Friday, May 17, 2019

ROBBLOG #782


Holy Cripes! Doris Day has passed.

Yup, this week. Well, she was 97 or something like that. Her time as they say...
I loved Doris but more than Doris I especially loved her movies with Rock Hudson and James Garner. I used to see the Doris Day films- The Thrill of  It All, Girl Talk and more in wonderful technicolour at the Geneva Theatre in Orillia.

Que Sera, Sera.
Me in the dark. Doris in all her bright, golden-haired, sunny goofiness up there on the big screen.
James Garner in all his black, chest-hair glory.
Rock with those Hudson muscles- and Gay to boot although we I didn't know it at the time.
The pool parties that must have transpired at Rock's House- Speedo optional swim parties I suppose.
Martinis and Muscles.

Goodness, my young boy loins- what was I about 13 or 14 years old, stirred when James Garner appeared onscreen bare-chested.
"Take me as I am Daddy!"- I yelled at the silver screen.
Not out loud of course.
What would it be like to have all that black chest hair and I wondered and what it would feel like to run my ~ahem~ fingers through it all.
Every last hair attached to that deeply tanned chest.

Doris Day who's last name rhymes with "Gay"
Good Lawrd!
Did Mr. Garner know what he did to impressionable young men such as myself?
Puberty.
Gotta love it.

I had another visitor in my sleep this past week.
No! Not Mr. Garner. Get your mind out of the gutter please.
It was- The Devil.
The Devil pops by now and then to see how I'm doing and to scare the livin' "bejezuz" out of me.
Now, I don't believe Lucifer exists and I don't believe he is trying to pull me over to the dark side through my dreams, although, with a toned body and a a pair of black wings I think I would look pretty hot if I were to cross over to the dark side and become one of his "Fallen Angels".
The picnics me and Michael would have...

Anyhow, I was walking across the living room floor in this small, white, two-story house and decided to go upstairs. I paused looking out a window just over a kitchen counter that had a double sink in it. I heard a rumbling in the darkness behind me.
I whipped around and it was him- Old Beelzebub.
I screamed out-
"Get out of here you crimson-faced asshole!"
I woke up screaming- according to Tom.
One of my best, loudest and longest screams ever.

Now, before you start to send the JW's to my door to save and protect me, I can explain.
I was talking about double sinks a day or two before my nightmare and I've been looking at a two story, white house with 4.37 acres of land. It follows that is where my nightmare would take place.
Where the fuck was Jesus when he should have been protecting me I do not know!
I say that for effect only because as we all know, Jesus is just a character in a storybook.
A badly written storybook- like Episode Five in this final season of Game of Thrones!

Then, an evening ago, I caught the promo for "Lucifer" a show on Netflix. Lucifer was downright hotty-handsome and there were plenty of well-built men stripped to the waist and more in the promo, so you can see why the Devil was on my mind.
I expect his pool parties last for days not unlike Mr. Hudson's.

Everybody into the Pool!
It's not the first time "the fallen one" has come to me and I am sure it's not the last.
I have no idea why I scream out loud but as the Mister assured me- this was my best scream ever!.
Is there an award for the best "Devil Scream" in a dream?
Did Linda Blair ever get an award for one?
Now, that Bitch could scream!
Let me know if there is one will you?

Speaking of the Devil...
I saw a tweet on my Twitter account today that amused me and quite succinctly bulls-eyed the Canadian Conservative Party- not to be confused with the People's Party of Canada (not to be confused with Communists- although....) nor Kenny's excessively right-winged Alberta Good Old Boys Party.
The tweet said-
"Thinking of voting for Andrew Scheer? One word- A L A B A M A." I could add two more words- Doug Ford, however, Ontario you got what you voted for!

If you pay as little attention to US politics as I do, you have probably at least heard that one by one Southern Confederate States are bringing back the death penalty and by that I mean abortion is becoming illegal again. It's a felony. The new laws were all voted in by old white men who drive pick up trucks with window stickers that say "Lock up your 14 year old daughters 'cause here I come!"

Speaking of window stickers, recently I saw a Ford pick up truck right here on the Island being driven by a country boy and his "friend".
That is not a Homosexual inference.
It was an asshole inference.
The boys were spinning the pickup around in circles in a gravel parking lot a few blocks from our house. Grey dust was circling towards Heaven.
They were acting out being the assholes they were.
The old truck- that had seen better days, had a home-made sticker emblazoned across the back tail-gate in 4 inch black lettering.
It said- "F U C K  Trudeau.

I can only dream of what that would be like...

I thank you for your time today.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

ROBBLOG #781- Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood


The Mister and I were riding our bikes along the trail towards Mount Prevost the other day.

At one point a lively caramel-coloured rabbit flew out from the underbrush and ran excitedly along the trail in front of us. After a few metres he exited- stage right, into a thicket.

I thought I heard a female-type, rabbity sounding voice say-
"Harold are you back already with the carrots from Mr. Grenfeld's Garden?"

"Not exactly..." was Harold's reply, "You see Mabel, I was about to cross the gravel path to Mr. Grenfeld's yard when all of a sudden two huge metal contraptions with humans sitting on top almost knocked me sideways!"

"What in the name of a Rabbit's Warren are you talking about?"

"The machines! They were very fast and I thought they were going to run over me right there and then!"

"Hog Varnish!"
You could tell Mabel was mad.

"It's just two human's- like Mr. Grenfeld and that contraption? It's a bicycle. They were riding them
for exercise. Really Harold. Don't you know anything?"

Harold pause briefly and said- "Well, I know I didn't get the carrots!"

"Ugh"
You could hear Mabel's exasperation from the gravel trail.

After the ride, I got to thinking about the animals I had when I was a young lad, although I don't remember any of them carrying on a conversation with me or any another animal for that matter.

In the Years before I turned to the ripe old age of ten, I had a menagerie of pets including a raccoon, several turtles- including tiny ones from the pet store which I kept in a plastic bowl that had a small palm tree in the centre, a white goose and finally a small black dog named "tippy" so-named because of the white tip on his tail.


The raccoon lived in a chicken wire enclosure but would come out to play on the green lawn between our house and the lake where we all lived.
I had him from a baby.
I presume he wandered onto our property and stayed. Dad built him the enclosure for his safety since our property backed onto a forest and other wild animals lived there who could do him harm.

The turtle I had wandered across the road from Smith's Bay in Lake Simcoe to a marshy area bordered by Forest Avenue and Victoria Crescent. I remember Dad stopping our old '42 Ford to let the turtle pass and like any kid I probably said- "Dad, can I have him as a pet? Oh, please!"
My Dad- as any Dad would, got out and picked the wayward turtle up and put him in a cardboard box next to me in the rear seat. Maybe I called him "Charlie". I'm not sure.

One September in the late 1950's, Dad was given a white goose. She was beautiful and he intended to fatten her up for Christmas. She lived in a pen with a wooden enclosed that had a trap door. If- let's call her Hilda, if Hilda was resting in her little, wooden house I could peek in on her through the trap door. She was as white as snow and honked when you addressed her by name.
"Hilda!"
"Honk, Honk!"
I think I got to understand her quite well and I loved filling her bowl with "Goose" Food- mostly grains I think that Dad bought from the Co-Op store that was alongside the CN Rail Tracks on Neywash Street.

Hilda did put on some weight as my Dad had hoped.
However, we all got so attached to her- Mum included, we didn't have the heart to end her life, so she lived and we had Turkey that cold, snowy Christmas.

The final "pet" from my years living on Lake Simcoe (1951 through the summer of 1960) with Maw and Paw, was a small, terrier-type puppy that we named "Tippy". He was all black, had the sweetest brown eyes and a tiny tuft of white hair on the tip of his tail.
I presume by now you have figured out why he was named "Tippy".
If you are smiling a big, warm-hearted smile right now, you may not want to read this next bit.
I don't remember having Tippy for a long time. Certainly not years more like months- I think.

