Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend visitor

No matter what time of year Alex comes for a visit, he always comes bearing gifts. And this being late August, his truck was full of potatoes, beans, cukes, tomatoes, apricots and even a nice bunch of dill.
For our late night Saturday supper, Valodya made chicken and peppers with fried potatoes. It was mouth-watering good.
For dessert, nothing is better than a crisp, cold watermelon from the farmers market.
Alex tried to tune up TG's guitar but it needs more work so he is going to take it home with him and work on it. That will be a nice surprise for TG.
After a hearty breakfast of bacon, scrambled eggs, toast, muffins, coffee and oranges Alex headed back to the Rock.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lunch and a talk

Sometimes all it takes to make you feel better is an al fresco lunch with a good friend. A good friend who makes a chicken bun with mayo and lots of mixed greens just the way you like it. We shared a cold refreshing persimmon; a fruit that makes you feel good even when you're feeling down. She gave me an orange which I will enjoy tomorrow morning as I start another day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Last day of freedom

Tomorrow I go back to work. So this being my last day of freedom, I made blueberry muffins with a streusel topping - so rich and so good. Spent the morning browsing through my favourite junk shop and it didn't even matter that I didn't buy anything. Finally ordered new carpeting for the basement bedroom from HD. Worked on Maura's quilt. Had a siesta. Painted my toenails. Enjoyed Valodya's peaches and cream, and watched a movie.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


A beautiful day for a Sunday drive. Our first stop was Tobiano. The view of the lake is fantastic.

We have been to Horsting's Farms many times but they are now under new ownership and we could tell as soon as we turned off the highway and crossed the bridge. The place was a lot quieter then how we remember it - no farm workers to be seen, no one riding around on a forklift, and no dogs sleeping in the shade. Not even a bin of watermelons or cantalopes or tomatoes sitting by the bakery door. We did have lunch outside - the sandwiches were piled high and good tasting.

Valodya really liked the apple trees - they are not the twenty footers that he remembers picking from when he was a teenager. These would be quite easy to work on.

You cannot go to the farm without bringing home a fresh apple pie and some bread and some buns and some peaches. Love Sunday drives.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm back

Normally when I get to Vancouver I hop into a cab and try not to think about the thirty-five dollars or more that I will be handing over. So this time I took the skytrain ($2.50) to Granville and then hopped onto a #4 UBC bus which took me straight to UBC. We stayed in the new housing on Lower Mall and it was great.
Do you know where Korea is on the map? What is the time difference? Yes, I know where Korea is on the map and I had no idea that they were 16 hours ahead of us here in BC. I had never given Korea a second thought unless they were in the news. But I will be thinking and learning about this country more in the next twelve months.

This is the view from the 16th floor of the Korean consulate. We were there less then an hour - two interviews and two visas.
The girls are happy it's all over - a quick call to the travel agent and the plane tickets are done. The bad news - their flight leaves at 6:00 am the next day.
Hot and tired we head back to UBC and the only sane thing to do is to go to the pub and eat and drink. I don't have a flight at 6:00 am so I am the only one to enjoy the Granville Island Pale Ale. The girls enjoy their last meal here in Canada but are anxious to get back to the hotel and finish packing.

"Parting is such sweet sorrow." Who said that? I know I won't be seeing the girls for over a year but I am happy for them, happy that they will be working, experiencing a new country, and will be more appreciative of what they have here.

As the girls fly off to SF, Tokyo, and then Seoul, I am back at Pacific Station having my bags searched and enduring a body scan with a metal detector. This is what you have to put up with just to get on a bus. A bus that overheated on the Coquihalla Highway, stopping three times to let the engine cool down and unhooking the trailer just to make it up the hill. We were almost one hour late but all safe and sound.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Heading to the coast tomorrow - the girls have an interview at the consulate on Wednesday and if everything goes well they will fly out on Thursday. Suitcases are all packed and ready to go.
I usually look forward to a trip to the Big City - all the shopping and dining out and maybe even a movie. But this time none of those things interest me at all. Just hoping that everything goes well for the girls and that all their paperwork is in order.
I am taking another week off so I'm hoping to be back next week with lots of pictures and stories from the coast. Have a good week everyone.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Busy Sunday

I spent most of the morning in the sewing room - hemming and repairing. Decided to make TG a sewing kit similar to the one I made for Maura a few years ago. Have been cutting apart an old jean shirt that Vaoldya's Mom had embroidered for him.

This is Maura's sewing kit - it has three pockets and lots of buttons and patches.
Tried a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies but as they contain coconut, they were not a hit with everyone.

TG was busy as both Maura and Valodya needed trims. It's great to be able to make the mess outside.
I found some mini squash in the garden so I made risotto for dinner with peas and lots of parsley.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.

- Gertrude Stein

Friday, August 14, 2009

A little surprise when I came back home - a friend who used to be our neighbour when we lived near the border, visited with the girls and left this bouquet for me. She's married now and they have their own business and they live in one of the most beautiful cities in the province.
My tomato plants are doing really well in this heat - fresh tomatoes every day.
A great movie to see is Julie and Julia. Our mouths were watering and we were hungry at the end of that movie. We tried to re-create one of the recipes that Julie makes to use up some of our tomatoes. In a cast iron pan we browned some garlic in olive oil and butter. Using the fresh bread that my Mom and I made, we toasted the slices adding more oil and butter as it was soaked up rather quickly. I cut up some green, yellow and red tomatoes - added olive oil and lots of garlic, parsley and basil and seasoned with salt. Then everyone piled their bread with the tomato mixture - it was great.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Everywhere a love story

Yesterday I had lunch with Mrs D - Mr D has been in a seniors care facility for a year. Two weeks ago Mr D had a stroke and now he does not recognize Mrs D.
Back at work I asked Mr R how his day was going. He told me that it was not going well - Mrs R has dementia and is now living at the seniors lodge.
I stopped to visit with my neighbour - J is 92 - his wife A is 88. A has had several strokes and is also living at the seniors lodge. She does not remember J anymore but everyday J drives down to the seniors lodge and spends the day with A.
There are love stories everywhere, but we may not recognize them.