Random things I love

I love that I have green eyes and Chloe has blue and Jonathan and Kerstie have brown eyes. I love that I have the whole gamut in the family. Robert’s eyes are very unusual because they tend to be very chatoyant and can look blue, green and even hazel/brown depending on his mood. I love that too.
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I love pebbles. I pick them up everywhere and stick them in my pockets. They usually end up in the garden or in craft projects or just in random arrangements in jars or on plates.
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I love fantasizing about living in all sorts of places and houses. I look at a lovely house and then think about how much it would cost to live there. Like this place in London. And then I think about the reality and realise that it’s actually 1,2,3,4…15 flats! Yeah. But sometimes I think about selling the Vancouver house and the Oxfordshire house and ending up with enough money to buy a dream like this place in Vermont. (eight times over!) :D And having all that land…and chickens…and rescuing great big Morgans and Clydesdales. (sigh)
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I love drawing on old pieces of paper; maps, books, found bits of cardboard… I love the thought that I’ve taken that worthless bit of paper which someone discarded and I’ve given it worth with my art. Transformed it into something special, multiplied its value exponentially. And then I’m always so gratified to give it away.
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I love my iPhone as a repository of photographs and notes. Spur of the moment ideas, someone’s emails or websites I want to check out, images which inspire me…never has there been a better system. I’d never want to be without one again. :)
Linking with Nancy and looking forward to catching up with everyone’s random.

Happy birthday my sweet Clover…this post is going to go on for miles and miles and quite possibly make you hungry

Everyone who is my friend of FB already knows it was Chloe’s 21st birthday yesterday because I went on and on about it practically all day.

But just in case you missed it, or if you’re not on my FB, (why on earth not… come be my friend), then here is a little look back at this most wonderful day.

I drove up to C’s university and grabbed her and her friend Taylor for lunch at our local favorite restaurant Burgoo. Kerstie and the babies joined us…

… and Binky gave C her prezzies.
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We shared Burgoo’s special fondue and Bunny had all the grapes.
Then we had some more yummies: French onion soup for C…
…and muscles for me.
Then I returned a very reluctant C and Taylor back for their two afternoon classes and a very important group media presentation which C’s had to present and caused her tummy to break out in a bad case of butterflies.

But then it was over and we drove X-town, Adam, Kerstie, Bryson, Chloe and me, to Merchant’s Oyster Bar for supper. We were there but no Jonathan.
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Pastry chef Claire brought us some champagne. Not only is she beautiful but extremely talented and writes a wonderful food and craft blog liviasweets.com.
Happy birthday clinks all round.
But still no Jonathan!
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Oh here he comes. What is he like?
Lovely, crusty French bread was brought on a cutting board sprinkled with sel de fleur.
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And Jonathan ordered drinks, wine and 24 oysters.
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The oysters, especially with champagne mignonette spooned on them, were absolutely out of this world delicious.
Kerstie, Adam and the babies had a holiday at Parksville over Easter and Kerstie told us stories of gathering fresh oysters at low tide and eating them right at the beach and, later, barbecuing them for supper.
Claire came back and took more orders for some cold appies.
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Jonathan ordered albacore tuna poke, bison tartare and cold roasted beet salad.
cold food
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Then Jonathan ordered more wine and roasted bone marrow…
… flat iron steak, confit pork belly, salmon, and two orders of scalloped potatoes.
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There was so much yummy food!
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Jonathan went to talk to some friends and restaurant patrons and that may have been the wrong time…
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…because just then Claire came with her amazing desert creations.
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We shared desert but, as the birthday girl, C got to lick the knife. (I know, I brought her up well!)
We had the most amazing day/evening/togetherness fest and I just couldn’t stop taking photos of my beautiful three.
The reason my heart beats, the loves on my life.
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Best time ever! An evening downtown with MUSE!

So had the best time ever! Evening out with my children, a lovely supper in historic Gastown and rocking out to MUSE.

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Adam, Kerstie, Bryson, Chloe and I drove to Gastown, parked up and walked to the Pourhouse for supper. We were going to go to my son Jonathan’s restaurant but couldn’t because of a private party, so we went to his best friend Jonathan’s restaurant instead.

