A Glorious Sunny Day

 It was such a beautiful day on Thursday and I was able to get out a bit earlier and get some photos of the blossoms. These ones were in my neighbourhood. I would still like to go further afield and get more photos on another sunny day.






I have been busy working on a digital project that has taken a tremendous amount of time. I'm finally making progress on it and hope to finalize it in the next few weeks.  Then I can work on organizing all my digital and paper files as well as my closets. Things just seem to take me much longer these days.

I've also had a bit of time to read here and there and have returned the several decorating books I borrowed to the library. I also picked up two new books.  One is called Greenlights, a memoir by actor, Matthew McConaughey.  The other is a novel called The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristen Harmel.  The novel is one of several I've read by the same author.  All the novels I've read deal with the horrors that befell the Jewish people during WW2.  In every book the author presents a lot of  new to me historical information and I've learned a lot (her books are based on historical facts).  I find the characters and story lines very interesting too though they are set against the horrible backdrop of the  Holocaust.

 

I've mentioned in other posts that I've been doing some minor renos and small decorating projects since before Christmas. I seem to have an endless array of things that need to be done, one of which is finding a better way to store items like throw blankets, large shawls, blankets, sheets and blow up mattresses.  A storage sofa might work but my sofa is still in decent condition so I won't be buying a new one soon. Instead,  I stored one of my blow up mattresses underneath the existing sofa.  It was a tight fit so I may put some bed risers under the feet of the sofa to gain a few inches. 

The ladder is made of pine and lightly coated in clear finish. I took this photo on my walk home with the ladder.


I also ordered a blanket ladder to hang all the throw blankets and large shawls I have in my living room.  It gets pretty chilly for half of the year at night even with the heat on. I still need to find a way to store extra sheets and blankets which are larger. Again, I'm thinking of lifting my bed with bed risers and storing extra blankets there.  I do have a cedar chest for storing linens but it isn't large enough for everything. I think I've also stashed some large blankets in suitcases which are in my closet.  I also recently gave away a few sets of sheets I haven't used for several years and a few throw blankets so that I don't need quite as much storage as before.

I didn't work on my patio garden yet.  It's just as well because my plans have to change.  The strata council is bringing in new bylaws to be voted on in another week or so at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).  I have no doubt the new changes will be approved by the majority of owners. The changes that affect me more directly will be the new rule that we can only plant flowers, not vegetables.  The other rule is we cannot put out any bird seed in feeders.  I'm assuming it's because vegetables attract rodents and bird seed attracts birds and bird droppings.  My neighbours on the top floor have been dealing with the messes left by birds for some time and the strata had to approve an expensive solution of installing wires around the perimeter of the roof to dissuade birds from roosting.  Even though I've never been bothered by bird droppings, I know that the rules have to apply to everyone. I hope to grow some herbs however.  I may simply grow them indoors and take them outside to get some sunshine now and then.

In Covid news, the province has ramped up it's efforts to vaccinate people well in advance of it's original schedule.  It's because they are going to give everyone a chance for early vaccination by delaying the time between the first and second doses of the vaccine.  This means most of us will be vaccinated 4-5 months than earlier thought and I will likely get mine before the end of the month. Other loved ones have already got vaccine one and yet others will get one in April.

Last, but not least,  I want to mention one matter related to the Missions of Hope in Kenya.  I'm looking for a donor who would be willing to help Ernest every month with food and medicine needs.  It is very hard to find a job in Kenya evening during pre-Covid times. But due to his diabetes and Covid concerns the doctor doesn't want him to venture from the village to the town to look for work. I'm looking for a regular donor to support him monthly ($100 US dollars 85 Euros, $125 Canadian, 11k  JYen, $130 AUD).  If you cannot contribute monthly but want to help, kindly let me know at  kerichojoy[at] gmail] dot [com] (eliminate square brackets).

This is a photo collage of Ernest when he was in hospital in 2019. He was hit by a truck while he was walking to hospital to get his monthly medications. He has recovered from surgery with the help of one kind blogger friend who helped with medical costs for surgery and food during his recovery period.


 
Galatians 6:9
 
 
Thanks so much for reading. Enjoy your weekend.
 
 
Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

First Blossoms in My Neighbourhood

I missed out on blossoms last year due to inclement weather, wind and rain which blew the blossoms off the trees early and before I could get out and take photos.

To be honest, I am not sure if these are cherry blossoms or apple blossoms.  Either way, they are delicate and beautiful.

