Monday, December 26, 2011

Year End Review 2011

2011 SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, one of the worst years of my life. It wasn't all bad, but the bad definitely took its toll on me.

I still have my house and progress is being made on the renovations, but I have spent most of this year in a panic looking for a new location for it.

We were terrorized the entire year by crazy, death- threat- uttering tenants, an enraged landlord, the entire police force and cranky neighbors.

We lived under the constant threat of death and destruction from the huge football- field- size barge that broke loose from its ties every other day for 8 months until the new buyer finally got around to taking it out of here.

I lost four of my best friends to cancer and am praying for a few more fighting the same battle.

My body HURTS like never before. I have suffered with bulging discs pressing on nerves, excruciating pain in all my joints ( possibly fibromyalgia), a huge weight gain since quitting smoking a year and a half ago which isn't doing my numbers any good and tendinitis in all the joints I need to do my job. I have spent about half of this year under the influence of Demerol and Advil just to get through my days.

 I have battled depression, exhaustion, fear by the bucket load and way too much grief. I have alternated between wanting to give up and being fueled with rage to stand my ground.

About the only really positive thing to come of this year has been my work situation. At the beginning of the year I was working in three different clinics all of which were quite slow. I ended up working 6 days a week, treating a few people a day just to cover the bills. It really cut into my time to get anything done as I was always having to stop and go to work.

 In April I was approached by an old colleague to do a locum for him so he could take a break to be with his newborn son. I thought it would just be for a few months but as the year wore on it became obvious he wasn't in any rush to come back. I was still juggling all my other shifts as well as taking on more days and clients at the new location. I finally asked him what his intentions were, and he said even if he came back it would only be part time so I could keep my shifts there. So with that in mind, I slowly over the months quit all my other jobs until I was only working at the new clinic in Steveston.

My last shift in Kitsalano was last Sunday. Christmas day marked the first time I have had a full weekend off in years. I took an extra day on Boxing day as a gift to myself. My resolution for this next year is to get out and attend as many events as I can. I have lived in Vancouver for 20 years and have missed almost every event, parade, and festival that happens here. So far I have been to the Solstice lantern Festival in Sun Yet Sun Gardens, the German Christmas Market on Christmas Eve, followed by a visit to Stanley Park that evening to see all the lights. Christmas day was a wonderful dinner at Shelley and Todd's place followed by a day in bed with leftovers.

I love Steveston, the small village where my clinic is. I like it so much, I realized I didn't want to leave when work was done. With that in mind, I decided to try and find a way to get my house moved down there. I am close to realizing my dream, just waiting for the slow-moving wheels of city hall to get a few things in place and hopefully I will be moving there soon.

It is the neighborhood I have been dreaming of all my life. All the stores are in a 2 block walking radius. Everyone knows your name and are happy to see you and be of help. It gets the best weather in Canada, the sky is almost always clear there. The air is fresh as it sits on the edge of the ocean and there are miles of walking paths along the dike.

 My favorite part of this town is the fact that it is working hard to keep its heritage as an important fishing and canning town. There are maritime museums and Japanese heritage sites all around Steveston. It has kept its quaint seaside character which separates it from all the rest of the surrounding townships which are overrun with condo units. I can't wait to finally have my own home in a beautiful location, be able to walk to work and the shops and have clean fresh air and a park in my backyard to explore.

 I have already signed up for a few courses at the local community center which start in January. One is called Taiko fit and is a course in Japanese drumming which is supposed to be vigorous enough to be considered a workout. The other is a yoga for plus size people course which sounded less intimidating to me than a regular one.

 I have met the neighbors who share my building at work and have traded services with a few of them. I have had my astrological chart professionally read, acupuncture and cupping done and am getting my old age sun spots lasered off my face all in trade for my massages.

Manifesting a spot in Steveston for my home is what has kept me going. I see a paradise and I want to be part of it so bad. I can't wait for 2012, it couldn't possibly be any worse than this year, and if all goes according to plan, it should be a stupendous year where I finally get to realize my dreams and aspirations.

