Tuesday, November 25, 2008

B-day update.

Well, yesterday was my birthday, number 48 to be exact.

It was just a regular workday for me, BUT, I was treated to pizza for lunch, by a co-worker. I've been wanting to try MyChosen Pizza, because their exhaust vent air always smells SO GOOD! We got a regular with artichoke hearts, spinach, red onion, feta and parmesan cheeses. It was VERY good!

Last Saturday D and I were invited to the neighbor's, for a curry dinner. I had never had curry before and was looking forward to a new culinary experience. Jane, our neighbor, did a stupendous job and all the food was first rate! Don't ask me to list the dishes because I can't recall them, but they were delicious.

Sunday I was treated to dinner by my other half, D, at the new Thai place in Sooke - Nut Pop Thai. I've heard mixed reviews, ranging from great to not intense enough for one's palate. Having never had Thai I was excited and I found the food delicious, the staff fantastic and the ambiance very nice. I'm not sure if everyone would go for "We Are Family" as background music, but I was loving it. Reminded me of Robin Williams in The Birdcage.

Today I was treated to lunch at MyChosen Cafe, by my generous employer. The whole office went out, all seven of us, and the fish and chips I had was great. For a belated birthday I was awarded a grand slice of Skor chocolate toffee cheesecake, which just about put me into a food coma, it is THAT GOOD! This cafe has huge protions of food, is very reasonably priced and every time I have been there I have not been disappointed. I would highly recommend it if one is in the Victoria/Metchosen area. It's only about a half hour from downtown Victoria and well worth the drive.

Seeing that it was 50 degrees and sunny today I spent the afternoon planting some Spring Bulbs when I got home from work. I managed to get 40+ grape hyacinth bulbs in the ground and worked in some frisbee throwing for the dog too. That leaves me about 30 taller grape hyacinth varieties to plant but I have to find a spot that is protected from the wind off the ocean so they don't get blown over in the Spring.

That's about it for now - I have to go make supper. Thanks for tuning in and don't forget to click on Help the Animals on the left side.

How about an Apple??

I just found this on another blog and found it very comforting. Apparently it was on Apple's website, leading up to Nov 4th. Of course we all know how THAT turned out, don't we? But we can still show Apple some retail love this holiday season. I know I'd buy an i-Phone if I could, but my cell phone usage is SO minimal that I just can't justify it at this time. Oh well.

"Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fabulous holiday decor!

OK, this isn't totally my idea, but I thought it so clever/funny that I had to post it. I placed the items but it was my other half that pointed out the holiday side effect.

One of the most neglected areas for Christmas decorating has to be the inside of the loyal refrigerator. WELL, we seem to have solved that problem and I want to pass this handy tip along to the masses. If you want the inside of your fridge to bask in a lovely holiday glow each time you open the door, and thereby perhaps putting one in a better mood, just buy a couple of half gallons of cranberry juice and put them in from of the light. You'll be amazed and how lovely it makes even the most bah humbug of leftovers look and it's like looking at a giant glowing Christmas ruby each time you reach for something to gnash on. Laugh if you will but suffice it to say that the D&D household is a much happier place since grocery shopping this past Friday.

Thanks for tuning in to my handy household tips, and don't forget to click on the left to Help the Animals. I'm off to find cheap online DVD's in Canada, and bulk daffodil bulbs (I have a plan that will be stunning!).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Recent pictures.

Fatsia Japonica getting ready to bloom in the shade garden.

The front garden with some Fall color, as seen from the stairwell.

One of the more interesting sunsets as seen from the house.

The 'kids', in a moment of togetherness brought on by sunshine.

The Galloping Goose Regional Trail in some Fall splendor.

Here are some recent photos I've taken, mostly from our yard. The Fall sunsets are so much more colorful than Summer. Today we are in and out of sunshine and it is around 14 degrees? (still getting used to metric) OK, around 50 degrees.

Tomorrow we are off shopping in the city, getting some Christmas things purchased and I want to find a lot of Spring bulbs to plant around the yard, before it gets too late. The ground here does not freeze but the bulbs need X amount of cold weather to 'set up' for Spring blooms. I have rescued a couple of Cannas from the garden that did not really do much this year. They DID winter over in the garden and maybe that is part of it. They are now potted up and resting in the greenhouse, along with a potted begonia from the front porch and an Avacado pit that is rooting! We are still harvesting tomatoes although the bounty that we had over the Summer has waned but there are just enough for a fresh treat once or twice a week at dinner.

I recently relocated some lilies that were in the back of a border, under some large spreading cedars that form a hedge, to a more prominent area in the front of the garden. In the process of taking stock of what I dug up I found many baby bulbs from the large parent bulbs and now have 11 babies in pots, hopefully growing over the winter so I can plant them and have a lovely lily colony in a couple of years. I also recently cleaned out an overgrown bed in the lower garden, which is mostly wild growth of grasses, and I moved a Sedum and some other plants that local butterflies just love, when in full bloom. The plants become covered with light airy wisps of pink bloom and butterflies and hummingbirds just go bonkers over it. It is not Butterfly bush because we have like 10 of those and I know what that is. This is a plant that forms a large cluster and dies back to the ground in Fall but then starts growing again right away. It is also very prolific and self seeds all over the place, especially in the gravel driveway, so I figured the wild garden was as good a place as any for it to establish itself and go crazy.

