Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Past Dam Time

Hummm...well I have been attempting to come up with a fitting end of the year blog, but, nothing seems to be flowing along, so....I am wondering if maybe it is the new question that has been gumming up my grey matter.
  The link above is where the question arose, perhaps it is one that no one has thought of yet? All we hear about is how long a Dam's lifespan is, but..no one is saying what happens after the life is over. The folks in Jordan River are just finding out what is going to happen where they live. That Dam is 103, and..it is apparently not economical to fix it. In fact, it seems the only economical thing the government (Hydro) feels is suitable is to leave it alone. They know it poses a risk, if an earthquake (sorry Islanders, but the experts are all gungho this big one is coming your way)occurs, the dam will not withstand the shaking, and..it will breach, causing all the water to pour over the homes, and people in it's path. There is no set time for this to happen, but, apparently all those in charge, assume it will. 10 minutes to get the h-ll out, otherwise you're toasted.
  Thankfully the experts claim the two Dams in our area are earthquake secure. Thank goodness we can breath easy, knowing they have our butts covered. Myself, I am just a tad leery, can't quite believe much that those so-called experts are spewing. It was not so long ago the sinkhole appeared, and...I am positive the experts never planned for that....thing is still there...
  But, here is the question. the big Dam, WAC Bennet, is now 50 years old, they keep telling us the lifespan is 100 years. After 50 years the darn thing needs a massive overhaul that your Hydro rates are pouring steady amounts in to accomplish. This is 50 years. In 100 years, the thing will have reached it's lifespan, and, from what has occurred in 50 years, I can't imagine the costs to repair being economical, since it will be reaching the end of it's time. The smaller Dam, well, heck it's getting up in age, as well. Both these  Dams will reach their estimated old age about 2065, give or take a few years. When the Peace Canyon Dam reaches 50, how much is it going to cost, to perk it back up? Do you see where I am going? Mega Millions on WAC in the next few years, then it will be Peace Canyon's time, mega millions again, then of course we will be putting in Site C, so let's spend some mega Billions, in amongst the mega millions, and 50 years down the line..what are we going to hear? Well, it's not going to be us hearing, it will be our children and their children, will they be told that the people along the Peace will either have to get their butts out, or have 10 minutes if there is a breach, because...it is not economically feasible to put any more money into Dams that have reached the end of their lifespan.
  See, the thoughts for the future, seem to hover around the 100 year mark, nothing is said beyond that. Of course we don't know who will be in government at that time, cripes, we don't even know if there will be government. We keep hearing how all of these Dams will allow our children to dive head first into industry, with mega kilowatts and untold "affordable" electricity. No one is saying what they will have to do when we hit 125 years, or 150 years. I hold out hope there are still people living on this land, so.....will our government(Hydro) continue upkeep on the ancient Dams? Will those, 125 years from now, suddenly get word that the affordable electricity is  a thing of the past, and now no one will be able to afford it, because the sources in the Peace have  become a safety concern?
  I know earthquakes happened on Vancouver Island 103 years ago. I know there were likely a whole whack of experts involved in the Jordan River Project, folks who figured they knew it all. Well, perhaps we have evolved an inch or two along the path to understanding Nature, but....in truth, we can simply state the best and worst scenarios, and, even now, often the worst scenario goes far beyond what man can imagine. So...today, in 2014 , we can all sleep sound, safe in the knowledge that these two Dams will survive an earthquake. We can shake our heads at the conundrum the poor folks in Jordan River have found themselves placed in. But, still, I can find no answers to what is suppose to happen to the two present, and soon to be third, Dams on the Peace River when the 100 year magic number has been reached.
  I live within the shadow of two Dams, holding back an incredible amount of water. All about my town are large sirens, that are suppose to go off in case of a breach. In truth there may be an evacuation plan, but, all I know of this plan is I am to get in my car, and drive to high ground. I'm not even quite sure where that high ground is suppose to be. I have heard Hydro state they are not responsible to ensure those sirens are in working order, that is the town's responsibility. I don't know if all Hydro employees have a set plan they are handed out when they arrive here, but, as an ordinary person, I have never seen such a plan. Thankfully, as I stated, the experts assure us, we are secure. I am grateful it is 2014, and not 2100 as , it is pretty doubtful the experts will be stating security in that time period.
  Look to the future...that is not limited to 100 years..that goes on, into infinity, and beyond! Can Crusty think that far ahead? Perhaps infinity is something she just doesn't grasp, perhaps, she figures we will be inhabiting other planets by then, and the mess she is purposing can be left behind? I expect 103 years ago, the government didn't think about 2014, either!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Why I doth Protest

Hey...if the title is improper English, so be it...I have totally forgotten nouns, adverbs, adjectives etc..I just put down what sounds good to me. If it causes those smarter than myself pain...suck it up!I was the kid who wished they had a paper shredder in my home when report card time came around..I managed the 12 years expected, barely squeaked through them..so Grammar mistakes will occur!
  Anyhow..I digress. I admit, I have become a real mouthpiece...I have become so very invovled with the Site C project, and, a few others, in the past years. I argue with so many, because I am against this horror to nature, as I think of it. I hear young people screeching how it is going to bring so many good paying jobs, jobs that will allow them to provide for their children. I totally understand, yes, you will certainly be able to give your kids a wonderful life, with every toy they dream of, if, indeed you are one of the chosen to work this project. You will be set for life!!!
  As one who was never really set for life, raising kids, I admit, to not have to worry if you will have enough food in the cupboard for their next meal, will be awesome. There is nothing more difficult then having to struggle while trying to provide for your children, this I know for fact! But, at what price, folks?
  This morning I woke up in my house. I have 2 of my grandchildren sound asleep upstairs. My children have managed to make it to adulthood. They did not get everything they wanted growing up, they had to eat some pretty sorry meals, and although they may not remember, there were many times they slept in front of the kitchen stove with doorways blanketed off, so I could keep them warm. There were many times the word "No| was said when they requested things, because it was impossible to provide extra's. However, they seem to have survived, and they also are aware, there were others not near as fortunate as themselves. Their lives were not so bad, simply because they didn't get everything they wanted, as parents we managed to give them everything they needed.
