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Life in alien lands

We shuffled off to Buffalo late Saturday for a little cross-border shopping. With only three months to go in this part of the world we have to cram in as many cultural experiences as possible.

Thus the opportunity to zone out in front of the tube.

This particular show portrayed a weirdly Tron-like world, with tragic heroes transporting back and forth from Planet Earth to someplace Far Far Away.

The beautiful but sober heroine, struggling to divert the group from its foolish and impulsive intentions.

Oh no! The Really Bad Guy has come back. He’s pure nasty, evilly humoured, psychopathic, sociopathic, rotten to the core.

He’s… he’s… what?! The Really Bad Guy is Rocky?!

But Rocky is a good guy. The underdog. I even bought the LP and let it alternately invigorate and soothe me all through exams in Grade 12.

Sly. I’m hurt.

And so this Sly’s body form — or at least the metallic creature controlled by all of Sly’s badness.

All those young space travellers look up in horror and defeat.

Who will save us now?

Ricardo Montalbàn???

Ricardo is grandfather of the little guy in the yellow suit.

Grandpa! the little guy says. If you try to save us you’ll never walk again!

For you, my little one, it will be worth the sacrifice.

Look at this poor girl.

Her parents have supported her dramatic dreams, chauffeured her to classes and auditions, encouraged her belief that hard work will help her become a famous and respected actor.

Famous is one thing.

Ending up on cheesy shows is, well, another way to make some pretty good coin.

The End.


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Done Deal

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Old haunts

Whenever my brother visited during my previous Vancouver sojourn, we’d trek out bright and early to the Granville Island market.

The market offers food and fun for every age. Inside there’s fresh fish, free-range meat, flowers, milk, cheese, strange Asian spices, hand-crafted pottery, jewelry, woodwork — the gamut of West-Coast art and handiworks.

Outdoors there’s sailboats moored at the dock, a small water taxi, fish and crab mongers and a flurry of feathered creatures. Long ago at his wee-tyke-youngest, Homeboy here tore after pigeons and gulls the size (tho’ not the grandeur) of Canada geese.

The appeal, bizarrely, continues as both Homeboy and the Princess attempted to trap the wily creatures.

The birds always win.

After perogies served by a Chinese babushka (go figure) and Vietnamese spring rolls served by … well, I’m not sure… we wondered where the rain went.

All this Gore-Tex, after all.

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Winter scenes

That was yesterday.

This is today.

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Homeboy discovered a new application for my iPhone.

To transform his favourite photo into a Lego creation.

Our Christmas picture potential has evolved to something altogether foreign to my life a mere decade ago.

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Once more from the top

It behooves me to comment on the summit again, this time at three in the afternoon when the temp, while at the base still a crisp minus 18, is a delightful zero, plus or minus a degree or so.
Kind of depends on whether or not one is facing into the sun.
We’re most definitely facing the light.
And, bless my little iPhone for these indulgent updates. Haven’t seen a wireless connection for some time (for my laptop) but that 3G service is everywhere, even atop Assiniboine Mountain.

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At the summit!

Warm for the first time since leaving Ontario!

In Winnipeg it was minus 28.

In Calgary it was minus 14.

In Invermere it’s minus 22.

At the bottom of the Panorama ski hill it’s minus 18.

Now, at the very top of the mountain, at the summit, at the peak, it’s sunny, calm and perfectly balmy at minus 1.

And I’m relaxed and warm with a cappuccino in a mountaintop hut.

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Nearing the equinox

Is it bedtime yet?

December skies are astonishingly dark at 3.50 p.m.

Our neighbour’s farm, above, is post-card perfect in every season, every lighting.

I remember driving to the junior high in Winnipeg where I used to teach — headlights on in the morning, headlights on for the drive home. December and January were very  l o n g  months. On the other hand, those long winter evenings made for great camaraderie and socialization.

Here in Ontario it’s not quite as dark because we’re higher up, latitudinally speaking.

Winnipeg sits at 49 degrees, Toronto at 43 degrees.

A couple of weekends ago in Vancouver — the sky was surprisingly dark surprisingly early. Also 49 degrees.

Had I known how interesting global geography would be I’d have paid more attention in Grade 5 Social Studies.

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Finally here!

All it took was one little wish — one child’s request to the night sky, “Pleeease let it snow!”

And thwump! Down piled the white stuff, along with howling winds and crackling trees and branches, all blustery night long.

Our house, which had nervously and miraculously transformed from December blah to seasonal wow! over the weekend looks perfectly Harrowsmith-esque it its white and green.

Liliana stepped back from the front doors and announced how facial the entranceway appears with its emerald eyes and plaited hair.

Not quite the come-hither glance of a comely maiden but we get the point.

And I just love how anyone younger than 14 sees the snow for what it is — a gift from the sky.

A reason for snowpants, mittens, toque and scarf.

Forget the grumbling, scraping, shovelling, cancelled flights and slippery roads.

A lesson for me — embrace the winter.

Have you hugged a snowman today?

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It’s a shrew not a mole. Not a vole, not a mole.

A shrew.




After looking for pictures of these little creatures I see that where the cats are concerned, we have mice.


Where basement invaders are concerned we have moles.

I don’t know where they get in. I’ve always thought the little rodents have come in during the summer, when the doors are frequently ajar for long and often unforgotten periods of time.

Two years ago I caught more than a dozen mice in the kitchen. I’d be sitting at the wooden table, sipping a glass of wine reading the paper at the end of the day and there’d be a scritch scritch scritch in the corner.

I feel a sudden and endearing kinship to Beatrix Potter with these small creatures darting about the house.






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