Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hope I grow old before I die!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Our Pub

George and I had an evening out on the town at our local neighbourhood pub before I went on holidays. By "on the town" I mean a seven minute walk from our door along the road past weekender cottages and horse pastures...

These are a some of photos of the evening.
It was a hot summer night and a few of us met for drinks at The Whitehouse.

The pub has quite a history, taking into consideration the relative worldly scheme of things.
It was originally built as a wayside inn to serve the old stagecoach trail that ran north and south along the valley. That same road runs right by our house.
In the years since it has been bought and sold and fallen into disrepair.
The establishment is now owned and operated by a local couple - the wife being the kindergarten teacher at our elementary school...
As a matter of fact, the pub's expansive parking area, that houses an old wooden sailboat, a run down camper and a vintage fire truck, backs onto the school's playground.

The Whitehouse no longer lets rooms, but it hosts many popular events throughout the year and is considered a curious attraction by many.
It has seen its share of millionaires bellied up to its comfortable bar, helicopter tours have landed in the lot out back, the odd fisticuffs has broken out upon its warped red carpeted floors and many a band has held its debut within its hallowed walls...

I always know that when I pay the old place a rare visit, I'll likely bump into a character or two or the odd buddy out for a refreshing wee drop.

I love living in a small town!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

E-bay Eyes - according to Gypsy

See me look out at the sunset
On your computer screen
Out for all that I can see
If you know what I mean

'Cause I'm e-bay eyes I'm here for sight
E-bay eyes and I'll watch the fight
E-bay eyes I'll see the road
E-bay eyes watch me explode...

I'm blue, mean and rarely unseen
I'm a commodity
Public enemy number one
So lock up your contacts
Lock up your glasses
Lock up your back door
And see all the masses
The eyes are back in town
Don't let them go round.

'Cause I'm e-bay eyes I'm here for sight
E-bay eyes and I'll watch the fight
E-bay eyes I'll see the road
E-bay eyes watch me explode...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I very recently discovered that a dear friend of mine died in a car accident several weeks ago.

I met Beth while I was living in the province of Saskatchewan.
Beth was born and raised in a small prairie town.
Family meant the world to her and she was close to her parents, bothers, sister, various inlaws and many nieces and nephews.
I was far from my own family and hers adopted me into their fold and made me feel at home.

Beth and I lived, played and worked together for many years and we were very much like sisters.
Beth had a warm smile to go along with her endearing personality.
She was kind and had a heart of gold.
She also had an engaging sense of humour!

I had not seen Beth for several years, as she was living in Alberta and I in British Columbia, but we did stay in touch.
We also had something that we shared - we have both had children that were put up for adoption.
We found that was a strong bond and I believe that we drew strength from it.
Beth eventually found her daughter and developed a loving relationship with her and her adoptive family.

When my daughter was born, I called her Beth - short for Elizabeth - and gave her the middle name of Anne... just like my dear friend.

Beth, I will miss you and I know you would not want me to mourn - you would rather I celebrate.

I can still hear your laughter!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sad News

I just received the news that a very dear friend of mine was killed in a car accident about a month ago...

My sixteen year old daughter, Elizabeth Anne, was named after her.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Men With Huge Hands

Is it that one attains Flaming Lips by consuming Red Hot Chili Peppers?

Food for thought...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Home at Last

It was a long journey yesterday.

This trip was a drop in the bucket compared to the long journey last year where we traveled half way round the world.
Having been to Fiji and back again last summer, Bobby and Jenny are great little travelers adn they are familiar with the necessary airport protocol.

A mere four and a half hour flight took us back across the country to our home.

Our trip began in the morning with a two hour drive to Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport in Montreal.
We had to be there earlier than ever because of the beefed up security resulting from the latest air travel threats.
We had a couple more hours to while away at the airport, so we bought lunch - three sandwiches, a fruit drink each and fruit salad for the mind boggling total of $67.00!!!
Albeit the sandwiches were delicious - gourmet to say the least - but I had a bit of a time swallowing the price...

We visited the bookstore - my favourite place to spend time while waiting for a flight - and we each bought a new book for the journey.
The copy I chose was a memoir of John Lennon written by his first wife, Cynthia. It made for easy, yet interesting reading during the flight.
Bob picked a book of The Simpsons cartoons and Jenny decided upon an activity book involving felt shapes that, when put together, make funny characters on a fuzzy background.

George met us at Calgary airport and we loaded our luggage into the van, pointed it west and headed for home.
The air was filled with a haze of smoke due to some forest fires burning down in the States - it's odd how smoke will drift hundreds, and often thousands of miles from its source.
The mountains on the western horizon did not come into view until we were very near the valley where we gain entrance to The Rockies.
The sun setting through the smokiness added to the magnificent eeriness of their craggy peaks.

We planned to sup at Melissa's Misteak, our favourite restaurant, on our way through the town of Banff.
George missed to first exit off the highway, so we were forced to take the next exit over the level railroad crossing. There was a line-up of vehicles - cars, trucks and campers, trailers and motor homes - waiting at the crossing for two one mile long trains going in separated directions to pass on Siding 29.
We did a loop de loop and headed back to the first entrance and drove beneath the tracks to avoid the wait.

The line-up of traffic should have been our first clue as to how busy my favourite town was...
We drove up and down the streets, through back alleys and round parking lots in order to find a place to safely - and legally - park the van.
There were people everywhere! The streets were crowded as though it were New York City!
We discovered, after walking several blocks, that our lovely Melissa's was overflowing with a crowd waiting outside the door.
By that time we were becoming rather tired and cranky - and we still had an hour and a half drive through the mountains.