  Now that I have done my "job" as a mother, I can relax, just a little, and look around. I can tell you, most every meal that was placed on our table came from the extraction of natural resources. I expect if you take a drive back to our roots, you will see a few bare patches in the forest, caused by a few of my Honey's pay cheques, while involved in logging. But...they are difficult to recognize now, decades have passed, and if the patches seem bare, they are not really, they are filled with trees, just not old growth. When my grandchildren are my age, those trees will indeed look much like they did before they were logged off. The mining jobs, well, most of those he worked as a |band-aid" at, and every one of those was a fly-in camp, so...chances of seeing what they look like now, are slim (unless we get in an aircraft). More recently meals were provided by oil and gas, or..yes, the dreaded coal, those fossil fuels that cause such grief. I admit, the areas we received pay from are pretty obvious in those cases. But, again, they are all some distance away, and....in time, nature can indeed step back in.By the time the grandkids are as old as their grandmother, it is doubtful these projects will be staring them in the face.
  Site C, well, sorry. I see the results of WAC Bennet Dam. I see the body of water that flowed over the lands that others held dear. I see the deadwood floating all about, making it less than appealing for boaters. I see the constant dust blowing along the banks, making the whole area look like some desert, a touch of wind, and clouds appear (and there is constant wind in this area). I have seen property that friends purchased, fall into the "lake" because those in the past did not see beyond their clocks. The Dam was built with only the consideration of the present. Oh, they will spew about allowing our province affordable Hydro, we all know this is no longer fact. The Hydro rates are rising ever higher, and now that after 50 years (not the 100 years government is throwing at us, right now) the Dam needs serious fixing, we have to find a way to pay for that, because the rates we pay now, just don't cut it. My question in this regard is...WhyTF did they not calculate necessary improvements from the beginning? Or did they? Perhaps the slush fund for upkeep was used for something else? Mega millions are now needed to keep the 50 year old dam running smoothly and safely. So..when they speak of a 100 year lifespan, they are not telling the whole story, you don't just build an earthen Dam, and then sit back and enjoy it for 100 years. This project will demand the mega millions needed  for upkeep, long before that time!
  People who lived in this area, before the WAC Bennet dam, are still alive today. They remember what the land looked like. They now have Great.great Grandchildren , and I imagine they haul out the pictures of what used to be, what would have belonged to their family, if this project had never happened. I imagine they walk places, and remember what once was, and will never be again. There is nothing I can say or do, to save the Williston area. A massive amount of forests, and valleys, that are gone forever. The stories of wildlife drowning in the lake, because one minute it was a migration route, and the next, it was filled with so much water, moose, Elk, deer, bears, all perished, filling the lake with bloated bodies, creating full time jobs for some to attempt to remove. The forests were planed for removal, but, it took too long, so instead the water rushed in, turning the whole body into a disgusting mess of decay, filling it with poison. Time was of the essence! The destruction caused by this Dam is still happening, 50 years later. It is impossible to predict what something this size will affect when it comes to Nature.
  Yes, I turn my lights on!! I play music, I watch TV!! If I had the resources, I would walk away from Hydro in a split second! I heat my water with natural gas, I warm my home with natural gas,and wood. I am not adverse to natural gas. I understand folks in the cities cook, and heat their homes with it as well. It is cheaper, and it's footprint is all over the province, much bigger in this area, but it is there. Our government is opening their arms to exporting this fuel, we are all being told that it is going to make us a wealthier place, and provide for our future. It is going to power homes in other countries, but...oh my. we simply can't use it for power here, no, no, it is not green enough!! Instead, we will insist all areas get blanketed in pipelines, and huge ships get loaded with this to ply our shorelines, in order to send it elsewhere. Plus, on top of that, we absolutely need to build another Dam, so we can have CLEAN GREEN energy!!
  Am I the only one that thinks this is lunacy? So, what we are going to do, is set pipelines up in absolutely every single area, we will ensure those pipelines will not be within the Flood zone, then we will drown an enormous area of land, outside of those pipelines, to provide energy to the area the energy that we ship to other countries is extracted. O.K. I might not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but...does this not seem excessive? Can't we use what is in the pipelines? It's there in abundance. Is it going to run out in 100 years? What if we don't export the amount we need? What if we make a deal with all of those countries that are laying these pipes all over our land, that we can use what we need, at a pretty decent price? What if we save the billions that this CLEAN GREEN dam is going to cost, and along with those billions we save a sh*tload of land?
  There are going to be some pretty good jobs coming out of the LNG projects, more than enough for all the Trades people excited for the Site C project. It is possible to make some regulations to allow Nature to have a foot hold when it comes to pipelines. It would ensure my Grandchldren have a source of energy when they get to be my age. It will ensure those children do not look upon a huge body of water than destroyed homes, farms, wildlife habitat, fish, and the way of life for so many. It will ensure that 50 years after the fact, suddenly land that was stated as stable, suddenly does not slough off into the water. It will ensure that my Grandchildren do not have to pay the price for the folly committed by my generation because someone could only see what was in it for their present benefit.
  We have time, we can step back and regroup. As FN are now saying, it is one or the other. How much will it cost us to remove our name from the Kyoto Accord that was signed, without consideration? How do we remove ourselves from such a hypocritical pile of sh*t? A paper that allows us to send off "dirty" energy to other countries, and insists we use different energy? Really people, this is what we are doing!! When our Grandchildren have to dig into their pockets to pay for a mega billion $ project, plus live their lives surrounded by pipelines, and a stinking useless body of mercury loaded body of water, who are they going to blame?
  I no longer have to worry about the survival of my children, my concern is now the survival of their children, and those to follow. I will not be here to protect them, all I can do is to try and ensure that the rest of the province takes the time to consider what they will be left with. It is time to stop being selfish, it is time to truly provide for the future, the very best we can. We regrow the forests, we cannot drain the lakes we make near as easily! We cannot destroy Nature completely and claim it is the only way. We know there are other ways, we just continue to use the almighty dollar as the excuse. If LNG is indeed good enough to sell, it is also good enough to use! One thing or the other, time for the "NO" word to be spoken!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Some of The Nuts on My Christmas Tree

 Yes, it is getting close. The hardest time of year, yet, also the very best. For the very first time in the history of "me", I am ready! Maybe there are a million things I have not gotten, or done, but, in my mind, I feel I can pretty much just sit back, and let it happen. O.K. truthfully, that is all anyone can ever do...but, most often things niggle in the back of my mind right up to the very last minute..I know so many who are totally stressed, as I type...but...either I have gotten to the point of life, that I have suddenly become super organized, or...perhaps the fact that I had to get everything done last month when my honey was out, has a lot to do with things. I have tried not to brag, and I totally understand what most of the rest of those I know are going through.
