Monday, January 30, 2023

What.. Where...How? - Tuesday 4 Meme

What.. Where...How?

It's time for Tuesday 4 and we're back with our host Annie at Cottage by the Sea.

Let's ask ourselves some questions.

1. What was the worst date you ever went on?

I can't quite recall his name but I think it was Phil. It was a blind date and we met up for the one and only time at a coffee shop rather than at a restaurant. I didn't want to do dinner in case things didn't go so well. 

I was actually looking forward to meeting him but he started off rudely by telling me I looked nervous instead of saying something nice.  I thought to myself if he was a good man he wouldn't point out my discomfort if he noticed anything and instead he would say something to put me at ease.  I wasn't actually even really that nervous and certainly not obviously since I have quite a bit of experience with small talk and meeting strangers in general.  I just wanted things to go well enough even if it didn't work out for the longer term and that the experience would be useful for dating in general.

But the next thing he did was bore me to tears for about 2 hours and a half hours. He'd brought along several of his photo albums and proceeded to show me every single photo and describe everything in each of them. I did my best to be polite but seriously???  I didn't know him or anyone in the photos and it was excruciating to sit through a description of every photo especially since they were not what I would call 'artsy' photos but simple day to day kind of photos.  I wouldn't have minded at all if he'd selected a few photos to introduce me to people in his life and if kept his explanations of them to the point.  That way I might actually learn something about him.  It would have also been nice if he'd bothered to ask anything about me and my life since I didn't take photos along, lol. When I finally had enough I made my excuses and said my goodbyes. Needless to say I never contacted him again and he made no effort to contact me.

2. How was the nicest date you ever had?

In my early years I had nice dates but not with anyone I could really connect with as a life partner.  I can recall going to a coffee shop with one teacher. It was a romantic setting with candle light coffee, good music and good conversation.  Though I wasn't attracted to this man, he later stayed a friend and I did enjoy the ambience and folk music at the venue. There were dates with other over the years.  But life was very busy and demanding with many responsibilities and I didn't have much time for dating and building a relationship.  When I did take time out I found I enjoyed romantic dates or doing simple things like a quiet  dinner out, a stroll on the sandy beach under moonlight, or riding around in a sporty car, top rolled down and the wind in my hair.

I'm a romantic at heart but I need more than romance or a good provider or adventurer. I wanted a love connection with someone who was also deeply committed to God and who followed a Christian lifestyle.  It has always been important to me to find a man who had a deep faith.  It took many years before I finally did meet the man I am married to now.  We met while I was on a missions visit to Kenya.  We had many challenges to overcome (family illnesses, commitments to jobs/projects/dependants and so on) before we could be together even after we were married.  But we hung in there and we are together now.  Over time, as we courted and got to know one another we also did simple things.  There wasn't a lot of free time as we were also working but from time to time there was time for romance and just doing the simple things of life.  My DH is not, by nature, a romantic man but once in awhile he gets inspired. I remember strolling on a boardwalk under the African moon with hippos in the adjacent river nearby.  It was also somewhat exciting because African wild animals were close by and hippos are also quite dangerous.  I also remember another time when he introduced me to Ethiopian food at a wonderful restaurant in Nairobi.  We chose to dine al fresco in an area nicely decorated with Ethiopian decor. We fed each other beef tibs, took photos and laughed a lot that night.  Neither of us had experienced being fed by someone else since we were babies, so it made us giggle.

3. Where did you grow up and how did you like it? Are you far away from there now?

I grew up in the far north in Dawson Creek and Ft. St. John. I now live in Vancouver which is about 1200 km south of where I grew up.  The cities in the north are very small and in those days there were very few amenities.  Winters were long and cold with an excess of snow.  I liked it enough but always knew I would leave one day to gain new experiences.  Small town living far away from the big city isn't really my thing. The people I went to school with and my age mates were not interested in travel or furthering their education though things have changed.  People now travel a lot more and many go away for further study though often returning to the north to live.  It is still cold up there but it seems like there is far less snow. 

