Monday, May 27, 2019

Early Sunday Morning on the Patio

 I snapped these photos in the wee hours of Sunday morning. 
I couldn't quite get the clarity I wanted but I did enjoy my time in the quiet.
The seagulls were not out squawking for some reason.
Instead there was a beautiful chirping sound from an unknown to me bird. 
It was lovely.

I hope you enjoyed these photos.


I also wanted to invite my long term readers to please take a moment
to read and
 share the following link with your networks and friends.
(I've also added the information on the side bar, top right of this blog).

 It only takes a few seconds and you will help by making it possible for more people to read and possibly respond.
Thanks so much for your time
and have a lovely week.


Our World Tuesday

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A Little Rain on the Way

Hi friends,

Today it's a sunny day and rain is expected tomorrow and several days next week.

I got out last night to the community garden plot and felt a few sprinkles on my head though it waited until overnight for the rain to come down. 

After I left the park I ended the day by going to a local coffee shop with my latest book.

I passed by this magnificent rhododendron bush and stopped to admire it awhile.


It's been a hectic year for me so far in 2019 with many things to accomplish.
I'm trying to pace myself but now and then things get a bit hectic.
I enjoy brief times of respite by going to the park, puttering around in my balcony garden or reading a good book at home or at the coffee shop.

Joining with 

Have a magnificent weekend.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Starting the Week off Right

Last week was the first sunny week for some time and in fact the week ended on quite a hot note. That is about to change and thankfully I was able to complete planting both my balcony garden and my community plot before the weather cools a bit. It is expected to cook by about 10 degrees Celsius this week and hopefully it will rain for several days.  According to the weather forecast it looks like the best chance of rain is on Tuesday with 90% chance of rain and Sunday and Monday with 70% chance of rain respectively. I find the garden does much better with rain water than with tap water and the ground just soaks up the rain which is great for the tender plants.

On Sunday evening (Mother's Day), I was walking back from the community plot and came across these gigantic poppies. They were simply too beautiful to pass by without getting a photo or two even though the sun had set about half an hour earlier.

The photos are not the best quality but I think they look a bit like paintings.

I went out on the patio in the wee hours of Saturday morning to take a few photos. I was excited to find a hummingbird perched high on a nearby tree.  My camera battery was dead and I had to use my phone so the quality is not the best but I think you can make out the outline of the bird at the top of tree (right side of the photo).

The hummingbird was perched quietly on the tree top for almost 30 minutes in total.  I was hoping it would make it's way to my patio garden but it never moved until it flew away.  I spotted another hummingbird flitting about and drinking nectar from the blossoms on the Solomon's Seal on my patio.  It moved  far too quickly to take a photo and didn't stay very long to enjoy the nectar.

The sunrise is always so peaceful and beautiful. I love the golden colour of the sky.

At about 4:30 a.m. it gets rather noisy with the seagulls squawking overhead. They zip back and forth and back and forth like they are going crazy. It is almost like they are excited about having freedom in the skies at that early hour. I do not know why they don't do this during the day time too.

There are always several seagulls flying about but I only managed to capture one as my main subject was the hummingbird.

Thank you for your visit to my blog.
Wherever you are in the world I wish you a fabulous week ahead.

Our World Tuesday

Friday, May 10, 2019

This and That

In my last post I mentioned the long delay in planting my garden due to inclement weather. While I was waiting to plant  I've been catching up on other things like reading.

Here is a photo display of the books I've read so far. I've mentioned before that I have a modest goal of 20 books but with current books I'm reading I will soon surpass the goal.  Once I achieve it I don't have ambitious plans to set a higher goal. Instead I'll spend time doing other things like arts & crafts, sewing, gardening, decluttering and simply enjoying life as much as possible this summer. It seems there is never enough time to do everything but stopping to enjoy life is very important especially enjoying time with family and friends while you can.

I'm in the process of building a new life as it's been 2 years since my late mom passed, 1 year since my sister in law passed, 1 year since a dear old friend passed, almost 1 year since we lost Grandma Sally and 2 months since a young cousin passed.  The last while has been a time of many losses.  Though I do believe I will see all of them again one day it has still taken it's toll on me. I miss them and the losses leave a void in my life.  I've had to try and rebuild my life without them, with some it is a bit easier to do than others simply because of distance or time spent with them but they were all a big part of my life and now they are are no longer here.

I've kept super busy over these past two years trying to move forward and clear out a lot of things that are no longer needed.   I've also spent time trying to catch up to my own personal needs and business.  Some of that will continue.

A while back I mentioned I wanted to change financial advisors. In serendipitous timing my current advisor called me late last week to let me know he is moving on to a different company. It will cost me money if I follow him to wherever he is going.  Though he is willing to split the cost with me I think the time has come to move on though I'm still mulling it over.

