Thursday, January 30, 2020

ROBBLOG #817- Painting What the Future Holds

The Mister says I am not allowed to paint.

Walls, I mean.
Ever again. So he says.
Apparently- like an 6 year old's colouring book, I've painted outside the lines once or twice in the past.

We have two guest bedrooms I want re-painted.
Currently they are "Bar Harbour Beige". That's not warm enough for these rooms. I am thinking more burgundy with a touch of rust or red. I haven't sorted through paint chips at Benjamin Moore yet so I really don't know. I only know that Bar Harbour Blah is not the right choice we originally made.

Anyhoo, we have asked for estimates from area painters.
The first one came back at $995.
The second was over that at $1275.
This is just two rooms. No woodwork.
No trim.
No repair.
Just paint.

I got so pissed off I didn't even call the third painter.
I've decided to leave it be. Maybe down the road I'll change my mind but for now being a Senior living on a fixed income, it's just too much to fork out.
Even if the Mister told me to go ahead and paint, I'd probably say "no". I don't even like painting but I've done it in the past to save some money.

I could keep looking and hope I'll run into someone with a price that would make me smile. Now, I understand that a cheap price may mean a terrible, cheap job.
If I wanted a shoddy paint job- I could take care of that myself if one were to believe "him".

Speaking of taking care, I think the end of days are at hand.

I haven't seen the four horsemen of the apocalypse come riding down our street yet but with the Island weather forecast calling for yet another "Atmospheric River" bringing up to 50 mm of rain to our valley and with the World Heath Organization declaring a world-wide emergency what with the Coronavirus spreading further and further around the world, it might be time to repent.
Jesus Christ.
How do these viruses get started in a country the size of China? The city of origin is home to eleven million people. They are fast-tracking a new hospital just to take care of people with this deadly virus.
You have to wonder what's up.

You know, Jesus could be upset with the millions of heathens living in China. I am sure that's why he's made it rain so much here on the Island in the past month or two. There's just not enough of us attending church these days and the bills are adding up.

As far as the rain goes, I've been checking online for blueprints to start building an arc but I figured if the Mister won't let me paint, he's certainly not going to let me build a boat that is almost certain to sink to the bottom of the Pacific.

Then again, if the end of the world is at hand, who cares what colour my guest bedrooms are anyway.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

ROBBLOG #816 Pot Pies, Princes and Plants

We are alone again, naturally.

Here on the island we get a lot of guests. We just had three separate guests all at separate times visiting and taking in the Island hospitality- and ours. Now for the next while we are on our own.
Back to meal planning instead of going out for brunch or dinner. Back to catching up on TV series we placed on hold while guests are here at Palm Villa. Back to taking long walks.
That we need.

Going out to dine once or twice a day for an extended period wreaks havoc on my "girlish figure" as well as the senior pocketbook. It's great news for local eating establishments though. It also allows us to try something new. This past week we drove to the Malahat Summit- at 1200 feet, to eat at the Malahat Chalet just a short distance down the Victoria side of the mountain. The view- as you can see below, is stupendous.
Look at the Rainbow!
The food was scrumptious.
I had a chicken pot pie that was so good I would have been happy just eating the pastry enclosing the chicken bits. Desert was a chocolate cake that was about six layers tall.
I couldn't finish it.
The Mister did.

Our friend Lisa who was here most recently didn't get to see a lot of breath-taking Island views- except for the Malahat Chalet. The rain this past while has been nonstop- not to mention the snow last week. Read about that in the previous ROBBLOG.

It looks like we have some sunny weather ahead- mild and spring-like, compared to most other parts of this glorious country of ours. We've seen snowdrops out along the path and there's a hellebore out in our north garden. Rhody's are in full bud and the heather is all aglow in colours of purple, pink and white. The cows are out in the green fields as the picture at the bottom of this Blog shows.

I remember our first year on the Island the Mister cut the grass around the 10th of February.
Not sure what February will bring this year what with the crazy weather and not just here on the Island.

January Hellebore
There's been heat and fires in Australia.
Seventy plus centimetres of snow in Newfoundland.
Freezing rain in Ontario.
Two weeks of below minus 30 temperatures in Edmonton. Okay, maybe that's not so unusual.
Then, our Island saw so much snow in two days a week ago.
The most since the early 80's I heard.
Global Warming?
You betcha.
What else?

