Wednesday, May 31, 2006

getting ready

As for neighbourhood haps, I have been so busy the last couple days that I have hardly noticed a thing. I am getting the house in order so that I can leave with happy feelings for 10 days back home...well, two days in Seattle, two days devoted to travel, and the rest "back home." Stresses me out, the whole travelling thing but I always have a good time once I get there. This is my first trip home since losing my travelling companion, Maggie, so it will be very different. More freedoms, I guess, but less enjoyment. Still so painful. She will be gone six months on the 4th. I can't help but think of the 4th of every month since as some lame anniversary. Well, enough of that, eh? So I leave on Saturday on the earliest ferry and arrive in Seattle by 11 am, I think. Hang for a couple of days with Donna(and John, whom I have yet to meet) and then on to Olympia. Not sure if I will be blogging or not from there but I do have a couple more days here.
Just a little photo I took while in Emily's mom's like?
Here's Vigan again, posing for me. It's difficult to get a good photo as he is so black all over...but I do like this one in the wildflowers at Harewood Mines.
I have a lot of photos I want to put up but they have little or nothing to do with the blog here...countless flower photos and dog photos and yadda yadda. I have the free Flickr account but I have to be choosey about what I put up there because I am running out of room. After the summer when we have all our family and friends' fun and adventure photos to share, we will probably get a paid Flickr and then there will be no stopping us!!!
So, this entry is kinda boring and not too neighbourhood newsworthy, is it? It is still early so anything could happen yet. I'll certainly keep my eyes open and let you know.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

a smile on a cat

This was Crook today at his most glorious...sleeping on the front porch in the afternoon sun. See his smile? He caught a snake in the garden today but dropped it when he heard the sound of the spray bottle. Guess he's trained to that. My own batch of Rude Barb's Alycksar...or rhubarb nectar. Mmmmmm.
And one more shot of this fantastic pink iris...can you see the angry face in the middle? Kind of creepy, eh? This flower actually, really, truly glitters. I don't know if it comes across in the photo, but maybe if you click on it so that you can look at the bigger size. It GLITTERS!!!!
Today in the hood, we called 911 twice. Big day, eh? One of the guys in the house across the street got into a huge arguement with someone walking down the street. Yelling and swearing loudly....really loudly. Then the guy from the house went inside and came out with a big stick. The other guy took off before anything violent happened. Gosh, we love our new neighbours so much!!!!
Later, there was a fight between a guy and his wife(both looking mighty strung out). I doubt their wedded bliss will last. I think they both went to jail tonight. After a long drawn out screaming match down Victoria Road, they went at each other. Crack can make you cranky, that's for sure. They had quite an audience too, considering it was a nice sunny day out. It's funny how quickly the police actually CAN arrive when called for a domestic. Of course, they probably got ten calls at the same time! Call them for a drug deal going on in front of your house, it takes them an hour or more, if they bother at all.
That's about the extent of it all today.

Friday, May 26, 2006

why not kinky?

I would just like to say.....WHY NOT KINKY????? If I still lived in Texas and was a registered voter there, you can bet your ass I would vote KINKY.
And DO read Roadkill by Kinky. You'll love it. Read anything else he's written. Buy some Texas Jewboy music, while you're at it.

