Decisions, decisions

Monday, October 18. Mercury is finally out of retrograde. Jupiter and Saturn each turned direct in the last eight days. Things are going to start happening. And there’s a full moon on Wednesday (October 20). It’s in Aries, but none of this detail will matter of course as I won’t be publishing within two days. I guess it’s my equivalent of small talk.

I’m really glad I don’t have to count the days anymore like I did in the beginning of the pandemic. We were just musing today that a year ago, we thought the house in Mexico was sold, but we were 1.5 months away from knowing for sure. Everything we owned was there, and our money was in that house. All we could do was hope it would happen. And while Covid had calmed down during the summer a bit (2020) by the end of October in Mexico, it was looking like things were going to get bad again (as they did).

What a difference a year makes. A year ago a friend still had her old dog, her mother, her father and her husband (the last two dying of Covid in January/February). A different friend still had her husband, too. A year ago, we didn’t know we’d be moving to central Cuernavaca a month and a half later because the house would be sold. And getting home during that part of the pandemic was not easy (land borders closed, flights suspended). 

Oh my. Now, here we are. The last thing left to do is close the blue house on the island. Maybe on the 29th of October. But it may be delayed again. But that’s fine. We sold the Mexico house, we got our stuff to storage in Mexico, then Laredo, then Washington state then finally here to the Island. We got the money for the Mexico house back to Canada. We sat out the second (or was it the third?) wave in Mexico and in the end, the dogs weren’t an issue (which is sad enough in itself).

Rosie is very happy with Thea, she loves her (always has). We get videos. It’s sad for us but better for Rosie. We know that. And PJ, well, that’s another story. That poor f-ck didn’t stand a chance. But I think he had a good life. Time to say goodbye to him and to stop thinking of him so much. I have to start by moving all my photos to their own folder. Because I keep falling over them. Which will also happen with Facebook memories. Oh well, the only thing that can heal that is time. As I keep telling my friends who lost their husbands this year (2). I really need to just square my shoulders and carry on. I still have CW, for just one example of why I am truly fortunate.

So much of life is glorious but so much is so very sad. That’s the trick, I guess, to learn to live with both. Equally accepting of both – the Buddhist thing. All life is suffering, evey closed door was once an open door, and to every season.

Here’s a Galveston photo, since I will be talking about it, and about “The Brass Ring“…

We are concerned about Covid again. This will be another hunkering down winter. Things have changed so very much in the last (almost) two years. Not sure why I’m so bloody reflective now that mercury is coming out of retrograde. Sheesh. While things with Delta seem less anxious, it’s still something to be very cognisant of and it’s not time to let your guard down. It’s more contagious by many fold and it looks like it’s more deadly also. The vaccines are helping us, and so many of us are vaccinated, which is why it doesn’t seem as anxious. We still wear masks here indoors. It’s required (but we would regardless). Maybe by the spring things will be better. I know the cases have just started to run to a downward trend in Canada but just barely. Don’t be stupid about this.

I’m starting to think that maybe I can keep this blog going. I just won’t have as many difficulties, obstacles and hurdles to share. So it won’t be as interesting, but on the bright side, my life will be a lot easier 🙂 I really do miss the weather (a lot) and some of my friends who are in Mexico but I don’t miss anything else. Oh, flower prices I guess. They were similar up here in the summer but now they’re easily 2 X as much. However, this rental is so full of junk that you wouldn’t even notice flowers, although I am buying some. Just not as many or as often. There’s no real place to display them. But I do (the plastic is open below so the birds can get out, they get in at the ends).

We still spend a lot of time in the grocery store – they have good things to buy here. Yes, we got most things (or many at least) in Mexico but not the real fancy, new, cool stuff with the funky labels LOL. Instacart delivers most of ours but we go occasionally and I go to the thrift store. We distance and wear N95 masks in both. We are probably going for lunch after October 23, which is when you have to be fully vaccinated to eat in a restaurant. And the tables better be spaced apart enough for our liking or we’ll order to go. It’s not worth it.

