Tuesday, July 31, 2007


These are clever...

On a Septic Tank Truck in Oregon:
Yesterday's Meals on Wheels

On a Septic Tank Truck sign:
"We're #1 in the #2 business."

On a Plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed."

Pizza Shop Slogan:
"7 days without pizza makes one weak."

At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee:
"Invite us to your next blowout."

On a Plastic Surgeon's Office door:
"Hello. Can we pick your nose?"

At a Towing company:
"We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows."

In a Nonsmoking Area:
"If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."

On a Maternity Room door:
"Push. Push. Push."

At an Optometrist's Office
"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

On a Taxidermist's window:
"We really know our stuff."

In a Podiatrist's office:
"Time wounds all heels."

On a Fence:
"Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive."

At a Car Dealership:
"The best way to get back on your feet -- miss a car payment."

Outside a Muffler Shop:
"No appointment necessary. We hear you coming."

In a Veterinarian's waiting room:
"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"

At the Electric Company:
"We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don't, you will be."

In a Restaurant window:
"Don't stand there and be hungry, Come on in and get fed up."

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
"Drive carefully. We'll wait."


Hat-tip: E. who can never pass up passing on a good chuckle.

Monday, July 30, 2007

langley ambience

Our move to Langley in less than a month will take us to a town we're not unfamiliar with, but neither do we know it well. It's where our church is so we've made multi trips through town but never spent much time in it. Our new home is walking distance from church and is a few minutes' drive from Langley's downtown.

Langley has more of a small town feeling to it than Surrey (the sprawling city we live in now, which really doesn't have one downtown, but four or five business centers -- like Cloverdale, Ocean Park, Guildford and Newton -- which used to be the centers of small towns or settlements )

We really noticed the change in ambience when we drove out to Langley in early July to show some friends the property we had bought. After that we went downtown to where there is still angle parking on some of the streets. We browsed in a few shops, then went for a coffee at McBurney's Coffee and Tea House. (In the virtual tour - link above - McBurney's Coffee House is right of the McBurney's Lane sign.) Apparently they have regular live music evenings there - like jazz and such. Judging from the mural on the wall (photo above), one should expect a good time!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Our house is sold!!! We got the good news Friday night near 10:00 p.m. There's no suspense like being taken to the wire, with only two hours until the time for removing the 'subjects' was to expire.

The beautiful thing is, the dates mesh perfectly with our move to a townhouse in Langley (on which we put in an offer in June, and then a few days later had to firm up when the vendors got another offer on it).

In the interim, the pressure for us to to sell our house has been considerable. There were showings, usually several a weekend. But the feedback was the same from everyone: "Needs some updates." In early July, after another such showing, our realtor phoned and suggested we update the floors.

We've been living with 80s linoleum and goldy brown carpet all these years. I must admit it was a bit of a pill to swallow--the thought of updating at this late date. But after a little investigating we realized that it was doable, would accomplish more than lowering our price and certainly seemed necessary (as most of the other houses in our price range offered such decor.)

And so a few weeks ago we packed up the stuff that filled the drawers and shelves of desks, bookshelves, the china cabinet and entertainment center in order to move them for the carpet layers. Then for three days we were in renovation mode while carpet layers put new carpets in the back room (my office), living room, stairs, upstairs hallway, and the floor layer updated the linoleum in the kitchen, dining-room area with laminate.



We got an offer last Friday after the second showing following the improvements.

During this whole selling/buying experience, God has been dealing with me about anxiety. I can certainly talk the talk about trusting in Him. But my anxious reaction to the uncertain situation showed me my trust was far from mature. If I worry as much as the next person, how does that show confidence in God? Is it any different than someone whose trust is entirely in self or luck.

A Bible verse that has become my 'theme song' during this time is: "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me and prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God" (Psalm 50:23). It was like God was saying, 'You thank me as if everything has already been accomplished, because it's the display (which feels artificial at first, but does end up changing one's whole outlook) of that kind of confidence that 'prepares the way' for Me to do what you ask.'

Of course I know we're not nearly at the end of our journey. We still have the actual pack up and move to look forward to. And so I'm still clinging tight to my Psalm promise and other goodies (like Philippians 4:6,7) against the day we're settled in our new home.

