Monday, 28 April 2008

New Mario Kart Fatigue

Driving all day wears a fella out...

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Here and There

The nearby marina has yet to re-stock (still!) their ice cream freezer and, anyway, the store is strangely closed every time we are there. So, we are preparing a note to hang on their door:
“This Marina is not frequented solely by gruff, surly fisherpersons - gruff and surly kids visit here too… and WE. NEED. ICE CREAM (and if you can get some of those fancy Cornettos with the chocolate in the bottom, all the better). Also, if anyone has a 100 pound halibut to spare… as you drive up the hill on your way home, please roll down window and toss (gently, and in a north-westerly direction) the large, preferably filleted and freezer-ready, fish onto the first driveway after the trail. Thanks!”
Three gooses at the marina:

Today we donated some rocket balloons to the tree tops:

Here's Eff's latest creation, a SW Imperial Landing Craft:

...and... bonus material for a Saturday night... a penis joke:
Fergus was very eager to help me bbq up some pitas tonight. As he waited for me to have everything ready he got a bit distracted by the TV. Ferg doesn't do anything by halves so trying to get his attention when he's focused on "channels" is a bit of a struggle. "Fergus, Pita's ready to go on the bbq, are you still wanting to help?"...... "Fergus, the Pita is ready for you!"....... "Goooooooosssssseeeeey... pita's ready!" Finally something clicks and he bounds into the kitchen. Then he looks at me funny.

"Daddy, why did you keep calling me a penis?"............

"Noooooooooo... PITA!!!"........ "PEEEEEEEEETA"...

Friday, 25 April 2008

Children of a Common Queue

Didn’t notice until we got home that Effie had documented the Peace Arch inscriptions and took down some licence plate numbers during our recent 45 minute crawl back over the border. You never know when licence plate numbers of your fellow drivers can come in handy. In both directions, the main BC/ Washington border has two lanes: the fast lane and the lane we get into.

Monday, 21 April 2008

We make our own long weekends

On the drive home from the ferry, after our awesome long weekend down in Everett, Fergus offers up the following (out of the blue)...

Fergus: “Actually, that was a good trip”
Mommy: “What made it good for you?”
Fergus: “The stairs… and everything else” (Fergus sometimes hung out on the stairs that led to the basement, lurking there in the mornings and even trying to sleep on a step one night)
Mommy: “What else did you like?”
Fergus: “Cocshins… umm... Coct Talk Shins… ummm... Concoctions... yea, concoctions!” (the blender got a good work-out, as noted by Ronnie)

While Frank was lured repeatedly into Lego building/ Lego destruction with Fergus in Fergus’ basement lair, there was mucho reading, crafting and drawings taking place above:

We managed to get a family hooked on Guitar Hero! Frank agreed to briefly abandon his musical past and give it a go, meanwhile Ronnie devised a wholly unique playing style revolving around her need to keep her “money hand” free from injury (either she shoots a lot of Craps or gets paid for working on computers, we’re not all together certain). But it was MJ and Chloe who ruled the six string-less guitar this weekend. In defiance of my eager mentorship and supreme shredding tutelage (they are seasoned unschoolers after all!), they advanced their noodling abilities at such a rapid rate that they boldly took this particular version of Guitar Hero where it had never gone before with their 100-percent-notes-completed prowess. Off in the corner, I smiled through gritted teeth!

(The video evidence of Ronnie's post-multi-jiggered-Margarita induced GH frenzy may or may not appear in future posts - depending on negotiations)

On the way to the playground (where most of us aged ones got dizzy beyond our comfort levels) we engaged in a scavenger hunt. We found everything except… well, who knew America had not even one solitary American Robin?!?!

The abundant generosity we experienced all weekend continued as Barbies and Bratz dolls, including a beach house and a disco-ball-tricked-out tour bus, found new homes north of the border…

Finally, as our ferry swiftly, yet smoothly, sliced through the delicately churning open waters, returning us to our happy home… and as the last vestiges of sunlight delightfully dappled and dipped below the undulating tree-lined hills of the southern Gulf Islands while a resident pod of Orcas breached majestically off starboard… and as the last ethereal calls of a nearby Whippoorwill hung in the distance… Gillian pointed out a Stegosaurus in the sky. We called her a kook and went on playing with our Barbies.

