Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It is just me?

I was just looking up the town 'Celebration' in Florida* in Wikipedia and came up with a variety of statistics.
It included the following information:

There were 952 households out of which 45.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.5% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.7% were non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.30.

"Uh-huh", you might say.

Well, let me ask you this.
Where is the information that tells us how many men are the householders with no wife present??
Is it so bizarre that a woman might own her own home that it needs to be a stand-out statistic?


(Yeah, it's probably just me.)

*I just do these things. I don't know why.

Monday, May 29, 2006

I need covet no longer!

This was my highly anticipated purchase this weekend!
Spider first introduced me to the French butter crock last year and I've coveted hers ever since.
It's such a clever idea!
Before the age of refrigeration, butter was often kept in earthenware pots large and small, sometimes submerged in water. The modern water-submerged butter crock is thought to have first appeared in France in the Middle Ages, and many (not all!) French have been using them since.
The water creates an airtight seal that preserves the freshness of the butter while keeping it at room temperature.

I love my handmade butter crock. *

*As a P.S...Darrel Hancock is the talented artist that created my beautiful and functional butter crock.
He is from Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada.
Here's his website!
Darrel Hancock
Check out his beautiful work!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Jam packed entertainment!

My Victoria Day long weekend consisted of getting my mom to stand around with a sword on her head, all my dear friends together in one place, beautiful flowers, an ivy covered bell tower, a wooded path over looking a creek and a mama bear with her two cubs.

Not bad for 72 hours!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


This is to answer tsduff's kind enquiries as to the story of my pet crow from my last post.

When I was about 9 or so I happened to be at our local park when I noticed a group of 'big boys' (read 12 or 13 years old) huddled in a group peering at the ground.
Wondering what they were looking at, I crept closer and saw that they had trapped a crow with a broken wing.
Edging closer, I could hear some of their conversation.
"Wow, I can't believe Darren winged that thing. That was way cool."
"Now what do ya wanna do with it?"
"I dunno...wanna drown in the pool?"

Well, that was quite enough for me.

I pushed my little 9 year old self into the middle of the group yelling, "Get away from him. You're NOT going to drown him."

Those boys never knew what hit 'em.
I grabbed that bird right out from under their snotty little noses and ran all the way back home with him.

We splinted his wing as best we could (thanks mom and dad) and kept him in an open box in the kitchen.
The egg/raw hamburger mixture went over well.
He seemed to grow stronger so we took to letting him run around outside, hoping he'd be able to flap his way back to flying strength.
And then one day he flew-hopped away, and we never saw him again.
I hope he survived.

It wasn't but a little while longer that my dear friend 'Pol showed up with a baby crow for us to nurse.
We named him 'Crow', too.
He did better; he managed to fly away to his new life.

I'll never forget what a wild bird smells like after that though.
They smell of earth and dust, and something else I've never been quite able to identify that lingers just underneath.
Perhaps it's the smell of the wind?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Did you NEED to know?

I ran away with this from Kimber's blog, who shamelessly ripped it from Me's blog.

10 Favorites
Favorite Season:, Summer! Waaaahhhhhhh! (that's for the Python fans)
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Time: 7:30pm
Favorite Food: Boiled baby red skin potatoes, kissed with butter, salt and pepper
Favorite Drink: Wine
Favorite Ice Cream: But I don't LIKE ice cream!
Favorite Place: Broad arms of a heavy leafed maple tree, hard to find, but so divine.
Favorite Sport: Pool. Does that count as a sport?
Favorite Actor: Does this mean, 'who will I pay money to see in a movie?' That's so hard to say. John Malkovich springs to mind, but so does Kevin Spacey. And Harrison Ford. OH! Let's not forget about Hugh Jackman. (yeah, that's so shallow.)
Favorite Actress: is involved here. Uma? uh huh. Kate Winslet? And of course, Dame Judy Dench.

