Changing Skies and Moving Forward

 I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.

~ Nelson Mandela


Ever since I was a child I always had a sense of optimism and hope.  My faith in God is a big part of that.  But even before I knew what faith in God was I had a sense of optimism and looking forward to future possibilities, joy and dreams.  If I wanted to do something, I didn't think of the obstacles; only the fact that it could be done.  I realize that not everyone feels this way and I know I didn't exactly get it from my parents.  So where does the joy and hope come from?  The idea that things can get better or will improve? That all is not lost?  That there is still life to be lived?  I think it must be a gift from God himself and for that I am very blessed.  I start this new month of February feeling oh so very tired but hopeful for a wonderful month ahead.  Even baby steps in a future direction are better than no steps.

We have had a delightful winter weather-wise because we've seen more sun and had less rain than I can ever remember over the winter season. It has helped me to get my walking exercise in and I haven't suffered quite as much in the knees.  With the start of rain again I can surely notice the difference but I have hope for a brighter day ahead. My hope comes not just from my faith but also seeing some results in how I feel physically as a result of exercise, better diet, acupuncture and herbs. I am still going to sleep far too late and I'm working on trying to do better in this area.  One night though I was up so late (or early depending on how look at things) and I snapped this photo with my camera phone.

My night photos aren't the best but I love how the city lights twinkle in the dark.

The past week has also been busy with a number of things I won't write about it all but I told you in this post that I was going to attend a fashion workshop with a friend.  We went on Friday night.  There were about 17 ladies altogether.  We sat through an interactive 2.5 hour long workshop on fashion and dressing for your body type. The young ladies who gave the presentation are designers and they were a lot of fun. They brought in  all kinds of clothing and modelled them while they gave their talks.  It made for an interesting show.  Next week we are doing a clothing exchange.  Each of us has also been assigned to wear a particular colour.  No doubt the colours will illustrate why the colour is good (or bad) for us.  I've been assigned to wear magenta which I already know is a good colour for me.  But I cleared out my closets a few weeks ago so I will have to dig deep to find something suitable.


A friend I haven't seen for a long while told me he is moving out of the city, albeit temporarily. He will likely return this summer to commence a new chapter in his life by returning to university for his 3rd degree. In the meantime he is off on a holiday and for an extended visit with family members.  We had occasion to get together for coffee and reminisce a bit before he had to pack, be out of his apartment and fly off in the early hours of Saturday morning.

News of family illnesses kept me close to the phone this week. I have one cousin who was infected with MRSA a few weeks ago and has been in hospital on life support for a few weeks.  Just yesterday she was moved out of the Intensive Care Unit and into a regular ward. I have no idea how long she will be in hospital but am grateful she is on the mend and that she has the support of her church. I can't even go and visit her because she is about 1200 miles away. One of her sisters who lives even farther north had been visiting with her but unbeknownst to me was also scheduled for major surgery to remove one of her kidneys.  She underwent the surgery on Wednesday this past week and was already discharged and flew home today.

It is hard for me to believe how they could send someone so far from home on such a long journey before her stitches have even healed. My cousin lives in a very remote community where there isn't even a hospital. I just pray she will be okay. Her husband has been "holding the fort" and keeping the money coming in as my cousin couldn't work while keeping company with her sister. Living in a remote northern community can be very nice and has advantages but it is also incredibly expensive and the downside is being so far from extended family and not having any available medical or hospital facilities.  I've been praying for both of my cousins and am so happy that one of them who was so near death, has revived.  I had just talked to her in late December and was shocked that a week or so later she was struggling for life in hospital.  It really drives home how fragile life can be.

To relax a bit I've been reading more this week.  Reading is one of my favourite hobbies but I've been trying to cut it down a bit this year so I an focus on other things.  This isn't really working, lol.  This time I've picked up "Long Walk to Freedom" which is Nelson Mandela's autobiography. I decided to  read it after recently seeing the movie.  The book fills in a lot of gaps about Mandela's early life, education and political development.

This book is currently half price through Amazon or Chapters.
 
I was out and about in another part of the city the day before and took these photos for you.  This corner of the city is called Granville and Broadway.  Both of these are very prominent thoroughfares in the city and I thought it would be interesting for those of you who have never been to Vancouver to see what a typical street looks like.

This view is on Broadway facing East. Kaplan signage & building  has been there ever since I first came to Vancouver many years ago but most of the corner has changed.

Broadway Street facing East. If you carry on this way you will get to the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano and farther on you will get to the University of British Columbia.

This is the shop right on the NW corner of Broadway & Granville. Tea is sold here.  The window is reflecting Kaplan's across the street.

This is at the corner facing south on Granville Street.  Head south and you will eventually get to the Vancouver International Airport.   If you visit Vancouver and take a taxi into the city you will come down Granville Street.

The "Aristocratic" signage on the window of Chapter's Bookstore is in homage to a restaurant/diner that occupied this corner of Vancouver for decades.

Little flowers stalls like these dot the city but there don't seem to be as many of them as there once was.

This is at Granville & Broadway facing north on Granville. You can see the downtown highrises. You must cross the Granville Street Bridge to get to downtown.





Joining in with Skywatch Friday
 and
Weekend Reflections
 and
Mosaic Mondays
and
Our World Tuesday 
and
Blue Monday

43 comments:

  1. The overhead lines look like trolley lines from my childhood. Is that their use?

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    1. Yes they are trolley lines for the older city buses.

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  2. Life certainly likes to throw you challenges, hope your loved ones are soon on the road to recovery. Look after yourself too x

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    1. Hello JAbbott. I really need the optimism as you can see. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Love the quote by mandela and yes it's interesting to reflect upon the things that hardwire us for optimism or pessimism, as it's definitely within our genes. It sounds like fashion night was fun and enjoy the cloths swap. Lived the photo if the early hours and I also considered reading long walk again but for now it's all about sugar here. Hope you stay positive with all this going on with your family. Much love xxx

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    1. Hello Hannapat, it's always lovely to see you. I did enjoy the fashion night. I wish it were longer than two sessions but am grateful for the two fun nights with a multitude of ladies in different stages of life. If you've already read the Mandela autobiography, you've done well! Happy baking. I look forward to many more of your recipes.

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  4. Thank you for your virtual tour through Vancouver... The reflection in the shopvindow of Murchine's fine tea is beautiful... Happy Sunday....

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    1. Thank you Viera. So nice to have you visit, especially on a Sunday ;-)

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  5. I enjoyed reading about your fashion event. Sounds like it was fun and educational! We all want to try to look our best. I'm afraid though that my closet is full of the color black! Love the shots of Vancouver. I'm familiar with that area as I spend a lot of time in Anacortes. We get plenty of gray skies there too! Enjoy the week of skywatching!

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    1. Hi Linnea, it is a good thing to branch out and explore new things. I need a little boost right now in the dressing department since I've gotten in a bit of a rut for health and weight reasons. Since I'm looking forward to the future and to Spring and better health, it seemed appropriate to participate in the fashion event at this time! You (we) are so blessed to live in such a beautiful area so we need to be able to put up with some gray skies. I always tell me my friends from the east that it rains all the time, lol.

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  6. I enjoyed seeing the photos of your town. I knew by your name you were an optimist!

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    1. He, he Cynthia. I guess that was a good giveaway wasn't it? Have a wonderful week ahead.

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  7. Hi Joyful! Thank you for venturing out and taking photos just for all of us. How thoughtful! I wish I could say our winter was mild, but it has not been at all. Enjoy!

    I love your attitude about your health. We all need to feel that we can do anything, especially with God at our side. He will bring the victory in us, and I'm so happy that your knees were not so bad for a while. The illnesses in your family have been pretty huge. MRSA is nothing to fool around with, and I smiled when you wrote that your cousin is out of Intensive Care. That is a mercy!

    I'll add your cousin and your family member with the surgery coming up to my prayer list. We all need to live in that hope that leads to peace.
    Peace to you my friend,
    Ceil

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    1. Hi Ceil, so nice to see you again. I do like to take photos just for the blog but don't seem to make such as point of it quite as much as I used to. I often think people don't want to see photos of gray days and we get a lot of those though this year as I was mentioning, we have gotten more sunny days than the norm. I hope you get your sunny days soon too. Thank you so much for praying for my cousins. I just texted the one who had to travel. She is doing okay. In pain tonight but resting at home. xx

