I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I want to read this book.

Found it on a website owned by a man who has been traveling for 12 years through 88 countries. He makes money to travel through his blog and newsletters. I want to know how to do that. He doesn't stay anywhere for more than $200 a month for the room and he says anyone who pays more than that is being ripped off. He has a lot of information on his site.

I wish I could find someone my age who was as adventurous as I feel and would give up this ho-hum life for a few months and come see some of the world with me. I think it would be amazing. And time is running out. We only get so long on this planet.

But first, how to support it while on the road? Hmmmm....

Monday, June 28, 2010


Without a car and raining like it's March outside, I find a book on the ottoman in the living room, ask if anyone is currently reading it, no one is, so I abscond with it. It's that sort of day.

On the last two shows I have worked on, cast have been reading Stieg Larsson's books. This is the first in the trilogy; The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It takes a bit for me to get into it, but once I do, I can't put it down. With a few breaks to rest my eyes, and check my emails and FaceBook, I finish it in a day. Now I want the second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Someone in the house is going to Costco today so I ask her to see if they have it there. She returns a few hours later holding the book high.

I am now 100 pages into it and it moves faster than the first book and is excellent.

Last night, shortly after finishing the first book, I checked to see if the movie was still in the theaters. It's not so I downloaded it. It had terrible subtitles. Even when the dialogue was in English, they still put up subtitles and got it wrong. But it was good enough to make out what was being said. So much of what was in the book was left out of the movie. If the author was still alive, I don't think he'd have been too happy. I wouldn't have been. So for this reason, I recommend you watch the movie before reading the book. But once you've watched it, don't think you don't need to read it because you do. It's a gripping story; far more than in the movie.

Actually, come to think of it, the movie will give away the ending so perhaps you should read the book and skip the movie.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


...when we zoom along at 60kph.

I took the little Walnut Grove bus from Fort Langley, where I live, into WG to cancel my car insurance, deposit my cheque, and pick up a few groceries. I got off at the stop right beside the bank, which is at the farthest point from Fort Langley, and then walked back the length of 88th Avenue to the plaza where Save on Foods is to do the rest. It took me about 20 minutes to walk that far. Probably because I kept stopping to take pictures of the flowers along the way that I never really notice when speeding by in my car. Well.. that's not exactly true. I am very aware of the beauty around me and love it when the cherry blossoms that line the street are in full blossom, and the heavy swags of Montana Rubens clematis over each gateway of a row of townhouses are in full bloom. But those are long finished, and in their place are these lovely flowers which, although I may notice the splash of color, I definitely miss the detail of.

(You can click on the picture for a larger version)

88th Avenue, Walnut Grove


Holly Berries

Jackmani Clematis

More Pink Roses

Blackberry Blossoms

Morning Glory

Ravine Over the Safety Rail

Tiny White Roses and Ivy At the Curb

MORE Roses

MORE White Roses

Pink and White Roses

Red Roses

No Idea (what the bush in the front is called but I love the contrast with the cedar in behind)

White Hydrangea

White Hydrangea

Pink Yarrow

And.... not so pretty...

Poor Little Mole

I need to go walking more often.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I just found something on YouTube tonight and had to share.

I drove this road almost every day we were on Tortola last February. It was the road from Long Bay Resort to the house, Elm Villa, that I rented. At the end of the video you can see a fork in the road. Our driveway was another 100 yards or so up on the right. If you took the fork to the left, you went down a huge hill to Cane Garden Bay.

I drove this route back from the wedding at NIGHT. TWICE. Because we left without Ashleigh's dress and so Shonah and I went back for it.

Great memories. Crazy hills! You can read about my first attempt at driving Tortola here. It continues here.

Me Taking a Hair-Pin Turn on Tortola

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Well it finally did it. My van died its last death yesterday.

I had a busy day planned. Up to Lynn Valley in North Vancouver for tea with an industry friend. After that, down to the production office to pick up my cheque for two of the days I did makeup, then meet Tana on Commercial Drive for a bite to eat.

All was going fine until the last hill up to Lynn Valley. The van wouldn't change into third gear. It did that the other day, while I was stop and go on the freeway for half an hour, but it would eventually clunk into third. Now it won't change. I make it to the house and forget about it while I enjoy a lovely two hours sipping tea and having a good yak. My friend shows me around her place, which is gorgeous and is also a B&B. You can see the house here.

It's worth mentioning that, while I am at my friends house, I get a call from the PM I worked with on Blood Ties and she is looking for a script supervisor for the second season of The Troop. She "wants to throw my hat in the ring" and I told her I would love that. So here's hoping I get it because it's union work from July to October. Which I could use because....

