Monday, April 30, 2007

Things are looking up!

Thank you City Council, RCMP, By-Laws and Neighbours for all the support. Tonight, the property across the steet, apartments and store, have been declared a Nuisance Property. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We appreciate all the work. We do.
And? To the guy speaking on behalf of the property owner....that man you say has "become a problem?" He is not a problem. He is not harrassing anyone. He is trying to clean up this neighbourhood and does not act alone. He is not the only one who has issues with that property. There were over 20 Impact Statements submitted to council. If you want to talk about harrassment, you should see what this neighbourhood has had to put up with.
*picture downloaded from ArrowMark

Welcome to Nanaimo

Holy schmokes, was a busy weekend. Two full days of blue skies and warm weather. Despite my dreamland dreams that Vincent D'Onofrio was going to come and lay the new brick walkway beside my house, he has yet to arrive, so Michael and I put it in this past weekend...most of it. It's not brick and we ran out of the concrete pavers about eight feet short of our goal, but it looks good. And the kitty litter, er, bark mulch, that lined the side of our house is gone. Thank goodness. I didn't take before pictures...what was I thinking? Or not thinking?
We laid in six more feet of garden space, made a couple of dump runs, shoveled 2/3 yards of rock and 2/3 yards of topsoil in and shoveled 48 feet of kitty litter, er, bark mulch, out. I thinned my raspberries out to avoid yellow rust. As soon as I am done here, I am off to plant 48 feet of strawberries along the new walkway, and some more asparagus....some Alyssum to combat the aphids on the rose bushes and two flowers that a friend gave us that we don't know what they are. Michael and I still squeezed in a walk...a new walk, in fact. Another view of Nanaimo....from a different trail on the Chase River Estuary.
Michael and Eemer.....

Look what you find in Nanaimo....the whole town was established to dig coal. In fact, there are mines beneath all the houses in our neighbourhood that neither the Minister of Mines nor the City of Nanaimo will take responsibility for. But let's not rant today, ok?

We'll put up a sign and a flimsy fence instead!

It was a pretty walk...this tree is nearly done for. It grew out of the coal slag left behind from the mines and the loading of ships. It picked the exact wrong place to grow but made a valiant effort.

And toadstools covered in slag and coal dust.

And trillium in white.

.....and purple, magenta and striped.......

There is treasure anywhere. Keep your eyes open.
I found this little piece of drift wood. It looks sculpted by a steady and thoughtful hand. Do you like it better in colour?

Or in black and white?

Either way you like it, it is in my garden now! Anyhoo, I am rambling....there is much to talk about but the strawberries are awaiting transplant and the end of the day is approaching....I'm not going to be around for the next couple of days. Don't worry about me, though, because I will be having a good time.
Talk to you soon!!!!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

walking and gawking

We had a soggy walk the other day up at Harewood Mines...seems the Island has forgotten about the sun. Michael came with and he had the camera for some of these photos that really, truly capture moments of west coast's soggy treasures. I've mentioned before that these are my favorite trees, the Arbutus. This walk is chock full of them. Let's hope that the rumours that this land is slated for development are false. These trees are becoming more and more rare as where they grow is ideal development land.
They remind me of my grandmother's cabin. Remind me and I will show you a photo.

I grew up in this region(not B.C. but Washington State), but have never seen fuscia pine cones. There are a couple of trees on this walk that have these little beauties. Anyone? Is this normal?

Yuko at the end of a soggy walk. We miss you. Hope you are having a grand time so far!
Just because I loved it so, I asked the man sitting on this for a photo. He declined to be in it, but let me take a picture of his bike. Sweet....isn't it?

Emma likes it when Aethan's car seat is left in my car. She thinks it's a throne, I believe.

And, finally, now that the weather has warmed(raining like nobody's business, yes, but still warmer), Sebastion is out and about. I am WAITING for new shells to arrive in snailmail. He is too big for his current shell and it becomes harder and harder to find replacements. I don't think people who sell pet supplies anticipate that folks can keep these guys alive so long. Petco sells Hermit Crabs for pets BUT does not supply you with, nor can you special order, larger shells for when they molt. Does this seem either ethical or responsible? Normally, they can live 30 plus years, but molt and grow bigger all the time. Without providing larger shells, Petco is selling a pet doomed for a miserable death... my Sebastion, by the way, is a rescue pet, believe it or not. Seven years ago, I found him abandoned in his stupid plastic cage in a coffee shop in south Texas. He was 1/4 of the size he is now. His shells cost about a buck then! Now they are 15 bucks plus international shipping. He needs to get a damn job! And? His new shells need to get here!!! He is antsy and I am nervous!

