Going into the week of American Thanksgiving, I’ve watched the skies turn rheumy and gray. We’re currently under a heavy rainfall warning, with up to 150 mm by Thursday. Watching the skies in the morning, on the way to work, with the peak of city buildings disappearing into the foggy atmosphere, it seems like a dystopian scene. I am happy to take a few days off this week to prepare for Thanksgiving, which to our Canadian friends and family is a plus. Unfortunately, this year, it turns out that no family members can make it. My dreams of big family togetherness grow smaller each year as everyone has their own things. Being on the west coast of Canada, hundreds of[…]

I listened to this talk the other day on the way home from work. I really like hearing author perspectives of their writing about the wild. In this talk, the two were in Toronto just a couple weeks ago. I have chatted with both at the main site (see “Selected Interviews” on the front page) in different times/focuses, so it was interesting to me to see them together here. One of the questions in this panel was how their sense of place in childhood inspired their writing. Jeff talked some about Fiji and Florida, both places he’s lived, and Lorna talked about growing up in the prairies of Saskatchewan, where there was “a tree.” She’s very funny; they both are.[…]

This week we’re supposed to be breaking records, and we haven’t had any significant rainfall for weeks. It’s so odd that here, when it rains it pours, when it snowed this past winter it came down tremendously, but there are certain times of the summer that are getting hotter and dryer each year. This is one of those times. I finally got a sports medicine doctor referral go through, for Thursday morning. In the meantime, I am bored so have been going for some hikes, like I did today at lunch. The air seemed still and weighted. The grass is brown. But I walked along the creek near campus.     I do love heat, though our house will be[…]

Going back to rural America was both pleasant and obnoxious. Everyone has guns these days. There is a culture of paranoia and religion. How these two may go hand in hand I’m not sure. Yet the backdrop to it all has a pleasant rural quality, where it doesn’t take very long to walk down the road and find yourself in a wood, looking at a cow, watching two huge flies mate on your husband’s shirt (that happened), or eyeing the floods among the fields of corn. In the small Indiana town I grew up as a child are historic homes, once used in the Underground Railroad. It is a place I experienced cherished memories, yet, growingly, a place to which[…]

I’m waiting on news about my ankle after two tests. In the meantime, I have been so busy at work, with term-end grades and decisions about students’ placements next year, that I haven’t taken proper lunches nor have I had any time outside except on the weekends or the occasional patio dinner to relax my mind. Two weekends ago I did garden work and then read on my hammock for hours. I am not a math person, but it’s all I do this time of year, and it’s making me feel sequestered in a tiny space–my mind in spreadsheets and formulas, my occasional foray elsewhere into social media with more screen-limiting boxes and cages. I long for that trail, and[…]

On the trail-front, I have had to take a break yet again due to a swollen ankle that is not getting better. I hobbled around on it last week, and thought that if it was not better by the Victoria Day weekend I would make a doctor’s appointment, which I have done–for tomorrow. I think it’s odd. If it’s a sprain, there was not a whole lot of pain when it happened. Like my broken toe, it seems more stress fracture related. I know better now to not run on injured things; they just get worse. Well I was continuing to run and hike rough trails after my ankle started hurting. Dummy me. Now I’m down again until it heals.[…]

Our camping two weekends ago near Saltery Bay was full of sun and rain, waves and wind, endless coasting birds, hiking into wilderness, rushing waterfalls, isolation, running, and admiring the country north of Gibsons, mostly First Nations territories peppered with local foods and artisan goods. After two ferry rides, we arrived at a campsite just north of Saltery Bay Provincial Park on a Friday. We had previously planned to tent-camp but ended up in a cabin, which was good because the tenting area was sort of cramped around a view of an old barn and some kind of equipment. Our cabin, however, had a front door to the sea and a wide window to view it all, so if we[…]

Last night, we went to see George Orwell’s 1984, which played across North America as a reminder of our humanity vs. surveillance and misinformation by an oligarchy–completely pertinent now because the US government has suddenly clinched into what may become an oligarchy and has become a major source of lies. These lies have received the euphemism “alternative facts,” a phrase I think should go away, because anti-truth is not any kind of fact, not even an alternative one. Let’s not kid ourselves. Facts are facts. Lies are lies. There is no situation in which lies are facts. Of course, in the field of physics, for instance, what seems to be one thing may in fact be another. When dealing with[…]

This winter in Vancouver is unlike most. It has been cold with occasional days of snow and ice and wind, which has canceled schools and caused dangerous travel. What’s up with that!? We’re supposed to be experiencing global warming, right? Well, we should know by now that global warming is a global phenomenon, where variable weather patterns exist locally but where overall, annual global temperatures continue to rise. Our cold winter results from a La Niña event. The cold weather and snow is, according to CBC: “All part of a bigger puzzle that has to do with melting Arctic ice, extreme ocean temperatures, a travelling polar vortex and a weird, roller-coaster-shaped jet stream.” That’s all well and good. I was really in[…]

My toe is still healing and, for the most part, I am trying to keep off of it, so I didn’t have much weekend fun! Let’s go back to one of my favorite hiking adventures ever–in Oahu. I’ll preface this by saying that my husband and I were big fans of the television show “Lost”. You can read many of my rambling analyses on my Fickle Destiny blog (warning: I never proofread this, and the format sometimes is off). The title refers to Ben Linus, in the show, telling John Locke that destiny is a fickle bitch. Sometimes, in the current political climate, I feel that most deeply. We first visited Oahu in 2011 after the series ended. And we[…]