wantedgooddogparttime

by Jan

No, We are not looking to get a new doggy. No, no, no dogs!
Oh, look honey, a Doggy!

Ken and I have turned into “those” people. We are the weirdos who now stop people on walks, and go goo-goo over their dogs.

One reason we don’t want another dog is because we were totally spoiled with Boze. And because of her, IF we were to get another dog, they would have to be a good dog. No knot heads, crazy runners, big barkers, or dogs with “issues.”

Still, we are open. For example, if Max, from down the street, ever needed a new home — we’d be all over it!

Really though, at this time in our life, we would rather be doggy day care people. So, if you live in Sechelt, and know anyone who needs dog care, while they are at work, or anyone going on a week long vacation, and can’t take their dog — tell them to get in touch with us!

I’d be like that goofy Looneytoon cartoon charactor, “I will kiss him and love him, and squeeze him and hug him and call him George!”  Then we will happily, send them home to their real people, so others can pay for the food, vet bills and dog cookies. I’m sure we can swing the soft toys, sticks and balls needed.

Which brings me back to other people dogs  — I’ve noticed, no one has just a dog.

Today, everyone has a fancy pants pedigree, dog that is a combo of at least two breeds, often three, like the cockapeekapoo. The most popular seems to be some sort of oodle.

I saw a sweet curly haired black dog the other day, and then man told me it was a schnoodle — a combo, poodle, and schnauzer! Come on people! This is not a breed of dog — this is a dog from a long line of fence jumpers! But, I know it is hard to charge thousands of dollars for a fence jumper, so… schnoodle it is!

When Moser, a labradoodle, was visiting over Christmas, we were out for a walk and someone asked – I answered the way I always do, and said he was a snicker-doodleleedo… The lady said she knew the doodle part, but wasn’t familiar with a snicker dog. I smiled.

Finally yesterday, I talked to a nice woman walking her dog on the trail. She had a sweet medium size goofy looking doggy, a super cute little bugger. Of course, I stopped to goo… I ask… she shook her head — and a little embarrassed — said, “Mutt. Heinz 57”.

She then told me, he’s a good dog, we call him Harvey!

I need to start to carry some business cards on my walks. I would dog sit Harvey any time!

2018inreview

by Jan

My niece, Kayleen started this a few years ago, and I have followed — I don’t know if hers is posted  yet, but this is her bloggy thing.

I know I could spend more time on this, but January 1, 2019 is here, and these are my answers. Happy New Year everyone!

The Year in Review in simple question and answer form.

What did you do in 2018 that you’ve never done before?
I swam a mile in our community pool. That was a pretty big deal and I was very proud of myself for doing it.

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I like having a motto, not resolutions to guide me each year. My motto for 2018 was, Look up, Everyday… there are reminders. For 2019 I’ve chosen – It’s all about the view. In many ways these are the same. I like looking at views.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
We aren’t close, but I know Ben and Andrea had Charlie. Kat and Kevin had Bridget, and Jerome and Bea became Julian’s Grandparents.

Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, our dear and wonderful dog Boze. Also friends, Mel Sameishima, Jeff Muiderman, and Jan Warner.

What countries did you visit?
Other than two trips to Las Vegas to see my brother Art, we stayed in Canada.

What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
I don’t feel I lack anything.

What events from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?
The surgeries and trips to the ER.
Ken had surgery to remove a tumour from his bladder.
His brother Ron, had a tough time with the removal of a brain tumour.
My brother Art, had a kidney stone removed.
also, we launched Ken’s boat Cricket.
Company came!
The “incident” with Marian Bantjes and the ham sandwich.
The day Boze died.
The hike with Becky, where I could not keep up, and those when I did.
Ross hanging with me at the hospital, Sarah bringing us soup, and Lynn sending cookies!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I read over 60 books! (That’s a big deal for me!)
I swam a mile several times.
I raised money for our local food bank by selling the quilted shopping bags I made.
I found such joy sitting at the sewing machine playing with fabric while listening to audio books.
I got outside most days for a good hike.

What was your biggest failure?
I stopped going to the pool.
Sadly, I gave into this cell phone shit, and now I carry it everywhere with me.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
For the most part, all my bits are lined up well. The men in my life had a few problems though. At this writing, both Ken and I are well.

What was the best thing you bought?
I took the advice of my painting teacher and when it comes to fabric – I sew “like a millionaire.” The full face snorkel was probably the best money I spent. That thing made it possible for me to swim comfortably with my face in the water.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Ron Parker is one tough cookie. Kathy Parker is even tougher.
Anna Michael – Salute!
Ty Brackett, for taking a neighbours letter to heart.
The Canadian medical system.
I continually cheer the everyday actions of my husband Ken and best friend Sandie.

