Archive for the ‘home’ Category

December Interlude

December 9, 2011

I took yesterday and today off to escape to Vancouver Island for a pre-Christmas visit with my sister and parents. The -4 degrees c. cold woke me up early this morning, and I wasn’t sure if I was up for voluntarily stepping out into it, but a visit to the town where I grew up isn’t complete without a walk along the Cowichan River with my dad. So I borrowed a toque and scarf, and we set out.

As we walked, a V of geese passed overhead (heading toward Cowichan Bay).

We stopped by the sewer lagoon to check if there were any eagles sitting in the big nest in the cottonwoods (none this time), then walked on top the dike beside one of the creeks that flows into the Cowichan.

Mist rose up from the water, and rays from the low sun slanted through the trees.

Two kinglets and a wren poked along the shore, a pair of mallards floated by, and two pale salmon moved like ghosts beneath the surface of the water, appearing and disappearing as the rippling reflections moved and changed.

Further along, the red fin of a male salmon sharked up above the water as he splashed upstream.

Beyond the creek, closer to the river, I caught sight of an eagle sitting on a branch, and then another. Counted seven sitting in the one tree. A few more in other trees.

We walked along a dry stream bed to get closer, stepping over the decaying bodies of salmon that had swum upstream to spawn (in vain) weeks ago when the creek was full from the fall rain.

Back on the dike again, we glimpsed a great blue heron through the trees.

Passed two eager dogs, checking out a frozen section of creek.

On the ground, frost fringed leaves and grass.

Above, blue, blue sky.

A good day to walk and look (or sit on a roof and contemplate the day, as this cat we spied on the way home seemed to be doing).

Later, sitting on the ferry on my way back to the mainland, something made me put down the book I was reading and look out the window –just in time to see a pod of dolphins arcing above the waves along side the boat.

The perfect punctuation to end a beautiful, pause-filled day (!)

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I’ve been wanting to blog about something else, but…

December 8, 2009

It seems that all I ever have time for these days is a quick haiku. Here’s one from yesterday, when four eagles pulled me out of the fatigue and cold I was experiencing at the end of a tiring day:

waiting for the bus
cold stone step is a hard bench
above, eagles soar

I snapped a quick photo as the bus pulled up, but all I managed to get was blue sky (which was, itself, amazing) and one blurry eagle:

Meanwhile, unpacking and setting up my office/studio space continues:

New room, new view

November 9, 2009

In the spring (just short of our first anniversary in our new place) our landlord dropped the bombshell that he was putting our house up for sale. After the initial shock and depression (we liked where we lived and were not looking forward to having to move for a third time in one year), we began to get excited about the possibility of actually being able to buy a house of our own (thanks to low interest rates) and finally break free of the whims of landlords. It turns out that looking for a house is all consuming (hence the neglect of this blog –and my other writing). We looked seriously at over thirty houses, put unsuccessful offers on five, and just when we were losing optomism… we found the perfect house. At first we thought it was more than we could afford, and with so much competition for houses in our neighbourhood and so many unsuccessful tries at other houses, we didn’t think it would be possible for us to get the house we liked more than all the others. But somehow circumstances, the planets, karma…everything aligned, and here we are in our wonderful new house!

We’re in the middle of the city, but here is the view from my bedroom window:

ravine-view

Perhaps other buyers were scared off by the closeness of the neighbouring ravine (our old landlord said we’d made a mistake buying a house so close to a “jungle”). Of course, we love it!

Here is the my first haiku written at the new house:

yellow autumn leaves
light a glowing pathway
through rain darkened trees

House-warming again

May 22, 2008

Sorry I haven’t been blogging much these days (or should I say “these months”?). Looking for a new place to live, packing, moving, unpacking, then doing the whole thing over again (as well as trying to actually get some work done on my new novel) seem to be taking up so much time and energy. We finished our second move in two months just over a week ago. We still have some unpacking and organizing to do, but I think we’re finally starting to feel at home. We even have a backyard again — with grass, flowers and tall trees. The dog is very happy about this (and so are the rest of us!). After school today, my daughter and I went exploring the forest and creek in the ravine that is just half a block away from our new house. Very satisfying….

Lost and found

April 2, 2008

It’s taken several weeks, but we’ve finally finished the move to our new home. Now, it will probably take several more weeks for us to unpack and find a place for everything (moving to a smaller space definately has its draw-backs).

One good thing: In the process of sorting and packing, I managed to find my watch, which I thought I’d lost two years ago (it was in the pocket of a pair of shorts I apparently haven’t worn for two years). My husband also found a long-missing dog whistle, which he thought he’d never see again (also in a pocket).

Here’s a photo of what our new living room looks like right now. It reminds me of one of those picture puzzles for kids. Can you find the three animals hidden in the picture?

living room in process

Unhappy surprise

October 12, 2007

Well, this has been a crazy busy fall. Not only have I been preparing for the launch of my new book, which is a week away, and the unveiling of my new web site (coming soon!), I’ve been helping organize the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL BC) Fall Book Harvest (unfortunately, the event has been cancelled due to the ongoing city workers strike), working on a history project at my daughter’s school, today sent off four poems to an anthology of hockey poetry for kids (cross my fingers that at least one will be accepted), and next week I’ll be guest blogger on Orca Publishers website.

To top everything off, yesterday I found out that the house I’m living in has been sold (and I didn’t even know it was for sale!). I received the info, not from my landlord, but from a member of the work crew that showed up in my yard ready to dig up soil samples for the developer who just bought the property and the two adjoining ones. Yes, the house and yard where we have lived for the past ten years is about to be destroyed to make way for a big condo development. I knew this would likely happen eventually, but I guess I’d niavely thought we might have a few years left, so the news was a bit of a shock. Our house is old, in need of repair and wont be a great architectural loss when it is torn down (though it will be hard for us to find another place that is comparable in terms of space, privacy, convenience, the allowance of pets, affordability, etc), but it will be a big loss to see all the trees go. We have a huge yard that is full of mature trees and bushes (including several that we planted ourselves when we moved in). As my daughter says, I don’t care about the house, but I’m going to feel bad about the trees. It’s also disconcerting not knowing exactly when we’ll have to leave or where we’re going to live when we do.