I’m listening lately to this golden oldies channel. I have to fix that. Maybe that’s what’s making me melancholy. Alexa! Change the channel! Thank you, dear. My pleasure.

Wednesday the 20th. Full moon (Hunter Moon) in Aries. I’m feeling reflective. Isn’t that funny? Mercury is coming out of retrograde (a bit of a shoulder week). So now is when I get all nostalgic and reflective? Sheesh. I feel like I’m crossing that barrier you do cross some time after people die (I guess it’s part of the grief process) where you enter into another world, a new reality. It’s all part of PJ being gone (I was his nurse, 11 different pills at five different times during the day, every single day for almost two years) and part of Mexico is gone. And having grieved on a low level for some time for both, I may be ready to move on. I do feel we are entering a new phase. And it’s a marked phase for me. So it must be true 🙂

It’s very interesting to feel as though we’ve moved through one door. And there’s always something sad about endings. And the life that won’t be. There is always a life that won’t be when you make decisions about anything important. That’s something else we just have to understand. I read a piece, I think in the Globe, about ‘grief’ for a future life that has changed and what you will miss. Well, you can’t have everything. And that’s just FOMO (fear of missing out). LOL. Choices. Decisions. Life to live. All that. But yeah, there’s a melancholy and a bit of wistfulness. It would have been fine if Mexico had been everything we thought it would be. But it wasn’t and that’s fine too.

We always said 5 – 10 years. And we lasted 8.5, although we made the decision at 6 years in that we would leave and then a combination of circumstances (the house sale, Covid) kept us there longer. The time is starting to fall back into the past — and where we are now is starting to feel normal (that’s BC in general, not this house haha). Here’s a photo of the living room. I stopped beating myself up, btw. It’s a cottage. We’ll use it during the week for work. I’m going to make White Dog pay. White Dog makes the money not me.

I have since covered that god ugly couch with a very long boho cover.

Ah, the blue house. Closing delayed again, now until November 15. It’s fine. I just hope it happens then. The longer it is delayed, the longer everything else takes. But it will happen. I’m rolling with it. Doesn’t matter much to us, we’re safe and warm and dry. It will no doubt take some time to get everything organized. I’m not going over there, except to sign the mortgage, until we have internet LOL. I can’t, I work. The phone is fine for staying on top of emails but I can’t write on it. And I guess if we can get a hotspot, I can do that for an afternoon if necessary.

I am asking myself what my goals and aspirations are. I know it’s only two months until our annual plans but I can get a lot done in two months if I put my mind to it. I need to get on the Move to Canada Bible. CW kindly did the visa section for me, phew. So I need to at least get an outline happening. The chapter outline is simple, it’s the same as the Move to Mexico Bible. Only Canada. And I’m working on the Orca Bay story. That’s a RomCom. Or will be one day. I’m thinking of using a lot of the elements of The Brass Ring, a story I’ve sat on for two decades about an adopted child who gets left an old decrepit amusement park by her birth mother. I’d have to change the location from the Gulf Coast to the San Juan Islands. Thinking about it. But they may yet be two stories. In the meantime, the M2CB still needs to be written.

You do have to just let some ideas and thoughts ferment until they tell you what direction to take. The Orca Bay characters have just started talking to me in the middle of the night. At least one night they did. And it comes to mind a few times a day and sometimes, even a few substantial thoughts that I write down. So maybe it will be something one day.

And there is another one that I really want to do, called What You Leave Behind. I think that one is the big winner. But it’s just simmering. I don’t even want to give the logline away yet LOL. So you’ll just have to wait. It’s very rare that you get a logline before you have the whole thing written, or at least heavily outlined. But I think it bodes well. I know exactly what this story needs to say. And it’s right up my alley, being about death and all.


So, that’s where I stand on Thursday, October 21. I plan to have plenty more thoughts this weekend. I’m going to outline the M2CB now (Move to Canada Bible). Later, gators.

