Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, February 25, 2013

Simply Grateful

No special theme this week for my declarations of gratitude.  I'm just grateful for:

the clear roads and easy drive to and from Penticton this weekend.

the opportunity to see Nano Stern's performance Saturday night at The Dream Cafe.   If you have the chance to see him I highly recommend it.  He's performing in the CBC studio in Vancouver tomorrow so you may get a chance to hear him on the radio.  He's a talented musician and an excellent entertainer - funny and informative.  The Dream Cafe is also a great venue and the food was delicious! Watch for more details on our visit to Penticton in a post later this week.

the fact that we are 99% finished the main floor renos.

our realtor, Ellen Churchill who has been a great help with suggestions for the house.  She's taken us through a number of places in our preferred location and I'm always grateful for her honest appraisals and thoughtful suggestions.

the sunny February we've had.  Yes I am obsessed with the sun in the winter and yesterday was the first day in four weeks that we did get at least a little sunshine.

the people who have sponsored me and donated to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  There's still a week left to donate and help me reach this year's goal of $400.00

Click here to see what was going on last year on this date.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hearts and Homes

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.   - Anonymous

I've never been very sentimental about houses.  To me a house is a collection of things - wood, nails, glass and paint.  A home is what you make with your family.  When you pack up your belongs  from one place, home goes along with you in your heart, to be unpacked in your new place.  I just can't relate to friends who sigh and say how much they are going to miss their house when they move.  Maybe it's because I enjoy change.  We moved four times in the first four years we were married, and we've lived in eight different houses all together.  We're working on getting into number nine this year.  

The process has been a little stressful and Monday morning I dreamed the realtor called and told me "You're listing your house tomorrow."  The thought of that made my husband and I laugh when I told him about it at breakfast.  It seems like there's still lots of little things left to do. The next day, my realtor really did call.  She told me she had a client who was really interested in looking at the house, even though it wasn't listed yet.  I did as much prep as I could all day Wednesday and right up until 5:45 Thursday when our realtor and the "buyer" were due to arrive.  Though I wasn't expecting an offer, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some input before putting the final touches on our reno.

I was sweeping the front step when the empty swing hanging from our spruce tree caught my eye. The memory of our daughter playing on it when she was five came to mind and suddenly my chest tightened, my nose prickled and my eyes welled up.  

I blinked back the tears and as my gaze drifted up towards the top of the tree I was reminded of the time our son bolted out the front door telling me he was running away when he was about eight.   After I waited as long as I could bear, I ran out after him, head swivelling, calling his name.  He was no where to be seen and I felt a sudden rush of panic.  Then I heard giggling from high above me.  That memory blurred my vision as well and I headed quickly into the house, baffled by this surprising turn of events.

Looks like I am going to miss this house.  I guess it's not that surprising when I realize we've been here for seventeen years come July.  An awful lot of memories are storied within these walls. Our children grew up here, and we did too.  Four people, four dogs and three cats have made this house a home.  It's seen us through driver training and puppy training, late nights and early mornings, tattoos and piercings, Death Metal and Goth.  We've struggled together through challenging times and cherished each other through the good. 

When I pack up my heart to take to our new home, I think there might just be a little bit of it left behind after all.

Click to read last year's post on this date: "Where All Good Things Must Come to An End".

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pet Crazy

I haven't had the time or opportunity to take many photos the past few days so this week's Wordless Wednesday was looking a bit sparse.  Instead, I decided to find out what sort of celebrations might be going on today and look for a corresponding photo from the past week.  Every day is some sort of special day like "Talk like a pirate day", "Hug a ginger day" etc.  But what would one google to learn today's designation?

I typed in "today is ..." to see what would come up but google did not finish the sentence in any helpful way. OKI'll just finish it off and see what turns up, I thought.  I typed the first thing that popped into my head... "today is love yor dog day."  (Yes, I typed 'yor') Guess what?  Today is "Love Your Pet Day".  

...and we do love our little fur children.

a typical weeknight in front of the PVR

Monday, February 18, 2013

Have a Heart

Heart-shaped cloud by aivas14
Heart-shaped cloud, a photo by aivas14 on Flickr.  Posted with permission.

As many of you know, February is heart month and for the fourth year, I'm canvassing in my neighbourhood and online. Thanks to many of you reading this, in 2011 the Heart & Stroke Foundation spent over $54 million on research into heart defects, improving stroke outcomes and more. Another $47 million was spent on health promotion programs such as grants that support kids' health, free CPR training events and community health workshops.

I've set a goal of $400 again this year and any amount you could donate to help achieve this goal would be very much appreciated, perhaps even by someone close to you. Nine out of ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease which claims the life of a Canadian every seven minutes. 

To donate follow this link: , select BC and Yukon, and enter my name: Suzan Wood-Young   

A PDF of your income tax receipt will be available to download immediately.

I thank you with all my heart!

For more information about the Heart and Stroke Foundation or to become a volunteer canvasser yourself, check out this link.

The Pictures of Gratitude

They say a picture's worth a thousand words, so this week I thought I'd illustrate gratitude with some photographs.

Happiness can be very easy to find. 

How does he make these perfect eggs?

