Thursday, July 31, 2008

just rambling on................

Michael left on his trip this morning...a week + of camping without is pouring down rain right now, AND the route he intended to take has been buried the other night under a rockslide. His overnight stops on the way to Hat Creek must be on his mind as he drives the Frasier Canyon route instead of the Pemberton route... I hope he finds somewhere as pretty as where he had been going to go. And I hope the rain stops soon so that he can have a comfortable camp.
Today I haven't done too much. Just cleaning up after the Pest Control people who came and gassed the house for carpenter ants....damned things! We could hear them munching the wood in the ceiling of the basement!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! Just can't seem to get ahead on the bills...we finally got a month with money left over in the bank only to have call in pest control. Go figure.
Anyhoo, trying to figure out some fun things to keep myself from missing Michael and this trip too much. Going to go see the new X-Files for sure, since Michael didn't want to see it anyway...planning a movie and mojito with my friend far, that's all I got. I doubt that's enough to keep me from missing him and missing this trip(to see old friends and family), but it's alright. Having the house to myself for a while is kind of a treat, too. I can order pineapple on my pizza, don't have to share my ice cream and I get ALL the pillows AND all the blankets AND can take up as much bed as I want.
Obviously my attempts at distraction will have to be better!
Talk to y'all later.
Maybe I'll have more to talk about.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Life is short, even in it's longest days

Been passing some time the past couple days with some old friends....

Oh my goodness, Peoples! Check out this album, Two Men With the Blues! You won't regret it!!!!!!!!!!!! Sweet, sweet New Orleans sound with Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis. It's brilliant. And not just cuz I love Willie. You will find your head bopping, your foot me. And Mickey Raphael on that harmonica???? Lordy, lordy. It's one VERY fine collaboration....and a must have.

And then?

Check out this juicy-ness, John Mellancamp's Life Death Love and Freedom. You gotta listen to the words...a few's good the first time you hear the third time, you're hooked. Really.
John Mellancamp AND T-Bone Burnett?
Y'all know T-Bone's last merge with rock, right? History in the making.

Is there anything finer than when musicians who love the music more than the notoriety find each other? When those with the story to tell forget there are such labels as Rock, Pop, County, Alternative, Blues, Jazz, Rap, Whatever...and all they can hear, and all they can say is that the it's the message and the telling of the story matters?
That is the stuff of legends.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hello, Dolly

Everyone see the weather news the past couple of days? South Padre Island got hit, but good. And Brownsville, Matamoros, Harlingen, etc. If you all remember, South Padre Island is my old stomping grounds. It is where I finally found my "out loud" voice to match my "inside voice," it is yet another small town that I fell in love with(except during Spring Break), it is where I made many small and insignificant stands in my life that turned out to mean the world to me, it is where I walked the beaches every single morning and every single afternoon with my very best friend.... it is where Michael and I met and fell in holds a special place in my heart. In the four years I lived there, I evacuated twice due to hurricane warnings, and sat through one storm, trying to hold my front door shut while the wind wanted to pull it off. It hit so fast, there were no storm warnings. Technically speaking, it wasn't even a hurricane, but a straight wind of 100+ miles per hour, creating a couple small tornados....and a whole lot of damage...once I watched a water spout hit the causeway, the only way off the island. Just after 9/11(so it barely got any news coverage), a barge ran into the support beams of that causeway, collapsing a large section of the bridge. 11 cars fell over the edge. 8 people died. Some of them, people I once knew.
And again, people I once knew are facing the hazards of gulf living...and I hope they are all well and safe. My prayers and wishes are with you all.
This was my first(short-lived) job in the Radisson.

This is a couple blocks from my apartment on the bayside...although, it's hard to tell. It may actually be the corner of my street. It's been a while, and I don't technically "recognize" that building, but the docks look right. When I stayed through the one storm, those docks were flying debris in the air, and the guy who owned that building(which may be the same one with a facelift) had just brought in a pontoon boat for doing dinner cruises...literally. It had been tied at the dock for one day. That storm picked it up straight out of the water and put it back in....upside down.

This was Padre Boulevard yesterday, the main road. The whole island is a barrier island. Maybe 6-8 blocks wide, at it's widest point. Hightest elevation is about 25 feet above sea level. Obviously a lot less yesterday.
The hotel where Michael and I used to go watch Big Band Phil play once a week for date night got hit pretty hard. By the way, Sandyfeet, that's her photostream there with Big Band Phil, is a bit of a local celebrity. There's bound to be some good storm photos on that sight soon. Once the power is back up.
Anyhoo, I have been a little ocd with the news today... trying to catch of glimps of anything I recognize...or anyone.
So, you all take care out there.
Stay safe and dry.
Be well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Every day
I see or hear
that more or less
kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over
in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,
the fearful,
the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common,
the very drab,
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light
of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?
(Mary Oliver)

Monday, July 21, 2008

enough already....I'm done last big push of vacation that we can move on to other things. This long drawn out task just makes me miss it all again...mosquitos and all. Jesus was here...
and then came Eem-er.

