Thursday, October 31, 2013


The soldiers did go away and their towns were torn down; 
and in the Moon of Falling Leaves (November), 
they made a treaty with Red Cloud that said our country would be ours as long as grass should grow and water flow. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October Draws to a Close

In these closing days of the month most people will probably write about Hallowe'en.  I don't celebrate Hallowe'en so this isn't that kind of post but the photo content seems to fit the season.

This is a different sort of post for me.

I'm featuring a few photos and an attempt at a verse to go along with them.

spiders spin your web
on tangled roots standing tall
and catch bloated drops

  If you like to write poetry (it doesn't need to be Haiku) perhaps you would like to share a short verse about the two photos in the comment section.

That might be fun!

Haiku My Heart

If you don't want to do that, that's fine too.

Our World Tuesday

Our World Tuesday Graphic

I wish you the very best for a fantastic November.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

CAL # 4 & Skywatch

 Chrissie Crafts

I'm a bit late today with my CAL posting with Ladybird Diaries and Chrissie Crafts.  But hey, better late than never!

Truth be told I didn't do much work on my hexies this week due to travelling and other time consuming matters.

I only made 1 more hexie and wove in the ends on two hexies. I also made the beginnings of 2 more hexie pieces.  Altogether not much progress but every little bit helps. I hope to do some crochet work later today.

I am ready for Skywatch Friday. The skies that are clear blue with the brilliantly coloured trees were taken in Vancouver last week.

A few days later I took some photos in Ladysmith, British Columbia.  Ladysmith is a small town located on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

How different the weather was there.  But it wasn't as bad as it appears in the photos. Very cloudy and misty but not raining.  The air was so damp that there was moisture on the benches, trees and trails and even spider webs.

I thought this spider web made an interesting photo.  You can see that the web caught a lot of water from the moisture in the mist.

I also loved looking up at the sky through the trees on my walks.

I'm joining in at SkyWatch Friday with others from around the globe who love to look at the sky. A big thank you to Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy for hosting this meme.

If you like the photos from my recent trip to Ladysmith and want to see more, please click here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Frugal Holiday

I live in a large coastal city but seldom actually get to the waterfront.  I also live very close to many small and larger islands but seldom get to visit or sight see at these places.

This week I fulfilled a small dream of spending some very quiet time in the forest near the water.  Some place where I could enjoy the quiet of nature, the beauty of the ocean and completely relax for a few days.

Though I suggested to my friend that we go as foot passengers over the ferry to Vancouver Island, she preferred to take her car if I would share the cost.  I didn't really want to pay the cost of taking the ferry over but given we were sharing the cost I thought it was a fair deal.  Neither of us had ever been to the venue before and we didn't know whether we would have inclement weather at this time of year. It is not so fun to struggle with luggage through rainy weather.

The cost of ferry for the car and two passengers was our largest expense for the 2 night and 3 day getaway (all costs in Canadian dollars).  Total round trip cost of taking the car over the ferry was $165.00 (or $82.50 each).  Gas/fuel/petrol came to an additional cost of $12. round trip which my friend paid.  The accommodation cost was $137.00 (+ tax) each.

Our rooms included 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, and several tea breaks each day.  Our room rates included use of the hot tub, sauna and gym (kayaks and bikes too but we did not use those).  The total cost of my portion of the holiday was $225.00.  The only additional cost I had was a $2.00 coffee (one way on the ferry).  Overall, I thought I was getting excellent value for what turned out to be a wonderful period of relaxation.  (My friend's additional cost was $55. because she decided she wanted to buy a fleecy vest with the lodge's logo on it as a memento of her holiday. This cost was entirely optional of course).

There is a variety of accommodation facilities at the "lodge".  There are numerous rustic cabins and several cosy and larger cottages. The place is extremely popular.  The vast majority of guests return at the same time of year, each year and stay in their favourite accommodations.  This makes it challenging to get the booking you would like.  I managed to make a booking about a month ago and I took whatever accommodation they gave me for a 2 night period in late October.

This little rustic, red cabin was my home for a few nights.

The little red cabin in the photo above was my home away from home.  It only had room for two single beds, a small closet, a dresser, nightstand, some lamps and a wood burning stove. Though the cabin didn't have a washroom or heating, it did have electricity and extra duvets were provided.  Washroom and shower facilities were very close by and shared by guest lodgers in a cluster of cabins located near by.  The shower room was well heated and lots of towels and floor rugs were on hand.

I made my bed for the picture.  Even though I was checking out I didn't want two messy beds in the photo.

