A randomness on Friday

This morning I got an email from my friend Nancy, who has resurrected her Random Friday blog hop. I used to really enjoy that hop and am really happy she’s made this decision.

So welcome back to the randomness :D

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I’m so sorry about winter out East this year. Completely don’t understand what’s going on in the world. Here it’s mild, early spring, very little snow pack. Loving the sunshine, but am a bit worried about the lack of snow for summer water.

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Tomatoes, organic or not, big or small, roma or beefsteak, tomatoes taste rather bland this time of year, don’t they?

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Clover’s lunch time and after school art classes are going really well. This bunch of self portrait paintings, done by 6 and 7 yr olds are going to be turned into pencil cases for them. Aren’t they wonderful?

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Years ago I’ve lost one of these pots to carelessness and an unexpected frost. I still have the lid and am having the darnest time replacing the pot. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way round?

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Did I mention I’m loving the sunshine? :D

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Hello from Sunday night :D

I’m so excited to report that I saw the first bee of the season this week!

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And the sun continued to shine that cold, brave light, but out at the river it still looked very wintry.

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We had a brave alfresco lunch, seduced by the sunshine and the fluffy red patio blankets, we thought we might be a bit cool, but we were fine. And we love eating outside any chance we have.

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There was also a large home and garden expo downtown, so C and I spent a couple nice hours mooching around.

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There were the usual lovely home displays, but a large amount of the booths were really hard push, hard sell things people never knew they needed. To tell you the truth, it reminded us a little of that “as seen on television” push.

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But there were some lovely bits too.
In the home…

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garden…

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and personal love department. Actually, C and I really loved these bracelets and bought ourselves one each.

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At my local river park the Oemleria (Indian Plum) is blooming. This is always the first native plant which blooms and it blooms everywhere, all over the place, every park, every forest, every little bit of wild land, and, it’s a super good thing because it gives so much value to the first bees and the resident hummingbirds.

river finds

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It’s been an incredibly mild winter and there is virtually no snow pack on the mountains. The rivers are pretty low and I worry that there will be water shortages later on in the year.

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But for now the sun is still shining. :D

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Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Hello from Sunday night

Oh what full days we’re having! :D

Robert and I even managed to fit in a day in Seattle.

We went to visit a friend, to pick up some specialty car parts R had sent to our friend, and to visit the Museum of Flight and our favourite plane, The Blackbird.

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I’m in awe of this beautiful piece of aviation sculpture, and each time we come visit, I just stand transfixed staring at it for as long as I can.

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And I love to sit in the pilot’s seat and pretend I can fly it. Wouldn’t that be fantastic to actually fly it?

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Not sure what’s with that photo. R probably said something rude just as he snapped it. :D

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Anyway, I love this plane so much I even wrote a long ode to it a few years ago. Each time I stand there I say the poem to myself. Here it is: Blackbird

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There are plenty of other beautiful planes at the museum. Here is R’s favourite. It’s practically silent.

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I also love this reproduction of Amelia Earhart’s plane. It once completed her famous flight, the one where she was lost.

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One of our favourite area is the WWII exhibition. It always takes our breath away to stand there and listen. So very humbling.

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Of course, we had to stop for lunch and supper. Oh my. I love American diners! And Olive Garden! I came back two pounds heavier! (I know it’s so bad for me, but once a year or so I can’t resist the chicken fried steak!)

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On the weekend we got out to the country. I love mooching around the vintage shops.

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I found this lovely book called “Counting one’s Blessings; The Selected Letter of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother” I really wanted it but the $29 price tag put me off. Thank goodness for iPhones. It costs $5 on Amazon!!! I’m getting it. :D

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We also popped into C’s favourite boutique The White House, where she spied a lovely necklace a couple weeks ago and wanted to go back to get it.

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I’ll leave you with this silly thing: My two at lunch exploring their inner teen angst. :D

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

A mid-winter picnic

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Take my hand and come with us. Come high up on the mountain, away from the winter ocean fog, above the clouds, into the sun. Come hike the sky line Baden Powell trail for a while. Fall in love with the dogs and mourn as their owners tug them away. Explore the winter weeds and the new spring greening. Don’t worry, I’ve packed some hot tea and some nourishing soup.

Listen to the birds.

