Saturday, July 21, 2007

Merily Merily Merily

I love road trips. You get to see the most interesting things. Like this Jesus bus in Washington, USA. The owner held out a can for me to give him a donation to take a photo.

I felt like I was in Asia.

I didn't give him any money and managed to get this picture.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Once upon a time I used to call myself a vegetarian. But really, I was the lowest of the low on that totem pole. I was a pescetarian - someone who eats fish. But really, I was a ovo-lacto-pescetarian, which means I ate eggs, milk products, and fish.

I found I had to defend my eating preferences to people all the time. I didn't really like that. I don't challenge you when you say you don't like tomatoes, do I? Nor do I get irate when I find out you don't like yams, which I adore. Eat and let eat, I say. Unfortunately, there are many a steak-eating arses out there who define themselves by the size of their steak knife and the shade of red from the blood dripping off it.

One day, I will tell you about the time I spent an entire weekend on a working dude ranch with the deli department managers from the Midwest division of Safeway, USA. These people make a living slicing meat thin.

Then, I came across a great plate of agnolotti with bits of chicken sauteed in olive oil and garlic sauce. It was actually part of my job to eat this, and after a few tries - hey Mikey, she likes it! Sshhhh...don't say that so loud.

I became a closet chicken eater. Boneless, skinless. Two words that describe my chicken of choice and also reflect back on my inability to tell anyone for the longest time. (To all of you in the closet out there for whatever reason, I understand!)

Now, 18 years later, my vegetarian ways have digressed to ovo-lacto-pesce-pollo.... heck, you can't add vegetarian to that.

I must admit I was thrilled when I heard about the word flexitarian, which I thought meant "you try to eat a vegetarian diet, but...oops...let it slip everyone once in a while and eat what you want, when you want." Basically, a picky eater. But it is a bit more limited than that, and I don't think I apply.

All I can say is thank goodness for kids. My younger son looked up at me today and said, "Canditerian."

He then giggled.

"Canditerian, canditerian, canditerian."

I don't know what brought it on, we weren't even talking about food, but out of the blue he decided he was a canditerian.

I think I am going to use that one from now on. It might be a bit easier to explain.

Forget about the steak and potatoes, pass the lollipop and licorice.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Involved in Criminal Activities

I read this today and kinda liked it. When I have more time, I will think about it a bit more.

"Our journey is about being more deeply involved in life, and yet less attached to it." - Ram Dass

When I found out yesterday that someone was once again trying to break into our house, I must admit I felt pretty attached to my home, my life, MY STUFF, and my family. Clearly, our old creaky farmhouse with its 20 year old, 400 lb t.v. and other big, bulky junk and collection of teeny worthless mementos like barnacles, bottles of sand, and books is a big attraction for someone.

I think I will think about how to more deeply involve the police and protection into my life.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Retreat Reminder

I was talking to a friend this morning about cabins. He has one. We don't.

I would love to have a cabin. A private retreat on a small warm lake that I can swim across. Complete with fire pit, treehouse, rowboat, tall cedars, swing set, bicycles, and neighbours to hang out with. Candlelight Scrabble. Kick the can in the dark. Moonlight skinny-dipping.

The problem is that we like to travel alot, and we kinda like to explore new places each time.

The other problem is that we don't really like to look after our house. The Joneses we are not. So we assume that looking after two houses (well, one house and one cabin) would just be twice as painful.

This morning my friend told us how he was up at his cabin a few weeks ago and spent 7 hours one day mowing and working on his lawn. Repeat: 7 hours.

Then he told us how recreational property in B.C. has gone up in value so much that the property taxes on his cabin now cost more than his house.

Then he told us how his wife wants to travel the world, but they feel obligated to visit "Camp Huxtable" as they call it. Granted, they do love it there.

It is nice to be reminded every once in a while of why you believe what you believe.

And I believe we will continue to enjoy our tent, rented cottages, back deck, hotel rooms, and "Camp Mom and Dad." All perfect cabins for us.

Free free to invite us to yours. We will bring the Scrabble.

p.s. Andrea & John - we still linger over thoughts of last summer at your cabin. Bliss!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's complicated

At first, I didn't want to have anything to do with Facebook. I prefer the old fashioned way of communicating with friends. Email. (Or for those really old fashioned days, phone...and for the truly ancient traditional times, a good knock on the door and a chat on the porch.)

But now, Facebook is divulging good information, and I'm starting to like it.

Take this for example:

Sometime last night Paris's Facebook profile went from being "single" to "it's complicated with Melanie Ly" to "it's complicated."

Verified by a neighbour. Verified by Paris when I mentioned her name. Ah, that sweet summer smile.

And so life as we know it begins again.

Not so complicated after all.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

O Canadian Worms

Last week was Paris's grade 7 graduation. Of course, the ceremony opened with the singing of the national anthem. O Canada, a muffled, drawn out affair I'm sure my new-to-Canada neighbours don't enjoy singing (but translate our home and native land in to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Hindi and I'm sure we would all make a fantastic choir).

It's a proud song, but not as proud as this new song by the Arrogant Worms that the graduating class chose to sing back in their classroom. They didn't just sing it, they belted it out with gusto, like a hockey rink on the last night of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I find it intriguing that the next generation is proud of this new, folksier ode to Canada. No thee, no thy, no glorious or guard.
Just big and brass and, well, singable.

Canada's Really Big

When i look around me, i can't believe what i see
it seems as if this country has lost its will to live
the economy is lousy, we barely have an army
but we can still stand proudly because Canada's really big
we're the second largest country on this planet earth
and if Russia keeps on shrinking, then soon we'll be first!(as long as we keep Quebec)
The USA has tanks, and Switzerland has banks
they can keep them thanks, they just don't amount
cause when you get down to it, you find out what the truth is,
it isn't what you do with it, it's the size that counts

most people will tell you that France is pretty large
but you can put fourteen Frances into this land of ours!
(it'd take a lot of work, it'd take a whole lot of work)
we're larger than Malaysia, almost as big as Asia
we're bigger than Australia and it's a continent
so big we seldom bother to go see one another
but we often go to other countries for vacations
our mountains are very pointy, our prairies are not
the rest is kinda bumpy, but man do we have a lot!
(we've got a lot of land, we've got a whole lot of land)
so stand up and be proud and sing it very loud
we stand out from the crowd, cause Canada's really big.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Three days of no work.

Three days of no car.

Three days of walking to the library, showing up at backyard parties 20 doorknobs down, sleeping on the back porch lit with white lights, batting the badminton birdie in the back yard, spinning Frisbees at the local park, eating Canada Day cake a barefoot walk away, scarfing sushi around the corner from our front door, sharing dinner with the next door angel, playing with the roving kids fresh out of recess, biking to the elementary school playgrounds, renting movies and running home with them tucked under our arm, savouring picnics in the sunlight on the porch, pushing movers, chatting with block friends, walking around the hood, and discovering new candy stores with 10 cent rainbow sticks.

Simple, simple, simple life.

Three days of suiting me just fine.