9 Currents

Current Feeling: Excited about the weekend
Current Drink: Champagne. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin.
Time: 8:57 pm
Current Show on TV: TV? What's that?
Mobile used: Eh?
Windows Open: Que?
Current Underwear: ~Ahem~ I don't need to answer that, do I???
Current Clothes: Gray sweat pants, camouflage t-shirt with the logo 'Honey'on the arm.
Current Thought: "I'm so NOT looking forward to the 2 hour ferry ride to Vancouver Island."

8 Firsts
First Nickname: Tai
First Kiss: Uh...Grade 1. Joe.
First Crush: Same Joe as above.
First Best Friend: Rachel and Rene W. Kindergarten/Grade 1.
First Vehicle I Drove: 1979 Ford Pinto.
First Date: Lordy lordy...uh...grade 1. The infamous 'Joe' had a birthday party when he turned 7.
First Pet: A crow rescued from certain death. Name? Crow. Yes,yes, very inspired.

7 Lasts
Last Drink: Champagne.
Last Kiss: Oh so long ago.
Last Meal: A 'caprese' sandwich from Burgoo...a lovely filoni, stuffed with teeny tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic pasted and gently melted boccincini concoction of YUMM.
Last Web Site Visited: Kimber's...of course!
Last Movie Watched: "Ronin"
Last Phone Call: A good girl never phones and tells.
Last TV show Watched: "House".

6 Have You Ever...
Have You Ever Broken the Law: It's interesting to me that this question doesn't ask 'How many TIMES have you broken the law'; but I guess I'm glad it doesn't actually ask that.
Have You Ever Been Drunk: Same as above! And by the way, is this a serious query??
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: ~ahem~ Who are you again???
Have You Ever Been in the Middle/Close to Gunfire: Well, OBVIOUSLY!
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: Uh, NO!! That's right, I've NEVER SKINNY DIPPED. Yes, it's as amazing to me as it is to you. Weird. I think I might have to fix that.
Have You Ever Broken Anyone's Heart: Generally my own, but that's a whole other story.

5 Things
Things You Can Hear Right Now: My computer whirring, and BeBe purring.
Things You Can See Right Now: Books, pictures of friends and family, and a giant killer rabbit puppet in a spam tin.
Things On Your Bed: My P.J.'s!
Things You Ate Today: A 'Quaker Instant Oatmeal' (apple and spice if you must know!), a Subway deli tuna sandwich, and 'see question called Last Meal' for answer. (hint, it includes tomatoes, basil and boccincini)
Things You Do When You Are Bored: A teacher once told me, "Only boring people are bored." And by jove, I live to that inspiration every day. EVERYTHING is interesting!!

4 Places You Have Been Today:

'Tim Horton's' for breakfast.
'Work' for torture.
'Subway' for lunch.
'Burgoo' for dinner!

3 Things On Your Desk Right Now:
A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (I think it's Michelangelo!)
A Killer Rabbit in a Spam Tin
A lovely glass of Champagne

2 Choices
Salt or Pepper: Pepper
Hot or Cold: Hot.

1 Place You Want To Visit:
Myself in 40 years.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I think I need a wife!

Taken from Housekeeping Monthly - May 13, 1955


* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

* Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

* Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.

* Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

* Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

* Be happy to see him.

* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

* Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

* Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

* Your goal: To try and make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

* Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

* Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

* Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

* Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

* A good wife always knows her place.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Really officer, she looked so innocent!

~To be honest, I posted this a long while ago, but it was just such a funny situation I HAD to do a re-post!

She looked like a sweet little old lady.

The truth is though, I’m very concerned that I’ve done something terribly wrong.
You see, yesterday as I walked back to my car after paying for my gas, a lovely old woman approached me and we began a very strange conversation.

“Hello dearie, did you pay first?” She asked, looking up at me. (Yes, she really DID say 'dearie'.)

I looked down to see her; an unusual occurrence for my 5’3” height.

“Um, pay first?” I asked, not sure what she was referring to.

