Sunday, December 31, 2006

Good Riddance, but Now What?

Come, children, gather round my knee;
Something is about to be.

Tonight's December Thirty-First,
Something is about to burst.

The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.

Hark! It's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year.

Ogden Nash, "Good Riddance, but Now What?"

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!


From A Fairy To A Child


Lady, dear, if Fairies may
For a moment lay aside
Cunning tricks and elfish play,
'Tis at happy Christmas-tide.

We have heard the children say -
Gentle children, whom we love -
Long ago on Christmas Day,
Came a message from above,

Still, as Christmas-tide comes round,
They remember it again -
Echo still the joyful sound
"Peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Yet the hearts must childlike be
Where such heavenly guests abide;
Unto children, in their glee,
All the year is Christmas-tide!

Thus, forgetting tricks and play
For a moment, Lady dear,
We would wish you, if we may,
Merry Christmas, Glad New Year!
Lewis Carroll

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve


Finally the night before Christmas has arrived and I have just finished playing Santa for my Aunt, my elderly friend, and two of my neighbors. As I make my rounds today I am grateful that I am able to give a little something to so many people. I feel abundantly wealthy even though, by today's standards, we have little. No house, no car no Maui vacations for me this year or next or probably ever, but as I look around at our old rented house and the jalopy in the driveway and the presents under the tree I am mindful of the fact that I have much more than a lot of people and much more than I have had in years in the past. For me Christmas is not about what I can get it is about what I can give. As I went about dispensing my little bit of Christmas joy I wondered what I would do if the day again comes when I cannot buy a box of chocolates for someone or give my neighbors children a little surprise gift. Pondering this I began to realize that while these little gifts are fun and tangible in the moment they are not the lasting gifts and I began to think of all the lasting gifts I would like to give to everyone.

My wish is that every person in the world would always have enough to eat every day of their lives.
My wish is that every person have a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs.
My wish is that every child be cherished for the unique little person that they are.
My wish is for an end to wars, freedom from corrupt governments and peace all around the world.
My biggest wish is that everyone everywhere would feel loved deeply and unconditionally.
Can you imagine what a difference these few wishes would make in the world if they were to become a reality. A world with out homelessness and hunger. A world with out corruption and war. A world where everyone felt unique and valued and loved unconditionally. Yes - that would be a lasting Christmas gift and maybe if all of us wished for these things all year.... maybe just maybe we would begin to see a world we could all be proud of.



Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Has Only Begun


When the Baby is gone from the manger
And the shepherds are back on the hill,
When the hosts have returned to the heavens
And the grand hallelujahs are still,
And the Wise Men gone back to the Orient,
When the Star of midnight is gone,
And when Bethlehem's streets are all silent,
Christmas has only begun.

The News must be told from the housetops,
The Gospel of Christ must be spread,
The blind and the lame must be lifted,
the poor and the hungry be fed;
The power of Death must be broken,
The will of the Father be done.
When Bethlehem's streets are all silent,
Christmas has only begun.

O follow the Lord from the manger
To Galilee's beautiful shore;
Climb with Him the mountain of glory
In wonder to kneel and adore;
For Christmas is just a beginning
Of a joy that awaits those who come.
For when Bethlehem's streets are all silent,
Christmas has only begun.

Margaret Penner Toews

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Four Days till Christmas Eve!

Four days till Christmas eve and I feel absolutely overwhelmed. Everyday there seems to be more and more to do and less and less time. The decorating is done... at least all I plan to do of it. I finally got all the shopping done except for one gift and at least half of the gifts are wrapped. I have not hardly begun to do any grocery shopping and the living room is covered in wrapping paper and bows and bits and pieces of everything making it look more like Christmas threw up on it than that Christmas is going to be celebrated. I have company over the weekend and next week. We are facing more high winds and possible power outages and I am beginning to feel completely out of control.

So... at times like that I like to try and look for the gems that I am missing. One of those gems is the birds that are along the freeway I travel to work. Yesterday I saw three eagles one doing a very beautiful soar through the air and two more sitting in their usual tree looking like a loving couple. I saw two hawks and two of my favorites - blue herons. The herons always seem to be just loligaging on the side of the road and they move so slowly.
When I took Lucy for a walk by the Fraser River there was another eagle sitting on a snag fishing the river. These moments are true gifts of winter. They shine like sparkling gems through the wind, snow and ever present rain making the winter go a little more lightly and a little more quickly!

