Thursday, June 29, 2006

A circle tour....and dragonflies!!

So we went on a drive today....the circle route...down to Lytton, around to Lillooet and back to Cache Creek and home to Kamloops.
Some observations.....
Observation No. 1
Lytton is HOT!! The Fraser River is very high and very fast....and...riding a cable ferry across the Fraser River is fun!! We went to Lytton primarily for DH to do some research into his aboriginal background....via the graveyard. The graveyard we were heading to was on the OTHER side of the Fraser and we had to take a cable ferry, which, although it seems scary, is really quite neat! After we found the graveyard up the hill and down an overgrown path....we hit paydirt in terms of finding DH's relatives. Many people on his mother's side back to his great grandmother and some of her was all very exciting. The only downside was that because the graveyard was so overgrown, it was covered with that grass that sticks to you with seeds and poor Chauncey (our little bichon) got a good dose buried in his fur. However, we managed to comb most of it out with an old comb we found in the car. It was a hot day too which made it worse for him but he settled down again with the A/C on in the car... cuddled with Mom massaging his back and scratching his ears and he soon dozed off on her lap. (That would be my lap....we are such pet people....I'm Mom and DH is Dad as far as Chauncey is concerned!!) In any case, hubby is now buried in the computer upstairs figuring out who belongs to who and where etc...etc...etc.

Observation No. 2....I don't do mountain roads and if I do, I don't do them well!!
I had an inkling that the road from Lytton to Lillooet was a mountain road....after all it was following the Fraser River....and for the most part, as I was sitting on the inside (so to speak), it was doable. However....there came a moment in time where it was one lane on the side of the mountain... driving through the repaired road after a landslide...and there were no guard rails. It wasn't a long stretch (thank goodness), but it was enough to make my heart leap to my throat thereby choking the expletive "Oh Sh--" that came from my mouth. I mean....there was not a problem...the fellow coming the other way waited....but when you're not the one driving it always seems worse.....and in my's double worse....!! It's about this fear of heights you see.....

Observation No. 3...dragonflies are beautiful!!
After we left Lillooet with some coffee and a rootbeer, we continued on to find a place to have our pickynick that had been waiting in the cooler since we left Kamloops. The fellow at A&W in Lillooet said that Pavillion Lake was gorgeous.....and it was....clear and blue!!! However, there wasn't any place to stop and enjoy the view and eat!! So we continued on to a lake (the name of which escapes me) and beside that lake was a provincial campsite with a pickynic area....Marble Canyon Provincial Park I believe. So....Chauncey and Don went for a walk in the water after which we had our food (whilst keeping company with the ants!!) We had packed a refreshing white wine, but decided in the end it was probably a good idea to stay alert!! After the food, we decided to check out the beach again as we had seen all these flying insects over the water and some loons and the odd fish jumping. seems that the flying insects were tiny blue dragonflies and they were everywhere and beautiful...their tiny blue bodies glistening in the sun! We notice that one was hanging on to the top of a reed in the shallows and Don put his hand up to it and it hopped onto his finger and proceeded to peer at him for some time before flying off again. He took some more pictures of them and got another to climb on his hand again.....they are wonderful!! It was the most incredible thing I had ever seen!! It totally made my day!!

Final observation....I am glad to be home.....and draped in my caftan keeping cool....but it was totally a worthwhile trip in all respects. Our province has so many jewels...and the landscape is so unique. We need to see more.....!!


Sunday, June 25, 2006

A tree....and hummers....

When we moved to Kamloops from Langley, we brought with us young Deodora cedar that had started life as a seedling from the Deodora that stood tall in my mom's yard in Victoria for many it had some sentimental value to it. However, due to any number of reasons, it did not survive the least it seems so. It stands in the terrace in our back yard, dwarfed by a "traditional" cedar that the previous owners had planted years ago. The Deodora has no needles, just bare and probably dried branches.....I water it in the hope that it may suddenly revive....I keep thinking I see new tiny needles on it....but to no avail.....but it has suddenly taken on a new role in the scheme of things in our back yard.

