So, I will catch up with you all in a couple days...it's hard to concentrate on all these cold meds. I am reading along with you, but my comments aren't coherent so I am just going to leave them for now.
First of all, it is Friday before the holidays so many of you may not be around again until after, so let me take this moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Peace on Earth. Goodwill towards all men. And now, PhotoAssignmentNanaimo : Christmas, Inside and Out. I have lots of photos so I will try to rein in my wordiness. It will be my gift to you. Inside Christmas...it's really just my tree. We don't have a lot of decorations and all our "gifts" arrive on Boxing day, when we open the door to friends for turkey and trimmings and wine and desserts and... Well, you get the idea. If you are in the area, honestly, please stop by. Honest. You'll be welcome.
My ornaments are mostly souvenirs from travels, my travels and those of my friends. When someone wants to bring me something from somewhere they are going, I ask for a keychain. Then when I put them up, I can have a special thought for them each year. Or more than one thought, if they travel a lot....or buy lots of keychains!!! It's like a guaranteed Auld Lang Syne...and a very encompassing thing to behold, both geographically and spiritually.
This one is from New Zealand but reminds me of when the Brady Bunch went to Hawaii.
These are real ornaments. My good friend bought them for me the year I decided to participate in life again. Kind of fitting, eh?
I love this dragonfly...and the Eiffel Tower from a friend who visited there.
One of my dearest friends made this dreamcatcher for me while I was in Colorado. I miss her like mad and though we have drifted a bit in the past few years, I still consider her one of my bestest. I like seeing this up. Auld Lang Syne, see?
Navajo Ghost Beads.
This little Snoopy with the mailbox arrived this year from Biddie...in my mailbox. Cool, eh? The other little disobediant Snoopy with the hockey stick is an ornament I got the first year Michael(my Canadian hockey player) and I were together. Did I mention that my tree leans to the left?
Actually, I think the whole house leans to the left. The teddy bear there, Michael's mom made me from an old thrift store coat. A bobblehead Christmas Beagle...cuz what's Christmas without a beagle at your Charlie Brown Christmas Tree? Did I mention that we got this tree from Rain's kids' scout troop?
Sometimes the only colour you can find in a west coast winter(besides grey) is the decorations.
This is Christmas both Inside and Out. The truck parade is lining up outside my window. Woot woot.
Yup. The Christmas TRUCK Parade.
MMMMM....gingerbread latte, anyone?
Eem-er was intrigued by one entry in particular.....
and that's it. Gotta go walk the dog, make an second appearance at Hick Chick's Christmas Party, run a couple of errands and get an early dinner started so I can send Michael and the rest of the boys out to see the Clippers play Victoria tonight(an early present for us gals!).
I am a native of this coast... I am rainforest born, blown by coastal winds, twisted, and shaped by the salt water of this western shore. This is my home. I am linked to great peoples, indigenous, settlers, adventurers, bound by the borders of this farthest western shore. I grew here and nowhere else. This is my home. I can smell the Precious Life in each breath and roll it's salt along my fingertips. This is a sacred land. This, this furthermost western shore, is my home. Welcome.
Serendipity....that's what it feels like. I bet you thought I was going to say something else, eh? Suprises have been arriving at my door and for someone who sometimes feels bah humbuggy and grinchlike this time of the year, it's been pretty sweet. Got a little something sweet and special from Biddie, and I will show you what it is when I post my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, okay? It's perfect. Thanks, Biddie. And a box of baked goods arrived from Michael's mom last night. I don't know where to begin OR when to stop with that. And from Gawilli, wrapped in a plain cardboard box, magic. Yup. You heard me. A Box Full of Magic. She sent me cds so jam-packed with music that I can hardly move myself away from the stereo speakers. In fact, I have yet to listen to two of them since I have to listen again and again to the disc in the player right now. And I could barely take the last cd out to listen to this one. It's like listening to a year's worth(maybe more like two year's worth) of No Depression magazine. And that is my favorite magazine! What a musical repertoire Gawilli has. Wow. Thank you so very much, Gawilli!!! Literally, you rock! In the most glorious countrified-bluegrass-alternative-bluesy-soulful sort of way, of course! This is my favorite at this moment. This is beautiful and sweet and sad and feels like home.
I don't know what it is lately...so tired. We are all just sleeping.... hibernating, maybe? We got nothing done this weekend. Heading to bed early tonight...hopefully a good, long sleep will do the trick. G'nite.
Today, I was on my way to have coffee that wasn't Starbucks with my new-ish friend, Rain. I say new-ish just because we hadn't "officially" met yet. Kind of like how I haven't met many of you in blog roll on the right hand of this screen...but I still consider you all my friends. Since Em moved, I don't have any coffee dates anymore, so this was pretty exciting. Eem-er and I stopped at Piper's Lagoon for a walk along the way, but it was so windy we moved on to Neck Point Park. There are more windbreaks and paths among the trees at Neck Point than at Piper's, but it was still quite blustery...
The park was pretty much empty, the tide was high and the waves were impressive. Once we were out of the trees, the wind was enough to nearly knock us over. I like it when the weather is like that!
And then to Rain's place, hot coffee to warm my frosty fingers and shortbread cookies with sprinkles!!! I can't seem to resist a cookie with sprinkles...and Eemer couldn't resist jumping on the beautiful furniture! Rain is probably still picking dog hair out of the couch! Eeeeek.
So we talked about this thing, that thing and the other things...just like we'd been chatting all along....and then?
Rain showed me how to get crafty! Who knew that I could be crafty? C'mon, I mean really. Baskets of moss(check out that colour green! It's gorgeous!), filled with soil, and then just add greenery. Sure, it sounds simple enough, doesn't it? If it's so simple, how did I have so many bald spots in mine?
But some good pointers from Rain and I got it all sorted. I think. I will have to look it over in the daylight...it may still need some stategically placed holly or bows or ornaments. My car smelled so good on the way home...I almost forgot that I carry three wet dogs a day in that car!
Eem-er and I met somebody new to the island today at Bosley's Pet Store. Welcome home, Diago. It's a small world, but it's gonna be beautiful. Good boy. Merry Christmas.
As if that wasn't enough...it seems the City of Nanaimo has given this neighbourhood an early holiday gift....
City's anti-drug red zone grows Lawyers request expansion of no-go area to reduce drug dealing downtown Paul Walton , Daily News Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 The success of Nanaimo's controversial red zone has resulted in it being expanded.Following the arrests of 22 people in a large drug sweep in mid-November, federal Crown lawyers began asking the courts to increase the size of the zone, after much of the undercover drug dealing was found to be on the outskirts of the Victoria Crescent area."We noticed that the action was moving up Victoria Road," said federal prosecutor Brian Jones. The zone originally included Victoria Crescent and surrounding streets for two blocks. It is now bounded by Esplanade Street, Milton Street, Fitzwilliam and Bastion Streets and Front Street. That now takes in the Old City Quarter, Commercial Street and the Haliburton Street area north of Milton Street.Jones said the expansion is not because the drug problem is spreading to those areas, but it is being pushed there by the effectiveness of the original red zone. "According to police it's popping up all over the downtown area," he said.Randy Churchill, manager of the city's bylaws department, said though the red zone is administered by the police and courts, the city supports the idea and benefits from it."We have absolute faith in the way it's being dealt with," said Churchill. "It has a very positive effect."Jones cited a recent decision from the Court of Appeal for B.C. upholding a red zone in Victoria. The court said it is not punitive, but assists in keeping drug users from temptation as it cuts them off from easy access to their supply."It's mainly designed to help these people," said Jones.The idea has been criticized for keeping people from resources they may require in the area, but Jones said they can easily enter the zone if they have written permission from a bail or sentence supervisor.He cited the Salvation Army New Hope Centre on Nicol Street as possibly offering assistance.PWalton@nanaimodailynews.com250-729-4230
It's winter...I should be knitting...I have a waiting list for these...including myself. I want another on in green and maroon, some wristies, some fingerless gloves/mittens, two baby blankets...but this bedroom renovation just drags on and on. And on. I can't even reach my knitting needles or yarn, they are so buried by everything else. Now we are waiting three days for the(black walnut) stain to dry on the floor before we can then fill the cracks, buff it and FINALLY wax it. It is going to look amazing...hell, it already looks amazing and we still have the final steps to do. In the meantime, though, I am on the verge of tears every moment that I am home. There is no way to clean or put our house in order since every single thing that is supposed to be in our bedroom and in our walk-in closet is in the hallway, the livingroom, the kitchen and the spare bedroom. If I had any clue when we started this that it would still be going on at Christmastime, I might have just left that damn stinky carpet and the 1940's lino down, and just made peace with that wallpaper. Honestly, it is so difficult for me not to just start bawling over this mess that has become my daily life. I can't stand disorder. I am overwhelmed with the clutter, my knees and shins black and blue from running into too much furniture in too tiny a space, can't find anything, want to chuck it all, go live in a hotel room until this is done...it's been too long. Much too long. And? There's a hole in the newly replastered ceiling of my walk-in closet from a leak in the roof that we cannot find. A hole. In my custom-coloured plaster ceiling. Yeah.
Well, snow is just one of those things, I think. You either LOVE it... or you DON"T. Except for me, because I am a Libra and I can't really make such a strong decision...at least not about snow.
Thing is, it's beautiful...I can see that. It's scary, too, though. We were out running errands when the snow started last weekend. We were trying to get home before it really got going...but it got going in a big, fast way here. No messing around this time.
So, we got home and parked the car and left it, so our walks were just around the neighbourhood here...and the snow just continued falling. It wasn't easy to take my "Precious " out into this weather while the big, fat, wet flakes kept falling. I am still in that very protective stage of new love.
Everything looked "pristine," in that tried and true wonderment of a winter wonderland...well, not everything, really. But, most things.
For a little while, anyway.
The thing about snow on the west coast is this...it won't stay pretty long. Hell, sometimes not even for five minutes. Our snow is wet and heavy, backbreaking to shovel...because all it really wants is to be RAIN!!! And when the rain starts, there is a sneaky layer of slick slush beneath the crust of snow, waiting to take you down...hard. Overnight, that may freeze and then you should just stay home. Really. Don't go out.
Moments like these will not last....and did not last. Get out and enjoy it when you can here. Quick. Two days of heavy snow turned to downpour and record high temperatures. All that snow mixed with all that rain and all that warm weather created flooding here...and have you seen the news about Washington state? Holy cow. We are places designed to take water, but we were no match for this storm.
It did paint a pretty picture for a minute, though.
Another thing about a west coast winter snowfall is that we don't have enough of it to be "good" at it. I know we sound whiney out here when it snows, but snow takes practice.
Somebody's moving day today. Hey, Em, what does this photo remind you of? See how snow can really ruin your day?
No, I mean, really ruin your day! Did I mention we don't have enough snow around here to practice? We can't drive in this stuff!!! And even if one person CAN, twenty others can't, so it doesn't really matter.
Someone drove/slid into a power pole up the street here...and two transformers blew. Yikes. We were a little worried about having no heat(our pellet stove IS electrically powered!), but the power was restored a couple of hours later. Thank goodness. We were lucky.
We've had blissfully blue skies the past few days and the drier weather has helped lower the water levels. Dog walks at the Nanaimo River were astonishing this week, watching huge trees rush past us down the river, roots and all. The water was roaring, ten feet higher than normal on the "high side" of the river, while the "lowlands" were simply gone and the trees seemed to be growing straight up out of the water.
All of this is under water now. Incredible. Literally overnight. Scary.
But, it's sunny and blue again today...cold, but sunny and blue. I gotta get out for dogwalks in about fifteen minutes. Michael and I head down to Victoria today to see the immigration attorney again. Lord, I will be happy when all this is done. Broke, but happy. Wink. So, better go eat some toast and put on my shoes, grab my camera and head out. Have a good weekend.
We're all just being a bunch of lazy slobs around here since NaBloPoMo. I used up all my posting ideas. Tomorrow is Photo Assignment Nanaimo, though. I haven't even gone through my photos yet! Hahahaha...typical. Talk to you tomorrow....we'll take a snowy walk together, k?
stays these crackheads from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."***
You know how when it snows everything is supposed to look prettier? Well, Crackheads, Dealers, and Vultures do not look prettier. It's all still an ugly mess...ruining our clean, white winter wonderland.
In the snowstorm we had over the weekend, traffic was pretty much at a standstill. At some points, it was like white-out conditions due to the wind picking up not only the falling snow, but the fallen snow, and blowing it around in great gusts of fury. BUT still, there was one path worn down to bare earth....the alleyway to the Crackhouse on Milton Street.
You know, the city seized property from the Hell's Angel's not too long ago...something to do with property laws and illicit money....the homeowner LIVES in this CRACKHOUSE on MILTON STREET that backs onto the alley between VICTORIA and HECATE....and ALL of the neighbours know the address, but I don't want to get into trouble here so I won't list it...but(and follow my logic here), if the City of Nanaimo is willing to seize property from the Hell's Angel's, what is stopping them from seizing property from just some Joe Schmoe crack dealer and bicycle stealing chop shop? You see where I am going with this? And if they don't want this property? It could ALWAYS be donated, after the fact, to Habitat for Humanity. Surely, if things like this happened, you could ensure re-election for quite some time...don't you think?
By the way, if you live down here...don't just lock up your bikes, BRING THEM INSIDE. Trust me on this.
***as the daughter of a retired U.S. postie, I do not take that oath lightly, nor in vain...it's just that no matter what the weather, the posties arrive with the mail and the crackheads arrive for their high...and I do believe that I CAN do without my mail for a day or two...just saying.
and also this...there will be snow pictures on Friday, as part of Photo Assignment Nanaimo....do not fear.