Sunday, August 31, 2008

John McCain running mate Sarah Palin misled Republican supporters - Telegraph

Quite an interesting article in The Telegraph today. I think this choice of McCain's could really backfire and work in Obama's favour. Let's hope so. I despair of the US if they elect the Republicans again. I see Bush and Cheney have opted out of the convention because of Gustav. Great luck for McCain not to have those two buffoons around.

John McCain running mate Sarah Palin misled Republican supporters - Telegraph

Friday, August 29, 2008

Itty Bitty Book Review: The Foreign Correspondent

"The Foreign Correspondent" by Alan Furst

Great summer of his spy novels set in the time just before WWII. I can see why he has quite a following. Quite intriguing for character, plot, and especially setting. How can you not love a novel(especially if you love Paris!)that starts:

"In Paris, the last days of Autumn; a gray, troubled sky at daybreak, the fall of twilight at noon, followed, at seven-thirty, by slanting rains and black umbrellas as the people of the city hurried home past the bare trees."

More Garry Oaks....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Garry Oaks

It's always interesting to see who happens on my blog out of the blue! I got this email the other day and of course am thrilled to do a painting for them. I've been meaning to do Garry Oaks for quite some time. In fact, when I looked over my iPhoto library for Garry Oak photos to get ideas from I realized that pretty much the first thing I did with my first digital camera in 2002 was to take a whole load of photos of Garry Oaks around the neighbourhood. I'm going to post a bunch here over the next few days.

Here's the email I received from GOERT. BTW, the handbook is very impressive and gives lots of ways to create a Garry Oak meadow.

Hi Janice,

I just saw your posting about Don and Elaine's new home at -- I'm always on the lookout for items about the trees because I work with the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team in downtown Victoria. Do you think your friends would like to receive one of our free handbooks? It is full of interesting information about the tress, which invasive species stop the rare wildflowers from coming up, etc. They are welcome to give me a call at 250-383-3447 and I would be happy to send them one.

You wrote that you may paint the tree. Please excuse me if I seem pushy but I'm going to ask anyway … Would you consider doing a painting of a Garry oak that we could borrow to hang in the long (empty) hallway leading up to our office? The hallway is dark, but it has character as the building is the oldest brick building in Victoria, built in 1858. Shall we talk? I won't take offense if you gracefully decline. We believe strongly that artists should be paid for their work, but because we are a non-profit we just don’t have the budget. I'm going out on a limb here but as your work is full of life and colour, I have the feeling that you won't take offense.


Betsy Rose, Interim Financial Administration
Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT)
209 - 606 Courtney Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1B6
Tel: 250-383-3447 / Fax: 250.590.3410

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Last Supper

We had a great "last supper" with Don and Elaine last night. Don made his famous Caesar salad to die for and his special bar-b-que salmon in lettuce leaves...fabulous. We started with champagne and scallops and bacon...yum.

And we were in for another treat! Elaine gave us her mother's UBC alumni plate since we both went to UBC. It has an etching of the main library on it and we met pretty much in front of the library! Just last week when we were in Vancouver Jim was at that library doing research. It's something we will always treasure and I have put it along with our photos of us from UBC many many years ago...

It's interesting that Elaine's mother went to UBC in the 20's and we have seen her BA diploma which is on an actual sheepskin and in Latin! Not many women went to university in those days.

The link below is a little history of the library.


Don and Elaine

Me, Elaine, Don

Don and Jim

We will miss this view of their backyard and especially the wonderful Willow tree but we have a new view of a fabulous Garry Oak and the ocean to replace it. We're looking forward to our first meal in their new home.

UBC alumni plate with an etching of the main library.

O'Keefe and Adams

I love this photo of the both of them. I noted down these quotes from the exhibit in the Georgia O'Keefe Museum.

**According to John this isn't Adams he took the photograph. John tracked it down and the man in the photo is Orville Cox. And I tracked down who Orville Cox was.
"Orville Cox was the wrangler at Ghost Range and the guide on a several week trip taken by O'Keefe, Adams and others. One interesting point of the photo is that it was taken with a 35 mm camera."

Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keefe

"Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.
- Georgia O'Keefe 1922

"Art is both love and friendship and understanding: the desire to give.
- Ansel Adams 1937

Monday, August 25, 2008

Don and Elaine's new home

Elaine and I dropped over to their new condo on the way to swimming the other day and I just loved it. The view is fabulous and as Elaine says they plan to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in their sunroom. They overlook Moss Rock Park and have a wonderful Garry Oak in front that I will have to paint!

We're having the "last supper" in their house tonight. Sad to leave after 26 years in the same house but I feel very excited about their new home and I know they will love it there.

Elaine in the sunroom.

The view...the photo doesn't really do justice to it.

I love this tree! I can see a really interesting container garden developing on the balcony here.

We lunched beside the ducks later.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vancouver in the rain...still wonderful

It wasn't quite the weather we were expecting in August but it's been wonderful having this view. We had a really fun time at a bar-b-q at Donna and Neil's and seeing Linda and Cec again and also Kerry was in town too so a real old time reunion. Talk about monsoon was torrential rain coming home after dinner.

We saw John and Carol for lunch today and very appropriately took them to the Raincity Grill...delicious "steak-frites" for us and their salmon looked great.

Our breakfast companion.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunset over English Bay

We had a super greek meal at Maria's Taverna across the street and then came home to watch this fabulous sunset while we sipped a single malt. I think a painting will come out of these photos. Earlier we did go for a swim but was rather one else anywhere near the water!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Vancouver mon amour....

It's nothing quite like getting into Vancouver with the wonderful ocean and mountain views. Weather was a bit hazy but had a warm swim in English Bay after we got settled into our room. We met John Stape for dinner last night and had a good visit. We went to Tampoco...the all you can eat Japanese food place and had a super meal very cheap. John worked in Japan for quite a few years so ordered some more unusual things off the menu....yum.

Then today an unexpected bonus of seeing Kerry for lunch. She's in town at the moment buying a condo in the English Bay area...great looking place!

We're really pleased with our view here:

After I dropped Jim off at UBC today I couldn't resist taking some photos of the freighters and Spanish Banks area: