Monday, June 29, 2015

A sixth birthday celebration

Yesterday was the sixth birthday celebration for our grandson.
We gathered at my sister's place for pool fun and many
other activities.

Our son-in-law played the role of Errol Flynn in the pool.

There were tipsy moments during pool attacks...

...and brilliant soccer moments...

...and a candle blowing competition!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Adrian visits

Adrian arrived in Salmon Arm for a two day visit
that included a tour of my "Soul Food" exhibition at the gallery.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dragon Boat Festival

In 1996 Canadian Sports Medicine specialist Don McKenzie put together the first dragon boat team comprised of breast cancer survivors in Vancouver. He believed that the upper body activity would be beneficial to offset edema that often results from removal of lymph glands. Bringing survivors together would also provide an opportunity for support and camaraderie.

This weekend marked the 12th anniversary of the Dragon Boat Festival in Salmon Arm.

Arriving in time to participate in the "carnation toss",
we threw pink carnations into the lake 
in remembrance of the women who have battled this disease.
My mother and one of my sisters have both been through
the diagnosis and treatments for breast cancer.

Survivors embrace on the boats.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A note to realtors

A note to realtors:
When you make an appointment for a house showing...don't show up whenever you like!!

Today was the second time that a particular realtor showed up with her clients at a different time than the scheduled time ...2 hours earlier!! I have been running through the possible scenarios in my mind ever since. What if we weren't home?...the bed hadn't been made, clothes were scattered, dishes were waiting to be washed and put away.

It happened that we were home and I had just spent 30 minutes on hands and knees washing the kitchen floor, John was handling a distress call from a hospice client when I heard two cars pull into our driveway. He went out and asked for 10 minutes to tidy the bedroom and kitchen. As I rushed around making the bed and disposing of laundry the realtor appeared and said that her clients didn't like the yard. Bye-bye!!

If you can't keep your schedule shouldn't be in the real estate business! This shows a complete disrespect for people who are trying to sell their homes!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Artist Talk

Today was the "Artist Talk" at the gallery. Our friend Arlene arrived from Vancouver with her parents who live in Kelowna. They wanted to see the exhibition and hear my presentation. We had a lovely visit over lunch before heading to the gallery. 

I was slightly nervous at first but my words were welcomed by a sea of friendly faces in the audience and inquisitive faces from the wall behind me!

Visitors were invited to write a short story inspired by one of the pieces. Everyone wandered around to select a photo-painting and a coffee/cookie before sitting to write. Afterwards the stories were shared aloud and I gave a brief history of the characters and settings for the pieces they had selected.

Nicky read her story while being watched by the "underwater ladder climbers"!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sipping pheasant

Today was the first time that we have seen
the neighbourhood pheasant drinking from our birdbath!

Not the best photo...shot from the kitchen door
through garden mesh!!

Another walk around McGuire Lake

Sunbathing turtles

Flicker finding food

Pretty in pink



Every morning I take up residence in our living room, 
sitting with my back to the outside world, 
surrounded by bits and pieces of our history.

A rack of CD' music to our ears
Carved figurines from Dad's African adventures

Mitch's puppet transported from Cambodia
Pnina Granier's geese fly above the stairs
The plush contours of my aunt's fading sofas
A gramophone cabinet from John's childhood

A long legged, tufted bird sits on the treadle sewing machine
with heart shaped rocks from Greek beaches at her feet

Slow moving brass hands on a brother-in-law clock
Turkish hand woven cushion on the floor

John's smiling face portrayed on galvanized steel
Glossy green gifted leaves of the penis plant
A silk painting brought from China
Reflections of a meerschaum pipe & whale's tooth

Two open mouthed fish nestle on Moroccan silk
Chinese ink sticks, fossils & a skull
A huddle of three musicians in Jen's pastels
Kingsmill raku on the hearth

Mayumi's lime green rubber vase holds roses
A crystal wine decanter beside a small bird on a branch

 A Mexican angel flanks a small red house
Inuit soapstone atop a tall handmade cabinet
Chinese lanterns droop from a Saltspring vase
A hat shaped glass lamp carried from Tuscany
Nana, Mum, aunties and sisters rest on the walls

A self portrait peeks from the corner

There are so many stories contained in this collection!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Selling our house

The ongoing process of trying to sell our house has been a combination of interesting, disappointing and downright confusing. In the past five days we have prepared the house for four showings. Even though we aren't messy people there is considerable time involved in setting out the "right" towels and bed coverings, hiding the playing cards and backgammon game, straightening the TV room, sweeping the decks, wiping down the counters and mirrors, returning the kettle, coffeemaker and teapot to their storage places, carrying the fans downstairs, stowing the laundry. Then there are the outdoor tidying chores...hoses, garden gloves, hoe, rake, lawn mower. Of course everything isn't always put back into it's proper storage place after using...that would be too easy!

When we return home there is always a realtor's business card on the kitchen counter and several telltale signs that someone has poked around in the house. The usual signs are obvious...sliding doors on the bathtub left open, doors to storage rooms left open and cupboards ajar. Yesterday was a bit different. An antique doll that sits in a child's rocking chair was dragged into the middle of the TV room, our bed covering was messed up and some small things on the desk were moved. My guess is that children accompanied their parents during the tour of our house...but...why wouldn't they straighten things afterward?!

So...the house has been on the market for 100 days. There have been 26 showings but no sale. It doesn't have granite counter tops or hardwood floors but it does offer a treed secluded setting with regular visits from pheasants, deer, a variety of birds and the occasional misguided bear. The lake is visible through trees at the bottom of the property and a twelve minute walk takes you into the downtown shops.

This is the third summer that we have listed the house with a realtor. If the house is determined to stay in our possession, we might have to test the market to find a suitable rental family for the next year. That way we would be free to travel.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A sisterly visit

My sisters stayed an extra day!

During their five night visit we had three house showings.
It was wonderful to have their help with cleaning
and prepping the house each time.
Thank you!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The weekend

Yesterday we escaped the heat with a picnic at Harald Park.

Augie discovered one of the many uses for a "noodle"
when he blew lake water through the hole at all of the adults!

Augie and Papa watched the funny antics of Grauntie Dee through binocs.

Later Augie helped Gruncle Kevin to repair the vacuum cleaner cord.

This morning we waved farewell to Kevin as he headed back to Vancouver on his Harley.
After he left we rushed around the house with vacuums, brooms and mops
preparing for another house showing that was scheduled for 11:00am.

We met Heather, Chris and Augie for a walk around McGuire Lake
and a visit to Canoe Beach before they drove back to Vancouver.

Augie loved the train tunnel underpass at Canoe Beach.

At the end of a 35 degree day we decided to have a cool dinner
at the Brew Pub followed by a walk down the wharf.

It is so fun to have my sisters here!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Soul Food - 8 pieces

Exhibition opening of SOUL FOOD

What a great day! Some of our family arrived yesterday afternoon.

We gathered on the back deck before heading to the Art Gallery.

Joyce played beautiful old songs for the entire two hours.

Nadine and Chris made a surprise appearance.

Delores and Lori served wine and lemonade.

Karen and Cherie examined the "red hot" Italian ladies.

Lots of people came through the doors.

John added a touch of humour before we headed for home!