Friday, November 15, 2019

ROBBLOG #808- Four letter words: Snow. Cold.

I received photos, emails and texts from friends and family back in Ontario this past week.

It seems something strange happened.
Well, two things actually.
It was even reported in the news.

It snowed.
It got cold.

I'd say the usual.
It's November and it snowed and got cold in Ontario.
People forgot what -15 Celsius felt like.
They do every year.
I used to do that too. I would conveniently forget-
That water freezes.
That driving is awful.
That a shovel is required to clear sidewalks and driveways.

Do I miss Ontario living here on Vancouver Island with the green grass, mild sunshine, occasional showers and no -15 Celsius temps?
I must admit, I miss the "idea" of snow.
You know, that first snowfall when everything is clean and white and the dead leaves, brown grass and twiggy bushes are dusted with the white stuff.
The picture postcard views.
I miss the clear, crisp smell of snow when it covers lawns and hedges but not on the roads and sidewalks.

Our yellow lab Kiki and our mini-schnauzer-Missy, loved the snow when we were in Ontario. Both these girls have passed over the Rainbow Bridge now but we still have videos of each of them frolicking in the snow. It was fun to watch and a brisk walk in puppy coats for them and hats, scarves and gloves for the Mister and I will always be a part of my memories not only of Orillia but of Kiki and Missy.

Once the Christmas Holidays passed, the romantic idea of snow and cold would leave come January when every day was the same- more cold and more snow.
Snow then cold.
Winds, snowsquall advisories and of course cold.

Orillia Downtown in 1952. Snowbanks loom just as large in 2019
It was difficult to go to the grocery store for milk some days.
Driving on slippery roads was a magic trick of sorts. I must say I was pretty good at it but don't ask me to pull a rabbit from a black, felt top hat!
I can remember driving way west out of my normal routing on city streets just to avoid hills in our North Ward neighbourhood. On winter hills in Orillia, cars spun out and slipped and skidded at four way stops.
The city plied sand on top of snow-covered streets.
It never helped.
I know because I drove those streets for decades.
At least driving around and about and taking the less hilly route home, I was able to drive into a convenient Tim Horton's for a large coffee with milk.
My reward.
Then, leaving the Tim's lot I turned left and then right driving carefully down a snow covered hill and left along a one-way street eventually turning into our triple-wide driveway.

Orillia never seems to get the hang of winter and the fact when it snows usually the flakes cover the streets and sidewalks. Maybe Orillia should pick up and move the city west where umbrellas and mud and snow rated tires are all that's requited. That's the tires with the little triangle on the side and sometimes the letters "M&S" or a snowflake logo.
I mention this because these tires are required to be on vehicles October through April when crossing over the Malahat to Victoria. The Malahat might have snow at it's 1200 foot summit and it's good to have the required tires.
If you don't there's a large fine waiting for you.
Of course you can refrain from driving over the top until spring.

Back to Orillia.
My brother was complaining about snow-covered streets this past week even though I read in the hometown "online" newspaper that the city had bought two new plows and hired more snow removal people.

Maybe Ontarians get a little too anxious to have the snow scraped from streets immediately after it falls. It takes time and a lot of patience.
Listen to that...
Wise-winter words from a westerner who lives just about as far west as one can get in this country.

Oh, in case you were wondering.
I still have three pots of geraniums blooming at the front of the house and a huge fern enjoying mild, light-filled days on the Lanai.
The magnolias, laurels and palms are still green and the Oregon Grape, Camelias and Heather are all getting ready to bloom soon.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

ROBBLOG #807- Hexit

Oh for Fuck Sakes!

Now, Alberta wants to leave Confederation!
Is there a #Hexit on our country?
First it's the French, now the cowboys and rednecks- acknowledging that not all Albertans are Rednecks and Cowboys. Not that there's anything wrong with a cowboy in a nice pair of jeans.
It's just that...really.
I mean really- Wexit?

You folks can't even come up with an independent sounding name.
You have to steal from the Brits!
I expected that Justin would have said something by now like-
"You folks realize you're using the Canadian Dollar and you have Canadian Passports and all the old folks get paid Old Age pension from Federal coffers?"
Quiet on Parliament Hill but I expect Justin is going- "For cripes sakes- what now?"

Both Quebec and now Alberta have to realize this leaving nonsense doesn't help CANADA on the world stage.
It's bad.
As a matter of fact, here's a long email I received. Most of it is here verbatim from a fellow by the name of Jed Cockburn over in “Scheer Country”. It's more of a media release of sorts. Jed's from Ropeburn Alberta and he's sent me his words of wisdom before- back in the Harper Years.

So, Jed says- allegedly...

"Let me tell you Easterners and BC'ers about us God-Lovin’, golf-fearing folks who live in the wide open spaces the way nature intended."

Note: Some of this email sounds vaguely familiar and I have a feeling Jed didn't do much of a re-write from the pissed-off piece he sent back a decade ago when I had posted a Blog about good old Stephen.

He continues:

"I live here in Ropeburn. Ropeburn, Alberta. Population 1,002.  That's a tad down from 1,112. Some of them dang fools took off to Ontario and BC looking for a better life. Hoping the grass is greener. I can tell ya- it's not. Everyone knows that God Blesses Alberta- and that's a fact.
He said so straight from the pulpit last Sunday and he's no liar.
The Reverend Hodges I mean- not God.

Anyhow we still got a few of them “Mary Worshippers” living here and they have my blessing to leave this golden province whenever they want and they can take their beads with 'em!
Bunch of hippies!

Ropeburn’s located a yank of a cord and a hop, skip and step in a southerly direction from the big city and is known for it's fine “Western Hospitality”.
Y'all can probably feel that from these here words I am writing.

Now look.
This Wexit stuff.
It's fer real.
Here in Ropeburn we got a community centre, library, a nice downtown filled with shops, a dozen or so churches- albeit mostly Baptist ones.
What we don't got is Liberals.
I know Jesus says we gotta love everyone but for the love of Christ those folks that follow every word that that Trudeau fella preaches. Well, they oughta take a good look at themselves and see that it's just not right following one person like that believin' every damn word they say.
I mean what kinda people do that?
May Jesus forgive me for being so harsh.
I mean the Protestant Jesus not that Pope's Jesus.
Good Lord is it any wonder people pee on the Catholic shrubs at their temple doors or steal the Catholic Baby Jesus from the Catholic Nativity display every Catholic Christmas?
I think I heard it was them Presbyterian Pre-teen Bible Study kids. Doing the peeing I mean.

Now, the Indians across Bone Marrow Lake were here first or so we've been told and we don't wanna rock that totem pole anymore than we have already. Originally they inhabited the side of the lake that Ropeburn here is built on but years ago we very nicely asked them to move across to t'uther side of the lake.
Yes, it is a bit rockier than this side and the water's not as clean and the dump is within spittin' distance. Now don't judge us harshly. We let the Mexicans come north to pick our radishes and move the outhouses on the property encircling all that arable land they work.
That's gotta mean sumthin.
I mean we're not all like them Quebecers and their immigration stuff.

