Archive for July, 2012

Group Marriage Counselling

I was in the basement working on a project this afternoon.  On the TV was an OK program but as I was working it moved on to a program of Group Marriage Counselling. 

I had rubber gloves on and in the midst of painting many pieces, so could not go to the TV to change the channel (although I desperately wanted to).  Turned out to be very informative and enlightening.

When I came back upstairs I suggested that Pat and I go to Group Marriage Counselling.  Not that WE need it, but I determined from listening to the wishes and desires of the ladies in what they wanted in a husband, I am perfect.  Well almost perfect.   I do not recall them dreaming of a 64 year old slightly over-weight husband, but everything else they wanted was ME.  Kind, generous, loving, handy around the house, good looking and home every night and with an income.

We could go to these meetings and Pat could show off to these miserable women what a perfect husband she has.  Might be fun. 

(((Pat read this blog and declared she is not prepared to share me)))

I really need a TV channel changer that does not require me touching the keys when I am painting.

Friday Night Fish

I am known for the jokes about mackerel Snappers and Friday night fish, but I am married to a devout Catholic so we usually have dead seafood on Friday night.    We try to avoid the fried fish sticks or boiled fish parts.  It has become a meal inspired from our many cooking books and magazines.

Tonight we had a Thai green curry shrimp.  Fresh sliced red peppers from the farmers market, local mushrooms and shrimp the size of your thumb with calamari thrown in at the last minute.  Started the meal with Edamame beans. 

Light, not hot, Thai Green Curry sauce on top of Basmati rice.  

I only write this blog because I used to phone Mother and tell her about our meal.  She would comment about our weird lifestyle but it was part of the tradition of our  phone calls.  I miss the those calls so I blog you instead.

Dessert tonight will be Saskatoon pie with Vanilla Ice Cream….Yum yum   Life is good (and of course I write this as Pat does the dishes) 


Paradise Returns

It has been a long wet and cool spring and summer but Paradise has returned to the Comox Valley.  Perfect dry sunny days, comfortable 26 C (78 F) temperatures, and no mosquitos.  A few more days like this and I will remember why we retired here. 

Forecast is for this to last the rest of the summer.

We had to replant our annuals in the front flower beds.  The Petunias and Violets that we planted and cared for since May have all been destroyed by Deer.  They come every night, take a bite of the plant and pull it from the ground and then spit it out.  Each morning there are deer footprints in the beds and I see all the carefully planted flowers lying drying out so I replant.  Eventually most died and we have little to show for the effort.

Apparently deer do not like Marigolds and Begonias (must be the scent).  The one bed that we planted in Marigolds is overwhelming in display.

Today Pat and I went to C Tire where they have the Marigold large pots that normally sell for $7 to $10 on sale for $1.99  We bought them out and replaced the flowers in the front beds.  Now it looks like we have flowers. 

If they start to eat these flowers I may have to sit up each night and ……… lets face it I will not sit up each night so it is not worth saying what I would do to these varmints, lets just say I would like to do damage to them even though they all look like Bambi.

I successfully used a Rabbit trap to get rid of one critter but I am not sure if that would work for Deer.  I suspect animal do-gooders would make my life difficult.

Saskatoon Berry

It is July 24  which is late for picking Saskatoon Berry.  We have a Saskatoon Berry U Pick farm on the Island and we like to visit each year to pick the berries that we loved as children.  For those that do not know them, a Saskatoon Berry looks like a blueberry but has a nuttier flavour. Just different.

When we were kids on the prairies we would be taken by our parents to pick berries on the side of ravines in secret spots that only our parents (and every farmer) knew.  Picking Saskatoons had three things that I remember – They grew on awkward slopes and you had to scramble to get them – They came with hoards of mosquitos – the pies that they were turned into were devine.

A few years ago we found a Saskatoon farm on Vancouver Island.  We have gone picking there every summer for the last few years. 

For those of you who grew up picking on the praries imagine rows of plants, on level ground, loaded with berries AND NO MOSQUITOS.  Heaven

We were away for the prime picking period this year but contacted the farm and they were still open.  So today we drove down island (it is a 2 hour drive) in Little Red.  Overcast and cool so perfect picking conditions.  Pat and I ended up with about 20 litres of berries,  the best production we have had so far.  Last summer taking the grand sons for the picking was not that effective since they were not brought up in the hard work for food tradition as I was. 

After cleaning and sorting we have enough berries for a fall and winter of great Saskatoon pies (including gifts for our discerning friends)


It is the third anniversary (July 19) since I started my most recent booklist.  I have an Excel spreadsheet where I write up every book i read with the author, the title, a brief synopsis and a rating.  (I know you remember me saying Pat is anal about lists but this is actually useful) 

The purpose for the list it is to avoid books I have already read and to rate authors so I can look for the good ones.  I have recently started adding the audio books that Pat and I listen to when we drive.  I  now have 213 books listed for the last 3 years.  I think the number is probably closer to 230 since I skipped audio books in the past and some of the research books I read in sections. 

That seems like a lot of books considering I only read late at night or in brief breaks.    When I was a kid I used to read books in bed with a flashlight under the covers because Mother would yell at me to go to sleep.  Pat just puts on her eye shades and ignores me.  Much better arrangement. 

Everyone tells me I should get an electronic book and download.  But at $8 a download this would have been about $1700 whereas most of the books are from the library and the few purchased I might have spent $100.