The Need to Vacate the Premises

A day in the sun

On Saturday my sister, her husband and I planned to go kayaking, they have their own and I would rent one, so Saturday morning I called the outlet only to be answered with a recorded message that they are closed for the season.

-C’mon, it’s April already! Didn’t expect that.

I was really looking forward to this, I needed this! A mini adventure, a break from my modus operandi but now that activity dashed I found myself at home with the choice of how I should spend my day, which ironically left me with indecision.

I had been ready for a great day of paddling. It was like being ready to pop a piece of white chocolate in your mouth but it’s white cheddar, tasty yes, but startling to your taste buds. So I’m eating white cheddar.

I wanted to be outside in this gorgeous sunny day, but thought I should maybe spend time at home while I have the chance since I’ve been in constant motion lately, so ok I can immerse myself into my current read in the back yard, find a patch of sun in my predominately shady yard and tuck in. Good.

Not good. My next door neighbor has fired up his chainsaw. So back in. Pace around a bit, thinking.

Hmmm, I guess I could wash the windows, or wash the pollen off the deck or work in the yard, but I really didn’t want to do anything like work today – wait, he’s stopped- alright, step outside- uh, nope, on again. This in an’ out went on a few more times until I decided leaving was the more sane alternative. My husband took the car to work yes, but I had the boat and fortunate to have a big provincial park, which is also an island, right next to me -this is where I would find my peaceful escape.

And I did. I got lots of sunshine and luscious uninterrupted reading time with a tremendous view of the water. To get out and away was just what was needed. Most times it’s the only way to ensure that getting sucked into doing obligatory tasks doesn’t overtake ones need for R&R.








New Digs


Making the decision on behalf of another that will directly affect them is not easy. This is an intersection I and my siblings have approached last year (and the year before) when we thought we had better initiate the call of finding a place for our mom to move into that would put her in closer proximity to us and where she can continue receiving care. Now it is come down to definite action. 

So. Here we are – two weeks after I initially began writing this post- and I’m very happy, and relieved, to say my mom has moved!

She is in a fantastic Assisted Living facility with her own private apartment with a patio, with the added advantage that she is also two blocks from my sister and her husband.

We had looked at Assisted Living Private Care versus Government Subsidized, we crunched numbers to a pulp to ensure that her finances would be sufficient to go with Private Care for the time being because this option would give her a one bedroom, one bathroom suite with kitchenette rather than the fully subsidized suite option of a studio suite- which is just a room with a bed and a bathroom.

We asked questions about enlisting a care aide to escort mom to and from the dining room due to her onset of dementia, and an aide to assist her in her morning and evening care and with her bathing -yes, yes, all her personal care can be arranged through the Health Authority Subsidy with that cost at $21.a day.

So this means mom pays a full rent for her own suite that includes all utilities and great meals in the dining room augmented with Government Subsidized Care for her personal needs.

– insert a sigh here –

We began all this in early February and this last two weeks has been nothing short of hectic and emotionally draining, which is why I haven’t had the gumption or time to write a post. Until 4:30 this morning.

Now it’s 6 am and feeling like I could sleep a bit, do I crawl back to bed for another hour or so? There is still so much to do in the next two weeks to prepare the townhome for listing, garage sales, to settle mom in and help her get accustomed to the new surroundings-will my mind be quite enough for me to sleep?

But my husband has come downstairs and begins to make coffee, and the birds are up too, singing to a rising sun~

One of Those days

Moe napping 2014
Moe napping 2014

I had accomplished one hour of yoga, made some business phone calls, made some chocolate cupcakes, and checked the mail. And that’s it.

By the late afternoon I made some popcorn, plunked down on the sofa and turned on the TV. Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind was on and I settled in to watch- what’s got to be the 50th time over the years. So corny I know, the acting is laughable, but because I am one of those who watch a night sky in hopes of seeing ET, I get hooked in again and enjoy the ride. I Give myself permission today to indulge in being a couch potato.

It’s a down day. Not in mood but in activity. The rain is coming down, I have the house to myself and I’m reveling in my own company.

