A Few Days In Pictures

 Watching

The sky as it was on Sunday morning just after 7 a.m.
It was nice to capture a morning without an overcast sky and rain.





Baking

Saturday I decided to make  a simple Chili Con Carne in the Instant Pot.


It looks a bit greasy but there is no added oil and the beef was lean.


That gave me a craving for freshly baked bread. I started making it very late but was able to enjoy it fresh before bed time. It was so delicious.





~~~~~~~~~
Reading

New books I'm reading

Book #54

  

The description of The Couple Next Door makes me think it's based on Madeline McCann's story.
I've read the first few chapters and it seems very likely the books is based on Madeline McCann's disappearance but the details are probably creative imaginings.

If you are unfamiliar with the Madeline McCann story you can click here to read.


Book #55

I haven't actually started this book (#55) yet but it involves a young girl of 10 who lives with her mother in Vancouver.  A relative from China who was involved in the Tienanmen Square demonstration arrives to seek refuge with them.  You can read more about the book here.
 ~~~~~~~~~~

Eating 

When I am out and about on errands I usually have to have one meal out and most often it is a late dinner. 

Here are two recent dishes both from Vietnamese restaurants.  Both very delicious though in the 2nd dish the vegetables were almost raw. That didn't bother me because I've read that raw or very lightly cooked is much healthier.

Hot and sour chicken soup and a shrimp salad roll with peanut sauce.
Crispy noodle seafood and vegetables.

 Christmas

After decluttering two weeks ago and getting rid of my 4.5 foot Christmas tree I managed to purchase a more suitable one for my living space.  I'd used it for about 15 years, possibly longer so I got my money's worth.
I wanted a new one because I found it difficult to put the Christmas lights on and it is increasingly difficult each year to find floor space to accommodate it.

I gifted my old tree  to a lady who is receiving visitors from Ireland for Christmas and wants to make the house nice and cosy.

I wanted to buy a  table top tree but when I was out shopping I couldn't find a small white one. This week I finally saw the kind I'm looking for in a flyer but the only colour choices were pink and blue. 
In the meantime I've purchased a 4 foot tree. It is pre-lit and about half the circumference of the one I gave away.  
Now I'm searching for a star to put on top. The one I purchased from Michael's was far too heavy so I'll keep on looking.

I also managed to buy a few Christmas gifts. 
I still have to purchase something for my niece but I've spotted something that might be suitable to add to the puzzle I already purchased. She loves puzzles and is very good at them.

I purchased  a few more balls of yarn for the granny square afghan I'm making
I'm not sure what happened but on my way home the balls of yarn went astray.
I called the two places I stopped on the way home and they don't have my yarn.
I'm not happy because of the loss of funds and the loss of time in going to buy them.

I will need to return tomorrow to buy more yarn as I've run out today.
Thankfully I didn't lose something much bigger.

Home Improvements

I finally purchased a long curtain rod for my front room.  In early Fall I purchased and installed a rod and my curtains but it didn't work out. Within 2 hours the whole thing sagged. I took it down and have been looking for a longer one ever since.

I'm going to try and put the new one up and see if it sags.
I wanted to buy additional supports due to the problem I had last time.  But the female sales representative said she used to work in draperies and the rod I was buying was strong enough without additional supports. I doubted her but decided to try it out. I sure hope she is right and that I won't need more brackets otherwise I will have to return to the store and order what I need before the curtains can finally go up.

I also bought some weather strips to put around doors and will get some bubble wrap to put on the large windows to cut down on drafts.  I learned this latter tip from a woman on You Tube called Alaskan Granny.
I've gone years without weather proofing though one year I did put plastic on the lower half of my windows.  That really helped a lot.  This winter I don't want drafts. My feet get too cold.


Making

I'm beavering away on the granny squares and think I will have enough soon. At least I can now envision the final
product.
I'm liking how it looks and the colours seem very popular with the women.
I hope to show a photo next time I post.

I'm not sure yet if I will gift it or try to sell it. It seems there is always someone who can use an afghan for those chilly nights.

I wish all of you a great weekend ahead.
Prayers for those suffering right now as a result of Malibu fires and other tragedies around the world.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving if you are celebrating in the USA.
Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays besides Christmas and Easter.
In Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving in October.



Joining in with Our World Tuesday today.


Making Slow Progress

The week has flown by! My time has been spent dealing with the missions in Kenya and following up on Jonah's care and stay in hospital. If all goes well he should be released on Friday, Kenyan time.  Thank you to all who prayed for his recovery.