Friday, July 27, 2007

book review: Every Secret Thing by Ann Tatlock

Title: Every Secret Thing
Author: Ann Tatlock
Publisher: Bethany House – October 2007
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
ISBN: 0764200054

When Elizabeth (Beth) Gunnar comes back to teach at her old preparatory school in Wilmington Delaware, it’s with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension. She loves literature and teaching. She loved Seaton. But she’s unprepared for the flood of memories that take her off-script the first day of school. And will she be able to handle the ghosts she knows will jump out at her from every old campus haunt? Maybe it was a big mistake to return.

Welcome to Every Secret Thing, a coming-of-age-revisited novel by Ann Tatlock, slated to be released this October. In the story, middle-aged single Beth does manage to last the year. We follow her as she befriends new student Satchel, reconnects with a former sweetheart and searches for the answer to a painful old question.

Beth tells her story in first person, slipping back and forth between past and present. The plot is easy to follow, though, with page-turning sections sandwiched between Satchel’s school compositions, mentor-moments between Beth and Satchel, telephone calls to old best-friend Natalie and dates with Ray.

Right from the start I took to the book’s setting. Who can’t love a tradition-rich private school, complete with its tales of rule-breaking trysts and other campus lore? The 60s feel of Beth’s high school memories and scenes from the life of her very ordinary middle-class family were additional treats for me.

Tatlock’s writing (which has won awards) was another highlight. Like the main character of the book, she is obviously a lover of books and puts allusions to the writings and philosophies of such literary notables as Virginia Woolf, Tom Wolfe and Sylvia Plath, as well as overt praise for the power of words, into the mouths of several characters. Her prose is graceful and unselfconscious with just the right amount of imagery to make it memorable. Symbolism possibilities abound from the choice of setting (practically invisible Delaware) to Satchel’s imaginary sadness-sucking machine.

The meaning of human existence is a theme that runs through the story. Beth identifies with Satchel when she claims to feel invisible – after all, that’s the way Beth felt through much of her childhood. Suicide is another preoccupation (not with any of the main characters having thoughts about suicide directly, but rather with its effect on those left behind). Tatlock answers the probing questions, ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘Does God exist?’ with a light narrative hand as events lead Beth to recall an epiphany from her past. Satchel in turn finds inspiration from Beth’s example in her own crisis.

For a thoughtful, nostalgic yet adult trip down adolescent lane, don’t miss Every Secret Thing when it’s released this fall. Older teens may enjoy it too. Reading groups will want to look for editions that include discussion questions.

Thanks to Bethany House for providing an advance copy of the book for review.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

i love my country but...

I'm sick and tired of the way it panders to criminals .

(thanks, E., for the heads-up)


Sweet geography


Thursday Challenge

Next Week: TOYS (Stuffed Animal, Beach Ball, Water Toys, Yo-yo, Little Cars, Dolls, Games, Video Games, Crayon, Wagon, Bikes,...)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

geyser of oil

A nasty accident this afternoon saw black oil gushing from a ruptured pipe below a road under construction in Burnaby when workers accidentally punctured a pipeline.

Videographer Shawn Soucy was there with his camera and has posted 4+ minutes of incredible footage. The geyser was staunched after about 25 minutes. Now for the environmental fallout (sigh!)

Related story

Photo: CTV News website

when is writing considered 'published'?

I've just read an interesting series of posts in a newly discovered poetry blog (Poetic Asides with Nancy Breen and Robert Lee Brewer). Nancy Breen is editor of Poet's Market. Robert Lee Brewer is editor of Writer's Market, Writer's Market Deluxe and WritersMarket.com.

What I gleaned from "Published is Published" by Ms. Breen is that a poem (or any piece of writing for that matter) is considered published (by magazine editors, contests etc.) if it has been presented for public consumption in the following places:

- on the printed page
- on the internet (where the public has access to it -- including on sites like Facebook. And removing a post doesn't change anything; if it's ever been published on the internet, it's considered published)
- read on the radio
- read/recorded on the internet (e.g.YouTube)
- read in an open reading where the reading has been recorded.

The work is not considered published:
- if it is posted on an internet forum where the poet needs a password to participate in a discussion or to read what's posted.
- if read in public but no recording is made.

- Is reading in public publishing your poem?
- The importance of setting poetry goals

Hat-tip: www.inkygirl.com via my weekly ICL newsletter - yeah, this is getting bunny-trailish!

Monday, July 23, 2007

halloween house

Some houses are a mystery, like this one, seen from our walk along the beach at White Rock. We call it the Halloween House - because of its orange and black color scheme and the strange creatures that inhabit it.

On Saturday some new mannequins were out on the deck. Another was lounging in the window. And see the cat peering out another window? It surely is a Halloween House.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.

Yes, come, buy wine and milk

Without money and without price.

Why do you spend money for what is not bread

And your wages for what does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.

Isaiah 55:1,2
For my people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns
broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 2:13

Jesus: If any one thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:37,38

Photo: Nikomekl River (right) and Nicowynd Golf course (left).

Saturday, July 21, 2007

eagle fledgling journal

Eagle Ma and Pa - June 22/07

Flegdlings, getting brave - July 13/07

and braver - July 17/07

Friday, July 20, 2007

batty neighbors

Q. When does reverence for nature turn to lunacy?

A. When it's against the law to remove a colony of nesting bats from your house!

That's the batty world a West-end Vancouver couple of living in right now. As a Wednesday Vancouver Sun article explains:

A Vancouver couple with as many as 80 bats living in the walls of their West End condo are going to have to live with them for now because the bats are protected under the B.C. Wildlife Act.

They can't be disturbed during their breeding period from May to August. Anyone caught capturing bats may face fines of up to $345 per animal.

Miles Nurse, who co-owns the $509,000 condo with his girlfriend Jennifer Plomt, has been told by a pest control company it may take until the end of August for the bat pups hanging around the place to be mature enough to move. - Read entire

When the couple found a baby bat in their bed they began to get really worried. Bats are the No. 1 rabies carriers in our province. They and their dog are now getting a series of rabies shots.

Help may be on the way, however. B.C. Environment Minster Barry Penner in a show of common sense, said his ministry could issue a permit for the critters to be removed sooner.

Besides being a rabies risk, the bats are also messy (condo owner Nurse said he has cleaned "buckets of bat feces from inside the third floor penthouse walls") and noisy (Nurse:"We've been hearing them at night a log --high-pitched squeals-- and if we leave our bedroom blinds open, it's a bat show"). Mother bats leave their young in the condo at night to go out and feed.

Though the condo bats have not been identified, the most common species in B.C. are little brown bats, big brown bats and Yuma Myotis.

More about bats:

- Bat pestpage
- British Columbia Bat Resources
- Bats of British Columbia (features interviews with various bat species)

Photo Credit: Bat Photos

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Brand new

The story of this picture.

In early March I got a call from my sister in northern B.C. She told me of the birth of a new granddaughter, but in the next breath said the little family was already at Children's Hospital in Vancouver. Nurses had observed bruises on the baby and a blood test showed a problem with platelets.

This was especially hard to hear because in the summer of 2004, this couple made a similar trip - that time with their first daughter. She was found to have hydrocephalus (water collecting in the brain) at birth, which has led to several problems, one of which is blindness.

In the hours after the kids got to Children's this time, the problem was treated by the doctors (along with lots of prayers) and baby made a recovery. In literally hours her platelet count rose out of the danger zone. Since it was Saturday, the doctor planned to keep her for observation over the weekend and send her home on Monday. We decided to drive into Vancouver to see the little addition and help the kids pass the time.

When we got there, they were all packed to leave! Apparently the bed was needed for a sicker baby, and a plane was ready to shuttle them back home. So after a quick "Hi," I took this photo of their two-day-old. Five minutes later they left for the airport in an ambulance.

Little Rebecca is still doing well.

