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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

My worst nightmare!

Last night as we were getting ready to go to bed, I was showing Richard something on my ipad on the couch. Normally Richard would be sitting in his big Captain’s chair up at the front of Newman, and I would be lying on the couch, but last night he was sitting next to me. Just as I was showing him something on my ipad, didn’t I sense something run by the top of the couch by the window! Instinctively I knew it was a mouse!

I got up so fast off the couch and I ran to the bedroom in Newman. I slammed the bedroom door and started yelling at Richard to put the food we had out on the counter into the refrigerator, and to put any crackers and cookies that were open in the cupboard into the refrigerator too. I also asked him to please bring me my ipad, iphone, phone/ipad chargers, camera, my purse, plus all of the blankets on the couches into our bedroom. I had a plan to barracade myself in our bedroom until Richard set some mouse traps. What I didn’t know was that Richard had mouse poison under his seat in Newman, which has been in place since we left home last November.. But now Richard was going to set some mouse traps overnight with cheese to try and catch the mouse. OMG!

Anyone who knows me well knows that MICE are my absolute nightmare. I once had a dead mouse under my desk at work and I didn’t know it was there. I kept saying to one of my co-workers, ‘What is that smell?” Finally I looked down and saw the dead mouse at my feet! I screamed and jumped up on my desk until another co-worker could come and take the mouse away. And that mouse was dead and I was still screaming!

When I was working in another building in Toronto, we were connected to Union Station - the main train station in downtown Toronto. We had mice in our building and the deal was that my good friend and co-worker Lesley would get to work at 7:30am, and I would arrive at 7:50am. She had a ‘live trap’ underneath her desk and if she arrived and found that there was a mouse in the trap, she would call the building maintenance man and he would come and empty the trap, all before I ever got to work. Lesley would also not tell me if there ever was a mouse under her desk. I think that’s what good friends are for! The next story of me and a mouse is the absolute worst one though.

I have a 2005 BMW Z4 convertible roadster. It’s an older car, but its a classic and it was my dream car when I bought it used. One winter we stored my Z4 at our friends Doug and Heather’s Kabin up in the Grey HIghlands area, south of Collingwood, Ontario. Heather has a Mustang GT which was also stored up at their place. We went up for the weekend in April to get my car and bring it back to Oakville where we were living. Richard cleaned and polished my car and vacuumed it and Doug did the same with Heather’s car. Richard asked me did I want to drive his Sante Fe home, or did I want to drive my BMW? Of course I said I wanted to drive my car home since it had been stored all winter. We had gotten about 10 minutes south of the Kabin and the radio reception was not very good, so I popped a CD into the CD player. I was listening to ‘2001 a Space Odyssey or ’Also Sprach Zarathustra’. The BMW has a great sound system and I really cranked up the volume to hear the music. Just as I turned the volume up, in my peripheral vision I saw a mouse running across the top of the doorframe, under the window on the drivers side, and then the mouse ran across the dash of the car. I was screaming and was beyond freaking out when this happened to me. First of all the cockpit of the car is so very small that there is barely room for 2 people, and don’t even begin to think about bringing a purse or a bag into the car, but yet I’m sharing this very small space with a mouse?!! I headed for the wrong side of the road, on the shoulder and pulled over. Richard was following me and could not figure out why I was driving like a crazy woman on this country road, with no cars in sight. I got out of the car screaming and told him what happened. Needless to say I drove the Sante Fe the 1.5 hours home after that. We never did find the mouse in that car. Maybe once I opened the doors up to jump out, the mouse was as scared as I was, and he jumped out too. Seeing that mouse run along the top of the couch in my right peripheral vision last night gave me a really bad sense of déjàvu! My worst nightmare came true....AGAIN!