 I truly hope that none of you had to face such burdens and that the new year is filled with grace and endless possibilities for a new future filled with love,light and laughter.

May your health be good, your pockets full and your heart glad, bless you all xoxo Rhianna

PS    here is a link to a wonderful photo essay on Steveston, hope to see you there someday!

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade

I haven't posted for a long time because things here have been a challenge ( to put it mildly), however life isn't sugar-coated so neither is my story. From every adversity thrown at me I have learned lessons and grown as a human so I am not posting a" woe-is-me" story but sharing how hardship is shaping my life.

I am not going to get into all the nitty, gritty details of " he said this" and "he did that" but our relationship with our landlord has completely deteriorated. People weren't paying their rent on time, new bills were being presented by the landlord that David had no idea that he would be liable for and the stress levels were mounting daily. It got to the point where David couldn't handle the insanity anymore and so relinquished his water lease back to the landlord. At that point, having resolved his responsibilities here, David went back to Ontario for a well needed rest. The landlord took his absence as an opportunity to shake things up here. His first order of business was to tell me that he had never had a lease with me himself and wanted me and my home off of his property ASAP.

Another tenant here had managed to convince the landlord that he could make him more money by filling the marina with boats in the space that my house was taking up, so the landlord hired him as the new caretaker (or "Harbour Master" as it was described in the notice we got) and made it his sole job to get rid of us. The first order of business was to cut off our power and water and to tell our neighbors that if any of them got caught helping or even talking to us, they would be evicted as well.

So since October 1st, I have been living off-grid, so to speak. People are always asking me "how do you do it"?

 I wasn't at all ready for that scenario. It has been my long term goal to be self sufficient, but at the time this happened, my reality was that I was hooked up to 30 amp shore power which ran a few lights, a portable electric heater in my bedroom, my computer and charged various batteries. I had cold running water to flush the toilet and run in the kitchen sink. That was it!

 I showered and did laundry at Davids house ( next door to me). I ate all my meals at his house and washed all the dishes there. The landlord told David, that if he disconnected his house from the property, that he would turn my power back on. David did ....and the landlord didn't.

Now we were totally screwed as my house didn't have any facilities built or hooked up and we couldn't access Davids house anymore. His house ended up sitting badly on the hard at low tide, cracked in half and within a few weeks, sank with all the furniture etc still in it.

So this is what my life has looked like for the last three months:

 I shower at local rec centers and occasionally a friends house.
 I take my laundry twice a week to the laundromat.
 I use buckets of water from the river to flush my toilet.
I use a broom, mop or carpet sweeper for the floors.

I buy large jugs of bottled water to drink and do dishes with.
All cooking/water heating is done on a propane stove and BBQ, outside in the rain and dark on the front deck.
 My unheated kitchen is my fridge. Meats and perishables are kept safe in a cooler.

 I have 2 indoor propane heaters to heat the two bedrooms upstairs, which we basically live in, the rest of the house is whatever temperature it is outside that day.
 I take hot water bottles to bed at night and have flannel sheets, 2 cotton quilts and a feather comforter to snuggle under.
I wear lots of clothes in the house and to bed.

 After our first generator was sabotaged, I bought another smaller one which is brought indoors each night before going to bed. It's a small 1300 watt which powers 3 lights, a combination tv/vcr which is our entertainment and my computer and modem. We also use the generator to charge up car batteries which we use to run things like the answering machine and the computer late at night.

 We use flashlights a lot to move around the house at night, a propane lantern for the kitchen, LED stick-up battery lights, which are motion-activated, for dark spots like stairs or the attic hallway. Sometimes we light candles and oil lamps for added ambience.
We have a few lamps which run off the generator when it's on.