So we got all this goin' on and the rest of this country wanna know why we wanna set up our own parliament? Gives yer heads a shake- especially that Ontario.

Listen, we just wanna have control over our own destinies and by the cripes if we wanna vote Conservative for another hundred years we will- ya gotta know that!

Now as far as them folks who don’t know how to finish the Lord’s Prayer in the proper fashion or them Liberals or NDP folks- that are both one in the same in my mind at least, we say good riddance.
If you can’t stand the right stuff- get out of Ropeburn!

Anyhoo, we proud folks in Ropeburn want you to know that we think your lick-ass treatment of that Mr. Trudeau is wearing a bit thin- like cheap “rubber condums”, especially after this so-called Federal Election.
What a pussy of a vote that was.

Here at our next our Town Council meeting, we're jumpin' on the separation band wagon. We've even named the town park Kenny Green and he isn't even that sure about his party leaving confederation.
Look Mister Kenny- shit or get off the Conservative pot!

Most of us Albertans couldn’t be happier than pigs covered in poo if we walk away from this country.
I can hardly wait to see that Liberal leader’s face when we do. We already got a big banner stretched across the town square saying "Gotta Go Go!". The banner was made by old Mrs. Cutone who went and dug it out of an old chest she keeps in the basement. It was used a few decades ago by the local hockey team- The Ropeburn Rabbits when they were in the hockey finals.

Anyway when- not if, when we leave, it'll be a party. The booze will be flowin' if Billy Parsons gets his contraption repaired in time- wherein he makes a very tasty “communion wine”. Sarah Kuntner will probably make a stack of her famous groundhog burgers too.
But I digress...

Now, Sam Two Rivers from the Chacahatcha Indian Reserve across the Lake isn't too happy about this Wexit. He says why should the tribe give up a good thing just as the money is flowing from the feds and the water is almost worth drinking.

You lefties out there better be prepared to show your Canadian passports at the BC or Saskatchewan border depending on which direction you're comin' from. In the meantime I want you to know we are all prayin' as hard as we can and we think that Jesus and Mr. Scheer are on our side.

Just keep your F’in eyes open and don't cry too much when we're going.
Yours in separation-
Jed Cockburn


There you have it Kids. A #Hexit is afoot with #Wexit.
I think Jed's email speaks for itself and even though I don't believe in her-
Gawd Help us!

Friday, October 25, 2019

ROBBLOG #806- Memories of Childhood

Have I written about my Gramma Reid before?

I am sure she has been mentioned, if not written about in detail. After all I can't remember all that I've
written in eight hundred blogs. In fact when I go way back and read what I posted years ago, it's like reading the writings of another person.

Anyhoo, my Gramma Reid.
My dad's Mum. Lillian.
She left this world on a cold January day in 1965. She actually froze to death because she fell from her back stoop while hanging out laundry.
My Grandmother hanging out laundry on a cold, clear end of January day.

The oil man topping up the tank found her in the snow and carried her inside. I was walking along the street from school minutes before intending to stop in and say hello but my Mum came rushing along just as I reached Gramma Reid's front sidewalk and urged me to go home.
Home was a block and a bit away.
As I walked along clutching my schoolbooks, my Dad came running up Poughkeepsie Street and barked further orders- "Go home and stay there, your sister and brother are there with Mrs. Dwinnell!"
She was a neighbour and lived next door.
I knew something was up.
I just didn't know what. I knew my Gramma had a ticky heart.
Maybe that was it.

Her husband my Dad's father and my Grandad- Norman, had died two days before Christmas in 1963.
That was tons of fun...
I remember that sad Christmas and the prevailing gloom.
My Gramma was so sad. My Dad was quiet and looked down at the floor a lot.
Fifty years Gramma and Grandad had been married now she'd be alone- without "Shorty" a nickname that was attached to him for most of his life.
Being alone happens to all of us- sooner or later.

My Gramma Reid taught me a lot.
Some things she taught me without saying a word.
I wish she were here this minute.
I have a couple of questions for her and I need her advice. I think she pokes me from the next plane of life from time to time. I hear her voice.
I am a lot like her.

Gramma Reid probably put the "Gay" in Gay for me- even before I knew it.
I wonder if she knew I was different?
I loved to go to her house on any holiday or special day.
Around Hallowe'en, I think of the times I'd walk into her dining room and she'd be there making up individual treat bags for all the kids. She'd have "special bags" set aside for "special" kids- like her grandchildren.
She'd have all these treats in bowls on the walnut dining room table and she'd carefully pick a treat from each bowl and tuck it in a little black and orange Hallowe'en bag with a witch or moon or ghost on the side.
All the time she'd spend doing that every year.
Beside her, on the big hutch with the mirror she'd have a Hallowe'en display. Pumpkins, a black cat or two and other spooky stuff. There was usually a centrepiece on the huge dining room table that sat a dozen or more of us at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I wonder where all those decorative items ended up? I didn't get any spooky figurine as a remembrance of her.

50th Wedding Anniversary. This is how I remember my Grandparents.
Christmas was the same.
I'd look in the dining room to see what special display she'd have on the hutch or on the table. It was Gramma Reid who started me collecting my first Nativity set. I still have several pieces that I remember buying at Woolworth's in downtown Orillia.
The price sticker is still on the bottom of the figurines.
It says:
"Woolworth. 29 cents. Hand-painted in Italy"
I chose one of the kings wearing a robin's egg blue robe and gold crown as well as a couple of shepherds. I don't remember what drew me to these specific figures.
Noticeably missing was the Holy Family but in the seventies I bought a stable and enough pieces to complete the entire set. I display it ever Christmas.
It reminds me of her.

She also bought me a Santa Claus figurine one Christmas.
It stands about 10 inches tall.
Santa has a fuzzy red coat, black plastic boots and belt and a fuzzy, white beard.
That was Christmas 1963 and I still have it in a display cabinet.
The one boot has part of a toe missing. Back in the 80's I sat it on the top of a metal fireplace for a minute while I decorated a tree nearby.
The boot's toe melted quickly.
I love that Santa and it started me collecting Santa's.
I have many and I still add one each year.
Don't get me started on who I am leaving all these memories to once I shuffle away from this mortal coil. I have no idea and some nights it keeps me awake thinking about it.
Lillian and Norman.
Other Holidays were well represented on my Gramma's Table and Hutch including St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter and Thanksgiving.

I am sure that's the reason I do the same all year through. Our dining room hutch and table always reflect the season with bunnies, hearts, autumn leaves, pumpkins and more displayed.
In a way I am honouring my Gramma Reid's memory.
It keeps her close and I thank her for all she taught me whether she was aware of the lessons or not.

Even today a charcoal photograph of her- and her brother, looks down upon the dining room table from a ornate golden frame hung on the wall near our hutch.

It makes me feel warm and fuzzy...

Monday, October 21, 2019

ROBBLOG #805- Fah Lah?

Okay. Enough.

Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Fucked up Federal Election and
Hallowe'en (if you're reading this prior to October 31st).

I've had enough. Did you know I practically got thrown in jail while casting my vote on
Auchinachie Street.
Pronounced "Otch in notch ee" you say?
Not on our Island.
It's Oh-hann-a key"!

Anyhoo- A privilege you say?
Only if you can get past the old poussy-faces at the polling station.
My Aunt Mable used to use that term.
Poussy. It fits.
Look, I can't go into detail since Elections Canada has a hot rod shoved up their ass about election protocol and I don't want to be thrown into a Cuban jail.
I think that's how it works.
Canadians who trifle with Elections Canada rules get sent to Cuban jails. I think the People's Party or was it the Communist Party who told me that?
There are double standards in this country and I got caught in the middle.
Onto other happy thoughts- like Christmas.

Just a day or two ago- I thought I'd take a ride and soon Miss Fanny Bright was seated by my side. 
I digress.
That's a partial lyric from Jingle Bells.
Centre Rob.
Centre yourself.
That polling station lady can't hurt you anymore. You have the Liberals on your side. Maybe the NDP- if I had of voted for them.
A day or two ago I purchased my first two Christmas Magazines. Well, you have to buy in October or you miss the entire season. If you wait until December, you'll be buying the spring edition.
What the F**K is it with magazines and their printing dates anyway??

I love Christmas and I love browsing through Christmas Magazines.
I start early- in October.
I always have.
Who am I hurting?- which by the way I asked at that polling station earlier.
I think she thought I was Russian.

I get early ideas for the Holidays when I read my magazines.
I plan decor.
I look for items in stores that mimic what I see in the mags.
I bought Canadian House and Home and my favourite British mag- English Home.
You see, I really want to live in a thatched cottage in the Cotswolds.
I am still dreaming of not only a White Christmas but my cozy, Cotswold cottage.
However, if I tried to live in the UK, they'd exit me- as well as Brexit.
Obexit they'd call it.

Anyhoo, I enjoy peering through the pages and drinking in the holiday decorations and mood.
It's never too early.
Whatever gets you through the year-
or the possibility of a jail term.

I hope you'll all bake me Christmas cakes with files in them.
Actually, a key would be better.
I am no good with tools...

Monday, October 14, 2019

ROBBLOG #804- Dancing in The Street 'cause I Gotta Pee

Holy Pissoir Batman!

I cannot believe it!
I have been to Paris many times- not Paris Ontario which is lovely too, minus the Eiffel Tower, I mean Paris, France.
No, no, no.
Check that.
Men, Pee on the streets of Paris. They always have but the intelligent politicians of Paris decided decades ago to place Pissoirs on many Paris Streets.

"A Pissoir is a structure that provides support and screening of urinals in a public space. It is a French Invention common in Europe."
That's what Wikipedia says.

It is there to help prevent French Men from urinating up against building, trees and motor cars.
What is it with men peeing in public?
I expect it's because they can just reach in their pants, pull out a plum, pee and say "What a good boy am I!"
It's a dirty habit.
To my vast international knowledge, I expected that pissoirs could only be found in France- specifically Paris as well as elsewhere in Europe.

Then, a few days ago while walking along a Victoria Street- here on Vancouver Island,  I come upon this structure on the street in Downtown Victoria:

I thought "What a nice green fence!" but why is there a logo of a man on the side. I walked in to investigate and around the corner I saw this:

Obviously not a pot in which to plant peonies but a pot to piss in!
I couldn't believe it. I took a photo.
Imagine, peeing on the street in Victoria, in Canada!
I have never seen this before. Here's what I've seen in other countries:

Here's a Pissoir in Paris, or below that a convenient, manly-looking street urinal in London.
Hmmm, I don't think so. Pizza Hut must love that parked across the street and just where does the "pee" go?

A Pissoir has it's place I guess and with dogs and men peeing willy-nilly from their willies I suppose it's a terrific idea. This Victoria Pissoir was a bright green not unlike the Paris Pissoirs. If you look at the picture, you can see where a gentleman pissing can quite easily look out between the lime-green slats and watch the world go by on a busy street corner all the while pissing to his heart's content. 

There's no roof on this Pissoirs which allows Jesus easy viewing as he watches grown men pee all the way down from Heaven. One walks from the outside of a Pissoirs to the inside via a swirl that resembles a swirl in a cinnamon bun.
That's kinda fun.
I don't know if one can wash one's hands. I didn't check that out. Maybe the silver box on the wall to the right contains wet naps.

The Paris Pissoirs are rather nice and are in keeping with architecture of the City of Lights. The photo that shows the London urinal above is new to me. I have never seen one of these contraptions on a London street. Doesn't it look like it's just sitting there on the sidewalk and maybe the urine just rolls out from underneath the structure into a curb-side gutter.
In Paris you smell the pee on some streets. In London I don;t believe I have.

Now, as for women, I am sorry gals, there is no Pissoir for you and in this day that is well past the manifesto of Women's Lib. There is nothing that I know of that allows you to sit and pee on a busy city street. If I were you, I'd started making signs and arrange a pee protest as soon as possible.
"Equal Urination for Women!"
Pissoirs for Lady Pee!"
"Let Me Pee where I Will!"

Maybe a federal debate in Parliament is not out of the question or a huge, one day march on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
Give us our Pissoirs!! Give us our Pissoirs!! Give us our Pissoirs!!
I mean this is perhaps as important as pipes for oil.

I dunno. I could be wrong.
I'm no politician just a concerned citizen who has to pee now and then.

Friday, October 11, 2019

ROBBLOG #803- Turkey Day

Thanksgiving My Dears!

I am sure it was just August yesterday...
Now, when we walk our Island neighbourhood there are pumpkins at doorways.
Colourful Mum pots on  front steps.
Some people add stalks of corn and bales of straw.
Here on the Island Palm Trees are still green as are laurels and magnolias, arbutus trees and more.
Thanksgiving looks different here and I would hazard to say never, ever white like parts of Alberta and especially Manitoba have found this weekend.
I mean they don't call it Winterpeg for nothing- do they?

Canadian Geese are flapping their wings overhead leading me to believe I am still in Orillia, Ontario for a brief moment. The geese are here all year round as are robins.
Sometimes- when it's a quiet morning you can hear the "swoosh" of Geese wings as they pass overhead "honking" directions to each other as they search for the nearest- and safest,  patch of lawn or shoreline.

Flower gardens are put to bed.
Not all. The Dahlias and anemones are done.
Geraniums are still flowering and plants such as Camellia and Oregon Grape are setting buds for January. Winter blooming rhododendrons and heather are waiting to give us winter bloom.
Autumn and "Winter" on the island is much much different than elsewhere in Canada. It's our Mediterranean climate. Ponds and fountains are still active. Muskoka Chairs, lawn ornaments and garden gnomes used to be stored away in advance of winter days. Here they remain in the garden or on our front patio. Tidying up the yard is a chore I never looked forward to back east and now I can enjoy sitting in morning sunshine in my favourite yellow Muskoka Chair all the year round.

This Thanksgiving the aroma of turkey and ham, pumpkin pie and roasting apples are wafting from the kitchen.
I like that word.
Our fireplaces are blazing during cooler, Island nights. I love a fire. It's the centre piece of a room.