 










I took these photos around 6 p.m. on Thursday night. I hope to get some photos earlier in the day next time but I'm not exactly sure when since we are now in a longer period of rainy days. Today's rain was quite heavy. I hope they will not damage the blossoms.


Enjoy your Friday. I'm linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Signs of Spring & Cooking Q & A

I had to pick something up in the neighbourhood on Saturday evening. 

I walked to my destination and back and took these photos along the way. 

The air was nice and warm so the walk was lovely. 

Afterward I met a friend for a coffee. Of course we followed the procedures which are in place.

Crocuses are always the first signal of spring season.





I love this little outside cafe area.

This building with the bricks and bay windows has always been a favourite of mine.

The public murals on buildings (right side) is always a beautiful sight. Can you see the pussy willows?

I love the lace like effect of the branches and the brick building in background.

A beautiful sunset but I didn't have the best view of it for photo taking.

This building is a church I attended before they sold it and turned it into condos.

 

Tonight the weather was much different. It was very windy and cold. 

But I think spring is around the corner (she says hopefully).

 Joining in with Our World Tuesday 

 and

 I'm also joining in with Tuesday 4 Meme which is hosted by Annie at Cottage by the Sea and in memory of Toni Taddeo.

This week's theme is cooking.

 

1.  What is the most valuable kitchen utensil you have or one you use often and could not live without?

My most valuable kitchen utensil is probably my blender stick. I use it often but so far it is best at whipping up instant puddings and whipping cream.  I actually bought it to make blended soups but have only used it once for that purpose, lol. I also use it to whip potatoes into mashed but I prefer using a potato masher and doing it manually. 

2. Do you have any fancy gadgets like air fryers, etc in your kitchen? How are they working out for you?

I do not own an air fryer though I'd like one. My brother and his wife enjoy using theirs. I do have some appliances (juicers, food processor, Kitchen Aid mixer. George Foreman Grill and Vitamix blending machine). I  don't really use the juicers anymore because the Vitamix does it all. I love the Kitchen Aid for mixing up bread or dough for cinnamon buns or pizzas. I don't use the food processor that much except to shred cheese. I don't find it does a great job of it.  I love a George Foreman Grill but mine has seen better days. I still use it now and then. I forgot to mention the Instant Pot (IP) until someone mentioned it in the comments. I do like my IP because it softens tough meats and makes cooking beans much quicker. I also forgot to mention the rice cooker which get called into action several times a week so it has more than paid for itself.

3. Do you have any step or labor saving ideas that make cooking and meal preparation easier?

The only thing I do from time to time is advance preparation of vegetables and meats or fowl. If you chop up vegetables ahead of time and or prepare the meat a day ahead, it makes cooking much more fun. However, you still have to do the dishes. I prefer doing dishes by hand rather than loading and unloading the dishwasher.

4. What is your favorite recipe of all time? Would you share it with us?

I don't have a favourite recipe that was handed down to me. I cook mostly everything from my childhood or that we ate in my family. It is all by 'feel' rather than recipe. If I want to try a dish mom never made, I google it and try the recipe with the fewest ingredients. I'm not afraid to omit ingredients or substitute ingredients within reason (using common sense). I'm a lazy cook at heart. It needs to be easy or I won't  try it since cooking has never been my favourite thing. If I try a new recipe I will often post it on my blog so I can search for it later.

 

A Cold Friday


This was my view at 7:45 a.m. Friday morning. The sky is a dull gray and the weather feels chillier than the current temperature of 6 Celsius.  It will warm up to about 12 Celsius today. I think rain is expected by Sunday. I'm getting impatient for spring to arrive.  It seems to be it's been alternately cold and warmish and back and forth like that for a long, long time already.

I hope your sky is brighter and that you have a pleasant Friday and weekend ahead.


Joining in with Skywatch Friday

Tuesday 4: Travelling

I'm joining in with Tuesday 4 this week.


Annie at Cottage by the Sea continues this meme in memory of Toni Taddeo.  This week's questions are about travel.

1. How far have you gone from home and where did you go?

I've travelled far and wide though not quite as far as I would like. The farthest point from my home is Kenya in East Africa. The distance from Vancouver, Canada to Nairobi, Kenya is 14,388 km or 8940 miles. The 2nd farthest I've been is Cairns, FNQ in Australia which is 11,496 km or 7143 miles.

