Friday, September 23, 2022

Skywatch Friday ~ At Spanish Banks

Hello friends and fellow bloggers.

Happy Friday to all of you and best wishes for a wonderful weekend wherever you are. 

Today I want to share a few photos taken in late August, 2019.  These sky photos were taken at a lovely beach area called Spanish Banks located in the western part of the City of Vancouver. I don't get out there very often but always enjoy it when I do.


 

The weather here has been lovely this week. It's sunny and warmish during the day though I have noticed a distinct bit of chill by early evening. It's supposed to rain on Friday before getting warmer again.



 

Joining in with Skywatch Friday.

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Tuesday 4 - Autumn Trip

Welcome back to Tuesday 4 in memory of Toni Taddeo. Thank you for stopping by to visit and for (hopefully) leaving a comment. Enjoy your week ahead!

Today we're planning a lovely vacation through New England to see the Autumn leaves.  Money is no object and we have all the time we would like or need for the trip.

1. How many days and  nights would you like to be away?

For my trip to New England I would love to have at least 2 weeks to enjoy the lovely countryside, spectacular autumn leaves, historic sites and beaches. For accommodations we would prefer to stay at some of the lovely historic B & B's but at the ocean front we would love a beach house, preferably a bungalow all to ourselves so we can relax, unwind and come and go as we like to the beach front.

2. What kind of car would you like to take on this trip? Maybe you would enjoy the train? Would you sail up the coast in a yacht?

Most likely we would take a car or rent one after flying to the airport at our first stop. It is so nice to be able to have the freedom to come and go as one wishes to either see the sites or take in dinner and events. If we had a friend who owned a yacht and lived on the east coast, we would most certainly love to spend some time sailing with them up the coast.  Alas we don't know anyone who fits the description so we'll stick to the land by car.

3. Would side trips be on your agenda? Perhaps to Mystic, Connecticut, Salem, Massachusetts, Plimouth, (yes, they spelled it with an "i" ) Massachusetts, Walden Pond, Lizzie Borden's home or maybe the home of  Emily Dickinson, etc.

Side trips are most definitely on the agenda. I absolutely love the autumn season and would love to see as many places as possible. I've spent a short amount of time travelling through some of New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts & Connecticut) on the way to New York City several years ago.  However it was a real drive through trip travelling back to the Province of Quebec in order to board our flight back to the west cost of Canada. It was late spring or early summer and the leaves hadn't yet turned colour. On this trip I would love to spend time and visit Walden Pond and the home of Emily Dickinson as well as visit some of the historic sites like the Freedom Trail. I would also love to spend several days enjoying the Cape Cod seashore and stay at a lodging along the seashore. Last but not least it would be fun to see Yale and Harvard up close as I've heard so much about these institutions of higher learning. However, all in all, the main purpose would be to enjoy the autumn leaves which I find are more plentiful and vibrant in the eastern part of Canada and the USA.

 4. Lobster roll, chowders, boiled dinners, brown bread, baked beans,  pancakes with real maple syrup, blueberry muffins, Parker House Rolls (well loved by Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,  the Kennedy clan.), Toll House Cookies, Red Flannel Hash, Tourtiere  pork pie, (Recipe here)— what native foods catch your attention?

Any and all the food sounds wonderful. I like to sample the local foods wherever I travel. I think the Tourtiere Pie would be so tasty and lobster rolls, chowders and baked beans sound just right for the season.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Skywatch Friday - Downtown Sky

Hi friends and fellow bloggers,

I hope this weekend find you well and in good spirits. 

I'm joining in with Skywatch Friday today.  The photos I'm sharing were taken downtown earlier this week.

The sky was mostly hazy from wild fires that have been burning all around.  But late in the afternoon the sun broke through.  Enjoy and thank you for stopping by.

The hub of financial and business district near Burrard Street and Pender

High rise on the way to the waterfront.

Promenade around the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Side view of the new Vancouver Trade & Convention Center.

The back view of Christ Church Cathedral with green top of Hotel Vancouver peeping through.

The side of the newish Trade & Convention Center and North Vancouver in background.

Goods stored for shipping. The pile of whitish yellow substance is sulphur.

A small float plane is landing.

The Lions Gate Bridge in background.

The area where trees are jutting out is Stanley Park with North Vancouver in background.


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tuesday 4 - Questions

Joining in Tuesday 4 Meme today in memory of Toni Taddeo.

1. Are you happy with the way your life is going?

My life is always changing and I do my best to roll with things. Currently I am undergoing major changes due to a new-ish marriage and the fact my husband joined me all the way from Kenya.  We are both adjusting well and Jonah has been very busy with work and studies. We have a lot we hope to do in future and desire that our plans be aligned with God's plans.  We are off to a good start and look forward to more to come. Apart from these major changes, I'm in the midst of trying my hand at home improvements and though I'm slow I'm happy with things so far.  Last but not least, I am taking 2 short courses this fall and so I expect to be even busier from now until Christmas.  Keeping reasonably busy always makes me happy and moving forward.

