Bunker in Strathconna

The Bunker

The front of the building.

This is an amazing property. It was built by a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor. He had his office on the main floor, he lived upstairs and sat outside on the roof top deck. The building was a mixed use building but has been changed to Residential. Here are a few snaps of the space.

This is the livingroom. The livingroom and dinningroom are all part of one big space. The windows are what are called, turn and tilt. They either open the usual way with the window swinging out or tilt away from the top to let in air. They also have metal shutters so you are totally safe when they are closed.

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”.

Co-op in Kerrisdale!

IMG_0004Sunny corner 1 bedroom co-op suite for $244,900.  The suite is facing east & south to a lovely garden. There are three gardens in the complex for those sunny summer afternoons.

The Suite has the look, charm & feel of a mid-century bungalow with lots of light & big, comfy rooms. Beautiful hardwood floors & double-glazed windows keep you warm in this well maintained & mechanically up-dated complex. Walking distance to shopping, amenities, parks, community centre & transit.

The end of the rainbowKerrisdale Community Centre

All the convenience & charm of Kerrisdale at your doorstep at such an affordable price. Co-ops require a 35% down payment. Shows well. Parking available on a 1st come first serve basis.

The Villa Townhome on Little Commercial

SOLD for $305000

#10 – 3477 Commercial Street   $325,000

MLS # V760933

View from the Balcony

View from the Balcony

“In 2000 we went looking for a Vancouver home where we would be in the company of other writers and artists. Opposite the Skytrain and Trout Lake on Commercial Street at 18th Avenue, we found the ideal situation–a sunlit, two level, two bedroom European-style condominium. This small home (800+ square feet) has served us well. It is in brand new condition. A skylight in the kitchen opens to the sun and the evening skies. There is a fine gas fire in the living room, and we can see the mountains from the living room and the balcony off the dining room. Our front door opens onto the Villa’s central garden courtyard. The property is secure, including the underground parking.”

So describes my client about his pied a terre here in Vancouver as he and his wife have finally decided that living in Toronto and having a place on Galliano was enough toes on the earth for any one couple. So now you have the chance to put your toe into one of the best spots to live in Vancouver. There on Little Commercial only steps to Trout Lake. Or take a stroll down Commercial for a cup of Cappuccino and a Biscotti before you do your weekly shopping at the numerous markets along the Drive.

If you wait ’til Saturday you can shop at the Farmers Market and feel righteous as you “buy green”, follow the 100 mile diet and support local farmers.

It doesn’t stop there. The complex is filled with artists and writers so you can enjoy a community of culture while gabbing with neighbours in the central courtyard – without even going down to the street.

These fellow condo-ites recently got control of the strata council and have pro-actively ordered an engineer’s report to bring the condo up to snuff. Coming from the report were many suggestions to fix problems that had been nagging at the property for a while. And last year an assessment was put on the suite and has been paid. So you will be buying a property that is “as good as new” with all known problems being dealt with.

Now check out the pictures and give me a call at 604-760-7342 to view the listing.

Exterior from the street. A bit garrish, eh!

Exterior from the street. A bit garrish, eh!

Once inside you walk down the courtyard to the suite.

Once inside you walk down the courtyard to the suite.


Then up the stairs to the door.

Then up the stairs to the door.

Up the stairs to the suite

Up the stairs to the suite

Up the stairs to the suite!
enter the suite
Top of the stairs is the kitchen and the skylight opens!

Top of the stairs is the kitchen and the skylight opens!

to the right is the dining area and the door to the balcony

to the right is the dining area and the door to the balcony


the living room with gas fireplace

the living room with gas fireplace


Green Tea House Flyers


Download  PDF:  Flyer page 1, Green Tea House Details

Go to full description here.

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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By The Skin Of Our Teeth

turning in my tax form

Every year we are called upon to do our taxes. And every year we are doing them at the last minute. This year was no exception. But there is a ritual that we join with others of our ilk. Those who also only get them done by the skin of our teeth.

