Friday, December 22, 2017

ROBBLOG #684 The H O L I D A Y Edition

My "friend" Hank's photo proudly takes top spot on this Holiday ROBBLOG.

I miss performing in Christmas Shows with him but who knows, a new Island Home might bring the opportunity to present Hank to local audiences. I hear Sister Mary Margaret would be interested in a new "gig" as well.
Oh feck!
We'll see what 2018 brings.
Sure can't be any more-life changing than 2017- can it?

The Holidays.
One day it seems like an eternity away and now here we are.
I love the decorations. Pretty trees, front door wreaths and lights.
Lots of lights.

Tom and I and our two mini Schnauzers- Missy and Koko, plus our (lonely) orange kitty- Dickens, are hunkered down for long winter nights...well as long as and as winterish as nights get here on The Island. One evening a few days ago, I sprang from my bed, threw open the sash in the den (slid it to the left actually as any good "Liberal" would) and there on the new fallen island snow (or in the Freezing Fog) was a palm tree with a rhody all in bud beneath it.
I did the happy dance.

"Palm Villa's Front Door."
 The letters are in green on the transom window.
As we acclimatize to our surroundings, we think of our friends and family back east in Orillia, Ontario. It's hard for them too not having us around this year. We'd sit in front of the Parlour fireplace during the Holidays to talk, laugh and swap stories. We can still do the same thing here in British Columbia in front of an almost identical fireplace.
It makes us feel at home only the friends that gather round it are all new to us.

It's a bit surreal at times but we have met so many wonderful folks here and it is making this first holiday season easier.
We don't feel lonely.
Our new friends Tina and Steve who live up the street in Stonewood Village came by for tea at "Palm Villa". We had Yorkshire Tea from Sainsbury's in London, England as well as "Noel" Tea that I bought last year in a quaint, little tea shop in the Marais in Paris. Mix in some chocolate cookies and Crispy Crunch that I made from Rice Krispies and it was a lovely afternoon of laughs and conversation.

The Holiday is different here.

One evening, we came upon two white, plastic tubs sitting on the sidewalk in front of a house close by our neighbourhood where we walk Missy and Koko. It was stuffed with clumps of yellow and pink daisies all wrapped in individual plastic sleeves. The cardboard sign said "Free and Merry Christmas!"
How nice!
I took a bunch. They are on the hunt table in our Great Room with a few branches of west coast cedar
stuck in for greenery.

Our Great Room Fireplace on the Island in Duncan BC
As we walked that evening the sound of the steam train's whistle blew from the Conservation area a few blocks away. It tooted through the damp, evening air. I remember lying in bed at my Gramma Reid's house back in the 50's and early 60's listening to the monstrous steam engines pull into the train station up the street, their whistles cutting sharply through the crisp, Christmas air. I owe many of my own Christmas Traditions to Grandma Lillian Reid and I will never forget her.
I thank her for what she gave me both in spirit and design.
At Christmas 1963 she presented me with a Santa Claus that had a billowing white beard, wearing a red felt suit and hat that is still in my collection today.
Miss you Gram...

Gramma Reid with Her Sons (L-R) Earl, Ivan and my Dad- Walter
That's Grandad Reid- Norm, next to her.
Three "early" Grandkids- Tom, Judy and me (down front right)
~Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way~

This will be my last blog for now. I might get the chance to write over the holidays but I need a break. It's been a steady stream of blogs since we left Orillia, Ontario back on August 15th, driving Priscilla- our RV, across this glorious CANADA of ours that we call home.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Make some new memories. Remember the old ones.
I thank you for reading my ROBBLOG.
I wish you all the best for the new year ahead.

Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings.

Monday, December 18, 2017


Here I sit before my keyboard wearing my "ugly" Christmas Sweater.
Tis the Season.

Atop my head is a jaunty, red Santa Hat and on the desk in front of me a large glass of Baileys poured over ice cubes. These cubes are not crushed ice cubes like back in "old home" but half-moon shaped blocks of ice from our new Whirlpool Refrigerator. We had asked for a crushed ice model but for some reason this machine that dispenses near blocks of ice was installed.
No, I haven't complained to the dealer. I am trying to get used to the larger sections of ice not only in my glass of Baileys but my martini glasses as well. wouldn't you think since we bought 6 appliances from this shop called Coastal Appliances that they'd follow up and ask how we like them?
Nothing yet.
The things one must endure during this season of good will and happiness, eh?

Christmas is a coming, the goose is getting fat.