This week I met with a possible new advisor.  We had a good first meeting but I'm still exploring options, pros and cons and so on. In my next meeting with the new advisor I will see what he has to say about my current investments and what he might recommend. I also want to learn more about him personally. I don't know about you but when you see a financial advisor you basically lay your whole life bare because your whole life is tied up in your finances, your spending, future spending, income, investments, retirement, wills and so on. So I think it's only fair that you learn something about them personally.  Also, there are many people out there who call themselves financial advisors or planners but they have no real credentials or experience. Canada is thinking of regulating this area (you would think this would have happened before now). It pays to do your homework.

If any of you have experience of changing financial planners and/or investment advisors please let me know in the comment section how you went about it and whether you were satisfied with the outcome.

I've also been trying to carve out more time for personal prayer and study. I'm currently participating in a forty day (40) prayer and Bible study.  This is a huge commitment because it adds hours a day to my already busy schedule.  I have 18 days left in the commitment. Once it is done, I'm hoping to be able to establish the right balance and daily and weekly routines. At least I'll try.

But right now I'm enjoying this intensive time of prayer, Bible study and fasting (from meat and poultry).  As you can imagine, something has to give in the schedule so it means I'm spending less time chatting with friends abroad as well as less time blogging and on entertainment activities.

To be honest, I'm also feeling quite tired. On top of that my knees have gradually begun to bother me again to the point where they are almost constantly in pain.  I've been needing to take pain relief nightly which I've never done before.  I'm not certain how much fatigue is health related, pain related, or even related to the fast and change of diet (I've increased my supplementation with Omega 3, broad based vitamins and turmeric or perhaps more accurately I've started being more consistent in taking them).  Thankfully I haven't really been craving meat or fowl that much but I'm not used to going long periods without meat protein and I'm finding I just don't feel good so I'm trying to go easy on myself.  Today I managed to make a more nutritious and filling meal (vegetarian curry  made with onions, carrots, potatoes, spinach and peas over rice). It was nice and of course there will be left overs which is always helpful.

Finally, I was pleased to get the community garden plot in yesterday. I was so happy and blessed to have the help of the young woman who has the garden plot right next to mine. My knees were so bad and though I didn't share that with her she just pitched right in and volunteered to turn my soil, recommended where to plant my various seeds for best results and dug out a huge rosemary bush which I asked if she wanted.  She was very happy to accept the rosemary bush as she said she had been admiring it for awhile.

Night descends on the community garden at a small, well used park near my home.

Now I just have to make sure to visit the plot often enough to keep it well watered.  The young lady offered to water the plot today because she was visiting her plot anyway.  I will make sure I get over there tomorrow since I still want to plant a few carrots and some kale. I need to buy the seeds tomorrow.  One thing I'd like to learn more about before next year is companion planting. I don't tend to plan my garden too much because I usually use starter plants.  I have to go with whatever plants are available when I shop in the stores.  Often they don't have what I want. With the veggie garden I'm mainly using seeds.  It provides more options and ability to do some companion planting.



Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What's Up?

Hi friends,

I hope you are all doing great and enjoying whatever season you are currently experiencing. It is spring in my part of the world. It came late and as usual the best part for me, the cherry and apple blossoms, were so very fleeting and I hardly got a chance to appreciate and enjoy them.

I seem to get a shorter chance each season to enjoy them so I'm always grateful for the photos I manage to take of them each year and for the photos others share on their blogs. If you missed some beautiful blossoms you can enjoy a few here.

Much of our spring so far has been cold and rainy. From time to time I hear the weather person saying the temperatures have been seasonal or normal for this time of year with the exception of a few days here and there but in my own recollection it has seemed colder. We had warmer temperatures in January (unseasonably warm) than we did in much of the following months. That should be changing this week as we are supposed to get dry, sunny days with increasing temperatures to the end of the week.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I spent a bit of time in the patio garden because it was sunny as expected. Each day the temperature increased slightly over the day previous.

I'm including the photo below to show you how clear the sky was early Tuesday evening. I also wanted to share the painting on the side of the building. I always stop to admire it from across the street.

I look forward to the sunshine we are having.  But I'll be happier if the temperatures don't soar to high in the coming days and weeks. Today, Wednesday, it already felt very hot.  We have wildfire issues almost every year and so it's best the temperatures do not soar too high too early. Wildfires have become a concern each and every year for some time now. Not only is it devastating to our beautiful forests and private properties,  it is dangerous work to fight the fires and expensive for the governments and taxpayers. The budget for fire fighting is increasing each year as wild fires unfortunately become the norm. I think most of us attribute this state of affairs to climate change.  However I also heard on the news that almost 50% of the fires are caused by humans being careless. In this day and age one would think that people would be more careful.

I'm sharing the photo below because some of you might remember that the high rise (with the tree on the roof top) can be seen from my balcony or patio. It seems like it has been going up for a very long time but at least the past half a year seems to have been spent on the finishing touches. It looks like they are getting very close to occupancy.