When I get into the van, I hope it will behave itself again for me but it isn't to be. Fortunately, the trip back as far as the bridge to Vancouver is all down-hill so I have almost no issues, other than through one traffic light where the road is flat for a bit before it continues down-hill. Once I get to the bottom, I don't dare go straight to the bridge, which is pretty much right there, as it's a hill to get on it and then up the first half of it. So I drive along some back roads to see if I can get it to change into third if I get up some speed. No such luck. After 15 minutes or so of trying I park the car and wonder where there might be a car repair shop. Not that I am getting this fixed, it would cost way more than the van is worth, but just to have them check the transmission fluid and make sure that isn't all it is. As I look around I realize I am parked across the street from a tiny shop that advertises tires. I had passed it earlier but now, reading the sign again, I see that they also do repairs. So I walk over and talk to the guy there but he barely speaks English and isn't the owner and doesn't have much of a clue. It takes me 5 minutes to try to get him to understand I wasn't manually trying to shift the gears, it's an automatic. I finally give up and go back to the van. I call my daughter, who lives close by, and she is just sitting down for a pedicure. She says she will come and get me as soon as she is done. I have a good book and my trusty water bottle so am happy to wait in the sunshine.

I think that perhaps I should call BCAA and see if they tow to a junkyard. Just as I am thinking about it... a BCAA tow truck pulls up beside me with a car for the little shop! Wow! So, once he has that car off the truck, I ask him about mine. He checks the transmission fluid and it is fine and he declares it a big expensive problem. I ask about towing it and he says they don't tow to junkyards. He says that it will be worth about $200 in scrap and cost me over $100 to have it towed to one. Bah! Then he goes to his truck and comes back with a name and number on a piece of paper. He hands it to me and says it's his name and that, if I want, he will take it off my hands and tow it away. I say that would be great. He leaves saying to give him a call if I decide to take him up on it. I go over to the shop and ask to borrow a wrench so I can take the plates off and the fellow comes over and does it for me. As he's working he asks what I am doing with the van and I tell him. He walks around it and looks under the hood. I start it for him so he can see that the engine runs pretty good. Apparently it's leaking some oil but I tell him it can't be much because I never have to put in more in between oil changes. He says his boss might want the van but that he's not in until tomorrow. I tell him to give him a call then, because I won't be here tomorrow. He walks off and I start gathering the odds and ends I have in the van and then sit and read.

As I wait, the guy from the shop comes over with his phone and says his boss wants to talk to me. I take the phone and he says that he is interested in buying it for $200 but he can't come and look at it until tomorrow. I tell him that I live in Langley and am now without a vehicle so I won't be back tomorrow. If he wants it, it has to be now or never because I have an arrangement to have it towed away. I give the phone back to the tire guy and he talks in some language I don't recognize and then walks off. And that seems to be that.

Ashleigh arrives eventually and I pile my bits and myself into her car and call the guy to tell him he can come and get the van. I leave the key in the ash tray and drive off without a backwards glance. It was nothing but trouble since the day I bought it and I am not sorry to see it go. I paid $500 for it and put $800 into repairs. So thirteen hundred for 7 months of car use isn't too bad, considering I paid $700 for three weeks car rental, albeit with a lot less stress while driving it. But now I am without wheels. I have no way to buy another one at the moment. And I can't work without a car. So, as I waited yesterday, I talked to God and told him... I can't do anything about this so I am looking forward to seeing what you will do for me. Because anything that happens to help me out with this won't be because of me. I have no options. And, I am very strangely unperturbed. I am looking forward to seeing how it works out. Because if I have learned anything in this past year or so, it always works out. It may not be how you'd expect it to look like, or your choice of solutions... but it ALWAYS works out. If it didn't, I'd be a bag lady by now.

After I spent another few lovely hours with Tana on a deck in the sunshine at a restaurant on Commercial Drive, I walked to the SkyTrain just up the road and bought my ticket at precisely 8:12 pm. After a long and somewhat anxious wait at the infamous Surrey Central Station for a bus, I didn't get into Langley until 11:00 pm and by then, the small bus into Walnut Grove was no longer running. These stupid politicians and tree huggers, who constantly harp about those of us in the suburbs polluting the earth with our cars and how we should be using transit, should give it a go for a few weeks. See if they like taking three hours to do by transit what they can do in 30 minutes by car, at that time of day. One could have driven to Kelowna in the time it took me to travel home last night. What a joke.

Oh, and when I get home I realize I left my water bottle (a new one because my other one got knocked to the floor at work and the nozzle broke) at the restaurant. I am more upset about that than I am the van!


Here's the trailer for a REALLY FUN shoot I worked on last year. I was promised a copy of the finished movie and I am really hoping I get it.


