Wednesday, October 31, 2007


This was just a week ago, and look what's happened tonight. Maybe Linus has the right idea after all -- shades of The Great Pumpkin, rising.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You are not alone

There probably should have been signs announcing that last time we went out mushrooming-picking. While we didn't encounter any little green creatures, there was plenty of evidence of large brown ones.

Besides piles of scat on the trail, the forest held several reminders that bears were about. We knew it was the season when they'd be fattening up for hibernation. And if we'd forgotten, we would have been reminded by the many salmon battling their way up the shallow streams. Still, despite making plenty of noise while foraging, I came close to stepping on someone's dinner-interruptus -- a partially eaten salmon much too far from the river to have leapt there.
I was glad to be wearing both a bell and a whistle, and much to the disgust of the bears I am sure, I did a lot of singing.

Over the course of the day, we saw some beautiful sights and made a good haul of edible shrooms, most of which are now dried and stored in jars for the winter. Still, I'm darn glad we didn't have to tussle with any of the neighbours.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

World Pasta Day

Can you believe that there's really such a day? Whatever. To observe the day properly, we had linguini for supper.

The recipe is a quickie, passed along to me by a friend. It's one of those combinations that's very forgiving about its ingredients.

If I have mushrooms, I cook them up with the pasta then drain both. While those sit in the colander, I heat up some olive oil and add bits of fresh garlic. (Since you're really supposed to make this with butter, I usually add some butter to the garlicked oil.)

Next, smoosh up a ripe avocado or two, swirl in the juice of a lemon (or, failing that, a lime). Chop up a few green onions (or else add finely chopped bits of red or other onion). Once you get a sauce that resembles soft guacamole, throw the pasta back into the pan and smoosh it all together. Heat it through and add a bunch of grated Parmesan. Sprinkle liberally with freshly-ground black pepper and prepare to be hungry.

Serve with a salad and a cold, crisp white wine. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Galiano -- a place for action

Because George was going to attend a filmmaking workshop on Galiano Island, I decided to come along so we could visit with Chris, our friend over there.

It had been a few years since I'd been to Galiano, and happily, much seemed unchanged. I visited the local bookstore where I made my contribution to the local economy, and then of course the recycle store where the price is the best: free.

Chris and I also accomplished more permanent work. We built a new fence for the goats, Blackie and Bluey (named for the bruises they've been known to inflict on their human). We also took part in a letter-writing campaign -- a continuation of the ongoing process of protecting the forests and watershed of the island. The community hall was a busy place that Saturday morning, with everyone from kids to oldsters doing their bit for the future, questioning the proposed PMFL Act.

You might like to know more about their campaign. Who knows? You might even feel like sending a letter of your own!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Reading at Janet's

Really, I have such civilized friends. To celebrate Marion Quednau's recent book, The Gift of Odin, Janet Vickers hosted a Sunday afternoon soiree.

Because Odin is a pig, albeit of the Vietnamese variety, guests were asked to bring a piggy haiku for the occasion.

Here's Janet, reading hers. Unfortunately, I didn't write that one down. Instead, you get stuck with the silly one I wrote:

"Cartoon in Pink and White"
pretty ballerinas
piggies dancing tippy-toe
on clouds of whipped cream

Write a better one, please. Odin deserves it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Paintings at the Cultch

A beautiful autumn day, lunch on Commercial Drive with a friend, and a stroll to the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.

Three artists had work on display -- a water colourist, a photographer, and Jane Barker. Jane's work was by far the most interesting, as it exhibited not only skill but a wry sense of humour.

Besides creating accomplished portraits of the men who'd been part of the Gomery Inquiry, she's added brief comments at the corner of each piece. These little brass plaques bring the portraits into the category of biting political cartoons.

A terrific addition to an already great day. Hmm, I wonder what Jean Chretien would think of her work.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thanksgiving dinner

Since I'm usually the one who makes the big Sunday dinners, I wasn't about to say no when I was invited to Sharon's for turkey.

Really, beyond being grateful for not being the one who did the cooking, I can only offer two more words.



Saturday, October 06, 2007

Peace in our time

Protests continue to take place around the world, in an effort to keep all eyes on the 'Saffron Revolt' in Myanmar (or as some still call it, Burma).

This photo of a Buddhist monk, taken in Sydney in 2002, illustrates the patient care of a mandala-maker. It's important to note that the medium he's using is sand -- a good reminder of how temporaral our existence is. That seems like all the more reason to be looking for peace, and now.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Season of the spiders

When they're this fat, I reckon I prob'ly need to ask permission to take a photo. As far as I could tell, this guy nodded.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sputnik is 50

So, fifty years ago today was the first time people tossed anything far enough into space that it stayed there for a while. This anniversary seemed like a great excuse to phone my mother (who lives in the US) to see what she recalled of that day.

She remembered it as being exciting -- said that it proved that man really could explore space. She did say it was surprising that it was Russia who did it first. Still, she thought there doing it was probably a good motivator. According to her, "It got us going."

I maybe guess you had to be there to realize its importance. It's hard now to imagine a sky without flashes of light zipping across it. Heck, even Blogger thoughts must rely on satellites to get from my computer to yours.