We take walks with our schnauzer Koko- not to see the colour change in the leaves because there's not much colour here except for brown and yellow. However, a long walk on sunny Cowichan Valley day is lovely.

There may be a morning visit- not too early,  to the Duncan Farmer's Market an outdoor, year-round Market for a special Jack-O-Lantern that will be carved with care and placed in a front window or on a veranda railing come Hallowe'en at the end of this month.

Elsewhere across this magnificent country friends, families and neighours gather to wish the best of the season and are "thankful" for whatever small pleasures are found in this world today.

There's thoughts of loved ones who are no longer sharing our table but always sharing and holding a special place in our heart.

Here's to a great Holiday.

A Happy, Joyous Thanksgiving.
Just being together.
Good times.
Smiles and
Hearty Laughter.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

ROBBLOG #802- Radio Times


That's what I was paid on the 15th and 30th of each month at the first radio station where I was employed. CKMP 1230.
Not much.Cripes!
I know it was back in 1972 but cripes anyway!
I even bought a new car on that salary. A Volkswagen Beetle.
Clementine in colour.
That's orange.
It was actually a Super Beetle.
I was going to buy a regular Beetle for $1999.00 but for a couple of hundred dollars more I could get one of the new Super Beetles with curved dash and two-speed fan.
I was told there was one coming across the Atlantic on a ship and it could be mine if I wanted it.
I did.
I saw it the day it was delivered to the dealer in Orillia, Ontario.
It was covered in a thick, pasty, whitish wax to protect the finish from the salt water on the crossing
over from Germany. The dealership- Ruff Motors, took a couple of days to clean it up and get it ready for me.
I loved that Beetle.

Today, I am thinking about that meager pay today as I record "talk breaks" for Swisssh Radio. Swisssh is a station I have operated on the web for 13 years come March 2020. As if one station wasn't enough, I started another station- Starlite, in 2012.

I wish I got $142.50 today for running these online stations but I don't get a dime.
I do it for Love.
In fact it costs me about $250 a year for the servers to enable Starlite and Swisssh to broadcast to the world and then another yearly cheque paid to SOCAN for the rights to play music.
Who doesn't have to pay out money to buy supplies for a hobby? That's how I look at it.
These days it's a hobby.
It's a part of me I am not prepared to get rid of- yet.
That may happen one day and when it does it will happen suddenly and without warning.

A Cart Machine. Cart 403 would be a cart number of a commercial
I never thought that in the early days of my radio career at stations such as CKPM, CFOR, CHAY FM or CHOO that I'd be doing this radio thing from a studio in my home- but I am.
Nobody knew what was ahead with the world wide web or streaming.
Gosh we used basic stuff back then.
A microphone.
Records- those vinyl things in both 45 rpm and 33 rpm speeds.
A cart machine- it looked like an 8 track before 8 tracks were invented, that allowed us to play commercials and jingles. Sometimes we'd record the music onto these carts so as not to wear out the vinyl on the records. It extended the shelf life of the 45.
Our station logs were all figured out by hand and brain in those days by someone who worked in a department called "traffic". They would plot commercial breaks, news and weather reports as well as anything special that happened throughout the broadcast day.
They were the unsung heroes working on the station logs days in advance of broadcast.

It wasn't until the 90's the radio changed.
I had changed.
I left radio in the 80's all together. When I returned it was all computerized.
The  microphone was still there but now all the music, jingles and commercials were safely stored inside a computer. Station logs were generated by computers.
Announcers were replaced by computers- something we call voice-tracking.
I use VTKing to run Swisssh Radio.
It may sound like I am there- in person, however I'm not.
I can broadcast "live" on Swisssh but I don't too often.
I can sit in my studio for an hour or two and record more than 50 talk breaks and then have my computer programme to insert the breaks throughout the day. It works like a charm really and on the air it sounds professional and as if I was right there in the minute behind the microphone.
It may be cheating but it is what it is.
Maybe one day I'll do a live "show" for an hour or two each day. If I commit I need to be sure.
So far, I am not ready to commit to that.

Who knows?
Maybe for $142.50 twice a month, I'd think about it.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

ROBBLOG #801- Change Please

Distance does funny things.

Not laugh out loud funny. Maybe more funny-interesting.
Being three time zones and a few thousand miles away from where one lived one's entire life is, well- life-changing.
It gives one a different perspective on life and living.

I guess I expected things to stay the same back home in Ontario.
Does everyone think that when a major move is undertaken? Perhaps.
I think you get so far away, that you lose sense of what it was like to live in that "other" place where your entire life was formed and lived. Being removed from that previous "living space" is one thing but living somewhere else and coping with the change is completely different.
It has to be.

It does take some getting used to, however.
I know that first-hand.
Since moving to this Island in the Pacific called Vancouver Island it has taken some thought and perseverance.

Oh, it was all so easy packing up Pine Tree House back in Orillia, Ontario.
The excitement of it all.
The move! The BIG Move!
Then, the reality when you hit the Island and live in a 30 foot RV called Priscilla for a month while your home is being finished.
One day you're told there'll be a delay.
Then a couple of weeks later yet another.
A move to an apartment to at least feel like a normal person in a normal house with a normal roof over your head comes next.
Sometimes that upheaval seems so long ago now.

You have to centre on where you life now and where it will be for the foreseeable future.
The point is you work at making your new community home and you believe that people in "old home" work at keeping things the same.
To wait for your return?
That isn't how the world spins.

There is change back in "old home" it's just that you get so wrapped up in your new home, new places, new people that you forget the world evolves back east.

Change can be as simple as new paint on a neighbourhood door.
New neighbours on the street where you once lived for twenty-five years.
It could be a century building torn down- like my old high school ODCVI that sat a block away from our house. Now, it's just empty space.

Change could be a new building erected on a farmer's field.
New businesses opening where once only rocks and dirt lay and weeds grow.

Change could be a birth or a death.
That's when you realize you are no longer a part of the world that was back home.
A death.
That person who has passed was there all your life and now when you go home, they aren't there to greet you.
Hug you.
Smile at you.
Ask how your new life is unfolding.

It's strange.

At times I feel like I am just on a long vacation and soon all these new people and places will drift away and I'll find myself back in the past, back on the side veranda at Pine Tree House, back to the way things were once upon a time.

I think autumn makes me feel this way, only with a twist these past years. Autumn, when things die off. Streets  become bare of green. Gardens are put to bed and "the social season" begins again to get a body through weeks and weeks of cold, miserable winter.

Living here on the Island this is our third autumn and it is different.
Leaves that change colour are minimal. Most leaves turn brown and fall off from the summer drought. Some trees turn a yellowy-green. Many plants, trees and bushes just stay green.
Green is the colour of autumn here and the colour of what Islanders jokingly refer to as "winter".
Not an Ontario, snow-bound, blustery, freezing rain, bone chilling white winter like Ontario has but a gentle Island time when mother nature replenishes the moisture lost in summer dryness.
If it's an average year, nature brings signs of spring to January and a sign of summer in February when one has to start cutting the grass again.
Last year I remember seeing Islanders cutting grass in December.
We go to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and fireworks from the rooftop of City Hall wearing sweaters and nylon jackets. No winter boots and scarves except worn by those who are followers of fashion. I even slip on a scarf I bought in London or Paris just to be Holiday fashionable from time to time. It's different and a notable change from Ontario where winter drags on every year.

