Posts Tagged ‘Absolutely no tag’

Time to say adios to indoor interests for now

watching tv

Now that the clouds have finally emptied themselves and are off somewhere refilling it’s time to stop borrowing DVDs from the library.

One soggy Sunday we sat down to five 51rF+CFfMRL__AA160_ Inspector Lynley Mysteries. Good murderous attention-sucking plots thanks to fantastic acting. Inspector Lynley is an upper-crust-drop-out brilliant moron of a character who makes you want to kick him as you cheer him on. His sidekick, Havers, is a terrier-gone-amok-in-a-nest-of-criminals type character. Havers is one character who makes me itch watching her. I just want to reach in there and give her head a good shampoo. And if that’s as bad as I can say about them I say the series is worth watching when the sun disappears.

Another DVD we thoroughly enjoyed was  510Rbb6mqcL__AA160_.jpg   Shakespeare Retold. Not sure why we agreed to watch these four Shakespeare adaptations but I am so glad we did. They were brilliant. Old tales in today’s times. Macbeth was the dark one of the four — calling it a bloodbath would be gentle. The others were lighthearted, humorous and definitely odd-ish. Worth watching if the chance arises.

smiley face reading book To other mystical things.

Almost finished reading Matt Kaplan’s  61vViCkXmbL__SX329_BO1,204,203,200_   Science of the Magical – a scientific study from the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers. It rather kicks the world of fairies, spirits and legends in the ass. But in a good, solid, scientific way. Fascinating read.

And, because it is spring, it’s time to step away from the overload of whodunit books and movies and get outside. There are dandelions and stinging nettles to find and harvest for my herb-y creations. Plus I discovered a gardening book by Bill Terry called The Carefree Garden (letting Nature play her part). It’s a study in working with Mother Nature instead of trying to send her screaming into the night.

Man-Wonder, bless his sweet heart, has finished building our two new Adirondack chairs. They are in the painting process and then they take center stage out back.


Look out summer!

Doggone Heaven


Our neighbour has a brand spanking new pup. A Shih-Poo. Nine weeks old, button eyes, curly black fur with smatterings of dark gold across her paws and a curly white patch on her chest.

Within four days of moving in, she’s gone from a timid waif, barely able to look you in the eye to a bouncy spitfire with a ‘look at me, I’m tough’ baby bark.

Would cute describe her? She is so cute it makes one itch to talk baby talk to her.

And she’s smart. Three days to settle in and she’s going to the door instead of using the floor. Imagine if children were that easy to train—we’d be in a world of problems. We’d all be producing like rabbits on steroids. Thank heavens we’re as pooped as the messes we had to clean by the time our precious babies were trained.

And speaking of pooping—the neighbour told me that during the first night home they made a soft cage of pillows between them so they could keep an eye on her. That was their first lesson on just how clever she was. Somehow she escaped long enough to scoot to the foot of the bed, poop, and then crawl back into her cushy cage and flake out till the alarm rang.

What wouldn’t we have given for our offspring to poop in one far corner of the crib and then scoot to the other until we got there? There is nothing quite like finding your offspring grinning like a banshee under a world of brown goo after discovering they could get inside their diapers.

So all this cutesy cleverness oozing from this pup now called Bella, was making us wonder if it was time for us to get another dog. Our answer came when another neighbor (isn’t everyone in a small park?) happened by with their own dog tale. Poor Mags,  their  West Highland terrier, was due to have her second hip replacement as well as another piece of minor surgery. They are looking at a bill of around $5,000.00 by the time she’s back to good.

That awww-let’s-get-a-pup feeling disappeared like smoke from a money-fueled bonfire. We’ll just stick to packing a pocketful of dog treats for the canines we meet on our walks and for the little bundle of fur next door.

In a way, it’s like being a grandparent—‘Love ‘em and leave ‘em’ before things get ugly, or expensive.



Bonjour, Mon Ami!

Life has been quiet lately.


About the most exciting thing we’ve done is to discover Hercule Poirot on Netflix. And with twelve seasons to watch, we’ve been giving it our best attention.

. . . Too much maybe?

The other day I was deep in calculations for a project when Man-Wonder came in and wanted to know what I was doing (mostly because I was being quiet and he was getting nervous). I taped the side of my head and said, “Mon ami—it is the brain, the little gray cells, on which one must rely.”

He made a fast exit. Which I liked. So I was thinking about the next time he annoys me. Which won’t be long. Given that the long, dark, cold-rain seasons are upon us—which means we will be hanging about in each other’s space waaaayyy too often—I’ve decided to have a few more quotes in my ‘Ready Aim Fire’ arsenal.

