Monday, March 28, 2022

Break Time

Hi friends,

I'm popping in to let you know that things are getting increasingly busy for me as I deal with a couple of major life happenings and on top of that spring work and maintenance.  My plan is to stop posting and surfing blogs for a month or two while I deal with things.

Posting doesn't take that long but I get very distracted because once I'm into blogger I begin reading and often commenting on posts. It's fun, but time consuming. Hopefully by staying off line for awhile I will be able to do everything that needs to be done.  Everything is good. I just need to focus right now. 

In the meantime, I'm sending you all best wishes for a wonderful season wherever you are in the world. Where I live it is springtime but still a bit chilly.

I've been hoping for warmer weather and sunshine to better show the cherry blossoms.  However it has been raining a lot and is still a bit chilly.


Keep well and stay safe.




Monday, March 21, 2022

Tuesday 4 - Which One?

 Welcome to Tuesday 4 in memory of Toni Taddeo.

Which one do you prefer?

1. Picnic by the water or backyard BBQ?

I absolutely love the waterfront and would choose the venue for a picnic if there weren't a lot of people around. I love to have peace and quiet and just enjoy the picnic with family or loved ones. A backyard BBQ is attractive because you won't have a lot of noisy people around plus you don't have to schlep your food and other accoutrements very far.

2. Spring or Autumn? Got reasons?

This is a hard one because these are both my favourite seasons. If I have to choose one I guess it would be spring. The reasons are that it brings so much joy and colour after a cold, long, gray season of late autumn and winter. I do love fall too because of all the beautiful colour and the cool, crisp air after a hot summer. I find crisp air so invigorating.  But I would have to choose spring just because it gives my spirits a lift and I look forward to growing season. When fall rolls around I get a bit melancholy because I know it won't last long and winter is around the corner. If I could only have fall and spring, I would gladly do away with winter and summer.

3. Cup of Tea or Cup oCoffee?   'splain it to us Lucy... if you don't mind!

I love coffee best. Probably because when I was a child almost every one drank coffee when they visited one another and there was a lot of visiting going on. Tea was usually only brought out for a one on one afternoon visit. I really love the smell of coffee too and I have fond memories of the coffee aroma wafting it's way to my nose whenever mom or dad would make morning coffee.  Nowadays I drink coffee in the morning and early afternoon. I switch to decaf or herbal tea late at night to keep me warm and I also drink a lot of water.

4. A weekend at home or one spent out and about?

It depends what one is doing out and about. If it is going to see some naturally beautiful spots or spending time with a friend  then I will go for being out and about. I also like to go out and about once or twice a week just to spend quiet time on a walk or running a few errands, maybe reading a book over coffee. Otherwise I would much rather stay home relaxing or doing things around the house. 

Dockside, a local restaurant to which a friend introduced me.

A friend took me to the above restaurant which was quite special because it is marina side and it wasn't very busy at noon. I enjoyed it because I don't really like crowds especially when trying to visit with a friend. Of course if you go to some events you expect it to be busy and then you don't really visit but simply enjoy companionship while taking in the sporting event, concert, movie and so on.



Sunday, March 20, 2022

A Sunny Day

 Last time I posted about the cherry blossoms on a rainy, cloudy day.

Today I'm posting a photo of the beautiful day we had on Friday. It was only one day. Today we are back to rain. On Wednesday it is expected to shine again and hopefully will be warming up after that.

On Thursday night I found it very cold in the house and I was wondering why. It's because it snowed at the higher elevations overnight. I woke up to a beautiful sunny day and fresh snow on the mountains.


Can you tell I'm excited about spring?


Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Cherry Blossoms are Here!

Hello everyone, 

I'm a bit late to the Skywatch Friday party. My excuse is it's been a very busy week and I didn't have much of an opportunity to get sky photos.  It's been raining heavily all week!

However it's cherry blossom time again and I was able to capture a few of the beautiful blossoms. The following photos are not retouched so you can see how dull the sky was when I took the photos. It is hard to see the colour of the cherry blossoms but they are still so pretty and soon the sun will shine here.