I wasn’t sure that I was going to get any sleep last night worrying about hearing the mouse trap SNAP! I did get a good night’s sleep though and Richard got up very early this morning to check the trap. Once I woke up I didn’t dare leave the bedroom until I had heard that the coast was all clear and Richard had caught and disposed of the mouse! PHEW!!! I think the mouse must have gotten in through one of our slide outs in the living room. I have a pillow stuffed in the couch now where the mouse might have gotten in. That pillow is going to stay there, as well as the 4 traps that Richard set today before we went out! My worst nightmare came true yet again! My biggest fear about living in a RV was to have mice in our RV. We’ve been lucky enough for almost 5 months to not see any mice, and then last night was something that really freaked me out!

This morning after the mouse escapades were over, I registered us for our vaccines with Shopper’s Drug Mart and at one Rexall Pharmacy in Toronto. I asked my doctor in Toronto if he was administering the vaccine shot and I was told I could register for the shot at the pharmacy now that I’m 60, so now that I’ve done that, let’s see what happens. We hope to be home by April 12th to the 15th, so hopefully soon after that we can get our shot. We are very worried about these Covid variants that we are hearing about in Ontario. The Island has been a very good spot to ride out the winter, with relatively few cases here.

We were ready early for our tee time at Pheasant Glen Golf Resort even though Richard had called and was advised that there was a frost delay. We figured that if we arrived early, there might be people who didn’t want to wait out a frost delay, and we might get out earlier.

Richard came back from the pro shop to tell me that we were getting out at 1pm instead of 1:24pm and we would be playing with a member and his guest.

The driving range where we had to hit off mats, which is included in the green fees. We were not allowed to proceed to the range until 30 minutes before our tee time. Since our tee time was ‘fluid’ because of the frost delay, we ended up hitting balls for only 10 minutes, before proceeding to the first tee.

18th fairway of Pheasant Glen with the Vancouver Island Ranges in the background.

Practise putting green on the rIght overlooking the beautiful mountains on the Island. The front nine of the golf course was very open and was called the ‘Glen’. The back nine was very forested and was called the ‘Pines’.

Today I decided to play the same tees as Richard and our male playing partners. There were two sets of tees ahead of the tees we played, that I could have played, but I wanted to challenge myself today to a longer golf course. From the silver tees for a woman’s handicap, the course played 5,699 with a 124 slope and a healthy 72.6 course rating. For Richard playing the same tees the men’s slope rating was 118 with a course rating of 67.4. The member - Ken - who we played with started walking after he had hit on the first tee expecting me to play from the forward tees where his wife plays(she is the course’s Senior Club Champion). I think I surprised him when I said, ”No, I’ll be playing the same tees as you guys!”

Richard swinging on the front 9. On top of the 150 yard marker in the background is how to tell what colour the flag is on the green. They use the same Red - front; White -middle; Blue - back system for pin placement that most courses use, but the flags on the greens are all white. I didn’t pay much attention to the colour on top of the 150 yard marker, as I prefer to use my laser to help me figure out the on course yardage.

The 6th hole - par 3. I happened to make birdie from off the green on this hole, which was playing 137 yards today.

As we got to the 9th tee I had a very strange ‘dejavus’ moment. Pheasant Glen was started by Doug Carrick in 1990 and completed with a multi-million dollar rebuild by Frank Russell in 2005. The par 5 - 9th hole, playing 465 today reminded me of another Doug Carrick golf course. I’m wracking my brain to try and remember and it hits me! GREYSTONE, in Milton - a Clublink course that our good friends joined last year and which we’ve had the pleasure to play many times. The 10th hole at GREYSTONE is very much like the 9th hole at Pheasant Glen! It was actually easy to figure out how to play this layup par 5 hole today, after knowing what to do from past experience of playing GREYSTONE. And yes I made a bogey on the hole, with a great 1 putt, because of playing the hole smartly.

.The back nine of the golf course was much more interesting, but even though I had a golf cart today and the course was playing a 90 degree rule, I was running out of gas on the back nine.

The ducks on the 17th hole. I guess I should have been more focused on my game, but I was getting pretty tired!

