not all those who wander are lost


Cree leader, Wandering Spirit

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


POST # 298

I am currently spending time at the oldest house in the city of Duncan, here on Vancouver Island.  It was built in 1881.

Three of the full-time residents at Holmesdale House.




living a life of simple acceptance, (which includes bipolar  furballs),

The Thoughtful Wanderer

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


POST # 297


the quality or state of being happy.
good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

So where is the Thoughtful Wanderer going with this essay?  First of all, isn't that old saying, "The long and the short of it?"  That's correct, but for the purpose of today's blog, I've turned that around, and hopefully I can explain why.

Part of what prompted me to write about this, was a line in an email from a friend in Australia.  During a recent conversation he was having with mutual friends back here in Canada, my name came up.  Apparently the friends in Canada said to the friend in Australia that Paul had, "fallen off the face of the planet."  Now as far as I can tell, at least at the moment, my feet are well and truly still planted on the ground, so in a literal sense, no, I haven't fallen off the face of the planet, but in another way, I most certainly have done so.  But why?

The why is tied in directly with the title of today's blog post, and it also explains why I've switched that old saying around.  These days, and for quite some time now, I've had a very short view of my future, and believe it or not, I think that that is a good thing, and is directly related to my current happiness.  I, like everyone else "on the face of the planet" have no idea what day will be my final day, but I do know that it will come.  I accept that.  Three little words.  But I really do, and as a result, it helps me to get the maximum amount of life out of each moment.  That is the goal.  This mindset, at least for me, and I can only speak for me, has had the effect of increasing my happiness.  It seems rather ironic, but so it goes.

In addition, because this is my view of life now, it helps to put a very sharp focus on how I spend whatever time I do have left.  Unfortunately, this has probably had a negative impact on others, and if that is so, then I apologize.   However in my defense, I wouldn't expect to try and tell anyone else how to spend their precious time.  

For whatever reason, this rather abbreviated view of the future, has, at least in my experience, a very negative impact on most people, and I guess that I am now well past the time of trying to share this point of view with others.  It seems to make them either sad, or at the very least, they want to change the subject.   I certainly don't want to intentionally make anyone sad, so it seems best to not mention this view of life in "polite company" as it were, and perhaps that explains why Paul has "fallen off the face of the planet."  Instead, I continue to focus on the moments I have, however many more they will be.  It may be difficult for others to get to this mental state of mind, but I can highly recommend it.  You too, can end up looking like my new furball friend, Silken in the above photo.  Blissed-out and content.

living a life of simple acceptance,
The Thoughtful Wanderer

PS:  I may not be able to post on February 14th and 21st due to either computer issues and/or my travel itinerary, but I will endeavor to do so if at all possible.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


POST # 296


Well, I missed it.  Mind you, I do have a great excuse.  It happened on March 31st, 1866, and that was about 89 years before I arrived on the scene.  In fact, it was even 50 years before my parents were born.  So to reiterate, I missed it, but this time maybe I'll get lucky.  Lucky with what?  This coming week on Wednesday, July 31st and for the first time since 1866, we get to experience a total lunar eclipse which will be happening during a super moon, a blood moon, and a blue moon all wrapped up in a neat celestial package, for our viewing entertainment.

There are numerous websites to visit to explain the phenomenon, but here is just one from an article in RT News.

Here, on the West coast of North America, the opportunity for a great view will be possible, albeit rather early in the morning.  Viewing this event will be dependent on local weather conditions, which really is the only variable in the equation.  I plan to set my alarm, and head outside to watch.  It will also be a good opportunity to see just how many other crazy people there are in the local neighbourhood.

I've only had the pleasure of viewing one other total lunar eclipse (minus the super, blood and blue characteristics), and it just so happens that I was in the same city then, as I am at the moment, here in Nanaimo B.C.  That previous eclipse happened on October 28th, 2004, and I can still remember sitting down by the seashore, and marvelling at what was taking place in the night sky.

The forecast for Nanaimo for this coming Wednesday  is,

31 Jan


so the odds aren't in my favour, but I'll be outside looking up, just in case there happens to be a clear patch of night sky.

 I mentioned all of this exciting information to the resident furball, Silken, and this was her reaction:

I guess that Silken has more important things to think about then some silly lunar eclipse.  This is probably what she'll be doing on Wednesday morning, and being the conscientious pet sitter that I am, I certainly wouldn't want to disturb her precious sleep.

***January 31st at a very early hour.
So I got up around 4:30am and it was worth it, because the sky was clear, and the eclipse had already started.  I stood outside in the cold and watched the event unfold, which looked much more amazing than in this attached photo.  No doubt the neighbours were wondering about the weirdo standing outside in the cold at that hour of the day.  But I'm glad I made the effort.

living a life of simple acceptance,

The Thoughtful Wanderer

PS: Here's where The Thoughtful Wanderer was two years ago today.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


POST # 295

You may have already pressed "play" and taken the time to listen to the song, "Wheels" featured above.  If you haven't, why not spend the less than two minutes it will take you to do so.  Why?  Well, if it has the same impact on you as it had with me all those years ago, and right up to this day, then it may put a smile on your face, and make you want to whistle, and perhaps even dance along.  It's a happy song and it brings back happy memories for me.