We ended up stopping dinner at Storm mountain Lodge, a beautiful old inn looking out across the valley with a view of the mountain in the above photo.
The peak is aptly named for it seems that, even if the weather is lovely everywhere else, it is bound to be inclement over the high Storm Mountain Pass.
Our dinner was rather pricy - again - but delicious.

By the time we arrived home it was 10:30 p.m. local time, but we gained two hours on our cross country flight, so it was 12:30 a.m. for Bob, Jen and myself.
A long day by all accounts and we all slept like logs - in our own beds.

Our holiday with Grandma and Grandpa in another beautiful valley of this vast country of ours was wonderful...

...but it's good to be home!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Passing of the Backhouse

- by James Whitecomb Riley

When memory keeps me company and moves to smiles and tears,
A weather-beaten object looms through the mist of years.
Behind the house and barn it stood, a half a mile or more,
And hurrying feet a path had made, straight to its swinging door.
Its architecture was a type of simple classic art,
But in the tragedy of life it played a leading part.
And oft the passing traveler drove slow, and heaved a sigh,
To see the modest hired girl slip out with glances shy.

We had our posey garden the women loved so well,
I loved it too, but better still I loved the stronger smell
That filled the evening breezes so full of homely cheer,
And told the night-o'ertaken tramp that human life was near.
On lazy August afternoons, it made a little bower,
Delightful, when my grandsire sat and whiled away an hour.
For there the summer mornings its very cares entwined,
And berry bushes reddened in the steaming soil behind.

All day fat spiders spun their webs to catch the buzzing flies
That flitted to and from the house, when Ma was baking pies.
And once a swarm of hornets bold had built a place there
And stung my unsuspecting Aunt - I must not tell you where.
Then father took a flaming pole - that was a happy day -
He nearly burned the building up, but the hornets left to stay.
When summer bloom began to fade and winter to arouse,
We banked the little building with a heap of hemlock boughs.

But when the crust was on the snow and the sullen skies were grey,
We did our duties promptly, there one purpose swayed the mind.
We tarried not, nor lingered long on what we left behind.
The torture of theat icy seat would make a spartan sob,
For needs must scrape the flesh with a lacerating cob,
What from a frost encrusted nail, was suspended by a string -
My father was a frugal man and wasted not a thing.

When Grandpa had to "go out back" and make his morning call,
We'd bundle up the dear old man with muffler and a shawl.
I knew the hole on which he sat - t'was padded all around
And once I dared to sit there - t'was all too big I found.
My loins were all too little and I jack-knifed there to stay.
They had to come and get me out, or I'd have passed away.
Then father said ambition was a thing that boys should shun
And I just had the childrens' hole till childhood days were done.

And still I marvel at the craft that cut those holes so true,
The baby hole, the slender hole that fitted sister Sue.
That dear old country landmark, I tramped around a bit,
And in the lap of luxury my lot has been to sit.
But 'ere I die I'll eat the fruit of tears I sobbed of yore,
Then seek the shanty where my name is carved upon the door.
I ween the old familiar smell will soothe my jaded soul,
I'm now a man, but none-the-less, I'll try the childrens' hole.

This poem has been hanging in my Mum and Dads' bathroom for longer than I can remember...

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Life is not fair - get used to it.

The world won't care about your self-esteem.
The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school.

You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.
Your grandparents had a different work for burger-flipping - they called it opportunity.

If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes - learn from them.

Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now.
They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were.
So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room...

Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not.
In some schools they abolished grades and they give you as many times as you want to get the right answer.
This does not bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Life is not divided into semesters.
You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.
Do that on your own time.

Television is not real life.
In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to real jobs.

Be nice to nerds - chances are you'll end up working for one...

This was given in a speech by Bill Gates at a high school.
It was about things students did not and will not learn in school.
He talked about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

It is very important that we teach our children how to live in the real world!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


And this is where I am...

The above photo is of the beautiful Laurentian Mountains of Quebec.

Last Saturday we did the three-hour drive to Calgary Airport and caught our flight.
I flew the four hours to Montreal with Bobby and Jenny where my mum and dad met us and drove us the last two hours home.
George and Beth stayed behind in order to go to work - not all of us gets holidays!

We've had some fun splashing in the lake, eating great food, going to the local flea market, and I stayed up way too late last night visiting with my sister.

The weather has been wonderful, but last week they had a storm similar to the one we had - trees down all over the place with power and telephone knocked out for days.
The huge tree beside my parents' house came down across the lines and we had to call the power company personally in order to have the lines reconnected.
We heard nothing for days, then Hydro Quebec trucks visited us four times in one day - I felt as though we were being stalked by the power company...

Today is a quiet day where we have the house to ourselves, so I have a moment to do a bit on the computer.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


The news of Kim McLagan's death has left me deeply saddened.

Kim was born Patricia Kerrigan and grew up on her parents' tea plantation in Malaysia.

However they eventually moved back to England, where Kim pursued her modeling career.

Kim later married the late - and great - Keith Moon.
Together they had a daughter, Mandy.

Kim and Keith eventually divorced, although Keith loved her very much - but only in the way Keith could.

After Keith's death in 1978, Kim married Ian McLagan, keyboard player for the sixties rock and roll band, The Small Faces.

They settled in Austin, Texas in 1994 where Kim was an esthetician at a spa that she owned and operated.

Yesterday Kim died suddenly in a tragic car accident.

I have sent prayers for Ian, Mandy and the rest of Kim's family.

After thirty years, Keith finally has Kim back...