A New Year Awaits


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day.
Since Christmas Day is the beginning of the 12 Days of  Christmas I know some of you will celebrate
until January 5, 2019.
Some people have already reported back to work as they don't get a lot of time off.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope you are able to slow down the pace a bit and enjoy this season.



I also wanted to wish each and every one of you a fantastic year ahead in 2019!


I  will be taking an extended break from the blog as
I pursue some personal plans and goals.
I hope to write about it in the months to come.

Wishing you all the best
until I see you again in Blogland!

♥♥♥

A Quick Annual Trip


A few family members and I took a quick road trip to visit my niece.  We had a lovely time and took her to lunch, a movie and dinner as well as had a nice visit and delivered presents. My niece didn't let me forget any of  my promises right down to the popcorn at the movies and the hot chocolate before taking her home. She is so cute and we had a brief but loving visit with her.

We rushed back to Vancouver Saturday to try and avoid the snow that was forecast for the mountain highway. I was very pleased that we beat all the bad weather and traffic though we certainly saw a lot of traffic heading north. We made a stop at Harrison Hot Springs to try and find eagles that were resting there before making their annual migration but we didn't find any. Along the highway two passed us in flight overhead and I spotted one young one (at least 5 years old because it had a white head but it's body was small) perched on a tree as we rode over a bridge. I couldn't get a photo.

Since there were no eagles to be found we stopped at Wal-mart in Chilliwack. It was super busy with long line ups at the cashiers in all lanes including express lane check out. Even the self-service aisles were full which is saying a lot because Canadians really dislike self-service as a check out option.   My companions decided to skip shopping but I didn't know that so I wandered about buying a few groceries. Fortunately the express lane I was in was moving along quickly.

I stayed at the Thompson Hotel downtown and it was the first time I've stayed there. I enjoyed my short stay. All the staff was friendly.  My room was quiet and the bed was comfy. It was a bit cold overnight and the shower wasn't very hot but it was good enough.  I could have adjusted the heating but I was too lazy to figure it out.  I was disappointed that the pool and hot tub were not functioning but there is nothing the hotel can do about a pipe problem except to fix it. The breakfast was very satisfactory.  I would stay at the hotel again if the price was right but I do also like to check out different hotels.

Over the years I've stayed at 6  different hotels and 4 motels In Kamloops. I prefer several of the hotels (Sheraton Four Points, Holiday Inn on the North Shore, Pacific Inn & Suites and the Thompson) and have stayed at the first 3 on several occasions each. I would not recommend other hotels (unnamed) I've stayed in because of cramped rooms, dark rooms, poor breakfast set up or bit sketchy area. I also recommend the Fortune Motel on the North Shore.  It is very clean and roomy and they have a rudimentary kitchen set up if you like or need to cook or have snacks that need refrigeration. You need to specify that you want a kitchenette or you will get a standard room. They also have a swimming pool though I haven't used it.  Across the busy street you will find a small mall with a full scale grocery story, fast food,banking and so on. The only drawback is it is on a busy street though after hours the traffic is really not that bad. You can ask for a room facing toward the mountains and you should be fine. Also the motel is a cinder block motel just in case that is important information to you.

 

A nice breakfast was included in the room cost.  Sausages, scrambled eggs, waffles, cold cereals, various breads and muffins, yogurts, fresh fruit, juices, water, coffee and tea were all on offer.





I took my swimming suit but unfortunately a pipe had burst in the hotel's new pool area so it was not usable while I was there. I can't count the number of times this has happened to me while visiting various cities and towns. I wasn't too upset though as it allowed me to get more sleep before breakfast.


My view looked out over the parking lot, the shopping mall, the bus transit area and the industrial park and mountains beyond. The last several years these mountains had snow on them and there was lots of snow in the valley. This year there is none but that can change rather quickly. The first year I spent in Kamloops the snow didn't fall until December 24th on Christmas Eve.

The residential development on the mountains is located on Indian Reserve lands. There is a wonderful view of the city from up the hill.






Sorry for the blurred photos.
You can see how the weather changes dramatically.
All the snow you see is less than an hour south of Kamloops.





Linking in with

Our World Tuesday this week.

Enjoy your Christmas holidays.
 Christmas Tree on Google Android 9.0

Time is Passing So Quickly

We've been having gray skies and buckets of rain all week.
The news reports a lot of flooding in various parts of the city.
Other than a trip out on Sunday and some errands on Monday I've been staying inside so I am snug and dry.
A wind storm has now been forecast so I spent a bit of time today moved the patio furnishings and storing the patio umbrella so it doesn't blow away and damage things.




I've noticed how very dark it is now. Morning light comes later and evening dark comes earlier.
Thankfully the Winter equinox will arrive soon and gradually the days will become longer and lighter.

