Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tall and snowy

We went over the border to Mount Baker last July.

There was something surreal about wandering around in snow in our shorts in mid-summer! I threw several snowballs at my beloved, hitting him squarely on the back of the head.

In case there's anyone out there not aware of how homesick I am for Nova Scotia (God knows my husband is fully aware), well, I am homesick for Nova Scotia and would happily be living there in a fish shed right now if I could take my hubby with me. But for all I knock BC and the surrounding area (mostly because I can't afford to live on the ocean here), there are some rather spectacularly beautiful bits. Mount Baker is one of them. It may technically be situated in Washington, but you can see it clearly from here in Abbotsford most days, and it becomes more magnificent the closer you get to it!

There are some lovely mountains here on the Canuck side too, that is, the ones that aren't clear cut and covered with cookie-cutter family homes (the run-off from which helped flood our village last month). Well, some of the homes are more extravagant and less cookie-cutterish than others. The higher up a mountain you go, the more rarified your farts are. And there are streets up there with gold fire hydrants! I kid you not.

Anyway, I wanna go live on five acres in Mission and have llamas, chickens and a pot-bellied pig. But I digress. Somebody send me some lobster.

PS: Amelia is fighting the good fight, but I am hopeful she will be dead soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

My friend, Amelia Amoeba

Well folks, after several tests, they have finally discovered that I did indeed bring home an amoeba from our trips to Cambodia and Vietnam last December, and maybe a touch of blastocystis as well. A friend of mine christened the amoeba "Amelia". I am, however, relatively ignorant about amoebae (amoebas? amoebettes?) Here is one definition I read on the web:

"amoeba: A single-celled organism, many species of which live free in water. [Yeah, no kidding, the water I apparently drank!] A few are pathogens; amoebic dysentery is caused by an amoeba that parasitises the gut. Their overall shape and pattern of movement is similar in character to the way many animal cells behave, although the latter are usually much smaller. Such cells are often referred to as amoeboid. "

If you would like to see an amoeba, go to:


I am now taking copious quantities of tetracycline, slowly murdering my friend Amelia (or is that "friends"?) And on account of all the, ahem, samples I have been having to give, I have christened myself "Poo Gurl".

Apparently Amelia is stuck to the walls of my gut, living the good life. Let's hope it will now be a short life as well! I have been told by my sources that if you have a tapeworm, you can feel it moving around. I suppose I should be grateful that Amelia is so tiny, her movements are imperceptible. But I would like her to stop eating my red blood cells!

Poo Gurl & Amelia [Nooooooo! Don't killl meeeeeee!]

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Today the English Setter From Hell woke us up at 4:15 am. Too early! Too early!!!!!!!! What is it with these old farts?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy VD!

Yep, Valentine's Day. Have a good one and try to avoid the hype. I am eating chocolate from a velvety heart-shaped box at this very moment (thank you, honey!) I think it's the first velvety heart-shaped chocolate box I have ever had in my life.

Okay, so this: a goldfish!

I was in the pet store on the weekend, photographing goldfish for my new rug design, when this guy swam by. He's a bit out of focus but I find him quite endearing, not to mention unnatural.

Back to the chocolate. Yesterday I had lunch at the tearoom (homemade tomato, white bean and basil soup; they make amazing soup there), then a sticky toffee pudding with Devonshire cream (God help me), then we went to see "Million Dollar Baby" and I had New York Fries. Mmmmm.... not a particularly healthy food day, but fun, wow!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Why so early?

Why has our elderly English Setter suddenly decided that it's great to get up at 5:30 every day? This is killing us!

I mean, even 6:30 would be okay, but 5:30 is ridiculous! I know she probably has a tiny old dog bladder now, but what is with this sudden clockwork early rising? It's not 5:35, it's not even 5:45... oh noooo, 5:30! The sun isn't even up. You can tell her to go lie down, and she will, for 30 seconds. Then it's pacepacepacepacepace. How can we get her to sleep in for an extra hour? She turns 13 next month and she's never done this before on such a regular basis.

The old dog farts we can deal with, but this is wearing us both out! Lucky she's so sweet...

Friday, February 11, 2005

Good pot!

No, not THAT kind of pot, although God knows there's enough available in this province. Apparently there's even a mini grow-op here in the village; you can't escape it! Two of the places we looked while house-hunting had been grow-ops before they were put up for sale, and another one still had an active grow-op in the barn. (No barn that small needs 600-amp service and a tarp on the roof, not to mention an industrial-strength padlock on the door.)

No, no, this good pot is the one I got free from IGA after collecting many, many stickers and dutifully pasting them onto a collector card. Said pot shines brightly in the bottom right-hand corner of this photo. A Royal Doulton pot. Free! Absolutely free! It's so pretty I am afraid to use it.

I challenge you to find another blog with a picture of a pot drawer in it. Knatolee's world is anything but average.

As an aside, I just had a green banana smoothie. I THOUGHT it was a proper yellow banana smoothie, but apparently this bastard banana was just masquerading as a ripe one. Nothing like a little wooden banana to add flavour to your beverage... NOT.

Which leads me to today's question. Do cows like bananas? My English Setter likes bananas. I guess I will just have to take a banana over to my apple-lovin' bovine friends this weekend and find out!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

My wet butt

I just came back from a 90-minute walk with my neighbour Nora and her chihuahua, Chico. We drove up to our favourite "mountain" trail, only to find it closed due to construction! (No doubt they are clearcutting the mountain for more unspeakably ugly housing.) So we tried this other trail a little way back, which was not really a proper trail. We nearly died hiking up a very steep hill (cardiac arrest, anyone?), then at the top we found the back of a golf course (complete with golfers; yep, in BC you can golf all year) and what looked like a real trail, bushwhacked by some eager beaver, with a few markers to confirm the fact that yes, this ground had been trodden before by human feet.

We walked along the path for ages through some very pretty forest, and finally started heading downhill. Nora said, "Maybe we should turn back!" and I said, "Nah, it's going back down to the road!" I was determined not to backtrack. Never surrender, I say! Always go forward.

So we walked all the way down the precarious path and hit.... the raging creek. And the "bridge" someone had fashioned out of old planks had washed out and was stuck downstream. We looked and looked for another way to cross the creek, but no luck! Finally, we reluctantly decided to head back up the hill. But then I decided to take one last look along the water's edge, and suddenly noticed a huge tree that someone had positioned as a makeshift bridge about three or four feet over the creek.

I volunteered to carry Chico across, as he would have been swept away by the current. The huge tree turned out to be VERY slippery, coated in moss and ice and muck, so I rejected a tightrope walk in favour of sliding across on my butt, hoping I wouldn't slither off into the cold water below. I zippered Chico up in my jacket so my hands would be free (chihuahua papoose! He was SO good; not a peep and no squirming!) and proceeded to slide across, making my butt very wet and very muddy and very cold. Nora gamely followed suit. Damn it, we were NOT going back up that mountain.

We made it across without falling in, and we popped out at the road almost right where we'd left the car. I was very proud of my navigational skills, somewhat less proud of my sodden ass. But we had fun and a good laugh!

Despite changing my clothes, I still smell strangely earthy.

Question of the Day, Thursday

Why do old dog farts smell worse than young dog farts?

Our little friend

This is Bobby, our little friend who used to reside in the Dadmobile, until Gordon stripped it bare on the weekend to prepare it for selling (anyone wanna buy a nice 1991 Buick Century wagon? I'll give you a deal!) Bobby is our special, special friend. Of course, he BOBS, but you can't see that in the jpeg. He was resting when I took this photo.

Yes, I need to get out more...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Question for today

If a cat were a cross-dresser, what would he/she wear?

I need a chocolate croissant

But I'm not getting one. There isn't a bakery in Abbotsford that makes a decent croissant! In Montreal, we got beautiful "pain au chocolat" at the local convenience store, but here? The bakeries blow chunks. I don't deny that you are sure to find wonderful baking in Vancouver, but not out here in the sticks. If there is an exquisite bakery hiding in Abbotsford, be sure to let me know. I haven't found it yet.

Of course, we do have the wonderful Clayburn Village tea room not 45 seconds from our front door:

They make many wonderful things, and stock an incredible array of penny candy, not to mention my particular achilles heel, ENGLISH CHOCOLATE, but alas, no croissants, particularly not chocolate ones.

And do I have any junk food in the house? Noooooo. I am having to make do with cheese and crackers, which is not a substitute for a croissant. Dang. I am so hard done-by.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Teeth and Dogs

Another successful visit to the dentist. Clean teeth, no cavities, gums pink and healthy. Where's my prize? I enjoyed watching the TV in the ceiling.

