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January 30, 2009

Gung Hei Fat Choi

originally uploaded by Syowoe.
Took this photo at last year's Chinese New Year Parade. Well actually it was en route to the parade walking along the Coal Harbour Seawall.
This little guy, the most joyous baby in the world, was with his grandparents who couldn't speak English. They were doting over him as you would expect to be doted on when you are this damned cute.

I think he's a great representation of what makes big cities in Canada and the world so interesting....call it multiculturalism, call it whatever you want, it's just so much better than plain, all the same white!

He's part Asian baby, part Western cowboy, part snow bunny!

Isn't he the cutest baby you've ever seen? Maybe my friend Lisa's baby will look like that when she has it. She's part Chinese although she looks Mexican to me! We'll see!

January 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to C

When it comes to Colleen, 50 really is the new 30!

January 22, 2009

SaltSpring Who's Who

I SEE YOU! (This was taken at the Gay Pride Parade last summer but in some strange way I thought his expression fit with this story.)

Today was a good example of how when you live in a small place you have to be so much more on top of your game when it comes to recalling "who's on first" so to speak.

Now, I'm used to living in Vancouver's West End. It's actually way more like a little village than anyone who has never lived there might expect. The difference is that about a million other people come into THAT village so you're not expected to know the name of everyone you've ever interacted with.

There's the guy who makes your Cafe Latte. The transsexual who walks the Beagle dog. The cute waiter at your favorite restaurant that you walked by on the way home from work every day. There's the lady behind the counter in the dollar store. Who cares. They're there. They're doing their thing. It doesn't really matter that you don't know their name. Although in hindsight, it really should have mattered I guess. Why didn't it?

In a small town, it's different. It actually does matter. This morning, I have a 9 am meeting with a woman I interviewed in the summer for an article I wrote. I spent 2hours with her drinking tea and wine on her deck at her home. I've seen her photo attached to the article I wrote. I have a pretty good idea of what she looks like. Or, so I thought. Now, to give myself a break, I wasn't expecting anyone else to walk in to greet me except her, which given where I now live and how many people I meet is pretty, umm, short-sighted.

So, I'm waiting in Barb's Buns, a nice coffee shop/bakery/restaurant sitting there eating my incredibly low fat (sarcasm) Capuccino chocolate chip muffin and another woman walks in, looks at me, smiles at me, comes up to my table and says
"Hi Gayle." I stand up and say to her, "Wow I didn't recognize you!" I am about to give her a hug and then she looks at me and says, I'm (insert female name). No wonder I didn't recognize her, it's not her. It's not the one I was waiting for. No wonder she doesn't look like her. My mind wasn't playing tricks. I was right. It ISN'T HER!

It's one of the ones I had a drink with on Saturday night; an unlikely occurrence given that one of those ones was a man from the other small town I once lived in that also starts with an "S" and who for the love of God got here two years before me and knows way too much about me.

It's like this man knows as much about me as the FBI would know about someone in the Witness Protection Program. No, I'm not going to explain. I like this man, he's nice, but every time I see him he reminds me (through association) of the situation I am referring to but not detailing way back then. For God's Sake! If there are no coincidences what the hell does it mean that he and I now live in the same place?

Meanwhile, back at Barb's Buns I say, "Oh, no wonder you don't look like her, you're not her," I say while I"m certain she must think I'm in the early stages of dementia.

Finally, the real one I'm waiting for walks in and yes, I did recognize her. She does look like herself and not like the one who walked in previously and exactly like I recalled that she did look like before I was confused by the decoy.

I sit down and begin talking to the one I was waiting for at which point someone taps me on my shoulder and says Gayle? I turn around. It's a woman from my band. She says,"I thought that was your voice.
"Hi (insert woman's name), I say. I go back to my interview knowing that she's probably listening to my every word given that she's 5 inches behind me.

Later, I'm back at the same place. Another woman smiles at me. I'm certain I've met her. Can't recall where that might have been. Was it in Vancouver? I smile back and say Hi. I then have to ask her where I've met her before. This is kind of embarrassing given that it turns out, I spent about four hours with her and her boyfriend who is also sitting right in front of me. I met them at my neighbour's house. We had dinner. We even played charades. This was right before Christmas. Yes, this past Christmas, not the Christmas from 1972. How could I not recognize them? Wrong context? Yes, that's it. That's my excuse. Feeble but I'm stickin' to it.

Then, there's the cashier. I know I helped her with her resume in the employment center. She must have got a job here. I need to know her name so we can cross her off our list. What WAS her name? Just ask her name. I have to ask her name.