2. Are you planning any trips in the future?

I had hoped to have a short trip this summer but it didn't happen. I have no specific travel plans in the near future. Instead I've been trying to see things in my city that I've never seen before. A few weeks ago it was going out to different suburbs near and far and spending some time at one of the parks. 

This morning, after a seminar I attended downtown, I strolled to the Waterfront stopping along the way at Christ Church Cathedral. I've never been inside the cathedral before and have wanted to do that for quite some time. Today was the day and in addition to touring the cathedral I was able to participate in a prayer service at noon.  I also signed a book of condolences for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. There were congregants on hand greeting visitors and they were very welcoming and engaging.

After that I continued my walk down to the Waterfront where I had a late lunch of calamari.  I took some photos from the Pan Pacific Hotel and then continued my walk to Simon Fraser University's downtown campus and one of the few fabric stores in the city, The Dressew.  They didn't have what I was looking for but they kindly pointed me in the right direction.

I was struck by how many tourists there were today.  Many of them struggled with their luggage as they made their way to pick up points to catch a bus to the airport, while others studied their maps and tried to figure out where they were heading. It was lovely to see and hear so many accents today and most of them were from England and India.



You can't quite make out the yellow colour of the pile of sulphur on the right.

 

The sky is quite hazy from the wildfires burning all around us including Washington State to the south of us.

Outside park area with waterfalls at the food court near the Convention Centre.

The brick building is the 1930s Art Deco inspired Marine Building.

I was surprised to see the sun come out. There were a lot of tourists at the waterfront but there was no cruise ship in the harbour today unless it sailed much earlier.

View from Pan Pacific Hotel next to where cruise ships dock.


One of the docking points for cruise ships. Left is the new Convention Centre.

3. Are you reading anything at the moment or do you plan on reading something interesting?

I just completed an interesting book on bees called Bee Time:  Lessons from the Hive, have just started reading Homo Deus: A Brief History of  Tomorrow and awaiting a book from the library entitled The Ten Thousand Doors of January.


4. What's for supper tonight at your house?

I'm making a late supper of roasted chicken breasts, tater tots with pico de gallo and green salad.

 Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

DIYs, Decluttering & Reading Update

Hello friends and fellow bloggers, 

How are you all doing? 

I'm keeping busy with the DIYs I started last month. though I've slowed down a bit due to many other appointments and 'to dos' I have on my list. 

I've also been cleaning out little seen spaces such as the laundry closet.  Though small it involves a lot of work and effort because everything is packed into it. It must all come out before it can be cleaned properly.  The building manager arranged for dryer vent cleaning for the building and we are annually given the option of having our individual dryer vents cleaned at the same time. I took advantage of the offer and it became a good motivator to re-arrange the closet for greater efficiencies and for more decluttering.

The  master bathroom now has a new door knob. If you read my earlier list of DIYs, you'll know I had to return the first door knob I ordered because it didn't have a removable plate. Though this is a small job as far as household renos go it's a big win for me to figure out how to do it and to get it done without help. I do love learning new things as long as the challenge isn't so big as to be too frustrating.  The new door knob was actually much harder to install than the new door knob I purchased earlier and returned. But I persevered and it is now done. I will be ordering a few more to change out several other door knobs and eventually replace the hinges as well.

Old door knob, lever style

New door knob

I also returned the cream white, waffle weave shower curtain I initially purchased. I've decided to go with the one in the photo. I love the bright blues and white with pops of green, pink and plum. These colours bring together the white of the floor and walls, blue bathroom cabinet and the original pink countertop.

New shower curtain

Even though I've done a lot of work, the master bathroom is taking awhile to complete. The shelving unit has gone up and I've placed a lot of items on the shelves for now. Sadly I damaged the wall behind the toilet. When I slid the unit behind the toilet bowl it scrapped off a portion of the wall which now needs repair. It looks to me like paper (not wall paper but some kind of paper). The other hole made from water damage is still there and I'm leaving it like that for now so it can all dry out. My main concern was plugging the gaps in grouting and caulking and that is now done. I have decluttered a number of bathroom items and decanted the oils and liquid soaps I use. Once I've completed some more cleaning and touched up the paint job, I will rearrange everything that needs to be stored in the cabinet or on shelves.

