Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas, more Christmas and the spiritual side of the day

1 Christmas morning arrives and we see the bright lights of the tree reflected in the eyes of the little ones. Mommy had made a photo of Santa in front of their Christmas tree. Little Izzy couldn't believe what she was seeing. It was perfect.
2 Kes travels around the room eating all the bits of chocolate his sister has left behind. She loves Kinder Surprise and each time she finds a new one she abandons the rest. Soon he has chocolate cheeks.
3 It felt good to go to church after a long time. I'm not catholic but our son and his wife are so we went with them. It was enlightening and uplifting. My church doesn't do blessings just communion so this was new. I liked it.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Quesnel BC, changes, and white

Good morning everyone
It's been a while and there is no excuse except gosh I'm having a busy fun time of things lately.
After getting sick in October and part of November life has been about doing and living. I will endeavour to keep you updated more regularly. I've missed you. Cheers to all and merry Christmas and Happy New Year wishes. 

1 We have just spent the past few days in the northern part of the province of BC visiting my husbands side of the family. They have been excellent hosts and have filled our bellies with deer roast, moose meat, nuts and bolts, shortbread cookies and some amazing teas and coffees. 
2 We have made a decision. It's time to live closer to our families especially the grand babies. The interior is where were are headed. Our home on the island is looking for long term tenants and we will be purchasing a home in the Okanagan. Life is very exciting when we step out of our comfort zones isn't it? A foreclosure home has caught our eyes and we have an accepted offer with the bank, now we wait for the court date, mostly likely in January and see if we are lucky enough to get this little gem. 
3 It's a winter wonderland here. I'd forgotten about living in the north and the huge amounts of snow that fall each winter. Tomorrow is the first day of winter yet the trees have drooping branches from the snowfall last night. It's rather black and white out there yet I'm compelled to gaze out the window. Perhaps that's easier seeing as I am sitting in a lovely recliner in front of a fire all toasty warm, sipping my freshly brewed coffee with decadent creamer! 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

baby it's cold outside, kids, and changes are good

And so it goes that sometimes life gets to busy that blogging takes a back seat. This is what's happened to me. Recovering from meningitis took a bit longer than I expected but it finally feels like normal. Still a bit of napping going on but overall healing nicely.

I've missed writing here and missed all of you.

1 It's a wee bit chilly out there. -13C and icy roads.
2 Izzy and Kes are having a ton of fun playing Leap Frog and their mommy is having the most fun of all.
3 We are making changes, daily. We've put in an offer on a house close to the kids and babies. If we are lucky enough to get this house through the foreclosure process we'll be living about fifteen minutes away. View of the lake and room for his shop in the double garage. Fingers crossed we get a break!

Friday, 22 November 2013

brr, zzzz, and yay

1A cold November day on the outside, with sunshine streaming through the windows.
2 A chance to rest while the grandchildren nap.
3 Feeling pretty darn good.

Monday, 18 November 2013

time, cheesy, and how to

1 Spending time with the family.
2 Watching Izzy take the mozzarella bits and roll them into balls and pop them in her mouth.
3 Thinking of ways to help without getting in the way.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

3 for now

1 More energy feels so good
2 Feeling more like myself every day.
3 Not giving up on us.

Monday, 11 November 2013

And so it goes

1 A cup of tea that is just right.
2 A laptop that is much quieter.
3 The opportunity to work on myself. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Friday, 4 October 2013

walkers, sweet, and read me files

1 We walk even though it's cold, windy and getting late. The neighbourhood seems deserted for a Friday night.
2 A hot cup of green tea and toast smothered in butter and honey is my new breakfast addiction. Oh sweet tooth, why do you challenge me so much?
3 Reading up on the notes from three moms that I'll be coaching twice this month. Two of the moms are new clients for me so it will be fun to stretch my coaching skills.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

outside, i can hear his smile, and slowly

1  A sunny Thursday brings with it the opportunity to get things done outside. One pear tree pruned and branches stacked, two wheelbarrows of soil moved to the composts and lots of apple picking.
2 Mr P is happy when he hears, "I paced myself this time.'
3 The bees are slowing down. There's some apples in the compost that they're feasting on, but when I move some soil near them they buzz but there isn't a frenzy like they usually do.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

greetings, at the park, and holy slime ball batman!

1 The wind and rain ease up by morning and it's a bank of low clouds that greets me.
2 The water at the river is high enough that there's no opportunity to go closer. We must stay on the path.
3 As we are headed back to our car in the parking lots a man approaches us with two small white dogs <not really white with all the mud> and a large black dog. The big black dog has a long piece of drool in his mouth. As he approaches my instinct is to step back while his is to step forward quicker and faster than me. He wins! I get slimed! Note to self: be quicker!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

uh huh, ot, and planting scheme

1 It's a working day. Seems like most days are. Now what's up with that?
2 Mother Nature is working overtime with the rain and cold weather. Leaves are quickly turning and falling although the fruit trees are still very green. Soon it will be time for raking and pruning and more cleanup.
3 I'm daydreaming about what to plant in the green house for the winter. If the geraniums and other flowers and herbs can survive in there what else might be willing to go in? Suggestions?

Monday, 30 September 2013

working it, meeting, and committee

1 A quiet day of working on the photography business means a lot gets done. Note to self: trust your instincts and avoid extra work!
2 The meeting with the community radio station is informative and lively. There are a few 'characters' that need reigning in, and the facilitator does a good job of that. No hard feelings and we get to move on to new topics.
3 As is usual when there are issues being addressed, there are committees that need to be formed. The Engagement and Membership Committee is the latest to be formed. This was an idea that Mr P really wanted brought forward. We meet this week and will see how much time and effort this group is willing to put in. 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

worth watching, storm, and regardless

1 The Secret of Happiness - An Experiment in Gratitude I stumbled on this today and loved it. Seriously, you get what you give. xo
I thought the migraine was telling me something...yup, the big storm is here! The house is rattling, trees bending, and rain coming in sheets and pounding on the skylights. The flashlights and candles are ready, wood stove is keeping me warm. Love island storms~
3 Despite my headache, I manage to peel and process a huge bin of apples yesterday. 28 jars in all shapes and sizes; 17 jars of applesauce and 11 jars of applepearsauce. 