  What does happen to me at this time of year, is, I pull up the memories of Christmas past. Almost every one of those are like warm blankets. I admit, I have been told my memory is pretty decent, and for that I am grateful. I need to be able to find my way back to the Christmas's of the 1960's, because, they remain the true Spirit of Christmas in my heart.
  Those were amazing times. Times that a whole community came together. Folks who we never saw 364 days of the year, would suddenly appear at our doorstep. Another chair would be pulled into the livingroom, another drink would be handed out (often my brother or myself would be sent to mix one). The house was filled with laughter, and food. The fuzzy part of these memories, not quite sure where the heck Billy and I sat, because we certainly were not taking up room in the center of things. I do faintly remember these times as being open season on all the goodies in the fridge and cupboard for us. We could finish off cans of pop, used in the mixing of drinks..geez, what treasure to kids who seldom had luxuries like pop. Opened boxes of chocolates were free range, but we knew better than to take those my Dad preferred.
  We always had "old John Angus" for Christmas dinner, he would try very hard to stay sober, but, of course the Scotch flowed freely in the house Christmas day and night. My job was to call Granny and Granda in Scotland, both my parents would have a chat, and, as a child, I didn't think too much of what these calls meant. My mom would call her siblings, and there was some speaking of french that went on, so I expect she spoke to her mom. To me, as a child, I just thought the ability to speak to people so far away was amazing, but...I never truly understood the importance of the calls, because I was surrounded by my family, and that is all that mattered.
  Now I understand. My parents were no different than myself. Like my own parents, somehow, along the way, my Honey and I are the ones that ended up distanced from everyone else. Granted, neither of us have our parents alive today This will be the first year my honey does not get to give his Dad a call, and I know how very difficult that will be for him, as I still feel the urge to pick up the phone and call my Mom. Christmas is the most difficult time to be far from those other nuts on your tree. Hey, maybe it is because trees are a big part of the holidays?
  I have had to get accustomed to not having all my kids home for Christmas. My oldest is close by, but with 3 kids, and a busy Hockey schedule that this year, begins again the day after Christmas, we will have to do the phone business. A couple of years back, my son worked Christmas in camp, so we had our celebration early with him, and then again on the 25th (far too much turkey that year). This year, the youngest will not be home, for the first time in 22 years. Yep, that is going to seem strange, and again, another phone call.
  So, now I have finally understood the importance of so much I saw as a child. I understand why my parents adopted John Angus, he was an old Scottish fellow, who sometimes drank a great deal, but he was all alone, and far from his roots. Of course he acted like that didn't matter, but...I suspect deep down inside with all the talk I would hear about his homeland, he derived some benefit from being a part of our family celebrations. My Mom was a generous woman, she always stressed we think of others less fortunate, and she told of Christmas during the depression, when a single orange was a treat. I expect my Mother had many memories of this season that were not as warm and fuzzy as the ones she allowed me to collect.
  But all along, like myself, this was a day they more than likely missed their "other" families. Somehow, this single day, all of those connected to the tree, come to mind, and are dearly missed. Not just those who have passed away, but those who are not coming to the doorstep. Those from Christmas past.
  So, I will make my list, and try and check it twice..I really don't care if you have been naughty or nice, you are all the nuts on my Christmas Past tree, and each of you ALL, are oh so very special to me!
  Billy..you are #1 on the list, a memory of Bootsy, and hotwheels, in every memory of the Silver tree...Jody,  you were a part of those times we sat down to celebrate around Mom's table, and along with Kristopher , Terri-Anne and myself, we are the only ones left from those Christmas's past, and the very last with Mom, the one we put off till she came home.
  Cindy and Archie, a memory of a Christmas of anticipation, and fear that poor Chuck would have to take you out to Terrace, and along the way, help deliver Willy,LOL..I think he will be forever grateful things worked out the way they did.
  William,(oh so many memories,lol) Willy, Dilly and Karly, Dan, Loretta, Christie and Cori, Bob (not Rob)Terri-Anne still remembers that amazing talking Teddy Bear you gave her,Larry, Lisa, Tony Figaroni and Renee. Dear Aunty Rosie, who I have long forgiven for the slipper beatings, and who still brings a tear to my eye because she is the warm fuzzy blanket I have had the longest in my life.
  I suppose like my parents, I could pick up the phone to call all those who I miss at this time of year, but, that would probably take me into Boxing Day, and I am still pretty cheap, so I can't imagine the bill. You are the nuts on my tree, I may not always agree with you, you may not always like me, but, somehow, you all share the same Ghosts of my Christmas's past, and because of that, each and everyone one of you have become one of my warm fuzzy blankets.
  To those of my Christmas Present, don't get all hot and bothered...you are also nuts on my tree, but you are the ones close by..perhaps I could call you the "top nuts"? There are a huge amount of others who come to mind during this time, my dear friends (you know who you are, and I am not going to list you) David G, Caroline J, Walter S, Charlotte S, my children from other Mother's. Thank you all for adding your blankets. I should be the warmest person in the world with so many wonderful memories. I will think of all of you, during this season (and other times as well) and be so very grateful I have been truly blessed. I will make my own phonecalls, and remember, family may not be close, but they are always in one's heart.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Money Clock

And, so it begins...the threats of cost over-runs for the bloody Dam. Knew it was coming, one can read our government like a book of black comedy. I am appalled by how they work. It is so obvious what they are attempting...and it really doesn't take a brain wave to poke holes into this "new" piece of information.
  So...they made their big announcement, told the people of the province after much debate, between themselves and BC Hydro, they decided to go with the 7.9 Billion dollar Dam project. Thing is, after many questions over time from ordinary folks, and, the media, we were promised 7.9 billion, they had calculated for all unseen issues, no way was it going to cost more. Personally, as a tax payer, digging 7.9 billion out of the pockets of the people, along with the ever increasing costs to pay government, it was far too much. Days later, when they feel comfortable to place their command that it will be built, they add just a tiny tidbit of news...it seems they forgot to figure something in, I heard word that it was something like PST..but, geez, that can't be possible, right? Everything in this province has sales tax added to it..I assumed the government was exempt, but...maybe not completely,,,who knows. Anyhow, suddenly the project price goes up, a whole whack, to 8.77, but..Crusty assures us, that is the utmost, and, thankfully, SHE is going to keep watch on things, in fact, SHE stated that it might not cost quite that much, but...just in case..that is the amount. WTF????
