Monday, July 25, 2016

Season of Completing

Like many people I have projects and tasks that get started or envisioned but take time to finish due to distractions or other priorities.

This past week and a few days I've turned my mind to trying to finish a few things. I didn't completely finish but I made good progress on: reading, knitting and paperwork.

This beautiful coffee table book below is a book about famous gardens in Paris. I read about several of the gardens though if I ever get to Paris I'm sure I'd be hard pressed to remember what I read. I'm so used to seeing English gardens (which I absolutely love) on television or in books and I wanted to broaden my horizons a bit by reading about French gardens.

Author: Zahid Zardar, Photographer: Marion Brenner

Here are just a very few photos. Of course they look much better in the beautiful book.

Monet's garden

Rooftop garden

While I was catching up on watching several recorded television shows I wanted to make use of my hands.  I decided to use up some small bits and pieces of yarn left over from my winter of knitting dishcloths by making a few "crazy" dishcloths.  I call them crazy because I just use up the yarn and join them together when I no longer have matching or complementary yarns to use in the completion of one cloth.  The cloths are only being used to wash my dishes not as gifts so it will only be me that sees them. I really enjoy using cotton knitted dishcloths a lot and go through a fair number of them each year. I also use them for cleaning around the house especially in the bathrooms.

In others indoor tasks, I've made ever so slight progress on sorting through paperwork. The 3 bags of paper that are in the photo have been sorted once (there is even more paper as I also have mom's paperwork to go through). They need much more sorting before I can decide which ones need keeping and which ones can be destroyed. This kind of work is my least favourite thing and I not only have my own paperwork to sort but I have my mom's too. I do procrastinate in this area just because there is so much of it that needs mental work and I have a multitude of things to distract me.

This photo captures about a third of what I have to sort and organize.
It's good to take a break from paperwork after a few hours so I went off to a festival and spent several hours of enjoyment there.

The festival was organized by people of African descent and I think (and hope) it will be the first of it's kind in Vancouver. It was a bit on the small side in terms of food offerings and stalls with arts and crafts or information but it was a good first start. There was a band stand with various entertainers throughout the time I was there and a handful of stalls selling African goods and food.

You can see the sign "Central" in the background. That is the train station where you catch the train to Seattle. It is also where you catch the Greyhound bus to just about anywhere or buses to Vancouver Island or Whistler where people love to go skiing.

The park in front of the train station is called Thornton Park. The organizers of the African festival selected this venue because it is very close to where the first blacks settled in Vancouver. 

Kayode Fatoba, the artistic director of the festival had this to say about Thornton Park and surrounding area in a 
"Hogan's Alley was sort of  the first settlement of African Americans who came during the gold rush" 
That alley is the unofficial name for Park Lane, a T shaped block that ran from Main and Jackson Street in between Prior and Union Streets.

 In some of their publicity the festival organizers stated their vision:

The goal of the platform for this year is to establish itself, while using the input gained to build on subsequent years. Culture and Art festivals are an amazing way to form strong bridges of which the team will look towards showcasing public art, installations, modern and traditional based showcases, night markets, crafts fair and musical performances. With a focus on rejuvenating the spirit of Hogan's Alley, this platform will work with a wide range of city groups, main street businesses, and at large Vancouver organizations to bring awareness to Vancouver’s prominent and growing African community!

These women must sit for hours and hours to have their hair done like this.

Headline singer from Nigeria. Too bad most of the crowd had gone home by then.

Musicians listening to other musicians.

Booth with goods from Ghana in foreground, other counties in background

I love how this man is listening so intently to the elderly woman.
I like this red print dress. Very pretty on the dark skin.
This seller came all the way from Edmonton, Alberta

This young lady, Desiree Dawson won an award for talent. She is an awesome vocalist.

I spoke to the vendor of this booth who has these sandals beaded by the Maasii women in Kenya.
These sandals were $45. Canadian a pair. Not bad when you consider the extremely high cost of postage that must be paid to ship things to Kenya and back.

 For my dinner I had injera with beef sauce and some kind of vegetarian sauce (I think yellow peas) and some cabbage and carrots along with a bit of yogurt. I have had similar dishes and I like it very much but I do not like the injera once the hot food has made it soggy. I prefer the "dry" injera around the edges.

Here is me relaxing in my zebra print maxi dress.

Shortly after I took the photo of myself, I met some people from Morocco and Ethiopia. It was fun meeting them and they were very interesting. The young woman I started talking to first was Moroccan and she was speaking Hebrew with an Ethiopian woman.
It turns out they both met in Israel which was also fascinating. I spent a very enjoyable time talking to them, and the Moroccan woman's father who immigrated to Canada in 1968 and her boyfriend who is Canadian but has travelled to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and spent time doing some humanitarian work there.