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Winter Guests

Somewhere in the neighborhood a new, but somewhat noisy family has come to spend the winter. It is a family of woodpeckers and they like to hammer on my roof on occasion causing the cats to leap to the window in hunting mode and the dog to jump up and bark! However one of their very favorite places is at the top of an old hydro pole at the back of my yard where daddy woodpecker appears to give lessons on bug hunting in dead logs to baby woodpecker. Today I finally managed to get to the back yard with my camera before the baby had flown off, but dad was already several trees away yelling indignantly little one to follow.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Ahh... a Morning to Myself!

Finally a morning to myself and Lucy of course. Today I was supposed to work work work till late tonight, but gratefully one of my clients canceled on me and I can't tell you how happy I am about that! I slept late. Too late for Lucy who decided to ring the bells to get me up at 8:30 am. I had a long hot bubble bath and I went for a long walk in the bog with Lucy.
Lucy and I have not been to the bog since we had the big snow! Wow - has mother nature ever shown her strength there! I counted at least 12 downed trees in just a few feet. Many thanks to the people who go down to the path along Davis creek and move them off the path otherwise we would not be able to walk down there this year. They tell me this is good for the bog... the trees rot and help keep the whole ecosystem going, but it is quite something to see all those trees down. I can't wait to venture farther into the bog and see what changes have occurred there.
The bog was a welcome stress reducer. The fresh air and musky smell of rotting wood and muddy water always help to put life in perspective for me. Some how it brings me back to nature, the earth and all the things that I find comforting. Sadly not much in the city holds an interest for me anymore. With Christmas and the new year almost upon me it is once again time to reassess my priorities. Of course, health, family (yes Lucy that includes you) and work top the list, however what else should I keep in my life next year and what should I lose?
Much to think about, but it will have to wait for a later time as work again calls me out the door. Sigh....

Monday, December 04, 2006

Homeless in British Columbia

"If everyone who wants to see an end to poverty, hunger and suffering speaks out, then the noise will be deafening. Politicians will have to listen."
- Archbishop Desmond TuTu



"I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals
a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, dignity,
equality and justice for their spirits. I believe what self-centered men
have torn down, other-centered men can build up."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
As you can see poverty and homelessness are on my mind tonight. I live in one of the most wealthy countries in one of the wealthiest provinces in that country and yet we have thousands of people homeless in this province alone and that does not take into count the number of people who are sleeping on friends and families couches. Yet we are told every day that the economy is booming, people are making money and that means taxes are being paid yet we cannot provide for the most needy in our midst. What does that say about us?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

If I Shout Will You Be Able To Hear Me?

"What this country needs is more people to inspire others with confidence, and fewer people to discourage any initiative in the right direction more to get into the thick of things, fewer to sit on the sidelines, merely finding fault more to point out what's right with the world, and fewer to keep harping on what's wrong with it and more who are interested in lighting candles, and fewer who blow them out." Father James Keller
Geez... I am dead tired. Spent all day yesterday at a political conference where we discussed everything, but what is really on people's minds. That being how do we take this party back to it's roots and the people who first had the vision? The vision is not out dated, nor is it an invalid vision, it is just that people have lost the vision. The vision of a community, a province, and a country of people of all races, beliefs and income levels can be assured of having food, clothing, housing and medical care for themselves and their loved ones. Somewhere along the way we have lost the way. I am not sure how to get back to the beginning myself, but I know that I am willing to fight for it. The only way to have a society that we can all be proud of is to be accountable to everyone in that society and to remember that EVERY ONE MATTERS! Some how we must get through the in fighting, through the power mongers, through the financial demands and back to the people. We have some good people who can do the job if they can just get out of the muck and mire of the bureaucracy and back stabbing and on to the streets with the ordinary guy.
Speaking of ordinary..... I spent the rest of the evening at the fundraiser that was attached to the conference. You know the one where the people who have it or think they have it all mingle to convince each other that they have it more than anyone else. I worked the bar, cleaned up the tables and spent the rest of my time noshing and shmoozing. I like to find out what is happening in each little corner of the lower mainland ridings and constituency offices. Except for a very few ridings I get the message that not much is happening yet I know from talking with my fellow workers at the conference that they have a good sense of the problems out there and have some suggests for correcting the problems. I also realize that if the people who were at the conference can't be heard by the head honchos of the party then how can the guy on the street that is really suffering.
It is an age old problem.... but today it seems much more relevant than ever before.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Poor Lucy!

