Saturday, July 30, 2005

Hot Summer Days

ZOOM! Another week zips by, faster than ever.

A long weekend - ah - a break away from the usual. I have spent a relaxed saturday so far, baking my buns in the sun to catch an elusive tan, er freckles, reading Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs (cool forensic anthropoligist crime series) , getting some clothes together to donate to the Good Will, and gathering all my bottles from the nooks and crannies I hide them until I have the mother lode to return.

Feels good to get rid of some clutter. It is strange, it doesn't matter how you try to simplify your life, you still end up collecting things. Whether it is intersting rocks and driftwood on the beach, to that shirt that was a total steal at the local store, you end up with SO MANY THINGS. I have been trying to streamline things, which honestly, isn't always the easiest task when you are a packrat like myself. I am getting better at recycling or throwing away stuff, but it just seems to make way for more stuff. I think I am better than I used to be - I used to hold on to all my bathing stuff, squirreling it away for a 'special day'. Well, why can't any day be special and what good does it do to have all this stuff kicking around for years, waiting to be used? Like special candles, they look ok unlit, but really, they are meant to be lit! Takes a while to get over yourself about mundane stuff like that. I am getting better about pocket books too. How many hundreds can you hold on to?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Porteau Cove, Howe Sound - campsite views

Shiny, happy faces!

Can you tell we got a bit of sun??? At least from this angle you can't see the freckles that are spreading across my nose!!! Porteau Cove was great - I will post a few scenary shots later on, but this was a fabulous weekend getaway!

We had three reserved campsites and each one had its strengths. I ended up picking a semi-private one with enough ground cover to provide shade when it got scorching hot in the afternoon. We were right on the beach (as were most of the campsites here), and it was a magical place and a little private, you weren't sitting elbow to elbow with your neighbor. Kevin and Regan got the wooded site, which had nice separate areas for sleeping, eating, and chilling :] Michael and Veronica had the unfettered view of Howe Sound. Saturday started out somewhat dodgy - we felt a few sprinkles, but it cleared up by noon and it was beautiful! A stalemate at Cranium (boys vs girls) with a win a piece, and the guys departed to play some bocci and the girls retreated to the beach. There wasn't any sand, but it was easy enough to scout of a piece of beach and bake our buns in the sun, and talking instead of reading :] Ronnie stayed on to watch the site, and Regan and I went for a fabulous swim. I went at a leisurely pace, but Regan would burst out in a few sprints as she alternated between huge strides and paddling a little closer to shore than I was. The water was pretty murky from silt in the water, and the initial plunge made me gasp. I was first in and last out, and I ended up bobbing in the water quaffing a cider before I finally decided to get out.

The only drawback of camping at Porteau are the trains. Our campsite was a meagre 50 feet away from the line, and friday night at 3am a train went by - screeching along the tracks like a banshee, creaking, and groaning, and it went on forever! The sound bounced off the mountains on both sides of Howe Sound, and I am pretty sure the ground was shaking as well. Racoons also paid us a visit, and absconded with our shrimp chips, but decided against our licorice? Saturday night the last train came by at 11 - so it was a much more restful sleep. Time flew, as it always does when you are away, and it was time to check out on Sunday at 11am. Nice to camp an hour away from home in a place that seems worlds away. Definitely worth checking out again!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

So close to friday

Another week has slipped by - where the hell does the time go?

I must declare that I am really looking forward to going to Porteau Cove for the weekend. I am heading up early to catch some sun, explore the beach, and stake out a fine campsite with Kevin and Regan (from the Orange Crush hall of fame). Ken is coming up after work and bringing our gear, and our friends MPS (Also a Crusher all star) and Veronica are heading up after work as well. Should be a fun weekend - I see a lot of big hockey tales (much like fish tales) being told around the campfire, and who knows what troubles and fun we will get up to over the weekend. I can't wait to get out of the lower mainland though - it's been a slog at times in the last bit.

Tailgated for the last time of the 04-05 Hockey Season yesterday. The Grinders season was brought to an abrupt halt last night, even though they played pretty well - they just couldn't buy a goal. A big heavy July moon hung in the sky, and the night was pretty balmy. Ken's mum had joined me as a superfan last night, so it wasn't a super late night. The blackberries are starting to ripen, so the walk we took before the game had a few interruptions along the way, I can't wait to harvest a good lot of blackberries for freezing and jam. I am just about out, so it is time to do some jammin. I think I may try my hand at dill pickles this year too...