jiggety jig

Home again, home again...look at what was waiting for me....a pink iris. Have you ever seen anything so lovely? We put these in last year but they didn't bloom. We actually had no idea what colour they were....I hope no one picks them from the front garden...Buddha watch over them, please.
And the first of the roses are opening. Though I don't love dealing with rose bushes, they remind me so overwhelmingly of my grandma that we keep them. This one smells delicious, especially when the sun shines down and warms the air....
One of the neighbourhood landlords was collecting these in his backyard of his rental house for a while...I guess he got tired of his tenants parking them in the front yard! But, enough was enough, and he put them all out in the street in front of our place. I think he thought they might slowly migrate back to the salmon going upstream or something. You can see that they did move from one side of the house to the other overnight. I almost helped them migrate to said landlord's front yard but Michael is more level-headed than I. He called Thrifty's and they sent someone to pick them up the same day...takes so much effort, doesn't it?
Oh the haps around here! The news of the hood continued while I was away in Sechelt. One of our neighbours had enough of the crackheads in the alley and followed them through the hood, right on their heels, giving them a little of the grief they have been giving us every day...he continued his work in the store where crack pipe making supplies are sold...he continued some more with some of the residents and property owners that make things "difficult" around here. I wish I had been here to cheer him on. Anyhoo, the police came(called by the lady running the store) but no one went to jail. Wouldn't it have been just friggin' peachy if our good and outraged neighbour went to jail while the dealers, pimps, hookers and lady selling pipes simply walked away from it all? So then, barely a day later, the crackheads he followed from the alley were back and creeping through his yard in the wee hours of the morning, peeking through his neighbour's window... ARGH!!!!
Yesterday, the RCMP were patrolling the hood looking for a man running naked through the streets. I jumped out there with my camera, on the hunt to bring you all PRIME south Nanaimo(Gates of Crazy Town) news and photos. I had my finger on the button throughout my "investigation" but never saw the naked man...sorry. I so wanted to do that for you...have no fear, though. I am sure it is not the last time...just as I am sure it was not the first time!
Well, folks, time is fleeting...miles to go today. Talk at you all later.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

blahg about Sechelt

Days spent with a good friend are so filled with treasures...walks on the beach spotting crabs and beach glass..... A meal so excellent we had it two days in a row. Mmm mmm good.
Rhubarb nectar....
....and garlic farming. Thanks, Emily, for a great time. I'll be back as soon as I can...g,nite.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

3 poppies

Three poppies this morning!!! Yay. Don't you just love them? They are my favorite thing out the garden, that is. So in a matter of hours I am boarding a plane that takes off and lands in water....for 5, count'em,5 days in Sechelt. Some people pay good money for that. Me? I arrive with Mambo's pizza(with artichoke hearts and pine nuts) and my very good friend's house. Sigh. Thanks, Em, for my vacation destination.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Leaving town

This is a pile of bricks in the backyard. They have been there since last year, mocking us. We have a patio to lay...But first a yard to dig up, rocks and dirt to move...Soon, though, soon. I swear.
My first poppy opened today. Yay!!!! The rest will probably open when I am in Sechelt. I am torn between taking my camera or leaving it for Michael to document my flower garden... And my poppies...And the Empire Days parade when the mayor will actually deign to come to our part of town. I want to pay a hooker or a crackhead to approach his float...I want a big banner asking him what the hell he is doing in this part of town...But I won't even be here. Dammit, anyway.
I climb aboard an itsy bitsy float plane(eek) tomorrow evening to fly to Sechelt and see Emily's new place. I am pretty excited except for the plane bit. Five days at the beach. It's almost a vacation. So I doubt I will be online with any updates for a few days. Don't miss me too much.
This is what Vigan looks like when he is caught in the cat food. It's hard to be tough on such a sadsack. I felt sorry for him...And he was the one being a "bad dog." So much guilt over it.
Kevin just called from New Zealand and his phone card ran out while we were talking. If you are reading this, Kevin, Goodbye. I hope you are having as much fun as possible. We miss you. The Hood is quiet.
G'nite all.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

tides turn

A columbine from our front garden. Remember how pretty things CAN be. Rousting the crackheads and hookers from the alley today at 7:30 pm.
Hooker(affectionately known as Screamer) and her John returning to alley at 8:15.

So, did I not say it was too quiet around here? Yessirree, I did. The other morning, early on Sunday, two guys were in a fight in the alley across the street. They were yelling at each other loudly about DOPE. They didn't use code words or anything....ya know, like the 1st guy should've said "Give me my 'jellybeans' back, you son of a bitch! I wouldn't have given you my 'gym socks' if I knew you didn't have any money!" And the 2nd guy should've said "no, man, I GOT money for the 'banana bread.' I just gotta wait for my buddy to arrive. Man, don't take the 'tetherball' back. I need a good dose of that 'rubber chicken.'" Ya know what I mean? They are just screamin' about DOPE...on Sunday morning! And later Sunday morning, a van pulled up at our back gate and four guys were gearing up to smoke some crack... like we're not gonna check on a van at our back gate? Um, hello? It's goddamn Sunday morning!
So, the alley across the street is becoming something of a problem. It happens so quickly... and the new neighbours who were "feeding" the hooker yesterday? Hopefully they learned the error of their ways cuz today they had to move them along from in front of their house. Nice.
That's the haps today...
Can't wait to see tomorrow!