I thought I would have a lot of free time to do crafts and read the latest of my books, Fall of Giants by Ken Follett.  There was no television, radio or internet service at the hotel but I found myself too busy to read much or do crafts.

Instead I spent a little time reading.  Most of the time I was relaxing in the lounge area and walking around the property and taking photos. I also went several times to the sauna and hot tub and spent a lot of time talking to other guests relaxing in the main lodge.  Most people were exceptionally friendly and wanted to talk to the new comers like my friend and I.

This lovely cabin was occupied by a sweet elderly couple from Ottawa, Ontario.  They were visiting with their son who stayed in a more rustic cabin with his wife.

The grounds had tennis courts, hot tub and sauna, gym facilities, and massage room. All of these amenities were located in different locations on the premises and everything except for massage services is included in the room price.  If you want a massage it will cost an additional $80 per hour. I opted for the free sauna and hot tub instead. 

I enjoy scenes like this.  There was a lot of driftwood on these beaches because the area is unprotected from the winds and waves.

It was foggy during much of my short stay but I didn't mind. It wasn't cold and the views were still very beautiful.

It's always thrilling to walk through old growth, coastal forests. These are "roads" in the photos but I also walked on dirt paths located high above the shoreline.

This is a view of the lodge from the direction of the water. I was taking the photo through the spider web which you can just make out in the foreground.

The path to the sauna and other cabins.
The main lodge had a huge lounge with a gigantic fireplace, a large dining room, a games room downstairs and rooms for guests who did not wish to stay in cottages or cabins.  Lots of boards games (backgammon, cribbage, scrabble, cards) were provided with lots of seating nooks, foot rests, throw covers and cushions for comfort.

The couple in the foreground immigrated to Canada from Israel and have been visiting the lodge for about 30 years.

On Saturday nights there is a jam session and dance for the guests. The menu is posted outside the dining room each day.

Weather on the way back was much improved. The sun was shining brightly.  However on the ferry ride it was very misty and foggy.

As we approached Horseshoe Bay, the sun was shining again though you can see some mist over the water. By the time we got to the city, the fog was rolling in.

Though the weather looks miserable it really wasn't that bad and the sun did break a few times over the course of our stay.  Sleeping in the little cabins was not cold either and we only had to build a fire each night as we prepared to retire. My friend enjoyed herself so much she wanted to return soon. Of course I enjoyed it too so we've already booked a return trip during warmer months before the summer begins.

Next time we will park the car at the ferry before boarding as foot passengers and then catch the lodge van on the other side.  The cost would be $27 (each) to park the car for 3 nights plus an additional $15.  to have the lodge to pick us up in their van once we disembark the ferry.  The total cost per person for getting to the lodge and back would then be $42.00, instead of $82.50 (each + gas/fuel/petrol).  We hope to extend our stay by 1 night which will increase our accommodation cost slightly.  If we wanted to save a few dollars more we could take a city bus to the ferry.  The savings for this approach is very minimal when compared to parking the car and sharing the cost of the parking.  It is also less convenient for transporting the luggage.  Another way we might shave a few dollars off the trip is if my friend's sister joins us.  We would save about $15. a night with a 3rd person sharing.

I don't know if I will be a lifetime guest of the hotel but I will certainly be enjoying the time I do get to spend there.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October in Vancouver

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” 
~ George Eliot

The Canadian Maple leaf.

I'm joining up a bit late with Our World Tuesday hosted by the lovely Lady Fi.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Skywatch in October

After a period of rain and cold in September we ended up having  marvelous weather for most of October.  I am so happy about that.

I took these skyshots on a day when I thought the clouds made a very interesting pattern against the sky.

I hope you enjoy them.
Have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend.

I'm joining in with Skywatch Friday here.

A big thank you to our wonderful hosts Sylvia, Sandy and Yogi.

CAL #3

“My mother taught me many craft and household skills but she never taught me to crochet. 
For that I have to thank her, as it meant I had to teach myself.” 
~ Pauline Turner

Well our Canadian Thanksgiving is over for another year.  It is always a fun holiday and a time to reflect on our blessings.  It is also time to check in with Ladybird Diaries and Chrissie Crafts again. They are the fabulous ladies who are hosting a crochet-a-long every week on Thursdays. Join in if you can.

I am working on an afghan with 4 basic colours (2 different blues, cream and gray) in a number of variations.

I did not have a lot of free time this week but I managed to make 6 hexies.

Slow and steady is better than nothing at all :-)

Notice the bumble bee and hexie (honeycomb) pattern on the tablecloth?

The three hexies on the right side of the photo are completely finished but the other 3 on the left still need to have the ends woven in.