When Lucy was a puppy I taught her to rings bells, hung on the door, to let me know when she wanted to go out. It was very successful and Lucy manages to ring those bells very loudly when she wants to go out. However, she also uses the bells to tell me that she really really wants to go for a walk. All week when Lucy rang the bells I ran downstairs and put her out in the back yard thinking she wanted to romp in the snow, but inevitably by the time I got back upstairs Lucy would be barking that bark that says "Hey - I don't want to be out here by myself ! Let me in!" So after a few minutes of that insistent bark I would run back downstairs, let her in and dust the snow off her only to get back upstairs and have her ring the bells all over again.
Lucy loves the snow and this week has been a frustration for her and me. With temperatures at -18 with the wind chill for a few days it was impossible to give her the kind of walks that she feels she is entitled to and she has let me know all day everyday just how upset she is about it. Tonight, with the snow falling, but the temperatures rising I managed to get her out for a good hour and thankfully she is sleeping like a baby right now and all would be good if she had gotten into her own bed instead of MINE!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Winter- Time

Winter-Time

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap:
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And trees and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.

Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894


Monday, November 27, 2006

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr


Although we had been buffeted by winter wind and rain storms the weather on the coast has been mild and temperatures fairly warm till Sunday when everything changed. The temperature dropped and about a foot of snow dumped itself in my back yard! As if that was not enough today the temperature has plumeted and tonight we are going to see the temperatures drop to about -10 with a wind chill factor of -18--20! I think it may be time to let Lucy sleep with me. Just for her sake of course!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

You can say that again!






Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?"
Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
-- Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown in "Peanuts"

Saturday, November 18, 2006

And the Winds Did Blow!


Fall winds and rains storms have pounded the west coast this past 10 days bringing flooding and power outages to a lot of communities. We were very fortunate to only have lost power for a very few hours as some people in our area were with out heat, light and telephone for 4 or 5 days!
As soon as the winds died and the water began to subside Lucy and I headed to our favorite places to see what Mother Nature had done to them.
The bog was looking very different from the sunny lush days of late spring and summer. Huge bare patches where the water had flattened the grass and foliage when it over flowed it the creek banks and the wind had stripped the last of the leaves from the tree branches
Davis Creek in the bog had obviously over run it's banks and there was a great deal of debris on the road we always walk giving us an idea of just how strong the current in the normally sleepy creek had become. However the real eye opener was the trees that had been snapped like match sticks and so many of them! I counted at least 11 large downed trees just on the short path that we were on. It is so awesome to go to the woods and see the incredible power of nature. I cannot imagine how much power that wind was packing when it struck down so many trees.
Lucy and I decided to walk back via the canyon and see what surprises that would bring. I had not been in there for many weeks and expected to see a lot of mud and water on the trail, but what I did not expect to see was what had happened to the creek bed there. The force of the water had caused rocks and tree branches and silt down the creek to Lucy's swimming hole and where there was 5 feet of water last spring there was now only about six inches!
As you can see in this picture where Lucy used to swim all summer long she is now able to just walk across to the other side. Lucy, after giving the whole thing a bit of a puzzled look, was not to be dismayed and happily ran into the creek to retrieve a stick.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Celebrations!

Our family has had a busy time celebrating in the last couple of weeks. My friend Ajaib took me out for a great Indian lunch to celebrate Diwalli, the Indian festival of lights. Ajaib is a lovely man with whom I had the great pleasure to work with about 15 years ago. We share a passion for politics as well as a heart for people who cannot make their voices heard over the sound of the back slapping of the politicians. He and I have agreed we will never be politicians. We see things too much in black and white while politicians have a unique way of turning everything to a muddy shade of gray. Ajaib taught me a great deal about his community, but he taught me even more about the goodness of people in all communities.
Ajaib introduced me not only to his world, but also to the Muslim community as well so my daughters and I gratefully accepted an invitation from another friend to share in Eid,the feast after the fast of Ramadan. I always view these occasions as a way to learn about different cultures and different family traditions. I learned that this festival is considered in their community as important as Christmas is in ours and the ladies dress matched the occassion. The women were stunningly beautiful in their colorful Indian suits elaborately beaded and embroidered. The women, I was told, had spent days making the delicious traditional dishes that were spread out on the banquet table. They continually pushed us to eat more and we happily indulged! I always welcome the opportunity to learn and share with other communities and feel grateful that I live in a country where the diversity of our population allows this to happen. All it takes is an open mind and heart.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

An Early Northern Visitor!