I made a bit of progress reading my latest book by Dr. Don Colbert.

Book #52

I was interrupted at the coffee shop when I went there to read the book of short stories, Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie. A fellow patron who happens to own a used book store nearby started chatting and wanted to know more about the author.  I told him what I know, which isn't a lot and we briefly discussed another of my recent reads, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Then he went on his way and I had to dash to other errands.

Book #53

 ~~~~~~

I've made only a bit of progress on making granny squares. I like how they look so far though after I'm finished making squares and joining them there will be a lot of loose ends to weave in. This part can be quite time consuming.



The rest of the week I've been busy with errands and shopping for a few Christmas presents.  I 'm almost set now. I just have to finalize something for a niece and nephew. I also had to buy some tissue paper which I like to use to wrap around gifts before I stuff them in Christmas bags or wrap them in paper.  Wrapping presents seems to take longer than actually looking for and getting or making the gifts, lol. Tuesday and Wednesday I wrote out most of my Christmas cards and posted the international ones. My Christmas card list is limited to 20 cards this year whereas in some years it has been more like 60.

I was invited to an all day Christmas event on Saturday but have decided to stay home and rest.  I'm also hoping to get organized for the week ahead, do some crochet and hopefully some reading.  Right now I really don't have the desire to make nice with a room full of strangers so it suits me to stay home. I love to meet people but I have to be in the right frame of mind and well rested, otherwise being in a room full of strangers (minus my friend) is a lot of effort if you don't want to stand around looking like an awkward bump on a log.

~~~~~~~


 It's been raining here and sometimes cold. Last night I found it quite warm which was a pleasant surprise.
 At this time of year it is usually raining and warmer or not raining and cold. It is not usually clear and warm.
Given the overcast conditions here right now I'm sharing sky and critter photos from my archives.

~~~~~~~

The first set of photos with pink flamingos were taken at Lake Nakuru Provincial Park in Kenya.





Here is a view of the sky from my balcony taken on a clear day about 5 days ago.
You can see a bird flying in the sky. I think it was a crow. It's a bit hard to tell from the photo.


These small, colourful bird photos were taken at the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver. The conservatory has a lot of exotic birds which are always a treat for me to see though perhaps more common depending where you live.

Gouldian Finch at Vancouver's Bloedel Conservatory
 
Strawberry Finch at Vancouver's Bloedel Conservatory

I'm looking forward to the weekend. 
I wish all of you a wonderful weekend.
Thank you for stopping by!

~~~~~

Linking with



On My Heart

I've been busy with the Kenyan missions non stop for some time now.  I haven't written about it because there has been so much going on. But God has been faithful. Perhaps I will have an opportunity to share more about it later. Today I want to give a brief update about a number of things.

One thing I would like to ask is prayer for my friend Jonah in Kenya. He is currently in hospital in Nakuru after contracting some kind of bug while in Nairobi. He was admitted to a  Nairobi but checked himself out to get to Nakuru. He was trying to recuperate at a pastor friend's home and was seeking outpatient treatment while there.

After several days with no improvement,  his pastor friend and a doctor who is a neighbour to the pastor, escorted Jonah to hospital and he was admitted. He is now there recuperating having undergone numerous tests and different medicine prescriptions over the past several days. At the  moment he is very tired and sleeping which is crucial for recovery.  He would appreciate your good thoughts and prayers.

...praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication....
Ephesians 6:18


~~~~

Remembrance Day is now passed and Christmas is close behind. I know American friends still have Thanksgiving later this month but in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving just over a month ago.

I haven't had time to make too many granny squares for my latest quilt but I did make a few more.  I will take up making more again later this week and may even start on the new black, white and gray afghan.

Instead I've been finishing up my latest read by Kazuo Isiguro. It is very slow, sad and somewhat dark story.  Basically the book is about young people who are cloned for their body parts. The novel slowly takes you through the education and indoctrination or preparation for of the students for their future lives as donors and carers of donors. The ending wasn't very satisfying but perhaps that is how it should be. Given the subject matter how can there be a satisfying ending? In any case, I am glad I finished it. I wanted to read this book because it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in  2005 and won several awards in addition to being turned into a movie. Have any of you seen the movie or read the book? I'd be interested in your thoughts.


Right now I'm reading the short stories of Sherman Alexie, Native American writer. I am not really a short story fan but I do like Sherman Alexie's work. I was first introduced to him when I watched the major motion picture called "Smoke Signals" in the late 1990s. I found it very funny and of course one of the very few motion pictures based on a work by a Native American. Alexie's work is raw and he uses a lot of cuss words. Again I am not a fan of this kind of stuff but there is still plenty of material in his stories that I find interesting.  Sadly I just found out that allegations of sexual impropriety have been levelled against Alexie. He has admitted to the truthfulness of several of the allegations. Sometimes I wonder just when the cesspool of such behavior will come to an end.


On a brighter note, I'm reading a book by Christian author and medical doctor, Don Colbert called "Let Food Be Your Medicine". It is based on the doctor's own medical health crises which caused his immune system to break down on more than one occasion.  The doctor then spent a decade and several hundreds of thousands of dollars learning learning about how certain foods cause of inflammation in the body and how to address it.  His interest and experience predated the proliferation of authorship on this subject.  Today you can find this information quite readily on line and in bookstores; even on PBS shows.  I used to watch the doctor and his wife, Mary on television years ago. I always found him very informative but I don't think he actually wrote this particular book until a few years ago though he has written at least 40 books.


