Showing posts from June, 2011


When we returned home from the hospital after my mother passed away yesterday morning, we searched out her bible.  A piece of paper marked a page, and in her handwriting, the name of the following verse directed us to this message from her.
2 Corinthians 13: 11-13
And now my friends, good-bye!Strive for perfection; listen to my appeals; agree with one another; live in peace,And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Greet one another with the kiss of peace.
All of God’s people send you their greetings.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Happy Days

It's hard to surprise my Mom, but her friends sure did when they showed up en mass for a housewarming party after my parents moved into their first house, circa 1970.  It was  a two story, three bedroom with a rumpus room and it cost a whopping $15,000.  Those were the days my friends!

Fruit of my Labour

Hello you people who arrived here in search of info about the Benvoulin strawberry patch.  The phone number is in the bottom paragraph.  Happy picking!
So there I was at the Benvoulin strawberry patch at 7:30 this morning about to take a photo of those endless rows of green bushes and shiny red strawberries in that magical morning light, only to discover my battery was dead.  On Sunday I went to take a photo of a brilliant orange Chevy at the Father's Day Show and Shine and was disappointed to see I had arrived sans memory card.  I think I'm getting to the age where I need check list before I leave the house, at least as far as photography is concerned.  
I did however remember to bring my own bucket to my first visit to the patch this year and I will be back so don't worry, you'll be seeing more strawberries in the future.  This first batch will be just for eating as God intended and making into strawberry shortcake...which I suspect God had a hand in as well.  
For K…

Daddy's Girls

This photo is almost exactly three years old, taken during a family photo shoot on my Mother's 70th Birthday. The story below was written by my sister Stephanie as part of a collection we made for my Dad's 60th birthday.  I felt it captured my Dad quite well and thought I'd share it with you.
My earliest vivid memories, as a child, are times that I spent with my father.  He would be working afternoons, or nights, and as I had not yet started school, my mother would pop me into bed with him before she took Suzan to school and went to work.  He would wake up momentarily, just long enough to hug me close and I would fall back to sleep, protected in his arms (translation:  He had me in a head lock).  I would later wake and wait patiently until it was time to get up and start the day. We would do a variety of different things on these days, but it always started with:  “Come on, we’re going for coffee.”  So off we’d go for coffee and a talk with the guys.  Then it was off to the …

Lacking That Driving Ambition

The strawberries were all picked out by 8:50 this morning so Pitou and I went for a walk along Mission Greenway instead. It runs behind Mission Creek Golf Course at one point and signs on a high fence separating the path from the course warn you to watch for incoming golf balls.  My Dad golfs, my husband golfs, my sister golfs and what I do...would not qualify as golf.  I like the idea of it, and the idea of my husband and I playing together on occasion, but I think I'm on the same side of the fence as my friend Jeannie.  She says she's going to save a lot of time during her retirement by not golfing.

Cultivating Community

One of Kelowna's Community Gardens is tucked behind the CNC off of Gordon Drive in the Mission.  The City of Kelowna is really to be commended on partnering with Central Okanagan Community Gardens to make wonderful use of a space that was likely no more than a patch of grass up until now.  The gardens are beautifully tended and so healthy and green you can almost feel the vitamins rushing into you just from looking at the lush plants.
A member of our dog park pack has a plot in here.  He signed up in the spring at a cost of a mere $15.00, promising to abide by the 17 rules that are mostly  common sense.  As per Kelowna City bylaws, pesticide use is restricted, members are encouraged to leave tools in the shed to share and a compost bin and blue room are provided for well, waste.  What a great opportunity for individuals with no yards or green space.  Gardening is so important to people, some call it a hobby, some call it therapy. What a great city we live in to offer this service t…