Like when he really, really pisses me off I’m going to tap the side of my nose and say,’ “I enrage myself with an imbecile. I say, ‘I would like to kick him.’ Instead I kick the table. I say, ‘This table, it is the imbecile, I kick him so.” ‘

Or when he acts like a goon I’ll be ready with,

‘ “Eh bien, you are crazy, or appear crazy, or you think you are crazy, and possibly you may be crazy.” ‘

Or, when I do something daft (yeah, it does happen), I shall simply say, ‘ “I demand of you a thousand pardons, monsieur.” ‘

So let it rain, let it hail, let it snow, this chickie is armed and dangerous, thanks to one little egg-headed Belgium detective.





I wonder if it’s time to find another show to OD on. . .?

Just how big was the one that got away?

We decided to drive up island and have a coffee in the sleepy, quiet community of Cumberland—about an hour’s drive from home. We hadn’t been there for some time and wondered if much had changed. We arrive the same weekend as their ATMOSPHERE festival.

A slight difference. . .

facial only

Talk about unique —just looking at the huge Italian circus tent in the middle of the festival grounds had my insides bubbling with excitement. Music ebbed and flowed and the air felt electric with energy. It was one of the wildest eclectic group of individuals I’ve seen—let’s just say native wowed hippy-chic who danced with spandex-lovers while medieval tangoed with Egyptian-aspy garbed as grunge-techno leapt about everywhere while healers did what they do best and cooks filled everyone’s bellies.

Expecting a quiet village and finding this exploding party was a tad mindboggling.  A little bit of deep forest between us and the revelers felt like a good thing so we headed to the far edge of town and the shores of Comox Lake to have our our coffee and lunch.

After deciding to give more of the festival a pass we headed home via the old island highway which meanders along the shoreline so we could make a quick stop at Nile Creek. Basically, it’s a  short dirt lane between the highway and the fishing beach where Nile Creek empties into the ocean and is well-known for the arrival of the pinks this time of year.

We found a parking spot halfway down the lane, left side. Man-wonder headed down to where the fishermen were lined up along the shore. I chose to stay behind sketching, not realizing the angle of the sun hitting our windshield was creating a blind spot to anyone looking at our truck. I have to assume that the fisherman, arriving back at his vehicle, parked two ahead of us, on the other side of the lane, didn’t realize it either. The man did a fast scan up and down the lane and then stripped off his chest waders, his shorts and everything else between him and his almighty best.

Talk about a fine specimen! And hoooo-boy, did he ever make my day. . .

And, I wonder, as he drove past, seeing me for the first time, did he catch the ear-to-ear grin on my face?

And, nooooo, I didn’t even think of picking up my pen until it was too late. . .

Cleaning up


We are running out of soap.

And even though I have been buying hand soap and creams locally from Sharlene, a creative genius, at  the urge to make my own bars of soap has been growing so I decided to give it a try again. I did learn about making soap years ago at a local herb farm but decided it was too much work until recently when I figured out that I didn’t have to make 40 bar batches.

But, let’s not call me slow okay.

Still, there was the burning issue of working with lye and since I tend to rush in and clumse (new word) about, the thought was unnerving me. I decided to ease myself into it and started out by making a hand lotion. Orange-scented jojoba oil lotion to be precise.

Oh my! It goes on like silk and soaks into the skin like magic. The orange scent is  yah-okay. I would prefer something with more oomph. Something more exotic. Maybe a deep lusty scent to bring out the beast in dear old Man-Wonder.

*Snort*. . . . okay, maybe just beef up the pussycat in him. (Good thing he never reads these blogs.)

Anyway, Man-Wonder, more to shut me up than anything, made  a delightful soap mold for me from an old pine shelf unit he was dismantling.

IMG_2106  Hinged the sides for easy removal.


Then I gave it a one-sided paint job and, using my super skills at sewing, whipped up two elastic straps (first photo) to hold the sides and lid tight during those first 24 hours.


Still, I was hesitating about making the soap, even with Man-Wonder now giving me the stinkeye until I spent more time (to the point of burning eyeballs) online watching videos and reading articles on how-to before I screwed up the courage to make a small batch.

It turned out surprisingly well during the saponification stage (look Ma – no lye burns or exploding volcanoes). It poured into the mold nicely. And even though it killed me to do so, I covered it up, tucked a small quilt around it and left it be for twenty-four hours to solid up. Then, with great delight because it was looking so normal, I cut into bars.


Which are now sitting on a shelf in our closet curing for the next four-six (oh hell, let’s say five) weeks.

Mind you—I am keeping the step-stool in the closet so I can climb up to smile down at them and I gotta’ say—this waiting period is going to be tough. Waiting isn’t one of my strong points.


Like, not uncovering the soap during those first crucial twenty-four hours.

Yeah. No. I peeked.

For shame I know, but, in my own defense—it was just a super-sonic, one-eyed peek before snapping the quilt back around the soap box. And it didn’t hurt the process one bit. . . . I hope.

