Friday, November 30, 2007

and now, the end is here...

This morning I was walking Eem-er through Nob Hill Park, "taking it back," or so the terminology goes..."use it or lose it." You know all the catchy phrases, right? But there were quite a few addicts right up on the knoll cooking up this morning...the most beautiful spot in the park, with the best views of the water and downtown. Of course that means the best views of any RCMP officers who may be coming to bust up the party, as well. It really ticks me off that when I am up early enough to be out there enjoying sunrise in the park, crackheads already have my viewing point...I admit it. It irks me. A lot. So, doing my part...making sure they know they've been seen, are being watched and acknowledged and all those things this neighbourhood has been told to do over and over again. Did it matter? Nope...except, they got so complacent that I was the only one making noise that they forgot to keep up a good watch...and just as I left the park in a big snit and a bad mood, RCMP Bike Patrol came zipping in on silent wheels... Thanks guys! Maybe I will go back and enjoy the view this is a beautifully crisp blue day...with snow in the weekend forecast. And today, as you know, is the end of one month of posting...NaBloPoMo. Whew. What a....hhhmmmnnn, after a month of daily posts, I can't think of the words...........
Gong Show, that's it! What a Gong Show.

I nearly gonged myself out a time or two just because I was sick of "listening" to myself whine. I did whine a bit, right? It was hard not to because the thing about posting every single day is this...I am not in a good mood every day. And this has been the most difficult couple of months living in what has proven to be a trying neighbourhood anyway. And it's not over. Not with a crackhouse operating just up the alley here on Milton Street.

It's the same old bad joke. Not that it's been all bad...we had the rally, the round up, the demise of Spanglish(finally), photo assignments(can I tell you all how much these mean to me? I love them!!!!!!), plenty of dog walks, and most important of all, Little Man is home, which is just exactly where he is supposed to be.
Wow, I just looked at all the good stuff that happened this month. What blessings. Truly. Maybe I should make a list at the end of every month, eh? Why was I so angry so much of the time? ***Note to self-Must remember to give more thanks.

So hey, I'm done. I made the 45 second mark(or, in this case, thirty posts) without a gong, though I bet Rex Reed would have gonged me, if he were reading along. So, Jaye P. Morgan, what's my score?
So, with that...I think I am taking tomorrow off...and maybe even the next day. See you all next week?!?
RIP, were a fun, crazy ride....what would the 70's have been without you?

Thursday, November 29, 2007


From Little Man's Momma...

GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"Little Man" is HOME!!!!!!!!he was discharged today and is doing wonderfully!! packing on the weight and loving being able to eat all the formula he wants!! he is smiling and "gOOing" non-stop!! i didn't think my heart could grow any bigger, but i swear if i didn't have ribs it would extend a foot in front of me!!!♥a million thank yous to all who wished us well, and kept "Little Man" in your prayers and thoughts and stars! it all worked!!!!!!

I thank each of you for your heartfelt prayers. We are all so very thankful that he is home again. Thank you, thank you, thank you. All. So very much. I can't begin to tell you what it means. Blessings to each and every one of friends.

One more day....

Namoblopogofrodoemotozoto is nearly done...not that I signed up for it or anything...I just played along. I hate "joining" things. I think I did pretty well. I know some of the posts were just daily rantings about the hood, but that WAS what was on my mind at the time. Today, though, I am struggling. I was going to post something about my heroes, but I have a pretty good idea what some people think of some of my heroes and I didn't want that hornet's nest open in my Comments section. I've been visiting old friends again lately. I am reading Watership Down(which is what got me thinking about heroes in the first place) again. Without exaggerating, I can say that I have read this book at least 30 times, if not closer to 40. I read it the first time when I was eleven. When I got to the last page, I opened it right back up to page one and read it again. I am 39 now, and still visit this book regularly. I am still reading the same copy, taped together, the pages thin, discoloured and finger-smudged, with pencil and pen in the margins(big loopy child's writing and avid teenangster's notes). I think this book was instrumental in forming the foundations of morality, justice, acceptance, truth and heroism in my life...or maybe it was the first time I saw my ideals in understandable words. It made sense. And yeah, I know it's about rabbits. It still makes sense.
Do you have a book like this?
Thank goodness I already have tomorrow's post somewhat mapped out. I will be so happy not to post on December first that I will probably have to post about it!!!! It was a good exercise...
See ya'll tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


You remember when Duke found her dumped in the woods by the river during the only really long, hot, dry spell of the summer? Her eyes were still blue, she couldn't really see yet? Wasn't fully weaned and I thought she was a boy and was going to name her Arlo or Woody? You remember how she was so tiny she slept in Maggie's old dog dish, which I (as of then) did not have the heart to let Eem-er use? Remember? How I didn't think we'd really keep her because I KNEW how devastated Michael had been(as was I) when we lost Crook and he didn't want the possibility of going through that again?
Remember how Eemer and "Kitten" both fit on one bed?

