Friday, July 21, 2006


... pea, that is...packing up this morning. Yay! Michael is trying to find directions to a couple of ghost towns along the way....spooky. Catching the early ferry off the island and we're gone, gone, gone. I have been so attached to computer lately, I wonder how I will handle it. Have to head over to Morrell Bird Sactuary for another swim this afternoon...along with some biodegradable soap to wash the dog with. He is ripe...and the van is way too small for something that big to be that stinky. But it's hot, and he certainly can't help it...we may be just as stinky at the latter end of the ride...but once we are lakeside, it will all be worth the 40 degree celcius trek with no a/c puttering slowly along in the vw, down the hot, hot highway with hot, hot wind through the windows. I hope, anyway. I will miss you all...take good care of yourselves and I can't wait to catch up with you all when I get home!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

just some stuff

This is Sebastion...yes, after the crab in the Little Mermaid. He has been with me since I lived in Texas. He, like thousands of his brothers and sisters(I have always ASSUMED he is a boy), was sold in one of the beach shops there. At the end of someone's vacation, they "abandoned" him in his stupid plastic cage at the coffee shop I worked at. These guys are not native to the Gulf of Mexico, but flown in from the Caribbean. You can't just let them go, so I took him in...and seven years later, he is still with us, our own little pirate of the Caribbean, after travelling the U.S. in the VW with us, crossing international borders...he's cute, eh?
This old heap is at one of our dog walking spots...looks like the old Partridge Family bus. Maybe it just broke down and they wandered away into the brush...not likely!
A favorite bird.
Hmm, neighbourhood haps before we go...
1) the other day, my neighbour, Michael and I watched a TREMENDOUSLY BLATANT drug deal on the road in front of our house. We saw an RCMP car drive by, slow down, even stop and watch for a moment. Then guess what it did...go on, guess. It drove away. It was so very, very, very blatant!!! Damn it all. They just drove away.
2) I guess that Vancouver and Victoria are sending their homeless And the papers here, the council here, the Salvation Army, everyone here, just refers to them all as "homeless." Hell, if there was someone around these parts who is simply homeless, I don't see them. There is so much more to this story. I see crack addicts, thieves, pushers, pimps and whores. We are watching deals, crack deals, sex deals, all deals, out here in front of our homes. It had been pretty quiet up here for quite a few months. Now the City wants to sanatize downtown...and look at what's happening here... and the police patrols are less and less.
3)The slum lord, er, I mean landlord, across the street came was over there at midnight last night. He was kicking some floppers out of the basement suite. While he was doing that, a flopper/pusher/pimp and his girlfriend/addict/whore quietly left the upstairs suite...the landlord didn't even see it. We have three properties across the street, half of the block, right now that are housing pushers, pimps, whores, and are flophouses. What the fuck? Where are the police right now? Sanatizing downtown.
Alrighty then, there may be more...I am on my second Faxe(strong danish beer) and I know I am not really writing very I will wind it up for tonight. I will try to make time to say goodbye tomorrow...but just in case, I will miss you all while I am gone, even though I plan on having a good time!


I really meant to get some posts on this afternoon but it is 2:30 already and I am getting ready to head out for a swim at the bird sanctuary with the gals and the, maybe later tonight or tomorrow I can catch up just in time to take off. That's right, folks. 10 days of camping in the Okanagan. How sweet it is. No crackheads, no hookers, no pushers, no pimps. Just some old friends, kids, a couple of dogs, the old vw, and a dogs on sticks, a little flyfishing(can you say kokanee? mmm mmm), snoozing in the shade in the afternoon...gosh, it sure sounds great, doesn't it? Anyway, I will check in with a few of the haps here before I go.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Em, look what you started! They're just like rabbits. Soon, Michael and I will have to move because we will be overrun.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Englishman River