Right now my costs are pretty high. I am paying for lots of bottled water, approx 60 liters of propane/month, 100 plus liters of gas/month, $40 plus a week in laundry costs, not to mention all the extra fuel and time it takes to go to the showers, laundromat, water selling places etc.

 I am quite proud of the fact that I hunkered down and made the best of the situation. It's not ideal, but we are warm enough, well-fed, clean and dry. Now the trick is to lower my living costs.

I looked into putting a wood stove in, but to have all the legal clearances from the walls, the stove would have sat right in the middle of my kitchen. I have three doors in the kitchen which makes that set-up totally impractical. I need $2,500.00 to get a licenced gas fitter to come and hook up our propane fixtures. Once that is done, I would have a propane stove, fridge, dryer and hot water on demand system as well as a propane furnace which would heat the whole downstairs. If I run gutters down each side of my 60 foot roof, I could collect rainwater in barrels for showering and washing up. Some solar panels would offset the cost of the gas generator.

I am learning to live with less appliances, less water and less waste when it comes to power. I'm still not sure how I can produce enough power for all my eventual desires though. These are the bare necessities but I have things like an infra-red sauna, a Jacuzzi tub, steam shower and a bunch of beautiful light fixtures that I would like to be able to use now and again.

 I miss having an oven ( although the pressure cooker has made some nice roast meals), I really miss running water. I would like to have at least one room with a heater that is thermosatically controlled so I can keep my plants alive over the winter. All in good time I guess, I just have to keep upgrading my system as funds come in.

I did have a spot of luck while all this was going on. For about 2 months, a friend who is a jack-of-all-trades came and did 2 hours of work a day for room and board. My wiring in the house was a total gong show. Before I got the house, someone had stolen the power box and left all the wiring cut. I had managed to get a few things hooked up in the beginning but most of it hadn't been sorted out yet. Dan managed to get a good chunk of it rewired and hooked up a bunch a light fixtures for me and set up all the connections in the bathroom for my spa units. He also framed in my bathroom doors and got the sliding door installed from the bathroom to the massage room. The steam shower unit is mostly set up, we just have to connect the water before putting the last few pieces together. The bathroom is about 75 percent complete. It's such a shame that I finally got thisclose to a bathroom but can't use any of it with no power and water. Still, progress is being made even admidst all the chaos in my life.

As if all this wasn't fun enough, my van did its usual balk at winter weather and spent 5 weeks at the mechanics. I had to bus it to work which added a lot more strain to my already very full days. I bought a bunch of water proof clothes and bundled up for the one km daily walk to the bus stop. The good part of this was: saved lots of money on gas, got to read books again on the one hour bus ride and got some sorely needed exercise. The bad part was trying to run all my fuel buying errands on my days off. Luckily good friends chipped in to lend me vehicles when needed. I finally got the van back, five hundred dollars later and it still runs like shit. Never when the mechanic drives it of course, only when I am alone and on the highway. Every engine light comes on and I sputter down the road for some time until mysteriously, they go out and all is well again. Oh well, beats walking!!

This whole time, I have been scrambling and looking for somewhere else to move the house. It has not been easy at all. My biggest drawback is my size. Most floathome communties have berths set up for something in the 20x20, 25x30 type of range. I am a collasal 28x66. Its like looking to park a bus in a smart car parking stall, not going to happen! After spending months phoning every single marina in BC and knocking on strangers doors with river front property, I decided to try a different method. That is another post in itself, so stay tuned for the story of how I manifested a berth for my home.

Updated: here is the link to that story

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yesterdays News

Well it seems my life isn't exciting enough these days. Most people start their day with toast and coffee. I started mine with a 50 force tactical squad aiming rifles at my head. Yes, this true. No this is not a joke.