Well, things change. Arlo became Fishbone and grew up. Her eyes are green. Eemer has Maggie's old dish now, instead of a plastic butter tub. They still share the bed, but someone is always shoving someone else to the very edge.

Yesterday, in the final act of acceptance that we are, indeed, owned by this cat, I delivered her into the hands of the Island Vet Clinic (and promptly fell on my face in the icy parking lot) for her spay, tattoo and vaccinations. It has been a long time since I had to do that...Eemer and Crook both came to us "fixed" and Maggie was a puppy when I was 23.
I guess I forgot how shocking it can be to a person with such a fragile temperament as myself. When I got Little Fish back yesterday, all shaved and caved-in looking, stitched up and upset, I cried. She is so miserable and there is no comfort for her...and as far as she is concerned, I did this to her. And she's right. I did.

I just hope she'll remember who brought her out of those woods...soon. Poor kitten.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fishbone's first....

Snow, that is. She looks enchanted by it, doesn't she? Sadly, it turned to rain last night and it is mostly gone this morning, leaving a treacherous layer of ice over the sidewalks, roadways and parking lots. How do I know? I fell out of my car this where I was going, put my feet out the door and landed on my face. It happened so fast I didn't even have time to gasp. And tomorrow? It's gonna feel like whiplash. I am already stiffening up so I am out the door for walkies to try to work it all out before it settles in. See ya!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Coffee snob?!? Moi?!?

Somebody recently wondered if I might be a coffee snob....Hmmmn, maybe. I can tell you that when I worked here(hahahaha, gotcha, didn't I?)... I would stop at the local coffee shop on my way to work for a real espresso...and I wasn't the only one. No lie. Yes....indeed, I guess that I am a coffee snob. If I am going to pay premium price for something that should cost sixty-nine cents, I want it to be yummie. On the other hand, I will drink diner coffee at Alice's on a Sunday morning girly-time breakfast and there's really nothing wrong with Timmy's, if it's fresh. I mean, they are charging what a cup of joe should cost and, mostly, I just drink it black anyway...
I tend to just stay in for coffee most of the time...I need my kick in the early morning, before I am ready to deal with bedhead and being nice to people and smiling and stuff. How does one order coffee until one has had coffee? My afternoon java jolt is usually spent here at home, too...recently it helps me warm myself after chilly dog walks...although I will never turn down a latte from here. Mmmmmm mmmmm mmmmm. Their dark roasts are most delicious, too...and one of the baristas there gives me the same feelings that puppies do. Shhhh. Don't tell him. It's kind of embarassing.

Did I happen to mention that it is snowing right now? ARGH!!!!!

Don't even get me started on my beer snobbery.....that post would be ENDLESS.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Photo Assignment: Nanaimo Waterfront

I know you've all been waiting for this, right? We all decided to take two weeks between assignments so that we would have more time to work on them...I waited until Thursday to even get down there. Go figure. And, again, I went totally photo gaga and took so many I can barely choose what to post. And, again, go figure. The Nanaimo waterfront on a cool, crisp November morning. The waters were still and calm. The docks were salted but it was still slippery...and cold. Winter is here. There were no tourists and very few folks out strolling...pretty quiet down here. That's fine. That's how I like things.
When Michael and I get old and want the ammenities of condo life, we hope to have a place like of those upper floor "garden" apartments. Some of these patios are bigger than the yard we have now! Not to mention the view.

Mostly all of my photos....okay, ALL of my photos were taken down on the docks and not on the promenade. I didn't like any of the photos I took up there...but the boats! Oh the glorious boats and sailboats and rowboats...canoes, dragonboats, pontoon boats, tug boats, yachts and ferries...kayaks...and even some seaplanes.

Boats for the trendy(get it?).

Boats for hippies.

Boats for rednecks.

Boats for traditionalists.

Boats full of colour and texture and history...I want to know all their stories.

I want to know where they went. Don't you?