“Yes, do you have to pay for the gas first?” She repeated to me. Her voice was sweet, kind and a little shaky from long years of use.

“Oh, no. You can go ahead and start putting gas in your car and then pay when you’re done.” I replied.

“Ah, but I did have to pay here first, once.” She smelled gently of Crabtree and Evelyn talcum powder, her light pink hair carefully coiffed and a pale shade of lipstick on her lips.

“That’s possible. But usually that’s after dark.” I was walking back to my car as we spoke, and she tagged along beside me.

Her car was parked behind mine, and I began to get the feeling that she might need some help pumping her gas. I asked if she would like that.

“Oh yes, thank you. Just $10 please.” She stared carefully as the numbers whizzed by.
At ten dollars, I stopped and replaced the nozzle and re-capped her tank, and said, “There you go. Now you can pay.”

“I hope I don’t get caught.” She grabbed at my arm conspiratorially and lowered her voice.

“Caught?” I was perplexed.

“I’m not supposed to have…well, I shouldn’t be driving.” She started and stopped, looking around suspiciously.

“Well,” I laughed cautiously, “I won’t tell anyone.”

“Those people at ICBC, tsk...three times I went in there…” She trailed off, pulling her cardigan close over her rounded shoulders.
“But the last time was in March,” she continued, “I had to! I didn’t have food in the house for months!”

“uh…oh” I stuttered. How did this conversation spin off so oddly?

“Oh, yes, but now I know that Safeway will deliver.” She nodded wisely to herself.

“Okay, well, don’t go speeding around now. Be safe.” I said, sounding like a fool.

“That’s okay, they won’t catch me.” I pretty sure I didn’t want to hear that from her.

As she made her way to the store to pay for her gas, she turned, waved and coyly pressed a single finger to her lips.

At least, I think she was going in to pay.

Who knows...perhaps the minute my back was turned she held up the store, jumped into her (stolen?) car and raced away on ten dollars worth of gas to the nearest Safeway to stock up.

Maybe I should have taken down her license plate number.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

For my mom.

Happy Mother's Day, my dear momma!

Cheers to a fine woman, a lovely person and a best friend.

Thanks mom, for believing in me. It means everything.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"Oh, whatever that place is. Up there. In the north. With the sled dogs."

It was last week that I started on the tome The Rise of the Vulcans.
It's a look at the recent history of America's wars, and the cabinet that has dominated over the years.

Here's the review Amazon did; I think it encapsulates the book pretty well:
"The Rise of the Vulcans explores the power behind the George W Bush throne.
While campaigning for president in 2000, Bush downplayed his lack of foreign-policy experience by emphasizing that he would surround himself with a highly talented and experienced group of political veterans. This core group, consisting of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage and Condoleezza Rice, has a long history together dating back 30 years in some cases. Dubbing themselves the Vulcans, they have largely determined the direction and focus of the Bush presidency. In this remarkably researched and fascinating book, Mann traces their careers and the development of their ideas in order to understand how and why American foreign policy got to where it is today."

So, it WAS a fascinating book, full of questions and insights.
The most endearing thing about it (if it could be said to be endearing) was the fact that I didn't get a sense of bias.
Mann wasn't deciding if the circumstances were good or evil; there was no suggestion of his personal feelings towards the events, merely information.
(Though one can't help but wonder if he secretly smirked while mentioning the reference Bush made to President Vladimir Putin as 'Pootie-Poot'.)

But I have to admit to you good and gentle readers (who will NOT laugh and point), that while I made note of the fact that France, Britain and even Mexico were all given their place in the great whole scheme of things...not a single word about Canada was evident.

Not one.

I even checked the index to see if I had somehow overlooked a reference to the GREAT HUGE CHUNK OF LAND to the direct North of the States.



Um...hello, Mr. Mann!
Canada is more than just cute chicks with great blogs you know.
We contribute!
We have a couple old submarines (I don't think they've ALL sunk yet, have they?)
And we have a helicopter.