I was lying in bed yesterday morning watching Amy Winehouse ( such a tragedy!) singing Back to Black, when I heard voices outside on a loudspeaker. I couldn't make out what they where saying because my music was a bit loud and at first I just thought it was a tugboat radio. As the song was winding down , I started to make out what they where saying. They were calling for Dave to come out of his house with his hands up. Curious, I got up and went downstairs to look out the window on the dock side. I saw a shadowy figure moving in between the storage containers above us but couldn't see anyone on the dock. Thought maybe I was hearing things so went back upstairs. Then I hear again, This is the police, come out with your hands in the air. WTF???

I ran to the back room upstairs and looked out the window to see a zodiac with half a dozen flak-jacket wearing policemen aiming assault rifles at my window. They told me I had to come out of the house with my hands up, and that the place was surrounded. At this point I am totally confused. This is like a bad movie or something. I know I have done nothing wrong, so can't imagine why a riot squad of police want to drag me out of my house. I call David and ask him if he has heard the loudspeakers calling for him. (He is fairly deaf, so chances are he hadn't, it took me a while before I got up to see what the racket was about). He actually hadn't so looked out his window and saw three zodiacs full of cops and guns pointing at him. He told me not to worry, he was going out to see what the fuss was about.

In the meantime, I quickly put on a dress and shawl, grabbed my cell phone and keys. Before I could get to the stairs, they were calling my name and telling me to come out. How the fuck do they know my name, I'm thinking??  I came out, locked the door behind me to protect my cats inside and start down the dock with my hands up to show I just had my phone and keys in them. I started to lower my hands at one point and was told to keep them up. There was guns at my back and front as they watched me coming up the ramp. I felt tremendous calm at the time. I know there is no reason for them to be here, we have done nothing wrong. For Christ sake, I am am old, fat, massage therapist. Honest as the day is long and totally gentle. Why would anyone be staring down a barrel at me with a twitchy trigger finger?

They were going to frisk me and maybe handcuff me when one of the officers told the other that it was pretty obvious I didn't have any weapons on me ( I was wearing a fairly diaphanous sleeveless dress that you could probably see right through) So instead they escorted me out into the street. It was only when I got there, that I saw the true scope of the operation. There were 8-10 police vehicles, a truck with a squad of armed men, the whole property was crawling with police, police dogs and more cop cars were speeding down the road at us as I watched.

It became apparent that a whole bunch of them were heading down the ramp to search my house, so I begged them to take the keys and not break down the door, or harm my cats that were inside. An extremely nervous looking cop pointed his rifle at me and asked if I was armed. A bunch more of them turned and started coming towards me. Panicked, I did the only thing I could think of.....I flashed them! Thats right, hauled my dress up right over my head, screaming,. I am not armed!!!! Put your guns down! The look on their faces was priceless... one of turned away saying " well you didn't have to do THAT!"  Sorry guys , didn't mean to wreck your day, I know I'm no prize to look at , but needed to show you that I wasn't someone you had to be scared of. Mr Twitchy Finger was scaring the fuck out of me. I looked him right in the eye and tried to calm him down. Just told him," look there is nothing to worry about, there is no weapons, no drugs, no dogs, nothing wrong going on and nothing to be scared of. Just take my keys, be mindful of my home and look and see."

At that point, someone decided I would be better detained in the back seat of one their cars. Got to tell you, not a lot of room back there. Feel sorry for big people. They held us for half and hour or so while they terrified the neighborhood and searched all our premises. Finding nothing, they all just melted away like nothing ever happened. No sorry about that Ma'am or anything, just here's your keys , you can go home now, thanks for cooperating.....sheesh, like I had a choice...I'm not arguing with an Uzi.

So how was your day, anything interesting in the news? I think I'm going to go have a meltdown now, as I realize how close I came to getting shot if someone had got nervous or misunderstood my motives.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back on the Roller Coaster

Hmm, well I just don't know what to think anymore. I was able with great effort, to manifest my dream home, but seem unable to manifest a nice safe berth for it. I have been living in a state of sheer terror for the last few months as I have been evicted from where I have my home and can't find anywhere else to take it. I really don't think I can muster the energy to pack up all my belongings once again. This is exactly where I want to be, I cannot see myself in another home at this point. I have put too much blood, sweat and prayers into this place to just walk away before it is even finished.