Then, there's the people who come into the employment center where I'm working part-time. When I meet them in public, they act like they've never seen me before in their lives. To them, I'm that lazy-ass, authoritarian, good for nothing government worker (even though I'm not any of the preceding) who hasn't got them a job. It doesn't matter that I see them every day in the center, some of them just won't acknowledge me on the street. I'd like to not acknowledge them when they're sitting in front of my desk sighing and whining and I can't leave but that wouldn't be very nice now would it.

My co-worker gives me advice. When you're on the street, only acknowledge them if they acknowledge you she says. "Make eye contact. If they don't, just walk by." Oh. Boundaries. I should know about that I think to myself, thinking about the man who knows almost everything about me and the reason why!

It's hard to keep all this straight. Did I interview you? Did I write a story about you? Did I take your photo? Did I help you with your resume? Did I meet you through a friend? Were you at the Legion on Remembrance Day? Are you in my band? Are you a friend of a friend? Were you sitting beside me at ArtSpring. MY GOD! It's like being back in a high school except this one has 10,000 students. Where's the yearbook I think to myself. Oh ya, it's called The Driftwood. It comes out weekly, not annually.

You go to a concert and you have the high school principal in front of you the grandparents beside you, Raffi in the front row, Robert Bateman second row, the guy who towed your car out of the ditch sitting behind you. I refuse to ever have a prescription filled here or see a doctor (which isn't hard since you can't see a doctor, they aren't taking patients!).

If you had sex with just one person here and if you didn't marry him and stay with him til death do you part, you'd surely have to pack up and leave immediately upon breaking up given the one degree of separation. Kevin Bacon? Mere amateur.

I think the lady at the concert beside me tonight said it best. "I like to sit at the back," she says "because that way I get to see who the couples are; the new couples that is. Who's with who! It changes all the time," she says in a way that seemed to contain too much delight and kind of made me squirm even though I am not part of a couple. I'm just me, in a fantastic monogamous life-long relationship with myself!

Am I in training to become the most discrete person in the world (which, for the record, I am not!) Maybe I am in training to never speak of another human being except in only the most glowing of terms (which I do not always do just for the record!)

Let's just say that for years now I knew that somewhere along the line I would discover that my nun-like existence would be a benefit to me somewhere outside a convent afterall! And, I think I've found out where!

January 19, 2009

Magic Mushroom

And now for something completely different. Something simple!

I was searching for tips on how to make a collage and I came across this woman's website.

She lives in Idaho and as the site says, she makes simple, happy, pretty things.

I just loved this. Take a look at her site at Bella Dia and her creativity will make you smile too.

January 16, 2009

Spirit Visits

I've been having this very weird thing happen here. I can't explain it. It's very confusing. I don't know what's going on. Have you ever had something happen that you have no ability to explain based on everything you've previously experienced?

I know I'm not dreaming. I know I'm not hallucinating. And I know for sure that I am experiencing it for real, and I have never experienced anything like this before in my life. You must keep an open mind when you read this.

It has now happened about six times. It doesn't happen every night.It's super dark in my bedroom. I'm in the middle of a forest. There is no light except the light of the sky/moon. Usually it happens between 3am and 4am. I'll wake up for what appears to be no reason.

Although I'm pretty much unable to see anything clearly without my glasses, I'll look around me while laying still and it's as if there is these separate moving energies about five to six feet from me moving in a circular motion.

If you can imagine those mobiles they sometimes put above baby's cribs - that's the way the movement appears.

I'll see shapes and colours. Some are shapes within incredibly vibrant colours like pink and orange. Others are more muted. It's as if they are in a haze.

When it happens I'm so confused and a little bit afraid and I just hold my breath and watch and ask myself is this real, what is this, am I really seeing this. But, after experiencing this about six times I know it's real. I just can't explain what's going on.

It's like energy contained within irregular shapes that are not connected but are floating in a fairly consistent pattern around the room. As if I'm suddenly able to see another dimension. That's what it feels like that my vision is suddenly tapping into energy that's there that normally we can't see. I know this sounds nuts but I don't think I could explain this in such detail if it wasn't happening.

Some of these shapes are very bright in colour: Pink, blue, orange, muted yellows. Some of them aren't. Some of it is dark without colour but I am aware it's there even without colour in the same way I'd be aware of a shadow.