Saturday, 28 September 2013

what it is, fix my feet, and wait!

1 Saturday; productive, positive, pretty fun, primped and polished.
2 The foot soak works great. It's a combination of listerine, vinegar and water. My feet feel fabulous.
3 The rest of the yard work can wait. It's time for some book reading on the couch in front of the wood stove. Yes, it can wait.

Friday, 27 September 2013

curled up, sister, and the perfect wood

1 The cat is enjoying her cat cave that Mr P made for her last winter. She looks so cozy and warm and is totally sheltered from the wind and rain. I've got it against the wall and the opening faces a covered bbq, letting in very little or no wind. It takes a lot of calling to get her to come inside.
2 A phone call to my sister ends up lasting two and a half hours! We had a lot of catching up to do. Note to self, don't wait so long to call again.
3 The arbutus wood is perfect for night. It's a hard dense wood that burns incredibly slowly. By morning there will still be coals so it will be easy to warm up the house if it needs it.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

busy bee, epic, and food

1 Holy what a busy day! It was excellent and felt so great to be outside and getting things cleaned up for fall. Lawns mowed, check. Compost turned and activator added, check. Greenhouse emptied, cleaned and scrubbed, check!
2 The epic apple battle continues.
3 After all that work what better to refill my energy than a bowl of steamy chicken vegetable soup and hot fresh bread with butter.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

the four agreements

“The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word
The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally
The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions
The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best”

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The more you are thankful, the more you attract things to be thankful for~

1 While he's away it's my time to get things done. The list is made and lots of things are getting crossed off. I like it when I have the time to do 'those' things that are time consuming yet need doing.
2 Knitting seasons is approaching. My yard box is calling to me, patterns seems to jump out at me online. The question is, which pattern will win?
3 The pears are still hard so they can wait.
4 D is doing well. He often is out when I call so tonight we get to catch up on things. I'm sure hoping we can get a visit with him this year. I miss him.
5 The crows are feasting on nuts from the neighbours tree. They're noisy and messy and not everyone's favourite bird. Someone shoot a gun, not sure what kind but the noise is a loud boom and for a little while at least the birds go elsewhere.
6 Betty was a good neighbour. She was elderly and ill but whenever she could she would be out walking on our quiet street with her walker and smile firmly in place. She passed recently, I'll miss her.
7 The farmers market it out of the question! Too much rain makes for a soggy venture.
8 The three of us head to the beach. Oops, did I blow it! I read the tide table wrong and we had very little beach to explore or walk on. On the flip side, we did manage to get in a good walk and had fun scrambling over logs and branches and even found an old abandoned cabin.
9 The third heron is sold. What a lovely collection they will have. I'm looking forward to seeing it all displayed in their foyer.
10 A pot of soup is in the making. The chicken carcass is in the pot and soon it'll be time for the vegetables. Fall really is the time for soup.
11 Should I make some homemade bread for myself? The answer is yes! As long as there is enough physical exercise to equalize it.
12 How great to find a nice surprise on my camera. Most of my photos were duds yesterday but this one I like. After the storm there are collections of stuff on the beach. This was my favourite.

Friday, 20 September 2013

changes, a true friend, and check in

1 The weather's changed. It just feels different outside. The winds are back and throwing leaves and branches here and there while the rains pelt down so hard that the sound echoes on the skylights.
2 The card is a sweet reminder of the friendship we share and how much we love and respect each other. I'm touched by her words and genuineness.
3 He calls to check in and we briefly share our days activities before he races off for dinner at camp. He tells me the food is incredible and healthy so he doesn't want to miss out. He never asked me but my dinner was simpler - leftovers day 3. Thankfully there is none leftover now.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

three, run, planted

1 Three weeks can either go by slowly or quickly, it all depends on perspective don't you think? I'm determined to make this time productive. The white board has lists, the business has it's own list and today three things were crossed off.
2 Can you say run? What do I do when I need to let off stress or other unhelpful emotions? Run.
3 The new hydrangeas and chinese lanterns get new homes. There's fresh soil and lots of water for them. It's a spectacular sunny day so they're planted on the perfect day.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

time, juice, and inside the brain

1 And so it goes that we are thankful for the time we do spend together. It's never long enough but it is always exactly what we need.
2 The apple trees are slowly getting picked and processed. I am considering using the big juicer to make apple juice/cider. Does anyone have suggestions on this? Thanks!
3 He's inside his head. As he gets himself ready for leaving he's going through his lists in his head, on his desk and packing and repacking. He's trying to be present but he's so focused on what he is doing and will be doing for the next few weeks that he's already left...just a bit.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

time's up, gardening, and do it again

1 He's sipping his morning tea at his computer desk reading the morning news and the phone rings. As soon as he says, 'Hi John', I know he's going back to work. He leaves Thursday.
2 The gardens are cleaned up except for some blackberry plants that need pulling out and one small bed. Hopefully tomorrow we can get the hydrangeas planted and small veggies need their soil replaced with better soil.
3 We work slowly but methodically and soon we have a rhythm. Rake, shovel, wheelbarrow, rake, shovel, wheelbarrow, dump out into truck, repeat.

Monday, 16 September 2013

more tree stories, not a scratch, and no energy left

1 Mondays can be a challenge especially when the weather is turning colder and we want to be inside cozy and warm. But we rise to the occasion and head outside to get the pine needles and rogue branches cleaned up from our last tree cutting adventure. hmmm Mr P arrives without a rake and with the big chainsaw, safety climbing gear, earmuff and two ladders. Does this mean what I think it means? Yes it does and we take out another tree and prune many more.
2 I'm injury free! One big branch grazes my head but I have my hood on so it slides off nicely and I barely feel a thing.
3 We're so tired that we eat snacks for dinner. We'd been working from 10:30am with a short lunch break and finished just before 7pm. Now that's a long day.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

market time, selection, and maze of roads, G

1 The farmer's market is busy with vendors, customers, children running and playing, dogs sniffing, bees buzzing and clouds hovering overhead.
2 Before we know it our bag is full of goodies like gluten free breads, licorice, corn on the cob (just picked this morning we are told), a jar of mixed nut butters, and two types of sausages.
3 The road that takes us back to the freeway is in the other direction so we decide to take a tour of the area before we head back. There are some gorgeous homes on the waterfront, little shacks, long driveways that hide houses and even a marina at the end of one road that says, no exit.
4 I miss my friend and hope all is well. I have a call in the morning at 10 but will try her after that.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

growing up, food for thought, and date

1 Our community has been experiencing growing pains over urban agriculture. A dispute has brought this to the forefront about three years ago and it's turned into a community issue that's morphed into bylaws and regulations. What should be so simple is so big that the council is bringing in consultants and resource people to try to mitigate further damage and to work to create the necessary or unnecessary paperwork.
2 The Harvest Market is the first one that has happened in Nanaimo. There is food, music, vendors but the bulk of the tables are displaying information on food, growing food, food protests, food unions, food community gardens and even a food society that teaches people how to cook.
3 I notice a friend of mine sitting in the audience with an older gentleman watching the fiddlers play. She gets up and as she passes me she smiles this knowing smile and I realize she's on a date! No words, just a nod and a smile. She's excited!

Friday, 13 September 2013

more, one, and looking up

1 More dead branches and one more tree get removed today. The yard still needs cleaning up but Mr P managed to get one truck and one trailer to the dump. He goes out later and cleans the rest of it up minus some minor raking we have to do. So grateful.
2 Only a bruise on one knee....thinks are looking up!
3 A good long soak and a cup of tea makes the world look right side up again.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

frog feasting, frog talk, what's that you say?, and oh dear

1 A productive morning with my coach. It's fun to go back to some ideas from a few months ago. One great saying is Eat the Frog. It means doing what is most unpleasant first so that you can cross it off of your list and focus on the good stuff. Lots of frog feasting gonna be going on next week!
2 The wee tree frogs make big sounds.They call back and forth to each other from the hot tub to the forest to the little spot by the front water feature. We are surrounded and serenaded.
3 The trees need to be taken care of. We prune, well he does and I instruct and advise where and how much. Some of my words he heeds and others fall on deaf ears. Okay so he had ear muffs on for noise control but still, I had my say.
4 Have I ever told you that I'm accident prone? My job is to hold the rope that is tied to the tree and make sure that they fall in the right direction. hmmmm What could go wrong? Well, I was a little excited to get this big mama down and in my excitement I stepped backwards and tripped on some branches and logs behind me. I couldn't see the where the tree was falling so I got up pretty fast! Okay I'm not moving so fast now, and my ego is as bruised as my body, but I'm alive and still accident prone!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

fingertips, apples, skyview

1 Extra large cinnamon buns with whipped cream cheese icing  are our afternoon snacks. Soon we are licking our fingers and lips  and moaning of it's goodness, sweetness and how full we are.
2 The apples are ready. Each morning there are more on the ground. I wonder if it's the apples coming down on their own or there is a little 'creature' helping. I guess I can't procrastinate picking the lovelies any longer. Applesauce, apple pie, apple crumble and just apple pieces will all be made and frozen.
3 The moon is missing. It's spooky but serene in the darkness. Just a sky of stars for light tonight.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

a good start, do it, and combo

1 What a way to start the day! We go for a walk/run then once we're rested a bit we nosh on poached eggs on toast with tea.
2 The gardens are calling. Please weed me, please cut me, please water me. I obey. Five hours of yardwork with more to be done.
3 Okay, I don't really obey totally but the bulk of it is done. Tomorrow we finish the gardens and move onto chainsaws and applesauce. Interesting combination isn't it?

Monday, 9 September 2013

what they did, hikes, and coming soon!

1 Another visit from Mr P's nephew and his girlfriend today. Eddy and Jenny drop off our truck, we feed them a delicious meal of salad and seafood and soup then drop them at the airport. Brief but fun, they tell us tales of the wedding they attended , (with some shenanigans included), and about their hike up Mount Arrowsmith.
2 Imagine doing a vertical hike up a steep mountain face in four hours! We see the map and decide we will do a lower less stressful route. It's on our list of 'hikes to do.'
3 G and I have a coffee/tea date this morning. It will be so great having a real visit and that's coming up next month! yay!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

market, friend, and gone but not forgotten

1 The Cedar Farmer's Market has a great vibe to it. Over 50 vendors with everything from vegetables and fruit, baking, oils, honey, foods, jewelry and more. Our purchases were plums, gluten free bread, and gluten free peanut butter cookies. My fave? Plums
2 He thoroughly enjoys the peach jam that my blogger friend sent as a pay it forward. Big thank you again to L for the delicious treat.
3 I'm reminded of the love that I shared with my parents. It wasn't perfect but it was perfect in the moment and perfect for us. Missing them both this day but knowing they are in a better place and together. xo

Saturday, 7 September 2013

kites, say it, and Mrs Crankypants

1 A Chinese Moon Festival took place this afternoon and we had a chance to see bits and pieces of it. My first time flying a kite! Loved it~ I think this is something we might have fun doing on the off season at the beach.
2 Reading status updates on facebook sometimes is like doing a crossword puzzle. People seem to post half of what they mean, or a full on curiosity or sometimes it's just plain confusing. There's something decent about the quote, 'Say what you mean, and mean what you say.'
3 I'm not meaning to be cranky but it's obvious that I am. He takes it in stride and asks, 'So how're you feeling now?', then chuckles as he sees the scowl on my face. Hard not to laugh at that.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

