Sunday, July 15, 2018

ROBBLOG #729- A Fractured Island Fairy Tale


Our Daughter called the other evening from Medicine Hat.

Now, I know what you're about to say-

"Rob, Dear, you don't have a daughter in Medicine Hat."

That is true.
Our daughter Carol lives in Calgary.
Again, I can read your mind.
Calgary? Daughter? WTF??

Once again, I stand corrected.
Carol is our daughter-in-law. She's married to our first son- Michael.
Now, just stop it!
I am about to tell you why she was in Medicine Hat. Carol and Michael were visiting Carol's Aunt Maude who has lived in The Hat for these past twenty years. Up until that time, she lived back in Ontario. In Oakville. Maude was a teacher at Sheridan College. She taught voice and boy was she good at it! Standing next to her at a public event whilst singing O Canada will put the shame of Judas in one's vocal abilities.
Maude's first husband passed many years ago and she hooked up with Harley a few years back and for whatever reason, they decided to settle in The Hat.
I don't ask, quite frankly.

Anyhoo, Carol and Michael- who live in Calgary, were visiting Aunt Maude celebrating her 68th Birthday. Maude loves Jann and John Michael.
Jann and John Michael?
I wish you would all keep up with me!
Jann and John Michael are our Grandkids.
Jann is 12 and John Michael is 10. They both love their Grandpa Tom. Oh, they love me too but I am the one who refuses to leave the cookie jar on the counter when they visit. Whereas Grandpa Tom helps the kids steal chocolate chip cookies on a regular basis. They even sketch a treasure map of sorts to plan their evil cookie heist.
Good Gawd.
Tom is so good with those Grandkids.

I love this shot of Carol & Michael
Michael- our son (in case you are experiencing a bout of early dementia) and Carol, married 15 years ago in a beautiful little ceremony in Orono, Ontario- not far from Peterborough, where Carol's parents still live. They raise mini-schnauzers and have for 25 years or more. That's a story for another time.
They finished university at Trent in Peterborough and married in June of 2003. The kids came along a couple of years later.
Do the math.
By the way, I am not posting my Grandkids pics on the Internet and that is that.

So Carol called to say hi and forward greetings from Aunt Maudie. She asked how the celebration plans were coming along. I said fine. She still insists to arrange the flowers.

Wait...you are probably wondering- "What Celebration?"
Do keep up...
Tom and I celebrate one year on the Island on August 22nd and the kids want to make a big deal of it.
The Mister and I are letting them.
Kids, eh?

Then, just this morning, another call came our way. Tom was out front watering so I picked up the phone after reading the display.
This time the call was from Brad and David.
They moved to Vancouver Island- Victoria to be specific, in 2016. They had cajoled and pleaded with Daddy Tom and I to join them for over a year.
We had been thinking about it for almost two years and once Tom retired from his "In Charge" position with Air Canada- yes he was a stewardess for 42 two years, we set plans in motion.

Besides our Brad and David, I don't think I have ever seen anyone so excited as Joy and the Twins- Michael and Brad Junior, when the Homo Grandads finally moved into our new home in the Cowichan.


David and Brad (right)  Aren't they cute?

Now, once again I can read your minds!
Brad? David?
You have Gay sons??
Yes!
Well, only Brad is ours. What do they call it- blood related?
Brad was born twenty eight years ago from a surrogate Mum. I'll call her Michelle because we can't tell you her real name. It's a part of the original contact we signed with her. Brad could officially belong- DNA-wise, to either if us and NO we don't know and we never care to know. He's our son and that's that.

Oh My Goodness, you people ask a bunch of questions.
Michael is adopted.
Carol's Michael.
Look, just read the opening few paragraphs if you are still scratching your head.

Now, Brad's husband David is our son. Our son-in-law- through marriage, six years ago. We love those boys to bits. Chips off the "old blockheads"- Tom and I.