The reason for presenting it in today's post, is because it is one of those happy childhood memories that reminds me of my dear mom, or as she was known to her friends, Madonna.  You see, way back then, when this song came on the radio, and if mom and I heard it, moments later we would be dancing around the living room, and every time I play the song, it takes me back to that early period, and fills my head with very pleasant memories of her.

So you may ask, why does the pet/house sitter who usually has photos of furballs and boneheads on his blog, want to talk about an old song, and his mom today?  Good question.  The answer is that January 21st was mom's birthday, and so I decided to dedicate today's entry to her.  Too bad she's not still around to read it.  Today would have been  her 102nd birthday.

As just mentioned, that song always brings back happy memories of my mom, but to tell you the truth, I  can't honestly think of any memories of her, that weren't happy ones.  Perhaps because I was the youngest family member, and the only boy, she may have given me special treatment, but I'll never know.  My guess is that my four sisters would have similar happy memories of her.  If someone were to accuse me of being a momma's boy, then I plead guilty.  She was the best.

Mom was a regular at the local thrift store once a week, helping customers with their purchases.  From time to time I would be back in Calgary visiting, and if I was there on thrift store days, I would go to the store at the end of her shift, and along with her sister Rachel who also volunteered at the store, we would drive to the local pizza place afterwards for dinner and a visit.  It was always time well spent, with plenty of laughter to go around. My pleasant memories of mom traversed all the decades.

  Here she is behind the counter at the thrift store, on one of my visits.  I love this photo, as I think it shows mom's happy disposition which she managed to carry throughout her years.  At least that's my opinion.


We all inherit certain characteristics from our parents and the one characteristic that is at the core of my being and which I truly believe I inherited from mom was her happy disposition, and for that I am extremely grateful.  It's a part of mom that I will carry with me until my final day.  

And in conclusion for today's post, here is a recording of mom, perhaps the only one.  At least it's the only one that I know exists.  Some time ago, as I was scrounging around in my storage locker,  I came across this old tape, which was from an answering machine that I had on my phone when I lived in Melbourne, Australia. (An answering machine.  It sounds so quaint today).  Anyhow, when I lived in Melbourne I used to call mom every month to have a chat and tell her that I love her, but on this occasion she called the day prior, to let me know that she wouldn't be home as she was going to be attending the funeral of her sister, Marie.

I had forgotten that I even had this tape, and it was just a fluke that when I was playing it back, that I came across mom's message.  I'm glad that I did, and so I've included it here.  Of course it will only be special for anyone listening who knew her, but I thought it would be good to include it anyhow.  
I don't remember the specific date, but I'm pretty sure that one of my sisters or relatives would know the date of my aunt Marie's funeral.  This recording was made the day before that event.***

***UPDATE, courtesy of sister Gerry with regards to the date of when this tape was made.

"Auntie Marie died Apr. 28, 1997, so the Saturday would have been May 3rd.  A place in time."

Thanks Ger.


living a life of simple acceptance,

The Thoughtful Wanderer

Sunday, January 14, 2018


POST # 294

Well I never thought that it would come to this, but I may have to consider sending a complaint to the house sitting service of which I am a member.  The sign on the front door of my current house sit clearly states that this home has a 4 paw rating.  Well it's just not true.  And I have photo evidence to prove my case.  

I only count 3 paws.  Mind you, they are all very furry and soft, so at least that helps to mitigate the problem.  In addition to that, Silken, the new furball in residence does enjoy lounging on the couch the same way that the previous (4 pawed) furball, Piper enjoyed doing.  So she has scored a few brownie points in that regard.  Still, she has plenty of work ahead of her in order to soften the blow of Piper not being around any longer.  Day by day, Silken appears to be trying to please the house sitter. She has some big paws to fill, and she's at an obvious disadvantage.  But if nothing else, I am extremely patient, so I'll give her as much time as is required for her to fill those former paws.

Here she is below, attempting to let the house sitter know that she is a worthy furball.

Plus,  I have to admit that she is rather pretty as well, in spite of the fact that she usually has this "deer in the headlights" look on most occasions.  Perhaps she's just trying to emphasize her beautiful eyes.

In any event, it's early days, and the two of us will continue our journey together, while her owner is over in Hawaii, playing on the beach.

living a life of simple acceptance,

The Thoughtful Wanderer

Sunday, January 7, 2018


POST # 293

During my current house/pet sit, I have become aware of just how much I appreciate the snow and ice that surrounds me on this property, in this first week of the year, 2018.  I think that the reason for this state of mind, is my continued interest in abrupt climate change, and how that is affecting this planet that we call home. 