Some beads I bought in Lund as my vacation memento...don't you just love them?!? I do, though they are HEAVY to wear around my neck all day. It's like weight training.

Morning sun.

Evening sun.



There is something about camping that makes you eat stuff you normally wouldn't marshmallows.

Or Jiffy Pop.

We didn't pack extra batteries and when the camera's batteries died, we had nowhere to plug in the charger. Considering I had over a hundred and fifty photos to go through anyway, might not be such a bad thing.

We're tired...can you tell?!? Tired of going through these photos...there's lots I can't show you, cuz of that "no faces" rule of mine. Dang...not! We were pretty damn grimey after the first couple days! Only one campsite we hit had showers. That's the type of camping we really, I am sparing you by not showing you our grimeyness.
Sorry to bore big stories about camping. No wild creatures or anything...well, squirrels and chipmunks. Some good hikes. Some long days of sun and sky and sea and surf and sightseeing and smokies.
But I just want to move on to new things now... like trying to get you all a photo/video of our newest crack hooker...she's on roller skates. For real. You heard me. A roller skating crack hooker. Sweet. And the crack house down on the corner... and the new "hangout" over by McD's...

Friday, July 18, 2008

where does all the time go?

Hardly time for words cuz I have got to go to work in minutes, but worked on some more photos last night. We liked this campsite, Dinner Rock, so much that we came back twice. This photo is taken from our site. None too shabby, eh?
We thought this bottle floating by might have had a note in it, perhaps the meaning of life tucked inside it or something...but the tide kept it out just a little too far for us to reach.

We had some company.

As you can see.

Plenty of mosquitos and nothing, and I mean NOTHING, kept them away. I came home looking like I had a case of Chicken Pox.

Michael's zen.

My zen.

Eem-er's zen.

Still more to come....better get to work now.
Gosh, I miss you all!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Killing the blues....

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, you just wake up to a crappy mood, to a crappy day... it doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything...except maybe synapses misfiring in your today. No reason for it. Just grouchy. I think it is the synapse thing cuz I have also been smelling peanut butter all day(I don't really even LIKE the smell of peanut butter)...and we don't have any peanut butter in the house, let alone spread under my nose. So yeah...will have to finish camping photos later...cuz when I am grumpy, sad, blue, whatever, all that helps is turning up the music and singing cathartically and vocally challenging tunes. It helps. Really it does(that and cleaning. Funny, you'd think I would be smelling tea tree cleaner or Mr. Clean...laundry soap.... not peanut butter)!

Though the neighbours may not think so!

Monday, July 14, 2008

bits and bits

This book is our guide....look at the tiny Chapter on the Sunshine Coast...there(and there and there) is where we went....after visiting Barb... in Sechelt,. You might know her as Green Wellies. We dropped off some starts from our passionflower vine in exchange for some rhubarb nectar....a pretty sweet exchange, if you ask me. Our first night on the Sunshine Coast was spent at Porpoise Bay... for real campers, this is like spending one night in Hell. If you have kids and want a place to let them run crazy, swim, etc, this might be the place. If you look to camping as your escape from it all, don't bother...Luckily, we were just there for dinner, drinks, bed and then Gone Gone Gone in the early hours.
On the road to Lois Lake....a Forestry Campground accessible by logging roads....although the clear cuts are a bit to take umbridge with, the actual campsite is astounding. The thing with forestry campsites is this....rarely will you find more than 20 sites. Nice, isn't it?

And yes, there is a lake at Lois Lake...I know, I know, sometimes....just sometimes....

I get carried away by the smaller things...things I don't alway have the names for...or the words for....tiny things that make me forget the larger pictures....What I am saying is this. No, I do not have a picture of Lois Lake. Just the small things. Google it for yourselves.

Lois Lake does have huckleberries by the hand full. In fact, there isn't a day of this trip that we did not have at least one (if not multiple) hand(s) full each of huckleberries. In a way(follow me with this, okay?), it makes me sad. To me, it means less and less(and less) people KNOW what these most succulent treasures are. It means less people are growing up in tune with nature.
At the same time, thanks to my Grandma, I know what a sweet treat these little berries are. More for me!!!!!

