Friday, September 28, 2012


I hate shopping for clothes.  I do it only under duress.  When my pants fall off in Jazzercise.

I don`t shop online. Except on Amazon occasionally.

So when I saw a t-shirt for myself online yesterday and purchased it immediately, not only was I shocked myself but my family had to pick up their jaws off the floor when I told them when I got home.

Lindsay: ``You bought clothes. A t-shirt. Online.  Are you ok?"

Well here's the thing........not really......I am not really feeling ok.  I am fine on many levels but its been a tough week, a tough 6 weeks or so......just many minor things......and I feel worn out.  And a bit down in the dumps.

My paystub reveals I took no vacation in the Summer which may be kicking my butt now and with no plans for a Christmas vac I am about to pull out the VISA and book Hawaii for Spring Break and bill it to my medical plan as a mental health intervention because it will be that if I survive until then! 

Lucky I don't actually have a VISA.......sigh....

So as much as I did like the shirt....I think it was the clear double meaning that appealed in the moment.
Hopefully by the time it arrives it with be the camera happy Mama that embraces the shirt and not the slightly mentally and emotionally unstable one who purchased it.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Spot the Photographer

When I travel with my friend Leigh I spend a fair bit of time waiting for her to take photos...with her tripod....changing settings......fording streams, running across highways.......To amuse myself I took photo's of her..... see if you can spot her.....

This post is dedicated to Michael Langman.....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

River Walk

aka The too early, dark and cold, Puppy fight/drag/walk

Things we see:

1.  Every morning we see an elderly woman collecting recyclable materials....quietly walking along, all alone....I am curious about her story.

2. The young people arranging the tables and chairs outside the Starbucks - noisily dragging the chairs across the concrete.  Makes me wonder about those people in the apartments above....a downside of urban living I guess?

3. The older (than me) couple running with their back dog.  Who also runs.  On his leash.   All three of them silent except for their footfalls.

4. The young couple walking their little one....tired, pushing a stroller but also carrying a backpack carrier in case....doing whatever it takes to keep their baby happy....they know Spanner by name now and we call out "Hello's" in the dark, walking in opposite directions.  I say a little prayer for them that their baby will sleep.  I think we both feel less alone when we connect.

5. The local high school principal who runs along at an impressive pace, also calling out our names as he whistles by.  He knows Spanner too.

6. The "know-it-all" dog owner who never remembers she has met us before and always gives us training advice as our puppy runs circles around her, jumping and snapping mortifying us.  She actually suggested after seeing us for 15 seconds that it looked like Spanner might have an earache and we should massage his ear canal.  Sure lady...sure.  We have radar on for her now and take extreme diversionary tactics.

7.  The three racoons.....great when we see them down by the river fishing but unnerving when we don't...where are they lurking?  I suspect the blackberry bushes by the bridge and I worry they will appear one day.  I am sure one smack upside the head from a raccoon and snappy, biting Spanner will cower behind my legs and then what?  Should I carry a stick? Some spray?  Cower behind Allan?

8.  The couple walking - he walks forward and she walks backwards.... is this so they can talk?  Is he spotting for obstacles she might walk back into?

9.  A beautiful heron on a log - all regal and picturesque......until startled and then lets out the most blood-chilling sqwark sounds....freaks me right out.

10. Serious runners plugged into iPods, ponytails bobbing, arms pumping. A slight nod, a slight smile, a silent prayer we don't let go of our dog.  Who is suddenly interested in running.  With strangers. On his leash.

11. Solo amblers out for an early morning walk.... couldn't sleep?  early riser?.... nodded "Good mornings".

Getting up is hard but once we get to the river and once Spanner loses the daily "will-I-walk-or-won't I?" battle, it can be quite charming......

Until it starts raining.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Sunday Reflection on light

Sun light, electric light and The Light of the World.

Walking a reluctant puppy before dawn everyday has worn me down..... it seems ridiculous that that extra half hour less (?) I sleep makes such a difference.....and I was counting on the exercise giving me energy but alas....although my pants have quietened down quite a bit :)...... I am tired.  TBH, as my teenager would say, it's all the emotional/mental energy that is so weary making, and the constant vigilance.

We are making some progress, especially with Allan and I team walking him and he is only 12 weeks old.  Holding on to the hope he will happily walk along side us any week soon.

The weekend mornings are actually lovely - the dawn breaks as we are walking and we have more time to stop and enjoy the sights.  On Saturday we saw three racoons fishing on the mud banks of the low river tide, herons, geese, our Steveston resident swan pair......

I have taken lots of photos this week so I decided to take photos with the subject "light" this morning.  My point and shoot doesn't do well in low light (like dawn) but I am trying different settings and I had fun trying some different ways of approaching light this morning. 

Some "light" shots. Click on the photos to see them larger.


