Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Hauntings

and BOO!!!!!! again!
Gosh, I have been waiting a long time to use that picture for something... creepy, isn't it? We found this head in the woods during dog walkies a while back.......eek. Happy Halloween, everybody. Hope you are all enjoying yourselves.

We went to a Halloween party on Saturday night...er, wait, that's not us... sorry, wrong picture!!!!
Oh, got it, here we are...lots of finger food, drinks, candy and live music...we really do have the best neighbours in this town. Sometimes we all shine and sparkle... you should have seen the effort of some of the costumes...then again, maybe you are one of those people who goes to that effort. I should have taken the camera but I didn't want to try and keep track of it, my treats being beer that night! After the sugar high has worn off....aaaahhhh, how cute.
Today is crisp, and cold and the sky is a beautiful blue. If it stays this clear, we will need to get more candy for tonight. Last year(as most Halloweens I remember on this coast) was rainy. It makes for light trick-or-treater traffic... I hope we get lots this year. I love the kids, so proud and confident in their costumes, faces beaming. I like the way the big people look at the little ones on nights like tonight, like they are trying to commit every moment to memory, to take in each exact detail of their children so that they can replay it for a lifetime. Their excitement, parents' and kids', matched equally, though the pleasures they are experiencing are so different. Am I making any sense? I am babbling...must be all the candy I have ingested.

Well, enjoy the hauntings tonight, all.

Trick or Treat.

Monday, October 30, 2006

free hugs!!!!!!!!!

Free Hugs Campaign. Inspiring Story! (music by sick puppies)

Saw this through Barb's Blog
http://www.greenwellies.typepad.com and watched it twice this morning...and because it made me feel so good, I am putting it up so that maybe it can do the same for you... Happy Monday.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

when dreams disappoint...

The other morning I had a dream than Vince Vaughn was my boyfriend... not a bad dream to have, I guess, if Vince Vaughn is your guy. It wasn't even a sexy dream or anything. We were cleaning the house(well, that is a little sexy, come to think of it...you know how I feel about cleaning!), and discussing what our weekend plans were, and what needed to be done in the yard and around the house. The thing is, having a dream about some well-known, sexy guy as your boyfriend and all I can do is dream about him cleaning and mowing the yard is NOT the disappointing part. The disappointing part is that I was dreaming about the wrong Vincent. I think the confusion in my dreaming brain came from watching the BreakUp(not so good, really) where my Vincent plays Vince's brother, follow me? Good casting, eh?
This is my Vince....Vincent D'Onofrio. Now, if I had been dreaming about him, it may have involved a little bit more than the dream with Vince Vaughn...at least I hope it would...snicker. And, before you even bring up the fact that I have a boyfriend...I would never knowingly wake Michael from a dream of Lauren Graham. He has good taste in women, I will give him that. And I don't even know why I had to write about it, but I have been thinking about it for a couple of days now. Why? Why Vince Vaughn? Weird to be so disappointed in a dream, isn't it? Vincent D'Onofrio, if you are reading this, it should have been you hanging pictures on my wall...and laying out the brick walkway...and (gasp) mopping my kitchen!

Friday, October 27, 2006

the story

This was in the paper...it was what I was watching out my window the other night...I am not sure I believe it is NOT related to other assaults just because nothing else happened THAT night. That is not a convincing argument, is it? There was a robbery/stabbing a couple days previous at the Howard Johnson...just how many people are running around stabbing people in this town, anyway? Oh, the RCMP seem so lazy here. I hope they aren't reading this....

Group chases, robs and stabs man, 22

Allison Cross, The Daily NewsPublished: Friday, October 27, 2006
Article tools

A 22-year-old Nanaimo man is in hospital with a lacerated liver after he was chased, robbed and stabbed twice by a group of male attackers early Monday morning, said Nanaimo RCMP.
At approximately 2 a.m., in the 100 block of Victoria Road, the victim was thrown to the ground, robbed of his wallet and stabbed in the stomach.
A passing motorist came to the victim's assistance and he was later treated at Nanaimo General Regional Hospital.
RCMP spokeswoman Const. Jen Allan said there is no indication the group is part of a gang.
"These males didn't appear to commit any other crimes that night," she said. "There's no indication that this incident has any relationship to other assaults."
Allan said descriptions of the suspects will not be made available to the public.
Anyone with information about the incident can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.
© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

