Thursday, February 13, 2020

ROBBLOG #820- Pooh Pooh Undies

People are funny, eh?

Like today.
I gave the cashier lady at Winners my Pet Value card instead of my TJ Max Card.
She took it from me readily.
I saw her give the card a look and then attempt a useless swipe.
 She looked at me and said- "I think this is the wrong card."
I looked.
"Of course it is!"- I laughed. "Just put me in the home!"

While this was going on the Mister was looking at bags of Lindor Chocolate next to the cash register.
He picks up a bag and says to the already flustered gal-
"You need to dust. There's dog hair and dust all over the bottom of this bag."
She apologized for the dust and hair.
I knew what she was thinking- "Dog Hair Sir? Really?"
I smiled weakly and said- "Don't ya love it when someone comments on your housekeeping? I get it all the time at home."
She half-smiled this time looking at her watch wondering if it was time to leave this place of customer service behind and those customers that commented on dust and hair.

Funny, eh?

Prior to visiting Winners- one of my favourite stores and believe me there's not many to choose from in North Cowichan, we had gone into Pet Smart. I was looking for D-Stress, the liquid wonder-drug that we've been giving to our feline "Dickens" over the past year to calm him down.
It works.
It's all natural and it's 17 bucks for a small eye-dropper bottle.

No, it doesn't go in his eyes, it's goes on top of his food.

Anyhoo, the gal at the Pet Smart register tried to get me to register for their customer "card" even though she says there's no card. Just a phone number.
"No thanks",  I told her. "I have enough cards."
"But it's not a card. It's a phone number"- she wanted to make sure I understood that fact. "Well,"- she continued. "If you buy here all the time it does offer you cash-back savings.
"Nope. Not interested but kudos for you for trying." I smiled.
"I don't get anything for getting you to sign up you know."
She was getting defensive.
"I have to ask and anyway you might win cash rewards and it's just a phone number after all."
This gal wasn't giving up.
"Well, I commend you for your efforts but no thanks. You are very good at your job however..."
I thought I'd say something positive. You know, end on an upswing. She placed the receipt into the bag I had brought, along with the D-Stress and a chew bone the Mister picked up for Koko.
Now, if they gave me 5 cents back every time I brought in my own bag, I'd sign up for that!

White Pooh, Pooh Undies
We headed for the van after a quick go round at JYSK.
I needed a shoe rack for my closet.
I got one on sale for 22 bucks.
Nice. The next rainy day, I plan to organize the closet and make room for all my shoes.
Just call me "Amelda".
The Mister picked up a rug for the floor area in front of the kitchen sink.
I suggested turquoise blue.
He wanted a "blah" grey.
The rugs were made of memory foam.
Very posh and soft.
I still suggested the turquoise. The colour would pop along with the "Aloha" sign we bought from a craft vendor in Waikiki a couple of years ago. The sign was above the cupboards near the sink.
In the end the grey stayed on the pile and the turquoise came home.
It looks fab.

Then, he asked a floor girl where the wooden hangers were. She showed him and he picked up two packs.
Finally we are at the cash and the gal says- "There's no return on the hangers."
Something about hangers being a personal item.

JYSK are very concerned about personal items. I thought a worse scenario might be stepping on the turquoise rug in bare feet or having the cat puke on it and then returning it, rather than a hanger that's just had a shirt on it.This was just something I had rummaging around in my heard while the Mister paid for our purchases.
I mean it's not like we would attempt to return the hangers after we had hung our dirty "pooh, pooh undies" on them.
As I said- it a JYSK thing.

As we headed home I needed to stop at 49th Parallel for milk. The "49th"- as we locals call it, is a grocery store.
I nipped in, got a three litre carton of milk and a pack of three, freshly-baked Apple Fritters.
At the cash there was a Mom and daughter in front of me. I took notice because the Mom's hair looked like it hadn't been washed in weeks.
Yuck. Gag.
She had a couple of cokes on the counter and a small black box of something.
The cashier asked is she wanted a bag.
"No, but I need cigarettes- but I don't know what kind."

It figures they never know what kind!!

Are you a real smoker or are you a "pansy" smoker. Be a woman and step up and tell the lady what you smoke.
Jesus Harold Christ!
This has happened to me many times at the 49th and always when there are lots of folks lined up at the cash. The clerk pulled open the drawer where the cancer-sticks were hidden. Mommy leaned over and chose something.

We are almost done, then it's my turn.
Now, all of a sudden the Madam decides she does want a bag. She grabbed the black box and shoved it into the bag with the cancer-sticks like she was all of a sudden hiding her purchase from the world. During all this, I had kept myself amused by reading the labels on the Planter's Peanut cans in front of me.
Salted. Non-Salted. Chocolate-covered.
Still, I was aware of what was going on.
I can do two things at once after all!

My eyes drifted from the peanut cans to the monitor screen in front of me. There, in letters three inches high, it said:
KOTEX Tampons and a price.
I don't remember the price.
I don't need to remember the price for obvious reasons. If it had of been Depends for Men, I might have been interested.
You know, just for my personal information down the road.
Way down- I hope!

Anyway, that's the mystery of the small, black box solved.
"Mummy greasy hair" was trying to protect her offspring from being embarrassed- I suppose, meanwhile it was there for all to see in big, black, block letters.

I smiled.
I thought it amusing.
Perhaps she should have bought a bottle of Johnson's Baby Shampoo and left the ciggies in the cashier's drawer.

People are funny, eh?

Monday, February 10, 2020

ROBBLOG #819- What?

Did I miss something?

I don't watch the Oscars like I once did. I skipped last year and caught the year before.
However the Mister and I did sit down yesterday afternoon to watch.
I say afternoon because here on the Left Coast the pre-Oscar show starts at 330 in the afternoon and the show itself at 5. The whole thing is done out here shortly after 8 pm.
It seems strange not having to stay up late with work the next day.
In fact we watched "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" and still finished before midnight.
Oh, Quentin Tarantino did not disappoint. The blood and gore flowed before the curtain fell.

This year we managed to watch a few of the nominees.
Judy, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and others
Did I miss something?

I heard about Parasite.
We tried watching it a few days ago.
It was in Korean.
After the awards yesterday, we tried again.
Still Korean and
still we had no idea what they were saying.
I tried turning up the volume on the TV but we still couldn't understand.
That's an old airline trick.
If someone doesn't speak English and are asking you a question just raise your voice and
magically English gets translated to the confused traveller.

This doesn't work. It's just something that we've seen folks do in a foreign country. Speak much louder and all language barriers melt away.
They do not- as I said.

So Parasite.
What happened there?
Why does America have the Oscar statuette shoved up the Korean butt?
I only heard about the film a week or so ago. Apparently it is part comedy. Part drama. Part horror.
I can't for the life of me understand why the white men of the Academy voted for this one. Was there an all-expenses paid trip to South Korea up for grabs?
I think four statuettes in total.
Maybe if I ever see the film, I'll get it. Usually, American is only for all things American and this includes English- well, American English.
Zee? Not Zed?

I should think this might have been the year a Mexican film could have won- if one had of been nominated. If memory serves, I seem to remember a movie about cavemen and cavewomen winning Best Picture decades ago and not one word of English- American or otherwise, was spoken.
Just grunts.

A strange group these Old Oscar boys. I say "old boys" because I believe more than 60% are men and something like 87% of those are White Boys. Old White Boys.

Noticed how the Oscars made up for lack of "Black Actors" being nominated by having black folks as presenters, singers and dancers. I know what they were trying to do but really?

So, just why did those old, white boys vote Korean?
Did their wives ask then to?
Was it political? Well, yes I guess it was. Anti-Presidential? Who knows.
Perhaps but I am not that enshrined in American politics to get it.
I do know not one Canadian- man or woman to be fair, won an Oscar Statuette. Of course all the Canadian "films" were documentary shorts.
Weren't they?

No, the Oscars tried to be all things to all people but failed.
They did have a Queer representation with Elton and a couple of quick camera shots of his Canadian other half David Furnish to appease us Canuks.

I don't know for sure but I suspect that if a show of hands were asked for at the ceremony as to who saw "Parasite", the outcome would probably suggest that about ten percent or less of the audience actually saw the film.
Unfortunately, a percentage of the ten percent were in the bathroom- having a pee!

Monday, February 3, 2020

ROBBLOG #818- Smell ya Later

I have a lot of things that keep me busy during retirement.

Take for instance yesterday morning.
I spent a delightful two hours trying to find the source of  a smell coming from our Whirlpool refrigerator.

On the best of days I am not happy with the Whirlpool Appliances that are in our new kitchen. The bright star in the lineup of fridge, wall oven, microwave and cook top is the dishwasher.
It performs well.
It's quiet and does a good job. When not in use it sits there and doesn't bother anyone.
I am not going into great detail at this juncture concerning the appliances and why I haven't especially warmed to them. No, today's focus is telling you about the smell emanating from the refrigerator whenever the door is opened.
This is no fault of Whirlpool but still, I would never, ever purchase a Whirlpool appliance again.
(Let it go Rob...let it go)

Meanwhile, back at the fridge...
At first I thought some milk had spilled. I took out the carton of Island Farms 3% milk and wiped it down with a blue J Cloth. I wiped the glass shelf clean where the carton sat and I felt pretty confident I had found the cause of the odour.
It was like sour milk.

I closed the door.
A few minutes later I opened the fridge to pour a bit of milk in my coffee cup.
The smell was still there.
I poured the milk in the cup and added some hot coffee all the while holding my breath.

"Damn, it must be the milk carton"- I thought.
I was fairly certain.
I poured the remaining milk from the carton into a glass milk bottle I had in the cupboard. You see a few months back I had tried a particular brand of local milk that is sold on the Island in glass jars. I didn't like the milk but I thought the glass milk bottle was worth holding on to. If I poured the carton's contents into the glass bottle maybe my odour problem would vanish.

I was wrong.
A few minutes later the odour was there when I opened the door.
"Oh for Pete's Sake!"
Sorry about the rough language.

I washed down the glass shelves and the side walls of the refrigerator with Bon Ami cleanser.
I could still smell it.
I tried a lemon cleanser.
A few minutes later the odour remained.

I emptied the fridge piling everything on the centre island.
I wiped off jars and containers.
I took out shelves and wiped until I thought the glass would break.
I even swore softly beneath my breath.
"Darn. Cripes. Holy smoke."
It was a good thing a young child was not in the immediate vicinity!

I smelled everything.
Time passed...
I became tired of sniffing and smelling.
Gawd, how does a hound dog do it?

I was about to give up and order a new fridge when I picked up a tuna can that had a purple, plastic lid snapped tightly closed on the tin's top- at least I thought it was snapped tight.
I inspected the tin.
The lid wasn't clicked closed on one side.
Could this can be the culprit?
I had picked the can up early on but I was sure the top was snapped on  tight. I didn't give it a sniff at the time. I should have because it wasn't on tight. As I drew the tin to my nose I could smell the fish inside.

I hate fish and things from the ocean on the best of days. Sure, I'll eat some deep-fried halibut with a side of fries, however, that's as far as I'll go. I only have the tuna to appease the cat.
So, there it was. A small can and a big smell.

I threw the can out.
I thought I'd try Dickens- our orange tabby, on flaked chicken. I remember I had bought some the last time I topped up his tuna-in-water inventory. I thought chicken in a can would smell better- to me at least.
Dickens however, turned his feline nose up at the chicken.
Finicky ******* felines.

So that's how one spends one's retirement.
I still have a finicky feline but I also have the cleanest, freshest smelling refrigerator on the entire block!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

ROBBLOG #817- Painting What the Future Holds

The Mister says I am not allowed to paint.

Walls, I mean.
Ever again. So he says.
Apparently- like an 6 year old's colouring book, I've painted outside the lines once or twice in the past.

We have two guest bedrooms I want re-painted.
Currently they are "Bar Harbour Beige". That's not warm enough for these rooms. I am thinking more burgundy with a touch of rust or red. I haven't sorted through paint chips at Benjamin Moore yet so I really don't know. I only know that Bar Harbour Blah is not the right choice we originally made.

Anyhoo, we have asked for estimates from area painters.
The first one came back at $995.
The second was over that at $1275.
This is just two rooms. No woodwork.
No trim.
No repair.
Just paint.

I got so pissed off I didn't even call the third painter.
I've decided to leave it be. Maybe down the road I'll change my mind but for now being a Senior living on a fixed income, it's just too much to fork out.
Even if the Mister told me to go ahead and paint, I'd probably say "no". I don't even like painting but I've done it in the past to save some money.

I could keep looking and hope I'll run into someone with a price that would make me smile. Now, I understand that a cheap price may mean a terrible, cheap job.
If I wanted a shoddy paint job- I could take care of that myself if one were to believe "him".

Speaking of taking care, I think the end of days are at hand.

I haven't seen the four horsemen of the apocalypse come riding down our street yet but with the Island weather forecast calling for yet another "Atmospheric River" bringing up to 50 mm of rain to our valley and with the World Heath Organization declaring a world-wide emergency what with the Coronavirus spreading further and further around the world, it might be time to repent.
Jesus Christ.
How do these viruses get started in a country the size of China? The city of origin is home to eleven million people. They are fast-tracking a new hospital just to take care of people with this deadly virus.
You have to wonder what's up.

You know, Jesus could be upset with the millions of heathens living in China. I am sure that's why he's made it rain so much here on the Island in the past month or two. There's just not enough of us attending church these days and the bills are adding up.

As far as the rain goes, I've been checking online for blueprints to start building an arc but I figured if the Mister won't let me paint, he's certainly not going to let me build a boat that is almost certain to sink to the bottom of the Pacific.

Then again, if the end of the world is at hand, who cares what colour my guest bedrooms are anyway.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

ROBBLOG #816 Pot Pies, Princes and Plants

We are alone again, naturally.

Here on the island we get a lot of guests. We just had three separate guests all at separate times visiting and taking in the Island hospitality- and ours. Now for the next while we are on our own.
Back to meal planning instead of going out for brunch or dinner. Back to catching up on TV series we placed on hold while guests are here at Palm Villa. Back to taking long walks.
That we need.

Going out to dine once or twice a day for an extended period wreaks havoc on my "girlish figure" as well as the senior pocketbook. It's great news for local eating establishments though. It also allows us to try something new. This past week we drove to the Malahat Summit- at 1200 feet, to eat at the Malahat Chalet just a short distance down the Victoria side of the mountain. The view- as you can see below, is stupendous.
Look at the Rainbow!
The food was scrumptious.
I had a chicken pot pie that was so good I would have been happy just eating the pastry enclosing the chicken bits. Desert was a chocolate cake that was about six layers tall.
I couldn't finish it.
The Mister did.

Our friend Lisa who was here most recently didn't get to see a lot of breath-taking Island views- except for the Malahat Chalet. The rain this past while has been nonstop- not to mention the snow last week. Read about that in the previous ROBBLOG.

It looks like we have some sunny weather ahead- mild and spring-like, compared to most other parts of this glorious country of ours. We've seen snowdrops out along the path and there's a hellebore out in our north garden. Rhody's are in full bud and the heather is all aglow in colours of purple, pink and white. The cows are out in the green fields as the picture at the bottom of this Blog shows.

I remember our first year on the Island the Mister cut the grass around the 10th of February.
Not sure what February will bring this year what with the crazy weather and not just here on the Island.

January Hellebore
There's been heat and fires in Australia.
Seventy plus centimetres of snow in Newfoundland.
Freezing rain in Ontario.
Two weeks of below minus 30 temperatures in Edmonton. Okay, maybe that's not so unusual.
Then, our Island saw so much snow in two days a week ago.
The most since the early 80's I heard.
Global Warming?
You betcha.
What else?

It doesn't always have to make the weather hotter- although it is judging by the melting polar ice cap.
Global warming is changing weather in many places. Here on the Island we suffered from forest fire smoke in July of 2018. We had to stay inside for a few days. Australians know what that's about.
That and leaving everything behind to escape the heat and flames.
We have an extended drought every summer. No matter how much rain falls now, our river beds will be dry come late July and once again we'll have watering restrictions.
Not so nice.

