Victoria Day Weekend 2011

I spent a fruitful and fun weekend.  It is my birthday weekend. Normally I am not even home when I have my birthday so it was nice just to do things I don't normally get to do.  It was raining but that didn't stop me.

The first stop was Dressew on Hastings and the Army & Navy Store. I was on a shopping expedition for stretchy knit jersey fabric to make my mom some plain coloured skirts to wear this summer. I found just what I needed and the sales lady was very nice and helpful. I got served and assisted and my fabric cut in no time at all.  This was delightful considering how some of the reviews (which you can read by clicking the link above) would have you believe that the service in this shop is terrible. Now I just  need to find some time to make the skirts. I also had a great chat with another shopper and found out we share an interest in sponsoring children in Kenya. She sponsors hers through SOS Village and I sponsor mine through Compassion International Canada's office.

As I was walking from Dressew to Army & Navy, I could not believe my eyes and my luck. I turned my head at the first corner and recognized a woman I have been trying to find for years. I don't even know her name but I know that she makes and sells hats. I bought one from her years ago at a Garden Show and I've since lost it and needed another one. I stopped to talk to her and sure enough it was the woman I've been looking for. How fortuitous. I gave thanks to God because truly he knows how I've been searching for this woman for such a long time.  It turns out she doesn't even live in the city anymore!  She was only here to sell her hats at  a local Farmer's Market. She gave me her card and told me I could drop by the next day.  I was thrilled.

I carried on to Army & Navy and was happy to find a suitable pillow there but not a suitable sofa cover. Sofa covers are not so readily available here in my city so I'm thinking maybe I should order it online instead. However that will have to wait because Canada may be having a postal strike as soon as Wednesday of this coming week. While there I was getting hungry so I stopped at their small lunch counter for a grilled cheese sandwich. The young woman who served me started to chat with me about the "end of the world". I told her I didn't believe that the day would bring the end of the world because the bible says "No man knows".

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Matthew 24:36

Then I told her that the Bible does give a hint as to the end of the world and I asked her if she wanted to know what it is.  She said "yes". I told her that the Bible says the gospel will be preached to every nation and then the end of the world will come (Matthew 24:14).  I let her know that there are groups that monitor the number of  unreached people groups  and that the Lord will come like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2).  I said that the end of the world was not likely May 21st but it seems to be coming soon.  I gave a silent prayer of  thanks to God for giving me an opportunity to share what the Bible actually does say given that there is so much misinformation out there from people who claim to know the gospel.

After my shopping and a stop for a sandwich, I made my way to Chinatown and the International Village to take in a movie called Water for Elephants. I enjoyed it immensely though there were some very harsh scenes of violence toward animals and people. It was very well done and I think very realistic about what times must have been like for a struggling circus during the Great Depression.

Here is the beautiful Millennium Gate in Chinatown.

The 'China Gate' on Pender Street was donated to the City of Vancouver by the Government of the People's Republic of China following the Expo 86 world's fair, where it was on display. After being displayed for almost 20 years at its current location, the Gate was re-built and received a major renovated facade employing stone and steel. Funding for this renovation came through some government and private support; the renovated gate had its unveiling during the October 2005 visit of Guangdong governor Huang Huahua.

I think the gate is a beautiful addition to the City and really captures the essence of this part of town.

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On Saturday I was up late as I had stayed up very late. My first stop was at the Farmer's Market at Trout Lake in Vancouver. I was on my way to buy a hat.  I needed a new summer hat and since it was raining I decided to buy a rain hat too! I forgot all about taking photos of the lake which is a pity since I don't get to the lake very often and I wanted to show you photos of this little treasure in the city. Hopefully I will get there again this summer and I will show you then. I did take photos of my hats for you. I was blessed because the hat maker gave me the summer hat for $10.00 off as a repeat customer. I was also pleased because the hat was already $10.00 less than when I bought it many years ago so that was a $20.00 savings on the hat.

My summer hat.  I'd like to own these in several different colours.

My rain hat.

After that I made my way to Commercial Drive where I had Chinese food and stopped at various stores.

I stopped in at Design Dreams to buy kapok to refill some of my sofa cushions. Unfortunately the shop doesn't sell kapok anymore but the nice young man who worked there gave me some ideas as to how to fluff up my pillows.  I also discovered that the store now sells buckwheat.  That is good to know because my buckwheat pillows need to have the buckwheat replaced.  I will have to go back there when I have more time to work on the pillows.

I stopped at one store that sells international goods and purchased an animal print shawl. I then went on to a thrift store that I haven't been to for many years. On my way I stopped to ask for directions and talk to a young mom with her baby. It turns out that the woman moved here with her husband from Switzerland and while we both waited for the bus we had a very nice chat.  At the thrift store, I bought some Croc type shoes for $2.99 and two books, one was Anna Karenina for $1.99.  The shoes and the book are in perfect condition and haven't been used.  Again, I felt very blessed because the two paperback books are actually $4.50 each but the sales clerk gave them to me for $1.99 each.

