Monthly Archives: January 2013

Animal Beach

Ralphie, Jamjarjude and I went to the zoo today where we saw lots of exotic animals.

There was a dragon…

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…and a whale keeping his eye on us…

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…and a crocodile hiding under some grass…

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…and a fierce lion hiding in the bushes…

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…and a brontosaurus…

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…and a wily red fox,,,

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…a very barky dog (I guess he’d seen Ralphie)…

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…a seal…

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….and a big shark.

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Ralphie even found a human.

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And we thought we were just going for a walk on the beach.



Jamjarjude is in town and she pulled me out of the house for a night on the town…. well a night at the Black Bear Pub anyway which is only a short drive away and didn’t require a change of clothes.

black bear pub 030Having just balanced out my body in a yoga class, I felt the perverse urge to undo my good work with a plate full of carbs and calories.

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I hadn’t eaten in a restaurant since last year, and in the interim, having become used to eating my dinner off my lap in front of the TV with Ralphie drooling at my knee, it appears that I had lost the ability to negotiate a table full of condiments and I promptly splattered ketchup all over my jeans, the upholstery, the carpet and the tabletop (I don’t do things by halves, no-sirree-bob).

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After using most of the pub’s supply of paper napkins cleaning up my jeans, the upholstery, the carpet and the tabletop, we polished off our respective suppers, and Jamjar introduced me to what initially appeared to be an innocuous Canadian pub pasttime, put shortly proved to be, for me, the first short step into the abyss of a major gambing addiction. Keno.

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“Pick two numbers,” she said.

“Okay, forty-one and seventeen.”

“No, not random numbers. Pick numbers that have some meaning to you.”

“No, those numbers popped into my head, so those are the numbers I want.”

Heavy sigh from Jamjarjude. “All right, then. Give me three dollars.”

So, after carefully selecting two numbers with personal meaning to her and chipping in her own three dollars, off Jamjarjude went to purchase the Keno ticket.

“Okay,” she said when she returned. “See that electronic board on the wall over there? You’ll see it light up with random numbers. Keep your eye out for your numbers and my numbers. If we get at least two of our numbers showing, we win two dollars. If we get all four numbers showing, we win a hundred dollars. We get three chances.”

“Cool,” I said. I watched the numbers pop up on the board. “Seventeen and forty-one,” I said as they flashed up onto the board. “Well, what do you know?”

“How’d you do that?” Jamjarjude said.

“Dunno. They just popped into my head. Let’s do it again.”

So, we did it again. We paid out another six dollars and chose some new numbers.

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“What are your numbers this time?” Jamjarjude asked.

“Thirty-nine and sixty-three. They just popped into my head.”

“That’s a stupid method,” Jamjarjude says, promptly picking two more numbers with meaning to her.

We sat back and watched the numbers flash up onto the Keno board. “Thirty-nine and sixty-three,” I said. “Well fancy that.”

The next game flashed up onto the Keno board. “Thirty-nine and sixty-three. Blimey.”

And I made back my six dollars and broke even. I took pity on Jamjarjude who didn’t have one of her numbers that had meaning to her flash up on the Keno board and added a Toonie* to the kitty just for her.

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I’m thinking maybe it’s time to buy a lottery ticket. And just let the numbers pop into my head.

*A Canadian two dollar coin. No reason you’d know this if you aren’t a Canuck.


Something drew me out of sleep last night. I opened my eyes and the room shone with a soft white light. It laddered across my pillow through the window blind until the light penetrated my sleep and I awoke to the quiet of the far corner of night.

I went to the window and pulled up the blind. The full moon hung in the sky like an eye, the pupil dilated and white, the iris rings of blue and yellow. It was like the eye of a giant black cat, gazing at a night world cloaked in the silence of mid-winter.

I got up and went outside. Ralphie raised her head and watched me as I passed by her bed, but it was too late even for her, and she laid her head back on her paws and yawned and closed her eyes. I opened the front door and stood on the lawn and I stared back at the night cat and said, “You’re not alone. I’m here. I see you.” And I took her picture so you could see her too.