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  8. Hello Penny. Glad to hear that those changes you've been making are making a difference to how you feel. Though you are tired it sounds like you are very busy still. Love that quote by Mandela and wonder how he kept going. I do not have a faith but have always been more of an optimist though there have been times!! Sometimes it is hard to see a way forward. It must be hard to be so far away from your cousin. Sending love. Xx

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement Jan! Yes it seems I am always busy. When I'm not busy I'm resting, lol. I am so glad you are an optimist. It certainly helps when the times are tough and even then it can be quite the challenge. I'm happy to say my cousin seems to have made it home okay and is resting. Hugs to you. xx

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  9. This was a very informative post. Thank you for telling us so much. First of all - - praying for your cousins' complete recoveries. That MRSA is very scary stuff. And you should be optimistic. You are taking lots of positive steps - - - healthier eating, exercise when possible, and going to a class that is not only fun but beneficial to your outward "packaging". Plus you are reading a biographical book to enrich your mind. You have good stuff going on in your life. It's obvious you have some grey days there but you have found the pretty color in the midst of it.

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    1. Lynda, thank you so much for praying for my cousins. All the prayers of so many are much appreciated. Sometimes when we get tired (like I've been of late) it is hard to pray as often as I would like. I do know my positive steps are making a difference. Though I am tired I have more energy in some ways and I can feel the different in my body. I am enjoying Mandela's book too and slowly I am getting other things done. Have a wonderful week. xx

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  10. It's wonderful that you're an optimist and have such faith. Love the Mandela quote. The fashion workshop sounds like fun. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Loredana. I enjoy your visits and appreciate your comments. Have a great week. xox

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  11. Hello fellow Vancouver blogger! Love that you got to see the fashion workshop and will have the upcoming fashion exchange. That sounds like loads of fun. I'm so glad your very ill cousin is recovering. Oh my, MRSA is scary stuff. My mother is a doctor, (so was my father) so I do know a bit about it. Hope both your cousins continue to improve and heal. And also hope your week is shaping up to be ultra lovely.

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    1. Wow! At least 2 doctors in the family. That is awesome stuff. Certainly you would know about MRSA. It can really be so tricky to deal with. I thank you for your kind thoughts for my loved ones and for my week. Blessings. xox

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  12. Your fashion workshop sounds like fun. Always nice to get together with no one trying to sell us something. Visiting through Sally's Blue Monday, hope you can come by and visit. Blessings, Debbie

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    1. Hi Deborah, so lovely to have you visit. I agree that it is nice to go places and events without having to worry about people selling something. Just tonight I was at a cooking class and someone there was trying to sell to another participant. He held up the dinner with his sales pitch and had to be coaxed numerous times to the table! I hope to see you visit again soon and will be dropping by to visit you as well. Blessings. xx

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  13. Hello Joyful,

    I see some blues. Thanks for sharing.

    Please consider returning and leaving a comment for me.

    Happy 1st Blue Monday!

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    1. Hi Sally, thanks for stopping by. My original comment on your blog doesn't seem to have "taken". I've returned and left another. Good to see you again ;-)

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  14. You have a way with words and your photo skills are superb too.

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    1. Your kind comment is so very appreciated. You made my day ;-)

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  15. Nice photos. I've loved Vancouver the couple of times I've been there, although rain in the winter does seem strange to me (it's always snow here).

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    1. Hi Al, I know what you mean about the rain in winter being a strange thing. How about rain and snow in winter. That is even stranger and can be experienced in our nation's capital, Ottawa.

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  16. What an interesting place! Your photos are wonderful. Thanks for your thoughts on optimism!

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  17. Love seeing my old haunts. I used travel on those streets to go to work and back home.

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    1. Wonderful! I see you live in another beautiful coastal city. I hope you enjoy it as much in Comox. Hugs. xx

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  18. It's good to be an optimist! Helps you stay cheerful!
    Now that you have said you will be wearing magenta, we expect to see a selfie!

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    1. He, he. I never take pics of myself. But perhaps one day :-) Thanks for dropping by.

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  19. It's been fascinating seeing views of Vancouver - it looks a nice city to live in.

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    1. Hi Diana, thanks for dropping by! Vancouver is a wonderful city. Perhaps some day you will visit.

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  20. I do hope your family members are all feeling better now! Lovely streets scenes. Thank you for the tour! Have a happy week!

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  21. Beautiful captures and post!

    Regina

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