He could have said something about the fact that we opted out of the whole fighting thing.
Made fun of Chretien a little.

I feel like I'm living in a complete void suddenly.

Oh well, at least I know I'm safe from terrorists.
They don't even know we exist; snuggled down as we are in our nearly invisible igloos against the blanket of blinding white snow.

I guess it's not such a bad thing.

I mean, Easter Island didn't get a mention either.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

To Miss Carr, with thanks.

Miss Emily Carr.
Born December 13, 1871 in Victoria, British Columbia.

What an interesting, unexpected woman she was.
She traveled to San Francisco, Paris and London during the turn of the century, painting and learning as she went.

Upon her return to Victoria in 1913, she found herself very poor and in need of an income that her art work just didn't supply. She lived in a world that frequently shunned artists and were even less likely to be interested in women artists that had a dozen dogs and a monkey named 'Woo' that she would carriage around on the old streets.

She eventually found some relief while travelling and painting around British Columbia (in between chasing after her tenants whom it seemed she generally disliked).
She painted and camped through "Gold Stream Park" just outside of Victoria in her old caravan, all the way to remote First Nations villages of the Queen Charlotte Island (or Haida Gwaii).
Generally, she would be ferried out to those hidden ghost-villages and left with her camping gear and crumbling totem poles; determined to seek her god alone.

Eventually, Canada's other major contributors to the world of art, the Group of Seven, met with Miss Carr; to all of their delights they found kindred spirits in each.
She and Lawren Harris corresponded till death.

"Scorned as Timber.
Beloved of the Sky" 1935

I honestly didn't like her works all that much.
I found them generally to stark.
To abstract for my palate.
I recognized her as an important figure in not only art history, but the history of Canada and the history of women.
I just didn't really feel that I needed to love her art.

After several heart attacks, Emily found it more and more difficult to travel and paint (both of which were her passions), so she turned to words.
It was if, despite her ailing, she could not cease to give room for that force bursting for release.
And that's how I finally 'met' Miss Carr...through her art of words.

From her journals, "Hundreds and Thousands".

"...What most attracts me in those wild, lawless, deep, solitary places? First, nobody goes there. Why? Few have anything to go for. The loneliness repels them, the density, the unsafe hidden footing, the dank smells, the great quiet, the mystery, the general mix-up (tangle, growth, what may be hidden there), the insect life. They are repelled by the awful solemnity of the age-old trees, with the wisdom of all their years of growth looking down upon you, making you feel perfectly infinitesimal--their overpowering weight, their groanings and creakings, mutterings and sighings--the rot and decay of the old ones--the toadstools and slugs among the upturned, rotting roots of those that have fallen, reminding one of the perishableness of even those slow-maturing, much enduring growths.
No, to the average woman and to the average man, (unless he goes there to kill, to hunt or to destory the forest for utility) the forest jungle is a closed book. In the abstract people may say they love it but they do not prove it by entering it and breathing its life. They stay outside and talk about its beauty. This is bad for them but it is good for the few who do enter because the holiness and quiet is unbroken."

"Forest" 1932 "Big Raven" 1931

And then I understood what she was painting. The book I read of hers astounded me. I didn't actually need to see her paintings and sketches, she was describing her yearning energy and deep rooted passion of her world with words instead of paint.

I can 'SEE' her art last it says something to me.
The strokes of bright living green turning upwards to the swirling blue of the sky.
The heavy musty gray of old totems, thick with moss and decay.

At last.

Now I can truly appreciate Emily Carr.

She has given something to all of us in her passion for the dark and green and wild places of British Columbia.

If there was anyone that could make me feel so happy to live in the wet, dripping rain forest of fecundity, it is her.

I should mention that the last picture is of a statue of Miss Carr recently placed in Vancouver. It includes her monkey ('Woo'), her horse and one of her loved dogs.
For you Vancouver area folk, it's at the corner of Granville and 7th (or is it 6th? One of them, anyway!)