It's not just a home, it's an environmental statement, it is a school for me to learn from, it's all my hopes and dreams for the future wrapped up in some cedar boards.

My life has been filled with many challenges through the years. Most of them came with buckets of tears attached as well as wonderful lessons learned. I wish the learning process didn't always have to be so painful though. Maybe in the grand scheme of things, I am not supposed to keep this place, maybe I just needed the experiance of living on the water to help me grow as a human being. It has certainly opened my eyes to the problems of pollution and sustainable living. It has caused me to do a lot of research and soul searching on ways to leave a gentler footprint on this beautiful planet of ours.

I just wish I could keep my home as a base to work from and be inspired by. I have no idea what the future holds for me now ( do any of us really) but at this moment don't have a plan B. I can't afford to rent anything decent anywhere near where I work, I'm exhausted by moving and can't muster the energy to do it all again and am fearful of where this is taking me in my old age.

I haven't had a stable home ever in my life. We were constantly on the move when I was younger and my homes as an adult were always being sold out from under me. I can't afford to buy in this economy and am tired of being at the mercy of landlords.  What is a girl to do??

Just sending out a message to the universe, that if it is in the best interest of myself and the planet to please find me a haven to call home and to be a steward of. Thanks for listening xoxo

Friday, June 3, 2011


I bought a book recently, called Angel Numbers 101, by Doreen Virtue. In it, she assigns a message from the angels to each number from 0-999. I often see repetitive numbers in my life ( as I am sure we all do at some point) and thought it would be nice to try and understand what the universe was trying to tell me.

One set of numbers that I see all the time is 1:11 or 11:11. This is what she had to say about them.

111 - This number brings you the urgent message that your thoughts are manifesting instantly, so keep your mindset focused on your desires. Give any fearful thoughts to heaven for transmutation.

11 - Stay positive, your  thoughts are materializing rapidly, so you want to insure positive outcomes by focusing only on the good within yourself, others and this situation

1- Stay positive. Everything you are thinking about right now is coming true, so be sure you are only thinking about what you desire. Give any fears to God and the angels.

Do you see the trend here? So I started to think about my thoughts and how I word things and what manifests from that. As do many people, I sometimes let fear take over my thoughts and start thinking in a negative way when it comes to possible outcomes.

In the grand scheme of things, I worry about all kinds of  worldly stuff and desire certain outcomes in my personal life. I decided that if the universe is that on top of my needs, ( I really see these numbers ALL the time) that I had better make sure I was asking for the things I really want. So this is what I want  my life to look like:

1. I want my schedule at work to be comfortably full with balanced breaks. I want to receive payment for this work in a timely fashion.

2. I want to earn enough money to pay all my bills, renovate my home, take vacations and have enough left over for treats and a rainy day.

3. I want to experience good health and a fit constitution. I want a body that  is a joy to have and behold.

4. I want to be surrounded by loving friends and family and to share my hospitality with them.

5. I want my pets to remain my loving, constant companions in excellent health for many years to come.

6. I want the people in my life to be happy, healthy and prosperous.

7. I want peace.Peace on earth, peace between neighbors, friends, family, peace and quiet.

8. I want my home to be all that I dream it to be. I want it to be my sanctuary, my inspiration, my gift to my friends.

9.I want to die, knowing that I made a difference. That I helped people, that I took care of the planet, that I learned the lessons that I was sent here to learn.

10.I want the planet to be ok .I want clean air, clean water and land set aside for all the other creatures that call Earth home. I want people to get off the plastic tit, RIGHT NOW! TODAY!

11. I want my story to inspire other people. Don't think your actions alone are too small to make a difference. It is the action of each individual person that got us where we are today and each individual person has the power to change that if that's what they want. I want people to take responsibility for their actions and make the changes necessary to create a better civilization. I want people to be better stewards of the land, better neighbors, better politicians etc. We have to work together for the health of all or we are doomed as a species.

