Friday, November 29, 2013

Decorating trend at Granville Market

In one of the floral shops, these "grinch" trees were spotted. I love the mercury glass vases they are in. Very clever idea, unless of course you have just adopted two new kitties :)



The Grinch tree....colour version


Owls are EVERYWHERE! I love owls and they show up frequently in decor this year!











Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A little drive up the mountain

Monday in Vancouver. Decided to drive up to Whistler ski resort. Happily, our son Gordon took the day off and came with....actually he drove which was fabulous! I had never been, so I got to ride shotgun while the Professor took the backseat. It was a normal, overcast day but the ride up still remained thrilling in a romantic, rainy sort of way. What better thing than trapped in a car with your son's full attention for four hours!???

Not much snow on November 19th.




Only a few runs open.








The art of snow boarding!




This must be a "praying-for-snow" idol




Not a very effective result, just enough for a little one




The clock says it's about time to start the 2 hour trek back, to avoid the traffic at the bottom in Vancouver. Traffic is even worse in Van. than in TO.




Lured in by Starbucks peppermint mocha, ski chairs and a heat lamp. Should take a few last minutes to soak it all in




This will be a busy place over the holidays! All best wishes for more snow Whistler!















Monday, November 25, 2013

Around the lake

The great thing about the new neighbourhood that Gordon and Rachael live in is the close proximity to Trout Lake. One afternoon we rocketed out of our somnolent state by the fireside and went on a little hike around the water.


As Vancouver is renowned for it's "tree huggers" there are plenty of great specimens in the park! :)




No doubt this was a dare-dog seagull event. Who would be the first to dive UNDER the raft??
Maybe the mallard will get caught!

I think you can click on this to embiggen




Again, only in Vancouver can you have Spirit Bear Coffee and a warning about Coyotes!!!!




Someone has been fishing....well .....trying to. Maybe while distractedly drinking their coffee, the coyotes got them! HA!





All the way around and you come to the dog beach. This fellow was hale and hardy enough to brave the frigid mid-November waters. Not sure why anything other than beast or fowl would enter this particular pond, but hey!

It's Vancouver!!!










Saturday, November 23, 2013

West Coast Groceries

A visit to Granville Island and the market. What can I say. This might be the only reason to live in Vancouver in the constant rain and gloom.

This market tops them all.






This guy wasn't so lucky on the grape purchase. Haven't seen one of these since Switzerland and the days of hanging the caught wild boar during hunting season in the town square. At least this one has a hat!


The highly exotic charcuterie...suppose this is anything that roams free and can't be inoculated with antibiotics? I sure as heck wouldn't be racing around the forest trying to pick a wild boar for salami!








Friday, November 22, 2013

Walkabout

It's a pretty daunting task these days to purchase a new home. It's even more daunting if you happen to be living in a large city in Canada. The prices are shocking, thereby making the decision tremendously important and very scarey. I cannot tell you what an excellent choice "the kids" made with their new place. It is situated in an up-and-coming area of Vancouver that is as eclectic as it gets! There's a bit of this and that, a bit of old and new, and a very high resale value due to location,location, location.


How wonderful would it be to tumble out your front door and on the next corner be welcomed into the cozy café that serves all those fancy hot drinks and bits and bites, as well as brunch! Very family friendly. I'd be there everyday.



Like I said....eclectic. The old and new with plenty of possibilities




Because of the moderate climate, one can have mosaics near the sidewalk



And birdbaths burbling in November



Then home again to the lovely mixture of young families and more mature neighbours.

Living in the mid-court, there is absolutely no street noise. A bit of downtown, a bit of suburb, close to public transportation, close to schools, parks and recreational facilities....pretty great alright. A plum tree in the backyard AND they have an extra bedroom!












Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kitty Antics

Relax! I'm just hugging him.



He is not! He was choking me! I almost suffocated!!! 
 



No. Really. It's okay, we're best buds....just kitty-ing around!










Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Home

Just back from a trip to Vancouver.

Big doin's out west. Our son is finally a man....my definition.... 35 years old!