Friday, May 05, 2006

The question remains.


Why did I spend several hundred dollars not 5 months ago on a new master/slave cylinder thingy only to have the master thingy start leaking, rendering me car less for 3 days?

Well, I suppose I shouldn't REALLY complain, after all I've managed to avoid paying $1.20/litre for gas for those 3 days.

Also, the car shop IS fixing it for free as it was still well within the warranty.

But the question remains.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fear and loathing at age 33.

Main Entry: spin·ster
Function: noun
1 : a woman whose occupation is to spin - Uh, right. Not so much.
2 a archaic : an unmarried woman of gentle family b : Here we unmarried woman and especially one past the common age for marrying

Today at work I overheard a conversation that my co-workers were having which just happened to be peppered with my name.

Strolling over to them I said, "Gosh, I can't help but rush over and wonder why my name is being bandied about so freely!"
My co-worker (who is 23 and has a grand sense of humour) was talking to our other co-worker (a 52 year old man whom I also like) about family and children and life in general.

She replied, holding her hand up in the air, "All I said to Rick was (and no offense to you Tai) that if I get to age 33 and I am not married with children, I'll probably kill myself. No offense to you!" She repeated hurriedly, glancingly quickly at me trying to gauge my reaction.

"Ahem. Right. Kill yourself. Doesn't that seem a little drastic to you?" I sputtered.

"I want to have babies though...I want to be married. If I don't do that before I'm 30 I don't know what I'll do."

"Off yourself, apparently." I muttered under my breath as I walked back to my cubicle.
I couldn't chastise her; being married and having a family is very important to her.

And of course, there's nothing wrong with that.

But please bear in mind; if I had said, "If I ever get married and have children I'd have to kill myself" it would've elicited a very different response.
(In fact, I can hear the recommendation for psychiatric assessment echoing in my ears right now!)

But I just HAVE to ask.


Since when did CHOOSING to be single and baby-free become an anathema? Since when did it become a life or 'kill yourself' issue!?!

I would have thought that in this day and age a single woman, providing for herself happily and positively in this hectic world would've be a shining star amongst the young and impressionable.

Come to think of it, one of the women that inspired me so much was my widowed teacher who raised 3 children on her own single-handedly.
She was my inspiration...not my fear!
(Well, except for the 'children' part, of course!)

Well, I've never been one to succumb to peer pressure.
Generally I'm so ornery that I'll do the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing anyway.

I do so without excuse or regret.
After all...I know that I'm not the only one who chooses this!

I celebrate everyone that has a happy, child-filled marriage...I cheer everyone who marries and decides NOT to have children.
I wish happiness to everyone else in whatever lifestyle they may choose.

I know that I'm doing okay... despite the prejudice that unmarried women 'of a certain age' continue to have to put up with.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy May 1st! Merry Beltain!

I looked for May 1st images and came up with this.

So, uh...get on your bike and ride?

Yeah. I don't get the relevancy either.

Well anyway, I crossed the border on Sunday.

Yup, went down into the ol' United States of America.
They almost didn't let me in.
(I can hardly blame them.)
I got pulled inside and my vehicle inspected.

When the officer returned from searching my car he completed asking me some rather pointless questions and then he looked at me straight in the eye and said, "Well, I can't in good conscience allow you to cross the border with a copy of the 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood' in your possession."
It took me half a second before replying calmly "Yes, I can understand your concern. The book wasn't that good, and the movie was worse."

A border guard with a sense of humour!
(And I'm pretty sure he would have had a hardy laugh while shooting me too, but fortunately I didn't find out!)

Just in case you were wondering!

I was in historic Fairhaven, just in time for "Dirty Dan Days", complete with an uphill piano race.
(The ferry to Alaska can be caught from here.)

Tiny, flat little Edison in the
Skagit Valley.
Known for the hordes of bikers that gather at the
'Longhorn' pub for the amazing oysters!

And through the beautiful Larrabee National Park: