Monday, September 29, 2014

Protest

Some of my readers may have heard about some key resource developments in this part of the world.

One of them is the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project which would see the construction of twin pipelines from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimaat, British Columbia.



This project was proposed in the mid -2000s and has been postponed several times. The project proposal was submitted to the National Energy Board in 2010.  It was accepted by the federal government in June 2014 and here are hundreds of issues that must be addressed during the next phase of development.



There are several competing projects.

Kinder Morgan, a US based company has a proposal to expand Trans Mountain Pipeline, which runs from Strathcona County, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia. This project would see a tripling of the company's capacity to transport oil and if approved is expected to be operational in 2017. The weird part is that building is going on to accommodate the increased capacity even though the approval hasn't been given. It makes me cynical about the process since I don't think a company would spend this kind of money if they didn't feel they would get approval.




The other project is is Trans Canada Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed 1,179-mile (1,897 km), 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline beginning in Hardisty, Alta., and extending south to Steele City, Neb.




The oil would be piped through Canada but on it's way to other markets including the USA.

With all these resource projects in development added to ones like the Alberta Tar Sands project it is no wonder that people are concerned about detrimental environmental impacts.

The peaceful protect was overseen by the police and the protesters shut down the gas station for about 4-5 hours on Saturday passed. You can see the pink bands around the gas pump while people stand around talking, playing music and dancing in solidarity.  This was a relatively small protest.  There have been other protests on the related issues and I'm sure many more protests to come as people demonstrate their opposition to the resource development projects.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Gift



I had to go downtown on Tuesday for an appointment. I definitely didn't feel like venturing into the heart of the city since it was pouring rain.  The place where I had to meet is a construction zone right now. But I couldn't postpone my appointment any longer and in the end it turned out to be a very short appointment.

Getting home took more time. But as I'm wont to do, I stop somewhere along the way for a coffee and to read a good book. That day was no exception but when I got off the bus and went to my neighbourhood Starbucks, every seat was taken!  It was pouring rain outside and I've noticed that the neighbourhood shops are always full when that happens.


There was no free table and I couldn't sit outside in the rain. So I bought a lemonade to go and went across the street to the grocery store where they have a little dining area. There I also bought a hot cup of coffee and proceeded to read a few chapters of a book I'd left unfinished for a few weeks.

After my foray into the grocery store I stopped by the post office.  A wonderful surprise parcel was waiting for me there.



The parcel was from a blogging friend, Joanne, who has a delightful blog called Cup on the Bus.  Joanne is a talented crafts person and she made these beautiful, woven tea towels.

These will be used as covering for bread dough when I set it aside to rise. I think they are far too wonderful to just sit and look pretty but I don't want to use them for drying dishes just yet. That will come later ;-)


So I want to send a big  "THANK YOU" to Joanne for her kindness and generosity. 

I absolutely love my gift.

Go on over and have a look at her blog. She is an amazing grandmother and caretaker to several teens.  She also amazes me with her very full schedule of gardening, chaperoning, accounting, etc.

On Friday I went to meet some friends I haven't seen in decades, literally! Wow I can't even believe it's been that long. One of them is my Sunday School teacher and the other is her son. We had a really nice lunch together and tried to catch up on as much news as possible in the time we had.
If all goes well we will see each other again next year.

 After a full week of rain I'm happy to see the sun again.

Have a wonderful weekend. xx

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday

It's Saturday today and a glorious sunny day it was.  Though I am feeling much better, I am still having issues with my digestive tract after food poisoning just over a week ago. I didn't realize that convalescence would take so long.

I'm not doing much yet but I have gotten back to regular appointments and errands.

Thursday a friend and I went to a movie called "The Giver" with Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Katie Holmes. While it wasn't the best movie I've seen, it certainly was good enough to make a person think about the world we live in. In the movie, people live in a world where there is no colour or emotion, no sickness or war, no pain and no human touch, no books or knowledge of history.  It makes one realize that there can be an absence of all these things for all the "right reasons", usually idealistic reasons.  Yet the world can still be missing something and there can be hardship of another kind like no joy, no love, no touch, no feeling.  With all the warts, flaws, sadness and suffering in our world, it is still a rich world and preferable for most of us to living in a tightly run world of ideals for the common good.  At least that was my take away from the movie. If you see it yourself, I'd love to know what you think of it.