My blog post is entitled "Time is Passing So Quickly" because despite my early preparations I don't feel ready for Christmas.
I did complete Christmas shopping and wrapping and Christmas cards both paper and electronic. I also did the Christmas decorating. I've managed to meet with a few friends before the holidays and have one or two more to see in the next week.
 But there is still a lot to do: cleaning, sorting, paperwork, a bit of cooking and preparing to travel out of town.
I am not able to get much done each day.  I only do what I feel like doing so my list of things doesn't change much from day to day. At least I'm enjoying the Christmas lights during these dark days and I'm sure I'll get everything done that is important.

READING

My latest read is Becoming by Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States of America. I read it quickly and I found it very well written and interesting.  I shared the book with a number of friends all of whom told me they had the book on their reading lists.
Mrs. Obama will be here in Vancouver on March 21st and there is a lot of excitement around her visit. 
I'm not sure what I'll be doing then so I haven't purchased a ticket which means I'll probably miss out altogether. These kinds of events with well known people always sell out here.


I've read 57 books so far this year. My original reading goal was only 35 books but since July it seems I've been reading a lot of books.  I just kept increasing the goal as I read more and more books.
I am hoping to complete another 1 or 2 books before the end of the year.

CRAFTS

I haven't had time to work on crafting too much but I did manage to make 2 globes out of a few craft items from the Dollar Tree, Michael's Craft store and jars from my cupboard. I enjoyed this little craft and will know how to do a better job if I make some again in future.




A few weeks ago I also started the pink and berry afghan. I'm still not finished and I've run out of time to make the black, gray and white afghan I was hoping to have finished by now.
I guess that means I've made 8 afghans this year rather than 9.
Next year I may only make 1 or 2.
I'm not sure yet what craft I will focus on. Perhaps I will finally knit a pair of socks or make more doilies to use up some of my crochet string.



Little by little I tie the loose ends in the back. There are so many of them that I'm still working on it. I would say I am about 2/3 done. It's not my favourite thing to do so I don't work at it that often.
Once I've done that I have to block the afghan to help give it proper shape.


MOVIES

I've also been catching up on watching several movies during the wet and gloomy weather.

Here are the movies and a brief summary of each:

Nancy - A strange story about a young woman named Nancy who becomes increasingly convinced she was kidnapped as a child. When she meets a couple whose daughter went missing decades earlier, the couple's doubts give way to willful belief.
By the Sea - Written and directed by Angelina Jolie while she was still married to Brad Pitt. The scenery and the costumes are very appealing but the story itself is very shallow and not my cup of tea. Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.
A Star is Born - with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. I saw this story years ago with Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. I liked it at the time but I wasn't that enamoured of this newer version. Lady Gaga has received a lot of accolades for her acting role but personally I wasn't that impressed. Her acting is very flat and monotone however her singing is just as impressive as always I was very impressed by Bradley Cooper who does a wonderful job of playing an alcoholic singer. The movie however has a very sad ending.
The Girl in the Spider's Web - Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cyber-criminals and corrupt government officials – both in Sweden and in the United States – whom are only known as The Spider Society. A movie filled with many twists and turns. The role of Lisbeth is very capably played by Claire Foy who you may remember from her performance as a young Queen Elizabeth in the series "The Crown".

I'd be interested in your thoughts if you have seen any of these movies or read Michelle Obama's book.

~~~~

Given that most people, including bloggers are very busy right now with Christmas plans or travel plans, I probably won't be posting much before Christmas. It will depend on how much I get done in the next short while.

Wishing you all a wonderful next few weeks

and

a very Merry Christmas!

A card I purchased from a Kenyan artist on the streets of Nakuru.

~~~~


Joining in with


and 

A Few Seasonal Images


The tree this year is much narrower and a bit shorter so it can be squeezed into small spaces.


I made these two winter scenes in jars but it's hard to keep the stickers stuck to the sides.

 


 

 
 




Today in Vancouver we were supposed to have record rainfall of between 40-60 centimeters. I stayed indoors and watched television and internet news to learn about street flooding in various parts of the Greater Vancouver area.
These photos were taken from the safety of my balcony.



 Joining in a bit late with




November Ended on a Bright Note



~~~~~~~

Where I live I seldom see a rainbow even though it rains a lot.
I'm not sure why that is.

So when I do see a rainbow it is an exciting event.

~~~~~

Rainbow (source Wikipedia)


