Sunday, October 30, 2011


One of my favourite times of year is when every single one of us can play dress up and act like a bunch of kids...enjoy some good old fashioned F-U-N! I have loved Halloween ever since I was a child. Mom would make us a costume, usually something nice like a clown or princess or something non-devilish because "that would be bad"...and on Halloween night we would hop in the van and dad would bring us to a populated neighbourhood to go trick or treating. (we were more "countryish" where our house was...kind of outskirts of Winnipeg at that time.) I loved having our pillowcases filled with all sorts of treats to eat later that evening when we were back at home sitting beside a nice fire. Some years, our costumes had to fit over our snowsuits because it had already snowed and it was freezing cold outside. But all of the kids in town would still head out and walk the streets looking for tasty, sweet treats! I remember the last year that I went trick or treating I was in grade 7 and I was still 11 years old. I felt like I was probably verging on the "too old" to go door to door for candy...but that year my mom said that I could go on my own with my friend Cathy. Oh man, I was so first year without dad hauling me around. Sweet! I also figured that because I was making my own costume that year, that I would go as something scary...the undead. No, I wasn't a zombie...I was a mummy.  I tore up old white bed sheets and wrapped them around my legs, body and was an excellent costume. Did you catch that?? I said arms. Ha ha ha! I said it, cause I was in fact wearing an artificial arm. I would never leave my house without wearing it back then. So, to me, when I think back to that "liberating" Halloween experience...being on my own, being something scary...I think I could have been a heck of a lot scarier had I NOT worn that plastic, rubber and metal strapped on appendage.

You would think that in having only one arm I would take full advantage of that simple fact each and every Halloween. I mean, isn't the "holiday" all about creepy, crawly, scary and horrifying things? Yes. It definitely is exactly that...even though people are fighting to make it sweet and friendly. Scary is fun. I like to scare people...I especially like to sneak up and scare people at anytime of the year. I am just a big kid! But I never even thought about using my one armedness in a costume until I was 22. I decided to dress up as a ski bunny who had a horrible ski accident after which a zombie tore off my arm and ate it, in turn making me a "Ski Bunny Zombie". I was cute...but bloody and pale and undead. Awesome costume!

Age 22 was also the age where I fully stopped wearing that stupid "zombie" arm. It didn't do anything for me, it couldn't help me carry heavy things or clap my hands or climb monkey was a dead arm. I am so thankful I dropped it. It allows me to be really me...who I was born as. A fake arm didn't pop out of my mommy's tummy after me. Yet, since I was a toddler...I don't even know if I was even walking...I had been fitted for an artificial arm every time I grew out of the last one. No wonder I had self worth issues. I didn't think I was good enough...I wasn't complete unless I wore the cumbersome attachment. The limb that would help other people feel comfortable around...simalize me. Honestly, if I still had one of those arms I would wear it at Halloween to be scary. Like be the woman who grew a mannequin arm! ha ha ha ha!!!
 I make an excellent zombie...I love zombies, so I am quite proud of that fact. I have even been paid money, by Hollywood to be a that's conviction! ;o) I have always wanted to dress up and do the Zombie Walk when I lived in Vancouver. I never made it. This year...well yesterday to be exact...we had the very first Zombie Walk Gabriola. About 20 of us gathered to get ready at The Roxy; whitening faces, blacking out eye and nose holes, dripping fake blood from our mouths, eyes, ears and head and even putting watery clay into our hair and on our clothes to be more authentic. 1:30 arrived, and out the door we dragged our undead bodies...moaning, groaning and feverishly looking for something to feast on. We walked through Robert's Place while people were sitting and enjoying a quiet and cozy  late lunch...we left them with confused and shocked faces. Leaving there, we began to lumber, trip and shuffle our way down the street, through various shops and banging on windows and just causing zombie havoc. I carried along with me the arm from Rebecca, the lovely mannequin at The Roxy...we bloodied the shoulder bit. I am pretty sure it must be quite hilarious to see a one armed zombie slowly schlepping her way up the street while clinging onto a bloody arm that other zombies try to eat once in a while. hee hee hee. I tried really hard to always stay in character...just doing my uuuuuuuuuhhhh...the occasional drawn out and mis-pronounced word may have uttered out of my drooling mouth once or twice though! ha ha ha! Most passersby were quite amused with our parade...even those on the inside of the Woodfire Grill windows that we were sliding across with moans of hunger were laughing. Very fun!! I can't wait til next year...we will do some massive recruiting by then.

So anyways...I think it is good that I am able to laugh at myself in a fun and positive way. I feel like we all could be a lot happier if we could come to that conclusion as a collective. We all have something that is uniquely special about us...don't hide it...flaunt it whenever possible. Like...don't you wish YOU had the perfect zombie costume??? mwah ha ha ha hahaaaaa Happy Halloween! Be safe and have fun! ;o)


Friday, October 28, 2011

He's done it...

I have always been a huge fan of Clint McCartney. Since the evening we first made eye contact...waaaay back, in around Novemberish 1994, we were at the same party. I didn't actually meet him that night...but I saw him sitting on the floor (just like me) across the living room at a house party of a friend of a friend. I thought he was super cute. There was this other annoying guy that was being a chauvinistic pig staying til the end of the night trying to end up taking one of the "drunk chicks" home...but no girls were drunk enough to go home with the loser! ha ha ha! My girlfriend Mel and I had to get away from the stench of his old and dirty used pick up lines...I didn't get the chance to find out the cute guys name. About 6 months later, Mel moved into a room in the same apartment with Clint and a few of his buddies...super cool, old building on Wellington Crescent. This apartment had about 1500 sq feet of amazing character. I was excited to check out the "new roommate" housewarming party with my roommate at the time Merritt. I brought a beautifully "hand" potted (I did it with my one hand! lol) Aloe Vera plant for Mel and her new "boy" roommates. We mixed us some drinks and Mel brought us around the huge abode, introducing us to each of her roommates who were dispersed across the massive and amazing living space. Third roommate we met, in his bedroom hanging out with about 5 other people, was Clint. He was partying...he doesn't remember meeting me. (oops!) But I remember meeting could I forget those beautiful blue eyes and surfer boy looks. Then, in July 1995, I met him for real. Introduced, for the second time at "Another Roadside Attraction" in the Speedway, outside the perimeter of Winnipeg. We ran in the same circle after that and became quick friends. Through our friendship I learned a ton of stuff about a whole lot of things I would never even have imagined learning. ;o) He is smart...beyond words. University, I am pretty sure, from what I saw with my own two eyes and what I have heard of this higher was a cake walk for him. He is just a man who absorbs things that he has a passion for. In Uni, it was Anthropology. An Honours Degree he holds. Smart cookie. Fast forward to now...we started to date in 2002 after we had both moved, separately to Vancouver...we married in 2004. He's my best friend AND loverboy! ;o) hee hee

Clint also has a major passion for art. He loves the face...he studied skulls and people and all that. He used to play around with clay and create amazing sculptures of different people...made up 3d portraits he would sculpt just for fun. What a talent. In 2002, his roommate in Vancouver was getting ready to move away to Korea to begin his new life as an ESL teacher. In his deciding what to keep and what to "store" with Clint, and soon I, his "art stuff" was on the line...easel, acrylic paints, brushes, sketch pads. I was like, "Clint, why don't you start painting? You are artistically talented with the sculpting you do." So, he started to paint. He liked it, I think in the beginning because it allowed him to own some art for his walls...or furniture. First thing he ever painted was a "Pale Ale" label on his Ikea rolling coffee table. First portrait he ever painted was his "Sunburst Girl"...inspired by a Nine Inch Nails poster that he saw in a magazine. She still is his fave...some lucky guy in Van bought her off the walls of The Locus for a steal. We both miss that painting still! Clint always talks about repainting it...but he has an issue with reproducing an image he has already done. Funny guy. ;o)

Clint just had his 40th birthday...Old man! ha ha! He's been waiting for this one a looooong time. At the end of August he decided to start a new art project for himself. Being that he is a HUGE music lover, his favourite subject matter would be those amazing rock stars that have inspired, influenced and educated him with their lyrics, song and heartfelt, raw emotion. So..."A study of time and the influence of music in his far", became a sort of retrospective look on his first forty years. He started by painting this awesome image of Bob Dylan in sepia tone...pretty good start...this would be the first of 40 portraits. After he had about 15 paintings done in mid-September, I was thinking that this is something that needs to be seen. They were looking so freakin' fantastic. All of them were sepia toned...three colours used...brown, white and black. Having them all over the living room was looking quite amazing. We wondered what it might look like all up on a wall. The project soon became an art show that would be displayed at Gabriola Artworks, thanks to owner Kathy Ramsey. She is a big fan of Clint...why wouldn't she be? ;o) Well...last night was opening night! It was fun. We played a game...cause I like games...we had no names under the paintings for the first hour and guests had a chance to guess who each one was. The winner would get a painting done by Clint, their choice of person, rock star...relation. Fun times! The winner was Tammy Hudgeon (AMAZING fused glass artist!!!) along with partner in crime, the also fabulously talented Ode...they got 37 out of 40 correct. Right on rock 'n rollers!!! Wine, games, cheese, crackers, beer and rock stars...what an entertaining evening.'s a few of the portraits that are my faves. You can check out the whole show on Facebook on his CMcC page at CMcC.TheArtist

Rick Danko
Joni Mitchell

Dave Grohl
Keith Moon

Pete Townsend
Kurt Cobain

Janis Joplin
Roger Daltrey

Debbie Harry
John Lennon

Bob Dylan

My super, fantastic, amazing and talented husband Clint accomplished what he set out to do...he's done it! And I am really proud! xox

Thursday, October 20, 2011


We all love it, want it and pretty much NEED food to live. Although, I would say that in North America, a mass percentage of people eat food because they want it right then and there. And there are a million places to get it pretty much 24 hours a day...MacDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Wendy's, Boston Pizza, Tim Hortons, Quizno's...those are only names that popped right into my head the first few seconds I thought of good ol' Fast Food. You could wake up at 3 am (in the the latest thing open is the Co-op and it closes at 10) with a hankering for a hamburger, walk out your front door, step into the car, drive 5 minutes and ask a lit up menu to make you a burger with a Pepsi and fries please. It's THAT simple. And it's just there because years back we felt that we needed to have every convenience that a human possibly could have and now that meant food, it had to be available to eat within minutes of the "craving" coming on. Don't even get me started on "conveniences"...I could rant on that for hours. With that being said, I do think that we all should be able to eat if we are feeling hungry and we are fortunate to have food in our fridge or cash in our pockets to go out and get something. I just wish that every person in the whole world could eat because they too were hungry. Food is the one thing in life that no one person should ever have to go without. But they do. I might not have a ton of extra money that I can give out to various charities and such...but I have been known to buy food for someone I see on the street...donate to the food bank...bring a meal to one of the dudes I used to walk by each and every day that lived on West Broadway. (I don't even know where they would find shelter in the nights to sleep, but they would always be somewhere between Oak and Ash on Broadway. I would sit down with them on the sidewalk's funny how different people look at you when they think you are one of the "bums"'s hurtful.) Anyways...people should eat. And wouldn't it be nice if the food we ate was actually good for us? Like, not a burger from MacDonald's or even a sub from Subway, (don't be fooled by the vegetables they add to their high calorie sauces and insanely sodium saturated meats...) just because they have been "approved" by the FDA or whatever, does NOT mean that it is good for you or even actually meant for human consumption. I went quite a few years without eating MacDonald's, one day while Clint and I were in the city we were olfactoried over to the golden arches by their greasy and salty all too familiar scent of french fries. I was like..."let's go all out and get cheeseburgers and fries!!" I think I must have been feeling ill or something to actually have a moment of relapse into the world of cholesterol enhancing and heart attack inducing FAST FOOD. So gross. We were walking through the grocery store after and feeling quite nauseated and headachey. There were times that I actually thought someone rufied my iced tea or something because I was almost outer body. It was weird. What the heck are they putting in the food??? Some kind of chemical drug to lure you back for more...get you addicted to the "stuff". Ah!
Well, I was thinking that something I could do on my part to kind of combat hunger in my own personal way and in my own world, is to respect food. Respect it in the way that I do not need to overindulge in it. Eat when necessary and let your body do what it is intended to do without overloading it. I can actually We, being Clint and I, can actually lay and watch the stupid boob tube for a few hours to "relax" and go through a bowl of popcorn, maybe some ice cream and maybe even have started the whole binge off with crackers and cheese. That is so freakin' sick! Why would we torture our poor bodies like that...the whole thing...the laying there doing nothing, rotting our minds and shoveling junk into our mouths to fill our bellies that are just trying to digest the actual real meals we had that day. Food is not to be wasted. I am not a waster at all. I pride myself in leftovers and all that...but to snack obsessively is wasting food. So...I guess I am totally a big waster. What a bummer. But, I can change it. And that is what I am starting to do now. No more eating after no more late dinners. AND, no more, ever, EVER again to eat at any fast food restaurant. Even if I say it is only a treat because we are in the city and we never eat crap food. That sentence alone should be the greatest indication that we should not eat the fast's crap...duh! I just can' makes me feel sick anyways...even if it is sinfully delicious for some incredibly astonishing reason.  No more. I need to respect food, so that should mean eating food that is healthy and that my body will thrive on. That means growing as much of my own food as possible too. And that I have been doing for the past few years. It is awesome. And what a feeling to eat a full meal that was entirely from your own backyard. I would love to see more and more of that going on. I believe it is catching on...for sure out here on hippy island...but I know some city folk getting in on the farming too. It's fun and amazing to watch your plants grow and turn into scrumptious veggies and fruits and grains that you can cook up and serve yourself AND your friends who will appreciate it so very much. 

