Sunday, May 28, 2017


Mountains truly astonish me. I mean, just look at the view from the airplane window!

Although I've managed to fit in two flights to far off destinations this year I'm still no world traveller. I'm a newbie. In fact, I'm definitely a Homebody. But this past week, I was blessed with the opportunity to fly to British Columbia to visit my son and daughter-in-law in Vancouver. 

Never been to Vancouver. So for a Newbie in Vancouver, that means lots of pictures, food, adventures and generally just crossing things off the bucket list. Hold on to your hats kids - here we go!

No sooner had we hit the ground we headed up the coast on the Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish to watch the sunset from a mountain top.

After a racy Gondola ride to the top, we crossed this Bridge to check out the mountain view

And then watched the earth go to sleep as the sun set behind the mountains.

Scratch that one off the Bucket List!

Next day was a couple of hiking trips. 

First to an area called Lonsdale where I experienced crisp fresh air and icy cold water.

Needed a little buffer between those hikes so what better than sushi in Vancouver!!

This work of art was from a restaurant called Hachi Hana. Quick friendly service, clean, and excellent food!

Then we headed to the very West coast of Vancouver to an area called Caulfeild Park. 

We sunned on the rocks along with a dozen other folks. I saw, for the first time, a Bald Eagle sailing overhead and sea lions curiously checking us out from the water (more Bucket List scratches).

Next up was Granville Market in the heart of Vancouver. Parking was atrocious (holiday Monday) but what a sight for the senses AND my camera.

I checked out a Honey stand where you could sample the varieties. 

Before we said our goodbyes to the kids, Sheldon and I rented some bikes and zoomed around Stanley Park, another Bucket List victory.

Then we took a 5 hour (that's right 5 HOUR) bus trip on the Coquihalla Highway to Kelowna. Up and down, through rain, sun, snowy mountain tops and even a rainbow.

We were embraced by the loving arms of our friends the Molenaars, quite possibly some of the most gracious hosts on the planet. 

Sid and Cheryl will always make you feel at home and feed your body, mind and spirit all at the same time!

This was just the starter for a feed of trout, shrimp, roasted potatoes and salad. Lawd ha' mercy.

This Newbie was now armed with a load of new experiences. I was also ready to get back to my routine and spend some kitchen time. Inspired by all the amazing food I had enjoyed, I created this dish of avocado pasta with roasted peppers, mushrooms and fiddleheads and I topped it with sun-dried tomatoes, feta and olives.

There is no shame in being a Newbie. Sure, you are hesitant and get in people's way. You take a long time reading signs and checking google maps but it's worth it. If you spot one looking dazed and confused, offer them some direction and advice. They will appreciate it and so will their Bucket List!

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing Moms out there! I know it's a tough gig sometimes. You sacrifice everything - your lives, your money, your time, your career, even your dreams so your children can have all that and more.

Have you ever struggled on what to get that special mom in your life for Mother's Day? Well, here's a few tips.

First, just ask! She may fluff you off because she is very used to putting herself second but it's worth a try.

Second, a general rule of thumb: if this is a young mother, give her some alone time. Take the kids for a few hours and let her have the house to herself or so she can go shopping or whatever. 

If this is an older mother it's the other way around: she does not want alone time, she wants you time. So hang out with her, listen to her, take her for dinner.

Yesterday, I was able to spend the afternoon with my daughter (I fall into the older Mom category). We went to the County and puttered about. We had lunch and she bought me this beautiful lamp!

Then we went to the Drake Devonshire for dessert. I got the "Affogato". 

They take a scoop of ice cream, pour a shot of espresso over it and to make it extra special, a little shot of Chambord liquor. My, oh my...that's what THIS Mom really wants!

Today my husband and I honoured our own Moms. We cooked up a storm and had them over for lunch.

It's a great privilege to be a Mother and one of the hardest jobs on the planet and it so important to honour and acknowledge them. 

Happy Mother's Day to you All! 

Sunday, May 7, 2017


It seems we went from April Showers right into May Monsoons! We have had SOOOO much rain. My flowers are waterlogged

and tapping out

We are breaking rain records and so far this month (all 6 days of it) we have had 146.7 mm rain. Our average for the month of May - 79.4 mm.

It's a lovely sound, listening to the rain tap, tap, tapping on the window but eventually you are just going to have to get out there.

So, where's that Rain Slicker?

I've been living in this baggy, slick number for most of the week.  Yesterday, rain or rain, I headed out to make the most of it.

I stopped by the Bulk Barn and also did a bit a shopping for Mother's Day. But just to make my soggy day a little easier, I picked up a Chai Tea Latte made with Vanilla Soy Milk at Teavana.

This tea is warm and spicy and not too sweet. I highly suggest you don't start into them unless you are willing to commit. 

The local authorities have warned us to avoid the waterfront regions so, of course, had to go check THAT out. The Moira River is all worked up and angry and did not want her picture taken. 

But the Bay of Quinte, drinking in all that Moira River water is fat and lazy and spreading out all over that place.

There's a trail under there somewhere

Just spreading the love

No, that is not supposed to be an island!

The ground beneath my feet was wet and makes a distinct squelchy sound with every step. With wet socks I decide its time to head back home and make a stick to your ribs supper.

I'm a day late for Cinco de Mayo day but it was still a good hearty meal with beans, rice, hot peppers and chicken. Thanks Marcus and Kelly for the recipe!

Today, thank the heavens above, it is not raining. My slicker finally has time to dry and so do I. 

I don't know about you but I'm ready for Mr. Sun to take the stage!