Here we are joining the parade of last minute entrants between 11 and 11:59 pm turning in our tax forms. We got to the site at about 11:15 so we had time to meet the Posties outside the post office. Every year these same people stand with a truck ready to take only tax forms down to Surrey for processing.

Here I am with Postie Friendly turning in my tax form while Postie Pete stamps the date on my envelope so I don’t get a penalty.

Me and Postie Friendly

Buying a Heritage Home

Getting an Electrical Inspection to facilitate insurance access.

I went to the big Vancouver Real Estate Conference at Canada Place last month. Following the breakfast meeting we had the choice of lots of work shops that seem to have two perspectives – one to make me richer and one to tell us how to service our clients better. I know I missed out on wealth years ago when I spent 30 years as an artist, but it is never too late for service to your customers.

Most interesting to me was a workshop on buying an old house with outdated electrical systems. They covered knob and tube wiring among other problem systems. The speaker stated that the problem Ken and Morgan’s Housewith old wiring is most often not that it is dangerous, but that you cannot get insurance on your house. (A major biggie.)

Most insurance companies refuse to insure an older house that has aluminum or knob and tube wiring. Up until recently, the only option available was to have the outdated wiring removed (at considerable expense), even though the wiring might in fact be perfectly safe.

To solve this problem, Brian Cook (the presenter), formed a new company called “PowerCheck Home Electrical Safety Inspections”. He approachedLinda’s house BCAA and proposed that they support an inspection that assesses any risk posed by the knob and tube (and other old wiring) to get them to accept the assessment for insurance purposes. BCAA agreed to insure heritage property with this inspection.

According to PowerCheck, (providing there has been no tampering), about 95 per cent of all knob and tube wiring is fine. In such cases, PowerCheck prepares a list of “Corrective Actions”. Once the corrective actions have been remidied, the home is automatically re-rated at a respective lower risk rating.

The insurance companies will automatically give you insurance (at a premium rate) when you buy using PowerCheck with an agreement that once you bring the risk down you will have your insurance lowered.

For more information check out http://www.powercheck.ca or call (604) 684-3630Red house in snow

Vegetables Here I Come



My life has been transformed. I have been reading about plant protein verses animal protein. The book is called The China Study by Colin Campbell. I wont go into the details, but he says that by eating a whole food, plant protein diet most of the diseases of affluence can be avoided and/or cured. This includes heart disease, cancer, diabetes etc. Over the past few weeks I have gotten my blood suger to be normal and have reduced my medications. Give me a call if you are interested in the details. I have become a Vegan.



Here are a couple of recipe for Indian food without milk or meat.

Aloo Gobi (potato’s and cauliflower)

Ginger, Garlic
Turmeric 1/2 Tsp.
Cumin Powder 2 Tsp.
Coriander Powder 2 Tsp.
Red Chili Powder 2 tsp.
Garam Masala 1 Tsp.
Cilantro Few sprigs for Garnishing.
Oil 1 Tbsp.

Wash & drain cauliflower florets. Dice potatoes.Heat Oil,
add Onions & fry till translucent. Add ginger, garlic, stir,
Mix in Potatoes , cover to cook.When the Potatoes are half
done , add the florets, turmeric. Cover to Cook. Open
after a few minutes, add all the dry powders & mix.
Garnish with Cilantro leaves and salt to taste.

Sag Paneer

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
pinch of cumin seed
2 cardamom seeds
1 stick of cinnamon
2 or 3 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon each fresh ginger and garlic
1 small fresh tomato, sliced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound fresh spinach, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
fresh cilantro leaves
Diced firm tofu.

Heat oil in saucepan and saute chopped onion until light
brown. Add cumin seed, cardamom, cinnamon stick, bay
leaves, cloves, ginger, garlic, sliced tomato and black
pepper and saute about 30 seconds. Add chopped spinach
stirring until it begins to change color. When it goes dark
green add salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander powder and
garam masala. Mix well with spinach. cilantro and tofu
cubes. Cook it well, stirring so it doesn’t scorch.

Serve above with rice mixed with peas.