All in all I enjoyed the festival.
I look forward to seeing it again in years to come.
 I also love the accessible location and think it is a prime location to attract a larger crowd once more people become aware of it.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sky Over Richmond

I took in the new Star Trek movie tonight. It was an IMAX 3D experience with prices to match. But it was worth it to see the newest movie in the Star Trek franchise and to experience it in 3D. I was surprised that the seats were not as big and comfortable as I'd expected though. I've had better seats in a less expensive theatre in town.

The movie itself was great. If you like space movies or Star Trek movies I'd recommend it. Let me know what you think after you've seen it.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday
Friday Foto Friends.
 Have a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mid-Summer Update

Hi friends,

It's been a few weeks since I posted last. How have you all been?

On my end I've had two visitors come and go. I enjoyed the time with them and look forward to their visits again next summer.  But for now I need to catch up on rest and house work.

My recent guest left on Friday. While she was here we had a lot of time for visiting and watching television as well as some walks and movies at the theatre and in house. I wanted to take her to a play under the stars in Stanley Park but she preferred to stay at home and watch movies. That worked for me too.  On Friday I escorted her home and at the same time had a long overdue visit with my mom.

While my guest was here I also had a surprise phone call and visit from my former Sunday School teacher and her grown children.  They have been coming the last few summers so the mother can visit her childhood friend who lives in Vancouver.  Though their trip was very quick we were able to squeeze in a visit before they departed. They kindly stopped along the way to visit my mom. I delayed my trip by one day to give them a chance to visit in private with mom.

When I visit mom I usually take time to clean and organize her closet, dresser drawers and snack food basket.  This time it was obvious that someone had spent time to organize her closet and they did a very nice job of it. It was a pleasant surprise and gave me more time to spend with mom and also attend to her medical care needs. It turns out she is fighting an infection and antibiotics and I wasn't aware of  that.  It probably explains why she has been sounding so tired this past week. She was on her 2nd day of a 7 day course if antibiotics when I visited.

I'm home again and catching up on my own sleep and errands.

I was able to pick up my glasses and order some contact lens.  I developed an eye infection and have had to spend a few days wearing eye glasses.  I'm not used to wearing glasses and my eyes have been sore from the strain. I'll likely be back to wearing contact lenses before I get used to the glasses. I've also had some major dental work done which I've been putting off all year due to illness or busyness.  I'm glad that the dental work is finally getting done and I'll be finished with it all next week.

The weather here has been unsettled for weeks. It means every day we get heavy cloud cover, sunshine and also heavy rain. I don't mind it but my garden hasn't done that well due to the inconsistency and too much water at times. I have enjoyed the blossoms that did come out though something ate all of the kale leaves and the cherry tomatoes just as they were ready to ripen. The snap peas did quite all right. The hot peppers didn't grow. It was probably too wet for them.

I put away the chair cushions due to rain. the pavers need a good cleaning but rain will dirty them again.

In the next few weeks I've got a lot to do. I have household projects to do besides cleaning. I've had these on the back burner because I haven't had time or motivation to get them done but I'm hoping to do them soon. I only have a few weeks before I have another visitor so we will see how far I get.  I also want to catch up on reading since I've gotten far behind. I'm still reading The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. I am now 60% finished. I'm also reading Babbie Mason's Daughter of the Most High and Brian Hardin's Reframe.

I've also taken out several books from the library including:


  I've long been interested in raw eating so I've borrowed several books on the subject. 
I doubt that I will be a convert to raw food but it will be good to know more about it. 
Carol Alt, former supermodel looks the picture of health and has written extensively about raw food so I've taken out several of her books. 
I was intrigued by her saying she also eats meat.
 I always thought those who eat raw only eat vegetables and fruits. I clearly have a lot to learn.


Update from Kenya

My primary focus has been on helping the young girl who ran away from an arranged marriage. She has been in hospital since I posted last time. She has gone through ups and downs and as of yesterday was transferred to a different hospital for more advanced treatment. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Both of the university students I've been helping have done well in their classes receiving high marks except that each of them had one course where they only achieved a low average grade.
One of them participated in his graduation on Friday. 
The other one will graduate sometime in 2017. 


Thanks for visiting. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

This and That

It's that time of the week again! It is raining cats and dogs here at the moment. Tonight on the evening weather report I learned that is has been anywhere from 4-11 degrees cooler at this time than last year around the same period. I could tell just because by this point last year we were in advanced stages of water restrictions.