On the nice side, we may have a Duke and Duchess living in the neighbourhood.
Okay not exactly next door but not too far away either- in Saanich.
I mean they'd be more than welcome to live in our neighbourhood and bring up Archie with a ton of "Uncles and Aunties"at their disposal to watch him.
They could save a ton of money by sending their bodyguards back to England if they did move into this neighbourhood.

I know Island folks would let them have their space if this is where they wanted to settle- besides Frogmore Cottage at Windsor. Something for them to consider if they have Vancouver or Toronto on their minds.

I think it would be fun running into them in an Island park.

"Good Morning Harry. Is that how I should address you. Harry? Duke?"- I'd ask.

"Sure. Absolutely."- he'd say in his "royal" English accent, "And how should I address you...

"Oh, "Your Grace" would be just dandy!" I'd reply, offering an outstretched hand and a huge smile.

Now, there are three guests that would keep the neighbours talking.
Well, it could happen one day....

Cowichan Cows Grazing on a green pasture
Jan 23, 2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020

ROBBLOG #815- I Need Therapy!

I need therapy.

Apparently, I do.
Oh, not because I'm losing it.
No, I still have an ounce or two of my faculties left.
It's because I need therapy as in a "therapy light".
It's simply all the rage here on this Island My Dears.

A therapy light alleviates the loss of daily sunshine. One still needs to take a daily Vitamin D but adding the use of a LED Therapy Lamp to one's daily routine is supposed to be just what the sun doctor ordered.

The Mister and I have been using ours for a few days since the nice man at the door delivered the
Light Therapy package from
Is it working?
It must be since I haven't wanted to strangle the Mister in several days. This lamp emits some of the same stuff that the sun does. It fools your eyes and even friends much in the same way that Ray Ban Sunglasses hide huge bags under one's eyes only in this case the eyes think they see sunlight and one's spirit is lifted.

It doesn't removed winter's gaunt, vampirish look. You know,
that white, pasty, overtired look but at least you feel good about being white and pasty!
It's not a sunlamp.
There's no tanning involved.
I use mine a few times a day when I sit at the computer.
Like right now.
I'm so happy I could s***.
Especially when I look out the window and see white.

It has snowed in the Cowichan.
We were supposed to see perhaps, maybe a bit of white stuff.
Probably. Maybe. Not sure- as I tracked three weather sites, to see if the Cowichan was going to see appreciable snowfall. All sites were different but it comes to pass that we have some snow.
One site predicted 0.05 cm on the ground.
What the F*** is 0.05 cm?
You'll be happy to know that I believe it to be more like 5 cms.

Nobody's outside.
No cars are on the streets.
It's like a white Armageddon since Islanders don't know how to live with snow let alone drive in the stuff. I mean it's not too much. I saw more ice and snow when I defrosted our upright freezer back in the fall. I'll bet if anyone is out on the roads it's a former Ontarian and even they stay locked up behind closed doors knowing full well an occasional Islander will pretend to be an Easterner and still drive.

I'll bet school buses will be cancelled.
Schools will be closed.
Transit is either affected by cancellations or running behind.
Ferries to Horseshoe Bay and Tsawassen will be cancelled.
Shelves in grocery stores will be empty of bread, milk and bottled water.
It's like a war zone on the Island when it snows.

Now, I hate this cold, wet Island stuff. It is different from Ontario Snow.
It has a different flavour.
Our Island snow is wetter, heavier and has a fruitier piquant than Orillia snow.
It tends to melt fast and yet with all three weather sites predicting bone-chilling, record-breaking snow for Vancouver Island we may be in for a few days of a whiter landscape than usual.

I have knocked snow off my palms twice already and I don't think my cordyline's will manage with the heavy snow and cold temps.
This is a gigantic pain in the ass and I speak for all Islanders- unless you are 8 years old and own a sled or toboggan.
Most kids in the lower half of the Island do not. Santa doesn't bring Island kids in the southern part winter snow stuff like a sled.
It's a dream for kids here.

