Sunday, January 31, 2010

Trip report, part 3

Monday morning dawned bright and glorious. No, not really, but I felt bright and glorious, because today was the day we were to head across the island to the west coast! Wheeee!
We sprang from bed. Again, not really, but we did get up and packed and out of the resort fairly early, then zoomed into downtown Parksville to Smitty's for breakfast.
I have nothing but complimentary things to say about the Parksville Smitty's.
Clean, warm, welcoming.  Great service.  Tea cups with no coffee or lipstick stains. Hashbrowns in a choice of shredded or cubed (you have no idea how happy this makes Dave.  No idea.)
Eggs cooked right.  A non-dribbly teapot that holds more than one cup of hot water.  Fluffy pancakes with real butter and Smitty's own syrup.
The only odd thing was the sign outside.  I wish I had taken a picture, but we zoomed away too fast.
As you might guess the sign is supposed to advertise current or upcoming specials.  This one said:
Senior Liver.  That's all, just "Senior Liver". 
This led to all sorts of conversation, speculation, and laughter.  We got quite a bit of mileage out of that one.  All the way to the liquor store, 3 blocks away,  where we stopped to pick up "supplies" for the next two nights.  God knows we need lots of alcohol to get through two days and two nights of togetherness on a beach. 

Once stocked up with "supplies"  we headed west.  Driving was wet and dismal, but we didn't care (except for when I tried to take pictures from the car and kept getting the windshield wipers in the way). Ack.

At any rate we drove on, snapped photos, and quickly approached Cathedral Grove.

Cathedral Grove is "one of the most accessible old growth temperate rainforests in the world." (from their website).
As proud Canadians, Dave and I love trees and we love to hug them whenever we can.  It's what we live for (among other things).  Hence the following RAINY, WET pictures.

That's the wet bum of our car.  Did I mention it was raining a bit?

....and below, are some TREES.  Not just any trees, but old majestic, marvelous, magnificent trees.  Many trees....and they just kept getting BIGGER.

We wandered in the wet for a while and got pretty soaked.  There's nothing more fun than getting your freshly-washed-with-shampoo-from-the-resort-hair  all wet and plastered to your head.  Nothing like getting your cute leather boots all smooshy. Nothing like realizing that you need a bathroom, and then having to walk through giant puddles as you look for the outhouse...

(and I thought MY roots were noticeable)

Just look at the size of this thing!
(and the tree is big too).

After we finished hugging every tree in sight, we climbed wetly back into the car and splashed our way out of Cathedral Grove, FINALLY heading on the last leg of our journey westward.
Next stop, Tofino.
But first, a VERY twisty highway.

to be continued...

Friday, January 29, 2010

We interrupt this trip report...

2 Newsflashes:
1. I'm going to join Bonnie in a 3 week cleanse and am about to zip over to Chapters to see if they have the book I need.  Expect 3 weeks of whining and moaning as I do something that requires a little effort.
2. Yesterday afternoon Dave and I went to London Drugs for a few things.  We each had our own car, as we don't do well when we drive to work in the same vehicle.  Something about different driving styles. Ahem.
Anyhoo - Dave arrived before I did (different driving style) and was already parked and in the door when I got there.  I parked 2 spaces away from his car.  We were in the main parking aisle directly in front of the store, only about 10-12 spaces from the door.  It was late afternoon, but still light out.
We emerged from the store about 20 minutes later. 
Some wonderful soul, a pillar of society no doubt, had punched in the window of Dave's 92 honda civic and stolen his IPOD.  What a loser.  In broad daylight right in front of the store!
Two "look on the bright sides":
 a) Dave got a new larger capacity IPOD for Christmas and hadn't started using it yet.  It was an OLD, beat-up IPOD that tempted the hooligan to break the window. Idiot.  So we were mollified by that.
b) There was something much more valuable in the car, in a container, and the idiot didn't have the time or intelligence to steal it.   We were relieved at that, too.
I guess the real point is that there are idiots out there who will smash in your car window, in broad daylight, just to get something that is worth relatively little, and these same idiots don't always get the big prize.
Dave has created a new window out of plastic and duct tape, and will buy a used window on the weekend and fix it all up.  We didn't have damage or theft insurance on the car because it's old and not worth much.
I don't understand thieves.  I really don't.  But I went home feeling lucky;  it could have been worse.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Trip to the Island, Part 2

Ferry line-up at dawn....