It doesn't always have to make the weather hotter- although it is judging by the melting polar ice cap.
Global warming is changing weather in many places. Here on the Island we suffered from forest fire smoke in July of 2018. We had to stay inside for a few days. Australians know what that's about.
That and leaving everything behind to escape the heat and flames.
We have an extended drought every summer. No matter how much rain falls now, our river beds will be dry come late July and once again we'll have watering restrictions.
Not so nice.

On the nice side, we may have a Duke and Duchess living in the neighbourhood.
Okay not exactly next door but not too far away either- in Saanich.
I mean they'd be more than welcome to live in our neighbourhood and bring up Archie with a ton of "Uncles and Aunties"at their disposal to watch him.
They could save a ton of money by sending their bodyguards back to England if they did move into this neighbourhood.

I know Island folks would let them have their space if this is where they wanted to settle- besides Frogmore Cottage at Windsor. Something for them to consider if they have Vancouver or Toronto on their minds.

I think it would be fun running into them in an Island park.

"Good Morning Harry. Is that how I should address you. Harry? Duke?"- I'd ask.

"Sure. Absolutely."- he'd say in his "royal" English accent, "And how should I address you...

"Oh, "Your Grace" would be just dandy!" I'd reply, offering an outstretched hand and a huge smile.

Now, there are three guests that would keep the neighbours talking.
Well, it could happen one day....

Cowichan Cows Grazing on a green pasture
Jan 23, 2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020

ROBBLOG #815- I Need Therapy!

I need therapy.

Apparently, I do.
Oh, not because I'm losing it.
No, I still have an ounce or two of my faculties left.
It's because I need therapy as in a "therapy light".
It's simply all the rage here on this Island My Dears.

A therapy light alleviates the loss of daily sunshine. One still needs to take a daily Vitamin D but adding the use of a LED Therapy Lamp to one's daily routine is supposed to be just what the sun doctor ordered.

The Mister and I have been using ours for a few days since the nice man at the door delivered the
Light Therapy package from
Is it working?
It must be since I haven't wanted to strangle the Mister in several days. This lamp emits some of the same stuff that the sun does. It fools your eyes and even friends much in the same way that Ray Ban Sunglasses hide huge bags under one's eyes only in this case the eyes think they see sunlight and one's spirit is lifted.

It doesn't removed winter's gaunt, vampirish look. You know,
that white, pasty, overtired look but at least you feel good about being white and pasty!
It's not a sunlamp.
There's no tanning involved.
I use mine a few times a day when I sit at the computer.
Like right now.
I'm so happy I could s***.
Especially when I look out the window and see white.

It has snowed in the Cowichan.
We were supposed to see perhaps, maybe a bit of white stuff.
Probably. Maybe. Not sure- as I tracked three weather sites, to see if the Cowichan was going to see appreciable snowfall. All sites were different but it comes to pass that we have some snow.
One site predicted 0.05 cm on the ground.
What the F*** is 0.05 cm?
You'll be happy to know that I believe it to be more like 5 cms.

Nobody's outside.
No cars are on the streets.
It's like a white Armageddon since Islanders don't know how to live with snow let alone drive in the stuff. I mean it's not too much. I saw more ice and snow when I defrosted our upright freezer back in the fall. I'll bet if anyone is out on the roads it's a former Ontarian and even they stay locked up behind closed doors knowing full well an occasional Islander will pretend to be an Easterner and still drive.

I'll bet school buses will be cancelled.
Schools will be closed.
Transit is either affected by cancellations or running behind.
Ferries to Horseshoe Bay and Tsawassen will be cancelled.
Shelves in grocery stores will be empty of bread, milk and bottled water.
It's like a war zone on the Island when it snows.

Now, I hate this cold, wet Island stuff. It is different from Ontario Snow.
It has a different flavour.
Our Island snow is wetter, heavier and has a fruitier piquant than Orillia snow.
It tends to melt fast and yet with all three weather sites predicting bone-chilling, record-breaking snow for Vancouver Island we may be in for a few days of a whiter landscape than usual.