This print scarf is reversible with brown as the main colour on one side and cream as the main colour on the alternate side.
These Crocs are a pale pink and will go with a lot of my neutral and jewel toned clothing. Great for the summer.  They fit perfectly and are more supportive than the last two pair I've owned.

This book hasn't been read. I look forward to reading it and breaking it in.

I spent more this weekend than I have in a long time but all in all I needed these items and I am happy. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and today the rain continues so I am staying inside to catch up on a knitted dishcloth in a new to me, pattern.

Scenic Sunday

Waiting on Our Miracle

Hi folks, I just want to update you on funds raised for little Kigen's family and their trip home. So far we have raised $125. dollars toward our goal of $500. We are ready to return this family to their home in Pokot country on Saturday this weekend (it will be Friday night in the North American hemisphere) so time is of the essence. Please help us spread the word and pray for this need. Thank you so much, and a special thank you to the 3 people who have already stepped forward. We appreciate it more than you know.

If this is your first time hearing of this need, you can read more here. If you would like to help us, help this little one, you will be able to Donate here (see upper right corner of the blog).


Thank you so much!

Final Appeal for a Young boy and His Family

About two months ago I introduced you to a young boy named Kigen, his mother and younger brother, Tiktik. They live in a very remote village with the closest largest town being, Marigat, Kenya.

Kigen needed medical attention and I appealed through this blog for financial help.  It turns out his little brother, Tiktik travelled with him and unbeknownst to me at the time, he has a similar condition as Kigen.

This is Kigen.
We did get some financial help and for those of you who contributed I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Unfortunately the financial support received has not been enough to cover the costs to date and we have been stretched far beyond our ability as individuals to help this young family.

For those who don't know, this young family has been staying in the hospital.  Lodgings, food and medicines must all be paid for the two month period of their stay at the hospital. We have been able to feed the family and  cover the cost of medicine and medical attention for little Tiktik who is doing much better.

Originally we were told that Kigen was going to require surgery. However as time went on it was clear that the doctors think that Kigen's condition is hereditary and cannot be fixed by surgery or indeed be completely treated. However hee has improved under medical supervision and has grown stronger while his little brother was pronounced ready to be discharged a few weeks ago.

Kigen in hospital

Medical personel at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital have told us that they cannnot do more for Kigen so they are ready to release him.  In turn, we are ready to get him and his mother and brother home as soon as possible but we need your help.  The remaining costs we need to cover are the medicines and medical services for Kigen (at least $250 Canadian)  and the return trip home by bus to Marigat from Eldoret, then by taxi from Marigat to the nearest station to their home (another $200 minimum) and a bit of food ($30 or so,for the journey home).  When the taxi has taken them as far as they can go they must walk another  six (6) hours to get to their home where they will be reunited with the father of the boys and the other children.

Admission to the hospital.

We have done what we could to get Kigen the medical help he needs and though he is not completely healed we are happy that he is now stronger and has shown some improvement. We are also encouraged by his brother's remarkable improvement. We continue to pray that Kigen will improve more on his own and that he will not have any setbacks in his condition. We are also encouraged that his mother has been able to learn some of the national language of Kiswahili while she has been at the hospital because she could only speak her native tongue.  This new skill will serve her well in years to come.

Kigen's mother.

If you can help, please send your donation as soon as possible. You can find a donate button by clicking here  (see upper right hand corner).

Perth Here We Come

Some time ago I signed up for a dish cloth swap being organized by Rhonda and Sharon over at the Down to Earth blog. I guess I didn't remember to specifically leave them my email post so I got left out of the swap but was kindly picked up by Judith from Perth, Australia.

I had an olive coloured dishcloth set with mixed light yellow and cream colours but I thought that those colours would be too dull for a place like Perth, Australia. So I came up with these tropical, summer colours instead.

There are two simple dishcloths in this set.
I thought Judith might also like some photo postcards of Vancouver.

This was a fun swap. I can't wait to see what my dishcloths from Australia look like.

Judith said she was aiming to send them about a week ago and I'll be interested in seeing how long it takes a small parcel from western Australia to travel to me here in western Canada.

To see more Mellow Yellow submissions click here.

Join Smiling Sally and the gang for Blue Monday by clicking here.

African Arts and Crafts

Thank you and welcome to P-ter for the recent follow ;-)

It's been awhile since I've posted about my travels to Kenya. I do have several more posts before I conclude the series. I thought rather than show you more travels today, I would instead focus on some of my purchases. It was the first time I'd purchased so much at once and I love all my purchases.

Candlesticks made of ebony wood. I think they are beautiful but I found it difficult to find candles to fit the base. In the end I purchased votive candles and cut down the bottoms to fit.
A pair of elephants carved from ebony wood.

Soapstone carvings. I love the globe sitting on the base.
A game to play. I think it is called "Solitaire" and is like playing checkers except you play yourself.