I didn't take any pictures while on the ferry.  I'm just so used to settling down with a book and beverage.  Dave and I sat there in companionable silence for most of the trip.   Weve been married for 25 years now and no longer need to talk.  If I want something I glare and expect him to read my mind.  If he wants something, he farts.  Apparently he wants something quite often.

Back to our companiable silence of glares, mind-reading and farts: He with his sudoku, me with my book, "The Children's Book" by A.S. Byatt.  I started it on the ferry and am enjoying it so far.  It's very rich - a sumptuous read (no farts so far).
We arrived in Nanaimo at about 10:30 am, and zoomed up the island highway to beautiful Nanoose Bay.  We were booked in to the Pacific Shores Resort, a time-share/hotel, where our niece works.   She was clever enough to arrange for an early check-in, so we were able to get into the room, run around, open drawers, play with the gas fireplace, flick the TV on and off and on and off...., take pictures, make coffee, make tea, un-set the alarm, figure out which light switch was connected to which light, jump on the bed, connect to Wi Fi, rent a movie, read about the resort, look for emergency exits, stage a fire drill, run back to the car to see if we locked it, run back to the car to get my slippers, read the room service menu, unpack, steal smell the soap, try the phone, you know, get comfy. 
We were lucky enough to get a great room - a whole suite, in fact.  It had a separate bedroom, a full kitchen, living room and dining room.   Here are a few pictures of the suite, and the view outside our window.  Delightful little kitchen with fully stocked spice rack!   
View from the hallway through the dining room, living room, and out to the bay.

Jetted tub and heated tile floor.  There's also a separate shower and toilet area.  AND a makeup counter.  My daughter loved this feature when we stayed here for my niece's bridal shower.  (Just thought I'd throw that in there).
The view from our suite - the estuary leading to Nanoose Bay. These time share units are available for something over $80,000 for an eighth share.  We didnt buy one (duh, no really), but it was fun to stay there for a night.   We didnèt get to sample the restaurant; we had lunch with Daveès parents, who live 20 minutes away, and dinner with our niece and her husband.  They are cute young newlyweds.  Our nephew-in-law is a hunter, so he and Dave talked about shooting and killing and maiming and skinning and blood and guts.  Our niece and I talked about other things.  Civilised things.  No blood.
 Back to the pictures:  Did I mention that the weather was very grey and overcast?  A lot of my pictures are this way - wet and sombre. We didn't mind - we were planning on going to the west coast the next day - to Storm Watch!
To be continued....

Trip to Vancouver Island

The first in a multi-part post of our (Dave's and my) trip to Vancouver Island.

I spent 10 years living on Vancouver Island, and even though it was over 30 years ago those must have been very important years (ages 7-17, grades 2 through 12) in terms of establishing my sense of "home".  To this day, whenever I get off the ferry near Nanaimo, where I grew up, or even in Victoria, where I just visit, I feel like I've come home.  Perhaps it's the arbutus trees (Madrona more officially), or the rocky landscape.  Or the ribbon of highway winding through the evergreen landscape.   Maybe the mood is set on the ferry.  Whatever it is, I need to get back to the island - to visit several times per year - and hope to live there again as soon as possible.

At any rate, Dave and I just got back from three nights - two on the fabulous west coast - and I'm renewed.

Part One:
We set off early to catch the 8:30 Horseshoe Bay ferry in West Vancouver.  The sun was rising as we reached the terminal.  I tried to snap pictures from the car, and was semi-successful. 

More later.....(I promise the pictures get better - especially the ones NOT taken from the car).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

As promised....

Toilet on Driveway
For your discussion group: What does the toilet say about the driveway?  What does the driveway say about the toilet?  Discuss the relationship between the toilet and the driveway.  Would things be different if the driveway were on top of the toilet, instead of vice-versa?

Shower Stall in Living Room
(also, old vanity in living room, and pool table in living room)
For your discussion group:  How could the shower have done things differently?  Does the living room NEED the shower to be an effective living room?  What role does the pool table play?

Yes, we are renovating.  Again, still, and always.  I'm not complaining, because my dear husband doses all the work himself.  He is wonderful!  To forestall any smart questions, Yes, he does have clothes on  during the renovations.

See?  Clothes on!
(Our ensuite bathroom, sans fixtures)

One more masterpiece:
New Vanity in Front Hall
For your discussion group: Was it fair for vanity to stop hall from sowing his wild oats? In the end, vanity will leave hall and move in with toilet, right in full view of shower.  Write an alternative ending for the story.
I'll post pictures of the renovation as it happens. I would kill for a DQ blizzard right about now.
Kathryn : )

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There's a toilet on my driveway.

1.  There's a toilet sitting on my driveway.  It's been there for two days.  It is ecru.

2. One day when I came home from work, I found that my bored and out of work 19-year-old son had folded ALL of the family laundry, including my big fat granny panties.  Mom underwear. Ugh. 

3. Before Christmas we bought a wedge of Brie, and we haven't been able to find it.  It's not in either fridge.  I fear it's in a car or in a cupboard. 

4. There is a fibreglass shower stall in my living room.  It has been there two days.  It is white.  I feel that there is a connection between it and the toilet in the driveway.

5. One day about a year ago, I found a partially eaten waffle in my mailbox.  The bite mark was ringed with jam.  We don't eat our waffles that way in my family.  Therefore, I have to conclude that the waffle came from an outsider.  Or the mail carrier.

6. Our cat, Milo, learned to pee in the toilet (not the one in the driveway) entirely by watching my husband and son use the toilet.  He does not stand on his hind legs to do it, however.  He developed his own technique.

7. One night, several years ago, when everyone was sleeping, my husband was awakened by a noise in the house.  He got up to investigate, creeping down to the family room, where the noise was coming from.
He flicked on the lights and yelled, "What the f*** is going on in here!". 
There, on the couch, was our 15-year-old daughter and her 15-year old boyfriend. 
They were sitting up, talking.
My husband sleeps in the nude.
That boyfriend didn't last.  Wimp.

8. I will post pictures of items 1 and 4 tomorrow.   The rest I will leave to your imaginations.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

MY grass is greener

I read a few blogs.  I have a few e-mail friends.  I watch the news.  Most of you all out there are enjoying a REAL winter.  Cold temperatures, snow, the works.
I LOVE winter.  Oh I've never really experienced a truly cold winter, like those of you at 40 below, but I like winter temperatures around the freezing level, snow on the ground, cosy fires, hot chocolate, the still and hush of a snowy landscape.  It nourishes my soul.

Before Christmas we had a bit of snow and a short cold snap, but Christmas day dawned wet and green, and we've been mostly that way ever since.
Today's morning news report says we are in for 200 mm of rain by the end of tomorrow.  That's about 8 inches for you non-metric types.  The temperature is about 11C (think 52F or so)

I would gladly trade with any of you for a few wintry days.  My green and lukewarm for your white and cold.  If you are hating the snow and cold, and want to get back at me  help me out, could you please go outside and make a snowball, and throw it in my general direction?  West coast of Canada, near the US border?  Come on, if all of you work together I might get my own little snow storm.

Meanwhile, my grass is greener.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

It's dawning on me that I can't control every little thing in the universe.
Rather than go insane (tried that - not liking it!), I'm now choosing to adapt (oooooh).
Prepare myself to be unprepared.
Acknowledge that's it's all a crap shoot, or if it is a plan, it's certainly not MY plan.

As part of a baby step to learning to be less in control, and more able to go with the flow, I am crocheting an afghan. In bright riotous colours, and not in any particular pattern.
This is a real stretch for me. I love patterns and order and predictability. I love to plan.
However, in order to grow and survive in this chaotic world, I need to be a bit more comfortable with "Random".

Yes, the afghan is made up of same-sized units (so it will actually fit together and lay flat), but the units are all random combinations of colours, and the finished affair is almost certain to clash with every room in my house!

Talk about an earth-shattering development in my little world. I don't even know how big the thing will be or when I'll decide to stop adding to it. Much against my nature I have so far refrained from doing the math to calculate the amount of yarn needed per hexagon, and therefore the finished size. I bought 15 balls of yarn and I'll see how far I get. And....I'm allowing a guest crocheter to do a few hexes and mail them to me. HER random colours won't even go with MY random colours! My world is flying off it's orbit as I type this!

Wish me luck. I wonder what my next baby step will be? Cooking supper without a recipe? Letting the machine choose my lottery numbers? Whoa - one step at a time.

Kathryn : )
P.S. I must give credit to Lucy, for inspiration and instruction. Never met her, but like her already!