Monday, 31 October 2016

Another Fun Day

When I took a look around the pool side tonight it made me think of a monastery. Everyone going in and out of the pools are wearing long white robes, supplied by the hotel, and in the mist and vapor of the steamy hot water rising above the pools and the semi-dark night, we look like a tribe of monks scurrying around the grounds.

There are signs posted here and there saying we are not allowed to take pictures in the pools. I agree, it's not right to take pictures of people we don't know if we don't have permission to do so. It's a matter of respect. Besides what if we capture someone on camera who is there with someone other than who he or she is supposed to be with. I'm sure that's happened before. But then, I've been known to not always follow rules and as you can see, I did sneak in a few pics, however I did choose a time when there was very few people around.

There are 3 outside pools of varying temperatures. One is deep and can be used for swimming. One is for families and kids. The third one is for adults only. There are also two inside adult only pools in a building intended for relaxation and reflection with soft music playing in the background. One pool is a deep one and the second, which is the hottest of all the pools, is a circular sitting pool.

The ceiling above this circular pool is high and dome like and reminds me of some of the native center I've visited. I sensed a powerful energy sitting in this pool.

I soaked 3 different times for about an hour each time today and I will be there again before our 11 am check out time tomorrow morning.

By afternoon we will be making our way back to Abbotsford where we will be starting our journey back home. We fly to Calgary and from there grab another flight to Grande Prairie arriving there at 11 pm. tomorrow night.

I went for a walk on the pathway by Harrison Lake after the rain tapered off late this afternoon. There was still lots of clouds in the sky but it wasn't cold. All in all we can't complain about the weather. We had a little bit of everything which is to be expected around this time of the year.

When it was raining Andree and I went exploring around town a little and came upon Sasquach sitting on a bench by the place we went for lunch. Andree sat down and assumed the same stance.

And me, I tried to get him to move or to give me a hug but the old guy just sat there grinning and wouldn't budge.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Days Adventures

Before others were out and about this morning, I went for a walk on my own and came upon these colorful mushrooms. I have never seen the likes of these before.

I have to remain super attentive when I go for a walk in a strange place. My sense of direction sucks and I can easily get myself completely turned around and end up on a much longer walk than I set out for.

Fortunately I didn't get lost and got back in time to take our hosts out for morning brunch at a swanky little coffee shop type of restaurant after which they treated us by taking us to the beach. Today was the perfect beachcoming day. Neither hot nor cold and bright and sunny.

I had to keep reminding myself that we are flying back home and not driving. Otherwise I would have ended up with 50 lbs of rocks, shells, and various other beach treasures. I had some difficult choices to make and still I'll be adding a few pounds to our suitcase.

Kitsilano Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Vancouver. The beach faces out onto Burrard Inlet. I don't know that I'd enjoy it as much in the middle of summer when it's jammed full of people but on a day like today it was easy to do our own thing and not feel distracted by others who were out and about peacefully doing their own thing too.

Andree always likes to make a collage sort of things with what she gathers from her nature walk, then she takes a picture of her creation and leaves most of it behind only taking one or two pieces she can't part with home with her.

While she does her own thing, I usually go for a longer ocean walk and collect a few pieces myself. But the best part of it all is the total experience of the sound of the water, the cry of the sea gulls, the crunch of sea shells under my feet, the smell of the salt water, the ocean breeze against my skin, the newness of what my eyes feast upon - cargo ships of all shapes and sizes, sailboats gliding by, children and adults alike throwing rocks in the incoming tide, huge rocks with barnacles and seaweed hanging from their sides, the city skyline in the distance. All of it calling to me to pay attention, to be fully present and to appreciate each moment I'm in.


 But, eventually we had to pull ourselves away and make our way back to the house to pack our suitcase and start to make our way out of the city and get on the road to Harrison Hot Springs.

We got here around 5:00 pm and didn't lose any time at all to check into our room, change into our swim suits and go check out the hot pools. I could very easily get used to a life of exploration and travel that feeds my frequent yearning for adventure and change.  

Sea World - A Visual Journey

We started our day sitting in a circle in the living room, holding conversation and sipping on a cup of hot steaming tea until about 10:30, at which time, armed with umbrellas, we made our way to a local bistro for brunch.

From there, Anne took on the role of tour guide driving us around Vancouver pointing out various landmarks and different sections of the city, what they are known for, and explaining things along the way. One of our request of, things to do and see, was to go to various ocean front beaches and parks to go to in the city.

It was less than an ideal day for beachcoming in the pouring rain, but we made a stop at one of them just the same. There's only so many beaches a person can go by without stopping and picking a rock or two. Ahh... the smell of the ocean and the sound of the water splashing up against the rocks. I took a deep breathe and soaked it all in!