 



 
Have a wonderful Friday and thank you for stopping by!

Joining in with Skywatch Friday.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Just Wondering

Welcome to Tuesday 4 in memory of Toni Taddeo...

This is one of Toni's last Tuesday 4 posts published December 9, 2019.

 1.   When was the last time you tried something new?

The last time I tried something new was a few days ago. I made a Curried Chicken dish with raisins and peaches. The latter was substituted for dried apricots which I did not have. 

Thanks to Jeanie at Marmalade Gypsy for sharing the link to the recipe.
The only other new thing I've done lately is try a new facial serum. I'll know it works if it minimizes my wrinkles.


2.   Who in your family do you compare yourself to?

I don't compare myself to anyone. However many extended family members and old family friends compare me to my late mom.  They can't get over how much I look like her in height (short), build and facial features.  My late father was also short.  Mom used to like to laugh at me because she was "taller" by one quarter inch and we'd tease one another about being short.  Though we looked alike and shared many same values, we were also very different people in many ways. 

Mom's last earthly birthday (post stroke)

 
3.   What lesson in life did you learn the hard way?

I learned one very important lesson the hard way and that is in life you will often stand alone.  It's best to anticipate this so you are not surprised when it happens.  Good lessons in life are often painful but what they teach helps you so much as your journey through life's byways.


4.   What can you do today that you weren't able to do before?

That's a difficult question. I can't say I've really learned to do things that I couldn't do before though there are definitely still some things I'd like to learn.  For now I keep practising some things and hopefully improve on them. Especially things that don't come naturally like knitting and cooking.  

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate you!

Friday, March 11, 2022

A Busy Week and Some Beautiful Skies

It's been a very busy week and I'm looking forward to a bit of rest over the weekend. It was also a very beautiful week weather wise with some fabulous skies.




 

I completed reading the next books a little quicker than I wanted because two of them were due at the library. They could not be renewed due to their tremendous popularity. I love using my library but sometimes it's difficult to read popular books when there are long wait lists for them.  If there is no wait list for a book, the library has increased renewal options to three times (9 weeks) rather than two (6 weeks).  I'm very happy about that.




The Dressmakers of Auschwitz introduced me to a new angle on the Holocaust.  Apparently there were many Jewish women who toiled and sewed for the wives and women who were part of the Nazi regime.  The author of the book painstakingly pieced together the story of these women and paid homage to their contributions to war resistance efforts. It was not an easy task since the Nazis burned a lot of the incriminating evidence when they realized they had lost the war.  This is definitely a very eye opening and interesting book which goes into considerable detail about the textile operations at Auschwitz.

 

 

The Man Who Died Twice is a very engaging book. It is a complicated murder mystery and I guess it is book #2 of a two part (to date) series. I didn't read book #1 and I think this book stands on it's own. It is described in part as a humorous book but it isn't "split a gut" or "laugh out loud" funny. Subtle humour is sprinkled throughout to balance the numerous murders. I understand that Steven Spielberg is turning this book into a major motion picture.

 

Wish You Were Here is another excellent read. I am surprised I enjoyed this book so much after reading several negative reviews. The book was written after the author's experience in contracting Covid-19 and it  deals with what a patient experiences after contracting and surviving Covid and having been put on a ventilator.  Perhaps it is too soon for most people to appreciate such a book but I was very engaged in the story line throughout.

The storytelling is top notch and besides the great story telling, I was very interested in the topic of lucid dreaming that many Covid survivors experience. Another tidbit I picked up from the book is the concept of generational trauma. This is a new to me concept,  having only just heard about it in the past month or two.  It is only mentioned in the novel and not discussed in any detail.

Apparently the Japanese have done research on the idea of generational trauma. The subject piques my interest due to the recent findings of several massive child burial plots at multiple Indian Residential School sites in Canada. The intergenerational trauma suffered by many residential school survivors is of keen interest to me and one I hope to learn more about.  I'm interested in better understanding the lingering affects of trauma, not just on the person directly traumatized but also on their descendants.