Within the colours sometimes there are images, like busts of someone's head, a feotus, images of a man or woman. They are not distinct in that they have eyes and ears but they are more like silhouettes.

Are these spirits? Are they my angels. Is there a burial ground below this cottage? I don't know. I don't know who to ask about this. I'm wondering if anyone else ever experienced this while they lived here. No, I'm not crazy!

Why am I experiencing this I wonder. Why now? Why here? What does it mean? What am I supposed to do with it. Is it a "good" thing. How will I even begin to find out what it might possibly mean?

The other day I was watching Oprah. I think the show had something to do with how sometimes our darkest hours are the gifts we are being given allowing us the opportunity to grow the most, spiritually, in the ways we need to in order to become who we are meant to be, and for our soul to experience what it needs to in order to learn the lessons it has been put here on earth to learn.

I totally believe this and have experienced it in my own life. I won't explain. I don't need to. I am 100% positive of the truth of these words.

A man on the Oprah show spoke of how he survived a plane crash that was fiery. He distinctly recalls looking back to the part of the plane that suffered the impact and was exploding int a fiery inferno and he said that he noticed that colourful auras were leaving the physical bodies of the people who were dying. Some of the auras were very vibrant and others weren't. There were varying degrees of vibrancy. From that day on, he never worried about death and he was forever convinced that we are spirits living in a physical body and therefore our spirits survive indefinitely. He saw it with his own eyes. Or so he has chosen to believe. And nothing would ever change his mind.

Having this experience at night that I've been having here and then hearing that story seems relevant to me.

January 13, 2009

Griffin and Maggie

Meet Griffin and Maggie.

Griffin is a Welsh Terrier and Maggie is, of course, a Scotty Dog.

Maggie is as gentle and reserved as Griffin is ADHD psychotic wild.

Griffin is that kid in elementary school (and we all knew one) who was always getting in trouble. He was always talking when he shouldn't or bugging the kids in front, behind and two rows over (when they had rows in elementary school). Griffin is an attention-seeking missile.

He is that kid that either grows up to be a criminal or an amazing entrepreneur. Maggie, on the other hand, was the plodding student, obedient, tried to keep out of everyone's way, silent, observing.

When I show up at Paulines to visit, Griffin and Maggie go beserk. The two of them barking,jumping, running around each other to get to me, the visitor, is just plain - well - fun and crazy.

When I bend down to pat Maggie, Griffin jumps up to try and lick me. Every inch of his body is screaming: See me. Look at me. Me. Me. Me. Pet me. What about me? Hey, look, me,me,me, pet,pet,pet. Pauline said she was taking him to obedience training but I notice she hasn't talked about that lately.

Griffin is male and Maggie is female. Maggie is a lot older than Griffin. Griffin hasn't quite mastered the concept of sharing yet. He tries to gulp down his own dinner so he can then race over to Maggie's dish while she's eating and steal her food too. He eats so fast that some times he throws up, not long after, right on the rug. Serves him right! Yuk!

Griffin and Maggie, like most siblings, don't always get along. He jumps on her. He mounts her. Tries to dominate her. He bites her. And suddenly, they're off, scrapping and biting the air, snarling and it's over as quickly as it began.

The thing is, at the end of the evening when they're tired, they are so affectionate. They cuddle up on your lap when you're watching a movie or just talking and their warm little bodies make excellent doggy hot water bottles.

Griffin's wiry hair and his little head just lolls over and it's like having one of those old-fashioned,honey-haired scraggly Teddy Bears on your lap.

It almost makes me wish I owned my own dog. But, then I leave and come to my senses.

January 12, 2009

If quiet was a smell what would it be?

Would it be dark chocolate and orange rind, wet cotton after a rain, perfume in clear bottles, your scent still on your clothes the week after you died, flames from the fire, wet wood in the carport, wool blankets in storage, sawdust, incense, the burnt rubber as the plane's wheel's hit the ground, the steam that rises in a Finnish Sauna, ashes, roses in a garden at dusk, leftovers, salt that runs into your mouth from the water in your tears, dampness, sunshine on hardwood, hay in a barn, compost, a baby's breath while asleep, bird's nests, wet leaves, empty laundromats, clean white cotton sheets, cold tea, libraries, an empty wallet, the inside of a tent, seaweed, shells on a beach, small white marshmallows, licorice, the water in the sink from melted ice cube trays, blood, cinnamon, fishing nets, peppermint candy...
If quiet was a smell, what do you think it would be?

