Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

We made it home...happy to be here, nursing a small cold but otherwise unscathed. But it's New Year's and there are toasts to make and beers to drink, dogs to walk and neighbours and friends to reconnect with... so CHEERS to each and every one of you. Here's to 2006...may she rest in peace....and here's to 2007, may we ALL find peace, prosperity(whichever way you view it), love, joy, friendship, strength, courage and grace.
We'll talk more next year, ok?
Be safe and careful out there tonight, everyone.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas, Everyone

Again, I am breaking my own photo rule, but hopefully you won't be able to tell...we're not nearly so pixelated in real life. We are catching the first ferry out Friday morning. Things may get away from me tomorrow what with packing and another party at HickChic's place and all the last minute travel details(setting up timers and checking the weather network ten thousand times) so I just wanted to tell you all to enjoy your holidays, enjoy your family and friends, enjoy all the little things like time and touch and laughter. That's all we really remember in the end anyway, isn't it? I can't remember many gifts that came wrapped up in paper with a shiny bow, but I can recall the times around the table when we all put aside everything for an evening to celebrate something that nobody else has... our family...our family of blood, sweat, tears, misfits, mongrels, adoptees, refugees, right-wing, left-wing, ding-bats, tattooed ladies and carnival geeks, freaks and other participants of life...a family that we patched together like a crazy quilt of cast-offs and end-pieces. We don't all look alike. We don't all share the same heritage. But we are Family. And I am going Home. I hope you are Home for your holidays, as well. We are children of the universe. We all have a right to be here. Peace on Earth. Good Will to All Men. Amen. See you in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

gimme gimme gimme

Another artshare arrived today....lovely pieces of art based on one of my own photos. I am stunned. Thank you to Arlee. It hardly seems fair to me that I simply went out with my camera and clicked some buttons. I may have to print another leaf or two soon, after all the holiday madness is over. What is so amazing, is that this piece is exactly the colours Michael and I have finally decided will be our living room know, we don't have the same tastes in most decorating so it takes us forever to decide anything(the kitchen colours were a decision 9 months in the making...for real) ...and just when we figure it out, I open this package. Meant to be a part of our landscape. Thank you, thank you, thank you. As we had just decided on colours, I finally bought a couch(so we can dump the horrible hand-me-hand-me-hand-me down) with some of my money from painting Em's place. It was a triumphant investment because new furniture is such a luxury. Only one problem. It was like buying a camouflage suit for Michael. I can't find him anywhere....can you?
Oooh....what's that?
Sweetest Eem-er gives away the secret. There he is...

Monday, December 18, 2006

goodbye, Mr. Mortensen....

View of Nanaimo from "The Abyss."
We had a bit of a break in the weather on the weekend. Though it was still cold and there is still snow and runoff everywhere making every trek a sloggy, muddy mess, the sun came out and that is all the excuse we needed to load the car with dogs and people and head to the hills for walkies. We used every inch of space in the car to head up to "the Abyss" with everyone. I don't know if that is really the name of the place or not. Someone we know called it that and it has stuck. Miles of trails along slick rock, so though it is wet, not as muddy as some of our other trails right now.

On the weekends even Michael comes along. Sometimes all the guys come and there is much laughter and the walks are longer, trickier, steeper...but always fun. This time, though, it was only Michael. The holidays are really messing with our dog walk schedule!

West coast rain forest.

It's still cold here...tricky footing in some spots. Be careful.

This walk was bittersweet. Viggo's last stroll with us. Today, he is on a train, Ontario bound. He and his moms are heading home. This is the last photo of the whole gang...our little fur baby play pals. There is an empty seat in my car now.

So, to those of you reading in Ontario...if you see this handsome rogue, tall dark and furry, with the most human glint in his eye and the big white cross on his chest, give him a snuggle for me and tell him I miss him. I never had a big dog of my own before, but this past summer we spent together was a great one. He's a damn fine dog. He could teach a lot of people a thing or two.

Bye, Mr. Mortensen.

We're going to miss you, buster brown. Good boy.