Yesterday, I went for my weekly appointment in the Kitsilano neighbourhood. I called a friend of mine the night before and we planned to meet for coffee and lunch afterwards. It was nice getting together with her and she had some gifts for my birthday which passed in May. It was such a nice gesture and surprise. She also bought me lunch to celebrate her recent promotion at work. We went to a new to the both of us place called Tang's, located at Broadway & Macdonald.  The food was delicious and I will have to go there again some time.  My friend had a deep fried tofu dish with chili and I had a beef and broccoli dish which came with hot and sour soup and pickles.  A nice added touch. The last time my friend and I got together I was treating her and her son to dinner at an Indian restaurant called Nirvana.  We were celebrating her new job but neither of us were impressed with the food or their miniscule portions.

At the post office today I picked up a parcel I've been expecting. It was my new Eurosteam iron (mine is blue not black).  I don't iron that much anymore but from time to time I need a really good iron for ironing cotton fabrics and shirts. If this iron is half as good as the demos, ironing will be a breeze.

I  bought this iron on line at a really good sale price and can't wait to try it out. I'm looking forward to being able to steam out wrinkles in a fraction of time than the usual.

After the post office I went next door to the grocery store and I bumped into a neighborhood friend I haven't seen for some time. It reminded me that the last time we bumped into each other at the coffee shop we exchanged phone numbers.  We both said we should make plans to get together rather than simply bumping into each other all the time.  I am not even sure where I have her number so I guess I should look for it. I'm either very good at keeping in touch with people or very bad.  Also, if I make a few efforts and the other party doesn't reciprocate then I drop all efforts because life is actually very busy and there is always someone else to see or something else to do.

Just yesterday I was also thinking about my former chiropractor.  I haven't been to him for adjustments in years since I worked at a downtown job  Unfortunately he was diagnosed with MS and recently retired from practice because the disease has advanced too much.  He and I promised to get together after his retirement but we haven't done so yet. I guess need to contact him and see how he is doing and whether and when we might get together.  He and his wife are just the dearest people you would ever hope to meet.  I think of him like a dear brother.  His wife is one of the most supportive spouses I've ever met. She gave up a promising career to be her husband's main office receptionist and supporter.  It was always a pleasure to go to the office and have a chit chat with the both of them.  When you meet people like that it is really important to try to stay in touch though it can be challenging in this busy age and time.

It has been raining this week but today the sun came out in all it's glory.   It is supposed to be another nice, sunny day tomorrow too.

I'm going to church and maybe after that I will get out to one of the southern "burbs" along the waterfront. There is a touristy kind of store that I want to check out because it might have some unique gifts.  I also want to take some photos by the waterfront because it will be the last opportunity  before summer officially ends.  If I don't get out that way tomorrow I will have to wait another week or two.  Rain is expected back in these parts on Monday and will likely last for most of the week.

Reminiscing about my safari in Kenya,
  I hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Craving Fulfilled

Hello friends,


I've been very sick this past week. I contracted food poisoning and I think it was from some boxed fish purchased at the supermarket. I ate it a week ago and by the next evening I was suffering. By Thursday noon I was suffering even more. I finally went to the doctor on Saturday.  I'm happy to report that I'm doing better and am finally getting back to normal.


Just yesterday it started to rain here. It didn't rain a lot but the sky is gray and the earth is a bit wet. have to say we have had a LONG run of sunny, hot or very warm weather. I guess Fall has now caught up with us.

As I was taking a shot toward the mountains, a plane flew overhead. It looks lonely up there against a dismal sky.



Whenever I have a bout of sickness, combined with overcast weather, I tend to want some home cooked "comfort" foods. I seldom make white bread any more but today I made both pizza dough (using Wolfgang Puck's recipe) and French Bread rolls (actually these recipes are almost identical
with the bread rolls requiring more flour).  Yesterday I made home made lentil and vegetable soup. I wish I had some today to go with the rolls but the rolls with butter will be nice!

The pizza dough will be use used today to make one vegetable pizza.  I think I will use cauliflower, peppers, eggplant and feta.  The other ball of dough will be used to make one meat pizza (pepperoni, salami, onions).

While my bread bun dough was rising, I roasted the vegetables for my pizza. It would have been nice to use some cherry tomatoes. Usually I have some on hand but none today.

A mix of garlic, yellow peppers, eggplant and cauliflower. I would have added cherry tomatos but I didn't have any on hand.

Before it goes in the oven.

After baking.

I almost left it in the oven too long.

Sorry about the shadows in the photo.


The buns are nice and crusty on both sides. I guess that's why they are called French bread rolls but I almost left them too long in the oven.

I'm off to eat. 

Tomorrow I will make some vegetable soup to go with the buns.