Another camp trip this past weekend, nine people and six dogs...if you can really call it camping. Yes, we slept in the van, and our friends all slept in tents...but it was a Provincial Campground with running water. We ate like we were at some five star restaurant, though there was the definite taste of campfire in everything. Next time out, I fully intend to blacken hotdogs on a stick over a flame...real camping! But once again, friends and neighbours laughing so long and loud. I love when we get away from the trials of our neighbourhood. It proves to me that it is not the fight that binds us, but the friendships. I like that. Also, on these trips, we don't talk about the crack and the hookers and the pushers, but we still have plenty to yak about.
You almost have to believe in elves and fairies in places like this, don't you?
Yikes! Er, hikes, I mean.
Tall trees
Englishman River
Englishman River, lower falls. There is another falls but the photos need a little photoshop help... I am so behind in my photos, still working on Butchart and now with this whole camp trip to crop and work out the glitches with lighting and all...and this weekend, we head out for 10 days camping in the Okanagan. I am so thankful that our summer dog has figured out it is alright to sleep while we are out. Our first trip out overnight with him had me worried. He never closed his eyes. This trip, he put himself to bed in the van and slept right through. Whew.
Enough for now...time for dog walkies. Talk at you later.

Friday, July 14, 2006

catching up

So the bells are actually called Angel's Trumpet....
Here are the crackheads who were dealing out front the other day... today they were in the alley behind us we called and the bike police came and found them and we haven't seen them since...though now we are a bit worried of becoming a target...but maybe they are too damaged to really know what's going on around them.
Here they are looking for all the dropped rocks...funny how they both have cell phones but seem to have no money to live on. I believe they sleep in their truck whenever they are not moved on from parking somewhere... you know what kills me, all that effort put into this lifestyle. It's hard and dangerous work, long hours, lots to keep track of...if they could put that kind of effort into being functional people, they could possibly be unstoppable, in a good sense. Know what I mean?!?

Back to the garden...this is the Sturgeon fountain that Michael liked a lot.
Here is Vigan obsessing about the kitty on the neighbour's deck...of course, the kitty seems just as obsessed with Vigan on our deck, as well. Just these two black creatures staring across the void at each other for hours.

Okay, (back to the garden again. My photos loaded in a strange order and I am in a bit of a hurry otherwise I would go back and move it all around) these lovelies are called Painted Tongue, I believe, though the photos in the pamphlet are different colours. These are what I want most in my flower bed next year. Also in the pamphlet there is something called Tigridia that was not in bloom at Butchart at the moment. I want that, too. So, I am off for some last minute camping supplies...
Talk at you later.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Butchart Gardens

Another post, the floors are swept and mopped, dishes done, dinner is ready to go in the oven, the dog(my summer rental) has been hiked and is sleeping on the front porch, things are put away, I did a big, big clean I don't feel guilt over another post today when I should be doing something else. Sadly, I do not know the name of these off the top of my head. We tried to buy the seeds in the Seed Store at Butchart but they had sold out or did not have them...I will have to look over the pamphlet again to get the name of these. I want them in my garden. Here is the sunken garden...of course, it is so much more impressive in real life. Photos really do no justice to this place. We spent all day there and were awed by everything. I am sure we stilled missed more than we actually saw. The crowds were huge because it was a fireworks night so it was difficult to see all that you wanted, difficult to linger over the truly abstract.
This was cool in colour, but I like it better in black and white.
Totems and Michael...I can use this cuz you can barely see him. He doesn't like when I put his picture up. On the same note, there are lots of photos I can't put up because they involve the faces of those I love, Michael and my family-away-from-family. They know who they are, and how much I love them, but plastering their faces all over the internet is not how I choose to show it! I love the Otter on the bottom of the totem on the left. I originally thought it was a bear, but he is holding a clam on his belly and has a long tail...a dead giveaway that it is an otter! His face is most precious.