Anyhoo- and here's where you might want to skip down to the next paragraph, one fine summer day Mum was backing the old, black Ford- the one with the rumble seat, out of the drive to head into Orillia to go shopping. Unfortunately, Tippy crossed the drive behind her and, well......


As I look back at the animals I remember having as a kid- to the best of my memory, I never had a cat. There was a cat I remember cuddling and petting at my Grandparent's house in town on Front Street, South. My Grandma Lillian used to place milk out for her in lovely, little, china bowl- my Gram did everything with such style. I loved to watch her little pink tongue lap up the cold milk. Milk that was probably more natural and certainly free from the chemicals that prolong the shelf life these days. She may have been strictly an outdoor cat but I know Gram fed her inside the sun porch that ran along part of the south side of 217 Front Street, South.

Next door was a paddock in front of Davey Park's barn where several draft horses spent their day when they weren't hauling logs or hay or whatever needed animal power for hauling. The gigantic animals would come to the fence for a scratch on the forehead or a handful of overgrown grass they couldn't reach from their side of the fence. It seemed magical.

Not only have all those animals from the 1950's passed on to their "greater reward" of course but so too Norman and Lillian Reid- my Grandparents- Dad's parents. They left this earthly plane an eternity ago in 1963 and 1965 respectively. A few years ago, their white stucco, two storey house that held so many wonderful memories was leveled and in it's place a new Ford Dealership was built.
My Grandmother would not be pleased nor would Hartly Foster.
Hartly? That's another story for another time.

I still love to get close to and "talk" to horses. Here on the Island I see a pair of horses every time I ride my bike. As soon as I stop alongside the gated fence, they whiny when they see me and saunter over to say hello- maybe to get a handful of long grass.

If only Hilda could see me now.

Monday, April 29, 2019

ROBBLOG #780- Goodbyes and Memories


Five years ago today April 30th, I said goodbye to my Mum- Marion Ruth Bartley, for the last time.

She passed at 2 pm.
My Sister Lynn and my brother Scott were there in her room and my brother-in-law Jim. Tom was
at home waiting for "the call" and arrived in the minutes after she left us.

Mum always claimed she was going to live to be 100, maybe 120.
She did her best. 92.
Old age, Lupus and maybe a bit of Cancer did her in.
The falls didn't help. The bit of memory loss but once she started falling that was the beginning of a downhill slide.

I didn't see my Mum for two and a half years- before she took ill.
We lived in the same city.
I saw her-thank goodness, over the last four months or so before she passed.
That good thing.

When Tom and I were planning our "Formal and Legal" Wedding, she dug in her heels and said she wouldn't come.
She said to me- "Why do you always have to make such a big deal of everything?"
I said- "I don't know if it is such a big deal but I have to do this. We both want this."
Eventually- in the week before 200 plus guests were to arrive for the party, she decided to come.
Thank goodness...

We spent some quality time in the past few months when she didn't really get out of bed.
I had her outside in the fresh air in this special wheelchair- once.
Tom and I had her to the dining room- where she valiantly tried to feed herself before yelling and throwing the fork down in disgust- once.

Mum was stubborn.
I inherited that from her.
She had a good sense of humour and loved to laugh.

Marion Ruth Reid
It was so hard that April afternoon leaving her alone in that room. We took down the prints we had hung on the walls a month or more before, trying to cheer the place up a little. We cleaned out some of her cupboard drawers all while she was lying there so still.
It was a sad parade as we closed the door to her room, seeing her laying there. Walking down that hall to the elevator and out the front doors to our vehicles was difficult but we all did it.

~sigh, tears~


In the final few days I never saw her eyes open and both my sister and I sat with her for many hours. She called out for her Mum- Lottie Bartley, a lot and her older sister May. She seemed to have the fear that May would head off to school without her and Mum always had to look after her younger sister- Wilma. She couldn't leave her behind.
Nothing you could say would calm her.
It was awful listening to her plaintiff cries...

She liked to listen to music and had a nice voice. In the 1950's, she always had Juliette's noon hour CBC Radio show on. As a kid in the 1950's I listened to Mum and Dad's old 78's on a humble phonograph player that plugged into our Northern Electric Radio. I think it was made of a lighter form of bakelite. Not too many plastics were around in those days.
When I would touch the needle to place it on a record by Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney or Guy Lombardo, I'd get a shock. Not all the time but enough that I was always a little hesitant to touch the tone arm.
I'd have Dad do it for me. He was my Dad after all and he wouldn't feel the numbing pain of electricity run through his fingers like I did or at least that's what I thought.
I think that where my appreciation of "good music" comes from. It all started all those decades ago.

My Dad. Walter Harvie Reid.
He passed on May 6 just after 7 in the morning. A cool, brisk morning with the sun shining and the birds singing.
That was 1992.
Dad had Cancer. Lymphoma. It rushed to every part of his body within weeks.
He never got home from the hospital once they had him in there the first time. I always had some hope he's magically get to come home but no.
He didn't.

Me and My Dad.
He was lucid until the last day or so.
On one of those days- although he kept his eyes closed, we were trying to make him comfortable. I sat on the edge of his bed, leaned in and said to him-
"Dad, are you comfortable?"
His blue eyes popped open. He sat up. Looked me square in my blue eyes and said in a loud voice that could be heard all the way down the hall at the Nurse's station and beyond-
"I'M DYING!!!!"

We all kind of chuckled. I looked at Mum and said something like- "Well, that's that! Good to know."

Dad also had a great sense of humour and loved to laugh at the British "Carry On" Films. He loved George Formby too- another Brit.

He would laugh so hard, he made me laugh watching him as I sat next to him on the chesterfield.
His lips were stretched to the limit and his one gold tooth sparkled as he guffawed.
I have gold tooth too. A molar on the side.

Dad smoked cigars occasionally. Outside the house.
He loved to fish. I didn't.
He could never teach me the patience required to sit in the rowboat on calm Lake Couchiching on a hot summer day or in the stinky, oil-heated fish hut in freeezing cold January with the snow piled high.
Ugh. Winter and the smell of fish!!
Not my cup of tea.

Dad was a great gardener and his thumb was very green. For a few years we had several greenhouses in our yard on Cochrane Street in Orillia. He'd sell the "boxed plants" from the greenhouses or from our front yard. 3 boxes for $1 in those days.
We'd even take the plants to the Saturday Morning Market.

I remember how moist Dad's blue eyes became when his Mother Lillian (Watson) - my Grandmother, died. His Dad- Norman, died a year and a month before Grandma Reid.
I remember watching him sit at our kitchen table when Grandad died.
He looked lost.

Mum and Dad loved to camp. It all started in a 9 by 9 foot green tent. Dad would pick up bails of hay from the side of the road and shove it underneath the tent's stitched in flooring in order to make a comfortable bed for us all.
"Hell, why d'ya need an air mattress when you have straw?"- he'd tell everyone who'd listen that we slept on straw.
Jesus. Mary and Joseph!!

I loved Beavermead Park. It was on the shores of Little Lake in Peterborough. I thought we were living in pretty upscale accommodation the year Mum and Dad bought a box tent with two rooms- a kitchen diner at the front and a bedroom behind.
Since I was a teenager, I had graduated to my own little blue tent. The blue die always rubbed off onto my feet and summer shorts. That tent never lost it's "new canvas smell".
I can smell it right now. It takes me back...
Oh, I had an air mattress by then.

In later years Mum and Dad had a comfortable trailer with indoor facilities but you could only do number one- a pee, never a poop in the toilet. One had to walk up to the washroom at the park for that bit of business. I had stopped camping years before but when Tom and I visited them at Beavermead Park on Armour Road in Peterborough- their summer address, we knew full well- never but never, ever poop in the trailer toilet.
Only pee.
Get it? Got it? Good.

I have so many stories. I have started many times to write them down. I think I have told many in several of these blogs over the years.

