Friday, October 31, 2014

moment 10/31/14

 a moment
a friday ritual, a single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week
a simple, special, extraordinary moment
i want to pause, savour and 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

welcoming trick or treatsters

it's almost trick or treat time...
mr. and mrs are out of the closet and
are hanging at the front door 
ready, to greet any visitors.

we live on a wonderful street... 
the sidewalks are well lit and the porches are wide and welcoming, 
perfect for little and not so little trick or treaters.

 we're expecting anywhere between 60 and 80 knocks on our door.
rain or no rain... 
the numbers have been consistent over the years.

only once, 
did i run out of treats 
and had to borrow from my children's loot.
(i think... the cavity count was less that year)

this might be the last halloween my children will be trick or treating.
one has already opted to help hand out goodies.

they are at the age when they no longer believe 
in the tooth fairy, the easter bunny or santa claus.
and somehow, they have figured out (on their own) the difference 
between good and bad chocolate.

either way, whether roaming the neighbourhood or handing out treats,
both will be in costumes, 
something they both love and will never give up.

so bring on the ghoulish games....
wishing everyone a happy and safe halloween !!!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

thrifted threads: i love purple

i don't know if i've mentioned this already
and yes... it's a purple bedroom !!!

welcome to another 'what i wore wednesday'
where i link up with lindsey for some fashion fun.

i found this thrifted purple, wool, short sleeve sweater over a year ago.
like most thrifted finds, i couldn't wear it right away 
because it wasn't the season for layering and 
 i didn't have any matching undergarment.

luckily, this summer, 
this purple long sleeve t-shirt showed up at another thrift shop.

and voila...

piecing together an outfit is so much fun.
who cares if it takes a year or two to find a great match?


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

bouquet of sharpened pencils

this has been a fixture 
on the dining room/homework table since school began.
a new bouquet is sharpened every september
to welcome the new year of learning.

there is something about the sharpened lead tips
that makes me want to tackle math problems.
i've noticed that my sudoku addiction has spiked since the sharpening.
of course, my teenage children profess that the 
mechanicals are much better, 
definitely cooler
(oh mom... no one brings those to school anymore !!!)

yet, as the year goes on,
the bouquet gets shorter, stubbier, smaller.

this year is exciting...
the pencils are tackling pre-calculus, physics and chemistry
and advancing to the hard level in sudoku.

so the sharpening continues...


Monday, October 27, 2014


after all that rain

we had another gorgeous sunday

early walk with harlow
back under the covers with my big mug of coffee
youtubed 'between the ferns' ... too funny !!
multiple attempts at sudoku

slow, winding, country drive 
brunch at a our favourite family cafe
stroll through the pumpkin patch
basking in the sun

homework and housework
yummy leftovers
early to bed with sointula

how was your weekend?

Sunday, October 26, 2014


it was so dark and wet and windy yesterday
buckets of rain came down to puddle

but between the greys
the portulacas kept blooming...

intermittent rapture
 all that i need.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

lobster fest

ian came back from the east coast with the ultimate souvenirs.
pumpkin scented candles, almond bark, and
fresh crustaceans from nova scotia !!!

they survived the eleven hour journey from coast to coast
and they were still moving when we opened the box the following day.

did you know that lobsters contains less saturated fat calories and cholesterol 
than beef, pork, or even white chicken meat?
even better:  only 90 calories per 100 grams 
(if you skip the dips in the butter)

nevertheless...i'm allergic to them.
within 12 hours after consuming them, 
my face starts to swell and my fingers begin to itch. 

also, my daughter thinks eaten them is like feasting on giant bugs.

this makes my son very happy.
having been a very picky eater all of his 16 years,
he has allowed no more than a dozen food/dishes to be included in 
what he deems palatable and edible.

somehow... lobsters made it to the top five of this list.
he was more than delighted to have our share of the loot.

lobster fest...newspaper table cloth and all !!