From there we made our way to Stanley Park, explored around there, then bought tickets for admission to the Vancouver Aquarium where we spent a good 4 hours and still we didn't see it all, but we did see most of it. It was our first time exploring the sea world and what a treat it was. Absolutely worth the money and the time.

There was lots to see and too much to mention but I did snap pictures so here's a short visual tour.

There was four of these little monkeys. I could sit and watch those all day. 
This pair played and gave us a good show.
Jelly fish galore!

A huge, huge, turtle.

The sea otter - another one i could watch all day long.

A huge white whale swimming on it's back.
The ships were all lined up waiting to get into port.

I'm bound and determined to find a few choice rocks.
Of course there was much, much more and the pictures are never like the real thing, so make sure that if and when you get a chance to go to Vancouver, you go visit the aquarium. it's well worth it.

Tomorrow, we've put in a request for our tour guide to take us to yet another beach so we can walk around and explore, then we want to visit a couple of specialty shops before we leave the city and make our way to Harrison Hot Springs. What a rough life we're living these past few days! 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Color My World

We were at the airport in Grande Prairie at 5 am. but it took a longer time than usual to land in Edmonton. We had to circle around up in the air for a long time waiting for the fog to clear up enough for us to attempt a landing. A little bit longer and the pilot would have flown us to Calgary in order to land before running out of fuel. But we were lucky that the blanket of fog lifted enough for us to touchdown just before the crucial decision time.

Landed in Abbotsford, on a beautiful sunny afternoon. How wonderful it was to see the sun and not have to deal with any slush and mud. I absorbed as many rays as I possibly could whenever I was out of a building or out of the car.

 I gawked at the beauty of the various vegetation, the snow capped mountains, the ocean ports, the Port Mann bridge, the huge homes, and the fresh meat, fish, and vegetable markets and many artisan shops.

The trees are just starting to loose their leaves here in Vancouver.. 

Andre had a short snooze in the car while I went for a short walk and picked a few humongous leaves. 

I felt like I had emerged from a black and while world and been dropped into a colorful one.

A huge Inukshuk at the front door.

An entertainer on the dock at Granville Island
I'ts not supposed to be as nice tomorrow but today was a perfect as far as the weather goes. I felt like Vancouver welcomed us with open arms and was very grateful for our day.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Fly Away With Me

Tomorrow I work in the morning. Then the plan is to have a short visit with my neighbor before I go home and start packing for our mini-holiday. We're off to burn some air miles.

Who ever heard of such a stupid thing as taking away the air miles we've been trying so hard to accumulate over the years so we could eventually take a winter trip to a warmer country.

Yup! That's what air miles is doing now. If you don't use them within a certain amount of time they snatch them from you. I found out we were going to claw back around 4,000 of our hard earned points if we din't use them before the end of December. Well I'll be damn if we were about to let that happen, so we took care of that!

We fly to Vancouver, stay at a Andree's niece's place for the weekend. She has gracefully offered to show us around Vancouver. We've been to or through Vancouver many times but never actually visited much of anything so this time we will. We're leaving it in her capable hands and trusting it will all be good.

Monday and Tuesday we're driving to, and staying at, Harrison Hot Springs Resort. Another place we've been to once but have never actually stayed at the resort where one can make use of the various hot pools.

A mini-holiday of sorts that I'm really looking forward to and I'm sure will thoroughly enjoy since I've been working my butt off these past couple of weeks.

That's the order of things. Work, visit, pack, drive to Grande Prairie, sleep over, and fly out way before the sun even thinks about getting up.

Works for me!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Deep Thoughts

Various thoughts that float across my mind and beg to be written about.

~Writing allows me to bask in the questions and ponder which answers are right for me.

~When I look back, I feel I’ve lived 100 different lives. Surely I’ve got more stories to write.

~Touch is essential to life and can take the place of 1000 words.

~Someone wrote: “Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers.” It makes me wonder why my mother feared silence so much and why she always tried to break mine.

~Spiritual surrender for me means letting go and trusting each moment as it unfolds.

~A question I ask myself and you may also want to ask yourself is: Do I live life in alignment with who I am, and what my values and beliefs are?

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Done Deal

Took us a long time to make up our minds but it's a done deal now. I'm glad the hunt is over.

We're coming home with one chair but there's more to come. The others had to be ordered and will take 6 weeks or more before they come in and then we have to somehow get them home. We've never bought new living room furniture before. It's always been second hand. This big purchase (for us anyway) we decided would be our Christmas present many times over.

But, since it took so long running from one place to another we haven't made it out of the city yet. I'm kind of glad we stayed an extra night though. It means we got to share another wonderful meal with Karen and Steve. This time, steaks done on an outside fire pit, baked potatoes and veggies. delicious. Thanks you guys.

We're heading out tomorrow morning but first we;re going to attend the Sunday celebration at the Center for Spiritual Living. I like to go whenever the opportunity presents. I find it fills my soul and gives me food for thought for the day and sometimes for the week. Wish we had something like it closer to home.

On The Hunt

For some new living room furniture that is. We've decided to ditch our Kijjiji purchased sofa and love seat for four chairs. Holy catfish! Shopping for furniture is just as complicated as shopping for a car these days. Different colors, shapes, sizes, fits, textures, fabrics, and on and on it goes.

We went through one furniture store after another but it wasn't until we entered the LazyBoy store that we actually got hooked. It didn't take long for Andree to find a chair she was comfortable in. She snuggled right in, put her feet up, and immediately nodded off for a good 15 minutes. In the meantime I followed the sales lady around hopping from one chair to another trying to find one that suited me.

I tell you, over the past two days I've parked my touche on enough chairs to fill Taj Mahal and out of all of that, I found only one that I can sit comfortably in where my feet actually touch the floor and it's in the same store that Andree found hers.

But, we decided to check out a few more places before coming to a decision. This time Karen and my two grandchildren, Cole and Sadie, came with us and they found it ridiculously funny how no matter how many different chairs I sat in, my short wheel base left me with feet danging off the edge of the chair like a little kid.

"You've shrunk, mama Lou," my daughter says. She's not the first to tell me this but I think it's everyone else who never stopped growing and it has nothing at all to do with me.

Tomorrow will be decision time. Andree's chair and my chair are pretty much a go, but the two company chairs are still up for debate. We'll see......

Thursday, 20 October 2016

City Excursion

When you live in the boonies you have to make trips to the city if you want to do any major purchases, see specialists or get a new pair of glasses. That's just the way it goes in Northern Alberta.

So sometimes we combine a "have to" trip with a little pampering such as one night in a hotel room with a king size bed, pool and hot tub. There's nothing like a good soak after a 5 hour trip on the road, running around the city to various appointments and going from store to store looking for what we need.

We did take a break from all the rushing around however. We called an old friend and went and picked her up so she could join us for supper at Tony Roma's. It was a very enjoyable evening with some catch up discussions on how things have been since we last saw each other back in April.

Tomorrow is another day of going here and there and making decisions on a few needed household purchases along with a visit with my two older grandchildren, my daughter Karen and her beau Steve. We're going to bunk down at their place tomorrow night and likely head back home on Saturday sometimes.

My computer sitting on the desk mostly always end up being the usual decor when we get a hotel room. Writing in my journal or on my blog is part of my kick back and relax time before I go to bed. Which by the way I should think about doing since I've been up since 4:30 am and it will be another busy day tomorrow.

Oh wait.....did you see the sun today?

Jumping Jupiters! It was +14 here today. Right up my alley I tell you. Bring it on man. Bring it on!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Thoughts and Moments

My heart still feels heavy and hollow without Pumpkin poking at my legs to be picked up or to greet us when we come through the door. I reach out for her at night but she's no longer curled up beside me. Our house echos with her absence.

I often glance out the front window at the spot where we buried her between the two willow trees and thank her for having been part of our life for as long as she did.

My last morning cuddle with her.
Last night we had some friends over for dinner and a game of cards which made for a pleasant and relaxing evening and also helped with the emptiness I feel.

Today was my day of no commitments and of going with the flow. I like those kind of days. I did some morning writing, hauled in some wood for the fireplace, washed my SUV and took my bike rack off since it looks like I won't have the opportunity to ride again this year with the way it keeps snowing around here.

I also went for a walk this afternoon while all that white wet stuff was coming down and I came back looking like a soggy snowman. It's going to be a long winter if this stuff is here to stick around already.

Two of my daughters, Karen and Jody went camping on Thanksgiving weekend and a couple of buddies dropped in.

They invited them to sit and have lunch.

On a more summery day, just before all the white stuff came down - here's a couple of pics of my two youngest grandchildren, Jesse and Finnley.

Deeply involved in her Dora book

My 3 year old grandson all dressed up for a wedding.

The world is just spinning to darn fast I tell you. Those little ones are growing like weeds.

And, it's back to work tomorrow. Three very busy counselling days ahead of me then an out of town excursion for a couple of days to take care of some scheduled appointments. That will pretty much take care of my week.

Never a dull moment!