Thursday, May 26, 2011

ο φίλος μου (my friend)

φίλος της καρδιάς μουwhere are you now?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Birthday Surprise

It was a great birthday surprise! We drove south through Enderby, Armstrong, Vernon, Peachland, Summerland and Penticton. I still couldn't guess where we were going. Finally a few hints were offered while we shared lunch in Penticton. "Remember that sign we passed for Resting Turtle?" and "who...who...who?" The hints are always tricky as I try to make my mind work along the same pathways as his but before we continued south I had managed to come up with the name of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery.

Located between Oliver and Osoyoos, it is a beautiful place. Our room was magnificent, overlooking the pool and acres of vineyards. The restaurant offers gourmet dishes with fresh local ingredients. The wines are divine. The breakfast buffet offered everything from mini-souffles to home baked muffins, fresh fruit and granola made by the owner.

The pool had just been filled and we were not brave enough to attempt a swim but the sun did shine during our visit, slowly warming the pool temperature.

As we headed for a walk along the river, we passed the decaying remains of the Haynes Ranch, a local Preservation Project.

Two days later we left Burrowing Owl and travelled north again, visiting several wineries enroute. One of our special stops was at Road 13 Winery where they claim that "It's all about the dirt"! It was too early in the day to really savour wine tasting but we did enjoy the customer relations with their staff member.

At Okanagan Falls we noticed a sign directing travellers to "SYL". Not sure what it was, but curious, we took the small road leading uphill 5 km to the SYL Ranch. Still hesitant, we noticed a sign pointing to a wine tasting boutique in the small stone house. What a treat!! SYL stands for "See ya later" which were the three words that were left behind in the early 1900's when a new bride departed for Montreal after 4 days on the land. The wines are named for the owners dogs. Of course we had to bring back a bottle of
"Jimmy my pal" for our neighbour. A friendly employee suggested that we have lunch at The Dream Cafe in Penticton on our way through.

Located on Front Street, walking into The Dream Cafe is like entering a psychedelic dream! Giant dragon kites are suspended from the ceiling and years of memorabilia decorate the walls. The tables have colourful coverings and the menu is eclectic. Pierre seats us and his daughter takes our order. During lunch Pierre stops by to tell us the story of his establishment and the performances that take place there.
It is an amazing success story. We know that we will return in the summer to hear Hans Theesink or Coco Love Alcorn or Michael Kaeshammer. In November we might be lucky enough to get tickets for a Judy Collins performance. When we are ready to leave, his daughter tells us that there is no bill. Her father is not charging us for our lunch. We find him in the kitchen and shake hands with him, grateful not only for the meal but also for the serendipity that has brought us together. This is a special place, founded by a man with a love for music and good food!  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chairs and coffee

Greek chairs require tenacity and the ability to suspend any hope of comfort.
Surprisingly, buttocks gradually become adjusted to the narrow woven seats!

Once you have adjusted to the chairs, 
a coffee break becomes an opportunity to linger,
to watch the world pass by, to share conversation.

It is still unusual to find tables without ashtrays.

Mountain Tea brewed in a pot is John's favourite.

The Symposium is our breakfast place of choice on the island of Paros.
Music drifts from inside, cats doze on chairs, children play in the narrow streets.

Happiness shapes our morning coffees!

Monica always made sure that a piece of cake was served with morning coffee
and the tavli(backgammon)game was ready for us when we arrived.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


My sisters arrived on Wednesday and we had a laugh-filled few days together...therapeutic for all of us.
During their visit, we had arranged to donate the "Lady Car" to the Kidney Foundation. Proceeds from sale of the car and/or its parts will go to the Foundation and we will recieve a tax receipt for the donation.
It was an emotional farewell because our mother purchased the vehicle in 1991, a brand new, deluxe Chrysler LeBaron. The inside was still immaculate but the exterior was showing signs of age...peeling paint and rust. She was leaking some fluid and refused to start after a cold winter. A rear tire had flattened and she started to voice her complaints last year with loud squeaks from her suspension.

We were very grateful for her faithful years of service and waved farewell as she was towed out of the carport and down the road, turning another page of our family's history.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

She was a seventeen year old girl when she married.
Two months later she was pregnant and alone,
left behind by the war machinery.

I was born on Tuesday May 16, 1944.
At the age of eighteen, she was no longer alone.
She had become a woman and a mother.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers of the world!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The very best news!

My sister received the best possible news today! The oncologist at the Cancer Clinic said that she did not require chemo treatments following her surgery for ovarian cancer. There is no indication of cancer in any of the tissue that was removed. Fortunately the diagnosis and resulting surgery were early enough to contain the malignancy within the cyst on her ovary.

We will celebrate next week when both of my sisters drive up for a visit! Decisions, decisions...champagne or  a  vibrant Italian red wine?? 

Monday, May 2, 2011

The dumbest robin!

Last week he spent two days flying into the downstairs window, determined to destroy himself or whatever he thought was posing a threat to his kingdom! First, I hung a mask in the window to deter him. That worked for 5 minutes before he was back, throwing himself against the glass!

Finally, I hung a towel on the outside of the window and he retreated for 2 days. On Saturday I removed the towel because of house viewings on Saturday and Sunday. This morning he was back again, so the towel went back up. He has spent the morning attacking the towel, assuming that the threat to his kingdom is lurking behind the pink fabric!! Now he has discovered that he can(during some of his thrusts) sit on top of the towel and peer inside!!

Arches, domes and windows

Arches, domes and windows
Quiet reflections
on sturdy constructions.