Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days ...

Oh yes, we know summer is here now that the mercury has risen and the tourists have at last had some beachtime in the sun. As I sit sipping my coffee of the day, I cannot resist pulling out the camera so you see what I see, even for just a few moments. Can anyone at all be cranky on such a day as this? Today I am meeting four new people. It should be interesting. If things go sideways I can always remind them of this. This IS paradise and we live here. I love it!

Last Man Standing

How we think, how we feel, and what we say - these things are so different in thought and execution. Being clever is not a thing I value in others for it's own sake as cleverness abounds in our family of wolverines. Being kind, being present, being willing, these are the things I value alongside morality and ethics of a kind to impact our planet in a positive or even benign way and the resolve to do no harm to fellow beings.

Frequently people mistake manners and pleasantries for friendship. That can be one deadly error and result in friendships that do not work out. All around me I see people mired in social disorder - chaos from alcoholism and dysfunction- and this is what seems normal to them. It works for them but not for me.

Shakespeare said: "Give grief words lest the ravelled heart bind up and bid it break." Years of not giving grief words resulted in my heart breaking into a million tiny pieces. No more..

You can get past your past but emotional memory has a life of it's own. The thing named has less power.


Chrome Sweethearts

Not even 8am and the streets are buzzing with excitement in a town known for sleeping through Sundays. I have a client on the main road so I have to park outside of the barricades and hike it in. I pass cars and more cars, queuing for their designated spots in the annual car show. There are thousands of vehicles in this years show. I am extrememly glad my schedule continues in other areas as I hike back out again.

Later - the streets are awash with people gawking at the cars. Grannys and Hells Angels and everything inbetween and all to the backdrop of 40s-50s-60s music blaring from the speakers at every corner. The high price of gas has not dissuaded anyone from attending or participating.

What strikes me is this: As a teenager attending Car shows, the guys and their wives and ladies, were just one generation older than me. Sure, some of my friends had the car bug but by and large, most of the car guys were older. Now I am older too and guess what The Car buffs are STILL one generation up. Silver haired foxes and pot bellied retirees form the majority in this huge seaside event.

I am just a teeney bit jealous.


Shiny Chrome

Boys and their toys- some things do not change no matter how old you get.

As a teenager in school, I was always mystified by the amount of time some of my friends spent on cars. They chromed everything, polished everything and then raced at Mission Raceway. Or the brand new Knight street bridge. Or along SE Marine drive between the Fraser Arms and Fuller├Ęs restaurant. Not me though, oh no not me.
I was a mere passenger. My first boyfriend was Ricki Cohen. He had a beautiful 1962 Cadillac. It was a boat. I loved cruising around in it. We went to the Stanley Park Be-In together and I was never so happy to get in a big comfie car afterwards.

Mike S put a Hemi engine in a Chevy II. --------------------- + woooooosh!
Greg N had a Black Cuda. Mimi drove her Moms Pontiac station wagon with a 456 in it. Mrs. G used to lend ¨Pat Bridges that car and he would rat race everywhere.
I got my dads old 1969 Buick Skylark and MAN it went like stink.
After I tired of paying too much for gas, I moved on to Sports cars.

Mmmm sports cars!
My favourite was my Datsun Fairladys. I had two of them. One grey ghost of a car, a sleeper with the 2000 motor and one candy red with the 1600. Driving those cars was fabulous. The sports car I kept longest was my 1969 MGB with spoke wheels. It was white with a black leather interior and the seats were pinstriped with a white band along the top edges. I used to drive to Vancouver pretty much every weekend and the taillights would be stolen EVERY SINGLE TIME. The 1969 and prior cars had a beautiful red taillight. The newer ones were orange and red. Eventually I swapped over to the orange kind before undertaking my Vancouver outings. I could be seen once a month with a wire brush polishing my chrome wheels. After I sold that car, I never again felt an attachment to an automobile. Sure I drive a sporty looking car red in colour - but its just a car.

Guys on the other hand, the kind with the car itch, tend to stay in love with their chrome sweethearts.


Passing Grade

The annual flurry of questions preceded my yearly exam for how pharmaceuticals are keeping my night horrors at bay. I did in fact mention that I have thrown up a few times in my sleep, but underplayed this as a symptom of some hidden anxiety.

Unfortunatly, my subconscious has clear memories that I would rather not retain. They come out in my sleep and I frequently disturb the neighbors by yelling in my sleep. In the past, the disorientation has lasted into the daytime and I have lost work time. It is very difficult to shake off this sort of thing no matter how cheery and optimistic a person naturally is. My intellect knows one thing - my emotional memory knows something quite else. To my sorrow, witnesses to my yells tell me that I cry for my Mommy or plead for help in a juvenile manner *or* I shout NO! STOP! in a strong adult voice.

