eve

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Tater blossom.

The garden has taken off. The peas have outgrown the fences. I’m not sure if I should try to extend them or let the vines strangle themselves, thus slowing the vines. Since I am a lazy gardener I will let nature take it’s course.

The cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi are taking over. We have some hot weather coming up and I hope they won’t bolt.  My experience with broccoli and cauliflower is limited, so will just have to wait and see.

The first spuds should be ready in a week and I’m looking forward to them.

It is the eve of Canada Day. The Valley is full of people wanting to celebrate, yet not sure what is acceptable or where to go. I noticed many people just wondering around town aimlessly today. Maybe we are turning into zombies with maple leaf tattoos!

thunder

_LME5376Willow smells for meat to go with the spuds and cabbage.

Off for a couple days after a shitty week. Took off for the creek last night to clear my mind. Plenty of snow up top still to come down. It’s got the second home owners scared on the edge of the lake. I don’t like this global warming trend. It would only take a couple of years of winters with lots of snow paired with some chilly summers and those glaciers would grow. Then when it warmed up it would wash those second homes, along with the rest of the pollution down the Columbia.

RCE_5970 A new bear.

Was worried about one of the young crows. It was stubborn to take up flying, it found itself along a fence line with mother in a tree offering encouragement, swooping at anything she thought a threat.

She must of done her job because the young one was out of the corner, hopping around with the other two. It must have paid off looking at them everyday because they let me get close.

You know you’re getting old when all you want to do is spend time in the garden and woodpile on your day off.

_LME5361Bad Cabbage.

Bears and Flowers

_LME5234The first of the mountain orchids begin to bloom.

It seems orchids and bears start to appear at the same time in the bush. The trick is not to be too focused on one or the other. For instance, if you are just on the lookout for bears you might step on the delicate Venus’s Lady’s Slipper.

RCE_5388.smA Black Bear says, ‘What are you doing here?’

Conversely, if you are laying on your belly in the moss, intent on focusing your camera on these lovely orchids, you could pop up your head and have a surprise. Awareness is always the best policy.

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Early May

RCE_5093Don’t make such a rhubarb about the current goings on!

Covid19 precautions are starting to ease in Canada. We are seeing more tourists. Shops are starting to reopen. About two thirds of the vehicles on the highway and around town, on the weekend, are from neighbouring province Alberta, ignoring warnings not to travel outside of your home province.

The ambulance has been out several times today, a sure sign the roads are getting busier with tourists.

It should be reminded, we are as susceptible to this disease now as we were two months ago.  The only thing changed is we have learned to social distance and bought time to possibly better ready our health care system. Numbers show most are still vulnerable to contract the sickness. This will remain so until a vaccine is developed. It will be interesting how we go forward.

RCE_5096A handsome Flicker.

Five years from now, we will know better how we managed this illness, did we overreact, was there things we could have done better? Right now we move forward with the information we have.

Strange times. One good thing in our small community; it’s amazing to see people forgetting about money and tourists, choosing instead to support each other.

mid April

RCE_5047Had to bribe Willow for this picture. She was amply rewarded with a generous piece of breakfast sausage.

It’s never too early to get a truck full of wood. The backroads are still snow covered. Got lucky finding a down pine and fir before heavy snow. Both dry but thawing out. I cut and Lisa loaded. Willow kept the perimeter.

We saw Whitetail Deer, the rivers are clear and I could have brought home fish if the season wasn’t closed. It’s hard to know when we won’t give a shit. For now everything is fine.

Lisa and I talked about the anxiety we have been feeling, especially when the virus first hit, and how we are feeling now. We both can do with a lot less. Still, having a shitload of money stockpiled, including pensions, would be the best defence. Neither, we have, but neither did all our descendants before us.

The grass is greening. I’m looking for garlic to come up.

oh Canada

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Interesting times indeed. I’ve never had much good to say about the government, the people that work in it or politicians of any stripe or size. Unfortunately, these are the people we are told we must rely on during this crisis.

Lisa lost her job a little over a week ago, she won’t be getting it back even when the lock down passes. The business she worked for was one hanging be a thread at the best of times, it probably won’t reopen and if it does it will be at a diminished capacity. Fortunately the owners are wealthy and don’t need the income, the business was more of a hobby for them.

Even though she worked for over seven years for the company, she won’t receive a dime of severance. Since there is no jobs available she will apply for Employment Insurance (EI) that she has paid into since she was fourteen. So far she hasn’t been able to get through to file a claim. This is understandable considering what Canada is experiencing.

I was on EI once. Many years ago the company I was working for told me in November they would try but most likely not be able to keep me on during the winter months due to lack of work. Since it was November, I thought I would be proactive and apply for Employment Insurance, something I also had paid into since I was fourteen. 

I was accepted, however, I never collected a cent, because I continued to work. I kept the claim open in the event of shortage of work. This is something just about every support worker in the school system does to collect EI during Spring, Summer, and Christmas breaks. I worked for the school system for many years and saw people do this regularly.