Large floor lamp

The living room was in desperate need of more light so I've installed Ikea light sconces on either side of the sofa. You can adjust them to direct light in every direction. They seem to give off a lot of light and I think they will be perfect for our needs or at least much better than what I had before.  I bought the sconces several  years ago intending to use them in my bedroom. However I don't know what I was thinking at the time because the bedroom wall colour is far too dark to use the black scones.  I've kept the heavy floor lamp for now but moved it next to the television for an extra light source when needed. Hopefully it will also help the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree because I have no sunlight coming into the apartment.  For now I've kept the floor lamp and will decide what I want to do with it.  For some reason, I don't like giving away my floor lamps and I have 3 that don't get much use.  They come in handy in winter months especially when I'm trying to sew.  I'm hoping to do more sewing this winter.  

In the kitchen I've had a good clean out of the refrigerator and washed and recycled a number of containers.  I also got rid of a few scrub brushes and wash cloths that had seen better days. I've also knitted a few more dishcloths to replace the ones that had to be discarded.

Ikea sconces

In addition to work around the house and having errands and appointments, I've read a few more books.  In 2022 my reading goal is not high. Late last year, I set an intention to slow my reading down because I wanted to work on other things.  I'm a slow poke when it comes to getting everything done so something had to come off the list. I couldn't completely stop reading though as it is one of my favourite things to do.  So far I've read  38 books. My estimated completion for the balance of the year is a maximum of 16 more books. I guess it will really depend on whether I get in a sewing, writing or studying mode as I have plans for all three. It's good to have many things to do and that way you can pick and choose depending on how the mood strikes you.

Here is a picture of the books I've read so far. I'm waiting for a book on hold entitled The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow and The War Librarian  by Addison Armstrong. In the meantime I will read Homo Deus, A History of Tomorrow by Yuval N. Harari which I've had on hold off and on all year.


I'll be beavering away at my long list of DIYs as September continues. By the end of the month I will have completed much of the work if not all of it. Anything left undone will have to wait.

Thanks for stopping by. If you have time I'd love to hear what you are working on as the seasons transition. Keep well and keep safe.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Sky Photos & Greening End Of Life

Happy Friday friends and fellow bloggers,

I took a few day shots and some night shots to share with you today. The sky was nice and  mostly clear. The weather temperature has taken a noticeable downturn. I felt a bit chilled in early evening but I had taken a shawl to wear if it got too cool. 

I had a busy day attending a specialist appointment. After that I decided to get a foot reflexology session because I haven't had one in a very long while and I felt my feet needed a tune up. Once I had my feet attended to I went for a quick bite of Japanese food before heading to a downtown church for a seminar called "Greening Your Death and Aligning Your Values".  It was a fully subscribed 2 hour session which was information intensive.

 

The seminar was held at the St. Andrews Wesley Church in downtown Vancouver. It brought attendees up to date on alternatives to traditional burials and gave us some insight into the different disposition alternatives and their impacts on the environment.  The greening of final disposition is not very advanced in my province despite some of these issues being talked about for decades. There are however a lot more people working to try and change things;  most of them seem to be women.

I've been looking into this issue here and there for many years but I haven't actually done anything about setting out my disposition wishes. What I have done so far is purchase the burial plot and given some thought to whether I want a funeral service or not. Tonight I met a death doula, well several actually. One of them suggested we sit down and write down my disposition wishes in detail so I can leave a package for my loved ones most of whom don't want to talk about the subject. Having looked after several loved ones at the time of their passing, I know that pre-planning will be a great comfort and help to my loved ones once I am no longer here to take care of things for myself.  This will be a good project for me to work on in the new year.

Now without further ado, here are some sky photos.






The bottom 2 photos are taken at the steps to the Vancouver Art Gallery. This exhibit has been here for a few years now and commemorates the Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women in Canada as well as the recently identified unmarked graves of many, many Aboriginal children found at several sites of former residential schools. These are very sad incidents of violence and racism against Aboriginal people which the Canadian people, Canadian governments and Aboriginal people (Indian, Inuit and Métis) are working to overcome and heal. It will be a long but necessary process.

Linking up with Sky Watch this week. Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Tuesday 4 - September 2022

Hello and welcome back to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4  hosted by the lovely Annie at Cottage by the Sea.

The "Ber" months have begun: September, October, November and December.   Let's talk about  September okay?

1. When you were in school or university, did you look forward to returning? Why or why not?

Yes, I was always excited to return to school or university. As a child it was a bit exciting to go with mom and other siblings to find what was on our annual list of things to buy for school supplies. It was also the time of year when we got new clothes. Back then one didn't buy new clothing that often like we do today. As I moved out of the house and on to university it was still exciting returning to campus and dorm life or looking for an apartment in the city. There was always a lot to do with selecting classes, finding an apartment, furnishing it and so on. I never had enough money to live in one place all year long so did a lot of moving in those days from dorm to home, home to dorm or home to apartment and back and so on. Fall is my favourite season so it was always nice to do my university preparations in the cooler weather. Of course, back to school also meant a chance to reconnect with dear friends.




