Friday, September 25, 2020

Fall is in the Air

This is the current book at the top of my reading pile. I'm enjoying it immensely and it makes me feel as if I too am in the mountains with the gorillas.

I wanted to share some Fall season photos but haven't been out to take any good ones.  We have had rainy, wet weather since late last week so that hasn't helped to do any photo taking.

 The following photos are from my archives and were taken a few years ago.  I hope you enjoy them.

The next photo was taken with the camera phone on Wednesday, September 24th.  It was just after a heavy duty wind and rain storm and the night was falling fast.

 The next few photos were also taken with my phone camera while I was doing some errands in between the rainfall.

Thank you for stopping by. I'm linking up with Skywatch Friday today and Saturday's Critters. I hope you all have a safe and happy weekend.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Farm Animals at the PNE & A Few Other Things

These are not the best photos due to low lighting and use of a poor phone camera but I took these several years ago and don't believe I ever posted them. They are photos of the farm animals I took when my niece and I went to the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). She really enjoyed all the animals. I did take photos of other animals and will probably share them at a later date. Today I am showing the pigs.  I love little piglets and always think of the movie Babe whenever I see them.


Sadly, my niece and I couldn't have a visit at Christmas or this summer for her birthday like we usually do. Both of us have underlying conditions so it isn't worth the risk. 

We have been going to the PNE every year for years with her late mom and grandma but of course this year the PNE was not open for business as usual.

The spider I photographed last week is still on it's web in the same spot. It was difficult to get a good shot today.  Please check this post if you would like to see better photos of the spider and it's web.

Tonight's news reported that the air quality advisory for Vancouver and area has been lifted. That's such a relief.  The sky is full of rain clouds and we are expecting rain for several days this coming week.  I took the photo below on Saturday early evening.  There was a flock of birds flying around (click the photo to enlarge and you will see the black spots near the church steeple).  The birds were flying too fast and were too far away to capture them clearly.

I captured a few geranium shots using a lens borrowed from my brother who is a more serious photographer.  He is letting me try 4 different lens and I'm experimenting here and there.  They are all prime lenses not a zoom like I usually use.  I eventually want to move beyond my zoom lens.

I'm currently reading these two digital books and have a notice to pick up 5 paper books at the library.


I've made a new header for my blog.  I was looking for some Fall photos which I know i have somewhere but my digital files are not well organized. I have been decluttering digital files here and there and there is much more to do. The last step will be organizing what I have left,  be it digital assets or physical ones. Anyway the photo I've selected instead is of the Pokot children who come from the northern part of Kenya. 

It was taken on a mission we undertook some years back to bring a bit of food relief to the Pokot people who go hungry whenever there is a drought. We have undertaken several food missions to the Pokot people as they are often overlooked given their location in the far north and dusty parts of Kenya.  There are little to no amenities where they live.  The Pokot are largely pastoralists and when there is a drought their cattle die off. 

In the photo the children are eating bread and juice and I believe they also got some fruit that day.  Watermelon if I remember correctly. Many Kenyans love white bread and it is a treat as it isn't something they get very often.  The food stuffs we gave to the households consisted mainly of rice, maize flour and oil. There is a button on the right side bar for anyone who would like to help the people of Kenya. That button will be there for the foreseeable future and there are other links to different aspects of the needs and work in Kenya.

Last,  but not least,  I'm on Day 19 of the 31 Fly Lady Baby Steps (click the highlighted words if you would like to read more about Fly Lady's Baby Steps). If  you already follow the Fly Lady, let me know how what you think of her system.  As for me, I'm working hard at it even though I don't like routines.  For clarity, I do much more than the Baby Steps during the course each day but gradually I am hoping to replace my various quasi routines with a system that seems to work for so many women around the world.  (Note:  I am not buying Fly Lady books or  merch to undertake any routines. I use what I have or get something local if needed).  I'm working toward better routines so that I can keep a household running smoothly, keep up with all my responsibilities and have more time for reading, hobbies and most importantly Bible studies and devotions as well as the  Missions of Hope Kenya.

Enjoy your weekend and stay safe.

I'm linking up with Saturday's Critters.

Friday, September 18, 2020

First Day of Clear Sky

We've been experiencing very poor air quality as a result of the wild fires that have been burning in Washington, Oregon and California states.  I've had to keep all doors and windows closed and stay indoors for five days.  On Wednesday the sky finally cleared a bit and it was such a relief to be able to go outside and to breathe better air.

These few photos were taken as soon as the sky cleared in late afternoon Wednesday. Then within a few hours the sky darkened again. I wasn't quite sure if it was due to the fires or if rain was on the way. Then it rained Wednesday night. The sky cleared a bit on Thursday and it rained a little again in the evening. We are expecting more rain over the next two days.