Enjoy the rest of your week!
Afterwards: Taste test for the buns. These buns were absolutely delicious. So soft and fresh inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. The pizza was slighlty salty with the feta and the crust was nice and crunchy.   Just how I like it though I know I will love it more with the addition of cherry tomatoes.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday here. Happy weekend to you and your loved ones. xx

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fading Colour & Parting Gifts




I've mentioned in earlier posts that my garden did not grow well this year. I also didn't do much to try and help it along other than watering but that didn't seem to be enough.  It was so hot and humid this summer and it wasn't until a very late season heavy rainfall that the plants started perking up a bit.

Despite all that, my garden is still giving me some brilliant pops of colour and I am grateful for these gifts.











I apologize for the quality of the photos. I tried hard to get some clear ones but it just wasn't happening today. Perhaps my camera has seen it's better days. In any case, I wanted a photo record of what the summer ended like.

Joining Skywatch Friday this week. Happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Precious Water

Recently, my friend Jonah went on another mission to the Pokot people of Kenya, near Lake Baringo (circled in red on the map).

I have travelled to the area a few times and can tell you from first hand experience that is a very dry place.  (Over the last year the general area has been hit hard by flooding and lake overflow causing destruction of several hotels).  There isn't much in the way of towns and cities and amenities beyond a place called Marigat which I have written about before.



Jonah is pointing to some water but this isn't Lake Baringo which is much larger and has resident hippos and crocodiles.


Water is a scarce and precious commodity.









Jonah joins the others in refreshing his hands in the wonderful water.
See all the water bottles and oil containers. The people will fill them with water.


Close Up of Some of the Women 

I love their faces and their smiles. They still show much joy despite the harsh living in a dry climate.

I also love their traditional beaded adornment.




You can help Jonah go on future missions to help the vulnerable.

Please donate if you can by

clicking  the donate button


 If you have any problems please let me know.

Thank you for your kindness.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Great Nephew

It has been awhile since I posted.

To be honest, I have tried posting earlier but I've discovered that since I upgraded to Windows 8.1 a lot of things don't work (phone to computer connection, printer, scanner). Of course they still work but they all need to be reset somehow. I'm no good at that kind of thing. I usually get my brother to set everything up. He will do so but then neglect to tell me he didn't download a certain program or connect up my printer. That kind of thing.

And isn't it Murphy's Law that you always need something the most when it isn't actually working as it should? I discovered that last week when I was trying to scan some documents and help my nephew out with some on line research. The computer connection would just "spin around". I'm not sure what the technical term for it is. Later on we discovered that my wi-fi signal wasn't working. A call to the telecommunications company resulted in them changing the modem frequency remotely.  Now at least the scanner and printer are working again.

The cell phone connection to the computer isn't. I tried to figure out how to do that myself but have no patience for it so will need to wait for help. In doing some on line research I found a forum which told me that others were having similar problems.

In my last post, I mentioned that I was preparing to go out of town to celebrate my mom's birthday.

Since then I've been to her place and back but most of the photos I took didn't turn out so I don't have too much to share with you photo-wise.  I was too busy trying to set up the room and be the hostess as well as taking photos for both my niece and myself on two different cameras.  I didn't even get a photo of the cake which looked lovely.  Sadly too most of the photos on my camera were blurred. I hope they turned out better for my niece.  The main thing is we all enjoyed a good meal.  Mom enjoyed her special day and she really enjoyed seeing her 2nd great-grandson for the first time.  Of course she also enjoyed visiting with her children, grandchildren and her 1st great-grandson.  

My picture of the fruit plate is the only thing that seem to turn out fine, lol. Everyone also enjoyed this dish at lot or at least the fruit.  All the fruit on the plate was gone and I brought home the cheeses home.

Hunter, born June 14, 2014
Oodles of food was left over. We packed it up and left it for the staff and an extra plate for mom for a snack later.  The remaining cake had to go in the garbage.  The weather was so hot that the cake frosting (cream cheese) melted and the top layer slide off the bottom layer when cut. Each of us had a piece and I threw the rest away. It was a strawberry cake and looked lovely but it wasn't nearly as good as the cakes we've had in previous years.

Besides trying to ensure mom enjoyed her day, I was so happy to see  my little great nephew. He is only two and half months old and the cutest little thing (of course we all say that). He is like a miniature man and very strong. His preferences and character are already so evident and he is the spitting image of his dad. His name is Hunter. His father is a huge outdoors man (hunter, fisherman and cowboy) and will no doubt take him hunting at the first opportunity.


This is the quilt I made back in May for the baby.

While I was there I was able to take the little guy's measurements to see if I can tailor a sweater that will actually fit him.


African Music & Happenings