And oh what luck, on next is Young Frankenstein, one of my favourite movies with Gene Wilder, next to Blazing Saddles – Cloris Leachman – Love her Frau Blucher (cue neighing horses). Both of those movies I have also seen a gazillion times and can be heard speaking the dialogue along with the actors- annoying, but I’m here by myself so… excuse me now, Frodrick and Frankenstein are singing Puttin’ on the Ritz –

Happy Friday!





A wee run away

Victoria 2016

We all have to do it, some more often than others. Luckily I don’t have to go too far to get to one of my favourite Happy Spots for a getaway. Just one and half hour drive brings me to Victoria, a city I once lived for six years when a single mom.

It’s the funniest thing- whenever I revisit I feel like I’m home. I definitely have a deep connection to this spot on the map even though I have lived in my current city for decades. Go figure.  I booked a sweet room at a B&B right on Dallas Road which runs along the waterfront and is part of Beacon Hill Park. I didn’t even tell Bob that I had made plans to spirit him away for the night. I love spontaneity.

What prompted the escape was knowing that our little islands power was going to shut down the entire day of Feb 2 due to power poles being replaced and, truth be known, I just really wanted to be somewhere else for a time. If I could have nabbed a flight to Cuba for a week it would’ve happened.

Victoria would have to do. So we left on the 1st.

We didn’t see a performance or a film, we didn’t go to a high end restaurant either. We stayed close to the area of the B&B and walked the parks waterfront and took in the splendid Ogden Point Breakwater.

Ogden Point 2016

The excitement I guess came that evening in our room. Not what you think. Our hosts had taken the liberty of upgrading our room since they had many vacancies that night; being a Tuesday I guess, so that was nice. The place was a heritage building and in true Victoria fashion the decor followed suit.

The duvet covered bed was encased in a beautiful rich wood frame and layered with several pillows large and small, a bank of multi-pane windows opened out to the ocean. Ahh.

I brought some Pinot Noir, and filled our glasses with a quarter pour and we reclined back on the pillows. To read the paper. Yes, 25 years of marriage- this is normal.

But when handsome hubby put down the paper and turned towards me (might there be romance?) as he did so one of the small pillows slide out from behind him and ever so quickly nudged his glass of red to the floor. He jumped up so fast and picked up the glass only to see a long, deep red gash stretched out over the pale carpet. Gasp!

Why didn’t I bring the Chardonnay.

Amazing how far a small amount can spread. Cocoa powder and tomato sauce have this same capability.

We quickly soaked wads of toilet paper and began dabbing and dabbing, then I took my clean underwear from my overnight bag, (I certainly couldn’t use the hotel towels now  could I?) and soaking them and using soap started scrubbing.

Not so romantic. Although I giggled the whole time, because it is so unlike us, and what else could one do but lighten up?  Needless to say Bob felt very bad about it.

In the morning- notice the segue- we arrived too late for our breakfast and even though our charming host Mike said he would make it we said thank you, no, and uh, oh by the way, yada, yada yada. Mike said don’t worry about it, but we left a generous tip anyway.

And we drove home. Not necessarily rested but a change of scenery was had, and anytime I can spend in my favorite city is a good time. With or without wine.








Food Bomb!

Prepare to be bombarded by several foodie shots.

I thought I’d just get them all out there, some of the food I’ve made during 2015 (I don’t take pictures of ALL the food I make, ok I would but –  I forget to, or have eaten the thing before I think of a photo )

I am in the process of putting together a Food Blog, and when I get more organized and consistent I’ll put it up, but in the meantime …
Chicken breast with grainy mustard- yogurt sauce and quinoa

Chicken breast with a yogurt/dijon sauce and Quinoa with yam and kale


Pasta 2015

Hey, it’s pasta.