After about a month of being on EI I was phoned by a government agent who told me there was plenty of work in the oil industry and I should move to Alberta and get a job there. 

She was daft to the fact I hadn’t collected on my claim and was still working. After talking to her for some time I realized she was like most government workers – incompetent. I cancelled my claim right there and then and told her I would never file again. She was happy with that. She figured her job was done.

Before I hung up I asked her how I was picked to be harassed, she said they pick people with EI claims by random.

I have relayed my experience to many people who rely on EI regularly and not one has shared my experience. I guess I was just unlucky. Of course after the claim was cancelled I lost my job for several months due to shortage of work. I ended up doing what I could to make ends meet.

***

The place I work has laid almost everybody off due to the virus, I have been kept on three days a week. That could change tomorrow. If I get laid off completely I will not be filing for EI. I will do anything to make a buck and get by, just like I always have.

I feel sorry for people who think they can rely on government during this difficult time, it is filled with the worst workers with the most advantages in Canada. Every time I see our Prime Minister preening for the camera, or our Mayor warning people, in dulcet tones, not to flush rags or wipes into the municipal sewer system, I feel sickened.

I want bugger all from government other than a half assed road and water in the tap, not much to ask considering the high taxes we pay. Taxes, I should stress, I have always paid, never hiding income, always playing by the rules and even speaking out, on every available occasion, against the widely practised ‘under the table’ economy in Canada.

What I ask in return is for the government to get out of the way and stop making life more difficult for the people they supposedly serve.

mid march

CRW_0012Trumpeter Swans, just passing through.

Just about time to start some seeds inside.

CRW_0025Canada Geese, sailing north.

get your tongue out of my ear

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The election is over. I didn’t talk to anyone who was happy today. Most couldn’t give a shit. I talked to a few with Alberta plates who were devastated.

There is plenty of people left out of these decisions. Sure they cast a vote, out of duty or, maybe even, hope. They roll with it when house prices become unaffordable, and keep working until they die. Some even believe they are in a predicament, because of some shortcoming.

That’s the big lie. The same lie that makes people who are well off think it was their hard work who got them where they are. Both sides never considering the situation they were born into.

Before you think it; fuck you, if you say ‘look at me, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps’. If you think it and say it you are an asshole.

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The world is going through a change. Most of the change won’t be bad. Do you remember we changed from vinyl, to 8 track, to cassette, to CD. At every change we were told how much better the next format was.

That’s what’s happening now. Unfortunately, it’s designed to leave a lot of poor people from every corner of the world in it’s wake.

It was interesting to see several teachers working at the polling booths. When I worked at the School District, during an election, some would take a sick or vacation day and work the polls. Double the money.

Our incumbent NDP, MP, Wayne Stetski was voted out. He will get close to $90 thousand severance for the effort he put in for the past 4 years, on top of his $180 thousand a year he made sitting way, way, back behind leader Mulcair, stuttering out how he liked local food and biking to work.

Lucky bastard.

Our next MP, Rob Morrison of the Conservatives will do the same. He will be as ineffectual. Sure he will help his friends, and spew the ‘right’ rhetoric. But in the end, he will collect his money.

Thats why I don’t give a shit about political parties, The right and left are in cohoots. They take long vacations with each other, spend and bullshit. It’s us who are left behind.

My good friend said it’s criminal, and it would be, if it wasn’t them making the laws.  

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Election Difficulties

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Only the weekend remains before Canada votes in the Federal Election.

It’s been a divided campaign, which I suppose is a sign of the times. It all gets boiled down to our differences, instead of what holds us together as a nation. Most of us, regardless of race, where we live, sexual orientation, or political leanings want the same things.

Somewhere we have gone from respecting others opinions to considering others thoughts as an attack on our person, if they differ from our own. Of course, we will always have nuts out there, lately however, it seems we are all turning into them.

This morning, while waiting to walk into work, I looked up an online eyeglass store on my phone (I’m due for a new pair). Tonight, I checked the photo sharing Instagram app and there was several ads for online eyeglass stores. Damn! Somebody’s been reading my mail, I thought!

The same thing is happening with political leanings. We are fed what we already endorse. If you lean to the left, CBC will appeal to you and seek you out. If you sway to the right, Post Media will do the same. News stories will further their chosen political parties mantra. Facebook does this in spades.

Both sides will call the other sources, ‘fake news’. It seems the news agencies have fallen for the same trap as the rest of us on social media (read everybody), instead of ‘truth’ they are more concerned about ‘likes’. While Facebook and Google’s job is to keep us satiated with what is familiar, political and otherwise, and of course, provide a platform to sell us stuff, like my eyeglasses.

It’s all harmless enough, until we start considering our way is the right way and looking at our neighbours as the enemy. One could argue it’s the new religion. History has shown what happens when people get fervent over religion.

Come Monday, I’m unsure where my vote will land. I hope there is a good turnout. I hope the prevailing party considers all Canadians, not just the ones that voted for them. More importantly, I hope citizens, win or lose, look at the endurance we share together. No political party is going to set it right for us, it’s up to us to do it ourselves everyday.