  Now..well, they have found a way to add even more to that cost. Now they are forcing their hand, if we don't let them build next year, it is going to go on that magic "Money Clock", that clock that ticks, and adds cost every single set-back. Now our government is warning us, if legal matters that involve First Nations, and land owners drag this through the courts....it is going to cost us more.
  Who the hell are the people calculating for every possible set-back? The whole lot of them knew damn well that First Nations had court cases to attempt to get someone with common-sense to veto all of this. The experts knew that land owners had been battling them in court, and all of a sudden, out of the blue, we are threatened that it will go into an over-run if we do not follow the procedures within the set time-frame.
  It appears our government is warning First Nations and others that they had better pull their cases out of the courts, otherwise every other person in this province will have to dig some more money out of their pockets..days, weeks and months matter greatly with this set price. The freaking 7.9 Billion dollar price tag sat on this for years..so, either government lied to us, every time they insisted "the Price was right" or, they have no clue what the final price will be. I go with the first AND second option, these people have no clue, and...they don't care. They have manufactured the perfect excuse for the price of 8.77 to be fiction. They have the legal cases of those with every right in the world to expect their day in court, as a perfect reason to tell us it is going to cost far more.
  They all seem to be educated (Crusty and her minions) but I am not sure what system they attended, it definitely was not a modern system, nor was it what we know as a Canadian system. They were educated in a racist, black hole. They know exactly what they are doing, and it should be illegal! They are, with one single stroke of the pen, setting our world back to the days of the European settlers. They are taking every single promise made throughout history, and flushing it down the toilet, by telling those not involved with these court cases, they are going to have to pay more.
  I can easily put myself on the side of those sitting at home, not impacted by this, instead feeling our government is doing what desperately has to be done, to ensure they can keep their lights on, and they can have lots of big paying jobs, if those others just stop causing problems. OMGosh, what a nasty evil pile of worms our own "leaders" have thrown in the mix. To place blame on those doing their guaranteed legal given right, is absolutely disgusting. To take away the rights of every single Canadian, and yes, this is what they are doing, every person in this country that has the legal right to fight for what is theirs in a court of law, had best take heed. How possible will it be, for anyone of us to argue with our government, in a place that is suppose to be non-biased, a place that is suppose to only see the facts, and a place that offers justice, when the rest of those living in our world are told we are costing them money every minute we stand our ground?
 Despotism is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. That entity may be an individual, as in an autocracy, or it may be a group, as in an oligarchy.
  Sorry, but this seems to convey what has occurred with Crusty and her cronies. She is claiming absolute power. She refuses to follow the rules and regulations, she will not ensure promises are kept. She is blindly putting her head down, and pushing what she wants, through. She is pitting two sides together, making a terrible filthy mess, and she doesn't give a damn! All that matters is she wants a Dam, and she is damn well going to get it, no matter what rules they have to change. And...as far as the price tag promised, well, heck..that is already beyond the 8.77 billion, because of those damn troublesome legal cases!  
 Tick tock...hear that...price is going up!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


  As one who grew up in a town that lived because of mines and logging, I never considered myself  a Greenie. I understood, we ate, and stayed warm, because of natural resources. I had jobs, growing up, because miners were boring holes in a mountain to extract what the world needed. The difference, perhaps, was, that this mine was an hours drive away from town. I worked at that mine, surrounding the larger mine, were countless claims, small mines dotted the whole area. We had Tailings ponds, we had glory holes, we had abandoned mines, with enormous bunkhouses, and remnants of beautiful gardens. All of this, set in the most incredible sites, places that would take your breath away with their beauty. I spent many hours amongst these old mines, because I was able to get out into the back roads, tiny little roads with switchback after switchback, all gravel, and certainly not accessible to the average traveler. I never found it offensive, I found it fascinating , to imagine a whole village, plopped in the most out of the way spot, booming, and then just as suddenly, busting. In time, all the buildings would disappear, maybe a hiker might step on an old piece of wood, or come across a foundation in the middle of tall Fireweeds, but...scream Green? Never!! That, was the reminder of the beginning of wealth in the province of B.C., and most definitely the reminder of the hay days my home town experienced.
  I came to our present home with Oil and Gas. Yes, yet another natural resource. Times had changed, regulations were set in place, and companies followed them to the T. I sat in meetings, and I was the "bad guy" listening to others bemoan the fact that they didn't want their town to change. They wanted it left quiet, and wanted to spend their retirement in a town that stayed back in the 60's. These same people were largely those who had worked on the "big" dam. They made their tiny fortunes, and felt they had the right to close the door to anything else. They did NOT want outsiders.
  Well, today, oil and gas is certainly all about, far beyond anything I imagined, and...companies change almost daily, selling off massive rights, and in comes someone else with a different set of standards, and things get better, or..more often, things start to slip a bit, rules are tweaked, and the bottom dollar is in charge. Hey, chances are, someone will buy the rights next year, so, let's try and make it look appealing. There are a million more regulations set, but, everything moves so fast, no one is watching, and...now I am unsure I am comfortable with the escalation of all of this, I feel there is far too much, far too quickly, and that is when mistakes happen.
  However, those folks who screamed and hollered when we arrived, those folks who sat comfortably, with the pensions and savings they managed, when building a project that destroyed homes and forests, and left a footprint that was bigger than anything previous, now are faced with a repeat. Some of them still think they will get some more money, this time around, but, most suddenly understand, they are now faced with the fact that this repeat is going to destroy their worlds far more than oil and gas.
  Right now, where I live, we are inundated with footprints. The rest of the world is walking all over us, and, the ones with the giant feet, are our own people. I admit, growing up, footprints were not something I thought about, except in the muck or the snow. Today I understand a little about them, and I feel that the land can survive small ones, scattered about, hidden away down back roads, and far from habitation. However, the feet are becoming far too large, and they are not even looking where they step, in fact they don't care where! Goliath is poised to slam his foot down. His big print will be surrounded by tiny prints, and, of course the biggest one he left a generation before. The thing is, I understand, there are not a whole whack of folks living in his pathway, however, it is not a back road, it is not far from habitation, it is right in the middle of where people live.