Whose behaviour appalled you?
I find ALL of the GOP disgusting, and I’m not impressed by most Democrats.
Doug Ford was elected in Ontario. Really?
I was disappointed BC didn’t vote for PR when they had the chance.
I’m appalled by people who still don’t think guns are a problem, and more so, by people who continue to think religion is a solution.

Where did most of your money go?
Probably on food, fabric, epoxy, gifts and postage.
We eat like kings, have supplies to create what we want, and we have enough to share. We almost bought a house — that would have been big!

What did you get really excited about?
Meeting Max – the cutest little doggy that lives down the street.
Learning about the art of Moy McKay.
The surprise painting from Lainey Benson.
The homemade chocolates Jess and Angelo made for Christmas.
Fabric sales and Bali Knots.

What song will always remind you of 2018?
I love Boze. (A little ditty I wrote for our sweet Boze dog.)

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?  Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter?  Fatter  (I still fit in the same pants, but since Christmas, they are a little tight)
iii. richer or poorer?  Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of?
I could say all kinds of things – but honestly, I do what I want.

What do  you wish you’d done less of?
Again, I do what I want.

Did you fall in love in 2018?
Ken still has my heart, and when I see the neighbours dog, Max walk by I get pretty excited!

What was your favourite TV program?
I still watch cooking and baking shows, Perry Mason, and This Hour has 22 Minutes. I like Endeavour, Vera, and Masterpiece. We now have Netfliks, and I’m open to suggestions of shows  that are not violent or about war.

Have you let go of any resentment or have a regret you cling to?
I regret losing sleep because of the hate in the states, and I regret losing sleep because of the love I have for someone I can’t help. — A silly resentment lingers and will be gone by the posting of this. The big and hurtful grudge I carried far too long, no longer bothers me.

What was the best book you read?
I read a lot. off the top of my head, I liked The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters. I also liked The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I loved everything I read by Drew Hadyen-Taylor.

What was your greatest musical (re)discovery?
Music is not a big part of my life, but playing music trivia games with my brother is great fun.
I hope to listen to more music this next year.

What did you want and get?
I got on Becky Wayte’s radar and she calls me fairly often to hike together. I also got a fancy set of glass dishes, I’ve had my eye on for a while.

What did you want and not get?
Besides once again not getting thinner, I usually get what I want. Oh wait, I didn’t get new eyeglasses.

What was your favourite film of this year?
Bohemian Rhapsody and Coco. (The animated one, not the one about the dress designer.)

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 63, and for the life of me, I cannot remember what I did. I’m sure I got attention.

What one thing would have made the year immeasurably more satisfying?
I worried about some people more than they worried about themselves. Not doing that would have been better.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
I continue to wear turtle necks, jeans and hiking boots. But, I did get my ears pierced and now wear different earrings each day. Also, Marsha made me several button up shirts, so fashion change is in the air!

What political issue stirred you the most?
Seriously? We all know tRump is a fucker, I continue to really hate Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell who are pure evil. The Brett Kavanaugh thing was and is fucked. The PR thing in BC disappointed me completely. On the good news side of politics, Sechelt elected a clean slate of politicians for mayor and council. We live in a rain forest and continue to have water restriction each summer, maybe this council will address that. My political head is not completely buried in the sand, but I need to spend more and more time at the beach.

Who and what did you miss?
Who I miss …I really, really miss Boze. I will probably always miss Kim, mom, and Peet.
I miss my brother Art and am grateful we text often.
What I miss… I miss the enthusiasm I had for swimming and watercolour painting.
And, I miss the freedom I had when I didn’t have a cell phone.

Who was the best new person you met?
Becky Wayte! She is bright, generous, talented, and so very adventurous.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.?
I hate everyone’s cell phone, but my own! 🙂

sayittoday

by Jan

It’s a beautiful, clear, and cold last day of 2018, on the coast.

This year, like others, we floated like a leaf on the river of life. We struggled in the downward spiral of politics, and we stood hand in hand, when our heath and hearts were challenged, and personally, I fought the same fucking 10 pounds, I’ve been fighting since 1973.

I’m still working on the 2018 year in review questionnaire. So today’s post is just a ramble to tell those I love, that I love them.

Years ago, when my friend Jan Daly was sick, and still in denial, she would not allow anyone to have “negative” talk around her. By doing this, she made it hard for her friends to say good bye.

It was around the time of her death, that I learned how important the lesson of speaking up was. Because she wouldn’t let me say what I wanted to her, I started the practice of telling people in my life, that I love them on a regular basis. I started making it part of our conversation.

Saying, I love you, in everyday conversation, is a conscious practice. I find it smooths the road, so I won’t have to have to struggle with words or feelings, when they really matters.

So, hear me now, and I hope you hear me often…
I love you! My life is better because you are in it.

And here is a special Happy Birthday shout out to my sister-in-law, Lynn, I love you!

thesweetestsoundof2018

by Jan

The last few days, I started working on the questionnaire my niece and I fill out each year.

The questions encourage us to look back, think and remember. It’s fun.

Once I finish I’ll post it, but in short, besides the big deals of Ken’s surgery, the death of our doggy Boze, and the surgeries of my brother, Art and Ken’s brother, Ron — I was surprised to find that 2018 was a somewhat uneventful year for us.

Home is where the year happened for us. When we weren’t home, we wanted to be.

There is a jar in my office with a hole in the lid. Over the years, I make note when something eventful happens. I put the note in the jar, and at the end of the year, I look back—  the jar wasn’t very full this year.

Company coming was the biggest contribution. Friends and family from all over came to visit. We really love company coming.

Ken and I were at the airport a couple of times this year. We flew to Vegas to visit my brother in March, then I went back on my own, a few months later.

We began a couple of road trips in the van, but we didn’t get very far each time. Our hearts weren’t in it, so we just came home.

Ken and I sing together a lot. We have a song for every occasion, yet for the most part, we sing silly songs, and either make up the words, or sing fa la la because we don’t actually know any of the words.

We do like to think we make a joyful noise though!

Looking back, it seems the sweetest sound we made in 2018, was when one of us, turned to the other and said, “Let’s go Home!”

letitbeginwithme

by Jan

And… it’s over.
Well, it’s almost over.

The holiday hub-bub that seemed to start around Halloween, is just about to come to an end. Of course we still need to get through New Years, but you know what I mean.

The lights, decorations, candy, cookies, and company can soon be put away until next time.

We’ve had loads of good fun, the best of friends, amazing food, and wonderful presents. There’s been massive laughter, stories told and re-told, serious snacking, ham, roast beast, and bobotie. Two ridiculously hard jigsaw puzzles, terrific hikes in the bush, and only one real melt down.

It’s been grand and I’m ready to tap out.

It makes complete sense that people would wish Peace on Earth at this time each year… I say, let it begin with me.

calloutyourdead

by Jan

We watched the movie Coco last night.

After surfing the channel guide for a good 30 minutes, we finally choose Coco. I’m not sure why we picked it. It only had 3 stars, and was an animated Disney movie. Certainly not one I normally go for, but somewhere, sometime, from someone… I heard it was good.

About five minutes into the movie, I shouted… I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!

I continued to love the movie and at the end, said it again. I loved it. Who ever gave it 3 stars is nuts!

Spoiler alerts coming — if you haven’t seen it, and want to… maybe pass this post by, I’m not going into big detail and this isn’t a review — but I will tell you the gist and how the movie sparked me.

Coco is about a young boy and the tradition of the Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead.

Growing up in New Mexico, I saw signs of this holiday often. Art work of skulls and bone people were every where in Santa Fe and Old Town in Albuquerque. Still, I never really gave it much attention or asked many questions. I just thought it was another feast day, or a superstition to do with the church.

Basically, the holiday and the movie is about remembering your dead. In the movie, (and in the tradition of the holiday) there is life after death, as long as, someone remembers you.

I don’t know about life after death, but I know when we remember our dead, when we tell a story of them, they come back to life in our hearts and minds.

A few years ago, I wrote a story about my step-father Jack. To me, he was a good man and I loved him very much. Jack wasn’t a man of the world though. He touched a some lives, but not a lot of lives. He was what I call, a two generation man.

There are people who will be remembered for multiple generations. Every time we speak the names of the famous, the war mongers, the inventors, the game changers, the good Grandma’s and the bad Great Uncles… when we hear their names, whether we knew them or not… the memories of them, their accomplishments, their stories live on and on.

But, someone like Jack. A good man, with a meaningful but, smaller reach in life, will be forgotten by the next generation. I only know a few people still alive in this world, who can call his name, have a photo, or share a memory of him. There are a few, but when we die, who will be able to tell a story about Jack and say, I remember when…

The movie Coco, tugged at my heart. It was colourful, musical, uplifting, and showed the importance of remembering.

Call out your dead! When we remember them — they live on!

amerryperfectchristmas

by Jan

Today, company comes! The first wave of friends and food arrive soon. I can’t wait.

This year everything will just be perfect!

After all, Christmas is my favourite time of the year…
The cookies, trimming the tree, getting a puppy, resolving all past hurts, and even getting that promotion at work that I’ve worked so hard for will happen, but not without a little conflict first and it will probably snow.

More than anything though, I’m looking forward to falling in love with my old boy friend who left for Paris, ten years ago, and never called, but also never forgot his pinky swear that he will love me forever!

We will accidentally bump into each other at the book store, library, or old holiday inn, that he is trying to close down so he can build a mall, or condos for the super rich. But, I will fight to keep it open, without any money, because it was my dead fathers dream. I learned all about it from Santa who told me while I wished on a snow globe.

We will both see the error of our ways, I’ll dump the nice guy who likes, but doesn’t love me, after a snowball fight or a big dance. We will feed the homeless. I’ll wear high heels, sexy dresses and have perfect makeup and tousled hair. We will eat only cookies, and pie, I’ll drink wine alone and hot cocoa, and Folgers coffee with others. We will wrap presents with big bows. I will knit homemade scarfs and give them to the needy.

Then, my future husband, (who happens to be a hunk!) will wake out of the coma he got when he fell, after putting my favourite angel ornament on the towns Christmas tree. He will then realize he never should have gone to Paris in the first place, that his heart has always been in Podunk, Ohio and with ME!

Santa will grant my wish. I will have a perfect wedding, my best friend will be my bridesmaid, and get together with my old boyfriend. My hunky husband and I will save the library, bookstore, or inn, and then move to a farm, take in orphaned children, put a show on in the barn, and finally… finally we will kiss under the mistletoe!

Whew. More nog-egg please!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Payitforward

by Jan
  • I was glad to get out for a hike after the big storm yesterday.

I’ve been walking a particular trail the last week, an easy 5 km loop I can do from the house.

It didn’t take long to realize that the storm was rough all over the coast. Trees were down and branches were strewn all across across the trail. It was a mess.

It’s easy to see the damage on the coast, but holy moly, the havoc the wind caused in the bush was amazing. Seeing trees snapped in half is quite a sight.

As I walked, I found the need to duck and weave as branches lay across the trail both at eye and chest level. At first, I thought someone had actually put barriers up on purpose.

The trail had become dangerous. It was necessary to watch not only my footwork, so I wouldn’t trip, but also I had to watch that I didn’t get smacked in the face, or knocked in the head by a fallen branch.

I’ve been hiking for years now. I take full advantage of the trails and appreciate the condition I find them. I often wonder who goes in with chain saws and strong backs, doing the work of creating a trail matrix that is open to the public. Becky said mountain bike clubs groom trails often, and I’m sure park people do as well. Whom ever you are… Salute!

My dad used to say doing something good in the world and not talking about it is the hardest thing to do. I know he liked getting attention — we all do. There is a word that describes the phenomenon of not talking about your good deeds. I can’t think of it right now, and the google is no help. But, I need writing topics more than I need attention, but apples don’t fall far…

So, instead of hiking my hike and bobbing and weaving along the trail, I took some extra time and cleaned up what I could.

Some branches I tangled with were really awkward— others were easier to break up and move around. Really, the clean up was not that hard. My gloves got wet and my boots, and jeans were a muddy mess. Still, I was happy to do my part so the next person didn’t have to.

Ken walks with a small plastic garbage bag. He picks up trash when he wanders. He never says anything about it. But, like I said, I’m a Hudson, so look at me!

Besides, Ken doesn’t have a bloggy thing — he’s just a good guy.

winterwreckage

by Jan

Oh, the weather outside is frightful….

The South Coast of BC got beat up pretty bad yesterday. Wind, wind, and more wind.

BC Ferries cancelled most of their sailings from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay, and the few boats that did run, provided wild rides with passengers “screaming and crying”!

I heard even the Bowen Island boat was sidelined for a few sailing. That’s rare. The Langdale Boat (the one we use to get us to the mainland) ran for most of the day, but I heard they cancelled the last sailing. Crazy times.

We were told once, that people on the coast spend an inordinate amount of time, talking about the ferry. But after all, the ferry is the road home for us, and yesterday, when it wasn’t closed, it was dangerous.

Docks and piers all around the coast were smashed and destroyed. While one nut bar went surfing, others had to be rescued from the waves. I heard at least one person died.

We were lucky. We stayed home. Our house was safe and warm. It never dawned on me to go out “in it.” Yet, I know friends who grabbed their camera and ran towards the waves! Yikes!

We did our small part and offered refuge to our friends and their dogs, who tried in vain, to get home to Port Alberni from Vancouver. While we are hardly “on the way,” we were able to offer leftover Chinese takeout and a place to sleep, to the weary travelers.  They set out early this morning, and I predict will be safely home later tonight.

Sometimes you need a port, and sometimes you are the port.

There were a lot of folks who did not get to sleep in a safe place last night. Havoc was wreaked all over the coast. And I in my night-shirt and pa in his cap… oops… I got side tracked.

This morning looks calm, and clear – so, as the clean up begins, remember to tip your servers, and please give a shout out of thanks to all the people who work hard keeping us safe during hard times, especially the ferry workers.