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Showing posts from April, 2012

Thanks for the Memories

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When I started this blog on May 1st, 2011, I committed to posting a photo a day for one year.  Somehow it turned into something more and I've really enjoyed the time I've spent taking photos and writing about things that strike my fancy.  The key word in that sentence is time.  Posting daily can be incredibly time consuming and when I have other commitments it's frustrating not to be able to share more.  Though it's been a pleasure, there are days when it's taken hours to complete a post; taking and selecting a photo, cropping or trying to fix my favourite that's not quite right, then giving up and picking a different one.  Then there's the time spent writing the accompanying text, re-reading and re-writing, and re-writing and still missing typos that aren't noticed until the next day or later. 
Since tomorrow is my "bloggiversary", today will be my last official daily posts.  Recently, my mind and energy have been elsewhere and I haven't…

Charming Chimes

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This weekend was spent catching up on a lot of things around the house and in the yard.  I made a big dent in the disaster area known as our office, but I still have a ways to go.  I even did some gardening, which is not one of my favourite pastimes. I consider gardening to be housework done outdoors.  I know I have many friends who cannot relate...but they love me anyway! I have to admit the front garden does look much better with less weeds.
My husband finally had a chance to put up this lovely set of wind chimes my friend Donna picked up in Chile while she was touring and studying Spanish in South America this past year. They're quite beautiful, made of copper and bronze and have a very gentle, tinkling sound.

Howdy Neighbour

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When I looked out my window this afternoon, this gentleman was about half way up this spruce tree, cutting it's limbs off.  I'm not sure what was wrong with the tree, it looked very healthy, much like the one you see behind him.  The house backs onto our next door neighbour's so we don't really know what's going on, in fact I think I'd be hard pressed to figure out which house was theirs from their street which dead ends at ours, four lots east of us.
When I was out on my deck, not much more than an hour later, I took this photograph. Perhaps they're putting in a pool or building something in the yard.  I've been hearing chain saws this past week and we seem to be seeing more and more of their house lately...which I guess means they'll be seeing more and more of ours.

This Is A Test

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If you've wondered as I have, how a photo taken using the black and white setting on a camera compares to a colour picture that had been changed to black and white in iPhoto you've come to the right post.  Can you guess which picture was taken in black and white and which one was originally in colour?  All I did was change the "Optimize Image" setting from Normal to Black and White.  Everything else remained the same.

I bet you guessed correctly.   The first photo, which I feel looks much richer and has much nicer contrasts was taken in black and white mode.  I think I'm going to try use it a little more often.

Untitled

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It rained all day today giving me the perfect opportunity to catch up on my housework and finish my book club book. Through my kitchen window I watched the rain paint my entire backyard in glistening shades of green. Inside I marvelled at the subtle green and purple hues in the white tulips I purchased at Sunshine Market yesterday.   

Real Magnolias

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Gorgeous magnolia trees (also known as tulip trees) are blooming all over town.  I must get around to planting one this year, they are so beautiful!


A Horse of Course!

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With hay fever in full swing I figured a flat walk would be better than huffing and puffing over the mountain today, so Donna and I took the dogs along Mission Greenway.  I couldn't believe how busy it was for a weekday morning.  There were joggers, walkers, and cyclists of all ages and sizes, and I've never seen so many horses in one day.  I counted seven altogether.   Max watched them fairly intently but wasn't overly curious having visited his breeder's farm many times as a young pup.  We also caught sight of four deer gambolling through a horse pasture that borders the greenway.
We walked about 12 km from the dog park to the Ecco Centre and back.  I can't believe it took us three hours when it was all flat and I felt like we were going at a pretty good clip most of the time.  Guess I've always biked it in the past.

You may be wondering what's going on with this photo.  It's the joy of taking a photography class.  I've been messing around with m…

Gratitude Makes Me Happy

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To be perfectly honest, as I write this I don't have a very happy feeling about the last three days.  There were things I wanted to do and unfortunately they all had to be done within a short period of time.  I would like to have spread them out, but cancellations happened, two things were re-booked, and didn't have much choice in the matter of the dates.  And to top it off I am suffering terribly from either spring allergies or a cold.
By coincidence it's Gratitude Monday, and I can't think of a better way to remind myself of the enjoyment I got out of those busy days and what I accomplished.
138.  I'm grateful that I didn't have to go to the Golf Tournament Saturday night, and instead attended the UBCO BFA grad show to see my friend and award winning artist Laura Widmer's latest works along with other up and coming Okanagan artists.
139.  I was grateful to be asked to review the cooking class at Poppadoms on Sunday.  I love Indian food and learned some g…

The Promise of Cherries

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Feeling Stronger Everyday!