All the extra eating and noshing ahead.
I am trying to tell myself that Speedo season is not too far off. Why snowdrops are appearing in some Island gardens already- and before Christmas no less. The mild Cowichan weather does allow one to be out more and to walk more. I gave my bike a run up and down the drive last Friday. I will go for a longer ride this week- if I can find the bicycle pump packed in one of the boxes out in the garage.

Speaking of garage, as of Saturday night we have begun to park the Grand Caravan inside the garage.
Still a few boxes at the wall meeting the front grill of the van when we pull it in but it fits and is inside out of the weather at least. Once we tidy the boxes we will be able to actually get inside the vehicle without venturing outside.
How nice.

Speaking of nice- not naughty, we strolled though a few local antique shops over the weekend. We didn't buy but we have our eyes set on two items. One a table and two chairs for our media room. Tom will be able to spread the income tax sheets out on its top during tax time. It usually takes him months to file taxes so we may not see the top of the table until mid-June. I thought a table would give us a nice, sturdy surface on which to have "TV Dinner" instead of the wooden TV Tables we have been using these past few years. It also would give me a surface to work on my scrapbooks and bring them up-to-date.
The second item is a small cabinet- painted white, for our Master Ensuite bath.
Hennaway, we'll see if we can get back to "Belongings" an Antique shop on Lois Lane (isn't that a cute street name) in Downtown Duncan this week and purchase the two pieces.

I also intend to get down to the shops this week to have a look around for a couple of prezzies for Tom. The Dear Boy must have something to open from under the tree.

I also hope to write my Christmas/Holiday Blog which I kind of re-jig to send out to friends and family. You know personalize it a bit. Many changes in this past year and not all of them happy memories, so I'll see where that writing takes me.

Aren't Christmas Windows the Best?
Before I go, I am sorry that you folks in "Old Home" back in Orillia, Ontario are having such a blast with winter- and I don't mean in a good way. A couple of feet of snow and temperatures that feel like the minus 20's.
How rude. How absolutely rude!!
I am trying not to comment on Island weather or send photo of flowers....well never mind.

I will say no more.
Suffice to say there's no sense in adding kerosene to an already blazing fire- is there?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

ROBBLOG #682 W E E K E N D Editon

Another Weekend closer to the Holidays.
Ho Ho Ho!!

Firstly, that young man I mentioned in the last blog who cried about being bullied on the video taken by his mother...
I read where his father may be a white supremacist and his mother- just a little bit racist.
Oh those darn southern folk. Aren't they a hoot.
They still think the slaves are out there a pickin' cotton.

So, have you done your Xmas shopping yet?
I haven't and neither has The Mister.
I did tell him he could buy me Jann Arden's new book- if he wanted to.
I think we have enough this year what with the new Island Home and all.

I did buy the Echo Plus from Amazon.
The top of the line model.
She- Alexa, was on sale at $50 off the original price.
It just came in the post today. A tube about the size of a Kraft Parmesan Cheese container. You speak to Alexa and she does a bunch of stuff. Alexa has 7 or 8 microphones that pick up your voice from
around the room- even a whisper.

She gives you the correct time.
Tells you the weather and gives you the news headlines.
She plays music you ask her to play.
Not everything, however.
Although the English version released in Canada on December 5th says it's Canadian English and she's marketed as being built for typical Canadians, there are still some things she has no idea a boot.
You ask her to play an Anne Murray Christmas Song and she is stumped.

Hey- just like your typical American!
If it doesn't personally affect them, they tune out. Okay, not all but most.
Actually, they don't even tune in in the first place.
Someone here on the Island told me that an American in Seattle- just across the BC border from us, thought Canada's ice and snow started right at the border. Rainy and wet on the US side.
Cold, Ice and Snow once one passes through customs.

Speaking of Canadians and Americans, I follow kd lang on Twitter and damned if that Alberta gal isn't the most American thing since the Kennedys. She rallies against Mr. Cheese Face and practically waves the Stars and Stripes in your face.
I am disappointed in her but if you live in LAH (Los Angeles) I guess that happens.

Guess that's why I am turning into such an Island Boy or at least trying to be. Right now I am being careful not to boast of 10 degree temps and sunny skies when back in "Old Home" it's been -20 something and snow- beaucoup de neige.
It's hard not to.
I am also trying not to boast about digging up an English Laurel from a friend's garden a few days ago or that a Palm Tree has been planted in the hole in our front lawn as you read this Weekend Edition of my ROBBLOG. Not to worry. Temps get a little cooler the week before Christmas. Daytime highs will only reach 4 degrees or so. Of course, the weather is so changeable here in the Cowichan, we might just see warmer temps prevail.