Monday, May 15, 2006

birthdays abound

Today Vigan turned five. I baked him some doggie cakes and got him a Tigger doll. Precious, just precious. Isn't he?!?
Yesterday we found this treasure on our walk at the Harewood Mines. He just sat and posed for the longest time.
This is an iris from my garden. I love this photo. I love my iris. I can't wait for the yellow iris to come out soon. But mostly I am waiting for my poppies!!!! We saw our neighbour's choir concert last night, and had beautiful weather today(like summer). And I talked to Emily twice in two days, however briefly. Happy Belated, Em. I'll bake you something when I get there, okay? Let me know what you want and I'll pack the supplies on the float plane...along with Mambo's Pizza.
Those were the beautiful things of the past few days. Something rotten is happening, too, though. The new neighbours across the street were feeding one of the hookers and her pimp today like they were poor starving stray cats or something...or not really feeding them so much as plying them with something from a two litre bottle....what the hell? Now they'll never go away!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

ho hum

This fabulous painting is by our good friend and neighbour, Lance. He likes how it looks on our gorgeous blue kitchen wall. I have to say I do, too. Thanks, Lance. It can stay as long as you like!!!
Vigan and I enjoying the sun and flowers today.

Not much in the way of news today. We spent yesterday in Victoria. Michael's mom and stepdad were there on a layover day from their cruise. Today has been quiet round the Hood. Went to the thrift store this morning and came home empty-handed. I just couldn't find anything I was willing to spend my money on. Then I helped Michael in the back yard for a while, then a while longer. There was so much less work to do on the weekends when we rented! Worked in the berry garden for a bit. My poor raspberries have some weird ickiness on them. I think it is called Yellow Rust. I had to hack them back to nearly nothing just when the blossoms are starting. It is tragic for me. Really tragic. Went for a hike with our borrowed dog, Vigan. See how boring I can be on a Saturday? Sigh. I think I will turn in and read a bit...g'nite all.

Friday, May 12, 2006

garlic farming

I miss Emily's "Garlic Farmer Clogs" so much that I had to go and get myself a pair. How cute are these? On sale at Canadian Tire! I have no style of my own!.
So this is the vacant lot two doors up from us....there was a crack house there, became a squatter's paradise, then finally burned. Can you say U-Haul? Oh, I am SO KIDDING!!!! So the burnt hulk sat there for 9 months. People squatted there, did and sold drugs there, sold themselves there. Finally the owner came to tear it down. It took months, literally. Then the lot became the dump site for anyone wanting to get rid of old appliances, asbestos shingles, yard waste, dead bodies, whatever. Crack heads used it to smoke in, deal in, used it for a trail to the pawn shop(the ugly green building there) with stuff stolen from our neighbourhood. They had slumber parties there. I guess ByLaws Enforcement finally got tired of all of the neighbours complaining about it. Then the owner got tired of ByLaws Enforcement telling him it to come clean it he got a year later. Go figure. Isn't funny how a fence can make us so happy? Isn't funny how that fence is so photo worthy? Sad, isn't it?
Even better neighbourhood news, the second crack house(on the corner) was shut down yesterday! Hooray! Someone burnt it down....KIDDING. So kidding. Someone called the landlord over and he found 15 people sleeping there. Outta there!!!! Big sigh of relief. I do have to say, friends of ours just bought a house in a "better" neighbourhood for $232,000 with a crack house up the block so I don't feel so bad. We didn't pay nearly so much! Tee hee. So that's the haps tonight...and we should all sleep well tonight!
Talk at you later! G'nite