4.  What did kids do for fun and dates you were young?

We children went to church a lot. We were not allowed to date until at least 16 if not 17 and to be honest, I wasn't even that interested in dating.  I was rather reserved, shy and a homebody. When I started dating I was almost ready to go away to university.  My first real boyfriend was a very nice and respectful person and my parents liked him for that reason.  We didn't have much in common though and and we didn't date very long because I was planning to leave and go to university.  He knew that and he had no similar plans. We didn't do much except hang out with age mates and drive through the small town to people watch. Driving through town was a favourite activity of our age mates.  Other times my boyfriend and I would simply sit and talk outside my house with mom and dad and the siblings all inside. There really wasn't much to do besides drive around or go to a movie. Back then young people didn't have a lot of extra money to go out dining like they seem to do today. If they had extra money they were usually saving to buy a car, buy clothes or move into their own place, that kind of thing.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2023

Skywatch Friday - January 27, 2023

Hello friends and fellow bloggers,

I hope you are well and are having a great start to the weekend. 

I'm joining in with Skywatch Friday today. I didn't take any updated photos since last week because the sky has been unchanged. It's basically gray and no clouds or gray and raining. These few photos were taken on January 14th when we had a small break in the weather.

You can see from the first photo that spring was very much on it's way. However this week we were told it is about to get cold again so we'll have to wait and see how long winter will remain. I'm just glad there isn't a lot of snow to go along with the cold. I do like snow and grew up where there was a lot of it but the older I get the less I can contend with it. I'm sure some of you can relate.

This is my view on a clear day (taken January 11, 2023)

Taken on December 28/22, an errand day.

These last two photos were also taken on December 28, 2022 after a nail appointment. The time was about 5 p.m. and it was fully dark as you can see. The twinkling Christmas lights made it hyggelig .

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Tuesday 4 - Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home


a 1939 Living Room
 Welcome once again to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4.

This week the subject is Your Home.

1. What kind of home do you have and does it need repair or improvements this year?

I have a smallish condo (986 square feet and a deck that is 518 square feet) in the heart of the city. It's handy to everything I need.  I can walk or take a short bus ride to where I need to go and this is a major factor in why I purchased the place.  

Over the past year I've made some cosmetic changes to refresh my home (painting, changing out door knobs, bathroom shower curtains/cabinet knobs and towels).  But major improvements are needed in both the kitchen and master bathroom.  I would like to replace the kitchen cabinets and counters and convert the master bathroom tub to a shower but it's doubtful those changes will be made in 2023.  I would also like to change out the flooring throughout the condo but the other changes are more important. 

New shower curtain and of course new towels are coordinated with the colours.

New door knobs. The old ones were gold colour that had worn off.

2. How do you accessorize your home inside and out?  Plants, art, books, wall hangings, maybe music in the background?

I do accessorize my home both inside and out. Outside it is primarily with an outdoor dining table and chairs for enjoying an outside meal or relaxing. I also plant a lot of container plants.  

In the front rooms the colours are mainly earth tones (beige, orange, gold, deep red an pops of black) whilst in the master bedroom and bathroom the colours are various shades of blue and some complementary colours (white, burgundy, rose pink).  Basically I kept the same colours that were in the unit when I moved in though it has been repainted a few times over years.

Inside I try to have plants but there isn't enough warmth or light for most of them to survive, let alone thrive.  The plants are always changing because I buy more when they eventually die off even though it is a waste of money.  Lately I've been wanting large artificial plants to fill some corners. Though I did buy one it turned out to be far too big so I returned it and my search continues. I also have ethnic art, wall hangings like soapstone plates and calabashes from Africa, mirrors, lots of books and a few knick knacks.  I love music but no longer play it for the home since the CD player went the way of the Dodo bird.  My computer doesn't have a good stereo set up to play the music for the home so I mainly just listen with headphones whenever I have some down time.  I have a lot of crafting supplies and so they are stored in every nook and cranny or bin I can find. It is a challenge and I've been trying to pare everything down but still save what I hope to use one day in the not too distant future.


 3. What objects reside on your coffee table? Night stand? Side tables? Kitchen/Dining table?    

I had this ladder custom made and ordered it wider than their standard.

Artificial flowers with fairy lights fill the space in a dark corner.

The side table holds the phone and a place for pens, paper and coffee/drinks. I also have some storage containers on the other side of the sofa which has space on top for someone else to place their refreshments when visiting or relaxing. The dining table is always covered with a tablecloth and usually has a centrepiece of some kind. At the holidays, the centrepiece is usually a seasonal one.

A Christmas display of artificial flowers.

4.  Do you like your kitchen organized and with counters cleared off or do you prefer to have  the things you use often out on counters?     Do you mind  what some might see as clutter or do you hate having to dig out tools and appliances  when it comes time to use them? and prefer to have them within easy reach?
above : a 1940's Kitchen.

