Iconic Vancouver Island Scenes

The Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean at Otter Point

A trip to Vancouver Island wouldn’t be complete without a couple of shots of its iconic coastline. These enormous logs (above) washed up during the terrific surfs that can occur during winter storms. The logs themselves probably escaped from logging pens or “booms.”

The surf and the rain are doing their jobs.
The surf and the rain are doing their jobs on this old log.

The weather was a comfortable 10C with rain showers and a few sunny periods. The rain was a strong reminder of the fact that Vancouver Island is home to ancient “old growth” rain forest. First Nations peoples and many others have worked hard to save these forests from logging companies. Typically, the forests grow right up to the edge of the ocean.

An old stump imbedded in the gravel beach.
An old stump imbedded in the gravel beach.

This stump has likely been there for a long time; people have carved their names and initials into its deteriorating surface. I can’t help but wonder if this stump is what was left after the tree was cut down for lumber.

Another view of "this old log."
Another view of this beautiful remnant.

The tree itself must have been very old and very magnificient before it died and its remains were washed into the sea. I couldn’t count the rings because of the surf and also because of how worn it is, but I could see many of them, perhaps a hundred. It’s still magnificient, still standing up to the elements that will eventually take it completely.

A Visit to Vancouver Island

M and I went to Vancouver Island for my sister’s internment this week. While there, we said good-bye to my sister while visiting the places she loved on the island where she lived for most of her life.

There's regular floatplane service between Victoria and Vancouver.
There’s regular float plane service between Victoria and Vancouver.
Seals in the harbour. They look cute but can be quite aggressive.
Seals in the harbour. They look cute but can be quite aggressive.
An interesting tree on the pathway around Victoria Harbour
An interesting tree on the pathway around Victoria Harbour. It looks like a giant with outstretched arms.
J loved seafood.
J loved seafood.
The quirky houseboat village.
The quirky houseboat village. Sometimes, tourists will walk right inside people’s homes!
A two-masted schooner used for student training.
Far up the fijord that's part of Victoria harbour.
Far up the fjord that’s part of Victoria harbour.
A tugboat.
A tugboat.
J was a fan of spring bulbs.
J was a fan of spring bulbs.
Seagulls have no respect for historical figures.
Seagulls have no respect for historical figures.

 

Goodbye, J. I love you.

A Few More Okanagan Views

M and I have been doing lots of walking around our new home in British Columbia’s truly spectacular Okanagan Valley. Lots of wine is produced here and the landscape reflects that. There are moderate, wet winters with very hot summers, great for grapes and all the other types of fruit that are grown here. There’s so much more, however. Here’s a sample:

This is the view from Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park. It's high above Skaha Lake and is great for rock climbing, but also for us walkers.
This is the view from Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park. It’s high above Skaha Lake and is great for rock climbing, but also for us walkers.
Another view from the Skaha Bluffs. It was a beautifully warm day.
Another view from the Skaha Bluffs. It was a beautifully warm day.
There are some furiously fast snow melt creeks in the hills around the village of Naramata. We stopped to admire this particularly stunning example.
There are some furiously fast snow melt creeks in the hills around the village of Naramata. We stopped to admire this particularly stunning example.
A pine forest in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park.
A pine forest in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park.

 

We are continually oohing, ahhing and wowing as we explore this amazing place.

We feel truly grateful to be here. 🙂

To Moderate or not to Moderate? That’s the Question, but What’s the Answer?

What's moderate? A whole bottle of wine? Two? None?
What’s moderate? A whole bottle of wine? Two? None?

As bloggers, we get all kinds of comments. They are intrinsic to the whole bloggy bit. I look forward to comments. I like making comments. They are the lifeblood of the blogging world. They range from the hilarious to the poignant. But every now and then, we can get comments that prompt a different range of reaction.

There’s the kind that sets your teeth on edge. The kind that pisses you off. The kind that creeps you out.

I publish comments that I don’t agree with. I try to address them the best way I can without being rude or offensive. Live and let live. Not everyone is the same and diversity is healthy.

The creepy ones? The ones that make you feel like you’ve stepped on a dead slug with your bare foot? Those get labelled as spam and sent somewhere.

