Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Four Generations of Caine women


The last day looking at old photos has me posting this gem. 
My Nana Smith , my Great Nana Johnson (née Caine), me and my Mom.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Plant a Tree


The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.
  ~Chinese Proverb

When we moved to West Lynde Subdivision in 1979 it was still in its infancy.  A leafy sapling with a trunk no more than ten inches in diameter had been planted on the front lawn of every house, and another was planted on the boulevard in front of every lawn.  This photo documents the result. That was one wise planner.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Different Flower In the Same Garden


This is my favourite picture of my baby sister and I was thrilled when it fell out of the photo album I was flipping through here at my parents' place. 

One of my first memories was riding in an elevator with my dad when I was four years old.  He took my hand as we stepped out of the strange room and walked down a bright hallway, stopping in front of a giant window that was inside the building. I looked up to see a lady in a white dress with a matching white hat, standing on the other side of the glass. She bent over something beside her, and lifted a small bundle.  She turned towards us, revealing a rosey cheeked, blue eyed baby with fuzzy blonde hair, wearing nothing but a bulky white diaper.  As she let out a wail my dad tilted his head towards me, eyes still on the baby. 

"That's your sister." he said.  I remember a tight feeling in my chest and a lump in my throat.  My nose felt strange and prickly, my eyes prickled too, and suddenly it was hard to see. 

It was many years before I understood what was happening to me in that moment and it amazes me to think that it came on so automatically.  I can't imagine that I would have had any concept of understanding what having a sister meant.  But even if four year old me hadn't a clue, something in my heart was trying to tell me it was going to be pretty special. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reunion Part Deux

photo by Mike Ormshaw
One day last Fall, my facebook status announced that I had an extra peach pie and would deliver it to the office of the first person to reply.  My friend Sue, in Ontario was the first responder and as much as I would have loved to take the pie to her, I figured it wouldn't be worth eating after a five day drive.  I thought about trying to phone a bakery to deliver one to her, but didn't pursue it.  Then several months later when my husband reminded me I was going to be about an hour away from her for my high school reunion, I thought it would be great to surpriser her at her house, pie in hand.
 
After a few emails, facebook messages, and cell phone calls to her husband Mike, operation Peachy Reunion was a go.  Mike recently retired from the OPP, but he still excels at disinformation and subterfuge. Sue was very surprised to see me, though we had a change of venue and they came to me.  Thanks go to Mike and Mike for their input.  It was so nice to see my favourite neighbours, Sue AND Mike, after more than 15 years! 
(I'm kicking myself for not remembering to put the peach pie in the shot as well.  Sue, you'll have to send a photo so we can prove it existed!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

80's Flashback


Went to my 30th High School reunion tonight.  Snapped a photo of Ann, Susan and Glynis in front of the Home Ec room.  Saw lots of old friends and aquaintences.  Stood in a group for 10 minutes with one ex who didn't recognize me until I flashed him my name tag.  Then across the room saw another ex and he waved me over immediately.   It was nice to see these happy, friendly people, but I'm sure glad highschool is long over!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In my mother's garden


My Mother kept a garden,
a garden of the heart,
She planted all the good things
that gave my life it's start.

She turned me to the sunshine
and encouraged me to dream,
Fostering and nurturing
the seeds of self-esteem...

And when the winds and rain came,
she protected me enough--
But not too much because she knew
I'd need to stand up strong and tough.

Her constant good example
always taught me right from wrong--
Markers for my pathway
that will last a lifetime long.

I am my Mother's garden.
I am her legacy-
And I hope today she feels the love
reflected back from me

Author unknown

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memories upon memories


There's nothing like visiting the homestead to tweak the old memory bank.  Here's our old piano with so many memories attached...more for my sister than me.  I was almost sixteen when I took my first lesson and I was much harder to motivate than she.  I've noticed many pianos in people's homes are covered with family photos, particularly grand pianos.  It's fitting when you think of how memories, family or otherwise, can be sparked by music.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eat Like a Canuck


Saturday night I made Greek Food:  Greek chicken, Greek potatoes, Greek salad.  Sunday night I made Indian:  Cashew and Coriander Chicken, Eggplant Bharta, Thai Red Rice and Naan,  Monday night German:  Sausages and pretzel buns from Illichman's,  roasted some potatoes with the sausages on the grill and made a salad. Tuesday night Asian:  Five -Spice Noodle Bowls (love this recipe, so easy and quick with Chinese Five Spice freshly ground from Abby's).   Now that's what I call Canadian Cuisine!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Victimless Fashion

One stop shopping for the season

This is not an advertisement and I'm not getting any kickbacks for this post, it's a public service!  I have to believe I'm NOT the only woman who doesn't like shopping.   I hate it.  I am terrible at picking my own clothes, I'm cheap and I'm hard to fit.  Being overweight is my own fault I know, but I'm certainly not morbidly obese.  Most of my challenges are genetic... I'm short waisted and I have long arms.  I have broad shoulders and no hips,  and though I was pleased to inherit my mom's lovely calves, I have my dad's muscular thighs and broad feet; triple E for him, D for me.   