So, I am still getting used to change.
Change is accommodating me.
Most change here on the Island has been gentle. 
The weather which just might be the biggest change is quite nice.
It plays with your mind when you can sit having coffee in the morning sunshine in January. Yes, I'd have a sweater or a hoody on but still try doing that in Ontario in January.
Oh and in front of me is one of three palm trees on our property.

The Mister and I have adapted to this change.
Oh, we love seeing old friends come here!
We enjoy seeing them fall in love with our island- and they do.
We don't have to convince them. Usually by the third day out of nowhere a visitor will say:
"You know, I could live here."

For us, we are certainly Islanders by now since there is a decal on the back window of our van with the words "Island Life".
The "I" in Life is the Island.

Funny, eh?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

ROBBLOG #800- How To Tell Your Kids About Justin

How To Tell Your Kids About Justin's Blackface

In light of this horrible, horrible, shocking disclosure that our Prime Minister once- okay three times, wore blackface, I present this story- keeping in mind as the media has been telling us over and over and over again, that this is shocking, horrific, unbelievable, misdirected, liberal,wrong and the big mother of all words- "Racist".
Well besides "Fuck" that is....

Part I

We look in on a modest two story home in a marginally liberal neighbourhood. A mother decides to sit her son down and have "the talk". No, not about penises and vaginas, about The Prime Minister's Blackface for she had read that she should have a talk with her "son". She read that in the right-wing newspaper called "the Sun" which happened to be laying on the floor in the toilet at work...

Mum: Now Howie, Mummy wants to sit you down and have a talk about Justin wearing blackface.

Howie: Okay Mummy.

Mum: Now Dear, it is not right for a man like this country's Prime Minister to colour his face with black paint and pretend to be a Sheikh or Nat King Cole.

Howie: Harry Belafonte.

Mum: What?

Howie: The Prime Minister wore paint on his face to act like Harry Belafonte and he sang The Banana Boat Song? Day-O?

Mum: He did? Oh, I love that song....anyway, he should not put paint on his face to be someone else.

Howie: Okay Mummy but do you mean like Mr. Brown down at the centre or Ronald McDonald.

Mum: Mr. whozit at the whatzit? No! Ronald McDonald is a clown!

Howie: Well, so is Mr. Scheer. I heard you tell Grandad that the other night on the phone.

Mum: You were listening?

Howie: Mum, you have an extremely LOUD voice.

Mum: Oh. Do I? Anyway, Mr. Brown?

Howie: Mr. Brown. He reads to us at the centre and sometimes he has red or green or yellow or black paint on his face.

Mum: ~Agasp~ All over his face? Maybe he wants to be a clown too.

Howie: Uh-huh.

Mum: Well, maybe's he's telling a story about people.

Howie: Oh you mean like Indians, Chinamen, Towelheads, Bog-trotters or Dagos?

Mum: Howie!! Do not use that word Indians. It's a bad, bad word. Or any of those others as well!

Howie: What should I say Mummy?

Mum: Well, Aboriginal or First Nation.

Howie: Should I put warpaint on my face?

Mum: NO! Don't put anything on your face!

Howie: Al Jolson did?

Mum: Al Jolson? How did you know about Al Jolson?

Howie I saw it in a movie on...

Mum: Television. Well that was a different time and a different place. Not Canada.

Howie: Mummy, Are Indians still Indians?

Mum: Well, yes but we can't call them that.

Howie: Are Cowboys still cowboys?

Mum: Yes.

Howie: So, I can call a cowboy a cowboy but not an Indian- Tonto?

Mum: Well, yes. I guess you can call a cowboy a cowboy but no, you can't call an Indian "Tonto" OR "Chief" for that matter.

Howie: Even if they are one? A Chief I mean.

Mum: No! Well, I mean I don't think so.... Oh nevermind, ask your teacher. The point is all that name-calling is wrong. That's what we call "Racist"!

Howie: Oh...~pause~ Is that what Mr. Celebrum is when he calls Gay People names?

Mum: No Dear, he's a homophobe.

Howie: Is it what is Mrs. Carnavole is when she calls the Lesbians rug munchers?

Mum: Whaaat? No Dear that still a homophobe.

Howie: What about when the man at the store makes fun of my friend and calls him Bisexual Berenie?

Mum: Well, that's a Biphobiant.

Howie: What about people from Mexico, are they beaners?

Mum: No! For goodness sake no. They are people just like us. Just people.

Howie: Oh, I thought they were Spics.

Mum: Howie, where did you ever hear that?

Together: On TV!

Howie: I hear faggot and nigger too. That's a Gay man and Black person- right?

Mum: Oh My Goodness!! You can't use any of those words- ever!!

He pauses...

Howie: Mum, will I still be able to paint my face green like The Hulk for Hallowe'en?

Mum: Ummmmm. Leave it with me will ya Howie. Mummy needs a drink.

Howie: Are you a drunk Mum?

Howie: Go outside and play Howie.

Part II

There is no part two. Just common sense....

Sunday, September 15, 2019

ROBBLOG #799- This IS Gonna Get Gritty

Today, here's a "Fractured Fairy Tale" for your gratification or at the very least edification.
Look, just read the damned thing and take from it what you will...

Roger Locks was out taking a walk along a trail in the deep woods. He like to keep active and keep his muscles and heart in shape. Every kilometre or so, Roger would fall to the ground and do twenty push ups. He knew he had a great, firm ass and he intended keeping it that way.

It soon became a very, very long walk. Mr. Locks was enjoying himself so much he actually lost track of the time. Hours had past and by this time he must have completed more than a hundred push ups.

He was becoming a little tired and hungry and thought that he should turn back. As he rounded a bend in the trail he spied a small, woodsy cottage next to a gigantic oak tree.
"How cute!"
Certainly someone could spare a drink and perhaps a slice of bread before he turned back for home.

Roger walked up to the front door and found it cracked open- just a bit.
"Hello!"- he shouted, ""Is anyone 't-uh home?"
No answer.
He tried again.
"Hello? I was wondering if you could spare a glass of water and maybe a slice of bread- with butter?
Still no reply.
He pushed the door open farther.
Looking into the cottage's interior he could see an old wooden table set with cloth and a vase of flowers in the centre.
Roger walked into the room forgetting he might be trespassing.
"Odd..."- he thought.
Along one side of the table were set two steaming bowls of what appeared to be spaghetti, piled high with tomato sauce. An additional bowl was set at one end. There were three chairs- all made of old wood, probably quite antique.

Roger Locks was now standing at the side of the table smelling the wonderful hot pasta and sauce.
He picked up a spoon next to the bowl and sat down in what was the largest of the three chairs and had a taste.
" delightful!"
He tried another and then another and yet still another!
Roger was becoming full.
Near the centre of the table was a pitcher of lemonade. He looked around and saw glasses on the sideboard next to the table. He stood up and took one filling it to the brim with cool lemonade.
Mr. Locks plopped down in chair once again and as he did so the chair burst into bits. It literally fell apart.
"For fuck sake! I don't know my own strength!"
He grabbed his huge left bicep with his right hand.
"Nice!"- He smiled, "But did I eat too much?"
He did of course.
He was quite muscular too- of course.
Roger Locks picked his six foot two, athletic frame up from the floor and with his right foot shoved the bits and pieces of the chair under the table- as if no one would notice.