 If you are joining in with Ladybird and Chrissie, I will be peeking in at your progress.

Chrissie Crafts

Happy crafting!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Hello everyone! It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and it has been a busy week so I haven't had a chance to post for a few days.

First up in the week I received a very nice package in the mail from my blogging friend Caroline at Lonicera's World  (please take a peek at her blog).  She wanted to do something nice for my mother who is dealing with the challenges of transitioning to a new care facility.  Thank you Caroline.  You are a sweetheart.

This delightful package contains truffles and shortbread biscuits. Mom will be so pleased when I am able to deliver them soon.

Right now I am investigating a new home group and Church body and I very much enjoyed getting to know people at the new places. They seem like a fine bunch. I even met some Africans from Uganda, Zimbabwe and Ghana which was a nice surprise.  Those of you who know me, know I have a heart for missions in Kenya and Africa in general.  Finding some "real" Africans at the worship service yesterday was unexpected and very welcome. There were more people from Africa who have recently come to Vancouver and are attending the Church.  Of course I only managed to meet a few of them but if I decide to make this my Church body then I will likely meet more of them.

The pastor was a very down to earth and welcoming guy.  I sense a pastor who is really working to accept people as they are and teach his congregants the same.  In other words, one is working toward building a body that loves without condition and judgement.  His communion message yesterday resonated with me as well.  It was about how Christ's message of eating and drinking in remembrance of him is really about breaking bread and eating with "family" as equals.  As members of the body we are all equal members of that family and we should be working toward seeing one another as human beings.  Not looking at one another where we see the colour of one another's eyes or skin. When we do that, there are still barriers between us.  We then had communion where each of us served one another.  We then had an opportunity to pray for one another as needed.  I am not doing justice to the message but it was a beautiful one.

One of the women I had met at Bible study a few days previously was seated behind me during the service.  She invited myself and several other congregants to lunch at her home.  Though I couldn't make it for the spontaneous invitation,  I was very touched. This has never happened anywhere, at any church I've ever gone to before. People these days seem to have a hard time showing hospitality to anyone.  I remember when I first came to this city, people were always inviting one another for lunch or dinner.  These days people still want to do that but most are too pressured for time.  But in this Church, I noticed the pastor was very much focussed on the message that we (the Church family) need to gather around tables (not just once or twice but on a regular basis) and eat and fellowship with one another.  Much of the family gathering will be done in individual homes and groups because the Church body is too large to enjoy eating all together every Sunday.

Other than that I have been busy making a few more pieces of my crocheted afghan. I didn't do so much this week but I did make some progress.  I also finally started sewing mom's quilt sandwich together. I am having some challenges with that one. Despite being very careful to smooth the backing fabric it keeps bunching up even while using a walking foot. I have had to redo a few little pieces here and there. I really will have to look into quilting spray glue.  I used it in the very first quilt I made and it made a world of difference.

I'm having people for buffet turkey dinner tonight.  So for now I've had to roll up the quilt and put the sewing machines away.   

My turkey is soaking in a bit of cool water because the core is a bit frozen.

The stuffing is ready to be put in the bird. I make it more moist than some people do. When it comes out of the bird it is very moist and tasty. These days everyone says don't cook the stuffing in the bird but I've never had any problems and neither did my mother when she used to cook the turkey.
Several hours later this is the cooked bird. I took the cover off the roasting pan for the last 20-30 minutes. It looks like I got it just in time.

I haven't had a chance to take any Fall foliage photos this year except for this one. I hope to go out early this week and get more if the weather cooperates.

I'm grateful for a number of things this year:  family, a mother who is still with us though I don't get to see her often, friends and the ability to make new ones, an opportunity to connect in a good church and home group, shelter, food, sunshine (because we often get rain), good books and good projects, and news that my friend's mother in Africa is doing better physically.  There are so many other things for which to be grateful.

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, I wish you a wonderful time.
If you are not celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you will have some time to reflect on your many blessings.  Even if things are not going well in our lives, there is always someone who is struggling with even worse things. It doesn't make our pain any less but it can help us to keep perspective and to be grateful for the things that we do have.

I am still trying to help Elvis in Kenya get enough funds to finish the medical studies he is currently enrolled in. Not a lot of support has been raised but whatever happens, I trust the Lord will somehow meet the needs. If you can pray or give that would be awesome. You can find out more to the top right of my blog.

Be well until next time.

Neighbourhood Street Scenes

Hello friends and fellow bloggers, I hope you are well today. These are photos I took on a recent walk in the neighbourhood. You can see the...