Time goes by.
I get older.
Now, I'm a Senior.

I still miss them both- every day.
Love you Mum and Dad.

I'll see you soon...

Monday, April 22, 2019

ROBBLOG #779- Like Right??



So, the other day I was waiting for Tom to pick me up from outside a restaurant door.

He had a rain jacket on.
I didn't.
I had left my umbrella in the van, so he said:
"Stay here"- meaning at the front door to the restaurant, "I'll get the van and pick you up. Saves you from getting wet."
Made sense to me. I could stay dry.
Two Teenage girls stood a few feet to my right while I waited on the Mister- right?


Two Teens- I'll call them Rhonda and Rachelle, talking and texting at the same time...

Rhonda: So, like he says prob, right, eh? (she texts Mary Ellen)

Rachelle: Right? (Texting Brad)

Rhonda: And I go like right...

Rachelle: True, right...

Rhonda: But then, he...

Rachelle: Yah...

Rhonda: He like goes like I'm not sure- right.

Rachelle: What the...

Rhonda: I know- right?

Rachelle: Right

Rhonda: 'Cause he knows it- right?

Rachelle: Psssbtts (mouth noise) Yah, like too true- right...

Rhonda: Right. That's what I said.

Rachelle: Fer sure, I guess.

Rhonda: Cause, like I know that he did- right?

Rachelle: rolls eyes and texts Yah.

Rhonda: So, I say- What the fuck Brad (texting Shondra)- right?

Rachelle: Right...and why wouldn't you- right? (posting pic to Instagram)

Rhonda: I know.

Rachelle: Right? (pause) So...

Rhonda: Whaaat...

Rachelle: If he didn't (pause while texting) like, then maybe Brad is like, you know right.

Rhonda: Right? (texts Julianna about shoe shopping)

Rachelle: I mean, like, he could have- right?

Rhonda: (stops texting and thinks- if that's humanly possible) Like Brad is so like cool- right?

Rachelle: Ya, right...

Rhonda: So, I should think about it right?

*bing*
Attention diverted...a new text arrives

Rachelle: Oh look, Mike just texted..

Rhonda: Mike Mike? Right?

Rachelle: Ya, well who else right...

Rhonda: Right...



Thursday, April 18, 2019

ROBBLOG #778- I Love My Garden

I Love My Garden.

There I've said it.
It's out there for all the world to hear.
I Love my Garden.

I have just read an article from Oliver Sacks, a New York Doctor who passed in 2015. The article was sent to me by a friend who intends to use my/our garden for meditation and reinvigorating the human spirit. It's a suggestion that Dr. Sacks made and something he did for his patients- taking them to nearby botanical gardens for plant therapy".

Our Pine Tree House Garden in Orillia, Ontario
Our friend is welcome to do that in our garden.
Sit and reflect.
Dream.
I get that feeling too from the garden that the Mister and I have here on Vancouver Island and from the memories and photos of our garden back in "old home" in Orillia, Ontario. A garden is a wonderful place whether it be a secret garden or a garden for all to see. I love walking along a street and peering into a garden behind a cedar fence or brick wall. It's like peering into someone's imagination- or soul.
Their choice of plants.
The arrangement of pathways and flowers beds.
The colourful containers holding multi-coloured, spreading blooms adding colour and life to a space.
Every garden has a unique personality. It could be totally the garden's owner that shines through or a garden might even take on a personality of its own.
I have a fondness for quirky garden accessories from gnomes to welcoming seating to Greek statues and car parts.
Car parts?
Yes. I have some small car parts sprinkled throughout one garden.
A fan blade.
A rusted alternator and another unidentifiable rusty-red piece of metal- once part of a vehicle that hummed along Island Roads. I collected these bits from the land behind Palm Villa which at one time hosted a bit of an auto wreckers. Probably- from what I can find out, just one guy with a yard and a penchant for collecting and perhaps fixing old vehicles that were past their prime.

It's difficult when you have to leave a garden you've tended for over two decades. Tom and I did just that when we hitched our wagon- RV really, and made the trek out here.

Good Gosh, we had to love that Ontario garden to bits because we brought 50 Lily plants all the way west and they are thriving here in our Mediterranean climate. Some lilies have had flower bracts on them for a couple of weeks. I apologize to many Ontario Gardeners who are just now looking at daffodils beginning to sprout. Been there done that here on the Island. We also brought some garden statuary with us in our move. Our Lion Head fountain and our frog which pumped water into a pond- not only at Pine Tree House in Orillia but in our previous home in Mississauga. Now, that little greenish-blue, concrete froggy is spewing water into a new pond here in our backyard in the Cowichan. The frog does more work here since the pond becomes active in early March and is still splish-sploshing in November- even longer if it had not been for a cruel cold streak last December and repeated in February.
Gad!

Gardens at Palm Villa on Vancouver Island
Yesterday, I planted a flat of Yellow Bonanza Marigolds around our Palm Tree at the front of Palm Villa. A bright, sunny, yellow that looks good with our yellow Muskoka Chairs on the front patio.
I've already planted a small laurel plant and a bridal veil- in full bloom. Tom replaced a clematis which didn't make it through the "winter" season. Speaking of making it, my green banana plant that reached up to the sky about 14 feet has started to pop up a few inches- more every day. The green banana in the south garden is up a couple of feet and is pushing out new shoots every second day it seems.

Since Tom and I broke the bank last year when it came to buying plants from garden centres and greenhouses, we are trying to let plants flourish that are already in the garden. It's difficult to browse a garden centre and not buy a thing. Case in point is the Sandpiper Garden Centre in Old Chemainus. Her plants are wonderful and she has quirky accessories as well. I could spend money there- and alas, I did.
Well, just a small plant- or two.

You know how it is...

Sunday, April 14, 2019

ROBBLOG #777- What's Goin' On?


What in the name of living Bejezus is goin' on?

I don't know what's happening in this country CANADA of ours but it must be something in the air.
The right-wing, anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti-everything faction of Alberta politics is surging ahead. Federally the Tory's are knocking on the door. The NDP are fading into oblivion with what's his name. The "People's Party" is running candidates federally.
How long will it be before swastika-wearing people will be strolling in parks and malls on Saturday mornings or lighting crosses on fire on Sunday nights?

That Asshole Doug Ford is giving the Ontarians- who overwhelmingly voted for his candidates, exactly what they deserve. How do you like him now? It's not that you didn't have plenty of warning. Remember brother Rob- the drug kingpin, drunk in public, high and cursed by not only Torontonians but folks around the world? I remember folks sitting next to the Mister and I in London a few years ago. They were having a good chuckle and wondered how such a man could be Mayor of Toronto. I expect now they'd be on the floor with their sides heaving from laughter knowing Douggie is in control. Of course all they can think about these days is Brexit and their PM Theresa May.
Can you say mess?

Back in Ontario there's Tory Blue on provincial licence plates coming in the future. They're cutting education and teachers. Increasing classroom numbers. Now, he is about to pass legislation that pretty much ensures he or his government can't be sued. Now, why would a political party need something like that in place?
Look out Ontario!

Memories....
Look out Canada!
Look out Justin!
Right now, for the first time I couldn't care less about politics in this country.
The righteous Jane Philpott is speaking out on television hinting she may join another party.
Who the fuck will you align with Jane?
A Liberal going to Scheer's conservatives all to get back at the party that fired you- and rightly so.
The Liberal Caucus should have kicked you and your sidekick Jody out of the party back in January.
That whole waste of time was an Indian VS White thing. The same thing that's been going on in this country for years!
Get over it! It's 2019!
Cripes I'm surprized the French are quiet these days!
Aboriginals got your tongue?

