Sunday, June 17, 2018

ROBBLOIG# 725- A Banana a Day

June is fleeting.

Where has this month gone?
I have been busy outside in my lovely Island garden.
That makes time fly.

The Mister and I have plants growing that we have never grown before.
Among them: New Zealand Flax, Cordyline, 4 (count 'em) FOUR banana plants- one about 10 feet tall, wait...three windmill palms, and grasses that have grown to shoulder height in a few short months. Pieris, weeping sequoia, weeping Cyprus and a happy hosta or two.

I call him Nanu- The Easter Island God
Our gardens are looking great!
Plants are growing like bad weeds here in the Cowichan. The sun feels so hot here too.
It pricks the skin.
Today was 34c degrees yet there was no humidity like back in Ontario. We were able to complete our exercise walk around 6PM with hardly a bead of perspiration on our foreheads. Once the hot, western sun sinks below the tall pines along the back of our property the temperature drops about 5 degrees. The evening is wonderfully comfortable, however, having a heat pump cool down Palm Villa's interior helps a bunch.

We thought that having a smaller property here on Vancouver Island would mean less gardening but we are finding it still takes many dedicated hours each week. Watering is the worst, especially when we have to stick within guidelines posted by North Cowichan. Right now we are at level one which means watering between 7 and 9 morning and night on odd days. It is hard to watch plants wilt on odd house number days- especially expensive plants, so many folks get out and give gardens a little squirt whenever they can. This will be frowned upon if we reach the "dreaded" level three.

Fire danger in our area is "high" right now, according to the signs posted along the Island Highway.
This new stretch of dry, hot days has just started. We had this weather back in May- almost the entire month, however the first couple of weeks of June saw overcast skies, cooler temperatures and a bit of rain. Weather forecasters are predicting a hot Island summer through to the end of September!
I am preparing myself for those weeks when we have to stop using the automatic lawn sprinklers and resolve ourselves to watching our grass turn browner than a turkey's turd at fly-time.

A quick trip to the Dairy Queen usually makes me feel better when thinking of burnt grass.
Funny, eh?

A banana palm, they say, keeps the Doctor away
We've taken part in other activities besides gardening. We walked to the top of Stoney Hill- again, to gaze out over the Pacific to Salt Spring Island. We traversed the Island via Port Renfrew to see how the "other half" lives. The other half of the Island I mean.

We met some new friends at a "Primetimers" dinner evening.
I know.
A "Primetimer".
It was a Hell of a lot of fun!

We even took new friends to Dinters- our favourite garden centre, receiving 25% off our purchases which included a couple of rosebushes and a pretty, aqua blue bird bath. Funny, just when you think you have all the plants and garden accessories you require, along comes a 25% off sale.
Go figure.

We have a couple of theatre dates ahead, a celebration of life service for a neighbour who passed from nasty, old cancer, then a trip to Victoria for Victoria Pride Celebrations in early July.

Life on the Island.
It continues to evolve.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

ROBBLOG #724- Christ on a Cracker!

Once, a few years ago I was doing a stage show. I had a makeup lady do my makeup to help me achieve a particular "look" for a particular character. This is what "may" have happened...

I am sitting in a makeup chair waiting for the elusive Makeup Artist. There's no sign of her- a gal that I'll call her Bernice because that is NOT her real name. I flip through a couple of magazines all the while checking my watch. Finally, I smell a waft of cigarette smoke and in enters the makeup artist. I'll call me- "Actor" because you know my name already.
Bernice: Did you think I wasn’t coming or what-eh? ~puff~ Oh hey-I’m Bernice. She reaches out a hand.

Actor: Hi Bernice. I shake her outstretched palm. I was just sitting here trying to “find some calm”. You know. Before I "go on". I look at the lit end of her cigarette and the smoke pooling above our heads. Ummm. Could you extinguish that cigarette, please, Bernice?

Bernice: Oh Geeze, you're one of those types, eh? Yah, well sure. Be back in a sec.
She leaves the room and I hear a distant toilet flush. Just like all those other Actor types. So you're trying to keep calm eh? Pre-show jitters Dear? Have you moisturized? How old are ya hennaway? Anyone ever tell you ya look like Christopher Plummer. I once made him up ya what is your name Hun?

Actor: Um...Let's see- yes, no, yes, 60, that's interesting and Rob.

Bernie: Doesn’t feel like it. That you've moisturized I mean. Feels dry. Did you colour this hair recently, Hun.

Actor: Well, A couple of weeks back. Just a little wash. A bit of blonde maybe.

Bernice: A couple of weeks back. Some colour eh?

Actor: Well... yes. A bit- I guess. My hair was starting to look tired.

Bernice: A bit. Honey this hair was more than a bit tired? Christ on a Cracker- where’d you get the stuff. Dollarama? Geeze, it looks real cheap. Well, it fits, I guess.

Actor: That isn’t very nice.

Bernice: Oh settle it Hun, I mean your stage persona. (aside) Short fuse or what. So, you claim you     moisturized some too?

Actor: Yes I did- before I left home. I said already…

Bernice: Well that’s something anyway. Good God your hair feels like frickin’ prairie wheat. Now, let's get a bit of foundation on that mug of yours and maybe all those freekin’ age spots will disappear. What the Hell is that all about?
Actor: Um...well...
Bernice: So, what are ya like 63 or somethin’?

Actor: 60. And a half....

Bernice: Listen Hun. I got to tell you. Up front and personal. You know “Mano a Mano”. You don’t hide your age well.
Actor: What? I don't. I think....
Bernice:  But don’t you worry. Bernice is here to help. I am. I mean that. Now if we makeup artistes weren’t here for you, you can well imagine what you’d look like going out on that stage. ~Hah. Hah. Hah.~ She slaps my left shoulder with a stiff palm and red-lacquered fingernails.

Actor: I can’t imagine.

Bernice: You’d look like Hell. Pain and simple fact! Sorry for the profanity but I speak the truth. Now, I know you actor people work hard to bring those characters to life but you know we are here to help move you along and just in time for your sake. ~Hah. Hah~ She slaps me again. Now just relax. She rubs the back of her hand along my right cheekbone. Did you say you moisturized Hun?

Actor: Yes, I did. We’ve been through that.

Bernice: Oooh. Touchy. So, listen I have a galfriend. Now look, I don’t mean I’m one of those dollies  from the Isle of Lesbos or nothing. Oh God Honey, I have had my share of  menfolk in my day. Don’t get me wrong now. I am not one of them loosy-goosys like you read about on your Facebook and Instaham...
Actor: Instagram.
Bernice: ~pauses~ Whatever Hun. No, I pretty much keep to myself these days. Well, you have to- dontcha? What with all them SID's and stuff.

Actor: STD's

Bernice: Yes, well whatever Hun. Now Hun, sit up straight here or your manboobs will be on your stomach before your next birthday. So this galfriend of mine-who just so happens to be an artiste of makeup like myself, tells me last week that that actor fella who does those movies- you know who I mean? Oh Christ on a Cracker- y'uh know...