A close up of the game board.

Soapstone plate and zebra mask. 

Same zebra mask and a different soapstone plate. 

Some calabashes. First time I saw them tinted dark. I purchased these on the highway on the journey from Marigat.
A drum. I was told this drum is not actually a Kenyan drum but comes from Tanzania.

This drum is a Kenyan drum.
Soapstone carving.  Map of Mount Longonot and other areas.  Click photo to get a better view.

Maasai wedding necklace.

I hope you enjoy the art. Please check out my travel posts on Kenya. You can find some links here.

Kenyan Skies

Many of my readers will know of my love for Kenya. I thought it appropriate for Skywatch Friday to feature the Kenyan skies. I have some of my own photos here of Kenya but I also wanted to introduce you to a wonderful new gospel singer in Kenya by the name of Alice Kamande.  Ms. Kamande has a beautiful voice and here is her video where she sings "Wewe Pekee".

Nairobi skyline

Clouds over Nakuru National Park
Skies over Lake Elementeita
Skies over the village

Now here is the video featuring the beautiful, Alice Kamande. If you look you will see the beautiful Kenya skyline.


For more beautiful skies from around the world, please click the badge.

It was a Glorious Day

Yesterday as I took a long walk home after a hair appointment, I was pleased to hit on a scene perfect for a Blue Monday submission.

Can you see the sign "peeking" through the branches and blossoms?

Even this blue sky with the hanging pink blossoms is good for Blue Monday.
Aren't the colours amazing?
These are the last of the spring blossoms on the trees. I was fortunate to be able to capture some at this late date.

So glad you were able to enjoy Blue Monday with me. Please join Smiling Sally and the gang for more Blue Monday.

The Sun & The Royal Wedding

As if on cue for the royal wedding, the sun came out on Friday in Vancouver and warmed my bones. There was still a touch of crispness to the air but it was lovely to have the unadulterated sunshine on  my first full day back home.

I stayed up until 5 a.m. to watch the royal nuptials and I saw that the sun came out there as well when rain was expected. Surely that is  a good sign for this lovely, young couple.

I'm afraid my wedding invitation got lost in the mail and I didn't want to fly to London and join the crowd. I may never have found my way out of there *wink.  

It may seem silly but I took a few photos of the royal couple on the palace balcony. Unfortunately, I missed the royal kisses. They were too quick for me.

Kate looks stunning.
I wish the royal couple nothing but the best, and loads of happiness in the years ahead.

The Sun Rays (A Lyric)

The sun rays in your eye,
The love you’re giving that I have found;
Like sun that shines though the sky,
Each love must be worth and sound.
The sun that shines each day,
The love you gave from your heart;
What matter what we do or say,
Never let it depart.

Each heart is broken only once
And never grows from sorrow,
Let there never be no bygones
Not today nor tomorrow.

Sun rays oh sun rays
Never hide behind a cloud,
Sun rays all my days
That's what love's all about;
Give me no raining shower thought,
Nor glimpse of shadows I've caught.

On each star brightening night
When only flickering light is around,
I wish you'd hold me so tight
My fright could surely be drowned;
The sun rays the feeling of touch
Each love is not made of stone,
You know I love you so much
Oh never let me be here alone.

Each heart is broken only once
And never grows from sorrow,
Let there never be no bygones
Not today nor tomorrow.

Sun rays oh sun rays
Never hide behind a cloud,
Sun rays all my days
That's what love's all about;
Give me no raining shower thought,
Nor glimpse of shadows I've caught.

Sun rays oh sun rays
There are many turning ways,
Let’s give future to all
Before it returns to the haze;
Give me no answer: perhaps or not,
Tomorrow you may have forgot.

Sun rays oh sun rays
Sun brightening rays oh sun rays.

Sun rays oh sun rays
Never hide behind a cloud,
Sun rays all my days
That's what love's all about;
Give me no raining shower thought,
Nor glimpse of shadows I've caught.

Sun rays oh sun rays
Never hide behind a cloud,
Sun rays... 

Words by Peter Quinn 

Following the Sky

This was the scene as we made our way from Kamloops to Vancouver this afternoon and early evening.  It was all kinds of strange weather on the way home.  There shouldn't be such cool weather and snow this late in the season even through these high mountain passes.

It was snowing just a short way into our journey and it snowed intermittently.  I thought the strange weather made for interesting sky photos for today's Skywatch meme; especially since there were also bits of blue sky and some sun here and there.

This is nearing the home stretch as we cross the Fraser River on the Port Mann Bridge.

Just as we crossed the bridge into Coquitlam it started to rain.

Then as we drove on it stopped. I expect there will be rain overnight or perhaps tomorrow.

Click on the badge above to see more skies from around the world.

Friday Sky Just Before Friday Sunrise & A Missions Report

  We are officially into the Fall season and the weather is much cooler than it was a few short weeks ago. We have been having a lot of rain...