My back IS STILL IRRITATING. Moved the wrong way getting out of bed and it let me know with a huge ZOT that it was still there. Ah well - I throw myself on the floor of my office and do my not so graceful stretches and it helps. Getting away will help :]

Work has been pretty uneventful so it is pretty hard not to clockwatch. Biggest decision in the last few days has been what to do for lunch! Nice having a breather, but it has it's drawbacks. Students are starting to trickle back in fits and starts, this year's crop seems even younger than last year! A true sign I ain't in my 20's anymore!

More havok in London this morning. I couldn't imagine living in a place where there possibility of action/threat/terrorism is so commonplace that unless something truly out of the ordinary happens, it barely registers on your personal radar. Amazing the struggles that happen between stranges and ideologies.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Woah Dude!

Well, my back is still a wee bit tweaked, but the sun is shining and I have a few good books to kick back with.

The Half Blood Prince was great - I enjoyed this tome much more than the last, it feels like I blitzed through the Order of the Phoenix only to savour this latest installment. A great read, and now I join the masses to breathlessly await the final chapter. Now I am looking forward to the last book in the Outlander series...

Beautiful day out there - it always seems so different here when the sun comes out and you can truly appreciate how beautiful it is here. Taking a break today, and I think this is what I needed. Slept in until an ungodly hour, and am fending off an affectionate cat as I type. Was dealing a bit with the GITS at Wells Fargo, bloody wankers. I will definitely be glad when my dealings with them are said and done. They do not inspire any trust in themselves whatsoever. Avoid where possible.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Potty about Potter


Saturday morning Ken disappeared for about an hour. I laid in bed and came to the realization I made a good call about pulling myself from the hockey game because my back wasn't getting better quickly.

When he got back home, Ken came bearing gifts. Apple fritters and HARRY POTTER!!! My morning made a sudden turn for the better and I alternated sleeping and reading The Half Blood Prince. I am savouring this read! I am enjoying this one better than the Order of the Phoenix, and am about 1/3rd of the way through it. I am plotting when my breaks are so I can sit in the sun and read my book!

I give it maybe two more days and then it will be done. I am trying to not rush my way through it, and it is great. Will be interesting to compare notes with other peeps and see what shakes out. Nothing too shocking has happened yet...

West Coast Styling


Again? Where the hell did my weekend go? Am I really ready to be back at work?

Hell no.

Summer finally arrived, and I think I missed the first part. Friday night I tweaked my back in hockey and for the first time, I actually pulled myself from the game. I guess the decision was made easy for me because it was ONLY shinny (fun hockey) and I just knew that I didn't want to push it, my weekend is for other things rather than laying in bed wondering WTF the whole time.

Seems beer helps the pain though!

Saturday night Ken and I went to our friend John and Jax's place for an amazing feast of seafood. John just got back with his business partner, dad, and a few other folks from fishing up the North Coast of BC.

We had crab, liberally doused in butter, cracked between our fingers, and the juices spilling over everything, then halibut, grilled to perfection, and a cedar plank salmon that was like candy, melting on your tongue. We had baked potatoes with the fixings, and some thai noodle salad, bread and butter, and then a fabulous apple and apricot crisp with blueberries and ice cream.

I am salivating just thinking about it.

The crew at J&Js was grateful there were able to partake in the feast, that J&J were gracious enuogh in sharing their gifts from the sea (and even sent home a care package which we are putting on the BBQ tonight) and we all brought a little something, washed down with beer and cider. DAMN FINE!

Then yesterday, Ken's hockey team decided it was time to tailgate since summer is officially here and they had an afternoon game. Dave brought a LOT of beer, and I scrounged up some cups to help disguise the amount of beer being drunk in the rink's parking lot in broad daylight and John and Tamara brought a BBQ and the fixings for smokies and burgers after the game. The game was less than stellar and we were all very happy to drink to forget that experience. Beer seems to taste better when the sun is beating down on you. A win would have helped, but chilling in the lot with friends and food is pretty sweet.

Sounds like my weekend was all about food eh?

But remember, the beer also helped my back. LOL

Well, between tweaking my back and dealing with the TENANTS FROM HELL - the meals I had this weekend were at the top of the curve (plus Ken getting me Harry Potter, but that deserves it's own post), while there are a few mentioned lows to balance that out.

It is really brutal. Laws protect wankers until they really step over the line. There is no such thing as true prevention, our laws, whether they be tenant or crime, are reactionary. We make comments to the police or express concern, well, we can't really prove anything right now, and well, they will pass that information along as a tip?!

It is really hard not to be pissed about it all, and the lengths you have to go to get someone out of your house when they don't pay. Seems like then tenant has a lot of power, and the landlord, not so much. BRUTAL. You work damn hard for something and then some wanker can endanger it all. Selfish bugger. GRRRRROOWL! Frosts my ass and every time I see him at this stage, I get angry. This is OUR PLACE!!

So, we go through the paces of our legal processes and we get ready to wait. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Changing times

The sun has come out!!! Amazing how it changes everything when you live on the wet, er, west coast!

Last night I went out for an amazing meal that could really only be called a celebration of life. A key person was missing from the table, and the wednesday night sushi ritual, but he is a part of all us that knew and loved him, and we all keenly feel his loss. It is really hard to believe that he has left us in his material form.

A group of us got together and went to Robson Sushi for an amazing all you can eat sushi experience. It seems like every time I go for Sushi I like it even more and I find more dishes that I can't pronounce but really enjoy. We feasted for almost 2 hours, and I was near the head of the table so all the dishes sifted through us first. The atmosphere was loving, and everyone was chatting back and forth, sometimes a little boisterous, sometimes a little subdued. I think we all talked about our friend in a way that was true for us, naturally, and in a way that wasn't painful. It felt healing, and it felt like so many bridges were spanned between diverse people who weren't all too sure of where to go from here. I know I feel like something has lifted from my chest, and the sours I bought after dinner at 7-11 tasted oh so sweet before I got parting hugs from friends as they dispersed for the evening.

It is funny talking about events like this in a blog, I don't want to put everything out there, hanging for anyone to see. I think with time you become more comfortable with this part of your voice, but it takes time. You want to be authentic, and real, but you don't want to expose too much either.

I managed to grab a ride out to the rink where Ken was playing hockey - PLAYOFFS! My superstar bagged two goals, and an assist, and it made the beer we had tailgating taste EVEN BETTER. Nothing like chilling at the end of the day, a cold one in your hand, and shooting the shit. All the guys had perma-grins on their faces because they won in overtime and pulled one out of the bag.

WOO HOO! So it was a really positive day and the glow still hasn't faded.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Take a deep breath . . .

Amazing how getting outside for a breathe of fresh air can completely change your perspective.

I think I have been running a high cabin fever lately, so I made a point of leaving the office at lunch for a walk, and then I dragged my mom out again tonight. I jogged/walked my 3 km, and chatted with my mom for the last bit.

I love endorphins. I would have loved to have been out longer, but beggars can't be choosers and I was just happy my mom decided to come out and get some exercise with me. Went around Como Lake, which is exactly 1km around, which I figure is good for anyone trying to start a running (err really just a slow, not so graceful jog for me) regiment. The sad part about tonight is that there was a man that had fallen and he didn't sound so good (breathing hard, out cold)... the people behind me stopped to ask his wife if they needed a hand, but an ambulance was already on the way (confirmed by mom, whom also asked and was carrying our cell phone - another important use for the buggers!). I was relieved when I came around for my second revelation and the man was at a picnic table with his wife, fire fighters already there, and more importantly, conscious.

Just reinforces how important exercise is. For me, it seems to be an ongoing battle to get out there and JUST D
O IT, but every time you do get out there, it does get a little easier.

You also feel one helluva lot better. I was feeling like the dog days of summer had already arrived (impossible really with all the rain and crap weather we have had) but stretching my legs has boosted my sagging spirits. I know I sound like a walking billboard, but it helps. I always know when it has been a while since I have played hockey - nothing like some healthy sublimation on the ice!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Recent travels

MacKenzie Beach, near Tofino, west coast of BC
June 2005
Ken and I went for a quick four day trip to Long Beach, Vancouver Island in June. Long beach is found within the Pacific Rim National Park and we stayed at right on the beach. This is second time camping here and it is a little slice of heaven!

The first time...


Nothing like getting hung up on the first few words that you want to publish on your blog.

Well Jen, I guess we did it?!

Nothing like lighting a fire underneath each other's butts for posteritys sake!

This is a helluva way to stay connected as the pieces that make up your patchwork quilt stretch out and away from your smalltown to be sometimes close, and sometimes far away.

Cheers - to beginnings, there is nothing like them.