Actor: No, not really.

Bernice: He’s that funny guy with the big-
Actor: Voice?
Bernice: No. No. Head. Big Head...
Actor: I have no idea..
Bernice: So he sits across from my galfriend at the restaurant he’s got a bit of the white powder under his nose. Ya Know Hun? 

Actor: Powder? White? Whipped cream?

Bernice: You are sweet Dear but you live in another world. I mean drugs. You know. Powder under the nose? Coaltrain?

Actor: Oh. Cocaine.

Bernie: Exactly. Terrible waste. But good gosh apparently Hun, he has the temper. Not very nice at all. So what’s that gonna get him? Nothin! Did I ask you if you had moisturized.

Actor:  Ummm. I. Have. (I spoke through clenched teeth.)

Bernice: Never mind. Too late now Hun. So can you imagine? This actor-fella makes all that dough   and he can’t get up in the morning without snortin’ his life away. Good God that’s sad. Really sad. ~pause~ Good Lord in a bateau!
Actor What??
Bernice: You have some nasty-looking split ends here. Get yourself a good conditioner Hun.

Actor: I’ll look into that. Glancing at my watch.  I'm kinda in a hurry now. I need a bit on my eyebrows.

Bernice: Conditioner?

Actor: No. eyeliner!

Bernice: Now leave your face to the professional Hun. That’s what I am her for. So, eyeliner on the brows. Good Gosh. You need more than a bit. The audience wants to see those brows jump and twist and turn and twitch now- don’t they? Don’t you worry Hun. I’ll have you looking spiffy before you know it.

Actor: I’m not sure if “spiffy” is what I’m looking for…

Bernice: Well I’ll be the judge of that Hun. As for what’s happening below the neck, I couldn’t give a fat fanny. Me. I am just from the neck up. She makes a cut-off motion with a cut below my neck.

Actor: Well at least we know where we’re at. You’re here I motion across my throat and up and the neck down pointing down is another department. I understand that.

Bernice: Well, I am not surprised. You seem intelligent but you'd be surprised at those that don't have any sense of direction. Not one iota! Oh Hey, she slaps I remember one time I had a director say to me- Bernice, what do you think of that pink sweater vest for Veronicia in Act Two, Scene 1? Mr. Babcock I says to him. That was his name- Mr. Babcock- funny eh? She slaps me three or four times as she's lost in several  loud guffahs. So, Mr. Babcock I say, you had better ask Gladys in Costumes because I am just concerned with here up. She motions.

Actor: What did he say?

Bernice: What could he say? Hah! I said it all. Geeze. What a loser. I mean that Hun! She applies a few final, deliberate brush strokes and wallops my cheeks with some powder  piled on a white duster. Ok that’s it for you. Now have a nice day Hun- will ya?

Actor: I’ll try.

Bernice: And remember to put on some moisturizer next time for Christ's sake!

Actor: I give up.!

Bernice: aside Geeze, nice fellah but skin’s dry as toast.

Friday, June 1, 2018

ROBBLOG #723- It's In The Genes

First a warning.

It's something most people back east in Ontario are aware of. After watching Rob Ford and his idiot brother perform in the Ford Circus a few short years ago, how is it possible that the PC's could take 65 seats in the coming election and the Liberals might barely be able to hold onto party status. Voters have short memories. I am not fan of Andrea at all but rather the NDP than any- repeat- ANY Conservative anywhere at any time.
He sold drugs for Gawd's Sake. He covered up for his substance abused brother. He's broken the law.
His Mother has no taste when it comes to decorating a home.
I mean reason enough!!

I also think that Kathleen has been treated unfairly and I still believe she is the best, fairest and most forward thinking of any of the candidates. How can Ontarians vote against someone who has raised minimum wage and therefore the standard of living for many Ontarians. I mean c'mon.
That alone.

If Ford wins, I hope he provides Ontario with the biggest Fuck Up in the history of politics. Look out if you are a minority- I am talking to you white folks here too as well as women and LGBTQ2.
I mean that word can pretty much describe every one of us these days depending on the situation. The Hubbie and I have been in a Subway car several times in Toronto in recent years and been the only two White Boys.
It's interesting to be in that position. Humbling I suppose.
So, if you fall into any of these main groups how can you even think of voting Conservative?
You are a thorn in their side and always will be.

Federally, it's not any better and now with Justin buying the pipeline out this way, he is doomed. The Federal Liberals are living on borrowed time.
I agree with the purchase.
We need oil.
Our world runs on it and no amount of protesting will change my mind or the facts. We run on oil. First Nations can beat the drum all they want. Hippies, professional protesters and people who need to focus on other skills can demonstrate and show up at barricades day after day. They'll make the National News on a  slow day but it won't make oil and the pipeline go away.

It's in the Ford Genes...
I have promised myself here in BC I will not be political. I am done with speaking out, reading about the various parties and most redneck of all- voting.
You see, I now believe- and I didn't used to, that it makes no difference.
No difference at all.
Good Lawrd...
I am turning into our friend from back in Orillia, Ontario. I will protect her by not naming her but Gee golly gosh and Holy Cow. I didn't see that one coming.

My main defense to refrain from political sniping will see the light of day if Ontarians vote for that Ford Fellah. In my country of Canada I can't believe there is even the possibility of that happening let alone the curse of that Sheer guy from Alberta one day leading our country.

I do have to come clean.
To be both clean- and truthful though, I did write a "Helmet Law Sucks" tweet this past week, supporting the removal of the mandatory bicycle helmet law here in BC. I agreed with a gentlemen who also denounced the forced use of helmets. In fact, here on Vancouver Island in British Columbia my bike hangs on a rack in our garage 90% of the time.
I miss riding but I hate wearing that fucking helmet more!
"Old Home" friends will be agasp!

Egads... I believe either the move west, the Island vibes or my impending, doddering old age has or is in the process of changing me.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

ROBBLOG #722- Space the FINAL Frontier

Space. The Final Frontier.

Here on Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley, six Islanders stood outside on a Sunday Evening waiting for the International Space Station to zoom overhead.
At approximately 2215 Pacific it did.

A bright, fast travelling, white light came into view over the tall trees in the western sky. In a flash it was above our heads heading East towards Calgary and the horizon. Some 27,000 kilometres per hour. That's almost as fast as our neighbour Tina (I did not change her name to protect her)- and good friend, drives down Cowichan Lake Road and Government Street to work!
She's a rip and get's there in time and in one piece.

It was an amazing moment watching that station go by and yet it does 24 hours a day. Its path changes but it's up there with a half dozen astronauts on board, whizzing around our world.
What a view. Venus, Saturn, the Moon and the Sun.
All the while, ne'er any sight of "Heaven" or spaceships or the Aliens aboard them who apparently live in the outer rim of outer space.
Thor- The God of Thunder is also out there somewhere with his big hammer and equally big biceps!

Imagine what it costs to fill up the space ship tank just to get to Earth. I hope they're collecting their PC Points towards a free turkey come the Holiday Season.

Captain Kirk was a luck bastard- wasn't he?
He travelled from planet to planet with the ease of a six-stop route on a city bus.
All with the help of his crew and his immortal paraphrased words- "Give me all ya got Scottie!"
Thank goodness for Scottie and Lieutenant- and later Commander, Uhura.
Hey, remember when Will Shatner lip-smacked that Uhura.
Kirk sucking face with another crew member and a female of colour too.
How the Final Frontier has progressed.

After the station slipped effortlessly past us in the sky- lit by a brilliant, full moon, I googled how to contact the astronauts on board. It seems that last Christmas you could and all season's greetings were passed along but now in the merry month of May the best I can hope for is an answer from NASA on my Twitter account.

I think it would perk up the day or night of the onboard crew knowing we were down here on earth like a half dozen puny little ants waving and cheering them onwards. Of course we are used to seeing planes criss-cross the blue Pacific Skies over our Island every day. Those skies can be quite busy at times with assorted aircraft travelling in a myriad of directions heading for Nanaimo, Victoria or Vancouver. Flights to Hawaii, Australia, Britain, France, India and The Netherlands flying right over our heads.

It is amazing when you stop and think about how busy the skies really are on a day to day basis.
Up high we have a collection of satellites, aircraft from dozens of countries, the Space Station and of course, one day, those folks drifting skyway during "the rapture".

In our lower altitudes the sky is crowded with balloons- both of the weather kind and the birthday party kind. There's kites that rip free of their owner's strings, missiles from war-torn countries and smoke from forest fires or volcanoes. It's a wonder the sky stays blue!

A small chill went up my spine as I watched the Space Station zip across the sky.
How wonderful- I thought but I could never do it.
Pooping and peeing in a bag I mean!
I have enough to concentrate on keeping regular down here on earth without worrying about getting the pee and poopy into a bag so as not to have it flying about the Space Station cabin smacking fellow crew members in the face.
Can you imagine the embarrassment of having to catch one's wayward poop with a butterfly net?

So, hats off to the crew and I'll report to you if my Tweet get's twatted- or whatever one does with a tweet once it's read.

In the meantime, scientific humans continue to push for new worlds they hope to discover and to go to where we have never gone before...

Saturday, May 26, 2018

ROBBLOG #721- People are Funny

Mother Mary, people are funny.

Not funny as in- "I have a joke to tell you", because that is never funny.
We have all stood while the joke-teller is regaling us with a joke that he/she warns us in advance may be dirty, racist, slanderous, petty and definitely unfunny. We never get the warning that the joke about to be told is not funny. We smile and nod and slap our thighs so as not to hurt the unfunny joke-teller's feelings.

No, funny people in this case of which I speak are people- one person in this case, who is definitely NOT funny. In fact, I'd say there's not a funny bone in their body. They are the lonesome dove, the outcast. The person that thrives on being unfunny, unfriendly and under your skin.

This human of which  I speak- as well as not being even close to funny as I mentioned above, is also a control freak. The rest of us should do as they say. Do as "they" do or thou shalt be judged.
Oh yah.
This unfunny human is judgemental in a non-Atheist sort of way.
What is the opposite of non-Atheist you ask?
Figure it out.
I'll wait....

Got it? Well, whatever floats your boat. Turns your crank. Grounds your soul.
I have to be careful here. Some folks reading today's blog will immediately know of whom I speak. Other readers will ultimately ask me- "Who are you writing about in that blog of yours?"
I canny not say...

I would like to tell you the stories that make me shake my head. The stories of this person's unkindness and steel-rimmed personality. Do you know what I mean?
Take a group of people- none of who knew each other when they first met.
Ninety-five percent of these folks are lovely people. One can have a laugh. Pass a comment. Lend a hand as humans do for one another. Then, as if in an error in judgement from a higher authority or power, a bad apple is thrown into the works just for fun and it begins to grind on the original group of nice people.

I'll bet that some of the "nice" people are bothered by the bad apple. The 5%- but are afraid to mention it to the rest of the 95% in the off chance they will be chastised or shunned.
This is a conundrum.

When we first moved into our current neighbourhood there lived a couple who many of us referred to as the gatekeepers. They strolled through unfinished homes- uninvited. They spied on one when one came to the construction site and often tried to hide their presence from the backside of a distant tree or a pile of lumber. They complained and fussed and eventually they had had enough. They stuck up a sign and in a few months were gone.
Buh. Bye.

I believe that karma will eventually bite this "human of which I speak" in the ass of the "human of which I am speaking". Meanwhile, the unfunny, unfriendly human is judging and controlling or tries to be. All others must tow the line and do as "it" does and not as individuals do. One day, someone might explode and be truthful face to face.
I hope it's not me for sometimes my outside voice talks before I give it permission and that can create a magnitude of problems.

Hennaway, for now let's see how this fable plays out.
I have to laugh though.
Not a knee-slapping hearty kind of laugh but more of a for "fucks-sake" kind of chortle.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

ROBBLOG #720 Is it Cricket?

Another weird tale for your consideration. I flipped back in my memory to January 2011 to present this piece of brilliance once again. Re-edited for your continued gratification and enjoyment.
Remember- "Not to understand fully is the way of Life". 
The day was a warm one.
Tiny beads of perspiration dotted the young man’s forehead as he entered the Great Room Library, cool and safe from the hot rays of a Global-Warming sun. He saw the Great One studying- as usual, at the far end of the lavishly appointed room.
“What is the meaning of life, O Great One?”- asked Allastar Appleton gently.
“I shall answer you in one word Cricket”- replied Wo Fat, not raising his eyes from the book laid out across his kimono-covered lap.
“It’s Allastar, O Holy One”. He wasn’t sure if he should even consider correcting a mystic man of such position as the Exalted, seated there in the Great Room library in such a grand chair.
He decided to continue. “But, one word only?” Allastar was taken aback- ever so slightly.
“Red Dragon” replied Wo Fat, his eyes till locked onto the pages of the book before him.
“Red Dragon? That’s the meaning of life? But Red Dragon is two words, O Exalted One!” How can that be? Allastar was generally perplexed.
“Depends how you spell Dragon, young snapper.” The old man scratched the side of his nose and took a deep breath. “You see, young bird, we know nothing compared to He who claims to know all?”
“You mean Justin Trudeau?”
Alastar was serious.
“No, little chipmunk, I speak of another society- not a left-leaning open society that is fair and just for one and all. That being said, this society is a secret none-the-less.
“Gosh!”- says Alastar Appelton as he thrust his hands into the deep recesses of his cloak. For Alastar wore a light cotton cloak on this day, spun from the golden fleece of the village sheep known for their unusual baaaa’s as well as golden fleece.
“But surly we know something- anything…”
“No child we do not. It’s secret and please do not expect me to answer too much”- Wo Fat, the great one sighed.
“Whatever do you mean, Sir?”
“Little rabbit, in this huge universe of nothingness, we both mean and know and say nothing. It is in the same way that this “secret society”- Red Dragon, remains unknown as a “secret sect”. The All Holy one had been generous in his response.
“Ahhh. I am beginning to see and understand. This is truly the meaning of life as we know and understand it!”
“I hardly believe so, young wheatsheaf.”
He continued.
“I understand and see much- yet I don’t care.”
“You don’t, O most Wonderful of Wonders?” Alastar’s mind was swirling.
“Oh Swammy of the ‘most’ High, I care.”
“The Ordained One glanced up at Alastar Appleton and said-
“I understand that you care, such as the care a mother toad gives to her young but as the moving finger writes so does he who is a pleasure-seeker seeking to buy pleasure.”
“One most high, I understand what you say- in part.” Alastar was shaken put managed to form the words with his lips and a voice so soft it was not unlike the ramblings of a gentle Queen of the Drag-
“Play with fire. Expect to be burnt.”
Wo Fat- the all knowing, all seeing one, smiled a small, impish smile.
“You have tremendous vigour and youth for one so young Mr. Alastar Appelton. Now, leave me, for I must study hard to become more brilliant than the sun rising on the calm blue waters of the ocean.”
The Kingfisher dropped his gaze onto the pages of his book  and motioned to Alastar to be gone.
Before leaving the Great Man's presence Alastar mused aloud- “Being Oriental is not accidental yet occidental. Now, I know the beginnings of the meaning life.”
Alalstar was satisfied. He turned, leaving the Bright Light to his book of learning and walked out into the hot, afternoon sun. He paused, snatching a harmonica from his pocket. Placing it tight against his lips, he played “Jimmy Cracked Corn and I Don’t Care”- farting along in harmony.
It was great to be so alive and have a life so full of meaning!

