Remembrance

Yesterday I painted in my very personal journal. I found some words and painted a poppy around them.

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Today I spent Remembrance Day with my mother. We remembered my father and his years of dedication to veterans as the head doctor of the Vancouver chapter of Veterans Affairs Canada.

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After lunch, while mom filled out some paper work, I riffled thru dad’s glass collection.

I love his collection of sparkly shiny glass. Some ancient Pompeii glass, some modern Waterford crystal, some rare medieval pieces he picked up at auction.

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And then, from the very back, I pulled out this strange little etched goblet. Strange because I have no idea where dad got it, and, now that he’s been gone all these years, I can’t ask him about it. It has flowers etched into the crystal. Maybe some are meant to be poppies, maybe, or probably they are, because under the etching of the flowers is an etched word: “Erinnerung” German for Remembrance.

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And maybe there isn’t a mystery. Everyone, whether allies or enemy, everyone a person, everyone affected in some way by the tragedy of war. I’ve no idea where my British father got the little goblet with the German word etched on it, but you know what? I’m so glad I found it today of all days.

Lest we forget.

Hello from Monday night (Can’t get my act together these days…lol)

It’s been a quiet, low-key weekend round here.

Nice for a change.
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But we did have Kerstie, Adam and our little girls come for supper.

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Mom came too, and we had a lovely visit.

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Jonathan was missed. He originally said he would love to come for dinner, but double booked himself with the new girl friend, (who we know nothing about 8O )

Oh well, we had a lovely time.

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Today dawned bright and sunny, and, after I did some laundry, I got into my silversmithing studio.

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I turned on some Bowie music and contemplated an ancient flint with a hole thru it.

And, although I haven’t finished that piece yet…
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I did make some earrings for Clove. She was admiring some earrings similar to these at Blue Ruby and another chic little boutique and they cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of $50, and I thought, “are you kidding me? There’s like $5 worth of silver and a half hour worth of work!”

And you all know my motto: How hard can it be?

Not that hard as it turns out. :D

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Now it’s evening and everything’s quiet and calm and I’m trying to resist the urge to get back out into the silversmithing studio tonight.

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A small window on Sunday

at Whole foods

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at the beach

It’s been one of those warmer West Coast days where we didn’t even mind not getting a table inside the Whole Foods and we happily sat outside with our lunch. Boy have we been lucky this fall and into winter with plenty of sunshine so far. Gosh I hope I don’t jinx things. :) (got my fingers crossed while I type this just in case)
Went for a walk and Chloe was determined that we should walk thru the dog walk part of the beach and past the SPCA. Chloe visits the SPCA web site on a practically daily basis trying to convince me that we should adopt a dog. This time there is a one year old malamute up for adoption and, while my heart is melting, I must be the logical one here and say only if she figures out how and makes preparations for the dog accompanying her for her year in Japan after she graduates university, before we adopt him. (sigh) Kids don’t play fair…do they?
Back at home and the sun was already starting to dim, I sat down to write my Sunday whirl and C sat down to write the beginning of a philosophical argument about transitivity and psychological continuity. :? Some of these phil arguments are tough to wrap your head around. So I lit the first fire of the year in the fire place. I forgot how wonderful it is to sit beside an open fire. It sure makes the writing easier. :)

Sharing with Mary for Mosaic Monday.
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X town and lunch

The lovely bright October sunshine. Sometimes it feels just too bright.

Do you have that kind of light where you are? It’s the oblique angle of the autumn sun I think.

I almost want to wear sunglasses inside the house. :)

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I was so lucky today to drive across town in this glorious light to help my mom out with some computer work.

Vancouver neighbourhoods are so lovely right now. It’s a special magic time, a beautiful golden autumn, and we must hold on to it, crush it to our hearts because we know that soon the rain will come and dissolve it into a million blurry puddles.

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We went to have lunch at the same little French bistro in mom’s neighbourhood.

Yes, we asked for a table outside. :)

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It actually was really warm there on that little patio in the sunshine. The forecast said 12 degrees but it really felt more like 18. We were very comfy with our coats off.

I had some lovely mussels. (my hemoglobin has dropped quite a bit lately and believe it or not, shellfish have a very high amount of iron, not to mention that they really are my favourites) The restaurant supplied me with a spoon and a special little narrow fork to help me with the mussels. I always think that’s a little silly when the empty shell of one is the absolute perfect tool to pry the next mussel out with. I know it’s the European way, but then, being born in Prague, I am the original Bohemian, aren’t I? :)

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After lunch it was too lovely to leave, so, a little tea for me and a little coffee for mom…

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…and a bit of people watching before I had to drive back home. :)

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While I was downloading my iPhone photos I came across a little something I wanted to show you. These days with C just into midterms, our Sbux mornings look like this: C in full study mode and me picking up any little bit of leaf/flower/twig as we walk in, (it’s always a treasure hunt, that short walk from the car to the Sbux), and I sketch whatever it is I found while she studies and tries out theories on me. Sometimes she asks me to put my pencils down and quiz her at her cue cards. :)

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Happiness from Saturday night.