Thursday challenge


Next week: FOOD (Vegetables, Fruits, Meat, Canned, Frozen, Meals, Restaurant, Store, Marketplace, Preparing Food, Fork, Knife, Oven,...)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Book Review: Your Doctor Said WHAT? by Dr. Terrie Wurzbacher

Title: Your Doctor Said WHAT?
Author: Dr. Terri Wurzbacher
Publisher: LifeSuccess Publishing, LLC, 2006
Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help
ISBN: 159930029X

What has been your experience with going to the doctor? Have you had to wait? Have you felt flustered when he finally got to you because he seemed so rushed? Have you felt confused by his medical lingo, overwhelmed by all the tests and then perplexed by the array of pills you had to take, all the while fighting niggling fears: does he really know what’s going on; does he care? If any or all of these things have been your experience, Dr. Terrie Wurzbacher’s book, Your Doctor Said WHAT? - Exposing the Communication Gap will resonate with you.

Within the sixteen chapters of this book physician cum patient Wurzbacher names and explores challenges faced by patients and their doctors in the present-day overburdened U.S. health system (challenges which are undoubtedly present in health systems within developed countries around the world – certainly Canada).

She starts out by contrasting fatherly Marcus Welby, TV doctor figure of the past, with the modern doctor who is perpetually in a hurry, without the time or patience to listen to the ill person’s side of the story, fixated on doing tests and prescribing pills, and demanding the patient’s compliance even though he has often not taken the time to explain what’s wrong and what the tests and pills are meant to accomplish.

Some additional issues Wurzbacher tackles are the unrealistic expectations both doctors and patients have of each other, the lack of respect and empathy doctors appear to have toward patients, the difficulty for patients already in pain and distress to deal with a complicated and slow-moving system, and the variety of other places patients can go for medical help and advice – from the internet to alternative medicine providers.

Wurzbacher does a good job of talking about the problem. Besides over 30 years’ experience as a physician, she has also been a patient and it’s as an advocate for patients she is most effective. In fact, chapters 1-13 are written almost solely from the patient’s point of view. Her description of what it’s like to be a patient will reassure fellow sufferers that they are not alone.

However, to make the book jacket’s pronouncement come true: “This controversial book should be … in each doctor’s office,” it will also need to be read and endorsed by physicians. Though Wurzbacher’s tone through much of the book seems designed to irritate fellow physicians, her polemic does finally become more balanced when she gets to Chapter 14, “In the Doctor’s Defense,” where she gives reasons why doctors often act as they do.

The final chapter, “Tips for Doctors” contains a valuable list of tips and ideas all doctors would be wise to read (e.g. “Use email and bulletin boards – Develop an email system to deal with patients and their concerns after they leave. If you develop an efficient system, then you’ll be able to deal with all their questions and address changes of treatment and advice on side effects…”).

Wurzbacher’s writing style is easy to read, chatty and made punchy in places with sarcastic humor and snappy back-talk:

“You’re sitting there in THE ROOM in THE SKIMPY LITTLE GOWN, waiting, shivering and trying to stay calm, although disgusted and totally alone. You could die in there and who would know until the next time they’re scheduled to come in and tell you that “the doctor will be with you in a moment”? They’d just find your pathetic body lying on the vinyl floor, frozen.”

Scattered amongst Wurzbacher’s argument development within each chapter are interesting personal anecdotes that illustrate her points, and quotes about the practice of medicine from the likes of medical writers like Sir William Osler.

The book is attractively laid out. Each page has large headlines, text broken up into small chunks, and variety used in the font, which all work together to create a book that invites one to read. Something the book would have benefited from, though, is a good line edit. There are many many glitches with words missing, wrong words used, instances of verb / noun disagreement, as well as a page numbering and collation problem.

Even so, Your Doctor Said WHAT? is definitely a worthwhile read. Physicians who really do care about their patients will benefit if they take its criticisms to heart. Patients will be empowered to be more proactive in their own care.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


"When you know you should do a thing, and do it, immediately you know more....Beware of harking back to what you were once when God wants you to be something you have never been."
- Oswald Chambers

Photo: Another use for driftwood. We see this fence often as we go out and about. The other day I photographed it as we whizzed by.

Monday, July 16, 2007

promptings potpourri - summer edition

Five SUMMERY things to do:

1. Enroll your kids in VBS. For one of the coolest themed VBSs I've seen lately (Narnia), check out the one directed by Jan and her husband.