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


So, my friend Em moved out of the Hood just over a week ago. We miss you, Em. It was a difficult time made more so by her dealings with U-Haul. Her experience with them was stressful, rude and, really, downright nightmarish. I guess lots of people have similar experiences with U-Haul. Just the stories we heard while standing in line to pick up her truck were horrific. So, if you are going to move, use Budget. If you can't use Budget, sell everything and start over!!!! But, Em, I thought you might like these photos...this is the U-Haul lot just up the road from us. Tee hee. And before you ask, it was not me!!!! Debbiecakes, Erin and I were across town at the beach with the dogs. We saw the smoke all the way from Departure Bay. I guess someone else must have had a rough time with U-Haul, too.
Does it give you a little warm fuzzy feeling inside? Me, too.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

it's quiet, too quiet

Dogs and dogwoods at the corner park. Love the daily dogwalks. This is Yuko of the Yukon(l'il one) and Vigan(tall, dark and handsome). Vigan is my dog for the summer while his people are away.

It would figure that just about the time I started this blog, things in this neighbourhood have taken a very quiet turn!!!! Our local slumlord actually evicted the folks from the crackhouse across the street so all the traffic that came and went from there is gone. Things have been so quiet. Though we still have one more drug den to deal with up the road, the relative peace this week is a blessing...but leaves me so little news! So, anyhoo, folks, it was a beautiful sunny day of coffee time,dog walking time, park time, garden time and beer time....oh, and reclaiming the downstairs bedroom from the spiders, just in case my friend arrives tomorrow.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

garden party

I bought this painting this weekend at an art and garden show put on by some of our very good neighbours. What do you think? I love it, and that's good, as it was the only one I could afford at this time. I'll be sending Michael over closer to my birthday for another!!!
Here is a photo from the garden...I call it "Fig Leaves." Get it?
This is inside the house...just a little taste of the place! You can see some of the art pieces hanging beside and over the door...though the whole place is one big piece of art...inside and out.
The very cool flier....and there were Debbiecakes Desserts, too. Too bad you are just reading about it all!!!

And this...this is one of the most amazing gardens I have ever seen. I could post about 30 more pictures. A real gem hidden away in our south neighbourhood. One of the many treasures here that strengthen our resolve to revitalize this area. There are such creative, vibrant people here. Another fresh and fantastic discovery every day. Thanks, Ken, for opening your home and garden to everyone. Thanks to all the artists for coming out. Thanks to all my terrific neighbours for making every effort. And for those friends away for the summer, or relocated elsewhere, see what you are missing?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Buddha in Thorns

Here sits Buddha of the giant earlobes(man, I wish I could pierce those), hopefully safe behind the thorns of roses. You never can be too sure what will walk away in this neighbourhood...or what will walk INTO this neighbourhood, come to think of if. The gates of Crazy Town opened early this morning though things are quiet this afternoon. I will pull the camera out another time to show all the "haps." I just could not face it this morning. The stories will come soon. I just gotta wind up, ya know? Walked down to the farmer's market on the waterfront today and came home empty handed. It was the first of the season so hopefully that explains it. The dogwoods are blooming at the park and I will head over for photos there, too, tomorrow.
The neighbourhood seems lonely without you, Em, and whenever I look over at the green house, I feel myself glaring at the new people in your place!!!!
Well, I am off. I will make better attempts at news and photos. I don't want you to be missing Crazy Town!!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

like a newborn babe

To all those who may(or may not) read this, Welcome to Nanaimo Blahg. I am not too sure what this will become. Mostly, I thought it would be a way to keep my very good(one of the very best, dare I say?) friend in touch with the neighbourhood she left behind, but I tend to ramble on so it could take on a life of it's own. South Nanaimo ain't always ain't always nice... but we do have some great stories and some great folks to tell them. So enjoy what you can, rant along with me, sympathize or condemn. All I know, really, is that I miss my friend(you know who you are!) and I want you to come home. You know you will miss all this, don't you, as you sit on the beach a block from your house?!?