Thursday, August 30, 2007

We've got two tickets to Paradise....

but when we get home, everything is going to be so different...Little Fish won't be so little anymore. I hope she recognizes us when we get back.
We didn't get the bedroom renovation done which means the floors won't be refinished while we are gone...which is probably just as well for the sake of the housesitter/kittysitter. It won't be fun for us, but that would have been too much to ask of someone who is already doing us so many favours...especially when the house they are staying is in such a state!!!
And Emily, Atom and Aethan will have moved to North Vancouver... when we get home. Dammit, Emily, I am crying and it's not even 10 am, yet! B-occe.
So, before I go, I am trying to purge my brain(it's very messy in there right now) and the photos I have been saving for posting. The madness of the moment is threatening to overwhelm me. I have too many things on the go to just STOP and leave. Don't I?
Isn't this uncanny?

Her name was Bowser all along.

Um, where was I? I did say it was messy in there, didn't I? But this stuff has got to go if I am going to enjoy the stars and the marshmallows...we have an ancient laptop that was Michael's dad's. Somehow, with much cussing and trial and error, and searching down long discontinued parts, it is Wireless capable...not that we will be camping in places with a Wireless network, but we are roadtripping, as opposed to just camping, so maybe I will be able to check in with you all once in a while...if we stop for a coffee or at a grocery store. I might be perfectly content NOT to see ANY people for the whole trip, though I suppose that is a little much to ask for.

It's also a place to store photos, so my dinosaur camera will not be "full" on the first day of this trip. That is exciting. I am thinking of a new camera for my birthday...with an Uber-Impressive Macro Feature, since I like looking at the vastness of the world in the smallest forms possible.

We're packed. Two loaves of banana bread are baking. One last load of laundry. Clean up the house a bit for the Sitter. I hate the fact that someone will be here in the midst of this renovation madness...but who knows, maybe the bedroom will be done when we get home?!?

I hope we get good weather for this trip. We're off to the Kootenay Mountains. We're picking huckleberries, dropping a line in the water, roasting marshmallows over an open fire, counting stars over the treetops, learning how the breathe again....checking out a different landscape...falling in love again.

We're going to meet up with some old friends, and drink beer, wander aimlessy, wake up early with the sunrise or sleep as late as we want...look for bears...step out of time, feed our souls. I'm going to miss you all, if I have time to think about it...let's hope I am too "busy" to think about it, though.

You all take care out there. See you when I see you. Bye.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Could somebody tape this for me?!?

Letterman to appear on `Oprah'

Talk-show host David Letterman will make his first appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" next month, another sign the talk-show powerhouses have buried the hatchet after a rift that lasted more than a decade.
Winfrey's production company says Letterman will appear on the show airing September 10.
Letterman frequently joked about Winfrey through the years. And in 2003, Winfrey said she wouldn't go on his show because she was uncomfortable as the target of his jokes.
Their reconciliation began in 2005 when Winfrey was a guest on Letterman's CBS "Late Show." They also appeared together in a Super Bowl commercial in February.

**** I don't know if I am kidding or not....I love David Letterman and his whole Oprah obsession. It would just figure that he would be on her show while I am gone. Of course, I don't HAVE a vhs player...but I NEED to see this...NEED to.

It occurs to me...

that we haven't been out walking together for a while. It's not that I haven't been walking. It's that the summer hasn't presented me with the most ideal situations for photography...and the neighbourhood has been stealing my excitement for it, as well. I find myself questioning our decision to stay sometimes. It's all been rather exhausting...and with the weird weather patterns all summer and not getting away at all, know, I get depressed. Run down. Overwhelmed and tired of my own preoccupation with the happenings around here. I don't wear angry well. It's not in my nature. Last week, though, I did make a conscious decision to look for those little things that make me swoon. I have had the camera out with me, even on errands, but this is a Harewood Mines Road. Blackberries are getting ripe. Mmmm mmmm.
The Arbutus are getting some new growth, their freshly bare trunks are aglow.

