The Broken Bridge and Other Stories

So. Last weekend we went down to Mt. Baker.

Helen Tripp, a friend of John and Gayle’s (and our officient), has a timeshare down at Snowater at the bottom of a spur of Mt. Baker, and let John and Gayle use it for the week. We went down Friday night and Lisa flew in on Saturday morning. Five people in an one bedroom condo may seem a little crowded but was actually fun (though apparently I should take dominoes a little less seriously).

I was just coming down with a cold and was trying not to have a repeat of the germ fiasco that was January, so I determined to take it easy. With the number of books on hand, that was not terribly challenging.

On Saturday morning, we all lounged around reading until Steve, John & Lisa decided to take advantage of the unexpected sun and head up the mountain. I didn’t go. See above re: easy.

Pre-hiking quietness:

They decided to go all the way up to Artist’s Ridge to try and get better views of Baker proper.

Here is (some hill that isn’t Mt. Baker but looks like it ought to be).

Here is some more (random hill that isn’t Mt. Baker), from Artist’s Point.

Someone turned the table… um, camera… on Steve. So cute! I almost wished I had gone. Almost.

Saturday night (as I recall) we had round one of a competitive Mexican Train tournament.

Sunday, I was feeling a bit better, so Steve and I went for a walk up the Nooksack river. The river trail basically starts right outside the door of the condo, and the Nooksack is so darn pretty, that I didn’t take TOO much convincing. Steve was pretty good about taking photos on the way back, so we got some good exercise on the way up. We crossed the highway to where we could let the dog off the leash and took the Horseshoe Trail to the very end, then wandered back.

We came across a stunningly beautiful pool beside a sandy beach. It was protected from the current by huge rocks. Had the water not been icy, icy snowmelt from the infite glaciers of Mt. Baker, it would have been a great place to swim.

As it was, no. Just no.

Steve took a photo of me and Angel by the pool. In penance, he had to carry some of the rocks I picked up.

We found a deeply strange rock on the edge of the pool. It was green and red with white stripes. Angel obligingly stood on it to add interest to the photo.

When we first reached the trailhead for the Horseshoe Trail, there were big signs up warning hikers not to go on the second bridge as it was damaged by storms. When we got to the bridge, it was a bit slanted, but I gave it a good shake and it seemed sturdy enough, so we went across as happy as could be. I guess the West Coast Trail affects your judgement when it comes to the apparent safety of bridges, ’cause we didn’t think about it again, except to take a picture on the return journey.

The next day, however, Lisa and John walked the same trail. They heeded the signs, and did the scramble below the bridge. Turns out all the support beams on one side were cracked through. Oops!

We determined that Steve prefers rainforest and I prefer the drier, lighter forests of the interior. We decided part of our vows should be “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in rainforest or boreal”… I wonder if Helen would go for that?

On the way back down the river, we enjoyed the slanting sunbeams through the rainforest, on the bare alders and on the blue-green Nooksack River.

There was more lounging in the afternoon, with Angel being cute, cuddley and cadge-y, trying to get illicent food whenever possible.

Here she is trying to get into the ‘pub mix’ while simultaneously cuddling with Gayle.

Sunday evening was round two of cutthroat Mexican Train. Sometimes I’m lucky. Other times I swear. Steve and I made delicious curries — well, Steve spiced, I chopped. It was great fun. We only had tense words once which, for a galley kitchen, is pretty damn good.

After a leisurely start to Monday morning, we drove off to further adventures up the Nooksack. We drove down a tiny, slick little dirt road to see the Nooksack Falls. Last year when we went down we couldn’t get in at all. The falls are spectacular, though frankly a little nerve-wracking. There are signs All Over The Place telling you not to go beyond the fence or YOU’LL DIE IMMEDIATELY. Which is not to say that I don’t agree with the signs. They even have a slightly macabre listing of all the people who have died — trying to get a better picture, no doubt, as Steve found it difficult to get a shot of all the falls at once. I can see the temptation to go over the fence in search of the perfect photo… but we were sensible. Or scared.

On the other side of the sign from ‘The List’, there was some interesting history about the area. It had been developed by some ‘mining’ entrepreneurs who actually wanted to use the force of the falls to generate hydroelectricity. Their ruse worked, and the Pelton wheel generating station was in use for over 100 years, only closing in 1997. They had a flume (the original was fir staves held together by iron bands — picture a REALLY long barrel) that carried the water down a kilometre or two down to the riverside where the generating station was. The pictures showed the plant was in a really graceful 19th century building, so we went down the road to where it was, hoping for a glimpse. No luck. There were huge No Trespassing signs everywhere threatening dire consequences for those who went further… and we’re scared of consequences, so we turned around. Here’s a photo of the flume instead.

