Friday, May 30, 2008

a special treat

Humming-Bird by D.H. Lawrence

I can imagine, in some otherworld
Primeval-dumb, far back
In that most awful stillness, that only gasped and hummed,
Humming-birds raced down the avenues.
Before anything had a soul,
While life was a heave of matter, half inanimate,
This little bit chipped off in brilliance
And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.
I believe there were no flowers then,
In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation.
I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.
Probably he was big
As mosses, and little lizards, they say, were once big.
Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.
We look at him through the wrong end of the telescope of Time,
Luckily for us.
The woods hold not such another gem as the nest of the hummingbird.The finding of one is an event.- John Burroughs, naturalist

Thursday, May 29, 2008

um, yeah...

Just today, Heidi was talking about training your animals....the good things and the bad things. It comes as a timely issue, as my friend just got a rescue dog, half mastiff. He is a goof and a half. At eleven months old, and 90 pounds, he still has some height and weight to gain. He is more than a handful....kind of a painful handful. He's got some terrier in him. Go on, guess which kind. Much like my Ee-meer. Of course, at 24 pounds, in a scrap, she is much easier to remove from any given situation. Two years after rescue, Eem-er still only recognizes about five words(No, Rabbit, Chucker{squirrel}, dinner, chicken)....I guess nobody ever "talked" to her before.....much like my friend's new dog. Her "Rock" is a gorgeous thing, likeable, if not loveable yet....with too much energy and NO training. Hello, Cesar, Nanaimo is in need of you, too. In both a greater and lesser degree.
After raising dogs from puppyhood, I have to finally concede that I have no idea how to deal with issues that stem from previous owners...from having a puppy-mill/abused dog.....Ee-mer still confuses me with her awkward and sad behaviours....what I most look forward to, being a Canadian Resident and able to finally work and have my own paycheck, is paying for Nanaimo's own Dog Whisperer to come and help me make Ee-mer's life more fulfilling....more engaging...more profound. I hope my friend does the same. "Rock" , for sure, needs to address some issues.....
we love our pets....
we made their personalities...or accepted them...they surely didn't have much choice in the's time to step up and make their lives better...or else what was it all for.
be proactive.
be profound.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

tongue tied

Can't seem to concentrate on the words right now.
You all understand, right?

Monday, May 26, 2008

it's spring for sure now

What a beautiful weekend we just had.
How 'bout you?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Did we say 4 to 5 weeks?

Silly us....4 to 5 DAYS!!!!!
Yesterday, I joined the ranks of Canadian residents....woot woot!!!!
Ten minutes later, as a Canadian Resident....I finally got my library card!
Tonight, we celebrate with Indian food at Amriko's that we shouldn't splurge on but, ya know, whatever. It's a celebration.
Next week....gulp. Job search?!?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Swan by Mary Oliver***

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,

Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees -
like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -

A white cross
Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings
Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?

And have you changed your life?
© Mary Oliver.

***so, yeah, I know there is no swan in my photos....but even after a day full of rain, I have figured out what beauty is for.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

He was not impressed

when I told him I hadn't been by to see him all week cuz my car was broke down...hee hee.
Two granny-smith apples smoothed things over, though.
Sigh. It's good to have my car back.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Man, oh man,

but it's raining here....the pellet stove is set on the second setting AND the furnace is on. What gives? Not that I really mind too much today and let me tell you why.... Just over a week ago, things were looking good in the Hood. The city came in and worked on the roads, laid in some irrigation lines and came to lay curbs. Beautiful, isn't it? My curb. Tee hee. We really thought they were dry when we went out...we really, truly did....but I think it's cute, all the same.
Some of you may not know why curbs would make us so happy around here. This street has looked pretty trashed for quite a while, and people parked up on what was supposed to be curbs, or all the way onto the sidewalks sometimes. Huge mudpits and puddles so deep they could swallow you whole were now we have curbs....

and we have street trees....woot woot!!!

I got a flowering dogwood in front of my house!!!! How rocking is that?!? One of my very favorite trees ever...this one is white and already flowering. I have one planted in the yard that is a pink flower and has not yet bloomed. So cool. Dogwood city right here.