We had an early northern visitor this year. He blew in from the north over night and brought us gifts and a lovely dinner! One might think he was Santa Claus, but even better it was Alphonse.
Al, having been in the Yukon for over 50 years, can be considered a Yukon pioneer in my opinion. As a school boy he escaped Poland via France with his family when the Germans invaded and it would take a better historian than I to tell you the year that occurred. He tells me he spent some time in the British Military before coming to the Yukon to work for the mines. He eventually married, started a very successful painting business and settled in Whitehorse where he still lives today.
When I talk with people like Al I can't help but wonder what it must have been like to live in a place where only the hardiest and most determined of people managed to live successfully. Yukon in the 40's and 50's was still a very rough place to live with few amenities and to have been able to start your own business and be successful is a great feat.
Thanks for visiting Alphonse!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Women, Culture & Beauty

I have been reading a book called "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" written by Lisa Lee a Chinese American writer. The story takes place in China in the time when girls were considered a burden and their sole worth was making a good marriage and producing a male heir. To obtain a good marriage it was essential that the girls have very small feet referred to as their 'Golden Lotus'. Feet were considered small if they were three inches or less and had to have a perfect pointed shape. To obtain this mothers bound their young daughter's feet, breaking their toes. The process was very painful and sometimes the girls either died of infection or they were completely crippled for life. Successful foot binding made it ackward and painful for women to walk keeping the women confined to their houses and out of the world of men.
When I first read about the practice I was completely horrified that mothers would do this to their children and I wondered how the women themselves could ever think this was something of beauty. Then I began to think of all the things modern women do today to make themselves beautiful or at least our concept of beautiful. Cosmetic surgery, breast enlargements, liposuction, tattoos, piercings and even hair removal all have some elements of pain involved in them and all of them can be dangerous to some degree yet we do it and accept the pain and the risks. Every woman has heard the saying "It takes pains to be beautiful" and what woman has not envied a stick thin model seen in a magazine even though we know that most of those models have to put their health at risk by starving themselves to succeed in the world of modeling. Why do we do this to ourselves. Does it really accomplish anything important in our lives and what makes us strive for the perfect body or face? Really is there such a thing as perfect when it comes to our bodies or faces? Isn't it like trying to define the term normal when applied to human beings. What is normal or perfect? I think the terms of normal and perfect are dictated by society and men have pretty much ruled society and some of these normal and perfect things that have been dictated to us all our lives have kept us out of the world of men and dependant upon the approval of our peers as much as foot binding kept the young women of China confined to their houses and dependent upon their husbands and families.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Thanksgiving!


Can it really be that another Thanksgiving day is upon us so soon? With the summer and early fall having been such a hectic time in my life, I hardly believe that when last I sat down and had five minutes to myself to think of the world around me and what was happening - it was Spring! Where oh where did all the days go so quickly?
We didn't celebrate in a great way this year. I decided to paint the hallway in the house and so we avoided invitations and the temptation to just go out and enjoy the good weather. Instead we dragged a frozen turkey out of the freezer and after staring at it for a bit decided that instead of stuffing it in the oven and hoping for the best I would BARBEQUE it! Really... I know ... me the undomestic goddess... the one who prepared an entire Christmas eve dinner, for guests from China who wanted to experience a Canadian Christmas, from frozen prepared foods from M&M's! I still blush at the thought of that I will tell you! Anyhow... really I did barbeque it and it turned out lovely. Very nice and browned and juicy and tasting just ever so gently of hickory and cherry chips. We all enjoyed it especially Lucy.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Golden Trees & Falling Leaves


SONNET
That time of year thou may'st in me behold
When Yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold-
Bare ruin'd choirs where late the sweet birds sand.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after Sunset fadeth in the West,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This though perciev'st, which makes thy love more strong
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
William Shakespeare, 1564-1616

