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




A Busy Week Ends

I made it to the end of the week!


I trust my American readers had a fantastic Thanksgiving.
There is always so much to be thankful for and I've been reading some of your gratitude lists this week.



There is lots to report on the missions in Kenya and in other things too.
I've organized everything by subject so you can skip ahead to those areas of interest
My photos are sprinkled throughout this post.  All photos are from my archives with the exception of the baking photos & the graphics.


 MISSIONS OF HOPE, KENYA

The first bit of good news is that my friend Jonah in Kenya was released from hospital on Sunday. Since then he has been staying in a small hotel in the city of Nakuru and seeing the doctor for follow up. Tuesday was the last follow up visit and on Wednesday he expects to return home to Kericho.  He is still a bit weak but the doctor said he will recover his strength in time. He had been incorrectly diagnosed with food poisoning when in fact he had Typhoid Fever. It is the first, and hopefully last time he will contract this disease. I surmise that he picked up the bacteria at the small hotel where he stayed and ate in during his most recent trip to Nairobi.

 Lake Elementeiti, Kenya. You can just make out the lake through the trees

In other news, I've met a young medical student in northern Kenya who finishes his residency training in a week. I met him through an Indian woman I've known for many years. She lives in Guwahati.  She ministers at various Christian meetings in India through Word and song.  When I met her she lived in Mumbai and then returned to Mizoram, her home state after marrying an American.  She now makes her home in Guwahati.  She adopted the young medical student as her spiritual son and I told her when I next get to Kenya I will visit him and take photos for her and give her a report.

The young man is in the very last stages of his medical training. He needed help with his rent and food for this month so I offered to help him.  The amount was very modest but so much needed.  After paying his rent he shared the food he purchased with his grandmother who raised him after his own mom died. His biological mom died because they were impoverished and she could not afford medical help. Before she died she told her son she wanted him to be a doctor so that he could help people like her. It is amazing that he was only 5 years of age when his mother spoke these words but now he will soon fulfill her wish and his destiny.

In a week I will send a little more money for his grandmother.  This will help her get through the Christmas season because her grandson will travel to Nairobi where he volunteers with the Red Cross during school breaks.
In January 2019, he returns to university for one more class and after that expects to graduate in May 2019.

Kenya has very high unemployment hovering close to 90 percent but this young man should be one of the fortunate ones and be snapped up by one of the hospitals.  Medical personnel are very much needed in Kenya and there is currently an inadequate supply of doctors in the country.

Another student I am assisting has just returned to university for his final year of a Bachelor's degree in Engineering. Actually he graduated a year ago and we celebrated his achievement.  Unfortunately the university's program was not accredited and in order to get recognized he must take another year of study. He isn't alone in this.  When he enrolled at the university he and his fellow students were told that the program would be accredited.  By the time they graduated they found out the accreditation had not been achieved.

What it means is they must all return to university for one more year to get accreditation.
After he graduates he hopes to get scholarships to enable him to study abroad and possibly find employment before returning to Kenya. 

The other engineering student I was helping was not able to find steady employment.
After 2 years of  start and stop jobs where I assisted him with starting all over again several times I told him I was unable to continue supporting him if he couldn't find work or create a job.
He was able to secure a small loan from the bank.  Sadly the loan was insufficient for the purpose of opening a small hair salon and barber shop.
I matched the loan to try and help him get established.  Even with the loan funds I've provided it is a very modest start and it is difficult to get things going.  There have been various challenges to the business operation but he is trying hard to make a go of things. It is really up to him now to make or break because he doesn't have many choices.
Young men in Kenya have a very hard time to find work. In fact anyone who isn't very creative at creating their own business will find it very difficult to provide for themselves and to get married and start a family.

I am really praying he will succeed so he and his girlfriend can marry and he can also help provide for his disabled mother.

There is much more to report but I will save it for another post.



YARN


It's been a busy week working on my long list of 'to dos' which included several shopping forays to buy yarn.

In my last post I wrote about how I'd purchased and lost, the yarn I bought for the afghan I'm currently crocheting.

Once I got home I  called several stores where I'd stopped on my way home but none of them had my bag of yarn.

I was resigned to buying the needed yarn again so on Tuesday night I went back to the store. When I got to the cash desk the young lady that helped me on Sunday said  that I had left my shopping bag behind. She blamed it on her distracting me. I wasn't upset in any way because she had distracted me due to trying to find various discounts to save me money.
I was very happy to find my yarn.


Not only did I get my yarn back but I realized I actually needed just a bit more yarn.
I was able to purchase the required skein  for 55% off the regular price.
It was a nice bonus. 
Another nice bonus was the young lady who served me.
I often have wonderful service but this young lady was extra special.
She was so pleasant and kind and it was nice just to see her smiling face again.
I wish we could all be like her. It makes life so much brighter when you meet happy people.
 I'm now at the point of joining my granny squares together. I'm not sure how long it will take me to finish it but once I'm done I'll share a photo.

CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS


I've decided to give one of my finished crocheted afghans and some knitted dishcloths to my brother and his wife for Christmas. I told him he can use the afghan to keep his knees warm this winter (see more about this below under "Personal"). I've also been purchasing a few additional gifts and gift wrap items from the dollar store in my neighbourhood. Tomorrow or Friday I'm hoping to go to a different dollar store in Chinatown. I hardly ever get to the Dollar Tree (DT).  Whenever I'm on You Tube I see so many vloggers talking about their DT hauls and the fabulous things they make with the things they get at the DT.  Basically I need a few things to add to a basket I'm putting together for a young lady. It's a kitchen and baking theme. Earlier I purchased some baking pans and a Bundt cake pan. I will add various gadgets and utensils, oven mitts and some food items to the basket. I'll likely add a few of my knitted dishcloths too.

 I also purchased two Christmas gifts for the brother who lives locally.  I already gave him the gifts because I want to make sure he fit the slippers (he did). I also wanted to make sure he liked and would use the charging station I bought for his phone and devices.  He seems to like the charging station but I know he hasn't actually tried to use it yet. I will be making up a stocking for him to open on Christmas Day so he has a little something that is a surprise.

 I had a chance to put my new smaller tree together though I haven't had a chance to decorate it yet.  It already comes pre-lit so it doesn't need much.  I'm still keeping my eyes open for a white table top tree.

Last but not least, I've purchased a few items for myself as I like to do each year.  All items were purchased from Canada's home shopping network (TSC):  a pair of warm shoes with fuzzy stuff inside (Sketchers), gel soled slippers (Tony Little) and cashmere socks (Pajar). I haven't purchased any cashmere socks for well over 10 years and have been keeping my eye out for them. I finally found the best price on TSC and ordered them. I thought if I liked them I would order more but now they have sold out of their stock.  I haven't received my order yet. There have been mail delays due to a rotating postal strike but the order should be arriving soon.

I captured a lone gull bobbing on the water. There were a lot of them that day but I like this one off by itself.

PERSONAL

My brother had to go to the Emergency Room (ER) for observation a few days ago. He started hobbling in the morning and by the time he was at work he could barely walk due to acute pain in his knees. After testing the doctor diagnosed him with arthritis and gave him an injection of pain medication.
I had this same thing happen to me a few years ago though I didn't go to the ER. I waited a very long time to tell my doctor about it. When I finally did she sent me for x-rays and confirmed my fears about osteoarthritis.

When I first started having knee pain I could barely walk for 4 months. I went to the acupuncture doctor several times a week for several months.  When I didn't get any relief I just stayed home because I was exhausted from dragging myself around.  In that short space of time I gained 40 pounds and it took me years and very diligent effort to lose it.  Along the way I learned about rehabilitation walking poles, whole body vibration and curcumin.  These 3 things have kept me walking.


READING

I made some progress reading The Couple Next Door.  It isn't the usual kind of book I read but I am enjoying it so far.  You can click on the title to read more about it to see if you are interested.

Fellow blogger Diane at Photo Diary also recommended 2 books by Zimbabwean author, Diana M. Hawkins.
I purchased the ebook called Shadows along the Zambezi
 and recommended the Vancouver library purchase the second booked called Shadows over an African Heart.
The library agreed to my recommendation so I can borrow the book later and others can enjoy it too.
I believe these two books deal with the difficult subject of elephant poaching. 


Can you spot the gull atop the Inukshuk (the stone man)?


HOUSEHOLD

I started putting up the new curtain rod. 
I have to do this job in stages because it requires a lot of getting up and down on the little ladder and making sure
everything is as straight as possible because each bracket requires two holes.
I see there are actually 4 brackets in the box, not 2.  This is great because the sales lady told me there were only 2 brackets and I almost bought 2 more to make sure I had enough.  Now I won't have to purchase any more.

When I was out running errands I came across some free stuff outside of a thrift store. 
There were 4 tiles with printed scenes on them. I took two of them and the other two were scooped up by another woman.  When I put my two tiles together they make the face of an elephant and its tusks. I've put them on the wall behind the chair in my little reading area. They coordinate with the afghan I made for myself at the start of the year (the one on the top of the pile in gold, grey and off white colours).

 


BAKING

I made some cinnamon buns using the the same recipe I made bread with last weekend.

I made enough dough to also make one loaf of bread since all the other is gone.
The buns turned out perfectly. I used very little sugar and a lot of cinnamon spice.



Now that I've made bread twice in such a short time I probably won't be baking very often in the foreseeable future.
 I might bake something for Christmas (cookies or squares of some kind, maybe buns) but I don't really need that much since my family is not very large.


I try to capture the birds flying in the morning but they are very fast.

 Take care everyone.
Thanks for visiting.


Joining in with






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 will show a photo soon. I'll wait until I get to a point where you can see how the final product is shaping up.

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.  As for the three extra afghans I've made, I gave one to a friend for her birthday (berry and pink colours) and I will give one to a friend and one to my brother for Christmas. Both of these are in shades of beige, grey and mustard colours. I haven't yet started on the grey, black and white afghan.

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.


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 ...