Starbucks is on the street level and has been open for a few months already.  Recently, a friend of mine who visited from Toronto, Canada spent every day there studying for the legal bar examinations to qualify as a lawyer in BC. I met him there a few times for coffee.  The second floor of the building will house a grocery market called Nester's. When I look at it from across the street I can see the shelving going in but I'm not sure when they plan to open for business.

On the other side of the Chevron gas station is a new and very popular pub/restaurant. It has replaced a Japanese restaurant which I frequented.  One day it was open and the next day unbeknownst to me it closed it's business. Just beyond the restaurant, a few doors away (at the street corner) a popular produce place has closed. I used to enjoy stopping there for fresh fruit, vegetables and organic products.

I think the taxes for small business are simply too high. Recently the city council raised property taxes twice in 2019 (my property taxes increased first to 4.5 to 6.0 percent this year even though property prices have dropped).  The additional 1.5 percent increase was supposedly to lessen the tax burden on small businesses but some business owners have told me that their landlords had already increased their rents.  This means the tax increase did not achieve it's stated purpose.  It only makes the tax burden heavier on individual owners IMHO.

I feel I am so far behind in various tasks I'd like to do that really need to be done in a timely manner. For example, I haven't planted yet at the community plot. I was hoping to do it earlier this week with the nicer weather we are having but have been tired and also busy with other priorities. I am hoping to get there tomorrow or Friday. I prepared the soil over a month ago and have been waiting for just the right day to plant both gardens.  I see the date on my photo below is almost 2 months ago when I cleaned the garden debris and added fertilizer. But honestly the weather has been either cold or wet since to feel like doing much more. I'm probably the last gardener to get my garden planted at the community plot.

In the patio garden I've put out the furniture (minus the cushions until the rain stops) and covered the outdoor tables with tablecloths.  I've been visited almost every day by my neighbour's new cat. The cat is only a year old and is very pretty, friendly and mostly fearless.  I'm of two minds about her coming to my patio garden so often.  I caught her digging in my garden the other day and I became concerned when I  saw one of the recently planted bulbs laying exposed on the surface of the soil. Not only might she destroy what I've planted but she might also start doing her business in the garden. My neighbour assures me she won't but I suggested she try to train her cat to stay on her side of the patio.  On the other hand, she is very sweet cat and I enjoy seeing her so it is hard to get angry over her visits.  I can tell my neighbour is anxious and wants me to like her new kitty cat so that I won't raise a fuss about it. But I know she is also concerned that her cat might start jumping over the partition to the neighbours beyond. That might prove more problematic.

Back to planting matters.  This year I wasn't able to plant many pansies.  Though I purchased enough of them the delay in planting means that at least half of them died off.  The other half don't look that great but I've planted them anyway and am hoping they will revive with some tender loving care.  This will be the first year I haven't planted many pansies since I first started gardening.  I've also planted fewer petunias this year but they tend to grow quickly so it should be fine.  I love all the colour petunias bring to the garden and the happy faces of pansies in full bloom.  To make up for the lack of pansies and petunias I've planted a lot of red geraniums.  Their brilliant colourful blooms always cheer me when I see them flowering in the garden.  The garden will look much better soon when the flowers and other plants start to mature.  I spotted a pretty little hummingbird last night. Hopefully I will see a lot more of them this summer. Maybe I'll finally be able to catch a photo of one this year if I can spend more time outside relaxing.

As we head into warmer weather it is also a time for better grooming with the hair and nails. I got the hair coloured, highlighted and trimmed. It wasn't the best job my hairdresser did this time around but it is more than adequate. This week or next week I'm hoping to get a massage and foot reflexology session using coupons I purchased 2 months ago already. They will expire in another few weeks so I must make sure to use them.  The nails will have to wait since my fingernails are damaged from the last person who did them. I cannot believe it but they need time to regrow.

This post was longer so I cut out several paragraphs.
I've got lots to keep me busy from now to at least the end of summer and I'm also expecting visitors.
It means I will hopefully spend more time relaxing and enjoying my mornings and evenings out on the patio rather than simply doing things out in the community or indoors.

 I'm determined to sit outdoors this summer and read, enjoy my coffee, crochet or work on my laptop.  Last year I spent little time relaxing in the garden enjoying the fruits of my labour so I'd like to change that.

What about you dear reader?  Do you have some restful summer plans or active and adventurous plans?
Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for stopping by.
Before I go let me wish all the mothers a
Happy Mother's Day.
 Many of us, like me, have lost our mothers and so it is a time to remember them fondly with love and joy for all they did for us.

Joining in with 

I was going to post this week to
Friday Foto Friends
but Debbie says she will not be keeping this linky party going.

It's been fun while it lasted and I've met some wonderful lady bloggers through her efforts. All the best dear Debbie.

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