Holy Schmokes, Folks!!! Are these not the most beautiful things? I don't know the names of these either, tragically. I need to read that damn pamphlet. I GOTTAGOTTAGOTTA have these for my garden. Tomorrow I will post the other colour of these most amazing flowers. And maybe the name?
Another flower I do not know the name of...the stems were over six feet tall, though didn't seem to be trees, but flowers. These bells hung straight down over our heads. This photo is literally looking straight up! The flowers were at least 10 inches(um, did I mention I am an American living in Canada? Inches, feet, pounds, miles per hour....I am sorry, our schools did BEGIN to teach metric when I was in fourth grade and then said "F'it! We're American and the world will adjust." I don't buy in to that mentality and p-p-p-please don't hold it against me. I am in my late thirties now and trying to learn the conversion at this age is like trying to learn a foreign language. Spelling colour and neighbourhood with a U, and cheque instead of check is a huge undertaking and I understand that 32 degrees is HOT not COLD...after that, though, I am truly and utterly lost)long and five or six inches across...impressive. Fountain, obviously. It was set to a dance routine. Many jets going off in a pattern of some sort. Doesn't look nearly as cool in a photo. Dragonfly....I took lots of photos of this guy, well, gal, as some of the photos show her laying eggs(I presume). I "squandered" many photos on her that I could have used on flowers but I love dragonflies....mucho. And I don't think I really wasted anything when I see the photos I got. I like them lots! Trying to pass the beauty of the gardens off in a photo is like trying to capture magic in a jam jar. It just doesn't come across. It was truly impressive and all I could capture are these tiniest of moments...and that is what it's all about anyway, right? These tiniest of moments?
G'nite, all.


So the green-black house is finished...lovely, isn't it? Ick. But who knew that these guys were flippers? Not that I am truly sad to see them move because I'm not. They were loud and slightly abrasive...and their dogs were scary and could clear that fence when they really wanted to get at you. However, the story goes... this house is across the street from a vacant lot that has been very overgrown as the owner in Ontario doesn't maintain it. It's hard to sell a house when there are people shooting up in the bushes across the street, ya know? So, the home owners took it upon themselves to clean up the officers came and handed them a fine. At first, I was a bit outraged. Really. But then I went down and looked at their clean up job. They threw it all onto the street for the city to deal with. You just KNOW what the city is going to do, don't you? It's not like you can shame this council (or anyone in power) to take care of this end of town. It just pisses them off and they strut around, roll their eyes, shake their head in exasperation. Their ready answer to our problems? "Why don't you move?" ARGH.
See all the crap in the street on the left? That's just some of it. Then, the homeowners said that by-laws was rude to them...but I did mention that they(the homeowners) are somewhat abrasive, didn't I? So I am not sure what the whole story there is. Anyhoo, the next morning, A-Channel News is there to do a story on the neighbours who are cleaning up their block to protect the children from the crackheads, etc. Hmmm. Now, I applaud that part, I do, but no one mentioned that this house is for sale and that those kids won't even be living here once they have a buyer. Let's clean this neighbourhood for the right reasons, eh? Maybe it will last longer than the time it takes for those bushes to grow back. Why doesn't that out of province owner have to maintain this property within city limits? On the news, the RCMP said that they have "regular" bike patrols up here. I call bullshit...really BULLSHIT!!!!! Sorry. Ranting again.
Yesterday there was open, blatant dealing in front of Spanglish Grocery across the steet...with LOTS of deals and organization. However, I guess the publicity on the news was a bit of pressure, because when we called, the response time was fast. We had four neighbours calling in with us. And things happened. Quite another long story so I will just say that after some follow-up drive bys(after one initial arrest), the sorry assortment went to bother some other neighbourhood for a while... however, they did drop a lot of their drugs in the lot across the street when the first patrol stopped them(without baggies) and from the franticness spent searching after the cops left, I don't think they found a lot of it...and then it rained last night. Woo hoo! We heard one of them saying he was going back to Vancouver because he hated it here. I hope we cost them some money... and maybe something more. Next entry will be full of pretty flowers and happy things from our trip on the weekend...and we are heading out again this weekend! And the following week? Ten days of camping in the Okanagan. Sweet. Can't wait.
Okay, so later today? Flowers and loveliness.

Monday, July 10, 2006

feelin' groo-vee(w)

Missed you tremendously, Chicken...
We were out for first trip of the season in our van this past weekend. It means summer is officially on...we were so busy getting ready that I didn't have time to think about anything on Friday, other than making sure we were all set...we packed up, started her up and then, automatically, I reached down to make sure Maggie was secure in her place between our seats...only, of course, she wasn't there. I was a blubbering mess before we cleared the garage. Michael, so sweet, knew exactly what had happened. I love him all the more for that. It was my first trip in the van without her... our first trip, actually. Every trip we took in that van included her...and I wonder how many more of these moments I have left, these moments that come up that once always included her...these quick cuts, as painful as the day I had to let her go...just as raw and ragged.

But, away we went, all the same, and by the time we hit Goldstream Provincial Park, you probably wouldn't have even known I had been crying. We pulled in to our friends' campsite and spent a great weekend with folks from home...without being home!!! We spent an entire day at Butchart Gardens and I am sure we missed at least half of everything there, but we did see a glorious fireworks show. Anyhoo, for now, this is the extent of my entry of the weekend. I will get some more pictures up in the next day or two from the certainly made me come home and look at my tiny little garden with a much more critical eye. I am sure I will get over that, as well. Bye for now.

Friday, July 07, 2006

another rant?!?

Okay, these are some of the cars that are lurking in our neighbourhood. These are strictly what I saw from my front window in the course of one afternoon, without drawing attention to myself and my camera. All these cars, and many others, are here to buy crack across the street...or around the corner, as we have two active drug houses here. They just herpes. We know why they're here, we recognize all the signs and symptoms. We don't understand where are the RCMP? WHY is there "nothing they can do?" Please explain. Crack and meth are ILLEGAL. RCMP have actually seemed to patrol less here than before, but maybe that is my imagination. We call, we report, we phone by-laws, we phone landlords...and we go again.
How convenient is a convenience store when you can buy your crack at any of these apartments upstairs and then buy your crack pipe downstairs? Way too convenient, isn't it? I can't buy a fresh tomato or milk with a current pull date, but a crack pipe? What model would you like? You know she(the owner) moved her kid out of this neighbourhood because someone tried to sell him drugs? Isn't it ironic, don't ya think? A little too ironic...but, this here piece of property and the one next to it (with the blue roof) are owned by one guy...for years. FOR YEARS, he has beat the snot out of this neighbourhood with the trash he rents to. Literally every time someone new moves into one of these properties, it becomes a crack house or worse...and yes, there is worse. Why does he get to keep these properties? Why hasn't the city thrown him in jail as was once threatened? Why does one person get to steadily trample all of the rest of us out here trying to make a home here?!? So I rant because I hope I will have the courage to send this page to City Council, the RCMP, our MLA, anyone who will actually get off their bums(and that was not the first word I chose) and do something about things...though we have contacted all those people and guess what? Nothing changes. My question is this...if all of us who give a shit in this neighbourhood move out, what kind of problem will you have on your hands then? Huh? Answer that. I dare you.Here is my dilemma in sending this page to the powers that be...they will read my post about popping the lock at Morrell Bird Sanctuary and come and arrest us, fine us, etc. And while I am being led handcuffed to the car, this hooker in pink will be picked up on my corner by some sexual predator that is forever trolling my neighbourhood, someone will score another hit of crack after pawning something stolen from one of my neighbours and probably one more decent person will move away.

Anyhoo, I am going camping tonight and won't be back til Sunday. Maybe I will be in a better mood...maybe lightning will strike.


Thursday, July 06, 2006


So we went to Morrell Bird Sanctuary on Dog Walkies two days ago. We found our fall blackberry picking spot. We found this chubby little camera hog of a squirrel. The weather was so lovely, we all went swimming, dogs and gals alike. We had such a nice time, we came home, packed a picnic and headed back after the boys were home from work. Gosh, it was beautiful. We had the place to ourselves, aside from the ducks. We ate, we drank a beer(just one), we swam again...The dogs ran around, we watched the sun coming down...We forgot to bring a watch but we were sure we had plenty of time...Plenty. We hiked back to the car and drove up to the gate...Guess what?!? Locked. Yessirree, bob. We were 11 minutes late... 11 minutes. So we hemmed and hawed and Michael called the number on the lock box...we were waiting for the tow truck to deliver us from our imprisonment(for a cost of $32). One of the gals(no names used, you guess)took some keys to use as tools, pried open the box on the gate. All the boy voices were voicing concern..."you better not..." "there's no way..." "You can't possibly...". I am sure you know the routine. Anyhoo, our gal, superwoman that she is, popped open that box, flipped a switch, opened the gate and we were on our way with our Get out of Jail Free Card. She put the box back together and away we went. Michael turned the cel phone off...we won't be back for a while, just in least not in my car!!!! I am sure there is one pissed off somebody who drove out there to let us out...I'm not sorry. $32.00 to flip a switch? C'mon. Woo hoo...Tawanda!!!!! Girl Power!!!!