  To see the footsteps, one is not going to have to head down the road less traveled, instead, they will only have to look out their window.
  So, because I don't think footsteps should be placed in my backyard, I have apparently become a Greenie. I am seen as one against progress, one against use of natural resources, one who does not want job opportunities. I am viewed as a hypocrite, because I have ate, and survived for my lifetime, because of industry, and now I want to stop others from surviving. Not so!!
  I firmly support the use of natural resources. I am one of those who actually is not opposed to "clear cutting". Yep...Oh, I understand it is not pretty, but, guess what, someday,in the future, those trees will grow back, the cut will start with berry bushes, and the moose will eat, then deciduous trees will pop up, and over time, the coniferous trees will return. There is a cycle. Mining, hey, government regulations state sites must be returned to nature, and it is possible to make a pretty decent attempt to cover enough to allow Mother Nature a chance to move back. Same with oil and gas, unless it runs rampant, and, this is what appears to be happening..however, even with this, the footprints could possibly be smudged.
  However, the giant footprint, the one I am hollering about, will be filled with water. It will be pretty impossible to erase. It is not something once it is done, people will see it was a mistake, and try to take it back. No one will wander through Fireweeds and bang their toe against a rotten old board, or trip into a hole. Once this is set in place, there is no going back, there is no "Oops, didn't see that possibility.Let's fix it". When calculations are off almost 1 billion dollars after assurances everything has been checked and re-checked, one has to wonder what else is off. One has to wonder why the folks who have been allowed to investigate everything else, suddenly are not allowed to have a look at this. The bells have been ringing and the noise is deafening, but, no one is listening. Does no one care? Is it only us lonely Greenies?

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

No Surprise

Well, Crusty's announcement is over and done with. No surprise, there. As I stated, it's a done deal in her back room. She certainly must swallow, because, there is nothing on her chin!! Ooops..was that nasty? Well, let me just go with the attitude of our Premier...too bad, so sad. That ignorant b*tch is a bully. One could certainly tell she had her head down, and was going to barrel through, without anyone stopping her. Crusty Clark Dam is the last thing that b*tch sees before she closes her eyes. Oh my goodness, what a feather in her cap...just like WAC Bennet, her name will remain long after she is gone, sucking more money out of the pockets of British Columbians, it will be like she is with us forever...and...she will be!
  She went on about affordable Hydro, how we have the 3rd cheapest in North America..yippeee...the damn corporation belongs to us, it should be the cheapest!!! Then how clean and sustainable it is...But....here's the first kicker. So, I listened for months how all the number crunchers had worked very hard, and were set with the amount this project would cost, including all monies spent up to the date construction began. That number, over and over, was 7.9 Billion. Yesterday Bill Bennet let slip..it might be a tad closer to 8...even 8.5. Well, surprise!!! Today, ol' Crusty spewed out another number, this one was 8.77 Billion. Geez, folks, it has gone up almost 1 billion dollars in a matter of a couple of days, do you really think 8.77 is going to be the last one we hear?
  She had the balls to go on about our incredible Education system. WTF??? The government is snipping away at funding on a daily basis. She went on about training those in the province to do the jobs on this project. WTF again??? Sorry, our little college in the next community got large chunks cut in the trades funding, so...how incredible is our education system? She is a basket full of inconsistencies.
  The smilefest went on, as Bennet spoke, then the new poster girl for Hydro in her fashionable outfit, and covergirl face, spoke, of how wonderful it is to be in her position at this time. Cripes, the money that broad is getting, it would be wonderful to be in that position at any time!! Crusty is pleased, she is going to make sure she goes "down" in history.Then they allow some questions,likely not expecting many because the seats are occupied by invited guests.
  The most disgusting bile somehow vomited forth from Crusty's mouth. Bile that was rancid green, bile that smelled so bad, just hearing it, made my stomach turn. Vaughn Palmer asked her the question..the question regarding the non-mitigation issues regarding First Nations. The reply that came from this woman shocked the sh*t out of me. This woman who is suppose to be a leader, a woman who is suppose to follow specific guidelines, a woman who states she wants to do what is right. This woman opened her gob, and stated that this project is going to benefit so many. That was pretty much it...so, I am of course simply assuming, when I feel what she said was "too bad..so sad" more people would benefit, so .....it's a shame someone loses out, but...suck it up!! A question like that, deserves far more than a few words, stating how many will benefit. What she is doing, and, again, shame on her, is stirring the race card. Her buddy Stephan does it, and she definitely learned from the master.
  So...B.C. for those in Vancouver who are going to benefit from this, take heed, the price that was paid for your "affordable, two tier(based on the average city user)electricity" was certainly not paid by you. Our Premier feels that for the good of those elsewhere, First Nations, Farmers, and landowners in the Peace Valley can simply pay the price for you. That must make you feel special. Your First Nations are given rights, only recently, but...those rights just don't make it this far north. Those rights were given just for specific Aboriginals, see...Crusty only cares about sh*t in her area, the rest of the Province, Be Damed!!
  Myself, well, I know there are lawsuits, I know First Nations will fight for what they are suppose to have rights to. These court cases will perhaps, and I say perhaps, because all along, even though this had not got the green light, bids were accepted, paperwork was filed to cover the 90 days, and come January the beginning projects will commence, make some difference. It is like 2 separate worlds, the government ignoring the rules, and barreling along, citizens of the province oblivious to the blatant disregard of procedures, and those who have had their rights ripped away, still chipping in the legal system, hoping against hope. Foolish people, you are doing what is right, what is law, as your government skips along making sure Crusty gets her namesake. I am broken. I see a world where there are no rules, but those of the ones at the top. I see a province, no a whole country, dissolving in front of my eyes, a place where rules change daily, and promises mean nothing. I am so very sad, and so very frightened...this is NOT my Canada!!!
   Crusty Clark, you are a disgrace, a lying, sack of excrement, and very soon those flies are going to start landing on you..hope you got that Crusty Clark Dam sign made up, because you will not be in office when the people of B.C. get the bill for your massive "Fast Ferry".

Announcement Today

Well, it seems today is to be the day, I find out what life has in store for me. Oh...no, it is not results from the medical field, nor is it a future job..it is..pretty much what others have decided I will have to do.