Joy- our Granddaughter, is six and the twins are four and yes, they are a handful to be sure. Brad and David have their hands full but Colleen, their live-in Nanny is spectacular and makes their life easier.
We are not sure what they'd do without her. She even comes up island with the kids for a weekend now and then to give the "Boyz" a break and she is a hoot. She has magic charms when it comes to looking after our Grandkids. Colleen gets a break too when she's here in the Cowichan. We tell her to go have a spa day or go shopping. Then, we all go out to dinner.
We have a blast!

So, Brad calls and says he and David have found another caterer they'd like us to see and talk with him.
Goodness!

Hennaway, Tom and I are heading to Victoria soon to meet Mr. Marcel.
I kid you not!!
When Brad said his name was Mr. Marcel, I just couldn't stop snickering. At first Brad was stern with me over the phone, you know, just snorting and giggling in between sentences. I knew he was covering the phone with his palm. Soon he joined in the guffaws for real.

Brad says that Mr. Marcel would appreciate the laughter. He is apparently very easy-going.
David picked up the extension and admonished us saying we needed to "grow up!"
NEVER!
I will never "grow up". David knows that- just as well as he knows his kid's first names.

Anyway the plans are in motion and The Mister and I are looking forward to a rollicking good time.
Oh...
Brad passed the phone to little Joy and she asked if the Grandpas were going to invite any Drag Queens to the party.

I chuckled.
Maybe. Just maybe we will Dear...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

ROBBLOG #728- Why Not?


I'm telling folks I'm running for Mayor.

A week ago a big vote was cast on joining the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan together. Since then-while talking to neighbours, I learned that not the Mayor nor a single counsellor in Duncan even lives in the City.
We don't either.
The Mister and I live in North Cowichan, which has it's own Mayor and Council too.
It's complicated.
Oh. The vote?
The vote failed and unfortunately like a bride leaving the groom standing at the altar, we remain estranged from the City of Duncan. Duncan is the smallest city in Canada by area.
One Square Mile.
Our address is Duncan but our taxes go to North Cowichan. I recently heard that Duncan needs help financially and once 500 more people live within it's borders they'll have to fork over more money for police protection- which they don't have.
So why didn't Duncanites vote for amalgamation?
I don't know.

I also heard North Cowichan helped Duncan paint arrows and crosswalks on City Streets because they lack the funds. Lots of stuff is painted on roads here. One of the reasons is there's no winter snow or ice covering the streets, so fewer street signs and more road markings. This takes a bit of getting used to. Crosswalks are everywhere. There's a profusion or arrows pointing this way and that. Many crosswalks are having new lights installed that flash when you push a button to safely stop traffic when one wants to get to the other side.
Sounds like a chicken joke..

Hennaway, (another chicken joke) me running for mayor. That may be a joke too.

Rob Reid for MAYOR
       Why not?

That's my slogan.
I know. It's empty. Void of political promise but then aren't most political promises?
Well, except for Ontario's Ford. He's ripping apart everything he can in Ontario- as promised. I can't believe that asshole is reverting to the 1989 version of sex ed for Ontario's kids.
what the Fuck is it with right-wing conservatives?
I wished they'd run away and start their own country- like in the jungles of South America or someplace.
Jeesh!

He's Mad! Absolutely Mad as a Hatter.
So me for Mayor?
It's just conversation.
I am having you on. Pulling your leg. I couldn't stand the political life.
I mean if I was Queen of Canada, that would be fine. I can hear the snickers...
Just stop and no "Gay Queen Jokes"!
As Queen I would enjoy cutting some ribbons like at the opening of a new No Frills store. I'd love watching the Snowbirds fly past for my birthday- which isn't but should be a national holiday even today. I could "rock" a crown or a tiara and I would be a goodly, kind and benevolent Queen. Anyone I didn't like or distrust would be told to royally "piss off". In fact I'd have that on my letterhead:

PISS OFF.
I am the QUEEN.
Deal with it.

Now, as I think about it, even without an official Queenly crown, I still tell people to piss off. I promised myself I would not be politically motivated living here in the Garden of Eden on Vancouver Island but I have had a couple of conversations with those in command.