He looked around the room and yawned.
"Who would go out and leave their door unlocked with a wonderful hot lunch on the table?"

Through an open door on the right he saw a bedroom. He walked to the doorway- yawning still, looking inside. It was a perfectly comfy looking bed he thought. I am sure the owner wouldn't mind if I had a quick cat-nap. Roger removed his shoes- it was only polite that he did so, then slipped off his shirt and shorts. He was asleep- fully raw, seconds after his head hit the pillow.

A few minutes passed....

Soon the sound of voice came from the front door.
Roger Locks snoozed on. He heard not a thing.

Into the main room of the cottage where the table and three bowls of spaghetti sat came three bears.
As they came in single file, each one was larger and more hirsute than the one before.
Typical of bears. Being hirsute.

One bear looked at the table and exclaimed_
"What the hell? Someone's been eating my spaghetti!"
A second bear ambled to the table and saw the empty lemonade glass-
"Hell's Bells, someone has been drinking our home-made lemonade!"
"Yah, well, that's not the worst of it boys, look at my chair! It's smashed to smithereens!"
The third big, furry bear sounded angry.
Very angry.
"Why if I could only get my hands on the culprit who did this I'd give him a "Judy Garland" to the face!"
"Judy Garland?" questioned the middle bear?
"Oh, that's what I call my new fist punch when I'm using the bag at the gym- my Judy Garland."
"You are so predictable!"- remarked the last of the Three Bears.

Suddenly the middle bear screamed like a girl and pointed towards the open bedroom door.
"Look!"- He cried clutching his pearls, there's someone lying in your bed Big Daddy Bear, "And he's asleep.

Big Bear motioned to the other two to remain where they were.
"I'll handle this."
He kissed his right fist and called it "Judy".

Big Bear walked into the bedroom and politely "ahem-ed".
Three times.
Upon the third ahem- the loudest of the three, Roger Locks awoke.
He looked up at the huge, hairy bear standing next to the bed.
Throwing the covers aside, he lay there exposed and said in the most charming of voices-
"Want a bit of the old slap and tickle?"

Big Bear paused briefly- keeping Judy Garland at the ready.
He looked down at Roger Locks lying there all provocative and naked.
Then while slamming the bedroom door shut he growled,
"Ya, alright then..."

Monday, September 9, 2019

ROBBLOG #798- Dis and Dat

I can't remember the last time I did a  "Dis and Dat" so here goes...

'DIS and 'DAT

I had been following a couple of political sites and persons on Twitter with some manner of political insight regarding the Federal Election- which hasn't officially begun yet. Over the weekend I got so fed up with the lies and misinformation and crap I was reading I unfollowed all of them. My stress level is much lower today. I am not convinced as to why I should vote in October's election anyway.
Are you?


Hearing from friends back in "old home" I understand that some September nights are coolish already- like lows of 6c with a chill in the air. Now being a former Ontarian, I know this will pass and more days are ahead with temps in the mid to upper 20's. Here on the Island our overnights are still in double digit territory. Our slide into autumn is more gradual here without the colourful treescape and that distinctive autumn smell. It's just different here.


Speaking of Autumn, stores have Harvest Decor and Hallowe'en stuff on the shelves already.
I am not surprised.
It happens every year. Although I haven't seen Xmas decorations yet I know Christmas Cards are on the shelves for those of you who like to start addressing them early to beat the postal deadlines. Best to get them addressed before October first to ensure delivery in Canada before December 25th. If you have friends in Lower Slobovia, you are already too late to have a card arrive in advance of Christmas Day this year but it's never too early for 2020.

A few days ago we had an hour of thunder in the afternoon. Unusual for the Cowichan on the Island and the first we've heard since leaving Ontario two years ago.
Huh- you say if you're from the Mainland.


A couple of first anniversaries to mention.
My Cousin Judy passed a year ago as did our little schnauzer Missy. We miss them and know that someday we'll see them both again.
There's joy and comfort in believing that...


Several folks have asked me lately- "So, what's on your schedule for today?"
"Nothing..."- I reply.
"What about tomorrow then?"
"Ummm. Nope. Nothing."
"Later in the week perhaps?"
I am sure they felt there'd be something happening there at least.
"No." I say, trying to muster up some memory of some item from our calendar- even to the point of making something up but I couldn't.
"Nothing pressing that I can think of. I think that's why they call it retirement!"- I happily conclude.
Folks usually stay quiet for a few seconds.


Then, I was telling our landscaper friend the other day that I needed the two large plants- I had bought at the garden centre, to be placed in one hole. 
Two per hole. Two holes. That's why I bought four plants.
The plants are Miscanthus Gigantica. Beautiful 12-14 foot tall grasses.
Our landscaper- who I'll call Cameron, suggested just one plant per hole because as he said- 
"In a few years they'll fill in and look quite full."
I said- "Look Cam, I don’t have 20 or 30 years to wait for something to grow and fill in.
I need big now."
He just looked at me perhaps thinking a move was in the near future.
"You know," I continued, "In twenty years I’ll be 88. How old will you be?"
He looked down into the hole he had dug for the Miscanthus and said- "Your age."
I smiled- "So, that kind of puts that in perspective- doesn't it?" 
Time flies when you're talking to a youngster!



I saw a video on Twitter.
A fellah in the Middle East- Saudi Arabia perhaps, is washing his face in camel urine.
Then, he begins to drink handfuls of the warm, yellowish liquid from several different camels smiling all the way as he demonstrates the proper technique to slurp piss. I would imagine camel pee tastes a bit like the soft drink- Dr. Pepper. This is supposed to bring him infinite blessings.
I mean, I wash my face with the same stuff that Jennifer Aniston uses but cripes- I don't drink it!

I swear I saw one camel nudge another camel and laugh...just a "wee" bit.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

ROBBLOG #797- What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Teacher (Miss Symposium) : Class! Class! CLASS!!!!!!

~class settles~

Teacher: Today class, I want you to write a theme...

Class: Oh, no. Not a theme... ~mumble, grumble~

Teacher: Yes, you little pile of dried up turds- a theme!

Billy: Miss Symposium, I don't think you can call us "turds".

Teacher: Fine! Little shits then...

Class: ~ummmm....~

Teacher: As I was saying, today you will write a theme. The topic of the theme is-
"What I did on my Summer Vacation!"

~time passes~ Little Robbie passes in his theme.

Miss Symposium 
What I Did on My Summer Vacation

1. I read Lucy Maud Montgomery's second Anne Book "Anne of Avonlea". It was most enjoyable and since I have never been to PEI it was like taking a little vacation. I am also thinking of dying my hair red and growing pig-tails.

