Friday, August 11, 2017

National Indigenous Day 2017 - John Hendry Park (Trout Lake)

National Aboriginal Day 2017 occurred on Summer Solstice, June 21. It was a very beautiful and peaceful day. Clear blue skies and not too hot. This year, the Prime Minister of Canada renamed National Aboriginal Day. Hereafter it will be called National Indigenous Day to mirror the terminology in the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

UNDRIP codifies "Indigenous historical grievances, contemporary challenges and socio-economic, political and cultural aspirations" and is the "culmination of generations-long efforts by Indigenous organizations to get international attention, to secure recognition for their aspirations, and to generate support for their political agendas.
(Source: Wikipedia)

National Indigenous Day is a special day to celebrate the First Peoples of Canada and the heritage, diversity and culture that they have.  It was first celebrated in 1996 after years of lobbying by the Aboriginal peoples of Canada (Indian, Inuit and M├ętis  peoples).  Originally the Aboriginal peoples had hoped for a national statutory holiday recognizing their unique place in Canada's history however this didn't happen. It may happen in years to come.

I hadn't been to John Henry Park (otherwise known as Trout Lake) for a good many years. I used to go there for the celebrations on June 21st and also from time to time for Farmer's Markets.  This year I invited a friend to join me. I thought it was time she have an opportunity to see a pow-wow  (traditional dancing celebration and competition).  It turns out they no longer have a big pow-wow and even though they had a mini pow-wow we missed it entirely. My friend had to go to a seminar earlier in the day.  By the time we got to the park a good many activities had already wound up for the day.  Though a number of booths were still up most of them were packing up for the day.

I managed to capture some photos of lazy, sunny late afternoon.

There were ducks on the lake.

Watching them paddle around gave me a feeling of peace and tranquility on such a lovely day.

The canoes looked beautiful against the water and greenery.

I enjoyed this lady's leggings with the printed West Coast Aboriginal ovoid forms.

Later in the evening there was a big stage where some national and USA entertainers would perform.  We didn't get a chance to stay for the entertainment. We were only there for the first few minutes of the rap duo (on the stage in the photo below) from La Belle Province (Quebec)

I'm enjoying some family company at the moment so I may not have time to visit your blog until my guest leaves.
Enjoy your week and thanks so much for stopping by!

 Linking up with Saturday's Critters

Friday, August 4, 2017

Early August

Hello friends,

It's the end of another week. Time passes so quickly.

I had great news today. My nephew has successfully completed his Master's Degree in Psychology and will commence his PhD studies in a few short weeks. I am very proud of him. We have long had a "deal" that once he has completed much of his education we will travel together to France. He reminded me of it today.

In other news the wild fires which have been burning for weeks now continue to wreck havoc several hours to the north of me. The air quality in much of the province is very bad and has now affected my city for a few days.  Have a look at the sky in the photo below.

This has been the picture for much of the past 3 days. Our province has not seen fires this bad for about 60 years or weather and we've been smashing temperature records all week. What we need is some good rainfall but there doesn't seem to be any in the forecast. The moon has turned orange. You can see it peeking out of the trees in the photo below (sorry the trees are in the way and I wasn't high enough to see over the trees). I read on line news today which said a controlled burn a few days ago is now an uncontrolled burn due to high winds (*sigh). It is threatening a power station that supplies electricity to Vancouver Island and Vancouver. Crews are working hard to make sure it isn't impacted but at this stage only God knows the outcomes.

 As of 6:23 a.m. PT Friday, 10 communities had reached a seven out of 10 on the Air Quality Health Index:
  • Central Fraser Valley.
  • Central Okanagan.
  • Eastern Fraser Valley.
  • Kamloops.
  • Metro Vancouver - NE.
  • Metro Vancouver - NW.
  • North Okanagan.
  • South Okanagan.
  • Squamish.
  • Whistler.
When the index shows a number of seven or higher, Environment Canada recommends that children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions "take it easy" and reduce outdoor activities.
The general population should do the same if they start to cough or feel an itch in their throat.
(Source: CBC News, August 4, 2017)

Yesterday when I was out running errands I had to make a dash for the bus and I ran as fast as I could for almost 1 block.  I noticed later in the evening that my throat was very sore. I've also had an intermittent, irritating cough for a few days. I'm largely indoors but it is too hot to go without throwing open the doors and windows and running the fans so I guess I must be breathing in the small particulate matter which is in the air.

With the run of hot weather I haven't felt up to much though I am keeping very busy with the daily things of life. I've made a bit of progress with some household updates; mainly buying new accessories for the kitchen, dining and bathroom areas. This has also meant decluttering a bit in these areas and giving away things.  All the giveaways take time because one must take photos, place the advert, respond to emails and phone calls and then hope the people show up to pick up what they requested. Sometimes there isn't much interest in what is posted. It is all a matter of timing.

With the really hot weather this week I haven't done much reading. Even so it won't be difficult to meet this year's reading goal as I'm several books ahead of schedule.  Currently in my reading pile is The Legacy of Pemberley by Rebeccah Ann Collins. It is the 10th book and final book in the series. The funny thing is I didn't know that when I picked it up so I've had to try and decipher who everyone is.  If are a Jane Austen fan I'm sure you will enjoy the book just as I'm enjoying it.

There Was a Country:A Memoir  by the late Chinua Achebe is also in my current reading pile.  It is about his personal account of the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War of 1967-1970.

Besides these two books I've got several more on hold request at the library.  I've also downloaded several free ebooks this week from both Amazon Kindle and Kobo (Canada's version of Kindle).  I probably wouldn't spend money on these books but since I got them for free I will now be introduced to some "new to me" authors.

