Friday, August 30, 2013


I have had three quiet meltdowns this week.

My plate is filled to overflowing and pretty much everything on it was put there by me.

Concrete leaves, gardening, blogging, photography, online classes, board meetings, marketing for Growing Wisdom, learning new computer skills,  making meals, doing laundry, cleaning the house (sort of) and I was tossing around the idea of going back to work . . . (which Henry pretty much vetoed)

I can't do it all and at the moment I am not doing any of them well either.Something has to give. But what??? Everything I'm doing I do because I want to (except the housework ;) )

Any ideas? because I'm all out.

How do you figure out what takes priority if there are no clear-cut answers??

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday . . . Flower series

daisyyellow daisy

White mum bud with purple tips

pale peach ruffled rose

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Travel Tuesdays . . . Family

Welcome to Travel Tuesdays where we talk about travel and adventure both at home and abroad. Tamara has posted her adventure here, mine is below and we hope you'll add your story through the link at the bottom of the page.

 Adventure is a state of mind not a place on the map . . . 

I don't know about you but the majority of my traveling involves visits to family. I feel so blessed to be at a stage of life that allows me to spend time with my loved ones face to face at least once a year.

This last visit to B.C. was no exception . . . but this time there was a bit of a twist.

This time I also got to visit with a cousin I hadn't seen in years . . . all because she was visiting her family . . .

Rather than get all philosophical in this post I'm going to prove once again , that I become a nutcase in front of the camera . . .

Well, after 20 pictures or so we finally got this one  . . .

Whew! That one's not so bad.

I thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Aunty Jenny, Uncle Henk, my cousin Ruth and Aunty Jenny's lovely caregiver who was brave enough to get behind my camera and attempt to take at least one good picture of the three us us.

I think she did a great job!

Now it's your turn . . .

Please join us in throwing a spotlight on the little things you do in life that inspire you, delight you, and just all around make you JOYFUL!  Link back to our Travel Tuesday Linky Party and share your adventures.  Did you take a trip to Paris?  Or perhaps a picnic in the park?  Maybe you found a new little bistro just down the block?  Discovered a garden oasis in your neighbourhood?  Snap some shots and join us as we live out life of ADVENTURE every day of the week.

Just click on the InLinkz link below and join in the fun!

*Don't forget to link to your actual post rather than your general blog address. You can do this by clicking on your post title and copy and pasting that address to the linkA few other things you can do to liven up the party is to link back to Travel Tuesdays on your blog and visit at least a few of the other bloggers and leave them a comment. Spread the love . . . 

 As promised we have also come up with a way for everyone to share in the fun, even non bloggers!

We now have a Travel Tuesdays Facebook page! If you don't blog, or even if you do, hop on over there and leave your pictures and stories. It doesn't even have to be Tuesday. ;D

Arghhh . . . My link isn't working. The one I sent Tamara is but mine . . is not. Sigh. Hopefully next week.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Concrete Leaf Sculptures. BIG ones!

I was in bed last night (Friday) before I realized that I hadn't blogged.

 I've been dog sitting Jada's friend Diesel, doing all the things you do to keep a household running smoothly . . . (not) . . . and working on giant rhubarb leaf sculptures.

Rhubarb concrete leaf sculptures

Rhubarb concrete leaf sculptures

I  had offers of rhubarb after mine was destroyed in a hail storm  but in the end found some beautiful stuff down the street. (Still hoping to get hosta leaves though . . .)

These giant ones though take up a lot of time, energy and concrete. I ended up having to go out and buy a more powerful drill to hook up to my blender tool as the one I had kept smoking!

Very disconcerting . . .

I hope to get at least four large ones made although I'm aiming for five. The biggest problem with that is though, that each leaf takes up an entire table and has to stay there for two days rather than one. As I only have two tables and each leaf takes several hours to make it's rather slow going. (Real life stuff getting in the way isn't helping much either. (dishes . . . laundry . . . supper . . . sigh.)

But IT is sooo much fun! There is nothing like unmolding my newest leaf and seeing all the detail captured in concrete.