Well, it’s Friday. And I got to the table of contents. Which isn’t bad. Well, I also have a bunch of research done for the Atlantic Canada chapter. I think it may be a bit shorter than the M2MB (Move to Mexico Bible) as there are whole chapters we don’t need (such as Should you rent or buy?) but there are other spots we can beef up. I’m not even sure how I got a chapter out of that rent or buy concept in Mexico. Haha but I’m sure as you are aware, I can go on and on about nothing for some time 🙂

The sun is starting to come out — it’s 4 pm but finally, it stopped raining today. It was gray and spitting all day. I think tomorrow might be nice out. Ojala. The weather is not the same, that’s for sure. Mexico has so much going for it. If it could just get corruption under control. There is no reason for her people to suffer the way they do. The country has plenty for everyone but the ones at the top take it all. The head of the Federales (former national police force) is testifying in the US now about being partners with the cartels. Like most Mexican presidents are. And it goes from the presidents all the way down to the mayors. And they win while the people suffer horribly. I doubt it will ever change 🙁

Boy, I miss my old friend from Galveston (well from all over but was in Galveston when I met him then moved to Palm Springs). The Golden Oldies channel keeps playing Frank Sinatra and it really reminds me of him. I hope he’s not dead. I hope I get to talk to him again before he does die (if he’s alive). Oh well. Nothing I can do will change that.

I miss him though. We had some fun. He was half the reason we ended up in Galveston for the winter for so many years. I’m grateful for that. If he ever surfaces, I’ll be even more grateful 🙂 But I’m not holding my breath.

I think all these things, Mexico, losing dogs, losing friends, contribute to my desire to write The Things You Leave Behind. Because we do leave things behind. Some aren’t intentional. Those are the tough ones. Haha, damn oldies channel. Fire and Rain. For JR.

Ok, what did my old friend Rosie used to say? What you leave behind, you say goodbye to. Mostly, I agree. But not everything. Some of it haunts you. I think, anyway. I’d ask Rosie himself but he’s turned into a grumpy old man by his own admission. I called him during Covid, thinking I’d revive a project we’d been working on that dealt with his life story (he was a huge pot celeb back in the day, who spent a lot of time in jail as a result, google ‘Rosie Rowbotham’ if you need more info). Anyway, he told me flat out he was an old asshole now and bitter and twisted and no fun to work with. Which distressed the f-ck out of me but I was glad for the warning. I never mailed him the package. I need to call him again just to stay in touch anyway, now that I’m back in Canada. Another one I miss. He was fun, too. But good God, he was trouble and the first to admit that he was his own worst enemy. Larger than life, he was.

Our old friend, Mr. Bill. How I feel some days.

Why, why, why does the end shoulder, after Mercury is out of Retrograde, have me thinking of all these old friends? Rosie and I were working together in the last half of the 80s. That was a long time ago. Working on the script, to clarify. He’d already been Johnny Reeferseed and been arrested twice and the crown attorney in the first case who put him away ended up being his defence attorney for the second case (you can’t make that shit up). And while it didn’t seem to be quite over, he was no longer the king of pot in Canada by the time I knew him. Just in case you misinterpreted that “working together” (Dad). It’s still a damn good story though.

We had a storage locker up here in Canada, just a 5 x 10 but all my notes from months of research on that story (before the internet) are in a box. Close to a year. I’ll pull them back out. Clippings and notes. My heavens I took notes. And met some very interesting characters. Even met his parents. It’s sad what ended up for him. He really does have a good heart and was smart and honest – and maybe just too ballsy for his own good. He really did himself no favours with his defiance. But I remember his former prosecutor turned advocate and defence lawyer telling me it was what he had left. I have hours of notes with him too. Maybe one day.

The Light of Christmas is alive again. Not surprised, it’s a real director’s movie. Visual AF. I’ll keep you posted. Alive = a capable producer and/or director likes it and wants to do it. Fingers crossed again. Maybe that should be the title of this blog.