Friday, December 15, 2006

pride and joy

Okay, okay...the sink. I guess no photos of my house are complete without her. She is original as well, the new cabinets were built up around her.
She is all porcelain. She has drain trays built right in on both sides, sloping gently back to the double sinks. I can wash my dishes and put them in the dish drainer soapy and rinse them all there and all the water goes right back into the sink. We love her. She was the deal sealer on this house...for real. A real beauty in this modern world. And no, I do not have a name for her yet. Even after all this time.

our house, in the middle of our street

Since the weather has been so lousy, I haven't had the camera out much. So wanna see some of my house? These are the windows on the street side of the house...there is clear glass beneath the coloured panes as old as the house, which was built in 1923. They are warped and look like they are melting and that is why some of my photos of the street outside look so weird. And here we are in the kitchen looking through one set of french doors into our living room. It's kind of messy right now so I closed the the door is pretty too. See the paint job on the entry door? A reminder of Maggie and her seperation anxiety. The glow in the left part of the french door is the pellet stove...cozy, cozy. All the walls are plaster and lathe, with coved ceilings, 10 feet up. We have the original glass doorknobs and some porcelain ones. Some of the glass for the light covers is original fixtures, frosty and blue like old candy dishes. Some of our switches are still push button. The trim and baseboard is still unpainted wood throughout most of the house and my intention is to restore what isn't.
And another set of french doors on the other side of the kitchen to the sunroom, our plant haven. We haven't had too much sun lately but when we do, this is where the morning sun is. Our back deck is out back there.
I love my kitchen...except for that ugly ceiling fan. Ugh.
Some essentials for my kitchen...the Joy of Cooking...the Cure for Death by Lightning(great story with great recipes)....Cara's recipe cards and ripe ancient Blue Ribbon Cookbook I found at a church sale, full of hand-written, well-tested recipes in all the free spaces and lovely notes in the margins. My own recipe book is so ugly I keep it in the cupboard but I hope someday somebody sees how much love I put into that's kind of modeled after the cookbook in The Cure For Death By Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz. Some broad beans to plant in the spring.
My fridge is a chaotic dream...always has been. My keepsake box. My bulletin board. Some of these things have been with me since I left home. Some are new additions. There is Maggie. There is Michael. My friend's band, Beat Nervosa. Who doesn't love Tank Girl? A postcard of my hometown that I can see my childhood house in. A postcard that says "The Scenery is here. Wish you were beautiful." I could never send it to anyone because I couldn't be parted from it. It's been on my fridge for at least 12 years. A postcard from Alien Caffeine in Roswell, NM. Phone numbers I will never call. Found items, like the frog prince drawing and somebody's shopping list I found on the ground in Vancouver. They were going to the store for pop, ketchup chips and condoms. No kidding.
More of my's kind of like seeing in my head, isn't it? Scared yet?
Well, that was boring, wasn't it? Ha ha. Hopefully I will be able to take the camera outdoors again soon or who knows what the next photo montage will be...the cobwebs and spiders in the basement or something equally fun. Can't wait for that now, can you?
Have a good weekend, all.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


So, Sid and Nancy(names changed to protect the lameass rejects) are back...Nancy, a local (meaning she'll sleep on your porch if it's covered) hooker, fresh from 60 days or so in jail...maybe 90, who knows. She looks rested and well fed. She looks human. Less than a week after her release, Sid, her pimp, er, boyfriend, sorry, is assaulting her in the street in front of my house. They are both high...sketchy crack high. I call the RCMP. It is assault, after all. Three cars respond. Statements taken...ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. What a fucking joke, pardon my cynical and snide language. Sid and Nancy? Kissy kissy. "We love each other...nothing happened....I fell and he was helping me....yadda yadda bullshit...." Nobody went to jail. Hello? RCMP?!? Hey, asshats, I saw the whole fucking thing. Nobody "fell." Next time, you want fucking video? I'll take it before I call you. I'll take my time about dialing 911. Is that what you want because that's what you condition us to do. They(RCMP) did not even come to my door for my statement...just let them walk away. So what if she didn't want to press charges? I did. I WANT YOU TO DO SOME EFFING PAPERWORK!!!! I WANT YOU " TO PROTECT AND SERVE!!!" And you, RCMP, should too. Remember WHY you wanted to be a policeman in the first place? Might help the situation around this neighbourhood a bit if you fucking participated in your own damn jobs. Ass-hats. Lame-ass, lazy, too-fucking-cool-for-school ASS-HATS.

how do I get that job?

All of our weather reports said to prepare for another day and night of windstorms...yikes, more wind? Power is out over large parts of the island. Trees are down everywhere, including in my beloved Cathedral Grove Old Growth Forest. Lay in candles, put new rope on the screen door(the only way to keep it from banging in the wind is to tie it closed)...then, hmm, curious, I look out the window fifteen minutes or so ago. Weird. Snowflakes. Where did that come from? Oh well, it won't last. Bruce(our local celebrity weatherman) told us wind...wind....wind.
Well,'s already sticking 5 minutes later. Crazy, isn't it?

Five more minutes and that is DEFINITELY sticking now and I can barely see the other side of the street because the snow is coming down so thick and fast. WTF, Bruce?

Five minutes ago I took this...and it is still coming down. In fifteen minutes we went from wet but clear roads to this. Holy cow. Who's weather is this? Come pick it up.

kicking and screaming

I fell...I cannot function without being able to comment on everyone else's blog...I MUST be able to add my two cents Beta it is. Sorry to all who now must make the same decision...convert or not?!?
Damn you, Blogger. Damn you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I hate you right now blogger!!!! I can't believe you are making me do this...lame lame lame... now if I make the move to beta, anyone who wants to comment on my blog will have to move to's friggin' blackmail and you suck. Sorry, but you do!!!! You absolutely suck right now. I wonder about's free, too. Hmmm. Heidi....what are you going to do?


So now I HAVE to change to beta because I cannot comment on any beta sights? Blogger, you suck.
I would have been perfectly content to remain as I am. I don't mind changing if it is my idea but the sheer fact that you are FORCING me to really pisses me off and I simply don't have time right now though I want to comment on some sites!!!! By the time I can get around to changing, my comments will be untimely and lame....

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

it's neverending.......

Dangit, Heidi(shaking fist!!!!)!!!!!!!!!! I will never be done with this damn crush list....
How could I possibly overlook Edward Norton?!?!? How do I stop????
By the way...I did have a boyfriend who looked a bit like Robin Williams (same total lack of lips, yet a thoroughly expressive mouth and that high forehead and the same nose)though I do not have a crush on Robin know, just cuz he was in the photo, too, do I even bring it up. Wink.

Monday, December 11, 2006

weekend stuff

Friday night we celebrated a very late U.S. Thanksgiving. Since we are in Canada, I don't think it mattered how late I was. Nobody seemed to know and all wished me a Happy Thanksgiving. Go figure. It was pretty impromptu, with invitations going out as late as the time we were putting the turkey on the table...15 people and four dogs were there, nonetheless. I love my house full and festive and "jovial," if you will. I love a dinner party that has no pretention...just fun and food and foolishness. I love my friends. I love my neighbours. I love that they are one and the same. Thank you to everyone. Tonight, there is turkey stock cooking on the stove and tomorrow? Turkey and dumpling soup, folks. Mmmm mmmmm good. Today, the rain is coming "down" sideways. Emma actually refused to go for walks today...stopping at the door this morning and this afternoon. She was not happy that I drug her out into anyway. Oh well.
Get over it!!!!
You know what I like on a crappy holiday season night? Roadblocks. I do. I totally admit it. They make my whole week. I feel no guilt over my cattiness on Roadblock Night.
My neighbours, too, I guess. They were out on their porch watching the happenings, smoking and drinking beer. What a show. At least they didn't haul out the camera, eh?
Actually, at least they didn't DRINK AND DRIVE!!!! Hey folks, this town isn't that big. No cab fare will run you more than $10. Your mom WILL come pick you up. There are free rides for the holidays from more than one charity organization. Take advantage. Use it.
Save some lives. Save some money. Save some face. Don't drink and drive. Just don't do it. It's not worth it, any way you look at it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

soft parachutes

Have any of you heard Paul Simon's " soft_parachute. " It is kind of an old and obscure song by Simon and Garfunkel during the Vietnam war. I grew up a tremendous fan of Paul(not so much Garfunkel, even though my mom's boyfriend could do an evilly cruel impersonation of the guy). So, ever since I saw Llew's Soft Monster Coat on cara's blog in October I have been "listening" to Soft Monster Coat to the tune of "Soft Parachutes" in my head. It's my own thing and I don't expect you all to understand. Imagine, if you will, how blessed I felt to receive this shirt from Cara that is a Soft Monster Shirt(still fits the song), I can wear the monster in the front or in the back cuz it is specially made to be reversible in a different way than most reversible shirts. Front to back as opposed to inside out. How effing cool is that? Oh, how I wish it was summer. Also? A whole Newfoundland five course dinner recipe in a hand-made pouch. I can't wait to try the Spazzy Onion Soup, and quick bread with pesto and cod followed by I Scream covered in chocolately goodness.Especially after much trepidation about a recent recipe invoving salt cod that was mighty tasty in the end. Who knew?