It's an odd thing, but whenever I focus in on detail or the small things in life whether it's through concrete, photography, writing or just plain living those moments, I feel the Lord right there beside me, showing me the wonder of his creation and the vastness of his love for us. God really is in the detail and I've come to realize that those details are what I really have a passion for regardless of the way in which I experience them. It is through those details that I am coming to know Him more and more each day.

It gives me the shivers.

Now I'm off to make more leaves. I'm not sure I'll be posting Monday, it will depend on how far I get but Tamara and I will both be here on Tuesday for our new Travel Tuesdays link ups.

And because we love a good party, even a virtual one, we have a little something extra planned to allow more people to join in the fun!

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Quiet Sundays

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Waterfall, autumn leaves

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Travel Tuesdays. It's all about the Food!

My sister Tamara and I decided we wanted to start a joint blogging venture that centered around travel and adventure. She travels the world for business and I search out adventure closer to home.

We both firmly believe that adventure can be found anywhere, as long as you are willing to look for it.

Adventure is a state of mind, not a place on the map.

That said, stepping on to an airplane and winging off to far away destinations can be incredibly exciting and sharing in someone else's travels can be nearly as satisfying as being there yourself.

And so. . . without further ado . . . we bring you:

Travel Tuesdays!

Although I don't often travel far from home, I was able to make a trip to beautiful British Columbia to visit with family and to pack as much adventure into one week as was humanly possible. And no, I didn't get a whole lot of sleep while I was there . . .

I was going through the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of pictures I took while I was away, doing a quick edit on some of my favorites as I was trying to decide just what my first Travel Tuesdays post was going to be about.  I began to notice a pattern emerging. It didn't seem to matter who I was visiting with or what we were doing because the same subject appeared over and over again.

Flowers?  Yes, but . . .

Gardens? Yes, but . .

Antiquey things? Yes, but . . .

None of the things appeared in my photos as often as FOOD!

If you go on an adventure with me it is likely to include food and . . . you will have to wait and wait and wait to actually eat it. After all, I have to find the right spot on the table to display it, move the distracting elements away from it, fiddle with my camera settings, try out every angle know to man and then invent a few more before I will be happy with my food shot.

Only then are you allowed to dig in.

I have had to put but with some serious teasing and a bit of friendly mocking about this little quirk of mine but I will endure any hardship in quest of my Art. (Ahem)

 It's all about the food . . .

The best part? I can bring this home with me, trying out new foods, taking extra effort with presentation and  . . .  if I really want to kick it up a notch . . . take the whole kit and kaboodle out into the garden.

A lovely adventure . . . at home.

Please join us in throwing a spotlight on the little things you do in life that inspire you, delight you, and just all around make you JOYFUL!  Link back to our Travel Tuesday Linky Party and share your adventures.  Did you take a trip to Paris?  Or perhaps a picnic in the park?  Maybe you found a new little bistro just down the block?  Discovered a garden oasis in your neighborhood   Snap some shots and join us as we live out life of ADVENTURE every day of the week.

We start next Tuesday . . .

Now head on over to Tamara's at The Greenhouse Diaries and read all about her adventures on today's Travel Tuesdays.

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, August 19, 2013

More Melanoma Tests. This One will be an Annual Occurrence.

I had my first annual abdominal ultrasound and chest X rays on Friday.

I wasn't at all worried about it until I was standing at the desk and noticed the phrase on the bottom of my requisition form.

Stage 3 melanoma.


Most of the time I can put that fact right out of my mind but waiting for yet another test brings everything rushing right back again.

I held it all together, determined that this time I would not cry during a test. I was doing fairly well too until it dawned on me that the ultrasound technician was spending an inordinate amount of time on my right side going back over the same areas again and again, while she zipped over the left side in no time. (The left side is were my melanoma was originally found)

I started getting a little nervous and my eyes began to leak a little. I wasn't crying mind you, just leaking a tiny bit. I may have had to blow my nose too but I think I'm getting a cold . . .

She went out to check the pictures, came back and asked me to sit up so she could take more in that position.

I started sweating. Was it getting hot in here?

Next stop X ray.

What in the world??? A full on xray and then only the right side??!

"All done!" my cheerful technician chirps "You should get the results by late Tuesday."