I hope so.
I am not done wearing shorts- just yet.

Monday, December 11, 2017


The sun is shining. There's a slight bit of "Freezing Fog" covering the evergreen branches in the huge, red, cast iron planter out front on our patio.

Just another day on "The Island".
Vancouver Island. About as far west as one can get in this great country of ours.
Today, Twitter tells me our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the "cover boy" on the January edition of Europe's biggest LGBT Magazine- Attitude. Canada is great- isn't it?
Our values cannot be beat.
We are a welcoming nation.
This is a welcoming Island. I can't count the number of times folks have said- "Welcome to the Island!"

Such a Handsome Boy. Canadian Values up his "ying-yang"
I also saw on Twitter- along with 17 million other people, that heart-wrenching video of a boy in tears, telling his mother about being bullied. It tears at my heart.
I mean why in the name of Jesus H. Christ would someone pour milk over someone's head.
Why the fuck can't we be pleasant to one another. I mean, I would hope that most of us are but there are the scurvy few who are rat bastards.
Absolute "Rat Bastards"
It will get better Keaton.
I would hug you hard if you were standing here right now.


It  has been a pleasant few days. A friend- Bev, is visiting from back east. Before we picked her up at Nanaimo Airport on Saturday afternoon, Tom and I spent a nice morning at the Duncan Farmer's Market- which is open- outside, year round. Holiday greens, soup, jewellery, tea, coffee, produce and food. A German Food Truck is one of our favourite stops. It feels like we're at a Christmas Market in Germany and with a hot, steaming cup of Gluhwein- alcohol free, in our hands nothing says Fröhliche Weihnachten more.

Palm Villa on Sunday. The Hole? For the Palm
So, our friend Bev is here visiting from Owen Sound. She's our second overnight guest and sixth visitor to our Island and our new home- Palm Villa. Brother-n-Law Ted and Sister-in-Law Chris came to the Island in September from Edmonton. Then, our friends Deb and Warren from some cold, frosty, minus twenty-four degree Ontario backwater surprized us back on October with a visit. We were not in our new home yet. Then, Victoria Brenda came and stayed overnight to help us unpack. Jaki- the daughter of our much-missed friend Mrs. P from Mississauga, came for a daytime visit last week and now Bev is here. Not to be outdone, a former neighbour who lived just up the street from us in Old Orillia Town, arrives from Courtney- up island, on Friday to stay a night or two. Karen moved to the Island back in July. She paved the way across this country for us. Now, not that we won't love visiting with Karen but we are anxious to see Hailey her Yellow Lab. Hailey will go ballistic when she sees Uncle Rob and Tom.
Such fun!

On Sunday Bev and Tom and I toodled over to Cowichan Bay Village, a quaint ocean side fishing village. Shops and places to eat- of course. Here's a photo of the view from a window in a bakery where we sipped latte's and hot chocolate.

Cowichan Bay Village
In our new home the Christmas Trees are up. Only one on the lower level was decorated. The other-one of a matching pair, never appeared from Orillia and I have no idea where it got to. Maybe it was sold by mistake at one of our garage sales.
I can't remember.
The Holiday Season is going to be different here in the Cowichan on Vancouver Island.
Temps are in the high single digits and even a double digit or two are forecast.

We know back in "Old Home" temps are minus 15, minus 20 and more.
Do I miss the snow and cold?

Not one little bit.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

ROBBLOG #680 W E E K E N D Edition

Good Gosh I am tired!

We moved into our gorgeous Island Home a week ago and it has taken seven full, long, tiring days to get unpacked and add some homey touches. Done and Done.

Half of our garage is filled with cardboard. I suggested to "the Mister" we stash the boxes along the side of the house. He has a concern that the boxes may get wet. It hasn't rained in more than a week and our lovely new van has yet to see the garage interior! Who gives a rat's buttock if the cardboard gets wet- which it won't since there's only sunshine and mild temps for the next week.

I can't begin to tell you how much stuff we've unpacked. I thought I got rid of so much back in "old home" but there still is a mountain of stuff here, so I have started to put extra stuff in boxes and taking it to the storage room on the lower level of our house. I will have to purge again but there's no rush. I am tired of packing and unpacking and making room for stuff so out of sight out of mind for now.