Monday, June 21, 2010


As I mentioned on an earlier blog, a friend in the industry who is a Makeup Key offered to bring me onto one of her shows if I wanted to and if I got kitted up. So I spend the next few months getting a kit together, as I have nothing from my early days doing hair and makeup other than I buy a new pair of scissors every 5 years or so. It cost a bloody fortune! Fortunately, Tana knew of a makeup wholesaler in Burnaby so I purchased most of my actual makeup, and the train case, there. And she gave me a lot of MAC foundations she no longer uses as well as a big Rubbermaid bin full of hair tools and products. I still manage to drop several hundred more dollars in various drug and department stores and the final bill comes out somewhere around $1,400. YIKES!

Then I wait for the chance to use all of my new goodies. I use some on myself, to experiment with different and more up-to-date products and colors than I normally use. I also do the makeup of two friends, one my age and one half my age, just to refresh my memory of how to work on someone else. Then I wait some more.

I finally get a call from Tana. She is working on a show called One Angry Juror and there is a lot of cast as well as a big group of extras. She needs help and, because most of the cast is black, wants to know - am I up for it? I tell her 'I sure am' and then head back to the stores to drop another $600 on makeup for black skin.

When I show up on my first day, there's no room for me in the makeup trailer so I have a station set up in 'extras holding'. The 3rd AD brings me my first cast member and it's a white man playing 'Judge #1'. I need to give his hair a bit of a trim and shave his neck as he's far too scraggly to be a judge. Then I get onto his makeup and - 20 minutes later - he's all done. I'm not nervous at all, in fact, I just fall right back into it and love it.

The second cast they bring me is another white man. This time one of the jurors with a speaking part. As I get started in, I began to wonder if I needed to buy all that makeup for black skin. I have worked with this actor before, several times, one being on a series so we have a great chat. I had recently sent him a script I wrote as one of the main characters was written for him. He loves the script and hopes it gets made. So do I! And, if it does, I hope he gets the part.

Juror 'Eric' done, I wait for my third cast and take the time to get acquainted with the other makeup assistant, Jenna, who is fresh out of school and volunteering on this show. She is making sure all the background are looking camera ready. They are supposed to show up that way, but often they need a bit of touching up or a lipstick change. Jenna is a really sweet girl and I will really enjoy her company in the week to come.

My third cast member arrives, another juror, and he's black! Finally I get to use my makeup. Then he hands me his own foundation. Oh well! I get to use my concealers and powder on him.

The fourth is also a black juror but he only needs a swipe of anti-shine all over his face. That takes all of 2 minutes.

I head upstairs with my chair and a touch-up bag for my four guys and then proceed to spend the most relaxed day I have ever experienced on set. When I am script supervising, there's not a moment I am not 'on'. It's just non-stop attention, pressure, and stress all day. And many a time I have looked behind me at the makeup and hair department, flipping through magazines as they chat about whatever, and envied their position. Today, I get to know what that feels like and it feels fabulous. And, sure, I am getting paid less to do this than to be a Key, but not much less and certainly not enough to account for the difference in responsibility and pressure. I assume that, on a union show, the makeup assistants rate is not as close to the script supervisors as they are on these independent MOW's as I make a whack more money script supervising union than non union. But then maybe they do as well.

All I know is this; walking from my car to the house at the end of a long day doing makeup, I am nowhere near as exhausted as I am when I've script supervised all day. And all I have to do when I get in is wash a few brushes instead of another hour of paperwork. So I am thinking a change in careers is in the wind for me. I will take as much of either jobs I get offered, but if a makeup offer coincides with a scripting offer, guess which one I will take?

OH... and I got a wrap gift on the last day (I worked 4 days) from Tana. THAT never happens when I am a script supervisor!! (I must say that I HAVE gotten a Tiffany's Blue Box, twice, from a very dear Director friend (the one I went to see in Palm Springs for Christmas) while working on shows with him so I can't complain.)

AND... I got to work the second two days in the makeup trailer. SO GREAT!!

I think I might have re-discovered my working passion.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The back is about 60% better today. Will keep up with the castor oil pack (slept on it all night) and the Robaxacet.

I've been gazing at Caribbean web cams for half the morning.

I am feeling like I am going to go crazy if I don't get back to the Caribbean soon. Or at least have a long trip booked for the winter. I was talking on the phone last night to a fellow who spends a fair bit of time in the BVI and it got me seriously desperate to get back there. Not that I haven't been desperate to get back since I got back from Tortola over a YEAR AGO. But there are times when I get all knotted up inside and feel very panicked that I am not going to get back before I go out of my mind with longing for it. It doesn't help that, as I read today, for the past few months the sun has come out from behind the clouds ONCE every FOUR days here. I need more sunshine in my life that that. Way more.

Oh how I WISH there was some way I could either work in the Caribbean or freelance at something so that I could live there. I'd move tomorrow. I would.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Let me start with the pain part and get that out of the way.