food and fun

Our good friend, TH, was in from Vancouver for the past two nights. Sometimes she works over here on the island and stays with us. We get treated to lovely dinners and drinks(thank you again for Armanis AND the Modern) at our favourite places. We sit around playing Scrabble...not very well, in my case. TH brought Stella.
Stella and Emma hit it right off and played until WE were exhausted and had to make them stop. Everything was a playtoy to them, the furniture, our socks...in this instance, Michael. It was sure nice to see Emma get along with another dog so well. Only a month ago, she probably would have attacked Stella...just because.
Have to clean out the cat poo today or tomorrow. The guy in the garden center swears by this stuff. It is green and gel-ish. It won't break down in the rain immediately so we won't have to reappy every day, now that the rain is here. Just a little drop here and there. It doesn't smell horrific to me, and probably not to you, but apparently cats and dogs hate it. It is overly minty...really overly so...but better than poo. I'll keep you in the loop on this one, okay? Cuz I know that you will all want to know!
And this I am adding because I am looking for some damn sympathy...just when that giant black spot on my nail had FINALLY grown out to where I could cut it off(I dropped a can of paint on it in early summer. Greek Blue or something like that)....I stubbed my toe so hard while dog walking in my Holeys that I have bruised the whole damn thing. DAMMIT. I don't polish my damn toes and my new Fluevogs(both pair) are open toed!!!! ARGH. Michael doesn't get my frustration...much like I can't sympathize with his cold symptoms. "Get over it!" we say to each other!! Dammit.
Well, time to walk the dog. I better go put on some damn boots! Talk to you all later!


Here is a picture of Nanaimo from one of my favourite dog walking spots...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

the truth about my grouchiness

Yes, the truth...a couple of days of waking up to a hooker working outside your house will do that to you...make you grouchy, that is. It's just after 8 am, for crying out loud! Go home. There was also a pretty gruesome event on the street the night after my friend left. It was 2am and yelling and lots of red and blue flashing lights woke me up. Outside my house there were two ambulances, three police cars and a fire truck. Everyone there was trying to talk this guy down from his super-freaked-out-shock-state. He was wearing a white tank with a whole lot of bright red blood spreading over the side. I don't know what happened to him...it didn't make the news or the papers. Then, our neighbour's car was vandalized, another one broken into. Truth? Some days I hate living here. That's the truth. But, I will take you on a tour of the house sometime this week(after I buy a mop). It is beautiful...and my neighbours are fan-friggin-tastic...and we are adding back my most missed neighbour to that equation soon...she is coming back to a quieter street but close enough to walk to...YAY.
Without these dog walks(and the friends involved in them), I might have pushed Michael to move somewhere else. Yesterday's walk is here off of Fry Road. The river is low, but that means we got to walk where we normally wouldn't...in the riverbed. There are salmon running but we didn't see them. We did see their remains, though, poor critters.
Duke and Yuko are forging their own trail...
This is what Girls' Night Out looked like this past weekend...this is what it felt like, too. You all know you've had these nights, too!!! Admit it! We did laugh a lot...I think, anyway.

Just Sebastion sharing movie-night popcorn with us.... I thought it was cute.
I never knew that blueberry bushes were so beautiful in the fall. Did anyone else? Wow. The truth is, my home amazes me and I have an idea that this neighbourhood CAN turn into something fantastic, is actually in the process of turning...but I am not always the most patient person. Okay, one more red bamboo picture because(truth), I think they're beautiful...and because I am feeling better about it all today. Today I think that I see the light at the end of the tunnel and NOT the headlight of the train bearing down on me. As Mr. Roger's always said, "It's a beautiful day in the neighourhood, a beautiful day for a neighbour. " Rest in peace, Mr. Rogers. You were always a good friend to me.
Sorry to horn in on hickchic and her month of truth...but I can probably just handle the one day, anyway(tee hee). A whole month is a lot of pressure!!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

the barometric pressure

I am still here...just in an awkward space for writing just now. I have some stories to tell, though I just need to take some time with them, I guess. The weather can't make up it's mind and all the fluctuations in temperature, barometric pressure and humidity makes me ache and I am grouchy. Even napping this morning didn't really help. I am going to wrap up against a cold wind that just came up and take Emma out to look for salmon coming in. That should raise my spirits...and then to the garden center to get some damn netting as the neighbours' countless felines are crapping all over our gardens now that Crook is no longer here to kick their crapping asses! They have dug out my asparagus, my nameless, but well adored, fuzzy red flowers...I have tried everything I can think of to keep them out, but to no avail. Now, don't tell me about Cayenne Pepper sprinkled there...it may work, but buying Cayenne Pepper is a little like buying gold and with the rainy season upon us, I will have to reapply every day. Once we get our outside taps run, I am investing in a motion detector sprinkler...but those taps are not installed yet. Too many projects!!!! Too many cats...too much poo. Grrrrrr.