And then we went to church, our new Anglican Church.  I am so enjoying the liturgy again.....and the hymns.....feeling very happy and at peace in this new congregation.  I reflected on the Light of the World as I reaffirmed my faith with these age old words.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen
After a puppy weary, work weary, chore weary afternoon, Lindsay made dinner and we headed to Garry Point and witnessed a spectacular sun set.......a lovely way to cap my day of light....

And some special light effects to end the to bed I am.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tea for Two - Lindsay Byres

 Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.  ~Author Unknown
There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.  ~Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things. - Chaim Potok
Tea with friends is more than just a hot drink and pastries. It's time to talk and to relax and to enjoy each others company.

Afternoon tea is really just a grown up tea party, it's just as fun and just as exciting.

 It was intentional time to catch up and to have real time together instead of quick conversations between classes or after school as we hurry on to our next class or practice.

Tea and friends are two of my favourite things, they make my heart happy.

London Farm is one of my favourite places to enjoy afternoon tea. Their tea is fruity and light and the pastries are unfailingly tasty, plus sitting in the historic house is cozy and quaint and just so pleasant.

It's quality time spent with a good friend and I couldn't ask for more :).  Thanks MS.

Lindsay Byres

Friday, September 21, 2012

Meet the Teacher

Or "Meet the Creature" as the teenagers call it.......and how fascinating it is to come face to face with these legends.

One of the things that has amazed me as I drive rugby teams, soccer team, go on field trips, listen to kids at my house is how much they talk about their teachers.

I am going to estimate its over 60% of their total conversation in terms of topic. 

And it's usually pretty black and white. 

There are the good "guys" and the "bad" guys.....

Oh the wailing tails of too much homework, teachers who talk too much, mark too hard, aren't fair, don't hand back work, won't listen, tell inappropriate stories, blather on about their personal lives etc etc.... all HUGE sins in the eyes of the teenage learner. 

There are also the "Ah-may-zing" teachers who are organised (funny how teenagers love this in teachers but are often disorganized themselves or is that just my kids?), who listen, give interesting and engaging work, get work back quickly, play fair, are interested in their students, who help.

As a Mom I listen to all with a hefty handful of salt (especially with an actual "creature" in the family).

So on Meet the Teacher Night I find it fascinating to meet these teachers.

In our high school you follow your child's schedule (which is  usually over 2 days) and have 8 minutes in each class.  Of course I tried to follow two children's schedules - that is 16 blocks in the space of 8.  So I dropped the PE/Band/Business classes in David's schedule and picked up a few of Lindsay's academic subjects and that new Tech teacher had to be checked on.

I have to say how impressed I was with every teacher I met.....that at the end of a long day they make their presentations 7 times in a row, under huge time pressure, try to connect with parents....we truly need to appreciate the immense dedication of teachers to their work and their students. Even the grouchy, kinda weird teacher.

Most teachers were friendly and engaging and informative.....I made notes....I got good contact info..... I understand so much better what is going on for my kids in class.

And the hallway dash was crazy but so fun......seeing lots of friends and people I know (some whose kids were in my child care centres)....lots of connections.

Oh the joy of having my kids at school in our community....I love it!

But I tell ya that Mr Byres......and his crazy dog..... just kidding... It was awesome to be a parent in Allan's class and see him as Teacher in his element.  I walked in and he was introducing himself to all the parents and I stood in line.... we shook hands "Hello Mrs Byres", "Hello Mr Byres".... totally deadpan....then I took my seat. Most people never guessed. 

I can't wait for parent/teacher interviews.... ;)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Surprise Sunrise

It's no surprise that the sun rose today.

What is surprising is that it is the 20th of September and we are still enjoying incredible summery sunshine.

The last few days my fellow commuters and I traveling east have been sunburning our retinas as we attempt to drive into the ball of fire.......we sit up tall to get maximum use of our visors, sunglasses on, wipers going.....some people pull off until their windows clear.....its cool and crisp and the sun is right in your face at 7:10am.

This morning I did my usual u-turn outside my house and saw this
A layer of fog was filtering the sun......So I pulled over, called my family on the phone so they could run out and see it too....and then ran into the middle of the street to get a better shot (it's a quiet street).
And then I set off for was hard to take my eyes off the amazing sun......
At this point I decided it was going  to be worth it to start work 15 minutes later and turn right instead of left and experience this foggy sunrise.......OH MY WORD......... What a blessing, what a sight!  I hope you enjoy these photos (click on them to get a better look) as much as I enjoyed taking them and breathing in the cool moist air and feeling lucky to be

I was hoping this tractor driver could see the amazing sunrise behind him

By the time I turned for work a few minutes later the light was already diffusing and washed out - this is the same spot a few minutes later
And by the time I got to work the fog was so think I couldn't even see the sun.