Besides reading, I recently enjoyed dinner out at a vintage restaurant (pictured below). Don't you love the individual booth jukeboxes? The play list is full of old hits and I often dance in my seat when I hear the songs start up.  It's fun!

I've also been busy this week with health issues, both mine and my "baby" brother's.   He had his second eye surgery on Wednesday.  He has now completed two eye surgeries and things seem to have gone successfully though it will take a few more days healing.  As for me, I finally have the 'go ahead' to do some treatments on my neck and back which are suffering after the accident I had in late September.  There are numerous reasons why the treatments didn't happen sooner. I won't go into details. It is good timing now for things to move forward since I'm currently experiencing a lot of neck and back issues.  As for my ear, I've been told that the hole or tear in the drum has miraculously healed itself. I don't know how it happened but the specialist said that once the ear canal environment is made more healthy, holes or tears can sometimes heal on their own. Just to be sure that things remain that way, I have a follow up appointment in 3 months. One thing she did tell me after reviewing the CT scan more closely is that it looks like I had a fracture in the back of my jaw. I'm not surprised because the impact I had was very significant. I also had the fracture in my cheek area. I'm not sure that it is fully healed but it looks a lot better. My cheek doesn't exactly look normal but the surgeon and I have agreed that I won't be moving ahead on any facial surgery due to possible complications, primarily infections.

I made another trip to the library to pick up a few more books. I forgot to get a photo of two other books I have in my stack so I actually have 6 books on the go.  That's a little too much for me. I wasn't going to read much this year and I'll reach my very modest target when I finish the current book,"Burke's Law:  A Life in Hockey" by Brian Burke.  Brian Burke is well known in the hockey field but I only heard of him when he married a local journalist, Jennifer Mather.  I think he met her after he was hired as the Director of Hockey Operations for the Vancouver Canucks. I'm not fully sure because I didn't get to that part of the story yet. I only know they married and lived here for awhile before moving to the USA (they are now divorced).  I only follow hockey a bit here and there but I am finding the book, and the man, very interesting.  The book is full of interesting hockey history too.

I will still be limiting my reading this year so I can focus on a few other things.  First I need to complete the current stack of books I'm reading.


Joining in with Skywatch Friday this week. Thank you for stopping by!


 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Things I Enjoy

Joining in with Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 in  memory of Toni Taddeo.

There are some things we just enjoy quite a lot. Let's talk about it okay?

1. Which book could you read over and over again?

I absolutely love certain authors like Rosamunde Pilcher, Rohinton Mistry and Maeve Binchy.  I've read all the books written by Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy and about half of Rohinton Mistry's books so far.  I would seldom, if ever, read a book more than once. There are just too many books I want to read. I love reading! It's so easy to have a book on hand or have one to read on your phone, Kindle or Kobo.



2. What movie or TV program could you watch and never tire of watching?

I can never tire of watching all the (Jason) Bourne movies when they are replayed on television. I first saw them in the theatre on the big screen. I love them all, even the prequel with Jeremy Renner but I preferred all the others with Matt Damon. 


3. What meal do you like enough to eat several times a week or several times a month?  Got a recipe to share for it?

I do not eat any meal several times a week or month though sometimes it may seem like it, lol. I do eat leftovers the next day or 2nd day after if there is more than enough food for one meal.  In general though, I like variety in virtually everything including food.  Recently I've discovered a recipe for Taco Soup and I love it. I've also made Greek Chicken and Potatoes. I only make the Greek dish 1-2 times a year because it takes more planning and preparation than my usual meals.  I'm basically a lazy cook.  Despite the fact I don't eat it often, the Greek dish is my favourite meal of all time. On Friday, I had my first meal in a sit down restaurant for the first time in ages and I had the Chicken Souvlaki pictured on the photo. The restaurant is one of few remaining restaurants with vintage furnishings and individual jukeboxes at the booths. The man who owns it now was relaying how he has been struggling to keep the restaurant going during the pandemic and he has had to lay off all but one staff (the cook) and he is working long days. They make the tastiest food and it's basically home cooking just as I like it. The restaurant is often used as a movie location, the most recent being in the Sandra Bullock movie, The Unforgivable. 