2. September has  Labor Day, which, for many is the signal of summer's end and fall's grand entrance.  Do you celebrate Labor Day in any way or is it just a day off for you?

I don't do anything special for Labour Day. It is basically a time for me to stay put and get organized for the change of season and whatever is coming.  I especially avoid travel on Labour Day or any other holiday as it is far too chaotic. 



3. September's birthstone is the Sapphire which is 2nd only to a diamond in hardness. (Ruby is a red sapphire by the way) It comes in many colors.  Do you know your birthstone and do you like it?

I absolutely love the sapphire stone. It is the birthstone of both of my brothers. I like the deep blue colour of sapphire and prefer it to my birthstone which is emerald.  Years and years ago I purchased a classic 3 stone sapphire ring surrounded by small diamonds. I never removed it from my finger and over the years I couldn't remove it because I'd gained a lot of weight. From time to time I thought about getting the ring cut off but I didn't want to ruin it so I kept it on. One day, not too many months ago, I finally was able to get it off. My was I surprised and relieved. Even though that was many months ago my finger still has an indentation around it where the ring used to be. I find that odd because it wasn't so tight and would turn around and around. I just couldn't get it over my now enlarged knuckle. I've kept the ring and perhaps one day will wear it again.

4. September's birth flower is the Astor. What is yours ?

My birth flower is Lily of the Valley. I don't think I've ever seen a Lily of the Valley in real life though I've read that it doesn't thrive or survive in hot weather but can live for decades in a cooler climate. That sounds like me! I also discovered that the Lily of the Valley is a poisonous plant but it symbolizes absolute purity, youth, sincerity, and discretion. But most importantly, it symbolizes happiness. That sounds pretty good! I remember when I was a tween, I would find soaps and perfumes in shops with this scent. It smells lovely and apparently in France they celebrate La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day) on May 1st.


Thanks for visiting. All my scenic photos were taken in September over the past 4 years.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Hello September

 

Hello friends and fellow bloggers,

Happy September!

It seems the main part of summer is over.  For me the best part of summer is in September because the weather cools down quite noticeably.  There are only 22 days left before summer ends and fall arrives.  Fall is one of my favourite seasons because of it's beauty and crisp, fresh air but unfortunately is such a brief time before heavy rains arrive and we prepare for winter.

Summer arrived somewhat late in BC this year. It rained a lot for the first part of the season but made up for it in July and August. On the last day of the month of August it was still blazing hot. My garden has been pretty much done for the last week.  I probably didn't water it enough at some critical moments of the season.  It's always a challenge for me and I can sometimes miss a day here and there when it is critical to give the earth some sustenance through watering. I'm still pleased that the blooms lasted up until about a week ago and some of the container blossoms are still hanging in there.

Instead of gardening my main focus in the early part of summer was helping Jonah get situated to his new life and our life together in this city and country which is new for him.  There was a lot for him to do and we also tried to have a little outing here and there for relaxation. Then came August and I decided it was time for me do as much as I could to catch up with much needed DIY's around the house and continue with the major decluttering I've been working on for some time.

The DIYs have mostly been a learning experience.To be honest I don't have much patience for it.  I made a mess of a few things which had to be undone and then re-done. I'm not finished yet and will continue working until at least the official end of summer. Even simple things can be a bit confusing if you've never done them before.  I've been relying on You Tube for tutorials for almost everything. Thank goodness I can turn to You Tube.

On the last day of August, I remembered my dear late mom who would have turned 89. I miss her but know I will see her again one day. Also on this day I received a card from a friend in Colorado. I couldn't believe it when I opened the envelope to discover a Christmas card written back in December. I understood from the note that my friend and her husband have been temporarily living in another state so they can look after her mom.  I'm hoping by the time I write back she will still be at the temporary address. 

I have the sense that I'm turning the corner on the long list of DIYs I've been working on.  Today I received a shower curtain and the new doorknob for the master bathroom.  I didn't waste any time in steaming the wrinkles out of the shower curtain and putting it up. I absolutely love and I intend to keep it.  It means I'll be returning the creamy white waffle weave curtain I bought last week. The off-white colour was too 'yellow' and clashed with the natural white paint colour on the bathroom walls.  Later in the day I'll return the items to the stores and on Saturday I hope to repair the small holes I made in the door and touch up paint before I install the new door knob.  The rest of the weekend I'll give the bathroom a thorough cleaning and see what else I can declutter before moving on to other projects. If you are interested in seeing what else has been accomplished you can click here.  

Until we meet again on blogger, stay safe. 💗