I used to be supportive of the French in this country. The history and heritage. However, one morning I looked at my Rice Krispies  box and thought- enough! Join the Americans and they'd build a wall around you before you could say Rene Levesque- rest his soul. (Wait, he didn't have one...)
We had a French-Canadian couple join us in our elevator in Honolulu a week ago. They could barely spit out a "hello".
I mean we understand Bonjour, if English leaves a bad taste in your mouth- and oh, what's it say on that passport in your bag? CANADA?...


Today, the polls are showing Scheer ahead of little Justin. I am not surprized what with this SNC mess and the two gals I mentioned above. Two MP's bringing down a government.
My, these girls must be proud. Very proud- and to what end?
Put on your bug girl panties and get on with your life.
Guess it's more important to support a right-wing, hateful party taking control.
It's in the cards- and polls, folks.

Everything we have in this CANADA of ours is up for change.
Gay men and Women- look out. We may have our freedoms now but that can change in a heartbeat. Within 10 years they could be scooping us up and throwing us in camps.
Taking away marriage rights, adoption rights and equality in the workplace.
You "straight" ladies may all be barefoot and pregnant again before you know it. Strap on your pearls and keep hubbies slippers and pipe at the ready for he's coming through that door any minute.
I hope you're ready and re-applied your makeup for your man's imminent arrival.

Don't laugh!
It's been done before.
Nothing's forever. Too bad you burned all your bras.
You'll need them.


I sat beside two, nice senior ladies in a cafe the other day. Eventually, they mentioned Justin- I can't remember why, then, the roof fell in. Apparently Justin has given 5 billion dollars to a women's movement and yet Seniors need help.
I'm a Senior too Goddammit! What 5 million?
I had no idea what they were spouting off about but I know one thing- they will not vote for Justin.
I said nothing.
The one gal was even wearing "Liberal Red".
She also said during our conversation that when she came with her husband to the Island from Nova Scotia, her church- The Church of the Nazarene" helped.
I said- "Oh, the Church of the Vaseline!"
She slapped my arm.
I said-"Look if it works for you- that's great. I am a member of the Church Of Atheism and I've never met as many "Humanists" anywhere as I have on this Island. She was agasp!
I can only surmise I was the first Atheist she had ever met. I think she was looking for my horns to appear atop my head or fire to spurt from my nose.
Anyway, all in all, she was a nice lady. Her friend was too. The hubbies who sat at a table behind were jolly and seemed to have a good sense of humour.
We had a fun chat.

So, folks, in a nutshell, change is in the air. Conservatism is rampant. Not that it's all bad. The extreme right-wing segment is- I believe.
For Fuck Sakes- live and let live!
I can only hope that Jason Kenny or Mr. Scheer have Gay sons and I mean GAY.
Screaming, lipstick wearing, full on lisping, Queer to the Nth degree GAY...and NOT that there's anything wrong with that. I can be a "Queen" with the best of them in the right company.
It's fun.
It's Liberating.
It's Life.

So take a pill everyone and calm down.
Enjoy life.
Stop the persecution of Gays and blacks and Aboriginals and Muslims and Immigrants of all flavours.
Stop the right-wing cronies.

We are all one big Family of Man- or Woman.
Take your pick.
Be happy.

 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

ROBBLOG #776- Home to "our" Island


From One Island to Another.

The Mister and I have only been off the Island three times since arriving in August of 2017 and here this time we leave "our" Island to travel to yet another- Hawaii, specifically Oahu.

We've been going to Honolulu on Oahu for 35 years+ and it is still such a happy place to be. Memories come flooding back- some not so good but I don't intend to air my dirty "Hawaiian" Laundry on this blog.
I heard you- "Why stop now?"
Saucy reader!


View on the Screen at my Air Canada Sleeper Seat
showing flight line from Vancouver to Honolulu 5hrs +
Other memories are warm and comforting. My Grandmother- Lottie Bartley, passed when I was on that Island almost 35 years ago. I was on a charter ticket and I couldn't get back to Ontario. However, on the plus side, I met Tom there and almost 35 years later we are living happy lives and we love going back to Honolulu. I can't begin to count the number of times we've been there but let me say- lots!!

We've tentatively put our names in for a condo next year that we had a few years back. This year's lodgings were not as nice. In fact the first room they gave us was terrible. It was worse than sleeping in an unfinished basement! We complained right away but nothing was done about it until the following morning. We used our airline points this time and we wonder if that was the reason we were given that dump of a room.

We did get into a nice room and were even offered the top floor with a roof Lanai- an upgrade we were told, however, anyone in the hotel could help themselves to any of the tables and chairs placed a few feet from our door.The view was amazing but we said "no thanks" without even looking at a room.

View of the Pacific and Kapahulu Avenue
We chose a room with condo kitchen and a Lanai with a Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head view exactly what we had the trip before. Look out though, Hawaii has this new thing called a "resort tax" and that gets added to your room. It's for cleaning your room or something like that when you vacate. It seems like a tax with a vague reason for being. Oh and shops all charge 15 cents for a bag. It's a law. Not too sure if the Crocs store charged us when they shoved our purchase into their logo'd bag.
I know that somewhere along the line Tom asked a clerk if they were prepared to pay us for carrying their bag with advertising emblazoned across both sides as we walked along Kalakaua Avenue.

We walked and dined and shopped and spent late afternoons on Waikiki Beach- Kuhio Beach actually. Kuhio, Queen's Beach and Waikiki Beach are all there. Hundreds and hundreds of vacationers cram into the space called "Waikiki Beach" and yet a few steps in a Diamond Head direction one finds no crowding, just ocean and sand and nice grass beneath swaying palms.
Ahhhhhhh.....

Sunset over Waikiki
We flew on Air Canada on three out of four flights but we returned from Honolulu to Vancouver on WestJet. It was our first time on this airline.
Ummmm...
What to say about WestJet.
Not my cup of tea, I guess.
As an Air Canada pilot who was leaving on the Air Canada flight that we really wanted to be on said to us-
"It's a different product!"

Yup. That's for sure.
An unshaven, overweight, tank-top clothed, sandal clad man sitting in the wide seats- sold at a premium. Passengers in bare feet using the washrooms- yuck!
Screaming kids in front and behind us and a lady who had only flown once before- to the Island, nervously talking to the guy behind me. I heard her say to him- "I don't know how to turn off my cell phone and place it in flight mode, so I'll just leave it."
Not a good idea I thought and as I turned to look at her over my shoulder, the fellah across the aisle offered assistance.
Just before departure a flight attendant has to deplane what appeared to be a Mum and Dad and their daughter. I had passed by the lady in the departure lounge and thought she didn't look well. She was sweating profusely as she deplaned. Good that she did get off the plane, for if she was really ill during the flight we may have had to return if we weren't too far out over the Pacific.

The crew was nice.
Tom and I had paid for extra leg room and the seat between us stayed vacant.
That was nice but trying to sleep on a red eye was pretty impossible. The seats on their 737 reclined from here 
to here /
Just try snoozing or sleeping when upright to recline is about 2 inches.

The crew treated us very well. We had extra care and service. We didn't ask for that but we did bring chocolate-covered Macadamia nuts onboard to give to the crew.
As the Air Canada pilot said- Chocolates are the "bitcoin" of airlines.
It's just the thought of doing something nice. The "in charge" flight attendant said it's the appreciation of the whole thing. A small gesture but appreciated.
Yes, we pay for their service but if you have ever had to deal with the pubic- as you and I are members of, it can be trying at the best of times.

So, we chatted to the crew. Expressed our thanks and in return received a perk or two.
Nothing wrong with that- is there?

After being up all night and catching a small Air Canada Jazz flight to our Island- which was bumpy and threw us around  like crazy, we arrived home to sunshine and our own palm trees in our own front and back yard.

From Paradise to "Home" on our Island.
Pretty much equal.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

ROBBLOG #775- A Bunny Tale




Dear Readers,

Here's a tale of little Bunnies that I wrote way back in 2011. It suits both Springtime and Easter.
It also allows me to post something"sort of" new while I prepare to go on a late March/early April Vacation with The Mister.