Plateful of Memories

Torn between financial support of my mentor and saving some trees and a little cash, I went with the latter and visited Pandosy Books this afternoon, purchasing The Book of Secrets and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall.  On the Toonie table beside the cash register I spied this plate and was transported back to the kitchen in my childhood home.    So many memories rush in: our family meals around the formica table, seated on vinyl chairs, pushing vegetables around these plates while translating for my baby sister who as a very small child pronounced her r’s like Elmer Fudd and had words for different objects that only I understood.  I’d almost forgotten our before bed ritual of a bowl of cereal: slowly putting spoon to mouth until only milk remained and we tipped the dish to our mouths when we thought our Mother wasn't looking.    I remember with great longing, a plate that sometimes appeared after supper, heavy with thick buttered slices of moist pumpkin loaf studded with walnuts…

I saw the sign

It has begun!  The first fruit crop of the season is ready for picking on Friday and this weekend I'll be making sugar-free freezer jam.  Then comes raspberries, then cherries...oh my the cherries.  There are no cherries like cherries from the valley.  After that it's an overlapping of blackberries, blueberries, apricots, peaches, second crops of strawberries and raspberries, plums, grapes, pears and apples.  Oh what a luscious bounty!  A toast to the farmers and orchardists that bring such sweet joy to our summers!

The Write Time and Place

In the above photo: Governor General Award and Two time Giller Prize winner M.G. Vassanji's book "A Place Within...Rediscovering India." (winner of the G.G.), a silk shawl worn by my father-in-law's Anglo Indian girlfriend circa 1940, the wooden box used to ship her grandfather's belongings circa late 1800's.
My favourite Gothe Quote begins: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way....” To make a long story short I was working on a mem…


I often sit and wish that I Could be a kite up in the sky And ride upon the wind and go Whatever way I chanced to blow
Author Unknown

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

My mother-in-law used to say she hated making a big dinner because after all the hours of work, it was all undone so quickly.  I feel the same way about cleaning the kitchen - all that work and it never lasts for long.
Today while my husband replaced the next part of the fence that's falling down, I decided to roll up my sleeves and attack the kitchen from top to bottom.  I  dusted the light fixtures, I wiped down all the counters and large and small appliances, cleaned the stove top, shined the kettle, made the sunbeam toaster beam, washed the dishes, loaded the dishwasher, and wiped down all 27 cupboard doors and 14 drawers, (never have white cupboards!).  I finished with a good mopping of the floor and the satisfaction that comes with a job well done.  
It won't stay this way for long that's for sure, and even as I put down the camera, I glanced towards the stove where new potatoes boiled for tonight's dinner.  Water splashed over the sides of the pot, leaving brow…


"Lord, make us mindful of the little things that grow and blossom in these days to make the world beautiful for us."- W.E.B. du Bois  
We've made a lot of changes to our gardens over the past 15 years, but the irises that spring up here and there will always remain as long as we are here.

Cat Nap

This is Oliver our rescue kitty, doing his favourite thing. Today it was also my favourite thing and I slept the entire afternoon away. I think it was a combination of it being day three of the caffeine wean,  and the fact that I'm feeling a bit stressed with all projects, ideas, and attempts to help the people around me.  This thought also came up as the result of a dream I had this morning.  I was sitting in the front of a plane that was nosediving into the ocean. I saw the water rising along the windows and I turned to my husband and said "We're going to drown." Everyone around me seem surprisingly calm however.  Then someone stood up and opened a small hatch in the ceiling, and just as people rose to join him,  and I wondered how we would all get out in time,  I woke up with a start.  I'm sure you know that feeling of relief when you realize it was only a dream.

Being Jungian at heart, I knew my subconscious was trying to tell me I've taken on a bit to …

Must Love Dogs

It's hard to imagine where I'd be without this man in my life.  And it's hard to believe that he survived  growing up in the jungles of Venezuela; playing with real machetes, shooting authentic hunting arrows straight up into the air, swinging on vines through a jungle full of creepy crawly insects and snakes,  dumping gasoline straight out of a can onto a fire that he and his friend started in the neighbour's garage (he was 3), backing the car out of the driveway onto the road (also at the age of 3), whoops, that was Peter not Mike, unable to breathe in the middle of that night 'til the neighbour doctor came running from next door and administered a shot, blowing things up with the black powder he made after his dad gave him the recipe, riding his bike through tall grass that could cut you to ribbons if you rubbed it the wrong way, repeatedly pedalling a toy car like mad down a hill and coasting across the road at the bottom, having mid-air collisions with his be…

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures!

Well, here we are at game 4 after getting our butts kicked pretty bad Monday night.  I know hockey players are pretty superstitious, so I'm going to try to get some luck from this jersey that a friend of my sister's signed for Adam in the 90's.  Some guy known as a "stand up goal tender", named Kirk McLean.   I'm hoping Luongo will spend a bit more time standing this game. :)  It's hanging over the TV 'cause I can't bear to watch!

Worth the Wait

When we did a Windjammer Barefoot Cruise through the Grenadines a few years ago, we enjoyed a generous spoonful of Matouk's Kuchela with almost every lunch and dinner.  When we got back to Kelowna, we searched high and low for a bottle of the stuff that's so common in many Caribbean countries. Even the local Caribbean store that we recently stumbled upon didn't carry it.  We found it online, but when we tried to order it we were told that it couldn't be shipped to Canada because it contained an ingredient we don't admit into the country (???)  While were were in Seattle at Pike's Place Market we came across a Mexican/Caribbean market, and much to our delight, they carried Matouk's.  It was the perfect compliment to tonight's Pork Tenderloin a la Jamie Oliver.

Pocketful of Catch Up

As you can see there are several posts for today.  I'm catching up from my weekend away and this June 6 post actually begins June 3rd.  When we go to a restaurant, it's often a challenge for me to find something that I can eat without raising my blood sugar.  You'd be surprised at how many ways you can slip sugar into a dish when you really don't need it. Despite this fact, I still enjoy dining out because after I do the song and dance with the waitress who insists that there is no sugar in the mushroom soup and then goes and asks the chef and finds out that yes, there is brown sugar, I do find many good ideas for food to make at home.  Here's the antipasto I'll be attempting to copy this evening, from a restaurant we at at this weekend called The Pink Door. Don't pass up an opportunity to eat there!  We managed to get one of the last spots on the shaded patio and had a wonderful lunch on Saturday.  That olive oil is made by the restaurant and I snagged a …

That's the spirit!

Saw these two vehicles while driving home between Vancouver and Kelowna.

Saturday Sails

The view of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound from the Sculpture Garden in Seattle, Washington.

Bellevue Jazz Festival

Was thrilled to get my photo taken with my idol Tierney Sutton at the Jazz Festival in Bellevue Washington this weekend.  As know....I'm thinking it's just the camera angle...Yikes!

On Hiatus

My apologies if you were expecting a recent photo today.  I'm away for a few days and will have my camera with me, but may not be able to post.  I'll be back on line on the 5th and will catch up then.  Thanks for checking me out...have you had a look at my other blog?  Haven't posted for several months but you might find it entertaining.  It's a travel blog called "From the Valley and Beyond".    In case you're curious, this photo was taken in March on the island of Huahine, part of French Polynesia.  This was our front yard for a couple of days on Motu Mahare.  Very Robinson Crusoe.

Lovin' From The Oven

I really enjoyed the Food Network on the flight back yesterday afternoon, particularly the Mexican Made Easy and French Food at Home programs.  Tonight I made most of the French meal that Laura Calder made for her family reunion which was appropriate since Nicole came for dinner.  I skipped the Risotto but I'll definitely try it another day.  We had the aperitif platter, the Ratatouille (without the meat as Nicole is Vegetarian) on Red Thai Rice, and the Strawberry Galette shown here.  I'm usually a disaster when it comes to baking, but I'm proud to say this one worked out so I had to have proof.  Do give it a try!

Faith, Hope and Love

One last photo from my Mom's house

1 Corinthians 13:13 
Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.