I wish I had started a garden in the backyard on Fraser St. in Vancouver. It had great sun...and a plot would still be there now for people to be like..."hey, there is a garden plot here in the yard...let's grow some FOOD!!"
Sunflowers reaching for the sun! Grow sweet ones grow! ;o)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photography and me...

I have a photographic mind...I can remember what something looked like years later. I can picture walking through buildings and plazas when I was 15 and cruising around South Western Germany with my classmates. I could probably find my way through the town of Trier based solely on all of the amazing and historical infrastructure in that beautiful and ancient city. I still can even remember the way my flesh was torn on my knee cap from when I fell off of a couple of pieces of 2x4 that I used to stack to step on and reach the latch for the backyard gate. After my fall, I remember sitting on the grass,staring intently at the dangling dead flesh on my knee and the hundreds of blood vessels I could see inside the flesh just waiting to spill out their liquidy red contents. I was 3 1/2 years old...I can visualize the whole scene from pre-fall to running back into the house once the blood came gushing out like it was 2 weeks ago. I love taking in my moments...I love all that I see, even if it is disgusting. It's part of life. I also love to capture these moments in film, errr, I mean digital, these days. I don't necessarily take photos of wounds and such...(although I do when it is so crazy gross to look at) but I do love to photograph the simple beauty in everything that I see.

 Wensday is one of my favourite things...she is such a sweetie pie. Her simple love makes me feel warm each and every day.
Mmmmmm...pretty latte from Artworks coffee bar! Work of art!
Summertime when the teeny creeping wild daisies grow all over the place. How could I feel any happier than lying amongst the daisies? I don't think I could...except if Clint were lying beside me...that would make it heaven!

Look at this guy...he has a real sweet tooth. He enjoyed one of my Gabriola plums. Maybe I picked it just for him...that's for me to know! hee hee hee

I was given my first ever camera for my tenth birthday. It was a Kodak disc camera (not this exact one, but very similar)...the film looked like a computer disc and it could take 15 images. I took that camera everywhere with me. Mostly to take photos of who I was with and all of the animals and flowers around us. I still have a lot of these photos and I laugh when I look at them. Funny how your perspective changes when you are an adult. Cool to see how I looked through the lens as a child. I would watch my dad take photos of our family and nature and stuff...but what really, super excited him was taking pictures of trains. Daddy'o is a trainspotter!!! He has been photographing trains for probably 40 years or so. He must have at least 500 completely filled slide thousands of developed films and even more slides that sit in their little plastic "slides" boxes waiting for the next time they get put into a carousel to be viewed yet again. We all make fun of my dad and his obsession...but he is an amazing photographer. He has had images (of trains) published in hobby and railroading magazines. He has talent...yes he does. I would say my favourite photos are the ones of nature though...I relate to those. And like my photo obsessed father before me, I bet I too will have a mass amount of images of all of my favourite subjects when I am in my 60's too.