The Mister and I celebrate 34 years of love and companionship and marriage (in 2006) on April 4th.
We are going back to the place where it all started all those decades ago- Honolulu, Hawaii. It's been fours years since we were there last. Up until this morning, I thought it was three years ago but it's four. My Samsung phone reminded me of that when it showed me a selection of photos from Hawaii taken on this day in 2015.
See how fast time passes? If you want to do something new, do it. 
Make your plans today. Tomorrow can be a whole new ballgame.
This go round at life is way too short.
Get with the gusto!

Tom and I first met on a Wardair Flight on the way to Honolulu and our hearts have been entwined ever since.
I know. Awww....

It's not all been happy days these 34 years but we always end up smiling. 
Life can be a bitch at times and there are days when...
You fill in the blanks.

We'll celebrate our Anniversary by having breakfast at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel- right on Waikiki Beach, where we first enjoyed breakfast together all those years ago.

A "fairy" story?
Yes, in more ways than one but I digress, now my "Bunny Tale".

Honolulu is beautiful but it's big and bustling


Flopsy, Mopsy…and Florence were three of the cutest little bunnies you would ever want to lay your eyes upon.

They were so glad it was finally spring!
The days were warm.
They loved to tumble and nibble on the fresh, green grass that covered the big field next to their log home like a fluffy comforter on a big, brass bed.
The grass tasted oh so sweet!
However, the greens in Mr. Alabaster’s garden were even sweeter- especially in the spring, just as the first few sprouts of lettuce popped out of the warm earth on a warm sunny day.

The bunnies weren’t thinking about Mr. Alabaster’s garden at this particular moment. Flopsy was sitting next to a big, gray boulder grooming her white fur. Mopsy and Florence meanwhile amused themselves trying to do headstands in the tall grass. They tried and tried but fell over with every attempt giggling and snickering louder each time. Their bunny laughter was contagious. A few chickadees in a tree near the boulder chirped merrily too at the funny goings-on below.

“Come on you two”- cried Flopsy. She had finished her grooming. “Let’s run all the way down to the old cedar fence!”

“Okay Flopsy. Bet I can beat you!”- Mopsy squealed and she was off like a shot.

“Running. Always running!” Florence stood with her paws on her hips tapping her right paw gently on the green grass. “Really you two!” She was raising her voice now since her brother and sister were half-way across the field.

Flopsy and Mopsy soon reached the cedar fence. Flopsy was just a hare ahead of Mopsy.
They both collapsed in a heap near one of the cedar fence posts.

“Honestly, you two. Get a life. Both of you.” Florence had hopped on down to the fence to join the other two. She seemed a little upset.


“What’s the prob Flo?” It was Mopsy who dared even ask the question.

“Florence had placed a paw on each of her furry hips once again-
“Look, it’s just that there are more interesting things to do you two.”

“Like what?”- asked Flopsy.

“Well…” Florence thought for a moment. “Like thinking about what are we going to do for Easter. We haven’t even looked for a present for Mumsy and Dadsy yet.”

“Awwww. Get ‘em some chocolate eggs. They’ll be happy with that.” It was Mopsy who spoke and suggested the idea.

Flopsy snapped a paw and added- “That’s a good idea and we can place them in a nice basket filled with fresh grass and tie a big pink bow on top and ohhhh…we can tuck Michael Buble’s new CD in the basket too!”

Florence and Mopsy looked at Flopsy. They stared for a couple of seconds, then looked back at each other again. Their little bunny noses twitching. Finally, they turned back, looking Flopsy right in the eye and speaking in unison said-

“That is so Gay!”

The End

Friday, March 22, 2019

ROBBLOG #774- Let's Get Away From It All


All is right with the world.

Spring has sprung here on our Island Paradise and the Kids in the Playroom are fussing over there in Ottawa.

Is anyone else- besides me, tired of the shenanigans in Ottawa over the past few months? Can we please return to the way it was and can Andrew Sheer pull his lips up over his head and go away.
Jody and Ms Philpott can move to another country.
Now realistically if all that happened, what would Lisa LaFlame have to talk about on the nightly news on CTV. My suggestion would be something that really matter to Canadians- like fashion or the taxes on gas. Gee, gas prices are crazy on the Island- $1.39

We've had great weather on Vancouver Island this past week. Many days of 20c+ and lots of sunshine. Now we need rain because our gardens and lawns are dry, dry, dry.
We are never happy.
I did think that the snow cover we had would keeps things damp but no. The south side of our house is like a desert already, so we have had to water. Our automatic drip system in the gardens and the lawn sprinklers are not turned on yet. We are waiting for a new fancy timer to be installed. We've been asking for the installation for months and now we need it, so maybe we'll have to return to the old timer system to turn on the water for the time being.

Even so, our plants are budding and the Christmas Rhododendron is in bloom. A few crocus and daffodils are as well. It was a tough winter for us Island People. We are behind about a month weather-wise. What with that snow for two or three weeks and a week or so of extended cold. Those of you not from the Island or the lower mainland have to understand that the minus temperatures and the 30 cms of snow we experience are not normal for us- like people actually considering voting for the Conservatives over Justin's Liberals.

The previous winter we skipped merrily through January and February but this cold and snow was ridiculous. A neighbour's husband who is a smarty when it comes to all things you have to be smart to know, says that he believes this will be the norm because of global warming. He says winters here in the west will feature the Polar Vortex in winter and hot, dry, forest-fire inducing summers. It's a new world order folks and in the midst of all this upheaval the Mister and I are getting away for a while.

Diamond Head on Oahu
What used to be a long flight to Hawaii is cut to about 6 hours from here in the west. We are looking forward to being on the Island again. The trades, the blue Pacific and huge palms. The last time we were in Hawaii was three years ago. While there this time, we'll celebrate 34 years together and I've already said we'll be going back again next year for 35.
I mean, we have to- right?

I've started thinking about clearing US customs. Last time we had to actually lie. Helpful Vancouver International Airport agents told us to be sure to fill in our US travel docs as being "not married". I remember an agent and her supervisor telling us that the US Officers just don't get it like here in Canada and we'd save ourselves a lot of trouble declaring each other as being single.
" I am travelling with a friend"-I told the stern, burly Customs fella.
"Where is this friend you are travelling with?" he asked me.
I thought I seemed nervous going through US Customs for the first time.
Pull it together Rob.
"He's over there."- pointing to Tom a couple of passenger lanes over.
He turned his trunk-like neck around and looked for Tom.
He turned back around, gave me another glance and stamped my passport.
He waved me on.

Now, with a new dynasty in the States, I am wondering if I can tell the truth seeing as same-sex marriage is legal in the US these days. I'll let you know. Maybe they'll refuse us entry to make some kind of point.

In the meantime, I'm putting this out of my mind and going outside to see if any new spring flowers have opened.

Aloha.

Monday, March 11, 2019

ROBBLOG #773- Woke up this Morning, You were on my Mind

March and I have a few things on my mind.

Firstly, have you ever had someone in your neighbourhood who "bugs your buttocks" from time to time? The Mister tells me to "take a pill" and relax but we hear folks have moved away from this person over the years- on purpose!

This neighbour smokes like a chimney and has contraband cigarettes delivered weekly from a noisy, rusty, reddish- coloured van.  I don't know if cigarettes- I presume from an aboriginal reserve, are illegal or contraband but it sure looks that way when the van wheels up in front the house in question and backs up to the open garage door where the neighbour stands waiting- a long cigarette stuck between upturned fingers. Usually, "the buyer" appears first, standing there sucking in all those carcinogens for a minute before the delivery vehicle roars up the street, covertly backing towards the open garage door. When it pulls away all that's left behind is a cloud of grey, smelly smoke and a hazy shadow clutching a box of cancer-sticks scurrying into the house through the man-door in the garage.