Remember I told you on Wednesday that my friend turned 100yrs old? Well, tonight was his birthday party. What a wonderful age, what a remarkable life!

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Chloe and I dressed in evening dress, drove to mom’s house and waited for her to get ready…

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…and we all three walked up the lane to Norman’s birthday party.

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He was looking dapper as ever, with a huge commemorative button…lol. He was wearing his trademark bolo tie and I told him it looked very good. He told me it’s sterling and that his daughter Jane gave it to him. Then he said he can’t be bothered with ties. I said I didn’t blame him.

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The party was in full swing when we got there and, isn’t it funny that, no matter where you are, the party always migrates to the kitchen.
Around the rooms were letters of congratulations from HRM Queen Elizabeth, The Prime Minister of Canada, the Governor General, the head of the Ontario Dental Association, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the Premier of British Columbia, and other notable people.

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About 8pm it was time for the cake. Jane brought her father into the dining room and said, “Dad, don’t forget to make a wish as you blow out the candles. ” Norman said, “Can I wish for a bigger cake?” ;)

Then he blew out the candles and three more cakes were brought in.

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Too soon it was time to go, but what a wonderful evening.

I wish you all a long and remarkable life with your children and friends around you always.

And remember how they say it in Ireland: A toast to your coffin: May it be made of 100 year old oak, and may we plant that oak tomorrow.

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Where she relishes the last day of summer

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How lucky can a girl get?

The forecast was for rain, which must have been amended sometime between the downpour of last night and the shaky sun of this morning, and maybe it was a warm easterly wind and maybe it’s just because the forecasters lie like a rug, but for whatever reason, we, Chloe mom and I, found a warm and welcoming day.

We headed out to the seaside market and stopped in at Whole Foods for a little breakfast and tea; coffee for mom.

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C grabbed a newspaper and she and mom decided to give the crossword a go. Mom said, “Saturday crossword? You’ll be lucky to get seven.” C got 13! (OK the iphone helped…lol)

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Then we went for a nice long walk beside the ocean.

What a difference a week makes. I can’t believe that we were swimming in this same ocean just a few days ago and now the only people in the water were the fishermen in their waterproof waders.

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At the allotment gardens the veggies and flowers were still going strong and I spent a long time smelling each late sweet pea, rose and marigold because I wanted to capture that sweet scent, remember it and hang on to it till next time.

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By midday the sun shone down warm and inviting,

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and while signs of fall were all around us…

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just for today, nobody cared. :)

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Weekend review on a mosaic Monday

There’s a local joke that goes:

“What comes after two days of rain in Vancouver?”
“Monday!”

Yeah, it’s not that funny if it’s your weekend. Saturday I promised mom some help with a supper she was hosting at her house. Eight guests, I was the youngest; the oldest recently turned 99, several doctors, one lawyer, one financier.

For me, there is no better way to combat a rainy Saturday and busy supper preparations than a visit to my favorite nursery Southlands Nursery. There, in the several greenhouses, are such fantasies as all my gardening dreams are made of.

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Later, back at mom’s I was inspired to make several arrangements from mom’s garden flowers and my father’s camellias which are in glorious bloom right now.

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Later we started the preparations and had a lovely time together,

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And, when the guests came, we had a wonderful evening.

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I wasn’t wearing any jewellery, (except my always ring), so mom and I went to the safe and she gave me her beautiful amber necklace. My father gave it to her. Sunday morning as the sun came into my bedroom, I lifted it up in the sunlight and marveled at the fire within.

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I’m linking up my weekend review with Mary from Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Getting out of the city

Suddenly it’s spring in Vancouver! Warm and lovely, and time to get out of the city, so Chloe, mom and I headed out of Vancouver for the country. Three generation, one 4wheel drive. We took my big car because I wanted to buy two really big pots. I mean really big pots, like, about four feet tall, so I could plant a couple of trees in them on the back patio.

First stop was Cedar Rim nursery in Langley. They had the most exquisite pots and I would have loved them, but $350 each…youch! That’s a ticket to Europe! The quest for the big pots continues. But we had a good mooch around the nursery and we bought $200 in plants instead.

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We fell in love with the planted treasure boxes, tried all the lotions and potions, dreamed of a patio full of lanterns and decided we had to have an old milk bottle container as a vase.

Then we saw this little planted treasure box…um…there’s nothing I can say about this one that isn’t going to come across as a double entendre so…moving on. :)

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Next we drove to Fort Langley, had a lovely lunch and walked around the quaint stores. Look at this dreamy froth of clematis Armandii!

