Thursday, July 31, 2014


What a day! After our early morning "walk down/ hike up" we drove into the huge metropolis of Princeton. With a population of about 2800, the town offers a variety of quirky establishments.

We started with a delicious breakfast at Billy's Family Restaurant. From there we stopped at the local laundromat to wash our minimal wardrobe before doing a walkabout. The Dollar Store surprised us with a small bakery in the front offering a selection of freshly baked donuts, cookies and muffins. We resisted the temptation! Obviously there is no Tim Horton's in town.

Down the street we picked up a couple of BBQ fire starters at Home Hardware before wandering over to an Art Gallery. Inside the locked door was a border collie who gave us a bored look and went back to his nap. The sign said "Open 10am-2pm. If I am not here, ring the bell. I live behind the gallery." Nothing that we saw through the window interested us so we moved on.

The Music Store was open on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday from 2-5pm. The sign on the Vet Clinic indicated that it was open on Tuesdays. We were told that the Nurse Practitioner was on maternity leave and the Doctors were away for the summer.

We shared chuckles with the friendly owner of The Winking Pedlar and picked up a couple of small gifts. Next was an interesting shop that offered maps, locally crafted pottery, used books, minerals and a print shop. The used books were displayed on moving racks...very clever!

Before picking up groceries we refreshed ourselves at Thomasina's with icy cold glasses of water and slices of homemade blueberry pie. All of the baked goods looked and smelled delicious. This cafe is located in an old silent movie theatre that dates back to the 1930's.

Finally, loaded with groceries, we headed back to Eastgate, navigating through road construction enroute. We are fully stocked and ready to host family this weekend.

Fran is treed!

Yesterday was an exciting day for Frannie and his caretakers. Connor, the neighbour's dog managed to send Frannie scurrying up a pine tree near the back door. Connor was very pleased with his efforts. Frannie was not!! He finally returned to earth with a thud and spent the rest of the day in recovery mode. The food dish was visited at intervals and requests were made frequently for water from dripping taps but there was no way that he was going outside again.

Of course, in typical cat fashion, after sleeping and resting all day he was more than ready to play all night. We finally closed the door, excluding our bedroom from the play area.

This morning, after the usual affectionate greeting (ie: thank God you're still here), a quick nibble at the food dish and a sip of water he demanded to be released. Is it possible that they forget so easily?

When Connor came around the side of the house looking for cookies, Fran bolted for the door with a frantic look that said "Let me in! I remember him!"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The avid reader

He has finished reading Thomas King's "The Inconvenient Indian"...twice!

Apparently almost every line required highlighting!
This is a throwback to University days when underlining
helped to reinforce the importance of the message.

He has just started reading Orhan Pamuk's "Snow".
Thankfully there is no pen in hand.
Next is Will Ferguson's "419"...
...after I finish with it!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weekend visitors

The weather is warmer every day since the storm passed through. Dorothy and Kevin (my sister and her husband) came for a visit this weekend bringing a load of fresh fruit, amazing steaks and a bottle of tasty wine. We drove over to Lightning Lake and walked around a portion of the trails.

The day park area is home to hundreds of ground squirrels. Their network of underground tunnels and entrance holes makes it very risky to walk on the grassy bits so we stayed on the pathways.

Two brave bodies decided to cross over on logs!

From Lightning Lake we drove up to Cascade Lookout, a steep and winding road that led to a gorgeous viewpoint over the mountains and down to Manning Park Lodge.

Leaving the viewpoint we continued to climb up a gravel road to the Alpine Meadows. I am not sure if they were in full bloom but there were some beautiful samples.

Later in the afternoon we continued with our pentathlon. It was a challenging competition of Mexican Train, UNO, Saskatchewan Rummy, Baganole and a final bout of Mexican Train as a tie breaker.

Dorothy and I were forced to concede the championship to the men!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

C-C-Cold at Eastgate

11.7 degrees outside at 2:00pm

We are very grateful to have this fireplace
and a generous supply of firewood to keep us cozy!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The first visitors

We have company and they brought groceries! Adrian and Ashley arrived on Monday night, driving from Vancouver after work. Yesterday the four of us went for a river walk in the morning.


