Thursday, May 31, 2012


Vestibule and staircases of the historic Rodmay Hotel in Powell River B.C.


Thursday Challenge

Next Week: CONTAINER (Glass, Cup, Bowl, Box, Baskets,...)
Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

discover something new in a familiar place

On Sunday after lunch with B. at Sophie's  we went for a walk to Granville Island. It's a place we've walked around dozens of times. Yet on Sunday we discovered something new. For the first time we came across the houseboats. I'd seen them from the waterfront when on a harbor cruise way back in 2007. But this was the first time we stumbled onto the row of them via land.

It made me wonder how many other things I've missed. And it got me thinking of how to put new zest and enjoyment into familiar walks. Here are six things I thought of:

1. Walk a different way than you usually walk. That's how we came across these houseboats yesterday—by following hubby's suggestion to walk around the island instead of diagonally across to the market like we usually do. Whether your walk is a line or a loop, taking it in a different way than you usually do is bound to yield some new discoveries.

Granville Island houseboats

2. Carry a camera with a charged battery and set yourself the goal of coming away with at least a dozen photos. Your attention will be sharpened as you scout for scenes to capture and take home with you (from panoramas to macros).

Downtown Vancouver from the False Creek sea walk

Oriental poppy - close and personal

3. Be alert with more than just your eyes. Listen (to the seagulls, the horns of the water taxis, the ching of the bike bells...), smell (flowers, kelp, fish'n chips, coffee...) touch (couldn't keep my hands off those displays of lovely silk scarves) and taste (we found a cozy new-to-us gelato place that we liked better than the one we usually go to, judging by scoops of cappuccino, chocolate almond and maple walnut).

B. and me, smelling the posies

4. If you have time, take it.
Relax and enjoy people-watching, the scenery, the ambiance of the pan flute, French folk-singer and the bagpipe buskers. As you can see, that's what this crowd believes in too.

5. Take into account what the people you're with like and don 't like to do. The three of us don't enjoy thick crowds so even though the Granville Island Market is one of the island's must-sees, we skipped it entirely yesterday, knowing that it would be stall-to-stall people.

6. Park away from the congestion if you can. When we go to Granville Island, our favorite parking spot is off site at a cheap little-frequented lot near the Granville Island school. It's a short walk to the seawall, but  it's much less stressful than easing our car through the throngs of pedestrians looking for those rare parking spots in the middle of the island's action.

Back to you: What are some of your favorite walks and haunts? Why do you keep going back to them?  Have you discovered something new in a familiar place? How did it happen? 

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Worship leader


Next Week: STAIRS (Straight, Spiral, Indoor, Outdoor, Fire Escape,...)

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Monday, May 21, 2012

made it! (971-1002 of 1000 gifts)

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier

If you've been reading my blog regularly or from time to time, you will realize I've been doing some strange count-my-blessings thing here. It originated with Ann Voskamp who, after accepting the challenge of finding and naming 1000 gifts/blessings/things for which to be thankful, found herself focusing on a life of gratefulness. She wrote a book about it and in the community that has grown up around her blog and that book, invites participants to share blessings. That's what my posts have been a part of.

At the beginning of this year she threw out a new challenge. To enable  people to reach 1000 blessings in one year she issued "The Joy Dare" which challenges folks to name three gifts a day.

She puts out a monthly prompt for these blessings. To help me reach my 1000 more quickly (and to discipline myself to look for something every day) I've been following May's prompts. And with that bit of help, TA-DA! I reach 1000 gifts this week, a journey I began on July 2010 with "a dose of thankfulness."

I will repeat the prompts from her May Joy Dare list, along with the blessings I found through it:

May 7th: Three gifts about my home:
971. The upstairs laundry.
972. A sunny kitchen.
973. Two decks and a patio—with lots of through-breezes, sun and fresh air.

May 8th: Three gifts inside a closet:
974. Our summer quilt, now out of the closet and on the bed.
975. My gardening shoes, now also often out of the closet and on my feet.
976. Summer T's and other light clothes for warming days.

May 9th. Three gifts in the dark:
977. The fridge  and the food it holds. It's always light when I ope the door and look inside, but most of the time the door is closed and it's dark.
978. Piano notes—hammered out in the dark.
979. God's secret plans. When I'm in the dark my faith is stretched.

May 10th A gift outside, one inside, one upside down:
980. Outside—my hanging baskets from Costco.

981. Inside—my quiet office. How much has been wrought here.
982. Upside-down—my feelings as I anticipate the journey ahead for my book: happy to be done but a little dismayed by the publicity/marketing job ahead.

May 11th three gifts from parents:
983. My mom's push to do things early, do things now.
984. My mom's love of plants.
985. The memory of Daddy talking to the farm animals.

May 12 - Three gifts held in hand:
986. A bowl of roses and baby's breath (a wifey Mother's Day present from hubby).

987. Ibuprofen.
988. Washrags, for cleaning up the patio furniture on a summery day.

May 13 - Three gifts in my mother:
989. Her creativity and how she encouraged us to be imaginative and resourceful.
990. Her kindness—she was very aware of hurting people's feelings and didn't often do it.
991. Her enthusiasm for her current project, showing us the attractiveness of a zest for life.

993. On Mother's Day, I'm so grateful for my family, who honoured me in many ways. Thank you, my lovely peeps!

May 14th - A gift picked, put away, and put back.
994. I picked up my white flower-painted enamel teapot, a daily pick-up I use all summer to water my patio baskets.
995. I put away folded and fragrant laundry.
996. At the end of the day I put back all my pens and pencils. They now rest in their respective mugs on my desk, waiting for tomorrow.

May 15th - Three gifts about me:
997. I'm usually on time.
998. I try to finish things
999. I'm healthy, more or less—mostly more.

May 16th - Three gifts about God's Word:
1000. It is the source of wisdom - James 3:13-16 gives a good definition.
1001. It gives direction - Proverbs 3:5-6.
1002. It gives us fodder for hopes and dreams - Zechariah 8:20-23.

I will stop at this point. But thankfulness doesn't end at 1000 (or 1002). I know that this project has sharpened my awareness  of how much good fills my life. So, though I won't continue to list any more of last week's gifts here, I don't know if I'll be able to completely kick the habit of broadcasting such lists on my blog.  I hope you'll indulge me if  I share more of  my gratefulnesses here from time to time.

And now for the last time:


If  you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand  
Gifts,  please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post  
their gifts  on blogs, while others list them in private journals.  
Instructions on  how to join are here.


Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Thursday, May 17, 2012


May walkabout  (photographed near Nicomekl Creek - May 9, 2012)


Thursday Challenge 

Next Week: MUSIC(Musical Instruments, Live Music, Sheet Music, CDs, iPods, Music Players,...)

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

canadian author deb elkink interview

Any of you who have read The Third Grace by Canadian author Deb Elkink will enjoy her interview on her local Alberta TV station. In the interview she talks about her journey to publication, her inspiration, and her characters.

(My review of The Third Grace)

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Window aquarium


Thursday Challenge

Next week: MOTHER (Grandmother, Mom, Animal Mother, Mother with Children,...)

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Monday, May 07, 2012

gifts of celebration (#951-970 of 1000 gifts)

New-dressed trees line path
cool evening keeps dogwoods crisp
Shy girls bloom prom-wear

Over a couple of glorious days in the last little while the world has turned green. The walking path behind our house, lined with skeleton trees all winter, has transformed itself into a verdant avenue. This is only the first (#951) of many blessings this past week has held.

I downloaded Ann Voskamp's "May Joy Dare"  and am using it as a blessing prompt.

May 1st  - 3 gifts tasted:
952. Coffee

953. Greek lamb kebob.

954. Tuxedo Truffle Cake—for my birthday.

May 2nd - 3 gifts flat:
955. Knife blade for cutting my breakfast banana.
956. My Kindle e-reader. A hundred or so books and it still retains its trim 7/8-inch girth.
957. This lovely garden stepping stone, a gift from my sis.

May 3rd - 3 gifts found in difficult people.
958. They teach me to listen.

959. They teach me the discipline of kindness.

960. They give me practice in the soft answer.

May 4th - 3 gifts before 9:00 a.m.
961. A hot shower.

962. Reading the Bible, thinking about what it means, and praying.

963. Blooming wisteria, seen on our walk (yes, we walk before 9:00 a.m.).

May 5th - Gifts in a sign, a smile, and a snack.

We happened to take a day trip to La Conner, Washington on Saturday. It was tailor-made for these gifts.

964. These signs were seen in the Calico Cupboard and while window shopping.

964. There were smiles all around as we heckled the pirate ships going by during the La Conner boat parade.

965. Ice-cream cones were the snack gift, made all the more so when we ran into the honeymooners we had just seen at the boat parade and whom M. had photographed. They asked for another photo on the occasion of finding non-sugar ice-cream which meant diabetic he could have a rare ice-cream cone with ice-cream-loving she.

966. Of course La Conner had more than three gifts. A big one was the beautiful  Quilt and Textile Museum, housed in Gaches Mansion. Here is a sample of some of the beauties we were allowed to photograph. (The second floor with its "Deep Spaces" show was off limits to cameras. Pity, because it was an amazing display of creativity executed with fabric and thread, as were the quilts pictured.)

May 6th - 3 gifts found in Christ.
967. A history. Yesterday our church celebrated its 75th Anniversary. Spoken memories and a video recalled highlights from the past 75 years.

968. Worship. The service  included songs from about five eras of worship music. There's nothing like music to refresh memories of one's relationship with Jesus.

969. A celebration with food. In the spirit of David celebrating the return of the Ark to Jerusalem by sending everyone home with a gift of meat, bread and a cake of raisins, we went home with bag lunches that contained meat (ham), bread (wrapped around the meat) and a (cup)cake along with carrot sticks, dip and juice box.

970. To round out this week's gifts, yesterday our own sweet son came over. He took us on a vicarious trip of New York with his photos, flattered me on my cookies, and left  some sunshine for my garden.

If  you'd like to join me and many others collecting One Thousand Gifts,  please do. Some members of this gratefulness community post their gifts  on blogs, while others list them in private journals. Instructions on  how to join are here.


Violet Nesdoly / poems
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