With the cooler Fall/Winter weather I am doing less outside and getting the bug to do more indoor gardening. I have two Christmas Cactus plants that I got last year for half price at RONA, after Christmas. (the garden center at RONA is really quite good, with a great selection and reasonable prices) One is white and is bursting into bloom now, the other being pink and on a slightly later bloom schedule. There were some leaves that had fallen off the pink plant this past Spring so I stuck them in a small vase of water and forgot about them for w while. They root up very easily and I 'found' them about 6 weeks ago. They have now been moved to individual pots, two, in a potting soil mix and both plants have little pink bus on them which should be in bloom in maybe 7-10 days. I have to be careful what I bring into the house for not only keeping the kids safe from ingesting poisonous plants but also to keep certain kinds away from the cat, who likes to 'nibble'. Dixon has a small palm that I bought him a while back, to replace one left in the States, and if we had it in a public place, instead of the master bath, the cat would be snacking like there is no tomorrow. She LOVES plants with long grass-like leaves and for that reason the Christmas cacti are quite safe - she does not bother those at all.

That's about it for now. Thanks for tuning in, and don't forget to click on the left button to Help the Animals.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Off to prison.

Yes, you read that correctly - prison! William Head prison is about a half hour from our house, and actually a few minutes down the road from where I work. It is on a rocky peninsula with water on three sides, water with voracious currents that make escape about as possible as escaping alive from Alcatraz. Anyway, we were there Saturday evening for a PLAY - Animal Farm by George Orwell. You see, this prison has a resident theatrical group and they put on a play once a year, or maybe twice now, I am not 100% sure on that point. Some friends of ours are 'regulars' (for the plays, not the accommodations) so we thought we would give it a try. The evening was warm, by November standards - about 50 degrees, and there was fog coming in off the ocean, just enough to give the setting a somewhat eery appearance with the street lights casting their orange tinted light downward into a cone shape through the fog. We arrived after meeting at a local eatery, where I had a piece of carrot cake that could have fed a family of four, and stood in line to enter the prison grounds. As we waited I took in the rows of razor wire along the top of the very high fences, glistening in the glow of the lights, the banks of computer monitoring equipment I could see through the windows, various screens showing closed circuit TV images that I could only imagine were from high risk areas inside. We had to sign in, lock up any valuables, which included purses for the women, proceed through a metal detector and the men then had to get the back of their hand stamped with a secret invisible ink, to be scanned upon our exit at the end of the evening, just to make sure you were not a resident trying to walk out with the show crowd. We were then loaded into a van and driven down the street to the gymnasium, which serves double duty as the theater. Inmates greeted us with friendliness and big smiles, wishing us a pleasant evening and thanking us for coming. Inside was a 'lobby' for assembly before you entered the seating area, with tables of free coffee, tea and cookies. There were also tables displaying wood craft projects that could be purchased and picked up at a later date. Most of these were small wooden boxes best used for jewelry or other small trinkets. All were done quite nicely with wonderful craftsmanship and at what I thought were reasonable prices. There were also some very nice wall plaques and stained glass items. Inside was seating for what I overheard to be a sell-out crowd of about 170 people. Dress was very West Coast casual and ages of the attendees ranged from teens to what appeared to be folks in their 80's. Then again I am always a bad judge of age so it could be that everyone was in their 40's!

The play was done very well with good acting and an imaginative set design. No set changes, no costume changes and it was all quite easy to follow, even factoring in that the actors were working without microphones. There was a 10 to 15 minute intermission, at which time you could enjoy cookies, refreshments and shopping, and at the end of the play the cast offered up a question and answer session, which nobody in the audience took them up on, much to my surprise. I find that people here can be very participatory in things like this and quite anticipated hearing an interesting session of interaction between cast and audience members, but such was not to be this night, so we then loaded into the vans and proceeded back through security, scan of secret ink (I passed) and out to the parking lot for some discussion time about what we had just seen. We had wanted to meet afterward at a local coffee place or restaurant but with the location of William Head Prison there is nothing like that around that would have been open when we got out of the play so the parking lot discussion would have to suffice. I found a lot of the lines and situations in the play could have been applied to present-day US policy, even though the play was written in 1945, I think, and reflected communist Russia at the time. Kinda scary, I thought.

We enjoyed our night out, got to see some friends we had not seen in a while, and thoroughly enjoyed the play. It certainly was not something I ever thought I'd be doing but it was interesting and a bit of a learning experience.

Thanks for tuning in...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I could not have said it better myself!

Actually LISTEN to what this man says here. Put aside religion, because that is NOT what it is all about.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The American citizens finally got it right - electing Barack Obama as the next President of The United States!

Tonight was a very emotional time at our house. The only thing I can think to compare this to is perhaps when Kennedy was elected - what I am feeling right now must be how people felt in 1960, the year I was born.

May the road to healing the wounds of the last eight years be swift and I wish President Obama the best for his first four years.