Stew, 2015

Beef Stew


Breakfast, 2015

Steak and eggs, guacamole and chipotle mayo


Chicken parma with pasta and veg 2015

Chicken Parma with pasta and veg


Grilled salmon, mango salsa, rice and veg 2015

Sockeye with mango salsa and I can’t remember what sauce that I put in there on the asparagus-


Roast beef in yorkies with sour cream horseradish sauce, ape's 2015

Some roast beef, caramelized red onion and yorkshires with sour cream/horseradish canapés


Nori cones, appy's 2015

Nori cones for canapes


apple pie 2015

Apple pie


Pistachio Biscotti's with white chocolate 2015

Pistachio biscotti with white chocolate


Chocolate cookies with pepitas, smoked paprika and flaked salt 2015

Chocolate cookie with smoked paprika and pumpkin seed and flaked salt


sourdough 2016, made with organic grape sour starter

Sour dough made with my grape sour starter


Grilled cheese with scallions and mushrooms 2015

Grilled mushroom, scallion and cheese


Wedding cheesecake I made, August 2015

A cheese cake I made for a wedding in August with lemon curd, baked meringue and blueberries -(along with 65 mini ones)

That ought to do for now – I hope I haven’t caused you indigestion, I’ll pace myself in future~

Foot Bondage

On a trip to a bigger city I came across a shoe store, now I need to pause right there because my little city is O.K. in the shoe department but limited to just short of Fabulous. ( no let me rephrase, a lot short. )

Or does my little city have shoe stores straddling the fence of the outlandish and quirky. So when I see these over the top styles I am drawn like a moth to the flame.

They are little pieces of Art to me, but completely without function! I texted the photos to my daughter and she thought they were specialty cakes! That would be adorable.

She She shoes 2015
She She shoes 2015
She She Shoes 2015
She She Shoes 2015

I need to know who wears these? Does the woman who buys these walk in them or are they just for sitting, then is she to be carried to the car when the party’s over? Can she walk in them and what would that look like?

Now these shoes, I would wear these. No, I wouldn’t. Even though they are not so ridiculously high, I fantasize  about being the woman who could confidently wear these, strutting along like, ‘”What ever they are just shoes,” and that I would feel even remotely comfortable in a pair like these.

She She Shoes 2015
She She Shoes 2015
She She shoes 2015
She She shoes 2015

But the truth of the matter is I’m all about comfort and being practical. Like these beauties here, the Alaskan Tennis shoe, A.K.A. Xtra-Tuffs. I bought these in Ketchikan when I worked as a Baker at a fishing resort. Practical and Functional and on my second pair!

Does comfort always trump fashion for you?

My Xtra-Tuffs
My Xtra-Tuffs

Here and There

I have been grappling with this particular issue lately. At this juncture in my middle-aged life (as with millions of Boomers) it involves the concerns of caring for a parent, who if fortunate enough to have reached into their octogenarian years, appreciate and need their children’s attention.  A role reversal if you will.

My post heading Here and There is most illustrative of my current residential condition.

As you may know from my profile I live on an island and commute by boat each day to work. And now that I’ve been attending to my mom who lives on her own and is one hour away logistics have to be managed. Now from work I can be up There  (Moms place) in 25 minutes – no problem- but during the winter the days are then dark and wet or icy and to drive back Here  (home) after a day at work and traveling up to see mom makes for a long, long day with burn out waiting in the wings.

So last year I had rented a trailer a few minutes from her house up There to alleviate the return commute each evening. It was simple. On weekends I would return to husband and home back Here, and my sister would then be available to assist and visit our mom then.

Not the best recipe for the happiest of marriages but he is very supportive and understands the condition.

To move her to a closer proximity to us, her children, into an Assisted Living home is proving to be a lengthy process of waiting for assessment (which we are) to then be placed onto a waiting list. Which presently is at one year.

She is best where she is for now. And we can make it work.

But coming up to this winter I thought I wouldn’t “move” away again. I  decided to retire from my work at the university, that my mom is now my occupation. I could then spend the day with her, getting her out to swimming and walks, errands and appointments returning to my island home by the early evening. Happy wife, happy husband-

Well I was pretty set with that decision for several weeks.

Then I decided again.

I decided instead to once more look for a place to rent for the winter. I enjoy my work. I’m not ready to stop. I will give it one more winter. She may move by next year, she may not, or she may be gone. But one more winter.

And the sad truth be told, It is a temporary situation. It could all change in a heartbeat.