So you all, have a good time this weekend...I have plenty of chores lined up to fill the moments of the days...rain or not, the new section of garden is going in, two trips to the dump, laying in a load of gravel AND a load of dirt, scooping out all the kitty litter, er, bark mulch, the previous owner put in and laying in a walkway instead.....sigh. I already need a nap!
Talk to you soon!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Safe Travels

Our friends(and Emma's) are off on an adventure...roadtripping. We miss you already and you haven't even left yet! But tomorrow, when Yuko isn't here for walkies...well, things will be strange...for weeks and weeks. It'll be quiet around here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


To my Girlfriends! Thanks for a great weekend!
Over the weekend, besides the fantastic river walk, was also a girls day. Em, jeepgrrrl and I headed up to Coombs to search out some White Truffle Oil, some Black Truffle Oil, some treats and some good times. We found plenty of everything...and we even found a nice Braun Juicer at the Parksville SOS Thriftstore! I'd been wanting one for a while now. Score! I just would like to say thanks to my girlfriends for a fantastic day! I laughed so much!

And laughed some more!

And got to be silly. Felt a bit like we were teenagers for a bit there, didn't it? I didn't realize I could still giggle like that! Who knew?

And for all my dog walking, neighbourhood girlfriends...thanks for all the walks, through rain and snow and cold. Thanks for bearing with each other on our grouchy days cuz these walks sure do something for my soul every day, and I hope for yours, too!

Finding little bits of magic in the world on an otherwise grumpy day is a treasure....

Making the lives of our furbabies richer makes us richer, too.

I love you, Girlfriends(and your dogs!) and just wanted to say thanks! This past weekend has really lifted my spirits and you all were a big, major part of that! What gifts you are!

And that's all I've got to say about that!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Weekend walkies

Sheesh, it's really been so busy around here that I am way behind in walkies with you. You see, in this neighbourhood, there are relatively few cars for many people so I do a lot of "Taxi" work and what with Spring arriving, and there are things that need to get done, and the hardware stores are on the other side of town, the garden centers, etc.... and we have had some good walks, too.
It was so warm and sunny, we took off for the walk at Fry Road over the weekend. It is a bit of a time commitment, a bit of a drive out past the Duke Point Ferry Terminal a ways.
But well worth it....the dogs have the river pretty much to themselves. Plenty of splashing and shaking and swimming....

Here you can see Spring finally arriving. I don't think the trees had leaves even last week! Then BOOM overnight, something happened. It smells like Spring now, too.

The river rocks stretch out forever. When the water is really moving, this is all part of the river....

...but for now, it's all dry.

Trillium. Much harder to find than the Fawn Lilies, which are spread out like a blanket everywhere we wandered.

Even the storm clouds rolling in can't deny Spring is here. Truly here. Finally here. When the rain stops, the air is warm...thank the powers that feels like it was a long time coming.
I may have to put up more photos of this walk, if you don't mind. I couldn't fit them all into one post! As I said, though, I am a wee bit behind. I have been tagged for a post I need to complete, want to tell you about the trip to Coombs Country Market and some bits and pieces about the Hood, as well.
Today, there will be no taxi service....shhhhhh. I am not answering the phone! Don't tell! Okay?!?

I almost forgot about this one...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Shame on you!!!

495 Nicol Street, John Pollard(or your landlord or whoever was paid to clear out the house)...Chase River Estuary IS NOT A DUMP!!!! Why do people keep doing this? If By-Laws is still reading this blog, this is yet another dump site along the Chase River Estuary. I believe they are using the BC Hydro Access Road to get in here....there is so much dumping in here. It really should stop. Don't you think so?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Missus!!!!

Thank god we found each other, eh? I lovers you, lady. I hope that you are celebrating in style.
I am having a beer in your honour right now....guess what kind?!? All my love.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

here's hoping

That you got some sunshine today, too. We got some. The day started out grey and blustery but late afternoon is sunny and warm.
Dirt under my fingernails from the garden, skin feeling fuzzy and warm... Emma had a nice roll in green grass, she smells so good.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

one small prayer for Virginia Tech...