  That, in itself, is very difficult. It seems this whole year has been filled with stuff created by others, which affected me greatly. Things that I could not control, in the smallest way. As someone who has spent all of my adult life, being in control, able to either reap the praise of a decision, or ...more often, I suppose, take the blame, this year has seen someone else driving my road, for me.
  Today, the idiots who are in charge of this province, will decide whether the people who pay their wages, will have to suck up a 7.5 billion dollar project. When I say suck up, I mean just that. But, as everyone who has been impacted by this whole Site C business, we are now hearing, that amount given, that amount they stood by throughout the whole public hearing farce, and in every newspaper article, just might....be a little off. Hellooo..really???? Could it be, because, we all know what the decision Crusty's government is going to make is, they are trying to cover their asses for the future? I tried to warn any who took the time to read my rantings, the cost of this project is going to far surpass that magic amount all the accountants, engineers, and planners calculated. The cost of this project is going to be staggering. The promise of affordable Hydro for those in B.C. because of Site C, is at best, nothing but a bad joke. I do not have to delve into the physic realm to promise, you will be paying dearly for this blunder.
  Now...there will be some who don't care what the costs of future electricity is. They will be those who make their fortunes during the construction of this massive mistake. Oh..there are quite a few of those folks waiting patiently, knowing our government has already promised them their place in the sun. Many more from Vancouver and elsewhere, are already planning where to put the wads of cash they are to get from this. That is what happens.
  Hick towns have no place in the future of Crusty. We are nothing but bother to her. We sit right in the area that the center of her universe expects to get the treasure that will fill her coffers. We are just like the homeless on the streets of Vancouver during the Winter Olympics. We need to be cleared off, so the area can be utilized properly, to ensure it is more appealing to the masses, who bring the cash. We are a small group, therefore we are not heard. The larger groups, well, they don't rock the boat, because..this is not in their backyard, and if they don't agree to this, maybe something might just happen where they have chosen to make their homes. Best just scream and holler about an underground pipeline, get the media involved in that, because, look at the amount of folks affected! The lost of a valley (O.K. fine, as you so often tell us, it is not the whole valley underwater) really never caused near the uproar the pipeline has. Because, again, to the masses, so far away, it may pull at a heart string or two, but, heck, thank goodness it is not going to affect a single soul in the city. Silly people!! You will be affected, when you start paying for the mess.
  Here in the Peace River Valley, we will pay the ultimate price. Some will be displaced, some will lose their lifetime of work, and that of generations before them. We will lose land, we will lose access , we will lose quality of life, we will truly lose the world as we see it now. However, we will also have the sheer pleasure of paying for all of this, as well. Imagine that, imagine having to hand your share of payment over to Kinder Morgan, so they can put that pipeline in your area, and kick you out of your house. Imagine having to leave your family home, and then, dig into your pocket to pay the person who has kicked you out. You will get to pay that price for the rest of your days, the privilege of losing all you have worked for, with a bill each month(O.K. every second month). Why will we have to pay? Because this is NOT needed. This project has been in the works ever since Gordo flew up to our town, and made his big announcement. Millions have been spent already. Hundred of millions! Those who do not live here, perhaps are oblivious to the money that has been handed out, just to work away at this behind the scene. Those of us watching, know, when Crusty gives the numbers, if she in fact allows the people of the Province to know what she has spent up to this moment, it will be shocking. We know, deep down inside, we will get the GST story. We will be told that they have spent so much, that if they were to stop it now, as tax payers, we would be liable to pay back all that money, and...the only way they can get that back will be to up the Hydro rates, probably up something else along with it, because..it is a huge amount of money.
  Those of us who have been keeping track, asked if the money spent so far is included in the 7.5 billion dollar amount. Apparently, these costs were calculated into it. Of course we were never really given an amount, because they just didn't have those numbers on them, but all those studies, all those reports, all those consultant firms, all that helicopter time, and companies brought in to drill holes to check on slope stabilization, and their room and board. All the reports on the highway planing, and Bat studies, and all the traveling to the consultation meetings, and then the big farce with the Joint Review Panel. These costs are extreme, and they are all costs that have been done long before government decided yes or no on a 7.5 billion dollar project. Yep, do you really think they are going to say NO? Do you really think the people of this province are going to accept a huge bill from Hydro because a project is a no go? Nope..best laid plans of Crusty, do the dirty deed long enough, behind closed doors, to make the majority feel things might as well proceed, because we are already too far into the red, we might as well get something for it, instead of paying for nothing.
  So, as I stated, the massive 7.5 billion dollar amount hat has been shoved down our throats all this time, as set in stone, is now quivering. 8. some is now spoken aloud. That is just the beginning. Realistically, folks, sniff 10 billion, because..that is more likely closer to the truth. 10 billion dollars for a government who just set the tax for LNG at an obscene low amount, a government that is selling out everything that made this province Super Natural. A province that appears to be opening up tax loopholes, environmental loopholes, foreign worker loopholes, all to appeal to other countries, and slowly increasing the costs to those who actually live and pay taxes here. Start saving your pennies (even though they are pretty much useless) because today, when Crusty tells us what HER plans are, you are going to pay through the nose!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

An Apple a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away

 I am suppose to be outside, loading up wood, so I am stocked for the next few days, but...I received a link earlier from a friend, and..it bothered me enough to open up the vents.
  As most know by now, I am Christian, I was baptised and confirmed in the same little Anglican Church I went to Sunday School in, for years. I spent many years, as a young child, following our "foster child" in Korea..yes, when I was young, that is where children needed help. I can't remember the child's name or sex, but, we would communicate by letters, and our Sunday school collection helped fund the education of this child. I remember singing the song,"Jesus loves the little children" and we would get very loud when we sang out all the colours of the world, because, we knew, not all were the lily white we were, because....hey, there was that Korean child, who was part of our group, and Jesus loved that child, just as much as us.Really, perhaps we were not a diverse group, but, we were taught that everyone was precious, no matter who they were.