wishing you a wonderful weekend

Friday, October 24, 2014

moment: 10/24/14

a moment
a friday ritual, a single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week
a simple, special, extraordinary moment
i want to pause, savour and 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

scattered and fallen

all mankind is one volume.
when one man dies, a chapter is not torn out of the book,
but translated into a better language.
and every chapter must be translated.

god employs several translators;  
some piece are translated by age,
some by sickness,
some by war,
some by justice.

but god's hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again,
in the library where every book shall live open to one another.

by john donne

i was walking harlow
and was captivated by all the fallen leaves.

with the lack of sugar maples in victoria
we don't get the vibrant reds and oranges that i remember growing up in ontario,
but more muted autumn colours:
pale oranges and browns, corals, dusty roses, mustards.

the leaves cover the ground.
but not for long...
all that has fallen and scattered will soon be gathered.

 leaf collection is scheduled within a couple of weeks.
i'll be busy with my rake
and the neighbours' leaf blowers will soon muffle
the hum of lawn mowers on the weekend.

for now, harlow and i enjoy our walk on nature's autumn carpet.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

thrifted threads: peacock feathers

welcome to another 'what i wore wednesday'
today i'm linking up with 
lindsey at the pleated poppy to join in the fashion fun.

 loose, comfortable clothing is totally my thing... 
it's an extra bonus when the piece is also dressy enough to wear to 
special occasions when pajama casual just won't do.

for a recent family reunion... 
i wore this peacock feather tunic 
that i found in a thrift shop earlier in the spring

it was perfect because the reunion took place at an all you can eat buffet; 
and comfort was a definite necessity.

for extra warmth, 
i layered it with a thrifted wool poncho.
the poncho was perfect because the cut didn't hide the design of the sleeves.

reunions are so much fun.
i saw all my favourite aunts, uncles and cousins, 
many of whom i had not seen in decades.
there was so much laughter (my guts were hurting) 
and surprisingly, delicious food (my guts were expanding)...
i'm glad i had worn something so comfortable.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

green and breaking board

he came home from karate so proud himself...
after much training and practice
he attained his green belt.

 every monday and wednesday and occasional thursday night,
 he has taken on the task of cycling to his dojo (japanese martial arts centre) 
to learn the discipline of karate.

last night was extra special,

he came bouncing through the back door
with two pieces of wood
and the biggest grin on his face...

apparently he was able to break it with one contact.

the exact move that split the wood was reenacted at least a dozen times.

even after an hour and a half session of karate and kickboxing, 
the belt and the broken board had him so excited that
the energy coming out of him was electric.

he needed a way to calm down,
he need a release for all his teenage vigor.

thank goodness,
because harlow needed a walk.


Monday, October 20, 2014

hello monday: 20/20/14

hello monday
wow...where did the weekend go?  
we really do need another day between saturday and sunday.

i'm playing along with lisa leonard's hellos,
where i greet the brand new week and all it has to offer.

here goes....

hello rain... thank you for holding out until today and for giving us another 
beautiful, warm weekend.

hello garbage bags filling up as i declutter our little abode 
(so far, i've filled up thirteen...only 37 more to go)

hello saint vincent de paul... 
where i'm dropping off and donating the first 10 bags of my 50 bag challenge
(the trunk of the car is already packed and ready to go)

hello polenta pizza (cathy... i want to make your yummy dish!!!)

hello victoria airport... looking forward to picking ian up tomorrow...
it's been a long week without him !!!

hello itchy, red eyes... my allergies are kicking in full force.

hello grocery shopping, laundry and checking things off my to-do list.


wishing you all a beautiful start to your week !!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

50 bag challenge

5 down and 45 to go...

after a weekend in an uncluttered cabin... 
the urge to simplify and to declutter has overcome me.
having lived in our home for over 18 years, 
i have memories of the luxurious space that it once had:  
extra cabinets, empty hangers, bare walls.

  it didn't take long to fill it up,
mostly with things needed to grow these two babies of mine.

now... with two teens and a dog 
(harlow has two beds and 6 dishes. 5 leashes and several towels)
our little house feels even tinier.

so... i'm doing the 50 bag challenge
50 black garbage bags will be filled with STUFF.
after each increment of 10 bags... a trip to saint vinnies' donation bin.
(my front hallway can only hold so much.)

why 50?
because i want to make a real dent in reducing the clutter
and not just scratching the surface.
(also, because the garbage bags come in a box of fifty.)

i know the first 10 bags will be easy to fill...
clothes that we've outgrown, board games that haven't been played for ages, 
gadgets and thingamajigs we have doubles or triples of, ian's closet.

it's the next 40 that will be hard
can i let go of that set of beatrice potter books 
that we spent evenings reading together?
what about the little tea set that we played with so often?
oh... there is that sweater i wore through both my pregnancies...
these bags will be filled with things that i have perceived to be meaningful, 
full of sentiment and memories but in reality does not.

yup, i'm determined to do it
i am channeling my hard core decluttering alter ego
and i have resolved not to loose steam and motivation
until all 50 bags are filled.

7 down and 43 to go...


Saturday, October 18, 2014

cabin fever (NOT...)

autumn around here has been hectic,
with the start of school, beginning of another soccer season,
 reunions back east, and so many bulbs to plant.
(hurray for me... they all made it into the ground !)

so when the thanksgiving long weekend came around this year...
all we wanted as a family was quiet and simple !

and we found it...a little cabin by st. mary's lake on salt spring island.

a mere 500 square feet, it had everything we needed and craved for.

it was perfect...
the space was conducive to cuddling and huddling 
and a whole lot of snuggling !!!

the bunks were a big hit...
and so was the wood stove.

the cabin came supplied with everything including my favourite board game,

and life jackets !!!

 the kitchen was my favourite ...
it was equipped with everything we needed to make delicious meals.
with a little corner grocery near by, 
we could pick up all the workings for simple dishes and special treats.

the best part was that with only five of everything (utensils, dishes, cups, etc)
there were no mountains of dishes to conquer, clean up was a breeze !!

in between outdoor adventures, the kids lived mostly in their pajamas.
comfy/cozy was the fashion mode of the weekend.

yes, we are definitely coming back...
escaping to a cabin was a wonderful way to recharge,
we all needed this respite of quiet and simplicity.

and guess who had the biggest smile of all?
all long weekend long.


Friday, October 17, 2014

moment 10/16/14

a moment
a friday ritual, a single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week
a simple, special, extraordinary moment
i want to pause, savour and 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

string of pearls

i finally got myself a string of pearls !!
i've been admiring these succulent beauties for a while now...

i've seen them in nurseries and indoor plant stores 
did you know they do well as both indoor and outdoor plant?
but like always, i found my treasure while walking harlow.
a neighbour on our block left them on the sidewalk to be rescued.

the pearls were in poor shape when i found them a month ago.
there were only a few rescuable strands and they were hanging on to dear life...
but look at them now !!!

for some pearls of wisdom:
these drought tolerant succulents like well drained soil 
(apparently, once a month watering is great for them!!)
also, they like bright sunny spots...
finally, because they are considered to be toxic... 
be sure that care be taken when growing them around children and pets.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

thrifted threads: layering purple wine

welcome to 'what i wore wednesday'...
i'm linking up with lindsey at the pleated poppy to join in the fashion fun.

the trick to surviving west coast autumn weather is....layering !!!

with the rainy/cloudy/windy season here to stay, 
there is a definite chill in the air.
however, one never know if the sun will pop out midday and surprise us.

i always start off with a cotton undershirt... 
like this long sleeve cotton v-neck.

next comes the wool...(fleece doesn't do the trick for me)

i found this thrifted handmade sweater a few years back.
 the two pieces are great together because the long shirt 
makes up for the short length of the sweater.
the fact that they both have the same purple wine colour 
was a totally lucky bonus

finally i always top off with a scarf...
 just for that extra insurance of warmth.
again, purple wine shade.
again, thrifted.

easy peasy,
now i'm ready !