Though water restrictions also started early this year they did not escalate. My garden isn't doing terribly well with the inconsistent temperatures and inconsistent watering. I've neglected to water on days when I thought it was going to pour and didn't. Then I've watered only to have it pour rain the next morning. I'm grateful for a good soak of the earth though. It  usually seems to perk things up a bit in the garden.

Though we've been having rain I managed to get a few sky shots on a dry evening (click photos to enlarge).

On the day I snapped these photos I was strolling along the street and stopping at various furniture stores. I'm keeping my eyes open for a set of chairs, new or lightly used.  I snapped a few photos of this and that. I saw a lot of vintage furniture (not antique but several decades old).  There used to be many antique stores in my neighbourhood but most have fallen by the wayside or moved to other neighbourhoods.

I rather  like this teak dresser but don't need one.

A few vintage chairs but not what I'm looking for. 

The chairs below are made of wood salvaged from an oxen cart.
I love them but am not sure these are the ones for me.
They are probably a bit too rustic for my indoor needs and other decor
but they are nice and very comfortable.

I stopped at many more places.
I have my eye on chairs made from salvaged wood. The chairs are in shaker style and have a nice
smooth finish.
I haven't made up my mind so the search will continue.


News from Kenya

 I've been involved in assisting a young teenage Samburu girl who is 13 or 14 years of age.
Her parents arranged a marriage for her for 30 cattle and 6 camels.
She ran away to a rescue center to escape the marriage so she is now all alone in the world and dependent on well wishers.
The missionary at the rescue centre asked my friends to take her and put her in school where she can be in hiding and get an education.
That was working out until she got a bad case of pneumonia.
During treatment and evaluation, a heart problem was discovered.
The school didn't take any action to help her so my friend did and she is now in a hospital several hours away that specializes in diseases of the heart.

She was very weak upon arrival but I am cautiously optimistic.  She seems to be improving though I have no idea yet about her prognosis.

I can only imagine what a scary proposition to be all alone in the world like she is.
The school has been good to give her an educational placement but they have not responded to any of her medical needs.
 I've been trying to help her through my friends there.
My friends are in a difficult and awkward position too. Should the girl not survive, her family will need to be notified..
If you are a prayer warrior please say some prayers for her.
I won't share her photo here because of her situation.

Ernest who was in hospital recently for infection complications cancer surgery is now home and recovering. He seems to be doing much better now. I am hoping they have managed to eradicate the cancer but it will take time to know for sure.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday
Friday Foto Friends  today.
Thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Canada Day and a Few Beach Photos

Another Canada Day has come and gone. My visiting cousin and I started the day with a bit of shopping at Oakridge Mall.  We then carried on to Granville Island where the International Jazz Fest is happening.

Granville Island had a host of  festivities organized for families.  They even had it's own parade but these were all over with by the time we arrived.  We hadn't planned to participate in these events because we were on our way to the fireworks display.
While at Granville Island we had a small snack and listened to this wonderful duo of buskers.  I didn't get their name but the man in red had a fine singing voice and the keyboardist was very good too!

We then boarded this little ferry boat to go across the water to English Bay.

The small ferry was quite busy.

Once on the other side we took a nice long stroll.

It was already approaching 10 p.m. when I snapped these photos with my cell phone and so the light was not that good.

We were having fun enjoying the scenery and  ambience but we had to hasten our walk along the beach to get to the fireworks venue on time.  We decided to walk rather than wait for the bus because of how slow the buses can be in the West End.

We walked along the beach past Sunset Beach and turned onto Cardero Street where we walked toward Coal Harbour.Our destination was Harbour Green Park along the waterfront from where we watched the very nice fireworks display.

I took a 5 and a half minute video but don't have time to edit and upload right now.  After the display we took our time walking east along the waterfront (out of view of this graphic image).  Everyone was taking their time talking to friends and enjoying the evening.  We stopped and had gelato and visited with a few women who were also enjoying their evening before heading home.  Later we continued our easterly walk past the  newly built convention center and Canada Place and beyond to the bus that would take us home.   We didn't arrive home until 1:30 a.m. and both of us were completely wiped out. My cousin kept saying how much she enjoyed herself and it was nice to know that she enjoyed her short visit.  We've made tentative plans for some touristy things to do next year.

Thanks for visiting :-)

In closing let me wish all my American readers a very happy and safe Fourth of July!

Tuesday 4 ~ Books

Welcome back to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 . Books are such a big part of many people's lives. Maybe we should talk about that. 1. Do y...