2. Get invited to a neighbour's pool.

Under no circumstances should this act involve a crow bar or fence hopping. Instead, snag an invite by applying simple social psychology. Be honest, friendly and make them feel important -- an easy task considering they have a pool and you don't.
- read How to: Get invited to a neighbour's pool

3. Go camping, but don't invite the bears.
The supplier (Mountain Equipment Co-op) recommends food bags tied high off the ground and downwind from base camp, as well as tiny metal balls affixed to Velcro wristbands. These jingle and alert bears that you're coming, giving them the chance "to avoid you if they wish."'
- read How to: Deter bears from your campsite

4. Create a nostalgic summer ambience in your house by playing an oldies radio station. Here are a bunch that stream on the internet.

5. Keep cool with a 30-second Smoothie.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

currently blooming

Day Lilies

Each one lasts for only a day. I have just a few more days' worth of unopened buds.

"Show me, O Lord, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life
You have made my days a mere handbreadth
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath."
Psalm 39:4,5 (NIV)

Friday, July 13, 2007

white rock whaling wall

One of my favorite local murals is this whale mural in White Rock, seen on Johnston Road as you head toward the beach.

A little sleuthing on the internet has netted me some interesting info about it.

The 21 metre long mural of three life-size gray whales was painted by Wyland, in September of 1984. At the time he was a 28 year old California artist. It was the fourth of Wyland's "whaling walls." In February this year he completed number 95 in Key Largo.

List of Wyland's whaling walls

Watch him paint the Key Largo wall on YouTube.

More murals on my mural blog...


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Recipe Roundup - SUMMER SALAD edition

Welcome to the Summer Salad edition of Recipe Roundup! I hope you're having a good summer so far -- and that the weather is warm enough to make you appreciate a cold crisp salad. We're in a heat wave right now, so these recipes will be timely for me (and the butler).

My contribution is Oriental Salad. I've made it many times, brought it to potlucks and served it at home as a side dish for chicken, ham or beef. One of the things I like about it (beside the tangy taste) is the fact I can make it ahead so I don't have to fuss with it the day of the big meal. I usually make the meatless version, but with the added protein, it could practically be an entire meal.


1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 packages Oriental noodles

Break noodles apart. Place noodles and nuts in shallow baking pan and toast in oven till browned (oven about 350 F. (Can be hotter if you want to toast mixture more quickly.)

1/2 medium cabbage, shredded (as for coleslaw)
2 green onions
1 shredded carrot
2 cups cooked cold meat (chicken, or beef) - Optional

1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup oil
noodle seasoning
3 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt (or less; usually the noodle seasoning contains plenty of salt)

Toss vegetables with dressing. Store in fridge. Stir in crunchies just before serving.


Now please join the roundup by adding the link to your salad recipe post in Mr. Linky, below.
Bon Appetit!

The next Recipe Roundup will be hosted on Thursday, August 2nd at The Happy Wonderer. It features BBQ and Grilling recipes. Pay Ellen a visit here, to find out how to enter.


Spring Anemone


Thursday Challenge

Next Week: BEAUTIFUL (Sky, Water, Landscape, Skyline, Animals, People, Things,...)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

get 'the max from your mac'™

I'm loving my new Mac as much as ever! Now almost two months into owning it, this beautiful addition to my collection of apples (yes, I do actually collect apples - from stove-top timers to ornaments and now a computer - see, it was meant to be!) is beginning to feel like a real friend.

I especially appreciated it yesterday. We had some carpet layers in to do an installation. This meant we had to empty the rooms of furniture - my office being one of them. How simple it was to disassemble my Mac, cart it upstairs, plug it in and get to work again in my daughter's old bedroom -- not like E., who now uses my old dinosaur and spent at least 30 minutes first labeling cords and plug-ins so he'll be able to put his Windows puzzle together again (mind, it's ancient; I'm sure the new Windows machines are much simpler).

I've been meaning to talk about the Mac class I took in June. This was free instruction that came from the Mac store (ours is Simply Computing in Langley) along with the purchase of a new computer.

Keith Richardson, the founder of a company called MacSeniors was our teacher. It was an eye-opening day, clueing me in to not only many handy keystrokes which I wasn't aware of, but to the variety things that the Mac allows you to do and make.