In the afternoon the young ones went for a walk around Lightning Lake Loop while we prepared a dinner of brie stuffed salmon, roasted baby potatoes and blue cheese, bacon enhanced broccoli salad. When they returned we held a triathlon of Baganole, UNO and Mexican Train.

It was a bitterly fought competition between the girls and the boys, interrupted only by a delicious dinner and several glasses of wine. The victors lorded it over the girls before we all fell into bed, exhausted from the challenge!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday activities

John decided to help this morning.

He managed to find a dust buster and tackled the carpet.

After the carpet cleaning exertion we headed down to the river.
The sun was trying to shine but it was mostly cloudy this morning.
Very peaceful... only saw two other people and one dog.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Thistle Road

Our morning walks take us down a winding hairpin road to the highway. John swears that it is at least a 3000 foot decline in elevation! It feels like that on the return uphill portion of our walk. The road is named Thistle Road and is lined with fireweed, lupin, clover, yarrow, many more wildflowers, grasses and, of course, hundreds of purple blooming thistle plants. Chipmunks entertain us with their chatter and acrobatics. Birds sing and flit.

At regular intervals there are small wooden structures on posts with the same telephone number printed on the front of each box. I peeked inside to discover coils of fire fighting hoses. Adjacent to each box is a hydrant. One of these is situated close to our driveway. Given the current forest fire situation in BC, this is very reassuring. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"The Dirt" aka Thistlemoor

Here we are, high in the mountains, just outside the eastern gate of Manning Park.

Front view

Back view

Spreading thyme is flowering on the patio.

Frannie, the reason we're here!

We are enjoying this beautiful, secluded spot with Frannie while his parents are globetrotting. It is a tough existence up here, surrounded by trees, birds, squirrels and wildflowers. Every morning we "jog" down the road and back up again before breakfast in an effort to remain fit! The rest of our days will be filled with Greek language lessons, painting, writing, reading and "laying about".

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Huge crowd at tonight's WOW concert.
Beautiful summer night...time for ice cream!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A teaser!

Just a teaser!

One of the pieces 
for next year's exhibition
at SAGA - June 2015.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


He was walking with a dog around McGuire Lake, adjacent to the local hospital. We had seen him before, a few days earlier. 

"Good morning. How are you?" … the usual greeting between fellow walkers. This time he started with the usual response "fine" and then hesitated with "actually…" and told us that his wife had died four days ago. He was walking her dog. Within a span of 30 minutes he poured out his grief, confusion and love.

We heard about her cancer diagnosis and subsequent death 27 days later. They had plans. He was 60 and she was 59 years old. They had barely had time to acknowledge the news. He didn't know how to pay the bills or do the banking.

There would be no service. Her ashes were in a container, waiting to be spread off Vancouver Island. She was a "crow" and he was a "raven". Their maker was the "eagle". A crow had been playing havoc at their home since his wife died so he was reassured that she was still with him.

As a long distance trucker he had spent long days on the road. His restlessness was combined with his non-stop need to tell the story, to share his life with two strangers. He repeatedly choked back tears while chewing on a toothpick.

At the end he had held her hand and asked her to take "a walk" with him. He described the "walk" to us, ending at a small red bench that overlooked the coastline of western Vancouver Island. When the metaphorical walk ended, and they reached the bench, she took her last breath.

We finally separated. He thanked us for listening and we promised to share a coffee with him in the future.

Peel & Strip Day

It was "peel and strip" day at the new mosaic wall.
The mac-tac layer was removed by two dozen volunteers.

The process of grouting will start tomorrow.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

44 foot mosaic wall is installed!

The mosaic is installed at the Ross Street Plaza
in downtown Salmon Arm.

Concerts take place during the summer at noon on Fridays
and at 6:00pm on every second Thursday evening.

Tomorrow at noon we will gather at the site to peel off the mac-tac layer
that still covers the tiles. Grouting will be the next step.
They still need funding for a protective cover that will guard against graffiti damage.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


The message from Lois was "Bring a bucket. The cherries are ripening quickly!"

I am not sure which tastes better...
cherries warm from the tree 
or hand picked raspberries...
or vine ripened tomatoes...
or fragrant basil...

Thank you Lois!!