It occurred to me that I had not shared the first Art Share from Cara. It was not as public as ArtShare MeMe. Michael sent some art her way and she sent some our way and we are blessed to have this beauty hanging in our house now. Isn't she gorgeous? Disregard the glare of the flash. It has been gloomy, rainy and overcast the past few days and natural light is a bitch. That's a gal after my own thighs, er, heart. I adore her.
And Merry Christmas( a wee bit early) to myself. A new tattoo(that's a weird photo of my wrist), a little bit cutesy compared to my regular fare, but I love this "vintage" Snoopy, circa 1956. Does anyone recognize this little guy as the original? My first hound love. Followed by Dan and Ann from "Where the Red Fern Grows" . This was the beginning of hound dogs in my life. It's kind of like looking at the first Mickey Mouse in "Steamboat Willie."

Well, folks, it's late and I have had a beer or three so I am going to sign off tonight. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'll be talking to you again soon.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

weird job tag

Okay...I have wracked my brain. I didn't have weird jobs. Lame jobs. Yes. Weird jobs. No. In college I washed dishes and served food in the cafeteria. Then I worked at a law firm...started as file clerk and moved up through secretarial work to accounting. I hate accounting. I had some weird experiences but the job itself wasn't weird. When my whole life got weird, I moved to Southern California. By the way, the O.C.? NOT REAL. I lived there. I worked for the BIG BOY, himself,BOB. Also, it being Southern California and rent was out of this world, even then, I worked for a record store(remember records?),now defunct,TicketMaster(saw some fan-frigging-tastastic shows in unbelieveable venues) and a lumber/home improvement center, also now defunct. Actually, both Bob's I worked at are defunct, too. When I was married(yes, it's true...and it's sad), I worked here. At the Navy Exchange in Pearl Harbor. Yes....Hawaii. Oahu. I was an accounting technician. I don't know what that means...but I got tired of working indoors at a desk with a ten-key because I was living in, hello!, Hawaii. Plus? I hate accounting.
So I went to work for the Air Force Base instead, working for the Before and After School Program...dream come true, right? Lots of outdoor activities(in Hawaii), beach trips(in Hawaii), field trips(in Hawaii). Can anyone say MILITARY BRATS?!? Oh yeah...they are not a myth. I actually had to have an FBI background check for that job and a psychological evaluation. They should give you those when you LEAVE!!!!!! But look at the perks....
This is where I lived. After Hawaii, we moved to Oregon. Not my dream. I was working full time plus so that my then soon-to-be-ex-husband could go to college. I worked a job I hated so long that I learned to love it. I did home care and vocational training for people with physical and mental disabilities. I did it for a long time. I ALSO worked in a group home for assaultive, autistic adults. I worked that job until I could not stand the thought of one more scar on my body. Really. Literally. Truly. Hard work, punishing work. And for me? Not that rewarding. Post traumatic stress. Anxiety disorder. Nightmares. Disillusion. And then? When it was supposed to be my turn? Divorce. Don't feel sorry for me. I don't. I don't even like the guy anymore. In fact, I don't even think about him anymore. This is the first time he has entered my head in a very long time. So I left Oregon and ended up working here... in Colorado. It saved my mind. Here, I found out what I was all about...and that is a blessing. I worked at the Mesa Verde National Park(not defunct), doing the accounting and working front desk. I explored the Four Corners area every moment I was off work. I learned to fly fish. Learned to hike for miles. Learned what touching the face of god feels like. I learned what the colour blue is. I learned what it meant to breathe deeply and JUST BE. And I liked it. A lot. But, I still hated accounting.
And then? It was time to move on, I guess. Not knowing what I was doing, I hit the road and found myself here. At first I worked the hotels again...doing accounting. And? Still effing hated accounting. So, I took a job at Yummies, because I LOVE coffee. But guess what? I got to be the manager and had to do what?!? Yippur. Accounting. And, by the way? After I left? Every business owned by these people? Defunct. Although Yummies was revived by new investors.
But paid my rent and I got to live here...and here is where I met Michael...I will forever love this place, in spite of multiple hurricane evacuations and tropical storms, heat so hot I blistered my feet on the sand and(some) employers so bad that I walked around with my two weeks notice in my back pocket forever. Here, I met true love.
Since leaving Texas, I have served more coffee and once, for a two week stint, went back to work for those lawyers in Washington while home visiting....they were between trained secretaries and needed someone who could write nasty, lawyerly letters without overstepping any boundaries. I have day laboured in Vancouver and here in Nanaimo...I have done accounting(still hate it) for cash and tattoos....I have painted and done renovations to three houses now for pay and one for love, ours...I walk dogs for beer. Really.
This is my work get-up. You've seen it before. And, really, that is about it. Not too weird, eh? Maybe walking dogs for beer is weird, eh? But not really.
And I tag Cara, again. Na na.