I want to know who sits here. I love their colour choices.

All the charm of any waterfront for me is on the docks themselves, and under them. It reminds me of some of the good things about growing up here, where I wandered the docks and Percival Landing for years, feeding the seagulls warm, overly salty popcorn bought with pocket change from the Yard Birds/Seamart store...
So that's it for me here...but there's more on Flickr.
Who picks next?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday Night Lights

Our corner was the Seatbelt/Sobriety/Insurance/Whatever Checkpoint last night...just another way for the RCMP to be present in our neighbourhood on a Friday night. Yay. They were out for quite a while, too. Thank you very much. And you all remember how much I love Checkpoint Nights, right? I sit in the window with my beer and chips. It's better than cable. It's been relatively quiet and I don't want to jinx anything by saying that out loud. There is still at least one crack house in operation up the alley, if not two...and the brand new four-plex on the other corner seems to have crack dealers and hookers coming and going...crazy amount of money to spend to buy a condo and let the dealers use it...
But that's enough about that...these guys look eager to get out of the car and go for a walk!!!

Harewood Mines Road...we've all been here before, remember? It's been cold enough for long enough now that the frost is heaving from the earth. It hasn't melted off for days up here in the shade of the trees. There's snow in the forecast next week. Yikes. I don't know if I am ready. Are you?

All my little mushies are wearing frosty little jackets.

In the big picture, the grand scheme of things, the frost is beautiful, reflecting the cold sun like a blanket of diamonds over the fields of yellowed grass.

But the true glory, I find, is in the minute details of it all. That each blade of grass has been so tenderly and individually decorated in thousands of sparkling crystals is heartbreaking. Don't you think? Grace.

The verdant green.

I'm bound by the fire. I'm bound by the beauty. I'm bound by desire. I'm bound by the duty . I'm bound by the snow, the soft, the fallingness, the everupward face...the everupward face...bound by the sunsets, the rivers, the music, the beauty... (Jane Siberry).

Friday, November 23, 2007

the demise

We, as a neighbourhood, do not know what this building holds next in store for us. It has been "bought" though the same landlord holds the is his way of cheating people legally, stealing back the building(s) when the new owner fails to make payment. It is still a mess, and may continue to be one. It is supposedly to be made into a duplex...which requires rezoning...which takes time(months to a year)...which has no guarantees of even being approved. The siding is peeling, there seems to be mold growing on the outside so who knows what the inside looks could sit like this for the next year...... but the Hooker/Dealer Umbrella, otherwise known as the awning came down this afternoon. Tomorrow morning I won't draw back the curtains and see "SPANGLISH" across the street. I can't tell you how good that feels. Like that b$%#h is really gone, gone, gone. The sun shone brighter. Can you see the sunbeams in the corner of the photo there? And the sound of the chop saw cutting up the frame of the Hooker/Dealer Umbrella, er, the awning, was music, I tell you, music. I almost crossed the street to ask if I could cut it up with that saw. I want to go kick it while it's down. You know, if that building was not there, I would actually have a view of Mount Benson. I wish the fire department had let it burn down....there's snow on Benson right now. It sure would be pretty.
Still, all in all, it feels real good right about now. I didn't realize how much I really hated looking at that sign on that awning every day. Kiss off, Spanglish.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For the love of Kukla, Fran and Ollie!!!

We went dogwalking at the river today and we saw a big ole black bear...and Duke took off chasing it!!! And wouldn't come back as we screamed his name over and over and over and over again.
Duke was so proud of himself. He thinks he chased away the bear. I'm fairly sure it was our hysterics! I'm sure that poor bear is deaf as a post now, and thinks all us two-legged hairless beasts are insanity incarnate...
Sorry no photos. We were close enough, to be sure, but we were too busy running after Duke who was running after the bear...maybe we are insanity incarnate.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone back home...have a little stuffing for me, please.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


oh why, can't I find this here?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just a thing