  However, I have decided that there are 3 main reasons the world has lost the ability to be good, those reasons are..religion, politics, and greed. Now, sadly, often those 3 things are clumped into one. I did not grow up, understanding that religion was a mega profit business.In fact, I remember reading how Jesus actually got very angry once, when business was going on, around the church, on a Sunday. Now, I admit to being a Sunday consumer, it is convenient, and...I also work that day, not because I get paid more to work on the day of rest, but because I work odd schedules. I do NOT profit from my greed of working this day, and I do not do it, because it is a day I can make more. The problem is, religions have always been out for the cash cow. Many seem to think they have more power (and they do) when they have huge cash flows, based on who they claim to worship. They strive to shove their beliefs down the throats of all, and anyone not conforming to their ideals, is an enemy, not worth living. Yes, I understand, we see ISIS, and those in the East, as terrorists, and..they are. But, the facts are,they are no different that Catholics, Baptists, or yes, Anglicans...they have skewed their religions to suit their own personal agendas. They have read books, written by  humans, who, no matter what, have placed their own words down on paper, or birch bark, or rock walls, and tweaked it to what THEY feel.
  Almost every single religion began with some form of the "Golden Rule". I expect that rule is Golden, because it is worth more than anything else. Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself. Now, I certainly don't follow this rule, all the time, when I don't, I damn well know I am doing something wrong. But, I believe if I could manage to do this, and 90% of the rest of the world followed this rule, all the horrors would diminish, starvation, cruelty, war, would disappear. Every last one of these has a basis in religion. It has been the Church that has caused more wars, famines, and atrocities than anything else. Of course, politics is often blamed, but..dig deep enough and you will find religion.
  I, personally accept most other beliefs. Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Mormonism, Muslims, I accept them all, because the basis of each, is Peace, and understanding. They all began with a human, perhaps not like us, but placed on Earth for us to learn from. These "people" all appear to have had a love for others, and the wonders of the world. In my religion, evil came as a serpent, that offered the one and only thing not allowed, an apple. Now, we read how once this apple was taken, all that was perfect, became soiled. Darn that Eve, eating an apple and closing the Garden of Eden forever.
  Well, perhaps way back then, it really was an apple, however, today, it is the almighty dollar. The apple was the beginning of Greed, the serpent was (in my personal opinion) the first politician. See, my interpretation, I wasn't there, I don't know all the facts, just what I read! But, I do know, if God IS Good, what so many Christians are using his name as the right to abuse a single group of humans, because they are not quite the same as themselves, is NOT what we were placed on this earth to do.
  The Bible, the Qur'an, Vedas, Taimud, The Book of Mormon, all of them,written by humans, and all of them open to misinterpretation. Not a single one of these condone killing, life is, and should always remain, a precious gift. Did Buddha go around telling his followers to kill everyone else that didn't join up? Did John Smith demand his people to destroy non-Mormons? Yes, I accept, the Bible is full of horrors, but, again, written by human perspective. How could a God, who made a world that was filled with peace, and beauty, suddenly change his mind, and decide he would rather his followers set about destroying his gift? How could an entity create, only to command self implosion?
  My take is, all through time, there have been those evil serpents. They dress as Holy people, they dress as world leaders, but, they have one goal in mind, and that is the Apple. 
  I have to wonder, do these Apple seekers, feel they are special? Do they somehow think that their God's have selected them to be the only ones allowed the forbidden fruit? Hah! As I write that, I shake my head..see, what set me off, was a ruling in the United States of America, in the State of Michigan, that is geared to allow medical workers to deny assistance to anyone who they feel violates their religious belief. It is pretty much a sugar coated rule that will make it acceptable NOT to provide care to Homosexuals. Cripes, those at the base of this, are not even attempting to cover up their reasoning. Apparently Gay folks are NOT allowed to be around the forbidden fruit (see what made me shake my head, please don't take this as offensive).
  Honest to goodness, when I think the world has taken a few steps towards the light, it suddenly swerves off into the darkness. We have taken such a huge turn into Hell, all because of religion and Politics, and Greed. Do we not know, the God of Christianity, sent his son to teach us, love? I don't remember too many stories that spoke of a specific group, that through the love they felt for another human, should be punished, and brushed aside...
  See, years ago, a hospital ran by the Church, was told that in order to remain operating, they had to perform abortions, now they refused,because of their belief, and lo and behold, they were closed. I had issue with that, because, abortions are a personal choice, and..there were other hospitals that would perform them. However, the reverse in this instance, is incredible. Are we soon to have to wear a tag listing our religion, our sexual preference, our heritage, and hope that if we need life saving medical attention, we happen to end up with the right surgeon? I am very afraid! We are descending into a world filled with inhumanity. It is no longer those Terrorist from far away we must be afraid of, it is the Apple pickers in charge of running our own countries.
  BTW..This ruling has not been put in place, yet. However, like many other rulings, and by-laws etc. loopholes are opened up. Problems arise, because people again, read what they choose, and interpret things that are not black and white, finding at least 50 shades of grey. This is just one of those grey possibilities.

Only 10 More Days!!!

  This morning, I decided that there is a very good reason I hate winter! It takes up too much time! Because I am getting older, I can't afford to waste time, therefore, Winter is screwing me out of "life"time.
  Growing up in a community that would receive the Guinness World record snow falls, I can't remember hating the season. Back in the "old" days shoveling snow, usually meant money. Money is good! I had to shovel at home for free, but there were always some jobs, even..the very best shoveling job, the school roof, that one could get a nice clump of change from. Shoveling the school roof was a two-fold bargain, first, no school, second, getting good money to spend time with friends saving the school from collapse. Geez, we were pretty damn important, without our hard work, the whole building would be destroyed,,,oh for goodness sakes..were we idiots? If none of us had been so desperate for money, the school would be buried under a mountain of snow, and we would have all be sleeping in the whole winter! I suppose that is silly, they would have found someone else, but, we still felt pretty important! Another job we had, was shoveling the snow away from the house windows, so that there would be some light in the house.Most homes had peaked metal roofs, with a four foot snowfall over night, then a few days of rain, the snow would start to slide. Laying in bed, in the silence of a tiny town, all noise seemed loud, and the snow inching it's way down the roof, was a common sound in the dark. Sometimes you would listen and hear it finally |give" as it slid off, but most of the time it was just the "ounching" as it moved ever so slowly. At some point all of that snow would come off, and because there would be another 4-5 feet on the ground, it would sort of hang in the air along side of the house walls,making each home a tunnel. That would be when my Mom would send us out to clear the windows. Now, one trick I was taught, never clear the snow from around the bottom of the house. That was insulation. The snow had to be carefully moved away from the house, and...one had to watch that they did not break the stuff (very heavy, wet snow) so it slid and hit the window. After this job was done, we could enjoy day-light indoors until the next big dump. As children, we would constantly be soaking wet in winter. My feet would be prunes from December on. My winter boots were never dry, always a plastic bag inside, to allow me a few moments of dry socks, to begin. We would be bundled up in snow pants, and jackets and mittens. Wool mittens..ah..they were nice, but...our snow was just not the type for woolen mittens. The stuff was very wet, perfect for snow balls, and snowmen, but, within a short period, those mittens would weigh 5 pounds a piece soaking wet, and off they would come, bare hands were the "norm". Because of the large amounts of snow, it wasn't just our hands and feet that got soaked, we would be wringing wet right up to our armpits. But....never, ever cold!