So, yeah...seems like things should be feeling pretty good around here but WHAM!!!!!
Crackheads, dealers and hookers EVERYWHERE!!!!! And they're all new. Like a freaking ferry full of new arrivals and somebody told them all that Victoria Road is the place to be. Literally, I heard a brand-new(used)hooker on the street asking someone walking where Victoria Road was while she was standing on it. What happened? There are addicts in the church stairwell, down both alleys, in the park, yelling at residents, knocking on our door at 11:30pm(yup, it's true)... new cars dealing that we are already sick of seeing, a million and one phone calls to the RCMP, so many new(used) many crack hookers can one medium-sized town support? I am sickened by how many this town can support. New(used) faces, same old story...again, what just happened?!?
So I am enjoying the downpour today. It's the only day in the past week where there hasn't been a steady stream of hookers, dealers, crackheads, etc going past my place from the moment I pull back the curtains in the morning til the time I close them up again at night. With the Empire Days Parade coming next weekend and lining up outside against our new curbs, maybe the City should invest in some Majorette costumes for the girls working out there...since they are already parading, that is. But the City will probably round them up and move them out for the day , like usual.
Well, I suppose I better go do something constructive today....I have barely left the general area of the pellet stove's radiant, glowing heat. Man, oh man, is it really May?!?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Harewood Mines Road

One of our favorite dogwalking spots is just up around the corner(kind of) along Harewood Mines Road. In the meadows between the groves of arbutus and conifers are fields of moss, succulents and wildflowers. The world here seems soft and pillowtopped. The mosses are inches and inches thick, a wild variety of greens, reds, whites, furry, sticky, plain jane or wildly showy.
Sadly, off-road vehicles are coming here more and more, despite the fact that Nanaimo has extensive designated motorcross and four-wheeler trails and parks. They come here and spin out in the lush, dense moss, destroying such a precious and fragile ecosystem, tearing through foliage right down to the slickrock beneath it. It will take the mosses 25 years to recover here.
Over the weekend, Michael and I took Eem-er up for walkies there...the last trip the car made, in fact. We seemed to have caught the leading edge of the coming wildflower bloom...Soon there will be a colourful blanket of of pinks, yellows, purples, blues, greens, white. Hopefully, that won't be ruined by the same asshats killing the mosses.

The tiny mushies I love still abound. Still damp enough to keep them going a while longer...and the mosses are soft still, and in bloom, as well. Did you know that different mosses bloom? I didn't know that until I found this place.

This one is my favorite...the moss itself turns a deep, earthy red. It is so gorgeous. And then it blooms this beautiful little white flowers. The flowers are tinier than even this photo...much tinier. Who knew that moss could break your heart?!? Moss!

I am not sure if these are pink Fawn Lilies or not, but I think so. Their shape looks so different than the white fawn lilies I am used to seeing. Some of the online photos I compare mine to match and some don't. So my googling failed me on this one...but I was rewarded on my other google search....Michael spotted them. I had walked right past them.
Real magic.
And we got to see it.
Such sweet moments.
And we're sharing it with you.

Calypso Orchids. Fairy Slippers . Venus's Slippers.

In the states, this is considered a threatened or endangered species. You couldn't drive your four-wheelers or motorcross motorcycles through this habitat. I don't know if that is the case here and I don't really know who to contact to find out. I really need to learn my way around Canadian government a little, don't I?


*Bye, Eddie. My grandma is gonna be waiting at the gates for be prepared to sing for her!!!!
***What I thought were pink fawn lilies are, in fact, called Shooting Stars. I love Flickr's ID Please Group. Took less than two minutes to get an answer and I had googled for hours!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


It's going to cost 3/4 of what I bought the car for to get it fixed....and though I don't know if it's worth it, I couldn't possibly buy another car that won't have the very same issues....cuz that's about all that is affordable to us right now, given our situation...of course, we could spend all this money, get the car back and something else could break the very next day. Argh.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

the shell game

Keep your eye on the prize, folks. Your eye on the prize.... At one time or another, each of these shells has hidden the prize, but which one holds it now? Lay your money down and take your guess.....
Yup...he's lived in all those shells(and one even smaller that I can't find's like losing a lock of baby hair, or a kid's first tooth and it makes me sad that I don't have it!) in the nine or so years Sebastion has been with me. Cool, eh?
Anyhoo, it's not that I don't have anything to post, cuz I do. Michael and I went on a beautiful walk on Sunday that I want to show you all. We found treasure!!! I just haven't worked on those photos yet. After a glorious and chore packed weekend, great weather, getting the garden ready for planting, plant sales, and a treasure-hunting walk, bbq for dins, Monday morning my car died....well, not dead, of course, but not well, either. So everything takes forever cuz I gotta walk everywhere to do anything(through crackhead and hooker central...and if I am not walking a dog, yes, the Johns do slow down until I flip them the bird, asshats!)....miserable. It's like the big cleanup never happened.
But, whatever, that rant deserves a post of its very own so I will leave it for now. It's just that I am not out taking photos and such at the beautiful dog walking spots cuz I am stuck here for now.
Also, my running clinic was yesterday....we bumped it up a bit. Lordy, I was wheezing by the end of it...and today my calves are crying....loudly.
So, I will try to get to some photos worked on for you. The weather is super, though and I am trying to get all the sanding done on our bench for the deck, which was in sad shape after the winter. Saturday we are having a little birthday bbq for Michael so if you are around(you Nanaimoites), bring over something for the bbq sometime around dinner-ish time(and probably your own drinks. I would like to be a more generous hostess, but you see, my car just died the other day) house, so to speak, but not open bar.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

and now back to regularly scheduled programing....