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Picture I Didn't Get

It was another glorious day on the west coast. The sunshine has just kept on coming here this summer and it is so warm, that if the trees were not beginning to turn color, it would be difficult to believe that fall is here and we are almost into October. Today,with the weather being so good, I took Lucy to walk on the Fraser River. The Fraser is always alive with activity even on the dullest days, but today the tugs, like the one in the picture below, were very busy towing log booms and zipping up river to one task or another. As I meandered along, with sun warm on my back, I thought how unfortunate that I had not brought my camera, but consoled myself with the fact that I had taken many shots here over the summer and I doubted that I would get anything new today. I looked up at the clear blue sky and my jaw dropped! There before my eyes was a gorgeous eagle soaring so close I could clearly see his orangy yellow beak and his eyes shifting over the river looking for something to eat. He was magnificent as he glided smoothly past me over to the other side of the river. Once there he gracefully perched on a dead tree branch where, had I brought my camera, I would have had a clear view of him through my telescopic lens. I had to ask myself "Are you stupid?" and a little voice inside of me said Yup! Next time bring your camera dummy! Sadly I realized that even if I sat day and night on that river bank with my camera it was unlikely I would get a chance like this again - at least not this summer - maybe next year though!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kick'n up Their Heels!


Finally I have gotten over some of my exhaustion of the last week and have found the energy to put up the pictures of the North Delta NDP fundraiser that we did last weekend.
We started out with a dingy hall, a bunch of tables, a stack of chairs and a bunch of energetic dedicated volunteers. Everyone pitched in and in no time we had the tables set, the hall decorated, the salads in the refrigerator and the bar set up. Now all we had to do was go home and bake 50 potatoes wrap them in a towel and bring them back! For me being the domestic goddess that I am not - baking the potatoes was the hardest part.

By all accounts the evening was a great success and best of all everyone had a good time.



































Thursday, September 14, 2006

The end of summer

Black eyed susans always remind me that fall is almost here and summer is drifting away to another place where people will sit in the sun and laugh and play on the beach and watch the sunsets. Reluctant to give up the warm colors of summer fall comes along dressed in her colorful best before slowly losing her covering to settle down under a blanket of rain and mist and finally snow till next summer.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Last days... last rays!



Spent a great last days of summer up at Kilby with Lucy and Alana today. The sun was warm, but with out the heat of July and August. Fall is quickly approaching and you can feel it in the air. I always find this a sad time of the year. I hate to say good bye to summer. Even though I love the colors of fall the oranges and browns and golds. I love the scent of sweet fresh apples and wood smoke from fireplaces and wind in my hair, but all of that is enjoyed with a little sadness knowing that the short season of fall gives way to the dark, cold, wet and dreary days of winter.

I am already getting things ready for those days. Pulling out the heaters, extra blankets on the bed, curtains on the windows to keep out the cold wind. I will try not to let the thought of winter ruin my days of fall and I will definitely not let it ruin my last days of summer.

Those last bitter sweet lazy days of summer.




Saturday, September 09, 2006

Jenny's Pin


This pin was given to me by a wonderful fiesty lady by the name of Jenny on my 21st birthday. Jenny, originally from England, came to Canada as a very young woman, married here and had eight children. A fiercly independent woman, she was one of the first ladies in the province to own and drive a car. She lived through a fire that destroyed everything they owned and survived divorce in a time when divorced woman were considered tainted. She went on to hold a good job with the telephone company and find love and happiness with a man named Harry Reiter.


I met Jenny when I was just eight years old. Her children had already grown and left home and become successful in their own lives. Harry and Jenny lived in a house about a half mile from me and they were to become second parents to me. So much so that I often wished and pretended that my name was Reiter in the rough years of my childhood. Harry and Jenny bailed me out when I locked myself out of my house and drove to school on days when the rain was pounding down making the dirt roads that I traveled a sea of mud and listened to me when I had no one else to talk to. They were there for me when I left home to at the tender age of 15 to make it on my own not only encourageing me with love and kind advice, but giving me little bits and pieces of things to make my run down apartment more liveable. On my twenty first birthday they came all the way in from out of town to pay a special visit and bring me this wonderful present.


I cherished this pin and carried it with me to the many places I would eventually live over the next thirty years. Then, a few years ago, some good friends of mine from China became Canadian citizens and after some soul searching I decided that Diane, their daughter, should be given this pin as a reminder that she was now a Canadian woman with a rich Chinese cultural background and that Canada and the world was hers to conquer. I knew that Diane would not only treasure this gift for itself, but would understand the depth of the value of this pin. On her wedding day Diane attached the pin to the base of her wedding bouquet. As she walked across the bridge over the pond in the garden to reach the place beside her groom's side for the wedding ceremony, the pin fell off her bouquet into the water. Diane confessed this to me after the ceremony and vowed to get the pin back even if it meant that she would have to wade in the pond herself. I smiled to myself thinking what a chuckle my dear friend Jenny would have gotten out of all this and how she would have loved to tell the story to everyone she knew. I really felt the pin was gone forever and bade it a sad farewell. A week later, true to her word, Diane went back to VanDussen Gardens and begged the gardener to help look for the pin. This wonderful gardener took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants and waded in. After almost an hour of looking he handed the pin back to a very excited and happy new bride. The message of delight that she left me on my answering machine that day after finding the pin made me realize how right my decision had been to give Diane this very special piece from my youth.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thanks Floemi


So far I have received 28 postcards from around the world. All of them wonderful cards with nice notes from people just like me who love to send and receive mail from around the world. However, my favorite post card, pictured here, was from a young woman names Floemi who lives in Holland. She created a card from fabric with her picture and included shells and sparkles. As well she made her own envelope and creatively decorated. I can't imagine what the postal employees thought, but I thought it was delightful and will forever be grateful to this young woman, from halfway around the world, who brought a big smile to my face!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

What was he thinking?

This sand sculpture was part of the competition at the Pacific National Exhibition here in Vancouver. One can only wonder - What was the sculptor thinking?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Morgan & Molly Say Goodbye



We all said goodbye to Morgan and Molly today. They have been such good sports about everything since they arrived in Canada for their son Fei & Diane's wedding. They have been willing to try new things and go new places. Morgan learned enough English to give a super speech at his son' s wedding and Molly was brave about eating the wedding dinner. We were all very glad to have met them and very sorry to see them go.
I hope one day very soon that I get to visit them in their country and I hope that I am as willing to participate in their customs and food as they have been in ours. We will miss you!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Happy Birthday


It was my first born daughter's birthday today and it got me thinking about the first time they placed this little bundle in my arms. She was all wrinkled and skinny. With long legs and arms and a large head. She looked like a peanut and for her first few days that is what I called her.
Today, even though she has trouble believing it, she is a lovely woman with a lovely kind manner and a good sense of humour. I hope all her birthdays are filled with sunshine, love and happiness!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Crimson Eve!

Let Beauty awake in the eve from the slumber of day,
Awake in the crimson eve!
In the day's dusk end
When the shades ascend,
Let her wake to the kiss of a tender friend,
To render again and receive!
Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Guy & Shirley's 2nd Annual Corn Roast!

Summer in Delta always means fun at Guy and Shirley's house. For the second year in a row Guy and Shirley welcomed friends and supporters to their home for a good old fashioned corn roast.
As usual here is Shirley working away in the kitchen while Guy worked at having fun!






Saturday, August 19, 2006

Poker Run!

All my years of living on the west coast and all the hours I have spent on the ocean - Heck I even grew up right on the ocean front, I have never seen boats like these offshore racing boats. Thirty five feet long, brightly painted and beautifully kept these boats are definitely eye candy. I was told that some of these boats cost $1,000.00 a day in gas just to run them and they can get to 200 miles an hour! I am usually not a speed freak, but I would definitely be up for a thrill on one of these.
The boats race all over the US and Canada for Charity and on the Vancouver Poker run they hit the water at Rocky Point in Port Moody about 9 Am and then headed to the Sechelt making 5 stops on the way to pick up cards for their poker hand. They then race back, take their boats out of the water and go to a hotel to play their hand of cards. All the money collected from this race is given to various charities.
These boats are not only great to look at, but their owner/drivers are a great bunch of guys willing to answer many questions about their boats with smiles on their faces! Thanks for a great show guys!
For more on these guys and their boats check out North West Offshore










Thursday, August 17, 2006

A day with Ruth

Spent a great day with Ruth walking the sea wall at White Rock and having lunch on the patio at Troll's. The weather was magnificant and the conversation stimulating. Ruth, being Ruth is always up for a day out. Ruth is a wanderer. She loves nothing better than treking around different countries and talking with different people. She is always learning new things and always willing to share her ideas and opinions. She always inspires me to stretch my mind and challenges me to never stop learning and growing. She hails from California, but I really think she is a Canadian at heart. I hope that Ruth keeps spending her summers in Canada for many many more years!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Blogger Problems!