That’s sort of what life is about. Trying your best and crossing your fingers. Again and again. And not giving up. Because you can’t win if you don’t play and all that. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I want to throw my hands up and say screw it and watch tv all day and live on a small pension and investment income (for as long as that lasts, given today’s climate it’s a crapshoot). But I like to try. I like to think there’s something different around the corner. And that I have a shot. If we aren’t striving for something, what are we doing? I don’t think I can just relax. And read and think and watch TV. And by TV, I mean scripted and non-scripted content in video/film format, even if it comes on the computer and not an actual TV. I had to really realign my attitude to get myself to watch a dozen Christmas rom-coms before we wrote the first one (which was a ghost writing job and I wish I had it back but water under the bridge).

Ok, kiddos, that’s me for today. Manana, god willing and the creek don’t rise.

Saturday, October 23. Geez, it’s raining again. Surprise, surprise. We’re having a wet winter. I guess at least it is liquid. But sheesh. I have started Chapter 2, Atlantic Canada, but barely (the M2CB). Somedays you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you, right? I’m thinking more about Orca Bay today. Seeing Orcas breach is really something incredible. It’s happened a few times. Once I was in the car sleeping on a 6 am ferry from the island to Vancouver and the announcement came on that a pod was breaching on the port (left) side. Pretty incredible, middle of the Georgia Strait, ocean calm as glass. It was pretty spectacular. And it makes for good film.

They are incredible creatures. And there is an opportunity, with a light hand, to draw some more attention to the issues – like navy sonar. OMG. Do not get me started.

Marine mammals return to Strait of Georgia | Georgia Straight Vancouver's  News & Entertainment Weekly

Directors will like this one too. Hugely visual. Producers will like it because there is lots of easy stock footage and I’ll write it so they can use stock. Often (for example, Dogstar) – the location is a major character in the story (sort of). When you have spectacular scenery, the story is much easier to enlarge.

So, the world keeps turning. I need to go back and check that monthly horoscope. Yesterday felt like things were stalled when they actually weren’t. Today feels better but it’s still spitting rain. I guess I have to get used to this, I think we’re in for a wet winter. This seriously is kind of early though. Or maybe I just remember wrong. Always a possibility.

I have a book to write (M2CB), a script to write (Orca Bay), this blog, and then my retainer (also writing). So I need to maybe block time out for all of them. Well, mostly Captivatist and my retainer, because they are the ones that provide income. Although the M2MB earns more than Captivatist every month so I hope the Canadian one does as well as the Mexican one does. I did write a Captivatist story about Aquariums: From the Sublime to the Bizarre. But now, I am really out of ideas. I’ll think of some. I have to haha. I only have 10,000 page views (like 3,500 unique visitors) a month and need 100K (page views… 10 x what I have). But my bounce rate is good. It will all come. I need more content. All my traffic comes from Pinterest. Well, most of it. That surprises me. FYI, adding later that I thought of something that should have been done already – Christmas Decor. Keep checking back at the site. There are some incredible things out there.

Mostly I would say I’m grateful these days. We are warm, we are clothed, we are fed. We have family. We don’t have dogs but that will take a while. That’s something that is really missing, I miss it (them) every day. I occasionally think about going to the shelter and just getting one. But no, not yet. It is a hole in my life though. CW’s too. We are going to need to fill it soon.

Piggy Caesar, Kato, Junior, Rosie, PJ

Sunday again – October 24. I wrote a lot this week, considering I had nothing to say. I’m sad about our dogs, all of them. All the way back to Piggy Caesar. I shouldn’t say ‘I am sad’. I miss them. And that makes me feel sad. I guess that’s more accurate. I would love to have them ALL around me one day. If they wouldn’t fight. And this takes me back to PJ and how much Mexico ended up taking out of me.