Greek dish of Chicken Souvlaki without the skewers.

Tonight (Sunday) I made roasted carrots/potatoes tossed in herbs and oil, grass fed beef patties with sauteed mushrooms and onions and a kale salad. Monday night I'll be making Pesto Chicken; another new to me dish that I read about recently on Mari's blog

Keto friendly Taco Soup

 

Here is a link to the Taco Soup recipe (Keto friendly) but I didn't use quite as much cream cheese in mine. I also used Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream as that is what I had on hand. The second time I made it I added beans, corn niblets and more seasoning. It was even better so this will be a dish I continue to make.

4. What place do you enjoy so much that you go back again and again? Why do you like it so much?

I love several places and have gone back again and again. In Canada, I love the interior of the province where my late mom recently passed and my niece and a nephew and his family still live. It's beautiful there. 

 

I also love to go to the far north of BC and Alberta as I have relatives living there. 

Out of the country I love Australia and have been to the East Coast (and from north to south). I love it's beauty plus I have distant relatives there. I still do have distant relatives there and have travelled to the land Down Under 3 times. Once with my mother and twice with my brother.  I would love to return however there are so many other places to visit in the world and to explore if we get a chance to travel again internationally.

I also love Kenya and Africa in general. I've been to Kenya 7 times and have friends there. I love the exotic wildlife, the people, the landscape and the work I do in missions to feed the hungry and help the very poor. This is a labour of love and is not backed by any church or organization though I wish it was. I have also been to Ghana in West Africa, a very different place to Kenya. I would dearly love to travel to many other parts of Africa if I get the chance but I also would love to travel through more of Europe and parts of Asia. 

Please click this link to see a bit more of the places I'm writing about. I hope you enjoy the tour.

Thank you for visiting and leave a comment. Enjoy the week ahead.

 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

First March Skywatch

It was an absolutely beautiful Thursday. I had an appointment downtown an took a few photos to share with Skywatch Friday followers. If you look at the map in the first photo, I've circled the specific area where I took photos (black oval circle on map). 

I was tired today as afterwards I stopped at a food court, then went to look at fabrics in a store near the waterfront. Then I hopped on the bus and stopped at a pharmacy before walking home. I'm hoping to get to sleep earlier tonight as I've had a busy week and haven't been getting enough shut eye.







Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Thanks for visiting.
 
Joining in with Skywatch Friday.

Monday, February 28, 2022

March Weather or Not!

 Welcome back to another Tuesday 4 in honor of Toni Taddeo it's founder.

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Sometimes it is the reverse.  March has a lot of happenings like March 1st the start of Mardi Gras, the 13th is Daylight Savings Time, the Ides of March on the 15th, St Patrick's Day on the 17th, the first day of  Spring on the 20th this year   March 29-31 are the "borrowing days" when weather is traditionally rough or stormy.

1.  Do you celebrate Mardi Gras or St. Patrick's Day and how do you celebrate them?

I do not celebrate Mardi Gras or St. Patrick's Day. These two days were never a part of the celebrations in the town and the region where I grew up.

2. Do you decorate for the spring in any way at all?

I do not decorate for spring. When spring arrives that is all the decoration I need.  There are beautiful cherry blossoms aplenty and many early blossoming plants all around. (Photos ~ blossoms from March 2021)


3. Daylight savings time doesn't make the day longer.  Experts say it puts kids heath at risk  as well as contribute to heart problems for adults.  Arizona and Hawaii don't change times.  It began as "war time" so war workers in WW2 could come home in the light. What about you though? Are you happy to see it return or not?   