Sunday in the Park with Ralphie

Took Ralphie for a long walk in Westwood Park in Nanaimo today and boy did she have a whale of a time. She sniffed lots of dog tracks, and I mean LOTS…

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…she played the intrepid explorer…

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…she drowned a stick…

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…she took in the view…

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…which was stunning…

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…and when she was done, she ignored the sign…

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….and chilled out…

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…because that’s what Sunday afternoons are all about.

It’s Fun Being a Girl

I don’t know what it was about today. I woke up when I heard the dog come into my room this morning and I rolled over and checked my cell phone and it was only 6:35 so I turned over again and snoozed for another hour while Ralphie groaned and huffed on the floor by the bed, and then the alarm went off at 7:45 and I stumbled out of bed and pulled on my jeans and a sweater over my oversized Montreal Canadiens t-shirt, like I do every day, and I fumbled my way down the stairs trying not to trip over the dog as I squinted sleep out of my eyes, and I pulled on my jacket and hat and scarf and mittens and put the leash on the dog and checked I had a poo bag in my pocket and we went out for our morning walk. I know you’re on the edge of your seats now, thinking “I gotta have her life”.

So, we get home after our walk and I take my shower and I go to get dressed, and I pull on my jeans over my underwear, like I do every day, and then I look at myself in the mirror in my underwear and my jeans and I think. Wait a minute. When’s the last time you wore something other than jeans and a sweater? When’s the last time you squirted on a bit of perfume? When’s the last time you put contact lenses on when you weren’t going out anywhere? When’s the last time you made an effort?

So I looked into the closet and pulled out some dresses that I hadn’t worn for months and tried them on, one after the other, and thought, these look nice….

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…and I opened up a drawer and pulled out my turquoise jewellery and thought, maybe I should start wearing it again….

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…and I tried on a pair of high-heeled shoes and thought, oh, my legs don’t look too bad. Jogging’s paying off.

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And I squirted on some perfume, and I made an effort with my hair and I put on my contact lenses even though it was a Saturday and the only one who would see me today was Ralphie, and I dabbed on some lipstick and a bit of blush….

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….and I felt pretty. And it was just for me. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Barnacle Rings

The fog finally lifted today after a long week, and Ralphie and I headed off to Neck Point for some fresh air to blow the cobwebs out of our heads. I turned on the radio in the car and we sang along to Madonna and J-Lo, me making up the words and Ralphie howling and barking and wagging her tail. Heaven knows what the good people of Nanaimo thought of our rendition of “Like a Virgin”!

We had a great walk along the coast. Ralphie sniffed every bush and piece of driftwood and I stood on top of the rocks and closed my eyes and let the breeze wash over me like a spring shower.

On the way back to the car, we took a path through the woods. We meandered and wandered and I looked at geese flying overhead and Ralphie sniffed and wagged her tail. Everything was brown and ochre and green. Then I spied something very white in a pile of leaves.

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We went over and I picked it up. It was a seashell. I turned it over and its ridges were covered in barnacles like a hand with rings of barnacle jewels. How it had got there, who knows? We were deep in the woods. I picked it up and put it in my pocket and when we got home I cleaned it off. And now it sits on my pile of manuscript pages, a reminder that gifts abound if you let yourself find them.

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You Rock

I’ve been working at the computer today, staring out the window every now and then to grey sheets of rain. It’s cold, it’s January, it’s a long way to warm weather and holidays. It’s one of those days we just seem to want to get behind us on our way to bigger and brighter days.

Somedays it’s hard to find where it is you’ve put the motivation. I’m not talking about the motivation to work, more like the motivation to get out of bed, to get dressed, to show up in your life. Thank goodness the dog needs walks on days like this, otherwise…. I’m not sure that I wouldn’t just turn over and pull the duvet over my head.

Somedays you just need to remind yourself that you rock.

You Rock

Because every day is a gift. It’s better to get up and take small steps than to lie in bed with the duvet over your head.

I wrote six pages today. Not bad for small steps.