Saturday, 19 April 2008


Yesterday it did that hail/snow thing in Victoria so we made like good Canadian snowbirds and drove south...

Everett, WA (April 19)

Ferg n' Frank

Monday, 14 April 2008

A whole mess o’ pithy observations and what-not

When I drive the black car, which is full of colourful/ magnetic dots, people smile and point at me. When I drive the silver car, which has a total of only four (well placed) dots, people say things to me like “what do you mean the circle thingys (it’s always “circle thingys” with the strangers!) don’t symbolize any particular cause and they’re just for fun…. I don’t get it!?!”

Today, at the gym, I fell off the treadmill (no fooling)… and then - eghad - tried to get back on it without stopping the machine. Stumbling, yet ever maintaining my coolness, I did manage to successfully lunge myself back on the hurtling beast, all the while ignoring the bemused stares of the encircling, sweat-clad throng. I kinda twisted my wrist - but I was okay and even my ego wasn’t bruised since I knew it would make good, if not overly-dramatic, blogging fodder!

Did you know that in the time it takes to drive eight kilometres up and down the road in front of our house, after having the large bag of garbage that you meant to drop off down by the garage but instead drove halfway up the hill before it fell from the roof of your car, plunk, down into the middle of the road, you can be assured that the garbage bag will still be there in the middle of the road when you return.

Did you know that us country hicks drive our garbage down to the garage on the roofs of our cars!?!

The wonderfully written and expertly executed “Firefly” is quite possibly the best sci-fi series ever. Margaretha lent it to us and she says that I liked it because it isn’t very intellectual or some such bumf (she also lent us Enchanted - quite possibly not the best movie ever - so what does she know?). Ever the influential sort, Margaretha also made a casual reference to Big Wheels (ie: sport-of-the-future) that launched us through a “youtubian web of intrigue” (™) for a couple nights.

The other night when making some Kraft Dinner (apparently it’s not called this in the States!?!) for Fergus, he offered to help me mix the cheese, milk and butter into the noodles and whispered “don’t worry Dad, I won’t tell anyone the secret about how you make it”.

It is now only a few more sleeps until we get to go back to Trader Joe’s!!! Our supplies are running low. Scott Feschuk wrote in Macleans Magazine (March 26, 2008) the following incredibly scientific analysis of American food: ”To be a Canadian entering an American supermarket is to be Alice standing before Wonderland, Harry before Hogwarts, Oprah before one of those slimming funhouse mirrors. It is to marvel unblinkingly at the miracle of it all. Compared with our own grocery stores, the array of food products is so vast, so overwhelming, it is to feel one's eyes glisten from anticipation and from wonder or possibly from contact with a cloud of saturated fat blowing in from the microwaveable pork rinds. We have sausages and pancakes. They have Jimmy Dean sausages wrapped in chocolate-chip pancakes and served on a stick. One day the scientists of the great nation of the United States will use their mighty brainpower to cure horrible ailments like cancer and marrying Billy Bob Thornton. But first they have much to teach the developing world about wrapping one thing inside another thing, and then placing both things on a stick. Oh, and while down in Washington state, we’ll also be visiting the cool people: MJ, Chloe, Frank and Ronnie. Just kidding - they know they’re at the top of the list! Oh, I forgot about Target…

Finally, I just remembered that Fergus once starred in Parenthood alongside Steve Martin and I’m not sure if anyone knew that or not. "Butt Things":

Okay, resume regular family blogging about trees and goats now…

Hang on... here's a quote to end all quotes - from 5 minutes ago... I hope he got this from some television program:
Fergus: Dad, when I'm as big as you, you are going to die and I'm going to use all your stuff"

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Forest Family

It's non-stop forest discovery these days...