2. The Mister and I saw Jersey Boys at the Royal Theatre in Victoria. Not as big a show cast-wise and set-wise as we saw in Toronto a few years ago but still it was entertaining and a summer evening in the big city.

3. Up Island in July we saw Mama Mia! in Chemainus. A small stage and big cast and for two hours of  Abba music- entertaining, although not as massive as the Toronto Show we saw a few years ago.
I hear you- must everything be compared to Toronto?
The answer?

4. The Mister and I settled in for 4 hours of Shakespeare at the 39 Days of July. The offerings were Measure for Measure and Much Ado About Nothing. The latter the review for the former which my husband appeared in back at the Orillia Opera House in old home.
I hear you- there isn't 39 days in July Rob.
"Shut up!"- is my retort.
On the Island there is...

5. We caught up with my brother Scott (his real name) who came to the Island for 12 days in July into August. He might be back. I can say no more. We could have left him on the beach at Cherry Point and he would have been happy. By the way, there is a huge property for sale just off the beach for a million seven.
I can dream...

6.There was a huge Birthday celebration for the Mister who turned 65 in August. We partied hardy at the Arbutus Cafe. Okay, for two hours in the early evening of a Friday but whaaddahyawant? We are Seniors. At least he gets on BC Ferries for free now- Monday through Thursday. Old Age has its good points.

There's History Through that Door
7. I fell in love with the Dallas Road area in Victoria which is right on the Pacific Ocean. The neighbourhood is chock full of Victoria Homes all valued at around a million dollars or more. Again, I can dream- can't I?

Victorian in Victoria
8. I bought an original piece of art- actually three pieces, at Art on the Avenue in Ladysmith. The painting is called "Cow Hide". Agnes the Cow- which is what I have named her peers over a clothesline with huge "cow eyes". The line is laden with quilts of many colours. There are two smaller pictures that continue the clothesline theme on each side of the main painting. On these smaller canvases, little colourful birds clutch the line also covered in brightly covered quilts. Don't ask how much.
It's art!
And that would be rude.
Have some class, eh?

9. We had other guests over the summer. I am protecting their privacy. They all want to move to our Island in the Pacific and no we did not encourage them. My Cousin back in old home thinks I want everyone from back in old home to move out here to new home.
Not so.
I don't have to say anything.
By the way, his son is moving out here next month...
This little Island of 800,000 folk sells itself to all who come.

10. We took the ferry from Departure Bay one Wednesday Morning in July to sail to Horseshoe Bay on the Mainland just up the coast from Vancouver. Our friend Bev (not her real name) came along for the sailing. Once there on the mainland of British Columbia, we met up with our friends Karl-Heinz and Jimmy May (I didn't ask if I could use their real names so again, I made them up). We lunched at a fish and chip spot called Trolls which The Mister and I hadn't been to in 30 years.
Horseshoe Bay has changed.
A lot.

There you have it Miss Symposium, that is what little Robbie did on his summer vacation.

I expect an A+.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

ROBBLOG #796- Ethel and Me Zzzzzz

So, I had this dream the other night.

The Mister and I were on a train going somewhere. It looked like First Class seating, which of course is me all over. I love being "in front of the blue curtain" and it's even better- on a train in Europe, to be in the First Class Carriage. No undesirables walking through the carriage or sitting across the aisle
shelling peanuts.
Oh and usually- no screaming kids.
Like Miss Coco Peru says- There's a place for Kids.
She actually says more but I digress...
Now, I don't mean that to be nasty, it's just the plane truth. Quiet kids are best on train, plane or elsewhere.

Anyhoo, there we were- the Mister and I, sitting in the front row of the First Class Carriage when I decided I needed to stretch my legs. We had just dined because I could see the "fancy" Royal Darby plates on the white, linen-clad table in front of us.
I stood up and turned to walk to the rear of the carriage. As I did so, I glanced down at the lady in the seat directly behind us.
It was Vivian Vance!
I looked her straight in the eye and spurted out-
"Oh My Goodness, Ethel! Ethel Mertz, how lovely to meet you!"
I had caught Ethel by surprize but still, she stretched out a white-gloved hand towards mine.
Uh, my hand was not wearing a white glove.
I don't know why she was wearing white gloves on a train but I do remember that it sort of looked like the 1950's judging by clothes and the style of the train car- or carriage, keeping in mind it is a dream after all.
My Dream.

As her gloved hand reached mine I realized that I had called her Ethel.
"Oh Dear!"- I said in a regretful manner, "I mean Vivian. Vivian Vance!"
"Oh that's quite alright Dear," she replied in her Ethel Mertz manner. Freddie always did the same thing!"
Freddie? Hmmmm, Maybe I was right after all. She continued-
"Yes, people do that to me all the time. It's only a name. I am quite used to it. Honestly, I am."
"Good to know, Miss Vance." I said, getting all proper like. "Funny I should meet you here on this train- like this, because just the other evening I was watching an old movie of yours."
"Really?" she asks. "Which one was"
She gestured expecting me to share my name with her.
"Oh! It's Rob." I chuckled more from embarrassment than anything really. "Yes, my name is Rob."
"Fine. Rob. So, what movie from my glorious career did you watch?"
Miss Vance batted her eyelashes while she waited for my reply.
"Well, it was that one where you danced with what's-his-name."
She looked puzzled for a moment then said- "What's his name? Let's see Astair or Gene Kelly?"

Shit, I thought. I can't remember so I suggested- 
"you know, the one with all those dance steps and the twirls."
Nothing from Miss Vance.
I tried thinking again looking pensive.
"Oh! I think you were dancing in a grave yard with lots of trees and headstones!"
I think I had nailed it!
"Yes. Very spooky. I remember now Miss Vance.."
I was getting quite excited by this point.
Miss Vance lit up.
"Oh Rob! That was Gene Kelly and the movie was entitled- Human Remains! A terrific musical!"
I grabbed my pearls and said- "That's it! You are absolutely correct Miss Vance! It was Human Remains!"
"Oh call me Viv. Lucy always did!"
OMG! I paused.
Lucy did? Now I have been invited to call her Viv too. I started to shake- just a bit. Does life get any better than this? I thought I should move along. I am sure a big star like Viv had better things to do than talk to me- in a dream no less.
"Well- Viv, I'll let you go. I have taken enough of your time and I only wanted to stretch my, I mean my legs."
I blushed a little.
Miss Vance smiled slightly and said- "It was a real pleasure Rob. See you again some time. Maybe in church or in the movies or at the very least Heaven!"
She threw her head back and laughed, then turned to look out the window at the countryside whizzing by.

What a strange old broad I though, as I continued to walk to the end of the First Class Carriage and back. By the time I had turned around and headed back up the aisle, Miss Vance, I mean- Viv, was gone. On the seat where she was sat there was a bit of fluff and one white, glove.

Believe it or Not!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

ROBBLOG #795- OK. See You.

Shit! I've gone and done it again.

I had two phrases I thought of the other night before shutting off the light. I was going to use them to start this blog. I knew I should have written them down.
I didn't.
Now, I can't remember what they were but they were to be the start of this blog.
Now that I've lost the concept I have to start all over.