I have lots of pictures and posts that I would like to put up, but sadly I am having a lot of trouble with blogger since they came up with the new beta. The new beta has a great user friendly interface and I like the look of it, but even before I installed it I began having uploading problems on my site. Now that I have loaded it I am having even more problems. First it told me that it would save my old template if I wanted to go back to it, but I can't find it?!? I also lost all my links in the change over and can't get them back. It was the first time in a year that I had any problems with blogger so I am hoping that in the next while they will get the kinks worked out and fixed. In the meantime I will continue to try and upload pictures and posts on a regular basis.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday Morning Walk

Lucy and I decided to take a long walk in the canyon this morning. The sun was shining and it had begun to get fairly warm by 9:30 am . Being so busy and having other places to take Lucy this summer, she and I have not really gone there for weeks. I was surprised to see that it is still fairly green and cool there despite our having had such warm temperatures with little rain for so many weeks. Judging by the amount of unwanted drink cartons, beer cans and potatoe chip bags it appears that the canyon has seen it share of summer walkers and it is a good thing that it has stayed so damp as I would be afraid that those who so carelessly throw their garbage here would also not care where they throw their cigarette butts! I would hate to see this canyon destroyed by fire.
Lucy, ever the optomist, spent her time chasing squirrels up trees in the hopes of catching one and fishing for whatever she sees moving in the pools of water in the creek. While she has absolutely no hope of attaining anything from her intense efforts she never tires of it and never gives up. I admire her spirit.
I always feel more connected to myself after spending some time down there. It is nice to listen to the birds sing and the squirrels chitter. Even nicer to be able to hear oneself think for a change. Life here in the everyday world is so hectic and noisy that one forgets to seek that inner place of calm waters and soft music.
Speaking of the real world.... time for me to get ready for a family dinner.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

False Creek

Spent the day with friends from California who own a condo in False Creek. It is so beautiful there that it is hard to believe that I am in the same city that, only blocks away, has so many homeless people and such an enormous drug problem. I rarely get to see this side of the city and I marveled at how beautiful it really is.
We strolled along the sea wall which led us to Granville Island Market .
It was lunch time and I was so hot and tired that this giant ice cream cone outside the market looked very inviting. Inside the market I was over whelmed with the variety and quality of the food items available. I wanted to try everything and walked through the market sampling everything that they were giving away free that day!

The most delicious of these was an almond vanilla copenhagen made right here in Vancouver! Yum! It was delicious.

We then wandered our way through some of the alley's with little shops in and around the market and came upon a chalk art competition they were hold on one of the side walks. Some of them were very creative like this one that appears to be a drawing from a children's book with the hand that holds the drawing coming out of the drains!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

She sat like a beautiful bride

Sunday was such a warm day here in BC and we have had such lovely warm weather for so many days this summer that it was hard not to think about mountains for just a little while. There is no better place to stand in awe of the mountains than in the Fraser Valley. I envy those people who live on the spacious farms there and every window on both sides of their houses gives them a view of different mountains. Today however we did not have to drive far into the valley before you were overwhelmed by the site of Mount Baker majestically sitting there all dressed in white like a beautiful bride. You felt she was so close you could smell her wintery perfume and fresh breath as she sat untouched by the scortching sun.

Dreams

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.
In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, August 05, 2006

BC Day or just the First Monday in August!

This weekend is BC Day in Canada and that really means nothing! Nothing except for a holiday! That is really all the first Monday in August is about. We don't really celebrate anything on BC day. It is not just a holiday in BC, but apparently in several other provinces as well . It is just the last long weekend in the summer and some politician recognized that one year, made it a statuatory holiday, and probably got himself a lot of votes! Even if no one remembers him/her now. Isn't that just the way of life!
So I spent part of my day sitting at Rocky Point, a little park and marina in Port Moody, contemplating what would represent BC Day. I think that this picture of sail boats and the Canadian flag said all that needed to be said about BC Day!
If you are lucky enough to be celebrating it - HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND! If not, find a politician who needs votes in your province? country ? and tell him/her about our deal! Hey, I'll bet George Bush would be interested!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A walk in the Bog



Felt like being outside tonight for a long quiet walk. So armed with my camera Lucy and I headed out to explore the walkways of the bog. I have been so busy all summer that I have not had time to breathe in the musky air of the bog and savor the colors of the foilage that has grown so immense with these hot summer days.
Lucy enjoyed doing her usual fishing in Davis Creek. Even though she has absolutely no hope of catching anything she determinedly searches the water for fry and then pounces in hopes of catching one. I had hoped to get another glimpse of the immense Eagle I had seen circling there the other day, but alas that was not to be.