I take a tiny dose of Seraquel prior to bedtime these days which keeps my daytime clear. It does not entirely banish the night horrors. I still shout but I do not wake up and I do not remember in the morning. Last night something happened that has not happened in years. I wet my bed. I also threw up in my sleep.

Wouldn't it be nice if a drug came on the market that would remove memories. There is always the shock therapy method, I suppose, but I have no desire at all for that.
I passed my test and for one more year I shall be medicated.

What I would give to have less challenges.
The upside is I am more compassionate than most.
But grrrr - I want to sleep soundly.


Control - Joy Division

At long last, the film by Anton Corbijn is playing in a theatre I can get to in under four hours. As a very young person, I embraced the music of Joy Division as that of similar souls. In my youthful brain the thought probably went more like this: "Finally - someone who thinks like I do. Wow. Are they ever deep." To my sister, it was: "Mom - Pepper is listening to that music to commit suicide to again." Ah diversity, such is life.

Another film, a documentary entitled "Joy Division" is also playing the big screens. Sadly, it will not show anywhere near me without both a long drive and a ferry ride.
This is something I am really looking forward to. Perhaps what this illustrates most is that certain aspects of my self never change.

As I was linking the site above, I noticed that I can order "Control" as a DVD. And indeed, I shall


The Indignities of Name-Calling

Although I never use real names in my blog when discussing clients, this story contains the actual maiden name of someone I know. The someone is my time-traveling friend on the water for whom I harbour such deep affection. Although her stories are becoming repetitious, they never lose their intensity.

This story concerns her school days in Montreal where her family had moved after an idyllic early childhood in Victoria, B.C. where Emily Carr could be seen collecting sea shells along the seashore. The move did not sit well with my friend's seven year old self and only got worse when school began. For the first time in her young life, Zeez was subject to jeering and name calling. The theme of the taunts was her last name for reasons that both mystified and enraged her.

In the school world, the hierarchy was set in stone - pupils at the bottom, teachers many many rungs up and at the pinnacle, the school Principal. Approaching the upper levels unbidden was something unheard of. Naturally this never occurred to young Zeez who, after a particularly galling interaction decided to take matters in hand. As the bell sounded for class to begin, Zeezs young hand took to the air.

"Yes?" asked the teacher.

Zeez stood up to announce that she needed to see the Principal. Immediately. The teacher who must have been mildly amused by this demand, told her that if she thought she must indeed speak to the Principal then she would have to go to the classroom where he was teaching. Zeez marched out of the room in pursuit of justice and retribution. Upon reaching the proper classroom, Zeez knocked purposely on the door which was answered by his eminence himself.
"I need to speak to you Sir." she began.
"Come on inside then and do so," he answered turning his back and returning to his desk.
"But Sir, I need to speak to you privately," she whispered after him.
He turned and fixed her in his gaze.
"If you wish to speak to me, you must do it in my classroom."

Zeez entered with great trepidation yet equal determination. The class was full of seventh grade boys who were all watching with interest the spectacle of this young girl on a mission.
"Please tell me what it is of such importance that you come and interupt my classroom young lady." The Principal was frowning and his long fingers were drumming the desk.

Zeez took a long breath and began.
"Sir, Bobby Fowler took my Father's name in vain."

A silence fell in the room. The Principal looked strangely at Zeez likely remembering that this was the girl who came from that family of Christian Scientists - an unknown quantity in predominantly Catholic Montreal.
"Go on," said the Principal. "What exactly did he say?

Zeez squared her shoulders and let it all tumble out.
"Sir, Bobby Fowler said: "How are you BALLS today Balls?" and Sir my father is a member of the Scottish Rite and wears the same ring you do and I don't think it was a very nice thing of Bobby Fowler to say."

Zeez was amazed to see that the entire classroom had completely dissolved into barely repressed laughter. Every face of every boy was smirking smiling or laughing. Worst of all, the Principals face had gone very red. He thundered to his classroom for silence and then looked very seriously at Zeez.

"Thank you Miss Balls. I will take care of this. You are excused."

Word spread through the school very quickly that Bobby Fowler got both the strap and detention. Zeez was never again subject to that particular jab at school but every Sunday when her father was at home, he was called to the telephone for some prank call.

Ah the misfortunes of youth. To young Zeez, Balls had been an illustrious and dignified name. During their time in Victoria, it had always been understood that here was a name steeped in tradition. In Montreal, this had been reduced to a joke and euphemism.

Recounting this story almost 90 years later, Zeez is just as outraged as she was in the original version. She tells me that until she was a married woman, she did not understand what made the grade seven boys laugh. Her husband had to explain it to her.

Ah the indignities of name-calling.


Happy June 12th

I was gifted today. Most unexpectedly and for no reason other than that it is June 12th today, with absolutely no affiliations or associations that matter to me. Until NOW.

This is my giftee.

Woot Woot Woot!
ok it has rear mounted speakers, USB and it tilts when you want to read legal size documents. Too cool for school Miss Mary jane! 22 inches of fun for my boudoir.

That sweet sweet feeling - -

It began in the morning when the urge for chocolate pudding overtook me. MMM pudding.
Later in the day, a kitkat bar beckoned, and by the time I was visiting my father's, a revello was in order. Oh chocolate, how I love you.



Most nights are filled with benign wanderings, curious visits or strange reunions. Whether too much caffeine or too much life, my night was a hunted haunted ill slumber filled with many awakenings. How I recoiled with a start from the hand of sleep. Each rude interruption assured me I would call in sick and right my head with a long steady morning dreaming. Falling into a mini dream moments before my final arousal I emerged calmed and relieved until only the faintest remembrance of nocturnal disturbance remained.

Off to work with my usual aplomb. This earth once more spins in the correct axis.


The Other Kind of Ghost

The home sits on the bluff, overlooking the river's mouth. The ocean is visible from every room as east and west windows let in both the sunrise and the sunset. The kitchen has an old fashioned pantry, and the wood-fired stove is still connected to the flue although seldom lit these days. The lady of the house is in the living room reading the same book she had in her hand a year ago. She has a great deal of short term memory loss, but is one of the happiest people I have ever met. Her entire life has been lived in this home, so no matter what period her mind settles on, her surroundings are familiar and she is unperturbed.

There are two huge bedrooms at this end of the house. One of them has the door always closed. The other is where she sleeps in a brass bed with a large eiderdown and two huge overstuffed pillows adorning it. Today she is fussing with the covers, trying to get everything symmetrical. Today she is carrying her doll with her, under one arm as she tucks and fluffs. She pauses in the hall and smiles at the closed door of the other bedroom. She thinks of me as a familiar Aunt or cousin. Although she is never sure where I fit in exactly, I do indeed fit and my presence is a happy event in her days. This lady is 97 years young. She is petite of frame and slight of stature and wears glasses that accentuate her round curious eyes. I was at her 85th birthday party and although she was better oriented to the actual date, she was not much different in appearance or attitude. She is one of life's happy wanderers.

When her son comes to check on her, as he does every morning, she sees her husband. Sometimes she sees her father and more rarely, she recognizes him as her own son. No one much pays attention to that part of things as she is just delighted to see him. He brushes her cheek with a kiss, puts a few fresh groceries in the fridge, and tells her he will be by to take her for a car ride later on. She goes to the window and waves him away.

Today as we stand in the hall, she moves past me to open the door to the second bedroom. "Mama asked me to air it out today." When the door opens, it is to a room with a dresser highboy and lady's vanity matching the rich mahogany of the bedframe. On the sittee, hand embroidered cushions hold flowers and mottos of another era. The wedding photo on the highboy is brown and taupe in colour. One picture adorns the wall. It is a sampler from the 1700s done by a seven year old girl, treasured through the generations. The room smells like roses. There is no dust settled on the window sash and the wooden floor gleams with high polish.

When I next see her son, I tell him that I caught a glimpse of the second bedroom.
"What, did you look through the outside window?"
"No no"", I tell him, "Your Mom was airing it out."
"Oh you must be mistaken. We keep that door locked so that Mom doesn't get upset over things. As long as the door is closed she doesn't worry. Grama always kept her door closed."
Rather than dwell on the strangeness of the open door, I asked him what his Grandmother was like, and if she was as laid back as his mother.
"All I remember about her is that "Attar of Roses" stuff she sprayed herself with."
"Was she a good housekeeper?"
"We used to slide along the floors here. Hard to believe now with the carpets everywhere, but Ma's mom keep the wood floors polished to within an inch of their lives."
Carpet everywhere?
I looked around at the thick wall to wall carpets. I decided NOT to look through the window on my way out. My client sat in her big airchair smiling.

Chilly thoughts of ghostly dreams

Here it is, June 4th and I am wrapped in blankets with my heat on and my dog nestled against me. How strange this season has been. Perhaps summer will prove unbearably hot trying to make up for all these days of damp coolness. For now, the extra sleep is pleasant.

Casting my mind back to more turbulent times, when my family lived in the house so saturated with frenetic energies that no family after us ever stayed more than a few months, and trying to arrive at the point in my mind when I knew without a doubt that time was an illusion, I traveled the road of thought. As a very small being, my universe was infinite. The ghosties and goblins living under the house and in the closets, behind drawn shades and between the lulls in prayers, waited only for a lapse in the attention of the adults to show themselves present. Indeterminate knocks through the central heating systems. and little groans beneath the floorboards; flickering lights and random clicks were all proofs. This world of wonder was exclusively the family realm of our home. Many years later I decided that we haunt ourselves. Forward and backward in time, using dreams, mirrors and mental magic as portals. we connect briefly with ourselves. Flashes of insight, moments of terror, sudden strong longings, yes, I believe we haunt ourselves. Independent of that, I also believe that some of us leave energy footprints in places- emotional stamps of strong feelings imprinted in the place where we felt them.

Growing up in a house so haunted that no neighbourhood children would visit for longer than a few minutes, and few ventured up our stairs on Halloween night, caused me to value the peace of a happy home above all things. My current home is a sanctuary of good thoughts and happy times. A price above rubies say I. As a teenager I met someone else living in a haunted house. They lived on Heather Street in Vancouver, in a home that had been the original farmhouse of that area. It stood four floors and an attic tall, quietly waiting for nightfall. A telephone would ring it's old fashioned brrr sounding in the stairwell. Books would fall from their shelves. A heavy iron bed , with two unaware sleepers in it, moved across the room to block the doorway during the night and sometimes, a cold freeze would descend on the kitchen. The matriarch of this family was deceased. The only daughter left home at 15. The four boys lived on with their dad who steadfastly refused to acknowledge the strange events. The boys, howeever, gleefully told their stories to friends and visitors. I thought it was all a silly fairy tale until the day I was alone in the attic - or so I thought.

My friend Bruce had told me the ghost did not like females staying around, and I had laughed. He was quite stern about it and asked me to make sure not to close the stairs door. I was up in that attic when I heard him call from downstairs. He had gone to get us some snacks so I went to help him bring them up. As I went down the stairs the door closed after me and the light went out. I kept going steadily down, calling out as I went. The doors were closed all the way down. When I got to the kitchen entrance, I kicked on the door and called out to stop fooling around and let me out. Sitting on the stairs, I was quite a bit madder than I was scared. I was convinced that the younger brothers were having a laugh at my expense. But where was Bruce?

I ended up crying in frustration and pounding on the door while yelling. A sudden *pop* sound and the door on the second floor opened. The light went on. Two heads looked down on me. They swore they were just coming down for a snack and had heard nothing. Bruce was in the basement with his father, investigating a series of thumps. They had thought a raccoon had gotten inside. No one admitted to calling me down from the attic. No one had seen the doors close. And no one was even slightly surprised by my misadventure. Needless to say I never stayed in the attic alone again, nor did I go down the stairs without someone right with me. In fact, I broke it off with Bruce as one haunted house was quite enough for me. My house at least tolerated me.


My Time Travelling Friend

There is a distinction between friends I know from work, clients I know from work, and friends. There are also some clients who are very friendly who would, in other circumstances be friends. My time travelling friend is one of these. I love conversing with her, love listening to her, love her company.

Still, she is a client.

There was this incredible book in her formidable library, titled: "Celt Druid & Culdee" by Isabel Hill Elder. It had a forward by none other than Lord Brabazon of Tara, the early gentleman aviator. Perhaps this book is not news to you, but to me it was a welcome glimpse into the truth about Druids. Always portrayed to me as blood-thirsty human sacrificing wild mages, the book discloses that no human bones have ever been found on site of Druidic Ritual.

It was interesting to me. I highly recommend buying your own copy of this book. I ordered mine already.


More Thrift Shoppe Adventures

So many shiny things, so little time.

Off I went to the Thrift where the boutique case held bags of junk silver and one little bag of junk gold. This is the same store that has on display, an empty wedding setting in platinum, priced at $89.99. A ridiculous price for melt worthy metal. I asked to see the bag of gold. priced at $44.00. Inside the bag were three 18ct earrings without partners, a beautiful droplet of fine chinese jade, six or seven single stud earrings and two chains. S*O*L*D

Self control?
I have no idea what you mean!!


The Holiday Song

On each and every statuatory holiday, their are people in my workplace who do not choose to work the day, and use their seniority to ensure they do not. Being a person who works a lite shift and a short week, I try to work every stat I can. It is always enjoyable for me when a new name pops up on my list because of the holiday. I see some grande folk on exactly this basis year in and year out.

My favourite holiday lady, lived in a genteel apartment in the area overlooking one of the tourist attractions as well as the ocean. Life in the upper 90's can be difficult as the body shows ever more concessions to age. It is always sad to see a vital lively mind in a failing body, but this is life and thus inevitable. We all fall down. My holiday lady was always happy to see me and unfailingly gracious. Each time I would leave I would say the same thing, "See you next holiday" and she would nod and smile. Last holiday she said: "Lord I hope not. Not you, dear, me. I hope I don't have many more of those in me."

She was correct. She did not. She was not on my holiday schedule but she was in the obituary column. It is impossible to feel sad at such times. It is more that you are glad for the person and thankful for the knowing of them. Alot of times my wish is that I had known some of these incredible people at an earlier date, and shared more time with them. Mostly, I am just thankful for the time we had.