We found a pixie in the foxglove...

We found a goat

...a mostly dead, seemingly unloved goat - down at the Cafe. He/she was not at all interested in our large bucket-o-grass (or breathing for that matter) so we fed the equally creepy chickens instead:

Saturday, 12 April 2008


Today Effie and I got up early (before 10 am) to pick grass, to feed the goats...

We don't have goats but we plan on finding some to feed tomorrow...

We lead exciting lives!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Meandering to the shore

We ventured down to the Marina tonight for what seems the first time in ages, like we've been in some sort of rained-out, "gaming" cocoon all winter... which we have!

According to my family, I (as in me and apparently no one else) need to be more prepared with flashlights for future walks that carryover into the twilight hour.

We do tend to roam about and lose track of time...

(Art Shot)

In future, I am supposed to also pack some cutters to make our way through the thick underbrush, a saw to get through the downed trees that cross some of the trails, and a ladder (for reasons currently unknown). Oh, and a five dollar bill sewn into my jacket for ice cream emergencies.

Update: Effie tells me the ladder was so that we could access the old abandoned tree fort... and also bringing an extra boot might be handy as Gillian found out the hard way that she doth have a hole in her boot... dear Henry, dear Henry.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Wii update

The darn purdy weather has been corrupting our gaming schedule to no end. Despite this, we have managed to make it to the second level of Guitar Hero and rescue Princess Peach in Fergus’ Super Mario Galaxy. Star Wars Lego is wherever Dan left us.

Dan came over this weekend for a sleepover and we chained him to the couch until he won several levels for us:

We even made him cook his own dinner...

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Dandelions and Watermelons

Sure, outwardly I was excited for Effie to discover the first dandelions of the season… I even mildly encouraged a rather lengthy dandelion plucking session. But I really had to work on suppressing the urge to shout out “They’re Weeds!”“We Don’t Like Them”… and even… “Grandpa tried making wine from them once so, no, actually I do not want to ever pick another dandelion again let alone smell them fermenting!!!”

Oh, and we ate watermelon...

Down by the bay/ Where the watermelons grow/ Back to my home/ I dare not go/ For if I do/ My mother will say/ "Did you ever see a whale/ With a polka-dot tail/ Down by the bay?"

Life’s a Ditch

To a very small percentage of drivers (I hope), this serene locale Effie is pictured in is nothing more than a ditch into which they toss their litter. But our creek/ seasonal stream, lying mere metres below the edge of the road, has been a self-contained adventure playground for us this past week. Effie, in particular, has been drawn to it daily in her seemingly endless discovery of its various mosses, fiddleheads, rocks, skunk cabbage, pools, falls, hiding places, log bridges… not to mention the odd whale!

We imagine we are explorers.

As for the litter from passing motorists (I once naively thought that the garbage was accidentally blowing out of all the boats-on-trailers that swooped by on their way to the marina)… well, it’s an unfortunate reality and although steam still rises from my ears in reaction to this vile habit, I have come to accept that such ne’r-do-wells will receive their comuppance eventually (or perhaps they are already being punished - I mean the guy that walks down the road drinking two-fours of Lucky Beer*...? Surely he not be leading the life fantastic!?!).

At least the fast-food-refuse-removal process is made more manageable in that the litterers are usually kind enough to toss out the occasional bag. Very handy of the low-lifes to offer up something to place all their trash in. But enough of that - we be having ourselves some wonderful adventurings….

These shots are from the other end, the creek that runs into C,N&Q's old place. We went there today to think about dearly departed Minnow-dog - we're pretty sure this was one of her favorite places!

*You couldn't make this stuff up!!! From the Lucky Beer Wikipedia site: In recent years, the popularity of the beer has declined, but in selected areas in North America, the beer is still available. Lucky is commonly found all across Southern British Columbia. It enjoys an extremely dedicated following on Vancouver Island, and, though generally considered a "non-premium" beer, is consumed with an almost religious dedication in many southern BC resource towns...