Friday, May 18, 2018

ROBBLOG #719- An Empress of a Weekend!

I can't remember that last day it rained here on the Island.

We have had an abundance of sunshine lately.
Hot, dry heat. Air conditioner and heat pump weather yet no humidity.
Still, I was amused when the Weather Network reported Duncan B.C. weather online this morning.
It said "Partly cloudy today. Partly sunny overnight."
Global warming is really real!
For real!

So, the first Victoria Day weekend on the Island for us and I do want to emphasise "Victoria Day Weekend".
What is with this "Long weekend" stuff?
Nada. No and wrong!
What are we? All Jehovah Witnesses all of a sudden?
I worked with a JW once at a radio station.
She refused to perform many aspects of her job because of her JW Religion. She wouldn't say Merry Christmas, Happy Victoria Day Weekend or even Happy Birthday. She even got out of recording Christmas Holiday Greetings all because of her religion and yet- she got paid like the rest of us who had to do the extra work she wouldn't.
Not fair. Not fair at all.
We should have held a sit in or something but since radio broadcasters were a dime a dozen, there were many youngsters willing to do one's job for half the 10 bucks the rest of us were paid.
Oh yes!
Radio paid little except for the morning shows in the big markets. Even there if you were anyone other than Erin Davis- and most of us were, pay was poor.

Her Majesty- Queen Victoria
Hennaway, back to Victoria Day, this is a holiday you all get- we all get, because of feisty Queen Victoria. Queen of Canada and Empress of India. So, give her due respect.
Hem. Hem. Hem.

I'd like to be an "Empress" of some small country. Some small warmish country. I would sit royally on my throne all the while being fanned by sturdy young men waving banana fronds above my head to keep me relatively cool and comfortable. I would insist they were rather scantily clad so as not to overheat whilst fanning their "Empress".
I would take care of my subjects!
I really would.
Royalty cares and sets an example.
For instance, I'd say to my pool boy-
"Coco- bring me a lemonade please with two twists of lemon and a shot of gin!".
As he bowed and turned to leave, I'd playfully slap his tush pretending to sting my hand on his rock solid butt.
My subjects would adore their "Royal"- like Dame Edna is adored around the world!

Dame Edna
Speaking of Royalty- the Royal Wedding.
Once again, I am not invited. As a proud member of the Commonwealth who flies the Union Jack every Victoria Day Holiday Weekend and has been to England and even knows "English People",
I fully believe an invite would be fair.
Cripes! I'd even walk her down the aisle looking quite British and all-
Fah, Fah, Fah.
I am rather Fah anyway- or is that Fey?

Either way, I could do it with much pomp and circumstance whether I was an Empress or the plain , simple, Island fellah that I am.

Enjoy your Victoria Day Weekend and wave and say hello to your fellow loyal subjects all weekend long.

Friday, May 11, 2018

ROBBBLOG #718- Sweet!

It's been a busy week.

The Mister and I met our new Doctor this week.
She's a new Mom.
She's funny.
She listens and she doesn't push prescription drugs.
We hit it off right away.
Nine months on this new Island of ours and we have our Doctor. In fact all of our services are in line.

Our new Gazebo, bolted down to the cement patio
The weather continues to amaze as does the speed at which our plants are growing in our new gardens. I don't know if it's the year round growing season- it probably is, or the ocean air. Even new stuff we plopped in the earth over the past month is growing at an alarming rate. The banana is pushing out new shoots and our big palm trees are shooting out new fronds. While our rhody has finished blooming there are rhodys in the neighbourhood that are so big and so beautiful they take your breath away. I had no idea these plants were so large or bloomed in such an array of colours. There's a rhododendron in Ladysmith- about 20 minutes up island, that is twenty-five years old and extremely tall. It makes copy on CTV news and people drive to see it from miles around. We too will make the trip while it is in its blooming glory.

The painters are here this week.
Our house had such a poor, initial paint job, that the new painters are finding they have to re-paint our house from top to bottom. Some of the white trim was never painted by the time the "old" painters finished in the first week of December. The new paint is giving our Island Home a fresh clean look because the colour is a tad deeper and has a slight sheen.
It looks great!

The red furniture will be on the new grass- eventually
Not to be outdone, the landscapers laid more pipe to cover the watering of our back yard sod and installed drip-lines to keep our gardens moist. It's a "thing" here on the left coast. Drip lines keep plants alive in drought situations and that is something we saw when we got off the boat last August. A remarkable duration of time with no rain. We arrived August 23rd and the last raindrops were in the first few days of June. Even the next two weeks here in this merry month of May is to be warm- in the mid to upper so's, and dry.
There's no rain in sight.
So much for a soggy west coast. Yes, of course we have had rain. November was particularly soggy but you know what? We put on our rain gear. Laced up our west coast rain boots and we were off for a walk either with the dogs- in appropriate rain-wear, or just by ourselves.
No sleet. No ice. No snow to contend with.
I do vow that it is a secret the Islanders hold close to their chest. That secret is simple to discover.
The island is beautiful and the weather is terrific.