I came across this article in the paper the other "intrigued" me. A lot. We have GREAT neighbours who are from Alberta in this hood, GREAT neighbours... we also have some troubling "scofflaws" (that's a great word, isn't it?)from Alberta in this hood. Many neighbours are all too familiar with some of the vehicles with Alberta plates that BLATANTLY deal drugs in our neighbourhood. BLATANTLY. This Jeep Liberty with Alberta plates, for instance, has been dealing drugs for six months or more here in the southend. I know this car has been phoned in and reported to the RCMP for selling drugs (at the very least) ten times. It's been featured in my Blahg at least three times, if not more. Imagine the neighbourhood phonelines ringing off the hook yesterday morning when this car was finally towed away. You could hear the collective WOOT WOOT rising in the air around here. Now, maybe we neighbours all need to pass the collection plate to send the driver(s) back to Alberta to face the warrants they have most likely been hiding from by selling drugs out here.
Life's little dark-minded triumphs. I am happy they lost their car, but they are still out here selling their drugs...on foot in the rainy season. You know, during the rally, this Jeep circled by us a few times honking its horn, as if in appreciation of what we were trying to accomplish, as if we didn't know just exactly who they were. As if.
I don't know why it took six months...will it take six months for the Toyota Forerunner with rusted wheel wells, too? Let's hope not.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Remover of Obstacles....

Eemer meets Ganesh.
We need to remove some obstacles. I hope they reached some understanding.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Little Man's Update

is here... Em went for a visit yesterday. Thanks for your wishes and thoughts and prayers and love. We all so appreciate it.

Morden Mine

We have decided to take two weeks between Photo Assignment Nanaimo so that we don't run out of stuff to take pictures of in the first month... no, not really, but it does take the pressure off a bit. I couldn't have made it down to the waterfront this week at all. There was a bit of a frenzied rush to make something happen around here. And, in case you hadn't heard, Rain has been sick, too, so please drop by and make her feel better. Before my car broke down(twice) this week(ask me later, it's too painful now), Michael and I got out to the Morden Mine for a walk.
It's a park that we have been meaning to get to for quite a while... there is a lovely trail there, but I will save those photos for another day...cuz(did I mention?) my car is broke down and we may not get out for any dog walks other than town walks for a couple of days...but there are some cool, old historical things here in the southend I could show you... and some GREAT old houses, too.

This is one of those places that Nanaimo should preserve/restore, but hasn't.
We have lots of shopping, though. And apparently, more malls to come.
So much for revitalizing downtown...dang, did I just say that?!?

The lighting could not have been more perfect the day we were here. It was amazing.

And despite the fact that this is history that maybe should be preserved, it is very cool to see that Nature, in the end, wins all.

That She can, in fact, take something so stark and ugly and actually transform it into an art form in her own fashion is pretty amazing, isn't it?

I thought so, anyway.

And that's that. It's all I got. Really. I'll show you the trail tomorrow, eh?
Have a good one. G'nite.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Neighbours sick of prostitution
Street frequented by hookers is briefly shut down by protest
Krista Charke , Daily NewsPublished: Saturday, November 17, 2007

Traffic was brought to a standstill on Victoria Road on Friday evening when more than 100 frustrated neighbours literally took back their street.
They blocked traffic, blew air horns and held up signs to protest the regular flow of prostitutes' customers who cruise through the area.
The spontaneous neighbourhood rally was held between Milton and Selby Streets at 6:30 p.m.

Cars blocked the road at both intersections and people shouted "No more johns" to passing vehicles, including a police car that flicked on its lights in acknowledgement before driving away.
"We're here to take back the night," said Jane McDonald, who lives in the area.
Although she's sympathetic to people in the area struggling with addictions, she has no tolerance for crime.
"We have to live here as well and as much as the police do for us, it's not enough," she said.
"It's like all those (drug) arrests they made the other night, it doesn't really matter because they're all back out on the street the next day anyway."
Tina Moreira, 26, moved from Vancouver to Nanaimo last year. She says she can't believe how many johns cruise the area that she would like to call home.
"They disrupt our entire lives," said Moreira.
She added that she's been approached more than a dozen times by johns while she has been out walking her dog or on her way to work.
"I can't walk up and down my own road without being harassed," she said.
During the brief 30 minute protest, a mix of car horns, air horns, shouts and cheers filled the air. Although it was over quickly, protesters said they were pleased with participation in the rally.
"If the cops aren't going to do anything and nobody else is, what are you going to do, but do it yourself," added Adrian Parker.

***** we actually closed down five intersections...we had several groups several places...and I hope we do it again...and again...and again.
Anyway, I know I said I would write about it but I really am tired. I was in front of cameras a few times for interviews which is gut-wrenching for me. I am not a good spokesperson and this was not my party, but two channels covered it and wanted to interview several people...anyhoo, mostly I got edited down to one quote or cut entirely, so all the anxiety of being in front of the camera was wasted. Also, it made me feel quite open to "paybacks" from the folks we're hoping to get rid of, but they probably aren't watching
A-Channel or Chek-6 news that was useless anxiety, too. Lots of running around for balloons(yup, balloons), and bbq supplies, etc. We couldn't get the fire jugglers out in time and our bonfire didn't light...and the live musicians didn't show, either. Hmmmmn. We'll have to spend a little longer working out the details of the next rally.
But I am wiped out...can only maintain the momentum for so long.
Nighty night.