Especially interesting was the afternoon when Mr. Richardson talked about the iLife suite of applications (iTunes, iMovie, iDVD etc.). It was necessarily more of a demonstration than teaching session, but when I saw the DVDs that he had made (he made one as a Christmas gift for each of his grandkids), my mouth watered. I've decided that as soon as life settles down, I'm going to learn how to make a DVD!

Fortunately, we have Mr. Richardson around as a handy resource. He is also active in MacWest, a club that meets regularly (in Surrey) to discuss user's questions and explore things one can do with Macs. Members of the public are welcome (the next meeting is tomorrow, July 11th).

But you can access his wealth of knowledge too. On his blog are posted dozens of helpful links. If you're new to a Mac or if you're a longtime Mac user but have learned just enough to get by doing the things you do day to day - give it a look. After all, don't you too want to 'Achieve the MAX from your Mac'?

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Every time more Canadian soldiers are killed in Afghanistan, a brouhaha erupts in the news with questions being asked, mostly by politicians and some media types: "When have too many Canadians died? When is it time for us to withdraw?" Since there have been many casualties lately, this discussion is happening a lot and it is getting tiresome. This is, after all, war. And this isn't this what the terrorists are counting on us to do - wimp out when the going gets tough? Did the same thing happen, I wonder, during World War II every time deaths were reported from the front? I wonder too how this attitude affects the morale of the soldiers stationed there.

That's why the presence of Major Pierre Bergeron, a Canadian Forces chaplain, in church yesterday morning, was so refreshing. For once we heard from someone who is not out to question our presence in Afghanistan, but to support the troops.

He was visiting family in the area and spoke only briefly. But I found what he said encouraging.

He described eight church services happening at the chapel in Kandahar every Sunday -- accommodating every worship style from liturgical to Black Gospel. He told us of a dream he has of bringing these various 'congregations' together in a joint prayer and fasting meeting one day a month. He spoke of chaplains providing a presence on the base as well as at the front, where soldiers want to talk to them before they go out on missions, and after they return from them.

Major Bergeron was first sent to Afghanistan in December '06 for several weeks. Now he will be returning in two weeks for another nine months.

Our pastors and people from the congregation gathered around him and his wife, laid hands on them and prayed for them. As I looked down from my seat in the balcony at him and his wife back in their seats, and saw her place an arm around his waist, and then saw how he took her hand, I thought of the months ahead for them.

Sending someone off to a place like Afghanistan, no matter how noble the cause, must be terrifying. It made me want to renew my prayers for the soldiers there and add to them the chaplains. They also go into harm's way, not to do direct fighting but to support our soldiers, bringing an eternal perspective to the men and women who represent our nation in its stand against repression and terrorism, and for freedom and democracy,


I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.

Oh magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

Psalm 34:1-3 (NKJV)


Photo: Beach pea

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This little sparrow knows a good thing. It hangs out at Starbucks.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bowen Island

Over the years I've gathered some friends online, mostly through a poetry forum and my blog. Occasionally these friends pay a visit to our part of the country and we get to meet in the flesh. Yesterday was such a day.

Judith is a friend I've gotten to know online through the poetry forum. (Some of the poems she has written are here and here and here.) A few weeks ago we arranged to meet on July 5 on Bowen Island, where she would be holidaying with family.

E. and I made good time through morning traffic yesterday, and got on an earlier ferry than we'd planned. I always get a feeling of leaving my cares behind when I'm on a boat bound for an island.

Yesterday was gorgeous in every way, and we enjoyed the sunshine on the ferry's the upper deck.

Just 20 minutes after leaving Horseshoe Bay, we were pulling into Snug Cove.

Since we had planned to be on the 12 o'clock ferry instead of the 11, hubby and I had an hour to spend. That was easy, as lots of roads beckoned us to explore. We got back to the library (where we'd planned to meet in the parking lot, by car description, as I'd never met Judith before, even by photo) well before the next ferry was due, but the lot was full. So we parked our car up the street, walked back to the library and proceeded to wait - I must admit a little nervously.

I scanned every car (especially the silver ones - the kind they were to be driving) and people walking by must have wondered why I gave them such piercing looks. Finally, the ferry arrived, the cars unloaded but still no Judith anywhere.