For those of you with high-maintenance dogs, may I suggest the following?

Is that... the sun?

Why yes, the sun is shining AGAIN today! I barely recognized it this morning. We're having a break from the seasonal deluge of rain, rain and more rain. I guess winter really is over. Well, except for that fact that there is a skim-coat of ice on the goldfish pond, and all the locks on the station wagon are frozen again (time to climb through the back window.) Still, winter in BC is hardly painful, especially compared to, say, Nova Scotia's season of WHITE.

I recently chatted with the owner of the local birdfeeding supply store. What a great place... "Backyard Birding" on West Railway St. in Abbotsford. It's one of the few good things about this godforsaken "city in the country." (More like "the city clearcutting every mountain in sight and loading it with unspeakably ugly suburban monstrosities!" There's a reason I call it "Anusford." But I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter at all. .)

Sorry, I digressed. Anyhoo (is anyone reading this drivel anyway?) Cliff (owner) told me that someone brought in a nest box with four dead chickadee babies in it. This was not done in order to gross out Cliff, but to show that the chickadees around here are already nesting! The babies did not survive the ensuing cold snap. This nestbox incident occurred in late January. I live in the Mediterranean of Canada. Nova Scotian chickadees would never be foolish enough to consider building a nest in JANUARY. Insanity!

Life around our birdfeeders has been reasonably normal lately. We haven't seen the Barred owl since he ate half our goldfish at Christmas, and I haven't noticed the sharp-shinned hawk picking off any juicy songbird delights lately. We've got the usual bunch of pine siskins, chickadees (regular and chestnut-backed), song sparrows, white- and gold-crowned sparrows, Steller Jays, red-winged blackbirds, house finches and whatever else I've forgotten. Oh yeah, juncos. I forgot the juncos. They are ubiquitous throughout the winter, but I'm quite fond of them.

There was a mosquito in our bathroom this week. What the hell does that mean? I wonder if it's a malarial one we brought back from Cambodia?

The goldfish are doing okay, the five adults and innumerable babies that weren't picked off by Mr. Owl. I note that some of the larger babies are now turning from dull brown to goldfish orange. Ah, the children are growing up.

I have to do some work....

Monday, February 07, 2005

Julius Rug

Here I pay homage in wool to Mr. Fluffalicious!


My latest rug!

It is not yet bound, which partly explains the wonky bottom lefthand corner. These robins nested above our doorway in our Moffat, Ontario house.


I live in Clayburn Village, which is surrounded by farmland (and smells like it, too.) We have a lovely black cow and her calf living in the village, and they adore apples. I went for a walk today and took apples for them. Mom cow was feeding her calf (who is now as big as she is!) but when she saw me, she left son in the dirt and legged it for the fence. She ended up eating both apples, as the calf dropped most of his on the ground.

She also slimed me with her tongue and got mud on my jacket! Mom cow's whole head was spattered with mud.

Cows have incredibly large noggins.

For more on the cows, go to:

Handsome Fluffy Man

The most handsome Fluffy Man I know! He's manly enough to sleep in flowers without embarrassment. Now, my other half will try to tell you that is was HIS idea to have this fluffalicious feline stray move in with us, but Julius and I know the truth: he joined the family because I BEAT MY HUSBAND DOWN until he finally gave up and let the world's best cat join the family. And he has never regretted it! You are looking at a perfect morsel of catty goodness.

Cross-species love

To be truthful, I think the Zoë (cat) merely tolerates Tara(dog)! Tara turns 13 on March 17. I inherited her from my Mum 7-1/2 years ago. My mother lives on through Tara, haunting me on a daily basis. An yes, Zoë is too fat and yes, Zoë is on a diet and a rigid play/exercise routine. Send catnip.

This is me at age three with my Dad, Vancouver. Apparently I was destined to live in BC, like it or not! Frankly, I think I belong in Nova Scotia but evidently in 1967 I felt otherwise. And don't I look snazzy, all dressed in red?

My special breakfast

This was made specially for me by my most excellent husband, Chef Gordon. Well, I wish I could eat this everyday! Of course, I'd succumb to a heart attack, but I'd be laughing as I shuffled off this mortal coil.


They make slugs very big on the west coast, but these are reasonably small banana slugs. However, I would like to know just what they are up to!!!! Mad, passionate slug love?

Welcome to my Blog

Just checking in to say hello! How do you like my very first Blog? Don't answer that.