Hick chic

Hick chic

day lily red

I haven't forgotten the picnic story....later, I promise.


Watch out! The angry frog king is gonna getchya!!!! Found this guy on Prideaux Street the other day. He's hanging on our fridge now. I think he is fabulous. He's like our neighbourhood mascot now...the Frog King... though Michael swears he's an alien.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

i'm back....

My blueberries are blue-ing...
My sugar pumpkins are sugaring...
and my raspberries are rasping.

Ok, so here I am again. I didn't want to leave my rant as my final word tonight. I thought I might post some things that are making me happy, blueberries, pumpkins and raspberries. There's also a great story to tell about our picnic last night at Morrell Bird Sanctuary, as well, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. I am going to head off the bed, nurse a sore head(sometimes I still have this headache from Washington...freaky) and read for a while. I have been reading more again lately and that also makes me happy. I just finished a book called The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch. He was born and raised in Olympia(like me), and his story takes place there. It was so cool(yes, I am using the word cool) to read a story and picture exactly every place in it because I'd been there, grew up there. He did change the name of one bar/tavern in the book, but I knew which one he was talking about...he didn't change the name so much that we who lived there wouldn't know it. was a great story, too. Really. But I am rambling now...distracted myself with something shiny(a good book), I guess.
G'nite all.

one minute on my street

Making a drug deal and smoking crack.....
One hooker.....
two minute.
Did I not say things have been too quiet? Something turned this week and many, many hookers are being dropped at Spanglish "Grocery" across the street...probably because the smoke shop downtown has quit carrying crack pipe making supplies. Guess who bought all their surplus? Yipper... the owner of Spanglish. Great addition to our neighbourhood, isn't she? Yesterday we saw numerous hookers dropped here, a semi(with his cargo attached) came rumbling up our street at 2am, parked across the street for 15 minutes or so with a hooker, and then started up his engine and left again. So, not only is he degrading our neighbourhood, he had to wake us all up to do it.
Some days it seems overwhelming and I hate it. Really truly hate it. The RCMP do nothing to help. The city just pushes all their homeless/drug -addicted/thieves/burglars/mentally ill out of their precious downtown because of their NewNanaimoCenter....revitalizing downtown. I ask you, would you, given the choice, have your convention(an already prehistoric idea) in Victoria, Vancouver or Nanaimo? Hmmmm. Let's think on that a moment, shall we? Victoria...nice. Vancouver....nice. Nanaimo...huh? Yeah, I thought so. I will post some good things later. I was just overwhelmed with this b.s. at the moment. Thought I might vent.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Canada Day Weekend

Lordy, we had a good time this weekend. This was my first real camping in the bush experience...I have to say that peeing outdoors, behind a tree, is kind of a hoot, once you get the hang of it!!! We(great friends and neighbours) headed out of town, through some clear cuts and found ourselves a beautifully private little spot on the river...we had two swimming holes(with a rope swing) and a sandy beach. Swank. We couldn't figure out how come we had the place to ourselves, but we'll gladly thank the powers that be. We drank some beer. We ate too much. We swam. We laughed...lots. Felt damn fine. Thanks everyone. I really appreciated the good company.
Our private beach.
Our rope swing.
Good times were had by all.
However, we did discover this giant wreck in the woods behind us. Some fisher guy came through in the evening casting for fish. He told us some family had been living here for a few months while tending their outdoor grow op. I am flabbergasted to think they could hike all this shit in and then have the f'ing audacity to leave this mess behind. Get a clue, people. This is a beautiful world, why do you have to leave so much ugly in it?!?
Will try to get some neighbourhood haps in the next day or two....until then, g'nite.