The Mister and I always hear the "grand slam" of the door as ill-gotten goods- like a squirrel storing stolen nuts- are hastily taken inside. I don't believe nuts are as injurious to a squirrel as cigarettes are to a human.
How many chemicals are in one filthy, tobacco-infused stick?
A hundred?
I dunno. Something like that.

Oh and another thing, that fucking garage door that the delivery van backs up to weekly is open from morning to night. I questioned "the open door" policy- once.
"Look at the nice view you see when you look out across the street into the neighbourhood and look at what everyone sees in return, nothing but a gaping space where a garage door should be.
"Oh, I always keep it open..."
That was a less-than-satisfactory retort.

On a safety note, open garage doors do invite "petty thievery". Some thieves are out there looking for everyday items to grab and sell, with easy access. The word also gets out that a neighbourhood could be an easy target and there's something worthwhile behind all those "closed" garage doors- besides Mini-Coopers.

Well, I want to thank all those dog-walkers who've let their pooches pee on our front lawn over the past "winter" months. The Mister and I are now the proud owners of a dozen or more brown circles of dead grass. Oh, folks walking by the house are not alone in shouldering the blame here, for a nearby  pooch has "watered" this small green space as well on several occasions.
When we vocalize our dismay with the pooch's owner, we are cheerfully told- while puffing away on six inches of cancer in a stick-
"Don't worry, the rain will wash it away!"
We sigh.
Yes- eventually it will but it also kills the grass in the meantime.
The short end of the story is the plain fact that our front lawn is the size of an extra-large bath towel from Winners, so a few doggy spots really makes the lawn look crap.


We have new neighbours moving into the hood.
They are not moving from very far away.
They tell us their former neighbourhood is not what it once was and is in a steady downward spiral what with students possessing little respect taking short cuts through a nearby fence along with the litter from area fast food establishments and ciggy butts.
Homeless people roam the area too and druggies pick up needles at an area needle drop-off.

What a world we live in where those killing themselves by injecting substances into their bodies have a drop off place for their old needles, picking up fresh ones in return.
It is just crazy!
It's like smokers who never look at the big picture.
In the end we pay for their medical bills when any number of medical malaise hits.

These are the riff-raff, who steal articles from open garages- hint, hint and then sell them at numerous thrift shops for fast cash and a fast-track to more drugs.
I have mentioned before that many parks here on this part of the Island have yellow boxes affixed to trees asking the addicted to deposit their scuzzy needles inside so as not to leave them laying on the ground.

This homeless/drug problem is one of the dark clouds hanging over the area nearer the Island Highway. Although many people won't say it out loud, many of these people are Aboriginals. You see them in the open spaces along the Island Highway, under the trees with empty booze bottles haphazardly strewn about.
These so-called homeless which life may have dealt some bad hands, cower and cuddle up in the doorways of many businesses.
They leave garbage behind.
They urinate on buildings and defecate in corners.
They yell and scream obscenities.
They stand at busy street corners holding signs saying "help me, I'm hungry".
Yah, well, try eating something rather than shooting crap into your arm or living life through endless bottles of cheap booze.

You are right!
I have little patience for this as many Islanders do. I know it's a thorn in the side of municipal officials and people just trying to run a business and provide for themselves and their families.

Even in beautiful Victoria last week, a gal wearing white earplugs and dressed nice-enough approached the Mister and I asking-
"Do you have a dollar?"

"Nope."- I replied, "Do you?"

What happened to-
"Hey Mac, ya got a quarter for a cup of coffee?" or "Ya got an extra cigarette?"
The answer was still no but it was a way better deal if one decided to submit.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

ROBBLOG #772- Beware...


Life is short. Beware the Ides of March. The future is now...and all that Jazz.

A friend recently announced that her and I were on the wrong end of 60.
That should be chiseled into my headstone- if I had one.
Here lies Rob.
Still and- on the wrong side of 60.

It was a few weeks ago that I began another search for a friend I hadn't seen nor heard from in almost 20 years. It is quite easy to lose contact with someone.
Life just gets in the way.
Cate was an airline friend.
We worked together in the late 80's at Wardair at Pearson International in Toronto. In fact there is a circle of friends from those airline years that The Mister and I are still in contact with on a regular basis. I don't now what it was about that time with Wardair that forged forever friends.
But it did.

However, Cate disappeared off the radar a couple of decades ago.
In the summer of 2017- before The Mister and I set foot on this Island, a group of airline friends had a summer goodbye for us at a cottage in Muskoka. It was fun. At some point the conversation turned to "our" Cate- a Brit by birth. It seemed that none of us had heard from her or knew where she had gone. Someone suggested she had returned to England. Others suggested she had got lost in Toronto or some other big city.
No one had any answers or clues as to her disappearance.

Shortly thereafter, I began an online search. I had her surname from both marriages I was familiar with and knew approximately where she might have been in England. I also had her daughter's name in Ontario. What I didn't have was her maiden name.

Anyhoo, that first search failed, although I did find someone with the same name listed at an airport in southern England. I e-mailed a contact at the airport. He replied that this might be the person I was looking for but she no longer worked at this particular airport.
Damn!
For employee confidentiality purposes, he couldn't tell me more.
I am sure he knew, he just couldn't say.

I let the searching go for a few months until a few weeks back when I re-visited the airport website in the south of England once again. No clues there as I re-read the information but it did allow me to focus on that general area. I knew that she had to be within a comfortable driving distance of that airport. There were many communities from which to choose.

A few days later when I returned to the search, I wondered if she had returned to Canada. I did a 411 search.
Nothing.
However, a bell went off.
If there was a Canada 411, perhaps the UK had the same thing.
I searched several websites but they all wanted a few pounds to look for phone numbers and addresses. Finally, I found one website which was free.
I typed in Cate's name.
One response appeared on my computer screen in all of the UK.
Her name- Catherine, along with a familiar last name, a cottage name, street and village name and phone number was right there in front of me.
I was beside myself.
I called The Mister- "I think I've found "Our Cate"!- I cried.

Wardair's DC 10 and 747
I was a little timid about calling her.
What if it was someone else?
What if it was an old lady who lived in the cottage thought she was being followed or scammed and sent Interpol after me or the very least- Scotland Yard.
No, the safest, most gentlemanly thing to do would be to write a note in a nice card saying who I was and including a business card with all my particulars on it.
I did that and posted it on Family Day weekend.

I didn't have to wait long.
The following Friday, Cate's name and the first line of her e-mail-
"You could have blown me away with a feather" appeared in my inbox.
There were tears.
I couldn't believe it.
Here after almost 20 years was the elusive friend who never left our hearts and minds.

The following day we made a call.
I was anxious. Happy. Beside myself.
Once the ringing stopped there was the sound of a familiar voice...
From the past.

Tom picked up the extension and for the next couple of hours we caught up like it had only been a couple of weeks.
That is true friendship.
We don't know how the time flew.
She told us she had decided to go "back home" to England.
We had moved west to Vancouver Island.

We won't let this happen again.
There's no time.
Another 20 years cannot be allowed to pass.
We will meet up- in person, soon.

"Rob, we are on the wrong end of 60, you and I"- Cate said.
We laughed.
How true.

Life is short here at the wrong end of 60.
The Ides of March is waiting for us all.

So, look for an old friend.
Renew an old acquaintance.
You'll feel good about it.

Monday, February 25, 2019

ROBBLOG #771- God to Gowns


Well, wrap a necklace around my neck and call me Nancy.

Billy Porter wore a "Tuxedo Gown" to the Oscars.
A tuxedo top and a fabulous, black gown from the waist down- something Judy Garland or the Supremes might have worn.

I didn't watch the Oscars.
I saw some photos after the telecast.
I did see one film- Black Panther.
It was good and I remember the Black Panther was built like a black, brick, shithouse!
He was so hot but that's about all I remember.
Maybe that could be a new category for another year-
"The Male who looks the most like a brick shithouse!"