I dislike clutter and am doing my best to get rid of it. If I had adequate space in the kitchen I would prefer to have everything organized and put away but with easy access to tools and appliances since it's a pain to get them out and put them away if you use them often.  For now the kitchen hasn't been my priority for decluttering but eventually I will get rid of a lot of dried goods and things I haven't used for a long time. In future I hope to also be more selective about what I buy that needs to be stored. It's been a process of learning as I've also been making so many changes to diet and cooking over the years.

Thanks for visiting. I hope to read you soon!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Skywatch ~ January 20, 2023

Hello friends and fellow bloggers,

We've been getting a lot of rain as is the norm here at this time of year. Today was exceptionally wet but I took a walk after the rain slowed a bit. I had to do a few errands. I'm not sure but I think it might be an early spring this year. Time will tell.

My submission is a bit late but I'm joining in with the Skywatch Friday crowd today. Have a wonderful week ahead.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Skywatch Friday ~ January 12, 2023


Where I live the sky is generally gray over the winter months. Every now and then we have a break; the sky will clear and the sun will shine. It reminds us that spring will soon arrive. We had such a day on Wednesday.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday this week.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Tuesday 4 ~ The West

Howdy Partners... welcome to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4. Today let's talk about  the West.

1. Got some favorite Cowboy or western movies or TV shows you have liked? 

I grew up in an agricultural region where there were a lot of farmers and cowboys. Most men worked out on the land and wore jeans and cowboy hats. With this background, listening to country music and watching western movies or TV shows was second nature. I watched a lot of western shows but oddly don't remember a favourite movie.  I do remember a few television shows I liked such as Bonanza, Big Valley, High Chaparral, Gunsmoke and Davey Crockett. I liked them all. I also remember a lot of cowboy movies starring John Wayne which I enjoyed but cannot remember the names of the movies. I still watch any of these if and when I can catch them.

2.  Ever been to a rodeo or horse show of any kind?

Definitely. Without fail the entire town and several surrounding towns, would attend the annual rodeo and fall fair. Bare back bronco riding and chuck wagon races were especially popular with most people but I liked the barrel racing best. The fair had carnival rides, snack foods, baking, sewing and handcrafts and all kinds of produce and animal exhibits.

3. Can you ride a horse or would you like to try?

I have ridden a horse.  Someday I'd like to try again however I am far from being a natural horse woman. In fact I had trouble getting on a horse the few times I rode one.  I'm the type of person who needs a stool to assist getting on the horse and have difficulty swinging my leg over the horse's back.

4.  How would a vacation on a dude ranch suit you?

Yes, it would suit me however it isn't on my 'must do' list. I grew up amongst cowboys and respect them.  However this lifestyle was never really my cup of tea. Fortunately if I change my mind there are dude ranches in my province that are easily accessible.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Trying to Get Ahead of Things

In my bid to be more organized before the new year advances too far, I did what I could in the last week of December to prepare for the month of January.

I had my hair done. I haven't been to the salon in 9 months! It felt good because my hair really needed a good trim after 9 months.

I had my nails cut down and new gel polish applied to get me through at least one week of the new year. 

In an effort to declutter and get rid of extraneous things, I spent some time knitting up many scraps of yarn that are too small for anything much. I made these cloths for washing dishes or for general cleaning.

I was finally able to get to the dentist for a consultation, x-rays and top and bottom cleaning (It's not me in the phone, lol.  The good news is I have no cavities. The bad news is I will need a crown redone and I have another appointment in a week or so to get it done.  It's been years since I last went to the dentist and I really needed the teeth to be cleaned to help my gums stay healthy.

I completed quarterly lab tests and will see the doctor tomorrow. I also did an ultrasound a few weeks ago and I expect the doctor will report on the results.

I packed away all the Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree. Everything is now in storage.

I purchased an inexpensive printer.  I'm waiting for it to be delivered before I pick it up and set it up since it wasn't in stock at the retail outlet. I only really use the scanner and on the odd occasion I need to print something I go to the post office near by.  This approach has been working out for me for many year.  

I also did some research on which smartphone to get and getting closer to actually ordering one.  I'll probably bite the bullet and purchase an iPhone primarily because it will be much easier to sync with anything I'm doing on the Mac.