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Here’s Jonathan behind his bar. I’ve known him for fifteen years or so and he’s always been Good Jon as compared to my son…

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Jon made us a variety of yummy special drinks he invented…

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…and we had some lovely appies to share. Some of us had made-to-order burgers, some had French onion soup and Kerstie and I shared a delicious bowl of spicy steamed clams. If you come to Gastown you should go!

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We were very happy leaving the Pourhouse and decided that a good brisk walk was in order. LOL

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I bought my T-shirt


We got our wrist bands for the floor and ran down hand in hand just in time to welcome MUSE to Vancouver!

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I wanted this evening to last and last so I made a little movie using one of my favorite muse songs and some of the movie footage I took and uploaded it to my Media Tala YouTube channel. Here’s the YouTube link

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MUSE played the best concert and after it was all over we got the munchies and drove down to Fritz for poutine before finally making it home. That was such a good time.

Happy Halloween

On this special night let me show you the front porch and tell you a ghost story. A true ghost story.

The first night we spent in our little cabin in the woods was a chilly May night over 20 years ago when Jon was 12, K was 10 and C was four weeks old. The cabin was alone and lonely since the owner had died and his widow hated it there in the woods.

We were so excited to spend time at our little five acres of paradise away from the city and, complete with a couple friends and our very big and smelly malamute, moved in for a long weekend.

We made a fire in the old wood burning stove and eventually we all went to sleep.

In the middle of the night I woke up because I thought the baby wasn’t breathing properly…you know, that mom feeling…and sat up into choking smoke in the sleeping loft.

A fibreglass board, which apparently had been used to hold the wood supply close to the woodstove for years and years had caught fire and was smoldering away.

I got the children up and got everyone out of the cabin and put the fire out. (Thank goodness we had the forethought to bring up a small fire extinguisher along with the mosquito repellant.)

Then I looked around the cabin and felt a chill. The cabin came to us complete with all the decoration inside. I saw the bearskin on the wall, the framed land claims, the old hiking boots by the fire and I realised I hadn’t even said thank you to the late owner.

So I quietly said, “Jimmy, this cabin will be filled with love and children’s laughter from now on. Don’t worry, we will love it and take care of it for you, and you can always be here with us if you want.”

I think it worked.

Twenty years have passed since that night. The foundations have been rebuilt, the roof has been replaced, the rickety old fireplace has been swapped over for a lovely new one, but Jimmy’s claims are still on the wall. That way he can always be a part of the cabin and the cabin is a place of peace.

I think it really helps to talk to ghosts. What do you think?

Where she goes on and on about beaches and children and red roses.

My birth certificate says I was born in Prague. Inland. Not beside the sea. Sometimes I think this must be a mistake.

I feel my best at the sea. I do my best thinking at the sea.

This Friday I had lunch with all of my children. It’s very rare these days that I can get them all together apart from Christmas. Kerstin, Adam, Chloe and I drove downtown to met Jonathan on his lunch break.

We walked to Gyoza King on Robson. It seemed like a good idea.

At any rate, any one of the thousands of restaurants downtown would have been just fine. No one paid much attention to the food. Everyone was grateful to be together.

I’ll tell you why.

Sept 1st I got a 2am phone call from Kerstie. She was hysterical. Her father had just died.

I can’t describe the feeling of helplessness that came over me trying to comfort my daughter across 5000 miles. The next phone call to Jonathan was even worse. Then a quick check on Chloe to see she was ok. Though not her father, her heart was breaking in sympathy, feeling the pain her brother and sister were feeling.

But my children are strong, they are brave, they are resilient, they rallied. They organised that part of their family, the memorial, the funeral, and began closing down their father’s life step by step.

Talking to them separately, seeing them separately something didn’t dawn on me.
It wasn’t till lunch on Friday that I noticed that they both had that deer-caught-in-the-headlights haunted look in their beautiful brown eyes.

Today I went to the beach to think.

I sat at the beach and did my usual thing…built a fantasy sand castle with the found objects around me.

Built and thought.

I thought about my children, their father, how changed their life is, how changed their life is about to be.

I thought about my feelings…you know…as their mother. I tried to come up with any way that I could take some of the pain from them. How can I protect them from it all? I can’t. They have to live thru the pain and come out the other end…eventually…in time.

And, I walked on the beach.

As I walked I found red roses wrapped up in seaweed. Lying there on the rocks.
I wondered who lost the roses in the sea and, I wondered why, except for the concern and love I feel for my children, I wondered why I don’t feel anything.


Nothing at all.