Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I have made a little tradition in my house that whenever I am going away I leave notes for each of my family.

Sometimes on their pillows so they get them at bedtime.

Sometimes at their spot at the kitchen island.

Sometimes I tape it to their bedroom doors.

Its just a little love note, a reminder that I love them.....sometimes a prompt about what they need to be doing while I am gone.

It's my thing.  I love doing it.

I have come home to my share of welcome home notes and after my last trip it was a 3D printed red rose on my pillow..... welcome to living with techie types!

David left on a trip into the wilderness last Friday.  I literally didn't know where he was off to but I more than trusted the leaders of the trip.  I knew he would have fun and be pushed physically and be in the great outdoors for 3 whole days, sleeping under the stars, swimming in lakes...... hopefully changing his underwear.

He knew I was a little worried.

He was also super scattered in getting ready in the manner only a 14 year old boy can be..... he kept telling me he had everything and then I'd mention a "thing" and he's leap up to go find it or pack it.....even when Allan dropped him off he forgot the waivers and Allan had to come back for them.

I found the much needed night hike headlamp on his bed the day after he left.

But this.......this I found when I went to bed on Friday night after my awful week.....

Just that he thought to do it was enough to fill my heart.....but what he wrote.....that brought the tears....
 He always wants me to be reassured (although "I will try not to do anything too extreme" doesn't really help!)......but he is to the point....... no "Dear Mom"..... or "Love David".....
But so much evidence of his big big heart, his sense of humor and his love.

Dear David.  I Love you.  Love Mom.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The week that was.....

Silence on my blog is usually not a good thing.

And it wasn't.

Last week my Board and I made the devastating decision to close one of our centres.  It sustained massive water damage in the Spring and since we were ordered out the property management company have done NO repairs.  Not one thing has been done.  And so our temporary relocation time has run out with no solution from our Landlord or the Property Manager.  The relocated space is too small and allocated to another program.......

4 staff displaced.  25 families given notice.

I delivered the news.

To everyone.

It sucked.

It sucked to say it.

It sucked to hear it.

It sucked to deal with all the fall out.

I cried many a tear late at night just to let it out .

When Allan put his arms around me one night and said "I got you"......I cried more...... but felt so reassured to have someone holding on to me as everything around me seemed in free fall.

Of course once I got through each step I got better perspective...... it was awful but it is recoverable.

We will go on.

Families and staff will cope.

But I am really hoping this week is better on all fronts!

Of course with all that my work/life balance has been WAY off.

But I have managed to find moments to connect with my kids and Allan, to throw a ball for Spanner, visit Lindsay at her job, to catch a sunset or two, have some good food (and ice cream), celebrate a friends birthday at the beach, do a little shopping, send David into the wilderness (I have no idea where he is....more on that tomorrow), have a great first date with a new friend, check pulled pork pancakes off my TO DO list, had friends who showed up with beer, ate Hoppel Poppel, went to a new cafe in Bellingham that gave candy with the bill, wandered around Trader Joes, bought shoes (this alone deserves a whole post) and let my daughter drive my car for the first time.......



Did you hear what I just said.........

Lindsay drove for the first time today.

Like a pro.

Ok like a go kart pro......KIDDING...... she did so well - reversed, parked, used the indicator...... and I, I remained calm, did not poke a hole through the floor boards with my foot and did not pee my pants.  I think I did well.

SO proud of her!

Life is full..... full of ups and downs, twisty corners, thorny patches, sunshine and love....

It's a grand adventure or nothing at all........ said someone.......and I agree!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

More than a cup of Coffee

I have been observing this summer that my family and I possibly have different styles of relaxing.

Allan and the teens seem to need lots of down time..... reading, watching movies, napping, playing games on phones etc.....

I don't find that all that exciting or restful (although I will solemnly admit I can while away a few mindless hours playing scrabble and solitaire and angry birds on my phone too).

They seem to love being at home...... lounging on couches.

I need to get out and about to feel like I have had a break.

It's possible that I fear being too restful lest I never get going again if I stop.

Nevertheless......on Saturday morning I was feeling a bit blue.  Dreams of a little vacation, even a long weekend away just doesn't seem doable given the budget and the continuing uncertainty of the strike.  We could use the money now and regret it later..... which kind of takes the joy away.

So no trip left me feeling sad, even a tad mad.

I know how whinny and entitled that makes me seem.  I do.

Allan and I both did chores all Saturday morning.  I prepped for a baby shower and he cleaned out his workshop.

He loaded up the truck and I went with him to the landfill.  I needed to get some supplies from Target so we headed there after intending to grab a coffee on the way.

I suddenly remembered a little coffee shop I had been meaning to visit for a while and it was close by.

We found it and a parking spot easily.

It was a delightful spot.

The long Americano creamy and delicious.

And this is where serendipity steps in.

The Barista, a delightful young lady, asked how we liked the Americano?

And we began to chat.

About coffee at first.  About their decision to use East Van Roasters, a social enterprise that assist women trying to get out of poverty in the downtown east side of Vancouver.

About her own journey form a degree is psychology to an internship at Union Gospel Mission, to her initiation into coffee at a Steveston coffee shop we like.....  She was interesting and interested.

She runs the tiny 300 sq ft shop with her Mom who is also delightful and chimes into the conversation from time to time.

They are interested that I run a non-profit AND am addicted to coffee.

It seems we were made for each other.

The coffee was great but the whole little adventure was JUST what I needed.

I felt like I found a gem right in our City..... a place I will surely frequent.

It was a gift of a moment.

It lifted my spirits.

Richmondites......... Coffee lovers of the Lower Mainland...... Go to Fresh Press Coffee Bar

I'll see you there.

Friday, July 18, 2014


My iPhone is apparently full.

Which is ridiculous seeing as I have no music on it and only about 5 apps.

But I can't get rid of that annoying little red 1 because there is insufficient data available.

It's the photos.

And given I am just slighty OCD enough for that to bug me I am going to share some photos now so I can make "space" for the iOS update my phone wants to have.

My week in photos..........

It was hot and sunny.  Very hot.

We had an open house at our new centre - we served milk and cookies.  60 people came.

A birthday tradition continued

We helped Allan do a moving job on his birthday..... we had fun

I spent some time with small people

This sunset made a long day so worth it......THIS is why my phone is FULL

My P's came to visit so we went to the the farm for a walk

I was reminded why I love Terra Nova Park SO much

Frogs were spotted - Alas no crocodiles as hoped.


The joy of a windmill

I had a photo featured on a website of talented real photographers

A friend texted me this throwback ..... how can it be only 4 yeas?

This happened....... OI VEY..... what this girl will do for ice cream apparently.

Two hard working ladies had a "meeting" this afternoon.  Nail polish may have been involved.

Allan said Frittata for dinner we used half our CSA box in in.

A cool patio, a delish dinner, a cool drink..... HELLO WEEKEND

AAAND I just checked and after all this  (and deleting at least 30 more photos) I still don't have enough data for the stupid update.

I guess I will check one more time to see if there are any photos I can store elsewhere..... SIGH.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday... Fishing Photos

Allan and David went on a camping /fishing trip last week. While waiting for the fish to bite David took these photos. With requisite selfie.