Want to make soap? Here’s a few juicy sites to check out:

To Quote a Quote. . .




During a cleanup of computer folders, I came across this quote from Jeff Foxworthy and  laughed well and hard since it seems that we are halfway there.

You know you’re a redneck if your home has wheels and your car doesn’t.

Then, because reading quotes is way more interesting that clearing out folders, I went off track and found a few (many) more and had a great old time.


The smaller the mind the greater the conceit ~ Aesop


When I works—I works hard, when I sits—I sits loose, and when I thinks—I falls asleep. ~ Anonymous


If only. Those must be the saddest words in the world ~ Mercedes Lackey


After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box. ~ Italian proverb


Parents wonder why the streams are bitter when they themselves have poisoned the fountain ~ John Locke


Fiction is the truth inside the lie ~ Stephen King


The most complicated task today is finding a way to live a simple life ~ A. Nance


There is no cure for birth and death—so enjoy the interval  ~  George Santayana


Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out alive anyway. ~ Elbert Hubbard


My last quote is the one I have on my March calendar page and it brings a smile to my face every time I read it. It helps that the weather has been so springy too:

When I opened my window this morning, spring kissed me BANG right in the face. ~ Langston Hughes






Last week Man-wonder and I took a trip. For the first time in somewhere between ten and fifteen years we left Vancouver Island. Got on a ferry and motored across the Strait of Georgia.

We agreed to not act like googly-eyed tourists but we gave ourselves away minutes after boarding our first ferry and hustling up to claim front row seats.

Too bad neither of us noticed the crush of bodies flowing against us as we happily nabbed two prime seats. We plunked right down to enjoy the view. Of what we were leaving.

A. Leaving Nanaimo

Yeah. We had prime seats looking out the back of the ferry. . .

At least it wasn’t crowded.

After getting off that ferry we caught a second ferry, and this time we enjoyed stunning views of snow-capped mountains as we motored along side a number of small islands.

D. Gibsons (15)

Disembarking, we had a short drive to our first destination—lunch in a restaurant which used to be famous for being in a well-known and crazy popular Canadian TV show. (about a hundred years ago)

D. Gibsons (12)


Of course I had to take pictures. And I did keep the camera low. Too bad I didn’t remember to turn the flash off!

That’s when I gave up and began snapping off the shots like a monkey with a new toy.  I snapped a good one of the floor, one of the booth beside us, and finally one of the window overlooking the harbour before giving up because Man-wonder’s ‘oh my god’ sighs were getting annoyingly loud and people were staring.

Sunshine Coast Holiday

After lunch we found a well-trod path between the first row of homes and the harbor. Part way along the path we discovered a home with a chicken coop build alongside the walkway. Attached to the pen was a newsletter called The Chicken Coop and it was full of info about the girls. Like who was laying, who wasn’t, and who’d been feeling fowl. Too cute!

Of course Man-wonder and I both had to try patting the chickens.

C’mon.  Seriously? Have you ever tried to pat a chicken?

So, did I get a picture of any of the above? Of course not. I mean, a picture of chickens by the seaside? When there are restaurant floors to snap?

You know, maybe I should let Man-Wonder carry the camera for a while. . .

How time rushes slowly past

It’s been one year since Mom passed away. Such a jumble of thoughts and feelings  passing through me this week.

Mom’s death last September (10th) opened up a rift in the family (okay, my actions lit the fuse) and it’s been hard to think of Mom without getting lost in those attached issues.

Too many times I felt like family was doing a whirling dervish in my head.

Working through the grief, the anger, the emptiness took so much longer than I thought it would. Funny, my word for the year (chosen last year) was accept and that’s been my struggle this past year. I had to accept that what had passed was now in the past.

As was is as is and not everything in life can be tied up in a nice tidy package with a sleek bow on top. Sometimes the messier things get, the stronger the lessons are.

And we should all know by now that the best lessons are often the ickiest! And I’m here to say too true by a million. . .

 Maffeo Sutten Park just be dusk (1)

I don’t think I have shared this before. One of life’s unexpected yet juicy moments and not really one you can share; at least not right away. Sometime things need to be held close to the heart for a while.

A couple of days ago I was down at the city’s inner harbor park, people watching and sketching when I realized I was sitting right where I had been one year ago.

I’d just finished dealing with the details of Mom’s cremation and had  walked down from the funeral home. I was sitting there plugged with grief and  all around me life was doing  its stuff. I remember being full of strangeness—as if I’d stepped outside of my own life. Totally surreal.  People were laughing and yakking. Kids were yelling and dogs were barking.

And Mom was dead.

So there I was, mindlessly staring at everything, and nothing, when something in my peripheral vision fluttered past. Something small and light-colored. I thought something had blown out of a tree nearby. Or maybe it was a butterfly. It landed beside me on the bench.

