Friday, June 30, 2017

Getting organized to start painting again

I'm not quite sure what I'll start with.  I do have a number of partially completed paintings but I think I'll leave them for a while.  I drove around Stanley Park yesterday and took some photos...something might come out of some of these.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Jim home safely

Jim arrived home in pretty bad shape yesterday afternoon....all stuffed up,  coughing,  and pretty much deaf.  He is a bit better today and his ears seem to be clearing so that's a really positive sign.  On the bright side,  it looks to be a perfect day for weather and some pins from my Provence board on Pinterest came up.  I do love the colours and simplicity of these posters which I believe are all vintage although some may be newer.

I do love this one from Carqueiranne.  The tulip is the city flower as they grow these wonderful tulips that are like little trees....none of these local drooping things we get locally.   So,  here you have the idea of the tulip fields and then the stylized tulips at the bottom.  And I love the way they've done the trees.   They are all there....the palm,  the cyprus,  and the umbrella pines.  Ah...well,  not quite all of them....they didn't include the olive tree.  I can see why.  The shape wouldn't have contributed to the design.  I'm now looking at our favourite poster of this area and it has the cyprus,  olive trees,  and palms but no umbrella pine.  Looking at it,  I can't really see how it would fit and then of course,  it's best to have threes,  or fives, etc.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A very short trip to Saskatoon

First the good news:

We gots lots accomplished. a nice group, excellent meetings, and our talks were well-attended and went over very well, with a good followup session and lots of free food and drink, 

And the bad news:

...but I am not well-enough to be enjoying any of this. So I have decided to check out from the hotel and catch the 1:30 non-stop to Vancouver today--same numbers and same arrival time--2:32 Vancouver main terminals.
I seem to be losing my voice and have chest congestion, so a no brainer  Also--no pow-wow--that was a mistake. It happens in July, not June.

It's a really bad break for Jim as he just recently got over a bad virus that had him coughing for weeks.  Neither one of us could believe he woke up with a sore throat Sunday morning.  We figured it must have been dust or something.   On the positive side,  neither one of us has had any cold or flu for over a year.  I hope I don't get this!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Jim left for Saskatoon today

Jim got off today without incident.  He likes the hotel,  The Parktown, which is on the river, and was pleased that the flight was only 90 minutes.   After he had lunch he went for a whirlpool and then was meeting with the other co-editors tonight for dinner.    This is a Huxley book (what else?) he's working on.   The co-editor at the University of Sask is also a Canada Research Chair so had some money to have a little mini conference.  It sounds like it will all be quite interesting and they have even been invited to a Pow Wow.  Looking forward to hearing about his adventure.  He returns Friday.

I took advantage of being on my own to go shopping at Park Royal....when the cat's away...

A few photos of the hotel...looks like a very pleasant location.

I've got another convert to blogging!

I've been encouraging Linda to start blogging and she has started!  I've told her to include lots of photos and to post regularly....that's the key to keeping people's interest.  Take a look:

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday"

Alexander McCall Smith is always great summer reading and I'm glad Erna suggested this one.  I did try another one in this series and it didn't really capture my interest but I enjoyed this one so now I have a new series to try.  It's mainly pretty light reading but he always gives you something to think about.  I picked up his stand alone recent novel "My Italian Bulldozer" and that looks like a fun read. What can there not be to like about a fellow going through Tuscany on a bulldozer because of car rental problems?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A wonderful afternoon at Carol and John's

Great company,  great conversation,  great food,  and great summer weather.  Does it get any better than this!   Thanks so much,  Carol and John.  It was great fun and as usual a gourmet experience.    We covered a lot of ground in our conversation topics  We really appreciate being able to talk freely and we also discussed how this isn't really possible in many situations these days.

Mr. Darcy didn't make an appearance but we did see his specially prepared treats which he is apparently turning his nose up at.   He doesn't like the heat and was no doubt taking refuge in a shady spot.

We certainly weren't turning our nose up at anything Carol prepared!

Carol's lovely garden.

A perfect meal for a hot day.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wonderful weather now

Yesterday,  we sat out in the sunshine having lunch at Las Margaritas and enjoyed our shady balcony for the rest of the afternoon.

We became members of the Vancouver Art Gallery again and we have never been to an opening there so decided to go last night.  It is this great Monet show at the moment.   I don't know if this is usual or because of the special show,  the weather perhaps, but there was a huge lineup.  So we decided to go for a drink and then see if we could get in later without lining up.

We were close to the Pendulum Building where Mark works and where Jim has had coffee a couple of times.  I had never been in this building and it is really rather amazing!  They have various art shows on in the lobby.  This time it was sculpture.

There is this huge pendulum swinging in the lobby.  Too much light to get a photo.   I'm back taking photos with my phone so not great quality but at least I can mail them to myself and post them.