I had never heard of the film that won Best Picture.
I need to get out more.
Green...something. Door? Car? Something...

Olivia Coleman- who won Best Actress, I am familiar with from British TV. She plays a Queen
not unlike Billy Porter in a gown. I don't know the name of the film she won the award for.
Sorry.
Google it for pete sakes.
That's why God made Google!

Bill Porter- WOW!
That's about it for my Oscar report.
Sad- I know.

So, you're wondering how did the Mister and I spent our Sunday evening here on the west coast?
We watched 3 hours of Broadway performances, in high Def, on You Tube of course.
If you'd like to view some of the best "live" musical performances you have ever seen just search for "Broadway Backwards" on You Tube. You also might segue to the LA Gay Men's Chorus for a selection of songs from South Pacific.
~pant~
You won't be disappointed with "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair."
Trust me.

With Broadway Backwards, the men sing "Lady Songs" and the gals sing songs that have been traditionally performed by men.
Let me tell a truth- before you watch.
90% of what we watched were the guys.
Shallow, I know.
"Cell Block Tango" from Chicago, "Bring on the Men" from Jekyll & Hyde, "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" from The Sound of Music, "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and "I am Telling You" from Dreamgirls.
Plus many, many more.
It's a great way to spend an evening.
Front Row seats.
Great Performances.
No lineups to the ladies room.
No long drive home from the theatre.

Now, from Billy's Heavenly Formal to Heavenly Advice...

It was a long time coming but the Pope has finally figured out how to stop all this sex abuse that has been and still is rampant in the Catholic Church. I mean this is so simple even one of my alter-egos- "Sister Mary Margaret", could have figured it out. In fact it almost sounds like something stupid she'd say. Now, I hope I am understanding this correctly but I believe the Pope- Christ's Official representative on earth, said the way he'll combat sex abuse by Priests in his Church is to bring down "The Wrath of God".


Well now, there it is straight from the Pontiff's Pie-Hole.
Call God on the Pope to God phone- which I would imaging is encrusted in "Gold", asking the Mighty One to invoke his Heavenly Wrath.
Gee, how simple is that but then most answers to life's major questions are simple in nature.

Hey, while God's in a wrathing mood, maybe he could fix some other things that are desperately in need of correcting on this Earthy Plain like  Slavery and Human Trafficking, Global Warming and the price of gas.
Just to name a few.
Just a thought...

One final thought.
Check out a few videos from Sister Mary Margaret at
www.facebook.com/DoubleRProductions2017

I'll pre-warn you- that Gal can be sassy. She's no Muthuh Teresa.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

ROBBLOG #770 The Powers That Be


I have magic powers, you know.

Oh, I can't fly.
Or see through solid matter.
Or leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Or fly...
Right. Sorry, I mentioned that already- didn't I.

These powers are small and personal.
I don't abuse them and I don't always talk about what I see or think.

The past few days I have been thinking of and have seen flashes of a huge, hot fire.
A building somewhat taller than its width.
A hot fire.
In a City.
People near.
Then, I read the headlines.
It didn't sink in at the moment but later it did.
"Oh, that's the fire"- I thought to myself.

A friend was struggling with a serious illness.
I saw a fence.
My friend was on the other side.
I said- "You have to start seeing yourself on the other side of that fence.
Look ahead, it's a whole new ballgame over there."
"I don't like baseball."- my friend said.
"It's softball, actually."- I say.
She paused then said- "What?"
Then I saw- "Softball. It's softball on the other side of the fence."
(Someone told me to say that. Then, I saw the number '4')
"Oh and 4 too."
This was sounding crazy stupid.
"Four?"- my friend was as confused as was I.
"I have no idea"- I added, "No idea what that means but you will".
"Oh..." came the reply.
The "4" did make sense a few days later. Did all this mumbo-jumbo help?
I honestly do not know.
I hope it did.

Sometimes when I see little flashes of something or a person or a place, it's like I am standing behind a waterfall looking through the water tumbling down in front of me from a precipice above.
It's not always clear.
Shapes can be cloudy.
No, they are murky.
The shapes can be clearer and cleaner in a dream.
Sometimes that happens too.

At times I can hear some of those who have passed into the next realm.
Not always words but ideas.
Letters.
Pictures.
Shapes.
At times an "entity".
I am not sure if "entity" is the right word but let me use it for now. At times this "entity" is pretty persuasive and wants me to tell the person in front of me what they are seeing and now showing me.

This is about the time that I start to feel like an idiot.
I might say..."look, you don't know me or hey, we've just met, however, I need to tell you such and such. It might help you."
Good grief.

Once a few years ago, in a restaurant, I said something to a server looking after our table.
I told her what I had been shown.
It made sense to her and she told me the story.
I left it there.

About a month later, a car pulls up alongside the curb where I was walking on the sidewalk.
The car's window quickly rolled down.
The server who had looked after our table stuck her head out and said-
"You were right! You were absolutely right!"

I felt like I had helped but I didn't understand.
Not really.

Today- February 20th, is my cousin Judy's birthday. Judy passed back in September of 2018.
She would have been 69 today.
We would have joked about that.
I miss her dearly.
I still go to the phone to call her.
I may think of something about our family I want to mention the next time we talk. I tuck it away in the back of my mind until the next time I speak to her.
Then, I reality hits. I can't call her on the phone anymore.
~tears~

It was only a few hours after she made her journey to the next level of our existence when I heard her voice as clear as clear could be.
"I'm okay". Then her Judy giggle. Then...
"..and don't even think about coming back for me. Why would you?"
She meant back east.

I wondered why this blog came into my mind last night. I typed it to myself from my mobile phone in an e-mail so I wouldn't forget the content.
Now, I know why.

Happy, Happy Birthday my Darling Judy.
See you soon...

Thursday, February 14, 2019

ROBBLOG #769 Snow, Shorts, Shovels and Prognostications


First of all- F**K!

Now, I feel better and don't tell me Islanders or Easterners that you haven't said that out loud this past week or at least those same four letters have passed by on the tickertape of your mind.
It's been quite the six days- and that doesn't make a week but it sure feels like a year.

Pardon me if I repeat myself from the previous BLOG.
I did tell you that this is the most "Island Snow" in 23 years- right?
We are at or round 60 cms. That's close to two feet in an area that lives by its claim to be a Mediterranean climate zone.
The only one in Canada.
Mediterranean, Schmediterranean!
In defense of this climate, it does snow in Rome and even in Tuscany, a place where we think it's hot and grapes grow year round. I am reading a book on Tuscany right now and believe me it is one of the only things getting me through this "Snowmaggedon".

I just came in the house from scraping another few cms of snow off our drive here at Palm Villa. Now, a half hour later, I could probably go outside and do it all over again. There's another winter storm warning in effect with not only snow this time but with rain in the mix as well.
Gee, thanks Jesus.
I say "thanks Jesus" because some people are blaming Jesus and his Dad for all this weather.
As if...
These same people can't walk up the street or do something on their own that they are proud of without spouting thanks to God or his Son. Cheese and Crackers folks, give yourself some credit that you, a lovely human being, can do some pretty amazing things on your own without God sticking his almighty finger up your ass to prod you along. If God's got that much free time, ask him to shovel my drive once or twice!

I can see a weather trend that this snow-horror, this brutal, savage weather pattern is going to stop- maybe next week. We have some sunny days and 5c ahead. Not the 10c we should be seeing but it's a start. We actually walked today, the Mister and I. Someone had made a path with a 4 wheel drive ATV along the trail. We finally got some exercise. For a change, I even let the Mister scrape potatoes while I scraped the driveway.
See, I am not a monster after all.
I do my share of winter chores as long as I don't lift the stuff.
As we walked on the trail, along came three joggers wearing shorts. They had miner's lights affixed to their caps, running along merrily in the snow over the horse bridge near our Palm Villa. It was close to 6 o'clock and the light was dimming.
Typical Island stuff.