Joining in with Skywatch Friday today.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Saturday's Critters - Cross Spider

While I was out taking photos of my plants the other day, this little critter practically dropped into my face.  I quickly shifted focus to try and capture a few shots to join in with Eileen at Saturday's Critters.  I've been wanting to link up there for a long time but I never seem to find any critters that don't get away before I have my camera ready.

I couldn't really see the spider web until I downloaded the photos and I've changed the exposure a bit so that the spider web is more visible.

I'm not a spider expert but it looks like this one is called Araneus diadematus or a Cross Spider.  The cross spider is sandy brown to burnt orange with pale spots in a cross shape on its large abdomen.  The cross spider is an orb-web spider known for constructing enormous circular webs to catch prey like flies and mosquitoes. They inhabit gardens, hedgerows, meadows and woodlands, and are often found in rural areas of BC including buildings with exterior lighting. (Source Terminix Canada).

This spider and possibly other spiders have been spinning webs in the garden like crazy this summer and there have been various kinds of spiders in the house too.  I've seen a lot of cobwebs in the garden but this is the first time I've watched the spider in action.  I didn't disturb it but I've read that a female cross spider can lay 300 to 900 eggs.

These are a few photos from the garden using a new to me lens I borrowed just to try it out. I didn't get to experiment too much because the light faded rapidly as night fell.
Thank you for stopping by. Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

A Small Update

I cannot believe how much time has passed since I wrote in this space about the blob on my camera sensor. It was evident in many of my photos and yet not in other photos. I tried to crop the blob out from time time.  Thanks to Covid 19 and staying home a lot more, I am slowly catching up to a host of small jobs that need doing. I'm slow but steady, lol. I put off some things that can be done rather quickly. There is a method and a rationale to my approach though my approach definitely differs from what most people would likely do.

The good news is, I finally googled the cost of 2 repairs to my camera. The bad news is the total cost is ridiculous an not worth it. Though the camera works very well, it would cost me about 2/3 the value just for 2 small repairs. My brother who is a bit of a tech enthusiast and always fixes my computer and phone issues told me he would clean my camera (lens and sensors) and showed me how to work around the other issue. At last I have a properly working camera. The geranium below is my first decent photo. It was a bit difficult because I left the photo taking until past prime daylight. In fact it was practically dark so I am happy enough with it. I've got a long way to go to improve my photos but that will give me another hobby to work on.


For those who read my last post, I am now on Day 10 of the Fly Lady Baby Steps.  Truthfully the last 4 steps don't make a lot of sense to me.  They seem to be a bit repetitive and don't quite mesh with my approach to decluttering. I will carry on with the Baby Steps challenge and learn what I can over the remaining 21 days.  I will carry on with my own projects and ways of doing things and apply what I find useful in the Fly Lady approach.  I'm still not ready to fully implement Fly Lady that's for sure.

I'm am slowly reading A Letter From Paris  (click on underlined title link to read more).  I'm about three fourths complete and I'm enjoying it.

Once this is done I will start reading I Give It To You   (click on underlined title link to read more).  My local library has finally reopened as of Tuesday and there is a book ready for me to pick up.  I have a few more books on hold which are making their way to the branch so once they have all arrived I will take a walk to the library.



We've had wonderful weather all week culminating in a quite a hot day yesterday. Today's weather is slightly cooler and more to my liking.  I wish it could stay like this for many months to come.  

Here are a few macro garden photos and a few sky photos.  These were taken at approximately 7:15 p.m. while I was making dinner.

The first sky photo was taken on Tuesday, September 8, 2020
I love the cosy glow of the steeple cross at night.

 The next photo was taken on Thursday, September 10, 2020 on a beautiful, cloudless day.

This was tonight's dinner:  rice pilaf, green salad and roasted chicken. Delicious.πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ™ˆ It is a constant challenge to come up with various ways of eating and trying to eat healthy.

Thank you for stopping by. I'll do my best to visit your blog if I haven't already done so lately. I'm doing my best to catch up.

Have a wonderful Friday and a restful and safe weekend. I'm linking up with Skywatch Friday. Check it out and catch more beautiful sky shots from around the globe.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A Busy Day and Some Happy Colour

Things have been rather busy here in my corner of the world. I guess I'm in a slightly whirling dervish mode since it's the end of the summer and I've had so many jobs I put off due to Covid 19.

On Friday I went for my annual eye check up albeit a half year later than I should have. Actually I had an appointment scheduled for 6 months ago.  However I postponed it and requested that they give me an appointment with the eye specialist who did my surgery.  Not the back up eye doctor who has been seeing me the last two times. They called again to make a new appointment for me but it was still with the back up doctor. 

I relented and went for the check up because I really must stay on top of things. But I told the front desk staff  that next time I really would like to be booked in with my original eye specialist.  She is the reason I started going to that office in the first place and she is the one who did my eye surgery about 3 - 4 years ago.  They understood my frustration but told me that my doctor has been cutting back on her hours and they couldn't promise that they could make it happen. Now it causes me to wonder if the young doctor is already burned out. Eye specialists here seem super busy.  Too busy to sustain their demanding schedules.  I heard a few years ago that due to Canada's aging population the eye specialists would become even more busy.  I wonder what my future holds in this office.  Since I first started going to the office they have added 3 new specialists.

