Showing posts from March, 2012

Hello There

After our furniture was delivered on Wednesday and the pile of boxes seemed daunting, our doorbell rang. Standing there behind a huge bouquet of flowers was our "across-the-street-neighbour" welcoming us back into town. We've talked with him in the past few months, but he told me that he knew we didn't have our stuff and was waiting until it arrived to properly welcome us back. We live in a great neighbourhood. 

The flowers, now in a crystal vase, brighten up the dining room, in spite of the lingering boxes.

Here's a corner of the dining room. You'll notice the china cabinet is not in place, and the space has been usurped by pictures. The cabinet is in the garage. I'm planning to paint it and decided that if I didn't have it available for my dishes, I'd be more likely to get the job done sooner. The boxes of china are stacked in the opposite corner, waiting patiently for their time.

The first piece of furniture that the movers carried in was the dini…

Building a House in Mexico

This is not a pretty post, with arranged vignettes, elegant tablesettings, or beautiful flowers. But it's real life. 

During spring break, our church's youth group (and many others in Canada and the USA) forms a team to go to the Baja California region of Mexico to build a simple house for someone who can't afford it. In the above photo, the structure to the right, an old trailer, is where our family had been living. You'll also see the cement pad in the center, where the new house will stand.

40 of us left Victoria on a morning ferry to Vancouver where a coach bus drove us 2.5 hours to the Seattle airport. After a 3 hour flight we landed in San Diego where we spent the night. The next day we piled into 4 large vans and drove to San Quintin. 

On Monday morning the work began. The team leaders had everything well organized and soon the students (and adults) were painting, measuring, and sawing. 

The neighbourhood children loved interacting with the students. Some got right …

Mosaic Monday - Mexican Beauties

I arrived home from Mexico mid-afternoon, tired after two long days of travel. The first day we were up at 5:00 am and drove to San Diego. During the three-hour border lineup, I anticipated the hot shower I would have at the hotel. It did not disappoint.

This morning we were up at 4:00 am to catch a 6:30 am flight to Seattle, then a three hour bus trip to the ferry terminal, and after 90 minutes on the boat, I was more than pleased to walk into Tim's arms. 

I've been talking up a storm since then and doing some unpacking and laundry. But I wanted to let my readers know I'm back, and hope to fill you in on more of my trip this week. It won't be until later on because ... tomorrow I'm driving up to Parksville to move the rest of our furniture down. The movers arrive Tuesday morning. The house there will just have to be empty for potential buyers, allowing them to use their imaginations. Since it's spring break here, it's a good time for me to move. 

I'm link…

Simple Spring #5: Cloudy Days

"I know that in everybody's life must come days of depression and discouragement when all things in life seem to lose savour. The sunniest day has its clouds; but one must not forget the sun is there all the time." L. M. Montgomery

Simple Spring #4: Between Winter and Spring

"The beauty of winter is that it makes you appreciate spring." L. M. Montgomery - The Story Girl

Simple Spring #3: Fashion

"It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable." L. M. Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables

Simple Spring #2: Primulas

"After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." L. M. Montgomery - Anne of Avonlea

Simple Spring #1: Apple Blossoms

"I'm afraid to speak or move for fear that all this wonderful beauty will just vanish... like a broken silence." L. M. Montgomery

Capricious Spring

The weather can't decide what to do. This week we've had rain, snow, wind, cold, and a bit of sunshine. Last Sunday afternoon Tim and I headed to Witty's Lagoon for a little walk. Although the sun peeked out occasionally, its warmth was stolen away by the wind.

Mugs of steaming tea, drunk while seated on a driftwood log, warmed our insides most satisfactorily. In the distance we watched some Canadian Navy vessels doing an exercise in the Strait - ships and helicopters went to and fro. 

Last Friday I received a call from one of our pastors - "There's been a cancellation on the Mexico trip, would you like to go?" It came out of the blue and I had to decide quickly. And so, on Saturday morning Tim will drive me to the ferry where the team (43 of us) will be sailing, then busing to Seattle, flying to San Diego and driving in vans to a town in Baja California. Some of the team will be constructing a house, some will be working on a church, and I will be using my rus…

It was a very Happy Thanksgiving

I snapped this photo in October, on Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday,  a wonderful, amazing weekend. Pictured above, leading the way, (mostly hidden) are our son (DS) and daughter-in-law, parents of the Little Miss, and behind them, our eldest daughter and son-in-law (DD1).    
The preceding Friday afternoon I awaited, with hope in my heart, a Skype call from DD1. At first she looked so serious that I thought, "oh no." But then, her husband, standing behind her, put up two thumbs with a huge grin. YES! Another grandbaby is on the way. Great rejoicing ensued and thanks to God.