We decided to go to The Georgia Hotel for a drink.  We had been there before after they did the amazing restoration but we were even more impressed this time.  I think they've done even more and added artwork.  The bar was insanely busy and noisy so decided to got to the bar in the Vancouver Hotel.  Same thing so went to the Keg on Alberni which is a regular haunt of ours...perfect!

We dropped by the Art Gallery around 8:30 and no line up!  It is really quite an amazing exhibit and while we have seen quite a bit of Monet in Paris and elsewhere,  we hadn't been to the gallery in Paris where these paintings come from (don't quite know how that happened) so all new pieces for us.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer at last!

It really was a lovely and quite warm day yesterday.  Jim and Dick got a round of pitch and putt at Stanley Park.  The course was relatively quiet and lots of rhodos still out so very scenic.

We went to the music at The Sylvia last night not really knowing what to expect since we didn't recognize the artist,  James Merger.  It turned out to be the most amazing jazz duo with James on the big bass and Bruno on keyboard.   They are playing at the jazz festival which is  in town now.  Wow....we were so impressed and loved it so much we stayed through the second set which had the added bonus of watching the sunset.  A wonderful evening.

Bruno Hubert on keyboard

 James on bass

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mussel Mania for the first time this year....

Yes,  it's warming up and we took the harbour ferry to Granville Island to have our beloved mussels,  fries,  bread,  and a pint of beer for $15...same price for the last two years.  When Richard first told us about it it was $10.  It is finally warming up and the sun is shining,  blue is here!

Nice to see they at least have fresh dungeness crab in the fresh tank at The Sandbar.  A meal is $69.  Thinking of those days when our neighbour,  Chris, in Victoria brought back loads of crab,  halibut, and salmon from his yearly fishing trip and shared generously with us.  We loved every morsel,  Chris!

From the little wonderful Burrard Bridge.  Nice to  be going under it rather than tied up in traffic.

 Yum,  yum, yum

Great to see these guys again.

We took a stroll through Granville Island Market and picked up some pate and sausage from Oyama.

Monday, June 19, 2017

From Susan's Canadian quotes....

Of course I would love anything Alice Munro said...

Jim got two Father's Day celebrations

I made steak and lobster for Jim yesterday and Richard took us out to The Sylvia for lunch today for Father's Day.    Richard is still recovering from his amazing travel adventure and had quite the stories to tell.    We're very proud of him and how he handled some really tough situations.  Good on you kid!  And the really good thing is that the company is now committed to more online training and less travel.   I took some good photos on Jim's phone but can't get them off.   I'll have to figure something out with this photo thing.

Thanks,  Richard.  It was a great seeing you.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hot in many places but not here in Vancouver

We're looking at at another dreary day here.   The Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club is celebrating its 100th birthday so I hope things get better for their activities today.  The weather held yesterday.  And I even got a few rays of sunshine sitting by the Buchanan Building at UBC when Jim was returning library books.  And it was quite bright when we had lunch at the University Golf Club....always a wonderful venue regardless.  Jim was reminding me he was in a foursome of friends when he was a student and someone in his foursome got a hole-in-one at this course   The only other time he was with a group that got a hole-in-one was when I got one in Palm Springs.  Just couldn't resist bringing that up:)

Erna phoned yesterday and we had a nice chat and she mentioned it's going to be unseasonably hot these next few days in Palm Springs....118 - 119 F.  And it seems it's very hot in Paris at the moment. It was fun reading this post from Parisian Fields today.    Things have gotten a little better in terms of some AC but fans still seem to be unheard of as in the past.   We saved our bacon on many trips by travelling with a 8"x 8" portable fan that ran on four D batteries and that we could prop up on our suitcase at the foot of the bed.  Amazing what getting a bit of movement of air does in terms of feeling a little cooler.

The folks who are in Paris now and coping with the heat are using various strategies including eating cooling foods like gazpacho,  ice cream and drinks like Badoit and Sancerre (ah...this lovely white wine!).  It reminded me that I didn't make gazpacho last summer even though it was very warm.    Too busy and preoccupied with other things.  I will make a point of making it this year if and when we ever get some good weather!

This photo from Parisian Fields:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

I won the Jane Austen basket for new members!

I didn't get to the meeting today but Donna sent me this email saying my name had been drawn.  It looks like it has lots of goodies.

Friday, June 16, 2017

This cat garden is growing quite nicely

From "Emergency Kittens"  on Twitter....not sure I'll ever figure out Twitter.  Usually when I click I get nowhere but this time I did get some fun photos.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Making peanut butter cookies and reading by the fire

A very rainy day....definitely Junuary.    Seemed like a good day to make cookies (these were Don's favourite) and read Alexander McCall Smith's "The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday".   Erna recommended this one and I'm enjoying it a lot.   And Richard sent me a text this morning saying he had arrived safely.   All's right with the world.

While I would rather have sunshine at this time of the year I guess I'm a real Vancouverite in that I rather enjoy looking at the rain.