I am not the only one on this walk who loves the Arbutus. Here is a little camera hog basking on the leaf of one of my favorite trees. I pass this tree every time I walk here and lay my hands on it, tell it hello. I am happy it has company when I am not there.

I think he is smiling for me.

There used to be so many more moments that fell like warm rain, when we could turn up our faces to the sky. It's been a long year for Michael and I.
Dealing with town can really tear you up...or, more aptly said, this town can really tear you down. See what I mean about preoocupation? I really didn't mean to go "there" in this post.

We are getting out of town for a couple of weeks, into the wilds, into the mountains...taking a much needed road trip, meeting old friends who have nothing to do with this town, picking blue huckleberries, cooking by campfire, sleeping with stars, waking with the morning light, breathing deep the clean air, washing away the lingering soot of this coal miners' town.

Better late than never, right?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Just saying....

Fear follows crime, and is its punishment. Author: Voltaire

The real significance of crime is in its being a breach of faith with the community of mankind. Author: Joseph ConradPurposelessness is the fruitful mother of crime. Author: Charles H. Parkhurst

It is grievous to be caught. [Lat., Deprendi miserum est.] Author: Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)

"Property is the fruit of is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built." The Collected Works of Abraham_Lincoln.

What is crime amongst the multitude, is only vice among the few. Author: Benjamin Disraeli

And who are the greater criminals--those who sell the instruments of death, or those who buy them and use them? Author: Robert Emmet Sherwood

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another piece of South End Nanaimo history up in smoke...


just gets sadder and sadder down here.


Fire guts historic station * * * * Nanaimo lost a piece of its history early on Sunday morning, after fire ripped through the E&N Railway Station.Charred wood and broken glass are all that remain after the blaze that gutted the southwest portion of the 87-year-old building on Selby Street.The flames appear to have started from the building's exterior before spreading to the centre, said Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant fire chief Ron Dawley."It's still under investigation but I think it's fair to say it is suspicious in nature," he said.The water-soaked building was boarded up Sunday leaving residents wondering what's to become of the station that was still in operation."The damage is very extensive," said Dawley, surveying the charred scene.The E&N Railway Station is one of the city's top six heritage buildings and has both federal and municipal heritage status.Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company in 1920, the building is owned by the Island Corridor Foundation. The foundation was considering a major renovation to the station before Sunday's blaze.Mike Frajman, who lives across the street from the charred remains, woke up and saw smoke on the roof at about 4:50 a.m.Within minutes, the fire had quickly taken hold of the shingled roof and wood interior, he said."It was unbelievable," Frajman said. Smoke billowed from the building for well over an hour, as fire crews battled the flames, he said.News of the fire quickly spread throughout the neighbourhood and residents gathered near the train tracks to take pictures and reminisce about the old structure.The decaying state of the building wasn't lost on some residents, who criticized the lack of maintenance in recent years."Nobody seems to care Nanaimo's history is being ignored," said Michael Yaremkewich, who lives nearby.Blake McGuffie, who sits on the city's heritage commission, said while they would like to see the building restored, there is little public money available.He is optimistic the building can be salvaged and restored."Provided it's insured, it creates a wonderful opportunity," he said.The investigation into the cause of the fire continues.MTropea@nanaimodailynews.com250-729-4255Related story, A2© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2007

It may have not even been insured. Ain't that a hoot? But it's just the south end, folks. Don't worry.
I don't know if I mean that statement or not...but right now it feels like I do. This station wouldn't have been in this state of disrepair in the North End...or if any of our 80 million dollars for revitalizing downtown actually included REVITALIZING anything. There would not have been evidence of squatters if it was maintained...there is no sense of history in this town. There is no pride of ownership. It's wearing thin.
Nobody seemed to put this station on the front page before it burned. Nobody puts pictures of the South End on the front page unless it's burning.

