Boston Bar to the “Canyon Alpine” for lunch.  We all were there at least once with Ron in the past, so it seemed a good fit.  It’s also where we had the ride for him last year, kind of setting a tradition. The weather wasn’t bad either, which is always a good thing. But then it wouldn’t be a true BC fall ride if we didn’t have to don our rain gear at some point.
Thanks to Ed and Mike for leading and tailing to keep us all safe and together. It was just like old times.  Thanks also to Mike for remembering to bring his camera. 
Lunch at Canyon Alpine
We all have our memories of Ron, some that we share, some that are individual.  Most of us had a good giggle when we went through any of the seven tunnels that run through the canyon between Yale and Boston Bar. You see, a few years back Ron got these new very loud pipes on his bike.  He was leading the ride this particular fall day, which didn’t happen all that often.  Looking back I wonder if he had this up his sleeve all along.  I digress. While going through one of the longer tunnels he slowed down so that we were all bunched up, wondering what could be wrong so all our senses were at their peak, especially the eyes and ears.  He then pulled in his clutch and revved on the throttle a few times causing a great booming noise that crackled and echoed all the way through the tunnel from the first rider to the last. Not to mention the cloud of dust that he created for all those riding behind him from the exhaust mixing with the dust on the pavement.  To this day I can’t go through any of the tunnels without thinking about Ron and that day.  Some of the others at lunch shared the same story, so I’m thinking he maybe did this more than once.  Hey when you have a new audience you have to try out your old tricks, I get that.
One of my personal favourite memories is the first HOG Christmas party that Ed and I attended in 2002.  Ron and I were dancing and he decided he wanted to twirl me.  Not an easy task being that we are about the same height (actually I think I may be a bit taller).  When he suggested that we try it my response was simple and to the point, “Ron, you’ll take my head off.”  He just smiled and got up on the stage so we could accomplish this task.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Of course, Ed couldn’t leave that opportunity alone and called out “Hey Ron, careful you don’t get a nose bleed way up there.”  He didn’t take offense at all and the two of them quite often joked about the height difference.  All in fun, of course.
Some of the gang:  Jim, Brian, Arlene, Ed, Bev, Linda, Jennifer and Ibe, Mike’s taking the picture 🙂
Most of the old gang are still riding, although some are between bikes, contemplating hanging it up, or already made the decision to pack away the leathers and stick to four wheels rather than two.  No matter what we are all doing now, we will never forget the rides and gatherings we had together and the good times that went along with them all.  We saw a lot of country together and met a lot of new people.  Times I know I will never forget as Ed and I continue to ride around the country. We will always remember certain roads, stops, towns and points of interest with fond memories of Ron.
RIP (Ride In Peace) old friend, you are surely missed… 
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