Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coffee at my place...

As the year winds down, I am busy reflecting on what has come and gone…
what will stay and what will be tossed to the side…
what I will wish for and what I will file away as received…
and whether I will continue on my beaten path.
As I do this, I enjoy a freshly brewed coffee, with a touch of cream. And you, how do you take your coffee?

My coffee station!

Come...sit awhile and tell me what you have planned for 2012?
Will you be a resolution maker?
Are you a resolution breaker?
Does the start of a New Year give you hope? Or despair?

Two favourites - which do you prefer?

Come...sit awhile and tell my your plans...before the coffee goes cold! (see, I've put out a cup just for you!)


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Home for the Holidays...

Wherever you are, whatever you celebrate, I wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season...and a Merry Christmas!
As I shopped for last minute groceries, I asked the young cashier if she was excited about Christmas. She replied that she did not celebrate Christmas as she was Muslim. 
I smiled and wished her a happy time with her family anyway.
I live in a multi-cultural city - I love it! 
I try to embrace all ethnicities I encounter...they fascinates me. I don’t apologize for asking, or for not knowing, what if anything, a person celebrates or believes in. So long as we all try to get along and show a little respect I’m good to go.
As I exited this grocery store (my regular haunt) the two fellows that man the Lotto Booth were closing up for the day. (we often exchange pleasantries)
I smiled and wished them a Merry Christmas...but then I laughed and realized they might not celebrate this holiday, just like the young cashier. 
I went over to their counter and asked - they replied they did not; I then revised my greeting for them by wishing them both "Happy Holidays"; they in turn extended the same to me. 
Nowhere along this little path, of tossing out my “Merry Christmas” greetings, did I feel I was treading on toes or offending anyone. 
Quite the opposite, these people, the cashier and the lottery fellows, have been in Canada a long time (knowledge I’ve gleaned from our chats); I just made the assumption (silly me) that most people celebrate Christmas. 
My learning curve just never ends! 
I left with my grocery bags and a smile; at the end of the day we really all want the same thing, don’t we? Respect. 
By engaging people we meet with honest, respectful dialogue we go much further then by assumptions, prejudgements and stereotyping.
Merry Christmas to you and yours, or if you prefer, Happy Holidays!
Either way, hug your family and be mindful of how precious they are, with or without a tree, they are a reason to celebrate. 
________________ are a few of my favourite Christmas photos:

Last year's tree

This year's tree

Next year's tree

Pucker up...where there's Mistletoe there's a happy puppy!

Does your tree change from year to year too?

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Have you ever wondered what the fascination is with winning a lottery? 

Particularly one that is about money.

People ask each other, "What would you do with ten million dollars?"  


What would you do? 

When you really put some thought into this question it is not that easy to answer.

Now, I'll ask you another question:

When you wake up and face a new day, what is your first thought? 

Are you miserable and discouraged at the prospect of facing yet another day?

Or, do you bound out of bed and thank the Gods (whichever yours is) that you are alive? Do you feel happy, maybe even lucky, that you've been given another chance to live, learn and laugh?

Well...when you wake up, each and every day, YOU are a winner of the Life Lottery!

What you have won is 24 hours, or 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds - depending on how you look at it.

Question is: What will you do with your winnings?

Spend wisely - but spend it all and enjoy your day; maximize every one of those winning seconds because once they are gone - they are gone forever.

Every day is a lottery and if you are one of the lucky ones that actually wins, by waking up tomorrow, remember this:

No amount of money, fame or good looks guarantees a winning ticket in the Life Lottery - it truly is a game of chance.

So tomorrow, when you wake up, think long and hard about how you view your day - just in case your luck doesn’t hold.

May your winning streak continue - for a long, long time!



It is that time of year again where many of us will pause to reflect on all the 'should'vecould've  would'ves' and start planning our long list of resolutions in hopes, that one of these years, we’ll “change” and be the perfect being we think we need to be to get through this life.

Pause for a moment and reflect on what is around you right now, and embrace it, for tomorrow it may be gone. Take one day at a time; enjoy the moment you’re in right now, and smile.

Many of us have hard roads to travel, heavy burdens to carry, all while climbing non-stop uphill - but the choice is still ours to make...we can suck it up and smile while struggling, or we can wallow in it and add to our own misery.

Again...pick wisely, today’s moments are tomorrow’s memories - how do you want to remember today!

How do you spend your winnings from the Life Lottery?

Thank you for following, for commenting, for being out there, and in here. 


Friday, December 09, 2011

It's just a matter of time...

The old woman listened to the hum of the machines and the gentle breathing of the man lying in bed on the other side of the thin white curtain.
Tomorrow she’d be going home to her own bed where she would listen to a different sound...a sound she had missed these last two weeks...the ticking of her clocks. 
The cuckoo clock which hung in the kitchen; the little plastic rooster alarm clock in the bathroom; and the old chimer in the living room were part of her, and she missed the feeling of life they gave the rooms as she went from one to the other throughout her day.
Tomorrow her daughter would come at ten and hopefully by eleven she’d be stretched out on her cozy oversized sofa, wrapped in her yellow blanket, cup of tea on the end table, and her favourite program on the telly.
She had been lucky this time...but now things would be different - one more fall and going home would no longer be an option.
As she listened to the hum of the machines and the gentle breathing of the man lying in bed on the other side of the thin white curtain tears trickled down her cheeks and settled in the curve of her was just a matter of time.


Monday, December 05, 2011

CREEP, by Jennifer Hillier - My Review!

Are you looking for a book that will keep you guessing and turning pages?
Here’s the book you’re looking for - CREEP.
CREEP is Jennifer Hillier’s fiction debut novel - and a fantastic read!
I had the pleasure of discovering Jennifer Hillier’s blog site, The Serial Killer Files during this year’s A-Z Challenge and subsequently discovered CREEP, while visiting her site.
From the opening line, in the first chapter of CREEP, I was pulled into the pages and found myself really forming strong feelings for the three main characters.
What I really appreciated, about Hillier’s writing style, was how quickly I was able to form these feelings with minimal effort on her part. My own imagination, which is quite active, was allowed to partake in the visualizing and mental imagery of her characters - yet Hillier was in total control of where she wanted me to go with these likes and dislikes I had of her characters.
There was an oh-oh moment which came at me suddenly; I found myself diving into the book with greater gusto in hopes of finding out if my gut instincts were correct about this plot thickener.
If you love a novel filled with intrigue, seductions, twists and turns you will not be disappointed with this book; CREEP meets all the requirements of what a great thriller, and bestseller, should be!
I would like to congratulate Jennifer Hillier on CREEP - it was an excellent read; I look forward to her next book, FREAK.

If you’re looking for a book that you won’t put down I recommend picking up a copy of CREEP.

Taken from the inside panel of the front cover...the real teaser...
Dr. Sheila Tao is a professor of psychology. An expert in human behaviour. And when she began an affair with sexy, charming graduate student Ethan Wolfe, she knew she was playing with fire. Consumed by lust when they were together, riddled with guilt when they weren't, she knows the three-month fling with her teaching assistant has to end. After all, she's engaged to a kind and loving investment banker who adores her, and she's taking control of her life. But when she attempts to end the affair, Ethan Wolfe won't let her walk away.
Ethan has plans for Sheila, plans that involve posting a sex video that would surely get her fired and destroy her prestigious career. Plans to make her pay for rejecting him. And as she attempts to counter his every threatening move without her colleagues or her fiancĂ© discovering her most intimate secrets, a shattering crime rocks Puget Sound State University: a female student, a star athlete, is found stabbed to death. Someone is raising the stakes of violence, sex, and blackmail . . . and before she knows it, Sheila is caught in a terrifying cat-and-mouse game with the lover she couldn't resist—who is now the monster who won't let her go.