So if the universe is listening and manifesting, that's how I want my desires to read, if you hear any other thoughts coming from me that are fear based, please disregard and file with the appropriate angel. Thank you and good night!

What would you wish for ?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

Today is a sad day for me and many others who remember the "Bowie " with fondness. When I first met Dave he was living on that boat and I spent many happy hours there hanging with all the roomies on the back deck or in the hot tub. It was sold a few years back to a fellow who made some half- hearted attempts to fix her up, but he had pretty much abandoned her in recent months from what we could tell. It would have taken a serious transfusion of cash to refit her properly, which unless your a gazillionaire wasn't going to happen. So as Grieg pointed out today, she is now a river ornament. Rest in peace old girl, I can still hear the laughter of parties from days gone by on your decks, good memories and a few sad ones but definitely a boat to remember!

Blog, Blog, Blog.... and Blog Some More

Blogging has somehow taken over my life. It all started so innocently with this blog, which was just to be a personal diary of sorts to keep track of my convoluted life. Then I decided I needed a platform to share all my knowledge, so Wyldestone Cottage was born. After blogging there for awhile , I decided that I was really writing about two completely different topics on that one. Some posts were about my new floathome and other posts were about alternative health care. I decided that might be too confusing for my readers, so have decided to split Wyldestone Cottage into two different blogs.

I would like to introduce you to my latest creations:

the eclectic ark - all about building my floathome for free and decorating with recycled treasures
with craft tutorials and recipes

sage advice - posts on alternative health care, ways to save the environment, and healing for the mind, body and soul

I have reposted a good number of the posts that I had originally written on Wyldestone Cottage to the appropriate blog and will be adding lots of new content in the near future.

I have worked on these blogs with the intention of reaching a greater audience. I would love it if you can find a way to follow and share them through facebook and twitter.

I will continue to keep this blog going as a way to check in with myself as my life follows it's meandering bumpy path. Now I just need to find a way to squeeze 40 hours into a 24-hour day, so I have time to write all these blogs, work 5 days a week and finish building my house. Can anyone say insomnia lol.

I used to have a good quality camera that I loved. Unfortunately, it up and died on me one day a few years ago. I was told it would be cheaper to buy a new one than to fix it..... I was not impressed with that statement as the camera cost me over a thousand dollars. I think for that price they should last forever, but I guess the digital age comes with an expiry date!

Anyways, I was in Future Shop the other day, and for a lark decided to see what kind of credit they would give me. I lucked out and they ok'd me for 1,500.00. Now normally I don't want anything to do with credit, I'm all about... save up and pay for it in cash if you really want something. However, I need my cash flow too much these days for paying off the house and getting material for reno's, so decided to bite the bullet and get a camera on credit so that I have something decent to take pictures with for the blogs.

So I am now the proud new owner of a Canon Rebel T3 with an extra telephoto lens. As soon as I have read the ten-pound owners manual and figured out how to operate the thing, I hope to be bringing you much better quality photos for the blogs. Thanks for reading and sharing my life with me, I value each and every one of you.

Cheers, Rhianna

Please take a minute to check out my new blogs and find a way to follow and share them, much appreciated, thanks for being awesome!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings....

....and I can't sing worth shit, so things are looking up! This last month was nothing short of agonizing for me as all I could do was wait and see how the chips fell, having no say in the outcome of things here. The short version though, it looks like we won't be moving from here after all, yahoo!

Our intrepid landlord managed to foul things up for David by refusing to agree to give the new(potential) owner of the water lease, first dibs on buying the place should he ever decide to sell. That was a deciding factor for the buyer and so he backed out.