I have an affection for hummers (hummingbirds). We had many flying about our heads on our back patio in Langley, I had at least four feeders going and lots of flowers for them to dip their tiny beaks into. They would arrive in March/April and disappear in the heat of the late summer. Occasionally we would see one in the fall, but it was late spring/early summer that they were most active. It was an ongoing rivalry between our neighbours and ourselves as to who had the most it turns do.....we have two....but that's a start.

I have two feeders going on the back patio in the shade (that's what hummers like!) and lots of flowers for them....and now ....thanks to a dying Deodora Cedar...they have a place to rest in the shade. They hover over the cedar and rest on it's bare branches...and I think their nest is probably nearby.

I can think of nothing better on a summer morn or evening than sitting on the patio, reading, sipping wine or tea, and listening to the whrrrr of their little wings and their chirp as they make repeated visits to the feeder. I then look over to the cedar and find them watching me carefully as they catch their breath. Such tiny little birds, so full of charm....

I may keep the Deodora, if just for the hummers.....


Thursday, June 22, 2006

A little practising leads to......

Well...I started practising again yesterday.....and it wasn't all that bad. I have some new techniques to work on...and I think that's the key. I don't seem to have incentive to practise unless I have something specific to focus on. So, I remembered some thoughts that my brother had on how I play and how I could improve and so have started working on that....not huge amounts daily, but enough to help improve and get my embouchure back in shape...after the lengthy lay off since the last concert in May. For the record, I play french horn and play in the KSO (Kamloops Symphony).
Music has always been a significant part of my life, whether it be listening or participating. I am professionally trained, although no longer a paid professional and having had that training, I find so much more enjoyment in ALL kinds of music.

Obviously my preference is for classical, but when travelling (by car), I find that country and western fits the bill admirably...(I can see the purists wincing now!!). I'm a total classic rock and roll fan, and if my knees would let me, I would be dancing around the house to hits from the 50's and 60's.

I listen to the Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean pretty regularly, and so get a good dose of Canadian talent....which I really like. There is so much diversity in Canadian music and it's all good. I'm also a fan of Celtic music, (my roots are Irish)....there's something haunting about a lot of it.

There are two types of popular music which I just can't seem to get my head around and that's rap and heavy metal. The rhythms of rap are great, but I just can't seem to listen to it for any length of time....and as for heavy metal...well....I just don't have the ears for it.

There is another section out there called alternative rock and sometimes that's quite intriguing. It seems to be more expressive in some ways....has more to say....but that's only my take on it. It's kind of a vague definition and it covers a lot of music that doesn't seem to fit into any of the other genres.

We live in a musician/non-musician household and as such, a certain amount of give and take is required with regards to music. I'm sure my DH probably gives more than he takes, but when we travel, we both make decisions on the CD's that will go in the 6 disc player. We try to alternate his music with mine....and NO OPERA!! Of course, when music is not the answer, we always have the audio books to pop into the cassette player and that keeps us enthralled for a good portion of the trip!

So I'm reading back over this posting and thinking that it seems somewhat stilted....which maybe is how I'm feeling today....hopefully the next posting will flow more smoothly.....until then....

Slainte !!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006's about these bones of mine.....and a plan

In one of my earlier posts I mentioned an ongoing fight with obesity (followed by my total failure to say NO to garlic mashed potatoes!!). This problem is becoming more acute as time goes on.....something that I totally wish was not the case. However, when you are plagued with arthritis in your knee, it becomes an issue which is hard to ignore...especially when the other knee is starting to get affected along with your back, shoulders, ankles.....generally all the joints.

So I'm thinkin'.....I HAVE to do something here....which I might say right here, is what my doctor has been telling me for the last mmmmm...say....15 or so years. I have had periods of weightlessness....1988-89, I lost 105 lbs......and then after returning to original eating habits..proceeded to put it all back on again over a period of about 2-3 years. In 2001/02, I lost about 55 lbs with WeightWatchers....and then found that I was paying approximately $7 a pound to lose weight...something I had a hard time rationalizing.

I have had a fight with obesity since I was young....and as it turns out, it shouldn't have really happened that way. I was NOT overweight when I was young, but I was tall and big boned and therefore everyone told me I had to lose weight. When you're told often enough that you're fat, tubby, obese, walrus like, etc., etc., etc., you begin to believe it yourself. In actual fact, I became what everyone told me I was. However, if everyone had SHUT UP....I would probably be in great health today, full of energy and not arthritis. Do you detect a slight bit of bitterness here??

Back to the present: so I had this idea that I would make a plan, deal with this once and for all and the key to this plan was that I would not go on a diet...I would change my lifestyle and my eating habits and let nature take it's course. Well.....the best laid plans etc. etc. etc......

My life is easily affected by events that occur within it and around it. So three things in the last 2 months have thrown all my "best laid plans" into disarray and I'm trying hard to find my way back to my life as it was starting to evolve.......
1. I became a grandmother, which is not a bad fact it's a pretty good's just something that has to find it's place in my life and that's ongoing....and it has changed the dynamics of my relationship with my son....and that's something to get used to.
2. My son's best friend who was like a part of our family was killed in a car accident, sending us all into shock and disbelief. I am not only still trying to deal with this myself, but I also worry about how my son is dealing with the loss. The whole situation is gutwrenching and still brings me to tears often.
3 My daughter and her husband have decided to make the big move to Boston in a few months and it will be for 4 years. It will be a wonderful adventure for them but (I'm being horribly selfish here) I can't grasp what my life will be like knowing that they are not 6 hours driving away, but 6 hours flying or 4/5 days driving away....the other side of the continent!! (it is, however, yet another place to visit!!)

So.....all these events have conspired to put the kybosh on my I'm trying to work on some sort of plan B. This is not a "blaming" post.....more like a "I have to find a way to deal with life" post. In short....That's with it.

My first step has been to make an appointment to go back to my therapist (whom I was seeing during last summer) and unload on her and see what she has to say. I also want to hibernate, but apparently that's not necessarily a good thing to I will only do a bit of that and a bit of getting out among people....and I always have to remember to take the time to do things that I enjoy.

I would have never believed that my life would ever get this complicated and worrisome.....but you just never know which chocolate life is going to deal you from the box. (Forrest Gump??)


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ocean Fix.....

So this weekend ...or rather the end of this week, we headed down to Victoria for our son-in-law's convocation. It was a happy occasion and we were able to spend time with family and friends and eat far too much food!!
We also had time to wander around Victoria, something that I love to do. I have coined the phrase "ocean fix" when it comes to my visits to the capital city. I grew up there, and as happens with many people who have grown up near the constantly calls you back!!
The walks along Dallas road, just sitting on a bench staring out at the water and watching the myriad of ships and small boats that pass childhood is revisted.

When we were children, "going for a swim" meant usually going to Mt. Douglas Park and playing in the sand, riding driftwood logs and swimming in the salt water. Then we would clamber up, all covered with sand, and sit around the blanket eating egg salad sandwiches and drinking kool aid or juice or some such thing....and then waiting the prescribed 1 hour before going in the water again!! We didn't have to worry about sunscreen or weird people.....we just played!!

My grandmother lived a block from Dallas Road and when we visited her in the summer, she would give us large ripple-sided juice cans and plastic sand shovels and we would head down to the Dallas Road beach to build sand castles and paddle in the water.....and again ride the big logs that drifted in with the tide!

I had a fascination with the steam ships that plied the waters between Victoria and Vancouver and my grandmother and aunt took me on the midnight boat to Vancouver one was wonderful!! I always remember watching the ships pass by and trying to figure out which ship was which by the funnels. I believe the Princess Elaine had four funnels, the Elisabeth and Joan had 2 as did the Marguerite and Patricia....I could be wrong though. Dad and I always had great discussions about this and shared an interest in the comings and goings of these big liners. The CP ships were so much more impressive than our BC Ferries, I think, because they looked like the big ocean liners that plied the Atlantic....their sleek lines cutting through the waves. I remember Dad telling me that during the war, the Queen Elisabeth I came into the Esquimalt dockyard for refit because it was the only dockyard in the area that could accomodate her size. I remember thinking" I wish I had been there to see that"!

Most of our family camping trips were taken with the ocean as a backdrop. Rathtrevor beach (before it became a provincial park), Qualicum, Miracle Beach, Campbell River.....even playing on the beach in Bowser I think it was, where the liberty ships from the World War II lay rusting as breakwaters. Those hulks always scared me because they were sooo big. My brothers had no such qualms and would ride up to them on a log while little sister cowered on the shore. In later years on Sunday drives, with Mom and Dad, we would head up the west coast of the island, through Jordan River, China Beach, Port Renfrew...and I remember my Dad saying...."Now this is the REAL Pacific, not the Strait of Georgia!!"...and we would look with wonder out across the neverending ocean where there were no islands to be seen!! I live in a desert town in the interior of the province with the river running down to the sea...and after a time I crave the ocean breezes and the salt air. It's pretty much a full day trip to get to Victoria from Kamloops, what with stops in Langley, and working with the ferry schedule, but to's worth every minute. My daughter and her husband are leaving Victoria in the fall for Boston, so our immediate family connection will be gone....but we will still have family and a few friends there and Mom and Dad are buried there.

However, what will pull me back always, is the ocean, and the memories of my childhood near the ocean.

Slainte !!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Travel Preparations.....Bah humbug!!

Judging from the title of this blog, one will assume that I don't do travel preparations well.....and they'd be assuming right....for the most part. I love going's the getting ready to go there that I'm having a problem with...and I wonder why that is. Lack of organization probably....although some times I am so super organized that I surprise myself. However, I make plans without taking into account Murphy's law.....(or at least someone's law)..."What can go wrong, will go wrong." ....even if you are super organized. You see, it's all about anticipation. Things are going well...but then there is a glitch....a tiny glitch....but a glitch nevertheless....and so you fix it...but then you're behind schedule and you start to fret a bit....and because you do, the care that you would normally take isn't quite as careful as you'd like. So....something else slips up.....and you get tense.....then something else....and you get more tense....and it goes by the time it gets close to time to go, you think that you don't have enough time to do anything, so you sit down and nearly cry in frustration. My solution.....turn on the TV in the bedroom and have something to distract me while I'm packing, plucking, polishing etc.....and in the process of all that p. p. and p.......I calm down. Then when everything is done, I put it all away and come downstairs to do my blog.

The other thing part of travelling that I'm not keen on is coming home....well...not coming home perrsay, but all that entails when you actually get home. I must say though, that I almost have it down to a fine art....unload, empty the suitcases, put the dirty clothes in the laundry room pack away the clean clothes, cosmetics back into the bathroom and suitcase back downstairs. I even do that for D's clothes as well, seeing as he packed everything upstairs. If I can keep it moving, it can all be done in 10 minutes.

I do try to do things in good time before our date of departure on our travels, but it's a case of thinking I have more time than I actually have....which I'm sure is a common complaint with most people. The trouble with me is that I have to print off something on the computer to take with me, and then I ALWAYS have to do some tweaking of whatever it was, be it graphic, picture or writing, and that takes time....and we ALL know how time flys when you're on the when you emerge and look at the time....ARRRRGH!!!

In any case, I'm calm now....only have bath stuff to pack....then I'm done...and that will be done tomorrow morning. I even had a sugar free hedgehog to cool is that!!

So it's off tomorrow and back on Saturday....and in between some jolly times with good and loving people. 'Till next time....Salut!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why Nuts??