Let me know if you’ve read it, or if your planning on adding it to your reading list!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mother Monday

For some time the daughter had stewed about the inconvenience of being in such close proximity to her mother.
The phone calls at all hours; the “Hello! Anybody home?” chiming up the stairs from below; it needed to stop, or at least be checked.
Yes, the old woman needed boundaries and devoting one day a week to her seemed like a logical and practical solution.
It took a little time to iron out the kinks and get it on track, but once Mother Monday was established as “her” day things slowly settled into a very doable and rather likeable weekly event.
The weeks passed and as the Mondays would come and go the daughter realized her mother was a rather interesting woman, who had lived a very full, energetic life.
Oh to be sure, the old woman’s life had had periods of great sadness; the separation from her parents and only sibling when, after marriage, the decision had been made to settle in a foreign country; the language barrier - an almost insurmountable obstacle in those early years; the purchase of a home equalled years of hardship and hard work; raising a family without the help of relatives; and the divorce...ah, the divorce - a topic that would span several Mondays and lead the daughter to realize her life wasn’t that different from her mother’s.
The other day, on their Monday outing, the two could be found running banking errands; picking up goodies at a specialty store in preparation for the upcoming holiday; and dropping into their neighbourhood supermarket for a few necessary staples.
It was a short Monday outing, but an outing nonetheless, filled with bits of laughter punctuated by stimulating dialogue and comfortable silence.
Finally at home, the old woman settled onto her comfy sofa; with remote in hand she let out a big sigh - she was tired. She was aware of her lack of get up and go, and wondered about her breathing; it had been problematic as of late.
She was distracted by the daughter’s voice as it chirped a happy, “Hey mom, it’s me!” - a little routine her daughter had introduced lately so as to not startle her when she was dozing on the sofa.
The old woman smiled.
She looked up at the daughter, as she entered the room.
“I love you,” rolled gently off the lips of the old woman.
Unaccustomed to verbal, and non verbal, displays of affection from her mother, the daughter, somewhat taken aback, replied, “I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“I love you.” The old woman extended her arms upward indicating a hug was being offered.
The daughter leaned down toward her mother, accepted and returned the hug, and whispered “I love you too” right back.
Mother Monday had become an old woman’s gift to her daughter - a gift the daughter would hold onto and cherish long after her mother spent her last breath.
Have you taken the time to get to know the person behind the title of Mother? If so, what have you learned about yourself in the process?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Icing on the Sibling Cake

The phone rang...she knew before answering who it would be.
“Your brother’s here, do you want to see him?” queried the aging voice on the other end of the phone.
“ down shortly.” The phone went dead before she could say goodbye.
It was a pattern that would not be broken, at least not in this lifetime. Oh, she’d asked and even cajoled the old woman into trying to end a phone call with goodbye...maybe - and this she was learning as time went by - saying goodbye was not in the old woman’s vocabulary.
“Why say goodbye, when I see you again anyway,” was the retort, time and time again, so, she gave up fighting ‘the closing salutation’ fight and hung up the phone.

A wee bit of preening later and down she went to what was affectionately called "the hovel” - a cosy and very inviting space inhabited by her determined mother. She smiled and wondered if she would be as spunky at eighty.

Of the four siblings, he was the icing on the cake...because he cared enough to stay neutral - hard to do she was sure of that, but he aced it and for that she was grateful.

The visit was soul nourishing and smile activating; batteries were being recharged and a sense of family restored; it felt good.

There were extra hugs to be had when the time came for him to head out for his drive home; a mountainous drive that often took its toll on, and the occasional life of, those that braved it throughout the winter months.

She hugged a little tighter and breathed in a little deeper - a memory was being set - it needed to last a lifetime, just in case.

Do you find yourself taking a moment to imprint the ‘now’, into the deep recess of your mind, knowing it might be all there ever is?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Vancouver Walkabout - Queen Elizabeth Park

Friday was a glorious day - not quite cold enough to bring out the winter coats, but yet there was a slight bite to the air when walking out of reach of the sun.
I decided to take a day away from the Lost and Found and enjoy a little time with my mom.
One of my favourite dining spots in Vancouver is Seasons in the Park, located at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park where the view is spectacular! 
We started our outing with lunch (the Omelette) and then mom went in the Conservatory as she had not been in quite a while. (more photos of the Conservatory here)
I enjoyed a small walk-about and took some photos - just for you!

Click on any photo to enlarge and have a closer look!

Taken from the patio at Seasons, as we headed outdoors.
Looking back toward the patio - I took the first photo from the area behind the tree.
Seasons Restaurant, overlooking the small quarry garden.
Bronze statues of tourist having their photo taken.
The bronze photographer!
In this photo, you see the Lions - the two peaks in the distance.
In this photo, you see Grouse Mountain, a popular skiing and hiking destination (for locals and tourists alike).
This picture sits to the right of the one above.
Also, take a look at our new stadium - it looks like a crown - in the centre of the photo! Can you see it?
A little bridge leading to the large quarry garden.
Same little bridge...from a different angle.
Isobel, Anna and Karen work close by and enjoy a lunchtime stroll!
A sentinel of trees keep watch over the large quarry garden.
A look into the large quarry garden from up the little bridge.

Four photos stitched together produce this amazing panoramic view of Vancouver. Click to enlarge!

I hope you have enjoyed this pictorial walk-about - if you are thinking of heading to Vancouver this is a must stop on your travels!



Monday, September 12, 2011

The Cariboo - the interior of BC

Before I pack up my summer frocks and pretty thongs (that would be footwear to those of us over 25) I thought you might like to see what I do when I’m not here, in Bloggerville!

Yes...there is life outside this monitor...and these photos will prove it!

Back in June I took my mother for a little birthday outing up to the 70 Mile House area, in the interior of beautiful British Columbia, to spend a few days with our dear friend Dieter at his spectacular property close to Watch Lake.

We did a somewhat circuitous route: Vancouver, through the Fraser Canyon, Cache Creek, Clinton and into the 70 Mile - 100 Mile House area...the return trip was the same until Clinton, where we veered right and headed through the Pemberton Valley, Whistler and home to Vancouver thus avoiding holiday traffic on Hwy #1 - the Trans Canada - which is always under construction...ugh.

Up the Fraser Canyon

More Canyon

And still more...

We met some friends for lunch - a few of my closest

Out for an afternoon snack

Lucky's testing the water temp for a quick dip

Can you see the Loons on the on photo to enlarge

A stitched photo of the private lake on Dieter's property - the three above are of the same lake.

Some neighbouring land

View from the porch...

The porch.

Flowers from the garden...enlarge and see the honey bee.

Enjoying an afternoon drink at the local watering hole
Enjoying an evening drink without going to the local watering hole

Just plain pretty, isn't it?

See next photo for more info

Self explanatory

Just out the back door...a frequent visitor

Rhubarb pie anyone?

The drive home

Pemberton Valley

Seton Lake

Just past Whistler...the back side of our local Vancouver Mtns.

So much snow has never been seen in June...but here it is just for you!

I hope you enjoyed this little trip into British Columbia's interior. 

Do you get out and explore the land closest to you? Or do you prefer to vacation away from home?

Thank you for following, for commenting, for being out there and in here. 


Monday, September 05, 2011

Tide's in...what washed up surprised everyone!

What a glorious day in downtown Vancouver for visiting Third Beach in Stanley Park!
The setting couldn't have been better - the tide was in - people were out enjoying the last long weekend before another school year begins - no one expected to see the unexpected.
A mermaid was sunning herself on a large boulder nestled amongst the smaller ones covered in barnacles, the sun was dancing on the water keeping time with the laughter all around, a mother seagull feeding her young - summer was having its last hurrah.
Children and adults alike stopped to take in the magical sight for it isn't every day one sees a mermaid in Vancouver.
Such was the day where friends and memories came together and played between the layers of blue, and I captured some of it to share with you. Enjoy!

What did you do this weekend to take your mind off the start of another month?

Thank you for following, for commenting, for being out there and in here.