Ignore the problems until they burn...that seems to be the policy around here. It's just too bad the only pieces of the real history of Nanaimo are being lost, ignored, overrun by criminal activity, etc., while the Council approves another shopping mall.
I was following a car today with this bumpersticker: "Nanaimo, A Mall in Search of a City. " Touche.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I wish....

that it would stop raining every weekend already. Enough is enough. It's been sunny all week. It's been raining all day today. Sun is predicted for all next week. Guess what next weekend's forecast is?!? Yep. You guessed it. Rain.
Every single weekend for weeks...and weeks...and weeks.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Heidi did it first!!!

And it looked kind of cool so I took the Book Quiz, too.

"You're Loosely Based!by Storey ClaytonWhile most people haven't heard of you, you're a really good and interesting person. Rather clever and witty, you crack a lot of jokes about the world around you. You do have a serious side, however, where your interest covers the homeless and the inequalities of society. You're good at bringing people together, but they keep asking you what your name means."

Eerily right on, isn't it? I mean, aside from nobody hearing about me...cuz I am famous, right? And that bit about being witty and interested in society and all...and bringing people together....hmmm. What does Dilling mean?

Guess I have a book to buy now...and about 20 other quizzes to take!
***Do you think it really matters if Storey Clayton helped design that site, or contributed to that site, or made some of the quizzes on that site? It's just a *concidence* that his name and book is the one that came up for my quiz, right? Right? Er, right?

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Busy day today...we're all tired out around here. I'll try and catch up tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ready, Steady, Go....

***Update*** I added links at the bottom of this post... fun fair food links.

It was a busy weekend that just past. We got a phone call from the marina on Friday night and it turns out that a friend had just pulled into port on her sailboat. So off we went for an impromptu and pricey night out. Then Saturday morning dawned with rain "showers"(more like torrential downpours) and thunder and lightning...and another pricey impromptu trip...with Fishbone to the vet. She was vomiting icky things first thing in the morning...ugh. But all is well...and she came home and is fit and fiesty and fierce. Aren't pets wonderful things?
Finally, off to the fair with Em and Aethan, where we communed again with the farm animals. We DID walk the whole fair, looked at booths, gawked at the rides, listened to music.....but, really, we are there for the animals.

Well, the animals and Elephant Ears/Beaver Tails....but they didn't have Elephant Ears! What kind of a fair is it when you can't find an Elephant Ear?!?!?!? I had to settle for Kettle Korn. Sigh. Aethan loved the "Cot of Candy" a lot!

And the pigs. He really, really liked the pigs.

But what's not to like about this sweet pinkness?

We walked for hours and it was pouring rain sometimes, hot and humid sometimes....we were tired by the end of it...but maybe that was just the sugar crash.
So we went home...and after being soaked a number of times, after walking miles and miles, with no Elephant Ears to look forward to, and nobody willing to come back to the fair with me, I did not come back to see Hedley. They didn't even hit the stage until 9:30 pm. I already had a couple of beers in me by then.

All those barns full of animals shipped in from all over, blue ribbon winners, exotic breeds of rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, goats, etc, and these little stowaways in the sheep barn were one of the biggest crowd attractions!
Sunday got off to a slow start, but eventually we made our way downtown to the marina to see our friend again and to take in the Artfest. It was a slow and lazy afternoon but in the evening we ended up with beer and bocce with friends in the park, laughing at each other and the meth head yelling verbal abuse at the crack heads... the disdain of the tweaker for the take what humour you can in this neighbourhood.

Beaver Tail
Funnel Cake

Monday, August 20, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's Friday...

...and really I am not too inspired to write. There's lots going on these days and I am feeling rushed. But, took a little break to head out to Shady Mile Farm Market and feed the, I meant shop the Farmer's Market. No, really, I go to feed the animals. A moment of zen in my chaos.
We're all there just to feed the animals. We all have our own favourites.