I make animals and fantasy folk from nuts.....and polymer clay. I write stories (as yet unpublished) about these nut people.
I am currently dealing with issues such as obesity, depression, restarting my life after 20 years in the same place, finding a creative outlet among many that intrigue me....and these issues are all driving me nuts!!
So....that's why NUTS!!
But really....I'm ok....just a little wacky.....but lovably wacky.
We had a great dinner last night. I mistakenly ordered asparagus meant for two and ended up eating it all because...well D. doesn't like asparagus....but then he had a mixed roasted vegetable plate for two of which he only ate half. I figured a lot of asparagus wasn't going to do me any harm and it was fun picking it up with my fingers and eating it like celery!! My entree was chicken stuffed with goat cheese, spinach and was sooo good....unfortunately it came with garlic mashed potatoes...and I say unfortunately because I just can't resist it...that's why I never usually order it. D. ordered a New York steak because he NEVER eats that at fact I would venture to say our red meat consumption is waaaay down.He also got a baked potato along with his multi-veggies. we were sitting there, what should pull up outside (we were right beside the train tracks) but the Rocky Mountaineer train....which was cool....and we got to watch it depart after it unloaded all it's passengers for the night. Those observation cars are really a treat!!
So this morning, I was perusing the valley through binoculars as is my habit early in the morning, lo and behold there was the RM train heading back down to Vancouver on the north side of the Thompson River, after picking up it's 3 busloads of passengers.
I'm's an expensive trip, but if I could afford it, it might just be worth it....I love the thought of train travel. I actually wouldn't mind doing the cross Canada trip. I travelled quite a few times across Canada by train when I was in my late teens and enjoyed it immensely.
It's a great way to meet people. Unfortunately in this day and age, it's almost as expensive or more so to take the train than the plane. But..there's just something about train travel that gets to my heart. Nostalgia maybe, I don't know...but I think I would love it. we got our remaining two cable outlets installed, one in my workshop and one the bedroom. Now all I have to do it get a TV/VCR combination for my workshop so I can play videos of different projects. I'm not saying that's all I'll watch....I have every intention of watching programs that I've always wanted to watch, but never done so....and if I have a DVD to watch...well..I have my laptop to play it on. I'm sure it will be a while though before I get the TV, but at least now I'm prepared!!
So this is my second day of blogging and I'm not finding it too bad....hmmmm.....I don't really want to make it a day to day relating of my daily life, more an epistle of my take on daily life as it occurs to me and others in my orbit. That's what will be the challenge. I can do that in a private journal, but to do it in a form fit for public consumption....cogitation before publication will be the key. Until next time....salut!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

29 years and counting!

OK, so today I gave in....and followed my daughter's example.....I'M BLOGGING!!

Today I have been married to the same lovable, tolerant, practical (to the point of being annoying sometimes) and down to earth man for 29 years. Who knew it would last this long! Family members on his side gave it 6 members on my side weren't quite sure what to think. Judging by reactions on both sides and our kids, we have been judged to be the perfect match. I mean, after all, we finish each others sentences.... how complete is that? that extent, life is good. To celebrate, we have enjoyed the weekend. Yesterday, we went for a drive down to a little village west of Kamloops called Wallachin, on the other side of the Thompson River. It consists of 1 hall and assorted houses, some of which are old, but still standing proud with their lovely yards and old apple trees gracing them. There was one for sale with a wonderful view of the Thompson River, and a good price too, but I figure I'm too old to go back to using septic tanks and wells and .....dial-up internet!! I'm actually beginning to like where I live and have lived for the past year and a half....Kamloops. To continue....we meandered back eastwards and headed up a long road...and I mean Tunkwa Provincial Park, the home of Tunkwa and Leighton Lakes, and a myriad of other small wetlands and lakes. There were umpteen anglers there in quiet little boats with trolling motors, and around the lakes were cabins and a day use area that was filled with RV's (that's where the fishermen came from).As I'm not a fisherperson, I quite loved the peace and wildlife (especially the birds). We pickynicked, walked the dog and took pictures (which I haven't uploaded yet) and then headed back down. We turned the wrong way off the access road and ended up in Logan Lake, so then we just took the mighty Coq back to Kamloops. It was a good day. Tonite we will dine out....not sure where yet....but it will also be good.
Next time I will explain my blog names.....till then...Salut!!