Budda Bing, Budda Buddah
Life continues...
In the next while we await a delivery of a new, white arbour for the back yard. A big, beautiful, curved-top structure with a wing of picket fence on each end. In fact depending how it looks when it's delivered, I may put some white picket fencing down the side of the house- just like we had at Pine Tree House back in Orillia. A picket fence says "summer".
We currently have a black, iron fence along the south side and we had bought a black arbour to match. Then, neighbours began strolling by saying how much they liked the fence. A neighbour just two doors up even copied the idea of the black metal arbour, so I had had enough even though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all...

I sold the black arbour and hence we are looking forward to the delivery of a fresh, white, cottage-like arbour. Gee, I wanted the white picket fence along the south side of the property to begin with but The Mister and I were sold when we saw the black wrought iron.
I should listen to my heart a little more. We got our money back for the arbour since another neighbour up the street bought it from us.

Hennaway, it's all a process.
A long process and we've come a long way here on the island from a hole in the sandy, clay-like earth to a place we are calling "home".

Saturday, May 5, 2018

ROBBLOG #717 ...Like an Old Aunt

Am I bad?

Like an "Old Aunt" who calls to say-
"Sorry I haven't written or called lately, I've been busy sorting my stockings"-
I feel like I haven't kept in touch  very well of late.

I do have an excuse.
I am outside a lot.
The weather is beautiful and we have been doing a bunch of yard work trying to make our gardens look like they have been here- in our yard, for years.
Oh, we have a watering limit for those young gardens already.
Phase one.
Hand watering from 7-9- evening and mornings. Most people here in the Cowichan- who love their gardens, have drip systems to keep plants alive.
We have one too.
A quick switch on and the lines of plastic water the roots in gardens around the house. These type of lines wouldn't work back east- at least not in the ground all winter. Many folks here tell me they don't even have the water blown from the lines in preparation for "Island Winter". However, it's about 50 bucks to have it done and does prevent cracking of plastic pipes if the temperature decides to dip below freezing for a few days.

As well as our gardens, we are keeping busy with bike riding, walking and just talking to the neighbours. Oh...and afternoon martinis on the back lanai. That's "island talk" for verandah or porch.
I am well-tanned already and some folks believe The Mister and I have been away.
Just bountiful Island Sunshine.
Island Life is a busy life and I LOVE IT!

A view from Mount Tzhouhalem
We managed to fit in an afternoon of theatre this week. We saw "Kim's Convenience" at the Chemainus Theatre and yes- it is the play that spawned the charmingly funny television series of the same name.
It was a great show.
We were centre, front row. Nice and close.
I must say seeing the stage with it's Toronto references- including the TTC Subway line stations, I felt a bit Ontario "homesick".
I believe I always will.
I love Toronto.
The noise. The traffic. The theatre. The people. The neighbourhoods. Shopping, Lake Ontario and the TTC.
I used to live in what they were calling Cabbagetown Two, right off Queen Street West. The Beach neighbourhood started a few blocks west of me. I am familiar with Regent Park where Kim's Convenience is set. It's not the nicest of neighbourhoods but it is home to many.

I used to walk along Queen Street to Yonge and the Subway. It kept me fit dong that 45 minute walk twice a day. Past shops like Kim's. Past Moss Park where drunks and addicts laid on the lawn.
Past store fronts where the drunk and sometimes the dead, lay sprawled in the morning sunshine.
Colourful and sad at times.
City life.

Now, the Island is my home.
It's May and the trees- especially the Dogwood, are in full bloom still. Double Pear blossoms in bright pink are lining many neighbourhood streets and apple blossoms proliferate on others.
It's really is kind of magical.

So, I'll keep in touch when I can.
For those of you in Canada's east, I know you too will be outside on warm days dreaming of lush, green gardens and flowering plants.

Gotta love it!
..and write soon, won't you?

Friday, April 27, 2018

ROBBLOG #716 Arbutus Ridge to the Chinese Cemetery

Some of my best blog ideas come to me when I am in the shower.

I dunno why...
In fact, I solve many problems whilst shampooing my hair or scrubbing my face with the same facial scrub Jennifer Aniston uses. You know, the one that makes her look like she's 25 again or at the very least airbrushed to hell! In fact- and I may have shared this before, many people mistake me for Jennifer. It must be our bone structure.

So, yesterday when I was showering, getting all squeaky clean, two really good blog ideas popped into my head. I used to take a notebook into the shower with me but I hated trying to peel apart soggy pages in an attempt to read the notes within.
These days if I can't write it down within a few minutes, the ideas pop right out of my head as fast as I get them. I have been trying to bring the ideas back but they are gone forever.
In today's shower I drew a blank, so here are a few mostly unrelated facts that spring to mind.

Gas is careening skyward here on Vancouver Island. It's at 148.9 today. That means it costs upwards to 90 plus dollars to fill up the Grand Caravan. Rumours and threats say it will climb to two bucks a litre for the summer vacation period. I guess some oil company executive wants to purchase a new, multi-million dollar home.

Arbutus Ridge Ocean View
The Mister and I drove to Arbutus Ridge the other day. This is a gated, 55+ community I had looked at several times online before he bought a bit further up island here in Duncan. We couldn't drive onto the development simply because the guard in the gatehouse would say "no way Jose" if we tried and we don't know anyone living there- yet.
It sure is pretty though both in real estate terms- pretty expensive, as well as landscaping- absolutely gorgeous. We did cut through the centre where the road took us. A beautiful golf course crosses the property and some homeowners live right on the Pacific Ocean on Marine Drive. You can see photos online. Just Google "Arbutus Ridge" Vancouver Island.

We have gone plant crazy here on the Island! We are trying many new plants which would have been foreign to us in "old home". Lovely comments are coming our way every day from residents and folks just strolling through Stonewood Village. We know we are on the right track for our landscaping and gardening. Now, we need to be patient and let things simmer and grow. It would also be nice to allow our bank account to grow again- as well as the plants and flowers in our Island Garden.

The weather has been spectacular this past week. Many days in the upper 20's celsius and the sun is bloody hot. Flowers are popping open and the grass is growing like crazy which means more mowing for Tom. He complains but still he loves it! Don't get me started on his affection for the hose and watering. I could write a book.

A few evenings ago we biked along the Trans Canada Trail that runs along the rear of our property. A few kilometres away we came to the Chinese Cemetery. Our friend Tina was along for the ride and all three of us headed up the hill to the cemetery's front gate. We got off our bikes- showing respect, and walked them up the hill towards the graves. The last grave was dug in 1968. The occupants- all male, came from the same Chinese province and worked for the local sawmill in various jobs from labourer to teacher. Canadian law forbade these men to marry. I don't know why. Possibly the same idiot that set up Residential Schools insisted on this rule. Hmmm. Could that be some man from organized religion?
Gate to Cemetery. Red Letters on black board announce 'Chinese Cemetery'
The Sawmill owner donated the land for the cemetery. It is still looked after and recently laid bouquets on our visit were drying in the sun next to stones featuring Chinese lettering. The view to the mountains and the setting sun was awe-inspiring. What a beautiful spot to be laid to rest after a hard life of labour and displacement from one's country of birth.
It was quiet, peaceful and we were respectful of the departed.
It was a lovely moment remembering these hard-working men who helped built this Island and this country of Canada.