The golf course is spending $250,000 to upgrade the sides of the bunkers to sod wall bunkers and while we enjoyed playing the golf course today, we were not ‘wowed’ by it. It was a nice experience, but the course conditioning could have been better. The greens were very good and were very tricky with lots of breaks to them. So far we would rate Crown Isle as the best golf course we have played on the Island.

We ended up tied today at 90. 30 putts each. Not bad considering I could have played a shorter set of tees and had a lower score, but I wanted to really challenge myself and with the wet fairways still, there wasn’t a lot of roll. We enjoyed our day of golf though very much with sunny conditions and +11C.

I thought this sign on the grounds of the golf course was kind of cool.

The club operates out of temporary buildings with no real clubhouse per se. The pro shop is in one building and behind the sign is a small patio and a restaurant. The golf course has been trying for many years to have the town of Qualicum Beach approve their development plans which would allow the golf course to put up a clubhouse facility, as well as a resort hotel, and patio homes on the 10th hole as well as where the current maintenance facility is. According to the head pro Gord Melissa who we talked to before we played, the request for development goes for a third reading with the town soon. Let’s hope they get their approvals as the club was packed with members today and it seems like ‘the players golf course’ to play in the town of Qualicum Beach.

We were pretty hungry after golfing, but didn’t feel like staying to eat on the patio at the club since the sun had gone down over the mountains, and it was definitely starting to get chilly out. We had a bright idea to try and have dinner at Qualicum Beach’s oldest restaurant - ‘The Shady Rest‘, and as luck would have it, we were able to get a table with no trouble at 5:30pm when we arrived at the restaurant. ’The Shady’ as I mentioned the other day in the blog was opened in 1924 and has continuously been run as a restaurant on the shores of the Salish Sea/Strait of Georgia in Q. Beach since this time.

The infamous ‘Shady Rest Pub & Restaurant’

View from our table at the Shady Rest. Nothing but ocean and mountains and haze.

We were both starving so we ordered an appetizer of kettle chips. They were amazing! The kettle chips were dusted with Parmesan cheese and were served with a nice spicy aIoli dip. We devoured them and then ordered our meals.

One piece fresh halibut in beer batter, chips, homemade shady coleslaw and homemade shady tartar sauce for me.

Richard had the 6 oz Parmesan crusted fresh halibut, grilled lemon, seasonal vegetables and grilled potatoes. He said the halibut was amazingly fresh and flakey. We know we won’t have the luxury of getting fresh halibut as frequently when we leave the Island, so for ‘old time’s sake’ we both had to have halibut tonight for dinner!

When we paid our bill at the Shady Rest, on the receipt we were advised that we were entitled to a 5% discount at the Shady Rest liquor store across the street from the restaurant. We were already parked across the street, so we thought why not go and see what they have in the way of B.C. Wines? We have been talking about stocking up on a few of our favourites before we leave the Island. In particular we were hoping to get some more Grey Monk Pinot Gris before we leave.

We did not find any Grey Monk Pinot Gris today, but we did find the 40 Knots White Seas which I am a big fan of. The salesperson in the wine store really knew his wines and he recommended the Rust Wine Co Merlot as a must try B.C. Okanagan Valley wine. We thought we would splurge and give it a try and perhaps share it with some friends when we get home who enjoy a good glass of!

We were happy to arrive home before dark. It’s so nice now that its light out until past 8pm! I had Richard go into Newman and make sure the ‘coast was clear’ before I got out of Jerry. There is no way I want to have ‘my worst nightmare’ repeated this evening by finding any dead, or alive mice in traps in Newman. Richard came out to give me the ‘all clear’ and I walked up the steps to Newman very tired from a long day of golfing.

We’ve got enough traps set to catch all 3 of these blind well as another brother if they happen to have one!

Tomorrow we are off to Storey Creek, south of Campbell River to golf. The weather looks a bit ‘iffy’ but we are really hoping the rain holds off for us to experience what we have been told is one of the best courses on North Vancouver Island.

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