My Christmas Great Room Mantle with BC Cedar Boughs
Remember we had thought we lost a bunch of stuff in the move to The Island? We have slowly discovered that our movers took it upon themselves to open a box or two and re-arrange our stuff. For instance, a box marked Master Bathroom had our Great Room mantle lamps tucked inside. Another had an antique Gone With The Wind lamp inside marked Master Bath. It was labelled correctly but it had been on  the bottom of three boxes piled in the corner of our Master Bedroom. It's been like an Easter Egg Hunt at times! More boxes were piled around the stack of three. I just couldn't remember where stuff was after four months of displacement.

We had been missing an oak dining room chair this past week until last night we found it in a garment box. It was wrapped in a movers quilt. Our leather jackets were rolled in bunches and tucked in on top. Why they opened our boxes and moved stuff around is beyond me.

A final tally would have me say that we had one antique lamp smashed. There was also a small Austrian vase found in several pieces near the bottom of a box. So, besides that- in the end, we faired quite well.

Morning View out our Bedroom Window.
Today I am going to finish decorating our Great Room Christmas Tree then later this afternoon our friend Bev arrives at Nanaimo Airport- about 25 minutes away. She'll be house guest number two in the past week. "Victoria" Brenda stayed last weekend to help Tom and I unpack. We are really looking forward to Auntie B's visit. She's been in California at her sister's place since December first. She'll stay with us and tour the Island until mid-week.
Such fun!

On a final note, it appears you have had some wintery weather this past week back in good ole Ontari-ari-ari-oh! Our friends Deb and Warren report a foot of the white stuff about an hour and a bit north of Orillia.
We saw pics of snow covered, slippery roads.
Double Yikes!
So glad I don't have to drive on snowy roads. As our friend Brandy sent us a photo of slippery streets we were waiting in line at the car wash here in Duncan. The photo of flowers blooming in December was taken as her snow-covered pictures came into my phone....and yes this is still Canada with December flowers in bloom.

Now My Dears, that's you up to date.
Have a good weekend. Enjoy the Holidays which are almost upon us and even though I am not supposed to encourage Easterners to come West- it's an unwritten rule apparently, there's still room here on the Island.
All you'll leave behind is...winter!

Monday, December 4, 2017


Well, we did it!!

Nine months after we signed the contract we have moved into Palm Villa- our new home in Duncan BC on Vancouver Island.

We had three moving guys- one with lovely biceps, who worked from 1030 till about 5 in the afternoon. New friends Carol and the Two Brendas- one from Victoria and one from Ladysmith put their back into unwrapping a ton of boxes and tah-dah!

It was a tiring but a very exciting day. Most of our main level is put away but the lower level is still a bit scattered. I'll work on that this week. Most of our "stuff" arrived in good condition.
Some not so good.
We had breakage.
I did my best when packing but ultimately it was the handling along the way.
There are items missing too- like an oak dining room chair.
Our bicycles are missing bolts that hold on the fenders.
Our patio table is still in pieces because the bolts can't be found.
I asked one of the nice moving men way back in August NOT to take the table or our bikes apart.
They did anyway.

Palm Villa's "Great Room"

We had the back of an antique harp-back washstand damaged. Someone had glued it back together and wrapped it in tape! Nice one.
Tape on an antique piece?
What can you do?
We will be putting in a claim.
I am also missing two mantle lamps and an antique "Gone with the Wind" lamp.
I hope I find them in a box today.

I will begin work on re-assembling Swisssh and Starlite later today and who knows, maybe they'll be back on air tomorrow.

Tom and I are so happy to be in our new Island Home. WE are grateful to be mostly settled and feeling a part of this Cowichan Community.
Cowichan means "warm land" you know.

'Front of House"
We are also grateful for our new Island friends- Victoria Brenda, Ladysmith Brenda and Carol.

Oh Christmas Tree is assembled. It's lights are glowing but naked otherwise.
It's on my "to do" list.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

ROBBLOG #678 W E E K E N D Edition

My Goodness!

I am happier than a pig in poo right now!
Here on the Island the Holidays are in full swing.
Thursday night Tom and I met our friend" Ladysmith Brenda" in Ladysmith for the Festival of Lights and the light parade down Ladysmith's main street. Ladysmith is about 20 minutes "up island" from our house in Duncan.

The evening was mild and the lights were amazing. Up to 18,000 people crowd into this Island Town of 6,000 to see the downtown awash in coloured lights. Santa flips the switch at 630 and the parade begins! Jesus, Mary & Joesph- it's a lot of lights!!