He and Rachael have purchased their first house and it's all good. They found a wonderful neighbourhood near Trout Lake, and an adorable townhouse with all mod cons. The new abode is perfect for them, and us as well.... they can now host visitors!









Of course and house is just a house but kitties make it a home. We now have two "furry grandkids". Two little boys who were adopted as soon as the house opened.



This is Forest. He's 4 months old and the dominant brother. He bites slippers.





and THIS is Simon. He's obviously the watch-cat. He's very tiny, only a couple of months old. He loves to cuddle. More on that later.








Thursday, November 14, 2013

What to do when the lights go out

This was better than I expected. What a lovely way to spend a day with no power....at the movies, in the dark, where it was warm and hot-doggy and the perfect mix of laughter and tears. The transformers were all fixed in time yesterday. Hope you'll take this time while I'm away to go to the movies!




This is something that provides just plain fun! Haven't seen one like it in a long time. According to the trailers, lots of good movies coming in November it would seem. Picks from the previews:





Philomena (Judi Dench)




and The Book Thief.









Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Winter Herbs

Come to find out that tomorrow our power will be off from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. I have no intention of staying in the house with no light, no computer, no POWER for the day, so I'm leaving Dodge. This also necessitates me parking my car overnight at the neighbors, because I don't want to get hemmed in if they happen to arrive early. Not a morning person doesn't even come close to describing me, and since I function best at night, this seemed like a great idea.

While on my way out to reposition vehicles, I noticed that the climbing hydrangea has totally lost all it's leaves, the garbage pails had blown onto the front lawn, and the herbs that I had acting as a "fall arrangement" in the courtyard, are looking quite "leggy". This was a bit of a pleasant diversion from sweating over the hemming of pants. So out I went, clad in, as it turns out, the same gear that one uses to walk dogs! It's FREEZING here!!!



The car is in the neighbors' drive. The leaves are all raked up and bagged. The herbs are washed and drying as per Kalyns Kitchen.

Someone who lives in this house had best be aware that all of this has gone on in the midst of preparing for yet another trip. There will be no power the day before take-off. This is GET AT IT TIME!









Monday, November 11, 2013

Listen to the story

Last week I was invited for a little visit. Not only did I have a wonderful time, but I also had cups of hot tea, a delicious lunch, and came home with enough leftovers for dinner.....including cupcakes! I know some special people will be receiving this book that has been on the New York Times best seller list for ages. It's for everyone. Everyone will want one. Listen to the story. The illustrations are classic!









Photo Credit: Oliver Jeffers







Friday, November 8, 2013

Ingredients for a Chilly Afternoon

In order to walk a dog in Canada these days you will need the following ingredients:

One very warm parka, preferably with a hood. May I suggest this LLBean model?




One pair of sturdy, warm walking shoes preferably waterproof. May I suggest Merrell's?





One pair of magic mittens. These are the dinky ones that all Canadians carry in various pockets until the heavy duty snowy one's are required. May I suggest the Dollar Store?





One pair of ear muffs. The hood is very restricting when you are picking up poop, so these do the trick! May I suggest the Seven Eleven in Oak Park, Illinois?



Oh yes! Don't forget the dog.

You'll need a dog.



Even a rather "low slung" dog that would rather stay inside when the frost is on the ground. He may try to tell you that he doesn't need to go out, but don't listen. He'll love it and want to stay and play, which is why you'll need all the above ingredients! Mix all of the above, if possible, with a bit of sun, and a smile. Then come home for a little hot drink and a snuggle. Repeat as necessary.













Thursday, November 7, 2013

Watery Finland

Sometimes it's a good idea to take a hop-on hop-off bus and not do any hopping!

This was an impossible day for the camera. A good day to enjoy the café, pop into the shops....Marimekko and Laura Ashley!!! A bit pricey all round, but I did get a Marimekko scarf after visiting at least three different shops in town.








At the end of the day, the best purchase was a pair of reindeer socks at the shops on the dock! I might just put them on now.