I apologize to all my readers, particularly those of you who are accustomed to getting blog comments from me. I have actually been reading many of your blogs but have been having a lot of difficulty leaving comments.  I thought I resolved the issue but there seems to be several different issues going on and so far I've managed a partial solution and I'm now able to leave comments on a few blogs.  There are many other blogs where I cannot and I'm at a loss as to how to fix the problem. Please pray about this as it's very frustrating. If any of you use a Mac computer and also have issues leaving blogger comments, I'd like to hear from you and what if anything you did to resolve it.

Last but not least I had a few phone calls with friends and relatives. A cousin will hopefully visit her sister in early February and stop by for a night to see me. If the weather cooperates we hope to go to dinner and walk along the waterfront to celebrate her birthday.

After Christmas I felt quite tired and I also felt quite sick for about 2 days so I'm trying not to work too hard.  I just do enough each day to see some progress and make sure things don't pile up too much.  It seems I do best when I enter each new year slowly and gently.

I hope your year is going well.


Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Tuesday 4 ~ January 2023

Happy New Year everyone. Welcome to Toni Taddeo's first Tuesday 4 in the new year.   

January is named for  Janus the two faced god who looked into the past and future. Some believe he
was Noah who may have been worshipped by his progeny. He certainly looked into the pre flood world and the new world.  The Anglo Saxons called this month Wulfsmoanth.   Let's talk about January.

1.  January 1, 1892 Ellis Island opened it's doors.  Did any of your relations enter the United States through Ellis Island?  If not, do you know your family's history?  My family isn't American so no relations entered through Ellis Island or any part of the USA. Fortunately I do know my family history but many of my extended family members do not.

2. January's birthstone is garnet and the flower is the carnation.  Do you have favorite gem stones or flowers? The garnet is a very pretty gem but I've never been a big fan of carnations. My favourite gem stones are sapphire and turquoise. I'm not sure I have a favourite flower but if I have to pick one it would probably be the rose in any colour because they smell wonderful and there are so many varieties and colours for any taste. I do like many kind of flowers though so if we met up in person I'd probably ooh and aah over any beautiful, colourful flower in the garden.

3. January 6 is Epiphany. Many take that day as the final day of the Christmas celebration and take down their decor.   What about you?   I take down my decorations before the Epiphany otherwise they might stay up for several more weeks and that wouldn't do. I like to keep them up until New Year's Day then they come down the next day. This year I almost took them down on December 27th. I think it's because for the very first time in a long while I put the tree and decorations up at the end of November and so a few weeks is more than enough.

4. There is some evidence that January can set the tone for your entire year. What do you think of this? Do you make resolutions, etc?  I'd be interested in what you mean by 'evidence'. Have there been some scientific studies on the subject?  It does make sense to me that January can set the tone for the year. My maternal grandfather always used to teach us, and mom carried on the teaching, that we must set our home and our family matters in a good and positive way before the New Year comes and on the eve of the New Year and on the first day, we should be doing positive things and activities that will 'follow' us throughout the year. In other words, no fighting and division amongst family and friends and no negative activities. I adopted this as the way I live my life in general but also at the close and beginning of each New Year. My family also liked to gather together at home safe and sound rather than be out and about and we stayed up visiting and watching television festivities waiting for the New Year to be rung in at midnight. Then we would hug and kiss and wish one another a happy New Year. Following that the phone would start to ring and/or we would make phone calls to wish loved ones far away a very Happy New Year. Sadly, no one really does this anymore but I loved it. Today I do still stay up until midnight to wish my immediate family a Happy New Year and have a small toast. I hope to continue this tradition even if it is only with one person. 

Update: After reading what others have posted in answer to this question I came back to expand on my answer in case there was any confusion by what I meant.  I want to clarify that my maternal grandfather was not a superstitious person and nor was my mother. We were/are all Christians and the idea about the positivity was to set the tone of what would follow in the new year. It was not magic, nor a ritual but an intentional decision as to how we would live out the day, the transition to the New Year and the New Year itself. We were in gratitude, if you will for each day and moment that the good Lord has gifted us and were deliberately choosing our attitudes about the gift of more time.

Last but not least, I don't make resolutions but I do adopt a theme word for the year. A few years ago I did more detailed goal setting but this takes more thought and work to be ready to post it at the end or beginning of each year. The goal setting works well for me when I'm able to do it. The theme word also works well and gives me more flexibility in the activities I'm carrying out throughout the year.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be paying your blog a visit soon!

Tuesday 4 ~ Books

Welcome back to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 . Books are such a big part of many people's lives. Maybe we should talk about that. 1. Do y...