A neighbour- who I'll call "Tall Steve", because that's what I call him, has used some form of evil prognostication or otherworldly witchcraft to conjure up the date of March 1st when all this frozen white stuff will finally be gone and we'll be merrily cutting our grass, sending photos back to Eastern folks just to piss them off.
I am not sure.
I am hoping the result of "Tall Steve" dancing naked around a fire in the forest behind us will do the trick but I am a little hesitant to believe that or form a picture in my mind of "Tall Steve" prancing naked in the snow around burning brush or bush- in the case of his dancing prowess taking him far too close to the open flames.
Anyone else smell singed pubes?

In this mess of white, we guard our little red shovel with our lives and right now this instrument is worth its weight in a bar of gold.

Another sure sign of island snow- a neighbour with his son- both on a toboggan, sliding down the winding trail that leads from our neighbourhood to the Trans Canada Trail below. I would much rather have passed this "Daddy" on a hot, sultry, summer Island day when he is stripped to the waist, muscles glistening and sweat clinging to the thick mat of black chest hair covering his upper torso as he jogs up our street.
That's the first toboggan I have seen on the island last winter or this winter. It is not the first display of black chest hair I have seen on the Island- thank goodness!


Now, if all this snow-talk hasn't brightened your spirits, read this next bit and ponder it well. Islanders are aware that the last time we had snow like this was way back in the year 1996.
That's 23 years ago.
So, they say we'll not see another storm like this for a long time again.
Right.
If it takes that long, a little bit of figuring and conjuring with those figures- not necessarily while stripped naked and dancing the Hullabaloo in a forest around a flaming pit of fire, soon tells me that if this much snow waits another 23 years to fall, I'll be a spry, old 91 years of age. Why, I'll be strapping on my Depends to saunter over to the window to watch the flakes fall while I wait for  Nurse Ratchett to enter my room to change those diapers and wipe my hairy, old, wrinkly, white ass.

Put that in your bucket of snow and slush and ponder it well...

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

ROBBLOG #768 SNOWSNOWSNOWSNOW


I just yelled down to my husband through the open Lanai door-
"We're having Hamburgers or Polish Sausages tonight!"
He was leaning on his snow shovel in a pensive sort of way in our snow-covered back garden. He looked up to me standing at the door waiting for his answer.
It came back-
"What Polish Sausage?"
"The ones from Costco"- I said holding the door a open a few inches.

Now, two things are wrong with that back and forth above.
No, not the fact that we're BBQing in February.
That's the norm here.
What isn't the norm is the use of the word "snow" twice in one sentence!

Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow and SNOW!

Now, I know I just came clean two RobBlogs back about the possibility and eventuality of snow on our lovely Isle. However, over the past 48 hours it has become absolutely fucking ridiculous!
On Monday afternoon the amount of snow cover- specifically in the Cowichan, was being compared to a snowfall back in December 2008.


Now, today- Tuesday, this constant snowfall is being compared to a blizzard way back in 1996 when over a 24 hour period something like 65 cm of the stuff fell. We are edging close to two feet or metrically- 60 cm of white stuff.

This is not the norm for Vancouver Island.
It is NOT pretty and if one more person says that to me I may dig a hole in a "pretty" snowbank and shove them in it! Head first!

This snow is a fucking nuisance and a danger. This from a former Ontarian who was used to living with snow for 65 years then we moved out here hoping never to see large amounts of snow like we did back in Orillia, Ontario. Some winters the snow would virtually shut that Central Ontario city down- especially when freezing rain was added to the wintry mix.

The last snow of any consequence the Mister and I have seen while living on this Mediterranean-like Island was back in December of 2017 when on December 22nd or thereabouts a few cms fell. It turned cold and we had a bit of white here and there over Christmas- at least along the trail through the forest.

Before that we hear tell of a "white" episode in 2014 for a day or so but the major events were 2008 and 1996 as stated above.


Islanders are little prepared for this onslaught of winter. Even the Mister and I have only one snow brush for the van. One small red shovel. No snow rake. No Snow Blower and no winter boots.
I mean, I think we brought boots with us but we can't find them, so I'm shuffling around in my black, fully-enclosed, "Nurse Reid" Crocs.
No, I am not a Nurse or a restaurant worker. I bought these crocs online because they have no holes on the top or along the sides. The Croc ad said for "Crocs for Nurses and Restaurant Professionals". That's why I call them my "Nurse Reid Crocs".

The crocs have special soles that prevent slippage in foodstuff and humanstuff such as grease, oil, peepee or poopee. They handle quite well in snow- the treads, so that's what I have ventured out wearing. Of course, with only one little, red shovel, I watch while the Mister shovels.I did shovel some snow off the patio today.
I have to be careful.
If I lift wrong, I will be walking with a cane for a couple of weeks.
That's not pretty- like snow, Nurse Reid with Crocs and cane.

Here on Vancouver Island Highway and City staff are not well-trained in the art of snow removal- or driving in it before it's removed. Pickups with plows attached on the front bumper go up one side of the street, then the other, leaving a huge barrier of snow down the centre. Cross-streets are not cleared like back in Old Home. Snow is left here and there.
Some streets get one narrow, one car width swipe up the centre and that's it!
These Islanders do their best driving in it. Yesterday, one had to be careful when navigating corners. There were ruts of snow left at most downtown corners.

We don't have snow tires on our van.
We're Islanders for cripes sake!
We have tires with a triangle and a snow symbol in the centre that allows us to traverse the Malahat legally from late October until Late March. The Malahat is the mountain that separates Greater Victoria from the Cowichan. These approved tires can't compare to the "snows" we used back in Ontario and no one these past two winters has asked us the usual heard-only-in-Ontario question-
"Ya got your snows on yet?"

Sidewalk snowplows are nowhere to be seen. One doesn't hear neighbours ripping up and down their drives at Oh Dark Hundred clearing snow. Nobody knocks on your door in early October asking if they could have your snow-clearing contract for December through April.We build our fences and plant gardens, trees and shrubbery right up to the edge of the street.
Why?
Because we don't usually have this quantity of snow!
The question today is- where in H E double Hockey sticks will we put it if it keeps snowing?

So, who can we blame for this strange weather- from the vast forest fires that force BC'ers- including
 Islanders, to stay inside on hot, smokey summer days to today's Snowmaggedon?

Yes. Hello. I'd like to blame someone please?
All of us here on planet earth.  That's who.
It's that old chestnut "Global Warming". It's just that this "Old Chestnut" just happens to be true. Arctic ice is melting.
Forests are catching fire leveling towns, killing wildlife and humans.
The sun is hotter. Summers are dryer and winters- like here in this Mediterranean climate area of Vancouver Island, are more unpredictable.

From Cow Farts to factory, car and truck emissions, it all goes hand in hand when changing the climate of our Mother Earth. Of course assholes like Doug Ford, Andrew Scheer and that New Brunswick Premier all believe warming is a big lie concocted by the Liberal part to make money from the Carbon Tax.
Get a Fucking Life you right-wing doorknobs and start to think of all of us on this planet not just the rich Millionaires and old white guys- who just happen to be the type of humans who are rich millionaires.

So, enjoy a sausage or a burger and hope to Gawd that sooner- rather than later, these Hamburgers and Sausages will be all plant-based and cows and pigs will just be animals who live out their lives in a sanctuary field.

I've started myself on that road to helping.
I haven't eaten pork since September.
Beef will be next on my list heading to be as much of a vegetarian as I can be.
I am hoping some Canadian company- and it won't be a Conservative company unless there's millions to be made, will get into the business of making plant-based, meat-like products that will make us go yum!

It's the way of the future unless you let Doug and Andrew and that New Brunswick guy have their way.

Hey, I just looked out the window to my right.
It has actually stopped snowing...for now.
Well, whaddah ya know about that...