After Lois Lake, we headed further up the Sunshine Coast....towards Lund. We ended up at Dinner Rock, nearly there...but not quite. What a site. Whew.... overlooking the water of Desolation Bay on rocky cliffs...another Forestry campsite. Glorious. It was just us and one other campsite. How remote is that?
A fire, the boat lights going by, the lights of Vancouver Island visible across from us, diver ducks, eagles, seagulls, and little else. Sweet sweet that stuff.

We lingered.....we loved this space...the air, the colour blue of the sky, the heat of the stones from the sun, the fishing, the seals......................

there is more to say about this spot but it is late(r) and got to think about going to work tomorrow...will try to get some more photos together tomorrow or the next day.....
come back soon.
And? I hope I am not the only one buying this cd tomorrow....
or, for that matter, this one....
Oh, AND...I just tried this... and it works wonders...smells like fennel instead of bad stuff...covers grey, in case you need that sort of thing...not that I do.....wink wink.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It began in chaos.....

on Friday(a week ago)....Michael got off work later than we anticipated, we hadn't really finished packing(we discovered later!), and we headed off to the ferry in a state of hunger, poor caffeine saturation and no clear plan for the coming days.....much the way all of our vacations start!
However, we made the ferry with no waits, and pulled into North Vancouver in time to deliver Aethan's belated birthday present before bedtime, crack a few brews with Emily and Adam and catch up a bit. Y'all didn't think I would go on vacay without checking in with my soul sista now, did ya?
We were supposed to meet up with a friend in town from Calgary the next day....only we couldn't seem to get a hold of him....turns out, he had a really good time in Vancouver the day and night before and didn't even get out of bed until about 2:30pm. But really, that was alright because it meant Michael and I had more time to spend with Em, Adam and Aethan. Always a bonus for me. I had a full morning of the most delicious little boy hugs....sweeter than French Toast and maple syrup...and less fattening....
and then we headed off to Lonsdale Quay Market for some discoveries, some shopping and some lunch.
I don't know why, but this reminded me of this. She was talking to this old gull...and he seemed to be listening. I was in love with the moment. I am still in love with this moment. Aren't you?
Vancouver proper from North Vancouver.....

Vancouver proper from North Vancouver with cormorants........


So that was our sweet but short time time in, North Vancouver. Just after these photos, we were on the road again...heading for another ferry....
heading for the Sunshine Coast....and new vistas....
new scents, sights, sweetness, serenity....stay tuned....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cheers...and beers

We're home.... unpacking........ unwinding.... showering.... shaving..... luxury.
Talk soon?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I know it'll be hard,

but try not to miss us too much while we're gone, eh?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Vancouver Island Health Authority Strikes


We've just been notified that The Balmoral Hotel is in the process of being purchased by the Canadian Mental Health Association. The first subject is to be removed on Monday June 30 (yes, today), the second on July 18, and the property transfer on September 2.

The plan is to use the building's 20 units on the second and third floors to house "persons who as a result of addictions and/or mental health issues have barriers to their maintaining housing."

The good news is that they plan to upgrade the building to improve accommodations and provide support services, and the building will be less of an eyesore. The bad news is that they intend to partner with VIHA to move The Living Room from the New Hope Centre into the former bar/lounge on the main floor of the building.

Here are the major issues:

1. Previously there has been a commitment by the City to distribute services throughout the city and not download all the pressure on to the South End. What happened to that commitment?

2. Past experience with the Living Room has shown that it is not possible to adequately manage the negative neighbourhood impacts caused by clients needing to score and use drugs in the vicinity of the site.

3. It is a mistake to try and develop stable housing options for folks and then bring the most unstable population, (street level addicts) to their home. The Living Room should be located in a separate location.

4. Managing negative impacts in the vicinity of the location. We are building a park for kids less than a block away....the equipment is en route right now.

5. Undermining our efforts to build a safer community by overwhelming neighbourhood resources. We've made a lot of positive changes since the Safety Forum 18 months ago, but we've still got a lot of work to do. The neighbourhood is still fragile and this certainly won't help us.

Representatives from the project want to attend the SECA meeting on Wednesday night.

Because of the short time frame, I can't provide more details about our own strategy…we're working on that now.

What's critical is that we show that we are a strong neighbourhood that is working together to make the South End a better place. We know you`ll be concerned about this project and its impact on the South End, so it`s important that you attend THIS Wednesday night at 7PM at the Princess Royal Centre, corner of Irwin and Farquhar.

And please pass this notice along or print and distribute to your neighbours.

Douglas Hardie


South End Community Association
(just passing along some information this morning for the South End Community Association, in case anyone can make it/needs to make it to this meeting tonight....gotta go to work now, bye)