We have snow shovels but we all have to dig them out from under piles of junk meant for a summer garage sale or a trip to the nearest dump or recycle site.

The snow is pretty on the BC fir trees but fir trees crack and fall from the heavy snow on their limbs and then, the power starts to go out.
The Hubbie and I are getting a Generac installed this year not just for power outages caused by snow but earthquakes and wind as well.
All part of living on this beautiful, green Island.

One thing I gd know, a couple of days after this snow melts and the cold retreats, we Islanders have bad short term memories and will go back to telling Winnipegers and other Easterners that it never snows on the Island.
It's a bare-faced lie but one we all stand behind and continue to lie about.

It's the Island way.

Monday, January 6, 2020

ROBBLOG #814- Finding Place

What a world we live in.

What a time.
What a place.
Here we are in 2020 and things don't look better than the past decade.
Things are worse.
Politics stink.
Social media is a problem.
Changes are afoot.
We're all trying to find "place" and hold on.

Climate change is a major concern. I can't believe those people- many Canadians, who don't see it or feel it. We have new weather terms for storms here on the left coast. How about "Atmospheric Winter"?
I've heard that twice this "winter" season on the Island. If long range forecasts hold true we might see many centimetres of snow and unusual cold here in the Cowichan beginning next week.
Two years ago camelias were in bloom and we were cutting grass in early February!

War is always on the lips of many people across the world. In America, that little old country that sits east of us here on Vancouver Island, west and east to many residents of Southwestern Ontario and due south to many other Canadians, is always ready to go to war with the Middle East, North Korea and others. Citizens are being stopped and held for unusual lengths of time at immigration check points. Witness what happened at BC border points this past while.
It never changes.

I asked my sister who is spending the winter as usual, in the U.S. if her and my brother-in-law are prepared in case something comes of this current conflict the Americans- their big cheese in particular, have with Iran. She said they are keeping a close watch and will head north if something happens.
They are a fourteen hour drive from the Canadian border.
The idea is to be able to drive north- before the border closes.
Who knows?

Other family and friends are south as well and I wonder how they go about every day with the
"revenge plots" that Iran rumours to be considering inflicting. The world could be a changed place this year and decade.

I think about change.
I miss being back in old home. There are times I get all morose and sobby-eyed- if indeed sobby is a a word.
I begin wondering if :

a) we should have stayed there in Ontario
b) we should have moved to Florida for our winter warmth
c) we should move back to ice and snow

Then, the after Christmas let-down combined with my family being so far away seems to weigh me down in this post Holiday time. I mean, I hate January to begin with and February- who needs it?
It was bad enough living through the hell of freezing cold temperatures and foot after foot of snow back in Orillia, Ontario but this "river" of rain and overcast skies has held on throughout December giving us only a half dozen chances to be outdoors in the sun.

Now things are green here. Temps are about 7, 8 or 9 degrees most days- at least until that arctic forecast scheduled for next week comes along. One can walk about in a sweater and rain jacket- or shorts on the few sunny days we've had. Bicycles are still on the streets and joggers abound- one today was even bare-chested. Golf and RV resorts are open and the ocean's tides are still a remarkable event to witness at places like Cherry Point Beach.

The feeling of being unsettled or not having roots that go back more than three years is troubling at times. We've met lots of new people on the island and have formed many close friendships in a relatively short period of time. However, we still like to visit and have dinner with our former Orillia or Ontario friends who live here. We seem to hold a special bond with them that just feels right. That being said we have several very special, very close ties- family-like ties, with a half dozen folks who inhabit a special part of our Island Life. How could I give that up?
Change is good.
Or not...

I tell myself the distance from which we came from in Ontario- three time zones away, is not a small feat. It took guts and gumption.
We managed it.
It hasn't been easy, I can tell you that.
I feel hollow at times, without purpose and of course the way old father time skips merrily along faster and faster every day, doesn't help one little bit.

Will the world get through these times?
Will I?

Really, I don't know.
The next chapter is still to be written.