In the meantime, as part of the sale proceedings, the property had to be inspected by the Port Authority. It turns out they don't have a problem with us keeping a floathome here as long as we put in a pump-out for the septic tank. Not a problem,as we have everything we need to do that! They did however note that we had exceeded our water lot by quite a bit in every direction, so we have to lose a bunch of stuff in order to fit into our alloted water lease. In reality most of the extra stuff is all Davids free acquisitions that weren't making us any money anyway and all needed tons of work and money thrown at them anyway.

So over the next few months, we will be letting go of all the excess boats, barges, spare dock material etc in order to downsize things here. It will be so nice to see this area cleaned up. I am so grateful to the universe for allowing me to hang on to my home. I had put off doing any more work to it as it didn't seem like a good idea to sink money into it if I was going to lose it. Now that I have some breathing room, I can't wait to get on with things.

I started a new job last week down in historic Steveston and things are going really well there. I am working three days a week there and am already averaging 5 clients a day which is wonderful. Ever since they brought in the new HST tax last July, business had died for me in all three clinics I was working in. In March I only had one client out of eight shifts at one place. That was scary to say the least. My other job had gone from eight clients a shift down to two or three. The last clinic, I was averaging one or two clients a shift as well. Hard to make a living with those numbers especially when I have to pay rent at each place. So I am thrilled to say the least. Summer is definately looking up for me now.

I love Steveston, I sure wish I could park my house there! It is the original fishing port in Richmond where they used to do all the fish canning. It lies in the southern-most area of Vancouver and as such gets tons of sunshine and fresh air from the ocean. It's a quaint village with tons of cool shops and trendy restuarants to peruse and as such has alot of foot traffic which is good for business. So far I have been lucky enough to be so busy that the shops are all closed by the time I finish work, heaven forbid I spend all the money I'm making before I can get it home.

I have a renewed sense of hope and optimism now and can't wait to get on with things. Now hopefully I can spend some time and energy getting a grip on my health. I quit eating chocolate for Lent and that is going well. I actually have lost my craving for all things sweet in general which is a good thing. Sadly that hasn't resulted in any kind of weight loss, which surprises me really as I ate a ton of chocolate every day. Oh well, it can't be a bad thing to cut out all that sugar.

I have been in tons of pain the last year with what feels like arthritis. All my joints especially in my feet, legs and hips have been giving me all kinds of trouble, so I finally made it to my naturopaths.I got a bunch of supplements that will hopefully take care of that problem. Once I'm not in screaming pain, I can start moving again and get some exercise. I'm battling my demons one at a time and am making good progress in cleaning up my lifestyle. I think my next goal would be to try and eat a raw food diet as much as possible. I am increasingly disturbed by plastic packaging, dangerous food additives and the high cost of groceries. I think the time has come to simplify my diet and get back to basics. Good wholesome organic produce and fresh fish from the docks should make a huge improvement in how I feel. Onwards and upwards, tommorrow is another day, and this time I am looking forward to it... cheers and thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Living with Fear

In my life I have had many occasions to be afraid. Afraid I wouldn't fit in, afraid I wouldn't make new friends, afraid of spending my life alone but one of my biggest and all time overwhelming fears is the fear of being homeless. I have stood on this precipiece more than once in my life and it never gets any easier.

These last few months have been nothing short of terrifying. I'm in a horror movie that just won't quit. It all started a few months back when David put an ad on Craiglist looking to sell the "Sea Ferring".

(Some background on the "Sea Ferring"..... this was a 75 foot ferro cement boat with no motor that used to belong to Greig and Tana, the previous tenants of this marina. They moved and took it with them but eventually sold it to a man who ended up bringing it back here to be moored. This man through not hooking up his bilge pump after moving it, managed to let it sink. At great expense to life, limb and pocketbook, David finally managed to get the boat floating again. The owner refused to pay the bill for salvage or the rent and basically walked away. The boat sat here for over a year taking up valuable space that Dave couldn't rent out and being another chore to have to check on constantly etc , so in the end he decided to try and sell it)

The fellow that answered the ad (Rob) couldn't pay up front so entered into an agreement with Dave to pay $500 a month towards to cost of the boat and to help out around the shipyard 75 hours a month to cover his moorage costs.Everything went fine for about two months until one day when Rob showed up at the door and asked when he was going to get paid? Paid for what, Dave asked him? For the work he had been doing around the shipyard... no Dave says.. what are you talking about, thats our aggreement for your moorage.