Monk McQueen, 48′ diesel motor trawler (twin engines)

We had a cycle of seven to eight years when we first got to Vancouver and bought that effing boat (to live on) that cost as much as a house at the time (oy) and had a good year or two, which turned into years of hell trying to sell her and get our finances in order again. You know how I try to explain everything away. So, I found this theory that life goes in cycles like that of chunks of bad years. Not that we aren’t responsible for our own decisions etc, but it’s just a cycle (of bad decisions?) Then, we had some really good ones. In the loft, selling it, moving to the Island, wintering in Galveston. Years of pretty good times. Not without challenges but we had fun and felt like we were moving in the right direction. Maybe this is all the shoulder season for moving into one of those times again. Ojala. I have no idea why there has to be an order to everything in my mind. Life is surely random. I guess we humans don’t care for that, though. How cursed are we that we got to think so much?

So, decisions. I can’t say that we’ve made any. Or that we need to right now. We are still working on the decisions we made the last couple of years, beginning with moving home. Interestingly, because that was such a large goal for so long, I think we may have minimized the influence of the pandemic in our lives — which came when the moving plan was already in motion.

Okay, I’ve just realized something. First, to set it up, we went back to the kids’ house on Thursday because one grandkid was going to be staying alone for three days and we were sleeping there just to be an added bit of security. When we got back to this Rabbit Lane house (yes, that’s the actual name of the street but I haven’t seen a rabbit yet, just a raccoon, a skunk and notices to watch for bears and we are pretty much in the city) — anyway, when we got here, I felt like we were home again and it felt relaxing. So that must mean we are getting established here. And as I said earlier, it’s a cottage, but it’s getting comfortable enough and will just be our city house for when working anyway.

We miss the weather, the view and our friends!

But it really opened my eyes — sure, the actual house we owned in Mexico felt like home (as much as anywhere in Mexico could) but the rental downtown, as nice as it was, well, it was never home nor meant to be. It was a place to hide out until we could blow town. It didn’t occur to us while we were there that the concept of ‘home’ had been removed from our lives. Or that we didn’t have most of our belongings. We didn’t realize it was missing until we just felt it relieved that we have it again. It’s stressful on a pretty much subliminal level to not have a home (I’m not talking about being without shelter, necessarily, but that would be even worse). But to be transient. Not to feel anchored I guess.

Okay, I’m not sure why I waited so long. It’s now Saturday, October 30. And I’ve had nothing else to say in six days so I guess I will publish tomorrow, Sunday, Halloween. It’s sunny again and hallelujah for that. Makes all the difference in the world, to me anyway. I think it makes a lot of difference to everyone.

Ahhhhhh now it is November 7. I have indeed done a Christmas Decor Ideas: Home for the Holidays piece on and another story on Medium – So, you want to move to Mexico? It’s getting good play. I think it’s a good story. I used lots of the knowledge I have from the book.

My new kitchen mat

So, it’s not like I haven’t been busy. Plus I wrote a shitload of other pieces for clients. It was a good week. I got a new kitchen mat, and it really makes a difference in the morning.

And of course, I’ve carted Carpe Diem around in my suitcase for about 35 years, LOL. Can you see where he fell and broke and got put back together?

CW flies to the island tomorrow (Monday, November 8) to do the walk-through on the house, so closing and possession will, indeed, be November 15. I’m staying here until then – we both have to sign. But I’m not going over there until internet is installed, LOL. At least not for any length of time.

Ok kiddos. Please still pay attention to Covid rules. It looks as though we are coming out of this wave but we may not be done yet. Cuidado, cuidado, cuidado. Be careful out there.

Regarding the song – you may have all heard about this, but for those who didn’t. It was during the first bad Covid lockdown, and the first singer did a solo song and posted it on Tik-Tok. Well, one by one, people added harmony and/or instruments, and it’s incredible.

It really lifted a lot of people up in the early Covid days, especially if you were watching it take shape. It was an incredible collaboration and God Bless the Internet, LOL.

Stay informed, stay safe, stay kind.



  1. Anne Heffernan

    My mother used to volunteer in the Don Jail (Toronto). She took Rosie all her New Yorker magazines – with the mailing labels torn off. Of course..