The bedroom renovations got underway yesterday, I have to go get fingerprinted for Immigration today, have miles of paperwork to collect and sort for that...and then some. The neighbourhood "happenings" are getting out of hand again, as there is yet another crack house up the street. The building manager knows it's a crackhouse(again), the police, yadda yadda yadda. How many times can one place become a crackhouse before something gets done about it? If it was a grow-op just ONCE, then the city would do something about it. Does that make any sense?
We all blow smoke. The problems spill out of the crackhouse into the park where my neighbours' kids play and others of us walk our dogs. Nobody seems to do anything about it. Dispatch tells us that they are "aware of the problem." ARGH.

And it's hot one day, cold the next. It's supposed to rain all weekend again. We have only been out camping twice this summer. Crazy. VIEX starts today(the Fair) so tomorrow, we are off to look at more farm animals and eat greasy Fair Food and have overpriced beer in the beer garden, listen to Hedley the rain.

Wow, I am so whiney today. I don't like it much, do you? Maybe I need to go back and feed the animals again.

Or take a tropical vacation where you can *almost* guarantee that the sun will shine. Where someone else cooks for you and does the dishes. And you probably won't see a MASS of crackheads in the your neighbourhood park.

MASS. accumulation, aggregate, assemblage, band, batch, block, bulk, bunch, chunk, clot, coagulation, collection, combination, concretion, conglomeration, core, corpus, crowd, entirety, gob, great deal, greater part, group, heap, horde, host, hunk, knot, lion's share*, load, lot, lot, lump, majority, mob, mound, mountain, much, number, object, peck, piece, pile, plurality, preponderance, pyramid, quantity, shock, stack, staple, stockpile, sum, sum total, throng, totality, troop, volume, wad, whole.

And I'm done. Really. Gotta go walk the dog somewhere out in the boonies the rain. But away from here. Just for a while.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

For CindyDianne...

who wanted to see the "finished" closet. Well it's just not that easy because it won't technically be done for a while yet. We have to finish the bedroom before we finish up all the floors in one fell swoop, and we need to replace the crappy window because whoever put it in the first time was a doesn't really even fit in the window opening! What is the point of putting in thermal windows if you don't even match the window size to the opening in the wall? Sheesh. This is the before, if you recall. Carpet from the 60's over lino from the 40's. 12 layers of paint or so.

But underneath it all, fir flooring and 6 inch baseboards and trim.....hi, Eem-er!

Once the stripping was done...paint stripping, people!!! Paint!!!! I replastered the walls...and the eleven foot ceiling! It's hard to photograph the texture. It looks almost like I imagine the original horsehair plaster might have looked...not that I know if this old house EVER had horsehair plaster. I put a coat of pearlescence wax over the top and it looks a bit like the inside of an oyster shell when the sunlight comes through the crappy window.

Maybe here you can see the texture a bit better? Against the not yet refinished trim?

But, my friends, look at this....the refinished baseboard against the replastered, pearlized(is that a word?) wall. Isn't it.............well, let's just say it. Isn't it sexy? Michael did all that trim work. Isn't that sexy, too? Can't you just see it with the floors finished?

And here is the trim now refinished...hi, again, Eem-er. And I got a new/old dresser that will go well in here, and we'll finish my unfinished pine cabinet to match the trim. Michael bought a giant mirror at the ReStore, for our dressing room/sexy walk-in closet. A new light fixture and Bob's your uncle, eh?
With the angles and all, it's hard to take a picture of the whole closet, but once we get the shelves back up and the new furniture and stuff in there(is a dresser really furniture? I guess it is.), I will try for some photos. I imagine that although the labour is finished for now, the closet will be a shambles until the bedroom is done...cuz all the stuff in the bedroom now has to fit into the closet. I hate living in this kind of chaos, but if my new bedroom looks half as sexy as the closet when it's finished....well, I may not be posting anything for a while.
Just saying!
Well, off to Shady Mile Farm more later?