We are always finding something new on this Island of ours and who knows, maybe I'll remember what I wanted to write originally and it will spawn a "new" blog.
Wonders may never cease...

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

ROBBLOG #715- No End to Our Good Days

Jesus, Mary & Josephine!
It looks like we've made it to live another day.

April 23rd has come and gone and no "End of Days".
Somebody made a big mistake- again, while prophesying our ruin and subsequent total damnation.

Speaking of total damnation, by now you've heard about that asshole who slaughtered innocent people as he drove and rammed a rental truck along a 2 km stretch of Yonge Street in North York in Toronto on Monday afternoon.
For those folks my heart goes out.
You get up in the morning expecting to make it through your day. You're looking forward to an after work drink or an evening meal with friends, family or co-workers and you don't get to make it through your day.
And why?
All because some maniacal idiot thinks killing people is doing a huge favour for some hateful, revengeful God figure that'll get him into some weird version of Heaven packed with virgins.
Not that the "normal" version of a Heaven isn't weird- it is, however that driver's version is completely f*cked up whether it's virgins or just attention he craves.
The F*ckpot!

These kind of horrendous events used to only happen in places like America or some hot, dust-ridden, god-forsaken country populated only by people in kaftans with camels and sand dunes.
Not so these days.
This can happen anywhere at any time.
As my Mum use to say: when your time is up- your time is up.

We have to make the most of our time here on this plane of existence for our own plug could be pulled at any time. That's why- and I may have said this before, that's why The Mister and I took a chance and moved our whole lives three time zones west to Vancouver Island, Canada.
Oh but it wasn't all fun and games.
It was stressful.
yet Fun.

Being here on Vancouver Island in the city of Duncan has allowed us to relax and breathe. It has given us the opportunity to be outdoors ninety percent of the time since we arrived off the Ferry from Tsawwasen and mainland Canada back in August 2017.

We are not alone.
Lots of Ontarians are doing the same thing and they're not just screaming and running away from the likes of Patrick Brown or Doug Ford- even though those are two great, sound reasons to leave. Maybe a crazy person begging to be shot in the head is a good reason to pack up your old kit bag and get outta Dodge as well.

Weather is a major reason to come here to the Island and retirement.
Double digit temperatures in April- sometimes in February and March, are absolutely unbelievable for Canada.

A few days ago I was at a garden centre where a husband, wife and a red setter doggy named "Murphy" were admiring one of the plants on my cart. It was an Azalea with about a hundred buds all ready to bloom the most brilliant red.
"It's just amazing that I can plant this now- being from Ontario", I said to the couple while patting Murphy on his beautiful puppy head.
She shrieked- "My Husband and I are from Ontario too! Whitby. A year ago!
I said- "Orillia. 8 months ago."

Without a doubt, every second person you talk to here is either from Ontario or has family there. You'd be surprized at how many people know Orillia and have a relation or two there.
I never knew Orillia, Ontario was so worldly. Orillians as well as Ontarians, really get around and staying within the borders of our Canada too.
Health coverage is pretty much the same here.
Language is the same. There's even French s'il vous plait!
Federal laws- the same, of course.
"Island time" is a bit different and one would be amazed at the conversations one can get involved in whilst standing in a check-out line!

So kids, do your research and you'll see what the Island has to offer.
Google information is a few keystrokes away.
Here's something:
Seldom will you hear about us "Islanders" back East.
Seldom will a national weather forecast talk about the Mediterranean climate we live in here in the Cowichan Valley.
Seldom will newscasts report anything west of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

I suggest you do your research soon before another "End of Days" is upon us.
It could have a disastrous effect on the real estate value of your home, so you'll want to sell outside of a "biblical threat".

If Sodom and Gomorrah is Ontario- or even New Brunswick heaven forbid, Vancouver Island is surly "The Promised Land"!

Holy Moses!

Monday, April 16, 2018

ROBBLOG #714 The End of Days

Boy, it's been quite the nasty weather for parts of this wonderful country called CANADA.

Not here on Vancouver Island of course. No, we have been basking in double digit temps while planting our lavender, palms, banana plants and such. Unfortunately, some of you have seen rain, freezing rain, twenty to thirty centimetres of snow, ice pellets, high winds, Doug Ford ranting about being Ontario's next Premier and even more snow and freezing rain and wind.

It's been horrendous for Easterners to say the least.

So what the feck gives?
Think about it.
Cold, snow, power outages, accidents, the west bombing Syria, unusual April weather...
For Goodness sakes People, it's the end of days as in the Prophecy.
You know- in the Good Book.

The date is nigh.
It's Monday April 23rd, 2018.
The day when thousands of you will be raised up to Heaven and millions of dead people- stuck in their coffins and whatnot underground for years, will accompany you.
It's not a pretty sight but once you have arrived in Heaven things will be hunky-dory and smell pretty darn good.

Now, those of us that don't wish to be a part of "The Rapture" and fly upwards on April 23rd should not feel left out. We are not lost- or to be pitied.
We will have 7 days or so- give or take, to come to our senses and fall to our knees to He who rules both Heaven and Earth.
You should know that He has plans on decreasing the surplus population if we don't see things His way.
Even so, it might not be such a bad idea to wait it out.
You know how these massive events can be...
Bad food.
Kids shrieking.
Assholes in front of you holding up the line, asking for better seats as you prepare to fly heavenward.

You should know that there'll be no First Class or Business Class as you fly to Heaven.
No window seats either. Every seat is a window seat.
It's all one contented class. All one BIG happy family.
It's what you have all been waiting for since time began.
Okay, maybe not that far back since the dinosaurs and early man don't count this time around but it is good news for those of you from Adam and Eve- or Adam and Steve, onwards.
You'll all be saved and fly equally.
By the way, I am not certain that you'll get air miles for this Rapturous Flight.

I have to come clean here. Perhaps, it's not exactly true that you'll all be treated equally.
You see, the Catholics- who practise the only true religion, will probably fly up front first as millions attempt what Sister Bertrille- Sally Field in real life, so ably accomplished on TV a few decades ago.

What a day this will be.
Monday April 23rd.
Circle the date on your calendar or make a notation in your "palm pilot".
The ends of days is upon us.
Good thing I didn't buy those Stampeders' tickets last week!
Oh My Lady- that was a close one!

So you all have a great and glorious day as you prepare for the inevitable and the "final" great and glorious day.

See you next time right here on my Blog...
or- maybe not...

Monday, April 9, 2018

ROBBLOG #713 Back to Bleeker Street

On Bleeker Street

A seemingly quiet, sunny Thursday Afternoon around 2:15 pm on Bleeker Street...

Jane: Holy Shite Blanche!!

~Blanche drives her wheelchair into the parlour where Jane is reading the Daily Rag, smoking a Players Plain Cigarette~

Blanche: Why, whatever is the matter Jane Dear?

Jane: This! This story here in the paper is absolutely disgusting. That's what it is. ~puff, drag, puff~ Plain, F&%#ing disgusting.

Blanche: What has you so upset in that filthy rag you're reading.

Jane: Blanche Dear, this rag as you call it ~puff, puff~ gives me wide variety of unbiased news and information!

Blanche: Oh what for instance?
~Blanche wheels back to the kitchen. Jane follows and sits on a stool~

Jane: Like this story right here on Page 11.

Blanche: This is the story that has you so upset I heard you screaming from the pantry cupboard.

Jane: Yes that's the F*^$ ing  story I mean Blanche.

Blanche: Well what is it Jane? Let me have it.

Jane: Oh Blanche Darling ~drag, puff, puff~ I would love to let you have it. I'd love to take that wheelchair you sit in like the cock of the rock and pound it to shit with a big sledgehammer!!

Blanche: Sister Dear, you say the nicest things! ~smirk~ So, what is it this time? Has the price of ciggies gone up- again?

Jane: Worse. This fellah in F^#+ ing England is giving his frostbitten toes to some bar up in the Yukon.

Blanche: Whatever for?

Jane: To use in a Gawd-Damned drink. That's what for. It's disgusting.

Blanche: Well, this time I must agree with you. The poor guy losing his toes...

Jane: Feck that Blanche! ~puff, puff~ What a perfectly good waste of Vodka!!

Blanche: Oh Dear. I should have guessed...

Monday, April 2, 2018

ROBBLOG #712 A Piece of Our Island

Holy Smokes People!

The Mister and I have been in Palm Villa here in the Cowichan on Vancouver Island for four months and already people are saying the nicest things!

Comments from- you have a beautiful home to your home is a "showplace", the accolades are coming our way already. I really must confess, I did not think we could outdo Pine Tree House back in Orillia, Ontario- perhaps we never will.

However, folks passing by are commenting on our lawn and gardens and of course our Windmill Palm. Our yard and gardens are smaller compared to what we had in Ontario but we are packing the plants in wherever there's a bit of space.
We must be on the right road.
We're hearing:
Lovely Gardens.
Lovely house.
Just lovely.

We have a red Muskoka Chair and matching wooden bench in a landscaped area just along the south side of the house.
How cozy.
How charming.
Nice red colour!
We are hearing all this and more.
I think colour wins the race and we love colour.

Brilliant Apple Red seating with bulldozer and Dirt in the background
Dale and Janet who cleaned our home before we took possession, stopped me this week as they were driving by to say they have cleaned almost every home in Stonewood Village and ours is the nicest inside.
How nice is that??
I don't now what this is based upon.
Interior colours?
All of the above?
Again it is so nice to hear.

We hope to get the rest of our Daylillies in the ground within the next week, The landscaper has to bring us more than a few shovelfuls of dirt to fill up our backyard first. In a couple of weeks our new year-round gazebo will be built. What a treat not having to take a canvas roof down every year as the first snowflakes fall. Here on the Island, these structures withstand Island weather- year-round.

Our Lanai. New construction in the background- from $520,000!
These days cherry blossoms, dogwood, azalea bushes and camellias are all out in bloom.
Colours of pink and burgundy, white and purple. A drive down city streets is absolutely beautiful. Throw in the brilliant yellow from forsythias and it's a feast for the eyes!

We still have more ideas for our gardens and we'll work hard at making them even better.

For many years we saw pictures of the beauty of springtime here on Vancouver Island but it is quite overwhelming to see it in person.

It makes one's heart sing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

ROBBLOG #711- Another Visit With the "Big Guy"

Time for another short chat with "The Big Guy" upstairs

~ ring, ring-a-ling!

Me: Hello there Sir, It's me Rob.

BG: Hello Rob. I know it's you.

Me: You do?

BG: Yes, I am Omni-present you know. I've told you that before. I am everywhere. I knew you'd be calling yesterday, so I cleared my desk of appointments for today at this time.

Me: Wow! That's amazing!

BG: Now Robbie- I can call you that can't I?

Me: Sure. Who am I to judge?

BG: I remember when you were just a little nipper your Mum and Dad called you Robbie. Good times. Anyway, what's with the ring-a-ling? I want folks to know that you and I are not communicating on a "real" telephone or we're not texting or facebooking. We are talking in your mind- right?

Me: Yes, of course. Have I led people to believe otherwise?

BG: Well, you know how easily people can be lead. I just wanted to make that clear. You know, a lot of people over the years have claimed to have talked to me.

Me: Like who?

BG: Well,  all of the Popes. That cute little gal at Lourdes and of course Andre Scheer and Doug Ford. And that's only a small list.

Me: I see. Quite a list. Gee, you must be getting really busy this time of the year.

BG: Oh Robbie, you don't know the half of it. By the way I saw your Dad- Walter, the other day and he says to say hello. He's doing good. Sends his love.

Me: That's nice.

BG: And your friend Sue. Sorry she had to leave all of you. We're just getting her settled in and she's still in a state of flux. The Angels are helping her along. She looks terrific in her new wings by the way.

Me: You always have a way of making me feel better.

BG: That's my job. Sometimes people let their minds get all muddled and confused- and angry. I am here to calm things down- if I'm asked of course. I never barge right in.

Me: That's nice of you. So Easter, eh?

BG: Yes. I still like Christmas best but I mean what's not to like about Easter with all that chocolate and bunnies and stuff.

Me: Oh, sure but I thought you'd be a little more involved with the religious side of the holiday?

BG: Oh I can be. If that's what people want- or need. I am not here to decide for anyone. People have to do that for themselves. I didn't make up religion- the earth folks did that. You let a bunch of men write a book and it creates a movement. It's happened many times over the centuries. I just sit up here and smile. Sometimes it gets a bit much and I get real sad ~pause~ you know...

Me: Really? You?

BG: Well the killings, the wars, the hate, the unnecessary things people say to each other. Look Robbie, it's a beautiful world and planet you have. Why fuck it up? I should have let women be in control. Wait, I mean women should have taken control. Look if a kd lang was the Queen of Earth, things would be much different. Or a Jann Arden. Without so much cussing of course.

Me: I guess men have started a lot of bad things in the History of the World- even today it continues.

BG: Not all men. Fellahs like Gord Downie or Justin Trudeau or even yourself have changed people's minds.

Me: Me?

BG: Don't tell me that you don't know all the good you've done and the example you've set for many Gay men and Straight folks alike. You lead the life you were meant to live. Wasn't that a theme at your wedding?

Me: It was. It was on the invitations. Nice that you remember that.

BG: Oye! I remember everything! Some days it's to much but you know what?

Me: What?

BG: Some day, way far away from now, it'll all be worth it. Then I'll only remember the good things because it will all be good. The world needs that. What did Jackie de Shannon sing? What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love.

Me: Hey! You like 60's music.