I have also made it clear I have no use for the Strata. Usually, Strata is a little band of folks who thrive on telling other folks what to do. In Ontario it's Condominium Boards. Here in British Columbia it's Strata Councils and they suck. Joining the Strata council- for some, is the opportunity for these folks with nothing better to do, to tell people with something better to do, what to do. It's like we're children and have to be told-
"Put that down!" "Don't touch that!" "You can't do this!"

Our home is in a "free-land Strata". We own our property and house but the streets and the common parkway path behind our home is owned by everyone in the development and lorded over by the Strata Council with a paid- yes paid, leader who "manages" all the funds collected from each homeowner which currently amounts to 60 bucks a month.
I hear you saying- "Rob, that sounds like a Dictatorship."
I will let you decide.

Many folks don't understand Strata and believe it is all-encompassing here in our neighbourhood. I try to educate those folks who think that Strata dictates everything we do including the brand of toilet paper we choose.
Not true.
My advice if you were to move to BC?
STAY AWAY FROM STRATA OF ANY KIND.

Now, becoming Mayor would not allow me to make Strata null and void. It doesn't work that way. I have neighbours and friends on the Strata and that's fine. They keep a watchful eye on what is going on.
Our development is pretty.
Nice people live here.
Our house is a showplace- if I do say- and I do but so do folks walking by.
We work hard at the exterior appearance of Palm Villa- and it shows.

So Mayor? Queen?
Hmmmm... Not likely but at least it's something to talk about over coffee.

Monday, July 2, 2018

ROBBLOG #727- Almost a Year Already?


Summer is in full swing here on the Island.

Our first Canada Day Holiday and The Mister and I had 12 for a Bar Bee. It was a blast and I even got my wobbly dining room tabletop repaired.
What a laugh it was!!
Three Gay Guys- all ladies if you will, a heterosexual woman- a nurse in case there were unintended injuries and a straight man- a cobbler, all working together to fix our table.
Can you picture it?

At one point I was asked for wooden toothpicks.
WTF??
I don't know where the toothpicks are- yet. In fact I have given up the search. Obviously they have disappeared in our Island move. So, I improvised.
You know those tiny, colourful umbrellas that one sticks into summer drinks?
It was all I had and apparently six umbrellas were destroyed in the pursuit of a non-wobbly table top.
We all have to make sacrifices during these times.

The team was well-satisfied with their work in progress, then they made a further request of a large, thick screw...
~ahem~
It may have been the delivery. Maybe the party atmosphere.
I personally felt the huge guffaws resulting from such a request was the fault of the vodka, rum and /or wine. I'd like to say it was Doug and Bert's hats that cause the laughter and titters but they had removed them by that point. Oh, if anyone comes across a red speedo with a maple leaf emblazoned across the pouch, let me know. I'll advise Doug!


Almost a year you say? Already??
While I'm advising folks, how can I convince two mainland Vancouverites- Jim and Karl to buy a F***ing Smartphone. Honestly Ladies, it's 2018 not the middle ages.
By "middle ages", I mean the 1960's"!!

So, here we are working our way through July. I honestly do not know where the time has gone. Next month- on August 22, Tom and I will celebrate one year on this Mediterranean climate-infused Island in our beautiful Canada.
How fortunate are we to live in such a country and specifically such a Garden of Eden.
Adam would be pleased- with or without his fig leaf.

While the east suffers under "exhaustive" heat, Vancouver Island has been temperate- in the mid 20's, with no humidity. We can leave doors flung wide open because we don't have bugs. Well, not exactly true, I have heard reports of "two" mosquitos in the Cowichan.
I mean, how do we live with that? Where's the bug spray?

Our adventures continue here on this Isle,
We meet new friends.
Make new discoveries.
Smirk at winter year round.

Now, an additional two folks from Orillia, Ontario make their home on this Island.
My Gawd!
Soon, Orillia will be nothing short of a Ghost Town.

We apologize for that Orillia.