Just a month ago, I was invited, along with Gerry's mom, to the gender assessment ultrasound. I bought two little onesies and wrapped them up. But I only came home with one of them - the blue one. Yes, we're having a second darling granddaughter - a girl cousin for the Little Miss.  We have about 3 months more to wait - such exciting days. 

I've been teaching this week - Christian Perspectives and …

Craving Colour

On one of my walking routes I pass by an older home set back from the street. Each year, in spring, I anticipate the burst of colour on the lawn. 

Naturalized crocuses have spread there over the years, and the result is a green lawn speckled with various shades of purple. Mossy rocks line the driveway and the bed alongside is now full of crocuses and the last of the nodding snowdrops. I saw one sunshine yellow daffodil blooming and there will be more to follow. 

Today on southern Vancouver Island the sun shines brightly but there's a strong, cold wind tempering the warmth. Still, I think we'll put on our hats and gloves, bundle into our heavy coats and brave a walk on the beach. 

How are you spending this sunny Sunday afternoon? What's bringing colour into your world?

Linking to Mosaic Monday and Sunlit Sunday.

Birds of Different Feathers

Signs of spring are popping up all over. Colours are still muted, the browns, tans and greys of winter in much evidence. Birds rustle and twitter in the dry grasses and skeleton branches of trees and the increasing light brings hope of spring and summer colour.

Frost during the night means a thin layer of ice on the pond in the morning. As the ducks waddled I could plainly hear the ice cracking beneath their feet. Reaching the edge where the ice no longer bore their weight was no problem, they switched to from waddling to paddling with no hesitation.

The Little Miss looks a bit robotic here, but she is enchanted with the ducks, running after them, calling out in high, excited gibberish, although I'm pretty sure she said "duck" a couple of times. 

All that running meant some falling, too. And it's muddy out there. She fussed about the muddy mittens so I took them off. I thought she might see better without the sunglasses, too. She's very good about wearing them, prot…

Seven Pleasures of Almost Spring

Last night the rained poured down. This morning was grizzly grey. But around 10 am or so, the wind blew away all the clouds and the sunshine poured in through the windows! It's almost spring!

If it's almost spring where you are, or not quite, here are a few ways that I like to celebrate and encourage the season:

Revel in the sight of green shoots poking up through brown dirt
Get my gardening tools in order
Hold my face up to the sunshine and feel its faint warmth

Buy a bunch of tulips or daffodils
Pay attention to the lengthening days and the clear quality of light

Play suitable music - I've been listening to Vivaldi's Spring, found on Youtube if you don't have a CD or other means of listening
Open a window wide and let the wind blow out all the winter doldrums  (Only for a short time - it's still chilly around here)
Last week a parcel arrived from Italy. Not for me, I'm just the receiver and keeper. But our daughter had me open the box while she watched via Skype. I…

Beauty and Ugliness

Vancouver's first unofficial name was Gastown, named after very talkative "Gassy Jack" Deighton. This area of town is full of historic buildings and sites, and is being revitalized with new businesses and very tony retail establishments.

In the courtyard leading from Gaoler's Mews stood the jail, and the place where convicted criminals were hung. 

Looking into the mews from the street. I didn't go into the mews, but there is a pretty tea house there, along with the historical buildings. 

This area of Vancouver is known for its history, and is very popular with tourists. But there's a sad side as well. Many homeless people live here, those with mental illness and addictions of various kinds. They are easy to spot, perhaps not so much by their clothing, but by the hollow look on their faces and their avoidance of looking people in the eye. My heart aches for these people. 

British Columbia's entrance into the Confederation of Canada was contingent upon the rail…

Vancouver Views

This past week Tim had a conference in Vancouver, and I didn't have any teaching scheduled so I went along. Wednesday morning, we woke up to see snow outside our window! And this view across the water to North Vancouver. Clouds hung heavy over the North Shore, obscuring the snow-covered hills for most of the day.

Constructed for the 1986 World Exposition, Canada Place is surrounded by a busy working harbour in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The building itself juts into Burrard Inlet, evoking thoughts of a large ship with its iconic sails. It's now used as a convention centre and it's here where cruise ships dock.

Walking around the centre almost feels like walking around the deck of a cruise ship. And looking up, it's easy for that illusion to continue.

This view, from Canada Place up Howe Street, is typical of downtown Vancouver, where old and new architecture melds in a city that is always changing. Our hotel is the curved building to the right. All the snow was gone…