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Today was my fifth climb up Knox Mountain and I'm starting to see some results.  Though my calves are still complaining quite a bit, I believe my cardio fitness is improving and I'm not panting quite as heavily or stopping as often.  We've taken the dogs a couple of times and they've really enjoyed it.  Luckily Max didn't see the deer that crossed our path last week.  Luckily we didn't do the hike on Friday when a grizzly bear was spotted near the second pavilion.

Diabetics Recycle

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This is several months worth of infusion sets for my insulin pump.  If you check out this link and watch from the four minute mark to the seven, it'll show you how it's used to insert the small cannula under my skin allowing the insulin to get into my body.  It has to be changed every three days.  Today I spent some time pulling the needle out of each one so I could recycle them.  There's a lot of garbage produced when you use an insulin pump and I try to do as much recycling as I possibly can.  
Luckily I can recycle everything but the needles from the infusion set, the needle to get the insulin from the vial into the cartridge that stores the insulin in the pump, and the small needle that fits into the inset attached to the cannula at the end of the tubing that's joined to the pump, allowing the insulin to travel from the pump to the cannula.  All those needles go into a "sharps" container which I buy from the pharmacy, and return when the box is full.  Th…

Max and Pitou make a Movie

I wanted to share this little video I threw together this afternoon.  Someday I'll spend some time learning how make the best of iMovie.  I had fun with it a couple of years ago, but I've forgotten how to use it.  The video is taken with an iPhone, so it's not that great to view full size.  When it's small you miss some of the distance shots. Of particular note is one shot when Pitou is running just below the ridge.  You see a little white spot going like mad, but a lot of it is blurry at full size.  I wish I had the energy of these dogs.  After  short rest they were bounding down the hill again.

Reconstructing a Deconstruction

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I have created an internet inspired salad to go with our dinner this evening.  I copied a Pinterest photo to make what was called Deconstructed Guacamole Salad.  And thanks to Urban Harvest, it's all organic!

Blue Sky and Blue Heron

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Castanet promised rain for the week and I was rather disappointed to miss my hike yesterday.  Thankfully they were wrong about the rain today.  The dogs and I enjoyed beautiful sunshine at the dog park this morning and I'll be climbing Knox again this afternoon.  

While leaving the park I spotted this beautiful blue heron staring intently into the swamp.  The bird was oblivious to the cars, and people passing by.  It didn't seem to notice me snapping away, nor was it disturbed by hearing me curse Max as he bounded out of the car window and crossed the street to let me know I was taking much too long.  
After standing as still as a statue for ten minutes the heron wandered a few feet away, gave a great flap of it's massive wings and took off. In my excitement to capture a photo, I couldn't hold the camera quite still enough, or make the necessary adjustments quickly enough before it disappeared into the bullrushes across the way.  

Gratitude Journal Monday

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It's Monday once more, the day that I give you a peek into my Gratitude Journal.  The next seven days are going to be the busiest I've had in a long while.  I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed this morning, but by thinking about the things I'm grateful for, I know it will give me the appreciation and the attitude I need to  enjoy the journey and not fret about things.

Today I'm grateful for:

133.  Donna's patience and encouragement.  I'm hiking Knox Mountain at a much slower rate than she'd be doing on her own, but she never mentions it, and encourages me whenever I whine about my slow progress.
134.  my husband who encourages and supports me on my creative journey.
135.  people who have shown their confidence in my abilities.
136.  the opportunities in Kelowna for education in both the arts and academics.  If you want to learn to do just about anything, there's someone out there willing to teach you how. Any instructor I've had seems to really love …

Looks Can Be Deceiving

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I've noticed celeriac or celery root in the grocery store many times but never had the urge to purchase it.  You have to admit it's not a very pretty vegetable.   When it turned up last week in my Urban Harvest basket I immediately went to DuckDuckGo and discovered quite a collection of celeriac soup recipes. I also discovered it's rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Check out this link for more info.

I ended up using this soup recipe, mainly because my crisper is getting bare, and it didn't call for much more than celeriac, onions and garlic.  You'd think I would have had a potato, but I'm out so I opened a can of salsify, since I thought it might supply the required starch for thickening.   I didn't have the pesto they suggested for garnish, but it still turned out to be a really delicious soup, with a fresh celery flavour.  I'll definitely be making it again.

Suzan's Laws of the Bathtub

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Yesterday's climb up Knox Mountain was less painful than the one on Monday, but today my muscles decided to voice their complaints.  While I was soaking away the pain in the bathtub, I learned a thing or two that I thought I'd share:
1.  No matter how many things you gather together on the bathtub surround (wineglass of ice water, book, hand towel so you can read your book without getting it wet, nice soap, loofa, shampoo and conditioner), after  you get into the bathtub, the thing you realize you've forgotten is suddenly the most important (pumice stone).

2  After you get out of the bathtub, retrieve what you forgot and return to the soothing water, the cat will start meowing outside the bathroom door.

3.  You cannot relax in the bathtub with a cat meowing outside the bathroom door, no matter how hard you try.

4.  You cannot relax in the bathtub if you keep opening one eye to see if the cat is still looking down at you with that disdainful stare.

5.  Getting in and out o…

Ten Months And Counting

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Today our big galoot is ten months old.  Max and I have had some struggles this past month.  He's become  what I used to refer to as "mother deaf".  Recall is an issue.  I also had to ground him from the dog park last week because he was vigorously humping everything in sight a little too enthusiastic in his dog greetings.   
The countdown in my title references the fact that he'll be getting neutered just after his first birthday.  This may improve the situation, but it's no guarantee.  While away from the dog park we spent some time at home working on recall and I think/hope he's turned a corner.  He's really improved off leash when we run into other dogs on Mission Ridge, and we both had a really nice time at the dog park on Tuesday.   I think my little pup is growing up.  Have a look at these two photos of him with my daughter to see just how big he's gotten in less than eight months.  I think he's finally grown into his feet.




Knox Three Times

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Just got home from doing my third hike over Knox Mountain.  Donna and I took the dogs with us this time and now Max is zonked out on the couch, while Pitou is sunning himself on the back deck.  This iphone photo was taken on the south side of the mountain from the middle pavilion.
Here are Max and Pitou with an old tree branch that we decided looks a very long necked schnauzer.

Good Evening Star Shine

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Star magnolias are in various stages of bloom around town.   On our way to Mission Ridge this morning we saw these beauties just opening their buds.

This evening I saw some bushes in full bloom near Lens and Shutter.

A Three Gallery Tour

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My errand running this afternoon turned into a tour of Art Galleries.  First I stopped on Pandosy at SOPA, where the 7th annual U8 exhibit is on with the goal to "...promote appreciation of original art to the public by making it affordable; and to promote the exceptional work of many local artists, as well as introduce artwork from selected international artists."   Owner Deborah Boileau has carefully selected almost 400 original art works in a variety of mediums  from over 125 established and emerging artists, all priced Under $800.  
The three featured in the photo are the creations of my favourite artist, Nicole Young.  I was thrilled to hear the positive comments about my daughter's work from Deborah who feels she's an "up and coming artist".
There are some stunning pieces in the gallery and I was too rushed to get a good look so will be going back for another visit with my hubby before the show closes on Sunday.  Check the website for times if you…

Lesson Learned By Proxy

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On my way into Extra Foods I noticed this sweet chocolate lab waiting patiently for his grocery shopping owner.  I was tempted to go give him a little scratch behind the ears.  Then I remembered talking to my daughter on Friday after she had tried to pet a dog in the back of a truck at The Super Store.  She was calling to get the number of the extended medical card to cover the cost of the antibiotics she was prescribed for the bite.  It wasn't too severe, a couple of puncture marks on her finger, but I'm sure it hurt quite a bit.  I guess we both learned a lesson from that one.

Easter Weekend Gratitude

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What a lovely Easter weekend we've had.  I did miss my son though, and it was the first time the Easter Bunny hasn't hidden eggs in our house in 27 years.  However, these are minor issues in the scheme of things - all part of kids growing up, and choosing to eat healthy.  
Today on Gratitude Monday, I am really appreciating the previous four days and am most grateful for:

125.  my favourite tree decorated by the wood faeries,

126.  the mild, sunny weather we've had the whole time,

127.  a body that's healthy enough to climb Knox Mountain twice in four days,

128.  time spent with my hubby running errands, watching movies, working and goofing around,

129.  discovering Long Island Medium is back on TLC..my guilty pleasure!

130.  two early morning hikes with my hubby, and the dogs along Mission Ridge,
131.  a long chat on the phone with my Dad, and
132.  the fact that our daughter was able to join us for Easter Dinner.

Just couldn't resist posting the view from the fi…

Easter, and then some...

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On Casorso Hill about half way up, you'll find Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Cemetery.  I drive past it occasionally when I want a change of scenery on the way home from the east end of Kelowna.  Set in the heart of vineyards and orchards, it is a lovely spot to spend eternity.  Since it's Easter I thought I'd pop by this morning and take a photo to post here.  One thing I love about Easter is how many different religions come together at this time of year beginning with the pagan religions that celebrate the arrival of Spring at the Vernal Equinox.  Practitioners of the Baha'i faith end their nineteen day fast and celebrate their New Year on the Equinox.  The Jewish festival of Passover, falls on the first Full Moon following the Equinox, as does the Buddhist New Year. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are celebrated by Christians on the weekend following passover and Orthodox Christians celebrate a week later.  Hindus celebrate Vishu the second week of April and A…

Smells and Tastes of Spring

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You know it's springtime in Kelowna when you're out and about on a sunny Saturday morning and as you leave Canadian Tire, you can't help but buy a smokey from truck in the parking lot.  (Mine was a Polish with garlic and fried onions).

You Pick

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My dear friend and hiking buddy has returned from six months of traveling and taking Spanish classes in South America.  This morning we tackled the north side of Knox Mountain, me for the very first time.  I'm sure will be back again soon as it's quite challenging for me and I'm keen to improve my fitness.  I forgot to check my watch when we started and finished, but from the time on the photographs it looks like we took a little more than an hour.  I'm pretty happy with that.

I really appreciated the slow pace Donna was willing to take as I stopped frequently...not because I was out of breath or my calf muscles were begging me to stop.  It was so I could photograph the beautiful views of the north end of Okanagan Lake of course!  
This photo was taken from the final bench at the top just before you get to the pavillion that you can drive up to from the south side.  I couldn't decide which of these three photos I liked the best so I decided to post them all.  What…

Leaning Into Spring

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We've been walking along Cedar Creek Dog Beach the past couple of mornings.  Today the sunshine, the water and this willow made me think of all those vacation photos of leaning palm trees on sandy beaches in the tropics.  The temperature however, did not.

Spicy AND Crafty

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When I decided to re-organize my spices, I discovered I had already started without knowing it.  My marash pepper and my star anise were in 125 ml mason jars and I found the wide openings quite handy.  When the idea to paint the lids with blackboard paint turned up on Pinterest, I knew I'd found the perfect plan. I added the link to my board titled "Things I'd love to make but probably won't".  Looks like I was wrong!

The first step was to head to our local Michael's store which I did with a bit of trepidation.  One person had told me they spent $24 on a small container of blackboard paint and I was trying to keep the cost down.  The only blackboard paint they had was spray paint, which seemed like a great way to paint my lids and it cost a mere $12.99.  I had eight jars left from the peach marmalade I made last year but I needed a couple of dozen all together.  I headed to Superstore for more but discovered that mason jars are a seasonal item so I'll ha…

Memories of the King

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The old truck that sits on the property of the now defunct Tomato King Farms/Market always catches my eye when I circle the Benvoulin/Casorso roundabout.  Today I took the time to stop and take a few photographs.


Gratitude Two Point Oh

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Today on Gratitude Monday, I am thankful for so many blessings; for health and family and friends, and I'm thinking about all the terrific things the internet has brought into my life.  Today  I'm grateful:

118.  for Blogspot that allows me to share my photos and express myself to friends and strangers around the world.  It's amazing to see I have hits from far away countries like Russia, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Chilli, Malaysia, Latvia, Australia, Columbia, and Germany to name a few.



119.  also for how blogspot has connected me with some creative and inspirational people like Lilly at Feellovdeveryday and momof8 and all those cooking blogs!

120.  for Facebook for reuniting me with Lea.

121.  for Kijiji that helped us find Pitou down in OK Falls and Max just a few blocks away from our house.

122.  for Pinterest that lets me see the bigger picture.  I go on the computer with a purpose.  I don't really surf much, but thanks to Pinterest I'm seeing and reading s…

Near Miss

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This morning it took less than two hours to load up the vehicles and then empty them at my daughter's new place.  I'm quite happy with her new digs.  So happy in fact, that I wish I was living there myself.  She's now ensconced in the cute little character home in the older part of the city that I've been trying to manifest for myself.  I guess you'd call it a mis-manifestation. 
It really is a nice place - look at the inlay on this original oak floor!  And it's in great shape.  There are built in corner china cabinets in the dining room  a centre stairwell, french doors out to the deck a separate garage at the back, hunter green shutters on the multi-paned windows and a back lane. *sigh*  
I guess I'll just admire it from afar.  I'm sure there's another one out there for me too.  One that doesn't have four young adults already living it....I'd sure  hate to have to kick them out.