 ~~~~
I'm getting a few gifts ready early for friends who are leaving in a few weeks for Tanzania. We are trying to work out time to visit once before they depart. Another friend has invited me to a Christmas lunch and dinner, an annual all day event for women. Someone she knows organizes these dinners as a ministry to women. It sounds intriguing. I have to decide whether I'm going. The timing might not be suitable for me. I'm also working on some other plans which I will unveil in future posts. I'm looking forward to sharing with you later.

Christmas cards are very much on my mind too. If I want them to get to far flung places I must send them out now. I don't send out so many any more.  It is primarily a way to touch base in a personal way with some of  my far flung friends.  I looked in stores for a few weeks for a card I liked but ended up ordering them on line instead. They arrived on Friday and I'll prepare them and get them out this week.  The problem is that Canada Post has been in contract talks with it's employees and we are currently experiencing rotating strikes across the country. I'm going to mail them out anyway and hope they will eventually reach the intended recipients.

Now that the children in the family are all grown and many of my loved ones have departed, my focus for Christmas has shifted. Rather than celebrate to excess and extravagance I choose a peaceful, quieter time of inward reflection and calm.  I  want to remain in an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving and spend the time doing things that bring me peace and joy.  Hopefully I also bring joy to others I know and spend time with over the Christmas season.  It's not likely that Jesus' birthday was on December 25th.  This date was chosen by the early Roman Church to correspond to Winter Solstice.  Since the season is now set aside as a Christian celebration I use the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and what he has done for men and women everywhere, including me.

I didn't start this post with the intention of preaching but perhaps this post is meant for someone who has been thinking about this issue. It seems to be the case that when I have a question on my heart, the answer somehow appears.  It may be that you are going through some questioning of your own and looking for how someone else looks at this issue.

Well I must sign out and get on with things. I hope you all have a terrific week ahead

Take care everyone. 





I won't be linking to any meme today. 



Lest We Forget




Thank you to the brave men and women, past and present who fight to preserve our freedoms.

We shall remember you at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Lest we forget.

Another Week is Over

This was what it looked like a week ago when I went to Michael's to purchase yarn. 

I love the glow cast by the evening light and golden leaves.


I purchased one big ball of yarn to start a new afghan in shades of gray, black and white (Caron Big Cakes). I now have the 3 big balls of yarn that I need to make the afghan.  The afghan will be in the same pattern (Ocean Wave pattern) as the last few I've made.  But I also bought another smaller ball of yarn in Berry (Red Heart yarn) to make a Granny Square Afghan.  I don't have a pattern as such for the latter. I'll simply make a bunch of  squares and stitch them altogether when I think I have enough of them.  I might use a coordinating colour and I might not. I used up the Magenta yarn (Vanna's Choices, Red Heart yarn) after making only 6 squares and there is no more of the colour in stock at my local Michael's.

The joined yarns in two afghans on the left need to be finished but they are otherwise done. The squares are more portable so can be made anywhere (not that I usually carry it with me).  The  3 balls of yarn will be made in Wave pattern afghan.

The finished afghan for a friend's birthday. I've given it to her somewhat early but don't think she has opened it yet.

Try as I might I could not get a good photo of this afghan. It's long enough when full extended to cover the feet and all the way up to the neck and is longer than the pattern instructions. That way my friend can keep nice and warm on a cool night.