So, yeah, like I was saying the other day...before Mayor Korpan(of the "Free Nanaimo From Koruption" bumper sticker hall of fame...or shame, whatever) so rudely interrupted me, I finally found my chocolate lilies. They're late this year, probably due to the La Nina weather this spring. That just means it is colder here this year than most ....everything is slow to bloom. D-Cakes(Yuko's mom) and I headed out to Piper's Lagoon this past week for a walk. We didn't really expect to see any because we have been keeping our eyes open for them, but to no avail. They are usually out just before the fawn lilies or about the same time....the fawn lilies, however, are just about over and done with. At least at Piper's Lagoon.
This is Miner's is edible. Whacks of vitamin C in it. We transplanted some to our back yard a while back and harvest it for salad greens when it is in season. No, we didn't steal it from a Provincial park, either. It grows everywhere...but I am not going to eat if from just anywhere! Sheesh.

And lo and lily....I love it so. Isn't she gorgeous?!? Divine? Breathtaking? Sigh.

It grows in somewhat ecologically fragile places so in order to get these photos from beneath, we had to find a flower that was not surrounded by other lilies or wildflowers. It wasn't easy, but we perservered until we found this one surrounded only by grass.

First D-Cakes, and then I, lay in the same spot for some photos....careful not to squash anything and then we fluffed the grass back up behind us.

There were quite a few and I could bore you all to pieces I took so many photos of them.
I did mention that I love these guys, right?
When we finish our "indigenous" garden out back of the house this year, hopefully we can fill it with local ferns, trillium, huckleberry, fawn lilies and these little beauties. Of course, we have to find them somewhere other than a Provincial Park, and carefully dig them out and outside of Piper's Lagoon, I have only ever seen lonely chocolate lily out at Chase River Estuary.
It will be like a treasure hunt.

Finally, I got a photo of a towhee, too. They are normally quite shy but this boy is looking for a girl. He was just singing away...I wish the colours had turned out better, and the details, but I am still quite pleased. I have been trying to get a decent photo of one of these for months and months.

I don't know what these are. Do you?

But we all know what this is by now, right? Okay, I better let you all go. I can feel your eyes rolling. I don't blame you.
Talk at you all later, k?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Nuke the Gay Whales for Jesus....

Have I offended everybody now? Okay then. Let's move on.
I know I was gonna post some pretty pictures today, but I will do that this weekend instead. Today on the front page of the paper was story about our local mayor, Mayor KORPAN. He is suing local Nanaimo citizens because they made a bumper sticker he didn't like. Yes, obviously, it was about him.
But instead of having a laugh over it, or dismissing it, or citing the failing public school system that teaches kids to spell corruption with a capitol K instead of a lower class c.....he has a full blown major hissy fit, getting all red in the face and stomping his feet over the whole deal, thereby fully making sure that those twenty five bumper stickers tooling around Nanaimo got WAY MORE attention that they ever would otherwise. Brilliant. I have have other Cor-words in mind, myself. Don't sue me over that.
Does he really think those bumper stickers are the WORST things ever said about him? Because I could tell him some things that I have heard people call him out loud, verbally, to other people...things that would curl your ears....make your Mountain Dew shoot out your nose.
Instead of taking the high road, he is suing a small local business owner who sold some of these bumper stickers in her establishment. A small business owner who chose to give downtown Nanaimo a chance when it was overrun with crackheads, dealers, hookers and nastiness instead of opening up at the mall. A small business owner who ran for mayor last time round. Just saying, maybe he's scared of a little's just conjecture on my part. Don't sue me over it.
To me, his actions speak way MORE LOUDLY than the bumper stickers ever did. Like a megaphone kind of loud, ya know?!? He is acting like a whiney child that maybe missed naptime. Don't sue me for that. It's my opinion and I am entitled to it.
Besides, people bought them and put them on their own cars. It's not like she snuck around plastering them on other people's know all twenty-five of them. Sheesh.
People still drive around with anti-Jane Fonda stickers on their cars, anti-Bush slogans, anti-Kerry slogans, Pro-lifers call Pro-choicers murderers on their cars, hippies condemn the consumerists, even ones that advocate death to clowns, ad infinitum ad naseum....
He chose a life in public. You cannot expect everyone to like you...or, actually, you cannot even expect anyone to like you. Just saying.
Mr. Mayor, don't you have anything better to do with your time? You know, like oversee your duties as mayor? In case you haven't noticed, this town does have some real issues and some real problems that need some attending to.

***These are my personal OPINIONS on this matter and may not be put onto sticky paper and pasted on cars. Do not sue me.