  Back in the day, I always had a job of some sorts. I was lucky enough to be able to purchase an awesome snowmobile. I remember it vividly, it was such a pretty blue, and the name of the machine was |Scorpion". Now this was a brand new company, a couple of the guys I hung out with bought the bigger machines, I got myself the "girlie" sized one. This machine allowed me some of the most incredible times in my memories. It also...now I bet lots of you folks will wish you lived back in these times..allowed me to drive to work. Yep, snowmobiling on the roads in my home town was legal. I would get up, get dressed in my CIBC burgundy pant suit, pull my snowmobile suit on over top, fire up the Scorpion, and whip on down to the bank, where I parked on the sidewalk, and spent my day with my old fashioned posting machine. All day, I would know that when work was done, I could rush out, jump on my beloved machine, and head over to the bar for a couple of drinks, and then home to change, only to run back out, and spend hours in the pitch dark, racing about back roads with a bunch of friends, and then..maybe another few drinks before calling it a night. That machine took me on to Glaciers, and snow slides, and behind mountains,on top of mountains,places no one could ever get to in the summer, it was a time of total awesome! The sights I was privy to on this machine were unforgettable. The best part, spending time with a group of friends that were just as thrilled to do the same thing. I have the pictures which of course were taken back in the 70's so not near as crystal clear as photos now, but..each one can take me back to a special time, one that was filled with laughter, and unforgettable characters.
  Now, well, I do have to shovel. I have to shovel when the highways decides to blade the road in front of my house,pushing 1/2 a block of ice and snow into my driveway, usually just before I arrive home at lunch.My honey saw fit to buy me a snowblower,this year, to assist in snow removal, however,the machine does not like to go through the large clumps of frozen crap that is piled at the entrance of the driveway. My windows do not get covered with large dumps of snow, but..I have two decks now that must be cleared off, when the sh*t becomes too heavy. The main issue, is the flipping cold! Now, growing up, we got tons of snow, but, it was only cold (and by that, just into the minuses) for a few days. Here, it can be -30, and.....it is snowing!!!WTF????? Hey, my boots are never really wet, because I can't allow that, I would get frost bite. I have had my ears burnt in the middle of winter, trying to shovel my driveway. Not sunburnt, burnt by the cold and the wind. My feet are never prunes, nope, instead they are dried cracked appendages, that sting and bleed. My hands are like brillo pads, try putting a sheet of fabric softener in the garbage..hah!! the thing will not come off my hand, worse if I step on it in the laundry room, with bare feet, it will stay on my foot until I sit down and wrench it off. I hate fabric softener sheets!!
 Winter is also a time to attempt to conserve on utility bills. As a young child, we had a tiny oil stove in the dining room that was what kept us warm through the winter. I guess all that snow, insulated the house, because I can't remember waking up freezing. However, here..Hah! We would have to live in one bedroom to survive with that tiny stove. Each gas bill will arrive, and throw me into shock. Yes, we are able to claim 50% of the Northern living allowance on our income tax, however, this does not come anywhere near close to compensating for the extreme costs of winter life here. Then the Hydro bill, 1/3 of that cost will be in the first "tier" which is apparently the average usage, and 2/3's of course in the far more expensive second "tier". Not sure why this corporation does not comprehend that every single person living in this area is always into the second tier, because...it is freaking cold, and dark for the majority of our winter. We are not wasting electricity, we are simply surviving. So....to help offset the gas bill, and to protect ourselves in case of power outages, the woodstove becomes a part of my winter. I have a love hate relationship with this "appliance". The wood room is the only place I feel warm. The heat that comes out of the stove is capable of warming my old bones. Wood stoves are dirty. It originally was set up in my livingroom, but the constant packing in of wood, with bark and splinters dropping all about, drove me batty, Although it was properly placed on a tiled area, the rest of the room was carpet. Now..no matter how careful one was, sometimes when you went to fill the thing, a chunk of wood would "pop" sending an ember traveling a great enough distance, it landed in the carpet. Now, that carpet is gone, but, the wood stove has been moved to the basement, to save on mess, and the continual ash issue. When I get out of bed, at what I used to consider an ungodly hour (5:30-6AM) I immediately let one dog out on the run (often having to rush out in my P.J's because the run is tangled on a tree) and then make my way down to the basement, to fill up the stove. Then back up (often leaving the stove damper open, because there are only a few embers to catch the wood on fire) again, rushing outside to untangle the outside dog, letting them in, and hooking up the second. Then setting the Tassimo up for a cup of coffee, and back down to the basement, hoping the fire caught. Upstairs again, second dog tangled, out into the -frigid, likely swearing, because by now I have snow in my shoes, and I am still barefoot. Then I can sit.
  So, today, my second day off, it is clear I must spend time with the snow blower (not really comfortable with the thing yet) and.....an hour or so, hauling wheel barrow loads of wood into the basement. Yep, so there, 4 hours of my day spent dealing with winter! I am getting old, I want to use my time to relax a little, to read, to bake, to simply enjoy life. 4 hours X's 6 months, give or take a few days, is an awful lot of time (not good in math, therefore I will not calculate, and also, I am sure the number would give me chills) and I am beginning to think I am too old for this!
  I am trying to be positive, December 21st, is coming. I love that date, more than any other. It is the winter turnaround. Unless you have lived most of your life in the north, you likely don't even consider this date, but for folks like me, this is a great day. December 21st is the shortest day. All this time daylight has been becoming less and less, this morning at 8:30, still pitch black. However on December the 22nd, we begin our ascent into longer days, it is the moment we have survived the darkness, and days become longer. I have been around long enough, I know it is only moments longer, but...this is what I grasp onto to allow me hope. Only 10 more days, and we head into summer.