1 I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. When a cluster migraine hits, it's often accompanied by an assortment of aches and pains and is the type of headache that will ease then return with a vengence for days. Today it is day three and milder but still there. Here's hoping that day four is pain free.
2 We have visitors on Thursday and Friday and through it all I managed to stay vertical and visit. Our nephew and his girlfriend are on the island for a wedding this Saturday and plans change for them so they spend the day with us. We take a quick trip to Coombs,  pick up some meats at a roadside cottage,and finally drive along oceanside before heading home in the early evening.
3 There is a plan in the works for Monday. The three of them will do a six hour hike up Mount Arrowsmith. It's a bit, okay it's a lot too strenuous for me so I'll be home creating a nice seafood feast for them when they return. I'll get the hot tub ready for Mr P!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

disorderly conduct, new from old, and the price we pay

1 The local community radio station is in chaos. We take a drive to the station to see what we can find out and find the police there. It's all a civil matter so the police are not involved and don't want to be involved. Russ talks to one camp and I talk to the other. We both tell them the same thing. Open, transparent dialogue will bring emotions down and help both sides to see what is really happening.
2 Making a new friend on Facebook through an old friend in the Kootenays. Turns out we have many of the same friends and her partner is step dad to our youngest sons best friend! So looking forward to getting to know her and her partner finally!
3 The cookies are worth every bite! Tomorrow we RUN longer, faster, harder!

Monday, 2 September 2013

sneaking in, naptime, and mother nature

1 B takes three of us on a jaunt to Wallace Point which is on the naval base in Nanoose Bay. We walk up a lovely pathway that leads to the barb wired fencing that says no trespassing but we aren't deterred by that and it appears many others aren't either judging by the well worn pathway. We climb the hill, and around the fence and soon we are weaving our way to the tip of the point for some spectacular views of the ocean and little islands.

2 We both nap after we get home. Mr P sleeps almost 3 hours and is headache free when he wakes. Meantime I've had a quicker nap and have tea and pizza ready for him.
3 It's hard to believe that this old cat can still hunt but darn if she doesn't have yet another squirrel. Seriously though, they sit up in the tree and taunt her for hours on end. I suppose it's what nature looks like.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

good advice, two, and two

1 A friend uses one of my photos for her Facebook cover. I haven't seen her online for a while so it was rather surprising. She encourages me to enter contests and advertise the business.
2 Dinner combo for two. Delicious Japanese food for two people who had great intentions of doing lots and ended up doing more nothing.
3 Two frogs are on the edge of the hot tub. One is brown and the other is green. They don't like the sound of the camera and quickly head away from me avoiding getting their photos taken. One takes a swim and needs to be rescued while the other hoofs it, rather hops it outta there.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

just us perhaps?, sandman calling, and feast for a feline

1 I've made my list and checked it twice, packing up the camper is happening. I've decided to get doubles of the staples and that way it doesn't need to come in and out of the camper. It's taking me a while but some days are slower than others. The bed mattress is changed to a delightfully comfortable foamy, the bed is made and ready, some of the kitchen items are packed up still a ways to go but there's time. We will go camping when everyone else is back to work, school, whatever and the beaches and hiking spots are people free!
2 The sun is hot today and before I know it I've drifted away to dreamland and have a lovely afternoon nap on the back patio.
3 The fish has freezer burn so the little cat gets a feast and a half. She's looking for more...impossible but true.

Friday, 30 August 2013

the cook, the feeders, the business, and the new homeowners!

1 Mr P makes a delicious breakfast for us this morning of poached eggs on gluten free toast and we share some toast that has almond butter, blueberry jam and hemp hearts. Luxury!
2 The hummingbird feeders are all clean and refilled and we hope to lure back the ones that have turned traitor and gone to feed elsewhere.
3 Yesterday was a landmark day. I received my first official cheque for a print and I was featured on the site where I sell my fine art photography! When I took my cheque to get cashed the clerk asks me for a card because she's looking for a photographer for herself. Work is falling into place, it's getting exciting. Making business cards tomorrow!!!

4 The kids have purchased a new home in Kelowna! So proud and happy for them. They move in November 1st! Congrats guys! xoxox

Thursday, 29 August 2013

gone, visual, and truth or fiction

1 It was time to hit the delete button, after all it had taken over everything and was making my life miserable. Perhaps  one day it won't feel so invasive, or perhaps I'll read the directions, or perhaps even I'll be more patient. For now it's goodbye to Google+
2 A run in the rain and I get to see the new home being built up the street. It's up so fast and already they are painting the outside lovely shades of brown and the front entrance are varnished wood pillars. I think the men get so much work done because of the rock music they listen to. It made me run faster too!
3 The thunder is booming, lightning overhead and yet there we are in the hot tub. He tells me the lightning is miles away and because I'm so comfortable I fall for his words and stay put.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

keep trying, outdoors, and sign here please

1 Listening to Martin Luther King's speech,  "I have a dream", I realize that while we have come a long way since the 60s there is still a very long way to go.
2 Today our walking group does a tour of the Colliery Dam Park. It's been slated for demolition by city council but there is still a fight to save it.

3 How fun it is to practice signing my own name! I'm signing the photos that I have just sold. I feel like an artist!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

ring ring, what we did, and catch some zzzz's

1 A few phone calls this morning and some catching up with family and friends. Of course it all goes best with a hot steaming cup of tea.
2 We go crazy with cleaning once we get started. I work on cleaning up gardens and flower beds while he does gutters and then powerwashes the house and areas around the house.
3 Sometimes it feels good to be 'dog tired.'

Monday, 26 August 2013

fruit, ancestry, and photo submissions

1 Blackberries, and lots of them.
2 Reconnecting with Mr Ps family. I've been talking to his 74 year old cousin and she's a dream.
3 Opportunity? Do I dare?

