Monday, March 19, 2018

The First Signs of Spring

The cherry blossoms are just starting to come out on one tree near my place. 
No signs of blossoms are yet visible in most of the other trees around where I live but it won't be long now. 

I had to use my Android phone camera which doesn't take the best of photos.

I couldn't help myself. I had to capture these blossoms because every year I anticipate the blossoms with eagerness and joy when I finally see them.
I hope to share better photos soon.

Happy Tuesday and happy week ahead.

I'm linking up with

Our World Tuesday this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pastel Sky & Few Critters

I was fortunate to be able to capture some beautiful colour in the sky earlier this week. 

The first three photos were taken from my home.

The photo below was taken on the highway between the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia in the Rocky Mountains during one of my travels to northern Alberta.

The next few photos were taken on my balcony on a hot summer day.
I discovered a beetle which at first I thought was dead in the bird bath.
But upon closer inspection it was alive.
Do you see what appears to be an air bubble over it's head (3rd photo in the beetle series).
I emptied the bird bath into the garden as it needed refreshing and the beetle was able to recover.

This little exotic bird and flowers were photographed at the Bloedel Conservatory.
I'm afraid I can no longer recall the names of either but some of you might know.
If you do know could you leave a comment with your knowledge?

I'm linking up with

Friday Foto Friends

Skywatch Friday


Saturday's Critters

Thanks for visiting!
Have an awesome weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trendy Saturday Night Out

The area where I live has become a trendy hot spot for dining and drinking. People come from quite far to partake in one of the many busy restaurants and/or the multitude of craft beer places in the general neighbourhood.  The craft beer places are in the same general neighbourhood but on the way to the city. I am travelling in the opposite direction to the southern edge of the part of town known as Mount Pleasant and on the fringes of the area known as Riley Park. This is where there are many coffee shops, dessert places, boutique shops and a plethora of eateries.  I'll share some of them with you in this post. These are only a fraction of those that are available on this busy street called Main Street. Main Street is the centre street in the city. If you go west of Main Street you are in the western part of town and if you go east you are in the eastern part of the city.

I was surprised to see just how busy it has become. Years ago when I first lived in the area (multiple homes ago), this area was definitely not the place to be. Once 6 p.m. rolled around everything shut down and was very quiet. Over the years many new business people moved into the area revitalizing it with trendy eateries and shopping places. Formerly it was known as antique row but today there are very few antique places to be found. The millennials have no interest in antiques it seems. Many of the long established antique stores have vanished or they have reduced their floor space and moved on to other neighborhoods.

I love the sign in the photo below. On one side it says 'good food'. On the other side it says 'eat".

 I've never eaten at the restaurant but they had a long line of people waiting for a table.
Perhaps you can see them in the photo below.
 What you cannot see is that there were a lot more people waiting in patio seating to the left of the sidewalk.

Notice the outside benches along the right side of the sidewalk
They are there because the restaurants all along this block are exceptionally busy.

The burger place in the photo below has great burgers and fries.

I haven't tried this place for years since I try not to eat so many burgers or fries. It looks like they have a great lunch special.

I was pleased to see the used book store was open late. 
There is another one across the street that closes earlier (around 6 p.m.).
The sushi restaurant next door to the bookstore is quite good though I haven't been there for a long time.
 Many restaurants I stopped going to since I retired due to needing to manage diabetes. Nowadays I stick to a handful of restaurants when I need a bite to eat and make many of my meals at home so I know what is in the dish
There is a second sushi restaurant adjacent to the first one.  It doesn't seem quite as busy but they offer brown rice and other healthy options. Many of the Japanese restaurants in town do likewise.

I love the sign at the Thai Restaurant. It glows so prettily in the dark. Again I haven't been to this restaurant for years but it was good each time I went.  They have always had a great word of mouth reputation and the reviews on line are excellent also.  
A lot of out of towners seem to hit this spot when they come to the city and want Thai food.

For my dinner I ended up at a diner and had a marvellous Greek dinner of Roasted Lamb, something I never make at home. 
Unfortunately I didn't take a good photo of the diner or even of my meal but it was very tasty.

Earlier in the day I ran some errands in the area called South Main. It is where the community library is located. I picked up a few movies there and returned a book that was coming due.  
The weather was gorgeous and the light very beautiful. 
The newish library and Community Centre on the ground level with apartments above.
I love old brick buildings like this. We have so few of them left in the City. We never had so many to start with.

The steeple on the building in the photo below belongs to what used to be a church I attended for about a year. Sadly, the congregation sold the building which was converted to condos and they bought land in another municipality.

 I did not follow the congregation out of town because I lived and worked in Vancouver and the new location wasn't convenient.
Many long established churches left the city due to dwindling attendance and the high cost of everything.  
Fortunately the trend seems to be reversing and there are a lot of new churches being founded in the area and across the city. Most of them are worshiping in diverse places such as spaces above coffee shops, in shopping malls and cinemas due to lack of their own building.
Personally I don't mind worshiping in these different types of spaces as long as there is a place to gather.
It makes it a bit less convenient though for office administration, nurseries and programs.

The high rise in the photo below is the first one to be built in the neighbourhood.  It likely won't be the last.
In fact just a few days ago the council just approved 3 high rise buildings (one development) about 10 blocks away. Again the development was hotly contested because it cuts off the sight lines to downtown and the mountains  which up to now have been protected views.  Vancouver has basically run out of land and has to build upward.  Those involved with the planning say that the mountains will still be visible from this side of town.  Others are concerned this is the beginning of high rises everywhere. The city has reached the point where the only solution is to build high rises.  It just keeps on growing and there are not enough homes for everyone.