For the time being the back up doctor told me there is no diabetes related damage to my eyes, my vision is okay and he confirmed that I have dry eyes as per my observation.

The doctor confirmed that my right eye is in fact the drier of the two.  I am still using eye drops every day but I don't use them as often as directed on the box.  Eye drops are so expensive and they are non prescription eye drops so the cost adds up; especially when the drops only come in 10 ml sizes.  I forgot to ask the doctor if the dry eyes might partially be caused by the air blowing through the top of my CPAP mask. It doesn't always leak but sometimes when I move around during sleep, the mask goes out of alignment.

Of course when ones eyes are dry, the vision is also reduced.

I finally got my paperwork in for the new CPAP machine and after my eye appointment I went to the Sleep Clinic to see what models of CPAP machines are available.  My current machine is well over 5 years old and it's time for a new one. I submitted the paperwork a few weeks ago after many delays on my part due to needing to get doctor's signature and input.  I haven't been getting much done from March to August due to the coronavirus and wanting to stay safe.  The paperwork was ultimately submitted a week before last, but I've learned from the supplier that the insurer says it didn't receive the paperwork. It needed to be submitted again and so there is a delay. They were very apologetic but I wasn't upset. They can't help it if the insurer lost papers even though the paperwork is faxed, not mailed.  Once the insurer makes a decision it will be easy for me to decide which machine I would like now that I've been to the Sleep Clinic.

After I finished at the Sleep Clinic I stopped at Michael's craft store and the medical supply store.  I didn't buy much at Michael's.  I'm trying not to buy any more yarn and most items there will simply add to clutter.  At the medical supply store, I was there to see what was available in terms of what the arthritis physiotherapist recommended I use to help me manage with arthritis.  I dealt with a very nice young woman at the medical supply and we have arranged for the new items to be delivered on Tuesday night.

Just before the pandemic was announced I had been to see the surgeon about getting knee surgery. He told me I was not a candidate and gave me several reasons, one of them being that I'm too young! I was not a happy camper but in the end I have to accept what he says. He did say that eventually I will need surgery. So in the meantime, that is why the physiotherapist suggested some aids to use.  I requested, and received a doctor prescription back in early January. I just hadn't had time to follow up on getting these things. I wanted to look at them in person and not simply ask for them over the phone.

By the time I finished at the medical supply store I was super tired and super hungry. I stopped for some Japanese food. This is the first time I've eaten in a real restaurant since February and the food was very delicious. Not to mention the added bonus of not having to cook or do dishes. 


After that I stopped at one more large pharmacy and browsed around looking at many different things. They sell all kinds of electronic items and household items not just vitamins and drugs.  In the end I purchased a pair of head phones with microphone for use with my desktop and laptop. I didn't want a wireless headset. I've already got two of those and frankly I do not like them at all. Unfortunately, the corded ones seem to have standard length cords which are not quite long enough to use with my desk and computer set up. I had to move some things around so I can use the headphones. If it isn't one thing it is always another.

Last time I posted here I mentioned that my garden was on it's last legs. 

Today I was pleasantly surprised to see it is still going. So I took a little time to water and cut some dead leaves. Perhaps it will revive a bit and hold for another few weeks.

In the coming days I am hoping to complete 2-3 more appointments and several more errands and outside tasks in addition to the usual grocery shopping. Once these are done I plan on retreating once again and isolating. When I go out and about I wear a mask everywhere and pretty much everyone else is too and most people are keeping an appropriate distance.  Around the house I'm hoping to try out the Fly Lady System (system for keeping the house clean and decluttered). I tried it once before but couldn't get into it. I'm going to give it another try and take the Baby Steps approach.  Of course, I know how to declutter and clean already but the thing that has gotten away from me as my health has changed over the years is keeping everything operating smoothly and preventing a pile up of clutter or cleaning. The Fly Lady has a system that so many women absolutely love.  Do any of you use the Fly Lady System? If so, what do you think of it and how has it worked or not worked for you?

So far I do not know anyone here at home who has contracted the virus but one young friend in Kenya and members of his extended family were tested a few days ago. His young nephew (about 10 years old) has tested positive. Next his young niece and a few others in the family are to be tested. Keep them in prayer.  There is a lot going on in Kenya amongst the people I know. Many are dealing with land issues and family tensions. These are difficult times. I do not want to say more about it here but only to ask for prayer for all these situations and the continuing material needs and medical needs.

Thanks for stopping by. As always I enjoy reading your comments and visiting your blogs.  Stay safe.

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Hello friends and fellow bloggers, How are you today? I'm writing this on Saturday and I'm feeling very tired.  I even slept in unti...