Sunday, 25 August 2013

clean, clean, planning, and I gotta be me

1 What do you do when company leaves? Well, I clean. Mr P says I also clean when I am processing. er um, yes the house is incredibly clean now.
2 The hot tub is clean too. Cold but clean. Tomorrow we will have a good long soak.
3 We spend some time planning our next camping adventure. Looks like it might be to the interior to visit family and friends and bring home a large trailer with items from a storage locker. Time to plan this out on the whiteboard.
3a I am a whiteboard addict and proud of it!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

last wave, goodbye but not for long, best love and jennett

1 He texts a message that says he's doing the last wave. We can't see them anymore because of all the people in the international departure area but we wave regardless.
2 It's never easy saying goodbye. He's so far away. This time though we know it's not for long and that makes it easier.
3 Six weeks of fun with two of my favourite people. Love you guys xo
4 After we leave the airport we visit my aunt who's been on chemo for about six months now. She's finally agreed to see us. We stop by expecting a short visit but she's doing very well so I give her foot and hand massages, Mr P makes tea for us then she takes a short nap while we shop for her a bit and then we make dinner for us all. She's happy to have the company and even sends a voicemail later just to let us know she's planning more visits with us.

Friday, 23 August 2013

one more sleep, scale, and who's the winner

1 It's their last full day with us here in Canada and we are keeping the tears at bay until tomorrow.
2 He weighs himself then holds each of their suitcases to make sure their weight is not over. He playfully jokes that he's the one gaining weight not the bags.
3 Our game of mini golf is full of laughs and extra strokes a little rainshower and a camera with no CF card (sigh). But it's good fun and as usual Nick is on top of the leader board. Not a competitive bone in his body, haha!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

planted, back to me, packing up, and together

1 The new trees are planted and will make a great hedge once they're established. Fast growing and if properly topped will be a nice bushy privacy barrier.
2 My camera is back home where it belongs. It's cleaned and repaired. What did I learn? Do not change lenses at the beach. Get a backup waterproof camera for those shoots.
3 They're packing, weighing, repacking, weighing trying to get their suitcases packed to the exact weight required by the airlines. Saturday they leave for China once again.
4 What an amazing holiday we've had together. The majority of their time was spent here with us and for that I am so grateful. Love them both so much~

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

on track, shoppers, and changes

1 Finally a morning walk/run. Oh, how I've missed this and am happy to be back at it.
2 We spend some time this afternoon at the mall, shopping. What a great time we had together. Top shop? Why it's Winners, of course!
3 He is doing some in depth research into IBS and has decided to eliminate wheat from his diet. Hopefully he will get some relief.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Where oh where have I been?

1 Jane and Leo (Chen Tao) and Rebecca had been visiting friends in Winnipeg and are delighted at the difference in locations. The island is scenic, cooler and their hotel is right on the waterfront.
2 Mr P is the driver for part of Friday. They go to the beach, to the mall and then the waterfalls.
3 I stay home and get things ready for a BBQ for them all. Chipolte burgers, marinated salmon steaks, pancit, marinated mushrooms, salad with pistachio nuts and mango, and the grand finale of blueberry pie and ice cream.
4 Mr P entertains them with his remote control helicopter. They take turns flying and crashing until all of our batteries need recharging!
5 After dinner we move to the covered patio while Mr P gets a fire started in the small chimnea. They are thrilled with it all and best of all we manage to throw together some s'mores. Mark and Diva love roasting marshmallows and eventually we all eat at least one burnt one!
6 Saturday and we had to Campbell River for whale watching. The whales didn't appear but we were thrilled to see White Side Dolphins and drive through rapids while watching bald eagles.
7 Off to the Sandcastle competition in Parksville to check out the winners (First place went to a fellow from Nelson BC), and for some hot dogs, fries and ice cream. We decide to stay for the fireworks and it was well worth it. They moored a boat in the bay and launch the fireworks from there. We sit on a log and enjoy the show that's put to music.
8 Lost car keys on the beach are found by Chen Tao and he is suitably named the hero of the night!
9 A trip to Victoria but first stopping to show our Chinese friends a local Farmers Market. We feast on local vegetarian pizza, poutine, cupcakes and unlimited iced teas made with ginger and mint and all sorts of deliciousness.
10 Diva has a difficult time saying good bye. I give her lots of hugs and reassure her as best I can. I am touched to have made such a sweet connection with her.
11 A second weekend trip south island to visit family and I spend a few hours with my best friend G. As always she is delightful to talk to and we share as always and hug goodbye wishing our visit was longer.
12 We stop at a greenhouse that is going out of business and find trees, hydrangeas, chinese lanterns and lavender. It's difficult to reign in my desire to buy more but best to see what fits where and go back. Oooh, greenhouse road trip....yes!
13 My first payment for photography!  Imagine getting paid for doing what you love. They pay me for the photo shoot with a Costco gift card and are thrilled with the results. Now this is what it's all about. Oh and as a bonus, a friend calls today wanting to buy a photograph! Life is good.
14 With no plans for Tuesday, Sara suggests  we have a day to ourselves to do whatever we like. Luxury!
15 We are hoping the two sons will find a way to see each other before Nick flies back to China. Sending prayers up for a solution.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

parents, laughing it off, and whiteboard magic - again

1 Jane, Leo and Rebecca arrived today. Diva and Mark are very happy to see their parents and it shows! Smiling faces, lots of hugs and stories to tell. They are two wonderful families and we are thrilled to get to know them.
2 We share a chuckle that turns into a guffaw and finally belly laughter.
3 The magical whiteboard is now doing it's work. We are using it to plan our time for the month. I love how we can work together as a team and make the days flow.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Catching up...

Yikes it's hard to post when there is so much activity going on! I admit it's wonderful to have everyone here.

1 We have two 7 year old Chinese children staying with us for the week. Diva and Mark.
2 This house is usually so quiet so it's nice to hear laughter and chatter.
3 They are enrolled in Day Camp and settle in quiet nicely. They've got little booklets with them that have key phrases for survival. I especially like, " I have to pee" and "Call Nick or Sara". Sara says the most important page is our phone numbers. I think I'd have to agree on that one.
4 What a busy day! The kidlets are off for a day of activities including swimming at the wave pool. Later we take them to a small beach to play in the sand and they make a sandcastle with a giant moat, more hot tub after a dinner of chicken wings and egg/tomato soup, and finally baking and decorating cupcakes.
5 I'm ever so grateful for the editing work that has come my way. I love the instant gratification of this type of work.
6 Ah, my bed and a snuggler beside me.
7 The farmers market is so much bigger this week. There are twice as many vendors and we pick up some fresh figs.
8 The children have fun buying cookies and practicing their English. They order pizza and have fun watching it being made in front of them and then cooked in fired oven!
9 My camera is in for maintenance and I'm feeling like I'm missing a limb. Luckily for me I am intact!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

ah yes, thoughtfulnes, and what do you think?