Ever since I went sailing, my back has not been good. I can tell when it wants to go out; it feels like my entire spine is balancing on the head of a pin somewhere near the bottom vertebrae and whenever it threatens to become unbalanced I get warning twinges. So it's been that way for the past week or so - since the sailing - and I have been bending over and twisting very very carefully. Until yesterday morning. I picked up my fax machine and moved it, leaning over to get it where I wanted it. I put it down and then straightened up and - snap! The back was out.

The very first time this happened to me, I had dinner simmering away on the stove, a new baby lying on a blanket on the family room floor, a 2 yr old hanging on one of my legs, and a 4 yr old playing Lego at the kitchen table. I bent to get something out of the fridge and - snap! I was totally immobile. I gingerly turned, bent in half, to turn off the stove, and then gave the 4 year old careful instructions on how to phone grandma to ask her to call the house of friends where daddy was making a sales call. He'd never made a phone call before and he did it flawlessly. It was a tense hour before the hubby managed to get home, let me tell you.

Nowadays, when it goes, I get a friend to drive me to emergency and get a shot in my spine that immediately takes the pain away. Last time I went I waited - on my feet as I couldn't sit - for FOUR HOURS. I can't be doing that again so I went to my doctor and asked for the pill equivalent of whatever was in that shot for next time. I got a prescription and I take those pills with me wherever I go. I have been taking them this time, to no avail (usually I take them when feeling the 'twinge' and had taken one or two in the past week but should have been taking more I guess). I am also taking my regular dose of Naproxen to no avail. A nutritionist friend told me to lie down with heat and a castor oil compress and take large quantities of yucca pills. Done. Not working. So I just got back from the store with Robaxacet. The pharmacist said I can take it with the Naproxen. Done. Not working.

I am at the end of my rope. And I was supposed to be going for our second sailing lesson tomorrow. Canceled.

On to the "stuff" part, where I will be brief as my sitting time is coming to a rapid end;

One of my best girlfriend's daughter just got engaged and my daughter is to be a bridesmaid so she drove down from Kelowna again this weekend to stay with them and be at the engagement party. I offered help with the food, for both the day before and on the day of, and was gratefully accepted. Saturday morning as I was getting ready to leave the house to drive over there, dear daughter called all excited. She was at Old Navy while the Bride to Be and her Groom were at the venue discussing flowers. Old Navy was having a grand re-opening after some major renovations and she just won the $200 shopping spree!!! She wanted me to come down and help her to spend it and so I headed down there right away. I found one very happy girl with a bag full of clothes to try on, and sales clerks that were treating her like a celebrity. SO fun for her. Two hours of helping her decide what to pick, we left there with a bulging shopping bag and empty stomachs so headed over to White Spot for a bite of lunch.

We spent a happy afternoon preparing food for the party and then I was back the next day to help some more before the party started at 4pm and throughout the party, keeping plates full and cleaning up. I had a great time with my daughter and my friends. I usually spend my weekends alone and looking for something to do so this was a very very welcome change. I love being social and hate being alone!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Because I was working on Mother's Day, my daughter decided that we would celebrate it at the end of the month. So Shonah drove down from Kelowna after work on Friday night and on Saturday we headed to North Vancouver to meet my son and his girlfriend at the home of Ashleigh and Rob for dinner. The two of them pulled out all the stops and made turkey dinner with roasted potatoes and asparagus, and lemon meringue pie for dessert - both big favourites of mine. From their tiny apartment kitchen they managed to produce a fabulous meal.

We had martinis to start, wine with dinner, and lots of laughs. Once the dishes were cleared we pulled out the Game of Life. The kids like to make up stories as they go along, so if we landed on a square where you sue someone and get a huge settlement, we have to say why we are suing them. That sort of thing. It made it a lot of fun.

Because I am without a place of my own and most all of my belongings are either in storage or gone, knowing what to buy me as a gift for an occasion has become a challenge. I happened to be downtown Langley one day and stopped in to a favourite home decor shop for a look around. I remember back several years ago they started to carry a line of bracelets called Pandora. They had, literally, a small tray of charms and the bracelets to put them on. Stepping into the store now, I see that they have converted a whole section of the store just for Pandora jewelery. I really love the concept and had a good look at all of the charms. I debated whether this would be something I would like to own.

I suggested it to my daughter and she thought it was a great idea. So I went back and purchased the starter bracelet and a couple of charms. There were two women on the set of the doomsday movie who collect the same charms and so were very excited when I showed up wearing mine one day. It seems it can become a bit of an obsession!

For Mother's Day, the kids added 3 more charms to the collection. But they aren't Pandora. There are other companies who make similar charms and most fit the Pandora bracelet. The kid's uncle owns a jewelry store that carries the Amore e Baci line. I had gone in and had a look at theirs and selected six that I liked. So now I own three of them.

I am still waiting on the bracelet my daughter and her hubby bought for me for my birthday - a Caribbean Hook bracelet (the Tortola one) I have been coveting for some time. It is on order and, hopefully, will be here before the end of June.
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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