So when I absolutely, positively HAVE to buy myself some clothes, Benita is my saving grace.  I head to Melanie Lyne's,  and hunker down in the change room while Benita brings me an amazing selection of patterns and colours and styles, most of which I would have passed by on the rack or not bothered trying on thinking they wouldn't suit me.  I can go to the mall for the afternoon and come home with nothing.   When I shop with Benita, in barely an hour end up with so many options I struggle to select which ones to leave behind.  Luckily Benita is great at picking out clothes that work together, mixing sale items with regular classics so you know you'll get your money's worth. If you need a new summer wardrobe or just an item or two to spruce up last years choices I highly recommend Benita at Melanie Lyne - tell her Suzan sent you. My apologies to those of you living outside the Greater Kelowna Area...then again, maybe you should come for a visit!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Florabundance


Perhaps you'd like to buy a flower?
But I could never sell.
If you would like to borrow
Until the daffodil

Unties her yellow bonnet
Beneath the village door
Until the bees, from clover rows
Their hock and sherry draw,

Why, I will end until just then, 
but not an hour more!

-Emily Dickinson

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Timing is Everything


The thing I enjoy most about photography is when you're in the right place at the right time and capture a really neat shot.  One's ability as a photographer has nothing to do with the result and it feels like a magical moment when it happens.   I was hoping the goose would swim farther into the ripples so he'd be surrounded by the watercolour effect, but I think he was hoping I had some bread crumbs and headed towards me instead.

Friday, May 20, 2011

For Special


This is what remains of a collection of glasses I bought about eight years ago. They caught my fancy one day while browsing at the now defunct Laughing Moon Gallery and at The Blue Ginger Trading Company. I liked their weight and their colour, and the feel of the raised pattern on the outside of the glass. They were much too expensive, around $8.00 each I think, but I bought them two at a time over the period of a year or so and asked for them as gifts for Christmas and birthdays. My mom gave me four as a hostess gift when she came to visit one summer. I think the most I had was twelve; six indigo and six teal. 

I didn't save them for special.  I used them with pleasure at every meal, for every glass of water, diet coke, and every apple juice emergency. I was the first to break one and though I was a little disappointed I tried to remain detached, remembering how many sets of glasses my mom had purchased over the years. Broken glasses are a fact of life, though if I'd saved them for special I'd surely have more than three left now.  But I think I would have missed out on the opportunity to feel special, every day.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Celebrating the Fabric of Our Lives


The fabric I ordered from Ma Maison arrived today and it is truly a thing of beauty created by the fabric designer Manuel Canovas. It's shown here over the purple heart occasional chair that my father-in-law made. I'll be using it for a small pillow on the bed,  to re-upholster the vanity cushion and as a throw on the end of the bed.  Now heading into our 27th year of living together we are finally going to have a bedroom that is actually decorated!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bloom where you are planted



"But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else.  In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit.  Weeds are people's idea, not nature's."  ~Author Unknown

A few houses down the street from me, a lush row of dandelions fills the gap between the asphalt and the curb for at least a hundred feet.  It's really quite lovely.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sacred Spaces


There are many things I dislike about my 1970's raised bungalow, but the one thing that will keep me in this house for a long time yet is the deck.  It's private and shady and is my favourite place to sit on a summer evening surrounded by candlelight, friends and family.  It is my sacred space and I do miss it in the winter months.  At the moment it's my preferred location for working on a collection of stories from my father-in-law's time spent in India between 1937 and 1944.



I write here on sunny afternoons, nestled in a chair Dad occupied for many years.  Wind chimes ring softly behind me and I find myself transported into a past I've never seen.  I am with them in the garden where they sit on the bamboo swing, his head in her lap.  His eyes are closed and her soothing voice flows over him as she strokes his brow, telling him of the myths and mysteries of India.  Overhead the heart shaped leaves of the peepal tree brush against each other, and beneath their gentle raindrop patter, he dreams of tigers.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vino Tinto


Tonight we enjoyed a very nice 2009 Calafate Reserva Pino Noir from the Patagonia region of Argentina.  Though it tasted a bit too fruity for me to start with it turned out to be a good compliment to the brined pork tenderloin I served and definitely benefited from decanting.  It lost that initial juice like taste and developed some depth and a richer flavour after sitting for a bit. Salut!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just Hangin' Around


Here's a photo I took shortly after getting off the water taxi at Granville Island Ferry Dock. Did I take it today? No, I took it in April. Did I take some photos today?  Yes, about 12 photos.  Were they all blurry and/or overexposed? Yes. Does it say somewhere that the daily photo has to be a photo I took today? No.  My blog, my bendy rules.  :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

And the dinner is....


I can never resist photographing a mess of chopped vegetables.  Here we have the holy trinity of Cajun cuisine:  onion, celery and peppers... all ready for tonight's Creole Chicken & Okra with Parsley Rice.  Bon Appetit!

Let it flow


Bellevue Creek is rushing through my neighbourhood.  With more snow yet to melt in the mountains (just have a look in the background at yesterday's photo), I'm glad it's banks are fairly high!  I am thankful for this water though, as I hear it's going to be a dry summer in the Okanagan.

If you're wondering why there's two posts for today and none yesterday,  blogger was out of commission Thursday and I could not post my daily photo.  I did post it on my facebook page, but unless you are an fb friend of mine, you didn't get to see it.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How d'ya like them apples?


Took the roundabout route (literally) to Benvoulin today. Was pleased to get a photo of these blossoms before they fell.  Looks like it will be a good year for apples ...or maybe they're pears....  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Is it really here?!


Looks like we skipped spring and are now into summer!  I made a quick stop on my way past Gyro Beach  to capture some of the first sunbathers of the year.  Didn't want to get too close and become known as that creepy old lady with the iPhone.

Monday, May 9, 2011

You win some, you lose some....


This photo represents how I feel my day has been going.  I'm in a endless loop, an infinite regression, working on several projects moving between computers and cameras and iphone.  Cue the theremin and start the photo spinning....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Summer 1994 near Peterborough Ontario.

On this Mother’s day I’d like to take the opportunity to brag about say how proud I am of my children and all they have accomplished this year.   Last year's move from Calgary to Vancouver was not quite as smooth as Adam would have liked.  Though he struggled at first, he persisted and overcame a number of challenges that were thrown his way.  He now has a place in the city, is working two jobs, and still has the time to write and record music and play guitar in a  heavymetal band with some very fine young men. It’s such a treat for me when he calls me in the middle of the day, just to say hello.  

Nicole recently finished her first year of University in the Fine Art program at UBCO.  She lives with a friend in an apartment downtown and she paid for her entire year herself, including tuition, books, rent, food and a class trip to New York during reading week.  In order to do this she has two part time jobs but this doesn’t effect her marks (all at the top end of the scale) or her art - one of her paintings was chosen for the SOPA U8 show this year and she was the only one who was still a student in the group of 100 artists.  She still finds time to visit us at least once a week and we talk or text daily.  

Not only hard working and responsible, my children have show great consideration for others in their daily lives and their kindness and generosity is an inspiration to me.  :)  Te amo muchisimo!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Memories of August


The first opportunity to use my new tomato keeper has me longing for this year’s harvest. I could easily live on those juicy red wedges dotted with fragrant basil and a liberal splash of olive oil.  And then there are days when I’d just pull them off the vine and take a bite, filling my mouth with that warm flood of flavour.  *sigh*  I’m sure that’s what sunshine tastes like.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pocket Full of Anchos


Today I googled "Chef at Home Spicy Chili" after watching Michael Smith prepare a fantastic dinner for his poker buddies (guess what we're having for dinner on the first cool day next week). After I made my list,  I headed to Abby's Spices and Tea Store to find some dried poblano peppers, and few other spices I was low on. Abby didn't have any poblanos but she tempted me with some ancho peppers that smelled amazing.... they should be a great substitute.  She also had some interesting hot sauces that I thought I'd share in this post.  Michael Smith says it's the adrenaline rush that draws people to the super hot sauces - I think that's too much adrenaline for me!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flower Farm Citrus


Hit the Mission Creek Greenway again, this time for a lunch hour walk with one of my besties (and one of my beasties) starting at the Spiers Road bridge. Afterwards it was a short drive to Kelowna Flower Farm where I used my iPhone to capture the brilliance of these lime, lemon, orange and pink grapefruit watering cans.     Keeping in the citrus theme, I was surprised to come across this lovely grapefruit plant at the Flower Farm.  Wouldn't you love to grow fresh grapefruit in your own home?


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bella Donna

My friend and I stopped at The Roasted Bean Coffee House after our bike ride along the Mission Greenway this afternoon.  Despite our extreme efforts and  the heat,  I couldn't resist a cappuccino ..... or the brilliant colour combination Donna created on the patio.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

Feast for the Senses

On a friend's recommendation I stopped by Abby's Spice and Tea Store this morning.  An hour and a half later I left laden with a new mortar and pestle, fresh cinnamons sticks, an excellent bottle of olive oil, a cup sized wire strainer and 60 grams of Market Spice Tea, which I am currently sipping.  A lot of restraint was involved in those few purchases.  I  think I might go back tomorrow though after I peruse my spice drawers, as well as for the Bodum French Press... at $15.99, I don't think I can resist.   Abby's is my new favourite store!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pinkie


The most beautiful magnolia tree I have ever seen is located on Richter Street in Kelowna.  The Magnolia Pinkie is the result of crossing Magnolia Lilliflora with Magnolia Stellata.  This one is stunning but I'd be happy to see bigger one if anyone finds one out there.