Friday, November 16, 2007

With sincerest thanks

To Olly and Krista and Doug and Judy and families for coming out to support us. And my good neighbours. Thank you thank you thank you.
I was distracted and overwhelmed so I know that I didn't say it there so hear me now...THANK YOU!!!!!!! SO VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am generally a better hostess(although this wasn't even my party!) so come back, knock on my door. I think I pointed out my house, didn't I? The damn cameras all day had me thrown...I am PHOBIC about cameras(unless I am holding it) and it was a hard day for me. More tomorrow. Goodnight.

Have you heard?!?


This Friday, the 16th of Nov. 6:50 pm-7:20pm

!!!C’MON, NOBBLERS!!! And Old City Quarter Folk.

Please walk out onto the street, MEET and JOIN veteran and new neighbours/owners alike who are fed up with the constant JOHN CRUISING. Esp. on Victoria Road, 500-600 Prideaux Street, Selby Street and Robarts Street





This FRI. 6:50-7:20
Rally sites

Victoria Road at Milton Street
Victoria Road at Selby Street
Victoria Road at Robart Street
Prideaux Street at Hecate(Roundabout)

For more information, ask a neighbour.
Invite a neighbour.
Bring your friends and family. Take back your streets.
Please make a stand with your neighbours.

*******Oh...and have you heard of this? I wish I'd known about this a while ago...gonna go try it out now. See ya later, and if you are reading from Nanaimo, please come out and support us, but get here early.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Little Man Needs Your Prayers Again, Please

Ashton is back in hospital...another surgery and what looks to be another long stay. Little Man, Strength. Momma, Dad and brothers, Strength. Love. Arms and wishes around you. Love, love, love. Absolute Love.

Drug Dealer Round Up's 2:15pm the very next day and guess what? Yup. Open drug dealing right on the same effing corners. For the love of....

Cops sweep up suspected drug dealers
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2007 Nanaimo Daily News

RCMP arrested a number of street-level drug dealers on Wednesday, following a two-week undercover operation aimed at shutting down what police said was practically an open-air downtown drug market.
Charges were expected to be laid against 22 people, most for dealing crack cocaine, said Nanaimo RCMP Const. Jen Allan.
RCMP were responding to a growing number of complaints from residents and downtown business owners about open drug dealing.
"I think it's safe to say that we're going to see an immediate impact, but in terms of the longer term, it's hard to predict," said Allan.
The bust started around 8 a.m. and continued throughout the day. By late Wednesday, police had arrested 15 of the 22 suspects.
"Within the first half-hour we were out there making arrests, word spread that something was going on," said Allan.
Despite news about the roundup reaching the drug community quickly, Allan said it is only a matter of time before all 22 suspects are taken into custody.
"It's a priority for us to get these people arrested," she said. "If I was a betting person, I would say a few of the local drug traffickers are nervous."
Last August, police arrested 26 street-level dealers in a similar attempt to put a dent in Nanaimo's drug supply.
Allan said the RCMP are working with the Crown to ensure dealers are subject to stringent controls and conditions upon release.
Those conditions might include a "no-go" order for the so-called red zone in the downtown or a prohibition on cellphones or pagers.
George Hanson, of the Downtown Nanaimo Partnership, said the bust was a step in the right direction for curbing social issues in the area.
"We think that is an important piece in the overall equation," he said.
"In and of itself it's not an answer but it's part of the solution."

© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2007
Hahahaha...the RCMP stole my press coverage!!!!! Doesn't that just beat all? It was quite a show out here yesterday, let me tell you. This paddy wagon circling and circling the hood. Temporary measures, to be sure, but still, we were cheering.
And last night, the same few cars cruising around and around and around looking to score and wondering where everybody was. It was almost funny...almost.
I wonder how many of those arrested are already back out there?!? And, of course, my neighbourhood is not a red-zone because that's only for business interests for some reason...go figure.
"Practically an open-air drug market..."the RCMP were quoted in this article. Hmmmmmnnn. That sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?!?