A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured circular arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.
Rainbows can be full circles. However, the observer normally sees only an arc formed by illuminated droplets above the ground, and centered on a line from the sun to the observer's eye.
In a primary rainbow, the arc shows red on the outer part and violet on the inner side. This rainbow is caused by light being refracted when entering a droplet of water, then reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it.
In a double rainbow, a second arc is seen outside the primary arc, and has the order of its colours reversed, with red on the inner side of the arc. This is caused by the light being reflected twice on the inside of the droplet before leaving it.
and
It is difficult to photograph the complete semicircle of a rainbow in one frame, as this would require an angle of view of 84°. For a 35 mm camera, a wide-angle lens with a focal length of 19 mm or less would be required. Now that software for stitching several images into a panorama is available, images of the entire arc and even secondary arcs can be created fairly easily from a series of overlapping frames.
~~~~~~

As I sat at my computer desk and was looking out toward the mountains I spotted some colour just beyond the leaves of my bush.  I went out to the balcony to take a closer look and discovered a rainbow.

I went out 3 different times to capture photos.
Though it started to pour rain I wanted
to be sure and get at least one or two decent ones.
I didn't take the photo as instructed by Wikipedia notes above. I just went out and did my best to capture the rainbow while it lasted.
On my 3rd attempt I was blessed to see two rainbows!
As it states in Wikipedia, the 2nd arc does have the colour red on the inside of the arc.





I felt very blessed and extremely excited to see one rainbow but even more excited to see two of them!

In the Bible there is a scripture
 where God promises Noah he will never again wipe out the population of the earth by flooding. He says the rainbow will signify his promise.


There are a few other verses that deal with the rainbow.
One of them is Revelation 4:1,3

"After these things I looked, and behold, a door opened in heaven . . . 3. And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardius stone; and a rainbow was around the throne . . ."

This is a beautiful and happy image.

I feel expectant after seeing the rainbows and am looking forward to a wonderful month in December.

~~~~~


I know the Christmas season can be a difficult time for many who are hurting and lonely.
If that's you and you are reading this I share this thought with you.



Linking up with

Skywatch Friday

and

Friday Foto Friends

Enjoying a Clear Day

When it rains a lot it's always a pure joy to see the sky on a clear day.
Even better when the view is so lovely

*Total rainfall to date in 2018 1008.6 mm 
Source: Vancouver Weather Stats






I also love the twinkling light at night 
and
the cross on the top of the steeple.

Even though I've done a lot to prepare for Christmas I feel the advancement of time.
So much to do yet but the most important thing is not to stress and to enjoy the Christmas season.

Linking up with

Our World Tuesday

 Enjoy your week ahead.

♥♥♥

A Friday to End November


The sky as seen from the patio on Thursday, November 29th, 2018.


It has been raining for much of the last 2 weeks and most days it has been quite heavy rain.

It was nice to have a clearer day today. 
The sun was out a bit earlier but I wasn't able to take a photo of it.
I've had a different kind of week.
I've been feeling very tired and my neck is very tight causing me to feel nauseous. I get like this from time to time.

So mostly I've been resting and reading and doing a little tidying here and there.

I finished my berry and pink coloured afghan but I still have to tie off all the loose ends in the back.
This is time consuming but I am pleased with how it looks. Very pleased.

I haven't started on the last afghan of the year but hopefully next week.

My little tree is up and all my presents are wrapped except for one more I must buy for my niece.
I'm so glad the job of wrapping is finished as that is the most time consuming part of everything

I never did get around to completing the task of putting up my curtain rod.
I just was not up to it.
Perhaps I'll feel up to it in a few days. I also need to finish the Christmas decorating but the decorations are in storage downstairs.

~~~
I've also kept a bit pre-occupied with technical issues this week.
I don't know how many of you try to watch DVDs on your computer.
Since I downloaded Windows 10 long ago it has messed up my usage of the CD/DVD feature on my desktop.
It also makes my scanner more troublesome to use.

I got my brother to try to adjust things but he had no more success than I did.
In the end I purchased an inexpensive DVD player so I can watch DVDs from the comfort of my sofa.
 Mostly I borrow DVDs from the library but from time to time I also watch one from my small DVD collection.

I also had an issue trying to sync my Kobo reader (Canada's version of Kindle).
It's been a long time since I charged it up. In the meantime it no longer recognized it's Wi-Fi connection at home.
Despite inputting the correct Wi-Fi address it just would not connect to the internet.
My brother is more tech savvy than I am.
 He got it working again by deleting some public Wi-Fi addresses I'd used in the past.
I was very happy since I've recently purchased the book
Shadows Along the Zambezi as recommended by blogger friend, Diane at Photo Diary.



I also have many other novels on it which I would like to read.
Now my library is up to date and I can start carrying the little reader with me. 


~~~~~~

The following books are in various stages of completion.
I want to return them to the library this weekend or at latest by Monday.

Half finished. I'm not enjoying the stories as much as I'd hoped.  Most are quite bleak.


A complex piece written by a Vancouverite. I'm enjoying it but the story doesn't quite flow easily for me.

Half finished. My completion was hampered by the fact I do not intend to begin the meal plan although I guess that could change.
An easy read but an odd and only slightly satisfying story.
A satisfying read which kept me engaged until the last page. My enjoyment was enhanced by learning the author is Canadian.

A nice documentary about a wonderful human being. I cried at the end.
 ~~~~~~

I found this cute little children's poem about the end of November.
I hope you enjoy it.
It's the end of the month.
The glory of Fall has passed us by and in some cases barely arrived this year.
I started the month by wishing you a month of adventure.
I hope you found it despite the inclement weather in most of the northern hemisphere.
As we move into December and wind down 2018 
I wish each of you peace and time to reflect upon and enjoy the month ahead.

Thank you for your visit.


Joining in with 


and




Sunday Reads

I haven't written about my reading goals for 2019. I'm keeping my goal very modest this year indeed. I only have 20 books as my targ...