The parade of lighted floats and vehicles lasted almost an hour and a half. Then, a huge tree with 15,000 LED lights was lit, followed by a 15 minute fireworks display which was one of the best I have ever seen. What a jolly evening! Worth the trip to the Island.
Some pictures below:




From Top: Rudolph Lights, Marching Cadets, Lighthouse Lit & Fireworks over Aggy Hall


After 9 month we have taken possession of our new home in Duncan BC. With shorts, 9c degrees and a big smile on our faces, Tom and I were presented with our key. WE started to move some things we had in our apartment- and Priscilla, into the house on Friday. Saturday sees all our worldly possessions arrive from Nanaimo where they have been in storage since the last week in August.
How Nice!!

A few lights to begin the 'Festive Mood" at Palm Villa
We are excited to say the least. Our home still has some exterior finishing touches like some painting and landscaping to be done but it feels like home. Our palm tree should be planted by Christmas.
Mele Kalikimaka.
Holy shite!

Here's a photo above of our interior fireplace in the Great Room. I'll post more at a later date.

So, I am going to be busy re-positioning furniture and hanging pictures over the next few days.
Pardon my absence folks.

I might even have Swisssh and Starlite back on air by Sunday night.
Baby steps first, Rob.
Baby steps....

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, November 27, 2017


This is the Week That Was...

Or will be.
Or should have been four months ago!
July 29th was our original move in date for our new build home here on Vancouver Island.

All the details of our move and the past three months of "hurry up and wait" are on this blog. Just scroll down a bit and read some of the older bits- if you're interested.

It feels a bit surreal actually.
Tom and I have been counting the months and weeks and days for an eternity it seems. Now, our future is just about here. If all goes the way we've planned, the house keys should be in our hands on Thursday morning.
It seems strange to write that...
Thursday Morning.

Saturday we'll be laying our heads down under a new roof. It's the beginning of the rest of our lives.
Those lives being spent here in the Cowichan- the City of Duncan to be precise. It's a nice place. Not a big city like Toronto or Victoria but busy with the Island Highway or Trans-Canada Highway slicing through Duncan from South to North on the east side.

Duncan's Downtown is a lot like Orillia's back in Ontario. Small shops, restaurants and services.
This past Friday night Duncan welcomed in the Christmas Season. The entire downtown was lit with thousands of Christmas Lights on buildings and wrapped around trees. At 8 o'clock there were fireworks from atop City Hall. That's right! Fireworks from the top of the building showering the people below and all accompanied to thundering music of the Holiday Season. That would nevefr happen back in Orillia. The crowds are kept at a distance. Here, we actually stood underneath the fireworks shower.

Christmas trees in the Duncan City Square were not only decorated with multi strings of lights but actual decorations were hanging from branches. This is something one would not see back in "Old Home" in Orillia. The snow would prevent it but here in the mild temps of a 10c evening, garlands and ornaments covered tree branches along with the lights.
It was a warm, inviting, Holiday evening.

Further down island Victoria celebrated with an evening Santa Clause Parade. First time I ever saw Santa with a huge umbrella on his float. The photo below is from the Victoria Times.

To recap, first we get possession of our new home then the furniture arrives on Saturday from Nanaimo. Island friends are coming to lend a hand- all former Ontarians who now also make this Island their home. It will be a busy day of unpacking and unwrapping. Some adult beverages. Some food. Some stories and ultimately all our stuff will be in place and looking comfy-cosy.
How nice!

After the furniture and accessories are in place, the next job will be to haul out my three Christmas Trees and get a late start on the holiday decorating.
It's a big job but I am up for the task.
Happy Holidays!!

With all this unpacking and decorating going on I may not get back to blog writing for a bit.
I'm not saying never but I will require an internet connection- and some spare minutes.
Next time I should be writing from my studio- home to Swisssh and Starlite, from Stonewood Village.
How Exciting!

Friday, November 24, 2017

ROBBLOG #676 W E E K E N D Edition

Where in the feck is Jesus H Christ when you need him?
And his Mother- Mary.
MARY, can you hear me? MARY, can you see me? Mary, can you feel me?
And God. Where is she at this time of the year? Aruba? Winnipeg?
Oh Jesus Christ no!! Not Winnipeg. It's -21c and that's balmy for Winterpeg.

Listen, I would even have the ear of Joseph H Christ- Jesus' Dad if he were an important enough, religious enough historical figure but Joe just isn't. Who goes down on his knees in front of Joey every night?
On second thought, don't answer that.
I think it could be perceived as very dirty- in a fellatio/tea-bagging sort of way.

Anyhoo, I am looking for a miracle and in all the wrong places so far.
You see, our Darling little Mini-Schnauzer Missy has been diagnosed with sarcoma cancer. A week ago we discovered a lump the size of a small pear on her groin near her right back leg. We have had initial tests done and the pathologist is looking at more blood work, X-Rays and such to see if the cancer is located entirely in this fatty lump or has spread. If it has- it's bad news. No operation.

As if this isn't enough, Doctor Kyle also heard a heart murmur. Then, he took an X-Ray and saw an enlarged heart too. That's a lot for a little girl who turned 13 yrs old just a week ago.

Our Missy
For us, it's sad.
We've been waiting for months to get into our new home here in the Cowichan on Vancouver Island.
Now, we are down to literally days before possession and we have Missy's health hanging over our heads and weighing heavy on our hearts. The support from friends has been terrific. In situations like this your friends circle around you. They send us positive vibes, chants and prayers to the universe.

Hey listen, if the God-Thing works- any port in a storm but I'm not signing my soul over to Jesus. Remember as kids we'd clasp our hands together, look skyward and say things like-
"Jesus if you give me a thick mat of hair on my chest..."
"Jesus if you let the Westcott Brothers brush up against me while sweaty and naked in the shower after Gym class- I'd be yours forever."
I mean we all prayed for those kind of things- right?
I mean...right?
The Westcott's who were built like a pair of brick shithouses because of all that hay they flung down on the farm.

I mean, I still believe the tale of the Christmas Story with the Three Kings and the Shepherds is sweet but not reality based.

Hennaway, my views on religiosity is not the purpose of this blog.

Our furry friends give us unconditional love and we return that love to them. It's just that in this situation we feel helpless and hopeless. We've been down this road countless times before and it's always too soon to say goodbye or even think about saying goodbye.

Another year, another week, another day is all we ask.
We hope to get positive news and the surgery can go ahead.
We hope- if that's the case, Missy's heart will be strong during the surgery.
We hope- at this most festive time of year, we can give our sweet little Missy the gift of time.

Time will tell....

Monday, November 20, 2017


So how's it going out there on the Island?

We are hearing that a bunch these days.
Fine, fine, we say.
Partial truth. Partial fib.

Imagine having your life disrupted for three months. It's been three months since we left Ontario.
Living in Priscilla our RV for 33 days and now in this granny suite apartment has been "different" to say the least. Blame it on the builder or the municipality- you choose. With the delays- 4 and a half months of them, it's been rough to have a normal day-to-day home life.

Tom and I haven't seen our furniture, the majority of our clothing, Swisssh and Starlite Radio or other general stuff like outdoor furniture since August 15th.
I shouldn't complain
There is an end in sight in just over a week.

Now, with the snow and snowsqualls back in what I call "old home", we know we'd rather be here on the Island.
We aren't shovelling.
It's not cold.
Let me be truthful here. It's not the tropics but I'll take 8, 9 or 10 degrees and green grass anytime.
Now that deciduous trees have lost their leaves, the green is really standing out across the landscape. Lawns, cedar trees, arbutus trees, rhododendrons, yuccas, holly trees, palms, privets and English laurel are all still a vibrant green and will remain so.

Garden Centres are still open. Here's some Canadian Tire plants for sale
in their Outdoor Garden Centre.
We still wear shorts when it's 9 or 10 degrees and sunny.
Hah- Easterners!
I understand the Island rule is 6 degrees outside and it's okay to wear shorts. Nobody looks at you funny and says- "you're wearing shorts?" like back in Ontario during the month of October.

We were at a Christmas show called Christmas Chaos on the weekend and many folks were in shorts- like us, some, in sandals. Scarves are simply a decorative bit of fashion flair like in London or Paris. I want you to know, I have put the flip flops away for the winter!

There are island folks about who hope for snow.
Can you imagine?
"Oh, it's so pretty!"- they say.
"The kids love it!"- others tell us.
"It's brighter than rain and clouds!"- we hear from others.
&*&^%!!- I reply.

I usually pull out my phone, show them Ontario Winters with snow and ice and tell them this is what we left behind.
Their eyes get all big and round looking at the photos.
They crack a small smile.
They have no idea what it's like plowing one's way through January and February. Consistent cold, shovelling, ice and rough roads.
No folks, Island life is better- even if there is the possibility of February snow and that could just as well stay up on Mount Prevost or Tsouhalem and I'd be happy with that.

Snowy Orillia, Ontario
I know all things will get better once we unpack our treasures- including one small shovel, less than a couple of weeks from now.
I am excited at the prospect.
Placing furniture.
Hanging pictures.
Putting up my three Christmas Trees- wearing shorts.
Fah Lah Lah Lah Lah.

How nice.

Friday, November 17, 2017

ROBBLOG #674 W E E K E N D Edition

Haven't done a DIS 'N DAT since like here goes.

1. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here on the Island. The Big Christmas Craft Show is on at the Island Centre- home of the Big Hockey Stick.

2. The Big Hockey Stick ( 'ockey stick if you are from Quebec) adorns the Island Highway side of the
Island Centre. You can't miss it. It's pretty big but not that impressive. It's just a stick after all...Now the big "Puck"- that's something!

3. Are you as tired as I am hearing about men and women being sexually touched without their permission?

4. Is it dirty/bad thinking about Terry Crews in a little red speedo- if I keep it to myself?

5. When is the United Church just going to let Gretta Vosper get on with it. It's only the Holy Trinity she doesn't believe in after all, not the end of the world. She believes in love and good and treating people fairly. So, what is bad about that?

6. I have great disdain for old ladies who stand behind you in the 12 items or less checkout at the grocery store and count your items!! No, it didn't happen to me but my haircutter Sharleen.

7. What was Sharleen's total item count? A measly fourteen items and the cashier had called her over before the old lady got in line behind her. Sharleen even offered letting the old lady go first. Geesh!

8. Attention all "Old Ladies!!" Get a life or go to Bingo or something!

9. A man buys a photo for $10. Turns out it's a real picture of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett. Mr. Garrett eventually shot the Outlaw Billy "real dead".

10. Someone buys a painting- supposedly painted by Leonardo da Vinci, for peanuts and sells it for 450 million dollars! JESUS CHRIST!!
That's the subject of the painting. Now, like the Mona Lisa, the subject knows a dirty little secret based on the little, smirk of a smile we see. Hey! Maybe it's Mona in a different wig or maybe the Mona Lisa is really Jesus in drag. Either way, 450 million is a lot of peanuts to pay for a pic.

11. From the "Only in America Department", someone is hosting an event called "Come Meet a Black Person". For 15 bucks and a couple of drink tickets, anyone who has never met or befriended a person of the "Black Persuasion" can do so at this event. Just ahead in the same series-
"Come meet a Gay".
"Come Meet a Serial Killer" and
"Come Meet and Touch Someone You Have Always Wanted To Touch".

12. A Prairie Nun- Sister Rosetta Reiniger, believes the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club have God- The Big Guy, on their side. That's right, the "Sister" believes that Jesus's Dad wears a Roughrider Jersey when slumming around the H of G. (House of God) Why not? This is a Nun from the same church that believes there's an open hotline between the Pope and the Big Guy up there in Heaven. No word on who Jesus, The Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary favour.

So, that's DIS 'N DAT.
I feel like a weight has been lifted.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


"At the end of the day aren't we all whores looking for that pole to take our last ride on"
                                                            - Karen Walker

Today, I'd thought I would start with a quote from one of my favourite people. It's a funny quote to be sure but it has a serious side too.

The last ride.

I was watching a programme the other evening where a lot of twenty-somethings where creating what looked like an amazing stage show. When interviewed, several of the cast said that this was the big moment in their lives. It set the stage for what they needed and wanted to accomplish in their life on this crazy planet.

I thought about these younger folk who were still bright-eyed and busy-tailed. The world- they felt, was at their feet. The future was whatever they made it.
It was in their grasp.
They were in control.
This was their future and they were going for it all and holding on tight. They were going to enjoy the ride. The dance of their life.

I started thinking about my life and wondered if I had grabbed on tight and did all that I could have done or wanted to do.

These younger people were so excited about what lay before them. They could at this point in their young lives do whatever they wanted...or so they believed.

I sat there, my little inside voice asking me- have you grabbed life where it counts and are you ready to take that last ride on the pole of life? Whoring does not just have a sexual connotation here. Whoring is latching on. Going over the top. Taking what you want. Fighting for it. Lusting after it.
I began to wonder if I had taken my last steps towards that "pole".

Career-wise, I am through. I'm not working for a living now. I am not sure if I ever worked hard enough at my living. I could have done more if I had of had the drive. Most of the time, I just got by.

Now, I'm living each day my way. Doing this and that.
Of course moving about as far west as one can move in this glorious country of ours in no small feat.
It's been one hell of a way to wind-down.

I can hardly wait to be sitting in my favourite chair in my new house with my husband next to me saying- "look Hunnie. We made it. We followed our dream once again. We made it ours and saw it through.

I think you have to do that.
Follow a dream. Do something big like those kids in that show.
I know it's easy to say and it would be even easier with oodles of cash on hand to reach that dream but I guess you have to look at the whole picture and if you can and if you want to- you can make the change and afford the dream.
It might take some work.
Some heartbreak.
Some regret but also a new vision for the future and let's face it, the future is all that there is ahead of us.

I have looked ahead at this last part of my future. The inescapable winding down of life. The last three decades- if I'm lucky, is right there ahead of me. I can't change that but I can and did change where I'm going to spend it.

I asked my husband the other evening- "If I were to pass away, you know, travel to that next phase in existence, would you stay here on the island without me?
He said- "Yes. It's my home now."

I think we've both found that pole.

Friday, November 10, 2017

ROBBLOG #672 W E E K E N D Edition

Lest We Forget...We Remember

My Dad- Walter Harvie Reid WWII Veteran

My Mum- Marion Ruth Reid (Nee Bartley)
Bomb Girl and Supertest Grill Gal

My Mum on Left and her fellow war workers

The Red Ensign our Flag until 1965

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


A midweek Blog to compliment your day.

Firstly, I want you to know that Tom and I also have funds "offshore". Like other famous and rich folks we have our cash offshore from the mainland on the Island. So far, the press has not discovered this and our names have been kept out of the news.


We have learned many things coming to The Island off Canada's "Wet" coast or "Left" coast.
Nobody told us before we arrived and since we didn't know anything about it in the first place, why would we do a Google search about owning a vehicle in BC? We had to buy a new van when we discovered our old Montana van couldn't pass muster. Muster is a BC out-of-province test for out-of-province vehicles that you can't study for.

Our 2003 Montana failed- even though we could have kept driving her in Ontario.
A cash grab?
Maybe- but the story here would be vehicles are tested to keep unsafe vehicle off the roads.
The car insurance here is provincially run by the government and seems to be a make-work project and doesn't protect locals from inflated rates or ridiculous plans. There is no choice- somewhat like in Russia only Canadian in flavour.

If you Easterners think it's so bad here-
Why dontcha just go back home to Ontario?
Now our RV-Priscilla, sitting on a lot at Arbutus RV located at the Nanaimo Airport, is waiting to be sold. However, she needs an out-of-province test as well. If she passes, we simply change plates to BC. If not we fix her in order to sell her.
Two points to note here.
We spent over $5000 back in Ontario replacing "stuff" AFTER Heidi's RV gave her a pass on the safety check. Something wrong there...

If she doesn't pass the O.O.P.C. we could drive her back to Ontario and sell her there hoping the safety check would still pass.
That will cost money or we pay for the O.O.P.C. here on the Island and if repairs are required, we pay for the work.
Apples and Oranges.
We are waiting for the O.O.P.C. to hear the results.

We've also been learning some local lingo.
For instance a "patio home" is one built on a concrete slab- no basement.
On the other hand, many basements here are not basements but are partially or totally above ground and sometimes are referred to as the "lower level".

A home we used to call a bungalow in Ontario is a "rancher" here.

When you go into a restaurant and order a toasted western, you may get a funny look. That's because "Westerns" are "Denvers" out here. A little American I'd say. I've also seen "cheque" spelled "check" in many places. Tsk. Tsk. WE are losing little bit of our identity allowing that to happen.

Maple Bay is 10 minutes from our front door.
Oh!....This past Sunday we walked to our new build from the apartment where we are currently residing until possession date. It was a nice half hour walk, partly along the Trans Canada Trail. We stood looking at our house from our soon to be front yard, when an old grey-haired lady- with a cigarette stuck between her lips, sauntered by us. She didn't say anything but kept one eye on us as she passed. Then she disappeared into a house under construction across the street.- outside walls but no windows and doors. She did re-appear, mumbled hello as she passed us and flew down the street on her broom. We have since been told she is nosey old complainer who likes to stir the pot.

I am not worried. I have my anti-witch spray in storage. It works on both women and men- warlocks in this case. How come every neighbourhood has one of these?

Talk to you next time...