January 11, 2009

The Colour Grey

See this photo? I think it's beautiful. Sort of. Except, when I look at it, the tone of it sums up the weekend I just had! It was as if someone blindfolded me, put earplugs in, put me in a padded cell and walked away. Okay. well, I exaggerate slightly. But, THIS (up there) is exactly the way it looked ALL weekend from every where. In the trees. Out my windows. In the park. In town.

Now I know that the woman who sells that jam in the Saturday Market in the summer that she calls "Stir Crazy" on Salt Spring wasn't kidding! Just wait til winter she said to me when I commented on the great name. And, she said it in a way that meant she wasn't kidding. I get it. I hear ya' sister!

Saturday was so bleak that I began to think that those of us who are single and live alone here in winter should get some sort of tax break on weekends like this. I mean, we can't even have sex to pass the time. No, instead we have to while away the hours renting videos, turning our photos into cards, KNITTING, eating pizza, drinking wine, and trying to recall past "good" sex and then trying to forget because it has been so long and anyway it's time to make a fire, again. I doubt that men find women chopping wood to be sexy!

Today, I awoke with renewed enthusiasm and all the projects I want to do this year racing around in my mind. Since it wasn't raining hard, I headed out to Duck Creek Park and spent two hours with the thing on the planet that I'm beginning to have my closest relationship with: My camera. (This is only partly true!:-)

Except for 3 people and 2 dogs, I didn't see anyone or talk to anyone in the park. I spent most of my time concentrated in one beautiful spot because I think it's a good exercise to just spend time in one natural place to see what you can see over time that you would never have noticed had you just walked through.

It was not the spot above which by the way is a good example of a piece of advice I got from David at the Ghost Ranch. If you're feeling frustrated he said and can't see anything you want to photograph, then just stop and look behind you. Amazingly enough I've found that it almost always works. It's as if God with a big smirk on his face is holding up a sign that says "Over here idiot. I'm right behind you where all the beauty is."

Where I was this morning past the tall evergreens there's another world on the other side. It's like a secret. If you walk down the middle of the park you wouldn't even know it was there. Trails in the trees lead down there and it's so vibrant with forest that when you first come upon it you hope beyond hope to find gnomes or forest fairies in beautiful gauzy crinolines and satin ballet shoes or better yet the secret World of Og.

It's so quiet except for the wooshing sound of green water slipping over the grey rocks in the creek. There are bright green mossy branches jutting this way and that, floating in mid-air like hairy muppet arms. Mushrooms cover a single log like a bouquet of thick, rubbery flower petals. The flat wood of logs has taken on a grey/blue sheen from all the water that has pooled in the surfaces. If you look closely you will see the white berries, hanging in clumps, tiny beads of water decorating the strands from a spider web. A yellow mushroom is pushing up against a maple leaf that's acting as a tent. Look. Look closer. Stand still. Listen.

And then amidst this wondrous woody and wet natural environment there's a bright man-made bench. Someone has left a photo of an elderly couple on it. Their last name was Marshall. The photo is in a red metallic frame that has hearts on it. Apparently the Marshalls liked to walk in the park says the plaque on the bench.

When I look at their photo it makes me feel happy for some reason. It makes me happy to think about how they would be happy watching me look at them. I wonder if they were happy with each other? It's really nice to think of them walking when they were alive and now all of us who walk this way too get to see them as they were in their earthly bodies.

This morning I got to imagine that they were sitting there watching me somewhat curiously, somewhat mystified about what would keep this middle aged woman, alone, here for such a long time. They were there in spirit. I could feel them.

January 10, 2009

Knitting Goddess or Oh God She's Knitting!

For some bizarre reason when I moved here I thought I'd like to take up knitting. It was just a thought that wrapped around me one day like a fuzzy, wuzzy, itchy sweater. The kind that makes you feel like a cougar has wrapped itself around your neck, its claws outstretched licking your face with its sandpaper tongue. (Ever since I moved here I've become a little obsessed with cougars(the four-legged animal just to clarify!)

Taking up knitting was an insidious, almost unconscious thought. It was a thought from deep within where one day, inexplicably, you end up finding yourself buying a pair of knitting needles from the thrift store because something, perhaps a knitting goddess, has decided, yes she thinks it's time to knit.

I found myself in the library checking out a book called the Knitting Goddess which was very New Age and talked about how people are sometimes drawn to knitting when they're in a transition. They start knitting and before they know it they've knitted themselves right through the transition said the knitting goddess author. Interesting I thought hoping that wasn't what was going on with me. I didn't think I'd want knitting to be a full-time gig, just a passing phase. Afterall knitting would distract me from my photography, my writing, my blogging, my flute playing.