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Happy birthday mom

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party

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kitchen talk

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It’s not easy being a Christmas baby. One’s Boxing Day birthday is often very conveniently wrapped up with a Christmas celebration, but we’ve always tried to make it a special day for mom in some way.

My mother turned 80 years young yesterday, and we celebrated in grand style at the beautiful, Christmas-shiny home of our friend Jane. About 30 of mom’s friends came to help celebrate her birthday, and a huge treat for me because my son Jonathan and his lovely girl Chantal were in town and could join us. We all had a lovely time with plenty of yummy nibbles, plenty of wine and wonderful cake.

Happy birthday and many happy returns of the day mom! We love you. X

From our house to yours, Merry Christmas

There’s so much excitement round here. Do you all feel like that Christmas eve?

Christmas eve is the traditional Czech Christmas celebration, and, as my mother is coming to celebrate with us, I’m making a traditional Czech feast which includes a carp.

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And here is the beast!

Robert thinks carp is a big joke. I explained that one must eat the carp to have the right to put the carp scales into their wallet, to insure that one won’t run out of money for the whole of the next year.

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And he said, “Let me get this straight. At some point millions of years ago, some Czech officials said, ‘How are we going to get our good people to eat this horrible, bony, but prolific fish?’ ‘I know, let’s make up a superstition!'” :D

Lol, it might be true! It’s as big a pain to prepare as it is to eat. See that scale in my hair? That one chose me!

This particular fish came completely intact, which meant I had to gut it! (Brave girl me!) I have to tell you something. Inside carp is a sort of hourglass shaped sac which is its swim bladder. It looks like a balloon, and, as children, my cousins and I were given these “balloons” to play with while our grandmother prepared the fish. (there were usually three or four carp swimming in the tub over night) I told R this story and he laughed and said that next jousting day, I better not say anything about the little British children marching around holding fake severed heads if I played with fish organs as a child. I guess he has a point.

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There was a little last minute prezzy wrapping.

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And, as usual, Morgan did her best to help.

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Then, then all the wrapping was done…

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…Morgan took up station in the kitchen to keep an eye on supper.

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The evening came and we sat down to our Czech Christmas supper.

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And Morgan took up residence in the dining room.
Yes, she was given hand-outs under the table. Spoiled cat. Milo was under a blanket in the TV room and so he missed out on the carp.

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We had a bit of wine and exchanged prezzies with my mom. She gave me the most beautiful and huge amethyst geode. It’s just so glorious that it now has pride of place in the middle of the mantle. I’ll take a photo soon and show you.

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Then we kicked off our shoes and went into the family room to watch a movie. R picked You’ve Got Mail. I’ve never seen it and it was lovely.

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All the prezzies went under the tree…

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…and off we went eager to wake up for our traditional British Christmas morning.

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Just as we were in bed, there was a soft thump from the kitchen. That scrubby little Morgan climbed up on the counter and dragged a whole loaf of bread out of the bread basket and onto the floor!!!

But now all is still and all is calm. I wish you all a wonderfully merry Christmas day with loads of love and warmth to sustain you for the whole year. I thank you for your loving support and friendship. It means to world to me and you’re all in my heart.

May you be loved.

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Chloe cuts her hair for Cancer

Chloe has been wanting to do this for some time now, and even threatening a shaved head for a period of time, (We are ever so glad she reconsidered the shaved bit), but she sent us examples of styles and finally settled on a short-ish bob which would allow her to donate the maximum length to her chosen charity, 360 Hair, a local non-profit, pro bono business, which makes wigs for children suffering thru chemotherapy.

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So off to our salon, Raw Hair Lounge, and an appointment with the lovely Chelsie, who brushed C’s hair and separated it into sections…

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…and cut it off. (Yes, C kept her eyes closed for it)

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And there we are. Twelve inches of clean, lustrous auburn locks all ready to be mailed away.

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Then a little bit of trimming, a little bit of product, a feeling of freedom and the soft, warm-hearted glow of doing something good and right…

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…and VOILA! Our beautiful child.

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I’m so proud of her drive to help, to save the world, to do all she can. :D

Hello from Sunday night

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Hello everyone. :D I know it’s been an age since I posted, and to tell you the truth, I’ve missed photographing and posting something rotten.

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Speaking of something rotten, C came down with a nasty little cold last week. Tis the season, huh? We drove down to our favourite juice bar, the Juicery, and picked up some good medicine. She was over the cold in no time.