1 Hot tubbing while star I spoiled?
2 Beautiful gifts from a new friend came in the mail today! Your thoughtful note made it even more special L! Thank you so very much... Best love to you~
3 The camper is almost packed. It has been many years since we've been camping so this is unfolding slowly. Goodness who knew we needed so much stuff. Mr P suggests paper plates, plastic utensils and cups. At first I resisted but now I'm rethinking especially given that we aren't cooking anything that requires a steak knife. Your thoughts fellow campers?

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

eating out, loaded, and discovery

1 Our Tuesday is a day for running around and errands. We spend some time at the local Costco and Sara has fun with Mr P as they try all the testing stations. Yogurt, chips and salsa, dried fruit and on and on.
2 The camper gets put on the big truck and Mr P is most pleased to have this job over and done with!
3 A newspaper article and a phone call and Mr P finds out he has a family member or perhaps even a lot of family members living near us. This article is about his fraternal grandmother's younger brother, Alfred Trueman. Alf turned 102 on July 30th of this year.. We are all thrilled and looking forward to following up and meeting new family!

Monday, 5 August 2013

shhh, crab, and itinerary

1 It's BC Day and the expectation is lots of activities but our sleepy city is quiet and so are we.
2 A trip to the harbour and we see fellas pulling up crab traps. Sara is lucky enough to pick one up and not get nipped by the claws. It's too small to keep so she throws it back to the sea for the crabbers.
3 We find out that the meteor showers are best from August 10-13 with the 12th being the best time. Tonight we practice our watching and the hot tub has the best venue so far.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

hikes, posing, and stars

1 Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, Englishman River Falls and the community beach all are perfect in their own way. We all agree with like Little Qualicum Falls best because the falls themselves are so large, loud and quite spectacular.
2 She loves having pictures taken in poses.
3 It's quiet with a cool breeze so we all head to the hot tub for some star gazing. Only a few shooting stars tonight but the meteor showers are starting soon and we'll be ready.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Mr P is home, better days, e-coaching, and stellar!

1 What a feeling to wake up to a smiling face and twinkling eyes! Good morning~
2 He's  making more sales, doing more work, is organizing himself. Things are looking up.
3 E-coaching is so much fun. The client today is a lovely young lady who is teaching her 17 month old son English. His name is LuYi and he's adorable. He certainly is learning because he is surprised when I say mama to him and so he snuggles into his mother's shoulder.
3a The team leader says my coaching is 'stellar'. Great reviews from her as well. She says I rocked it, but I still like the word stellar.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

blessings and love to you

Every now and again life throws us curves and we wonder what we've done to 'deserve' this, but as they say, what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. This last week was one of these times yet we survived. Enough said.

Here's a few photos in lieu of the posts.
I'm happy to be back. xo

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

accomplices, how it is, and hopeful

1 An early morning run with the birds, one cat and a few barking dogs.
2 There's no need to over react. Things just play out as they will.
3 Today I'm doing a bit of running around but it's all for a good cause. Fingers are crossed that the kids house will sell and things will go smoothly for the purchase of their new place in the Okanagan.

Monday, 22 July 2013

monday monday monday

1 Summer weather means warm breezes, floating clouds and ice cream cones.
2 We make small talk fun and romantic. He's going to be gone for much longer now and probably after August back to camp, meantime we make the best of it.
3 Our well water is cold, tasty and plentiful.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

early risers, back to sleep, and home soon perhaps

1 We're all fairly alert considering we are up at 4 am so we can arrive an hour before their 6 am flight. They check in and are sent directly to security and with a quick wave goodbye, they're gone.
2 I crawl back into bed as soon as I'm home and sleep another four hours. Oh did I need that.
3 Mr P  tells me that they are considering sending him home on Tuesday. His plans change daily so for today we'll enjoy this thought.

Friday, 19 July 2013

plans, fretting, pizza choice, and whoa

1 Nick and Sara are headed to the interior to spend time with the other side of his family. A week at a remote cabin on a lake then a week with his brothers family. Those little ones are eager to see their aunt and uncle.  After that they're back here with us for a few more weeks with us and possible a couple of families from China who may be coming to the island on vacation.
1a She's apprehensive about spending so much time without her connection to China or her cell but this could be a nice relaxing break.
2 She says that her favourite pizza joint is still Pizza Hut. It must be the stuffed crust and all the meat!
3 A shocker of an ending on the last episode of Game of Thrones. It caught me off guard and I even had a few tears. Strange, I rarely cry watching films. Must be my sensitive side <laughing out loud>

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

1 Sometimes words can't say what the heart feels. I love having both my sons near xo
2 Sara and I take a trip to the waterfront while Nick works out at the gym. She's intrigued by the sailboats, seaplanes and the lack of people. In China there are fees to enter any parks or waterfronts and would be packed with people. Here it's open spaces, fewer people, clean air and blue skies.
3 There are no dyers in China. Washing machines yes, but no dryers so Sara does laundry multiple times a day. She says that Bounce dryer sheets smell like Canada
4 He likes to have long showers where he lies in a few inches of water in  bath and lets the droplets hit his body. Water massage.
5 Time to get the yard watered and cleaned up
6 The heat comes to the island so we head to the water.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Thursday through Monday