My friend Gwen whom I had no idea was such a "crafty" person bought me some cotton wool when she was here and then sent me the link to those cotton dishcloths which are supposed to be really good. Baby steps. Let's start small. Let's see our successes early and introduce ourselves to knitting in as gentle a way as possible. Success breeds success. Surely I can knit a dishcloth.

She generously and kindly bought me 2 balls of green cotton wool and 2 balls of white cotton wool and let me just stop right here and say, I have such generous friends don't I? I do! And today, this week, I miss them! All back in Vancouver busy, busy, while I'm knitting on a Friday night. MMMMM? Maybe I should knit myself a man! A midget. I'd have no patience for creating a 6'2" facsimile of one. I could prop him up on the couch beside me and even let him have the remote to hold on to while I knit. (Why do I find that hysterical? Do I have cabin fever?)

Anyway, when Gwen was here she took me out for dinner. She made me stew for which she had bought the ingredients. I'm still eating the cereal she bought. It wasn't necessary but it was incredibly nice of her. When she came to visit, I felt like I was her project maybe even her chosen charity. Anyway, I digress.

The last time I knitted anything, I was probably about 10. It's so long ago that I actually forgot I knew how to knit until I had the knitting needles in my hands. I used to sit beside my eldest sister, Heather, and when she was between boyfriend number 745 and 746, she was in the den, watching old movies on T.V. and she was crocheting.

A glass of white wine would be on the old fashioned round table beside the blocky 1950s couch, she'd be crocheting, her delicate fingers wrapping the strand of wool around the crochet hook. Her cigarette would be in the ashtray on the side table beside the glass of wine.

I, 13 years younger, would be seated beside her, pretending to knit, pretending to do anything but really just being happy to be beside her and watching her beautiful fingers with the long nails move the wool, imagining the finished version of the lacy, feminine thing she was creating.

I used to look at those people, usually women, but ocasionally one of those "Look at me I'm a Renaissance Man" man who would knit on the bus going out to UBC when I commuted daily. I'd react to them in the same way many people react (wrongly and ridiculously) to women who breast feed in public.

I'd look at those knitters and think, geez, you look like some old lady, like you want to be old before your time. Can't you get a room? Do that at home. I have no idea why seeing someone knit in public bothers me. I admit that my reaction is very weird. Of all the disgusting things people could do in public, why would knitting promote such a reaction in me. I have no idea. Maybe it has something to do with the boldness of it, the exhibitionism of it. Just add it to the long list of idiosyncracies that make me so, umm, loveable!?

Anyway, I have been knitting dishcloths. I started with one that had the face of a kitty cat on it and that one turned out okay. I'm actually using that one. But then I found a pattern that had "2009" on it. And, I REALLY liked that. I liked that idea. Let's make dishcloths for all the friends and send each of them a 2009 dish cloth so every time they clean up their kitchens they have to think of me. Tricky eh?

As you can see from the photo above, I have completed one 2009 dish cloth. But, it has mistakes. As I was knitting it, I began to think about how meditative knitting is, or at least it would be if I didn't feel like I had attention deficit disorder and had to concentrate like a nuclear physicist might on his research when all I was trying to do was make sure I was not purling when I was supposed to be doing the knit stitch.

It occurred to me when I finished that my little 2009 dishcloth (with its imperfectness) is probably a great metaphor for the year ahead, or for any year. Imperfect. Not quite looking the way we imagined it might. Sometimes wishing things could be different but there, right in front of our face, reality, the one we created. And, then somehow the more we look at it, the more we like the mistakes. The mistakes are somehow comforting. Like, hey, there's still room for improvement. I still have something to learn. Even if it's not perfect, maybe my friend will like it anyway. Just like me!

January 05, 2009

Winter: The Season for Planning

On the weekend I went out to dinner to the Salt Spring Inn with an artist friend. I like that place. It's very cozy. Good ambiance. Friendly staff. The food in the two times I've been there has been decent.

When I was sitting there, I did notice a very quick wistfulness that seemed to rise and disappear quickly. It reminded me of being in the city because eating out is just not something that I'm going to do here much. It's too expensive. And, let's face it, for whatever reason, the food in these smaller places is just never that great. And, I never understand that. What is the deal with that? Why is it so hard to find people who know how to cook in small towns?

Perhaps not a coincidence, it was packed and I think probably the only place that was full that evening which we both found really surprising given the weather and that New Year's Eve had just happened.

It's nice to go out with someone who has to think about the creative process and to be able to talk about that with someone. It's just not the kind of conversation that comes up unless you are in the company of other people who are involved in some form of artistic endeavour.

It was interesting for me to hear that someone else has the same fears. That fear prevents them from moving forward or makes them doubt their direction or whether what they're producing is good enough. It makes them questoin whether the direction they feel they want to move in is viable. Then, there's all the work that will go into not just making the art but having to promote it, and finding the best way to do that. Artist/Entrepreneur. The two have to go hand in hand.

I think it's important to be reminded that whatever we may be experiencing as individuals trying to create something is also being experienced by all other artists who want to try and make a living off their artistic talent regardless of the medium.

She just recently quit the part-time job that she's had since moving to the island in 2006 because it moved her away from the reason she came here in the first place - to focus on her own work -and she only had it because it was a way to assuage the fears that what she really was going to do wouldn't work and how would she have enough money to survive.

This seems to be a never ending theme for creative people. How to do what you want to do and yet make a living to survive. And, let's face it, who wants to just survive. That's kind of tedious. I want to thrive. I don't want to just survive.

I've been thinking about a lot of this stuff now that 4 days of my week are being taken up with something - a job - that right away feels like it is taking me away from why I came here. Right away, I couldn't help but notice a change in my energy because instead of having things flow, meeting new people, I'm now in the same place 5 hours a day, four days a week. I`m having to listen to people who more often than not seem to have energies which are vibrating at lower level frequencies as a result of being in difficult situations and I`m noticing how that`s impacting my own energy.

I'm trying o remind myself that it's only temporary but I'm very conscious of this artificial clock that I've set for myself for the next year and anything that takes me away from why I think I came here causes me to get a little unhappy and impatient.

It's the same feeling I get whenever I haven't written anything for a while or I'm always having to do other things prior to getting down to doing what I really want to be doing. We've all been there.

I don't want to waste the year and look back and think, gee, I never got around to doing anything with my photography or I didn't write what I thought I would.

So, I'm feeling very much in need of getting very clear about the projects I'm intending to complete and detailing that in a step by step way.

That's what's been on my mind this past week.

And, really I never intended to write any of that. I completely forgot that what I was really going to write about today was about how if you pay attention to the rhythm of the seasons without forcing activity that is contrary to the season then things will flow more easily I believe.

It's good to remind ourselves that winter is a time to slow down, to plan carefully for Spring and all that you wish to try and have come to fruition throughout the year.

So, that's what I'm going to try and do. Not too exciting a post but hey, not much is going on right now!

January 03, 2009

January: Cold, Quiet, Damp

Cold on the little boat headed over to Granville Island.
Cold in Stanley Park on the first day it really snowed - December 21.
Really, really cold right at home. Cold. Cold. Cold. Cold. Cold. Cold.
When I got out of bed this morning, I had on my fingerless gloves knitted by Pauline that make me feel like I'm preparing to give my debut performance as Fagan in Oliver Twist. As you can see, I had on my MEC hat. I had on my pink fuzzy robe given to me by my sister. It's atop my flannel pyjamas that I would never have bought but they were the best of the choice here at Fields - that's right, I said Fields. They're blue with purple and blue cats on them. Ug. I've worn them so much I'm beginning to like them. Turns out Victoria's Secret is to never live anywhere where the temperature dips below a balmy 75 degrees.

I had on my wool socks. On top of my socks, I had on fuzzy boot slippers that Lisa gave me because she didn't like to think of me walking around in men's wool work socks. It offended her feminine sensibilities apparently. I have the beautiful colourful shawl I bought in Chiapas from a waxy skinned brown woman who stood about 4feet high. It was wrapped around me and that thing is not just colourful but it's damned warm on purpose I suspect since Chiapas is fairly high up in the mountains.

I hung the quilt Will's mom made me a very long time ago in front of one of the large windows in my bedroom to see if it would make any difference and keep the heat(lack of heat) in.

Am I preparing to ascend Mount Everest? No! All I'm trying to do is make it from the bedroom into the little galley kitchen to make tea first thing in the morning.

But, unlike in Vancouver, at least it didn't snow all day yesterday. This isn't my favorite time of year at the best of times. Now I know why so many people get the hell out of Canada between November and March. COLD!

That's my next goal. Next winter the goal is to be somewhere hot for a bit. It doesn't seem possible. But, then,living here didn't seem possible either.