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R and M
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One big bit of news, Robert has flown in for Christmas. :D It’s so lovely to have him home again. And, with R here, we went to find a Christmas tree. We found a beautiful, slightly imperfect, spruce, which a) we could afford!!! (seen the price of Christmas trees this year?) and b) reached up the nine feet to the ceiling.

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Then it was just a matter of decorating it. I’ve been collecting glass ornaments for about a million years now. I love them more than anything. It’s been two years since we got them out because Christmas has been in England for the past two years, and I was so excited to see them again. They’re like old friends…do you know what I mean? There’s that wonderful familial comfort in seeing Jonathan’s baby ornament, (34 yrs old now), my grandmother’s favourite one to remember her by, one special glass bird we somehow brought out of the Czech republic in 1968, the street car from San Francisco, vintage silvered glass bells from the antique markets in England…so many special stories attached to so many of them.

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So many beautiful ornaments gathered in various places over many years. It took me four hours to put most of them on.

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Especially since you can see just how much help I had…lol.

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Hello from Sunday night

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home

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Well, here is a turn-up for the books!
I know all my friends on the less temperate parts of the old globe will be thinking “oh, just shut up V!”, but we’re thrilled to bits with the Friday night to Saturday morning snow. Oh yes we are!

We didn’t mind the frozen fingers and the scraping of the car first thing Saturday morning either. Didn’t mind one bit because we were invited to our wonderful Realtor‘s client appreciation party at the cinema. C was incredibly excited because the film on offer was the third Hunger Games film. At some point in C’s young teen life, apparently I agreed to see all those dreadful Twilight movies with her and she held me to that, and now, teen-agy films, especially if she’s read the books, seem to be a C and my tradition. Anyway, these films are much better than Twilight, so there’s that, and there was hot tea and glazed doughnuts.

The sun shone cool and crisp for rest of the weekend, and, with the exception of a bit of laundry and a bit of grocery shopping, I really didn’t do much else except enjoy the sun and some good books.

And sometimes that’s as it should be. :D

Linking with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Getting into the holiday spirit

It’s beginning to feel very wintery here…as much as the West Coast gets “winter”, but as you can see from this “artfully arranged” reflections shot :D the atmosphere here is cooler, whiter, and darker than ever.

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Recently mom bought some beautiful little Christmas lights at Anthropologie and I helped her string them up in her living room. They’re the same ones I have, (which stay on all the year long), except mom’s are a longer chain. Aren’t they lovely and twinkly?

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Yesterday we had a walk in mom’s neck of Vancouver, Kerrisdale, grabbed mom a coffee and had a good mooch around some of the stores. This place has changed so much recently. The sky-high rent prices have forced almost all the quaint little boutiques to relocate or close, and ubiquitous chains have moved in. Shame really, but that’s life. Still, a couple of little boutique stores remain. In front of mom’s favourite coffee shop, Cafe Artigiano, was this tiny little dog waiting for his master. He was so friendly and so super cute. Across the street is one of the last remaining boutiques, a flower shop, with a completely different animal in the window. Isn’t that fabulous? Chloe said, “Narnia”. Talk about holiday spirit!

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The other side of the shop had this wonderful window full of branches. So many surprises dotted around this window that we couldn’t stop looking into it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to replicate something at home for Christmas? I think so.

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Next we drove down to my favourite garden centre Southlands. I love this fragrant, warm greenhouse and could very easily just move in! :D

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I suppose if I lived in a greenhouse there wouldn’t be much room, or need, for a Christmas tree :( I suppose some vintage Santas and a painting or poster or two might be enough?

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Or maybe just plant some festive flowers, like Christmas cactus, poinsettias or these fabulous red bromeliads or maybe some gingers, or bird of paradise.

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Actually, probably not…lol…I’d still fill it with my millions of glass ornaments (marginal exaggeration) and over-the-top gingerbread houses.

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And just look at the fabulous trees waiting for December! Wow!

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Since this year Christmas is in Canada, I’d love a 11 foot tall tree in the living room. I bet it will end up completely covered by my ornaments.

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But not like this…lol. This is a little over-the-top for me. :D

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I usually get my tree on December 15th and then it stays up till twelfth night. But now I’m so into the Christmas spirit, that I can’t wait to get the tree. I might not last till the 15th. :D

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