Monday afternoon we snuck in a few more games of highly intense Mexican Train, then an early dinner and back to the Coast! We made the last ferry with time to spare — enough time, in fact to go up to Cypress Lookout and look at the lights of the city.

It was a lovely holiday. Thank you Helen, and John, Gayle and Lisa for their hospitality and for hiding all the sugary treats until after we had left 🙂

Speaking of, we still held off sugar through Valentine’s Day, when we went out to dinner at the Old Boot in Sechelt… mmm, lamb. Next week I’m going to start a six-week exercise program called ‘Boot Camp’, God help me. My mum started Curves, so we can commiserate. I’m looking forward to this program, even though I’m dreading it. Hopefully, I’ll be in the same position fitness-wise at the beginning of April as I usually am at the beginning of July. Yay! Boo. Yay! Boo.

Yay! Boo.

And on the wedding front, I’ve got everything in hand to start invitation-making. We’re in town this weekend for the Chinese New Year and to see Lisa and run all kinds of errands. Somewhere between semi-finals of the Great Mexican Train Tournament I hope to make an invitation production line.

Choo choo stamp choo choo stamp choo choo stamp damn! choo choo stamp choo choo

Thank you, Gawain! And Guigemar! And the stupid girdles, too.

Some of you may not know that I have a sizeable pile of outstanding schoolwork. I completed most of a BA, including all the coursework — somehow neglecting to actually write the final papers for a number of those courses. As an excuse, “oops” sounds more than a little facetious, and other words that describe my predicament are a little too rude to put to page. The short story is that I was in a rather spectacular car accident that sapped my ability to believe that I was still a good writer. Having become more than a little addicted to the accolades I got from professors (and my beloved GPA), it seemed easier to not do the work than try and fail.

It has come to the point, however, that I need to get this chapter of my life complete before I move on to married life. There are many reasons: more money (maybe), prestige, career options, a good excuse to redo my business cards… plus I just want to have it. After all, that’s why I went back to school in the first place. I wanted to do the work and succeed and put letters after my name.

Steve and my dad have been instrumental in keeping this at the front of my mind, and cheerleading, and spamming, and reminding me why I want to do this. Keeping this journal-blog has also helped. It has gotten me writing regularily again (and liking it) which hadn’t happened in quite some time. Taking some time off over the summer and fall also helped… to the point where I resolved, over Christmas, to get the papers done before the wedding.

Alas, I’ve been sick for a bunch of weeks after Christmas, and procrastinated a few more, then I was sick again… and this week I knuckled down and did one. I have no way of knowing if the paper doesn’t SUCK, but at least its done and gone. Hopefully the professor will accept it 🙂

Ah well.

One down, nine to go.

Wow! Is that ever pink!

Awwww… look at that face! Angel loves her new bed — well, new to her. She co-opted it from my parent’s elderly cat at Thanksgiving.

No, my blog wasn’t taken over by Barbie. Honest.

I was chatting by email with Andie and she mentioned that she didn’t really know much about the wedding — colours, themes… anything, really! I figured it was time to start revealing more details of the hows and whats and whens — oh, and the what-colours-are-theres, too.

In the link bars to the right, you’ll find a link to our wedding details website, which is a little easier than trying to sift through all the cr*p I’ve written over the past seven or so months. The site, provided by, is still a work in progress (I’m trying to get these invites out, people!).

There are also links below that which will help you with ferry travel, accommodations, BC weather, time wasting on the internet looking at links I like… all kinds of stuff!

If you want to reach me, leave a comment (I like comments!) or you can email me through my profile (I think).

Yeah. It’s now less than three and a half months until the wedding. Yup, I’m freaking out. Things are getting crossed off my list, slowly but surely, but it still feels like there is So Much To Do. And there is So Much To Do — I’m not delusional!

I’ve managed to get my ears pierced… well, repierced. I’d like to wear some earrings I got from my Grandma, but I let the holes grow over. Ouchie!

Steve and also spent a wet hour at Phil & Susan’s transplanting little cedar trees which will be part of the decor. In a few weeks we’ll be back planting rosemary and lily of the valley. Hopefully it will be less wet. A lot less wet.

My parents bought themselves a brand-new jeep wrangler for mountain-driving. My mum was so excited to advise that we could use it for driving around for weddingy stuff. I think she has a vision — a vision I like very much — of us in all our finery, top down and doors off, driving to the reception. Pray for sun!

