Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Fine Mess

The free 30 days of my Quickbooks upgrade expired last week.  I really should have registered it immediately when I installed it, there was no reason not to ....other than the fact that I didn't have to. As a result I wasted half of a beautiful sunny day tearing my home office apart, looking for the folder that had my QB licensing number on it.  It wasn't there.

I phoned the Quickbooks Help Line to see if they could register me some how without it, and they could, but that would involve faxing them the invoice along with all my business information, address etc. and then waiting three to five business days.  Not having a fax machine at home meant I'd have to wait until the next day.  You might be thinking I could have scanned it, but the story to explain why it wouldn't have worked is just too long so trust me...I couldn't.

You'd think I would have put it somewhere safe I thought to myself. So I pulled the place apart again, shuffling through file folders, cleaning out drawers and getting distracted by old magazines.  Later, while sitting at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, head in hands, my spidey senses told me to look through the pile of papers on the kitchen counter, waiting to be filed.  Eureka!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The View

Mike had told me about the stunning views in one of the project's he's working on so we headed up to the the South Mission Slopes to have a look at Kathy Melton's latest subdivision. Every one of the 17 lots has stunning unobstructed views (and the engineering is naturally outstanding). Here's the view from our new Lot.

Oh sorry, did I say "our new" lot?  I should have said "my favourite" lot.  *sigh*'s nice to dream.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Artist's Date

Shortly after I moved to Kelowna I was lucky enough to become part of a group of four like-minded women who decided to meet weekly and work their way through a book by Julia Cameron called The Artist's Way.  This book and these women changed my life and got me in touch with a creative part of myself that had been dormant for many years.   

Two of the basic tools Cameron employs are daily Morning Pages and a weekly Artist's Date.  Weekly would be in an ideal world.  Even a semi-retired bum like myself has responsibilities that create challenges for a weekly indulgence such as this.  

I do it when I can, and today I could.  I took myself and my camera on an Artist's Date at Benvoulin Heritage Church.  Above is my favourite shot of the day.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

...and the Grillin' is Easy!

As more and more disgusting things come out about factory farming our family is consuming less and less meat.  This certainly does not mean we're using our barbeque any less.  This afternoon while preparing the business's quarterly HST and Corporate Tax payments,  I oiled up some veggies (don't worry, the skins are coming off so all that oil won't be consumed) and put them on the grill so I could prepare some Escalivada for tonight's dinner.  Had to use my timer due to the varying cooking times, but I've figured out the secret to adding them bit by bit so they finish around the same time.  This traditional Catalan salad combines the  grilled vegetables you see above, with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, wine vinegar, finely minced garlic and oregano, garnished with a rough chop of flat leaf parsley.  I couldn't find an online version of the recipe i use, but did find a link to the cookbook if you wanted to have a look for it or borrow it from the library.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Magic Hour

For me there's a special quality of light on sunny summer days in the late afternoon.  I glimpsed a hint of it today when the sun found a patch of blue sky in all that grey, and shadows of the cottonwood trees stretched their way across my deck. 

It reminded me of summers past, when I'd walk from a comfortable temperature inside, into heat laden air that wrapped itself around me, slowing my brain and my body.  Though I don't like the extreme heat, there's something comforting about that warm embrace. 

I miss those lazy Saturday afternoons.  It's so relaxing to recline on the rattan sofa, while an icy drink sweats on the table beside me.  Pages turn slowly in the palpable heat until I become too drowsy to hold up my book and nod off for a while.  I haven't given up hope that we'll have a few of those days soon, after all we still have more than half the summer left!  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sharing Our Hearts' Desire

My daughter was turning that magical age of 11 when the first Harry Potter movie came out in 2001.  I’m pretty sure she took her friends to see it to celebrate her birthday which falls at a time when many of the subsequent movies were released.  By then I think the third book was out and both of my children had become avid fans of the series, re-reading the books over  and over until each next installment arrived at Mosaic Books.  

Oh how I wish I’d made up a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for my daughter to open on her 11th Birthday.  These days with so many different computer fonts and specialty papers I’m sure you could create a believable facsimile and the text is right there in “The Philosopher's Stone”.    Also in the Philospher’s Stone is one of the most powerful things I’ve read in a book, before or since...  In an attempt to hide from Filch, Harry finds himself in an abandoned classroom with The Mirror of Erised.   In the mirror he sees himself surrounded by his dead parents and relatives.  When he brings Ron the next night, to show him his family, Ron sees himself  as Quidditch Captain and head boy, holding the Quidditch cup.  Harry continues to visit the mirror as often as he can, longing to see his family, hoping the mirror is showing the future.  Eventually Dumbledore appears and explains to Harry what the mirror means.  The backwards inscription reads “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.”  He tells Harry, that the mirror will be moved and he hopes Harry will not search for it “ does not do well to dwell on dreaming, and forget to live...”  I read this at a time in my life when I was struggling with a number of issues, and I am grateful to J.K. Rowlings for those motivating words.  

It’s almost ten years since the first HP movie, and last week my adult daughter went to Vancouver to visit her older brother where they saw the final Harry Potter installment in 3D.  We had lunch together today and she showed me the tattoo she had done a few days ago.

Click here to see a photo of it.

Click here to see the Mirror of Erised scene from the movie.  
It still gives me goosebumps when I watch it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spicing Things Up

As many of you have discovered, I am not a shopper....but Monday is grocery day and since I do enjoy cooking (and eating), grocery shopping is a necessary evil.  

After stops at Don-O-Ray, My Country Garden and Extra Foods - where I refused to pay $7.59 for 400 grams of Feta Cheese (when did Feta get so expensive??!!) I rewarded myself with a stop at Abby's Spice and Tea Store.  It's always a treat to visit with the knowledgeable and inspiring Abby to find out what new goodies she's added to her inventory. 

In need of a good olive oil, I managed to snag a rich and peppery bottle of Canale 53 Extra Virgin Olive Oil after sampling three of the best choices for salads and other raw foods.  Abby also carries some amazing products from the Vinegar Works in Summerland.  At their Valentine Farm operation, they grow the grapes, make the wine and then turn it into several kinds of vinegar.  I tasted their Balsamico Rosso,  Blanco and also tried a white vinegar with tarragon that was incredible!  I ended up with the Balsamico Rosso however since that's what I'm almost out of, but the Tarragon infused one is on my "to buy" list. I also added a set of salt and pepper mills to my growing pile of purchases.  Lastly I perused the spices and topped up my bag with the caraway seed I had come for along with some Lime Leaves, Herbs de Provence, Garlic Powder...and a blurry iphone shot for my picture of the day. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Everybody's Working on the Weekend

Gone are the days when everyone took Sunday off to relax with family and friends. I'm sure there are people out there somewhere who insist on the Sabbath as a day of rest, and as much as I enjoy the thought of it, I have yet to embrace it as a weekly ritual.  Yesterday I did enjoy some time off, but the weekend also involved grocery shopping, vacuuming, weeding and lawn mowing and for my hard working hubby it began with never ending fence building and ended this afternoon with the installation of a laundry sink.  The first one EVER in this house which was built in the 70's.  I'm so grateful for a husband who is both handsome and handy.  (Damage to the front of washer and loss of the front plate on the dryer was a result of the so called professionals who started our renovations last year.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday in the Park

A perfect Saturday at Hot Sand's Beach in Kelowna City Park with so much going on around me as we enjoyed three of the ten bands performing at the Jubilee bowl.  The Okanagan Jazz and Blues Society hosted a Jazz and Blues Festival today.  Jazz in the afternoon and Blues this evening.  Head out now if you're a Kelowna Blues Fan...Pappa Dog,  Moni Funk and the Groove Machine , Sherman Doucette, and Random Acts yet to perform.

Pyramid with Danielle Stradecke

The Award for Best Photographer Stance goes to...

The extremely young and extremely talented MidNight Kicks waiting to go on.

Neville Bowman and Bernie Addington from the Bernie Addington Quartet

Scott Gamble and Craig Thompson from the Bernie Addington Quartet.

These two kids were so much fun to watch, 
finding ways to entertain themselves with next to nothing.

Going for a birdie

This stick became a putter, driver, baseball while his little sister 
pitched, and I think there was some ball hockey going on too.

Award for Best Bass Face goes to Bernie!  What a great group they are.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Peach of a Beach

My photo of the day has been turning into a montage of  the day as I seem to be running into difficulty picking only one picture, but I am having fun messing with this Nikon D200, so hope you will bear with me.   

This morning Pitou joined my friend Donna and me on a road trip.  We headed down to Peachland for a coffee at the very popular Bliss Bakery and a walk along Beach Avenue.  It's worth the drive to Acton! (inside joke for you Southern Ontarians).

"Yes, I know we're not using the as I say, not as I do."

Man that's coffee!

Rotary Centennial Clock

Coffee time for District of Peachland Works department?

Lots of honey bees and bumble bees seen in the last two days.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Patch Work

Pitou and I treaded carefully amongst the garden patches behind the CNC this morning.  Those luscious plants and colourful flowers and veggies were begging for some attention from the paparazzi.  I could only oblige.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dog Day Mornings

These are not the dog days of summer we were promised.  Usually it's the heat that keeps our pack small in the summer, but this year between the rain,  the mosquitos and vacations, it's slim pickin's for playmates at the Mission Dog Park.   At our usual visiting time in the spring and fall there's at least a dozen dogs to play with at any given time. Only a few today, but Pitou made the best of it.

Pitou is usually chewing on Aussie's ears.

He loves to chase Libby.

He always tries to heard the Border Collies

After proper introductions, Pitou and Zoe love a good wrestle.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Locavores' Delight

The cool wet spring delayed the opening of one of my favourite markets, but I'm pleased to say Old Meadows Farm opened this week for sales of their fruits, berries and vegetables. They don't have a lot of stuff but they have good stuff, and a lot of it is organic. I was thrilled to find a couple of "eight-ball" zucchini this afternoon as I couldn't find them anywhere last year and we didn't think to plant them in this year's garden. They are rounder and heavier and more flavourful than regular zucchini.   I like to slice them about an inch thick, brush a little olive oil on them and grill them on the barbecue.  After you turn them over for side two, brush a little balsamic vinegar on the top and add a thin slice of provolone.  Mmm mmmm, looks like w're going to have to have one tonight!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Snail's Pace

I returned from walking the dog this morning to find a snail gradually making it's way up my front step. There's something to be said for the unhurried, purposeful way they move, so opposite of the frantic, distracted pace I've embraced.

I headed back out a little while later and discovered two more little guys, and watched them for a while.  They moved so slowly I could barely see any progress. When I turned away for a few moments and looked back, it surprised me how much they had moved. Perhaps there's a lesson in that.