BG: Well, Rob. That's when music was music. I am not quite hip to this "hop" stuff but my Son tells me it takes all kinds to make a world.

Me: I guess he has some pretty bad memories to deal with this time of the year?

BG: How so?

Me: Well, Easter and all. Death and resurrection and such...

BG: Again Robbie-Bobby. Words in a book that mortals claim that I told them to write.

Me: Did you?

BG: Depends on what you want to believe. It's not up to me. Hey, you better get a move on. You and your husband Tom are going to Costco- aren't you?

Me: How did...I

BG: It's that Omni-present thing again. So Robbie, time to turn off that little voice in your head and hang up now. It's been an absolute delight chatting with you one again and just one little thing before I toddle off to my Easter egg painting class...

Me: What's that?

BG: Not too much chocolate young man! You've gotta watch that "Girlish" figure of yours. Hah. Hah!

Me: Later Big Guy...

Monday, March 26, 2018

ROBBLOG# 710 Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Here Comes Peter Cottontail!
It's Easter.

Sweet little bunnies, baskets of eggs, mouth-watering chocolate, new hats and outfits, spring flowers and thoughts of warmer days just ahead.

Then, there's the Christians.
Oh My Dears...
It's the time of the season to think about death, pain, torture and sin.
Then, more torture, blood, whipping, palms being waved in the air, a little more blood and a resurrection from being dead for three whole days-
In that heat?

The Good Book has both Lazrus being resurrected by Jesus and Jesus being brought back to life by his Dad- The Heavenly Father, only to be seen first- in his resurrected state, by a Harlot who just happens to be the first recorded case of a "Fag Hag"... in my humble "Atheist" opinion.

Of course being brought back to life after being dead for a bit is "biblically balanced" by the Son of the Almighty being birthed by a young- possibly under 16 years old, Virgin child.

Now, if an alien were to be told some of these things their response would be-
Of course the alien in question would have to be super advanced and see the humour in the situation especially when told that millions of earthlings believe in this stuff- many word for word.

So Easter.
Jerusalem is booming with both Christians and Jews flocking to the Holy City to be near to God. Many get carried away- quite literally, to hospitals. These folks get so caught up in believing this stuff that they fall ill.
It's call the Jerusalem Syndrome.
Wikipedia- where everything is true, describes the condition as- “A group of mental phenomena involving the presence of either religiously themed obsessive ideas, delusions or other psychosis-like experiences that are triggered by a visit to the city of Jerusalem.”

Psychology Today says - "People have been found wandering in the Judean desert wrapped in hotel bed sheets or camped in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, convinced they will soon be birthing the infant Jesus."

For Jews the whole City of Jerusalem is a special place. From the Wall to the Dome of the Rock to the very air and sky. There's a belief that the sky and earth meet in Jerusalem.
Maybe just outside a local McDonalds.

I've been reading about some over-the-top believers saying they are actually Jesus or at the very least his cousin- the unwashed, fur-wearing John the Baptist. I haven't read anything- so far, of any gal convinced that she is Mary Magdalene, the "holy" trollop who hung around with Jeeze and the Boys.

It is a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World- isn't it?

Only last week we had a bible-thumping neighbour yelling bible verses down the street after us because I had said- "Not my Book, Not my Belief" to him when he first quoted something about trees and petroleum from the bible.

Fuckety-Fuck! (my new favourite expression)

Jesus- right after Mary Magdalene told a knock-knock joke
Maybe I am wrong here but I do not think the word "petroleum" is actually in the Bible, let alone verses regarding pulp and paper mills killing Canadian trees to make newsprint for European publications.
Am I wearing a tee shirt these days saying "Religious Zealots Pick On Me"?
Thank the Good Deity for having several Island Atheists living in close proximity. I mean we can dance naked around open fires swilling copious amounts of wine pretty much anytime we choose these days.
I am happy that I am not alone in my beliefs.
Not so much a "belief" as a "lifestyle"- you know like the Christians believe we Gays and Lesbians lead.

Christians can be the most judgemental of all.
Many thrive on it...not all.

Esther and Marge on Easter Morning in church for instance:

(Christ the Lord Has Risen Today being sung in the background)

Esther: "Oh Look at that hat June is wearing Marge. Looks like something outta the local thrift shop or dump."

Marge: "Yes, I do vow. Oh but she's a real tramp anyway.
At least that's what Bertha Phillips over at the laundromat says. A different man every week but that hat- a real dog's Breakfast!"

Esther: "Praise the Lord, ain't that so..."

So Easter.
For those "Atheists" in the crowd, enjoy your chocolate and new shoes.
For all others, whatever turns your crank.

However, be careful and be smart- especially if you head out into the Saskatchewan Desert wrapped in a Motel 6 bedsheet looking for a vision from Andrew Scheer.

Friday, March 23, 2018

ROBBLOG #709- Seven is my Lucky Number

There once were a couple of boys.
Men actually...

Who decided to uproot and move away from everything they knew, loved and felt comfortable with.
They packed pets, pots, pans and paraphernalia and moved a long way away. So far away in fact, they found themselves living on an Island in The Pacific just off the west coast of Canada.

How romantic.
How different. Gas is $1.37!
Island life is slower.
The air is warmer. Winters milder and the ocean air adds a couple of years to your life.

These boys- now men, made the trip, settled down and grew new roots.
They are both very happy to say that today- Friday March 23, 2018 marks the 7th completed month of life here on Vancouver Island.

Of course, you have guessed by now that the men are The Mister and me.
I am not going to bore you with a repeat of everything I have told you on this Blog the past seven months.

What I want to tell you is that anything is possible if you want it bad enough.
Change is never easy but then staying stagnant isn't either.
I think we all get to a point where we just feel comfortable and we feel we have already changed enough. Just maintain the status quo day after day, month after month, year after year.
Don't ruffle feathers.
Don't do something unexpected.
I say- Poppycock!
Banana Oil!
Fuckety- whuckety, fuck, fuck that!

We walk a lot on our Island PHOTO CREDIT: Tina
Even I thought I was getting too old to change. I told friends and family that they'd have to carry me out of "Pine Tree House"- our old home in Central Ontario, in a "pine" box!
Yet, here we are seven months later completing seven months of a huge change.
I look at those words "seven months" and can hardly believe it myself.

If you are contemplating change and just maybe you are at this time of the year being a winter-weary Ontarian (or Easterner), I want to tell you that you can do it!

Yes, you will leave friends and family behind.
Yes you have to have stamina and nerve and some cash.
Yes, you have to look to the future and bury the past for the past is just that- The Past!
Time is fleeting.

There are three Ontario Couples living in this new development besides us. A couple from Woodstock- formerly Barrie and another from Burlington- formerly King City not far south of our old home in Orillia.
Others are from Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria. One half of one couple is from the south- Mr. Cheezeface country. I don't know if he is still a Yank or not but he's quite funny and friendly.

It might be something to think about.
No pressure.
It's just the first step of many in the "rest of your life"!