Niko Gregoire
Soooo...clearly I love being behind the camera...but I have enjoyed some years in front of it too. That is what got me more interested in portraiture. I think my fave will ALWAYS be flowers and nature...but getting an awesome "model" shot is so very cool. I am really proud of the modeling I have done...and for the photographers that I worked with. All amazing and talented people. Here's a few of my faves...
Ron Skei

Hardwood Pinups
Doug Doyle

Daryl Spencer
Willis Hager
Syx Langemann (

Modeling is fun...I had a blast doing it. I also learned so very much from each artist I worked with. AND...I feel super blessed to have modeled for photography classes at Vancouver Photo Workshops...for, within these classes I have learned many a technique and camera skill. So onward I go in my life to keep on snapping shots of the the things I love to look at. Perhaps one day there will be an awesome manual camera that is lightweight and left handed. What a treat that would be for me. Until then...I have my trusty Canon point and shoot which does me just fine. Photography and me get along like 2 peas in a pod...well, at least we have a good time together. hee hee Let's start Shooting!!! ;o)

See ya later skater!! Peace.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

If I could say anything...

And thank goodness that I super over the top fortunate lucky that all of us in North America have that right. On Yahoo news yesterday I read that an Iranian woman is being sent to prison and receiving 90 lashes for playing a role in a movie in which there are scenes where she is not wearing her "Hijab" headscarf. What??? The movie is about government controlling people...that is the most basic way to explain it...and the government is pissed off so they want to punish her. 90 lashes. How can one's back even take a beating like that? It is so horrible. I am so thankful I live in Canada...and I truly hope and pray for her at this time. Someone has to save her from that somehow. Ugh...well what a super depressing way to start off a blog that I was wanting to be positive about. Too much going on in my mind sometimes...too much going on that is whack in this world that we have 24 hour access to. Oh information can be a curse!

Anyways...freedom of speech. I have it...I can say what I want and everyone is "okay" with it. Though some may judge me or think what I have to say is irrelevant or trivial or nonsensical but I am hopefully inspiring or helpful to others in their least I can say it in the first place, no matter what people think. And I myself have been doing a lot of thinking in the past while. Been super busy lately, but's been raining. Rain = water in my cistern =ing bath time!!! (my fave thing ever!) Spending hours in a tub allows for lots of think time...meditation time too thankfully. I haven't had much time to sit down and write my thoughts out...which is something that I enjoy doing and find helpful on a busy mind like mine. So...I open up my blog today and see my last post. Bummer dude. What a negative posting. It all turned out perfect in the end, so why did I feel the need to rant about angry feelings? Venting is good...that is why I guess. I instantly wanted to go and delete the post so that no one else would ever have to read some of the mean things that can spew out of me. I almost feel like it is gossip on a grand scale...even if I don't use names or whatever. It just isn't nice to publicly call people out. (just a FYI...I did email the "party wanna be a pooper" to let him know how I response...I guess that is why I vented out loud.) Anyhow, I can't delete a post that was there. I wouldn't tear a page out of any of my journals that I was unproud of. They are honest feelings. It is okay that I have them...but in being able to go over the "feelings" at a later date sometimes can be helpful. I can sit and read that and understand what in that situation really hurt me and how I can figure out how to not let "that" hurt me in the future. People do not try to purposely hurt us. Things people say and do are nothing but their own self projection and what is going on inside of them. Most things are not said with meaning of malice to others, (they can be though...but I believe those times are so over the top obvious...everyone knows at least one meanie, unfortunately.) it is just that WE take things personally. Well, I know that I take EVERYTHING personally. That is something that I am forever working on. And I think once I beat those kinds of thoughts out of my head, I can be that much closer to true happiness. I feel closer than ever to it. There are some pretty hard lessons that life will throw at us. But if we learn from them and truly become accountable to all of our actions and thoughts...we find peace. I want peace man. I think about every person finding their own peace and I can imagine real peace. Like REAL PEACE...ALL OVER the WORLD! Imagine...I am not even quoting Lennon...but it sure makes me understand his passion to try and spread the love of peace. He was a very smart man. <3

So...if I could say anything right now...I would say mind your words whilst minding other's words too. Life can actually be done that simply. It's not as complex as we have made it out to be. Just peace out.
Photo taken in Central Park March 2008...keep the dream alive. xox