The guy went beserk, started screaming that he wasn't going to pay moorage and if he couldn't keep the boat here for free he was going to sink it. He stayed up for 3 days straight sitting on his deck screaming at the top of his lungs the most vile shit ever. On the third day he pulled all the pumps on the boat and it started to sink. He wouldn't let Dave on board to fix things so we called the cops. They restrained Rob long enough for Dave to hook up the pumps and save the boat. At that point Dave told him he could have the boat for free, just get it out of here.
We didn't want him around anymore.

The next night we got a call around 4:30 in the morning from another boat owner, telling us the Sea Ferring was sunk. We scrambled out to see what was going on and there she was, completely underwater with Rob sitting up on the shore watching everything, threatning to kill David if he went near the boat. In the morning when we could see better, it was also discovered that he had cut through some of the major lines that hold the marina together as well as cutting a line to one of our biggest tenants (a vessel over 100 feet long with 6 kids sleeping aboard). Needless to say we were shaken to the core, he could have killed us all while we were sleeping, sent us all flying downriver.

This man then continued to harass and torment us for another three weeks. He wouldn't leave the property. When we pointed out to the police that he had no where to stay as the boat was under water, they told us to change the locks on the gate. We did that and he still got on the property. He went on another of Daves large boats and pulled the pumps on it to try and sink that one. He would show up at all kinds of times and wander around the docks. He phoned Dave, one call right after the other for hours and hours and hours on end. Dave can't turn the phone off as he needs it for business and emergencies. We had the police here probably a dozen times over this guy and every time they would say there was nothing they could do. They would put him on a bus and send him downtown only for him to turn around and come right back.

We were petrified, couldn't sleep at all, getting up to investigate every tiny noise (and down on the docks there are tons of stupid noises at night).Hours were spent peering through the windows trying to decipher shadows in the bushes. Just when we would let down our guard we would look up and he would be standing two feet away on the docks. He continued to threaten Dave and then enventually me as well. Threatened to sink the whole marina as a matter of fact. Some of our tenents couldn't take the stress anymore and moved away with no notice.

The final result of all this was that at the end of the month David couldn't pay the lease without the other tenants rent money so got threatned with eviction. Tired of the stress, David put his business and the marina on the market and found a buyer after only a few days. Suddenly it was a done deal, someone else is taking over here and they have their own agenda for the space which doesn't include my home being here.

I have been scrambling to find another berth for my home, but it's really not looking good. The province of BC has cracked down on the whole liveabord scene as it's not allowing it to happen anymore.The few marinas left who can do it legally have a ton of things they have to adher to now, which is making it difficult and very expensive for them to operate. That coupled with the fact that the Port Authority doesn't dredge the river anymore and everyone faces sitting on the hard at low tide is making it not financially feasible to run these places. This seems to be a lifestyle that is going the way of the albatross.

Once again I am staring a very uncertain future in the face. This gets harder to do with each passing year. I'm not so young anymore, work has been almost non-existant since the new HST tax, I can't afford to rent a space bigger than a closet in this town and I can't afford to run away.

I'm pissed off too. Once again I have sunk my heart, soul and money into something that I will have to walk away from. I didn't even get to finish unpacking. I didn't get to try out my beautiful steam shower that I spent a fortune on and payed to store for two years. Overnight my world has once again shifted as it seems to be doing for a whole lot of people these days. I feel like I'm walking on quicksand. God save us all! These are uncertain times indeed.

Maybe my dream home was just that, a dream.. right now I just want to wake up from this nightmare.