Hennaway, let me go in another direction. There are a coupe of people I follow on Twitter.
You know what Twitter is- don't you?
Now these people are a part of an organization, meaning they are not really speaking for themselves when they tweet but although known independently, they're tweeting for- let's call it a "non profit". If they make a comment it reflects mostly on this non profit- right?

Hennaway again, I've had two such "accounts" that I stopped following this week because the Twitterer had Tweeted something political. I've followed these accounts for quite a while but now what the accounts have to say has fallen silent- my choice.

I think these people tweeting under the face and name of something else need to be non-political and shut up. In the case of what I tweet on @SwissshRadio and what I write here on this blog it's a personal comment. Swisssh Radio is mine and obviously my ROBBLOG is mine since my smiling face overlooks these words from above. I don't believe it's any secret that I am not a fan of the Conservative Right. I believe in live and let live. I believe in rights for all folk. So, perhaps my comments and life are more centre-right.

When I make a comment on Twitter, I usually try to make it in the third person concocting a funny scenario by posting a photo- usually of a interesting-looking older lady. I engage this lady in a short conversation to perhaps another person in the photo or my favourite choice- to someone on the otehr end of a telephone line. That way I get my point across with comedy and without flat out saying it's me speaking the truth. I think it works quite well but I am sure occasionally I fail.

Agnes: "For Cupcake Sakes Blanche, Do you know what
 the spit he's talking about here on this blog?
Blanche: No Dear, I certainly do not. Is he talking about that Con guy Albert Scheer?"
Agnes: "Not Albert Scheer Blanche, Andrew Scheer that fellah that's always fiddling with his right side and who might need glasses I hear tell if'n he keeps that filthy habit "up". No Blanche, I'm rapping about this here Blog Fellah..."
For the most part I try to be entertaining but there are times when someone like Andrew Scheer pisses me off so much I have to unload.

You know, I really don't get the right wing Conservatives.
I don't know how anyone does.
They seem to be against everything that is good about our country. I can smile and allow the Greens and the NDP's their odious opinions. Usually, I can understand their point of view but while on the topic, I must say that Jagmeet  Singh is definitely not a "Jack Layton" or the guy that followed him- old "what's-his-name" who now is a political analyst for CTV News or something.
Go figure...
Can't get enough votes to be PM but he's good enough and apparently smart enough to be a political commentator.

Anyhoo, these political tweets forced me to "unfollow" the offenders.
It wasn't an easy decision.
I hummed and hawed for a few days like the time a month ago I stopped following Cher because of all her anti-trump tweets. I mean, I don't like Trump either but I'm a Canadian and I follow Cher for "Cher" not anti-Trump rhetoric.

Same thing happened with Bette Midler.
Now that was hard but her Trump-Tweets got in the way and again as a Canadian I didn't want to read them anymore. In fact I looked at many of the people I follow and if they "Trump-Tweeted" too much I got rid of them. Take Jean Soon who play's Mrs. Kim on TV's "Kim's Convenience.
She talked Canadian Politics but a little too often she let go on some stupid American, anti-Trump piece of dithering and I had to click that "Unfollow" button.
Sorry Jean.
You'll be happy to know that I still follow Appa- "Mr. Kim", Actor Paul Sunh-Hyung Lee.

Anyhoo, not that any of these Twitter folks I follow give a pony's patoot if I follow them or not but at least I have now publicly stated why I clicked the unkindly "Unfollow Button".

Okay. See you.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

ROBBLOG #794- An Anniversary

Two years ago today.

Just two years ago today, Tom and I slipped away in Priscilla leaving Orillia, Ontario behind forever. We had ourselves, a bunch of boxes, a selection of clothes, food and of course our canine and feline family Missy, Koko, Dickens and Doyle.

Things change.
Priscilla was sold last year to a new family in Port Alberni- in the centre of Vancouver Island.
Our family has changed.
We lost Doyle on August 17th at the KOA in Winnipeg. He ran from Priscilla about 1030 at night.
We never saw him again.
The last view I had of him was his puddy tail up in the air and his orange arse disappearing into the Manitoba night.
Doyle never got to see his new home here in the Cowichan.
I know I should stop but every day I check the Winnipeg Lost Cats Facebook Page looking for a glimmer of hope. Maybe some kindly Granny has taken him in and one of these days when he is taken to a vet, they'll check his chip and he'll come home to us...

Another special family member- Our Missy, made it to the Island but passed in September of last year.
That was devastating
She so wanted to stay a while longer with her Dads but that was not to be. A little BC cedar box sits on a fireplace mantle in our Master Bedroom holding her ashes. Her little knitted sweater with the red maple leaf is draped over the headboard- above my head, of our bed.

Gosh that morning leaving Pine Tree House.
I sullenly walked through every room in the house saying goodbye.
She looked so lonely and empty.
I just wanted to hug her.
How do you say goodbye to 25 happy years of your life?
The Parties, Mrs. P's visits, the Christmases, Birthdays, Thanksgivings- a Marriage.
The spot on the floor in front of the Keeping Room fireplace where Dr. Stephen sent our wonderful Kiki- our yellow lab of 17 years, over the Rainbow Bridge. ~double sigh~

Our Pine Tree House in Orillia, Ontario
It's all there still in memories and pictures.
You know, I never thought we'd ever leave that cozy, little Victoria Home but leave we did- three time zones and a few thousand miles away!
Good Gawd it took guts.
I don't know how we did it.
I do mourn and miss that house (Pine Tree House c.1882) and the familiarity that a quarter of a century of familiar places and friends brought.
I know this will sound stupid but I still wonder if given the same chance today would we have moved.
Silly, I know but this move is and was probably the biggest life-changing experience that The Mister and I have made together. I don't know how Military families do it. Moving all over the globe and rarely having a place to really call home but here we are two years later settled in this Mediterranean climate of the Cowichan Valley, in Duncan BC, in North Cowichan.
This is our home now.

Palm Villa in the Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island BC
Tom reminded me this morning that this was the anniversary of our leaving Ontario. I knew it was around this date but I hadn't taken to looking back at Blogs I wrote at the time. Now I am up to my neck in memories.

A friend from Orillia said in a text a week ago- "I hope you are not too lonely."
I hadn't thought I had given an impression of loneliness. Orillia and Ontario will always be in my heart but then again the years I lived in Mississauga were special too. What I miss most about moving here to Vancouver Island is the distance from Toronto and maybe Ontario.
I always loved Toronto.
I lived in a couple of areas of the city but my favourite was on Clark Street just off Queen Street east past the Don Valley Parkway. That was the small house I lived in when I first met Tom. An area of artsy folks, streetcars, the Beaches and a cross section of people from all over the world. It was a time when I didn't even have a car. I used transit to go everywhere.

So, yes, I miss Toronto and the shows and shopping and the Canadian National Exhibition. The EX was the best and I have so many memories of going every year. We tried the PNE here in Vancouver last year. It was a reasonable facsimile but not the Ex.
I still miss our perfect, little Pine Tree House too- and I always will.

So folks, a toast to two years ago and the day we loaded up our Prairie Schooner- better known as Priscilla, to head west to a new life.