2018 could end up being the year that the Arctic becomes ice-free.  We've dodged a bullet for the last few years, but I for one, will be very surprised if by September of this year, and for the first time in the human experience, we don't see an ice-free Arctic. All the indicators seem to suggest a lack of ice.  And that my friends, will be very bad news, because that ice, is the earth's "air conditioner" and once the air conditioner fails, then things really begin to heat up at an even faster rate than what is currently happening.
So I can think of no better thing, than to add a few snow and cold related photos to today's post, starting with the first image below, which is a photo of a single snow flake courtesy of a man by the name of Alexey Kljatov.  For more images, the reader can follow the link at the bottom of this post.  I highly recommend it.  So much beauty in a single snowflake.

And speaking of links to other information, I've also provided one to the Climate Reanalyzer website which is a wealth of information.  The map that I have highlighted is one that shows temperature anomalies around the planet.  One look at that map gives the reader a very good idea of just how out of whack things are.  When it's hotter in Alaska than in Texas, something is abnormal.  Another thing to note is how the North American continent seems to be split in two, with relatively warmer temperatures on the Western half, and colder temperatures in the East.  In the past, in a "normal" year, the cold air would have been concentrated around the North Pole, with the warmer air in the South.  These air masses are separated by the jet stream, but nowadays, the jet stream is also behaving in a strange manner, and that's why it can be warmer in Alaska than it is in Texas. This new phenomenon is best described by Dr. Jennifer Francis, and can be viewed in this video.

Good luck using the Farmer's Almanac in the future to try and work out what to plant, when to plant it, and where to plant it.  No food is going to be an inconvenience for humans.  Hmmmm!!!

Enjoy the photos, and enjoy 2018.  Things are bound to get much more interesting as the year progresses.

macro snowflake photo


So another house/pet sit comes to a close.  As is always the case, I will miss the company of the current furball, Ringo for a while, but soon there will be another furball to take his place.  He is rapidly moving up my list of preferred furballs.  Here he is with a look that seems to suggest that he is going to miss me as much as I will miss him.

Seems like he's having trouble accepting the fact that I'm going to be leaving soon.

Don't fret Ringo, if the opportunity presents itself again, you can count on me coming back for a visit.

Plus, here is a short video of "the girls" as they came out of their chicken coup the other day. 

I began this current post talking about ice, so why not finish it off with fire, and a salute to the trusty old wood stove that has kept me company for the past couple of weeks.  It would have been very chilly without it.


*** (Please note, the door is open only for the purpose of taking the photos)

“A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.”

 Albert Einstein
died April 18th, 1955

living a life of simple acceptance,

The Thoughtful Wanderer

Thursday, December 28, 2017


POST # 292

A quick glance at Ringo's posture may have the reader thinking that he's not happy to have me back  here as the house sitter in charge. If you thought that, you are sadly mistaken. Take a closer look.

How about this?  Or maybe the next photo.

I think you get the picture by now.  Ringo is one happy furball, and so is the house sitter.
And it's not only Ringo that is enjoying his time. So are "the girls" especially since I cleared away some snow, so that they now have an opportunity to munch on some "real food" to supplement their grain supply.

There are fourteen in the group, and so far they have been supplying me with an abundance of fresh eggs.  Here's today's harvest.

In addition to all of these critters, there are also three fish which reside in a small tank in the house.  They are extremely easy to care for, and some days I think that "the girls" and Ringo could learn from them, about the right way to keep the house sitter's stress level down.  My life is just so damn stressful these days. NOT!!!

I love this place.  It's out in the country which is my preferred setting nowadays, and it's a log house to boot, which gives the place a very warm and cozy feel.  And the best part is that it is very, very peaceful.  I  appreciate the peace and quiet more than anything else.

There happens to be plenty of snow at the moment, however with the rain today, I imagine things will be looking much greener in the near future.  "The girls" will be very happy about that.


December 28th is always the final blog for the year, and as each year comes to a close, I continue to be amazed that things are still functioning as well as they have been, all things considered.  With only three days left in the year, it got me to thinking about my idea of the Seven Threes, something that came to me a few months ago.  I happened to mention the concept to my friend Guy during my most recent visit to Belize, and it inspired him to write a short essay at his website.  He's a far superior writer than I'll ever be, and he managed to weave the concept into a short little story.  I think he did a wonderful job.  If you would like to read what Guy wrote, you can find it at this link:

After looking at the essay, perhaps the reader will be left with a somewhat better appreciation of just how precious our time on the planet is.  At this point, three more years seems an enormous length of time, at least it does to me.  Others may disagree.

I've managed to get the use of a computer in the local library, but it's only for an hour, and the time limit is rapidly approaching, so I had best do a proof read, or ten, and see if I can clean up any errors, prior to hitting the publish button.  Plus, the wood stove back home will need to be topped up soon, and I have a snow project to deal with as well, which should keep me occupied until dark.  In addition to that, Ringo, "the girls" and of course the fish are probably wondering why I'm not there attending to their every need.  

living a life of simple acceptance,

The Thoughtful Wanderer