I have knocked snow off my palms twice already and I don't think my cordyline's will manage with the heavy snow and cold temps.
This is a gigantic pain in the ass and I speak for all Islanders- unless you are 8 years old and own a sled or toboggan.
Most kids in the lower half of the Island do not. Santa doesn't bring Island kids in the southern part winter snow stuff like a sled.
It's a dream for kids here.

We have snow shovels but we all have to dig them out from under piles of junk meant for a summer garage sale or a trip to the nearest dump or recycle site.

The snow is pretty on the BC fir trees but fir trees crack and fall from the heavy snow on their limbs and then, the power starts to go out.
The Hubbie and I are getting a Generac installed this year not just for power outages caused by snow but earthquakes and wind as well.
All part of living on this beautiful, green Island.

One thing I gd know, a couple of days after this snow melts and the cold retreats, we Islanders have bad short term memories and will go back to telling Winnipegers and other Easterners that it never snows on the Island.
It's a bare-faced lie but one we all stand behind and continue to lie about.

It's the Island way.

Monday, January 6, 2020

ROBBLOG #814- Finding Place

What a world we live in.

What a time.
What a place.
Here we are in 2020 and things don't look better than the past decade.
Things are worse.
Politics stink.
Social media is a problem.
Changes are afoot.
We're all trying to find "place" and hold on.

Climate change is a major concern. I can't believe those people- many Canadians, who don't see it or feel it. We have new weather terms for storms here on the left coast. How about "Atmospheric Winter"?
I've heard that twice this "winter" season on the Island. If long range forecasts hold true we might see many centimetres of snow and unusual cold here in the Cowichan beginning next week.
Two years ago camelias were in bloom and we were cutting grass in early February!

War is always on the lips of many people across the world. In America, that little old country that sits east of us here on Vancouver Island, west and east to many residents of Southwestern Ontario and due south to many other Canadians, is always ready to go to war with the Middle East, North Korea and others. Citizens are being stopped and held for unusual lengths of time at immigration check points. Witness what happened at BC border points this past while.
It never changes.

I asked my sister who is spending the winter as usual, in the U.S. if her and my brother-in-law are prepared in case something comes of this current conflict the Americans- their big cheese in particular, have with Iran. She said they are keeping a close watch and will head north if something happens.
They are a fourteen hour drive from the Canadian border.
The idea is to be able to drive north- before the border closes.
Who knows?

Other family and friends are south as well and I wonder how they go about every day with the
"revenge plots" that Iran rumours to be considering inflicting. The world could be a changed place this year and decade.

I think about change.
I miss being back in old home. There are times I get all morose and sobby-eyed- if indeed sobby is a a word.
I begin wondering if :

a) we should have stayed there in Ontario
b) we should have moved to Florida for our winter warmth
c) we should move back to ice and snow

Then, the after Christmas let-down combined with my family being so far away seems to weigh me down in this post Holiday time. I mean, I hate January to begin with and February- who needs it?
It was bad enough living through the hell of freezing cold temperatures and foot after foot of snow back in Orillia, Ontario but this "river" of rain and overcast skies has held on throughout December giving us only a half dozen chances to be outdoors in the sun.

Now things are green here. Temps are about 7, 8 or 9 degrees most days- at least until that arctic forecast scheduled for next week comes along. One can walk about in a sweater and rain jacket- or shorts on the few sunny days we've had. Bicycles are still on the streets and joggers abound- one today was even bare-chested. Golf and RV resorts are open and the ocean's tides are still a remarkable event to witness at places like Cherry Point Beach.

The feeling of being unsettled or not having roots that go back more than three years is troubling at times. We've met lots of new people on the island and have formed many close friendships in a relatively short period of time. However, we still like to visit and have dinner with our former Orillia or Ontario friends who live here. We seem to hold a special bond with them that just feels right. That being said we have several very special, very close ties- family-like ties, with a half dozen folks who inhabit a special part of our Island Life. How could I give that up?
Change is good.
Or not...

I tell myself the distance from which we came from in Ontario- three time zones away, is not a small feat. It took guts and gumption.
We managed it.
It hasn't been easy, I can tell you that.
I feel hollow at times, without purpose and of course the way old father time skips merrily along faster and faster every day, doesn't help one little bit.

Will the world get through these times?
Will I?

Really, I don't know.
The next chapter is still to be written.