Then there’s the kind that you don’t know what to do with.

I got one of those yesterday. It rambles and it’s contradictory. It’s confusing at times. It sounds like Sarah Palin.

It could be an honest attempt at expression from someone who struggles with that … or maybe not.

The other thing is that there are bits of it that I really disagree with, and that’s the problem.

Am I being a chickenshit? Am I being lazy? Do I just not want to deal with the layers of stuff going on in this comment? Am I saying that this is my blog, I don’t like that comment, and commentator, you can just stuff it?

Because what really gets me is that this is a comment about narcissism. And the writer ends this comment I-don’t-like with, “and I’m not a narcissist.” Which immediately makes me think that he/she is a narcissist.

But it also sounds like it’s coming from a narcissist. I feel like there’s an attempt to reel me in, to undermine, to, to, slime all over everything.  Sometimes, narcissists like to troll, like to present themselves as victims. Sometimes, they do a sort of hiding in plain sight. Covert narcissists. Then, there’s the narcissist who claims to not be a narcissist. Just so they can press some buttons and laugh at the discomfort they cause.

But maybe I’m over-reacting.

This comment has made me uncomfortable. And because of that, the comment is hiding in moderation-land. And maybe that’s all the warning I need.

If it makes you uncomfortable, don’t go there.

What’s moderate? Letting this person comment and then possibly opening some floodgates to a conversation I don’t want to have? Or is it my duty to just take on the bad with the good and get on with it? Just because I don’t want to do it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

Do you publish comments that you disagree with? That you don’t like? That make you uncomfortable? What are we supposed to be moderating? What’s moderate, anyway?

For J

This is for my beloved sister J, who passed away on December 26 after a short struggle with cancer. I love you, J.

 

You have always been kind and tough and thoughtful and practical.

And you learned early how to deal with the family’s narcissists. Before it was popular, you knew a kind of no contact and lived it. Your own kind.

Distance did it. Physical distance. Mental distance.

I, much younger, didn’t really know you.

Not until much later. Not until now, really.

And then, we faced another narcissist. This time, together. Looked at our heritage.

But you handled that, too. Adroitly, as you always have. Even as you grew smaller and smaller and your world grew smaller and smaller.

The one who wasn’t “smart.”

The one who always knew but didn’t fuss. Just lived.

I’ve had a good long life, you said.

I wish it was longer.

I wish I didn’t have to say good-bye.

Things I Learned from Rudy

After a short illness, our darling Rudy passed away this morning. We love you, sweetie dog.

In the Net! - Stories of Life and Narcissistic Survival

My sweetie Rudy My sweetie Rudy

Rudy is my dog. Well, he’s technically my son’s dog, but he has lived with me for most of his life. Rudy readily adopted M into his pack and now hates it when M is away. Recently, he also adopted B, M’s son.

Rudy is an amazing dog. And he’s about to turn 15. We’re not sure exactly when he’s turning 15 because he was an SPCA dog. But it’s within the next three months, most likely around the end of February or beginning of March. Rudy is in excellent health and is still living a full life. His hearing and eyesight are not quite what they used to be and he’s got a little arthritis, but those things aren’t holding him back at all.

So in honour of Rudy’s 15th birthday, and in honour of the fabulous guy that he is, I’m going to share with…

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Remembrance Day

I first posted this two years ago.

Wear a poppy; thank a veteran.

In the Net! - Stories of Life and Narcissistic Survival

30 Days of Gratitude- Day 11 30 Days of Gratitude- Day 11 (Photo credit: aussiegall)

In Canada, today is Remembrance Day. Today, we remember those who have given their lives to preserve the greater good, those who gave us what we have today.

Both my parents were veterans of World War II. My dad escaped from Dunkirk and later, in 1944, helped to liberate France and the Netherlands. He went all the way to Hamburg, Germany, before being sent back to England and to my mother.

My mother served in the British army as a radar operator during the London blitz. Her father, a World War I veteran, was a “spotter” who alerted higher command that enemy planes were coming across the channel.

One day, a fighter saw him and killed him.

Three of her brothers served in the army, one of whom was captured. He spent four years in a prisoner of war…

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Sometimes, life is like that.