Sunday, June 26, 2016

A berry early summer


Yes, summer is officially here, but this year's berries seem way ahead of schedule. Strawberries have come and been (witness all those jars of jam), and it isn't even Canada Day.

As for raspberries, I've already gone out to the farm in Aldergrove picking two rounds -- close to twenty pounds each -- so the freezer is starting to get full.

But now, here come the blueberries! Not that I'm complaining; they're big and delicious. But it sure seems early for them. Other years, I've been picking them in August.

Especially where I saw some apples ripening the other day, it makes me wonder what will be around by the end of summer. Pumpkins?

Monday, June 20, 2016

I wondered


...about the name for tonight's moon, the one they're calling the 'strawberry moon'. I like the idea of it being the time for picking berries. Already, the back yard is offering enough raspberries for daily eating and even a few strawberries as treats.

But when I went outside and took a photo of the big solstice moon in the sky, the camera seemed to add its own strawberry garnish around the moon. I never understand these tricks of the light, though I always appreciate them, especially when they arrive on the day of solstice.

This coinciding of a full moon with solstice is apparently quite a rare event, one that won't occur again until 2062. In other words, it's one that most of us will likely never see again.

It officially turned into summer this afternoon, and even the garden seems to be in agreement.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Under the rainbow

I know I'm not the only one still reeling at all that's happened in Orlando this past week. People with guns gone so very wrong and even an alligator. It's hard to think about so much sadness in just one place, especially a place that's known for its beauty, a place where people go to be happy.

The executions at the Pulse Club -- a hate crime by anyone's definition. It's hard to imagine how anyone could develop such loathing for others based simply on who they are. As for publicity about the shooter, I don't want to learn more. And I will certainly never say his name.

The funerals in that sad city have begun. The healing is sure to take a long while. I can only look with hope to a time when a person's sexual orientation will have no more consequence than whether they have blue or brown eyes. A time when we can again soar over the rainbow, and not be bogged down underneath all that it stands for. Besides, I'm pretty sure if you're underneath where someone else sees a rainbow, you won't see anything but clouds.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

It sounds like officials for the City of White Rock have fallen off the deep end and into a pool of something that's making them talk funny. They sound as though they're spouting April Fool's Day pranks.

It's a plan to 'improve' the waterfront, to the tune of 30 million dollars. From blockades down there already, it looks as though they're serious about carrying out a plan that I can only look at and call insane.

Half of that 30 million would go towards dredging the seabed to 'reclaim' 6,500 square metres of land from the sea. That's 1.6 something acres, or a little bigger than the area of a CFL field.

Creating a new park sounds civic-minded, I suppose, but at a cost of $15 million for that 'reclaimed' land?

And how would such a plan affect the sealife offshore? After all, the bay still contains crabs, fish, and even the occasional visiting whale. And really, haven't these officials heard about rising sea levels?

I suspect all of this has less to do with improving life for the citizens of White Rock than with setting the stage for a pricey marina that will complement the all-too-likely casino on land that was once called Semiahmoo Park.

Today is World Oceans Day, a day when we should be thinking of ways to clean up the waters, to look after our oceanfront, not destroy it.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Season of the bribes

Well, it looks as though it's started. Even though the next provincial election isn't until May 9, 2017, the B.C. "Liberals" have already started with the handouts. Although Tuesday's wasn't so much a handout as a reinstatement of funds they were taking away, it does mean $25 million will go back into education.

Then came Wednesday's announcement of additional day care spaces. It's money that will provide just over 1800 spaces, so it's hard to see how this lives up to the government's brag by Minister Stephanie Cadieux that  "These new licensed spaces will help bring peace of mind to thousands of B.C. parents who can drop their kids off in the morning knowing they'll be well cared for in a rich learning environment," 

How exactly she's determined that under two thousand spaces will help 'thousands' of parents is beyond me. But oh yes, I'm forgetting -- this is all part of the ramp-up to full-blown election mode.

It's nearly a year until we'll vote -- longer than the gestation period for one of the many (over 40,000) babies who will be born in this province by next May 9th. So yes, there will likely be thousands of parents who will be hoping for peace of mind about reliable day care for their children, but I don't think this announcement will be the one that accomplishes that.

I wonder what the next bribe will be. It's sure to be soon. Stay tuned.





Friday, May 27, 2016

Too many books?

This was the scene at the Vancouver Public Library's Book Sale. Because I was already downtown, I dared to stop in -- but only to take a snapshot of the scene.

Considering the number of books that share space in this house, I knew I didn't dare go down the stairs, as surely I would have found a few more 'treasures' for my already-overcrowded shelves.

Because I was pretty sure there's some famous quote about not being able to have 'too many books', I googled the phrase. Sure enough, I came up with too many answers.

The most authoritative -- or at least earliest -- seems to be from Rudyard Kipling. But his adds more than books to the list, claiming both red wine and ammunition as must-have items. I can only hope he didn't mean an excess of those two in combination.

The most famous one, and likely the most hideous, is one I'd expected to be attributed to Dorothy Parker. But apparently, it's from someone named Carter Burden who -- as might be expected -- is a Vanderbilt descendant. Easy for her to say, that one can never be too rich, too thin or have too many books. Further searching led to Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, who's credited with the first two elements in that particular maxim -- the books seem to have been an add-on from Burden.

And then there's the one from Drew Barrymore, claiming one can never have too many books. I can only conclude she has a much bigger house than ours. And probably someone who dusts them now and then.

Probably the closest to my own sentiment is the homely little phrase from one of my all-time heroes, Frank Zappa : "So many books, so little time."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Back to the mountain again?

Last week's announcement about twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline through Burnaby seems to contradict almost all the election promises I thought I heard Justin Trudeau make. Is the National Energy Board still operating as if the previous government is in power? Or did I miss something?

The photo above was taken in November, 2014, during the protests on Burnaby Mountain.

Maybe it's time to go back up to the mountain and make our presence known again...

The mountain where my children named the seasons by their berries:salmonberries huckleberries, blackberries, salal. When to gather, which to eat, which to leavebehind, nourishing mercies for their brethren.