Saturday, May 02, 2009

Catch Up

It has been 2 months since my last confession . . .

I have moved away from blogging and have been consumed by Facebook (crackbook). This is just a simple fact. I’m not saying one is superior to the other; Facebook is just quicker and easier. The blog started out as a diary of our journey toward immigration. We are moving toward year 3 since we have been in Canada and I guess I don’t have much more to say about immigrating here. I’m not sure how many USians are still looking to immigrate. Maybe changes in economy, housing, Obama, etc have changed things.

So I will tell you about our latest adventure. We spent 8 days on Grand Cayman Island. I have noticed how living in Canada has changed things about the way we travel. In the past, the first thing we would have done upon arriving in another country is rent a car. Sometimes the car would not be used for several days. It would sit in the parking lot. But we knew it was there if we decided to go somewhere. This trip was quite different. We used a taxi to get to our hotel but that was it. We used the bus to get everywhere else. It is a bargain at $2 CI to go anywhere one way. The buses are all large vans. They beep their horns at you as you walk along and you wave at them if you want them to stop and pick you up. They stop anywhere. There are designated stops but they will let you off and pick you up anywhere. The Caymanian people were warm, helpful and wonderful to us travelers.

We met up with some American friends there and had a fantastic time. It was a much needed break. I spent the greater part of my time under the water. The beaches and ocean were like those postcards that you think have been photo shopped because no beach can be that beautiful White powder sand and turquoise blue water. Exquisite! The snorkeling was some of the best I have ever seen. Right off the beaches in front of the hotel were reefs and hundreds of fish. It was amazing. I took more pictures of underwater than land photos.

We took a tour to Stingray City. This is a reef in the open ocean that hundreds of stingrays visit. The photos below will speak for themselves.

Pirate ships would pass by on the ocean. Sure they were for the tourists’ eye, but hey, that was me. My friend Teresa and I posed by a corny tourist statue with a pirate, the good kind of pirate. Teresa and I went to high school together. She and her husband Jim were fantastic travel mates.

Every night the four of us would meet on our patio to discuss the problems of the world. Quite a few nights we spent trying to figure out how to live in this beautiful place for half the year. I do love my Victoria in the summer, though. I feel no need to go anywhere else once the farm stands open up and the organic markets are in full swing.

Iguanas roamed the island and it was quite common to run across them on your way to the beach or dinner.

Diane could legally buy Cuban cigars and rum for the first time in our travels. We only got a wee bit of flack from the American customs agent in North Carolina.

Now we are back into the swing at work and missing our vacation time. The next thing we have planned is Las Vegas for American Thanksgiving.

I will try to post more often but if you friend me on Facebook I post on there more often.
Thanks for tuning in.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

25 Small Things (This started out on facebook)

1) I am a circular writer and thinker. I like to read what others are thinking and feeling. I’m not overly concerned by reading incorrect and not-perfect grammar. I like the feel of the thoughts and the messiness of emotion. I like how thoughts stumble over themselves and search around until they come back to where they started. I like where they travel along the way. I like circular.

2) I love coming home every night to my house in the forest. I greet the same deer and demanding Stellar Jay’s at the bird feeder. I love the quiet and solitude. The solar fairy lights make me smile inside.

3) I read fiction. I love fiction. I would like to write teen fiction. I did write a novel in the 80’s. Sci-fi feminist-type genre. I can get lost in a book like no other experience I know. Books are my friends and I am sad when the story is over. I loved working at the Library in Las Vegas. (Not the strip club that is called The Library, either)

4) On the latest version of Survivor, they wanted to vote off the ‘Old Lady’. I’m older than she is. I don’t feel like an old lady. I am still the same person I was in 20’s. My behavior has changed. My face has changed. I have reached some of the goals I set for myself. I still feel like there is a lot to do and see.

5) I want to go to Thailand. There. That is a new goal.

6) I appreciate my friends.

7) Friday night is the best time of the week.

8) I’m very relaxed about grammar but if we are sharing a spreadsheet and you mess up the formulas, I have to stop myself from screaming ‘STEP BACK FROM THE F%^&*NG COMPUTER . . .’

9) I miss my mother.

10) I am Alpha in my pack of Russell’s. I can achieve this with a look. But sometimes I need to curl my lip and snarl.

11) My greatest fear has always been that one day I will wake and realize that I’m the crazy person who screams at invisible people on the subway. When I’m waiting in the car for Diane at the grocery store I always wonder, if this is the moment I realize, there is no Diane, I have made up the whole thing. Sometimes when I’m one my way to work I wonder if this is the day, I realize that I don’t have a job, I’m the crazy person who drives to this place and sits in the parking lot all day until it is time to go home. Then I will drive up to what I believe is my home, try to get in with a key that doesn’t work, so I beat on the door and the real owners will call the police to take me away. I have always feared these things.

12) I like the thought of snow more than the reality.

13) I am healthier now than I have ever been. Except for #11.

14) I truly feel alone most of the time, even when I am with lots of people. I live in my head. I look at the world like I’m viewing a movie. I can be disconnected too easily and have to force myself in the other direction.

15) I never intend to do anyone harm.

16) I fear making errors. If I make an error at work, I am much harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. That is why I check and double-check myself almost to the point of obsession.

17) I love the smell of the woods when I stop at my mailbox to get the mail. I always think ‘Ahhh that is why I am here.’ I like how the golden sunlight filters through the branches on the trees to leave patchworks of light on the road when I drive home at night. I pass my favorite stream and open my window, no matter what the weather, to hear the gurgle and trickle of the water.

18) I don’t get to see many movies. But I almost always read the book.

19) I religiously look at houses for sale in Las Vegas and think I will buy one when the market bottoms out. Why? I could never live in Las Vegas again. See #17.

20) I don’t have enough time.

21) When I was younger I was convinced that I would be a famous singer/actor. After I made millions of dollars I would travel to Egypt. Then I realized I could skip the waiting to be famous part and just go. I lived in Egypt when I was 19. I just went there. No plans. No idea what I was getting myself into. Very little money. A backpack with a couple changes of clothes. Then when I was 20, I hitchhiked all the way to New York. I carried everything in a duffle bag. I had no plans. I lived and breathed ‘The Course in Miracles’. I believed that I was invincible. I probably was.

22) Snorkeling in warm water surrounded by fish is my idea of heaven.

23) I should be less aloof.

24) My favorite color changes constantly as does my favorite food, favorite book, favorite song, etc.

25) I should write more but I worry about being less than perfect with grammar. My spelling is atrocious. I hope you will just feel what I’m saying and not be too critical about how I say it. See, I am a circular writer and thinker.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Consumables or Trout Bait?

It has been a while since I posted anything so I thought I would just post some random thoughts. The snow has had us so preoccupied every waking minute between shoveling, plowing and spreading environmentally friendly ice melter that poof! the holidays were over. It is now a thrilling 9 degrees C and the sun is blazing so brightly it almost hurts my eyes to look at it. Yesterday we took the deprived pups for a 4 mile walk at Royal Roads. It was so incredibly beautiful it made me ache inside. We still look at one another and say “Can you believe that we live here?”
We were fortunate to have friends from Seattle come to visit over the holidays. It really felt like a celebration when they arrived. We temporarily forgot about the 60cm of snow piled up along the driveway. We watched the birds at the feeder (an occasional squirrel and deer as well). Diane had a small holiday party for her curling team. We went to a wonderful Boxing Day party despite the snow falling.
Work is work. I know we are fortunate to have jobs but it does not make it any easier to drag myself away from our forest home and my 4 furry children. The dogs were stir-crazy during the month when they could only follow the tunnels through the snow in the back yard to do their business. Montana, our child with weight issues, went to the vet yesterday for a check up and she has gained some weight. An 11.4 kilogram Jack Russell is large by any standards. And so the walking on the weekends begins.
We never make New Years Resolutions. We do look at our privilege. We are grateful for everything we have. So this year, on New Years Eve, we decided that our goal for this year is to limit our discretionary spending to consumables. Looking around at our life, we really don’t need more ‘stuff’. If we do purchase a ‘stuff’ item, we will stop to question ourselves; is it a trout item or something that we will be using for at least 10 years? We call trout items those things that appear in front of you, usually bright and shiny to catch your attention. They are a hook. You don’t know much more about it than it is attractive at the moment. Before you know it you have swallowed it, you’re hooked, just because it was interesting for a brief flash of time. We have vowed to make this a trout-free year. We are working on making the exceptions discussions to be hashed out and not jack-rabbit responses to stimuli.
This week we will watch the inauguration of Obama. I certainly have hope for his time in office but I’m not naive about what he will really be able to do. I hear rumors about the reversal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It makes me hopeful for people I know in the US military who struggle with this on a daily basis. I’m so tired of the States and the hiding in the dark on this issue. Canada has been so refreshing. I love living here. I will visit the States on occasions, but Canada is my home. I miss my friends and the community we had there. But I would not trade this for that. (See Heather, it did not take me long after the snow melted to lose the “What was I thinking?” whine) So we will plan vacations with friends from the US and Canada and hope that somewhere in between we will build our new community.

We won’t consume like trout this year and in 2010 we will consume even less than in 2009.