Holy, time has certainly flown by with the kids visiting us from China. Here's a few of the highlights.
1 Mr P flew out this morning. He will be home in a few weeks this time we hope for a good long time.
2 We head to the beach again and this time the tide is not kind to us. All the shells and sand dollars are hidden under water and the wind whips our faces but we take pictures and act very silly anyways.
3 The cat loves Sara and constantly climbs on the desk surprising her. Soon enough though our little cat is on her lap and quite at home there. It's amusing to watch cats pursue people who try to ignore them isn't it?!
4 They are shopping til they are dropping but it's all fun because they are buying small gifts, books and trinkets for their students. I'm imagining their little faces beaming with joy when they receive their items.
5 The Kelowna kids are busy with house hunting. Soon enough they will be in a new home and putting down roots.
6 There is hope for more editing jobs from the University where the kids once worked. I love editing. I think it's the instant or fairly instant gratification of making something better than good.
7 We create a list of things to do on the whiteboard and strangely enough it seems to be growing instead of shrinking! So nice to have a wide selection of things to do every day.
8  It's fun to try to show them or do new things every day. Sara is posting photos on her chinese chat program and is enjoying the feedback.
9 They sit in the back seat and I drive them around like a limo driver. Now that was fun!
10 A trip to Rathtrevor Beach and then ice cream in Coombs again!!! This time the favourite flavour by far is Root Beer Float.
11 We return to the beach we went to with MrP and it's sand dollar heaven! She fills a shopping bag with tons of them and will hopefully have them dried out enough to take back to China.
12 A work day with no one there but me means I can focus on my project and even though some other work was difficult to figure out with no one there to help me, eventually I figure it out.
13 A yacht is docked at the at marina and it is beyond huge. It is in the slip and takes up enough space for 10 or 12 regular sized yachts.
14 We walk along the seawall tonight enjoying the warm summer weather and the cool breeze from the sea. Nick enjoys a good workout at the gym!
15 Sara cooks authentic Chinese dishes for us for dinner tonight. Beef and green peppers, a tofu dish, steak and dumplings with pork and garlic. Deliciousness in every bite.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

leaving, celebrating, and looking up

1 It's another busy today for the household today. Mr P is headed to work for a couple of weeks so he's getting it all organized to fly out tomorrow.
2 Sara has a birthday tomorrow but we celebrate today with a rock climbing adventure followed by a patio dinner where Nick surprises her with a new camera!
3 It is time for star gazing in the hot tub....yes!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

heart, ice head?, and green

1 Two of my favourite people. Best fun!
2 The ice cream shop is a big hit. She has a double cone which ends up being three scoops (cream soda, rainbow and wet paint) and his single cone has two (raspberry and cookie dough)! 
3 The little boy has a chin that's green from his ice cream. His dad tells him he's got a leprechaun chin!

Monday, 8 July 2013

pay me, what they did, and sleepy time

1 Monday brings with it a work day! Yuck to work, yay to pay!
2 The kids spend the day doing various things. Nick heads to the gym and then buses it home while Sara lounges and sends me texts that say she's snacking too much and is a little intimidated with being alone. She's used to having people around all the time and our little piece of rural life is a bit frightening for her.
3 A good meal followed by a soak in the hot tub and soon we are all in our beds sleeping it off.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

breakfast, beach, and heron

1 He's decided to eat a different kind of sugary cereal each morning. In China it just doesn't taste the same he says. It's hilarious to see the line up of cereal boxes on the counter.
2 The beach calls to us and we head down to explore low tide. As expected it is low and a lot of people are taking advantage of the warm sunny Sunday.
3 The heron let's me approach very closely and the camera lens does not disappoint.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

arrival, what it means, and luxurious digs

1 The kids arrive from Hangzhou the same day they left. Their flight comes from Shanghai to Korea, then on to Vancouver followed by a bus ride to the ferry then over to the island to us.
2 Our hug is long and meaningful. I wish it would last forever. In my heart it does.
3 The night ends with two very very tired people falling into bed and literally moaning out loud at the luxury of their bed.

Friday, 5 July 2013


1 The mosquitoes and noseeums are feasting on us. We find solace inside and vow to kill every last one of them.
2 The greenhouse is replanted with more lettuce and the cucumbers and tomatoes are ripening nicely. It's all going according to the plan.
3 We take a short 3k walk early enough to avoid the heat.
4 He likes playing risk and rarely loses but when he does he rants about losing to a computer then smiles as he realizes what he's just said.
5 The blinds are up and there are just two panels to put up on the patio doors. Light brown sheers will do the trick quite nicely.
6 They are on their way. She texts me to let us know they're changing planes in Korea and will be landing tomorrow around noon. She sounds very excited.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

walkers, take your time, and success!

1 The walking group heads to Cable Bay Trail for a walk down to Dodd's Narrows. We see little wildlife along the way and it's unusually quiet. Perhaps that's because of the warm temperature and high humidity.
1a The hues of blue are shades of awe to me.

2 This creature was trying desperately to make it to the other side of the trail unscathed. As far as we know he/she made it.
3 She has some trouble on the way back and doesn't want to slow the group by taking breaks. I walk with her and encourage her to take her time. It really doesn't matter how fast each person goes, it just matters that we go, try and are proud of what we can do.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

whoosh, songs, and cooling off

1 Another hot and humid day on the island but we are blessed to have a patio that is almost always in the shade and includes a view of the bird feeders, trees and our gardens.
2 The wind chimes suddenly play a light sound as a cooler breeze wisps its way through the trees. The birds don't even notice and soon the sound waves are a collaboration between the birds, bees, squirrels and the chimes.
3 Kosha is black and white so the heat is tougher for the old gal. She finds it coolest to stretch out on the concrete under our patio table. She is most grateful for fresh cool water and dips her entire face into the bowl.

Monday, 1 July 2013

happy bday canada, favourite, and sweet tooth

1 Happy Canada Day! We didn't go out, just puttered about and got tons of stuff done.
2 Day lilies especially these in a rich yellowy orange hue.
3 I have a craving for chocolate cake with thick gooey icing but nope we got nothing like that here so after a bit of digging about a bag of chocolate covered blueberries is found. mmmm

Sunday, 30 June 2013

with feeling, spice it up, and tell her like it is

1  He sang with pure raw emotion. These two gentlemen provided music at the farmers market this afternoon.
2 The gardens were ready for a thinning so tonight we ate a salad full of fresh lettuce, spinach, arugula and nasturtiums; spicy.
3 The squirrel isn't too sure whether or not it's safe to eat from the bird feeder. He tries a few different routes then gets spooked and heads up to higher, safer territory and proceeds  to loudly scold the cat.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

sun, phase one, and deliciousness

1 Today we sleep in and wake to glorious sunshine. Finally, finally we see the sun.
2 We all know that saying, it's never what it seems. Well today we definitely had one of those moments. A compost needs to be built behind the shop and in my mind it's a quick job of screwing together the pallets and viola easy peasy. However, the neighbours have a tree on their side that leans over the fence into our yard and is growing at a phenomenal pace, so it has to come down first. My guy loves chainsawing and it's not long before he's on the highest ladder, in his harness gear to cutting it down in  three stages. We fill the trailer with the branches and tomorrow I'll finish the clean up and then fingers crossed the compost shall be built!
3 Crustless quiche that is filled with mushrooms, spinach, onions, peppers, brocooli, eggs and cheeses....mmmmmm.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

morning, tea, and under the weather

1 We wake to a wet and dark morning. The storms are expected to burn off later in the day but for now it feels rather like winter.
2 Ginger tea that stings the throat but still soothes it.
3 This cold has me grounded so if you don't hear from me for a few days it's because I'm sleeping it off!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

home again

We spent the past few days with our son, his wife and two grandchildren. Is there anything more uplifting, loving and rejuvenating that having little ones around? Isabelle loves attention and this visit was no exception. She especially loves hiking with her Grampa. They get all dressed up and head out the front door, across the street and right up the mountain. Of course she has to stop for rocks, sticks, flowers and every other distraction. This one time he tells us he carried her up and down the mountain. She certainly had fun and still had energy to burn when they got home too. Kes of course is mister snugly. He was under the weather so much more snuggling was with his mom. He is mobile now so loves the chase me game and tickles too. Mom and Dad had lots to share and treated us to some delicious meals of chicken Parmesan and a sausage spaghetti. We're home now and it's back to reality. Nick and Sara are headed our way in 10 days and staying for 6 weeks. Not all with us but we'll take what we can get!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

crazy man, deli treats, and vegetables

1 He's full of it today and that means he's acclimatizing to home. <3
2 At the deli we treat ourselves to mac and cheese with bacon and a giant turkey leg. We sit outside munching while the staff makes our turkey, feta,and spinach sausages.
3 It's time to replant in the greenhouse because our broccoli and cauliflower is ready for eating already! Seeing as it's only June perhaps we can plant something we've not had yet.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

relaxed really?, a little humour, face it, and cookie

1 A trip to the dentist usually means stress inclusive of a racing heart and sweaty palms but today is different. So for some reason today's dental appointment was different. The assistant is lovely, pleasant and gives me a warm blanket for my legs. Sheesh, who wears a dress to the dentist?!  Part way through I noticed that my body wasn't tense, I was relaxed and it was so much easier.  I'm not sure what the tipping point was but I'm happy enough.
1a The assistant laughed when I told her I liked the sound of the high pitched drill. I think it's because it signals he's almost done!
2 We talk with the kids in China tonight and have so much fun laughing at our mutual silliness. Nick makes the most animated faces ever!
3 He really liked the chocolate chip cookies made with chickpeas. Not my favourite but then maybe that's a good thing because I won't eat any.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

1 1/4 cups canned* chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter (can use PB2 from gym to make healthier, check your labels )
1/4 cup (80 grams) honey (agave would be amazing too!)
1 teaspoon baking powder**
a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
1/2 cup (90 grams) chocolate chips

* My can was a 400 gram can, 240 grams without the water, and I used all but a few tablespoons

** If you need grain-free baking powder, you can use 1 part cream of tartar + 1 part baking soda + 2 parts arrowroot.

Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C.

Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.

Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.

With wet hands, form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Yields about fourteen 1 1/2″ cookie dough ball

Monday, 17 June 2013

coach in training, whoosh, and awesomeness

1 I really enjoyed watching the online coaching session today. Interaction between coach and mom was so involved and multidimensional. I do my first session this Friday night.
2 The wind was taken out of my sails today and I am still standing.
3 Black Dog Alison Krauss Robert Plant

Saturday, 15 June 2013

51, diy, and food!

1 It's R's birthday today and he's in good spirits. Two more days and he's home.
2 The mixture is vinegar, salt and dishwashing liquid. It is supposed to kill those pesky unwanted weeds. So far it's looking like it's working.
3 A meal dropped off by a friend. What  a nice surprise!

Friday, 14 June 2013

home to stay, fix me up, and over and out

1 He's coming home for a while this time. He's laid off and gonna be underfoot for a while. Yay!
2 Our chair is amazing. It's a recliner with heat and massage. Today both are turned on and working their magic on my body.
3 At first I was taken aback by her sharp tone and words but she has limited patience and it's showing. It isn't me, it's her. So, I kept a low profile, said little to nothing and plowed through the rest of the day. I'm grateful that the day is over now.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

thursdays thoughts

1 It was a good day for getting out in the yard. The lupines are finished but also needed to be moved. The roots are huge and so are they. The garden now has more sun.
2 Tomatoes, cucumbers and cilantro make the transition to the one garden, while the other gets squash and lettuce.
3 Two dear neighbours bring me treats today. First file folders and a book then some new plants for the garden and then a burger combo is dropped off. Lovely.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

statues, no way to stay dry, and water

1 The photographer uses real models to mimic classic sculptures. The real twist is the clothing he puts on them. Very unique.
2 Our walking group heads out on a semi cloudy day for our weekly walk/hike. One km into the walk the skies open and we are hit with torrential rains. We all gather under trees and try to stay as dry as we can but that's impossible. Everyone is laughing as how silly we look.
3 The creek wasn't even noticeable on our way up but on the way down it's raging and almost covers the little bridge that we must cross. I suppose this is what is called a flash flood.