Off to watch the fishies!!!!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

It was a grand weekend, girls. Thanks to all who participated!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

hood update

Today I have been listening to the dog out back...the neighbour's dog was oh so tired of being left alone on the deck all the time...poor dear. He is a little genius. Now, when he has had enough time to himself on the deck, he goes down the stairs and stands in front of his owner's truck and BARKS once, really loud. The warning alarm goes woop, woop, woop. The dog BARKS again. Woop woop woop. BARK. Woop woop woop. BARK. Woop woop woop. Front door opens, dog races up the stairs and into the house. Some people might find it annoying, but I laugh out loud every time! Another crack house closed today. Here is the dilemma...er, not really a dilemma now, of course, since it's closed. The landlord, BB, is a friend and a really great landlord. As soon as he learned of the problem, he was on it. His hands were tied by the "system." He wanted the police in there. They said without "evidence," there was nothing they could do. She didn't pay the rent and still he can't kick her out? Arbitration?!? There are 20 people in there and only one name on the lease?!? What the fuck, pardon my not-so-french, but ARBITRATION?!?!!!! Yes, I understand that renters have rights...but so do property owners! Like being paid rent, like having only the leaseholder live there, like NOT having crack coming and going from your property, like not letting your well-maintained house become infested with crack-heads, fleas, full of cat shit and human grossness. He filed for arbitration LAST month and still hasn't heard back from the court system... you know what he did? He called her mother and her sister. Somehow, it came about that he actually GAVE her 500 dollars to move out...but you know what?!? A bailiff to serve her with papers? 1800.00 dollars....lost rent for the next three months waiting for arbitration plus the previous two months unpaid? 2000.00 dollars.... at the very least....getting your property back? Priceless...NOT....500.00 dollars, plus the cost of new carpetting, professional cleaners, multiple trips to the dump, aspirin for your headaches, Robaxin for your bachaches....Thank goodness he is a good landlord with high hopes for this neighbourhood. Thank you, BB! We all so totally appreciate your efforts!!!! You know, her sister was the one who vouched for her character in the first place on the rental agreement...a friend of BB's...asshat.
There was a crappy appliance repair up the road...piles of junky, rusty, non-useable appliances everywhere. A real eyesore. Tired of all the complaints by neighbours(go figure), they finally moved. Then the building was sort of cleaned up and the owners tried to rent it out...one of the renters?!? Junk collectors trying to call it a thrift store. Big sign on the street telling everyone to bring their junk...and they did...JUNK!!!! EVERYWHERE!!! Guess what? It burned!!! Ha. Sorry. Was that cruel? No one was hurt, nothing was lost but JUNK!!! And now it's all boarded up, but it looks better than ever!!!!
One of our neighbours was in an altercation...a scary and horrifying altercation. 3 guys and a girl were on his property and when he went to move them on, he was attacked...hit over the head with a block of wood, threatened with a knife and scratched and hit. Yeah, folks. Scary. He threw the main attacker of himself and disappeared into the shadows of his own backyard...called the police, of course, but even with a good description and a name, there has yet to be an arrest. It's been a hard week around here...a shift in the status quo. The pendulum is swinging again, and we must all be on our toes, with the RCMP dispatch on speed dial. Something is happening here in the hood. Hopefully we will catch it in time.
On the positive side, my very good friend is coming for the weekend. I have not seen her in some time and it will be so good to wrap her up in a big hug, drink some martinis, bitch about her old hood that she left me in.... in other words, don't expect words from me til Monday....you all enjoy yourselves, be kind to those you love and savour all the good stuff. Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Emma's update

This was Emma...or actually, this was Sylvan about to become Charlotte who later became Emma. This was at rescue, when the SPCA and Beagle Paws came into all of our lives...that is a skin infection on her nose, it made her skin peel off...her ears were so infected that she scratched them to tatters herself. That is blood there making them so dark in these photos. She scratched them so long that now it is simply a nervous habit of hers. Whenever she is uncomfortable in a situation, her back foot rises up and moves slowly to her ears like it has it's own mind. At night, that is how she puts herself to sleep, scratching her poor ears. We may not be able to overcome that habit but I am not giving up hope yet.
She was used to make puppies...that was her whole life...making puppies. She is three years old. She looks ten in these photos, if she looks a day. There is no light in her eyes. The man who did this to her escaped prosecution on animal neglect and cruelty charges by signing her over to the SPCA...they took care of her skin, her ears, tried to put some weight on her and then sent her along to Beaglepaws. When her previous owner found out she was healthy again, but not yet spayed, he went to get her back!!! Can you believe that?!? And when the Beaglepaws volunteer would not give her back, her previous owner assaulted him. So, he will, in fact, be serving a little time, I hope. Beaglepaws thought she needed to be shipped out of St. John's immediately. Michael and I are the richer for it.
She is always busy here...it is hard to take a photo that is not blurry, but I think in some way it adds to the photos...because, honestly, this is what she looks like all day. I am SURE she is a Jack Russel Terrier in a Beagle suit. Yes, she is most definitely a terrier/beagle mix...playing here with Yuko, whom our very good friends rescued. In fact, all of her new friends here are "second-hand dogs," so to speak. Her personality is coming out now. She is still timid somewhat, but a clown-like exuberance sends her spinning around the house, bouncing off every surface, tail wagging fast and hard when she is happiest. I will try to make a digital film of it for you. She seems to like camping alright, loves our long hikes in the day, and even the quickie strolls through the 'hood make her snuffling nose happy. She is learning to sit when she meets someone, and not jump up.
She finds the sunny spots throughout the day...when she actually quits moving. Training is slow and steady. Socialization with other dogs is hit or miss. At least she isn't immediately on the attack anymore...she'll give it at least a minute now! Ha ha. She has moments of off leash freedoms now, and yesterday a whole afternoon playtime with Viggo and Duke off leash. Wow. She slept all night! Whew...and that's about it. Neighbourhood updates tomorrow. What, leaving already?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Prickly Pear Margaritas

*Use very ripe uncooked fruit, cleaned and peeled. You can just slice off the stickers, if the store didn't do it for you. You peel a prickly pear fruit by very carefully slicing down one side of the fruit, then, using the knife, pulling back the peel until you come all the way around the fruit. Look at those colours!!!
Then puree it with either a food processor or blender, and chill. Wow.
1 ounce premium tequila 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier (we use Triple Sec), 2 1/2 ounces peeled and pureed prickly pears, chilled 2 1/2 ounces prepared sweet-and-sour mix(we use lime cordial but I am sure Magarite mix will work just fine), lime wedges, coarse salt, 1 cup ice cubes

Prepare margarita glass rim by dipping into lime juice, and then coarse salt. Put ice into a shaker. Add tequila, Grand Marnier, fruit and sweet and sour. Shake vigorously and pour into prepared margarita glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.


Monday, October 16, 2006

from Kamloops

We took the Hope-Princeton Route home, a long and scenic drive through the mountains from Kamloops. It is fall...no better time for it. I don't know the name of this lake but it will forever marked in my mind as "the green lake." When we are in our nineties, I will turn to Michael and say, "Honey, do you remember that green lake?" and he will turn me and say, "How could I ever forget that green lake? Wasn't it beautiful?"
The Thompson River from up above...what a long and winding road through the mountains. The poor orange van labouring along at the mind boggling speed of 30k sometimes...on the curves were all these caution signs telling us to slow down. We laughed at every one of them. As if...we'd have to speed up to hit their slow speed...and cold? Yippur, it was a cold drive for a while. We love our van...we do. But sometimes, two pairs of socks, our warmest boots, and three layers of clothes isn't even enough. That's when we long for a real heater in there... and maybe a real stereo.
Look at that sky, would ya? Wow. And all those logs piling up at the end of this lake(name also unknown). You could walk all the way to the other side of the lake on this log jam.
Whiskey Jack... ...........also known as a Camp Robber. Some folks don't like them much. I love creatures with this much bravado. They make my heart beat fierce and I feel something akin to falling in love. Actually, in all honesty, most of the time we are outdoors exploring, I feel that mad rush of endorphins...a giddy-head-over-heels feeling I equate to being, or falling, in love. Watching the salmon in the river knots my stomach and I ache for them on their journey. I am deeply and wholeheartedly honoured to have this bird sit on my hand...to be in communion with something more in tune with nature than I am. I can be overwhelmed with my own emotions, which is not always an easy way to live a life, but I am more than grateful for that response in times like these.
Joffree Lake and glaciers...these glaciers are there all year round, even in the summer, though I believe they are shrinking. These lakes are glacier fed, cold and deep, green as a jewel. I didn't know which picture I liked more so,
I put them both up. Well, now, we didn't stop too much after this. We stopped in Whister, but not much there worth photographing...besides, we will all be sick of the sight of it by 2010!!! The road out of Whistler was hell, under construction all the way into Vancouver, so there wasn't much opportunity to stop. It worked out well that way, as we just made the 7 o'clock ferry anyway. One more stop and we'd have missed it. So there you have it...another roadtrip...
Thanks, Tod and Cara, for the advise...I did load up the car with neighbours and dogs and head up to the hills for a hike. It is sunny after days of gloom and grey...the moss was like blankets of down beneath our feet and the air was clean and fresh. Came home and photos loaded...though I still haven't found my 10-key, I guess that just means it will keep until tomorrow. I have a special treat chilling in the fridge for tonight...I will post pictures tomorrow of a recipe that Martha might like to know about, as long as you all don't tell her, cuz Martha can kiss my ass....did I just say that?!?
Feeling much better now!!!! Thanks for bearing with me!


I have been trying to load photos ALL DAY...
Already in a foul and grouchy mood, Blogger is tipping my scales right over an abyss there may not be a return from.
I woke up grumpy to last night's dishes, which always makes me frown. Why didn't I just do them last night?!? I know what I am like in the morning. Had a difficult time making coffee. Can't find my 10 key to do some bookkeeping...bookkeeping that is royally screwed up to begin with... laundry...ick...still no mop...double ick...and the vaccuum that spits all the dust back out that it is sucking up...I feel claustrophobic with clutter and then I feel angry. I feel like bawling for no particular reason and I really wish I could find the ten key so I could get some work done....or I want my photos to load so I could write something nice....
I want to go back to bed and start over...DO OVER, just like in our carefree younger years....

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Happy Anniversary, J&E

This is one of my oldest and dearest friends, J, with her husband of two years(October 9, darnit. Sorry, sorry),E. We have know each other since we were wee, wee, wee little kidlets. I hope you are still reading, J, and just not commenting...Happy Belated Anniversary, you two. We were away until two days ago and I just now looked down at the calender. I am so sorry to ALWAYS be late...I'd like to think it is part of my charm, but I know otherwise! I hope you don't mind me posting your photo, either. I tried some creative photoshoppy-shading-technique-y magic to keep your privacy private. Of course, I still recognize your radiant selves!!! I adore you! Love, love, absolute love to you both.

Friday, October 13, 2006

in kamloops

Coming into Kamloops at the end of a long day of driving and sight-seeing, a big, orange, lazy moon greeted us, rising slow and heavy, looking much larger than any moon I had ever seen. Is that the altitude speaking or the atmosphere? I don't know...it was fantastic and would not be captured by photo, though we tried.
In the days we were there, we walked....we walked like nobody's business. I don't know how many miles, or kilometres, for that matter. We walked the desert, the buttes(I don't know if these are technically buttes, but I don't know what to call them), through dying Ponderosa Pine forests, along the river, through Michael's old neighbourhood. When walking the buttes here, the sage is so dense that you are constantly being embraced by it. The smell of it surrounds you, and after struggling through its tangles, your clothes and skin are infused with that smell, too. What luxury. We walked right out to the edges of these buttes, toes dangling over the edge, to look across the valley...and just when I tilted the camera down to take a photo of my boots at the abyss, the batteries in the camera died!!!! ARGH!!!!
These trails are endless. You can follow for hours, and we did.
Once again, I cannot express the devastation of the Pine Beetles here. Since we were here last, only this past summer, they have advanced beyond all reason. In the next few coming years, ALL mature pine trees will be lost. All of them.Ponderosa Pine, Log Pole Pine, you name it...gone. No pine over 8-10 years old will survive. Michael's mom's neighbour lost five big trees in their back yard while away on vacation! That fast. Pine represents probably 80 percent of the trees out here. The above photo is HOPE that one day, these hills will again be covered in their glorious blankets of pine. It represents the only future for these trees, as the cold and snow that once held these beetles in check does not come anymore. Global warming is killing the world we know. I must change subjects quickly now or be overwhelmed by a loss I cannot convey in photos or in words.
On a lighter note , this is Emma's cousin, Snoopy. She wishes they were kissing cousins, I tell you. She was in love sweet love with this big galoot.
There were signs of bear everywhere we walked...including Michael's uncle's backyard. They are in town for all the fruit left on the trees...getting ready for their big sleep. Piles of bear poo everywhere! But for all the poo and prints, we didn't see one real live bear. In fact, I have never seen a bear in 'Loops, though I have seen countless signs of them and have even poked my head into a den or two...though very obviously abandoned ones!
Well, that's about it...for now, anyway. One more batch of photos this weekend sometime from our trip across the mountains on our way home. It was an amazing drive on a road less travelled. It has made all the difference. Happy Friday, all. Enjoy your weekends.