Haikuesday — Ode to Snow

Blog Post #311

We’ve had a tough winter here on the Lower Mainland.  I mean, it was brutal — for us Westcoasters. We aren’t accustomed to harsh weather — oh, sure, we get snow in the winter. Only, it is not usually much snow and it usually doesn’t hang around too long. This year, the snow fell at the beginning of December — AND IT STAYED — and stayed. We had our “winter wonderland” for two entire months!!

Snowy Street photo

Finally, in February, the last of the snow disappeared and everyone rejoiced.

Until today. It started to snow… big, fluffly flakes began to fall. And even though, the “storm” abated and the snow all disappeared as the clouds drifted on and the sun came out — you could hear the cries and pleas of “No more snow!” and “Bring on summer!”

The forecast is for warmer weather accompanied by rain, rain, and more rain — in other words, a typical beginning to a Vancouver March.

This crazy weather prompted me to write this haiku — an homage of sorts to this winter. The ending though, is wishful thinking!!

Glittering flakes fall / They swirl silently downward / To melt on the ground


What I Found in My Mailbox

Blog Post #309

I received a card in the mail on Friday. I had been expecting it any day — I get one every year around this time and to be honest, I always dread its arrival.

The card, from the BC Cancer Agency, Provincial Health Services Authority, is sent to remind me to book my annual mammogram. I am reminded to have a yearly screening because I have a first degree relative (my mom) who has had breast cancer. I am grateful that I get those yearly prompts — even though I’m always a little apprehensive to make that appointment.

appointment card

Still, I do make the appointment and I show up for the screening. I think about my good fortune that I live in a country where I have access to excellent healthcare that is provided to me by my government. I think about my mother, a senior on a fixed income. She was able to be diagnosed and treated for breast cancer without the worry of a huge medical bill looming over her. I am thankful for that.

And I think back to last April, when my 24 year old daughter was in the hospital for 11 days. During those long days, she had many diagnostic tests and scans from ultrasounds to an MRI. Daily blood tests, several dialysis sessions, IVs, medications, and ultimately a surgery. And all of this was covered by BC MSP. Which was literally a life saver, as she would have been unable to pay for that kind of medical care. (She is fine now, by the way, fully recovered and forever grateful for the exceptional care she received.)

Universal affordable health care — think about it — it’s good for everyone.


Emma at the Farmhouse

Blog Post #307

Dani and I climbed the few steps to the front door of the Historic Stewart Farmhouse and turned the doorknob. As we entered the foyer, we were immediately transported to the Victorian era. We made our way through the hallway and formal dining room, catching glimpses of the rooms located off to the side. The antique furniture, the vintage décor and restored wallpaper created an air of a time long ago, a time when life was simple.

Historic Stewart Farmhouse

In the kitchen, the woodstove was spreading its warmth throughout the room. Delicate china cups were laid out on the sideboard, alongside home-baked goodies and tea.

Fourteen book-lovers gathered together to talk about Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. We sat around little tables, drinking tea and nibbling on cookies and mini-scones, chatting amiably as we settled in, and prepared to start the discussion.

The “Vicar of Elgin” and “Lady Elizabeth Charming” attended the Jane Austen bookclub!

The time flew by, as all aspects of the novel were explored, questioned and considered. Did you like Emma? How did her character change and grow through the course of the story? Is this narrative relevant in today’s society? These and other questions contributed to a lively and thought-provoking evening.

It was a pleasant and delightful two hours — a stimulating discourse with genial people in a setting that could not have been more tailor-made for the occasion.

I hear that Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will be the topic of conversation at the next book club at the farmhouse in May. Reserve your spot before it’s gone!


TBT — A Walk in Bear Creek Park

Blog Post #306

One of our favourite spots to have a leisurely walk is Bear Creek Park. The gardens are delightful — it’s peaceful, restorative and scenic no matter the season. We love to meander through the different plant displays, admiring the variety of trees, shrubs and flowers, walking on the bridges and trying to spot the fish as they dart through the pools. Of course, when we finish our stroll, we always visit the art gallery to check out the latest exhibit before we head home.

Trees at Bear Creek Park


Hello, Monday!

Blog Post #303

Monday, again?!

Time to put a new spin on this day — how about “It’s Monday, don’t forget to be awesome!” Or, “Ok, Monday — Let’s do this!”  Or maybe, “New Monday, new week, new goals”?

Hmm, all great quotes for Motivation Monday… But I’m thinking something a little different — something a little calmer, a little easier on the spirit, a little gentler. Something like this:

Quote for Monday

Do you have a favourite quote for Mondays?


What I’m Reading Now

Blog Post #301

Next Thursday, I am going to the Jane Austen book club at the historic Stewart Farm with my good friend, Dani.

Imagine sipping tea, sampling traditional baking and discussing Austen’s classic novel, Emma, with a group of interesting people in a cozy Victorian farmhouse. Can you think of a better setting to talk about a classic novel?

I’m looking forward to this outing — so, I’d better get back to reading the book!!

(Stay tuned for details)

1898 illustration of Mr Knightley and Emma Woodhouse




Blog Post #298

It’s Wednesday — the middle of the week. How are you feeling today? Blah? Tired? Joyful? Hopeful?

I’m feeling happy, and kind of wonder-stricken. With all the turmoil and despair in the world, I have been trying to focus on the good things around me and looking for glimpses of hope and optimism. I was encouraged a great deal when I came across 20 Good News Stories You Didn’t Hear About. If you need a bit of a lift, this is the article to read!

I also found a quote that helped me rethink my attitude — one that I think will be helpful when I find myself feeling hopeless, miserable or heavy-hearted. Words that will help me feel energized, happy and creative. Do you have a quotation or saying that fills you with wonder?

buddha quote