A phone call to the place they were staying assured me that Judith and her hubby had left to meet the ferry. What to do? We were about to try to make contact with a cell phone we thought they might have on them when a slim woman approached and asked timidly, "Are you Violet?" Whew! They had watched the cars unload, hadn't seen ours and had been as dismayed as we had with the botch up of our well-laid plans.

With the rendezvous part out of the way, we picked up our car and drove to a beach, where we spread out and ate our cooperative picnic. Then we all piled into one of the cars and headed for a walking trail. Along the way, we slowed to let this mother doe and her twin fawns cross the road.

The beautiful walk led through old-growth woods,

past limpid pools

and a stream with a fish ladder.

We enjoyed this view of Deep Bay near the end of our walk.

It really was wonderful -- like being with an old, yet new friend as Judith and I talked shop, reviewed the God-moments of both our writing journeys, and enjoyed the beauty all around us.

After a short visit with Dave's Mom in her rambling house that's nestled in 16 acres of virgin island forest, the five of us ended the day with dinner at Blue Eyed Mary's Bistro

and a stroll past the boats in the marina.

Thanks, Judith, Dave, and Laura for a beautiful, memorable day!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Pushing up daisies

Thursday Challenge

Next week: GARDEN (Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Wheelbarrow, Hoe, Seeds,...)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

about fretting

Fretting means getting out at elbows mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say "Fret not," but a very different thing to have such a disposition that you find yourself able not to fret. It sounds so easy to talk about "resting in the Lord" and "waiting patiently for Him" until the nest is upset - until we live, as so many are doing, in tumult and anguish, is it possible then to rest in the Lord? If this "don't" does not work there, it will work nowhere. This "don't" must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it never will work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work in anyone else's case. Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself.

Fussing always ends in sin.... Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way.... Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.

Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all "supposing" on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (reading for July 4)


Photo: Common Mallow

Common Mallow is in the same family as Marsh Mallow, which has large amounts of mucilage in its stems and root, and from which marshmallows were first made.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


The thimbleberries are out. This wild berry peels limp off its large inner core and collapses in your hand when you pick it.

Thimbleberries are dryer than salmonberries and blackberries, and feel a little gritty in the mouth. But they are the tastiest ever! I think of them as nature's own fruit leather.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

happy Canada Day!

I know I don't normally post on Sunday but today has to be an exception, because today is Canada's 140th birthday, known as Canada Day.

If there's one thing that this day reminds me of, it's my mom. She was a proud Canadian if there ever was one. As long as I can remember she wouldn't let a Canada Day go by without celebrating it in some way.

When we were kids and lived in Saskatchewan, Canada Day meant taking a break from the farm routine by going fishing or on an outing or a picnic. The year Daddy was in the hospital with a broken leg, Mom (who didn't drive) wasn't deterred. She packed a picnic lunch and the six of us (with the seventh in her tummy) trekked across the field to have a picnic at the Log Cabin Bush. Then she carved July 1 and the year in the trunk of a poplar tree beside our picnic site.

When she moved to British Columbia years later and needed an excuse to use her provincial floral emblem glasses, teacups and place mats, she began a tradition of serving a Canada Day brunch. She would invite 12 people (and when Nunavut became a territory, 13: one for each province and territory), serve typically Canadian food like bacon, eggs, pancakes and strawberries, then end the morning by getting her guests involved in games and quizzes about Canada's culture and history.

I was at several of those brunches and what fun they were! One year she invited members of our family. My sister brought washable Canada flag tattoos, and even got Mom to put one on. Here's proof! (Although I must say, she does look a little sheepish. Tattoos, even fake ones, weren't her style.)

When Mom died last year, on the eve of Canada Day, more than one of us remarked -- isn't it perfect that Mom's first day in heaven will be Canada Day? Besides remembering her today, I'm sure most of us kids will be celebrating Canada in some way. How can we help it? That's how the matriarch brought us up!

Photo: The Canada Day photo was part of a montage display my sis put together to celebrate Mom's 90th birthday in 2004.


It sure was easy to honor my mother in commemorating Canada Day yesterday. Friends in West Vancouver who have recently moved to a condo on the beach front hosted their customary Canada Day party. From the patio of the party room in their building, we had front row seats for the fireworks.

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