I do not like to see the time change in spring or in fall. I have a hard time adjusting to even a small time change.  Many feel the same way such that our provincial government has passed legislation to keep the same time all year long. It hasn't been implemented yet. I guess we are waiting for our  neighbours to the south (Washington, Oregon and California) and our neighbour to the north (Yukon Territory), to do the same thing so we can all be in the same time zone. Our government enacted the change a few years ago. It looks like we could be waiting a very long time for our neighbours. I have no idea why the government needs to wait. Other Canadian provinces have already made the change permanent.

4. How has the weather been in your neck of the woods as March approaches.  What would be your ideal for weather?

The weather here has been a little of this and a little of that and a lot of rain. We had snow just a few days ago too though it's a bit late for that.  The very short video below shows how fast the snow was flying.  It looked quite pretty.

 


The last of the snow was washed away by the rain on Friday.

My ideal weather is spring weather or early summer with temperatures anywhere from 18C to 25C and the sun shining. I love moderate weather in any season but the ideal weather for me allows me to get out and enjoy a walk, enjoy the spring blossoms or early summer colour and not get too warm while outside.


I'm ending with a few sunflowers that I grew some time back.  Apparently sunflowers are associated with the Ukraine so I share them to represent solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

 




Ukrainian Flag



 


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Temperature Has Dropped

It's been a very busy week and it isn't over yet. At least it's been a productive week so far. I've been doing a lot of catch up to paperwork, appointments, old tasks and a little cooking, cleaning, knitting and reading in between. 

I completed a few books this past week or so and started on a number of new ones. All of the books are very interesting.I'm still reading An Arctic Man.  It isn't such a long book but it is chock full of information and new place names so I only read a bit at a time.

The late Andre Leon Talley is someone I used to see interviewed on television quite a lot so when I heard he had passed, I wanted to read some of the books he wrote in the latter years of his life. The Chiffon Trenches is quite an information packed book and shows me how widely this man was travelled and how many people he knew in not just the fashion world but the world of high society. He tells it like it is about certain people and some have called him catty for doing so. Honestly I don't know how you can write a truthful book and not come across as somewhat catty if the people you are mentioning were not so nice.  Apart from all of that I enjoyed the book a  lot and I personally didn't find anything in it that was so badly maligning anyone. In fact, I think he tried very hard to speak to the positive things about everyone he knew. 

(As always you can click on photos for an enlarged view).

Very interesting & informative and all about those in the fashion/society world.
 
I've started the middle book and the end book, Burke's Law, all very good.

I am constantly uncovering new to me stories about Jewish experiences during WW 2. The book The Dressmakers of Auschwitz was very eye opening. I had no idea that there were Jewish women whose skills as seamstresses were in much demand during the war and at internment camps no less.  This particular book is not a novel but is based on real life experiences of several women whose skills were in demand and their heart breaking stories.

Opened my eyes to a new to me story about the Jewish women who sewed for the Nazis.

A few dishes made recently.

Beef stir fry and a lot of vegetables over steamed noodles

Roast chicken,Caesar salad, mixed mushrooms/onions/asparagus

Taco Soup

Baked salmon, quinoa, mixed veggies (mushroom,/bell pepper/broccoli/onion)
 

Late at night while it's cold I make a hot cup of tea and do a little knitting. I am always in need of new dishcloths and I also gift them to friends near and far.

 


Earlier this week I heard the weather report of possible snow in Vancouver. It didn't happen as anticipated but the temperature did drop two nights ago. The first few photos show the fresh snow on the mountains and a fairly clear sky with beautiful patches of blue.

Fresh snow on the mountains on Tuesday night

It was a clear day to see the mountains in the distance.


I love the snow covered mountain tops.

Then tonight, the snow really started to fly. I snapped this photo as I was returning from a quick grocery shopping expedition. I tried to capture the snow in video but my short films are poorly done.

Wednesday night the snow was flying as I ran an errand to the grocers.

I'll end here and wish you a fantastic rest of your week.