Mount Longonot, The Great Rift Valley, Kenya

2. Do you think the hassle of travel is worth the trouble?

When I was younger I would enthusiastically say 'yes'.  These days I find travelling is hard on me physically not to mention all the work involved in planning long distance travel. So I do not enjoy the actual preparation for travel, needing to save funds for the journey or the actual travel. I do enjoy it once I'm at my destination.

My last trip to France and Kenya made me think that travel is no longer worth the hassle. I found myself running from one gate to another and barely making my connections due to all the security checks. It means that in future I have to add even more time for flight connections not to mention factoring in the time and hassle of whatever new conditions will be put in place due to the Covid pandemic. Nonetheless I still expect I will do a bit more travelling.

Palace of Versailles, France

Travel once you get to your destination is also a lot more fun if you are driven around by a driver or people who know the place you are visiting. Otherwise it is usually a hot and tiring mess.

3. Are there places you would like to visit or have plans for visiting?

Yes I have plans for future travels but besides travel within Canada, I only have plans to visit Kenya again. It would also be nice to visit several places in Europe, the UK (after Brexit I'm not sure if the UK is still technically part of Europe), Israel and Egypt.  I have done a bit of  European travel with trips to Germany, France, Czech Republic and Holland. I never tire of seeing some places over and again and there are still so many new places I have yet to see.

4. What trip was the best you've ever had?

It's hard, if not impossible, to pick just one. The best international trips were to New Zealand and all down the eastern coastline of Australia by car. I was a lot younger then and enjoyed everything including sleeping in hostels and being generally more adventurous. Another great trip loaded with pleasant memories was my first trip to Kenya about 14 or 15 years ago. I loved everything about it and one of the highlights was going on a safari and getting to  stay at a beautiful lodge in one of the country's many national parks. I've been back to Kenya several times due to missions work I do. Canada also has many great travel opportunities and I've enjoyed many road trips but the trip to Niagara Falls was a highlight.

 


 

 I'm joining in with Tuesday 4.


The Weekend Was Fruitful

 Hi friends,


I hope you've all had a beautiful and productive or relaxing weekend.

I have certainly been busy with this and that. 

First up is some sad news. Pastor Jonah lost another family member earlier in the week to pneumonia. Please keep a kind thought for him and the family. Also the court hearing for the land grant is scheduled for Wednesday. Hopefully this will be the last item of business before the court rules on the issue.

Friday I spent trying to get my young relative situated for getting the community garden plot weeded and compost added. Surprisingly it took a fair bit of time because I wasn't meeting her at the plot and she needed orientation with everything.  Fortunately I showed her the plot last summer so basically she just needed a refresher. I also spent some time repackaging seeds (I have too many for my small balcony garden) to share with her.

Friday I also went to the library and picked up a few novels and decorating books. I'm really looking forward to reading all of these.  I made a small start today (Sunday). I was going to stop at the grocery store for a few items but had forgotten my phone at home so I decided to wait for the next day. I have a few apps on the phone and I accumulate points based on buying certain things. 

Later that night I had a call from a friend I haven't seen or heard from since the pandemic. It was good to catch up with her. I also binge watched Netflix catching up on the most recent season of  The Crown. I watched so many episodes and by the time I finished I was very sleepy.


Saturday I found myself running more errands. This time I had my phone so I did a small bit of grocery shopping and stopped for coffee afterwards and began reading one of my books. I also stopped in at the pharmacy. Fortunately the owner was in and I was able to discuss various issues related to my latest prescription refill.  He had left me a voice message and I didn't want to call back and talk to one of his staff. It's just easier to question and explain things in person and I'm glad we did since I had misunderstood his voice message. We managed to sort everything out satisfactorily.

One of my brother's called and we had a nice long catch up. He gave me some wonderful person news about his children and a great report about his own health update. It made me realize how much I've been missing hearing good news! 

Afterward I spent a lot of time scouring various websites looking for some home decor items, pricing them and seeing what might work for my needs.  I find this kind of research very time consuming and very tiring.  I didn't make any final decisions about anything. I want to take my time and make the fewest purchases possible to deal with the different areas I want to deal with in my home.  I also watched the movie, The Pianist with Adrian Brody on Netflix. I didn't see the movie when it was released in 2002. It was very well done and heart wrenching.  If you haven't seen it and have Netflix, I would highly recommend it.

It's now Sunday and again it was a busy day. The dishes are done, the kitchen, bathroom and entry way floors are vacuumed and washed, the living room and dining room are vacuumed and all the recycling has been taken to the recycling bins. It feels good to get excess stuff out of the way.  I also managed to get rid of 6 items of clothing (2 old tops and 2 sets of pajamas) that have seen better days. I have a lot more to do but will get to it all in due time.