That was the moment surreal took a gobsmack between the eyes.

I was staring at Mom’s social insurance card on the bench — the same card I’d tucked inside the folder at the funeral home (along with her birth certificate and all their legal documents). I stuck that folder inside a manila envelope which went into my backpack—the same closed backpack sitting between myself and Mom’s card. . .

So how did Mom’s card end up fluttering onto the bench?

I know what I believe—it was a heart nudge. I felt it then and I’m still feeling it now.

Ciao for now Mom.

Fish Talk

It’s fishing mania right now and since Man-wonder is a fishing addict we’ve been hanging around the shoreline catching the tides.

And there have been interesting moments.

Like watching the damp poetry of a line of fishermen standing, maybe ten or fifteen feet apart  tossing out their lines when, upon hearing a splash of a leaping fish, turn in tandem to cast in that direction.

Or when the good-sporting hoots and conversation that drift ashore quickly turn to low grumbles and snide remarks when less-than-sporting fishermen/women don’t release  fowl-hooked ones. Illegal and worse — dirty fishing.

Personally, I think they deserve the title of ‘fishing whores’ bestowed upon them.

Another goober-sliding-into-stupid move we saw came from a canoeist, and I truly hate to say anything bad about someone who canoes, but this goombah deliberately  paddled into a mess of fishermen and began cutting the lines as they fell over his canoe.

Ever seen a group of ballistic fisherman? Ever seen a canoe leave a wake?

I have.

Even the seals like to get into the action—One hungry one slipped into the middle of a circle of fishermen around a school of fish which sent the fish into a broiling mass just before they took off in every direction.  Within seconds all there was left was a group of either laughing or forlorn-looking fishermen reeling in empty lines as the seal feasted.

Another broil, on another evening, almost caused Man-wonder to do a tush-dive when a school broiled around him close enough to be banging into his legs.

Ever seen a man dance in waders?  Wonder if the fish were laughing?

I know I was. . .

Another evening we watched a group of teens having an absolute hoot. They were nailing fish like they had magical lures and as soon as one teen hooked a fish another teen splashed over and held out the bottom of his tee-shirt like a net and caught the fish. Together they’d unhook the fish and after a kiss to the snout they’d release it, laughing like bandits the whole time.

And, when I got tired of watching the water action I’d look up and catch some magnificent sunrises, sunsets and odd cloud formations.

sky shots (16)          sky shots (27)          sky shots (10)

sky shots (21)      003

But, all this fishy action leaves me with a couple of  questions—Like what do fish talk about underwater?

fish dreams

And, just how many fishermen pee in the water?




Inside? Outside?

The spring cold is almost history. Just that last niggly, hacky coughing tail end of it which is guaranteed to happen in a crowded area and usually, when everything around us is dead quiet—then either Man-wonder or I will bust out in uncontrollable hacking. Like we’re trying to cough up a last dried-out piece of lung and which naturally brings a boatload of eyeballs down on us like everyone’s on a witch-hunt and we’ve just pulled a magic trick . . .

Which sent me on a desperate run to the health food store for something herbal to brew up.

So there I was, staring at all the jars of dried matter and imagining Man-wonder’s face each time I said (with a straight face), “Try this, try this.” And like the gumbah he can be, he does!


Anyway, my happy thoughts were interrupted by a clerk suggesting we try golden seal capsules instead. Should clear the lungs and, as a bonus, leave us feeling wonderful.

Now that would be a good trick since I haven’t felt wonderful for a lonnnng time. Sure, I’ve felt good. I’ve even felt fine; just not wonderful. But boy, am I ready to.

Meanwhile, inside, I’ve been working on some picture puzzles for submission (children magazines) and may have to move to the back room of the mobile instead of working by front window. Too, too much happening outside the glass.

At one point my focus kept snagging on this weird scraping sound, like someone dragging chains on cement. Eventually, the (nice) lady next door moves into my view. There she is, on her hands and knees, scraping clean the cracks and edges of her driveway  . . .

Dear Got-in-Heaven!  Have people not heard of vinegar and waiting for a stiff breeze to blow by? Besides seeing her really scuffed up my proud sunshiny feeling over my yard care program.

Last week I ambitiously sprayed the moss spreading over the gravel (which apparently is frowned upon unless it’s artfully draped) which ours wasn’t. It was merely clumpy looking. So I sprayed.

This week I went out and kicked at the yellowing clumps to check. All dead. So next week I plan on getting out the rake and removing it.

Seems like I might need to tweak my yard-care schedule a wee bit.

mushrooms'I thought living in a MHP was to be easy-peasy. . .I may have to rethink that . . . when I’m not so busy.


>From The Curious Gardener’s Almanac: Each garden contains an average of one hundred species of spiders and each house contains about ten species.

My question to that—is it safer outside or inside?  spider-web-black-white



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