Here is the pumpkin in all it’s glory:

What else… invitation stuff is slowly coming together. If the last stamp arrives in the mail tomorrow, I’m actually going to take the whole box o’ invite crap down to Mt. Baker this weekend and see if I can’t get Gayle & Lisa’s help (and Steve & John too, if I can nail them down) to start the invite factory. At the very least, I’d like to get their addresses.

Steve and I are still off sugar. I haven’t noticed any significant weight loss, but I do feel healthier. Well, except for today when I have a cold. A-choo!

What else… Steve got picked up by the gallery that him and Di did the concert at! It’s actually even cooler than it sounds, because we went by with the paintings on Tuesday last. They wanted two of the watercolours right away (well, they wanted three of them, but we only had two frames) and two of the acrylics as well, but Steve had to take them home again to varnish them. When he went by again yesterday (a week later), there had been two seperate sets of people wanting to buy the two watercolours that were hanging — no bio write up, no labels, no prices — but they still were interested. So, when he dropped off the two acrylics, the woman took THREE more watercolours! They now have seven of Steve’s pieces, which is impressive considering no other artist in there has more than three hanging. Oi vey!

AND there is a very good chance the gallery owner will be instrumental (hee) in helping Steve and Di get their cd done. So wonderful! (yay!)

Not that I’m excited or anything, but damn!

Weddings… right. Sorry.

Um, yeah. So the colours are brown and pink, which surprises even me, since our house is decorated in green, cream, art and hints of red and black. It’s… eclectic, not tailored. But I’ve been becoming more pink-liking for a few years now anyway. And the brown? Well…

I like the brown and pink because it’s simple, and spring-y, and reminds me of how the brown sticks of poplars pink up in the spring in the Kootenays — or how the bare branches of cherries turn to clouds of blossoms in Vancouver.

Spring marks a warming of life, the quickening of energy, and moments of feeling the warm sun on upturned faces that is more precious than gold. I can think of no better time to begin a new enterprise like a marriage — I am changing from a ‘me’ into an ‘us’, like trees turn from branches into leaves. Even though my life has been lovely to this point (I’ve been blessed with people and opportunities), I feel as though I’ve been moving from drab Octobers and Februarys of love to this wonderful May morning of being with Steve.

And on a wonderful May afternoon, in the sight of our people and the spring sun, we will be married.

Here is a photo Steve sent me, titled “A Corvus For My Love.” Thanks, babe!

That’s Quattrocchi. Yes, Q-U-A… Ah… Mrs. Q. is fine. Lorien is better. What? L-O-R…

THIS blogger perfectly summed up my feelings about changing my name.

“liz is changing her name. aargh. liz might be excessively angsty and neurotic about changing her name.

i had to think about it for ages. and ages. and ages. And then more. I got headaches. I got bitchy. I got pissed off at the massive historical patriarchy and at the way i wanted to be a feminist and that they might not think i was. I was annoyed at my parents for giving me four names in the first place that i couldn’t even use. I was annoyed at my mom for keeping her name and making me explain to every teacher and gym coach and school nurse that yes she’s my mom, and yes i lived with her, and yes she married my dad, and yes they’re still together, between pre-K and – well, people still get confused. I’m still annoyed that even if i kept my name, it’s not that i don’t have a man’s name because it’s not my husband’s, i just have my father’s and grandfather’s names instead. And those aren’t even the halves of the families i’m close to, you know? If i kept my dad’s name, it’s still not my grandmother’s name, so what’s the freaking point? And it’s not like it was hers to begin with, either. It’s men the whole way back. So how does it matter if i have this man’s name, or that man’s name, or the other one? And i got more pissed at the vast right-wing patriarchical conspiracy.

And i can’t use my name as-is, now, either, legally, it’s not on anything. Because it’s too freaking long. I lose an initial or an entire middle name, now, no matter what, at least, if i even get a space for even one middle initial or name in the first place. Nothing has both middle names on it. As in, nothing. So it’s mine but i can’t use it. i’ve never been able to use it. Like having a fantastic European cappucino machine that you can’t find electrical-plug converters for.

I can’t use my name as-is.
I might as well have a man’s name from a man that i chose for myself.”

I too, want to take this opportunity to rename myself in a way more condusive to fitting on a driver’s license and that will not confuse the gym coach of our future child/ren… and that involves me choosing — not required, bullied or raised-eybrow’d into taking — but CHOOSING to take my husband’s name.

My mad link skilz are obviously not up to par… here is the URL: