Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions 39x54" fabric applique, 1984

I found some fabric of Purina chick feed. Purina also makes breakfast cereals. I played with the idea of us being fattened up just as the meat industry was fattening up our dinners.

I win the 2010 Academy Awards for Best Dressed Matron

best dressed matron 2010


Jeannie Kamins won the Best Dressed Matron Award at the Oscar Ceremonies this year. She was wearing the Rose Dress by the famous designer, Ralph. When asked how come we hadn’t seen her on the Red Carpet, she replied, “I know you probably missed me as I stepped out of my pink flocked limo on Sunday night, but unfortunately I arrived at the same time as J-Lo. Next year I will have to plan better. Notice that I am wearing the Hopeless Diamond and carrying the famous Scrappy Coco”.

The Olympics

I hate the Olympics… Not that it isn’t nice to watch the best athletes in the world strutting their stuff, but I hate that our city will be destitute for years to come. I hate that for lack of money schools are closing, libraries are being shut down, and community centres are closing. I hate the buzz of helicopters flying over my home. I hate that I can’t go downtown without going through security points. I hate that poor and homeless people are being mover from their shelters to the hinterlands. I hate that they lied to us about how much it would cost… not that I didn’t know they were lying. I hate that all those people who have businesses in areas where they thought they would benefit from the Olympics are being put out of business by the security people. I hate the corporate greed that defines the structures of VANOC. And, I hate the fear technique used to justify their fascistic behavior.

Here is a snap of my daughter and I modeling our new Olympic T-shirts that I made for the occasion.

1 Jeannie and Rachel fuck the olympics_2

My Fiftieth High School Reunion

Marcia's Studio

Marcia's Studio

In early May I went to my 50th High School Reunion. Well, it wasn’t really my High School Reunion. It was a reunion of my buds. We went to two schools. Hollywood High School and Fairfax High School. (I went to Fairfax). We met at Marcia’s ranch that was about 15 miles outside of Santa Maria. There were 35 of us. We had all been unusual people and we still were. I would describe us as the intelligencia.

As a group we came from adequately comfortable homes. Our parents were well educated and in some cases, of the international set. (This had less to do with money as to do with comfort in living outside the USA.) Probably half of us had at least one parent who had been born in Europe and had come to North America escaping the Nazis or went to Europe escaping McCarthyism. This translated into that some of us had lived in Europe and several of us spoke more than one language… (Not me! I was the throw back of the crowd.) There were 6 artists and a big chunk of the rest were University Profs – now retired. Edward is a concert pianist. Marcia is an artist who owns a gallery in Santa Barbara and Joanne was one of the first four women included in Jepson’s History of Art. Len has revolutionized linguistics. Mike is a constitutional lawyer. You can google them all later.

Although not all of us have made significant inroads in the development of American Culture, we were all important to each other. These people were my oldest friends. Five of them had gone to Wonderland Ave. School, my elementary school. It was in the Hollywood Hills and they were part of my memories of the smell of sage and summer dust puffing up between my toes as we tromped around the hills before they were carved into housing projects.

We came together at Marcia’s ranch in the California Costal Range. It was real Chaparral country. Everything was in bloom. We walked, we talked and we ate. And, we renew old acquaintenances. Now the trick will be to keep up our friendships in this world of over activities and our shortening lives with it’s lack of time for those things that count in life. This visit was one of the high points of my present life. Now if I can only remember it.

on the road outside of Mt. Shasta

on the road outside of Mt. Shasta

Wedgeleaf ceanothus or Buckbrush ceanothus is found from the Willamette Valley of west-central Oregon, south to the Rogue Valley and Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon. Also frequent along the coastal ranges of California, to the Liebre, San Gabriel, San Bernardino, Santa Rosa, and Laguna mountains in southern California.

Marcia's Studio

Marcia's Studio

Allen Associates has completed the Burtt Art Studio, a 1,800 sq. ft. straw bale structure which has integral color natural lime plasters on interior and exterior walls. The roof is made from SIP panels with recycled content standing seam roofing. A Rinnai on-demand water heater provides domestic hot water and backup radiant floor space heating. A stained concrete slab serves as the finish floor. The bathroom has a composting toilet. The crowning glory was a dying walnut tree on site that was milled into planks for bookcases and shelving.

My oldest friends from the third grade. We all moved to the hills the same year. Joanne and her twin sister Ellie and Hatsy.

My oldest friends from the third grade. We all moved to the hills the same year. Joanne and her twin sister Ellie and Hatsy.

Every morning I walked with Gina and one day with Peter too. Peter and I had been in an Acting summer camp together one summer. We were paired together because we were the funniest ones there. We recited the Happy Prince together. 60 years later and we still remembered it word for word.

Saturday night was the main Event

International Women’s Day

It started a long time ago. I would bump into Helen marching in the International Women’s Day march. We would start at the Queen E and walk down Georgia with our sisters. In the old days there were hundreds of us. We would sing and link arms with other women and snarl up the traffic. Nowdays it it hard to find the celebrations. The women’s section of the the Vancouver District and Labour Council had a breakfast but we didn’t go. We went to a talk at W2. It featured a Californian artist. We also ate Mexican food. Not much is open on a Sunday downtown.

Helen smokes a lot. Here she is after Mexican.

Helen smokes a lot. Here she is after Mexican.

And here is one of me after eating.

And here is one of me after eating.

Theresa Marshal introduces Favianna Rodriguez

Theresa Marshal introduces Favianna Rodriguez at the W2 Launch Pad


Helen is Helen Potrebenko and is a wonderful writer. Here is her poem to IWD.


What do you remember most?
Walking down Georgia.
Not betrayal, not defeat;
walking down Georgia.

What do you miss the most?
Walking down Georgia.
The days before
the ruling class could arrange
for us to see our liberation disappear
with the sisters rushing off
to join the middle class.
Walking down Georgia.

What do you hope for?
Not the goddesses they invented
to preach poverty to the poor,
wealth to the rich.
Walking down Georgia.

What do you fear the most?
Poverty and violence
and no more
walking down Georgia.

What did you think you were doing
walking down Georgia?
We were walking
for abortion;
for the right to control our own bodies.
For equal pay -
we thought women’s work should be paid
the same as men’s work.
For paid work -
we thought if a person did a job,
they should be paid for it.
For the right to organize
into groups of our own choice.
For the right to negotiate
about our own working conditions.
For day care
and all the raggle-taggle of children’s rights.
(Children’s rights are not important -
they’re only a women’s issue.)
Against sexism and racism and exploitation;
against poverty and violence and oppression.
For the right to jobs and promotion and pay
and to love whom we choose
and to live and laugh and raise children.
For safe houses and safe jobs
and streets where you don’t die.
Hey, we dreamed of safe houses
and safe jobs and safe streets,
walking down Georgia.
(Dreams drown in blood.)

What do you dream about now?
Women and children
in our hundreds
in our thousands
walking down Georgia;
chanting and singing down Georgia;
yelling on Georgia;
carrying babies and balloons
and banners,
walking down Georgia.

Copyright 2009, Helen Potrebenko. For permissions please visit

Christmas card

As I sat on the porch with my 95 year old mother, watching the Christmas star plummet to earth, she suddenly said, “I have waited 75 years for the fall of Capitalism”. Of course my Commie friends are not as complacent as they watch their nest eggs get scrambled. I am just glad I can always fall back on my ART.

And then I think of the black knight on the white house horse who has finally brought us hope. And that old depression ditty spins round and round my brain. “Oh they preach Socialism, but they practice Fascism; just to preserve Capitalism for the bosses.”

Wishing you Peace on Earth and a better world tomorrow.


and from my sweetie, Henri too, all the best in the new year.

I Thee Wed

I was married in 1962, and when I married I thought it was forever. I was pre-the baby boomers. I believed it was ok to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen… well, not exactly. But I did believe that I would marry a man who would take care of me and bring in a good income. I would stay home with the babies and cook and clean my house.

We lasted 10 years, had 2 children and then we went our separate ways. About a year later I found Henri and we started to cohabit – but I was ruined for marriage. I didn’t believe anymore. I no longer believed in “forever and ever”.

Henri and I lived together for 17 years before we “tied the knot”. And that was only because we were living in Quebec and they would have taken our inheritance away as we had to prove that we were “as-good-ahs” married. Actually Frank, my son proposed, but that is another story.

The point of this ramble is that I went to a same-sex wedding and I had an epiphany. Marriage is relatively unimportant to me. “Been there, done that”.

But that was not true for Sam and Alijandro.

They were ecstatic. Their joy was contagious. Alejandros mother and brother flew up from Southern Mexico for the wedding and it was a dream come true. They could stand in the church. That edifice of sanctification of our mores and prove to the world that they were more than “as-good-ahs”. It also was a way to protect themselves from the vagaries of the state.

Here are a few photos.

They say their vows


The family

The Happy Couple

European Chafer Beetles


European Chafer – A New Pest in The Lower Mainland

The European Chafer, Rhizotrogus majalis, is a serious pest of turf in eastern North America. In 2001 it was found in New Westminster, British Columbia, in lawns and boulevards. It is probable this pest has been in B.C. for a few years, and has now spread beyond New Westminster. In fact, while doing a bit of gardening in our yard we had a rain of beetles falling on our heads.


The adult beetle (Figure 1} is tan coloured and resembles a smallish June beetle. The larvae, or grubs (Figures 2,3}, have a C -shaped body and brown head. Mature chafer grubs are smaller than mature June beetle grubs. A microscope is required to confidently identify the grubs.

Adult European Chafer Figure 1: Adult European Chafer.
Chafer Grubs Figure 2: Mature European Chafer grubs


The European chafer completes its life cycle in one year. The adult chafer beetles swarm in conspicuous mating flights on warm evenings in late June and early July. The beetles fly to tall objects, usually trees or other vertical structures to mate. The adult females then locate nearby lawns to lay their eggs in. The females deposit up to 50 eggs each.

Eggs hatch in late July or early August and the larvae or grubs begin feeding on roots until the ground freezes. In colder climates, the larvae migrate down below the frost-line to overwinter.

From April to mid-May, the larvae migrate close to the soil surface and feed on turf roots. From mid-May to early June, the larvae stop feeding and pupate (undergo metamorphosis), and the adult beetles emerge two weeks later.


The grubs are the damaging stage. They feed on all types of grass and, if numerous and food is scarce, may move into vegetable plantings to feed on corn, potatoes and other crops. European chafer grubs prefer to feed on fibrous roots, and can damage ornamental and nursery plants by reducing their fibrous root system. Most of the damage is done by the the third (final} instar grubs in the fall and early spring, but damage can be masked by the abundant moisture at these times. Drier weather can quickly result in the appearance of brown, dying patches. Considerable damage to turf can occur in the fall and winter from animals, especially skunks, and birds digging up the grass to feed on the larger grubs (Figure 4).
The adult beetles feed at dusk on the leaves of deciduous trees but, even when numerous, seldom cause significant damage.

Chafer Grubs Figure 3: European Chafer grubs in turf
Chafer damage Figure 4: Boulevard damage caused by skunks digging out grubs.


In the Spring or Fall, turf that has been damaged by white grubs will lift away from the soil easily because the roots have been eaten and they no longer anchor the turf to the soil. Often, raccoons and skunks will pull back the turf in search of a meal of grubs. This secondary damage is usually more extensive than that caused by the grubs.

Turf that has been severely damaged by birds or other animals may also be brown, wilted or tufted in appearance. Grubs will often be visible when the turf is pulled back. Damage is most severe in the fall and the spring when the grubs are increasing in size rapidly and feeding near the surface.

To confirm the presence of European chafer grubs in your lawn this spring or fall, do the following:

European Chafer - Chafer Monitoring

  1. Use a garden shovel or spade to cut three sides of a 12-inch square.
  2. Grasp the open edges and peel back the turf like a carpet, towards the attached side.
  3. Look for the white, C-shaped grubs (larvae) or cocoons (pupae) in the soil, and just underneath the turf roots.
  4. Repeat Steps 1 to 3 in at least five different sections of lawn.
  5. If you count five or more white grubs per square foot, consider applying a (non-toxic) biological treatment in the summer.
  6. If you are unsure of what you have found, place a grub inside a jar or plastic bag, and take it down to your local specialty garden centre for identification.


Healthy, vigorous, well-irrigated turf can withstand low levels of grub feeding.

Biological Treatment

A 2005 study commissioned by the Western Canada Turfgrass Association, the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, and several local municipalities, revealed that biological treatments could be very effective at controlling the European chafer population, when used in combination with healthy lawn care practices.

According to the study, the most effective biological control measure was the nematode (or roundworm) Heterorhabditis bacteriophora – a natively occurring species that has been used successfully in BC to control other pests. The H. bacteriophora nematode is a “cruiser” species that actively seeks out white grubs (such as the European chafer), and quickly destroys them from the inside-out.

Treatments are most effective if done in late July, after the European chafer eggs have hatched and when the young grubs are most vulnerable to nematode attack.

Book your nematode treatment in the spring, by doing one of the following:

  • Inquire at a specialty garden centre about ordering nematodes and applying them to your lawn in late July. “Nemasys G” is one of a few brand names to look for. Stratas may inquire about bulk purchase rates from wholesalers/distributors of these products; OR

  • Find a lawn contractors in your area by searching in the phone directory under “Lawn Maintenance”. Receive one or more quotes for the application of H. bacteriophora nematodes to your lawn in July

What is the long term solution? 

In order to prevent European chafer damage in the long-term, many residents are now considering the use of alternative ground covers – particularly on sites that are sunny and well-draining, and prone to yearly infestations.

Groundcovers can be selected to be aesthetically pleasing year-round and to require minimal maintenance. They may also be incorporated with foot paths to increase their aesthetic value. Mulch or paving stones can also be considered in high traffic areas.

Trifolium repens (Dutch White Clover) is one example of a low-growing plant that will form a green, durable ground cover that is easy to maintain. It also produces tiny white or pale pink flowers that may attract bees and other beneficial insects to your yard.

Some of the options of a turf yard. White clover mixed with grass and wildflowers.




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Big Brother is Watching You!

They have come up with a new regulation that I will have to be accountable for. I am checking with the BC Civil Liberties Association, but at present I have no choice but to give the company more of your personal information. The new regulation is part of bill C-25. Check out the information below.

Big Brother is Watching You!

“New federal laws and regulations dealing with money laundering and anti-terrorist financing now in effect require real estate agents and brokers to collect and verify more personal information from buyers and sellers.

Real estate agents now must also track the source of funds received during the course of a real estate transaction, such as the deposit.

The new regulations are part of Bill C-25 passed in 2007 that requires a number of industries, including real estate, to do more to help stop money laundering and terrorist financing. The regulations are enforced by the federal agency known as the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or FINTRAC.

“Real estate agents have had legal obligations under the federal government’s push to prevent criminal activity and terrorism since 2001, when Canada’s first comprehensive laws to combat money laundering and terrorist financing were introduced,” said Canadian Real Estate Association president Calvin Lindberg.

“In the first phase of compliance, real estate agents were required to report only suspicious transactions, or transactions involving more than $10,000 in cash,” he added. “Now, verified personal information must be kept of the buyer and seller for each and every real estate transaction in Canada. That personal information includes details such as occupation.”

Real estate agents are now required to ask for proof of the identity of all buyers or sellers involved in a Canadian real estate transaction — there were 559,325 MLS® transactions last year. If the client is a corporation, that information must include corporate documentation and the names of the corporation directors. Agents must also ascertain if a third party is involved in the transaction.

This also applies if a buyer or seller involved in a transaction is not represented by a real estate agent, but the other individual involved is represented. Those buying or selling privately will be asked by the agent representing the other party involved in the transaction to provide proof of identity as well, and that record must be kept by the real estate agent involved in the transaction.

Also under the new FINTRAC regulations, real estate agents dealing with clients they never meet must also verify personal information. The broker office involved can do this with a service agreement with an agent or “mandatary” (one given the mandate to act in the transaction) in the area where the client is located. That agent or mandatary must then meet the client,

verify the identification of the client, and

provide the information to the broker office

actually handling the real estate transaction.

“There are buyers, sellers or investors from other countries who rely on expertise here rather than visiting the property themselves,” the CREA president said. “They must now meet with an official agent of the Canadian broker, and provide proof of identity. This agreement will add to the business costs of the Canadian broker.”

In addition to verification of personal information, real estate agents must also complete a report on the receipt of all funds received during the real estate transaction, not just those of $10,000 or more.

In order to comply with these new federal regulations, real estate agents are required to keep this identification and receipt of funds information on file for five years and provide it to FINTRAC if requested. It is the individual broker office that will be responsible for the safe keeping of the information, and the brokerage that will have to respond to any FINTRAC information request.

The Ellis House in West Vancouver SOLD!


Jim is an artist and his home is amazing. Check out these pictures!

The home is called the Ellis Residence and is now on the Market. It was designed by Bob Lewis in the late 1950′s. This Meticulously maintained home showcases west coast living at its best. view

The Bright open plan with windows to the south allows spacious views of the entire harbour and the Vancouver inlet.

The home has three bedrooms and two fireplaces.Master Bedroom

Master bedroom. Note the closets hidden in the walls.  The two other bedrooms follow, one is used as an office.

second bedroom


There are five skylights and cedar paneling throughout.


Family room

The family room is yet another office.

Approach up the Country cobblestone drive to the house nestled among gardens and cedars.

the home

Spend your summers bar-b-queing on your two patios.



The Patio seen from two angles.

Outside of studio

Jim has a great studio over the two car garage.



First open house June 8th from 2-4 PM. Check out more details on the internet The MLS number is V738356