June 9, 1984

Three new playmates

Friday, February 15, 2013

Woodcreek Cottage on Bernard

*update 2015.  This is an old post and the store is no longer located here infact as far as I can tell it's gone out of business.  If you have other information please let me know in the comments.

If you've been following along, you'll know that shopping features prominently on my "Things I'd rather not do" list.  The more often I go downtown however, the more I realize that downtown Kelowna is a great place to shop, full of quirky little stores and boutiques that carry original works and out of the ordinary things you won't find in every chain store in the mall.  

I thought I'd take the opportunity to promote some of these shops, especially while the west end of Bernard Avenue is under construction and might appreciate a little more promotion. Since I've been in decorating mode for the past six months I thought I'd start with Woodcreek Cottage Home Decor and Gifts owned by Sandy Hyatt and Diane Scott.

You can enter the store through the main entrance on Bernard between Water and Pandosy or you might stumble upon it while visiting the shop next door.  A charming little brick archway leads you from the Picture Perfect's art gallery into Woodcreek Cottage.

Owners Sandy Hyatt and Dianne Scott have carefully selected a wide variety of gifts and decorative items ranging from the latest trends to vintage classics.    They carry pillows, picture frames, glassware, candles, jewellery, sculpture, mantle and wall clocks, holiday decor and more. Until the end of February you can enter a draw for Sid Dickens memory block if you spend a minimum of twenty five dollars.

It's a great place to find the pieces to help make your home cozy and reflective of your own personality.  If you don't find something today, there might be something new next week.  It's always fun to poke around for undiscovered treasures.

For some reason I was drawn to what I  thought were pins from some sort of bowling game. With a little research I think they might be a reproduction of pins from a game called "candlepin".  That would explain my attachment to them as it was a game played in the Maritimes.  We've also been calling them "fish bonkers".  I also purchased a wall clock that I really like and thanks goes to Dianne who was very helpful when it came to selecting the one that would look best above my mantle. I was also grateful for her low pressure sales style.  It took me three visits to decide on what I wanted and her patience was much appreciated.  I'm very happy with the results.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

On the 14th of February My True Love Gave to Me

A few days before the first of February I came across a blog with a suggestion to do "14 days of  Valentines gifts" for your partner, similar to the "Twelve Days of Christmas".  Hubby and I don't usually exchange Valentines Day gifts.  In fact we don't exchange a lot of gifts in general. When we go on our yearly holiday we call that our Christmas/ Birthday/Anniversary/Valentines Day present to each other.  It is nice to get a gift once in a while though, so I thought this idea might be fun.  Here's what I did for my hubby for "The Fourteen Days of Valentines". 

On the first day of February my true love gave to me...

....a pineapple in a pink bag.
(That one's an inside joke related to some of our tropical vacations.)

....two chocolate Porters
(Thanks to the always helpful red headed lady at the 
Mission Mall Liquor Store, whose name I can't remember)

...three little pigs

...four hot dates

(found these at The Dollar Store)

...five fishing flies

 Thanks to the young man at Trout Waters Fly and Tackle who apparently picked out some good flies.

...six solid-flow golf balls lucky lottos

...eight days a week
Where I promise to do a different one of his "chores" each day for an 8 day week. 

....nine Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (his favourite candybar)
...ten heart felt thank yous

Thanks also to Martha Stewart for the Valentine Felt Fortune Cookie instructions - though instead of covering florist wire with a strip of ribbon, I used red pipe cleaner.  I decided on personalized thank yous instead of fortunes, because I thought the "heart felt" pun was kind of cute.  You could also do "ten reasons I love you".  I was thinking I'd have to go to a Chinese restaurant and beg for a take out box, but Michael's has a great selection of patterned and plain take out boxes in different sizes for under $1.50.  Since the 10th of February was Chinese New Year I went with the plain white.

...eleven oceans
It was hard to think of a gift that comes in a package of eleven, so I searched the web and came up with some movies and books with Eleven in the title.  I  thought it might be fun to watch an old movie together and picked the original "Ocean's Eleven".

...twelve red herrings

While searching numbers on Duck Duck Go  I also discovered this book of twelve short stories by Jeffrey Archer, an author we enjoyed when we first met.  Remember "Kane and Abel" and "The Prodigal Daughter"?

...thirteen Latin tunes
One of the suggestions was to find a CD with a certain number of songs on it.  I started a search on iTunes planning to download 13 assorted Latin tunes.  I was worried that they might be ones he already had but I stumbled across a new CD by Salsa Celtica, a band we both enjoy.  As luck would have it, it has 13 tunes!

...fourteen favourite memories
This was the most fun and took the longest.  I came up with a list of 14 fond memories we've made together, collected some photographs pertaining to each one (had to scan some from our early years) and with the help of iMovie I made a slide show titled "Fourteen Favourite Memories".

On the search for older photos, I discovered a shoebox filled with some of the early cards my husband had given me.  I was thrilled to see it also contained some momentos from our first few dates.  I was able to start the slide show with "#1 - Our first year together." and included photos of the fortune cookie I had at dinner before our first date that said "A new romance may suddenly enter your life", the wine label from the wine he brought to the house one evening, a ticket stub from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and more.  I ended the slide show with "# 14 - The time I made you fourteen days of valentines gifts" and included the photos you see on this post.

In case your thinking "I wish I could have done that!"  You still can - just start your 14 days today. :)