The builders started building the high rise in earnest in about October 2017. They made good progress but there is still quite  lot to be done. The development takes up a good half block of the city and incorporates a low rise and a high rise plus a lot of amenities for all the residents.  I've seen the renderings for the complex and it looks great but I always withhold my full judgement until I see the finished product. All the apartments in the complex sold out many years ago already while the debate about building was still going on.

 Last but not least, I intended to make several pizzas when my cousin visited last weekend.
Instead I took her out for a wonderful Greek Souvakia dinner which she really enjoyed.

I made the pizzas for my brother and I instead.

Ham and pineapple pizza

My pizza above ended up being almost a triangle shape after baking. Despite trying to make it round it kept shrinking.
I divided pizza dough meant for 2 pizzas into 4 so I had to stretch the dough quite thin.  I prefer thin crust anyway.
I only have one round pan so the other pizza is a long one.
At my diabetic workshop the other day one of the ladies said she wanted to offload her pizza paraphernalia
which included a pizza stone and I'm not sure what else.
I said I would take it so I hope she remembers to bring it next time.

Primarily veggie and cheese pizza but part of it has ham (at the top).
The pizzas were both pronounced "very good".

Thank you for stopping by.
I'm linking up with 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Day & Night

These photos were taken earlier this week on a beautiful sunny day after the snow melted. 
The evening photos were taken last week between snowstorms. 


These lion photos are from my archives.  I just love the face on the male lion. Most of the photos of lions I have are from the wild in Kenya but these ones were taken at an animal zoo.

Thank you for stopping by.

I'm linking up with


Thursday, March 1, 2018

It's Been Quite the Week!

Hello everyone,

Another week has zoomed by and I hardly had time to catch my breath.

We had 3 snowfall warnings over the past week and the temperatures got quite chilly.  I'm not sure but I think it must be some kind of record.

I didn't take a photo today (Thursday) but the snow was all gone and the sun came out. The temperature felt very comfortable. I'm sure the weather should be gradually getting better from now going forward.

I had an appointment with the Sleep Lab. It was really just a follow up concerning an overnight sleep oximetry test I had done earlier. I already knew my oxygen levels appeared normal and the doctor confirmed that. Good news there.  I've been referred to the "other side" of the clinic where they will try to help me with my ongoing sleep issues (unfreshing sleep). I don't hold my breathe over real answers from them but it will give me some peace of mind to follow through with it. I've already put it off for years. I guess I'm concerned that the solution will be to recommend medicines and really I don't want to go that route. In the meantime, I continue doing everything I can to achieve better sleep, that is restorative sleep.

The view outside the UBC Hospital where I went to see the Sleep Specialist.

I've also done some shopping at a far place about an hour from my home. I often purchase on line but since I have problems finding pants to fit properly I thought I'd go out and try things on. I came away with some purchases but when I got home I realized they gave me one wrong item (right colour, wrong size).  Now I have to return to get the right size. I also have several other purchases I made a few weeks ago that need to be returned to a different store.

Just over a week ago I lost or misplaced my mailbox key and I don't have a duplicate so I had to call a locksmith.  The mailbox key was attached to the storage lock key so the lock had to be cut off and a new lock purchased.  Altogether these two tasks cost a fair bit.  At least this time I will have spare keys so there will be an extra set put aside.  There are still some minor bathroom things that need to be done; changing out the toilet seat cover in one bathroom and upgrading the shower head in another bathroom. Like my cushion projects it feels good to finally get some of these outstanding tasks done or nearly done.

Another long awaited event finally happened this week. The telephone company had indicated it is upgrading the fiber optics which deliver internet to my home. Right now the telecommunications company is gathering consents from homeowners in the building. I have spoken to their project contact on the phone and he also came to my door to get a signature. Once 80% agreement has been reached, the builders will come out to do what is necessary to bring the faster speeds to my home. I understand in another month I can possibly have access to the fast speeds. I can't wait to get this done as I have already waited years for this service to be available.  In the meantime my internet speed has become one of the slowest speeds available in the area.

At long last one of my cousins arrives tomorrow for a brief visit and I've been busily cleaning, tidying, getting small jobs done and thinking about our menu. I haven't really decided on a menu and she is no help as she said she will eat anything.  So I purchased different things to have several options on hand and will decide what to do when she arrives. In fact we may go out to eat since it is her 60th birthday we are celebrating.

My eldest nephew had his birthday yesterday so I called to wish him a very happy birthday.  I'm giving him money as a birthday gift and he was very happy about that. That way he can do what he wishes with it and have something he enjoys.  I think I mentioned once long ago that my nephew is a cowboy.  He is constantly developing his skills and amongst other things, he and his wife train horses.  His wife is also a gifted photographer whose specialty is photographing horses and their owners. People love her work. The video below is already a few years old but you can see him at work with one of the horses. There is no sound, only video.

Early in the week I met up with a younger nephew at his work place at the university. I presented him with one of my handmade afghans for his (latest) graduation gift. He graduated in November and I attended the ceremony but hadn't yet given him a gift.

He loves hand made afghans and I gave him the blue one in the photo above.  It will coordinate well with a fabric quilt I made him years before.

My nephew (in the photo below) has a BA and an MA in Psychology and is now working on his Ph.D.  He is researching and examining how neurosteroids, such as testosterone, regulate different aspects of executive function, particularly behavioral flexibility.

I snapped this photo of him in the lab when I visited a few weeks ago. 
I am very proud of him because  he has won numerous awards and scholarships and currently holds a 4 Year Doctoral Fellowship from my alma mater, UBC. 
When he finishes he will either continue on the research track or transition to medicine.

It's also been very busy on the missions front but I will end here. 
Perhaps Kenyan missions will inform the next post.

Have a wonderful week everyone. 

I'm linking up with


African Music & Happenings