Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lazy Livin'.

Been loving the lazy days of summer that consist of staying up late, sleeping in late, and basically doing a whole lot of nothing in-between. Well, not quite nothing, essentially. I've been baking treats, tending an oral surgery patient, peeling peaches, entertaining grandkids, and um, wasting time watching all things Olympics on daytime TV.

Tried several of these recipes from A little taste reminding me of the homemade goodness supplied frequently by my mom in my growing-up years. Sweet memories.


This one had a dental procedure that entailed a double extraction and a single exposure. Ouch. Hurts my mouth even to type about it. Immediately post-surgery, I think even the dog knew she needed some comforting. Recovery's been very slow... and often painful.

We had our Kelowna friends come spend the night with us, which was a delight in itself, but they added to that by blessing us with 50lbs of fresh Okanagan peaches. Yum. Love this family and their adorable kids, who also seem to love our family and adore our kids. A win-win, all around! And looking forward to lots of... peach smoothies, freezer jam and canned peaches in the months to come!

Always enjoy the grandkids being with us, and the funny things they do and say.

Been a complete Olympic junkie lately. Love being amazed by the talents and achievements of these athletes, hearing accounts of their journeys to the Games, some of them often overcoming tremendous obstacles. Love to see the camaraderie among many of the contestants, but one of my favorite moments so far has been this smile shared between Bolt and De Grasse. They are clearly enjoying the moment, despite the pressures around them. Good life lesson.

Definitely been a restful few weeks around here, and glorious weather to lounge in the pool. But I must admit I'm slowly tiring of it and already sort of switching back into the mindset of routine and schedules that I know will come fast and furious in September. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

August Birthday Girl.

This little girl turned FOUR.

She was celebrated in style with a My Little Pony birthday party, right down to a real life pony ride!

Love her, and all the joy she brings to our growing and crazy family!

Rainbow Dash Pony cake... compliments of Auntie. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Five Years.

Five years ago today, Mom left this world for her eternal home.
It seems like it was only yesterday that I sat by her bedside, her hand in mine, listening as she tried to sing, and watching as she smiled through her last few moments here on earth.

Memories, still so very real, and still so very precious.

Last month was my first visit back to Belfast since Mom's passing. Plenty of changes have happened since then, but I wasn't prepared for how much I would actually miss her presence in the family home.

Psalm 90 is the Bible chapter that speaks about the frailty of our lives and the shortness of our days on earth. In contrast to the holy everlastingness of God. But verse 14 is what my Mom lived out in this world. She spent every day reading His word and she truly loved her Lord. And I saw the joy in her life, even at the end as she lay helpless... joy, as she breathed her last and entered the courts of heaven.

 Satisfy us in the morning with Your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14

Monday, August 1, 2016

BC Day.

Today was BC Day. Celebrated only in BC, obviously. Implemented back in 1974 to honour the early explorers who discovered our great land, but nowadays it's just a day off on the first Monday in August to give us all a long summer weekend.
So we took ourselves off to the forests of the Lynn Valley. To cross the suspension bridge, clamber over rocks, wade through the river... and find ourselves a sunny spot to sit and relax and watch the crazy people jump off the cliffs and into the water below.

It was all, indeed, most relaxing, until I realized that Miss K was one of those crazy people, and I watched in panic and she climbed that rockface, balanced on a ledge, then leaped into the chilly mountain waters below. Fearless. Filmed by the Fearful.


  Happy ending. She survived. I survived. As did these other cliff-jumpers.

Then Kyle decided to add a hospital visit to our afternoon agenda by dislocating his shoulder. Only the sixth time for him apparently, so I'd say by now he's a professional arm-popper. But I did feel for him. Ouch.

He became the abject focus of these four females and the gentleman, who were convinced YouTube videos could show them how to put his arm back in place. But thankfully the family van arrived to take him to the safety of the hospital before this motley crew could decide on a course of action.

All's well that ends well.
The professionals corrected the problem, Kyle suffered minimally, and he's scheduled for surgery soon.

This Girl.

My baby. She was born smiling, I well remember. With her crazy hairdo, and all of her 9lb 13oz of chubbiness. Other than her colic phase which lasted about three months, she was always very happy and contented, sort of a dream baby I guess, sleeping through the night from Week 1.
On July 29, she turned 14. And today she's still smiling. Her crazy hair is still to be envied, but has grown into some lovely, long strawberry-blonde locks. She still has her signature compliant disposition, kind and content. Except for the fact that right now she really, really, really wants an iPhone 6. And she must think I have Alzheimer's or something, because she's constantly reminding me, over and over, about this.
But I love her. She's still, and will always be, my baby girl. Happy birthday, beautiful. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Just like that... we're home. Home, from sightseeing world-famous landmarks. Home from fun times with faraway family and friends. Home, from three weeks of over-indulgence in the food department.

And while every single day of our trip was nothing short of amazing, I am truly thankful for safe travels back home, through so many miles and time zones... and so very happy to sleep in my own bed again.

Some last, and no doubt lastING, memories from Paris.
Waiting in the deep recesses of the Metro, trying to keep Alana in her place and laughing at the poster above us, which we all agreed very much looked like her in the mornings.

The traffic insanity on the streets of Paris - no lanes, no helmets, no mercy.

The abundance of coffee consumed in this city, at no small cost, but enjoyed every time, nonetheless.
This girl, with her life-long obsession of Paris and the Eiffel Tower, and probably the very reason we all ended up here on vacation. You are one privileged young lady, Miss A!


We made a quick stop by the crash site memorial at the Pont de l'Alma tunnel, where the life of this "people's princess" came to devastating and abrupt end in August, 1997. 

Our hotel, such a comfortable little nook, with its intricate winding staircase, tucked away just a stone's throw from the Arc de Triomphe... and to the girls' delight, mere steps from a McDonalds.

We spent our last few days in Ireland with family. Benone beach was such a beautiful spot, miles of white sand and breath-taking scenery, and where we made lots of memories together.

Never any shortage of laughs and loudness with these five around!

 These two. Despite a few heated moments, look like the ever-loving cousins in this picture!

So grateful to these two, who made our trip so very possible and memorable. Love you both.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Touring Paris.

J'aime Paris! What an experience this has been! While living out the dream of actually being here, Paris is unlike any place I have ever been before. Busy, and fast, and noisy, and crazy. Yet plenty of stand-still moments in awe of the architecture and culture, and delicious moments of savouring French food. Here's a smaorgasbord of places we've visited the last two days.

The Louvre    
Triumphal Arch    
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
Inside the Tower
Eiffel Tower view    
Sacre d'Coeur
Sacre d'Coeur      
Moulin Rouge
The French drivers are completely nuts. To have spent two full days here and not have witnessed a single road accident is a mere miracle in itself. If you come here, you must find yourself a spot at the Arc d'Triomphe and watch the masses of traffic manoeuvre around this giant circle. There are no lanes, no traffic lights, no yield signs. The buses, cars and motorcycles simply "merge". Often with barely an inch to spare and with much horn fanfare. It is quite the spectacle.
The French macarons we found in Paris are, indeed, decadent. You can buy them at McDonalds here, although I now know from experience that the ones from a patisserie far excel in deliciousness. But they're at least twice the price.
Just saying... if you want the really good ones, you'll have to pay.

Speaking of paying... the price of food, specifically drinks, is outrageous, just as we were told. This can of coke with dinner one night... €8. Converts to $12.80 Cdn. Just another reason not to drink Coke.
Last night we meandered the Champs-Élysées. You find all sorts on here. Everything from rags to riches. Beggars... against the backdrop of shiny Lamborghinis and Corvettes sitting on side streets, available for rent at €90 for twenty minutes. I guess that sounds like a more affordable deal than €6,480/day. Gulp! Bentleys with suited drivers, sitting curbside, waiting for the wealthy to return from shopping. Diamonds displayed in Cartier's window, without a price tag.
But as the famous saying goes here... if you have to ask the price, then you probably can't afford it.