As you can see, I won't be without reading material any time soon.  The nice thing too  is that I'm already prepared with reading materials for any future travels. While I still prefer reading a paper book you can't beat the convenience of an ebook. I can carry an entire library of books in my mini Kobo.   Such wonders. My grandfather and great-grandmother would have marvelled at the thought if they had lived long enough to know about it. I think my grandfather would have especially liked an ereader. Every time I saw him he would be reading.

My niece will visit me in a few short days and  I'm looking forward to her visit. We always have fun and I do things with her that I wouldn't otherwise get to enjoy.  While she is here we will celebrate her recent birthday and her brother and I have a few surprises planned.

In coming weeks and months,  I'll be trying to solidify future travel plans with my nephew.  He is a very busy guy so it will be difficult to pin him down over a mutually workable period of time to travel. I do hope we can work it out.  I'll also be working on a few other fun plans.  More about these in future.

I've been busy helping students and widows in Kenya.  There is always great need there. Sadly the little toddler with the cancerous tumour on his eye passed on.  We were unable to save him though the doctors tried hard.  My friend Jonah worked tirelessly to get the City of Nairobi to provide land to bury the lad who died while being treated in hospital in that city.  Ordinarily one would be buried on the family compound.  However the sad fact is this young lad and his mother were turned out of their rural home due to the boy's tumour. The father thought his wife and the boy were cursed.  As a result they had been living in a shelter for some time and the boy had been many hours away in hospital for much of the time.

Last but not least, Kenya will be having it's national elections on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017.  It is a always a very tense time.  If you are a person of prayer,  please pray for peace and safety for the nation and it's people as well as fair election outcomes.

Take care until next time.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday and Friday Foto Friends.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Patios & Flowers

Thank you to all those who left kind comments on my last post about my mother's passing. I appreciate you all and your kind encouragement to continue blogging. I have decided to continue in this space though my blogging may be a bit sporadic for the next while. As I have more time and energy I hope to resume more fully. In the meantime I will continue to visit blogs as often as I can.

Early morning sunrise

On a recent walk I was struck by the way people make use of their spaces to carve out garden areas wherever they can.

Single family dwelling back patio

Back apartment above retail space. I like the lights they've strung up

It's not too often I see a patio set up in the front yard. But this is a huge multi-apartment dwelling

Something called a parklet, a mini-park set up in several areas of the city

Another back facing patio (facing alleyway) above a retail space.

Parklet flowers
Can you spot the bee?

I think these are ecchinacea flowers

I love pansies with their 'happy' faces

I also love geraniums of all colours.


I'm linking up with Saturday Critters and Skywatch Friday today.
Enjoy your week ahead!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The End of an Era

Dear friends, it has been long since I posted here. I wasn't sure if I would post again at this space, start a new blog or stop posting altogether. 

 For now I thought I should at least come back and report what has happened since I posted last in the Fall of 2016.
(Sorry Jo for taking so long to post after your suggestion).


 Some of my readers will remember I took a break due to needing a rest. I  didn't quite get the rest I anticipated.


First it was Christmas with the busyness and travel all that entails. 

Next came more medical issues for my dear mom and hospital checks and ultimate admittance.  
She stayed there for a month and that required much travel back and forth to visit with her, comfort her and make sure her needs were being met.

After surgery she wanted to go home.

We worked on setting everything up for her there but there were a few setbacks and delays in getting her home.
Ultimately though we succeeded and  she was so very happy.

She told me several times (and others too) that she felt she was going to her (real) home as she pointed upwards toward heaven. 
I wasn't really sure if she meant it or if she was just under the influence of the pain medications.
She was in a lot of pain.

Of course, I knew that anything was possible at her age and health.

On April 14, 2017, Good Friday, my mother left her earthly home and went to be with our Lord.
It was hectic to organize a funeral on a long weekend and being from another city but it was done and we laid her to rest on Friday, April 21, 2017. 

Both days were absolutely beautiful, sunny days. For that I am grateful.

Travelling relatives left their homes in winter storms and arrived in beautiful, peaceful and warm weather.

We had a nice family time and mom's home going was truly a family celebration.
Her sister, brother and niece each sang songs, her grandchildren and nephews carried her casket and her grandson gave a powerful eulogy encouraging others to take on some of mom's exemplary traits such as her strength of character and ability to deal with life's tribulations, her great sacrificial care and concern for others and the contentment and satisfaction she had with her life. Our childhood  (mine and siblings) Sunday School driver officiated the service. 
Everything had come full circle.

Mom never looked so peaceful and contented as she did in the final days of her life.
At times she would smile in her sleep and I felt that she was somehow being prepared and given a glimpse of the glory that awaited.

She did not speak in the final week of her life but she was not in any real pain or discomfort.
As a gift to my brother and I, she sat up in bed and spoke extensively to the care providers and to us on the day we arrived to be with her for the final days of her life.
I am grateful for all of this.

Mom had her 80th birthday on August 31, 2017.
I was grateful my brother insisted we get a cake for her despite the fact she couldn't eat it post-stroke.
I wanted to wait until she recovered more fully.
Now I see the wisdom in his thinking and so very glad we have the memories and the photos.

Though it is never easy to lose a loved one, it is definitely made much easier in the light of the knowledge that one day we will meet again and that she is never again going to suffer or shed a tear.

Moreover she will be reunited with her maker and all the many loved ones that have gone before her.  

What joy!
What joy!

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