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In this little antique store C fell in love with a velvet quilt and I fell in love with this artist’s naive paintings. These paintings were so charming and I loved the modern edge to them. The winter scenes were twinkly because the artists added glitter to the white snow. One day I’ll have to paint myself a little painting in a naive style.

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We checked out our favorite aroma therapy store. As soon as we walked in we were offered a cup of tea while we shopped. I swear that’s the best way to keep your customers around. Look at their little tea stand. Isn’t it sweet? Plenty of vintage cups, lovely Lavender Chai Yerba Mate tea. So good we bought a small bag.

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We worked our way down the street to the big antique mall. C was on the lookout for a vintage evening bag small enough to be repurposed as a wallet. (We try not to buy anything new if we can repurpose vintage.) She loved this pearly, silky, little-lace-surprise-inside number.

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Here is C trying to block my view of a cabinet full of vintage Christmas baubles. Very funny C! She knows I’m addicted to these beautiful little shiny sparklies, but it’s true that the tree will topple over from the weight of my collection very, very soon.

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We all loved this person’s little booth. Mom’s heart went out to it because it looked so very European. I loved the doll in the perambulator. I think I had one like it when I was a child. C thought it was creep-tastic!

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So many lovely things to look at. One person’s booth was all creamy and feminine and romantic with beautiful lacy blouses and shawls, another’s had old Bay blankets, (which I also love to pieces), we found this wonderful idea: canning jars full of buttons and sewing, beads, geodes, sort of a pot-luck in a jar, and mom fell in love with the old milk delivery jugs. She remembered those from her childhood.

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We stayed in the country till almost supper time. I drove us around the farms and fields and little churches, and then I drove us back to the city.

This was such a good idea.

Lesson learned last week:

Mom ran over a pot hole with her ridiculously expensive and altogether too-much-car-for-a-78-million-yr-old-lady 2012 E 300 Mercedes and took a chunk out of the sidewall of one of the low profile tires. She was very nervous driving it in that condition, so made an appointment at the dealership for repairs. She took it in last Friday, 9am. She was promised a call by lunch to say whether or not she would need a loaner for the weekend. No call by 3pm and mom was worrying about a weekend without a car.

I called:

Melvin: Hello, This is Melvin, customer service at Mercedes-Benz, Broadway dealership, how can I help you?

Me: Hullo Melvin. I’d like to check on the status of my mother’s car; it’s in the repair shop.

Melvin: Hold on please, I’ll transfer your call.

Angela’s voice mail: Hello, you’ve reached Angela, customer service concierge. I’m away from my desk; please leave a message. Beeeeeep…/click

Dialing back

Melvin: Hello, this is Melvin, custom…

Me: Hi Melvin. You put me thru to Angela’s voice mail; please put me thru to a service representative so I can check on my mother’s car.

Melvin: I’m sorry about that, please hold…

Yuki’s voice mail: Hello, you’ve reached Yuki, cus/ CLICK

Dialing back

Melvin: Hel…

Me: Melvin! Please put me thru to a real person at the service counter, not the concierge’s voice mails.

Melvin: Who is servicing your mother’s car please?

Me: I don’t know.

Melvin: We cannot put you thru if we don’t know who to put you thru to…ma’am.

Me: Look up my mother’s name in your computer then and tell me who is servicing her car please. It’s Dr. (mom’s name)

Melvin: That would be Lino, hold on please.

Lino’s voice mail: Hello, you have reached Lino at Mercedes-Benz service. I’m away from my desk, please leave a message. Beeeeeep…/click

Me: Mom, let’s go for a walk.

What I learned: Next time buy a Toyota.

Oh, and have your people call my people.

Here is a story from this weekend

Was sitting at the lake, (well, we call it a lake but it’s actually a small pond), with a camera, taking photos of pond life and my mother sat close by with her crossword puzzle, glass of wine and pen.
Mom: “Four letters, starts with M, or could be W, philistine pursuits. What’s a Philistine?”
Me: “Derogatory term for someone who doesn’t understand art, intellectual concepts…”
Click
click…click

Mom: “…someone from Palestine?”
Me: click click “not necessarily” click
Mom: “Do you ever hear it in conversation? …with normal people I mean?”
Me: “yes,” click
Mom: “In what context did you hear it then? …you’ll have 50 photos of the same thing if you keep this up.”
Me: click…putting camera down. “ I believe the person who used the word last was criticising another person’s taste in wine.”
Picking camera back up again.
Click click click…
… click
Mom: “well, that can’t be…”
Me: “why not?”
Mom: “they don’t drink wine in Palestine.”
Me: “hmm” …
click click click
So I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to photograph dragonflies with a Canon Rebel is virtually impossible.