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89). Poems. 1918.

Spring and Fall
to a young child

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.


we planted our peach tree yesterday...and for now, we are staying put. It's been a long, heart-wrenching, argumentative few weeks arriving at this decision, but planting our tree means it's time to move on with the rest of our plans. We went through about a hundred scenarios in our minds, we had heated "discussions" and many sleepless nights...all to come right back to where we started, our Home. With much RCMP involvement, By-laws involvement and media involvement(not to mention neighbours) for a few weeks, things got a little too hot for the landlord. The upstairs tenants of Spanglish are out, though they simply seemed to have moved to another of the same landlord's properties around the corner...and the folks he moved in were kicked out of another of his properties around the OTHER corner. It's not that we don't think this same old thing will happen again (in say, three months time? )when the heat is off. It's not as if the store does not present the same old problems... It's just that this neighbourhood, and the wealth of friends, of history, of character, are worth fighting for, at least for a while longer.
The same customers arrive on some sort of cue they are getting from the Bat Signal goes out to all the crackheads that this van (or any other of the dealers' vehicles)has arrived and the operation sets up out front of the store....

lookouts on the alley and on the corners.....

and the stragglers arriving too late for delivery...too bad. But they are gone before the RCMP can arrive. What can you do? They know they are welcome to do that over there...they, and their customers, pay her rent, after all. And? She cries that she is being discriminated against and unfairly targeted by us because she is a woman and an immigrant in the very same sentence she spits out the word "faggot", directing it towards one of our neighbours who has asked her repeatedly to quit selling crackpipes. She sees him as our "ringleader." Don't try and pull a discrimination ploy on us with that nasty mouth! Don't you dare.
***Just a little aside here, the truckloads of garbage that were hauled out of those upstairs units was absurd...and supposedly she is selling groceries downstairs? Oh my goodness and ew!***
So, the battle goes does the gardening, the dog walks, the Sunday Morning Coffee Club, impromptu dinner parties, cherry blossoms, meeting new friends and great neighbours....
See you round the 'Hood, eh?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hey, I know I promised the news....

but it's been a busy day and I am right in the middle of making pan-fried trout with asparagus for dinner.... so come back tomorrow, eh? And Biddie is back, in case you didn't know.
Have a good night. See you tomorrow.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th(whatever)

I got presents this week and it wasn't even my came from an island on the other side of the country all the way to my island...from a crafty missus and a good friend, to boot, Cara. A vintage Snoopy book(that I didn't already have, that's pretty amazing!) and TWO handmade keychains...Eemer and Crook. How cool is that?!? Isn't she fantastic?
Thank you so much. I love it all! And? A lovely treat from Barb wrapped in lime green paper with a lime green ribbon came on a float plane from Sechelt, tucked into Aethan's bag when he came home from Nanny's yesterday. This little book is an absolute treasure. Thank you so very much, too.
Today the rains are back with a vengeance. It already looks like it's been raining for weeks out there. But the little break we had was enough to make things look better out in my little garden space...I even had to mow the lawn!!!

My asparagus patch that I planted last year looks like it seeded itself. Can't harvest anything this year, but it worked! I did that!!! Little asparuguses, asparagi, asparageese?

Out back, the evergreen clematis is thriving. It smells like candy. Sadly, we are not sure the passionflower survived this winter. It would be a shame if it didn't, it's so glorious. It may come back. I recall it didn't really take off last year until the weather got really warm. Cross your fingers. The raspberry bushes, the blueberry bushes, the gooseberry bush and the hops are all sending out new growth...the kiwi vines look great.

Up front, no tulips this year. I don't know what happened. The bulbs were only two years old. They should have some life left, shouldn't they? These little beauties are up now, though. Simple, sweet, breathtaking.

And this mass of yellow somethings...someone once called them Lion's Mane, but I don't think that's right. We didn't plant these, they were here when we bought the house. We almost pulled them out because at the time, it just looked like some old, tired weeds. What a happy accident.

And the daffies...what is spring without the daffies?

Such happy little faces.

Unlike Emma....she is not happy that it is raining again. Not happy at all.
Sometime this weekend, I will try to update you on the whole neighbourhood/house/move/not move situation. We are finally wrapping our heads around some things...I think. I hope.