Here I've folded the afghan in half. I think it gives a better sense of how large it is.

~~~


On Tuesday I had a pleasant surprise when the sun came out and the skies partly cleared.

I'm reading several books but slowed down. I'll focus on finishing this one
 ~~~~

I'm closing with a few photos from my archives.  These were taken in Delta, BC just over a year ago.

The eagles like to flock near the bog at an organic waste facility. As the salmon stocks in the ocean dwindles, the eagles are looking to other food sources. It sounds great. But it is perhaps not so great for the pilots and planes that fly in air space near by. Nor is it great for the many home owners who must now contend with traffic congestion on their country roads and influx of professional and amateur photographers as well as the simply curious.  On the day I went out to shoot photos it was a bit overcast and snowing so it was really quite deserted.


So many photos were taken but without better lenses it is not so easy to get a good photo



Thank you for dropping by. 

Please come again soon.

Joining in with 



Hello November

Hi friends,

It's been raining heavily for much of the past week so I continue with my decluttering. Actually I haven't been decluttering so much as I've been posting my decluttered things for giveaway and arranging for people to pick things up. I took the photo of the sky and trees a few days before Halloween just before the heavy rains started. I love the colour of the leaves and the blue of the sky peeking out above the clouds.


I've been busy making my crocheted afghans and trying to finish the ones I'm gifting. My hope is to find time to make a few others for possible sale but we shall see how things go.  The berry coloured afghan is finished but I must still weave in the loose ends before it will be ready for gifting.  I tried hard to get a photo without shadows but it is difficult getting indoor shots at this time of year.


I also finished the other afghan I shared in my last post (the gray and gold one below) but didn't take a photo of the finished project yet.  The third afghan I am currently making is the same colour way as the gray and gold. I must  have been getting too tired as I ended up ripping out almost one third of it today. Actually it is the 3rd rip out I've done in 2 days due to mistakes I didn't like.  I don't usually make a lot of crochet errors but lately haven't been getting enough sleep.  I really love to crochet. I find it very relaxing and gives my hands something to do during long, dark, rainy nights.


Last week I was decluttering and this week I was posting stuff for giveaway and communicating with people to arrange pick up times.  The big balls of yarn I gave to a missionary ladies group that I've donated to before. they have a large group of industrious woman who are always making things and sending them abroad to Asia and Africa.  I love knowing that things will be put to good use and benefit others.

In future I will not be buying so much yarn in advance of actually needing to use it.  I thought I was saving money by buying yarn on sale but it takes too much room to store and if I haven't used it in 3 years then it's not likely going to be used soon.  My new approach is to buy one or two skeins at a time for projects I am currently working on though I also still have a stash of smaller skeins in a few colour ways. You will likely see some of them on this blog in a future project/s.

 

The photos below show other things I was able to give to others. After buying velvet hangers for my closet I had 70+ plastic hangers in a variety of colours to give away. Someone gladly took them off of my hands. I also had various tops and jeans, shower curtain and bath mat and an artificial Christmas tree (not in the photo) to give away.  I'm still waiting for someone to arrange to pick up a few smaller items at a mutually convenient time.



I meant to share the next photo long ago. I took it a year ago in October down at the English Bay sea wall on one of my walks. I stopped to buy a coffee and saw this gentle, old dog quietly waiting for his master.  He was very sweet.

 



I took a photo of the ducks down at the same beach. I like the way the sun is shining on the water.


A week ago Friday I went to dinner with two friends, one is a missionary to Taiwan.   It was really nice to chat with Cindy and find out more about her life and work in Taiwan. She has already worked in Uganda, the Philippines and Canada's far north. She's spent the majority of her time in Taiwan and it is her home now. She loves the people. I still remember the day we prayed for her at my former church as she was preparing to leave for Taiwan. I haven't seen her in many years and we had a good catch up.


Here is a photo of what the day looked like early evening Thursday on the first day of November.  We have a rain warning starting around dinner time tonight and ending Saturday morning.  As you can see by the photo, my plans to clean the garden up at the end of September never came to fruition. It's still a job I have to do and will try to do in the next little while in preparation for the winter months.



Good weather for one of my other main hobbies, reading.
Here are my current reads.






I found this November inspirational verse on line.
 

It will be  a good reminder for me to remain positive as we head into my least favourite time of year weather wise.


Here's to November.
May you have a blessed and adventurous one.

Thank you for visiting :-)

Joining in with




and

A Few Days In Pictures

  Watching The sky as it was on Sunday morning just after 7 a.m. It was nice to capture a morning without an overcast sky and rain. ...