I went to the truck and cried. No leaking, just full on chest heaving, snottery nose crying.

I decided to treat myself to a very late lunch from Kentucky Fried Chicken. There is no eating or drinking anything for 6 hours before the test which had was at 3 in the afternoon and I was hungry!

I got home to discover they had forgotten the gravy. The gravy is the best part! My eyes may have started leaking again.

Thankfully Henry was home by that time and insisted we go out for an early supper (with real food) instead. Holly lucked out and got my chicken and Henry and I headed to my favorite restaurant.

 Joey's in Mayfield Common.

I love that man!

I got the call early this morning . . . All clear. No melanoma detected. Still cancer free!

The prayers of thanksgiving that went up!!

And all the attention to the right side? Well if I had had any sense at all and called my nurse friend Nicole she would have told me that's where all the organs are . . .

But even then . . .

Now I'm off to work on a very large rhubarb leaf grown by one of my neighbors. It's a beauty!

Stop back tomorrow at lunch time for a new feature Tamara and I are starting.

Travel Tuesdays- Adventures at Home and Abroad.

As you might imagine, mine will likely focus more on the 'At Home' and Tamara's on the 'Abroad' but we both firmly believe that adventure can be found anywhere.

Adventure is an attitude not a place on the map.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Handmade Camera Bag

Just before I left for B.C. I was seized with the urge to make something. I had a To Do list as long as my arm and not nearly enough time to do it, but . . . I wanted to make something!

During my big purge one of the things that ended up on the sell shelf was my sewing machine. I don't sew particularly well or all that often so it made sense. If I had a project (I've got some hand stamped pillow covers to make for my next sale) Ev assured me I could use her machine.

I managed to get Ev and her daughter Laura to take some of my fabric stash and most of my notions, which became somewhat problematic when I decided I wanted to make a fabric insert for my leather back pack that would hold my camera.

After all, if you are going to carry a camera wherever you go you might as well look cool while you do it. No ordinary camera bag for me!

 Thankfully the sewing machine was still on the self and I managed to find supplies and a reason to use the fabric I had bought on a whim, just because I thought it was so pretty.

Only, once I started putting the bag together, it occurred to me that I could turn it into a sweet little camera bag that could be used on it's own.

 I made things up as I went along. If you look closely you will see that one of the pockets is slightly off kilter. I didn't care though, I thought it looked fabulous.

Ev would be so proud.

So here's what I ended up with:

There was a fair bit of hand sewing involved which, oddly, I enjoy.

The finished bag.

But here's the thing.

I wore this bag while I was on holidays pretending to be a 20 something, artsy fartsy, bohemian.

Only. . . this bag made it hard to keep up the illusion. Somehow it's just too darn cute. It made it hard to take myself seriously.

Because when I didn't wear it I could totally believe I was a super cool, 20's kind of girl . . . cough, cough. (ahem)

Which means this sweet little bag is going to have to find a new owner. Because I no longer keep stuff I don't use.

Perhaps someone who is actually artsy fartsy and bohemian or . . . maybe . . . just someone a whole lot younger than me in need of a cute camera bag.

Any suggestions???

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Home Again . . .

I'm home!

It was a wonderful trip filled with food, family and inspiration.

There was so much to see and do. So much to catch up on. With them and now with you!

But first . . . sleep.

Because I hardly had any while I was gone. My holiday was that much fun.

I'll be sharing my adventures over the next several Tuesdays as I'm pretty sure a week straight of vacation pics would be a lot like being trapped in your grandparents basement watching a slide show of their latest trip to the Arizona desert featuring every. single. cactus. they saw while they were there.

Which might be cool . . . if you were a cactus lover.  

So here's a quick sneak peek:

Berry waffles at Krause Berry Farms:

Theater Under the Stars, Stanley Park, Vancouver:

Vancouver Art Gallery:

Junking with Tamara and Donna at Granny and Grumpa's:

 High tea at Tracycakes:

Heading to Seattle with Lisa:

Pike's Place, Seattle:


Linda, Sabrina and Rob at Minter Gardens:

I have been thoroughly blessed!

© A Life of Whimsey