In the evening I did a few loads of laundry and steam refreshed my pillows. Now I have clean bedding on the bed and ready for a good night's sleep. This will be likely (and hopefully) be the last time I wash and return the blue mink sheets to my bed because the weather has warmed up and the sheets will be too heavy soon.  I'm glad it's finally warming up. I love this time of year when the sun returns on a regular basis, the weather warms up and it is not too hot to get out and enjoy a walk or an outing.

 

In  between cleaning and getting ready for the week ahead, I watched the Oprah interview with Megan and Harry. I was shocked by what I heard from the both of them and my heart went out to them for what they have endured.  I must say, before I heard the interview I was in the camp of thinking they were privileged and spoiled.   I felt they were honest in the interview and tried hard not to say anything negative about the Royals.  However they also tried to speak truth and I cannot understand how Prince Harry could be denied security for himself and I cannot understand how his own father could cut him out of communications. I am honestly stunned because you do not expect a parent to stop talking to you. It must hurt so much after having lost his mother when he was so young. I am glad those two are out of the Royal Family and making their own way in the world. I think they are better off for it and the public can stop complaining about having to pay more members of the Royal Firm. At least their mental health should be much better now that they are 'free'.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week ahead and that you too enjoy better mental health as we seem to be getting closer to having restrictions lifted off of us all with the mass vaccinations now taking place.

Tomorrow, Monday, March 8 is International Women's Day. To all the women reading this, may you have a positive day where you feel loved, supported and respected not just on this one day but in each and every day.









A Glorious Sky in Early March

The sky is very beautiful today. These photos don't really do it justice.




 I have a busy day and weekend planned. 

I hope you too have a productive and happy time ahead. 

Stay safe and enjoy the weekend.


Joining in with Skywatch Friday.










Tuesday 4

 Hi and welcome to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 kept alive in her memory by Annie from Cottage by the Sea.

This week's questions come from Pamela Steiner from Florida and the Open Doors and Closed Windows.

Here are this week's questions and my answers. I hope you will participate too.

1. In what part of the country is your current home located? North, South, East, West, Mid West,
coastal, rural, city, mountains or plains?
 
I live on the edge of the Pacific Ocean in the very far west of Canada. I don't literally live on the edge of the ocean but my city is located adjacent to the ocean.

 
 2. Why did you choose your present home, and how long have you lived there?
 
I chose my present home for many reasons, primarily location, size and view. My home is located in the centre of the city making it handy to get to downtown, the airport, the train station and the Greyhound bus, the latter of which is no longer servicing most of Canada.  It is also situated very handy to public transportation and unlike many who live in condos or in high rises, I have a spectacular view outside my window.  My home, though small, is not nearly as small as many other condos in the city and it came with a larger than normal patio, storage unit and parking spot. I thought all of these features would be great advantages for livability and for resale value. I moved in just before Y2K.

 
3. What do you like the most about your present home?
 
There are so many things to love about my home which is an apartment in a condo building.  I love that I do not have to shovel driveways when it snows or take care of all the exterior maintenance issues or common area issues.  The other things I love most about my home are the location,the big patio garden and the fact that virtually everything I need is within walking distance or a short drive away.




4. If money were no object, is there anything you would change about your present home, or would you keep it just the way it is?
 
There are so many things I love about my home but over the years I've come to feel it is a bit too small for my liking or my needs. I don't want to move out of the city to a find a larger space and I don't want the upkeep of a stand alone home. 
 
The thing I would like most is one more room for crafts and sewing and for overnight guests to sleep when they visit.  An addition to my home is out of the question given I live in a condo building.  If money were no object I would like to replace all the flooring which have mostly been replaced once already during my time here. I would also like to put in radiant heating in the common areas and update the kitchen and bathrooms.  
 
One thing I also miss is having a lot of space for plants.  I love plants of all kinds but one needs floor or shelf space. I'm doing some decluttering, reorganizing and so on to make more space for house plants.  My apartment is too cold and drafty for house plants but I will do my best to keep them alive. Here are some recent plant additions to my home.
 
 
 
Currently I am undertaking very small improvements to make things flow better and make the living spaces more enjoyable.

A view to downtown Vancouver from Spanish Banks.
 
 
 
I'm linking up with Tuesday 4.

On My Walk Today

 Hi friends, I've had a busy few days despite the rainy and stormy weather we've been having.  I had to run out and do errands on Fr...